Citation: Shadow. "Healed Through the Fear of God: An Experience with Psilocybe mexicana (exp110360)". Erowid.org. Sep 17, 2017. erowid.org/exp/110360
On a recent Saturday afternoon, I took another dose of Psilocybe mexicana mushrooms, 1 gram brewed in tea.
Before I begin, I will say that it had been about a month since my last solo venture, which was by far the most paradigm-shattering experience of my life. Despite only consuming 0.5g (what I thought would be a considerably gentle dose) I experienced what I would describe as a voyage through grid-like blueprints of futuristic cities of infinite complexity. These places were inhabited by small people with pyramid-shaped heads. This is a drastic oversimplification, and I'm only mentioning it to provide context for my more recent trip. What followed was the feeling of a direct encounter with a being of supreme power who communicated to me through my own thoughts, which I committed to writing. The message consisted of a very austere introductory statement followed by a set of concise instructions. Despite having experienced hundreds of other psychedelic journeys in the past, this experience completely undermined the foundations of my concept of reality. Additionally, it seems that it blasted open the gates to an entirely new threshold of possible experiencing, which was made apparent by this latest dive into the mushroom abyss.
I'll begin by stating that about a year ago it became very clear that in order to continue with this practice, I would have to abandon some dependencies on other substances. Pot was the first to go, followed by tobacco, followed by alcohol, followed by caffeine. I can confidently say that aside from mushrooms, I now live drug free, and I do not miss any of it. This change was based more on an unshakeable conviction or a feeling of total necessity, rather than a concern for my health or well-being.
Another thing that I consider critical before dosing, is that I have to attend to any and all pressing tasks that I have been avoiding or procrastinating about. Things like paying bills, writing emails, maintaining my vehicle, cleaning the apartment, calling my parents etc etc. Call me obsessive, but I really feel that carrying any kind of anxiety or guilt into the mushroom trip will spoil it. I want my mind to be completely pure before I stand before the throne. Everyone has their own perspective, but to me, this is very serious business.
After taking care of business and going for a short run, I prepared myself by meditating with my biofeedback monitor for about half an hour, getting my heart rate steady and ridding myself of nervousness and tension. To be very honest, after my last voyage I was very afraid to go back in there, but regardless I took a deep breath and downed the tea as quickly as I could.
With earplugs in and eyemask on I slipped under the covers into my cocoon. It began as it always does, after about fifteen minutes of controlling the breath and purging my mind of distracting thoughts, the first flashes of pastel colors began to dance behind my eyelids. But something was different this time. I noticed a strange irregularity in my heartbeat, which I am particularly sensitive to. To me the heartbeat represents my connection to my body, the familiar tick-tock that only stops when we sleep and when we die. It felt like cardiac arrhythmia, which is a sudden speeding and slowing of the heartrate. I tried my best to ignore it and focus on breathing to bring myself back to a state of relaxation, but try as I may, my heart would not stop pounding in this bizarre erratic fashion.
It was then that I realized that it was my turn to die. It was as if I was supposed to be this afraid, because the fear itself is what would ensure that I suffered, ensure that I embraced death properly. For it is not death we fear, but the fear of death. By now my heart felt like it was going to explode, and my body was trembling from head to toe. I felt cold as ice, like every ounce of life was being drained out of me. I always thought that death would feel like a sudden severing of reality, like entering into a void or infinite space, but no, death has many layers, death is an arduous process. It kept on going and going, for how long I can't possibly say. I don't think I've ever experienced fear quite like this before. All I wanted was to be dead, to be released from the sorrow. The thought occurred to me: 'What if death can't save me from this, what if there is no solace even in death?!'. It was total psychological torture, and all the while I had the horrific feeling of being violated and examined by invisible forces. In a whimpering voice I squeaked out 'Please be gentle with me, I don't want to suffer!'. Strangely, this request seemed to quell whatever ugliness had taken hold of me. Whatever power had me restrained decided to show mercy and release me. I became aware of my body once again, although it felt very much like a foreign object, dead, not the familiar flesh I have carried around with me all of my life.
