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Gascid and the Cosmic Consciousness
LSD & Nitrous Oxide
by Etard Knievel
Citation:   Etard Knievel. "Gascid and the Cosmic Consciousness: An Experience with LSD & Nitrous Oxide (exp88760)". Feb 18, 2011.

T+ 0:00
3 hits oral LSD (blotter / tab)
  T+ 1:30 2 hits oral LSD (blotter / tab)
  T+ 6:00 3 hits inhaled Nitrous Oxide (gas)


As far as drug experience goes, extensive, I've tried just about everything and am a frequent user of pot, MDMA, speed, alcohol, and psychedelics. I am not disposed to psychotic or 'bad trips' though I have had a few fleeting episodes of paranoia in which I could not be convinced that the sense of doom was not a real threat, usually associated with bad set & setting combined with stimulants and sleep deprivation.

I have never had what I would call a full on mystical experience before this point, though I have had several strange hypnagogic episodes as a child of what I now believe to be sleep paralysis, where I would feel generally a sense of infinite terror accompanied by such anomalies as a massive expansion of my body to a size beyond all comprehension, becoming so dense and massive that I felt I was becoming too weak to operate my lungs and heart. This seemed to be related to times when my thoughts would sometimes get 'stuck in loops' such as the image of a sphere being alternately engulfed by dark furrowed shadows and then 'purified' into smooth light. The most banal of these was the probably universal phenomenon of 'rising', like a spinning/levitating feeling while laying down, which seemed to be the most surface 'hallucination' of this type. Up until this experience happened, I considered myself agnostic, and would have identified as athiest if it didn't seem like a leap of faith, in short I was proud to consider myself materialist and free of 'illogical' spirituality. Oh, boy would that change.

The setting was an electronic music festival in rural Washington, near Mt. St. Helens, a good 20 years after the eruption. The previous night, I had taken MDMA and smoked marijuana, and was the trip-sitter for a friend who ended up having a rather terrifying LSD experience, although the festival had up to that point still been very fun. Mentally, I came into the experience with a sense of dis-ease that I feel is important - I was unhealthy, philosophically frustrated, and believed myself to be weak-willed due to my percieved inability to quit my then-daily speed habit. I had been reading into the philosophies of AA / NA, and felt that I, as an agnostic, was not disposed to have the kind of ego-shattering 'submission to a higher power' that would allow me to be satisfied with a life without drugs.

These manifested themselves as a strong desire to push the limits, even if the results were to be self-destructive, because I felt that 'rebuilding my personality' was what I needed at the time, I felt prepared to challenge myself with whatever acid could possibly manifest for me. In some sense, I issued an unspoken challenge to God to show me his face. That night, I decided to eat 3 hits of an extremely strong purple blotter and at about t+1:30 when we were still coming up, 2 of a more typical white-on-white blotter that was still pretty strong. Me and my fellow tripper V (same dose) decided not to smoke cannabis, in the hopes that we would remember the insights of the acid better. It was both of our first time going so deep with LSD, though we both had numerous lower-strength trips.

For the first 4-5 hours of the trip it was fun and generally unremarkable - the rainbow melting Persian rug cartoon town feeling of acid that I had come to expect, albiet stronger than usual. If it sounds foolish for me to describe 650 mics of LSD as 'unremarkable in comparison', it is only because the volume at that point was at '3' which the nitrous oxide would turn up to '11'. While we are towards the end of the peak, we hear the 'psshhhtt' of a nitrous oxide tank, each of us buys a balloon that must have held at least 8 'whippits' of nitrous, and we sit down on a couch to blast off to some crunchy-bassed dubstep. I remember a feeling of apprehension, as if I were doing N2O again for the first time. I inhale a quarter to a third of it, and the following is instantaneously my true and only reality as the veil is lifted from this world:

I look to my left, and instead of the other side of a couch, I see a little boy standing in a field in the daytime, as clear as anything, no psychedelic distortions or surreality that would indicate it was anything other than what my eyes were looking at. He is wearing Indian clothing and the thought comes to me 'Oh, I'm in India', and as this simultaneously is reconciled with my knowledge that 'I' am in Washington sitting on a couch, all contradiction and duality becomes nullified as my sense of being a distinct individual is obliterated by this ultramind of infinite consciousness.

