Citation: Jaihmiri. "The Merciless Quest for Realness: An Experience with LSD & Meditation (exp115124)". Erowid.org. Feb 6, 2021. erowid.org/exp/115124
The intention of the journey was to explore the healing benefits of LSD combined with Yoga. I was also curious to see how meditation and LSD would work together – if there was room for it after LSD + Yoga had been explored I would be curious to try it. The ceremonial grade cacao was meant to help with physical energy (for yoga) and the empathic warmth seemed like a positive addition. The mindset was one of open curiosity and yet determination to explore the healing properties of these techniques under LSD.
The investigation of Yoga + LSD was done together with a friend and successful, but I will describe it another time somewhere else. In the evening my friend left. I had some food and returned to the room where we had done Yoga (this is around 7 hours into the experience). I felt I wasn’t done with my work but was unsure what was to come next. Part of me had wanted to explore meditation, and I felt drawn to it now.
I sat down. First played soft music over speakers, then switched it off. Tried to sit cross-legged, but my legs hurt, so I changed position over and over. Tried to settle in, felt like I needed to go to the bathroom, left and came back. Tried to meditate without music, but it didn’t feel right.
I was clearly avoiding something. I didn’t know what it was, but something made me quite apprehensive, and I just couldn’t manage to sit still and let it come.
This went on for something like 15-30 minutes until I managed to pull myself together. I put on the meditation timer for 30 minutes, sat down cross-legged and vowed to see what was to come, to sit here no matter if anything happened or nothing would.
It took a couple of minutes where nothing at all was happening. I was following my breath and softly paying attention to the “white noise” that I hear when everything is very quiet.
After a few minutes, there was some sadness, some tears and the realization that maybe I was avoiding and running from the fact that today’s dosage had been too low for meditation and there was nothing that was going to happen anymore today. It felt good to feel the sadness and to come to terms with it. But soon it would become apparent that I couldn’t have been more wrong.
My mind had moved at this point to a kind of focused place of non-attachment and surrender. The best image that describes it is a mountain: Steady and strong it stands, unmoved by anything that is brought before its eyes and into its experience. I was undoubtedly influenced by the report I had read (https://www.erowid.org/experiences/exp.php?ID=25635) which reminded me of the books I had read by Jed McKenna. And here I was to explore myself. Interestingly, the non-attachment and the focused surrender to anything there was came relatively naturally. Once I settled into it, it was possible to maintain the mindset even while adjusting sitting posture or putting on a new meditation timer every now and then.
At some point, ever so vaguely, images started to appear before my eyes. They were somewhat black-white and only on the edge of being visible, but their meaning was clear. They were images of a future of mine that could come to pass. I saw myself with a partner in a loving relationship (which I had always wished for). I sat there, watching the image, insisting on staying unmoved. I was alone in the room, so I had the freedom to speak aloud:
“I don’t require you. What’s next?”
I used the phrase “what’s next” that felt just perfect and that was used in the report mentioned above. The phrase “I don’t require you” contained the meaning “no matter if you are my future or not, I refuse to attach to you and ask you to come to live. I am willing to take the future as it is. I stay in surrender, I stay in non-attachment.”
The image passed, being uncovered as an illusion. Another image appeared. Me with a wife, with kids, having a family, leading a loving life. I stayed unmoved. “I don’t require you. What’s next?”
Other images came, piece by piece. One image would cause me shame, made me appear in a hurt, sad way, humiliated, having my dignity taken away. I did not move or react to it. Other images would even be trivial. Some touched upon success in life, some showed me following the footsteps of my parents in life.
The response would ever stay the same.
This went on for quite a while. Until the coming image fundamentally changed, both in its vividness and in what it displayed. What I saw was a gigantic object made of light, somehow resembling a vacuum cleaner, rising up high into a black sky. In it, there was an innumerable amount of pictures, or better, life scenes – these life scenes were the perceptions of every human being that had ever lived, every single perception that had ever been perceived in the eternity of time, all collected within this gigantic machine.
