Film: Kodak Portra 400
Camera: Zeiss Ikon ZM
So I debated for a long time if I should be honest with this post and tell the real story behind these images or if I should just post them as random photos with no context or background as I do with some posts. In the end I decided that I'm going to tell the real story behind these photos, just not in tooo much personal detail, but I'll be honest about it because that's what real people do. The issue/dilemma I had was that these photos and the story behind them are related to what our society has deemed 'illegal drugs' and by being honest with this post I would be admitting to taking these 'illegal drugs'. Which is what I'm doing. So here it is..
A friend of mine had never tried psychedelics before and asked if I wanted to try some LSD with him. I had tried it plenty of times before, mostly at festivals and DJ gigs and always had a good time, saw some cool visuals and really never felt or saw any downside besides the momentary guilt/shame of having taken 'illegal drugs'...which would soon pass of course, once I remembered how much fun I had. Apparently this LSD he gotten was from a trusted source and was in a sugar cube form and was promised to be 'special', just for him to have a good, epic trip. I had heard of psychedelics in high doses being a lot different from the low 'party' dose that people usually take and I had heard a lot about how people had spiritual experiences and hallucinations etc. I had never experienced that though and I wondered if this time I would..
On the way to his apartment that day, I walked out of the train station and saw the scene which is the first photo in this post. Immediately I pulled my camera out and snapped this guy standing against a wall with "What do you really need?" written on it. Pretty cool I thought at first. Then I thought about it more as I walked to his place smiling and thinking to myself... "Could this be the universe talking to me? Setting me up for this trip? A sign of what's to come? Naah, you're tripping man." Looking back on this photo now though, it feels like the universe really was talking to me.
I got to his apartment, ate the LSD-laced sugar cube and waited. I started feeling super weird and a bit queasy, which is normal when you take psychedelics. I was sitting on the couch watching a documentary but I couldn't stop looking out the window. The blinds were half down and the sun was creeping in really strong. It looked really cool so I took out my camera and snapped a photo of it..which is the second photo in this post. As soon as I clicked the shutter on the camera...the LSD kicked straight in, super hard! I opened the sliding door, and went and sat on a chair on the balcony. The apartment is up pretty high and has an amazing view of Melbourne, which was perfect.
(So this is where it's going to get a bit weird haha, you can believe me or not, think I'm crazy or not, or you can continue reading and trust what I'm saying is the truth and try keep an open mind.)
So basically when I was sitting on the balcony looking out at the view..it was almost as if everything I could see was in super-super-super high definition 4D. Everything out there, from the clouds to the birds, people, cars, bugs, leaves on the trees...everything....I could feel it's life. I could feel the life in everything I could see...in my heart, and it was so amazing that I was actually so overwhelmed that I just sat slumped in the chair..shocked. I almost wanted to cry, that's how beautiful this scene was at that moment. I had never experienced anything like it ever. It was pure life and pure love..I can't really think of any other way to explain it.
It got to a point that it was too much, I went back inside and sat down on the couch. At this point I felt like some kind of portal opened up in the left side of my vision and I would enter it and exit it periodically. Every time I would 'enter', it would feel like an eternity that I was in there...but every time I 'exited', my friend who was sober would tell me that only a minute or two had passed. Inside this portal, it felt like time didn't exist and reality didn't exist. It literally felt like another dimension. I was scared to go too deep into it as I felt like I would never come out of it, but couldn't resist seeing what was on the other side.
The whole time there was this weird whistling sound and a 'crackling' sound I could hear..no idea where this was coming from but I read later from other people's psychedelic trips that it's a common thing to hear while tripping. My interpretation of the sound is that when you take psychedelics, your mind...or soul maybe, actually gets pulled into another dimension and those sounds are related to that.
I won't go into too much detail of what I saw or felt over the next few hours (LSD trips are supposed to last 12 hours) but to sum it up, I basically felt like I went to hell at one point...met a demon/devil (which I now interpret as my own inner demons or issues), refused to follow this demon and went to some kind of 'heaven' and felt pure goodness, love and happiness. Then lost my mind and all concept of time in this dimension..somehow found my mind again...put it back together and got out, back to normal. I know it sounds crazy and to some people ridiculous but that's how it went down.
