Citation: Endless Sky. "Into the Beyond and Back Again: An Experience with Morning Glory & Nitrous Oxide (exp51163)". Erowid.org. Jun 14, 2006. erowid.org/exp/51163
On Monday morning, I prepared 250 small black Morning Glory seeds using a cold water extraction method, just as the sun was peeking through the pines that line the roadway next to our apartment. 250 seeds, I judged, would be enough for a strong psychedelic experience. I ground them up in a coffee grinder first using small bursts so as not to get the seeds too hot and burn up the active alkaloids, then poured the seeds into my mortar and pestle, with a slight bit of artesian well water to aid extraction of the active alkaloids. (The 'good stuff', ie. LSA.)
I walked outside in my fuzzy black jacket and grey sweatpants, and went to the curb to sit as close to the Earth as I could get in this urban jungle- on top of the concrete, next to the poor tamed bushes that mankind has made do with to remind us of our ties to the natural world. I crushed the seeds while exposing them to the first rays of the sun to touch this part of the Earth that morning. While rhythmically pounding the pestle into the mortar's deep curves, I prayed that Tlitlizen (the 'little black seeds'- also the name the Morning Glory spirit gave me on a previous trip to call him by) would guide me.
I prayed that my life path be illuminated. I prayed for an answer to deal with my chronic pain. I prayed to know how to be a better person. (Yeah- I wasn't asking too much, was I?) I asked Amaterasu- Japanese Goddess of the Sun- to bless the seeds with the power to show me my innermost nature- and the nature of the universe, that I might know my place in it. (Definitely not asking too much here.....) I asked the God Xochipilli, the Aztec God of ecstatic visions, beauty, flowers, games, etc., to bring me truth, and beautiful visions.
Most of all, though, I needed the answer- and so I prayed- where do I go? What do I do? I am 26- and although I am engaged, I am not legally wed, nor do I have my degree, and despite my reading and writing, my days are mostly swallowed by sleeping and sickness. I want a good life, and I wanted the answers to help me achieve my goals.
Unlike usual, I decided not to keep a trip diary, other than notes on ingestion times and extreme revelations. I worked off the book, 'The Psychedelic Experience', which was co-written by Dr. Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, and Richard Alpert. It is basically a translated and modified version of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The TBotD, not to be confused with the Necronomicon is actually better translated as 'Liberation by Hearing on the After-Death Plane'. The TBoTD is meant to be read aloud after someone dies, so that their spirit may hear what to do, where to do- basically have a guide in the spirit realm, the new world they have been ejected into. This particular book is a guide for those who have left their bodies and voyage to other realms, after experiencing ego-death- as happens often when taking sufficient amounts of entheogens.
After what I experienced later that night, I have no doubt that I will continue to use these teachings in my spiritual practice.
The pre-flight checklist:
I decided to take my trip on Wednesday evening (giving the water time to extract the LSA from the seed pulp), and Wednesday morning arrived with an onslaught of rain that made me think of monsoon season in Vietnam. Despite the downpour, around 4pm, I decided to run down to the Haight to grab myself some Whip-Its in order to facilitate my experience.
I bought only 2 cartons of Whip-Its brand nitrous, as it is the only (to my knowledge) pharmaceutical grade nitrous that is sold in small canister form. I decided I'd only use one carton over the course of the evening and reserve the other carton for another evening.
On the drive home, it was nearing 6:30, and at first I considered delaying a night and ingesting the seeds in the morning, but then thought better of the idea. On to the beginning of the Journey!
I prepared myself my usual way. I took a nice long ritual bath, and meditated on the experience to come. I hoped to find the answers I was looking for. I lit a stick of incense, and proceeded to strain the seed mixture which had been sitting in the fridge since that cool Monday morning from its water bottle into a ceremonial bowl. I brought my full chalice back to my bedroom, and blew the incense over it- a tradition meant to bless the concoction and help it bring good visions. Apparently, I really ground those little seeds up, since the resulting drink was more like a smoothie than water, but the taste was Earthy and slightly spicy, and I drank it all down over the course of about 5 minutes, just past 7pm. I then laid on my bed and nibbled on some ginger to head off the nausea that I knew would shortly be on the way.
