It would be useful to point out here that this is all my perception (if you hadn’t guessed!), not necessarily anyone or everyone who’s done acid.
Reality has seemed so petty at times afterwards. The feeling I had transcends the heights and limits of beauty and truth, at once amplifying them and making them seem ridiculous at the same time, or so normal they seem ridiculous. For example, the classical music seemed so beautiful and made so much sense as existing. It was as if every note had existed in that order before anyone ever composed it and, ironically, this also made it seem more everyday/pedestrian, whilst also being beautiful. When someone looks at the ceiling of the Cistine chapel, they may well feel in awe of the craftsmanship and even intimidated by the scale of the talent required to produce it. It may make one feel insignificant. However, if looking at Michaelangelo’s creation on acid, one might feel as if it had always had to look that way, a feeling of natural inevitability, like one could enjoy it’s simple beauty, the colours and shapes and meaning, and not the words of the tour guide. Acid can provide an appreciation of things that is free from the influence of cultural/historical factors long ingrained on the minds of most western industrialised psyches.
The stripping of cultural identity from contemplation, that acid provides, left me feeling that I was not the self that I knew and not even the self I thought I had become, but an empty vessel, a being of energy stretched into a strange shape, as we all are. All the qualities or details that I use to describe myself to people or how I classify myself in my own mind (white, middle-class etc.) appeared to become meaningless, just semantics. I felt sad at first thinking of myself as just space matter; it’s like the film we are the star of in our own heads (and the character we play) never getting to the production phase, forgotten. However, this was also liberating (again, circularity of thought –both sides); the feeling of cosmic insignificance relieves anxiety over status, self-consciousness, social expectations and materialism. The more sombre thinking on mortal insignificance has also, at times, boiled over into a numbing nihilism, but that might just be there naturally(!). I’ll explore this further in the concluding parts…