When people describe magic mushroom trips, they never do it right. They always focus on the visuals, which are the least interesting part of the experience.
They don't focus on the love. They don't focus on the joy. They don't focus on the complete acceptance you feel in the moment as your ego disappears into pure gratitude for being alive.
This is a story about drug use that you won't hear on the news or in a class room.
Three years ago, while couchsurfing in Amsterdam, I had the most profound experience of my entire life.
I got a taste of enlightenment. My ego disappeared, and I was left with a part of "me" that I'd never met before. This "other me" had no fear. He had no regrets.
Sadly, I had the experience alone. There was no one nearby. No one to talk to. No one to share it with. I was having a life-changing epiphany, and I was afraid it might go to waste.
Thankfully, I had a pen and a notebook nearby.
A little backstory:
I vacationed in Amsterdam for 10 days without smoking any weed. I'd never been high before, and I didn't want to start just because I could. Smoking marijuana in Amsterdam seemed so... typical. I wanted to do something different.
So I ate 15 grams of psychedelic truffles for breakfast.
I should mention that I was not an experienced drug user. I hadn't tried weed, but I'd tried magic mushrooms a few times (I wrote about the first time here), and they were all great experiences except the very last one. That particular trip was a terrifying carousel of nightmares where I was convinced I'd died and my soul was trying to piece together the shattered memories of its past.
I look forward to writing about that in the future.
For now, let's stick with Amsterdam. Put yourself in my shoes. It's your last day in the city and your couchsurfing host just left to go to work all day. You have the apartment to yourself for 8 hours. You bought psychedelic truffles several days ago, but you're afraid you'll have another horrifying trip. What do you do?
Answer: You eat the truffles and hope for a good story.
I ate the truffles on an empty stomach right out of bed. As expected, things got scary very quickly. For one, my couchsurfing host had a lot of tribal masks hanging around the apartment.
I stared at them, wide eyed as the psilocybin started to kick in. Oh, please God, don't let them move. I was already getting sick to my stomach. I tried to take a shower to calm my nerves. It didn't work.
My mind was panicking. What if your couchsurfing host comes home early and finds you like this? What if you throw up on her couch? What if she writes a bad review and you can't couch surf anymore?
I'd made a huge mistake. Now I'd be trapped in a bad trip for 8 hours (which would feel like 8 days). I desperately tried to put myself into a better state of mind. I googled "happiness" and got a bunch of smiley faces. They all looked suspicious, like they were hiding something. I searched "babies laughing" on YouTube (which I usually find adorable), but they creeped me the fuck out. I tried listening to my favorite music, but everything sounded threatening.
In short, I was fucked.
So I let go. I decided to stop trying to control the experience and just let it happen. Everything is temporary. If I had another bad trip, at least I'd learn something about myself.
I put a playlist on shuffle, curled up in bed, and hoped I would fall asleep.
Then it happened. I don't know what came first, the feeling of love welling up in my chest or the Bob Marley music; all I know is that "No Woman, No Cry" was playing as all my fears melted away and I felt the most intense joy that I'd ever felt in my entire life.
I've read poems and heard songs and seen movies that try to describe "love," but nothing could compare to this experience. It truly couldn't be described with words.
That didn't stop me from trying.
I grabbed a pen and a notebook and started writing everything that popped into my head. Below is the full, unedited transcript. Before today, I'd only shown it to three close, trusted friends.
Disclaimer: If you're looking for something profound, eloquent, or insightful, I doubt you'll find it below. Honestly, the writing is sloppy, there's a ton of repetition, and there's no structure. I was tripping, after all.
But, these words are the realest, rawest, most unfiltered look into the mind of someone whose entire perspective on life has just changed for the better. Magic mushroom trips can be life-changing, but non-users often dismiss them by turning up their noses and saying, "Oh, those people are just on drugs."
Yeah, so is everyone drinking coffee. And coffee never made anyone let go of twenty years of pain and regret while filling the void with serenity and hope and love and joy. So fuck off.
If you've taken psychedelics, you might understand. If you haven't, I hope these words offer you a mild taste of what a mushroom trip is actually like.
I showed it to a friend of mine who's never tried any drug. He read it with a smile, looked up and said, "I've never been that happy about anything in my entire life."
Neither had I.
The following is the completely unedited transcript of everything I wrote down that day (minus my name). I've added bold typeface to my favorite parts. Enjoy!
Life is beautiful, but what am I? An instrument? A pen? The thing I hold in my hand? A powerful tool.
Don’t be afraid. I want someone to hold my hand. Relax in the moment. Endless.
