Replicating the visuals
A common thought throughout many trips that I’ve had is that if I could somehow take a single print screen of what I am currently seeing and post it online it would forever change the world and probably be considered a more amazing image than any work of art ever produced by a human being.
The reason I think about this quite a bit is because if we were capable of showing the normals a completely accurate recorded image or video of the psychedelic experience it would be so mind blowing that it would be enough to forcibly kick start a psychedelic revolution across the entire planet as it would entice the curiosity of so many into experiencing these things for themselves as well as completely changing the face of Psychology and perhaps Philosophy.
However, although such a recording would look unlike anything most people had ever seen before I think it’s unlikely that it could ever look completely the same as the real thing because the psychedelic experience is also accompanied by many mental effects that change the appearance of the visuals such as the removal of our sensory filter that allows us to comprehend the positions and appearance of different parts of the closed eye visuals across our entire visual field all at once instead of just the tiny fraction that the centre of our vision is focused on which is what our sober selves experience usually and would continue do so while looking at the recording.
Although the technology is obviously not anywhere near this level yet it is being developed and scientists as recently as last month releasing a video that shows low resolution Hollywood movie trailers that were reconstructed using the memories of the video itself picked up by an fmri scan.
This is a big improvement from the ongoing studies in the 90’s that tested technologies on the brain of a cat to reconstruct its vision into watchable form but in a much lower resolution than what we are capable of now.
It’s worth noting that the milder open eye visuals and distortions between level 1 and 3 could easily be replicated easily by somebody out there who’s better than me at photoshop although the replication of these visuals would not be as groundbreaking as the replication of closed eye visuals.
Many of fractal like visuals such as the ones seen in the sort of places salvia takes you have already been unintentionally replicated by people playing around with fractal generation software. For example videos like this and this are very similar to certain salvia trips I’ve had and according to this poll is experienced by 44% of salvia users.
The evolutionary advantage of our species having a brain that under certain conditions can generate something based on a very particular field of mathematics is something that I think should be looked at, perhaps even more so than the abstract imagery of regular closed eye visuals.
I know this is all hypothetical but a tool like this could have some awesome applications despite the fact that most of the people developing these technologies are probably not considering this as a potential use.
LSD Dosage Guide
I’ve gone up in 150 mic intervals here but the average tabs that most people have access to is usually around 100 mic but some are as poor as 60 and some are simply fake. Keep in mind that this hugely depends on set & setting as well as dosage and that It’s possible to break through on 150 mic by combining it with copious amounts of weed and easy to experience ego death at 450 by using a similar method.
150 mic – weak - This is where I would recommend most novices who are unsure of themselves start out. At this level a first time user will experience an intense body high, euphoria, increased brightness of colours, tracers, mild distortions and some weak closed eye visuals for those who are susceptible or have tripped a few times before.
300 mic – moderate - This is where things start to get particularly psychedelic and is the dosage that should be recommended for those who are at least familiar with other drugs and confident enough in themselves to handle it. This is the level where obvious closed eye visuals begin to emerge and closed eye visuals such as distortions start to become intense.
450 mic – moderate strong - Most people are not willing to go this far and consider two 150 mic hits of acid to be the standard trip. At this level the body high becomes quite overwhelming and closed eye visuals start to become intense enough to start subtly breaking apart the environment itself. For a first timer this level of tripping would almost certainly be too much.
600 mic- heavy - Your vision is almost completely enveloped by fractal patterns as it becomes difficult to see your hand in front of your face. An experienced user can still just about function with great difficulty at this level but a novice would be in an extreme state of terror and panic.
750 mic + - heroic - This is the point where it is generally considered that more acid makes less difference. At this point you can expect to be completely incapacitated and breakthrough into a bizarre dimension ruled by infinitely vast complex geometric patterns followed by utter annihilation of the ego.
The Cognitive Components of a Psychedelic Experience
NOTE: I AM CURRENTLY IN THE PROCESS OF ORGANIZING AND REWRITING THIS PAGE - it will be finished
over the next few days eventually
The second section to my three part guide is going to cover the mental and cognitive effects that psychedelics consistently produce across all people. I’ve tried to keep this as accurate and well worded as I possibly can but these are all based on mine and friends personal experiences which may be completely different from your own. Although this section may not have as many pretty pictures as the first, all of these effects are equally as important and profound as any of the visual hallucinations.
Enhancement of current mind state:
Unlike most recreational substances, psychedelics do not consistently induce positive and euphoric states regardless of a persons current state of mind and mental stability. Instead they work by amplifying and enhancing a persons current state of mind as it is already, making it equally capable of going in both a positive and a negative direction.
This is why people seem to react to psychedelics in completely different ways and is by far the biggest contributor to the experience of a bad trip. The unprepared, the negative and the mentally unstable who undergo a psychedelic experience consistently become overwhelmed with negative emotions, paranoia and confusion. Something that is caused by the persons current negative state becoming greatly amplified above normal levels. On the opposite end the spectrum however, positive, prepared and mentally stable people who undergo a psychedelic experience consistently find themselves overwhelmed with states of ecstatic bliss and profound mental revelations.
There is a very clear distinction between chemically induced happiness and genuine happiness. Psychedelics do not induce any emotion, they merely deepen and enhance genuine emotions that are already felt separate from the drug.
Acceleration of thought:
Rapid fire thoughts are an effect that are possible on every psychedelic but are consistently felt on stimulating and energetic psychedelics such as LSD and the 2Cx family. The sensation of this effect can be described as the mental process of thought being sped up significantly. When experiencing this effect it literally feels as if one rapid thought after the other is being generated in incredibly quick succession. Not only is the speed of thought increased, but the sharpness of a persons mental clarity seems to increase along side it, resulting in an abundance of new and insightful ideas.
Increased connectivity of thought:
This effect occurs on every psychedelic to a certain extent but is consistently felt on sedating and stoning psychedelics such as mushrooms, LSA and harmine. The sensation of this effect can be described as a persons thought patterns becoming characterized by an abstract fluid association of ideas and extremely wandering thoughts which connect deeply into each other. Often feeling like a series of tenuously connected daydreams that connect into each other through an abstract game of subconscious word association, allowing the mind to cover all areas of life, including not just the big things, but the small things as well. Leading onto large amounts of introspection and greatly enhanced levels of creative and artistic abilities in people. Essentially removing creative block by allowing the thoughts to flow free.
