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An Ugly Lovely Life

I’ll begin my story by introducing myself. My name is Adrian Bennet, I am 46 years old and have been married to my wife Liz for 22 years. We have 3 wonderful children Keziah 11, Ella 9 and Zain 4 months. My wife and I have had many career paths in life and refer to ourselves as autodidacts. We are co-directors of a family business that developes and provides CBD and medicinal mushroom based products, here in Swansea, Wales UK.

Although I wouldn’t have known it as such then, the first experience that I later perceived as psychedelic occurred in my adolescence. There had been a major breakdown in my family when I was 7 years old and shortly after I became the subject of traumatic physical and emotional abuse.  Around the age of 9 or 10, after particularly traumatic family events, I would “wake up” around 3 A.M., but somehow I would not be entirely awake, I would be somewhere else completely, physically conscious but in another world completely, being chased and attacked by the most grotesque caricatures. My very young parents would try to hit me to wake me up, but to no avail. Home became a place of distrust and fear. At the age of 10,  I found myself at the local mental asylum having brain scans and then would spend the next two weeks picking the electrode glue out of my long blond hair while in school. They could find nothing wrong with me.  

As I grew older, I began to leave the house via the window when I felt these episodes coming on and would find myself running and screaming through the streets of our small mining village of Felinfoel, while being attacked by saucers, lasers, monsters and the like. I would run for what seemed like an eternity only to find myself coming around in my underwear 30 minutes or so later with the socks on my feet worn through to my skin. I had no clue about what this could be until around 2 years ago, but I’ll get to that later.

As the abuse continued, I rebelled and became adept in the art of enduring pain. It was normal to hit your kids back then so I said nothing of what was happening. Despite the abuse, I was a caring, empathetic kid, which perhaps originated from a deep seated need to find my own source of love and thus I began to remove all boundaries in the hope of love coming in from the outside. Regular schools couldn’t control my outbursts and so from the ages of 12 to 16 I was placed into the welfare/foster care system. I had an ability to just ace an exam without looking at the subject matter until just before taking it. The answers appeared as ‘pictures’ in my mind and therefore I could never show how I worked things out. Since this was incomprehensible to my teachers, they would accuse me of cheating and would beat me as punishment. I couldn’t win. I now know that this is a symptom of ADHD disorder, and rather than seeing this as a disorder, I prefer to see a beautiful mind, ultimately creative if it’s allowed to express itself.  We are IT!

I spent four years in that state boarding school for the “maladjusted,” as it was referred to then, a school filled with a plethora of children in different states of disrepair. Upon leaving this place, I went into the Royal Navy and six months later was honourably discharged on medical grounds. So, by the time I was 16 ½ I found myself on the streets, shooting intravenously all the barbiturates, speed and you name it that I could find. It led me to prison many times, and “killed” me 3 times. Thankfully, the universe had other plans.

At 22 I became a religious person and was “born again” for the next 20 years. I put my head down and played the good lad. My wife and I went to around four different churches  over the years, but I attended, many, many more on my own in that time. We were so dissatisfied with those that we even started our own church, which survives to this day. Through these years, we also built businesses for us and they afforded us a comfortable lifestyle filled with cars and houses, but despite all this we still felt empty and unfulfilled. While in the church, I wasn’t allowed to express my utter disillusionment with Christianity, its church and with the way I’d been paraded around by Christians as a poster boy for the war on drugs. My disillusion turned into clinical depression and my daily routine was to find reasons not to kill myself, hence the reckless way I spent money as a compensation. To top it off, most Sundays I’d have to put on my suit and speak at this church or that youth camp and the like, while never quite getting the message.

Enough was enough and I decided to end my life.   To this day I can’t explain how I was stopped, but I was and it was like a switch had been flicked. I was on the back end of four hard years of doing iron men triathlons, running a successful construction company, frequently drinking myself into oblivion and still trying to be my best self for my wife and daughters. Even I could see this was unsustainable, so I began to see a therapist (whom I still see) who through Gestalt therapy was finally able to get me to open up for the first time. I had thought the love between my wife and I was gone and we needed to save our marriage, but what I realized was it was my love for myself that needed saving and capturing. It got darker and darker for me as I began to unwind.

I found cannabis helped me to climb out of this, particularly CBD which helped me so much that I eventually found myself living and working on a cannabis farm in southern Oregon. I would work for two weeks at a time here and there and sometimes on a monthly basis, and began setting up our little business. Along the way, I heard about DMT and the thought of it fucking terrified me. Then I heard about ayahuasca, and I couldn’t imagine being in that state for 8-10 hours. No way!! But it got my attention, as did Dr Rick Strassman and his books. I began to see there might be a correlation between my childhood waking night terrors and these experiences. I emailed Dr Strassman and to my surprise he replied within minutes and we conversed over the course of a half dozen messages. It was a great moment for me. He was lovely and very to the point. His advice in the end was “do your own research,” which I did. I really, really did. 

I first heard of these plants and medicines in October of 2018 and by March of 2019, I’d soaked myself in research. All the books and podcasts I could devour.  All the music that would feed my soul. It was like I was being called, I couldn’t explain it. I knew I just had to do this and with the research I lost my fear. I’d lived with that shit all my life. It was an old friend by now and I’d come to learn that there are no bad or good feelings, just feelings and I needed to view them for myself in whatever fashion pacha mama had in store for me. 

