Anon, to sudden silence won, In fancy dream they pursue The dream-child moving through a land Of wonders wild and new, In friendly chat with bird or beast And half believe it true. And ever, as the story drained The wells of fancy dry, And faintly strove that weary one To put the subject by, “The rest next time” “It is next time!” The happy voices cry. Thus grew the tale of wonderland: Thus slowly, one by one, Its quaint events were hammered out And now the tale is done, And home we steer, a merry crew, Beneath the setting sun. Alice! a childish story take, And with a gentle hand Lay it where Childhood’s dreams are twined In Memory’s mystic band, Like pilgrim’s withered wreath of flowers Plucked in a far-off land.
Prologue; an introduction to a day after the prefatory poem
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?”As the narrative begins, it is the duty of your humble raconteur to inform you that it was never intended for these events to be chronicled in this form. No text can ever do the pupils' experience justice and even
The build-up preparing to step Through The Looking Glass
Suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.
There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!” (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.
In another moment down went Alice after it; never once considering how in the world she was going to get out again.
It was still only ten o'clock, so Val led as they snuck into the Physics block and, shitting themselves the whole time regarding the prospect of discovery by Dr. Allday, weighed their stash with the super-accurate balances in McG's lab. It was found that they had about five point nine six grams in that clear plastic bag (if their memories are to be trusted). Once this was done, they met up with George who had an exam the next day and didn't want to do the 'shrooms. He thought that it would be foolish to tripping out when he ought to be cramming and, although he didn't say precisely that, it was implied.
And so it was decided that, what the hell, the three of them would do the 'shrooms right there and then. Eric first took them both to Val's room where he told tales of his first time taking 'shrooms and they swiftly coerced each other into taking the class A drugs. They didn't realise they were class A at the time, but the narrator thinks that saying things are illegal just makes them sound cooler.
Beginning the trip Down The Rabbit-Hole
The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down what seemed to be a very deep well.
Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next.
Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end? “I wonder how many miles I’ve fallen by this time?” she said aloud. “I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I think” (for, you see, Alice had learnt several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was not a very good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over).
“...he found himself seeing mandelbrot arms arching away from the wispy edges of the clouds”
In preparation for the dangerous psychedelic trip and accompanying hallucinations,
It took quite a while after dropping the 'shrooms for the drug to kick in and, having done no research whatsoever, he didn't really know what to expect. He had put the initial premonitory butterflies down to the placebo effect, but soon he found himself seeing mandelbrot arms arching away from the wispy edges of the clouds. Then, when inclining his head toward the sun, he experienced some crazy kaleidoscoping closed eye visuals. But still he wasn't sure whether life always looked like this. Surely the clouds usually have weird images in them and you often do get dancing red patterns through your eyelids when you stare at gargantuan nuclear fusion reactors ninety three million miles away? Nevertheless, he was soon persuaded to come inside and then reflected on the mandelbrots he'd seen. It gave him an insight into the fundamentally fractal nature of the infinitely universe and everything within it. Yeah. Just think about that for a few moments... Forget everything you've read:
Val wasn't feeling much. He only felt a bit strange, kinda like being stoned. But, as he looked to Eric, he knew the 'shrooms were really starting to affect him.
It kicks in A Mad Tea Party
There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep.This turned out to be a poor tactical decision.
The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded round together at one corner of it. “No room! No room!” they cried out when they saw Alice coming. “There's plenty of room!” said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large armchair at one end of the table.
“Have some wine,” the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.
Alice looked all round the table but there was nothing on it but tea. “I don't see any wine,” she remarked.
“There isn't any,” said the March Hare.
While they obtained their nourishment,
As they sat down on an empty table at the far end of the hall,
After a short while, food largely untouched, it was decided to leave as quickly as possible and escape that environment. And ergo he followed the others out. They almost ran to the door only too aware of how obvious it was that they were only leaving because the man was disquieting them. At last, they were free in the outdoors to laugh to themselves and begin to enjoy the trip, but not before
He was just walking with the others again, enjoying the sun and planning the rest of the day, when the scary mad man emerged from behind them. He walked past and turn to address them with what the narrator can only assume to have been gibberish, given that no one remembers any of it. The narrator believes it likely to have been some remarks regarding his abnormal behaviour and basic thought processes. All that is known is that it was particularly freaky given the circumstances and left Eric cowering behind the others whispering how fucked up the trip was turning out to be. Val could hardly believe what had just happened and this was despite his not feeling the 'shrooms much, as he felt the effect fade away. Hannah just laughed at them all. They briefly returned to the house for some reason, a detour during which
Visiting the secret place beside the Pool Of Tears
She found a little bottle and tied round the neck of the bottle was a paper label with the words “DRINK ME” beautifully printed on it in large letters.