Soul-searching. I want to be held, but I am. I am not alone. There are no distractions.
I forgot what it’s like to love everything. And everyone. Everything is so perfect. I don’t know where I’ve been or where I’m going. But I’m enjoying the ride. I know I want to share the experience.
Life and love are the same thing. I’m so happy right now. So secure. So safe. Experience. I’m going to do this again. I’m going to love again. Everything is a million miles away but so close. So, so close. Wow, I love everything. This moment now. I want to help. I want to love. This is such a good trip. I feel so, so safe. Wow.
I’ve lost the ability to rationalize thoughts. I love everybody and everyone. I want to share the experience. Nothing is good or bad. There is only the experience. This experience now; I don’t feel lonely or scared. I feel loved. I’m so happy to have this experience. This shared experience. I don’t know what will happen. But I love everything. This is such a perfect time in my life. This moment now. The bad trip I had seems such a distant memory. Memories are simply vessels to carry us where we want to go. Ask yourself where you want to go now. This is a good trip. I’m so thankful. For everything. And everyone. I’m thankful my computer is so distant. But so close.
I’m thankful for everything. I cannot state it enough. There is divine purpose in life. But life is an illusion. A pleasant dream. Or a nightmare. But right now, it’s a pleasant experience. Eat Shit Leave.¹ Haha, so simple. I’m trying too hard. Now… I’m enjoying the now. I’m loving the now.
This was a good decision. I love Bob Marley. Now. In this moment now. I feel inspired. But I don’t need to force it. I love everything. I don’t know how long I’ve been writing, but I know I love everything. I love Bob Marley. I didn’t know I loved him until now. This experience is a conduit.
I love myself. I love others. I don’t know how long I’ll last. But I know I’m not alone. I’m so, so thankful. For everything. And everyone. I feel instilled by divine purpose, but purpose is such a funny, unnecessary word. There is only experience. Experience flows over us like water. It’s so easy to forget. It’s so easy to forget that I love pink.² I’ll find my way.
I’m so thankful for this pen. This experience. The soundtrack of my life is washing over me like water. I have so many thoughts. So, so many thoughts. But there is beauty in this moment. There is beauty in letting go. Memories are a conduit. I’ve let go of my memories. I allow them to come to me, back and forth. But in this moment, I’m so, so happy.
I’m plugged into the Divine Matrix, as my old self would say. Is there such thing? A wealth of experiences. I stopped the music. Because I want to experience more of now. I see the past, the present, and the future are one. And I’m not afraid. I feel inspired. In this moment now. I’m letting go. I’m learning to let go. But I’m so, so thankful. For everything. For every experience. For the beauty that surrounds me, each and every day.
Again, divine “purpose,” but purpose is not the right word. I’m a conduit of experience. An infinite, mysterious world of vast potential.
I don’t know about the past. I only know about now. And now, I’m letting go. I see divine purpose in all things. There’s that word again. It’s so easy and so hard to lose sight of divine reality. And the reality is the purpose. I’m a million miles away, but I’m so, so close. So incredibly close.
I’m so thankful for every moment, good and bad. It’s all part of experience. We have to work. We have to love. We have to be brought back to this moment now. I want to say I’m a divine instrument, but there is no “me.” Only the experience.
I’m finding music in the silence. I’m so very thankful. For everything. For everyone.
This illusion of myself is an allusion to myself. I’m only a vessel. A vessel of love and devotion and purpose and love. Love cannot be stated enough. In people, places, and things. In experience. That is the divine essence of all things. Experience. Experience the lies. Experience the truth. Experience reality. Experience the music in the silence.
Experience the beauty in the noise. We are vessels of experience. In this moment now, I love my pen. I love my purpose.
I love the energy, the purpose… the experience. I don’t know where it’s taking me, but I’m so thankful that it is. I’m so thankful to be here. Now. In this moment, the wealth of experience and knowledge is overwhelming. But I see divine purpose in everything and everyone.
I hear the music in the silence. I feel the purpose in the now. Drugs aren’t necessary. They are only a vessel. A vessel of experience. In this moment now, I feel a wealth of experience. Of love, knowledge, truth, falsehood. I see every extension of who I was and will be.
I see potential. Potential within the experience. Within the now. So, so much potential. I’m only a conduit of experience. Of divinity. Love. But the love itself is merely an extension of experience. Good and bad. Truth and light.
I AM THE UNKNOWN.³ We all are the unknown. You were so close. You’re so close now.
