|The material in this article is presented in final format in my book Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves.|
Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:These sorts of ecstatic singing and repetitive exaltations remind me of subjects who took DMT and heard: "Now do you see? Now do you see?" along with singing voices. (These cases are described in Rick Strassman's book DMT: The Spirit Molecule.)
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
In response to developing a group mind.I wasn't quite sure if this was appropriate for the group,but I wanted to relay this experience.You might have noted that I've made references to the entheogens here and there,& this can be a sensitive subject.Quite awhile ago I went on an out of body group excursion (stay with me here) what happened was that we each "partook" of the entheogen (in this case DMT) ,linked hands and had a verbal guide take us on a trip.
We went back to the beginning of the universe (together) and experienced the formation of the celestial bodies,the planets and eventually (big skip in steps here!) experienced the birth of humanity. It was likely a psychological phenomenon caused by suggestion that allowed "us" to have a group bonding in this way, & with thorough examination I'm sure it could be picked apart.It is very unlikely that this is what you had in mind,or is it a very realistic possibility that the group could (or would) do this.
You posed an earlier question "Do you believe that DMT provides users with valuable insight as the chemical opens the doors of perception,revealing a new reality inches away,but impossible to perceive with our ordinary sensorium? Well, I can only say that it certainly seems to feel that way,whether or not the experience is "real".
On a more feasible note about the group mind.I recently posted about accessing or inducing experiences (whatever they might be) without "taking" anything.I do believe that investigating this could be an avenue of creating a group mind.It sounds kind of "cultish" though. Maybe "we" as a human race will approach the next stage in evolution when we learn to do this.I actually had a dream about a DMT experience several years after my introduction.In my dream the scenario was different,but the same dimensional doors were accessed.I was so excited that I called a friend ,who is a hypnotherapist, he was in agreement with me in thinking that the experience has been imprinted, and could very well be accessed at will.I haven't had the opportunity to look into this matter further as of yet.
If DMT is naturally occurring in the human body,how can it be considered illegal? Would this not mean that ANY person could be incarcerated at any given time for posession? including the person who was incarcerating you! I just don't get it.
I don't want you to get me wrong cliff,I'm about as straight edged as you can get at this point in my life,but my mind will always be free. -take care,
p.s. Feel free to use this ,or parts of it,with the group if you think its suitable or relevant. (I attached a picture of myself so you can see who is pestering you)
I experimented with DMT on several occasions in the past, and found that it provided access to a truly extraordinary mindspace, perhaps most importantly characterized by the preposterous but nevertheless wholly convincing sensation that "it" (the DMT induced 'mind-space') was far closer to 'reality as it really is' than ordinary, everyday experience. I was left with the curious impression that ordinary, everyday experience might more aptly be characterized as the hallucination here, and that the 'warped' impression of reailty I experienced under the influence of DMT was in fact more 'genuine'.
I could write a tome about my experiences with DMT, so profund and life changing were they, starting with my first few failed attempts to penetrate the 'DMT mind-space' (which failed because I was too timid to inflict a full fledged dose upon myself), and ending with an experience which would be best characterized as a genuine 'experience of the Divine'- quite a statement for an avowed atheist such as myself (there is a pithy term for such an experience, but, infortunately, it eludes me at the moment).
I'd love to rivet you folks with the details of this saga, but alas, I am a slave of the clock.
"We went back to the beginning of the universe (together) and experienced the formation of the celestial bodies,the planets and eventually (big skip in steps here!) experienced the birth of humanity"
This is very interesting.
One of my DMT experiences took place on a beach at night, and after the peak, when I was able 'to see reality' again, to some degree, I became fixated upon what I later realized was the moon.
It appeared to me as though I was witnessing the Big Bang- that all of reality was emananting out of that point of light I ordinarily recognize as the moon. As I returned to 'normalcy', staring at the moon, it seemed not so much that I was slowly but surely re-integrating all of the objects of ordinary experience into my awareness, but that I was, in some extraordinary sense, witnessing their creation.
I was, in some sense, witnessing the history of the entire universe, from the Big Bang to me.
It is important to recognize here that the metaphorical aspect of this was apparent. I was never under the impression that I was 'really' witnessing the 'actual' history of the universe. I was a well aware that what I saw merely 'looked like' the Big Bang, and that the 'return to normalcy' was merely a very interestig simulation of 'creation'- an artifact of a powerful hallucinogen wearing off.
Nevertheless, I also understood that this distinction was ultimately meaningless, and what I saw that night remains the most profound experience of my life.
I was so deeply moved by the experience that to this day, whenever I pass that place on the beach, I find myself overcome with a sense of awe for the fact that anything exists at all, and just how long- and how short- all of time has been.
James Kent here, I run the website http://tripzine.com. I published a psychedelic magazine for many years, and a friend recently pointed me to your article on DMT, Moses and Aliens. Since you asked people to voice their opinion I shall...
I have done DMT quite a bit, have interviewed and spent time with the late Terence McKenna, am friends with Rick Strassman, and have studied this issue very closely for the past fifteen years. And though I have not published the results of all my research (yet), I would like to share with you some of my conclusions concerning DMT and the dramatic phenomena it produces.
In short, I do not believe DMT is a gateway to an alternate dimension, nor does it provide contact with elves and alien entities. Yes, DMT produces a vivid other-worldly landscape when ingested, often including elves, aliens, insects, snakes, jaguars, etc. This is true for the majority of people who try it. Some people do not have such vivid reactions, but many do. Although this may appear at first glance to be "shocking," it is actually no more shocking then the fact that most people dream at night, or that most people see geometric patterns when they close their eyes and press against their eyeballs (pressure phosphenes). The only difference between dreams, phosphenes, and DMT visuals is that DMT is illegal and very hard to come by, so most people never have the opportunity to experience it. If we could all hold our breath for a minute and produce vivid hallucinations of alien landscapes it would seem downright mundane, a mere curiosity of the human condition. However, since this particular alien landscape is produced by a specific rare substance (DMT), people seem to think it is akin to unlocking the mysteries of the universe when they actually get their hands on it and try it.
Now don't get me wrong, DMT is stunning in its effect, no doubt. But, like anything, when you do it many times the magic tends to wear off and reveal itself for what it is, an abberation of the brain's perceptual mechanics. To illustrate this I would like to offer the following observations:
1. DMT acts primarily at the 5-HT2A receptor, which is where all hallucinogenic tryptamines work their visual magic. Without going into all the details here, let's just assume for a moment that a molecule with the proper shape acting at the 5-HT2A sites can significantly disrupt or enhance visual sensory processing. If this is the case, then dumping DMT into the perceptual wetworks is akin to messing with the logic that produces the display on the monitor you are looking at right now. Any programmer can tell you that a single line of code consisting of only a few characters can drastically alter the way your screen presents the data coming from your video card. It can make the screen flicker, blink, warp, twist, or fall into infinitely recursive fractalline chaos. If that happens is your monitor now displaying an "alternate reality" or "parallel dimension"? No, it is not. It is simply taking the same old data and processing it with a new factor in the base algorithm. Small tweak, dramatic results. Since the sensory processing system is so delicate, any chemical perturbation can cause it to fall into chaos, and as we all know chaos does not produce random noise, it produces some pretty damn trippy patterns.
2. The sensation of seeing aliens, elves, or being in the presence of God(s) is not unique to DMT users. Otherwise sane people who have never tried DMT report these sensations all the time, and it is generally treated as a sign of psychosis. However, recent research has shown that by stimulating parts of the temporal lobe you can reliably reproduce the feeling of being in the presence of God (also known as "seeing the light" or having a "religious epiphany"). It is an innate human sensation (just like the feeling that "I'm being watched" is an innate human sensation) we just don't catalog it as such because it is relatively rare, happening perhaps only once in a lifetime to those who do not artificially stimulate themselves, perhaps never in a lifetime. Some people have very dramatic religious epiphanies with angels and demons and all form of cherubim marching through with horns and such with no drugs whatsoever, and though it is a common event we generally treat it as a psychological abberation (though back in the day it was the stuff prophets were made of). Since this kind of religious vision phenomena is something our brains can already do on their own, the fact that a substance like DMT can reproduce this phenomena is not much of a stretch.
3. The archetypal DMT "entities" are pretty well categorized, with most people seeing elves or aliens or fairies or angels or some kind of loopy little spirits that dance about and tell riddles. Sometimes it is a spirit-animal like a jaguar or a snake, sometimes it is none of the above and goes totally off the map. But getting back to the elf thing (which is what many people find to be the most curious aspect), I initially found it very surprising to be confronted by elves in my DMT experiences (and on psilocybe mushrooms as well), and did indeed perceive them as externalized disencarnate beings, even managing to carry on rudimentary conversations of sorts. However, the more I experimented with the substance the more I found that the "elves" were merely machinations of my own mind. While under the influence I found I could think them into existence, and then think them right out of existence simply by willing it so. Sometimes I could not produce elves, and my mind would wander through all sorts of magnificient and amazing creations, but the times that I did see elves I tried very hard to press them into giving up some non-transient feature that would comfirm at least a rudimentary "autonomous existence" beyond my own imagination. Of course, I could not. Whenever I tried to pull any information out of the entities regarding themselves, the data that was given up was always relevant only to me. The elves could not give me any piece of data I did not already know, nor could their existence be sustained under any kind of prolonged scrutiny. Like a dream, once you realize you are dreaming you are actually slipping into wakefulness and the dream fades. So it is with the elves. When you try to shine a light of reason on them they dissolve like shadows.
4. Which brings me to my last point. Psychedelics in general have an amazing capacity to activate the mind's eye, or what I call the imaginal workspace. In our day-to-day lives we have two active areas that are processing our perception of reality. The first is the primary workspace where all our sense data is compiled in our pre-frontal cortex to give us our waking picture of reality. The second is the imaginal workspace, where we can think about abstract thoughts or visualize the contents of our cupboards from memory (or whatever). The imaginal workspace is generally running in the background, helping us plan our actions by visualizing them in advance (like driving to the grocery store for instance. We visualize the store, plan a route, and then go). All the while our primary workspace is taking up most of our attention. This balance flips, however, when we are caught in deep abstract thinking, like daydreaming or trying to solve a difficult problem. And when we sleep the primary workspace is actually taken-over by the imaginal workspace to process all the backlogged data that was set aside during the waking day. When this happens we dream. Our primary workspace is filled with imaginal data, and suddenly we are immersed in an imaginal reality that looks and feels just as solid as waking reality because it is being processed by the same high-end gear that we use to processess waking reality. The only difference between being awake and dreaming is the origin of the data being processed in the primary workspace. When you are awake you are processing external sense data in the primary workspace. When you are dreaming you are processing internal (imaginal) data in the primary workspace. Now I have done many many experiments with lucid dreaming and self-induced hypnogogic states and I can tell you that the switch from external to internal data sources feeding into the primary workspace (and vice-versa) happens in a split second. It is too quick to notice unless you are waiting and watching very carefully for the hand-off. One second you are awake and listening to the faucet drip, the next second you are wandering through a dream parking lot searching for your car. If you catch yourself and wake back up again you are back to the drip-drip-drip of the faucet. Close your eyes and the drips fade away and you are back in the dream lot (or wherever). So, knowing this, it is not much of a stretch to assume that psychedelics play some kind of role in this hand-off between sensory and imaginal data flowing into our primary workspace, muddying up the selective inputs so that everything is crashing in at once, making it impossible to distiguish what is real and what is imaginal until the drug wears off. Concrete psychedelic visuals may be nothing more than chaotic sense data overlapped with images created from waking dreams.
