|Some models of consciousnes|
During the past two weeks, I have taken psilocybin tea twice, and both times I was taken on a shamanic journey the likes of which I haven’t experienced in years. Each trip had a distinctive character, consistent with two of the higher levels of consciousness posited by Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson in their , which I describe in more detail below.
Trip 1: Walking With the Immortals
For the first trip I drank three cups of psilocybin tea, which hit me quite hard, probably because I haven’t used these sorts of psychedelics in a very long time. There was considerable nausea, and I was knocked on my ass for what seemed like hours, but at some point I got into a zone that I have found best described by Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson’s Eight Circuit Model of Consciousness – level 7 of which is:
The Collective Neurogenetic Circuit: This is activated by by regular doses of LSD (200-500 µg), higher doses of peyote, higher doses of psilocybin mushrooms, yoga and meditation. It processes DNA-RNA-brain feedback systems and is ‘collective’ in that it contains and has access to the whole evolutionary ‘script’, past and future. Experience of this circuit is numinous, ‘mystical,’ mind-shattering; here dwell the archetypes of Jung’s Collective Unconscious – Gods, Godesses, Demons, Hairy Dwarfs and other personifications of the DNA programs (instincts) that govern us.
I wish had written more during this state, but all I have is this:
“I am in a rare shamanic state of mind tonight. I feel like I am walking with the immortals. This is the place where empires take shape in the mind, and whole ages are imagined. Before you die, I hope you get such a taste of immortality.”
It did feel like I was connected to a timeless place where myths are real, some archetypal realm which shamans and prophets access in order to bring inspiration and guidance to their tribes. However, I can’t say that I received any great new mythical insights myself, only the sense that this is where they come from, and that psilocybin is a doorway into that world.
Trip 2: Choosing a New Reality Tunnel
My second experience with psilocybin was even more powerful. I took less, only about one and a half cups of tea instead of three, which seemed to make the experience more pleasant and, for lack of a better word, productive. During this trip my partner and I were both possessed by a kind of revelation – the revelation of the power of plants – and together we began radically transforming our reality tunnel. For several hours, we totally redecorated the house, removing the old, dark gothic motif and replacing it with a much cleaner, more natural “zen-shaman” style. I became totally obsessed with cleaning and “Zennifying”, and managed to clear most of the house of piles of junk that had been accumulating during my previous, rather morbid and depressed reality tunnel. We realized to our horror that the house didn’t have a single plant, so we cut some branches and vines from property and placed them in pots. This process has continued today, as we continue our total housecleaning, greening and spiritual makeover. It feels as though a new magical chapter has begun, and the old one has been discarded. We’ll see if the changes are lasting, or merely the ephemeral product of psilocybin-fueled mania.
This experience is clearly what Leary called sixth level consciousness, or the “meta-programming circuit”.
The Meta-Programming Circuit: This is activated by very advanced yogas, low-to-moderate doses of LSD (50-150 µg), moderate doses of peyote, and psilocybin mushrooms. It consists, in modern terms, of cybernetic consciousness, reprogramming and reimprinting all other circuits, even reprogramming itself, making possible conscious choice between alternative universes or reality tunnels.
In this circuit, one is able to do what, according to Terence McKenna, only shamans and psychos do, which is to create their own reality. The ability to consciously select one’s reality tunnel must one of the most powerful forms of magic (or meta-magic) available to human minds.
So it seems there is only one higher circuit left for me to experience: The quantum, non-local circuit of extraterrestrial contact and astral travel. Interestingly, I had been thinking to myself for several weeks that I would like to investigate precisely those realms and have those experiences, before becoming consciously aware of the Eight Circuit Model. So my next psychonautic destination seems predestined: Quantum consciousness, here I come!