It took me 2 or 3 tries to actually get real acid. When I did, my friend and I experienced something we were not at all prepared for. Acid has the strange ability to make all of the parts of your mind that make you who you are, dissolve away, and you can see your pure sort of essence. As you might be aware, we wear a lot of different masks in our everyday interactions with people. You act different ways in different situations and with different people. But what you might not realize is that we wear masks internally, in dealing with ourselves.
There are distinct parts of us. There are mini-personalities that we live in, that come out every once in a while. We all have a serious side, a funny side, a sensuous side, etc. But we disguise exactly how these parts are, and what our true self is. Its quite frightening sometimes to see who you actually are. But its also quite important, in understanding how your mind really does work, how your life really is setup. You will quickly identify problems, and also (possibly) find solutions.
Acid made me happy. I noticed that many people who use drugs for escapism do not use acid, because the introspection of the drug is too much for them. You have to have a strong mind to understand what the drug is doing to you and your thoughts. I never thought that the human mind could think as fast as I have experienced on acid. Imagine that you catch a glimpse of your finger, the tiny ridges on it, and while pondering the implications of fingerprinting technology, and the injustice that is the FBI and federal government, you see the blood vessels in your finger, which, in your imagination, you can sort of travel down, and seeing that blood indeed permeates every part of you, you become aware that everything you intake, air, food, water, does indeed permeate every part of you also. These thoughts, spiraling faster, take you back, when you blink, realizing that you have been thinking for about a faction of a second.
You don't see fake things.
That is a misnomer. Hallucinations are a strong term for visual and auditory effects. Imagine hearing a door close on your right. Seemingly, the echo reaches your other ear a few seconds later, with the associated doppler shift. Small, swirling patterns can be perceived on certain surfaces. But there is nothing fake appearing. Which isn't to say one doesn't see vivid kalediscopic manifestations right before your eyes. But rather, there are no pink elephants or silly shit like that. You have a solid concept of what reality is.
Most people don't understand that reality doesn't really leave you on (most) drugs. You still have common sense. You don't think you can fly; you don't think you have magical powers. Acid puts you more certainly in touch with reality than everyday "reality"; the mundane and insignifigant become amplified and engrossing.
We have lots of different levels of consciousness, from tired and groggy, to our normal states of mind, to REM sleep. Sometimes we even get past these three, to higher levels, such as that during mediation, or, for some people, during church, or intimate moments with God or other deep experiences. These elevations show us something important to or about ourselves. I'm sure there has been some time where you felt amazingly excited and spiritual, or moved, maybe late at night, talking with a friend, or laying awake meeting God.
Man has been altering his consciousness for ages. Ever since the first human discovered that eating certain herbs made them feel a certain way, we have used natural, and later synthetic chemicals to alter the chemistry of our brains to perceive new things. There is nothing morally wrong with this, and this is important to consider. We are taught as children that altering our consciousness is bad, and that any other state besides our normal state is inferior and stupid, and damaging to our brains, and, useless.
This is an udder lie.
Chemicals (while certainly not without risk) are vehicles for experimentation, especially the psychedelic drugs. Psychedelic means literally "mind manifesting". They are ways to explore how your consciousness functions, by going to different, higher levels. I conjecture that taking LSD does not take you to a level of consciousness in which you are stupid. On the contrary, you may be your most creative. Acid is not an everyday consciousness level. Its marked by intense thought, and amazing powers of concentration. Indeed, there was a major league baseball pitcher who threw a no-hitter tripping on acid. There were various recordings released of musicians playing on LSD.
So acid does not necessarily result in physical impairment, as would a drug like alcohol. Needless to say, you shouldn't drive, or operate anything that might put yourself or someone else in danger. But you are not a bumbling idiot either. The acid experience is hard to describe, since it involves sensations and feelings and thoughts that you have never felt before. After the experience, you are changed, but not markedly so. You are changed by the fact that you now recognize perceptions and feelings and thoughts that you now realize you previously ignored or were unaware of. And you can relate to these feelings without the drug.
Adlous Huxley said that acid opened the "doors of perception" to him. On an acid trip, you have your choice of where you will explore. I like to listen to music, and I hear things that I cannot believe. Intricacies of rhythm, or melody. Timbre that seems to boggle the mind, as you wonder: "how'd they do that?" Or the imagination runs wild with your own ideas of what you might do, what you (or I) might create. Its a wonderful experience to share with a friend as you listen to beautiful music thinking how great it is that you can experience such things in life, at such a level as this. Imagine, listening to a piece of music, say a classical piece, and being able to hear each violin (not just each part). Or being able to hear each oscillator in a synth.
Needless to say, I suppose I am biased. And I can't really explain what its like, and there is really no point of trying to be persuasive. I'm sure you could discard everything I say as some kind of mythical bullshit, and simply write me off as being fucked in the head. That's fine. But I cannot deny the fact that there are levels of consciousness, such as when you have a special, "peak" experience. These experiences are naturally occurring things, that some, but not all people have. An example might be if you climbed Mt. Everest. Surely the experience at the summit must be so incredibly magical, and rewarding for such a challenge (and perhaps equally difficult to verbalize the profoundness of the thing). But such experiences need not spring from such arduous endeavors. Indeed, a moment in everyday life, perhaps that time late at night when you find God, or ask him to help you in such a desperate way, that all your prayers until that moment had been trivial and insincere in comparison. Right then, you feel distinctly different, and you know there is something special and marked about that moment.
I can't tell you how I've felt really. But I've tried. I'm still not even sure why I decided to write this. All I know is that life is a series of choices you make, but its also how you feel. And I know that my life was missing at least something until I discovered the thoughts and feelings I had been overlooking. You don't really live life; you experience it. Your memories, your perceptions, values, feelings are all shaped by what you have experienced. Life is about finding new, rewarding, enlightening experiences. Experience does not come without risk, without fear. Every time we do something new, we are uneasy or afraid. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
You cannot live a conservative, safe life.
This is the mythos of our age. You have to take chances with everything that you do. Sometimes, perhaps more often than not, you will fail. But you learn from your mistakes and move on, wiser and smarter, knowing that because you are taking chances, you will find a greater gain. If climbing Mt. Everest was easy and safe, it wouldn't be very rewarding. Such is life. My apologies if this sounds like the musing of a bad motivational speaker...
Anyway, I hope I've imparted something useful. My life is different because of my experiences ingesting a chemical. Is this one manifestation of the promise of better living through chemistry? Or is it dangerous and stupid?
If you are interested in reading more about lysergic acid diethylamide, I suggest checking out Erowid's vault, MK-ULTRA, Acid Dreams by Martin A. Lee, and any of the late Timothy Leary's books (to which I attribute many of my opinions), especially The Politics of Esctasy.