Feelings of fascination, importance and awe:
One of the defining features of a psychedelic experience is an overwhelming feeling of fascination, importance and awe attributed to the external environment and everything within it. This can manifest itself in a number of ways but can be described as a new found childlike sense of wonder which gives the overwhelming impression that everything around you is profound and important, be it nature, the universe or everyday household objects.
It’s this effect that directs trippers to ponder and appreciate the things around them in a profound level of detail which will forever remain unparalleled by any experiences throughout normal sober living.
At its highest level, the sensations become so intense and profound that it begins to feel as if the present moment is so overwhelmingly important that your entire life has been building up to this instant and nothing will ever be the same again. This is commonly described by people as feeling that “you have been waiting on a train your entire life and only now are you finally getting off of it.” It is a truly overwhelming perspective and consistently induced during positive states of level 7A visual geometry, described in the previous section of this guide.
Time distortion is an effect that makes the passage of time difficult to keep track of and wildly distorted.
It can be felt in two different forms. The most common of these, can be referred to as time expansion. Which can be described as the feeling that time has completely slowed down. This generally seems to stem from the fact that during a psychedelic experience, abnormally large amounts of experience are felt in very short periods of time, creating the illusion that more time has passed than it really has.
At time expansions highest level it can feel as if the passage of time has stopped completely, which is known as a moment of eternity.
The second form, which can be called time compression is significantly rarer but entirely possible and can be described as the experience of time speeding up and passing much quicker than it generally should.
Deep and life changing states of introspection are commonly found within the psychedelic experience. It’s these states which are considered by the scientific community to be the most important real world application for psychedelics. A claim that is gaining increasing support with a large and ever growing collection of peer reviewed studies supporting the use of psychedelics in the treatment of depression, general therapy and the rehabilitation of drug addicts.
Psychedelics force a person to face and deal with their personal problems and inner demons by changing a persons thought processes to that of an extremely introspective nature. This gives people the ability to dissect and rationally analyse these problems. Allowing a person to either resolve the problems or at least come to terms with them.
The external release of pent-up or repressed stress through emotional outburst is also extremely common. Taking both joyful forms, like spontaneous dancing and singing, or taking distraught forms, like crying, sobbing and emotional breakdowns. Once over however, these leave the tripper feeling as if an enormous weight has been lifted from their chest.
Not everybody is willing to face, resolve and move on from their problems however, some people preferring to ignore and repress them. It’s a persons willingness to face the truth of their own life that is a huge factor in determining whether or not a person is capable of enjoying the psychedelic experience. This is because psychedelics bring our insecurities, past regrets and repressed traumas into the very forefront of our consciousness. Fighting these revelations through denial is a very common cause of bad trips, leading to deeply negative states that could be otherwise avoided. Every last one of us has their own emotional baggage and tragic little back story. It’s moving past this that psychedelics are extremely efficient in solving, but this is only true when they are used with the right intent and and a total sense of willingness.
Feelings of extreme refreshment are an almost universal experience in the days or weeks after a positive trip. The psychedelic experience can be both mentally and physically invigorating, something that can be described as a lasting feeling of mental clarity, increased motivation, calmness and an appreciation for the very sensation of being.
This feels to me as if the connections within the brain have been somehow restored, with the biases of a persons perspective becoming reset to base level. As if the mind has been rebooted and reorganized in a way that fully grounds the revelations of the trip into a persons world view.
At it’s highest level the feelings of rejuvenation can become so intense that they begin to manifest themselves as the profound sensation of being reborn. Lasting anywhere from weeks to a lifetime after the experience itself.
Feelings of Deja-Vu:
Deja vu is a common phrase from the French language which translates literally into “already seen”. This is a well documented phenomenon which can commonly occur throughout both sober living and psychedelic experiences. It can be described as having the strong sensation that the current event or situation has already been experienced at some point within the past, when in fact it hasn’t.
Psychedelic drugs are commonly capable of inducing spontaneous and often prolonged states of mild to intense senses of Deja vu. This provides trippers with an overwhelming sense that they have “been here before”. Which is accompanied by an obviously false feeling of familiarity with the psychedelic experience itself, the current location or setting, the current physical actions being performed and the situation as a whole. Something which becomes triggered and felt by the tripper despite the fact that they are rationally aware that the circumstances of the “previous” experience (when, where, and how the earlier experience occurred) are uncertain or believed to be impossible.
Removal of cultural filter:
The cultural filter is a geographically determined bias that human beings look through in their everyday life. Affecting our ability to evaluate the world around us in ways that are much more powerful than most people are willing to admit.
It seems to me that a human beings perspective on the world is built up out of a complex set of filters that are based on pre-existing beliefs, past experiences, fears, prejudices, stereotypes and cultural symbols. Giving us a powerfully consistent, unconscious tendency to notice and assign significance to observations that confirm existing cultural beliefs, while filtering out and rationalizing observations that do not fit with prior beliefs and expectations. Forcing us to look at the world, not as a human being but as a false version of our true selves. Be it a conservative Christian mother, a Muslim housewife, an aboriginal tribesman or an materialistic white middle class male with a European Christian heritage and atheistic beliefs.
It’s said that we don’t look at things as they are but instead look at things as we are. Psychedelics however seem to completely obliterate and remove this filter, showing people that culture is merely a delusional perspective attributing importance to abstract symbols and not an objective reality. Creating profound changes in perspective that can last a lifetime, making people become who they really are and not what they were raised to be.
Feelings of predeterminism:
Predeterminism is defined as the belief that all events, including human actions, are established or decided in advance.
This is a perspective that can become spontaneously triggered and felt through an undeniable change in thought processes and an intense set of physical sensations during a psychedelic experience.
In terms of how it feels experientially, this can be described as the sensation of the ego or internal narrative as an independent decision making agent being lifted from your perception of the world and revealed to be illusory. This creates an undeniable sensation that your physical actions, current situational perspective and the very subject matter of your thought stream have always been completely predetermined and out of your control. Meaning that they are not reached through a conscious choice or planning of the ego and genuinely never were. Instead they are revealed to have always been a vast and complex set of internally stored, instantly decided, preprogrammed and completely autonomous responses to received sensory stimuli.
