25C has long since solidified itself as my favorite psychedelic. There’s no shortage of people who turn their nose up at the NBOME family because it’s very cheap and has an especially long tolerance period, but these are not drawbacks in my mind because you should be spacing out your trips anyway, the visuals (both open and closed eye) are especially rich and potent, and the headspace is very happy and rational. The low price is just a bonus.
I prefer C because of i, c and b it produces the most richly detailed CEVs which are, for me, one of the major highlights of a trip. If you’ve never dedicated a substantial portion of a trip to just laying back with your eyes closed and seeing what your brain comes up with in response to music, I strongly recommend that you do it. A sensory deprivation tank or, if you’re skint, a bathtub in the dark make for good places to do this. I once devolved into a proto-amphibian starbeast during a tank trip on 25C, whatever that even means. Serious, powerful shit.
Anyway this time I was out in the woods, as I often am, because I just love what trees do on this stuff. They are the most fascinating objects to look at and seem to become muscular, writhing animals with moss for fur. As usual, the feminine forest entity showed up. She has on prior occasions scolded me for coming to her if I had no issues to discuss, but this time I did, and for about an hour she was my illusory, leafy green dryad therapist.
I realized a lot of my anxiety comes from knowledge of heat death and feelings of powerlessness to do anything about it. Every kind of activism I’ve undertaken in any capacity has been intended to advance the cause of human settlement of other planets, so that we can survive in the longterm, meet and collaborate with other biological intelligence, and eventually solve heat death one way or another. Of course I don’t believe entropy can be reversed, but there’s more than one way to skin a cat.
She laughed at all of this, a wave of comfort washed over me and she said over and over “It’s all being taken care of.” I got the strong sense that, just as I’m obviously not the only person aware of this problem, neither was humanity the only species aware of it, and that biological intelligence much older than we are had long ago undertaken the same project and would now be much further along. We could not, because of this, contribute anything meaningfully helpful to their efforts, so I was wasting my time by feeling as though it was my personal responsibility to do something about it.
Feeling intensely relieved and reassured, I took the opportunity to relax in some soft grass and explore CEVs. I was listening to a track heavy on xylophone and saw this funny little guy frantically dashing about a small room, tapping on various xylophone sets to make the music. He represented the rigidly logical part of me and was completely focused on hitting every note correctly. Because of this, he was failing to enjoy either the process of creating music or the beauty of the resulting music itself. There was an obvious message here that was not lost on me.
The scenery changed to this intense orange corridor (made, I thought, of solidified sun mass) with henna everywhere, lined by grow beds with various edible plants in them. The corridor undulated like a snake, or like footage of a bridge during a windstorm or earthquake, but did not come apart, as if it were intended to be this flexible. If I opened my eyes and then closed them just for a moment, usually I would see endless rows of repetitious, interlocking circuitboards. I could see as neon pulses the electricity coursing through them and how, although no single modular element was terribly complex, lots of them networked were capable of very complex processing.
I got up and explored a bit. When I went to cross a fallen log I normally use to access this neat little island in the middle of a pond, there was a decomposing bullfrog corpse on it. I felt the most visceral, gut wrenching horror of my life. I just backed away, shaking my head, unable to look away. It really rattled me. I knew this was how bad trips start so I began mental exercises I’ve used in the past to prevent it.
I then came across this awesome canopy of fallen trees over a portion of the creek nearby, with one of the logs fallen underneath such that you could sit on it, above the creek but beneath the ‘canopy’. When I’m trippin balls, and I see a neat place, I HAVE to be there. Something like a treefort would be irresistable to me for example, but any neat little natural nook or platform strongly tempts me to inhabit that space.
So with a little clambering I managed to get into position. It was as satisfying as I hoped. I sat there and practiced the process for making visuals engulf your entire field of view. This consists of staring straight ahead, ideally with a lot of complex stuff in the scene for your brain to work with (in this case tangled branches) slightly relaxing my eyes but not fully defocusing them, then watching as everything began to melt together, I lost depth perception, and the visual confusion fractaled like fuck until everything had become this twisty, distorted oil painting with shining jewels embedded in every spot where enough color was concentrated.
This felt exhausting, like it was physically taxing my body even though I was sitting still, so I was breathing heavily while struggling to maintain this posture and not to blink or break away from staring at that spot. It is a significant challenge to maintain this state of maximum visual distortion for any length of time but the incredible beauty you can witness this way is very much worth the practice it takes.
I spent the rest of the trip sitting in tall grass next to the creek, playing with bits of the grass between my fingers and thinking about stuff. I felt regressed. I could not have complex thoughts just then. The whole world seemed no bigger than that meadow. I felt like this simple, immediate experience of reality with no past or future was the only ‘real thing’ and that anything more complex or abstract was in some way illusory. I felt like this is what life was like for us when we were pre-primate mammals, a truly innocent existence that we can never go back to. The forest mind was like “This is exactly what I’ve been trying to communicate to you. I miss when you were like that! It was just you and me, I could take care of you forever, but you grew up and left me alone.” Now it was my turn to comfort her. I told her that childhood can’t last forever, that we love her just as much now as we did then, and that despite the brief environmental irresponsibility of our adolescence we were now in a better position than ever to manage and protect forests worldwide.
This trip was all over the place. Usually they have some unifying theme but not this one, very thematically fractured. Still had a lot of good insights, I think. I do strongly recommend using the method described here to maximize enjoyment of open eye visuals. If you got really intense visuals once and haven’t since, and worried you’re not taking enough, it may well be that you happened to do what I’ve described here accidentally that one time. Do it deliberately next time you trip, it should be possible even on relatively low doses.
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