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The Black Hole and the Word WHY
Huasca Combo (Syrian Rue & M. tenuiflora)
by SF_Rog
Citation:   SF_Rog. "The Black Hole and the Word WHY: An Experience with Huasca Combo (Syrian Rue & M. tenuiflora) (exp26203)". Erowid.org. Aug 18, 2003. erowid.org/exp/26203

 
DOSE:
T+ 0:00
25 mg oral Pharms - Meclizine (pill / tablet)
  T+ 0:50 2.0 g oral Syrian Rue (ground / crushed)
  T+ 1:20 8.0 g oral Mimosa tenuiflora (tea)

BODY WEIGHT: 185 lb


TEASER:
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La Purga

Lost in a hall of mirrors.
A rip-tide pulling me into a sea of paradoxes.
Caught in a buggy version of my mental operating system. Trying to iron out kinks on the fly to break out of repeat loops and bad logic.
Looking through the mirror into another dimension.
My environment becomes a maze of impossible puzzles, symbols, and arcane magic. Every speck of dust a rubix cube to ponder on.
Every thought is the most profound thought of my life. A shining, infinite depth of meaning inside single words. Endless connections, patterns, and associations.
Poking around with my DNA code with the script editor of my mind. Humbled by it's staggering complexity.
Thrown about as a tornado of electrons blows through the maze of neurons in my brain.
Watching as the whole universe is reduced to a singularity. The gravitational field in my mind like a black hole that the world is drawn into. A reverse big bang into my head. Then floating through an infinite void. A single fertilized egg back in the womb. The cell divides and grows exponentially. A new organism is formed.

The most intense, fascinating, and terrifying experience of my 31 years.


DOSE ANALYSIS:
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For those who wish to have an earth-shattering psychedelic experience, I HIGHLY recommend the exact sequence outlined below. I was never hungry, thirsty, nauseous, or needing to pee for a second once the trip started. Physically, I felt great until the final moment of the purge (described below). I would also like to note to Erowid's readers that 8 grams of Mimosa Hostilis Extract w/ a MAOI, as outlined in their recipe section, is a MONUMENTAL dose. Personally, I could never imagine anyone wanting to go deeper or anywhere remotely close to what is outlined in the 20 gram recipe. Yikes! Why would anyone do that? When and if I try this again, I'll probably take 4, or 6 at the most. I know that plant potency can vary, but please be careful if you have a mind to try a high dose. This is no play thing.

Also, clearly I think that 2 grams of powered Syrian Rue seeds is more than enough for MOA inhibition. I have a hunch that 1 gram would work. I humbly disagree with the Shamans & guides who say the magic is in the Rue or Harmala. Every account that I've read of people going heavier on the MOAI results in intense nausea throughout the experience. One more note on the Dramamine & Pepto use. The dosage recommendation on the bottle of Dramamine says one to two pills for adults one hour prior to activity. I took one and I did eventually throw up. I would NOT recommend taking two. I was glad to be able to throw up when the time came. It was a blissful relief & greatly diminished the effects & the fear.


PREPERATION AND TIMELINE:
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OK OK, so here's how it happened:

Preperation:
I boiled 56 grams of Mimosa Hostilis root bark in several liters of San Francisco tap water to which I added a chopped lime, a chopped lemon, a couple hand fulls of chopped fresh mint leaves, and 4 crushed 500MG vitamin C tablets. I boiled this slowly for three or four hours until it was down to about an inch from the bottom of the pot. I used a rag to filter the plant material as I poured the liquid into a 4 cup jam jar. I squeezed & pressed to get as much liquid out & then put the plant material back in the pot.

I then squeezed the juice from one lime and one lemon directly onto the plant material, added one more crushed vitamin C tablet & added just enough water so that the plant material was submerged. I let it sit for 15 minutes, then I added another liter of water and boiled this off for an hour or so & repeated the filtering & pressing so that I had exactly 3.5 cups of liquid in the jam jar (almost a lucky coincidence). I later drank 0.5 cup of this extract (8 grams worth of Mimosa Hostilis).

Friday Night 8-15-03
6:45 PM ate approximately 3 cups volume of steamed white rice
6:55 PM took 1 dramamine 'Less Drowsy Formula' (25mg meclizine hydrochloride)
6:55 to 7:00 PM drank 1 liter of water (CHUG!) NOTE: I urinated 5 or 6 times before the onset but never had to pee while I was tripping.
7:45 PM consumed 2 grams of crushed Syrian Rue seeds. I put them in my mouth dry & chewed them for several minutes before swallowing. This tasted foul & bitter.
7:50 PM took one full dose (2 TBSP) of Pepto Bismol.
7:55 PM feel odd, light headed, a little trippy. I'm sure it's the Rue.
8:15 to 8:20 PM drank the 0.5 cup of M. Hostilis brew. Not good, but not half as bad as I thought it would be.
8:40 PM no hallucinations yet, but my head feels warm & glowing, especially my ears.

