Citation: Hazzy. "Into the Beautiful Infinite: An Experience with LSD (exp53085)". Erowid.org. Jun 18, 2006. erowid.org/exp/53085
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This was my first and only experience with acid, the pinnacle of my journey with hallucinogens and most of all, my search for spirituality (and of course the meaning of life). The following is a part of a larger whole; an 80 page piece I wrote on my 'spiritual journey'. However, instead of writing it in the normal fashion of drug experiences, it is in the context of the piece, i.e. a story, instead of merely a stating of facts. Thus, while the IMPORTANT aspects of this experience remain, the details, such as all things having to do with this reality, are left out. In other words, I don't say 'one day I met up with friend 'D' and decided to eat some acid, went to the woods, 2 hours later started seeing this and that'.
How to put this. If the reader is seeking out the 'technical' information regarding acid, as in dosage, time frame, and main hallucinations, this is not the report to read. What I have emphasized here are the philosophies and revelations that came to me, the spiritual progression, and the temporary insanity. I personally, and hopefully you as well, feel that such progression is what is truly important in drug experiences, for that is why substances are used: to discover truth in and beyond this reality.
While I do have a notepad document of an 'earthly' version of this trip (in a tone as if telling it to a friend right after the trip), this is a slightly altered version that was integrated into my 80-page piece. I decided to submit this version because I personally like it much better and I feel that the true essence of the trip is captured. An experience out of this reality should be told as such, no? In a way, this version is more 'true' than the version talking about specific place and time, for we were not truly present in that place and time during the trip.
To clear things up: I did not add things to this version. I did not make anything up. The person who I encounter can be viewed however the reader likes, though I personally view 'him' (or 'her') as my spiritual guide, my anima if you will. In other words, this was not a human being, but rather a being within myself. I did, however, trip with a friend of mine, but considering we were simultaneously experiencing the same thoughts and emotions during the entire duration of the experience, I feel the addition of his presence is unnecessary. Let me stop rambling . I have written a couple experiences on here before under this same pen-name, and as you can tell, I enjoy writing. Enjoy.
The ground was sloping downward and was soft, strewn with fallen leaves, and the whole place was somewhat dim, patches of sunlight breaking through every so often and lighting up the ground. A slight breeze moved through and the leaves rustled very softly above me. All the trees were very close together, and I had to find my way through the maze of trunks, that seemed to go off infinitely in every direction. I stepped very attentively, careful to ensure that every placement of my feet made no lasting impression, and a feeling came over me that this place was sacred, in some way. It was as if stepping into a completely different world, and it even had the hairs rising on the back of my neck. I laid my hands on the trunks, feeling the cold within pulse against my skin. The sense of life within it was strangely intense. All was quiet; no sound other than the faint rustling of leaves and my own footfalls pierced the silence that pervaded that holy thicket.
Eventually the ground began to level out, yet the Madrones only clustered closer together, until they appeared to form a solid mass of tangled limbs and branches, barring the way ahead. I came to a halt, took a deep breath, shook my head in frustration and forged onward, attempting to snake my way between the snarl of pointed arms. Though I did so with much resolve, my movements were in no way similar to those of a snake, as countless twigs and boughs caught my clothing and scraped my skin, to the point of nearly pulling me to a stop. I struggled on, at first mildly annoyed but very soon enraged, holding my arms crossed before me and my head bowed, plowing through as far as I could until I was completely obstructed and had to pull or push branches apart before pressing on.
Finally, with a last heave of momentum, I broke through a particularly dense tangle of limbs and fell face forward into bright sunshine. Before I had a chance to pick myself, a soft chuckle came from just in front of me. As I pushed myself to a kneeling position I tried to shade my eyes from the sun to discern what sort of cloaked figure was standing before me, yet it seemed as if the sun were coming from the form itself, for the blinding light came down at just the right angle to conceal the face of this person.
'Who are you?' I asked, though I did not expect a true answer.
'A friend..' he replied, for indeed a male voice came from beneath the hood, though it was a strange voice; while it primarily contained the bass of masculinity, higher, gentler feminine overtones resonated harmonically as a punctuation to the bass.
I heaved an exaggerated sigh of annoyance at the vagueness and replied with an edgy tone, 'well I really don't care anymore. I just want to get out of this place. Do you know the way or not?'
Another chuckle came that only aggravated me more, and the calm response of 'of course I do, as do you.' But before I could interrupt, he continued. 'The true question is, what are you -really- looking for, my friend?'
