Citation: Ivanankuvinich. "Turned Inside-Out: experience with Mescaline & LSD (ID 88999)". Erowid.org. Sep 28, 2011. erowid.org/exp/88999
In high school I habitually smoked marijuana, frequently consumed opiates and tripped a few dozen times on whatever was available (usually LSD, mushrooms or MDMA). Looking back, I buried my grief, self-loathing and anger with heavy drug use. I used psychedelic drugs as an escape from my feelings rather than as powerful tools for self-improvement; my attitude has since changed. At the end of high school with the aid of my family and some encouragement from the state I went to treatment, and I remained sober for nearly 4 years. During this time, I obtained a B.S. in chemistry. I am now working toward a Ph.D. As time progressed, I questioned whether I could responsibly use drugs. I started drinking moderately and occasionally using marijuana, LSD and mescaline. It has been two years since I made the decision to use again, and things seem to be under control. I only mention this here because I feel it is important to understand the background of a person who is reporting a trip.
About a year ago, a bottle of methyl 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoate arrived at my lab. For several months I pondered how I would and whether I should make mescaline from this chemical. Finally, over the summer I decided to take action. I followed Makepeace U. Tsao’s 1951 synthesis of mescaline, but with a few modern improvements. First, to form 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzyl chloride from 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzyl alcohol I used SOCl2 instead of concentrated HCl. My second improvement was to use 18-crown-6 and KCN in DMF in order to form 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenylacetonitrile from 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzyl chloride as opposed to Tsao’s use of KCN in a water/methanol mixture. Both of my modifications increased the yields. Perhaps in the future I will submit my work to the chemistry archives. The end result of my hard work was roughly 5 grams of slightly off-white mescaline hydrochloride. The structure was confirmed by proton NMR and IR spectroscopy.
Over the course of the summer I tripped a half-dozen times on mescaline with amounts that varied from 200 - 450 mg. In short, I was well acquainted with my new chemical friend by the time I took this trip. In the last week of summer I went to a concert and I brought with me two 400 mg doses of mescaline. My buddy J was at the previous night’s show during which he took some LSD. He was camped out with about 30 people most of whom were complete strangers to me. I don’t usually trip at concerts, or take multiple drugs at once. Nevertheless, J and I each took some LSD and mescaline before the show.
-Note: only the drugs mentioned in this report were consumed.
6 pm: 2 hours before the show J and I each took about 100 mcgs of some liquid LSD that had been well tested throughout the summer by our friends. [Erowid Note: Claims of measured microgram dosages for LSD are usually unsupported. Quantitative measurements for LSD are very difficult to do and cannot be done casually. Without further detailed information about how the measurements were derived, it is reasonable to assume that most statements of microgram dosages of LSD on blotter or in microdots are either misinformed or overstated.]
T + 20 minutes: I began to notice the effects of the acid; it was nothing more than mild euphoria and an increase in energy.
T + 35 minutes: The trees were gently swirling and waving to me. I could tell that I had taken enough acid to have a mild trip. It was then that J and I decided to consume some mescaline. We each took 200 mg to start.
T + 1 hour: As planned we each consumed another 200 mg of mescaline. At this point, I was in an odd place halfway between tripping on acid and coming up on mescaline. I was tense and anxious, but at the same time very much intrigued by the ground and trees. Communication was easy, but I was altogether uninterested in talking.
T + 1.75 hours: We went into the venue to find our places. J had a seat in a different area than me so I sat with another friend K. I was still stuck in limbo between two trips, but the tenseness of the mescaline started to subside. Minor patterns began to flow through the sky, and everything was rippling with rainbows.
T + 2.25 - 3.5 hours: Wow, wow, WOW! The show began! The music was explosive, but filled me with a peace I’ve never experienced before. I literally sat down in the middle of a crowded venue and meditated. Occasionally, a caring stranger would tap on my shoulder and make sure I was okay to which I would give a reassuring smile. This period of time was pure bliss. My nerves rippled with energy. Looking out over the crowd I saw an infinite pattern of rainbows from which dancing aliens would emerge. The closed eye visuals were too intense to handle (or to describe). I was quite lucid during this time. When the set ended K and I went to the restroom.
