Citation: Psychedelicious. "Meeting my Shadow Begin Again: An Experience with LSD (exp110856)". Erowid.org. May 26, 2019. erowid.org/exp/110856
It was a beautiful Friday in early summer. Some friends had found an abandoned mansion in the forest, and had planned for months to throw something of an Acid Test in it. I knew there would be lots of creativity, lots of good energy, and lots of excitement. Mentally, I couldn't have been better prepared, anticipating this kind of environment of organic and collaborative creation. The whole day, I felt full of a certain kind of charm, akin to what I feel when I watch the movie Begin Again. It's a beautiful, romantic feeling, breathtaken, and open to give myself to the world, like how I feel when I first meet a new love interest. I don't know how else to describe it.
I took one tab of absolutely fantastic acid around 11 am and went to help set up the mansion. It was my second time taking a full dose.
It was my second time taking a full dose.
It was a very feminine trip. I am a man. I imagine the setting of creativity influenced this to a great degree - after all, creativity is associated with femininity. But more than that, it felt like having a period or giving birth. Not in an uncomfortable way. Not that I've done either of those, but it was an inexplicable feeling, and distinctly feminine. It felt like pushing something I had worked on for ages out into the world.
Perhaps the reason was because I met my Shadow. What do I mean by that? The Jungian archetype of the Shadow is constituted of every trait of yours that society has deemed unbecoming, and told you to repress: annoying habits, selfish tendencies, uncomfortable remarks. These - which are ultimately part of you; after all, they came from your young, unaltered self - get pushed down into your subconscious, where they begin to form a different You, an equal and opposite You, a Hyde to your Jekyll, an Enkidu to your Gilgamesh. About 4 hours into the trip, after I had been hanging out in this mansion for a while, helping set up and all for the party that was to come, I realized it was time to go back to practice with my band for an hour, after which I would come back to the mansion. I went with a friend, and we walked back through the woods. There were some edible plants (trout lily) along the way, and we each ate a few. This was when my Shadow manifested. I swallowed a leaf, and as I finished the swallow, I realized there was something stuck in my throat. It wasn't the leaf. In fact, it wasn't anything I had eaten. I swallowed and swallowed and couldn't get rid of it. It felt like a second tongue, not split like the way snakes' tongues are, but lying on top of my regular tongue. It felt very strongly as though there was a second person inside me, trying to come out. This was my Shadow. For the past 20 years, I had been growing, working on myself, and, unbeknownst to me, my Shadow had been growing too, hidden from me. It felt like I wanted to vomit my Shadow out, to give birth to it in some way
It felt like I wanted to vomit my Shadow out, to give birth to it in some way
(hearkening back to the feminine, birthing feeling), and it was honestly quite weird, even a little scary. I wasn't sure if this feeling would ever go away. (It did, but not until the next day.) I cannot stress enough how much I felt I was seeing a birth, even giving birth to this second Me.
I realized that this could be encapsulated by the idea that Infinity is the new One. You work on something, you perfect it, you grow it (in this case, 'it' is myself), but once it has reached infinity, perfection, the Yang to my Yin emerges, just as perfect, and the dialectic of reconciling the two begins anew, another infinite process. Pure math has addressed this quite a bit, too. Cantor's theory of Ordinal Numbers, and Conway's Surreal Number system involve counting up and up, generating numbers as you go, until you reach infinity. Then, you count by infinities: one-infinity, two-infinity, until you reach infinity squared. Then you count by infinity-squared's, and every time you reach a limit, that limit becomes your new increment, your new One. I saw this everywhere. In nature, an unfathomable amount of work goes into making a tree: millions of years of evolution, and then many years of the tree itself growing. But once it's grown, it's just a product, and ivy takes it over, using it as if it was just a finite thing. The steam engine took forever to invent, but once it was created, everyone could use it, could just count by steam engines. Infinity is the new One.
I got back, and was a little late to band practice. During this time, I developed a very strange vision. It was as if in a film, where someone had broken the fourth wall, and punched the camera, fracturing the lens such that all subsequent shots had a rift through the middle, the top half slightly offset from the bottom half. Look up the advertisement for the film Divergent; the title is akin to this sort of vision. What's more, the top half looked to be seen through a Good, Jekyll-y perception, while the bottom half was twisted, Evil, and Hyde-y. Everyone and everything I looked at had these dual aspects to them. It was really bizarre, but quite entertaining.
I was extremely aware, during this time, of the dualistic male/female dynamic. For example, my band's bassist, a man, kept interrupting one of our singers, a woman, which really irritated me. He would try to shoot down her belief in Qi, for example, by parroting scientific experiments that he obviously had only seen a buzzfeed article about, or something. He didn't know how the experiment had been run, he didn't know what the results meant, he didn't know what Qi even was, he just knew he had to be right and it had to not exist. Idiot.
I'm not sure how long the Jekyll/Hyde vision lasted, maybe a little over an hour. It subsided at some point, and I went back to the mansion. I experienced a very interesting synchronicity as I arrived again. There was music blasting, but I could only barely hear it. As I emerged from the forest, I was running, with my arms up and hands in the V for Victory, and some good friends were in a circle on the lawn, and as I became visible to them, the music began to swell, until it was a glorious - dare I say - peak, timed perfectly for me to jump into the arms of my friend who had seen me and ran my way to greet me. There was so much love in that moment, and everyone agreed it was uncanny how perfectly the music had anticipated my arrival.
The next 6 or so hours, until midnight, were the comedown. People were passing around a vial of acid and just taking sips from it, it was hilarious. Some interesting synchronicities and thought-loops happened, but none of them worth mentioning here. I still had the dual tongue feeling in the back of my throat, and still felt very feminine and creative, but wasn't exactly 'tripping' any more.
The next day, I awoke and could slightly feel my Shadow's tongue. It dissipated by the end of that day.
I felt renewed, expanded. I had experienced the other side of life.
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