An experience with Mescaline (active chemical in Wachuma and Peyote)

The following is an account by Alexander T. Shulgin, Ph.D. He is a chemist/pharmacologist with academic training from Harvard and the University of California. This was his first psychedelic experience caused by a capsule containing 400mg or mescaline sulfate. Mescaline is the primary active chemical in both Wachuma (San Pedro) and Peyote.

“The details of that day were hopelessly complex and will remain buried in my notes, but the distillation, the essence of the experience, was this. I saw the world that presented itself in several guises. It had a marvel of color that was, for me, without precedent, for I had never particularly noticed the world of color. The rainbow had always provided me with all the hues I could respond to. Here, suddenly I had hundreds of nuances of color, which were new to me, and which I have never, even today, forgotten. The world was also marvelous in its detail. I could see the intimate structure of a bee putting something into a sack on its hind leg to take to its hive, and yet I was completely at peace with the bee’s closeness to my face. The world was a wonder of interpretive insight. I saw people as caricatures, which revealed both their pains and their hopes, and they seemed not to mind my seeing them that way. More than anything else the world amazed me, in that I saw it as I had when I was a child. I had forgotten the beauty and the magic and the knowingness of it and me. I was in familiar territory, a space wherein I had once roamed as an immortal explorer, and I was recalling everything that had been authentically known to me then, and which I had abandoned, then forgotten, with my coming of age. Like the touchstone that recalls a dream to sudden presence, this experience reaffirmed a miracle of excitement that I had known in my childhood but had been pressured to forget. The most compelling insight of that day was that this awesome recall had been brought about by a fraction of a gram of a white solid, but in no way whatsoever could it be argued that these memories had been contained within the white solid. Everything I had recognized came from the depths of my memory and my psyche. I understood that our entire universe is contained in the mind and spirit. We may choose not to find access to it, we may even deny its existence, but it is indeed there inside us, and there are chemicals that can catalyze its availability.”

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