Citation: Will. "The Fugue State: An Experience with LSD, Mushrooms & MDMA (Ecstasy) (ID 61093)". Erowid.org. Jun 20, 2007. erowid.org/exp/61093
In fact, at this time, I feel that I can only allude to the incredible nature of my experience. I will present evidence that supports the reality of my experiences as something that extends far, far beyond a marginal, odd or unique drug trip. Indeed, what I am attempting to report to you is a series of experiences, that started directly on Easter weekend of 2004, but that has roots extending as far back as 2001.
Well, I shall begin.
Without attempting to describe, explain or otherwise describe the exact nature of what has occurred, I shall state very plainly that I have experienced a state of mental activity that is incredibly different than any I had experienced before. Through my own inquiries, I have been able to find descriptions of experiences that seem closely analogous with my own, yet none that I have been able to identify as being identical. Many of these similar stories were interpreted in ways that were unfortunately vague, mystic or otherwise untenable when subjected to serious reflection. Inquiry into neurology, or psychology also yielded little information regarding directly correlative experiences. My quest for understanding has not been fruitless, as it has allowed me to understand and assimilate my experiences a little better. It has taken almost three years to finally feel that I have acquired enough of an understanding to begin serious discussion.
I am twenty-three years old, and male. I was born on the twelfth of March, 1983. I have been so profoundly impacted by these experiences, that I have enrolled in a University’s Cognitive Sciences program in an attempt to understand what has occurred and share it with the world. I live in Canada. I have several friends, including my fiancée who have supported me through these events, and their psychological repercussions. They are willing to validate any accounts, or aspect of my experience, as they were active participants in my life during the most intense incursions into this ‘altered mindset’ of which I speak.
I will, as briefly as possible, try do outline some of the key events. Exacting detail, at this time, is impractical as the events have unfolded over a period of several years.
Part 1 - Prehistory
-In the years 2000-2003 I was an active and often times heavy user of psychoactive substances. I displayed a particular affinity for psychedelics, though most often mixed several drug classes. I have extensive experience with psychoactive mushrooms, LSD, MDMA, PCP, mescaline and opiates.
-In early 2003 I began serious inquiry into theories involving complex systems. This inquiry -though unstructured and highly informal- became something of an obsession in the year to follow.
Part 2 - Precursor Experiences
Part2A- The First Experience
On Easter weekend of 2004, while on vacation with a friend in Montreal, I had my first relevant experience. My drug use had begun two nights previously, in Ottawa, with LSD and MDMA. The LSD had the ‘Illuminatis’ pyramid. The MDMA was not pure, and contained quantities of stimulants, suspected to be methamphetamine. On Thursday, I stayed awake with friends and consumed one tab of the LSD, and one pill of MDMA.
When I arrived in Montreal on Friday, I again stayed awake the entire night. My friend and I went to a rave, and I consumed only MDMA, although my friend had brought some of his own. I consumed two of my pills, and two of his. His contained some variety of hallucinogen, supposedly 2-cb.
On Saturday, we stayed in. I consumed two more pills, and two tabs of LSD. Several hours later, the LSD had yet to take effect. I consumed 4 more tabs, but still found no observable sense of being on LSD. Convinced I merely found a dry spot on the sheet, I consumed several more MDMA pills. There was no observable sense of LSD intoxication, merely a mildly hallucinogenic quality to an otherwise unremarkable MDMA buzz.
The next afternoon, after having slept for perhaps 6-8 of the previous 72 hours, my friend went to sleep. I was still unable to rest, and laid on my hotel room bed with my eyes closed. I started to contemplate an aspect of my inquiry into systems theory, and set my sights to a visual model I had been thinking about. I found my ability to manipulate my visualizations extraordinarily enhanced. It had been about 15 hours since my last does of LSD, and about eight since my last tab of MDMA. I felt relatively lucid.
As I contemplated my visualizations, I suddenly found my model changing with remarkable speed, and branching into extraordinary realms of complexity. I had a breakthrough, and epiphany, and it was so sudden and large and inescapable that I was left trembling.
