Citation: Mandala. "People and Their Symbols: An Experience with Calea zacatechichi (exp9589)". Erowid.org. Sep 23, 2001. erowid.org/exp/9589
'What quicker way to bore a man than to tell him your dreams?' - some ancient Greek d.w.m.
This past year has shifted me away from strings of rational thoughts towards new realms of creativity. I've spoken with a lot of open-minded people, read spiritual books, and tried mind-altering substances. For those who have a short attention span, I've experimented with ayahuasca (the real stuff, not just caapi, and not in this country), San Pedro, Peruvian Torch, Salvia divinorum, ganja, catnip (hate to admit it), and all kinds of wonderfully caffeinated herbs and medicines. My experiences have all pointed to the fact that in this modern, dissociated world, we have turned our unconscious into a nasty biting bug that we are taught to ignore. This has, of course, extremely detrimental effects on your mental health, with neuroses on the rise. (For those of you say you don't dream - read any medical text book. Of course you dream, you've just been encouraged to forget it and hop on the subway.)
So I've sucked it up and started writing down my dreams. I never had a problem remembering them when I was younger, but as I got older and filled my life-planner with tasks I have begun to forget them. Moreover, I tend to dislike my dreams and you'll see why in a moment.
I've been sort of an idiot lately and experimented much more with new substances even though I suppose it's time for me to become responsible. When I try something new I inevitably end up telling myself I'm an idiot for not respecting the powerful herbs that have been used over millennia. My body starts acting funny and a tiny part of me says, 'this ain't no joke, bitch!' But then I'm already on my way.
Last night I smoked no more than an eighth (1/8) of a bowl of Calea zacatechichi
extract (10 X), a teensy-weensy bit, right before going to bed. I used a butane lighter and nearly burnt my finger off in the process, as usual. The lighter is so strong that it dug up some of the resin in my stone bowl, and I sort of laughed to myself as I was falling asleep that I was slightly buzzed by whatever other stuff I had smoked in there over the past few months.
Light, almost wispy clouds came forth from my lungs and...dreamtime, baby.
(I should have mentioned that I had made some progress in relating to the dream language of my unconscious, and felt calea might just give me a little bit more of a push in the 'right direction'.)
I awoke at about 6 am, a little over four hours after I'd turned off the lights. This is what I recorded in my dream journal:
'Oh my god.
I thought lucid dreams were what I've always wanted but I did not enjoy that universe, not in the least. My mind is filled with trash: who knows how many years of accumulated neuroses. There was a general order to the dreams that everyone understood but me. I felt pulled along, scripted. Like having access to the subconscious is not some fairy tale dreamworld but can also be filled with incredible horrors: [I list my relative horrors. No need to disturb you.] My mind seemed to delight in swooping me along and I resisted the entire way; maybe I should let go, because it's clear to me (or was it clear?) that I have been resisting that pull my whole life. Every dream save a few. But how can't you resist the most fundamental terrors you know? Are they fundamental? What have I been repressing?...'
I wrote down my dreams and fell back into a more calm sleep. Three pages of fucked up dream language.
I took a nap in the afternoon and had some more very vivid dreams, though thankfully they were on a whole neutral, rather than leaning towards a horror show.
What I didn't write in my journal, but I've thought about afterwards, is that there were many points in my dreams where waking up was NOT an option. Normally there is a piece of me, however remote, that I cuddle and use to eject back to my room and worldly possessions. Once I tried this stuff I was COMMITTED. The final dream that I woke up from was at 6 am. I'm assuming that at this point the calea had begun to wear off and that my natural sleep cycle affected the intensity of my REM sleep.
What do I think about my experience? Earth shattering. More powerful than any herb I've ever tried in my life, (peyote and repeated ayahuasca trips being notable exceptions. Haven't ventured there yet.) When I woke up I thought that I had gone insane.
I will go out on a limb and say calea is one of the most, if not THE most psychotropic substance on earth. How can I say something so brash? With calea you are CONFINED to your subsconcious. There is no possibility of a friend rubbing your back and telling you 'it's ok, there aren't any scorpions singing in the bathtub.' You are in DEEP. If you believe your unconcious is the antithesis of your rational mind, as I'm coming to believe, then you know what journeys your unconscious is capable of taking you on. But it is a NON-LINEAR journey! Linear, rational thoughts are so fundamental to the western mindset that this is a VERY important point. I can't stress it enough. There is always the feeling in us that we can control situations, we can 'handle them.' Your subconscious, as revealed by calea - and contrary to what Carlos Castaneda will have you believe - is not steerable. It is a give and take relationship, yin and yang, ones and zeros in the sense of the I'Ching.
If you tend to live your life according to rational actions and not your emotions, I do not recommend this herb. If you are depressed or seeking for a way out of the matrix, shrooms are a better choice, or ganja if your mind is really stuck. Actually, you probably shouldn't experiment at all because you will face some serious psychological dangers. (I say this with authority because I've made some mistakes in this regard.)
Anyone who's thinking you want to get a hold of this stuff: Good luck and happy dreaming... maybe we can meet in your fairyland, because mine is hiding somewhere.
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