At the age of 19 I endured an episode of mind-bending, reality-altering agony. There were a lot of things happening to me at the turn of the millennium the most memorable of which were regular journeys through psychedelic innerspace. I was eating magic mushrooms every month or so in a very sincere attempt to confirm Terrence McKenna’s descriptions of hyper-spatial entities that “taught” under the so-called “heroic” dose. My anticipation on this winter afternoon was weighted with anxiety and ambivalently lit by hopes of wisdom.
I ate the dried fungus straight out of the bag trying boldly to quell my body’s propensity to heave. The tinge of expectation swept me, quite rapidly out of the afternoon world and into some paradisaical purgatory where time ceased and all was gentle and bright. I was elated and convinced of this fast track beyond the world of suffering. That was it. I had stumbled upon the ingredients of Utopia. A bit of curiosity, a dash of courage and a pinch of intention apparently composed the feast of the gods and satisfied the hunger of my ancestors. I felt capable, optimistic and certain. And as swiftly as the bliss had come the tides of heaven had retreated from my lost soul. Prehensile hallucinations wound their relentless strangeness through the crevices of my disbelief. I moved to my bedroom to lay down. Gazing skyward at the unfurling cathedral called dementia I asked myself the loaded “Why?” of a coping egoist. Flip. Click. “Uh oh?!”. Unimaginable answers to each facet of every potential tweak on what the question could mean cascaded out of my eyes in streams of Mayan gold.
The nascent wonder, the unmanageable reality of doubt unfiltered became all too much for a domesticated, western boy. I was paralyzed before a living god whose home is the void between stars. Citrine tentacles descended from what was once the far corner of my bedroom. Utterly transfixed by the gaze of a hyper-intelligent, extraterrestrial kraken I realized that I was definitely ill-informed. The scene was violently beautiful and I was paralyzed with ineptitude. Chaos caressed my spine tapping into my dying energy. Galactic information pulsed through my body in Morse clicks. I was becoming no more. And then in true Cubensis fashion, when I could bear nothing else, a fresh twist metamorphosed from the destitution. A new being emerged from the husk of my personality. There, on a random Orange County evening, rested an alien. A poor child playing with the universe unearthed an identity-devouring monster within a stinky fungus. The irony of the plot was maddening. I did my best to cope. There was no explanation. There was no reason or meaning. It was cosmic hell. I remembered my family and how I would never return from this place to have them offer me another encouraging word or warm embrace. I dreamed of a partner who could rescue me. I wept and it went on unhindered.
Clutching vain imaginings of a divine matriarch, the beast held me there in stasis as it hissed the wonders of the universe into my mind. “We are going to explode your Sun” it roared. “You Are the Son” it leveled. Suggestive proposals and deep meaning surged from between the lines of these enormous statements. I could not help feeling like fallen Adam whose eyes were wide open. I saw the face of God and He was desperate. I knew then of exile. I knew then that we are nothing because God has no boundaries. God has no friend and no foe. There is no identity, no separation and as such all works are innately fruitless. I understood that chaos is God’s comfort in eternity for it is the closest concept to something beyond His grasp, something other. “As above, so below” became the truest quip for the utter desolation of eternity and the polished mirror of the world. Purely unbearable, everlasting loneliness. We are God. It made too much sense. The legends, the struggles, the religions, the progress, all seemed expressions of the necessary bewilderment of the uninformed human along his descent from Truth. I understood why “God so loved the World, he gave his only begotten Son”…The world serves a purpose, a very very valuable purpose. It seemed to arise in an instant when God screamed helpless into the void and shattered himself into infinite form. The barriers between bodies, species and minds became the most sacred of concepts and we are now the victims of our God’s ultimate need. The advent of Time and Space allowed the Creator to remove attention from its state of isolation and brought with it the concept of hope. Today my hope is that maybe there is a friend, another God. Moreover, my hope is that this experience was a complete illusion.