Citation: bug. "A Backward-Resonating Experience: An Experience with 2C-I (exp53057)". Erowid.org. May 16, 2006. erowid.org/exp/53057
It had been a strange few weeks and months, a time of transition, confusion, and angst. Time seemed to be throwing a curveball backward at me from some point, shrouded and viscerally ominous, in the future. I had been hoping for a mellow, fun psychedelic trip for quite a while, my last trip having been an agonizing psychoanalytic experience on 1/8 oz. of mushrooms three months prior. I had been hoping to drop acid on a camping trip with two good friends, but it had never panned out. When I told a friend that I was hoping to do a solo trip in my room on Sunday night, he offered me some of his supply of 2C-I, a psychedelic phenethylamine with psychoactive properties. I was somewhat dubious about the substance – not worried, but not extremely optimistic about the illuminative power of a mere ‘research chemical’. (I had built something of a bias against psychedelic compounds that were not ingested as part of their host plant, a result of listening to copious amounts of Terence McKenna’s lectures). I figured I would have a breezy experience, watching subtle trippy patterns unfold before my eyes and maybe doing a bit of meditation and writing.
I ate 20 mg of 2C-I at roughly 10:20 pm, in the form of three gel tabs whose inner walls were lightly coated with the rust-colored chemical powder. I sat in my room with a sense of anticipation and giddiness building. I chatted with a few close friends on instant messenger, casually watching a playoff basketball game on TV. My setting felt more than comfortable enough for a pleasant journey, aided as it was by the familiarity of the basketball game, the casual conversations with friends, and the lighting of some sandalwood incense.
It doesn’t feel right telling the story of this trip in linear progression; then again, it doesn’t feel write telling this story with words. I will not attempt the fantastic literary achievement, a la Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, of uniquely describing the psychedelic experience by bending the rules of the English language. I will rather attempt to relate as accurately as possible the visual, physiological and spiritual phenomena which comprised my experience, and relate subjectively the lasting insights that the ‘force’ behind these phenomena (I hesitate to say that this force is limited to 2C-I’s chemical interaction with my brain) attempted to bestow on me. What will probably come out of this report are painfully worded phrases that come across as half-insights or curious descriptions, but maybe something more will shine through.
Let’s cut to the chase: the ‘come-up’ took roughly two hours. I felt absolutely nothing beyond a sense of anticipation in the first hour; over the next hour I felt waves of giddiness and tried to fixate on certain objects to see if my visual perceptions were changing. I felt very level-headed and carried on several normal conversations on AIM. At around the two-hour mark I felt a familiar feeling: a deep sense of dread and despair arising from nowhere, mitigated by my unconscious suppression of this emotion and by my conscious desire not to feel this way. It is a feeling I’ve had many times, often when I am sober and much more frequently when I am high or anticipating being high on marijuana. I get thoughts like, “What am I doing with my life?” “I am totally unfit to succeed in my job/school career/friendships/relationships.” “I am going to crash and die next time I drive my car.” “Everyone I know is unhappy. Why? What is wrong with humanity?” When this feeling is intensified by marijuana or mushrooms, I feel blackness eating at my heart, a cancer that I cannot get rid of. When I got this feeling, I felt like crying -- for myself, for the people I love, for the people and pets I’ve lost and the childhood I’ve lost, for the constant suffering of the earth and its inhabitants -- but I can’t make myself cry.
At this point I had to shut my computer, turn off the TV, and go lie down. I was extremely tired. At first lying down had a very comforting effect, but after awhile I became distressed; I looked at my curtains and thought, “I can’t even tell if I’m tripping.” I wondered if I had really taken 2C-I and, if I had, whether I had taken enough. I started to regret taking it and wishing I could just go to sleep. What if this would just be another arduous journey through my psyche like my last trip? Or, even worse, what if I was unable to control myself and decided to go storming through the house screaming gibberish and waking my family up or go downstairs and kill myself?
