Citation: The Reverend Nemu. "Not for Me, Thank-You: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (10x extract) (exp75646)". Erowid.org. Nov 21, 2020. erowid.org/exp/75646
To investigate the nature of time and reality
Salvia Divinorum x10
One large bong
Or perhaps initiation is a better word. Saturday afternoon at a hemp traders Wembley, the air was thick with ganja smoke but I was straight for once, strolling around, seeing what was going on, getting lost amongst the grow cabinets and bong sellers. Someone was selling a legal smoking mix called Spice, which was pleasant enough. I passed the bifter I had to a random rude-boy, and we began to chat. He pointed to an old hippy sitting behind a bong and asked if I had tried the plant matter he was peddling. I had not. Neither had he, nor his mate, and they told me they were unwilling to sit down and smoke it, because other people who had could not stand up again.
I sat down, completely unaware of what I was letting myself in for. The hippy was busy with other headz, so it was up to his wife to administer the dose. She was a middle-aged black woman, straight looking and kindly as she assured me that I would be back to normal with in few minutes. ‘Are you ready?’ she asked, and lit the lighter. Big toke, as big as possible, coughing ruthlessly suppressed, charge held down…
… for as long as possible…
…which was ridiculously long…
I could feel my new friends watching me intently, for an age as I remained inflated. I wondered if there was something I should be doing. I reminded myself that my task was to hold down the smoke, but nothing was happening. Not just no trippiness, but nothing at all. I was staring at the bong, waiting for time. Perhaps I should exhale, I thought to myself … but there was no urge. It is legal, and probably very weak, I reasoned, perhaps almost imperceptible, like the other legal highs. I thought again about the rude-boys, and wondered what they were thinking. I was waiting for something to happen, but nothing was, and there was an uneasy sensation that nothing ever would. I realised I had still not exhaled. Funny stuff, I thought to myself.
After a very long time I heard a clear sound, rising slowly from bass up to high beyond the range of my perceptive range. I didn't know if it was a hallucination or a sound from the sound system, and it didn’t really matter either way. Time passed…
‘He can’t even move!’ said one of the rude-boys. I considered the possibility that it was true, and I wondered if I would ever exhale again. I tested the theory by exhaling a little. It was possible, but unnecessary. I felt fine. I turned my head towards the rude-boys, and still nothing happened. My visual field remained the same! I could still see the bong, sitting on the table in front of me.
This is pretty weird shit, I thought to myself. If things like that are happening, then I’m somewhere very strange, and I should probably breathe, lest I die of voluntary asphyxiation. I exhaled a little more, and, whoops: I popped out of reality! It was not out-of-body so much as out of context, obliquely related to where I normally existed. Then I felt a wave of panic. My vision was stuck in the past, looking at the bong whilst my head was pointed elsewhere, but then it started to catch up. There followed a very slow series of images, each one at a new angle as my brain caught up with the world, and this trail was the crack between the worlds, between the visual world and the conceptual narrative in my head. My cognitive system was working perfectly, but my visual system was in a different time zone. Before the scene converged on the rude-boys I foolishly turned my head once again, starting another retarded sequence. Oops! I thought better of the whole vision thing, and closed my eyes. The darkness eventually caught up with me, and I was left with the feeling of a body, somewhere in the universe, and an ocean of time.
In retrospect, my perceptive system couldn’t keep up with reality. The copy of external reality I am accustomed to watch unfolding, something I had assumed to be the same as reality, was only a sketch generated by my brain. The narrative of mind is another reality entirely, and at that point it was the only one that I had any hope of relating to, though that also disappears sometimes, during meditation or an ayahuasca session. As to external reality, well, what can I say? It may well exist, but interacting with it is problematic, to say the least. The sketch we make of it, however, is simply not true.
The whole experience was completely bizarre, and not enjoyable in any way, though neither was it physically unpleasant.
The whole experience was completely bizarre, and not enjoyable in any way, though neither was it physically unpleasant.
When I finally exhaled the rest of the charge it went beyond words. I was suspended somehow somewhere eternal, and I was reluctant to move and break the permanence. And then, after a time which could have been seconds or minutes, or days for all I knew, I became aware of time again, and place, and the fact that this place was completely unsuitable for such a mind-bender. The first thing I said was ‘what… here?’, but then I realised that was my problem, not the lady with the bong. She was an angel from another dimension, quietly blowing minds. She asked how I was. I was somewhat shaken, but I was grateful. ‘It’s very strange,’ I said. ‘Yes it is’, she said, with a knowing smile.
At this point the Dane turned to me and launched into a long and confusing monologue, the gist of which was that he was very happy to meet somebody on the same wavelength as him, and that gauze in pipes was a crime, and you were much better off making a substitute with a pipe-cleaner and a lighter, with a method which he began to explain in detail. This man was disturbing me, so I turned to his wife and told her I didn’t understand. She didn’t seem to think the gauze thing was very important. I was coming back to the room now from the edge of the galaxy. He told me that he had given me Salvia divinorum x10 strength, but there was also x25 if I wanted. That, I said, is completely out of the question. I purchased some of his strange herb, and administered it to a series of subjects, beginning, as any responsible researcher must, with myself.