So, I took the plunge. I booked a stay at a temple deep in the Amazon jungles of Peru and prepared to partake in seven ayahuasca ceremonies spread over 11 days. I studied more and more writings, I followed the guidance to eat better and generally tried to do all the things they ask of you. What’s the point in going somewhere to experience their expertise and not following the protocol? Makes no sense to me. It never has. I was all in. So, I booked my flights to London then Madrid then Lima to Iquitos and finally found myself deep in the lower Amazon in a longboat with 22 strangers, all bound for the same journey.  Once we arrived at the temple, we were looked after by Shipibo tribal folk and 6 shaman.

When I look back it now, it has to be the plant calling me. There is no doubt in my soul. That’s my perception anyway.

I was carrying a lot of trauma into the ceremonial setting and some would call it a severe case of PTSD.  When I arrived in Iquitos, I thought even my kids didn’t love me. I felt totally alone in this world. I had fallen completely out of love with myself as well.  This is how I began my first ayahuasca journey. I was knocked out like someone had given me an anesthetic, but weirdly I felt ‘operated on’ when I woke. An odd feeling pervaded me all the next day and despite my worry that this wasn’t going to work, I dug deep and continued my preparations for the next session. Oh, how naïve I was. The second night was when the medicine took hold of me and it was mind altering.

The journey began with me drinking a much larger dose of ayahuasca than I was allowed to drink on my first night. It was a rule of the temple. They had their reasons and  there is no doubt to me that these human beings know exactly what they are doing. After imbibing, I went back to my space on my mat and as I lay there, I began to feel this seething, white hot emotion that was impossible to keep in. I started to weep bitterly and the agonizing knot that formed in the pit of my stomach was ugly. It takes a lot to make me vomit, but this feeling was so overpowering that it was too much to bear. I broke, calling Publio (my facilitator and now close friend) over to ask, “What is happening to me? Hold me.” I was utterly terrified and felt like I was literally falling apart as a human.  All he did was smile, that beautiful smile of his and say, “Oh, Adrian” while stroking my head until I purged on his lap, soaking his clothes with the hottest tears I’ve ever leaked. Then the maestro Shamen, six in all, came in singing their Icaros and it was the most eternal sound I’d ever heard. 

A sudden peace came over me, like somebody literally hugged me and laid me down, assuring me “you’re here now, you’re in it, it’s too late to go back, just accept this.” and I did. I lay there staring up into what I can only describe as a cosmological nightmare, with crazy stuff, lots of stuff from which I kept recoiling. Then I heard a voice speak to me without making a sound and it said, “Adrian, why do you always expect all the beauty in your life to come to an end and when it does, you do that? Now look up, it’s beautiful, nothing can hurt you here, LOOK!”   When I looked, I was no more, I was nothing and everything. It was just the most unexplainable view. There was this eternal Forever rock formation crossed with an octopus’ body, nothing had size, it just was, and as I stared bodiless, ripped from who I thought I was, this eye just filled my vision with a blues blue, crystalline colour and it just opened up and communicated to me, “I SEE YOU, YOU NO LONGER NEED TO BE SEEN.” The visuals were so profound and the message so deep, it all made sense in a heartbeat. I don’t remember much after that except landing safely again. I knew my mask had been ripped away and I cried and cried, stopping only to  sit up every time a shaman came to my mat to sing in my face. They needed us to sit up so they could see all the trauma in you and I’d challenge anyone that said they couldn’t. At least once or twice every evening a shaman would suck something from the top of my head and I’d collapse into a heap while the shaman would proceed to vomit into his or her bowl.  Whenever I opened my eyes in this state, the maestros seemed to be in the vision with me. Now it was exactly what I thought it would be: magic, black, white, blue, pink, who gave a fuck, these people were helping to heal 23 westerners and it was working. I video blogged every evening, to make sure I remembered what I had learned, and while some are still a little difficult to watch, the one I made after this evening was especially so.  

Each ceremony peeled a layer of myself away that I’d been holding onto as security and once the veil was dropped,  I saw the beauty in myself and in everyone around me.  The connection was otherworldly.

There was an evening toward the end, the sixth ceremony in fact, where all my passive rage and pent up emotions came to the surface and the medicine took me on a ride I’d never expected. It began during the day, where for some reason, people began to say weird, unpleasant things to me. I arrived at the ceremony really confused, and while we weren’t supposed to vent on anyone, for some reason that day people did. It was odd at the time, but in hindsight it wasn’t anything new, it wasn’t good or bad, it was just interactions and this day was my day to realize once again how naïve I’d been. 

Up until this point, I’d done five ceremonies, and they had been all gentle and namaste. I remember actually saying to my now great friend Farid, that I didn’t think I needed the last two ceremonies, I was ready to leave. As a result, I arrived angry as fuck.  Sitting in between the two people that I felt most aggrieved by, I blindly smashed as much medicine as I could into my mouth. I was angry, in a “Fuckin come on then!” sort of way. What made matters worse was I was now really angry at myself for allowing this to happen. I became really intoxicated and the whole place was going off. This was ceremony number six, so we had 138 experiences between us up to that point, and had 120 Icaros sung to us. My anger took over and I began screaming, “You fuckin pussy, you allow women to walk over you? etc etc etc.” I shook uncontrollably, as if taken over and began to seriously beat my face and body with my fists. I started biting myself and hating how weak I’d been, after all I was a fuckin lion, how dare I be weak? I knocked 3 teeth out, but don’t worry, they were all mine. Of the 23 of us in the temple, I was the only one this was happening to. They told me later, it’s not a regular thing, it’s more my process. I was being shown what I was doing to myself internally while all the while having my ego revealed to me. I was being shown all the women that had hurt me, especially my mother, like a flushing out. The visuals here were fast and hard. Hurtful. Publio was coming over to me, worried and asking me to calm down, but by now I think I realized what was going on. When mother ayahuasca carries you away,  you’re able to almost relax into the terror with a distinct knowledge that it’s all going to be ok, a sort of perception that makes sense to me now. There is this separate connection. I said to Publio, “Don’t worry, it’s my process, this is my cage, I’m a fuckin’ lion Publio, I’m a fucking lion!” And I was. Whether it was the fact that I’m a Leo and I know the lion connection or whatever, I’d become a human lion, beautiful, glistening, golden, powerful. Down on my haunches, growling, snarling, snapping at the air. I was smelling everyone and taking my power back.

