My Experience While On LSD (Still On It): In A Word, It’s Egocide.

Note: I am up writing this post while still on LSD and listening to music.  It’s not meant to be very lucid or readable for that matter, since I’m still in an altered state.  But I figured one post would be a nice post to be written while on LSD 🙂  If I repeat myself, you now know why 😉

My Drug Experiments

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I used the past week and a half to experiment with all kinds of drugs, to test out.  In the past week and a half, I took MDMA or “Molly”, Psilocybin, cocaine, and LSD.  I’ve also experimented with significant amounts of alcohol – taking more in a night than I’ve ever taken in my life.

I don’t recommend people go experiment with drugs lightly.  I’m certainly not a fan of how people use MDMA as a night club drug and abuse it.

People tend to think of these drugs as addictive, but I think only people who are trying to escape their reality run a risk of developing an addiction.

Most people who take pain killers are fine, but then you have a group who just goes crazy with it and it ruins their life.  Same with alcohol.  Some people can have 1 or 2 drinks and other people become alcoholics.  Alcohol is probably more “addictive” than all of these drugs, but I never abuse alcohol, nor do I ever plan on it.

I just wanted to experiment and see what they were like.

I don’t plan to take any of them again anytime soon, but I’m happy I took them once, to see what they were like.

Since I’m not a partier and I’m extremely content with my life without drugs or partying, I see this experience as…just an experience.

Btw, I didn’t plan on writing about my experiences tonight in a post at all.  This is completely random and I am doing it because LSD wakes you up and I am out of what I’d call the eye of the storm.

MDMA, Psilocybin, and LSD were on top of my list because they were recommended by a thinker I admire Sam Harris.  I shall speak about MDMA and Psilocybin in a different post. Sam Harris speaks about his experiences in the first chapter of his book, which is free.

I could now see why he recommended those three.  They are all the most interesting.  I’d potentially want to take all three again, but not in the next year.  My biggest issue with MDMA is that you don’t know what you’re getting and you can’t titrate the right  dosage.  I wouldn’t use it as a party drug, if I did use it again.  Psilocybin was good but it’s in the same category as LSD, just LSD is stronger and a bit different.

LSD and Psilocybin (and probably all hallucinogens) don’t have an abuse potential, as they aren’t addictive at all (R). In this respect, they’re different than other “hard drugs.”

Actually, meta analyses of human studies found that a single usage of LSD was associated with a decrease in alcohol abuse.

The Physical Effects of LSD

I’m going to talk about LSD in this post simply because I’m still on it.

I took a “tab” 7 hours earlier and the peak hit 1.5 hours later, where I wasn’t able to even get out of bed.  It hit me very hard.  The physical sensations left me somewhat paralyzed, so I stayed home, while my friends went out.

I wasn’t expecting to be so paralyzed (I’m not anymore).  I wasn’t paralyzed in a way that I figured was dangerous, so it wasn’t cause for concern.  And even if I did feel like it was cause for concern, I didn’t care because I knew I was hallucinating.  However, the relaxation was similar to the relaxing effect of pot, which can be sedating to your whole body.  It also had that whole body warming feeling that marijuana has.

It has a potent anti-inflammatory effect, as the inflammation from a recent injury has disappeared, and the research supports this.  It inhibits TNF and IL-1b, among other anti-inflammatory effects.

With LSD, it’s very hard to know what strength you’re getting.  It’s anywhere from 30-100mcg per a tab, but I think the one I had was probably closer to 100mcg, based on other users of the same tabs and the extremely powerful effect, but I don’t really know at the end of the day.

Anywhere above 20mcg the hallucinogenic effects start to kick in.

My First LSD Experience

The first time I took it was Saturday night.  I took a half of a tab that time and I felt a very interesting sensation across my body.  It was relaxing and my mental state was certainly altered, but I wasn’t hallucinating.

I didn’t want to take more at the time because I was having trouble walking and dancing – I was bar/club hopping in Williamsburg.  That dosage didn’t cause any hallucinogenic effects. Since I was out clubbing (which I don’t normally do because I’m a nerd and I rather be home and read), I didn’t want to be stranded somewhere in the middle of NYC. I didn’t have an experienced user with me, so I deferred and didn’t want to take more.