1) Surround yourself with responsible people you know and trust.
2) Move sharp objects out of reach.
3) Take one bong (or fit a length of piping with a complicated spiral gauze fashioned from a pipe cleaner)
4) Fill the bowl with Salvia divinorum.
5) Give a lighter to a friend, who lights it for you, and also releases the charge in the bong.
6) Keep the charge for as long as possible. Relax, and don’t worry.
7) Hold tight.
The second experiment was performed at home. I had my eyes closed, and slow electronic dub playing in the background. As the charge filled my lungs, time began to stretch as before. Nothing happened for a long time, until I swallowed, at which point a kick drum sounded. I noticed that the music had stopped. I was alert, thinking, and waiting, but time had stopped passing. This made me nervous, and again I worried about asphyxiation. I tested my lungs with a puff of smoke, and as I exhaled, a rim-shot sounded. It slowly dawned on me that any muscular action I made elicited a noise from the stereo, and if I remained motionless, nothing would happen. I felt obliged to maintain stillness, to preserve the peace of eternity, but also the enormity of eternity unnerved me. I had stumbled upon forever. I twitched my head to one side a fraction, and the stereo released a bass note. This stuff does something funky with time. The fear of the first trial was not so oppressive, and I decided to experiment with a sweep of my head, conjuring a cascade of bass notes, each note in time with a different set of muscles working in my neck. I exhaled a little, triggering a kick drum. After that I continued to breathe slowly, and within a minute, I was back, with a slight residual buzz from my journey.
Subject 2 got the giggles. When this stopped, he noticed that with a sweep of the head, all the various things he saw could be registered, noticed, and thought about individually. He also saw a blue humanoid figure.
Subject 3 looked around like a lost puppy, trying to work out what the hell was going on. He had never tried it before, but had heard Salvia described as ‘that drug where you mustn’t turn your head.’
Subject 4 went into hysterics. She started babbling, demanding over and over again that her sensible boyfriend take a hit, which was never going to happen, and then she explained, through watering eyes, that she was going to get told off when she got home. No useful observations were recorded. Her boyfriend was not best pleased.
Subject 5 giggled along with Subject 4.
Subject 6 took his medicine, and after a short time he said ‘mmmm’. Then later he said ‘yes’. Subjects 4 and 5 found hysterical, and started asking him stupid questions, and he said ‘Shut up, I’m trying to take this seriously,’ at which point everyone including the technician got the giggles, except subject 3, who was looking uneasy.
Subject 7 was Japanese, and he also got the giggles, and said ‘omoshiroi’ (interesting / fun).
Subject 8 reported pressure on one side of her body. She wanted to follow this sinking feeling with her body, but she didn’t move. The pressure rolled past, as if a board was pressed and rolled along her body. She also registered the individual instruments and beats of the music as distinct, discrete entities.
Subject 9 was another Japanese, and was all enthusiasm, grinning broadly, even as he began to exhale. Still grinning, he said ‘hen ya na’ (strange isn’t it) after which point his grin faded and he broke into a sweat. He looked around the room confused. The people had become humanoid blobs, and he forgot who they were, except for his closest friend there, the technician who had put him into this state. He felt pressure on his body, and noticed that he was taking in information in a series of discrete, whole units. He would notice a voice, a sight and a sensation all at once, and then the next set would come, and then the next. He worried that he might never regain normal perception, but he was calmed down by the technician’s words, which came to him in strange cyclical patterns. Three minutes later he had relaxed enough to start laughing again, to question the nature of reality and perception. He suggested that this might be the usual mode of perception for people born with mental disorders. He also announced that it was the weirdest thing he had ever experienced, and that he wanted some more, but not until six months later.
Most subjects reported that their thoughts remained normal, whilst their perception slowed down in a curious fashion. Visual perceptions crawled along, so turning the head produced a trail of distinct scenes. With music, the beats were linked to a particular action. The space between individual perceptual events was extended, giving the impression that the subject had slipped out of time, and some people saw entities in that space.
My own experience was that time has no existence independent of action, that if there is no action, there is no event, and there is no sensation of time. If there is nothing happening, there is nothing to mark time with, and time stands still. In this sense, space-time is a unified concept. Perception is not a passive process, it is active, and making a perception is an act. As the mind settles on a new perception, the previous one dissolves, and time is registered as having passed.
Reality is funny stuff that lies beyond one’s perception. Whilst not completely independent of our perception, it is not the same as what we perceive.
The insight about mental conditions is interesting. Autists become totally engrossed in an object, swallowed into it, so perhaps time slows right down for them. With Salvia, focus becomes singularly intense, so you see every crinkle of a petal, every vein, the gradient of the colouring, the pollen on the anthers; each texture is another perceptive event, discrete, unintegrated, and out of time. Then there is the thinker, which is more or less unaffected, in a different part of your brain, marking time whenever it notices something.
Not for me, thank-you. Salvia Divinorum is legally available from many disreputable Internet mail order companies. It does not seem to be addictive in the slightest, and is too weird to be moorish.
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