In the Belly

Erasmo Calzadilla

Foto: Caridad

I’m returning to this reoccurring theme that I refuse to abandon, that of trips, of entheogens and heightened consciousness, etc.

During the first years of having discovered that wonderful universe, I only consumed (as now) small doses. I did it to speed up my mind, to unclutter my senses and to have a good time.

But one day an acquaintance with certain experience in the matter told me of an incredible world whose only doors opened up with a heavy blow of de-hallucinogens*.

As rash and curious as I was, I left with my girlfriend of that time to a splendid place in Pinar del Rio Province, where at the foot of an exuberant mogote outcrop we gobbled up all that we could find, which was more than a little. Then it happened: we crossed over.

And what did I find on the other side? Much that was indescribable, yet not all resistant to be described. Something that I could rescue because it was so intense and real, amidst such an inexpressible experience: the sensation of having broken out of a kind of a shell and been born.

The sensation of rebirth is similar to that of waking up in the sense that when you achieve it you are fully certain that it’s reality, and that which occurred previously was perhaps imagery or a confused perception of what truly exists.

Such a world into which I was born was not in fact the metaphysical universe of perfect platonic eidos, but rather a return to the animal kingdom, a return to the immediate, but to an immediacy full of knowledge.

Today, years later, I interpret this and other subsequent crossings in two different ways:

Either it was only the result of my perceptive and cognitive alteration or my rebirth was real, but when the power of the consumed substance dissolved what again crystallized on me was the shell that protects and incubates me.

Perhaps the two interpretations are not at odds, and perhaps one day we can all be reborn.

* Warning: de-hallucinogens, (known as hallucinogens by the great majority of people) are a special type of relatively innocuous substances that are psycho-active for the organism. Nevertheless high doses can cause bodily injuries and even lead directly or indirectly to death, but more likely to irreversible mental disturbances. They can also be harmful (which can end up being serious) to people close to the person who consumes. Because of that I warn against their irresponsible consumption and in high dosages. I also completely urge that minors not engage in their consumption.

4 thoughts on “In the Belly

  • Although generally following Oscar Wilde’s advice that “You never know that you’ve had enough until you’ve had MORE THAN ENOUGH,” nevertheless, concerning hallucinogenics, way back in the 1970’s I noticed that those amongst my friends who used them on a regular basis could not, after a while, hold a coherent conversation. Their attention would first flit this way, then that way (not that I’m averse to digressions; sometimes they are better than the main plot itself; nevertheless, when it becomes one digression after another, it becomes rather frustrating and annoying!) Hence, I would ration these journies very sparingly; otherwise, your brain might begin to resemble the consistency of Swiss cheese! Actually, I have not felt the need to indulge now for 30+ years!

  • erasmo, i’m not sure if you have the opportunity to read these comments but i feel the urge to let you know that i appreciate and enjoy the thoughts that you share, no matter the subject. you write differently than most on this page, and you seem to have the most crucial trait of a good writer, which is to never be boring. so thank you and carry on.
    p.s. although i am not a (regular) user of hallucinogens i enjoy your contemplations on the subject. i myself prefer and recomend good ol marijuana, on an every day basis as well. gods gift to the working man.

  • The Havana Times photographs are great. Congratulations to the photographers and the editors.

    Often, I see a particularly striking photo on the pages of Havana Times. I click on them hoping to see more of the same or larger photos; I am disappointed when I can’t find the photos or any reference to them. Any suggestions?


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