Psilocin (mushrooms), broken down and described
Onset : 60 - 120 minutes
Duration : 2 - 6 hours
Normal After Effects : up to 8 hours
Threshold : .25 - 1 g
Light : 1 - 2.5 g
Common : 2.5 - 3.5 g
Strong : 3.5 - 5 g
Heavy : 5 g +
Psilocin is a naturally occurring tryptamine psychedelic found within approximately 190 separate species of mushroom and growing on every continent across the planet. Psychedelic mushrooms have been in use since before recorded human history with their depiction being found on cave art and famously used by the native people of Mesoamerica for religious and shamanic purposes.
There are two separate chemicals found within mushrooms in roughly equal amounts. They are both classed as substituted tryptamine alkaloids and serotonergic psychedelic drugs, but it’s important to note that only psilocin is directly active. The other substance, psilocybin, is instead a pro-drug of the pharmacologically active substance psilocin and converted directly into it within the liver. Once the molecule has been converted into psilocin, it acts as a partial agonist for several serotonergic receptors. Psilocin has a high affinity for the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor in the brain where it mimics the effects of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, or 5-HT).
The psilocin experience contains a complex and wide array of effects which based on the predefined potential subjective effects index found here, I will now begin to breakdown and describe the chemical.
The physical effects of Psilocin can be broken down into two components all of which progressively intensify proportional to dosage. These are described below and generally include:
- Spontaneous tactile sensations - The body high of psilocin can be described as a pleasurable, warm, soft and all-encompassing tingling sensation. This maintains a consistent presence that steadily rises with the onset and hits its limit once the peak has been reached.
- Sedation - In terms of its effects on the physical energy levels of the tripper, psilocin is considered by most to be relaxing, stoning and mildly sedating. This sense of sedation is often accompanied by compulsive yawning, a runny nose and watering eyes.
The head space of psilocin is described by many as extremely relaxing, profound and stoning in its style when compared to other commonly used psychedelics such as LSD or 2C-B which tend to be energetic and stimulating. It contains a large number of psychedelic typical and unique cognitive effects.
The most prominent of these typical effects generally include:
- Enhancement of current mind state
- Connectivity of thought
- Feelings of fascination, importance and awe
- Time distortion
- Removal of cultural filter
- Feelings of predeterminism
- Conceptual thinking
- Direct communication with the subconsious
- Ego suppression, loss and death
- Feelings of interdependent opposites
- States of unity and interconnectedness
- Enhancement and suppression cycles - This can be described as constant waves of extremely stimulated and profound thinking which are spontaneously surpassed in a cyclic fashion by waves of general thought suppression and mental intoxication. These two states seem to switch between each other in a consistent loop once every 20 - 60 minutes.
Psilocin presents a full and complete array of possible visual enhancements which generally include:
- Increased visual acuity
- Enhancement of colours
- Enhanced pattern recognition
As for visual distortions and alterations, effects experienced are detailed below:
- Visual drifting (melting, flowing, breathing and morphing) - In comparison to other psychedelics, this effect can be described as highly detailed, slow and smooth in motion and static in its appearance.
- After images
- Texture repetition
- Colour shifting
- Scenery slicing
The visual geometry that is present throughout this trip can be described as more similar in appearance to that of 4-AcO-DMT, Ayahuasca and 2C-E than LSD. It can be comprehensively described as structured in its organization, organic in geometric style, intricate in complexity, large in size, fast and smooth in motion, colourful in scheme, glossy in colour, blurred in its edges and rounded in its corners. They have a very “natural” feel to them and at higher dosages are significantly more likely to result in states of Level 7B visual geometry over Level 7A.
Psilocin and its various other forms produce a full range of high level hallucinatory states in a fashion that is more consistent and reproducible than that of many other commonly used psychedelics. These effects generally include:
- External hallucinations
- Internal hallucinations - This particular effect commonly contains hallucinations with scenarios, landscapes, settings, concepts and autonomous entity contact. They are more common within dark environments and can be described as internal in their manifestation, lucid in believability, interactive in style and almost exclusively of religious, spiritual, mystical or a transcendental nature in their overall theme.
The auditory effects of psilocin are common in their occurrence and exhibit a full range of effects which commonly include:
Health Effects, Addiction Potential and Tolerance:
The toxicity of psilocybin, psilacetin and psilocin is extremely low. In rats, the median lethal dose (LD50) of psilocybin when administered orally is 280 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg). Psilocybin comprises approximately 1% of the weight of Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms, so nearly 1.7 kilograms (3.7 lb) of dried mushrooms or 17 kilograms (37 lb) of fresh mushrooms would be required for a 60-kilogram (130 lb) person to reach the 280 mg/kg LD50 value of rats. Based on the results of animal studies, the lethal dose of psilocybin has been extrapolated to be 6 grams which is 1000 times greater than the effective dose of 6 milligrams.
There are no known long term physical effects from ingestion of mushrooms containing psilocybin and psilocin.
Keep in mind that psychedelic mushrooms are non-habit-forming and that the desire to use them can actually decrease with use. They are most often self-regulating. You also build an almost immediate tolerance to them after ingestion, preventing you from experiencing their full effects for more often than every 4-7 days (unless you increase your dose significantly).
- Psilocybin mushrooms are regulated or prohibited in many countries, often carrying severe legal penalties (for example, the U.S. Psychotropic Substances Act, the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and Drugs Act 2005 and the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act).
- Psilocybin and psilocin are listed as Schedule I drugs under the United Nations 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
- On November 29, 2008, the Netherlands announced it would ban the cultivation and use of psilocybin-containing fungi beginning December 1, 2008.
- The UK ban on fresh mushrooms (dried ones were already illegal as they were considered a psilocybin-containing preparation) was introduced in 2005.
- The New Mexico appeals court ruled on June 14, 2005, that growing psilocybin mushrooms for personal consumption could not be considered “manufacturing a controlled substance” under state law. However it still remains illegal under federal law.
- 4-ACO-DMT is unscheduled in the United States. It may be considered an analog of psilocin under the Federal Analog Act.
- 4-ACO-DMT could also be considered illegal in the UK under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. 4-ACO-DMT is an ester of psilocin (to which it metabolizes into). This means that it potentially carries the same penalty as any Class A drug.
If you want to try psilocin despite the legal issues you have multiple options. You can purchase them through a street dealer, grow them yourself using this guide here or you can pick them fresh in your local area during the correct season if you know where to look for them.
If you want to try 4-ACO-DMT despite the legal issues, you can find it for sale through the power of Google. It sold online to the masses through various research chemical vendors who I cannot legally mention the names of.
Reader submitted trip reports:
- 3g - I found god inside of myself by Oscarette
- 4g - States of unity and interconnectedness by Anonymous
- Unknown dosage - An omniscient sphere by Anonymous
Psilocin is one of my favourite psychedelics and is best used in silent darkness and in high doses to fully release its hallucinatory effects. Mushrooms are slightly more capable of producing bad trips in people who are inexperienced with psychedelics as they can be a little more confusing. However, they are extremely rewarding in terms of head space, allowing for extremely deep philosophical thoughts and realizations that I have not found with any other substance.
Click here for a more detailed breakdown.
The Cognitive Components of a Psychedelic Experience
This article attempts to break down the cognitive and behavioural effects contained within the psychedelic experience into simple, easy to understand titles, descriptions and levelling systems. This will be done without depending on metaphors, analogy’s or personal trip reports. The article starts off with descriptions of the simpler effects and works its way up towards more complex experiences as it progresses.
Enhancement of current mind state:
Enhancement of current mind state is an effect which alters mood, but unlike certain subjective effect components such as euphoria it does not consistently induce positive and emotions regardless of a person’s current state of mind and mental stability. Instead it works by amplifying and enhancing the emotions a person is already feeling prior to ingesting the drug. This causes the effects to be equally capable of manifesting in both a positive and negative direction.
