“Should I trust in God?”

October 28, 2015

December 23, 2008. I just smoked salvia divinorum for the first time – 21x

First of all: I have OCD (I figured that out with some professional help a couple of years ago) and I have plenty of other personal issues, hang-ups, hypocrisy, insecurity, lousiness, anger, paranoia and whatever other weak, ugly, human, mental and emotional stuff – the bad effects of which are often exacerbated in me by smoking pot, and also by being around other people, lots of negative influences, and having to interact in stressful situations in society, etc. OK, I may be a little bit screwed up in the head and I tend to ruminate on the nature of reality even without pot and let alone salvia divinorum.

I’m 41 now going on 21 I think, and I’ve had some pretty scary bad drug trips in the past in my late teens – LSD and other drugs, being alone and in scary places around scary people, going to fast, and still trying to cling to some kind of hope and love and idea of self and God while my world and the fabric of my life was being ripped apart by all kinds of conflicting forces without and within, anyway… I feel like my inner light was extinguished a while ago but I’m still here breathing, and I can’t explain it, but I feel like I went into the night wrecked with terror and dread, defeated by my own weakness and lies, I died some kind of spiritual death.

For a long time I wanted to be happy and accepted and belong to a good solid group of people and be safe and enjoy life, but it seems like I’ve always been on the fringes of that hope, trying to get in by all the wrong ways and means… I don’t even fully accept myself, so I’m really a pretty lonely guy. I’m an only child. My mom is an ex-hippie that got beat-up, then got religion, then got a new husband. I think I’m addicted to porn. I’m afraid of God’s judgment. And, I’ve seen a lot of stuff.

I’ve started smoking pot again recently with plenty of trepidation but I think I have gotten some insights into my psyche, painful as they are sometimes, so I keep smoking it. Sometimes I enjoy it and feel creatively inspired by it, but mostly I try to work out whatever stuff I’m dealing with, and heal old and new wounds, so that I can face life, God, and other people on a better footing.

Pot seems to activate my psyche a little more than other people that I have smoked it with, and it scares me because they seem to be able to just relax and enjoy it more and I have a hard time getting on their wavelength because I’m so busy trying to deal with stuff that my mind digs up and the disturbing images and shapes and things I sense in my head. I’ve heard that my first time getting stoned was while I was still in my mother’s womb. I’ve also heard that my biological father tried to abort my birth by punching my mom in the stomach. I don’t know which came first and I don’t know if that’s pertinent now or not, but it seems telling to me somehow.

Anyway, I can never seem to figure things out to my satisfaction, and I seem to keep falling into the same awful traps and feeling bad about myself. I admire purity, truth, love, beauty and what I feel is good in life, people, nature, music, art, etc. At the same time I have these huge ongoing inner conflicts about Christianity and the world, heaven and hell, right and wrong, good and evil, and I try to resolve them but it gets very confusing and frustrating and impossible to get right.

I’m trying to trust in God and my feelings but I seem to have these deep seeded/seated? fears and doubts and whatever else that makes me unsure of what to believe in and I fear being helplessly exposed in some kind shame, wrongness and guilt that I can’t escape from, or not ever being able to live and be the way I want to be. I do have some really good memories of just me and my mom when I was a little kid in the 1970’s and I try to reach back for those times because they echo so fondly in my mind, but things change and I guess I have to live in the here and now.

I was nervous about trying salvia divinorum, but I’ve been a little desperate for a breakthrough of some kind lately. Maybe because of laziness or my looking for something easy… I’m not really sure, but I decided to try smoking salvia after coming across a few interesting things about it on the Internet while Googling words like “acid truth” and ” spiritual reality”.

This is what I remember experiencing while looking into the clear fish eye plastic of the washing machine door in our laundry room. I am alone, and I chose this place because I come in here sometimes to pray or think, to calm down, work things out, or whatever, anyway it feels like the safest place to me right now. I take a couple of hits off my water pipe and try to hold in the smoke as long as I can.

