No. We're Gonna Live
Citation: Mutual_Ascendency. "No. We're Gonna Live: An Experience with Tabernanthe iboga (extract) (exp112570)". Erowid.org. Nov 22, 2018. erowid.org/exp/112570
My second Iboga experience was more bizarre, if less taxing than the first. It had been a few years and some personal growth since, and I felt ready to enter the morass of mind again. Iím a 31 year old guy with some experience in psychedelics. Like the first time, I decided to go it solo. It was about 4-5 months ago and this is an account of some major themes - but the entire experience is so massive (and personal) and as such Iíve only presented some themes here.
Notably, a week prior I had trip-sat for someone else undergoing the Iboga experience, a drug addict who needed coaching and assistance. Standing alongside him in support while he went through his process helped me face my own immediate visceral fears then and iron out a few grey areas regarding preparation.
The setting was a tiny cabin I knew well, on the edge of the woods with an open view overlooking rolling hills. Nice wildlife and very quiet, a private place. I also chose that spot because it was small and simple, with the bathroom right next to my inflatable mattress and all controls like light/fridge/music within armís reach. Puke buckets and paper towels were on hand, as was drinking water. Music queued up, eyeshades, headphones and speakers standing by. Air mattress, towels, blanketsÖ I was ready.
Music queued up, eyeshades, headphones and speakers standing by. Air mattress, towels, blanketsÖ I was ready.
My personal mindset was pretty good Ė I had spent time preparing myself and feeling my intentions and clarifying them, I had cleared up any basic/immediate life issues, and I had been getting some exercise and some meditation in for the days/weeks beforehand. I had observed a raw-vegetarian diet and ate cleanly for the days prior, then fasted the day of and did meditate and do some yoga too.
I felt ready, I felt some trepidation, I felt unknowingness and caution, I felt brave and clear, I felt capable.
I took 2.8 grams of quality, professionally made PTA in 2 shots spaced about an hour apart. I weigh about 160 lbs, so thatís a moderate strength flood dose.
This time it ramped up quickly and solidly. I meditated in, and just relaxed and went with it. Music helped bring flow and structure, otherwise it could get somewhat chaotic unfolding in silence. I did both music and silence as desired. I talked out loud and that got things quite weird. Weird to speak and hear my own words only, without another trusted person there to build perspective. Positive feedback loops got intense and dysfunctional and I wisely left out the narration.
Ataxia became pronounced and I was able to accept the limitations of major loss of coordination, balance and strength. Eyesight was bizzare with many strobe-like tendrils and streamers bedecking the compact space. At some point I realized that I could see through my eye-shades. Tested it out and I did feel that I was seeing straight through my closed eyelids, the eyeshades and my hands - all as virtually no impediment. Despite my incredulity, it seemed real.
About 2-3 hours in, I was seeing very very many layers of reality at once. It was very challenging and tiring to maintain this. Simultaneously I felt that I was seeing up to about 50 layers. They felt to be overlaid within and on top of one another, seamless in totality yet subjectively separate. Their contents varied hugely, but there was a separate central presence that seemed to be comprised of a very rapidly vibrating tessellating energy that maintained my focus for much of the time, allowing all these things to simultaneously occur without my getting caught up in it. I was observing and part of each frame, but the encouragement was to allow them all to unfold, to be present as witness. My visual field for about an hour was primarily that tessellating variating energy, like a very long folded twisting ribbon of rapidly transforming acute presence, in front of and primary to those 50 Ďskinsí or frames of reality. They could grab my attention though and one of the frames could dominate for some time, but always they were all running. It was mentally tiring to exist here.
My communication with the Ďotherí - that apparent energy of Iboga - was more subtle and calm than before. It didnít really pander to my mindsí wanderings so much, but could step in and make its presence known without any fanfare.
