Citation: Legofeel. "K Confessions: An Experience with Ketamine (exp2731)". Erowid.org. Aug 10, 2000. erowid.org/exp/2731
First I'd like to share the more mundane details of my relationship with this substance - the basic logistics of my ketamine usage and its effect on my life.
I've been a habitual user of K for over a year and a half, imbibing on an almost daily basis during this time. Initially, my usage was limited to occasional dramatic full-on sessions (75-100 ml IM) every few weeks resulting in awe-inspiring profound journeys that were more fascinating than enjoyable. Before long, I added less dramatic low-dose sessions to my evenings (a few IM 20-30ml doses an hour apart), similarly, I suppose, to how some people might enjoy a few glasses of wine after dinner. These low doses enabled me to enjoy a headspace of serenity and deep focus while leaving me completely functional. For some reason, K never seemed to work well during daylight hours for me. But my evenings never felt complete unless accompanied by a touch of K.
Common sense told me that my K habit was not a good thing. Yet I didn't seem to be suffering any obvious ill effects. I noted no symptoms of physical dependency. The few times I abstained during vacation travel resulted in no withdrawal symptoms or cravings. My health during the past year and a half seems to have been better than usual. Things have continued to go well at my 9-5 corporate job and my relationships with my wife and friends seemed no worse. None of the bizarre 'psychotic' experiences I may have had under the influence of K seemed to bleed over to my existence in the baseline universe.
If anything, I was more connected than ever. And why not? Any valid realizations into the foundations of existence I discovered in the k zone should be manifest in everything and therefore lead to a sense of harmony. I was heavily involved in the stock market during this time and I would post under the alias of 'ketamina' on the online investment boards, sort of as a testament to how well I had integrated my k usage with the forces of mainstream culture that were swirling around me. This raised the occasional virtual eyebrow and when questioned gave me the opportunity to coyly credit my stock market successes to my drug-induced insights. This was only half-true at best, but the bottom line was that I couldn't find a reason to cease my love affair with K other than the fear of possible long term health consequence to my physical state.
[health-related sidenote; while K synergizes pretty well with most psychedelics I've ever tried, I did not like the way it was potentiated when used in conjunction with DXM, alcohol or antihistamines. In fact, K mixtures with those legal substances felt very unhealthy to me and I would recommend avoiding them.]
My wife did not approve of my ketamine usage, and had a general aversion to the 'creepy' effects she perceived in me with it. My occasional full-on journeys would take place with her knowledge but only after she was in bed since she couldn't bear to be around me when I was under its influence. Somehow I managed to hide my daily low-dose habit from her for over a year. She may have attributed my evening demeanor to my pot smoking, and her own habitual use of PC-based adventure and RPG games helped keep our interactions to a minimum for many of those evenings. But obviously, this deception couldn't last and recently she has learned to identify even the most subtle k-induced changes in me. This led to a somewhat climatic confrontation about my excessiveness. I am now trying my best to respect her concerns about me eventually ruining both our lives as an excuse to cut back. We've agreed on a weekends-only regiment, but I'd like to be able to control it even further and return to a more measured approach to this sacred substance.
Sorry for the lack of dramatic content concerning my ketamine use - no lasting freakouts or breakdowns. I know that other people have had more difficulties with the heavy use of this substance. I'm 42 and experienced with a variety of drugs, including heroin, and have never had a drug 'problem' (IMO:). However, I now consider myself psychologically addicted to k, and that could become a problem. It's been an interesting episode but one I think I should soon move on from.
One Evening's Tale:
After dinner - 25mg IM.
Ketamine is sort of like a consciousness filter. At low dosages it smoothes things out, slows things down, blocks out some noise. At first one might think that perceptions have been dulled and your mind numbed, but from within the calm serenity I feel completely sharp. Less perceptual data comes through, but there's a sense of deep clarity. The space in which my awareness resides hasn't shrunk, and so, the filtered perceptions and streamlined thoughts can be given extra room to breath. Words become more profound. Ideas carry more meaning. I analyze my finances and surf the web - Politics, wealth, society, my station in life - everything seems nicely connected to the currents of the cosmos.
The warm pulsation of electronic rhythms, walls awashed with gentle psychedelic lighting, the info-world beckons from the laptop computer, my wife sits at her desktop computer, the city hums outside my window... I am at the center of my universe. A bit clumsy, but relaxed, I engage in various activities. Staggered 20mg doses over the next couple of hours provide the lubricant for another magical and ordinary evening.
