Here’s a new video I made. It’s based on a true story and was inspired from an intense experience with psilocybin mushrooms.
It also includes some sound samples from some of the things that I have been learning about psilocybin.
I made another video that I haven’t put together and posted yet that entails the details of this experience. This video touches on the things that saved me during what some might call a “bad trip”.
Those were words that I remembered from a video I saw with Dr. Rosalyn Watts talking about some of the psilocybin research being done.
“Surrender” is what saved me.
That helped turn a really dark moment where I “felt” like I was facing death to something very cathartic.
Here are some of the sound samples:
“It was pretty frightening cause I was fighting it. If you are out in the open ocean and you were to fall off your boat. You turn around and the boat’s gone and then pretty soon the water is gone and then you’re gone.
“Don’t fight it”
“Surrender. That’s the one word. Surrender.”
“Your ego is dissolving and it’s scary. It’s like a death.”
“There are no bad trips…”
“We are not just dumb beasts brought here to walk in one straight path our whole lives, we are here to fly.”
I fairly recently got turned on to psilocybin mushrooms after hearing about some of the psychological benefits first by listening to the clinical psychologist and professor Jordan Peterson talk about some of the studies being done.
Since then I have learned a lot about psilocybin. Here are some of the things that I have learned.
A single dose can decrease depression and anxiety LONG term
That’s long term and not short term.
John Hopkins University has been doing studies on psilocybin with those who have end stage cancer. These people are near the end of their lives with terminal cancer.
A single high dose of psilocybin gave them what was described as a “mystical” experience and improved their outlook on life and reduced their anxiety.
In my own experience I would add that psilocybin mushrooms can be terrifying in the short term and cause paranoia and panic attacks if you try to fight it.
The key is to “let go”.
However, that’s my own experience and despite the fact that often these experiences are partly terrifying they are rather cathartic.
It would be best to do them with someone who can watch over you like in the studies.
I think that would be ideal especially with high doses. They say you are really suggestible when you are under the influence of psychedelics. So just having someone there to comfort you, give you a hug, hold your hand or just tell you that you are going to be fine would be very helpful.
The other day there was no one around and I was in a bothered state and I saw this really beautiful eucalyptus tree and I had to give it a hug! It made me feel much better^^.
A high dose of psilocybin is a sort of “death” that you will learn more about below. And some say the secret to life is to “die before you die”.
Serotonin, psilocybin and DMT are structurally very similar
DMT is found in psychedelics like ayahuasca and in your body. LSD is derived from a fungus that grows on rye.
I remember one thing that Jordan Peterson said about a lack of serotonin. It was something about that if you had low serotonin you were going to have problems in regards to the dominance hierarchy (short clip on serotonin/dominance hierarchy).
According to integrativepsychiatry.net:
“Low serotonin levels are often attributed to anxiety, depression, panic attacks, insomnia, obesity, fibromyalgia, eating disorders, chronic pain, migraines, and alcohol abuse. Negative thoughts, low self-esteem, obsessive thoughts and behaviors, PMS, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome are also symptoms of low serotonin.”
Psilocybin deactivates the default mode network (where your EGO lies) and activates other areas of your brain
“In neuroscience, the default mode network is a large scale brain network of interacting brain regions known to have activity highly correlated with each other and distinct from other networks in the brain.” – wikipedia
Many people who have used psychedelics use the term “ego death”. I was trying to figure out what they exactly mean by this. After I learned about the DMN and that it may be where your sense of self (ego) lies it made total sense to me.
I can attest to the fact that a high dose of psilocybin feels like you are dying, however you are not actually, but possibly transforming.
In actuality part of your brain gets shut off and others not normally active become active. Remember some people say you only use 20% of your brain?
Well that may not be true, but it might be true most of the time because of the DMN. And if you look again at the picture above your brain on psilocybin is highly active.
Psilocybin floods your brain with blood also sometimes producing the side effect of clumsiness.
Psilocybin will probably make you appreciate nature more
I have always appreciated nature. I grew up in the country side of Northern New Hampshire and the woods was right out the door.
“Researchers from the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College discovered that, in at least a small sample of subjects, ingestion of psilocybin was correlated with both an increased feeling of being part of nature and an increased dislike of authoritarian, political views…” – Inverse
“Human intelligence is impressive, but it’s not in the same league as nature.” – Simon G. Powell, from the video below
I recommend skipping ahead to 5:50 in his video.
Psilocybin increases one’s openness
Openness to experience is a personality factor on the Big 5 scale of personality dimensions. One of the 5 measures of personality is openness to experience.