Then I remembered a vision I’d had a couple of nights earlier. I was holding my unborn son, Zain, and in a flash it hit me, that was you Ade. That was the inner child you came here to find. You expected to find a 7 year old boy, but this was a beautiful Gollum, silver, unborn baby with blue black holes for eyes, eyes that had the cosmos beyond them. I stripped myself naked and sat there nursing myself like a mad man. I just couldn’t bring the vision back.  “Why show me this now? Why spoil it?” I thought and I began to aggressively try to go inside myself and fetch him. I felt it was absolutely possible to enter into myself, that I had been completely separated from mind. It was almost controllable, but completely frustrating. I was alternately shouting, then whispering and at one point I let out a roar out that sounded like it came from another world and was so loud JJ the facilitator heard it from 1 km away.   

Within seconds, I was being schooled again by that inner voice. “You can’t swear at a baby, Ade. You can’t talk to yourself like that anymore. It’s what’s going to kill you. This part of you was locked away in the womb. You’ve now lived half a life and this half of you is almost dead. Be nice, be gentle.” Then I was in my arms, me as a baby. I cried, wept mightily and danced with me. It was so special, I’m crying now as I write this. It was a glorious merging of myself. I was dancing in front of the entire Moloka, as naked as the day I was born. I’d had terrible body complex issues all my life but now, nah, no more.  This was a freedom like I’d never thought could exist. Utter and complete abandon. 

At certain points I would see someone that had hurt us/me and they would simply disappear. My vision would get difficult and I was being taught that they could not hurt me anymore. It’s gone, it’s done. It was like I shut a door on all of my past. I was standing on my 2 foot by 6 foot by 2 inch thick mattress, acting out my entire life, past, present and future, and it went dark and closed. I looked the other way and there was a complete garden of hallucinations. I went in and I was seduced by the most beautiful, green, big cats, they just were all over me. Then I was in a golden temple, swirling with colours I’ve never seen before. Jesus was there, along with every god and myth I had ever known, they were in my heart, my stomach… it was a complete destruction of conscious reality. I was exploding into crystalline shards with a myriad of what I can only call colours, but I have no words to do them justice.  It was so loud and yer silent, so big and yet small, all at once: duality had disappeared. I was one with everyone, everything and I knew I’d never be the same again. I collapsed on my matt, exhausted, the reverie had ended but I had yet to return. “Laura is waiting to put you back together, Adrian,” someone said. I knelt in front of this beautiful goddess and she sang the most powerful Icaro. I was beating a drumbeat on the floor and she joined me. This wasn’t practice but we were both in it, together, eternal in that moment. I was a big cat, exerting his power over the woman in front of me. She got it. She felt safe. I placed my ear less than 2 centimeters from her mouth at times, so I could absorb every note of her song into my depths.  I found my arms outstretched involuntarily and two small lights appeared in each hand. As I tried to close my hands together the lights got brighter and it was the hardest physical thing I’d ever had to do. But on I pushed and knew that by closing my hands I would complete the merging. As dramatic and insane as it sounds, it made perfect sense to me in that moment and that’s all that mattered. I closed my hands, screaming “MERGE!” and collapsed.  I was able to lift my head and I saw the a giant and incredibly beautiful lion’s head, its mouth open with rings of light disappearing down its throat and a shadow figure with something under its arm standing in the mouth and looking back at me.  The shadow turned, walked into the mouth and it ended. Exhausted and spent, I lay there naked.  Urias, the head shaman, came and soaked me with liquor from his mouth, spitting it on me as he had during the ceremony. This was a seal from him. It felt that way.  As I drifted into sleep, all I remember thinking was “I knew it would work,” over and over like a mantra. 

I blasted off that night. I was no longer me. I was no longer anything but a kaleidoscope of colours,  explosions of light with an overwhelming connection to spirit. It was silence, but deafening, a sensory experience without my senses. I felt it then and even now I still feel connected to a oneness that we all have together, a oneness separated from us by a huge bridge of the pain and so few of us realize it. Every ayahausca ceremony gave me a three part experience:  the exposure of my ego, a gentle, silent, painful place to view it and almost always, a healing euphoric end. 

My life since (only 8 months ago) has been a revelation. The dynamic with my wife and kids has been transformed. We talk, communicate, love deeply and have so much more collective strength. We had a challenge to respond to in November, when we discovered that Zain was trisomy-21 baby. Our response, as a family unit and individually, has been profoundly different from how it would have been pre-Peru.  I see that self-love is the key if you want to bring about any change in the world.  Self-love is the first step to  change our environment. 

The way I connect with my clients at the dispensary, especially those suffering with mental issues, has been amazing and the there seems to be a conscious community forming. People really are searching. I get paid to do what I love, it is my bliss. We are about to launch a podcast on consciousness and have events in the city planned. It is an exciting time.

