Before taking LSD, many people want to hear anecdotal reports of other LSD trip stories. We’ve collected some in this article.
SOMATIC VISION AND COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS
This story comes from Erowid, written by a user named “Lokapalas”:
“The onset consists of waves of the sensation – my attention begins to detach, wander, and small details of the landscape jump out. The lines of a leaf are more vibrant, the regularity of the lattice behind the plants becomes especially salient and clear. I feel euphoric, and my shoulders drop and I relax. I am tempted to laugh out loud.
Sound is a clear indicator; the air becomes crystalline, and my field of perception becomes spherical and much larger. I am not hearing with my [attention-limited] ears any longer, but with my whole perception. I can hear a dog barking echoing from the wall over my right shoulder from the window to my left, a truck downshifting on XX street a block and a half away, hear the dampening effect of the warmer, moister air next to the grass of the lawn as a tangible presence.
Some visuals begin; straight lines become chrome-edged, curves heavily shadowed in black. In general I don’t pursue visuals, favoring instead Large Thoughts. This marks the last point I find ‘normal’ attention forced upon me for the remainder of the experience and I decide to move inside and lie down…”
I saw god. Oh, should I have saved that one for last?
It begins as an understanding of how I perceive and the nature of the self. I am shedding selves moment to moment, sheaves of them falling away in a spiral around ‘me’. Each one is the mechanism of an individual perception, of thinking a thought. [I would say now that each one is a verb, an experience, an ‘action’ but more accurately an ‘interaction’.] I don’t associate my subjectivity with any one of them; rather my subjectivity is informed by them as a plant is by its leaves. I would say I ‘dispatch’ them for each purpose, but there is no separation of me from Me; rather each is created in the act of perceiving, thinking, and they are me the way my finger is me. Each little-m-me occurs at the interface, the product, of Me and Everything Else, is created by that interaction.”
The closest thing to this and the route to broadening consciousness, that is, ‘identification with formerly non-self’ is unalloyed attention.
Multitasking is silly, or rather any multitasking that requires conscious attention. [Here I was thinking of the kind of multitasking that is built in to our bodies – digesting food, up to perhaps balance while reading, etc.]
Cultivate attention; ‘never whistle while you’re pissing’ moves one notch further toward being my next tattoo.
Fewer things in every sense.
Possessions are so easy to have, but each carries with it
[or, more, demands you carry]
a tiny fragment of your values [devote a small amount of your attention to carrying it].
One is the constantly progressing product of interactions with the universe. Own nothing; keep near you the things you value. [‘Omnea mea mecum porto’.]
This is the Buddhist doctrine of clinging as explained by Alan Watts and others. Leap lightly and love each step. Any step not loved is a stumble. [I cry, just a little bit, reading this only two months later.]
Identification of self with more is something I bring back as a goal. The broader Self I can experience, the better. Individuals should be large in extent in time and space [and subject].”
EGO-DEATH AND PROFOUND INSIGHTS
Again, this story comes from Erowid’s vault. It is written by ‘Big Chief’:
“I couldn’t have asked for a better day to trip. It was well into autumn and the leaves were all shades of brilliant colors, some on the ground, some still clinging to the trees.
The day before had been quite cold, which had me worried I’d have to trip indoors, but on the day I was to trip, it was unusually warm, almost like summer, but with a crisp fall breeze. The sun lit the landscape so intensely that it reminded me of my last trip.
My friend T attributes days like this one to the Stoner God, a benevolent deity who blesses hippies and heads with nice days to trip on.”
“At this point, I experienced what I would later learn to call ego-death, but the feeling was alien and unpleasant as I desperately tried to cling to my sense of self while the drug acted to deconstruct it.
My mind felt fractured, as if I was existing is several places and times simultaneously. Cause and effect had lost all meaning, so I began to have disjointed memories with no sequential relationship to one another.
This led me to believe momentarily that time itself was an illusion, and that each moment in my life was occurring at the same time.
Questions like, “Who am I?” and “What is fundamental?” led to radical deconstructions of existence, because everything I thought could be abstracted one step further.
I found myself flailing to find a sort of cognitive ground – some fundamental thought upon which I could base my experience.
Time, space, personality, and causation had all failed in this, and lacking any reference point, my consciousness was a whirlwind of thoughts without context.”
“After walking for a long time, we arrived at the lake. The size and brilliance of it completely overwhelmed me.
As we wound around the shoreline, I admired the plants around me, which had taken on a painterly quality – instead of continuous lines, they looked like bold strokes of color moving independent of one another.
Finally, we found a shady spot near the water’s edge and sat to eat.
At that moment, I felt completely at one with the universe and my companions.
I reached the conclusion that all life is really a manifestation of the same universal life-form. Realizing that this life would continue forever without me, I had no fear of death, though I felt fortunate to have been given a portion of this life to do with as I please.
As I sat in perfect bliss, marveling at the implications of my insights, I realized that I was home.”
BREAKTHROUGH ON BICYCLE DAY
Our last story also comes from Erowid. It is written by a user named ‘LucidStudies.’
“I slipped a quarter-inch blotter under my tongue. The paper was thick, almost like cardboard, and adorned with fractal patterns….
After about four hours, the mental effects became more prominent. There were looping and wandering thoughts, somewhat reminiscent of the confusion produced during the onset of a mushroom trip.
But there were also moments of lucidity, reflection, and clear articulation….
This was our bicycle day: A day to discover the true power of LSD.
11:55 AM: C & I take 1 tab each and hold them under our tongues. There is a bit of a chemical taste. It is not like the sickly-bitter taste of a DOx blotter, it is the metallic taste of a significant dose of lysergic acid. It washes away with a sip of water.
12:05 PM: I put on an album of relaxing music. C shows me a necklace he recently got: A silver serotonin molecule! Something I’ve seen many times before in pictures but never yet laid eyes on in person. It’s beautiful.
12:30: We are very talkative. I show him a diagram of the LSD molecule online and discuss the differences between lysergides and tryptamines. Then the conversation drifts and we talk about the Dreamachines invented by Brian Gysin. I’d like to build one as a decor
ation for my home. C talks about how primitive stroboscopic light experiments like Gysins influenced more sophisticated light-flicker therapies that came later on.
12:40: We’re still only feeling the faintest of effects. There’s a little bit of chest tension, and we’re feeling anxious, as though something big might happen soon. There is also a noticeable body high. But definitely no visuals.
12:50: We had agreed that if we weren’t overwhelmed by around the one hour point, we would consider a second dose. Perhaps I didn’t give as much thought as I should have to the unusual potency of these blotters, and the possibility they might take more than an hour to sink it. I go to my sheet and cut two more squares off with a pair of scissors. Soon we are tasting the chemical again while music plays behind us.
1:00: C is seeing rippling patterns with his eyes closed. I feel tenseness under my skin and a connection between my state of being and C’s. I feel that the same energy is rippling through us both, what is behind his eyes and under my skin is the same force. Nobody else can understand my state except for him.
1:05: C puts his iPod on to listen to his own music. I turn mine off, finding that I prefer the silence.
1:15: C is getting sucked into his own world now. He finds it’s easier not to talk. I cannot find a neutral state and I cannot ignore the fact that something enormous is starting to happen. Silence is very powerful.
1:20: C is completely swept away. So am I. It is difficult to speak.
1:30: There are still more closed than open-eye visuals. But the raw sensation of the drug is becoming intense. Our faces are flushed, and there are feelings of pressure against our skin. I see a flash of emotion appear in C’s face. I ask him, “What are you feeling?” He says, “Euphoria. I wasn’t expecting it, but… it’s really strong.” His face twists into a strange smile. So does mine.
1:35: I am stricken by a wave of anxiety mixed with mild nausea. The euphoria is deepening… the substance seems to sink into every atom of my flesh. It is getting difficult to manage.
1:40: I wander into the bathroom and throw up. I feel better afterwards. I brush my teeth and wander back out to the study.
1:45: I play a song. In the chorus, the artist sings, ‘And I puuuuuuuuuush your body out into space…’ I close my eyes, and there I am: Floating in a great black void. The singer’s words propel me as he continues: ‘Let it go, watch it drift awaaaaaaaaaay…’ and away I drift. Living the song, floating in space.
1:50: The song ends. I open my eyes and look at C. He looks very peaceful.
1:55: The substance is rising in intensity. It’s not peaceful anymore. I am dumbfounded. C looks panicked. We are both starting to get dizzy.
2:00: I look into C’s wide-open eyes. He is becoming overwhelmed. He looks at me. ‘Oh Fuck…’ he says. It is beginning to dawn on him just how powerful this thing is that he will be inundated with for the next ten hours.
I respond to his outburst: ‘Yes, I know. The world’s not the same as it was yesterday, is it?’
In a hushed whisper, C replies “…no, it’s not.”
“The only thing that bothers me is that I can’t define it. I can’t explain what’s changed about the world. But everything’s changed. It’s just too much to put into words!”
When we close our eyes, we are met with kaleidoscopic swirls, abstract patterns, and bizarre flowing textures. C saw something that looked like fishnet stockings with eyeballs emerging from them.
2:15: C looks like he might fall over. He tells me he needs to lay down. He asks me to get him a blanket, so I run into the other room and grab my familiar black, red and blue quilt. C covers himself, saying ‘I think I just need to go with this.’ He closes his eyes, pulls the blanket over his head, turns on his music player and slips away into his own universe…
2:30: The substance peaks, and we are both awestruck. A great and terrifying realization is dawning on us. It feels like we are waking up to a greater truth. A truth that is extremely difficult to accept.”
He finishes up with…
“The awed silence that C and I experienced, coupled with that penultimate sensation of throbbing bone-deep euphoria to the point of bitter frustration, this was comparable not only to a shocking experience that induces spiritual growth.
It was also comparable to being in the direct presence of a higher power. Imagine the feeling of waiting your entire life to ask God a few important questions.
Then one day he appears before you, and he is so strange, so powerful and so beautiful, that you can’t even dare to open your mouth. You can only stare in awe, knowing that the answers do not matter.
That is a lot like the feeling I got from the energy of lysergic acid coursing through my flesh and blood into my soul. I was in the presence of something so much bigger than myself that I could only bow down in quiet appreciation, hoping not to disgrace the holiness of the moment.”