Peace and welcome back to ‘Gone Trippin’. It’s been a few months since our last edition, but I’ve been doing some work for DoubleBlind Magazine to continue advocating for the destigmatization of psychedelics and their use as a therapeutic tool.
This edition of ‘Gone Trippin’ features a conversation with one of my closest friends of the last decade. Our relationship began as mere acquaintances running in similar circles during undergrad and we would occasionally share a bong or blunt hit in a freshmen dorm or off-campus house party. It did not take long, however, for us to realize we had more in common than our recreational lifestyles.
Despite our inherently trippy nature and friendship, our post college time on the East Coast only led to two psychedelic experiences together. First was a weekend in 2018 visiting our alma mater on a tab of acid. The trip was wild, fun, and otherwise a blur of hazy but enjoyable moments frolicking around the campus that was our home not so long ago. Two years later, in the midst of a global pandemic as Anon was packing up to head back to Texas, we took two grams of mushrooms together in his empty two floor apartment that had been abandoned by his three roommates at the start of the pandemic.
I had not tripped in awhile, partially because of COVID and partially because I had experienced a “bad” acid trip in November 2019 and was still reeling from the experience. I knew, however, that the only way to move forward through the uncomfortable feelings that had arisen was to trip again and face whatever uncomfortable emotions or ideas came out of the trip.
Anon is an eccentric guy with varying interests bordering on the hipster spectrum. As I arrived at his home, he revealed batches of freshly made juices to create a clean drink to help prepare our bodies for the ingesting of the magic mushrooms he had been delivered by a local delivery service. We eyed about 2 grams of mushrooms and spent the afternoon lounging on his patio, laughing, and reflecting on our time together back on the East Coast from 2017-2020 together. At times, the same sense of dread would arise, but tethering to my friendship with Anon throughout the trip quietly calmed those negative feelings and pushed them away. Even in my last trip in January of this year, I felt the same sense of negativity from my November 2019 trip. It re-affirmed to me that my friendship with Anon is one of the purest and most powerful connections I have been blessed to receive in this lifetime.
Anon’s influence on my life cannot be measured in words, but I can try. Anon has always helped me to better understand myself and the world. A prolific existential writer and cartoonist, Anon is also an avid reader, frequently sharing influential works that have shaped my mindset and lifestyle. Anon gifted me The Teaching of Buddha when I was too depressed and clouded in my mind to wade out of the darkness and Stalking The Wild Pendulum: On the Mechanics of Consciousness to help me push my conception of brain power. He frequently references The Doors of Perception and philosopher-king Southern rappers with a keen sense of human nature. The summary of his interests, from anime to basketball, all fit into his personal life mantras.
Check out an abridged version of our conversation below where we touch on spirituality, the energy revealing nature of shrooms, tripping in nature, and more.
J. bb: Who are you and how do you identify?
Anon: I’m a high school English teacher, I teach 11th and 12th grade. I’m from Florida. I’m 28. Cuban.
J. bb: How old were you when you first tripped and what did you take?
Anon: The first time I tripped I took acid and I was in college. I believe I was a sophomore in college. It was a blizzard, a bad blizzard. Me and a friend tripped really hard. It was a crazy experience. My feelings about acid now are different now that I’ve become so enthusiastic about mushrooms. I believe acid to be like a hot dog and mushrooms to be like a pig. The acid is like processed, it’s created. Mushrooms are just natural. But that was the first time I tripped, it was a really intense experience. There was a moment where I was in the fetal position, on my back, looking at the ceiling with my eyes open, not saying a word for over two hours.
J. bb: When did you make that shift from acid to mushrooms?
Anon: To be honest with you it was my experience with these mother fucking penis envy mushrooms. I got them during the pandemic because a delivery service had them available. I had never experienced a dealer that had multiple strains of mushrooms, so he was like I got this, this and this. When I said, what do you recommend he said penis envy was the strongest so I got it and it was so good I immediately bought an ounce of it. I knew I was going back to Texas and I wasn’t going to be able to get more. I still have like five grams left of that ounce. But in January I took five or seven tabs of acid. I took it to my brother’s bachelor party and I shared it throughout the night amongst everybody. So that was the last time I took acid was in January. Very recently actually. This was a super spiritual summer. I completely switched to consuming penis envy shrooms. There was a period of time for like four or five weeks where I was tripping every weekend. It was too easy, the weather was fucking beautiful, the nature here is crazy, and I had nothing to do because it was the summer. I was chilling.
J. bb: How much were you taking when you were tripping during the summer all the time?
Anon: The first experience I ever had taking it I took it like I normally would shrooms. Normally I would treat that as if I wanna trip hard I’d take an eighth, 3.5 grams. I tested this out and I took like a gram and I tripped hard on a gram. I didn’t expect to trip hard, it snuck up on me and I was like damn I’m in for a ride. That’s sort of my standard, if I took a gram of this I would be straight. It’s a very strong shroom. When I was taking shrooms most recently I was taking 1.5 and then later on in the day I took another 1.5. I think I built up a tolerance.
J. bb: Yeah I feel like shrooms is the drug that people say you build up a tolerance so fast if you take a lot of them. I was curious if you feel like you need to take more now.
Anon: I took a break specifically because I knew I had a camping trip coming up and didn’t want any of it in my system. If I wanted to trip really hard off these shrooms I’d take a gram and a half. Two grams would be great.
J. bb: What’s the most you’ve ever done?
Anon: Probably 3 grams in a day, 3.2 in a day.
J. bb: Would you ever do five grams, heroic dose?
Anon: I would do it, 100% yes if I knew the environment was safe and we were in control of every variable.
J. bb: Two people I’ve done these interviews with, one person recently did a heroic dose and he had a terrible experience where he thought he died and for three weeks after he thought he was walking around like a ghost type of shit. Then my other friend, who I also did this interview with, he did five grams and had a great experience. Which makes me want to do it and whatever happens happens. I have no fear really.
Anon: Yeah man, that’s the attitude you have to have. When you’re on shrooms you’re way more attune with energies, you can read energies. So you’re gonna be confronted with bad energy and you can’t become fixated on it. You have to confront it.
J. bb: You’re a very spiritually and philosophically inclined person. How have psychedelics shaped that mindset?
Anon: I think more than anything what shrooms have opened up for me is spirituality. I’m an atheist, you know what I’m saying, and I say that I’m an atheist because I reject what most people believe is god. When I say “God” I reject that but obviously I’m not in a position to make a judgement on who or if there is a creator. That’s beside the point. Shrooms have made me very spiritual because of what I’ve just told you. Shrooms give you the ability to really read and engage with energies and being in an environment like the forest or whatever, that’s engaging with energy that’s pure. You can engage with that with people when you’re on shrooms. I’m of the belief that hallucinations aren’t really things that aren’t there. You’re actually seeing things that are there, but your senses are in overdrive. You’re able to see light fragments and you can focus on something and people will say something like it’s spinning or there’s a ring around it, but you’re really just able to engage with its aura and the energy that is around it. So I think it’s added to my belief because it’s made me very spiritual. I’ve become far more spiritual since taking shrooms in the least religious sense.
J.bb: I feel that. You recently took a gram and a half and you didn’t feel much for a few hours so you smoked a blunt and you started tripping a lot. How do you think weed activation works with psychedelics? Do you put any stock into that? Do you think that’s a thing?
Anon: I was having a great trip one time and I was sober, no weed in my system. And then, while on that trip, I smoked and it became a totally different trip. Especially if it’s a sativa, that sort of paranoia starts to creep in and I have to be more conscious of that if I’m on shrooms. Also I’ve had other experiences where, exactly what happened, I didn’t begin to trip until I smoked weed. That’s an interesting trend that happens, I don’t know if there’s a correlation or anything with that. But I’ve experienced that. I will say though, it is a different trip when you’re smoking because you’re high. You’re high while you’re tripping. It’s just like being high while you’re sober, the same effects begin to happen. Like I was referencing the paranoia, you might get a little bit more sluggish, you might want to eat.
J.bb: I didn’t even consider the eating factor, I feel like I never want to eat while I’m on psychedelics.
Anon: Yeah, but also too but sometimes I don’t smoke weed while I’m tripping because my mind might not be able to move like I want it to.
J. bb: When did you become aware of these energies in the environment around you?
Anon: I don’t know. One of the things I was trying to open myself up to was to trust my immediate instinct. I was focusing on pure presence, so I had been preparing myself for the trip by reading. I was reading a Buddhist text, The Tibetan Book of the Dead and this idea of absolute presence, what Buddhism calls intrinsic awareness and it’s achieved through levels of meditation. So I was trying to conceptualize that. That is basically pure presence and when you are that there is no observer mind. There is no one thinking about the things that you’re doing, you’re just doing them. As long as you’re thinking about the things that you’re doing, you’re not present. You can’t be. In order to do this, your mind must be pure because if you move based on your instincts with an impure mind you’ll run into trouble. I was really trying to focus on that and on trusting on everything that I’m saying.