This 'boy' was part of a long line of people all over the world, who had ever lived or would ever live, and this line of people culminated into a huge rotating crowded disc of teeming lifeforms that were all moving towards the center. In previous nitrous + psychedelic experiences, I had gotten the deja vu sense that I was viewing a 'prophecy' of an event which was yet to happen, and I knew that THIS was the foretold event. At this center of the 'universal wheel / galaxy' I felt the presence of an 'energy being' who with such profound forgiveness welcomed me weeping ecstatically into its arms, that I knew it must be Christ, and the athiest part of my rational understanding pipes in with 'Ya GOTTA be shitting me?'

With the next 'revolution' of the wheel, however, suddenly >I< was the caretaker suffering for the sins of the world and yet showing infinite love and compassion to a wretch at their lowest point who was also 'me' (universal consciousness), and I understood that the 'Christ' who I met is one of the 'hallway of archetypes', the mental symbolic language of characters that we use to relate to mythology and other humans and all of which we model ourselves after at different points in waking life, and that this hallway also contained 'Satan', 'the trickster', 'the goddess', 'aliens' and other such abstractions - they were every person real and fictional, and they were fabrications of the mind. At this point the first hit of nitrous is starting to wear off, and the throbbing hum of the wheel in its curious Nitrous vibration gives way to the recognizable sound of music.

I share a look at V, and we mutually decide to 'go back in'. Again, the veil is lifted and I go back to the 'hallway of archetypes', understanding thoroughly that this archetype of infinite love is the one who has the most awareness of true reality, compared to those for 'guilt' and 'fear' for example which seemed to be blinded by this 'true reality' as if in a tunnel, and I could experience those emotions to those fullest extent without this vision becoming dark or intolerable, because I knew that they were fabrications and that true deliverance from suffering was attainable to me at all times through compassion towards others.

If I had been familiar with Buddhist thought at the time, I would have identified this consciousness as the 'Bodhisattva'. The necessity of the existence of negative emotion is justified by a primal 'warning' that I am meddling with forces I do not understand, this is an experience that is only meant to happen to people when they're about to die, and that if I comprehended the full bliss of it, I would be insane forever. Meanwhile, the line of people are still crawling towards the center of this disc, which is the source of the 'sound' and seems to be a disturbing sort of well of cosmic terror, a black hole at the center of this storm of insight. I turn (this all has a sense of passivity to it by the way, as if I am viewing choices which have already been made and not navigating this innerspace by choice) to the line of people with thought of 'I must ignore this warning and help them stop suffering', and balance on the edge of complete surrender of will as I gaze into the abyss, but before the 'tunnel vision of reality' returns as the nitrous wears off.

I take my third hit and am back to the edge of the abyss. This time, I see clearly the source of the sound and what is making this wheel spin, and it is a vast machine powered by human energy, comprised of billions and billions of pipes networked together like an incomprehensibly large maze. Every human being had a 'pipe' in this machine which they entered at birth and were crawling forward through, inside of which they were not aware of anything but the view inside the pipe, which was waking consciouness.

An infinite number of births, entire lives and deaths were occuring; every time the time an individual made a moral decision in their life, the pipe veered (but did not branch) off either towards (good), the outside of the machine, where the pipes started to open out into windows revealing the insight and happiness of the hallway of archetypes, or deeper towards (bad), the increasingly narrower, hotter pipes in the dark gravity-pit of terror. Instruments of torture such as burning hot steam, smashing pistons, saw-blades and whirling blades turned on unknowingly by individuals in adjacent tubes, inflicted suffering on the ignorant, helpless souls, who plunged deeper and deeper until their bodies were liquified, the machine had sapped all of their life-energy, and their consciousness returned to the light around them, reincarnating into a new soul who would crawl into a different pipe, thus I felt the screams of the entire human race as they perpetually commited suicide and then used as fuel within this machine.

