Citation: Nick//GreenLantern. "Becoming Gaia While Finding Myself: An Experience with Mushrooms (exp68602)". Erowid.org. Nov 2, 2012. erowid.org/exp/68602
My day started at around 9:00 a.m. I woke up, ate breakfast, and briefly re-read the chapter on planning a psychedelic session in Timothy Leary’s “Your Brain is God,” as well as a few paragraphs about psilocybin in Terence McKenna’s “The Archaic Revival.” I recently finished both of these books, and I find them to deliver vast quantities of insight and articulation in regards to the psychedelic experience. I meditated briefly (I have been practicing Zen meditation almost every day for the past five months) in an attempt to mask the mild anxiety that I usually get before any sort of trip, and I then set off with my twin brother to meet up with our three friends that I will refer to as P, M, and K. All five of us would be eating 3.5 of dried mushrooms that were only described to me by my dealer as “dank” (huuuuuge understatement. I wish I would have asked him the name of the strand).
It was my third experience with psilocybin, my brothers fourth, M’s third, and P and K’s first. I would consider all five of us to be fairly experienced with psychedelics. Besides our previous experiences with psilocybin, my brother and I had been doing acid for a little over a year now (we recently turned 16), as well as experimenting with salvia, and 2cb. I should also note that I have had past experiences with mdma and cannabis, as I find these drugs to be mildly psychedelic, but stopped doing both due to the long term mental effects of mdma combined with the sketchiness of street pills, and the frequent anxiety that I would get when I smoked weed. Both my brother and I value the mental state induced by lsd, and credit it for a lot of our personal growth in recent times. It is safe to say that it is our home base for psychedelics. However I make sure to take different approaches, no matter how slight, to each psychedelic substance that I do.
That being said, I went into this trip expecting to be exposed to what Terence McKenna called the “Logos.” For those of you who are not familiar with this belief, he thought that psychedelics, tryptamines in particular, take you further then the depths of your subconscious, and expose you to the collective framework of Gaia. The theory of “Gaia” speculates that the world makes up a single intelligence; however McKenna took it further with his “Gaian Mind” theory by proposing that it also has a visual language.
With this in mind, my brother and I met up with P, M, and K and were driven to a spot in Redondo Beach, California (about a 15 minute drive from our area) that is known as “Stoner Circle.” Stoner Circle is a circular sitting area atop a hill, in a park next to the Redondo Pier. It is named for its seclusion, as it is easy to do illegal things such as smoke weed inside of the circle. However we chose this setting because the hilltop location of Stoner Circle, apart from the grass and trees surrounding it which was also a plus, gives you a fantastic view of the ocean. We briefly walked to the pier and bought a pizza that we decided to put the mushrooms on. Upon returning to the circle, I read aloud the same brief pieces that I had read earlier that morning.
With the words of Leary and McKenna fresh in our heads, we ate our eighths around 12:30 p.m. We chatted in anticipation, and M and I listened to “The Sixth Revelation” by Shpongle. (If you have never heard of Shpongle, I definitely suggest that you check them out.) Before I knew it I was hit with the light headedness, visual acuity, and giddy euphoria that accompany the onset of a positive mushroom trip prior to the hallucinations. I also became increasingly aware of our group mentality, something that is very common while under the influence of psychedelics with others. (In fact, it is very possible that we share the same basic perspective, looking back on the majority of this trip.) This strengthened my belief that I was being exposed to the Logos. Somewhere around 1:00 p.m. we moved from the circle to the grass below it.
As my trip rapidly became more mentally, physically, and visually psychedelic, outside circumstances created a cloud of hostility that hovered over us, leading to moments of fear and confusion in the next few hours. First a woman in the park was almost bit by another woman’s dog and sprayed it in the eyes with pepper spray. That is all I picked up from the incident, but the two women stuck around the park for about 10 minutes, and from hearing random fragments of their not so friendly conversation, I was led to believe that they might get into a physical fight. Needless to say, this was not shroom friendly. Then a couple of shady looking gangsters went in the circle, but later revealed themselves to be friendly despite their threatening demeanor. However, the communication gap between us caused me, S, M, K, and P, to leave Stoner Circle and walk to the beach. During this walk P and K vomited, which I assume is what caused them to come down prematurely. We arrived at the beach just in time to watch the sun set, and decided to sit on a bench in a park just a few feet from the sand. Shortly after sitting down, I started to peak, and was transfixed by my open eye hallucinations. I will do my best to describe my trip from this point on; however it is impossible for me to convey the exact feelings and thoughts that I was experiencing.
