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Observations placeholder

T J Logan



Type of Spiritual Experience


I was tempted to suggest that a glass of my dad's home brewed elderberry wine did much the same thing and it probably tasted a lot nicer, but ho hum I won't.  A lot of words for not much effect.


A description of the experience

From Laughing gas – nitrous oxide – edited by Michael Shedlin and David Wallechinsky
The effects of nitrous oxide – T J Logan

I first inhaled laughing gas on the 16th of August 1968, while visiting some friends in Berkeley. The couple at whose home I was staying extolled the virtues of the gas for hours in an attempt to overcome my reluctance to take anything chemical into my body. Finally I agreed to try it and my friends put me on a bed between stereo headphones and the sound of Cream playing "Spoonful".

Before trying the gas I had been thinking about the fact that every time I tried a new drug, the change of consciousness scared me at first and made me worry that I wouldn't come down. But I always came down.

For a few seconds after my first Iungful, I thought that the laughing gas wasn't going to effect me. Then I felt a tremendous rush, a tremendous change, and I quickly reached my self-doubt stage. I tried to make things negative, but I couldn't. By the time I realised this, the effects of the gas were already wearing off and I delighted in the revelation that my fears and bummers were self caused and didn't have to happen. I had already understood this intellectually, but feeling it, was an entirely different experience. I realised that the only reason I would be turned off by nitrous oxide and by extension, life, would be by clinging insecurely to my traditional conditioning.

Having gone through all this after the first inhalation, I was free to settle back and enjoy my second and third inhalations. I concentrated on the sound of Cream and found that it became sounds of Cream. Each instrument became clear to me (I had never experienced this before) and at one point I found myself in awe of the beauty of a single note.

Trying it without music, I found that my friends’ voices reverberated when they spoke to me and instead of worrying about this, I enjoyed it. The evening's experience exhilarated me well into the next day and despite the bad moods and tensions of other people who I encountered, all that I could express was happiness and tolerance. A big step had been made in clearing my mind of irrational worries.

I inhaled laughing gas thrice more the following month and each time felt that I had had the happiest experience of my life. I wanted to turn on everyone I knew and everyone I met, but my supply was limited and I was afraid that giving someone just one hit would frustrate them. I decided that if gas was actually harmless, I would like an every ready supply....................

.................As a rule I have found large gas parties to be less enjoyable and less satisfying than taking gas alone or in a small group, but that is the way I feel about large gatherings in general. However, I have had some remarkably positive experiences at gas celebrations of twelve to twenty-five people because communal consciousness can develop and everyone becomes equally your closest friend. The group functions as a single, living organism.

Rather than being aware of it being my turn to fill up balloons, I am aware of being an organ which naturally performs its function in keeping the organism alive. There have been times when I have found myself in a mass of bodies, holding or stroking another body or bodies and being held or stroked by others. I have had no idea which people belonged to which bodies and not only did I not mind this, but I was relieved by it because it banished ego worries and personal relationship conflicts.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Inhaling nitrous oxide