Citation: Eric. "There Are No Boundaries: An Experience with Mushrooms (exp22779)". Erowid.org. Nov 19, 2004. erowid.org/exp/22779
I am an undergraduate college student. My first experience with mushrooms was during Spring break of 2003. I ate mushrooms 2 times, 2 days apart. The first session was mild and almost unremarkable; I only include it for sake of completeness. The second was very strong and intense. It was a wonderful and unforgettable experience, which will have a profound effect on the rest of my life.
The decision to eat mushrooms was completely my own, and was due to no external influence. I researched and acquired them without any help. I made sure to keep all other mind-altering substances out of my system while I was on mushrooms, so as to get a pure effect.
Iíll begin with a short description of myself, because I think itís applicable. I am a 21-year old undergraduate student. I am a very solitary and laid-back person. I have been smoking marijuana for years, and have not experimented with many other illegal drugs, though I have heavily researched many of them. I write this about a month after these events took place.
It was Spring break 2003. Three of my friends and I went to Florida, and we decided to go spend a day in Key West. We had an afternoon to spend just hanging around the beautiful, beautiful island. I was super-mellow, and did not have a care in the world. I had brought some mushrooms down there to eat, and I was excited about that.
We went to eat lunch at Sloppy Joeís, which is a wide-open, famous bar. While we were waiting for our food, I slipped into the bathroom and ate about 2.5 grams of dried mushrooms. I liked the taste, and I ate them right out of the bag. My friends were not interested in trying mushrooms, and I did not tell them that I had eaten them. They would not find out until it was all over with. About 30 minutes later, I felt it kick in. The immediate effect was that my head seemed to float about like a basketball in zero-gravity. I would give it the slightest nudge, and it would float all the way from one shoulder to the next. I had done plenty of research on mushrooms, and I was excited, because I knew that the best was yet to come.
Several minutes later, I began to feel nervous. I wasnít sure what I was getting myself into, and I was afraid my friends would find out and look down on me (which was a ridiculous concern). I began to tremble and feel very claustrophobic. We had just finished our meal, so I threw my money on the table and went outside while my friends worked out the tab. Outside was much better. I liked the sunshine and the reduced noise. By the time I had finished a cigarette, my friends had come out, and I was much calmer.
By this point, I felt somewhat dreamy and floaty; nothing concrete, just a general, mild sensation. I felt happy and energetic as we went off to explore the island. I felt myself moving to music anywhere that I heard it. I was heavily analyzing my perceptions, scrutinizing them for any of the effects that I had read about. If I stared at the street or any patterned surface for a few moments, it began to roll and stretch like a calm sea. Speaking and hearing spoken words began to feel somewhat alien. I had to pick each word very carefully. I remained very happy and upbeat, even though my friends ended up working themselves into a pissy mood. I felt a sort of swelling in the back of my mouth that was kind of tingly. We just walked around for about 2 hours doing typical tourist stuff.
The only remarkable event occurred when I stepped out of the bright sunshine into a dark bar bathroom. As I walked in, I couldnít see or make out colors or shapes; everything was a black and brown haze. After 10 or 20 seconds, shapes started forming, and I found my way into a stall to take a whiz. I noticed that the stall walls were bending and rolling like sheet metal. I found that to be pretty amusing. I then noticed that the wood grain was moving, and upon closer inspection, the lines were stretching and shrinking, and try as I might, I couldnít make them stand still. Once I walked back outside, the effect was completely gone.
After strolling around the island awhile, we ended up chilling on a long pier that stretches out into a shallow, glass-clear ocean. It was quiet time, and everyone sat by themselves and stared off into the distance. I felt very tranquil, and I noticed that the ripples in the water looked very cool. About 45 minutes later it was time to go, and I was pretty much back to my normal self. I did not feel tired or drained, and I followed the experience up with a night of heavy drinking.
Overall, it was pretty mild experience, other than the bit with the bathroom stall. I didnít experience much of anything that I had never experienced. My friends never even figured out I was under the influence. My next experience two days later would be vastly different.
It was the last day of our Spring break. We would start the long drive home that night. I got up early and caught a train to downtown Miami by myself. My plan was to eat the last of my shrooms and visit some museums. I got off the train and went to the bathroom where I ate 2.5 grams of mushrooms. I then ate breakfast in the station while I waited for the effects to kick in. After about 30 minutes, I still had not felt anything. I left the station and sat in a nearby, small park, while I waited for the art museum to open up. There were hundreds of butterflies that I had not noticed until I sat down in a wide, grassy spot. They were neat to look at, but I couldnít tell if the mushrooms were having any effect or not. I was intensely and furiously analyzing myself, hunting for any effects of the mushrooms, which in retrospect was a bad idea. It was probably part of the reason I didnít experience much to begin with.