Along side of this, there is also a powerful physical sensation that makes the precise arrangement of the external environment and objects within it become felt to be the true deciding force in regards to the way in which you physically interact with it. This is done by instantly triggering your responses and decisions towards them through the simple sensory perception of them. Something which leads onto the feeling that for example, you are not deciding to reach out and grab a relevant object, but the object is triggering you to reach out and grab it regardless of whether or not you have put any thought into it.
This experience as a whole is consistently interpreted by anybody who undergoes it as a profound revelation or insight into the illusory nature of freewill.
It lifts the tripper above the culturally ingrained illusion of being an independent decision making agent that is somehow intrinsically separate from external physical systems, allowing them to see themselves as what they really are. Which is nothing more than the suddenly undeniable reality of living organisms as nothing more than complex electrochemical systems, walking around and responding to prior causes and sensory stimuli in a completely predetermined and mechanical fashion.
The emancipation of our internal narrative from the limitations of exclusively linguistic content:
This particular component can be described as a forced change in perspective which frees the ego’s conscious thought stream from remaining strictly limited to words and labels. This allows it to think not just in descriptions, but directly in the internally stored concepts that lay behind our linguistic and descriptive knowledge base.
In terms of how this feels experientially, it can be described as the sensation of the concepts behind the words of our internal narrative becoming somehow cognitively felt at every point across themselves in a very high level of detail. Along side this they are also perceived through a simultaneous partially to fully animated visual manifestation that differs from that of an ordinary hallucination through the fact that it exclusively occurs within the minds eye, always remaining completely separate from the trippers direct line of sight.
The experience of directly experiencing the internally stored concepts which lay just behind human description results in the perceived ability of being able to clearly feel in a profound and emotionally intuitive format, the precise consequences, limitations and position within this universe of any singular concept. These feelings are consistently interpreted as a “higher level of understanding” which seems to stem from the way in which this perspective reveals human language to be intrinsically self limited. This intrinsic self limitation is shown by integrating previously held knowledge into a persons felt perspective, transcending our intellectually understood knowledge and showing that words can only act as mere shortcuts to the concepts which they exist to describe.
At lower levels, these integrations of previously held knowledge into the trippers felt perspective can be described as thought stream specific. This means that the concepts which are being felt and seen are exclusively relevant to the words which you are currently thinking. These will feel identical in stylistic behavior whether the concept is arrived at by a simple wandering of thoughts or triggered through the experience of a concept or object perceived within the external environment.
Perhaps the most common example of this which those within the psychedelic community could relate to would be the experience of looking at a plant of any sort and internally feeling as well as visually perceiving, everything that you happen to know about photosynthesis and the evolution of plants no matter how vague or abstract this knowledge might be.
At higher levels, these integrations of previously held knowledge into the trippers felt perspective stop being specific to the words contained within your current thought stream and start becoming all encompassing towards every last internally stored piece of knowledge the tripper has ever known.
This leads onto feelings which are consistently interpreted as a new found level of “total and complete understanding” as the consequences, limitations and position within this universe of every single concept which the tripper previously only knew in terms of its description, becomes felt through a very real and undeniable perspective.
Perhaps the most common examples of these which those within the psychedelic community will relate to, that I have experienced myself and observed through others, would be the experience of a total and profound understanding regarding but not limited to, the themes and archetypes listed below.
- General scientific principles.
- Taking care of your personal health.
- Your position within nature and higher systems of order.
- The consequences of your actions and your responsibility towards them.
- Human civilization as the literal cutting edge of physical complexity.
- Living in balance with nature to the best of your abilities.
- The inevitability of death.
- The sheer unlikeliness of personal existence.
It’s through the direct experience of the concepts behind our knowledge that new life changing perspectives are suddenly felt in an obvious way. These new found viewpoints are rarely considered by the tripper to be the creation of a single new idea or creative insight. Instead they are nothing more than the integration of previously held knowledge which was already understood intellectually into a system which directly feels them in an undeniable, clearly understandable and emotionally felt format which lies within a level of detail far beyond normal human language and description.
At lower levels, these integrations of knowledge are felt to be temporary and consistently subside along with the effects of the substance which has been consumed. At higher levels however, specific or all encompassing pieces of knowledge can become permanently integrated into a trippers felt perspective for weeks, months, years and even a lifetime after the experience itself.
This component allows psychedelic users to gain access to a profound and very literal expansion of their consciousness, resulting in extremely therapeutic changes in their perception of the world.
Induced spiritual or religious perspectives:
Ego suppression, loss and death:
To make things as clear as possible however, I should first define for people what exactly the ego is and what purpose it serves before I go into breaking down the base components that comprise these two states Put simply, the ego is a human being’s sense of self or “I” as intrinsically separate from and somehow more important than the external environment. It is essentially a person’s consciousness or ability to be self aware, as fueled by the constant internal dialogue that we call our thoughts.
Ego death is defined by the psychedelic community as any total suppression or loss of a person’s sense of self. It is something that occurs at both high dose dissociative and psychedelic experiences, as well as in every day life; since natural sleep, passing out drunk, general unconsciousness or death can all technically be classed as forms of ego death. However, the clear cut distinction between hallucinogen induced ego death and other more commonly experienced forms is that sensory input is not maintained through deep sleep or normal unconsciousness. Psychedelics and dissociatives on the other hand, both offer differing versions of the same experience that universally becomes triggered during these states and is perceived through all of the senses.
In terms of the thought patterns and general mental processes, dissociative and psychedelic ego death are very similar in a number of ways. Both capable of being broken down into 3 basic levels.
- Ego suppression - Partial failure of a persons short term memory. Something that can be described as a general increase in distractibility, loss of focus and an increasing inability to process anything outside of the present moment.
- Ego loss - Complete failure of a persons short term memory. Something that can be described as a person becoming being completely incapable of remembering any specific details regarding the present situation for more than a second or two. Resulting in disorientation, thought loops and confusion for the inexperienced. Long term memory however remains almost entirely intact, with people still being perfectly capable of recollecting their name, date of birth, childhood school, etc.
- Ego death - Complete failure of a persons long term memory. Something that can be described as a person becoming completely incapable of remembering any basic fundamental human concept that is stored within the long term memory. Including your name, who you are, the fact that you are on drugs, what human beings are, what life is, what existence is or what anything is. Giving the profound experience that there is no longer an “I” experiencing the intensity of the trip anymore, there is just the trip as it is and by itself.