I despaired at the existence of such a grim truth which seemed to prove to me that suffering was inescapable and the path of life was predetermined (after all, a machine cannot 'choose' to do anything besides what it is programmed to), and thought to myself, if union with the Bodhisattva-Christ-Consciousness of love was Heaven, this infernal engine must truly be Hell. And the logical-consciousness, the same one that encouraged me to take a closer look at 'Christ', 'says', 'Don't you see, this is the game of society, of desires and expectations, that humans have created for themselves. We built this machine to occupy ourselves because we think something is missing during the times we forget about Universal Consciousness, the solution of dissatisfaction resolves to its own source, and we all got fooled into thinking this game is the True Reality.' I found this insight very funny, because it sounded like something an insane person would think, and when I laughed, it came out as a mechanical creak and puff of steam from the machine, and I re-entered my own tube, where I was sitting on the couch in rural Washington at a music festival next to my friend V with an empty balloon in my hand. ('Guess that's why they call it 'laughing gas'' - V)

I was in on the Cosmic Joke. It was as if I could see the entirety of a massive horizon at the edge of religion and insanity, and the next period of time was spent trying my hardest to capture the insights in words, images and writing in a way that would convey it to other people, because I knew it would revolutionize the worlds of science and religion (this is before I had ever heard of Transpersonal or Integral Psychology) and possibly be the secret to world peace if everyone could understand this truth.

I was so compelled that for the next 8-10 hours I was compelled almost manically as if I had taken speed to try and relate it to the others, who were coming down off their LSD at this point and seemed to have not crossed the 'mystical threshold' (indicating to me that simply combining high dose LSD and N2O is not enough, there is some other aspect required, perhaps involving belief and mental distress). But, with characteristic irony, my memories and recall became glitchy (though, this confirmed since we abstained from cannabis that it's not just the pot that does it) the harder I tried the more it would slip from my grasp. The memory of the experience itself seemed to be like a 'black hole' in my mind where thoughts would go in and come back out garbled, sometimes with a literal pain in my head that would not subside until I distracted myself from deep metaphysical thought, and I was starting to feel exhausted and overwhelmed by the whole situation.

I became frustrated, feared for my sanity, admitted that I had lost 'it' and that drugs were only a glimpse of this true reality, and when I got some time to myself, I began to think about the implications this would have on the rest of my life and wept heavily. In my opinion this was the true moment of 'surrender', and the emotional catharsis that accompanied it was palpable, relief of a huge load I never knew I was carrying. My atheism, my firm conviction in rationalism, my lack of faith in the unknowable was all shattered, and I realized, this was exactly what I had asked for, a peek at the face of God and a chance to rebuild my brain, and opened up a realm to me that I thought I would never understand.

My personality changed after this event - I started to do research on different faiths, found that Buddhism seemed to be most apt for describing my experience (the machine = samsara), and converted to a personal approach to that spiritual path involving meditations and yoga. Additionally, I became very interested in mystical experiences and the occult, and took ideas which I had previously passed off as 'New Age bullshit' with a more open minded light.

I attempted to recreate this experience by combining N2O with psilocybin, lower doses of LSD, 2C-B, and DMT, and while I do believe I looked out the 'windows' at transcendental mystical reality, I was unable to completely 'view reality from the outside'. Rather, the later experiences were like a shadow of the moment of great insight, a pale memory. The flip side of that is whether I decide to go deeper into the black hole, or if I heed the warning for the sake of my sanity. It's been 6 months since the experience, and I still feel I have more information to integrate from last time before I am ready to go that far again.

Exp Year: 2010ExpID: 88760
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 21 
Published: Feb 18, 2011Views: 22,141
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LSD (2), Nitrous Oxide (40) : Combinations (3), Mystical Experiences (9), Festival / Lg. Crowd (24)

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