Gratuitous Grace
by Smw
Citation:   Smw. "Gratuitous Grace: An Experience with Mushrooms (exp50560)". Apr 27, 2008.

  repeated   Mushrooms
Gratuitous Grace is Huxley’s phase to describe the hallucinogen experience. Before I ever took any drugs (apart from good ol’ MJ) I had read a significant amount and was fascinated by the potential some have noticed to use them as a powerful psycho-analytic tool. My experiences have been mainly with mushrooms. Of these all except one was with psilocybin containing fungus; in Japan I ate a cap of some species of amanita and I plan to take some amanita pantherina, bought by a friend, in the near future.

I remain unconvinced, however, of the degree to which these drugs are ‘useful’. I have found that some trips can be useful with regard personal introspection. This clarity of thought has been for me the best thing about hallucinogens; I have found it far more common with Psilocybin than other drugs I have tried. Yet the trips that stay with me, and have most profoundly affected me, have been bad ones. In particular one psilocybe cubenis experience, the effect of which so drastically changed me that one of my friends claimed that for the succeeding six months I was a “different person”.

The really good experiences fade too quickly leaving a sense of loss, something beautiful that can no longer be accessed. The really bad trips reveal the horror encased within my own nature, my neuroses, fears and repulsions. The memory of particulars are, as with good experiences, difficult to recall and impossible to accurately articulate, beyond such uninteresting observations such as major spatial and temporal distortions. The psychic effect of the deeply personal trauma of a bad experience occurs not during the trip but rather in the sober mind upon release from the drug. Anyone who has been in a bad car crash will know the feeling, during the event the mind survives often with the sensation of peculiar calm, in the aftermath the shock and terror sets in.

I have found that increasingly having taken hallucinogenic substances I almost want to have a bad experience. My mind quickly deviates from the simple wonder inherent in all altered states to a neurotic and paranoid place. That is not to say I have become incapable of having a good time on drugs, rather that they seem to have uncovered a mentally self-destructive urge in me. No longer can I trip without at least some momentary acknowledgement of my fear. Since taking these drugs I have become much more willing to risk myself mentally or physically. I thought, like Huxley, that I could learn about myself with these drugs. Instead I have ended up changing my psychic makeup in a way that highlights just how totally unknowable I am to myself.

In an interview on his 100th birthday Hoffman (the synthesiser and first user of LSD) called the ‘consciousness expansion’ promoted by Leary a crime. He said that LSD (and no doubt all other hallucinogens) was not for everyone. Perhaps they are just not for me. Regardless I will continue with my own personal voyage, for the time being, but no longer am I convinced it will take me somewhere I want to be.

Exp Year: 2006ExpID: 50560
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: Apr 27, 2008Views: 6,653
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Mushrooms (39) : Retrospective / Summary (11), Not Applicable (38)

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