Waking Up From Reality:
My Last Trip
Did you ever want to wake up from reality? Sure, it sounds great...something out of the Matrix right? Well let me tell you right now that you wont be happy with what you wake up from, and that acid is not just some fun drug to give you a light show...and it isn't the way to some greater truth either. Last weekend I reached the peak of what acid tries to show us all, and it wasn't at all what I wanted to see. This is what happens when you lose your grip on reality. It's long, but it's very important. For those of you who just want the highlights, they're in bold.
A large portion of my life was determined to come closer to the truth of our existence, and to find the meaning in it all. Despite what some of my friends now think, my life was basically led sober. I didn't smoke pot until high school, and it was very infrequent, cigarettes only started when I was 16, and I didn't drop acid until September of 1999...first semester at college. I will try to relay last night's experience to you as best I can, it is up to you what you believe and what you don't...I'm just telling you what happened, and what's true to me.
To start with the basics, you have to understand some of my own mindset in order to understand how acid effected that mindset. When I was in second grade I started getting nightmares...and I stopped sleeping. After a while, the nightmares went away and were replaced with vibrant, realistic dreams--although the insomnia was, and is, still a problem. The dreams were so real that at times I was sure that they were more of a psychic connection to something--dreams foretelling events. I began meditating, researched different religious views, taught myself lucid dreaming, and a portion of my life was spent just searching for some great truth; some answer to our existence.
I was introduced to acid by someone who convinced me that acid led him to find some answers...he neglected to mention permanent side-effects that acid had on his life, that I will discuss later. In the beginning, my trips were wonderful. The first person I tripped with led me on an intellectual journey, which was just what I was looking for. I soon began to love acid, I believed it was helping lead me to some sort of enlightenment. Above all, my mind was so intact during tripping, that I honestly didn't believe that I could have a bad trip. That's one beautiful thing about acid, how you think you can control it so well, just takes a strong mind...a strong mind that I thought I had.
With an in cremate of tripping at least once every two weeks, my time in meditation became much more realistic, and much “deeper.” In fact, the last time I meditated before my last trip (which happened to be in class), I actually saw visions and was brought to such a state that my teachers voice became obsolete. This, coupled with a new set of intense dreams that woke me up in tears, left me with a frightened, yet curious feeling. I knew that many religions believe that a series of intense dreams means that a change is coming, I didn't expect this.
I took three black pyramids (microdot) with a couple friends. I had taken pyramids before, but never that many...two normally fried me out pretty good. I also gave blood the day before. Everything was alright until about two hours into tripping. The world began to be completely unrealistic...but it was somehow soothing, so I didn't really think about it. Before I knew it everything around me had become a dream world. The people I was tripping with weren't those people in real life, but dreams; images of my mind that didn't exist. I don't know exactly when the changeover occurred, but once I was there that strong mind that I've always had retreated way behind my eyes...and I watched myself perma-frying on acid. I knew there was something wrong, but I couldn't quite get it across. I mentioned dying, I mentioned not coming back from the trip, but how were my two companions to comprehend my actual meaning when they were tripping just the same as any ordinary person, on lsd. During the dream, some other consciousness inside me took over. I can't decide whether it was created by the acid, or brought out by the acid...most likely the latter. While in afterglow, I've been going through the pictures in my mind...trying to piece together exactly what I was doing. I just remember everything being so foggy, just like a dream...and I felt like I was just floating around in a world created by my mind. My friends were completely freaked out, I thought it was a game...they decided that they had to drive me home, it didn't even cross my mind that they were tripping and it was dangerous. I was gone, I was in lala land...and that's just fucked up.
They dropped me off in my dorm room, and left me to whatever was going on inside my head. When they left, I started noticing how real my room was. It had never looked that real in a dream before. I pulled my covers over my head to sleep, and then it started to sink in that something was seriously wrong. I jumped out of bed and looked around, and I saw the room from a mind that was perfectly sober. I relayed the night through my mind, and I reminded myself that I had taken acid. However, acid had never done anything like that to me before; I'd always been in such control. Then what I had to figure out was how my mind seemed as if I had just woken from a dream, as if I hadn't taken acid at all.
I turned on my tv and as I watched the faces swirling in rainbow colors, I suddenly realized that my body was still tripping, hard. I had woken from whatever cocoon I was in, mentally, but my body was still there. That's when it all hit me. I suddenly realized that somehow I let go of reality, and that now that I had control of my mind I had to struggle to keep it. Being in an empty dorm room made it difficult.
I could hear noises of people turning on and off showers upstairs. I heard people talking in the hall...I even thought I heard my phone ringing, but there was no one there. I was without any contact to real living people, and I was in a small, brightly-lit dorm room, completely fucked out of my mind.
The first thing I felt when I “woke up” was completely outside of myself. I was always such an introverted person, I’m content with being alone. I know that to other people I have many “nafs”, as the Hindu’s say...or masks, for us westerners. However, to myself, I felt comfort inside of my own mind, and I knew myself very well. When I broke out of the dream-world, those masks left me. That comfort zone, left me. And I was very, very alone.
