Mushrooms - P. mexicana
Citation: JPH. "Verbal Thoughts Run Riot; Bubbles Beautiful: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. mexicana (exp22855)". Erowid.org. Mar 18, 2006. erowid.org/exp/22855
My second trip on Philosopher’s Stones: a mixed experience to say the least.
Philosopher’s Stones are fresh Psilocybe Mexicana Truffles (apparently they are not-yet-fruited Mexicana magic mushrooms). Very similar to magic mushrooms, the main psychoactive compounds are psilocybin and psilocin, although there are thought to be other alkaloids present which influence a trip, as with many other magic mushrooms. The big advantage of the ‘Stones is that they are legal in the UK (I don’t know where else), and unlike magic mushrooms they resemble a nutty tasting breakfast cereal, although after drying they become very hard, and class A/schedule I!
After my first trip on ‘Stones, which became a bad trip when my friend was sick and we had to hide it from my Mum for the day, I was eager to trip again in a safer place so that I could enjoy the experience more. My friend D. had a free flat, and our friends J. and Bonham were eager to trip, so we arrived at about two o’clock and set the place up. I had planned to look at some art books, listen to music, and explore closed and open eye visuals, I also hoped to gain some insight into life, if possible.
For my first trip I had taken 5 grams of fresh Philosopher’s Stones, and despite the external problems that led to a bad trip, I felt quite comfortable to take a larger dose for this trip because we were in a much safer place. I was also eager to have a powerful, insightful, visual experience. I decided to double dose, so I ate 10 grams worth of fresh ‘Stones, which had since been dried.
After chewing them down with water I sat back to wait for the effects. As before I rapidly became aware of an anxious feeling, quite physical in my stomach, and quite emotional at the same time for the rest of me. I did feel slightly nauseous, but this time we each had a bucket encase any of us needed to throw, none of us did. Within about 15 minutes I had subtly altered visual perception and a slight loss of coordination. I also felt somehow lighter and when I moved I seemed carry momentum.
From about half an hour onwards I noticed that my visual perception had changed quite a bit, with colours looking brighter, and the beginning of the pseudo slow-motion vision that occurs when I trip. Everything looked slightly different, and although it is hard to say why, I think that everything begins to look ‘larger than life’. I later realised why bubbles in water look so strange and beautiful. The bubbles made from splashing water are all normally slightly irregular, and when sober you can perceive this. However I realised that whilst tripping these irregular bubbles looked perfectly circular to me, and this feature combined with their crystal-like reflection of light made them once again one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Everything else I looked at whilst tripping had a subtly smoothed and unnaturally regular shape and outline, so that everything looked almost fake, and combined with the brighter colours that everything possessed objects seemed to be almost cartoonish to me.
After half an hour I was having the best visuals of my life. Everything was really looking bright and beautiful, and things were moving, breathing, pulsing and flowing, especially complex patterns. If I focused on any object, like a T.V., it would breathe and morph, only slightly, but this hadn’t occurred on my first trip. I also saw incredible sparkles and star patterns in my near periphery vision, often on white surfaces, which disappeared when I looked directly at them. Complex fractal patterns of bright shimmering colours were also visible, again often in my periphery vision. However the best visuals I got were from a patterned sleeping bag. The vine like pattern seemed to grow and move, like in the film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, where the flowery vine like pattern on the floor grows, except for me it never the left the sleeping bag, unlike in the film where it crawled up the walls. It was the coolest thing I have ever seen though.
I decided to go outside as it was a beautiful sunny day and the flat had a small patio garden, with some lovely bright flowers and bushes. I took my music and art books outside, and by this time I was definitely tripping, so I told my friends who had taken their ‘Stones a while after me. I lost the anxious feeling around this time, and as my visual perception changed further I really started to think that I was in for a good time. I was feeling happy, if a tiny bit apprehensive. I tried looking at my art books, but soon found that I was unable to concentrate on them because thoughts were flying through my mind at a greatly increased rate and I would get distracted by anything and everything. My mind’s sensory filters had lowered their defences. I then listened to two of my favourite songs, and despite many lapses of concentration I was amazed to hear the music in a way that I have never heard it before. It sounded more emotional, more real and apparent, and I could pick out bits of music (certain small, quiet guitar riffs) that I had never heard before.
When outside I remembered about closed eye visuals, so I sat back with my music and closed my eyes: I was amazed. On my last trip I didn’t have the chance to close my eyes, so I was stunned to be confronted with amazing fractal patterns, 3-dimensional shapes, and at one time a deep-red tunnel through which I was seemingly travelling. I also saw incredible patches of various bright colours move around my field of vision, twirling round and round like fireworks leaving tracers. One of the most interesting things was the range of colours I saw; I have never experienced anything like it. Everything was so crystal clear, so beautiful.
