My First Dose of Psychedelics

Recording my first/second dose of Psilocybin

Photo by Emre Öztürk on Unsplash

The story begins a few months earlier.

I had been reading about Psilocybin and magic mushrooms/truffles off and on from podcasts and articles by people like Sam Harris, Anil Seth, Terence Mackenna, and many others. I had watched many Youtube videos where people had made videos recording their experiences. It was as if I was being guided towards this step in my journey.

I knew nothing at that time about the Entropic Brain thinking of Robin L.Carhart-Harris or the Default mode networks in the brain. I just knew that my meditations had made a difference. I was calmer, I was able to replace Fear with Gratitude and I was able to feel more peace in my day. I was less stressed about the future. But I was still searching for the holy grail.

At about this time I was watching teachings of Ramana Maharshi and watching him on video with his frail body but super human gaze in his kind eyes . I was very intrigued to hear the teachings asking me to investigate a simple question — Who am I ?

I was also being led to the teachings of Swami Ramakrishna and Vivekananda through the videos of Swami Sarvapriyananda.

And I was watching Rupert Spira trying to teach me to deny my physical self on repeat play.

Who am I ? was a question I had asked myself in the past and felt quite confused about the answers I was getting. It's as if my mind did not want to answer it. I would gather up a bunch of labels and then get lost in which of them was I.

I was a man, a husband, a professional, a son, a brother, a colleague, a humble person, an arrogant person, a scared person, a rich man …so many versions of me and I could not figure out which one was me.

But as my mind was clearer and calmer I could look deeper in me. Like one can look deeper if the water is calm and uncluttered.

The shocking teachings I was receiving was that I was not my body, not my mind, not my dreams but the witness of all these. I was being told by all the above teachers that I was Brahman. I was pure consciousness. That I was God! What blasphemy! I vaguely remember my mother saying these things to me decades ago and I brushed them aside as religious mumbo jumbo.

I was not convinced that this was true. I could understand that all forms of life are impermanent and fleeting and therefore incomplete. I could understand the only that does not change is the consciousness in me. In fact, by now I could also understand that the only thing that is real is consciousness and I was appearing in consciousness.

I could understand it but my rigid mind would not let me experience it and therefore know it to be true.

Experience is the mother of thought and I was not going to be convinced any other way.

The more I researched Psilocybin the more I felt that this plant had the answer to my question…even if for a fleeting moment.

So that set in motion the next few weeks of finding and buying magic Truffles online. After all this deliberation the package arrived at my neighbor's house and then they sent me a replacement. So in 1 week, I had 30 grams of Truffles at home. I told my wife about it and she was nervous but supportive.

I was, to be honest very very nervous about it. I had read about the side effects of psychosis. Some people had had bad trips and suffered nightmares. Most people recommended that there be someone with you when taking the dose.

Even though I was a virgin psychonaut I wanted to do bear this alone. I knew that it was not addictive and I would not die from an overdose. I felt a bit of a loser anyway to be trying psychedelic drugs for the first time in my mid 40’s. It all sounded a bit depressing and desperate. My mind was not happy that I wanted to try this on myself, alone.

But I was convinced this was the next step. So I did.

I took my first dose on the 19th of August 2019.

Truffles are a cousin of the mushroom and unlike mushrooms grow below the ground but have the same chemical formula as mushrooms. They look like small blackish, greyish balls of pepper but some of them have red bits in them. They taste plain and chewy but have a sour after taste. You have to chew them for them to get digested in your stomach with your saliva. I had read that the effect takes 45 minutes to start.

I ate them and sat down at my desk and started to write an article with music playing in the room. I had watched a few videos that gave me a guide to what each level of experience would feel like so I had some idea of the kind of sensations to expect.

After about 30 minutes I started to feel a buzzing sensation in my head.

I could feel that writing was becoming a strain. The mind was beginning to get distracted from engaging in any activity.

The music was getting much more clearer and the words were getting more intense to hear.

At about 45 minutes after the dose, I got up from my desk and came and sat down on the couch.

