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From: Scientific American,

Article Title: High Light: When a Psilocybin Study Leads to Spiritual Realization,

Date: Nov. 23, 2010, Author: Maria Estevez


After a few minutes, instead of getting adjusted to the level of [room] light, I realized the light was getting brighter and brighter and strangely brighter, until I understood that this light was not in the room, it was inside me. At that moment it was as if all the cylinders in the lock somehow fell into alignment, and the door swung open, and I found my consciousness being flooded with brilliant Light. Without notice or fanfare, I had arrived at a transcendental state, and was awe-struck at the discovery. I felt a sense of joyous expansion as it opened to me, like entering a splendid palace, yet the feeling was completely natural and gentle.

With my eyes closed, I was overwhelmed with glorious golden light, suffused with every color, prisms and rainbows everywhere like a shining hologram. The Light itself was alive, a radiant consciousness of ultimate intelligence, perfect integrity, singularity and purity. The light pervaded everything, it composed everything. Its presence was benevolent, calm, and intense.

It was as if the light were revealing to me the innermost workings of the universe. Without words, it informed me that It as the light was the source of every physical manifestation and that each had its purpose: "Everything is in my perfect control. With this as cause, there can be no mistakes." I knew it to be the substance of every particle in the microcosm and the overarching essence of the macrocosm. In that moment I intuitively understood that everything is being created anew each instant from Its emanation. Why, then, could we not see the Light completely composing and permeating all of creation? How could the shining substance of all things be hidden? Later I remembered what the sages have told us. The only possible answer is that our sense perceptions are an illusion.

Faced with reality and glory of the light, there is nothing left to do but gape with the greatest reverence. There are no questions in its presence, no desires, no resistance. I felt suspended in a clear and peaceful state and enjoyed a weightless sense of free-fall without time and space, though I remembered that they existed elsewhere. Even my physical surges abated as if their purpose had been accomplished. Occasionally I felt a faint muscle spasm, like an echo of receding thunder.

As I was poised there, rapt and transparent, the Light addressed me simply, without words: "Is there anything you want?" The question was direct and forthright, yet it seemed incongruous because my whole identity was already absorbed in that Light. To search for an answer, I had to make a deliberate effort to turn my attention to the world from which I'd come, a world now irrelevant and far away. With a moment's focus, I remembered that life on earth required healing and guidance and abundance, and that I had a long list of wishes there. But I felt so distant from the personality, and I didn't want to look away from the Light for even an instant. The question was addressed to the one who stood before It in this exceptional experience, and there could be only one response. I breathed the quietest possible, "No, there is nothing I want."

I didn't know what to do in the presence of this Light. It was asking nothing of me. I was just basking in it and, again, trying to remain open to whatever happened. However, I realized I could observe it and report back to [the experimental team] Mary and Matt. I wanted to shout, "It is true! It does exist!" Sometimes in a dream there a sense that whatever you try to name or record will evaporate, but this experience in the Light remained steady as I tried to describe it, even though I was a little concerned that my sharing it might be sacrilegious and it would withdraw.

The power of the Light could have annihilated me in an instant, but instead it shone only as brightly as my consciousness could bear. The Godhead seemed to be lovingly limiting Its manifestation to what my own self-imposed definitions could perceive. This gave an "interspecies" quality to the experience, like the analogy of the fisherman and the mermaid- an understanding that as long as I maintained a human identity, we could not be joined in ultimate communion. The limitations were plainly mine but the shared feelings of affection, longing and respect remained. The unspoken promise was that one day I would return with sufficient mastery to lay down my illusions, and the separation would be resolved.

And so with nothing else to be done, we danced - that is as good a description as any. The Light waxed and waned, perhaps mirroring the processes of the Psilocybin. It would shine brightly, then recede, leaving me in repose, peaceful and floating. Then it would return more strongly. It caressed me, holding me in the palm of its hand, so to speak with exquisite tenderness and compassion. My eyes brimmed with tears of emotion as I was poised in this timeless state.

The light spoke to me in the language of every human relationship - as if I were a child, a friend, and a lover. It told me it was pleased with my efforts to come and find it, and that it recognized my sincerity. At times the Light was playful and we carried on nearly in giggles as if we had a secret. I teased Mary saying, "I feel like I'm on a private phone conversation, and you can't hear." The Light and I continued that give-and take rhythm, like a graceful and spontaneous duet, an intimate exchange.



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