A ‘trip’ can take you places. Psychedelics are not for the faint-hearted. (Note: Bingedaily does not promote the use of psychedelics on any other psychotropic drug. All names in this article have been changed on request.)
How far back in time do psychedelics go back to?
Homo erectus - a species that would grunt and hunt and could barely be distinguished from an ape, evolved into Homo sapiens - a species that can make rockets, count atoms and grow life in a test tube. Conspiracy theorists debate if this evolution was just a miracle or something more. To answer this mystery, an ethnobotanist and psychedelics advocate - Terence McKenna stunned the world with the Stone Age Hypothesis.
He posited in his book Food of the Gods that Homo erectus must have had some psychedelic help in his journey to becoming the most intelligent species to ever walk the face of the Earth.
If what differs humans from jellyfish is simply our conscience and intelligence, does this mean humans are an accidental product of a good ‘trip’? We have no way of knowing what Homo erectus thought about LSD or if he did it ever again, but here are people who tell Bingedaily whether doing psychedelics just once can change your life.
Taking psychedelics is no child’s play!
How it started: For Aman, the first time he dropped acid was on a trekking trip in Bangalore. “I don’t remember how I became friends with a bunch of hipsters. They were extremely experimental with life experiences and were the ones who opened my doors to the world of psychedelics. There was this one time after a marijuana session, they decided to pull out a secret stock - acid. I don't know if it was a good or a bad decision to snort but it hit quick.”
The experience: “Things seemed to float. The music beats from the boom box literally disintegrated into separate frequencies and reached my eardrums differently. I thought I was listening to the same music but it hit me differently every time. I lied down for a brief moment, but it felt like I was gone for days. There was chaos in vision. I saw different things of different shapes zooming in and out.”
Does doing psychedelics once change your life: “Yes. Psychedelics is no child’s game, to be honest. The psychedelics exposed me to my deeper inner thoughts some of which are bizarre and otherwise not thought about,” says Aman.
“I wouldn't recommend it even if the experience I got was unique. If you are not strong enough to handle your own inner thoughts which all of us keep suppressing, it's going to backfire like crazy.”
Does LSD change you for life?
The experience: Rahul swears by coupling psychedelics and nature. “I once did LSD before a trek to Manali. The weather was great. I hadn’t done a full dose and thus, the amount I took was just right for me to enjoy the experience. We were within nature and it was beyond amazing. LSD, magic mushrooms and a lot other psychoactive substances are plants. They have their roots in nature. Thus, experiencing their effects while you are in the midst of nature is just perfect.”
Does doing psychedelics once change your life: “Yes. It altered my perception of reality. This was particularly highlighted the times when I did psychedelics on a full-moon night. It was beautiful. Under the full moon, you realise we are beings of this planet. We can live in harmony with other creations and have a symbiotic relationship. It is just like when you’re in the shade and walk out into the Sun. You feel it in your skin, right? Just like that, the moon has an effect on us. I mean, c’mon. It controls the tide, the seasons, and the magnetic field of the Earth. Of course, it has a tremendous impact on us. We just are too pre-occupied to notice this otherwise. On LSD, the mind goes back to its basic processes,” says Rahul.
Do psychedelics get you to hear your inner voice?
How it started: Anish had always wanted to do LSD at least once in his lifetime but knew it came with its own set of risks. “I did not want to just experiment for the thrill of it. I had read about it extensively and knew what I was putting at stake. I considered this drug one that lets you get in touch with your spiritual side and wanted to see whether this was really the case.”
The experience: “My psychedelic experience was on Anjuna beach in Goa. I got together with a bunch of friends and we tripped to music. The music you listen to while you’re on a ‘trip’ is a huge factor in determining your vibe. I usually listen to dark psychedelic trance - a genre that is hardly known to many. It is put together by modern-day shamans and is unlike anything you have ever heard. On a normal day, this music won’t hold any special significance or even seem something you’d want to have in your playlist. But on LSD, the beats match just right. The music was so insane, it transported us to another layer of reality.”
Does doing psychedelics once change your life: “Everyone’s experience is different. Caution should be exercised while you experiment with LSD. Once you overdose and your mind crosses that invisible barrier, there’s no coming back,” warns Anish. “LSD has changed me in ways I cannot express in words. It is a subject that is extremely personal to me. I have had spiritual experiences wherein I’ve felt I have a divine connection. But then again, I have had my set of bad trips.”
How bad can a bad trip really get?
The experience: Shaurya says he is no amateur when it comes to acid. “I know what to expect. But with LSD, one can always be in for a surprise. Something that I have noticed though is that I usually end up having a bad trip when I’m anxious subconsciously.”
“One trip that I just cannot get over and that screwed me over bad was this time when I was on a college trip. I do not wish this for anyone. Usually, pictures portray LSD effects as seeing geometric shapes, or patterns. No one tells you that when a trip goes bad, you will question your very existence and see demons around. Man, that was hell!”
Does doing psychedelics once change your life: “Yes. Remember, LSD magnifies your underlying thoughts, even the ones you are not aware of. I recommend doing it when you feel in control of your emotions,” says Shaurya.
“There will be good trips. I remember my best one - a trip where I felt like I was sent to the Earth to find life and joy and I got philosophical. That is a side of me that I loved. I turned from a self-centred jerk into a person. This was the trip where I also meditated while on LSD and I experienced a connection with something higher. Not God. But a power, something above everything. I felt a personal touch with this supreme power.”
“Psychedelics change you. I cannot define in what way, as this is no textbook stuff. But once you decide to try it, you will not be able to ever forget the experience nor go back. Do not do it for the fun of it. It is a serious business.”
Is it possible to have a life-changing experience with psychedelics?
The experience: Lara recounts one of her most memorable experiences when she took 5 tabs which were double dropped. Pure LSD. “I was struggling really badly in life at that point in time and thus I didn’t have the best of trips.”
Does doing psychedelics once change your life: “Yes. I am a conscious believer in this, due to my own life-changing experience: There was this one time when I was on a trip and I just sat on the floor of my room and cried as I experienced inexplicable pain. I felt everything.”
“Right from my mother giving birth to me and the warmth that I had felt to the cold that seemed to make my hair stand on edge - I felt everything in a flash. I felt every cut and bump I had ever received throughout my life and all the heartache and happiness; every kiss my dad and mom had given me. I felt literally everything I had ever experienced in life up to the point of me sitting on the cold pavement and crying. This overcoming feeling lasted for 2 minutes. 2 minutes of a 14-hour trip is what it took me to realize how absolutely important life was.”
“Those 2 minutes got me feeling an immense amount of pain and happiness all at the same time and it changed me. It made me view life more openly and freely. I do think doing LSD at least once in your life could greatly benefit you. It helped me with many mental illnesses that no psychiatrist could have ever help me comprehend.”
“It opened the doors of my perception and I learned so much about myself and what’s behind those doors. I now know what doors to keep shut to better myself and what doors are good to keep open. It’s all about perception and the way you look at things in life, the way you perceive them. You can choose to perceive them differently than you do now, but most people can’t even begin to fathom what that sentence means without trying LSD.”