Amidst the breathtaking view of the horizon, in which I clearly saw every ripple in the ocean water, geometric hallucination in the sky, and mystic images of god-like faces, all accented to the hundredth power by the suns heavenly rays, was a complete understanding of Gaia and it’s legacy. I realized with the up most clarity, that everything on this earth; every human, every blade of grass, even every insipid pop-culture magazine, is a manifestation of the universe and serves as a vehicle of communication. My sense of identity had completely disappeared, as I was convinced with every fiber of my being that I was Gaia. As the sun set, I felt that I had transcended into a dimension far beyond what I knew to be the physical world.
Unfortunately when the sky became black around 6:00p.m., things began to get terrifyingly confusing for me and my brother. M, P, and K were all coming down and decided that we should take the bus home. S and I followed although we didn’t want to, but we both had the feeling that our group was one being, and it was as if we had no choice. With our peaks still accelerating, we boarded the bus home not knowing where or who we were. I can only imagine what the people on the bus thought of us, as we walked on without paying, appeared heavily intoxicated, and were mumbling incoherent gibberish. Despite making a spectacle of ourselves, we somehow managed not to provoke hostile reactions from the other passengers, which would have made our confusion even worse. M and K eventually got off the bus, which left P in the role of babysitter.
He had us get off the bus shortly after, and we walked to a nearby McDonalds. During this walk, with all my feelings about being Gaia still intact but somewhat tainted by the overwhelming face of commercialism that dominates city streets, I thought that I had escaped my physical body. In my mind I was floating down the street, going through trees and metal poles. I also started to experience auditory hallucination, as I began to hear my thoughts out loud, and could not differentiate them from outside noise. I sat down with my back to the window of the McDonalds. At that point my complete ego loss began to terrify me. I sat there in a daze for what could have been anywhere from ten minutes to half an hour as P called his friend and asked him to pick us up (I did not know this at the time).
P’s friend who I will call T, pulled up in a white minivan with his boyfriend who I will call J. T appeared to be around thirty, and J seemed to be in his early twenties. Trusting P, S and I hopped in the back of their car and they drove us to a house that belonged to one of them. The fact that I did not know either of them caused me to believe that I was stuck in a weird kind of loop, and I though that since I had transcended my individual identity, I would exist forever, drifting in and out of different people’s lives. Although I was not fearful of T or J, I was alarmed by the complete random circumstances in which we were in their car, and though I am not homophobic in any way, the fact that they were noticeably gay made them appear very animated.
When we arrived at the house, I was immediately taken back by a wooden dummy that was perched on a shelf. It didn’t really cause my mental state to shift dramatically, but was notably surreal. S and I sat down on a couch in the living room, picking up bits and pieces of the ongoing conversation between P, T, and J about how high S and I were. My delusion about drifting into random people’s lives increased and I thought that I had become P, since he was the only one talking to T and J. Since my perspective was so skewed, I assumed that I had inherited his mental make up, which was a chilling thought. Sitting on the couch, lost in thought, I finally decided to embrace the temporary insanity that I expected to last for eternity.
This positive shift in mentality, combined with the end of my peak, allowed me to start talking, and sparked the decent back into my identity. I received a phone call from my mom demanding that I come home, which further caused me to slip back into my sense of self. I was overjoyed upon realizing who I was, and mustered up enough cognitive skill to ask T for a ride home. It turned out that the house we were at was only about five minutes away from mine. I thanked T and J for their hospitality, as well as thanking P for being so patient with me and S. It was around 8:00 p.m. when I entered my house, and my mom could tell that something was up. Not caring about potential punishments, I briefly explained the situation to her using the best of my ability. Lucky for me and S, she was surprisingly understanding about it and didn’t freak out and send me to one of those boot camps where they kidnap you in the middle of the night. I went to bed that night in complete awe of the intensity of my experience, thinking that I was in over my head with psychedelics.
This was definitely the most extreme trip of my life. The connectedness that I felt with all forms of life was too real to have just been a mental fabrication. I truly became Gaia and lived to tell about it. This experience also made me realize how important my identity is to me. I have believed for some time that one’s sense of self is no more then a thought, but it took this experience for me to realize how important it is to embrace that thought and to value it for what it is. This is the only way that one can hope to integrate profound psychedelic experiences into their everyday life without going completely insane.
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