Citation: Rio Gordon. "Imprisoned Beyond the Scope of My Mind: An Experience with Cannabis, Alcohol (Beer) & Salvia divinorum (60x extract) (exp74508)". Erowid.org. Sep 27, 2010. erowid.org/exp/74508
Ok, where to begin? I am a visionary painter with emphasis on capturing the subtle sacredness and mystery of Life as enhanced by the entheogenic and psychedelic experiences... I fully credit the development of my Consciousness, my Art, my Values, and all things and Ideas, from religious to political, to the sacramental and casual use of various power plants and psychedelic substances.
I have dosed LSD in varying forms and amounts at least 200-300 times in my life, and quite possibly more, many times having large administrations of 700-2000 micrograms at a sitting. I have eaten peyote, san pedro, drank ayahuasca from peru, grown and smoked vast quantities of ganja (cannabis), cultivated and gathered at least five species of psychedelic mushrooms, including cyanescens and azurescens, eaten Hawaiian woodrose seeds, jimson seeds, morning glory seeds, grown and extracted my own dimethyl tryptamine form Mimosa desmodium root bark, had nitrous, ecstasy, synthetic mescaline pills, and various designer dance drugs such as 2cp and GHB in large doses. I have even smoked opium many times... needless to say, I believe myself to be, or having been a professional entheogenic psychonaut... I have seen what I thought was every form of illusion, alteration, color enhancement, psychic and religious reorganization, theme that I can imagine. I have become paper or ash or grass or dirt many times, watched my body dissolve and turn into something else, and even seen and conversed with angels, energy beings, aliens of various races and fairies. I have blasted off into space and become a merman... I have been chased by grays (typical alien forms) through the woods at night. I have met Jesus and Buddha and the Devil and been assured that they were all the same thing, the same thing as me...
I have a very (distorted?) Advanced way of perceiving energy, I have developed latent psychic ability, read minds, and I think I've even experienced telekinesis, remote viewing, astral travel, and advanced dream work from my ingestion of these different substances. I fully believe that eventually I will learn how to fly or levitate while awake... so my point is, that I have a large amount of experience, but I am not usually that disclosing about it... I dont consider myself an expert, but I am not afraid of what may lie behind the doors of perception... I dont think I am invulnerable to experience, and I try to remain open, compassionate and ready for the clues and signs that I am too receive... in short, if asked to ingest any psychotropic or hallucinogenic or consciousness altering natural substance, I consider it an invitation to Expand from my Guides, and am usually Eager to Embark...
My testimony this time is way different. Never in my wildest ideas could I have conjured an experience as volatile, frightening, out of control, and spatial.
I was hanging out with my friend Cory (whom I had just met after he fixed my water tank) sharing a couple of well deserved after-work beers on my lanai (porch) in Kealakekua, Hawai'i. Cory has a personality that definitely tends toward the esoteric and 'stoner', so I was surprised when he told me he couldn't smoke cannabis anymore, that it produced uncontrollable paranoia and delusion in him, something that he related had developed after enjoying regular use of the sacrament for years previous. I was smoking a bowl of some high grade cannabis sativa that I had grown and had consumed two twelve ounce bottles of pale ale.
Our discussion turned to the use of other medicines and I revealed some of my experience. He expressed curiosity and a little fear about psilocybin and LSD, telling me he'd never experienced either one. He told me was afraid of being in another visual world for such a duration of time. I assured him that it wasn't as disconcerting as all that, and was usually accompanied by such a powerful and pleasant 'body high' that it was possible to stay grounded and meditate through the experience. He seemed interested and maybe a little impressed that I was able to offer insight into such a topic. Being a pleasant evening, we continued our discussion and talked about coca and yage and ayahuasca and peyote, extolling the virtues and dangers of each. I shared the scant experience I had with some of these medicines. Being the thorough guys we were, we kept talking for maybe an hour, and really built a trust and connection in a short time span. I was very stoned and a little buzzed, and our talk seemed imbued with import and like one of those things that is 'meant to happen... '
The next thing I know, Cory asks me quietly 'hey brah, ever tried salvia divinorum, diviner's sage... ?' I told him I had smoked it on one occasion, and found the effects to be somewhat lucid and euphoric yet subtle... I had known a friend several years previous who had cultivated a large bush of the stuff from a cutting he'd ordered from a company in Sebastopol, CA. We had harvested and dried several leaves, did a little research on the Mazatecs and their process, read a few things on this website, and then determined that the best way to proceed would be to load as large a bowl possible in a water pipe, and circle-breathe it repetitively into our lungs until we felt some effect. Upon taking my turn, I had a pleasant, visual short-term high period in which my senses were greatly enhanced, I became aware of the solidity of empty space and saw vessels of air as if they were glass pockets, and for a brief moment, relaxed on a beach far away in another world under double moons. As the effect faded I was left with the thought that my other self had a fishes tail instead of legs. It was a clear visual memory that I hold to this day.
