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Jedi Flip: The Next Level
LSD, MDMA & Mushrooms
by Nxt Lvl
Citation:   Nxt Lvl. "Jedi Flip: The Next Level: An Experience with LSD, MDMA & Mushrooms (exp111778)". Erowid.org. Apr 7, 2018. erowid.org/exp/111778

 
DOSE:
T+ 0:00
1 hit sublingual LSD (blotter / tab)
  T+ 1:30 1 hit sublingual LSD (blotter / tab)
  T+ 5:00   smoked Cannabis  
  T+ 7:00 1 capsl oral MDMA (powder / crystals)
  T+ 8:00 1 oral Mushrooms (edible / food)
  T+ 11:00   smoked Cannabis  

BODY WEIGHT: 180 lb


I still dwell on the void periodically. It seems ridiculous to spend so much thought on nothing at all. Just infinite darkness and silence. No meaning or significance to be extracted. Yet it is an experience I need to share, and this story might even be entertaining.

Ah the magical setting. My home away from home. You could call it a music festival, I guess. But it’s become so much more to me over the years. A temporary colony nestled in the forest, guarded by snow capped mountain peaks and calm glacial streams. The clearings and trees are populated for a long weekend every summer by an eclectic community that I am lucky enough to be a part of. The physical beauty of this place combined with the unique energy of this crowd creates a truly special place. I have yet to discover a vibe that comes close. Such energy is hard to find in this world. Cynics may simplify it as the result of excessive drug use in the wilderness. Either way, it is beautiful.

This small utopia has been an integral part for many of my most enlightening and memorable adventures, serving as more than just a backdrop. A strange paradise flooded with trustworthy, well intentioned people, coming together to celebrate life. Some of these people carry bags full of quality illegal substances for reasonable prices, and they have no trouble finding their way to us. These enlightening experiences have helped me really get to know myself and my friends. I still dwell on the memories constantly and dream with the general sense of wonder that I discovered here. Of all the stories that we playback over and over, this is one that stands out the most.

In my early twenties at the time, I was in year three of the psychedelic journey that started with the first time that I tried Magic Mushrooms.
I was in year three of the psychedelic journey that started with the first time that I tried Magic Mushrooms.
While I obsessed over concepts of consciousness, reality, and psychedelic exploration, I kept my full-blown psychedelic experiences to just a handful of times per year. I still use these substances periodically as tools to guide me through life, always progressing toward the best version of myself – the next level.

Except for a couple dark, yet beneficial, Ayahuasca experiences a couple months prior, I had known nothing other than intensely pleasant and insightful trips. I had seen the potential to turn good trips into “bad trips” yet was always able to steer in the right direction and embrace the experience rather than fight it. Despite this level of comfort there was a lingering thought that one day I would find out the hard way that I had a limit. Deep down, I knew it was a matter of when, not if, I would find it. I felt a vague fear for this unknown level, yet my curiosity longed for it.

This was my third time at this festival and I was accompanied by just two friends this time. I’ve always enjoyed the three-person dynamic, but we were under the impression that this year our group was incomplete, missing some of our friends from previous years. We were wrong.

First, Tiger - my oldest and closest friend. We’ve been friends for well over a decade and while we drifted apart now and then, we always stayed fairly close, thanks in part to this festival. We had come together all three years; a large contributor to why he knows me better than most. I witnessed his evolution from a conservative, if not hesitant festival rookie, to a spirited dancer who looked at home in festival crowd. This was the year he earned the Tiger nickname, wearing the brightest orange pants observable with the naked eye, and a striped tiger hood that blended with his scraggly ginger beard.

Up next, we have Dragon who was in the middle of his second year at the festival and he was beginning to “get it.” He discovered that this festival was not hampered by the same social norms we were used to living with in the city. This was about more than getting drunk and chasing girls around the bar. Much more. Over time I could tell that he felt more at ease here and was beginning to become more immersed in the experience. Him and I feed off each other while elevated on the same substances, often reading each other’s minds and feeling the same energy together. He could have won the award for most ordinary looking person at the festival, but you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, right?