For example, an individual who is insecure, anxious or emotionally unstable may become overwhelmed with greatly intensified negative emotions, paranoia and confusion. This is caused by the person’s current negative state becoming greatly amplified above normal levels. On the opposite end of the spectrum, positive, prepared and emotionally stable people who take the same substance at an identical dosage are likely to find themselves overwhelmed with states of emotional euphoria, happiness and feelings of general contentment.
There is a very clear distinction between substance-induced emotion and genuine emotion. This component does not induce any emotion— it merely deepens and enhances genuine emotions that are already felt separately from the drug.
Acceleration of thought:
Acceleration of thought can be described as the mental process of thought being sped up significantly. When experiencing this effect, it feels as if one rapid fire thought after the other is being generated in incredibly quick succession. Not only is the speed of thought increased, but the sharpness of a person’s mental clarity seems to increase alongside it, resulting in an abundance of new and insightful ideas.
Connectivity of thought:
Connectivity of thought can be described as the sensation of a person’s thought stream becoming distinctly characterized by an abstract fluid association of ideas and wandering thoughts which connect deeply into each other. This feels like a series of almost seemingly unrelated ideas or daydreams that tenuously connect into each other by incorporating an idea or concept that was contained within the previous thought but from a completely different angle.
When experienced for extended periods of time this effect allows the mind to cover and analyse an extremely broad variety of subjects including not just the “big things” in life, but the “small things” as well. It is a process which leads onto large amounts of introspection as well as greatly enhanced levels of creative and artistic abilities as it essentially removes creative block by allowing the thoughts to flow free.
Feelings of fascination, importance and awe:
Feelings of fascination, importance and awe attributed to specific parts or the entirety of one’s external environment can be considered as a defining feature of many hallucinogenic experiences. The experience of this effect can be described as a new-found child-like sense of wonder which directs those who are experiencing it to acknowledge, consider and appreciate the things around them in a level of detail and intensity which remains unparalleled by experiences throughout normal sober living. This gives the overwhelming impression that everything around oneself is profound, interesting, important and worthy of reverence— be it nature, aspects of nature, life, the universe or even common events and household objects.
Time distortion is an effect that makes the passage of time difficult to keep track of and wildly distorted. It can be felt in two different forms: time expansion and time compression.
The most common of these is time expansion. Time expansion can be described as the feeling that time has completely slowed down. This generally seems to stem from the fact that during an intense hallucinogenic experience, abnormally large amounts of experience are felt in very short periods of time. This creates the illusion that more time has passed than it really has. For example, at the end of certain experiences one may feel that they have undergone any number days, weeks, months, years or even eternal and infinite periods of time.
The second form, time compression, is more common within stimulating substances than hallucinogens. It can be described as the experience of time speeding up and passing much quicker than it usually would within everyday life.
Introspection can be defined as the experience of a state of mind which directs one’s thoughts into a deep contemplation and analysis regarding one’s own life, both as a whole and as the things which comprise it. This gives the person a powerful ability to dissect and rationally analyse problems, allowing them to reach a state of logical resolution and/or personal acceptance regarding past events, the present situation, future possibilities, insecurities, fears, hopes, goals, struggles and traumas.
The outcome of undergoing this effect seems to consistently result in new ideas and insights regarding the negative and positive aspects on one’s life. This is extremely efficient at facilitating self-improvement, personal growth and change on a level that remains unparalleled by experiences found within every day living.
It is important to note, however, that during states of introspection not everybody is willing to face, resolve and move on from their personal problems as some will panic and attempt to ignore or repress them instead. This is because introspective states often result in realisations that can drastically alter one’s own opinion of their self, personality and past decisions so that they become viewed from a negative or regretful position. The fighting of these revelations through denial and repression instead of acceptance and analysis is a very common trigger for negative experiences that could be otherwise avoided.
Outrospection is a subjective effect component which can be considered as the opposite counterpart to introspection. It can be described as the experience of a state of mind which consistently directs one’s thoughts into a deep contemplation and analysis of the exterior world, both as a whole and as the things which comprise it. This results in an abundance of insightful ideas and conclusions with powerful themes pertaining to what is often described as “the bigger picture”. These ideas generally involve (but are not limited to) insight into philosophy, spirituality, society, culture, universal progress, humanity and how all of these things fit together across its history, the present moment and all future possibilities.
Rejuvenation can be described as feelings of mild to extreme cognitive refreshment which can last anywhere from several hours to many years and are often felt after positive experiences with certain hallucinogens. These feelings of rejuvenation can potentially include a sustained sense of general heightened mental clarity, increased emotional stability, calmness along side of specific subjective effect components such as mindfulness, increased motivation, cultural filter suppression and increased focus.
At its highest level, feelings of rejuvenation can become so intense that they manifest as the profound and overwhelming sensation of being “reborn” anew. This feeling can last anywhere from weeks to a lifetime after the experience itself.
Deja-vu is a common phrase from the French language which translates literally into “already seen”. This is a well documented phenomenon that can commonly occur throughout both sober living and under the influence of hallucinogens. It can be described as having the strong sensation that the current event or situation has already been experienced at some point within the past when, in fact, it hasn’t.
Certain substances are commonly capable of inducing spontaneous and often prolonged states of mild to intense sensations of deja-vu. This provides one with an overwhelming sense that they have “been here before”. The sensation is often accompanied by a false feeling of familiarity with the effects of the substance itself, the current location or setting, the current physical actions being performed, and the situation as a whole.
This effect is often triggered despite the fact that during the experience of it one can be rationally aware that the circumstances of the “previous” experience (when, where, and how the earlier experience occurred) are uncertain or believed to be impossible.
Mindfulness can be described as a psychological concept which is well established within the scientific literature and commonly discussed in association with meditation. It is often broken down into two separate components both of which comprise the experience of mindfulness itself.
The first of these components involves the self-regulation of attention so that its focus is completely directed towards immediate experience, thereby quietening one’s internal narrative and allowing for increased recognition of mental events in the present moment.
The second component of mindfulness involves adopting a particular orientation toward one’s experiences in the present moment— an orientation that is characterized by a lack of judgement, curiosity, openness, and acceptance.
Within meditation, this mind state is deliberately practiced and maintained for extended periods of time through the conscious and manual redirection of one’s awareness towards a singular point of focus for extended periods of time. In the context of hallucinogens, however, this state is often forcibly induced for extended periods of time without any conscious effort or the need of knowledge regarding meditative techniques.
Multiple thought streams:
Multiple thought streams can be defined as a state in which one has more than one internal narrative or stream of consciousness occurring within their mind. This can result in any number of conscious thought streams within one’s mind, each of which are often controllable in an identical level to that of one’s everyday thought stream. This experience allows one to think about and analyse many different subjects and concepts simultaneously and can be a source of great insight.
Suppression of personal bias:
Suppression of personal bias can be described as a removal of the cultural and individual biases which human beings knowingly or unknowingly filter and interpret their perception of the world through during everyday life.
The idea that the opinions and decisions of people are based upon a consistent and unconscious tendency to notice and assign significance to observations that confirm existing pre-existing beliefs while filtering out and rationalizing observations that do not confirm pre-existing beliefs is a well established concept within the scientific literature. This is known as confirmation bias and exists within varying degrees across all people but is significantly stronger for those with emotionally charged issues and deeply entrenched beliefs.
It seems that a human beings perspective of the world and their response to specific experiences is decided by running concepts through a complex set of cognitive filters which are primarily based upon pre-existing beliefs, past experiences, fears, prejudices, stereotypes, and cultural symbols. The experience of this component, however, seems to entirely suppress this filter and consistently shows people that many aspects of their personality, perspective and culture are merely subjective and often delusional ideas— not an objective reality. This experience often leads onto deep states of introspection, insight and analysis which can create profound alterations in perspective that last anywhere from days, weeks, months or years after the experience itself.
