Mushrooms - P. mexicana (sclerotia)
Citation: bongd81. "Depth and Intensity of It Took Me by Surprise: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. mexicana (sclerotia) (exp114653)". Erowid.org. Aug 20, 2020. erowid.org/exp/114653
First Psychedelic Breakthrough
BACKGROUND: This report is about my first real psychedelic journey which also proved to be one of my most profound and altering events in my life to this day. I had hardly any experience with drugs besides alcohol, but my interest and research regarding psychoactive plants and substances, ethnopharmacology and drug culture was in full bloom; this was my psychedelic springtime so to speak. I took extensive notes the days after the trip had happened and also expanded them with thoughts/interpretations about one year later, because it took me a very long time to make sense of this incident let alone integrate it. As I am writing this account now I again added bits to it according to my current knowledge, so please bear in mind that I frankly had not much of a clue about it all as it happened. I also didn't actually 'think' all this during the trip; it's me trying to convey/describing it now. The depth and intensity of it really took me by surprise, so I would like to invite you to imagine the excitement and naivete of an unexperienced person in such a situation, which might render this report more comprehensible.
DOSIS: The only delinquent in this endeavor were 13,6g of fresh truffles, psilocybe mexicana A or so called "philosopher stones". Beforehand, I had tested a tiny amount of the same batch to check for allergic reactions, then tried about 6g of it to perhaps get a glimpse of what it's going to be like, but that wasn't the case at all. The final dose I took seems small and I have since then taken triple that amount, but without coming close to this kind of experience I had back then. I can't really tell what caused that profound effect, but they (the truffles) went to work on me, that's for sure! I did not take any medicine, other substances, not even coffee or much food that day, had no tolerance to anything; my system was pristine.
SET: I was pretty excited (in a positive way) and eager to know, to finally find out myself. I have read quite a few trip reports and was plain fascinated, but I had no clue how all this could be possible. Especially the potential visual component of trips was puzzling to me. While I was decently informed about my enterprise, I was also completely open, childlike, with a "beginner's mind" as they say in Buddhism because I had no reference point, nothing to compare to but words and therefore no expectation. I also was determined and reasonably at peace with taking the risks that might be involved in this e.g. 'going crazy' etc.
SETTING: It was mid to late summer, I had vacation from my studies and no duties for a whole week. I was alone (no sitter), had a house with a secluded garden for myself and minimized the possibility of encounters with other people as much as I could beforehand. Nature was lush and green, bursting with all kinds of fruits and flowers. Stable weather with clear air, blue sky with fluffy white clouds and lots of sunshine, 28-30 degree celcius. This alone made me pretty happy. I had my mp3 player charged and ready (with minimal electronic music but also calm stuff with vocals and some classical pieces), sunglasses, bare feet, bottle with drinking water, that was it.
T+0:00 So I ate the truffles at once at around 10:30 a.m. On an empty stomach and a piece of dark chocolate afterwards. They had quite a strong taste, earthy and metallic. I am not going to lie, there was nervousness too cause I knew, once this stuff is in me there is no turning back. I started out inside, reclined on my bed looking at the wooden ceiling, no music yet, just observing, trying to notice any changes of whatever kind. One can't wait for something one doesn't know! So it was sort of a natural meditation (without me knowing it) one could say.
T+0:30-0:45 Although it came on gradually, I was surprised how strong this novel physical sensations in me got.
T+0:30-0:45 Although it came on gradually, I was surprised how strong this novel physical sensations in me got.
Massive amounts of energy seemed to surge through my body, almost restless, building themselves up in waves which didn't feel unpleasant at all. My breath got really deep but not accelerated as I noticed the former parallel edges of the wooden ceiling slightly bending back and forth. My curiosity and excitement was almost killing me at that point so I decided to wander into the garden where the rest of the trip should take place; my last real 'decision' for the next hours. Walking was no problem at all, coordination wise, but I had more the feeling that I was floating, without effort, as if these strange energies in me were canceling out some of my body weight.
I sat down on some steps to the avenue of the garden. This change in scenery kicked things off in a rapid and radical way. My auditory perception was already noticable altered: as if every sound emanated right in front of me. The twittering from birds on distant trees and the humming of small insects close by had in and odd way the exact same volume and importance to me. My visual sense had also become razor-sharp; colors, edges, movement of branches and bugs, the most diminutive details (almost like I had microscopic vision) streamed into my mind without any strain, as if my cognitive bandwidth had no limits. I was hyper-aware, but this altered perception rendered my surroundings more and more surreal for me, especially the acoustic made the expansive garden feel like a small room. I plugged in my ear buds, turned on music which immediately lifted me up in ways I didn't knew were possible. A piece/song lasted forever! The details and time dilation reached a magnitude I only ever experienced with high doses of cannabis again. My blood seemed to withdraw from my extremities and they began to tremble slightly, but given the strong overall changes in perception of myself and the world, I considered this as reasonable.