Since I couldn’t dance (on Saturday night), I left the club/bar and stumbled across a girl outside that was crying.  I was too out of it to do anything else and my senses weren’t adequate to get home alone.  So I offered my sympathy in exchange for her guidance home.   She accepted.

The reason the girl was crying was, indeed, sad, and at some point I cried with her.  Maybe the LSD made me more emotional – I don’t know.  Her best friend had committed suicide, which she did because her mom died of cancer and she was never able to mentally recover.  This poor, crying girl promised her mom that she’d look out for her daughter – and she tried to, but there’s only so much someone could do.  The daughter couldn’t cope with her grief and committed suicide…In addition, the crying girl had two other friends that also died in a close time period – one from a car accident and another from boating.  I ended up walking with her for about 2-3 hours, talking about Zen philosophy among other stuff.  In my state, I just enjoyed listening to her and being empathetic.  The LSD surely had a hand in that state (I also took oxytocin, which also had an influence).  She told me how everyone was saying she had to move on and she tries to fake moving on, but just can’t.  I told her to not move on and take however long she needed to experience the full extent of her grief (I told her a lot more but it’s not for this post). We were both incapable of finding a train to take home, so we ended up cabbing it.

My Second LSD Experience

Anyway, realizing I didn’t have the full hallucinogenic experience, I decided to take it again.

I took it again tonight, with friends, one of whom was an experienced user, but ultimately I told them to go leave without me because I was too incapacitated to walk and go anywhere.  My whole body kind of shut down in a relaxing way.

I went to my bed and meditated alone, at night, in the dark, with my eyes shut.  At this time I would’ve ordinarily been sleeping, but you can’t sleep on LSD.

My universe turned into a hologram, and I watched everything that could be attached to “Me” melt away.

As “myself” kept melting away, I kept on saying how stupid I was for trying this – and who knows what I was even getting…..doubts crept into my mind, especially as another person who took the tab was telling me it could damage my nerves.  The guy was just a moron and was trying to scare me, it turns out.

For small instances, it was somewhat of a hellish situation that you can’t get out of.

When I was tripping I was “thinking” about how Sam Harris almost died when he took it in middle of a lake and how Joe Rogan said he’d never take it because he didn’t know what he’d be getting.  And this came from Joe Rogan, the guy who takes anything.  Also, thoughts of other people saying that those who take it are changed forever weighed in on my mind.  I only then understood what this meant. Combine that with the fact that everything I looked at turned into miniature goblins and whatever was “Me” was turning into a hologram.  On top of all that was this retarded guy telling me that there was something wrong with this LSD (there wasn’t).

So I was freaking out alone, in my room, at night.

But then I realized that the rest of my experience was going to be a “bad trip” unless I accepted my fate, which also meant accepting any sense of “Me” dying and never coming back.

And that’s what I did.  I accepted that whatever my consciousness was, it would never be the same. And I was OK with that.  I decided to let go and commit mental suicide, and it was liberating, in a way.

I must’ve committed this suicide many dozens of times in the process.  After the self-suicide, I allowed myself to feel the great feelings that comes with LSD, because the sensations are very good if you just let yourself experience it without worry.

I now understood what it means that LSD changes you…

As I am still high on this, I don’t know how it’s going to end, but I already accepted suicide of my former self, so whoever else emerges I shall be cool with that person.  (as I sober up, more of “Me” is returning).

In that sense, LSD helps you let go of more than you can ever imagine.  But only if you’re ready.

Without LSD, I let go of caring about almost everything possible – what other people thought of me, my ambitions and most of my needs.   But you just can’t let go of “You”, especially if you’re happy with the you that died.  With LSD, in the eye of it, you’re forced to let go of your whole identity.

When you’re on it, you realize that whatever you took is so powerful that it will change the self that you had before, in some way and maybe significantly.  It’s impossible to know how.  Time will tell for me.

