People ask me all the time about the Christian path to heaven. How can we get there? What acts must we perform? Some think the answers are unknowable. Others believe the divine kingdom may not exist at all. But let me assure you, heaven is a very real place. I’ve been there plenty of times, and it always starts with me getting into a van with a bag of mescaline and just flooring it out west into the desert sunset.

That’s your straight shot into the city of Our Heavenly Father right there. No question about it.

The colors you see. The truths you learn. It changes you, man. But the changes are all for the better. You see past all the bullshit society has imposed on you—all its illusions. You realize there’s this whole cosmic dance going on behind the scenes, something perceivable only by opening your mind’s eye. And if that isn’t the holy place where the faithful behold the face of God, well, I don’t know what is.

There are loads of jumping-off points for heaven: Yucca Valley. The Mojave Desert. Burning Man. I’ve been to them all. Regardless of where you start, just check your emotional baggage at the door, eat a few buttons of mescalito with a good pal, and let the vibrations of the galaxy wash over you.

You may also want to confess your sins to a priest and ensure your soul is in a state of grace with God, but that’s totally up to you.

The road to paradise is never easy to traverse, not for the most pious of pilgrims. You have to rustle up gas money, pack a bedroll, bring plenty of water, and get recreational supplies from that asshole chemist in Mesa Alta—the one who definitely shorted you half a gram last time. Reaching that glorious abode where the blessed dwell in the company of angels takes some serious effort, and, hell, I’ll say it, a set of steel cojones the first time you try it.

Once you get there, though, you’ll realize all that legwork was worth it. Case in point: the time I ascended to the heavenly firmament out in Joshua Tree with this really chill chick named Grace. We had gotten a recipe for some cactus tea, and brother, when it kicked in, it kicked hard. All at once, the same vision came to both of us: A leopard with the wings of an eagle appeared in a flash of blinding light, leapt in our direction, and with a single thunderous roar revealed the stitches that hold together the very fabric of this universe. In that instant of clarity, we both got this crazy idea to just strip off our clothes, set them aflame, and trek out into the forest like a couple of Adam and Eves.

Without a doubt we reached that holy place that is open to all of mankind through the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross and the consumption of powerful hallucinogens.

Grace and I shacked up for the next week or so. She was brilliant and beautiful, and the next night she introduced me to a part of heaven I never even knew existed. Because, Christ, you haven’t really known paradise until you’ve done angel dust, gotten into your pickup truck, and gone racing 100 mph down Route 82 with a gorgeous girl like that sucking you off. That’s your heavenly reward, my friend. Pure and simple.

Here’s a word to the wise, though: There are angels in heaven, but there are sure as shit just as many demons. I’m talking about voices in your head, bugs crawling all over your skin, your friends turning into melting wax statues. I’ve even lost some of my best buddies to heaven—Mark, Gus, Eric. All great guys who deserved better than to go down swallowing their own tongues.

Even a man of great faith can be terrified when he sees stuff like that.

To make your trip to paradise a little less scary, take along some experienced friends your first time. That way, if things go south, they can dump you outside the emergency room. Also be sure to steer clear of the Nevada State Patrol. I speak from personal experience when I say those guys would rather see you in hell.