I soon became aware that my mind was really beginning to speed up, and I began to become more and more conscious of ‘planning’ thoughts. I’m not sure whether it was my sub-conscious coming through, or whether it was just my mind thinking in an altered way, but my mind’s internal dialogue would talk through everything I thought about in the minutest detail. The best way to describe this is that I experienced many thought trains that would go off on random tangents, never to return to the original point. They were often about many stupid trivial things, for instance whether to eat a banana or not. I have found this to be one of the most uncomfortable things about tripping. I can’t relax or concentrate, and I spend a lot of time and energy playing games with my mind, endlessly talking things through, going back and forth over what to do, often changing decisions and points of view rapidly. At this time, similar to my first trip, this almost compulsive internal dialogue was just annoying and often funny, but it soon got worse.
My trip turned bad whilst I was outside. It rapidly became apparent that I was going to be well fucked. I wasn’t yet fully under the influence of the ‘Stones, but the whole experience was becoming too intense, and I was loosing control of my mind, I was also loosing happiness fast. I think if I had taken action I might have been able to prevent this bad part of the trip, but by this time I was too overwhelmed to do much. I think the main thing that triggered the bad trip was becoming unhappy and scared. I now really appreciate that psychedelics must be used with great care if you are in any way not a happy, confident person.
Whilst outside I also became aware of my breathing, and it felt like I couldn’t breath properly, because it felt like I was breathing more deeply than normal, and it almost felt as though I needed to breath more often. I think this was in my mind though, because I can’t see any reason why I would have needed to breath more deeply and rapidly because I was tripping. I also lost and gained awareness of my breathing problems at different times, probably because I simply forgot about the problem and it ceased to be one because it was all in my mind. This didn’t help my trip at all though; it was another uncomfortable thing that helped drag me down.
As I sensed more and more that the trip was turning I tried desperately to convince myself that the trip was still enjoyable and that it would get better, and I happier, but I knew that I was kidding myself, and that I had made a big mistake in double dosing. Even though I’m a novice tripper I knew very early on that I had gone too far, and that I was going to be in for a bad time. I could just sense that I was going to be terribly fucked, it was a weird feeling to have. I had an underlying sense of sadness and regret, and my body was telling me that I shouldn’t have done this. The anxiety came back, and I started to feel quite nauseous. However the worst thing was that I began to get really depressed and hopeless about everything, and I’m incredibly scared of my emotions because they have hurt me so often. From here on it was like a runaway train as my mind speeded up further, my black emotions got more and more intense, and anxiety filled my body and mind. I then had a really big voluntary urge to be sick, because I wanted to stop the trip, but I realised that I wouldn’t be sick. I’m not sure why, but I think I realised I couldn’t even manage this task. I also realised that it wasn’t going to be wise to stay outside, so I stumbled back in with all my stuff, curled up on a seat, and stupidly tried to reassure my friends that I was still having a good time.
I don’t think I would have been able to interact with my friends, but closing myself off from everything except me made the trip go into free fall. My mind was racing and for most of the time uncontrollable, and it began to get so extreme that I feared for my sanity. I could no longer think rationally, and my thoughts just went off on random tangents, often contradicting thoughts that had passed through my mind only fractions of a second ago. I fought so hard to calm down, and to reassure myself that I would come down, but it began to get so scary that I didn’t have much faith in myself anymore.
At this time I was curled up on a seat, my face buried in a pillow, unable to do anything, and a prisoner to my mind. I had intense closed eye visuals, although my concentration was so screwed that I would often forget they were there, and when I became aware of them they often made me feel worse, because all I desired at the time was to be sober. I felt unable to speak, and I couldn’t respond to my friends when they asked if I was ok. Combined with the mental problems I was an emotional wreck. I felt totally and profoundly depressed, extremely sad and regretful for what I had done, and full of pity for my suffering. I thought about death, and it seemed like such a beautiful escape. I knew I didn’t want to end my life, but I was having such a terrible experience that I felt I would do almost anything to stop it. I constantly thought ‘I wish I was sober’, and I desperately wanted to ask my friends for help, but I couldn’t bring myself to ask. I’m not sure why, but I felt it was my fault and it would be unfair to ruin their trips. I was only vaguely and occasionally aware of their presence and voices.
Soon after I took refuge on the seat I became intensely aware of my body and every muscle in it. I remembered reading about this effect from ‘Shrooms and how it might be uncomfortable for some people. It was. My jaw muscles were the worst, they seemed to be constantly tense and aching, and whenever I moved my jaw to try to relax the muscles other jaw muscles would feel tense and painful. As I focused more and more on this problem it became worse, my jaw muscles really began to hurt, and I couldn’t get comfortable because I began to feel other muscles in my body tense up and ache. Any part of my body in contact with the seat was uncomfortable and I constantly moved about to try and relax, but it was impossible. I think that it was mostly in my mind, because at some point I just forgot about it and it didn’t bother me again, although while it lasted it was very uncomfortable.
After the metal battle had gone on for what seemed like hours I managed to bring a degree of sanity to my mind, and I felt slightly calmer because my uncontrollable internal dialogue had slowed and was more controllable. However I was still very unhappy and worried. I then looked up and started talking to my friends, explaining that I had been on one hell of a ride. Talking made me feel much better, and it took my mind off my mind, and I began to get happier and less worried. When I looked at my watch and realised that I had been curled up for about two hours I felt even better, because I realised that I was coming down and that the torture was over. Although it surprised me that it had been that long, I had become horribly aware of how slow time seemed to be passing whilst the trip was bad. At times it really did feel like I was living out a mental hell for all eternity.
