Citation: Matthew. "Breaking Open the Head: An Experience with Ibogaine (ID 41522)". Erowid.org. Apr 11, 2005. erowid.org/exp/41522
||(powder / crystals)
I took ibogaine in the middle of January for my heroin/meth addiction. I ingested one gram of hcl per about seventy kg’s. I was clean from all opioids/opiates for fifty-six hours and I was suffering tremendously. I dumped the powder in a glass of water and gulped it all down. The taste was disgusting and I felt like puking but managed to hold it down. I went to lie down with a sense of excitement and anxiety. From the little reading I did about ibogaine I imagined the trip to be filled with nothing more than mere hallucinations while the pain of withdrawal completely vanishes away. The only single thing I knew about the Bwiti was that they used mirrors in their initiations. Before I went to lie down I grabbed a mirror from the bathroom and brought it to bed.
I was in for a surprise of a lifetime. After roughly fifteen minutes the room started to vibrate and I began to giggle. The pain of withdrawal has ceased to bother me and I began to concentrate on everything around me. I noticed my painting of Rembrandt’s “Philosopher Reading” to change shape and size. The philosopher who is reading a voluumous book began to change his seating pattern. He was switching his foot from left to right, nodding his head as in full comprehension of what he was reading. I thought that the whole trip was going to continue in these minor hallucinatory distortions. I looked at my stereo and saw the music emanating from it. The sound was deafening and overwhelming to my ears when I knew for a fact the volume was turned down quite low. The top of the stereo was emanating these volume bars, which were about a foot high. The bars were going up and down to the rhythm of the music. I was mesmerized and couldn’t stop staring at them. But another point caught my eye. The carpet was suddenly breathing very laboriously. The hairs of the carpet were half a feet high and swaying from left to right. This was very trippy and I panicked, realizing the whole experience was just beginning. But I didn’t have time to worry too much because suddenly the whole room was closing in.
All the walls began to move in. The front, the left side, the right side and then I felt the back wall closing in and that’s where everything exploded. I found my self in a large field staring at an opaque veil. I slowly approached the veil and passed through it finding my self in a vast field of electric yellow wheat. Next thing I know I’m in space observing our planet earth spinning round in a circle. I was so thrilled to witness this I wanted to stay there and contemplate the scenery, however an overpowering voice in my head made the following suggestion. “Why go exploring the earth where there is so much up above” and I found my self in the beautiful land of the dead. First thing I saw were two large tubes on my right side. One had an opening at the top; the other had an opening at the bottom. There were millions of shapeless luminous souls continuously passing from one tube into another. For some reason my first reaction was extreme fright but the next second I understood these souls are people who are dying and then going into a new life. All of a sudden I came to the conclusion that I was very familiar with this place. I knew this place well, very well; I’ve never known anything more intimately than this striking scenery.
I was enthralled. I recognized that reincarnation is a fact, and that I had to be born countless of times therefore the awareness of everything around me made so much sense. Our banal worry in this life seemed meaningless and ephemeral. I began to get very comfortable and take in the rest of the scenery around me. I realized I was standing on a little island that ended suddenly in a big precipice. Infinite space was encompassing my whole being. When I looked up front I saw another tiny island in the distance. There were more luminous beings of light hovering around, however I got a very direct impression that these souls were not from our planet. Their energy felt different, very positive yet very distant. They seemed to be much more evolved and since they were so far away I couldn’t relate to them. By that time I felt at peace and possessed an amazing sense of tranquility. Everywhere I looked I only saw light and love. The whole place was pulsating with pure loving emotions. I realized I’m staring in the face of God. It was ineffable. I was blanketed with so much love and a deep sense of oneness that I didn’t want to go anywhere or see anything else. I realized at that time we truly are a part of the universe. We are all one. We have to cultivate that love so we can get the full benefit of everything around us.
I also comprehended that with our emotions, with our energies, we create God or the Devil. I got a glimpse then of the whole universe revolving in a giant circle and I realized that there is no beginning and no end, its all a big cycle that we go through until we reach higher stages of evolution. I was truly mesmerized by every single detail. At that point nothing was holding me back so I decided to leap into the “rebirth” tube. I didn’t remember what life I chose but it seemed like an instant later I was coming out from the “death” tube and back in the “rebirth” tube again. I made that leap for thousands of times it seemed and now I realize that this process is eternal. It is eternal because there is no time in space. Everything happens at the same instant. The reason I was dying and being reborn the next second is because what seems like a lifetime here on earth, out there the concept of time is nonexistent. Unfortunately I don’t remember any lives I chose but I clearly remember one thing I saw while jumping in the “rebirth” tube.
