Citation: Morrison's Lament. "Textures and Teachings: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (exp26531)". Erowid.org. Apr 19, 2006. erowid.org/exp/26531
I wrote the following a few weeks ago, it is based on hand scribbled notes I managed to jot down just after the world started to come back together for me after the Salvia experience. Then two days later I compiled it into the text below, it is very long but fairly detailed. I hope at least one person manages to read the whole thing :)
Iíd heard interesting things about this drug, Salvia D, and had in fact tried smoking a small amount of the leaves on a couple of occasions in the past. It did little for me. Now, after the experience I am about to describe, I am of the oppinion that extract is the ONLY way to fly. It is possible to get nice effects with huge rips of leaves and a bit of luck, but the extract is not only more effective but much much more practical and comfortable.
Anyway, the setting was in some ways less than ideal. I was in Amsterdam for five days to meet up with some friends and have a good time, and since the extract was widely available I decided to take the Salvia plunge alone in my tiny hotel room. I picked a quiet night when I wasnít particularly trashed from weed and beer, although there were obviously some amount of intoxicants in my system (itís Amsterdam!). I purchased a gram of 5x extract, which I was told would be at least ten good doses (and this from a very reliable source, I bought the stuff directly from Mila Jansen the inventor of the Pollinator and Ice-o-Lator, sheís a really cool lady and is teaching hash making classes to Kazakhstani farmers for the government these days, but I digress).
For the occasion I bought a small pipe, but I already had a butane lighter. Unfortunately, my only butane lighter was the most tasteless thing in the world, it was a picture of the two towers and a plane flying into them, and next to that image is a big smiling face of Osama bin Laden and it says 9-11. Then when you open it, a red light in one of the buildings lights up like there is an explosion and a Mozart piano piece (I forget itís name) is played LOUDLY in the style of those awful greeting cards, somewhat off key. Tacky, tasteless, freaky and Chinese. Basically, itís not something you want to have anywhere near you on a trip, but fortunately it didnít have a big impact on this occasion, other things were to be far too distracting.
I eyeballed the powder into 10 portions on a piece of paper, and packed a bowl with what seemed to be about 1.5-2 doses worth. I lit up the pipe with the butane lighter, was struck by how harsh it was on the throat, but managed to take in almost the whole hit and held it in for quite some time. As I was holding it in I began to feel slightly numb, then somewhat lightheaded. I remember thinking it was not dissimilar to the feeling you get when shrooms or acid are just starting to come on, except it dropped out of nowhere. When I released the hit, things got quite a bit stranger.
The first immediate effect I noticed was that all movement now had a sound and texture accompanying it. Itís obviously hard to explain these things, but it felt somewhat like inside my entire body was eminating a sound and a texture that was specific for each motion I made. I turned my head to the left and it felt like winding up a music box, little metallic ridges being pulled across a metal pin, and it sounded just like it too, like small pieces of metal being dragged over a bumby but totally symmetrical metal surface. But it wasnít just my hands that felt it. It was more like the texture and sound eminated from within my ďbodyĒ, which at this point was becoming less and less real, I felt more like a floating gaseous entity than any kind of solid.
Then, when moving my head back the other way, I got what seemed to be the same feeling and sound in reverse, I moved back and forth a few times and it was extremely consistant. Each move to the left gave the same sound and texture, each move to the right produced a similar but distinct sound and texture.
At this point, however, only a few seconds have passed since I exhaled, I know it is a minute or less because the same commercial is still on the television. I was having problems seeing, things seemed to jump around, and standing up seemed like a very complicated task indeed. Being an idiot, I decided this was a good time to smoke more, jumped on the floor and basically crawled to my stash. I dropped a bunch of salvia all over the place when trying to load the pipe, the pipe kept moving around on me and my vision and sense of balance was somewhat compromised, I probably would have fell down if I tried to stand. Then, within about two minutes of taking the first hit, I lit up an even bigger one.
Beyond this point in the trip report I cannot be 100% sure of anything, but the following are snapshots from what I remember, there is no way to communicate what actually transpired in those ten to twenty minutes or so that were to follow.
As I was inhaling the second hit and listening to the horrendously painful music and watching Osama as he looked on the burning towers on my lighter, something unexpected happened. My pipe disappeared, right in front of my eyes, it just wasnít there any more. I thought to myself: ďOK, here we go...Ē. I didnít blink or anything, it just suddenly winked out of existance like in those cheesy old movies and tv shows where genies and magical beings disappear through the magic of cutting and pasting film reels. I later concluded that what probably happened was that I blacked out while I was inhaling the hit, put the pipe down without knowing it and then suddenly snapped back into consciousness with a lung full of smoke and no pipe. But to me it was totally seemless at the time, and honestly I have no idea what caused that rather disturbing effect, but the jerky low framerate visuals I would get later got me thinking that perhaps short blackouts of a few seconds were occurring regularly, it seems the most logical explanation for some of the things I experienced.
Again, I must stress that this felt totally seemless, I didnít pass out or anything, the pipe and later other things just appeared and disappeared right in front of my eyes.
At this point the situation is becoming hazy to me. I am no longer sure who I am, or even if I am. There is a great mass of something hot inside me, when I move my head itís like the framrate is too low and I donít see smooth transitions but suddenly jump from one jerky frame to another. Then I feel like I have to cough, and let out a big cloud of smoke, which I had apparently never exhaled from the second hit. No more than thirty seconds could have passed since the second hit, meaning this was taking place about two or three minutes after the first inhalation. The speed with which it knocked me out of reality was scary, however, and I remember getting intense anxiety that the universe was flooding in on me.
