Beast Mode: Breaking on Through to the Other Side on 1,600 mcg of LSD

Beast Mode: Breaking on Through to the Other Side on 1,600 mcg of LSD

Seeking truth, Steve Elfrink embarks on a wild LSD journey. Read about his mind-blowing experiences and the meaningful impact they had on his life.

Overview: Psychedelic somatic interactional therapist and pioneer in the exploration of psychedelics, Steve Elfrink, recounts his journey from questioning childhood beliefs to a transformative experience on 1,600 mcg of LSD. In a drug-fueled adventure, he and a friend enter a telepathic realm, tossing a ball of light into the sky, witnessing cosmic phenomena, and experiencing a profound connection. Despite the beauty, they return to reality, shaken. Reflecting on the experience, Steve acknowledges the dangers of his past drug use but finds gratitude for the glimpse into something beyond, which later saves him from suicide.

Beast Mode: Breaking on Through to the Other Side on 1,600 mcg of LSD

My quest for truth and knowledge began at an early age, growing up in the conservative Midwest in Rochester, MN. I had an early inkling that there was a veil to the present-moment consensus reality I was told about. Born with an insatiable desire to push boundaries, question the status quo, and find the edges of consciousness, I embarked on a journey of discovery, that I’m still on today.

This journey began with one of my first experiments at about age 8. I was told by my parents that taking the Lord's name in vain would result in being struck by lightning. This made no sense to me; how could that be possible? I had to find out for myself. So, I went into our backyard, making sure no one was around — I did not want anyone to get hurt if I was wrong in my questioning.

Standing firmly on the ground, with my hands on my hips, staring upward into the Minnesota sky, I yelled to the heavens, “Fuck you, God; fuck you, Jesus!” and waited for the lightning that never came. This was one of my first “aha!” moments. I was being told one thing, and there was another reality. More importantly, what was that reality?

My discovery of LSD at 16 was another aha moment. What is this molecule? How can it do these things to my mind? Move things, change things, make me laugh uncontrollably. In my pursuit of the edge of consciousness, I started experimenting with larger doses, eventually working up to 1,600 micrograms (mcg). To clarify, in the context of LSD dosing, a typical dose is typically between 100 and 150 mcg, while a high dose is considered to be 300 mcg or more.

At this stage of my life in 1982, being 19 years old, I was enamored with partying, excessive drinking, and the mass consumption of various drugs. On one memorable 4th of July, my friend and I were driving around with a cooler full of beer, a quart of Jack Daniels, a large collection of LSD microdots (mini-sized pills of about 100 mcg of LSD), a vial of pharmaceutical ketamine along with the needed syringes, a large stockpile of cocaine, and a tank of nitrous oxide in the back seat.

I watched the strangely inverted fireworks over Silver Lake with a perfectly timed injection of ketamine into my thigh to augment the many hits of LSD and cocaine. I was on that road to excess. At this time in my life I was greatly influenced by Hunter S. Thompson and his book, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” I wanted to be him and be part of that glorious world of drug oblivion. The opening quote in that book, “He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man,” was my motto. In hindsight, all of this was just an attempt to escape and transcend the pain of early childhood trauma.

Back to the 1,600 mcg dose. Up to that time, all of my large-dose LSD experiences were multi-faceted drug and alcohol binges. The LSD just allowed me to be more out of control, more wild, more out there, and to be able to drink copious amounts of alcohol until sunrise. I was on a mission of destruction from within. Fortunately, that 1,600 mcg dose gave me a glimpse inside to something bigger outside.

The 1,600 mcg journey started with a spontaneous, “Let's go camping!” with my friend Bob. “Let's go camping” meant, “Let's get fucked up!” At this point in my life, I was selling LSD, so I always had a large stockpile on hand. This Saturday night was no different.

We started the journey from Rochester to a place called Trout Valley, about an hour away. I was an adept “on acid” driver, so we commenced the journey by taking several microdots. This continued as we kept driving. This was not planned—we just started taking a few more microdots, and then a few more. And then, driving started to get difficult.

I can still remember and see the painted highway marker lines zooming off the road and into the car, swirling about inside the car all around me. Focus, Steve! Even with that happening, we took more. By the time we made it to Trout Valley, we had taken a total of 32 microdots — 16 each. Fortunately, we were so focused on consuming the LSD that we lost focus on the large cache of alcohol in the back seat.

The original plan, as always, was to arrive at Trout Valley, set up camp, which was a simple process of tent, lawn chair, and then find wood for a fire and then commence to drink insane amounts of alcohol. That was not possible. By the time we got there, we were unable to even speak. There was no way I could have driven even 10 minutes further as the car was starting to morph into pure light and energy. I was tripping very, very hard.

With extreme focus I was able to very, very slowly pull into the camping site, slowly turn off the car as everything was swirling about — and that was it. The interior of the car was now fully alive. So much movement! Everything was full of energy and light. I could see the form of “car, dashboard, seat,” but it was all a swirling mass of light and energy. Even though it was pitch dark outside at this point, my car was alive with light. And, there was no outside at this point — “car” became the universe in which we lived.

Then things got even more interesting. I had been just lost in my own world of light and energy, and then I realized there was another being in the car with me — Bob. I didn’t see him first; I could hear him in my head, a voice that was not mine. I replied in my mind back to the voice, and it responded back. I wasn't talking, but I could communicate with Bob through my mind. This took things to a whole different level! We now had a shared mind that was seeing the exact same thing.

I knew Bob was seeing the same thing because we started having this telepathic discussion of what we were seeing. I remember showing Bob what would happen if I flicked the swirling energetic form known to some as the dashboard — we would then stare in amazement as the simple flick would release a cosmic stream of light/energy from the impact. We would “talk” about the different things we would see as we did various experiments of moving energy around in the “car.”

