Citation: Anon. "The Moment Was Moving in a Spiral: An Experience with LSD & Cannabis (exp112018)". Erowid.org. Jun 21, 2018. erowid.org/exp/112018
||(blotter / tab)
An Unexpectedly Engaging First Trip
I’ll start off by saying that my reasons for initially taking this trip, I think, are important to understanding why it so greatly influenced me. I was fresh out of high school and attending university, and for most of my life felt much like many other disillusioned teens that life was rather empty and depressing, a feeling that I had pushed further to the back of my mind as I left the main source of those feelings at high school. I had always, since a very young age, been fascinated with the idea of entering altered states on substances and had started to dabble with cannabis in my later high school years and, at the time of this story, enjoyed its effects immensely. All that said, my interest in mind altering drugs was purely for entertainment purposes, as I said before I had a rather pessimistic outlook on life and thought that the best I could get out of it was getting some wacky kicks.
The story begins with me being invited over to a friend’s house while his parents were away to spend a few days smoking pot and hanging out with some of his friends of which only one I was familiar with. We will call the friend that invited me Ab and the other Ba, the others are miscellaneous. Ab and me had wanted to try LSD for some time now, and decided, since Ba knew where to get good quality tabs, to trip on this occasion. I already had reason to be nervous about the whole thing, as in the time spent smoking pot the day before with Ab and Ba’s group of friends who I didn’t know well at all, I, a rather paranoid person in general, thought more and more about how little I fit into this crowd, and how if I was uncomfortable while smoking weed with them then maybe doing a psychedelic would be a bit of a step in the wrong direction. Nevertheless, I was determined to finally experience my childhood aspiration that I thought may never come of seeing what these drugs were all about, and I didn’t want to let this opportunity slip past me.
Me, Ab and Ba drove and picked up two little multicoloured blotter tabs for me and Ab, while I should have tested mine I trusted Ba’s lengthy record of taking acid, and found the little piece of paper with “WHAT DOES THIS TRIP MEAN?” written in coloured markers inside the baggie with the tabs a comforting sign of Australia’s hippies looking over me.
We got back in the early evening, and me and Ab took our tabs. Ba had said that they were each around 150 to 175 ug each, which was a notch up from the 100ug I had wanted to dip my toes into, but beggars can’t be choosers.
My first thought on putting that little bit of paper on my tongue was loud and clear, “I think I may have just made a huge mistake”, and the gravity of the situation hit me all at once. I realized that I was as of this moment, about to slowly be removed from the driver’s seat in an environment where I really wanted my wits about me, and thought that maybe I was about to be in for a rough experience. I think I felt a slight numbness in my mouth but no taste, I sat down and waited for the thing to kick in, and slowly calmed myself chatting and playing Tetris on my phone, I actually relaxed so much that I just about forgot that I still had an acid tab under my tongue.
After about 15 minutes I swallowed my tab and continued to wait, and after 30 minutes of waiting I started to feel definite changes in my mood. I was getting gigglier, and feeling loose and uncoordinated, almost as if I was getting tipsy, this slowly progressed over about 15 to the point where I think I was slurring my words. Ba called my attention and asked if this looked weird, and stated opening and closing his hand in front of my face quickly, which I laughed at and shrugged him off, not knowing if it did look weird or not. As I looked away from him doing that I noticed a rainbow towel that was hanging up away from the group, while it was still and unnoticed a short while ago, it now looked almost like it was reflective, which was enhanced by the way it seemed to slowly be blowing in a breeze, which I wasn’t sure was real or the effects of the LSD. I decided not to tell anyone and see how this would progress, and knew that things were about to start getting strange.
