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The Continuum Hypothesis
by 77k
Citation:   77k. "The Continuum Hypothesis: An Experience with Aleph-2 (exp14854)". May 26, 2002.

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T+ 0:00
6.0 mg oral Phenethylamines - Other (powder / crystals)
  T+ 1:30 1 hit smoked Cannabis  
  T+ 6:00 400 mg oral Pharms - Ibuprofen  
  T+ 7:00 400 mg oral Pharms - Ibuprofen  
  T+ 8:00 1000 mg oral Pharms - Ibuprofen  
  T+ 8:00 24 mg oral Codeine  
  T+ 8:00 1 shot oral Alcohol - Hard  


This May another obscenely rare psychedelic and I crossed paths. This is a story about Aleph-2, the amphetamine analogue of 2C-T-2.

In PIHKAL, the Doctor notes that, in his experience, the Aleph compounds have very unpredictable dose/response curves. The same dose taken by different people can have markedly different effects, and the same dose taken by the same person on different occasions can too. The 2C-T compounds also seem to behave this way, but to a lesser extent (2C-T-7 seems to be a prime example). In addition, the psychedelic effects of the Alephs are a mixed bag. So it seems that they are a challenge to use, and this is probably why they have not received much attention.

On May 11, 12:40 pm, two friends ('R' and 'P') and I gave Aleph-2 a shot. P and I took six milligrams, R took seven. I had eaten a small bowl of cheerios about 40 minutes earlier. The quality of the material (the HCl salt) was determined to be >98% by 500 MHz NMR. The powder smelled foul - the mercaptan-style sulfur bond was obvious. But dissolved in water, it was nearly tasteless.

I took notes for the first few hours, which I'll summarize.

After about 15 minutes there were the first indistinct hints of something happening. After 30 or so I noticed a 'fuzzy' skin sensation, a slight desensitization. Shortly after that I noticed that perceptual changes might be starting. After 40, I began to feel a little stimulated, as I expected, since Aleph-2 is an amphetamine. My stomach was also a little sensitive. I saw vibrations from time to time in the corners of my vision. The skin desensitization had intensified.

One hour after dosing, the amphetamine component was obvious. My vision seemed to vibrate a little, and my stomach was more irritated. Four minutes later, I puked. This was not too unpleasant.

t+1:10, moving things leave trails. My mood is good; I attribute this to the amphetamine. A few minutes pass, and visuals are visible over most everything, but there doesn't seem to be much detail to them. I feel like my vision is altered, but it is not overt. It seems to be more perceptual than sensory.

t+1:20, an unexpected second bout of vomiting. Closed eye visuals are abstract and not very bright.

Twenty minutes later I am back in the bathroom, dry heaving. I take a therapeutic bong hit. R and P have also worshipped at the porcelain altar a couple of times. Things do not seem to be changing as much. It's difficult to read a computer screen, but not for the usual psychedelic reasons. There is almost no color fringing around edges of letters on the screen, which is something I see on most other drugs. It just seems harder to focus - harder to see.

But there seem to be larger-scale perspective distortions, something which I've always thought of as a major component of mushroom visuals. Standing in a 40 foot long room, the opposite end seems very far away. Walking across the room, the room subtly but surely distorts past me. This visual package seems particularly unique to Aleph-2. My eyes tell me that I am tripping, but it is sometimes hard to identify why. One of PIHKAL's qualitative comments is, 'An amazing unification of visual hallucination seen only in the very fine detail of something.' I understand this comment, but I'm at a loss to explain it.

t+2:10, twisting and warping of visible surfaces is more obvious, after a few seconds of attention. But again, there seems to be almost no color at all. No color enhancement, no real color fringes, only briefly or in passing.

I eat a slice of pizza. I feel generally better. At t+2:30, things seem stable.

We listen to Pink Floyd, 'Wish You Were Here'. Aleph-2 is very psychedelic, but only in the sense that it allows free-association like other psychedelics. Visually and aurally, enhancement seemed mild. Many other drugs create connections between the content and sound of the music and my thoughts, but instead with Aleph-2 the sensation of the sound was only minimally altered, while my thoughts were primed by the lyrics and tone of the music and felt more free to go off on their own. I didn't feel like the songs were telling me stories. I found myself thinking at a high level about Syd Barrett and his relationship to the band, how they loved him and the loss they felt when he went insane. I was able to think about and perceive the emotions each song contained. The music was some of the most beautiful I've ever heard, not because of skill or craftsmanship, but because of honesty.

At this point it was clear that I was at a +++ level, and it was also clear that Aleph-2 was a powerful psychedelic by any measure. It was a head trip, not a sensory trip. It was about t+3:20, and after talking a bit with P and R we realized that we were having notably different experiences. They said that, for them, visuals were more obvious. P quite logically said the drug felt like 2C-T-2 on speed, but to me this was not a good description. R, who had taken a milligram more, seemed to be having an overall stronger trip.

