Experience:5g Mushrooms - Failed attempt at a Terence Mckenna style trip.
- Sex: Male
- Weight: 73 kg / 160 lbs
- Age: 19 years
A few summers ago at the recommendation of Terence Mckenna I weighed out a dose of 5 dried grams of the mushrooms I recently bought and stored it away for a time that I felt I would be ready. If you're not aware Mckenna recommended and promoted the taking of 5 dried grams of mushrooms on an empty stomach in silent darkness for the serious psychedelic explorer. I wanted to pay as close attention as possible and see what the experience had to offer. Recall that this was in my past so some details of the trip may be inaccurate.
At the time I had probably taken mushrooms at least a dozen different occasions at doses ranging from as low as 0.5g to 4g. Based on reading the descriptions of the 5 levels of the psychedelic experience I had probably only really experienced level 3 although I had some glimpses of what level 4 and 5 had to offer. My previous most powerful trip had been a quite interesting experience on 3.5g of a very potent strain of mushroom that looked like nothing I've ever seen since. That experience was quite profound for me at the time and deserves a report in itself, but due to it happening more than 4 years ago I can barely remember the details. What I do recall clearly is a strong disassociation from my body and a dissolving of the boundary between me and my hallucinatory visual field while bathing in a hot tub with a sober friend. I also recall the experience of trying to gather my belongings after getting out of the hot tub being almost comically difficult. By giving me a glimpse of the immense power and potential of the psychedelic experience this trip made it clear to me that I should take psychedelics in a more serious manner in the future. Unfortunately being young meant I didn't really have the understanding, motivation and means to do so properly and I continued to 'dabble' occasionally in psychedelics in a primarily recreational manner. Eventually I sort of straightened myself out and decided to try what I had been wanted to do (5 grams in silent darkness of course), but had lacked courage and opportunity to do previously.
During a couple weeks in the summer I had my home to myself as my parents where away and I was working part time. I was very cautious with psychedelics at the time due to some trips that I had recently which had strong negative undertones, so I was set on only taking the mushrooms if I had a few days off in a row and felt good. Although I was cautious I felt sufficiently experienced to go at this alone, as Terence suggested. (but I should have also done what Terence suggested and at least had a sober person in the house with me, it will become obvious why I think this as you read) By the time this opportunity came I had almost forgotten about my mushrooms and was in a bit of a depressed mood so I had pretty much put off the idea of taking mushrooms. It was the last day of having multiple days off work to look forward to in the summer and I didn’t even think about taking mushrooms until about 6 pm. It was at this time that I realized I hadn’t even eaten in 8 hours, which I realised was even longer than Terence McKenna recommended not eating. My mood hadn’t been particularly good that day, but I thought that I had to seize my last opportunity before the summers end, so I was determined to go for it.
T-6:30pm(roughly estimated times): I did my best to put myself into a more positive mind set and grinded up the 5 grams a proceeded to sallow with water as quickly as I could.
T-6:40: I was utterly astonished. Not that I was actually loaded yet, but that some effects had already began to be felt and NOT in a subtle way. Mainly my body became overwhelmed with a strong body high typical of mushrooms. Before this I believed that this immediate of an effect wasn’t possible.
T-6:50: By this time the body high was so intense I could only describe it as being exhausted to the point of feeling like I had been hit by a truck (but without pain luckily). When I closed my eyes after about 10 minutes lying in bed I realized what would be the biggest distraction of my trip, the contact lenses in my eyes.
T-7:00: I managed to get one contact out after some fuss, but the visual distortion was making this more and more difficult seemingly by the second. I was also so exhausted all I wanted to do was lay down on my bed. As I tried to get the second contact out I made a crucial mistake and pushed it far back into the corner of my eye which made it impossible to retrieve at this point. In fact my senses were so distorted that I couldn’t even tell it was in my eye anymore or that I had scratched it! After no more than 2 seconds of trying to look at my eye, my entire visual field would spiral into a visual mess of distortion. This fascinated and worried me simultaneously. My eye felt very uncomfortable too, but I was in a sufficiently positive mind state to not let it drag me into a truly bad trip. Luckily I told my girlfriend I would be tripping when I first decided to take the mushrooms, but she wouldn’t be able to come over in a couple hours, so I would really have to go at this alone for the peak.
T-7:15: I realized quickly that I would not be able to fix whatever I had done to me eye and it felt OK if I left it closed so I decide to lay down on my bed to prepare for the most powerful part of the come-up.
T-7:30: The come up was immense and intense, but to be honest it was not as powerful as Terence McKenna described his own or at least not of the same character(possibly due to the mushrooms not being particularly potent). I definitely felt some pronounced feelings of negativity, anxiety and fear, but I had a strong will and endured through it. Coming up has always been the most difficult part of psychedelic experiences for me. There were moments where the psychedelic imagery took on a scary Halloween like character with thousands of spiders hanging above me in geometric patterns. At that moment I’m glad I was able to simply observe the hallucinations for what they were and not get sucked into a bad trip. I saw more of a variety of imagery than I have ever experienced in my life in what seemed like at least an hour lying there on my bed and I also felt a wide variety of sensations in the body that I currently can’t recall with clarity. What made this come-up most interesting to me was the fact that during it I felt as if I was shuffling through different emotions second by second, sometimes faster than that and sometimes I felt as if I was experiencing many emotions simultaneously. The full range of emotions entered my mind from terrible anger to erotic love and wonder. Level 6 geometry was certainly reached during this part of the trip.