As I let it out and set the pipe down, I remind myself to let go and trust God for whatever hope in how it is even though I’m sinful and I repeat a little mantra in my head that I feel might help keep me oriented: His, itai, His, itai – (His meaning “God”, and itai meaning “ouch” in Japanese) Whooa, this is the first thing I remember saying out loud, “Somebody forgot to pick me up” Where have I been…?

I don’t really know what’s going on, but it feels like I have fallen behind somewhere on the road of life, and I feel a sense of urgency about my situation, it’s problematic somehow, and I’ve been blind and alone and just thinking about myself, and now somehow I have to join all this other consciousness, I know it’s not all about me, but I have some kind of acute self awareness. I have to come to an understanding with other forces bigger than me and beyond my control, and now everyone in the world, my world, whatever world, is picking me up all at once they’re reaching out for me and pulling me up from wherever I was in order to march on in time with them as the world rolls forward and I rise up to meet my destiny, this could be it I think, I’d better go with these forces I feel.

It’s ominous but I hope somewhat friendly, there’s a sense of mutual survival, the patterns in the washing machine door look kind of trippy kind of paisley, I can’t make out peoples faces but I feel something like their spiritual force rotating like watch gears to the beat and I see colors, or is this me? I feel like I’m sitting on the plain of existence, the highway of life, the landscape of souls, where the rubber meets the road.

They found me alone and vulnerable, ignorant and lying down, hanging everything up with my confusion, they look down on me and see me but I can’t see clearly, I try to trust in God or whatever force I feel and in my feelings for whatever benevolence in society there is on this ride. I’m stabilizing a little bit now and I make some routine references to the reality I saw minutes earlier when I sat down here in the laundry room. I think I can probably pick my own self up now, I realize the effects are wearing off and I want to look into what’s left of this vision in the washing machine door.

There is a rhythm and a pulse in everything I’m seeing. Am I projecting? Are these thoughts external or internal or some relational dynamic? Ok it’s not the end of the world, or my world, I guess, I’m still here in the laundry room and it’s only been a few minutes now.

I’m glad I was somewhere safe and felt ready to let go of everything and face how I felt so I was not as scared as I might have been, but it was definitely overwhelming. It was like a lifetime of experience hitting me all at once… I can see why some people would never want to take this a second time. I never really did get to a point of realizing a feeling of full clarity but it did feel cathartic somehow. Wow.

I guess the answers are His though. I still don’t know…

January 2, 2009. I smoke salvia divinorum for the second time – 21x

I don’t really know what I’ve learned from the first salvia trip, but I think I have developed or refined my mental archetypes a little and I am able to function a little better with less baggage maybe. It went way beyond my OCD last time, so I feel like it might have straightened out some of the wrinkles in my head somehow. I want to try it once again, and I feel like now is the time. My wife and I are making some new year’s resolutions and I feel like I want to try this again or at least one more time before going forward in the new year. I haven’t told my wife about this yet. I’m wondering how to talk with her about it. It’s so overwhelming I’m afraid for her to try it, I don’t want her to be scared, but I don’t want to have to hide it from her either. I wonder if I should keep it to myself.

I’m also conflicted because I wonder if I should just trust in God to show me what he wants me to see, to take me where he wants me to be without the use of salvia or other hallucinogens? I’ve always been curious about magic mushrooms, peyote, and a few other plants that I’ve heard of but never had the chance to try. The idea of just trusting God is comforting and I decide to go with that, but then something keeps nagging at me to try it again and I quietly hope it’s not the devil. I’m back to my old dilemma: If I do something that I think beforehand is wrong or might be wrong, can I still be forgiven for it? Are these temptations like Adam and Eve’s forbidden fruit? I feel this anxiety, but it lessens, I rationalize, I justify, I don’t know why, I guess I want to try it again anyway and see, so finally I decide to do it again and I hope God will be with me.