The hardest part of the journey so far has been the integration with my life. Coming to terms with my “mutant” state. We have left the church behind, its life, its concepts, its ways of teaching and, if I had to say, its Gnosis. When my veil was taken away it became clear that the Church had collectively messed it up.  I had been part of an organisation that now thinks I’m fucked, a backslider, hell-bound,  seven times worse than when I started. That attitiude has not embittered me, I’m just sad for the blindness I had and for the many friends or mine that remain blind, trapped and hypnotised by it all. It seems so obvious to me now. I love the myth and I can’t reject the construct, but our lives seem to be destined to do some small thing to begin to lift that veil. I still use psychedelics, only from nature and sensibly, I like to think. I microdose with psilocybin in a stack format and will return to ayahuasca again, possibly in the next month or two in a ceremonial setting. Now, I try to have an intention when approaching any psychedelic and I find it very important for me to focus on that. It’s something I work up to and I’m constantly continuing my research. Maintaining my relationship with my therapist has been a great decision, not just for these issues, but because it provides a type of framework for the work we do with patients at the dispensary and guides how we handle their issues and their worst fears. Therapy is good and brave.

I perceive a time of awakening is coming. The one thing psychedelics showed me is that just being alive is the most powerful trip already. As Alan Watts put it, “Am I a psychotic pretending to be sane?” With all our preaching, wrangling, wars, business and our profound amnesia as a species, not one of us really knows what’s going on. But I know, for the first time in this life that I’m enjoying the great dance of the universe. As much as I’d love to move to the forest with my family and never come out, I feel a purpose here. I want to be part of something great, something powerful. For that, I will forever be indebted to the indigenous people of the Shipibo tribe, the Amazon and the entirety of South America for the work they do and the love they show us, despite our horrible history. They are a forgiving people.  IRAKU!   

Lastly, thank you for reading this to the end.  x

Follow Adrian on instagram @the_upper_shroom

Categories
Psychedelic Books

33 Essential Quotes from Aldous Huxley’s Doors of Perception

Doors of Perception
Written by Aldous Huxley. 
Published in 1954.
60 pages.
Huxley discusses his experience taking mescaline in 1953. 

Though I recommend reading the whole book (it’s pretty short), here are 33 quotes that I believe are essential to this book. They relate to My First Psychedelic Trip and others’ Psychedelic Experiences. (Also, Mescaline is written as Mescalin by Huxley – same thing)

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33 Quotes

1—”To be shaken out of the ruts of ordinary perception, to be shown for a few timeless hours the outer and the inner world, not as they appear to an animal obsessed with survival or to a human being obsessed with words and notions, but as they are apprehended, directly and unconditionally, by Mind at Large – this is an experience of inestimable value to everyone and especially to the intellectual.”

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2— “The mind was primarily concerned, not with measures and locations, but with being and meaning.”

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3—“But the reasonably healthy person knows in advance that, so far as he is concerned, mescalin is completely innocuous, that its effects will pass off after eight or ten hours, leaving no hangover and consequently no craving for a renewal of the dose.”

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4— “But the man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less cocksure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable Mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend.”

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5—Our goal is to discover that we have always been where we ought to be. Unhappily we make the task exceedingly difficult for ourselves.”

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6—“A moment later a clump of Red Hot Pokers, in full bloom, had exploded into my field of vision. So passionately alive that they seemed to be standing on the very brink of utterance.”

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7—“Other persons discover a world of visionary beauty. To others again is revealed the glory, the infinite value and meaningfulness of naked existence, of the given, un-conceptualized event. In the final stage of ego-less-ness there is an “obscure knowledge” that All is in all – that All is actually each.”

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8—“What the rest of us see only under the influence of mescalin, the artist is congenitally equipped to see all the time.”

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9—“The schizophrenic is like a man permanently under the influence of mescalin.”

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10—“Most visualizers are transformed by mescalin into visionaries. Some of them – and they are Perhaps more numerous than is generally supposed – require no transformation; they are visionaries all the time.”

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11—“Along with the happily transfigured majority of mescalin takers there is a minority that finds in the drug only hell or purgatory.”

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12— “Most men and women lead lives at the worst so painful, at the best so monotonous, poor and limited that the urge to escape, the longing to transcend themselves if only for a few moments, is and has always been one of the principal appetites of the soul.”

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13— “Professor J. S. Slotkin, one of the very few white men ever to have participated in the rites of a Peyotist congregation, says of his fellow worshipers that they are “certainly not stupefied or drunk…. They never get out of rhythm or fumble their words, as a drunken or stupefied man would do…. They are all quiet, courteous and considerate of one another. I have never been in any white man’s house of worship where there is either so much religious feeling or decorum.”

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14—“How many philosophers, how many theologians, how many professional educators have had the curiosity to open this Door in the Wall? The answer, for all practical purposes, is, None.”

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15—“Words are uttered, but fail to enlighten. The things and events to which the symbols refer belong to mutually exclusive realms of experience.”

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16— “What is important is less the reason for the experience than the experience itself.”

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17— “It has been a retreat from the outward Datum into the personal subconscious, into a mental world more squalid and more tightly closed than even the world of conscious personality.”

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18—“For the moment, mescalin had delivered me “e world of selves, of time, of moral judgments and utilitarian considerations, the world (and it was this aspect of human life which I wished, above all else, to forget) of self-assertion, of cocksureness, of overvalued words and idolatrously worshiped notions.”

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19—“This is how one ought to see,” I repeated yet again. And I might have added,’ ‘These are the sort of things one ought to look at.” Things without pretensions, satisfied to be merely themselves, sufficient in their Suchness, not acting a part, not trying, insanely, to go it alone, in isolation from the Dharma-Body, in Luciferian defiance of the grace of god.”The nearest approach to this,” I said, “would be a Vermeer.”

