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What It's Like To Interview For A Coding Job

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7) How to structure your coding interview timeline
Avoiding exploding offers and burnout while maximizing negotiating leverage and keeping your options open
The exploding offer dilemma
Here’s the situation you wanna avoid: You’ve just started interviewing with a company you're really excited about. Another company you've been talking to for a while sends you an “exploding offer”—an offer that expires in a week or even 24 hours. You have to respond to the exploding offer before your final round of interviews at the first company.
You don’t wanna have to decide between a real offer and a potential offer. Either decision has a big downside:

  • If you accept the offer in front of you, you’re moving forward with a nagging “What if?”—especially if you were excited about the other company.
  • If you reject the real offer, it's possible the other company won't end up extending you an offer in the end. You could end up with nothing.
It's also bad for negotiation. The best way to get negotiating leverage with one company is to have an offer from another company. If your offers aren't open at the same time, you lose that leverage.
Work backwards from a signing date
So you want to do everything you can to ensure your offers come in at the same time. But how do you do that? The key is to work backwards:
Pick a "signing date" and stick to it. This is the date that you plan to make a final decision and sign an offer. This includes some allowed time for negotiating once you have all your offers in hand (more on that later).
Share your chosen signing date with every company as soon as you start talking to them. You may even want to ask them to confirm that they'll be able to work with your timeline. This way a company is much less likely to give you an offer that explodes before that date—they already know your timeline, so if they can't work with it they should tell you up front.
What if a company does give you an offer that explodes before your signing date, even though you told them about it early on? Don't panic. Politely remind them that you've been clear about your timeline from the beginning. Explain that you'd like to make your final decision on the date you've already shared with them.
If they still won't budge, you might be better off passing on that company—if they're comfortable squeezing you this early on in your relationship, that's a bad sign for how they'd treat you as an employee.
Now, some companies have policies about not having open offers for more than X days. So what if you're going through the interview process with one of those companies and it looks like you're moving too fast and the offer would come in too early and explode before the signing date you chose?
No problem. Most companies are happy to "pause" or slow down your interview process so the offer comes in later. This way both parties can get what they want: the company can follow their usual "offers explode after X days" policy, and you can have the offer still open on your pre-planned signing date.
How far out should my signing date be?
It depends. At a high level, you should allow as much time as you can afford to. Most people underestimate how long their job search is going to take. And when you end up in a time crunch at the end, it means less time at the negotiation stage. So allowing an extra week for your job search could literally mean earning tens of thousands of dollars more in your final salary.
If you have a current job or are a full-time student, try to allow more time by starting the process earlier.
Of course, some of us will be in situations where we really need to start our new job as soon as possible. That's fine. Do what works for you.
Keep in mind that you’re shooting for having enough time to practice and get through the whole interview process with multiple companies if you can. Think through how much time you can devote to each of these steps:

  • Studying (1–8 weeks)
  • Phone screens (1–3 weeks)
  • Onsites (1–3 weeks)
  • Negotiation (1–2 weeks)
One more consideration: if you have the means, consider leaving yourself some time for a vacation before starting your new job. Job hunting is stressful. And that window of time between signing a new offer and starting a new job can be a rare window of low stress and low responsibility in your life.
Many companies are happy to accommodate this by setting your start date a few weeks after your signing date—just ask. Many offers include a signing bonus, which could help offset the cost of this extra time without a salary. But again, this'll depend on your means—not everyone can afford to take this extra time off.
Cast a wide net
Interview with multiple companies. Exactly how many companies depends on your situation, but the point is to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. You want multiple offers by the end, so you can negotiate the best offer possible.
A good rule of thumb: send out applications to more places than you’re currently planning. If you end up getting too many interviews…well that’s a good problem to have! You can always "pause" or simply cancel the interview process with some companies.
Schedule your favorite companies last. Get interview practice with the places you aren’t as excited about. You’ll be in your prime by the time you interview with your top choices, so long as you don’t burn out.
Jot down your impressions after each interview. You’ll be surprised how much different companies can start to melt together after a couple weeks of interviewing.
Avoid burnout
If you’re casting a wide net and allowing several weeks for your job search, you need to be careful about burnout. The interview process is a marathon, not a sprint.
Space out your onsites. Onsites are draining. Try to keep at least a two day buffer between them—one day to recover after your last onsite, and one day to get ready for the next.
Don’t travel too much. You can quickly burn yourself out bopping across the country. When you have to travel for an interview, try to wait a few days before you travel again.
Batch interviews that are in cities you have to fly to. Try to avoid flying to the same city multiple times—though sometimes traveling to the same place twice is better than trying to cram three or more onsites into a short span of time.
8) Telling Better Stories For Behavioral Programming Interview Questions
Show, don’t tell”
You’ve probably heard this advice before. Maybe it was your 10th grade English teacher. Maybe it was career services in college. “Remember: show, don’t tell.”
And it’s good advice. When it comes to answering behavioral questions (like “Tell me about yourself”) in coding interviews, the difference between a good answer and a great answer comes down to showing rather than telling.
The problem is, people who give you the advice of “Show, don’t tell”… are themselves failing to follow it. They’re telling you to show, but they should be showing you how to show. That’s the hardest part!
So here are three specific tips for showing more and telling less.
1. Sprinkle in specific details
Imagine two responses to the stock interview question “Tell me about yourself.”
First:
I started programming about two years ago with some personal projects. I eventually got a job at a small tech company in my home town, and I’ve been working there about a year and a half. I like my job, but I’m looking for a new challenge, which I think your company could provide.
Then:
I got started programming because I wanted to build a social network for cats. That didn’t take off, but the prototype helped me get a job at a small tech company in my home town.
Last month, I read an awesome article on Hacker News about the social network your company is building. The scaling challenges you face seem like they’ll help me grow faster and stronger than my current role will.
The second response says a lot more about the candidate.
Why? Because of the specific details. An interviewer won’t remember the tenth person to say “I’m looking for a new challenge.” They will remember the person who tried to build a social network for cats and read about their company on Hacker News.
So don’t skimp on the details. Look out for opportunities to use specifics, especially if they’re at all quirky, funny, surprising, or otherwise memorable.
2. Tell a story from your life
Take another common question: “Why do you want to work here?”
People tend to just cross-reference their values with those of the company or team they’re interviewing with:
I’m really interested in technical blogging and open source. So I like that your company has some open-source work and contributes back to the community.
That’s a fine response. But to really wow your interviewer, try adding a specific story around those values:
A couple years ago, when I was still new to programming, I was working on this tricky bug. I found a post on a company blog where an engineer explained how her team solved the issue. She included a code snippet she’d open-sourced. I appreciated that she took the time to write about her team’s experience and share their solution. It helped me!
That’s how I first started getting into open source. I really wanna work with more engineers like that—who write about their work and try to help others in the community. So I was excited to see all the stuff your team shares on your blog and on the company’s Github profile.
The second response just sounds more genuine. It shows a personal connection to open source and technical blogging, instead of just telling it.
Anyone can look up a company’s core values and repeat them during an interview. It’s more meaningful to tell a story from your life that shows how those values benefited you or taught you something.
3. Use someone else’s voice
This one’s a neat trick. Consider one more standard behavioral question: “What’s your biggest strength?”
You might tell the interviewer:
I work well with others. Even under tough circumstances, I make sure my coworkers feel supported.
But a lightly detailed story is better suited to show this strength:
I have a coworker, Ana, who’s been an engineer for almost a decade. We worked together on this really tough, messy project.
Towards the end, she told me, “For such a hellish project, you really made things feel sane.” I think this is my biggest strength—I work well with others, even under tough circumstances.
When you respond with a story, you can refer to what other people have said about your best qualities. In this case, a ten-year tech veteran said you made a project feel less awful. That kind of praise is a lot more credible when it comes from someone else.
Practice, practice, practice
Remember these specific tricks for showing rather than telling:

  1. Use specific, memorable details. “Social network for cats” instead of “a personal project.”
  2. Tell a story from your life. “I was trying to solve a tricky bug…” instead of “I value open source contributions.”
  3. Use someone else’s voice. “’You really made things feel sane‘” instead of "I work well with others."
Try these tactics out on the questions below. Keep in mind, sometimes it’s easiest to start with a “tell” response, then spruce it up to “show.”

  • Tell me your biggest weakness as an engineer.
  • Describe a tricky bug you’ve encountered.
  • What’s the biggest project you’ve shipped?
  • What’s your favorite programming language? Why?
  • How do you overcome interpersonal conflicts with coworkers?
9) Common Issues In Coding Interviews
And how to fix them
The biggest, scariest issues
I keep getting lost or stuck in the middle of technical questions.
Getting stuck during a coding interview can be really demoralizing. That is, until you get good at getting un-stuck. That's right, you can get good at getting un-stuck! You just have to learn the steps.
But surprisingly, sometimes you're supposed to get stuck, and sometimes you're supposed to lose your train of thought. To understand why, read up on how the coding interview is like a maze
Of course, with more practice you're less likely to get stuck or lose your train of thought. Check out our practice coding interview questions.
Finally, make sure you're doing everything you can to get yourself into the best possible headspace in the 24 hours before your big interview.
It takes me forever to solve a single problem.
The trick to finishing problems faster is using a specific process and sticking to it:

  1. Brainstorm and design your algorithm by manipulating sample inputs by hand on the whiteboard. Don't start writing code until you know exactly how your algorithm will work.
  2. Code it up as quickly as possible. Don't get caught up in details like, "should this be a '<' or a '<='?"—just make a check mark in the margin and move on. Don't start debugging it until it's all written out.
  3. Finally, walk through your code with a sample input and fix any bugs you find.
The important lesson here is to never skip ahead. Only move on to the next step after finishing the last step. This keeps your thinking more organized, makes it easier for your interviewer to follow what you're doing, helps you avoid mistakes, and ultimately makes you move faster.
This process is explained in more detail in our general coding interview tips article.
I'm practicing, but I'm not getting better.
I don't have a CS degree. I don't understand big O notation and algorithms.
A lot of people struggle with data structures, algorithms, and big O notation. Especially people who don't have a computer science degree.
It's easy to think this stuff is just objectively hard to understand, since it's associated with the "academic" side of software. That makes it seem more technical and difficult.
The truth is this stuff just feels technical and difficult because people are bad at teaching it.
Yes, thinking in algorithms and data structures is a specific skill that's different from general coding. It's a separate thing you have to learn.
But it's very learnable. Check out our Intuitive Guide to Data Structures and Algorithms.
I . . . feel like I'm just not good at this stuff :/
This feeling is very common. The interview process makes us doubt ourselves. It eats away at our confidence. This is called impostor syndrome, and it can be fixed.
The rest of the job search process
How do I get interviews?
But I don't know the latest hip new framework or language.
How long should I allow for my job search?
I got an offer but it expires soon! What do I do?
What about behavioral questions? How do I prepare for those?
Practicing
I know I should practice, but I have trouble finding the time.
For most of us, saying, "I should spend a few hours practicing for coding interviews each week" just doesn't work. Whenever there's a spare hour, it's suddenly really important to send some emails. Or do laundry. Or do some other "productive" bit of procrastination.
The fix is to pick a specific, regular time for your interview practice. Block it off and stick to it.
An hour a day, or a few hours over the weekend. Just pick something you can actually commit to.
Open up your calendar and do it right now.
Couple more tips:

  • Try going to a cafe or library. The ritual of going to a new place tells your mind, "Okay, we're going to a specific place to do a specific thing now."
  • Grab a pen and paper to write your code on. This is good practice for coding on a whiteboard, but it also helps you focus in on the task at hand.
  • If you're using our course to practice, consider using the browser on your tablet instead of your laptop—again, it's less distracting.
  • Leave your phone at home, or put it in airplane mode while you're practicing.
How should I practice?
Not all programming interview practice is made equal. There are a lot of things you can do to make sure you're getting the maximum possible benefit out of your practice sessions. Check out our guide to getting the most out of your coding interview practice.
How long should I spend on each each practice problem?
In general, a coding interview is about 45 minutes of problem solving. Sometimes you'll get a few short technical questions, but usually you'll only dig into one complex algorithmic coding interview question (like the ones in our course).
So, 45 minutes per question is a good rule of thumb. But don’t worry too much if you’re taking longer to finish our practice questions—you’ll get faster with time. Stressing about the clock usually does more harm than good.
Should I do mock interviews? How?
Yes! There are a few great websites that offer mock interviews as a service. Check out:

Or you can grab a buddy and organize some mock interviews yourselves.
For phone interview practice, do it over the computer. Use a shared coding environment tool like CoderPad, and actually talk to each-other over the phone or through Skype (great opportunity to test that your laptop's microphone works!).
For onsite interview practice, whip out some paper and pencils or, better yet, actually get on your feet and write stuff on a whiteboard.
You can even run a mock interview with a nontechnical friend! Try loading up one of our practice questions on a laptop or tablet—the progressive hints and gotchas allow your friend to use the page like a script.
And of course, real interviews are very effective as "mock interviews" :) Reach out to some more companies and try to get some extra interviews.
Onsite Interviews
What should I do the day before an onsite interview?
There's a lot to say about this, and getting yourself into the best possible head space the day before a big onsite can make a huge difference!
Read our full guide on what to do in the 24 hours before a big onsite interview.
And check out our guided meditation for visualizing yourself breezing through a day of onsite interviews.
My whiteboard always gets really messy :/
This is pretty common, and it can actually be a big problem. A messy whiteboard makes it more likely that you or your interviewer will get totally lost trying to understand your code, especially when you come back to it a few minutes later to walk through it with a sample input. Here are some tips:
Start in the very top-left corner of the board. Most people's instinct is to leave some margin on the left and top of the board, so their code comes out "centered." But this just ends up leaving you with less space. And you want all the space you can get.
Leave blank space between each line as you write your code. This makes it much easier to add an extra line later.
Take an extra second to carefully name each variable. Don't rush this part! It might seem like this'll slow you down, but using more descriptive variable names actually ends up saving you time in the end. Few reasons why:

  1. You're less likely to confuse your interviewer, which means you don't have to waste time explaining things.
  2. You're less likely to confuse yourself, especially later on when you go back and walk through your code with a sample input to see if it works.
Miscellaneous
What do I do if I get rejected?
Rejection happens. It’s an ugly reality of the interview process. If you can afford to, take a brief break from your studying so you can come back fresh.
The good news: You’re better at interviewing now. Sure, running practice questions is good preparation, but actually getting out there and failing some interviews is great preparation. Nothing approximates real interviews quite like other real interviews!
Reach out to the company and ask for feedback. Some companies can’t do this for legal reasons, but it never hurts to ask.
Keep in mind that rejection can happen for any number of reasons. There’s definitely an element of randomness. A lot of Google engineers feel there’s only a 50-50 chance they’d get an offer if they went through the interview process again.
Sometimes company priorities change, and they decide they need to slow down hiring. Sometimes you just get unlucky and get the interviewers who like to give low ratings.
There’s lots you can do to prepare, but there’s also lots that you can’t control. The best you can do is keep showing up and slowly getting better!
EDITS are always welcome!
submitted by Cyberrockz to u/Cyberrockz

SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE OF THE WHEEL - A very long post about what why and how and everything I could find and write about the wheel in 2 hours. Looonnnngggggg read. I made a lot of salvia art on this reddit and this is the culmination of my experiences and research. - Send stuff you want me to add :D

Salvia, The wheel and it’s implications
Hello, I’m HorrorFrank and I have made several posts over the years including several artworks and trip reports surrounding “the wheel” phenomenon that is typical in high dose salvia experiences.
Now I highly recommend everyone to first watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiCoqLkb79E
Patrick Smith - Salvia divinorum and "The Wheel": What Can We Learn From This Persistent Phenomenon?
He found my artwork and uses it a lot in his video and also explains the frequent occurrence of this experience.
My original trip report explains my initial experience and thoughts on the matter pretty well and shows how my fascination for this compound started. After this experience I needed time to think and I even grew my own salvia plant for a while (until it got taken over by pesky fungus gnats) and it was a wonderful experience as it is a plant that needs a lot of care and very specific conditions.
Here is a pic of the plant: https://files.shroomery.org/files/17-36/468885877-20170906_000246.jpg RIP
Here is the trip report I submitted almost 4 years ago:
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A few days ago I decided to take salvia with my friend M. Me and M had done salvia before but due to the fact we only used around 50mg (x20 extract) we just felt an average to strong body high and a weed like buzz. This time was different, I had taken a 100mg dose of noopept (10x normal dose) the day before for unrelated reasons and totally forgot about it. Noopept is a strong ampakine and is used as a nootropic, it is structurally related to piracetam but falls in the peptide category. Being an ampakine it means it affects the AMPA receptor which is is a non-NMDA-type ionotropic transmembrane receptor for glutamate. In layman’s terms, it activates neurons and makes them fire more frequently. Noopept itself doesn’t have much of an effect but it is used as a drug enhancer for a lot of psychedelics including but not limited to MDMA, LSD, Psilocybin and most other serotogenics.
As a lot of you might already know Salvinorin A only affects the k-opioid receptor so I didn’t really expect any interactions, especially after such a long time after taking it. So me and my friend put on some Pink Floyd to set the mood and we both did some mental preparation. I decided to go first so I put around 100-130mg of a 20x extract into a pipe. I remembered how harsh the throat hit was the first time I used it so I decided to go for a pretty small hit so I could split the dose into three separate inhalations. I held my breath for almost a minute and started feeling some effects already but the gradually grew from weak to strong body sensations. My friend M then took the pipe from me and there I went. The song from Pink Floyd seemed to influence my vision in a major way. The only way I can describe it is like walking a ladder with your eyes, (editors note from future me, I now like to describe it more as a box infinitely unfolding like this https://www.istockphoto.com/nl/foto/box-unfolding-complete-gm147278246-12353228 but then infinite lol This whole part of the trip had a green tone to it with blue lines if I remember correctly. It reminded me of kind of an 80’s computer render aesthetic) I was still mildly aware of where I was and that I took salvia. Then it felt like when I looked at any part of the room the song would dictate and explain what I was looking at. It was like the melody and the lyrics had gained meanings that would never be associated with them by themselves.
The room then turned into an unrecognizable field of vertical colored lines that seemed to span throughout my entire field of vision. This was the last moment I tried resisting and moving. I then remember looking at a gigantic spiraling wheel that reminded me of an extradimensional object (kind of like this but much more intricate and colored https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/psychedelic-d-spiral-beautiful-intense-organic-shape-46454060.jpg). I had completely forgotten about doing salvia at all, I just watched. I remember it spinning counterclockwise and I was looking at it from about a 45 degree angle. Above this wheel
was a small orange cylinder that looked stationary. The weird thing was that it felt like it had been an eternity but also like it had been instant. It was like time wasn’t even a factor in this strange space. I also remember not knowing anything about anything. It felt like I had always been there in that spiral looking at myself not knowing about anything, just observing. This feeling was replaced by intense shock. I literally realized I was alive and this was a very scary thought for some reason. I realized I was sitting next to M but instead of realizing I was with him, I realized he existed at all. Everything I had ever known was ripped away from me and given back.
During the time I saw this spiraling wheel I felt a friendly and for some reason extremely trustworthy presence that seemed to be to the back right of me, M was sitting to my left and I really don’t think it was him who’s presence I felt. It really felt like it was another being inside me. This being tried to comfort me and tried to guide me back to reality like it was telling me to calm down and why I was there. It wasn’t like it spoke to me but like it’s intentions streamed into by conscious being. Keep in mind that I didn’t even know I was a person at that time (since I was a wheel) but I could remember this presence very vividly. To this day I’m still trying to figure out what it could mean but the only logical conclusion I can come to is that it’s a form of consciousness or something of the sort. . After this all I was able to say according to my friend was “Woah, I’m back. what the fuck is going on“ I then went very silent for the next half hour trying to figure out what I had seen.
After experiencing this I searched the internet for people who had experienced the same as me and I found loads of posts about other experiencing this “wheel”. The only difference however was that they all used large doses of x50-x80 extracts. I had only had around 35-50mg of x20

