Cacti - T. peruvianus
Citation: Pulsetsar. "Showing Me Myself: experience with Cacti - T. peruvianus (ID 25058)". Erowid.org. Oct 12, 2004. erowid.org/exp/25058
At 1:20 PM I measured out 25 grams of dried Trichocereus peruvianus cactus and ground it in a coffee grinder. This got it into a nice, fine powder, but there were still some chunks here and there so then I dumped it into my mortar and pestle and finished it off. I then proceeded over the course of the next half hour to meticulously load 45 500 mg gelatin capsules with the powder, stuffing more than 500 mg into each one with some effort. From what I read this might contain anywhere between 200 and 400 mg of mescaline, it has an alkaloid profile similar to peyote but with the advantage of being completely legal to grow and purchase. At around 1:55 PM I began to swallow all 45 capsules, which took 10 minutes and 3 glasses of water. I hadnít eaten since the night before.
I then left to go to a festival to meet up with some friends. I got there and we made our way to the concert grounds. It was a beautiful day to be out in the sun on the huge, open field of Grant Park, the Chicago skyline looking down over us. I kept checking my watch and by 3:00 concluded that my little experiment had failed. I was happy to note, though, that there was absolutely no nausea at all, despite what many others had reported with the drug. I soon found out that I was much too hasty.
Mescaline takes a long time to come on, but when it comes on it comes on strong. By 4:00 I was in the midst of the most amazing trip I have ever experienced. I had taken the big tryptamines before (LSD and psilocybin) but this was completely different. There were no plateaus and no ďgoing up and coming downĒ with mescaline. It was more like a door was opened slowly, and then at the end of the trip slowly closed, but while it was open nothing was held back and nothing fluctuated. This was a surprise to me, since I expected the usual scalloped-pattern trip. With mescaline, rather, I could take it as deep or superficial as I wanted. Every time I thought I was coming down, it was really me just shifting focus to a different aspect of the trip.
I should note right now that once open the door to perception didnít close until 7 AM the next morning, almost 15 hours later! So much for the 10-12 hour estimate I had heard.
None of the people I was with knew I was tripping, and nobody suspected a thing. In fact, the interactions I had with others that day were amazing. I felt a real connection with everyone that I talked to. My communication ability was not impaired at all, and I was able to focus so thoroughly on another human being and really connect with them. I noticed that most people, when they talk to me, donít look me directly in the eye. The intimacy and power that comes from looking into another personís eyes as you interact should never be underestimated, but also used with discretion since it can make many people uncomfortable.
A sea, no, an ocean of people drift by as I walk around. I was exposed to so many faces and lives that day. A girl stands in the corner and I notice how sad she is, and is amazed that nobody else sees it. I then look closer and see that she is jealous of her friend playing kissy-face with some guy. I wanted to go over and console her, but it is not my business and not my place to interfere with all the powerful lessons that could be learned by both parties. I tell my friend T- about it and he agrees but is amazed that I was able to perceive that with so little effort. Looking at T-, I almost get lost a little and give away my state. Every little stubble of hair on his face was a universe in and of itself.
The detail of the external world on mescaline is unmatched. It doesnít create visual hallucinations the way that LSD does. It, rather, enhances oneís ability to perceive the world visually. Every shadow, crease, reflection was available to me. Itís amazing how much people move their facial muscles. During my trip, it was impossible for people to lie or hide anything from me. Their faces were so transparent that I could see right into their souls and know what they were thinking and feeling. Perhaps this is why I was able to interact with them so well.
And then I closed my eyes. What wondrous kaleidoscopic displays! There was no end to the patterns I saw. However, when I sat to meditate in the sun and concentrated on the third eye in my forehead, everything became still and the kaleidoscope disappeared. Never before was I capable of such concentration. My mind began to merge with the universe around me and I experienced a joy unknown to most people in the world. As I opened my eyes and came back, I felt such compassion and sadness watching the people around me writhing in the delusion of their own isolated existence. If they could only see the world the way I do for a second they would not live like they do! How could they not know how significant and insignificant they were? Alas, I am here in this world to better myself and do what I can to bring happiness to those around me, and I went about that task for the rest of the day. I saw myself as a nobody. Why should my feelings and desires matter more than anyone elseís? I am fully willing to let the world trample on me so long as something good comes out of it. Itís amazing what ability I now have to make people happy.
