Mushrooms - P. cubensis
Citation: NJ. "Subconscious Reborn: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. cubensis (exp112465)". Erowid.org. Nov 10, 2018. erowid.org/exp/112465
Background: I’m a scientist turned writer, actress and producer. This mushroom trip was at a particularly hyper-creative time in my life, as well as a time when I was recovering from a major business/legal issue that happened with a film deal and drained me for a good year.
Mindset: didn’t get a good sleep the night before but was ready and excited to try them for the second time, a little nervous due to my first experience that I wrote off as a ‘bad trip’ (more on this later).
Setting: beautiful beach at a lake in British Columbia surrounded by epic mountains and wilderness. Warm, sunny summer day. Didn’t eat too much beforehand. Just coffee and fruit in the morning.
Timing: we took the mushrooms at 2pm, I began feeling nauseous 15mins later but held it down, and within 0.5hrs the full effects kicked in.
People: I was with my twin brother, we’ll call him N, and my good girlfriend, we’ll call her S, both experienced mushroom users.
Summary: this trip report is broken down into three sections - physical effects, the spiritual part, and aftermath.
- Overall, I spent 5 hours straight crying uncontrollably - deep sobs of the heaviest sadness I have every felt, while at the exact same time laughing uncontrollably - manic, highly euphoric laughter.
- I felt that I went on a trip through every single possible human emotion there is to feel, everything a human can possibly experience. I felt in extreme, overwhelming depth, all at the same time. Realized that ‘life’ is just an accumulation of emotions/reactions to experiences, and that I can’t believe I still have a good 60 years to go.
- Extreme reactions to very very fine tuned, small things. Ex: a small drop of water on skin was an explosion of euphoria, fear, intrigue, sorrow.
- Reacting to a thousand moments flooding in. Ex: feeling extreme fascination with experiencing a single moment, but also fearful of it because it was new and unknown, then extreme sorrow that it went away, then laughing uncontrollably right after at the moment and at myself.
- Extreme ‘access’ to entire well of possible human emotion, swimming in it, and can ‘choose’ what to use/do depending on what I want, or what people’s reactions on the outside are.
- I felt born again - I was literally acting, feeling, experiencing what it’s like to be a baby, I even looked like one. Thousands and thousands of moments flooding at me, like they do all the time, but this time it was without filters and as if for the first time. And my body/mind was instantly reacting to every single moment, in one hundred different ways, as if it didn’t know how to actually process any of them, as if it hadn’t learned how to yet. Ex., a small wave from the lake just barely touched my leg and it sent an overwhelming shock of happy to fearful feelings, plus the sense of touch being explosive as if I’ve never felt water before.
- At the beginning: thinking ‘this is it, literally anything can go right now’, i.e. I could kill someone or I could embody a schizophrenic, or I can be a baby or teenager or old person, and I wouldn’t be pretending, I would really feel what it would be like to be any of these people.
- people didn’t look weird, they were normal, but I felt so different from my usual self that I wanted to almost ‘experiment’ my new personalities with them, especially strangers, see their reactions.
- Feeling like I can literally understand any person in the world because I have felt what they have, deep understanding of what people do to hide that ‘well’.
- No feelings of pain or anger interestingly enough. Fear and paranoia, but primal.
- Seeing all the visual experiences people write about, but they seemed absolutely uninteresting and mundane compared to what I was feeling.
Seeing all the visual experiences people write about, but they seemed absolutely uninteresting and mundane compared to what I was feeling.
Ex: the mountains having that distorted glitchy colour effect, where colour channels separate, and thinking that it’s really cool, but there are a thousand Pinterest photos like this, why is it such a big deal, why is this the main thing people speak about when they describe their mushroom trips.
- Not feeling connected to nature
- Sensory overload. Visual hallucinations when eyes open and closed, auditory hallucinations, every sound exaggerated and reforming into another sound, extremely sensitive to touch. Ex. S touched me lightly on the back and I couldn’t handle it, too overwhelming, fearful of touch because everything was already so much. Sense of space warped. Ex. Was trying to figure out for the longest time how close the stick beside me actually was and eventually gave up.
