How Energy is like LSD

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When I was younger, I would talk to trees. The idea was that the tree had some sort of intelligence — either inherent in it, or an intelligent spirit occupying it — that you could talk to telepathically, like you talk to other spirits. And I hear pagans and other people talk about this sort of thing, too, so I don’t think it’s just my quirk.

A few months ago, I had an hour to kill in a park before meeting a friend, so I tested it. I spotted an old tree, exactly the sort that I would go to as a kid, and I “talked to it” in the same way I did then, so I could watch what actually happened.

First observation: There was no intelligence in the tree, spirit or otherwise. Could a spirit hypothetically attach itself to a tree? Sure. But I’ve never actually seen that, and I don’t see the benefit for the spirit, so I doubt it happens very often.

So where did the intelligence come from? Sometimes, the simplest answer is the correct one: I was talking with my own brain. See, trees have a very different energy the people do, and if you absorb a tree’s energy into your head, it changes how you think, and you can have a conversation with yourself-on-tree-energy, and feel like you’re talking to an external intelligence.

Basically, absorbing a sufficiently foreign energy is like taking acid. Not in the freaky visions sets, but in the sense that you’re still experiencing your own brain, just in a slightly modified state. No one thinks LSD is intelligent, or that it transmits the visions to you. All the intelligence in an acid trip comes from your brain. Same with energy: You’re not experiencing the tree’s intelligence, you’re experiencing your own intelligence in a slightly altered state.

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14 Responses to “How Energy is like LSD”

  1. By the way, for anyone wondering when I’ll write the book: This is part of the book. The post got condensed down to 1 paragraph discussing what people mean by “seeing magick.”

  2. wsa says:

    Mike, As always, thanks for the thought provoking post. You say “No one thinks LSD is intelligent, or that it transmits the visions to you.” But if Memory serves, I think that’s exactly what Terrence McKenna said ( about both naturally derived substances such as Peyote as well as chemical drugs; he claimed, again if memory serves (it’s been years since I studied his work) that there were spirits or other kinds of life-forms connected to hallucinogenics that could and did transmit information to humans who ingested the drugs. Further, it’s one of the most important parts of Traditional Indigenous Shamanism of all varieties… the idea that plants, indeed many other life-forms as well as things that we do not consider “alive” such as stones (i.e. the Native American’s “Stone-People”), can and do communicate with humans and transmit information including visions, given the proper circumstances.

    Your thoughts?

  3. Kol Drake says:

    I kind of wondered if it’s not so much ‘energy changing the brain’s chemistry to *think* it’s talking to a tree’ as much as it is changing the brain alignment/chemistry so it is temporarily connected to ‘other energy sources’ — which can communicate through sight, sound or ‘feel’. That might explain how someone connects to the “Akashic records” —- or whatever hierarchy of energy sources are ‘out there’. Connect ‘low’ or ‘high’ but you are speaking with ‘something’ and not just your brain/mind.

    • I would say that Akashic records = ethereal software, and that it wouldn’t surprise me if a shaman who’s normally connected to ethereal software gets some intuitions while connecting to trees. For example, when people “talk to plants” to find out the medicinal uses for them, I’d expect that they’re really getting psychic-type intuitions. So, yes, I’d generally agree with what you said.

  4. Yvonne says:

    Oy, this is controversial…but interesting.

    You are saying that there is no “spirit” as you understand it, contained within living things like trees, leaves, nature’s forms.

    Or are you saying that there is no “energy,” of the sort that you laid out previously in the model from the conversation with the angel?

    The most controversial part refers to the kind of “intelligence” that you cannot discern in the tree. It might be that it exists, but in the state of consciousness in which you are operating, which is fourth dimensional, and it is not possible to discern. I think this might be the case with your crystals as well? I recall that you came to similar conclusions about the energy and the quartz, which was amplified and read back as human energy, but not as a distinctive, intelligent force.

    Mike, can you draw these ideas together into some general conclusions? Your interactions with the crystals and the plants/trees? I have a feeling that you are on to something, but as I said, it might be kind of controversial. I would really like to flesh this out.
    @ wsa, I agree with McKenna wholeheartedly and I wonder if Mike needs to interact physically with the plant in some other way in order to truly have a “conversation” as he puts it. After all there are many traditions that tell us that telepathy is not the idea form of communication with some spirit forms – there must be physical ingestion, or smoking, drinking, or eating of the plant or the crystal or mineral in order for the interactions to occur consciously.

    This is so interesting. I wish I had followed up on some of your previous experiments as I intended to.

    • In terms of general conclusions across quartz and tree-spirits, I’d say that appearances are deceiving, and that it’s wise to trust experiences, but not explanations. This question is actually what got me thinking in that direction for the follow-up post.

  5. Kol Drake says:

    Plus, isn’t it the case that say, a tree, ‘thinks’ like a tree and not a people… so you have to kind of ‘get into it’s barky interior so to speak — shift awareness and ‘thought’ to be able to get into a ‘tree’ mindset?

    Now, it WOULD be cool if he approached a tree and hit on a dryad (oak spirit). Imagine chatting up someone who’s essence is ‘tree’ and Nature.

