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Shifting Perspective
Mushrooms & Cannabis
by Peter
Citation:   Peter. "Shifting Perspective: An Experience with Mushrooms & Cannabis (exp61280)". Sep 2, 2007.

T+ 0:00
3.5 g oral Mushrooms (dried)
  T+ 0:15 3 hits smoked Cannabis (plant material)


After high school, I spent two years at Junior College in Northern California. I wasn’t at all social during my time at the JC. In high school, my girlfriend was my central preoccupation. I moved to San Diego to go UCSD and be with my girlfriend in the fall of ’03. We quickly parted ways and I was left friendless. My best friend, by default, was logic. I had taken some philosophy courses and enjoyed them and I changed my major to philosophy.

It was difficult to be friendless because I had moved into a very warm and lively house with three other guys who were accommodating and pleasant. I didn’t join in there fun because it often led to them making contradictory statements which was fine, but then they would glaze over the contradiction like it didn’t happen. I was trying to build an understanding of the world based on sound logic so I could make reasonable decisions about my future. To this end, my demeanor was always flat, even when I drank. To avoid being oddly silent, I would make dry jokes, espouse ideas, ask hypotheticals, or make observations.

When two roommates came home with mushrooms, I decided I would take them. My reasoning was this: “it’s unacceptable for me to live and die on my current trajectory. And despite various phases, my life hadn’t changed in a meaningful way for years. “The college years” were famous for changing lives, but they weren’t changing mine. Therefore, I should eat these mushrooms as a means of changing my life.” Even if my life changed for the worse, I would at least gain perspective.

I hadn’t heard any stories about hallucinogens, and had no idea what to expect. I had the vague idea that creative people experimented with drugs, and I knew that establishments such as school and family would vehemently disapprove. I ate them with the spirit of, “let’s see what happens”.

T: = 00
Three of my housemates and I ate 3.5 grams of dried mushrooms each and washed them down with cheese-itz and orange juice. No sitter was present.

T = :15
We smoked a couple bowls together and listened to music.

T = :40
Effects were felt. I felt a nervous, flighty “pink” energy in my arms and legs, and felt like stretching. When I looked at my hands they appeared sparkly and a long distance from my face. The lights and the computer screen dispensed lights and moods.

T = :50
I grew tired of the conversation of my roommates, it seemed as if they were repeatedly being amazed, which seemed worthless to me. I left them and went outside on the patio. It was night out, and a little cold, but I couldn’t resist the urge to take off my shoes and socks and pants and shirt. I touched my toes and saw faint ribbons of rainbow colors traveling up my calves.

T = 1:20
My roommates came outside and, again, I was disappointed in their banter. I talked to them for a short time then went upstairs into my room and turned on some favorite music.

T = 1:30
I felt the emotions of the music strongly and sat down with my back against my dresser and cried. My roommates, A and T, eventually came and found me again, and this time I wasn’t annoyed. They took on the mood of the room, but without crying themselves.

T = 2:00
A left and T stayed. I started dancing in the middle of the room, while he sat against a wall and watched. Dancing like this has been a lifelong hobby and it didn’t feel at all out of the ordinary. A very happy song came on and I danced like a fool. I reached out and touched T’s finger with my finger, and it felt like a jolt of light. It was the most sublimely happy I’ve ever been.

T = 2:30
We walked around incoherently in the upstairs, and we were generally more afraid. A started talking about the sky and looked at me frightened saying, “this is not what is supposed to happen!?”

T = 3:00
I went back in my room and closed the door. It seemed like the trip was ending and I wanted to go to sleep. Behind my eyelids I could see colors floating sideways like they were being squeezed out of something, and occasionally I saw disturbing images of clowns. I wasn’t particularly afraid at this point, more annoyed and wanting to sleep. A and T came to check on me before they went out on a walk.

T = 3:30
I resolved that I was not going to fall asleep and became involved with my thoughts. I was, at times, extremely scared that I had destroyed my life and that I was going to trip forever. There thoughts were closely associated with my family and school. Then I had the thought that maybe everyone I knew had already taken mushrooms and I was becoming part of the club. The thoughts had an immediate emotional impact on me before I could examine them properly.

I was taking philosophy of neuroscience at the time and thought about perception, and about how its all I can prove exists to me. I was on my knees in the middle of the room and felt something gripping my stomach. The feeling rose to my chest and I had the very certain thought that I was going to die. The feeling moved up to my head and I keeled over onto my face feeling like I had actually died. I lied on my face and shoulder for what felt like a few seconds, then sat up and stretched my hamstrings. My body felt so soft like I had just been born. “I’m the only one here” I thought. That reintroduced my mind, and slowly gained momentum over the next hour. I didn’t feel scared, just annoyed that my mind was running and I couldn’t stop it.

T = 6:00
I fell asleep.

T = Three years

The next morning I walked to class as usual. On the way, I was confronted with a decision. To either believe the previous night was real, or pass it off as an other worldly experience attainable only through the use of drugs. I decided on the latter, and that anyone who believed the events were real, would eventually go crazy. Carlos Castaneda, Dan Millman and Jack Kornfield have helped change my mind. I now think those experiences were as real as could be. The plants gave me tons of energy, but I didn’t have the character to handle it properly. In retrospect, I did okay, but I probably went a little too far too quickly and hurt myself.

I’ve tried various means to gain more understanding. I used mushrooms three other times without the same success, probably because of the increased expectations. On one trip I got an insight into my personality when my internal voice seemed to fragment quickly over a period of a few seconds. Since then its been common for me to think of the voices in my head as living together in a kind of community. For about a year I smoked lots of marijuana, and was hoping for a sort of quick fix. I ended up in a therapy and eventually took time off school. I was desperate to get back on track so I signed up for a full length triathlon and trained all summer. I didn’t finish, but it wasn’t all bad. I learned a lot about health and nutrition. Since then I’ve treated myself more gently, and have had success examining the connections between my emotional history and my current behavior patterns. At times during this period people have viewed me as strange. I was acting terribly weird for a couple of years. I was very confused, and I felt very special for being so.

I now see two distinct possibilities for my life. One is normal, in which I make my own choices for desired outcomes. The advantage is safety and security within the fold of human interaction. The downfall is the predictability and mundane routine of daily life. The other is not normal. In that life I give up the illusion of choice and follow power along paths with heart. The advantage is expanded knowledge and awareness, increased potency of experience, and always having a challenge to meet. The fallbacks are the unpredictability and inability to mesh with ordered society.

Exp Year: 2004ExpID: 61280
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given 
Published: Sep 2, 2007Views: 15,971
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Mushrooms (39) : Retrospective / Summary (11), Mystical Experiences (9), Music Discussion (22), Depression (15), First Times (2), Small Group (2-9) (17)

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