Your whole conscious experience melts and keeps transforming into everything and nothing.  Your brain is mashed up with your body, your bed (in my case) and your experience.  Your mind and body become one and you become indistinguishable from the universe, or so it felt.

Whatever consciousness you have, it only stays for a few seconds and morphs into something else.

I wasn’t expecting such a powerful experience.  It felt so powerful, that you feel there’s no way it can’t be permanent – and many users do feel some aspect about themselves has changed after.

While on it, LSD kills any sense of self.  Your self keeps transforming to something else or sometimes  just disappears entirely. In this way, you can create a completely new self.  Not all of this new self will last out of the trip, but some of it supposedly does.

There’s a saying that you need to let go of who you are, to become who you might be.  Letting go of who I took on a whole new meaning after LSD.

That base awareness that you associate with “You” changes with the experience and it’s as if you died and was reborn to the same body,  but to a new awareness. Some people claim that this stays with them.  Even if it doesn’t stay with me, the experience was very interesting.

For someone who was completely happy before LSD, this wasn’t easy.  I could imagine it being easy if you have serious mental issues or if you’re depressed, but I was happy and comfortable with “Myself.”

I view the experience as more of a Zen exercise than anything else.  It’s kind of that last hoop you jump through

Once you pop that tab, however, there’s no escape.  Instead of choosing to jump, it felt like someone just pushed me over a cliff into oblivion.

Imagine falling off of a cliff for 3 hours not knowing if you will land on a heap of cotton or concrete.    You can fall with worry and anxiety about your potential fate or you can accept that whatever comes will come, with or without the worry.  Some people try to flap their hands to escape, but there is no escaping; those people just have a ‘bad trip’. Alternatively, you can decide to fall blissfully and accept the inevitable, because it’s not under your control anyway at that point.

What can I say….with all of my Zen philosophies, I haven’t truly let go – and that’s OK.   I view myself as someone who lets go more than anyone I know, but you can never really completely let go of who “You” are until you are forced to.

You can either fight it or go along with it.  Once I chose to go with it, the rest of my trip went great.  Metaphorically, I chose to stretch my hands and feet and enjoy the breeze of falling into the unknown, with small bouts of anxiety in between.

Now I’m just feeling a great sensation, but not ‘tripping’.

I’m in a happy and altered state, but far from that free-for-all, metaphorical jump.

I didn’t really need to become any “better” than I was, but it’s an interesting experience having everything you think of as “You” completely vanish and morph into something else.

Again, I’m still in it, so I don’t know how it will be when it’s all over, but I’m at a state where I realize that most of me will return, even if some of me won’t.

LSD isn’t for the faint of heart.  If you take it, you need to be ready to commit a kind of suicide, or you may have a bad trip.  Maybe some people are different. Most people just take it and distract themselves with music and whatnot.

For me, I thought it would be best to use my experience exploring myself rather than distracting myself.

For brief periods, I looked at some visuals on youtube and listened to music and it was amazing.

What I am feeling now is a more “spiritual” self, but time will tell if that lasts. I’m mostly a cerebral and sober guy, but I still have had spiritual experiences before.

Interestingly, it feels like someone took a brick to the back of my skull and cracked it open, in a pleasant way, to pave the way for new experiences.  LSD is supposed to create long-lasting changes in personality, to the effect of being more open to new experiences.

The Future Me?

In all likelihood, the minute this thing wears completely off, I will go back to developing some strong sense of me that I will view as sacred.  The me that comes before everyone else, because, well, it’s ME.

That “Me” has obviously come back to a large degree, as the most powerful part of the trip is over, but it’s only partially back.

There’s a good chance the “Me” that I construct for myself in a month, a year  or 5 years will be different than the “Me” I’ve constructed for myself now.

And when I build that house of cards and I am so comfortable with myself, maybe I will then pop another tab and commit self-suicide or Ecocide, and start all over again.

