Citation: Intronaut. "Dancing Between Mortal Fear and Perfect Calm: An Experience with LSD, Cannabis, Throat Singing, Didgeridoo, Meditation & Yoga (exp78686)". Erowid.org. May 1, 2012. erowid.org/exp/78686
This was written 24 hours after the trip started. May 2009.
J and I took roughly 5 or 6 diluted drops of the acid each, A took 1 diluted and D took 1 1/2 sticks of gum with 1 1/2 hits not diluted. J took 2 at the same time as A and D, while I took 1 and through the day J and I kept the vial and continued to drop on our hands and tongues. A and D stayed on campus all day and J and I drove out to the desert canyon in Taos se llama Diablo. Driving in, there was a lot of road construction in progress, and a black pipeline was being installed underground alongside the road and on past the canyon to the right. The tube was pretty much as straight as it could be for such a long construction.
Driving while intoxicated, tripping, or extremely sleep deprived is dangerous and irresponsible because it endangers other people. Don't do it!]
We started our hike by climbing the incline around the side of a hill at the mouth of the canyon and continued around the edge until we came to a cliff, which seemed to open out into the rest of the enormous basin. Then we turned back and left at sunset. J was taking photos and I was sketching in my sketchbook as we were coming up, not knowing whether or not we would trip too hard. I had brought along my didgeridoo and at moments when it was easy for me to catch my breath and recline, I would alternate between playing didgeridoo, throat singing, whistling, and any combination of the three.
Recently after having experimented with Tuvan throat singing while under the influence of THC and various hallucinogens including: Salvia, Psilocybin, LSD, and DMT, I realized that no matter what substance I inebriate myself with, the throat singing is such a natural sobering process that it cuts through literally anything. I lay down with eyes closed or open and become as relaxed and impervious to distraction as possible, and see no visuals, experience no abnormal bodily sensations, and no distortion of reality or the sounds I am creating. I have recreated this experiment various times at different points of the day and the results are the same. What I experienced yesterday was completely consciousness-expanding in every way.
We walked around a bit, we took our time and stopped at various different vantage points around the top of the canyon. I played didgeridoo periodically, but mostly we were trying to get out further and see more so we spent the majority of the first few hours walking, sitting down every once in a while at a place that was calm (there were few still areas, mostly everywhere was rushing wind,) and smoked some marijuana while we took in the scenery. There were no other people that we could tell were out there.
I went out on a rock ledge hanging at the top of a cliff and brought my didgeridoo. I found a crevice the size of my body with arms outstretched holding the didgeridoo at various different angles for reverb. I looked straight up through the narrow crags of rocks above me and saw a jet flying in front of the sun, and a bird flying below it, all within the same line of vision. I looked down and saw 3 different cascading landscapes declining to the canyon floor where a tiny vehicle was stopping and two ant-like figures were emerging.
I completely lost myself. I was in the middle of the depths of space created by man and nature, with his technological achievements aiding his conquest of extreme distance both high above nature and deep below it. All was in alignment with the sun and the momentary vertigo of imagining the sun being stationary in relation to all of these objects spinning almost with a clocklike precision in the trajectory of their centripetal force in their orbit around the sun. At this moment I was not only motionless, but because of my extremely relaxed breathing that is required for didgeridoo/throat singing, I felt like I was completely at home in this place of intersecting planes and holons.
After that experience I needed to get back on solid ground, and quickly. I tried getting the didgeridoo up on top of the rock Iíd climbed down from, but J wasnít there so I waited a little while for him to come back so that I could climb back up again. While waiting I experienced some very anxious feelings of slight vertigo and fear of losing my footing. Once I got back on the ground I felt much better and invigorated. I drew a note in my sketchbook about theremins and sine waves versus triangle waves.
We smoked a little and walked around some more, occasionally heíd stop to take pictures and I to sketch the scenery. I realized after the first cliff experience that this was going to be a very fun trip. The next hill/cliff we came to seemed much larger than the last, we climbed to the top of it and I stood momentarily at the highest point and tried to take in all my surroundings at once, but got vertigo very bad and had to lay down. I donít remember how much time we spent there, but we left our bag and shirts by that hill and continued with our sunglasses, didgeridoo, and marijuana.
Iím having trouble putting the cliffs in the right order in my memory but Iím pretty sure we came to the next one and saw it was like planes of bedrock twisting up from the ground like a waffle cone or cinnamon sticks, layers of different colored stone in gradients that were vibrant enough to touch. The wind tunnel created by all of these obtuse angles was one that visibly had ripped a fully-grown tree out from under the stones it had grown in between, and twisted and warped the bark of a closer, much older tree. At the top of this marvelous formation was a near-perfect spiral ascending to the uppermost point.
