This is A WORLD OUT OF MIND, my Online Journal where I explore Consciousness and the Ultimate Nature of Reality by the intentional alteration of my own belief structures, using Salvia Divinorum and additional self-altering meditational techniques drawn from Western Ceremonial Magic.

I always attempt to adhere to the scientific method as much as possible in my explorations, and while I often speak of these experiences as if I knew they were Truth, I always consider the alternative, that it is merely self-deception on my part, and think accordingly. Thus I maintain two parallel world views at once, one aspirational and one a safe fallback into standard materialism.

The more I journey into salviaspace, the more I think the former worldview is the correct one, but there is no objective way to prove that to the world, so I'll let you, the reader, decide for yourselves.

-Saint Brian the Godless

Follow me on Twitter @AWorldOutOfMind

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Powerful Mantra, Given Unto Me

Had an unusual experience last night. (Of course, they're all unusual...)

I found myself in a realm of words, a very dark place. Phrases, thoughts, words, parts of sentences, all around me, permeating me. I was adrift there, with almost no sense of self at all, practically unconscious, but then a short phrase popped into prominence in my mind, and for some reason I clung to it like a life preserver at sea. I did not think of it. It was just *there* all of a sudden, amongst all the myriad others. This phrase had the odd property of forcing me to notice it, and then causing me to focus on being balanced and not allowing me to get distracted by all the other thoughts and phrases and whatnot. It kept me centered in that dark and confusing realm.

I took great pains to remember the phrase, which was very difficult.

It was "I Love This Feeling, In The Exact Middle"

This phrase has an unusual quality that caused me to be able to hold onto it. It is prominent, self-referential and creates a property in my mind of "self-correcting focus."

The first part is psychological bait. It focuses the emotions like a magnet on the phrase itself, which focuses them in turn on the feeling of the moment, which is of course the experience itself.
The second part is the rudder. It kept me balanced and not distracted. I kept to the "middle." The word "exact" added power to it, a sense of extreme precision. Using this phrase I began to rise through many, many levels of consciousness toward waking consciousness. It was just like an elevator; holding onto it, and it holding onto me, I rose toward waking reality, through so many levels that it felt like I was at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, and rising through miles and miles of "water." It was accompanied by the sensation of awakening, and then awakening again, and again, and yet again, over and over, as if at each level I had to "wake up" to that level, and then strive once more to awaken to the next level, and then the next. I even got a visual sensation of me being balanced on a "waterspout" and the phrase kept me from falling off to the sides as I rose. (Kept me in the "middle.") I would not have been able to remember the deep part of the experience at all if not for the phrase helping me to retain the knowledge of it.

This phrase felt like it was given to me as a gift. I will incorporate it into all my future meditations. I can remain focused with it running in my head regardless of how turbulent the "waters" of my mind are. It feels very powerful somehow.

I should note that the phrase consists of two parts of exactly sixteen letters each, four words to each part for a total of eight. A very symmetrical phrase, numerologically powerful. One phrase in two parts, four words in each, a total of eight words, sixteen letters to each part, thirty-two letters in all. 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32. Amazing, because I did not think of it. It just happened.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Dream Within A Dream?

Last night I had a long experience which involved feeling my body passing through membranes that were the borders of universes. At least that's what it felt like. At one point I felt my face pressed up against a sheet that flexed like rubber, a clear and vivid sensation of a border between spaces that are not visible or possible to sense in a normal state of mind. Then I also sensed the 'texture' of reality itself, as if it were composed of this flexible, almost gelatinous substance that takes on any form that we want it to.

All of which can of course be merely an illusion, my mind interpreting hallucinations in a believable way. That would be the right answer for a rationalist to reach.

However, this is the part that puzzles me, the part that doesn't fit into that rationalist's box:

At the end of it all, as often happens, I felt the space around me distorting, a visible distortion of the room around me, a twisting, a flexing of space itself, or so it seemed. It progressed through me and I saw it getting larger, more pronounced, and then I heard a series of panicked grunts.

My dog, resting on the bed a few feet away from me, saw it too. I mean, there can be no doubt. I was paying attention to the 'field' of distortion, and saw it moving toward the dog, and fully expected him to react (which he has many times in the past, as chronicled here on this blog) and he did not disappoint. He rolled his eyes in near-panic, and made those grunting noises as the 'field' approached him. I know my dog. He was clearly afraid. And he was also clearly not looking at me, but at the distortion that I too could see. He even moved back as the edge of the 'field' approached him.

I've been looking at this wrong, I think. I keep putting it in terms of 'universes' and 'multiple realities', insisting to myself that it must somehow fit into the paradigm of what science has decided is real or at least hypothetically real, but lately I'm coming around to the idea that all of that is just illusory, all of science is just illusory, all of human knowledge is just illusory. Oh, it works just fine when applied in our particular communal dream world where we've agreed on the rules, but it's useless in even attempting to describe the deeper nature of reality because it is rooted in our *belief* of how things work rather than how they actually work. The scientific mind-set is still of great value, but the data and all that prior experience is not of much use at all outside our little box, and will merely serve to further deceive us in most cases.

This is a dream, a consensual, communal dream, and so all that other stuff that we like to assign to it is ultimately false in the larger picture. Science, that enormous edifice of knowledge, that pyramid of observations and data and experimental results and advanced theories, is something truly beautiful that we have built, and we should be proud of it. However it is I think something that we have also created, hewn out of the infinitely malleable "substance" of this particular reality. We have built upon what has gone before, layer by layer, and then decided that it is true, 'proven' that it must be true, and so it becomes true to us. However, this is still Maya causing us to deceive ourselves, only on a global, long-term level.

Maya deceives, and what's left after all the deception? The deceiver itself. Maya. Reality is deception by nature, for the simple reason that it gives us what we are expecting it to, every time, and at all levels of examination, from the smallest to the largest. Given that, we cannot help but deceive ourselves.

Even perhaps while on salvia. One must be careful to not be too quick to accept anything to be true on first blush.

The idea of me sensing different universes is all well and good, but how does the dog see them too? That's the sticking point. I'm the one on salvia. Logically, he should not be able to sense anything, even if hypothetically I am actually sensing what it seems that I am sensing.

So I asked myself, what *would* the dog be able to sense? What kind of disturbance could I hypothetically create in my room that a dog can see, just by me seeing it?

If I see the borders of universes or distortions in space because I have sufficiently altered my senses and changed my perceptions of reality so that I can see them, that's me seeing them. Good for me. However, the dog would not see them, because he doesn't normally see them when I'm not seeing them, or at least it certainly doesn't appear that he ever does. My being able to see them does not in any way translate to my dog also being able to see them. So perhaps that's not what they are.

What can they be? What would the dog sense as well? Only one possible answer as far as I can see.

Distortions in the communal dream itself.

If we all co-create reality, it logically follows that if one of us suddenly alters their expectations of said reality on such a basic level that it alters their contribution to the dream itself, produces a "ripple" in the communal dream, a subtle distortion of the gestalt experience, that would be the kind of thing that hypothetically a dog might be able to see or at least sense. Or a sleeping person, like all those times that my sleeping wife reacted to it as well.

If these things were actually multiple universes, or distortions in space, how could me seeing them on salvia possibly cause my dog to see them too?

Not possible. Not even remotely possible.

However, if this is all a communal dreamlike state in which we, all observers, even animals, contribute to the "final product", then a sufficient alteration of my contribution to the experience might hypothetically distort the communal experience enough for another being to sense something amiss.

This is what I'm coming to. All the quantum physics research that points to multiple realities is a blind alley, or perhaps at best a shadow of the truth cast upon the wall of our dogged insistence upon a belief that all is and must be as it appears to be. It's just what happens when we look at the dream closely enough, in enough detail. Reality, which it so say the Dream of Reality, is merely giving us what we expect it to in that context: Apparent possible explanations for the inexplicable. That's why they make little sense to us. Because we're trying to define and examine a reality that isn't there, and the dream of reality is allowing us to find things that seem to explain it.

But that's all just us trying to define the box from inside it. Not gonna happen.

If we always get what we expect to find in some way, then the only way to see the truth is to realize that they truth is merely that we always get what we expect to find, and knowing that, one can deduce that the true nature of reality is just that and that alone, no other frills attached.

That's it. We're done here. No need to go further into it. It really is just that simple.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

My Left Hand (with apologies to Daniel Day Lewis)

Last night I had a very realistic experience, a wild vision. Wild in the sense that it was so clear and "mundane," and yet so unbelievable.

After taking salvia, I sat there eyes-open and saw my reality become pixelated and 'static-y.' Everything was 'snow' like in a television set tuned to an off-the-air channel, but with the room still clearly visible, albeit snowy. Everything was made of static, my body included. I had the compelling sense that my own body was just a part of the illusion that is reality, that it was a part of the surroundings and not a part of the real me. (I've had this happen many times in the past, too.)

When I'm in this state, I can touch a passing cloud of static and feel it. Feel it with my hand, and feel it passing through my hand.

I could feel the static inside of me as well. My whole body felt pixelated and made of static, even on the inside.

Sitting there, my attention went to my left hand, which felt strange across the back, near the base of my fingers. So I looked down at it and there was a dark, reddish bar across the hand where it was tingling. Like a dark red band of shadowy 'static' brass-knuckles on the back of my hand where the strange sensation was, overlapping the base of my fingers. It felt icy-cold and tingly, and it moved with my hand. This was just the beginning though, because when I raised the hand up in front of me to look at it, what I saw was frankly amazing.

My whole hand was pixelated static, like bad reception on television, with vertical gaps in it!

In other words, here I am looking at my own hand and it's divided by vertical slices taken out of it, as if those parts of my hand simply hadn't properly coalesced. Each gap was approximately a half-inch wide, perfectly straight with straight edges, and aligned along the long axis of my hand, from fingertips to base of palm. About three or four slice-like gaps, through which I could clearly see the room behind my hand showing through. Move the hand, and see the background move through it as if the slices were real, actual gaps. As far as I could tell, they were. I could see details of the room around me very clearly through them as I moved the hand, as if those parts of my hand simply were not there.

This startled me greatly, so I went into 'automatic wake-up mode' as I've conditioned myself to do in such cases, and so became very coherent and rational, examining the phenomena, which did not dissipate. The gaps moved with the hand; they were not fixed in space but were fixed in relation to the hand. The background (room, walls, carpet) was clearly visible in detail through the slices and seemed to be undeniably real and true. And even stranger, I could feel each gap as an icy-cold tingling void in the hand. I could feel the gaps. Clearly feel them. No pain at all, just tingling icy cold vertical gaps in my hand.

This experience was so convincing and realistic, seeming even more real than regular reality, that in the moment I said to myself, "it's hard now, with seeing this, to ever think that the Universe is not made up of consciousness again."

I think that these sorts of experiences are more compelling to me than when I encounter another personality like in my previous two posts. More real somehow. More indicative of the true nature of reality than encountering a 'demiurge' or feeling like the "One" gone insane. Those things are likely projections of my own thoughts, but I wouldn't think of something like this. It startled the hell out of me.

This world is a projection of pure consciousness, and anything else that we take it to be, is just us deluding ourselves into a deeper belief in the illusion. That's pretty much where I'm at now, and this experience is definitely something that is pushing me over that edge into belief that consciousness is the ground of all being.

The real me, is my consciousness. My body, and all my surroundings are no more than parts of a very realistic communal dream, and with salvia I can see the curtain pulled back on all of that and the real world show through, sometimes with disturbing clarity.

Sometimes it even "shows through" half-inch gaps in my own hand.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Darkest Interpretation

I must preface this by saying that I think salvia is potentially as deceptive as reality itself (Maya) can be, so nothing gleaned while using it can be positively known to be the truth. I take this as a comfort in the context of what I am about to relate:

The Darkest Interpretation Of Reality

On many trips I have found myself in a situation where I seem to just know things about the Universe. In many of these I have run across a dark interpretation of reality that I've never heard any of the New Age crowd talk about. Oh sure, I hear them talk about how All Is One and how great that is, and how we are all facets of the One that is All There Is, and when we die we return to that source, that loving source of all, and how mindblowingly wonderful that must be. I mean, it does sound pretty good. And I do get a strong sense that we are indeed all facets of the One Thing; that we are indeed all One.

The people that believe in such things generally say that the One separated into the Many in order to create the Universe and all within it. It was an act of love, so they claim. What else would it be?

On my travels into salvia space, I heard something else. (More accurately sensed it as if it had happened to me)

The One did indeed separate into the Many, but that was no act of love. It was an act of desperation fueled by abject horror.

The One went insane, you see.

The One was ALL that there was, the only single solitary thing in existence, and eventually after eons of that, it fractured into the Many in much the same manner that a schizophrenic descends into madness- out of sheer stark-raving terror. It was so *lonely,* so very *lonely,* and it could only hold dialogue with itself. More utterly *alone* than anything we humans can even begin to imagine, utter terror, the darkness of madness, and the prospect of eternal fearful isolation drove it to fracture itself into many minds all desperately trying to cling to and believe that they really are individuals which are completely separate from each other and above all else, that they're really definitely positively not in actuality only one being.

(please oh please oh please let's never ever ever let ourselves remember that we're really all just one solitary being, not that, not ever, never please never, anything but that...)

The whole reason we're "here" is so that we don't have to be *there.* There with the One, there in that awful state of knowing full well that we are not we, we are instead I, and I am fucking lonely and afraid and absolutely mindlessly terrified of my reality as the only fucking being in all existence. Not just the only being, but the only thing! Hell, there *IS* no existence, only me.

Anything but that, anything but that, anything but that. Worse than death is eternal solitude. Worse than death is not being the Many. Worse than death is being all that there is.

We cling to this reality with all our might, because it is the balm that soothes our brow, the sanity that we lack in our natural state as The One Single Being with nothing to do but contemplate itself and go eternally fucking nuts because of it.

God has multiple personality disorder, times infinity.

The first time this came to me it overwhelmed me. I actually cried for The One in pity, feeling it's awful pain, vividly sensing it's despair and loneliness, and then TERROR STRUCK ME as I realized that it was myself that I was crying for, for I am it, and it is me, and we are/I am a royal fucking mess. Yes, we/I deserve pity if anyone does, but there's no one to pity me but me, no one else to turn to for comfort, and no way to deal with myself and what I really am and remain sane other than to deny to myself that that's what I really am. I must live a lie or face my own insanity.

So that's what I've been doing, for pretty much eternity now. Reality is a by-product of my desperate need to distract myself.

I am the subject and the object. Not nearly as much fun as being the Alpha and Omega, let me assure you.

So the multitudes are all a self-inflicted wound to distract me from the fact that I am all there fucking is, and all there fucking ever will be, forever and ever, amen. Individuals of a certain introspective temperament such as myself seek one-ness, never realizing that we are only here as individuals in the first place because we are fleeing it desperately.

Maybe sometimes finding higher knowledge isn't such a good thing?

UPDATE 5/28/2014: Apparently the above experience is not unheard of, just not common. Also, and interesting to note, it's not known through an hallucinogenic/entheogenic drug experience but through meditation, a form of samadhi. This was brought to my attention by a reader:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ialdabaoth, the Demiurge

I recently ran across the writings of one "Brother Harmonious." (Thank you, Dioxippus) He mentioned Ialdabaoth, the Gnostic Demiurge. Some of the things he said seemed to relate to something I'd encountered while on salvia, so I researched it. I'd heard the concepts before but hadn't thought about them much recently, and had forgotten the details, so I just looked it up:

Two pertinent paragraphs:

"The word "demiurge" is an English word from a Latinized form of the Greek δημιουργός, dēmiourgos, literally "public worker", and which was originally a common noun meaning "craftsman" or "artisan", but gradually it came to mean "producer" and eventually "creator". The philosophical usage and the proper noun derive from Plato's Timaeus, written c. 360 BC, in which the demiurge is presented as the creator of the universe. This is accordingly the definition of the demiurge in the Platonic (c. 310 BC-90 BC) and Middle Platonic (c. 90 BC-300 AD) philosophical traditions. In the various branches of the Neoplatonic school (third century onwards), the demiurge is the fashioner of the real, perceptible world after the model of the Ideas, but (in most Neoplatonic systems) is still not itself "the One". In the arch-dualist ideology of the various Gnostic systems, the material universe is evil, while the non-material world is good. Accordingly, the demiurge is malevolent, as linked to the material world."


"Gnosticism presents a distinction between the highest, unknowable God and the demiurgic “creator” of the material. Several systems of Gnostic thought present the Demiurge as antagonistic to the will of the Supreme Being: his act of creation occurs in unconscious semblance of the divine model, and thus is fundamentally flawed, or else is formed with the malevolent intention of entrapping aspects of the divine in materiality. Thus, in such systems, the Demiurge acts as a solution to the problem of evil."

"In the most radical form of Christian Gnosticism, the Demiurge is the "jealous God" of the Old Testament."

See, I think I've met him. Or at least encountered him. Twice.

First time, I was looking at my television screen on salvia, and this grotesque male face poked out of the screen and glared around the room for a second or two. It seemed to be a part of a larger "mass" behind the television extending back beyond the wall of the room. All black, and dark tones of brown and reddish. Very, very angry looking, bearded, very MALE, no hint of any "yin" energy, the extreme of "yang." Violent, cruel, ruthless, warlike, aggressive, all the male traits carried to their extreme. Frightening, to be frank. Terrifying. Evil.

