Monday, 30 June 2014

Three Articles on the Basic Phenomenology of Psychedelic Experience

The Cognitive Components of a Psychedelic Experience

This article attempts to break down the cognitive and behavioural effects contained within the psychedelic experience into simple, easy to understand titles, descriptions and levelling systems. This will be done without depending on metaphors, analogy’s or personal trip reports. The article starts off with descriptions of the simpler effects and works its way up towards more complex experiences as it progresses.
Enhancement of current mind state:
Enhancement of current mind state is a component which alters mood, but unlike many recreational substances does not consistently induce positive and euphoric states regardless of a person’s current state of mind and mental stability. Instead it works by amplifying and enhancing a person’s current state of mind as it is already, causing the effects to be equally capable of going in both a positive and negative direction.
This is often the cause of why people seem to react to hallucinogenic experiences in completely different ways. The unprepared, the insecure and the mentally unstable who undergo a hallucinogenic experience are very likely to become overwhelmed with negative emotions, paranoia and confusion. This is caused by the person’s current negative state becoming greatly amplified above normal levels. On the opposite end of the spectrum, however, positive, prepared and mentally stable people who take the same substance at an identical dosage are very likely to find themselves overwhelmed with states of ecstatic bliss and profound mental revelations.
The external release of pent-up or repressed stress through emotional outburst is also commonly triggered by this effect. This release can take both joyful forms like spontaneous dancing and singing or take distraught forms like crying, sobbing and emotional breakdowns. Once over, however, it leaves the tripper feeling as if an enormous weight has been lifted from their chest.
There is a very clear distinction between substance-induced happiness and genuine happiness. This component does not induce any emotion— it merely deepens and enhances genuine emotions that are already felt separately from the drug.
Acceleration of thought:
Acceleration of thought can be described as the mental process of thought being sped up significantly. When experiencing this effect, it literally feels as if one rapid fire thought after the other is being generated in incredibly quick succession. Not only is the speed of thought increased, but the sharpness of a person’s mental clarity seems to increase alongside it, resulting in an abundance of new and insightful ideas.

Connectivity of thought:
Connectivity of thought can be described as the sensation of a person’s thought patterns becoming characterized by an abstract fluid association of ideas and powerful wandering thoughts which connect deeply into each other. This often feels like a series of tenuously connected daydreams that connect into each other through an abstract game of subconscious word association. It allows the mind to cover all areas of life including not just the big things, but the small things as well. It is a process which leads onto large amounts of introspection and greatly enhanced levels of creative and artistic abilities as it essentially removes creative block by allowing the thoughts to flow free.

