Hm. Did It Just Open My Mind?
Citation: Some Guy. "Hm. Did It Just Open My Mind?: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (exp84314)". Erowid.org. Mar 4, 2020. erowid.org/exp/84314
Some background. I didn't try many psychedelics before. I've been using cannabis a lot, also for the purposes of meditation, self-exploration etc. I had several attempts to use Salvia in the previous two years, some with pretty interesting results, and one, rather shallow, experience with psilocybin-containing mushroom. Still, I always felt more intrigued than satisfied. I've never had any sort of bad trips at all and I've always controlled my mind quite well, both being sober and intoxicated. I also practised meditation a little bit and gained some ability to control my body and mind.
Some more background on myself, because I believe that it might be helpful to understand just what kind of a guy I am. The best short description would be that I'm a consequent, nordic-looking, calm, rationally thinking, ever-analyzing guy with strong ties to the academic community. Not a skeptic though, I've always been open-minded, and now I'm slowly becoming sort of an anti-skeptic, really. I can safely admit that my experience with Salvia changed me thoroughly and opened my mind for a world much more subtle, fragile and unspeakable than the world of ordinary experience. I'm still puzzled and feel much like Magellan realizing that the world is quite different than I've ever supposed.
I'm still puzzled and feel much like Magellan realizing that the world is quite different than I've ever supposed.
Anyway, last night I had a free evening, my girlfriend was out, so I was left only with my dog. Thank heavens a sensible mutt he is, so he left me alone and was quiet the whole the time. I decided to give Salvia another try and to choose the traditional Mazatec route of administration which is chewing. I rehydrated about 4-5 grams of dry leaf, leaving a bit from the 5-grams bag for smoking - which later turned out to be a good idea. Both to the chewed quids and later to the pipe I added a little bit of the 5x fortified leaf. I sat calmly in a dark room in total silence, slowed my breath and heart-rate and emptied my mind. I also... well, I hesitate to say that... asked Salvia to give me whatever there is to be given and offered my mind to it. Sounds even more weird to me, I can assure you. But I did it honestly and with no underthoughts, really don't know why. I felt humble.
I formed two nice quids and sucked on one for about 10 minutes, gnawing every 10-15 seconds a bit, trying not to spit too much out, and putting the mash under the tongue as much as was possible. When the first quid turned into a pulp, I spat it out and had a first revelation, because the white bowl with a dark-dreen spat-out pulp began to be the first moving image in my sight, vibrating with patterns. I recognized this tingling from my earlier encounters with Salvia and other plants, so I formed another quid and slowly began to submerge deeper and deeper. The chewing method is absolutely THE method; when I had smoked earlier, the transformation always happened so quickly that I never had the chance to actually see it in all details and appreciate the transformation. Also, when I chew, this clear, unmistakable voice which I can refer to as the 'guiding voice' (only because the name 'teaching voice' I'm afraid to use), slowly emerges from the top-back of my head and I have just enough time to tune in. What happens later defies description. Some general remarks.
First of all, there is a definite feeling of a presence. I still hesitate to say that because it is so difficult to explain it in my usual Western mindset without referring to the psychological and the psychiatric language. But alas, I was welcomed (back), guided, spoken to etc. The overarching motto of my experience was 'OMG, OMG, this IS actually real!!!'. Just for that feeling, I'm forever thankful.
Second of all, there is an even more definite feeling of being warmly mocked up, led and directed - that's the whole idea behind the 'teaching plant' thing, I suppose. I was literally told what to do, I felt like an elementary school student. Sit straight, head down or you will choke, put that away or it will spill... As I mentioned earlier, I am an analytic kind of guy, so I immediately asked myself, and It, just what exactly WAS that? Was it me, was it two parts of my brain talking to each other? I have good experience with playing with my dreams - I can command my dreams at will with great ease, so my spontaneous idea was to do it there. I tried if I can think just on my own something patently different from that what the voice told me - to check for autosuggestion. It now sounds silly and blockheaded, but remember I'm a freshman here. I was simply so absolutely astonished by the apparent alien nature of the guiding voice, that I tried to test it with all my usual skills of a philosopher trained in theory of mind and phenomenology. As you can imagine, I was laughed at for asking stupid questions. It was immediately made clear to me that there is a palpable qualitative difference between my own thoughts and the voice; and that such tests drive me away from the places that I should be visiting. I stopped at once and felt like a fool, and a sacrilegious one. I closed my science fair project after about 10 seconds and let it go. From that point on, I was as open-minded and receptive as I could.
