Citation: Bobo Sprinkles. "Taken to the Oceanic Surface of the Essence: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (exp35069)". Erowid.org. Dec 31, 2006. erowid.org/exp/35069
The right time: 7 PM, enough time afterwards to reflect, but not dwell in case things went wrong
The right place: My friend's parents were gone for the week, and she graciously gave me her bedroom
The right stomach contents: As a precaution, I had fasted for approximately 36 hours
The right mindset: Pleasant and carefree on a gorgeous summer Saturday
All the factors were all in alignment yesterday. It was finally time to try the estranged, distant cousin of the tryptamine Entheogens I'm familiar with: Salvia. It was profound to say the least. The 'different nature' of the diterpene experience that I had heard so much about definitely revealed itself quickly, albeit in a way that was quickly disarmed by the presence of my expectations alone. Once I could point out the strange qualities to myself, they were recognized for what they were.
In a dark, quiet room, guarded by a trusted sitter, I took about 3 bong hits of the regular leaf (I say 'about' because it was hard to tell if the minty-smooth smoke went deep enough or not on all attempts) and entered what I assume to be a strong 'Level 4 (Visionary)' experience on Daniel Siebert's scale.
Once the lights were out and the lighter safely extinguished, I lay down on the bed and noted a powerful room-spinning effect, not unlike the one brought on by large amounts of alcohol, but without any signs of nausea. Again, It was at this point that I was glad I had taken the time to read up about Salvia first because if I had gone into this stage expecting it to be 'just like mushrooms,' I would have been terrified by the outright destruction of such a belief that would have occurred in that instant. In short, the 'coming up' wasn't unpleasant at all, but on the other hand, it wasn't pleasant in the way Cubensis mushrooms are either.
Whereas tryptamines give me the feeling of someone holding my hand, lifting me up to a peak, Salvia seems to put me into the cockpit and lets me make sense of the controls that it lays out in front of me. I need to keep it steady without riding the brake too hard.
The first thing that went out the window was my sense of time. Right from the outset of the trip, I became completely open to the possibility that time, while still linear, could have been moving in either direction along its 'arrow.' This notion entered my mind completely free of the doubt that would usually accompany an insight as playful as this one. It felt like an accepted fact injected into a part of my brain far behind the logical frontlines that would have potentially stopped it dead in its tracks.
The next thing to go was body-consciousness, but not completely, much like the way a linear sense of time still persisted. My thought process was still intact (though often overwhelmed), but only in the traditional 'single floating point of consciousness' way. I experienced changes in the general feel or 'shape' of the Salvia space I was in that were no doubt caused by body movements (e.g. readjusting my arms) but only a small part of me knew that. It felt like there was a lone voice lost in a congress of other voices in my mind that all seemed to have the causal chain reversed. I was 99% convinced that the universe was, indeed, bending where I felt it bending, and any attempts to explain it as body movements were a pseudo-rationalization forged from an obsolete viewpoint. I guess that 'lone Senator' was the Strom Thurmond of my brain.
The place I was in had a definite, distinct layout to it which, again, was in contrast to my mushroom experiences that often take me more to an 'emotional space' that can't be fully grasped visually. It was a dazzling, intricate web of loops and rings that were all interconnected in some way at the core of the chaos. They shimmered in a shade of purple that seemed familiar at the time, but just looking at it then was enough to tell me that I would not be able to take any memory of it back to 'Earth.' Sure enough, here I am now, unable to find a mental image, a crayon, or an HTML palette number that produces it in all its glory.
If you want to picture it, this superhighway of strings can be likened to a Velcro strip being viewed under an electron microscope: tangled, but coherent enough to have been purposefully created. The strangest thing about it though was the vaguely humanoid shapes that seemed to make up each strand. It looked like millions of purple ghosts lined up head-to-foot-to-head-to-foot, dancing passionately without breaking their connection to each other. It slowly dawned on me that I was looking at “The Essence” itself. The source of life that we orbit as blessed satellites.
One entity was different. It moved around as if it were able to navigate the spaces between strings like I was. It glowed with a deep, pulsing green and gave off a sort of yellow vapor trail. Whether this was a result of pre-programming or not, I immediately thought of The Green Goddess. I followed Her through layer after of these “soul parties” with an anticipation that built to the point where I was too excited to keep pace with Her. Each time this happened, She slowed up and gave me a chance to shorten the distance between us, but it never got small enough to grant me a look at Her. At one point, I thought I was finally closing in, but She had already disappeared into a transparent, yellow cloud that hung around me for a few seconds of playful defiance.
But this was not merely a tease. She had lead me somewhere.
The fibrous Essence was behind me, and I was now floating on what seemed like its outer surface. Imagine a rippling sheet of hyper-purple water that gave off vibrational hum that nonchalantly held encoded secrets of the Universe as if they were memorized telephone numbers. I stared at it in awe and reverence, and it acknowledged me in a peaceful, yet emotionally detached way. A cosmic nod in my direction, if you will.
Farther across the oceanic outer limits, I noticed two-dimensional beams of light coming from the blackness opposite the Essence and plunging into it. Each one created a ripple that resulted in the watery surface giving off a pleased grumble. In each one of these lights, I saw mundane, earthly things, like bedrooms or trees, and it didn't take long to realize that these were other people! Tripping, meditating, etc.! They served the Essence by giving it connections to the Earthly realm by transcending the boundaries of where Infinity _meets_ the quantifiable! There is some kind of interface, as mathematically illogical as that sounds. I scribbled on my hand (yes, I had hands again by this point) 'The Essence defines the boundaries of Infinity' and began to draw a graph explaining this. I wish I done a more complete job of that. Imagine what that might have looked like!
These lights were all coming from different points in history, but none of that mattered once this boundary was transcended. A connection was a connection to stay in the 'eyes' of the timeless Essence. The final insight that I was able to extract from the experience as I began to come down was that the Essence would one day reach a critical mass of connections to the Earth that would allow all life to enter into a fuller merger with the source that initially sparked it. Each peaceful contact we have with it is a step towards something more complete that we as individuals can only look forward to.
All in all, it was a beautiful chain of logic to encounter. As fanciful as it sounds, I feel that it's absolutely rich in mythic value. I didn't need my sitter at all this first time, but I can definitely see how someone who had gone perhaps a half-step further than I had would need someone to guide his/her actions. Those 'hand adjustments' I mentioned above were damn near automatic.
If used responsibly, though, Salvia offers me more of an 'explorative' pathway through Inner Spaces that seems to have no set course. There's no 'hand-holding,' for lack of a better metaphor, like there usually is in a tryptamine state. There is still teaching being done, however, as evidenced by the green entity I was chasing. It's just more of a detached, 'hands-off,' college professor kind of approach to teaching.
This is just one first-timer's impression.
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