Citation: Steve. "Message from Space: An Experience with LSD (exp58929)". Erowid.org. Jul 30, 2007. erowid.org/exp/58929
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I'd had a few low-dose experiences with both psilocybin and LSD, maybe 5 trips altogether. I found each generally enjoyable and fascinating, except that LSD’s 12-hour duration was a little taxing. Anyway, this time, over an extra-long weekend, I sought something more intense than usual.
I was with two well-known friends who weren’t tripping, but whom I had tripped with in the past with lighter doses. We were all staying overnight at the house of an acquaintance. There was no agenda, this was a casual place where, at any given time, there could be a half dozen or more people around, mostly college kids, all friends with each other, hanging out and smoking pot or whatever. Generally a comfortable and secure, although unfamiliar, environment.
Shortly after taking the dose that evening, I joined a few others who were watching this crappy-but-funny Japanese sci-fi from the late '70s, 'Message from Space', which would have been entirely appropriate for a night of bowl-smoking. I started out in this mindset, intending to enjoy the film -- laughing at the ridiculous plot, special effects, etc. I felt something coming on, similar to previous trips -- some giddiness and lightness in the limbs.
Maybe an hour or so into it, things began to change. Whatever plot I was following began making less sense as I became absorbed in contemplation of some minor details, spacesuits, for example. I felt a little scatterbrained, but at this point still knew I was 'on drugs'.
The tone of everything in my head became increasingly serious, as did the film. At some point it dawned on me – this wasn’t a movie called “Message from Space”. This WAS a real message from space. It was something that beings “out there” have been trying to tell us humans all along, and I was only now getting it. It was a profound essay on creation, birth, and death that I could barely grasp.
The sad news, along with their statement, was that it was time for all of us earthlings to die. This came as a shock as I had expected to live a while, maybe into old age. I felt sad for myself, those I knew, and the whole world.
Time to die
In reality, the movie was ending and some of my stoned companions were trying to figure out what to do next. But in my head I wasn’t too aware of their conversation. I did catch one detail though -- some of them were going to go vist a graveyard. This made my heart sink a little further as it confirmed my belief that we all had to go off and die in our own way. At this point, I’d clearly forgotten that I’d taken any drug.
I didn’t say anything though, absorbed in my profound realizations. Besides, I figured they had their own deaths to sort out. This was important business to attend to, and it required my full attention. Of course, I was resistant to the whole idea of dying, my survival instinct was still there and wanted me to hang on. I was sure I had to find some way to transcend it. I remember getting up and starting to wander about the house. By this time, I think most of the others in the house had gone off to the graveyard.
I wasn’t quite sure whether I could just sit down and die, or had to take a more active role. I thought that maybe I had to physically break myself in order to let go. So I ventured alone into the backyard. After some hesitation, I halfheartedly ran into a fence as a sort of preparation for the upcoming “breakthrough” and whatever pain might be involved.
Eventually, though, I figured out that I just needed to make complete mental preparation. So I came back inside the house. Something kept imploring me that NOW was my time, so I laid down on the floor. I knew I had to relax completely, more than ever before. My bladder was kind of full and I had to urinate. Didn’t matter though. I was going to die anyway. The final waves of relaxation eventually overcame me. As I peed in my pants, I knew death had come.
Sometime after this was when 'I' dissolved completely. There wasn't really any more time. This was the beginning of what I would call pure representation, or experience.
In reality, as my friends were to relate to me the next day, I was walking around, talking gibberish, and in my eyes there was 'no one home'. I wouldn’t respond to their attempts at conversation. To them, I somewhat resembled a sleepwalker.
I guess the best way to describe the state would be that of a “wandering spirit”. After the finality of death, was prepared for everything to go black and end. But it didn’t. Since I really was still alive and receiving input, things kept happening. Wherever “I” was, it was floating around the house. The people there all became spirits as well. Not religious, I nonetheless began to register some kind of quasi-Christian mythology. Who were these other beings? Dead saints or prophets? Whatever they were saying, I didn’t understand, although they seemed kindly. I was trying to communicate with them.
In reality, according to my friends, I began making something of a ruckus with all my talking, and they escorted me to a bedroom to chill. I do remember that bedroom. It had become a large model/representation/control panel of what was once my own brain. The books on the bookshelf represented all the written information I had ever taken in. The Cds stored all the sounds I had ever heard. Posters on the wall represented thoughts frozen in time, the room was limitless. I could spend forever here. I was the mind of God and could see anything and knew the true meaning of eternity for the first time. It was spectacular.
Things were fairly peaceful in this Eternity at first, but this Mind of God proved to be too much. I realized it was also an incredible burden, and I had to move on because I was unfit to handle it. I began to realize something else: that I had to be reborn and couldn’t stay here. This awareness rose to an indescribable terror as I realized I would be reborn an infinite number of times. It also apparently explained exactly why we have no memory of being infants – we must not remember “what happened before” or we would collapse under the realization that we have lived millions of times before and would keep going forever. Infant amnesia was a carefully and deliberately crafted illusion.
I was about to be catapulted into a new life. I really didn’t want this, and became horrified at the prospect of a life of suffering. The particularly scary thing for me was that I could be reborn as anyone, and I didn’t want to experience that. My life had been pretty good, why do we need to keep doing this?
I had no power to stop it. I felt like I was slowly being lifted up through this thing -- a tube – in a very similar way to a rollercoaster car creeping up to its first peak, except this was much steeper and longer. The Chute seemed like something out of the movie “Tron”. It was a neon-blue, wireframe tube. As I was carried up The Chute, a disembodied voice resembling David Letterman began narrating my plight somewhat sadistically in a “Top 10” voice. Apparently each “rebirth” was some kind of spectator event, and other spirits were watching and/or cheering or commenting on “me” as I rose to the platform where myself and countless others were released. I reached the top of the Chute.
At “Dave’s” final countdown I launched at incredible speed down another tube and toward a new life. The thing was, I never really landed. I was hurled outward into some kind of pinkish/violet neon vortex that would bounce me around wherever the hell it wanted to. Endlessly and forever. I saw brief glimpses of where I might land: a torture victim in the Amazon jungle, a World War I soldier, schizophrenic, homeless person… it was horrifying -- I saw their whole lives unfold and felt all their pain and didn’t want to be a part of any of it. I was destined to remain this way forever at the whim of the vortex.
Eventually the panic and storm subsided, and I had made some kind of resolution in my head about trying to relax as much as possible and think gentle thoughts and just “go with it”.
Then I came to. I was sitting on the floor of the bedroom, talking to my friend. It was exactly like waking up from a dream. Holy crap! How much of that stuff really happened? Jesus, did I really pee in my pants (answer: yes). The rest of the night was spent trying to wash out my jeans in the shower which proved extremely difficult, getting the water faucet to operate (Oh my God -- all these knobs!) Thankfully my friend had an extra pair of shorts. I was concerned about how much I might have embarrassed myself in front of everyone. I was still in a daze over my experience and couldn’t do much for myself.
I most likely will never do acid again, as this experience felt harrowing enough. This time was distinctly different than any previous trips, and much more frightening, because of my total loss of control. I no longer knew who I was or where. I didn’t really expect this to happen on 3 hits.
In retrospect, I think I might have benefited from a guide of sorts. I’m certainly glad my friends were there, and that they didn’t call an ambulance (at one point they were actually considering this when I was acting up). However while I was left alone in that room, and all the horror was going on in my head, others in the house were listening to some pretty sinister-sounding music, or maybe it was a scary movie -- and their miscellaneous voices and noises may have had some negative impact on my journey. Maybe I’m a little less afraid of death now, though.
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