I also found this trip report (https://drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=189053) of someone doing the same thing with piracetam which is a weaker ampakine that doesn’t affect as many areas of the brain as noopept. Keep in mind that neither noopept nor piracetam have any psychedelic effects on their own and are not normally used for things like this.
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Now I personally don’t think that the noopept dose had anything to do with the effects and I think I just evaporated most of the Salvinorin A in my first inhalation but I’m not ruling out the possibility of a reaction. Note that when I wrote this, I had only done a single google search about the wheel and I only decided to post this trip report in the first place because I was so baffled at the fact others had the same experience.
Now I want to make this post pretty expansive and before I go into my finding I want to reiterate that I personally feel like all these phenomena are explainable in a neurological way. I am a second-year biochemistry student now and I really want to know what can cause this to happen, so I want to use sources and propper notation for most of this, a lot of the stuff I collected over the years is borderline fantasy and pseudoscience but it’s not that I can prove these things really aren’t correlated to something as unlikely as a collective consciousness so take everything I say as a grain of salt if the source doesn’t seem trustworthy
Now going into the literature (if you want to read it you can use Sci-hub which strives to keep research accessible to the public https://sci-hub.se/ If this mirror doesn’t work you can just google sci-hub and you will be sure to find many working mirrors, just put the PMCID I provide into the search bar and you can read this stuff in full) we can see that salvinorin A has localized effects on the claustrum which is an area of the brain
Here is an excerpt from the study titled “The claustrum’s proposed role in consciousness is supported by the effect and target localization of Salvia divinorum”
By Klaus M. Stiefel1*, Alistair Merrifield2 and Alex O. Holcombe3 :
PMCID: PMC3935397
“CRICK AND KOCH’S IDEAS ON THE ROLE OF THE CLAUSTRUM The late Francis Crick proposed that at any one moment, human subjective consciousness of perceptual contents1 is brought about by the activity of a limited number (∼105) of neurons (Crick, 1995; Crick and Koch, 2003). According to Crick’s analysis, these neurons must: (1) Be central in the connection scheme of the human brain, not too close to primary sensory or motor areas. (2) Involve a number of sensory areas, since consciousness integrates several sensory modalities. (3) Have activity correlated with conscious experience, even in situations where it is dissociated from direct sensory input (for instance during the perception of visual illusions). Importantly, the identity of these neural populations will likely change as the contents of conscious experience change. Crick and other authors have suggested that some brain region must act as a “conductor” of this dynamic “conscious field” (Tononi and Edelman, 1998a)2, “dynamical core” (Tononi and Edelman, 1998b; Dehaene and Changeux, 2004) or “neuronal workspace” (Crick and Koch, 2005). In the last paper Crick authored before his death, he and Koch argued that the claustrum is an ideal candidate for this role (Crick and Koch, 2005). The claustrum is a brain region located 1Crick’s definition of consciousness (Crick, 1995) is used here. 2Searle’s nomenclature for this concept is used, without hyphens, in the remainder of the paper. between the insular cortex, piriform cortex and the caudateputamen (Franklin and Paxinos, 2007), see Figure 1. It is highly connected to a number of cortical areas in a mostly reciprocal manner (Carman et al., 1964; Shameem et al., 1984; Neal et al., 1986; Sadowski et al., 1997). This strong and complex interconnectivity with the cortex makes it a prime candidate for the role of the director of the conscious field. “
Now the study has tested for density of these kappa-opioid receptor rich neurons in the brain and the claustrum was the most densely packed according to their findings as you can read here:
“In human brains, κ-opioid receptor expression was measured by mRNA in situ hybridization (Peckys and Landwehrmeyer, 1999). High densities were found in the striatum, hippocampal dentate gyrus, deep cortical layers (V and VI, with more expression in the prefrontal than in the occipital cortex) and, especially, in the claustrum. The claustrum showed the strongest signal, in fact it was the only brain region in which nearly all cells were labeled with dense to very dense labeling density ~~~~ The unusually high κ-opioid receptor density in the claustrum makes it a particularly good candidate area for the consciousness altering effects of salvinorin A. Compared to other brain regions, this high receptor density will likely lead to an onset of inhibition of activity in the claustrum at lower concentrations, and to a stronger inhibition at equal concentrations of salvinorin A.”
Now this study is referring to earlier research by renowned scientists Crick and Koch which is this paper:
“What is the function of the claustrum?”
Francis C Crick1,† and Christof Koch2,*
PMCID: PMC1569501
Here the following is stated:
“Within the context of the neurobiological theories of consciousness mentioned in the introduction, the highly networked nature of the claustrum raises the question of whether it acts as a sort of ‘Cartesian theatre’. This is a metaphor, introduced and ridiculed by the philosopher Dennett (1991), for the fictitious centre where the mind and brain meet, where ‘it all comes together’ and consciousness occurs.
We think that a more appropriate analogy for the claustrum is that of a conductor coordinating a group of players in the orchestra, the various cortical regions. Without the conductor, the players can still play but they fall increasingly out of synchrony with each other. The result is a cacophony of sounds.”