Something clicked that day and stuck with me. I called my mom the day afterwards and we had the best conversation weíve had in years. I canít wait to be a physician; my love of people is increasing every day. During the trip, I was approached by two or three people preaching the love of Jesus, handing out fliers while saying ďJesus loves you, man.Ē Any other time, I would have refused the flier and ignored them. With the doors of my mind swung open, though, I accepted their love and reflected it back a hundred fold. I used to think of myself a Hindu, but that has no meaning now. I may as well be a Christian. What does it matter, the garment I wear and slogan I sling, when we all return in the end from whence we came?
Guster came on with music perfect for the day, followed by an amazing Pete Yorn performance and finally the Wallflowers. When I closed my eyes again I tried another experiment: testing my memory. How vivid it was! I could remember so many experiences in my life that were previously inaccessible to me. What was amazing about mescaline is that it not only brings out detail in current experiences but also past ones! I was remembering my friendsí faces and I could see them in as much detail as if there were in front of me. I remember all the little mannerisms and features of almost everyone in my life. Whatís amazing is that I was noticing, in retrospect, aspects of their behavior and their looks that I didnít notice the first time around. It seems true that the mind records everything and leaves it ready for retrieval and analysis later. Iíve always known what an amazing memory I have, but Iím certain that anyone is capable of this.
Darkness falls upon Chicago; I had my mind-finger on the pulse of the city and felt it slow down. Fireworks are going off in Lincoln Park as we drive past it. I was practicing controlling the trip, increasing and then decreasing the intensity as much as I wanted. I literally felt like nothing was impossible for me to accomplish. It was all a matter of how much effort must be put forth. I vowed never to use the words ďI canítĒ any more and decided to stop complaining about things. It was really hot that day and there were a lot of attacks to my personal comfort but I was able to bear them all simply by detaching my attention from them. It was a Friday and I was observing my weekly fast, which would not normally be easy to do at the Taste of Chicago, but that day I wasnít phased at all. My companions were impressed, and I hope the example of conviction that I set for them rubs off and allows them to pursue their goals in life.
Itís amazing to me how many things that we personally are responsible for, and yet we always find a way to place the blame elsewhere. My knee hurts so I canít play as well today; itís too hot for me to walk outside; I canít eat tomatoes because they make me sick; I could never fast for a day; blah, blah, blah. People need to take control of their lives. The locus of control for 99% of life is within the individual and not elsewhere. This flies in the face of contemporary psychological thought but it really is a truth, even if buried deep within us.
I end up in Evanston watching the stars. My friend asks me how to find the North Star and I tell him about lining up the two stars in the big dipper and how they form a line pointing to it. This simple fact never seemed so beautiful before, but I resisted launching into another session of wonder at the clockwork order inherent in the universe. We walked all around the lakefill in the Northwestern University campus, which is beautiful in summer and even more beautiful when perceived through mescaline-eyes. We walked a lot that day; I was impressed by the amount of energy at my disposal given the lack of food. I could summon it seemingly out of nowhere and channel it wherever I wanted.
At 2:00 AM in the morning my friends suggest that I eat. I found their concern funny but thought that since it was the next day I may as well break my fast. The sensory experience of eating was remarkable. Flavors have so much depth and detail to them and are packed with potent association with memories. The sense of touch was enhanced along with all others. I could even feel mosquitoes landing on my skin and I donít know how this was possible. Although I didnít have any, I bet that sex on mescaline would have been an amazing and extremely rewarding and powerful experience if with the right person. Although the sensations and act of sex would have been extremely pleasurable, the desire for sex was not enhanced in the slightest. How could it have been? My mind was pure and free from such desires. There was so much more to the world than a passing sexual encounter.
As I wind up at my friendís apartment to fall asleep, I sit in bed for a couple hours after my nightly meditation waiting for the trip to wind down. I begin another memory experiment and begin to recall some of the earliest events in my life, tracing it all the way up to the present. The memories were vivid and detailed as expected. The trip ends but the effect will be with me forever. I am amazed at how a plant is capable of generating a full-blown, legitimate mystical experience. I know now how imperfect I really am and must work towards making all of the realizations of that wonderful day a reality. One has to live his message for the world, not preach it. All it takes is a little practice.
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Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid.