Attention is your true source of wealth. — Sam Harris
Here’s a summary of one of my trips (my third trip). It was not my favorite trips. It was exhausting and I only took around 100–140 msg (1 tab). You never know exactly how much msg of LSD you are taking if you do not take it in a lab for research but most of us trying it do not have that privilege.
I have also written a blog post on my view of psychedelics if you would like to read it:
My LSD Trip: An Exploration Into The Experience of Altering Consciousness
Attention is your true source of wealth. — Sam Harris
My goal here is to show that this drug can indeed be harmless and that it is not always a ride down pleasure road, so to speak.
- I take having LSD as a serious experiment. It was under a relatively controlled environment (among friends) and it was not to enhance a night out at the club — not that that’s necessarily bad. I personally do see myself doing that in the next year or two. This was, however, not to enhance a good night with friends. It was to understand LSD. I made sure to meditate for 30 minutes the morning of and do plenty of research into the drug and some of the revelations you may have.
- This was also not the first time I took this psychedelic. I took it twice before. My first experience was fairly negative. My second was less noticeable. Both times I took less than half a tab (50 micrograms or so). This time I decided to take a bigger hit but still a relatively small amount compared to what you have to take to have an out-of-body experience. I took one tab (something close to 100–150 micrograms).
- I took it with three other close friends and we had three other friends at the house to look over us.
- It takes a while to kick in and so for the first hour or so we were barely feeling it. Somewhere around the one hour mark, we started noticing sensations to an extreme extent. We started smelling essential oils which hurt in a good way. It was difficult to stand up and even more difficult to eat.
- It is known that you will not be hungry if you take LSD. So, I wasn’t expecting to eat. But some friends wanted to try eating some burritos and so we all started eating even though we were not hungry at all. It took a long time and chewing was difficult which amused us all.
- By the second hour, we were starting to feel incredibly self-conscious about our state. We had to ask our three friends to leave. One of the gents that took LSD with us decided to go with them.
- And so, it was just the three of us.
- We had to ask our friends to leave because it was excruciating to have interactions with them. We were unable to identify with their thoughts. All of us agreed that socially it was very difficult to have conversations when we were being laughed at and/or analyzed. They were not necessarily laughing at us but it came across that way. The psychedelic made all three of us self-conscious to the point of being unreasonable. One of us described it later the next day when we all sat down to reflect on the experience, as embodying insecurity.
- We are all insecure. And so, it’s unsurprising that when the barriers to our minds are broken down, we feel these insecurities strongly. But it was surprising how unpleasant this was. Social cues were so noticeable that it was almost like we were becoming aggressive as a response.
- We decided that we can’t talk about being high because it was dragging us down a rabbit hole that we didn’t want to be in for the rest of the trip. So, we put Cat Returns by Hayao Miyazaki, Ghibli Studio, on.
- It took me 15 minutes to realize that I couldn’t get over my interactions with my friends. I had to leave the room and go into a separate room and try to distract myself. At this point, I kept reminding myself that “This isn’t real.” Thoughts were painful and difficult to shake. I started listening to music and tried to play some guitar.
- I came back and the movie was finished, to my surprise. It seemed like I was gone for the duration of a couple of songs but I was absent for the entire duration of the movie.
- The three of us were still alone.
- Once I joined them, the effects started diminishing. LSD is meant to last for 6–7 hours. I started feeling less anxious bodily but the mental high was still there. Senses were still intense and thoughts were as serious and personally offensive as before.
- We decided to use the rest of our time in isolation to meditate on our lives and this experience. So, I decided to take a walk downtown. I must have been walking around from 40 minutes — 1 hour.
- I started having some morbid thoughts where I would suddenly embody another person and know exactly why they had said something to me in the past. For some reason, I started visualizing the reasons someone would say something. These thoughts would come to me at random and when they’d arise they were excruciating and seemingly true. I can’t imagine not guessing the intentions of the people that came to mind. It was as if I had some telescope with which I could look through and see precisely the motivation behind a conversation from someone else’s perspective.
- I compared it to this thought analogy: normally when you are troubled by something you can’t stop thinking about it for an entire evening. If you were awkward or rude and you sincerely regret it, for example. Now imagine that same intensity of not being able to forget a thought but happening continuously and switching every seven seconds or so for another thought that resembles that last one in intensity.
- As I was walking around downtown, I noticed that I was also very self-conscious about what I was wearing, as I had sweatpants on and a fancy winter jacket and, for some reason, that juxtaposition bothered me.
- I came back home.
- Our fourth friend (who was also on LSD) came back with his girlfriend.
- We started discussing our experiences. We were still feeling high but to a lesser extent.
- Our fourth friend, surprisingly, had the direct opposite experience that the three of us had. We were wondering whether we were feeling it so strongly because we kept reinforcing these negative thoughts in each other.
- Our fourth friend was in the company of sober people that were feeling happy. He described himself as full of endorphins.
- Towards the end of our conversation, the first two friends that I was with all day decided to go to sleep.
- For the next two hours, me and my other friend with his girlfriend were driving around town (the sober one driving the car).
I hope this can show how lsd is not that drastic. Well, this is one tab, notably.
As I wrote in my already mentioned blog post on my view of psychedelics, I believe that it is good to show that pleasure is not all there is when embarking on a “trip”. Nonetheless, it is good to warn those who seek adventures in psychedelics. The author Yuval Noah Harari does a good job at that. I will finish with a quote from the author:
Some 2,300 years ago Epicurus warned his disciples that immoderate pursuit of pleasure is likely to make them miserable rather than happy. A couple of centuries earlier Buddha had made an even more radical claim, teaching that the pursuit of pleasant sensations is in fact the very root of suffering. Such sensations are just ephemeral and meaningless vibrations. Even when we experience them, we don’t react to them with contentment; rather, we just crave for more. Hence no matter how many blissful or exciting sensations I may experience, they will never satisfy me. — “Homo Deus” by Yuval Noah Harari
Before you go…
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I write to keep you thinking and to keep me thankful and reflective. Cheers and until next time,