For some time I got very concerned with a high frame. It seemed to be quite a few octaves up, and honestly it felt like looking across the border towards soul entities inhabiting a separate space to the spiritual realm that was available to those incarnate. Now, it became apparent that these souls had forgone the body in search of a higher reality. I felt that they were directly connected to Iboga, that they were souls that chose to travel beyond what is permitted to a being within incarnation. They said that this was the lowest level in which not very much happened, and that we could only communicate slightly, as transfer is necessarily insignificant because no unique information or essence was permitted to migrate across the border. They said that I couuuuld come over there with them if I wanted. All I had to do was die. Just leave it all, itís all about this anyway. ĎLifeí is just preparation for this exploration of further levels. Just die. Try it out. They became convincing. I questioned myself Ė what else could be the point? Why exist if not to transcend existence? This fed into my pre-existing native depression and admitted suicidal ideation.
Well eff. The concept was impossible to argue with from only my side of the coin. The mystery existed and the impulsion really effed with me. I allowed the idea. Yes, this could be the point of it all. So I tried it for a moment or two. I really did. Dying. I felt my body beginning to go cold. My hands began to numb and I felt faint. Fuck. Ego was screaming, but that was like 40 floors down and didnít seem too important. I slowed the eff down and said Ďwait man, thereís no going back from this one. This right now is serious. Remember the agreement (not to die, that I had previously had the other guy/reforming drug addict agree to). I was right at the veil. It was gossamer like the lightest breath of rippling silk. On the other side I could only see the lowest level that the discarnate souls inhabited. They were luminous balls of energy with specific signatures that I likened to a face. They could move around that space and teleport equally. They popped in for a few moments and popped right back out.
Things then became very uncomfortable at this border. They challenged me, ĎWhat, I thought you agreed to come over? What are you waiting for? Donít you know this is a tool that youíre using now, a tool to cross over? I meanÖ itís your choice butÖí They regarded me with pity for the simple and the weak. The guiding essence of Iboga was silent. This was my choice alone. I observed and suspended action. The veil rippled now a little further away. There were rivers and trees and music on the other side. I could see technicolour fields and scintillating structures, like jellyfish trees. The music through my headphones blared so inconsequentially. I became aware of my body, how sluggish it was, how very heavy my hands felt, how very indecisive my heart felt about beating any more. My heart faltered as it questioned Ė do I stop this all? Are we done?
I pull myself away from the trance with difficulty, I muster up my response. ĎNo. Weíre gonna live.í
A deep drive awoke and strongly impelled me Ė ĎBreathe, breathe!í
A deep drive awoke and strongly impelled me Ė ĎBreathe, breathe!í
I spoke to my heart and said ĎWake up! Beat, beat strongly! You beautiful heart, I am so sorry Iíve neglected you!í Other frames of reality popped back in too and shared simultaneous awareness again. I gasped and was inundated.
- A marmoset on a tree branch looking down at me, I am an early human experiencing first mental illness. I am separating and returning to identification with my human form and the whole forest. I donít know which I am. I thoughtÖ wait what? What is it again? Whatís the real thing here? I knew itÖ but nowÖ
- Walking through fields of amber grain, the leaves teasing at my face with the slightest of cuts from their edges. I am in a spiritual home of mine, a place of rest. I am peaceful with all.
- Angelic presence at an altar. I am kneeling. I am being knighted. Or is it forgiven a crime?
- My heart, beating. Meaty and sweaty and pounding and very simple Ė just beating, the only way it ever knew how. Itís crying that I did that to it, it very nearly stopped. I feel shock. Itís willing to go on though. No matter what. Itís gonna do the job because it agreed to that.
- A meat grinder. Itís the next frame over. Itís relentless and never stops. Itís right there. Itís virtually touching my heart. How can this be so close?! I feel dread. Itís going to chew my heart into gristly meat shreds! Iím very near panic. I am in terror. I am freaking out that this could be so so close to my actual heart. It is grinding and shearing away, unstoppably violent. It always has been right there.
- A laughing child, looking at me. Is that me?
- A lizard scurrying across rocks. The sun is scorching. It is being hunted and itís evading frantically. Its brain is so primitive, single minded. But it still has an essence Ė some sort of personality. It is very frightened. I am aware of existing as it and as its surroundings and its akashic that understands the fear and smiles Ė Ďitís all ok. Itís so OK if you die little form. Because weíre all together.í Itís smiling at the lizard and indifferent to the outcome.
