Mushrooms - P. tampanensis
Citation: Metanoia04. "States of Non-Ordinary Reality Communicated: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. tampanensis (exp53310)". Erowid.org. Aug 23, 2006. erowid.org/exp/53310
I had already experimented with Psilocybe Tampanensis on a previous number of occasions in smaller doses to familiarise myself with its effects. The experiment ranged from using smaller doses (approx. 5mg) which gave me an optimistic and chilled out high to (approx. 10mg) a philosophical and insightful trip with lots of visual images when close-eyed. This last trip had also brought up some surprising insights (for me) into the relationship between plants and their human consumer.
At the end of my second trip I found myself speaking effortlessly and fluently in praise of the truffles, feeling a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude for what I had experienced through them. I found myself reflecting on their gentle and sensitive nature and, as a consequence, I named them ‘ The Good Teachers’.
After a week of reflection and reading on subjects in and around the use of hallucinogens I decided to undertake the next stage of my exploration of Psilocybe Tampanensis by ingesting a much bigger dose – 15 to 20mg. In light of what I had learned from the previous trips I placed the truffles the day before on my altar at home and spent some time sitting in quiet meditation in front of them. It is clear from the literature that surrounds the native peoples use of hallucinogens that associated ritual before during and after use has the important role of honouring the teaching and preparing the receiver’s physical, spiritual and emotional self for what will come.
Early the next morning, forsaking breakfast I gradually consumed the first 15 mg. The truffles have a rather ‘nutty’ flavour with a slightly bitter aftertaste (although they apparently taste much better than many types of mushroom!). After some ten minutes for eating them slowly and as reverently as I could I wrapped the remaining truffles away, deciding that the amount already consumed was enough for my taste.
The first thing to strike me early on in the trip was that plant-to-human interspecies communication was possible and was, indeed, taking place. As humans we measure other creatures abilities against our own human benchmark. The more ‘humanlike’ the other species, especially in terms of brain size and human-like intelligence, the more acceptable they are to us – dolphins, whales and the great apes fall into this category. Those animals with less brain size we view almost as physical machines which solely follow the programming of action via instinct. As for plants, they don’t even register on most people’s scale for an intelligent creature. The word we use for some of them -‘vegetable’ - is the same word we use for a human being whose mental ability is negligible to non-existent.
But after ingesting the truffles, this apparent impossibility seemed to be occurring. Under their influence and the very ‘otherness’ of their nature, it was brought home to me how inexplicable and wonderful this whole thing was. This was like something from science fiction. A completely alien life form, not even recognised by us as intelligent, living side by side with us and, with due reverence and humility from us, able to teach us deep insights into ourselves and the nature of existence itself.
The Stream of Life
These thoughts gave way to a sudden image of being immersed in an endless stream of billions of green globed cells. This stream hurled itself forward, empowering and unfolding the whole of created existence. There was an intense feeling of excitement and awe, as if the whole thing was a never-ending adventure. I was one these cells, throwing myself forward through the evolution of all things. I could hear the excited chatter of my fellow cells and feel the constant sense of joy as we flowed forward through space.
Enter ‘My Lords’
It was at this point that I became aware that the voices of the multitude of cells had diminished. In their place was a dialogue, which seemed to be going on between a small group of entities. In retrospect, I realise that, at this stage, my awareness of myself as a separate ego and as an individual had dimmed to the point of non-existence. I was almost completely taken up and emerged in the conversation going on.
At first the conversation appeared to be a hangover from the earlier stage. There was a lot of giggling and excitement and much talk about ‘playing’ and ‘play’. These seemed light almost elemental creatures, fairy-like, who existed in a different space and time. Gradually they were finding themselves being pulled into this world and this started to have its effect on their conversation. Three main characters appeared (at this point I was expressing their conversation through my own voice). The names given below are how I have chosen, after the event, to identify them. At the time no names were mentioned – for what I believe may be good reason.
One was a frustrated playmate (‘Playful’) who couldn’t understand why they had to take time out from their usual games and be serious ‘in This Place’. The second (‘Weary’) was a patient if rather tired voice who had to constantly remind his companions of the ‘Laws of This Place’. The third (‘Incredulous’) was an individual who was quite frankly stunned at the narrowness and separateness of the world that they found themselves in. ‘ I’ was referred to in the third person, never named and treated often with intense pity.