I sighed again, this time a tired sigh, lowering my head to notice a lack of shadow coming from this figure, yet by this point I no longer cared. I was tired of the illusions, the tricks, the deceptions, and the games. Tired of being plagued by the confusion of religion and death, tired of having to think so damn much. I wanted a clear head and a clear set of directions, but all I had to go on was my own inconsistent perception.
'I'm looking for....' I finally spoke, 'the truth.'
'Ahh..the truth. Quite a strange idea, truth is. What is truth to one person can be false to another. There are so many truths in this world, and so many lies. In the end, though, only you can decide for yourself what the truth, truly, is.' Another soft chuckle came, not so annoying this time. 'Regrettably, truth is the one thing I can not show you, at least as long as you possess free will and a unique mind. However, if you so desire, I can show you much more than truth.'
At this I looked back up at the sunlight streaming over this figure's shoulders.
'Indeed. I will grant you a vision of all things, though you must decide for yourself what is 'truth'. I will provide you with the clarity you seek, for a price.'
'And what, might I enquire, would that price be exactly?'
'You must allow me to accompany you on this journey through space and time, for I don't want you getting lost.' And he laughed, extending a hand to me, which I took with some reluctance. He gripped my hand firmly and hoisted me up with a surprising amount of strength, nearly flinging me to my feet. Yet instead of letting go, he merely tugged at my arm a little and said, 'come now, let us venture into this dreaded wood together!' and laughed a boyish laugh, humming merrily as he pulled me along. While we walked across an open expanse of dry grass towards the shade of a grouping of redwoods, I glanced over at my leader attempting to decipher the face concealed in shadow. I secretly envied his confidence and pure, youthful exuberance. How bitter and hopeless I must seem to him.
As if sensing my gaze, he interrupted his humming to jovially exclaim, 'all in good time, my friend!' And after a breath of silence, his voice took on a more serious tone 'so you have become frustrated and lost in your travels.' I kept my eyes on the coppice ahead and said nothing, but could feel him watching me. 'Do not take your anger out on these woods, they mean you no harm. In fact, the case is quite the opposite.' With this he laughed yet again and released me from his grasp, running to the redwood closest to us and, to my disbelief, wrapping his arms around the trunk and embracing it. This tree, along with many of its fellows consisted of a single trunk with two separate trees forking off of it, reminding me of a Siamese twin. I stood back with my arms folded watching him, until he motioned for me to join him. He turned and took my hand and placed it against the bark, looking to me with two gleaming eyes beneath his billowing hood. 'No more tricks. No more games.'
'But how did you....' I began to reply, but he silenced me with a raised finger.
'This is life, in its purest form. It is a part of you, and you are a part of it. Can you feel it?'
I nodded, but my mind was preoccupied with the same old questions that persisted to plague me. This time it was his turn to sigh, and he pulled me away from the trunk with force and dragged me under the shade of the redwoods. I could have sworn I had been there before, and a feeling of deja vu swept over me. He let go of my hand, walked a few yards ahead, and turned to face me, placing his palms together in a sort of prayer stance.
'You must let go, my friend. You must stop questioning everything and just go with the flow. Right now you're attempting to swim upstream; just quit flailing and let the current take you. You will find that both you and this river are headed in the same direction.' As he said this, I started to relax, and everything began to become surreal again. The sunlight pierced through the dancing tree limbs and fell softly to the ground where it swirled and swam, and butterflies flittered through the air around us. Again I started to feel the power of energy and life all around me and within me, and there were trails coming off of my fingers when they moved, as if my hands could manipulate the reality around me. Yet the feeling was different. It was more complete, and less like a partial illusion or temporary gift.
Ever so slowly, I joined my palms together as well, and as I did so, many of the doubletrees around us came together in a smooth, suction-like motion to form as one. The two halves merged as my hands did, and simultaneously my subconscious overlapped my consciousness and the duality of my mind was extinguished.
Thus, you are one. We are all one. It is time for us to step Outside and for you to truly See. Walk freely, I will be here beside you.'
In this way I roamed through the rifts of my subconscious and I felt detached from both reality and the material world, including my body. Time ceased to exist, and as my mind soared upwards and broke through the restrictions of 'ordinary' conscious thinking, as my doors of perception began to open, I became alienated from the my previous identity as a human being. What I was, I could not quite tell. On I walked, however, exploring my strange surroundings along side my strange companion.
We came upon a recently fallen tree blocking the way, its bark still a vibrant brown with moss covering the majority of its rough skin. Seeing this death, I was suddenly saddened, as if encountering a fallen brother, and I moved forward to it and touched it with a feeling of love.
