Mushrooms - P. cubensis (mycelium)
Citation: Anonym Trismegistus. "A 'Heroic' Tale: The Rice Cake Trip: experience with Mushrooms - P. cubensis (mycelium) (ID 34486)". Erowid.org. Nov 28, 2006. erowid.org/exp/34486
I propagated p. cubensis using a commerical spore syringe to innoculate a starting culture on a pressure-cooked grain/nutrient (a commerical orchid propagation nutrient additive)/malt/vermiculite mixture. Spread to pressure-cooked sealed containers of brown rice - 1/4 cup rice to 1/4 cup water - in a home-made glove box (in these days of homeland security I would hesitate to have such a devise around the house). Cubensis mushrooms will fruit directly on brown rice in loosely sealed containers in this method. I was relatively mushroom naive when I started this project: due to the success (the best I've had - a few subsequent experiments were less fruitful) this was in fact soon to change. I found mushrooms very amenable - mild and pleasurable hallucinations, mainly visual, extreme pleasure, a sense of communion with a wise and benign 'mushroom spirit,' and an acute sense of connection with nature were common effects across a couple dozen or so experiences.
When fruiting had ceased I decided to experiment with ingesting the mycelium-innocculated rice cakes from the cleanest cultures. Contamination with wild fungi is the devil of mushroom cultivation, but once cubensis mycelium take hold they tend to dominate - so while the containers had been opened frequently for harvest they were clean to visual inspection. This is, however, a judgement call. The cakes had been active for over a month so the contents were far from 'fresh.' I used simple visual/olfactory inspection to decide they were 'fit to eat.'
I also, on the basis of mild and dissapointing experiences eating mycelium with prior experiments that had failed to fruit, elected to eat about four times the dose recommended in mushroom books I had. In retrospect, the potency of the mycelium was no doubt profoundly increased by the full maturity of the specimens.
The cakes (approximately 1 cup innoculated brown rice medium) were ingested with four friends. We elected not to have a sober partner involved - again, a judgment call and perhaps a questionable one, although all four were very experienced with drugs varying from mushrooms to marijuana to LSD to MDMA.
Preparing the cakes for ingestion was an experiment in itself. We elected to make a 'smoothie' with frozen yogurt, fruit juice, and ice, mixed in a blender. This turned out to be a mistake: the texture of the rice in this concotion was nauseating and the distinctive mushroom flavor completely overpowered the other ingredients. If I were ever to do it again I might try some kind of chili or stew. I don't mind the flavor and like the aesthetics of fresh mushrooms: this experience was an aesthetic disaster. We sat down to our noxious beverages at around one in the afternoon.
I am a 'rip the bandaid off' type person, so I downed the hellbroth as quickly as I could stomach it. I believe the blender may have released the active constituents more quickly into aqueous suspension as I have never had a faster onset from mushrooms. It became apparent within 15 minutes that I had taken a far larger dose than I had previously experienced. The rush was intense, far more 'speed-like' than I had experienced, and somewhat alarming.
I immediately warned my compatriots, who were 'sipping' their portions with much grimacing, that it might be best not to finish the cup. I believe my exact words were 'don't finish it you don't have to finish it slow down, wait, you don't have to finish it.' We all later identified it as one of if not the most intense hallucinogenic experiences of our lives. For the first hour or so we were mainly withdrawn, acclimating ourselves to the intense rush and rising hallucinogenic high. Female friend #1 periodically asked 'how much did we do?' There was no answer to this question.
As soon as we started to stabilize our social dynamic started to break apart. It started with an inability to select music. Whatever one selected was unsupportable to at least two others. Eventually something innoccuous was turned down to minimal volume and the women, a female friend and my future wife, elected to move to the basement of the house for a session of singing, laughter, and spontaneous artmaking. My male friend and I were in much more introspective moods. It worked better to split up: the vectors of three people in one room overwhelmed my mind.
I became obsessed with the insufficiency of language. I assumed we were all having at least similar experiences but words seemed a laughably inadequate way to communicate the incredible density of the experience I was having. If I focused on myself I quickly fell into a wordless revery. The idea of 'expressing' what was going on inside by forcing air through my throat to form these crude symbolic noises made me laugh aloud, and I felt profoundly sad for humanity, whose problems, I intuited, were largely caused by this inadequate means of transmitting information. I focused on my friend instead and found he was afflicted with mild paranoia - concerned with people being able to see into the windows (we were on the second floor and doing nothing odd so this was a purely artificial fear): I focused for a while on rationalizing away his concerns.
