About six weeks ago, I had an incredibly powerful growth experience. It is testament to the craziness of my life that I can say it wasn’t my most intense single growth experience, but it surely ranks up there with the best of them. It was instigated by the consumption of the drug MDMA.
I’ve so far taken psychadelic drugs four times in my life; psilocybin mushrooms twice and MDMA twice now. The psilocybin was interesting, and I think it contributed to my growth, but it wasn’t dramatic. My first MDMA trip was dramatic; I spent about four hours orgasming constantly and feeling spiritually deeply connected. Ultimately, however, the trip left me not that much of a different person than before. Not so with my second MDMA trip.
I had discovered the potential MDMA has for me almost by accident, as half way through my first trip I thought to try meditating and found myself suddenly orgasming. In retrospect I feel I somewhat wasted that trip by focusing too much on hedonism; I simply played around exploring states of intense pleasure. At the very end of the trip I realised I could use the drug to communicate with spirits, but I was already losing my connection by then.
For my second MDMA trip now, five years later, I wanted to make sure I took full advantage of the spiritual potential of the drug. I determined not to waste too much time on raw pleasure, and to attempt to communicate with spirits as soon as I could.
I took the drug in the company of my partner. After about an hour, I felt no effect, so I took a second pill. After some time after that, I felt disappointed; it seemed that I had maybe “lost the magic” as they say; that MDMA had stopped having an effect for me. I gave up, and started to search for a place where we could have dinner; then suddenly, the effects kicked in.
My theory is that I somehow blocked the MDMA by trying too hard. I was alert, waiting for the drug to come up, and trying to immediately wring its powerful effects from it. By stressing out in this way, I probably didn’t relax enough for the drug to take effect.
By way of explanation, note that even the first time I took MDMA I felt very little effect until I meditated. There was a very subtle effect that I found I could expand with my will, and only then did I start to orgasm. That effect was so subtle that this time it must have been blocked by my mental straining.
Well, as soon as I gave up this effort I was making, I noticed my body filling with light; just a little bit at first, but as I strove to not try but simply observe and rest my awareness there, it expanded.
Soon I felt myself as if bathed in light; I was in the middle of a sea of light, surrounded by it on all sides.
The light was as if dissolving me; making me transparent. It felt warm and absolutely safe but there was a part of me that resisted. It didn’t want to dissolve. I saw it before me represented as a sort of ball of energy. For the first time I had the clear feeling: I am here, and my ego is there.
Seeing this, yet also being profoundly aware of the part of me that was already light, that could not be threatened by light, I felt inspired to say:
I gently repeated those words, and others that came to me:
Let me die.
After some time, I was suddenly wracked by orgasms. I allowed this to happen for some time, and then decided to reach into the spirit world.
As for the spirit world: I’ve already had some experience with channeling, so I knew what to do. I focus on the vibration of a spirit I want to talk to, and if I’m lucky I can do exactly that. My focus pulls me “up”, and in some way I seem to leave my body, or at least part of me does. I suppose it is not astral projection, rather an extension of our normal ability to separate our consciousness from our body, as with daydreams. However, when I really get it to work it definitely feels like I’m somehow flying, or floating in outer space.
I rarely get channelling to work very well. In normal life, it’s difficult to separate the impressions which I receive from spirits from my own thoughts and imagination. Sometimes the difference is clearer than other times, and only rarely do I feel certain that I can definitely trust an impression to be real.
MDMA does not make you hallucinate or have visions. What it does is put you into a state of love, forgiveness, and joy; in other words, a high vibration. As it happens, a high vibration is exactly what is needed to channel effectively. And with my little ego death stunt I was sent into the higher vibrations like a rocket. I channelled clearer and more vividly than I’d ever done in my life.
I feel like making my account of this a little shorter than I might otherwise do, as it feels a little personal. Personal, because I was communicating with dead friends and my dead ex, Tina.
Aris gave me a quick hug and told me, “You’re so cool!”
My reunion with Tina was loving and joyful. We’d talked over important stuff in two dreams before, so we didn’t have serious things to work out together this time. But I perceived her as radiantly happy, happier than I’ve ever seen a living person be. Evidently, the Other Side is a wonderful place, and Tina had adapted well to it. The shackles of her Earthly problems had been released, and she was simply enjoying being happy with no hurry to go anywhere any time soon. Her energy was vividly “her”; she felt more “her” than she ever had while alive.
Lexi was a strange and difficult case, however. She seemed stuck, unable to accept her recent and sudden death. She was in some kind of limbo, unresponsive and blocking everything out, living in some safe part of her mind where she was not dead. I perceived it as being caused at least partly by her beliefs; she was unable to believe that she existed while no longer alive, and struggled to create a vision that fit for her. Either she wasn’t dead, or she didn’t exist. Or both. I tried my best to help, but nothing I said reached through her unresponsive shell.
