Citation: MakePeace. "The Thought Police: An Experience with LSD (exp104379)". Erowid.org. Mar 31, 2020. erowid.org/exp/104379
Driving while intoxicated, tripping, or extremely sleep deprived is dangerous and irresponsible because it endangers other people. Don't do it!]
Herein I relate an experience I had in the fall of 2012 with my girlfriend - we’ll call her O. It was something we had talked about doing for some time, although the immediate decision to actualize our intentions was fairly spontaneous.
I had acquired a few months prior a partial vial of LSD disguised as Sweet Breath breath freshener - a real Sweet Breath bottle with real Sweet Breath and also real LSD. Not knowing the exact strength of what we were dealing with we had previously tested a smaller dose and experienced minimal effects, possibly relating to haven taken psilocybin mushrooms the night before. I can’t speak for O but I felt like I was starting to trip and then didn’t although I found myself acting a bit more of an asshole than usual the rest of the day. I decided that the LSD must have been degraded, having traveled too much already, and wrote it off as a loss. She later took some of the same sweet acid and reported a strong experience; hearing this I was ready to give it another go around.
At the time I was 22 years old and O was 21. We were deeply in love with one another despite some idealogical differences which would later play a part in the crumbling of our relationship. My skepticism vs. her spiritualism. I had maybe a month recently been laid off from constructive labor on good terms and was just beginning to take steps toward radical self-employment, which in retrospect put me in a place of some insecurity as to my own self-worth. I had been relatively happy with my work but hating intensely the prospect of opening myself (in my mind) to near-certain rejection or usury was unwilling to seriously seek re-employment. I wanted to believe that the wave of well-being I had been coasting could continue to carry me but would later find out otherwise.
I wanted to believe that the wave of well-being I had been coasting could continue to carry me but would later find out otherwise.
I had a good number of experiences with various psychoactives including LSA under my belt but had yet to experience a strong acid trip.
Before I go any further I’d like to point out that I/we made some fairly reckless decisions over the course of this trip and were very fortunate that nothing worse came of it.
I don’t recall what we did earlier in the day before we tripped, or exactly what time we started, so any ideas of time I describe are approximate. We were at our apartment together later in the afternoon, maybe around five o’clock when we decided that this would be the day we dropped the last of the acid together. We made our preparations, probably dosing around 5:30 or 6. O took 6 to 8 drops and I took 8 myself. I noticed that there was dried residue caked around the mouth of the dropper and licked all of that as well. In terms of dosage that could have been a little or a lot and I was definitely asking for what I got. Following our plan, immediately after dosing I drove us to a nearby park with an impressive gorge - a beautiful setting indeed and one with which I have been familiar most of my life. On the way I decided to stop and pump some gas about a mile down the road. Getting out of the car I realized I already felt a strong stirring - I realized this was going to be one hell of a trip. I got back in the car and we drove to the park as I related my realization and O told me it had been the same with her previous strong experience.
Soon arriving at our destination, we parked at the upper end of the gorge and started onto the trail. O was nauseous and vomited; seeing this I soon followed suit. Probably more from the sweet breath than the acid. We were obviously high enough anyway and both knew it. We proceeded to an open rocky ledge overlooking the gorge with a chain link fence right at the edge of a sheer cliff 50 feet down to the creek below. Here O (who was more experienced than me in really tripping hard) related some basic thoughts: stick together and limit interactions with strangers to a smile and a nod. As we went onward I immediately violated the first of these as she hung behind while I kept walking. Realizing my mistake I stopped, only to see her skip past me surrounded by a kind of aura - almost like she was jumping rope with the whole world. In my mind she had just knowingly blown my mind and I was impressed with her mastery of this somewhat unfamiliar space. We continued down the trail.
Coming down a slope, following the rim of the gorge, I began to notice that I was seeing the world in generic terms. I would see three of the same tree. Or a tree or bush made up of the same repeating “segments” of vision, perhaps each scaled differently. I found this sensation fairly disconcerting and instinctively stopped walking, feeling as though my body was moving dangerously ahead of my awareness. When I stopped moving, my world “resolved” into the true images of the objects around me. My interpretation was that I had entered a state of such overload as to max out the computational power of my brain and was unable to visually process the world even at walking speed. It seemed to me in this moment that my normal mental faculties were no more a part of the conscious “me” than my arms and legs.
