This being the first "heroic dose" (5 dried gr.) I've ever attempted, I decided to go with the Koh Samui Super Strain, as I've had good experiences with Thai mushrooms in the past. I was zooming with 11 other people on an island in Maine, 3 of whom also took the KSSS, but not a full 5g. About 30 mins after ingesting, I was sitting on the front lawn with my friend Jen, and I experienced a very rapid acceleration from sobriety into the 'realm'... "Coming up FAST!" I said. "FAST" she repeated. We looked at each other and I could tell she was getting as nauseus as I was and she went off to try and puke. Moments later, I felt incredibly cold, although it was a beautiful 70 degree day. I went inside to get a blanket and when I came out, Jen was there and I put it over both of us. I was still cold and nauseus and starting to get the shakes, so I tried pulling the blanket over myself completely. I did NOT feel good. Others on the lawn were playing further on down by the beach, and when they looked at where I had been sitting, all they saw was the blanket with my hat on it, and joked that I had dissolved into nothing but a blanket and a hat. I remember thinking how appropriate this was, as it was exactly how I was starting to feel... except for the cold and the nausea. I stuck my head out to check on Jen, and she didn't look like she was having such a great time, either, so I asked her if she wanted to go lie down with me. We went inside and lay down on my bed, both of us feeling cold and sick. She didn't last long like this, since she had to puke again. Although I was in bed with several blankets, I went around to the other bedrooms and collected several more and, returning to my room, piled them on top of myself. This is when I started to lose my grip on consensus reality, and caught a glimpse of another reality entirely.
First, the room started to move... not in the gentle "breathing walls" way that I'm used to - but move violently, the way one of those fun houses in a carnival tilts and jolts and turns. At one point, it turned almost completely upside-down and I knew I'd be in trouble if I tried to get out of bed to negotiate it. The walls had a pattern of flowers and ivy which came alive like snakes... everything losing its solidity and instead revealing itself as a process of vibration and energy that only "appears" to be solid in our 'normal' state. I could feel this thing called "I", slipping away from me, and it terrified me at first. I knew that I was indistinguishable from this process that I was observing and wondered if I let myself become part of it, to dissolve into it, whether the kings horses and men would ever be able to assemble me again. I made an attempt to locate my body and managed to raise my arm up off the bed. It had no weight. It felt like one of those molted snakeskins you find on the side of the road... just a thin membrane. I suddenly knew that "I" no longer resided in that body, but was a part of the pure process all around me, and that someday, like the snake, I would shed my body and return to the process forever. What frightened me was that I felt like I could return to it now, if I wanted to. The phrase "tunes or pebbles" kept recurring in my mind. It's a phrase from Aldous Huxley's "Island" which I had just finished. The exact quote is:
"Tunes or Pebbles, processes or substantial things? 'Tunes',answer Buddhism and modern science. 'Pebbles', say the classical philosophers of the West. Buddhism and modern science think of the world in terms of music..."
"Pure consciousness", I said, although there was noone there to hear me.
I don't recall whether my eyes were open or closed during this period on the bed, but I know that it didn't matter. Either way, I was witness to the same vibrational relatedness of the cosmos. There was a small painting of a sailing ship on the bedroom wall, and when I tried to look at it, it's sails billowed out beyond the confines of its picture frame and it sailed out towards me. There were small people aboard wearing berets and striped shirts and they beckoned me to join them. I felt quite sure that, had I wanted to, I could've climbed on board and sailed away with them forever. Part of me DID want to, and this scared me a little bit.
At some point, I remembered that my body needed to pee, but there was no way I could've gotten downstairs to the bathroom. Luckily, this was an old house and in the bedrooms were chamber pots next to every bed. All I had to do was get enough control over my body to roll myself to the side, and hope that aim would take care of itself. It did.
Still alone in the room, my consciousness turned from "outward" to "inward". This wasn't something I felt I could control at all. It was as if someone handed me a flashlight and sent me into the deepest recesses of my mind, of my life and all my pain with a mission to show myself what I needed to look at. It wasn't like "thinking" about things... in fact, the best way I can describe it is this: We all have our pain, regrets, fears and memories that we keep compartmentalized inside ourselves. When I journeyed inside, i found that all the dividers that keep these things seperate had been flattened... and what I experienced was a great pool of pain and sorrow. Everything was there...every moment of my childhood, the death of my father, the loss of each lover I've ever had, the people I had hurt and every opportunity I'd missed because of my own fear. Once again, this "me" I call "me" was totally irrelevant and the totality of my being was pure experience, memory, and loss. Tears filled my eyes and I wept. Not just for myself, but for every human that's ever lived.
I don't remember when Tia appeared, but i do know it was while my eyes were still wet with tears. "There's some hard stuff in there", I remember saying. We talked and, although I was still completely incoherent, she made me laugh. She made me feel grounded and loved. She sat at the foot of the bed as we talked and I remember "seeing" light and love radiating from her and I knew the bad part was over. Gradually, more and more people came in to visit me and I felt safe, although I still couldn't get out of the bed. Eventually, everyone left to watch the sunset, and I told them I'd come out in a minute. I knew full well I wouldn't be able to, but I didn't want anyone to miss the sunset because of me. When it was over and they all came back to the house, I was feeling much better, and able to sit up and talk. I felt a clarity of mind that I've never experienced before. Warren was in the room and I said, "I get it now. It's so simple. Take care of yourself and be nice to other people.... it's that simple, isn't it?" "Yes", he said, "it's that simple".
It took the next couple of days to get used to being back in my big heavy body, and will undoubtedly take me quite a while to fully process what this journey has shown me. As painful as powerful as all of this was, I feel a certain comfort in knowing that I will eventually return to this plain of pure consciousness, and at least once, in my very last moments, I will give myself to it completely and sail off on the tall ship with the little people forever.