Feelings of fascination, importance and awe:
Feelings of fascination, importance and awe attributed to the external environment and everything within it is one of the defining features of many hallucinogenic experiences and can often be very overwhelming. This can manifest itself in a number of ways, but can be described as a newfound child-like sense of wonder which gives the overwhelming impression that everything around you is profound and important— be it nature, the universe or everyday household objects.
It’s this effect that directs people to acknowledge, consider and appreciate the things around them in a profound level of detail which remains unparalleled by experiences throughout normal sober living.
At its highest level, these sensations can become so intense and profound that people begin to feel as if their entire life has been building up to this instant and that nothing will ever be the same again. This is commonly described by people as feeling that “you have been waiting on a train your entire life and only now are you finally getting off of it.” It is a truly overwhelming perspective and is consistently induced during positive states of Level 7A visual geometry.
Time distortion:
Time distortion is an effect that makes the passage of time difficult to keep track of and wildly distorted. It can be felt in two different forms: time expansion and time compression.
The most common of these is time expansion. Time expansion can be described as the feeling that time has completely slowed down. This generally seems to stem from the fact that during an intense hallucinogenic experience, abnormally large amounts of experience are felt in very short periods of time. This creates the illusion that more time has passed than really has. At the highest level of time expansion, it can feel as if the passage of time has stopped completely, which is known as a moment of eternity.
The second form, time compression, is rarer but entirely possible. It can be described as the experience of time speeding up and passing much quicker than it generally should.
Introspection can be defined as the experience of a state of mind which consistently directs one’s thoughts into a deep contemplation and analysis regarding one’s own life, both as a whole and the as the things which comprise it. This gives the person a powerful ability to dissect and rationally analyse problems, allowing them to reach a state of logical resolution and/or personal acceptance regarding past events, the present situation, future possibilities and inner demons. The outcome of which consistently results in an abundance of insightful and often life changing ideas and conclusions pertaining to one’s own personal existence and the various loved ones which they hold close to them.
It is important to note, however, that not everybody is willing to face, resolve and move on from their personal problems as some prefer to ignore and repress them. It is a person’s willingness to face the truth of their own life that is a huge factor in determining whether or not a person is capable of enjoying the experiences which hallucinogens can offer. This is because introspective states bring our insecurities, past regrets and repressed traumas into the very forefront of our consciousness. Fighting these revelations through denial or repression is a very common trigger for negative experiences that could be otherwise avoided.
Outrospection is a subjective effect component which can be considered as the opposite counterpart to introspection. It can be described as the experience of a state of mind which consistently directs one’s thoughts into a deep contemplation and analysis of the exterior world, both as a whole and as the things which comprise it. This results in an abundance of insightful ideas and conclusions with powerful themes pertaining to what is often described as “the bigger picture”. These ideas generally involve (but are not limited to) insight into philosophy, spirituality, society, culture, universal progress, humanity and how all of these things fit together across its history, the present moment and all future possibilities.
Rejuvenation and feelings of extreme refreshment are an almost universal experience in the days or weeks after a positive experience. The hallucinogenic experience can be both mentally and physically invigorating. This rejuvenation can be described as a lasting feeling of mental clarity, increased motivation, calmness, and an appreciation for the very sensation of being.
The effect feels as if the connections within the brain have been somehow restored with the biases of a person’s perspective becoming reset to base level. It is as if the mind has been rebooted and reorganized in a way that fully grounds the revelations of the trip into a person’s world view.
At its highest level, the feelings of rejuvenation can become so intense that they begin to manifest themselves as the profound sensation of being born again. This feeling can last anywhere from weeks to a lifetime after the experience itself.
Deja-vu is a common phrase from the French language which translates literally into “already seen”. This is a well documented phenomenon that can commonly occur throughout both sober living and under the influence of hallucinogens. It can be described as having the strong sensation that the current event or situation has already been experienced at some point within the past when, in fact, it hasn’t.
Certain substances are commonly capable of inducing spontaneous and often prolonged states of mild to intense sensations of deja-vu. This provides trippers with an overwhelming sense that they have “been here before”.
The sensation is accompanied by a false feeling of familiarity with the effects of the substance itself, the current location or setting, the current physical actions being performed, and the situation as a whole.
Deja-Vu is triggered and felt by the tripper despite the fact that they are rationally aware that the circumstances of the “previous” experience (when, where, and how the earlier experience occurred) are uncertain or believed to be impossible.
Mindfulness as a psychological concept is defined as the focusing of attention and awareness based on the concept of mindfulness in Buddhist meditation. The first component of mindfulness involves the self-regulation of attention so that its focus is completely directed towards immediate experience, thereby quietening one’s internal narrative and allowing for increased recognition of mental events in the present moment. The second component involves adopting a particular orientation toward one’s experiences in the present moment, an orientation that is characterized by a lack of judgement, curiosity, openness, and acceptance.
Within meditation this mindstate is deliberately practised and maintained for extended periods of time through the conscious and manual focus of one’s awareness towards a point of focus. In the context of hallucinogens, however, this state is often forcibly induced for extended periods of time without any conscious effort or the need of internally stored knowledge regarding meditative techniques.
Multiple thought streams:
Multiple thought streams can be defined as a state in which one has more than one internal narrative or stream of consciousness occurring within their mind. This can result in any number of conscious thought streams within one’s mind each of which are often controllable in an identical level to that of one’s everyday thought stream. This experience allows one to think about and analyse many different subjects and concepts simultaneously and can be a source of great insight.
Removal of cultural filter:
Removal of cultural filter can be described as the suppression of a geographically determined bias that human beings look through in their every day life. This bias affects our ability to evaluate the world around us in ways that are much more powerful than most people are willing to admit.
It seems that a human being’s perspective on the world is built up out of a complex set of filters which are based upon pre-existing beliefs, past experiences, fears, prejudices, stereotypes, and cultural symbols. This gives us a powerfully consistent and unconscious tendency to notice and assign significance to observations that confirm existing cultural beliefs while filtering out and rationalizing observations that do not confirm existing cultural beliefs. The cultural filter forces us to look at the world, not as a human being, but as a false version of our true selves— be it a conservative Christian mother, a Muslim housewife, an aboriginal tribesman, or a materialistic cynical white middle-class male with a European Christian heritage and atheistic beliefs.
It’s said that we don’t look at things as they are, but instead look at things as we are. The experience of this component, however, seems to completely obliterate this geographically determined bias and shows people that culture is merely a subjective and often delusional perspective— not an objective reality. This experience can create profound changes in perspective that can last a lifetime by making people become who they really are and not what they were raised to be.
Feelings of predeterminism:
Feelings of predeterminism can be defined as the sudden perspective or feeling that all events, including human actions, are established or decided in advance.
This is a perspective that can become spontaneously triggered and felt through an undeniable change in thought processes and an intense set of physical sensations. In terms of how it feels experimentally, the perspective can be described as the sensation of the ego or internal narrative (as an independent decision-making agent) being lifted from your perception of the world and revealed to be illusory. This creates the undeniable sensation that your personal choices, physical actions, current situational perspective, and the very subject matter of your thought stream have always been completely predetermined and out of your control. At this point it becomes clear that these things are not reached through a conscious decision making process or planning of the ego and genuinely never were at any point. Instead they are revealed to have always been a vast and complex set of internally stored, instantly decided, pre-programmed, and completely autonomous electro-chemical responses to received sensory stimuli which one does not have any conscious control over.
Alongside of this, there is also a powerful physical sensation that makes the precise arrangement of the external environment and the objects within it become felt to be the true deciding force in regards to the way in which you physically interact with it. This is done by instantly triggering your responses and decisions towards them through the simple perception of them. This can lead you to feel that, for example, you are not deciding to reach out and grab a relevant object, but the object is triggering you to reach out and grab it because you need to (regardless of whether or not you have put any thought into it).
This experience as a whole is consistently interpreted by anybody who undergoes it as a profound revelation or insight into the illusory nature of free will.
Conceptual thinking:
Conceptual thinking can be described as a forced change in perspective which frees the conscious thought stream from remaining strictly limited to linguistic content such as words and labels. This allows the tripper to think not just in verbal descriptions, but directly in the internally stored concepts that lay behind them.
In terms of how this feels, it can be described as the concepts behind the words and labels of our thought stream undergoing the sensation of becoming cognitively felt at every point across themselves at the same time as the thought of the label or word which we attribute to it. Alongside of this, these concepts also become perceived simultaneously through a partially to fully animated internal visual manifestation.
This experience results in the perceived ability of being able to clearly feel the precise consequences, limitations, and position within this universe of any singular concept. These feelings are consistently interpreted as a “higher level of understanding” and seems to stem from the way in which this perspective reveals human language as intrinsically self-limited through the way in which it demonstrates that words can only act as mere shortcuts to the concepts which they exist to describe.
At lower levels, these states of conceptual thinking can be described as thought stream specific. This means that the concepts which are being felt, seen and “understood” are exclusively relevant to the words which you are currently thinking. These will feel identical in stylistic behaviour whether the concept is arrived at by a simple wandering of thoughts or triggered through the experience of a concept or object perceived within the external environment.
Perhaps the most common example of this which many could relate to would be the experience of looking at a plant of any sort and internally feeling (as well as visually perceiving) everything that you happen to know about plants, photosynthesis, and the evolution of vegetation (no matter how vague or abstract this knowledge might be).
At higher levels, these states of conceptual thinking stop being specific to the words contained within your current thought stream and start becoming all-encompassing towards every last internally stored piece of knowledge the tripper has ever known.
This leads onto feelings which are consistently interpreted as a new-found level of “total and complete understanding” as the consequences, limitations, and position within this universe of every single concept which the tripper previously only knew in terms of its description, becomes felt through a very real, emotionally intuitive, and undeniable perspective.
Perhaps the most common examples of this which those within the psychonaut community can relate to would be the experience of a total and profound understanding regarding (but not limited to) the themes and archetypes listed below:
  • General scientific principles
  • Taking care of your personal health
  • Your position within nature and higher systems of order
  • The consequences of your actions and your responsibility towards them
  • Human civilization as the literal cutting edge of physical complexity
  • Living in balance with nature to the best of your abilities
  • The inevitability of death
  • The sheer unlikeliness of personal existence
It’s through the direct experience of the concepts behind our linguistic knowledge that new life changing perspectives are suddenly felt in an obvious way. These new found viewpoints are rarely considered by the tripper to be the creation of a single new idea or creative insight. Instead, they are nothing more than the integration of previously held knowledge which was already understood intellectually into a system which directly feels them in a newly found physically felt, clearly understandable, and emotionally felt format.
Direct communication with the subconscious:
Direct communication with the subconscious can be generally defined as that of engaging in articulate and meaningful linguistic conversations with a disembodied and separate voice of unknown origin residing within one’s own head.
In a general level of detail, the overall conversational style of that which is discussed between both the voice and its host can be described as essentially identical in terms of its coherency and linguistic intelligibility as that of any other everyday interaction between the self and another human being with which one might engage in conversation with.
There are however some subtle but identifiable differences between this experience and that of normal every day conversations. Each of which stem from the important factor that one’s specific set of knowledge, memories and experiences are identical to that of the voice which is being communicated with. This key factor results in a conversation in which both participants share a noticeably identical personal vocabulary down to the very use of their colloquial slang and subtle mannerisms. Alongside of this it’s important to note that unlike every day conversation, no matter how in depth and detailed the discussion becomes, no entirely new information is ever exchanged between the two conversers. Instead, the discussion focuses primarily on building upon old ideas to an amazing extreme and exchanging profoundly insightful new opinions or perspectives regarding the previously established content of one’s life. These opinions consistently take an approach to any situation which remains devoid of the emotional attachments, biases and irrationality that plague the cognitive decision-making processes of our every day consciousness.
All of this results in a separate consciousness from one’s self which consistently takes on the role of what is perceived to be a spiritual teacher, healer or guide. To aid itself in this goal the voice is often capable of directly manipulating various aspects and intensities of the trip and will either clearly explain the logic behind its decisions or choose to keep it a mystery.
As a whole, the effect itself can be broken down into 4 distinct levels of progressive intensity, each of which are listed below.
  1. A sensed presence of the other - This level can be defined as the distinctive feeling that another form of consciousness is internally present alongside that of one’s usual sense of self.
  2. Mutually generated internal responses - This level can be defined as internal linguistic responses to one’s own thoughts and feelings which feel as if they are partially generated by one’s own thought stream and in equal measure by that of a separate thought stream.
  3. Separately generated internal responses - This level can be defined as internal linguistic responses to one’s own thoughts and feelings which feel as if they are generated by an entirely separate thought stream from one’s own.