When Cory asked me if I'd like to try, I was a little taken aback, but curious... as I said, I felt a sense of import and decided to proceed. I was in a comfortable place (my own home), had plenty of good music, low lighting, a nice cozy buzz, and was with my new friend. I figured on something like before, but I was dead wrong. Dead Wrong.
Cory ran out to his truck and returned with a small blue glass vial with a screw on lid, the kind for containing oils and essences. He let me hold it, and the outside of the glass felt oily, and I had the sensation in my teeth that whatever liquid it contained was powerful. I was also surprised because I had been expecting to see some dried leaves or plant matter of some kind. I asked him about this, and he told me that this was actually a salvia extract or distillation made in the normal manner of processing herbs, and that it was a 60x concentration. He told me it was definitely powerful and active, but like salvia in general, short-lived. I asked him how we would smoke a liquid, if it was in the same manner as a hash oil, say on top of ganja, or maybe in a free base pipe. He looked at me strangely and handed the bottle to me again 'Its not liquid brah... look again... ' he told me. I took a closer look and saw that the vial actually contained what looked like innocuous bits of greenish papery substance, not unlike green fish food flakes. Cory explained to me that the makers of this particular extract would distill pounds of the herb into a 60x concentration and then soak raw dried leaves in the extract, dehydrate and crush those leaves for the finished product.
I was completely taken aback. It had been nearly ten years since I'd heard of the stuff, and I had no idea such complicated and pure extracts were being offered. I have a basic understanding of making extracts and infusions of plants into hydrosols and oils, so I got the whole 60x thing. Cory next produced a small glass pipe from a cloth that was used exclusively for smoking the salvia. He carefully poured what looked like 1/3 to 1/2 of a gram of the dried matter into the small bowl. He looked at me in the dim light and asked me if I'd like to go first. He offered to go first, but then recanted and said I seemed ready. I was a little nervous, and asked him what I could expect... he looked at me strangely and said 'Its different for everyone brah... I don't know... you did all that acid and stuff... prolly like that.'
Like I explained, I am not a novice, so I prepared my set and setting as best as I could, selecting some mellow roots reggae music and lighting some incense. I next closed my eyes with the bowl in my hand, and prayed to the Mother Aina (Earth) and the indians who grew the medicine for Guidance and Counsel. I asked in my intention to be shown the next phase of my development, smiled at Cory, lifted the bowl to my lips, lit it and began to inhale. The smoke was not as acrid as I remembered, and I was able to take a great deep draw. It burned readily and the vapors expanded in my chest in the first second or two.
So, for the record, I am seriously starting to lose it a little bit as I recount this experience. It's been three days, and I'm still not completely 'right'... but let me not digress... I believe telling this story may help me.
As I held in the draw, I experienced a familiar 'clacking' in my ears that sounds like a rattlesnake and a water drum. I have heard it many times when using DMT or LSD. This is all in the first maybe second and a half. The next thing I experienced is hearing Cory tell me 'Hold it in as long as you can brah, longer than a ganja draw... ' and I glance at him and he seems to be leering at me, like he's waiting for something to happen. I close my eyes and try to breathe the smoke out, but I realize I can hold my breath indefinitely, and dont even need to exhale. As I squeeze my eyes shut, I see something like an engine, made of a mobius strip or infinity symbols of particles of light in two or three phases, laying one atop the other, each rotating in different directions. I have just enough time to think to myself, 'My that's pretty' and then I exhale... as I exhale the smoke, time stretches and I see the vapor peel away from me in a tunnel of rotating color. This all happened I would guess within the count of three, so even though describing it in detail takes effort, there was no substance or time in the experience to really appreciate it.
