Citation: Paul W. "Helped Me Transcend My Alcoholism: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (extract) (exp79762)". Erowid.org. May 5, 2021. erowid.org/exp/79762
In the following, I relate five of my personal experiences with salvia divinorum. As a recovering alcoholic and drug addict dealing with depression and anxiety, I've always struggled and failed to live spiritually, and I've always been hostile toward religions and most people's conceptions of God. I'm now in recovery, having quit drinking about a year ago. Though I was able to stop drinking, I continued to despair of ever finding a spiritual life.
Though I was able to stop drinking, I continued to despair of ever finding a spiritual life.
And though it wasn't recommended to me by anyone, I decided to try salvia divinorum. I had heard long ago it could be potentially valuable in gaining spiritual insight and transcending personal difficulty. The results of these five experiments have been more successful than I could have possibly imagined. (Not to mention they have been stranger than my strangest dreams.) Though I don't think salvia by itself is any substitute for spirituality, I think it can help. It has certainly helped me. The following experiences can only offer hints as to how it has helped me, as the core of the content of my experiences is impossible for me to put into words. Bear with me as I try to explain.
Trip #1. I bought a gram of SD of potency 7x. My younger brother and I smoked almost all of it in one evening. My brother had tried it a few times and recommended that I take off my shoes and socks. "Why?" I asked. He replied: "Well, when I'm on salvia, I tend to sweat profusely." So I took off my shoes and socks. I sat on the bed and tried to clear my mind of distractions. Then, finally, I took the pipe and torch, and took as big a hit as I could. I lied back on the bed and tried to count to thirty.
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.,11..,12...,13......,14.........,15............. I don't think I ever got to twenty.
My eyes were closed, but I was suddenly aware of something in my field of vision -- field distortions in the darkness like interlocking fingers of wispy nothingness. These distortions were vaguely familiar and they suggested to me the presence of some transcendent entity materializing out of the darkness. Deja vu! Everything was frozen. I could not move, or at least, I didn't think I could move. The only thing moving was the presence of some vast eternal being, which slowly grew and grew, eventually bowling me over.
A minute or two later, when I realized that in fact I COULD move, I took another hit and told my brother to put on some music. The sensations returned stronger than ever, and I felt all the nervous tissue in my body grinding together, like a mortar and pestle crushing thistles into powder. Eternity opened up and I saw the present, ancient history, and distant future all rolled into one. My brother was playing violin music, and the sound of violins crystallized synaesthetically into cold blue pillars of sound.
After the experience faded, I noted that my feet were dripping with sweat. I was glad to have been barefoot -- it just felt more natural.
Trip #2. I was at my friend's apartment, and I had just bought a gram of 21x. The window was open and it was raining outside. We had some soft music playing in the background. I loaded the pipe, took a hit, and passed it to my friend, who took a hit and put down the pipe. We both held our air for thirty seconds and exhaled. I was sitting on my friend's couch so I lied back and sank into the couch.
Immediately everything was "translated." The room was translated, my body was translated, the music was translated, the couch was translated, my friend was translated. Everything was spinning and grinding like round, razor-sharp blades, all spinning/grinding counter-clockwise, all spinning horizontally. The music disappeared and was replaced by a voice that told me: "You are high. You are SO high."
I was so relaxed that I couldn't move. I rolled off the couch and landed on the floor. The relative difference in the heights of the floor and the couch was collapsed, so that the couch and the floor were of the same height. A voice came to me out of nowhere and I realized it was my own voice. I said "Help me return to the Lord's path." What? What did I just say?
My friend later told me that when the effects came on, he was terrified, and as he looked at my face, he saw my face replicated a hundred times in terror. His report reminded me that not everyone experiences salvia the same way. It is an unpredictable substance that may or may not produce pleasant results.
Trip #3. I was sitting in my car with the radio but the engine was shut off. I took a hit of the 21x and held it in. (Note to the reader: I don't recommend smoking salvia in your car. It's never a good idea to be under the influence when you get behind a wheel, even if you don't intend to drive.) My arm was dangling out the window, holding a cigarette. Suddenly I realized that my arm was refracted into an angular and pluralistic medley of three different arms. Each of these three arms was holding several burning cigarettes. The familiar sensation of being frozen in time returned, of being unable to move, and of existing outside of time in communion with some naturalistic divine entity. It occurred to me, as if spoken to me from a divinity, that the spiritual life I sought was not possible to find by MOVING toward it. It was only reachable by GROWING toward it.
Trip #4. I was sitting on the grass at around midnight in a public park. I took a hit of the 21x and held it in.
A sad yet beautiful force sawed my body in half and ignited the various segments of my corpse into burning fires of nature. Nature burned me and everything around me into dozens of frozen divisions of living stone, made to praise her. I thought: "I was made to lie here in the grass, sinking slowly into my grave." The way that Nature simultaneously divided, reordered, and reunited the parts of the world around me was such that everything appeared luminous and vast and empty. I looked up at the moon and the stars and it was as if the sky itself was telling me that everything would be all right. The sky itself was rocking me to sleep in its massive cradle. What finally shook me out of it was a man who drove by and stopped to ask if I was all right. I said "I'm fine" and he said "Are you sure?" So I walked away, ultimately frustrated at everything, at the elusiveness of it all. I knew it would be nearly impossible for me to describe what had happened to anyone.
I lied down on the grass in the park and took a hit of 21x. For a minute or ten minutes I thought something seriously bad was going to happen. What went through my mind was this: "I have this Mom, you know we call her Mom, and she was telling me certain things are all right and other things are not all right. The things to the left side of my sensory field are all right and the things to the right are not all right. Or maybe it was the other way around. But either way it didn't matter because NOTHING WAS ON EITHER SIDE!!" It occurred to me that I was a victim of Satan's slapstick comedy. This whole thing, the whole time, was a hilarious pun. I laughed so hard that I drooled.
I was so confused that I forgot I was on salvia. There was this white house on the block adjacent to where I was lying in the grass and whatever was in that house, it was okay, as long as Mom said it was okay. The sky was like dribbling wax into my head, it was long horizontal "sky wax" that melted off and took eons to dribble over. I was laughing so hard I was drooling and babbling incoherently. Everything was frozen in time in the most perfect way, like "glass peanut butter" and the objective was to not move because if I moved I would break part of the liquid glass peanut butter that I was submerged in. So I kept lying down on the grass squeezing my eyes shut tightly so that nothing would break. Finally some people passed me on the sidewalk and I snapped out of it. This final experience was different from the others in that it was not particularly "spiritual." It was, nonetheless, an absolute riot.
Salvia divinorum, in my experiences with it, has exceptionally powerful entheogenic properties. The spiritual insight I have gained with the help of this substance has been of utmost importance to my own spiritual growth and development. At the same time, it is not a drug to be taken lightly. It is not a recreational drug. It is not "fun" in the sense that other drugs are "fun." It is a plant to be respected and cherished. It is best to approach one's first salvia experience with an open mind, and it is a good idea to prepare for it with a few minutes of prayer and/or meditation.
As an alcoholic and addict I can honestly say that in the 24 hours or so following a salvia trip, drugs and alcohol are the furthest thing from my mind. This is not to say that an alcoholic who has been sober for just 24 hours can pick up salvia and never crave liquor again. It is simply to say that the effects of salvia include the catalysis of spiritual growth and development. And spiritual growth and development are essential to recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction.
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