Citation: dqr. "The Scary Life of a Cell in an Astral Body: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (10x extract) (exp111977)". Erowid.org. Jun 8, 2018. erowid.org/exp/111977
'Do not forget you are on drugs!' - that's a line I kept hearing from my friends or even reading on the Internet, and to be fair, it is a statement that I always kind of looked down upon. I didn't see how you could possibly forget that you just took drugs while tripping. And yet, I once managed to forget I cashed a bowl of salvia. Though I wouldn't say I had a bad trip, now I know what terror is.
At the time this report refers to, I would hardly describe myself as an experienced drug user. I smoked weed nearly everyday, I ate shrooms half a dozen times (tall ones, not truffles), and I already took salvia a couple times, but I never tried stuff like acid, ecstasy, DMT or amphetamines.
Before I get to talk about the salvia hit which this report has been written for, I would like to describe my first experience with salvia, as it contributed a lot to the mindset I was in and to the expectations I had built up before then. As this is only background, you can skip the next two paragraphs and still be able to understand what comes next.
All of the salvia I ever smoked was provided by my friend B, and it was a 10x extract. So one evening, B joins me at my appartment and decides to introduce me to salvia. He brought a small bong along with him and proceeded to explain to me how to cash a bowl properly, keeping your breath for as long as you can before you exhale, etc. I cannot really tell how many grams he put in the bowl, but that was about a large pinch, the bowl was half full. I rip the bong, keep all of it in my lungs, and finally exhale. Nothing much happens in the first seconds, just a very sharp sensation of heat aggressively building up. But then, uncontrollable and near-hysterical laughter takes over all of my cognitive functions. I cannot think anymore, my purpose on this earth is to laugh without ever stopping.
After nearly a minute of absolute hilarity, I begin to feel like I can try and gather some of my thoughts again, and as I look around me to get a grasp of my surroundings, my eyes stop on my keyboard, a backlit one with colored keys. All of the keys started to distort slightly towards the center of the keyboard, like a siphon, and before I knew it, I was in the back seat of a car launched at full speed between hills illuminated with bright colors which were those of my keyboard. According to B, this lasted for a bit under 5 minutes, then the scene kind of faded and I crawled up to my bed mumbling incoherent stuff like 'I got on the wrong planet, please take me back'. I lay there for another 2 minutes, eyes closed, sweating profusely, with reminescences of what just happened still playing in the back of my eyelids, but (nearly) fully conscious of myself and aware of my presence in our real world. For the whole time back in the car, I did not actively think about the fact I just took salvia, but I guess my subconscious knew it and it kept me away from panic. It was just before the scene started to fade that I thought 'Shit man, I shouldn't stray so much or I won't be able to return to my homeworld'. Somehow, I still didn't think about salvia while thinking of this, it was just a natural thought occurring naturally in the scene I was part of. This was my very first dissociative experience, and from that point onwards, I thought I understood what notions the term 'dissociative' held, I thought I knew what it meant and why dissociative drugs were called like so. I also perceived a potential in salvia that I could not explain properly with words, it felt like the remainder of that first experience was a mystery, and this mystery kept calling out to me because it was mine to unveil. When I realized that, I grew impatient to hit salvia again, though I was able to temper myself over time.
So let's get to the main story: three months have passed since my first hit, and I had the occasion now and then to take another couple bowls which did close to nothing comparable to that first experience. I only had moderate effects such as perspective distortion, emotional amplification of music, heat and sweating, etc (and let's not forget laughter). But I could sense the mystery again, and it was still calling out to me in a corner of my head.
One day around 2 p.m, I finally got over with my midterm exams and decided to chill for the rest of the day. So here I am rolling up a joint with music playing softly in the background, then I light it up and the day goes on like normal. Now this sounds like nothing but I have been wondering for a long time whether this single joint, the only one that I smoked hours before a hit of salvia, altered my experience.
I have been wondering for a long time whether this single joint, the only one that I smoked hours before a hit of salvia, altered my experience.
After having read many trip reports, I think it did. Effects may have been more intense than if I hadn't smoked beforehand, and that may be a plus, but during my trip I had negative thoughts that I had absolutely no reason to have, and though I'm not accounting weed responsible for the presence of such negativity, I think it contributed to amplifying my perception of it to some extent.
It's now 8 p.m, the joint is long gone, and my friend B, who was also done with his last midterm exams, joins me at my appartment. He brought salvia, so after an hour of feeling the mood, we both ripped a first bong, and I got the same moderate effects as above. Nothing like the breakthrough of my first time. When the heat and sweating were over, I thought back about what happened inside of my head after my first bowl, three months before, and I told B that I kind of missed it, that I'd like to have another experience like that. He was okay with it, so he loaded up another bowl, with more salvia this time. There again, I can't really tell how many grams, but it was a very large pinch. Part of it fell on my desk, and he had to collect it and put another small pinch along with it in the bowl, which was nearly full.