So, with all of this in mind the one question remains: Why is the alien/elf archetype so common to the DMT experience? The only answer I have is that we humans must have some kind of innate evolutionary wetworking that forces us to latch onto any piece of anthropomorphic data that pops up in otherwise random sensory data, such as spotting a face peering out from behind the bushes, or spotting another human form hiding in the tall grass. The evolutionary advantage of such a trait is obvious, and in standard Rorschach tests even the most ambiguous blobs are found to look like faces or people no matter what culture the observer is from. Now, given the amazing swirling kaliedescopic imagery produced in the typical DMT trip, it is inevitable that anthropomorphic shapes will emerge and then express themselves in even greater detail as the mind latches onto them and "dreams" them into focus. With the imaginal workflow kicked into high gear, it is not surprising that these emergent anthropomorphic entities can then speak to us, revealing shocking details from our own subconscious in a conversational stream of visual theater. Given all of this, in a nutshell, the case for automous disencarnate DMT entities is closed. All that is needed to produce them is our own over-activated imagination, and thus Occam's razor wipes them right off the table and into the fairy-dust bin.
In conclusion I would just like to mention a couple more things. The visions produced by DMT are not solely elfs and alien entities. A wide variety of archetypes and just plain-old whacked-out stoner shit creeps into the mix. It is highly individual and in many cases is heavily dependent on set and setting. This fact alone (more than anything else) leads me to believe that the DMT enitites are mere figments. If, for example, everyone always saw talking penguins and only talking penguins while high on DMT, that would be much harder to explain and much more mysterious. The fact that DMT "consciousness" reveals itself in so many forms tells me that the "messenger" -- be it elf, alien, jaguar, or whatever -- is basically arbitrary within the context of the patterns and
archetypes our minds are generally trained to pick out of random noise. However (and this is the good part), the really interesting thing about DMT experiences is not the elves (messengers) themselves, but what it is they are saying (the message). And when you get to the heart of what the typical DMT message is, it is usually something about the environment or living systems or the vast plant consciousness that penetrates our world. The "Gaia consciousness" that infuses the experience is undeniable, and what to make of that I don't know, other than to entertain the possibility that this ancient plant consciousness actually exists and is attempting to make itself known through the DMT-enlightened mammal brain. If so, then this is the real discovery of the DMT experience, and this is the topic that should be looked at more closely. In the context of DMT being a two-way radio for plant-human communication, the "elves" themselves are nothing more than a cartoonish interface for the exchange of information.
Whoah dude, that's heavy.
Thanks for reading all the way through. If you're interested in doing an interview for our website I'd love to set something up.
Hey, thanks for writing back. Comments below:
> Hi, thanks for your great note! May I have permission to excerpt from it in a book I'm doing? May I have permission to excerpt from it for my web site?
Sure, as long as you include my name and provide a link to tripzine.com with the excerpt. This is just a quick summary of a larger piece I am working on with all the related research notes and sources, but it provides the basics.
> Is the magazine still going?
No, we published our last issue in Feb. It was taking up too much of my time and not really making any money, so I am not printing anymore. I will continue to release new material on the website, which gets more readers by far than any issue of the mag, and will probably release books and compilations in the future, but I'm done with the magazine business. Since 1993 I have published 15 issues under various names (Psychedelic Illuminations, TRP, and Trip).
>> Benny Shannon's excellent book has many pages telling us why DMT visions are NOT like dreams.
I have not read this book, but I know the argument. This is a discreet point so I will try to make it again. I agree that DMT visions are not dreams, but suspect they utilize the same internal brain organs and neural circuitry that dreams do to produce the internal imagery. Psychedelic visuals are generally kinetic geometric matrices (2-D or 3-D depending on substance and level of trip, DMT being very good at producing 3-D matrices) with "embedded images" which emerge from the matrix, morph, and fade along with the user's own train of thought or subsconscious inclinations. The geometric matrices are a result of the visual processing system falling into a chaotic state, thus causing feedback, trails, and frame-translation errors (visual flanging, perspective distortion, etc.). The eye receives light on the retina in a series of concentric circles with the highest concentration in the center. We only receive about 80% of the actual picture of what's in front of us on the retina, and the rest (like the stuff left out on the periphery and in the blind spot) is "added in" by our own brains to fill in the missing pieces in the final picture of reality. This "fill in the blank" aspect of the brain sometimes causes us to mistakenly see something "out of the corner of our eye" which on closer inspection is not actually there. Along the pathway from the retina to the prefontal cortex, the sense data must be translated from a series of concentric rings of dots to a concrete image of outlines, fills, and shading that we perceive as reality. This process is called "frame translation." Lines are etched out on our retina by a process called "lateral inhibition", which allows one retina to take priority over the retina next to it if it perceives a hard line or shift in shading that infers an outline. If lateral inhibition is inhibited, the edges of what we see tend to drift and blur, causing perspective distortion, creeping light and shadows, and patterns that seem to "crawl". At more dramatic levels of this kind of activity, the "frame" of reality actually begins to rotate and twist, and if you leave "trails" on an image that is rotating you create a 2-D geometric lattice. If this lattice twists forwards or backwards it produces depth of field, thus a 3-D matix appears.
Okay, so that is part one. These shifting lines and shadows and geometric lattice imagery I have described should be familiar to anyone who has taken a psychedelic tryptamine. Now, when you add an over-active "dream engine" trying to impose patterns and order on these kinetic matrices, an infinite number of patterns and visions can emerge. They are unlike dreams in that they do not appear as a slightly different version of hard reality, but this is because dream data comes from the hippocampus (memory), which generally stores data related to everyday stuff. DMT data comes from the brains own pattern-matching systems trying to impose order on a chaotic pattern, thus "filling in the blanks" and trying to piece together what is going on, which is why "visuals" become more elaborate on the periphery -- ie in the corner of the eye where there is more missing data to fill -- and tend to become less-so when examined front and center (for example, "elves" tend to hang out in the periphery, and tend to dissappear when you try to focus directly on them). Since what we are seeing in the psychedelic state is so "alien" to our normal sensory input, it is no wonder that the landscapes and visions our brain tries to impose on them are likewise very alien. That said, I have seen all kinds of mundane stuff in DMT visions: toasters, faces of people I know (usually family), people copulating, scenes of human suffering and warfare, clowns and harlequins, trains, skulls, trees, oceans, animals, dancing cartoon rats, strands of DNA, rotating atomic and molecular structures, etc. All very terrestrial stuff. The basic difference between dreams and DMT visuals is that dreams are snippets of incongruous memories forced into a consistent narrative by the pre-frontal cortex, DMT visuals are chaotic geometic patterns forced into a consistent narrative by the prefontal cortex. The source of the data is different (though sometimes overlapping), but the process of turning random data into "contextual meaning" happens in the same place in the brain, weather we are awake, dreaming, or tripping.
> DMT visions have nothing to do with the psychonaut's life and they are not as chaotic or illogical as the plots of our dreams. They do not contain simple household objects that you see in dreams.
I disagree with this. You can impose any imagery you want in the DMT state. I know a guy who always sees tricked-out cartoon hot-rods when he smokes DMT. I know a woman who only sees hideous zombie-like faces of corpses. I have seen vivid images from my own life (memories, family members, etc.) as well as mundane objects in the DMT state. If the user stays "unfocused" the imagery tends to dribble randomly out of the subconscious (hence the archetypes) and will swirl into the realm of the fantastic, but if you are "looking" for something in the visions you can generally make it appear.
> No matter how hard I try, I can not imagine the vast, intricate, ornate palaces and temples common in the DMTverse.
True! But this is because you cannot consciously "will" your visual system to collapse into a chaotic state, or you cannot "will" your temporal lobe to become excited and produce the presence of god (well, maybe long-practicing mystics can). There is too much neurochemical redundancy to keep your brain from falling into these states just at any old time (unless you are schizophrenic). The ornate places and temples are heavenly archetypes, this is obvious when you look at ancient architecture, especially in the middle east and asia. This does not mean they are "real" in the sense that they actually exist somewhere in hyperspace, they are imaginal blueprints forged from the subconscious. I think you sell the human imagination short when you say things like "No one could ever envision such things on their own." Maybe people raised on the limited flotsam of TV and pop culture can't, but brilliant creative types sure can. That said, I am not adverse to the notion that there is some kind of "ancient alien history" embedded in our DNA somewhere that produces these kinds of visions, or that the heavenly archetypes (such as vast temples, angels, etc.) are actually representative of some kind of hyperspatial kingdom where souls dwell after death (or something like that), but such things are impossible to prove in any empirical way, so flatly saying that this is the case is highly suspect to me. What I will concede is that humans across all cultures have alien and heavenly archetypes embedded in their subconscious, and psychedelic tryptamines can access the archetypes with a high level of success. Where these archetypes come from or what they mean is the subject of eternal debate.
> Many psycnonauts have the distinct feeling that the visions are not simply products of their own mind.
True, but most psychonauts are just beginning to explore thier own mind and are usually very surprised at what pops out when they they start messing around with it. The first people who discovered fractals had the distinct feeling that these amazing other-worldly images and patterns could not simply be the products of a single line of code, and yet they are. Complexity breeds all kinds of weird shit, and the human brain is the most complex system on the planet.
> The goal for future researchers it to determine whether the psychonauts can return to our world with new "factual" information.
I have attempted this experiment in many ways and with many people. The answer seems to be "No." I have had many people argue with me about this but none could provide a concrete example that was convincing in any way. The information retrieved from the psychedelic states is usally generalized common wisdom applicable to the user's own life (or human life in general). The notion that rainforest shaman can divine "information" about a plant just by ingesting it in an ayahuasca brew illustrates to me the mind's amazing ability to extrapolate holistic data on a specific system when only given on little bits and pieces of data to work with. This ability is amplified by the psychedelic state, but it does not produce "new" information, just more refined and detailed analysis of what we already know. This is the "fill in the blanks" property of the brain I discussed earlier in the context of the visual system, but logic systems use this technique as well.
> I discuss in the book I'm doing that we should search out these entities just like scientists search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
I'm all for trying to get a grip on the pheonomena, but have little expectation that anyone will ever make "absolute contact" that proves an autonomous existence of hyperspatial entities. I am more inclined to believe that they are very strange and unexplored facets of the human psyche, but I also believe in samsara and the transmigration of souls, which makes the notion that these entities could be "disembodied souls" who are floating around in hyperspace very tempting to latch onto. And yet, even wanting to believe that I have not been able to convince myself that this is the case even after repeated experimentation and confrontation with these entities. All I can come up with is that they are figments, or that if they ARE disembodied souls or hyperspatial entities, the disconnect between their intelligence and human intelligence is such that they are not able to reveal anything lasting, tangible, or definitive about their own nature. In short, they say all kinds of things, some of it profound, some if it gibberish. But none of it points definitively to any deeper truth about what they are or where they come from.
> What do you think of the ornate palaces that people see and seem to be able to traverse?
