I sit on a bare mattress in the center of an almost perfectly cubical room. Windows allow the sun to shine in through a mild and promising spring afternoon. Next to me sits a close friend, but today he is also my trip-sitter. I am going on a 5-MeO-DMT trip today, and I while I am not anxious, I am feeling a sense of jittery anticipation. I have heard several stories about the drug that is known as one of the stronger psychedelics. I have no idea what to expect, but my friend tells me “You can do whatever you like, don’t try to judge your experience as right or wrong, you can go and have a shit in the corner, or take off your clothes if that’s what you feel like”. Since the trip takes less than thirty minutes usually, I don’t expect to be going to the bathroom during the experience.
The substance is smoked in a small glass-bowl pipe. The 12.5mg of crystallised 5-MeO-DMT is placed in the bowl that is then heated. My friend holds the pipe and heats the bowl with the impressive gas-flame lighter. He has instructed me to conserve my intake of air and slowly inhale to allow for all of the substance to vaporise before I run out of space in my lungs. He looks at me and I nod, we’ve known each other long enough for us to feel comfortable with just that, and I feel as ready as I could possibly feel for something I have no idea about. The crystals begin to bubble and then vapour begins to swirl inside the little bowl. As the little swirling cloud thickens he looks at me and with a very serious voice says “It’s almost time”. I exhale completely and move my head closer to the pipe, he removes the finger that is covering the mouth of the pipe, allowing the vapour to slowly move through the tube. I put my lips to the glass and begin inhaling slowly, like I would smoking weed from a short pipe.
The taste is sweet and thick. It is a bit too hot to be very pleasant, but definitely not unpleasant or bitter. It is best compared to the taste of the hookah, but thicker – more substantial. I keep inhaling without trouble, and finally run out of space for more air. I exhale a little in order to get the last smoke in an extra inhalation.
I don’t feel a thing. But then after a few seconds it begins. It feels like a river, I notice it in my headspace first, but it quickly grows to a fullbody experience. My meta-selves retain consciousness and clarity observing the experience from outside. I hold myself with pre-programmed integrity-selves that – after this experience – I am sure I have crafted well enough to stand against any psychedelic. After a little while I decide to let go, to get the full experience and not treat it as an exercise in meta-self-programming. I notice my friend out of the corner of my eye, and I “see him”. I see that he is truly there. And then I fall back, slowly.
On my back on the mattress the river begins to strengthen and I loose myself in the flow going through me. I become the river and my sense of self completely dissolves into a sensation of pure naive pleasure. I meet the reason for my movement, I meet the reason for my whole being. I meet the thing that initiates all initiative and provokes all provocation. I am faced, not as a self, but just as an experience, with that which is me. It is who I am when I am most free, when I feel the most safe, when I feel the most liberated. It is the one who I am when I forget to be who I want to be. It is an eight year old boy walking curiously through a forest. It is a naive trust given from a source of curious sweetness. It is an unhurt child smiling at anything in the world asking “Hello, what are you?”. It is looking at the world without fear, without a self created to protect. It is the body beneath the body, it is the thing I have created a self to defend. It is a defenceless young smiling soul, full of love and curiosity for everything it meets.
My deepest and unspoken anxiety about the experience was that I would unleash a monster from within. I feared that a dark demon would come out, a devious, game-playing and cruel being. But instead this came out, this very “felt” physical river inside me, this bubbly young thing.
My body moves in a naive feminine ecstatic movements, sometimes almost orgasmic – yet too innocent to be erotic. I am completely taken away by this and I just wriggle in the pure joy of this feeling, sometimes mouthing a “Wow!”. This wow is at my own being, at my surprise at meeting this. And I fall in love with this being, this little river inside me. I fall in love with its sweetness, and I understand all who have loved me before in my life.
After a while I get a desire to experience other things, while still under the influence. I reach out to my friend and catch his foot. Initially eye contact would be too much so I just drag myself up to him, and allow him to hold me. I cry, I smile, I mouth “Wow!”. We stare into each others eyes for several minutes. He has tried it before, so he knows that I am going through something, but he is probably not completely aware what. After about twenty-five minutes we begin talking, and sharing the experience in words.
My experience remains with me. It is not one of “That was an interesting drug”, it is one of seeing myself. The most profound side-effect is that I can see who have love for me, and who does not. This took an understanding of love for myself, something most probably learn from childhood, but I had missed for several reasons. I already knew who had love for me, and who had not. But I missed it because I was standing in the way of this myself. My personality created to defend my little river, is all the river is not. It is often hard, determined, controlled and understand everything that is going on. It has everything figured out well before it happens, and will not change its mind based on experience.
Tasting the sweetness of myself made me believe that I was loveable, because I now loved myself. I felt a kinship with those who loved me, an agreement with their decision. I looked at those people in my life who had no love for me and thought “What am I doing trying to force love out of an empty box?”, I felt a strange twinge of “Well, you have no love for me, that’s clear, I don’t completely understand this. I’m really REALLY sweet you know?”, but then I also accepted that this was not their taste. People have different tastes and that’s only fair. I felt no compulsion to try to make those with no love for me somehow change their mind. I reached out to some and thanked all those from whom I felt love clearly. Some I reached out to and asked “Do you have love for me?” because it felt right to ask. Some I told “I have love for you”. But mostly I just felt that whatever anyone else feels, most importantly I have love for myself, and it’s a love I want to take. So the most important thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return. The hardest lesson in this is that you need to do this alone before you do it with anyone else.