T + 3.5 - 5 hours: K and I found some new seats way in the back where I could sit down. He pulled out a bowl and I took one hit. Things really got moving after that. My mind began to unravel. All of existence began to unravel, and everything that ever happened came forth in one moment. It all made perfect sense. If I really tried I could tell you where I was. My visions were out of control. Everything became part of a galactic conversation taking place in my brain. My life, freedom, individuality, and identity were held in front of a light for the world to examine. I was engaged in full-on telepathy with everyone around me. A battle was formed and I was at the middle of it. Half the world despised me, and I was tortured with their persecutory thoughts. The other half supported my right to exist, my right to be an individual, and to explore the universe in my own unique way. My drug use, sexuality, life story, and spirituality were all exposed, and hotly debated amongst the crowd. In effect, I was turned inside-out. Of course, this was all WAY too much to handle. I wouldn’t say I was having a bad trip, but I don’t want to understate how difficult such a position can be.
T + 5 - 6 hours: By now I was thoroughly confused, and I had no idea which side of the conversation I was on anymore. I tried to profess this to K, but I was truly unable to communicate in words what was occurring. Moreover, the whole exercise seemed pointless as I already believed I was telepathically communicating with him and everything else in the universe. To me the entire universe was in a state of metamorphoses; its true nature was beginning to unfold. Everything began to slam together into one cosmic entity whose synthesis had been perfectly calculated eons ago. I had discovered the formula that began this change; I was the catalyst. The phrase “solving the world upside down” continually passed through my brain.
My thoughts really made no sense. Words and phrases were jumbled and took on new symbolic meanings. I desperately wanted someone to tell me what to do; how to change my life, to be a better person, and to find god. Was I god? Are we all god? Is this new cosmic entity god? I told K I had to go, and I took off running. I assumed he understood what I was talking about, but I found out later he was quite worried. I ran through the crowds. When I arrived at the gates I panicked. What to do? I passed the first gate, and found myself stuck between the security at the first gate and the guy collecting trash a few hundred feet away. I paced back and forth for a while then bolted passed the trash collector. I spent the remainder of the concert wandering the parking lot trying to find someone to help me. I talked to several groups of people. They were all very kind, and tried to figure out what it was I needed help with. One young woman tried dancing with me, and kept asking me if I could smile for her. Another group of people told me that I should be a good person, respect others, and find brotherhood. The cosmic struggled continued despite everyone’s best effort to help.
T + 6 hours: J and K found me after the show wandering the parking lot. They asked me where I had been. I told them I had discovered the formula to all of existence, and that I needed help figuring out what to do with my life. They tried to get me to explain more, but eventually when I got distraught that they didn’t understand they just gave me a Valium.
T + 6 - 12 hours: The Valium calmed me down. I reconnected with reality, and the cosmic struggle business subsided over the course of an hour. I was still tripping pretty hard well into the night, but it was peaceful, and enjoyable. I went to bed around 6 am. I don’t recall whether I slept or not.
-It is worth noting that J also had an intense experience that in his own words was “the hardest he’d ever tripped”, but that’s his story to tell.
In retrospect, it was an irresponsible and foolish decision to take LSD and mescaline in a concert setting. It is clear to me that these drugs have a cumulative effect greater than either alone. This combination is definitely in the big-leagues of ego-dissolution, introspection and transformation.
It has been 5 months since these events transpired, and I now regard this trip as one the most important events in my life. Looking back, it is clear to me that the cosmic struggle I experienced was the result of some major dissatisfaction in my life. Central to this was my lack of belief in anything spiritual. Actually, I had never even recognized that the desire to be spiritual was present inside of me. I am now open to all things spiritual; this is an ongoing project.
On another note, I smoked pot twice in the first few months following this experience, and I ended up getting paranoid delusions that resembled this trip. In both instances these delusions ended once the pot wore off. Nevertheless, it has made me think twice about my ability to use psychedelic drugs. For a while I feared I was becoming a schizophrenic, but things have since cooled. I have no desire to trip again anytime in the near future.
Just thinking about this trip gets me quite agitated. Nonetheless, I still feel that this was a worthwhile experience. Something was missing in my life, and I now know what that was. This trip really focused my desire to be a better person, and I feel that drive has not yet faded. Many trips that are perceived as bad are just what happen when one finally confronts the shit that has been bothering them. Yeah, it’s frightening and confusing, but if you accept the challenge it can be incredibly rewarding.
To the strangers in the parking lot: Thank you for your kindness. I bared my soul before you, and you all showed me love; a rare event indeed.
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