As I waited for the onset of the trip, I re-read the most important chapters of the Psychedelic Experience, meditated, and when I felt the nausea rising, I put on an eye mask and put on a music mix I'd put together- primarily sacred chants and drums- in order to keep me in a positive and focused frame of mind. Mainly, I was just trying to keep a rebellious stomach under some semblance of control. At some point, my fianc馥, Eli, came in and I raised up the eye-mask. He touched my face, and I remember the warmth from his hand seeming to soak right down to my core. It was right about then that I realized the seeds were kicking in. It had been about an hour since ingestion.
Unfortunately, all this light and movement (my hand and Eli's touch), were enough to send me sprinting to the bathroom to loose my stomach contents violently. As I paid my homage to the porcelain god, I wondered if I had indeed managed to keep the seeds down for long enough to do their work. Well, if not, I reasoned, I was still prepped for Shamanic Journeying, and there was the nitrous to enjoy afterwards. I sincerely hoped, though, that my stomach had been a bit more generous with its absorption than it had been with the swift and sharp rejection of the extraction I had so lovingly prepared. As I bowed my head over the comforting coldness of the toilet seat with my stomach trying to turn itself inside out, (boy was I glad I'd cleaned and disinfected it earlier that day!), Eli came to check on me again. I assured him that I was alright, and he left me to my own devices. Feeling as though my stomach was no longer about to burst forth with an alien life form, I got up slowly, and walked to the bed. I laid back, pulled a blanket up over myself and set my I-Pod to play the drums that I use as a facilitator to Journeying. I closed my eyes and started with a meditation.
A traditional Journey begins with the Shaman or practitioner visualizing themselves leaving their body and going to a place where there is a (preferably natural) hole in the ground. This could be as small as a sand crab hole on the beach, or as large as a train tunnel- in my mind. I have been consistently amazed at the subtle messages one finds after coming back and analyzing what you saw, heard, smelled, etc.
This time, I found myself not in the 'usual' place I come out in the Lower World- instead I was back home in Morro Bay looking at the Rock. (It's a huge landmark in central CA, where I lived for 3 1/2 years). I was found by Fox- one of my guides, and then we swiftly flashed between me standing in the various places I have called 'home' in my life, and each time, Fox would say, 'Why did you leave?' I realized that the answer is simple- I've always left because I'm following a man, or being forced by my parents. My living arrangements have never really been of my own choosing. I had to really consider why I was so willing to give up my 'source'- or place of stability, on the basis of someone else痴' desire. It's never fun to admit to being weak, but that is a weakness of mine. I am a hopeless romantic, and until Eli, I clung to the notion that eventually Prince Charming would come and ensconce me in his castle....but I realized that I want my own castle, thank you so much- whether it be a small closet in Greenwich Village or a sprawling manor in the South. I want it to be my choice. I don't think I knew just how unhappy I was until this was brought to my attention. Many other things passed over the course of that Journey which I shall not elaborate on- but suffice it to say that I got most of the questions I had answered..... but still not the 'life path' question. The biggie.
I came back to my body, and Eli came in the room (at least, I think he did). I believe he asked me if I was on Morning Glory seeds, to which I responded in the affirmative. He seemed sad that I didn't tell him, or maybe disappointed in me for my uncaring action of not remembering to tell him. I felt sorry for this, but realized there was nothing I could do but apologize. It was bedtime for him, though, so I took my book (The Psychedelic Experience), 'trip toy' of a small 'electric mandala generator' as I call it, my I-Pod, and my nitrous, cracker, and balloons, out to the couch.
It was about 11pm. In the darkened room, I felt much more comfortable. I turned on Eli's small 'blue lightning' lamp, and sat down on the couch. My pupils at this point were the size of saucers- even in full light. (I also brought along a small mirror to check, as I like to do that when I'm 'out and about'.) On the couch, I sat for a while and cleared my mind, thinking about all the things I'd been shown on my Journey, but feeling like I was still missing out. Why couldn't I find my way in life? I stared with a completely blank mind at my 'trip toy' for the time of about 4 songs playing on my I-Pod, and then decided that if I wasn't going to get any answers, I might as well take some Nitrous. For the first voyage, I prepared 2 balloons, with 3 cartridges of nitrous apiece.
