Thick scabs of thoughts–some that had long-term nestled on my awareness and created the story of my life–cracked open and fell from my mind back into the ether. This allowed my awareness to expand like a balloon, commune and reunite with God–the unlabeled, dancing, swirling, flowing Here and Now…
This is the story of my first experience with psilocybin, magic mushrooms.
Here are some fantastic, free additional resources, if you’re interested:
Magic Mushrooms and the Experience of God
I rose early in USA Hostels, San Francisco, and sauntered down the deserted alleys to pick up a rental, drove it uphill in thin Saturday morning traffic and picked up a British couple and a young German guy, Jonas. We drove off towards Muir Woods National Park, a redwood tree forest just outside of Frisco.
I hauled the car over the Golden Gate bridge and passed Sausalito on the right. After crossing a handful bendy roads, listening to Nina Simone, we arrived at the main gate and entered.
We spent the late morning hours hiking up dank trails draped in the smell of moist bark, twisting our necks trying to stare at the tree’s crowns–an impossible undertaking–and inhaling the freshest air my city-tortured lounges have ever absorbed.
Somehow, maybe inspired by the nature around us, Jonas and I talked magic mushrooms; we both had never taken them but planned to for both, spiritual growth and fun.
In the afternoon we headed southbound, stopping in Sausalito for seaside burgers and fries, gazing at Frisco’s high-rises next to Alcatraz. Mushroom thoughts still lingered on our minds. We decided to hunt them do.
Luckily, I knew exactly where to look.
I backed the car into an empty lot at Haight Ashbury’s Wholefoods, made a quick run for dry-pressed, organic nuts and fruit bars, before stalking down the main road, pressing past antique vinyl shops, artisanal coffee joints and second-hand wastelands.
Now, if you ever wanted to time travel, Height Ashbury is your place.
The district, bordering Golden Gate Park on the east, seems stuck in 60’s–it’s glorious days when Jimmy Hendrix threw gratis concerts, Hippie Hill saw more acid than chemists and the Summer of Love skyrocketed birthrates–with one naked guy, probably high, cutting corners and hoards of long-haired old Rastafarians playing music and smoking pot in the open.
We found magic mushrooms in no time; locals call them Boomers.
An old, dread-locked guy, a relict from the sixties, dug out an eights from his rucksack, right next to McDonalds, and instructed a younger version of himself to procure an additional 3.5 grams from the park. Meanwhile, we bought some weed from a rugged skater who waved the goods right in front of the security camera’s eyes. My stomach tensed up and I swayed around like a kitten on catnip, drawing extra attention.
“They don’t care here,” the skater said, and it sure seemed like he was right.
Finally, the young Rasta came running back, dripping in sweat. I assumed he was high on mushrooms himself, which would’ve turned his venture into an Olympic performance.
“I hope you’ll have a lovely trip. May they serve you well, brother.” He smiled.
I liked the guys; I thought they’re leading a good life–living in communion with friends and nature, spending most of their time in parks making music, growing weed and mushrooms. A life of their own design, fueled by psychedelics.
In my view, weed and mushrooms are illegally classified illegal. They grow in nature, free for everyone to use. Nature was there before governments even existed and, in fear-based control attempts, came up with nonsense rules about nature.
Now you get your freedom taken for using nature? Doesn’t that seem a bit…wrong? It does to me. Anyways, that’s a different topic.
I stashed the Boomers in my jacket and we walked back to the car. I felt a bit bad for the English couple, who observed the whole spectacle from a safe-spot, but they assured me they were alright, even amused. That made me happy.
Seconds before the car rental company closed business for the day, I pulled up.
We walked back to the hostel, sat in the basement’s communal area and snacked on free cheese, topped up with a little wine.
“When do you want to take them?” Jonas asked.
“I guess tomorrow… Somewhere outside,” I pondered.
“Why not now?”
“Do we have to take them outside?” He grinned, raising his eyebrows.
“Not really. We’ll get the experience we need, I guess, here and now. I’d prefer nature, but then, it might be nice to have a bed somewhere to relax.”
“Let’s take them now.”
Phase One: A Game of Pool, Giggles and Change of Perception
In anticipation–slight tension in my belly, paired with excitement–we climbed up the stairs to my room. Jonas smartphoned a quick-fire how to take mushrooms guide and I, in my paranoid German brain, pulled up a just-in-case-we-vomit trashcan, earning me scolding looks from Jonas, who suggested to just eat the Boomers, which we did as fast as we could possible chew. No one vomited.
