Cacti - T. pachanoi
Citation: Mathicus. "Pink Floyd and the Language of God: An Experience with Cacti - T. pachanoi (exp53368)". Erowid.org. Jan 17, 2007. erowid.org/exp/53368
Five pages in MS Word and I feel as though not a single syllable does justice to the cactus...but I tried , -P
So it was 11:30 when I drank the first cup. I lay back in my car at an elementary school parking lot (it was a cloudy Sunday), and listened to a mixed CD I made specifically for my trip (I would listen to the same songs again and again later on).
It tasted bad, but not nearly as bad as everyone says it tastes, but that is probably because I diluted the cactus with a huge bottle of squirt it would have been nice to get Cactus Cooler, but they dont seem to really sell that anymore. I felt a little sick, but other than that, nothing really happened.
I left to use the restroom at Wendys, and found myself starting to get a little anxious at the sight of city people in their natural habitat. Going back to my spot, at around 11:50, I somehow managed to drink the rest both cactus juice and squirt. All in all, not that bad.
Then the sickness started. I laid back in the drivers seat, and began to feel very heavy, and nauseous but it was ok because I expected that. I was waiting for J to be free so he could be my sitter for the day, and I was getting very anxious waiting. My anxiety was increasing as time was moving slower and slower, and I was starting to feel heavier.
At about 1pm, I was feeling a little less nauseous, so I went for a drive around Js neighborhood (note: driving while on a psychedelic is a BAD idea -please do not do this - I won't again). Suddenly everything seemed absurd and comical, and I started to laugh nearly uncontrollably.
Driving while intoxicated, tripping, or extremely sleep deprived is dangerous and irresponsible because it endangers other people. Don't do it!]
I drove past this fat little girl, and laughed at the way she waddled not out of spite or pity, but just because, I dunno, she was ridiculous. I also saw this old man sitting out in front of his driveway, wiping his nose with this big oily cloth like with such enthusiasm. I could only chuckle at the way his indifferent grandson or whatever fumbled with the dead machinery of their car.
The anxiety was increasing and I was feeling a little paranoid like there were too many people. I couldn't just sit somewhere and be left alone. Blue minivans and mustached men in trucks kept swarming around wherever I was, throwing insipid faces at me, grimacing, questioning or that is how it seemed.
So I got frustrated, and drove by Js house I began to laugh uncontrollably, and kept repeating (out loud) uh oh, they caught me, because he was standing outside with his girlfriend, saying goodbye to her but it was just too funny. I guess they didn't see me.
I finally got to Js house, and made my way in. During the drive, my hearing had changed such that my left ear no longer picked up middle ranges noises that well. Everything was pretty dull except for really high pitches, and rumbling low noises. It made for an interesting surrealistic stereo effect.
Js dad was having a few people over for a game-day-BBQ, and they have this huge stereo system, so the house was pulsating with the noise of the basketball game. Actually, it seemed alive with energy, and sound, yet in this very surreal way. The overcast sky didn't help much.
So between 2-3 pm we just sat in his room and listened to music. At about 3 the more intense hallucinations started. His walls are splattered with paint, and the patterns on the wall began to dance and breathe, forming a multitude of shapes and figures. Everything seemed to have a rhythm, to be going in its own direction.
The game was maddening at first. It kept getting louder and louder and louder, rocking the entire structure of the house with pulsating music, chanting, buzzers, whatever, until it was just this frightening energy verging on chaos both inside my thoughts, through my body, and my perception of everything around me.
But I was still having a good trip, because I felt safe. It was difficult to figure out what I wanted to do. Very difficult. Everything was uncomfortable partly because I made it so, and partly because it actually was. I chuckled silently as Js face began to melt.
I began to realize that every moment you have to choose whether you live or die in your waking state. That choice is hardly ever made, but that choice becomes much more relevant, as well as difficult/confusing in an altered state of consciousness even as it becomes every bit as necessary as choosing to walk left or right. I found this realization a little un-nerving.
I saw, heard, and felt everything and everyone in my environment in a very profound way and yet not any particular thing, until I focused on it. Sounds and shapes converged to form this swirling cyclone that followed me wherever I went. It was extremely similar to dreaming. I now understand what it means to have the line between subject and object dissolve.
I began to see that if I focused on music, whether or not it sounded good or bad was hard to determine because I was both trying to hear the music objectively, and simultaneously trying to see how I felt about it. But you need to hear it first before you know if you like it, and everything was slowed down so I was caught in between my subjective perception and the objective fact of the music (or person, or whatever) so that all I felt was confusion, chaos. The void as darkness.
So, in a sense, I had to choose whether I liked the music or not, or be sucked into terrifying chaos. But it was hard because it wasn't between just a choice between good music and bad music it was between A LIVING NIGHTMARE via music, and an UNIMAGINABLE PARADISE via music, or to focus on something else.
But at the same time it wasn't a choice because the music was still going to go where it went, and it was trying to take me there, whether or not I wanted to go. So, really, the mental processes led me to back to the void, even after realizing it was a choice. That is, my ability to choose comes only after the choice is given to me. I exist first, am shaped by my parents and society, and then choose. So I began to see all of my preferences as expressions of my upbringing, and whittled that mess of things down to what I really wanted which turns out to be, at bottom, silence, peace, whatever.
We listened to some trance and I watched the walls dance for a while. This demon kept appearing on the ceiling, and I closed my eyes to get rid of it, but it was still there, flashing like this gothic neon sign. It was still wonderful to watch everything have a life of its own.