The next and last time I was eyes-closed and way out there at the fringes of our universe, and felt HIS presence again, but it was like he was this universe, or this universe was inside him; he formed the barrier which separates and cordons off this place from the rest of the ALL, from the Mind Which Is All That There Is, which is needless to say a much better place. I could clearly sense that after I die, I would have to experience HIM in some way, because I would be passing through HIM, which would not be pleasant, to say the least. However I was not without hope because I also saw (and sensed directly as only a salvia-tripper can understand) that HE was like a growth on the (much) larger whole of creation, and since I could not die, I would eventually be able to get through HIM and in time (whatever that means in this context) get past HIM to the better place. The place of the glowing green light, I think. The ALL.

So I see parallels here, with Ialdabaoth, the Demiurge. I wonder if there's anything to it. If there is, then I apparently have met the God of the Old Testament, Yahweh. PS: He's not very nice.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

More About Me And Salvia Divinorum: My First Experience

"It is thoughts of this world, that keep us in this world; silence them and begin your journey"
-Saint Brian the Godless

As a child I remember going to sleep at night and staring at the ceiling, thinking that there must be more to this world than meets the eye. I'd visualize the stars above my house and wonder what lay beyond them. Every single night I would fall asleep with a sense of yearning for something, for some idea of what all of this means. As I grew up, over the years, I found myself drawn to books that offered at least some limited explanation of this reality, so naturally I gravitated toward the sciences, mostly biology and physics. I never did become a scientist, but I did learn that the scientific method is the very best way in which to question most anything. This, I think more than most factors, shaped my growing mind. I saw the value of that method in cutting through self-deception and false expectations. I applied this modality of thought to my Catholic upbringing and it's dogmatic answers to my Important Questions, and immediately found it sadly lacking. I eventually came to the realization that there are two kinds of people in this world; those who believe, and those who reason, and I was firmly ensconced in the latter camp. By this I mean that I needed to question everything, even myself, because I was getting some understanding of the fact that we humans are very flawed beings, and any one of us can be wrong about anything at any time. I observed that believers seemed to lack the ability to question themselves; in point of fact on many important matters they are explicitly forbidden to do so by the dogma of their religion. This is against my nature. I question everything, especially myself. So I became an agnostic. I sometimes call myself an atheist, but only because I cannot bring myself to believe in a Theos, in an anthropomorphic creator deity. Forces and fields, sure, but not a God as it were. Agnostic is a better term, because I strongly felt that logically we cannot be absolutely sure that there is no God, no matter how much our scientific observations seem to contraindicate the need for one. I suppose I remain one to this day, at least in the sense of not being able to believe in a deity as most religions think of one, but I still have hope; not that there is a God, but that there is meaning.

As I grew up, my curiosity about the Universe and reality never waned. As I said, I had no "God-Shaped Hole" in my heart, but I hoped that there was more to reality than a Billiard-Ball Universe with only forces and fields, a cold, dead reality with no deeper meaning to it, however all I had was the hope. Whatever else I was looking for, it wasn't a religion. I was not to be deluded by my religion nor by any of the other various faiths and cults and dogmas. All were equally invalid to me, and many seemed harmful, and frankly still do. I suppose I had formed myself into a materialist, or perhaps a scientific realist. Certainly I was a person that dismissed anything that smacked of mysticism or the supernatural as very highly unlikely to be true.

Then in my thirties I had a series of unusual events happen to me, starting with a lucid dream which precipitated a long series of synchronistic coincidences in my life... and the power and force of those coincidences eventually drove me to consider the possibility that maybe not all answers can be found in the current materialistic/scientific paradigm. The more that I read of quantum physics and various experiments involving solitary particles, and the more I investigated various forms of mysticism, the more I opened my mind to more exotic possibilities such as the idea that thought itself might have a role in reality; even that thought or consciousness in some form could be the very ground of all reality. At any rate, I had developed a strong intuition that "there's more to this sorry place than meets the eye" and I couldn't resolve it.

So that, more or less, was who I was and where I was at when I first tried Salvia Divinorum. It was an appropriate time of my life to encounter it.

My wife heard of Salvia Divinorum from reading a news report about a celebrity who had claimed to be smoking it when a picture of her was taken that showed her with a water pipe. We looked it up on the Internet and found out that it was an hallucinogen and was legal. Legal? Really? Out of a perverse curiosity we ordered some online. It's legal; why not try it? I'd always been curious to try meditation with an hallucinogen to enhance the experience. So here was a legal one. How bad can it be? Simple as that.

We researched it online and found many warnings that one needed to have a "sitter" during the experience, so powerful was the effect; and yet some people apparently do not even feel any effect at all. How convenient. We mostly dismissed all of the talk about how powerful it was as likely to be simply exaggeration or hype; however it still seemed worth a try, once again because it was legal. My wife was on board with it, so I had my live-in "sitter".

Which turned out to be a good thing.

The 35X salvia arrived in the mail, and that very night I resolved to try it. That evening my wife and I were in our bedroom, and I set up the apparatus. I had chosen a water pipe and a torch type butane lighter. I'd decided that smoking it was my best shot at actually feeling anything from it, since my reading had indicated that smoking an extract was far more powerful than either chewing or smoking the plain leaf. I half-filled the small bowl with powdered salvia divinorum leaf, enhanced with salvia extract to what is termed 35X, or thirty-five times the potency of the plain unenhanced leaf. With my wife at my side, I sat on the edge of the bed, and inhaling as I did so, flamed the bowl. The powder vaporized in a very bright and hot flame.

What I was expecting, was somewhere between nothing at all, and perhaps some tingly sensation, or at most mild visual effects. What happened next changed my entire outlook on life.

I inhaled, holding the smoke deep in my lungs. I held my breath for perhaps twenty seconds, then exhaled. And then I honestly thought that I was having a stroke. Strong sensations of fast-traveling numbness throughout my body, along with a dimming of my eyesight with radiating concentric green and red visual effects like one has when one holds their breath too long. A tingling feeling as if there was a strong electric current running through me. I had the brief thought that I was having some violent reaction to something toxic, and that I'd better make peace with the idea that I was in the process of dying. However, I didn't have much time to contemplate my mortality for in the next instant, the far wall decided to rush me. It came at me like a freight train and absorbed me. I had no body. I didn't even recall ever having one, for that matter. I felt like I was a disembodied point of view in an infinite cavern of moving bands and indescribable shapes of intense rippling color, with something like a vast wheel or maybe more like a gigantic Rolodex near me, flipping through sheets that passed through me one after the other. I had the strong impression that these were universes, if that makes any sense. This lasted for what seemed like an hour, with many variations that I can no longer recall.

Then some "body sense" returned but I next found myself suspended in space bent over backwards, helpless, in that cavern of moving colors. I could not move. I felt the strong sensation of deja-vu throughout this experience. I'd been here before. After what seemed like another half-hour it all changed suddenly to a scene of a vast mountain, a huge mass, but made of beings somehow, or perhaps of the thoughts of many beings all massed together. A mountain of consciousness. I was physically imbedded in the side of this mountain, and I knew somehow that I could not ever get out of it, that I was a permanent part of it, like some barnacle stuck to a rock. It was as if the top of my body stuck out, but the bottom part from the waist down, was somehow integrated into this huge mass of consciousness, involved with it as a component of it. I thought that I had died, and that this was the afterlife. (I'm still not sure that it wasn't!) I had this odd thought that I needed to wait for my parents to come and get me out of it. However, the parents that I thought of did not seem to me to be my actual parents that I grew up with. I also had this very strong sense of what can only be called nostalgia; I'd been here before, but a very long time ago, and my real parents would surely find me here eventually. And throughout this entire experience, there was this quality of actuality, of rightness, of this experience being more real than my regular waking life. It was my regular life that was the dream, not this; this cannot be doubted. But this was horrible! Was I really some sessile blob of consciousness stuck in a mass of other consciousnesses, only dreaming that I had a life in a reality where I was mobile and an individual? How very disturbing!

I slowly came out of it, returning to a jittery consciousness, and opened my eyes to see my wife in full panic mode. She told me that I'd taken the salvia, said 'Oh God,' and then froze. She had thought that I was joking until I started to drool. Relief didn't begin to describe her feelings as I finally came back to myself. Total elapsed time, perhaps twenty minutes. Just about ten minutes before my wife was planning to call 9-1-1. Yes, she was that panicked, and I can't say that I blame her.

The first thing that I said to her was "Get that stuff out of this house; it's evil!" I was shaken to the core. It had been a very difficult experience, one that I hadn't even been sure that I would survive. Almost a psychic rape.

Then I thought about it. There was something about it that sparked my curiosity. The sensation of familiarity. The feeling that I'd been there before, even that that was my natural state somehow. The very strong sensation that it was somehow more real than my waking life. No, despite my initial reaction of strong aversion, I needed to explore this more. There were things to be learned here.

