In the afternoon of 21st November, 2019, I consumed the bigger half of some mushrooms. Dry, but not completely dried, brown caps, dirty-white stems. I was at V.’s place, and it was she who offered them. G. also accompanied us, with his bottle of white wine.
It was around 2pm when I ate the first two. Kept the biggest one for later. I was told the taste would be horrible, but I like them raw, and the dry texture, the unusual aftertaste, the small bits getting stuck in my teeth had me thinking I could eat a whole plate of mushroom stew.
From a drawer in the bedroom where some canvasses, paint, and brushes were stored some weed wandered out wearing aluminium foil. I didn’t mind the others getting high. As for me, no, thanks.
Half an hour later I started giggling. My thoughts quickened. I had been told it would kick in faster than LSD, but I couldn’t possibly believe that after my experience from a few years ago.
To quickly recap what acid felt like, let me quote something from an old writing of mine:
My eyes open, the pupils widening as LSD knocks on my door to say hello. No, knocking is a weak word. It busts the door with both legs, crushing my home in a mad frenzy, throwing objects around, breaking windows, plates and glasses. Oh my God, this buzz is amazing! So strong, so angry, yet sexual.
In my dick.
For nine hours straight.
I suddenly felt an urge to stand up and look out the window.
Strange, the ground is moving in wave-like patterns, but it’s only the ground, not the trees, not the buildings, and the road is … The road is bloating and shrinking as if it was drawing breath. It’s breathing, perhaps, because the asphalt hinders the ground underneath from waving.
I went to the kitchen to tell the others my experiences. I had a really hard time, because I was munching on the taste of the third shroom, and the wall was much more interesting. See, V. has a rock-patterned wallpaper in the kitchen, and the rocks erupted in life.
Eruption meaning every single particle that made up the wall was moving, evolving, changing colours and shapes. I touched it.
This must be a hallucination, and a pretty lifelike one. I feel the wall moving beneath my fingers.
I had been told it would kick in faster. Well, faster is an understatement. The shrooms kick you almost instantly, you just don’t notice at first. Now, the room was swirling and spinning and flowing in a dizzying tango. And it drove me crazy.
I don’t know in what direction horizontal is, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know how to handle this abrupt new reality, I’m feeling sick and have to sit down, the thing’s tearing me out of my body, my muscles disappeared, I can’t let myself leave, I have to stay in my shell, have to stay in my shell, have to stay in my shell, have to vomit, to vomit, oh no, the toilet is growing and shrinking, the lid is animated, my vomit is changing colour, second, third, my stomach’s empty, what to do, what to do?
Is this a bad trip?
I laid my body on the bed. The eyes closed to escape from the woozy visuals. Spheres like transparent glass beads appeared and spiralled into something that was sentient and evolving. My mind was standing in a dark forest and from the trees, evil eyes were beaming at me. It should’ve been frightening but my mind felt a pull, a lure, a temptation, and I couldn’t help but walk towards one of these evil beings. From a hole in the ground cold and long tentacles hauled me into an infinitely deep, unfathomably dark hallucination.
My reaction was obvious. Obviously wrong.
If I can’t shut it out by closing my eyes, I will shut it out by closing my mind. Guys, I think I’m gonna sleep a little.
I was slowly slipping into the dream-state, but the closed eye hallucinations got stronger with each moment. It was clear to me there was no escape.
I got out of the bed and started moving my body in all the ways it wanted to move. Wave after wave after wave after wave, I was more and more in balance riding the star-weaved flow of the trip.
It’s not that I let go, but neither did I cling to whatever remained of my ego. To understand this more deeply, let’s go further.
This was the point where everything became interesting.
These mushrooms, you see, overwrite every sense you have. Both the outer and the inner senses. You see different, hear different, smell different, touch different, and taste different. But you also feel different, and think different. Nothing is what it seems. And the whole thing comes in waves. Sometimes, it’s as if you’re back in reality, only for the shrooms to fuck you in the ass at the most unexpected moment and send you down the rabbit hole again.
Compared to the LSD, which just sort of happened and then did its thing whether I wanted it or not, here, I had to work with the trip as opposed to simply be in it. If I wanted to hide from it, it was turning itself into a nightmare, but the same thing happened if I just let go or let the trip take the lead.
In other words, you can’t stand in front of your consciousness and order it around, but you can’t let your consciousness free to go in any direction either. You must stand next to it, take its hand and lead it as a friend to places you would like to visit.
As much as I’d like to detail the whole journey, it would save us both time to give a taste of what it was like, and move towards the things learnt instead.
This new reality was entirely made of light. There was no substance to anything, and I could see infinitely thin rays of which everything was made. And I mean everything. Then, I could choose a string I wanted to flow or vibrate with. During the trip, I made jumps from one string to another at least a thousand and one times, and this is what I would call the journey.
I had synaesthesia. The air itself was lit. Lights without a source. The music in the background had a colour, the voices of my friends had colours as well, certain words, and even thoughts manifested themselves either visually or somewhere in my bone-box. G. had an orange aura the whole afternoon.
When I smoked a cigarette, I think I did that only once during the trip, every time I breathed out my mouth would become smoke as well.
Emotions were amplified. I was the happiest I’ve ever been, but laying in the bed, I don’t think I had ever felt so frightened, so utterly horrified.
Again, compared to LSD, where I could just sink into my feelings and stay there, on shrooms my emotions were momentary, I had to work with them to keep myself from being influenced by every subtle external input, somewhat like during meditation.
The connection between my intents and language changed. The idea of conveying something using language excited me so much I was grateful for being a Hungarian, because our tongue is so much more dynamic and picturesque compared to any other I speak.
Time lost its meaning. It stretched and shrank, minutes became hours and vice versa. We were tripping for an afternoon, but it felt like whole days have passed.
When I could ride properly, as I would call it, it was as if I was leaning just beyond the edge of the cliff without falling. I was full of adrenaline and excitement. I thought two things. This is what it must feel like to die, except I’d lose my body as well, and this is also what living to your fullest must be.
Always in motion.
Anyway, the comedown was the best I ever had. Compare it to any other substance, the comedown of shrooms is the most comfortable. The waves get milder and milder, slowly putting you down, back in your usual reality. It’s as if the trip is still going on somewhere, it just left you behind. By the evening, I functioned as a normal human being, sober and well.
All in all, it was a positive experience, teaching me how focus works. Focus can’t be forced, it is lead. I drank a lot of water during the trip, and whenever I wanted to put my glass down, a small part of the table would become solid and material to let me put the thing down without problems.
It also showed me how I should always be in motion. Getting stuck in life is a death sentence if you can’t see a way out. Leaning just beyond the edge of the knowable unknown is the best place for growth.
Reality is much more malleable than I believed. Yes, I was hallucinating, but the parallels between the trip and my everyday life, how I could transform my bad trip into a good one, how it all was a journey in the deep jungle of consciousness just proves to me even more that it is us who create our own reality. We are responsible for most everything that happens to us, and we actually have the power to change into someone who can decide the events that occur around them.
Finally, I would like to mention I’m probably not doing shrooms again anytime soon. As much as it had an amazing feeling, I suspect I still have a lot to learn from it, and for some reason my intuition tells me I should honour the trip the same way I would honour an important dream.
By bringing it into waking life.