Suddenly, I felt like I snapped back to attention, I was sure that time had passed since I was pondering the waving towel, but I couldn’t remember. I felt like I had just been lost in thought for some time, and the moments between the towel and my next lucid memory feel very patchy and muddles around, which is not only how I am remembering it now, but how it felt as it was happening, almost as if I had blacked out repeatedly and was wondering what just happened. The next thing I knew, I was looking at and wondering about something in front of me, but I had a very hard time trying to remember what it was that I was thinking about, or what I was thinking about it. I think I wracked my brain for a short while trying to grab my bearings here, and eventually I pulled myself back into the moment and realized what I was looking at.
I was sitting in a different spot then what I had noticed earlier, and was placed right in front of a medium sized potted tree. The environment around the tree that I was sitting in for starters, felt lit up, although I had been sitting in a dark covered area before it now looked brightly lit by greenish and orange lights, and the air had a kind of muffled, crawly dreamy texture to it. The tree itself, I couldn’t take my eyes off. Every little curve on all of the leaves spiralled endlessly into themselves, and every leaf spiralled into itself, as did every bunch of leaves, and every clump, and it all came together to make the whole tree look like an infinitely spiralling spiral of spirals, all glowing with bright green and orange and gold. As I looked and thought more at this hallucination in front of me, which completely awestruck me in its vividness, I couldn’t stop thinking that what I was looking at wasn’t just incredible, but impossible. Everywhere and every angle that I looked a this thing I saw a manipulation of space, that even if only mental and imagined, I couldn’t wrap my head around, it didn’t seem with the rules that waking life had over the properties of geometry and space, that something like this could exist
it didn’t seem with the rules that waking life had over the properties of geometry and space, that something like this could exist
in even my wildest dreams. It seemed to me to be defying the laws of existence.
From this point on in the trip, things accelerated and decelerated in ways, both spatial and temporal, that made the whole trip feel like I was remembering it even as it was happening, punctuated by moments of coming back to reality and suddenly becoming lost again in racing thoughts and hiccups in time. The individual moments that I can remember all existed in a headspace that I quickly came into after seeing the spiral tree, of “I am not ready for this intensity”. This paired with the fact that I was still surrounded by a small group of people, who while I was poor at communicating with before I now found it impossible, as everything they said now sounded like gibberish they spoke minutes before. My friends Ab, also on LSD, and Ba suddenly leaving in a car with another person to pick someone up and leaving me alone, and the way I seemed to be losing my mind, made for a tone of anxiety that I felt could at any moment snap to complete panic.
Since I was split between the world of people, trying to seem like I was holding it together, and one that was tearing the fabric of that world to shreds, I spent the entirety of the trip getting up from one position to another, either sitting with the group staring ahead, or going and sitting alone in the loungeroom where a tv was playing nature documentaries to try and get a hold of myself. In this repeated action I got a hold of my thoughts long enough to say to myself, “well bud, you’ve done it this time, but we’re well in it now, so since you’ve bought the ticket you may as well take the ride and ride this shit out”, so that’s what I did. I wandering between the group and the lounge for the entire come up and most of the trip because it helped me keep a kind of ‘pace’ to the flow of time and space that was unravelling faster and faster. And in this action with the steel of taking the ride, I held myself together enough to experience the following moments in no particular order because I’m not sure if there was any:
Important to note, at some point in the trip I had two hits of cannabis from a bong, I had been having intense hallucinations before this but it also kicked things up a notch. I should probably be thankful to smoking the cannabis because it probably helped me get somewhat out of the anxious headspace I had been in very strongly from the start of the trip, and make the later experiences more tolerable even if they were more intense.
• A person outside became animated entirely in what looked like oil painting, I thought it looked like a trailer I had recently seen of a movie about Vincent van Gogh done in his style of painting in stop motion. The person then started to go through many of Gogh’s styles in his animation, from brilliant bright exaggerated starry night to incredibly detailed and fanning sun flowers.
• Every surface crawled with moving patterns and motions, and if I looked at any edge of an object for longer than a few moments it started to form tentacle-like fractals, the unceasing visual information overwhelmed me very strongly.