To be honest, I’m not sure how I got from this stage to the next part of my trip. It may have been a sudden transition, or a subtle progression. I just don’t remember. The next phase of my trip was a beautiful one: I began to analyze how I could positively affect all the people around me and change the dynamic of relationships that I felt to be unhealthy. This line of thought brought a fountain of new ideas springing forth, starting with a simple notion: “Be more open with everyone.” It developed into a sudden and spontaneous awareness – sudden in the temporal sense and spontaneous in that these ideas arose not out of forgotten knowledge or half-learned ideas, but seemingly out of the ether -- of Vedic/Buddhist concepts like the dharma body, the mandala, and karma. I had turned off my lights to create a mood conducive to tripping, but at this point I turned on my bedside light and began scribbling furiously in my notebook. I couldn’t even begin to get out all the knowledge that flowed through me, which was somewhat frustrating: my mind was detached from my hands, which were scrambling to formulate cogent sentences as they moved faster than I thought possible across the lined paper.
I can’t articulate now the depth of what I learned (or what I discovered I already knew intrinsically to be true), being as I am now distanced from the experience by all the ‘sober’ experiences I’ve had since. I can only copy here a few phrases that I frantically scribbled, with a twinkle in my eye and a crazed smile on my lips, in those few minutes:
“every psychedelic person has moments akin the [sic] my moment. the world is not as dark and overbearing as you think. it starts with you, your family, your friends”
“solve yourself” (with a little scribbled picture of a strange stick-figure flying toward the sun)
“IT IS SO CLICHED/BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE” (here I consciously quoted Gandhi with the smug feeling that I was one of the few who ‘got it’)
“pure amazement on paper!!”
“the inner workings of the heart
GREATER THAN ANY MANDALA”
“The wisdom of Buddhism is not an abstraction. One must not abandon his loved ones on a plane of suffering while he ascends to the Buddha. NO Karma starts in each of us. We must seek to enrich the lives of those we know, love, care about.”
“Rest on a divine cloud of understanding. This statement means nothing as I write it, everything as I think it.”
“They cannot harm me. GEORGE BUSH means nothing… it is a name and an idea. Everyone is afraid of concepts. NO! ¡! ¡! ¡! ¡!”
“Truth lies in action and in being. Karmic constraints are not placed in letters and words…”
“Time is the province of regret. Without regret time is completely and utterly irrelevant. Concessions are NEVER made easily.”
And finally, a phrase that made me laugh hysterically:
“it brims with universal clevreity!”
No, “clevreity” is not a word. But this phrase was perhaps the most powerful at the time it was written, and is the most enigmatic to me now. I can now feel only a hint of its outrageous profundity resonating within me.
I will not go into analysis of most of these statements. Some are straight forward enough to stand alone, whether you agree with them or not; others, as representations of what I felt, are too muddied by the constraints of time (i.e. the speed of my hand vs. the speed of my mind) and language to be extremely significant. The references to Buddhism, for example, are on paper infinitely less meaningful now than when I experienced them. Defining the mandala, even if I were somehow able to do so better than the countless people who have attempted to, is irrelevant to me; it is the glimpse of experience of the mandala that was all-important in this phase of the trip, and I cannot confer experience to you the reader.
“Everyone is afraid of concepts.” This thought would become a powerful theme in the trip and affected in me a radical paradigm shift. This is where, if they haven’t already, my thoughts will become jumbled and maybe incomprehensible, because this theme is one with political, societal, historical, familial and spiritual significance. “GEORGE BUSH means nothing”. This was my hand’s feeble attempt to transfer the revelation that there is no evil power at work in this world in the sense that most people believe there to be. The neo-conservatives, the World Bank, the Maoists – all are demonized by people who consider themselves their antitheses. But these entities do not arise from some deep well of malevolence that is the source of all human woe, nor do they arise from individuals who are inherently ‘bad’ or ‘stupid’; they arise from the insecurity of the individuals who cluster together to be defined. Take Nazism: the most malignant, cynical political concept of the 20th century arose not from any Satanic wellspring, but because the collective insecurity of the people who considered themselves ‘German’ (or ‘Aryan’) – fed by German poverty and international isolation post World War I – was so great that it led to the delusion that the definitions ‘Aryan’ and ‘Jew’ precluded the definition of ‘person’, and that removal of the Jew would alleviate the insecurity of the Aryan.