I was so glad to find that within a short amount of time, and with lots talking, I was happy again, and then euphoric. All my friends were exceedingly euphoric, and it probably rubbed off on me. We spent a lot of time talking, and listening to music, sharing silly things we had noticed when tripping, and we still had a good 3-4 hours to go. I realised that I still had intense open eye visuals, and this made me really happy because it was so interesting to look at anything, especially complex colourful patterns. It was also really funny now that I was happy to not care about my confusion and random though processes. All my friends agreed about the confusion, and we had many outrageous laughing sessions when we got into even slightly complex conversations, only to loose or forget any sense of meaning about the conversation. We also found that when we got into a period of conversation which then ended you got a really strong sense of your mind slowing down, contrasted with it’s speedy state whilst the conversation was occurring. I also found that after the bad part of my trip I talked a lot, and was eager to explain all the things I had experienced to my friends.
The trip was great for a long time after that. I looked at the flowery, vine like patterns on my friend’s sleeping bag. It was incredible, the patterns still flowed, and the vines still grew. It was alive. Everything I looked at was a wonder. Concentrating and focusing on objects often led to extreme perspective changes, especially if the object was close to my eyes. I held a mug up to my eyes and focused on the white handle. The bright lined pattern on the mug shimmered and shone, and the handle seemed to be massive, with the rest of the room receding away from me. White surfaces in the sunlight were especially interesting for imposed patterns, as I would often see bright shimmering fractal patterns on the white surfaces, which obviously were not there.
I was still very happy and euphoric about five hours after eating the ‘Stones, but I began to sense reality gradually encroaching upon my mind from about six hours onwards. I gradually felt more sober, and increasingly tired and burned out. Tripping is so intense that it feels like you’ve been awake for two days straight. Coming down was not very enjoyable, but it wasn’t especially bad. I think if I had planned it better it would have been a bit easier. Sitting around not doing very much is probably not a good idea, because it makes it easier to get depressed and self-obsessed. I found talking about my experiences with my friends helped a lot, as did talking in general. Having things to do such as watching T.V., or listening to music, helped take my mind off coming down and made me less sad. However my happiness slowly left me and I got quite depressed. I was sad that my trip was over, and I missed my visuals, but emotionally my depression didn’t really have any basis, it was just there. Reality was coming home and it wasn’t a pretty sight.
Not long after I began to come down we started smoking marijuana. This altered my state of consciousness again, although I didn’t get high. It seemed to wake me up a bit, confuse me even more, and made all my senses more sharp and crystallised. I also experienced quite a bit of paranoia and general anxiety, and although I experienced this quite a lot while tripping the marijuana definitely made it more intense. I think now, looking back, that smoking made me less relaxed and less happy, but it is hard not to smoke marijuana when you do it so often!
We spent the evening and night smoking away, watching the news, playing computer games and listening to music. Sleeping was hard, but I did sleep on a badly padded chair, and I don’t sleep easily anyway.
The next day I experienced quite a bit of depression throughout the day, and I was tired and quite restless, but nothing too bad or out of the ordinary. I think that because of the intensity and extraordinary nature of tripping reality seems too slow and dull for it to be an enjoyable state of consciousness for me, although this never lasts more than a day or so. I certainly feel no need to experiment with ‘Stones or ‘Shrooms for a while, and I’m glad that I have learned some hard lessons from the ‘Stones, rather than from some less forgiving drug.
My friends all said that they had really good trips, felt very euphoric and happy, but lacked strong visuals. Two of them had 5 grams of fresh ‘Stones, whilst the other had half a 5 gram dose. I also noticed that for the main part of the trip I drank quite a bit of water because I had such a dry mouth, although I wasn’t actually very thirsty, but I had to go to the toilet a ridiculous number of times for the amount of water I drank. Whilst for the latter stages of the trip, and throughout the evening, I drank lots of water and was really thirsty, but I hardly had to go to the toilet. However my friends only got thirsty in the evening, and certainly didn’t visit the little boys/girls room nearly as often as I did.
On my next trip I’m planning to take either a 5-gram dose or less, because you really don’t need much to have an incredible time that is still controllable. Unfortunately I’m not sure if I’m happy enough to deal with higher doses of psychedelic drugs.
Despite experiencing the most distressing and mentally scary period of my life, I am now pleased that I had the whole experience. At the time I wouldn’t have hesitated for one moment if I could have ended my trip, and I will almost certainly never double dose again, but I am glad that I have experienced some extreme states of consciousness on my first two trips. I think that if you are not a very happy person you will always have a mixed trip, because your emotions are so fragile, changeable and intense on psilocybin/psilocin containing substances. I think the key for people who are not confident, happy and stable is to find the trip level where they can deal with the bad experiences without too much trouble, and where the good experiences are worth enduring the bad ones. I went too far this time, but I will try again, third time lucky I hope!
Take care and know your drugs.
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