Early in the morning, on an overcast, humid, spring day, a friend breezed by the house and dropped off a plastic baggy that had once been full of mescaline powder. He had loaded all of it into standard pill capsules for distribution and sale. All that was left was this empty baggy with a very thin film of the powder on the inside. He gave it to my brother and me, just in case we wanted it. Then he went on his way. I suppose we had turned him on before at some point and he was returning the favor. Anyway, we looked at the baggy and figured there was probably a miniscule amount of mescaline left in it. It would probably have little to no effect on us. So we decided to share it right then and there. Turning the baggy inside out, we each licked half of it before discarding it.

I had planned to go on a job interview and my brother had made separate plans for the day. I wasn't expected to show up for any job interview that morning. I had just read about a possible job that was accepting applications. So I was going to apply. I said goodbye to my brother and climbed into the Mustang, started the engine, and headed toward downtown Silver Spring, which was about 2 miles away.

As I approached the downtown area of Silver Spring, I noticed that things weren't quite normal. The steering wheel began to feel pliable, as if the pressure of my fingers could deform it like damp clay. Outside the car, the asphalt began to remind me of cooled lava. It appeared to be flowing!

I quickly realized that whatever I had licked was starting to have an effect on me. It was so quick and so strong. Forget the job interview, I thought. Immediately doing a U turn, I headed back to the house. I wanted to park the car as soon as possible! Arriving safely at home, I felt as though I had just barely made it. I shut off the engine, got out of the car, which was undulating and breathing like a living creature, and went into the house.

My brother was inside and I could tell that he was feeling similar effects.

I asked him, "What are we going to do?"

He responded, "It's an ego trip." and acted as though he wanted to be left alone.

That was a disappointment. I felt a need to relate to someone who was experiencing a similar effect, but he wanted to be left alone. He then got up and left the room. I stood there in the living room, wondering what I was going to do. The room seemed dark. Curtains on the windows were drawn closed. I felt confined. In fact the whole house seemed confining. I suddenly felt a need to be outdoors. But here I was, in the middle of suburbia, at about 10 am, and I was beginning to trip my brains out! How could I go outside? What if I made a spectacle of myself in public? I could tell that this was going to be a more intense trip than I had ever had before and I didn't know what the drug might make me do. It was amazing how such a small amount of powder could have such a great effect.

The left side of our house faced an alley called Colesville Road Alley, that led downhill one block, to a creek, (Sligo Creek). I thought, maybe I could go down to the creek. The creek was lined mostly on one side by a small park, which was a few hundred feet wide. At least I would be in somewhat of a natural setting. Set and setting are important considerations when tripping. Since the creek was about 12 feet below ground level, at that level I would probably be hidden from public view.

So I left the house and headed down the alley. I often went down this alley on my daily walks. So I felt pretty comfortable doing it, even though everything was breathing and undulating, colors were becoming intense, and rainbow patterns were beginning to emanate from everything. I could tell that this trip was just getting started. As I walked down the alley, I didn't come across anyone else and I was grateful for it. I don't know what I would have said or done if I had encountered someone. After I emerged from the alley and went down St. Andrew's Way, I had to step out in full view of Colesville Road for a split second in order to reach the creek, but that went without incident.

When I made it to the creek, I had to decide how to get down into it. Colesville Road was 6 lanes wide here and the creek ran through a culvert beneath the road. As I said before, the creek was about 12 feet below ground level with a steep embankment that wasn't designed for pedestrians. I was just beyond the entrance to the culvert and managed to bushwhack down the embankment, to a tiny patch of dry gravel, that possessed a few large rocks. I sat on one of the rocks and gratefully realized that I could not be seen from the road or from any of the houses in the area. I was safe. I could trip my brains out, make a spectacle of myself, and nobody would be the wiser. There was the rumble of traffic on Colesville Road, but I couldn't see the cars. I was in my own mini nature sanctuary. The mescaline made me a bit restless though. It gave me energy and I wanted to explore things around me. However I didn't want to walk around too much since I might then come into view of others. So I was in a quandary, sitting on a rock, at the edge of a creek, near a culvert.

