My general motivation for taking psychedelics – besides having fun – is experiencing novel, unknown states of consciousness and inducing viewshakes. My beliefs don’t fluctuate as much as in my youth when I changed my favorite philosopher as often as other people their underwear. All in all, my worldview hasn’t changed all that much for one and a half years! Maybe this shows that I reached an epistemic optimum. But the frighting possibility exists that I’m just becoming an old conservative and don’t want to change my mind anymore. And what would galvanize my rusty brain more than taking the king of psychedelic drugs, that is LSD?
So this summer I traveled to Ozora, a psychedelic trance festival in Hungary full of drug-taking hippies. There were official shops that sold LSD, 2-CB, MDMA, mescaline, etc. Not to speak of the countless dealers that went from tent to tent. I’ve never been to a single festival, listened to maybe 5 psytrance tracks before Ozora and I was completely alone (I have no only boring friends). Suffice it to say: I was a bit nervous and not prepared.
Right on the first night of the festival, around 8 P.M., I took 1 blotter of LSD with a guy that I met the day before, let’s call him L. We went to the Main Stage of the festival and saw a beautiful opening ceremony with crazy fire artists and of course awesome goa trance. After 1 hour the LSD began to kick in and I began to have slight hallucinations, saw beautiful patterns on some faces and could somehow see and understand the music, presumably some mild form of synesthesia. Musically talented people probably experience music always with such intensity and richness. I really envy those folks. Dancing with all those friendly people seemed much more sublime and profound than the mindless partying with the shallow and superficial crowd of mainstream clubs which I did quite a bit in my youth.
There was something weird going on with my kinesthetic sense, too. I never felt my body movements with such intensity and clarity before and thus danced like a maniac – a fucking talented maniac, mind you. The effects gradually grew a bit stronger and some folks began to look a bit like zombies if I didn’t look carefully – so I took another half blotter of LSD.
(It’s pretty hard to describe the LSD-experience. Fun fact: A drug counseling service distributed brochures which listed the effects and risks of almost every known drug. Whereas most drugs had detailed descriptions the page on LSD just read: The effects are very powerful, difficult to describe and vary highly.)
Anyway, now the visual hallucinations didn’t go away or gradually lessened when I tried to focus my vision, some people just looked like zombies, nothing I could do about it. I danced rather frantically with A, another guy I met the day before for another half hour and took the rest of the second blotter since when dealing with powerful hallucinogenic drugs you should always follow the principle: When in doubt, take more.
Then we bought some food and talked for maybe 1 hour about the possibility of communism/utopia. Naturally, I began to preach transhumanism. Talking about manipulating the human genome and the possible rise of superintelligent AI while tripping on LSD probably didn’t increase my credibility. But I think A. agreed with me on a lot of points, eloquent bastard that I am, even with that much LSD pumping through my brain.
But now on to the Chill out Stage! (Which means around 140 beats per minute, whereas the music at the Main Stage had around 190 bpm. Ravers are tough cookies when it comes to dancing). Problem is, I was getting slightly disgusted with this whole love-peace-harmony thingy. All these happy hippies who hugged and squeezed each other constantly just were too much for the dark and cynical parts of my self. And this whole mystical we-are-all-one-and-evil-does-not-exist vibe just made me sick. How many of those joy-junkies actually know about the abysmal revelations of evolutionary psychology or have ever thought about existential risks? I felt like the only atheist/reductionist/realist on this whole damn festival. But the solution was obvious: More drugs.
So I gulped down some GHB (works similar to alcohol, i.e. my mood improves and I’m more open and forgiving but without the typical side effects of alcohol such as slurring, cognitive decline and general descent into animality. And without hangover. Man, I hate alcohol). The perfect mix with GHB is just the right amount of amphetamine to increase your energy and alertness so I snorted some lines of speed, too. Another guy also offered me to snort some ketamine out of his rather long finger nails. Naturally, I gladly accepted. (Ketamine is normally used as an anesthetic so you definitely shouldn’t go overboard with this stuff if you still want to be able to dance — or just stand).
Now I was feeling pretty good again. I just need enough drugs to climb the stairway to heaven. All kinds of colors and patterns exploded in front of my eyes and my body almost danced on its own in rhythm to the beat. Sure, zombies were still among me, but some people looked like angels and radiated an aura of goodness and love. I wasn’t disgusted anymore by the superficial hedonism because dancing and listening to music involves almost all senses and is a great way to celebrate the joys of human existence through engaging your whole body and maxing out your motor skills. I experienced entirely novel states of consciousness and maybe caught a very brief glimpse of the possibilities that lie ahead, behind the singularity, in the posthuman realm.
Believing in a generally non-magical, boring materialistic universe and still preferring to not be hooked up to an experience machine now seemed pretty reasonable. Sure, we are just a collection of protons and electrons without any objective purpose given to us. But isn’t this amazing? We are only dust in the wind, however when a bunch of properly structured particles can experience bliss like this, doesn’t that mean that profound happiness is an inherent part of this universe? You don’t need some extra stuff like a soul to achieve such joy. Physics is quite enough. And realizing this, celebrating life and taking joy in the merely real in spite of all the suffering and ultimate pointlessness, preferably with a similarly enlightened human being of the appropriate gender is the apex of the revolt against the absurdity of existence.
(Apropos, I actually danced with this absolutely angelic girl and even talked with her afterwards for hours. But she became tired, I went with her to her tent and… never saw her again. God, I still want to blow my fucking brains out if I remember this missed opportunity. I didn’t even asked her for her number or visited her tent the next day! I’m such a retarded coward.Guys, if you see a wonderful girl, please, for the love of cute kittens, approach and talk to her. The worst that can happen is a rejection. If you don’t do it, on the other hand, you’ll wander through life in misery, pain and unbearable loneliness. True story.)
Anyway, let’s continue our philosophical musings. Why not simply enter an experience machine, you ask? Well, such wireheaders are ultimately alone. They may not know it, but they are and that is sad. “Happiness is only real when shared.” I don’t want to be alone and have beliefs and emotions that don’t correspond to fundamental reality. It’s just a basic value of mine. Simple as that.
That were some of the thoughts I remember having. Obviously, now I don’t find them nearly as compelling and even then I realized that I was engaging in some motivated reasoning in order to maintain the state of utter bliss, but it worked. Kinda sad that I have to justify my joy, even while tripping on LSD. But still, I think now I’m more comfortable with reductionism and naturalistic metaethics. I mean, there are no real logical arguments, just idiosyncratic preferences and emotions all the way down. And LSD probably helps you to change your psyche in such a way that you can be a bit more happy in our sometimes all to dark and Lovecraftian universe.