Citation: Elmore. "Widespread Panic, God, and My Salvation: An Experience with LSD & Cannabis (exp61832)". Erowid.org. Oct 18, 2007. erowid.org/exp/61832
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It all started in August of 2006, when I first became interested in experimenting with psychedelics. I had heard all the stories of people who had supposedly experienced God and made spiritual discoveries through psychedelics. The most notable of which was LSD. I thought there had to be some truth to it, as there were so many reports on it, so much evidence. My first real experience was with two hits of blotter in November 2006, and it was not spiritual in the least, but it gave me this constant nagging feeling that there was more to it. I had bitten a small piece of the pie, it tasted good, and I wanted more.
As I experimented further, I became more and more familiar with this state, and became more aware of the global unified collective unconscious that runs through all things, the spirit of God if you will. I gradually became increasingly aware of the references to the experience through the lyrics of psychedelic rock bands, bands such as Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, 13th Floor Elevators, and my favorite, Widespread Panic. I always related my experiences to what I knew about God, what I had read from the bible and what was taught to me in church. To me, everything clicked, it all made sense.
Eventually, I was using some sort of psychedelic, whatever I could get my hands on, about once a week. I would lay down in my bed, put on some headphones, listen to psychedelic rock and let my 'self' go. For a while, it was always a constant flood of new information, always a new experience, and revelations were consistently found. But, I was still looking for that life changing experience I had heard so much about. Yeah, I learned about how the world worked, the way God sets everything up, to teach us lessons that we either realize and learn from or we just pass by as just coincidence and go on about life. I knew all of these things, but nothing major ever happened to change me. I still hid half of my life, all of my drug use, sneaking around, not wanting anyone, especially family, to find out the extent of what I did. I wanted to save myself from their judgment, but in turn was only judging and condemning myself because I knew what I was doing was wrong. Not the drug use per se, but the fact that I wasn't open about who I was and what I did.
Luckily for me, all of these things changed following a Widespread Panic concert in March of '07. I had been trying for weeks to score some LSD, the greatest psychedelic discovered (incidentally, oddly enough) by man. I finally found some about four hours before the start of the concert, how lucky I was. We dropped about 7:00-7:15, the show started at 7:30. The show was great, but I noticed that it looked like we were the only people in the crowd tripping on LSD, and one of the few there that would smoke weed. Eventually in the second set, someone lit up a joint, we followed suit shortly thereafter. After that song was over, the lights came on and security made everyone put out their joints/cigarettes.
When the band started back up, bass player Dave Schools remarked 'Watch the green tree there farmer.' Immediately after, they started playing some of their more obviously spiritual songs, ones that in one way or another directly related to the psychedelic experience found by those who are more spiritually inclined. Yet another one of those wonderful coincidences that happens on LSD. As the show was coming to a close, I kept getting this nagging feeling that something was supposed to happen to me, something incredibly, direly important. I tried sitting down and letting my 'self' go, as I had done while laying in bed in the weeks prior. I would always come so close, but was never able to achieve any significant loss of ego, as I kept being interrupted by people bumping into me walking down the isle.
Eventually the show came to a close, so we thought, and we unwittingly up and left before the encore. As we crossed the waterway to the parking lot, about 100yards away from the venue, they came on for the encore. We stopped and sat down on a bench to listen before heading out. At this point, I knew I had to do something, something had to happen or I would keep leading on in life the way I always had, being a lying sneak, and that thought kept eating at me more and more. I felt that, if I would do something so blatantly out of character, something to show that I really didn't care what others thought, most especially the person I was with, someone who I knew, that I my life in this would would come to a close and I would forever would become one with the cosmic unity known as God.
I thought of my life, and all the things I had in it, and thought how nothing would ever amount to the bliss that comes with being one with God. There were things in life that I still wanted to do and experience, yes, but I was ready to give it all up. All I had to do was walk up to the guard railing on the waterway and let myself fall in, it would all be over and I would be free. As the band played their last song, 'Ain't Life Grand,' I approached the railing. I grabbed the rails with both hands and closed my eyes. I felt my hands slipping into the rails, and a sound of rushing water grew in my ears. I leaned forward, tumbled head over heels and splashed in. I floated to the surface, eyes still closed. As I came up, I opened them to see not just the person I came to the show with, but a short bald man with a knowing grin on his face.
I began to believe that maybe I was wrong, falling into the water wasn't what I was supposed to do, until this man says 'That's what I'm here for.'
'Oh yeah, what are you here for?' I rudely replied.
'Pretty cocky, sounds like a guy whose got nothing to lose' he says.