But there was a horror in this image. This gigantic vacuum cleaner simply had the function of collecting all this information, and what was it for? It became clear that all of humanity was simply a simulation. Data was being gathered by this machine which some entities that can best be described as Aliens had created. Humanity was a simulation of insane complexity. And the whole project was a … hobby some entity had loosely engaged in for a short period of time. Because they didn’t know what better to do and wanted to pass some time. It was a side project that was running by itself somewhere. An entity went by every couple of weeks to look what the simulation was doing and if anything could be done with this gathered data. No more or less importance to it.
Thinking of all the tragic, trauma, horrors and sufferings of life in such a bleak, non-caring way readily could have evoked emotions of anger, injustice, insignificance and wanting things to be different. It was a tough, tough image to be presented with.
Yet very soon a realization occurred that would exceed the horrors of the previous image: That this image presented, while clearly seeming to be on a higher level of reality, could very well in itself be another layer of illusion, not truly existent, no reality.
(This may be hard to understand, but the prospect of humanity, everything, existence, this (me) not having a foundation in reality was so much more terrifying to think.)
But it indeed seemed this next image I had perceived had also no realness to it. I regained inner posture. I looked at the image, looked at the aliens, the collector machine, images of humanity infinitely compressed and collected in there.
“You do not have foundation in reality either, and if there is no realness to you I refuse to accept you. I don’t require you. What’s next?”
The image and the illusion of it had been seen through. It took a bit until the next image appeared which was a golden-red helix-cascade rainbow of love. Love being expressed in all colors of the rainbow, not only taking the form of love itself how we know it, but all emotions and experiences there are, negative and positive ones, ultimately being love. While the image would have been incredibly beautiful under normal circumstances, I had settled on my inner posture and refused to leave it. “I don’t require you. What’s next?”
It disappeared. Then came what can best be described as the source. Somewhat shaped like a square, not round, but in no way limited like a square would be. Consisting of pure light, as pure as light can be, or rather pure energy. The very purest essence of existence there was, still in its ultimate raw form of pure energy. The essence of the Universe. It couldn’t be traced down to a more ancient, original form. This was the beginning of everything.
It was magnificent. And yet – I saw it and continued. “If you can fall apart, then there is no realness to you, so if you fall apart – what’s next?” I felt there was something to see and to understand here, and I was “determined” (not really, as I was even unattached to anything like determination) to see where it would lead.
The source would disappear. I would be presented with the last thing I would see.
It was the great nothing.
At this point, there was no “I” anymore. What had gone onto this quest had been reduced to perception itself. And perception which had gone onto the quest of finding what is real was now facing the absolute truth.
The absolute truth was nothing. There was nothing that was real. Piece by piece had been taken away. Everything had been taken away. Nothing was left.
Nothing was real. And in facing the nothing, perception was facing the most horrible threat it could encounter:
The fear this instilled was of an otherworldly degree. The sheer fact of non-existence was terrifying beyond words. Perception had sought realness, yet all this search did was strip away everything. The last thing left was perception itself which now stared into the threat of non-existence.
Just like reality had been traced down to its purest essence (if there was one which there was not), so any beautiful ornaments that hide the true character of fear had been stripped away. What stayed was the purest, most absolute form that fear could possibly have, shaking the foundations, the sanity and the core of perception, taking all hope away.
I have to this day never much believed the stories of people “losing their minds on psychedelics”. I figured it’s just people struggling with traumatic memories coming up and not being able to deal with them. But this – seeing this changed my mind. This made all the sense in the world: Being confronted with the threat of non-existence on the purest level would have to drive you mad with fear, anguish and horror.
This enemy could not be overcome. If everything is taken away – if nothing is the only thing there is left – you lost. No fight against this opponent could succeed. Fear of non-existence was the conclusion of this journey. Chances are it would haunt me for the rest of my days.