I became aware of some annoying adulterant in the experience. I had quit smoking some weeks prior and was wearing a nicotine patch. I tore it off an threw it in the garbage and felt immediately better. The experience was starting to smooth out and the effects were starting to get interesting.
The visuals were fairly conventional, but more intense than I'd known before. Anything visually complex writhed with illusory movement, tracers and neon heiroglyphics. Vision was exceptionally acute and bright. Outside the windows trees were a riot of living, breathing jewels, sparkling madly in the sun. At times the air appeared to be full of a sort of smoke, but when focused on this receded to a sense of thickness and movement - nothing easily pinpointed. My male friend and I became voluble and animated; the problems of communication were long forgotten. I do not think our conversation was probably particularly weighty. We mainly were enjoying the fellowship in the overwhelming context of the mushroom bliss.
I began to miss our companions. My male friend was content to muse over music upstairs while I shuttled up and down the back stairs. I had the bliss-head's need to relate my loving feelings to my future wife. I found here standing, smeared in paint up to her elbows, gently cupping her breasts in her hands (the tank top with paint handprints over the breasts still exists), singing in long, pure notes to herself (she has a strong and exceptional voice).
The passage of time becomes a blur. For the first time in my life I was totally overtaken by an experience of this nature. The sober little man who usually hangs back, keeping and eye on things, reminding me the experience is induced, checking that nothing gets out of hand, vanished for a long time. I was in a long and pure and timeless moment. At some point I became aware of myself and had no clue what was going on. I had a sense it wasn't 'normal,' or at least, not like most of my experience. I tried to piece together what was going on. Eventually I worked out the concept that one could ingest substances that made times not like the other times. Had I done so? I had done so.
My memory wasn't impaired, exactly - I knew what had happpened but had trouble connecting it to a narrative. I could not hold a word and its definition in my head at the same time. So I knew the word 'drug' but not its meaning, and when I grasped the meaning I could no longer remember the words. Everything I knew seemed new. So, I had ingested one of these things. Did that explain what I was experiencing? Sure. What would happen now? It would last a while then fade. It would fade, so I did not have to worry about negotiating this confusion forever, so I could enjoy it while it lasted.
I relaxed some, but something was bothering me still. Life was not always like this, and not just because of what I'd ingested. There was a place I had to go to a lot. I didn't like it there very much. I could enjoy this moment but that place was looming. The word 'work' floated through my head and derailed the train of thought that led to it. I figured out that I did not have to worry about that for some time at least (it was a Saturday), and the last worry faded. I relaxed into the experience again. There was something salutary about not being burdened by the usual language-driven conceptions of what everything was about. I drifted up and down, enjoying the presence of my friends. My future wife and female friend went out to smoke. I remembered those things. Little tubes. I had totally forgotten about them, probably for the first time since I had quit. It seemed bizarre and humorous that I used to constantly carry a box of little tubes around, sticking them in my mouth and lighting them on fire all day long. Could that really have been only a few weeks ago?
Six hours or so had passed, and my friend and I are in front of the television. I am charmed by this crazy little device. I know all about it, of course, but it is totally novel to me. We are watching a sit-com, and the dialogue and character interactions are delightful and funny though I can't follow the narrative at all. But I'm baffled by this phenomenon. I recognize these characters, these scenarios. These people are putting on a play, but they put on a different little play every week. But why? You go to a play, you buy a ticket, this is how plays work. Who's buying this ticket? A commercial comes on and I remember and understand. They put on the play so I will drink this beverage, buy this car. I never really realized how baroque and absurd this arrangement was before.
It is approaching midnight. The intensity has receded and we are all tired, but too wired yet to do much. We put the movie The Matrix into the DVD player and smoke a little marijuana for a calming influence. We are all absoring our individual experiences: the intensity of the journey seems to have made it a largely solitary trip for each of us. We have a sense of fellowship but we went through it on our own. I've had experiences that left more pronounced and lasting revelations, but never one where I felt so profoundly outside of my normal experience of life. It was not a matter of profound realizations that took a place in my personal mythology so much as a moment of realigned perception that became a permanently internalized part of my lexicon of the experience of reality, pushed somewhat past the veil of concepts and words that it is usually cloaked in.
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