Citation: Godeater. "Warped Reality: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (30x extract) (exp94807)". Erowid.org. Apr 28, 2021. erowid.org/exp/94807
Phenomenological Description Of Salvia
This experience report expresses my intention to describe, in a phenomenological way, what my first experience with smoked salvia was like. I’ve read quite a few trip reports from various sites regarding people’s experience with this substance and most of their accounts really bother me. They seem very grandiose and hyperbolic. The problem with any strange experience like this is the quality of translation. Especially with subjective states, if they are not your own, you always have to deal with second hand information. The experience is processed through the subject’s personal system of interpretation and they create their own context for the experience based on their beliefs and what they can even remember and so on. Translating any purely subjective experience into words is basically impossible, especially with an experience as rare as the one produced by salvia. I intend to give a purely phenomenological description of what the state is like and avoid all cosmic, hippy, spiritual pretentiousness.
Firstly, I’d like to point out that everyday people have hundreds of experiences. All day long people are a witness to different states of mind and different experiential events inside and outside. Most of these experiences are rather routine and unmemorable. One of the reasons that I feel that psychedelic experience is so important was pointed out by Allyson Grey, and it is a beautiful point. When you have a truly powerful psychedelic experience, you never forget it. Hundreds and thousands of daily experiences may come and go and you may barely be able to remember them, but you will not forget a psychedelic experience. Like any major event, they are burned into your mind for the rest of your life. This is definitely an experience that I will never forget.
My first experience with salvia involved a fairly strong extract. At the time I smoked it I knew next to nothing about salvia.
At the time I smoked it I knew next to nothing about salvia.
I didn’t know what the effects were or anything like that. I had read some vague warnings about people who smoked it moving around and knocking things over. That’s about it. So when I finally received my salvia in the mail I was pretty ignorant of what was about to happen. Just to describe the setting I had planned to do it at my friend’s apartment. There were four of us involved, two of us would be smoking it, the other two watching. The salvia extract I had purchased looked like gunpowder and had a strong tea-like odor. Once we were settled I loaded a glass pipe with the gunpowder and decided I would take two giant hits and then pass the pipe to the other participant so he could take however many hits he wanted. So, at that point I sat on the couch and took my two giant hits. As I blew out the second lung-full of smoke, the following occurred:
The “coming up” was extremely strong. I had never felt anything like it. It was like an ascending wave that filled my whole being. I remember thinking “wow, here we go.”
In the next moment my vision compressed and went completely black. On later analysis I think that my eyes involuntarily closed. And in that moment that lasted a few seconds, I could see, hear, or feel anything. I had no awareness of anything external, including no physical sensation whatsoever. It was as if I was just awareness floating in a completely empty space. I had enough time to think to myself “Just wait this out.”
As soon as I had that thought, my awareness dimmed and I had a vague sensation of sinking or falling. It was as if I was dreaming at this point. There was no rational thinking or conscious self-sense. I was just a vague presence trying to regain consciousness. It was as if I had sunk down a hole into near-unconsciousness and was struggling to come to. I vividly remember the dream-like experience of trying to regain awareness as I was “sinking”.
The next phase was the most terrifying and the single most bizarre experience I’ve ever had. My awareness returned to me and all my senses of the outside world suddenly “popped” back on. Still sitting on the couch I leaned forward and looked at my friend’s Green Bay Packers rug. All of the shadows and texture of the rug were missing. It looked like a smooth plastic-like surface. The rug then visually echoed out into the space in front of me creating these multiple panels or copies of the rug. I felt a raw sense of panic and terror. I quickly stood up and felt as though my whole body was moving through sectional layers. It was as if I was not moving fluidly through space-time. There was a stuttering lag as I attempted to move. I also had the most bizarre emotional feeling that everything was fake. There was a sort of underlying sinister humor, as if I was being laughed at and that reality was actually fake and behind it there was nothing. I should mention at this point that my friends were actually laughing at my disoriented behavior, this very well could account for my perception of being mocked, although throughout the whole ordeal I had no conscious awareness of my friends or the sound of laughing.
This is about the best description I can give. I can try to explain the visual and body sensations that were going on, but it remains impossible to really describe the way in which reality was distorted. The warped reality that exists when in this state is so unlike anything in normal waking experience that it is hard to do it justice. I find it hard to even remember deeply the way the experience felt. I think the experience is so bizarre that a lot of it remains state specific. I would have to be in that altered state to fully remember how it feels.
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