At that point, something terrible happened. Something so disconcerting and frightening that I am beside myself with paranoia and fear that it may occur again without warning. Instantly, without any warning or change in my position, without any preparation whatsoever, my entire Being exploded into a fragment of forces. There was no more me, there was no room, no existence, no identity, no island, no planet, no values, no opinions, no power... just titanic grinding terribly painful forces that trembled through my body and tore me to physical pieces. I watched in horror as all of my body fluids splashed onto some surface, and my organs went catapulting away from me... my fingers and toes stretched for miles to various points of infinity which were overlaid and constructed of rainbow eyes and toothy smiles and distorted wizened faces, all leering at me and teasing me... I was completely upended, in utter annihilating vertigo, with no container to hold my energy, as my Being flowed out and into many parallel worlds. I will tell you plainly... THIS WAS NOT A PLEASANT EXPERIENCE. I WAS UTTERLY IN PAIN AND TERRIFIED. I felt abandoned, distant, trapped, kidnapped, raped, let down, and utterly imprisoned forever by this group of leering faces that surrounded my perception. As it continued, there was a terrible rushing of water and a huge pressure in my middle. All of this is very strange, because while I experienced all this pushing and pulling and distortion, it was mostly in the Light Realm, for my physical being had ceased to exist.
I was so terrified I didn't know what to do. The colors and sensations that surrounded me were gnashing and violent and ripping. My mind was in a terrible clutch, and I was sure I had been kidnapped by some alien race for their experiments, and that they had trapped my mind in a jar or an energy prison, and then desiccated and cut up my mortal remains in front of me. I just knew Cory had been sent by them or the government or some kind of drug assassin or agent to bend me into a place of total submission. I had no power, no senses, no sight, no physical body, no home, no music, no furniture, absolutely everything about my values, ideas about God, religion, my history had all been violently ended and eliminated in one second. I was completely paralyzed and utterly helpless.
As I took this all in I realized that I was surrounded by several voices which were all having great fun at my expense, and not only leering, but teasing me for my discomfort, and then being patronizing and falsely comforting. These voices sounded way distorted and distant, yet clear, and they had the quality of what I can best describe as a lounge singer or a radio DJ... I think I make that association because they were attempting to be warm and familiar even though they were cold and alien. They kept saying..'hey buddy, howz it going buddy? How you doing now buddy? Oh, you stuck buddy? Howd that happen, dude... hey its cool, just breathe buddy... hey there buddy... ' and then they would repeat like that in different keys and tempos in time with the grinding oscillations of Light which surrounded me, until I thought I would shriek in agony at them.
About that point, I began to have waves of sobbing and grief wash over me as I realized I had done some utterly stupid thing, and would never live to see my son again... I experienced him becoming a man without his father, and having to live with the stigma that I had 'mysteriously disappeared, presumed killed.' As this thought occurred to me, I realized I had to fight whatever what was happening if I could. This new idea gave me energy, and as I thought it, I screamed out to myself (apparently at the top of my lungs) 'I will not accept this!' and pushed my hand down hard onto my glass coffee table, snapping the top in two... at that point I screamed out 'Table' and it popped into view, except spinning and upside down. I struggled to wrestle the coffee table off the ceiling, and then screamed out 'Floor!' As I did the floor spun into view, and the pattern in the carpet resolved out of all the energy surrounding me. I was slowly coming into some form then, and realized I could make a new body from all the Cosmic goo which surrounded me. I screamed 'Arm!' then 'Feet!' and watched as nimble strangely thin limbs popped into view. At that point the voices really started mocking me. This is what they said in their harmony of Casey Casum voices:
'Oh poor baby, baby needs a body... what? I thought you knew baby... there is no body... there is no you... I am we, remember... you read all about it, baby... ooh... poor baby, baby needs a hand, baby needs a foot, too... what for poor baby... you're not very good at this dude... poor baby... ' and again over and over again ad nauseam in different pitches and escalating chunks of broken tones like crickets, cascading waves of sound and inquiry and patronizing pity.
I was enraged at their indifference and determined to walk out of their prison, so I screamed 'Yes I need my Body!!' and began to stomp away from their leering circle. (By the way, what I screamed has been extrapolated and paraphrased somewhat through a combination of my own memory and Cory's testimony.) As I stomped away, each footfall became slightly more solid, and I was treated to a horrific sight. I was lurching along on stubs, dragging my own entrails in my arms, struggling mightily like walking in a pool. As I tried to look around the room, my eye sockets burst into blood, popping out the lenses of my glasses which glittered and fell into the abyss below my feet as the frames melted off my face. At this point, I was popping in and out of my Body, and treated to alternate flashes of grinding hollow fountain and drain prison of light prisms, or my rotting, broken corpse dissolving and falling apart like over steamed meat.The next thing I know, I find myself standing weaving back and forth, breathing with great effort as tons and tons of filaments or fibers of light are streaming off my body like rainbow fur. I can barely see and barely breathe, but I am conscious, somewhat, of a physical room... next I see Cory sitting in his chair, looking at me slack jawed.
