- Mar 10, 2006
- iterating through cyclic eternities
34mg 3-HO-PCP + 10mg 4-HO-MET:
Breaking Reality, into the Mind of God, Rebirth and Giving Birth to the Universe
Breaking Reality, into the Mind of God, Rebirth and Giving Birth to the Universe
I am writing this report relatively soon after emerging from this fairly unplanned and deeply harrowing dissociative adventure, but it was such a powerful experience and I believe so much of it, unfortunately, will likely elude any attempts at narrativisation - indeed, the full magnitude of unfamiliar feelings, sensations, and, perhaps “knowledge” that I was briefly granted during this journey will remain probably forever a mystery, and something that can only be contemplated through the clouded and imperfect glass of memory - a mere shadow of it’s true essence. But, nonetheless, I just want to get something down while it’s as fresh in my memory as it can be. As ever I will do my best to convey what I can and to describe what I experienced.
Firstly, some backstory. This was my third adventure with 3-HO-PCP. It was also the first time I tried to combine it with any other substance, and I probably would not have done this were I entirely of sober mind at the time.
The day before - in fact, 2 days before, since this trip took place in the early AM - I also took 3-HO-PCP, this time a single dose of 20mg, combined with weed. I think, in retrospect, the combination was a mistake - I don’t know why but I never really enjoy the sensation of being stoned in combination with almost any dissociative - but I constantly forget and end up doing it anyway. I hadn’t smoked in a while at the time and was looking forward to doing so - and I had some good memories of my one previous escapade on 3-HO-PCP a few weeks prior, and was looking forward to trying again - so the fact that this combination might not be sensible kind of eluded me.
This was enjoyable for a few hours - and not at any point overwhelming - but at about the 3.5 hour mark I remember feeling just a bit tired of feeling so weird, for lack of a better word. I took about 50mg noopept in an effort to abort, but found that this did not really work - in fact it might have made things a bit worse and I distinctly remember a feeling of pressure inside my head, like my brain was being pulled in multiple different directions. A few hours later I took 20mg valium, and then shortly afterwards 1 final 10mg. Predictably, I started to feel better, but also pretty drowsy and ended up going to sleep soon after.
Lead up to the trip, taking some milder substances and smaller doses of 3-HO-PCP (6mg orally at T-5:30, then 8mg orally at T-2:30)...
The next day was a Saturday, and I had planned to do a little work (mainly web development work - which I believe would have an impact on the early stages of the trip). I was probably still feeling a little drowsy from the diazepam the evening before, and feeling a little out of sorts still so I took, I think, 30mg noopept and 80mg RGPU-95 (a phenylpiracetam analogue) in an effort to shake the last vestiges of drowsiness and dissociative hangover. This was before midday, and I did not actually dose properly to embark upon the journey that this report is about until 1:30 AM the following day - over 13 hours later - so although these substances would typically be expected to inhibit the effects of NMDA-antagonists, I believe it is likely that they had largely worn off by the time I did take the dose proper - although they may have lulled me into a false sense of security, perhaps, by reducing the intensity of some of my earlier doses.
I didn’t start working right away, firstly just sat around, smoking more weed and watching some TV shows. In the afternoon I also elected to take about 5g kratom - I don’t take kratom too often, the last time I used it was probably over a week before - so I don’t have any tolerance really, just have always found that I typically need at least 4-5g when I do take it to even feel much of anything. At about 8:00 PM I also decided to start drinking, and venture out into 3-HO-PCP land again - this time with a much smaller 6mg dose, orally - and finally make a start on that work I had been putting off all day.
I was drinking fairly slowly, again still just working - I may have felt something from the 3-HO-PCP but honestly do not recall anything special. Likely if I was feeling something, it was just some mood lift and, probably, a slight recklessness with regards to taking more which I was not aware of because of an accompanying delusion of sobriety which, in retrospect, I was no doubt experiencing.
