Shroomfest Primer - By Ari Shaffir
  • 2na2na
    Hrair
    Where should I take it?
    Here’s an awesome thing: There really aren’t any bad places to take mushrooms. I’ve done them in my apartment alone, at a friend’s apartment, by the beach, at outdoor malls, at a UFC, at a party, during music festivals, and I’m sure I’m forgetting about some times. They were all great experiences.

    I would stay away from taking them in places where your feeling of self consciousness gets in the way of your relaxing. For example: If you take them before a relative’s funeral, you’re going to feel really bad if you start laughing midway through. And just knowing that your family will be mad at you for ruining their moment should be enough to make it a worse trip. Stay away from places where the consequences of reacting badly will be too great. Like at your job, or while driving. But almost anywhere else, the worst thing that can happen is some stranger might think you’re weird. More likely some stranger will think that he has to enjoy life more after seeing how much you will be seeming to enjoy it.

    The benefits to being outdoors is that you can come across almost anything. Whereas if you do them in your home, you’re way less likely to feel overwhelmed or scared. The drawbacks to being outdoors is that you can’t control your surroundings. If it starts raining, you’re just going to be in the rain (by the way, if it’s raining and it’s warm, it’ll feel amazing). Whereas if you do them in your home, you may not have quite enough stimuli helping you along.

    What should I expect to happen?

    (These are all just what has happened to me as I am able to describe using a limited vocabulary. You may or may not relate to this but it should at least feel similar)

    The wobbles. The ground starts to feel like there’s a parking garage underneath you

    Your sense of space begins to distort. Objects 20 yards away will seem 200 yards and objects very far will seem almost close enough to touch.

    The swims. This is where lines or patterns seem to start moving. If you’re staring at a stucco wall, the shapes will start seeming like someone is stirring them on the other side. This is actually one moment where the movies gets it right. Staring at clouds or sand will have the same effect. In Ottawa one time I stared at a building for almost an hour because the windows and columns started moving around like snakes. Pretty much staring at any patter will give you this effect. This is the normal level of hallucination. I’ve gone bigger where I saw a street performer kicking bowls off his foot and onto his head. The bowl seemed to be in a vortex that looked kind of like the air separating in the Matrix as bullets were cutting through it in slow motion. The vortex looked as real as the bowls. Another time I was watching one of the Jackasses with Big Jay Oakerson and one of the sharks that was swimming around Steve-O turned and looked at me and smiled. Just for a second, but it seemed real.

    Everything is hilarious. I mean everything. You won’t even be able to explain what you’re laughing about. It’ll just seem funny. Pete Carboni had an experience once where his friend Moses was staring at a video poker machine on the floor of a Vegas casino and he was just laughing. Pete wandered over and saw Moses laughing and asked what he was laughing at. So Moses pointed to the video poker machine. Pete stared for 3 seconds and then started cracking up. He still has no idea what was so funny but he’ll swear that it was hilarious.

    Everything is beautiful. This is why you shouldn’t be around your cell phone. You will think about people you know and you will only be able to concentrate on their best qualities and moments. That time your 7th grade buddy picked you first in basketball will seem like a tremendous kindness. You’ll want to properly thank him for it.

    Everything is sad. This is the opposite but equal symptom as the last one. You will think about moments in life that you regret. Anything from not holding the door open for your elderly neighbor that one time to screaming at your mother because you were a bratty teenager. And they’ll fill you with a level of sadness you can’t quite comprehend. My advice is to just soak it in and see what you can learn from it. If the worst thing that happens is you calling your mom to tell her thank you for raising me and I’m sorry I was a jerk sometimes when I was little, you’ll start seeing how beneficial these things can be.

    Hallucination. This is kind of like the swims but it goes further than that. Depending on the strain of shroom you take, you’ll get more or less of the hallucinations.

    Communicating with a higher power. If you go deep enough (that means a dose on the larger side) you’ll start communicating with mother nature. You feel a level of connection to all things kind of like the tree of life in Avatar. I’m reticent to use the word “god” because that’s not exactly what it is. It’s not any deity that you connect with. It’s more just some being giving you a clear understanding of how the world operates and your place inside it. This doesn’t happen through language, which is why I say communicating instead of conversing. You just sort of gain access to source of knowledge. This access doesn’t happen on any plane of existence that we live in. It doesn’t operate by the same rules of physics that we live with. You’re just in another place and you’re gaining knowledge. No words, really, just understanding. The first time you come back from your trip after gaining this access, it’ll be hard to put the new knowledge into words. And it’ll also be hard to hold onto. The understanding will start to fade away like it was a dream. After multiple times getting the same knowledge I was able to only begin to explain it to others.

