LSD locks into the 5HT2A receptor site for 12 hours while psilocin cycles through within 4 to 6 hours, depending on the dosage. Because of this long-lasting bond LSD has in the receptor site, many folks report that the tail end is a bit annoying as one is ready to rest but the material maintains a stimulating effect. I think each has its own unique effects and applications. My first experience with a psychedelic was in the spring of 1971 with "orange sunshine" that somehow made its way through to my small Midwestern country town and was procured by my girlfriend at the time. Naively, I dropped it at the end of my work shift and then walked through a beautiful winter evening over to my girlfriend's home. As the LSD experience began, I was walking through a lovely snow fall, with large fat flakes drifting slowly down to the ground. I noticed rainbows flashing off of the snowflakes from the streetlight I was passing. Then the mind did a figure-ground shift and awareness of the space between each snowflake arose, which expanded to awareness between the Earth and stars and the realization arose that space is consciousness and consciousness was the ground of all Being. The Mind awoke to itself and I was, gracefully and gratefully, completely undone forever. I arrived at my girlfiend's house and spent time with her and her parents, smiling and listening and feeling the fullness of loving everyone. This was the core experience for me at that time, at 17 years of age. There was contact with a universal consciousness but it seemed utterly transcendent and when I came back down remained more a memory than a daily staple of lived experience.
I did not encounter the mushroom until 1974, when my college professor, with whom I smoked weed, provided me with some little brown psilocybin mushrooms which he had come across, giving them all to me, knowing my interest. In retrospect, I am reasonably confident that these were Ps. semperviva, given their size and potency. I shared them with one of my college girlfriends at the time and once again found my heart opening to that unfathomable universal love. That night I had a dream that a UFO was hovering over the house in which we lived as students, rented to us by my professor, and it sent a tentacle with an eye at the end down the chimney, through the foyer, up the stairs and into my bedroom. It was a lucid dream and I became aware that I was being observed by some higher intelligence. It wasn't until Terence and Dennis McKenna released their little grow guide in 1976, along with the Amazonian spores through Terence's company, Lux Natura, that a secure supply of the mushroom was procured. Unlike LSD, there was contact with a living spirit that had specific intent for me and communicated it quite clearly over serial sessions undertaken in a Samadhi isolation tank I had purchased. As I have documented elsewhere, direct instructions were always given in each session. The first order of business was to become clear about what I was called to do in life, which was not what I was doing at the time. I felt constrained by the line of work I had chosen and had a dream of pursuing another livelihood and path of service, which I had initially conceived at age 14, but did not follow at that time. I was pursuing chemistry but found that it lacked heart for me and so took the decision, under the prompting of the little saints, to return to college and pursue a career in clinical psychology. I was also told that to do the work I was being called to do, I had to clean house, beginning with eliminating all bad habits/vices I had acquired along the way in my youthful ignorance, including alcohol, cannabis and nicotine. I dutifully followed the guidance I was receiving and then the visionary doors opened and deepened beyond anything I had ever conceived of. In retrospect, 45 years later, I see it as the guidance of the Spirit that had emerged through the open-hearted sincerity and intent to grow and understand. I was then led to read the collected works of Carl Jung, all 20 volumes, as well as Freud and Adler, which I still have on my shelf and continue to study. Jung was the only writer who captured what was emerging in my own inner process and I also recognized the Language of the Soul being expressed in alchemy and alchemical symbolism. This was the language of the mushroom as well and I was being taught the syntax and grammar of it first hand by the spirit of the mushroom and the spirit of Carl Jung. Eventually, I was led to study William Biake, through Kathleen Raine's book Blake and Tradition, and the translations of Plato through Thomas Taylor and some of the more current translators, and eventually the Pre-Socratic Greek philosophers, Parmenides and Empedocles, as well as the mystical Sufi tradition through the writing of Henri Corbin, and so on and so forth, which continues to this day. Once awakened, the spirit requires nourishment for its continued growth. Learning is always a delight!
Over the years, from time to time, I have returned to LSD and note that it always activates the cosmic consciousness that I first encountered as a youth in1971. It has also taken me back to witnessing my own birth, in a very literal way, finding myself suspended in the operating room where I was delivered, experiencing the entire thing as lucidly as any experience in daily life. I had the realization that there is a universal memory bank, call it the Akashic record or hyparxis, where every event that has ever happened is preserved in eternity, and that one can direct intention towards accessing those memories and the door opens. The Universe is deep and mysterious and we have only begun to scratch the surface of what is possible. But the LSD does not open the door to the spirit that animates the mushroom, the Niños Santos, which is playful, gentle at the beginning, but potentially deeply powerful and even potentially overwhelming as one progresses though the stages of working with it. When I first read the Bhagavad Gita, where Arjuna asks Krishna to reveal Himself and he becomes overwhelmed, I recognized a description of the same experience that I had as a youth with the spirit in the mushroom. Over the years, there is no longer any sense of being overwhelmed, but of welcoming the Friend into my body, mind, heart and soul. The best language that begins to express some of this in a way that can be understood is poetry. Rumi captures some of it beautifully as does George MacDonald. And now, since the Friend has arrived, the mushroom is no longer necessary, but I find its salutary effects to be refreshing and healing and still feel drawn to continue working with it. I do not feel drawn to work with LSD. It seems that I have gotten what I can from working with it, though, if the call arises, I would have no hesitation in opening the bottle and dropping 300ug again. Unlike the mushroom, which leaves one feeling at ease and refreshed in the days after, LSD requires several days to become fully grounded again. It has a psychostimulant effect similar to mescaline and I suspect it also affects the dopamine system, hence its initial positive spin. Psilocin on the other hand is more specific to the 5HT2A receptor and enters and leaves the body more quickly. It also requires training and experience to access its full potential. With proper training, the mushroom opens doors in the psyche that I have never experinced with LSD. I probably should add that I have had direct experience with each of these tools hundreds of times over the past 45 years and know them very well. I would encourage folks to explore both and find out for themselves what each is capable of doing for one and what one is capable of doing with it.
Edited by elfstone, 28 February 2020 - 04:13 AM.