At about 11 PM, now 3 beers deep, and not really feeling much from the 3-HO-PCP, I elected to take another 8mg orally - and continue drinking. I also took another 5g kratom at this point. I will say that even though I do not drink that much, I did not feel particularly intoxicated - this could be partly down to the aforementioned “delusion of sobriety” effect that in my experience 3-HO-PCP and definitely 3-MeO-PCP (which, prior to this I had a little more experience with) can induce, but it may also have been down to the large amount of food which I had eaten on waking, and, possibly, the nootropics I had taken in the early afternoon (although the acute effects of these, I would think, would be wearing off by now).
Despite the fact I did not or do not remember any acute sensation of intoxication, however, I do recall time passing by a little more quickly than expected. Next time I looked at the clock, it was 1:30 AM, I had drank just 1 more beer (so now 4 total, but over 5 hours), and I was still not feeling much (I thought) from the 14mg 3-HO-PCP I had now imbibed over in the past 5 hours.
T0: The Dose Proper!
Despite what I thought about my state of mind, in retrospect it’s clear to me that I was altered because, feeling that I must have an immediate tolerance from taking it the day before, and that, therefore, I would surely be safe with a much higher dose, I weighed out another 18mg 3-HO-PCP, cut it into 2 lines, and insufflated 1 into each nostril. I then did the same thing with 10mg 4-HO-MET. I cracked open what would be my fifth and final beer, and settled down to continue the work I was doing (I’m not sure how productive I was being at this point, maybe not very, but I was in a good enough place mentally that I was finding it pretty fun and therefore, I guess, didn’t really care). I also put on some couple-of-hour ambient mix on YouTube and put on my headphones (aware - at this point - that it was quite late and not wanting to disturb my neighbours - this would be something that - possibly - I completely forgot about later on).
The trip started normally enough, or as normal as one would think, given the combination I had just taken. The metocin added a familiarly colourful, sparkly texture to everything I looked at, letters on the screen started to jump and swirl around, and the music I was listening to started to become less just another sensory input and more a part of my universe. I would occasionally forget I had headphones on, like the increasingly epic sounding music was just a standard background theme to my life, and would have to touch them to remind myself, or sometimes temporarily remove them to ground myself a little. It was about half an hour later that I started to think I was surely too far gone to keep working or even sitting at a computer, so was going to lie down and continue listening to music. I got as far as rotating my computer chair to face away from my screen before everything changed.
Up to this point, I will note, I did not really feel any fear or uncertainty about what would follow - I attribute this to the 4.5 beers and kratom - it’s hard to say really if they had any impact on the rest of the experience, really the intensity of it was such that I would say it completely overwhelmed these less reality-obliterating substances, but perhaps they did make it so that it was somewhat easier to bear, and for this I am grateful.
In any case, I was looking at my front room, and suddenly everything just looked wrong. Like everything was far too still - this might have been influenced by the music I was listening to, although, again, at this point I was beyond being able to separate sound and any feelings or emotions induced by it from just something intrinsic to my reality - and I started to feel then that reality was glitching - like I was watching reality on a projector, and the mechanism had stuck causing one specific frame on the reel to be stuck in place. Except that everything had a far more “digital” feel, so rather than a projector reel, it was like if you’re watching a video on a computer and suddenly it freezes - especially so if it freezes in place and the sound also locks in place, playing the same juddering sound indefinitely until the computer either blue-screens or you turn it off and on again manually.
I will note, that I believe the fact that I was working on a computer, specifically debugging code for the few hours prior to this trip, as well as on the come-up, significantly influenced the nature of my experience, although at the time I didn’t have much insight into this, accepting what I experienced as irrefutable reality.
Anyway, I believe that this “juddering” effect, like reality had just frozen, may have been enhanced by the usual “flowing” nature of the 4-HO-MET visuals having taken on a far more rigid, geometric flavour from the 3-HO-PCP. I’m struggling to find the words for this but the best I can describe it is that usually 4-HO-MET visuals are flowing, dreamy, like solid objects become slightly liquid, with lots of rippling, flowing, and visual “phasing” - whereas in combination with 3-HO-PCP, the smooth nature of the visuals gave way to far more jumpy, jarring effects, with far more right angles and sharp movements.
This sharp movement, while it was initially quick, the more I stared at the room, the more it started to slow down - both the visual jumping, and the sound accompanying it, as the machine running the reality simulation began to choke attempting to render something that the architects of this simulation had forgotten to code for.