Getting accustomed to my newfound uncertainty of the identity of objects only yards away, I continued walking with O. My thoughts drifted to the cosmic scale of matter. I was at once infinitesimally small and incomprehensibly large and complex, a meeting in the middle of extremes of scale far outside my meager capacity to compute. Walking side by side with O and holding hands, I considered us from my newfound cosmic perspective. It seemed I’d partially crawled out of my narrow human perspective into one more flat and objective and began to see everything in a new light.
I was struck with some unkind thoughts about the nature of my relationship with my mate, O, basically amounting to a realization that I was far more interested in sexual than spiritual union with this being. She deserved better. This was not what I wanted to think about and I pushed it out of my mind.
Understanding for the first time so clearly the extent to which I was essentially surfing on top of untold compounding chaotic interactions, I had a somewhat egotistical vision of myself swinging through space, my head barely missing fatal contact with some large mass of rock inspired by the gorge-ous setting. This is who I am! I swing this close to certain death because I know I can miss it! Fuck yeah! Looking out over the gorge with its majestic waterfall, my hands on the top rail of a chain link fence, I saw the world in a kind of strange clarity as never before, zooming in on my understanding of various entities, my intellect running wild full tilt and boring into objects with unprecedented focus. I felt more alive than ever. The skin on my arms crawled with strange crackly orange blisters, which failed to disturb me because I understood it was only a trick of my pied eyes. I felt powerfully a feeling characteristic for me of hallucinogen intoxication that I can only describe as the raw sensation of the recursive. Grasping my love with all my mental strength I said aloud for me and O to hear, “This is the best day of my life.” In that moment I truly felt and believed it. Not a thought experiment I would care to repeat.
We continued walking; O fairly casually reminded me that the park closes at dark so we should think about heading back. This got me thinking about the repercussions of staying late and the authorities who might enforce them and my thoughts turned to hardness: I decided I was ready to stand and fight injustice with all my strength. The day was turning dusky as we moved into the shadow of the woods growing up to the rim of the gorge. O stopped us to converse. I had a vision of planes, circles, and comets of colored light whirling around her as her upper body floated goddess like in space, blotting out my awareness of anything else. I saw her reminiscent of a mechanical fortune teller at a faire, the ultimate dispenser of all knowledge. We may have had some conversation I cannot recall before she reiterated her desire to head back. I agreed and we began to retrace our steps.
I took stock of my powers of cognition. I tried counting and didn’t reach ten. Simple shape concepts were a blur. I was somehow cognizant enough to be fascinated with my lack of cognition.
I tried counting and didn’t reach ten. Simple shape concepts were a blur. I was somehow cognizant enough to be fascinated with my lack of cognition.
I saw two spirals connected into one line spiraling inward at both ends, a shape like a rolled scroll in cross section or a slice of mushroom cap. The line scrolled back and forth, rolling into one spiral and out of the other and then back again. My vision became consumed with a geometric arrangement of these double spirals, all scrolling back and forth. The magnitude of the spiral was known to me as a large number and represented my mental energy or life force.
O stopped again to speak, this time suggesting that we jog back to the car to arrive ahead of the encroaching darkness. This seemed like a good enough plan to me and we started to run along the trail. As I moved faster my sense of reality waned. Something slipped and I was running from the police who were chasing me in a mob of what seemed an entire SWAT team, assault rifles drawn. It happened so fast I didn’t have a chance to think. This was the moment when I forgot that I was tripping, that I had taken anything to alter my state of mind. These cops were real and they meant business. I was going to be locked away for life or shot dead on the spot when they caught me and all I could do was to keep running. At this point my vision was more imagination than reality. Such was my horror that I couldn’t will myself to turn my head and face my pursuers, but my field of vision had expanded to 360º and I was watching the cops through the back of my head as much as looking forward. In a blackout frenzy I charged through the woods, shorts, sandals, and all, crashing heedless through brush and fallen branches I neither saw nor felt as they tore my shirt and my skin. The spirals throbbed in my mind, scrolling less and less, lower and lower. In the darkness the trees flashed with red, blue, and white light. I was exhausted. My physical energy ran out and I stopped for a moment before crashing onwards. When I stopped again, I could feel the thought police closing in. I was finished. The spirals scrolled 5. 3. 2. 1.
