Citation: Evan. "Profoundly Disturbing Trip: An Experience with LSD & Cannabis (exp83238)". Erowid.org. Nov 27, 2013. erowid.org/exp/83238
It all started one night, I was alone in my house in San Diego. It was 2 AM, but I wasn't tired or sleepy. So I decided to watch a movie, and what better way to enhance movie watching than a vaporizer and weed? I took a few hits, then took a few more. Very soon I was completely baked and dousing myself in a world of interesting and trippy thoughts. It was very enjoyable. And then, suddenly, out of nowhere, it hit me.
The image of a circle appeared in front of me. It was the scariest thing I had ever seen in my life. It was immediately followed by a feeling of certain understanding of the workings of the universe. I felt absolutely disgusted; I wish I photographed my expression at the moment. Within the circle I saw the true meaning of time, eternity, and the horrifying, cyclical nature of the universe. My jaw dropped, my eyes were filled with terror, and I was completely motionless. I contemplated suicide.
A period of time passes (I'm not exactly sure how long, I had lost track of time) and I had calmed down slightly, but still had the horrifying ideas (which I will go into in a bit) in my head. I looked back at the movie that was playing, but simply could not appreciate the film whatsoever; every time I focused on the movie, I would notice how fake everything is, and that societal values are illusions constructed from human evolution. I tried to force myself to sleep, in desperate hopes that I would forget everything. I did...
...until a month later. Myself and a friend of mine decided to take half a dose of LSD one evening. Neither of us hallucinated or anything, but probably because we didn't take a full dose and LSD requires a certain threshold to actually work. Anyhow, it was a fun experience that lasted until ~3 AM. He went to bed, and I decided to take out my vape and smoke some weed. I went back into my room and took out my laptop, in preparation to read about Plato (I had been very interested in Greek philosophy). After maybe 5 minutes or so, the haunted thoughts I had experienced a month ago mysteriously returned to me. It was traumatizing.
I imagined that the human race, like all previous organisms, would destroy itself eventually. Culture constantly pressures competition, and the desires for greed and uniqueness would eventually cause world wide depression, and then insanity. The worst part of it all is, such a fate would recur over and over, from an eternity, to an eternity. I understood why I was so terrified of the circle. It represented the universe, and the idea of eternal recurrence, which is the idea that the universe is stuck in an endless loop, has always been, and will always be. It was originally popularized by Friedrich Nietzsche.
Basically, eternal recurrence logically made sense, because, given a finite amount of constantly rearranging matter, and an endless amount of time, the matter would eventually be arranged in every possible configuration, an infinite number of times. Eternal recurrence implies that humans have existed countless times before in the past, and will exist countless times again in the future, once it inevitably destroys itself.
Imagine a sphere, and a line that travels around the sphere randomly, and infinitely. Would it not cross every path, make every turn, and arrive at every point an infinite number of times?
As I mentioned earlier, Friedrich Nietzsche was the original 'father' of this theory. He wrote several books on eternal recurrence, but simply reading a lengthened summary of Thus Spoke Zarathustra made me rather nervous. I won't go into detail but basically, Nietzsche believes that humanity is only a step in a pre-designed evolutionary chain. He thinks that once humans truly grasp the undeniable concept of eternal return, the vast majority of them will shrivel away in depression and insanity. True understanding of eternal return will become the evolutionary factor deciding the next step of where life goes. Nietzsche calls the next step the Overman, which is an advanced version of the modern man that is able to not only accept, but embrace the idea of eternal return, and embrace the fact that every hour, every minute, every second, every one-millionth of a second, in the long run, will last an eternity. Every possible outcome of a person's life, of humanity, and of the universe will last an eternity.
Reading about Nietzsche's philosophy was very disturbing for me, because prior to this I had never thought about the universe this way before. I was alone, and the visions that came to me seemed external; I had never really studied philosophy or the idea of eternal return. Nietzsche said to truly grasp eternal return would, to any human being, 'horrifying and paralzying' and says that 'its burden is the heaviest weight imaginable.' I seemed to have felt the exact same way.
Anyway, after witnessing these ideas in my head, I began repeating to myself the phrase 'Constantly forced to destroy themselves.' By themselves, I meant life in every form--cells which gave rise to animals, which gave rise to humans, which will give rise to the Overman. Each one is destined to meet its maker and perish, and the cycle will repeat endlessly. I probably repeated this phrase over and over for an hour or so. By now it was probably 6 or 7 AM, and I still couldn't get myself to sleep. I tried watching TV shows to take my mind off of it, but to no avail. My brain was so traumatized by what it had seen, it simply refused to leave it alone. For a while, I thought maybe I would be stuck in that miserable state forever.
My insomnia lasted till the next day. I was so depressed the next day, I didn't talk to anyone. I just sat in my room contemplating eternity and the eternal apocalypse. My roommates tried to cheer me up with video games, but I just didn't have the stomach for it. I also didn't have the stomach for food. I ended up not eating for over 30, and not sleeping for over 50 hours.
I'm currently fairly recovered from that trauma. I've been able to reconnect with friends and family, but I still feel a looming uncertainty in my head at all times, haunting me. It was the scariest experience of my life, but what's more disturbing to me, is that the ideas seemed simply undeniable.
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