Feelings of unity and interconnectedness:
The feeling of this mental component can be triggered at any level of psychedelic experience but is most common during states of ego death. In terms of how this state subjectively feels, it begins by stemming from what feels like an awakening or the lifting of a great illusion that is deeply embedded within the human psyche. An illusion that feels as if it is in place to keep human beings feeling as if they are intrinsically separate from and more significant or important than, the external environment. It feels as if it exists due to the strong evolutionary need to keep a person’s perspective on the world as one that prioritizes the needs of the self over the needs of the external, as a means of ensuring the motivation for survival.
The psychedelic disintegration of this apparent illusion is commonly described as a loss of perceived boundaries between the physical body and the external environment, giving the profound sensation that you can no longer understand where your physical body ends and the external environment begins. Our central centre of self with which we identify as “ourselves” is at this point, revealed to be illusory and not any single component of our being, such as the ego, the brain as a whole or even the body in its entirety. Instead, the central centre of self with which we identify with becomes no single component of existence but all of it in its entirety, creating the sudden undeniable perspective that you are literally the entire universe experiencing itself and performing actions onto itself through the very specific point of space and time which your ego happens to reside in. The ego or self as separate from external systems of behaviour is felt to be an elaborate fabrication, that the skin is not what separates us from the universe but what connects us to it. This is a feeling that when experienced is immediately and universally understood to be an undeniable truth by anybody who undergoes it.
I am honestly still trying to wrap my head around this specific mental component and do not feel that I have come close to understanding it or processing its consequences. My current level of experience only allows me to describe the feeling of it and not in anyway the logic behind it.
Similar notions of unity seem to be discussed heavily in Buddhism, Eastern mysticism, Gnosticism, Monism, Non-duality and Alan Watts lectures, as well as basic molecular biology and physics, not to mention various trip reports across the internet that all describe sensations of “becoming one with the universe”.
I somehow feel that this will one day become the default perspective through which humans beings look at the world. In my opinion, this is by far the most profound mental component of the psychedelic experience.
Once a tripper begins to sober up and come down the sensation is usually shown to be non permanent and reduced to something that is understood through logic, but not felt. On rare occasions however, it does seem to become a fully grounded and uncontrollable perspective that can last anywhere from weeks to a lifetime after the trip. This creates obvious and powerful changes in personality that result in a completely selfless perspective which values the well being of the external as on par with the importance of the ego.
The Visual Components of a Psychedelic Experience
This guide is my attempt to categorize and describe in simple terms the specific subjective effects that Psychedelic drugs cause. Describing not my personal experiences but the universally reported effects that are consistently felt by most if not all psychedelic users. It is broken down into 3 different sections,
- The visual components of a psychedelic experience.
- The cognitive components of a psychedelic experience.
- The miscellaneous components of a psychedelic experience.
the first being a description of the visual experience, the second being a description of the mental experience and the third being a description of the sensory components that do not fit into either mental or visual effects. It is in reference to all of the classical Psychedelics and the huge variety of obscure and modern “research chemicals” that are becoming increasingly prevalent. More specifically this list includes but is not limited to LSD, Mushrooms, DMT, Ayahuasca, LSA, Mescaline, Bufotenin, 5meoDMT, AMT, Harmine, Harmaline, MDA, the 2Cx family and the DOx family.
I’ve tried to keep this as accurate and well worded as I possibly can but most of these effects cannot be done justice with words. Especially once we get past low and moderate dosages, so feel free to make suggestions or nitpick any tiny point that you disagree with by sending me a message or commenting on the article below. I really am trying to make this as comprehensive a guide as possible so any help is extremely welcome.
This particular guide gives image examples where ever possible. Breaking the visual hallucinations into four basic categories of which I have come to name; enhancement of vision, distortions, visual geometry and hallucinatory states. I will start with the lower more basic effects and work my way up.
Most of the example images are randomly found from across the internet. Many of them however were all made by my girlfriend, whose tumblr is dedicated to the creation of such images and can be found here.
The first category of visual effects is the enhancement of vision that is consistently reported at the lowest levels of psychedelic hallucination. It can be generally defined as an overall increase in the level of visual input attributed to the external environment that a person experiences and is manifested in a couple of different ways…
Increased visual acuity:
Visual acuity is defined by the medical literature as acuteness or clearness of vision, which is dependent on the sharpness of the retinal focus within the eye and the sensitivity of the interpretative faculty of the brain.
The lowest reported level of psychedelic hallucination is a sharp increase in visual acuity which can be described as a new found ability to comprehend the entire visual field at once, including the peripheral vision. In comparison, during sober living human vision is only able to perceive the small area that a persons eye is currently focused on. This sharp increase in the level of visual detail attributed to the external environment is consistently heightened to the point where the edges of objects become extremely focused, clear and defined.
Enhancement of colour:
Alongside the above effect it is consistently reported that during a low level psychedelic experience, colours start to stand out more, becoming extremely bright and vivid. Reds will seem “Redder”, Greens will seem “Greener” and all colours will be become much more distinct, powerful and intense than they usually are during every day sober living.
A consistent way to reproduce this visual is to be outside in nature.
More Examples: Here.
Enhanced pattern recognition:
This visual effect does not necessarily change the appearance of the external environment but rather the level of detail in which it is perceived in. During even a very low dose trip it is common for people to suddenly notice patterns and textures that they may have never previously appreciated or even paid any attention to whatsoever. For example when looking at sceneries, nature, a carpet, a pavement or tree bark the complexity and beauty of the visual input suddenly becomes overwhelmingly obvious.
As a result of this enhanced pattern recognition, a person’s sense of Pareidolia is also increased many times over. Pareidolia is the brains ability to recognize significant imagery (usually faces) in almost any vague stimuli. Common examples of this in day to day sober life include spotting faces in everyday objects, and viewing clouds as fantastical objects. This is an innate ability of pattern recognition for humans that is increased dramatically during a psychedelic experience.
For example every single leaf on a tree might look like many tiny green faces, scenery may look remarkably like people or objects and clouds might appear to be easily recognizable as fantastical objects. Without any visual changes actually taking place.