In this context salvinorin’s inhibiting effect on this brain-region could indicate that the wheel is some sort of unsorted raw data that enters the brain, it would also explain the musical influence and general anastasia effects salvia has going for it.

Now this hypothesis is further expanded on in the next excerpt:
“This metaphor would suggest that different attributes of objects, both within (e.g. color and motion) and across modalities (e.g. visual form and sound location), are rapidly combined and bound in the claustrum. Without this structure—and that of its twin in the other hemisphere—the subject may still be able to respond to simple, isolated or to highly familiar stimuli, but not to complex or unfamiliar ones. Objects or events in the real world have many simultaneous attributes: color, shape, distance, velocity, smell, sound, feel and so on. In the absence of both claustra, these attributes may not be experienced in an integrated manner and the subject may fail to altogether perceive these objects or events or only be consciously aware of some isolated attribute.”


All these things seem to accurately describe a generalized view of a salvia trip from the eyes of a researcher, motion, color, sound, maybe even memories, all the senses combining into something we can only call an object that comprises our whole world, could this be the wheel?
Now I highly recommend reading both of those studies in full as it clears up a lot about this experience in a scientific way but we’re not done yet as there are many other studies and case reports I want to share.
For example, some of you may be aware of a little thing called Hemi-Sync, It’s a meditational system that allows “users” of the technique to “transcend” into different states of consciousness through guided meditation and mixed frequency induction of specific brainwave activity (basically mixing 2 frequencies to form a gradient of frequency increase and decrease that can be seen as a third frequency generated by the first 2 in the brain) They refer to these states of consciousness as focuses.
Now this man was an oddball of a scientist I highly suspect most of his research to be based on ridiculous pseudoscience but in the end he was driven by his research into near death experiences (NDE’s) and out of body experiences (OOBE) and this led him to many conclusions that are very peculiar.
I highly advice anyone still interested at this point to read through this very weird and honestly scary research he has done that is oddly enough published by the CIA (they sure would want to be able to go out of their bodies as some kind of ghostly spies)
https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP96-00788R001700210016-5.pdf
This describes the consciousness as being toroidal in nature just like how the wheel is often depicted and how it appeared in my trip.
Now I don’t feel comfortable quoting from this as a scientist but yea, a quick glace through the pages makes it clear why I tend to associate his ramblings with the salvia experience.
Now this CIA document made me so interested in his Hemi-Sync project that I ripped his auditory classes from the web and started listening to these numerous hour long hemi-sync meditation classes. I followed every step and in the end it was nothing more then a relaxing experience and nothing at all like the salvia experience.
I got to focus 10 (the focuses I was talking about where numbered) And this technique involved imagining a large cylinder or plate with the number 10 on it and mentally rotating it counter clockwise. There was also a whole part about how you can to let energy in the body flow counter clockwise in a spiraling toroidal fashion going from your toes to the top of your head.
Now this gets even weirder when you read about how he believes all consciousness exists in these clusters that are you guessed it, also toroidal and they make up the “fabric” of consciousness. He claims these clusters are finite in number and that multiple people can comprise these structures so it’s not like everyone has their own. He named these structures I-There clusters .

