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


Saturday, September 20, 2014

STRANGE STUFF

Friday, January 31, 2014
STRANGE STUFF

A collection of short accounts of some incredible salvia divinorum experiences that I’ve had, both bad and good:

-The Current of Life
Deep in an eyes-closed vision, I am a detached viewpoint exploring my own mind, hovering in the vast cavern of my imagination, floating here and there, trying to get closer and closer to my central “I AM” point, floating higher and higher, when I saw a glowing current of a liquid-like substance flowing in “mid-air” overhead like a current of luminescent water. It seemed no more than perhaps a couple of feet across, so a fast stream and not a river. Fascinated, I realized that I could not only see it but feel it somehow, perhaps interact with it even. Resonate with it. So I concentrated on it and attempted to slow it down by willing it to be so. It obeyed my will; it was a part of me. I saw it start to slow as I had desired, and immediately I felt a strong arrhythmia in my heart. I immediately ceased my attempt, it returned to its normal rate of flow, and the uncomfortable sensation in my chest immediately ceased. I tried gently once again to slow it, and once again my heart lurched in my chest. That was enough of an experiment for me.
Make of it what you will. I have no heart problems.

***

-The Manuscript
In an eyes-open vision, standing in my room facing my dresser, I see a rip in reality happen right in front of my chest, maybe a foot away from my chest, perhaps a foot wide and a couple long, aligned long-axis vertical. Through it, through that rent in space, I see my own left arm and hand holding a single page of paper as if to read it. I could also make out a room into which I peered, but with little detail except a sense of antiquity, of age. My actual left arm was at my side, as was my right, however in that room in that reality as seen through that rip, I *was* the person holding that document. It was my arm. I was looking out another man’s eyes, but it seemed to be a version of me, albeit a different version.
It was seemingly from a manuscript or perhaps some old official document. It had a rubric at the beginning. Perhaps even an old Bible page. The writing was hard to see, so I focused my eyes more willfully upon it, concentrating on the act of focusing them and putting intention and will into the effort. The words started to come into focus, and just as I was beginning to be able to read them, I felt cardiac arrhythmia once again, as in the previous account above. Another forbidden thing? I had to be sure, so cautiously I once again began to focus my eyes on the words on that page, and once again, the heart flutter. Then, as if someone had explained it to me all in one instant, in a direct insight I realized that this was the choice that I had before me. Focus on that reality, and die to this one as you *go* to that one.
I made my choice. I’m here, aren’t I?

***

-The Room As Energy
I am in sitting meditation in a deep vision (eyes closed) from which I am just returning. I feel like my body is pure, crackling, static energy. I open my eyes, become aware of my surroundings, stand up, and walk out of my bedroom into the kitchen area. The room around me becomes increasingly “static-y” and I begin to see it as a three-dimensional volume of pure energy, see it in its translucent glory as arrangements of small bits of energy, alive with motion and sparkling scintillations. It was very beautiful, but maintaining my ability to remain focused was becoming more difficult. The trance threatened to take me yet again. I looked down and saw my body as much the same as my surroundings, made of these small parts, each part a unit of energy, an arrangement of building blocks of thought, all working together to form this reality and my own body within it. The room and my body were all an illusion before, the illusion of normalcy, of matter and surfaces, of solids and liquids and gasses; what I was seeing now however was the reality behind that illusion.
And it seemed to me at the time that something didn’t want me to see that, or if I did see it, didn’t want me to remember it.
I felt my body becoming increasingly ‘static-y’ and non-coherent the more I retained focus, and felt crawling sensations all through me; tingling feelings all over verging on tremors, as if a stronger and stronger electrical current were running through every part of me inside and out. It began to border on the painful. I began to feel weaker. I was determined to remember this, but I knew that I would not if I did not record it somehow, so against what my body was telling me (lie down on the floor now or DIE!) I staggered over to where we kept some pens and sticky-notes and grabbed one of each, and in barely legible shaky handwriting I quickly wrote “It’s all made up of little parts” and underlined it, put it down, and collapsed. It was the best I could do, but it turned out to be sufficient to the purpose, because later on upon reading it, it all came back to me. I managed to write it, but I sensed that I was risking my life in doing so, because it was incredibly difficult to force myself even to stand up and it felt like I was fairly close to death, and yet I forced myself and kept forcing myself until I’d finished writing that note to myself. It seemed at the time far too important an experience to forget.

***

-Physical Death Preview
I was doing a meditation in which I was very deep inside my own mind, but I do not recall the nature of this meditation, just that I was apparently fiddling around with something that I shouldn’t have. I remember that I got to a certain point where I had the option to do a certain thing, whatever that was, and I started to do it, when I felt the scariest sensation of my whole life. I felt my body start to die. Now, I’m not saying that it actually was, but I was definitely feeling it as if it was. I felt tiny bits of consciousness all over and through my body, indeed apparently composing my body, start to just *wink out* like snuffed candles.
My own kinesthetic body sense seemed composed of small areas of sensory feedback, all combined to make me. Millions of them. Well, what I was feeling was those tiny centers of consciousness that make up my gestalt consciousness, disappearing. Poof!
They were my body sense, but also my mind itself. I felt small parts of it shutting off, literally going away, like bubbles in a full tub popping and slowly disappearing one by one, and if I let it continue I’d be gone altogether soon enough.
It’s hard to capture in words how this felt. How would you feel if you look down at your body and pieces of it started to go numb and fall off? This was pretty similar, and very scary indeed. Parts of me were simply shutting down. This seemed to me to be just about the worst case scenario for whatever one feels as they’re actually dying, the terror of just seeing it all go away, the terror of feeling parts of your mind simply ceasing to exist, and you along with it.
Of course as soon as I ceased whatever the hell I was doing, it just stopped. That one, I didn’t bother trying again just to be sure.


***

-The Sword
Sitting in trance in a straight-backed chair, eyes open, staring upwards at an angle. I had been meditating for a few minutes, and I was in an intermediate-deep state. I saw hints of motion above and in front of me for a few seconds and I wondered what would appear, but that’s all I had time for when a brightly glowing arc-shaped line of energy that resembled nothing less than a very large curved sword swiftly descended point-first from the upper left (my left) side near the vicinity of the ceiling and stabbed completely through my body on my left side just below my ribcage, exiting out the back and going into the chair. It was instant excruciating pain! I felt it stab completely through my body, seeming to exit just above my left kidney area, pinning me to the chair. I clearly felt the blade inside of me, and the pain followed its path all the way through my side from the skin on the front of my body to the skin on the back. AHHH! That really, really hurt.
I sat there, pinned, and did some breathing exercises and gradually both the sword and the pain faded away, but I came away from the experience thinking that it seemed as if one of my other versions, a doppelganger in some other plane of existence far removed from mine, was just killed by a sword, or at least gravely wounded, and I felt it all happen somehow.

***

-I Lose One Of Me
Meditating lying down, ample light in the room, in trance. Suddenly and with no warning I see and feel a glowing “ghost” of myself, perfect in every detail but translucent and glowing a dim greenish light, exit my body to the left, as if I’d been lying there with two “me’s” perfectly superimposed in one body and one of them just decided to leave.
I felt this “other me” roll out of my body to the left side into the solid wall there, as one might roll off a bed. Inside of my body it felt like half my atoms all left at the same time. I felt a real body, as it seemed, a duplicate of me, leave me.
I felt diminished, “halved” even, and thought “I’ve heard of astral projection, but usually you’re the one projecting out of your body, not the one left behind!
Perhaps it was a rare instance of me being conscious of a splitting point where my universe divided in two, and one of me “went thataway…”

***

-The 90 Degree Turn
This is truly one of the most amazing and startling things that has ever happened to me on salvia.
I am sitting cross-legged on the bed, in a moderate trance, facing the closet at the end of the bedroom.
I am meditating on the point between my eyes.
Suddenly, I rotated ninety degrees to the right. Not my body, no. That remained perfectly still. My consciousness inside of my body rotated smoothly to the right while still inside of my body, and then my face seemed to part the skin of the right side of my head near my ear. I felt something like an elastic membrane parting for me, and then I saw another identical room there with the closet in front of me just like the first one! I could still see the old room, situated at 90 degrees to the new one! I was in between two identical rooms in two (nearly?) identical universes; that was the only explanation. So I popped out of my “old body’s” side completely, leaving the old room behind forever, and now there I sat, still in the identical position, having not moved at all physically, still facing the closet; but I knew that it was not the same closet in the same room, because I had seen the old one and the new one at 90 degree angles to each other before I allowed myself to completely “come into” this new one.
So there I sat, still cross-legged on my bed and facing that closet, totally stunned by what had just happened to me. I had not moved, had not twitched a finger, but my consciousness had rotated to the right and moved into a new cross-legged version of me in a new version of my bedroom. WOW.

***

-The Broken Room
Sitting meditation, cross-legged on the bed, eyes closed. I had just had a somewhat ‘bad trip’ wherein I was stretched into a long elastic sheet and fed into what seemed like a pulley, knowing that when I got to the pulley thing I would “pop” and be destroyed, sensing somehow that this has happened to me many times before. Visions like that are fairly common; being destroyed, atomized, ground up to powder, rolled over by a huge wheel, that sort of thing. Other salvianauts commonly have them too.
Then on coming out of it, I sat there on the bed and opened my eyes. The room was very still and quiet. Then I felt and heard slight tremors and vibrations. Suddenly the room started to literally fracture all over; the walls cracked, and the entire room twisted as if in the hands of a giant. Through the cracks and fissures, clouds of purest blackness started to seep in, what I call “the Outer Darkness,” like clouds of perfectly black ink seeping into a room filled with clear water. I could clearly hear the room fracturing and twisting. This displeased me, so I willed it all to slow down and stop. Then there I was, sitting there, fully aware, eyes open, looking around the room. The cracks were still there, but were no longer progressing, and the clouds of Outer Darkness were still there frozen in time as it were. I looked to my right where my wife was sleeping. A crack had appeared in the wall behind us, between me and her. A cloud of Outer Darkness hung frozen out of that crack, totally obscuring my wife’s face and head from me. Other, large cracks were all over the walls and ceiling, all with pure blackness frozen in the act of seeping through them. The room itself wasn’t even a regular rectangular room shape anymore; it was twisted out of line.
This was not my first encounter with the Outer Darkness. The first time, in meditation, I saw “flames” of it seeping through a shadow on my wall, and watched them flicker for quite a while; the second time was similar but I willed them to come to me and actually spent some time playing with them in my hand, little black flames flickering and dancing on and among my fingers. My wife came into the room at that time, and I asked her “You don’t see these, do you?” nodding toward my open hand. She of course didn’t see anything, but to my eyes they were still there, practically frolicking on my hand. I've never felt more like a sorcerer in my life.
On a couple of other occasions I’d also seen them seeping through small cracks in the room, but never like this Broken Room experience.
Incidentally, I’ve read of shamans speaking of the “outer darkness” or “outer blackness” and beings who dwell there, so that’s why I labeled it that in my head.

***

-A Woman’s Voice
Sitting meditation in a straight-back chair, medium-deep trance, eyes closed. I was visualizing all of creation as a vast cloud of consciousness with the external parts, the outer surfaces if you will, being where we are to be found, as if we lived in just the ‘crust’ of all reality. I then felt a presence, and clearly heard a woman’s voice say something like “yes, this is how it is.” I felt that she was a real being, not my imagination, perhaps even a personification of the ALL. So I thought a bit about what I wanted to say next. I then asked her, “What then of the World’s Pain?” and imagined all the pain and suffering and heartache and death and destruction and terror of this world as I asked it. She replied in the saddest, most resigned tone imaginable “It is unavoidable. It is how it is. Such a pity. Such a shame.”
That’s it. Still, very eerie, let me assure you.

