Citation: nickthesurfer. "Scaffolding of Universal Possibility: An Experience with Ketamine (exp109753)". Erowid.org. Jul 22, 2017. erowid.org/exp/109753
On December 27th 2016 I dislocated my right shoulder while surfing.
The pain was excruciating. Friends rushed me to the local emergency centre where the doctor elected to put me under so I didnít have to experience the trauma of putting my shoulder back in place. I happily agreed given I had experienced a shoulder relocation some 10 years before after a nasty climbing accident. The pain of relocation was something I did not want to have to experience again.
However the doc gave me a drug called Ketamine for the job. I was given an unknown (to me) amount of ketamine through an IV in my arm. This caused me to have a very bad experience - apparently a ďtripĒ into what I have come to learn is called the 'K-Hole'. I have never used or even experimented with drugs or for that matter even heard of this drug so I found this experience to be terrifying & deeply traumatic.
Iím writing this as much as a cathartic exercise for myself - as to share what I went through so others may be informed as to what this drug can do to you. User beware!
About 15 seconds after being given the drug it started with what I can only describe as a speeding up of everything I could sense in the physical world. My vision & the sounds of the trauma ward - including words spoken by the nurse & doctor and even the feeling of my body on the bed - as well as the very sharp pain in my shoulder - all mixed together and accelerated into a high frequency deeply disturbing bodily vibration.
It started with my extremities and slowly grew inwards to my torso. I felt as though my physical body was becoming pure energy - the frequency of which was painfully high. I literally resonated with energy. It was excruciating & soul wrenching. It was way worse than the pain from my dislocated shoulder. I wanted to scream but could not. I was very afraid and I did not understand what was happening to me. This increasingly brutal vibration of life which went on for what I subjectively felt was about an hour. There was no escape.
As this terrible vibration progressed I was forced to completely loose my sense of body, my life, my personality & eventually even my very since of self. I fought this terrifying process every step of the way and with every bit of strength I could muster. However it was as useless as trying to swim against a raging river a million miles wide. I got the sense that resisting it was totally futile and that it was somehow like trying to resist the force of creation or God himself.
Letting go of my body was very very disturbing.
I was totally paralysed & lost my sense of sight first. Then it was the sense of my extremities followed by my torso. I was being eaten by the vibration. Next thing I remember was that all that remained of me was my left eye. This is difficult to describe but the feeling was that I was only my eye. Not that I could see with the eye but that I existed as just my now blinded left eye. This body removal process continued until my only connection with my body was my breathing. As soon as I realised this I was forced to give that up too. It felt like I was drowning. This was the very last physical feeling I had. After that I was completely without a body or any sense of existing in a physical sense. At this point I was to be honest panicked & very very terrified. I 100% believed I was dead.
Worse was being forced to give up my personality.
The destruction of my personality began when I realised that I must be dead. After I lost all sense of my physical being - and stopped panicking about it - I reasoned that I must have died. At first I was very angry. Then I was very sad. In fact I became profoundly sad. I was sad that my life was over. I was sad for my loved ones. Especially for my partner Myra. I loved her and missed her so much. Then I realised that I was having these thoughts after the fact and that my dying was in fact a thing of the past. I wondered what my funereal was like. I got a real sense of the passing of a great deal of time as this point - like I was having these thoughts perhaps weeks or even months after my death. I then accepted my death.
Once Iíd accepted my death my very identity was progressively removed. Again I found this process to be terrifying. It felt like my very mind was being dissolved - trait by trait. At first I didnít care that I had died. Then I didnít care that my life was in fact over. Then I didn't care about the content of my life. Eventually I didnít even remember my life. In the end I didnít remember there was such a thing as a life. Life and the world I had known had receded from me like a tiny colourful island in the mighty river of reverse creation which I was being swept along in - like it never existed. Eventually I wasnít me a person anymore. Instead I had become what you could perhaps call the essence of being: Simply put I was only aware - nothing more.
I fully believed that I was a soul now and this was the afterlife.
I found myself in a place which is very hard to describe. I know that no words will do it justice. I perceived it as a shining white unidimensional space. I say unidimensional because it did not have 3 dimensions in the sense we perceive a space here in this world. Instead it had an infinite number of dimensions which at the same time all seemed to be compressed into one dimension. Put another way it had an infinite number of dimensions all of which interconnected here in the space. I had no sense of direction in the space. Not had I any sense of time in the space. In fact this space seemed to me to be the very fabric upon which reality was built. It was the scaffolding of universal possibility. I had the sense that it was made of pure energy.
I existed in the space only as a point of awareness.
I perceived that I was in the space as much as I was the space. I also perceived that I would be in this state for an eternity. Put another way I perceived that there was no real direction / movement of time in the space. I accepted this as unconditional. Furthermore I felt not alone in the space. I perceived great evil in the space as much as great good in the space. I intrinsically knew that the evil was soul destroying. I very much did not want to become any more aware of the evil. I yearned to become more aware of the good. The evil was very destructive while the good was very constructive. My only real ďfeelingsĒ in the space was the abject fear of the evil there and the tremendous yearning for the good.
The idea that I would be stuck for an eternity in the presence of the evil there was simply appalling to me. Conversely the idea of being stuck for eternity in the presence of the good was quite appealing to me.
I spent what I perceived as a very long time in the space - what I perceived as many years. I oscillated between worrying about the evil and hoping for the good in the space. I never met either directly. Eventually though the space winked out of existence and the process Iíve described above was reversed. The whole feeling of the conversion from a physical state to one of pure energy began again - except in reverse this time. The high frequency vibrations were as painful coming up as they were going down. I was in agony again for what seemed like an hour. When they dies down I was truely surprised to find I had a body again. I was then convinced I must have died and been brought back to life. I said as much to the doc to which he replied ďNot on my watch!Ē.
After that I was convinced Iíd been in a coma for an extended period of time. So much so that I asked the doctor what time it was. I worried that my life had gone by and that I was an old man in some palliative care centre - perhaps on my deathbed. I cried when I found out only an hour or two had passed. I felt that I had been given my life back!! It took me another 2 hours to physically recover. Mentally I feel ok now but it took me 24 hours to really feel like me again.
I still shudder at the thought of being stuck in the k-hole w/o the good or even worse with the evil.
I can honestly say that this was the worst experience of my life. Itís made me rethink a great deal of preconceived ideas about reality - most of which I wouldnít wish on my worst enemy.
Also Iím seriously hoping there are no long term psychological effects from this experience. Getting over the trauma of dying is one thing - but hopefully there is not anything.
One thing is for sure though: Iíd never ever allow anyone to give me this drug again!
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