I knelt on the ground, utterly spent, waiting to be shot down, cursing the reality that would include an entity so vindictive as to end me only for harmlessly infringing on its absurdly petty rules by staying in a public place after dark and intoxicating myself with forbidden substances. Just as I braced myself for the inevitable I heard O calling my name through the trees. Sitting still, my nightmare focus broken, I roared her name back at the top of my lungs and ran to her call with renewed strength. When I reached her my condition was obvious. (I was unaware at the time but my clothes were torn and I had cuts all over my body with blood running down my face. The way O kept her head through this was commendable.) The woods were dusky but not dark. O handed me a crystal she had with her to give me something positive to focus on. There was a bit of tension here as I did not hold with her metaphysical beliefs concerning such objects and I initially set the crystal on the ground, only to see it swallowed by the leaf litter. Digging frantically I was able to recover it before it was gone for good and she handed me another. Under the circumstances I was willing to try almost anything to get back to a more positive frame of mind.
O started speaking in another language (later she confirmed that she did actually break into her own made-up language, but at the time I interpreted it as a total transformation of reality). As she spoke in this foreign tongue I saw her morph into a kind of red skinned Asian Indian-esque she demon with claws, long pointed teeth and slitted eyes - the works. I couldn’t understand what she was saying but read her tone; the feeling that came across was anger at how I’d betrayed her by having such a bad experience. Then she was back to her normal still-loving self, speaking in terms I could understand and urging me to focus on the crystals & light & love. She switched back and forth several times; I found this somewhat disorienting. After a while of this we got up and walked lost through the woods, finding ourselves shortly on a nearby road.
Luckily we got headed in the right direction. My fear was ebbing away, as was the intensity of my intoxication. The spirals in my mind were back into bigger numbers. The whole world flashed or shifted through different color tints, different feelings. Some felt good and some uncomfortable and I let them all pass me by. In time we came to a fork in the road where again I steered us in the right direction with false confidence and blind luck, perhaps guided by unknown intuition of the land I’ve known so long. Night fell. When we got back to the parking lot there was a car beside ours with two forest rangers who were probably curious as to my mauled appearance, not to mention the echoing screams we’d uttered earlier. O reassured them and told me she was good to drive so I handed over the keys to my car and she took us home.
Coming into the bathroom of our apartment I was shocked to see for the first time the state of my disrepair. I was fucked up pretty bad with cuts, bloody all over, and so sore in my joints that for days after my movements were slow and painful. O ran a bath and we cleaned up together before going to lie in bed while we finished coming down. Our indoor cat who she’d taken from a friend came and hung out with us. This cat was a serious prick with lots of issues but for once I actually felt connected with him rather than pissed off. I was able to smile and laugh about the insanity of what I’d just experienced now that I realized it hadn’t been real and we were safe and sound enough. I even got a bit prematurely nostalgic in my mind and loved myself for smashing through the whole experience so hard. Just doin’ what I do best.
It’s been two years and a couple of visits back to the park where I retraced my steps and I finally feel like I have the space to properly relate this experience. My relationship with O didn’t last a year after and I think that partly has to do with the way we interacted surrounding this particular trip.
My relationship with O didn’t last a year after and I think that partly has to do with the way we interacted surrounding this particular trip.
She wanted to hold how she’d “saved” me over my head to convince me of her spirituality’s validity and I wouldn’t have any of it, which unfortunately meant we never got to have a real conversation about what happened. I thought she contributed a lot of good but also some bad and that it was unreasonable to pick the thing apart when her influence had been written in every aspect of it right from the start. Some of the scary stuff has crept back into subsequent experiences with psychedelics and I feel like I have to watch myself more closely after slipping unwittingly into such a dark place. I guess all in all I got what I came for and the whole experience was fairly personal and characteristic of me; certainly having gone “all the way down the rabbit hole” so to speak has diminished my hunger for more of the same. I guess you could say I crossed that one off my bucket list. Not to say I wouldn’t go there again but I no longer feel any sense of urgency in that direction.
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