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Slight Distortions

I just finished reading a lot of old messages to the group and noticed that for the most part folks have been focusing on the heavy dose end of the trip spectrum.

I just finished reading a lot of old messages to the group and noticed that for the most part folks have been focusing on the heavy dose end of the trip spectrum.

I am a writer and musician and have frequently wondered whether VERY low doses could be useful in creating art. I find heavy trips inspiring but too overwhelming for me to stay in touch with the muse.

So, after thinking about this for months and wondering if anyone else would post a very low dose trip, I decided to do it for myself. What follows is a very loosely edited account of the experience. Please excuse the lack of narrative continuity.

========= The Account ==========
Woke up around noon (went to sleep around 3 a.m.) and had my usually morning cappuccino. I decided that I would try a super low dose: 0.3 grams. If this doesn't have any effect I will increase the dose next time.

As per usual, I was pretty slow about getting things measured, etc.

Recipe: 0.3 grams finely ground stropharia. Tea bag of Celestial Seasonings 'Sleepytime' tea. 1 cup water. 1/3 cup lemon juice. Let these simmer together for 15 minutes or so.

Drank tea: 1:15 p.m.

I put on John McLaughlin's recording of 'My Foolish Heart' to put me in a relaxed frame of mind.

I set up my 'light and sound machine' to a meditation program and connected it to my CD player which I loaded with Keith Jarret's Koln Concert. When the McLaughlin song was done, I put on the goggles and headphones and started the machine up. (NOTE: the sound and light intensity were set very low).

After a few minutes, I felt waves of relaxation flow through me in light tremors. I wasn't sure if this was due to the mushrooms (which I usually feel very quickly) or the meditation. I decided not to interfere with the experience by trying to decide. If the affect was a placebo affect, so be it.

I noticed that I was having much more vivid flashes of color and seeing much more complex patterns that I usually with the machine. Something like 'morphing' spinning multi-colored spider webs which turned into patterns like the cracks that form in drying mud.

The program ended at about 1:45. I took off the goggles and headset and just lay there relaxing for a few minutes. My mind felt wonderful though my body was beginning to be a bit tense. Familiar body effects for me on mushrooms. It was still hard to tell whether this was anxiety or truly physical. I was very slightly nervous since this was the first time I had taken mushrooms by myself.

When I went into the bathroom (which has a white tile floor) a few minutes later, I noticed what I can only call an invisible fog at the edge of my vision. I had an overwhelming sense that there was mist flowing around my visual field, but when I tried to look directly at it the effect was gone.

Back in bed staring at the ceiling which is a vaguely textured plaster ceiling. On past trips, the most intense visuals were things I saw in the ceiling. This times I noticed the fog again. I started thinking about how rarely we give ourselves 'a day'. Time to think but without any particular goal. A day where you have nothing that you need to accomplish no one else that you need to please.

While I was thinking this, I noticed that there were textures moving across the ceiling. If I let my gaze rest in one place, I would have the distinct impression that the object was both moving and still at the same time. All sharp edges seemed to have a moving quality as if the edge was being constantly renewed by new matter coming into being at its edge and immediately being consumed. I hope this makes at least a little sense.

All my thinking and vision took on a particularly joyful quality. Vision took on that crispness that I've only experienced while tripping. I was pretty certain that the mushrooms were having more than a placebo affect. I started typing into my laptop computer and I could see the letters forming and the cursor moving as if in slow motion.

My mind (which tends to be kind of multi-tasking with occasional random threads interrupting the main flow) started making the kinds of connections hand having the sort of flow that I associate with tripping. It could in part be the result of my relaxed state, meditation, and having given myself permission to not accomplish anything though I am sure that the spirit of Teonancatl was with me.

Here are some of the random events, thoughts, observations. Hopefully, these will be of some interest to someone besides me.

======= Random Thoughts =========

invisible fog at the periphery of vision

gathering spots of warmth around eyes and the where fingers meet

permissions we give ourselves - we don't often give ourselves permission to do nothing. there is too much to do. too much to figure out.

recreational flight

listening to the silence

saw moving rivers or graininess. is it the drugs? or just that i am paying attention and letting myself accept as real anomalies in my visual field

patience - why is it so hard to wait? why so hard to lie there and really listen. really see. really feel with one hundred percent of myself?

really listening to our bodies

expectation of beauty - how much does the expectation of beauty impact our experience of it?

related thought: how much does our expectation of an experience -- or even that we are going to have an experience -- contribute to the experience itself.

openness to wonder - chidren are so open to the Wonder. I definitely need to let myself open back up to the Wonder in the Universe.

such a confusion of joy

it is that point where we are directly experiencing input - with no conscious filtering - that is impossible to capture with words

hallucinations so faint you don't know if they are hallucinations.

the cursor jumps foward like a cartoon

why don't we let ourselves EXPERIENCE the beauty and Wonder (with a capital W) more often instead of just commenting on it.

perhaps psychedelics leave open the part of our mind which allows us to be held by Wonder which every moment is to an infant which every moment is in a dream but which expectation and ambition and the need to get things done kills in our waking time. Gurus are open to wonder and perhaps this is why hallucinogenics are so superfluous to them.

so, if the plant has anything to teach us, if we can truly learn its lesson then we will no longer need it. we will be open to wonder. and be able to open our minds to it by finding a still moment and a quiet wall to look at.

the importance of giving oursleves a day off. not to do things. a day just TO BE OFF.

have you ever thought about the forest the tree came from that made your dresser.

for most acts it is no more work to do it with care than not. so why don't we?

why is it so hard to keep eyes closed

i constantly interrupt the experience to comment on the experience

perhaps things go on in the background that we fail to see because our focus is so insistently on the foreground.

the creeping of the water's border as it fills in the empty tub. how many thousands of times I have started water running in a bathtub with out seeing this.

the tiny tiny bubbles released from the lip of the shining stainless plug through the coke glass colored water. the film of water that sticks to the sides as the waves slosh.

the gathering of a drop of water on the tip of a finger how it swells and flattens as we move our finger. gathering from a bulge of flesh and gathering whiteness then clarity then reflecting the room and finally released and joining the larger body of water.

listening to bach's violin concerto i noticed the trailing harpsichord and felt sorry for it because it is doomed never to catch up or outshine the violin.

[NOTE: bath at 3:30 p.m. Visuals -- which were never more than a layering of textures or invisible obscurity of vision -- have worn off though the edges of things seem crisp and the water beautiful. I feel very faintly high -- though no less or more high than before. It is hard to tell if i am high of hungry or tired)

By 4:30 the drug seemed to have worn off. Vision no longer had that 'cripsness'. My body felt a bid weird. I felt a bit cranky. HOWEVER, over the next hour as my body load wore off, I began to feel a wonderful joyful afterglow as deep as after any heavy trip. This feeling lasted well into the next days and I was much more productive on my current writing project than I had been in weeks.

======= POSTSCRIPT =======
This was for me a very enlightening experiment, and I would love to hear from others who have tried or will decide to try such an experience in the future. Next time, I will do this without the intent to log the experience in a journal. I think low doses like this can be a wonderful meditative tool -- using the low dose to gently tip one into the realm of meditation. I think it will also allow free flow of creativity for times where one is feeling stuck.

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