Masters and Houston - Purple seas and serpentine shapes
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience – Dr Robert Masters and Dr Jean Houston
In the following case study, the subject – a 44 year old author and scholar took 300 micrograms of LSD by intra muscular injection 'the onset of the drug effects was swift and the subject's anxiety wholly or mainly attributable to a lack of time to make gradual adjustment'
“I am a veteran explorer of those depths and labyrinths that are my own self, but for such an immediate and furious onslaught I was not ready. Surging wildly across the surface of my mind – even, as it seemed, across the surface of my brain, a brain now capable of intense sensations – swirled a purple sea, irresistible, angry and teeming with clammy, serpentine shapes that I thought tried to fasten and feed, but then were swept brutally away in the seething, terrible thick liquid. The much too suddenly deluged self reeled and trembled before the force of the tidal wave of whatever atrocious stuff had engulfed it. Unexpectedly assailed by so fierce and monstrous a turbulence, even the most seasoned voyager may come to know a new kind of dread that threatens at any instant to degenerate into panic.
Purple but with throbbing, bulging, vein like masses of green and red and black, I think that sea was; and of the texture of syrup, or of blood that is congealing. Heavy tumultuous seas and thickening, rising to awesome heights – with consciousness tossed as a lifeboat is tossed in a typhoon's onrush.
Capsize seemed immanent and I longed to cry out my terror, to beg for an antidote; yet somewhere in the midst of bewilderment and the fear of being swept away altogether was my pride, which insisted I ride out the storm. I hung onto this pride, once I found it, as if it were the shattered mast of the vessel of myself. Then in the midst of a raging sea of colours I could name, but which were horrible, I saw myself clinging to the mast; and the waters gradually turned black and still; and an eerie silver sun came up; and I knew I was saved