After ingesting the 5.5 grams of lemon tekked mushrooms, the trip developed fast, fueled by an intensity I had not experienced before. Within the dim light of the curated journey space, I felt a profound sense of joy and laughter. Yet, I experienced the most intense sadness, as if the suffering of the entire world piled on to me. I wanted to laugh hysterically but also cry uncontrollably. I was unable to do either, as my body felt paralyzed, plastered to the floor under an invisible weight. The thought of moving my body felt like a major undertaking I didn’t know where to begin with. I felt an intense build-up of emotions as if a fire hose of feelings were being forced through a pinhole. The inconceivable amount of emotion left me feeling like I was experiencing every possible sensation in existence. I have clear memories of laughing out loud, but also, of sobbing out of control. Both of which I’m certain didn’t happen, as Lili had no recollection of hearing either when I later asked about it.

It was around this point that I came upon, the large, shiny black cube from the beginning of Part One. Hovering in mid-air, with the shadowy figures standing behind it, I understood this box to be death. I also knew that I would die if I were to enter it. I then realized when I had seen the box before (the feeling of deja vu): it was during the second trip! At that time, fearing death, I turned and left, consequently ending that trip. For reasons unknown to me, my subconscious mind had hidden the experience from my conscious mind, blocking all memories of the floating cube. But, in the depths of my third trip, I now understood why.

The box was death, not my physical death as I had previously thought, but the death of my ego. Fearful of dissolution and being torn from its association with my physical body and its understanding of itself, my ego had blocked the experience of the second trip from my conscious memory.

I want to emphasize here that I had no recollection of that experience until I was knee-deep into the third trip. My second trip had not been uneventful after all!

I then experienced a strange shift in my understanding of time: I was having two trips at once, the current third trip and the hidden second trip. I was simultaneously remembering while experiencing at the same time. Since my subconscious mind had hidden the second trip experience, when I saw the cube again, it was also like the first time. I experienced the present and the past at once. They overlapped one another in an intricate projection of an altered reality. Each moment of new experience accompanied a memory of the same occurrence, which I already experienced on trip two.

Not completely understanding the situation and how to enter the cube, I turned my back on it (for the first time, again). But this time, in an instant, I blasted through space and time to another realm of existence. Shooting from one reality to another, I had a profound out-of-body experience. Part of me, presumably my soul (or inner spirit), could see myself (my physical body) as viewed from above. I saw myself, laying in the fetal position on the floor of our third-story attic, covered in a blanket wearing eye shades and headphones. I remember thinking, “I know that is me, but how can I be here and there, at the same time?” The cube, through an action like a big bang, enveloped and dissolved all sense of my physical being with an unimaginable force.

At this point, I lost all concept of my body. I had no recollection of bodily sensations or even breathing, which had been such a conscious act during the previous two journeys.

I became a part of the universe, emersed and integrated into every part of its being. Having exited my physical body, I was set free into the cosmos as pure energy. I lost all sense of time, other than an awareness of time as non-linear: the past, present, and future existing at once. Time was a churning and folding of events, like dough ingredients blended in a galactic stand mixer. I lived my future, experienced my past in the present moment, and saw time as a fluid, swirling entity. I saw and lived the lives of others, had memories of experiences that were not mine, and of things I had never done. I suppose to some degree, I did do them, through these hazy and unknown memories.

Vaguely, I remember coming to and feeling overwhelmed in a moment of panic. Luckily, I was able to calm myself down with deep and controlled breathing. I was barely able to gain control before, with the blink of an eye, I was back amongst the cosmos. The trip was very much accented in this way, with a dizzying flip-flopping, to and from the physical and spiritual dimensions.

In my work life, seemingly separate from this journey, I’d been having some trouble with an HVAC contractor I had hired on a project. With tax time approaching, I requested that he provided me with his registered tax number so I could claim his invoices as an expense. I was adamant about resolving the issue, even though he was non-compliant and avoidant. Needless to say, the situation fed my frustration and anger (I was a more stressed-out person back then by the way). But during the trip, my perspective changed when something very strange happened: I became him. I experienced myself (him) texting me (the last message he had sent me). I could feel all his emotions, pain, and suffering. This man was a very troubled individual behind closed doors, with complex emotional issues that he bottled up, to the best of his abilities. Shocked by his day-to-day experience, it hurt me to see him that way. Despite my frustration, the body swap was so real, it left me feeling only compassion for him. After all, I knew exactly what he was going through. The burden of his daily suffering was not something I wanted to experience again, nor was it something I would wish upon anyone. This experience also frightened me: he was an energy vacuum, trying to suck me into a black hole of negativity, and into the realm where he dwelled. I immediately resolved to cut him loose, stop pursuing any further interactions with him, and absorb the cost of his invoices. The decision was immediately followed by a profound release of obstructive energy, like a cork released from a champagne bottle.

At some point during all the intensity, I remember opening my eyes to see the room alive with movement. Like an underwater scene with an ocean current pushing everything to-and-fro, there was a steady wave-like energy washing through the room. Everything around me appeared to be floating and distorted as if I had opened my eyes underwater. The only thing in clear focus was a giant face, which hovered above me in a corner of the room. Situated in some sheer curtains my wife had hung to hide an ugly acoustical panel ceiling, the face resembled a rock giant. With rough, stone-like features, the face was serene and benevolent, and it smiled subtly as it watched over me. I smiled back and thanked it for joining me on this journey.

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