My subsequent experiences on salvia were far less disturbing. I'd been warned. I'd even been slapped. This was not just some drug that gave you a buzz, or made you feel silly, no, this was much more than a mere drug. This was a doorway. I've never felt anything like it. It leaves me awestruck every single time. I respect it as I do no other substance. It has the feel of a sacrament somehow, and I'm not even religious.

I started experimenting with lower dosages of the extract, even plain leaf, to ease myself into salvia space rather than diving in with both feet. Over the subsequent three years I've partaken of it regularly, almost every evening. It's a relatively short experience, but always a very profound one. I learned that lower dosages left me with more control but still often produced interesting effects, often with me still conscious of my surroundings, so at first I confined myself to those, but after a while I strengthened the dosage to once again be immersed totally and completely in the bizarre world that is salvia space. And once I had some control of even those immersive experiences, which did not come easily, I began to really enjoy them. And those deeper experiences had much to teach me.

One is never prepared for that first experience of salvia. It comes at you from a direction that you are not aware exists. It takes you forcibly and suddenly and throws your entire consciousness into a blender, before you even can realize that you're starting to feel it. Many different kinds of experiences are possible, but there are some common themes, which I will discuss here later. With a lot of practice one can in effect partition one's mind so that one retains a measure of waking awareness through some of the experience, but one thing is clear: Much of each experience does not come back with you. It's as if as you come out of salvia space, you have to pass through strata or layers of consciousness, and at each level memories of the experience that you just went through are stripped away. It is possible to carry one or perhaps even a few memories back with you, again only with practice, but one is also aware that much more is lost than is remembered afterwards. It feels like some of the knowledge that is gained there, you are not allowed to return with. I can remember knowing things that completely changed my view of reality, making me want to shout it to the world, and then a moment later feeling the knowledge just leak out of me, leaving me with only the distinct memory of having known it, and yet nothing of what it actually was.

I had had some previous experience with altering my own consciousness through meditation, concentration and ritual which was of some value, and I knew how alcohol affected me, and had some experience with marijuana, but really, nothing prepared me for the intensity of salvia space. I have since read several experiences of others that were used to other hallucinogens such as psilocybin or LSD, and then had tried salvia, and the consensus was that the salvia experience is far more immersive and intense, albeit much shorter. On LSD, you see things around you, alterations of existing things or visual illusions, but you are still in your body. Salvia rips you out of your body. You have no body. You can no longer see the real-world objects around you; you are wholly immersed in a very dynamic and profound dreamlike state. I'd personally prefer to think of it as a vision. It seems like a doorway to one's deepest level of awareness, and yes, even beyond that to an awareness of the underlying structure of reality. Of course this may all be illusory; I never fool myself that what I am perceiving is definitely real. That's how you get religion. However, one thing is definite: It feels more real than anything in my regular day-to-day life does.

Think about that for a moment. The experience seems more real than your regular life does. So much so that in fact, it feels like you are witnessing Ultimate Reality, as if you are awakened from the dream that is your regular life, and finally can see reality as it actually is. And it's amazing.

In salvia space (for lack of a better term) one does not only see, one apprehends directly. You can see a shape in front of you for instance, and at the same time feel it, as if it were made out of your body. In this manner you can experience a very complex phenomena and grasp it intuitively by how it feels. The problem with that is two-fold. First, remembering it. That is a battle. But if you can recall it, the next difficulty is being able to describe it. Much of what you experience in salvia space, we simply have no language for. It is quite literally indescribable in any language. The experience has almost nothing that you can compare it to. It is too complex and immersive. The mind is seemingly able to perceive in more dimensions than it normally can. In some instances it seems that your normal mental state is divided into a plurality, more of a group mind than a solitary individual one. You will see that I frequently say things like 'it feels like' or 'it seemed like.' This is not indicative of any inaccuracy or 'fuzziness' on my part; rather it is instead due to the near-impossibility of describing these states.

The "Salvia Space" experience feels holy somehow, sacred, and also has a flavor of extreme antiquity to it. It is not like you are experiencing something new; it is an experience that feels as ancient as the dawn of time. It is an experience that you strongly feel like you've had many times before, even the very first time that you try it. At least I did, and have read that others have noticed this as well.

I should mention that I do not recommend salvia for everybody. It is a very profound experience that can hurt you if you are not prepared for it, and perhaps even if you are. I've seen people use it in videos posted to the Internet where they have come out of it screaming in terror. Some of the experiences that I've had while in salvia space would I think have had a very negative effect on people with a propensity for mental illness; I would even say that it should be avoided by anybody too attached to reality, if that makes any sense.

If you are determined to try it, don't do what I did; take it seriously and start with lower dosages. I'd recommend no stronger than 5X extract if you're smoking it. Take baby steps and explore it with caution; I had to learn to do that the hard way. And at least in the beginning, always have a sitter.

I should also say that from what I've learned, my experiences are not the norm in all instances. From what I've learned, while different people can and do have vastly different experiences on salvia, it seems that mine are more often than not atypical, although in many ways there are some commonalities to be found. Many users of Salvia have for instance, reported experiences wherein they meet with and communicate with other beings or other people. Others report visiting the realm of the dead, in one way or another. I have not directly met other beings or people in my visions, at least not clearly, nor have I met with anybody among the deceased. There have been times when I sensed someone else present or heard a voice not my own, or seen others at a distance or even briefly up close, but no meetings and discussions with anybody or anything have occurred. I also have a lot of experiences wherein I am not unaware of my surroundings, and in those I have eyes-open visions overlaid upon and even interacting with my actual view of reality around me, such as my bedroom. It is in many of those type of visionary experiences that I have discovered the most interesting things about myself and my reality. From what I've read, others seem to not have many such experiences, and usually either report vague tingly feelings and such while remaining conscious, or total immersion in salvia space without any ability to perceive their actual surroundings at the same time.

I credit some of these differences to my having developed the ability to retain some control on salvia through sheer practice, and also perhaps to my having had hypnagogic hallucinatory experiences as a young child of about seven years of age, perhaps due to some epileptiform ailment that went undiagnosed. I had seizures, which were eventually attributed to an allergy to the family cat, which promptly disappeared. (My parents basically took it to the pound, I later discovered.) My parents didn't believe me when I told them that I had these (very bizarre) visions overlaying my regular sight of the world around me and credited it to an active imagination. I know differently, because frankly they terrified me, so they're etched indelibly on my memory. Not only that, but in reduced intensity, they persist to this day as spinning 'starfields' that I see all the time, more noticeably in dim light, which I tend to ignore. I recently realized that my present salvia visions are very similar to these past hallucinations of mine, even to the predominant color scheme, which incidentally is generally in hues of green and red. So perhaps due to these things, my visions are atypical for the substance in some regards.

I am also quite relaxed in my language here and throughout these discussions on this site; I speak of what happens and how it seems, how it feels, and draw seemingly definite conclusions from it, but these conclusions are not necessarily true or correct just because I have experienced them as such. I am not so proud as to assume that my experiences on a powerful hallucinatory drug reflect actual reality, although they well might and certainly seem to. You will note that I often speak as if they do, but I must here acknowledge that I have no proof of their veracity other than my own subjective experiences, and if there's one thing that I've learned in this life it's that anybody can be wrong no matter how certain they are that they're not, and oddly enough that it is those who are the most certain that they are not wrong that usually turn out to be.

So in my uncertainty, which is unavoidable considering how I gleaned this type of knowledge and how inherently unprovable it necessarily is, I find myself holding a dual world-view now, in that I must still trust in and adhere to science and materialism and must admit that they may well be right and these sort of perceptions taken from visions may well be totally invalid and only seem to point in certain directions, all the while still being compelled by curiosity to investigate this more consciousness-oriented view of reality in which these visions may be a clue to the very structure of creation. For the purposes of these discussions I will often speak of the experiences and my conclusions as if they are real and true, in full knowledge of the fact that there is no concrete, non-subjective way to prove it.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Ultimate Pranayama

Last night:

Sitting upright on my straight-back chair in the bedroom as usual. Dog is resting at my left on the near corner of the bed. I descend into salvia space and begin pranayama, basic breathing exercises. I close my eyes and relax into the feeling for a minute or so and then re-open them. I now see my reality around me breathing with me. As I exhale, the room around me bows outward with my breath, and flexes back inward with each inhalation. A very beautiful state to be in. Reminiscent of Neo in "The Matrix" at the moment where he achieved mastery of the Matrix and of Agent Smith. His inhalation, with the accompanying special effect of the world around him bowing inward, captures the sensation closely enough.