I studied the six colorful blotters inside a small plastic bag that shimmered in the sun. They seemed slightly bigger than I was accustomed to. Our friendly dealer from the day before claimed they were stronger than the average dose (140ug est) that we’d find around there. I’m naturally skeptical of such claims but his trustworthy smile was reassuring. I’ve never found anything less than truth here, so I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Only one way to know for sure.

I looked to my trip-mates. We were ready. Well rested, cleaned up, and recently fed. I felt unburdened and relaxed, with only the usual dose of pre-takeoff nervousness. This was day three at the festival. The rest of the world just a distant memory at this point. We delicately picked a tab each out of the bag one-by-one, and dropped under our tongues. I kicked back in my reclining camp chair, gazing toward the blue sky to enjoy the calm before the storm. The previous day was a good time, but today we were seeking the next level.

I don’t remember how long it took to kick in, but it was not long. It tends to sneak up on me quickly and there is little patience required. I observed the subtle shifts in thinking and focus as I smiled in anticipation for what was going to be an epic day and night. Unsure if I was more sensitive to the substance or if I was simply better at recognizing acid these days, I was happy with the result.

I began giggling to myself and shaking my head while looking around to assess the situation.

“Do you feel it already?” Dragon laughed.

I smiled and nodded in response. “I was skeptical at first about paying more for these tabs, but I take that back.”

“How could you not trust that guy’s smile right? It’s the most genuine thing I’ve ever seen.”

“True that, I hope we run into him again tonight.” Our friendly dealer was one of many who wandered through the festival with a bag full of every substance you could possibly desire in such a setting.

“Holy shit, this is coming on quick.” I leaned back into my reclining chair, focusing back on the sky as the familiar tingles float into my body. I felt at home with the effects even though I hadn’t experienced them for months. The other two followed into the experience as we sat around casting looks of awe in various directions exchanging glances, grins, and laughs. I had never gotten so far, so fast, on a single tab before.

We spent the rest of our collective come-up mostly in silence, staring in different directions, taking in the new world beginning to form around us. Our silence would only be broken by the odd giggle, exaggerated exhale, or gentle “wooo.” This is where I belong. The familiar headspace of pure understanding. Everything as it should be. I was enthralled with the previously static tents that surrounded our camp. The vibrant colors and geometric shading shifting in the sunlight; the movements becoming more exaggerated as they began to morph in place.

I looked beyond the tents to the forest. The tall trees were already starting to come alive. Swaying gently in the breeze, and breathing slowly. I matched their breaths, or perhaps they matched mine. I looked beyond them to the mountains watching over us. A view I’ve gotten to know well over the years. A clear indicator to assess my state. The treelines are already rising and shrinking all over the mountain faces. The trees would sprout from the shadows, growing toward the sunny spines, and falling back to what I would guess would be the “actual” treeline.

“Should we take the other ones?” Dragon cracked up at the ridiculousness of his own suggestion.

The three of us exchanged mischievous glances and giggled at the foolishly ambitious idea… and obviously concluded that things could only get better with more. I knew that we were still coming up on the first ones but the word “no” seemed like such an absurdly negative thing to say at a time like this. We each dropped a second tab as we shook our heads, acknowledging our arrogance.

I looked back to the sky to examine the clouds and found them swirling aggressively. Blending together and then breaking apart rapidly and reaching down toward us. These visuals were not foreign to me, but they were rising to a new magnitude. I could feel the energy building all around us and knew that it was time to move. Declaring it was time, we all rose to our feet in unison, smiling at each other in appreciation of the quick progress we had made.

We gathered some supplies for our journey with only a few distractions, and departed into the madness of the festival. What was a relatively calm and quiet campground a few hours before was starting to transform back to party mode. The three of us sauntered through the city of tents and trailers waving at friendly campers who watched us glide by.

