Citation: Jikkle. "Nihilist Mysticism: An Experience with DPT (exp21923)". Erowid.org. Dec 3, 2003. erowid.org/exp/21923
||(powder / crystals)
Yesterday I heard by chance of a small gathering of friends. When I arrived, I found to my delight that there would be party favors: there were good quantities of DPT, 5-MeO-DiPT, and 2C-I on hand. Having already had one invaluable experience with DPT, I felt I owed it to myself to try it again. I therefore elected to dose up with 76 mg of insufflated DPT at 8 PM. My friend M, who had come along to the party with me, took some 2C-I.
Within 5 minutes the DPT came on strong, so I sat down on a sofa with M and watched B play Final Fantasy X. I can't remember much of the early portion of the experience (and I wouldn't have been able to write anything about it down), so I will summarize as best I can. For a while I felt great, if afflicted with the usual DPT tremors, and watched the game; then I got up and called another friend, A, who had just come home, over into the suite. We talked a little bit - although I mostly said 'wow'.
One thing that occurred to me as we were talking was that a unique characteristic of the insufflated DPT experience for me is the feeling that my head has expanded and become a cavernous space containing everything in reach, noseless, with wind blowing through the gigantic cavern being the experience of breath. I felt enormous, diffuse, encompassing all things.
Suddenly I realized that the spot we were standing in was highly overstimulating. Music from the seating area, which was driving if cheerful, was colliding it seemed on the very spot where we were standing with angry, loud music from a nearby bedroom. I noted this fact to him and moved back to the couches, where he soon followed - he said he realized what I meant very quickly after I left, and sat down with me. I tried to communicate with him, since he seemed curious about what I was experiencing; I described to him how everything moved and shimmered with the characteristics of smoke plume from a stylized cartoon, as though a quick motion would mix all things together into a heterogeneous cloud. Eventually I lost the ability to put it all into words and stopped trying.
From time to time D, the kind friend who had had the DPT, would walk by, and because I was becoming more anxious, I stopped him and hugged him closely - the warmth and intimacy made me feel very much better. Still, I became more and more anxious, gulping down water from the sink. The sink preoccupied me for a while, firstly because of the blacklight above it, which shone on fluorescing chalk designs on the mirror - an angry stick man with a giant head. As I turned the faucet, the water came not out of the tap, but out of another tap set in the wall perpendicular to the sink (apparently the outlet for a water filtering system). The cool water seemed to go from inside my mouth to nowhere - I wasn't sure if I was inhaling the water or swallowing it, and I felt myself to be the gateway to a giant, covetous hunger.
This was a terrifying thought, and although I was less anxious than during my DPT-induced bad trip, I still became very afraid. On D's advice I climbed up into a loft with a mattress on it, which was situated above the couches near the television. I lay there for a long time, eyes closed, with only the sense of a single point which housed my self; I had visions of metallic colors, both primary and pastel, fashioned into arrows and departing from that single point, crawling and trailing their essence across an endless frame of reference.
After these visions subsided, I became aware of myself on the loft again, and began looking around for D - I felt an aching need to be reassured by him. He and others came and went, occasionally asking how I was doing, and I soon noticed that C had just arrived with a friend. I soon attracted his attention, and he helped me descend from the loft. I had climbed up using a chair for a boost, but this same chair suddenly seemed too small; I was sure that I would fall through what appeared to be a dangerous distance before I reached the ground. C comforted me, and I soon descended to the chair and then to the ground with a small bounce.
I talked with C for a little while about nothing in particular, and sat down to watch a movie. As is usual at these gatherings, the music, which had become a trippy melange of slowly changing loops over heavy beats, continued while the movie played
First we watched Beetlejuice, which I found extremely entertaining (if absolutely confusing). It didn't help matters that B mistakenly ejected the DVD at least once (I believe I saw the beginning of the movie at least 3 times, and know that I did at least twice). The scene in which the trendy family invading the dead couple's house did a calypso dance at the dinner table struck me as particularly relevant.
For a while, I sat cross-legged on the couch, eyes half-shut thinking about something I can't particularly remember; I suddenly realized, however, that I was sitting and staring at a curly fry. I still don't know where it came from. I suppose I may have found it on a plate that was lying around, but I was extremely amused by it, and B, M and I laughed long and hard.
A little later, I similarly mysteriously came into the possession of the front of a box of Pokemon cereal advertising new Pichu, Wobbuffet, and Cleffa marshmallows. I held onto this, gazing at it, for a long time. During one of the scenes of the movie I became confused as to whether birth was being given or the characters were eating at some sort of restaurant staffed by football players, and so I stared at the cereal box, playfully pretending that it was a menu.