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20—“For the moment that interfering neurotic who, in waking hours, tries to run the show, was blessedly out of the way.”

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21—“All that the conscious ego can do is to formulate wishes, which are then carried out by forces which it controls very little and understands not at all.”

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22—“In the intervals between his revelations the mescalin taker is apt to feel that, though in one way everything is supremely as it should be, in another there is something wrong.”

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23—“I took down my copy of Evans-Wentz’s edition of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and opened at random:

“O nobly born, let not thy mind be distracted.” That was the problem – to remain undistracted. Undistracted by the memory of past sins, by imagined pleasure, by the bitter aftertaste of old wrongs and humiliations, by all the fears and hates and cravings that ordinarily eclipse the Light…

… What those Buddhist monks did for the dying and the dead, might not the modern psychiatrist do for the insane? Let there be a voice to assure them, by day and even while they are asleep, that in spite of all the terror, all the bewilderment and confusion, the ultimate Reality remains unshakably itself and is of the same substance as the inner light of even the most cruelly tormented mind.”

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24—“But we can easily become the victims as well as the beneficiaries of these systems…

We must learn how to handle words effectively; but at the same time we must preserve and, if necessary, intensify our ability to look at the world directly and not through that half opaque medium of concepts, which distorts every given fact into the all too familiar likeness of some generic label or explanatory abstraction…

Literary or scientific, liberal or specialist, all our education is predominantly verbal and therefore fails to accomplish what it is supposed to do.”

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25—“The universal and ever-present urge to self- transcendence is not to be abolished by slamming the currently popular Doors in the Wall. The only reasonable policy is to open other, better doors in the hope of inducing men and women to exchange their old bad habits for new and less harmful ones.”

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26—“A man under the influence of mescalin quietly minds his own business. Moreover, the business he minds is an experience of the most enlightening kind, which does not have to be paid for (and this is surely important) by a compensatory hangover.”

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27—“For myself, on this memorable May morning, I could only be grateful for an experience which had shown me, more clearly than I had ever seen it before, the true nature of the challenge and the completely liberating response.”

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28—“The contemplative whose perception has been cleansed does not have to stay in his room. He can go about his business, so completely satisfied to see and be a part of the divine Order of Things that he will never even be tempted to indulge in what Traherne called “the dirty Devices of the world.”

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29—“Today the percept had swallowed up the concept. I was so completely absorbed in looking, so thunderstruck by what I actually saw, that I could not be aware of anything else.”

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30—“When we feel ourselves to be sole heirs of the universe, when “the sea flows in our veins … and the stars are our jewels,” when all things are perceived as infinite and holy, what motive can we have for covetousness or self-assertion, for the pursuit of power or the drearier forms of pleasure?”

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31—”We see, then, that Christianity and alcohol do not and cannot mix. Christianity and mescalin seem to be much more compatible.”

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32—“If you started in the wrong way,” I said in answer to the investigator’s questions, “everything that happened would be a proof of the conspiracy against you. It would all be self-validating, You couldn’t draw a breath without knowing it was part of the plot.” “So you think you know where madness lies?”

My answer was a convinced and heartfelt, “Yes.”

“And you couldn’t control it?”

“No I couldn’t control it. If one began with fear and hate as the major premise, one would have to go on to the conclusion.” “Would you be able,” my wife asked, “to fix your attention on what The Tibetan Book of The Dead calls the Clear Light?” I was doubtful.

“Would it keep the evil away, if you could hold it? Or would you not be able to hold it?”

I considered the question for some time. “Perhaps,” I answered at last, “perhaps I could – but only if there were somebody there to tell me about the Clear Light. One couldn’t do it by oneself. That’s the point, I suppose, of the Tibetan ritual – someone sitting there all the time and telling you what’s what.”

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33—“An hour later, with ten more miles and the visit to the World’s Biggest Drug Store safely behind us, we were back at home, and I had returned to that reassuring but profoundly unsatisfactory state known as “being in one’s right mind.”

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What’s your favorite Doors of Perception quote?

&

🍄Email me your psychedelic story to spread the word! 🍄

Categories
Uncategorized

How to Prepare a Therapeutic Psilocybin Experience — HAVE FUN!

In the end, your psilocybin experience should be a blast of fun.

But there’s so much talk about psychedelics these days it can get confusing.
The constant negative societal news doesn’t help either..

This is where I believe certain practices can help – Spiritual&Religious practices.

-Zen Meditation
-Biblical Affirmations
-and much more

Spiritual practices have helped enhance my trips, and have gotten me through bad trips. They help me let go.


-And by Letting Go I mean having no thoughts.
-Experiencing life in the here and now.
-Listening to life and being a receiver of life’s messages whilst in this state of consciousness.

And then naturally, joy follows.

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Why do I want to help you?

I want to help you because I’ve had experiences where I’ve sought out help and didn’t get any. I’ve traveled to dark places, by myself, and had to figure it out by myself or I’d die.

I am thankful for these experiences, because they have deepened my compassion&empathy. Receiving no help turned me into a person who wants to help everyone, because I know how it feels to have no one there for you.

But I don’t dwell in the negative. There is fun to be had while creating a better world. I use my experiences to help you make peace with your demons, as I have with mine.

The Universe loves us, but we humans work hard at not feeling loved.
It’s time to embrace the love you deserve, even if you don’t feel worthy.
You are worthy.

Categories
Psilocybin Stories

Psilocybin Paradox

…So I clearly picked the stick up. Magic. It really did feel surreal. I later showed my friends who, at the time, we were all a little separated, walking around in our own worlds…but the same world.

