120mg of Transformation: The Psychedelic You’ve Likely Never Heard Of
One of the most potent psychedelics that you’ve never heard of and how it dramatically transformed me
The year is 2017. It’s a warm Saturday evening and it’s just about 5pm, which means it’s time to get my scale and measure my dose. This is going to be the second time this week. I’ve been doing this twice a week for several months, now.
They say 30mg is the equivelant of 3.5 grams of Cubensis (“magic mushrooms”), but I’ve discovered a secret. I’ve been taking higher dosages and it’s not more intense. No, it’s something else entirely. It becomes a living, breathing experience. This is in effect, pharmaceutical Ayahuasca at these dosages. It turns out, I’ve been venturing into rarely explored territory.
The experience lasts around 4–5 hours with about a 1 hour peak, so if I time it right, I can be back to normal in time for a late snack before bed.
Again, this was a couple of years ago…
I measure out the dose and immediately place it on my tongue. It tastes terrible, like crushed pills. It was made in a lab, after all.
Immediately, I chase it back and cleanse my mouth with a vodka and juice cocktail. I’ve had a few of these to calm my nerves, but it hardly helps. Despite having gone through this dozens of times, now, I always feel very nervous. I can feel the usual anxiety, straight away.
I head out to the deck. It’s a peaceful back yard with just woods behind it and no visible neighbors. I turn the music on, something calming, beautiful and complex, then continue with my cocktail while I follow up on a few Facebook discussions. The sun is gently fading into the horizon. I glance up at the trees and sure enough, I can feel it kicking in.
The substance I’ve consumed is classified as a research chemical. It is the molecule 4-AcO-DMT, often referred to as “Psilocetin”.
4-AcO-DMT is a lab manufactured Psilocybin analogue. Like Psilocybin, it belongs to the Tryptamine family of molecules and is a “prodrug” to Psilocin, the part that survives metabolism and actually binds to receptors in the brain.
This incredible molecule was first synthesized by the Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann in 1963 and you may recognize his name. Dr. Hofmann is also famous for having discovered the psychedelic effects of LSD when he accidentally allowed his fingers to absorb a small amount of it. Three days later, on April 19th, 1943, in the truest spirit of exploration and as some would say: “Like a boss”, he famously decided to experiment on himself and reapplied the LSD shortly before riding his bicycle home from his lab. Hofmann is now known to some as the father of psychedelic medicine (he’s actually several thousand years late on that one) and April 19th is known to some as “Bicycle Day” in remembrance of his brave journey.
I typically refer to this molecule as “4-AcO” (not that I actually bring it up often), but I’ve experimented with mushrooms and DMT a lot and I’ve come to view these all as one thing. I’m definitely not the type to subscribe to “woo woo” ideas, but I’ve come to affectionately think of these molecules as sort of one “spirit”. I want to clarify that I exclude LSD because it is just very different. LSD belongs to a different family of molecules. For thousands of years, indigenous South Americans have known of “The Spirit Vine” (Ayahuasca) and “Mother Ayahuasca”. It truly is as though there is a spirit that these molecules share. It’s like tapping into the wisdom of nature.
I’m really excited to tell you about the experience of 4-AcO-DMT and how incredibly transformative it was for me, but first, there are a few points you really need to know.
First of all, we’ve all heard of “bad trips”. The most important thing you need to know is this:
“Bad trips” really are the experiences you grow from. That being said, if anything other than a happy, giggly time, is a “bad trip” for you, you’re probably just too young at heart or otherwise not ready for it. If you are prepared to take in the ineffable, to see all things for their true complexity and nature and so learn about what and who you are as viewed by someone other than the person who left that towel on the floor, you’re probably ready. If you have demons, you’re going to face them and that is ultimately the most beneficial part of these experiences. If I had to choose between being totally free of suffering versus realizing my suffering and undergoing the process of learning from it, I would choose the latter, every time.
Why are some trips “bad” and why are “bad trips” the experiences we grow from?
It’s actually very simple. Bad trips are so, because you are effectively forced out of the trance you’ve been living in. It’s not that you suddenly become enlightened. Rather, you shift laterally to a new perspective that is unbound to your life routines. You will be shown the lies you have been telling yourself and trust me, we are all lying to ourselves. You will be compelled to reflect on things with a kind of deep wisdom and insight that does not allow you to rationalize feeling better about whatever you’ve been doing wrong. You will realize the suffering you’ve otherwise become used to and you will realize the cause. In that moment, there will be no escape, no immediate resolution.
Secondly, I strongly encourage you to read my other article on psychedelic self improvement in which I outline guidelines for medicinal use of psychedelics as a means of self improvement as well as some fundamental expectations. It’s “a message of hope for those who choose to hear it and a warning for those who do not”. If you go about this the wrong way, these molecules will hyper-slap you. Some people have actually been diagnosed with PTSD as a result of recklessly dosing themselves with psychedelics.
Finally, I just want to emphasize that psychedelics are incredibly illegal in many countries. Even 4-AcO-DMT, while legal to purchase, can land you in a cage with rapists, murderers and otherwise violent people for years if you aren’t careful about your conduct. Armed government employees will literally kidnap you and lock you in a cage. If you resist them, there is a high probability that you may end up dead. Your family will suffer, you will lose everything. So, I just want to make it clear that I am not encouraging you to pursue these substances. In fact, I strongly suggest you do not pursue them. However, perhaps they will find you or you are otherwise going to do as you please. It’s a tragedy that these transformative experiences are so illegal, but it is what it is. I hope that my experience will offer you some insight.
Having had my share of psychedelics, it was this particular molecule, 4-AcO-DMT, that completely changed my life and I feel absolutely compelled to share my story and the experience.