I was entranced by this place all over again. It never gets old. LSD belongs at this festival. It just fits. This festival is LSD. What seemed strange the day before, makes perfect sense today. I was truly content, knowing that there is no time or place that I would rather be. I could only assume almost everyone there was on LSD as well. Why wouldn’t you be? We reached the edge of the large “suburb” camping area and drifted toward the forest trail that led to the “downtown” main stage area.

Before hitting the head of the trail we were intercepted by a large forest creature that hopped out of the trees. “Do you guys want to be a part of a collective psychedelic experience tonight during the main act?”

I snapped out of my rhythmic walk and looked to the source of the question. A full grown man, likely double our ages – wearing a formerly white bunny costume, and holding a large food container. I looked back at my two colleagues to reciprocate their playful grins as we collectively replied “uhh yea.”

The man turned around and bent over to lay the container on the ground. In the process, we were greeted by his bare ass peering from the onesie’s gaping access hatch. He spun around to face us again with a cookie in hand. He launched into an explanation of the two different types of mushrooms that he used to make them (which I neglected to remember), and how one of them would be sure to provide us with magical visuals. (2-3 grams)

Even in our current state we knew it was a great idea and a decent deal. We excitedly packed three of the large cookies in Tiger’s pack and waved goodbye to our forest friend as he faded into the world behind us. Where did these people come from? They were a different breed for sure. Do they exist in the outside world or do they just emerge from the forest to create this festival every year? I was coherent enough to know the latter was unlikely… yet I could still make a good case for it. Or maybe they were merely products of my perception. I shook my head to avoid the introspective path to confusion I see coming.
I shook my head to avoid the introspective path to confusion I see coming.
I was no stranger to this place and liked to explore it often, but this was not the time.

The serene forest trail brings a calmness back to our trip until we emerge on the other side. Just like that we are in the heart of the festival. The once distant beat now dominates, and we are pulled toward it. The next hour or so blends together in a swirling mania of stimuli. The music, the people, the circus-like party that we saunter through. We tour through the festival gazing around at the sites as if we have never been before – yet it all feels like home. I think back to my first time ever trying LSD. It was here, and in some ways, it feels as if I had never left. Had I been wandering out here the whole time? I reconsidered and recalled my conventional life far away from here. How long had it been? Three years. What an impact that first trip had on my life. A good impact? I thought so. I wondered what others thought. My girlfriend? My parents? They would never truly understand. I wished they could, but that was asking too much. I could feel my thoughts descending back into territory best left unexplored, but was determined to get to the bottom of these musings, eventually.

Exiting another forest trail into a golden field I peered to the stage on the far side. It housed the furry wall where we concluded our party the night (or morning) before. The dry field shimmered in the late afternoon sun, appearing to flow with small mounds turning to small hills that rolled toward the stage. The ground shook with a relentless psytrance beat that vibrated to my core. What was I thinking about again? I watched my tripping partners who were equally entranced by the setting. We had not broken our automatic stride since the cookie dealing creature, almost hesitant to stop. Could we start again if we stopped? Only they could possibly understand such notions. They get it.

The others? Let them misunderstand. No one really understands each other well, nevermind perfectly. I loved them all the same, although was often unsure of how to show it. The seductive visuals would take over and distract from the frenzy in my mind. Patterns danced in the sun and expanded toward me. Unclassifiable shapes in undiscovered colors flooding my field of view. How deep into the patterns could I go? As usual the allure of taking more acid would periodically pop up.

What if we just kept taking more acid? How far could we go? Would it ever end? Maybe this was what life should be. I envisioned myself laying in the forest, twisted on sheets of acid, drooling like a dog, rainbows streaming out of my eyes. Acid head – Fucking junkie. Man, he had so much potential.

We were right in the middle of the action, the party reaching a new intensity. I could feel the energy around us. Some dance, some lay in the field. Others slide and frolic in mud puddles as if 5 years old again. Beaming smiles all around us. We smile back and wave to the mud people. I could feel the familiar innocence and fearlessness of childhood.