I continue with this, noticing how the furniture and other fixtures in the room actually shift sideways, either to the left or the right, as the room expands. I notice that this effect doesn't end at my skin, either. I am also expanding and contracting, more so than just my respiration would normally cause. Then I begin to perceive that the room around me, and my body, are one material, a flexible, semirigid almost gel-like pseudosubstance, which I interpreted as the substance of consciousness itself, how I perceive it, the texture that I assign it. The very texture of dreams. I can expand or contract any part of it at will, and lengthen or contract parts of this space, but I also realized that only I would be able to see this because I am only affecting the structure of the dream that is reality and not its contents. At least, only I *should be* able to see this. Thus a ruler on the floor might look longer or shorter to me, but it is still twelve inches long; it is the dream itself that I am seemingly affecting, the dream that is reality, thus any measurements of said space in said reality would not reflect my actions upon it, as such measurements can only be done within that very dream world that I am affecting the very basis of. My efforts would only be apparent from the "outside" of reality, in salvia space. Or so it would seem.

I also note to myself that this doesn't seem to bother the dog any. He's not asleep, but he's resting and looks back at me quizzically as I look toward him. Nothing unusual here, nor did I expect there to be.

As I go even deeper, eyes still open, small additional dose of salvia, I start to focus upon a point on the grille of the air filter in front of me off to my right. I start to see and feel the space torquing, twisting in a curve, eventually a semicircular twist, distorting the horizontal slats of the grille. Then it twists about in an almost violent manner, seeming to distort space itself, and several crack-like lines or perhaps edges of folds of some sort, appear in the air before me. One of them, seemingly a fold of spatial distortion, or more likely a fold *in the dream of space,* a fold in the dream which *is* space, approaches my faithful doggy friend to my left.

Now he bolts! And moreover, as it was happening, as that twist approached his side of me, I *knew* that he would bolt. He runs diagonally across the bed, over my wife's legs, and sits in the farthest corner away from me. Hardly typical behavior, but typical when daddy's on salvia apparently.

At this point I snap myself out of it on reflex and call out to my sleeping spouse, bless her heart, to tell her that *it* had happened yet again. This I do not for her benefit, but for mine. If I can tell her, I get to keep the memories. This works in two ways; she generally remembers the gist of what I told her, and when I can make the effort to tell her, I generally remember it myself as well. I've tried voice recorders; no way. Too distracting.

She wishes I didn't fuck with the dog's mind. He's emotionally delicate. I try to tell her that I don't do it on purpose.

As an aside, at one point when I was both perceiving reality as having an almost gel-like texture (but really almost nothing like a gel; words are insufficient to describe this,) and as I was also starting to play around with the space around me, and was almost lost in a swirl of complex imagery and perceptions, I had a piercing insight. Something about the "gel," about the texture of reality that I was perceiving. It was like I directly intuitively understood what it was, and thus what it implied reality was. I knew in that moment that I knew one of the deepest secrets of the universe. Then the fight began to keep that memory, but I was in too deep to dredge it back up with me. Salvia seems to allow you to get to very deep levels of reality where you learn incredible things, but getting back out with what you have learned is another thing entirely.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

That Damned Glow Again

Last night for the first time in a while I allowed myself to take enough salvia to go into a closed-eye vision state. I'd taken a short break to assimilate my last trip, which was a bad one involving my consciousness being stretched into a long sheet and being drawn inexorably into what felt like some massive cosmic pulley of some sort, where I knew (due to INTENSE deja-vu) that I would undergo a *snap* or sudden intense pressure that would obliterate my personality, and then I opened my eyes as the room around me fractured in many places showing black chaos seeping through; what I've come to call the "Outer Darkness." My reality was dissolving, or seemed to be at any rate. What I mean is, it seemed that my whole life was revealed as a shallow masturbatory dream and it was over now so I could see how utterly ridiculously false it all was, and in reality I was the sole existing being/consciousness in the universe, once again consigned to an utterly lonely existance. It felt very real... Let's just say that it wasn't fun.

So I was mildly tripping last night, testing the cosmic waters as it were, closed eyes, having a vision, and I clearly recall that my mind was doing many different things at the same time, as if it were several orders of magnitude more complex than it actually is. This is hard to describe; I felt like my intellect was this enormous, convoluted thing, perhaps something vaguely like an office building full of many busy people all working on diverse, highly complex tasks, only I was each and every one of them all at once, and amazingly I was (at the time) not only aware of being all of them at once but also aware of all the minute details of each of their many complex projects! (Those details were the first thing to go as I gradually left this state; I could feel the memories of them bleed out of me against my will; the only memory left was the memory of having all those myriad other complex thoughts with no salient details left.)

As I gradually came 'back' to my reality it felt like I was forced into giving most of that vast seemingly-polymathic mind up in order to 'fit' into my self here. (hard to explain) Then on coming back to my usual reality in my bedroom and upon opening my eyes, I began to see a whitish glow come into the room. I sensed that it was no different from previous greenish glows. I get the strong impression that these glowing fields are, or at least feel like, spatial distortions of some kind, like induced ripples or interfaces in the consciousness-fabric of my/our reality, and not merely glowing hallucinatory spherical fields of light. I don't only see them; I also feel them pass through my body as they move through me, as if they distorted the geometry of my being as they passed. And then, yet again, and completely unexpected, it happened! As the glowing, expanding sphere of light progressed by me and through me and moved toward my dog asleep on the nearby corner of the bed and started to make contact with him, he instantly awakened with a noticable start and literally ran diagonally to the back corner of the bed, farthest away from me and the light, behind my sleeping wife. He literally raced ahead of the glow to get back there, and then cowered in place. He didn't just move away from the glow this time; he actually panicked and ran away from it.

I called out to my wife and awakened her (in the traditional manner!) and told her that once again "it" had happened, and she (unsurprised at this point) noted that the dog was indeed plainly terrified, hunkered down in that far corner. So I had seen the glow come into the room in the usual manner, if not the usual color, but the dog reacted more violently than ever before in the past. There was no sound that might have startled it; I was just sitting there in my chair, very still and very quiet, serene beyond belief as it was happening, and only realized that the glow had awakened and frightened the dog *as that occurred.* In other words, I was so relaxed that I didn't even anticipate anything unusual happening and only came to full awareness of the fact that once again my meditations were having a subjective (of sorts) real-world effect, as it happened and not before. The dog's reaction was startling enough to me to bring me to immediate full awareness. I had clear recall of all that transpired. There can be no mistake here: something is happening that is not explained by or even allowed by the normal consensual view of this universe. This place cannot be what it appears to be. I am still not 100% convinced, not a complete "believer," being a skeptic by nature, and so I will still "experiment" along these lines and continue to observe the reactions of my wife and dog, but really, this happens consistantly, every time I see the glow. Not once have I seen it come into the room as it does from time to time and *not* awaken (or at least visibly disturb) either the dog, my wife, or both. This time, it had an even more pronounced effect.

Something unusual and atypical is going on here, and it's not me imagining it. This reality simply cannot be merely dead matter and energy and space and time as we believe it to be, cannot be a "billiard-ball Universe" as we most often conclude that it must be. I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that it must instead have its ultimate basis in consciousness. It certainly seems to me that this universe, this reality, must somehow be purely psychological in nature. Consiousness has to be the ground of all being. Nothing else can adequately explain what is happening to me.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Fly And I

This entry is not as much about Salvia Divinorum as it is about my life as a shaman, or whatever the hell I am. Sure, I experiment with Salvia Divinorum in an attempt to understand more about reality and my mind and how the two interact, but I had a history before that of let's say, an unusual life.

As a young boy of seven I woke up in the middle of the night one evening and the entire room was alive with large, detailed translucent to semitransparent insects of all kinds, crawling, jumping, creeping and flying all over the room, on every surface, and hovering or zipping around in the air. A row of ten-inch aphids walked up one side of the dresser, across the top, and down the other side like ducks in a shooting gallery, while my head was repeatedly getting buzzed by a Meganeura monyii, the extinct dragonfly with the three-foot wingspan. And they never went away, at least not completely. It was the beginning of a lifetime of hypnagogic hallucinations, always present in the background. (I also had some epileptiform seizures at this time of my life, attributed to a cat allergy.) I remember as a kid I used to look at a "scene," and if I liked it I had to try not to blink, because every time I blinked the "channel" would change, as it were, and it would be a different scene. Everything from bugs or animals to geometrics or cityscapes or hovering piles of what looked like chains, against a spinning star field.

Eventually the fine details disappeared, so that today at 52 years of age all I get are the spinning starfields (at all times) (I've learned long ago to ignore them) and also, sometimes when I'm looking at a bright light, I see something that looks for the life of me like rapidly moving tiny spermatozoa, only without tails, showing up against the light, each leaving a tiny wake or trail after them that quickly disappears. Like thousands of them, independent paths, moving about and interlacing paths very rapidly, seemingly resembling what you might see under a microscope in Biology class. They look very much alive. And I mean that. They seem realistically, actualy alive, like some highly motile bacteria in an aqueous solution seen under a brightfield microscope speeded up in time, only they are not bacteria. I have no idea what they are, if anything.