Wikipedia Snippets On LSD

Anyway, I found the Wikipedia entry’s psychological experiences to be similar to my own.  I only read the Wikipedia entry as I am writing this article, so I’m actually surprised about how similar my own experience was  (my experiences are bolded):

LSD’s psychological effects (colloquially called a “trip”) vary greatly from person to person, depending on factors such as previous experiences, state of mind and environment, as well as dose strength. They also vary from one trip to another, and even as time passes during a single trip. An LSD trip can have long-term psychoemotional effects; some users cite the LSD experience as causing significant changes in their personality and life perspective. Widely different effects emerge based on what Timothy Leary called set and setting; the “set” being the general mindset of the user, and the “setting” being the physical and social environment in which the drug’s effects are experienced.

Some psychological effects may include an experience of radiant colors, objects and surfaces appearing to ripple or “breathe”, colored patterns behind the closed eyelids (eidetic imagery), an altered sense of time (time seems to be stretching, repeating itself, changing speed or stopping), crawling geometric patterns overlaying walls and other objects, morphing objects, a sense that one’s thoughts are spiraling into themselves, loss of a sense of identity or the ego (known as “ego death“), and other powerful psycho-physical reactions.[20] Many users experience a dissolution between themselves and the “outside world”.[21] This unitive quality may play a role in the spiritual and religious aspects of LSD. The drug sometimes leads to disintegration or restructuring of the user’s historical personality and creates a mental state that some users report allows them to have more choice regarding the nature of their own personality.

If the user is in a hostile or otherwise unsettling environment, or is not mentally prepared for the powerful distortions in perception and thought that the drug causes, effects are more likely to be unpleasant than if he or she is in a comfortable environment and has a relaxed, balanced and open mindset.[22]

In a different link on ego death it states:

Ego death is an experience of mentally ‘dying'(or reaching the end of time/end of the world/going permanently insane etc.) in an altered state of consciousness. This phenomenon (feeling as if one has died) is observed quite commonly in psychedelic trip reports……

The occultic practice of ego death as “mystical experience[1][2][3][4][5][6]variously overlaps with, but is distinct from, traditions concerning Buddhist enlightenment and Nirvana (in Buddhism), or Moksha[note 1] (in Hinduism and Jainism). These latter concepts are understood as transcendence of the notion of non-illusory ego[note 2] with which to experience death.[note 3]

Ego death is characterized[note 4] as the perceived loss of boundaries between self and environment,[7][8] a sense of the loss of control,[9]personal agency, and cognitive-associations.[10][11][12] This re-organization, reidentification, and reinterpretation of boundaries between self and environment is experienced through sensations[note 5] ofwholeness[note 6] or by refutation of the “I”.

According to Stanislav Grof, “Ego death means an irreversible end to one’s philosophical identification with what Alan Watts called skin-encapsulated ego.”

Psychedelic users of psilocybin, DMT, LSD, DXM, Ketamine, Methoxetamine or 2C-P report experiences of ego death along with other mystical experiences common with psychedelic substances. Studies of psychedelics report subjective observations of dying and mortality, transcendence, and expansion of consciousness.[19][20] (R)

In hindsight, I should’ve been expecting ego death, since Wikipedia talks about it, but I just didn’t know about it and never saw it coming.

Ego death is the hardest for someone like me, because my genetics is to have an especially strong sense of self (I guess everyone’s genes is like that).  I’m someone who used to be terrified of death.  I got that from my parents.  My grandmother was horrified of it and she passed away fighting tooth and nail to stay alive, even though she was 94 and was in horrible pain.

I actually never even saw that entry or carefully read that LSD causes ego death, but I just saw it happening in front of my eyes, unexpectedly.

Who Should Use LSD?

My experience with LSD is  extremely unique and I’m glad I took it.  LSD is the strongest drug I’ve ever tried.  It’s stronger than any amount of alcohol you can drink.  Alcohol is a different animal.

I think an LSD experience once in your life is something you should consider under the proper circumstances.

I could see LSD being a great therapeutic agent to depressed and anxious people and especially to people with OCD. Everyone in this society has a problem of letting go, including myself.  The drug is meant for the West.  It also can be especially helpful, probably, in terminally ill people who are afraid to die.  LSD will lessen such fears.  If I’m ever old and/or about to die because of a terminal illness, I will probably take LSD a few times as preparation.

