Citation: PostWavePodcast. "Forced to Face Fundamental Nature of Existence: An Experience with LSD (exp114774)". Erowid.org. Sep 23, 2020. erowid.org/exp/114774
||(edible / food)
My first acid trip was a jarring and sobering experience that recontextualized my view of reality. Its attitude could be summed up as, "You think you want to understand existence, huh? Think you want to exist? Well HERE. HERE IT IS. This is the fundamental nature of existence in this world. This is your life, right now. What are you gonna do about it?"
A thought I was toying with long before the trip:
Consciousness isn't the material particles here in the physical world, it is the thought which is represented in that moment of space. When there is a thought to perceive it as something meaningful, that thought inherently causes that meaning to exist. It is the junction between the physical and the conceptual world that is our existence. The conceptual world is what people in different cultures refer to as things like the spirit world, nirvana, or god.
Late morning, I and several friends ingest 1 standard dose of LSD in the form of a sour candy. I hold the candy under my tongue for a few minutes, moving it from side to side before swallowing. I had not planned to do acid until my friend Michael offered me a tab moments prior, nor had I any idea of what the experience would be like.
I had not planned to do acid until my friend Michael offered me a tab moments prior, nor had I any idea of what the experience would be like.
After about 1 hour, we all go on a walk. It's cold and there's snow and ice on the ground. I am experiencing no effects other than warmness in my chest, and begin to feel disappointed. I begin to notice that my thoughts are somewhat unusual. We step on a thin sheet of ice on the pavement and I have the strange realization that 'this ice is like my social interactions: I act like I'm afraid the ice goes all the way down, but really it's just a thin sheet over the firm concrete.' The realization comes as a physical sensation that I am unable to understand or put into words. We continue to walk for about another hour.
Sitting on the couch, my entire existence becomes the singular point of perceiving, being in this moment. There is no further knowledge of the passage of time and the details in my vision are reduced to the singular perception that I am here right now. This idea, this perception, is very completely and very definitely real. This is a fundamental truth; I perceive therefore I exist. It is entirely distinct from the physical world, as it is simply a thought, but it exists as a thought. The fundamental truth of my existence persists unwaveringly throughout the entire night and the next day, as I write this, it has not gone away. By its very nature, its desire to exist, I do not expect that it will ever leave, though it may become partially obscured by the slow return of my normal cycles of thought.
Over by the counter where people are talking animatedly, more thoughts become present. Everything everyone says is reduced to the simple truth implied by those words, and that truth is "I want to connect with you". I then become aware that this thought is being expressed because that person is embodying the perception that they have the desire to exist; to continue perceiving. The truths of wanting to exist and wanting to connect coalesce onto a single point of perception, and enmesh with each other. I envision this as a band of color in closed eye visuals, as if part of a spectrum shining amid darkness. I embody this point of thought as well as other such coalitions of perceptions, which I perceive as different colors along a spectrum. Many thoughts coalesce and weave into different frequencies, overlaid upon the solitary point of my existence. One definitive coalition of thought that arises is that to maintain our desire to exist, we must grow. In the moment, right now, the opportunity to grow is to connect with these other people; these other existences that share the desire to exist. I am aware that because they have a desire to exist, they have a desire to grow and to connect with me. I find myself actively attempting to contribute to the conversation, applying great effort to attempt to connect. Cooking spaghetti with Portabella mushrooms, Ryan says, "mushrooms are weird." I say, "Yes, they are. Ryan says, "I like them." I say, "I don't really like them". The coalition of the desire to exist and connect induces an intense curiosity for trying to figure out what our combined existence is; this great mystery of what this world and our existence is.
It becomes obvious that now that I have realized it, the meaning of life is to grow as much as possible. As we experience, we experiment with perceiving different combinations of thoughts. Some combinations inherently lead to spinning cycles of thought; self sufficient bands of existence that press forward their will to exist despite any competing thoughts. These self sufficient cycles result in a beautiful array of spectrum, which presents itself over and around the person (in my mind's eye, not in my actual vision). This array represents the entirety of the person's expression, and is their soul. Some people choose to experiment more freely than others, and their souls contain lots of self-sufficient cycles. This results in a larger and more beautiful aura, but the lack of care with which the cycles were constructed causes them to be potentially harmful to delicate, less assertive thoughts. Because of the nature of growth, one very important goal is to create an environment in which as much thought can exist as possible. Another important goal is to maintain one's perception of existence, so that they may induce change with intent. The coalition of the desire for permeation of as much thought as possible and the desire to exist is the perfect junction at which to grow. However, some if not all people are unsure about their desire to exist. This causes them to either hold back and not express as much as they might, or to create self sufficient patterns with gross negligence as to the damages they might cause. If someone is generating self sufficient patterns with gross negligence, it might be because they have internalized a partial desire to not exist. This may represent itself in a person as sadism or abuse.