We moseyed on, as did my internal battle – Is this paradise or was I wasting time in a delusion of fantasy? Time can’t be wasted… and can’t be better spent than this. Why do we do this? This is where I’m meant to be. Am I handling this? Of course I am, I always do. Why wouldn’t I? I live for this. I am doing this for the right reasons, I always do… right? – The cycle would repeat continuously as I visualized my trains of thought crashing into each other as my logic collapsed on itself.
The cycle would repeat continuously as I visualized my trains of thought crashing into each other as my logic collapsed on itself.


I did not feel uncomfortable but could not ignore the thought-loop mindfuck I was falling toward – Is the acid getting the better of me? Who am I anyway? you know better than to fight the acid, give in – I stopped and looked around with a stupid smile considering what a privilege it was to experience a place like this. Most people will never know about this little town in the mountains that exists for 4 nights of the year. Breathing deeply, I set an intention to put aside my tendency to analyze absolutely everything in favour of just having a good time. I needed to surrender control and enjoy every second of this day and night. The tension released on a long exhale.

We arrived back at our camp and collapsed into our chairs laughing at the ridiculousness of our walk. We laughed at shared thoughts of flipping back and forth between “how could this be any better?” and “am I handling this?” It was good to know that I wasn’t the only one casually battling insanity while having the time of my life.
We laughed at shared thoughts of flipping back and forth between “how could this be any better?” and “am I handling this?” It was good to know that I wasn’t the only one casually battling insanity while having the time of my life.


Three introverted acid heads sitting in comfortable chairs staring at the sky can result in the odd periods of silence every now and then. They would usually cease with one of us catching another’s eye and erupting in nonsensical laughter. We smoked a bowl to breathe some life back into our conversation.

I’m not sure how long we sat here but it seemed like forever. Our acid logic and sense of humor resulted in ridiculous jokes and observations that would bring us to tears and keep us laughing 10 times over as we analyzed why they were funny. Absolutely pointless to try and describe, but I laughed more that evening than the previous 6 months combined. Anywhere else we would be insane, but here we just blended in with all of the other degenerates. At times I did feel insane. I’d launch back into my chair, laughing maniacally while kicking my feet in the air. Water overtook my visuals as tears gathered before streaming down my face. Would the jokes ever not be funny? Would we ever stop laughing? I didn’t want to.

The sun dipped behind the mountains as we assessed our situation. What followed was an adventure to change into warmer clothing. Putting pants on in a tent was a monumental task. One that took over fifteen minutes and a great deal of concentration, in between bouts of laughter while rolling on the ground.

The acid was still going strong, but we felt settled into the trip. There is something I love about the third quarter of an acid trip. Somewhat relaxed, yet not fatigued or even comprehending sleep and normal life. It was the perfect time to proceed to the next level.

“So, M?”

I know, I know… everyone thinks they have the best drugs, but seriously the stuff we had this weekend was primo – best I’ve had. We had taken the MDMA for a test drive the night before and were rewarded with a clean, powerful roll that kept us dancing past sunrise. This night, we expected the same. We each swallowed a cap (120mg est) and fell back into our chairs.

We sat in the dark and played back the highlights of the day to that point, laughing at our terrible jokes all over again. I could feel our collective energy ascending. Gradually, the MDMA began to piece my scrambled mind back together.
Gradually, the MDMA began to piece my scrambled mind back together.
I was briskly on my feet shaking my arms out and feeling the air with my hands. The cooler evening air felt nice to breath in. The reckless disorder was being overtaken by a great sense of purpose. The night was only beginning. Going back to the stages was no longer a distant obligation. Suddenly, it was the most important thing in the world. A climax that we must move toward – We better get going.

“You guys ready for this or what?” I inquired.

“Yeah we can head down.” Replied Tiger, clearly not feeling the same level of anticipation. We began gearing up for the night. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning anticipating what comes next. The excitement burned within me as I loaded up my bag and checked my pockets. I was ready.

