Gerard demonstrates salvia divinorum to Lyndz and Frank
I went to visit my friends Frank and Lyndz. I'd already talked to them about Salvia. They were intrigued but cautious. As with other friends, I was torn between wanting to share this amazing experience, while on the other hand trying to recognize that taking such an earth-shattering trip is a heavy personal decision that I maybe shouldnt push on anyone.
After much talk, Frank and Lyndz asked that I go first so she could at least observe the outward effects. I explained that immediately after smoking, I'd likely lack the ability and/or desire to speak, so they should give me 5 or so minutes of silence. I started with a couple tiny hits, spaced perhaps a minute apart. I wanted to judge what was necessary for a lower-level trip, since maybe Frank and Lyndz should start slowly. I got slightly altered, seeing subtle open-eyed effects. Like bits of stained glass floating around in my field of vision. From past experience, I knew I was on the edge of something much bigger. I was ambivalent: had I gone far enough? I guess not. I took a 3rd, larger hit & lay down.
There was a disconnect. I couldn't tell you the path I took from nearly-ordinary consciousness to the Salvia space. Either there was a brief blackout, or the path was so non-ordinary that memory can't hold it. In any case, next thing I knew, there it was. The effects were familiar from my half dozen or so previous Salvia trips. It's not just that they're hard to describe, but that it's so difficult to even remember them when not in the space.
It was as if the fabric of reality were literally a fabric: a fabric that could be twisted & torn & warped. (Earlier in the day, we'd visited a science museum & seen a short movie that talked about how space itself curved around black holes. Curved space? What the hell could that mean? The warping of this fabric was something like that.)
Sometimes it was as if reality had been twisted into tubes, wormlike, or DNA-like, constantly whirling. At others, it was as if this fabric had a Y-shaped zipper that had been unzipped, leaving 3 undulating pieces of reality, with synapse-like tentacles dancing in the unzipped areas.
Everything was through a prism, or kaleidoscope, or fun-house mirror. Sometimes the ordinary world was recognizable through this filter, sometimes not. And though all this description sounds visual, it was more than that. The most stunning effect (as in my previous trips) was that there was no sense of an "I" apart from the fabric. There was just the unity of the experience, with no memory of myself or sense of myself as a separate entity.
I sat up (Frank later said that I'd only been lying down for 10 or 15 seconds). I recognized the Salvia & the bong on the low table. Suddenly I had some context for the experience. I realized (in a very rudimentary way -- I was still far from my usually coherent thought process) that this was a strange realm, & that it had something to do with the Salvia I saw on the table. I remembered having been to this realm before, each time with the Salvia somehow involved. I put it this way because I still wasn't sensing my separate self. That is, there wasn't any identification with that being who'd smoked the Salvia.
I'd been taken away from my usual portal, that place in my head, behind the eyes, where I usually feel like I'm dwelling. First, there was this entirely new world, beyond time & space. Then, as I recognized the Salvia & the room I was in, there was the absolutely stunning realization that I already knew this world; I'd just changed portals. And that my epic travels had taken place over a few seconds without physically going anywhere.
Along with this awareness came a sort of wonderment at how lightly I treat Salvia in between trips. I mean, I'd been joking about it with Frank and Lyndz when we'd talked about it moments earlier. I'd been carrying the Salvia with me all day, & it had certainly been on my mind periodically, but it had only been one of many things on my mind. Now, that seemed so strange. As if I'd been spending all day with a tunnel to another universe in my pocket, & regarding it as just another item on my to-do list.
For the following minutes, I moved back & forth between being completely absorbed into the fabric, & having various levels of self-awareness. Mostly, I beheld the fabric, & had this nagging feeling that my self was in there somewhere, though I didn't have an idea of where or what it was. Though I wasn't petrified, there was I think a bit of unease at not knowing who I was. When I found myself, would I be OK?
I looked at Frank. I recognized him as a friendly & familiar presence. Perhaps some solid ground in the midst of this perfect storm. He said something to me, something like, "You said not to talk for a few minutes." Ahh, I got some more context, a bit more awareness of my original intention. I replied something to Frank. Later, he told me that I'd looked at him very seriously & said only, "Yesssss." Anyway, I also around this time recalled that ambivalent feeling I'd had before the final hit, recalling how I'd questioned whether I'd gone far enough. Yeah, I realized, wherever & whoever I am, there's no question that I've gone far enough.
I looked over at Lyndz. Out of the swirling shapes of the fabric, her calm & recognizable face emerged. I realized she was a friend too. It was a good sign: I was cautiously optimistic that whenever I eventually found myself, my situation & condition wouldn't be so bad. But it was also kinda weird to see her so composed. I mean, didn't she realize that reality was warping all around her?
For the remainder of the trip, I mostly looked at the floor in front of me. Periodically, I'd recall my intention of communicating something of this experience to Frank and Lyndz. It seemed impossible. For one thing, communication requires that one exist as a separate entity from the communicatee. In those moments where I found a bit of my separate self, the thing I most wanted to communicate was gone.
Gradually, unsteadily, the fabric began to resume its more familiar state. My self (& simultaneously the "objective world") began to coagulate. I sensed my body -- oh, yeah, I remember having a body! Wondrously, I could even make it function. I was ready to re-connect with Frank and Lyndz, but I couldn't think of anything non-trivial to say. I mumbled something like, "OK, I'm here now." And I remember saying, "I'm sorry."
"Sorry for what?" asked Lyndz
"Sorry that I couldn't bring anything back," I said.