Cacti - T. peruvianus
Citation: Melter Skelter. "Contacting Logos: A Phenomenological Account: An Experience with Cacti - T. peruvianus (exp94867)". Erowid.org. Oct 14, 2012. erowid.org/exp/94867
Hello fellow travelers and thank you for stopping by to read this. I am happy to know that you are wise to use the internet resources available to research reports of psychedelic experiences written by others. Being informed and prepared is crucial in these hyperspatial investigations. This report is an account of my experience with 25 dried grams of Trichocereus peruvianus
, otherwise known as the Peruvian Torch Cactus, on February 05 2012.
Since alkaloid content can vary greatly between individual specimens, i have no way to determine how many milligrams of mescaline i ingested. I can however say that it was sufficient for my purposes.
I wrote this account during the experience itself, which is the first time i have ever done that. I have written and published other trip reports about other psychedelics, but this is the first time that i wrote an account while under the influence of one. I think therefore that this report makes it more authentic, as it comes directly from experience instead of memory. The report also includes a web link to an audio recording i made during the journey that consists of rather curious and unusual spontaneous vocalizations.
If one is looking for a slick comfortable designer rush in the phenethylamine likes of mdma or 2-cb, than mescaline, especially in whole cactus form, is not a good choice. This is a full force, hold-on-to-your-socks, classical psychedelic. Even when done in a quiet and comfortable setting, it can be frightening and disorienting and can also induce nausea and purging (aka vomiting) which, by the way, can be a very important and healing aspect of the experience.
Mescaline is a long lasting psychedelic. In my case its effects lasted for over twelve hours. Also very important is the fact that it takes a long time to reach its full effect. Therefore i suggest that if you are planning to administer a second dose, be patient and don’t increase your dose for at least 4 to 5 hours since your initial one.
I strongly recommend against using this plant teacher at raves, parties and other overwhelming settings with lots of people and stimulus, at least not until I am experienced and well acquainted with its effects. I can attest from my own experience that it is very important to have a safe comfortable space to resort to during the potentially difficult stages of the cactus journey.
Another thing i would like to strongly advise against is taking mescaline in pill form, simply because it is usually impossible to know what you’re getting and how much of it. I have heard for example that in Quebec, PCP is often sold as mescaline on the street. As far as my own personal preferences in this regard go, my approach is becoming more traditionalist in the sense that i have much more interest in using whole plants which have a long history of shamanic use. I am discovering that there are a great many advantages and safeguards with this approach.
For about two days after the journey I felt what might have been a slight irritation of the stomach. It would go away as soon as I ate and could’ve been simply the usual symptoms of my IBS. In either case, i thought that there might be a possibility of worsening symptoms for a few days due to my stomach lining condition (the cactus juice is very strong and bitter), but research and experimentation by others with such conditions is necessary to determine this.
One last thing i’d like to say in this introduction is that mescaline did not produce much visual and auditory changes for me other than intensification of light and color. Perhaps a higher dose is required to achieve these effects. Also, there were no aphrodisiac effects whatsoever. On the contrary, libido was entirely absent. However, the richness and density of the emotional-intellectual-spiritual content, including what seemed like a contact with a different form of intelligence, was absolutely astounding, as you shall discover from my notes.
Brief Psychedelic Background Info About Me
I am a 26 year old white man who immigrated to North America almost eight years ago from eastern Europe. My psychonautical resume includes experimentation primarily with LSD, psilocybin mushrooms and marijuana during ages 20 and 21. This phase of my life threw me into the deep end of the numinous and is worth its own epic tale.
This was followed by several years of almost total abstinence from psychedelics due to a severe health crisis i struggled with. This crisis was not directly caused by my psychedelic experiences, but rather due to my initial lack of grounding and other obstacles at the time. However i have learned my lessons, worked laboriously to restore my health and now pay utmost attention to grounding and stability. I have realized that such things are crucial to maintaining integrity when partaking in such explorations.
This Peruvian Torch Cactus experience, along with some use of marijuana in the last two months, feels as though it may be one of the pivotal points in beginning a personal psychedelic renaissance for me. A renaissance not in the sense of frequent use of psychedelics but rather in terms of interest in psychedelic consciousness, art, culture, philosophy, etc.
