Confronted with Myself
Huasca Combo (Syrian Rue & M. tenuiflora)
Citation:   Scotto. "Confronted with Myself: An Experience with Huasca Combo (Syrian Rue & M. tenuiflora) (exp1774)". Jun 12, 2000.

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T+ 0:00
  oral Syrian Rue (capsule)
  T+ 1:00 16 mg oral Mimosa tenuiflora (rootbark)
  T+ 0:00 8.0 mg oral Mimosa tenuiflora (rootbark)
i had a companion for this journey, mr. buddy goodlove, and our ground control for the evening was the lovely miss S. we had a scale this time, and i had done lots of looking about the net earlier that evening, to remind myself of a few practical matters and a few other matters. buddy picked us up, and indicated that he had already taken his MAO inhibitor, around 7 pm that evening: waiting for us back at his place was some syrian rue goop that he had extracted and put into gel caps. as i remember it was probably 9 pm by the time i swallowed mine. we looked at an old issue of The Resonance Project for additional reference; there's an article on mimosahuasca preparation which offers three different recipes. all of the recipes that i've seen have been for different dose ranges, in terms of grams of root bark required. i've seen as low as 8g, as high as 20g. we opted for 16g a piece, boiled it down to a black goo which we could then easily and handily roll into little balls and eat, washing down with coca-cola as appropriate.

ingestion took place probably around 10pm.

we didn't really decide until friday night that this was an experience we wanted to have the next night. it was, in the parlance, a 'spur of the moment' decision. i make spur of the moment decisions about doing psychedelics on a somewhat regular basis. saturday, i called a friend to invite him to join us that evening. mimosahuasca is a useful small group experience, and i'm hoping to share it with multiple small groups in the future; 3 trippers is about the useful limit, i would guess. our friend declined the invitation, however, saying that he preferred at least a week or two advance notice before having this kind of experience.

i'm interested in differences of approach, and would love to have more conversation on gravity about differences of approach. i spent most of the rest of saturday thinking about the stark difference between my willingness to have a deep psychedelic experience 'on the spur of the moment,' whereas my friend preferred a longer amount of preparation. i don't personally have any sense of either approach being 'better', though perhaps others will disagree. i think mindfulness is certainly possible 'on the spur of the moment' if life is lived a certain way, and that's sort of my perspective; but i'm endlessly respectful of other 'takes' on how to approach this body of experience.

i may or may not differ from a certain majority of gravitys in that i don't have a particularly 'spiritual' side. that also colors my willingness to place myself into deep psychedelic spaces without much 'warning' or 'preparation'. i think if i felt i had a certain particular issue that might need working through, i might spend time meditating on it in advance; but usually i prefer to go in as a clean slate, and let the experience teach/show me what it will. this then is the context for my mimosahuasca experience of last saturday night: i had nothing in particular on my mind, i had not zoomed with buddy before, and i was trying mimosahuasca for the 2nd time.

i consider myself something of a stalwart when it comes to these experiences. it is impossible to be scotto for very long without having to confront the issue of so-called 'heroic doses'. i should point out that i don't feel particularly 'heroic' when i consume larger amounts than many people, including myself on many occasions, feel is a 'reasonable' dose of a given substance. i don't feel like a hero, or a role model, or anything like that. as far as peer pressure in this community is concerned, i'm one of the people you probably should avoid emulating at all costs, as far as the specific issue of 'how much do i take?' is concerned. i haven't said anything like this publicly before, and i guess now is a good a time as any. my relationship with psychedelic drugs is a relentlessly uneasy one, but i think this is to be expected, as my relationship with life is relentlessly uneasy, my relationship with reality is relentlessly uneasy. there is perhaps the physical fact of the matter: i don't often have rewarding experiences on the few occasions when i constrain myself to low doses of various drugs. there is also the counter to that fact: i don't often try low doses anymore, because i am still 'enjoying' high dose exploration.