T+1:10 I began to notice that larger flat surfaces, like the wall of the house, the lawn and hedge started to expand and shrink. I think 'breathing' is an apt and sometimes used analogy. My intellect was trying to keep up with these events, but it became increasingly harder to categorize or even dismiss this as nonsensical mental noise induced by some drug. There was something organic and intelligent about it; this phenomenon was really restricted to these larger flat areas, it was selective and became cumulatively more spacious and animated. As soon as I recognized that the 'breath' of the lawn was far from random and was actually syncronizing itself with my own, my logical faculties started to bail out. I couldn't believe it, so I put it to the test: I took a deep breath and held it in. Seeing the grass doing the same, I began questioning a lot of things including my sanity! "How is this possible?", I asked my self repeatedly. It was perplexing, but only a taste of what was about to come.
Incrementally but surely, the environment became real alien to me; the feel of ordinary reality was about to be reduced to a memory. The power, momentum and inevitability of this progression was very humbling and at the same time exhilarating.
I started to perceive a transparent layer hovering about 35 centimeters above the grass. The way it rendered itself visible was analogous to a clear liquid, which is undetectable in a glass container but becomes apparent when light gets refracted by its open surface. This thin plane developed to a geometric selftransforming web, spread out all over the lawn which 'green-ness' had, at that point, little in common with what we ordinary associate with the label green. It was a stunning, never seen before, otherworldly hyper-green; words really start to fail here. It was mesmerizing. Soon this layer gained in depth, became three-dimensional and was growing and coming closer to the grass. It turned itself more and more into an transparent fractal landscape, with mountain ridges and valleys, breaking the light reflected by the lawn and was transforming and rejuvenating itself exactly at that point where I focused my gaze. And it did so in an instant without discontinuity.
At this stage my saliva was more like goo than liquid and I still had the metallic after taste of the truffles. I'm not sure, but maybe because my mouth was standing open for long stretches at a time without swallowing, due to my childlike astonishment. It was good thing that I had polarizing sunglasses on, because I also was staring uncompromisingly at what was presented to me in bright daylight.
Subsequently this clear fractal topography expanded to the point where it actually merged with the lawn, it was oozing into it and at the same time forking it up according to its ever-changing patterns. The grass converted into an animate mass with liquid qualities and its waves and ripples followed exactly this lucent alteration-driving film that was still above and in it. There were also clusters of small blue flowers (Ajuga reptans) scattered across the meadow. As I looked at some of them, it felt like they were so happy that they finally got my attention and were saying "watch what we can do!". In a split second, these little dot-like flowers distributed themselves all over the lawn in a regular fashion that was again accordant with the overall morphing pattern of the scene. When I turned my head, they instantly sort of deleted themselves with a circular wave only to explosively spread out and participate again when in focus. It was mind-bending! The aliveness, effortlessness and unfathomable complexity with which my environment behaved and renewed itself left me without a doubt, that: "This is not originating from me. There is simply no way!" This was hands down the most astonishing and awe inspiring sight of my life to that day, but it was still more than that. Although it had a geometric and fractal character, it also was imbued with a kind of organic, radiant beauty and perfection only nature has. It was a delight to be immersed in all of this, but frankly, there probably wasn't any way to escape it either.
Subjectively this went on for a long time and even a change in location (I placed myself right in the middle of the meadow) did not abort or even dampen what was happening. At some point this physical energy that was with me since the beginning started to increase drastically and not in a linear manner, but again in waves. Accompanied by this were spontaneous and radical shifts in my visual perception, as sudden as someone flicking a switch of some sort: on, and then off after some time. Within the 'on' phase, my complete field of view became two-dimensional! But not like looking at a painting where there is still a viewpoint and one can move closer or further away. There was simply no third dimension left, no perspective, no observer, just a lively garden in 2D. This was as fierce as perplexing. I'm not sure if walking would have been possible at that moments (because I didn't try to). In the 'off' phase there again was a garden in 3D with vigorous soaring fractal lawn-waves sprinkled with autonomous blue flowers that on occasion could spread like geometric wildfire, all saturated with an transparent but tangible mysterious medium around me on the ground.