The experience threw me out to the outer reaches of reality. After my first inhalation of the nitrous balloon, I felt the familiar numbing effect on my body, and a slight euphoria. On the second inhalation, I focused on my breathing, and the sounds of my music began to echo in my ears (auditory flanging). On the third hit, I closed my eyes and lost myself to euphoric blackness. I felt as though I was floating in a sea of warmth and caring. I must have continued taking the balloon until it was done and taken the other balloon as well, but I have no memory of this. I felt as though the Divine- the God and Goddess (as I perceived Them) were definitely out there- and in every living thing- very benevolent, and loving towards all of creation, and I came back and thought on that a while.
I sat on the couch and read the instructions for preparations for entry into the 'First Bardo'- or the most exaulted state of divine bliss which is known as Nirvana- or Enlightenment...also known as complete ego-death, loss of your 'self' and habits, beliefs, and expectations. I attempted to clear my mind, and opened myself up with the question, 'What should I be doing with my life?' I prepared 3 balloons this time, with 3 nitrous cartridges apiece, sealing them off with little clips one uses for closing opened chip bags for ease of being able to dose repeatedly without dealing with the cracker.
I remember inhaling the first balloon, closing my eyes, then feeling a warm hand wrapped around mine- and what sounded like Eli's voice 'coaching' me on breathing. (He's done this for me before on previous nitrous experiences). The presence of his hand surprised me, but I relaxed into the trip and let his voice take me. (He was not there- this was all a hallucination). The next thing I knew, I was running down the same 'tunnel' that I had when I went on my Journey.....but it was slightly different. The Journey tunnel is Earthy and goes down. This one goes up and was darker somehow. I was reminded very distinctly of people who die while on nitrous, and while impartially looking at the tunnel, I realized I had seen it on my last nitrous experience, but just was too stubborn to surrender myself to the experience.
Perhaps, I thought, some people had gotten to the end and never wanted to come back. This time, I viewed things with as much detachment as possible, and vowed to see what was on the other side- and come back to tell the tale. I tried 'running' for the end of the tunnel this time. As I ran, I felt the things that made me 'me' slip away. I was as Inanna at the Gates to the Underworld. I laid aside my desires for money, for material possessions, followed by concern about my looks, followed by worry for my family and friends (who I somehow knew would be alright), followed by my body, followed by the hardest thing of all- giving up my stubborn pride to do things my way, my beliefs, my ideas- my ego. After releasing all these things, I made it through to the end of the tunnel.
At first I thought I had wet myself because I felt a large warm sensation between my legs.....I looked around and opened my eyes, and everything was dark- but I was not in my family room. It was as though I was floating in a large void. It was neither warm, nor cold, and only a small piece of 'me' was there- I was part of a larger, feminine entity. I realized that I hadn't pissed in my pants...but in fact that I had no pants, and had no legs for that matter, and was formless. Somehow, this did not disturb me, but felt right. I felt as though I was giving birth and realized that the sensation I'd felt was my 'water' breaking. I felt an ecstatic joy as I 'pushed'. It hurt, and I felt as though a piece of me was being torn out....but it was the right thing to do....and as I pushed, I wondered 'Why? Why split myself in two?' and out of nowhere I got the answer, 'For the joy of it- of seeing- of having a companion to share this existence with'. Then light surrounded my vision, and I was awash with a feeling of supreme love and joy. I closed my 'eyes' and floated for what seemed like an eternity, then came back to my body and current self in a daze. I was sweating heavily, but felt wonderful. I was amazed at what I had just experienced. Nothing had prepared me for that. (As a matter of fact, I've read reports vaguely similar to this- both drug induced and not, and thought the people insane, or at least a cup and saucer short of a full place setting. I don't think I知 insane for the record, though- so let that be dually noted.)