More examples: Here.
The second category of visual effects found within a psychedelic experience is known as a distortion. These can be generally described as open eye alterations and changes in perception attributed to the external environment that are always obviously grounded in reality. They are manifested in a variety of different ways which can be broken down and described as…
Visual drifting is by far the most common open eye distortion experienced during a typical psychedelic experience. It can be described as the experience of the objects and scenery appearing to become progressively warped and morphed across the visual field in a variety of complex ways all of which depend on the specific continuously changing direction, speed and rhythm of the distortion. These gradually increase as a person stares but are completely non permanent, meaning that they reset to normal levels once a person double takes on the distortion. The video below demonstrates this effect at a moderate level of intensity in an extremely accurate level of detail.
More Examples: Here and Here.
Morphing - This effect is completely disorganised and spontaneous in both its rhythm and its direction. It can be described as objects or scenery appearing to gradually change in their size, shape, configuration and general appearance in a limitless number of ways.
Breathing - This effect makes objects or scenery appear to be steadily contracting inwards and then expanding outwards in a consistent rhythm As if the object or scenery was breathing in and out in a similar fashion to any living organism.
Melting - It is not unusual for objects and sceneries to be completely or partially melting. They begin at lower doses as a gradual liquidization of objects which causes them to begin to droop, wobble and slowly lose their structural integrity. This gradually increases until they become impossible to ignore with the lines, textures and colour between solid objects appearing to melt into one another in an extremely liquid fashion.
Flowing - Flowing, shifting, rippling or moving surfaces are a strong visual effect that seems to occur almost exclusively on textures, particularly if they are highly detailed, complex or rough textures. A classic example of this would be wood grain or carpets flowing like a river in a seamless, looped animation.
A consistent way to reproduce this visual is to stare at wood grain and lose focus.
The above effects which comprise Visual Drifting as a whole seamlessly blend and mix into one another. They are capable of manifesting themselves across 4 different levels of visual intensity which can be described as,
- Peripheral - The most basic form of distortion can be described as a wiggling of straight lines within the external environment which occurs exclusively within the peripheral vision and cannot be looked directly at.
- Direct - At this level, the distortions do not necessarily increase in visual intensity but can now be directly looked at within a persons central line of sight. This partially alters the appearance and form of shapes, objects and sceneries within the external environment, causing them to subtly drift, bend and morph.
- Distinct - This is the level at which distortions become visually powerful enough to drastically alter and transform the shape of specific objects within the external environment, often to the point where they can become unrecognisable in comparison to their original form.
- All encompassing - At the highest level of visual drifting, the intensity becomes powerful enough to distort not just specific objects beyond recognition, but every single point of a persons vision and the entirety of the external environment in its whole.
Quite often the colours of various objects, particularly brightly coloured out of place objects, will become subject to an effect that shifts and changes the colours through a repeated cycling of hues in a strange fluid motion across its surface. For example Moss on a rock could physically shift from green, to red, to blue and then back to green again in a very short space of time.
If the image below is not animated, click here to load it on a separate page.
Depth Perception Distortions:
It is very common to experience both extreme and subtle distortions in depth perception during a psychedelic experience. This is where the depths and layers of the scenery in front of you can become exaggerated, skewed or completely mixed up. A classic example of this is the swapping of layers in a scenery. This is where objects in the background come into the foreground and objects in the foreground get pushed into the background. Another example of skewed depth perception is a complete loss of it, when the different sections of a scenery both close up and far away will unify into one flat image momentarily.
A fairly consistent way to reproduce this visual is by laying down under a tree and looking through the branches at the sky. Consistently causing the sections of sky in between the branches to come into the foreground whilst the branches get pushed into the background.
Tracers are the simple experience of trails being left behind moving objects such as people, birds or cars. Tracers are usually very obvious and are similar in appearance to the same sort of trails found behind moving objects in long exposure photographs. Manifesting themselves as smooth trails or multiple layers of the same repeated image which progressively fades into the background with each repetition. The trails can be exactly the same colour as the moving object that is producing it or can sometimes be a randomly selected colour of its own.
Tracers can be broken down into 4 basic levels of visual intensity which can be described as,
- Transparent - The most basic form of tracer can be described as an almost completely transparent after image which dissapears almost immediately and drags shortly behind moving objects with a maximum length of 2 - 3 inches.
- Translucent - At this level, tracers increase in their length to become at least roughly half as long as the distance across the visual field which the object it is following has moved. In terms of clarity the tracers shift from barely visible to distinct and only partially transparent in colour.
- Opaque - This is the level at which tracers become completely solid in appearance and opaque in colour with distinct and sharp edges to their shape which draw a clear contrast between the tracer itself and the background behind it. They become equal in length to the distance across the visual field which the object it is following has moved in and can remain in the air for up to several seconds.
- All encompassing - The highest level occurs at the point when a person’s visual field has become so sensitive to the creation of tracers that the entirety of a person’s visual field smudges and blurs into one all encompassing tracer at the slightest movement of the eye. This can make it extremely difficult to clearly see unless the eyes are kept still and remains in the air for up to approximately 20 seconds.
A consistent way to reproduce this visual is to move your hand in front of your face or throw an object.
Symmetrical texture repetition:
Symmetrical texture repetition is a distinct and obvious distortion which specifically manifests itself through rough textures such as grass, carpets, asphalt, tarmac, towels, bathroom rugs, gravel, general bracken, dense vegetation, fallen leaves, tree bark and more.
It can be described as the texture becoming mirrored repeatedly over its surface in an extremely intricate and symmetrical fashion that is consistent across itself, maintaining a constant level of extremely high detail and visual clarity within a persons direct line of visual focus and their peripheral vision. This maintains itself no matter how closely you attempt to look at the distortion.
As these repeating textures are generated they begin to give rise to a huge array of abstract forms, imagery, geometry and patterns that are embedded within and across the symmetry. Something that is universally interpreted as profoundly complex to perceive and physically beyond normal geometry in an indescribable way.
More examples: Here.
Scenery slicing is a fairly uncommon visual but appears across multiple people and regularly enough to make it worth mentioning. This effect only occurs spontaneously and makes the visual field appear as if it has been cut remarkably cleanly into separate slices with some sort of razor blade. These separate slices then proceed to drift slowly away from their original position and can be as simple as 3 separate sections or as complex as multiple slices of a moving interlocking spiral that’s been cut into your field of vision.
