I’m very good at setting goals. And somewhat terrible at achieving them. I’m getting better with age and experience, but one constantly eludes me: writing. That’s probably the only reason I even keep this page up; it’s something to do.
I’ve always considered myself a writer, yet seldom write anything. In school, I would get amazing grades in English. It didn’t matter if it was dealing with parts of speech or a book report or whatever. I could bullshit my way through to an “A” effortlessly. Maybe that’s why I struggle so much now, because everything I write still sounds like bullshit to me. I never had to try very hard and people were impressed.
It’s much harder to impress yourself.
But whenever I read a good book or see a good movie, it generates new ideas in my head and I think, “That would be a good story.” And there it sits until it dies. If I had a bucket for all my unused ideas…
But at least I’m practicing a little bit here and there. One day I’m going to have to try this for real.
Twin Peaks just came out after a 25 year hiatus and it is everything it should and could be. I discovered Twin Peaks later than most (about 2 years ago) but am I fucking glad I did. David Lynch is a mad genius and the world is a better place for his visionary wonders. Never have I been so frightened, so befuddled, so amazed. His work encompasses the totality of the human experience and in a way that has never been done before. So many times a movie or show will come out and it’s good, great even. But it’s a rehash of all the best bits of previous stuff. It’s difficult to create something new and fresh, but Lynch has done it (again). I cannot wait to see what is to come.
I once had an experience where I believed myself to have died. I was 23 and naive. Up til then my only experiences with mind-altering chemicals included alcohol, pot, and most recently mdma. My experience with ecstasy is worth telling in its own right but this is not the time. But running off the high of that experience I was eager and willing to try just about anything.
I was very intentional in trying psychedelics. Up til then I only had an academic knowledge but now it was time to have an experiential one. Try as I might I was unable to get anything I really wanted (mushrooms, acid, dmt, etc.). But I had heard about Salvia and even noted that it was legal in the state of California. That seemed an obvious place to start.
There was just one caveat; apparently it’s a very unpleasant experience for most users. Unpleasantness be damned, I was going to make it beautiful through sheer force of will. Or so I imagined.
Hell, at the time I thought I could handle anything. I was looking forward to having a so-called “bad trip.” I told myself that if I experienced a bad trip at the onset all the rest of my trips could be nothing but beauty. Oh the joys of delusional thinking.
I even chose to put on the scariest song I knew, aptly titled Get All You Deserve.
Check it out. It’s a good song in its own right but a terrible choice for tripping. Unless you’re looking for a bad trip.
I timed it so that I’d blast off right as the high hat comes in around the 3 minute mark. The song gets incredibly dark and sinister with an overwhelming sense of foreboding. The song still gives me the creeps and sends me back to that trip even today.
I loaded the bowl of my bong to the brim with the Salvia and took it all in, holding my lungs for as long as I could. I could feel my skin begin to crawl and tighten. I blew out the smoke and felt a heaviness sink in, as if my whole body were imploding or if I suddenly landed on Jupiter. As soon as I blew out that smoke my vision broke. I mean that literally. It was as if a pane of glass shattered in front of me, except it was my whole existence, or my perception of it. In its place a vortex appeared not disimilar to the portal scenes from Stargate.
I traveled down this blue tunnel and ended up in a world entirely in my head. Or out of it. The only thing that existed here was me and my longing to be back home again. Whole again.
My girlfriend Kelly was in the room with me and when I traveled to this other world I could still see her. Except she was made of wax. She had become a statue, or maybe she always was and I was just now realizing this, and I could walk around her and inspect. Suddenly I’d be somewhere else, only to be brought back to my room. Every time I returned things would duplicate.
I looked at my water bottle then looked away. When I returned my gaze there were two. Do this again and now four. This also happened with Kelly. There were a line of her wax statues, extending all the way to a million. All contained within my bedroom. Depth and matter no longer followed basic rules or laws.
