Powerful, dimension travelling, consciousness expanding, higher intelligence Or a complicated brain chemical equation
[above you will find a podcast episode I recorded in May 2020. In the podcast, I talk about micro-dosing and mushrooms in general. This article is a further explanation to my experiences, beliefs, and perspectives of mushrooms]
If you have ever been so lucky, or daring, or carefree, that you have experienced a transformational experience under the influence of magic mushrooms, then you have most likely seen reality in ways that you could have never previously imagined.
If you have not had one of these experiences, there is no short telling the lack of understanding you will hold when trying to grasp the concepts of such a revelatory and strange moment.
The feelings and emotions and sensory inputs that are felt when the fungi begin to work their magic is nothing short of spectacular. There is a reason a Johns Hopkins study found that 85% of subjects undergoing psilocybin (magic mushrooms) treatment rated their experience as one of the five most meaningful and spiritual moments of their lives.
The experience will be different for everyone, each time. However, some things are consistent. I am going to describe the experience from my own perspective and share my opinions and thoughts on the drug and what it can offer our culture.
Set and Setting
The two most important words when approaching a positive psychedelic experience. Popularized by the infamous Timothy Leary in 1961, this term is used to describe the importance of the environmental factors surrounding the individual beginning the experience, and the internal environment of the individual's mental state.
In a brief manner, a positive example would be a warm summer day in a field when you feel little stress in your internal world and you do not have any large traumatic events underway. One in which you feel comfortable and safe using the drug.
A negative example would be an industrial, mechanical environment on a dark, cold, and wet night when you are in the midst of a mid-life crisis.
Please be aware, although these are examples, they are not necessarily going to always provide the same results, i.e. negative or positive. If the user is experienced enough in traversing the psychedelic playing field, then they should be able to experience positive inside each set and setting.
Sometimes one also finds that the mushrooms alone will take you to a very dark place, often they take the role of a teacher in this regard. Something we will get into later.
Preparation and Consumption
I usually eat my mushrooms dry, on an empty stomach. Sometimes I sandwich a piece in-between some bread or peanut butter. Occasionally I make tea by steeping the mushrooms. I usually eye-ball the amount. Anywhere above 2g will take me away from present-day reality. Whatever way I choose to consume, I always make sure it is intentional and purposeful.
One thing I have learned over the years is that the set and setting of my mind is the most important thing. By committing myself intentionally and purposefully I can help my own mind to let go into the acceptance of the experience.
Up to an hour after eating or drinking at least 2 grams of shrooms I begin to feel the effects. It starts with sleepiness behind my eyes, a slight heaviness to my head, and some yawning. My field of vision sparkles slightly as if the edges of objects and people vibrate a tiny shimmering light. An aura if you will. It is only a tiny bit significant but it is definitely there. My thoughts are beginning to change in shape and the images and visions inside my mind take on a new style.
Now my belly begins to ache and groan. I am unfortunate to be one of the unlucky people that gets a lot of gas from mushrooms. My stomach aches, I feel like I will shit myself at any minute. This usually passes, but that depends also on how large the dose was. Anything between 1-3 grams is often tough on my stomach, anything above or below is either too small to feel or too large to care about.
I find that there is a patchy middle-ground for good trips. I enjoy 0.1g-0.5g for micro-dosing and then anything above 2g for a trip. Anything in-between usually produces feelings of uneasiness. I believe this is my inability to sit between the two worlds, one of my current reality and one where I see only a window into the psychedelic world. This may be my experience alone but I believe it to be shared by some others.
This is depending again on dosage but go up towards the five-gram realm and this is what I see.
Now I prefer to close my eyes and be quiet. The stimulation is sometimes so intense that to open my eyes and take in the sights in front of me, as well as music or sounds, along with the images and thoughts displayed inside my mind's eye, is too much. I keep them closed for a while and simply watch and move through the internal world of hallucinations.
I see the beginning of all time, the center of the universe, the creation of life. I see death everywhere, a layer of it costing the world's existence. Decay, replenishment. I see all the energy forms of life all around me. I feel them passing and moving through me and feel able to interact with them through my mind.
I see other beings and they provide me with answers to questions my soul was asking.
I see an infinite number of doors, all leading down different paths, all moments in time. Future, past, present. Now, if I am very calm and very open, I can begin to play with these doors. I feel as though I can very subtly influence the path of my future and can change my fate from this position, it is as though I enter a different dimension in which time is malleable.
Thoughts and ideas enter my mind and take me on a whirlwind of wonder. I am in a state of chaotic bliss. Always perceiving the life and death of everything.
I open my eyes finally as the images inside my head start to mellow out. Now I begin to ponder about the experience, to live inside it for a moment longer, and to focus my attention on what happened. This lasts a few hours and things gradually slow down until vision is almost back to normal. There remains however a glow of some form, maybe it is inside me.
The next day and subsequent days thereafter the effects of the experience are still felt. The feeling and memory of the experience will begin to fade away in the coming weeks until sometimes you can barely remember. However, the impact of the moment will stay with you as you move through life.