  4. Separately generated audible internal responses - This level can be defined as internal linguistic responses to one’s own thoughts and feelings which are perceived as a clearly defined and audible voice within one’s head. These can take on a variety of voices, accents and dialects but usually sound identical to one’s own spoken voice.
The speaker behind this voice is innately interpreted by those who experience communication with it to be that of one’s subconscious, the substance itself or even supernatural concepts such as god, spirits, souls and ancestors.
Ego suppression, loss and death:
Ego suppression, loss and death is an extremely profound and all-encompassing component. The ego is defined as a human being’s concept or sense of identity, self or “I” as a separate agent from the external environment. It is essentially a person’s consciousness or capacity to be self-aware, as enabled by their ability to recall and maintain a general understanding of their internally stored concept of what is considered to be one’s own self.
With any hallucinogen, one’s ability to retain, recall, feel and understand concepts such as a personal sense of self and other fundamental notions pertaining to the basics of human existence are partially to completely diminished depending on dosage. This is the result of a progressively all-encompassing state of memory suppression. It is a process which is capable of being broken down into 3 basic levels:
  1. Ego suppression - This is a partial failure of a person’s short term memory. It can be described as a general increase in distractibility, loss of focus and a general sense of difficulty when it comes to processing anything outside of the present moment.
  2. Ego loss - This is the complete failure of a person’s short term memory. It can be described as a person becoming being completely incapable of remembering any specific details regarding the present situation for more than a second or two. This often results in disorientation, thought loops, loss of control and confusion for the inexperienced. Long term memory however remains almost entirely intact as people are still perfectly capable of recollecting their name, date of birth, childhood school, etc.
  3. Ego death - This is a complete failure of a person’s long term memory. Ego death can be described as a total loss of control in which the person becomes completely incapable of remembering even the most basic fundamental human concept stored within the long term memory. This includes your name, who you are, your home town, the fact that you are on drugs, what drugs even are, what human beings are, what life is, what existence is or what anything is. Ego death gives the profound experience that there is no longer an “I” experiencing the intensity of the trip anymore, there is just the trip as it is and by itself.
Personality regression:
Personality regression is an uncommon and spontaneously occurring mental state which often accompanies ego death. It can be described as a mental state in which one suddenly adopts an identical personality, the mannerisms and behaviour of their past selves from a period of their life which has already occurred. This is often capable of making one believe that they are a child again and act appropriately to this belief.
Thought loops:
Thought loops can be described as the experience of becoming trapped within a chain of thoughts, actions and emotions which repeat themselves over and over again in a cyclic loop. They are most likely to occur during states of ego loss and the failure of one’s short term memory. This suggests that thought loops are the result of cognitive processes becoming unable to sustain themselves for appropriate lengths of time due to a lapse in short term memory, resulting in the thought process attempting to restart from the beginning only to fall short once again in a perpetual cycle.
This component can be extremely disorientating and often triggers states of progressive anxiety within the person experiencing them if they are unfamiliar with the experience. The most effective way to end a cycle of thought loops is to simply sit down and try to let go.
Feelings of interdependent opposites:
Feelings of interdependent opposites is a state of mind that often accompanies ego death. It can be described as a powerful sensation in which one sees, understands and physically feels that reality is based on a system in which the existence or identity of all concepts and situations depend on the co-existence of at least two conditions which are opposite to each other, yet dependent on one another by presupposing each other as logically necessary equivalents. This experience is usually felt to provide deep insight into the fundamental nature of reality and results in feelings that concepts such as life and death, up and down, light and dark, good and bad, matter and antimatter, pleasure and suffering, yes and no, being and non-being each exist as states of harmonious and necessary contrast to their opposite force.
Delusions are the experience of spontaneous beliefs held with strong conviction. In the context of hallucinogenic drugs they are temporary perspectives which one may slip into during high dosage experiences. They are most likely to occur during states of ego loss or ego death and not by any means permanent as with schizophrenic delusions but do share many common themes and elements within them. These delusions can be broken out of when appropriate evidence is provided to the contrary or the person has sobered up enough to logically analyse the situation.
Delusions are categorized into four different groups:
  • Bizarre delusion: This is a delusion that is very strange and completely implausible. An example of a bizarre delusion would be that aliens have removed the reporting person’s brain.
  • Non-bizarre delusion: This is a delusion that, though false, is at least possible such as the affected person mistakenly believing that he is under constant police surveillance.
  • Mood-congruent delusion: This is any delusion with content consistent with either a depressive or anxious state. For example, a depressed person may believe that news anchors on television highly disapprove of him or a person in a manic state might believe she is a powerful deity.
  • Mood-neutral delusion: This is a delusion that does not relate to the sufferer’s emotional state. For example, a belief that an extra limb is growing out of the back of one’s head is neutral to either depression or mania.
In addition to these categories, delusions often manifest according to a consistent theme. Although delusions can have any theme, certain themes are more common. Some of the more common delusion themes are:
  • Delusion of control: This is a false belief that another person, group of people, or external force controls one’s general thoughts, feelings, impulses, or behavior.
  • Delusion of death: This is a false belief that one is about to die, is currently dying, does not exist or has already died.
  • Delusion of guilt or sin (or delusion of self-accusation): This is an ungrounded feeling of remorse or guilt of delusional intensity in which one believes that they have committed some sort of unethical act.
  • Delusion of mind being read: This is the false belief that other people can know one’s thoughts.
  • Delusion of thought insertion: This is the belief that another thinks through the mind of the person. This results in the person becoming unable to distinguish between their own thoughts and those inserted into their minds.
  • Delusion of reference: The person falsely believes that insignificant remarks, events, or objects in one’s environment have personal meaning or significance. For example, one may feel that people on television or radio are talking about or talking directly to them.
  • Grandiose religious delusion: This is the belief that the affected person is a god or chosen to act as a god. An individual can become convinced he has special powers, talents, or abilities. Sometimes, the individual may actually believe they are a famous person or character such as Jesus Christ. Alternatively this can occur as a philosophical insight through high level states of unity and interconnectedness in which it is not necessarily a delusion but a debatable metaphysical perspective.
Feelings of unity and interconnectedness:
States of unity and interconnectedness start with a change in perspective which is consistently interpreted as the removal of a deeply embedded and all-encompassing illusion. The destruction of this apparent illusion leads onto feelings that the tripper frequently interprets as some sort of profound “awakening” or “enlightenment”.
Once removed, the illusion feels as though it has always been in place, forcing a person’s perspective of the world into feeling as if their concept of “self”, “I” or “me” with which they identify themselves as is assumed to intrinsically follow two fundamental rules. The first of these rules is that the self is inherently separate from the external environment and could not possibly extend into it. The second is that the self is specifically limited to not even the physical body as a whole, but exclusively a person’s internal narrative and the image of their own personality as built up through social interactions with other people.
The absence of this apparent illusion leads people into feelings which are commonly described as a state of total unity, oneness or interconnectivity between their sense of self and external concepts or systems which were previously perceived as inherently separate from one’s being and identity.
Depending on the degree to which this illusion has been lifted, it can lead onto five possible levels of cognitive intensities of progressively more complex effects. Each of which are perfectly capable of spontaneously sustaining their perspective for weeks, months or even years after the experience itself. These levels can be defined as:
Unity between specific external systems
The lowest and least complex level can be referred to as a state of “unity between specific external systems”. This is the only level of intensity in which the subjective experience of unity does not involve a state of interconnectedness between the self and the external. Instead, it can be described as a perceived sense of unity between two or more systems within the external environment which in every day life, are usually perceived as separate from both the self and each other.
This effect can manifest itself in an endless number of forms but common examples of the experience often include:
  • A sense of unity between specific living things such as animals or plants and their surrounding ecosystems
  • A sense of unity between specific human beings and the objects they are currently interacting with
  • A sense of unity between any number of currently perceivable inanimate objects
  • A sense of unity between humanity and nature
  • A sense of unity between literally any combination of perceivable external systems and concepts
Unity between the self and specific external systems
The second of these two levels can be referred to as a state of “unity between the self and specific external systems”. It can be defined as the experience of a loss of perceived boundaries between a person’s sense of self and the specific physical systems or concepts within the perceivable external environment which are currently comprising the central point of cognitive focus.
This effect can manifest itself in an endless number of forms but common examples of the experience often include:
  • Becoming one with a specific object which you are interacting with
  • Becoming one with a specific person which you interacting with. (particularly common if engaging in sexual or romantic activities)
  • Becoming one with the entirety of your physical body
  • Becoming one with large crowds of people. (particularly common at raves and music festivals)
  • Becoming one with the external environment but not the people within it
  • This creates a sensation which is often described by people as the experience of becoming inextricably connected to, one with, the same as, or unified with whatever the perceived external system happens to be.
Unity between the self and all perceivable external systems
The third of these five differing levels of intensity can be referred to as “a state of unity between the self and all perceivable external systems”. It is defined as the experience of a loss of perceived boundaries between a person’s sense of self and the entirety of the currently perceivable external environment. The experience as a whole is generally described by people as “becoming one with my surroundings”.
This is felt to be the result of a person’s central sense of self becoming attributed to not just the internal narrative of the ego, but in equal measure, to the body itself and everything around it with which it is physically connected to through the senses. Once this sensation is in place, it creates the undeniable perspective that you are the external environment experiencing itself through the specific point within it that this body’s physical sensory awareness and conscious thought happens to currently reside in.
It’s at this level that a key component of the unity experience becomes an extremely noticeable factor. Once a person’s sense of self has become attributed to the entirety of their surroundings, this new perspective completely changes how it feels to physically interact with what was previously felt to be an external environment. For example, when physically interacting with an object in everyday life it feels very simply that you are a central agent organizing the world around itself. However, whilst undergoing a state of unity with the currently perceivable environment, interacting with an external object consistently feel as if the system as a whole is autonomously organizing itself and that you are no longer a central agent operating the process of interaction. Instead the process suddenly feels completely decentralized and mutual across itself as the environment begins to autonomously, mechanically and harmoniously respond to itself to perform the predetermined function of the particular interaction.
Unity between the self and all external systems
The fourth of these five differing levels of intensity can be referred to as a “state of unity between the self and all external systems”. It is defined as the experience of a loss of perceived boundaries between a person’s sense of self, the perceivable external environment, and all which they know to exist outside of this through their internally stored model of reality. This feels as if your sense of self has become attributed to not just the external environment but all of humanity, nature, and the universe as it presently stands in its complete entirety. The experience of this is generally described by people as “becoming one with the universe”.
When experienced, this perspective creates the sudden and undeniable sensation that you are quite literally the entire universe experiencing itself, exploring itself, and performing actions onto itself through the very specific point of space and time which your ego and conscious perception happens to currently reside in. When experienced, this feeling is immediately and universally understood to be an innate and undeniable truth by anybody who undergoes it.
Unity between the self and the creation of all external systems
The fifth and most profound of these five differing levels of intensity can be referred to as a “state of unity between the self and the creation of all external systems”. It is defined as the experience of a loss of perceived boundaries between a person’s sense of self and all external systems of behaviour. This includes not just the systems as they currently stand within the present moment but at each known point of their existence throughout all time lines past, present, and future as dictated by the person’s internally stored model of reality.
When experienced, this feels as if your sense of self has become attributed to all of space and time including every single past and future event such as the initial creation and eventual destruction of existence. It is a perspective which consistently leads onto the innate revelation and sensation that the ‘you’ in terms of your true self (everything) are personally and consciously responsible for the deliberate design and creation of the universe itself.
It’s at this point where some consistently reported interlocking sub-perspectives and innately extrapolated conclusions of a religious and metaphysical nature begin to come into play. These generally include but are not limited to:
  • The sudden and total acceptance of death as a fundamental component of one’s life. This is because death is no longer felt to be the destruction of the self but simply the end of this specific point of conscious awareness, The vast majority of which has always existed and will continue to exist and live on through everything else in which it resides.
  • A perspective which feels personally responsible for the design, planning, and implementation of every single specific detail and plot element of one’s personal life, the history of humanity, and the universe as a whole. This naturally includes personal culpability for humanity’s sufferings and its flaws, but also includes acts of love and our achievements.
  • The religious or spiritual realization that the person’s preconceived notions behind their concept of “god” or “god-hood” can now be felt through a forced change in perspective as identical to the nature of one’s true self. This realization is generally reached through the subconscious conclusion that the usually differing concepts of god-hood and self are both now identically defined as that which is the all-knowing, all-encompassing, all-powerful creator, and sustainer of this existence.

