Citation: Psilocybe. "The Nature of Reality: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (10x extract), Absinthe & Alcohol (exp87364)". Erowid.org. Jun 3, 2020. erowid.org/exp/87364
This is a summary of 3 Salvia experiences, all experienced in the same night.
Background: I am a 28 year old male in good apparent physical health. I do smoke tobacco (cigarettes) habitually, drink regularly (though not to excess), and smoke marijuana in moderate amounts (semi-daily, though an 1/8th can last me upwards of 5 months on occasion). I have extensive experience in altered states, having consumed LSD and mushrooms many, many times; along with Datura, DOB, and 5-MeO-DMT on isolated occasions.
Prior to this experience, I had tried Salvia on one occasion, some 8 or 9 years prior. The experience, while strange, was not overly powerful or memorable. I remember standing in the middle of the room after hitting the pipe, and trying to walk forward, but my perception of movement was non-existent...I merely felt like I was walking in place. Definitely strange and 'trippy', but not particularly mindblowing.
Fast forward to present day (9/19/10). I had been researching Salvia sporadically for the past few months, with a renewed interest in exploring it once again. I had considered buying it online, but never got around to actually placing an order. On this particular day, a friend of mine (who I will call M) and I stopped into a headshop (I rarely frequent these places) to pick up a pipe, since his had been lost a few days earlier. While perusing the headshop, I noticed that one of the glass display cases contained various herbal products, including Salvia. There were whole leaves, as well as the various extracts. The opportunity being there, I ended up purchasing 1 gram of a 10X extract. There were also 15X, 20X, and 40X, but I figured that I would be playing it safe with 10X for starters. A good call on my part.
We met up with our other friend, R, at his place and I showed R my purchase. R is fairly conservative with his use of psychedelics these days, and is undergoing some fairly stressful personal issues, but he was interested in seeing how the drug affected us. The short duration of the experience was also appealing to him in his own decision on whether to use the substance. M packed a tiny amount of marijuana into the bowl (just enough to cover the whole at the bottom of the pipe), and I proceeded to load a conservative quantity of the Salvia on top. I put the flame to the bowl and inhaled deeply, holding it in.
At first, I wasn't sure if I was actually feeling anything. I didn't perceive much of a headchange, but I started to feel a pressure pushing against me. We were outside, and I was sitting in a chair, and begin leaning out of it, as if I was being pushed off. I essentially felt as if 'something' was moving towards me, and pushing me under it, almost like being run over by a steamroller. I called this something 'the door', and kept repeating 'Stop opening that door on me guys', or something to that effect. This was mostly perceptional, and not visual, as I wasn't actually visualizing a door opening, but more feeling it's effect. A very strange, and slightly unnerving experience, but the effect subsided in less than 10 minutes, and left me feeling quite high.
M and R were quite skeptical about what they had witnessed, and in fact later told me that they thought I was making most of it up, or at least overdramaticizing what I was feeling. M stated that he wanted a go with it, and I loaded him up a slightly larger amount than I had taken myself. I won't speak for him and describe his experience, but his doubts were soon shattered, and he claimed to have had a fairly uncomfortable, or at least disconcerting, experience. His impression was similar to mine in that he acknowledged that this was completely unlike any other psychedelic we'd ever taken.
R's roommates ended up arriving around this time, and had picked up a bottle of absinthe, purportedly containing wormwood (thujone). We all had a glass, and shortly thereafter I decided that I would take another stab at the Salvia. I was most definitely NOT prepared for what I was about to experience.
I must forewarn the reader that the following is highly unlikely to make any sense in writing (it barely makes any sense in my head), but I will try my best to faithfully reproduce what I experienced.
I loaded up a similar amount of Salvia as I had for M, inhaled deeply and held it in. From there, time ceased to mean anything. I have no idea how long it took for the effects to become apparent (probably under a minute), nor do I have any clear recollection of when my disconnect from reality occurred. I was basically sitting in the backyard one minute, and in another dimension the next. However, this dimension was within our own. I was viewing myself, and my actions on the level of...well, I don't know...but it was small. I basically saw time unfolding like a moving picture book...and felt a sensation of having reached an 'edge' to reality.
