The days that followed the Jade experience held a rosy glow. I felt reborn into a magical world of discovery and unlimited potential. Everything seemed new and interesting. School became completely nonsensical, a rapidly fading interest. In fact, high school was undoubtedly the worst five years of my life. My feelings on institutional style education are much the same as my views on religion. I think it is the great task of our generation to eradicate them, failing which we will never fully evolve as a species. Suddenly however I was free of the clammy, sweaty grip of middle-class mediocrity, free within the constraints of my mind, a pioneer of a new realm beyond the edge of all that is known.

I could sit in my class and smile that secret smile, smug and cheeky with secret knowledge. I was a prince among paupers, the monarch of a new empire. My four friends and I thus became bound, linked together by an unquestionable trust. After all, we were opening the most sensitive parts of our minds to each other. We had a common enemy; the rest of the world. When we were at school, we were behind enemy lines, spies from the domain of alien cats and pink sunsets.

Of course, the other four had to take this on faith – to a large extent – because they had not really glimpsed the true power to which I had been witness. It is worth noting at this point that there are at least two basic classes of hallucinations; shall we call them True-Hallucinations and Pseudo-Hallucinations. Pseudo-Hallucinations are not self evident and intelligent in their manifestation. Instead they are largely random, spontaneous and only vaguely co-ordinated, much like the sort of eidetic imagery associated with REM type sleep. This realm we collectively called the Candy realm. It was not anything like I had experienced on my first ramble into the nether realm but was nevertheless vastly entertaining and something we all shared in.

Kevin’s first trip into the candy realm, he recalls, began with a pulsing of the walls and roof, as though the very room were breathing. We had three lights in the room, each one a different primary colour. Kevin pressed his head against the wall where he sat and closed his eyes. Upon opening them, he found his vision slit into three vertical lenses, each of a different primary colour. It was this sort of thing which kept us busy for quite some time, although everything paled in comparison to the profound experience I had told them awaited.

During this period, we first saw the sharks. For some reason, the floor of George’s bedroom became the surface of an ocean, beneath which swam sharks. At first, they swam alone and then took to roving about in packs, their dorsal fins just surfacing above the floor. The interesting thing about this particular vision was that for the first time we had a consensual hallucination, something we all saw and something that evolved only with group consensus.

When I say sharks, I am speaking of little shark like creatures, the largest no longer than ten centimetres in length, their dorsal fins two or three centimetres high and poking through the mahogany floor of the room. We were all delighted with this little game because nobody really wanted to take the chance of being nipped by one of the little critters or sliced by those menacing little fins.

There I would be sitting, watching some interesting streak of colour doing arab-springs along the window-sill and suddenly I would see a school of sharks moving voraciously toward my toes. To the undying delight of everyone, I would scream and jump up on the table to escape their appetites. It got so we had to move around by leaping from raised surface to raised surface, from bed to table-top to cupboard, in much the same way as children only step on the cracks whilst traversing paving stones. We were children with our very own virtual reality game.

The candy realm is quite as vast as the mind itself. It would seem in fact that what one is seeing is a magnified reflection of the interior workings of the brain itself, the tides of neurons moving about like algae in the vast ocean of the intellect. Almost always, they would be stimulated by environmental triggers; A shift in the music or light, a loud voice or strange word, a sudden movement. Once stimulated, it is the extra-ordinary property of the inhalants we used to escalate the line of thought consistently and continuously along that tangent until the high ran down. Generally, a good hit of ‘spray and cook’ will last a few minutes. We quickly refined our ability to ‘see’.

It must be stressed that the state of powerful hallucination – in general – is not easily achieved. It can be achieved through massive doses of drugs but then it loses a certain reflective consciousness, becoming dreamy and difficult to recall. To have clarity within the candy realm, a state in which we could sit and objectively observe hallucinations as though they were projected holograms, is difficult and takes time and co-ordinated practise. We took to this project with relish, buoyed by ‘observable’ results. George’s house became the club house. Every Friday night after school we would gather there and continue the great experiment.

After a couple of months, the Candy realm became a manageable province with the countries of our imaginations. There is a trick to seeing that one picks up with practise. It involves not reacting emotionally but rather allowing the un-natural mental process to unfold. We were plagued at this time by what we came to know as ‘Mugwots’, the true citizens of the Candy realm. Mugwot’s come in hundreds of different shapes and sizes, as many classes I would imagine as there are insects or viruses in the real world of physical things. I first noticed them while watching a patch of colour leaping about the room.