Then this guy E walked into the room, along with Js mother. I felt this very negative energy around him (he was drunk, and I know he is involved in gang related shit). His face looked like it was bubbling plastic, and when he talked to me I could tell he knew what state I was in. Like he lived it and was always there. His words cut through my world, like he was talking directly to my soul even as I could see right through his fakeness it was not a good feeling, because I knew I couldnt trust him, and he kept lying to Js mom about stuff. I was feeling very negative and wanted him to leave, which he eventually did.
I couldn't really lie. Rather, it felt supremely good to talk about objective facts that had no immediate relation to my subjective feelings on them. They asked what I was on, and without hesitation I replied oh, I'm on mescaline, and gave them a detailed explanation about it, how I obtained it, etc. But it was hard to jump into their world. I could see them, but the things I was thinking and feeling were so intense that it was very difficult to force myself to care about what was going on outside of me. I had to choose to talk, or react to people/things, and when I was forced to move or do something, it made me extremely angry, irritated or afraid, depending on what it was.
We went out into the living room and watched a taped Pink Floyd concert with Js dad. That was probably the most intense feeling any music has ever given to me. The words spoke directly to my innermost being, and the music began to knead my soul as so much bread. It took control over me, and was actually a little terrifying because I knew it could have led me into the darkness (the nightmarish feeling) if it wanted to (like I said, everything had a life and a will of its own). But, just as equally it could have led me into the light, and so I reveled in it for a while, feeling the meaning of every word, every note like it were its own marvelous entities wrapped up in the larger entity of Pink Floyd. But Pink Floyd is really nothing, and so it was more like being I was being kneaded by God, the Void, the Oneness, or what have you. It only turned ugly when I looked at the musicians. They all seemed old, not capable of being satisfied, and sad. So I wanted to leave after that, because I started to feel some negative energy. But it was a moment of pure bliss up until then.
So then we went outside (a few times actually, because it was sooo damn hard to feel comfortable) and sat in my car. It was totally overcast by then, so the colors of things weren't coming in as bright as they were in the house. We listened to a few tracks, but nothing seemed quite right until I started listening to the Beatles. Particularly the song that goes, 'turn off your mind, relax and float down stream. It is not dying, it is not dying surrender to the void' - -Oh that surrender to the void part really struck me.
For some reason those words were infinitely comforting, as if they knew exactly how I felt (it did feel like being poisoned and dying every now and then). I can't remember exactly what I was imagining, but tears started falling from my eyes, and I felt extremely happy about existing, about having the choice to continue to exist and do what I wanted. It was also the happiness of surviving death. I do, however, remember these huge canyons, the melting, setting sun dripping orange over everything and a river made of pure liquid colors there might have been unicorns, I'm not sure.
During those moments I experienced some ego-loss. That is, the me that wanted to control the trip, to think logically, to have a distinct personality disappeared, and I found myself floating in between my physical body, my memories, and everything else. I was in between here and there, between subjective perception and objective fact. In the brilliant shadows of the Void. Only then, when I accepted the unintelligible chaos as part of life, did the anxiety fade considerably, and I was able to drift into the void as light just for a moment.
I listened until my cheeks was covered with salty tear water (of joy!), and we went to get a burrito that I quickly became very uninterested in (which never happens to me, haha). We came back to a much calmer house the TV was off, and most of the people had dispersed. We sat down to watch some cartoons on his computer and, as I was watching, the TV screen kept moving, twisting and dancing like the torrent of a river in the air, which really heightened the effect of the cartoon it was very awesome. Finally, we went outside to watch the sun come out as it was setting and it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen.
We drove to my old middle school and sat in the field for a little while to watch the last of the sun before it faded out into the mountains. We then went to a restaurant. I dunno, I felt hungry, but when I got the food, I, again, just wasn't very interested in it. At this point I was starting to come down. Things weren't moving so much anymore, and I was feeling less anxious. I marveled at the people in the restaurant how the workers were playing the role of workers. The girl with her boyfriend was playing the role of a cute chicky-chick, and it was all so silly and yet very dark and disgusting (at least to think that they believe they really are those things, because, at base, we are really nothing).
Lessons: Most of the stuff I thought about I already kind of knew, but it was very different in its depth and power over me. Philosophical knowledge is sometimes useful in everyday life, but it was absolutely necessary in the psychedelic state. It wasn't whether I turned left or right that it was important, it was whether my subconscious wanted to live or die, to love or hate that was important at every moment. Being in that state also brought me to a whole new level of empathy for other people and animals that I have never really felt before it was really amazing, insightful, and awe-inspiring.
I didn't see God/the void, but I felt momentary union with it/her/him as I was able to let go of my stubborn ego, and become one with nothingness, with the paradox. It was amazing to feel how it is to be in between things, between you and the tv, between the music as objective notes and your perception of them, and then to become the music, to move from apprehension of chaos to union with it. There is simply nothing on this earth (that I have found) that compares to that.
With that said, however, I don't exactly want to go back there for a while. It was awesome, but at that same time it was constantly verging on horrific, because it takes so much energy to hold yourself together to keep from letting your ego be completely dissolved in the void. And it may not be that bad, but, considering I don't really know how I'd be on the other side of the event horizon, I'm not ready to try it. I felt completely exhausted and vulnerable the day after, as well as a little depressed just a little. But I do intend to do it again, and, most likely, with a more potent dose.
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