It was all very well to say “Drink me,” but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry. “No, I’ll look first,” she said, “and see whether it’s marked ‘poison’ or not;” for she had never forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked “poison,” it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.
However, this bottle was not marked “poison,” so Alice ventured to taste it, and finding it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot-buttered toast,) she very soon finished it off.
“What a curious feeling!” said Alice, “I must be shutting up like a telescope.”
And so she was indeed: she was now only ten inches high.
This being a bright summer's day, the children were out playing when they passed the school. Thousands of individual shrieks from chasing, skipping and falling rushed past their ears as they walked on past the abandoned garages. They followed the fence round behind a stagnant pond and into the secret place a small grassy clearing with a couple of trees right in the middle of Canterbury city centre. During their journey,
They sat there in that clearing soaking in the Nature that surrounded them.
At the same time as this,
“The thousands of individual velvet blades each became a tiny verdant faerie person...”
After Eric had left,
He was sitting cross legged and was slight disconcerted when, upon gazing down at his legs for a few moments, noticed that his feet were rather bigger and closer to his body than they should have been. It appeared as though the lower half of his body had been folded up and, while beforehand he'd been seeing all the world at once through the wrong end of a pair of binoculars, his legs now seemed shrunken and, when stretched out, only a foot away from his stomach. He had shrunk down to half his usual height.
She went on talking: “Dear, dear! How queer everything is to-day! And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is, Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle!”And so he got up and walked and all the while he walked he was deep in thought. So much so, that he barely even noticed the strange vulgarities of the strange people he was sharing the pavements with. Once, he thought he saw Miss Astin walking down the street toward him and got rather worried about the number of rules he was currently breaking, but when she came closer, it turned out to be someone nothing like his physics teacher at all. In fact, later on he often found himself seeing familiar people approaching who later turned out to be far from familiar. More often than not, on closer inspection, he could not even understand how their visages could have confused him.
And she began thinking over all the children she knew that were of the same age as herself, to see if she could have changed for any of them.
Graeme Carl has used mushrooms many times before. He wrote something about the sensations that they bring about on humans. The narrator has reproduced this description so that others could hope to understand the profound effect mushrooms have on a person's way of thinking.
“In order for the human entity to survive, it must learn from an early age how to shut out the masses of information reaching the brain. This process of selective filtering allows us to become centred on a single thought. (Imagine being completely aware of all the signals coming into your body at one moment. Imagine being aware of every square inch of your skin and how it felt. Imagine being eternally aware of your tongue in your mouth, that itch on the end of your nose or the sound of the air conditioning hissing softly in the background. I believe that tripping brings back the awareness that has been shut out ever since we were three.Everything
Have you ever noticed children walking into a shopping mall? If you notice next time, they appear to be tripping, staring wide eyed at all the amazing colours, walking along looking up at the ceiling and watching themselves in the mirrored surface. As children age, they gradually learn to shut out the onslaught of information, they no longer seem to notice the world as their younger siblings do! By the time adulthood is reached, these sensations are even lost to memory.”
At that moment, he suddenly realised everything at once. He saw through it all, he was the one, he was at one and godliness was all his. In the same way as Neo sees the symbols of the Matrix code,
The narrator everyone just to think for a moment we are identical in all but this one aspect. Think about what that interpretation actually means. This knowledge washed over him in eddy currents and flowed within like a spring of enlightenment. The cogs that make up the working of life were superimposed by his corneas onto all he saw. Warm blood flowed through his veins as he looked around in every direction and was overcome by how much sense it all made. He understood it all and, through this, possessed everything.
“The Mexicans call it God’s Flesh ... within the psilocybin and psilocin [lies] a cure for humanity.”
He understood everyone else through being able to think like someone different. If only all people could realise this, if only people could understand. The 'shrooms had enabled him to transcend everything in the universe. He had a complete understanding of everything, but knew it couldn't last. After making that one groundbreaking discovery, it was a race against time to learn as much as he could. He had to discover it all before he forgot. Have you ever read Flowers For Algernon? The narrator feel the reader should be informed that, in it, a retarded man has his IQ surgically tripled and struggles to come to terms with the way he was treated in his old life. He sees how other less intelligent people such as he used to be are constantly mocked and finds he can no longer relate to people as a genius. Then, after he learns more and soon has become by far the most intelligent person ever to walk to earth, he learns that his knowledge will soon fade away and be lost forever. The effect isn't permanent and he'll shortly be the stupid man who everybody used to laugh at without him even realising. He was in a feverish hustle to find a way to provide permanence to his IQ boost before he's no longer even literate. It's a touching tale that gives an insight into the mind of the mentally challenged. But, during that time,
The Mexicans call it God's Flesh. It's easy to see why. For when he was on the 'shrooms, he was convinced that within the psilocybin and psilocin lay the answer to all the world's problems; a cure for humanity. This drug allowed an insight into other people's psyches and would surely eliminate all misunderstanding and the causes of all suffering. Now all the had to do is find out that this is the truth. Nevertheless, the knowledge left him very happy indeed.
