Citation: Marcus. "Self-Discovery: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (fresh) (exp73660)". Erowid.org. Jun 8, 2020. erowid.org/exp/73660
Self-Discovery as Taught by Salvia Divinorum
I had taken Salvia number of times, always dried leaves. Last year I started growing my own plants, and finally took the opportunity to use some fresh leaves for a Salvia journey.
The realisation came late and hit with the power of full recollection. I really need the feeling of control over my life, and psychoactives completely kick that idea in the nuts. I remember the bitter taste of the Salvia leaves - no one could accidentally consume this stuff, it needs a real effort of will - a true intent to show the spirit of the plant that you are asking for its guidance or revelations. And even this is only a fraction of the price.
The disorientation, the dis-embodiment and lack of co-ordination are all bearable, so I lay down on the bed. Closing my eyes I feel myself lifting away from physical consciousness, into that awakened dream-state. It's a peaceful feeling, but the moment approaches where I must show the plant my true resolve, and I know that I am un-ready for that. Salvia seems to heighten the sensations of my own body, I feel varying temperature and air-flows over each part of me. I feel the blood coursing through veins, I feel my pulse beating...and I feel my heart racing. From experience I know that nothing in my body has changed, that my bodily functions are as normal...what has changed is how I experience my body. But despite my knowledge of this fact the fear comes, creeping slowly upon me. I know this is the trial I must pass in order to transcended the threshold between the world of my Ego and the world the plant offers.
Closing my eyes, I turn on my side - telling myself over and over that my body is fine. And in fact the experience is less intense than previous occasions, yet my will fails - and my resolve disappears in an instant. I pull back into the protective cocoon of my Ego, deciding to fight the experience rather than go with it.
We are mortal beings, and our ego knows and fears this. In life we seek distraction, domination, control, or even anonymity or conformity - anything under which we may hide. A shelter beneath which we can imagine immortality - away from the rules of the physical world, were Death is hidden from our view behind glamour and superficiality. Where Loss, is something we deem never to face - perhaps this is the true face of materialism; the more we gather to ourselves, the tighter our control, the more mighty our power - the more immune we believe ourselves to Loss. But my thoughts aren't with such matters at that moment. Time has become condensed down to a single moment, cause and effect though still a conscious reality is not a focus for the mind. I exist fully and completely in the present, and in that moment I am faced with my mortality in an unending stretch of 'now'. And still the fear remains.
My Ego wilts in the face of this onslaught, unable to face it alone - yet isn't that something we must all eventually face? Even in companionship we are an island of one. We can share ourselves, but only we can experience the feelings we carry. I call to my wife, deciding that after all I do want a Sitter, she arrives after a few moments along with my daughter who delights in climbing and jumping on the bed. I'm serene enough, and my outward demeanor conveys nothing of what I am experiencing. Though I ask my wife to check my pulse, confirming for me that my body is fine.
I see then the beauty of my family, and am instantly confronted with the things I am unwilling to face. Loss, Death - these things which demand control and denial. The constant fear of emotional pain. The reasons I close myself and flee into mundane distractions and 'hobbies'. Denial. Fear. These things have surrounded me, they have enveloped all actions and thoughts. I discover the workings of my mind, seeing its thoughts tick out in an abstract ritual, as though reality itself is malleable by the presence or absence of specific thoughts. That if I don't think a certain thing, then such a thing cannot come to pass. Just as I hide in the physical world behind actions and emotions, I hide within my mind behind thoughts and beliefs. And both these things; the physical and the mental bind! They tie me up and dictate my actions, they dictate my moods and words - and I use them to carve a path through life. Yet it is like trying use a knife to cut a slice into a river!
Reality flows, life flows, the mind flows. The Ego seeks to hold.
And I notice how easily and readily I identify with my mind, this posses no fear - my thoughts don't bother me, they don't scare me. The truths my mind offers up I have no inclination to flee or deny. I am at one with my mind. Yet my emotions flail somewhat at my situation, at my life and at anything which disturbs the orderly inward flow. Some of the emotions are disconcerting - offering up dark or violent thoughts. Impulses I hope never to give into - again fear, the thought of Loss or harm through my own actions. I resist them, rather than allowing them to pass-by. Slowly I realise, the more resistance we give a thing, the greater the power it achieves. And so I allow the thoughts to flow, realising that allowing them to do so is not the same as following a train of thought or even acting upon a thought.
Action is a thing to be chosen. The ordering of the mind perhaps is a thing to be chosen. Yet the thoughts that arise in our mind we have no control over. Thoughts arise of their own accord, they function of their own will just like any other organ we posses. Control or Flow. I realise then how throughout my life I have sought to dominate my own thoughts. I see this now as an absurdity when faced with it.
It leads onto a further comprehension; I am at one with my mind but not with my body. I fear my lack of control over it. I fear what it outwardly speaks about me. I identify more with my mind than I do with my body - yet conversely it is the body; the face, the set of posture, the expressions, with which we identify others.
And yes, again I am faced with the lack of control. I seek to dominate how I appear to others! Why? The reason is obvious. Fear and loss - the specifics need not be expounded upon because they are obvious, and you need only look at yourself to discover similar feelings and reasoning.
And so time passes, the condensed moment expands slowly back into the realms of cause and effect, future and present. I know that for another few hours I will retain a highly clear and uncluttered mind. Hyper analytical yet totally at one with my emotions and environment. It's in these moments that I always clearly feel and understand the full potential of what life can be.
I failed Salvia's test perhaps - but I learnt what I needed to take another step into life.
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