As I learned from Tina after this, she had also gone through such a stage, but she had gotten through it. I have faith that no one stays like this forever, and I’ll be back to keep trying to help Lexi when I can.
After some time in the spirit world, I noticed the drug begin to wear off. Gradually my communications became less clear; vivid thoughts turned into confusing metaphorical images, and began to be hard to distinguish from my imagination again. Finally I considered my trip to be over, and fell asleep.
The next morning I found that I was still pretty much tripping, even if I was no longer able to channel so well. My body had been severely exhausted by the drug and I found I required a lot of self care. However, my mind and spirit were still in a vibrant state of joy, seemingly unable to feel something negative. Sometimes my normal patterns would come up, judging this or resisting that, and as if by reflex I’d give a laugh at the ridiculousness of it, and it would disappear. The judgements and unhappiness of other people seemed so clearly ridiculous as well; not that I was happy that others suffered, but I saw the absurdity of the mind patterns that created that suffering.
It seemed that my ego was – if not dead, then severely shaken.
The high state subsided over the course of about a week. I could generally return to a state of euphoria by meditating, though it gradually became harder to do so.
Accompanying the high state was a state of ungroundedness. In my amazement over the general high state I was in, I sort of ignored the discomfort from the ungroundedness for a while. It was hard to focus and I felt floaty and kind of disconnected from the world. I was also extra sensitive (I’m highly sensitive at the best of times) and while this didn’t matter so much when I was very high, it started to become frustrating as that subsided but the ungroundedness didn’t.
At some point, I had the idea to try my grounding meditation. I breathed in, and as I did so I drew Earth energy into myself with my intention. I breathed out, and allowed my roots to go into the Earth.
This is effective at the best of times, but in my extreme ungrounded state I felt it as almost a shock, like ice cold water in the face. I had to sit down a moment. From then on, and encouraged by some further grounding work, the discomfort began to disappear, and in a day it was gone. I was back on Earth.
It took maybe these whole six weeks to return to some kind of “normal”. By that I mean that I was in high states, meditative states, frequently for this whole time. I understood them as states of Presence in the style of Eckhart Tolle. Sometimes they felt very good indeed. I kept meditating quite intently, wanting to keep this flame burning, but apparently I wasn’t able to do so, which is a little sad and frustrating for me. However, I now have a new passion for spiritual practice, and I don’t think I have really gone backwards; in my personal development I’ve made some very genuine advances, ones which I suspect will be lasting.
This Presence was a powerful light shone on my unconscious patterns. At one point I felt very clearly how my residual patterns of self hate work. For an hour or two I sunk into darkness, only to come up again into light some time later; and I was then able to perceive this darkness through the contrast. I had been engaging in harshly difficult physical work in order to intentionally hurt myself. That night, I meditated, attempting to release the negativity that was still in me, and I discovered in a little revelation that I could only fully do so by saying, “I’m sorry”.
Another time I noticed that caffeine was genuinely not a positive drug for me. As I took some (in the form of a soft drink), I felt my meditative euphoria subside a bit. Caffeine activates a fight-or-flight reaction, which the ego loves but which doesn’t help foster the sense of peace which Presence thrives in. I now imagine that if I ever take caffeine again, it’ll be in an extreme situation, and I’m not even sure if that would justify it; when you are really in an emergency, your body produces adrenalin naturally. Why override the wisdom of the body by making mental decisions about what is an emergency or not?
In another interesting discovery, I found an answer to my long-standing issue with eating. In short, I’ve long known that when I’m eating is when I’m at my most unconscious/least Present. If I try to meditate while eating, at best I am able to observe the moment of my consciousness blacking out; it honestly looks like a hole in my memory. I mean, if there are actual details I need to remember I remember them, but otherwise I don’t really experience eating, not with my full self, anyway.
The first morning after my big trip, I found eating very difficult. For one thing, my senses were so intensified that vinegar seemed unbearably harsh and a single piece of tomato was an explosion of taste. Plain rice seemed the easiest for me, and even that was flavourful.
But that wasn’t the most noteworthy thing. I noticed that when I was in such an intense state of Presence, I kind of… didn’t know how to eat. That is, eating had always been so linked to unconsciousness for me that I didn’t know a way to do it without being unconscious. I was a bit like this comic from Questionable Content.
