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Voids of Beginning
Trip Report: 5 Grams of Dried Psilocybin Mushrooms
While I do not usually advocate for the application of heavy psychedelic doses, often opting for lower doses mixed with a strong focused intention, and specified controlled stimuli, I have in fact had a few experiences that breach what I’ve coined as the McKenna Barrier. The term of course refers to the famous quote by Terrence McKenna, regarding his preferred method:
“You take five dried grams in silent darkness on an empty stomach.”
The reasoning for this silent darkness (as I have found), is that at such a high dosage, external stimuli can become extremely overwhelming. Per McKenna, the best way to get at the heart of whatever secret the mushroom is willing to share, is to remove all unnecessary distractions, and allow one’s mind to become fully enveloped by the experience.
Being the renegade that I am, I took a slightly different approach by incorporating the usage of music via noise-canceling headphones, whilst nonetheless blindfolding myself during the majority of the experience, so as to not allow for those pesky external distractions to interfere with my temperance.
This Trip occurred several years ago, relatively early into my pilgrimage of the psychedelic realms, and the original Trip Report was drafted the day after.
In light of the impending arrival of my first novel, Man In A Castle - Orbis Curvarum, I opted to dust this one off, rework some of the poorly articulated wording, and share it publicly. This Trip in particular is where I derived the foundational concept of the novel itself.
I should note that I have omitted the experience directly correlating to the book, so no spoilers pertaining to the novel will be included below.
My house, solo setting, with Scub as my Trip Sitter. I had three rooms staged with various stimuli in the way of specialized lighting.
Planning: I took the time to prepare my usual arrangement of notes in my journal for my “tripping self" to discover. It is here where I will leave a series of messages, from this side of reality, that can help serve as a functional anchor, lest I become morally disoriented.
Welcome back. Enjoy where you are, and explore anything, everything, and nothing.
When it comes, let it take you.
For you are in a safe place to let it happen.
S & K are your moral foundation.
These are reminders from a trustful source, wherein the version of myself that is awakened during these experiences can come to better understand operatory functions of their new reality.
I fasted for the majority of the day leading up to the Trip, with the exception of a small meal consumed approximately two hours prior to dosing. I ingested the mushrooms orally, sipping water between bites, and as usual they tasted awful. Like tree bark covered in dirt. A rite of passage I’ve reluctantly come to accept. Soon, those nefarious waves of nausea crashed into me and I smoked a small amount of cannabis to ease the nausea, before retreating into solitude via my bedroom, to begin preparing for the come up.
I laid back on my bed, fixing myself into the most comfortable position I could, and began meditating; allowing my breathing to find a rhythmic pattern, resulting in a soothing catharsis. Within the first 30 minutes of lying there, I could feel the initial vibrations and waves of an unseen energy begin to flow in and out of my body. The walls began to breathe in the same rhythm as myself, and the textured ceiling began to move fluidically. Like a stream or river.
I reached for my headphones and firmly attached them to my head, before covering my eyes with a blindfold, resulting in a totality of silent darkness. I hit play on the first song, and thus the journey began.
Almost instantly, waves of cosmic energy flooded my fields of vision, taking on various colors and fluidic shapes. Like an incoming tide, the waves crashed against me, challenging the fabric of my conceptual existence. Flashes of all my mistakes and misgivings began to rush through my mind, and I quickly became overwhelmed with guilt and shame those misdeeds, and the suffering I’ve laid upon others. Overcome with fear by the impending onslaught of existential ramifications, and the smell of death lingering in-between it all, I knew there would be no escaping its jaws.
So I did the only thing I knew - I focused on my breath, and nothing more. Soon I felt a realignment of sorts, as if I were suddenly back in sync with the vibrational meditative state from only moments ago, before having been surprised out of it by the violent crashing of these neon colored oddities I call waves. Despite my breathing, it seemed my body would be lost nonetheless, and so such a dreadful thing did happen. I floated away and watched my body peacefully die in the third person, consumed by a cosmic ocean of fluctuating color and light. My physical body disappeared under those waves, but my consciousness conceived a newly astral form. Naked and nearly transparent, hairless and without blemish.
