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Observations placeholder

Arthur, James D - 07 The ego death



Type of Spiritual Experience


It didn't happen - the ego death - because he lost courage, but it is a good description of the lead in


A description of the experience

Salvia Divinorum – J D Arthur

After returning to normal awareness, I noticed that the effects of salvia would linger for about an hour. This was, at the time, another interesting development. In the past, after a hallucinogenic experience such as LSD, the 'after-glow" state was a very enjoyable transition. Everything appeared in a new and meaningful light that one would endeavour to savour and prolong.

Salvia, on the other hand, was a different experience for me. The ordinary world was a relief. After the induced 'madness" of salvia, the mundane elements of normal life were a restful balm. It was as if the salviaic experience was so disturbing, at such a depth, that any distraction was welcome and refreshing.

Although this characterization of the salvia experience can appear to weigh heavily on the negative side, there was, at the same time, a growing excitement fuelled by the all-encompassing reality of the experience. I'd never come across anything like this before.

The short time that one is actually in the salvaic state is, in the beginning at least, a merciful benefit. I remember thinking, at the time, that if the experience lasted much longer, the prolonged intensity would be psychologically devastating..

The more I entered this state, the more I was becoming familiar with this terrifying foreignness…. At the same time, I was beginning to adapt to the state that had been foreign initially.  I was beginning to let go.  The fear that I was losing my mind, in my first experiences with salvia, had loosened its grip a bit.  I was unconsciously becoming more willing to relinquish, for a few moments, the fierce clinging to the psychological framework that defines and stabilises the world.

The source of the experience

Arthur, James D

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Salvia divinorum