“Cookies?” Dragon chimed.

“Oh, yeah forgot about those,” Tiger remarked. We nervously grinned at each other.

I was initially hesitant. “Now? M hasn’t even fully kicked in yet… well I mean we could… so we don’t have to carry them.” It was a soft attempt at being the voice of reason. It was obvious that we were about to eat them.

“Naw, let’s wait,” Dragon reconsidered, before flipping again, “actually, I’m down to do them now.”

“Yea sure” replied Tiger. They both looked to me as if I had a choice.

I knew the answer was “yes” but I took a second to assess my situation. Although no stranger to these drugs and aware that they interact (physically) safely, I realized that I would pay dearly for overconfidence. Seeking the next level before this one even started? One should always show humility with a little bit of nervousness when faced with such an opportunity. Were we ready for the harsh truth the shrooms can show? There was only one way to find out.

“You can eat yours later if you want,” suggested Tiger.

“No way, we’re all going into this together,” I answered confidently.

We each grabbed a cookie and held them up to cheers. “Whatever happens, we are all in for.”

–––––––––––
We floated through the dark guided by the lights and bass of the party. Strobes and lasers from the main stage lit up the sky on the other side of the dark forest trail we entered. Our evolution toward the next level was progressing. I could feel the energy and excitement building within. Each step made with such intention, bringing us closer to the ultimate destination; yet walking required zero effort. Light on our feet, we easily navigated roots and uneven ground that may be treacherous in a less advanced state. I took in every detail of the ground. Pitch black is not all that dark here. We were comfortable, our positive energy unphased by the cold, dark trail. We spoke softly, restraining our anticipation for that party on the other side of the trees. Excited, but in no hurry.

Our last steps on the path transferred us from the dark tunnel into the open world where we stood uphill from the stage. Hit by a collective wave of euphoria we hit the brakes, observing the scene below. The word perfection came short. It felt as though the entire day, possibly my entire life, had been about getting to this place. Finally, we had made it. I tracked the green lasers from the stage to the sky above, bringing my attention to the vivid stars that speckled the black sky. It was as if the already abundant stars had exploded across the sky into smaller yet brighter shards that began to rain down toward us. The only thing that could pull my attention away was the lit path through the shops that led to the stage. The music was no longer muffled by the forest. It was pure and powerful, carrying out into the infinite beyond. It called to us. We smiled at each other and followed the call.

“I don’t want this walk to end.”

“I know right!”

“I was thinking the exact same thing! I almost don’t want to get there.”

We were completely in sync, everything as it should be. A part of me believed that we could keep walking forever if we chose. Finally, we joined the largest crowd of the weekend. This was the main event after all, and we were somehow, unintentionally on time. We found some space on the outer edge of the dancefloor and let the music guide our movements. We would exchange the occasional glance and shake our heads in disbelief: “I can’t believe this.”

The lights and lasers were brighter and more defined than ever before. Normal life seemed standard definition, even analog. This was the highest of definitions. Life in its purest form, the pinnacle of experience. We were plugged in, connected directly to this digital existence. Even the shadowy trees came to life as a backdrop for the light show. I stared into the fires dancing at the perimeter of the stage. Within the flames I found digital patterns constructed by cubic pixels. I could process each pixel, understanding each block’s role in building this reality. Pixels ripped off the flames and disappeared into the sky. My vision was reality. The concept of hallucinations did not make sense. This was my peak existence. We made it.

If the normal world is 3D, what was this? – This must be the “collective psychedelic experience” we signed up for with the shrooms – I had forgotten about the shrooms. They had not kicked in yet, but I knew this night was going to get even more interesting.

Dragon turned to me: “I’m really glad we’re friends.” He opened his arms with a smile. I eagerly met his hug.

“Me too man. I can’t believe this night.” We slowly separated turning our attention back to the stage. This simple moment still stands out in my memories as one of the most genuine human interactions I’ve had.