    But also know this. You may not get all of those stages. Don’t feel like it’s a failure if you don’t. Every mushroom strain is different and every trip is different. The epic trips you hear about in stories are not the norm. They’re all relatively epic, but the deepest trips are just that; the deepest trips. The average trip, while still crazy, won’t be crazy crazy. Movies only show the craziest trips because it’s funnier and it reads as tripping better if they’re showing all the symptoms. But that’s not normal. A lot of times it just makes a trip to Disney 4 times more fun.

    More at the source:

    http://www.arishaffir.com/shroomfest-primer-rough-draft/


    Take it from your Highness.
  • this is really well done.
    Mr. Takahashi would like to see you all in his office now

    sitaramdas.com
    @sitaramdas
  • Yeah, it's a pretty good primer. I'm not sure I agree with this though:

    "Whereas if you do them in your home, you may not have quite enough stimuli helping you along"

    I think sometimes limiting the external stimuli can produce much more interesting and valuable experiences. Quiet dark room, eyeshade, maybe a carefully selected soundtrack of appropriate music (classical or ambient for example) ... and then you just go deep. Closed-eye visuals can be just as interesting (and perhaps even more so) than open-eye visuals.

    Maybe the shroomfest is more about semi-social and outward-directed trips, but still, I think any primer on shrooming should also include a paragraph on the value of directing a trip inward.
  • sitar said:

    this is really well done.



    Agreed. Though through my personal experience I must testify that my experiences out in nature among the flora and fauna and insects have always treated me nicer than my experiences inside walls of stucco, measured wood and nails
    Post edited by optimisto at 2012-07-09 23:51:09
    When in doubt zoom out
  • I'm not going to shroomfest, but a friend and I have been thinking about them a lot lately. (First timers) This really was an excellent write-up by Ari. And it will prove itself useful in times to come.
  • Yoyokilla said:

    I'm not going to shroomfest, but a friend and I have been thinking about them a lot lately. (First timers) This really was an excellent write-up by Ari. And it will prove itself useful in times to come.



    shroomfest isnt a place, buut rather a state of mind.

    i will be camping the 21-23 :P

  • Will there be live internet chats? I live with a hater too, I might have to make plans.
  • Keep in mind mushrooms aren't for everyone. I think Ari is being a little irresponsible in openly advocating mushrooms for everyone. After four trips, I learned they are for sure not for me. I've had a few good experiences, but for every good time, I've had a feeling that I'm going crazy and I'm going to end up institutionalized. It feels like a nervous breakdown. I've also gotten sick and started tripping out about being poisoned. I've seen spirits swirling around my head trying to invade my consciousness. I also tend to think a lot of paranoid shit, ranging from the police putting a tap on my phone, co-workers are making fun of me behind my back, or secret government organizations are beaming mind control lasers into everyone's head. And no, I didn't learn anything from these meltdowns as much as people say, "The bad trips will teach you a lot about yourself". All I learned from the bad trips is that I shouldn't mess with shrooms.
    Before you take mushrooms, examine the mental health history of your family as well as your own. Research shows people with a family history of mental health issues, especially psychosis, are exponentially more likely to have a bad trip. If you're like me and have a family history of anxiety, depression, anger management issues, psychosis, suicide, alcohol and drug addiction, nervous breakdown, and bi-polar; along with a personal history of tendency towards depression, paranoia, introversion, and insecurity, you should probably stay away from mushrooms and stick to pot, or just green tea and meditation.
    Sorry to be a buzzkill, but the risks must be addressed.
    Post edited by Eye-Itoi at 2012-07-18 20:08:49
  • I'd participate. But I just had a nice mushroom trip at the end of last month, no real need for another yet. Also, I'm broke.
    Until the 20th century, reality was everything humans could touch, smell, see and hear. Since the initial publication of the charted electromagnetic spectrum, humans learned that what they can touch, smell, see, and hear... is less than one millionth of reality.
  • optimisto said:

    sitar said:

    this is really well done.



    Agreed. Though through my personal experience I must testify that my experiences out in nature among the flora and fauna and insects have always treated me nicer than my experiences inside walls of stucco, measured wood and nails


    yes, i agree with you. but it doesnt seem like he promotes one over the other, he just gives a few pros and cons for each.