As astonishing and appealing this was, I also started to worry if I was on the verge of completely losing my grip on what was left of reality. Simultaneously these surges of physical energy built up to a degree of intensity that began to concern me as well; and also because they started to abruptly discharge themselves at their peaks, in a way I imagine a lightning strike would feel like. And their culminative energy seemed to increase steady. Although I don't recall any bodily discomfort or pain, the sheer power and intensity in my nervous system was off the charts and felt borderline. I discovered that I could disrupt the buildup of these waves by moving a little or averting my gaze, which I consequently did. It was the only 'intervention' on my part throughout the trip and happily enough, this didn't deflect the positive trajectory of it at all and I didn't fall victim to anxiety (probably due to my naive and virgin approach). But to this day, I wonder about what would have happened, if I had (been able to) let go in this moments of exceptionally high energy/intensity. Also, what would my perception have been if I had closed my eyes? This didn't even cross my mind, because I was almost hypnotized by my view.
T+3:00 The next phase, the middle part of the expierence, was more emotional, insight-toned and I think the word spiritual is not misplaced here. Although I doubt there weren't any visual alterations present, because the end of the trip was again influenced by them, I don't recall much of it due to the massive introspective impact it had on me. I also turned off my music at some point there.
The beginning of this was a bit paradoxical. I was kneeling in the middle of the lawn (the dimension switching and the energy bursts had subsided), bend over and the sheer joy and bliss about the novelty, unlikeliness and otherworldliness of what happend so far was hard to bear. At the same time, a kind of desperation welled up in me (maybe an attempt of my mind to rationalize things): "Why was I granted this magnificent experience? Who or what could I thank for this grace, this gift?" and other questions like that. I had no answers. Tears were literally streaming down my face, snot, ..it was messy! This fruitless and (mentally) not pain-free grasping of my mind finally imploded on itself and left me 'shut up' inside. Not sure if it's fair to say, but my intellect kind of went over the edge at that moment; and left this tangible but borderless stillness behind, which I knew nothing about at this age.
As I changed my location a bit (was sitting next to a small Rhus typhina tree and a currant bush), my attention was diverted to nature again and things got shockingly deep. Thoughtless contemplating my surroundings, I glimpsed that behind all this, the surface of things we so often simplify and only validate within the confines of our own benefits, operates a vast intelligence. The way the vegetation moved in the breeze, how some plants followed the sun and others didn't, the transformation of energy, the exchange of gas, the stream of liquids coming from the earth through the roots, the branches into the leaves and flowers and fruits, ..I could "see" it. The soil, the trees, the insects all over them (including me), the songs of the birds, the traveling clouds in the sky, the transfer of information everywhere, life everywhere; there seemed to be an organizing force or principle behind it! It was as if the self-similar character inherent in nature was willing to show itself, revealing the same patterns in everything. I was granted to recognize the grand scheme in tiny things and vice versa.
Somehow I came to understand that "there is nothing but change". And what we call death is a natural and vital part of it. "I too WILL perish!" This was the first time in my life I was confronted with the certainty of my mortality without my ego's upheaval. I'm not referring to this kind of sorrow or weltschmerz after an alcohol-induced philosophical conversation, but a deep-rooted fundamental fear and resistance that is present in every waking second I spend with this subliminal assumption of an autonomous enduring self. I was completly able to accept things as they were. The sense of relief and existential peace that came over me is beyond words! I found: "There is nothing to lose, but much to contribute." Despite coming to terms with my essential unimportance and nothingness, being outside in nature and genuinely feeling the interconnectedness with everything sparked a new wave of inspiration, wonder and true awe. It didn't matter that I was a mere dust particle compared to the expansion of the cosmos. In that moments, I knew to my bone marrow that the universe is not the same without me (whatever I am) and that I am not me without everything else. The comfort and bliss that came with this realization was unknown to me, but unlike before on the lawn, I now was able to handle all of it in utter silence; it was just streaming through me, there was no limit to it! If I came to know that I would be dead within a minute, I would have been ok with it, at peace. Certainly one of the most profound and beautiful experiences of my life, to this day.
I wondered a bit further into the garden and came upon compost piles out of which humongous sunflowers were growing. At least three meters in height, right into the blue sky. Amazed by the scenery, it was there where I first noticed it; it felt like an unknown, novel dimension has been added to my consciousness. It permeated everything, it was omnipresent. To be frank, I had no clue about what that was at the time. Looking back, I was slipping into a natural and effortless meditative state that increased in depth. I was literally nailed into the moment. There was not even a chance of going off into the past/future or self assuring thought patterns or any of these mind made artifacts. I was experiencing true timelessness! The complete lack of mental noise (when one stops all measurement and comparison, the construct and perception of time vanishes) left nothing but the eternity of the present moment behind, which then soft of 'opened up' and became immensely spacious and palpable.