but the fact is, i take a lot, sometimes i take too much, your mileage may very. please do the research before swallowing something you've never swallowed before, or before swallowing a large amount of something which previously you had only consumed in small amounts, or before swallowing familiar things in unfamiliar combinations. please do the research, that's all. it's not hard.

buddy was only able to eat about half of his goo that night. he seemed very sensitive, and as he told me, his diet had coincidentally been clean all week, and he had fasted that day. so the experience caught him up almost instantly it seemed, within no more than a half an hour or less of eating his goo. i lagged severely behind. he was vomiting profusely at a point when i could only wish that my stomach was as eager; i'd been having digestive trouble all day, and it wasn't getting better. as soon as he was done vomiting, he stretched out in front of the stereo and was far far gone as jhno's excellent cd 'the evolution of consciousness through resonance' played. i contented myself to being unable to vomit, to lying on the couch playing a game with myself of trying to convince myself to vomit. i dry heaved several times, but to no avail. and i knew that i wouldn't really start tripping til after i vomited, so i began to get content with the notion that i simply wasn't going to trip as hard as i had last time. i was surfing through a kaleidoscopic whirlwind, to be true, but i was dissatisfied, felt that the 'content' wasn't up to snuff.

certainly i did get a fair amount of exploration done at that level, don't get me wrong. a 'light' mimosahuasca experience is nothing to sneeze at! i got tons of thinking done on my writing. in particular, i got a lot of exploration done on the character of 'scotto' as it appears in my book. the exploration got very very weird and my thoughts about the scotto character got very very weird and then suddenly a big alarm went off and i reminded myself with a forcible SHOUT: 'don't you EVER think of yourself like that.' those of you who are familiar with my writing might understand the context: i am spending ten books exploring the rise and fall of a religion, and scotto plays a role in all of that as the author and as a character. i was trying on various costumes for scotto within that religion, within that weird space, and the mimosahuasca allowed me to follow certain threads very very deeply and intensely to their logical conclusions. but because i happen to play the character of scotto not just in my books but in real life, my alarms started going off, which was good. i remember these things. ongoing ongoing ongoing more in a moment.

anyways, buddy was having a riotous time it seemed, and at one point he made it very very clear that he had no intention of finishing his dose. so i finished it for him. that would leave the final tally at buddy getting very very very well off at an estimated 8g of the root bark, and me then following up with approximately 24g of the root bark.

'that's a lot!'

i started really really coming on during woob. i know it's rapidly becoming something of a cliche in this community, to listen to woob while zooming, but man... hearing woob while under the influence of an extended tryptamine session is something else. recommended. this part of the experience lasted most of that album, and involved a very deep trance. i don't remember what happened during that trance, other than that i explored the music very deeply. this experience involved no 'entities' or 'presences', just a heavy heavy rush of sensation, and eventually my personal reality being entirely torn apart.

after the woob (i measure these experiences in terms of music, as you can tell), we heard air liquide. buddy was actually down, and could have gone to sleep, but he wanted to stay up and hang out a while longer. he and i and deb got into some kind of conversation briefly, and that's what pulled me out of the trance. i was tripping my face off. buddy lit a fire in his fireplace. he has an amazing place, btw. he said, 'you look like you could use some massage therapy,' and i was so far out that the term 'massage therapy' was meaningless, i.e. i couldn't remember ever hearing those two words together before. at any rate, i got a really really excellent massage, and my spirits began to rise dramatically.

the next hour (or more, perhaps?) was a long, deep, trippy, weirdass conversation between buddy, S and myself. keep in mind buddy was down, Ms. S was sober, i was tripping my face off. well. i was in ridiculously good spirits.

i should actually describe 'ridiculously good spirits' a little more closely. i reached a point of almost pure happiness. i don't know how else to say it. and from there, reality actually began to morph, and i found myself in a place where i could tangibly experience the connection between all things, in my head. i began having the experience of tracing the connections and then altering them as it suited me.

that's not precisely correct. let me go at it from another vantage point.

