Citation: Lee T. "It Just Makes Me Want to Venture Deeper: An Experience with LSD (exp115255)". Erowid.org. Mar 23, 2021. erowid.org/exp/115255
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First journey on LSD
My first acid trip. Around 11.15am on a brisk Saturday morning in February, I embarked on something that I had been pondering over in some capacity for almost a year. I had decided to voyage into the world of psychedelia. My mind was curious. Consciousness has encompassed my consciousness for a while. We know so little about our minds and the fact that I could venture into ways of being and thinking that would otherwise never be found, engulfs me as something that must be found. How could I live my ‘normal’ existence and not try and voyage to these plains?
Months and months of research led me to taking one and a quarter tabs of LSD. In a cabin deep in the Sequoia national forest. With my wife who would be joining me on this journey, and two of our friends that would be sober and sitting us. Our set and setting were primed as well as they could be.
Let’s do this.
Around an hour into the journey I became interested in lights reflecting off the walls. (We had set Christmas lights all over the cabin to replace the sharp white lights). Had they always been so bright? So illuminating? Hmm. Soon after I needed the bathroom. As I sat on the seat (I’m a sit down and wee kinda guy), I noticed the green bath towel hanging in front of me begin to “breathe”. In and out. In and out. A minute warped breath. So gentle. So interesting.
I noticed that my hand had a vainy greyish blue quality to them. They weren’t beautiful hands. They were old, ageing and almost decaying, but this didn’t trouble me. I was aware that this was just my mind playing curious games. We had begun to watch Fantasia by Walt Disney, and I was enjoying the movie until I wasn’t. The scenes of flooding were jarring and a bit much. Turn it off please.
I was asked by my friend Kelsey if I wanted to sit outside on the deck. Sure. The deck was surrounded by huge redwoods. I was excited to see what the trees would show me. I began to see a man. He was looking at me. He was cheeky. He was whimsical. My mind had seemed to conjure up a visual in exactly the same way as when I would stare up into the clouds as a child. Once you see them, you really see them. It’s all you see. But where clouds dissipate as they stretch and pull apart, trees do not. They stand tall. Strong. He wasn’t going anywhere. Now not at any point did I believe this was a real man that was in a tree. I was very aware that what was happening was my mind playing devious and whimsical tricks. This makes it far more interesting for me though. As I continued to stare at the guy, I noticed the tree was now full of faces. Absolutely fucking everywhere. Carved into the wood of the tree. There were faces in the faces with more faces hidden within those faces. They didn’t take the shape of “a real face" per se but a carved quality that had a stone age feel to them. A Spartan look. A classically strong male chiseled look. Detailed, in vertical hieroglyphics. They always had that age old uniform to them.
Kelsey asked me if I wanted to go below and see the tree up close. I did. This was really fucking amazing-- the fact that my mind was doing this!
This was really fucking amazing-- the fact that my mind was doing this!
Just before I went downstairs to the trees, I came across a tarp covering firewood and within the folds and creases and light reflections I saw exactly the same imagery. The hieroglyphic, chiseled male spartan. This reinforced to me the notion of my mind creating these images as opposed to them being “really there”. But incredibly interesting nonetheless. In fact, this understanding made it all so much more interesting to me than if I thought or believed these men were really present. I still very much had my Lee-ness. My wherewithal. My critical faculties and understanding of mind.
We began our descent to the trees and I was continuously mystified and enthralled by the presence of this imagery. As I circled the tree they (the images) became vaster and grew taller and taller. I then sat below the trees and that’s when the warping and breathing began. And this was a feature that stayed pretty much throughout the trip.
The actual seeing of the faces versus the breathing and warping were two distinctively different features. I’m sure there’s a metaphor that would describe this difference but it is lost on me. It’s almost as if the warping/breathing was clearly a classic hallucination but the faces were real. They were actually there. Carved in. Always there, even though I always knew they were not. But there was still a very different quality to the hallucinations of the stagnant imagery and the motion. Hard to describe. Real vs not real with the understanding that they were both not real.
