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An Episode of Magic Mushroomery by Peter Bergson


Ram Damned Image Courtesy of Peter Bergson

I did not dare open my eyes at the peak of the trip as the travelling and the expanses and strange new worlds I encountered were so fast, colourful, detailed and complex that I thought adding optical visual information would be too profound. Eventually they did open, however. Everything in my living room appeared as if in motion. Two paintings across from me were pumping quite violently in and out of the wall, without unison. The content of the top painting was also speeding in, as if a camera were recording the street on a motorcycle. I laughed at another painting behind me as I thought it mischievous: it was trying to slip down the wall and escape whilst I was diverted; though I did catch it do so once. The pine tree by the window caught my gaze. All of its arms were flailing wildly. This I did consider somewhat disturbing and so avoided looking at it despite its intent to fix my attention. Commonly inanimate objects were at times anthropomorphised in the sense of being issued a will, presumably in a similar vein to world tyros, infants, who instinctively issue the same perspectives. Two interpretations offer themselves here: mushrooms induce a state of infancy, or that infants are not yet instructed in a mechanistic outlook useful to survival.

Not only space was being made a mockery of, but also time. As I waved my hand before me, it left a trail of itself. As I followed a lemniscate trail with my hand, a lemniscate figure remained. The reason for this, it seemed to me, was that the present, the now, had extended its duration. What I saw and what I 'remembered' seeing were combined, giving the impression of a trail. The now had expanded to around five seconds – recent memory was perception, or rather perception and memory were not particularly distinct. It was not Schopenhauer's 'Eternal Now', but it was a longer now.

Space, time and causality are for the neo-Kantian philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer necessary creations of the mind, they have no independent existence. At death these representations cease and 'one' merges with the indivisible totality of the universe-in-itself, 'the will'. Kant's nuance for this actual aspatial, atemporal realm is noumena. An interpretation of a magic mushroom experience through this transcendental idealist dark glass would posit that the ingested active magic molecules, psilocin, overload or inhibit the function of the brain, effectively maiming it albeit temporarily. As a result, space and time cannot be properly projected. That is to say, the spatial and temporal distortions experienced are not added, as it were, to one's common perception; rather, these distortions are actually the beginning of the removal of the anthropogenic perceptive screen which normally masks reality – noumena – with space, time, causality, qualia, and other such categories. Presumably if one overdosed, these creations would go beyond distortion to destruction which then would be identical to death but with the prospect of returning to the body and the world as spatio-temporal representation.

In limbo then I was, or perhaps purgatory would be more apt considering the devils I had met. Furthermore, I constantly saw streams of skulls. At one point they were all outlined by a thin luminous turquoise light. This shifted the atmosphere from the gothic to the futuristic. In here I saw a very detailed metal insect, or at least a raised metallic pattern of an insect. This was centred within a valley of dark computery texture. The head of another insectoid, some kind of giant ant or praying mantis, at one time tried to communicate with me without much success. Despite its appearance I registered it as an alien with high sentience.

But the most intense alien experience involved no beings but the inside of a spacecraft. Within a dark huge expanse of a room stood a complex but elegant glass cylinder restrained by four vertical pillars. Slowly but sturdily I moved closer to the cylinder at the centre of the craft. As I hit the cylinder so to enter I was struck powerfully by a feeling that almost made me unconscious (though I do not think that would be possible as the experience would just continue). A bright light enveloped the whole scene in presumably a Pauline fashion; but not an insect, alien, or mongrel thereof demanded why I persecuted them and thus no conversion took place.

Much glass or crystal-type matter occurred throughout my travels. At one point swirls of multicoloured planes, swirling somewhat like a whirlpool suddenly swirled down upon another glass cylinder, as if a test-tube had been placed at the centre of this colourful, patterned ocean vortex. I was surprised and awe-struck by its beauty, sublimity and unexpected appearance. Eventually the 'water' got into the cylinder without breaking or filling it and still swirled downwards to I know not where.

Soon thereafter, or was it before (or are these words redundant in non-time) I looked down upon a wizard of the Tolkien style on a beach standing behind a large vertical elongated and round crystal which measured up to his chest. It was held up by sharp dark spikes that followed and passed its height. This Istar had raised arms and a fixed gaze upon it, for some unknown reason.

Another glass-type phase involved a garden that harboured a toy train set. These miniature trains were being driven by pixies with little fairies playing around the track outskirts. There were also many colourful mushrooms dotted about and much overall activity. The whole scene was covered in glass, and glass even followed the trains through the little tunnels they steamed through. The glass gave the garden village a translucent, self-enclosed beauty.

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Peter runs his own graphic design company HobGob Graphics. If you want truly shroomtastic graphics that are out of this world visit the site now.