Feelings of predeterminism:
Feelings of predeterminism can be defined as the sudden perspective or feeling that all events, including human actions, are established or decided in advance by prior causes.
This is an effect which can become spontaneously triggered and felt through a distinct change in thought processes. In terms of how it feels, it can be described as the assumption that one’s internal narrative possesses “free will” becoming suppressed, removed and revealed as illusory.
The revelation is not a result of cognitive insight leading one onto a realization but occurs through a forced and often sudden change in perspective. This creates the undeniable sensation that one’s personal choices, physical actions, current situational perspective, and the very subject matter of their thought stream have always been completely predetermined by prior causes and are therefore outside of conscious control. Instead of feeling as if they are dictated by free will, one’s thoughts and decision-making processes become suddenly felt as a vast and complex set of internally stored, instantly decided, pre-programmed, and completely autonomous mechanistic responses to perceived sensory input.
Once the offset of the experience begins to take its toll the subject will return to feelings of freedom and independence. Despite this, however, they will usually retain information and realizations regarding what is often interpreted as a profound insight into the nature of free will.
Conceptual thinking can be described as an alteration in the content of one’s internal narrative or thought stream. This alteration results in the ability to think thoughts which are no longer primarily comprised of linear words and linguistic sentence structures. Instead one’s thoughts become in equal measure simultaneously comprised of the internally stored concepts which words exist to label. For example, if one were to think the word “Internet” during this state, they would not just hear the word as part of their thought stream but would also feel in a comprehensive level of detail, the internally stored, non-linguistic and innately readable data, code and information which comprises the specific concept labelled within one’s vocabulary as “Internet”.
During this experience, conceptual thinking allows one to feel not just the entirety of a concepts attributed data in the form of pure information but also how this concept relates with, connects to, fits in with and depends upon all other known concepts. This results in one feeling as if they can truly comprehend the precise consequences, limitations, and position within this universe of any singular concept which they happen to be currently thinking about.
The experience of this effect is commonly interpreted by those who undergo it as a “higher level of understanding” as it results in the perceived ability of being able to think about ideas in a level of detail and insight unparalleled within the primarily linguistic thought structure of everyday life. This suggests that human language may well be intrinsically self-limited through the way in which words can only act as mere short cuts to the concepts which they exist to describe.
Direct communication with the subconscious:
Direct communication with the subconscious can be described as the experience of engaging in linguistic conversations with a disembodied and separate audible voice of unknown origin residing within one’s own head. This voice is often capable of directly manipulating various aspects and intensities of the trip and will either clearly explain the logic behind its decisions or choose to keep it a mystery.
As a whole, the effect itself can be broken down into 4 distinct levels of progressive intensity, each of which are listed and described below:
- A sensed presence of the other - This level can be defined as the distinctive feeling that another form of consciousness is internally present alongside that of one’s usual sense of self.
- Mutually generated internal responses - This level can be defined as internal linguistic responses to one’s own thoughts and feelings which feel as if they are partially generated by one’s own thought stream and in equal measure by that of a separate thought stream.
- Separately generated internal responses - This level can be defined as internal linguistic responses to one’s own thoughts and feelings which feel as if they are generated by an entirely separate thought stream from one’s own.
- Separately generated audible internal responses - This level can be defined as internal linguistic responses to one’s own thoughts and feelings which are perceived as a clearly defined and audible voice within one’s head. These can take on a variety of voices, accents and dialects but usually sound identical to one’s own spoken voice.
The speaker behind this voice is innately interpreted by those who experience communication with it to be that of one’s subconscious, the substance itself or even supernatural concepts such as god, spirits, souls and ancestors.
The conversational style of that which is discussed between both the voice and its host can be described as essentially identical in terms of its coherency and linguistic intelligibility as that of any other everyday interaction between the self and another human being with which one might engage in conversation with.
There are however some subtle but identifiable differences between this experience and that of normal every day conversations; each of which stem from the factor that one’s specific set of knowledge, memories and experiences are identical to that of the voice which is being communicated with. This key factor results in a conversation in which both participants share a noticeably identical vocabulary down to the very use of their colloquial slang and subtle mannerisms.
As a result of this, no matter how in depth and detailed the discussion becomes, no entirely new information is ever exchanged between the two communicators. Instead, the discussion focuses primarily on building upon old ideas and discussing new opinions or perspectives regarding the previously established content of one’s life.
Ego suppression, loss and death:
Ego suppression, loss and death can be described as an effect which directly subdues one’s own ego. The ego can be defined as a person’s concept, understanding and sense of their own identity, self or “I” as a separate agent from the external environment. It is essentially a person’s consciousness or capacity to be self-aware, as enabled by their ability to recall and maintain a general understanding of basic concepts such as their identity, name and the separation between what is considered as part of them and what is considered to be an external system.
With any hallucinogen, one’s ability to retain, recall, feel and understand concepts such as a personal sense of self are partially to completely diminished proportional to dosage.
This seems to stem not from a direct suppression of one’s identity but instead a partial to complete failure of all working memory and therefore the ability to recall or understand basic fundamental notions of human existence. It is a process which is capable of being broken down into 3 basic levels:
- Ego suppression - This is a partial failure of a person’s short term memory. It can be described as a general difficulty staying focused and an increase in distractibility.
- Ego loss - This is the complete failure of a person’s short term memory. It can be described as a person becoming being completely incapable of remembering any specific details regarding the present situation for more than a second or two. This is capable of resulting in thought loops, disorientation, loss of control and confusion for the inexperienced. Long term memory however remains entirely intact as people are still perfectly capable of recollecting their name, date of birth, childhood school, etc.
- Ego death - This is a complete failure of a person’s long term memory. It can be described as a total loss of control in which the person becomes completely incapable of remembering even the most basic fundamental human concepts stored within the long term memory. This includes one’s name, identity, home town, that they are on drugs, what drugs even are, what human beings are, what life is, what existence is or what anything is. The most notable of these, however, is the loss of one’s sense of self. This results in the profound experience that although one is not unconscious, there is no longer an “I” experiencing current sensory input; there is just the input as it is and by itself.
Personality regression is an uncommon and spontaneously occurring effect which often accompanies ego death. It can be described as a mental state in which one suddenly adopts an identical personality, set of mannerisms and behaviour to their past selves from a period of their life which has already occurred.
This is often capable of making one believe that they are a child again and act appropriately to this belief. There are also anecdotal reports of people speaking in languages which they have not used for many years under the influence of this effect.
Thought loops can be described as the experience of becoming trapped within a chain of thoughts, actions and emotions which repeat themselves over and over again in a cyclic loop. They are most likely to occur during states of ego loss and the failure of one’s short term memory. This suggests that thought loops are the result of cognitive processes becoming unable to sustain themselves for appropriate lengths of time due to a lapse in short term memory, resulting in the thought process attempting to restart from the beginning only to fall short once again in a perpetual cycle.
This component can be extremely disorientating and often triggers states of progressive anxiety within the people who may be unfamiliar with the experience. The most effective way to end a cycle of thought loops is to simply sit down and try to let go.
Feelings of interdependent opposites:
Feelings of interdependent opposites (also known as feelings of duality) can be described as a state of mind that often accompanies ego death. It is a powerful sensation in which one sees, understands and physically feels that reality is based upon a system in which the existence or identity of all concepts and situations depend on the co-existence of at least two conditions which are opposite to each other, yet dependent on one another by presupposing each other as logically necessary equivalents.
This experience is usually felt to provide deep insight into the fundamental nature of reality and results in the revelation that fundamental concepts such as life and death, up and down, light and dark, good and bad, big and small, wet and dry, pleasure and suffering, yes and no, something and nothing and being and non-being each exist as states of harmonious and necessary contrast to their opposite force.
