Fascinating!: Account of an experiment with hallucinogenic mushrooms by scientist


It is not often that you meet a person that fascinates you immediately. I met this young person on a flight home. We started to talk about the book he was reading. It was about an ancient Aztec, or was it Mayan, people that used hallucinogens for different purposes. We talked about his job, he does research on how medicins can be administered in a more effective and targeted way by using a different material for the capsules. I wanted to know why he was so interested in subject of hallucinogens. He told me that he saw them as a different way to ‘heal the mind’. For him the hallucinogens had proven to be more effective than psychotherapy in dealing with some psychological issues he had previously. He offered to send me a detailed account of one of his experiments with hallucinogenic mushrooms. I read it, and was amazed. Not ever having tried anything myself I found it highly interesting to learn what effect hallucinogens can have on a human brain. And how these effects can be positive as well as negative. It seemed like quite a rational and objective view on something that is a taboo in public speaking. I put this story here for all of you who have done experiments before, to compare your experiences with, but not in the least for those like myself, who like to know how it could possibly feel to do such a thing (and please note: this is by no means meant to encourage people to try, it is only meant to share experiences). And also note that these goods have a wide range of effects on different people, not all of them pleasant. It can even have different effects on the same people at different times, so IF you were planning on trying anything, please be very careful and don’t even try to do anything in an unknown environment, with people you do not know, or when you feel unstable. I’ll stop boring you to death and just share Pyro’s story with you:


drawing on drugs


Few experiences in life have the raw strength to change your view on life, namely that of the perception of your inner workings. Many people look for understanding of the self, possibly as a way to cope with the turbidity of existence. As to summarize my intentions for these experiments, was the exploration of my unconscious mind and see whether it was possible to find out what the underlying motives are of my actions. A myriad of methods have been used as means to achieve this goal, such as psychotherapy, meditation, fasting, rhythmic drumming and inebriation by a whole variety of drugs. My quest led me quickly to psychedelic drugs, as the most intense, powerful and accessible method to learn more about myself.

In general, psychedelic compounds elicit stimulation of the cognitive system by changing neuronal firing frequency. This causes alteration in the perception of reality, the visual system, causes the ego to dissolve and unconscious material to surface into the conscious mind, which offers great potential for deep reflection of biographical material.

Ego dissolution is essential and probably the most important property caused, by psychedelic drug inebriation, for the surfacing of unconscious material. The perception of ego, gained by me through the experimentation with psychedelic drugs, is as follows: ego can be seen as a sort of filter with controlling properties, it filters the traffic of unconscious information into the conscious and has a tight grip on conscious mental processes.

I have been experimenting with various psychedelic drugs for several years. The compounds tried have been various phytochemical tryptamines, synthetic tryptamines and synthetic phenetylamines. Of the compounds tried several have left lasting positive impressions on me, such as psilocybin, 2C-T7, 2C-P and 4-AcO-DIPT. Experimentation with these compounds has helped to shape my personality and perception of reality into what it is.

This particular experiment was planned to be a high dose experience with psilocybin, as in oral ingestion of 70 grams fresh Psilocybe Cubensis mushrooms of the Costa Rican strain.

The average dose of Psilocybe mushrooms is about 35 grams fresh, thus the amount to be ingested is double the average dose. The motivation to try the double dose has been inspired by the accounts of an intellectual mushroom researcher by the name of Terence Mckenna.


I have read many of his books and listened too many of his lectures on his theories of psilocybe inebriation. Based on his research he came to the conclusion that the best way to experiment with psilocybe mushrooms is to ingest a high dose, alone and in silent darkness.

His notion of high dose was 6 grams of dried mushrooms which he deliberately called a heroic dose, for few people will consciously consume such a quantity.

70 grams of dry Psilocybe mushrooms are the equivalent of 6 dry grams, thus this experiment follows the heroic dose “guideline”. The mushrooms were eaten on an empty stomach at 1900, which took about fifteen minutes to eat the whole amount. Before the trip started I wanted to go outside and get some fresh air. It was quite cold outside and already dark, I decided to go for a walk in a nearby park. Fifteen minutes into the walk I realized that I was seeing my surroundings very clear, like the innervation of leaves on shrubs meters away. It is known, from scientific study, that psilocybin causes better sight and edge detection in low doses and at the onset of the psychoactive effects in higher doses. I realized that it would be wise to hurry back home before the effects would hit me in full force. Caution is essential when experimenting with high doses, for the onset and intensity of the effects are hard to predict.