my imagination ran absolutely wild that night. i literally thought that just about any particular one of my fantasies was on the verge of coming true. i mean, we riffed about all kinds of crazy ass stuff. riff after riff after riff. we riffed about buddy goodlove's future presidential campaign; we riffed about the plays i was going to stage, and the famous people i was going to meet. fame became a serious thing; every famous person i could think of became as crystal clear to me in my mind as any one of my actual friends. i had no sense of reality at that point, absolutely none. the entire space was a giant hallucination at that point. i was bursting with love too. i would think of a person, and my feelings of goodwill toward them would be totally amplified beyond all measure. words poured out of me, and buddy and S were riffing right there with me, and we seemed to be having an absolutely good time. S told me later that occasionally S and buddy would look at each other and giggle at how far out i was; but in general, it was a remarkably good time.

i've had episodes like that before, on acid in particular. it's a big part of why i don't take acid anymore. acid makes me delusional in a serious way, and i can't contextualize it. so here i was, getting that experience handed to me on the biggest platter possible. i now have an interpretation. the mimosahuasca made it absolutely possible to explore the proposition 'anything is possible.' anything is possible, i suppose, but within constraints. well, those constraints began to evaporate in my mind, and i began to follow every last errant notion to its ultimate conclusion. yes, i could make love to that person and that person and that person, yes, i could make art with that person and that person and that person, yes, i could quit my job and be free and do exactly what i wanted to, and soon, reality itself would be transfigured and we would all live in peace and harmony and the network would just hum and happiness would inherently ensue. that's the place i was in. i saw no chinks in that armor. everything was flat out as cool as it fucking gets. holy fucking shit, i was out there.

buddy and S eventually went to bed. i couldn't sleep. i was hammered with experience, still wide awake. i got up and went to the bathroom, swimming through reality to get there. i was still, basically, aware that life was going to be different from this night forward, i only had to wait. at one point i considered making a towel levitate across the room to me, then decided against it. and at that moment, the house of cards started to slip. i sat for a long time, trying to piece together what had happened to me. i heard an enormous loud sound from outside, and i realized that the universe was sending me a signal. it was, phenomenologically, an enormous loud booming sound that i believed i had never heard before. i briefly wondered if the world was ending. then it went away, and i took that as a sign.

i went upstairs to the guest bedroom, tucked myself in, and tried to sleep.

i couldn't sleep.

the pendulum was now swinging to the other extreme. this too was familiar from my acid trips, the moment where you realize you've been behaving like a madman and actually you aren't going to witness any fantastic changes the next day, other than a change in how embarrassed you're going to feel.

the pendulum completed its swing. i don't know how to explain it, other to say 'complete suicidal despair'.

i mean: i'm a nihilist by trade, so that's part of the context. i understand what people mean when they say 'entheogen' but when i personally look inside myself, i don't see divinity of any kind. i can't say i'm entirely pleased with the situation, but that's just how it is.

and that night, in order to understand simple concepts like 'balance', the mimosahuasca plunged me into the depths. i couldn't think of a single reason to continue living, if all of those fantastic 'possibilities' of the night before could just up and slip away so fucking easily. the inherent meaninglessness of life was not seen as it usually is to me, a 'liberating' thing, but instead a horrible thing, an awful thing, a deadly thing. i would spend my life churning out more 'product', more 'dross' to clutter up the planet with, and then i would die, and it would not matter, and even when i'm sober i often feel that way, but i was really feeling all the ramifications, and i was disturbed, and frightened, and the experience was relentless. i was not going to be let off the hook.

it was one of the more uncomfortable hours i've spent as a person, but that's almost irrelevant.

it occurred to me that i needed a reality check. i tried to wake S up, but she would not arise. i turned to irc, and found C, who provided me with a very solid hour or so of conversation, punctuated by additional contributions from L and A. the conversation concerned the arbitrariness of reality. i don't recall much of it, but it got me centered a bit, enough to get myself to sleep.

the next day, i awoke with a stiff headache, which lasted all day. file under 'body load, 24g.'


