Citation: Flamineo. "The Puppeteer in the Swirling Prismatic Void: An Experience with DMT, LSD & Cannabis (exp82837)". Erowid.org. Aug 19, 2010. erowid.org/exp/82837
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[Note: For about a month before this experience, I was taking 200mg Sertraline (Zoloft) once daily. I discontinued use 36 hours before the experience.]
At five o’clock in the afternoon we were sitting around a friend’s living room with a respectable quantity of DMT and LSD. It was my first experiment with DMT, though I’d been on high doses of LSD, salvia and mushrooms before.
The first hit of the DMT that I did made me feel cold and weird and gave me tunnel vision. I did a second hit and held it in for some time. I felt myself melting into the couch and my head lolled to the side, the room around me fracturing into twisting pinwheels of rainbow-colored light before my eyelids drooped shut. I panicked a bit at first because the stuff was so strong that I couldn’t control my body, but soon enough my ego completely flatlined, taking my worries with it.
I didn’t know or care who or where I was. Before me was a huge carousel of somberly shaded purple, grey and blue lights. I seemed to hover nearer and further away from it. When I began coming back, the room was swirling in a twisting vortex of multicolored light. Spiritual sensations and ideation were completely absent from the trip. These would come soon enough, though.
For some minutes afterward, I felt a euphoric lift. It was now about 6 in the evening and, with both my best friend and myself having smoked a dose of DMT each, we decided to drop the first hit of acid. We each dropped a second hit about fifteen minutes afterward.
By 8 o’clock the acid began to peak. My trip centered around patterns in perceptual streams (much like the last time I did acid), and I meditated about layers of depersonalized intentions behind perceptions for hours, often losing entire grasp of who I was as the room around me twisted, shivered and swelled into patches of rainbows. I began to feel that the LSD had initiated some sort of autodeconstructive process in the stream of perceptions constituting my identity. This was somewhat frightening, but also exhilarating as I began to realize what it meant for our whole universe to be reflected in electrochemical interactions between cells, which could then be reconfigured in a way that temporarily altered the fabric of the universe. Pretty standard stuff for LSD use. My trip felt very material, except at times when I would feel strange creeping flows of spiritual energy slither through the room. I managed to write the following at 10:19 that night, while the peak was still going strong and my ego was totally gone:
“To chronicle the cognitive distortions during an LSD peak requires the utmost concentration and focus. Because the acid-smattering, weirdo-collision universe is out there, and my thoughts don’t know where I am when I’m thinking them.
The body is strangely alienated from me, as well as my cognitive processes, some of which twist into crystal fractal dimensions very far away from where they started. That’s the beauty of LSD—the surprises. I reach out from behind the corner and frighten myself, or catch myself catching myself catching myself…
The sensorium is obviously broken or dislocated somehow—disarticulated. But it’s the resulting logical fragments that are truly terrifying. The most bizarre and interesting aspect of being on acid is that the sensorium has been totally disarticulated and reconfigured—I don’t know where sights, sounds, feelings etc. begin or end, and I begin or end in these data flows, losing myself in tides of beautiful colors and profoundly, sadly incommunicable emotions. Some of the phenomena of my consciousness seem stereotypical and weirdly trite—it allows me to see the tides of media corruption cartoony weirdness creeping as a constant undercurrent in my thinking.
It’s that multicolored stew, underlying all perceptions—making them swirl together. When the flows of sensation become interrupted, patterns emerge in them that reveal intentions that are not my own. That’s the origin of empathy. The problem of empathy is really what I’m after, isn’t it? The problem of empathy with things that aren’t me. The whole wide, wide material universe isn’t me. That’s the central thing that most people can’t grasp. The absolute, horrifying, endlessly multivarious and splentrificalifying multiweirdoverse.
The profound sadness of realizing there’s nothing there to realize—that’s why I do hallucinogens. A perverse sort of jadedness with all sensory and emotional input. Because in striving for an absolutely different sensation, I lose track of what I am. In trying to realize there’s nothing to realize, something interferes between the realizer and the abstract, happening of eventoweirdliness. There’s a process trying to deconstruct itself—a pattern that emerges in the conscious flow of perception, and then catches itself—trying to realize what it is, but in viewing itself it unwinds again into strangeliness.
It takes LSD to realize the true nightmare horror strangeliness of perceptions piecing and stitching themselves into the pattern of a person, which is always endlessly re-echoed in electrochemical reactions that splinter apart and break up and reconfigure the thing that thought it was thinking about them.