We climbed back down to the communal area and sat on a sofa.
A buff Brit called for a game of pool. We accepted. Ten minutes in the game the giggles came on hard. Moments later, the pool tables was skewed, neon, and bright; really bright. The balls looked like inflated, round marshmallows and seemed way to big to fit the holes. The Brit resembled an elongated Popeye, space seemed so spacious, and sounds knocked on my awareness from all angles.
We won the game, lord knows how, and fled into my dorm room, laughing.
Then the trip really began.
Phase 2: Activated Thinking and the Source of all Evil
I stood by the window, smoking, staring at a Frisco concrete wall blocking my view on the enlightened night sky.
Jonas, smoking one himself, and I talked. It was like our communication synced; everything he said felt like I said it, and vice versa. Our minds seemed to resonate on the same frequency.
We talked about money and the ludicrous status quo of modern slavery, getting a wire-transfer based on arbitrary criteria; one needed to compensate for the loss of soul suffered by handing over all creative energies to a heartless, corporate machine.
We talked about organized religion gone haywire; believers using their minds to kill brothers in the name of prophets who themselves praised nothing but absolute love and helped the blind to see past the limitations of their own minds.
We talked about the concept of state; human beings dying to protect random, manmade borders. Borders perpetuated by the fear of those who claim to be in power–the most fearful ones in the bunch–and divide the rich earth into little, encapsulated fragments.
The source of all evil, we realized, are the mind’s fear of loss and attachment. Both lead to mental isolation, fueling greed and anger.
At least that’s what master Yoda said.
I sat down on my bed with my mouth wide open and my temples throbbing. The sheet’s patterns danced and formed tunnels baiting my attention. I snapped out, lit another cigarette and walked around the room.
Phase 3: Pure, Godlike Presence
I went deeper and activated thinking made room for a sphere of no-mind.
Staring off into space, the perceived border between my inside world–my thoughts–and the outside world washed away; like a plug being pulled from my mind, allowing fresh, childish life to flow through me once again.
I–my self image–dissolved in an ocean of uncategorized experience.
That’s to say my world of labels, categories, judgments and preconceptions–a world that I, out of fear, often allow to dominate my existence–got shook and stirred up at its foundation.
I realized that I spend most of my awake time inside my own head, hiding on my narrow mental map–one full of deadlocks and one ways–about how the world should be; maintaining the illusion of being in control of life.
Now, this mental map crumbled in front of my eyes. But that was only the start.
Thick scabs of thoughts–some that had long-term nestled on my awareness and created the story of my life–cracked open and fell from my mind back into the ether. This allowed my awareness to expand like a balloon, commune and reunite with God–the unlabeled, dancing, swirling, flowing here and now.
Imagine a potted flower; the pot limiting the roots from growing. Such a mind-made pot exploded from my awareness, allowing me to re-root myself with everything.
I became what I had been as a child: pure presence.
There was no past. No future. I was God, and so was everything around me.
I imagine the psilocybin went right into my brain and cut through repetitive, negative thought patterns, abrading them from my mind and opening space between me and them. I was no longer identified with my thinking.
In fact, in this activated, divine state, I gained so much perspective on my thinking that I was able to literally just drop thoughts and bath in a sea of no-mind. A sea I forgot to visit for many years, being too busy with my slough of thoughts.
We went outside and stood in front of the hostel, speechless.
The Aftereffects: Letting Go!
The next day I awoke early and went for a walk. I left the building and paused. I had no idea what to do. There were so many things to discover, so many stories to hear.
I spent hours wandering the streets in awe, sitting in parks and watching the waves crash ashore at the harbor. I went into a coffee place and started drawing, something I hadn’t done since my early childhood, and gave the picture to an old lady next to me.
I felt fresh, almost reborn. The whole world seemed new and I was still outside my mind, grounded in present experience, no longer rooted in the mental pot I got so used to.
To my surprise, this state lasted for weeks, though it decreased in intensity.
Until this day, almost one year later, I kept the ability to notice useless thoughts and habits early on and drop them. I used to hold on to every thought that bubbled up, caught myself up in endless, impotent arguing inside my own mind.
The psilocybin showed me such a heightened perspective–the world through the eyes of god–that I allow myself to let go more often and loosen up.
My sense of self shifted from my mental self image to the world around me. I expanded, became more interested in people’s stories, more attuned to what’s going on every moment, and more sensitive to suffering around me.
I began waking up to the world from a two-decade snooze…