The miscellaneous components of a psychedelic experience

This section of the article attempts to break down the auditory, physical and multisensory effects contained within the psychedelic experience into simple, easy to understand titles, descriptions and leveling systems. This will be done without depending on metaphors, analogy’s or personal trip reports. 
Auditory effects:
Auditory enhancements can be described as the feeling of being extremely aware of all of the sounds around you with an enhanced ability to pinpoint the exact direction from which multiple layers of noise are coming from as sound becomes vastly crisper and clearer than anything felt during normal sober living.
The most interesting manifestation of this component is a greatly enhanced appreciation of music, allowing people to hear songs they’ve listened to their entire life in a level of detail that is simply unparalleled in day to day life. This can be described as every single layer of the music being brought forward and heard with perfect comprehension, to the point where many people feel that you have not fully listened to music until you have heard it under the influence of this effect.
Auditory distortions can manifest themselves in many forms but often take the shape of echoes or murmurs rising in the wake of each sound, accompanied by distorted changes of pitch. These increase proportionally with dosage up until the point where music and sounds are consistently followed by a continuous reverb as sounds begin to bounce at great speeds across the walls of your brain continuously, often leaving the original sound as completely unrecognisable but always resetting to base level and starting over if the noise is stopped or changed.
This effect can be broken down into 3 differing levels of intensity:
  1. Mild - These are subtle and spontaneous reverb, echo effects, and changes in pitch attributed to noises within the external environment. They are fleeting in their manifestation, underwhelming in their intensity, and easy to ignore.
  2. Distinct - These are extremely obvious and spontaneous, but are occasionally consistent reverb, echo effects, and changes in pitch attributed to noises within the external environment. They can be very long and drawn out in their manifestation and loud enough to make them impossible to ignore.
  3. All-encompassing - At this point, the audio distortions become constant in their manifestation and impossible to ignore. The alterations become so complex that the original noise is quickly rendered unrecognisable.
Auditory hallucinations are essentially the heard equivalent of imagery and open-eye transformations. They can be described as spontaneous imaginary noises that are either triggered at complete random or manifested in the place of noises that are subconsciously expected to happen. The most common examples of these are usually experienced as clips of recorded sound, such as imagined music or voices, and an infinite variety of sounds that are stored within the brain.
The most common audio hallucination that people experience are ones of heard memory replays from the previous several hours, commonly manifesting themselves as spontaneous clips of the music that was played and indistinct voices of the people who were spoken too. These are usually heard repeatedly over the course of several hours after the consumption of certain substances.
This effect can be broken down into:
  1. Partially defined, embedded hallucinations - At this level, the sounds are partially defined in their clarity meaning that they sound indistinct, muffled, and difficult to make out. They are strictly heard only embedded within genuine sounds produced by the external environment. For example, hearing music in the sounds of the wind, cars, and rain.
  2. Partially defined, separate hallucinations - At this level, the sounds remain only partially defined but become heard on a separate layer of their own instead of only manifesting themselves within other noises.
  3. Fully defined, separate hallucinations - At this level, the sounds become fully defined in their clarity, meaning that the specific words being spoken or musical content of the hallucination can be recognized and understood perfectly.
  4. Interactive, fully defined and separate hallucinations - At this level, the sounds remain fully defined in their clarity but become partially to fully interactive, meaning that the voices can be conversed with and the spontaneous noises or musical symphonies controlled.
Physical effects:
Enhancement of touch
Enhancement of touch can be described as an overall enhancement of tactile sensations and the sensations derived from them alongside of an increase in the person’s overall awareness of the nerve endings across their body. At its highest level, this progressively becomes more extreme until the exact location and current sensation of every single nerve ending across the tripper’s skin can be felt and comprehended all at once. In contrast, throughout normal sober living our immediate consciousness can only maintain awareness of the tactile sensations which are relevant to the current situation.
This can result in the pleasure derived from tactile sensations such as touching, hugging, kissing, and sex becoming greatly enhanced or it can result in an over-sensitivity of the skin which causes the same sensations to become overwhelming and uncomfortable.
Increased bodily control
Increased bodily control is an which induces a dramatic increase in a person’s control over their physical body. This can be described as the feeling of being able to accurately control every single muscle across the entire body with the tiniest of precise mental triggers, leaving trippers feeling extremely active and nimble. It is often interpreted by people as a strangely profound or primal feeling of being put back in touch with the animal body.
Spontaneous tactile sensations
Spontaneous tactile sensations is a component which is commonly referred to as a “body high” within the psychonaut community and can be described as an activation of nerve endings across the body occurring without any obvious or immediate physical trigger. The experience of this results in feelings of distinct random tactile noise and general tingling sensations. These vary greatly in their alternative styles of sensation, depending on the substance consumed but can be broken down into four basic levels of intensity,
  1. Mild - The most basic form of body high can be described as light and fleeting tingling sensations across the body that do not impair physical motor control and can essentially be ignored if the tripper wishes to. These can feel like cold chills or vague warmth all over the body.
  2. Distinct - At this level, the body high becomes impossible to ignore. It can be described as distinct tingling sensations which are intense enough to partially impair a person’s motor control and cause a significant portion of mental focus to be directed towards these sensations.
  3. Overwhelming – The highest level occurs at the point where the tingling sensations have increased enough to become a powerful uncontrollable focus point of attention. This is to the point of completely overwhelming and impairing a person’s motor control which consistently leaves them either lying or sitting down, incapable of standing up, and writhing in the all-encompassing sensations.
The differences between each differing style of body high can be broken into five basic opposites of sensation.
  • Moving vs. Motionless – Feelings of tingling nerve endings will either fluidly move themselves up and down various parts of the body in spontaneous directions or they will remain still and consistent in their position.
  • Constant vs. Spontaneous – Feelings of tactile noise will either be constantly present throughout a significant portion of the trip or they will spontaneously and temporarily manifest themselves at random points for differing durations of time.
  • Sharp vs. Soft – Feelings of tingling nerve endings will either be perceived to feel soft, warm, and gentle on the skin or sharp and cold.
  • All encompassing vs. Location specific - Feelings of tactile noise can either be felt across every square inch of the skin or in very specific locations such as the ends of the fingers and toes, up and down the spinal column, or across/within the head.
  • Euphoric vs. Dysphoric – At appropriately high dosages, feelings of tactile noise and tingling nerve endings can either be interpreted as immensely and overwhelmingly pleasurable or they can go in the opposite direction and become extremely uncomfortable.
See also:

The Visual Components of a Psychedelic Experience

This article attempts to break down the visual effects contained within the psychedelic experience into simple, easy to understand titles, descriptions and leveling systems. This will be done without depending on metaphors, analogy’s or personal trip reports. The article starts off with descriptions of the simpler effects and works its way up towards more complex experiences as it progresses, using image examples wherever possible. This describes not my personal experiences but the universally reported effects that are consistently felt by most if not all psychedelic users. It is broken down into 3 different sections,
  1. The visual components of a psychedelic experience.
  2. The cognitive components of a psychedelic experience.
  3. The miscellaneous components of a psychedelic experience.
It is in reference to all of the classical Psychedelics and the huge variety of obscure and modern “research chemicals” that are becoming increasingly prevalent. More specifically this list includes but is not limited to,
LSD, LSA, DMT, Ayahuasca, Psilocin/Psilocybin, 4-AcO-DMT, Bufotenin, AMT, 5-MeO-DMT, Mescaline, MDA, MDMA, DOB, DOC, DOI, DOM, 2C-B, 2C-E, 2C-P, 2C-I, 2C-C, 2C-T-2, 2C-T-7, 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, 25B-NBOMe, Harmine, Harmaline, Tetrahydroharmine
I’ve tried to keep this as accurate and detailed as I possibly can but most of these effects cannot be done justice with words. Especially once we get past low and moderate dosages, so feel free to make suggestions or nitpick any tiny point that you disagree with by sending me a message or commenting on the article below. I really am trying to make this as comprehensive a guide as possible so any help is extremely welcome.
This particular guide gives image examples where ever possible. Breaking the visual hallucinations into four basic categories of which I have come to name; enhancement of vision, distortions, visual geometry and hallucinatory states. I will start with the lower more basic effects and work my way up.
Most of the example images are randomly found from across the internet. Many of them however were all made by my girlfriend, whose tumblr is dedicated to the creation of such images and can be found here
Enhancements - The first category of visual effects can be classified as an overall enhancement of vision. This is consistently reported at the lowest levels of psychedelic experience. It can be generally defined as an overall increase in the level of visual input, attributed to the external environment that a person experiences, and is manifested through 3 separate subcomponents.
Increased visual acuity:
Increased visual acuity is defined as an enhancement of the acuteness or clearness of vision. This sharp increase in visual acuity can be described as a new-found ability to comprehend the entire visual field at once (including the peripheral vision). In comparison, during sober living human vision is only able to perceive the small area that a person’s eye is currently focused on. This sharp increase in the level of visual detail attributed to the external environment is consistently heightened to the point where the edges of objects become extremely focused, clear, and defined.
This visual effect does not necessarily change the appearance of the external environment but rather the level of detail in which it is perceived in. During even a very low-dose trip it is common for people to suddenly notice patterns and textures that they may have never previously appreciated or even acknowledged previously. For example, when looking at sceneries, nature, and everyday textures, the complexity and beauty of the visual input suddenly becomes overwhelmingly obvious.
imageMore examples: Here.
Enhancement of colour: 
Enhancement of colour entails the experience of colours starting to stand out more, becoming extremely bright and vivid. Reds will seem “redder”, greens will seem “greener” and all colours will be become much more distinct, powerful and intense than they could ever possibly be during everyday, sober living.
A consistent way to reproduce this visual is to be outside in nature on an appropriate substance.
imageMore Examples: Here.
Enhanced pattern recognition: 
Enhanced pattern recognition can be defined as a person’s ability to recognize significant imagery (usually faces) in almost any vague stimuli.
This innate ability which human beings possess in everyday life is referred to by the scientific literature as pareidolia and is very well documented. Common examples of this in day to day life include spotting faces in everyday objects and viewing clouds as fantastical objects.
This effect can become extremely intense. For example, every single leaf on a tree might look like many tiny green faces, scenery may look remarkably like people or objects, or clouds might appear to be easily recognizable as fantastical objects, all without any visual changes actually taking place.
This is also combined with an increased interest and attraction to symmetrical geometric and organic patterns that often become permanently grounded with people often reporting to find a strange attraction to textures and patterns that they never would have thought twice about before. Some of these patterns include basic designs on wallpaper/clothing and on rugs such as oriental carpets.
More examples: Here.
Distortions - The second category of visual effects found within a psychedelic experience is known as a distortion or a visual alteration. These can be generally described as changes in perception attributed to the external environment that are always obviously grounded in reality. These effects are manifested through 6 separate subcomponents.
Visual drifting:
Visual drifting is by far the most common open-eye distortion. It can be described as the experience of objects and scenery appearing to become progressively warped and morphed across the visual field. These alterations gradually increase as a person stares, but are completely non-permanent, meaning that they reset to normal levels once a person double takes on the distortion.
This effect is capable of manifesting itself across 4 different levels of visual intensity which can be described as:
  1. Peripheral - The most basic form of distortion can be described as a ‘wiggling’ of straight lines within the external environment, which occurs exclusively within the peripheral vision and cannot be looked at directly.
  2. Direct - At this level, the distortions do not necessarily increase in visual intensity but can now be directly looked at within a person’s central line of sight. This partially alters the appearance and form of shapes, objects and sceneries within the external environment, causing them to subtly drift, bend and morph.
  3. Distinct - This is the level at which distortions become visually powerful enough to drastically alter and transform the shape of specific objects within the external environment, often to the point where they can become unrecognisable in comparison to their original form.
  4. All-encompassing - At the highest level of visual drifting, the intensity becomes powerful enough to distort not just specific objects beyond recognition, but every single point of a person’s vision and the entirety of the external environment in its whole.
The particular style of this visual effect depends on the specific continuously changing direction, speed and rhythm of the distortion, resulting in a small variety of different manifestations.

