Julie M. Brown, M.A., LMHC, is an “integrative psychotherapist, who conducts research on the role of sacred plants in religion.” She is also the co-author of a recent book, The Psychedelic Gospels: The Secret History of Hallucinogens in Christianity.
She recently described in a filmed talk with her husband, Jerry B. Brown, a mystical experience she had with many spiritual/religious overtones during an entheogenic trip in 1969 when she was 21 years old. I believe this is only the second account I’ve included that was clearly facilitated by the use of entheogens, the other being Clark Heinrich’s account. I’ve included a transcript below the video.
So I’d like to share my cosmic consciousness experience with you. It was back in 1969, a few years ago, and I was 21 years old. I was in New York City, and I was then with my partner, a different one. And we went to a concert, it was a big concert, two day or three day concert, outside of Philadelphia, a jazz festival. And a friend drove us there and we decided to look around to see what was happening.
And an older man came up to us and said, (I mean older to us, he was probably in his thirties), came up to us and said, “Hi, are looking for any psychedelics?” And we said, “Well, what do you have?” And he said, “Well, I have this new thing that I just invented myself, I’m a chemist, and it’s called Product Four.” And I said, “What’s in it?” And he told me. All I remember is, I think it had something like three or four hundred micrograms of LSD, DMT, I think it was either psilocybin or mescaline, I’m not sure, and something else that I can’t remember.
So we said, “Sure, why not? That’s great!” And so my partner and I took them, took the capsule, I think it was a big capsule. And we laid down on the grassy knoll and listened to the music, the gospel music, that was playing right then.
And I was lying there, I remember lying there, and feeling like, oh, this is, this is just what I need to relax, it just feels so good to lie back in the grass, and relax. And I closed my eyes and listened to this fantastic gospel music. And I closed my eyes and felt really really good.
And the next thing I knew, I started having kind of like flashes of white light and color behind my my closed eyes. And they got brighter and brighter and brighter. And the next thing I knew, I felt really really light, I mean like whole body felt like it was just blazing white light. And the next thing I knew, my mind just bulleted out of my body right into space and I was zooming into space, like as fast as light, I guess. And it was just an amazing experience.
I remember feeling some more like a feeling of what’s going to happen next more than fear, and so I just went with it. And I traveled and traveled and traveled, zooming along, and just seeing sparks of white light and flashes of things. Until I finally slowed down. And in slowing down I started seeing where I was.
And where I was was right there with all the stars in the heavens, and it was the feeling of homecoming. And enough, in feeling, I noticed that the stars every one of them had faces. And I knew I knew every one, every star I saw, the face is familiar to me. And that moment of recognition was this huge feeling of not only recognition, but this profound feeling of love, for every one. And it was like, we were all like reaching out and holding hands, though, the stars didn’t really have hands, but I felt like I was holding hands with everyone, around the whole entire globe or universal energy that some call ‘God.’ And it was, well, you can imagine, it was an incredible experience.
And the love, and the feeling, of, when I came back, I did come back, and when I came back, I opened my eyes at some point, and everybody was gone, the concert is over. I missed the whole concert. So, it was like, okay, I missed the concert, but what I got from it was, it was the most powerful experience of my life, to that moment. And I’ve done lots of, I’ve done lots of entheogens, lots of psychedelics, I did LSD, psilocybin, and everything, every weekend with my friends. And we were searching for God, searching, searching, and this experience I just never needed to search again.
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I feel that it was the most important event of my life, even more important in a way than getting married to soulmate and having my children. It gave me a feeling of inner peace and recognition that we are all this, we’re not just one, we are each other, that our energy is transmuted all the time from one energy source to another, and we’re just here. That’s why I’m telling the story, because I don’t really like to speak in public. My husband’s really good at it. But I feel that I have to tell the story, because I want you all to know that this is real, and I’m here, and I’m still alive, some years later…
Some similarities to Joseph Smith’s First Vision experience, and mystical experiences generally, seem to be:
- They were searching for God.
- They were perhaps open and willing to do anything to know God, whatever that might be, trying to find a way into that divine knowledge.
- The perception of white light.
- The light got brighter and brighter over time.
- Feeling like the light enveloped the body, and filled the body.
- The light was blazing, like the sun.
- The sensation of their mind being caught away, or taken away to another place, away from their common surroundings.
- Going to a heavenly place.
- Being beyond fear, and trusting.
- Eventually things settled and became more grounded.
- The perception of faces, beings.
- The sensation of profound love and joy.
- Difficulty describing the experience in words.
- The presence of God.
- Feeling like coming back to one’s self, lying on one’s back.
- Believing that the experience was one of the most important experiences of one’s life.
- The feeling of exquisite inner peace.
- The conviction that the experience was very real.
- Being compelled to share one’s story with others so they know it is real.