  6. simon says:

    Its interesting that this post came up. before deciding to experiment with direct magick for now I was looking at Stephen Harrod Buhner’s work. I read that he had done some serious research into the way ‘natives’ would be able to obtain specific information on the uses of various plants directly from them. The book begins with fairly rigorous scientific analysis of what may be occurring followed by specific instructions for trying out experiments.

    If what he says is true, then I question whether one is ALWAYS just communicating with their own brain- if it is possible to gain specific information from a plant in this way. Of course it doesn’t mean there is ‘consciousness’ in the plant – though it would suggest it at least has intelligence in the way you define it as relating to ethereal software.

    Personally I feel we don’t want to rush to defining ‘consciousness’ as just that which is like our own type. I think sometimes this bias may come from us modern humans spending too much time away from ‘nature’ resulting in this biased/detatched view. But that may just be the latent animist religious belief in me coming out!

    • I definitely believe in communicating with things outside our own brain. I just don’t think that’s what’s happening in the case of “talking with trees.”

      In terms of definitions, I try to stick to standard scientific definitions unless there’s a clear reason to deviate. That is, I’m happy to use specialized terms when they clarify what we’re saying, like defining magick as “the mind directly interacting with the external world” rather than “weird non-scientific stuff happening.” But I try to avoid redefining words to cause two models to sound like they agree when, in fact, they do not agree.

      So, I’m totally open to non-human consciousness, and the idea that other minds may perceive the world very differently. But I’m hesitant to define everything as conscious, because it’s such a radical redefinition that it renders most statements about consciousness meaningless, and makes it unclear what a model actually says or where it disagrees with another model.

      Does that help?

      • simon says:

        “Does that help?”

        Yes. thanks. Anyway don’t think i’ve understood or experienced enough about your model of ‘ethereal software’ to start dissecting it.

  7. JP Alcala says:

    As Yvonne said, this is a controversial topic. Because the whole phenomena can be explained from different angles.

    I do agree on the title of this post. Energy can be, in some ways, like LSD. Based from my own observations, if you attempt to control the flow of energy in your body, the change in equilibrium can cause you to experience things similar to how hallucinogens work. That would depend on the amount of energy flowing and the direction of the flow.

    At the same time, I would like to argue that energy is nothing like LSD. Thoughts are also another form of energy, and it is abundant. Residue of it can be found practically everywhere. Someone sensitive enough to detect this can find themselves accessing the information by simply asking for it. That’s the essence of psychometry.

    In your test (talking to the tree), talking to the tree can be likened to typing a sentence in the google search box. It may actually be your subconscious doing all the information processing from the residual thoughts you’ve picked up. And this phenomena is

    All of my blabbering is based on what I’ve observed. Somebody who’s been practicing other forms of magick or doing shamanism will probably explain it in a different way that aligns to their own observation and belief system.

  8. wsa says:

    @Yvonne, Interesting thought that, about how it might be necessary to access the consciousness of the plant by ingestion of the material substance, or some other means, rather than just being in its energy field and attempting access or communication through telepathy or other braincentric means… although… as I type it occurs to me to ask: IS telepathy solely brain related? Can’t say I have ever wondered that before, but the entire field of Oriental Medicine ascribes to the Heart much of what current science relegates to the brain. There is a fringe element of scientific research that is working on memory and other body tissues because of some of the odd experiences of organ transplant recipients (;) but it’s certainly not mainstream science.

    Certainly one of the time-honored ways Shamans communicate with the Sprits of plants and other substances and beings is by ingestion leading to journeying. But from what I have been taught, they can also journey to other dimensions and communicate with the essences of those substances without ingestion, can they not? Didn’t McKenna say that he was able to journey to the dimensions of the Spirits of the hallocinogenics that he had previously ingested after the first journey via other means? I think he did, but am not sure as it’s been so many years since I listened to his audio teachings or read his books.

    Stanislov Grof, a research partner of Timothy Leary, who invented what he called “Holotropic Breathwork” allowed as how he and his research subjects were able journey to the same dimensions he had formerly accessed with hallocinogenics using controlled breathing and meditation protocols. What I don’t remember is if he represented those dimensions as “real” outside of the realm of the individual human mind, or not.

    McKenna’s work is fascinating to me. And it’s also interesting, to me, to note that he died fairly young of a brain tumor; I find that interesting because many hallucinogenics are funguses and there is considerable evidence that points to the possibility that cancer and tumors are often fungal, or fungus related.

    Back to other ways of accessing consciousness of plants and other beings: If you are familiar with homeopathy, the Provings (part of the process of making and defining a homeopathic remedy) elicit information that I think can be stretched to be called “consciousness” of whatever substance is being Proved; if it’s not forms of consciousness, exactly, it is certainly the archetypes of the realm of the collective consciousness/unconscious or perhaps a bit of both. If you are not familiar with homeopathy I can post a bit more information about it, but it’s far afield of Mike’s post and I think he would think it far afield of his work with Direct Magick, so I don’t want to take up space here with such an off-topic tangent without his prior approval.

    • Hi guys, this isn’t really my cup of tea, but I love both of you, so I made another post for you to discuss this. Feel free to go into whatever you want in the comments over here:

      I pasted WSA’s last comment in to get you started.

      I’ll keep the spam out, approve comments (I wanted to change it to unmoderated, but I don’t know how to do it for just one post), but generally not get involved. Enjoy!

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