For those interest, an account of my first experience combining an MAOI with Psilocybe cubensis:
Into the Dragon
I took my first psilocybin/harmine trip on Dec 31, 1984. I ate 5 grams of P. cubensis (the Brillo Nuevo strain obtained from Terence McKenna’s company, Lux Natura - very potent) and smoked about 2 grams P. harmala in a joint. This combination opened an initiatory trial that I experienced as being sacred. I can only capture into words a small portion of all that took place that night, but since others are experimenting with this powerful combination, I thought it was time to tell the story for general perusal and review.
The first signal that I had that something different was about to occur was when my old friend, Frank the Dog, approached my chair warily, looked at me, raised his hackles, and growled threateningly; he didn't recognize the presence in the chair. I sensed his fear and made eye contact with him, saying to him, "It's alright boy, its just me." The sound of my voice settled him a little and he laid down beside my chair, but I could still sense his wariness. He kept looking at me, confused. I decided that this was possibly going to get very weird and retired to the bedroom. Walking was not easy.
Upon entering the bedroom I was greeted with a vision of a large, luminescent sphere encircling my destination, the bed. I could see it quite clearly and was somewhat astonished. Each point of the sphere of light was connected with every other point by an almost invisible web of light, with the surface of the sphere standing out most vividly (my first encounter with an orb). I was rapidly losing my ability to navigate terrestrial reality and headed directly for the bed and lay down upon it.
The next vision that presented itself to me was the most astonishing eperience with the mushroom that I had had up to that point in time, and must admit that I was not at all prepared for the intensity and insistence of it. As I lay on my back and directed my gaze upward, I saw a large dragon’s head emerge from the ceiling above the bed. It was extraordinarily real and for a moment my fear blossomed into genuine terror. As the terror mounted and I felt myself pull back from the experience, the dragon spoke, in a deep basso profundo voice that reverberated through my bones, "Do not resist. Do not be afraid." The sound of that voice was unsettling, but also mysteriously soothing, and I felt myself let go. I was pulled straight into the dragon's open mouth, with my last thought being that this was it, that I had really done it this time, and death was indeed upon me.
The clarity of the visions must be commented upon. This type of vision is not of the order of the commonly reported swirls, patterns, visual anomolies and geometric designs that emerge at the onset of a trip. This type of vision is the breakthrough of another dimension of being that is well differentiated and highly articulated in refined detail. As my attention was drawn into the visions, I could see the scales on the dragon, perceive the penetrating intensity of its gaze upon me, notice the rings of growth patterns in its teeth, and see a kaleidoscopic swirl of galaxies and universes forming the wall of its throat. This is the revelation of one's life being incorporated into a story larger than one could ever imagine through the operation of the intellect alone. It is contact with a mythological dimension which utterly envelops one in its reality; there isn't a shred of doubt that it is closer to the heart of reality than this world of shadows which we call reality and is only an exceedlingly small portion of Eternity. It is the Imaginal realm that stands between the material and spiritual worlds.
As my consciousness entered the mouth of the Dragon, my ordinary ego awareness fell away and the essential awareness moved at high speed through an infinity of cosmoses until it settled upon one tiny corner of existence. That basso profundo voice was now a softer, more quiet voice, which narrated a vision of life on Earth unfolding before the disembodied mind that was gazing at its ancient home. There was a vision of small creatures falling upon the surface of the planet, similar in form to mythological dragons. Upon alighting on the surface of the earth, they took a few moments to rest (perhaps eons by our time scale). Soon, they clothed themselves in the material of this world and were quickly unrecognizable in their transformation. The voice spoke stating that Life on Earth arose from these beings who were actually fleeing something that was happening in another portion of the cosmos, and hoped to hide out here for awhile.