- An eagle. Flying above tall cliffs and riding the updraft. It is so confident. The confidence is singular, there is no alternative. The mastery is absolute.
- Other very weird marred undulations of reality that donít map onto anything that I can make sense of. Bloated bubbles of malformations. Disgusting. I am shuddering here and I try not to pay much attention to this, but it is here.
- Lunar landscape. There is a city. I notice it is deprecate, but in the frame there is a child (is that me?) running and laughing. Bouncing high.
- X-rays chattering across a field of existence. They have a personality. They are very cold and singular. They just do their job because thatís the only thing that exists. There is no other point and as such there are no questions.
- Red. Itís blood, endlessly pouring. Gouts and gouts of blood. Iím almost drowning in it. There is no bottom to touch. It pours endlessly. I am completely immersed in a neverending torrent of blood. I am drowning.
- Quite a few frames with personalities, humans, in confrontations. There is love but so much anger because we all forgot how to overtly choose love and so we have to show our love from the opposite side of things Ė from pushing and cajoling and dissatisfaction. And when we act in such ways, the moment we push too far we recognize it and we break our own hearts. But we are trapped because we donít own patterns that are entirely loving. We know it could be there but our innate responses rule us. Change is slow and damage is quick.
- A few insects. They are mantid and they are looking at me. They are very simple in existence, but beings of a much higher dimension map onto them and look through them at these frames of reality. Like theyíre autonomous AI drones through which the alien intelligence perceives this physical nature and is curious about all elements of it. The alien intelligence is interested in me, but I canít seem to tell its intentions or other operations.
- Moss growing on a rock. Itís the first moss - more like a lichen - itís the first lichen species to invade brand new habitat on dry terra firma. It is a little bewildered because it found itself here all of a sudden - bizzarre coincidence and - here we are! But itís just gonna do this anyway. Itís quietly functioning.
I take my hands and clasp them together and thump them on my chest. Wake up heart! Wake up, keep beating, we can do this, you gotta do this, keep beating. My heart beats Ė still faintly but unambiguously. The close memory of it faltering and accepting that I was choosing death shocks me and I am so afraid and regretful. I choose life and Iím crying because my heart and my body have always chosen it for me even when I didnít, and now I took a drug that gave my mind control over the autonomous and I came so close to just giving up on all of it, throwing away all its tireless and equanimous work. Iím crying and I wonít wipe the tears and my hands press and massage my heart from outside my ribcage.
- The discarnate entities are there too. Iím still so shudderingly close to that veil. Theyíre angry and bitter and they run amok, pointless and heedless. I now perceive that they gained so much knowledge but they left behind the point of it all. And theyíre trapped in this cruel state. For all their knowledge theyíre bitter and violent without having a purpose to exist. They exist without purpose whatsoever. They amount to nothing except in themselves and as such they are moot. They do anything and it means nothing. They are bitter that they had left their Ďchances of incarnatingí, they were bitter and they felt deceived yet they could not curse anyone else but themselves as it was their choice. There was no karma to change it, variance had ceased for them and there will be this pure abstraction for literally all of time. I now see them more darkly, vengeful. The technicolour field is nil and now is empty space. Thatís how they teleport, itís all nothingness and they are thus everywhere simultaneously, and nowhere matters, they inhabit emptiness.
[It is important to me to show the void of their meaning despite the expanse of their knowledge. I feel that I have never been in more danger in all my eons of existence then when I chose non-existence for those moments.]
I sit up and I breathe and cry and rock myself back and forth, throwing off my headphones and crying out in shock. The experience was extremely intense, alone, in the dark, in a cabin in the woods, in a totally twisted and bizarre frame of mind.
