I experienced what at first glance might be assumed to be a form of childhood regression. And perhaps thatís all it was, or perhaps it was something other.

One long inhalation of smoke and I was elsewhere. There was no preamble, no build up, no increasing or changing awareness of shifting into a different state of consciousness. I was simply somewhere other than I had been before. It is possibly somewhere I have always been. I remember putting the pipe down or perhaps it was taken out of my hand, but thatís all. I donít remember the twisting away from everyday reality. I donít remember going. I only remember being there.

The edges of the world were rippling, the edges and everything in between. I could see it all around and inside of me, but not in any ocular sense and not even in that mindís eye that I have experienced before with psychedelics. The edges of the world were rippling and my edges were rippling and everything between the two was as well. There was no boundary where one form was distinct from the other. Everything consisted of a single continuous flow: of matter, of energy, of consciousness? I have no idea! I have no explanation.

I was not afraid, or in danger, or alone. I had never been so safe. I was surrounded by laughter. My mother and brother were there, just as they always have been. I felt safe because I was in their arms.

A voice penetrated my consciousness and asked me why I was laughing. I opened my eyes to a stranger, in a strange room. Why was he asking me questions? I didnít really want to answer him. ďMy mum and my brother are hereĒ I told him (I think I told him) and then I started laughing and couldnít stop. I clapped my hand over my mouth (or at least I think I did). It seemed rude to laugh at the stranger.

I closed my eyes again. I didnít want to come back, I wanted to stay here. I was happy here, happier than I might ever have been. They were still there. I couldnít see them, or hear them or feel them, but they were there. Gradually the laughter ebbed and faded, grew soft. I clutched at it, the way one clutches at a dream in the transition to awakening, like trying to hold mist in your fingers.

For the last 5 or 6 days, I have tried to work it out and words fail me. What were Mum and David doing there with me? One explanation is that they were other entities and that my neurological hard wiring perceived them as the two people that I love most in the world as a way of coping with strangeness of an encounter with something so wholly other. Or perhaps they were there, and this is the harder explanation to accept, because we have in some form always been together.

Two other things that I have to question:

Where did the laughter come from? Is there some great cosmic joke that we are missing out on because we exist, or rather perceive that we exist, only in one basic 3-dimensional reality most of the time?

The second question, and perhaps the more important of the two, revolves around the dreamlike quality of the experience. Our culture discounts dreaming as fantasy or random electrical activity. Yet we spend approximately one third of our physical lives asleep. Effectively, we discount another reality in which we spend a huge proportion of our time. When did we stop believing that dreaming is part of being?

We are limited by our own vocabulary. All the words that we have to describe such an experience donít fit. Psychoactive is too clinical, psychotomimetic downright offensive. Psychedelic is not accurate, nor is hallucinogenic Ė you are not hallucinating! Entheogenic? Still not quite right. We need a new word, a better word. Until we find it I am going to give it one of my own.

Salvia is the bringer of dreams, the dream catcher, the dream maker.