Writing the Mushroom Magic

A short vivid description of my first guided journey

Late last year, I hit a panic wall trying to ‘fix’ my first creative nonfiction book after a developmental editor saw clearly what was missing. I’ve been writing it for nearly five years, and I need to end it. Reading about Michael Pollen’s experiences with guided psychedelic journeys, the answer became clear: I’d find a guide through my network, procure the ‘medicine,’ and hit the refresh button.

The description that follows attempts only to describe the visuals of what I saw/experienced during the actual journey. It took place in my home in my favorite room filled with color, texture, and art — some of it mine. It does not address real-time connections made regarding the book, life, art, meaning, etc., which were profound and numerous. Nor does it describe the days following of new revelations and insights that I scribbled down in the middle of the night.

What I saw inside my head, the first hour or so, with a light canceling mask over my eyes:

Inside the blackness, an illumination of color and light in the form of a trillion billion precious faceted jewels organized and regimented with mathematical precision into incandescent flowing walls and planes of burning color — moving architectures.

My mind’s eye could zoom into the jewels and see closeup details of the perfect mirror facets of changing and reflected color, which opened up into deeper new worlds of intricate, more organic networks of gem-sequins, which then opened into more, then more, then more — no beginning no end. Within this awesome universe were fluorescent flares, firings, hot spots, like faraway galaxy worlds within worlds.

What I saw in the room in front of me after removing the mask:

A visible but transparent 2 & 3-D crystalline architecture on, within, and around ceiling, walls, furniture, rugs, artwork, and space of such incomprehensible geometric and organic complexity and astounding beauty as to be nothing less than divine. It appeared to be part of my art, the room, and space, holding everything together in its oneness. Simultaneously ancient and futuristic, alien and friendly — this was the sentient architecture of the universe. And protector. A multidimensional intelligence of everything.

The fact that what I saw far exceeded the capacity of my imagination and understanding is the verification of its existence.

It worked. My guide, a skilled therapist, was essential. The experience opened up the book for me big time. I’ve seen the missing pieces, am finding an exciting way to write and structure them, and am nearly finished.

Visual Artist & Nonfiction Writer; New agented memoir: “Growing Up Under Water”—From Southern Gothic New Orleans to the art world of New York. bradleywester.com

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