(state of mind, including mood, intentions, expectations, etc.)
A few months ago i moved to a small town to look after a friend’s store while he is away on holidays. My daily existence has gradually obtained a relative state of stability since i arrived to the current location. I am working full time, eating healthy, doing hot yoga regularly, spending most of the time by myself, which allows me considerable time and space for introspection. My stay in this town has thus far been much like a meditative retreat. My state of mind therefore has been relatively grounded and positive for some time.
My intention of undergoing this cactus initiation was to get healing and insight. “Healing and insight” i kept muttering to myself over and over again in the preceding days while visualizing the ingestion of the cactus juice. I was very nervous and reluctant to do this, but i knew that the time has come to be hurled through the invisible membrane that separates worlds.
(the external environment in which the journey takes place)
The journey took place in my friend’s house which i am house-sitting for him while he is away. It is located 30 kilometres out of town in a rather remote and gorgeous location. The house is perfect for this experience. It has quite natural surroundings, wooden floors, comfortable furniture and is well heated. I am also looking after my friend’s adorable elderly dog who despite her age remains very playful. She was my only companion on this voyage.
Preparation of the Cactus Juice
- I soaked the dried cactus chips in warm water overnight.
- Next morning i put the container in a freezer. I have read on a few internet forums that freezing helps rupture the cell membranes of the cactus flesh and thus helps release the desired alkaloids.
- After having the concoction frozen for several hours, i took it out, put it in a pot and turned the gas stove to minimum heat. I must note here that there seems to be no general agreement, at least not on internet forums, about whether mescaline disintegrates from boiling. Some say it does, others say it doesn’t. I’ve decided to take the safe route and simmer the cactus at minimum temperature, at a point where i could see some bubbles rising in the water but could also touch the water with my fingers without hurting myself.
- I simmered the cactus this way for about 4 hours with an open lid, evaporating the water away and adding a little bit of it when necessary. I decided not add any lemon or lime to the water as is sometimes recommended since i wanted to lessen any potential stomach irritation after ingesting the juice.
- I then strained the remaining fluid into a separate container with a metal salad strainer. This fluid was now dark green and thick.
- Next, i took the strained pieces of the cactus flesh and put them in a blender, added some water and blended them into smaller pieces so as to increase their surface area and thus increase extraction. Note that i didn’t blend them into a fine goo, just smaller pieces. The blending instantly made the added water very thick and slimy, which was a sign that the cactus juice was infusing the water readily.
- I simmered the resulting concoction again for about an hour and a half and then strained it out.
- I blended the strained cactus flesh again with a bit of water, simmered it for another hour and then strained it a third time into the container with the rest of the cactus juice.
- I simmered all of the resulting juice for less than an hour just to evaporate some water and thus reduce the volume so as to make it easier to ingest. When done, i turned off the stove and went to bed. The potion was ready.
The evening before my journey, I ate last at about 7pm. I decided to ingest the cactus juice in the morning on an empty stomach. This i knew was a good idea because in case there was purging to do, it would be a lot less unpleasant throwing up just the cactus juice and water instead of the half digested food as well. Drinking on an empty stomach also increases absorption of the desired alkaloids.
Next morning of my only day off, i woke up before 9am and with hands shaking approached the chalice. Everything from here onwards are my notes taken during the journey. For the sake of clarity, i have made a few minor spelling and grammatical corrections, otherwise this text is verbatim as i wrote it then. I consciously avoided polishing and softening it up in any way in order to keep it as authentic to the experience as possible. Everything that is written in brackets and italics (like this) is something i added afterwards whenever i felt like i needed to explain or clarify something. The account begins with a focus on describing physical and psychological effects and gradually moves more and more into the philosophic and the fantastic.
So my dear friends, thus the story begins:
9:00am – Ingestion. Bitter oh so bitter! Chased with a cup of unsweetened almond milk.
9:15am – First feelings of nausea.
9:37am – Nausea strongly pronounced. One more cup of almond milk.
9:45am – Strong nausea, feeling light headed.
9:52am – Feeling effects in body, heart rate accelerated. A fuzzy feeling in muscles, nausea still present but milder.
9:53am – Nausea very strong again. Feel cold, feverish. Hands shake, increased mucus production.