The Iboga eased up somewhat for a few moments. My mind was still being twisted and positive feedback was echoing around my mind, amplified and jarring. I had to calm myself, this was not good at all. I was only a few hours in. I knew I hadnít nearly peaked. I thought that I semi knew what I was in forÖ I breathed and made my peace with myself. ĎNever again, never that, I know now, I know it now. I choose life. OK, letís get back into thisÖ what were my intentions again?í
I got back in with calm warrior mentality. New music, splashed water on my face and took a drink of water. Thankfully I had zero nausea. Back into the session.
Music Ė Moungongo Bwiti mouth harp track. My brain is flashing. Visions are powerful. I am in an African village hall, itís a big tent, I think itís made of animal skins, but I am also aware that it is trans-dimensional space. It is filled with: an altar in front (a pillar, but Iím barely allowed to look at it), a group of children being drilled in Ďproving exercisesí, instructed by a formidable, totally strict and unbending, impeccable and unforgiving taskmaster - a woman in red garb with a rod in her hands. The children are musicians, they are excellent, totally devoted to their duty. They see me and are surprised, bewildered that my form should be present, but they are so well trained that they keep their focus and follow the leadís instructions. The woman sees me and is surprised for a split second, but then proceeds to show me no attention in the slightest. She raps her rod and the next piece of choreography begins, she points it and speaks in an uncompromising tone to the boy who fumbled in changing instruments. She raps it and they follow the next formation. It is a drill and I am astonished at the level of precision. The field morphs and an eagle flies into me and I am taken into visions. This situation happened very very many times, possibly 20 or so. Iíll try to provide a flavor of it.
Tree roots growing within the earth. The host tree and her neighbours are cut down. No new roots grow down. The roots have no life to pass on their intelligence or their nutrients. There is genocide of trees. The material wastes away and I see the earth become hard and inanimate, bereft of nutrients and of intelligence. Much time passes and there is continual decay of the situation. It is very sad. It is pointless. Much time of dwindling. It becomes dark.
When I come back I find myself closer to the class, they can still see me and they are patently at a loss as to what I am and what I would be doing there, but they are so well trained that they follow their drill exactly. She lines them up pin straight and I feel them standing at razorís edge. She raps the rod in specific codes and they reform anew, and I am taken into other visions. Hunting animals. I hunt men once. I take part in a war. I eat animal flesh raw, on a migration. There are hungry children there. I walk long distances with animals. The music is a code carrying their history and I am being inducted into their existence. I find myself seated closer and closer to them, each time I return - though without an instrument. The above took place over about 12 sessions.
A new series of about 7 visions come; I am interacting with the personalities of the planets of our solar system. They are very ethereal, their presence is lofty and we communicate with music (the kids are performing communication from our side) and the planets also send out understandings and combinations of symbols on flags. At last, I reach Jupiter (Saturn was before him and very sharp, easy to fail and find displeasure, narcissistic almost). Jupiter is in an airy study with a large wooden desk, many symbols and instruments are placed at his disposal on tables and daises in this rarified space. His lessons and communications inspire me, I feel reverential and feel to bow to him as a god. He does want to be respected for the immensity of presence that he commands, but he does not want supplication. He wants ascendance of all beings and he instructs unhurriedly.
Visions change and I am increasingly required to complete tasks. I wonít go into details, but they are personally excruciating. It seems obscene that these undulations of happening could even be here. But apparently they need resolution. It feels like theyíve been going on ad nauseam for millennia. Eventually, over numerous sessions I create something functional and I add that to the massive wealth of material that is being experientially manifest through the music. Itís a wooden contraption holding an intricate model moving like a clockwork Rube Goldberg machine. Once the circuit is complete it holds up 3 signal flags and a kind of shabby sail that sets and spins the contraption around. The kids observe and are bemused but supportive, the instructor indicates that achievement has occurred. She locks eyes with me. She is formidable! I have much work to do.
I am seated at a desk in her class. I have no instrument. The music begins. I am taken on another series of visions. I climb high up, my peak of consciousness is being drawn out and pulled upwards, itís like the peak of a brilliant white tent that is being stretched and sharpened. I feel it in my skull. It is alarming, itís exquisitely sharp. I never conceived of anything this sharp. It breaks out of my skull. I am in unknowing, I have never been in this state before.