Awareness entered these emergent life forms and evolved over eons with them. Awareness underwent the totality of the process of the unfolding of life on Earth. This was an overwhelming experience in that while awareness was identified with a particular organism, such as a dinosaur, it totally forgot its existence outside of the context of the life of that particular organism, and was completely embedded within its world. Its concerns, fears, joys and sufferings were all experienced at first hand. This went on for what seemed like an eternity! Awareness had lost all consciousness of its former existence as a human being in the late 20th century for most of the trip. As it emerged into human form and flowed through the totality of human history, identifying itself with every human being that had ever existed on the surface of the planet, awareness of its connection with the expired mushroom eater eventually resurfaced. At this point, awareness was again freed from involvement with the organism on the planet and hovered suspended in deep space, gazing down at the planet. The voice once again narrated the vision:
"Life on Earth is a singular organism, which has been unfolding itself over the eons of its evolution. It is destined to construct a body for itself that can leave the surface of the planet. The purpose of this is to perpetuate itself and fulfill a function that at present, cannot be communicated to your awareness. From a limited point of view, it can be said to be on a mission of escape from processes that have begun in another portion of the cosmos, near the origin point, and which will soon sweep through this portion of the galaxy and annihilate life on earth as you know it. This change is the emergence of a form of being that has its root in what you would refer to as light energy, as contrasted with the condensed, solid forms that you currently understand as representative of living organisms. When this form of life emerges in a biological species, the physical organism is incorporated into the new structure. From the perspective of the physical organism, this process is frightening and could be viewed as a death. Hence, the organism that initially concealed itself as the organismic structure of life on this planet retains full awareness of its mission of escape and is pushing its evolving intelligence toward construction of the means of its escape. Nonetheless, a portion of itself will be incorporated into the new, emergent life energy, that portion that remains behind the escape pod, and which represents the greater portion of its being. This process has already occurred in other region of the cosmos, and ultimately is inescapable. For now, however, the life form that knows itself as the dragon, and which manifests as DNA, continues to push toward escaping its inevitable destiny. This is as it should be."
As this was narrated, awareness was shown the future of the planet, the escape of the biological pod, and the emergence of a body of light as the new mode of being in this portion of the cosmos.
Awareness was ushered back to its host organism and I awoke at dawn amazed that I had survived the night!
That kind of "epic tripping" I have found to be unique to ayahuasca and the psilocybin/harmine combination. I also find the psilocybin/harmine combination to be quite hard on the body and generally don't enter into such journeys lightly. The last time I experimented with this combination was almost a decade ago and I don't intend upon doing it anytime in the near future. Since that opening, however, the mushroom has remained an amazing guide to the mythopoetic dimension and the trips are always touched with that edge of the mysterious depth of the cosmos and our role within it.
I think this narrative depicts a certain type of initiatory experience that is not commonly revealed. I have read some accounts (in DeKorne's Psychedelic Shamanism), where the dragon attempted to present itself, but the fear or avoidance of the initiate, chased it away. From all the accounts I have heard and read, I have yet to find it presenting itself more than once.
I don't really know what to make of the rather weird story line the voice was rapping out, that Life on Earth was the result of a being in flight, seeking to escape some transformative wave that was sweeping through the cosmos. This motif is not uncommon. I see it as a twist on the Biblical story of the Fall. Perhaps it was picking out themes from my own conditioned brain in which to communicate something of itself; perhaps it is a glimpse into the workings of my own unconscious mind (which is the option I tend to go for currently as I gaze back at the state of my mind during those years). Whatever the explanation for such experiences, I will attest that as the years have gone by and I have continued the dialogue with the spirit of the mushroom, the mystery and depth of its visions has grown ever more subtle and profound.
Reviewing the above narrative 36 years later, I can now see it as an initiatory intuitive expression of the potential path of the growth of an inner body of light inside the physical organism. This represents the emergence of a greater life inside the chrysalis of the physical body and presages the entrance into what we could call, borrowing from the Persian Zoroastrian tradition, the Celestial Earth. That something of the sort is possible over the course of our limited lives has grown quite real to me now. It is an ancient mythos that we are tapping into, which is not limited to any particular tradition but found in various forms in them all, including the Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen tradition. Although we seem to have lost touch with the inner discipline that opens this up in our own Christian tradition, it remains there for those who seek for it and are blessed to connect with the oral tradition. One account of this is available in the work of Robin Amis’ book, A Different Christianity: Early Christian Esotericism and Modern Thought
Edited by elfstone, 31 January 2021 - 03:28 PM.