I'm typically not one for altered states of consciousness. I don't do drugs. I've never been drunk. In fact, the only time I can claim to have been synthetically high was when, against my will, I was injected with Fentanyl moments before being put under for surgery (and that high was not a pleasant experience). So, when I purchased a book Get High Now (without drugs) at a book sale, many of my friends and loved ones thought it extremely peculiar. When I set out to make an Instructable along the same theme, they felt I had perhaps come unhinged.
This whole endeavor is highly out of character for me. I am not one to seek out altered states of consciousness, and everyone seemed plain confused as to why I suddenly wanted to (and without drugs, no less). Some friends wanted to know if this meant I would go out drinking with them now. Others simply wanted to know who I was, where I came from, and what I did with the real Randy. All of that said, I am not particularly certain what made all of this resonate with me so strongly, but I found it compelling enough to give it a try.
Collected here are are a number of techniques for altering your consciousness. All of these have been vetted by myself and found to be effective for me on some level. That means that I did try and reject a few consciousness altering exercises that might work for others. The most notable rejection was transcendental meditation. I could not get it to do much of anything for me other than make my legs stiff. Really, the only thing I found transcendental meditation good for was striking a nice pose for the main image of this Instructable.
While none of these 10 approaches are as consciousness-altering as being injected with Fentanyl, I can say that they will all make you perceive the world in alternative ways.
Step 1: Sleep Deprivation
If you have ever gone longer than twenty four hours without sleep, chances are that you experienced some form of altered state as a result of sleep deprivation. In fact, the more days that you go without sleeping, the more dramatic the altered state becomes. A small sample of things that you might expect to experience while sleep deprived include strange social interactions, a slowing of cognitive ability, and a distorted sense of self.
The longest that I have stayed awake has been three and a half days. By the middle of the third day I was trying to talk to people, but primarily mumbling incoherently to myself. In turn, people would talk to me and I would answer, but not know what I was saying. There was a strange feeling of detachment from my surroundings. My reaction time slowed down and my actions were lethargic. I was there, but not there. Sometimes I would start doing things and not know why. It was as if everything - even my most immediate concerns - were happening in my periphery.
I finally found myself on the train on my way home from work. I kept falling asleep standing up. I tried to combat this by sitting down for a few minutes and then standing up for a few more minutes. I think I might have also been mumbling to myself to stay awake, but I can't fully remember. At the point, it was hard for me to tell what I was doing. After about eighty-five hours of being awake, I managed to make the seemingly eternal 3-block trek home from the train station. When I finally made it home, I laid down in bed, and passed out for a solid eighteen hours. The whole experience was rather unsettling, but definitely interesting.