I knew that the trip would calm down at some point and of course it did in time. Once I was a bit more normal, we went for a walk around the city on the advice of a good friend who had a lot of experience with psychedelics...and that was a whole other journey. I can't remember everything but what I do remember was that everyone I would walk past, I could see colours in their face, above them and around them..which I believe was their auras. Also..even more crazy and potentially terrifying was that everyone's face would morph from a happy face to an angry face..some more happy and some more angry. I interpreted this as..maybe I could see their inner good or inner evil/demons. As crazy as that was, I didn't find it scary, I just quietly observed and tried to process what was happening. At one point I even saw a guy, who I'm assuming was going to a dress up party, dressed up as Hunter S. Thompson and I swear he smiled at me! If you know who that is, you can understand the humour in that haha. Not sure if he was real or not...but it was perfect.
Eventually it all wore off and my friend and I chilled for a long time, discussing what had happened, what we saw and what to make of it all. Strange thing is, we actually saw mostly the same thing during our trip..which is crazy to think about. I felt like I had been on an epic journey for days and was physically and mentally exhausted. I had also forgotten about that first "What do you really need?" photo I had taken but a lot of our conversation that night was related to that question. We had a serious 'D&M' and spoke about life, our lives and sort of reflected on how we were living and what really matters in the grand scheme of things. I can completely understand the ideas behind the hippie movement of the 1960's now and I really agree with most of them too. As cheesy as it sounds, I really felt like that trip changed me and made me understand humanity, love and care more. I felt an empathy for the world and for the first time ever, I really felt like we were all in it together and all needed to help eachother. For weeks after that trip I was super calm and peaceful, really happy and appreciated everything.
The next 3 photos in this post I took over the next two days after the trip. I would stand on my balcony for so long, just admiring the view and looked at it with such an appreciation that I had never felt before. Everything felt new and fascinating. That trip was the most terrifying thing I have ever done but I'm so glad I did it, as I really believe it's changed me for the better. I'm not saying you should go out and drop acid and it's going to change your life though! It might be a nightmare and you could have a terrible time. I'm just being honest and telling you my personal experience with it and how I feel about it.
I feel like certain substances, mostly psychedelics, are truly conscious expanding tools with massive benefits but have been demonised by society and labelled as 'illegal drugs'. I'm not with that and I don't like that substances like LSD are lumped into the same category as negative substances like Meth and Heroin. I'm not super articulate at expressing this but I read a quote recently from British author, journalist and modern day Indiana Jones, Mr. Graham Hancock, that summed it up perfectly...
"The list of freedoms we enjoy today that were not enjoyed by our ancestors is indeed a long and impressive one. It is therefore exceedingly strange that Western civilization in the 21st century enjoys no real freedom of consciousness.
There can be no more intimate and elemental part of the individual than his or her own consciousness. At the deepest level, our consciousness is what we are – to the extent that if we are not sovereign over our own consciousness, then we cannot in any meaningful sense be sovereign over anything else either. So it has to be highly significant that, far from encouraging freedom of consciousness, our societies in fact violently deny our right to sovereignty in this intensely personal area and have effectively outlawed all states of consciousness other than those on a very narrowly defined and officially approved list. The war on drugs has thus unexpectedly succeeded in engineering a stark reversal of the true direction of Western history by empowering faceless bureaucratic authorities to send armed agents to break into our homes, arrest us, throw us into prison, and deprive us of our income and reputation simply because we wish to explore the sometimes radical, though always temporary, alterations in our own consciousness that drugs facilitate.
Other than being against arbitrary rules that the state has imposed on us, personal drug use by adults is not a crime in any true moral or ethical sense and usually takes place in the privacy of our own homes where it cannot possibly do any harm to others. For some, it is a simple lifestyle choice. For others, particularly where the psychedelics such as LSD, psilocybin, and DMT are concerned, it is a means to make contact with alternate realms and parallel dimensions, and perhaps even with the divine. For some, drugs are an aid to creativity and focused mental effort. For others, they are a means to tune out for a while from everyday cares and worries. But in all cases, it seems probable that the drive to alter consciousness, from which all drug use stems, has deep genetic roots."
(http://grahamhancock.com/hancockg14/) If you want to read more..
So summing up this long post... It was an amazing, beautiful, terrifying, crazy and life changing trip. At the end of it all, it simply made me want to be a good person and to spread that goodness to everyone I know and everyone I meet. Positive vibes only. That's the motto now.
Also, I'm not trying to encourage anyone to try LSD or any other drugs. I just encourage everyone to keep an open mind and do some research on substances like LSD, Psilocybin Mushrooms and DMT...it might suprise you.
Check out this video if you have time too. Really thought provoking.