PHASE 1: TRANQUIL BEAUTY
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That was my last note. I decided that I didn't want to track my state of mind like a scientist, but just go with the flow and experience the journey. After my last journal entry, I got down on my rug & did stretching exercises for 15 minutes or so. I could feel that something was happening, but no major hallucinations.

After a while, I felt like laying down on my back on the rug. I had the room prepared with candles (safely behind glass & on ceramic plates out of reach) and 2 lava lamps. I was listening to music (Arabic Djembe music, then Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn, who I HIGHLY recommend for an experience like this). One of the lava lamps projected a cloud like shape on the ceiling. My first sign of visual effects was watching this cloud of light. It seemed to be incredibly radiant and beautiful, like a nebula in space. When it grew all of a sudden, it filled me with a powerful, good feeling. I knew I was in.

I was very comfortable and felt relaxed and warm just laying on my back taking in the beautiful scenery on my ceiling and listening to music. After 45 minutes, the effects had become powerful. I remember thinking at one point: 'if this is as strong as it gets, that will be fine. I've definitely had a wonderful and powerful trip.' At that point, I was probably in league with the peak of my most intense acid trip (150 to 200 ug of LSD).

I'm a little fuzzy as to the exact sequence of events, but I remember having several interactions with my cat, Totem. Her name is a fortunate coincidence, as she was my animal guide throughout the experience, keeping the experience positive, and at several points tying me into reality and serving as a model for normal behavior when things got dicey. While I was laying on the floor, she would come up and rub against me, or look me in the face. I would tell her that I loved her and that I would never hurt her and that everything was going to be OK. Sometimes I would just say her name while looking into her eyes. Totem. Totem. Truthfully, I think she was fascinated with my behavior throughout the evening. If nothing else, she got lots of attention and love.

PHASE 2: WARM AND INSPIRED
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At any rate, after the relaxing, floating stage, things shifted gears as it got more intense. I would call the next phase the 'warm and inspired' phase. I'm guessing that this started somewhere around 10:00 PM. I would alternate between laying on my back or stomach, and sitting up to write words or sentences on a pad of paper that I had handy or to pet my cat.

The first word that I wrote below my journal entries above was the word 'WHY?'. I'm not sure 'why' it suddenly occurred to me to write this word down, but I was fascinated by the layers of meaning and associations that could start with this one word. As the evening wore on, I would write this word hundreds of times on my pad, which eventually was a scattered mess of pages all over the rug and hard wood floor. Sometimes I would write this word by itself. Sometimes as a question, sometimes as a statement. I would write it in brief phrases with other words. I've written a few below:

Breath. Don't. Why?
Live. Don't. Why?
Work. Don't. Why?
Police. Why?
WW2. Why?
Nuclear War. Why?
Hiroshima. Why?
Religion. Why?
The Sun. Why?
Einstein. Why?
Kill. Don't. Why?
Fuck. Don't. Why?
Focus. Don't. Why?
Sleep. Don't. Why?
Time. Molecules. Why?
Throw up. Don't. Why?
Sing. Don't. Why?
Divorce. Marriage. Why?
Write a song. Don't. Why?
Tear off a fresh sheet. Empty. Why?

There are literally hundreds of these brief messages scribbled all over 30 or so sheets of paper. One piece says only: 'THE MOST powerful experience of my life. Why?' It's farily legible, so it must have been written while I was still fairly sane.

As I was sinking deeper into the abyss, I was becoming delusional and becoming increasingly animated. My writing was less and less legible. I would roll around mumbling or pawing my face with my hands, then I would come up with another word and flail around searching for a piece of paper. When I'd find one, I'd spin it around looking for an empty place to write simultaneoulys spinning my pen in my hand. My face would be only an inch or so from the tip of my pen as I wrote as it took intense concentration to form letters. My cat thought I was playing & several times she pounced on a paper I was writing on.

I'd like to note that I was never so out of my head that I didn't know that I was on Ayahuaca. I have some experience with hallucinogens and I'm pretty good at letting myself go with behaviors that are acceptable. I know that whenever something presented itself as a bad road to follow, I would deliberately move my thinking elsewhere. For example, when I look at the rug undulating and it starts to look like a bed of maggots oozing off onto the hard wood floor, I stop and redirect my thoughts to more positive realms. I didn't want to go there.