Tonight is feeling right for a more intense excursion so my wife retires to bed without me. Music is carefully selected: something quiet, quirky and other worldly. I neaten things up around the place and prepare 2 shots, 35mg and 50mg, and I settle into the couch, sitting upright, eyes open. I take the 35; the act of injecting is a welcome ritual. There's something empowering about shooting a mind altering substance so directly into the body. My focus returns to the screensaver on the large monitor across the room from me; its parameters have been tweaked to create the most mesmerizing patterns. The rest of the room is lit by two mirrorballs; the rotating reflections are organic and natural (using rubberbands instead of motors.)
Reassociation is what is happening here. Old associations break down, new ones are discovered. The patterns on the screen, the sounds, my thoughts, the meanings, everything I am perceiving - all the elements can be rearranged, connected along new lines, woven into new forms. The music seems to be in sync with the monitor images whose geometric patterns describe perfectly the economic forces that are shaping the internet economy and the global flow of information and wealth. Set and setting has allowed things tocome together nicely. My life is at some kind of pinnacle and I'm in the center of it all. I reach forward and give myself the final 50mg injection.
At some point ketamine seems to disassociate me from anything external. This doesn't seem important. Reality is created by whatever is in my mind whether or not something from the outside is trickling in. There is plenty of material to play with.
I see vast hierarchies of organization, simple elements of infinite existence flowing with design on so many interrelated levels. The Machine that orchestrates this is on *automatic*, and there seems to be an order to things. I am just one of an infinite number of relatively insignificant points. At this moment I'm just some kind of cog-in-the-wheel, like a single bit of data in a supercomputer, a miniscule element amongst countless others, in motion, simply functioning as part of a grand scheme.
But this tiny insignificant point of consciousness is also intrinsically connected to its own transcendental nature. Through dimensions of time and space this little bit of existence expands into omniscient realms. There are fantasies that I surely project along the way; levels of existence where other aspects of consciousness also live. There are relationships, processes and plots at different levels of varying complexity. At higher levels of existence dramas unfold with apocalyptic proportions. I go with it, finding comfort with the familiar emotions of survival and purpose. In some scenarios, the fate of the universe hinges on the direction that my consciousness is now heading.
One theme that re-occurs is the realization that my entire life and the universe is part of some giant conspiracy, or rather, an illusion of sorts, a subset of a bigger story, a limited manifestation of a meta-reality machine. Within it consciousness has evolved and is now reaching the point of being able to see through what is really going on. It isas though I have beenliving in a dream and now realize thatI have been dreaming. The next step, of course, is to wake up and leave the dream behind, for the illusion cannot hold me once I know of it. The game is about to end, the riddle solved, but am I really ready to leave it? Anxious excitement,perhaps panic, takes over. I'm on the threshold of going beyond - transcending - this realm. Any miracle I have witnessed or supernatural knowledge that has been revealed to me will seal my fate.
I am propelled further, towards the edge of all reality where the only thing left is the paradox of being/nonbeing. I am aware even as awareness itself is about to dissolve away - hanging on and pushing forward at the same time. It is death that I face. I struggle with the transcendence of being itself. Perhaps the threat of real physical death does not exist. Perhaps it is simply consciousness realizing that it is about to become unconscious.But at this juncturemyimpending death seems imminent.
Various kinds of enlightenment can occur here. I discover, for example, that there may be a kind of positive imbalance to the fundamental dual nature of existence. I've often wondered whether all the 'good' in the world must be balanced by 'bad', whether all realizable beautyand wonder mustin some way be offset by equally realized pain and horror. I have alwaysprided myselfwith mysearch for a truly objective truth; a Truth uncolored by wishfullness and hope. A zero-sum game has always seemed like the most logical inevitability. But I think I have finally seen that existence has direction, a bias, movement of a 'positive' nature. Death itself is the illusion, that the impossibility of nothingness leaves us with infinite possibility, never-ending realization. Pain and evil are simply reference points from which pleasure and beauty can be perpetuated. It may be that the negative side of existence never needs to be fully realized, and while this may in a way take some of the substance away from the positive side, it nevertheless allows us to live in realities that tend towards the things we think of as 'good'. This recent revelation was a breakthrough of sorts for me, for I had always held a seemingly more scientific, andmelancholic, view thatall the good was required to somehow even outwith its opposite.
It was like thereis a kind of gametocreate reality when in fact there was no reason for it to exist at all.