    Mr. Takahashi would like to see you all in his office now

    sitaramdas.com
    @sitaramdas
  • Never taken mushrooms. Yet. Growing my first batch now, not sure where my first experience will take place. My house is safer, but I've been thinking maybe being out in nature would be better. We'll see in a week or two, it'll certainly be an experience.
    "Up above aliens hover, making home movies for the folks back home of all these weird creatures that lock up their spirits, drill holes in themselves, and live for their secrets. They're all uptight" -Radiohead
  • Never taken mushrooms. Yet. Growing my first batch now, not sure where my first experience will take place. My house is safer, but I've been thinking maybe being out in nature would be better. We'll see in a week or two, it'll certainly be an experience.


    First time, stay inside. Get a feel for em. Unexpected problems, tripping dick in the wild for the first time isn't a grand idea. Shit, I don't even like doing it, I hate tripping in my house nowadays, but I hate being out or around people.

    Until the 20th century, reality was everything humans could touch, smell, see and hear. Since the initial publication of the charted electromagnetic spectrum, humans learned that what they can touch, smell, see, and hear... is less than one millionth of reality.
  • goo
    Hrair
    Holy balls. Ari's such a good writer. He hit the nail on the head with everything he touched on.

    I agree with @JK303, shrooms aren't for everyone. You ought to check for mental illness and start with a small dose. I took a couple friends out for their first time and one of them fell into a long, paranoid fit on a dry dose of 1.5g. Don't be afraid of shrooms, but treat them with respect; they're very powerful drugs.

    Also, as @Karhu was saying, a mushroom primer doesn't feel complete without explaining the deep introspective tunnel you can dive into. I've always thought of shrooms as a learning tool to explore the innerspace of my subconscious and to ponder the nature of reality. It always sounds so loony when I tell people, but this is true for me: trips are often like a really intense self-psychotherapy session. I get to see and confront myself, with improved clarity after having my ego peeled way back. After every trip and a good night sleep, I feel like I hit a reset button on my life with new insight and energy to readjust my trajectory.

    There is something other-worldly and godly about a deep mushroom trip. You really get to plug in and witness the cosmic inter-connectedness of everything, which is super euphoric and humbling...and personally always feels pseudo-religious. Also, music becomes motherfuckin flaming jesus, which is to say insanely awesome, all-encompassing and orgasmic.

    The underlying logic and structure of the universe seems to be mirrored equally in innerspace. Do you know the way you can somewhat comprehend zooming out from the earth, into the macro, expanding into the vast infinity of universe? It seems like you can dive just as deep into yourself, zooming into the micro, and entering an inner vastness. Did I lose you guys? Come on...I'm sure other people have had these experiences too.

    If you're into this inner-journey thing, I recommend tripping alone. Take as many shrooms as you can without freaking out. A sitter is usually a good idea. Indoors or somewhere private and away from people. Set your intention to yourself and the universe. Relax and meditate. Go along wherever it takes you and don't fight it. Don't take all the thoughts and images too seriously either. (Personally, I ALWAYS see a vibrating, glowing christ-cross, with freakin laser-beams. God can blow me.) Not everything you see is going to make sense and it's up to you to attach meaning to things.

    I do this just once or twice a year and feel like it's an integral part of my evolution as a human.
  • goo
    Hrair
    .
    Post edited by goo at 2012-07-25 08:37:42
  • Report back guys... Anybody find each other in innerspace?
  • In my limited experience, mushrooms can be very difficult in a social setting, particularly if you're with people you might not normally hang out with. Minor frictions that you could normally overlook may become ovewhelming. I prefer to do mushrooms on my own, as the experience tends to be heady and introspective.

    Cactus can be awesome in a social setting, much like ecstasy (the chemical structure is similar). Takes way too long to come down, though. It is a polite guest that overstays its welcome.
  • IMO, I would never tell anyone that they should NOT do shrooms. Yes, they can create difficulty in your life. And yes, the feeling of insanity is somewhat common it seems. But the more I do them, the more I feel like I'm not the insane one, but the world is the insane party. When I really started to observe the world after gaining the perspective of the mushroom, I began to feel more sober than when I am not under the influence of the shroom. Everyone has heard about how people can go insane due to psychedelics, but it's not the psychedelics that make people go insane. It is the contrast that they see between before they do psychedelics and after. I felt very insane for the first few months after tripping my first time, but eventually realized that I am only more aware than before. I agree with Ari's approach. If you are curious about shrooms, do them. Whether you enjoy them or not, you will be shown something that you could have never imagined before you tried them. And no one says that you must regularly use them. You can go back to your feeble mindedness if you so choose.
  • i would love to participate, but am having a really difficult time finding any,,...ds.a.dd.sa.da,sd

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