We decided to go for a walk. We wound up going not very far at all, just over to a place where we could sit down and look across the harbor. We did not feel inclined to walk much, and once we'd sat down it was easy to soak up the scene in front of us for many minutes at a time.

Standing at the edge of the seawall, R and P wondered how far down it was from the ground to the surface of the water. We spent a good half hour figuring out numerous ways of solving this problem, from simple (counting rungs in a ladder) to more complex (dropping a stone several times and measuring how long it took to hit the water). P complained that he couldn't do double integrals while tripping, but I pointed out that Newton had already conveniently solved those integrals sometime in the 17th century. We got into a lengthy debate about the precision and accuracy of our guesses... P said he could get arbitrary precision with an infinite number of stopwatch measurements, but I said he'd forgotten about constant factors... this eventually led to P insisting that he could calculate the mass of the moon to within 50% using only a digital watch, by observing the tides. I offered to bet him $500 he couldn't get it to within three orders of magnitude. He declined.

At about t+4:20 things seemed to be weakening ever so slightly, but it was hard to say because in order to gauge the strength of the effects, I had to think about how I was thinking, I couldn't just consult my eyes. We walked a little further, and I decided to leave R and P and head home. At about t+5:20, or 6 pm, I got back and things were definitely weaker. P and R returned about 15 minutes later.

R, who is a seasoned tripper, said that things had suddenly gotten very weird outside and he wanted to come back. He was uncomfortable. Within just a few minutes he became very agitated. He took off most of his clothes because he just couldn't get comfortable. Mentally, he was headed somewhere unpleasant. He couldn't explain very well what was going on, but it didn't seem to be a physical problem, only a mental/sensory one. I took his pulse, it was 96. We got out of the kitchen to a place where he could lay on a sofa.

R grabbed my hand; I seemed to be a link to physical reality that he needed to hold on to. He said he had 'the fear'. After about 20 minutes, during which P and I managed to get him to eat a little food and water, he started to calm down a little. I haven't yet had a chance to talk to him in detail about what he felt. At the time, he could not explain well at all what was going on. But it seemed to resolve itself. R did say that there were intense visuals, and that everything about the trip had become very intense, consuming, almost overwhelming.

At this point the differences in our three trips were starkly obvious. I was well on my way down and feeling a pleasant psychedelic glow, P was still tripping reasonably hard, and R was just returning from never-never-land. Variations in the dose/response curve, indeed! Shulgin was, not surprisingly, right again.

About six hours had passed. We made some stuff to eat and lounged around for a while, then at around 9 or 10 we decided to walk about half an hour to a friend's house where there was a small party going on. Before leaving I took 400 mg of ibuprofen to deal with a headache. The walk was very nice (the weather was still great). We spent several hours there, mostly relaxing in a private room with good friends. R felt fully sane and seemed unfazed by his earlier brush with the Fear.

While there the headache worsened and I gave it another 400 mg of ibuprofen. That did almost nothing, so I smoked some pot. No luck, so I got out the big guns and hit it with 1000 mg of acetaminophen and 24 mg of codeine, and topped it off with some Jim Beam. Over the next two hours the drugs fought a pitched, bitter battle against the headache, which the headache thankfully lost.

At sometime after 4 am, or about 15 hours after taking the Aleph-2, I finally decided that it was time to walk back home. I would say that the Aleph-2 had faded into the THC-codeine-ethanol background noise at around t+14h. The time I spent at the party was a lot of fun, and aside from the headache, the long Aleph-2 comedown was social, unobtrusive and left me in a nice mood. Upon getting home I fell asleep after not too long.

I was quite sleepy the following day and spent a lot of it in bed. Besides simple fatigue, I felt fine.

There is no question that I will do Aleph-2 again sometime, but I don't know when will be the right time. I feel like there is a lot I don't understand about it. To me, it seems to be a thinking person's trip. But without question Aleph-2 is a drug that requires care and prudence in its use. R's reaction, so far into the trip, was totally unpredictable. It's obvious from variation in our overall responses to it that, for a given dose, you may get a lot more (or less) than you bargained for. It should not be taken without having someone else around.

I am impressed by how different Aleph-2 is from the many other psychedelics I've tried. Once again Dr. Shulgin has put a sign on a previously unmarked door of perception. I can only imagine what'll be behind the next door I find.

Exp Year: 2002ExpID: 14854
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given 
Published: May 26, 2002Views: 35,029
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Phenethylamines - Other (257) : Various (28), Music Discussion (22), First Times (2)

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