Sunday, January 22, 2012

Meandering Existential Reflections

A Psychedelic Trip Report

It’s been a while, about a year since I last took a trip. It was an unexpected call which gave me the news of Lucy’s availability. The caller, whom I known for a year or so, asked me if I would test a tab out to see if it was any good. I hesitated at the idea of tripping so suddenly without preparation. It was a rule of mine to have at least three days before a trip to prepare for it properly. Nevertheless, my girlfriend at the time asked me if I could take it because she wanted to sell some of it to her friends. So eventually I called back the dealer with the Lucy, call him D. I told him I would try out the tab. On my way to his house I quickly assessed the situation. It was a sunny Friday afternoon in mid-October. The weather was very pleasant and the sun's rays seemed to be more golden then usual. I took this to mean some kind of good omen for the trip. Buzzing with good vibes, I entered his house. I asked him why he or one of his friends couldn’t test it out. This question was asked out of suspicion regarding the fact I don’t hang out with the guy much at all, our relationship is one of business. He answered saying that he nor had his friends the time to. He informed me that the tabs were "double dipped" meaning that they received twice the dose of a normal tab. in other words they were strong. I put two hits in my pocket and told D I would call him later as I started tripping to let him know if the product was good.

I walked home to freshen up. I decided I would take a tab and walk around the wooded area of the park. I left my house and walked in the direction of the park. A few blocks from my house I dosed. Once in the park I spit out the tab and searched for a place to sit with a view. I found an open field on the side of a hill. At the top of the hill was a concrete railing that was wide enough for me to sit on. I put on my headphones and mp3 player that I brought with me and played some Meshuggah. I quickly got bored of sitting and felt the desire to walk toward the wooded area. The park's wooded area surrounded a man made lake the size of a few football fields. Most people didn't walk through the wooded area. This made for a nice and quite slice of nature in the middle of a semi-urban neighborhood in the shadow of one of the most popular cities in the world. So I enjoyed this sliver of the park a lot. As I crossed some baseball fields to enter the wooded area, I decided to call a classmate who was interested in psychedelics. He was excited to hear that I was tripping and he wanted to know everything that I was expecting. My classmate, call him S, never had any history of psychedelic use. As I was walking the trail through the wooded area I started to feel as if the top of my head was opening up. I figured this would be where the crown chakra is located. I entertained that idea for a while.

My thoughts began to carry some kind of soft inertia in my headspace. Everything I was looking at seemed to get brighter, especially the way the suns rays would land on the park floor after being filtered through the leaves of the trees. Walking this quite and deserted trail, I was broadcasting to S my reflections of the current situation I was in. Suddenly I started to feel anxiety. Without giving a hint of my changed mood to S I started to walk out of the wooded trail. As I got back to concrete I found myself by the man made lake. I walked in the direction of my house. The lake had mostly joggers at that time of the day. Passing them, I started to "read in" to their behavior. Now, I am a psychology student so I am used to inferring reasons for peoples behaviors. But what I was doing at that moment was grotesquely over done. I felt as if I would feel the person’s whole life, as if I could tell by the way they were jogging or walking how they feel, their life history, and most disturbingly their problems. It was just misery walking past me over and over. I would look into the faces of the people and feel their sadness, their suffering, their grief. In hindsight I believe I was projecting my emotions on to people here. Although there may as well have been miserable people there, by no means it could have been all of them. I got out of the park and started to walk home. All the while I was loosing the ability to keep a logical conversation going, I kept apologizing to S because of this, but he seemed not to mind it.

I reached my house and went strait to the backyard. At this point I started to notice my headspace become enlarged/expanded. I was referring to the state as hyper-space because there was more (hyper) space for me to think in. At the time I was rambling on, giving one-line philosophical notions and questions which got a few awe-filled responses from S. I looked up into the sky as the sun was setting, I couldn’t see the sun itself, but was I did get to see was completely new to my eyes. I saw the line between the light part and the dark of the sky part progress toward the western horizon. It was amazing. After about an hour of talking time with S the conversation was ended. I’m not sure if it was me or him who ended it. All I know is that the last thing we talked about was some of my regrets and shortcomings. That is probably what brought the talk to its end.

After I hung up I continued to hang around my backyard and garage. My head was still filled with the negative thoughts from the tail end of the conversation. At this point I remembered my duty to report the value of the tab. I called D and told him the tab is good and that I was heading over to his house for some weed and more tabs (to sell). On my way there I got a chance to listen to my mp3 player again. I haven’t touched it since I got on the phone. Two tracks were heard. They were both songs I have heard many times, but this time I heard new things. It was awesome. It was as if I could feel the gestalt of the song. I felt as if I was there with the band in the studio while they were recording. And all at once I would feel the whole histories of the different musical styles of the music. It was like seeing the numerous threads of influence and picturing how they all tie up into the song which I am listing to. I also interpreted the meaning of the songs in new ways which have still lasted with me till this day. This is one of my favorites things about psychedelics- their ability to allow one to hear one song in many ways and give it fresh meaning which pertains to ones own life. It’s like the psychological notion of "ideas of reference".
Once I got to D's house again I was surprised to find a female coming in a few moments after me. She was a pretty petite brunet covered in tattoos. She even had a tattooing machine with her, along with a small cute black kitten. Her presence made me feel on guard, more then I was already. She was surprised to find out I was tripping alone. I figured she is used to always tripping with people. D asked if I wanted to smoke a blunt and I agreed. As the herb was being rolled up, I explored his house as I was feeling the mental stimulation from the LSD. I find some occult books. I attempt to read one to no avail, I just keep losing concentration. The sound of footsteps fills the room as I look to see who is coming into D's house. It was a few of his customers that I don’t know at all. I stayed in a separate room as he delt with the patrons, fearing I would look comical. After the transactions were finished I’m called back into the main room to smoke. Upon entering I see that they customers had left. We begin to smoke and I’m told that some old friends of mine are coming over to buy some weed. These two girls, call them H and F were part of my chilling circle back when I was part of one. Now I keep to myself, like a hermit. Of course when they came they told me how much they missed me. This reminded me of the hypocrisy, the lies, and the lack of respect I experienced while hanging out with that group. So my greetings toward them were restrained and a bit aloof. At this moment the weed smoking was done and I needed to meet my GF to give her the tabs. I excused myself from D's house headed toward my house.