I was told I would see objects start to move around me. I did start to notice that my vision when fixed on my Chinese carved chest was showing strange shifts of movement. I knew the trip was starting. I closed my eyes and the first time I did that I felt a strange sense that I could see myself from above my head.

I had left my body and was like a drone vision above my head and slowly that vision descended and entered my head and I felt a warm shaft of light entering me. I felt very calm and peaceful.

I felt that something was telling me it was all ok and that I did not have to worry at all.

I calmed down. My body was feeling strange to me. I wanted to keep stretching it and really enjoyed the sensations of feeling the muscles in my body. My vision had more color in it. When I opened and closed my eyes the visual memory in my mind had a spectrum of color that I had never seen before. It was as if my brain was slowing down the processing of the light and leaving it in its 7 color spectrum. I did not know it then but I had had the first experience of partially switching off my Default Mode Network in my brain. And it felt liberating.

But then it stopped.

Nothing more happened. I waited and waited. I just felt tired. I got up from the couch and ate something as I felt hungry and then I fell asleep for 2 hours.

I realized I had not taken enough of a dose. But I knew that I had nothing to be afraid of the plant and that it would help me.

Second dose: 22nd August

The first dose had reassured and invited me to go deeper into the experience. So I did.

I took a larger dose (full 5 grams) and my mindset at this session was open, calm, and curious. My nervousness had gone away. I was just excited to let the dose take me into a place I had not been ever before in my mind. I let go and invited the plant into my mind.

The only extra preparation I did for this session was I had an intention. It's something that I saw a video of a user recommend.

So it's 3 things that are important. The Set. The Setting and the intention. The only question I had was — Who am I?

I wanted to know the answer to the question as an experience and not just as a fact that I had been told.

This time I felt the effect stronger. I did what I had done last time. I sat down on my couch and waited for it. By the 45th minute, I was tripping.

For me, the visual changes with my eyes open were not interesting enough.

The transformational shift starts when you close your eyes and ideally wear eye masks.

I did not use eye masks and but used my hands to close over my closed eyes to remove all light over the eyelids.

The first thing I noticed was that I was in a liquid atmosphere. I felt that I had a camera stuck on my forehead and I could see stuff with it. It was as if I was being taken for a visual ride of my mind. The images changed and flickered.

The ones I remember still are recorded here.

I saw blood vessels like strings in a white fluid as if I was inside my skin. Then suddenly I saw a creature with hundreds of tentacles like a jellyfish appear and descend over my head and `look’ at me. I felt like I was underwater. Deep underwater. Every time I opened my eyes the feeling would stop. I could hear a buzzing sound in my head and it would stop and there would be complete silence and then it would start again. like I was hearing a vibration that is all around me but it stops at times.

When I closed my eyes I at one moment was confronted by a very powerful force of Black. Sheer darkness. But I kept looking. I remember saying how beautiful even though I knew it was trying to scare me. But when I kept looking the black pixelated into the spectrum of color and started throbbing.

Throughout I just kept asking one single question — Who am I. Who am I? Who am I?

The journey continued. I felt I was getting deeper and deeper in the water. I definitely felt I was underwater. Like under the ocean. The was no sunlight but it was still lit by creature lights. I saw science fiction like cities made of light, gigantic and enormous in this place. They were like the size of Manhattan but made of bright fluorescent lights.

And then I saw this creature. She …She- I distinctly felt it was a feminine energy, a being that I came upon from around the corner. She was made of strings and one of the strings was stretched out towards me and the tips of it were gently moving. Just the tips. She was fluorescent green. She had a shape of a person seated with legs crossed but that was the only human similarity. The rest of the creature was spread out like a vine with branches growing left and right of her. The whole place was silently buzzing and I could feel she was very very powerful. At that instant, I was compelled to fold my hands in awe and reverence. It lasted for a moment but it was profound. I can still see it clearly in my mind's eye. I can see her and feel her presence right now as I write this.

It was my first and only mystical experience of my life to date that I will never forget.

