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
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 leap.
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
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
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
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
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 now alive.
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 one
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
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
I wrote the above
many years after the fact of the event. The
style and wording is intended to convey the
euphoria and naiveté 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 divine intervention.
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
Heroin and LSD Near-Death Experience
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.