Realisation of one's own mental state
The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice.And still
“Who are you?” said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, “II hardly know, sir, just at presentat least I know who I was this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then.
“What do you mean by that?” said the Caterpillar sternly. “Explain yourself!”
“I can’t explain myself, I am afraid, sir,” said Alice, “because I’m not myself, you see.”
There was no chance of a coherent exchange with other human beings and, after being limited by his brain in such a way, he would inevitably appear to the other no different from all the other crazy people who were mocked by the normals. Within a couple of days, there would be no escape from those determined to "help" him by converting him back to normality, back to a world where his most pressing worry was picking a university course and whether he wanted to take a gap year. He was really freaking out, not being sure himself whether life would ever be the same again.
For those moments he thought hew knew what it was like to be a so-called mentally ill person. To be trapped in your mind or even trapped in your body. For those moments he too was trapped. He too was crazy. "Certainly," he thought, "I would appear to be a lot more crazy that the laughing man if I saw thing like this all the time." If anything, he thought himself far crazier than him, Robert or anyone else. He saw how it works, how it really isn't his fault or choice or anything. He just wanted to be normal again but could never know whether that was possible. And then he looked up and carried on walking.
Scary and skewed walking and visions
“In that direction,” the Cat said, waving its right paw around, “lives a Hatter: and in that direction,” waving the other paw, “lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.”At one moment, he found himself in a close-cum-estate kind of thing. About ten yards too late, he realised he'd begun to walk down a dead end. Immediately he started in the middle of the road and stopped to look around and decide what course of action to follow next. As he turned to take the branching road to his left, a concerned looking woman walked up to him as though she was about to ask if he needed any help. Obviously he looked confused and shouldn't have been there. He was certain he appeared ostensibly as though he were tripping and she wanted to help him away, lest anything unbecoming occur on the road on which she lived. She approached and he prayed that she wouldn't get him busted by policemen or school teachers. He found that she came right up to him, appeared to look him in the eyes and then, just as he was about to mouth some excuse to her, she walked off completely naturally to the left as though she'd never had any intention of approaching him at all. And he could no longer remember whether it was that clear at all that he was acting strangely and that she was likely to approach him or, whether she always turned corners like that and he'd imagined it all.
“But I don’t like to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
But anyway, he walked some more and thought some more and then walked some more again. He can't recall where he went, but does remember that he repeatedly planned to and then forgot to return to his room for some gel so he'd look passably respectable whilst out in town. As he walked the streets, he looked into cars and the reflections on the windscreens played with the driver's faces and passengers so they seemed to have dogs' faces or were otherwise grossly contorted. His only reaction was to absurdly find it all somehow slightly humorous.
Some time later Hannah had called him and he found himself back in the secret place with Val and Hannah. He tried to explain what had happened but Val still seemed reluctant to share his experiences with
A detour to a trip: the Korova Milkbar
“Well then,” the Cat went on, “you see a dog growls when it’s angry and wags its tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.”He decided to head back to school and to go back to his room for gel and money. And so
All the while he made notes in biro on a sheet of A4, trying to recorded every thought that came to him. The film panned out in a completely different way than ever before and he began to be able see through the protagonist's eyes. Alex had it all right; Alex was perhaps the only man in the world to understand in the same way
This omniscience was briefly interrupted when Sam Nussey burst into the room. By then,
Meanwhile Eric was sitting alone, also thinking of weed. This was his second time taking 'shrooms the first had been a fun filled afternoon giggling on a sunny Californian beach with his chums in America. This trip was rapidly turning out very different though. He didn't have to suffer through any of the first-timers' worries about whether normality would ever resume, yet he had much more pressing worries. The drug brutally highlighted the mild depression that had dogged him for the last few weeks. He fucking hated the King's School for its claustrophobic and draconian restrictiveness (fuck it, he felt, he's almost nineteen years old and he's banned from enjoying a cigarette or evening in the pub). He fucking hated it for the wankers who inhabited it and the way the pupils couldn't even see how wrong it all was. Eric is an intelligent man and was doing well in his schoolwork, but he was frequently in trouble and he blamed this on his weed habit. He'd tried giving up a couple of times before, but it was just all too easy to relapse. Today, he was sitting there presented with his mind at large and thinking back to yesterday's joint. He just had to stop wasting his life away through that drug; he was almost addicted. And the 'shrooms in his brain took control and made him get carried away as he was overwhelmed with depression. He couldn't see a way out from rotting away smoking so much shit. When he bumped into Val, he was shaking and having a really bad time. As he collapsed onto a bed, all he said was, "Fuck dude, just now I actually had to stop myself committing suicide." It was fucking bad, man.