The Psychedelic Experience
There is no good starting point when it comes to talking about the psychedelic experience. For me, personally, I learned about the effects of psilocybin first hand and over the course of many years, with no guide, instruction, or preparation. There’s so much I can say, and at the same time there is nothing I can say. Psychedelics changed me though, absolutely, totally. They've changed me so much that I haven't felt the urge or need to consume them again in the past 12+ years. My reason for this is the effects were so powerful, so transforming, so impactful, even to this day I am still in awe of what I've experienced. And it happened to me unexpectedly, accidentally, I never meant to stumble into what I did. But I will tell you, I consider myself extremely lucky for having found what I’ve found. There could be no greater gift, no greater knowledge, no greater experience, no greater wish, no greater satisfaction, than what has taken place within me during psychedelic experiences. During my peak moments, I felt as if I had found the holy grail, the secrets of life, ancient knowledge that had been otherwise long forgotten and washed away in the sands of time. I felt like I had discovered new land, a new region of consciousness, of mind, of being. Truly indescribable feelings, incomparable to any other experiences I’ve ever had in my so called “Life”. When you’re in these deep states, you feel the need for psychedelics not only for yourself but for all human beings. However this feeling of need isn’t a need like an addiction, or an obsession, this is more of a fundamental necessity. Psychedelics are what the mind craves because they allow us to gain deeper understandings of ourselves, life, and our relationship to it.
An important thing to realize is that there are varying degrees of psychedelic experience that can take place, ultimately it depends on your individual perspective, the environment and setting, and other individuals that you are with (if any). And just because you take some magic mushrooms on a good day doesn’t mean you’re going to have a life-changing experience, it doesn’t even mean you are going to gain any new insights or understandings, you may not gain anything at all. New values and perspectives are instilled in us through our experience but only when we are genuinely open enough to receive and accept them, a true willingness to change during opportune moments. People that are unaware of the true potential of psychedelics usually will consume with others simply to “have a good time” and aren’t interested in learning about reality, or becoming a deeper human being, or changing themselves, not yet at least. This is why there has always been confusion with psychedelics, it’s difficult to sift through what all the different types of people are saying, it’s difficult to understand and speak about psychedelics in a way that is accurate, in a way that can be understood by our fellow man and without coming off as pure imagination. How can you tell if someone is speaking truthfully and whole heartedly? How can you tell if they have a clear enough perspective to speak of these experiences accurately? The honest answer is, you can’t. You can’t ever know by words, ideas, and data, this is something you absolutely must experience for yourself, otherwise all of these words are nothing more than whispers in the wind. A person can only speak in an accurate way about psychedelics with careful observation and over the course of multiple and potentially many experiences. The reason for this is that it’s highly beneficial, and in some ways necessary, to compare and consider all the significant and/or meaningful moments that you’ve experienced on different occasions. What you initially thought was a life-changing experience can often be looked at as barely a stepping stone when compared to deeper states of experience which were previously unimaginable, months or even years later.
Another beautiful thing about psychedelics is that they only present their gifts to individuals who are ready to receive them. If there is any hidden agenda on your part and no true intention of learning and changing yourself, you will not gain anything, you will only fool yourself into thinking and believing you’ve gained something. To use psychedelics in an effective way, it takes someone who has a mind of logic and reasoning, and is also keenly aware. It takes someone who is willing and open to change, someone who is courageous. You could say these are a few of the fundamental requirements for a deep and life-changing experience. And when I say use psychedelics in an “effective way”, what I mean is that when your experience is over you feel like an entirely different human being, as if you’ve just emerged from nothingness into life for the first time once again, only this time with your previous memory intact and your body as it was. What I am describing here aligns with what some would call a “transformation”, for lack of a better word. When you have that genuine realization that you are truly and fully “changed”, it feels like everything up to that point was a sort of dream, a made up drama that we know as “Life”, and you were simply playing the role of your particular character. When you finally awaken from the dream you realize how pointless and absurd all your previous concerns and worries were, you are able to see life more clearly and through a new lens, and you are then able to begin a new relationship with the reality that you perceive.
