Citation: windup.godzilla . "A Scary Deep Dive Into The Void: An Experience with Psilocybin & Cannabis (exp112238)". Erowid.org. Sep 2, 2018. erowid.org/exp/112238
I’m trying to get out of a writing rut and thought maybe I should just tell a story.
I’ve had mixed results with high dose mushroom experiences. At or over 5g I’ve had transcendent, beautiful, powerful experiences which inspired me to change my whole life. I’ve also had colossal bummers that are scary, super-challenging tests of psycho-spiritual fitness but which always end in hysterical, cathartic laughter and leave me completely scratching my head. This is one of those bummers.
My bed. Christmas lights on their lowest setting. Headphones playing Eno Moebius Rodelius. The playlist following contained Tangerine Dream, Fuck Buttons, Cavern of Anti-Matter, Steve Reich. I’m not sure why I chose these music selections but I spent a long time doing so and mostly regret it.
Mental/Physical state before ingesting:
I’d been taking a break from alcohol for the previous 22 days. I had ceased taking Lexapro two months prior to this experience after a 4-month step down. I had been on Lexapro for 8 years prior to ceasing. I’ve been taking doses of mushrooms of between 2.5 and 7.5 grams at least once a month since January. I’d been wanting to take another epic dose as a kind of mental reset and had been waiting to find my moment.
That said about the break from drinking, the night prior to this experience was a late one out with friends drinking, smoking weed, and snorting a tiny bit of cocaine until 6:00 AM. I woke up in the mid-afternoon Wednesday less hungover than I’d expected to be but tired and a little down (coke and booze tend to do that to me). I mostly laid around until about 7:30 PM when I decided that tonight was the night. I did my dishes and straightened up the house. I took a shower and made my bed. I made a playlist and set up my headphones.
I took a vitamin C tablet. I ground two big mushrooms weighing 4.9 grams up in a coffee grinder. I spent the next half hour brewing my tea, steeping the mushrooms in two stages along with some ginger lemon tea and honey. I decided to eat the paste that was leftover from the grounds because I don’t find mushrooms gross. A friend texted me right as I was about to drink the big mug of brew and I sent him one telling him so. I drank it down, took a couple of smallish bong hits, and headed to my room.
Within 15 minutes I could feel the first pangs of come-up anxiety and they were pretty strong. I reminded myself that this is normal, that I am in a safe place, I’m well prepared, and that I have never regretted a single one of the many experiences I’ve had on mushrooms. I smiled and relaxed. A few minutes later, the clothes I had hanging on the back of my door started to bother me because I felt like they looked like a person in the corner watching me. I jumped up suddenly and pulled them all down and I got kind of really annoyed about it. I laughed at myself for being weird and settled back down. I tried to just chill out and listen to the album I chose (Eno Moebius Roedelius - “After The Heat”). I started having trouble perceiving the volume correctly. Despite it being turned down very low, it felt very annoyingly loud. I got up again to fuck with my headphone amp which, again, made me feel really frustrated. When I got the sound dialed in, I laid back down and tried to relax but then the music itself started to bother me. The chord changes in the music seemed to make annoying emotional shifts and I couldn’t stand it. I felt very critical and frustrated. I was controlling the music from my iphone but that became really difficult because i kept opening the wrong app, i didn’t have my glasses on, and my vision was becoming increasingly distorted by the minute. I skipped ahead, tracks, albums, settled on an album by Cavern of Anti-Matter but at that point it wasn’t much better for my mood.
Within an hour I was in a very difficult place. I kept having this image of being in a dark, dusty, red velvet-draped parlor like a waiting room. Like the waiting room of some sentient powerful force. I don’t believe in god but it felt almost like I was being laughed at by god/the infinite/whatever for the tackiness of even trying to play music in its presence. A sort of cosmic rebuke that felt like being told to spit your gum out by the school principal but like existentially serious. I was very cold and becoming very sad. I thought, “What would a bad trip counselor do right now?” And my answer was, “Make the person comfortable?” I got under the covers and curled up on my side. It felt better to be warm. I still had my headphones on but I could barely understand what was coming out of them I eventually just ditched the music altogether.
The next couple of hours were a trial. It felt like me steeling myself against the whipping winds of the void. Nothing was real. Everything was real. I felt all of existence granulating into a matrix of ones and zeros, ons and offs.
I felt all of existence granulating into a matrix of ones and zeros, ons and offs.
Every moment in time, every emotion, every detail stretched, repeated, warped. The idea that time is an exploded and solidified matrix and that every moment of consciousness, knowledge, pleasure, pain I’ve ever had exists in an infinite repeat on all possible timelines and that they all experience themselves infinitely in vibrating strings. I could feel individual millisecond moments of my memory being stretched and distorted into horrific length and amplitude. There were sounds like stuttering, shrill delays morphing into groans like the cracking of ice under a frozen lake. The whitest brightest lights and the darkest blacks and a swirling, whipping movement. My body didn’t really exist in this time except as glancing images being reflected back to me out of the maelstrom. I was really sore in all my muscles the next day so I suspect I was tensed up in the fetal position for hours.
And then, I’m guessing between 1:00 and 1:30 AM, the experience changed. Suddenly, I was out of the storm. A feeling of agency over my mind and body started to return. I started hysterically laughing and ranting to no one about “choices.” I don’t remember exactly what the context of this ranting was. I vaguely remember feeling like, because I’ve seen that all the infinite possibilities of what my own consciousness and the universe have already happened, are happening, or will happen, the idea that I might have a choice in the life track that I’m on is absurd. The only choice I have is “on” or “off” and even that doesn’t make much sense. I kept cackling, “Look at all these delightful choices,” and laughing/crying. Before I knew it, I’d posted like 12 videos to Instagram where the screen was all black (because I was in the dark) and I was cackling about “choices.”
Friends started texting me, “Dude! You OK?!” I was able to articulate to them that I was coming back from an intense psychedelic experience and that I was, in fact, OK. I heard my roommate come home around 1:45 AM and felt a little self-conscious about the weird noises I was making but I continued anyway until maybe 2:30 AM.
When my laughing stopped, the stillness that came over my room was palpable. My consciousness felt like a tabula rasa and I needed to slowly start putting it back together again. I say slowly because I enjoyed this mental stillness and wasn’t in a hurry to cheapen it with my everyday sense of myself. I got out of bed to go to the bathroom and was happy to see my cat meowing crankily at me wanting food. I was starving and I ordered in a bacon cheeseburger and fries and onion rings from a diner (it was a bit much). I went to sleep around 4:30 AM.
A week later I’m still processing this experience. Here are some things I took away from it:
I’m never listening to Brian Eno’s ambient stuff ever again in this situation.
I’m never listening to Brian Eno’s ambient stuff ever again in this situation.
The somewhat forlorn nature of it really threw me off and made me desperately need anchoring. Drones need rhythms.
I think I may be using too high quantities too often. I almost feel like the “spirit” of the mushroom is maybe shutting me out in some way, like telling me I’m taking something for granted.
In a previous trip, one of the main takeaways I got was that I need to write more. In a strange way I almost feel like the “spirit” of the mushroom in this experience was telling me that I shouldn’t seek more until I act on the knowledge I’ve already picked up. That maybe mushrooms alone aren’t going to solve my mid-life crisis. And here I am, writing this. Putting something into action.
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