After some time, we got the itch to explore and headed back into the dark. Before picking a destination, we locked in for a group hug that Dragon concluded with an enthusiastic “I love us!” We turned to head down a nearby road flooded with neon lights as I was slapped in the face with a powerful nostalgia. The feeling of pure magic from my very first roll. It was if we were there again, yet somehow this time was even better.

Our energy and awe filled walk through the forest brought us to another headliner playing at a bass heavy stage. The deep pound of the bass sent strobes and lasers pulsing out into the dark. The manic energy of the stage was somehow peaceful from here. We made our way to the crowd and jumped straight into the middle, breaking into more energetic dancing than before.

I stared at my feet, once again on autopilot, stepping and pivoting with the beat. My hands smoothly floating in and out of my view. They cut through the cool air guided with restraint by the atmospheric midrange notes fading in and out of the background. Crystal like tracers flickered off my patterned white gloves and faded into the night. Time seemed to slow. I observed my movements as they seemed to perform themselves without any conscious input. I simply allowed the music to flow through me and was just along for the ride if anything.

I smiled with pure appreciation to be the intersection of such energy, wishing for it to never end. Releasing that thought, I aimed just to enjoy every moment. How could I ever describe such an experience to another person? My mind scrolled through a long list of the people that I wished to share such an experience with, feeling nothing but gratitude for our connections, even if I did not see some of them as often as I should. Sadly, these people would never know of this moment, only my two fellow explorers could possibly understand. That was all I needed.

I did not bother to look around for them, feeling their presence close by was enough. I continued to stare downward, content with the small fraction of the light show that played out on the mud immediately in front on me. I studied the impressions in the mud, still drying from the rain the night before. Each flash of the light displayed new patterns on the ground with intricate and concise detail. My vision was still crisp and at its highest definition, but I noticed new visual activity. The sharp edges of the patterns began to melt and blur, boundaries became less clear – a new personality became evident in the mud. The footprints began to swirl and morph in the mud.

I recognized this visual shift and was hit with a sudden realization that I had consumed mushrooms. I had been so caught up in the Candyflip that I forgot about the impending next level. I was unsure how the experience could become any more interesting, but it appeared that I was about to find out. Both excited and a little bit nervous I welcomed the new energy, closing my eyes and inhaling deeply – Proceed to the next level.

–––––––––––
The euphoria ceiling disintegrated as the experience accelerated to new highs – How is this possible? Out of nowhere the intensity suddenly became overwhelming and then it all flipped like a switch.

Darkness.

This was it. I had finally pushed beyond the limit and now I was going to pay for it. An inescapable doom flooded over the situation as I surrendered to darkness. There was nothing left. Just me swaying in this black void of silence.

I flashed back to the present. Dropped from silence and darkness into pure mayhem. The ground shook with the unrelenting bass that vibrated through my feet and consumed the rest of my body. What the fuck? I snapped out of my flowing trance to flash panicked glances at the people surrounding me. Before I could contemplate the situation further, the world imploded around me – Back into the void.

I lost complete touch again. As if reality was pulled out from beneath me, leaving me in infinite nothing. I forgot my own existence yet knew that I was alone – Where am I? Who am I?

Again, before I could comprehend, the world came crashing back down around me. I felt like my soul had been ripped from my body and then forced back in. I stared in amazement at the stage looming above. It glared back, shaking the world around me. I looked around at the crowd which seemed to move as a single entity, pulsing in waves of blurred slow motion.

The pieces of the puzzle started to fall back into place. It occurred to me that I was not alone here as I looked around in search of my companions. I spotted Tiger’s familiar hood a few paces to my right and reached toward him. I began to fade out again. Like a nightmare, it became impossible to complete the desperate action or call out for him.

Darkness.

Once more, I was alone on the other side. The music and the crowd were a distant memory from another time. Here there was no meaning, no point of reference, no beginning or end. I had battled to stay coherent under the overwhelming force that dragged me to this place but was quickly coming to accept this fate. The resistance was natural, but I knew it was futile. The ongoing search for my psychological limit was complete. This was it.

