As we arrived to the temple that evening there was also a new face by the fire, a young Frenchman who would be beside me for the ceremony. He drank before me each round and quite clearly had trouble doing so, taking a good minute to finish the cup, raising his arm to cover his mouth as he gagged between every gulp.
I paused with the cup in my hands and thought of my intention before drinking. Fairly disgusting, an earthy taste with an offensively sour punch, but like a nasty medicine, could be drunk without much problem with the will to do so. After drinking his cup, Guillermo returned from the altar to the other side of the fire and broke the eerie silence with song.
We made our way through a lightly forested area on a dirt path downwards from the main track. As we reached the bottom we came out to an opening; a clear area with a few tall trees dotted about rising up towards the sky and a few crude man-made shelters spread over a wide area. The call of exotic birds intermittently penetrated the air. In a strange way I felt at home.
We still look for order, meaning and logic whilst on drugs, just in a different conception; we aren’t necessarily free on acid, we’re still the same machines computing the same data, but in a new way. Acid can make the old conventions we live by seem silly, but it does not always provide alternatives.
For me personally, at times my relationships have been skewed by acid thinking. I have felt very distant and lonely in my outlook, distant from my parents and old friends. Something has changed – become less real and simultaneously more real – e.g. the everyday conversations about the weather take on new disturbing meanings because I’m analysing the human interaction taking place rather than just going with the flow.
Reality has seemed so petty at times afterwards. The feeling I had transcends the heights and limits of beauty and truth, at once amplifying them and making them seem ridiculous at the same time, or so normal they seem ridiculous.
Before this trip I had done acid once before on my own, I had an enjoyable experience – albeit with some insecurities and guilt coming to the fore in the hairier moments. Being in a group for my second and much more profoundly affecting trip made me think more about how acid changed the nature of reality.
At one stage of the trip, I’d just had a freak out, mainly physical. I was coming up hard and had lost all sense of physical being which was scary; “Chris” I appealed, “I feel weird mate”. “It’s OK” he said, “you’ve taken drugs”.