In their conversation they addressed each other as ‘My Lords’. There was a bantering familiarity with each other, as if they were long time companions. They appeared to have been drawn into this world because they knew me as a previous companion and friend.
‘Why did he have to come here?’ asked one in a voice that was more appeal than statement.
‘ My Lords, he chose to come to this place. He chose to be restricted and bounded by the laws of This Realm.’
‘But why’ the other replied again. ‘Why This Place’?
‘Because he wanted to learn’
A discussion ensued. It became obvious that their continued presence in ‘This Place’ was gradually changing their nature, from playful, fun loving beings into a deeper philosophical nature. This was not appreciated by ‘Playful’.
The discussion then turned to the remaining Truffles. Addressing them also as ‘ My Lords’, they were outraged that they had been separated from the rest and were wrapped in tissue paper. Without further discussion they/I consumed them – at this point almost as a reflex – with little resistance.
All the way through the experience no names were mentioned except once. This was strongly rebuked by ‘Weary’ who stated clearly that ‘it is forbidden to use names in This Place’. It was only after doing further reading after the experience that I discovered that the use of personal names was strictly forbidden in some traditions relating to the Fairy Realms – hence the use of titles such as ‘The Gentry’ and ‘The Good Neighbours’ and ‘The Little People’ to describe them. To know the personal names of the Fairy folk was believed to give power over them.
There was a complete lack of understanding as to why everything had to be separated. The classification of objects and phenomena, which we humans believe, makes life comprehensible – up/down, time/space - was baffling to them. They wanted to go outside to talk to the birds and were agog when ‘Weary’ explained to them that, in ‘This Place’, the birds couldn’t talk!
At one point they decided to drink some Coke from the fridge – it tasted foul, thick and viscous. They then tried water – the same. It was as if I had adopted their mindset, their tastes. I was not aware at the time of being so marginalised as an ‘ego’ that I was almost non-existent. The feeling was like watching a play, and being so caught up in the story that I completely forgot about myself, my troubles and needs for a period of time – complete absorption in the subject.
The final conversation was again around the apparent folly of this world, how ridiculous it was. Why would anyone want to live in ‘This Place’ by choice? The answer was that this world was a place to learn but that it would soon be over. It was a dying world, passing away. The world was fading, passing out of existence. As we looked through the window into the garden the colours seemed washed out, sun bleached. This was how this world looked to them.
At this point they seemed to know they were fading themselves out of existence in this world. There was no goodbye, just the phasing of one state into another. In retrospect I realise I was starting to come down from the intensity of the trip, starting to re-enter the world.
Without thinking, I walked upstairs and lay on my son’s bed, sunshine streaming through the windows. As I lay there I was my son. I had his memories, his dreams. Then I realised I was also my father, and grandfather and all the male characters in my life, my wife was all the female characters. We were two archetypes manifesting ourselves in time and history. I remember in retrospect the words of the Greek novelist Nikos Kazantzakis ‘ there is only one Man and one Woman, but they have many faces’.
The certainty came into my mind that all there is The All. Everything is a manifestation of the All that enables the All to comprehend itself. There was no need to fear, nowhere to go, nothing to do because everything was present and complete. The All was expressing itself in a billion different ways, experiencing everything from a different angle, as a plant, as a man, as a rock, as the space between the stars. All was equally valid because everything was the All.
Time passed, I gradually began to get flashes of memory - who I was, a separate ego, a name, a person. The realisation of being part of The All began to pass and I began to re-establish myself again. This was an odd experience, rather like getting to know a stranger, the feeling of being The All seemed so right and natural.
I went downstairs and did some chores, gradually bedding myself back into this place. Shortly after, my family came home and, although it felt strange to talk at first, I soon became immersed in the news of their day – this was a good grounding.
I was back.
One of the most important parts of the trip is the grounding and re-entry back into this world. There is (for me) a fear barrier to cross during this stage – a fear that I have been changed to such a degree that I cannot re-integrate back into this life. A fear that I may be so out of kilter that I would be perceived as mad. The good thing is that this passes quickly, especially if I busy yourself with digging the garden, washing the car etc.
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