Piquing my interests, I replied 'Yeah, what do you know about it?'
What followed was such an ecstatic moment in my life that it wasn't much more than a heavenly blur. From the things he remarked on following my last comment, he knew everything about it. As I jumped with vigorous joy, he laughed and commented 'I know the feeling! Believe me, I know the feeling!' I even let out a joyous 'Oh my God!' at which he sort of coughed and got my attention, thus bringing yet another bout of roaring laughter. In between were a couple of more joking remarks regarding my sandals floating away, and how they wouldn't float forever. At that point I could care less about my sandals because I was saved, saved from the wretched life I once led. My friend, baffled by the entire state of affairs was standing next to us. He queried 'What is going on?' with a puzzled look on his face. At nearly the same time, me and my new friend comment 'He doesn't get it.' Following shortly thereafter with a 'whatever' and a shrug of the shoulders.
My friend left saying 'Dude, I'm outta here.' I could have cared less. As things calmed down a bit, he says, referring to not only our current surroundings but the entire world he had created: 'It's nice isn't it?' 'It's beautiful' was all I could reply. At this point I had only one question for him, and that was 'What do I do now?' To which he replied, 'Whatever an honest free soul pleases!' Yet more ecstatic laughter ensued. 'Oh man this is great!' I said. He replied with 'It only gets better from here!' There were a few more words exchanged, yet none I can really recall well.
When it came time for him to leave, he remarked 'Watch out, you're probably gonna get arrested.' I replied with 'arrested? Why would I get arrested?' He laughed with yet another knowing grin. I wanted to follow him, but he told me not to, he jokingly pointed and said to follow some shirtless man headed out towards the parking lot. Naturally, I did, but not before chucking my dead, useless cell phone out into the waterway. I followed the man shortly, exchanging a few words before reaching the parking lot. At this point, I either thought to myself that I needed a new change of clothes (which coincidentally, I had also needed a new change of clothes in life) or someone in the crowds mentioned it. Either way, I was out searching for new clothes.
I approached the parking lot entrance where theatre employees were directing traffic. I asked them if I could get a new change of clothes 'that way,' referring to where they were pointing their traffic signals. I got a couple of 'Are you serious?' remarks and looks, but went on my way unheeded. As I crossed the street and reached the greenbelt, I began to jog in the direction I believed was the way to the mall. As I jogged, I thought 'These clothes area lot of baggage, really weighing me down.' I shed them without the slightest thought as to the repercussions. As far as I knew, there were no repercussions for the honest free soul, which I most certainly at that point was (and still am).
I began to make my rounds of the area, trying to find my surroundings and get to the mall nearby, believing store employees would be more than happy to fix me up with a new set of clothes. After running into various people walking the streets and having some good laughs, and even getting my pictures taken, I wound up in one of the crowded parking lots. I was greeted by a large crowd of rather friendly people who luckily found quite a bit of humor in my situation. Exchanges were made and I continued my search, but not before being abruptly stopped by a police officer who spotted my antics from across the way.
'Son, where are your clothes?!?'
'I'm wearing them?' I replied with a puzzled look on my face.
I really didn't see anything wrong with what I was doing, I didn't have anything to hide, I was wearing my birthday suit, the clothes I was born in. Coincidentally, these were also the clothes I was reborn in, haha. Regardless, I was being handcuffed and instructed not to fight, despite my cluelessness as to what the heck was wrong with not wearing anything. Other people had to wear clothes to cover themselves up, present themselves as 'somebody.' I was me, and all I needed were the clothes I was born with, I didn't need clothing to represent me as a certain type of person, I was just a person.
Shortly thereafter I found myself in the back of a police car, handcuffed and providing information to another one of the nice police officers. I was more than happy to give them my house number and tell them to call my parents. After what I experienced, I was an honest free soul and could tell them anything. And tell I did. After they picked me up, I told them everything I had done, all my drug use, all my previous sins, every deception and lie that I had made built my bed on all these years, and it never felt so good.
After all of this, I've decided to stop searching for God through psychedelics, I've found him, and never letting go. I'll never tell a lie again, and will never represent myself as someone I'm not. I deceived a lot of people through the years, and I won't do it again. It builds up and hurts too much. The best thing anyone can do is be honest. It may not feel like it at the time, because you fear the repercussions of telling the truth. There are no consequences for telling the truth, only benefits, regardless of what the situation is. But there are consequences for lying. I have nothing to lose if I'm an honest free soul, but I've got everything to lose, including my life and eternity, if I'm not.
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