Meditators may know what I mean. Sitting on the ground, I became physically and mentally very very still. As if I was immovable, indisturbable, static, solid like a rock while I was entering into some kind of 'psychedelic samadhi', for lack of a better word. Strangly enough, my eyes where open the whole time, I was aware of my surroundings but remained one-pointed. What sounds like a claustrophobic state to be in was in fact enourmously pleasurable, but hard to convey. It had an euphoric quality to it like I had discovered or was in the presence of something of immense value, and at the same time it felt secure, like finally being at home. The coming and going of the natural world was observed, but from a place that simultaneously saturates and transcends all of it, it seemed. It also had something indestructible. Very peculiar, and after a felt eternity (literally), this state somehow shook lose and my mental faculties gradually came back online again, which then lead to the last part of the trip, the comedown.
T+5:30 I was anew sitting on the steps located at the entrance to the garden with a view of the lawn and a wide variety of flowers enframing it. It was past 4:00 p.m. (I had plugged my earbuds back in and was carried by calm music) and the sunrays were flooding in more shallow and bathed everything in a golden friendly light. My cacti and succulents in a hot corner of the house definitely loved it, I was able to sense it. The warmth on my skin and the feeling of my bare feet on the earth felt soothing and grounding.
At this point, I still experienced remarkable visuals which could be described as 'morphing', but not as a steady pattern, more in an erratic way that seemed to animate nature all around me. Most trips I had in the following 10+ years did not reach this level of visual alteration even at their peaks
Most trips I had in the following 10+ years did not reach this level of visual alteration even at their peaks
, but on that day this was just the comedown. It was as though the flowers on the edge were sitting in an arena in rows, bending and twisting to this side then to the other like they were gesticulating and talking to each other. Some objects became huge, others tiny, but always in a smooth organic way that didn't seem to violate physical laws; in other words: "It felt absolutely real." My mind was still blown by amazement by how all this is even possible, despite the fact that it was actually happening to me right in that particular moment.
It was miraculous, but I also got quite emotional. I was filled with a strong sense of gratitude, that both my feet were on the ground again (figuratively speaking) and no apparent harm had occured and even that there IS such a place 'to come back to', a somewhat stable looking baseline reality that we humans inhabit and share. And yet there it is now, this knowledge of the existence of these other realms, these radical different approaches to meet or to be with 'reality', whatever that exactly means. I was thankful that I have been allowed to experience such a profound connection with the universe, to have glimpsed what it's like to lose or loosen up ones selfhood, when fear completely drops away and to have entered the eternal present, although only for a short period (careful, paradox here!). I felt very in tune with nature, which induced the sensation of being cared for, secure, at ease and honored to be a part of something so marvelous and vast. I was somewhat functional again but I must have been sitting there for at least one and a half hours, watching the sun go down and the morphing diminish. Frankly, I also was exhausted too; the 'distance' of this journey was too great for me to be able to wrap my head around it yet. I fuelled my body, took care of minor things and went to sleep at night (which was not difficult), still delighted and with a lot of newfound questions, but at the same time pretty satisfied. So the trip lasted for almost 7 hours, but a warm glow inside me carried over well into the next day. I didn't mind at all!
CONCLUSIONS: I decided to abstain from far reaching conclusions here and leave it up to the reader of this report, to make of it what seems appropriate or useful. Sharing an account of this intimate and transformative occasion, even though words are not the most able means to do so, appears important and worthwhile to me. If only one person finds it interesting, or helpful to make more informed decisions or prevent/reduce harm, it has done its job.
Even if I would reject all the specific content of this experience, there is still one incisive undeniable insight left: The fact that such altered states of consciousness are possible! I can't speak for other people, but for me it was certainly essential to undergo all this first hand to be able to take it seriously. I think I would not have arrived there by mere reading, reasoning and speculation.
Overall it was a remarkable and prolific adventure. It has surely not decreased my interest in psychedelics, but I regard this as neutral. What could be seen as a negative effect was that I had nobody to share my thoughts and many questions with back in the day, which made me feel alienated and (even more) different at times. Obtaining the truffles was accompanied by a bit of worry (to get caught) as well, but once I had them the rebellious and explorative spirit got the upper hand again. If nothing else, this event showed me a human potential, a door I didn't know was there, and it also left it a chink wide open.
I wish you well, be safe.
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