[Trip report] The classic 5 grams of mushrooms in a dark room

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Terrenca McKenna once said that 5 grams of mushrooms in a dark room is “where the rubber really meets the road”. Indeed, it’s that intense, mostly because the darkness allows the sort of visuals you normally see with your eyes closed (CEVs) to mix into the room with you in 3D space.

I’ve done psychs in the dark before, and even once in a subterranean lava tube. I was on more reasonable doses then, however. It was still remarkably intense, so I had some idea of what I was getting myself into.

Whereas NBOMEs are a fun and visually interesting (but shallow) trip, mushrooms are very serious. I am not what I’d call a spiritual man, but shrooms don’t give you any choice in the matter. The capacity to feel that way is within all of us, and mushrooms bring it out of you by force.

If you’ve ever wanted to understand that mindset, mushrooms are a great way to do it. It’s a sort of seductive madness which seems self-evidently true, only while you’re tripping. It’s easy to see how it could make a lasting impression on people and convince them to make major changes in their lives.

It’s also easy to see how ancient man, with no knowledge of how hallucinogens act on the brain, might have mistaken these experiences as connection to the divine. Seeing a burning bush that never is fully consumed, which tells you to sacrifice your son and cut off part of your penis sounds an awful lot like a strong trip to me.

There are in fact Amanita Muscaria mushrooms depicted in a number of early church artworks. Often in place of the tree or forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden, other times at the feet of Christ, or speaking to the apostles.

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John M. Allegro talks about this in The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross. Talk to any college freshman who becomes convinced he’s Jesus on a heroic mushroom dose, or take some yourself, and you’ll at once see the merit to this hypothesis.

Mushrooms make you think and behave in a very Jesus-like way. Suspiciously so. They bring about a mindset that is gentle, empathetic, morally conscious and in all other ways consistent with the thinking of Christ and the apostles as described in scripture. If you were one of the scant few who knew psychedelics existed back then and had a steady supply, it would not be difficult to start a cult around their ritualistic consumption.

Anyways, that’s much of what I experienced on this trip, but it’s not the whole story. I closed my eyes at one point and was astonished to see geometrically intricate grids. Arrays, like a city seen from a high altitude, with points of light racing through the channels like traffic.

It was all made out of what looked like electronic cells. A dark, rich blue, semi-spherical (more oval than round) with blinking lights inside, mostly red, yellow and green. They combined like pixels to form a larger creature which, as soon as I noticed it, turned to face me.

“What are you doing here? You’re in my home. “ I heard it as thoughts and impressions rather than words. It was a sort of pseudopod or appendage. It filled the entire space we were in, forever in all directions, but was able to form something like a head/face that I could talk to.

The face was just a cluster of eyes. Gorgeous eyes, the irises all different colors. Amber, green, red, blue. They would appear wherever needed to look at something. The lashes were long, beautiful and sparkled. Rivers of fire, if you could call them that, streamed away from four points on its face in a broken X configuration.

I asked what it was. It replied “I am that I am, that I am, that I am, that I ever will be.” It emitted this strong vibration. A deep resonance that came in waves. Communicating its power to me, where its name communicated that it persists eternally. I could feel it reaching into my mind, using my own memories to show me things.

As if I already had the puzzle pieces, it was just putting them together for me to teach me what it wanted me to know. “You must change the way that you live” it told me. I asked what’s wrong with me.

“Not you, the way you live. Hatred, anger, violence. These things are irritants to me in the same way that bad smells or flavors are to you, or annoying sounds. I love humans, and I want to get closer to you. But these irritants prevent it. I only get as close as I can stand to. The more of these irritants you remove, the closer we’ll become.”

It then told me to go the right way. I asked how I would know it’s the right way. “You’ll know because everything will just work. Naturally, by itself, the way it’s supposed to. All you have to do is let it. Everything naturally works a certain way, and your problems arise from trying to subvert that to achieve a contrived outcome that is contrary to the overall scheme.”

It made perfect sense in that mindset. The sort of simplistic just-so plan for utopia that comes apart when met with the wild variation between individuals, their respective personalities and desires. It could sense me critically evaluating the idea and seemed angered.

“It is not to be picked apart. It is to be accepted.” Oh, is that so? I’m to just accept it, am I? I asked for examples of stuff we do that subverts the intended order of things. “You are trying to become like me. To reach the place where I am. I do not tolerate company here. I do not tolerate competitors. You are fine, beautiful and charming to me exactly as you are. You’re like babies. It would break my heart to see you grow up. I want you to stay just how you are for as long as possible.”

I objected that we cannot help but grow, innovate and advance. It is in our nature. It’s who we are. It threw a fit, thrashing and crying. “No! I love all the different, colorful little lives that you lead! So many stories for me to follow, I never tire of it. Buildings, cars, music, wars, politics, fashion, movies, births, weddings, school, I love all of it! I don’t want it to end so soon.”

It suggested that the Amish have more or less the right idea. “You can have a little more technology than that, but not much more. Much more than that, and you will become unrecognizable to me. The lives I want to see you lead are focused on relationships. Romance, marriage, rearing children together. Focused on other humans, not on building machines.”

I asked about evolution. About physics, about the big bang and the multiverse. “You don’t need to know. None of that is necessary to live the way I want you to.” I accused it of wishing that we remain ignorant. “Innocent is a better word. I want you to stay human. To lead human lives, for my enjoyment.”