I was suddenly confronted by very diabolical, grotesque silhouettes. I became scared and wondered how to get out of there but then I heard myself saying “these are just souls of people who had to be pure evil in this lifetime, doing god knows what, killing, raping etc so why waste the time and energy on this bullshit” and I jumped out finding myself at my beautiful island. Half of my ibogaine experience took place in the land of the dead. I got another very important lesson there. At some point while dying and being reborn I was standing on my island again and I saw my double standing in front of me, staring at me and laughing at me. He spoke to me in a condescending voice “see, look at all this, why kill yourself when we are going to be reborn anyway”. I nodded in assimilation and my double disintegrated into the hypnotizing void. This comment was due to the fact that three months before I tried to overdose on a pretty big hit of smack/morphine/oxy. I obviously wasn’t successful but when I recovered I knew the next time I couldn’t make the same mistakes. Next time I would do a quarter of an ounce and fuck all. If it wasn’t for ibogaine I know I wouldn’t be here now.
The next half of the ibogaine experience was very strange. I don’t remember getting out from my land of the dead, but the next thing I know I’m watching what looked exactly liked two film rolls rolling out of my eyes and variety of pictures unrolling from them. Then it changed to a huge screen with pictures coming from right to left. It looked exactly like the old movie stills you see with the edges all frizzled up. I saw many different pictures, which I still am trying to find the meaning to. I saw ancient civilizations, which we haven’t studied yet, burned villages, faces of different people, a variety of masks, and what was most impressing and made an instant impression on me was ancient Egypt. However I was convinced this was Egypt that we have never read about. I could feel the silky soft sand underneath my feet and I basked my body under the scorching sun underneath an incredible clear azure blue sky. I have never seen such a beautiful hue of blue. I got the feeling that maybe this was the beginning of this life on this planet?
At about this time I remembered the mirror and hoping to catch a glimpse of my future started to gaze at it. At first I didn’t see anything probably because the pinnacle of the experience was over. Then I saw a black beautifully painted face with red comatose eyes staring in his own mirror. He was staring in the mirror with a very serious, intent look on his face, clearly under the influence of Iboga. For some unknown reason I didn’t make too much of it and at some point I put the mirror down. Now I’m more than angry with myself for putting it down, but back then I didn’t know the immense importance the Bwiti place on mirrors. I wonder if the face I witnessed was me in another reincarnation? Or maybe when people ingest ibogaine at the same moment in time they connect to each other spiritually. They see others who are under the influence of this sacred substance?
The insight about my addiction was overwhelming as well. At some point I got the message that I could never stop using before because I was constantly looking for reasons to start, instead of looking for reasons to stop. And even if I did manage to stop using, ibogaine showed me I would begin again because I was convinced that junk was the solution to problems and the key to happiness.
This was my experience with a few other minor visions/insights about my ex girlfriend and other minor life experiences. For the rest of the experience I saw these strange patterns and then it all ended. However the next morning I was staring at my wall and clearly saw a family of black people squatting in the jungle, watching and staring at me. Then I saw an old wise ascetic Hindu contemplating on some rock formation. He was bold, tanned and had a white pallid beard with very prominent thin features. I wonder if that was me in a previous lifetime or will be me in a future life?
My whole trip began at 11:45 and ended at 6. I was immobilized the whole time. I was shaking uncontrollably and speaking was impossible. I managed to hold the ibogaine down the whole time in spite of strong urge to purge. At about eleven at night my dope sickness kicked in again and I was paralyzed with pain I have never experienced. I was literary going insane. I had no idea how to handle it. I was so far gone that I tore all my bed sheets without even realizing it when I did it. The next morning when it got light outside my bed was literary torn to pieces. When I looked at my legs I saw a cloud of steam rising up and it felt like somebody took a vice grip and was pulling at every vein in my body. I knew all the poison was coming out from my poisoned body. I have never experienced so much agony. This continued for about two weeks, each day being less severe.
For the first two weeks I didn’t sleep an hour. It was indescribable. All the long nights spend in agony without being capable of concentrating on a simple thing. The anxiety, the restlessness was beyond words. Now, past nine weeks after ibogaine I sleep no more than six hours a day. I wake up very frequently through out the night, yet I reach the REM cycle very quickly so I am somewhat rested. I have myriad of colorful, very vivid dreams, which I clearly remember.
At about the second-week period post ibogaine I got a sudden sharp pain in my heart. My legs, arms and lips began to get numb and my body began to shake. I was covered in a cold sweat. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I went to the ER and after six hours of waiting in paroxysm of pain I got admitted. They did an EKG, did an x-ray of the heart, took some blood but found nothing but a minor infection of some kind. I got home and my chest was still hurting but it was getting better. However after a few hours the pain returned. In the morning I went to my family doctor and did the same tests again. They showed some abnormalities so I was sent to do more tests, which revealed minor signs of danger. I went to see a cardiologist and he gave me a diagnosis of something or other. He basically said people get these exact reactions when they have a severe flu and their immune system is really low. What I think is that the ibogaine might have contributed to these palpitations, but largely it was due to the severe withdrawal my body was going through.
Now it’s over nine weeks and I still can only do so much physical activity before a sharp dull pain pierces my heart. Yet there is a significant improvement. So this was my ibogaine experience. I plan to take ibogaine in the near future to learn more about my self. Yet the next time I take a full dose of ibogaine it will be in Gabon with the Bwiti, which I know will be sooner than later.
Respect and Love
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.