It also has the potential to give you a bad trip if you fight against the ego death, so it needs to be used correctly.

But if done in the right way, this drug can improve the lives of a lot of people.  Ironically, I’m willing to bet that LSD would’ve saved that girl from suicide and also release her friend from the depression she’s in.

In a sense, the more comfortable you are with who your consciousness is, the harder it is to let go of this former past. And so it was frightening to let go of everything I’ve been until now.  What if the future me isn’t as happy?

The reason I let go was because something in me knew that in my journey of letting go for the past 5 years, I’ve never regretted letting go too much.   I never looked back and said, “you know, I just stopped caring too much and I regret that.”  The more I stopped caring and let go the happier I became.  So that surely helped me let go and commit self-suicide.

I can’t stress enough that you need to be ready to kill your former self.  I didn’t appreciate this fact.

How Should You Use LSD?

I recommend taking it with an experienced user and it should be with mental preparation.  Ideally, the experienced user should take the same tablet beforehand, so that you know what you’re getting and the user will tell you how much to take.  I also recommend much preparation beforehand such as investigating Zen principles and pursuing the path of letting go of everything you think you need to hold on to. You also need to clear at least 3 days from your schedule – preferably a week.  I know it’s not easy to do all of this, especially because governments need to control and make the most therapeutic drugs illegal.

If I knew what it was going to be like, I would’ve done it in the woods and in a different circumstance.  I kind of knew this, but I felt like the cards wouldn’t have lined up ever and I wanted to try it while I was in my experimental drug kick, so that I can close the book on these drugs for a while.

Steve Jobs’ Experience

As I was about to end this post I wanted to see what Steve Jobs had to say about his experience…

“Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important—creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.”

I didn’t have this experience, but I guess I’ve already had this without LSD, so I didn’t need it for that.

Videos

Here’s a video with Joe Rogan and the founder of MAPS, an organization that supports clinical trials with drugs like LSD.

Here’s a video with Dr. Carl Hart, an addiction researcher.  I think drugs can be addictive, but addiction is misunderstood.  Watch the video to see what I’m talking about.

I am crashing out as I haven’t slept all night and it’s 10:30AM EDT.

Comments

  1. James

    Are you familiar with instances of seeming allergic reactions and/or vagal tone disruption on LSD?

    When a microdose hits my system above 10 mcg, I get serious sniffles, post nasal drip, itchy irritated eyes, tension in my throat, symptoms of Raynaud’s (fingertips wrinkle like an old man’s), gassiness, fasciculations in my calves and transverse abdominals, and persistent tension in my throat and jawline (especially on the left side).

    This didn’t happen the first time I started microdosing at under 10 mcg, but after a month on 16 mcg every other day the symptoms seem to be getting more consistent. I can’t find anything to explain this so far and wondered if you had some insight.

  2. Robbie

    Very interesting and entertaining read. I have also taken LSD once in the past, 200ug.
    While I haven’t experienced ego death during the experience, I did go through it after taking Psilocybin Mushrooms. It was very similar to what you described in your post.

    What’s your opinion on MDMA?

  3. Have you thought about taking Kratom?

    http://themindunleashed.org/2014/10/heard-euphoric-healing-plant-still-legal-us.html

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19648761

    When “potent” is used to describe the level of anti-inflammatory effects of Kratom in the study for example, is that a word that is thrown out quite often for things like curcumin, or is it only used to describe the best and most long lasting TNF inhibitors, such as chemicals like Lysergic acid?

    Thanks

  4. Very interesting post! I’ve never tried LSD myself. Although I had one chance to try it where a close friend of mine offered and I declined as I was aware of the ego death aspect of it. I like your analogy of being pushed off a cliff. That’s exactly how I characterized it myself. I had an experience of a sort of ego death once that went absolutely terribly. Only thing was that I didn’t use any substance to induce it. I was contemplating death and it suddenly hit me that THIS was IT! If I was going to die I was going to die now. And I was suddenly going into panic mode and my heart started racing. But I didn’t know how to let go. So I tried my best to distract myself and it started to die down. Only thing was there was no where to go back to as I did not take any drug to induce it. I ended up with a huge amount of anxiety and dread for over a year. I thought perhaps something was wrong with me physically but there wasn’t as I went to the cardiologist (and another doctor) and everything checked out fine. I’m fine now as it has been 4 years (with a lot of coming to grips with it and accepting it and the the such like) but there’s still the sense that it’s there. That cliff is still there and I’m simply trying to ignore it or pretend that it isn’t there.