***

-DEMON
I’ve felt like I was dying in several ways, felt my consciousness fade away, been ground to powder, stretched like a rubber sheet and met a Demiurge-like being that was very scary in a satanic kind of way a couple of times, but nothing compares to this for sheer terror.
My Worst Experience on Salvia Ever:
I am standing in my room after a trip, looking at a large quartz crystal that I had on my dresser. It’s a very rare and unusual specimen that I bought on a business trip to Minas Gerais, Brazil. (I am a gemologist by trade)
It was a “phantom” crystal about five inches tall, clear, but with a milky-white lamellar phantom in it. This is another quartz crystal embedded in the larger one, and it was separated into flat planes so it looked like a layer cake. It’s the only one I’ve ever seen or even heard of, and a minerologist that I showed it to was mystified by it as well, as was my local mineral-collector's club.
So I’m staring into it, and something made me have a very, very bad thought. I will not tell you what that thought was, but it was completely unlike me to ever think such a thing. Let’s just say that it was incredibly evil, and involved homicide. The worst thought that I could think of, basically. Awful, disgusting, sick. Not like me at all; I never think such things.
I’m still staring at the crystal as I’m having this thought, and as soon as I had it I thrust it away from me in disgust. That’s when it got really strange. The thought just got stronger! I was starting to literally panic as I tried again and again to rid myself of the thought, but all of my panic simply fed the thought, and it grew and grew. My fear fed it. My attempts to not think it, fed it. I thought to myself “What if I actually did that horrible thing” and that really fed it! Every single thing that I could think of to get rid of it, fed it. Stronger and stronger it became, and as it did, the air in front of the crystal started to take on a strange, pixelated look, then geometric shapes started to form there, odd moving geometry that I could somehow sense was literally causing my mind to start fracturing and breaking like glass. I was going mad! This vicious cycle of thought was shattering my mind! In stark terror now, I could see that it was getting the better of me, and if it won, I’d be stark-raving mad, and even possibly commit acts of disgusting violence, so I really “clamped down” on it and forced myself to *forget the whole thing* by physically moving my body around and turning my head away from the crystal, and other self-distracting physical actions, all the while willing myself to another line of thought. That finally worked, but it was a battle. Phew!
Ever since then, I’ve understood psychosis intuitively. I get it now. It’s a feedback cycle, fed by every attempt to rid yourself from it. I “get” madness now. I really do. The mind is capable of getting involved in a negative feedback cycle from which no apparent exit is possible, and all attempts at breaking it only feed it.
I was utterly terrified the whole time. I’ve even gone so far as to “install” safeguards in my mind against such a thing ever happening to me again. I’m confident that it won’t.

***

-The Potential Ghost
This occurred shortly after the Demon experience outlined above, so I was prepared for mental feedback cycles.
After a salvia meditation in my bedroom I walked out to the kitchen to get a drink. Afterwards as I was walking back to the bedroom, I paused and looked down the hallway. It was very dark in that hallway, and the fact that I’d just done salvia made it look even darker, with more suspicious shadows. It just looked creepy.
So I had a thought that I would try a ‘belief experiment.” Staring down the hall, I (intentionally) thought of how creepy it was, focused on that, and thought that perhaps I could even see movement in that hallway. I was thinking that perhaps seeing ghosts was also a feedback cycle of apprehension or fear, at least sometime, and I wanted to try it. So there I was, looking down the hallway, when I clearly saw a swirl of movement. I allowed myself to feel the “creepy factor,” allowed myself to feel apprehension. Maybe a ghost would appear, maybe I’d see something really scary or gross, maybe maybemaybe… now I was feeling a slight level of actual fear, but only because that was my goal, to feel exactly that.
The swirling started to solidify into a form. A moving form. A human form.
So that’s where I called it, when I ended the experiment. I shut down the feedback cycle in my mind forcibly, the figure disappeared, and I walked down the creepy hallway to the end, now confident that there was nothing to fear. And there wasn’t. So I went back to my room and fell asleep.
I’m fairly confident now that many psychoses, and the hallucinations of the schizophrenic, are in reality just such mental feedback cycles.


