Citation: Cure. "Its Spiritual Current: An Experience with LSD (exp91467)". Erowid.org. Oct 10, 2021. erowid.org/exp/91467
A Summary of my Experiences with LSD and its Spiritual Current
Firstly, I should say that I don’t condone reliance on psychedelics as a means to experience the spiritual dimension (or the natural state, if spiritual dimension doesn’t work for you). An article I once read described acid as ‘a helicopter ride to the top of the mountain’, it shows you the peak, but you can’t stay long. You still have to climb the mountain yourself to be grounded in the experience, but these ‘helicopter rides’ can be an excellent source of inspiration to keep climbing. However, it is also in maintaining a practice of consciousness in daily life that we prime ourselves for, to quote Jesus, “the coming of the Kingdom”, which is more effortlessly found in acid. So this practice is the important element here, and therefore one should not become too reliant upon LSD.
Many people who haven’t dropped acid, and perhaps some that have, believe it is the visuals, and not the experience, that is so fascinating about acid. This journal is not about the visual effects of acid, which it goes without saying are present in every trip. So I’d first like to describe some of the visual side effects of the drug.
Colors are more vivid. This is evident when looking at something like a flower or autumn leaves, which will never be more beautiful than through those lucid eyes. This is also evident when looking at a rock, and finding what once seemed grey is swimming the subtle spectrum of the rainbow. It’s also clear when looking in the mirror. All the subtle hues present in the skin leap forth like a painting.
Everything seems alive, it ‘breathes’ or ‘flows’ with a certain dynamism, even static objects. This can result in typical sights like breathing walls, and also in the dancing sea of colors of one’s face in the mirror. Sometimes this dynamism is more extreme and seems more like the object is sort of melting, and once it resulted in my Christmas tree swaying and churning in a bold dance.
The First Trip
Now, I suppose I should begin with a brief overview of my experiences on acid prior to the first spiritual experience. The first time was the most intense, I can only surmise that this was a combination of its novelty and the energy-level of the setting, which, with something like 8 people at my house that night, was understandably high. There were moments I termed “excitement grenades”, in which the circle of our babble would rise in energy level higher and higher, like a rollercoaster approaching the crest. Then boom!, straight down a hill, the volcano erupts, and the excitement explodes as the group scatters. We’d then coalesce again, and ask “What just happened? What just set us off?”
Prior, if I recall correctly, to these ‘excitement grenades’, the group collectively experienced a symptom I call “fizzling out”. We were in the kitchen, and there were perhaps three one-on-one conversations running simultaneously. You would listen to a conversation, and then realize, as the speaker rolled the sentences past, they gradually degraded, until he was speaking gibberish. You would then realize your sentences ended similarly, and I recall that it reminded me of being like a child, “reverting to the mind of a 5 year old”.
Later in the night the energy levels subsided, and a large portion of the trip was spent sprawled out in the den with the lights low, listening to music (obeying the necessary clichés, the music was Marley, and the room was lit by the glow of a lava lamp). It was at this point in the trip that I notice a deep peacefulness, a stillness. While we all would, at some point, invariably get caught up in conversations and chores and missions around the house, it was here that we laid such missions aside, quit trying to “do” or “solve” anything (for the trip was like a riddle with an answer perched forever on the tip of one’s tongue). In this room, in the low ebb of our energy, it was chill. The chillest that chill had ever been. There was just being, just enjoying, not trying or pursuing anything.
This, in its essence, was still an experience of that spiritual dimension, the natural state. But it was not the intimate experience of that state, it was in that state, but not in recognition of that state. That can be said of any moment of our lives I suppose, but it was here in the peaceful “stillness” of the room that I could ‘feel’ it’s presence, while in daily life we are almost always numb to it. It was in this sort of state that I, had I known what I was looking for, could probably have turned to face it, and experienced a “knowing” quite separate from the “feeling.”
The Fist Intimation
Before I start, I think I should explain the days leading up to the trip. Trips magnify whatever you bring into them, they amplify your current state. So here’s what I brought into this trip:
A week before I ‘dropped in’, I had a peculiar experience. I was laying in my bed (technically a couch) one night, staring up at the ceiling. All of a sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was going to die. I don’t mean that I had an intellectual comprehension of this obvious fact, but that I felt this truth experientially. It was a sort of short-circuiting that bypasses the intellectual understanding of mortality, which can never really fully confront one‘s own impermanence. I would die. I would blink out of existence and never wake up, not the next day, not in ten billion years. Gone. The “I” that I knew myself to be would, someday soon (a day, 80 years, no real difference) cease to be, was no more permanent than a gust of air.
So there I was: twenty years old, and had just realized that I was temporal. And with this realization came a tremendous amount of fear and anxiety, a tension that I kept knotted up for a full weak, a burden that consumed every thought. It was this pressure, I believe, that built so much that when the acid finally washed me out, the weight of the fall made something snap, and for a brief moment, I knew intimately that-which-cannot-be-expressed.
