My story begins a year ago when I ran across the Johns Hopkins study on psilocybin. Having suffered for years with depressive episodes, mild PTSD, slight bipolar tendencies, and general anxiety and unhappiness, I read the study results and then read everything I could find. I joined the discussion boards, read the trip reports, studied McKenna and Watts. I became an avid student of the mushroom.
Having tried for years to find a solution to my mental strife with traditional medicines, with no success, I was captivated. I had thought mushrooms were just a fun party drug that we left behind after our college party scene. However, being open-minded, and having nothing to lose, I embarked on a journey to self enlightenment and repair of my psyche.
So I grew my mushrooms, and then I carefully planned the set and setting. I meditated and I prayed to the God I thought I knew, and to the God I was yet to meet, to carry me through this 5 gram, in the dark, scary as hell experience that was about to commence.
About 30 minutes after consuming the mushrooms I started seeing the fractals. Colorful and intricate. Nothing like I had ever seen in this life, or could even imagine. They were insanely beautiful, and they were alive with their own spirit and knowledge. I had headphones with Pink Floyd on and the visuals began to sync with the sound, and I was lost in it. At 60 minutes I was pinned to the couch, feeling like was I was being overrun by succession of tsunamis, each one bigger that the one before. I was moaning and sweating and curled in the fetal position. My last coherent thought was that I was going to miss my son, because surely I was about to die. And so I did.
Time lost all meaning, my body was gone, the present was gone, and I was dying. But the death was only a massive deprogramming. All the knowledge, all the habits, all the history, all the life experiences, all the bias and the cynicism, and all the walls I had built over this lifetime were being disintegrated. I remember my soul being beaten like I was in a cosmic washing machine. My psyche was being thrashed and pounded and my understanding of myself was being ripped away.
All I though that I was, and all that I thought I understood was but one tiny experience in an infinity of experiences — and it almost meant nothing. This mental beating went on for what seemed like eternity. I struggled, and I resisted, and I kept being pounded against the cosmic rocks.
Then there came a point where I just let go and welcomed what I now know to have been my ego dying. Complete ego death. The ego that had taken my infinite conscience and held it prisoner behind bias, ignorance, experience, and fear. I came to accept that my “life” was but a way station, a single blink of one experience in an infinite universe of experiences. There is a part of the trip where I became a cartoon character and my previous life was a sneeze that wouldn’t come. My entire life experience became just an infinitesimal blip — like a booger that needed to be removed. I kept getting to the moment of the sneeze, and it never came — over and over with maddening frustration. Maybe this is the metaphor of this life here and the struggles we have to find the happiness that is always elusive. The feeling that we are almost there, can almost sneeze, but cannot quite manage it, keeping us in a constant state of disappointment in that we can almost get “there” but it never comes. And the joke of it all is that we have always been there — but the ego has hidden this from us.
As my mental walls finally came down, I was told by the universe itself that it was OK. It is OK. All is OK. And I remember I let out a long breath, and I let go, and I was nothing, and I was everything. I was creation, and I was infinity, and it was orgasmic. I remember floating in space, spinning and smiling, and I clearly remember thinking that nothing has ever felt this good. This was who we are — we are bliss. And we are good, and strong. I cried for relief, and I knew for sure, and deep in my bones, that things have always been, and would always be OK. I am OK. I was reduced to only consciousness — floating freely in the universe, and I was it and it was me. And yet I was nothing, and I apologized over and over for the hubris that had defined all my actions on this earth.
And then it happened. I was reborn back into myself. And I was shown that birth is what it is all about. Death and rebirth. Over and over again. The death is a crushing of the constructs we have built during our “life.” And birth is what the root and goal of our consciousness is about. I experienced my birth — and words simply cannot describe that. I was overwhelmed in ecstasy. Nothing can possible compare to this feeling.
As the mushrooms slowly let me go at 5 AM or so, everything was clear. I was calm, and very happy. Life made sense, and I was at complete peace. It was like a cosmic Roto-Rooter had scrubbed by conscience of all the sludge that was slowly killing me, and holding me back from living.
Since then, several months have passed and I divorced the wife that was a black hole in my life for reasons that would take many more pages to explain. But suffice it to say that I was given a crystal clear directive to eject this psychic vampire from my life — and so I did.
Also, since then, the resistance that has defined my life for as long as I can remember has lessened. When I get into a sour mood, most of the time if I stop for a minute and reflect back on my trip while staring at the sky, I can get myself centered and calm again. All aspects of my life have improved, and I am becoming who I thought I could be. But by no means am I done exploring.
I am so happy — and content. The darkness that defined me for so long has been banished.
As anyone who has experienced the magic of the mushroom knows, it’s impossible to accurately recount the experience either in person or in print. The incredible knowledge you are given and things you are shown, simply wither and blow away at any serious attempt at recounting them. It’s an impossibly maddening experience trying to adequately convey one’s mushroom trip without looking like you have lost all your marbles. The wisdom turns against itself and defies the telling.
And as all of us who have traveled that path in earnest understand, with no doubt whatsoever, that our existence in, and interconnectedness with, the universe makes us both nothing and everything simultaneously, significant and insignificant at the same time, one just as true as the other. Yin and yang, ones and zeroes. Some (including myself) have said that during their trips they saw God and he is us. If you remove the brashness from that statement, it rings with staggering truth.
On one hand, we are just cosmic dust with a heartbeat. But on the other hand, we are the creator as well as the created. We contain the birth and death of all history behind us and all possible futures in front of us. We are infinite, and when we are firmly in our trips, we are able to finally begin to wrap our minds around that concept. The infinite and interconnected conscience of all that IS simply feels right; it makes sense, and it is pure bliss.
We now know how ignorant we have been for so long with our ego in the way, and we are utterly humbled at the incredible beauty that we have seen, and struck down to our knees at the magnitude of the revelations we have been shown. Our experience granted us a level of peace and understanding that sings in our heart, even though it defies all logic and rational thought.