well, let me say as i near the end, i don't regret that experience at all. i continued to learn some lessons, lessons that my last mimosahuasca experience had begun to teach. in particular, i have always had a fixation with notions of 'rich and famous'; my play at burning man was an exploration of some of those ideas. i have been engaged for years now in an attempt to get at the root of my desire, since childhood, to 'be rich and famous', and kind of purge those feelings. i don't like them; i think they're unhealthy, they stem from me being a big fish in a small pond from the time i was 11 all through high school, getting cast in whatever part i wanted, and being well regarded to the point where egotism was a serious problem. drugs amplify what's within you, is one model to consider, and drugs, acid in particular, relentlessly amplify my need to be rich and famous. mimosahuasca is helping me become aware of this in a more direct way than ever before, continuing work that i'd started on 2cb in the last couple years. in addition, my nihilism is something that i will always be faced with in these experiences. each time i go that deep, i find myself rattled to the core that that's who i am instead of some other me. no amount of preparation in advance, for me in particular, will stave off that confrontation, or cast it in a more pleasant light; for me, it'll always be rough like that, and i'm learning how to deal with it, i guess, as i get older and certain other things start to come into focus for me.

buddy is a wonderful host. i think i've rarely met a personality as suited to my 'style' of zooming as him. having S as ground control was also wonderful; you get to go a lot furthur out if you know that someone in the room is keeping track of the local reality for you.

the loud booming sound that i couldn't recognize? i heard it the next morning as i awoke. just an airplane, not a sign from the universe.

finally, a note about responsibility, trust, peer pressure, and other community issues.

when i was first introduced to acid, i had no idea what i was getting myself into. the apocryphal story is that when i first took acid, i thought 'acid' and 'LSD' were two different things, and i didn't know a damn thing about either one of them. i was a 19 year old kid in iowa doing drugs that were well beyond me. there were no elders in any sense of the word to really guide me as i began learning about drugs. gravity evolved out of a need that i think many of us felt at that time, to communicate these bizarre things in a context of learning and sharing the information we were trying to pull out of these psychedelic experiences.

along the way all kinds of strange things happened, and although metaprogramming as a nonstop day to day 'here's how to take acid for 90 posts at a time' thing is no longer the focus, it still hums along in the background as a general premise which we all tend to agree on, theoretically. we once considered writing 'the metaprogrammers' handbook', but never did; the other night i kept saying to myself 'we have got to publish our results', and as it turns out, resources like and The Resonance Project (and to much less of an extent gravityweb) do publish this kind of stuff. the word gets out, slowly but surely.

i'm keen on seeing this list return to some of that subject matter, i guess is my point, and more importantly, i'd love to start a thread on the work that CSP is doing, on the work that MAPS doing, and how gravity.ITSELF might fit into a context like that. reading TIHKAL is inspiring thoughts along those lines as well. gravity now has six+ years of experience at 'being gravity'. i keep saying i'm going to write up a collection called 'the disaster files' because i, more than anyone i know, winds up having bad trips on a semi-regular basis. i wonder if there are 19-year-olds stumbling onto this list for the first time, and seeing a certain shade of conversation and drawing a certain kind of conclusion that may or may not be what i intended, because so much context sits there as 'water under the bridge' and isn't obviously addressed any more. i just don't know. i don't know precisely what i'm getting at, except to say that i keep firing stuff like this at the list and i'm hoping to see more of it, i'm hoping to hear what kind of evolution ppl imagine might be in store for us, etc, particularly where psychedelic use is concerned.

the difference between a 19-year-old scotto and a 26-year-old scotto is that i know now, very clearly, when i am behaving 'recklessly'. it's now a considered choice, rather than a default mode. that's the last disclaimer i want to attach to this particular post. so far the price is a price that i'm willing to pay.

Exp Year: 1998ExpID: 1774
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: Jun 12, 2000Views: 63,689
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Mimosa tenuiflora (74), Syrian Rue (45), Huasca Combo (269) : Small Group (2-9) (17), Difficult Experiences (5), General (1)

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