About 15 minutes later, I went into the art museum. I still couldnít tell if the mushrooms had any effect or not. The art was all pretty trippy, and there was some weird-ass modern stuff designed to deliberately mess with your senses. I got tired of that pretty quickly and left. When I got outside, I didnít even feel the level of effects that I had felt in Key West. I just felt sort of dazed. Like when I am coming down off of good marijuana, and I'm just kind of out of it. I didnít have that heavy, stoned feeling in my head, though. Everything was kind of glassy. I had the same feeling of tingling and swelling in the back of my mouth, and my stomach felt kind of upset. I was kind of bummed and frustrated, because I was really hoping for a big trip.
I got on another train and arrived at the science museum about 2 hours after I had originally eaten the mushrooms. I went in and felt somewhat paranoid. The place was mostly empty, and I didnít like people looking at me. I looked around at some of the exhibits but quickly worked my way outside, where there was a large collection of animals. I stayed out there, and stared at some of the animals in turn Ė reptiles, birds, amphibians, insects, and all sorts of critters. I felt a sort of connection to them, which deepened the longer I stared; it was almost meditative. While I was doing this, I ate the last 2.5 grams of my mushrooms over the course of about 30 minutes. I was super calm now, and not much mushroom was in effect.
I went back inside. As I was walking down a hallway, it suddenly shifted and started to rock, and the lights began to shimmer and fade. All of a sudden I understood. I was supposed to just sit back and go with the flow. Donít try to analyze it or control it, just experience it for what it is. Everything rapidly became very interesting - the textures, the colors, the meanings behind words. Lights and sounds were more detailed and required more of my thoughts to analyze. There was a 20-foot tall animatronic T-rex with full sound and movement that was eating the carcass of a triceratops. It was the most realistic robot I have ever seen. I just stood in front of it and stared at it without moving for what seemed like 15 minutes. I was the only person in that main room of the museum. I had what Civil War re-enactors would call a ďperiod rush.Ē For just a few seconds, I felt like I was really there. Like I was in prehistoric earth in front of a T-rex, and it about scared the shit out of me.
The trip just kept getting stronger and stronger from there. I found myself exploring everything. It was all so neat, and at any moment I couldnít decide to further explore what I was working on, or try something new. I began having very profound thoughts. My perspective on the world began to break down. I couldnít think of a fish as just a fish anymore. Now it was a part of an entire ecological system, and it was made of millions of molecules, and had all kinds of tissues and a distinct evolutionary history. It got in the tank somehow and must have had a life before that. The boundaries between everything were breaking down. All of my previously held beliefs were subject to radical questioning - even the laws of physics. I leaned against a huge stone bench, and honestly believed that it was possible that it might skid out and slide across the ground, in direct defiance of what I had previously known as friction.
The single word to encompass my whole experience is ďbig.Ē Everything seemed so huge and involved, and there was so much information to know. If I saw a black chair, I immediately thought, ďWhy is it black? Why is it a chair? What makes a chair a chair? Where did the idea of a chair come from? Chair, thatís a funny word.Ē The processes of my mind could not keep up with all the questions I had and everything I wanted to know. I felt confined by having to put my thoughts into words, and I began to see the limits and problems with language. I realized that everyone has their own unique perspective that defines how they interpret that world, and it is extremely difficult to give that perspective to someone else to make them understand how you interpret the world. I felt like nothing was worth feeling bad about. I remember being very cold at one point while I was waiting to enter the planetarium and the A/C was cranked way up. I didnít lament that I was cold; I decided to explore that feeling and see what it was all about.
The planetarium was where I felt like my life changed. I was sitting there, waiting for the show to start when I hit my peak. The lights and lines started moving around, and all the sounds of people talking ceased to be words and turned into pure sounds flowing all around and through me. I was exhilarated at the new world around me. My mind was running at 9000 rpms. The show started, but I didnít even know what was on the screen; I had delved into my own thoughts and was furiously plowing through them. I had never felt so alive or so in touch with reality around me. I realized that my thoughts up to this point had been so confined and boxed in, and I had just blasted open the doors of perception and consciousness. I hit a single point where I realized that my life would be different from this day forward, and everything was going to be wonderful, and it felt more overwhelming than anything I had ever felt before. It was almost scary. I just kept furiously thinking about anything and everything.