This time the world faded back in peacefully. I saw my hand floating in front of me as it gently tapped Tiger on the shoulder. He spun around, snapping out of his musical trance and looking me in the eye.

“I gotta get outta here,” I stated bluntly, turning to walk through the left edge of the crowd and into the darkness. I wasn’t sure if he was behind me, but kept walking until I could feel the vibe start to level out. I turned around to face the stage taking in the big picture. The music still loud, the lights still bright, but overall it was a peaceful picture from here. My heartbeat now overpowered the bass. Tiger and Dragon were not far behind.

“What’s up?” Tiger said casually.

“I don’t know what just happened. I can’t explain it. I just got overwhelmed out of nowhere and blacked out. It was just… I don’t know what to call it. I was in and out of this world.”
“I don’t know what just happened. I can’t explain it. I just got overwhelmed out of nowhere and blacked out. It was just… I don’t know what to call it. I was in and out of this world.”
This was the best explanation I could come up with at the time. I was impressed I was able to formulate words at all. They all flowed out automatically.

“I’m starting to get a bit of that too,” admitted Dragon nervously. This was not comforting. This was going to be the worst night of our lives. I was always the first to feel the effects and was now worried that the other two were about to go through the same thing.

Tiger grabbed my shoulder to get my attention. “Where do you want to go?” I locked on his gigantic pupils. Holy fuck, did I look like that? I gave my head a shake, dismissing the thought and getting back to the task at hand. We could go anywhere. This sudden realization brought a light feeling of freedom.

I started to space out again looking back at the magical chaos of the stage. Each moment in the void could not have been more than a few seconds I thought, but time was still a foreign entity.

“The furry wall,” I blurted out. The two smiled in agreement as I felt our collective emotion ascend to a higher place. Dragon proposed that we hug it out before going on our journey. The power of the three-way hug further boosted our spirits as I could feel the glowing euphoria float back into my body. Together we could handle anything.

“I love us,” Dragon giggled. We all stepped back laughing at the tagline.

My mind wandered as we worked our way through another dark path toward the furry wall. I dwelled on the void. I could not wrap my head around what had occurred. Perhaps a flash ego death in the middle of a setting overloaded with stimuli? Unsure if I could even call it a negative experience. Still, an uncomfortable feeling lingered in my gut that whatever it was would affect me long term, but I was not sure how. I felt incomplete. There was an emptiness in my chest as if I had lost a part of myself. Had I made a mistake by venturing to this level? I could not take my mind off the incident, but still believed I was having a great time.

I tried focusing on our quest toward a new destination. Having an objective brought back a sense of purpose. Being so functional and capable, yet so far gone was a severe paradox that I would feel in waves. I was convinced that the positive energy of the MDMA was the only thing keeping me somewhat on track. A useful tool for turning up the intensity of everything while somehow remaining somewhat capable.

We arrived at the furry wall that bordered a bass heavy, but downtempo stage. Managing to snag a prime spot right on the coveted wall we decided it was a good time to smoke a bowl or two. Was I really about to do more drugs? We each took a couple hits and offered some to our wall neighbors before sinking back into the cushions.

“I really can’t describe what happened back there,” I remarked to Tiger. “Sorry if I alarmed you guys. Just needed a minute to come back to earth... I was just gone… Then back here. And then gone again. Can’t really put it into words… It’s all good now.” He was understanding, but I knew he didn’t quite grasp what I was trying to portray.

I welcomed the sensation of falling back from the scene in front of us. Melting into the bass that shook the wall. I could not recognize the border between my body, the wall, and the rest of the surrounding world. We were all one sea of vibration. My body now felt heavy, but my mind was still wired. Cannabis can bring in some strange elements to trips. Time somehow became even less linear. How long had I been in this state and what did we do today? I attempted to place the day’s events into something resembling order but was soon distracted by the scene in front of me.

