My Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Experience: Rhapsody in D Major

I was fortunate enough to be a part of one of the original psilocybin research projects at Johns Hopkins in 2001 called: “The Psychopharmacology of Psilocybin in Healthy Volunteers.”  This was really focused on spiritual transformation and long term impact as well as a replication of the Good Friday Experiment (1962). After much processing of the moderately heavy dose that I received, I still reflect back on the much reduced flavor of the experience but with hints at the beauty in this poetic personal voyage:

Rhapsody in D Major

Full autumn moon over the Potomac,
Snowy egrets reigning over the pilings below;
A lone blue heron standing sentinel,
Frozen in the stillness before a Sunday sunrise.
In the pristine interplay of dark and light
Thou art still.
And in the quiet beauty, listening carefully,
The dance of the universe begins anew…
“A cacophony of color, breathless awe,
tuning fork of my soul” written so long ago,
Danced and sung once again.
An interactive fugue in D Major.

Sanctus jubilate; living requiem; amanitas deum.
Joy! Pain! Ecstasy! The Rapturous River Flows Through It.
A sweep of color , cascading images
On the cosmic playground
Beginning light and lively

With senses floating free of their earthly fetters.
Powerfully enticing tweeds, feathers, and tapestries
Undulating against a backdrop
Of shimmering emerald green, royal purple, and precious gold.

The show as seductive and playful as promised!
Tiny figures open the windows of the universe!
Figure and ground play together in a quantum
Paint box; where you focus, it fades away.
“Lookie here!” “No, here!” And while you’re looking,

The tingling creeps in, introducing a symphonic play 

On the stage of feeling.
Lips vibrating with om as the veil parts.  

The entryway to the heart is primed.  

A rush of erotic power and release, the grappling hooks

  of love lift me heavenward toward the light
Suspended by lips, breathless with awe, and speechless.

Surrendering, the Sun Dance begins.
Such anguish and joy in the presence of the Beloved!
I am dying in service of the self
On the altar of spirit. Lark Ascending!
The sacrifice of the heart on the inward journey,
Fueled by yearning, ecstasy awaiting. 

The wrenching,
Rendering of tissue and muscle as the heart opens.
The body field is plowed to receive the seed.
Waves of pain and the breath of birthing take over,
Puffing faster as the pain overwhelms.  Relief as it passes.
The spiritual sojourner, weary with the onslaught of love
Rides the waves as the tantric tsunami crashes over the heart.
Erotic spirit, union eternal, cosmic orgasm and ecstasy divine.
“Roar, lion of my heart, and tear me open!”

At once the awareness of loss, grief, and yearning
Manifests in the vision of an earthly existence.
Open hearts weeping blood and wrapped in thorns.
Christ on the lap of Mary. Pieta perfecta!
Earthly reality is tinged with sacred suffering.
Surrendering to the Beloved and living with an open heart, the challenge.
Grace incarnate…
Familiar words hover around the edges of my mind,
“Washing away the sins.” 

The lullaby begins…”shuun, shuun” the little one is
Forgiven and released once again, regaining the guileless eyes of Buddha.
“Shuun, shuun” releasing ‘her’ that I see in him.
Releasing the innocent back into the world,
The ballistic nylon dissolving from around her heart.
Sacrificing worldliness to love.
May the green world within re-seed the wasteland without.

I am Lancelot in search of the Holy Grail,
And finding myself.
Beloved, Thou art with me forever; co-partners in evolution, 

Dancing the rhapsody of life.
A romantic re-enters the world, forever changed.
Will I hear you call out in the glory of Faure’s Requiem?
Or Rachmaninov’s Concerto No. 2?
Or in the sight of the Kihei sun plunging into the Pacific?
Or in the feel of a baby’s skin, or the smell of grass
And flowers and the sound of surf?
Keep my antennae alert and my compass on ‘true’,
I beseech Thee…forever listening for my name.

’02   Dede

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