by Greg

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The Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center
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Daniel Siebert

A few nights ago I tried an extract of Salvia divinorum leaves for the first time, after a few rounds of beer. Using a common water pipe, I took a rather large hit and held it in my lungs for a good 20 seconds. I looked around, smiled, and made a peace sign with my hands as if to say good-bye. I then closed my eyes and waited for about about 5 seconds.

Then the next thing I knew I was "dead," and I was being carted around in a vast strange land, made of something like hot air balloons that were colored in stripes of light blue, pale yellow, and a weak pinkish color. I was facing forward sitting in a chair on some sort of machine made of giant cogs, but the cogs always rotated backwards and brought me up to the next level, or to the next cog in otherwords. The whole while I was just in shock, it felt as though I couldn't breath or speak, and each time I was about to ask a question about what was really going on the machine would start up and spin me backwards up to the next level. Everytime I reached the peak of the loop it felt as though I broke the surface of water, as if I had been underwater to begin with (more like my body was morphing through a sheet of fabric). There were a few people with me dressed in all black, I believe (I couldn't get a close look, but it could have been the people actually with me). They were doing various jobs. For example, one was adjusting dials and another was explaining to me what was happening to me.

I wanted to ask the man closest to me where I was. Somehow I knew I was dead, but I had no idea how it happened and wanted to know what had become of my body on earth, because wherever I was, it wasn't earth. As I was being carted along we came upon multiple screens (more like visions on clouds) that had little parts of my life where I could have died but didn't, or something of the sort. I tried asking if there was anyway I would ever be alive again, or something along those lines, but the man looked at me and somehow I instantly knew... I was really, completely, genuinly dead. It was such a bizarre feeling that I can hardly start to describe it. Something of awe, shock, sadness, horror, and a lot more. Eventually I was brought to a clouded vision of where I was last before I died and slowly I became part of that vision as if to show me a 3-dimensional version.

At this point I really wasn't sure what was going on. I looked around and everything was still pretty hazy, but I believe that at this point I started to realize what was going on. I slowly got up and realized that I was back where I had smoked the salvia (although I had no recollection of ever smoking it). I moved out of the circle of chairs (from where I had collapsed out of my chair) and looked on the ground to see the familiar face of a girl whom I was with before I had "died." I was barely regaining composure as she asked what just happened to me. I tried explaining right away, but couldn't. All I could say was "I was dead." I leaned up against a wall where I stood for a few moments because I still felt out of it. My body was tingling all over and now everything came back to me. Where I was, who I was with, and most importantly: what I had just done. However, I was still confused, and a bit scared that the machine was going to start back up again at any second and that I was really still dead, but thank God, it didn't. I looked on the ground and saw a blanket with the same colors of the landscape and the machine itself. The familiar blue, pink, and yellow of the afterlife. I asked what had happened to me and they said I just fell out of my chair and onto the ground then rolled to my back and put my hands up in the air while leaving my elbows on the ground.

There are a few things that still shock me after this experience (more than the experience as a whole). Most importantly, I can recall how it felt to "know I was dead." It is an extremely bizarre feeling, one I can't explain. Another thing, was seeing that girls face, smiling back at me as she sat on the floor. I have never in my entire life been so happy to see another living human being, although I had met her only hours ago. And perhaps one of the most obvious things I got out of this whole experience is: cherish life, and live it to the fullest, because being dead wasn't all that great!

Other things I pondered afterwards...

There is one little funny thing I can't help but think about. What if I really did die on the floor of that house? What if what happened during my salvia experience was real? I think it strange to wonder if those in the black were "appraising" me. Whether to see me fit to go back and live on earth or to decide my fate in the afterlife. Or even stranger of them all, perhaps I really am dead lying on that floor and the machine found my soul an alternate reality and now I'm living in a place I really wasn't born in. And perhaps every vision I saw was another time I had died and yet another time they had to take my soul to another universe. These were all things I more or less "felt" during my experience as well.