Citation: Halcyon. "A Life Cycle: An Experience with LSD (exp73418)". Erowid.org. Oct 30, 2008. erowid.org/exp/73418
||(blotter / tab)
On January 12, 2008, I had an LSD experience that would change my view on the world for good. More than just feelings of pleasure and pain, it had the sheer force of intensity to it, and my complete surrendering to whatever came along. My only desire being to see things for what they truly were.
Now this was around my twentieth trip on acid, and I had been taking it regularly, once or twice a month for about a year, thinking I had seen most of what the drug had to offer. It had taken me about five trips to realize that I was best when taking LSD alone in my apartment, apart from the raves, parties and night clubs which most of my friends would choose as a setting. Over the course of all this acid experimentation in 2007, I acquired a clear sense of direction and purpose in life, readjusting myself dramatically to the things I thought were in fact worth fighting for.
I quit a four year addiction to Klonopin, lost complete interest in alcohol, marijuana and tobacco; found my soul dwelling in the arts as I rediscovered painting and classical music. Actually, I quit my language course in the university to try a major in piano, realizing that I had spent my teenage years too fearfully to affirm my artistic identity, and that the track I had been leading would surely lead me to undeniable frustration. My hermitage also grew considerably and social interaction became an ever greater task, as I substantially found myself on another plain of thought and interest, I could no longer go out with my friends to just “hang out”, neither submit myself to any passiveness towards daily life. I felt like there was a bubbling, active volcano, erupting inside of me, pleading for artistic productivity and disciplined dedication to musical studies, and that there was no time to lose, no time to be spent fooling around.
I must also point out that three months after my first hit, I developed intense tracers, light and noise sensibility, a wavery vision in which nothing stands still for too long and some phases of stomach clenching anxiety. Symptoms I later related to what is called to be HPPD. There was something else I can only call “enhanced thinking”, as my imagination and creative powers sparkled to an unprecedented level of output causing me to put a lot of faith in the my artistic development as a whole. Interesting enough, as these HPPD symptoms sky-rocketed, my interest in LSD only grew stronger.
In January 2008, I acquired 8 hits of a blotter I had not yet tried. At about 10:30, on a sunshine Saturday morning, alone in my fourteenth floor apartment about 50 meters from the Brazilian coastline, I took one of these hits. And within 50 minutes I realized that something very different was at play, as reality began a slow and unstoppable path towards disintegration. The trip came 4 to 5 times stronger than I had ever tripped before, and the well known apartment which I had been living for the past three years morphed into uncharted, unexplored territory.
Now something inexplicable happens to me when I take acid that my piano and painting techniques burst ridiculously with expression, something I could never really match while being sober, and for that reason tend to have a frustrating outcome. But I never give up trying, having the drug showed me what I’m capable of. On this particular trip, there was very little playing, no panting at all. I could barely move is most of what I can say. With six to seven thoughts in my head all at once, there was very little room for action or decision making.
As lunch time arrived, I grew increasingly hungry and headed for the kitchen where I spent the next two pain-tasking hours trying to prepare myself a meal. By that time I was being repeatedly struck with very different, contrasting emotions of great bliss and great sorrow. It was as if I was an actor being shoved with every possible role-play, and feeling beneath the skin all the possible emotions that human beings are capable of feeling.
As the effects continued gaining in strength, I realized I would glimpse both heaven and hell, and the kitchen I was in was no longer a kitchen, but a swamp, with broad leaf petals and a misty, fog type atmosphere. As I looked at the garbage can, I envisioned multiple insect, worm-like creatures feasting on rotting food. And then suddenly, I could see my body, a pale-grayish body lying on dirt, dead, rotting as well, being feasted on by worms and flies. I felt my fleshy body intensely and took into account that my hands, skin, eyes, and all the fleshy meat that made me be would one day be eaten by these slow chewing worms, and that the lives of these worms depended on my fleshy meat, just as I depended on the ingestion of other living creatures to live as well.
And then it hit me, like a bomb, like a surprising explosion of truth… That if all life were to be made one, it must continuously feed upon itself to sustain its existence. Figuratively speaking, one must chew one’s own arm to give one’s leg the possibility of growth. I cannot blame mosquitoes for thirsting for my blood, no matter what conditions life gives us, it’s only natural that life wants to live, and it’ll move out of its way to do so, no matter the costs.
With such ideas in mind, the meat and beans that I finally managed to serve on my plate had a different tone to them. Needless to say I rejected the meat, chewing on it felt like chewing on my own. I ate the beans or else hunger would have certainly sent me on a downwards spiral.
There was a point in the trip in which the magnitude of the experience looked down at me from up above. I no longer had control of its directions and my ego was washed away. I didn’t know who I was, and this feeling of a lost identity was frightening at first, but then everything all around was so abundant with endless streams of possibility, I didn’t care who I was. The marvel of not being in character was just fine with me. And in that ego-lost state, I realized how the fabric of life was indeed the fabric of a dream, and one’s life could be a good dream or a bad dream, but still a dream, made true by the endless “life eats life” cycle.
At about 4 hours after ingestion, I felt utterly alive, with streams of vibrations flowing through my body, I could not really locate where my body was. There was a definite body-mind split which made me exist thoroughly in thought. And I felt like a kid about 4 years old, with a big honest smile on his face, longing for a playground, a place to play his life away. And playing gave life meaning, the joy of spilling energy for a cause that found purpose in itself, not needing any justification other than the sheer desire to play. I understood how important it was to be in peace with one’s self in order to have a better life quality. The song they sing to us when we’re kids: “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Merely, merely, merely, merely, life is but a dream.”, proved to take in tremendous amounts of wisdom.
All along the experience, faces and gestures of people would flash in front of me. I’d wonder who they were. I’d have an infinite amount of empathy for the faces I saw, wanting to hug them, and pour myself into them in a great gesture of love. I would then see myself as a very old man, watching my grandchildren (or just kids in general) playing in a park or something, having fun. And I would feel like god, wanting to create a world better than our own, a place where more smiles and less suffering would be seen.
About nine hours into the experience, I gradually started to come down and resumed creative activities, playing each note on the piano with great delicacy and love, music being made an essential aspect of my life. I felt as if I had survived something great, and had gotten a peak of something even greater. Most of all there was a prevailing feeling in me that there is more suffering in life than is made plausible, and that a lot of this suffering shows to no utility at all. I also longed for the impossible: the ability to not depend on other living beings to myself be and began to wonder if I’d ever find a realm in which such was made possible.
That night I did not sleep, I was not sleepy at all. The stillness of the late night hours gave a feeling that everything was in its right place, like a calm sea after a heavy storm, a feeling of harmony and understanding, that I knew my place in the universe and that there was nothing to fear. Somehow I believed that if the person I am role-playing while journeying on planet earth ever reached his fullest potential, this role-playing me would die a complete death, and the characterless, egoless me that embodied myself would gladly move on to a state of unbeing, or being on a realm not as harsh as than the one found on planet earth.
Maybe life on earth is an acid trip in itself, with good trips and bad trips, pleasure and pain, and a lot to teach us about who we are and what we’re after. A real test of endurance not meant for the weak-hearted, but what all this striving is meant for... one must answer oneself. The meaning of life is most likely the meaning we give to it.
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