CONTEXT IS KEY
Good Day Steemians. Let’s take a ride into the recollection of my first “heroic dose” of psilocybin. I created this artwork (about 4 years ago) called “The Infinite Trip” to memorialize this pivotal event. Looking back on it there is much I would do differently now but as always, I have provided you with context for the artwork and a breakdown of the symbolic elements within the piece.
Due to the limitations of a flat surface, my lack of abilities and the “all-at-onceness” of 2D art, many of the pictorial representations have been abstracted in order to best suit the composition. At the bottom of the post you will find a 23 minute video that I made recounting the events as best as I am able to recall. Admittedly there are some discrepancies between the write up and the video and it is a bit hard to watch at points but if you have the time to stick with me you will find some solid gold nuggets embedded in it. Enjoy.
THE INFINITE TRIP
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 particular winter afternoon was weighted with anxiety and ambivalently lit by hopes of enlightenment. I ate the dried fungus straight out of the bag trying boldly to quell my body’s instinct 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.
"Ahah!! This is it."
Even after some 20 trips at that time I naively believed 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 world turned gray and the tides of heaven had begun to wane.
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.
Not An Hour In
I found myself paralyzed in an aborted illusion colonized by the strangest alien plant forms. They grew from the walls, they unfurled from the bed sheets, they dangled from the previously unnoticed cobwebs draped silently from the ceiling popcorn, and they penetrated my safe space from the emptiness between objects. It was as though a parade of writhing serpents had organized a colony of mobile flora, animating them in Totentanz, the Danse Macabre. They remained unrepentant of their physical impossibility. These intelligent flora weaved through my vision, whispering curses and mockery. They unfolded and folded themselves again into a stable scene that persisted for the next 4 hours.
Into the Skull Cavity of Gorgon
My room seemed to be a living canvas painted with the intention of a super positioned, virtual cephalod. Tentacles would reach out and caress my fear. Intestinal tracts pushed rainbowed demon fetuses in and out of physical space as they gurgled spells that conjured their deep space Overlord.
Out of the Depths Arose the Alien
All of the chaos and parading of the come up was apparently designed for the encore of the “Giver”. I laid there helpless, eyes fixed to an ancient executioner reciting something like meaningless Miranda Rights. 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. I am definitely hearing the voice 😀 “We are going to explode your Sun” it roared. “You Are the Son” it leveled; clearly a suggestive proposal.
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 knew then of exile. Time was a laughable concept and identity was relegated to a thing I had done repeatedly for Aeons. I knew then that we are nothing because God has no boundaries. God has no friend and no foe because he plays all roles. There is no verifiable identity, no separation and as such all works are innately fruitless. In the hopelessness and futility of my impotent existence, I understood that chaos is God’s comfort in eternity. Chaos is the closest “something” to a concept beyond God’s control. It felt like something other, and by extension a welcome relief.
As Above, So Below
“As above, so below” became the truest quip for the utter desolation of Eternity and its sister illusion, that being the polished mirror of the world. Purely unbearable, everlasting loneliness. The violence on Earth is the indelible imprint of the suffering in Eternity. “We are God”. It made too much sense.
The legends, the struggles, the religions, the progress, all seemed mere expressions of the necessary bewilderment of humanity along its descent from the terrifying Truth. How one gets any lower than perpetual terror boggles the mind, but we Are apparently lower.
In this brief voyage across the gap, I understood why “God so loved the World, He gave his only begotten Son”. God so loves the world because the world serves a purpose, a very very valuable purpose. The world is a necessary illusion. The advent of Time and Space allows the Creator to remove attention from its state of isolation and bring with it the concept of hope, albeit false hope. Hope and the passage of time are like a drink of water in hell. The illusory barriers between bodies, species and minds are among the most sacred of concepts and we are now the unwitting role players and manifestors of God’s ultimate need, that of separateness.
Today my hope is that maybe there is a friend, another God, something unnoticed and yet there in magnificent Glory. I hope this with all of my being. It is the prime factor motivating my faith in Jesus Christ. My faith is the consequence and expression of my ultimate hope- that the experience detailed above is complete illusion. Perhaps, just perhaps, there is a greater Creator who penetrates the illusion like a rainbow bridge across dimensions. Perhaps the psychedelic space is just one more concentric dimension immediately surrounding and interpenetrating the world but it in noway represents the totality of existence, no matter how convincing. I would never ask anyone to believe as I do, I only have my experience to pull from.
A Verbal Rundown of the Events of that Day
I filmed this explanation a few months back. It is basically a stream of consciousness and gives some deeper insights into my thinking surrounding these experiences. I have my eyes closed for awhile and the camera drifts off but if you bear with me I promise there are some solid gold nuggets in there. Not my best show but maybe interesting??
Thank you all for your continued support. I love you.