Pure. Desolate. Terror.
Citation: Very Silly Boy!. "Pure. Desolate. Terror.: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (exp51749)". Erowid.org. Apr 9, 2007. erowid.org/exp/51749
Firstly I should say that I'm not new to drugs, though I'm hardly a veteran either. I've had extensive experience with good old Scottish Mushrooms over the years (old pointy headed pals!), more recent experience with crystal MDMA (not sure what you guys call this: active ingredient of ecstasy, as I understand it) (really positive each time), and one experience with liquid LSD (Accidental, but wonderful, probably a one off). As I say, all of these have been really positive experiences, and every one has given me something beautiful to take away with me. Salvia, I'm sad to say, was somewhat less positive.
I acquired a 10g bag of ordinary leaf through the internet. A friend, who studies various forms of Shamanism, had talked about it. Iíve been meditating deeply recently, and have felt all of my previous trips to be spiritual experiences, rather than just for fun. Iím also a fairly cautious, responsible (or so I thought), adult. In other words I thought I could handle it. I was wrong.
My first few experiences, using a pipe, were very mild. I experienced a tugging sensation down and leftwards. The third time, I had a vague sensation of being at the bottom of a flight of stairs encouraging someone at the top to join me. The person at the top of the stairs turned out also to be me.
All of these attempts required a great deal of smoking, enough to make me choke. It should be noted that I do not smoke ciggarettes. I gave up for a week or two before borrowing a bong from a friend. Once I had this I removed all obstacles from my room, meditated to focus my thoughts, packed a large bowl and lit up. I didnít have a minder, I only intended to take a mild trip! I took one full lungful from the bong, with the lighter held over the bowl the whole time, I held it in and barely managed to drop the lighter before all Hell broke loose!
I was aware of falling, in through my own mouth, and down a tunnel, fast. I was aware that the tunnel was bottomless. Looking up, the walls of the tunnel were made up of my own face, repeated infinite times, each contained within the other. Kind of like when you have two mirrors facing each other. Suddenly I became aware of the rest of the room as well (it was almost dark). The room was above the tunnel. The room was an isolated box. Outside the box there was nothing. Nothing at all.
I was struck by the most visceral panic I have ever experienced. It was even worse, and Iím really ashamed of this, than when I was fighting, and failing, to save my late Wifeís life after a fatal accident several years ago. The sheer desolation was crushing, paralyzing. Iím afraid I just canít express it properly in words.
My room was a box that contained all that was left of the universe and I was rapidly falling away from it. Worse, by now something was sucking me away from it. Worse still, the lip of the tunnel (the uppermost of my faces) was collapsing, sucking my room, which was the universe, in behind me. I was aware that if I allowed this to happen, I would be responsible for the End Of Everything, all because I thought I was some sort of fucking spiritual voyager. I really canít express how terrifying this felt.
I finally found the strength to fight against it. At first I merely struggled helplessly but I soon realized the only escape was back up through the tunnel. I climbed up and up. I could feel my poor grip against the walls of my throat as I climbed. Finally I fought my way to my mouth. I should mention that my conscious body was the same size as the one I was climbing out of. I forced my hands through, pried the jaws open, and squeezed out. During this the feel of my teeth and my breaking face were very real against my hands and body. This was only the first of literally thousands. On each exit I was wheeled around to the left. On each exit I grew more tired and more desperate.
I felt I was losing the battle and the universe would be swallowed up by the imploding tunnel. I realized I wasnít quite climbing in the right way. I made one last, desperate effort. This time my real body (outside of the trip) jumped off the bed and headed for the ceiling via some shelves. Now I was aware of the real world in the peripheral vision of my trip. I struggled out of my own mouth for the final time but this time I ended up in an entirely different tube. I struggled through this tube, plunged into freezing cold water and climbed into another tube. This tube led to a final exit, again one which I could vividly feel with my hands, and which I now know was the bowl of the bong.
Suddenly I was back in my real, singular body, and aware. I ran and switched on the light. I took the tube of the bong out of my mouth and put it down in the farthest corner of the room. I went and sat on the bed, but still didnít feel free of it yet. I realized I was still holding my breath. It took a huge a physical effort to exhale, and then all of my concentration to keep breathing. My body was convulsing and trying to tell me I was still spinning round to the left. Gradually I became present enough to look at the clock. Iíd been gone for barely two minutes!
The feeling of desolation didnít dissipate for another hour. I wanted to phone my girlfriend and have her come round but at the same time I realized I was safe now and it wasnít fair to scare her with this. Not ever. Oddly enough, several hours later I was sound asleep and awoke next day feeling fine.
This is the polar opposite to any drug Iíve ever tried. Everything else gave me a sense of connection with my surroundings, this sent me inwards. Everything else made me more positive about the universe, this made me question itís very existence.
I know this stuff sounds like a High School Kidís Horror essay, but thatís what I experienced. The really odd things are these: my experience lasted for several hours and yet in the ďrealĒ world it only lasted two minutes; it all felt 100% real, no trippy tracers, no blurriness. Real as Day.
Iím sorry I canít write well enough to give a better sense of how terrifying this was. I wonít be taking Salvia again, and itís put me off LSD too. I may take Mushrooms again, but not for a while. Mostly I think Iíll stick to meditation, cups of tea, and a quiet life. If Iíve taken one positive thing from Salvia itís this: My life with my future wife, the family we want to start, all my beautiful friends and all the cool stuff Iíve yet to do; all of this is more important to me than catching a brief glimpse of Nirvana through the use of mind bending substances.
If Salvia gave a longer trip, I wouldnít have got out!
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