We climbed this, and I got very freaked out at the top, this cliff was different in that it not only was at a distance away from the main upper plateau, and thus elevationwise, was isolated from any other high points, but it was very peculiarly shaped, for such a spire-shaped abutment. Closer inspection of the structural framework beneath this rock showed that it had practically erupted from the ground in an almost shell-like spiral, with intersecting planes the entire height of the rock, so at odds with each other that I started to think I was standing completely perpendicular to the orientation of gravity.
Playing the didgeridoo here was probably the most unnerving experience I had had so far. I went from climbing near-vertical cliff face, to straddling seemingly loose foundational boulders and losing my breath due to the fear of dying as a result of some vertigo-induced malplacement of my appendages, to reclining as comfortably as I could afford on the edge of some jagged rocks on the brink of complete gravity distortion while I lay my head back and attempted to feel completely at home, sober, and calm as I throat sang and waved my didge around.
The resulting effect was one of laying horizontal on a surfboard while riding the pipeline of a standing wave of solid rock and air pressure flowing in every direction with a 10,000 year cresting period. While blowing through the didgeridoo as it was pointed downward directly at the wind tunnel forcing its way up, it took a large amount of force to move the air downward. The personal reenactment of the heroís journey in every moment of this trip was evident. After a long time trying to become comfortable on this amazingly complex and disorienting environment, we walked down to a valley and made our way to the final, very large hill at the edge of the cliff.
Near the bottom of this valley we picked a spot under a bush where it was nice and shady to relax, smoke, and then meditate. We were situated to the left of a large, living bush and to the right of a slightly smaller, completely dead bush. The shadow from the living bush covered us and most of the dead bush, so I assumed it was the living bushís greed for light that extinguished the life of the now-dead bush. Luckily, we nomadic homo sapiens escaped the destructive power of the bushís shadow quick enough to continue our journey.
While meditating in lotus position, the two of us tried spine-straightening techniques as well as very deep breathing that I exercise in my didgeridoo playing and throat singing. We were amazed by the complexities of the living and dead branches and fractal, spiral, self-referential, self-organizing patterns in the bushes, and remarked how the pattern would be much more complex if the individual points were aware of themselves and therefore also of the other points. I closed my eyes briefly and saw spiraling waves cascading around each other, we imagined an old person trying to paraphrase their life to a young person in three words, and deduced the most mathematically all-encompassing phrase would be: Spirals and waves.
When we both tried the lotus position, I experienced after a brief period when closing my eyes, the sight of a field of spheres arranged in a triangle, and each near-diamond shape between the spheres was filled with fractal, self-organizing patterns with a spiral to each. I experienced being reborn into my body very mildly and comfortably. I felt an incredibly compassionate feeling in my chest as I sensed I was vanishing back into nature.
I played around with a dry stick and easily broke all the tiny branches off of it in a fluid mental and physical process. I held the stick between my fingers and tried to enjoy the tactile sensation of its bark against my increasingly sensitive fingertips to the point where I forgot I was there. I practiced focusing my eyes on as close a detailed picture of the stick in front of me as I could see, because my focus was all thrown off by the cliffs I had just experienced. The focusing process was very slow, but it was an excellent meditation. By the time I was done I was sure that I was at least slightly more able to see the stick, clearly, as it truly was.
We talked and smoked for a good while, and the breeze picked up so strongly that I experienced chills through my body. It was unbelievably refreshing and energizing, in combination with the lotus position, which in combination with the LSD, was like a battery of energy just charging up. I have read up and found out that meditation and yoga have been scientifically proven to reverse the aging process on our bodies and minds. This is clearly evident during the strenuous process of rock climbing, which requires all the muscles in the body to be tensed, as well as flexible, in order to shift energy to any necessary point. I have found that doing yoga while under the influence of a psychedelic is extremely calming and enlightening because it controls what I see and feel and helps guide it in a positive direction, while also eliminating restlessness, which is a crucial point to achieving an effective meditation session.
This time, my body did not naturally crave the yoga as it usually does, because the need to cautiously and controllably conduct my bodyís movements was fulfilled by the rock climbing and only brief stretches were needed to achieve a continual state of positively flowing circulation, respiration, and subsequently, cognition.
Time flew by underneath that bush, neither of us remembered how long it had been, but eventually we got up and made our way up the next hill, where we found 3 or 4 large cone-shaped piles of stones on top of the largest boulders sticking out from a corner in the cliffs. This was apparently the climax of many peopleís hikes, and I speculated that the accumulated energy of the other cliffs and hills that were necessary to pass over in order to get to this point self-manifested in the form of peopleís motivation to build organized natural sculptures at this place. I placed one small stone at the top of one of the pyramids and recognized the significance of my earlier premonition of a pyramid made out of spheres.