The same thing is going all over the world on varying scales; one need look no further than the vast chasm between Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Well, I feel like I’m generically and disjointedly reiterating the conclusions reached by countless historians, psychologists, et al. The conclusion of this revelation, at any rate, was that profound change cannot occur on a global scale until people are secure enough in their own divinity, beauty and inherent worth to stop forming little clubs like religion and nationality to ease the craving for identity. Change will not come with marches, rallies, fundraisers, bills passed by parliaments, or treaties signed by self-interested state-entities.
I was overwhelmed by this sudden burst of psychic energy. I was consumed with how to apply what was being revealed to me to my everyday life and with how to spread good karma wherever I went. My ‘sober’ mind, not fully integrated into this experience, was racing over every negative thought I could recall, every negative vibe I could recall having absorbed. I walked into the bathroom to pee and felt completely giddy, laughing as I saw the trip’s first visuals start to float playfully along the surfaces of the bathroom. I looked at myself in the mirror and smiled knowingly, then trotted back into my room.
When I lay down and turned the light off, the trip got, for lack of a better word, deeper. I started to feel anxious and a hint of the old feeling of despair set in. On the surface, however, my mind was buzzing. I lay in bed – I don’t remember if my eyes were open or closed – and watched electrical patterns flash across my eyes, chords of metallic blue, red, gold, moving in every direction as a pattern emerged. In my head I began to clearly hear guitar riffs from “Tears of Joy” by Robert Randolph & the Family Band – my mind played the riffs and added to them, taking the electrical streaks and making them buzz through the chords of the song to create a new unique riff unlike any I’d ever heard. I was orchestrating an amazing piece of improvisational music in my head. I was really grooving on this for awhile when I realized I had to go to the bathroom again.
When I stood up to go to the bathroom a wave of paranoia hit me. How much noise was I making walking across the floor of my room? How many times had I already gotten up to go to the bathroom? Surely my dad would be suspicious if I walked across the hallway again. I tried to tiptoe but I felt twice as heavy as normal; the creaking of the floorboards was like high-pitched feedback in my ears. When I got into the bathroom I calmed down a bit. When I looked around, it all of a sudden dawned on me: “HOLY SHIT, I AM TRIPPING BALLS!!!” What only a little while ago – how long had it actually been? – had seemed like an amazingly subtle trip had all of a sudden catapulted itself to an unfathomable level of weirdness. The hallucinations that swirled around me were reminiscent of mushrooms: the way the texture and pigment of my skin seemed to contort around my face, the way my muscles seemed to bulge at weird angles, the almost alien quality of my dilated pupils. I felt very uneasy as I relieved myself.
When I stood up, the most intense visuals I have ever experienced began to swirl around me. Looking in the mirror, I saw that I was able to change everything about my physical appearance by moving my arms. When I moved them up and down, they were followed by fractal trails of themselves. The lower I moved them, the darker my skin pigmentation became. I flexed my muscles and every one of them was rippling like a bodybuilder’s. Slowly I raised my hands above my head and my entire body seemed to lose mass and shine, as if a white light was about to emerge from my chest and envelop my physical body. I put the palms of my hands together with my elbows facing outward in what I thought at the time resembled an image of Siddhartha Gautama in a state of tantric ecstasy. What happened in this state was too strange for me to even begin to describe, and I felt quickly overwhelmed. In retrospect, I believe I would have achieved ego death and oneness with the Atman if I had continued to experiment in front of the mirror in that fashion, but I just wasn’t ready for that. I walked back into my room, as clumsily as I had left it, and lay back down in the darkness.