Yet coming here had not been an accident. I had been led by forces other than myself to this place. There was a reason why I was here. And I refused to let utter fear be the conclusion of the journey to this place. “I refuse to let fear be the conclusion of this, and I refuse to leave here in fear. What is the resolution to this?”
I wrestled with this for what was probably just 10-15 minutes, but considering the degree of fear felt way too long. Perception was still looking at the great nothing. Something needed to happen here – this was leading somewhere. I had read the books by Jed McKenna which had somehow prepared me for this quest for realness. I remembered how he interpreted the tale of Arjuna ultimately giving the signal to fight.
And the resolution came.
Perception had gone on the quest for realness, and perception had come to an attitude of perfect non-attachment: Not accepting anything that was not real. Now perception stood facing the great nothing, knowing that the consequence of stepping into the great nothing was likely being extinguished. And perception regained inner posture. It looked at the great nothing and spoke:
“If you do not have the power to extinguish me, then I will persist. And even if I have nothing else then, I will have perception. If this is what is real it is all that I require.”
“If you have the power to extinguish me, then I am not real.
If I am not real, then I have not been real in the first place.
If I have not been real in the first place, my existence was then an illusion too.
And my search for realness will surrender everything that is not real.
If it then turns out that I seek realness but that I am not real –
Then nothing is lost by me being extinguished.
I surrender myself.”
So it spoke, and the last opponent had been vanquished. Not the opponent of the great nothing – the last opponent to the search for realness was indeed perception itself, its hope for life, its clinging to existence. Yet in this final call it yielded its last attachment – the willingness to exist. It was abandoned. Freedom was found. The threat of non-existence was not anymore.
Anything would be surrendered, even perception and existence itself.
I found myself quite disturbed and unsettled the following day. As in: What in the world is one to do with this kind of experience? Why had I been led here? I was wrestling with it, the sheer insignificance of everything, yet allowed myself to be pulled back into reality somewhat by family life around me.
The day after was though when a resolution emerged. It came in the form of gratitude. A non-specific kind of gratitude that stretched out to the existence of everything, and most of all to perception. The fact that anything was being perceived – and that I was the one perceiving it – was the greatest miracle.
They say we don’t know how valuable something is until we lost it. I had found myself exposed to the threat of existence being lost, and most importantly, perception being threatened to be lost. Knowing how fragile reality is, knowing what an unlikely gift perception is gives incredible value to everything you see, hear, feel, perceive. I found myself marveling at everything, treasuring perception of everything – yet acknowledging within me that none of it might be real, but that it was incredible that perception could perceive it anyway.
And I found myself silently nodding to the great nothing. Remembering that one day, perception may be consumed by it fully, non-existence being complete. Anything non-real to be extinguished, including everything, leaving nothing behind. But if that would be so, realness could be searched. And in the process, everything could be yielded for it. Even the will to live. And thus, the threat of the great nothing could not hold anymore.
I was hesitant in writing up this experience, as I cannot figure out if it’s good for people to know of this perspective on life. It is disturbing for sure. I was exposed to it earlier by reading the books by Jed McKenna. I could never quite figure out if I appreciated having read them or if my life was worse for it.
I guess this report is worth something to those who seek psychedelics for spiritual reasons. And I feel there is some benefit in having had the experience I have had. In my days now, no matter if they be good or bad, I know somewhere in the back of my mind that the seeming existence of life is incredibly precious. Moments of perception are fragile, so fragile, and seeing life after this almost feels like a sacred gift. I suppose it is possible to walk away from this experience with a remaining sensation of fear, and fear only. And I suppose this is also the place where people can lose their minds. For all I know it can go horribly wrong, and I know I had been very, very challenged by what was presented to me. Yet it feels I was able to come full circle, and the persisting sensation that seems to stay with me is gratitude. Gratitude for perception. Gratitude for everything.
So maybe the journey is worth the price.
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid and you agree not to download or analyze the report data without contacting Erowid Center and receiving permission first.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.