Kelsey asked me to look at the cabin itself and boy was that mind blowing. The wood grain within the panels that make the cabin were circulating and warping in an absolute show of beauty and wonderment. How could my eyes that have always seen things in its normal way be relaying this new sense of visual stimulation to my brain? How amazing and fascinating. Turning and twisting and melting and blending. Not through a filter. Not on a tv screen. But through my eyes. Lee’s eyes. I remember saying, “I’m having such an amazing time, this is so much fun!” I was. It was the most fascinating experience. I then played with a withering leaf that had long fallen from a tree. The meniscal, fine details at the micro level were works of absolute art. The intricate nature of it was enthralling. I remembered being told about the fascination of the micro and I totally understood in that moment. The deep, tiny slithers of edges and holes were the most beautiful woven lace. Caverns of beauty within the decayed fallen leaf from the tree of spartan soldiers. This was another separate quality to the experience- the interest in the micro. If you’ve ever googled microphotography, this is what it was to look at something small. You felt as close as the closest lens could get. And you could get lost in the beauty of the finely tuned intricacy. Later that evening I was in the hot tub and next to me was a table made out of a tree slice. As I sat there and leaned in to look at the bark, I was engulfed into deep caverns, layers and worlds that were in these tiny crevices. Still breathing ever so slightly. Gasping for air. It was just so incredibly interesting and fascinating and mesmeric.
Just before we came back inside, I began to notice new imagery on the trees. Alien like. Monster like. You know the guy from Saw with the white face with red swirls? I was seeing him. It was almost like your classical horror figure becoming apparent within the bark. Again, this didn’t bother me in the slightest. My mind was just creating these and I was interested in that process. We then came inside and began to look at some art that was given to us. Starry night by Van Gogh and Sunset at Venice by Monet. These were literally the most visually enthralling pieces of anything I had ever seen. The movement and the beauty. Every time I looked up from the art and realized I was in the living room, the disappointed that I was in a real world and the fact that this realization had taken away from the pure bliss of these pieces of art was becoming very frustrating. This frustration was shared by Heidi so I asked her if she would want to go and sit in the bedroom alone together and stare at the art. Absolutely. Great Idea.
We sat and we stared. We reminded one another to just let it take you. Go where it takes you. Let go and just follow the beauty. This was an amazing thing to understand and do. Starry night would, at one moment be a visual time lapse with days and nights passing within seconds, but the flow of beauty would take you to the sky where the whirling winds and clouds would roll in and out over and over, shining beams of beautiful colors and blue lightning swirling in mesmerizing excellence. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe how beautiful it was. Sunset at Venice was so warm and would also continually flow in absolute beauty. I then noticed at the end of the bedroom there was a painting on the wall. I purposefully looked away and said to Heidi that we should put down our paintings, lay back, count to three and stare at that painting together. She was excited. So was I.
The painting was of a cold winter cabin on top of a hillside covered in snow. The painting just started melting on top of itself. Warping. Circling. The frame itself took on a neon purple shape and started turning and becoming 3D like. Almost felt other worldy. Very intense but wonderful and fun. I’m unsure if this dawned on me then or later but I became aware that the breathing and circling of my visuals were just a spherical imprint of my mind. A hallucination. Therefore I was never fooled into thinking the painting was alive or the trees were breathing. I can totally see how a “breathing tree” would convince someone that they’re alive more than we otherwise understand them to be, and then feel a deeper connection to nature, but I definitely still had the wherewithal to understand that that quality was part of my minds reaction to the drug I had ingested. I’m an evidence based guy and have no need for make believe stories of mysticism but that understanding didn’t take away the enjoyment of the experience itself.
My next venture was to meditate. This was always the interest I had and still have in regards to these compounds.
My next venture was to meditate. This was always the interest I had and still have in regards to these compounds.
I had noticed that my visuals were more beautiful with my eyes closed. My minds eye. Colorful. Vast. Deep. Not deep as in ponderous and thought like, but vast galaxies of lights and images. I remember seeing a female lioness type on top of circling lights. But it was all hard to grasp. The images were always moving and traveling far and beyond. I could never pause and stop and stare at the imagery. It just sped across plains of existence through galaxies of lights. I still had a sense of self. A sense of ego. Although the feeling of me became an undoing at times later in the trip, I was able to use myself to remind myself of the practice of mindful meditation. Something I’ve been practicing for nearly a year now on a fairly regular basis. To not try and stop thoughts, but to observe them as thoughts. To look at them. Be interested in them. To not hold on and see where they go.