At this point, there was no awareness of car or Trout Valley or camping. We were just in this mutual mindspace of an energetic container of light, movement, and colors, so many colors. Everything was in motion. This went on for hours and hours of telepathy and energy experiments.

At one point, one of us said through this single-mind telepathy, “Oh! Holy shit! We are in a car! We are at Trout Valley! There is an outside place to play!!!” Waves of excitement rippled through my energy form.

My guesstimate is that this was about the 6 to 7-hour mark. When this epiphany happened, I was holding a ball of light that I created. It was literally this ball of white light that I formed out of the white light in the car. I found a way to collect it and make it into a ball. Bob was seeing it too. Through this whole experience, we were constantly seeing the exact same things. We were in pure rapture at this beautiful ball. But then! With the epiphany of “outside,” we had a collective moment of “HOLY SHIT! We can go outside and play with this ball!!” We were both ecstatic with this thought and that there was another world to explore.

We stumbled out of the car. For some reason, I just followed Bob out of his side. That made more sense than opening my door. I struggled to worm my way out so I wouldn't drop the ball of light. Once outside, it was like entering heaven. Pure ecstasy of the cool night air, everything was alive with light, energy, even in the pitch darkness of present moment reality; in our reality, the whole forest, the ground, everything was shimmering light — Bob too. And! I had this beautiful ball of light that was still swirling and sparkling with this radiant white luminous glory.

I looked at Bob; he was looking at me with anticipation. The big moment was coming — I tossed Bob the ball of light. He was about 10 feet away from me. He caught it! We were both gobsmacked with amazement. There was some level of awareness that this proved how powerful our singular new mind was. Bob was now able to hold the ball and feel its rapture. I could feel him feeling the rapture. We then proceeded to play catch with the ball. If anyone would have seen us, they would have thought we were crazy. We were not crazy; we were in ecstatic bliss!

The ball catch went on for probably a half-hour. It was back to me. I was holding it, staring into it. I “told” Bob through the still-present single mind, “Come here.” He came over with anticipation because he already knew my thoughts/ideas. My idea was to throw the ball as hard as I could into the shimmering sky. There was so much collective excitement about this, and it kept building. We knew — this was going to be big and beyond exciting. But we had no idea how big and exciting it would be.

It was big! With a unified nod of, “yes, this is the time,” I prepared for the biggest throw of my life. Standing as tall as I could, I cocked my arm back until it was nearly touching the ground with the ball of light held firmly with my outstretched fingers. I held the ball there for a couple of seconds, channeling all my energy into my right arm — this was important work! And then my spring-loaded arm launched the ball of light into the night sky.

The second the ball of light left my hand, it grew in size exponentially. By the time it was 10-15 feet above us, it was now the size of a comet. It then blasted, literally at the speed of light, into the universe. And, in the wake of that blast was an entire world of light that rapidly expanded out from the comet of light. For Bob and I, the entire sky, our entire world became one giant cosmos of shimmering white light. Both of us fell to the ground in shock, amazement, and awe at what we just witnessed. We were both enveloped in the cosmos of white light. It was beyond words and beyond beautiful.

What happened next is interesting. From that extremely profound experience, we both started to collapse inside. Almost like it was too much. We were still in telepathy land. The night sky was back, there was also some awareness that the sun was working its way back into our lives in the form of a sunrise. Present-moment reality was coming back a tiny bit, but we were still deeply immersed in the experience. However, a mutual unease was settling in.

Then, Bob had a thought that I heard, “Let's leave. Now. Right now. We have to wash the car.” Wash the car? I was a bit puzzled. Bob felt/heard my thoughts on my puzzlement. He was emphatic — we must leave right now, and we have to wash the car. I could feel a bit of Bob's panic. I knew it would be up to me to drive. Bob agreed, mentally.

It felt like the immensity of the white light experience was too much for Bob. It was an incredible, mind-blowing experience x 1,000. Actually, a place of no words. A switch went off in Bob which triggered a need to try and come back to reality. I could feel that. There was a back-and-forth mind struggle on this decision. My desire was to just stay at the campsite and enjoy the final phase of the LSD — and I was not too keen on driving back to Rochester in my state. In the end, Bob’s urgency won.

We ended up driving away from Trout Valley and back to Rochester to one of those coin-operated, self-serve car washes. We were still unable to speak, and we did not need to since we could still communicate telepathically. Bob was very meticulous about the car washing. His car washing mechanism had been activated, and it was his sole purpose for existing at that moment.

We spent several hours washing and re-washing the car. It seemed to ground us back to reality — a little. As I was coming more and more back to reality, I remembered I was supposed to move out of my parents’ house that day. That became our next task. I avoided my parents as much as possible as we went about packing up my room and loading my car. No words were spoken — just shared thoughts. The mood was more somber than joyful. The day eventually just faded back into reality.

Looking back at this experience 40 years later, I am left with amazement at what I did and that I survived. I was a drug fiend on a mission to drink/drug myself into oblivion. And, also looking back at this, at me, I feel a deep layer of compassion for that teenager. Drugs and alcohol nearly killed me, and, on another level, they saved me. I would never recommend the doses or the amounts of what I was doing. I was constantly playing drug roulette and driving roulette. I got lucky. A lot of people don’t. I am grateful that I am still here.

The biggest thing from that experience, for me, was that it gave me not just a glimpse but a full immersion into this other world that I knew was out there. Something bigger than myself, someplace beyond words. This glimpse would later save my life when I was 29 and suicidal. I was going to make one last attempt at breaking through or resort to killing myself. I planned out a night with myself, 1,200 mcg of LSD, and a gun. Fortunately, the white light came back and saved the day. But that is a story for another time.

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