I know that he is the agent who tried to destroy me, and he is in for it... I rush through the sands of resistance, and pick him up bodily out of his chair, pushing him back up against the railing of the porch, and scream at him at the very top of my lungs in an undulating shriek 'WHAT THE FUCK WUZZAT MAN... WHAT THE FUCK MAN... WHAT THE FUCK WUZZAT MAN... WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU GIVE ME FUCKER, YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE... WHAT THE FUCK WUZZAT MAN??' over and over like glossolalia, or Turrets, and shaking, I began to use one of my new found arms to sock him in the face and neck over and over, accusing him in a scream of trying to imprison and kill me. Meanwhile, he's fending off my blows, and hiding all the bottles (he's afraid I'm gonna smash one over his head) and telling me in a wildly distorted, drawn out echoey voice that resounds around me like timbale drums 'Yo, brah, just salvia... remember man... you did it before... this is a little stronger... but just salvia man... just salvia... ' and then his voice fractures like tittering glass, and I fall face down into one of the poles on my porch, smacking my nose hard enuff to see stars... I began to scream that if and when the ride ends, I'm going to kill his dumb ass, and I grab onto the pole with my arms and legs and scurry up it until I'm hugging it with all my might...
As this is going on, the entire universe is flowing by like sand, and I am being tossed on a turbulent sea of yawning titanic opposing forces, being buffeted and slammed by something large, like the house is trying to shake me off. At that point, I pop back out, and see my pitiful body clinging to the railing. My face is totally hamburger with exploded bloody eyes and no lips, and the back of my head is open from a disgusting impact. I am weeping and have even pissed myself a little... then pow, back in my body again with its luminous skin and colored hair... then out, then in, and out again, and in... I beg for someone to help me, screaming for anyone at the top of my lungs to please come and help me, I'm being killed, he's got me, help me...
Right about then, Cory comes up and looks at me. He asks me if I'm feeling better, and I bite my lip so hard it's fat the next day, and shake my head. I am seconds away from screaming, and I beg him to hug me and take me inside, which he does... next, I find myself dissolving and becoming solid in waves as I step to the couch. Each step is like molten lead, and I am relieved to sit down... I see a beer in front of me, and grab it greedily, pouring the whole thing down my throat in five seconds, except that a large portion runs out a hole in my throat and soaks my collar and chest. Mind you, this wasn't out my mouth... I actually sensed it swallow and then flow out of my trachea onto my shirt.
I am shaking and mortally frightened and keep lapsing into pacing, scurrying and weeping fits for over two hours, stammering and gibbering like a lunatic, and turning on every light in the house. I am full of energy and accusations at Cory, and I seek to investigate his import and why he came to get me. For over three hours, my vision is so horribly distorted that all solid matter seems to ooze out of the sea of math from which I have just emerged. I keep going in circles of babbling terror, and stretch my brow and forehead with my fingers, probe at my eyeballs painfully, and tear deep scratches in my elbows and ankles as I am trying to pull off the rainbow fluff that coats my Body. I guess a little after that, my next door neighbor came over, armed and ready to beat the shit out of whoever was cutting my legs off, but I don't really recall his visit... Of course, I fail to sleep at all that evening, laying awake and conversing with dead relatives, myself, distant family, and finally after a long restless night, work up the courage to Google what I had just smoked. That was a learning experience.
It is now 72 hours later, and I am still barely here... I feel like a ghost, like some important part of me was left missing. I have no values anymore, see no distinction between any energies, other than how they fit into the 'fountain and drain' construct... driving a car, seeing at night, paranoia, continuous whispering in my head... if it continues for another day or two, I might have had a psychic break. I remain deeply frightened and deeply impaired from this experience. Food has become innocuous and seemingly unnecessary... all matter has become what it is... loosely bound quantum shit that blinks in and out at will... All of my deepest fears, woes and ideations about the valueless and unconstrained nature of the Universe have been answered. I know what happens when we die... I know how to make a new life... I feel as if I can attract anything...
One positive thing to note... this experience seems to have introduced a couple of new qualities to my character. It seems I am having less trouble examining myself for fault and doing insight and critical thought about how to improve myself, for myself. And my musical ability seems strangely enhanced. A new sense of fractioning harmonies and singing has come to me on both the hand-drum and the ukulele. I could probably write this account for decades, but I will stop... I just hope no children ever get there hands on this thing, or if they do, that they are star babies already...
Nuff for now...
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Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.