One of the best acid NDEs I have ever read comes
from the famous actor
Hagman. He had the unique experience of having
an acid trip when he was younger and a near-death
experience when he was older. Both are remarkably
similar. You can read them at my
NDE Trigger of Drugs page.
By comparing Larry Hagman's LSD experience with
his NDE, one can easily understand the slight difference
between the two.
The following acid experience comes from
In 1970, I was a 24-year-old
with serious psycho-emotional problems. The most
glaring element was a totally alienated lack of
connection with other human beings and fear of all
social interaction. My family lived just 25 miles
away, but I hadn't gone to see them in a year and
a half. For awhile I had been a true believer in
Ayn Rand's "Objectivism", which preached atheistic
individualism and the "virtue of selfishness". I
eventually gave it up as overly simplistic, but
my worldview was still completely materialistic.
I moved into an apartment
building in the bohemian section of town, and was
befriended by a hippie couple who lived upstairs.
For a week or so we smoked pot and talked, but even
though I liked them, I was completely at odds with
their worldview and what seemed to me their incomprehensible
beliefs. Their names were Jim and Jane.
There came a night when
Jim scored some acid, and I had my first trip. For
awhile it was very freaky and unpleasant, as the
walls and furniture undulated and time slowed down.
From things I had read and heard about LSD, I knew
that you were supposed to go through something called
"ego-loss". I kept thinking: "What am I supposed
to lose? Have I lost it yet?" In reality I was clinging
to my ego for dear life, desperately struggling
to maintain control in the flux of the strange changes
and intense confusion.
The main activity in my
isolated existence had been reading, and now I opened
a book in an attempt to find some familiar ground.
It took forever just to read a couple of sentences,
and the words didn't do what they always used to.
It took me a long time
to figure out that they were still doing anything
at all, and when I grasped what it was, I was stupefied
at how absurd and primitive it was. I could hardly
believe that such a crude form of communication
had been my biggest source of knowledge. The awful
truth, as I now thought, was that books were completely
useless. I could no longer believe anything that
I ever thought I knew. It was all a mirage, and
I was lost in it.
Jim came and sat down
with a big thick book. I asked what he was going
to do with such a worthless object. Ah, but this
was a special book - you'll see, he said. He rattled
some coins and tossed them several times, drew a
hexagram, then looked up the indicated reading in
the book, which of course was the I Ching. He read
the passages aloud; it just seemed like a lot of
mumbo-jumbo. But then something happened -- all
of a sudden I caught a sliver of meaning in the
words. Not only did it make sense, it made my heart
I listened hard, and it
happened again. I felt that Jim was trying to get
something across to me, across an immense gulf,
something of deep and dire importance.
It flashed clear for another
instant, and I saw that to really open it up I'd
have to decisively ungrasp everything I had, or
thought I was, or believed was real. THIS is what
the "ego" was, and the prospect of its loss was
terrifying. The ego was ME, and losing it meant
that I would have to die.
This was the primal equation
I perceived; I freaked out and yelled "No!", disrupting
the reading for a moment. But then I saw that there
was nowhere else to go, nothing else to be done.
I had to do it, even if it cost me everything -
even if I died.
A passage in the reading
seemed to exactly describe this humbling acceptance
I had just gone through. It was the first time in
my life that I had experienced synchronicity, and
it seemed like a divine event, a miracle. And suddenly
everything became perfectly clear.
The room was flooded with
light from overhead. Now I understood that Jim had
been attempting to demonstrate an entirely new form
of communication, one that penetrated and transcended
the boundaries of ordinary speech and interaction
as I had always experienced them, and opened a new
dimension of psychic communion.
When the reading was finished
I felt wonderful. I sat cross-legged in perfect
contentment, waiting placidly for whatever might
happen next. I didn't have long to wait. Strange
little tendrils of force began to ripple up along
my body, gently guiding my attention upwards, to
where they seemed to come together in a peak directly
above the top of my head. The pulse of the vibrations
intensified, enclosing me like a net. Then I was
gone, and there was only the force field and the
pinpoint of white light overhead where it all converged.
There was a sense of ecstatic immensity and union.
It was the most intense pleasure I had ever known.
The trance seemed to last
for a long time, though externally only a few moments
had passed. When I came out of it, I felt that Jim
and Jane were my dear friends, that in reality we
were one. We all related in a joyful kind of way,
though with some of the silly slips and trip-ups
that the acid state is prone to. After awhile I
sat down and peaked out all over again into the
white light. It was incredible.
I felt completely redeemed
from the alienated horror that my life had been.