As I sat there, even though it was an overcast day, I sensed a light off to my left and there was a warmth coming from it. So I turned to my left to see what it was. It appeared to be an oval of light, the brightest light I have ever seen. Yet it did not hurt my eyes to look at it. I thought, this is strange. Is it an alien spaceship? I couldn't tell if it was close or far away. It was just there along with everything else, the park, the road, the cars, etc.

I stood up and gazed at it for a few moments. Then I looked all around me and everything seemed to be gradually receding from me, as if looking through a fisheye lens that was becoming more and more fish-eyed. I looked back at the light and it was more prominent now. It was emitting colors, pink, chartreuse, and pale blue. A hypnotic sound came from it as well. The sound was sort of a cross between a hum and a buzz that was very soothing. It surprised me, but I got a feeling of unconditional love from the light, so I wanted to keep looking at it. The light seemed to love me. I thought, how amazing that a light could project a feeling of love. I could tell that this was no ordinary light though, that it was the source of all light, the source of all energy. Something told me that if I kept looking at it, that I would want to merge with it. I could tell that if I merged with it, I would be completely surrounded by love and total bliss. I knew that it would be a feeling that I had always craved and had never had in this life. I also knew that if I merged with the light, this body, that I was inhabiting, would die. So I looked away. It then became apparent to me that I actually lived forever, that it didn't matter if this body died. I would continue on. I also realized that if I died, I would merge with the light and become part of it, that the light was pure energy, that it could not be created or destroyed, that it was forever and so was I.

In a state of total rejoicing, I exclaimed, "It's energy, it will never exhaust itself!"

I knew why I said that. It was because I had always wondered if there was life after death. Now I knew. I knew what life was. Life is energy, it will never exhaust itself! Not only could I see it, but I could feel it to my very core, even more than I could feel my own body.

A void opened up around me as I receded into it while looking back at the reality that I was leaving. Whenever I glanced at the light, I could see illuminated tendrils or ribbons winding their way out from the light connecting to everything that was receding from me. Energy was flowing to and from everything by way of these ribbons. The oval of light would issue forth something into reality and reality would return something to the light unceasingly. It was a continuous flow in both directions. Three-dimensional reality by now had pulled so far away from me that I felt as though I was out in a void observing the entire universe. Reality now appeared before me as a huge sphere with multiple layers, spheres within spheres. In the center of all of the spheres was the light. The light gave rise to all of the layers surrounding it. Mankind was on the outermost layer, the farthest from the light and other life forms were farther in toward the light. In fact the ribbons of light that emanated from the main light were like the branches of a tree growing out in all directions from the seed or light in the center. Later, upon recalling this memory, I would wonder if it wasn't too different from what a bush would look like with a blazing fire at its center, or what could be called a "burning bush". Also since the ribbons were branch-like, I wondered if I was seeing what could be called the tree of life. At the time, my interpretation was that I was seeing God and all of creation!

Daring not to look at the light in the center, I focused on the outer layer where I saw mankind, where I had just been, and had moved out from, to see it from a different perspective. I could see all of mankind. The past, present, and future were there all at once. I had not only transcended three-dimensional space, but I was also outside of time. I could focus on any part of time or space. Whatever I wanted to see would become apparent to me. I was experiencing a dimension just beyond our everyday dimension. I was in awe of it all, yet I could comprehend all of it easily. It all made perfect sense to me. I could see that this reality was a truer reality than our everyday reality. I could see that our brain normally prevents us from experiencing this higher reality, that the drug I had taken removed the veil from my senses.