At this point I began to feel major changes in my physical body: the 2C-I seemed to be honing in on areas of my body that were sore or aching and exaggerating the feeling. My back was in tremendous pain, and I recognized the source of the pain to be weight-lifting and basketball without stretching. Another part of my body ached as well, and I recognized this as something more serious: I recalled that this particular part of my body had felt intensely uncomfortable in the past while high on marijuana or mushrooms. I started to feel physically ill at the possibility that there was something wrong with one of my organs; all the problems that I have faced in recent years seemed trivial. I was being suddenly presented with the horrifying reality of my own mortality, and it felt infinitely worse than any ‘bad’ thought loops I had experienced before while tripping.
I remember very little of this part of the trip because it was so intense. The pain continued in various parts of my body, but my mind entered a strange realm. The dominant motif became the mushroom-body: I felt a metamorphosis between Self and Mushroom was occurring, which is strange considering that I was not tripping on psilocybin. I cannot stress enough the importance of the image of the human body becoming the mushroom, and yet the details and meaning specific to the image are all but lost to me.
I feel that the only way to adequately describe the rest of the trip is to give some background information on the McKennian worldview. In 1971 Terence McKenna, a frontiersman of the Summer of Love and the ‘freak’ culture at Berkeley, and a budding shamanist and ethnobotanist, went to the Amazon with his brother Dennis. He claims that, through the use of psilocybin mushrooms (specifically Stropharia cubensis) and ayahuasca (orally active dimethyltryptamine brew used in pan-Amazonia as a healing tool and means of communion with forest spirits), Dennis was able to actually force a bond between psilocybin and his own living DNA, the result of which was allegedly a weeks-long shamanic ecstasy wherein a number of bizarre telepathic, telekinetic, alchemical and mystical phenomena occurred. Terence himself claims to have experienced Dennis’s new powers and to have come into contact with an entity that revealed hidden wisdom to him (the ‘Logos’ of the ancient Greeks). The experience culminated in McKenna seeing a UFO.
This sounds like very loony stuff, and I won’t try to explain the experiment in the Amazon beyond the above. I was very intrigued by McKenna when I first listened to the recordings of his “In Search of the Original Tree of Knowledge” lecture at Berkeley. Many of his ideas, like the story related above, seem patently outlandish, but he is such an articulate and charismatic speaker, who makes so many incisive observations about things like language, sexuality, politics and the scientific method that it is easy to get absorbed in the more outrageous propositions he makes. The reason I mention him at all is that, in the most intense stage of the trip (after the initial surge of dharma-contemplation), every motif was distinctly and powerfully McKennian.
It would be impossible for me to delineate the interweaving of these motifs, but I will do my best to give a basic overview of a few of McKenna’s concepts. My descriptions will be inaccurate to a degree, I’m sure, but if nothing else it will be helpful to me to recount the way these ideas enveloped me (in some cases quite literally!) during the trip.
• Hyper-dimensional fluid – This may not be the precise term McKenna used, but it suits the stuff well enough. In “Tree of Knowledge” McKenna wonders aloud whether there is some kind of physical weight added to the body during an intense trip. He cited the personal experience of having sex while tripping on mushrooms, how the impression is distinct that a literal, physical bond occurs between the partners during the act. Since an outside observer watching two people high on shrooms having sex would probably not perceive a liquid coating on the skin (apart from sweat) or a physical bonding of the flesh, McKenna posits that the connector is a superconductive liquid that is unconfined by time and physical law and visible only under certain conditions while under the influence of psychedelics. He also theorizes, based on his research, that shamans in places like Guatemala and Colombia have used hyper-dimensional liquid (usually vomited up by shamans after ingestion of psychedelic brews like ayahuasca) to receive images and messages from the spirits they commune with for hundreds of years. These ideas sounds far-fetched, to say the least; one could simply explain away the phenomenon of ‘liquid bonding’ by pointing out that any psychedelic chemical has an enormous effect on perception, and the perceived bonding is nothing more than a sensual hallucination.