The visuals had accelerated to a new level once again. I focused on what could only be the graphic representation of sound rippling through the air. Fractal patterns spiraled out of the stage speakers, vibrating through the lights with each pound of the bass. It seemed perfectly natural that I was literally seeing sound vibrations in the air. The spirals would start out tight and expand outward to us before fading immediately in front of us. I looked up to watch the soundwaves reverberate into the sky.

Each pulse injected life into the sky until it was immediately capped by the next crack of a higher note. The cycle repeated, adding layers of complexity as the beat evolved. I followed the patterns wondering if the producer intended his beats to be experienced as this visual pattern.

I was distracted by a recognizable character standing nearby. An old friend from another year. We had set up next to and spent a good amount of time with him and his crew 2 years prior. I had not seen him since and wondered if he would remember me. He was talking with someone and I was content with leaving it a mystery. It didn’t matter. He still felt like family as I knew that he “got it.” He was here again after all. I scanned the dancefloor, so many different types of people that all share a deep understanding of this place. A cohesive force. Everyone looking out for each other.

I relaxed and got back into my head. Still enjoying every moment but eager to come to something resembling a conclusion. Aware of the futility of labeling a single takeaway from such a complex day I pushed deeper into my mind. Nothing to fear.

Why do we do this? There must be a point. Something to integrate – It had to be about something more than hedonism and fun.

I was aware that my tendency to contrive some kind of lesson or meaning from every experience was something indoctrinated from a young age. Every story came to an end. A satisfying conclusion that we could bundle up and apply to life in general. A useful practice, but also habit forming; subconsciously living as a protagonist in the chapters of life. In reality I knew, there was no end. As always, time would go on. I would come down from this, and we would leave this place. Yet the cosmic reality of which we are just – a shift in the musical pattern shattered my train of thought allowing “reality” to render before me again.

This was the world I want to know. I looked back to the shimmering stars above. If an alien intelligence were observing humanity, this was what I wanted them to see. We are capable of such beautiful art, expression, and love. I acknowledged that this festival and these trips were something I needed to continue to be a part of. Why wouldn’t we do this? My highlight reel of life was riddled with these types of experiences.

I realized that I needed get out of my own way, add another story to the highlight reel, and stop feeling guilty for having such a good time. I decided to give myself some credit and considered that I may actually be doing a pretty good job of finding that perfect balance in life. I laughed to myself, hoping that my partners found similar peace.

I felt fortunate to live such a life and experience it with these friends. What more could I possibly ask for?

The sun was starting to rise, and I was beginning to feel the first signs of fatigue. My skin did not tingle with every soaring high note anymore and the world was starting to look a little more normal. I knew that we could prolong the party with another hit, but it did not feel necessary. What goes up must come down.

We barely beat the sun back to our tents, hoping that we could grab a couple hours of sleep before they heated to an intolerable level. I was alone in my tent, wrapped in my sleeping bag, and holding onto the ground as if it was unstable. Closed eyed visuals persisted but I eventually faded off to another dream state.

–––––––––––
I awoke a few hours later. At first, it was hard to distinguish our night out from the dream I fell into, but I was able to recall every detail of the experience. I poked my head out of the tent into the sun. The fresh air felt incredible. I was moving slow but felt healthy and at peace. It seemed unfair to have so much fun without paying for it with a nasty hangover. I stepped out of the tent and flopped into the closest chair, gazing to the morning sky. I laughed lightly to myself trying to unpack the past 24 hours. It would take months of reflection to understand it to some extent.

Dragon poked his head out of his tent. We grinned at each other and shook our heads. No words needed. I gazed to the sky once more.

Was last night my limit? Did I finally reach it? I smirked at the ridiculous thought. Of course not. But I will find it someday.

On the next level.

Exp Year: 2015ExpID: 111778
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 23 
Published: Apr 7, 2018Views: 8,451
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MDMA (3), Mushrooms (39), LSD (2) : Festival / Lg. Crowd (24), Personal Preparation (45), Music Discussion (22), Glowing Experiences (4), General (1)

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