As this skipping began to slow down, the room I was looking at appeared more and more still, and it was like there was also a pressure inside my head, like something was straining and would surely break. Finally, break it did, and reality froze around me, and time stopped.
“Oh no,” I thought - or possibly said out loud - “I’ve done it now… I’ve broken reality.” At this point, I genuinely believed that I had exposed some fundamental flaw in the programming behind reality, and that the unusual combination of substances I was on had induced a state of mind which had overstretched the capabilities of the simulation. I will note - it's not the first time I've had this thought, having experienced the "breaking reality" concern on ketamine too - but it is the first time I've been apparently still inside and able to interact with that reality - unlike when feeling something similar within the depths of a K-hole which is, in any case, usually accompanied by a feeling that whatever's happened, it probably doesn't matter too much anyway - so this experience was significantly more harrowing.
I keep using the word simulation, and I will note at this point that I was 100% sure that the reality that I had always known was nothing more than a simulation, and I myself a simulated being.
But this was not entirely without context, as recently I have done a lot of reading about the “Simulation Hypothesis” which is an idea I find very interesting, and, probably, not implausible. I would suggest it’s well worth reading about for anyone not familiar with it, but to summarise - the hypothesis supposes that if you accept there is a non-zero possbility that one day we will have the ability to create a simulation which is indistinguishable from waking reality, then it is a near-certainty that this has, in fact, already happened and that we are indeed already within one of these simulations - because in any given “real” reality where it does eventually become possible to create a simulation of this nature, then over the entire history of the universe the number of simulated realities created by sentient (presumably technologically capable) species will be vast, possibly countless, and massively outnumber the single “real” one.
Anyway, so there I sit, 100% convinced that time has frozen and reality has stopped. I realised at this point that this was not the first time that this had happened, and it would not be the last - for even though I had exposed this flaw in the programming of the firmament, I could do nothing with this situation or this knowledge, because I was still trapped within it. I had the insight that there had been others like me before, and there would be again, who had been to this place, and yet remained trapped, unable to break free of the universe of which they were a part.
At this point it seemed like the room began to shake, the silence and stillness giving way to a deep rumbling vibration that I was sure shook the universe itself, as the hidden overseers had spotted my meddling transgression and were taking steps to right things - as the vibration increased in intensity, the room around me began to flex outwards, like there was a pressure bubble surrounding me, straining, threatening to pop, pushing at the usually solid matter surrounding me.
Now as I write this I’m finding myself really doubting the reality of this memory - not just whether it actually happened (which logically it probably didn’t) but whether I even experienced it or have just substituted some indescribable “feeling” that real life was no longer what I had always believed it was, for a more easily explicable visual but false memory of some impossible things happening… but I remember thinking that clearly the laws of physics no longer applied, and it was like gravity had switched off, and that along with this bone deep rumbling, objects that had previously been set on solid surfaces began to slowly levitate and stretch and contort in size… everything shaking, rumbling, as this indescribable pressure both inside my head and now leaking from my mind into the room around me just continued to ramp up in intensity.
Suddenly - the bubble burst - or perhaps I just closed my eyes. But the walls and floor exploded outwards and downwards, the air rushed out of the room and I was suspended in space. Fragments of the room remained - the corners - bizarrely, the ceiling - but below me and to the sides were vast chasms - they weren’t dark, they weren’t light, I’m not sure that they were coloured but in my memory they are a kind of deep blue like a late-evening sky but devoid of stars - regardless, I knew that this was nothingness - the universe as I knew it had ceased to be.
Fragments of the walls which had not disintegrated entirely hung in space a few meters to tens of meters outwards, flickering from translucence to being relatively solid, but frozen in space and time.
My body also ceased to be, and dissolved into motes of dust which flickered out of existence one by one, and I was just a solitary consciousness, hanging in the void.
At this point I was starting to become more and more distressed. I believed with absolute certainty that I had died, in fact that everything I knew had ended and now I was going to transition into some new phase of being - or possibly, just cease to exist. Or, possibly, just remain here, frozen, in the broken remnants of the crashed simulation for eternity. This is probably the first time I have ever really felt this on any substance.