I made sure everything was okay with my mindset, I asked myself the right questions, and I was able to determine the following things: I'm not under any stress, I'm not doing this because 'Why not?' but because I want to, I know I'm going to trip balls and I'm okay with it. Still a little impatient and a tiny bit apprehensive maybe, but I feel confident and I'm in a fairly positive vibe. I hear Solar Ohm by Merkaba playing in the background and it makes me even more confident, I know I'm going to have a good time.
I cashed that second bowl in two times, exhaling just a tiny bit in-between, then held everything up my lungs for a good 20 seconds, and finally I exhaled all of it. Laughter started to come around, but this time I knew what was happening, so I just went along with it and tried to enjoy things around me. My sense of touch was developed a thousandfold, I couldn't get enough of touching my jeans. Feeling the warmth of my hands with my legs through the fabric had become a source of euphoria like I've never known. Then I turned around to B, smiled at him like a retard (reporting his own words from afterwards). Then, for some reason, I remembered that pillows are actually really fucking comfortable, and I wanted to touch one REALLY BADLY. I extended my left arm, which by now seemed several meters long, towards my bed, accidentally touching the bed instead of the pillow.
That was the trigger. Just as looking at my backlit keyboard sent me into another dimension, touching the bed elongated my left arm by several kilometers, and it was now being absorbed in the same kind of siphon as I mentioned before. Retrospectively, it was as if the latent potential of the first bowl decided to wake up at that precise instant. And it did not decide to add up to the second bowl, it decided to EXPONENTIATE IT. Everything went fucking bananas. The last thing I could think before what comes next is literally this : 'Oh noes'.
I was ejected out of my head. I was drifting away from my body, outside the building my apartment was in, and my room became just a cubic alcove carved into the concrete. I have no idea around which moment I forgot that I took salvia, but I know I had already forgotten by this time, because the only thought that could explain what I was seeing, that is, my inanimate body on a chair next to my friend B, was this thought, and it was whispered to me by a soft voice: 'Your role in this world was completed with your life as [my full name], you may now fulfill other destinies in your life cycle'. It felt so ethereal that these words (or their exact equivalent in my mother tongue) were engraved onto my memory, and I think they will be forever.
Then, I saw kind of a summary of events. There were tons of those events, a really huge lot of them, and they were playing fast-forward. I reviewed all of them, and though I had no way to tell for sure, I was convinced these events happened during my previous lives as a human. None of the scenes I was witnessing triggered a precise memory, but everything made sense. It was nothing that I was surprised to see, I expected what happened there because I lived it centuries beforehand. After this summary, all of my lives began to play fast-forward, all at once. I can't say that I was seeing my lives unfolding on a screen like you would watch a movie at the theater. It was more like a reenactment of them, and I was spectating them in the same way a first-person shooter game allows you to move freely within the map for the rest of the game when you die. Everything was so fast, but I always knew exactly what was happening because, well, I already lived it. After some more time though, I felt like I completely lost interest in these lives. Everything had become futile. After all, didn't the voice whispered to me that I was about to ascend? It didn't tell me these exact words, but I knew that it was how they were to be understood.
And that was it, my lives suddenly stopped playing in front of me, and darkness enveloped me. I was okay with it, it was a warm, comforting, absolutely not threatening darkness. When it began to get brighter, I still couldn't see with my eyes but all of my other senses combined were able to give me a very accurate 'vision' of my surroundings, and I was somehow able to 'see' where I was. How did I know I wasn't receiving images through my eyes? I have no fucking clue, I just knew it. Hell, I just mentioned my other senses but I have no idea what senses they were. The next thing I knew once I got aware of my new environment is that I had shifted dimensions. I also had the very clear impression that my purpose now was not to live, but to contribute to the living of a being much, much greater than me. My senses were fueling me with visions of that life I was starting anew, and I realized that I had just become a basic cell in some kind of cosmic organism. That organism merely had the shape of a human, and its limbs looked like galaxies, though they were completely something else. I can recall that I was able to commmunicate with these galaxies of other cells which were just like me, but I'm really not sure if 'communicating' is an appropriate word. Language had become a foreign concept where I was, it made no sense to talk. You talk as a human because you want to convey ideas, in here ideas were global. I knew everything I had questions about. The closest I can describe this feeling is like this: asking questions and getting answers were the exact same process
asking questions and getting answers were the exact same process
. As a human, I could not even have had the time to formulate a question within my brain that I would already have been aware of the answer.