- Interesting that I don’t remember experiencing smell at all, or taste.
- Pressure around my head right at the beginning and when coming down, as if something was squeezing it all around. Tension headache? Maybe the pressure feeling was there throughout the trip as well but I didn’t notice since everything else was so intense.
- Legs taking turns vibrating and feeling paralyzed.
- At one point being extremely aroused and feeling sexual, probably had an orgasm and could 100% think it if I wanted to but stopped myself because I was in public, changed emotional directions (which was extremely difficult).
- Physical feelings of extreme cold, hot, tired, heavy, light stimulated at the same time.
- Feeling my body and particularly my insides - ravenously hungry, nauseous and trying to keep myself from throwing up the entire 4 hours, especially in the beginning, then incredibly sleepy.
- I knew there was so much I was experiencing and that I wouldn’t be able to really focus on all of it so I had to choose, so I chose feeling the feelings, instead of trying to really focus on analyzing the visuals, sounds, hallucinations or inner bodily functions.
- Really loving the sand and being upset when N told me to go on the blanket, but also equally loving the blanket and that I was on it.
- Closest image would probably be Eleven/Will in Stranger Things, where the upside down monster funnelled through them both, exploded out of them. Like that but not in a dark sense, just the whole soup of emotional energy ‘channeling’ through me from one world (mind? Internal brain?), to external Earth world.
- The trip went in chapters, and peeled back/added on new lawyers as the time went on, and the day was ending.
- I was talking to myself quite a bit, out loud. Small comments here and there about the water or the spider. I was conscious that I was talking to myself and might sound crazy to other people, but had a profound feeling of not caring about people seeing me this way, almost wanting them to so they could better understand people with mental disorders without judgements. I thought this is what ‘going mad’ is probably like, and it wasn’t bad at all, it was kind of fun, but then there was a deep sadness that if I’d ever stayed like this in the real world I’d have to say goodbye to everything that I’ve known and all the people in my life because there’s no way I would be able to interact with them anymore. I would probably live in the downtown East Side of Vancouver with others who experienced life like this, and at least there would be some sort of community that would understand, and that was okay. Eventually toward the end I started to accept that I might actually stay like this forever, and I felt so deeply bad for N who would be the only one able to take care of me at that point (he was the closest person in my life), and how sorry I was for putting this burden on him.
- Felt like I finally, deeply understood myself (or accepted who I am?) - why I was drawn to certain interests, experiences, people, why so many people with extreme emotional baggage are drawn to me, that I’m people’s emotional safety net for those deep places they don’t usually want to go to, that are usually blocked in the physical world by their insecurities. But with me they could be okay to let themselves just experience them without fear, why I shouldn’t get so upset about people draining me of emotional energy (because I’m the gateway for it, more on that in the spiritual journey section), why I felt the need to be creative and do everything and pursue everything in every way possible. I was finally able to fully, truly experience all of these extreme feelings that have been going through me for the last few years, that this is what it was like to let them overwhelm me but I obviously couldn’t do that in real life because it would be completely debilitating (maybe it wouldn’t be?).
- People who drifted into my mind: [actress 1] after S said that ‘I seriously look like [character]’. [Actress 2] a lot, I felt like I understood her completely and really needed to meet her, like I know exactly where she got [drama series] from and could predict what the second season will be like. J (my best friend from childhood), felt absolutely sure that despite everything and our broken relationship, she is my soul sister and that she ‘knows it’ but doesn’t know it consciously yet. My current acting instructor, that I knew what she meant by ‘well of emotion’ and ‘going deep’ that she keeps talking about in class. [Screenwriter] and understanding where he built his acting school from and wanting to ask him if he’s done mushrooms before, and assuming that he has (how could he not), wondering if he’s ever had an experience like mine, really needing to ask him. [Writer/scientist], I couldn’t decide whether he knew about it too, I think he was always on the brink but never truly gone in, and N of course, but he didn’t come in until the second half of the trip.