I could ask you the same thing about J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth. He (and legions of fans) could certainly envision this world and traverse it with very adept skill. The product he produced is very vivid, ornate, and fantastical. Does that make it real? No. DMT visions certainly do have thier own very unusual asthetic, to be sure, as do mushrooms, LSD, 2-CB, Mescaline, etc. Each one produces a distinct set of visual imagery, each one a slightly different variation on a basic fractally recursive theme. But this in no more surprising to me than the fact that two different fractal algorithms produce different results, and yet they all share the same intrinsic qualities and are instantly recognizable as "fractals." As I said, the ornate places may be heavenly archetypes, they may be the product of the mind imposing order or chaotic patterns, but I have seen nothing that implies to me that they are "real" places somewhere. They are by definition fleeting and ephemeral. The fact that DMT produces a consistent "style" of visions in human brains across all cultures is no more surprising to me then the fact that pressure phosphenes the smae kind of geometric visuals in human brains across all cultures, or that a specific fractal algorithm will produce the same imagery no matter which computer it is running on. It would be more surprising to me if DMT produced wildly different visions in each person who tried it (as LSD tends to, which I find infinitely more fascinating). As it is, DMT appears to produce amazingly consistent visual patterns is all users. That is a scientifically significant fact, and yet it only points to the conclusion that it is very simple in it's action with not a lot of room for variation.
> There is a sense of enchantment, of sanctity, of beauty, a sense of gaining privileged access to knowledge and that their intelligence is increased.
Yes! I agree that all these aspects of the human mind are aplified under the influence of DMT. One does not have to take DMT to have epiphanies of beauty and sanctity. DMT does increase intelligence, which I define as the brain's ability to retain many specific pieces of data in working memory while simultaneously performing analysis on them. DMT (and other psychedelics) certainly amplify this capacity, and thus amplify the brain's capacity to apply contextual meaning or "profundity" on whatever it may be experiencing. If the psychedelically amplified brain happens to be focused on an imaginary alien landscape, then the profundity of that alien landscape suddenly goes through the roof!
> The world around them appears to be constructed, composed with care like a work of art or an intricate hand-spun fabric, and guided like actors in a play. They feel as if a veil has been lifted and so that they see something that has always been transpiring.
Yes, this aspect of the experience is more relevant to me than the elves or whatnot. The exposing of the deeper fabric of reality that we don't normally see is the big secret of the DMT (and other psychedelic) state. This is a product of the amplified mind exploring the nature of hard reality. The quantum levels of flux become apparant and the "hardness" of reality disappears into a vibrating mass of infinitely deep energy, which it actually is. The profundity of this realization is very heavy, yet it is nothing that we do not already know. It is just that quantum nature of our world made manifest for our limited senses.
> Shanon tells us that the DMTverse appears to be another world with an existence independent of the psychonaut.
Well, the "real" world exists independently of the observer, we just don't dwell on this fact very often. Why does a deeper uderstanding or vision of this world have to be classified as "another" world or a paralell world? Why not just assume it is a hidden (or hard to see) aspect of this one? Sensing quantum reality is not the same as entering "another world." It is just experiencing another layer of the same old world we already live in (like the infrared goggles thing). Giving this hidden layer of reality some kind of vague "mystical" properties only mucks up the analysis of what is really going on when we experience it.
> The worlds exhibit internal consistencies and at time seem to be even "more real" that our ordinary world and exist independent of our ordinary flow of time. Many psychonauts return with a certainty that consciousness continues after death. They return with the idea of a soul existing beyond the body, somehow woven into the fabric of the universe.
I agree. This may well be the case. Time is an illusion of our senses. The soul may be timeless. Again, this conjecture is metaphysically savory but impossible to prove. The mystery just gets deeper when you probe it. My conclusion is that the things we see in the psychedelic state are a confusing mixture of a "deeper hidden reality" that is there all the time (the product of amplified senses), plus detailed imaginal renderings of our own subconscious desires and fears (made manifest by an overstimulated brain imposing order on chaotic patterns). Sorting out which is which (seperating the "hard signal" from the "chaotic noise" and "imaginal rendering") is the hard part of the psychonautic journey. Flatly accepting the entirity of the experience as "undeniably real" and "truth" is a mistake that makes "psychedelic philosphers" appear as little more than new-age jokes enamored with their own visions and with no capacity for deeper analytical thinking. It drives me crazy.
> DMT psychonauts may see a new world superimposed on the "normal world"
So do people suffering from delusions.
> This new world is completely navigatable
I disagree. This new world is fleeting and ephemeral, constantly shifting and morphing. You can "navigate" somewhat by choosing which direction you would like to "morph into" next, but the "imaginal worlds" of the DMT experience do not have a solid and consistent structure. They are transient and elusive. If you want to talk about total delusional immersion in a hard imaginal world, you need to get into the kind of experiences people have on Datura and the like. These substances can make you think you are standing in line at the grocery store when you have actually walked into your own coat closet. These are what I refer to as "concrete" hallucinations that are fully immersive. In contrast, the DMT visions appear as "perceptual distortions" which produce stylized renderings of the reality that is in front of us. Close your eyes and you get a swirling, highly detailed alien landscape. Open them and you see a very distorted view of the space in front of you overlapped with these same swirling geometrical lattices, with the occasional "hard" object such as an elf or something popping out of the mix.
I think in general people like to romanticize the DMT state and make it more than it is becuase they deperately want there to be a hidden hyperspatial world filled with michevious sprites and god-like entities. However, when one closely studies the experience over and over again over time you come to see that a lot of the romanticized notions are not what is actually happening in the state, and people tend to "editorialize" the content of the experience in hindsight in order to make it into something more than what it actually is. As I've said, I've done DMT a number of times, each time with the intent to find some deeper truth to the experience. The only thing I can say for certain is that it is different every time. The asthetic of the visual phenomena is consitent, unique, and wonderous, but the content that is generated within the experience conforms to no hard or simple rules like "entering a hyperspatial dimension" or "visitation from alien entities." Everybody experiences something slightly different, and yet they all want to apply it to some kind of "alice in wonderland" style trip down the rabbit-hole and convince themselves that they've been exposed to a deeper truth or something of vast spiritual significance. In doing so they revise the experience to fit into some kind of narrative that makes sense, thus creating wishful non-truths, such as the statement that DMT worlds are concrete navigable spaces, or that elves appear for everyone every time. This is simply not the case. It is a mis-representation of the actual experience. It would be cool if it was true, but the truth if far more elusive and complex then the simple metaphysical fairy-tale notions we like to apply.
Years ago I experimented with these spaces too and for a couple of years there I was visiting almost every week and certainly at least once a fortnight. The beings I worked with were in numerous forms and communicated in various ways although the essence was that everything is love, there is nothing less. Reality is constructed from our imagination and the reality we experience is made from their bodies holding forms for us to experience. There is nothing essentially you can do wrong and all experience is just that experience.
Of course this frequency of usage blew my circuits wide open to the point where I was 'hearing' the beings talk to me telepathically and over time I came to realise that they were initiating me and preparing me for the final experience.
If you find what i am writing interesting you may want to look at my articles on my art site:
the first details the connection between all facets of reality as we experience it... Click here.
and this second one was the last huge experience I had... Click here
There were many other experiences that I am still writing down and will put onto my website in the future.
In the meantime I am creating visual art about the work and have been involved in the creation of the erowid visionary arts vaults for the past 3 years.
Hopefully my information helps to fit more pieces of the puzzle together.
Right now I am in the process of mapping hyperspace from my past experiences. When I have finished that I will put up a website about it and hopefully people will be interested in seeing the information and can map themselves and experiences to it or add to it.
may the source be you
Hey Cliff, I have just been reading Reality Carnival...thought I would send you this picture.... Last year I tried DMT and a few months ago Ayahuasca....DMT was intense and immediate. I felt so blessed being allowed into such an amazing world....as a photographer, playing with images taken on my camera, then put into my computer, images, like this one, seem to jump out...but this is what I saw on dmt...it was like being given validation from a higher realm that I am not crazy I am seeing.Hope you like it... Petruska JB. Joy and Beauty with you always...x
I'm a 32 year old male, who has tried DMT, reddish orange crack rock, smoked on 5 seperate occasions at doses no smaller than 150mg. Each event has have me with a number of unique insights, some of which are revelations. None are more accumlative than two perceptions, a longing to return home, and the feeling of being cursed. Cursed is somewhat a poor term to describe it, as it describes different thoughts. Cursed in one sense is I'm aware of my exiled from Eden....cursed in the other sense of being the unfornatue soul to bear an enormous quanity of memories that span across all time, and other times that remembrance is no differnet then recalling something from one childhood; that is remembering the innocent feeling and emotional awe of the experience, but seeing back is a bit fuzz'n but also littered with a slightly different interpetation at the same time...
when trip'n comes up in conversation, more often than not, DMT is left out, at which point is when I inject it (no pun intended). People ask me to describe it, in otherwords contrast to what they know which is often LSD. My response is that LSD/acid is fingerpaints for preschoolers. Many take offensive to that remark, but quickly understand once explained that DMT is so powerful, so harsh that after only a couple of tokes of what tastes like burnt plastic that you are completely convinced that you're entire reality has changed. You are on the starship enterprise, Picard is screaming at you, demanding you to identify yourself, who are you, what are you doing here, and that goddamn stale earl grey tea on his breath is annoyingly the hell out of you. Going on to describe other experiences, but I always label it with a warning that I never gotten, all experiences, all these memories across all time, no time, and other times...how could of they have happened in mere 15 minutes. disturbing feeling, a daily occurance for me, another kind of curse....
one of my more revelating experiences. second time trying....first inhaling, rolling thundering, everything was shaking, roaring devesationg, but according to my babysitters, i was completely still except for the moment i feel backwards and crack my head on the floor (I was sitting down and had pillows down)....back to the experience...holding in the nasty tasting vapors...i noticed i wasn't gasping for air, putting my hand on my heart nad it no longer was beating, then BOOM my body literaly exploded and I was shot out in all directions...zipping thru the clouds, into space, I was infinitely going faster, infintely going to slower, and infintely still, I was larger than the universe, I was smaller than the smallest thing in the universe, I was also nothing in the universe...thinking forwards, thinking backwards, when I tried to think both at the same time, it resissted me, but i kept trying and then there was no thinking, but there was...I saw the mayan clock, clicking down to the last moment, the end of time, there i was amped to the next level, I understood that the end of time wasn't physically destructive, such sillyness, the end of time means the end of thinking lineraly, i could see the present, the past and the future, i could hear the voices from the past communicating with the voices of the future, we are all here, but none were able to communicate with the voices from the present. the voices from the past and future rejoiced at my prescenes, pushing me to realize more, think of them as one, again thinking of them as one, i saw some sort of stain glass church window, almost like the twlight zone door, but a window out in the middle of nowhere but everywhere, feeling of being trapped, i became enraged, i needed to break thru that window, moving at incredible speeds slamming into the window, resisted, moved back infinitely far, again the voices from the future and past both in unison, move without traveling,....it dawned on me, so i moved forward and backwards at increidble speeds, smashing into the window one both sides at the same time, breaking thru! such incredible destruction, floating away from what appeared to be a hole in what appeared to be a grape, our universe was just but one of many universes hanging from a vine with no beginning nor end...i explored other universes.. many of them dead, few like ours, some absolutely bizzar with it's own laws of physicals, one i recall the most is planets were pockets of vaccum, and space was fluidic, not quite water....i seen entire civilizations born and die, seen universes collapse, only to be reborn in a endless repeating cycle....hooded reptiles that i sense them as evil, little elves like from golden axe, you slash at them they dropped things...but how did i get back....upon entering one universe, dark at first, but i could see this light at the end, only one light, closer and closer, but i noticed i was being sucked in, i couldn't flee! going faster than i could gone faster, then SLURP, the light was my eyes seeing this world....then i understood...our physical universe is the light universe, limited but boundless, our minds the dark universe...infinite but bounded....
dmt has changed me forever, for good...for bad...i don't know, but i could show you some things i remember finding in my dmt trips that would probably trip you out...and i wonder how do I KNOW THIS, HOW IS IT POSSIBLE, ask me about what i call the geometric truth of divinity....i just want to return home
hope this is informative for you
I do not believe the previous person, D. Moore, has tried DMT. Here are my reasons:
*The stated dosage (150 mg) is about twice the max a human can imbibe at one sitting. Those seeking the most intense DMT experience usually smoke doses in the 40-50 mg range, and many prefer DMT the 20-30 mg range. The rapid onset and quick breakdown of the active principal places limits on the max amount that can be imbibed at once (which is realistically about 75 mgs). It's VERY hard to smoke 75 mgs of DMT.