10:10am – Light appears brighter. Nausea still present, but not as overbearing.
10:12am – Nausea intensifies again. Seems to be coming and going in waves. Smells become much more pronounced. Mild visual undulations begin to occur. Fuzzy electric feeling in body intensifies.
10:15am – Standing over bathroom sink, ready to vomit, but it never happens. Colors begin to intensify.
10:20am – Jaw begins to tremor slightly. Lots of mucous production.
10:25am – Vomited once, instantly feel better.
10:35am – Perception begins to have a definite psychedelic edge to it. Things start to appear slightly less solid.
10:40am – Harking out a lot of phlegm into bathroom sink. Feels good, a cleansing. Nausea still present, but subsiding. First traces of euphoria appear.
10:45am – Perception is enhanced, but i am still in a state of relatively regular consciousness.
10:48am – Feel a definite movement in the bowels. The cactus juice seems to be working as a laxative as well.
10:50am – Vomited again. It feels very good to vomit, not a painful frightening experience at all but instead rather positive. Pupils clearly appear dilated.
11:20am – Nausea still present, but mild. Mild hypnagogia begins to appear in vision. A kind of electric lightness in body. Thoughts of how important it is to take care of my health and the importance of being kind and compassionate to those around me.
11:25am – Vomited again, but this time i more or less induced it myself, not by finger but just by making retching sounds with my throat. Feels very good and cleansing. Very good to have empty stomach and good drinking water for that. A definite psychedelic nervousness is now present.
11:30am – Thoughts of my previous relationship which went disastrously wrong. An insight that it’s better not to become entangled in human relationships so as not to hurt anyone in the future. Also, thoughts about sexual neuroses and an understanding that i of all people have the possessive dominator-objectifyer mentality in regard to sex as much as the worst of the chauvinists. A need to disentangle from the dysfunctional power and dominance dynamic in which sexuality is deeply enmeshed.
11:40am – Psychedelic effects begin to be more pronounced. Nausea almost gone, some stomach discomfort still present.
11:43am – The first real wave of physical and psychological effects. As if an engine revving up. Heart rate accelerates, but not uncomfortably.
11:57am – Mild psychedelic effects are present, but not as much as desired. Thoughts about how open ended the universe is. An omni-directional fractal infinity. Energy has no limits to what forms it can take. Thoughts of the future, the not knowing of how anything will turn out, for there are no guarantees in life whatsoever. No make-believe comforts. It is both frightening and magnificent.
12:08pm – A deep sadness about those whom in my travels i will have to leave behind. A sense of deep fragility of all life, and of my own vulnerability.
12:12pm – A deep sense of disappointment and loss. I feel as though my being is deflating, or is it merely my ego, and the being underneath it awaits to be let out of its clutches?
12:25pm – Purged again, this time from deep within my bowels. Purging the darkness out of me, the pain, the fear.
12:34pm – Psychedelic and physical effects now really amplified. Heart is beating fast and i am feeling rather panicked. Getting sweats. It seems like this is the real onset. Body temperature is up.
12:37pm – Starting to do the “shake” (a consistent tremor in the muscles), hard to focus on rational internal dialogue.
12:45pm – Racing fast. “Acknowledge limitations”. Psychedelics are merely one... (This sentence remains unfinished. Instead there is a scribble that looks like a cardiogram.)
12:50pm – The thought of helping a stranger back when i worked at S. (one of my previous jobs) makes me elated. Every pore in my skin is visible.
12:56pm – Lots of introspection about personal dynamics, boundaries, the need for a stable inner center. Still feel like purging, and also feel somewhat spatially disoriented.
1:00pm – Thinking of C. (my ex partner. Here i go into a big guilt trip about my previous relationship, which i decided not to include here.)
1:10pm – Feeling sick and allround awful. This is turning out to be a difficult experience.
1:15pm – After trying to retch unsuccessfully, now eating oatmeal (plain large flake oatmeal cooked in water with nothing added), hoping it will make me feel better. Lots of lower abdomen IBS symptoms. Heat flushes.
1:25pm – Rather powerful psychedelic effects. Feel nausea, heart is pounding. It’s hard to walk, legs feel cramped. I feel that i am on the edge of something powerful. The inner voice saying “buckle up!”