• Another person looked at me and I saw his eye slowly slither down his face and go in place of his cheek, and another I could see his skeleton flickering in light through his skin. Another, who I think was asleep, I thought was staring at me from the corner of my eye, when I peeked at him I saw that his legs were covered in staring eyeballs.
• The light outside changed from what looked like flashing green and purple lights that came from nowhere, to brightly lit green and orange similar to what I saw with the spiral tree. Someone turned on multicoloured Christmas lights that flashed above our heads, I found out the next day that the lights were there but they were all solid white.
• The space outside was dreamy, and sometimes seemed as if we were sitting in a smoke-filled room.
• I at one point, recalling the hallucination related to Van Gogh, felt like a painter or poet in France in the ranks of Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec drinking absinth, and looked to Ab who looked like a stoned wizard with a great bushy beard (he had no beard in reality), sat cross legged in a robe with a fire burning behind his head in a smoke-filled room.
• I looked at Ab another time and saw neon blue lines crossing his head and face like a Rubics cube, as soon as I made the mental connection to a Rubics cube some of his head behind him started to shift in cubes like one, which was rather shocking. I decided it was best not to try and tell him what I was seeing.
• A pouch of tobacco on a table seemed to be a wriggling mass of insects, and after I heard snippets of people talking about that had been crawling around I looked down to see many cockroaches and bugs scuttling about the ground, I was surprised even as I was seeing this how little it seemed to unnerve me.
• Since my perception of time was shattered, I at one point thought I had been sitting here for 2 days, and that in those days we at some point had gone to the beach, I don’t know why.
• A blanket that had printed drawings of elephants on it shifted and swirled, the elephants seeming animated.
• The tv playing nature shows, I think Planet Earth, at points had many hallucinations going on within it. At one-point ants in their nest seemed to be rapidly mutating and forming rustling masses of feelers. At another particularly intense instance, I saw footage of a cave bat flying in the dark, and the bat was a bright blue neon skeleton that left behind it a barred double-helix neon blue trail, that’s width matched the two points of the bat’s wings as it flew creating the double-helix. At seeing this I had to cover my eyes because of just how overwhelming it seemed to me to process. Later as I was coming down I saw some rock jutting from deep jungle as reflecting shifting melted rainbows in their texture.
• At a point that I know was earlier on in the trip, I got lost looking at people’s reflections in a glass window, they looked like they were made out of pure yellow electricity, and that there was a whole world of humanoid electric figures going on in the reflection. When I snapped out of staring at this reflective world I felt shaken.
• I at a point felt like there was a giant roaring monster standing right behind me, that was visualized somehow as the black mass outside of my vision, I saw it mentally as a giant shadow man in a big hat that I’ve heard of in stories, and it somehow represented death and my dark side. I laughed this off because of how normal it was compared to the other space and time dilations that were occurring, and it went away.
• When I was trying to steel myself, and was being overwhelmed by the intensity of all the visual activity, I covered my eyes and saw a dim purple light being passed over a metallic purple carving of Mayan style, which I thought was strange, and a little unfortunate at the time because I saw that I couldn’t escape the drug.
• And many, many strange strings of thoughts that went of for hours in single seconds that I can’t remember.
All of these experiences were fascinating, intense, beautiful, and a little scary, but the real meat of the trip was what I experienced in the changes of perception in the passage of time
the real meat of the trip was what I experienced in the changes of perception in the passage of time
. I checked my phone constantly in the trip to see how much longer I needed to endure, and was made all the more anxious, and fascinated, in what I read the time as each time. Sometimes I would think hours had passed, but it had only been a couple of minutes, and sometimes I thought it had been seconds and suddenly an hour had passed. Sometimes I even thought that time had skipped forwards and backwards, making for this hard to pace recollection of things. This way that I am describing the trip is not only as I remember it, trying to piece together what I can recall, but as it was happening it felt like a slideshow of events jumping back and forth. Sometimes I would link that an experience I was having, as it happened, must have happened before an experience I could recall from earlier, and other mix ups of memory that didn’t make sense. It was mainly this destruction of time that made the trip so hard to endure, but also what would make it so important as I will expand on.