I suppose someone could stick 150 mgs in a pipe and pass out after a few tokes and imagine they'd inhaled 150 mg, but they'd realistically have inhaled ony about 50mg-75 mgs of DMT vapor. So maybe our poster here is honest about what he thinks he imbibed, but naive. Or perhaps he is just clueless about actual dosages and is pulling the 150 mg figure out of his ass.
* I've never heard of 'orange, crack rock ' DMT. Any decent extraction of DMT should yield a white or off white crystal or powder.
* Finally, the trip he describes (Picard screaming etc.) is nothing like any DMT trip I have ever heard of. It is very much more like what many who have never done a drug like DMT often IMAGINE such experiences to be like.
I could be wrong but I doubt it. The post just doesn't ring true to me, and I'm as experienced with DMT as anyone need be.
Hi Cliff. Thanks again for sending me Stars of Heaven and Chaos in Wonderland, as always your books are exciting to read. I just finished the first 4 chapters of Sex Drugs Einstein and Elves. All the topics raise the same issues I keep working on for my academic studies, they have been very helpful.
Question.Hope it's not too rambling. On your views on DMT you seem to lean towards proposing the external reality of the DMTverse. In my case, every time I take ayahuasca, I flip flop between such a realist mind independent view and the skeptical all it is constructed view. I was wondering if you ever considered a middle ground. I noticed that you are on the editorial board of Idealistic studies. Some interpretations of post Kantian idealism see it as proposing that the mind participates in the creation of reality and I lean, as of today, seeing DMT as revealing in some way how our minds can create a whole new reality.
In the book you say how the person's background shapes the meaning of the experience but I wonder how much of the actual experience is brought by us and how much is "too alien". The similarities of the experiences of people who take ayahuasca no matter what the setting (snakes and jaguars in urban places) is perplexing at the least. It does give credence to the realist view. On the other hand most people have read about DMT before taking it so expectations may account for it. Following John Horgan's suggestion in his review of Shannon, we would have to give DMT to Scandinavian villagers to see if they see jaguars and snakes.
Shannon views it as purely constructed but I find both the realist and his as not perfect explanations. I find it hard to believe that I have somewhere in my mind a blueprint for Egyptian hieroglyphs, maybe for pyramidal buildings but the imagery I think is historically contingent.
So, what if our mind colors the experience and yet there is something external? I haven't seen elves yet, unless you count some tiny alien looking beings that I later identified as the Japanese spirits from the movie Princess Mononoke. Other times is too aliens to think it is from my memory. Can there be an interplay? You asked in your website whether drugs reveal a true valid reality or simply distort reality, can it somehow be both? What's your take on the role of consciousness in reality, would you agree with Einstein' mind independent reality or with Niels Bohr's observer interacting one?
If you've read this whole thing thanks for your time. Best, Juan
Fostering endogenous DMT production through darkness. Basic premise is that extended photon deprivation (complete darkness for up to 72 hours and more) causes the pineal gland to begin producing/dumping extra portions of DMT (and other goodies) into the brain (after a series of electro-bio displacements). This goes back into the ancient methods used by mystic monks/recluses spending days upon end in caves in complete darkness etc. Now, there is a woman Dr. in Finland I believe who is also working along the pineal trail documenting endogenous DMT production, but I can't remember her name and did not bookmark her...sorry.
Mantak Chia schedules guided 'dark room' retreats in his Thailand Taoist school, where participants can spend up to two weeks in total darkness after several weeks of dietary and mental preparations. They are fed and housed in comfortable surroundings and guided by Mantak himself in conscious, group explorations of the feedback loops of the sub-quantum, geometric, morphing fractal field (always wanted to say that to someone who could probably understand).
Ananda (and a couple other 'new age' mentors...Drunvalo Melchizidek being another) had head injuries at an early age that resulted in the decalcification (jump start) of the pineal gland, thus producing additional amounts of DMT and the resulting 'cosmic info window' that opened for them into varying techniques of activating the Merkaba body tied holonomicly/fractally to the center of the Galaxy (Hunabku). Again, the techniques are based on geometric fractals, including bio-sonics and bio-phosphene algorythms. (Hint: John J. Falone said it beautifully simple...."Reality IS the imagination, in slow motion") Ananda also has a wealth of scientific links at his site...mixed in with a bunch of new age rhetoric and looping, open-ended syntaxes to charm the pants off any ardent occult neuro-linquist.
For detailed info see the links I provided to get you started. And search out John J. Falone's book for a good midnight reader.
Flying aliens and strange machines don't really interest me all that much. It's one thing to experience otherworldliness, but if all you can come back to is describing weird insect machines or strange language aliens, then most people's eyes glaze over (not that either of these are a bad thing for people), but when someone goes out of this world and returns, and brings back with them 'bug eyed bejewelled crystalline insect machines' and 'an intense incomprehensible feeling which is hard to grasp'. The first slams into everyone's cognition like a bad science fiction movie, but the second just slips past most people's interest filters because there's nothing to hold on to, and people always want things to have something to grab their interest.
speculation and experience:
so what about the five methoxylated variety of dmt? structurally, it's the same as melatonin around the carbon with the methoxyl group, and very different on the other end, with the two methyl groups of dmt I believe it's known that this as well as the regular sort of dmt are notoriously unselective about which serotonin receptors they bind to, so there's a matter of degree as well as kind: do different tryptamine analogues stimulate different serotonin receptors in different ways depending on tryptamine/receptor combination, or is it the same sort of stimulation except that it varies with respect to how long the tryptamine is in the receptor before the brain's natural machinery removes it? another question is whether there is a firm boundary between melatonin and serotonin receptors, and whether there is cross reactivity of tryptamines in both types of receptor. the other other question here concerns natural production of n,n and 5-meo-n,n .. what are the biosynthetic pathways through which these are synthesized and how is their production regulated. (end chem digression)
Language doesn't work to well for me here. To try to encapsulate in language what was essentially a nonlinguistic experience is not possible.
This might work as a stepping stone: http://www.angelfire.com/electronic/awakening101/absorption.html#N4
I listened to Brian Eno's Music for Airports 1/1, and took in the vapor, and closed my eyes.
I think when the stereotypical westerner in a box imagines nothingness or void, the notion is usually of this immense blackness, something which is forcefully and in-your-face absent of all manner of things. This was not the character of my experience. "absenceless" works equally well as "presenceless": in the first case there are no absences, and in the second case, since there are no absences, there are no differentiation which allow a given thing to be present. Also, while there was no differentation, there was no homogeneity in the sense of overwhelming sameness. The perception of sameness requires a comparison, which requires making a distinction somewhere and then performing a test, or registering a change. The processes of making distinctions or registering a change require that you be able to hold onto something. If you are unable to hold on because there is no thing to hold on to , you cannot make distinctions or register change.
There is a stated thing called 'nonduality' or 'advaita', the essence of this being that the world is like Indra's pearls, a lattice work of reflecting pearls, each one nothingness, all obtaining their properties by their relationship to other pearls. No object with any intrinsic properties by itself. People talk about this but don't usually have any day to day experience of this, and I suspect the number of people who are encouraging this as a philosophy fail to recognize the distinction between the experience of it, and the belief that one is living or percieving nondually.
The idea that objects have no intrinsic properties of their own but develop/obtain/possess/come to have those properties by their interaction with other object should have been the nail in the coffin of the philosophy of objectivism after its subjunctive miscarriage. It is interesting to note that the wikipedia entries on metaphysical objectivism and objectivist philosophy both use the word 'independent' in the first few sentences and make no further mention of it. This is called 'dependent origination'. A box of wood obtains its boxness from the particular arrangement of wooden slats. Some objectivists will say 'it is itself', the meaningless tautology on which that entire philosophy seems to drag itself onward by. The box of wood may be turned into a slide rule by various transformations of the parts of the box. But to assert that the box is composed of indecomposable primes, such as atoms, is also to say that those primes have independent natures, and this too is known to be false. Atoms can be transfigured nuclearly. Our perceptual tweezers have high enough resolutions to allow us to do such transformations. Science exists by the virtue that these transformations are consistent. High energy theoretical physics (anthropomorphising for a moment) desires to reduce the universe to some kind of indecomposable prime, but even that assumes that the indecomposable primes exist independently.
I probably have a less Buddhist take on it than does the Buddhist doctine.
This is also worth checking out:
So I had an experience that didn't quite fit into language So did other people:
You first have to define 'ultimate reality'. It is quite a journey from brushing your teeth in the morning with crusty eyes to morphing/merging into godhead. Of course the vision of brushing your teeth also tells us something about reality. As does a beer and a shot. But not 'ultimate' reality. (Name me something that does NOT alter consciousness and I'll go out and say a prayer for it) It also tells us something about the workings of the human brain. Brushing your teeth is also a DMT induced vision, as is a beer and a shot, albeit a DNA controlled bubble consensus using varying, subconsciously controlled degrees of DMT 'leakage', designed to retain our focus in this shared wavelength/dimension.
I see the brain as the hardware, the synapse firing patterns are the software, and psycho-actives and conscious 'thoughts' are like wild-card hackers cueing novelty awareness to retain our sense of interest and experience from atrophying. (thoughts tweak the synapse discharge patterns, thus morphing perception/awareness/experience) We designed ourselves to have a continuous experience of infinite possibilities and expressions. Cosmic entertainment, and someone is always laughing, or making love.
On one end of the scale is a personal experience of imploding bio-phosphene discharge, the awareness of 'illuminated being'. The rising Kundalini Serpent. At the other, the experience of complete void, yet, an active/kinetic vacuum. Kether to the Qabbalists. In between is what we can make of it all (reality synthesis) and the symbols and archetypes are like building blocks from the encoded DNA book of infinite bi-polar language/expression potential. The bi-polar binary tension/torsion stresses between opposites in cyclic expansion/contraction; fractal spin-resonance. Yin Yang. Mumbo Jumbo. Helter Skelter. Right brain. Left brain. All things polar. The current consensus 'reality' that I am here & you are there. It all certainly appears to be intelligently designed evolution...epigenisis as we used to call it.