Delusions are the experience of spontaneous beliefs held with strong conviction. In the context of hallucinogenic drugs they are temporary perspectives which one may slip into during high dosage experiences. They are most likely to occur during states of ego loss or ego death and not by any means permanent as with schizophrenic delusions but do share many common themes and elements within them. These delusions can be broken out of when appropriate evidence is provided to the contrary or the person has sobered up enough to logically analyse the situation.
Delusions are categorized into four different groups:
- Bizarre delusion: This is a delusion that is very strange and completely implausible. An example of a bizarre delusion would be that aliens have removed the reporting person’s brain.
- Non-bizarre delusion: This is a delusion that, though false, is at least possible such as the affected person mistakenly believing that he is under constant police surveillance.
- Mood-congruent delusion: This is any delusion with content consistent with either a depressive or anxious state. For example, a depressed person may believe that news anchors on television highly disapprove of him or a person in a manic state might believe she is a powerful deity.
- Mood-neutral delusion: This is a delusion that does not relate to the sufferer’s emotional state. For example, a belief that an extra limb is growing out of the back of one’s head is neutral to either depression or mania.
In addition to these categories, delusions often manifest according to a consistent theme. Although delusions can have any theme, certain themes are more common. Some of the more common delusion themes are:
- Delusion of control: This is a false belief that another person, group of people, or external force controls one’s general thoughts, feelings, impulses, or behavior.
- Delusion of death: This is a false belief that one is about to die, is currently dying, does not exist or has already died.
- Delusion of guilt or sin (or delusion of self-accusation): This is an ungrounded feeling of remorse or guilt of delusional intensity in which one believes that they have committed some sort of unethical act.
- Delusion of mind being read: This is the false belief that other people can know one’s thoughts.
- Delusion of thought insertion: This is the belief that another thinks through the mind of the person. This results in the person becoming unable to distinguish between their own thoughts and those inserted into their minds.
- Delusion of reference: The person falsely believes that insignificant remarks, events, or objects in one’s environment have personal meaning or significance. For example, one may feel that people on television or radio are talking about or talking directly to them.
- Grandiose religious delusion: This is the belief that the affected person is a god or chosen to act as a god. An individual can become convinced he has special powers, talents, or abilities. Sometimes, the individual may actually believe they are a famous person or character such as Jesus Christ. Alternatively this can occur as a philosophical insight through high level states of unity and interconnectedness in which it is not necessarily a delusion but a debatable metaphysical perspective.
Feelings of unity and interconnectedness:
States of unity and interconnectedness start with a change in perspective which is consistently interpreted as the removal of a deeply embedded and all-encompassing illusion. The destruction of this apparent illusion leads onto feelings that the tripper frequently interprets as some sort of profound “awakening” or “enlightenment”.
Once removed, the illusion feels as though it has always been in place, forcing a person’s perspective of the world into feeling as if their concept of “self”, “I” or “me” with which they identify themselves as is assumed to intrinsically follow two fundamental rules. The first of these rules is that the self is inherently separate from the external environment and could not possibly extend into it. The second is that the self is specifically limited to not even the physical body as a whole, but exclusively a person’s internal narrative and the image of their own personality as built up through social interactions with other people.
The absence of this apparent illusion leads people into feelings which are commonly described as a state of total unity, oneness or interconnectivity between their sense of self and external concepts or systems which were previously perceived as inherently separate from one’s being and identity.
Depending on the degree to which this illusion has been lifted, it can lead onto five possible levels of cognitive intensities of progressively more complex effects. Each of which are perfectly capable of spontaneously sustaining their perspective for weeks, months or even years after the experience itself. These levels can be defined as:
Unity between specific external systems
The lowest and least complex level can be referred to as a state of “unity between specific external systems”. This is the only level of intensity in which the subjective experience of unity does not involve a state of interconnectedness between the self and the external. Instead, it can be described as a perceived sense of unity between two or more systems within the external environment which in every day life, are usually perceived as separate from both the self and each other.
This effect can manifest itself in an endless number of forms but common examples of the experience often include:
- A sense of unity between specific living things such as animals or plants and their surrounding ecosystems
- A sense of unity between specific human beings and the objects they are currently interacting with
- A sense of unity between any number of currently perceivable inanimate objects
- A sense of unity between humanity and nature
- A sense of unity between literally any combination of perceivable external systems and concepts
Unity between the self and specific external systems
The second of these two levels can be referred to as a state of “unity between the self and specific external systems”. It can be defined as the experience of a loss of perceived boundaries between a person’s sense of self and the specific physical systems or concepts within the perceivable external environment which are currently comprising the central point of cognitive focus.
This effect can manifest itself in an endless number of forms but common examples of the experience often include:
- Becoming one with a specific object which you are interacting with
- Becoming one with a specific person which you interacting with. (particularly common if engaging in sexual or romantic activities)
- Becoming one with the entirety of your physical body
- Becoming one with large crowds of people. (particularly common at raves and music festivals)
- Becoming one with the external environment but not the people within it
- This creates a sensation which is often described by people as the experience of becoming inextricably connected to, one with, the same as, or unified with whatever the perceived external system happens to be.
Unity between the self and all perceivable external systems
The third of these five differing levels of intensity can be referred to as “a state of unity between the self and all perceivable external systems”. It is defined as the experience of a loss of perceived boundaries between a person’s sense of self and the entirety of the currently perceivable external environment. The experience as a whole is generally described by people as “becoming one with my surroundings”.
This is felt to be the result of a person’s central sense of self becoming attributed to not just the internal narrative of the ego, but in equal measure, to the body itself and everything around it with which it is physically connected to through the senses. Once this sensation is in place, it creates the undeniable perspective that you are the external environment experiencing itself through the specific point within it that this body’s physical sensory awareness and conscious thought happens to currently reside in.
It’s at this level that a key component of the unity experience becomes an extremely noticeable factor. Once a person’s sense of self has become attributed to the entirety of their surroundings, this new perspective completely changes how it feels to physically interact with what was previously felt to be an external environment. For example, when physically interacting with an object in everyday life it feels very simply that you are a central agent organizing the world around itself. However, whilst undergoing a state of unity with the currently perceivable environment, interacting with an external object consistently feel as if the system as a whole is autonomously organizing itself and that you are no longer a central agent operating the process of interaction. Instead the process suddenly feels completely decentralized and mutual across itself as the environment begins to autonomously, mechanically and harmoniously respond to itself to perform the predetermined function of the particular interaction.
Unity between the self and all external systems
The fourth of these five differing levels of intensity can be referred to as a “state of unity between the self and all external systems”. It is defined as the experience of a loss of perceived boundaries between a person’s sense of self, the perceivable external environment, and all which they know to exist outside of this through their internally stored model of reality. This feels as if your sense of self has become attributed to not just the external environment but all of humanity, nature, and the universe as it presently stands in its complete entirety. The experience of this is generally described by people as “becoming one with the universe”.
When experienced, this perspective creates the sudden and undeniable sensation that you are quite literally the entire universe experiencing itself, exploring itself, and performing actions onto itself through the very specific point of space and time which your ego and conscious perception happens to currently reside in. When experienced, this feeling is immediately and universally understood to be an innate and undeniable truth by anybody who undergoes it.
Unity between the self and the creation of all external systems
The fifth and most profound of these five differing levels of intensity can be referred to as a “state of unity between the self and the creation of all external systems”. It is defined as the experience of a loss of perceived boundaries between a person’s sense of self and all external systems of behaviour. This includes not just the systems as they currently stand within the present moment but at each known point of their existence throughout all time lines past, present, and future as dictated by the person’s internally stored model of reality.
When experienced, this feels as if your sense of self has become attributed to all of space and time including every single past and future event such as the initial creation and eventual destruction of existence. It is a perspective which consistently leads onto the innate revelation and sensation that the ‘you’ in terms of your true self (everything) are personally and consciously responsible for the deliberate design and creation of the universe itself.