I experienced a sensation remarkably close to the one McKenna describes. When I put my arm on my chest, for example, they ceased to be separate physical objects, and I could not, no matter how hard I tried, form an image in my mind of how my arm was interacting with my chest. For all I knew it had sunken in and been engulfed by my ribcage, or my entire body had been completely replaced by a glob of putty-like flesh. When I felt my pectorals or biceps, they felt extremely swollen with a strange liquid – not only strange in the sense that I didn’t expect it to be there, but also in that it seemed to shift around in my body when I lay still. At one point I would feel a massive glob of liquid forming in my chest or at my neck, and when I turned over it would realign itself and my muscles would puff up like marshmallows and feel achy. If I licked my lips, they felt tiny, as if my head had swollen to gargantuan proportions, and if I rolled over I had to concentrate very hard to figure out where my extremities were in relation to my body. My blankets and pillow became me and my bed-sheets hardened like a weightlifter’s neck, or began to resemble windswept sand dunes. Occasionally, if I moved around or pulled one part of my body away from another, I would feel wetness on many surfaces, but if I put my other hand on the surface of my skin to check for liquid the two parts of my body would merely feel ‘bonded’, with no trace of sweat or fluid.
• Resonance – This concept has to do with McKenna’s views on the nature of time. His belief is that time is not a linear continuum where some things, by random processes, undergo “the formality of actually occurring” and others simply do not. Time is, he believes, an entity per se. The concept is much the same as Einstein’s revolutionary conclusion that space has physical properties (e.g. it is folded over on itself) and is not merely a vacuum described solely by the objects it contains. With the notion that time is not objective and linear comes the idea that future and past events have substantial resonance in the present.
During this particular trip, the themes, motifs, leitmotifs, patterns and thought-loops swirling around my head and body combined to convince me that the months leading up to this momentous experience contained elements of backward resonance from the trip itself. Emotions that had arisen spontaneously in my recent past, empathic intuitions, inclinations to research certain subjects; every memory of the past few months of my life, concrete or fleeting, sparkled with resonance from this mystical experience. Perhaps it was only a matter of the trip altering the way I remembered, or my memory influencing the trip (the obvious logical explanation in the framework of Western notions of time and memory) but the perception that this trip was resonating through my past, even as far back as my childhood, was overwhelming.
• The UFO, the forest, and the goddess – Near the end of my trip, when the sun was still not up but the sky was getting lighter, I looked out my window and beheld the most amazing visage. My backyard had become a vast alien jungle, brimming with weirdness. Every leaf on every tree had a halo of molten light around it; the petals of a blossoming tree became a glistening constellation, an otherworldly source of white light. The sky was a color I’d never seen before – if I had to use English to describe it I’d say it was a perfectly harmonious blend of orange and purple. Electric currents seemed to be scintillating all around me; a very powerful presence had been awakened in everything. I thought, “Why do I close my curtains at night when this is what exists outside?!” I perched my chin on the windowsill as I lay in bed and stared out the window, and my chin became the sill and my face became the early morning. I felt as if any minute meteors might begin jetting out of the night sky, ushering in a crimson apocalypse. An image came back to me of Terence McKenna’s experience of his UFO encounter at La Chorrera, and I realized that what I was seeing – the color of the sky, the sounds and vibrations emanating around me – was a resonance of the image I’d had in my head when reading McKenna’s account, but infinitely more powerful.
I felt very strongly that if I kept looking just above where the leafy tops of the trees met the sky, an alien presence would reveal itself. I began to deeply regret not having gone for a walk among the trees during the trip. The ideas swirling in my head were of McKenna’s conviction that UFOs are the goddess re-asserting herself in a world dominated by patriarchal rationality, and of the deep connection between femininity, the forest, and the Other that is the backbone of McKenna’s philosophy and many shamanic lineages in the Amazon.