More Examples: Here.
Morphing - This effect is completely disorganized and spontaneous in both its rhythm and its direction. It can be described as objects or scenery appearing to gradually change in their size, shape, configuration and general appearance in a limitless number of ways.
Breathing - This effect makes objects or scenery appear to be steadily contracting inwards and expanding outwards in a consistent rhythm, as if the object or scenery was breathing in and out in a similar fashion to the lungs of a living organism.
Melting - It is not unusual for objects and sceneries to be completely or partially melting. They begin at lower doses as a gradual liquidization of objects which causes them to begin to droop, wobble, and slowly lose their structural integrity. This gradually increases until they become impossible to ignore with the lines, textures, and colour between solid objects appearing to melt into one another in an extremely liquid fashion.
Flowing - Flowing, shifting, rippling, or moving surfaces are a strong visual effect that seems to occur almost exclusively on textures (particularly if they are highly detailed, complex, or rough textures). A classic example of this would be wood grain or carpets flowing like a river in a seamless, looped animation. A consistent way to reproduce this visual is to stare at wood grain and lose focus.
Colour Shifting:
Colour shifting can be described as the colours of various objects (particularly brightly coloured out of place objects) to become subject to an effect that shifts and changes the colours through a repeated cycling of hues in a strange, fluid motion across its surface. For example, moss on a rock could physically shift from green to red to blue and then back to green again in a very short space of time.
Another form of this is colour tinting which is when a black and white image or video begins to fill in with colour. This looks somewhat vague and is very similar to old black and white photos that have been tinted with oil paint. These often colour some spots while leaving others black and white.
If the image below is not animated, click here to load it on a separate page.
More examples: Here.
Depth Perception Distortions: 
Depth perception distortions can be defined as the very common experience of both extreme and subtle distortions in depth perception during a hallucinogenic experience. This is where the depths and layers of the scenery in front of you can become exaggerated, skewed or completely mixed up in their organization. A classic example of this could be the swapping of layers in a scenery. This is where objects in the background come into the foreground and objects in the foreground get pushed into the background.
Another example of skewed depth perception is a complete loss of it, when the different sections of a scenery both close up and far away will unify into one flat image momentarily.
A consistent way to reproduce this visual is by laying down under a tree and looking through the branches at the sky. This consistently causes the sections of sky in between the branches to come into the foreground whilst the branches get pushed into the background.
Tracers are the simple experience of trails being left behind moving objects such as people, birds or cars. Tracers are usually very obvious and are similar in appearance to the same sort of trails found behind moving objects in long exposure photographs, manifesting themselves as smooth trails or multiple layers of the same repeated image which progressively fades into the background with each repetition. The trails can be exactly the same colour as the moving object that is producing it or can sometimes be a randomly selected colour of its own.
A consistent way to reproduce this visual is to move your hand in front of your face or throw an object.
Tracers can be broken down into 4 basic levels of visual intensity which can be described as:
  1. Transparent - The most basic form of tracer can be described as an almost completely transparent afterimage which disappears almost immediately and drags shortly behind moving objects with a maximum length of 2 - 3 inches.
  2. Translucent - At this level, tracers increase in their length to become at least roughly half as long as the distance across the visual field which the object it is following has moved. In terms of clarity, the tracers shift from barely visible to distinct and only partially transparent in colour.
  3. Opaque - This is the level at which tracers become completely solid in appearance and opaque in colour with distinct and sharp edges to their shape which draw a clear contrast between the tracer itself and the background behind it. They become equal in length to the distance across the visual field which the object it is following has moved in and can remain in the air for up to several seconds.
  4. All-encompassing - The highest level occurs at the point when a person’s visual field has become so sensitive to the creation of tracers that the entirety of a person’s visual field smudges and blurs into one all-encompassing tracer at the slightest movement of the eye. This can make it extremely difficult to clearly see unless the eyes are kept still. It remains in the air for up to approximately 20 seconds.
imageMore Examples: Here and Here.
Symmetrical texture repetition:
Symmetrical texture repetition is a distinct and obvious distortion which specifically manifests itself through rough textures such as grass, carpets, asphalt, tarmac, towels, bathroom rugs, gravel, general bracken, dense vegetation, fallen leaves, tree bark and more.
It can be described as the texture becoming mirrored repeatedly over its surface in an extremely intricate and symmetrical fashion that is consistent across itself, maintaining a constant level of extremely high detail and visual clarity within a person’s direct line of visual focus and their peripheral vision. This maintains itself no matter how closely you attempt to look at the distortion.
As these repeating textures are generated, they begin to give rise to a huge array of abstract forms, imagery, geometry, and patterns that are embedded within and across the symmetry. It is an effect that is universally interpreted as profoundly complex to perceive and physically beyond normal geometry in an indescribable way.
imageMore examples: Here.
Scenery Slicing: 
Scenery slicing is an effect which only occurs spontaneously and makes the visual field appear as if it has been cut in a remarkably clean way into separate slices with some sort of razor blade. These separate slices then proceed to drift slowly away from their original position and can be as simple as three separate sections or as complex as multiple slices of a moving interlocking spiral that’s been cut into your field of vision.
imageMore examples: here.