More examples: here.
The third category of visual effects found within the psychedelic experience is known as visual geometry. They can be defined as the experience of complex moving geometric forms and are manifested in a wide variety of ways…
Visual geometry is the sensation of a person’s field of open and closed eye vision being partially or completely encompassed by fast-moving kaleidoscopic and indescribably complex geometric patterns, form constants, shapes, fractals, structures and colour.
Visual geometry never stands still at any point and are often extremely fast changing and self transforming in terms of their shape and style within themselves. This happens whilst they are naturally drifting laterally or radially across the visual field to create overlapping webs of many arising and decaying geometric patterns, all of which are visible within a single perceptual frame.
When experienced, every single frame of visual geometry somehow has a deep sense of profoundness and importance attributed to it, often feeling as if they are perfectly fitting geometric representations of your current mind state. There are 7 different levels of psychedelic visuals, each one increasingly dramatic and incomprehensible.
- Visual Noise – This is the most basic level of visual geometry and can be experienced in a completely sober state. It can be described as the visual noise or static combined with random light and dark red regions that can be seen under the eye lids.
- Motion and Colour – This level is also easily obtainable without psychedelics and can be described as the appearance of unstructured regions of fleeting flashes and clouds of colour.
- Partially Defined Geometry - This is the level where things start to get distinctively psychedelic and complex indescribable shapes and patterns begin to show themselves. At this level however the patterns can be described as strictly 2-Dimensional. They are fine, small and zoomed out in size with a dark colour palette that limits itself to a couple of different shades such as black and dark purples.
They are displayed on both the open and closed eye visual field across a flat veil of geometry but significantly more detailed with the eyes closed or in dark environments.
- Fully Defined Geometry – This is the level where the detail in which the geometry displays itself becomes profoundly complex but remains strictly 2-Dimensional. At this point the visuals become large in size and extremely intricate in detail with a colour palette that is limitless in its possibilities.
They are displayed on both the open and closed eye visual field across a flat veil of geometry that floats directly in front of the eyes, remaining significantly more detailed with the eyes closed or in dark environments.
- 3-Dimensional Geometry – At level 4 the geometry will become fully three dimensional in their shape and position across the visual field. This adds a whole new layer of visual complexity and leaves them sprawled out across the surfaces, walls, objects and furniture of your environment instead of displaying themselves across a basic and flat veil.
- Overriding Physical Perception – This is the point at which the geometry has become so intense, vivid and bright that it has begun to block out and replace the external world. At level 6 the environment begins to be replaced by visuals, with objects and scenery transforming into sprawling masses of geometry. As this increases the environment eventually becomes completely replaced. Giving the sensation that you are breaking through into another reality.
- Level 7A and Level 7B - Once the geometry reaches its seventh and final level, there is not one singular pinnacle of the psychedelic experience but two. It seems that depending on subtle environmental factors and the psychedelic consumed, visuals are capable of forking off into two separate versions of their highest possible level. The deciding factor between the two options are not yet known but it appears to be almost completely random, meaning that level 7 visuals will have to be separated into two distinct categories of equal intensity.
These will be known as level 7A and 7B. Once visual geometry reaches level 7A or B, they begin to become structured and organized in a way that that presents genuine information to its tripper far beyond the preceding six levels. This is done through the experience of innately understood geometric representations that feel as though they depict specific concepts and neurological components that exist within the brain. This is done in such a way that the concepts can be seen embedded within your closed or open eye visual field whilst simultaneously felt through complex physical sensations along side this.
7A - Exposure to entirety of neurological structure - This level occurs when the environment has been completely replaced with visuals. As they reach their highest possible level, the mind feels as if every point within the brain has become completely interconnected with every other point. This feels as if you are being visually and physically exposed to every single internally stored concept, memory and neurological structure of the sub conscious mind all at one. Leaving the tripper under the literal sensation of experiencing everything within the universe simultaneously Something that can be described as an infinite sea of geometry, concepts, structures, memories and fractals that is always perceived to contain within it, all of existence, all that there ever was and all that there ever will be.
This vast ocean of mind is not just seen in front of the eyes but physically felt in an incomprehensible level of detail throughout every point across itself. The experience is immediately perceived to be the “entire universe”, or at least “everything” by everybody who undergoes it.
At it’s lower levels this effect is something which fluctuates wildly, pulling trippers in and out of the room in a fashion that many find extremely disorientating. Instead of remaining constant and static it is triggered by the experience of a concept. For example if somebody were to say the word “internet” to a person who is currently in this state, they would see the minds concept of the internet immediately manifested in a perfectly fitting geometric form amidst the very centre of the visual geometry. This form quickly branches out from itself like some sort of ineffable spider diagram, enveloping the concepts which you associate with the internet and then branching out to include the concepts you associate with those. This spreads out exponentially and within 2 - 3 seconds, quickly grows in a sudden flash to include every single stored concept within the entire universe. Completely disconnecting the tripper from their external environment before re-stacking them back into the room, until something triggers the process again, usually immediately. Snapping trippers in and out of the room repeatedly as the process is triggered continuously.
It can to a certain extent however, be held at bay through continuous physical movement, stopping the process from branching out into everything by not giving it the time it needs to lock onto a concept.
As dosage is increased however the process becomes easier and easier to trigger whilst extending in length and duration. Eventually resulting in a stable state of complete disconnection from the external environment and a lasting sense of oneness with the universe.
7B - Exposure to inner mechanics of human consciousness -
This level can be described as the profound feeling of becoming completely detached from the external environment and falling into a place that is universally interpreted by anybody who undergoes the experience as “the inner workings of the universe”. This is a place that feels as if you have literally entered the very inner mechanics of reality or the very source of existence itself, with the underlying programming of the universe and the true nature of our consciousness presenting itself itself to the tripper in an array of geometric forms.
It can be broken down into two basic sub levels.
Becoming the inner mechanics of the conscious mind,
At the lower end of level 7B visuals, the experience manifests itself as becoming and being able to feel and see the organization and structure of your current thought stream. This is presented to trippers in the form of a fast moving and infinite web or network of condensed visual geometry that branches off of itself in a level of organization and intricacy far beyond any possible arrangement that could be experienced within the external physical world.