Anyway, I remember thinking that I was in the midst of a mental epiphany that was unequaled throughout the course of human history. I truly believed that the world would not be the same again because of what was happening in my mind. I remember several times thinking that my notes would be transcribed and that they would appear on Yahoo and on the cover of the San Francisco Chronicle the next day. Every news publication would run this story. I believed that this would be the beginning of a new philosphy and that I would be a figure not unlike a messiah. I believed that I had found a way to end war on Earth. I really believed all of these things, even though I knew I was wigging out on Ayahuasca. As the effects grew more intense, these feelings took on a more visual nature. It was as if the ayahuasca had triggered a chemical reaction in my head that was expanding out into the entire universe and nothing would ever be the same again.


PHASE 3: THE BLACK HOLE
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Throughout the evening, I remember going back and forth between closing and opening my eyes. The world inside my head was interesting, as was refinding myself in the real world to write a thought down. At one point, I lay my head down and drifted off into the most intense visual experience of my life. All matter was revolving around a gravitation point that was me. Slowly, the world was getting sucked in like a black hole. Everything picked up speed and was warping into my head. I remember feeling apologetic that everyone's life was being effected by what was happening inside my head. I was thinking, 'crap, now I've really done it. The universe just imploded because of what I've done.' Once all matter had been reduced to a single point it was all an empty void. I was the singularity. I'm a little foggy on the exact sequence of events here, but I remember being an egg in the womb. I was a single cell and I could play with the DNA. It was like a ball of yarn that was coming unraveled in my play, but then there was a feeling that I couldn't put it back together again. Shit! All the King's horses and all the King's men couldn't put humpty together again.

I believe it was after I snapped out of this monumental space/time cellular experience inside my head that the trip started to get more fearful and eventually panicked.

I remember more words being written on the sheets of paper. I was rolling around, finding paper, scribbling a word holding the pen in my fist like a spear. I couldn't even look at the pages any more. It was as if looking at the word as it was written was somehow uncomfortable to me or made it more difficult to write. 8 or 10 of the sheets that I found the next morning are dense with unintelligible scribbles made at different angles on both sides of the page. It almost look likes a pattern they are so dense. I know that every one of these scribbles was a real word I was trying to write down.


PHASE 4: THE LUNATIC
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I've been reading about Schizophrenia and I am fascinated with the mental disorder. I know that what I experienced was not that exactly, but I think that it had a lot in common with it. After gaining my sense later, it struck me how much the experience reminded my of the movie 'A Beautiful Mind.' A mad, brilliant mathematician can see the true underlying secrets to the universe and solve the epic problems that face society. He desperately tries to write down notes & make order out of his pages. To a clear headed person, his brilliant, inspired work pasted all over the walls of his office and garage look like the delusions of a mad man. And that sinking feeling as the realization comes that these collages of papers he has painstakingly constructed over weeks and months are just the physical residue of insanity. There is no order to this chaos.

As I slipped deeper and deeper, the process was the same, but now it was taking on a sinister aspect. I was finding words that were brilliant and writing them down for future generations. But it started to occur to me that any word to me seemed the most brilliant thought ever conceived.

I remember walking around the house, terrified, because with everything I percieved gave me the same rush of profound significance. Even mundane things like a cup or the light switch, or a piece of the wall where a bit of paint was chipped off were ripe with meaning. As I came to the realization that I was completely mad, I became afraid. I never quite panicked, but I was very anxious about my state of mind and desperate to get my head together again.

I remember thinking about programming projects that I had to finish in the coming weeks. I was wondering how I would ever be able to do my work when I was completely crazy. I knew that I would become sane again, but it felt like a week had gone by and I was still wandering around this crazy labyrinth of confusion.

I remember being confronted with obvious errors in the time space continuum. Visual paradoxes and repeat loops. Puzzles of my perception that I desperately wanted to end. My environment was full of powerful things that were beyond my comprehension: Lights, switches, stereos, kitchen tools, computers, guitars, sound equipment, CANDLES. I knew that I was just tripping and to be cool and not do anything stupid, but I was afraid and I wanted for everything electrical to be turned off. This black magic was to powerful for a reptile brain wandering around in a human's body. A few failed attempts at turning things off and I realized that I just had to wait until I could get a grip. I remember at one point my cat was becoming very animated. She even jumped up into the air to get my attention. That's when I realized that she would be my guide to get me back to sanity. Why was she animated? Was everything OK? I knew it was me. It was my behavior. I just need to quit walking around in a frenzy and be cool. I focused on her for a while and when she settled down I knew that her behavior was my only meter for what was happening in the real world.