There is no ultimate purpose, it just is.
So how do you organize something outof Infinite Chaos - something stable and believable and *worthwhile*?
At the limits of existence, other insightsare revealed. In some cases I was back in the room and had supernatural interactions with the physical world.Thiscould be destabilizing. In order to preserve my life andits universe I was required to undosuch experiences. In desperation I would fight to reconstruct the rationalizations thatsupported the authenticity of my baseline universe. Built back from scratch, it seemed certain that I would have to be recreated in some altered, less stable form. My mind could never be the same, consciousness andreality would have new, somewhatsupernatural qualities to it. As I return I find ways to convince myself that the miracles I experienced were an illusion, that the rationalized existence Isought to return to was the real reality.
Reality can manifest itself in many ways.
[The physicist Stephen Hawking has addressed the cosmic question with what he calls the Anthropic Principle. Why is the universe the way we experience it? There is a delicate handful of seemingly arbitrary parameters that define the nature of our physical universe. If the force of gravity, or if the mass ratio of protons to electrons, for example, had been just a little bit different, molecules and solar systems wouldn't have been able to form, andthe stablesystems needed to support what we call 'intelligent life' would not have come into existence. There are an infinitenumber of possible universes, says Hawking, and the probability of it being like ours is extremely unlikely. He proposes that ours exists the way it is becauseif it didn't we wouldn't be here to ask about it.]
Out of the infinite number of possible universes, certain patterns of existenceare more self sustaining than others. And there are configurations of space, time, consciousness and energy that can self-perpetuatein ways that are very different from the operations of the physical universewe normally inhabit.
Under the influence of ketamine, the parameters of existence are broken down to elements even more fundamental than atomic particles or the physical forces of nature. The most basic characteristics and interrelationships between space, time and consciousness become rearrangeable. The most taken-for-granted aspects of causality become fluid. It is difficult to explain what it means when things do not follow usual notions of causality, like when time does not move in a comprehendible direction. A dimensionality-altered mind is almost indescribable, yet makes perfect sense as it's own manifestation of reality. Such an altered state of reality cannot be observed or even described because it even handles the notion of definition and meaning differently. But it can be experienced.
I'm in a self-sustaining universe comprised of my own consciousness intertwinedinto a strange closed-in configuration of time and space. It'looks' like some sort of lattice and it feels physically real. I struggle to move within it. 'Movement' iswhat happens when I attempt to perceive or form thoughts, for my consciousness is constrained by some kind of curvature of time and whatever other dimensions define this place.The formation of thought andperceptions do not follow a linear path and it is not clear at all how to get out of this. The experience is unpleasant and the degree of its stability and permanence makes ita rather frightening state to be in. I do not recall exactly how I escaped, but it seems that it helped to cease struggling since my attempts to move seemed to help fuel the force of its structure.
Back to earth...
The dimensions of the room are much different now. There is a strange tingling energy surging through me. I am connected to physical things in ways that I was not aware of before. My apartment - this room - seems to be a kind of a node for some kind of karmic energy transmission. Such nodes are not unusual, they occur in places where time and space and consciousness energyis specially focused. It would seem that communication of some sort could take place more directlybetween such nodes, but I am notcertain if I have experiencedany of that.
I am sitting upright on the other couch now. I don't know how I got there. It seems that a ketamine-addled brain can hold perceptions, delay, scramble, and perhaps deliver them to consciousness out of sequence. Experiencing perceptions out of sequence is a very interesting phenomena. It can give you the illusion of causing things to happen rather than being the perceiver of things that have happened: Iam creating this music with my thoughts...the computer is reacting to my will... But my ketamine experiences do not necessarily contradict normal-world perceptions. When you are alone it doesn't matter much what is the cause and what is the effect. Stuff just happens as a part of the consciousness that is experiencing it.
No one cares about the miracles that happen in my subjective domain. The Universe continues on like it always has, intricately synced to the evolutionary state of my existence.
But what really happened?
Within the space of my own consciousness and the energy of my thoughts, are the universes created within me any less real than the one my body resides in? We know that each cell of an animal organism contains the DNA blueprint for its entire physical self. Likewise, perhaps each individual consciousness contains the ultimate blueprint for reality and existence. When exploring oneself at the most fundamental levels of existence, it would seem that one is exploring the very nature of existence itself. Should not the fundamental truths of my ownbeing hold true for all?
Many questions remain. Many gaps to fill.
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