Space was also distorted, in my walking to and fro positions, I didn’t feel like I was moving but that space was moving around me, my body was very heavy and I felt like only my head was real in a way. This paired with the impossible geometry I saw in the spiral tree, and the complete breakdown of time, all culminated in the climax hallucination/experience of the trip, and made up the meaning that I found in the trip.
Some point, right at the tail end of the overwhelming ordeal, I was sitting in the group, and trying to follow what people were saying as a way of grounding myself, because I felt that I was nearing breaking point. And while I tried hard to focus on anything that could ground me, I started to suspect that the moment of me trying to focus on the conversation, was looping. As I thought more about whether it was looping, and how I had heard of this looping moments from internet descriptions, the more apparent it became that the moment was looping. The loop itself was becoming faster, and more constricted, and while my thoughts had been caught in it before for I don’t know how long, they were now separate from it. While time was repeating, I was outside of it looking in, and watching it do so, like the loop was playing on a screen in front of me. The repletion was becoming so fast, and so constrained, that it was now just a single nanosecond, looping in a way that was visual, something that I don’t think I can accurately describe. It was as if the loop, the moment in reality, as it repeated, was moving lopsided, and I was being pushed along with it. I was feeling the G-force of it as it moved in this way, to the left and upwards, and I realised that it was moving in a spiral. The moment in reality, was somehow repeating in a spiral motion endlessly, it was like I was in a spiral set of loop-d-loops on a roller-coaster, and I just had to hang on and ride this dragon out.
And right where it didn’t seem like it could get any more intense, I felt like I was floating, like gravity was gone. The moment was still moving in a spiral, yet still in one place, in front of me, and I looked around, and saw the next nanoseconds in time, fracturing off as fractal spirals in every direction, I can only compare the ‘place’ that it seemed to be to the 4th dimension scene from Interstellar, but that’s a poor description of just how bizarre it was. Just as my thoughts had been racing and analysing for the whole trip in strings and trains that went nowhere or I couldn’t remember, I was piecing together in my head what it was that I was seeing, or where I was. And I felt, in that moment, that the single moment of time that I had seen repeating, was actually the only moment, that right now is the only moment in time that exists, and that time itself is an illusion, and that space is an illusion in turn that time helps facilitate, and that all these other moments I saw going off into infinity, where every single no matter how miniscule possibility of the future.
I don’t know how long this experience went on from beginning to end, it felt like it was both 10 minutes, 10 hours, and all of time together, but at this point of eternity I felt like I was right where I was meant to be, and that I was the only thing there was, and it was just so peaceful. And just as strangely and suddenly as it had come on, this thing just unravelled in front of me back to normal reality, at the exact moment that it had left off from, with the conversation picking up right from the split moment it had started repeating from. I felt like I had just gotten off a rocket going into orbit, so I just got up and went and sat by myself again without trying to explain anything to anyone.
After that, the trip died down, and about an hour later at 2 or 3 in the morning I went to sleep and slept like I was half awake. The next morning, feeling like I had just been hit by a train, I got a bus home and went to a local park and sat on a bench in the cold morning for a good hour trying to figure out just what the fuck that was the night before and why it felt like something so important had happened to me. In later conversations with Ab, he said while intense he barely saw or got anything out of the experience.
After that trip, to put a long story short, my world view was forever changed by the new perception that time and space, things that I had previously seen as fundamental and permanent staples of existence, were just illusions to put it in a way. I found a new imaginative spark in what was just recreational cannabis use from before the trip, and got heavily into philosophical thought to try and describe what had happened to me, thinking I had just had some kind of experience that no one had had before. I eventually found out about Alan Watts, found that what he was saying was like finding the right peg for the shape, and the story tells itself from there.
I haven’t taken psyches since, and while maybe I will at some point in the future in the form of a different substance, I don’t think I really ever need to, they’ve done more for me then I ever bargained for.
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