I began soaring through space and time, exploring my way through an infinite number of realities, all parallel to my former world, before accidentally landing inside the mind of a young boy. He was a black child, no older than 9 years, riding his bicycle through a neighborhood and town I was totally unfamiliar with. His personality was vibrant and energetic. I could feel what he felt, see whatever he saw through his eyes, and experience his memories as if they were my own. I had no control over his body. No, I could only observe from within.
Despite his seemingly positive nature, his emotional state expressed sadness and lonesomeness. He revealed memories to me, of encounters with the paranormal, and being teased by other children when he told them of these experiences. His loneliness was fueled by a gift of third sight which allowed him to interact with ethereal beings like myself, but resulted in the poor boy being ostracized by his peers.
Wanting to help the boy amend this problem, but being unable to communicate with him directly, I decided the best course of action was to simply stay put, and do that which nobody else likely did, and simply listen. The sun was setting on a hot summer’s eve, and the boy continued riding his bicycle around the neighborhood, talking to me via his thoughts, showing me his favorite spots to play, and pointing out all of the neighbors he liked.
After a short while, I could feel my connection with him beginning to slip away. I tried to convey some semblance of a “goodbye” to the boy, but it was to no avail. Although he too seemed to detect my parting, and expressed reluctance at first, but seemed nonetheless gleeful to have been able to share what he called a “fun experience” with me.
My physical eyes shot open and I gasped for air, choking on each breath as I wheezed for even more of it. Between visions, I had to manually force myself to breathe. It turns out, you tend to forget physical necessity when you aren’t using your body. I found my rhythm of breathing again, relaxing back into that mutable catharsis, almost akin to a sort of biological autopilot, and soon those very same and all too familiar vibrations began to flow, as I prepared for the next episode. What followed was undoubtedly one of the most enigmatic visions I’ve ever encountered.
I was floating in the empty expanses lingering somewhere between space and time, staring into an unknown quagmire; a void reminiscent of something like a black hole. There was an infinite spectrum of fluctuating color and light, spiraling, twisting, and spinning ‘round into that centralized focal oddity, where all things culminated towards a domineering asomatous oblivion. The void seemed to be a sort of threshold, whose force pulled with such magnitude that resisting it proved little more than a pivotal act of futility. I stared into the expanse of nothingness at the epicenter of the spiral, and the nothingness stared back, as if taking on a consciousness of its own.
The deeper I looked, the more I identified myself as being but a fleck of dust amongst that spiral of colorful light, surging towards the ineffably endless cycle of death contained within the heart of this strange infinity. Living an endless cycle of corporeal lives, like a demonstration of the constant struggle between positive and negative, life and death, chaos and order, yin and yang; the perpetual recycling of consciousness. Within the light, I felt a connection with all life that is, was, and will be, wherein the collective efforts of all self-aware and conscious beings across all planes and dimensions, both celestial and worldly, fled from the jaws of the enigma that slowly and effortlessly pulled me into its grasp.
I felt something slither over my leg, but I remained transfixed on the hauntingly infinite well of knowledge and horror exercising itself before me, and overruling the objection that was my existence with the force of a collapsing universe. Helpless and terrified of what lay beyond my comprehension, I was pulled into what I could only envisage to be a perpetual ruination.
The fabric of what I perceived as space and time began to bend and succumb to the void’s force. Unable to break my gaze away from the now forthright epicenter, I continued to stare into its unknowable depths, on the verge of losing my sanity and immortal life.
Something smooth and silky glided methodically up my spine, and coiled around me.
