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Time and Self
Citation:   honig. "Time and Self: An Experience with Cannabis (exp87660)". Erowid.org. Dec 12, 2019. erowid.org/exp/87660

  smoked Cannabis (plant material)
I would describe my experience of yesterday night as difficult. I was not really scared but tense, trying to hold on to something where everything was just fading away, again and again and again. This is what happened:

After dancing at an Afrobeat night we were going to hang out- me and two good friends - in the room of one of us. I had already had a few puffs from a joint outside the club and now, sitting on couching in J's small attic room we decided to have another nice spliff. J rolled it and passed it to me and E. I remember thinking, ‘wow you had not smoked that much in a long time’, but I felt good and gave it a go, curious what would happen to me – a nice warm body feeling, associations, a good spleep? Hard feelings? Thought circles?

I know these different reactions to weed and remember well the first time I had a really bad time, with panic and this one would turn out similar to that hard experience, about ten years ago, but without panic. The same thought patterns mixed with new physical sensations, but pretty intense.

So the first thing I noticed was that we were all suddenly quiet, no longer talking, and sitting, eyes closed, on the sofas. We were apparently all pretty high. And I needed to go to the toilet. I think there was a seed of this nights trip and I caught it while sitting on the toilet realizing that the proportions of the room were no longer the same, and my location in the bathroom seemed somehow unclear, as if the arrangement of this space was disintegrating. I remembered that feeling and was both a bit worried but also confident that I knew this from before and that I didn’t have to be afraid. Then I imagined vividly, that this room could be anywhere in space, floating through emptiness, the only reality that exists, everything else just imagination. Sure I was confident that I would actually find the corridor behind the bathroom door, but the image of the floating room was so vivid, that I was almost surprised to find normal reality when I left the bathroom.

Funnily, E, a beloved friend with a lot of experience with psychedelic drugs, was also on a pretty strong experience and when I came back into the room he said ‘hey man, was that a mission or what?’. I just talked to him on the phone and he told me that he was sort of imagining how going to the toilet would be for him in the state he was in. I replied ‘yes it was!’ and we both laughed a bit.

I cannot remember how long it took until E started getting up to leave, but I joined in with that momentum to go home as well. On the street E said that this was a bit like tripping on LSD for him. I had never taken acid, so I could not say, apart from that it was strong. I walked down the street and tried to figure out what was actually different from my normal experience. Again it was how real the imagination felt. I imagined that I had never walked through this street before and suddenly I thought that this could be a completely different city, new to me, undiscovered. The houses, I remember the house of the ‘salvation army’, what a weird title by the way, so the houses looked much larger and somehow faceless. Faceless because seeing them as new they sort of lost their association to all the stories when I was passing them in everyday life. It is probably the case that locations get a sort of character that depends on the experiences we make in them. To me the strong THC experience seems to have this central characteristic: places loose their usual association with previous experiences and become the stage of imagination, possible realities of the self within that place. So its at the same time seems to jump. I remember other people describing this on erowid. Time seems to slow down within moments and race betweeen moments, like being transported from one story to the next, from one moment to the next, with those stories seemingly unconnected. During my bad experience 10 years ago these jumps scared the hell out of me. Yesterday they were sort of familiar while still weird. It is hard to experience this discontinuity when one is constantly trying to define oneself – to try and hold on to a story that leads through time and space, with the self as the captain of the mindship. That’s why its so difficult to have an empty mind: captain seems too dangerous for a big ship like that one.

But then the story registers and I remember all these details I am telling you right now. It is actually very interesting to be between the worlds, to know the story, but not to be in it for a while. I wonder if one day that fascination will prevail rather than the tension I felt. I also wonder if I still learn from THC experiences or if it is the same old story over and over. I will keep it easy next time and will try to let go more.

It is now five o’ clock on the next day and I still feel the effects of that night. There is sometimes still the thought that this slight confusion will not go away. But I also know that these worries are a reflex-like part of my subconcious. The experience showed me that my mind is still quick at believing in pessimistic outlooks. However I also feel that I have changed, I am not afraid, just a remote, in a thought world. One more possibility comes to my mind: that I am actually normally in a thought world, the difference being that I do not realize it in everyday life. I think there is some truth to that, as when I meditate - I do Zazen, buddhist meditation – I often realize how much thought is going on in my mind.

The whole experience was a game of trying to keep negative thoughts in check, which would keep me tense and provoke new negative thoughts. Associations come so fast that there are soon thoughts that one would not want to accept: “I could go crazy now”, “I could die”, “I could make a mistake and get hurt” and those thoughts start an adrenaline rush, the heart beats faster, I start to sweat and get tense again. There are probably 2 important questions then: how to deal with these fast associations and, more importantly, why are some people, like me, faster at getting the worries and at getting tense. It may the tendency to try and keep control over what is happening. Letting go is a challenge and a virtue.

Exp Year: 2010ExpID: 87660
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 30
Published: Dec 12, 2019Views: 717
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Cannabis (1) : General (1), Mystical Experiences (9), Small Group (2-9) (17)

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