Citation: A. Aplacophoran. "Phased to Oblivion, with Love: An Experience with LSD (exp93)". Erowid.org. Jul 27, 2001. erowid.org/exp/93
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I saw the film american beauty tonight. The 'moral' made so much sense to me because of how my acid trip on the fourth of july congealed meanings and existences for me. To say that everything is 'okay' would be both understatement and would not do justice to the calm and comfort with existence that I felt. The main character exhibited these features and the plastic bag dancing in the wind showed me that I am not insane for finding mundane, inconsequential things like that gorgeous.
I have faith vested in some overarching concept that includes humans, but I cannot say what. It is larger, but not gigantic--infinitesimal but not insignificant. I have trouble calling it a thing, because this tends to imply that there is something to be learned or understood about it. I personally feel that on some level, all humans understand it but that some tap into this understanding with more ease than others. To call it god would not do it justice, due to the social meanings applied to that word. To personify it would be fruitless, for it encompasses all of humanity, life and existence and holds within it all human experience--that which has happened, that which is happening, and that which is going to happen, all encoded in some vast fullness.
When I had my first trip july fourth, I felt like I had tapped into this 'collective consciousness'. It was very good acid according to those whom I knew there who had experience with the substance. It was on a roof of an apartment building in the city and we were waiting for the fireworks to begin. A few hours before, I knew that I would have an opportunity to take some 'mind-expanding' substances, but I didn't know specifically what. I decided to try LSD because I knew quite a bit about its history, and that set and setting factored heavily into the experience. I felt that this setting was good even though i was in an unfamiliar place because I was with two friends whom I trust on a very fundamental level. I also wasn't taking any medications or the like at that time. There were quite a few people there that I didn't know at all, but this didn't bother me at all. I took two tabs about forty-five minutes before the fireworks started--the tabs were basically white construction paper, no patterns or designs. Fifteen minutes before the fireworks, I took one hit from a joint. I will discuss the connection to weed a bit more below.
About five minutes into the fireworks I started to feel something and started to really get into the experience of watching the fireworks--the lines of smoke, the bursts, the classical music drifting up from somewhere below and in front of us. I remember some acquaintances calling out the element that made that particular firework that color. I remember feeling the acid hit me hard when one kid said 'oh, and that's magnesium'. The experience soon morphed into a belief that what I was experiencing was a sort of limbo from which all people's lives emanated. Limbo was sitting on a roof watching fireworks and listening to classical music. And it would just keep going until you went down to get a glass of water (one existence or life), went to the side to make out (another existence), but you would always come back to watching fireworks and listening to classical music, which was a very pleasing and unthreatening experience.
As the trip progressed, sounds and meanings of words started to phase. They went out of sync and, due to phase cancellation their 'true' meanings and sounds were revealed. (This phenomenon is not unlike the audio equivalent of phasing--check out Steve Reich's early works with tape loops: 'It's Gonna Rain' and 'Come Out'). What I mean by 'true' is not equivalent to 'inherent', but more so what I perceived to be the truth for the portion of humans that I know. This phasing continued while I slowly leaned back and closed my eyes. Apparently I was rolling around on the roof mumbling incoherently, but I was having an amazing experience. I only harbor a little regret for not having seen any visual hallucinations, but I am not a very visual person compared to some. Still, even without visuals, this shit was tweaking/repeating/phasing audio and then progressed to tweaking existential meaning in the same way.
What happened while I was lying down with my eyes shut, or 'under', is difficult to explain. I felt like I was connecting to all and everything--going out in all directions while simultaneously delving inward. I experienced utter ego surrender--I knew that I had a prior existence as 'me', but since I had this knowledge of the interconnectedness of all things, I felt safe, secure and comfortable in being a part of that and moving with its ebb and flow. Whether or not I came back to the reality I knew as 'me' was not an issue. I knew that my life was 'right', including all the 'bad' shit. While 'under', I understood the meanings of all the 'evil' and wrongs that exist(ed)/will exist and that they came as a package deal with existence. I understand evil's place, in a sense. It is possible that I understood that good vs. bad/evil is an extremely subjective thing, even if those definitions are accepted throughout the society. Also, that which one finds to be bad or evil could be considered to be a comparative thing that helps one see, appreciate and enjoy what one perceives as 'good'.
The trip was getting molecular (approx. two hours after I had taken the tabs and about an hour into the trip) and in doing so, it made me realize how the interconnectedness was also on a molecular level and emanated in all directions. This was definitely the peak of the experience, and it included utter ego surrender. There was an overarching mental image that was similar to others' description of the 'kaleidoscope' effect that somehow incorporated a profile of my head with spherical molecular structures intertwining--not unlike the type of molecular structures pictured on Erowid. My body also was incorporated into this phasing, kaleidoscopic image. I remember feeling my entire body being washed with waves of warmth and pleasure.
The 'come down' from the peak (about two hours into the trip) was fascinating-just as something coming back into phase with something else, reality slowly phased back into itself, and I raised my upper body, saw one of the friends I had come there with who was sitting next to me, and muttered, with awe, 'whoa'. There was a slight breeze, and John Lennon's song 'imagine' that had been playing through the speakers on the roof was ending at about this time: 'and the world shall live as one...' this fragment repeated in my head and created some gorgeous textures. Repetition was a huge factor in my trip-a type of repetition that was slightly different in feel and scope with each supposed repetition, thus making for a feeling of constancy, but coupled with progression and a sort of evolution. After I came out of being 'under'--probably a little less than three hours after I started tripping--I was only a little bit disoriented, but I felt relatively 'normal', barring a sore jaw and an awareness of my tingling nervous system. I had no more hallucinatory effects from the LSD, but I couldn't sleep one bit that night.
I now share this comfort with and understanding of all aspects of existence with the main character of 'american beauty' and I share wonderment with the character 'Ricky' in things usually found to be odd. In the movie, the man's face at the moment of his own death was one of contentment. I understood. Ricky did too. I think this may have had something to do with the ego surrender and the trust in the larger collective consciousness.
Back to the pot. Having smoked a little weed before the acid hit me did some interesting things. For the first few times that I smoked pot afterwards (we're talking weeks after, not hours or days), I became extremely aware of my nervous system and could feel the impulses speeding along the nerves sending signals to my brain through my spinal cord. This feeling eventually subsided, but it was something I was really grateful for because it made me aware of my body. I recently had a minor flashback from smoking quite a bit of weed that involved racing christmas lights and a spherical reflective surface. These combined to produce trails that circled the room with the lights and a wonderful reflection of those same trails in the extinguished ceiling light.
If you feel uncomfortable about the idea of ego surrender, then LSD might not be for you. That's cool, because William S. Burroughs himself said that drugs are a means to different levels of consciousness, but they shouldn't be solely depended upon, because they aren't the only means to attain mind expansion. Personally, I probably won't do acid again for quite a while, because I feel like I learned so much and can learn so much more from this trip that I'm going to need a bit more time to sort everything out. The most central thing I learned to be true for me was that all people experience some sort of hope, comfort, or contentment during their life, even for a millisecond. And in that millisecond, according to my trip, there is a complete lifetime.
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