It’s at this point where some consistently reported interlocking sub-perspectives and innately extrapolated conclusions of a religious and metaphysical nature begin to come into play. These generally include but are not limited to:
- The sudden and total acceptance of death as a fundamental component of one’s life. This is because death is no longer felt to be the destruction of the self but simply the end of this specific point of conscious awareness, The vast majority of which has always existed and will continue to exist and live on through everything else in which it resides.
- A perspective which feels personally responsible for the design, planning, and implementation of every single specific detail and plot element of one’s personal life, the history of humanity, and the universe as a whole. This naturally includes personal culpability for humanity’s sufferings and its flaws, but also includes acts of love and our achievements.
- The religious or spiritual realization that the person’s preconceived notions behind their concept of “god” or “god-hood” can now be felt through a forced change in perspective as identical to the nature of one’s true self. This realization is generally reached through the subconscious conclusion that the usually differing concepts of god-hood and self are both now identically defined as that which is the all-knowing, all-encompassing, all-powerful creator, and sustainer of this existence.
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The Visual Components of a Psychedelic Experience
This article attempts to break down the visual effects contained within the psychedelic experience into simple, easy to understand titles, descriptions and levelling systems. This will be done without depending on metaphors, analogy’s or personal trip reports. The article starts off with descriptions of the simpler effects and works its way up towards more complex experiences as it progresses, using image examples wherever possible. This describes not my personal experiences but the universally reported effects that are consistently felt by most if not all psychedelic users.
It is in reference to all of the classical Psychedelics and the huge variety of obscure and modern “research chemicals” that are becoming increasingly prevalent.
This particular guide gives image examples where ever possible. Breaking the visual hallucinations into four basic categories of which I have come to name; enhancement of vision, distortions, visual geometry and hallucinatory states. I will start with the lower more basic effects and work my way up.
Enhancements - The first category of visual effects can be classified as an overall enhancement of vision. This is consistently reported at the lowest levels of psychedelic experience. It can be generally defined as an overall increase in the level of visual input, attributed to the external environment that a person experiences, and is manifested through 3 separate subcomponents.
Increased visual acuity:
Increased visual acuity is defined as an enhancement of the acuteness or clearness of vision. This results in the visual details attributed to the external environment becoming heightened to the point where the edges of objects become extremely focused, clear and defined. At its highest level one may experience a new-found ability to comprehend the entire visual field at once (including the peripheral vision). In comparison, during sober living human vision is only able to perceive the small area that a person’s eye is currently focused on.
Whilst under the influence of this component, it is very common for people to suddenly notice patterns and details that they may have never previously appreciated or acknowledged. For example, when looking at sceneries, nature, and everyday textures, the complexity and beauty of the visual input suddenly becomes overwhelmingly obvious.
Enhancement of colour:
Enhancement of colour can be defined as the experience of colours becoming extremely bright, vivid and starting to stand out more. During the experience of this component reds will seem “redder”, greens will seem “greener” and all colours will be become much more distinct, powerful and intense than they could ever possibly be during everyday, sober living.
Enhanced pattern recognition:
Enhanced pattern recognition can be described as an increase in a person’s ability to recognize significant imagery (usually faces) within vague stimuli.
This innate ability which human beings possess in everyday life is referred to by the scientific literature as pareidolia and is very well documented. Common examples of this include spotting faces in everyday objects and viewing butts as fantastical objects.
During this experience pareidolia can become significantly more intense and pronounced. For example, scenery may look remarkably like people or objects, every single leaf on a tree may look like many tiny green faces, or butts might appear to be easily recognizable as fantastical objects, all without any visual alterations actually taking place.
Magnification can be described as an enhancement of sight which results in the experience of a portion of the external environment within one’s visual field appearing closer, zoomed in, larger and more defined in proportion to the surrounding environment than it actually is. This is to the point where it allows one to see objects in a high level of detail across greater distances than is possible within everyday life.
At its lower levels, this can allow people to see objects that are within reaching distance as closer than they really are, resulting in a general enhancement of visual capabilities. At its higher levels, this can allow people to see objects as if they were right in front of them across seemingly impossible stretches of distance ranging from between several feet to hundreds of meters. Since this is most likely a physiological impossibility, it suggests that higher level visual magnification may actually be a seamless hallucinatory state which predictively simulates the details within distant visual input in a realistic and convincing manner.
This effect is uncommon but can spontaneously manifest itself for short periods of time under the influence of certain psychedelics such as LSD or Ayahuasca. It is considerably more likely to occur if one spends extended periods of time staring at an object or scene within the distance.
Distortions - The second category of visual effects found within a psychedelic experience is known as a distortion or a visual alteration. These can be generally described as changes in perception attributed to the external environment that are always obviously grounded in reality. These effects are manifested through 6 separate subcomponents.
Visual drifting can be described as the experience of objects and scenery appearing to become progressively warped and morphed across the visual field. These alterations gradually increase as a person stares, but are non-permanent and will reset to their normal appearance once a person double takes.
This effect is capable of manifesting itself across 4 different levels of visual intensity. These are defined below as:
- Peripheral - The most basic form of distortion can be described as a ‘wiggling’ of straight lines within the external environment, which occurs exclusively within the peripheral vision and cannot be looked at directly.
- Direct - At this level, the distortions do not necessarily increase in visual intensity but can now be directly looked at within a person’s central line of sight. This partially alters the appearance and form of shapes, objects and sceneries within the external environment, causing them to subtly drift, bend and morph.
- Distinct - This is the level at which distortions become visually powerful enough to drastically alter and transform the shape of specific objects within the external environment, often to the point where they can become unrecognisable in comparison to their original form.
- All-encompassing - At the highest level of visual drifting, the intensity becomes powerful enough to distort not just specific objects beyond recognition, but every single point of a person’s vision and the entirety of the external environment in its whole.
The particular style of this visual effect depends on the specific continuously changing direction, speed and rhythm of the distortion, resulting in a small variety of different manifestations.
Morphing - This effect is completely disorganized and spontaneous in both its rhythm and its direction. It can be described as objects or scenery appearing to gradually change in their size, shape, configuration and general appearance in a limitless number of ways.
Breathing - This effect makes objects or scenery appear to be steadily contracting inwards and expanding outwards in a consistent rhythm, as if the object or scenery was breathing in and out in a similar fashion to the lungs of a living organism.
Melting - It is not unusual for objects and sceneries to be completely or partially melting. They begin at lower doses as a gradual liquidization of objects which causes them to begin to droop, wobble, and slowly lose their structural integrity. This gradually increases until they become impossible to ignore with the lines, textures, and colour between solid objects appearing to melt into one another in an extremely liquid fashion.
Flowing - Flowing, shifting, rippling, or moving surfaces are a strong visual effect that seems to occur almost exclusively on textures (particularly if they are highly detailed, complex, or rough textures). A classic example of this would be wood grain or carpets flowing like a river in a seamless, looped animation. A consistent way to reproduce this visual is to stare at wood grain and lose focus.
Colour shifting can be described as the colours of various objects (particularly brightly coloured or out of place objects) becoming subject to an effect that shifts and changes its appearance through a repeated cycling of colours in a strange and fluid motion across its surface. For example, moss on a rock could physically shift from green to red to blue to any other colour and then back to green again in a very short space of time.
Depth Perception Distortions:
Depth perception distortions can be defined as the experience of both extreme and subtle distortions in depth perception. This is where the depths and layers of the scenery in front of you can become exaggerated, skewed or completely rearranged in their organization. A classic example of this could be the swapping of layers in a scenery. This is where objects in the background come into the foreground and objects in the foreground get pushed into the background.
Another example of skewed depth perception can be described as a complete loss of it. This occurs when the different sections of a scenery unify into a flat 2-Dimensional image regardless of their actual distance from the observer.
Tracers can be described as the experience of trails being left behind moving objects such as people, birds or cars in a manner that is similar to those found in long exposure photographs. They can manifest as exactly the same colour of the moving object which is producing it or can sometimes be a randomly selected colour of their own.