It raised its head above my own as its jaw unhinged and exposed two long and golden fangs. Rather than striking me, it slowly brought its mouth down upon the top of my head, its fangs painlessly infiltrating the top of my astral skull. Venom surged into me, filling me with defiance, trickery, and refusal to enter into concession to the subjugation and compulsion of sempiternity. The serpent and I became one, the beast’s mouth resting upon me like a headdress, as its body sailed above me; sylphlike.
One with my newly conjoined, reptilian twin, the crushing force of the void ceased, and I malingered within the epicenter unscathed and unharmed. I assumed a sort of meditative position, crossing my legs, and resting my arms upon my knees, with index and middle fingers softly pinched together with my thumbs. Sensations of all emotion throughout all of existence channeled through me as an unknown dialectic of speech articulated from my tongue and throat. Strange and alien symbols flowed from my lips and formed a protective circle around me, whilst my serpent continued to channel a rush of vibrational frequencies like an antenna, which flowed into my chest as we amassed together in the focal point of all creation, producing the whole of existence by means of pronunciation.
I would later come to know this language as Glossolalia. Or as the Christians call it - speaking in tongues.
My physical body began to wake up, and I fell back into the corporeal, still humming that strange daemonic language in tandem with my new accomplice. My eyes shot open and I took my first breath in what felt like several eternities. Vibrations were still surging through my throat and chest, echoing that oddity of Glossolalia.
I closed my eyes, and I could see the massive, golden-scaled serpent coiled around my mind, partaking in, or perhaps producing those vibrational echoes, and feeling their effect with great endearment. He was part of me, and I him. He was my brother, and my guardian angel. We had become one being, and through him as a looking glass, I could experience the world in a way that would prove impossible without him. Through him, I felt a million eyes open around the cosmos, and I saw a million worlds at once. Different realities and timelines, all experiencing what I was simultaneously. A million perspectives all interpreting the universe as a net of being that laid itself over the conceptual fabric of reality, while that strange alien language hummed in synchrony through all of these perspectives. Each hum feeling like one final, yet somehow perpetual, exhale before death.
I opened my eyes for the second time, realizing I was still lying on my bed. I suddenly became aware of a goddess that was in the room with me. She did not take a physical form, but was rather made of that same fluctuating light and color from my preceding vision. Her heart opened up to me, and she revealed who she truly was - the maternal symbol of all living things. Caretaker of the ego that died under those cosmic waves, enduring the endless cycle of death and rebirth, whilst experiencing all the love, hate, joy, rage, woe, and bliss that coincides with the dichotomous nature of beauty and horror.
My eyes would periodically close, and the waves of that daemonic language would once again come flowing forth through me, transporting me back to the epicenter of the void, where I would again partake in the creation of all realities. Soon after I would return to the physical world again, where this maternal goddess would scold me, citing the stress I was putting on my physical body, thoroughly demonstrating her attributes as the personification of nurture.
I got up from my bed, and decided to dress my physical form. Whilst dressing, I was greeted in the mirror of another version of myself. A Trickster wearing my reflection. He didn’t seem out to hurt me, but required an acknowledgement of the realm in which I now resided, and the hubris carried with it. The man in the mirror spoke to me via a mixture of plain English and imagery not unlike the void I had recently envisioned that repeated the persistent cycle of life and death. The trick was - straddling both. A feat that required the aid from the sort of deranged entity that leaves notes lying around for himself.
I acknowledged the Trickster wearing my reflection, by reading over the notes he left behind for me in my journal. A series of guidelines, regarding as to how one properly composes themselves in this world. After reading the floaty and wiggle words over, ensuring I thoroughly understood their function and purpose, the strange man wearing my face slowly withered away into a colorless decay of flesh, sending me one last wink before disappearing altogether.
I soon found myself sitting on my living room sofa, still fully enveloped by the persisting series of divinatory visions, wherein a voice that was mine continued to speak in words that were not. I cannot thoroughly describe it, but there was something wholly cathartic about the flow of these words, which seemed to originate from an unseen “elsewhere”, as if they held a greater significance than any words I’d spoken before.
