Citation: Yikes. "The End Of All Existence: An Experience with Salvia divinorium (exp89145)". Erowid.org. Dec 23, 2012. erowid.org/exp/89145
The reason I am submitting this experience is that I want more people to be aware the potential magnitude of Saliva divinorium
. It has been over six months since this happened but this was the most unexpected and chaotic thing that ever happened to me. I’ll do a brief overview so the reader can understand what kind of set I had for the trip but for those of you that just want to read about the trip; I smoked a half a gram of 40x salvia out a bubbler in pitch dark, by myself, lying in my bed with my eyes closed.
At the time of the trip I had just gotten back from a yearlong stint in a lockdown residential treatment center in Utah. My parents sent me there for smoking pot all throughout my freshmen year of high school. My only previous experience with hallucinogens was right before I was sent away. I took a gram and a half of okay mushrooms and while looking back, I wouldn’t call it a strong trip now, at the time it was one of the best days of my life in terms of revelations, epiphanies, etc. Anyways a year later I returned home hoping to repeat my psilocybin experience. I took the subway to my local headshop and bought a gram of 40x salvia.
I waited until one in the morning before I brought my stash from under my bed. In my house the attic was converted into two bedrooms so I am a floor above my parents so smell from smoke is not an issue. As I looked at the bowl I encouraged myself “It’s been a year since the mushrooms, you have changed as a person and matured since then all accomplished while sober, it’s okay to trip balls now.” I packed half of a gram of Salvia into my bubbler with a screen to protect it from falling into the water. My plan was to take the hit, lie down, close my eyes, and turn on my iPod when I started to trip. It was completely dark in my room and I had to use my phone for light as I packed the bowl.
When it was all ready I tried to get myself into a mind state that helped me personally have a good mushroom experience. I thought briefly about my entire life and how I could make room for change in the ways I handled situations and conducted myself. I put my lighter to the bowl and inhaled. Even though I took in quite a large hit the bubbler made sure the smoke was not harsh. With the smoke still in my lungs I put the bubbler underneath my couch along with all my other materials (the couch is right next to the bed so I accomplished this while lying down). When that was done I laid the back of my head on the pillow and concentrated on just holding the smoke in. During my stay in Utah I became interested in Buddhism, meditation, and all that so I decided to close my eyes I hopes of having a more spiritual or mystical experience. After about twenty seconds I started to feel extremely light headed kind of like after I stand up suddenly after reclining for extended periods of time. With my eyes still closed I exhaled.
It’s hard to describe how I arrived at my destination. All I can remember is that the reality that I had previously known had ceased to exist. I was face to face with what looked like an entity composed of hundreds of my faces. They were all leering at me in the sort of way that made me feel like they were happy in the knowledge I had finally gone insane. I immediately winced in my mind and tried to tell myself everything was going to be all right but at the same time I was terrified and had no idea why I was seeing what I saw. As if my subconscious was answering my fears, a voice said from behind me “This is a bad trip (my name). You are going to have to deal with it”. I tried screaming “how” but as the monster made up of all my faces moved closer, my body seemed to crumble into multiple interlocking puzzle pieces which made it impossible to run or defend myself. Eventually these puzzle pieces became so distorted and strung out, I could no longer identify them as my body. I could vaguely remember something called “salvia” but I made no connection from the drug to where I was. All my hope of ever returning to reality was beginning to fade.
I soon became aware of other entities besides the one made up of my faces. Instead of being something I could see they were more of a group of intelligent but malicious and cruel beings that had come to speak to me. We communicated through thoughts because I could not see them but at this point in the salvia dimension I had no eyes to perceive them with. I would think a mix of words and emotions about those words and the salvia creatures would respond in the same way. The initial message I got from them was that my entire life had just been my imagination. It was similar to the point when you wake up from a dream and realize that all the events that happened to you in it did not exist even though at the time you thought it to be reality. What I was going through and where I was exceeded my expectations a million times over about what I though dying would be like. What was happening was so un-earth-like yet so real. I found the message the salvia creatures were telling me to be very convincing. I was now sure that I had always been in this dimension for eternity and that I always would be here. There was no reality except for this one that I now found myself in.