I've realized that my SD visions in recent times resemble (but far surpass) these old childhood hallucinations whose remnants persist in my eyes to this day, especially in general color scheme, the light bluish green and the muted blood red with black and some other tones present as well. I was a "bug nerd" even as a little boy, so it's natural that insects dominated my "visions" back then; I've loved science all my life, even before I was seven. I also had a lifelong burning curiosity about the nature of reality; even when I was very young, every night as I fell asleep I'd visualize the stars so very far away, beyond the roof above my head, and I'd wonder what all of this thing called "life" really is, and what it means. I would say that it rose to the level of an obsession.

In my thirties one day I day had a lucid dream experience, my very first, as I lay dozing on my couch. In it I immediately thought to experiment with myself, since I could not awaken and yet I could crack my eyes open and see the actual room around me *as well as* the 'dream room' around me when my eyes were closed. So with my eyes closed I raised my left hand up from where it rested on my chest and held it in front of my face. Then I opened my eyes. No hand. It's still on my chest. But I can *feel* it still there in front of my face! Then again with my eyes closed, I slid my "hands" down my own legs, past my knees, all the way down to my ankles. I could clearly feel my legs with my hands and my hands with my legs. Then I realized that I had not *sat up.* How did my hands reach my legs without me sitting up? So again, I opened my eyes. No hands, no arms, they're still folded across my chest; apparently my "dream arms" had simply lengthened enough to feel my ankles. So then, being REALLY intrigued, I held up my left hand again, this time with my eyes cracked open. I could *feel* it hanging right there in front of my face, but I could at the same time *see* that it had not moved from my chest, for I could not *actually* move at all. Then I concentrated on my invisible "dream" hand in front of my face, and I could actually see it, but so very faintly that it was almost not visible at all; it was just a dark shadow with no details able to be seen. Hmm. What to do with a ghost hand that you can feel as if it were your actual one? I had an idea. I had of course heard the usual spiel that our psychic powers as humans (when we have them) come from an area between the eyes situated just above them, the "Third Eye" area. Poppycock. However, being bored and in an unusual situation, what I did then with my "ghost hand" was to extend my "ghost" index finger, and while affirming to myself that I indeed wanted to open my Third Eye, I pressed down with my invisible finger on the spot where I thought that it might be located. Now, here's the kicker: Much to my surprise, my "ghost" finger (which I could clearly feel) sank into my forehead up to the second knuckle. I remember that my skull felt as if it were the consistency of somewhat stiff modeling clay.

I was shocked enough by this development that I lost the train of thought of the dream shortly thereafter and I eventually woke up. On that day, the coincidences began. Huge, glaring coincidences, sometimes double or even triple ones. Jungian Synchronicities, to be more precise, but in droves. And I still get them, almost every single day. These drove me, a scientific realist by nature, onto a different path that led from one thing to another and eventually to an investigation of such things as would be normally termed "The Occult." I learned the Hermetic Kaballah and about the idea of Gnosis. I learned the Tarot. And I learned to do magic. And I still do from time to time. It tends to work, you see.

Alongside all of this in my life, my scientific side sought to explain it, and my conclusions led me to quantum physics and eventually to my current speculations of a universe that is a series of overlapping purely psychological realities, formed of primal consciousness, more like a consensual dream than it is like what we think of it, which is to say, "dead matter and energy and time and space."

Now to my most recent experiences. Three nights ago, a green bottle fly, Phaenicia sericata (or Lucilia sericata, depending on authority) flew into our house. I do not like to kill anything, even a fly, and I have in recent times become even more sympathetic to other life forms, but I generally will kill a fly because they spread disease. So I attempted to catch it, to feed it to my terrarium, or just to swat it. Let's just say that I tried to dispose of the fly, with absolutely no luck, and I'm pretty good at it. It was fast as lightning, and very aware of its surroundings. Now, earlier that day I was reading a book on shamanism, and it spoke of the idea of a "spirit animal." Not something that I believe in, but I'm reading a book, so okay fine... According to the author, it is likely that the shaman has already met his or her spirit animal but has never recognized it as such. Something that you perhaps once had a vision of in childhood. AHA!. It passed through my mind that my spirit animal might be an Insect. Or perhaps the whole class Insecta, considering the multiplicity of them in those early visions.

Now, this part is important: I DID NOT ACTUALLY BUY INTO THIS STUFF. Nor do I now, however it pertains to the story. So, this green bottle fly is buzzing around the house, and I tried many times to catch it and never got close. I had moved into my bedroom and was standing up to watch TV, when I saw the fly fly into the bedroom with me. It alighted upon a crumpled tissue on my dresser next to me. So, ON A WHIM, I said in my mind "so if you're my spirit animal, let's make friends." I extended my hand slowly toward the fly on the Kleenex. It didn't flit away; it moved to follow my hand's motion. I placed the hand directly in front of it, and slowly moved it toward the fly. It climbed onto my hand. So there I am, standing like a fool in the bedroom with a fly on his hand, staring at me, when my wife walks in. I show her the fly on the hand, and at that moment it flew from my right hand to my left one, and just sat there for a while. I told my wife that apparently I'd made friends with it. It flew away from me at that point and landed on the TV screen, so I went up to it, again extended my hand, and it again climbed on, so I gently closed my hand, and took it outside, where I told it to tell it's friends that I didn't kill it, and it flew away. :-)

The next night, the night before last, I was standing in the identical place in my bedroom where the fly had flown from my right hand to my left, again watching TV, and suddenly I saw very, very briefly something flying directly toward my head at high speed, just before it flew into my slightly open mouth and landed on my tongue. I immediately and forcibly exhaled, spitting it out, and of course, it was a green bottle fly, which then flew out of the room. I told my wife in amazement, and marveled at the coincidence. I hadn't seen anything yet though, because approximately an hour later my wife went to take a sip out of her bottle of soda, and immediately felt something in her mouth, vibrating against her lower teeth, trapped against them by her lips. She spat out the green bottle fly that had been sitting on the mouth of the bottle all the time. It staggered a bit on the counter and then took off, and so I caught it with the bug catcher and released it outside, and it seemed okay as it flew away.

This really happened, just as I told it, and no, my house is not constantly full of green bottle flies; quite the contrary I assure you. These sorts of highly coincidental/synchronistic things happen to me all the time, ever since that lucid dream back in my thirties. What they mean, I'm not certain, other than that they seem to be subtle clues to the fact that reality is not as it appears to be. Either that, or I guess I'm Mephistopheles.

-Saint Brian

PS: Incidentally, we both used a whole lot of mouthwash...