Neither did time for that matter. The whole time all this was taking place my mind was attempting to “solve” the riddle. I couldn’t remember that I smoked a hallucinogenic drug, but I knew something was “wrong.” There was a wrongness to everything. Was I just now tuning into that fact or did something recently happen to make it this way? What was I doing before all of this wrongness began? Did I just arrive or have I always been here? Am I dreaming or dead or have I finally woken up? There was no way to tell.
But one thing was certain, I was experiencing this just as I had experienced anything else. In fact this felt far more real. Realer than real as Terence McKenna liked to put it.
I tried to find my way back. But how do you get out of a mental construct built entirely in your mind? Where is the exit?
It gradually dawned on me that there was no getting out of this. Wherever this was, it had become my new reality. I could not deny that. It simply was. Perhaps I truly did die then, for what other reason could all this be happening? I let go and embraced my new existence.
Wait, who said that? Kelly? Where is she?
I looked around and saw her face just inches before mine.
But no. Now I’m sucked back to this alternate dimension. I searched and called out. I had to find her. If I could hear her voice then she must be real. I raced around my mind looking but couldn’t find anything substantial.
I heard my name again. I was back in my room, my real room.
Thrown back again. Only to return. This back and forth cycle persisted for eternity, yet each time it repeated I could hold my grasp on “reality” just a little longer.
I was living the ending scene from Final Fantasy 8 now.
Eventually after what felt like eons I was returned to this plane of existence. Except now I wondered if I would be pulled away at any time. Was I still tripping? I could not say.
I spent the next two years constantly fearing that I was still locked in my own time loop, just imaging my own existence. And let me tell you a solipsistic existence is no fun.
It’s been 7 years or so since that trip and I’ve not fully recovered. Nothing before or since has shaken me quite like that night. I spent so much time in that “place” that I now feel as if I am 100 years old. The young reckless me really did die there and I am not quite as I once was. I lost something there. A piece of my humanity maybe. My ego surely.
There are real consequences to our actions. Don’t wait for life to smack you in the face to figure that out.
The newly adapted series to Neil Gaimain’s American Gods just released today and it is phenomenal. It’s everything that it should be and nothing more. I’ve never seen a more faithful adaptation. But that’s not really my point with this post.
It has dawned on me that Neil Gaiman has become my absolute favorite author. I didn’t realize this until I thought back to all of the novels that I’ve read by him. You can go back and see my post where I was first reading his stuff.
It’s a bit hazy now but I believe American Gods was the first book of his that I read. The Sandman next. Then Neverwhere. Or maybe the other way round. Either way, I’ve been systematically going through his bibliography and have yet to be disappointed. He deserves all the praise he has received.
He makes it all seem so easy. He hardly uses words that you are unfamiliar with, and if so it is easily divined through context. His plots are very natural and organic. Everything has its place and feels real.
He’s a genius, basically.
I’m glad I’ve found him. Or maybe it’s he who’s found me.
I’m reading through a Neil Gaiman biographic and in one section (lie, many sections) he’s talking about the impetus for his writing career. And of course it forces me think about my own path. And I think I have found one constant:
I want to do my own thing.
That’s it. It doesn’t matter if it’s writing, or music, or psychology, metaphysics, whatever. If it’s something I came up with and chose to do, I’m happy. If it turns out sucking, I’ll change to something else. But it’s this freedom to stop doing one thing and start doing another that is enticing. I don’t believe in restrictions and I don’t like being told how to think/speak/behave. Those are my own to divine and no one else.
And right now I just want to be lazy and read books.
Seventy-four years ago Albert Hofmann intentional took a drug he created called LSD. He took what he thought was only going to give him minor effects but underestimated its potency and mistakenly took a very large dose indeed.
Thus the first LSD trip was documented by the scientist who birthed it. The far-reaching effects of this discovery are still being felt today. Take note that little ol’ me is writing this post discussing it.