In its most rested state, the colour was like a puddle of water of a few square centimetres in area but when it moved it was not all at once but rather ‘took off’ with first the front and then the end and would land in a similar amoeboid fashion. While in flight, it would stretch out into a long thin line, quite literally a streak of colour, but by purpose rather than by virtue of the fact that my eyes themselves were streaking. It reminds one almost exactly of those wonderful water features which shoot long worms of water from one pot to another in a co-ordinated fashion so as to create the illusion of one continuous water worm leaping across the length of the room in successive bounces. Point being that I noticed that many of these bursts of colour were in fact strange entities.

Speaking of entities is another tricky area because it seems to imply intelligence and well, let’s say it, life. But calling a mugwot a life-form with a life-span is the same as calling a spot of sunlight a life-form that lives for the duration of a day as it crawls slowly across your room. And yet, it is a thing, with form and a certain predictability and for the moment at least, we shall call it a very simple entity. So, in observing the strange behaviour of these puddles of roving colour, I noticed that what I saw was not in fact a big puddle-like entity but rather a swarm of tiny entities all moving together like sardines. The strongest ones would lead and the weaker ones would hold back while they rested and then the whole lot would revolve so that they all got a chance to lead the way across some mighty expanse of fresh air. Another interesting property of the various realms of the hallucination is the visual equipment that is inherent with each graphical class.

That-is-to-say, each realm requires that one ‘see’ in a different way and by extension, allows our brains to organise themselves appropriately. One of the perks of the Candy realm is magnification, a neat little trick which took us quite some time to get the hang of, but which allowed us eventually to zoom lens anything which would ordinarily have been to small for the naked eye. So I zoomed in and got my first glimpse of a single mugwot. It looked like one of those tiny little candy coloured spots called ‘hundreds and thousands’ – which one finds adorned upon cakes the world over – to which was attached a minuscule little pin-spike. Upon even closer inspection, the pin was encased in a little spring, which just goes to show that in nature, even hallucinations are marvellously complex.

We were of course delighted with our discoveries and with each new discovery, the more power the ‘discovered’ had within our perceptions. Those little guys leap about in swarms, landing upon their spikes for a split second and then propelling themselves onward with their springs. If they needed to stick around, the pin would hold fast while the spring was held in high tension. What is interesting is that they were each different colours, each one in fact sporting a unique shade that on its own would have been insignificant but in the hundreds took on breath-taking shades and patterns. They could, for example, leap from one point and, while in mid-air, arrange themselves so that they landed in the shades of a butterfly’s wings. To use the terminology of the ‘faerie-realm’, we had detected the basic building blocks of ‘glamour’, the class of spells by which the illusionist can change his/her appearance for every occasion.

And indeed, we attained the ability to use glamour, once we had discovered how these little critters managed themselves. At first, it appeared as though they were completely self-organised. One had only to look at the co-ordinated beauty of their flight to think this. Soon we concluded that, as almost direct reflections of our own sweeping particles of thought, they could be managed through emotive intention. After that, endless hours were spent applying make-up to our faces, whole armies of these tiniest of mugwots scrambling over our skin at lightning speeds, adding glorious colour and sparkle to our features. It was a fantastic four-dimensional thought game which cost only a few brain cells at a time to power a vast, animated theatre of the mind.

As a Mugwot-Maestro it is possible to write sentences on the wall, using generations of mugwot bodies as your medium. This is almost certainly how God put the writing on the wall in that bible story. With intensive mind-melding, we got the knack of writing messages to each other on the wall. For example, I remember once when Kevin was standing up against the wall playing the fool and suddenly this Mugwot graffiti sprayed the message: “Kevin is a moron…” or some similar taunt. We all erupted in gales of laughter, but when he spun around, the writing vanished. When he looked away again, we saw a huge arrow pointing at him and then repeating the message.

This is an important element when trying to control mugwots and similar visuals. It is easy to think of them as being extensions of your mind which can be rigidly controlled, but when you work like that, they lose their colour and imagination. They are damned cute little things and have their own interesting natures and habits. I guess that means that there are undiscovered parts of our minds which should be handled and nurtured gently, allowing them to evolve naturally without enforcing narrow-minded, egotistical restrictions on them. The arrow pointing, for example. None of us thought of that and yet it came from us, came from a part of us that was sneaky and young and full of fun.