To See An Atom: Psychosis and Ecology

By Steven Morgan, as published on Mad in America:

“I left the American South with a Jesus on my shoulder. My new world, a leftist college out West, did not take so kindly. Beliefs that earned me friends and community at home now left me terribly alone. School did not help. Liberal arts classes exposed histories I could not reconcile with Christian legitimacy. For the first time, I doubted my religion, yet relinquishing Jesus meant betrayal—risking Hell—so I languished instead in a freeze. To think freely, or obey.

For six months I despaired in suicidal bewilderment. I kept it all secret. Then one night I ate mushrooms. Having ingested psychoactive plants plenty before, I knew the lay of the land, but this trip came on unusually strong. After listening to the mandatory Dark Side of the Moon, I lay down.

Moments later, a flood of dreams overcame me, dreams I had long forgotten. Each one I inhabited with all my senses, re-experiencing how I originally felt. Previously indecipherable, they were here linked together, and as a whole made sense. Just as I grasped their significance, I entered outer space. Floating, I saw Earth, a perfect sphere spinning. All my anxieties dissipated, replaced with ethereal lightness, and for a blessed few seconds, I understood …”

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