It was as big as the impact of seeing my father dead at the age of 12.

The other strange thing I noticed how alien my skin and my hands felt. It was as if they were not my hands but I was inhabiting a new body and feeling it for the first time. I felt very masculine and very strong. My voice felt alien but very raw. Like a raging beast in a Levis.

I got up from the couch and walked down a floor to the kitchen and looked at myself in the mirror. I again had the distinct feeling that I was looking at a face for the first time, just for a second but I felt it. It was as if I was in this body but I was something else.

I again asked who am I?

And I heard a voice answer — Shakti.

The trip after this started to fade away. I felt extremely charged.

I ate something and sat down for another 30 minutes with my eyes closed but I just felt relaxed and no more visions appeared. But I was feeling for light in my mind. As If I had solved a life mystery finally.

No, I had not read about Shakti or any such deity until now. So I was curious as to what this Shakti is. So I walked to the beach and sat down. I felt a lightness in the step I had never felt before It was a sunny day in August. I ordered a beer and just googled Shakti.

I got to the Wikipedia page. and this is what it said :

Shakti (Devanagari: शक्ति, IAST: Śakti; lit. “power, ability, strength, effort, energy, capability”[1]) is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe[2] in Hinduism, and especially the major tradition of Hinduism, Shaktism.

Shakti is the concept or personification of divine feminine creative power, sometimes referred to as “The Great Divine Mother” in Hinduism.

As a mother, she is known as “Adi Shakti” or “Adi Parashakti”. On the earthly plane, Shakti most actively manifests herself through female embodiment and creativity/fertility, though it is also present in males in its potential, unmanifest form.[3] Hindus believe that Shakti is both responsible for the creation and the agent of all change. Shakti is cosmic existence as well as liberation, its most significant form being the Kundalini Shakti, a mysterious psychospiritual force.[4][5]

In Shaktism, Shakti is worshipped as the Supreme Being. Shakti embodies the active feminine energy of Shiva and is synonymously identified with Tripura Sundari or Parvati.

Photo by souvik laha on Unsplash

What shocked me was the image of the Durga Deity (another Hindu deity that embodies Shakti fitted perfectly with the string of arms of the entity I had seen. It was an anthropomorphic version of the entity I had seen. It was a remarkable coincidence.

Then I clicked the origins of this concept on Wikipedia at what I found made my spine tingle.

One of the earliest pieces of evidence of reverence for the feminine aspect of God in Hinduism appears in chapter 10.125 of the Rig Veda, also called the Devi Suktam hymn:[10][11][12]

I am the Queen, the gatherer-up of treasures, most thoughtful, first of those who merit worship.
Thus Gods have established me in many places with many homes to enter and abide in.
Through me alone all eat the food that feeds them, — each man who sees, breathes, hears the word outspoken.
They know it not, yet I reside in the essence of the Universe. Hear, one and all, the truth as I declare it.
I, verily, myself announce and utter the word that Gods and men alike shall welcome.
I make the man I love exceeding mighty, make him nourished, a sage, and one who knows Brahman.
I bend the bow for Rudra [Shiva], that his arrow may strike, and slay the hater of devotion.
I rouse and order battle for the people, I created Earth and Heaven and reside as their Inner Controller.
On the world’s summit, I bring forth sky the Father: my home is in the waters, in the ocean as Mother.
Thence I pervade all existing creatures, as their Inner Supreme Self, and manifest them with my body.
I created all worlds at my will, without any higher being, and permeate and dwell within them.
The eternal and infinite consciousness is I, it is my greatness dwelling in everything.

–Devi Sukta, Rigveda 10.125.3–10.125.8,[10][11][12]

Coda:

I am convinced I had an encounter with this force that was inscribed in the Rigveda- the oldest texts of the Hindu scriptures written around 1500 BC. I saw what the writer of this poem saw thousands of years ago…in me.

What could you find?

Curious about what makes us tick, tickle and other similar black holes. https://twitter.com/AndyTravis31 ; andytravis@email.com

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