Do you consider the beings seen in the DMT world to be real entities with some kind of independent existence, or are they more akin to hallucinations of our brains?
Anthropomorphic archetypes. They have an independent existence as archetypes only. But they are also more than that. It is very difficult for us to realize something that is both independent AND dependant AT THE SAME TIME. Like trying to imagine all existence and all dimensions of space/time are present in a void. The concept of the holographic universe or the String theory are close, but most can't grasp that idea either. They are formless, but when 'confronted' will take on form suitable/adaptable to the observer. (We are not evolved to the point yet where we can imagine or find words for 99.99% of existence, not to mention we can yet only experience less than .01% of the electromagnetic spectrum etc.) (Before you look into a mirror, who is there? Can you merely imagine looking into an imaginary mirror and see your face? Is your imagination real or imaginary?)
Intra-stellar beings of the DMT variety (Sentient or not? Who knows? A rock has 'rock consciousness' but not necessarily 'aware' of itself as a rock or anything else for that matter. But it has to have 'rock consciousness' to be in existence....be-ing. Is a UFO a sentient being? Why, within a group of people, will some see the UFO, while others may not, or see something entirely different? What about Bigfoot etc.? But I digress.) ...DMT beings will tend to conform to a collective/consensus visual form (anthropomorphic is only one option) that is determined by the DNA spin-resonance shared among the observers and/or the DNA signature of the biological chemistry responsible for the altered awareness of the observer.
I don't think the 'mind' can hallucinate as normally thought of. On the other hand, what we term consensus reality could well be an agreed upon hallucination for the 'time' being. But the tweaking of the synapse discharge patterns within the brain will certainly effect the brains' response to stimuli, whether real or imaginary, and will entertain the observer with phantom realities that may appear true and real, and trigger floods of emotion and cascading resonant thoughts, and the observer will adjust his 'reality' & survival instincts accordingly until proven or adjusted or altered otherwise.
"Throughout her dream-adventures, Alice struggles with the epistemological question of whether her experiences are real. Are our dreams and other altered-state experiences any less “real” than our waking life? Writes Rick Strassman in his book DMT, The Spirit Molecule: 'The other planes of existence are always there … but we cannot perceive them because we are not designed to do so; our hard-wiring keeps us tuned in to Channel Normal.' Rather than seeing these other planes as pure hallucination, Strassman accepts them as realities that we tune in to when in these altered states."
Hope that's helpful. I actually believe that all our experience is a product of our mind, thus the question of whether the DMT apparitions are real or creations of our mind is a bit irrelevant. It's all real, and ultimately, all good!
The pro hallucinogen lobby often seem to claim that a good trip or experience actually enhances rational thinking. Peope speak of visions of nature, energy forms, higher dimensions or glimpses of the history of the universe (also like Near Death Experiences). Much of the subject matter of trips are very scientific. Is this self delusion ? Are people watching a kind of virtual son et lumiere that is a kind of fiction or is the drug actually allowing them to see further and deeper into reality. Kekule's dream of the benzene snakes was a useful pointer for him in his work, its said that leading scientists like Carl Sagan have been fond of smoking grass. If inspiring drug experiences can foster scientific inquiry is the magical thinking just an embellishment ? Or are the experiences bogus and better avoided ?
While experimenting with Salvia Divinorum I noticed that my personality underwent a radical change. I started thinking that California was "just up the road" and that important people in the counterculture or powerful mystics were monitoring me for similarities to Charles Manson. It was funny at the time but later i pondered and realised that i seemed to have substituted a kind of simplified cartoon picture for my usual reality-based map of the world around me. It was as if I was inhabiting an anthropomorphised universe where social factors were vividly real but the overall world picture and intuitive map had had lurid cartoon oversimplifications inserted or pasted into the global reality model.
I realised that this was a bout of magical thinking that seemed to have been engendered by the drug. In short the drug was acting as a true "psychotomimetic" (lit. "madness mimicking"). At the time i felt euphoric and amused by the new perspective, subjectively i felt that i was grokking reality in an enhanced and deeply intuitive way but my skeptical cast of mind has made me doubt this in the lucid drug free state i am now in. I just did a google for "magical thinking and drugs" or "drugs and magical thinking" and have found that there is nothing online about this topic.
For some reason introducing hallucinogens makes you feel you have grasped deep and powerful truths but i feel this may be a deluded state of mind. Could there be any tests or experimental work to elucidate this matter ?
Also of course i may have been being over subjective in my interpretations of the drug effects and magically imagining that i was magically thinking. This is fair in so far as that any testimony about my perceived inner state should be questioned due to my intoxication at the time.
There used to be a saying among Psychiatrists that "You can't talk to an illness" meaning that anything uttered by schizophrenics in the grip of psychosis was meaningless babble. I suppose that many would put drug inspired experiences in the same category. This seems to annul the "psychonaut" approach of people such as Daniel Pinchbeck, journalist and author of "Breaking Open the Head". The book paints a picture of enhanced self knowledge and insights available through experiences with hallucinogens. It is a fashionable meme currently, what with Erowid and numerous other online discussion sites about drugs.
Some of us question the magical thinking involved in most religious and spiritual discourse. It seems possible to me that drugs may be an instant ticket to increased magical thinking. Could there be a chemical or neural angle to this that could be experimentally assessed ?
I hope anyone reading this can respond and we can debate it.
[Cliff responds, one book, which most people I talk to do not seem to be familiar with, is
The Antipodes of the Mind : Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience (Paperback) by Benny Shanon
If you haven't read that, I think you would find it of interest. ]
In any event, both types of experiences ('scienific' and 'magical') are frequently reported, but this difference may well be more a reflection of the person using the drug than the drug being used (intellectuals experience profound insight, 'Erowid dudes' think they can read minds, etc.)
It is also important to keep in mind that there has been very little serious research in the are of subjective human experience of psychedelics (such research had been banned for most of the last 40 years), so many if not most of the sort of subjective user reports you describe are anecdotal.
Nevertheless, it is interesting that 'psychonauts' seem often to go off into either a 'scientific' or 'religious' direction, as this is true of the world of 'sober' experience as well, isn't it? Perhaps if the precise manner in which these drugs affect the brain were better understood, it might provide some insight into the nature of 'magical thinking' versus rational skepticism in world of ordinary, sober experience.
I'm just a highschool student, but extremely interested in your writing. I am about 2/3 through "Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves" and can't put it down. It seems to strike all the areas that interest me, such as the nature of reality, quantum mechanics, and hallucinogenic substances.
I think I have a topic you might want to stumble upon: Salvia Divinorum. If you haven't already heard alot about this, you might want to research it. If you need any first-hand accounts, feel free to ask. I find that it has alot in common with the DMTverse. Heres one small account after roughly 1/3g of 20x potency Salvia Divinorum:
After consumption, it was roughly 15 seconds before I feel backwards into a fractal universe. Then, I seemed to be shooting through kaleidescopic images forward at an incredible rate. These turned into small square buildings, golden. Soon, i glanced to the side to see that there was a small, elvish creature with a control panel. It was some scientific experiment on the human mind that these creatures were conducting. I felt as if they were testing mental ability somehow. In other experiments, on two occasions the people I was with during consumption seemed to transform into these elves for breif moments, before kaleidescopic images were brought on.
The strange part about salvia divinorum is that it seems to expand your mind. For a while, I was struggling with mathematics. Then I had a salvia trip where I heard a deep, greek voice that somehow I identified as Pythagoras. I saw numbers and derivatives solving themselves out in my head, and everything around me turned into symbols and increments. After that, my problems in mathematics were gone. I have nearly aced every math test since then, and I got a near perfect score on the SAT math section. I know that this wasnt just placebo effect or just me trying harder, it was like black and white, frustration to inspiration. It seems that somehow during the experience I saw numbers for what they truly are, and since then, it has just all made sense. I now plan on majoring in mathematics.
Anyways, I just thought you might find that interesting. By the way, I'm currently writing a research paper on Pi (the movie), and I see that in your book you take an interest to it, so after I am finished if you are curious enough to read, I'd be glad to send it to you.
The first time I took LSD (which I did out of pretty much unsatiable curiousity as a result of anecdotes I had read, one example being a person 'smelling' the doorbell when it rung.)was the first time I realized how much my perception of the world was contrived and limited, and that the world changed when my mind changed, but of course the world didn't change, only my mind, and I noticed things that I had never noticed before. My conclusion being that 'reality' is literally 'in your head', how you choose to interpret your sensory information, and what information is important. These drugs break down your information-filters. Ridiculous robotic behaviors become very apparent, and you are practically assaulted with information. I recall one instance where I was looking at a lawn, and I could see, simultaneously, all of the visible insects that were crawling along the blades of grass, and it wasn't a hallucination, I could see them because anyone can see them, but we filter information in order to be able to function properly, and I definitely was not functioning properly.
The human mind is the most interesting thing in the universe as far as I know (which admittedly isn't much), and you have an interesting mind; psychedelics offer a way to hack into your mind, don't you want to know what's going on in there? I bother to write this because I believe you would have something to offer if you had these experiences yourself, anecdotes from random internet weirdos like myself don't have much of an affect on the world but your experiences might.
Hello, I am jarrod, a mild-mannered American chap. Kudos on your book Sex, Drugs, Einstein & Elves. I've dived into it and it is rather captivating, seeing as how I have dedicated the last few years to studying seriously 'nonordinary' states of reality and psychedelics as a catalyst thereto.
The mathematical, Platonic Ideal type revelations during DMT trances fascinate me. A friend of mine recently drank ayahuasca (I myself have drank the vile jungle soup once) and she had direct apprehension of the mathematical construct of reality; the 'blueprints' if you will. Hebrew characters were ever-present, even though she has no understanding of Hebrew and has only seen the characters a few times in her life. She described the characters as being the language of reality, the divine logos made manifest. She concluded that the Magi and ancients were attempting a direct, mystical grasp of the cosmos by inscribing Hebrew and the various ancient Babylonian scripts. This was a kind of intuitive understanding, but it was nonetheless one of the most shocking and revelatory experiences she's experienced.
Have you any knowledge of DXM (dextromethorphan)? [http://third-plateau.org; http://www.dextroverse.org]. It is a 'sister' of ketamine; at least, they are both dissociative anaesthetics. I am a bit wary of synthetics, and have tried ketamine but once. DXM, however, is quite a tantalizing magikal potion that my nervous system gleefully toys with.
The DXM trance is quite ineffable. It seems to instantly transport you into 'monk' awareness, or a kind of single-pointed, God-intoxicated consciousness. A friend of mine, who is quite hedonic and avoids anything remotely meditative or involving concentration, remarked that the DXM state is like being instantly plummeted into the awareness of a celibate monk that's been fasting and self-mortifying for weeks. This kind of cannon blast into Hyper-reality is exactly why religious authorities are so skeptical of 'chemognosis'; "All results, none of the work!" This is an understandable criticism, but hasn't hindered my chemognosis experiments.