***

-Sitting Up While Lying Down
I often meditate sitting up in a straight-backed chair near my bed. So there I was one night, meditating on salvia after tripping out, in a relaxation phase afterwards. I was sitting there upright, my eyes closed, slowly coming back to being myself. After a few minutes of this, I opened my eyes to an astonishing sight: Tonight I was not sitting down in my chair, that’s not what I had done. I was lying down flat on my back in bed. However, I felt myself in an upright, sitting position as if in my chair. My actual body was flat, my legs stretched out in front of me on the bed, but that’s not where I felt them. I felt my legs down beneath me, my feet on the floor. But there’s a bed underneath me! My legs were out of my body, as it were, and were interpenetrating the bed. I’d simply forgotten that I’d gone to bed before this meditation and misremembered it as a sitting one. So there I was, feeling myself in an upright sitting position while actually lying on my back, and I even had some time, a few minutes perhaps, to contemplate this weirdness. Slowly as I tried to sense my actual legs and not my “astral” ones, the latter faded away and my senses returned to normal; now the legs that I saw were at least the legs that I felt!

***

-Pure Gnosis; the Highest Ascent
This was an unusual meditation as I was using certain OTO (OrdoTemploOrientis) energy raising techniques to achieve a very high state of gnosis. It worked.
Eyes closed, deep trance, but aware and cogent.
In the meditation I built my energy up to a peak and released it, launching my consciousness straight upwards.
Suddenly I was flying up and up, through many, many layers that felt almost like I was traveling up through geological strata or something similar. Upwards and upwards my consciousness flew, faster and faster, until I felt myself break through a final layer, a final barrier, and my head and shoulders apparently broke through the floor of a room somewhere. It was as if the floor of the room, while normally solid, was like water to me, and I splashed right through it, just as if I had been on the bottom of a deep swimming pool and had kicked off and then broke forcibly through the surface of the water into the air. I only had perhaps a half-second to see the room, and then I fell back into the “water” of the floor and sunk back down to my body resting in my bedroom, but what I saw in that room bears mentioning: It was a long room, seemingly of modern decor, minimalistic, with an opening at the far end onto a small courtyard perhaps. The courtyard was in full sunlight but the room was somewhat dark by comparison, albeit still easy enough to see in. There was a woman standing about five feet in front of me to my left, one or possibly two other people in the room farther away, and at the farthest part of the room away from me where it opened into the bright courtyard, a man was standing.
It was just as if they were there going about their business, perhaps socializing, in that room, when suddenly I broke up through the floor and interrupted them. They all turned to face me very quickly, as if very startled. The man near the courtyard turned, the woman near me turned, the one or possibly two other figures turned, all seemingly very startled as if in shock to see me there. I got a sense then, from them; a feeling, an intuition, that they were all thinking “this should never happen!” It wasn't like they didn't know what was happening, either. It was as if they knew exactly what was happening and what I was, and they didn't like it.

***

So that’s the end of my little baker's dozen of miscellaneous weird salvia accounts. Hope you enjoyed them.

5 comments:

  1. Your 'Highest Ascent' experience reminds me of something I've written about how what with so many psychonauts in orbit, occasionally one breaks through to a dimension where the old sages and arhants sit in meditation, and how startling it must be for them to have someone materialize among them giving 'high fives' and trying to chat. I incorporated this into a brief sign-off i frequently use to end an email, and I'll sign off with it here:
    "Wishing your illusory self-arising pristine awareness embodiment/emanation a festive absorption into the light while still planetside. And if you're already absorbed, wishing you a double-scoop of your favorite flavor. I'm having mine today on an amrita cone! Why scramble for crumbs if you can sit in the solar paradise with all the buddhas and bodhisattvas, purring and thwishing your tail in delight?"

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  2. I'm afraid I'd be more selfish, as in "Quick, tell me what reality is now before I go!"

    But I had no chance to say anything at all, I had like a half-second. Sad.

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  3. Perhaps you'll have another opportunity. I once felt as if La Pastora was looking me over as if I was some sort of flower in her garden. She sort of 'patted my head,' and went on down the row.

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  4. I was warned not to do it in several different ways, ignored all of the being the stubborn cuss I am, then more recently I got the impression that she's decided to tolerate me. Maybe persistence pays off with her, dunno.

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