He wasn’t even trying to make an hallucinogenic drug. In my mind, this seems to imply he was working within the Tao. In Taoist traditions, one is “in balance” with the universe when one does not strive. When things are felt directly and then naturally left to unfold. The more one tries to control the world, the less control he has.
Since he stumbled upon this discovery, and the fact that it has had such a large impact, asserts to me that this was bound to happen. If not him, then someone else. But that this chemical, and the others like it, is needed for our planets survival.
There comes a point where if I eat enough mushrooms the veil to reality is removed. Lying beyond this wall is a being of supranatural power. She is a mirror and shows your karmic debt instantly. Every thought. Repeated. Emotion. Amplified. Fear. Terrorized. Love. Blissed.
You realize that life is nothing but a karmic simulation. You reap what you sow, so sow something beautiful or mire in your own shit.
Someone on Reddit posted this pic and it inspired a discussion about Salvia and it’s effects. Salvia is just fucking weird. There are certain qualities that are common to a psychedelic experience. Salvia defies them all. It takes thought and perception, twists and contorts those concepts, then fucks with your own processing of those distortions.
It’s akin to dreaming, but fully alert. You’re just fucked beyond all recognition. Nothing makes any sense and you have no ability to make sense of anything anyway. You become a passenger to this moving train of thoughts, images, and fears, all of which are completely and utterly out of your control. All you can do is succumb to the process and hold on for dear life.
One time I smoked Salvia I placed the bong down in front of me and blew out smoke. I didn’t smoke enough to be blown out of this cosmos but it started fucking with me anyway. I looked down at the crease in my pant legs and believed to be viewing large distant mountains. I looked at the cloud of smoke and believed myself to be a particle of smoke. The bong was my home and it was my mission to get back there.
Somebody once told me they became the wallpaper and were viewing the room from this new perspective. Another started waving his arms out to his side and ran around the room. He later told me he was flying. I’ve looked down at myself and seen my own body lying on the bed. I’ve seen a room shrink and disappear only to be replaced by a vast nothingness that is cold, dark and hungry. It holds you down for as long as it can and sucks the living soul from your flesh so when you return you’re nothing but a baby in a brand new world.
I had the most difficult time sleeping last night, or rather attempting to do so. I lay down in bed around midnight and for the next eight hours I think I totaled less than an hour’s worth of legitimate sleep.
Around 7 or 8 am though I did manage to sleep. And dream.
I dreamt that I was back at my old home in Chatsworth, CA. I have dreamed of this location numerous times, probably in the hundreds or close to it. Whenever I dream of this location the usual themes crop up: running (from what, who knows), searching (once again, no idea what for), and a bit of exploration. There are gates on either side of the house that section the backyard from the front yard. Usually I find myself navigating some sort of pattern into and through the house, into the back yard, around the house, around the block, etc. Always meandering and circling, much like this post so far.
Well last night it changed for the first time in years. A bunch of shit and drama happened that I now have no recollection but what I do remember is this. One of my bosses was helping me with something I needed assistance with. I entered the garage and started to fiddle with something. He comes over and tells me another way of doing it. I continue doing it my way and he becomes furious. He no longer wishes to help. I go over and talk to him and try to see if I can smooth things over but this just escalates the situation and I end up throwing in the towel and quitting (even though I wasn’t even working at the time).
Well after quitting I start hightailing it around the block. As soon as I start running around the first corner I throw my jacket to the floor so that I can run faster (apparently I am now in my work uniform although I don’t believe I was earlier). A woman I have never seen before starts chasing me with her hands outstretched. She is holding a red rose. She calls for me to stop. I keep running.
A few blocks down she is still begging me to stop but I persist. She starts to slow down and turn away, giving up chase. I feel bad and turn around and ask her what she wants. She wishes to show me a house and I get the feeling that perhaps sex is not out of the question. Her house is not far and inside is her husband/lover/whatever and he is naked and just sitting there waiting for us. He has the biggest balls I have ever seen, like literally 3 or 4 feet in diameter. I find this fascinating and wake up.