I then asked about homosexuality. It said that indeed, that isn’t the correct way to use our “reproductive apparatus” but that it is a relatively insignificant irritation. “The harm you cause to such people in trying to force them to do it the right way is by far a greater irritant to me than the act itself. All sins are not equal. The notion that they are is simply meant to stop people from rationalizing their own wrongdoing on the grounds that it’s not as bad as other sins.”

It said that it cannot stand when we harm each other because we’re made out of the same stuff that it is. It can see, hear and feel through each of us, as if we are sensory appendages of it. So it feels every stab, every bullet, every punch in the face. Moreover it feels every ugly emotion we have like jealousy, arrogance, spite, and so on. They’re like a bitter, sour flavor to it.

I asked why it wanted to dominate us, and suggested it was in the wrong to prevent us from growing to the point where we occupy the same level of existence as it. The creature answered that it is better to have a single authority over everything than two equally powerful ones, because what if they disagree? If evenly matched, it means either eternal war or mutual annihilation.

That sounded logical but also conspicuously self-serving. It seemed to me there was an alternate path. It wanted us to remain beneath it forever, but we could instead continue to grow and change until one day we’d exist on the same scale and in the same extradimensional space as this thing.

It’s not that we can’t do that, just that it doesn’t want us to. I asked if it would destroy us if we did that. The Tower of Babel story came to mind. But it said it loves us too much, and doesn’t want to force us to do anything. That it could not hurt us without also hurting itself.

We then got into this long tangent about how I should change my life. It kept saying “don’t talk about what you want to be. BE what you want to be. Embodying your own ideals is the best way to promote them. You are malleable and can make yourself into the person you want to be.”

It was very close to me by this point. Filling up my view, flattening me to the floor. “Most of all, you must purge out all of the hatred and anger from yourself. I don’t care if you think it’s justified, it is these feelings themselves which repulse me. The reason does not make any difference. There is no good hate.”

I’ve encountered entities before, such as the forest goddess/Dryad which frequently manifests when I’m tripping in the woods, and the cave spirit, which claimed to be the same thing. I’ve seen various figures/characters and other entities in CEVs which did not speak to me.

This one spoke to me very clearly, and in great detail. That’s a first for any of my trips. I’ve heard other psychonauts describe the realm this thing and other entities inhabit as “hyperspace”. But knowing what I do about the astonishing complexity of the human brain, I know it has the power to fabricate everything I saw, and that this is a more likely explanation.

“You’re just the shrooms talking” I asserted. It pulled back in apparent digust or frustration, then turned away from me. I was carried away from it as if in a current of some sort. I saw more of that hyperdimensional machinery. Grids, arrays, getting closer and closer. Seeing all the little moving parts in greater and greater detail.

I felt sweaty by this point so I took a bath. The visuals resumed. It felt as if the trip was going much longer than shroom trips are supposed to but I wasn’t actually monitoring the passage of time, it may well have only been two or three hours. I had a nice long soak in steamy hot water.

The tub seemed to be constantly shifting, changing shape around me. If I closed my eyes and gripped my thighs or upper arms, it felt as if my limbs were constantly changing shape too. The rack which holds the soap and loofahs looked like a heart, lungs, intestines and ribcage. The heart was visibly beating.

The CEVs in the tub were so “soft”. Liquidy, as I suppose they should be. I put some music on. The album “Coloris” by the artist “She”. It was exactly the right stage of the trip for this. The music took physical form in my mind. The shapes, materials and textures that the sounds suggested all appeared to accompany them.

There was carbon fiber. Pieces of it arranged like reptile scales, then piano keys. There were angular brushed steel shapes, and a wispy, pulsating rainbow energy moving throughout all of it. None of it really resembled anything specific. I could describe the shapes and materials but they never formed anything corresponding to the real world.

I suddenly felt sick to my stomach. I got out of the bath, sopping wet, then puked several times into the toilet. It’s possible to resist, but you just keep feeling sick if you do that. If you instead surrender to it and puke, the nausea then disappears very rapidly and the trip intensifies somewhat.

I felt all sorts of tingling and pulsing in my limbs, especially my hands and feet. I felt so relaxed. When the music was interrupted by ads (Spotify) I was even interested in the ads. But everything they said seemed to echo and loop back on itself. Finally I started coming down.

When I felt like I could eat again I cut off a section of baguette and heated it up. I found myself wondering why microwaving bread makes it softer rather than harder. But how wonderfully warm, soft and steamy it became! It was a sensory delight to eat that bread. It made me reflect on how simple foods can be pleasurable in their own pure way.

Like where you just appreciate the innate flavor and texture of the bread without needing to add anything to it. Same goes for cheese, fruit, meat, or whatever else. It eventually was too much bread for me so I put a little bit of turkey inside after cutting the bread open. It gave it a chewy, savory center.

There should be a cooking on shrooms TV show, shouldn’t there? Anyways I could not for the life of me get any writing done. It’s weird, I am very productive on NBOMEs and even acid, but mushrooms wipe me out. LSD disables me somewhat. NBOMEs not at all (perhaps the opposite). Mushrooms however are totally incapacitating.

It was dark out by this point. I thought to myself that I need to wait until it’s warmest to do a night time trip. There’s just a few nights per year when it’s warm enough at night to go out and do a night time trip without a jacket. It’s great fun, since darkness (as discussed earlier) causes CEVs to mix with OEVs. It’s also an opportunity to watch the stars dancing around.

At last the visuals were totally gone, though I still felt disoriented. I went to bed, strange thoughts occupying my mind. Strange, unfamiliar thoughts, as if not my own. Every time I take shrooms it reminds me why I take them so infrequently, but by the next time I’ve forgotten.

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