Citation: Bp28. "Seeing Reality Versus Perception: An Experience with Saliva Divinorum (10x extract) & Endogenous Experiences (exp56670)". Erowid.org. May 12, 2009. erowid.org/exp/56670
My first experience with Salvia with a preface...
I'd like to say that I have never done drugs or any other herbs before. I am definitely not one looking for some recreational drug to get a high. I have been high naturally far too many times. I am bipolar and when I get high it tends to be very short lived, maybe lasting between 20 minutes and 4 hours. My mind races like crazy. I'm extremely creative, wild, and I produce extraordinary laughter. This is the kind of laugh that only strikes once in a lifetime and is never ending. And my judgement and memory become seriously impaired. I like to think of it like being on massive amounts of alcohol and cocaine/speed. Things can go round and round so fast that I can become incoherent and unable to speak through a haze of laughing. It is obvious to anyone around that something is wrong or I'm on some serious drugs. Anyway, this is the last kind of experience I would want to produce artificially. Luckily, it has been more than a year since I have experienced anything like that.
Ever since I REALLY became manic for the first time, I experienced several months where I would oscillate from depression one day to a euphoric optimism the next day. I never thought it was possible to be depressed for a day. But during this experience I began to realize to just what degree our reality and world comes from our mind's perspective. While the world seem to change drastically from day to day, it was really a mental shade that was being swapped out. In some ways it has taught me to hold some distrust on the way in which I see the world. So I question my own views at their core, especially when they are becoming extreme. Most people never even notice the difference between reality and their own perception of it. They see it as one and the same.
After coming across Salvia in New Scientist, I decided to follow up with research on the Internet. It fascinated me to find something that was supposably non-addicting, did not produce a traditional 'high', was legal, and temporarily altered one's perception of reality. I watched a short film on Google Video documenting a cursory scientific look into Salvia. They brought in a physician, psychologist, anthropologist, the person responsible for bringing Salvia to the West, and a writer. It struck me that Salvia did not distort or significantly change a person's EEG, brain waves. And they loosely agreed that it seemed to alter the way someone perceives the external and internal worlds. I looked at video taken of people on Salvia on Google Video and YouTube. I was kinda surprised to see people's reaction to Salvia. It did appear that it was being used as a recreational drug. It almost looked like other people were getting a kick out of watching their friends take a significant amount of Salvia because of the laughter that it brought with it. That alone nearly turned me off from deciding to try it.
I was also somewhat hesitant about the idea of something causing hallucinations. The first time that I naturally hallucinated briefly while manic, it scared the living crap out of me. I did not know briefly that it was not real. I had seen our stuffed dog get up and walk around on the bed in a dimly lit room. But from what I have read, the hallucinations that you are likely to see and hear are unlikely to be confused with reality unless very large doses of Salvia are taken.
It is very important to note that I am not on any prescription medication. The chance of bad things happening while on psychotropic drugs and taking Salvia probably greatly increases.
The core reason that I wanted to try it came down to the fact that I have a lot of bad things that have happened in my past. I wanted a way of re-examining it and providing an alternative view or explanation. I feel that some of my problems stem from my very rigid view of the world and myself. I have lost any part of me that is spiritual and I miss that aspect. Make no mistake. I know a simple chemical cannot solve ones problems, but my hope was to allow it to be a door to a part of me long forgot.
I ended up getting Salvia 10x standardized extract locally and made preparations for my first experience. I fashioned a bong out of simple materials. I dimmed the lights and sat quietly for a few minutes thinking about what I would like to explore. When I was relaxed and ready, I exhaled, lit the bowl, and took in a lung full of smoke. While I was counting 30 seconds, I was quite surprised at how well I was dealing with the smoke. I was expecting it to be extremely harsh and my lungs and body to forcefully reject the idea of holding it within me for a few moments. Finally, the count of 30 was reached. I began to feel something odd, but I proceeded to drawl another lung full. I'm really not for sure how far I got before I exhaled.
I totally forgot what was going on and was sucked into another world. I don't remember the peak of the experience all that clearly. I did not see crazy colors, a tunnel, or being disembodied. It started off by noticing our carpet was suddenly visually interesting. Slight peaks in the carpet grew upwards slightly and flickered like a flame. It was enchanting. I felt gravity suddenly shift to my right--maybe about half a G. I felt entirely different. I felt that my other half (who was not there) was physically a part of my mind. I felt him as a part of my being. I also felt that I was a small kid again and at home safe and sound. I remember the feeling of security despite the confusion. My world was small and safe. I was alone, but did not feel alone. After I realized what was going on again, I took another lung full of smoke. It was too late, more than a couple of minutes had passed and it did not do all that much.
After the first few minutes, I stumbled around and put everything away. While I was in the other room, I began to hear in my own voice 'They are us.' It repeated over and over. It sounded quite real. It did not stop until I repeated it myself several times. That might sound scary, but it wasn't. It meant that we are all one interconnected and woven into this thing called life.
I returned to the bean bag chair and began to mediate with my original intent. Out-loud and un-expectantly, I asked myself several times 'Why am I alive?' I was not suicidal or depressed, but I found it quite the mystery that I could be alive today despite all of the possible things that could have brought me to my end. This included everything from having never been born to having committed suicide during my most difficult times in life. While I looked at the carpet and softened my gaze, out from the pattern came an ancient turtle like drawing. It moved slowly towards me with intent. I looked at him without question and felt it was completely normal. It was at that moment that I finally understood death. I do not believe in God or the afterlife, but I finally understood what it would mean to not exist.
I turned on some relaxing music for a few moments, but I absolutely hated it and turned it off. It was a great distraction to reflecting on my inner self.
I turned my attention ahead and I looked into the curtains over our sliding glass door. They seemed to sway with a great breeze. It danced for me and I gazed at it with great fascination. All the while I was thinking about my past demons. They did not seem all that problematic or unexpected. I suddenly recalled a memory that I had long forgotten about and it replayed out within my mind's eye clearly. I was maybe 10 years old at the time and in church. I was finally reaching an age that I understood that there were a lot of great problems in the world and that many people suffered. I remember praying to God with all my heart to give me all the problems of the world and to spare everyone else. I felt that my happiness was not as important as the greater good. Despite not believing in God, I somehow wondered if he gave me everything that I asked for. I only wished that I knew who it was that I gave a gentler existence to.
Slowly my perception of reality returned. Somehow my memory was fragmented and it has taken two days to remember all that I have written. I have to re-iterate that Salvia is not a drug that changes my mood. It does not seem to be a depressant or a stimulant. My mood stayed consistent during and after the experience. The day after I did feel the world was a little different and better. It was a very vague and elusive feeling. I kinda felt that I knew a truth that others did not, especially while I was at a sandwich shop by myself and casually watching people order and eat.
I'm not for sure that any of my reasons really justified taking Salvia, but it has given me something to contemplate over the last couple days.
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