At 30 minutes following ingestion I came back home, went straight to my room, shut down the computer, dimmed the lights and put on a black face mask as to be in total darkness.

Geometrical hallucinations started within minutes after putting on the face mask and slowly gained in intensity. The passage of time was impossible to track, though usual the perception of time slows quite dramatically in psilocybin inebriation.

After some time, geometrical hallucinations became visions of abstract places and wild associations on various topics were circling my mind. The exact order of events after this point is hard to recall, even though the content is quite clear.

Regression into my past became the most pronounced aspect of the trip. At this point the experiences came in waves where at the top I was fully experiencing a part of my past, moving deeper with every succeeding wave. In between the waves I was sober enough to get a little breather and prepare for the next wave which was rising in intensity and amplitude.

alice in wonderland

In my regression into childhood I came across a younger me, as if looking in a mirror, at the age of 8. My face, well the mental image of the old me, had a face distorted with anger, and the whole emotional baggage left from that time came over me. I experienced that rage fully, and realized that that was the murderous rage which I feared for some reason for years.

The enraged me was a relic from a very nasty experience at about age 8, where some guy broke the glass in the front door with a metal pipe and screamed that he wanted to kill my father. I remember from that time that I wanted to throw boiling water over the guy at the door from the balcony but was not capable of doing so and thus called the cops instead.

When this wave was over its peak, slowly going down, the face of the child changed from a highly enraged to a natural expression.

The next wave led me to an even younger me at age 5 or 6, when I had an operation at the hospital. Now I experienced my past self in total primordial fear, even to the point which I could call maddening. I went through the experience step by step from the time when I was left in a hospital room by my father, then left to wait while crying and in panic. After the waiting period of several hours I was led into the operation room which looked very scary, everything was clean and shiny with the detestable smell of disinfectants. In my fear I was crying, screaming and kicking with my legs and arm, there were several people that had to hold me down on the operating table in order to give me the anaesthetic after which everything turned dark.

There was not much time between the last wave and the new one, in which I found myself floating in the air with a teddy bear. There was barbed wire slowly coming from below, engulfing my teddy bear and me. When the barbed wire was fully intertwined with my teddy and me it abruptly compressed with a twisting motion, which allowed me to experience my own death. I was cut into many pieces and felt that I was dispersed all over the place even though the removed parts were still somehow in contact. After a while of this, the cut pieces started to move together and I felt that I was molded into myself, with a very positive emotional state. This experience was more abstract then the others and it is not fully clear to me whether these are the real emotional leftovers from a childhood or perhaps an infant traumatic experience. There is the possibility that this is the perception of the experience of falling on the edge of a glass table, at age 2, resulting in a 4 cm cut on brow going toward my temple. I was rushed to the hospital to get stitched up and perhaps this whole experience was interpreted by my infantile mind as something wildly abstract.

barbed wire teddy bear

The reliving of these three traumatic experiences released massive amounts of pent up energy and in a way was very relieving even though a very hard and emotionally disturbing. At this point still somewhat in shock after the death\rebirth experience I felt an incredible force pulling me out of my body. It was frightening, I never experienced something of this sort in any of my psychedelic experiments and in my fear I quickly checked my pulse and found out that it was beating with what at the time seemed as normal bpm. Quickly thereafter another jolt of energy came and pulled me out of my body into a full out of body experience. I saw some claw like things take my (for lack of a better word)”soul”, out of my body into this gargantuan place which was bathed in some sort of radiant yellow light. There was a sense of ecstasy and total inner peace, while moving to a brightly burning white light source.

This last experience is the most abstract of things experienced that night and perhaps impossible to tell whether or not this has something to do with the regression into childhood or something else. I just realized that this could be a possible reliving of the birth trauma as argued by a psychiatrist called Stanislav Grof. I was born with the umbilical cord twisted around my throat. Perhaps the moment of birth was perceived by the baby me as something which I experienced in this trip.