1:28pm – Heart racing, hot flushes, panic.
1:31 – Powerful psychedelic effects. Ego dissolution, disorientation, fractal visuals.
1:36pm – Heart rate 103 beats per minute (i measured my pulse with a clock twice to be sure). Nothing to worry about, but feels like faster and therefore panic inducing.
1:40pm – Heart rate 94 beats per minute. Feels like faster, but this is a perfectly safe heart rate margin (my resting heart rate tends to be between 60-75bpm, so this increase is relatively minor, something that surprised me)
1:41pm – Can see my aura, the first layer. There is a blackness to it that i need to clear. (Hand writing here becomes very erratic and hard to read).
1:44pm – Have to face my own darkness to get to the light.
1:45pm – Spread kindness, be gentle.
1:50pm – Feel calmer now, but certainly tripping. Playing my own guitar tunes in my head to keep me focused and not veer in the wrong directions. (This worked surprisingly well in keeping me focused. The tunes i played in my mind were short fast ultra-repetitive loops consisting of only a few notes, something in the likes of Steve Reich’s minimalistic music).
1:55pm – (Handwriting becomes more even and legible from here.) Outside everything is so illuminated. Winter sun. But i am too wobbly on my feet to go outside. Respect this plant teacher, lots and lots of respect. It will tumble you down and fuck you up if you don’t.
2:10pm – Played guitar for a bit. But singing feels wonderful. Eating oatmeal again.
2:11pm – No, this does not make me want to be a drop out or a fringie. On the contrary, it makes me want to be a productive member of society with much grounding and much to contribute. This is a pretty intense experience in terms of how confrontational it is. Mescaline is definitely being a rough teacher to me today. No airy fairy otherworldly stuff. Everything is stark and real. Here and now. Get your shit together it tells me, stay focused, stay centered, don’t flail.
2:16pm – Eyes closed, beautiful closed eye visuals, though not as bright as lsd. Leg is twitching, muscles are vibrating.
2:20pm – I feel as tho i am in the presence of something disembodied. An ornate tapestry latticed all around me. It asks me why i have come here. To heal myself i say, and help others find their healing path too. “What about your desire to manipulate others, the black magick?” it asks (referring to a question i asked myself a few days prior which was “if i ever get a chance to study black magic, would i use it to manipulate and control others?”). “I don’t want it” i say, “i want to do good.”
2:30pm – Can you handle reality? Can you deal with it as it arises? That’s the big question. Face phenomena, as it challenges you, confronts you.
2:35pm – L. (referring to a close and dear friend of mine), my spirit is now your protector. Call it for help whenever you need to.
2:36pm – Mercy, have mercy on all life around you. Compassion, let it be your primary guide. Be kind, be gentle be kind be gentle be kind be gentle. Tread lightly upon the fabric of this existence.
2:40pm – Sitting up and just shaking feels really good. Cultivate compassion. The sunlight falling onto cooking utensils in the kitchen’s drying rack is heavenly beautiful.
2:45pm – Even tho i’m not hungry, i will try to eat a banana.
2:47pm – Turn off the tv, turn off the loud music, feel the deeper fabric of life around you. Out of hyper-reality and into real reality. Celebrate complexity, subtlety, nuance. Media is dangerous and a drug in itself (this idea came to me as i glanced at the turned off television set in the living room). Pull away the curtain of propaganda laid over your eyes. The deeper into things you look, the bigger and deeper and more complex they get. This is powerful.
3:01pm – In order to have harmonious relations with the members of your community it is vital that one’s intentions come from a place of spiritual healing. Words fail here. Bonds shared must be coming from far deeper than whatever ideology and set of cultural norms and expectations are plugging up your vision of things. There really is a deeper essence to things. Negate nihilism. It is the lost child of our civilization, and only through conscious effort of compassion and kindness towards it can it blossom into a mature consciousness.
3:09pm – Love each other. The rest is footnotes.
3:25pm – Mescaline is certainly a hyper-linguistic consciousness amplifier. Instead of shutting down my internal dialogue it actually made it more prominent, but with a razor sharp precision of clarity. Working on ideas now, such as the idea of a deeper essence of things not in a supernatural sense, meaning that it is something above the natural, but rather as a deepened property and characteristic of what is being observed. Guh! Words are so incompetent! A connection to the deeper essence of things.