I later tried meditating while eating and came to a few conclusions. One hit me quite suddenly. I had the strong feeling that I had been carrying around a starvation trauma, presumably from a past life as it didn’t quite fit with any current life experiences I could think of. Simply put, when I contemplated eating food I felt a sense of urgency and fear, like I needed to eat because I had been starving. With this in mind it made sense that I had always eaten so fast and blindly and with such an inexplicable nervousness. I had been eating to save my life.
Another thing I realised, I think in the same session, was that I could eat consciously by placing my focus in my mouth while eating. Perhaps it seems obvious, but apparently it wasn’t obvious to me. That was the “how” of eating which I had needed to learn. Since then I’ve been able to meditate while eating and still do it in a natural way, even if I don’t always remember to do so. I feel that I have some more work to do here, but I’ve finally broken through some sort of barrier and making advances seems possible now.
Besides all this, I lost a mejor phobia (of bureaucracy, which had been debilitating) and felt emotionally free from one of my ex relationships. These changes have stayed, even if not all the effects of my trip have. For the first two weeks after the trip I felt like it was unimaginable that I could have another panic attack. Now I can imagine it, though I’d like to believe that it is still a lot less likely than before.
My streak of high states of Presence ended abruptly. One day, I had had some anxiety, and decided to meditate to resolve that. After some work my nervous energy transformed quite suddenly into light, and I felt euphoric. Emboldened by that success, I turned my attention to another negative energy in me, one that had been sitting there for just slightly less than my entire life. This negative energy was the trauma I had had from being beaten as a child, and it was in the part of my body which my father had hit. It resonated with self hate, self loathing, self destructiveness, violence, and shame. It is the single worst energy I believe I have in my energy body, and if I transformed it I believe I would be a radically different person.
So I said, in a show of determination that I now see as rather cavalier: “I’m ready.” I sought to transform this energy into light.
And to some extent, I succeeded. However, my trauma was somehow “awakened” then. From then on, I felt it keenly whenever I placed my attention into my body, and I think this more than anything halted my meditative momentum. It was no longer so easy to place my full attention in my body, and so my Presence faded.
After this, I spent a week meditating rather intensely, trying to hold onto what I lost. I had an uncomfortable experience while meditating during that week, and then had to cool off and take a break from meditation for the week after that. I realised that it wasn’t healthy to struggle so intensely. I needed balance, and, as the wisdom later came to me, I could not expect to advance spiritually if I worked from a place of dissatisfaction with my current state. I had to accept my state, accept my life as it was, and from there I could work. I cannot make spiritual Presence another object to crave and attach myself to; if I do, it will hurt me as surely as any other craven object will.
I did make gradual progress with my trauma, though. I learnt to bring Presence into it without judging it or seeking to change it. At first I had hoped to burn it up with Presence, but that conflictive attitude was kind of the opposite of the spirit of the exercise. I couldn’t make it the enemy.
I somehow, sort of made my trauma into my friend. Or at least I went some of the way in that direction. I started to accept the intense feelings as they were; not negative or positive, just there. And those feelings spoke to me somehow. They taught me about vulnerability, the aspect of myself I had attempted to divorce myself from as a form of self-protection. Vulnerability can be positive. Vulnerability can be healthy. And one night in the arms of my partner, I felt myself psychologically shrinking down to the size of a child, filled with light.
The trauma is still there, but it has been considerably lightened. I attempt to breathe into it every time I meditate. I no longer have the foolish idea that such a radical change is likely to be fast, but I seem to be making real progress nonetheless. I suspect that my next MDMA trip could help me transform it even more.
MDMA cannot be taken frequently. It functions by releasing the body’s stores of serotonin all at once, and those stores need time to replenish themselves. If you overuse MDMA, the “magic” of the drug will be lost and you will likely do some damage to yourself.
After some consideration, I’ve taken my partner’s advice and given myself a three month wait between MDMA trips. That seems to be the safest as a way of minimising the risk of harm, and in any case I suppose it’s not sensible for me to explode my head in this way too frequently. I need to take care of other aspects of my life, not just the spiritual.
The next trip, then, I will dedicate to transforming my trauma. I would also like to get to know my spirit guides better and perhaps learn better how to channel them without the assistance of a drug. I’ll also check in on Lexi, who I hope will have found her way out of limbo by herself by then.
For most of these six weeks I’ve been rather obsessed about spiritual advancement, and perhaps it’s now that I’ve finally chilled out a bit that I feel like I’m actually grounded enough to write about it. In my next trip then, and especially after it, I want to chill out a lot more and not cling to spirituality like any other object of unconscious craving. Now and in the future, I have learnt that no matter how dazzling your spiritual experience, what matters is putting in the work, day after day. Sometimes the results of your work will blow your mind, and sometimes they will not seem to be there at all, but it is every day of work which contributes to your ultimate advancement. So don’t cling to states, and just put in the work.