While walking amongst and talking to the trees, one of the things that I thought about was I could be projecting a male energy or I could be projecting female energy because of habits I have from my mother or my father or whatever habit has been compartmentalized in my brain. But I thought that you would be a fool for rejecting the energy that is being projected at you. I am reading something that is coming at me and it’s because I can read it. The thing is that trees too are gendered, so I would be interested to know what the genders of those trees were, because I did sense masculine and feminine energies from the trees and plants. I feel like I can sense that in humans too. I would be a fool to deny the immense amount of energy coming from the natural environment around me. The energy coming at me is way too powerful for it to be my own projection.
J. bb: Maybe you should find a tree scientist and do a little project on that.
Anon: When you think about it, what’s below the trees? The tree has roots and all those roots are intertwined. I think it’s very possible that the entire Amazon rainforest is a single organism, it acts as a single system. It’s completely interconnected, whether things like that react with certain things that happen within the forest. It’s all connected.
J. bb: It’s like the coral reef is one giant organism right?
Anon: Yeah, it’s one sustainable entity.
J. bb: You just moved to a very rural area after living in a very metropolitan space. Where is your preferred place to trip? Are you enjoying the nature trips more than the city trips?
Anon: Yeah I think the shrooms are really begging for you to be in nature. That’s where you can really maximize the impact of shrooms. I think more often than not if you trip in a city environment, you’re led to get sad at what humanity has fucked up. You’re looking around at what this could be. Of course I’ve had good trips in the city, and I’ve had good trips on acid. But I don’t think you have as much of an affinity for nature when you’re on acid as when you’re on shrooms. Shrooms are begging for you to be in nature. If I’m taking shrooms I enjoy being in nature, that’s number one priority if I can control my environment.
J. bb: Would you ever do a ketamine or mushrooms therapeutic session with a licensed professional?
Anon: Yeah I would do ketamine and shrooms, although I don’t think I would need a licensed professional for shrooms.
J. bb: Have you ever done ketamine?
Anon: Yeah I was on a ketamine binge for a little bit last year in a toxic phase.
J. bb: How was that? Did you enjoy the high?
Anon: Yeah, I did. It was crazy. It was bizarre. It’s weird. It was kind of enjoyable and creative. I don’t know, you’re not thinking like you are when you’re acid or shrooms. But you’re in there you know. I would just drown and enjoy myself.
J. bb: What do you think psychedelics have taught you about other people and how people behave?
Anon: The thing about it is that mushrooms have taught me about myself which have taught me about people. We’re humans and once you have realizations about yourself, you can be like wow I’ve never thought about it that way. The issue with perspective is a lot of it is about yourself, it’s so hard to be not you centric. It’s very hard to do that. Sometimes when I see a very arrogant person who’s very full of themselves, I’m like damn you need to eat a motherfucking mushroom because that will teach you how small you are. That will really humble you and make you feel small. You come out of a shroom trip and you feel grateful, if it’s a good trip or you engage with it in the right mind.
What has it specifically taught me about people? I don’t know. I think everybody has spirit and everybody has energy and I think that people aren’t wise to that. I think really what happens energetically when you die is you have to work your whole life to harden your energy, to make your life force strong enough. What I mean by that is steady, have a steady rhythm, and if you die with a steady rhythm, a lifeforce like that then it will continue on. But if you die with an anxious, chaotic energy that is not ready to die, that is afraid or stressed for some reason, if you die with a chaotic energy, just like any energy it gets stomped out by an energy that’s stronger. I think that people aren’t wise to what they have within them. And that’s their spirit, their energy.
J. bb: You said that everyone would benefit from doing shrooms. What do you think would happen if we gave everyone who is of age, like 18 or 21, a dose of shrooms? Like an eighth of shrooms. What do you think the societal outcome of that kind of thing would be?
Anon: I think you have to have your mind right before you take shrooms. And I wouldn’t recommend it to somebody who isn’t stable enough to engage with it. However it can help people with certain mental psychosis or things like that under a doctor’s supervision and if they’re probed with questions and things that are constructive. If it was given to everybody, the reason it’s outlawed and the reason LSD is outlawed is that people who were taking it and trying it were the wrong people. They were taking it and saying this changed my mind so it could change other people’s minds and they’ll become communist. If the wrong people take it, it won’t have any benefit. If the wrong people take Xanax, people are gonna fucking take that shit all the time. But if you need that shit and it does you good then it’s good.
