I am wondering what's brought others to psychedelics and what they learned, spiritually or mystically, or whatever else. I think I'm going to write about myself for the rest of this post with no particular agenda.
I like reflecting. Honestly speaking, I was the product of a dysfunctional family. I was intelligent enough to imagine ways of escape. So, I looked at Buddhism with the help of some strange hints in my younger life. And I was drawn into Val Kilmer's portrayal of Jim Morrison, in the desert drinking cactus tea. I read Siddhartha and Steppenwolf. Isolated and generally succumbed to shame, social awkwardness, and embarrassment. Learned quickly that the intensity with which I am drawn to open up to others is undesired, and impossible.
I studied Mathematics in undergrad. Then, isolated for a couple years, while studying Math, and came into mushrooms, looking for Jhana. Then, after having used mushrooms a few times, I looked for insight into not-self. Then, after mushrooms scared the shit out of me, multiple times, I meditated to put myself back together. I came upon the idea that I would ordain as a Buddhist monk then. But, I remember the day I spoke to a monk and he told me that I should face my fear. The fear I spoke of was the terror I had felt on high doses, but I had cast it as the fear of the dark. That stuck with me.
I travelled to Peru once before and drank Ayahuasca. After that, I lost my passport and gave away a lot of things in the streets, being stricken with pure love and a sense of God. Ayahuasca had made me love myself and gave me a sense of safety in eternity. I felt like the blue green of the wet jungle was held up by God, far apart, in a sea of something infinite, being infinite. I expected to die, I think. That was what my high dose mushroom trips were like, being traumatically separated from life.
After that, I lived with a woman deep into academic Buddhism. Drank a lot of alcohol and became desperately unhappy. And occasionally used cactus and LSD for a bit of relief, emotional processing, and insight. Eventually went back to Math for a master's. Once I lived alone again, I went back to mushrooms. Refined my habits, no alcohol, more meditation, more mushrooms. More mushrooms, more mushrooms, but no high doses anymore. And you've been witness to a lot of the things that occurred in this period. Connected with a Buddhist meditation group and met nice people and felt really great feelings, of enlightenment and love, but plenty of anxiety too.
At this time, I made my way to Advaita Vedanta. Advaita Vedanta has been the most real of it all. There's a difference between denial of identity from within identity and the unspoken denial of apparent identity from without appearance. If death is an unfailing reality, then who dies? I think for all of my mushroom-use and meditation, without knowing the step that I am not this, really not this, never this, this being what I appear to think of me, then I would have never been satisfied. Death is an unfailing reality, so just let go. And the insight is like magic, appearing out of the ether. A mind taken away from itself looks and sees what's real.
In any case, ate some more mushrooms and drank some more Ayahuasca. Back home, living with my father, telling myself I'm staying here for him. Am I? I think so. Right now, I'm not too concerned about my life. Haven't I already killed myself? Most of my dreams are seen through. Death is a reminder to relax, breathe easy. My mind comes in and goes out. What's left? It's clear enough that I'm not that. And what to do? Nothing.