There are levels of impersonality and automatism. Personality isn’t simply an on/off switch. When I turn off the light of the ego identity, the perceptions can take on their own logic, and re-echo endlessly. It takes LSD to realize the profound sadness of our whole universe being merely electrochemical states that are disrupted. But of course that simple mechanism is inadequate, for LSD also reveals that there is something pulling the strings. That’s what I try not to remember that the acid is telling me: that something is pulling the strings of my perceptions that isn’t me.
There are multiple not mes, in fact an endlessly re-echoing not me. That’s all the material universe really is—a place where I am not. I can grasp then the really startlingly simple correspondences that German idealism is trying to grapple with—the perceptions autodeconstruct themselves in an endlessly, byzantinely complex fashion—when they begin trying to realize what they are, they initiate a series of logical states that takes over the show and the syntax of the sentence, obviously. That’s probably another problem with LSD—the linguistic faculties are all fucked up too, and they’re trying to reveal these endlessly complex perceptual processes with nothing really behind them.
One thing that’s interesting about the LSD is that it makes certain reaches of thought, certain images, certain lines of self that aren’t normally privileged, come alive. The self begins to figure out that all consciousness is a matter of puppetry, layers upon layers of perceptions and automatism coordinating the perceptions, with nothing at the core. There’s a fundamental mismatch at the core. And then the glitch just plays itself out with a tragically necessary logic. That’s what a human personality is—culture pulling the strings, and making the perceptions dance in a way that convinces most people there’s a semblance of a person there. But really there’s nothing.
And one begins to figure out the cavernous emptiness of the universe when it becomes unclear whether it’s contained inside the skull or not. Perhaps it could never be contained in a human skull. These things were never meant for these poor, blind, ugly organic beings, on this rock in the middle of so much, so much, unending nothingificating unconsciousness—the oddity of the oddverse that isn’t so much me anymore. Revealing that so much of human personality is just this tragically simple game, of here’s the thing, now take it away.
Once I begin to realize how frightening it is that the endless, multivarious complexity of the material universe could be echoed in anything. When I begin to think that what is reflecting the endless complexity of the material universe isn’t a mirror or an unbroken surface of water, but this blind labyrinth of cells firing action potentials in the darkness of something’s skull on a rock that no one can see except for the seers of the rock—the rest of the universe is a blind, staring, undark light. No wonder these patterns of consciousness can never pull themselves together. That’s what styles do—they string perceptions together into a self. But normally the unconscious is there, it’s a tape of weird unprocessable thoughts, sense data, etc. What about all that SENSE DATA my brain is excluding? Those populations of neurons are making decisions about what to show me and what not to show me that are separate from the phenomena of volition. But the LSD reveals how frightening it is to have such a muddy medium be the reflecting mirror for such a complex darkness.”
When the acid had lost just enough intensity for us to realize where we were and what we were doing, we decided to smoke the rest of the DMT. We loaded another dose into one of the pipes we’d been smoking out of before and began to inhale. It didn’t take me long to blast off. The first few times we hit the pipe were almost too bewildering to recall, but afterward I began to see huge grids of rainbow light twisting and warping like a film of oil on the surface of a puddle of water. This began to subside, and then one of my friends informed us that he could scrape together a bowl of pot resin. We placed this in the bowl of a bong we’d been smoking DMT out of earlier and inhaled.
The pot resin mixed with the DMT and began to get us incredibly high. We couldn’t even feel the THC at first, as we were sucking in so much DMT. However, I feel that the THC complemented the LSD and the DMT, making the perceptual phenomena generated by both chemicals gel somehow. The first times I smoked the DMT on the acid, the chemicals seemed to clash, with the DMT overtaking the LSD. It took the pot to bind the hallucinogenic sensorium together into a coherent world.
After lazing around on couches and smoking DMT and pot for about an hour, my eyes drifted shut and I began to see incredibly complex prismatic entities: Mayan gods shaped like stone fish with mouths opening and spewing out clouds of single-cell organisms, lizards, comets, clouds, multitudes of anteaters drooping down the sides of a cliff, the canopy of a rain forest at night seen from below, as if I were lying on the ground, splitting into kaleidoscopic reflections of itself in drops of water which wriggled into the shapes of frogs. My whole body would fragment, shattering into furry mammals and snakes which would scamper and slither into the undergrowth. At other times my arms and legs twisted into vines, tree limbs and roots.