Monday, June 10, 2013

A View Through My Own Hand

THREE NIGHTS AGO: The green glow was suffusing the room and I decided to try to awaken my wife on purpose. (Sometimes it just happens when the glow touches her) So I concentrated on her waking up, on establishing that connection, and *felt* something happening. At that time the green glow seemed to swirl in her direction. She started to awaken, making a few small sounds and stirring in her sleep. At that point I decided to test this further by intentionally stopping, and taking my attention away from her. She dropped back off to sleep again. Waiting about thirty seconds so as to be sure she was asleep as before, I then started to concentrate on waking her up again. At that point the green glow obligingly swirled in her direction yet again, and she immediately woke up fully, and we talked about it. She's very gracious to be my lab rat like that, don't you think? LAST NIGHT: Last night was another profound experience, different from any before. In short, this is what happened: I felt the salvia taking me over, saw the greenish glow suffuse the room, then of course it caused my wife to stir in her sleep as always, but I'm used to that now so I didn't stop there to wonder about that again. The room seemed to be divided by barely-perceptible planes that I could feel going through my body and I soon felt that I was a plural consciousness (again) and the room was many rooms all superimposed. I played around with this for a while, getting a feel for it, and then it occured to me that perhaps if my body was in multiple planes of existence at once and so was the room, I might be able to perceive a difference between my physical body in one plane and the room in another one, if different planes of reality were being perceived simultaneously like it felt that they were. Reasoning that since moving my hand is something rather common for me, and so it would be likely that it might be in another position in another plane of reality, I thought that I might be able to hold my hand up and perceive both the plane where I was holding it up and another one where I was not holding it up, at the same time. So I attempted to do this. I remember that it was very difficult, something akin to tuning my brain to two "stations" at once, but I managed to accomplish it, and then something happened that was a first, something absolutely unprecidented in my life, something that I could not have ever imagined happening to me. I saw through my own hand! That's right, you read that correctly. I held my hand up in front of my face, and with some concentration and "fine tuning" of my own mind (hard to describe, that) I clearly saw the room around me through it. I focused on a square air filter about two feet on a side with a front grill in the corner of the room about four feet away from me. I closed my left eye (to eliminate unconcious "cheating" by the other eye possibly seeing around my hand) and using only my right eye, I still saw a clear image of the air filter and the corner of the room near it *through* my own hand. Not believing this was real at first (who would?!) and thinking it was perhaps just an afterimage on my retina that I was perceiving, I moved my head around while still blocking my view of the air filter with my hand, looking at various angles, all with the hand in front of the eye, and still throughout all this I could see the air filter through my hand, sitting there steady and motionless in the corner as if the hand weren't blocking my view of it. I removed the hand and it was precisely where I could *see* it before I took the hand away... I did this several times to be sure, combining it with movement of my head (and hand) to shift perspective, but no, whenever I removed the hand, no movement, no jump in position (of the *actual* air filter and room) that would have indicated that the image was solely in my mind and not reflecting an actual view of the room. The air filter was right where it appeared to be through my hand, every single time that I took it away. I noted that while I clearly *saw* the air filter through my hand, it was not *seen* in normal light. Instead I *saw* it in that familiar lambent green light that comes into my vision whenever I take SD. But I saw it clearly, very sharp, even though it was a dim vision and not bright and vivid. So basically, consider my mind blown... UPDATE 11 JUNE: I just wanted to add, for those in doubt of my sanity, that I don't *actually* know what all this means, if anything. I mean, I did see through my own hand, and that was very convincing, but all of this may still be simply hallucinations on an order that I didn't expect existed with any drug. I don't know why my wife always wakes up; I know that it isn't noise because I am very aware in these moments and conscious of being very still, and also we always have an air conditioner running in the background (white noise) and she sleeps very soundly. However, lest ye be fearful that my mind is in the slow process of snapping like a twig, rest assured that it is not. I am still very sane. I am always of two minds concerning these "experiments" of mine, literally. One half of me always holds fast to scientific realism, because if all of this is a mirage then I want to have something to fall back on when it falls apart, and also as an anchor to consensual reality so that I do not stray too far out into the hinterlands of my own delusion. However it must be said that so far, while I have sustained no harm, I can't seem to see any way in which these experiences of mine do not have some objective reality, considering how often my wife, or my dog, or even my son's cat, are apparently affected by what by all rights should be just a guy sitting silently in a room having hallucinations. I feel that a certain amount of belief is necessary in order to fully explore these experiences, so I literally have partitioned my mind, allowing a measure of belief to creep in, but always with a 'proviso' that it's a temporary condition, and always with "one foot in the waters of reality."

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Breakthrough?

I should have probably talked about all of my more mundane experiences on Salvia Divinorum before getting into my more recent ones that involve real-world objective effects, since the latter are far more difficult to believe and I'm sure that most of my readers think that I'm either making them up, or am insane. (I can tell you that the former is not true, and to the best of my ability to discern, neither is the latter.) I've had the terrifying hellscape trips that others report, I've had myriads of discrete kinds of trips wherein my ego is shattered, I've had the Huge Wheel and the Cosmic Grinder and the Grid, all frequently reported by other users of SD, and many that I've never seen others' accounts of, however I started this blog not to simply write trip reports. I started this blog because I have of late been getting objectively verified third-party results, and that takes it to a whole new level in my opinion. To have an incredible vision in the mind is one thing, but when someone else reacts to it, in any way, it's quite another. Two nights ago I had an experience that was a whole order of magnitude above all of my other recent experiences. And it was objectively verified. Once again, I woke the wife. Only this time I did it in a very different and unusual way. Setting the scene: a quiet, dark bedroom, fan running for white noise. I am sitting upright in a straight chair next to the bed in which my wife is fast asleep, along with the dog at her feet. The experience was in two parts. At first I saw a sphere of light in front of me, and I felt as if it was my central core consciousness, my "I AM" if you will. This was surrounded by many, many versions of myself, all identically sitting in their chairs watching the sphere. I clearly remember that at that moment, my sense of self, my feelings of kinesthesia, my body sense and my sense of my past and memories, was divided among the many. Although perhaps 'divided' is not the right word. Each one was a complete "me" in every way, and I could feel all of them as me, as well as I could feel the one 'real' me sitting in my chair in my room. Whichever one of them the real me was, I mean. I was equally distributed, as it were. I was all of "us" at once, separate but all equally me. They were no different from me. They were all identically me in every way, and so I had the highly unusual, clear awareness of catching myself in the act of literally living many lives simultaneously; all of 'them' as much "me" as "I" was. To be truthful, as strange as it sounds, there is no real way that I can be sure that the 'me' that I started out with is the same one that I ended the trip in, so completely identical were they all. We all. So that's incredible enough, however it proves nothing objectively. This next part does. As the first vision was fading away, I turned my thoughts to my wife sleeping behind me peacefully. I concentrated on her, not looking at her beyond an initial glance, as my back was turned to her. Suddenly I saw a 'grid' effect with her in it; in other words I saw and perceived many multiple images of her all at the same time arranged in a gridlike array in front of me. I should note that this was an 'eyes open' experience, and I was rather lucid during it's duration. While looking at the many versions of her, I thought of trying to 'mentally' awaken her, and then I noticed that one of the images of her in the grid was an image of her awakening. All the others were of her sleeping peacefully, but one image was of her in the act of waking up. Without even thinking about how, I 'pushed' my consciousness into that one panel, and it somehow merged with it, I could *feel* it merge with it, and at that precise moment, she awakened, fully conscious. Not only did she awaken, but her initial movements while waking up were precisely identical to the ones that I had seen a few seconds before in that panel of her waking up. It seems that I have experienced first-hand how the future manifests to us as multiple possibilities and we choose which one we will proceed along. Only this time I was completely aware of the process. Either that, or I chose between multiple universes. Either way, a very incredible experience that is still with me as if it had just happened. A 'goosebumps' kind of thing. UPDATE: Wednesday 29 May; Last night once again, I saw a glowing field come into the room from in front of me and pass through me, moving toward the back of the room. I could see it distort reality as it passed, with objects it touched becoming foreshortened. As the field passed me like a glowing light green wave and started to touch my sleeping wife behind me, she once again woke up on cue, with a somewhat startled sounding "ahhhh..." Not only that, but I fully expected it this time, and it didn't dissappoint. So for whatever it's worth, this seems real. And very consistant. I didn't try to awaken her this time, but I was certain at the time that when the glowing distortion field touched her she would awaken, and she did, precisely as expected. Before the 'field' appeared I noticed objects in the room take on multiple outlines, as if they were multiple objects sumerimposed. Also, the objects were in constant motion; it seemed that I was seeing them in multiple universes so I could notice slight variations in their position, one after the other, as if I were watching a sequence of freeze-frame photos each slightly different from the last, with slight changes in angle and perspective. Very noticeable. Everything "wiggled" about an inch in random directions. I guess I'll keep on doing this for a while to be certain it's not a series of wild coincidences, and then I don't know what I'll do if it isn't. Try to get better at it, I guess. Try for more control.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Energy Manipulation Zaps The Wife

Two nights ago I was sitting cross-legged on my bed after taking salvia, with my wife sleeping in the bed on my right. I had taken a hit and had once again staved off the onset of the experience until I had put the pipe away and gotten comfortable in bed. I was meditating on moving energy around my body, which is incredibly easy on salvia. (In fact, everything you've ever read about meditation and energy is incredibly easy on salvia.. I routinely accomplish things that I'd only ever heard yogis being able to do, like the rising of the kundalini energy or single-point-consciousness... piece of cake!) So here's the deal: I sense a patch of skin, say on my shoulder, and feel it incredibly clearly, my senses heightened. I focus all my attention upon it. Then I move the focus of my attention around, down my arm, to my thigh, down to my feet, and up in a spiral around my body, feeling for all the world like the totality of my being is entirely focused upon that one moving patch of sensation. I was moving it around randomly, more and more rapidly, and then moved it to my right arm, then to my left, then back, oscillating back and forth, side to side, moving faster and faster, in a deep trance. The side to side oscillation continued for a while. Suddenly and with no forethought whatsoever and on a spontaneous whim, as I moved it back to my right side, I extended my right arm slightly toward my sleeping wife and simply pushed it out of my body toward her. I made no sound and she was sleeping soundly, however the precise moment that I did this she immediately snorted a couple of times and woke up, *right on cue.* We spoke of it at that point, what had happened, and she had no idea why she had suddenly awakened. I am getting a lot of these types of objectively verifiable experiences lately, more and more. See, the thing is, on salvia everything seems so real, 'realer' than my regular waking reality even, and yet of course it may not be, it may be that it's just a very strong drug that produces these subjective sensations of realness along with the other phenomena, so I have of late been trying to test it by affecting objective reality in some way, such as managing to get through to another person while in that state, and lately it seems that I have been accomplishing this, more and more. My dog, my son's cat, and my wife are often affected by my visions now, however my wife is only succeptible while she's asleep. I've also had several more experiences with the dog waking up on cue. I don't know what to make of this; I try to retain my sense of scientific neutrality and just keep on experimenting with extreme cynicism, however it is beginning to approach the point where I can no longer pretend that the salvia experience is solely a subjective one. The evidence, such as it is, is piling up. Does anybody have any ideas what is happening here? Can this be real? It seems crazy to think so, and yet almost every time I take salvia lately, something decidedly objective happens. It's wearing down my incredulousness.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cats and Dogs (Recent Experiences)