DXM medicinally is an anaesthetic, and an anesthetizing of the body is exactly what happens. In this state, I have an instant grasp of the 'subtle' body described in eastern and western occultism; the various etheric bodies, or auras, as well as the dynamos of energy - the chakras. This perception is supposed to be gained thru the extremely rigorous disciplines of yoga, asana, breath control, and the various concentrative disciplines of western magic and Tantrism. A fascinating side-effect of the anaesthetizing, or dissociating, of the physical body is an instant grasp of the subtle bodies that is supposed to result only after the impulses of the muscles and the various psycho-physical impulses have been stilled. DXM takes care of that job quite efficiently; on the upper doses or 'plateaus,' one has complete out-of-body as well as near-death/death experiences. In a way, the DXM state is geared specifically for yoga and the understanding of the subtle vibratory states; not 'non-physical' phenomena, but phenomena not normally perceived by the senses. On a light dose experience, after having engaged in ascetic practices lasting for days, I had a Kundalini awakening that resulted in an enduring state of bliss and the non-necessity of sleep or food for days. Kundalini, as you may know, is the mythical serpent or goddess form lying dormant at the base chakra of the human body, near the anus. The goal of some Tantric and yogic practices is to unite kundalini -- or shakti, the femininely-attributed dynamism of reality -- with Siva, the static aspect of the Godhead. Siva is located at the crown chakra, near the pineal gland. Indeed, modern yogic teachers are correlating the pineal gland with the subtle chakric force at the crown of the head. Interestingly, the awakened serpent wrapping around the 2 subtle channels, racing vertically along the central sushumna channel, is a diagram identical to the alchemical Caduceus, designed with two serpents encoiled around a central staff.
At any rate, an understanding of the subtle energies is a lifelong pursuit, and the bizarrely alien state of DXM has given me much access. Psychedelics and hyper-reality indeed need a scientific approach, as you suggest in Sex,drugs.... I myself aspire to engage in such a pursuit.
I hope to have exchanges with you when time avails. Your ideas are indeed on the fringes of the fringes, and they quench the thirst of all those global psychonauts that dwell in subterranean caves.
I recently came across the james kent email on DMT elves and his hypothesis that these alien beings only impart information that the subject is already aware of. Whilst this hypothesis may be correct in circumstances where the vision are induced through ingested/smoked/injected DMT and the 'imaginal workspace is imposed onto the primary' my own experience tells a very different story.
DMT is a substance I first encountered in August 2005 and again more recently. What I refere to below though is a spiritual experience or experiences (since it covered a period of some seven months) and was as a consequence of intense concentration on building a model I was working on this model in Nov 2004; a conceptual model which I began to call Di-functional modelling. The essence of the model is that it was two centred (self and whole) and I was using/developing it in the context of sustainability. The model revealed a hidden component, what at first I termed the conceptual core. I began to realize that this component was incorporeal in nature (why it had been hidden) and similarly begun to become engrossed in trying to understand it…. Then it all happened.. The coming of the Spiral…
I was subjected to a cerebral movement; a force shifted from my temple area to my crown and a sensation that I can only describe as the two halves of my brain parting took place. This was accompanied by a massive increase in the rooms luminescence and the emission of a white and purple spiralling light from my crown. I experienced a flood of knowledge; more than I could actually cope with and a week later I had abandoned everything and was on a flight to India…
So far nothing spectacular or what could not be explained/dismissed by an articulate psychologists. It is what happened in India that is incredible…
I was subjected to visions, visitations by lights and 'implanting' (bad terminology) of messages…. These visions, lights and messages led me to Pakistan Kashmir. They told me to go to the temple where "the two rivers meet and start a library".. Prior to recieving these messages I had no knowledge of Kashmir yet I was given very precise and relevant information....
For this place exists.. it is in the Neelam Valley, the Abode of Goddess Sharda.. there are two rivers, there is a temple (established AD24) and it was once the most important University in the Middle East… it is similarly off limits to foreigners as it lies a few Kilometres north of the Line of Control… I was the first to get permission to visit in over 20 years… (I was broke, unemployed… etc, etc)
Now this is the stunning bit… the model I had drawn, that had caused the spiritual experience is the Symbol of Sharda, 'A central core surrounded by three circles' ..
On returning many have tried to drag me off this path but fortunately I kept a diary and notes. I didn't understand everything the lights taught me, many of the diagrams confused me, but I drew them and I kept them…
Subsequently one of the diagrams turned out to be the Ten Sefirot (I had no previous knowledge of this diagram) and more recently my feeble attempts at trying to understand the original model further has revealed two integer sequences…
The evolutionary sequence 1, 1, 4, 13, 43, is defined by the equation:
a(n) = 3*a(n-1) + a(n-2). (Ref OEIS id A003688)
The interactive sequence 1, 18, 1944, 524880, 264539520, (214277011200, , ,) is defined by the equation:
a(n)=-1/b(2n) where 1/(e^y-e^(y/3))= sum(i=-1,inf,b(i)*y^i) (Ref OEIS id A068181)
These two sequences pair up so that the evolutionary and interactive sequences form the pairs 1:1 - 4:18 - 13:1944 - 43:524,880 – 142:214,277,011,200.
I may have the second sequence wrong.. but it's a neural net.. I think it's the way consciousness works or rather the pathways between neurons. I similarly think it may be something you understand better than me.
There is more information on this (including the actual journey) on lulu.com (the gardens of Gaia)
I've been largely unable to get any feed back from anyone (Scientific or religious) but feel your interest and intellect may be more receptive. If it's not, no worries but if this does interest you then please do download the pdfs from the link below and please give me some feed back.. it's likely I will take the works off line in the next few weeks (too much walking this road alone)
Similarly the visions messages have long stopped.. (much to my regret)
if you are interested the works can be downloaded here
Messages from the Salvia Universe.
Hello. I must say that i, too, find hallucinagens extremely facinating. I have met many different entities while tripping. But i beleive that i actually made a friend when i visited the world of salvia divinorum. I also learned that a probable 2 dimensional world would be at a diagonal. well, every time i do salvia, it feels like my whole world is trapped in a diagonal, like i can feel the slant's pressure on my entire body. that in itself makes me theorize that this may be a way of entering new dimensions. well, to tell you a little more about 'henry'... i was flying through the stripe of a couch and ended up in this small living room on a massive couch. i must have appeared to be very tiny on this couch. next to me was a doll that was wearing a red and white stripped shirt. he had white white skin with big x's for eyes and black, straight up and frankenstein like hair. he spoke to me telepathically. we were just sitting there staring at the clock on the wall talking about how his mom was going to be home soon and she wouldnt be pleased to find me there.
All the while, in the conscious realm, I feel as though if i only had a pen and paper i could easily and quickly draw what i was seeing. i began asking my actual friend next to me (also doing salvia) for pen and paper. it reached my hand after a lot of struggle on her part, and i quickly wrote down the name Henry just as the door knob to henry's house started turning. i zipped back into 'reality' only to realize that henry didnt tell me his name. It just sort of came out on the paper in an abrupt way. so there's my seemingly pointless account. now, here is what i have observed and thought about as time progressed. i know hallucinagens are not a joke or to be taken lightly. i do them in a serious manner with real intent. any time i have ever returned to the world of salvia, the people look the same: pure white skin, balloon shaped heads with black floating hair, and they all speak to me through my mind- they have a straight line for a mouth that never opens. i feel as though i have formed a relationship with henry. my friend recently told me about the many interactions with saliva. we never really discussed our trips after they happened. but she basically explained how she lterally was in another world where the people looked just as i had described above. they spoke to her telepathically as well. she would meditate and take a hit of salvia. she would trip for hours about this far away land and the people she met there. she visited a little too often and told me that her last interaction with Those people was very uncomfortable. they were angry that she was using salvia as a means of entertainment. they basically chased her away with fear. i tell you this because i found it incredible that we shared very similar encounters with look alike beings. i dont find it hard to believe terrance mckenna. i would love to hear what you think...
I have just finished reading Jeremy Narby's Cosmic Serpent and thought it was a fascinating read, he ties alot of threads and ideas together including shamanism/bioglogy/mythology.
One of the interesting points in the book mentions a passage about an ayahuasca session experienced by Michael Harner, here's some excerpts from his trip:
"As I tried to accept my fate, an even lower portion of my brain began to transmit more visions and information. I was "told" that this new material was being presented to me because I was dying and therefore "safe" to receive these revelations. These were the secrets reserved for the dying and the dead, I was informed.
I could only very dimly perceive the givers of these thoughts: giant reptilian creatures reposing sluggishly at the lowermost depths of the back of my brain, where it met the top of the spinal column. I could only vaguely see them in what seemed to be gloomy, dark depths. Then they projected a visual scene in front of me. First they showed me the planet Earth as it was eons ago, before there was any life on it. I saw an ocean, barren land, and a bright blue sky.
Then black specks dropped from the sky by the hundreds and landed in front of me on the barren landscape. I could see that the "specks" were actually large, shiny, black creatures with stubby pterodactyl-like wings and huge whale-like bodies. Their heads were not visible to me. They flopped down, utterly exhausted from their trip, resting for eons. They explained to me in a kind of thought language that they were fleeing from something out in space. They had come to the planet Earth to escape their enemy. The creatures then showed me how they had created life on the planet in order to hide within the multitudinous forms and thus disguise their presence.
Before me, the magnificence of plant and animal creation and speciation-hundreds of millions of years of activity-took place on a scale and with a vividness impossible to describe. I learned that the dragon-like creatures were thus inside of all forms of life, including man.() They were the true masters of humanity and the entire planet, they told me. We humans were but the receptacles and servants of these creatures. For this reason they could speak to me from within myself."
"These revelations, welling up from the depths of my mind, alternated with visions of the floating galley, which had almost finished taking my soul on board. The boat with its blue-jay headed deck crew was gradually drawing away, pulling my life force along as it headed toward a large fjord flanked by barren, worn hills.
I knew I had only a moment more to live. Strangely, I had no fear of the bird-headed people; they were welcome to have my soul if they could keep it. But I was afraid that somehow my soul might not remain on the horizontal plane of the fjord but might, through processes unknown but felt and dreaded, be acquired or re-acquired by the dragon-like denizens of the depths.
I suddenly felt my distinctive humanness, the contrast between my species and the ancient reptilian ancestors. I began to struggle against returning to the ancient ones, who were beginning to feel increasingly alien and possibly evil. "
"Then I went back to the platform, eager to put my night's experiences on tape before I forgot anything. The work of recall went easily except for one portion of the trance that I could not remember. lt remained blank, as though a tape had been erased. I struggled for hours to remember what had happened in that part of the experience, and I virtually wrestled it back into my consciousness.
The recalcitrant material turned out to be the communication from the dragon-like creatures, including the revelation of their role in the evolution of life on this planet and their innate domination of living matter, including man. I was highly excited at rediscovering this material, and could not help but feel that I was not supposed to be able to bring it back from the nether regions of the mind.
I even had a peculiar sense of fear for my safety, because I now possessed a secret that the creatures had indicated was only intended for the dying. I immediately decided to share this knowledge with others so that the "secret" would not reside in me alone, and my life would not be in jeopardy. I put my outboard motor on a dugout canoe and left for an American evangelist mission station nearby.
I arrived about noon. The couple at the mission, Bob and Millie, were a cut above the average evangelists sent from the United States: hospitable, humorous, and compassionate.' I told them my story. When I described the reptile with water gushing out of his mouth, they exchanged glances, reached for their Bible, and read to me the following line from Chapter 12 in the Book of Revelation:
'And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood'
They explained to me that the word "serpent" was synonymous in the Bible with the words "dragon" and "Satan." I went on with my narrative. When I came to the part about the dragon-like creatures fleeing an enemy somewhere beyond the Earth and landing here to hide from their pursuers, Bob and Millie became excited and again read me more from the same passage in the Book of Revelation:
And there was a war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels. And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels with him.