I believe, at this point, I started to feel other presences in the void - although at this point, I could not “see” as such - only feel - and the feeling I had was that various entities - beings tasked with maintaining the smooth operation and running of the simulation - were beginning to converge on my location. My sense was that they were not malicious - although I sensed a vague annoyance that I had disturbed them - or perhaps I did not sense this at all, just projected it from my preconceived beliefs. They seemed to have some kind of power that I lacked and were starting to wind back time. The sensation that I had was that although I had no memory of who or what these entities were, I had encountered them before, and, again, would do again. In fact, I realised, they were a part of me, and I was a part of them - I would describe this as “ego-loss”, but I feel that it might be a somewhat tainted ego-loss - I always have the sensation that dissociatives are in some ways quite ego-reinforcing, and tend to preserve the “I” even in situations where the “I” would more usually dissolve entirely or cease to have any meaning. That said, I have some doubts if I have ever truly experienced ego-loss even on the deepest trips on more traditional psychedelics, so in fact I have very little to compare it to.
Becoming the Universe...
In any case, I started to believe that I WAS in fact that universe - it’s at this point that the trip gets very very difficult to describe, I have some visual memory but when I try to remember it to write it down, I can only come up with abstract shapes, and endless fractals in the shape of stick-figures drawn by aliens with only a rudimentary understanding of what humans looked like. Although maybe they were not meant to be human. In any case, the sensation of time being “wound back” that I alluded to before manifested as firstly a slow rewinding to where the room came together again, time unfroze but was now running backwards, I was back in my room but it was the day before, until I could no longer interpret the visions but just had the sensation that all of human history and indeed the evolution of the universe was flickering backwards around me until the very beginning of time. I was still merely an observer and had no power over the events unfolding, except to find that although initially it appeared I was living my life in reverse - it eventually transpired that I was also living multiple different lives - in fact (I believed) I was living and experiencing every life, and not just life but I was experiencing what it was to be everything that ever could exist and ever had existed.
I’m also having a very hard time assigning a chronology to these vague memories but at some point I had the experience of the fractals stick figures mentioned previously - except that each fractal represented an abstraction of an individual human life, or the individual life of something else, not human at all, maybe not even “alive” in the sense that we usually understand it, but they were all whirling like a hyper-dimensional hurricane around an epicenter like a whirlpool, or a singularity perhaps, where everything that ever was, or would be, converged to a single point - and that was the point at which I now resided.
I mentioned previously that this was all pretty distressing, in fact, very very distressing, and the uncomfortable nature of this experience really reached a crescendo at this point. I was just overwhelmingly uncomfortable, and completely powerless to do anything except let this overwhelming sensation of being at the epicenter of infinity wash over me. I had no choice but to surrender, and I started to realise that this was the fundamental struggle - the fundamental struggle of being - everything else I had ever experienced, or anything that was possible to experience, was just an abstraction of this sensation - the immense, crushing weight of being itself and all that that entailed, intersecting at this single point. I realised that this was not the first time I had been here - although I had forgotten. And indeed, I was not the first to pass through this point - nor would I be the last - but even as I had this realisation I had a kind of understanding that such distinctions were illusory. That there only ever had been this moment - the intensity of it split, usually fractured into an infinity of units of consciousness, each traversing a single branch of the reality tree, or a single vertex on the static crystal of eternity. But at every moment, despite every unit of this infinity being blissfully shielded from the overwhelming intensity of infinity, the experience that was this never ceased.
It was at this point that I started to believe that I was - in this moment at least - god. But it was not a joyful realisation but a crushing, terrible burden, as I realised that I too was a slave to the inscrutable machinations of this unknowable reality, and yet I knew I must pass through this vortex of suffering at the core of all existence. Indeed, even if I could choose not to (which I do not think that I could) I had an absolute moral duty to do so, for by taking on this weight I could thereby close the loop, and allow existence to continue, and allow experience to fractalise once more into an infinitude of infinitesimal parts which would not themselves be experiencing this, so that by taking on this weight I could again forget, and allow everything else to forget the entirety of what it/we/I was, and to continue existing.