The nature of the epiphany is unimportant at this time, though I am willing to describe it in greater detail. What is important is what followed.
Shaken, I woke my friend and started talking excitedly to him about concepts of scale and scale-ability of systems. Finding him, of course, completely unable to follow my train of thought I simply imparted the magnitude of what I felt I was occurring and ‘gave myself’ to the experience.
The revelations didn’t stop. My thoughts coursed from one topic to another, with incredible fluidity. Every thought sparked another, every question answered promised to lead to another, greater epiphany. Walking out into the world, I found that every action appeared as a descriptive metaphor for what I was thinking. I couldn’t stop thinking, and I couldn’t stop coming up with answers. Systems theories are heralded as a means to unite the splintered factions of science on an unbiased and neutral framework. Systems theories are intended to calibrate existing understandings with an awareness of complexity. In the time that followed, I would apply my intuitive understanding of complexity to every topic I could consider.
Stepping away from what I was thinking, and examining what I was sensing, I found that I was able to watch in detail any item in the periphery of my field of vision, as though my eyes were trained on it directly. Indeed, my peripheral vision became the visual realm I came to occupy during that time. I felt no need to look directly at anything.
I was immersed in a world of stunning visual clarity and indescribable intellectual understanding. I was immersed so completely, that I was almost unable to speak. The thoughts wouldn’t stop. Neither would the constant stream of descriptive visual/situational metaphor. Neither would the strange awareness of my peripheral vision. None of it seemed hallucinogenic. It all seemed, shockingly, startlingly clear.
I should at this point mention that this state persisted -though I experienced a gradual decline in intensity- for a full three weeks.
I was unable to be around people for any length of time, for their peace more than mine. I would sleep little and try and communicate my thoughts constantly, desperate to etch some sort of record of the thoughts I was having, but unable to write quickly enough. In a few days, I decided to (though I should perhaps say, was inescapably compelled to) meditate and fast outside for a week. During that week, I slept outside, and subsisted off of salted tea and a zip-lock bag of dried rice. I lost 6 pounds.
I wrote extensively, though mostly the writings were socio-political. Mostly I meditated and tried to work through the conflict between wanting what was occurring to continue, and needing it to stop due to my overwhelming exhaustion. During that time, I discovered that I had developed an incredible ability to maintain complicated rhythmic patterns. I was also able to write quickly and legibly, though not perfectly, forwards, backwards, upside down and mirrored with either hand. My meditation skills were dramatically improved, and I was able to perform such bizarre tasks as to make objects I was looking at disappear from my field of vision. This last aspect was particularly interesting, though I will describe it in more detail another time.
All of these skills faded, as the ‘fugue-state’ as I would come to call it, subsided. This was the first experience I had with the fugue-state. It was the longest in duration, though I would come to understand that this particular experience of it was still very different from the state of mind that would eventually evolve.
Part 2b - Aftermath
The months that followed were chaotic and strange. I was driven, and intoxicated by this experience. It was several orders of magnitude greater than any ‘intoxication’ I had ever felt. Nor had it felt like intoxication, in the sense that it is usually characterized by difficulty in performing normal functions, or understanding information. The experience of the fugue state is, in my own description, an experience of searing lucidity.
I cannot necessarily claim that I handled this first experience with grace, as I had yet to learn that while some of the thoughts I would have were in fact startlingly accurate, many others were misleading and confusing. Some of the ideas and theories that I literally ‘thought up’ without having any significant prior understanding proved to closely mirror contemporary theories. This simultaneously had the effect of bolstering my confidence that something of great significance had occurred, while reducing the level of scrutiny I applied to the other insights I had gained.
I became convinced that I had been granted insight and understanding that was unparalleled in the realm of normal human experience. I also became convinced that the cure to the confusion that followed from the weeks of explosive mental activity, was to be another incursion into the fugue-state. The idea seemed sound enough, as it quickly became obvious that I had no real way of expressing my thoughts to others, or assimilating the ideas I was having into my daily life. It seemed to me that if I was to experience it again, but this time with purpose, that I could fill in the missing information that would make everything else that had happened fit together and make sense. This would not be the case.
Months passed, and during those months I engaged in the most frequent psychedelic use of my life. A good friend of mine purchased a thousand lot of acid, and I began to dose 2-3 times a week, occasionally taking as many as nine hits simultaneously. The LSD on that sheet was excellent, but I was unable to repeat the experience that began in April of the same year. My highs were the same as any other LSD high, a state that I am very familiar with and can navigate without any difficulty. The were characterised by all of the hallmarks of LSD intoxication, fractal patterns, tracers, ‘time-shifting’, increased alertness and energy.
After months of seeking, and dosing LSD and MDMA regularly, I began to ease my use. I began to believe that what had occurred must have been an isolated experience. As the months had passed, the memories of the experience began to become relics, and I began to doubt their authenticity. Perhaps, after all, I had been imparting a false sense of relevance and value upon my perceptions. Perhaps I had merely triggered a schizophrenic episode, and in my confused state had, for the first time, become completely unable to distinguish imagination from reality. As the months dragged on, I began to let go of my faith in the relevance of the fugue state. I then resolved to mark it as merely an interesting chapter that, even if it was a false and maddening experience, had granted me insights of incredible value. I came to believe that I any benefit I had drawn from what had happened, I had drawn from the process of healing from madness.
Part 3 - The True Experience
I shall let you know in advance that to describe the sensory experience of what occurred next will take significantly more text than I will dare to write here. I will, of course, describe what it is like to experience the fugue state itself at another time. Here, I seek only to present the chain of experiences that revealed this state of mind as a real, and incredible thing, and not just a drug-frenzied decline into madness. In fact, it has since been revealed that drugs are a tool with which to access it, though it is quite a separate mental process. Drugs are what revealed the fugue to me, but are themselves, not the fugue.
I will also clarify, before I continue, that the chaotic and difficult behaviour that is so tightly interwoven with this story is a result of the difficulty in assimilating the experiences themselves. The first experience lasted, somehow, three weeks. I have never relived exactly what occurred during that time. The following experiences were much shorter, with after effects dissipating in a couple of days, yet took the better part of two years to integrate fully. I have since learned how to experience the fugue, without being traumatized by it, and will soon begin further explorations.
Part 3A - The X-Box
I experienced the full, undeniable fugue state sometime in October of the same year. I am not certain of the date, as the next few months were maddening and incredibly complex.
I was visiting a friend of mine, on two hits of the same LSD I had been abusing for the entire summer. By that time I was so familiar with the high, that others wouldn’t even notice I was intoxicated until I told them. On this particular evening, however, I felt like I was on something else entirely. The high was unfamiliar, intense and uncharacteristically confusing. There are some important qualities of this setting that I must identify. One is the arrangement of her living room. The other is that she was playing a video game.
The room was dimly lit, with candles spread at curious and asymmetrical intervals. She had her television stacked on some milk crates, centered spatially in the center of the room, so that it appeared as a pillar in the middle of the floor with a television on it. She was playing a video game on her x-box. I don’t know what game it was, but what was important about it was the following: it had a first-person vantage point, a floating point cursor in the center of the screen, and the level she was playing had the character advancing through ‘mist.’
I was watching her play, but noticed immediately that the game didn’t make any visual sense. All I could see was fractal or recursive shapes that would re-orient around the screen as she moved the character. Whenever one of these shapes moved to the center of the screen, and she advanced the character towards it, the shape would extrapolate more fully, and then very suddenly it would appear on the screen as an easily identifiable object -a flower. I would then hear a ‘munching’ sound as the character ‘ate’ the flower for health. I asked her to explain the game to me, and she started to describe the rules of play and storyline. I quickly stopped her and pointed to the screen, and asked her how she was even navigating! All I could see was recursive-fractal shapes and occasionally a flower that would appear in a startling and comic fashion.
Confused, she simply slid over on the couch and handed me the controller. The screen still looked the same. I pushed the ‘up’ button and suddenly, as if by magic, the game appeared as any normal game would. I could see that the polygon shapes I had been observing were actually trees emerging from the mist, and that the flowers were at the base of the trees. I could see paths through the trees, and found it easy to negotiate the game. I handed the controller back to her, and slid back over. Once she began to move the character, I completely lost the normal game image and was slammed back into weird-polygon land.
I was fascinated. I had never experienced anything like it. I was, no matter how hard I tried, completely unable to see what was going on in the game. I could only identify shapes, and I could find no way to reclaim a visual understanding, without myself being in control of the character. Amused, I leaned back on the couch and began to contemplate the relevance of this experience. Reality, it turned out, was up for playing tricks on my brain. For the first time, I was able to watch and experience that old philosophical assertion that cognition -though responding to an outer reality- is in fact a highly interpretive act.
As I mused on this, my gaze fell upon the white ‘+’ that marked the center of the screen. Its position was static, relative to the rest of the furniture. It appeared as though it was etched in glass, through which we were watching a game take place. I let my gaze relax and started to welcome the familiar stream of beautiful fractals that my mind was generating in my peripheral vision. I should, at this point, clarify that I felt quite intoxicated. As I watched, the polygons on the TV screen -themselves recursive drawings- began to move off of the screen and into my field of vision. It was as if I was watching them float right out of the TV screen and into my mind. As I let this visual effect wash over me, the light from the candles started to do the same. Suddenly, every object in the room seemed to be making fractals manifest in my vision. As my eyes stayed fixed upon the ‘+’ in the middle of the screen, every object started to ‘emit’ fractals into my vision.
I continued to watch, and then felt this odd sense of rushing upwards. A warm and insistent pressure flooded my mind, and suddenly, the fractals re-aligned with their sources and the world rushed into this incredible and indescribable realm.
I sat there, trembling. I turned to my friend and said, very calmly “L? Would you find it strange if I said that right at this very second, God was speaking with me?”
She looked only slightly puzzled and said, “Well, You are on acid.”
Part 3B - Into the Night
I hugged my friend tightly and explained that I had to go outside. I had to be out in the night, I invited her to come with, but she declined.
I walked outside, my heart beating rapidly. The most dramatic sensory aspect of the fugue state is visual. The best analogy I have ever come up with, even after three years of contemplation, is to liken the experience to solving a ‘magic eye puzzle’ (stereogram) with everything in my field of vision. As I walked, I found that I could observe everything in my peripheral vision with ease.
I could listen to, and understand, multiple conversations simultaneously. I could listen in on the couple walking behind me, and the couple ahead of me. It seemed as though I could hear things clearly, despite ambient noise pollution and distance. My posture, which is notoriously poor, straightened. My breathing was slow, deep and thirst-quenching. There was absolutely no sense of intoxication, in fact, the normal experience of reality is significantly bland and confusing in comparison.
A myriad of descriptive visual metaphor appeared around me. Everything described something, and every thought led to another effortlessly. The night would come to be marked by synchronicity after synchronicity, although these were revealed through a curious faculty of attention, characteristic of the fugue.
It was as though I had been teleported into a different world. One that the first experience in April had only alluded to.
I walked rapidly, aware that I was a slightly alarming presence to some passer’s by. I looked sternly, straight ahead, my gaze unmoving. But I walked tall. I remember my trench coat flaring wide and flapping behind me. My jacket was open. I was quite comfortable with the cold. My thoughts raced, but mostly I was awash in a sense of amazement at just how incredible this world was.
I went as quickly as I could to my girlfriend, S’s work, a bar. It was the bar we had met at, where she now worked as a server. As I approached the bar, I experienced another amazing perceptual shift. It was very smooth transition, but I now found that I was moving slowly in comparison with everyone else. Although, I must say that it seemed as though I was moving at an ordinary speed, and everyone else was dramatically sped up. I could perceive their paths, as they walked, and see the patterns that they formed as they interacted with each other and the environment. The rest of the world seemed unchanged. The leaves of the tress moved at a normal pace, as did the birds and a dog that somebody was walking.
I went inside the bar where S worked, and got her attention. She guided me to a seat on my own, as she could obviously tell that something was very different. I sat in booth, breathing very slowly and deeply. The people in the bar were in a frenzy, it seemed, especially the servers. My first thought was to compare them to honey bees.
S soon came over, and I told her a bit of what was going on but that I’d have to explain later. She told me that a couple of her customers were from my home town and that she’d mentioned this fact to them. They, apparently, were amenable to my company and I was ushered over to their table.
The content of the conversation was rather unremarkable, as I certainly didn’t dare explain what was really going on. What I remember most was that I had a keen awareness of their non-verbal signals. It was an attentive awareness, in that I was fully conscious of their body language and what it meant. My aptitude for conversation was greatly increased, and I was able to engage them both easily. When I felt that I was beginning to overstay my welcome, I left and walked home. It would be several hours before S was to come home.
When I made it back to the apartment, I grabbed my address book and looked for someone to call. I couldn’t find anyone who seemed ‘right.’ I found my attention repeatedly being drawn to my roommate’s address book, which was open to his boyfriend’s phone number. I didn’t want to call it, mostly because I didn’t want to inadvertently traumatize, or over-involve someone I lived with. Every time I tried to find someone else, though, my attention would re-direct itself to my roommates’ address book. Now I was actually sort of mad with myself. I really didn’t want to see him.
I decided I was going to go back out into the night, outside had been a much livelier place. As my hand touched the doorknob, the phone rang. It was my roommate, M.
M, as it turned out, was high on Ecstasy and wanted me to be home when he got there. So I waited. And he came home. I tried to explain what was going on, and tried to draw his attention onto the channel I was on. He didn’t get it, but it turned out he was just about the perfect person to talk to.
After a few hours of trying to describe to M what was happening, S came home, and I tried to explain it to her. She quickly fell asleep. I was unable to sleep, so I set myself a goal. I was to lay in bed, on my back, and not move at all until morning.
What happened that night is mostly internal. Mostly thought. Though I shall explain that the theme of rapid and multiple synchronicities continued through the night. And that every time I had an ‘epiphany’ as I lay there thinking, the digital clock read as a palindromic number.
In the morning, the experience continued. I felt deep serenity, and was very energetic -though not hyperactive or over stimulated. I had an interesting experience with my two cats, that lasted for a couple of days. I found that they seemed aware of my mindset, and desperately sought my attention. I followed them around, and they led me from place to place, where they would circle until I found what they had led me to. Usually, it was a mess, their water needed to be changed, for example. Occasionally, it was a toy they’d lodged under the edge of a piece of furniture. Whenever I did what they led me to, their behaviour changed to enamoured affection, before they led me off to the next task.
The sense of spatial vision stopped after I finally slept, as did the awareness of conversation and sound. What was occurring with the cats continued for several days, as did my energy. I solved every problem I could think of, did all of the cleaning, and was amazed at how many things I was suddenly noticing that I had simply never observed before. These things ended after a further two days.
The synchronicities didn’t.
Part 4 - What Came Next
Again, I dove right back into LSD and consumed it several times a week. Again, the fugue-state eluded me. This lasted for almost two months. I had been a disastrous wreck for much of that time. This time, the idea of losing the fugue and not being able to reclaim it was terrifying to me. I wish I could accurately portray my behaviour during this time, but it’s difficult. This second experience was even more traumatic than the first, for not only had I been shown an incredible and revolutionary transformation of my entire inner world, but I was unable to perform it a second time. After a few weeks, I began to get depressed, and concluded that it had been a repeat of my first experience in April, and that it represented an episode of drug -induced psychosis.
A good friend of mine, was having a birthday party. It was the second or third week of December. I invited to come with me, my girlfriend, and two more friends. One of them was beekeeper M. As you may guess from his nick-name, this M is a beekeeper and lives on a farm outside of the city. M is also a deeply religious Seventh Day Adventist. His personal interpretation of his faith, allows him to consume psychedelics, although he had a long history of psychedelic use that occurred at a time when his views were more liberal.
This evening, M and I consumed both LSD and mushrooms, one tab and one gram for each of us. When the party turned out to be a bit of a dud, we went back to my apartment. I was tripping strongly, when I suddenly felt a strange sensation come over me. I had been pulled into the fugue. I looked around the room, my eyes wide.
M was right there with me. Grinning.
S and my roommate M weren’t. M, my roomate, had consumed mushrooms, but S was only drunk. What occurred next can’t even be explained. Beekeeper M and I were communicating, without words, although I would not dare to call it telepathy. It was as though the world was a record, our attention was the needle and M and I were in the exact same groove, at the exact same time. The experience is indescribable, and has never been repeated.
I spoke to M, and asked if it was really happening. He assured me it was. I said “Are you serious? It’s really this easy?” He assured me it was.
The evening played out the way the other’s had, although this time I had someone else experiencing it with me. The synchronicities piled up, as though the world was communicating with purpose. On top of that, it was also communicating the same things to M. We actually talked about that one, just to make sure.
It seemed as if every thought I had was put there. It felt as though M and I were having a conversation with each other, and also having the same conversation with our surroundings. I was cut lose, and was starting to lose my grip. I asked M “Is this God?” and he said “Yes.”
I lost it. Completely.
What followed was nearly violent, and a little terrifying, and not just for me. I was so shocked that at some point, I found myself in the un-rented apartment next to mine, vomiting for hours with more force and violence than at any other point in my life.
I hope that I can communicate just exactly how traumatizing that moment was. In the span of perhaps fifteen minutes, I had received confirmation that I was not alone. And I was not insane. The experiences that had dominated my life, driven my abuse, made me set aside all else in a desperate attempt to comprehend it had suddenly been proven real. Even if it was just drugs, it was happening to someone else. And that someone else was my best friend. And that someone else had just told you that the presence we were both talking to was, in fact, God.
I lost it. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Part 5 - More Experiences
A few weeks later, I was now indulging for a different reason. This time, I was pursuing the fugue with certainty and purpose. Conversations with M, who believed very thoroughly in “God’s plan” confused me further, as I had never been religious before. Up until this point I had been very firm in my belief that God was unknowable, and that it was therefore a pointless endeavour to try and please it. If God even existed.
The compounding of further synchronicities, too innumerable at this point to catalogue in any meaningful way, combined with M's religious certainty, again left me rushing to categorize my experience as divine. I won’t try and defend my judgment during this time, as I had endured a great deal of psychological trauma, and was still heavily using LSD. I was barely sleeping. I thought constantly. I kept on engaging experience after experience, repeatedly shocking myself. I left myself no time for recovery.
Within a week, I was on acid, visiting my friend L, with whom I had first experienced my first full fugue-state. I didn’t dare tell anyone the thoughts I really had going on in my head, and I had as yet no words to describe the experiences. I had not partitioned the different aspects into workable concepts or ideas. I was right in the thick of it, and convinced that I had been granted direct access to God.
Her boyfriend was also there, and within a short time I was in the fugue again. It happened suddenly, as though my attention were simply drawn to it, by some chance event. I talked excitedly with them, sharing with them the searing lucidity I was experiencing. I introduced them to circular logic by having a conversation that was entirely circular. They were also on the same LSD that I was, which was of the same variety that our entire social group had been using for the previous 6 months.
My girlfriend had been pretty badly shaken up by my behaviour, and I decided that it was best to expose her to me when I was in the fugue and wasn’t freaking out. She to this day has never consumed LSD. L and her boyfriend were definitely not sharing the fugue-state with me, as M had done earlier, but were definitely intoxicated and willing to go along with me as the guide.
We got back to my apartment, and after a short time, S and I started to get into an argument and my friends left. I found it absolutely impossible to communicate with her in a normal sense, and started to try and explain what was happening with the use of metaphor. Again, I laid awake in bed all night in deep internal reflection. Again, the strange attention sharing activity with my two cats persisted for about two days.
Part 5B - Continuing
I abstained from engaging in my pursuit of the fugue, confident now that I would be able to find it again in the future, and confident that it was a true experience. It quickly became apparent that I was deeply affected by what was happening, and that I needed to stop and recover. I abstained from psychedelic use until my birthday in of March 2005.
During this period of abstinence, I thought about what was happening constantly. Every waking thought that was free from the obligation of a task turned to trying to understand and integrate the fugue. Everything from what had happened to my mind on a neurological level, to trying to incorporate it in my goals for the future, as I knew it was now inseparable from my life
Until this point, however, LSD had always been an integral part of the experience. I just presumed that, though the experience was real, it still required LSD to be initiated. I was wrong.
On my birthday, almost 11 months after my first experience in Montreal in 2003, I was having a wonderful birthday party. I had taken pill of MDMA and two grams of mushrooms, in a tea. I was enjoying myself, and at some point sat down to play Gran Turismo 4 on my PS2. I picked up the controller, pressed a button, and instantly found myself immersed in the fugue. I was amazed but delighted.
The fugue, it turned out, was an experience that didn’t necessarily need LSD. This confirmed that, first and foremost, it was something that was occurring during states of extreme mental excitation.
The rest of the evening passed with all of the hallmarks of the fugue excitation, but this time it was less intense. It was, in fact, enjoyable. The party continued, and I enjoyed the benefits of having access to such searing clarity. With mushrooms, the shared attention experienced with the cats, lasts 1 day easily, and a second with effort.
Part 5C- The Dentist
At this point, I won’t include detail of my trips, and will just give what further information I feel is necessary to complete my presentation.
After several months, I had engaged in several more trips, on both mushrooms and LSD. I found many interesting things, which I will not bother to elucidate here, as this text is already far too long. After many more experiences, the fugue became more and more of a tool. It became a state I would engage in to heal myself. I no longer experience psychedelics in the same way as other people, or the way I did in my youth and experience the fugue every time I consume them.
To add to the evidence that the fugue is not necessarily associated just with psychedelics, I shall inform you that I have also experienced it while I was having my wisdom teeth extracted. Obviously I had been given nitrous oxide.
Here, I presented only the key events that led me to recognize that the fugue is a very real experience, and that it is an inherent quality of the mind. Needless to say, the thoughts and conclusions that I’ve gained from years of contemplating the subject are too numerous to express here, as are the details of my more recent trips. It should be sufficient to say that the fugue state has become a valuable tool, and that I have explored it deeply. I have discovered much of what it is (a state of mental excitation) and what it isn’t (a direct link with God) as well as how to handle the incredible amount of information that flows through.
Listed here, though, are several key points that explored the transition of from ‘bizarre drug experience’ to ‘valuable tool of awareness.’ I have experienced it with two others, Beekeeper M and an analogue version with my brother in law, S. That it has occurred with two of my closest friends is a matter for later consideration, though I shall assert that they are both deeply religious individuals and have interpreted their experiences as such. Sadly, our collective disagreement on how to interpret the experience has been a divisive issue. M is a Seventh Day Adventist, and believes that his experiences shall have profound consequences in his faith. S is a practising druid, and believes that this ought to be kept secret, and shared only with initiates. I, of course, have chosen to subject my experiences to the rigors of scientific inquiry.
I have also experienced this state one a variety of drug types, and combinations. Some of these drugs are completely unrelated, as in the case of my nitrous oxide experience. It should be clarified that there is still a sense of awareness as to what drug I’m on at the time, that there is an experiential difference between the fugue on LSD, on mushrooms, on nitrous oxide, on MDMA.
During my subsequent experiences, I realised that accessing the fugue requires either an accident of attention, or an intent. I soon learned how to intentionally to access it, as well as how to lower its intensity. I have yet to disassociate the experience from drugs, although the threshold quantity required to access this mindset has lowered significantly.
I have also learned to recognize aspects of the fugue state in normal waking life, as well as when I consume marijuana. Although this usually only leads me to small realisations about how to better get along in my immediate environment, it serves as a means of clearing up mental blockages.
There is much, much more that can be said on this matter. After three years of exploration, trauma and recovery.
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.