I believe it is a good idea to top up this memory every year and bring back the monumental spiritual discoveries that are often associated with such experiences. Usually, one finds oneself not wanting to partake in the drug again in a short time after its use because of its profound intensity.
This has gained a lot of momentum in our current societies. Especially in the tech industries and creative fields. The benefits of micro-dosing are similar to the benefits of larger quantities but without the intensity of experience and lacking in visions and many other hallucinatory qualities.
Micro dosing does seem to provide the individual with the ability to be less serious about oneself, to be more creative, more forgiving, more loving, less hating, jealous, etc.
It also seems to provide a presence of joy that can often be forgotten in our busy lives. Similar to the joy of a child at the sight of a pebble.
Micro dosing usually means anything under 0.5g. A traditional cycle is 5 days on, 2 days off. I have Micro dosed for about 8 months in total and rid myself of depression and existential dread in doing so. I have also noticed when those micro-doses became too frequent and kept me fixed in a more emotionally open setting. There is good and bad in all.
One of the things of interest in scientific pursuits in the field of psychedelics is their ability to make the brain more malleable. It appears as though the experience stimulates new neuronal connections in the brain and makes it easier to break out of habits or to create new ones.
I find this very appealing. They say brain malleability is lost as we age throughout life and the idea of being able to bring it back with the use of psychedelics is interesting and deserves more research.
One thing I do know, when I micro-dose, I find it much easier to be wrong and to take different steps. I also find myself looking for different opportunities in chess games, career paths, diet choices, opinions. I find myself more comfortable entertaining other ideas.
The Teacher and the Lessons
It has been said before that mushrooms are a teacher. I believe this to be true. After my experiences, I have noticed that there were underlying messages inside each of the trips. Behind the hallucinations was a deeper meaning, one I needed to hear but was too afraid to.
One, in particular, was the bloating and gas I felt during the hallucinations. After listening attentively, I found that this was actually the physical representation of a mental disorder. The disorder was my inability to let go and accept. I was a holder of pain, and the mushrooms taught me to release that pain and let go.
Another time is when I was with two of my best friends in the woods. I spent half the evening in the dark alone shitting myself and wiping it up with anything I could find around me, it was disastrous. However, the shitting myself was simply the mushrooms teaching me to take myself less seriously. They were saying “Oh you think you are Mr.Bigshot do you, you think your ego is all high and mighty, well, see how this floats your boat”. Let me tell you now, it worked like a charm.
The Veil of Death
Something worth noting that is consistent on my trips is a strange blanket of decay that envelops everything. It was difficult to understand at the beginning but now I believe that this hallucination is my brain integrating into the mushrooms brain. Yes, this sounds very strange indeed, but give me a moment to explain myself.
Wherever I look during my trip, I will see the beginning and end of time for each thing. I see it all wrapped up together. The beauty of decay, the ugliness of perfection. Inside this, I see the intrinsic parts of nature, the processes of destruction and consumption, and replenishment.
I see mother nature use the substances around here, that she created in the first place, to better her position. I'll explain more below. For the time being, just know that it is not unpleasant and not that common either.
Mother Nature’s Defense
A part of me believes that mother nature, Gaia, uses the mushrooms as a defense for many things. Firstly, we know mushrooms break down material and repurpose it to be used differently. Essentially being the recycling force of Earth. This repurposing for the better is why I believe I see what I see on the trip. I feel as though I see what the mushroom's energy is all about, and that is ever-present change.
A part of me also believes that mother nature, Gaia, may have created the hallucinogenic plants in the first place as a way to communicate with us. There are very few ways for our temporary, limited beings to understand the gravitas of life or the interconnectedness of cycles and systems. Therefore, Earth worked a way into nature so that she could communicate a clear and distinct message to us.
There is no doubt about it that those that have had an enlightening psychedelic experience are usually more inclined to follow a path of nature than they are an unnatural path of say, investing in Wall Street portfolios. That is not to say that it is uncommon for people in academic and professional disciplines to consume the drug. The point I am making is that the connection you feel to earth when on the plant medicine is something that gives you a shift of consciousness. It reminds you, deep down, where we all come from, what we are made out of, and what our priorities should be.
When I consume mushrooms, there is a point in time when I literally almost become the mushroom itself. I find myself kneeling over, huddled in a fetal position, shitting my pants with the most insane pain in my stomach and the existential fear of death looming over me. This is a place of extreme darkness, a place of decomposition and transformation. This is not bad though. Yes at the time there are feelings that often overwhelm me, but I am trustful in the direction and open to the teachings so I stay with it.
After an hour or two it passes and I have become something other than what I was before. I have become less and more at the same time.
There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the world will soon turn towards psychedelic plant compounds as the new religion. Countries are legalizing the use of these substances as I write this. From medicinal to recreational and beyond, the beginning of the wave of plant medicine is returning and with it a change in our global mental state.
The medicine we all need, the healing we all seek, has always been provided to us by that which is of most value, Earth. It is when we go back to her and trust in her again that we will relinquish the majority of our demons.