At this point, honestly, I didn’t realise it at the time but I feel like in retrospect it might have been a memory of my own birth… the pressure had returned (maybe it never left, again, it’s hard to remember everything I was feeling and the chronology of events) but this time it was pressing inwards, like I was passing through some crushing tunnel which had the effect of returning me from some timeless, eternal place where I felt that I was everything, and back to a more familiar sensation of being a separate, isolated consciousness. I’m somewhat embarrassed to say that it’s possible I shouted something like “I AM GOD!” during what was, surely, indisputably a drug-induced psychosis, although I am hopeful my neighbours were either asleep, away, or that perhaps my shouting it was itself a hallucination. In any case, it wasn’t a joyous cry, but an unimaginably mournful, tragic realisation.
With this realisation, I popped back out into being at the point I left reality - the void with pieces of the inner walls of my flat strewn around, although it was no longer really a void but some kind of cubic, low resolution representation of something I was more familiar with - again the “software” analogy seemed to be in play, with the universe I remembered rendered as some kind of ultra low resolution stack of 3D-cubes, each one representing a pixel in a picture which had yet to be properly rendered. Although I had passed through the vortex of complete unified experience and unimaginable suffering, I knew that my duty was not yet done - again I’m hoping this was a hallucination but it’s not impossible that at this point I just screamed until my breath ran out and my voice was hoarse - and by this act, I forced the bubble around me outwards until it popped, the singularity gave birth to the universe once more, and I thus restarted time, and split the god-mind I believed myself to inhabit into its countless parts again, thus closing the loop of the reality I was bound to and allowing time to flow once more.
The fact that I (maybe - hopefully, not, but, quite possibly) felt the urge to cry or scream out at this point also kind of reinforces the idea, to me, that this was in some sense an emergence of a repressed memory of birth - something which itself was surely an overwhelmingly uncomfortable and traumatic event - although I know there is probably some debate if we do truly “remember” this in any way.
Re-emergence, and attempted interpretations...
Anyway - reality faded into view - “true” reality now - I was sitting still, on my chair, staring at a wall. Again at this point I started to feel quite sad - my memory of wherever or whatever I had been was quickly fading, but I still had the sensation of being bound to a causal wheel that I had no true control over, and that we are all part of, unable to comprehend the true nature of being, unable to change it, and unable to escape.
It then occurred to me that on the conclusion of every “loop” the consciousness that passed through the “eye” of the hurricane of Being would have the opportunity to impose on the continuation of existence some fragment of their own interpretation of how existence should be shaped, and thereby although we are all fragments of the god-mind that is infinity, the god-entity itself will never have the opportunity, in it’s unified, unfragmented form, to directly communicate with any other iteration of itself at another “loop-closing” event. In this way every time the loop is closed, the unit of consciousness that closes it has the opportunity to communicate across time with every iteration of the loop closing being that comes after it.
As I write that paragraph, honestly, I’m not entirely sure how accurate a conveyance of what I experienced is, and what exactly to draw from it. Again, I’m pretty sure that the experience itself was a psychosis - once I started to come down I slowly stopped believing I was god, and started to appreciate just how altered I had been. I guess that in some sense this could be read as an abstraction of a universal truth of sorts, which is to say that ultimately the divisions we imagine there to be between ourselves and everything else that exists are illusory - and that although, ultimately, our power to change anything is finite, or even zero, our actions all still ripple through eternity and in that sense always have value, and we never cease to be connected to everything that came before us and everything that will come afterwards… that and, I guess, that being an omniscient being might be a curse.
I don’t believe this experience to have had a huge impact on my philosophical views or the likelihood of a theistic interpretation of the universe - at least not yet - but the feeling of being god, but this being a terrible, mournful burden synonymous with an unimaginable suffering… well, I don’t really want to say it was “eye opening” because obviously the overwhelming likelihood is that this isn’t really what happened… but it made me think, for sure.
Minor delusions while coming down...
As the trip faded, I had a couple of smaller journeys which were also very bizarre but nothing compared to the main event, so to speak. At one point when I was coming down, I started to believe that surely this event - the breakdown of reality, my re-emergence into it - would have attracted some attention. I don’t know what I was imagining but I guess I expected there to have been some kind of crater around the building in which my flat was, and for there to be stuff on the news about unexplained goings on, reality dissolving, but strangely everything seemed to be basically fine now. Because of this at one point I hallucinated that there were 2 police officers in my front room - or that, perhaps, I was already in a hospital. And I stood up and was explaining to them how yeah, to be perfectly honest I took a whole bunch of drugs and broke the universe, I’m very sorry but that’s what happened.
