After both of my experiences with psilocybin at Johns Hopkins, I became aware of strange synchronous events happening around me. They were not in the usual context of coincidental occurrences. Instead, the intersecting of various persons, personalities, ideas, and reference points seemed more deliberate or determinative. It was as if some intelligence were trying to communicate something to me by way of my encounter with the people and things around me.
I have two examples. First, from my first experience:
My first experience was scheduled for a Thursday. I traveled on Tuesday to Baltimore. Wednesday afternoon was a Preparation meeting with my guides. The coordinator of study participants, John, was very good about scheduling me, and I assume the rest of us who are ministers and spiritual leaders, around our spiritual life schedules. Sundays, being a Christian minister, are my big day. So my first experience was scheduled for a Thursday, then, which would allow me to have my Integration meeting with my guides on Friday, and then fly home on Friday afternoon.
During my first journey, I experienced a towering, vast, and seemingly universe encompassing cathedral made of glittering, shimmering multi-dimensional geometric shapes. It was, quite simply, one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life. This cathedral showed up during my peak experience and also as I was coming down from the experience.
In the come-down, I had headphones on and eyeshades on and I listened to music. I could see the music and was entranced by both the sound and the shape of the music. The piece of music was Evening Shadows Fall by Russill Paul. It is a fantastically beautiful composition, and it is even more so when you can visually see what is happening in the music.
As I listened, I became aware that the music was echoing off the spires of the shimmering geometric-shaped cathedral. It is a 23 minute piece of music, so I was able to sink deep into the experience. This whole cathedral aspect of the psilocybin experience was, without exaggeration, transformative.
When I got back home, I still had to prepare for Sunday morning, which was … bizarre. I am in the choir in my church, and we have an excellent music director. He is an energetic and accomplished choir director with a good ear for good music.
While we were practicing our choir presentation for that Sunday morning, the director said to the whole choir, “You know, I hear it today. Today you sound like a cathedral choir, like the music is echoing off the top of a huge cathedral.” He has never said that before. Furthermore, our church has a weird effect on sound. It does not in any way sound like a cathedral in our church. There is no echo effect. Instead, the space has a weird compression effect that makes music very clear, but very difficult to project. And so, on my first Sunday back, the cathedral was making itself known to me.
That was the first synchronicity. There were many others during that first month after my first experience.
My second experience at Johns Hopkins was much more challenging. Instead of towering cathedrals, I began the deeper part of my experience with the sense that my body was like the little tentacles of a sea anemone. Furthermore, I was in a tunnel of very large moving, pulsing, slithering tentacles. The thing I learned about sea anemones and tentacled creatures during this was that tentacles are sensors, and each sensor perceives individually. The tentacles receive information from the waters that move by them.
The thing about my tentacled experience was that none of the information I was receiving was comfortable. As I said to my guides, “The organism is not perceiving this as good.” I was very sure I was in the middle of some weird reaction, and that I would end up at the Johns Hopkins Emergency Hospital, which, by the grace of God, was right next door. There was no comfort in the waters that flowed by me.
I got pretty worked up about my physical discomfort. As it turned out, my body temperature, my heart-rate, and my blood pressure were all normal during the session. (We will discuss this in depth in a later post). The perceptions and the sense that something was horribly wrong got much worse, however.
My second experience was also on a Thursday. Again, I had to lead church services on Sunday morning. This time, I was much more disjointed and decoupled than the week before my second experience.
Back in the fall of 2018, I joined a community chorus. Our winter performance was also on that Sunday after I returned. The concert was in the late afternoon. At one point in the concert, the lights were down and the choir was standing throughout the auditorium. I was toward the back of the auditorium. We sang our song and stayed in our places throughout the hall. I was having a hard time focusing and maintaining my sense of where I was, and so I decided to let my consciousness flow. I shut my eyes and let myself receive what was around me, like the anemone from my trip. I felt I could pick up emotions, physical sensations and even some images and thoughts. It was all very mystical and strange. The waters of the performance hall flowed over, around and past me.
I did this weird little meditation between songs, while the choir director was reading a list of contributors and donors, of whom neither my church nor I am one. He looked at the list, stumbled over a word, stopped, looked out into the darkness from the stage – and said my name, as clear as anything else he said. He was looking right at me, but couldn’t see me. The director shook himself and returned to reading the list as if nothing happened. It was really strange.
The whole incident would have fallen into the category of a strange misunderstanding, a coincidence, on my part if it hadn’t been confirmed by my wife and the friends she was sitting with, one of whom said, “Why did he say your husband’s name in the middle of all that? That was weird.”
There are several very strange synchronicities which I have experienced since my journeys. I will describe more of them as we go along. In a later post, I want to explore the nature of synchronicity, which was and is an endless source of fascination for Carl G Jung and other fringe thinkers, and myself. As I understand it, Jacques Vallee’s (he of UFO and anomalous event research and other interesting things) next book is a deep dive into the nature of synchronicity and what it says about the ‘reality’ we believe ourselves to be living within.
To end this post for now, I would just say that I have always had a more expansive view of coincidence. I have had some very strange experiences of synchronicity in my life. I think there is a focusing of consciousness in the more communal sense when an individual has broken through the reality tunnels and perceptions we normally occupy which then draws experiences into a more symbolic relationship with both the individual and all whom the individual encounters. This affects the surrounding field of consciousness and alters how events and people and objects arrive into our awareness.
Think on these things, as the ancients say. Your understandings of what is going on here are interesting to me.