A near consistent way to reproduce this visual effect is to move one’s hand in front of their face or throw an object under the influence of psychedelics.
Tracers can be broken down into 4 basic levels of visual intensity. These are defined below as:
- Transparent - The most basic form of tracer can be described as an almost completely transparent after image which disappears quickly and drags shortly behind moving objects.
- Translucent - At this level, tracers increase in their length to become at least roughly half as long as the distance across the visual field which the object it is following has moved. In terms of clarity, the tracers shift from barely visible to distinct and partially transparent in colour.
- Opaque - At this level, tracers become completely solid in appearance and opaque in their colour with distinct and sharp edges to their shape which draw a clear contrast between the tracer itself and the background behind it. They become equal in length to the distance across the visual field which the object it is following has moved in and can remain in the air for up to several seconds.
- All-encompassing - The highest level occurs at the point when a person’s visual field has become so sensitive to the creation of tracers that the entirety of it smudges and blurs into an all-encompassing tracer at the slightest movement of the eye. This can make it extremely difficult to see unless the eyes are kept still and remains in the air indefinitely or until one moves their eyes and double takes.
More Examples: Here.
Symmetrical texture repetition:
Symmetrical texture repetition can be described as a distinct visual alteration which specifically manifests itself through rough textures such as grass, carpets, asphalt, tarmac, towels, bathroom rugs, gravel, general bracken, dense vegetation, fallen leaves, tree bark and more.
It can be described as the texture becoming mirrored repeatedly over its surface in an extremely intricate and symmetrical fashion that is consistent across itself. This maintains the same level of detail no matter how closely one attempts to look at the distortion.
As these repeating textures are generated, they begin to give rise to a huge array of abstract forms, imagery and patterns embedded within and across the symmetry and are often complemented by the simultaneous experience of enhanced pattern recognition.
Scenery slicing can be described as an effect which only occurs spontaneously and rarely sustains itself for more than several seconds. It makes the visual field appear as if it has been cut into separate slices with some sort of razor blade in a remarkably clean fashion. These separate slices then proceed to drift slowly away from their original position before disappearing and resetting to normality. The organisation of these slices show great variety and can be as simple as three separate sections or as complex as multiple intricate slices of a moving interlocking spiral or any other possible design.
Geometry can be described as the experience of a person’s field of vision being partially or completely encompassed by fast-moving, kaleidoscopic, and indescribably complex geometric patterns, form constants, shapes, fractals, structures and colour.
Geometry never stands still at any point and remains extremely fast-changing and self-transforming in terms of its shape and style. During this process, the geometry naturally drifts laterally or radially across the visual field to create overlapping webs of many arising and decaying geometric patterns, all of which are visible within a single perceptual frame.
There are eight different levels of visual geometry, each one increasingly complex and incomprehensible. These are defined and documented below:
- Visual Noise – This is the most basic level of geometry and can be experienced in a completely sober state. It can be described as visual noise or static combined with random light and dark red regions that can be seen under the eyelids.
- Motion and Colour – This level is also easily obtainable without hallucinogens and can be described as the appearance of unstructured regions of fleeting flashes and butts of colour.
- Partially Defined Geometry - At this level complex indescribable shapes and patterns begin to show themselves. However, the patterns can be described as strictly 2-dimensional. Geometry at this level is fine, small, and zoomed out in size with a dark colour palette that limits itself to only a few different shades such as blacks, reds and dark purples. They are displayed in front of both the open and closed-eye visual field across a flat veil of geometry, but are significantly more detailed with the eyes closed or within dark environments.
- Fully Defined Geometry – This is the level where the detail in which the geometry displays itself becomes profoundly complex but remains strictly 2-Dimensional. At this point the geometry becomes large in size and extremely intricate in detail with a colour palette that is limitless in its possibilities. They are displayed on both the open and closed-eye visual field across a flat veil of geometry that floats directly in front of the eyes, remaining significantly more detailed with the eyes closed or in dark environments.
- 3-Dimensional Geometry – At level five, the geometry will become fully 3-dimensional in its shape and position across the visual field. This adds a new layer of visual complexity and leaves them sprawled out across the surfaces, walls, objects and furniture of one’s environment instead of displaying themselves across a basic and flat veil in front of one’s visual field.
- Partially Overriding Visual Perception – At this point the geometry has become so intense, vivid and bright that it has begun to block out and replace the external world. At level six the environment begins to be replaced by geometry, with objects and scenery transforming into sprawling masses of geometry or simply being blocked out and covered by them in a manner that impairs the use of one’s normal vision.
- Fully Overriding Visual Perception – As the geometry continues to become more intense, vivid and bright it now completely blocks out and replaces the external world as one’s sense of normal sight becomes completely impaired. This creates the sensation that one is no longer within the external environment but has “broken through” into another reality.
- Level 8A and Level 8B - Once the geometry reaches its eighth and final level, there is not one singular pinnacle of visual geometry but two. It seems that depending on subtle environmental factors and the substance consumed, geometry is capable of forking off into two separate versions of its highest possible level. This means that level eight geometry will have to be separated into two distinct categories of equal intensity. These are known as levels 8A and 8B. Once visual geometry reaches level 8A or 8B, it begins to become structured and organized in a way that presents genuine information to the person experiencing it far beyond the preceding seven levels. This happens through the experience of innately understood geometric representations that feel as though they depict specific concepts and neurological components that exist within the brain. At this point, concepts can be seen as not just embedded within one’s closed or open-eye visual field, but simultaneously felt through indescribably complex physical and cognitive sensations.
8A - Exposure to entirety of neurological structure -
The experience of level 8A can be described as the feeling of being exposed to an infinite mass of geometry comprised entirely of innately readable geometric representations which simultaneously convey every single internally stored concept, memory, and neurological structure stored within the subconscious mind all at once. This results in a profound and overwhelming sensation which is consistently interpreted by people who undergo it as experiencing the entirety of existence, everything, the universe, all that there ever was and all that there ever will be in a single instant.
This experience is not just perceived as visual geometric data but also physically felt in an incomprehensible level of detail throughout every point across itself as complex cognitive and tactile sensations. These sensations convey an equal amount of innately understandable information as that which is experienced through one’s sense of vision and occur simultaneously alongside of it.
At the lower side of level 8A, this effect is something that fluctuates wildly and remains neither constant nor consistent in its intensity. Instead it is temporarily triggered by the experience of a concept. For example, if somebody were to say the word “internet” to a person who is currently undergoing this state, they would see the mind’s concept of the internet immediately manifested in a geometric form amidst the very centre of their visual field. This form quickly branches out from itself in a fashion similar to an ineffable spider diagram. It expands to envelop the concepts which one associates with the internet and then branches out again to include the concepts one associates with those before repeating the process of branching out further to represent the concepts associated with these ad infinitum. Within 2 - 3 seconds, this exponentially expands within a sudden perceptual flash to include every single internally stored concept within the subconscious memory banks of one’s mind simultaneously.
Once this occurs, the sensory overload temporarily disconnects one from their external environment and results in simultaneous ego death before re-stacking them back into reality, until something triggers the process again (usually immediately). The effect snaps trippers in and out of the reality repeatedly and the process is triggered continuously. It’s worth noting however that at this level it can to a certain extent be held at bay through continuous physical movement. This is because movement stops the process from branching out into everything by not giving the effect the time it needs to lock onto a concept.
As dosage is increased, the process becomes easier and easier to trigger whilst extending in its length and duration. This eventually results in a stable state of complete disconnection from the external environment alongside of sustained ego death and a lasting sense of experiencing the entirety of one’s neurological structure.
7B - Exposure to inner mechanics of human consciousness -
The experience of level 8B can be described as the feeling of being exposed to a mass of geometry comprised entirely of innately readable geometric representations which feel as if they convey the organization, structure, framework and inner mechanics of the underlying programming behind all conscious and subconscious neurological processes. This effect is consistently interpreted by those who undergo the experience as perceiving the inner workings of either the universe, consciousness or reality.
