I’ve always had an affinity for LSD. It’s by far my favorite of hallucinogenic drugs, mostly for its feeling of temporary enlightenment. I think of it as sort of a Chance Card that advances you directly to the Park Place of spirituality. Where the fountains shimmer and the pillows are oh so fluffy. The only con is you may end up not passing go and going directly to jail or mortgaging your brain.
Luckily I have only used these tools for good, and thus even bad trips have been incredible learning experiences. Instead of a Zen Koan, Buddha should have just dropped a couple tabs on those disciples.
LSD’s universal effects are a temporary altered state of greater interconnectedness and a feeling of great clarity. The visuals are the most immediately noticeable effect. The best way to describe them is a fractalization of reality. The longer one focuses on an image in their vision, the more complex that image becomes. The image keeps on breaking up into to more and more pieces and the idea keeps being more connective, eventually connecting to all things. Depending on how much acid one takes, vision becomes fluid and merges with consciousness. In fact, fractilazation happens in consciousness exactly parallel to its happening in sight. This will result in a phenomenon like the following:
I see a tree. Immediately the form of the tree starts shifting, barely discernable at first. “Maybe it’s just the wind… ” Then it continues shifting, possibly becoming more expansive in my vision, or possibly feeling like it’s composed of a million pieces and a verdant whole at the same time (parallel and paradoxical ideas are par for the course in an acid trip) At the same time thoughts about the tree might flow like, “Wow, that tree is more amazing right now.” “Trees are fantastic and they cover the Earth.” “It’s almost like the Earth is giving love to the sky with the trees.” “This tree has a soul and I can feel it.” At this point I might feel the physical warmth of the tree, especially if I touch it. I might feel my hand merging with the tree and see the world in slow motion. I might see visions of the ancient world where vegetation ruled. “Trees are consciousness just like me, but they exist in a different time dimensions.” “Maybe other people exist in different time dimensions…” and so on.
All of this is happening without great effort. This is also based on the fact that I have a predisposition to love trees. Your trip would be obviously different, but expansion in vision, clarity, awareness, and your consciousness would be a dominant theme.
Once expansion in both realms of vision and thought reaches a critical mass, then the lines between them begin to blur. You start to not know if you’re seeing what you’re thinking or if you’re thinking what you’re seeing. Reality becomes a wondrous feedback loop where every new thought is inspiration and every new vision is enchanting. Similar to the idea of the intelligent field supported by quantum physics, reality becomes malleable moment to moment. But the shift is no longer smoothed over by your conscious mind – the building blocks of our universe seem to lay naked in all their glory.
This feedback loop is intensified and made more glorious with other people. Acid synchronizes minds of those who take it together, where they feel into each other and often talk for long periods of time about the same thing just for the sheer joy of talking about it. Often times simply uttering a word opens a vision and a shared hallucination where they cocreate imaginary worlds and see them with great acuity. This phenomenon is easier in the dark, where pesky reality doesn’t get in the way.
Music too, offers the a similar portal into imagination while at the same time the world exists as music manifested. Everything seems completely perfect, a wondrous multi-dimensional symphony of creation, light, and sound. This is simply a personal observation, but I believe that since we are all one, we all have the capacity to go where I’ve described whether through connectedness or loss of identity, or both.
This pertains to my theory on why some people have bad trips, because they are afraid of the parts of themselves that come out and simultaneously afraid of losing themselves. They are afraid to experience their psyche when projected externally and see the world where they are truly part of the world, as a wave is part of an ocean. When peaking the line between our conscious interpretation of reality and reality itself becomes blurred and easily resembles Alan’ Watts view of the universe. You can see how this could create a nightmare as well as a dreamworld. Yet, this is closest to the state of oneness that I’ve achieved for an extended period of time, and that is the goal of most spiritual quests.
For those of you thinking “Whoa this might be too intense.” Never fear. The very nature of our mind to continue moving across different lines of thinking often leads us back to solid, unchanging reality. This gives the feeling that all of the incredibly mind-bending effects come in waves, when the actual phenomenon is similar to focusing on something in the background with your eyes, thus blurring the foreground and vice versa. The background is sober reality and the foreground is LSD reality in this example. It just happens more gradually, in a span of minutes. Personally, I’ve never felt like I’ve lost myself or had my judgement compromised. There was never a fear of jumping off a cliff because I believed I could fly. This isn’t PCP.
The Journey as Destination
I’ve always had trouble grappling with the idea that we should enjoy the journey of life. I spend so much time not seeing the whole picture, being confused, aggravated, and lost that it’s easy for me to wish to experience oneness all the time. LSD results in a feeling where you’ve already arrived. There is nothing to do except that which brings you utter joy and most things do. Everything is perfect, everything makes perfect sense, and you find yourself laughing at all the little inconsistencies in life.