I listened with surprise and wonder. The missionaries, in turn, seemed to be awed by the fact that an atheistic anthropologist, by taking the drink of the "witch doctors," could apparently have revealed to him some of the same holy material in the Book of Revelation. When I had finished my account, I was relieved to have shared my new knowledge."
"I was now eager to solicit a professional opinion from the most supernaturally knowledgeable of the Indians, a blind shaman who had made many excursions into the spirit world with the aid of the ayahuasca drink. lt seemed only proper that a blind man might be able to be my guide to the world of darkness. I went to his hut, taking my notebook with me, and described my visions to him segment by segment.
At first I told him only the highlights; thus, when I came to the dragon-like creatures, I skipped their arrival from space and only said, "There were these giant black animals, something like great bats, longer than the length of this house, who said that they were the true masters of the world." There is no word for dragon in Conibo, so "giant bat" was the closest I could come to describe what I had seen.
He stared up toward me with his sightless eyes, and said with a grin, "Oh, they're always saying that. But they are only the Masters of Outer Darkness."
He waved his hand casually toward the sky. I felt a chill along the lower part of my spine, for I had not yet told him that I had seen them, in my trance, coming from outer space. I was stunned. What I had experienced was already familiar to this barefoot, blind shaman."
As a footnote, Harner wrote:
"In retrospect one could say they were almost like DNA"
Now I find the above excerpts fascinating because recently I came upon an article by a practitioner of Falun Gong, an ancient spiritual cultivation practice from the Buddha School and he paints a very similiar picture to Harner's account. Here's an excerpt:
"It was quiet again. But behind the quietness, there was an atmosphere of killing and depression. The sky was still bright. Stars began to blink. I saw some red stuff appear from the sky and the earth all around me. It seemed like they were types of red worms, countless in number and extremely long. They were surrounding me.
When they got closer, I was shocked to realize what they were. It was something I had always been familiar with: the double helix of DNA. Suddenly, I realized that the original lives on the earth did not contain DNA. It was something imposed on deformed human beings by extra-terrestrial beings. Hidden in the long chains was the secret of extra-terrestrial beings -- to take over human bodies and escape from the final judgement. Human beings, however, were instructed by the so-called scientists to take DNA as the basic construction unit of our lives, even a factor determining everything in life.
In the process of rapid deformation and corruption of human beings, the extra-terrestrial beings have incorporated a self-duplication mechanism into the bodies of human beings so that DNA will be duplicated and passed on to human off-springs to control human beings. In recent years, some people with a devil's mind have been enthusiastic in cloning animals, or even human. They are the representatives of the corrupt beings in other dimensions. Teacher said when he gave a lecture in May 1999, "Gods will not place a Primordial Spirit inside a cloned being because it is created by human beings.
Gods will certainly not recognize it. What will happen then? An extraterrestrial will break through at this weak point and place itself as the Primordial Spirit of that being." [unofficial translation of Lecture at the Fa-Conference in Canada (Toronto, May 23, 1999)] It is the same with the cloned animals. Their spirits are all extra-terrestrial beings. The famous sheep Dolly has a spirit of an octopus-like ET."
Full article is here: clearwisdom.net/emh/articl...11863p.html
All this stuff also seems to correlate well with the whole Adam and Eve and The Snake story and the creation story of the Amazonian Shamans which has the female and Male twin in which the Male God get's tricked by the female and ends up getting strangled by the "Strangler Vine".
Pretty interesting stuff, DNA may not be the fundamental building blocks of life after all but some kind of viral control mechanicism which ties our souls to matter.
I am just about a third of the way through your book Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves and wanted to write and let you know that I find it thoroughly interesting and a great read.
I spent a few years living in Europe and learnt the language somewhat. The Germans have one word for describing both Heaven and Sky +Himmel+ which I always found to be rather odd.
On a slightly seperate note, I have been getting my minds around the concept of language related to thoughts and thinking. In 2002 I undertook an Ayahuasca journey, approximately 8 hours of hell. Upon my return i could not, and still cannot find words or language to express or to embody what it was that i experienced. After much research, I could not find one single aya experience written down that even came near to describing my own experience (this alone is psychologically tough to deal with and very lonely) . A brief dialogue with Benny Shannon (Antipodies of the Mind) ended up with confirmation that I was not psychotic (joy of joys) and that I fell into a catagory of "virtual reality" type of experiences, which less than 5% of those that undertake aya journies have. However, whilst I felt some light relief that that I could be catagorised, I was still agonised that I could not find words to express what I had experienced - as the content of my journey I could not find replicated anywhere else.
The experience was bursting through me and still is - and yet to be pregnant with such intense memories and feelings "that all made total sense" but not being able to describe them in words or language was and still is incredibly frustrating, whilst not being able to identify the experience anywhere else is incredibly fearful. Most suprisingly, whilst I was "there - in the throws of my ayahuasca hell" a few realisations, of which I will outline a few below, were immediately apparent and were communicated:
1) I remembered this "space, place" and knew that I had spent many eons there - and yet none of these memories had been available to my daily concious recall prior to my journey (though maybe a vague recollection from early childhood)
2) It felt like home
3) It was completely "alien". By alien, I do not mean the aliens as portrayed in the media i.e. two eyes, two arms, two legs (I honestly believe mankind creates media portrayed aliens more or less in its own image, but that is a seperate dialogue) - the alien I refer to and the vast space that I occupied throughout my aya journey was so unhuman - there was nothing there whatsoever related to the human experience - and thus my frustration at trying to find words that describe the experience whilst at the same time understanding it all so completely on another level not at all limited by language)
4) It was predominantly very threatening - I experienced more fear than I ever thought any single human being was ever capable of experiencing. It took me to the edge of sanity both during and for some months after the experience until I had come to terms with it. 5) For fractions of time, it was also indescribably rendered, with a shimmering beauty and mesmerizing intensity.
So much more I could say but will leave it here as family duties call.
I have lived in NY recently - your description of where you like has inspired me to take a drive out there sometime and walk the leafy streets and sit outside the library - maybe I will discover someone else on the bench, with notebook in hand and we can exchange notes.
One thing I forgot to mention - many of the ceramics, rattles and shawls or rugs produced in S. America by the tribes that use Aya include geometric patterns commonly viewed in aya experiences (very different though from the kind of geometric patterns seen when dropping off to sleep). Whilst under the influence of Aya I was able to interpret and read the the patterns and I came to the very strong conclusion that they are themselves a language in their own right - but a language that underlies or is a foundation for many other communications - similar to how many other languages stem from Latin or how mathematics is a foundation of the material universe. This geometric language though had many dimensions and depth and breadth of meaning and interpretation. When back in waking reality I could no longer read or comprehend the "geometric code" but still, whenever I cast my eye over such patterns, there is a very deep feeling that they have structure and meaning - I just wish I had the Rosetta stone - so maybe another aya journey is on the cards if I can overcome my deepest fears.
6/27/07 Dear Cliff,
Thank you so much for hosting your website regarding the impact of DMT and its' many potential uses. I have a few ideas on this phenomenal transcendent gift that we have been endowed with and I would like to share them with you. I firmly believe that DMT is not "just another hallucinogen", it is an internally produced integral part of human chemistry that acts as a psycho catalyst which has played a major part in the progression and evolution of human thought and imagination. No doubt it will even play a greater part in our evolution as it becomes recognized for what it is. In fact, the very act of recognizing it is an evolutionary step in itself.
Part of this recognition process, I feel, has to do with the actual description of DMT. It seems to me that it would be of great benefit if there could be some way of differentiating the DMT phenomenon based on its' origin, specifically by differentiating the synthetic form from that which is endogenously produced…perhaps by giving naturally occurring DMT a different name. DMT, as you well know, is a member of the tryptamine family. Similar tryptamine based neurochemicals have been endowed with "common" names such as seratonin and melatonin. Though the "tonin" suffix is derived from a mistaken assumption, the name has stuck. Why not call internally produced DMT "hypertonin" or "metatonin" (a meta state of melatonin) or "transcendatonin". This distinction has both legal and experiential implications. First of all it differentiates a federally mandated illegal drug from an internal human secretion and secondly it differentiates the nature of the substance itself. For the sake of simplicity from now on in this letter I will call endogenously produced DMT hypertonin.
Rick Strassman has fairly well established that the pineal gland is able to produce DMT (via methyl amylase) but what has not been established is the complete makeup of the pineal secretion itself. Just as ascorbic acid is the active ingredient in vitamin C, naturally occurring vitamin C is accompanied with additional enzymes and esters that enhance and focus its' ability to be absorbed and utilized by the body. That is, naturally occurring vitamin C is a synergistic compound as are most natural supplements, and most likely, the same definition applies to hypertonin. It is quite probable that naturally produced hypertonin is a complex combination of several secretions of which DMT is the major component. Furthermore, in a natural pineal gland hypertonin release the rate and concentration of the secretion may be more complex than just a simple burst, perhaps more a series of pulses at varying concentrations.
Since DMT is readily destroyed as soon as it enters the bloodstream, it would be very difficult to determine the exact nature and chemical intensity of hypertonin secretions directly entering the brain unless measurements could be taken directly at the point of secretion near the pineal gland. This fact alone makes hypertonin research a very difficult undertaking… and yet I believe research in this direction will ultimately be of equal or greater value than those who are experimenting with explosive doses of synthetic DMT.
Not to belittle the risks that psychonauts undertake as they pursue the ever expanding horizons of the human subconscious via externally consumed drugs, but it seem to me that if one is to navigate the perilous currents of the subconscious ocean they had best be equipped with an anchor, a mental compass, a map, and a knowledge of local customs. When I read about someone inhaling a 100 mg dose of DMT, it brings to mind the image of someone setting off a bottle rocket inside a closet, or of handing the keys of a Ferrari locked inside a garage to a 10-year-old….lots of noise but absolutely no direction, and, most cases, major confusion
Serious practitioners who seek a transcendent reality experience whether they be a Zen or Tibetan monk, a dreamtime aborigine, a sundance Lakota, a whirling Sufi, etc have usually spent the greater part of a lifetime preparing for such an awakening, they have prepared and honed their mental concentration so as to be properly prepared if such an event is to take place. And if the practitioner is successful it is most likely that they will have a hypertonin experience, an experience that will change their lives forever, one that will give them a chance to consciously experience a higher reality that was previously idealized and envisioned through careful training.
Most serious seekers develop a mental anchor by employing some form of mind focus technique, usually some type of meditation, in which one learns to observe, control and objectivise the psycho-babble mental static that permeates our everyday lives. Such static can become an insurmountable obstruction if it is carried along into the purely mental subconscious realm. Also essential is an understanding of the stalwart ego and the many ploys it engages to keep one dedicated to the physical body.