^Another realization — The truth of Paradox. 

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(not judging as I dabble sometimes, just comparing). 

There are many reasons Psilocybin is illegal while there are numerous lethal things that are legal. We are on our way though, making progress, more people are opening up to it, and this is actually one of the good trends to follow

This comes from my experience though, so it may not be for everyone, but I believe in psilocybin’s benefits. It’s more than great seeing research and studies being done in this area, and I look forward to all that is to come from it 🙂

This was a short excerpt from My First Real Trip.

Categories
Psilocybin Stories

Psilocybin Black Hole

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.

30 minutes later

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.  

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.

“Psilocybin Black Hole” is an excerpt from My First Real Trip.
Join in on the 40+ comments on the full post here 😊

Categories
Psilocybin Stories

Spontaneous Solo Psilocybin Trip

I didn’t plan on taking the mushrooms that night. I fell asleep around 9pm and woke up around midnight. I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to take the mushrooms I had, nearly 3.5 grams.

I began with 1 gram, and started feeling the effects after 30-40 minutes. I then took another gram, and then 30 minutes after that I finished it off.

At that point I was feeling pretty great. I was in a state of trust. It was now 1:30am or so, and I was just tripping in my room.

I got on instagram & checked out some psychedelic art photos(and posted them to my story haha). The colors were vibrant. Good vibes for sure.

Then there was a video of a couple whales swimming in the sky, which I thought was fucking awesome. I watched it and it led me to wondering about whales and how they communicate, and that we as humans aren’t the center of the Universe — that we aren’t even the center of this Earth.

Then I went back to looking at psychedelic art, which inspired me to listen to music. I turned on Xavier Rudd. I love his music, especially when I’m tripping. Then I saw a trippy video which make me think of Octopuses and how they communicate. I know that Octopuses are super smart, I wondered what their world is like, and thought about how cool it’d be to communicate with an Octopus.

Then I thought about how Octopuses or other sea animals could be aliens, truly. Haha. It’s possible, but not definite. Just a thought.

Then I looked in the mirror and took some pictures of myself. My pupils were huge! Haha, my eyes were pretty much all black.

At one point in the night I turned off all the lights and laid in darkness for 30 minutes or so, opening and closing my eyes. It was so dark that it didn’t matter whether my eyes were open or closed, all I could see was darkness. I then waved my arms in front of my eyes, it was cool because I couldn’t see my arms at all, even with my eyes open, but I was moving them right in front of my face.

Laying in the darkness also reminded me that I want to get one of those trippy psychedelic light things. Then sometime later I got up and turned one light on. Yea, just one haha.

It may have been around this time, 2-3 hours into the trip, standing in the lit area, where I had a sort of out of body experience. I didn’t feel like “me” in this moment. I felt like I was outside of myself, watching myself, and it felt like that was who my true self is.

Some thoughts of life, death, &humanity went through my mind as well, and the fleetingness of it all sank in. It didn’t bother me though, it was just like a “oh, yea. That’s what this is.” And then I had thoughts about how life will solve itself, even though we humans go around trying to figure it out. I had the thought that we don’t need to do anything, and life will be okay, and that’s true, but since we’re here, we might as well do something. 

And I had the thought that we are all life, whole, one. But we often forget that. It really sank in that yes, life will figure itself out, and that we are life, so we can help ourselves figure ourself out, because it’s going to happen anyway. We’re all one. We are life. Everything is okay.

The idea that life is communicating with us sank in, and again, that life is us…

But yea that it’s always communicating in one way or another. It communicates in symbols.

I thought about how future human societies will most likely be vegan, if we make it that far.

I took pages of notes. On one page I wrote:

“Love=No fear-an absence of fear
= No judgement-an absence of judgement

This can all come down to “No-self” = an absence of self.”

(^I can dive into all this another time, or message me if you want to talk about this stuff)

But yea I thought more about my individual death, the death of me, and what that means. It seems we have a striving to live, but we don’t live forever. It’s hard to fathom living life in a different form whether it’s in the form of another person, animal, or environment, but I think that’s what happens when we die. The individual is gone, but the whole is always here. & that’s who we are, the whole.

Another note I took:

“In The End
it all works out.
So breathe,
don’t worry,
Do what you Love.”

I love many things, especially tripping & experiencing life. No one is completely perfect, but I hope some of what I do helps you and all who read this & takes part in Psilocybin Stories.

Which while tripping I did think of the PsilocybinStories instagram page and decided I want to make it more Nature-like, green vibes, water flowing, mushrooms growing, a growing community, which won’t be perfect as I struggle with trying to make things perfect, but it’s making progress, as we all are in some way.

Speaking of progress, I’d love to do this full-time – be a Psychedelic Investigator, experiencing and researching in the realms of the psychedelic experience.

You can help me do this with a donation, and as a gift I’ll send you my phone notes, about 1,700 words of notes taken during an up&down/heaven&hell kind of trip.

Donate here via PayPal, which also accepts credit & debit cards.

Thank you so much. I look forward to hearing from you and sharing more Psilocybin Stories.

Categories
Psilocybin Stories

Alfredo’s Psychedelic Reflection

Below is Alfredo Avalos III’s reflection on his psychedelic experience.
All good, but I bolded some of my favorite sentences!
Enjoy.

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You know a trip is just like any other physical trip you take.