You see time as you would see the Earth from a plane. The sheer beauty of it is overwhelming. Everything pulses with life and you think what a magnificent being you are to be having this experience. The entire puzzle is revealed, as though life was a hurricane and you finally reached the eye. It’s at this time where the greatest insights may come to you. Where you may deepen a personal relationship with someone, find out things about yourself that were there the whole time but you overlooked them, or receive an answer to a question that prior to this confounded you.
Lynn Grabhorn, in “Excuse me Your Life is Waiting” claims that all we have to do is feel the emotion of having the thing that we desire and it will come to us by universal law. Manifestation is furthermore strengthened by the feeling that our life is complete exactly the way it is. Paradoxically, this allows us to be open to receiving new things.
I’ve always had trouble feeling what it would be like to have something that I don’t have or accept my imperfect reality bereft of objects and emotional states that I desire, but LSD bridges that gap. LSD allows me to be simultaneously completely content with everything I am and everything that has happened in my life, and opens me to a whole new world of experience. It is this state that is widely talked about among practicers of the Law of Attraction and I believe this state of oneness and openness is the precursor to fundamental change in mindset, perspective, and even one’s fortune in life.
The two main problems with acid (other than it being illegal and notoriously hard to find) are its temporary effects and it’s forcing of expansive consciousness even when one may not be ready.
I have always used acid as an aid for spiritual understanding. Thus I have used it at crucial points on my journey to investigate the nature of the universe. Lessons I have learned include the vastness of our universe, the incredible force of friendship, the value of self-worth, and even the need for patience and to let life unfold exactly as it will. Before this I was attempting to race ahead of life like someone who attempts to fly beyond the curve of the Earth while it recedes just as fast. I believe that the good of LSD comes when it is used for good, and that it may be detrimental if used for the wrong reasons. I’ve tried it in a host of non spiritual ways from going to the DMV, a job interview, or laying brick. This is as useful as getting drunk and trying to do Calculus.
The main problem, however, is for those who benefit. For those who seek lasting change, this will not grant them that. This will grant them a temporary opportunity to see what enlightenment could be like. The enlightening feelings are deep core sensations. The thoughts that spring out are like plants growing out of the richest dirt. While tripping, it feels like you’ve always known the knowledge that you suddenly have, and that you always will have access to this way of being once it’s over. Though I’ve taken acid quite a few times, I always trick myself into believing this is the end of my journey. Now it all makes sense and life will be a perfect unfolding of my glorious discovery.
This is not what happens. Acid has a slow comedown, so the effect is very subtle at first. But eventually all of these sensations become more dull, and you find yourself reaching for realizations that came like breathing before. The effect is similar to what I imagine Jim Carrey experiences in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” as his memories of a loved one are slowly erased. It’s like your memory of your connection to your higher self and the source of abundance is slowly erased as hard reality sets in. Eventually your spiritual experience becomes nothing more than a shadow on your thoughts. Your new understanding may stick with you throughout the night, but eventually all will seem back to normal. You find yourself thinking, “force of friendship? self worth? I could have read that in a self help book. What was I on?” But like those who’ve claimed to have heard god speak to them, this experience was real. It really happened.
The only trace that it did happen are the occasional acid flashbacks I experience. These aren’t nearly as crazy or all-encompassing as other experiences I’ve heard about, but they are quite fun. Most often they happen when I look in a mirror, and my face will distort and change shape. I even might look like different people by focusing on different parts of my face. It’s only happened once where this happened while I was looking at someone else. These flashbacks seem to be encouraged by drinking, smoking pot, or both. It’s often when my mind is in some kind of altered state. Usually I think something to the effect of “Woohoo! Free acid!”
It’s not quite addiction, but I’ve found myself at times wanting to return to that Garden of Eden of consciousness. Wanting to live where I had access to that kind of perspective, like I had the view of one who flies over the land at their leisure and sees only the good, where the sun streaks across the waves in the ocean that gently ebb upon sparkling sands that sweep up against mocha cliffs crowned by great fields of wheat colored grass. In short, where everything is just as it should be.
And maybe it’s a shortcut to where we’re all going, like we’re in line at Space Mountain at Disneyland and we see the rollercoaster through the glass but the wait to get on is still an hour. But like that analogy “real life” seems so empty in comparison. More than anything, LSD has further stoked my burning desire to be in this state all the time without drugs. It’s not an opium high, or a drunken buzz, or a heady bake, or even a coke-addled hyper reality. It’s what true beingness is. It stops cold the treadmill of our stark “do do do” mindset and bursts the walls around us to the world beyond. It’s the “Power of Now” in pill form. I’m fairly convinced that world peace is possible with enough LSD.
But it’s a crutch. It’s a consciousness steroid. Great for a snapshot in time. But for the long haul, I’ll just have to go to the gym of spiritual development.