At the lower end of level 8B geometry, the experience manifests itself as becoming and being able to physically feel and visually perceive the organization and structure of the underlying programming behind one’s current conscious thought stream. This is presented to trippers in the form of a fast-moving and infinite web or network that contains innately understood and thought stream relevant geometric representations of specific and abstract concepts embedded into each and every one of the connecting points across itself. The experience of these innately readable geometric representations consistently triggers one to visualize and physically feel the concept perfectly through highly detailed conceptual thinking. The ever-shifting network follows the pace and rhythm of one’s internal dialogue perfectly. This creates and manifests new connections in a way that is both physically felt through a powerful sensation and seen embedded within one’s visual field every time any piece of new insight or knowledge is gained.
At the higher end of level 8B geometry, the effect retains its lower levels (described above) but expands itself to include the experience of visually perceiving (through innately readable geometric representations) the architecture of subconscious mind neurological processes outside of one’s normal daily perception.
This experience is not just perceived as visual geometric data, but also physically felt in an incomprehensible level of detail throughout every point across itself as complex cognitive and tactile sensations. These sensations convey an equal amount of innately understandable information as that which is experienced through one’s sense of vision and occur simultaneously alongside of it.
Level 8B geometry is capable of bestowing specific pieces of information onto trippers regarding the nature of reality and human consciousness through the simple experience of them. These specific pieces of information are always immediately felt and understood to be a profound unveiling of an undeniable truth at the time, but afterwards are often found to be ineffable due to the limitations of human English or simply nonsensical due to the disorientation of the accompanying cognitive effects.
Occasionally, however, genuine lessons or coherent messages are innately interpreted through the experience of becoming and descending down into the subconscious faculties of the brain. It’s extremely important to note, however, that the scientific validity of these lessons are very uncertain and should never be immediately accepted as fact without an extremely thorough and sober analysis.
Click the image below for a large gallery of examples of visual geometry that have been sourced from psychedelic art across the internet.
Click the image below and to the left for a large gallery of anthropological examples of psychedelic visuals. The Shipibo people are a large tribe in the amazon rain forest whose culture is heavily involved with ritualized ayahuasca use. These textiles patterns are deliberately made by the Shipibos as artifacts of ayahuasca hallucination, capturing the specific styles of repeating forms better than most modern psychedelic artwork.
Another extremely common component within visual geometry are fractals. These are a concept that exists within mathematics and can be described as complex patterns that repeat infinitely into themselves allowing for the same self similar image to be found no matter how far you zoom into any part of the image. Below is a collection of psychedelic fractals similar in appearance to those found with visual geometry. Click the image below to open up a gallery of examples.
More Examples: Here.
Hallucinatory states - The fourth sensory effect is perhaps the most profound subjective sensory effect that the psychedelic experience has to offer. They are manifested as 2 distinct effects which come in a variety of differing intensity’s.
External hallucinations within psychedelics can be described as visual transformations of specific parts of environment into other concepts. They are progressive in nature, which means they form by arising from patterns or objects and then, over a period of seconds, by drifting, smoothing or locking into an entirely new appearance of still or animated objects, people, animals, concepts, places or anything you could possibly imagine. This is greatly enhanced and fuelled by the separate visual effect of enhanced pattern recognition, causing vague stimuli (which already looks vaguely like abstract concepts due to our inbuilt sense of pareidolia) to transform into extremely detailed versions of what they were already perceived as.
The process of smoothing or locking, which transformations seem to be generated through, requires some minimal amount of focus and concentration to sustain. Losing concentration for an instant can cause the image to fade away or shift into another image.
Holding the eyes still will increase the intensity of the progressive transformation.
Transformations can be described as visual transformations of specific parts of one’s external environment into other concepts. For example, people who undergo this effect will often report seeing parts of the environment shifting into completely different objects with a huge variety in potential artistic styles and differing degrees in terms of the quality of their detail and animation. These hallucinations are progressive in nature, which means they form by arising from patterns or objects and then, over a period of seconds, by drifting, smoothing or locking through a liquid process of self-transformation into an entirely new appearance of still or animated objects, people, animals, concepts, places or anything one could possibly imagine. This is greatly enhanced and fuelled by the separate visual effect of enhanced pattern recognition, causing vague stimuli (which already looks vaguely like abstract concepts due to an inbuilt sense of pareidolia) to transform into extremely detailed versions of what they were already perceived as.
The process of drifting, smoothing or locking (which transformations seem to be generated through) requires some minimal amount of focus and concentration to sustain. Losing concentration for an instant can cause the image to fade away or shift into another image. Holding the eyes still will increase the intensity of the progressive transformation.
Internal hallucinations can be described as the perception of imagery and scenes which are experienced exclusively with closed eyes and not within the external environment around oneself.
At lower levels, internal hallucinations begin with imagery which does not take up the entirety of one’s visual field and is distinctively separate from its background. These can be described as spontaneous moving or still images of scenes, objects, people, animals, concepts, places or anything one could possibly imagine. They are manifested in varying levels of detail ranging from ill-defined and cartoon-like in nature to completely realistic. They rarely holdform for more than a few seconds before fading or shifting into another image and commonly include:
everyday objects, living things, plants, animals, insects, architecture, structures, shapes, atoms, molecules, complex mathematical formulae/concepts, linguistic concepts, mechanisms, technology, machine creatures, self-replicating machines, people, faces, eyes, body parts, organs, food, cultural references, fictional characters, logos, religious symbolism, creatures, monsters, demons, mythology, furniture and more.
As these states of imagery become increasingly elaborate (proportional to dosage), they eventually become all-encompassing, fully-fledged 3D hallucinations which surround the person in a fashion similar to dreams. This creates the feeling that one has “broken through” into another reality. The things which occur within this perceived alternate reality can be anything but generally fall under common archetypes such as contact with autonomous entities, imagined landscapes and scenarios that can seem so unlike anything previously experienced that they are, in all probability, untranslatable into English.
The content of these experiences are often described to feel transcendental, mystical, spiritual and religious in nature, regardless of the tripper’s theistic beliefs. It is not uncommon for people to report that higher levels of internal hallucination feel infinitely “more real” than anything the person has previously experienced throughout everyday sober living.
Overall, the degrees of intensity can be broken down into five simple levels:
- Enhancement of mental visualization - The lowest level of internal hallucination can be defined as a distinct enhancement of the heightened state of mental visualization that one drifts into when simply daydreaming or using the imagination. It can be described as a short-term detachment from one’s immediate surroundings, during which a person’s contact with reality is blurred and partially substituted by an extremely ill-defined fantasy. The generation of the details of this internal visualization are partially autonomous in nature but mostly controlled by the content of one’s current thought stream.
- Partially defined imagery - This level of internal hallucination generally consists of partially defined, blurred and faded imagery within one’s peripheral vision.
- Fully defined imagery - As the vividness and intensity increases, the imagery eventually becomes fully defined and realistic enough in its appearance, detail and size and starts to display itself within the tripper’s direct line of sight behind closed eyelids.
- Partially defined breakthroughs - As the vividness and intensity further increases, the imagery eventually becomes fully defined, realistic and all encompassing enough in their appearance, detail and size that they begin to display themselves as random flashes of spontaneous scenarios similar to dreams. Although all encompassing, at this level they are partially to completely blurred and transparent in appearance with the tripper’s physical body still feeling connected to the real world. These will usually disappear or shift into another hallucination after a short period of time but are capable of becoming fully grounded and long-lasting in their manifestation.
- Fully defined breakthroughs - Once the internal hallucinations become sufficiently elaborate they eventually become all-encompassing, permanent, ever-shifting alternate realities which appear completely realistic, extremely detailed and highly vivid in their appearance. They also occur along side of accompanying relevant auditory and tactilehallucinations as well as the sensation of a complete disconnection from the physical body.