I remember running my fingers across my face and feeling them pressing against my skin even after I pulled them away. They left tracers of tactile sensation. The taste of my skin was amazing, and all my senses were heightened and running in overdrive.
Suddenly the show was over, and I was drawn back into the world around me. I felt very happy. I went back into the museum and started exploring my altered senses. They had a big well that steel balls rolled around in to demonstrate the effect of gravity on orbits. The balls left long tracers behind them, and seemed to spin and turn of their own accord, almost like they were alive.
As I write this, a month later, I donít really remember what happened for awhile after that; I should have written this all down the next day. Iím not sure how long I stayed on that plateau, but I remember that the experience was more of the same. I just further explored all the thoughts that had been pouring through my skull, and looked at everything with a sense of wide-eyed wonder.
Eventually I found myself outside back with the animals. I was staring at a group of falcons who were sitting outside weathering. (The falcons were crippled and un-releasable, as were most of the animals kept at the museum.) I was coming down, but I felt like I had had enough, and I was agitated, and I wanted it to be over. I just stared and stared at the birds. A volunteer woman came out and started talking to me, which really helped to calm me down. She brought a peregrine falcon 12 inches from my face and I stared into its eyes for the longest time while I talked to her. It was amazing. After about an hour of talking to her, I felt like the mushrooms had passed. If you have ever seen ďBeavis & Butt-head Do America,Ē it felt like when Beavis is coming off of his peyote trip, and the world just ceases its agitation and settles back to its proper orientation, but little ripples of trip rush past from time to time.
Back to normal, I left the museum and wandered around a bit until I found myself standing on a footbridge over the highway. The sun was setting behind me, and I just stood and looked out over the city as I contemplated everything I had just been through. My trip was a very powerful experience, and I consider it to be one of the key events in my life that define me as a person. I plan to trip again in a month, once my final exams are over.
For those who are interested, I wrote down some thoughts while I was on that overpass, and I present them here. Some of it is redundant with what I wrote above, and some of it is unclear to all but me. However, I present it unedited in its entirety, because I feel that it is a window into my deepest thoughts at that moment in time.
So this was big. Big. One of the most important things iíve experienced. I feel the need to preserve it somehow. So i write this.
So much to know. So much. How can i understand it all? So beautiful. I want to keep it with me. Words are too concrete. Itís hard to think about it. Itís easy to think about the mundane. No, there is no mundane. There are no boundaries. So much. So much. I want to know it all. I want to feel it all.
Life is a matter of perspectives. Everyone has one. Each is as valid as the next. Itís so hard to give yours to someone else. Communication is flawed. How could i make someone else understand what i just went through.
Itís so hard not to see in a shallow way. It was easy then, but now itís difficult. Soon, i may push aside what i learned, b/c that knowledge is difficult to keep. I want to go back.
i felt the sun.
ďi want to go backĒ is the wrong words. There should be no here and there. Ėthere are no boundaries.
I donít know what to do from here. Now it seems less important. I suppose this is a beginning. If i choose to make it such. I feel troubled, like itís a burden, though it should not be so.
Now my thoughts are so rigid, so uninspired. Almost artificial
But i think i figured out a few things. Not completely, of course, b/c that cannot be done. But hereís some bookmarks.
- the long term consequences. Just donít do something that you will worry about possible bad outcomes of it.
- almost everything is little stuff. Donít sweat it.
- there are things that cannot be learned from others, b/c there is no way to communicate the experience.
- just do what it takes to be happy. I can always be happy.
My old perspective has been removed. I was so isolated and shallow. Itís all much bigger than i thought.
Writing this helps, i think. It helps to free up my rigid thoughts.
Everything i saw Ė nothing was concrete. So fluid. So new.
Example: my past experience dictates that this bench wonít slide b/c itís heavy. But i felt like it might. There was a possibility it might slide. Felt as though anything was possible. Physics be damned.
I could write about what happened as a story from beginning to end. I suppose i should. But later.
The pure, raw emotion is gone now. No. It wasnít even emotion, really. It was just thinking about things i had never thought about before. I suppose emotion was there as a by-product. I felt such excitement and possibility. It rises again. But only a fraction.
I just donít know what to do.
My obligation to be home before nightfall fills my mind.
I feel a bit of resolve at this instant. Itís just something to keep at and work on.
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