GeometryGeometry is a category of effects which directly effects the vision. It can be described as the sensation of a person’s field of open and closed-eye vision being partially or completely encompassed by fast-moving, kaleidoscopic, and indescribably complex geometric patterns, form constants, shapes, fractals, structures and colour.
Visual geometry never stands still at any point and is often extremely fast-changing and self-transforming in terms of its shape and style within itself. This happens whilst the geometry is naturally drifting laterally or radially across the visual field to create overlapping webs of many arising and decaying geometric patterns, all of which are visible within a single perceptual frame.
When experienced, every single frame of visual geometry somehow has a deep sense of profoundness and importance attributed to it, often feeling as if they are perfectly fitting geometric representations of your current mind state.
There are seven different levels of visual geometry, each one increasingly dramatic and incomprehensible.
  1. Visual Noise – This is the most basic level of visual geometry and can be experienced in a completely sober state. It can be described as visual noise or static combined with random light and dark red regions that can be seen under the eyelids.
  2. Motion and Colour – This level is also easily obtainable without hallucinogens and can be described as the appearance of unstructured regions of fleeting flashes and clouds of colour.
  3. Partially Defined Geometry - This is the level where things start to get distinctively psychedelic and complex indescribable shapes and patterns begin to show themselves. At this level, however, the patterns can be described as strictly 2-dimensional. They are fine, small, and zoomed out in size with a dark colour palette that limits itself to a couple of different shades such as blacks, reds and dark purples. They are displayed on both the open and closed-eye visual field across a flat veil of geometry, but are significantly more detailed with the eyes closed or in dark environments.
  4. Fully Defined Geometry – This is the level where the detail in which the geometry displays itself becomes profoundly complex but remains strictly 2-dimensional. At this point the visuals become large in size and extremely intricate in detail with a colour palette that is limitless in its possibilities. They are displayed on both the open and closed-eye visual field across a flat veil of geometry that floats directly in front of the eyes, remaining significantly more detailed with the eyes closed or in dark environments.
  5. 3-Dimensional Geometry – At level four, the geometry will become fully 3-dimensional in their shape and position across the visual field. This adds a whole new layer of visual complexity and leaves them sprawled out across the surfaces, walls, objects and furniture of your environment instead of displaying themselves across a basic and flat veil.
  6. Overriding Physical Perception – This is the point at which the geometry has become so intense, vivid and bright that it has begun to block out and replace the external world. At level six the environment begins to be replaced by visuals, with objects and scenery transforming into sprawling masses of geometry. As this increases, the environment eventually becomes completely replaced, creating the sensation that you are breaking through into another reality.
  7. Level 7A and Level 7B - Once the geometry reaches its seventh and final level, there is not one singular pinnacle of visual geometry but two. It seems that depending on subtle environmental factors and the substance consumed, visual geometry is capable of forking off into two separate versions of their highest possible level. The deciding factor between the two options are not yet known, but it appears to be almost completely random, meaning that level seven visuals will have to be separated into two distinct categories of equal intensity. These are known as levels 7A and 7B. Once visual geometry reaches level 7A or 7B, they begin to become structured and organized in a way that presents genuine information to its tripper far beyond the preceding six levels. This is done through the experience of innately understood geometric representations that feel as though they depict specific concepts and neurological components that exist within the brain. At this point, concepts can be seen as not just embedded within your closed or open-eye visual field, but simultaneously felt through complex physical sensations.
7A - Exposure to entirety of neurological structure - 
This level occurs when the environment has been completely replaced with visuals. As visuals reach their highest possible level, the mind feels as if every point within the brain has become completely interconnected with every other point. This feels as if you are being visually and physically exposed to every single internally stored concept, memory, and neurological structure of the subconscious mind all at once, leaving the tripper under the literal sensation of experiencing everything within the universe simultaneously.
This is something that can be described as an infinite sea of geometry, concepts, structures, memories, and fractals that is always perceived to contain within it all of existence, all that there ever was, and all that there ever will be. This vast ocean of mind is not just seen in front of the eyes but physically felt in an incomprehensible level of detail throughout every point across itself. The experience is immediately perceived to be the “entire universe”, or at least “everything” by everybody who undergoes it.
At its lower levels this effect is something that fluctuates wildly, pulling trippers in and out of the room in a fashion that many find extremely disorientating. Instead of remaining constant and static, the effect is triggered by the experience of a concept.
For example, if somebody were to say the word “internet” to a person who is currently in this state, they would see the mind’s concept of the internet immediately manifested in a perfectly fitting geometric form amidst the very centre of their visual field. This form quickly branches out from itself like some sort of ineffable spider diagram, enveloping the concepts which you associate with the internet and then branching out to include the concepts you associate with those. This spreads out exponentially and within 2 - 3 seconds quickly grows in a sudden flash to include every single stored concept within the entire universe and completely disconnects the tripper from their external environment before re-stacking them back into the room, until something triggers the process again (usually immediately). The effect snaps trippers in and out of the room repeatedly as the process is triggered continuously.
However it can, to a certain extent, be held at bay through continuous physical movement. Movement stops the process from branching out into everything by not giving the effect the time it needs to lock onto a concept.
As dosage is increased, however, the process becomes easier and easier to trigger whilst extending in length and duration— eventually resulting in a stable state of complete disconnection from the external environment and a lasting sense of neurological oneness with the universe.
7B - Exposure to inner mechanics of human consciousness - 
This level can be described as the profound feeling of becoming completely detached from the external environment and falling into a place that is universally interpreted by anybody who undergoes the experience as “the inner workings of the universe”. This is a place that feels as if you have literally entered the inner mechanics of reality or the very source of existence itself, with the underlying programming of the universe and the true nature of our consciousness presenting itself to the tripper in an array of innately readable geometric forms.
It can be broken down into two basic sub-levels:
7BA - Becoming the inner mechanics of the conscious mind,
At the lower end of level 7B visual geometry, the experience manifests itself as becoming and being able to feel and see the organization and structure of your current thought stream. This is presented to trippers in the form of a fast-moving and infinite web or network of condensed visual geometry that branches off of itself in a level of organization and intricacy far beyond any possible arrangement that could be experienced within the external physical world.
The ever-shifting network follows the pace and rhythm of your internal dialogue perfectly. This creates and manifests new connections in a way that is both physically felt through a powerful sensation, and seen embedded within your visual field every time any piece of new insight or knowledge is gained.
This vast network of visuals that represents a person’s thought-stream contains within it innately understood and thought-stream-relevant geometric representations of specific and abstract concepts, embedded into each and every one of the connecting points across itself. The experience of these innately readable geometric representations triggers the mind’s eye to envision the concept perfectly on an internal visual field which exists separately from this one.
7BB - Becoming the inner mechanics of the subconscious mind,
At the higher end of level 7B visuals, the experience manifests itself as a newfound and consistent ability to physically feel, see, and become one with the architecture of the subconscious mind. This is presented to trippers in the form of extremely vast, complex, and self-transforming geometric mechanisms which are immediately interpreted by anybody who undergoes the experience as the inner workings of the universe, reality or consciousness.
This state is capable of bestowing specific pieces of information onto trippers regarding the nature of reality and human consciousness through the simple experience of them. These specific pieces of information are always immediately felt and understood to be a profound unveiling of an undeniable truth at the time, but are often found to be ineffable afterwards due to the limitations of human English or are nonsensical due to the disorientation of the accompanying cognitive effects.
Occasionally, however, genuine lessons or coherent messages are innately interpreted through the experience of becoming and descending down into the subconscious faculties of the brain. It’s extremely important to note, however, that the scientific validity of these lessons are very uncertain and should never be immediately accepted as fact without an extremely thorough and sober analysis.
Click the image below for a large gallery of examples of visual geometry that have been sourced from psychedelic art across the internet.      
Click the image below and to the left for a large gallery of anthropological examples of psychedelic visuals. The Shipibo people are a large tribe in the amazon rain forest whose culture is heavily involved with ritualized ayahuasca use. These textiles patterns are deliberately made by the Shipibos as artifacts of ayahuasca hallucination, capturing the specific styles of repeating forms better than most modern psychedelic artwork. 
Another extremely common component within visual geometry are fractals. These are a concept that exists within mathematics and can be described as complex patterns that repeat infinitely into themselves allowing for the same self similar image to be found no matter how far you zoom into any part of the image. Below is a collection of psychedelic fractals similar in appearance to those found with visual geometry. Click the image below to open up a gallery of examples.
imageMore Examples: Here
Hallucinatory states - The fourth sensory effect is perhaps the most profound subjective sensory effect that the psychedelic experience has to offer. They are manifested as 2 distinct effects which come in a variety of differing intensity’s.