I didn’t have any capacity to make anything up, and I didn’t yet have a full appreciation of the magnitude of how shit this would truly be if it was really happening. But as I was talking I realised at some point that the police were not actually there. I carried on speaking for a while - and then was careful to just stand very still, and was trying to be aware of any sensation of movement, being touched, moved around, that might point to my perception of where I was and what was happening not being accurate. But, mercifully, I had to conclude eventually that no-one was there - I was alone - in fact, everything was pretty quiet. There were some signs of a struggle - but nothing that couldn’t be accounted for by myself just roaming around my small front room knocking stuff over and dropping stuff in an insane dissociated haze.
I believe I sat down again at this point, and for a short while, still, believed that I was in a hospital, perhaps in a hospital bed. Even at one point I seemed to be in some kind of small fabric enclosure - perhaps in an unusual police van, an ambulance, or a padded room? I studied the bounds of this illusion as well, recognising that certain features of this fabric box (a light switch, some cushions) were pretty reminiscent of items and features that I knew to be in my front room. Eventually I had to conclude that this too was an illusion.
Finally, I came to lying on my floor, staring wide eyed at the light bulb on my ceiling. At this point - I was essentially down, and the absolute reality-shattering illusions had given way to a far more familiar sparkly softness from the Metocin and light residual dissociation and layer of strangeness overlying what I could see. But, it appeared, to all intents and purposes, that I was back. It was just after 7 AM - so I had been tripping for about 5 and a half hours, although it is probably under 5 hours from when I “left” to when I “came back”. I’m not sure if this is a long time or not - on the one hand it felt like I experienced an eternity, even multiple eternities, but on the other hand if the whole thing took maybe 20 minutes, I would not have been too surprised either…
For a while afterwards I still had the sensation that, surely, I must have caused some kind of fuss… Did I call someone? I even thought I could remember calling the police on myself at one point - but checking my text and call logs, it seems that this too was a hallucination. I didn’t call anyone, I didn’t go anywhere, in all probability I was just sitting down, staring at a wall, and then lying down, staring at my ceiling for the 5 hour duration - with some brief interludes, evidently, to get up and knock some stuff over (beer cans, mainly, although I also found a half smoked joint lying on the floor - probably from the very beginning).
Finally I went to bed - I slept honestly for 22 hours. I would occasionally wake up, down some water, sometimes go to the toilet, and then just lie down again. When I would wake up, however, I did not really feel bad like I would if I was sleeping off a stimulant binge. Indeed, the overwhelming sensation was one of absolute wonder.
That said - just how altered I was was equally quite concerning. In a different setting, or even in this one had I had the inclination to do anything dangerous - this could surely have ended quite badly. Especially given that I remember believing with absolute certainty that, firstly, I had died, secondly that the universe itself had come to an end, and thirdly that I myself was god and needed to give birth to the universe again. That’s quite a trifecta of absolute delusion and it’s surely not out of the question that in my completely insane state I could have decided to do something very dangerous and harmed myself or - I hate to say it but I was just so far gone - harmed someone else. I think that probably this kind of deep exploration with certain kinds of dissociatives just necessitates having a sitter, and although I’ve honestly just never felt like I needed one for most substances, in retrospect I would say it was just highly irresponsible of me to do what I did alone.
During one of my awakenings over the next day, I decided to flush the rest of my 3-HO-PCP - I only had ~20mg left anyway, and I won’t say that I will absolutely never do it again - but given how easily I had just drifted back to it a day after another somewhat uncomfortable - but far more manageable - experience, and given the magnitude and significance of the experience I did have, I really don’t have any desire to do it again for a while - or probably any dissociative - and I thought it was just a safer option for my future self to not have it around for a while.
I’m pleased to report that upon waking today, apart from a slight residual tiredness, and despite not eating all day yesterday, on the whole I do feel great and very, very grateful to be, seemingly, still sane and still alive.