At one point during this terrifying stage of the experience I remember walking by the bathroom and suddenly feeling like I was going to throw up. I kneeled down and puked into the toilet as the world reeled around me. I closed my eyes and had this amazing sensory trip on the vomit surging out from the depths of the earth and foaming through my fingers like mud into the toilet. All it took was a few enormous heaves . . . and then a huge weight had been lifted off of me. In the course of 60 seconds I had lost 70% of the effects of the drug. I was still tripping, but I knew that the terrifying schizofrenic episode was behind me.

My sense regarding the physiological effects of the ayahuasca was that everything up until the purge was the rising action. The purge was the peak of the madness, where I came way down. Then for the next couple of hours, it was all coasting down hill back to Earth. Despite what some folks have said in their posts, I believe that until you purge, DMT is constanly being added to your blood stream and the trip is becoming more and more intense. I think that one reason I had such an intense experience on 8 grams was the fact that I didn't throw up until almost 4 hours after the initial ingestion. I had suppressed my body's reaction to vomit with careful preparation and chemicals (Dramamine and Pepto). If I hadn't thrown up, I think the effects would have continued to intensify. For this reason, I would urge other cybernauts never to take more than one Dramamine.


PHASE 5: THE HUMBLED ADVENTURER
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No longer did I crave adventure. I no longer was confident enough to steam out into the deep ocean of my mind. I was eager to bring my ship into a safe port. Now I knew how precious was my sanity. How wonderful was an unaltered window into the real world. How things that seemed boring and dull to me before were wonderful and safe. I had taken so much for granted in my life and now I felt like I was being given a second chance to redeem myself.

After La Purga, I was afraid of what I had done in the real world during my insanity. I was hoping that everything was OK and that I hadn't done anything stupid. I carefully blew out all the candles. I unplugged the lava lamps. I got carried away with unplugging things and ended up unplugging most of the electrical appliances in the house. I was still too bent to figure out how to turn things like the stereo off, so I just unplugged them.

I kept watching my cat. She seemed calm. Everything was OK. It's fine. I'm going to make it. It's all good. I'm going to be OK.

I walked around the house a million times checking to make sure everything was cool and that the curtains weren't on fire and that I hadn't left the front door open or anything stupid like that. Every time I lay down in bed to think about sleeping, I'd want to get up again and take one more look around to make sure I could really relax. I made a brief video tape of myself and my thoughts at about 1:30 PM. I watched it later and I seemed worn out, but fairly lucid. There were bits of silence, but once the words started flowing, they would come out & made sense.

I had trouble falling asleep. I think that maybe I might have slept for an hour or two, although I lay in bed until 8:00 the next morning.


ANALYSIS:
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In case anyone cares, I've had many thoughts after digesting the events of my experience. There were times during the later stages of the experience when I thought all of my inspirations during the early and middle phases were just madness. There were times when I thought that even the word 'Why' that I had written hundreds of times was just chosen at random and it was my madness that made it seem so important. I know there will be a few readers that might choose this interpretation. Certainly I realize how deluded I was in my magalomania.

However, I feel strongly that the entire evening was not JUST madness. I can say with a clear head and two days of distance from the experience that this is the most catharctic philosphical event of my life. The word 'Why' was so central because I was questioning the meaning and purpose of the universe. We as humans can answer many things. We, with our science and technology, can do very well with 'What' and 'How' and in some senses we can answer the 'Why' questions. We can learn to unravel the most profound mysteries of nature, like DNA and the formation of the cosmos. We can build tools like computers that are insanely complex. I believe that we can even travel to distant stars and spread our organic life across the galaxy. But we can never answer the most fundamental questions of all: 'Why are we here?' 'Why is there life on Earth?' 'WHY?' Many people turn to religion to answer this question and they get an answer. Personally I don't believe in god(s) or creation. I find no solace in the make-believe answers that other human beings in the past or present have dreamt up to answer this question for other people. Of course, I don't think that everything about religion is bad or wrong. Certainly I believe in morality and social structure. What I learned from La Purga is that we as a species can put all of our most brilliant tools to work to ask the Universe 'why are we here?', but we will only get silence as a response.

I know from my studies years ago that this type of thinking is the basis of existentialism and that I didn't make any of it up. But La Purga brought out a most tangible sense of existentialism from the depths of my psyche. Last week I might have thought that maybe I was an existentialist. Now I know.

Exp Year: 2003ExpID: 26203
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given 
Published: Aug 18, 2003Views: 35,641
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Mimosa tenuiflora (74), Syrian Rue (45), Huasca Brew (268) : Alone (16), Personal Preparation (45), Mystical Experiences (9), Difficult Experiences (5), Preparation / Recipes (30), General (1)

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