3:47pm – Thinking about you L. now, (here i describe an insight i had into an issue my close friend has been having but which i decided to not include here out of respect for my friend’s privacy).
3:56pm – Took a shit, feel great, a letting go. Somewhat strained, but Peruvian Torch certainly has a way of loosening your bowels. Feces very mushy and mucousy. A thought came to mind while on the toilet: THERE IS NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN BODY AND MIND! (I have ofcourse thought about this before at length, but here i actually felt this thought in my entire body as a physical force, a visceral energetic illumination). It’s a linguistic entrapment responsible for a great proportion of modern dysfunction, starting from objectification of human beings and animals and going all the way to the objectification of the entire planet, with all the ensuing wars, slavery of all kinds and destruction of ecology.
Matter and spirit are one, there is no vengeful authoritarian god, all is a hyper-dynamic process of increasing complexification and organic synthesis of ever more elaborate constructs and systems of energy. Consciousness may be an emergent property of this process, the more elaborate the energy system, the more elaborate and multifaceted the experience of this consciousness... holy shit, talk about mescaline for solving creative blocks. It can blow them right out. Ideas flow like opulent rivers across fertile landscapes. There is a very sensual and fluid quality to thoughts. Language is not the sterile disembodied tool i often think it to be. It is part of the living tissue of who we are, an organic process integrated into the great web of life.
Once again, mind and body are one. This realization, felt at the deepest most visceral level of our collective psyche could usher a profound healing of the entire species mind.
4:16pm – A strong and pleasant somatic sensation, as if i am immersed into warm comforting water. Yet there is a very clear and sharp amphetamine-like edginess to it.
Mescaline experience certainly has an epic narrative. It is by no means a flash, but rather more of a gradual unfolding of experience with its quintessential mythopoetic struggles, dark nights of the soul, triumphant victories, tough lessons and ecstatic releases. Holy fuck, i’m really rolling ain’t I!
4:30pm – So gorgeous outside! No words to describe it. I’m going out to play with Ina (my friend’s dog who i’m looking after). She may be getting older, but as long as the life force streams through her, live and play we will.
5:28pm – Holy fucking shit! A whirlwind, nay, a tropical monsoon of ideas came upon me outside. As staggeringly beautiful as it is out there, attention seems drawn primarily within, generating generating ideas, exquisite in their grandeur and span. The focus at this point is away from the personal and towards the collective, the historic, the unfolding of vast processes across millennia. Mighty unified streams of our species’ spirit spilling across and filling up valleys of temporal unfoldment. To behold this expanse, it’s depth and it’s width, the multi-dimensional complexity enclosed within it, is truly Awe Inspiring.
5:38pm – Definitely feeling tired now, but tripping strong. It is a stable plateau state. Even tho tired, i feel grounded and reconstituted. There is a great sense of accomplishment, an ordeal withstood. I feel no need to be angry, to conquer, to posses. My god, of course psychedelics are illegal. Who is gonna go fight their wars for them with this stuff? When used with the intention of cultivating insight and healing, mescaline really can soften the egoic boundaries and reveal the interconnectivity of ALL processes, including ourselves in our human form. The alpha male power and dominance trip seems so pitiful and pathetic in light of this grand scheme of the universe’s unfolding.
If ever there is to be a genuine religion amongst us, it has to be psychedelic, for it is the only way which i know of that is capable of relatively instantly illuminating the fact of our sheer delusion and insanity, the utter stupidity of our control freak possessive obsessive dominator mode of interacting with reality, each other and ourselves. It is just so plain obvious to me in this state, no wonder i could go to prison for ingesting something that gives me naughty ideas like that. “God forbid!” as the opposition might say. Sure, only your god is a demiurge of your own misguided creation, i would reply, and get locked up. Oh power thou power, you are the root of our problems. Understanding our relationship with power and how it distorts even our best intended behaviour is a crucial step to awakening from the nightmare we call History. Open your eyes, there is so much to see.
6:04pm – Trippin hard still, but hungry. Mmm, quinoa with almond milk, spinach and hazelnuts anyone? I am so privileged to have this food. Without it, no quantum leap of consciousness is possible. It is the essence that underlies all of our existence, ironically an easy fact to forget in our well satiated society.
