Since coming to the Netherlands, I’ve been grateful to have about half a dozen experiences with “magic truffles.” These are sclerotia (kind of like the “fruit”) of Psilocybin mushrooms, so you get the same effects as when consuming shrooms. These are legal, but regular Psilocybin mushrooms are not because of an American tourist who didn’t regulate their intake well and ended up drowning in a canal in Amsterdam. That’s one American stereotype I don’t feel I adhere to, but I can’t argue with Dutch people about it. Americans are so repressed that they gorge themselves when they have access to something considered a vice. Look at food, alcohol, sex, the list goes on. My experience with magic truffles has been really positive because I like to read a lot before taking a drug and understand the best practices to have an optimal experience.
I can confidently say I have not had a bad trip at all. I can see how you could have a bad trip, but I think I have pretty good control of the direction of my thoughts while tripping, so it just hasn’t happened for me. I am very conscientious about what media I might consume while on Psilocybin, opting for mainly music over anything too visual. I have absolutely loved listening to composter Jon Hopkins’s 2021 album Music for Psychedelic Therapy. It is a fantastic album of music that perfectly synced up with the experience, and it’s carried me through my last three trips.
My personal take on the psychedelic experiences I’ve had is not that I am connecting with some divine cosmic spiritual force; instead, these drugs force you to go inside yourself in ways that modern society just doesn’t encourage people to. The images I see and the personalities I encounter are just fragments of myself. It’s a pretty rich and rewarding experience. I feel so much more in tune with my anxiety and how to control it. I also find myself feeling peace more often. The truffles haven’t been a magic bullet because nothing is, but they have become a vital tool for improving my mental health. I typically do them at the end of each month and want to ensure I don’t do them too often to keep them from losing their potency. I also noticed our local smart shop, the psychedelic version of a coffee shop here in NL, sells peyote cacti, and I’m interested in trying those at some point down the line.
Having experienced a few drugs in my life, I am confused why things like weed or Psilocybin are illegal in large portions of the United States. Never once have I felt in danger because I used them. I never mix drugs and alcohol, and when I do take them, it’s always in a safe, secure place and never alone. Unfortunately, so much drug abuse in the States results from using destructive drugs (see opioids for a start) or doing the softer drugs in too large a quantity. This could be solved by actually educating people about drugs and their safe consumption, but that is in direct conflict with America’s repressive, punitive Calvinist roots.
The result is that drug addiction is seen as a criminal act rather than a symptom of a significant health care issue. I don’t imagine I will ever partake of heroin, but the recent apoplectic reaction to a clean pipe distribution program in America has me so frustrated. As they typically do, the right-wing rages on their news networks that this is permissive and allows “junkies” to flourish. They willingly ignore that these programs are centered on protecting life and then building trust with users to facilitate rehab if they so choose. I also believe that if someone can manage heroin usage without destroying themselves or harming people, they should be left alone. Who I am to deny someone a momentary escape in a world as broken down as this?
I am pleased to hear that medical studies are being done on the effects of Psilocybin on people suffering from schizophrenia. It seems that it’s been a tremendous help in helping these people live better lives. I personally believe humanity would benefit greatly if more people regularly consumed psychedelics in safe quantities. People would end up a lot more in touch with themselves and, as an extension, likely have more empathy for people they encounter. The strife I read about as society decays in the States stems right from an absence of that. Americans do not regularly self-reflect, which leads to such an awful body-mind disconnect. Something like Psilocybin can align those again and give people the sort of mental health relief they need.
Part of the problem with why these drugs aren’t accepted in mainstream society stems from their portrayal in popular media. Starting in the 1930s, public service films made soft drugs look like they would drive people to psychotic manias. Just like Red Scare propaganda, these messages seared themselves into people’s minds, and they passed their fears down through the generations as the media continued reinforcing them.
The best media portrayal I can recall of what it’s like to be on psychedelics was in Mad Men. It was Season five, episode six, where Roger Sterling and his new wife drop acid at a dinner party. Time becomes fluid, and you experience subtle visual changes, so this scene is right on the money.
I’ve felt like I could see still images slightly moving during my own trips. One common experience when using truffles is to curl up in bed and feel like I’m moving through some vast network of connections, like mycelium or synapses. The trip usually starts with a strong sense of euphoria when the Psilocybin first hits, then the deep inner reflection, and ends with a sense of peace. In addition, I find that the natural light in the room often has a soothing blue tone as I’m coming down.
If you are interested in trying Psilocybin, I would highly recommend it, though with a big caveat that you read a lot about it before attempting to try anything. Knowledge about drugs is how we avoid harming ourselves, and there are excellent resources out there to help you. You should never consume something like truffles alone at first and strictly adhere to the recommended dosage. Surround yourself with things that will keep you in a positive state of mind, and you should have an enjoyable time and hopefully experience some inner growth. I hope that more significant swaths of the population can partake of these beautiful things at some point in the near future, and maybe humanity can get better.
Also, if you have read this far, good for you. Here’s my still-building playlist of music I’ve been listening to in the Winter of 2022.