Suddenly from the back of my mind there was a burst of thought. “Salvia!” I exclaimed in my mind to the creatures. Since they could see my every thought I did not form many words in my mind. My rational mind was trying to use this drug called salvia as a bridge to reality from where I was. The emotion I was feeling was sudden hope in the face of sheer terror. The only thing I can compare it to is when death row inmates are about to be executed. They often feel the delusion that they are going to be saved, that at the last moment they will halt the procedure. The saliva creatures instead of being angry that I was going to escape, simply communicated to me the general vibe that “that’s what everyone tells themselves when they finally wake up.” They seemed amused that I was filling out the stereotype of someone who has just woken up in an apparently insane dimension of reality that they had really been in all along.
I don’t know how I got to the next part of the trip from here. When I try to remember it, I can limit down to three guesses as to why I arrived there. Either the salvia creatures were punishing me for trying to convince myself it was not real, they were trying to help me by showing me just how real the reality of the salvia was, or the third option was that once they had completed their obligatory role of explaining reality to the newcomer, they lost interest and left me to myself. Anyways I lost all awareness of existence. Everything I had ever known in my entire life vanished. All my memories, experiences, insights, emotions, all vanished. All my knowledge of what the universe was, that time was, vanished. I ceased to understand that “existence” in itself existed. I cannot determine how long I spent in this phase because there was no concept of time. For an eternity everything about me did not exist except for the fact that I was directly experiencing this phenomena. I was a direct witness to this yet had no idea that I was the witness, nor that the nothing I was witnessing was separate from the witness. All was one and one was all.
Eventually I was basically “born again”. In the middle of eternity suddenly there was a spark of awareness. Up until this point I had lost my body so I felt no physical sensations but I became aware of one thing. I was extremely uncomfortable and to the point where that was all I knew. I had no thoughts except for this primordial discomfort.
Soon after I became uncomfortable I became aware of two surfaces. Once again my entire identity was composed of these two surfaces. As I began to manifest more and more though, my discomfort and dismal hopelessness increased. The two surfaces appeared out of nowhere, it was like out of the vacuum of space; the emptiness was torn in half and folded to support these two surfaces. Looking back on the trip this was the first point when I became aware of “matter”. As my direct experience of reality turned to three-dimensional from nothing it was extremely unpleasant. Before these two surfaces my perception was just part of the nothingness but when the two surfaces became the only thing I knew my perception attached itself to the two surfaces. The reason this was all so uncomfortable was that I felt like my perception was being crushed by the two surfaces. The entire weight of existence, the entire weight of this universe that my senses told me was real, was crushing down these two surfaces together.
It got worse and a point arose out of the two surfaces. Instead of two planes of existence there was a pyramid puncturing the plane alongside it. It did not go through it just was resting on the plane with infinite weight. As the progression of space occurred it seemed that time was beginning to slide back into existence from nothingness. Once again my perception or “mind” was trapped between these two planes but the pyramid or spike made it even more unbearable as the weight of reality constricted to a single point at the top of the triangle. This was the first cosmic “goal” I had after being reduced to nothing. I became aware that I was suffering and that existence did not have to play out like this. My entire existence seemed to be for the sole purpose of escaping this entrapment or at least making it less uncomfortable. As time became more and more real years passed as the pyramid slowly grew. I had neither identity nor hopes during those years, only a subconscious desire to unstick myself from this weight of reality.
Eventually the plane of existence behind the pyramid became a cube. I realized that the three-sided pyramid that had been the bane of my existence was one side of a four-sided three-dimensional cube. At this point there was no plane of existence only the cube comprising the entire universe. After spending so many years feeling the weight of the upper cube of existence I began to identify with the lower plane as being me or my mind. It was this that caused the lower plane to crumple up and become a globe or blob that was stuck to the edge of this cube. The cube was the universe that was slowly and painfully creeping back into the awareness of my mind, which was the lower plane that became the blob. I had regressed so infinitely that the only way the universe could make itself aware to me was through direct contact. Time seemed to speed up and I felt like I spent only a couple of months with my mind attached to the cube.