In the real world, Michael shows these attributes by playing gleefully with a blow torch. Just as the talking earlier exemplified a desire to connect, his playing with the blow torch blatantly exemplifies his desire to impose destruction on the world. The combination of the beautiful patterns caused by the desire to grow and the diminution thereof caused by his negligence to the physical world results in the spectrum that is Michael, embodying goodness and greatness as well as amounts of lethargy and hatred. I quickly find myself being affronted by his experimentations as well as those of others, as I am less willing to impose destruction on the world (because doing so would make me less than what I could be). I continue to try to connect and to share the experiences with others, but it becomes rapidly difficult to do so, as I must invest more effort to assert my will among the cycles of thought cast out by others. I embody the thought that because I am unable to connect with others, they are unwilling to interact with me. The fallibility that is this imperfect world forces us to impose our will upon other thoughts, causing them to die. I continue to try to force my will on the thoughts of others so that I may connect, but the increasing difficulty forces me to become more and more disconnected. I am forced to face the question that if I want to grow to my full potential, I must use more effort to impose my will on the world.
Out of a hidden thought that I need to protect myself during this acid trip, I remember that I have a profound duty to protect the integrity of the structure of my molecules in the physical world. Therefore, I do not consider becoming any more negligent than I can possibly avoid while still maintaining the perception of existence. I am forced to face the reality that I must continue to assert my will with as much fervency as I can muster. However, I realize that I can't reach my full potential as I am right now. I need to love myself better, and allow myself necessary indulgences such as sleep. I am faced with the conundrum that in this imperfect world I am not ready; I am not complete. Even so, I feel the intense need to press forward and grow from this experience of now as much as I possibly can. As the evening progresses and I am continually faced with the harsh reality of this imperfect world, my intense desire to live gives way to a feeling of "I really don't know if I want to keep going or what I want out of life. I mean, I guess I should keep going. It wouldn't really be fair to the rest of existence if I stopped". By the next day, this thought has turned into "I don't know what I'm doing and I'm not ready to answer the question of "do I want to experience life?", but I'll keep going and maybe I'll find the right answer later, once I've learned to love myself".
During the whole evening, I look at people and am faced with the fundamental truth that they are sharing this experience with me, and have somewhere within them the desire to grow. This truth is so blatantly obvious that I feel unable to express it to them, for fear of looking stupid and therefore causing them to think that there is no value to connecting with me. I try to communicate my desire to connect by asking things like "how are you feeling?" This leads to only moderate success. At times I say something without enough intent or don't say anything at all, and it does not lead to the connection I desire. This feels terrible, as it forces me to face the truth that right now, I am not good enough to connect with that person. Each time I fail to connect, I experience my unworthy being die, to be replaced in the next moment by a different being. Even so, I press onward, experiencing the moment and learning from my mistakes. Throughout the evening as people say things, I am so entrenched in the thought that we are sharing these experiences that every time someone says something, I interpret it as meaning something about the profound nature of existence. This causes several awkward interactions, where someone will say something about some mundane or unrelated topic, which I interpret to be a commentary on the miracle of our existence
someone will say something about some mundane or unrelated topic, which I interpret to be a commentary on the miracle of our existence
. Ryan says to Michael, “...it isn’t the same as it was last time.” I cut in, “If you’re saying what I think you’re saying, then YES.”
Throughout the night, I try to force myself onto a path of loving myself, with what feels like partial success. Even as I force myself to press onward and continue to experience life, I continually remind myself that I've done enough growth for the night and should give myself a break. These conflicting forces cause a very uncomfortable sensation in which I feel just barely grounded, while simultaneously like I should press forward but each time I do, part of me dies.
The day after, I feel like I have a level of control over myself that I never have before. I am able to directly apply my mind to solving particular tasks, and I feel that I am present in a given moment with definitive certainty.
I don't know what the f*ck I'm doing right now, but I know I should give it a shot. F*ck. Life.
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