It was during this meditation that I became unsure if my mind was showing me the interesting planes of color or if it was just me thinking of them or a mixture of the two? My intuition is a mix. At times I felt lost as a passenger and as a visual spectator to the lights and the traveling landscapes. Volcanoes and valleys and mountaintops. Always surrounded by colors flying all over my mind. Was I in control? Was I thinking these thoughts as me? Or was I watching these thoughts as me from afar? Or was I totally removed? I definitely think all of the above. There was definitely no ego death but there were fleeting moments of ego dissolution. Or maybe not? When we are heavily involved in a task, our minds almost have a loss of self. We’re ingrained into the task. Maybe it was just that? Either way it was a journey that I already yearn to travel to again and go even further into.
After my mind exploration I walked back into the living room to a frantically excited Heidi. “Lee! You gotta taste this! Taste it!” Heidi’s mind was blown away by some sour skittles she had bought the day before. I popped one in my mouth and holy fucking shitcakes! It was the most remarkable out of body experience! Really! As the sourness of the skittle hit my taste buds and fired off the sensation to my brain, something remarkable happened. I was totally separate to the taste! It wasn’t me tasting it. Two separate entities experiencing the same experience. I closed my eyes and ate another but this time mindfully focusing on what this experience was. With closed eyes and just me and my mind, the taste of sour was the center. A black hole. In a galaxy surrounded by other galaxies. I was the milky way and the sourness was completely separate. Not me. But in the center. As I whirled around it, my mind a tornado, filled with neon colour, the separate skittle was slap bang in the middle. A taste explosion. I began to laugh hysterically as I was aware how preposterous this all was. A taste, so obviously felt by me, but at exactly the same time not. Two separate beings, with my eyes closed experiencing them as one. The imagery and feeling of me being a swirling neon galaxy, circling the planet sour skittle.
The whole experience wasn’t all this wonderful. I had a handful of moments when I became aware of my awareness and this took on a negative effect. I tried to be mindful and be interested as to why this was having this effect on me but I couldn’t figure it out. Having a strong sense of me rattling around was really getting to me. Maybe it was disappointment in the knowing that awareness was a thing? That it was me? This really troubled me from time to time, but with the help of my guides I was taken to a new room or taken outside. This immediately didn’t help. Actually at first it made me more aware. I knew what Kelsey was doing. This isn’t going to work. I know what you’re doing. But alas, something would spark my interest and take me elsewhere. Away from my awareness of ego. I totally see how trains of thought could lead someone to a bad trip. To the feeling of schizophrenia. Scary. Very scary.
I lay on the sofa and put on “Everything Changes” by the band Love. I closed my eyes. Every time I closed my eyes my visuals were stunning. The music added to the euphoria. What then transpired was the only time I felt the indescribable. I recently listened to Sam Harris describe a mushroom trip and he said “just like clicking one’s fingers isn’t the tool to describe an experience, words are also not the correct tool to describe the experience”. The YouTube channel Psyched Substance also put it a wonderful way once, “try describing what a color is to someone who has always been blind. Being able to describe the intense experiences on Psychedelia is also impossible to describe”. This is something I really wanted to feel going into this. In fact, the only thing I WANTED to feel. And for what may’ve only been minutes, I felt it. Pure bliss. Warmth. Love. Transcendence. All of those thing without it being those things. It was a feeling that was other worldly. Utterly indescribable but euphorically transcendent. I want more of that. I need to explore more of that.
We then explored the loft. A small area overlooking the front room. Tiny, steep stairs lead you up to the space with little to no head room. I sat on the bed and instantly became mesmerized by the size of the room. The corner in the far left, in reality maybe 8 feet from me, seemed to be at least double that. I was shouting down to everyone below, “It’s huge up here!”. Heidi came up and sat next to me and also reveled in the tiny space’ grandiose. As we marveled at the optical illusion playing in front of our eyes, Amanda came upstairs and we asked her to sit in the corner of the room. She seemed tiny but giant in the vast distance of the 8ft room. Kelsey then came up the tiny stairs and sat at the top to our right. Kelsey is a larger girl so the illusion of her sitting by these tiny steps along with tiny Amanda sitting in the distance of the elongated loft was the most fascinating optical illusion. It was so similar to scenes from Alice in Wonderland. Amanda in Wonderland.
I continued to become agitated with my awareness of my awareness but I was always able to get out of the headspace. I went to sit in the hot tub and marveled at the breathing wood table whilst Heidi had an almost internal sexual experience with Amanda’s cello. We then put on some classical music. I closed my eyes and tried to encompass the sounds. My mind still showing me traveling formations of living luminescent lights. Always showing me. But then something happened. A lightbulb moment. A lightbulb journey. My mind started reveling in love.