The ever shifting network follows the pace and rhythm of your internal dialogue perfectly. This creates and manifests new connections in a way that is both physically felt through a powerful sensation and seen embedded within your visual field every time any piece of new insight or knowledge is gained.
This vast network of visuals that represents a persons thought stream, contains within it, innately understood and thought stream relevant, geometric representations of specific and abstract concepts embedded into each and every one of the connecting points across itself. The experience of these innately readable geometric representations triggers the mind’s eye to envision the concept perfectly on an internal visual field which exists separately from this one.
Becoming the inner mechanics of the subconscious mind,
At the higher end of level 6B visuals, the experience manifests itself as a new found and consistent ability to physically feel, see and become one with the architecture of the subconscious mind. This is presented to trippers in the form of extremely vast and complex, self transforming geometric mechanisms which are immediately interpreted by anybody who undergoes the experience as the inner workings of the universe or reality.
This state is capable of bestowing specific pieces of information onto trippers regarding the nature of reality and human consciousness through the simple experience of them. These specific pieces of information are always immediately felt and understood to be a profound unveiling of an undeniable truth at the time, but usually found to be ineffable afterwards; due to the limitations of human English, or nonsensical due to the disorientation of the accompanying cognitive effects.
Occasionally however, genuine lessons or coherent messages are innately interpreted through the experience of becoming and descending down into the subconscious faculties of the brain. It’s extremely important to note however that the scientific validity of these lessons are very uncertain and should never be immediately accepted as fact without an extremely thorough and sober analysis.
Below are a collection of examples that could be considered somewhat accurate, how ever the vastness and complexity of true psychedelic geometry is impossibly more intricate, meaning that in reality no physical image could even come remotely close to the real experience.
Click the image below for a large gallery of examples of visual geometry that have been sourced from psychedelic art across the internet.
Click the image below and to the left for a large gallery of anthropological examples of psychedelic visuals. The Shipibo people are a large tribe in the amazon rain forest whose culture is heavily involved with ritualized ayahuasca use. These textiles patterns are deliberately made by the Shipibos as artifacts of ayahuasca hallucination, capturing the specific styles of repeating forms better than most modern psychedelic artwork.
Another extremely common component within visual geometry are fractals. These are a concept that exists within mathematics and can be described as complex patterns that repeat infinitely into themselves allowing for the same self similar image to be found no matter how far you zoom into any part of the image. Below is a collection of psychedelic fractals similar in appearance to those found with visual geometry. Click the image below to open up a gallery of examples.
More Examples: Here.
The fourth sensory effect is perhaps the most profound subjective sensory effect that the psychedelic experience has to offer. Hallucinatory states are the fourth and final category of psychedelic visual effects. They are extremely varied in their intensity but eventually become full on 3D scenarios that feel completely realistic. They are manifested in a wide variety of ways…
Hallucinatory states, begin at lower doses as imagery embedded within visual geometry. These can be described as spontaneous moving or still scenes, objects, people, animals, concepts, places or anything you could possibly imagine. They are often formed out of visuals themselves and are displayed in varying levels of detail ranging from “cartoonish” in nature to completely realistic, rarely holding form for more than a few seconds before fading or shifting into another image.
On certain psychedelics, the imagery is manifested as an exact visual representation of whatever you are currently thinking about in your minds eye, turning abstract ideas into a concrete images and remaining consistently limitless in its abilities. This is an experience which is also found by some people during hypnagogia (the state between awake and sleep) and is known by the scientific community as “auto-symbolism”.
Psychedelic transformations are essentially open eye imagery. They are progressive in nature, which means they form by arising from patterns or objects, and then over a period of seconds by drifting, smoothing or locking into an entirely new appearance of still or animated objects, people, animals, concepts, places or anything you could possibly imagine. This is greatly enhanced and fuelled by the separate visual effect of enhanced pattern recognition. Causing vague stimuli which already look vaguely like abstract concepts thanks to our inbuilt sense of paredolia to transform into extremely detailed versions of what they were already perceived as.
The process of smoothing or locking which transformations seem to be generated through, requires some minimal amount of focus and concentration to sustain. Losing concentration for an instant can cause the image to fade away or shift into another image. Holding the eyes still will increase intensity of the progressive transformation.
As these states of imagery become increasingly elaborate (proportional to dosage), they eventually become all encompassing fully-fledged 3D hallucinations. These could be anything but generally fall under common archetypes such as induced mystical states, contact with autonomous entities, imagined landscapes, spirit dimensions and situations that seem so unlike anything previously experienced that they are in all probability untranslatable into English. Hallucinations are often described to feel transcendental, mystical, spiritual and religious in nature regardless of the trippers theistic beliefs. It is also not uncommon for people to report that psychedelic hallucinations feel infinitely “realer” than anything the person has previously experienced throughout sober living.
This particular state can be broken down into 4 different components…
Autonomous entities - Contact with autonomous entities are very common, these entities generally appear to be the inhabitants of a perceived independent reality. They are expectant of your appearance and enjoy interacting with you in various ways. The behaviour of a typical entity is one of a loving kind intelligence, teacher or healer that simply wants to show you their dimensional space, bestowing specific pieces of knowledge upon you as quickly as possible before you begin to come down or slip into another hallucination. Once the comedown inevitably begins to happen they are genuinely saddened by your disappearance, often wave goodbye and encourage you to visit more often.
Entities can literally take any form but common subconscious Jungian archetypes are definitely present, these include:
bodiless super intelligent humanoids, aliens, elves, giant spheres, insectoids, beings of light, plants, robotic machines, gods, goddesses, demons, human beings and others.
These entities and creatures communicate with trippers via a combination of telepathy, visual linguistics, mathematics and morphing coloured structures of different textures. This complex visual language is capable of expressing pure meaning and concepts in a way that our current system of labelling concepts with small mouth noises will never be able to become close to matching.
Below is a collection of representations of psychedelic entities found depicted by various artists across the internet. Click the image to open up a larger gallery of examples.
Landscapes, sceneries and settings - An intrinsic component of high level hallucinatory states is the experience of extremely detailed imagined landscapes, settings and scenery’s of infinite variety. These are manifested spontaneously, surrounding the tripper and acting as the setting in which the plot of the trip trip occurs. At other points they act as something which is flown over but are also often experienced through the act of autonomous entities directly manipulating what you can see and view; intentionally propelling trippers in different directions at disorienting speeds, forcing them to view or pass directly through macro and microscopic scale settings, including both previously experienced landscapes and previously unexperienced landscapes.
