Citation: Murple. "The Path of Good Wishes: An Experience with DPT Freebase (exp9394)". Erowid.org. Sep 11, 2001. erowid.org/exp/9394
Well, I woke up today to the sound of my phone ringing... Answering it half asleep, I heard my friend B telling me in a shaky voice that someone had just blown up the World Trade Center in New York. My first reaction was 'Oh my God, what have these anti-WTO nuts done now?!' Still on the phone, I stumbled to my computer and pulled up the cnn.com web site... All it had was a headline saying 'Attack on America', a picture of the Twin Towers exploding, and a few lines of text saying that planes had crashed into the Towers as well as the Pentagon. I talked to B on the phone for a few minutes then turned on my TV. Genius that I am, I decided to try to go see how close to the Pentagon I could get. I got in touch with people from my work and explained where I'd be going before coming into the office, and was told repeatedly how insane and/or idiotic I was. I grabbed my camera and head out on the road. A life lived in fear is no life at all...
I live in a town about in the Virginia suburbs of DC, and with no traffic I'm about a 15 minute drive from the Pentagon. I made my way to Route 236 heading into Alexandria, planning to try to get to Route 1 (which runs right by the Pentagon) and go as far towards the Pentagon as I could get without being stopped, and try to get photos. The highway into DC, I-395, was blockaded by police at every exit, but I was hopeful that the back roads might still be open. I didn't get far into Alexandria before traffic came to a stand-still. I hung a u-turn and turned onto Van Dorn St. heading north. I first went to Landmark Mall shopping center, which has a 3 level parking garage looking over I-395 towards the Pentagon. The top level was blocked off, but I parked my car and walked up to the top. Looking north, I saw a large plume of blackish grey smoke rising up from where the Pentagon was, several miles away. Helicopters circled in the smoke, and as I stood taking pictures a military medical chopper marked with red crosses flew low over my head towards the smoke.
I called friends and family to make sure everyone was OK, and to let them know where I was and what I was doing (getting quite a few 'Are you crazy?!?!' reactions, predictably). I noticed that Van Dorn St. seemed clear as far as I could see. I got back in my car and head north until it began to curve away to the east. I turned onto Seminary Road and head to a highrise apartment complex called Southern Towers and tried going up to find a good high elevation view, but unfortunately there were no windows in the hallways and the door to the roof was locked. I next tried to get into a highrise Hilton but was turned away by security guards saying only guests were allowed in. I gave up and went into work.
At work, almost everybody had gone home. I stayed for about two hours following the news and talking to my friend B via email. I went home and turned on the TV and heard that roads into DC had been opened up, so I grabbec my camera and head back onto the road... I got on the Beltway and then onto I-395 into DC.
I-395 runs right by the Pentagon. As I came up over the hill before the Pentagon, I saw a gigantic plume of black smoke. Helicopters flew overhead. Police cars were everywhere, and exit ramps to the Pentagon were closed. As I drove into the smoke cloud, I was overwhelmed by a disgusting aroma of burning paper with overtones of burning electronics. The smell was powerful and stomach churning, and the realization of all the deaths that contributed to that smell made it something that I will not soon forget. I snapped a few pictures while driving by.
I drove into DC itself, and found a road block before reaching The Mall. I turned right, towards the Capitol building. The town was virtually empty. All buildings were closed. Almost no cars on the road. I parked near the Smithsonian Air & Space museum and walked towards The Mall. The roads directly bordering The Mall were closed. Dozens of police cars and trucks were parked on the grass in front of the Capitol. There were no people around other than police, TV news trucks, and (quite surreally) a handful of joggers. I snapped a few pictures and walked back to my car. While driving out of the city, I noticed that the flags ringing the Washington Monument were all at half-mast, and the usual crowds of tourists were nowhere in site.
I headed back down I-395 past the Pentagon. The southbound lanes are closer to the Pentagon, so I got a much better view this time around. The southern side of the building was a gaping hole, dark smoke billowing out and blackening the sky over much of Arlington. People were stopping on the roadside to take pictures, and being chased away by police. I slowed down and snapped photos while driving. I drove down a little further and did a u-turn, turning back onto I-395 towards DC. As I headed into DC the second time, I saw a swarm of helicopters flying over town, circling the vicinity of the White House. A minute or two later the announcer on NPR radio said that the president had just arrived back in DC, so I suppose I was seeing his helicopter and a group of decoys. I went into DC as far as the road block before The Mall and turned around for another pass by the Pentagon.
I headed home after this, quite disturbed. I decided it was important to conduct a psychedelic ritual. I hadn't used any psychedelics (other than MDMA-type things) for a good 9-10 months, and this certainly was not how I wanted to jump back into things, but what must be done must be done. I got out my ritual awayu cloth and spread it out on the floor in front of a table covered in plants and with a life-sized sandstone Buddha head sculpture. I lit a coal and covered it with copal resin incense. I got out my copy of the Bardo Thodol, the Tibetan Book of the Dead. I filled a pipe with about 15mg of DPT free base.
I read from 'The Path of Good Wishes Which Protects from Fear in the Bardo' as I lit my pipe and inhaled the sacramental smoke. 'Let it come that the gloom of ignorance is dispelled.' I soon found myself being flooded with terrifying images. I felt the terror of being in the World Trade Center as the planes hit and as the buildings collapsed. I felt the fear of the passengers on the hijacked planes. As the Pentagon rose up to smack me from the sky, I saw a frightened young girl, perhaps 5 years old, scream as her brown teddy bear with a bowtie flew forward with the inertia of the crash, as flames blasted up around us all.
The flood of horrifying images became nearly unbearable, until I remembered why I was here... I continued reading: 'When the roarings of savage beasts are uttered let it be that they are transformed into the Six Syllables (om mani padme hum). When pursued by snow, rain, wind and darkness Let it be that one sees with the celestial eyes of bright wisdom.' I tried to send forth images of comfort and guidance to those who had died. I remembered the terror of death from my roughest ayahuasca experience - the confusion, the fear - and focused with all my being on trying to send good thoughts to the dead. I'm not a believer in afterlife, but I do believe in the connection of all things and the illusory nature of time and space. Perhaps in some way, even many hours after the planes crashed, I contributed to helping reduce the fear of the people who lost their lives today. Knowing that around the world many other people were also sending such good thoughts, perhaps we did give some comfort across time. Perhaps we merely helped ourselves deal with the shock. In any case, it was a goodness.
I next found myself being flooded by images of flashing police lights, and felt the fear of the world. I was quite afraid for all of us who remain in this world. This is truly a time when cool heads must prevail to keep things from getting out of hand. Fear makes people do stupid things. Fear creates doors for the Hitlers and Stalins of the world. All day I had been thinking of various police state scenarios which could arise from fearful over-reaction to the day's attacks. Visions of martial law and war flickered through my mind, the colors of flashing police lights. I focused all my remaining energy to send out thoughts of calmness, wisdom, peace and reason to the leaders and populace of the world, and even to the people who carried out these crimes. After many long and hard minutes, I collapsed exhausted, but with the feeling that all would turn out OK.
Its never too late to send good thoughts out to the dead and to the living, and I strongly urge all reading this to perform whatever ritual seems appropriate, whether aided by entheogenic sacraments or not. Now is the time to fill our hearts with love and joy, difficult though that may be, rather than to allow ourselves to succumb to the hate and anger which creates such tragedies in the first place.
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