My heartbeat began to steady, and then a stream of the most hauntingly terrifying imagery I have ever seen spread out all around me. Occult symbols, sigils, hieroglyphs, cuneiform, flaming chariots, horned goats, snakes, angels, the kind of stuff depicted in William Blake's art and the writing of the apostle John in the book of Revelation, and yet so much more complex. The stuff of art and literature is obviously only a pathetic attempt to capture the real thing, or the experience itself, which I now understand to be very real. It was simultaneously beautiful beyond words, and utterly hideous, not the sort of thing that language could ever come close to touching. I was paralyzed. I became aware of a sudden urgent need to relieve myself, but there was no way I could get out of bed. Embarrassingly, without warning, my bladder simply released, and I wet myself for the first time since I was a small child. I don't know how long I remained there in the ecstatic stupor. Probably the best word to describe my emotional state was 'awe'.
Probably the best word to describe my emotional state was 'awe'.
Eventually the imagery subsided and I regained control of my body, so I pulled back the bedsheets from my face and took off my eye mask to reveal my room again, drenched in the shimmering watery light of a beautiful sunny spring day. But I had never seen my room quite like this, it felt like seeing for the first time. Pardon the cliche, but I truly felt as though I had just been reborn. As is common for me, at this point I felt an oncoming wave of insights, seemingly from nowhere. My pen and notebook was waiting on the nightstand, so I opened it up and began to write. It almost appeared like the ink was touching the paper before my pen even hit the page, and I watched it saturate the fibers in slow motion as the jumbled letters spilled all over the page, which appeared to be made of radiant liquid light:
'Everyone on Earth suffers from the disease of history. Every act is an act of healing. Life on Earth suffers from a great collective wound, which consciousness itself has inflicted upon all people. Life is the process of healing this wound.
History is the Expanding Mind. You have seen it, you are it. This Mind has been dragging itself out of the quagmire since the beginning of time. Suffering is real. There is no such thing as a blank slate. Every being sees through a spectrum of blindness. You have been spared from suffering so that you might see the mystery more clearly. This mystery is contained inside of you, and your very existence is the only proof you need.
In this life, everything comes at a price. You have been shown mercy so that you may help those who are less fortunate.
You think the measure of a being its capacity to know, but you are incorrect. The measure of a being is its capacity to love.'
And that's all there was. Forgive me, I realize how completely insane this sounds. It makes me seem like a megalomaniac and a psychopath, and by some measure I very well may be these things. It's entirely possible that this is nothing but a manifestation of repressed narcissism, or self-loathing, lack of childhood affection, your guess is as good as mine. I am simply relaying my experience as I remember it, for the simple reason that it shook me to my very core, and I don't have anyone else who I could comfortably discuss such things with. I hope you all can see that this is not some kind of evangelical rant. Up until very recently I identified quite resolutely as an agnostic, for the simple reason that I did not feel substantial evidence of a god or some kind of spiritual realm. The difference now, after having these two earth-shattering experiences, is that I've realized that life itself, existence itself is fundamentally a mystery, one that I have largely ignored up until recently. I've always had a interest in religion and spirituality, even entertained the notion that life is essentially spiritual, but never before have I felt such a complete conviction that what I perceive with my senses is only the tiniest shred of what is really going on all around me at all times.
I should also mention that I seem to have spontaneously acquired a new kind of sense for symbolism and meaning. In art, in literature, slogans; it's as though what once appeared as two-dimensional words and pictures without significance suddenly has a three-dimensional story to tell. I'm not just talking about proper symbols either, I'm talking about EVERY object. Every object is a story in itself, every object has a history that reveals its development into the present state. This is the true nature of words. Candle, headphones, jar, book, seashell, lamp, pen, keys, refrigerator, THE BODY... all that is required to know the present state of the world is curiosity, because there is meaning in literally every single object, and they are all related to one another in some way. Words are the roadmap to reality.
It has become all-too-clear to me that for my entire adult life I have been running away from everything that is good. I've unconsciously pushed away everything that is wholesome and uplifting. My family, my friends, my lovers, I've hurt and betrayed them all, not directly through hostility, abuse or infidelity, but through the rejection of their love, or the incapacity to really feel it and appreciate it. I thought that I was seeking knowledge or some kind of window into absolute truth, when all along I have really been seeking to rid myself of pride. 'Every act is an act of healing'.
It is difficult to be alone in an experience like this. Thank you for taking the time to read my report. Do not forget to love each other; love is what every person needs above all else.
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