    “In all likelihood, the minute this thing wears completely off, I will go back to developing some strong sense of me that I will view as sacred. The me that comes before everyone else, because, well, it’s ME.”
    This is actually very keen of you. From my reading on the subject it seems like a permanent ego death results in the Universal Self, Atman, or Pure Awareness or whatever they call it arising and the person becomes that. Maybe that experience is the source of religion. But I’ve also read that it is possible that the new ‘Me’ can also not rise and it too can pass away (but this is much much more rare).

    It’s all very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  5. From what I’ve read here, I think that in the right circumstances, you would find tryptamines (DMT, ayahuasca etc.) immensely interesting. I’d also recommend salvia, although it’s an immensely trying experience. I’ve done it several times and still don’t know what to make of it.

    As an experienced user of psychedelics, I know exactly what you mean when it comes to LSD and ego death. The first time I took it, my ego was blown apart piece by piece, as though I was dust in the wind. It took me an entire trip to piece myself back together, and even then, I’m not sure I was the same person as before I took that tab.

    I’m of the opinion that every time you take LSD, you come back different. It’s one of the greatest things in the world for this exact reason. I’ve dosed half tabs all the way up to two and a half tabs (250ug) and every time you learn intensely important lessons about yourself.

    But if you think that 100ug was crazy, the substances mentioned in the first paragraph will take you for one hell of a ride. I’ve witnessed my conscious reality dissolve into nonsense and come back from trips that left me changed forever.

    In the context of your website, I feel that psychedelics are a worthwhile addition in terms of content. I found your post intensely interesting, as it reminded me of the Erowid vaults.

    Great post Joe. It’s always good to get the word out. Drugs beyond alcohol and tobacco get a bad rap, even though they’re the worst for you. LSD and related psychedelics don’t deserve to be lumped in with crystal meth, heroin and so forth.

    • Joe

      Thx,
      Interesting. I haven’t been able to get my hands on those. When I do, I’ll try them.

      Honestly, I’m extremely happy I took LSD, but I’m happy without it and it took me a full week to “recover”. I was “happier” and more social during this time, but couldn’t do highly analytical work and was lazier in general. This annoyed me slightly. Maybe if I went on a long vacation I’d take it again, but not otherwise.

  6. Julene

    So…Now that your trip is completely over, what’s the verdict on your Ego’s Death and the new sense of “Me”?! Also, why combine drugs and do so many in such a short period of time?

    • Joe

      I wouldn’t change anything in the post. I think it was a positive experience and I’m still myself mostly.

      I let myself recover after each drug. 15 days = 3 days per a drug.

      I didn’t want to spread out the usage too much because going out and taking these drugs sap my motivation for getting things done, so I preferred getting it over with in a shorter period.

      I have an “intense” personality and when I do something I hit it hard. If I go out, I party hard (on time till the next afternoon), but I normally like staying in. I get into “modes” and do things in concentrated bursts.

    • Joe

      If I get my hands on it, but I”m finished with the drug experimentation for quite some time.
      I can’t imagine them being stronger than LSD, but they all work via a similar mechanism in causing hallucinations.

  7. Joanna

    I think /r/drugs would really appreciate your detailed take on your experiences here.
    Tbh you shouldve had a tripsittter. Might have been easier for him to guide you out of a bad place. Or its good to have a xanax ready as well so ive been told.

    For me I’ve been really adverse to taking hallucinogenics because hallucinating and being dissociated gives me a lot anxiety. (Even mild ones like weed and MDMA -> MDA. I try to avoid doses that will give me those effects.

    Haven’t yet tried LSD and I’m not sure I would ever be ready to. Its really cool to read about your subjective experiences tho. Looking forward to your MDMA post

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