The guiding voice suggested to begin breath control in order to move deeper; you have to empty your mind, because all that swollen ego blocks the entrance, she said. I realised that I'm far too used to thinking all the time to obey this order. I was constantly attacked by stupid little thoughts about myself, the room I was in, my girlfriend etc. I felt as if I was led into the hallway, and greeted by the elves, but my own mind-noise made it impossible to shut up and go deeper. I took several deep breaths and emptied my mind again.
We decided it might be good to turn on a very quiet background music, just like white noise is played in isolation tanks, and to smoke. So I did. During smoking, I had many more extraordinary revelations regarding the herb itself, the situation of taking it in me etc., but these were more of general, cannabis-like type, so I pass over them in silence. Eventually I took several deep, burning hits - it hurt my lungs and throat a bit, but I managed to keep it - held them as long as I could, laid down in darkness, tuned into the smooth guitar loop, and was finally pulled deeper, and deeper, and deeper.
In one source on Salvia I've read of a definite feeling of being dragged, or led, through ever more doors and pathways - that's exactly what I experienced. At some point, I felt as if a light-filled cavern opened in my mind, where my thoughts would jump around spontaneously, my imagination would roam, and - once again - any intrusion from the outside would be immediately recognized as alien and inappropriate. At one moment, when I was looking around this cavity in wonder, a lone analytic thought started to bang to the door again; something along the lines of 'Come on, this is just you, sitting in your room in darkness' or 'Hmmm... what exactly IS this place?', but these thoughts seemed remarkably alien, unnecessary and destructive, dark and obnoxious. One of these thoughts almost pulled my away from this cavity, like it was saying 'Come back here, you fool, there's a REAL world out there!'. Like I said, I'm evidently a bad kind of guy for psychedelics, I just think too much and can't stop it. Luckily, I drove those thoughts away (that's why I'd been training mind control earlier, right?), and with every passing second, gained more and more confidence in my new surroundings. I began to play with my imagination and summon imagery, and pay more attention to the thoughts and feelings that I found buzzing around me - all of that soaked in this unimaginable aura of light, truth and 'naturalness'. 'You can't lie here', I thought at one moment in amazement. 'This is where conscience is hidden', I murmured in delight a second later. I spent there only several minutes, finally happy and with no need to control myself and watch out for the discomforting thoughts from the outside.
It is extremely difficult to express what happened there; there is definitely much more of the emotions and thoughts going on, than of visualisations or hallucinations
there is definitely much more of the emotions and thoughts going on, than of visualisations or hallucinations
. It may be the question of dosage. The final impression is that this world seems to be always there, just waiting somewhere in the air in the standby mode, needing only an open mind as a vessel to spring to existence. Maybe that's why it wants to cooperate?
I slowly decompressed. It was quite late in the night at that time, so I tidied up quickly, turned off the music, and began to drift away. I fell asleep and had many beautiful dreams, I'm sure, which I cannot now remember, but which certainly may be attributed to the afterglow effect of Salvia.
To sum up. First of all, it was only the third Salvia experience I had that may be called anything of a success. Still, I've only touched the surface here; in the 'Siebert scale' I would rate it level 3 to 4, where level 5 seems to be IT. My hope is that from the report above you can easily see, how the analytic part of my mind had to be constantly shut up, so that contact could have been achieved. What is sorely needed in experiencing Salvia is the simple ability to shut up, open the mind and listen. Nothing more, but I'm only beginning to be able to do it. Too much noise, just too much noise in me...
Secondly, the quid technique seems also to be the key. Admittedly, I didn't achieve my state without smoking, but it seems to be possible in practice. I just need more peace of mind and more consequence in chewing. The Mazatec are strongly against smoking, but I don't think it should be treated as a no-no. For one, chewing will surely allow me to tune in and profit more. It's not the kind of drug I would ask for a short and staggering trip.
The Salvia has been lately made illegal in my country, so I don't know when I'll be able to repeat that experience, but I most certainly will want to do it. The plan it to chew, then possibly smoke, then shut up and listen. That's how it's done, it seems. Lots of humility and lost of peace of mind needed. And not bring my problems there. Thanks for reading.
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