Wednesday, March 9, 2011


The mind altering drug Salvia Divinorum has been legally available to buy over the counter in many countries for some time now. The plant, which is a member of the Sage family, is generally smoked, wherein it produces an altered state of consciousness; lasting for anything up to fifteen minutes. It is often said that psychedelic experiences tend to vary greatly from person to person. However, in researching user's accounts of the drug on the website Erowid, I have identified a number of persistent themes running throughout the course of a Salvia trip. Experiences which are common to most users, who take a moderate dosage, include;

the experience of being pushed or pulled (also known as Salvia Gravity)
being ripped apart and stuck back together
being folded or forced face first into a corner (also Salvia Gravity)
being told that the world is an illusion

Of these, the first three experiences are inextricably linked, in that they all represent the same process of being blown or pushed around the lines and vertices of an undefined polytope. The method by which this process occurs has been defined as Salvia Gravity, and this includes the feelings of motion, dissolution and resolution, and of course the feeling of being pressed into a corner. An attempt to describe the experience of a Salvia trip in terms of hyperbolic geometry can be found here.

From what I can gather, the experience most people have of Salvia is profoundly negative. Their fits of laughter are merely a defense mechanism to distract them from their uneasy terror. Having said this, immediate, and long term, after effects can be very positive. I would only advise people to try this drug if they are well practiced in the art of meditation, or have an open, confident, relaxed frame of mind; in which case you probably don't need to take this drug at all. Congratulations!

If you do, however, manage to take this drug, and find yourself in the unpleasant situations described above, you could try one or more of these practices;

1)  The conscious entity that resides within the Salvia Bardo does not have very good multitasking skills. It also appears that if you ask it a question it is under obligation to respond to you. By combining these two bits of information, you can easily distract the Salvia plant from its task by asking it repeat, rapid fire questions of a relevant nature. Normally, the entity is very abrupt, so try to ask him questions which are not of a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer. The fact that the entity is obliged to answer your questions suggests that it is a paid administrator, who you entered into contract with either when you smoked the bowl, or countless eons before hand.

2)   The Salvia Bardo is a holding mechanism for conscious awareness. Just as it is impossible for a passenger in a car to halt its movement by pressing in the opposite direction against the seat cover, it is impossible for a conscious life form to negate the motion of the Bardo mechanism while being swept along inside it. The only way to address your own forward motion in a vehicle that you have no control over is to bail out. You can bail out of a Salvia experience by peeling your consciousness away at a ninety degree angle to the mechanism while at rest. It is unclear if this is advisable however, as the salvia spirit itself suggests that you would be better to go through with the entire experience and have done with it.

Nevertheless, the ability to detach from the mechanism may be desirable, as it could afford you the opportunity to investigate the polychoron from an outsiders' perspective. You may even be able to get a hold of the Bardo Administrator, and get a look at the information on his out-dated computer screen; although I highly doubt this.

3)   Other methods of consolation during this difficult period include; singing mantras and counting the number of branch points or corners within the Bardo mechanism to get a better idea of its size.

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