I don’t know. That’s a crazy concept to give everybody shrooms. I think there’d be a lot of converts, I’ll tell you that. There’d be a lot of converts in terms of people searching. But I just talked about a girl, I feel really bad I met her on Tinder. I matched with her just to fuck with her because she had all this Jesus and God shit in her bio. She was telling me things like yeah I believe in God and stuff like that, so I started to speak to her about shrooms and spirituality and she was like oh my God, I’ve been praying and this doesn’t work and that doesn’t work and stuff like that. I think there would be people who were converted. I think there’s a lot of people seeking spirituality, I think there’s a lot of people experiencing disillusion with spirituality. I think that prayer is meditative, so if you pray all the time it probably does you good. But it’s a very primitive form of meditation. You can really only get at one level, which is self reflection. I think people would be able to access more spirituality. I think there would be converts, but I think there would also be the wrong people that took it and freaked the fuck out. People who are too bound to reality and to their material possessions. That shit floats away when you’re on shrooms so they would freak the fuck out.
J. bb: I was thinking the other day about the last time we tripped together, I was having lingering effects from not a bad trip but a fucked up trip. A bad experience I would say from November. I was experiencing the same thing had happened during a bad trip, where I feel like if I relaxed too much and truly relaxed fully that I’d be trapped in the sunken place, while I was laying on the patio of your outdoor space. But I’ve recently been able to get over the hump of that in the last two months. Have you ever experienced feeling trapped in a trip that you can’t get out? Or your mind will stay somewhere where it won’t come back to you when you’re on that energy level? At that point when you’ve taken stuff like I definitely agree you’re liberated from your physical realm. Maybe you’re not going far but it’s a shift. Have you ever felt like you can’t get back?
Anon: It’s jarring to go back in and out of reality when you’re on shrooms. So I think it’s much harder to do that when you’re in a building, when you’re in an apartment, in a room. You’re bound by default because you’re in a fucking apartment ultimately. That is physically confining and that manifests in the mind. If you’re out in nature that has literally never happened to me in nature. I think it’s very hard to have a bad trip if it’s beautiful weather and you’re in a natural environment. It’s hard to have a bad trip because you feel the ultimate freedom, you feel nature. Yes, I have 100% felt that sensation but I believe that happens from tripping indoors.
J. bb: Yeah whenever I feel not my best I just step outside. I feel like a lot of the tension gets released. Do you plan on tripping a lot throughout the COVID winter? Are you gonna stay on the same path that you’ve been doing or are you gonna taper off and do these big trip trips that you’ve started.
Anon: I don’t know, I don’t have a plan but all I have are stems left so maybe. I think that I tripped so hard for two days straight that I think I’m probably going to take a break for awhile, for a long time. I wanna sit on the rest of what I have. I had an amazing time, an absolutely amazing, amazing time. It could not have been better but that doesn’t make me wanna do it consecutively.
J. bb: Same, I think a good trip leaves you satisfied and you definitely don’t jump right back in after. I feel like when you do any psychedelic really, but acid and shrooms specifically, there’s lingering effects. You’re whole energy, your spirit, the vibe you’re giving off is just different. It would be really weird to take more while you’re still technically open. For me if I take acid or shrooms, still two or three days later I’m still kind of on that cloud.
Anon: There’s research that supports that, and support that it extends for months. But we’re doing it intermittently and things, but if you were a person who’d never done it there is research that it does linger for quite awhile.
J. bb: Do you see yourself trying to push yourself further out? Because you’ve been doing these micro trips. You’re in a place where I feel you could get an ayahuasca or a peyote, are these things that you have any interest in?
Anon: Well the girl I’m dating now is from Peru and keeps telling me she’s gotta take me to the jungle. She lived her first twenty years in Peru and she’s a great person to trip with because she’s tripped in the jungle. I think I have access to that but I’m not chomping at the bit to get it.
J.bb: When it’s right it’s right.
Anon: When you open the door to psychedelics it’s a bottomless universe. You can continuously fall into it and discover more and more. I’m not a person who has gotten to a certain level that’s deep enough, and I wanna take it deeper.
In current events, The Psychedelic Renaissance is on. As psychedelic focused start-ups looking to treat mental health issues get valued at two billion dollars, couples therapy is going psychedelic. With every passing day, it seems the normalization of acceptance of these substances is going to become the norm even sooner than I expected. Here’s hoping.
Stay trippy and remember to thank the molecule. Image at the top of the article drawn by Anon.