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Joshua D

    The famous album title from Kanye West describes it best, at least what my experience was: a beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy. It was an intense experience but changed my life forever—you will likely experience “ego death,” but obviously that’s not a guarantee as everyone’s experience varies and it’s entirely based on your mindset, initial intentions, and the environment you choose for your experience. (And your tolerance.)

    I can honestly say the overall summary of the experience was as if the entire universe “hugged me,” I let go of most of the existential fears I’d had before the dose and it left me feeling peaceful and assured. Still, at several points I definitely felt like I was way off the deep end and losing touch with reality, but I had someone I trusted to take care of me when things went too dark. To bring me back to solid ground, to assure me I was safe. You can expect a loss of time perception, loss of tangible reality, and hearing and seeing people, places, and things that are not there. I also relived past trauma from an out-of-body perspective…it was incredibly therapeutic, but at times was also legit terrifying. I felt far outside of our usual plane of reality, and had a distinct awareness of an “other.” What this other is or was, in the moment I interpreted it as another intelligence from a different dimension or plane of existence, but as I type this I realize how insane that sounds. But that should give you an idea of the kind of reality-altering potential a hero dose unlocks.

    I cannot emphasize this enough though, DO NOT DO IT ALONE. The experience is powerfully convincing and you’d be surprised how quickly you forget you’ve taken a hero dose…how quickly the hallucinations begin to feel like reality. Have someone with you that you trust who can assure you beyond any doubt that you’re safe, I’d liken it to all of the totem safety measures adhered to in the film “Inception” as a close explanation of why that’s so important. You need someone with you that can bring you back to reality if you drift too far. You also want someone who will not interfere with or interact with you during your experience unless you want them to, but overall they should support you as an impartial observer and not a participant of your experience. You will be in an extremely vulnerable and impressionable state of mind, so this should be someone you absolutely know will take care of you without judgement.

    With all of that said, the “journey” of a hero dose reminds me most of that ride at Disney World’s Epcot where you’re essentially strapped in for a pre-ordained path or story that you’re being shown. Let it happen, let it in, and it’s basically a ride with a beginning and end. Don’t try to control it, or believe that you can influence it, everything is happening in your brain regardless so you’re essentially in your own feedback loop. Just let the ride take you through its experience and you’ll arrive safely at the end. Good luck!

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