A Transformative, Healing Journey with Salvia Divinorum


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The Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center
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Daniel Siebert

I smoked three full, deep hits of the extract. On the third draw, as I pulled the pipe from my mouth, two perfectly formed, expanding smoke rings come up out of the bowl, floated up within an inch of my nose and over my right shoulder. I handed the pipe and lighter to the sitters as this occurred, and said, "Beautiful rings!!…Here we go!" As those rings floated up out of the bowl and past my face, the energy of the salvia rose up my spine and gripped me firmly. The spinning, pressing sensations came on very quickly and as strong as ever. I felt pushed and had the sensation of all of space/time condensing and collapsing quickly. I also completely forgot in any tangible way that I had just smoked salvia. It creates for me a "skip" or discontinuity in my mental cognition, although not in my visual perception. I had the feeling of suddenly waking up, while having to deal with the immediate after effects of whirling to dizziness like a child does to have fun, but remembering nothing of the physical act of spinning. As the room sped up "ratcheting" and rotating around, I felt once again that the "veil" was pulled back, the Cosmic Joke revealed, and that nothing solid existed but the small visual field which I could see in front of me in the cabin.

Astounded again at the absurdity, the simplicity, the illusion of it all…I looked at all the expectant, curious faces in the room looking at me as if waiting for me to verbalize this knowing I had, to let on that I had final realized the answer, the "punch line" which had become so clearly apparent, them wondering "Did he really get it this time?"…

"What happened?" I asked, "I don't believe this!"

"This can't be…what is this really?"

I had the sense that the people were actually disembodied, that their essence took form as it pressed against the thin film of reality left in existence, i.e. the inside of the reality bubble that was my visual field. They did this so I could sense and understand them as I was still anchored in my five gross physical senses, although I had just realized and had direct ongoing knowledge/experience/sensing of the truth beyond this illusion, and the true essence of our being as non-physical entities participating in a physical game. I felt directly in touch with all of their thoughts and feelings because we are truly all one, all connected, only taking on the guise of separateness for the purpose of this passion play we call our lives. Our real existence and world, which is just beyond my visual field, behind me and all around the "outside" of this shrinking reality bubble, is the common "ground of existence, truly the one mind, or creative force, or God, or whatever you want to label it. We are it! It is all! All is it! We are all! The labels are unnecessary, absurd, all part of the "Cosmic Joke" which we are telling our self to overcome the more boring aspects of true, full Unity; of being alone, all one being. The labels just serve to obfuscate, confuse and befuddle so we forget our self for awhile and go out to play with ourselves, creating stories to amuse our self.

As this became stronger, the questions and expressions of, "You've got to be kidding, etc." continued. I was hoping to gain a better grip, by having one of the other manifested "aspects"/people, give some corroboration to my realization. I got up and tried to walk outside while the others tried to reassure me that it was OK, I'd be fine, I'd just smoked some salvia.

"No! That's not it." I said, "What is it really?"

They stopped me from leaving. I sat and tried to understand as the fragile reality bubble I was looking into continued to slow its rotation a bit. I then recall someone say something the triggered the need to once again get up, get out the door, beyond the collapsing visual/material world. I wanted to prove to myself whether there was anything outside the cabin anymore, I wanted to beat "the stage crew" who set up each successive scene that we consider our continuous physically cognized life, and see what it looks like behind the "set". The Robert Heinlein short story "Them" describes this idea/feeling very well.

Of course, my sitters gently turned me back. I sat down still a bit confused, slightly suspicious and incredulous. I then began to reintegrate into more personal, nostalgic feelings which prompted me to question the motives of my sitters. I though they definitely knew something they weren't letting me know, some told me it was OK I was safe…this made me more suspect…I said something about how I didn't quite understand, but that somehow I felt that they were my family, asking, "So, you are my family?"

It immediately struck me that this wasn't true so I exclaimed, "No wait, you're not my family!" At this J… said, "We're all your brothers."

"Yeah," I said, " I have a brother. No, I don't have a brother. I have two parents, three sisters and a son." I was counting them off on my fingers.

"I have a son?"

This seemed very odd to me because as I connect to the images of my family I experienced myself as a child in that family (the third child with three sisters, the only boy, born on the third day of the month etc.), and I started to laugh. I was definitely reintegrating but still astounded and bewildered, by these thoughts and memories, particularly the idea of having my own son. V… caught my attention as some one assured me I had indeed had a son, and said, " JT, you look just like a baby, Your looking at things in wide-eyed innocent wonder."

"Now that's Bullshit!" I exclaimed, pointing and wagging my finger at him. I felt that I had some grasp on a fuller understanding than that of a child.

J…, sitting next to me concurred, "Your face completely transformed," he said, "it was as if you were a small child who just woke up at summer camp, totally surprised to be there, not expecting to be anywhere but home in your own bed."

As these two ideas collided with the thought that I had a son of my own…something deep inside, something twisted and knotted up got pulled, and straightened out into a sort of smooth, fibrous multi-layered/dimensional tube, or matrix of tubules, made up of feelings/memory/understanding. I was instantly aware of and "face-to-face" in a manner of speaking, with myself as an eight-year-old boy. I was myself as an adult in the cabin and also myself as a boy, connecting with and through all of my "selves" in-between. Also, I experienced the connection, the chain of my relationships, the generational lifeline, with my father on one side of me and my own son on the other side of me. It's definitely impossible to describe this in any temporal or three dimensional way, because the connections all interwoven and overlaid, my clear "sight" and understanding of the dynamics, was all there all at once, instantaneously with absolute lucidity in a seemingly eternal, atemporal, non-spatial "space".

I was simultaneously floored and exhilarated, the realization was solid and fairly crackled through me as an amazing energy flow or current turned on, and gave me instant knowledge of the issues that I had set as my intent before taking this incredible journey. I got it all and much more than I had expected. I was back and had been rewarded for heeding the call of Salvia this night. For a while I debriefed with the others in the circle, trying to relate some little bits of where I'd been and what I'd seen and learned, from the pure transpersonal to the deepest personal realms. They seemed visibly, deeply impressed at having witnessed my journey, but obviously unable to fully "grok" what I was trying to relate. It was late, we all thanked each other and most of them drifted out to get some rest.

The main portion of the trip lasted roughly the usual 20-30 minutes. I felt lingering "primary" effects for up to a full hour afterwards. I continued to talk with J… and N… for about three hours after the others had left, sharing some of the deeper more personal parts of my life's story which this experience had touched. This helped ground me and strengthen the gift of insight I had just received.