Feel it. Feel how your pen moves although someone else is guiding it. Feel the divine light within all things. Good and bad. There is only the experience. I see my divine purpose. In all things, I see truth. There is no purpose. There is truth in the moments. A collection of experiences. We don’t know where we are, who we are, where we’ve been, or where we’re going, but we have experience. And in this moment now, my experience is truth and light and God and love. I’m losing myself in the words. The sights, the sounds, the experience. I want others to share this experience. I want others to share the now.
Don’t worry about where you've been. Don’t worry about where you’re going. Because you’re loved. Wherever you are. Wherever you go. Whatever you experience. Remember that you are loved.
You will forget at times, and that’s okay. That’s part of the experience. Learn to let go. There is strength in the gravity. The forces that bind us. The things beyond our understanding. I don’t know if my experience is ending, or if it’s just begun. I don’t know if this will make sense to others. I don’t know if it’ll make sense to myself. I want to change the world. I want to change the experience.
So many thoughts. If it’s unpleasant, change the experience. You have less control than you think you know, and that’s okay. You’re experiencing a wealth of moments within the now.
Don’t be scared. Because you’re loved. When you’re alone. Whether you’re alone or with others, you’re loved. Divine purpose flows through this and every moment. I’m feeling grounded again. I’m feeling like I’m losing the experience. But again, that’s okay. There’s enough. There’s a wealth of experience, good and bad, of all relative terms.
I feel like I’m landing back on planet earth. I’m beginning to hear my hopes and fears and doubts and dreams. But there is only the experience. In truth. And in light.
We struggle to find words, images, sounds to relay the experience. To find memories. But they pass us by, every day, moment by moment, like leaves floating in an endless river. And true beauty, like leaves in a river, lies in forces beyond your control.
We’re so close, but so far. The distance is an illusion. I’m starting to cry. I’m learning to let go. There is no place you need to be other than here and now. You will forget. But that’s okay. You’ll find your way home. I’m going home now. Not to die or wish or dream. But to experience.
Experience the moment. Experience the truth. You can find it everywhere. In a kiss. In a slap. In a tear. In a smile. In a word. In a sentence.
I’m learning to let go. I’m learning to let forces beyond my control guide me and trusting the river of life knows where it is going. Even now, as I feel this experience ending, I know it’s just begun.
Capture the moment. Let it guide you and take you where you need to go. I love my family. I love them. I love my brother, sister, mother, father. I love the dog. I love this room. I must remember to love the experience. I feel sadness that the experience is leaving me, but I’m so thankful to have had it. I don’t know who I’m writing to, or who will hear it. The message. If there is one.
Find the music in the silence. The truth within yourself. We’re all a part of this experience. We become afraid. We escape. We abandon. We return. I’m feeling the “real world” press upon me again. It’s always there. Waiting. Tempting. Tempting us to forget the moment and worry about the future, or regret the past. Don’t worry. Fear and doubt are all part of the experience as well. Just as I feel this experience ending, and a new moment that has just begun. I find the truth in the now. In the moment. And in this moment, I want to rest.
This isn’t [my name] speaking anymore. This is the experience. The now. We’re always so desperate in our attempts to steer the ship. But we don’t need a rudder. We have experience to guide us. It made me cry.
I’m back on earth, here and now. I’m sobering up. I’m accepting the reality. I’m only a vessel. We have the potential to be much more. And we are. We’re potential. I feel sad now, as I find the sounds of the “real world” setting in. This was indeed a trip. An experience. Maybe it will make sense to you in the future or in the now. Right now, the experience is gone. Passed. Washed away. Remember these words, [my name]. Remember them.
You are loved.
And you always will be. Share the message. Experience it.
Today, I experienced God. In this room. And I’m very thankful for the experience. We can change the world. And I’m not afraid.
There is a higher message of purpose and potential. It doesn’t matter who hears the message. Just raise the flag. Raise it so someone else can see it. I’m on a divine journey. A divine path. There is so much more. So much truth. And so much more to experience.
How much is it worth to experience God? For me, it was 30 euros. Money well spent.
Today, I kissed the face of God.
- As I was traveling, I debated writing a book about the experience parodying Eat, Pray, Love entitled Eat. Shit. Leave.
- My couchsurfing host gave me a bed with pink sheets, a pink blanket, and pink pillows. While tripping, I felt as if I was back in the womb.
- "I AM THE UNKNOWN" was the most perplexing line of the whole piece, and it was the only line I wrote in all caps. I didn't know what it meant at the time, but three years later, I decided to use "The Unknown" as my alias while writing for HighExistence.com.