So far, everything was fucked up, but I was doing okay. Actually, I think it is okay to forget that you took drugs, so long as you don't ask yourself 'Wait, why all of this?'. When you ask that question to yourself, you better be able to answer 'I took drugs'. Because I certainly wasn't able to think once about the fact that maybe I took three bong rips minutes ago, and all of the magic suddenly went away. Questions were still flowing, but answers weren't coming anymore. I realized that I kept my consciousness and memories of my life as a human (I mean the human that I am right now), but I was trapped in a cell. How did my human consciousness shift into a cell? I must have died, there is no other way, the human that I was must be dead. Panic and terror ensued. I felt extreme sadness for my physical body because it would remain inanimate forever even though my personal identity was still living. I realized that my human life had stopped prematurely, and I felt the sorrow of my family and friends. Then, I felt my own sorrow, amplified by the fact that I would never be able to see them again.
I was pure distress, imprisoned inside all of these negative emotions. In an ultimate mental effort, I was able to project myself back into my dead body. When I opened what I thought were my physical eyes, I saw a huge spiralling pattern made up of exclusively warm and dark colors. The voice from the beginning came back, and this time, though it was very distorted, I was able to tell it was a male voice. It asked 'Are you okay?'. These words could have been reassuring, but instead, the tone used by the voice made them feel cold-hearted, reproving. I looked up to the source of the sound only to see a threatening grin hovering well above the spiralling pattern. 'I fell into its trap'. I was trapped into the spiral, and, ironically enough, I was also trapped into thinking this, over and over, and over again. I could feel my face decomposing into layers, and I could feel this infinity of layers melting into the flow that fed the spiralling patterns. It was a physical sensation, not just thoughts popping up at the right time, but I could have sworn that I was back in my physical body, and that it was actually decomposing into layers, towards my right, and into the spiralling flow (which made it a lot scarier when I thought back on it afterwards).
Finally, I started to recognise familiar shapes in the flow of the spiral. It took several seconds, but everything started to look more and more familiar, as the spiralling pattern started to 'unspiral'. For a moment, I thought I was attracted towards the center of the spiral, but it was actually my perspective 'undistorting' progressively which made it look like it. Instead, it was actually more like the spiral was surrounding me as it became straight. Heaps of vivid colors started to reorganize themselves into more familiar shapes, and I started to recognize objects from my room (my actual human room). I was back into my body, and this time for real. My vision was blurry, but it was my physical eyes which I was seeing through. It took another good minute to get used again to the life I was living before this whole journey. My head looked like this:
'Is this for real? What is this life? What am I going to live again? I remember this as the latest life I lived before I took salvia. Is it truly me coming back to my senses? Wait, did I take salvia??? Fuck, of course I did. Holy shit, I'm back!'.
Normally, such thought process would have taken seconds, but it spanned over a full minute. I would also later realize that the distorted voice asking me if I was okay was actually my friend B asking me this exact question for real. For around 5 minutes I was halfway between trying to get a grasp of what just happened in my head and getting used again to my body (the right part of my face felt numb and tense at the same time), all of it while pacing across my room mumbling individual pieces of sentences: 'What, how did I... Wait a minute... Oh shit! That was...'. When I finally gathered up and was able to assemble several words into a sentence, I proceeded to tell the major part of this to my friend B (not as much detailed though, and definitely not articulated).
Here is his version of the story from the point where I touch my bed and get out of my body: I touched the bed, then I logged off for 3 minutes. Near the end, he asked if I was okay, and I just looked at him without saying a single word. My face started to form an expression of absolute terror just as I was looking at him dead in the eyes, and I was stuck like that looking around in terror for a full minute before I came back to myself and started pacing. During these whole 5 minutes spent pacing in my room, I still had this kind of connection to my previous lives which made me question every few seconds if I was not stuck in an alternate reality which only seemed familiar. Then I finally got over it, we rolled up more joints and carried on like nothing happened. But it was truly a life-changing experience that I will look back at for a long time still.
Congratulations on reaching the end of this trip report! I did not plan on writing something so lengthy, but this is just as exhaustive as I could be. I'll just end this wall of text on some thoughts I had afterwards.
I mentioned that it seemed pretty dumb to me that you could forget you were on drugs while tripping. I learned that it was actually possible, and I learned it the hard way. But there again, it was definitely not a bad experience. A scary one for sure, but not bad. I feel a lot more like I fit into this world than I did before
I feel a lot more like I fit into this world than I did before
, I understand things on a deeper level (or at least I feel like it), all of the little things that make a difference.
Now, I think also I understand how some people can't ever get past their trip on some drug, like they never return. My thought process on salvia was so different from the usual that a part of me felt like it was slowly decaying to madness. The simple thought of such decay is still slightly terror-inducing to me, because it implies your own mind can be turned into a prison. Retrospectively, I think there were moments during my trip where I made choices. My trip felt like what I wrote above because I made a particular set of choices. But what would have happened if I had taken other decisions? I will never know, and I'll never be confronted to these choices again. But then, in every trip, is there a combination of choices which, in particular circumstances, could make my mind decay to madness more than it was 'supposed' to? Maybe that's how people never return from a trip...
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