- I thought about how weirdly similar my dream life is to this experience, emotion-wise, as if I’m completely inside of what would be my dream experience
I thought about how weirdly similar my dream life is to this experience, emotion-wise, as if I’m completely inside of what would be my dream experience
- Death: at the halfway point I believed that I was dying, but it wasn’t frightening or painful at all. I felt myself melting into the ground, seeping into it like thick, colourful water. It felt really wonderful, warm, fuzzy, and as I melted it all sparkled in the sunlight.
The Spiritual Part:
- After the initial experiences of feeling everything and knowing that that’s even possible, and learning how to not panic and just let it literally flow through me and enjoy the novelty of it, be fascinated by it, the next layer started to set in, where I started to feel like the place I was in, that particular spot surrounded by those mountains and the sun sparkling off of the water was another planet, or I had woken up within my own mind, or rather my subconscious mind woke up in the physical world, i.e., was transported there, like it no longer was constrained to the inside of my own head and was born outside of it, experiencing life on the outside for the first time ever (hence the part of physically feeling completely like a newborn baby).
- The place we were in was real and not real, it was the physical world as we know it and it was the ‘other’ world, not an in between but a meeting place where both inner and outer exist.
- I began to truly realize who I was and what my ‘purpose’ was, while being conscious of the fact that there is no such thing as purpose, while realizing that my own collection of particles that make me up has access to this other world if it wants, but it could live out its physical life without needing to explore this access.
- Essentially I realized that my body/mind is literally a channel for the well of emotion that just exists somewhere as a massive chaotic soup, and while everyone channels this in some ways, some people have a much easier way, and a strong desire for letting this emotional energy channel through them and into our physical world, like opening a door and letting it pour out.
- But being a ‘channel’ is extremely vulnerable and draining, and if it exists in its compete self as I felt it, then it’s essentially an immobile baby that can’t move or fend for itself because the energy it’s letting out from one world into another is flowing through its physical body so powerfully and profoundly that it debilitates it completely. Which is where N came in.
- When I started to realize that I was a channel, my role in the universe, that my subconscious has been transported into the outside physical world and taken the emotional energy into the physical world with it as well, that I tapped into it, is when I looked at N and realized that he was my arc angel, the protector, that was his role in the universe. And I felt like I understood him completely as a person and why his personality is the way it is, because he is there to protect the channel or subconscious, who is essentially a baby when let out completely, from the physical world killing it, that he exists to let it just be, there existing, creating a radius around it, I just didn’t really know or think about what exactly it needed protection from (people’s egos? Judgements? Misunderstandings?). I as the baby however, felt so extremely safe in the angel’s presence, that when N went into the forest or disappeared from my view I would panic, feel extreme sorrow and loneliness. I thought that he is the only one that understands the channel so purely, is there to keep it alive and make sure it can do its job.
- And after realizing this, that the angel exists in this meeting place so fully all the time, while the channel is only there completely while on powerful psychedelics, or partially in hyper vivid lucid dreams (because like drugs, the sleeping body gives access to the entire emotional subconscious while essentially being debilitated from physically being able to function), then I am the angel’s protector in the physical world, to protect it from complicated systems of our human physical world so that it can continue to exist fully in the meeting place. And after this profound epiphany, every time I the channel, but also as N the sister, looked at the protector, also N the twin brother, I could tell that he knew that I finally discovered the meeting place and who I am (the channel), as if he was waiting patiently for me to discover it for a long time, was always quiet about it, just waiting until I got there when I was ready to get there.
- And at that point we both ‘knew’ that this place existed and these roles existed, without us saying it, it felt like a secret. And it made me so profoundly sad, real deep sorrow, because I knew that there was no going back now. I knew S wasn’t there with us, she was still only in the physical world, that also made me sad, but also think that her role is probably a sort of mother, keeper of the physical world of sorts.
- I then thought that [Actress 2] 100% knows that this place exists, and that [name] has the capacity for discovering this place too, that she’s also probably a channel, but doesn’t know it or about the place yet, and I wondered who else in the world probably knows it. But above all there was an absoluteness to it all, that there is no going back into the physical world and forgetting or ignoring that this other one, this ‘lens’, also exists and I am privy to it, and that it took me a long long time, and wild horrible experiences in the physical world to slowly make me realize that this one existed.