That weekend after ‘hell week’, my friends and I were tripping with two of their friends, new acquaintances of mine. The acid had raised my spirits, and for once my mind could enjoy life without lamenting the temporality of it all. I left the group to go to the bathroom, which is where it happened. I know the bathroom is sort of a funny place to meet God, even more so if he greets you at the end of a piss, before you even get to shake. And that’s what happened.
Acid seems to increase my awareness of my body, and any tension my body is holding. Often it’s letting me know through my spine, a constant discomfort that a bipedal creature can learn to ignore, but never really escape. There’s nothing to do with tension but release it: by popping your back, sneezing, achieving orgasm, or pissing. So there I was, having just pissed, and with my hyperawareness of my body, I tried to relax a little further after the main event, to relax every muscles so that I emptied every last drop. And when I did so, when I fully released my muscles, I let go completely. I let go so thoroughly that something snapped, and I experience what Zen Buddhists would probably call ‘satori’, a brief flash of the other shore.
The next thing I knew, I was bawling my eyes out, gripping the sink. I looked up in the mirror. Tears were streaming down my face, but I had a deep sense of peace. Everything clicked, the fear that had been in the background had vanished completely. I walked out of the bathroom, but must have looked like quite a wreck, what with the weeping and all (another form of release, I might note). So they rushed me out of there so as not to cause a scene, and parked down the road while I tried to explain I was fine, and I stumbled awkwardly over trying to express what had just occurred.
While I had accidentally stumbled upon, as Jesus called it, “the Kingdom of God”, in that bathroom that day, there was a later trip when I turned to it intentionally, and had my most intimate and sustained experience of that state that the sages and mystics knew well. I am reluctant to say that I ‘sought’ it, because it comes by grace and not by effort, though by our efforts we can make sure that the soil is fertile and the seed can take root. The days prior to this trip were quite peaceful, I had stopped getting stoned, and masturbating, and googling porn, and the like. I was more conscious in my daily life, and didn’t get caught up in internal monologues as frequently as is regular. It believe that it is because of this, and of course my setting (good, chill friends and the beauty of nature) that I was able to have such a profound and effortless experience of that stillness-of-stillnesses.
First, let me describe the setting, as it’s said every trip consists of [mind]set and setting. Four of us went, Me and three friends, one of them my girlfriend, the other two former roommates. These were all people that I knew well, trusted, and respected, and have a decent amount of overlap in mindsets. The location was a huge cave that sat beneath a waterfall, which emptied into a pool before continuing as a shallow creek. It was also our first time hiking out here, and I think novelty can aid the appreciation of beauty as well.
The trip began as usually, with the feeling of an enormous amount of energy surging up within oneself. It would occasionally (rather often, actually) escape in fits of giggles, the only seeming way to release this energy buildup. This energy one feels is a bit difficult to describe, but it’s almost as if there’s more than your body can hold, like the energy is pushing against the borders of your form, like a chick just before hatching. I retrospectively decided that this energy, this tension, is probably resistance to Being, to the state I will try to relate to you. It’s a necessary part of the trip, and perhaps what Tolle referred to when he spoke of the ‘violence’ that he felt on LSD. It is the buildup before the plunge, when gravity pulls you to the bottom.
We decided to go for a hike, in an effort to channel and subdues the tumult that arose within our cores. It was successful, and we the fits of giggling and laughter became more sporadic. The energy had been channeled, outward into the world. Next would come its inward journey, the journey Home. After walking along the pebbles of the creekbed for a ways, we decided to return to the campsite. My girlfriend remained, and I didn’t wait for her, as I could clearly sense that she wanted a lower energy level than could be found in a group of four, and would prefer to be alone. I myself had at times felt the longing to be alone, to let the energy level come to a standstill. I refer to this longing as Gravity, or Psychic Gravity, or the Pull. I refer to it in a poem as “I looked at you/ and you returned my gaze”. Some describe it as being pulled toward an abyss, a black hole, or a void.
By the time we had returned to the camp, the Pull had become overpowering, and I told my friends that I thought she had the right idea, and I was going up the hill to be alone. When I had finally found a secluded spot among the trees and stony hillside, I let myself sink down to that place called the Tao by some. Everyone has different analogies and visual images for this experience, mine seems to be sinking. Think of everyday, non-lucid life (being rooted in the thinking and reasoning mind, susceptible to desires and emotions and various acts of the will) to be the sloshing surface of a river current. The Pull draws one from that surface, toward the total stillness of the Riverbed. It’s the innermost heart of man, preceding all else, The Source, The Substrate. It is the Substrate not just of oneself, but of all that is, be they other people, other animals, or ‘inanimate’ forms. All rise from this point, and eventually all will sink back into it. It is the point of birth and death.
Eventually my friend, who had also gone to spend time alone, walked past my meditation perch. We locked eyes for an instant, and I knew, could feel, that he had just risen from the place I’d been, that he had experienced the same state. Later, all four of us would try to express the state to one another, to communicate it in some way, but it is, by its nature, impossible of being communicated. When we locked eyes, we knew nothing needed to be said, there was no desire to communicate it at this point. We just knew it, and knew the other knew as well.
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