A single high dose of psilocybin can increase this over the long term.
Psilocybin affects the serotonin receptors in your brain which can affect how you emotionally relate to other people.
“Psilocybin targets the 5-HT2A/1A receptors in your brain which may have potential beneficial effects in the treatment of mood disorders or psychopathy, which are characterized by deficits in social skills and in particular in the ability to feel with other people.”
In my experience it definitely makes me feel more emotional at times during the trip. This is also interesting to me as I would say that I am introverted and probably do have some social anxiety.
Psilocybin mushrooms stimulate the growth of new brain cells
That is also known as neurogenesis and they may in fact help you get over some of your fears.
“Memory, learning, and the ability to relearn that a once threatening stimuli is no longer a danger absolutely depends on the ability of the brain to alter its connections. We believe that neuroplasticity plays a critical role in psilocybin accelerating fear extinction.” – Dr. Briony Catlow
I have found that drawing is pretty helpful and soothing at times when using mushrooms and I will probably find out more in the future as to how using psilocybin may provide creative benefits.
I think you are going to get some insights as well. It definitely makes you more aware and you do see things that you don’t normally see sober and I am not talking about hallucinations.
It does make you more perceptive.
Some say psychedelics are the doorway to your unconscious mind.
Microdosing has become popular too for entrepreneurs in Silicon valley. Microdosing is taking a very small dose so small that effects are not really noticed in the short term, however over the long term one can see how it has affected their performance.
Psilocybin isn’t new, in fact it has a long history of use
There are murals done in Africa that suggest that psilocybin mushrooms were used in as far back as 7-9000 BC.
They were also used by the Mayans and the Aztecs. The aztecs referred to them as teonanácatl which means “god’s flesh”.
Psilocybin was actually isolated and synthesized by Dr. Albert Hoffman. The man who discovered LSD.
Psilocybin and LSD along with other psychedelics were used in therapy throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s until becoming illegal in 1966.
Is psilocybin the solution to all of your problems?
Psilocybin is not for everyone especially those predisposed to schizophrenia.
Personally I have found it to be very beneficial so far, however there are certain side effects especially in higher doses. Every experience will be a bit different, however in my recent experience 50% of the duration or so has been challenging.
It is more of a “mystical”, challenging and learning experience.
I wrote most of this a couple of weeks ago and just finished it up…
Recently I have done some experimentation with psilocybin mushrooms that I have found in the wild. My interest in psilocybin began when I learned about the benefits of psilocybin.
I will attempt to describe some of my experiences.
A lot of people say take things like take 2 grams if you want a light experience. Or take 5 grams if you want a “heroic dose”, but I think there are problems with that advice.
First off there are many different kinds of psilocybin mushrooms and they have varying amounts of psilocybin, psilocin and baeocystin. I saw a cool chart in Paul Stamet’s book Psilocybin Mushrooms Of The World that showed the differences between some of the species.
I couldn’t find that image online, but I found this that says the psilocybin content can range from .16% to 1.73%.
According to Alan Rockefeller psilocybe cubensis is the most commonly sold magic mushroom, but it’s psilocybin content is less than half of some other species that grow around here and in the North West.
And you are unique. So if you are considering experimenting with it know that what might work for you won’t work for others and vice versa.
A lower dose experiment
Today I did some hiking around San Francisco mostly near San Bruno mountain. Prior to today I had a night where I didn’t sleep very well.
I got up a little early around 8-ish as I couldn’t sleep well.
I ate three medium-small mushrooms and here are some things I noticed:
My mind is calm
No negative thoughts
More in the moment
Body feels fine
Slight enhancement of visuals
I also ate about 1/3 of a 100% cacao chocolate bar. Cacao contains theobromine and a small amount of caffeine. Both are stimulants. Since I did not sleep much more than 4 hours the night before I did this.
As usual before I went hiking a did some yoga. Aside from the cacao I didn’t eat any meals. 1 or 2 days a week I will skip a meal or 2 (intermittent fasting/time restricted feeding).
Anyways I wasn’t so sure how much I would feel from those mushrooms. The last time that I ate them I had a rather intense experience which I will tell you about later, but this time I hardly noticed them.
Shortly after I arrived at the San Bruno mountain area I decided to eat the mushrooms and a little more cacao. I continued walking and also decided I should do some yoga and meditate as my body was feeling painful as I didn’t sleep much.
I found a little park area with some concrete picnic tables and did a little yoga and meditation. It’s amazing how those things can make you feel better.