My first hypothesis was that I had snapped out of my other body and that that body was completely perma-fryed somewhere back in reality. From there I wondered if I had snapped into another dimension and was forced to now walk around an empty world that looked like the old one. I was even convinced for a while that I had died, it was the only thing that really made sense.
I had hypothesized that the world is full of new and old souls (I've always felt I was an old soul, even before I heard the term). I thought that since I could wake up from the dream-state of reality, that it was like any other dream state. Normal dreams are created by the one consciousness of the dreamer. So to wake up from “reality” made me believe that we were all connected to one consciousness, but until we all, collectively, realized it, we couldn't move on. This is what kinda killed the idea that I may have popped into another dimension without everyone else.
The next hypothesis was that since I popped out of my own consciousness that my life would just be a chore, since it's no longer real to me. I didn't know how I would be able to continue, and for a second actually contemplated suicide. The only reason that I didn't, was that I remembered how much my life means to me. I've always thought it to be so wonderful to just be alive, and I knew that I was still young and had a lot ahead of me...so I just wanted to fight to stay lucid while my body tripped out.
The first thing I needed to do was to make contact with someone real, to force myself to believe that there was some sort of reality, even if not to me, to the other people living it. So, I called a trusted friend of mine, whom I had taken on her first trip. She was very patient with me as I told her of what I had experienced, and threw out ideas at her. At that point there were some conclusions that were so real that I couldn't doubt them. I concluded that there was no God, or higher power (due to how alone I felt). I concluded that new souls are reincarnated until they become old souls and are ready to move on. I concluded that when they moved on they would be new souls and have to learn again to fend for themselves (again due to how alone I felt). I concluded that life indeed was a dream within a dream (thank you Poe), but that the knowledge of that didn't solve a thing.
My friend brought me back to the house where my tripping companions were (who hadn't gotten back, so I left a note). She then brought me to the first person I tripped with, since he had mentioned snapping four times, he had a lot of explaining to do.
We debated a little bit, over what it all meant, but then I had to ask him, if I would fully recover, if there were any side-effects. He said that he sees a rainbow pattern all the time, but he's teaching himself not to see it, and he has trip willies and acid mouth randomly. He also mentioned that everytime he's really hungry, or tired, or stoned, he starts tripping.
This brought my mind back to something I had read on a FAQ sheet about lsd. It had said that flashback are caused due to the high amount of psychological stress to the brain, not from the acid staying in your brain or your spine all the time. So I logically knew that the only reason for my body to continue to suffer ill-effects from acid was the fact that I was now fighting so hard to clear my head, that I had somehow twisted my brain to believing that the side-effects of tripping were real. What I had to focus on is that the world around me is real--to me and the people in it--but the effects of tripping were a drug, that would wear off as long as I didn't cling to them. The hardest thing to get rid of was the pattern. As soon as I “woke up” I saw a very vibrant, moving, rainbow pattern that surrounded everything. However, through intense focusing, I was able to rid myself of it...I’m sure it'll return at random.
In afterglow I fought a constant battle between two halves: the part of my mind that had it all figured out, and the part of my mind that was just a little girl who was in a little dream world. On one hand, I know that I freaked the hell out of the people I tripped with, but I didn't know it at the time. I know that I ruined two friendships, and possibly more than that. I know that I did things while I was frying that I didn't mean to do, that weren't real. Whatever dream I was in, it wasn't coming from my own thoughts...it was coming from whatever small child lies inside of me. However, I know that my tripping companions will never truly believe that, and to them I'll just be a really fucked up girl who wigged out on them. I don't have enough apologies for that.
On the other hand, I had to deal with everything I had just seen, and try to put myself back together so that I wouldn't crack...and I was very, very close to cracking. After having my reality ripped out from underneath me, I had to chose what to accept. This is what I've learned: acid is a drug that stimulates a dream world. If you take too much, or let yourself go to much, the world will become a dream...in other words, it is possible to actually lose touch with reality; no matter how “put-together” you think you are. Now, whether that dream-world is actually a view of our reality in a new light, or just a trick of the brain, that I can't say, but I can say that to stay sane, you have to admit the possibility that you were just under the influence of a drug which showed you one view of what the “truth” may be.
Above all, I learned that I was asking the wrong questions. What I was shown through acid, I had already hypothesized...but for some reason I thought I had to experience it before my time. What I know is that even if we had the answers to what comes next, no matter how wonderful or horrible, we don't want to know, it doesn't matter now and our brains do not have the capacity to rationalize it. What we have, is a life, a reality. Whether it's real or false, it's real to us, and that's what we need to keep in mind. Instead of asking for answers from another realm, just enjoy the one you're in, and try to better it.
If you think that I'm being ignorant by trying to push away what could be real knowledge, then fine, go for it...it will be the worst experience of your life if you actually experience it--and I know you still won't believe that, I didn't, but at least let me now say, “I told you so.” Live the dream, there's nothing wrong with dreaming.