T-8:30: As the come up reached its plateau I realized that this would not be a strict silent darkness Terence McKenna style trip. I began to lose the feeling of tiredness and began to feel restless and wanted to get up and perhaps explore my house. Feelings of anxiety began to subside and I knew that this wasn’t going to be a negative trip. I decided to sit up on my bed and open my eyes(I was loaded, so my eye didn’t bother me anymore). What I saw was not a particularly hallucinatory scene by surprise. There were no particularly strong geometric patterns, only intense distortion like stretching and compressing especially at the fringes of my visual field. I had the feeling at that moment which was reinforced by the distorted appearance my visual field that my entire being was some kind of orb of pure consciousness floating in nothingness. I came to this feeling when I opened my eyes and realized that my consciousness felt like it had a round character to it because my visual field appeared to be quite round. I laughed aloud hysterically at this realization. I felt no separation from the objects in my bedroom. I knew at that moment that everything was part of me, whatever I was. I even felt as if my thoughts where happening all throughout this orb that was my awareness and that the things that I was seeing in the room where in a sense happening in the same place as my thoughts where. (at the time I wouldn’t have been able to articulate what I experience this clearly, all I would have been able to say is that I felt as if I was inside some kind of orb, after reading the book “Waking Up” by Sam Harris which I recommend I understand a lot better the ego dissolution which I experienced)
T-9:00: The intensity of the experience began to subside quickly after my near ego death experience in my bedroom. I began to feel filled with a feeling of total delight. I went downstairs with a pen and a piece of paper almost crying with laughter as tried to write down a thought I had upstairs but ended up ripping the paper. Eventually I wrote “Life, you can never be alone, THIS IS IT!!!” in a manner somewhat like a madman. I now attribute that statement to the feeling of oneness I felt while in my room. I remember prancing around my house and picking up random objects somewhat like a lunatic because I felt so good. My energy level was unusually high for a mushroom trip and I haven't hence experienced this rushing energetic body high from mushrooms that I had during that trip. Eventually as I was coming-down from the trip I recalled that I needed my girlfriend to come over to check out my eye because I still couldn’t quite tell what was up with it, so I went to my bedroom and called my girlfriend. I was delighted when she answered and talked to her about all the things I had thought about and I wanted to know is she though that any of it made sense. I was glad that she said I was mostly coherent and making sense and that she would be coming over soon.
T-10:00: Eventually my girlfriend made it as I was coming down and she pointed out for me where the contact lens had gone and helped me get it out of my eye. Felt so much relief once it was out! I had a good bonding moment with her and continued to have a positive afterglow for probably close to a week.
Make sure you aren’t wearing contact lenses when you are planning on closing your eyes on hallucinogens, or better yet HAVE A SOBER TRIP SITTER!! This I can’t stress enough for even if you think you’re experienced and prepared things can get very confusing in ways you didn’t expect while on drugs so having a good sober buddy to clarify things is always a good idea. It was interesting to me that the mushrooms seemed to be incredibly short acting compared to what I am used to and I can only guess that that was due to the fact that I hadn’t eaten any food. The come up and come down seemed to happen at least 30 minutes earlier than usual. Overall the trip was incredible and amazingly enjoyable after I overcame the come-up and I learned a lot from it in the end.
- Perspective distortions
- After images
- 3-Dimensional textures
- Brightness alteration
- Environmental orbism This was the most memorable and interesting visual effect of the experience. Unlike typical orbism, my experience was that of my entire visual field become a single orb.
- Level 1-6 - The peak of my visuals consisted of 3 dimensional rapidly shifting complex geometrical structures. They took on an appearance somewhere between organic and digital.
- Internal hallucination
- Unspeakable horrors These experience were short lived on the come up and mainly involved Halloweenish like fractals consisting of thousands of spiders. I was able to get through it without it bothering me much.
- Emotion enhancement This was another memorable and prominent effect experienced during this trip. There were moment when I seemed to be shifting between many different emotions at once. There were even brief periods were I seemed to experience all possible human emotions simultaneously and paradoxically also in sequence.
- Thought acceleration
- Immersion enhancement
- Personal meaning enhancement
- Memory suppression Notable, but not leading to ego death.
- Thought disorganization
- Personal bias suppression
- Language suppression
- Time distortion
- Conceptual thinking
- Cognitive euphoria
- Enhancement and suppression cycles
- Existential self-realization This occurred when I had this seemingly (at the time) momentous realization that I existed and wrote "THIS IS IT!" on a piece of paper.