I did some hiking around that area, but I never really felt the psilocybin come on like you sometimes do. I had more mushrooms, but decided I would save them for another time.
At some point I noticed which seemed like the first effects was a slight enhancement of colors. But that could have even been in my head as I have taken them before, but…
I think I become more in the moment just looking around exploring and eating blackberries!
I must have ate 2 cups of blackberries!
I saw like 3 banana slugs and then one leopard print slug. The fog started to come in and drip down drops of rain. It was quite nice.
Eventually I decided to go back and as I was on the bus back I realized just how calm I was. I wasn’t anxious to get anywhere or annoyed with the people or ruminating about something stupid like I sometimes do.
After this experience I can agree on the scientific fact that psilocybin mushrooms work in a similar way as meditation.
I just felt in the moment and that was my experience with a lower dose of psilocybin mushrooms. I wasn’t out there and I didn’t have any side effects except for a moment of light nausea that went away when I ate some blackberries.
A higher dose experiment
After reading about some of the experiments with high doses at John Hopkins university and from some other sources I decided I would eat them at home and stay inside which would be different as I usually go outside in nature for this sort of thing.
So I made a psilocybin soup! I added about 6-7 small dried mushrooms and 1 big dried mushroom.
How I made it
a little seaweed
a little kale
The soup was quite good. After I ingested it I lied down to meditate. It wasn’t long before I started to feel the effects. It may have been 30-40 minutes or so.
This was an intense experience that lasted a good 6 hours with the first 3 being the most intense.
They say it can be hard to separate your senses. That means that seeing and hearing can become one. And I can’t actually remember or tell in one case as there was this sort of communicating sounds and or visions about insects.
I couldn’t quite determine what they were. It was like I was hearing some sort of animal or living things communication with me. It was sort of screeching like but not loud.
It was kind of like insects or something. And it was really weird as a few days later I read that one of the reasons why some scientists think that these kinds of mushrooms make psilocybin is to keep insects from eating them.
Here are some things I experienced…
Fear of death I felt like I was going to die
Crying (first time in many years)
The kind of hallucinations I have experienced with mushrooms are distortions of things. I never really saw something that wasn’t there, however some things become more vivid, move, distort, you may see doublish momentarily and one time before this experience I saw part of a dirt road sort of animate and become fractal like in a way and move like water.
I mean it was the color of the dirt still, but it was not still. It became fractal like and moved like water for just a moment.
I have experienced the sensation that I was dying several times on higher doses. This fear that I ate the wrong mushrooms and it was going to kill me. That has happened several times at a higher dose.
Panic, paranoia, terror…
All these things sound bad at a high dose so why do it?
It probably does sound that way, but there is also something going on here that is hard to explain. At a high dose you are really going to go somewhere mystical.
And despite being terrifying at times they have also been verycathartic. Since I first started writing this piece I have had another very intense higher dose experience.
I told the story with my webcam although I haven’t published it yet. More coming on that soon.
Oh and if you found this article in search and you are wondering how much should you take then I would say to start small. There are benefits to both small and high doses. And unless you are taking psilocybe cubensis then I wouldn’t go by weight and you have to also consider your body size too.
It’s pretty unpredictable until you try so that’s why I would start small.
The psilocybin mushrooms (possibly psilocybe azurescens) that I found
I got interested in these again many months ago after hearing about some of the benefits of psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelics like: increasing the psychiatric trait of openness to experience, helping depression, anxiety, quitting smoking and making mental breakthroughs.
I may have heard about them from a few places, but one of them was from Jordan Peterson talking about the studies being done on them at John Hopkins university.
I’ll show you a video later on that too.
I spent the last month or maybe 2 looking for and studying psilocybin mushrooms.
It was amazing when I found them!
Isn’t he cute?
I had looked all over San Francisco: in just about every major park, in the mountains near Berkeley and in South San Francisco on San Bruno mountain.
I did lots of hiking and saw lots of cool plants, ate some berries and even some uncool ones like poison oak – which was horrible and I got a rash for like a month on various parts of my body.
I didn’t find any psilocybin mushrooms and lots of people online were saying that it’s not the season for them as it’s too dry which is true, but I found them.
I found them where I wasn’t expecting them either. Well, kinda, they weren’t in the places other people where saying either like in: wood chips or in cow shit as they are not any cows in nearby.
I was hiking in the “secret location” looking around and I felt a little tired and decided I needed a little rest so I went sat down and meditated for 20 minutes and asked for some help finding them and then not long after that I found them!
Amazing how I found them.
I was walking in the grass in a sort of somewhat dampish area.
