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The Visual Effects of Using Psychedelics

Typically, we perceive strong visual experiences when we take a psychedelic hallucinogen. These are common to all cultures. These visual experiences are decidedly different from those we perceive at other times. We may only see colour enhancement, or we may move through entirely new worlds.

Scientists are currently debating whether what we perceive while experiencing a psychedelic, is a result of hyper-consciousness or simply a hallucination. In other words, are we perceiving more of a hyper-reality, or are we perceiving simply a fictional distortion of reality?

Scientifically, psychedelic visuals result from a significant increase in neural activity. When your consciousness is increased, the visual cortex observes the world in a new way. In fact, reality itself only exists through the one observing it. Our mind interprets that which the eyes behold.


The History of Psychedelic Experiences

The oldest records of the use of psychedelics go back 7,000 years. From cave art in the Algerian Sahara depicting psilocybe mairei, to the fractal patterns in the art of Aztecs and Mayans, the evidence is clear that they are depicting the visual experience of magic mushrooms or DMT in the form of Ayahuasca. There are also indications in East India that reveal God-like beings that are not unlike the visual experiences of psychedelic hallucinations. From this evidence, we can deduce that all these cultures experienced psychedelic visions that they linked to their ceremonies and their understanding of life’s meaning.


Open and Closed Eye Visuals

There are two ways of characterizing visual experiences on psychedelics; open eye visuals (OEVs) and closed eye visuals (CEVs).

Open Eye Visuals (OEVs): This is the way the user perceives the world when their eyes are open and having a psychedelic experience. Several psychedelics can induce this state and each drug produces its own visual effect. Although actual visual experiences may dramatically diverge, some of the following have been experienced: a shifting of colour, distortions of depth, diffractions or halo-effects, objects appearing closer, recognizable patterns in objects or living things including geometric patterns, and visual acuity or high definition.

Closed Eye Visuals (CEVs): Occurring either when eyes are closed or when your environment is devoid of light, these images are not alterations of objects around you, and so are more abstract or non-descript. They can be simple splashes of colour, speckles, or patterns. In extreme cases, or with heavier doses, these visuals can become entire universes with as much clarity as our regular lucid environment. Closed eye visuals may include the following: Light or dark flashes, visual noise (a quite common experience even when not tripping), Overriding Physical Perception (hyper-reality, other realms), the appearance of objects, and patterns with motion and colour.


Increasing the Intensity of Psychedelic Visuals

Your setting is probably the most critical. Somewhat counter-intuitively, the quieter and simpler the setting, the more hallucination will happen. More visual or auditory stimulation does not equate to a more profound experience. It distracts and detracts from it. You’ll get more out of a blank white wall than a shopping mall.

Nature is also a great place to trip, allowing the mind to relax and focus. The operative word is focus. Focusing allows that which you are focused on to come to life. It is the clean slate in front of your mind so that your mind can project.


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