Now here is an excerpt from someone interpreting Monroe’s work (https://olli-reincarnation.weebly.com/uploads/3/0/3/4/30342001/the_mystery_of_reincarnation_(4b).pdf.pdf)):
“We have seen how profoundly affected Monroe was by discovering that,
at another level, he was a member of his I-There. However, as it turns out, there
is even more to be considered than Monroe at this point realizes. And as he
learns more and more about his I-There, the more he sees what we may call the
"cosmic connection" between his I-There and other I-Theres (and, perhaps,
ultimately, the connection between all I-Theres.) Before he begins his search for
the solution to the problem his I-There facing is he returns, to his I-There "for a
final question session." During this session with the EXCOM, he raises the
question of how far back the lifetimes in his I-There go. The EXCOM responds,
How far back do we go? We can't relate it to your lifetime
measurement system.*** May I show you something?
16
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
***Very possibly this is because these lifetimes do not really take place in
serial time.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Monroe then describes what he is shown.
And there they were, thousands upon thousands of lines, each
glowing with energy, extending outward in many dimensions from where I
was...THE I-THERE OF ME! Some lines were bright, some dim, but ended
in a cluster of radiation...ANOTHER I-THERE. How could I have missed
such a connection? (We do not know to what kind of connection Monroe is
referring; that is, we do not know how he interprets what he sees.)”


Here is also a list of his proposed focus levels reachable through Hemi-Sync
https://www.monroeinstituteuk.org/focus-levels/
Take note of the final 2
Focus 42 – I-There cluster consciousness.
Focus 49 – Sea of I-There clusters.
Yes, wtf
Here is also some quotes from one of monroe's books that seems to describe the nature of these I-There clusters in more detail: https://brimfallow.wordpress.com/2015/05/03/robert-monroes-different-overview/
Well, I don’t know how close his ties with the CIA were and why they classified his records but yea I find it very weird how people all feel like when they see the wheel that they also are in the presence of the life of others like this thread on this sub about one of my artworks (https://www.reddit.com/Salvia/comments/i7gkcz/my_attempt_at_an_exact_rendition_of_my_salvia_trip/):
u/zenpandaaa
Awesome...what's the orange square at the top? did you see everything just like this, blue background ect? crazy...
Me:
yea, I clearly remember the background being blue and that orange cylinder above the wheel
u/fishtacos
Yep, i have concluded those cylinders i see are other factories in sally land that are similar to what you must look like from their perspective. Factories that are basically the base layer for this reality. My factory cylinder was to be a weekday and generate time for humanity.
u/GleepGloopGlop
Oh wow, yes.


Oddly similar to Monroe’s assumptions
Here are some NDE’s that also report similar experiences that resemble the salvia wheel phenomenon to an extreme extend:
https://www.reddit.com/Salvia/comments/63jgwg/an_nde_that_seems_to_parallel_what_you_all_report/
https://www.reddit.com/Soulnexus/comments/9sxso4/ndes_and_the_wheel/
https://www.reddit.com/Glitch_in_the_Matrix/comments/8qy822/wheel_of_parallel_dimensions_that_you_see_afte
https://www.reddit.com/AskReddit/comments/332k1c/serious_redditors_who_have_been_clinically_dead/cqh5wj2/?st=j19c7vjk&sh=a814c791
Here is someone making the same correlations with monroe’s work:
https://www.reddit.com/Salvia/comments/7jxrtgovernment_document_referencing_the_wheel/