6:10pm – 9 hours since ingestion and no sign of slowing down. Must eat!
6:15pm – Too amped up to prepare food. A deep dilemma is upon me. Am i a westerner or am i an east European? Where do my cultural affiliations lie? I feel like the next few years will be a battle between decisions in this regard. This is both the immense privilege and also a difficult schism and challenge for the multi-cultural individual. Regardless of what quantum mechanics may have taught me, i haven’t quite figured out how to be in two places at once.
7:20pm – Ok, gotta go eat. NOW.
7:28pm – Now as i eat i realize how intensely hungry i am. A few bowls of oatmeal is all i had prior to this.
Ina my Ina (talking of my friend’s dog again). Once again she reminds me of the frailty of all life, and its inevitable death. At the end of every act, the curtain must be drawn. It is sad, and yet eerily beautiful in a deep way. I see how beneficial psychedelics can be to the terminally ill and dying. And to those whose loved ones have departed or are about to.
An eternal life, as promised by monotheistic religions, is really a frightened ego clasping to its own confinement. What could be more deeply unnatural and horrible than an ego eternally trapped by its own existence? And THAT is the promise of these so called “great” religions? Reincarnation, by the way, is no different. It simply condemns you to an eternal life here and now. These are just delusions of a frightened ego. Self-limiting and self-punishing concepts that obscure the true nature of things, which are Flux, Change, Motion, Dissolution, Transformation. The universe is always moving, and the trick to a better life is to be moving with it, changing, transforming, dissolving, evolving. But the inflamed monkey ego needs to accept that we can’t do it alone, we need our plant teachers to guide us.
But but are you saying that that a crusty dusty old cactus in the middle of a desert has something to teach ME, the all mighty all knowing Monkey? You betcha! Watch in awe how this spiny wise fellah obliterates all traces of your mighty primate penis-worship together with all its territorial markings and claims to power and dominance.
Man, from now on, i want to talk and even think about politics and religion only under the guidance of the plant teachers. The whole charade becomes transparent with its primatological imbecility. And hence the much feared, demonized and persecuted status of these experiences and the plant consciousness which induces them. Much like the catholic power brokers who refused to look into Galeleo’s telescope so as not to shatter their limited and obsolete model of the universe, which also happened to act conveniently as their justification for power, we are still to this day run by the same alpha male, top-of-the-pyramid-looking-down mode of consciousness embodied by the power brokers of today. Common people, wake THE FUCK UP!
Urgency, there is a sense of urgency that the plant teacher is trying to communicate to me. Urgency for the sake of our entire species. I feel such a profound connection to all life in the universe, in all its forms, including those not ordinarily accessible to our perception. And that includes rock dust and stars, with everything in between that, outside that, and in lateral parallels to that.
Wow... incredible. This is what Terence McKenna meant by saying that he sometimes felt like a mouthpiece for the Logos (see McKenna’s wonderful book, True Hallucinations, a highly recommended read for every psychonaut). I know EXACTLY what he meant. These ideas indeed feel as though they are coming from a higher dimensional space which is using the linguistic abilities of my primate brain as a kind of screen with which to cast a pattern of words. I must note that there is little happening visually. Instead there is a physical sense of an other-dimensional presence deep within. This presence amplifies ideas as though they are threads being sawn into a colossal cosmic quilt by the hands of something very mighty, very old and very wise, feminine in its depth, gentle yet firm in its approach. (I remember at this point imagining for a moment what looked like a cosmically enormous, old, Native American woman who was sewing. She was calm and graceful, like a giant ancient tree in the middle of an empty desert).
I can feel that my mind is merely compartmentalizing this presence into anthropomorphic images so as to give it the cloak of visibility, yet its nature is truly Inexpressible. And no, it does not ask me to slay children as proof of my devotion to it (referring to the biblical story of Abraham). On the contrary, it is attempting to set me free from all the false gods and idols, including itself. “Your devotion is not required” it tells me, “for there is nothing to worship. I am the Gaping Void brimming with Light, and you are one of the rays. Free yourself, and help others look for their freedom. This is a universe of chance and choice, of unlikely combinations, of unforeseen encounters. Play and be playful, heal and be healed. There is no vengeful god looking over you, you are adults and this is your playground. You set the rules, you set the scales and you are the ones to rescue each other when trouble befalls.”