I hadn't realized it, but before this, I was rather unclear on where religion and science met, as I firmly believe in the 'Big Bang' theory, but was unclear on where my definition of the Divine fit in- the Goddess and God as I see it. I was definitely under the impression that this was what had put it into motion... Love in it's purest form- more than can possibly be described in words- unconditional love- and caring- wanting someone to care for, and if they'll accept it, to look after- be my equal, but different than me- and if they let you, to watch them make their own way, no matter what that way may be, with pride- to have no expectations or judgments of them- just to have joy at experiencing life together. A mother's emotions. (At least, a good mother, IMO). I meditated on this experience for quite some time. Then, I decided to go back into the rift, and ask my question, 'What should I do?' (Rather broad and non-specific, I know, but I had a feeling that the Divine force that I'd experienced would get the idea). I prepared another three balloons- with three whip-its per one, cleared space in front of me incase I started to convulse then prepared myself according to the TBotD, and went back up.....way up.
Again, I was running up the tunnel, and this time, I easily 'tore off' all inhibitions, fears, worries, and all that made me 'me', but tried with the last conscious thought I had as 'myself' to think very strongly, 'What should I do?' before I threw myself into the light at the end of the tunnel. This turned into, 'What should Andi do?'
I was flooded with many answers at once. I again had the feeling of floating in a timeless darkness- but this time, there were two beings instead of one- masculine and feminine...but they were part of one another. I related most closely to the feminine being- I would describe it as the Goddess. The Lady told me it's because we each have a piece of the Divine within ourselves...so She was the one I related to most closely- as this was all my current form could comprehend. I was again overwhelmed with an overpowering feeling of complete love and joy- acceptance and happiness for all I have achieved- and all I have yet to undertake. This feeling of love extended to the whole human race. I was told many personal things about my life path to come. As the 'Andi entity' I suppose I could call it, I understood completely. I was given an excellent solution to all my problems which I had never thought of before, and realized that my destiny will come when it comes, and I am no longer as anxious about the future as I was.
I was then shown my relationship with Eli, and the way I treat others. When immersed in pure love and joy, I saw that I have been less loving and caring in my relationships than I ever dreamed.(And I've always thought of myself as a caring, loving person). I felt as though I have not been a good enough partner to Eli. I also saw that I have been less than kind to others. I do my best to be charitable, but really, I condemn far more often than I should- and I often don't even admit this to myself. In that completely accepting and overwhelming space, I was asked what my true desire was. 'To serve You- bring love to other people. I want to be a priestess.' (I think I had forgotten I already am one, as I am an Initiated Wiccan.....).
I got the distinct impression that They were amused. 'And what else?'
'I want to be a psychologist, and if I can't, then to be a midwife. I want to help make life better. It would be an honor to assist in births- in helping people make sacrifices they never knew they could make- either way.' Both were life choices I felt were appropriate, although the PhD in psychology involved much more difficulty ahead. I was then given a series of ethical situations to 'think' about when I came back, and I was given a choice as to how I would come back to my body. I could come back to my body unchanged, or on a different path. This was to be an impartial choice, but a very important one. My one strongest desire was that of spreading love and being a priestess- not a Bodhisattva- because I didn't feel ready for that in this life, but definitely to strive to be an 'asura', (basically what I consider to be a priest/priestess....but it involves more awareness of the life you are living than I have experienced and put forth to this day.)
I then had the impression of being cradled in the Lady's arms and being deposited back in my body. I opened my eyes and had tears streaming down my face. I felt so remorseful for not being more active. I have been trying, but not hard enough....but I knew that I needed to let it go. I forgave myself.
The most surprising thing to me was that I forgave my rapist (I was raped last year and I've been trying to recover, with SLOW progress). I can now look back and see that he was completely unloving, uncaring, and he has damned himself. My anger, fear, and rage at him only makes me weaker- and still his victim. I never thought I could or would ever forgive him. But I did.
I realized that if it came down to me dying for someone else, I would take a bullet for someone (or at least I would like to think I would), because I'm not afraid of dying at all anymore. Although I've always been religious and have pretty much believed in reincarnation, I wasn't 100 percent sure in my heart....now, I feel that I know that what's waiting is only Nirvana, and I would want to save someone else fear and pain if I could.
