This article has nothing to do with my current travels, but I promised some friends a couple of years ago that I would write an article about these “boxes”. And hey, it’s my blog, I write about whatever I want. Now that I think about it, it might actually interest you as well. It’s a fun story.
It’s about magic mushrooms. And especially philosophical reflections following them.
Mom, Dad, I’m sorry, the few times I went to Amsterdam with my friends wasn’t to visit museums and see tulips. It was to try these magic mushrooms.
We each had our little box filled with magic mushrooms. We were sitting in this bar with little lights and loud sound, exasperated that the effects still didn’t show up. I was by the window, looking at the trees and lampposts outside.
The trees slowly started to have ornaments and multicolor lights on them. The lampposts started to move around, and instants later they disappeared and transformed into comets. I was flying above the street. I swear I saw a reindeer. Everything felt very good.
Then I woke up. “Okay… So those were the effects of the shroom!” I told myself.
Two minutes passed. Or maybe two hours, I have no idea.
Then I woke up again, this time for real. I understood what all these mushroom experiences were about. When I entered the magic mushroom shop in Amsterdam to buy that box of mushroom, it was as if I entered a supermarket of boxes. Each box represented a trip; mine was Christmas trees and comets, my friends told me what they felt, it was completely different. You enter the supermarket, you choose a box, you hop into your mushroom box, and you enjoy the wonderland offered by the box.
And once the effects of the mushroom disappear, you hop out of the box and return to the normal world.
And there I was, out of my trees-and-comets box, in the real world.
Or was I?
No! I was still tripping! I was still in the box, even though it looked like the real world! The fact that I had all these weird ideas about supermarkets and boxes, the fact that I was pseudo-philosophizing was the proof!
But I wanted the trip to stop! I wanted to hop outside of my box!
So I did. I mentally hopped out of my box. But I knew deep inside myself I was still tripping, I was still in another box, a bigger box containing the one from which I just hopped out.
So I hopped and hopped and hopped out of boxes, but every time I found myself in another even bigger box, because I knew I was still tripping.
Then I got scared. How did I know I was still tripping? Because I was having these strange thoughts? Was that an acceptable proof? How could I know when the trip stopped? The seller guy told me the mushrooms lasted about 4 to 5 hours; but after that, if I thought about the box containing me and tried to hop out of it, and still found myself in another box, would I still be tripping?
In 20 years, if I think about the box, will I still be tripping?
I knew the answer was no, but still.
And then I understood. The Trip is everything. Since my birth I was stuck in my first box, with the illusion that that box was the whole wide world. In that box, I took a little box of mushrooms, which made me discover that I was myself inside a box -my first box-, and that the real world was outside of my box. But then that real world was also contained inside another bigger box, and so on and so forth, indefinitely. So all in all there’s no real world, there’s only this system of boxes, which I call the Trip. The Trip is the Matrix.1 The trip is the one and only truth.
And the trip (small T letter, as in the mushroom trip) fades out when you stop thinking about those boxes. You are certainly conscious of this higher truth, you can’t un-know it, there’s no coming-back, but you choose to stay in your current box without thinking about the greater ones. You’re happy with it. And that’s when all ends. That’s when you stop calling it trip, but “real world”. However, each time you re-think about those boxes, it’s a reminder that you are still on this lifetime Trip from which you will never escape.
So I stopped thinking about boxes. And my trip ended. Right now I’m happily enjoying my steak.
[BONUS] Here’s a recording of me, still under effects, trying to explain the theory to my friends. One of them, R, completely understood me, proof that I wasn’t going crazy. This is serious.
So what do you think? Does this article make at least a little bit of sense? Comment below!