“Pay attention” it tells me, “stay focused. Be accountable to every speck your foot touches on this earth. I am merely a guide, here to remind you what is otherwise obvious but nevertheless isn’t. The rest of the time you’re on your own, so stop sobbing, pull your socks up and embrace existence.”
7:43pm – Going strong. No sign of the trip subsiding, although it is certainly stabilized. Heart rate still accelerated, but not uncomfortable, 94bpm. However this is a plateau of gentle surf waters right now. The initial shock, disorientation and panic at the beginning of the experience seems to act as a way to loosen one up for the steady stream of psychedelic ideation that consequently becomes available.
Although i feel tired from the ordeal, i am physically revved up. There is an amphetamine-like immediacy to visceral embodiment. It is important to hydrate, although not excessively. I will probably continue tripping well into the night and i hope i will get some sleep before work tomorrow.
8:10pm – It seems as though i am just entering the most physically involved part of the experience. Rolling around the floor, singing, laughing, barking with Ina. Gonna try and record this.
9:00pm – Exactly 12 hours after ingestion, i feel as though, thank heavens, i am starting to come down. Looking forward to a deep restful sleep. Mission “Contact Logos” accomplished. Welcome back, earthling.
I am exhausted but profoundly grateful to the plant teacher for the wisdom imparted. “This is just the tip of the iceberg,” it informs me. “There is more, so much more to discover. The road ahead is both magnificent and turbulent, but we will meet again.” “Yes we will,” i reply smiling, “we will.”
9:13pm – Dancing around, doing the wiggle. Loving the physical form i am moulded into.
9:20pm – Note of clarification. The voice of the Logos is not by any means a heard auditory voice. There are no auditory distortions and hallucinations during this experience. It is more like some sort of psychic force is assembling my thoughts for me, using my lexicon to assemble complex constructs of meaning out of something that is by no means reducible to such constructs, yet which are necessary to convey at least a minute part of what is being communicated.
To use a computer analogy, this voice is a hyper-dimensional essence lowering its resolution to a level that can be experienced as language driven thoughts in a 3-dimensional primate brain. From there it is further lowered in resolution to be expressed in almost primitive block-like 2-dimensional text. Only a tiny fraction of this hyper-dimensional essence remains on these pages of course, words are merely the finger pointing.
9:32pm – Still having after effects, but thoughts and concerns readily returning to their regular awareness. The past 12 hours begin to seem like a dream from which i am wakening, although effects are still rather pronounced. I feel tired, but so disentangled, posture-wise. Still some stomach cramps present, but they are hardly noticeable in light of other stimuli. Deeply grateful for doing yoga, i feel its benefits in every pore and i hope it will remain one of the central aspects of my existence.
10:32pm – This is very very important stuff. This has nothing to do with “getting stoned”, “tripping out”, “getting fucked up”. This is very deep ontological existential exploration which offers prominent answers to real problems of the here and now. This is the opposite of escapism. The cultural matrix pulled over our eyes, that is definitely escapism. This stuff however slams reality right in my face with no shelter to hide in. This is very very important work.
I remember when i was outside, i felt a unity, a sense of membership and acknowledgement, a kind of understanding nod and wink to all the other explorers who have traversed these realms. For if you’ve been here and kept your wits about you, thou art the brave one. This ain’t light stuff to handle. If anything, this is the direct opposite of our paranoid and moralistically loaded word “drug”. Perhaps more a psychic laxative, to be used caringly and sparingly. Aldous Huxley could not have epitomized the idea more elegantly by quoting Blake, “if the doors of perception were cleansed, all would appear as it truly is, infinite”.
10:50pm – I have absolutely no desire to repeat this experience for a long time, at least many months, most probably years. And that my friends is how you know that you have bitten into the marrow of the psychedelic experience. If it’s habit forming, it ain’t truly psychedelic, certainly not in my shamanic understanding of the word. If anything, these plants are here to snap us out of our hypnotic obsessive compulsive trances. Open your eyes, face existence. Of course, intention, attention to set and setting, and respect for the plant teacher and oneself is everything. Without these things, one is a lost puppy on a dangerous and busy superhighway of the psychedelic hyperspace.
