Osmond, Dr Humphry - Another negative adrenochrome experience
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Humphrey Osmond [ from Introduction of The Witnesses – Thomas Hennell]
After the purple red liquid was injected into my right forearm I had a good deal of pain. I did not expect that we would get any results from a preliminary trial and so was not, as far as I can judge, in a state of heightened expectancy. The fact that my blood pressure did not rise suggests I was not unduly tense.
After about ten minutes, while I was lying on the couch looking up at the ceiling, I found that it had changed colour. It seemed that the lighting had become brighter. I asked Abe and Neil if they had noticed anything, but they had not. I looked across the room and it seemed to have changed in some not easily definable way. I wondered if I could have suggested these things to myself. I closed my eyes and a brightly coloured pattern of dots appeared. The colours were not as brilliant as those which I had seen under mescal, but were of the same type. The patterns of dots gradually resolved themselves into fish like shapes. I felt that I was at the bottom of the sea or in an aquarium among a shoal of brilliant fishes. At one moment I concluded that I was a sea anemone in this pool.
Abe and Neil kept pestering me to tell them what was happening, which annoyed me. They brought me a van Gogh self portrait to look at. I have never seen a picture so plastic and alive. Van Gogh gazed at me from the paper, crop headed, with hurt, mad eyes and seemed to be three dimensional. I felt that I could stroke the cloth of his coat and that he might turn around in his frame. Neil showed me the Rorschach cards. Their texture, their bas relief appearance and the strange and amusing shapes which I had never before seen in the cards were extraordinary.
My experiences in the laboratory were, on the whole, pleasant but when I left I found the corridors outside sinister and unfriendly. I wondered what the cracks in the floor meant and why there were so many of them. Once we got out of doors, the hospital buildings, which I know well, seemed sharp and unfamiliar. As we drove through the streets, the houses appeared to have some special meaning, but I couldn’t tell what it was. In one window I saw a lamp burning and I was astonished by its grace and brilliance. I drew my friends’ attention to it, but they were unimpressed.
We reached Abe’s home where I felt cut off from people but not unhappy. I knew that I should be discussing the experience with Abe and his wife but could not be bothered to do so. I felt no special interest in our experiment and had no satisfaction at our success, although I told myself that it was important. Before I got to sleep I noticed that the coloured visions returned when I shut my eyes. Normally I have hypnagogic visions after several minutes in a darkened room when I am tired. I slept well