Whether it’s the beach, a cruise, or shrooming in your backyard with a few friends. The trip will always be what lies within your own mind & soul. Whatever that may contain. Whether good or bad remains lingering, be certain of all contents in your carry-on. Cause any baggage you must bring, will be what is worn and on display during your stay. If you bring a nervousness or a worrisome mind, buckle up and wish you had left them all behind. 

You can deny yourself of the hurt in your mind, but when you’re shrooming, you will start to respect why you and all emotions need to coexist in smiles & cries. We neglect them as we hide, but they’ve been the essence from inside that leads our compass to determine which thoughts are to be left behind in life and which are to hold tight as we carry on for lighter life. 

These thoughts & feelings are the driving force that fuels the entire course of the trip, so if you’ve forgotten your respects at home, you’re in for a bumpy ride. 

Don’t deny the driver of its sight, especially when it’s also the decider of what is right in your mind. It will see you for all that you are. For whatever is lacking, will more than likely, be confronted in your journey. 

Even A bad trip has its good moments. At the very least, you get a humbling story that reminds you to laugh at yourself when you’ve made mistakes. 

Your friends will be sure to remind & enforce it whenever possible. 

Decide for yourself as to why You needed to go on both rides a second time. That ride that you never thought was for you, was actually what was missing, & all that you needed most. 

There’s beauty in those trips, and never was I the same person that had first approached-stumbling, without sight, thinking he knew how to make the best of his life..Maybe you’ll get it someday.

⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯

I enjoyed Alfredo’s reflection & hope you did too!

Check out Alfredo’s Instagram here & Stay Shroomin’ friends.

Categories
Psilocybin Stories

Samantha’s Psilocybin Surrender

Thank you for joining. 

This Psilocybin Story comes to you from Samantha Scrivens.

And if you have a Psilocybin Story the world needs to hear, email psilocybinstories@gmail.com with why you’d like to share your experience, even if you aren’t a writer!

The world needs more of these right now and forever. 

Thank you so much Samantha for sharing yours!

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Here is “Psilocybin Surrender”

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Can you sequence a dream?  

Pinpoint when it started?  

Likely the setting is a murky, submerged Monet. Conversations of grave importance are whittled to a phrase or single word, if you can recall any at all. Often it’s the sheer fear of being chased, the horror of teeth cracking from oozing gums, the uncontainable joy of flying, that sticks with us in the waking state.

I can no more eloquently detail my solo psychedelic expedition.  

But as you might describe your nightly and matutinal routines: brushing, flossing, drifting off to monotonous tones of a murder mystery podcast, so can I share my trip prep and epilogue: SET, SETTING, SUBSTANCE, SITTER, SESSION, SUPPORT, & SURRENDER.

(mind)SET

I asked myself “Why?”  Why take psilocybin mushrooms under a blindfold and headphones for four hours? My journaled response: 

  • to look the dragon of fear in the mouth
  • to gain experience and knowledge to offer others. 

There’s always a certain fear surrounding psychedelics. What if I have a bad trip? What if I’m that one person that keeps tripping forever? What if I need the paramedics? What if…whatif…whatif…Every time, without fail, this preparatory cry plagues me like a colicky infant to an exhausted mother.  I console my small self with wisdom from Michael Pollan, who experienced a similar protest before each of his psychedelic experiences in How to Change Your Mind

“That voice, I came to realize, was my ego trying (selfishly) to prevent me from a having an experience that, among other things, would undermine that ego.”

Even as I sat with the chocolate truffle in my perspiring palm, invoking divine Reiki energy and protection, my heart slammed like a relentless wave. I took a deep breath, then another, until my pulse subsided.

Fear would undoubtedly rear its ugly head again, snarling and snapping jaws at my bliss, and so I designated my breath as my anchor. After years of practicing yoga and advising students to “return to the breath”, I figured this would be second nature, a well-honed tool to mitigate anxiety during the trip.

As beginner in the burgeoning field of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, I needed to wade through my own internal terrain before I could hope to hold space for others. Hence I write right now, attempting to distill the ineffable experience into words.  

Next I SET intentions: 

  • to dissolve mental barriers
  • to make peace with the past and calm qualms for the future
  • to immerse myself in love and gratitude

At least, that’s what they would have been. There is no guaranteeing what will emerge in the psychedelics state. Whatever needs to surface from mental rabbit holes around which I typically veer, will surface. So I chose, with full faith in my spiritual guides, higher Self, and divine energy, to SURRENDER to the process, leaving my open journal alongside my bed as a remindful totem.  

SETTING

Although I find that submerging in nature is the most idyllic setting for psychedelics, this adventure was meant to explore the inner landscape. Snuggled in bed behind a locked door with sunlight splashing upon my thawing body on a cold winter afternoon created physical and mental comfort from which I could embark on my journey. With a fully charged battery and downloaded playlist compiled by John’s Hopkins University’s psilocybin researchers, I cut cyber connection to the outside world.  

I knew that the music would evoke an array of emotion, that some songs I simply wouldn’t like: the deep Gregorian chant reminiscent of a Catholic Mass; the tinny pitch of a single flute; another crescendo of screaming violins. I promised myself that I wouldn’t skip a song in attempt to skirt something I’d rather not face. “Music becomes a mirror of transcendental forms of consciousness,” the playlist developer, psychologist Bill Richards, Ph.D., explained in an interview with Inverse. My only option would be to surrender to the piercing choir and sharp cello notes evoking tension in my hands, as well as the Hindi chanting and drumming spreading smiles across my face. Along with the music, I steeped a fresh thermos of chamomile tea alongside lavender essential oil and tissues, and cleared the air with sage plumes, additional esoteric comforts to augment calm throughout the experiment.  