The experimentation with high dose psychedelic compounds is really intense and definitely not for people who are mentally unstable or fear the upwelling of unpleasant biographical material. I take the experience as a process which needs completion and therefore I try not to interfere with the flow of material. This is probably why I have reached the state of death rebirth and possibly even the birth trauma experience with relative ease. It is maybe a bit quick to fully interpret the content of this intense trip, though I definitely feel that I have resolved many of my personal demons. The pent up energy has been released and now I can integrate the experience into my conscious understanding. I now know that I am a person with deep emotional scars, but with the knowledge gained by this experiment I can slowly work on myself to resolve all psychological traumas which must be still alive within me.

07- pyro


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Short story: Michael and Eva (1)

By: Eva Schlink


Amsterdam, 1 April 2008 


Day 1

Holy Mother Mary Hospital

Her face is smiling. Even in her deep sleep she shows her warmth, and, both brows suddenly arched, her strength. Damn. Why did she have to give us this big scare? It seems that she feels it her task to keep on teaching us lessons. It’s her mission. Well, it seems it will be her last now.


My grandmother just had a stroke. Quite a severe one actually. She is not conscious. And she will not be for a while, so the doctors told me.


Sitting next to her hospital bed, I nervously pluck the embroidered sheets. She is the only one I have left. My father left me and my mother before I was even born, and my mother shortly thereafter died a broken heart. I have no memories of her. But the way my grandmother talks about her she must have been one hell of a woman.


My grandfather she never talked about. And I dare not ask anymore. Maria always seems to know how to avoid answering these questions and slowly I stopped asking.


The door opens and a gentleman peeks inside. Did I see him before? He’s old. A lot older than my grandmother. But he too has a smiling face. Marked by life, but smiling. He nods a greeting to me. And is clearly hesitating to come in. Now I see he pulls a dialising machine with him. He must have kidney problems. Does he know my grandmother? Or is he just looking for a quiet room to do his dialysis?


Day 1 Lager X

By the time the doors were opened many of us had died already. Unlike some of us I was not panicking. I was only thinking of how to keep my two small children from suffocating in this tiny compartment. The ones that screamed at first seemed to have lost the lust for that quite soon. Or maybe they just spent all their energy and where the first ones to have died. I could not tell. It was dark and, as I said, my mind was busy with other things. My children, Bram and Deborah, bless them, usually notoriously keen on manipulating me into getting whatever they wanted, sweets, toys, or visits to the playgrounds, were dead silent. Impressed by the unfamiliar sounds and smells. They had never heard grown-ups cry. They had never smelled the smell of fear. They were confused when I did not get mad at them for peeing in their pants. They were only 3 and 5. They will be in my heart forever.


Short story: Waging wars

Her heart was pounding, adrenaline pumped through her veins, the good guys were feintheartedly smiling their goody grin, the bad guys were laughing out loud lusting in their power and the powerlessness of those on the other side. The self-imposed powerlessness we might add. Like a nightmare. What to do? Doing something would be breaking the pact, breaking the law. Doing nothing would be doing nothing. Would be condoning evil to win. Rights to be shattered. Hearts to be broken. Desperados to be born. Evil finally creating evil. Fire finally being treated with fire. Chaos encouraged.

Would it possibly be an option, in this war against humanity, to have a few trusted warriors break the pact. Run the risk of scourn. Run the risk of being political incorrectness.

Would it be an option to break the pact and just to offer our sincerest apologies. 

An option to break the pact and just suffer the consequences.

What to do in this world where the others act at their convenience, and watch our despair, our hopes seeping slowly out of our hearts. Can and should we allow for this to happen? Or should we cherish the believe that in the end the light win. Eventually. Maybe in another life time…


Oerol 2008!!! Impression and reviews

Terschellings Oerol Festival is an annual location-specific theatre festival held on the Dutch island Terschelling in mid-June. Location-specific theatre, theatre in barns, sheds and on the streets, modern dance, opera, visual art, music and the various cross-overs are the ingredients of a festival that uses the whole island as its stage. Over the past 25 years, the festival has grown from a small-scale street festival into an internationally recognised, multi-disciplinary festival. 