Page 24, under G. Focus 15: Travel Into the Past
“However, the technique of time travel into the past involves further expansion of consciousness through the inclusion of additional levels of sound on the Hemi-Sync tapes. Some of the sound is probably merely an intensification of the basic Hemi-Sync frequencies, being designed to further modify brainwave frequency and amplitude. Other aspects of the added sound patterns appear to be designed to provide subtle, almost subliminal suggestions to the mind as to what is desired by way of further expanded consciousness so as to support the verbal suggestions and instructions also contained on the tape.
Even the instructions are highly symbolic, with time being visualized as a huge wheel in the universe with various spokes each of which gives access to a different part of the participant’s past. Focus 15 is a very advanced state and is difficult to achieve.”
And some notable trip reports that describe the same effects and intuitive realizations as my experience and many others:
https://www.creepypasta.com/slices-of-life/
https://www.reddit.com/Salvia/comments/7ysx69/my_first_experience_with_the_wheel/
https://www.reddit.com/Salvia/comments/2jy9gc/the_wheel/
Here a post with many links to other people having seen it:
https://www.reddit.com/Salvia/comments/2jy9gc/the_wheel/
including these:
«My vision kept on moving in a curve from the left to the bottom right of my field of view, and kept on repeating, like a sort of 'loop'. I could see these strange objects comming back every 2 seconds (or so), as the loop repeated. [...]»
http://www.salvia.net/exp_mike2.htm
«So, in a place without time, the universe shattered, became a matrix, a carousel, a HUGE loop...and I was stuck on one small chunk of it...it was alive, and moving rythmically, but I WAS STUCK AT ONE PLACE. [...] »
http://www.salvia-trip.net/exp/an_enormous_loop-e131/
The loop that is broken and shattered into distinct meaningful pieces is an incredible experience. Like a clockwork wheel as you describe so well. And "being inside" is relentless until that 10 to 20 minutes pass.
(Comment on) http://www.salvia-trip.net/exp/an_enormous_loop-e131/
I was actually a consciousness inside the tumbling object, rotating in it's chambers while aware of all the chambers. They were full of light and beautifully riotous colors.
https://www.erowid.org/experiences/exp.php?ID=45012
Anything that had a slow, consistant motion to it triggered the onset anxieties, that went on for about a year.
Comment (Direct link) http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Numbe15007790#15007790
then i closed my eyes i could still see the reality or world we know spinning but it looked like a bunch of colorful fractals of circular shapes spinning in the same counterclockwise direction.
http://www.salvia-trip.net/exp/the_wheel_of_life-e1196/
Saw a wheel sort of thing the fist time which was spinning reality and me. the spinning wheel was sucking me in like a vortex. Fuck the wheel.
Unknown source
I really hope someone has read this through to the end and can help this post get some traction as it took me a hell of a long time to put together all this info.
Lets end it on all my salvia art :D
https://i.redd.it/bge0emaqf8v21.jpg
https://i.redd.it/p0og7oy8v6t21.png
https://i.redd.it/4pmha57p08z21.jpg
https://i.redd.it/geere3m7fyz21.jpg
https://i.redd.it/tgbdfilock031.jpg
https://i.redd.it/xnvnbxrm51431.jpg

How do you people interpret this phenomenon and what mechanism of action do you presume causes this effect in people?

I personally still am baffled by the fact a shared experience like this can be so specific and in-depth. I personally extracted DMT from mimosa hostilis and had the common "Jester" breakthrough, a similarly weird shared experience akin to the wheel where you see a jester type figure mocking you in very specific settings "Checker board patterens, pointy/spiky hat, vast landscapes, machine room type settings" all things that many people experience without ever reading about it beforehand.
Things like the color schemes and designs matching up so perfectly point at an inherent structure of thought and mental processing ability. People with vastly different personal relations to these phenomena still seem to come to the same conclusion about them.

Now of note, I must have smoked salvia maybe 15 times in my life and had a total of 4 breakthrough experiences only seeing the wheel as a whole once. In other trips it was more like I was inside the wheel and that I was grinding inside (or more like against it) it like a gear or a cog. When inside the wheel I feel like instead of looking at it from a distance, you are right up to it's side or even inside it's side looking at the middle. In high-dose trips when you go outside of the wheel you seem to lose all prenotions about being human or alive at all.
Another one of my breakthroughs on salvia involved me peacefully sitting inside the mouth of a giant head that had a spiral type shape to it. Even though I was inside it's mouth I could still see the outside of the face. I could see out of it's mouth where a big white wall existed with a singular door. I was standing in that door, well it felt like it was me anyway as my perception was still inside that mouth at this point.
It was basically the scene from The Trueman Show scarily enough. https://miro.medium.com/max/700/1*igabSDVpbRed_LXqXhSkzw.jpeg
Very weird indeed.


Also, just go ahead and type salvia wheel into google and be baffled by how many posts are out there. Erowid, Reddit, old forums, .etc are full of these reports and I have only selected a very minimal amount.
submitted by HorrorFrank to Salvia