Toward what I thought was the end of the movie, a witch doctor shrunk Beetlejuice's head, and I soon became aware that my head, too, had begun to shrink back to its normal size - I could even feel my nose again. As the film ended with the teenage daughter (played by Winona Ryder) floating in the air and dancing a similar calypso number, I felt a warm sense of good fortune wash over me. I had had a beautifully intense, meaningful experience.
The next film we watched was Run Lola Run. I found it extremely touching; the permutations of her plight, all set off by her boyfriend's loss of 100,000 Marks on a train, got me thinking about the nature of life. Her intensity of emotion, her willingness to risk herself for her loved one, struck a deep chord. In the first variation on her story, she dies from a gunshot wound, and it was at this point that the experience moved from a sensual, playful (if extremely intense) tone to a much more seriously philosophical one.
Lola had risked her life, and given it up, out of love. But what could she have accomplished had she not died? What if she had given her boyfriend up for lost and walked away? Had her life been worth it? I began examining the characteristics of my life up to this point. I felt as though I had learned many things, tapped a variety and depth of experience that I felt to be quite satisfying, if not complete, but I knew that I was not prepared to die. I next looked at my personality: it seemed to me that I was filled with an endless need for affirmation and for people to notice me, that I move from place to place practically screaming 'Here I am!'
I realized that, all things being equal, maybe this isn't the most helpful or attractive of personalities - but I also realized that that wasn't the whole dimension. I felt imbued with love, and knew that if I could only draw others to this love that they would swim in it, wanting it, content. And so I sat on the couch thinking a mantra to myself: I am - I am - I am - I am, until I practically buzzed with this silent affirmation.
I felt the magnitude of love within me reaching out to everyone in sight, and I sought out D and hugged him close for a long while, glowing with happiness in our mutual warmth. Satisfied, I walked into a room he and B had been painting and stood there with M, glorying in the tiny details of the the walls; here there was a crucified stick figure Jesus, bleeding hands stretched wide on his wooden frame, proclaiming that he 'loves [me] thiiiiis much!' In another spot there was a tiny circle of color and light in a big dark space; it looked as though a shabby street corner were sticking out from the nothingness, and that if I could only pry it aside I would be in a new world.
Eventually I was overcome by the ramshackle beauty of the muraling and lay back down on the couch to think. I had just recently been to a talk by two Nobel laureates on global climate change, and I recalled the acute fear of death which had been inspired by my growing awareness of the world's startling fragility. I had always kept in the back of my head that I die one day. I realized that eventually everyone who had ever known of me would die, that everyone who had known of them would die, and onward and onward until all things were consumed by death's merciless expansion. This sense of an endless march of all existence into the dark of death stayed with me for the rest of the night.
I asked myself why I learn anything, why I love people, why I do drugs, why I read books: why do I do any of this, when as certain as the sun rises it will set and then die, when books will decay with time, when people will turn to dust? And I realized that we divide our lives into pieces in order to mark our progress toward our unending death. I was overcome with the agony of waiting; why must I stay here so long when it must all come to an end in a relative blink of an eye? Whose hatred rejoiced in teasing me with joys and loves and learning and hope, when it will last just long enough to be ripped away? I felt my consciousness voided and quietly began to weep, tears dripping one by one from my eyes.
I realized that all people necessarily seek out the degree of experience in their lives that they can manage, sampling from each mode and tone of being until they had the fullest possible portfolio. We each become, in essence, a commentator on experience, a critical onlooker devoted to the analysis of our own lives, losing ourselves only momentarily to the strength of experience.
But who is the arbiter who decides when we have completed our collection? Who is the grand filter? Whose judgement stops our lives? I was sure that death is an unthinking mechanism, an idiotic, abstract construct without the capability to make these choices. Who, then, does? I felt like the protagonist of Kafka's Trial, as though I should reach out my hands in front of me and give myself up to death, as though the shame of it should outlive me.
There is no man behind the curtain, I said to myself. The only thing that is eternal is death; even time will one day be devoured. In this moment I saw myself as parallel to death, possessing the same characteristics: unending need, a hunger for all things, a ruthless self-indulgence. I felt fat on the blood and flesh of all things, that I hoard people and experience out of a desperate desire to keep it from death. Death had its microcosm in me.
And so for the rest of the night I became consumed with this question: why press on in the face of death? Is there value in death that I cannot see now, but will only see when I have reached it? WHY? I was consumed wholly and utterly by the question of death and its concomitant nothingness. I had become what I can only call a nihilist mystic.
At this point I had mostly come down physically, but obviously the mental energy the DPT had imbued me with had not been spent. C said that he was leaving to go to another party - would I like to come? The answer was yes, since I felt satisfied with the gathering up to that point and felt the need for a change of scenery. M and I departed, and I made sure to give D a long, hard hug for having guided my way to this important train of thought.
