Photo credit: Alan Friedman

Photo credit: Alan Friedman

Not that which the ear can hear, but that whereby the ear can hear: know that to be Brahman the eternal (...)
— Kena Upanishad


I go camping in Moab, UT. It is “my” place, every trip there has it's own significance, and its where I go to renew my connection to what is real. A group of friends from Salt Lake City started inviting me to their yearly campout in the Fall, about 10 years ago. The camp site we stay in is incredible. So I co-opted their trip and never looked back.

About 5 years ago I decided I wanted to camp by myself. I had never done such a thing before, so in terms of my growth and progression, it was a big deal. I wanted to go on a vision quest with mushrooms, and didn't want interference from anyone else's presence. I had experimented with psychedelics several times previously, but always with friends as trip sitters, and always in a safe location. This was going pretty far out of my comfort zone. But for what I was going through in my life, and the desire I had to move through it, I decided this was the thing. 

I went to my campsite, set up my tent and got camp ready. I boiled some water to make tea with the 4 grams of psilocybin mushrooms I had brought. I steeped the fungus for a few minutes, quickly drank the whole thing. (Including the leftover fibers, which I don't recommend because they came up later). My journey commenced.

I hiked to a rock that was meaningful to me. 25+ feet around, it had fallen down from the cliffs sometime in the past, and had cracked wide open. You climb through the crack, very much as if through a vagina, and are birthed to a, very convenient rock on the opposite side that is perfect for sitting on.  I sat there as the mushrooms set in, and went through some beautiful albeit painful processing. My great-grandmother had passed away a few months earlier, along with my relationship at the time (almost the exact same time) and I had a lot of grief to work through. I spent a lot of time processing the loss of both of those things, and a bunch of time hating my job. (This was when I worked at Apple as a repair technician, and it was brutal). I excavated a lot of emotion and feelings on all these topics as I sat in the stillness of the desert. 


At one point in my trip I began to bring awareness to what my senses were telling me about the space I was in. There aren’t a lot of sounds in the desert, it’s vast stillness is a reason that I love it. But as I finally settled into my sense and out of my head, I realized that for a long time now, there had been a continual background sound accompanying my journey. 

I scanned my environment for what could be producing this deep and permeating hum that I now heard. There were a few insects around, but I could discern those. No, this vibration was much bigger and touched everything in my vicinity. Realizing now how large and distant it was, through my senses I tried to locate where it was in space, was it on the cliffs? Something on the road. No. The frequency was immense. No objects on the road or cliffs could produce what I was now becoming more and more clear on hearing.

With my back against a rock for shade, I suddenly realized it was coming from the sky behind me. The frequency it was producing filled the everything my eye could see. It was located in the sky.

It was the Sun.

It rang like a bell. And the more I listened, the more of a pattern I was able to detect. The song it sang last about 2 or so minutes, and then started  again. It resembled a heartbeat, albeit one with a long duration by human standards. As far as describing the quality of the sound that I detected, I struggle to find actual words. Hearing energy being produced through the nuclear reactions and being ejected into space is the ultimate in high definition. 

The starkness of the desert meant that once I got out of my head, there was no context for my habitual response patterns to the usual stimuli in my environment. I was able to detect, to really hear the OM that gave me my life. In what I’ll call a divine download from the core of the solar system, once I tuned into the sunlight that was radiating down on me in the desert, I felt every muscle, every bone, every cell in my body. I "saw" myself as a hominid on a planet, in a special and rare plane of reality that sustains life. I knew my existence was sustained by the solar heartbeat and it's process. I grokked that gravity kept me on the planet that was orbiting the star I was hearing, and that this was the source for the experience I was having, for my body, for my breath, for my consciousness. Noise that I had been so accustomed to as an organism on the plant that I had ceased to hear it had turned into a signal. It was profound moment, one that I'll never forget and be  forever be grateful for.

There are camps that believe what we experience on psychedelics is a synthesized version of the world, all generated within our own minds. I am from a camp that believes that psychedelics and entheogens point us to what is already and always has been there. They strip away the layers that occlude our true vision. There are some that may interpret my experience through a different lens, and that is their right. This is my knowing, my subjective and lived experience. My truth? I heard the Sun. 

All matter has a frequency at which it vibrates. Consider the Big Bang, and that we can still detect the residual radio waves from that event. Consider that we are made of material that hums and runs on electrical current. We are birthed by a massive electromagnetic object (our planet) and nurtured by the physical force of gravity until we expire. We funnel that resonance within our cells at all times. The sound that comes from our star, this is the emanation, is the Om of the universe.

Placed across another dimension of understanding, this Om is the music that we hear when sound becomes organized. Within the category of the somatic experience (the body felt from within), it is the organized felt sense that we experience in our environments - our emotions. It is the vibration of the body as a whole organism, and all the biochemical processes, which the endocannabinoid system balances, and all thoughts that occur within the brain.It is the sound that is always washing over us. 

It is the sound that is always washing over us. It is experience, it is the Brahmin, the ground of our being.