Citation: Gregg E. "The Cosmic Meat Grinder: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (30x extract) (exp74137)". Erowid.org. Nov 20, 2020. erowid.org/exp/74137
My first experience with Salvia divinorum was about an hour after a relaxed 3-hour session at an ale house during which I consumed three and a half pints of IPA. By the time I turned to Salvia, a buzz from some good weed earlier in the evening was long gone, but because of the alcohol I can't say I was perfectly straight.
I had received in the mail two grams of 30x extract I ordered online, and was eager to try it out. I consider myself fairly experienced with LSD, mescaline and psilocybin mushrooms, and approached Salvia without fear. In retrospect, I should have had more respect. I inhaled and held in two full bong hits of the 30x extract in our master bathroom, and I was already lost before making it the few steps to the bed.
From the bathroom to the bed I have no recollection. I do remember feeling my way around the perimeter of the bed, unable to see because of darkness and distortion. I became vaguely aware of lying on the bed with M, my wife, but being there seemed like a distant thing because something more immediate and gripping was happening.
I was staring at what I perceived to be Ultimate Reality, visible to me as a bright, rolling mass of identical, tightly-packed, rounded rectangular bits of Technicolor violet and yellow. Sort of a gigantic electric sunflower, with each seed pod an individual Technicolor bit. This mass - an ocean of these bits - was vibrating or humming in a way that was disruptive to the cohesion of the identical rectangular bits that temporarily form physical things, including my body, and I felt my body being sucked or pulled or absorbed into the mass. There was a strong sensation of being torn - that I was being torn apart and ground into the ocean. The temporary, physical, earthly me was returning to the Ocean of Reality from which it had come.
The Ocean of glowing Technicolor bits rolled and gently undulated in rounded swells and waves, but it was an ocean without a horizon. It was more like a rolling, creasing, folding wall of pulsating energy, and it was all I could see in front of me. The wall of moving color - always vivid; never blurred - was kneading itself, folding into itself, and I thought of it as a cosmic meat-grinder taking in all things and dissolving all structure to its essential particles. I was in one of the folds or creases of the ever-rolling wall of swells and waves - in the grinder - disintegrating from my physical structure as I was being integrated into the Ocean of rolling, humming color. I sensed that I could choose to dissolve into the Ocean or fight to remain in the physical reality I've always known. I heard voices assuring me it was time to go; time to let go; that it was alright; that everything would be alright.
'It's all right, it's all right; it's ok, Gregg; don't resist; just let go; it's time, Gregg; it's time to go'.
But I didn't want to go. Not yet, anyway. Not right then. There was too much left unfinished and unsaid. Mostly, there was time I wanted to spend with M., yet one of the voices speaking from within the Ocean, telling me to let go, was hers, as if she was already there and calling me to join her. It occurred to me that my life had been an experiment of the Mind in the Ocean, that my wife was a sort of Avatar of that Mind, and now I was being absorbed back into the reality from which I was formed. The experiment was over; it was time to end this temporary earthly existence and get on with a different, better one.
I liked the idea of going into the Ocean - of letting the disintegration of me happen - just not right then, and I was a little uncomfortable with that sensation of being torn to bits. The only thing forestalling my total absorption into the ocean of bits was my mental resistance to it. I had an intense aversion to letting go even though I sensed that doing so would lead to an important new phase of my existence; a stripping away of the temporal and participation in the eternal. While I had a strong sense that I had a choice about giving in or resisting, it was unclear if resisting could be successful. For all I knew, resistance was futile. Reality was calling me back - taking me back - and just because I had the notion I could resist didn't mean I really had the capacity to do so successfully.
Not knowing if there was any chance of my resistance succeeding was part of a dilemma of which I was intensely aware. Should I resist or give in? Could resistance be successful? What would be the consequence of resisting if resisting was ultimately futile? Was the sense of choice really just a test to see if I would go willingly? I really sensed that I was being observed; that my thoughts and decisions would be factored into some other-reality calculus; and that my fitness for transitioning to the higher dimension was being evaluated by my own thought processes.
I was not ready to make the decision to leave the life I had known for over 50 years, but I didn't know if clinging to that life was a real option. My absorption into the Ocean was already starting - my particles were already being hummed loose from the form that was me and melding with the Ocean of Color - so I wasn't sure I could return to the physical world even if I tried. But I definitely, urgently, wanted to try because I didn't feel ready to leave my life behind. Leaving my life was just too much of a change to accept on such short notice. I hadn't prepared. I felt myself dissolving, bit by glowing bit, but I didn't know if any of me - the me I've known - would be retained in that Ocean of Pure Existence, and I didn't want to abandon what I knew for something unknown - even if bliss was just on the other side of letting go. It was the unknown, more than anything else, that made me resist surrendering to my disintegration.