I see a line of children. All races, colours, sizes, holding various objects, in various states of health and presentation. I am shown as the next child steps forward. There is Christ at the head of the line. [I have Christianity in my personal lineage, and this imagery was tailored for me. I am in no way saying this this personal presentation is an objective Truth - but its power was in how the imagery resonated with me.]
The child is afraid and bashful Ė as part of his personality he is this way. The Christ kneels down and holds the child dearly. Itís a departure, itís a mission, itís a big risk for the child and the Christ reassures him. The Christ kisses his forehead and the child begins to slide downwards. At the same time, the heavens blaze (it was always there - but somehow I didnít quite notice before?) and there is a cloud of golden-white effulgence. The light shines in and of the cloud, as if the cloud itself shines luminous but moreover the interior of the cloud absolutely blazes. There is a ray of light that shines onto the forehead of the child as he closes he eyes to sleep and slide down. WaitÖ is that me? Is that my child? The ray of light is shining onto the childís brow and I know that this is Godís blessing. Also that it is the light to shine his path. The Christ is reassuring, calm and present, relatable yet ascended. I know that everything is somehow going to be ok, despite all my mortal fears. I look into the cloud and feel indescribable. I am fully consumed by it. [Iíve tried to write about it, but words just wonít do. Ok, this is meant to be a description for you soÖ hereís what I gotÖ] I feel at home. I feel at eternal peace. I feel the deep warmth of being held as a precious being, I feel loved. I feel strong and invigorated. I feel, I am, me. I am accepted into a sea of unconditional love and acceptance. Itís really there, itís true. I release all my holds. I am loved boundlessly. I am encouraged powerfully. I accept grace. I see the cloud and I look and look. The beauty and grace is the total ineffable.
I feel blessed and calmed now. I awake and feel quite sober, even my heaving monkey mind is now smooth. Yes. Yes to existence. I choose to exist with the deepest fullest love that I can possibly conceive of. I am calm and at ease. I lay back again and let go.
I canít remember what exactly happened, but the next I can recollect the experience had switched into personal stuff. (Also I met aliens, they animate the microplastics that have invaded my body and increasingly find their way into my brain. I am then shown that the entire situation is analogous to the invasion of gluon fields by an outside /string/pollutant that is destabilizing foundation particles. It is being created within existence though and we must needs find solutions. Itís a real challenge and we are responsible.)
I approach all with ever deepening reverence.
This account is long enough but I would like to summarize a few points:
I would *HAVE A SITTER*. This would also help with integration hugely.
I ate clean before and then fasted on the day of (maybe some light fruit only). Nausea is easy to get and I am thankful I didnít have it.
I got best quality PTA. To avoid nausea and have a strong experience.
Air mattresses are just so amazing. I was so very grateful for mine. I was comfortable and had all items on hand.
Music! I made a big playlist or three. I would get multiple headphones and a friend to help cuz sometimes you just canít work them and you need that help.
Eyeshades. Decent ones. The experience lasted over 18 hours and any light was way too much stimulus.
Sleeping well the days before! I didn't sleep a wink the night of. In fact that sounds terrifying and Iboga told me that thatís an easy way to die, fall asleep in a ceremony and never wake up.
Food for after. A variety of foods and prepared so that all I had to do is open the container and put the food in my mouth. Focus on fresh foods but also gotta have something to ballast you down when you're ready to eat. For me, that was about 30 hours after ingestion.
A few good, easy water bottles that need zero fiddling with to get water in my throat.
Natural environment. I had amazing, astounding natural coincidences following. Nature and time seems very important with integration.
Nature and time seems very important with integration.
Not planning anything for the couple days following. Seriously, just relaxing and giving myself to myself. Integration will take months, but the first couple days are crucial. Changing one's life, taking a few days for oneself.
In joyful acceptance of your every breath,
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid and you agree not to download or analyze the report data without contacting Erowid Center and receiving permission first.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.