Some have looked down on me for believing in God, like it’s just a concept constructed or adopted by my own mind for whatever reason. Some have looked down on me for not believing in God the right way, like there’s only one true way to do it… and then there’s always hell to think of… I do believe in the existence of God though, even if I can’t say I really know or understand God. I’ve tried not believing in God before, but I just do. I’ve also tried to follow God through Christianity and other religious thoughts or philosophies but I have never seemed to find right way or I have fallen short of the true way of God because I don’t seem to have real peace and confidence about my relationship to God.

I can hardly stand the different church culture’s I’ve tried to be a part of and I hardly ever feel secure about this life or the next. Every once in a while I have a transcendent moment that really makes me feel like there is a God and that God is good, I’m at peace sometimes when I dream, although rarely, and I feel like I see goodness and value in others and beauty in nature. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m good. When I try to grab it, it seems to disappear in me. God doesn’t seem to be playing favorites with me. I keep trying to hope that I can end up on God’s good side though, whatever the truth is, whatever the cause and effect, whatever the consequence, whatever the meaning of how it is. I still want to have some kind of true hope in God, anyway I guess whether I’m false or true it is how it is in how it is.

I close the laundry room door, turn out the lights this time, and take one big long hit and hold in the smoke as long as I can:

As soon as it hits me I regret smoking this again, but it’s too late. I’m falling away from a large crowd of onlookers into an open space illuminated by some overbearing stark reality that’s taking over. My mind has been ripped open and I think I’m dying in some kind of sticky slow motion. I feel like my mind is simultaneously falling out of the sky and peeling up off the road of life. I’m looking back, I’m not in control, I despair, but I’m beyond panic, I’m losing my self in a long unfolding of my consciousness from the inside out. It’s too late to go back. I’m rolling along passed my old illusions of self into some awful new awareness. It’s over for me now. I’m dying for sure. I’ve lost myself, in the giant collective soul of humanity. I’m just a naked individual being rolled up by some ominous force. I feel ashamed that I ever thought I was anything special or important. I wonder what my little soul really looks like, it feels ugly, I’m vaguely embarrassed that others can see me, but I can’t do anything else about it now.

OK wait a minute, I am coming back after all, things are folding back in, I thought for sure that was it for me but I’m slowly coming back into my body again. Whooa, what was that? Who was I looking back at? Who was looking at me? Were they waiting for me to wake up and realize what… that I’m already dead? That I’m insignificant? Something’s wrong with me, it’s not pleasant, I feel shame and loss and dread… I feel a deep sadness, but it wasn’t fully realized.

I’m back here in this physical being and time that I’m used to and I’m sensing and relating to things and making connections to things that I’m familiar with. This helps me to cope, but maybe not to see, I’m not sure where I begin and end now. Maybe I don’t want to see. I really didn’t think I would be coming back from that trip. Did I? I’m confused. I didn’t feel any beautiful warm loving light. If it was there I know I didn’t deserve it. Maybe I missed it.

I want the experience to be positive… I do feel like my mind has again been cleansed somehow but I feel strange, I’m not sure how to proceed. It seemed like the trip was all about me, or the eradication of me, I guess I was the one on it, but I know I live in a universe bigger than me. Where was it? Where was I? I sensed other faces or forces and got lost in them but I couldn’t see. It was so empty and lonely. I was on a slow roll across a giant road of consciousness, waking up to some end of me, some loss. What was that? What is the reality of it?


OK, well I guess there are some similarities to my first salvia trip although this one felt far more traumatic somehow. Wow. On the first trip I remember rolling to my left. On this trip I was rolling to my right. Are these just insights into my own psyche and life? I feel desperately alone. I feel sad like I realized on the trip that I’m only even remotely connected to my wife. I feel so sad for her. I don’t want her to feel sad and alone or be in any pain. I feel like something’s wrong with me.

I also feel like I’ve had a reboot to my brain, and like it has wiped away the OCD mechanism and a lot of my ego stuff. It’s like there’s nothing left to lose because it’s already lost. But here I am, what now?

I want to focus on the positive and think and be as positive as I can… in whatever positive in how I can.

by Gary