11:00pm – One conclusion among many today: i think i can now wholeheartedly commit my life to promoting the mature and responsible access to psychedelic consciousness via plants. A true psychedelic religion. Without the bullshit, the power brokers, the dead and ossified scriptures, the guilt and the fear. One that stems from secular values, from rationalism and respect for inquiry and evidence, from the unyielding and decentralized drive to challenge the status quo, first and foremost its own status quo. That would be a religion worth participating in. This is the religion I AM participating in today, in this vector of space-time. Join the ministry brothers and sisters! We shall all be popes and prophets, dancing and proclaiming “Glory! Glory! Glory to Thee!” behind each others’ closed eye lids.
11:49 – Chillaxing, jammin on guitar and generally rubbing the metaphoric sweat off my head, saying “phew”. Probably will go to bed soon, although will probably stay up for a while still. After effects still present. This might be my last note.
1:23am – An uncanny coincidence worth noting. It’s a full moon tonight. With this i close the session. Off to bed and much needed rest. Goodnight.
7:54am – Woke up exactly when i needed to, without the alarm clock. Feeling fresh and rejuvenated. Some stomach bloating present, but otherwise no other discomfort. Still feel a certain acceleration of thought processes, but otherwise i am in regular awareness. Off to get ready for work.
8:10am – Took a shit, stomach bloating disappears.
10:05am – At work sharp on time, focused and collected. Thoughts still racing about yesterday’s experience and there is a pleasant relaxing body buzz, but i am ready and confident to face the day. A sense of clarity is abound.
5:11pm – Done work. Feel very tired and sleepy. Must go home to bed asap. Recommend, if possible, to have an extra day off after the day of experience.
Afterthoughts and Musings in Regular Awareness
What can i say my friends, days later i am still shaken by the experience. There is a sense of deep satisfaction and accomplishment. I feel elated. A feeling of having been part of something extraordinary and magnificent, even if invisible to the regular eye. Surely, a door of perception of one kind or another has been cleansed, even if only temporarily.
And yet it also feels like a mere fading memory of a dream, a rainbow vanished. Daily life is back with its Darwinian pressures and the sometimes resulting anger, fear and cynicism. Even as i was transcribing my notes from hand written pages into my laptop, i found myself asking, is this just “stoned gibberish”? Or is it really pointing towards something real and genuine? Reading the notes now, they seem dull and flat compared to how they shimmered with meaning and significance when i wrote them.
Yet i am so very glad that write them i did. Ordinary awareness tends to be very forgetful and also arrogant enough to believe that it sees the whole picture and therefore can easily dismiss all information coming from states of consciousness other than itself. And even though words and other forms of describing the psychedelic experience can never come anywhere close to the experience itself, we need reminders.
Most of the ideas expressed in my account i have, at one point or another, thought about before in some way, or have heard and read from others, or have glimpsed them in my previous psychedelic experiences. However, never have i felt them form with such force, ease and clarity. Never have i felt them organized by something that seemed to have its own very alien consciousness, something that was not in my control and not me at all.
We can talk at length about the possible ontological nature of this something. Could it be a facet of my own subconscious, an archetype taking over my conscious rational process? Could it be just the epiphenomenological amplification of cognitive brain activity? Is it perhaps an independent autonomous spirit, or the consciousness of the mescaline molecule and the cactus that carries it? All of these? None of these? Even both AND none? Our understanding of such things is limited by the confines of our concepts and semantics. I’ll leave it to you to decide what it may be or may not be through your own psychedelic experiences and your own powers of reason and observation. I remain an ontological agnostic. It is vital to me not to succumb into a fanatical true believer mode of any mould, something i see as a possible danger to a mind overwhelmed by such encounters.
What interests me more than giving the experience a defined ontological status is the pragmatic application of the experience. Can it heal us? Can it show us how to solve practical problems? Can it inspire us to be wiser, gentler, more attentive to our lives and the lives around us? If yes, and i believe that the answer is yes if we use the psychedelic experience wisely, gently and attentively, with strong and mature community support, then onward into life with its help we may awaken.
Somewhere in North America,
February 10, 2012
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.