This year Terschellings Oerol Festival took place from 13 through 22 June. The theme of the festival had everything to do with ‘time’.

Our bold warrior visited the following performances:

Beumer en Drost: ‘Dick Bos’: 7.5 out of 10

Very well created and executed. At times quite funny. Especially the interaction with the old neighbour-lady. Entertaining. But a bit simple. The main character was convincing and quite facetted, but the story line very one dimensional and predictable. A beautiful show for younger people.  

For an interview and a video with some scenes from the performance (in Dutch), check out: http://weblogs.nrc.nl/weblog/cultuurblog/2008/06/15/oerol-2008-dick-bos-video/

De Jongens: ‘Under Construction’: 5 out of 10

Fragmented, long and pointless. The high energy and enthusiasm of the actors kept the warrior from falling asleep the first twenty minutes. Unfortunately there were 40 minutes more. In which NL-FA had started. Not good. 😉

Boogaerdt / Van der Schoot ‘Tsjechov bij de bushalte’ [Tsjechov at the bus stop]: 5.5 out of 10

Interesting location and concept. Solid acting. Rather uninteresting play-writing. Infinite use of the ‘weapon’ of repetition. Yeah…we get it by now. And…oh…how funny…a high-heeled woman falls into a creek, and yes…she’s stuck. Can we please move on? When is that damn bus coming!!!!!

p.s. Thanks Marjan and Rick for giving the late comers their two minutes of fame:  


For a different take on this performance check out: theater centraal

Laura van Dolron : ‘Laura en Lars: 8 out of 10

Laura van Dolron shows she is a solid and highly entertaining performer. Her style is daring and disarming, the content of this specific performance a tad superficial though. Van Dolron starts by briefly laying down the theme of the performance, her love for Lars von Trier, but mainly by talking about her main theme, herself and her love for standing in the spotlight. During this slow start she remarkably quickly succeeds in creating rapport with the audience, making us feel we are her friends. Though the friendship got quickly tested when Van Dolron shot some seemingly out of character quick-shot remarks like ‘Can you imagine what it would be like to be a smart character in a Heleen van Rooyen book? [ed.]’, that apparently hit the target for the (in our view notoriously overenthusiastic) Oerol crowd, but seem a bit too easy and stand-uppish for this high-potential performer.

Though Van Dolron was able to keep us interested for more than an hour straight with her captivating stories and to the point observations, especially about the black and white depiction of women in movies and literature (saints or whores), she never dove under the surface of the first sketches of her theme. Her observations were entertaining, but mostly safe and thus less relevant (except for the odd sharp remark like the one about the feminists (‘whores in denial’) :-), quite daring considering the suspicion that this group seems to be very well (even rather over-) represented in the Oerol audience). Hardly any subject was touched upon deeply enough to leave a lasting impression, apart from the ‘theme’ that was Van Dolron herself. But where Lars came in, and the actual relevance of that theme for her or for us remained unclear. Her convincing authenticity and flow of positivity compensated for this, letting the audience leave with a good feeling, but not with an overkill of food for thought. 

All in all Van Dolron shows to be a gutsy and talented lady. Definitely worth checking out…

For a review by Vincent Kouters (in Dutch) 

Volkstheater: ‘Zeeuwse Nachten III’: {5 out of 10]

(review to be inserted later)

Artemis: Priemgeval

Have not been able to get tickets for this one…But we’ve been told by many that it was a great performance.


Holland forever….

We might have lost from the mighty Guus H., but we will go on and stand strong…  😉 (some wishful thinking cannot hurt here)

South Africa here we come!! 😉 10/9/2008 is the first preliminary for the World Championships against Macedonia FYR. Our warrior is very curious to see how our Dutch guys will play then, after this EC roller coaster…

p.s. Rob, Jacqueline, Anneke, Paul, Sascha, Pieter, thanks for being such fabulous hosts!! (and big kudos to J&R for ad hoc hosting the NL-FA match during the power outage on the hill and for A&P for bringing the big suitcase full of drinks and snacks that came in very handy :-), and to the two Italian guys gracefully taking their loss at the NL-IT match), and thanks to Dana for the lovely orange hawaii skirts, excellent!! All in all, it was a short, but exhilarating experience.