The beautiful area where I found them
Then I pushed aside some grass and there they were. I am not exactly sure what species they are but they are either psilocybe azurescens, cyanascens or cyanofriscosa.
It’s also possible that in that location I found several types. I did find some more later which were smaller gold-brownish and resembled cyanascens as they had somewhat of a wavy cap.
The ones in the pics above did not have a wavy cap and most resemble the azurescens.
I had been studying mushrooms since I started looking for them. I also learned about the poisonous ones too, because some can kill you or make you very sick like: galerinas, death caps and amanitas.
I would take some home and try to figure out which ones they were. I had looked at a lot of pictures and almost immediately I could tell these were psilocybin mushrooms as they had the characteristic bluish bruising on the stems.
Initially you couldn’t see them walking by I had to push the grass aside to see them and there they were.
They are very cool looking. I picked them, set them aside and tried to make a spore print for 30 minutes. I was thinking that if they had a purplish brown spore print then they definitely were.
I waited and looked around some more.
After 30 minutes I checked and there wasn’t any spore print yet, but I decided I was very confident that they were psilocybin mushrooms.
It was 5:23.
And I ate 3 little ones and waited. Then at 5:45 I ate the 2 bigger ones. And thought hopefully I won’t die ;-).
They taste much better fresh as this was the first time I had eaten them fresh.
I had previously eaten magic mushrooms dried only a few times before. Once about 10 years prior and a few other times in my early 20’s.
What were the effects like?
Not sure when exactly I felt the first effects. I hadn’t eaten that much that day – only some berries I had found and some pure dark chocolate without any sugar.
So maybe about an hour later I started noticing some things.
I had been looking exclusively in the grass and then I looked up and I noticed that the trees looked a little different.
They were more vivid and more alive looking. More 3-D like.
Then there was that sort of wave or two of the mushrooms kicking in and a fear that came over me or I am not sure how to describe what came over me. It might have been a fear that I ate the wrong mushroom and that I would die, but I just told myself to relax and that I would be o.k.
And I was.
I was reminded of a book I read recently by Albert Hoffman, the guy who discovered LSD and also studied “psilocybin” mushrooms. One of the things he said was that mushrooms were a little “darker” than LSD.
I was definitely spooked for a bit.
It’s hard to describe the feeling, but it was kinda sudden and intense. Time seemed to slow down. I am pretty introspective and I guess the mushrooms bring up some emotional things. One of the ways they are being used is in therapy.
And that’s part of the reason I wanted to use them – to help figure some things out.
I spent the next few hours walking about the small area talking to myself, thinking about things and looking for more mushrooms. Talking to myself isn’t actually that bizarre as I do it often when I walk which to some might seem weird, but hey we are all always talking to ourselves, just usually it’s going on silently.
This massive slug blew me away – about twice the length of my finger
Some little things became more challenging and scary. There were some areas that were covered in prickers that really looked challenging. Everything slowed down.
I was hyper vigilant about poison oak, but there was none.
It was really great.
I found this sort of hidden path that was running alongside the main path and started to walk down it. It was getting cold and dark out.
The trees looked so cool although you can’t really tell in that shaky picture. I felt pretty grateful and happy. Then I saw this massive slug. it was like 8 inches long!
Did I hallucinate a friend asked that I saw later at the grocery store?
But maybe a little as I said things looked more vivid and watching the trees move was cool and another thing I noticed was that somethings like plants and leaves on the ground took on a bluish kind of color like the mushrooms had!
It was like the mushrooms not only bruise blue, but colored me blue too :-).
I mean it could have been the light or it could have been the mushrooms!
I walked very slowly back towards the grocery store. I also saw this family of raccoons digging in the playground trash.
They were really cute.
I got to the store before they closed and home walking the whole way after 10:30 or so.
I hadn’t eaten much like I said earlier, but I just kept telling myself that I would be fine. When I got home music sounded really great!
Then finally I ate and went to bed late. I think all that cocoa kept me up though. The mushrooms didn’t leave any hangover or bad effect like alcohol or the heaviness that marijuana does.
It was a great experience and I look forward towards finding them again.
Here’s video about those John Hopkins studies.
Another interesting thing that Jordan Peterson talks about is serotonin and how a lack of that can really bring you down. And not just figuratively, but literally like it can make you slouch like the defeated lobsters in his book.
Psychedelic drugs like mescaline (from a cactus), LSD, DMT and psilocybin mushrooms primarily stimulate the serotonin pathway in your brain and not the dopamine pathway like cocaine or heroin do which are addictive drugs.