Broken down into 3 Sections: Before, During, After. Enjoy the trip.
(Published February 2020)
College Cafeteria. Sophomore year. Late morning in the late Spring. 2011.
In a booth with plates of food, one of my roommates, and his friend.
Convo. Convo. Convo. Then I hear something like “do you wanna do shrooms with us today?”
I sat in thought for a moment, “can I think about it?”
“We’re getting them in less than an hour so gotta be quick.”
Haha, after eating, we all went back to our dorm. They chatted while I quickly engulfed as much information on mushrooms from google as I could before giving them my reply.
I was both scared and intrigued. From what I read during that time I learned that there was a possibility of having a spiritual awakening, but that there was also a possibility of having a bad trip, and fucking my life up forever.
So, naturally, I said yes.
We each got a cut of shrooms (3.5 grams), but I started with half, to be safe.
Chomp. Chomp. Down the hatch.
A lot of people I’ve spoken with do not like the taste of mushrooms, and, understandably so. It doesn’t taste anything like your favorite food, unless your favorite food is dirt.
The taste really depends on what form of psilocybin mushrooms you get. I’ve tried several. Most have tasted Earthy, like dirt, especially the times I ate mushrooms I found in the woods — they looked like the magic kind! I didn’t die, and I don’t even think I tripped those times, unless it’s the permanent kind. So I don’t recommend that, but to each their own.
I’ve also had it dissolved into white chocolate — those ones tasted like a dessert.
All the stories will be shared in time, but for now, here we are.
The ones we got on this day were gold caps. They looked exactly, 100%, like the shrooms on the cover photo. We had more than that though.
We got a large bag of beef jerky to share with our shrooms, because, you know, we heard they didn’t taste great — I forget if the other two had done them before. I think one had and one hadn’t. I personally didn’t think they tasted as bad as some people say they do, but I still ate some of the beef jerky with those precious gold caps.
How am I feeling at this point? What am I thinking?
Yea, I was a bit nervous, but also curious, wondering what was to come.
From what I read that day, they don’t kick in until at least 30 minutes to an hour, but I really didn’t know what I was in for. I was still thinking that this could possibly enlighten me, but I also feared having the dreaded bad trip, which I will discuss in my second story, coming soon.
It was a nice day out, so, about 10 minutes after eating the shrooms, we decided we’d walk to a park about a half mile from our dorm.
—Shining sun, blue skies, a few snow-white clouds, and it was just afternoon now. Month of May, I think.
We conversed as we walked, banter probably. The day was beautiful. We sat down on a dark green bench inside the park and continued chatting. This was about 20-30 minutes in now. I told them I don’t think I was feeling anything, and I think they said the same, so we talked about other things.
One of their friends joined us around that time. I guess he had eaten shrooms too, maybe that’s where they got it from, and he had done it multiple times he said. He told me that I will know when it kicks in…Not too long after, the colors of everything became a little brighter. I wasn’t sure if it was from the sun being so bright, or the shrooms. So I was like “the grass is really green right?” They laughed, and I did too.
Around this time I was thinking — this feels pretty good, maybe this is what shrooms are, and this is pretty cool…I watched a breeze swoop in, moving the grass with it, in what I thought looked harmonious. I was in awe…but soon I found that this was just the tip of the iceberg — but rather than an iceberg, I’d say a blackhole.
15 or so minutes later, one of the guys walked off on his own, sitting down at the base of a large tree. The three of us who were still together continued to talk, then I thought it’d be funny to scare our friend by the tree.
While cautiously stepping through the grass, about halfway there I stepped in a small pile of water (it had rained the day before), and softly, out loud, I was like “Ooohhh shit,” and exactly at that moment I knew, without a doubt, that it hit me. This was it.
“YOOOOOO!” I yelled over to my two friends.
They’re laughing like “What???”
“I’M TRIPPPPIINNGGGGG!” I said, without a care in the world if anyone else in the park heard.
The two of them geeked out. I did too. Our friend by the tree just looked over. He seemed a little down. He obviously saw me now, but I still went over to talk with him.