A major theme I encountered was the ‘bad trip’. I felt all of a sudden that a major reason for a lot of the negative energy I’ve experienced in life is because I tend to take on other people’s bad trips. I have always considered myself extremely empathic, and my intuitions often take me inside the heads (perhaps often reading between lines that don’t even exist) of the people I’m talking to or observing, whether it’s friends, family, casual acquaintances or complete strangers. I have a tendency to effusively confirm the statements of others even when I do not fully agree, and to go along with others’ trips without asserting my own. I realized that these bad trips have accumulated in me, to the point where I am affected in my relationships with a person by concepts and stereotypes that I have built up in my own head around the person I am dealing with. With this phase of introspection came an intense physical sensation (I can be no more specific than ‘sensation’ because I can only recall it now in the two-dimensionality of ‘sober’ memory) in my head, and the perception that a large bubble was swelling up around me full of every bad trip I’ve ever perceived and taken on. I became other people and delved deep into their unconscious minds, and felt a tremendous weight building.
As the night went on, I was able to release this weight. One major theme echoing in my head in the days following this trip has been, “Don’t take on other people’s bad trips”, whether real or perceived through over-analysis of gestures, words, glances and movements. Rather, I told myself, treat others as human beings. Human beings have issues, neuroses, hang-ups, but these do not define them as people. I cannot take on their hang-ups for them.
I was reminded of the way an acquaintance described Buddhism:
“Life is suffering.
Suffering is caused by attachments.
By eliminating these attachments one can transcend this existence and achieve a higher state of being.”
While I am by no means ready or willing to permanently leave the “attachments” of family, friends, and familiarity, this line of thought was the greatest thing I took out of this trip when applied to my own mind. “Attachments”, I realized, do not have to be external, and the most important ones usually aren’t. By giving up my bad trips – watching TV and movies, reading people’s Facebooks, craving certain meals at certain times and being upset when I don’t get them, and most importantly overanalyzing my interactions with people, I can make huge progress toward inward tranquility.
I felt strongly during the trip, and still do now, that this phenomenon called ‘globalization’ has had a horrible effect on the collective unconscious, making everyone’s bad trip readily available at the touch of a mouse or the push of a button. People are assimilating bad trips into their psyches at a rate never before possible, and as a result individuals are less in touch with themselves than ever before. Young people turn to things like MTV with the unconscious desire to assimilate more bad trips (for the simple reason that they are uncomfortable with their own trips), and to things like Facebook and MySpace to vent the negative energy built up by taking on society’s bad trips.
The final stage of my 2C-I experience – the ‘come-down’ – was elusive, and is now extremely difficult to put into words (it being a week now since the trip occurred). Perhaps the best part of the trip was staring at the alien forest that was (and still is) my backyard, with incredible notions racing through my mind about the nature of existence. (“Nature of existence” is a clichéd turn of phrase, but how can I eloquently describe what I can barely verbalize?)
As I lay in bed, stereotypes withered before my eyes like flower petals. The idea came to me that everyone lives with the human archetype reverberating through his unconscious, however hidden it may be beneath the muck. I looked at a poster of Bob Marley and saw in his face the full spectrum of what it meant to him to be ‘black’, ‘Jamaican’, ‘African’, ‘musician’, ‘Rasta’, every word that he experienced as augmenting ‘human’ in his interaction with the great societal entity. I would never be so egomaniacal as to suggest that I know the mind of Bob Marley (or Kobe Bryant, or any of the other people I ‘became’ that night), but the fundamental truth I experienced in this archetypal kaleidoscope was self-evident to me.