It felt like I suddenly had no barrier to any outside stimuli, every noise and every touch, every visual pattern and even thoughts and strange energy patterns were flowing into me full stream. I was vaguely aware that things had been normal just a minute ago and started thinking something was horribly wrong, because one is not supposed to be totally rational at one moment and grappling with delerium the next. I buried my head in my sheets, I was somehow massaging my head, not sure why but it had something to do with energy flowing patterns. The anxiety was strong, I realized that I had lost my ego for a few seconds and became extremely frightened of totally departing from the sense of self. I was afraid to leave behind the individual that I was and float into the strange world I knew would await me if I let go of my ego.
Egoloss, while spiritually fascinating, can be scary and I definitely wasnít ready for it to happen so damned quickly! Itís happened to me on other psychedelics with good results, but the foreplay of coming up and tripping makes it totally different. Just smoking a pipe and suddenly falling out of touch with oneís own body and soul in such an extreme way is way more extreme than I was prepared for on that quiet evening in my little hotel room.
Time had very little salience, I kept telling myself that this was salvia and it would be over very quickly, but time wasnít flowing in the way I was used to, in fact it seemed to slow to an absolute crawl. It canít have been more than a couple of minutes knowing the short duration of the drug, but after what seemed like an eternity of battling the Salvia I sat back in my bed and attempted to give myself over to the experience and ride it out, having experienced many other psychedelics I knew this was usually the best strategy. Fighting trips is never good.
Now I think I closed my eyes, but I probably opened them several times in the next few minutes as well. I was floating in and out of extremely vivid dreams that didnít involve any traditional elements like people or time and space. Instead I was being treated to what appeared to be kaleidoscopic artwork, beautiful animations and eerily familiar patterns. One that I remember in particular, because it was towards the end of the experience and ended memorably, was an animation of the human brain. I was being taught, there was no question about that, it was like some sublime teaching video. By whom I have no idea, but they were communicating with me in a hazy telepathic way. There were suggestions floating into my head from somewhere else, I was sure it wasnít me that was thinking about what transpired, but it wasnít a voice either. It was like someone was telepathically explaining the images to me in a somewhat grabled manner.
I think I put the lack of clarity down to my inexperience with receiving telepathy at the time, but obviously they were just garbled because I was tripping my nuts off and couldnít hold a steady thought. Anyway, the actual images are hard to explain, but if you have seen the fairly popular Flash animation featuring Albert Hoffman with a Shaman drum and music lifted from Sphongleís ďDMTĒ, then some of the patterns were clearly similar to one or two of the more primeval tribal sort of patterns shown in that animation. Of course it was a thousand times cooler than any computer generated animation, but the basic structure of some of the frames was a bit like some patterns I remember from the above mentioned animation.
It was the tale of some sort of consciousness. It began with what seemed like a rudimentary brain, although it didnít look like a real brain (more like a psychedelic painting of a brain) that is what the narrator assured me it was. I saw time pass extremely quickly, and the brain developed and sprouted new parts, almost scary looking tentacles that crawled out of it and moved across itís surface to find itís place in the mix. Eventually the brain was taking human shape, or at least so the narrator insisted, and it eventually stopped at what I understood to be the current human stage of development. We had probably just covered hundreds of millions of years of history, from reptillian brains to the modern human mind. But then it got really interesting.
After a while I was given a glimpse of what was a possible future. The brain became almost transparent, but this was just for my benefit because inside the brain I now saw what looked like a closed eyelid, I was told it was The Third Eye, and it was in the spot where I think the pineal gland is supposed to be, right at the very center of the brain enveloped by braintissue. Then it opened. It looked at me. The brain began squirming and opened up on the top, from between the two halves of the brain pushed what can only be described as a small appendage with an open eye on the end.
This was an artistic representation, like everything else I had seen, but the message was clear: The Third Eye can be opened permanently. It positioned itself along the top of the brain, the eye pointing forward and it settled into what seemed to be a snug fit among the other constituents of the brain, but clearly in a prominent role. It was the missing piece in the puzzle that is the human mind, but this wonderful vision was followed by what I felt strongly was a warning. I think I was taken back to the modern brain, I saw into it again and the eye was closed. But this time it was grey, looked withered and did not open. Instead it grew into what looked like some sort of fairly unimpressive lump, still vaguely in the shape of a closed eyelid but clearly not an important part of the brain.
It did not come out, and I was strongly under the impression that the point of no return had now been reached, once this stage took place there was no going back, and the eye would never open. I was informed through emotion that this was a waste of cosmic proportions, an evolutionary dead end. But not for the universe. Just us. And we had a choice.
With that I stopped dreaming, sat up and pondered what just took place. I kept re-running the sequence from my memory, not seeing it, but just trying to remember the details. It felt like something extremely important, that shouldnít be forgotten. Then when I could see better, and stand without falling over or walking into walls, I lit a joint. I watched TV and smoked weed as reality slowly creeped back and I was in a relaxed state, contended but confused. The whole experience probably lasted no more than twenty minutes.
I donít rationally believe in the implications of the above, it obviously sounds like I am saying some alien or godlike entity told me the human raceís spiritual transcendance is possible and tied to the development of the brain through eons of time. I know itís a drug that led me to think this way, but I also know reality is fluid and knowledge is not absolute. So who is to say what the fuck happened? I came away with the feeling that I needed to smoke DMT to get the next chapter of the story, or at least a clarification, and hopefully some day I will do just that. I donít much care whether itís my subliminal mind talking to me or some hypothetical energy or beings that I donít truly believe in rationally. Whatever the case, Iím still more than happy to listen!
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