Love. Love. It’s about love. It’s only about love.
I had enough ego to understand that I was having a revelation. Hold on Lee. Keep going. Don’t come back to reality. I heard myself saying out loud, “Oh my God. Shit. I get it! Fuck!”. I wanted to say “I finally understand. It’s just about love”, but I didn’t want to stop the journey. I kept going. As I continued to understand that love was all that mattered, I also started to understand that I was unable to feel more love. I didn’t love anyone any more than I already did. Unlike MDMA where the love you feel is vastly stronger. No. It wasn’t that. What is this I’m feeling? Eyes still closed I was feeling like my mind was a building crescendo of colour and love. I journeyed to a tower. A pyramid shaped tower with a single white light on top- and then it finally hit me! Love wasn’t a feeling. It was a place. A destination. Everything was leading my consciousness to destination Love.
That’s it. That’s all I can describe that as. It was absolutely enthralling. It again left me wanting more. Wanting to journey further. Go further into my mind and the depths of what still baffles scientists to this day. Consciousness and its contents.
I don’t feel like I am now different because of this.
I don’t feel like I am now different because of this.
It hasn’t affected me after. I don’t believe trees have souls or even that we have souls that travel to a tower of love. My mind under a foreign compound isn’t evidence for this. It just makes me want to venture deeper. Further. Into plains that seem light years away but live within my mind.
The night began to peter out. I started coming down and then going up again. I had a nice time vibing to British hip-hop, then I got really annoyed at a barking dog. I moved bedrooms and started creating a physical experience with each body part moving as a musical instrument which made Heidi laugh, but I then got uncomfortable and hot and annoyed again. I needed to move. I began to feel so tired. Not physically but mentally. It felt like my mind had run a marathon and rather than stopping and resting, it continued to jog. Even though its aching limbs were beyond exhausted. I just wanted to be able to close my eyes and see nothing. Black. Good ol’ boring Lee thoughts. But it continued to show me the dancing lights of traveling neon.
Heidi’s butt felt nice. I wasn’t horny but I thought that having sex with my mind still in technicolor might be interesting. The sex was great. Normal great. But the climax was ABSOLUTELY INSANE. An accordion of matrix like rainbows. My mind’s dial had been playing at 4 around this point, but as I had my orgasmic peak, my mind went fuck you and turned the volume all the way to MAX. I lay in silence and Heidi asked if I was okay. “You don’t know. You just don’t know” was all I could say. Words would not have done the sensation justice.
Just before we went to sleep I sat in the living room and stared out at the shadows of the trees. The full moon seeping through the branches of the sleeping giants. Calming. Peaceful. Quiet. I realized that I hadn’t worn my glasses all day. I’m near sighted and can’s see very well- especially at night. Glasses at night always make everything crisper but as the drug was leaving its final marks on my brain, it still had enough of a stronghold to show me something new and interesting. The best way to describe is how when one watches a 3D movie without the glasses, the visuals are off and distorted. Only when one puts on the glasses everything then becomes crisp, clear and visually enthralling. This was happening with my glasses. Everything took on a crisper, more concise and sharper quality. Almost a deeper dimension. Beautiful.
In closing, the whole experience was wonderful. I wasn’t fooled by my visuals. I was always aware they were my mind and for me, that made the experience fascinating, enthralling and enjoyable. The visuals, as fun as they were, were not the reason I bought the ticket. The price of admission was for the mind. The depths of consciousness. At times I was over the visuals. I wasn’t interested any more. I wanted the compound to show me more. Take me further. Drown me in your beautific depths, and show me the vastness of the world’s greatest mystery. Until next time.
At some point earlier in the day I started talking to Heidi about how amazing it was when my mind went to these nether regions. Heidi started talking back. Also proclaiming how the sensations were mind blowing. Ecstatic explosions. “Yes! You get it too! How cool”. Heidi fervently agreed that she understood and we continued to philosophize over the profundity of that experience.
Then Heidi mentioned the flavor…
Is she talking about sour skittles this whole time?!
“Yeah. What are you talking about?”,
Who knew that the depths of mind and sour skittles could have the same mind blowing, philosophical qualities. Only on LSD it seems.
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Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.