I was enjoying gazing at mankind's future and saw fantastic machines moving about in ways that are impossible today. At some point though I saw standing before me about seven beings wearing white robes as the ancient Greeks wore. There were men and women in the group. They were all looking at me with looks of what I can only describe as pure love. They were all beautiful and even angelic in appearance. They just looked at me and never spoke, but I could tell that they knew all about me and sympathized with me about everything that burdened me in life. I don't know why I was seeing them, but I supposed they were from the future because they seemed so much more advanced than I and I had been recently focusing on mankind's future while gazing at the sphere or tree of life. Then they disappeared and I was gazing at the sphere of life again.

Occasionally I would become distracted from this dimension and events in the three-dimensional world would pull me back into it momentarily. I found myself in the creek again, except this time I was wading in the water. I became annoyed with my glasses. Instead of seeing them as an aid to my vision, I began to see them as an obstacle. I saw them as pieces of transparent rock, held by metal wires, that attached to my ears and nose. I realized that I could see perfectly without them, that they were actually preventing me from seeing correctly. So I threw them off into the creek. Then I returned to the higher dimension.

At another point I returned to this lower reality to find that I was no longer in the creek, but out on the sidewalk along Colesville Road. I have no idea how I had gotten there, but since I knew now that I lived forever, I lost all of my fear and didn't care about being seen out in public. I didn't care if I made a so-called spectacle of myself anymore. I remember encountering another person on the sidewalk. He was a young man, probably in his thirties. He looked at me with a very puzzled look on his face, so I looked at him with a puzzled look on my face, because I was puzzled as to why he was puzzled. I don't remember speaking to him, nor do I remember him saying anything to me. Then I returned to the higher dimension.

I remember going back and forth between "normal" reality and the higher dimension. At some later point I was aware that I was walking around in the front yard of a church, (currently the Memorial First India United Methodist Church) which was on a hill, just beyond the park, along the creek. I wasn't walking on the church grounds for any particular reason. It just happened to be where I was walking. The church didn't mean anything special to me and I wouldn't call my experience a religious experience, even though I saw what I thought was God. The kind of experience I was having wasn't associated with any particular religion. As far I was concerned, it was God, of the entire universe, of all life, and of all religions.

I had been watching thousands of years transpire in a higher dimension and had no idea how long I had been there. Police eventually subdued me and took me to a local hospital, where I eventually returned to ordinary reality and was released.

I was now back in three-dimensional reality again and was feeling the annoying aspects of it. My memory after that is fuzzy, but I somehow managed to retrieve all of my things and arrange for someone to pick me up and drive me home. It was about 6 in the evening by this time.

Reflecting back on this experience, led me to wonder why I wasn't arrested or physically hurt by the police. After all I had resisted them and I remember using foul language toward them. Could it have been because I was white? I was tackled in front of a church, with a large cross on its face, in full view of a constant stream of motorists. Had I been black, in a dark alley, in the ghetto, would things have turned out differently?

This experience was more profound than any other hallucinogenic experience I had ever had before. Because of it I learned that life is eternal, that we have a soul that is separate from the body, that we are all loved unconditionally, even the worst of us. Through this experience I also saw that there is no hell, that if anyone judges us, it is we who judge ourselves, that we are free to live as many lives as we desire, that there is a purpose to these lives and it has to do with the development of our eternal soul. I also realized that most religions are misleading, misguided, and hypocritical. While in the presence of the light, I could feel a tremendous love coming from God and I could feel God's desire that we love one another as we are loved. I felt that this is the only religion that we really need.

Having seen all of this, do I practice this in my everyday life now? Well, I try, but I fall far short. I'm so easily sucked into desiring revenge or justice, (as it is called by those who want to avoid using the word revenge) when I see people doing evil things. Although this experience allowed me to see what I have come to call God, and a part of me would like to repeat that experience in order to realign myself with God, I have come to realize though that doing so would be cheating. It would be like relying on a life preserver to float through life when we are supposed to learn how to swim and stay afloat on our own power. Also, it's impossible to function in the three-dimensional world if our mind is way up exploring the higher dimensions. It's impractical. I have come to consider my experience as a gift. I was briefly shown the light. Now I must carry that memory in my heart and live it the best that I can.