To the one side that we had not seen yet, was a near-endless expanse of interweaving riverbeds and rock formations, covered in greenery. Also the very end of the man-made pipeline we had seen earlier. Either it was not designed to extend any further, or it was not visible to us on the mountain that the remainder of the pipe was underground from that point on. Plateaus and more cliffs, ravines, and crevices continued to our left, and on the horizon in every direction, the rocky mountains of New Mexico merged with the haze and clouds in the distance. In front of one range, the city of Los Alamos was visible, and in the opposite direction, the mountainous Sangre de Cristo range adjacent to Santa Fe was visibly still capped with snow.
When we headed back, we touched upon many of the same spots, though the experience was obviously very different and equally as enlightening. The sun was now going down and we still had the urge to gloriously take our time in leaving, stopping to rest in many different places, but not smoking very often.
When we went back to the cliff at which we had left our bag, I tried standing on the highest point again and was able to take it for a few more seconds this time, before losing my confidence and scrambling back to a more stable place. I tried leaning back to play the didgeridoo on this rock, but the sight of the entire canyon behind me flailing around was seriously messing with the fluids in my inner ears so I had to close my eyes in order to relax enough to play the didgeridoo. After about a minute of playing my breath just wasnít becoming relaxed enough so I stopped and let J try and play. Everyone who tries playing the didgeridoo the first time canít stop laughing once they figure it out because their lung capacity only provides for short flatulent-sounding bursts of air. This kept us both amused for a while.
The rest of the trip had brief instances of intense deja vu as we passed certain flowering cacti that we recognized from earlier, and approached a rock formation that both of us had been to earlier at 2 separate occasions, which caused us to reassess our insect-like role in the dynamic homeostasis of nature. As we came nearer this formation, we were descending a lightly curved plane that became more complex as it neared the edge of the canyon, and on the other side in perfect alignment with this complexity, more stones seemed to come closer and form a bridge across the gap to the plateau facing us. As we slowly shifted our gaze drawing nearer the illusion seemed to become more and more real, and other possible canyons emerged in between points on the ground that could easily have been separated by a large distance, but in actuality were continuously connected.
After walking a little further, we approached an almost garden-like area, surrounded by a semicircular natural retaining wall of black rocks, in the center of which was the only single aloe plant we had seen on the entire journey, and it was blooming with beautiful yellow flowers. It was very zen-like and psychedelic. After getting slightly lost on the way back down, we eventually found roughly the same path we used to ascend the first hill, walked down, and I felt like the gravity of the mountains was displacing my body to a lower, more natural and stable center on the flat ground. Of all the surfing analogies that come up during an acid trip, this was the most intense, because as we were coming up, we were impatiently climbing the mountains, and by the time we came back down to the ground, we were so calmed and tired and satisfied it was like we had just surfed over the tops and backs of all these cresting waves and exchanged our energy with that of the ancient in the rocks, and the novel in the sunlight. We came back and rode the length of the pipeline out onto the pavement again, bringing the only linear aspect of the trip full circle.
We drove back to see what A and D were doing. Apparently even though they had taken far less than J and I, they both had excellent and fulfilling experiences, so we decided we still had a lot left. This trip had so many elements to it, when trying to imagine a picture in my memory to associate with this entire experience, so much uncertainty is waving around associated with the amazing distances and sensations I opened my mind to, that itís impossible to nail down a single true exemplifying experience.
The scopes I explored were groundbreaking and not a single moment was anything short of uplifting and instructional. The mathematical elements, spirals, waves, lines, circles, spheres, triangles, pyramids, cones, and so on were so varied and diverse but all seemed connected. Yin and Yang were constantly present and continually showed me their ever-complex relationships and ever-present balance. I saw very little wildlife apart from birds and insects, plantlife was very diverse and included grasses, trees, bushes, flowers, and succulents, and the contrasts between the deep red earth tone and the bright, translucent yellow-green of the grass in the sun were in such high contrast and such equal distribution that we were both constantly astounded by what we were seeing. Dead trees as well as living ones fascinated us with their organic forms and vibrant yet somehow pastel colors. The light from the sun gave everything a shine during the day and a glow at dusk such that the reflected light was at once bright white and clear and rosy pink with a hint of blue. Imagining the canyon being turned upside down in my sleep and the next day I get flashbacks of slight vertigo. I am still in the process of reflecting on this experience.
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