- I also felt like this has finally helped me see exactly what my dream analysis theory actually is, it felt so so clear whereas before it was hazy and there were never the right words to grasp at what exactly dreams are, what they’re for and how they relate to the subconscious vs. conscious mind, and by extension, what the ‘collective subconscious’ looks like and feels like.
- Some people, or collection of particles that are alive, are channels that act as gateways for the subconscious, from inner to outer, others are there to protect the channels and by extension the vulnerable subconscious, and when the sun was going down and I didn’t feel like I was exploding anymore, I thought there are probably other types of roles that exist, and that everyone can actually be all of the roles depending on the circumstances and timing of themselves and the people around them at any given point in the physical world.
- I started wondering who’s angel in the meeting place I could be, and realized with a powerful feeling of epiphany that I’m S’s younger brother’s arc angel. I had always felt like I understood him so completely, where his rage is coming from, why he is aggressive, insecure, naive and still just a boy, and I felt very protective of him, as if he was my own brother.
- And then I thought about what this means for my role in the physical world now, that this whole time I was trying to communicate this meeting place through writing/film/photography/science without realizing it or realizing fully that it actually exists, and that I don’t want to ever preach this place to anyone, and that most of the people in the world will never get here and that’s okay.
- Thought about how this could help explain/understand quantum theory.
- I also realized that if I have just been born as a completely helpless baby in the meeting place, being inundated with sensation and experiences for the first time, what happens if the baby starts growing in the meeting place, learning how to speak and move? What will it discover? What about animals, and plants, how does their subconscious show up in the meeting place and how do we experience it, can we meet an animal here and they acknowledge us too? Is this what monks and shamans do?
- And finally, again, the feeling that stayed with me most is the ‘knowing’ that this place exists, that I have access to this place that is really difficult to get to because our subconscious is layered with walls when we’re kids (i.e. ego), that it can only be a secret until others discover it, i.e., there’s no way to talk about it in the physical world without people thinking you’re crazy, it’s not something to explain anyway, and that when I returned to the physical world all of this might actually be a narrative my mind has woven together to explain the experience, based on my own conditioning, but also equally feeling like it’s not a fictional narrative at all.
It took me a solid week to feel back to normal, during which I didn’t think I’d be able to go back to ‘normal’ ever again. The next day I was a afraid of whether I’d be able to function normally in society again, or as how people knew me. I felt removed and was in a limbo state. felt like I had to relearn societal norms. I had a really hard time with math and counting change at the corner store. I couldn’t remember what numbers were used for. I couldn’t sleep normally for the next few days either, and wanting to cry spontaneously occurred throughout the week after, especially when thinking about the spiritual part of the experience. Even in writing this report a month later it still makes me emotional.
What took me by surprise most is how disconnected and distant I felt from everyone and everything around me following the trip; this lasted intensely for a few days. I thought that perhaps I’d be able to connect to my emotions much more easily after the experience but it was actually the other way around, I found I had to almost relearn how to feel for and with others. I’m a hyper empathetic person so this frightened me as well.
After a couple of weeks I was waiting for a profound transformation to happen, or some kind of life-changing effect to settle in like other people’s experiences that I’ve heard, but none of it came
I was waiting for a profound transformation to happen, or some kind of life-changing effect to settle in like other people’s experiences that I’ve heard, but none of it came
. Maybe it will in a month or a year, or not at all. I still don’t quite know what to do with the experience other than to let it be, for now. It had a tonne of very vivid symbology that really took me for surprise as I’m not into symbols or zodiacs or religious nuances.
I really, vividly began seeing and experiencing everything as a transfer of energy - our thoughts feeding into emotions that feed the people we interact with, with our environments, and how this energy is given back to us by people, environments, thoughts, etc.
Three months later:
After some time has passed, I finally can feel what the trip did for me. It wasn’t an erasing of empathy but quite the opposite. What this mushroom trip ultimately gave me is a healthy disconnection from people (their judgments, the insecurities they triggered in me), but a much deeper, more profound connection to humanity.
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