The plan was to meet my GF at the time L and give her the tabs so she can sell them at a mark up to her friends. I was given a discount on the tabs in return for my willingness to test them. On my way home I started to feel anxiety swell. As I crossed a two way street the reality of the moment stepped in. I was tripping balls in the middle of the street and on the verge of going into a negative thought loop. In hindsight I believe it was the weed which brought up the anxiety. I made my way home trying to keep composure. A block from my house I saw L with her hands out. Her demeanor stank of infidelity. I felt as if she was cheating on me with her friends. The way she was asking for the tabs and telling me how she is going to meet them up to sell, it felt as if I could read in-between the lines of her behavior. She would say I need to go see so and so and then as she said their name, she would grunt and do a small pelvic thrust. In hindsight I was projecting my insecurities onto her. I was supposed to go with her in my car as she drove to drop off the tabs. But the state I was in had me paranoid and wanting to stay in my garage. She left and I shut myself in my garage.

I started to bring some attention to the visuals I was having. It had been about an hour and a half since I dosed the tab and the visual affects from the LSD were becoming apparent. I turned off all the lights in the garage and left the door to the yard ajar. The slit of white light coming from the crack in the door was making itself much known to me as I stood in the middle of the dark garage. The perfectly motionless and strait light started to wax and wane. The whiteness took on a milk-creamy visual texture to it. The bending and curving of the light was felt inside of my chest. Every wane would be felt as if there was a flexible material band, resembling the light, inside my body. This entertained me for a little while before I started to plunge into the existential abyss. I turned on the garage lights and shut the door. The plain white light from the florescent tubes emanated this humming that to me signified the perceived emptiness of my life. My thoughts started to feel as if they were neurotransmitters hitting receptor sites. But that is exactly what thoughts are. Every idea was a receptor site being docked by a neurotransmitter.

After about a minuet of that sensation I felt another strange event come on. It felt as if the boundary between the inside of my mind and the world started to collapse. My thoughts started to become the things around me and vice-versa. I started to walk around a table over and over. I had my hands clasped as if in prayer and I was repeating a phrase which I don’t recall, it felt like a mantra. Walking this circle around the table, I felt that my path around the table became a circle portal. Then it dawned on me that I was a soul at zero. Whereas before I would pride myself in my spiritual advancement, I was then realizing that I was the farthest I could be from god/enlightenment. The "soul at zero" phrase is an album by the band neurosis. It was like my karma was at its most negative. I felt unworthy of life and a waste of it. Then I stopped my circling of the table. Standing strait up me looked around the garage. I blurted out a noise from my mouth. This sound was the big bang or the start of it all. And every second afterward I felt the progression and complexitification of matter. I saw none of this visually but instead experienced it emotionally. I cannot describe this sensation very well with words. It was an experience of pure emotion, as if it did not come from my prefrontal cortex, but rather from my reptilian or limbic brain. I was in awe of how the universe unfolded into the event of my life. It is so strange that how supposedly out of complete chance my existence as a reflecting awareness comes into being. A meaning maker in a seemingly meaningless universe. What a lofty mystery it is to be alive.

Then as if in a whisper, I softy hear a piece of divine insight. "You Are The Still Silent Space Between All Things." Once comprehending the idea, I looked around the garage to see it through the lenses of this insight. I saw many things around me. All these things around me, I am what’s in-between them? At the time, I took that to mean that I am no single things, but rather what allows anything to be anything: the space which things are in. "I am empty space?" what an anti-climatic piece of information to dwell over. But as I started to really focus my attention on not the things themselves, but what was between them. My self, my thoughts, my true self is not any of these. My true self is silent still empty space. I am nothingness? This left me feeling quite mystical but confused- which is the norm in these kinds of experiences. How can I learn to identify myself with that space in-between things and not any thing itself? I pondered this riddle until L came back.

Once home me and her went inside my house to watch a movie. The negative feelings I had felt before were still lingering and started to swell again once I and L settled in my room. I started to feel self-pity as I reviewed my life and my relationship with L. She was sober and not in the mood to hear my philosophical meanderings and negative evaluations. The weed I brought from D earlier came into my mind and I turned on my vaporizer. Between the lingering anxiety and the lack of concentration given to the film, it took a long time to actually prepare a vapor balloon for our enjoyment. As we started to get into bed for the night- this being about 10 hours into the trip- I glanced over toward my closet doorknob. It was a fake crystal which seemed reflect fractals galore inside of it. Laying in bed with L I started to drift off, watching the last bits of the visual disturbances of dancing color behind my eyelids.