What I was feeling at that time when it hit me, is really hard to explain. It was like I could feel my whole body, simultaneously, everything. I breathed and it was perfect, I don’t know how else to put it, everything was in sync, and everything was beautiful.
The only things I remember talking with my friend about at that moment was the tree, and some ants that were crawling in front of us. We both were in awe of everything. The tree and ant were like family to us in that moment. Nothing had changed in the environment, but everything changed internally, which made us perceive and experience everything in a different way than “normal” life.
I think the other two friends came by shortly after, and we all conversed. Again, I don’t remember what all we talked about, but it was existential for sure.
At one point we thought it could be a good idea for all of us to be on our own for 5 minutes or however long we discussed, so the four of us separated in opposite directions, north, south, east, west. I went in one of those directions, then found a dry spot in the grass to lay down on.
It was around that time, 30 minutes or so after it hit me initially, that I experienced something different than I was previously experiencing. The state of bliss I had been enjoying turned into a state of loneliness. I sat up, looking at where the others had gone off too. We were all in our own spots. I was thinking I hope we all come back together soon.
At that moment I wasn’t enjoying the trip, but I found that these intense feelings, strong vibes, come in waves, and a different wave came. I think this one was a pretty good, contemplative state — I had an epiphany or something and really wanted to share it with the others, so I decided to get up and walk over to one of them. Maybe it was selfish. I don’t know, but that’s what I did. They were cool with me telling them whatever had been on my mind. I actually don’t remember what it was, but I bet it was a funny insight.
I had a lot of insights, realizations, epiphanies, that day(to come throughout).
We walked over to the others and we all shared what we were experiencing. Kind of funny right? Just four guys walking around a park, splitting up, coming back together, then talking about what we felt during that time. But that’s how shrooms are, from my experiences — that while on them, you experience things your normal self could never even imagine.
We walked around the park some more, feeling breezes and watching them orchestrate the grass like it was a band. We were standing on a small grass hill around that time, which was also when I had a peak experience. Answers I had been seeking flooded into me — maybe I was the black hole? Maybe we were all blackholes?
I wasn’t thinking that^ at the time, but reflecting on it, that’s how it felt for me. Everything made sense in that moment. It was moments of deep, joyful reflections. An internal “Ohhh” about so many things—myself, people, nature, animals, societal norms and structures, time, and even about life itself. Pretty much anything I had ever wondered or worried about, was resolved. And at that time the answers were so much more simple than I was making them to be, or worrying about. I really believe I was experiencing unconditional love, with myself and the Universe. We weren’t separate. There was no “you” and “me,” there wasn’t even an “us,” because it was all so beyond that, beyond any words.
Later on, probably days or weeks later, I found out that what I experienced was mystical, and that some other names for it are “Cosmic Consciousness,” “Christ Consciousness,” “Transcendental Consciousness,” and I’m sure there are more.
One of the realizations I had during that moment, was that “time” is not actually how I previously thought it was—measured and all that(seconds, minutes, hours, days, etc). I realized that it was so much more than the measurements we’ve given it as humans. “Time” was a construct. One way I’ve described this whole experience to others is that it’s like going back to when you were a child — there’s no labels and words for anything. It just all, is. And it’s all connected. You feel like you’re finally home, on the inside, ya know, because that’s ultimately where we’re all experiencing life from. Both the internal and external fused together.
Back to the park….We would stand at a spot for awhile, all together, then walk to another spot, experiencing, conversing, observing. Now, a couple hours in, I found a Gandalf-like stick in the grass. I was like a child on Christmas when I saw it. To me, it was a sign, and it was a miracle — because for one, there weren’t any white trees in this park. There weren’t any trees anywhere close to where this stick would have come from. So I guess someone must have brought it in and left it there? At a random spot in the park. Or Aliens, like seriously, I don’t know. I do believe in Aliens though.