SUBSTANCE

Just like a beginning backpacker might start with a one-night trip before venturing out into the wild for a weeklong excursion, I wanted to dabble with a light dosage for my first solo expedition sans sitter. After an hour, I considered nibbling an additional sliver, but I decided to give the mushrooms time to work their magic. I’m grateful for that patience, as I soon felt akin to the protagonist in Gulliver’s Travels, subject to minuscule pixies swarming my skin suit. Of course due to the lesser dosage, I was very much still grounded in the realization that I was, in fact, settled in my own bed and not strapped down on the tiny island of Lilliput.  

Physically, psilocybin connects parts of the brain that aren’t usually linked, temporarily dissolving the default mode network that is responsible for the ego. My ego, however, was still very much present, albeit in the passenger’s seat rather than behind the wheel. I would’ve (and still would) liked to more deeply explore the universe from within through a stronger dose, but not without a sitter to hold space.

SITTER

“Would you mind staying with me for upwards of 5 hours while I lie in bed and listen to classical music?” is a huge favor to ask; and in fact probably categorizes better as a job. As I didn’t have access to such, I shrugged and said, “I’ll be my own sitter, let my breath be my guide.” Although that resolute determination seems sensible in sobriety, it quickly dissolves under a mind altering substance.

I used the bathroom mid-trip, dazzled by the ethereal, vibrant world glowing outside myself. As I nestled into bed again and saw the eye pillow’s slow descent, the Fear Dragon’s scorching breath ignited my worry. I don’t want to go back under.  Oh God. I actually just want this to be over. Maybe I should stop the music, toss the eyemask, and explore myself through yoga. No…that won’t solve this anxiety either. Fuck, I’m thirsty. Gulp. Should I call a friend?And tell them, what, that I took mushrooms and am having a difficult time? That would only make me (not to mention them) more uncomfortable. Oh God, this is why having a sitter is recommended. 

“A SITTER” was the first bullet point I scratched in my journal towards the tail end of the trip. Have a sober someone to hold safe space; a thread of continuity weaving a safety net to assure that you’re doing great, that everything is ok, is paramount. That presence provides a foundation from which the ego can relax so that the rest of consciousness can continue traversing the unknown.

SESSION

At first it felt like I was lying in bed for an afternoon nap. Sunlight danced between branches seemingly in time to Vivaldi’s mandolin measures. But I can no more sequence thoughts or detail images after the first hour than describe how I fell asleep last night. I can, however, identify warm fuzzy feelings of contented bliss amongst harmonious strings and hauntingly enchanted voices. Until I had to tinkle during the trip’s peak.  

It was as I returned to bed that I struck myself with a sudden desire for it all to be over. It dawned on me that I was in the middle of the ocean in a rowboat. Briefly I deliberated biting into an emergency Xanax, but realized that I would be robbing myself of a rich opportunity for growth.

“Surrender” the word jumped from my journal as I sipped tea with shaky hands. I knew that, even if I had a sitter, shaman, entire paramedic team, I would be the only person able to help myself. The psychonaut mantra echoed, “The only way out is through.” And the music will carry me through, I told myself. Although there wasn’t another physical person present, I knew that I wasn’t alone. Calling upon divine feminine energy, The Great Earth Mother for protection, I saw my small self cocooned into her cosmic cuddle.

Deep breath in. Deep breath out.  

A moment later Mozart’s heavy Vesperae Solennes de Confessore gave way to Vivaldi’s Gloria in D Major, releasing rushing relief throughout my entire being. Through jubilant strings I saw a landmass, a continent upon the horizon, and knew that I was going to make it. 

Night darkened. I’d been lying in bed for nearly 5 hours. I really wanted to make it to the end of the playlist, featuring Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles and Louie Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World, but needed a break from music and my room. As I ventured outside to gaze upon the moon and stars, tears welled, not from relief or astonishment at life’s intrinsic beauty and interconnectedness, but from an overwhelming sensation of isolation. Mopping exhausted eyes, I returned inside, grounded myself with (non-psychoactive) dark chocolate, transcribed what I could, and slept.  

SUPPORT

I’d always experienced psychedelics with another soul, holding hands to skirt dark shadows. Afterward, the space that was usually full of reminiscent giggling was rife with lonely contemplation. I’d noticed the gaping disconnect between the altruistic, wholesome life I desired and my current, unfulfilled existence. As after every psychedelic trip, I felt as if I’d come back with a handful of seeds, but lacked the tools with which to cultivate them. Wreaked with worry, I reached out to an old friend.

Over chips, salsa, and frosted mug of Pacifico, Smeagol held space for me to vent smoke clouding my mind. “We can really only do the best we can with what we have,” she mused in response to my whines of wasting potential and squandering opportunities. With a wry smile she added, “Besides, it’s not like we’re really free,” nodding to our many past dialogues on of the farce of free will. It was a relief, but still I realized why these experiences are often communal, as in ayahuasca ceremonies, and involve a shaman for integrating a transcendental overload.  

SURRENDER

In the days following, I wrote and wrestled, attempting to solve a mental Rubik’s cube, spinning worries round and round, until I noticed that the puzzle was color changing. Maybe there is no solution. It’s ok to not be ok, to walk away from this battle with anxiety. 

Surrendering, I realized, was an avenue to peace.  

As for the seeds, I’m planting them one at a time. Literally in gardens, and figuratively, through this piece here, hoping to grow a community in which we can facilitate safe, supported consciousness exploration, thus expanding awareness of interconnectedness.

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Check out more of Samantha’s posts here on her website.
Or connect with her on Instagram.

Thank you for reading🙏❤️😄💙🍄