The television was on, and running through a series of high-tempo EDM music videos with the sort of AI generated fractal visuals one might expect from that particular genre of music. Most of it was a static white noise to me, and I seldom found myself intrigued by it.
One strange occurrence was seeing a face manifest within the dancing imagery on the screen, that I wasn’t entirely sure was even there. I also couldn’t escape the notion that this face was attempting to communicate something to me that was wholly secretive, and of vital importance.
Quickly becoming disoriented (as I’ve mentioned in some of my previous essays, that I typically do not enjoy the stimulation of any type of screen, whatsoever, whilst under the spell of magic mushrooms), I decidedly turned the videos off, opting instead for some cooler-headed music to vibe to instead.
I laid back on my sofa, letting my nerves settle from the eerie happening from the EDM visuals, wherein I soon found myself slipping back into a more inward state of inflection.
I was floating in what I could only describe as a cosmic ocean of consciousness, shared by every living thing in the Universe, albeit unknown to most of that aforementioned life. It moved like an ocean ought to, like a strange and endless fluidic mass, with an amalgamation of vibrant blues and purples. Within the tide, I had become a mere silhouette, barely exhibiting features of my own likeness. The tide was strong, flinging me around violently in what seemed to be an intentional and yet whimsical chaos.
Then suddenly I met a strange fellow. He was standing atop the water, and wore an off-white and tattered middle eastern dress, and had the sort of long and unkempt dark hair one would expect a beach-bum to have. He invited me to join him atop what he affirmed was “The ocean of vibrational energy that made up every life that ever was or ever will be.” I asked him what his name was, and how on earth he was simply walking across all of this madness, but he only replied by saying, “You already know who I am, B.” Before reaching a hand down to me, and pulling me up, where I stood next to him on shaky legs atop the ocean’s surface.
We walked together, side by side across that vast infinite ocean for a time in relative silence, before I looked to him and broached the obvious question sitting at the forefront of my mind. “Are you Jesus?”
He laughed in response and only shook his head, going on to tell me that he was never supposed to be a messiah, and that such a thing does not exist. The concept was a contorted invention made by a handful of evil men who only sought power. He never had any intention of “saving” anyone, but rather his goal was to show me (and the rest of humanity for that matter) how to push ourselves past the point of needing to be saved. Which can be done through the hidden vibrations within those strange words I was uttering earlier, thereby generating presence without the need of a physical body. Learning how to manifest a spiritual or ethereal form that can carry us beyond the limits of what we call Life and Death. In addition to nurture and love, this also required the attributes of defiance and rage. Accepting the evil inside of oneself, not allowing it to take control, but integrating it into the larger whole. Balancing the burning light of the Universe and the shadow cast within it by my own existence. He told me that when done properly, these emotions, create persistence, not into death, but through it.
Soon his words began to lose all sensible meaning, and turned into that same mumbling, vibrational gibberish called Glossolalia, before floating away atop an eternal vibratory wave. Before disappearing beyond the limitless horizon, he left me with one final message - To challenge, push, and never stop persisting. To break through the heavens, break through the spiral of infinite death, and ride the crest into eternity.
I tried to follow him.
I wanted to die.
Not out of fear or woe, but our of the sheer curiosity to see what lies beyond that final barrier. However it never came, because it wasn’t time for that to happen to this physical body yet.
There was still work to be done.
My eyes opened, and I was still laying on my sofa. The mushrooms had predominantly worn off, with only echoes of the preceding orchestra dwindling in my mind’s eye. Leaving me wondering if I hadn’t just fallen asleep and dreamed that last series of visions. I spent the rest of the evening in full contemplation, while one of my favorite animated tv shows (Adventure Time) played in the background. My mind was exhausted, and my body felt like I’d just ran a marathon through the Sahara Desert several times over.
But those words, dreamt of or not, still echo in my hallowed mind to this very day. That the only way to overcome death, is not to go around it, or flee from it, but to charge straight through it.
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