These commonly include :
planetary systems, galaxies, quasars, jungles, rain forests, cities, natural environments, space habitats, vast structures, civilizations, technological utopias, ruins, machinescapes, neurons, DNA, atoms, molecules and mitochondria.
Concepts - this particular component of hallucinatory states is extremely common throughout typical psychedelic imagery. It can be described as the visual experience of an infinite array of internally stored concepts that can include both everyday objects, subjective concepts, previously unexperienced concepts and impossible mixtures of each three.
At lower levels they are manifested as spontaneous imagery but at higher levels they become embedded as objects within the scenery or as objects which are presented to you by autonomous entities.
These concepts commonly include :
everyday objects, living things, plants, animals, insects, architecture, structures, shapes, atoms, molecules, complex mathematical formulae/concepts, linguistic concepts, mechanisms, technology, machine creatures, self replicating machines, people, faces, eyes, body parts, organs, food, cultural references, fictional characters, logos, religious symbolism, creatures, monsters, demons, mythology, furniture and others.
In terms of their general stylistic appearance they can range from concepts and objects which are stylized and comprised of a condensed visual geometry based material or they can be completely solid and realistic in how they look.
It’s worth noting that the hallucinatory experience of concepts which contain writing such as imagined books, documents, street signs, websites or floating text are usually represent through blurred, fuzzy or alien symbols. However, they are still occasionally capable of containing coherent, english and readable messages at high enough levels but will always reset, change or simply disappear if a person attempts to read over them twice or double take. This is consistent with the way that text is reported to behave within dreams by the lucid dreaming community.
Scenarios and plots - Each of the above components are randomly shuffled and spliced into any of the infinite possible plots which are capable of being experienced under the influence of high dose psychedelics. These are difficult to define but can be broken down into extremely basic archetypes which generally entail visiting some sort of alternate reality or a number of them which contain within them, interactive multiple or lone autonomous entities among an organized array of concepts and objects depending on the specific plot.
The plots can be linear but they can also be completely nonsensical.
In terms of the perspective in which they are perceived through hallucinations can be experienced in 4 different forms.
- 1st person - this is the most common form of hallucination and can be described as the perfectly normal experience of perceiving the hallucination from the perspective of the self.
- 2nd person - this can be described as the experience of perceiving the hallucination from the perspective of an external source of consciousness such as another persons life, an animal, an inanimate object or perhaps some sort of entity.
- 3rd person - this is essentially an out of body experience and can be described as the experience of perceiving the hallucination from a perspective which is floating above, below, behind or in front of the trippers physical body.
- 4th person - this is particularly rare but entirely possible and can be described as the experience of perceiving the hallucination from the perspective of multiple vantage points and occasionally, infinite amounts of alternate lives.
In terms of the amount of time in which they are experienced, hallucinatory plots and scenarios usually feel as if they are being experienced in real time. This means that when 20 seconds have been felt to have passed within the hallucination, the exact same amount of time will have passed in the real world.
At other points however distortions of time can make themselves present, resulting in plots and scenarios that can feel as if they literally last days, weeks, months, years or even infinitely long periods of time. When this does happen however it is not felt as if thousands of years of experience have literally been undergone within 15 minutes of real world time but as if the memory or feeling of thousands of years having passed is formed after the experience itself and not during.
As for the content of these hallucinatory plots and scenarios, they can contain experiences so unlike anything contained within the real world that they are completely untranslatable into human english but they can also contain previously experienced memories from any point in a persons life that feel truly identical to what really happened. These memory replays are often long forgotten scenes from childhood, people who have not been seen or even thought about in years and the visitation of important buildings, places and settings throughout a persons life. At other points however the content of these hallucinations can be somewhere in between a memory replay and completely new experience, containing aspects of real life but easily deviating far from the original plot of what actually happened.
The above effects can be broken down into 5 simple levels,
- Enhancement of mental visualization - The lowest level of hallucination can be described as a powerful enhancement of a persons ability to mentally visualize concepts. This internal visualization feels like one extremely vivid day dream after the other and follows a persons thought stream in a way that can be seen at a moderate level of detail, but only within the minds eye.
- Partially hallucinations - This level of hallucination generally consists of movement in the peripheral vision and ill defined, faded imagery within the visuals as well as transformations or false sightings within the peripheral vision which disappear as soon as a person double takes.
- Fully defined hallucinations - As the vividness and intensity increases, the imagery eventually becomes fully defined in their appearance and within the trippers direct line of sight.Transformations will also manifest themselves as fully detailed and within a persons direct line of sight.
- Partially defined breakthroughs - These begin with random flashes of spontaneous psychedelic scenarios. These are capable of becoming fully grounded and long lasting but are not completely defined in their appearance. Often displaying themselves as partially to completely blurred and transparent with the trippers physical body still feeling at least partially connected to the real world.
- Fully defined breakthroughs - Once the hallucinations become sufficiently elaborate they eventually become all encompassing. Eventually increasing to permanent, ever shifting alternate realities which appear completely realistic, extremely detailed and highly vivid in the way they look along with a complete disconnection from the physical body.
Miscellaneous, Unique and Rare visual effects:
Although there are many universally experienced visual components of a psychedelic experience, you should not allow this guide to give you preconceived notions for two separate reasons. The first reason is that although these descriptions have been carefully worded and extremely thought out, text and images they will never come close to the real experience, the real thing is incomprehensible, logic defying and impossible to translate into two dimensional images and words. The unenglishable factor is one of the few things that all psychonauts can all agree on when it comes to the psychedelic experience.
The second reason is that the psychedelic experience is still a subjective experience and not by any means confined and limited to these visual components. As spontaneous visual effects which are not described anywhere within this article will manifest themselves into trips on the odd occasion. These effects can be anything and usually occur at higher doses. Unique visual effects are completely personal to you and something that nobody else on the planet has ever seen before or will ever likely get to experience again. So remember, do not limit your perception to the components described above, because there is more to the psychedelic experience than words can ever say.
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The cognitive components of a psychedelic experience.