Most of the imagery I saw was incredibly complex, constantly shifting and interlacing like Gothic foliation, but made up of tropical vines, galaxies and molecules. Sometimes this imagery would turn into patterns like those in Aztec or Mayan architecture. I began to feel my soul being flooded with spiritual energy. My mind blossomed into a huge ornate temple, and images of various unrecognizable gods danced through it. I placed my hands together and held them over my head to direct a blasting column of light into my skull. At other times, everything around me swirled into rainbow storms of birds and insects that looked like a cross between moths and the leaves and tendrils of exotic plants. Often I saw myself floating above clouds and mountaintops alongside bizarrely animalistic spiritual beings. Sometimes the DMT would take memories of experiences I'd had and twist them into its landscapes or populate them with animals and gods. I couldn’t open my eyes and kept repeating to my friends that I’d entered a visionary state.
At this point, more people arrived at the house and I escaped to my friend’s bedroom in order to commune with the DMT in solitude. I turned off the lights, laid down on the bed, put on some headphones and listened to Coil’s ...and the ambulance died in his arms. For a while I merely lay there wondering at the incredible beauty of the closed-eye visuals. Suddenly, without noticing the transition, I found myself in the midst of a spiritual breakthrough. Here’s an account I wrote immediately after the experience at 2:33 in the morning, while the euphoria and perceptual distortions were still going strong:
“At a certain point in the trip, I realized that I wasn’t an individual anymore. There was something else, that told me that it was all things, all people, all identities. It told me that it could wear our perceptions like masks. It asked me “how could I ever think of myself as being separate from all that manifold complexity?” I saw huge, spiraling, churning rows of heads, human, animal, stone—and the thing was chasing itself all through them, churning them up, stirring up perceptions into people. This thing showed me, made me feel that my whole identity was nothing more than an empty mask to it, unless it chose to inhabit that mask with beautiful complexity.
It then made me feel that inside my mind itself was so much complexity, that the complexity of those perceptions mirrored, made room for, etched in limned and sanctified all the animal heads, the dancing whirling world, the prismatic voids, threatening to shatter human minds, to show them what they’re worth, that their most intimate contents are nothing more than playthings to something much vaster. It then left me, churning into other waves of images and patterns that the DMT had left me with. I kept asking 'What are you?' but it didn’t answer—it seemed as if it almost laughed at the impudence of the question.
[Later that night, I also felt that inside my head was an infinite number of beings, that the complexity of my perceptions and the colonial nature of my own consciousness united me with other beings as well as separating me from them. It was always a mistake to view that complexity as a barrier rather than a bridge.]
Also this thing was asking me why I denied the spiritual structure of material reality. It then showed me an extra dimension of reality, which was made of interlacing patterns uniting all beings. This spiritual reality was supported by pillars of light, complex patterns of stone and animal heads, and the entity pressed my head into one of these pillars and asked me why I didn’t believe, and my mind was flooded with interlacing imagery. I understood then that I was united with all things. These patterns, these interlacing patterns [the ones generated by the DMT], they froth up the boundaries between entities and tangle them together.”
The heads were all stretched out in a row which curved as if it were the crest of a wave or the slope of a hill. They seemed almost like graves or monuments. The entity that I encountered wasn’t itself visible; I could only glimpse it in the ripples it left as it moved through twisting, churning webs of light. I understood that the complexity of the perceptions in me was what united me with all things; I was merely one stream in an endlessly intertwining river of perceptual streams. I kept repeating to myself “I am many things.” Knowing that even in myself the perceptions of a multitude of different entities were churning together in a little whirlpool of a human mind seemed to unite me with the endless complexity of the universe.
The spiritual reality I witnessed was made of fractal patterns of animals and plants that twisted together and interlaced between all objects, both organic and inorganic. It was a huge, warping, prismatic fabric that wove the universe together. Certain parts of this fabric thickened into towering pillars shot through with intensely glowing bluish light. It was one of these pillars that the entity held my head against, and the zig-zagging animal patterns that danced across it tangled together and crept into my thoughts, destroying the boundaries between my own identity and the rest of the universe.
After this point in the trip, I felt more spiritually energized than ever before in my life. It was only later in the morning that I began to worry I’d seen things that no human being had seen and broken my head for good (always a sign of a great trip). I decided to see if I could sleep it off and surprisingly had very little trouble getting to bed. When I woke up seven hours later, I was a little foggy and disoriented and I had a bit of a headache, but otherwise I was fine. Within 24 hours of the experience, I no longer noticed any aftereffects. All in all, this was certainly the most intense experience of my life and perhaps the most beautiful as well.
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