When it was finally light out and I was the only one home, I walked downstairs. I had not slept even a little bit, and I felt dehydrated. I also felt completely insane. I sat down with a mug of Nirvana Chai tea and an apple and could barely think anything beyond, “Man, that trip was too much.” I felt very uneasy and was totally unsure whether I would ever feel the same again (I always wonder this at some point in a trip, but this time it was a distinctly different manifestation of the feeling). I felt delusional: the first thing I did when I got downstairs was get on the Internet to see if any signs of the impending apocalypse had reached BBC News. I got in my car to head to work at around 10:30 (I had dosed at 10:30 at night, come up by 12:45 am, peaked at God knows when, and most sensual/perceptual effects had dissipated by 10 am). The world seemed radically different and somewhat depressing; I had the somewhat egotistical notion that I was the only person in a large radius without his head up his ass that Monday morning.
The rest of the day I experienced some physical uneasiness coupled with, so to speak, a tranquil new emotional assemblage point. Everywhere I looked, particularly where I saw trees, plants, and flowers, I felt a great sense of joy welling up inside me. I recalled Huxley’s “The Doors of Perception”, a favorite book of psychedelic people everywhere, and felt, as I’m sure countless others have, as if I was on my way to cleansing the doors. I felt no impatience as I usually did moving from one house to the next to walk dogs (yes, I went to work on no sleep after an unimaginably intense trip); I felt like I was being gently guided through my day by a benevolent entity. Listening to music, I experienced powerful emotion, and felt tears come to my eyes listening to a song by Cascade in Blue. Listening to Robert Randolph & the Family Band, the group whose song was playing in my head throughout the trip, every chord felt like a drop of water landing on harp strings and causing tiny vibrations in some lush corner of Eden.
Throughout the trip, I felt like I was being spoken to by a subtle presence that did not exist in my waking thought. Out of this monologue without words (someone with psychedelic experience under his or her belt may need no explanation of the seeming oxymoronic nature of a wordless monologue) came several practical suggestions for changes in my life. In addition to the idea of exerting only positive energies in dealing with others, and willfully ceasing to be tuned in to the TV, radio, Internet, etc., came some others:
(a) no more meat
(b) listen closely to what my body is telling me; no physical activity without stretching
(c) do not let my mind speed up time
(d) take advantage of every opportunity to interact with and observe plants
I can’t say that I have followed all of these suggestions as thoroughly as I would like, but unlike the lessons of past trips, I feel I am making more progress each day, instead of regressing over time into habit. I have since that fateful Sunday night stayed mostly within the confines of my own trip, although the first time I smoked marijuana after the 2C-I experience I suddenly became intensely embroiled in the perceived bad trips of everyone around me, and felt almost as if I was in a bad thought-loop in my 2C-I trip again. I have steered clear of television and movies, although the Internet exerts a more powerful hold over me than I thought; I hope soon to break my habit of spending hours a day on my laptop. Perhaps my best accomplishment so far is the rejection of meat as part of my diet.
Everywhere I have gone since the trip, what have stood out most to me have been plants – even just a tree planted by a sidewalk or a flower in a garden can call forth great joy in me. A few times, after smoking marijuana, I have sat and stared at the moon, and the alien silhouettes of trees against the night sky, and felt at once calm and utterly awestruck by the image. I relish this newfound form of meditation.
My experience on 2C-I gave me a profound new respect for the realm of psychedelics, for the natural order of things, and for the mind. I have described the trip to friends as making “an eighth of shrooms look like drinking a Bud Light.” Although I have yet to confront and resolve all that lies imbedded in my unconscious, I felt this trip was a powerful step forward. My thinking is as clear as it has ever been and I am able to act as I wish without fear of others’ perceptions (somewhat akin to the afterglow of a great mushroom experience). I have resolved to take a voyage to Peru this summer and undergo a traditional ayahuasca ceremony. I can already feel the resonance of this experience when I stare up at the moon. Every day is filled with unquenchable curiosity and an intense anticipation of impending novelty.
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