The little people come to me in every one of the visions... At first, there is always fear. Ego, identity, and certainty dissolve into a pixelated vision: small creatures and atom-points. These plasticine creatures are vaguely humanoid.... with black triangular heads atop two dimensional, cartoon bodies.
They do not speak to me verbally. Rather, they arrange themselves into pictures. And always pictures on a similar theme: a suburban neighborhood at first. Then a house in that neighborhood. Then a blond woman and a black dog in front of the house. Then a shed/barn to the back of the house. Then a tool barrel beside the barn. Each of these details revealed in a separate trip-- spanning more than a yearís time experimenting.
Just what the hell is going on here? Why the little people everytime? Why the continuous theme for every vision? Is this some long buried image from my subconcious? Is it an archtypal dream... a psychological riddle to be solved? The woman and dog appeared a couple of weeks before the death of my first girlfriend, Jessica Hanna. She is blond and had a black dog, a house in the country, and a barn behind the house. A strange coincidence?
Three of us met secretly to experiment with Salvia Divinorum.... a common nursery plant that, when prepared and smoked correctly, strips the ego naked in an instant. Psychedelic crack. We took turns during each session. One would smoke while the other two took notes. Occaisonally the smoker spoke, yelled, or gestured. We wrote down everything and also kept a tape recorder running.
Todd went first. Ten seconds after smoking he laid out on the carpet and seemed to go into a deep coma. He lay motionless for perhaps five minutes. The room was dark, lit only by a candle. I closed my eyes, notebook in hand, and leaned against the wall when Todd snapped a horrowing cackle from his throat. The mad laughter continued for almost ten minutes, interspersed with inarticulate mumbling. He was lost in another world and had no awareness of Lewis, me, or the room. Ten minutes later he eased back into his own skin.
ìWhat were you laughing about?î, I asked. ìHuh, was I laughing?î, he mumbled.
ìYou were cackling like a crazy manî, said Lewis. Todd shook his head and shrugged his shoulders.
ìSo what happened?î, I asked. He described a scene similar to hundreds of documented near-death experiences: a doorway of light, an attempt to pass through its veil, and then a return to this world. ìI wanted to go through the doorway but it felt like the floor was grabbing me and pulling me back and downwardsî.
I went next. It was the first time I saw the dancing pixel-people.... the first time they arranged themselves into a perfect suburban picture. Following every subsequent foray into the pixel madness, I tried to make sense of what I saw. Once, I went so far that I penetrated the picture and became ìlostî. I forgot myself completely.... forgot that I was a human being... forgot that I was a separate entity... forgot that there was an ìIî at all. Its the experience I was seeking. For Divinorum smoke, more than any other meditative technique or drug, annihilates the Self.... that long held goal of mystic traditions the world over. This is a dance with the dark void. This is a glimpse of death. And while it can be terrifying, it was not altogether unpleasant.