^&That’s another realization I had — that there are billions and billions of galaxies and stars in this universe. I think it’s highly likely that Aliens exist, and I also recognized that we, the human race, would be considered Aliens to a species from a different planet…So maybe it’s we who are the real Aliens?
So I clearly picked the stick up. Magic. It really did feel surreal. And I showed my friends who, at the time, we were all a little separated, walking around in our own worlds, and the same world.
^Another realization — The truth of Paradox. Basically I saw both sides of many coins, and realized that they were all true. Like just above, we’re all in the same world, but also, we all operate individually within ourselves, our brains, mind, or whatever. Heart too.
Another Paradox — That we are all connected and that we’re all separate. Similar to above. We’re all living individual lives, but beyond who we think we are(which might be ego?), is who we actually are — which is one entity. I’ll relate this one to living in the state you had as a child. There was a time in our lives, when we were really young, that we didn’t separate ourselves from anything. It could have been from our lack of knowledge/education….but it could have been that that is who we are in our purest form? We don’t fear anything. We don’t fear death because we don’t think about it. We’re truly living in the moment, thoughtless, and isn’t that what so many people try to do, or have always been trying to do? — reach that state of bliss, of no thoughts. We see people turn to drugs, alcohol, food, anything to try and get away from “ourselves”(who we think we are) (and yes, psilocybin is considered a drug, but there are things that are legal, like Cigarettes, that are wayyyy worse for our health. — it’s a lack of proper education, and the striving for power, and greed, that keeps drugs like Psilocybin, illegal (although lately more of the masses have been opening up to it — but only because everyone else is…)
^Haha. Would you jump off a bridge if your friend did it?
“No, of course not!”
…But most people are jumping off metaphorical bridges every day. We follow the crowd, the trends, we don’t stand out, because we’re afraid to. I’ve done it and still do it at times, this is usually a very unconscious thing we humans do, but it’s real, and this was clear to me during this experience. I still believe it’s true.
With psilocybin — I’m not saying that everyone should do it. I’m just telling you what I experienced that day, and what I’ve learned from it. Studies are currently being done to learn more about psilocybin and the potential health benefits(mental&other) it provides, at John Hopkins University and other places.
So yea, back to story. I shared my excitement about my newly found Gandalf-stick, and used it as like a hiking stick for the rest of the day. I even brought it to our dorm and kept it there for awhile – weeks or months. I may have gotten rid of it at the end of the semester, or sometime during, I don’t remember, but I did rip off a small piece and still have it to this day.
Also, hours later when we went back to our dorm I showed my other roommates the Gandalf-stick. I clearly remember how I described it too:
“It was just laying there,” throws stick on ground, “like that!”
What made it more funny was that I was completely serious. They laughed and I laughed too.
^I’ll end this soon, but another big thing I took from the trip was to laugh at myself, to not take things too seriously (which I don’t always do! Sometimes I think too much, but I guess at the end of the day I have somewhere inside of me an internal reminder to laugh, and not take myself too seriously).
Life is fleeting, just like that moment. Just like the various moments throughout that day. And the weeks and years that pass by. It’s fleeting. Life is short. It hurts, it does. I think we’re all suffering in some way, but I think if we realized how short and temporary our lives are, in the grand scheme of things, we’d be able to have more fun and do better work. We’d help each other more and worry less. There are beautiful things in this life we experience, but as we age, it’s so easy to see all the bad in the world, and this can, in turn, make us experience “bad” in our lives.
This life is a mystery. I don’t know if it will every really be figured out. I’ve made many mistakes. I think we’ve all made more mistakes than we wish we have, but we only make our lives worse by reliving the past over and over again, or bringing up someone else’s past to make them relive their pain again.
We’re human. Of course we aren’t perfect. No one is. No one. If you think you are, well, you must be Jesus – please save us all. I’m not.
We gossip and put others down in a state of fear — Who we think we are, our ego, our selfish drive to look out for “I” and not anyone else, leads us to actually being a bad person – or at least not being helpful. I’m not saying we’re completely bad if we gossip about others, because as much as I try not to, I slip sometimes. Humans are emotional. We’re really driven by emotion, so when we experience states of fear, we might get hyper focused on our lives, and gossip about someone else before someone points the finger at us. It’s a defense mechanism.