External hallucinations:
External hallucinations within psychedelics can be described as visual transformations of specific parts of environment into other concepts. They are progressive in nature, which means they form by arising from patterns or objects and then, over a period of seconds, by drifting, smoothing or locking into an entirely new appearance of still or animated objects, people, animals, concepts, places or anything you could possibly imagine. This is greatly enhanced and fuelled by the separate visual effect of enhanced pattern recognition, causing vague stimuli (which already looks vaguely like abstract concepts due to our inbuilt sense of pareidolia) to transform into extremely detailed versions of what they were already perceived as.
The process of smoothing or locking, which transformations seem to be generated through, requires some minimal amount of focus and concentration to sustain. Losing concentration for an instant can cause the image to fade away or shift into another image.
Holding the eyes still will increase the intensity of the progressive transformation.
Internal hallucinations:
Internal hallucinations are experienced exclusively on the back of one’s eyelids and not within the external environment around oneself. They begin as imagery which are often embedded within visual geometry. These can be described as spontaneous moving or still scenes, objects, people, animals, concepts, places or anything you could possibly imagine. They are often formed out of geometry themselves and are displayed in varying levels of detail ranging from cartoon-like in nature to completely realistic (although rarely holding form for more than a few seconds before fading or shifting into another image). These sets of imagery commonly include:
everyday objects, living things, plants, animals, insects, architecture, structures, shapes, atoms, molecules, complex mathematical formulae/concepts, linguistic concepts, mechanisms, technology, machine creatures, self-replicating machines, people, faces, eyes, body parts, organs, food, cultural references, fictional characters, logos, religious symbolism, creatures, monsters, demons, mythology, furniture and more.
During certain experiences, imagery is often manifested as an exact visual representation of whatever you are currently thinking about within your mind’s eye, turning abstract ideas into a concrete images and remaining consistently limitless in its abilities.
As these states of imagery and transformations become increasingly elaborate (proportional to dosage), they eventually become all-encompassing, fully-fledged 3D hallucinations which surround the tripper in a fashion similar to dreams. This creates the feeling that the tripper has broken through into another reality. The things which occur within this perceived alternate reality can be anything but generally fall under common archetypes such as contact with autonomous entities, imagined landscapes, spirit dimensions, and situations that seem so unlike anything previously experienced that they are, in all probability, untranslatable into English. The content of these experiences are often described to feel transcendental, mystical, spiritual and religious in nature, regardless of the tripper’s theistic beliefs. It is not uncommon for people to report that the hallucinations felt infinitely “more real” than anything the person has previously experienced throughout sober living.
Overall, the degrees of intensity can be broken down into five simple levels:
  1. Enhancement of mental visualization - The lowest level of hallucination can be described as a powerful enhancement of a person’s ability to mentally visualize concepts. This internal visualization feels like one extremely vivid daydream after another, and follows a person’s thought stream in a way that can be seen at a moderate level of detail within the mind’s eye.
  2. Partially defined hallucinations - This level of hallucination generally consists of ill-defined, faded imagery embedded with the visual geometry.
  3. Fully defined hallucinations - As the vividness and intensity increases, the imagery eventually becomes fully defined in its appearance and displays itself within the tripper’s direct line of sight on the back of their eyelids.
  4. Partially defined breakthroughs - These begin with random flashes of spontaneous scenarios similar to dreams. These are capable of becoming fully grounded and long-lasting, but are not completely defined in their appearance. They often display themselves as partially to completely blurred and transparent with the tripper’s physical body still feeling at least partially connected to the real world.
  5. Fully defined breakthroughs - Once the hallucinations become sufficiently elaborate they eventually become all-encompassing, permanent, ever-shifting alternate realities which appear completely realistic, extremely detailed, and highly vivid in the way they look along with the sensation of a complete disconnection from the physical body.
In terms of the general stylistic appearance of this state, it can range from hallucinations which are stylized and comprised of a condensed geometry-based material or they can be completely solid and realistic in how they look. This particular state can be broken down into three distinct subcomponents.
Autonomous entitiesContact with autonomous entities is very common. These entities generally appear to be the inhabitants of a perceived independent reality and they are expectant of your appearance and enjoy interacting with you in various ways. The behaviour of a typical entity is one of a loving, kind intelligence, teacher or healer that simply wants to show you their particular dimensional space, bestowing specific pieces of knowledge upon you as quickly as possible before you begin to come down or slip into another hallucination. Once the comedown inevitably begins to happen they are genuinely saddened by your disappearance, often wave goodbye, and encourage you to visit more often. Entities can literally take any form but common subconscious Jungian archetypes are definitely present and include:
bodiless super intelligent humanoids, aliens, elves, giant spheres, insectoids, cat beings, beings of light, plants, robotic machines, gods, goddesses, demons, human beings and more.
Regardless of presentation, there are distinctly different types of entities which one may encounter, each of which represent a particular subsection of one’s own consciousness through both their visible form and their personality. These can be broken down into 3 separate categories and include:
  • Representations of the self - The simplest form of entity can be described as simply a mirror of ones own personality. It can take any visible form but clearly adopts an obviously identical vocabulary and set of mannerisms to one’s own personality when conversed with.
  • Representations of the subconscious - This category of entity can take any visible form but adopts the personality of what seems to be a conscious controller behind the continuous generation of the details behind one’s own mind-scape and internally stored model of reality. When conversed with, it usually adopts an attitude which wants to teach or guide the tripper and assumes that it knows what is best for them.
  • Representations of specific concepts - This category of entity is by far the most varied type in terms of its visual form and immediately perceivable personality. It can be identified as a simulated representation of any internally stored concept and adopts an appropriate personality to fit this to an amazing degree of accurate detail. For example this specific concept could include people you have met throughout your life, fictional characters or symbolic representations of abstract concepts such as emotions or key parts of one’s own personality.
When communicated with through spoken word, the level of coherency in which these entities can reply with is highly variable but can be broken down into 4 distinct levels of communication:
  • Silence - This level can be defined as a complete unresponsiveness from the side of the entity and an incapability of speech despite their obvious presence within the hallucination.
  • Partially defined incoherent speech - This level can be defined as audible linguistic conversational responses and noises which sound like words but do not contain any real content or meaning beyond a vague sense of emotional intent.
  • Fully defined incoherent speech - This level can be defined as audible linguistic conversational responses and noises which contain fully defined and understandable words but often lack grammatical structure or general coherency.
  • Fully defined coherent speech - This level can be defined as audible linguistic conversational responses and noises which contain fully defined and understandable words as well as fully defined grammatical structure and general coherency which conveys its point on a level which is on par with the tripper’s own intellect.
These entities and creatures may also communicate with trippers via a combination of telepathy, visual linguistics, mathematics and morphing coloured structures of different textures. This complex visual language is capable of expressing pure meaning and concepts in a way that our current system of labelling concepts with small mouth noises will never be able to become close to matching.
Landscapes, sceneries and settings - At level 4 - 5, hallucinations consistently manifest themselves through the essential component of extremely detailed imagined landscapes, locations and sceneries of an infinite variety. These exist for the purpose of acting as the setting in which the plot of the hallucination occurs. The geography of these settings is capable of rendering itself as static and coherent in organization but will usually result in a non-linear, nonsensical and continuously ever-changing layout which does not obey the rules of everyday physics. In terms of the chosen locations, appearance and style of these settings, they seem to be selected at random and are often entirely new and previously unseen locations. They do however play a heavy emphasis on replicating and combining real life locations stored within the tripper’s memories, especially those which are prominent within one’s life and daily routine. Aside from this they commonly include:
planetary systems, galaxies, quasars, jungles, rain forests, deserts, ice-scapes, cities, natural environments, caves, space habitats, vast structures, civilizations, technological utopias, ruins, machinescapes, rooms and other indoor environments, neurons, DNA, atoms, molecules, mitochondria and more.
At other points they act as something which is flown over but are also often experienced through the act of autonomous entities, directly manipulating what you can see and view and intentionally propelling trippers in different directions at disorienting speeds. This forces them to view or pass directly through macroscropic and microscopic scale settings, including both previously experienced landscapes and previously unexperienced landscapes.
Scenarios and plots -
Each of the above components are randomly shuffled and spliced into any number of an infinite variety of potential plots and scenarios. These may be positive or negative to experience and are difficult to define in a comprehensive manner in much the same way that we cannot predict the plot of abstract literature and films. They can however be broken down into extremely basic occurrences which generally entail visiting some sort of setting or a number of them which contain within them interactive, multiple, or lone characters. Alongside of these, completely unpredictable plot devices and events force the tripper to become involved within the specific scenario of the particular trip.
These scenarios and plots can be linear and logical with events that occur in a rational sequence which lead onto each other through cause and effect. They are equally likely however to present themselves as completely nonsensical and incoherent. This means that the plot will occur with spontaneous events which are capable of ending, starting and changing between each other repeatedly in quick succession and as they please. The plots themselves can either be entirely new experiences that are unlike anything experienced within the real world, old experiences such as accurate memory replays or a combination of the two.
In terms of the amount of time in which they are experienced, hallucinatory plots and scenarios usually feel as if they are being experienced in real-time. This means that when 20 seconds have been felt to have passed within the hallucination, the exact same amount of time will have passed in the real world. At other points, however, distortions of time can make themselves present, resulting in plots and scenarios that can feel as if they literally last days, weeks, months, years, or even infinitely long periods of time.
Perspectives - In terms of the perspective in which the hallucinations are perceived through, just like literary plots, dreams can be experienced through four alternate vantage points which are described and listed below.
  • 1st person - this is the most common form of hallucination and can be described as the perfectly normal experience of perceiving the scenario from the perspective of one’s everyday self and body.
  • 2nd person - this can be described as the experience of perceiving the hallucination from the perspective of an external source of consciousness such as another person, an animal or an inanimate object.
  • 3rd person - this is essentially an out-of-body experience and can be described as perceiving the hallucination from a perspective which is floating above, below, behind, or in front of the dreamer’s physical body. It is worth noting that for unknown reasons, many people consistently and exclusively dream in the third person perspective.
  • 4th person - this is particularly rare but entirely possible and can be described as the experience of perceiving the hallucination from the perspective of multiple vantage points simultaneously.

Miscellaneous, Unique and Rare visual effects:
Although there are many universally experienced visual components of a psychedelic experience, you should not allow this guide to give you preconceived notions for two separate reasons. The first reason is that although these descriptions have been carefully worded and extremely thought out, text and images they will never come close to the real experience, the real thing is incomprehensible, logic defying and impossible to translate into two dimensional images and words. The unenglishable factor is one of the few things that all psychonauts can all agree on when it comes to the psychedelic experience.
The second reason is that the psychedelic experience is still a subjective experience and not by any means confined and limited to these visual components. As spontaneous visual effects which are not described anywhere within this article will manifest themselves into trips on the odd occasion. These effects can be anything and usually occur at higher doses. Unique visual effects are completely personal to you and something that nobody else on the planet has ever seen before or will ever likely get to experience again. So remember, do not limit your perception to the components described above, because there is more to the psychedelic experience than words can ever say.

The above anonymous articles are  from the following blog

Disregard Everything I Say

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