Mystical Experiencer: Male in early seventies
Submission date: February 19, 2022
Current location: U.S.A.
Age at time of experience: 19
It was Spring of 1968. I was in my 2nd year of college at Drexel University in Philadelphia PA, majoring in chemical engineering, hating it but not knowing what else to do with my life.
As a younger child I had been raised in the country with few friends close by. I was most comfortable walking in the woods, where I felt one with the trees. I didn’t like going home because living with my father meant constant pressure. We had no religion — my mother was Presbyterian and wanted us to go to church but my father forbade it. He wouldn’t allow God’s name to be spoken in our house.
Getting away to college was a relief, but moving to the city and living in a dorm was stressful. I was conflicted, shy, not used to socializing, and I was depressed. I made friends but never felt really at ease with them.
One Sunday about 10 friends and I decided to take mescaline at Valley Forge State Park. We drove out from West Philadelphia in 2 cars. We took the mescaline inside the cars, then got out and walked out in the middle of a large, open grassy meadow framed by trees, just as the drug was taking effect.
The trees were moving in waves. Some of the others danced and sang but I preferred to lay back and look at the sky. It was an intense blue with few clouds. I could see patterns moving in the blueness. As I was peaking, I felt one with the earth. I had a vision of roots growing out of each of my shoulder blades and far down into the earth.
If you had seen a cross section of me and the earth from the side, the roots would have looked like giant angel wings extending out from my back. I was very happy, ecstatic actually. The entire earth, maybe the whole universe, was alive and vibrant. Everything was unified, nothing was separate. (I later had much more vivid and detailed experiences like this on LSD, so some of my memories of this first experience may have blended with later ones — they were all on the same continuum).
I had a sense that I knew exactly how the universe worked, what everything meant, how it all worked together like one big organism. I also had a strong sense of certainty that this way of seeing things was The Truth — there was no doubt. I thought that this Truth was the secret of the ages, that it was concealed from all of us in everyday life and that I’d remember this truth forever. Of course, after I came down I forgot most of the details. But that sense of what is True stayed with me. And I needed it at that point in my life.