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 leveling systems. This will be done without depending on metaphors, analogies 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 wherever 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 every day 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.
8B - 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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