Citation: Encased. "Blissed Out on Harmala: An Experience with Syrian Rue (exp8703)". Erowid.org. Apr 27, 2002. erowid.org/exp/8703
I had prepared my Syrian Rue seeds the night before, by grinding 3.5g of them repeatedly. This was the easy part. Syrian Rue is an MAOI, and the person needs more preparation than the plant. I had been careful to avoid tyramine-high foods for the previous 24 hours and, although I chose not to fast, I had eaten lightly and did not eat at all for the five hours immediately prior to ingestion.
I began with a nervous taste that confirmed my fears: The seed-powder tasted truly awful. There was only one thing to do, I poured the rest of the seeds into my mouth, gagging once or twice, and washed them down with a soft drink. Traces of the taste lingered bitterly around my mouth.
I noticed the first subtle visual effects at ten minutes, which grew over the next twenty minutes to definite alteration. These visuals had a quality which is not present with other psychedelics. Instead of the usual colors and tracers, harmala alters perspective. Items grow and shrink at random. For a while I was as tall as the room, and then I'd shrink and the room would be towering above me.
At this point, thirty minutes into the trip, I began to feel as if my mind itself was being stretched to tearing point. The unfamiliarity of the sensations was panicking me. I walked around the room trying to calm myself down, reminding myself it was just a trip, that these sensations weren't real and all I needed to do was wait and they'd be over. As things grew they took on sinister forms, which scared me. My ears began to buzz. I'd cycle through emotions, fear, hope, joy, sadness. I felt near to tears. What had I gotten myself into?
There didn't seem to be much to do except get into bed and ride out the worst of it. Fortunately, I was to be pleasantly surprised. I put on some quiet classical music.
For the next half hour I lay in my bed, staring at the ceiling or simply with my eyes closed. The music seemed to surround me as I lost all sense of time. When my eyes were closed, I would see patterns and images, much clearer than anything I could normally visualize. There were galaxies and stars, but the most memorable image was a spinning hoop made of flowing static. When my eyes were open, the room would spin, then stop and reverse its direction.
As I lay there, listening to the music, a great sense of peace and joy grew inside me. Euphoria doesn't seem to be the right word. It was bliss, a slice of nirvana. I could care about nothing, though love and compassion for anything I could think of flowed from me. I thought that I could stay in that state forever without ever growing sad or bored, but the thought of it ending did not scare nor sadden me. Everything was indescribably beautiful. I wondered if I had died and this was heaven. I felt my own body next to me, only partially attached, the links waning. I imagined being found the next day, the reactions of my parents, the funeral. I was dead and it did not matter.
I stayed like that for a full hour, before finally getting up to talk to some people on IRC. The sense of bliss continued as I typed. I closed my eyes and moved a hand across my face. I saw myself, then others doing the same, all with the same amazing clarity.
As the harmala wore off, I was left with contentment and a pain in my chest. This did worry me a little, but I decided to ignore it and go to sleep. My sleep was mostly restful, although I have vague memories of waking confused with blurred vision. This may have been a dream. When I eventually woke, after 10 hours I felt rested, well balanced and healthy.
Contrary to expectations, I experienced no nausea at all during the experience.
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