As we walked the short distance to the building where the other party was in full swing, the loving coolness of the night made me think that maybe death isn't so bad - that it might be like the transition I had just experienced: a movement from screaming intensity to quiet, gentle comfort. We climbed what seemed like endless flights of stairs to the fifth floor, ending up in a similarly endless-seeming corridor. I felt as though the journey to death was being reenacted in pantomime.
Many people were at this second party, from broad samplings of different social circles I move in. I felt very happy to be in such a familiar group, and had short conversations with a few people. I felt awkward, as if I was imposing on their ability to enjoy themselves.
Something else was very wrong: the corridor was terribly narrow, and there were too many people to make moving comfortable. I felt as though I were a blood cell tumbling through a bloodstream or an amoeba between two microscopy plates. I wandered into a room and found that (as it was a Mardi Gras party) there were negotiations being held over bead-worthy actions. It looked like an antebellum slave market, a human meat market, with people driven by their appetites to bid for the debasement of others. It made me extremely uncomfortable, and I quickly exited.
I walked down the hall in a different direction, imagining myself a particle undergoing Brownian motion, until I ran into a friend, R, who is a small man like myself and usually runs around shirtless. I grabbed him and did the equivalent of a wrestling move, spinning him around in my arms far above the ground, finally plopping him down. He asked me what was going on, and I replied, 'I hugged you!' and wandered off.
A little later during my visit - which had taken on the characteristic strangeness of a demented carnival - I saw R engaged in a pseudosexual act with H and J. H is an old, crusty alumnus with a thing for spanking, and he started spanking J while R stood in front of her clutching what appeared to be a small cable. H began spanking more and more quickly; the crowd began yelling R's name; and finally he raced down the hall, cable in hand. It was like an insane kinetic sculpture, and I found it to be very beautiful.
Soon I found myself in a lounge, but it made me too uncomfortable to want to stay any longer, so I found my way out of the building - by the endless flights of stairs - and walked out into the bosom of the night.
I reeled around on the snowy ground, experiencing a joy in life, in the moment, and finally sprawled out coatless on the cold ground. I felt as though the world were pulling me into its bosom.
After a few minutes, I got up and walked away first slowly, then more and more quickly, until I was nearly running, crying, laughing, overcome with an onslaught of conflicting feelings. I was sure that I would be arrested for public intoxication, but I didn't care; I careened through a world alive with emotion.
When I got home, I ran about with my Pokemon cereal box cover and talked to friends, drank soda, and finally got tired. Around 1 AM I finally sat in the corner on my bed, curled in a blanket, put on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, and contemplated the nature of death.
Two friends, M2 and A2, came into the room; M2 played a game on my GameCube and they talked. I peripherally took in the details of their conversation: A2 breaking into tears during her writing class; M2's disappointment over her boyfriend's indifference to a creative attempt to express herself to him; and other things. I felt touched that they would discuss these things in my presence.
Finally I began to drift off around 2:30. As I fell asleep, I realized that one day, although I can't understand it now, I will have filled my life with so much joy and so much pain that it will no longer matter that it will disappear, that it will eventually mean nothing. I will be satisfied simply for the chance to have experienced it.
In other words:
One day, if you are fortunate enough, when your children have grown, when your work has met its conclusion, when you have loved and been loved, when the breadth and depth of your experience has grown beyond the bounds of your hopes and dreams, when the quiet grief of others' deaths has become as familiar to you as your own face, you will peel everything away. You will say farewell to your children, you will sign your final paper, you will embrace your loved ones for the last time, complete your inner memoir, and look toward your fallen friends. You will wade out into the ocean of night that is home to death and finally push off into that endless sea of bittersweet satisfaction. The moment will never end.
Postscript some weeks later:
I've found that this trip has genuinely reshaped my beliefs, changing my outlook from virulently atheistic to decidedly agnostic. I have my hopes and theories about our place in the scheme of things, but I don't think I'll ever be able to hold them with the same strength of belief. This uncertainty is something I've accepted in my life post-trip.
Death has become a philosophical preoccupation; I think about the place of death in our lives very often. I am not depressed at all - I've just begun contemplating aspects of life which previously I had found convenient to ignore and treat lightly. The intensity and urgency with which I have begun to examine my life and my views is totally unprecedented, and I value this experience for having helped me to become more circumspect.
Even a month later, this trip remains iconic, an overshadowing presence in my daily life. I would hate to be thought guilty of indulging in abstract sloganeering (the bit of melodrama at the end of the report notwithstanding), a charge I subtly leveled at the end of Important, Unpleasant Trip
. Still, this night on DPT caused a definite and persistent change in me, and I'm taking it deadly seriously. In using DPT - and I almost definitely will again - I'd suggest you take note of this transformative potential.
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