'Even in death, there is life,' came the voice from behind me, 'what if I were to tell you that you are going to die, right here, right now?'
Without giving a verbal response, I climbed onto this great downed tree and walked, one foot in front of the other, to the base, upon which I lowered my body and straddled. I laid both my hands on this powerful being and felt its life force beneath me. At first the bark began to shudder and pulsate, a vibration moving through it as if reverberating with an infinite noise. Before long, however, it began to breath with me; the trunk expanding and deflating beneath me with every inhale and exhale of my breath. And suddenly, all of my surroundings were breathing with me; every tree, every blade of grass linked in perfect sync with the natural rhythm of my lungs. I then closed my eyes and reached out my arms and connected, connected with everything. Everything was energy, my subconscious merged completely with my consciousness, I was one with everything and everything was one. And it was as if I had died, except it was beautiful; I was in total Zen as I joined with the past, present and future, and all of existence.
I not only felt the connections between all matter, but visualized the intersections of lives and how these intersections alter our paths, and how our paths may seem twisted and curved from an inner point of view, but when viewed from the Outside are merely straight lines. Though it was within this merge of subconscious and conscious that I truly became part of the energy again, I knew that even in waking conscious life we are all still connected in the same way, but perhaps we just do not realize it.
In this way I experienced a new view of death, which seemed to me to be the true view. A simple joining of the two halves of the mind in which one is dispersed and rejoined with the energy composing the universe, and thus you are everything and everything is you.
[Please see Alex Grey's painting, THEOLOGUE, for a visual representation of this moment.]
Yet I knew I couldn't remain in that state then, for I had life to attend to. I brought myself back to the physical realm, and together we went on to a huge field where patterns and colors radiated from everything, and the flowers and grasses flowed in the breeze like water. There were patterns all through the sky, and the ground swirled and moved beneath me. From this field we could view the whole world, and it was if we had astral projected out into the space surrounding our planet in order to view it externally. From this position we watched humanity moving across the land and could view how each person fit as a small cog in the wheel of society; I could literally See their paths in this world, and how it fit in/interacted with all the other paths. As for us, it was as if these people who passed by were flowing in a circular river that is life, and we had grabbed hold of a rock, pulled ourselves out from the water and stepped outside to examine it from the grass. From here we could analyze the way this machine called life worked, or at least attempt to.
'And now, you will understand why trying to understand this all with your human mind, is an impossible task.'
My mind was indeed clear; I was presented with the entire Issue instead of a single part in which I would become lost and misdirected. The problem with this was, because I could see the whole river of life in all its infinite entirety, my mind was overwhelmed. The many circles as well as mysteries of life and their answers covered every aspect of my being and filled my mind's eye with the infinite; everything was moving and consisted of many tiny moving details inside tiny moving details inside more tiny moving details, and so on and so forth for infinity. It seemed as if all the doors in my mind, doors which I did not even know existed, were thrown open at once, revealing to me all of time; past, present, future, and all of existence, as well as the energy that flowed through everything, especially my own being. As was predicted by my companion, I soon learned that infinity simply -can not- be grasped by the human mind, and if attempted, can lead one down a frustrating path to either insanity, or enlightenment (or both).
As I watched this river flow, I looked to my companion to find him watching me, and I knew he was reading my every thought. Yet strangely, I could read his. His mind and my mind were joined together just as every part of this incredible maze of existence was joined together.
In this way, I attempted to cope with existence stripped bare, and found myself becoming stranded in a spiral of thought. I would attempt to sort through all of it, and the great Issue nagging at the edge of my mind, an issue which could not truly be put into words. I suppose the closest I could pin it to was the idea of existence and mainly purpose, or overall, 'the meaning of life'. And down this spiral my thought would fall, trying to work through this great problem, but as soon as I reached an answer, the question was already gone.
It was like trying to catch the rabbit tail that always slips through the hand; like collecting a field of wheat in a basket, and just as I reached for the final blade to complete my task, my basket would fly into the air and the wheat would scatter into the wind. I could grasp a part of what my mind formulated as the great truth to life's equation, but once I moved to grasp the whole, the part had moved on. Thus I was stuck on this loop, as if I had found an error or glitch of the mind, and on this spiral I rode over and over again, each time not coming any closer to the truth, but rather closer and closer to insanity. At the bottom of each loop I would have a breath of sanity like a breath of fresh air, with enough time to attempt to speak a handful of random words to my companion in utter astonishment and confusion, before returning once again to the top of the slide. I could picture myself sitting there for all of time, like a man who's lost his mind, drawing circles in the ground and rocking myself and muttering.