So, what is 4-AcO-DMT like? How can it change lives? Let’s get into the nitty gritty, shall we?
You check your phone. It’s been 28 minutes and 49 seconds since you placed 120mg on your tongue…
The anxiety you felt immediately after taking it, is slowly beginning to transition from a self induced anxiety to a molecularly induced anxiety. You feel like your body is buzzing and your eye lids begin to feel just slightly heavy. You regretfully remind yourself that you know what’s happening and you carry on staring at social media. A part of you is beginning to regret having committed to the experience that is going to unfold.
At 46 minutes, your regret of having taken this substance has hit it’s peak and by approximately 1 hour, you are beginning to feel a dramatic shift in priorities. Suddenly, social media seems a bit silly and a towel on the floor or dirty kitchen becomes almost unbearable. You’re rapidly becoming someone other than the person who’s created this environment, but your ego, not wanting to be forgotten, fights back and attempts to regain control. This environment is completely inseparable from you. When you see it’s imperfections, you judge yourself. The ego’s last ditch attempt.
So, you pick up the towel, tidy up any other small imperfections and begin to enter the full swing of the trip.
You sit comfortably back down where you have calm music playing. You go back to social media…
1 hour and 17 minutes into the trip, you feel not alone. There is an eerie presence and it almost makes you feel self conscious. A ceiling light fixture becomes the center point of a vague, green and blue mandala. Sounds take on a bizarre quality. It’s almost as though you hear them as echos in a memory. The experience is beginning to peak.
You begin to envision concepts, fungal like networks, the connectedness of all things. The geometry is everywhere, now. It’s difficult to focus your eyes and your anxiety is giving way to a tremendous sense of guilt and even slight paranoia.
As though the spirit is manipulating you to see what it wants you to see, your eye lids become incredibly heavy and you are overwhelmed with the urge to just lay on the ground.
It is at this point that I have had what can only be compared to
DMT breakthrough experiences. It is unsurprisingly similar given the similarity of the molecules. There is always a point when I become overwhelmed and must give in. What follows is often a total loss of the sense of self accompanied by encounters with ineffable entities or often seeing unimaginably complex, moving geometry and images that somehow seem to communicate the fundamental nature of the universe and life.
When the peak is over, there is this calm contentment and profound insight, a solid 2 hours of incredible perspective and creativity.
When I first started experimenting with this molecule, I was what I considered to be a pretty standup guy. I had done well, financially from an early age. I had a few close friends, good parents. People seemed to like me.
I was totally lying to myself, though and over time, it became impossible to not address it. We are given some incredibly misguided ideas of what happiness is. At least I was.
Over the course of an entire year, I went on many, many trips and in each one, I would become overwhelmed with a tremendous sense of guilt. I would sometimes beg for a solution. I was desperate to know what I could do to not feel this way. But, of course, you can not simply remedy the ontology of now. It didn’t take many trips to begin realizing why I was feeling guilt, but it took a lot to overcome the trance-like behavior patterns and thinking that cause so many of us to accept unhappiness as a baseline.
I thought that lots of girlfriends, a nice house and high end cars were what would make me happy. I realized that these things not only actually left me empty, but I was mostly enslaved to them and to behavior patterns. I also had very little appreciation for other people. Not just for their contributions in my life, but for their beauty and the wonder of us all being a part of life, together. Being one thing.
In Western culture, at least what I know of it, we are taught that happiness looks like success and success is gauged within the context of a culture that values things and social status. We are indoctrinated to believe that if someone has nice things, they are happier and more successful. People like them more, too.
The funny thing about these trips, though…
I would realize a change I needed to make, but over the following days, my faith in it would fade and it’s really like I would slip back into the trance. I would begin to go back to my old behavior patterns and sure enough, next trip, I would be kicking myself. In agony, I would almost want to yell at myself “Why do I keep doing this!?”.
Over time, I made the corrections. Today, I’m married and even just my perspective on marriage is so different. I’ve learned the value of synergistic partnership, taking care of someone and making them happy, so that they, in turn, can effectively keep you healthy and support you, as well. This has brought profound contentment to my life.
I’m 32 years old and I’ve finally learned that no matter what I do, I should be mindful of doing it and there doesn’t have to be some ultimate purpose to life. For me, my purpose is to make my wife happy and some day soon, to care for and lead a family.
I no longer get angry. Well, hardly ever, especially at people. I understand that we are all entranced together and as a species, we are so young and impulsive. I genuinely feel empathy and understanding towards people, regardless of their behavior.
We live lives of pursuit and escape. We run from suffering and chase after pleasure. It is our nature and that’s okay, but we have been indoctrinated to believe in a path to happiness that will only leave us empty. We can never find satisfaction in possessions, sex, attention, these mediums of happiness, the model of success that we are force fed from every direction. All we have to do is see these fake models of happiness for what they are and realize how unfulfilled and unhealthy our lives become when we play along. The simplest things, even just the bewilderment of being an emergent organism, inseparable not only from the biosphere of this planet, but all matter and energy in the universe and to be here, having this experience, is more than enough to leave one absolutely enthralled and grateful for each moment if only the veil is lifted.
Everyone has different lessons to learn and some find different paths to a much more aware state of observation and experience. When I had these psychedelic experiences, I never felt that I had taken a shortcut. Rather, in those moments, I felt that I was simply existing and these molecules came across my path. We truly are inseparable from our environments. We eat, we interact, we communicate, we sense. In turn, all that we do, changes the environment which in turn, changes us, and so, from my view, discovering these molecules was as natural as anything can possibly be.
For a comprehensive guide to psychedelics as a means of self-improvement, check out my article “Transformative Psychedelic Experiences: Ten Things you Should Know”.