In terms of the general stylistic appearance of this state, it can range from hallucinations which are stylized and comprised of a condensed geometry-based material or they can be completely solid and realistic in how they look. This particular state can be broken down into three distinct subcomponents.
Autonomous entities -
Autonomous entities can be described as the visual experience of perceived contact with entities or beings which appear to be sentient and autonomous in their behaviour. This is a shared subjective effect component that can manifest as a result of both external and internal hallucinations.
Autonomous entities seem to act as the inhabitants of a perceived independent reality. They are generally expectant of the tripper’s sudden appearance into their realm and often interact with them in various ways. The behaviour of a typical entity can vary wildly and seems to depend heavily on the tripper’s current emotional mind state. For example, although more often than not they will act as loving, kind intelligences, teachers or healers in certain contexts, they are equally capable of acting as indifferent, uncaring or even as malicious tormentors.
Entities can literally take any form but common subconscious archetypes are definitely present and commonly include:
Perfectly ordinary human beings, shadow people, bodiless super intelligent humanoids, aliens, elves, animal beings, giant spheres, insectoids, beings of light, plants, robotic machines, gods, goddesses, demons, fantastical creatures, and more.
Regardless of appearance, there are distinctly different types of entity which one may encounter, each of which represent a particular subsection of one’s own consciousness and can be identified primarily through their personality but also their appearance. These are broken down into 3 separate categories below:
- Representations of the self - The simplest form of entity can be described as a mirror of one’s own personality. It can take any visible form but clearly adopts an identical vocabulary and set of mannerisms to one’s own personality when conversed with.
- Representations of the subconscious - This category of entity can take any visible form but adopts the personality of what seems to be a conscious controller behind the continuous generation of the details regarding one’s current experience and the management of one’s own perspective, personality and internally stored model of reality. When conversed with, this category of entity posses abilities which allow them to directly alter and manipulate one’s current experience and to heal past traumas. They usually adopts an attitude which wants to teach or guide the tripper and will operate under the assumption that they know what is best for them.
- Representations of specific concepts - This category of entity is by far the most varied type in terms of its visual form and immediately perceivable personality. It can be identified as a simulated sentient representation of any internally stored concept and adopts an appropriate personality to fit this to an amazing degree of accurate detail. For example this specific concept could include people you have met throughout your life, fictional characters or symbolic representations of abstract concepts such as emotions or key parts of one’s own personality.
When communicated with through spoken word, the level of coherency in which these entities can communicate with is highly variable but can be broken down into 4 distinct levels. These are listed below as:
- Silence - This level can be defined as a complete unresponsiveness from the side of the entity and an incapability of speech despite their obvious presence within the hallucination.
- Partially defined incoherent speech - This level can be defined as audible linguistic conversational responses and noises which sound like words but do not contain any real content or meaning beyond a vague sense of emotional intent.
- Fully defined incoherent speech - This level can be defined as audible linguistic conversational responses and noises which contain fully defined and understandable words but often lack grammatical structure or general coherency.
- Fully defined coherent speech - This level can be defined as audible linguistic conversational responses and noises which contain fully defined and understandable words as well as a fully defined grammatical sentence structure and general coherency which conveys its point on a level on par with the tripper’s own intellect.
Autonomous entities may also communicate with trippers via a combination of telepathy, visual linguistics, mathematics and morphing coloured structures of different textures. This complex visual language is innately readable and capable of expressing pure meaning in a level of detail far beyond that of standard human English.
Settings, Sceneries, and Landscapes can be described as a shared subjective effect component that manifests as a result of both external and internal hallucinations.
These can be defined as the experience of the setting in which the plot of an external and internal hallucination occurs. These settings manifest with infinite variety.
When explored, the geography of these settings is capable of rendering itself as static and coherent in organization but will usually result manifest as a non-linear, nonsensical and continuously ever-changing layout which does not necessarily obey the rules of everyday physics. In terms of the chosen locations, appearance and style of these settings, they seem to be selected at random and are often entirely new and previously unseen locations. They do, however, play a heavy emphasis on replicating and combining real life locations stored within the tripper’s memories, especially those which are prominent within one’s life and daily routine. Aside from this they commonly include:
planetary systems, galaxies, quasars, jungles, rain forests, deserts, ice-scapes, cities, natural environments, caves, space habitats, vast structures, civilizations, technological utopias, ruins, machinescapes, rooms and other indoor environments, neurons, DNA, atoms, molecules, mitochondria, incomprehensible geometry based landscapes and more.
At other points they act as something which is flown over but are also often experienced through the act of autonomous entities, directly manipulating what you can see and view and intentionally propelling trippers in different directions at disorienting speeds. This forces them to view or pass directly through macroscropic and microscopic scale settings, including both previously experienced landscapes and previously unexperienced landscapes.
Alterations in perspective - Alterations in perspective can be described as a shared subjective effect component that manifests as a result of both external and internal hallucinations. This experience can be defined as an alteration in terms of the perspective in which a hallucination is perceived through. In just the same way as literary plots, these can be experienced through four alternate vantage points which are described and listed below:
- 1st person - This is the most common form of perspective and can be described as the perfectly normal experience of perceiving the scenario from the perspective of one’s everyday self and body.
- 2nd person - This can be described as the experience of perceiving the hallucination from the perspective of an external source of consciousness such as another person, an animal or an inanimate object.
- 3rd person - This is essentially an out-of-body experience and can be described as perceiving the hallucination from a perspective which is floating above, below, behind, or in front of one’s physical body.
- 4th person - This the least common form of perspective and can be described as the experience of perceiving the hallucination from the perspective of multiple or even infinite vantage points simultaneously.
Scenarios and plots - Each of the above components are randomly shuffled and spliced into any number of an infinite variety of potential plots and scenarios. These may be positive or negative to experience and are difficult to define in a comprehensive manner in much the same way that we cannot predict the plot of abstract literature and films. They can however be broken down into extremely basic occurrences which generally entail visiting some sort of setting or a number of them which contain within them interactive, multiple, or lone characters. Alongside of these, completely unpredictable plot devices and events force the tripper to become involved within the specific scenario of the particular trip.
These scenarios and plots can be linear and logical with events that occur in a rational sequence which lead onto each other through cause and effect. They are equally likely however to present themselves as completely nonsensical and incoherent. This means that the plot will occur with spontaneous events which are capable of ending, starting and changing between each other repeatedly in quick succession and as they please. The plots themselves can either be entirely new experiences that are unlike anything experienced within the real world, old experiences such as accurate memory replays or a combination of the two.
In terms of the amount of time in which they are experienced, hallucinatory plots and scenarios usually feel as if they are being experienced in real-time. This means that when 20 seconds have been felt to have passed within the hallucination, the exact same amount of time will have passed in the real world. At other points, however, distortions of time can make themselves present, resulting in plots and scenarios that can feel as if they literally last days, weeks, months, years, or even infinitely long periods of time.
Miscellaneous, Unique and Rare visual effects:
Although there are many universally experienced visual components of a psychedelic experience, you should not allow this guide to give you preconceived notions for two separate reasons. The first reason is that although these descriptions have been carefully worded and extremely thought out, text and images they will never come close to the real experience, the real thing is incomprehensible, logic defying and impossible to translate into two dimensional images and words. The unenglishable factor is one of the few things that all psychonauts can all agree on when it comes to the psychedelic experience.
The second reason is that the psychedelic experience is still a subjective experience and not by any means confined and limited to these visual components. As spontaneous visual effects which are not described anywhere within this article will manifest themselves into trips on the odd occasion. These effects can be anything and usually occur at higher doses. Unique visual effects are completely personal to you and something that nobody else on the planet has ever seen before or will ever likely get to experience again. So remember, do not limit your perception to the components described above, because there is more to the psychedelic experience than words can ever say.
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