^But then at times I wonder if this is a paradox too. I’ve wondered if we, as humans, gossip and talk down on others to actually evolve the human race. This might be a weird thought, but I have it, so I guess this all may be a paradox —that although we most likely know it’s not right to gossip, we still do, and these projections of others’ mistakes and never ours, can possibly inspire those people who are talked badly about, to do and be better, and hopefully it makes the gossiper want to be and do better too. —One problem though is that most gossip is done behind our backs. We complain about people and they complain about us, and we never really find out because everyone is just as fake as we are. Maybe this is the human game? It’s dramatic, that’s for sure.
Maybe one reason why most of the human population isn’t genuinely happy is because we’re so focused on other peoples’ lives(because we’re in constant fear of what other people think of us), so we never end up attending to our own lives.
There is more to that day that I experienced, but I don’t want to write too much in one post.
This felt really good to write. It’s been about 10 years and I’ve told maybe a handful of people about this experience, but I’ve never written most of it down like this. I haven’t shared it with more people because of fear, because as much as I believe in love, societal norms are powerful, and as a person with the job I have, doing magic mushrooms and talking about the experience would very likely be frowned upon and could consequence in losing that job, which I love.
So I will remain anonymous for now, but I do want to share more of my psilocybin stories. If you’d like to help me do this full time you can donate here. Thank you for reading, and I’d like to hear your psilocybin and psychedelic experiences as well. We can just talk about it, but I can also share your story if you’d like(anonymously or can link to your site). Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward, in hope, to the days psilocybin will be used as a medicine that actually heals us, and doesn’t leave us addicted or taking other medications to counteract the medicine we’re on.
But for now, we play the human game, doing what we can – not just talking about change, but making change, and being okay with doing it imperfectly, and picking ourselves and others back up, in love, when we fall.
Do I wish I was always in that mushroom state of mind?
I’m not sure…because then, well, I don’t know.
But that’s some of what I experienced that day, and a lot of it has stuck with me.
One last thing for now, I think. Haha. —It’s easy to judge people, which I’ve even done in this post —like judging people for judging, but I think what’s more important is to live our lives in a way where we don’t need to talk, preach, use our words to complain and blame, because we’re too busy living how we all know we should. It is very good to speak out for what you believe in, and to fight for what is right, but try not to solely speak on your beliefs – act on them, and if you’re not acting on what you say you believe in, I encourage you to reflect..On your life, not someone else’s, and to help people rather than try to destroy them with your words – that’s an evil thing to do. We’re all people. We’re all hurting.
Grace…If we can give ourselves grace for the mistakes we’re not proud of, we can share it with others too. Not because we’ve done anything to deserve it, but because we are one entity. We are together, and I think that as we find ourselves treating people, the environment, animals, everything, with grace, we’ll experience more of it in our lives, and I say this as someone who eats meat and needs to work on sharing grace in all aspects of my life just as much as anyone else, because I often don’t give that grace…talking, not doing. But, it has come into my awareness, so I remind myself of some of these things that flooded into me during that trip, and I take imperfect actions in a state of my beliefs, being okay with doing it imperfectly-because that’s the only way to progress, not just as individuals, but as the whole human race, together.
Balance is essential in doing this, and boundaries, which is another thing we can imperfectly progress toward.
As we focus on our lives let’s not forget the lives of others, and
As we focus on others’ lives, let’s not forget ourselves.
It’s natural to not want to let other people down, even sometimes when they are toxic to us, because we care about their happiness. Some people are pros at boundaries, and others, like myself, need to work on it.
Clear, honest, real and raw communication may be a starting point.
Be weird. Be patient. Love who you are, and others, as they are.
I hope you experience love, grace, peace, strength, and joy, at a deep level, and embrace pain, uncertainty, doubt, fear, restlessness, worry…Two sides of the same coin, if you think about it.
Thank you for reading.