I basically saw time unfolding like a moving picture book...and felt a sensation of having reached an 'edge' to reality.
I guess the best analogy is what Jim Carey's character in 'The Truman Show' must have felt when his boat crashed into the wall of his 'world' in that movie. I'd reached the edge of reality. I saw reality unfolding like pages in a book, in slices. I was miniscule, this 'book' was gigantic. I was viewing myself and my actions. I felt an incredible sadness, like I had seen and perceived something that no human is supposed to see. I saw the nature of reality and existence on a quantum level. There was also a sensation of seeing the future, and I had a strong expectation of seeing my mother in the next 'sequence of pages' of what was unfolding, though she lives over 200 miles away and certainly would not be present where I was. I'm not sure of the significance of that.
Eventually, I started to come back. I felt like my ego had expanded outwards like an accordion, and felt a strong sensation of it collapsing back together. Within a few more minutes, I was more or less lucid, though still feeling slightly 'off'.
Apparently, I had lurched up during this time, pounding my fists on the table in front of me, loudly exclaiming 'It's real, I see it, it's real!'. Though I had been 'witnessing' my own actions from outside my body in the weird 'picture book' dimension I was in, I had no recollection of this. I remembered saying the words, vaguely, but not my actual actions.
After a short time, I had another glass of absinthe. R's roomates both tried the Salvia as well, neither reporting any dramatic effect...in fact, they seemed rather sober.
M, R, and myself ended up walking downtown and going to a bar. We drank a few beers (3 for me), played some pool, and walked back home. After arriving home, R decided that he would indeed try the Salvia. I loaded him up a hit, and he went into his own private hyperspace. I then decided I would attempt one more foray into the Salvia dimension. I loaded up a similar sized hit to what I had previously taken (perhaps slighly less), and blasted off. I more or less reached a similar place to where I had the previous experiment. I again perceived reaching the 'edge' (it is important to note that 'edge is not an entirely correct term, since it was more of a spherical 'edge') of reality, though this time it was not nearly as disconcerting or plain terrifying, as it was the first time. I have very little recollection of this trip, other than that I visited the same space as I had previously.
Soon after, I ended up crashing out...mentally exhausted, but feeling good.
I have no idea what to make from this. I have, on rare occasions, been gifted with seeing the 'nature of reality' on various substances, primarily LSD. One one such trip (LSD), I visualized the fabric of space and time...it had weight (gravity?) to it, and I could see and feel it as I pressed my hand against it. I thought I'd stumbled into a physicists dream at the time, that I'd been given this wonderful understanding of reality. However, after this set of experiences, I feel like anything I've seen before was merely a peak behind the curtain. What I was shown through Salvia was orders of magnitude more revealing. As intense and mindblowing as that was though, I'm left wondering 'What if I STILL only got a peek of what the nature of reality is?'. How much more is there? Can the human mind even process any more? How much deeper does the rabbit hole go? Is it infinite in complexity? All those questions are slightly terrifying ones to ask, especially after experiencing some level of it. While my mental state is good (as of this writing, one day later), I am definitely having more trouble than usual integrating and making sense of what I saw and experienced. I'm actually confident that I never really will, but at the same time, I feel a sense of gratitude for having been shown such a reality, and mentally being able to survive through it.
I would STRONGLY urge any Salvia users (especially extract smokers) to ALWAYS have a sober sitter present. During the intoxication, I was NOT in control of my body, there was complete and utter dissociation. I was merely an observer, albeit a slightly terrified one. It is extremely likely that one could end up hurting themselves if they fly solo.
I am interested in exploring Salvia again, but I want to give it a few weeks, at least. I would also like to try it without the influence of other substances (i.e. the absinthe), though I highly doubt that the absinthe had much to do with making these experiences as remarkable as they were. All in all, this is a majestic sacrament, that deserves MUCH respect and caution when used. It's revelations can be mind-shattering. Much like the first time I took LSD, my view on consciousness, reality, existence, and physical phenomena is completely changed. We know nothing. NOTHING.
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