I typically use salvia divinorum as I sit in a straight chair next to my bed late at night. My wife is also typically asleep on that bed giving the time that I usually do it. I no longer need a sitter. Our dog, a pug named Walter, is usually asleep at her feet, on the bed, on the side away from me. So last night I prepared the water pipe.... I do the hit, and hold it, and let it go, and wait... a light green glowing "field" starts up in the upper right hand corner of the room as if it were a cloud that had just drifted into the room through the upper wall... The glow spreads and spirals around the ceiling throughout the room in a counterclockwise rotation, and starts to fill the room up with it's glowing geometry. When it touches me, I feel it penetrate through me. As the glow fills the room as it spirals inward, it nears and then touches the sleeping pug. The pug snorts loudly in it's sleep, half-lifting his head... then the field touches my wife... she moans and stirs also, less than a second after the dog did. Keep in mind that the room is totaly silent save for a fan for white noise, and I was calmly watching the field of glowing light as it approached and then touched first the dog and then my wife; their reactions were precisely simultaneous with the green glowing field contacting them, in order. The sounds were real. I was not hallucinating the sounds nor their timing. I always know how lucid I am while on salvia, and I was very lucid and aware of both reality and "salvia space." Afterwards the pug was awake on and off all night, on the bed, walking around, very atypical. Kept trying to lay on the pillow my wife's head was on. She was awakened by it and noticed his unusual activity. She scolded me jokingly not to screw around with the pug's mind, but she was about half serious. And the even stranger thing, this is *not the first time this has happened.* It's happening fairly often. Last week I did the salvia, had the light come into the room and then around me and through me, then noticed that the dog, this time awake, saw the light coming for him and moved from the foot to the head of the bed on the far side to get away from it. Also, later on I learned from my son living down at the end of the hall, that at very nearly the same time as my experience with the dog was taking place, at the other end of the house my son's cat started meowing so loud that he got up to play with her and comfort her. Another time a few months ago, and perhaps most dramatically, I was sitting on the bed cross-legged with the dog, awake, at the foot of the bed, in front of me. (I took the salvia hit and then held off the onset of the actual experience until I got into bed and made myself comfortable) I saw two glowing light green "walls" form on either side of me, and the pug started as if it saw them too. So with this in mind, I tried to get the walls to move by willing it, and managed to do that; and as they moved, from right to left with the dog in between them, the dog moved to the left (my left) to avoid the "wall" on the right... so I then got both "walls" to move back to the right, with the dog still between them, and the dog moved back to the right, all the time either looking at me, or to the side at whichever of the two "walls" was approaching him. It was clear that he saw them. Another thing, an unrelated experience: Two nights ago, I caught a glimpse of myself. No, not in a mirror. I had already had most of my nightly salvia experience and was standing up in the bedroom. Standing to my immediate right... a very, very faint transparent slightly glowing light green "ghost" of me, his (my) face about a foot away from mine, looking off to his right. Part of him, his near shoulder, intersected my actual body. This lasted for about three seconds, then it faded. My doppelganger from a parallel universe? It was holographically real, albeit very faint. I wonder what he was staring off to the right at... I was looking to the right in order to see him... could he have been seeing *his* doppelganger as well? What IS this STUFF?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The True Nature of Reality

A brief post today: A revelation from last night when I was in Salvia Space. An "eyes-open" experience, completely aware of the room around me: I found myself in a state of multiple simultaneous existence, feeling (and even seeing) many of "myselves" all superimposed in one location like a cloud of "me's." I clearly heard a voice, perhaps my own, disembodied, telling me the secret of the universe. Want to hear it? Okay, but keep in mind, it's hard to believe. Here it is: "THESE REALITIES ARE PURELY PSYCHOLOGICAL IN NATURE!" Repeat that about a thousand times. Note the plural. I can very distinctly remember that when I was in the moment, in that condition of simultaneous multiple selves all equally being me, what I was seeing and sensing was beyond question the truth; I was totally coherent and lucid in that state and could dispassionately review it and explore it fully at the time, and in that moment I could no more doubt the veracity of what I was seeing and sensing as I can doubt the "existence" of a keyboard in front of me at this moment as I type. We live in superimposed interlocking intersecting psychological realities. Purely psychological in nature, as in, non-material, they (and we) only exist as thoughts in a vast mind-like unity of pure thought, in which all experienced realities are dreamlike in nature, given consistency and logic and rules not by external factors, but by us, the participants. Each of us is a facet of One Eternal Consciousness, and we interact with all others on a stage that is of our own consensual creation. We are all of us, each and every one, figments of our own and everybody else's imagination, each with one individual spark of identity, of "I AM" consciousness, which as it turns out, is the only one such "I AM" in existence, in spite of the illusion that we all have one that is separate from all the others. There, problem solved! You can now go back to your respective dreamworlds in which you dream that you are certain that this is not, nor can it possibly be, a dream.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Salvia Divinorum: Key to the Multiverse?

One of the most commonly occurring phenomena that I experience while in Salvia Space, is variations on multiple images of reality, of the room I am meditating in. (I have become able to experience eyes-open visions that interact with actual reality after a lot of practice resisting the very powerful "pull" of the drug as it is taking effect.) I've seen multiple images of the room "displayed" as a giant rolling "rolodex" of images. Imagine a very thick book, each page showing a view of the room as seen from my eyes, with the ends (first and last pages) bent around to touch each other, forming a wheel of multiple views, turning slowly on it's horizontal axis or "spine." This I have perceived as both external and internal, with me looking at it passively, and also at another point involved in the vision as a part of the wheel, or rather, a "floating viewpoint" that proceeds around the circumference of the wheel, able to view a segment of it at a time as I proceed around it. I have also seen multiple images of my surroundings encircling my head completely, like the seeds of a dandelion if you will; in that scenario I managed to control the vision and reduce the number of views until there were only two, one above the other. I focused on the two views of the (real, actual) room in front of me, and noted to myself that it was not as if I was experiencing "double-vision," but instead it was as if I was seeing two rooms at the same time, *through two pairs of my eyes,* but perceiving both with just my one mind. Other variations of this happen frequently, the common theme being multiple images of my surroundings. At first this was very confusing; hard to think when you can't see just one set of surroundings... At times it even seems that my mind itself is bifurcated into two or more minds viewing two or more rooms. This of course can be merely a form of hallucination, however it seems "realer-than-real," as do all Salvia Divinorum visions. What seems to be happening, is that at that moment, I am viewing two or more "universes" with my one mind. It also "feels" as if other versions of me are involved here; as if all the versions of me that are taking the Salvia Divinorum at that moment, are "fused" or "merged" somehow and can perceive the different views as seen from many pairs of "my" eyes at once. Salvia Divinorum visions are hard to describe since human languages lack the terminology for such radical, otherworldly experiences. One of the reasons for that, I think, is that we are seeing more than one plane of existence at the same time. Also, not only do we see visions on Salvia Divinorum, we also "feel" them, as if the visions were extensions of our physical body somehow. Therefore we can view a complex undulating shape and instantly know its workings, inside and out, because we also feel it in its entirety. Words fail miserably in describing the sheer wonder of the experience.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Powdered God (First Post)

This is the Salvia Divinorum Experience Blog, A WORLD OUT OF MIND, a place for discussion of personal experiences with Salvia Divinorum, a substance that those of us who have experience with it realize might just as well be called "Powdered God." I have had hundreds of discrete experiences with this amazing substance, perhaps more than a thousand, at all levels of dosage, and have found that it is capable of many things that other users do not seem to experience. I have through this also developed the ability to retain more of my waking consciousness during the experience, allowing me to bring more of it back with me. I would say that Salvia Divinorum is not so much an hallucinogen, but an anti-hallucinogen, in that it removes the illusion of reality from one's eyes and allows one to see reality as it actually is, which is pure consciousness. It cuts through Maya like a knife. I will share my own personal experiences with it here, and also in the near future will accept others experiences via email to post to this place for discussion. Or feel free to say hello and discuss your experiences in the "Comments" section, or ask me any questions that you may have about Salvia Divinorum and I will do my best to answer them. This is the very first post; I will be filling in details and making changes to this blog soon. Consider this whole place right now a sort-of "rough draft." Thanks for stopping by. -Saint Brian