I acted out a need I felt to confess all my guilty
secrets to Jim and Jane. In doing this, it felt
like everything I had ever been ashamed of was now
purified, purged, and dissolved. Truly I was born
again, without even the need for Jesus.
I looked out my window
into the night, and it seemed that I could see into
the vast body of all the world. I understood now
that all those billions of human beings out there
were somehow all one organism - one thing, one being,
one person. I saw how human life had originated
on Earth. In the beginning there was only the one
great sapient creature, perhaps come to this planet
from the stars and got marooned. And then the entity
sharded itself up into splinters, which were all
the individual people who had ever lived and were
Somehow we had all forgotten
that we were the one original being, and lived out
our lonely lives in the illusion of separateness.
Now that I had awakened to our true condition, I
could see that the aim of human life was for all
of us to come together again, to merge back into
the original being and become the One we truly are
beneath the surface. I understood that the way to
do this was love. Love was simply the name of the
natural force which like gravity tended to pull
everything back together. As human beings, the way
we experienced this force was love. As fragmented
creatures, our job was to love each other and become
I passionately embraced
this amazing new world I had transitioned into.
It was so natural, so right, so completely real
- as contrasted with the state of agonized exile
that I had lived in all my life. At last there had
come the deliverance I'd always longed for.
Time, when I thought of
it, was still going by very slowly, but now it was
a pleasure, not a drag. In fact, I now knew that
I was immortal, knew it with the same self-evident
certainty as my face in a mirror. I was the one
original being, and I would be here forever, so
time was meaningless. When I realized this, I took
off my watch and threw it to the floor. "Won't be
needing THAT any more," I said.
Jane snatched it up from
the hard kitchen tiles. "Oh no!" she said, "I hope
it's not broken." It wasn't, and she and Jim both
assured me that I WOULD need it again. I innocently
asked why, indicating how everything had changed.
"But," said Jim, "when
the drug wears off, you're going to come down."
I said, "Drug?" I had
forgotten what had caused the change.
"LSD," Jim reminded me.
Then I remembered, and
went through a great spasm of realization that it
was evidently this drug, LSD, that had taken me
out of the fake, hateful shadowland that everyone
lived in, and delivered me to this sacred place
of true beneficence, this exceedingly real world.
So LSD was the key! I concluded that it must be
a holy instrument implanted in the realm of humanity
by the One Being to ensure that His shards would
return to unity.
I wrote the above many
years after the fact of the event. The style and
wording is intended to convey the euphoria and naivet
of the experience. The disclaimer is that the drugs
in question are dangerous. Even marijuana is no
longer mild in its more popular varieties, namely
sinsemilla and its cousins which can induce pathological
feelings of paranoia in the unwary user.
As for LSD, well, the
concept of the acid test should not be taken lightly.
Anyone with a significant pathology can have it
exacerbated, even fatally, by taking acid. Sometimes
you don't even know you have a pathology until you
take the acid; this is why this substance has the
deserved reputation of triggering mental illness
in people, sometimes permanently. It has also been
used to cure mental illness, but this often hinges
on having a qualified guide or therapist present.
In the trip described
above, Jim acted as my guide. He was not a completely
competent one, and many freaky incidents happened
which I did not relate. So it is that sometimes
the outcome of a trip can depend on a factor which
can be taken as good fortune, synchronicity, or
On synchronicity, the
day before the trip, I copied into my diary a passage
from a book I was reading by Henry James. It describes
his reaction to the outbreak of the First World
War: "My overwhelmed sense of such prodigious realities
has simply left me nothing to say - the rupture
with all the blest old proportion of things has
been so complete and utter...
The following experiencer wishes to remain
I can relate
to your experience. I had a similar one after having
an overdose on heroin and LSD and a series of other
drugs I don't even remember taking. I was out for
all but three minutes, but my experience seemed
to last an eternity.
The only way I can explain
it - it was like going on a hell ride. It was kind
of like my life being fast forwarded from beginning
to end; but, I felt myself age, die, and be reborn
again over and over again. The rebirth felt great;
but, I felt my self go sour as I aged and I saw
I was missing something in my life.
Then I saw a light and
everything stopped. It was as if the light communicated
to me everything I had done wrong and it showed
me what love is. It showed me that God is love.
By spreading love, you make God stronger. By making
God stronger, he can, in return, help you. He told
me your love has to be unconditional. That is the
only rule he really has. And it is one thing all
religions have in common. He also told me that the
drugs I was doing was like a false love. I was doing
it so I wouldn't have to interact with people. I
could inject my own love into my veins and be happy.
But that is not good enough. I don't know. It was
an odd experience.