I proceeded to do several meditations recommended by the book to 're-enter' the state of bliss- this time without the nitrous, and again, I floated, at perfect peace and harmony with the Lord and Lady- this time for about an hour by the clock, when I glanced before and after- although I felt completely removed from time, as though only seconds had passed. I made conscious decisions then, to apologize to certain people in my life for not being as loving as I could have been, and to live consciously every moment, instead of running and dulling my pain with various addictions. This doesn't mean I'm not going to party anymore- I'm just going to be very aware of why I知 doing it- and sheer enjoyment is quite alright! I will do my best to reserve judgment on other people, and live life in a loving manner. These ideals, and at least (what seems like) a hundred more considerations were presented to me, and I am still processing them now.
I also had many more personal religious visions of the Goddess and was shown Her face- while in meditation, and not on the nitrous. Of course, I知 realizing the LSA was probably still running strong- although by this time my eyes were no longer dilated. Throughout the experience, I had a sense of the presence of the God, and His love, but this time was 'girl' time. LOL I sincerely hope that I don't turn into one of the Holy Rollers I dislike so much. I do feel that I now understand their mania- when one experiences (or think they've experienced) such joy and fulfillment, it's natural to want to share it. However, I don't feel it's right to force it on others. I think those who force 'God's love' on other people are deceiving themselves (and others). Using force isn't loving- it's imposing my will on another human being and feeling 'superior' because of it. Some people are just not meant to live this life in a more awakened state. This is not a judgment- and I don't think I知 better or worse than anyone else. It is merely an observation of spiritual growth. I honestly never thought I'd hear myself speak those words and not laugh.
So, powerful experience- be it a psychotic break, hallucination, connection with my subconscious, or connection with the Divine (or maybe a little of all 4.....) it remains to be seen whether I can keep these new, improved on morals and ideals. According to the societal meter, I'm quite off the deep end, but I feel very at peace, and happy with my decisions, so too damn bad =).
The next morning, I did something completely out of character for me- I woke up at 11 (I'd been up until at least 4) when Eli kissed me and said he was going to the gym. I surprised him by going over and working out with him. I haven't worked out in a long time- much less first thing in the morning. When I saw another woman at the treadmill, my first thought was, 'Man, her thighs are fat'- which I immediately snagged, considered, and realized that I judge other women because I'm jealous or insecure. Realizing that I have nothing to worry about as long as I live in a loving and open manner, I let it go and *genuinely* saw her as being beautiful. I saw her working hard for her goal- certainly something I haven't been doing lately- at least on the exercise end of the spectrum.
When I got home, I made breakfast for Eli when he asked....but not because he asked and I felt *obligated*, but because I really love him and wanted to make him happy. Making love felt better than it has in a long time (and it always feel really good!), because I felt like there was 'more' of me to enjoy it. Although I was beset with a bout of extreme nausea shortly after I ate, and that put the kibosh on the rest of the day I was planning on enjoying with my fiancee, my inner counsel says that I tried- and there was nothing I could do about the nausea. It is possibly an after effect of the Morning Glory- or perhaps just the fact I have a temperamental stomach and ate after I exercised. I still feel extremely euphoric- almost as though I've been floating all day- even though being nauseous laid me out. I知 going to do my best to live tomorrow in a better manner than today...and hopefully continue my life like that.
Perhaps the LSA is still in my system, and this is a 'false enlightenment', but I still feel amazing. Even if this is temporary, I have this record- and the memory- a guidepost. And I have some fundamental beliefs that I know now are a part of me- and I will continue to strive towards those goals I made while in a completely detached state.
I have retained an awareness of the Divine at the back of my head since last Wednesday, and I can now almost immediately drop into a state of intense meditation and awareness of the Divine. The feeling reminds me distinctly of when I was initiated as a Witch. I 'saw' things differently, and that awareness has carried through to this day. Today I 'see' and feel things a little differently. I hope that it lasts.
I wish all of you peace, beautiful visions, and safe happy trips.
To quote the Desiderata: 'With all of its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Strive to be happy.'
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