Arthur, James D - 01 Experience
Type of Spiritual Experience
The observation shows two essential aspects of the experience – the first is that salvia does not necessarily cause sedation or loss of touch with the physical world and second that it appears to get you in contact with other ‘beings’ - whether these are bodied souls, disembodied souls or demons or intelligences or just ‘beings’.
The next aspect is that it takes some while before you either get through to these presences or for that matter get beyond experiences that are composer created scenarios – waking dreams in effect. I have come across many users who never get beyond the waking/lucid dream-like state and are constantly presented with scenarios that appear to be manufactured lessons and nothing more…………..
A description of the experience
Salvia Divinorum – J D Arthur
During these trials, I never felt overwhelmed by the experience and never lost touch with consensual reality. I felt that at any point I could open my eyes and stand up, essentially dispelling the visions that were, though palpable, tenuous. One thing, however, seemed a bit different with salvia. From my first experiences, there was a strange, underlying sense of what I can only describe as 'presences." It was as if, on some level, I was not alone.
There seemed to be a surrounding aura of what might be termed "personalness," which was oddly comforting despite its foreignness. At first, it emerged as a feeling of being hurried, as if someone were waiting for me while I held the tincture in my mouth. This was an odd feeling, since there was no reason for haste. I thought that it was perhaps a reaction to timing myself for the duration of the twelve minutes. As time went on, however, it began to feel as if there were actually people awaiting my "arrival." During this time, I never "saw" anyone; rather, my visitors were more in the realm of feeling on a level that was just below the threshold of awareness.............
Smoked salvia was anything but pleasant. The vignettes could range from the mundane to the nauseatingly bizarre. Again there were presences, but more nagging and disorienting.
The visions, in my case, were meaningless, repulsive images from the '40s and '50s. Cartoon characters, crooning trios from the '40s, roller-skating carhops – all made their appearance in a maddening swirl of nonsense. To make matters worse, it became apparent that this was not a controllable situation. I was being sucked into this cacophonous vortex, while trying desperately to hold on to my sanity. Thankfully, the experience was fairly short lived, lasting only four or five minutes, but leaving me with a profound sense of relief that I had escaped this whirl of madness unscathed.
For the first time in my life, I'd felt that my mind was no longer under my command and that the power to control such a state was beyond my grasp. Salvia was unlike any other mind-altering substance I'd ever experienced. Besides its frightening grasp on the mind, it also seemed devoid of the types of emotional richness I'd experienced with hallucinogens in the past. How could absurd visions of roller-skating carhops possibly be of any use for spiritual exploration?
The visions themselves seemed odd, since I had no choice but to conclude that they were images from some deep, unknown region of my own psyche; their arbitrary, cartoonish nature seemed foreign to my own life and actually felt as if they were being "presented" to me, rather than being revealed from within some part of myself.