Citation: DJ Devin. "Acid Introspection: An Experience with LSD (exp45369)". Erowid.org. Nov 12, 2007. erowid.org/exp/45369
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Having not tripped for a few months, I decided to grab three tabs of acid and have some fun. I took them at 6 pm on a Tuesday night. This seemed silly, especially since I had to go to work the next morning, but there was no time in the next few weeks in which I'd be able to use the acid, so I decided to go for it. I was alone in my room - I didn't want to freak out my roommates, they have no idea that I've ever touched drugs, and I couldn't find anyone to trip with. However, I had had experience with psychedelic drugs, including acid, so I was sure I would be able to handle it.
The effects started in about 20-30 minutes. The effects were strongly physical - a tingling, tense, nervous sensation. As the body load increased I began to recognize it as extremely pleasurable. I sat listening to music, psychedelic trance and drum & bass, and I just felt incredibly alive. The effects increased and I started sweating, twitching, and feeling unsteady. I looked very strange in the mirror. It occurred to me that intense body sensations may be a prerequisite to a fundamental mental or spiritual experience. I understood why people often require strenuous physical work, like climbing a mountain, to have spiritual experiences - the bizarre physical sensations put you out of your element and lower your boundaries to prepare you for a deep mental experience. I am an atheist, but I kept thinking 'If I was only religious, I would be so enraptured by god right now!' For a moment I thought I believed in god, but I am such a died-in-the-wool nonbeliever that it didn't quite happen.
The music was unbelievably spellbinding, in a very different way from cannabis. it was loud and had a 3D sensation, bouncing all around my skull. But more than that, the sounds seemed to 'mix' with my other senses in the sense that they were at times unrecognizable as sound, but appeared as thoughts, emotions, or just some general cognitive input that I perceived as 'more than just sound.' The music acquired an insanely dramatic and emotional quality to the point where I was quivering and utterly gripped. The time dilation was very noticeable - I'd listen for what seemed like forever and realize that the song hadn't changed.
I lay down on my bed for a rest. At that point, my phone rang. The call-display said it was my dad. I didn't answer and he left me a voicemail message, which I listened to. At that point I started to get very emotional. I love my dad but in my life I have let him down. My dad is a far better person than me - he loves me and wants me to succeed but I know I am a disappointment to him. I have become extremely isolated and distant from him even though I do love him in my heart. The thought of me not being able to talk to him because I was strung up on drugs made this fact really hit home. At this point I imagined how my dad feels - totally out of control, not understanding what happened to his son, not understanding why his years of efforts have slowly gone awry. I cried uncontrollably, which I haven't done in years. Tears seemed to explode out of my eyes for several minutes. I imagined how my Dad must feel to 'lose control' and see his son growing so for apart from him, and my brain actually lost control, spiraling in random directions and confusion as I imagined his confusion. I kept apologizing: 'I try my best Dad! I really do!' but the tears kept coming.
Eventually I stopped and decided to enjoy some music again. I started to get another curious mental effect I have gotten with other hallucinogens, in which my brain produces thoughts composed of sounds, images, memories, and colors all mixed together in an incoherent way. For instance: the sound 'Lendel' or 'Mendel,' the color orangish/brown, the image of a fat, elderly European woman spinning, and a vague emotion of embarassment and a trace of a memory melded together to form a thought. This thought was very ephemeral - I could not form a mental image of this fat lady, the thought would just fire for a second and disappear and I couldn't actually introspect about it to form a more fully detailed picture. A few thoughts like this fired in a loop, over and over. It occurred to me that when I think of, say, an elephant, the brain is linking together numerous concepts - the word, the color, the image, the memories associated with it, and so forth. All these thoughts are triggered simultaneously when I think of 'elephant.' Well, on acid, my brain was forming thoughts based on inputs from all of these concepts, but the concepts appeared to have been chosen randomly so the actual thought I generated did not correspond to anything real.
The synthasesia and 'mental garbage' effects, the most striking aspects of the LSD experience, disappeared after an hour or two. But I was left with the ability to think weird thoughts. These thoughts were not so much 'new' as creative extensions of beliefs I already had. I was able to think about them with peculiar lucidity. Example: in my line of work lots of people are super egotistical, clawing their way up to a more prestigious position. I have long been somewhat embarassed about this prestige-whorishness and self-contragulation but unable to prevent it in myself. On acid, the word 'prestige' actually became a disgusting, vile word. It didn't make me think of negative attributes, it had negative attributes, in the same way that the thought 'red' is linked to a mental image of the color 'red.'
Meanwhile, the following wonderful thought occurred to me: perhaps true virtue, something you are truly skilled at and for which you deserve respect, is by definition something you cannot recognize. The moment I start introspecting about how good I am, I cease to be good; only the unconscious exercise of competence or quality constitutes legitimate merit. Therefore, the less egotistical I am, the better I am. This seemed to make perfect sense and be an excellent way of going through life and it pleased me quite a bit. However, it was not really a fundamentally new insight - it was a logical extension of my own internal discomfort of the egotism and prestige-whorishness; just bringing the thought to a more sweeping, aesthietic, and creative conclusion.
After the initial 2-hour or so peak, the effects slowly but surely declined. After about eight hours I was able to walk around outside - things were still weird, but I was outwardly coherent. The dropoff was very slow and there was no way I could sleep that night. At 8:00 AM, 14 hours after I took the acid, I was still strung out and had a headache without being able to sleep. (Note: all psychedelics seem to last inordinately long for me. Salvia often persists for half an hour to an hour, a 60 mg AMT trip lasted 23 hours, etc.) I went to work and a hellish, headache-filled, exhausting day. I got almost nothing done. I got home at 5:30 PM and slept for about five hours. I felt quite renewed afterwards and called my elderly grandmother for the first time in a long, long time; she was delighted to hear from me and we had a great conversation.
Overall, this was a very positive experience. Next time, I would like to take it outside and with a group of friends. I would also like to take it with some cannabis to enhance the bizarre synesthesia/mental garbage/mental randomness effects which I find so weird and fascinating.
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