Cacti - T. peruvianus
Citation: Eccentric. "The Infinite Re-Interpretation: An Experience with Cacti - T. peruvianus (exp88437)". Erowid.org. Jul 19, 2016. erowid.org/exp/88437
I had a wonderfully life shattering experience with mescaline tonight and would like to share what I learned.
This was the second psychedelic experience I've had (I had only used cannabis before taking mescaline for the first time). I tripped alone in my apartment, on 13' of 3.5 wide top-cut P. Torch from the same homogeneous batch of goo I used the first time. Despite having used 12'-worth the first time I tripped, this experience was somehow enormously more powerful. I had elaborate open and closed eyed visuals. It was quite amazing. That said, I feel petty even focusing for a moment on what I saw with my eyes; it was what my mind saw that is significant.
I'll start by pointing out that we are what we believe. We are our understanding of things. We are our unique fixed perspective. We are our unique way of assembling data from our senses, puzzle pieces, into a unique all-encompassing viewpoint. Concrete sensory experiences ('evidence'/'puzzle pieces') can be arranged in many different ways and baseless assumptions are the glue that holds it all together.
The psychedelic experience, seemed to me, as an infinite re-interpretation of everything. Visually, re-interpreting patterns every-which-way forms the essence of the 'hallucinations' I saw. Mentally, everything I felt I understood was called into question.
Mentally, everything I felt I understood was called into question.
I was shown perspective after perspective, each quite distinct, and yet each perfectly consistent with the sensory evidence. It was a storm of beautiful insanity that rearranged the puzzle of my entire life repeatedly and without end. I was playing roulette with my brain. Each notch on the wheel was a completely different perspective, a completely different person, and I became them all. With each spin of the wheel I lost who I was and became someone new. Mescaline was laughing in my ear the entire way: 'See? See!! Think you 'understand' now?'. I didn't, couldn't. As soon as I could grab onto an understanding of life to anchor my perspective it was torn away from me. And around goes the wheel again.
I felt the heights of bliss and the depths of despair simultaneously and could only laugh. This is life? I was shown the utter meaninglessness of everything. There is no higher purpose; purpose is created in our mind, a function of our understanding. I was forced to come to grips with how pointless my perspective was, and worse, how pointless any perspective is. There is no 'correct' perspective.
This probably sounds quite dark, but it wasn't. It was the blinding light of truth. Everything is pointless. It's only dark if you still believe it's wrong ('no! there must be a point to all this!'). Once I could fully grasp this truth, it was no longer undesirable. Forcing it to be any other way would do no good; I simply had to come to terms with it. The one comfort, the one shred of my ego, my understanding, that I could hold onto at all times was a kind of meta-understanding. I didn't understand life, but I did understand this... state. I did understand the psychedelic experience! Who am I? The guy who 'understands' the psychedelic experience! Even this felt like a joke, but it was the one thing that I never lost.
I have a feeling that had I understood the nature of what I was getting myself into, I never would have wanted to undergo this experience. The ego wants to protect itself: 'I am right. I understand. I see things best. I wouldn't want to be anyone else!' What I couldn't have understood is that this ego destruction is liberation! Freedom from my cage of perspective; freedom from my cage of understanding; freedom from myself. Free from myself, I can be anyone. To live free from habit, free from perspective, free from fear, free from understanding and misunderstanding, was my dream. When I come out the other side, when this wheel stops turning, can't I please be free. Does my perspective have to re-solidify into a single understanding of things?
I suppose we're all meant to be caged. I suppose I wouldn't want to exist in true freedom forever anyways. I just hope that I can learn to improve my living conditions here. Perhaps I'll move into a roomier cage.
In my previous, first experience, I had only gone in ankle-deep over-analyzing and forming an 'understanding' of the experience the whole way. I believed the ego-loss aspect to be an unfortunate side-effect. It is the only effect, the whole point! I hadn't seen this.
The lesson? Humility. I am not right. I am not wrong. I just am. Lucky to be anything. Lucky to have, at one point, been everything. I will go forward in curiosity, to understand more of life, hold more perspectives, have more experiences. Life may be a cosmic joke, but I'm determined to laugh. Laughing as the wheel turns...
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