Citation: TheAppleCore. "A Mirror to the Mind: An Experience with 4-AcO-DPT (exp94380)". Erowid.org. Jul 14, 2013. erowid.org/exp/94380
||(powder / crystals)
Setting: a wilderness trail in the Southwestern U.S., on a gorgeous January afternoon.
20 milligrams 4-AcO-DPT fumarate is insufflated. Within minutes, I can feel an indescribable, perhaps slightly dissociative sensation creeping through my body, and I'm beginning to clearly disconnect from sobriety in a somewhat familiar but novel way. The feeling very steadily continues ramping up in intensity; there are no spikes, flashes, or waves of intoxication here.
At a certain point, perhaps twenty minutes after dosage, I realize that some crucial part of my mind is swept up in a process that I can only describe as 'melting'. An entire spectrum of conscious phenomena is losing all discernible form and shape, and melding together into one homogenous body of 'liquid self'. I'm not losing my grip on reality in any appreciable way. I seem to, almost paradoxically, retain a firm intuitive understanding of where and who I am. Yet, vast swaths of conscious symbolizations of sober cognition are simply dissolving -- as if the once-refined and detailed murals of inner space are slowly becoming unrecognizably disfigured, as paint dribbles down the mural walls and pools on the floor into a meaningless soup of color.
At first, this cognitive dissolution is alarming. I am convinced that whatever is being consumed by this inner vortex is very important to me in some way. That, without the comprehensible detail which is becoming blurred, it will become impossible to maintain any semblance of sanity. It seems all too obvious that the very foundation of logic and reason is crumbling. My physiological state is forcing me to breathe more deeply, and rapidly. My heart is beating faster. The energetic engine of my entire being is growing more powerful, but the 'self' driven by this engine is becoming an increasingly repulsive mass of formless mind-substance!
But, as soon as I put on my iPod, and allow music to begin to trickle into my awareness, the power and beauty of this cognitive dissolution becomes immediately apparent. My ability to perceive not only the sonic detail and complexity, but the emotional message of the music, has been drastically enhanced. In and of itself, this is nothing unusual for a serotonergic psychedelic. In fact, aesthetic enhancement is one of my favorite aspects of the psychedelic experience. What starkly differentiates 4-AcO-DPT from the myriad psychedelics, dissociatives, and cannabinoids that have taken me to countless peaks of musical ecstasy, is the delightful clarity with which it allows me to understand the nature of psychedelic aesthetic enhancement, from an intellectual vantage. The musical intensification and the 'liquid self' become instantly interwoven in a simple and elegant theoretical model of the psychology of aesthetics.
I see that in order to become deeply emotionally involved with a piece of music, the music must be allowed to build what can be envisioned as finely-detailed and highly delicate structures within the open space of human perception. Like crystals forming, it's a process that takes time. Such structures are developed and refined over the course of musical phrases, movements, or entire works themselves. However, at any moment, these fragile formations can completely fall to pieces when subjected to the turbulent forces that result from intrusion upon the empty inner space in which they rest. The job of the psychedelic drug is to prevent chaotic and destructive activity within consciousness, and thereby completely silence all such 'turbulent forces'. The task of the psychedelic, in sensitizing me to the beauty of the music now being played, is to shield the world within from storming winds, so as to create a perfect stillness, and to allow the artistic subtlety in the music to carefully build its house of cards undisturbed. [Amazingly, I was even catching glimpses of this revelation at a barely-threshold dose -- a small bump, certainly less than 5 milligrams -- as indicated by a forum post I made during the high: '(…) absolutely serene. Like a perfectly calm lake, so still and flat that you could look at your reflection in the water like a mirror.'] This effect is achieved by precisely the same process of dissolution that I previously rejected.
Another useful analogy might be the comparison of music to a colorful, moving image, projected onto a screen. In the presence of broad daylight, or in a brightly-lit room, your pupils are contracted, and the ambient lighting is competing too strongly with the relatively dim light of the projector, so it is nearly impossible to make out any meaningful image on the projection screen. Psychedelics are a way of turning out the lights, so to speak, and creating a perfect blackness, wherein the projection screen suddenly transforms into a display of vibrant, technicolor animation, so prominent that you have no choice but for it to consume your center of attention. The key of my theory is that, instead of internally amplifying the music, psychedelics simply take away the peripheral noise which normally distracts from the music -- just like the projector screen, seemingly becoming brighter only as a result of peripheral light becoming dimmed. Of course, music is just one example. Almost all subtle forms of art probably have a similar relationship to psychedelics.
I continue to bask in the nostalgic, melancholy euphoria that marks Beach House's Teen Dream, presented to me in a splendor completely renewed. I'm leaning against a large tree, facing the trail on which I arrived at this spot. I have a vague inclination to relocate to some place a little bit more private: every few minutes, a fellow hiker passes by, sometimes staring confusedly at my drooping eyes and manic grin. But somehow, I can't bring myself to move. I feel so indulgently, luxuriously comfortable in my present position, that the thought of leaving my tree is like the thought of crawling out of a warm and cozy bed into a freezing blizzard. I continue my intellectual journey, picking up from where I left off, at the psychology of aesthetics, gliding through an endless series of tangentially-connected thoughts, probing deep philosophical questions with an almost-obsessive, unwavering focus. I seem to be developing an amazing wealth of new ideas, and strengthening my grasp on a wide array of preexisting ideas. Murky and vague 'gut feelings' are surfacing from the subconscious and transforming into clearly defined systems of interconnected information, in great abundance. In other words, a highly profitable session of introspection. At one point, I think to myself, 'I've learned more about myself on this trip than I could possibly recount in a single trip report.'
It occurs to me that perhaps 4-AcO-DPT's effects can be distinguished by a particular recursive effect on thought. It seems like most other psychedelic trips are simply experienced. The 4-AcO-DPT trip, however, seems both experienced and observed at the same time. Somehow, all of the thoughts, images, feelings, and sensations that arise within my mind are being sent through a sort of neurological feedback loop through my analytical intellect, so that I become at once the spectator and participant; the knower and the known. The chemical is, simply, a mirror to the mind. [And, what a fitting description for a 'psyche-delic', or 'mind-manifesting' drug! Perhaps the effect is not so unique to 4-AcO-DPT after all. But I think that something must be said for the fact that, through countless so-called 'psychedelic experiences', I never understood what 'mind-manifesting' truly meant, until I took a single dose of 4-AcO-DPT.]
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