I was speaking to M. much of the time - mostly indicating my concern or worry that everything was ending, though not articulating it in so many words - and holding her, vaguely aware that she was not experiencing what I was, yet feeling that maybe she, too, would be absorbed and we would be lost to each other forever. Either lost to each other forever or fully absorbed into one another - another dilemma! I was attracted to the possibility of complete integration with each other, but not sure that that was what would happen and not willing to take the chance of something else happening - or of that happening but somehow not being as good as expected. But how could it not be as good as expected? How could it not be better than what I was even capable of expecting? And why prefer to return to my temporal existence when the Ocean of Ultimate Reality was pulling me into Itself? Why delay what is coming anyway? I will eventually return to the humming mass of Technicolor bits from which I came - the Ocean of Pure Being that made me - so why resist?
Then I noticed that the Ocean had organized into a different pattern, or else I was seeing it more clearly. It was the same Technicolor bits, but I could now see that they were organized into an array of identical, rotating disks, and I sensed that the gap between each layer was a portal to another moment in the timeline of my life. I could choose to return to any point in my life to live my life again from that point on - a dream come true - yet I found the weight of the choice paralyzing. What would it mean to live the same life again, differently? Would it even be the same life? The variables were incalculable and the potential for disaster were real. I was attracted to the idea of slipping between a couple of those disks and landing in my youthful skin with a familiar world of possibilities in front of me, but a dread of unforeseeable consequences made me reluctant to abandon myself to a gap.
There was the overarching choice of entering a do-over of life, and then the further choice of what point in my life - what age - I would return to. Questions flooded my mind - too many to consider all at once. If I went back in time, how would I proceed with that life differently than I did the first time? How much of the life I've known could I duplicate while also incorporating differences? How much tinkering could my known life endure without being altered beyond recognition? Who would I be if my life was lived significantly differently? How much of the life I've lived this time around would I willingly forsake for a better-lived do-over?
Could I go back to childhood and live the life of an adoring son, taking my dad's advice, eagerly learning from his expertise, following his lead - and do so in such a way that at age 75 he would not commit suicide?
Could I create a life in which Rick doesn't commit suicide at age 15? Would it be possible to remain Rick's closest friend while still somehow retaining the social group and network that gave me so much joy in high school? If necessary, would I forsake that social group to save Rick's life?
Could I create a life in which Becky would not commit suicide? Could I prevent her suicide, not by controlling her life but by being the friend she would need to pull her through in her mid-20s?
Could I still find M. in that other life? Could I recreate my life differently - with less pain to others, with more charity and compassion, full of good deeds, making a positive difference - and still meet up with M? Or would any changes so alter the trajectory of my life that meeting her would be imperiled or even impossible? How great would the risk be? Would I dare take that risk in order to make earlier portions of the do-over morally and relationally better?
Many of my questions were related to how much consciousness I would have of my 'past life'. Would it be like a dream? Would I be continually aware of it? Would memory of it come from time to time only? Would I be aware of it only when dreaming? Would I remember the choice I made to leave my life at 51 years old in order to return to age 12 or whatever? Would it be reversible? Could I turn to Salvia in the do-over and return to this life?
I became worried about what it would mean to leave my present life. What would be the consequences in this present life if I were to leave it to live life over again? Would I die in this present life? Would it be suicide? What would become of the relationships I've known? What would become of the very universe surrounding this life? Would 'going back' really be a 'going back' involving the erasure of the time that had elapsed between now and the point to which I returned? Or would the 'going back' be apparent only, not real, and the do-over be a parallel existence rather than the same existence relived?
All of these thoughts were going on as I gazed at the churning Ocean and the rotating time-plate disks. I felt my physicality fragmenting into the Ocean. I could disintegrate into it if I wanted to accept the unknown it would entail. The opportunity to slip between a set of disks and return to an earlier point in my life was also beckoning. It was more attractive to me than disintegration, but only barely less scary. Also present was the desire to cling to the life I now have.
The voices continued to reassure me that it was time to go - time to let go - and that it would be alright. 'Everything will be alright.' It occurred to me that their assurances might apply to any choice I would make. Absorption into the Ocean and whatever that would entail; a redo of life and whatever that would entail; a return to the present and whatever that would entail - any would be alright.
Post Script: Though in the midst of a drug experience I might believe I'm experiencing and seeing reality, when I 'come down' I assume what I experienced was merely the havoc the chemical played in my neural transmitters and not in fact a window to reality. I am not interested in the content of visions and voices. Rather, it is the questions and feelings prompted by those visions and voices that I want to explore.
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