The turning point of my trip when I started to begin my slow progress out of it, which did not occur in one instant. It was not an “ah-ha” moment with newfound hope. I eventually had the realization wash over me that I was not doomed to existence smeared between universal shapes. It was like being submerged into cold water. However at this point I assumed the reality I would return to would be the saliva one. I slowly started to grow a body out of the blob stuck to the cube. This ordeal only took a couple of days. As soon as I became aware of the salvia reality around me, space seemed to extend infinitely around the cube. It was no longer the universe in its entirety. Eventually I had a fully-grown body attached to the cube by my head. The texture of the cube was extremely dense and hard but when my eyes grew back on my face I could see the surface of the cube had a pattern similar to what a brain looks like after it has been removed from a cadaver. The very best thought that was going through my head was relief that one day I would die and was no longer doomed to spend eternity in this state.
With the return to salvia land came the realization that it had all been a drug-induced voyage. This was not exactly good new to me because that did not make all the years I spent there cease to exist nor did make the experience any less dramatic. It was like all my memories, knowledge, returned to me while standing in salvia land with my head attached to this large cube. As I began to think about eventually leaving this place one day I began to take an interest in my surroundings. The cube that I was attached to seemed to be ten feet tall and was in an immensely large cavern. There was a discernable ceiling to it but where the walls met the ground was so far away I could not see it. In fact for all I know the ceiling could have been some distorted sky. Everything was various shades of red expect for holes in the sky/ceiling placed randomly that shined with a gross shade of yellow. I turned to try to see how I could remove myself from this cube when I noticed there were other people attached to the cube with me. One was a good friend of mine and the other was a man I had never seen before.
My friend looked hopeless, I assumed that somehow he had made the mistake of venturing into salvia space too. I asked him what would happen now that you have tripped this hard. I was still trying to figure out how I would eventually make my way back to reality now that I had figured out it was a trip. His reply was, “Well, most people usually commit suicide or become addicted to heroin.” I remember thinking; “I’m not going to do either of those things, even if I have to see a therapist every single day for the rest of my life.”
I don’t remember what caused it but at some point I opened my eyes and was able to crawl. If I stayed in the same spot for more then a second then I would get sucked back and would still be attached to the cube. I crawled around my bed for a couple of minutes just trying to stay in this dimension. After about ten minutes I had a hard time understanding what had occurred. I just thought, “Oh well, that wasn’t so bad, I’m still here”, and went to sleep. Over the course of the next week I began to ponder what had happened and think about it more clearly.
Looking back on that experience, I don’t regret doing what I did but at the same time I wish I had looked into what I was going to smoke before I did it. It definitely changed my wildest assumptions about where drugs could take you. It was also a factor in me having less anxiety in my life. Whenever I am feeling anxious I think back to when I was convinced I would never return to reality. I believe that the reason I freaked out was because I placed too much value upon myself - I assumed I was the center of the universe. The saliva experience made me think about how insignificant we all are in the entire history of our universe so whenever I start thinking about it when anxious it makes whatever caused my anxiety to seem less bad.
The first time I tried LSD I was fortunate enough to be with two very helpful and nice girls who were experienced with it, I feel that the salvia definitely helped me have a nice first acid trip though. The hour that the effects slowly built up over felt like an eternity compared to the twenty disorienting seconds it takes to reach a salvia peak. Reading the book the “Psychedelic Experience” by Timothy Leary was pivotal as well but the saliva made it so my expectations were far from overwhelmed.
For anyone who reads this and is making the decision to never do saliva, don’t think your experience will automatically be similar to mine. I plan to have a breakthrough on saliva before I die which will most likely require me to do it several more times. If I have any advice for someone who is going to do saliva for the first time or do enough to have a level “V” or “I” trip; my advice would be to ponder first how insignificant you are in the grand scheme of things, also try to be satisfied with life at that point. I know that is a pretty difficult thing to ask but when you feel like you have lived a good life then it probably won’t feel as horrifying when it all disappears.
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