When you have an experience as I am speaking of, when it hits you the right way, there are no words left to utter, anything spoken becomes an unnecessary distraction from the present moment, which is the true gift. You merge with the present, with the source, the life force, with reality, with the NOW, you become one with all that IS because there is no longer a boundary between what you call YOU and anything else, here ideas of “me” or “you” and “this” or “that” have been totally vanquished, you realize that everything simply IS and all is equal. When you are able to truly view what we call “Life” with this perspective, you experience the feeling of being absolutely and totally complete, a sense of perfection. Some would say it is the purpose of life, to merge with the present, with reality, with God, no matter which words we choose to describe it, the meaning is the same. This type of experience is humbling and inevitably causes you to lose interest in what isn’t truly important, so much that you don’t even care about telling other people what you’ve been through, you lose the ability to muster enough energy to think in such ways. Whether anyone believes you or not makes no difference because you’ve lived through something previously unimaginable and no outside confirmation is required or necessary, you’ve experienced it for yourself. Once it’s over, your mind is still so awestruck, so flabbergasted, so bewildered, you can literally become speechless over it for days, months, years, perhaps a lifetime. And you become more quiet, more humble, meditative, peaceful, silent. This is what “beyond words” really means, you’ve had an experience so out of this world that you can’t even find a single word in our human language to describe or speak of it no matter how much time passes, and when you realize that, all that’s left is a quiet being. You then can see what so many characters over the course of human history have been trying to hint at, finally you get it, you’ve seen it, you are it, you know it. You know you are not more important than a worm, or a tree, from the smallest life form, to the largest, the weakest, the strongest, the smartest, all makes no difference in reality, only to ourselves do we see and indulge in ideas of difference. Psychedelics allow us to gain a new understanding of personal perspective and we can see that our mind is the only place where differences exist. Because in this thing we call “Life”, we choose how we see things and this results in what we see and what we believe we see. Psychedelics in a nutshell, teach you about yourself, from the core to the surface and once you have a full and clear comprehension of yourself, you inevitably gain a full and clear comprehension of all living creatures, all human beings. You can’t explain it, you can hardly say you understand it, but somehow you’re still able to ‘see-through’ everyone and everything, without boundary, without being separate. Although we exist in a physical reality where we are all separate individuals, playing our part, after a life-changing psychedelic experience, in your heart and in your mind you still can see and live with no boundaries, with no separation, and instead see all things unified, as one living entity.
The psychedelic experience has the potential to awaken us from our dream, the dream we live in our heads, in our minds. When we do finally wake up from this deep sleep we are in, the world that we previously imagined is shattered to dust. We are then forced to create a new perspective, from a blank slate, starting from scratch and having absolutely no choice in the matter. Can you imagine what this would be like? What it would feel like to have to create a new perspective? Imagine you were a plant, that had grown too big for the small pot it started it’s life in, it’s roots are bunched, unable to grow any further, feeling contained, stressed, and concerned for its life. What psychedelics have the ability to do, is pull you out of that small pot, the small place you were born, the only place you’ve ever known, the only view point you’ve ever had. After being pulled you are then replanted, into a much larger pot, with ample space and room to spread and grow, where this is no stress and no push back from the outside, no worries or concerns like you had in the small pot which were outgrowing. Not to mention the world appears and feels entirely different in the new pot, you have an entirely new perspective and experience of life all the while in the same fundamental reality you were in while living in the small pot. The pot represents the capacity of our mind, the amount of space the mind has to grow. But at a certain point the growth exceeds its space, and a change is needed. The mind doesn’t know why, it doesn’t know how, it doesn’t understand the situation and what to do, it doesn’t know how to get out of this predicament all the while experiencing feelings of stress, containment, pressure, discomfort, confusion, dissatisfaction. Can you relate? This is because the mind is trapped, it has been growing and continues to grow (or attempts to) in a space that can not contain it any longer. And this space is not easily broken through, a plant that has grown too large for its pot will never break through the pot, it will suffer and die long before that happens. A slightly off-putting but very real comparison to us humans as this lack of mental growth can often lead to anxiety, depression, and a multitude of mental disorders. Breaking through the pot is impossible, the only way forward is to be replanted, in a new space, and this is something that is extremely difficult for human beings to accomplish on their own without the aid of psychedelic substances and someone to guide them. The majority of people go through life without ever being replanted, without ever leaving the small mental-space in which they were born. But some of us can say we have truly lived; as we’ve seen the infinity of creation, experienced the inner workings of the mind, explored alternate realities and dimensions of existence, ridden the waves of the cosmos, and have experienced true fulfillment.
Psychedelics are a strange, mysterious, intriguing, and necessary piece to the puzzle of life. They help us make sense of a world that otherwise appears as chaotic, confusing, and uncertain, and they equally help us understand our own humanness. Over time psychedelics became very misunderstood but now, finally, enough people have experienced what they are capable of and the numbers are only going to continue growing. As with anything in life, you can’t fully know something unless you experience it yourself; you can’t know the taste of an apple by looking at it, you can collect pages of data and record endless observations about the apple, but you could never ever know what it tastes like until you bite into it, until you experience it, until you can taste it’s nectar. The psychedelic experience isn’t any different, you can never know it until you have a taste for yourself.
Until then, you can only wonder…