Eventually, my companion reached over to me and touched my shoulder, simply saying, 'The most difficult thing to understand, is that there is no answer.' I stopped my spiraling for a moment and just looked at him. My expression must have been humorous for he burst out with laughter and patted my back. 'Begin with yourself, then tackle the world.'
Thankfully, my mind moved away from the infinity phenomenon and into myself, discovering that a great hole in my being was my lack of religion. Pondering this, I came to the conclusion that because I'm Agnostic, I would need to thus be my own god, in that any purpose I have here is given to myself by myself, and that any enlightenment I would receive from fulfilling these purposes would thus be given and received through my own person in the same way. The problem, however, was that being my own god was far too much responsibility for me, and there was still the loophole of existence and its source. This idea led me to falsely perceive the idea of reality and everything as coming -from- me, thereby rendering my previous vision of death irrelevant as all would cease to exist once I had ceased to exist. No, I could not be the center of the universe.
What then? What could allow me to live as an agnostic? How could I cope with existence? I looked at society from my rock and noticed how this same issue of existence is at the back of everyone's mind and is addressed partially through forms of art and creative expression, but is for the most part pushed aside and ignored by humanity in order for people to get on with their lives without constantly worrying about it. I perceived how people fill their lives with as much business as possible so that they don't have time to address what I consider the most important issues in this world. It was a sad revelation, watching all these humans focused on what kind of coffee they would be consuming rather than where their place in nature is situated. But perhaps for some, ignoring it is necessary.
I recall another quote from Tyler coming to mind: 'It's not until you lose everything, that you're free to do anything.' With that quote I remembered how the truly important issues only surfaced once I had freed myself from society and returned to the isolation of nature. I also remembered the feeling of complete freedom once I had lost my consciousness on that fallen tree and merged into Zen.
And remembering this, I came to an epiphany. I realized how false my perception of God as an agnostic was. I could not truly be my own god, rather I had to realize that my God was in everything, including myself; all of matter is God, and I am the center just as everything else. The center of the universe is everywhere and nowhere. Reality was not coming from me; I was merely a part of the whole. Consequently, I understood that in order for me to find contentment as an Agnostic, I had to first accept the possibility that there could be no heaven or hell, but instead understand that this could be It. In the end, I could very well rejoin the energy around me and come to an unconscious Zen through a merging of duality. Thus, if accepted, I could be content with this circle of lifespan, and if there is anything else, such as heaven and hell or gods and goddesses, I will learn of them after death. It was not a complete conclusion, but it was as complete a conclusion I could hope to achieve.
In this conclusion my life is a loop, like a solar flare, bursting from the normal loops of energy, space, and time to temporarily settle into the form of a human being whose perception resides a reality shared by all creatures in the physical world. Beginning as a pure energy state, beautiful and peaceful, I was channeled into this form and forced to cope with this existence, only to be eventually replaced, like a droplet of water, back into the pool, or river, of flowing energy; the past, present, future, and all matter that resides therein.
At that point I was walking and I hadn't realized it. I had lived eons of time, and I was ready for it to end. I looked to my right to find that my companion was walking with me, who returned my gaze. I suddenly saw this person in a new light. I looked into the pair of eyes beneath that hood and I realized we were the same person; our thoughts seemed to coexist. We were both humans, not of any sex in particular, just merely conscious beings identical with not only each other, but identical with all around us. Suddenly, a stab of fear and understanding hit my gut like a cold knife and I stopped dead in my tracks.
'Either I have already died, or you and I are the same person. Tell me I'm not crazy. Tell me I'm not all alone out here,' I pleaded.
He stared at me long, then shook his head slightly, laughing ever so softly. He reached into his cloak and pulled out an intricate necklace composed of carved wooden beads, and, walking up to me, he placed it gently around my neck. After a moment of silence, he took my head in his hands and kissed my forehead, speaking the words, 'you are never alone.' With that, he turned heel with a whip of his cloak and walked briskly in the direction from which we had come, humming a pleasant tune as he went. I stood there, watching him disappear into the wood, my fingers touching the necklace around my neck. I turned back to the path ahead, and smiled, for I had reached the end of the wood. Before me towered a vast mountain marking the far rim of the valley.
I had made it. I had overcome the challenges in that strange place and made it out alive. I felt so much older, so much wiser, though I knew there was so much more to learn. Childhood lay behind me, but I had no idea what lay ahead. I remember feeling as if I had conquered death. 'Now what?' I asked myself, and almost immediately, I answered 'you live.'
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