However, whether we are speaking about a DMT-inhaling psychonaut or a devoted satori-seeking Zen monk we are in both cases talking about an extreme situation. That is, a situation when one purposely seeks to experience a sizable out-of-body dose of the spirit molecule resulting in a life-altering experience or enlightenment. On the other hand, I think that most of us living regular lives may have experienced events that were definitely enhanced or catalyzed by the spirit molecule. There are, I believe, incidents in the lives of every day people that can be traced to a moderate hypertonin experience, even so, they don't come often, and the problem is that when they do there is no word in our vocabulary for describing the event, thus the incident is easily dismissed or forgotten. Of course, many people have had life-changing epiphanies, but how much more it would mean if they knew that this "magic breakthrough" could be traced to a secretion of an actual physical gland that we have all been endowed with, a kind of "secret passage" that has been designed in our very architecture that can allow us to glimpse into and receive inspiration from a higher plane of intelligence. Of course, most humans would scoff at the idea that there could actually be any form of intelligence greater that humanity itself. Most would choose to avoid such a humbling awareness, and thus the presence of the secret passage should probably remain secret until we are better prepared to acknowledge our place in this universe and the nature of continuing consciousness.
I have made it a point to question individuals I meet to see if they have had any major epiphanies in their lives, and usually, if I can get them to concentrate, many can recount a time in their lives when they had come to a major impasse or were at a very emotional key point in their lives of suddenly being lifted "above it all" to a plane of higher perspective and peace where everything became clear. Many times this incident becomes a major turning point in their life, other times, because the experience can become very disorienting, it ends up being interpreted as an episode of temporary insanity to be quickly forgotten and/or kept secret. Many artists, researchers and others who employ the creative process exercise this gift. Rollo May in his book that describes the state of creative ecstasy may have been alluding to the very same experience as have many other writers who describe ecstatic life-changing events as well as references to dimly remembered childhood experiences of magic and mystery. But none of these writers tie the experience to an actual biochemical stimulus produced by our own endocrine system.
I guess what I am driving at is that while DMT can produce wild OBE sensations and meetings with elves and alien beings etc. that in a gentler way, when it is naturally produced, it can influences us all in our daily lives, in our death process, in early childhood and in comprehending the continuous nature of our consciousness.
There are other areas of life in which we may have all had a mild hypertonin experiences. Night flight or conscious dreaming is most likely candidate and I believe that it involves a much smoother transition than a waking state hypertonin release. Perhaps this is because the process of wrenching consciousness out of the body while in a conscious state (which challenges the waking and ever defiant ego) is a rather violent experience when compared night flight. The experience of entering night flight seems to be a reverse process since it is a transition in which one gently becomes conscious during what started out to be an unconscious dreaming state and the interference of the ego is not present.
It seems to me that another important concern in the DMT phenomenon is the issue of verifiability. Sooner or later some disciplined spirit molecule traveler will have to be able to objectively describe or experience some physical world event or an event in a shared objective reality that can be verified by others (perhaps this has already been done). If this can't be done, then the spirit molecule will ultimately be reduced to "just another hallucinogen". It is more than that - it is an innate component of our chemistry and architecture, and it is there for a reason.
In the late 1970's after being involved in spiritual studies for several years, I experienced several incidents that seriously frightened me. In the final incident I overcame my fear reasoning that the sensation coming at me was not a threat, but a gift. As a result I had a very simple but verifiably "real" hypertonin experience that proved to me that my consciousness could exist beyond the confines of my body. This simple but profound experience changed my life, but I was still at a loss when it came to explaining it. Thirty years later with the help of Dr. Narby and Dr.Strassman as well as others was I able to put things together. Bear in mind, the breakthrough into the experience was not in the least pleasant. In no way do I regret it, all I can say is beware when you take on the ego's vast arsenal of fear inducing images and demons and its' ability to create sensations of dread and discomfort, it can be a very difficult barrier to overcome. Like jumping off the high board -once you make the leap, the rest is easy. Perhaps in the future I may be able to experience a synthetic DMT session and compare the two.
I'm glad to see that you have created a forum for exploring the DMT phenomenon and I look forward to reading your books as well as the writings of others on this issue. It's just good to be able to talk of these things with someone. Perhaps at some time in the future I could be of aid in promoting a better understanding this phenomenon. Thank you for putting your time towards this effort - it is time well spent. I would also like to contribute 40 or 50 dollars in support of your work, let me know where to send it and keep up the good work!
I'd like to share with you my first DMT experience.
The first thing I noticed upon exhaling was that the frame rate in my vision drastically changed. Simultaneously, I was experiencing a much faster frame rate (not entirely unlike LSD) but paradoxically everything seemed to be moving so incredibly slowly. I thought to myself "This must be how Bruce Lee sees the world, or a hummingbird." Within ten seconds, I was fully immersed in the experience. I had an overwhelming sense of remembrance for this true state of awareness. I didn't see any elves, but I was transported to a Mayan village circa 300 AD where I was informed, in one single Rote (Large collectives of data that are instantly"downloaded" in the astral realm instead of linearly understood in physical consciousness, according to Dr. Robert Monroe of the Virgina Beach Institute)that this is the way consciousness used to be and that this is the way consciousness will be again. Finally, I had a massive amount of energy shoot up through my chakra system all the way up through the very top of my head, a level of realization I had never before or since achieved. The bliss was so much that I was actually terrified, as if a million watts of light was being blasted through a 60 watt bulb. Yes, I was melting into cosmic consciousness, but I was doing it with the intensity of a nuclear bomb. After that, I returned to this dimension and then was transfixed by the experience for weeks after.
I look forward to reading more of your works and any correspondence your interested in. Thank you
Thank you for your quick response, I'm sure you're a busy man. The issue of drugs and society has long been an intriguing question. When will our society be ready for the beast of many heads to be unleashed? If ever?
As you said in your letter, right now use of powerful mind expanders is best restricted to “certain” knowledgeable people who only use such tools in “certain” carefully arranged settings. Honoring the whole experience with the respect and care is the key issue with any drug. Unfortunately the majority of thrill seeking users are willing to expose their brains to anything at anytime….at any cost. Drugs are like any temptation, and if there is no effort made to tame the beast, the results could be disastrous. If potential users can somehow be instilled with a sense of responsibility, then the legalization of drugs could be workable.
Probably the best one can expect from a legal/societal standpoint is an amalgamation of laws similar those that control alcohol use (age restriction) with some kind of testing similar to obtaining a drivers license that requires one to digest a certain amount of information. Drugs could be classified into different levels that one could access at a certain age perhaps ages 22, 28 and 36 at which time one could take a test to obtain a license. There wouldn’t be any difficulty in enforcing such rules using standard drug testing procedures. This arrangement wouldn’t stop anyone from trying to break the rules, it would deter them though, and gradually the licensing process would raise society’s awareness of what can be expected from a responsible use of drugs and what should be avoided. Proactively, such a proposal along with the associated education manuals could be drawn up. These manuals could then be reviewed and approved of by a committee of respected experts.
My intro to mind expansion was perfect. I was 23 with a (hopefully) mature forebrain, I was in Africa where there were no social stigma associated with drug use, in fact bags of ganja were left on my front porch regularly. Left there probably by students…. most likely with the approval of local elders (the “wazee” or elders still control the social mores in the Marakwet area of Kenya where I was stationed by the Peace Corps). Still, I took my time before sampling any goods. Then one day with a little help from Kafka and the Stones I broke into the stone…and it was a marvelous experience. I was ready and it was right. I’m not sure it was right for my son who was exposed to such things as a teenager, although he has turned out just fine. Hopefully the many talks I had with him on the subject helped him reach a mature perspective.
Now I have a question for you, it concerns the trigger that triggers the trigger. Let us suppose that it is an accepted fact that the pineal gland can and does produce discrete amounts of a DMT based substance that passes through the blood brain barrier immediately entering the brain dead center bringing about and OBE/epiphanaic realization. We also know that certain circumstances and conditions can bring about this phenomenon including deep meditation, extreme pain, or joy, early childhood, death, night flight etc. What we (at least I) don’t know is the location of the exact nerve center that sends the signal to the pineal to cause this secretion. My guess is that some unknowing brain researcher may have already stumbled upon it. If this trigger spot could be located then under controlled conditions it would be possible to stimulate the pineal and obtain samples of the actual secretion and/or observe the effects. Have you ever heard of such a trigger location?
And one more tiny question which concerns the “nectar” in the back of the throat that has been referred to in many holy texts and which is also described by the Druids as the actual presence of holy grail. This metallic tasting fluid (that I faintly recall tasting in my early childhood) has been linked to a supposed canal that allows fluid to flow from the pineal gland to the throat. Has any such duct ever been referred to in any medical text?
I have done many types of psycdelics, too many to list, but i must admit dmt has got to be one of the most powerful. I read many of the articles on this and other sites and i have found nothing that was even close to what i saw. My friend, after many attempts, finally suceeded in crystalizing dmt. I smoked with him on his back portch and after the first and only hit i took i was quickly transported to another place. No aliens, elves or giant insects, the best description would be like a night club in the netherworld. In this place my friend who also smoked it was there with me and he told me that this was what he was triing to show me. With the end of every statement, a woman came by and touched the center of my forhead and my mouth filled up with blood. I could hear funky music in the backgound, music with a bodygroove to it. The woman who kept touching me told me i belonged there, this place was my domain. It was the most erotic and carnal expierence of my life. The blood in my mouth was as real as this email, i am not sure, but i think it was their way to make sure i would remember. I still am not sure what to make of it but my friend said my expierence was unique, unlike anything he had heard or read. What do you think?
Thanks for the opportunity to voice opinions on your forum. I would like to share my personal take on what psychedelics are, why they are here (as a part of our universe), and how my experiences and personal growth or expansion from them differs a little bit from what I've read from the other researchers.
I study alternate states of consciousness or awareness. "Infinite" awareness is what some people (some creation believers) perceive as "God". We are "ascended" beings here at the bottom (4 dimensional consciousness or reality) in order to self reflect "infinite, transcended consciousness". This life is no more than the purpose of just that. THE REALIZATION OF BEING AWARE. I have been researching consciousness expansion for about 10 years and I gather these observations from my studies. I think that psychedelics are kind of the "bread crumb trail", in nature, we leave ourselves to come back home for a little while. Which is LIMITLESS, SELFLESS awareness. So, I agree, that psychedelic experience is simply shifting the awareness of the primary work place of the brain to the imaginable place. But, we may be missing a bigger picture. I don't think our consciousness or awareness ever dies nor needs a physical body in order to exist. I encourage anyone who delves into psychedelic experimentation to also research other ways of exploring consciousness or awareness through entities such as transcendental meditation and/or theta state. Obviously, meditation is biologically very different from a psychedelic experience, but, it may have a similar charge, figuratively speaking. Meditation does not necessarily have to have a "religious" basis. I, personally, find spirituality in its essence, however, maybe not everyone is interested in "spirituality" or "religion" per say.
Perhaps, people that tend to have earthly experiences on psychedelics (seeing earthly beings, aliens, trolls etc.) are people who haven't yet redirected their awareness to the higher stages of consciousness. When one sits in the lower stages of awareness, what is usually the outcome? Survival and Procreation, which is repetition of worldly existence OR a life dedicated to trying to procreate or repeat. When one REALIZES to expand, grow, and activate the third eye (or higher levels of awareness) consciously, the changes in perception of existence itself and of these psychedelic experiences can be absolutely astounding. I have experienced the transition myself. This is why psychedelics are here. To remember and remind ourselves that there is more than what meets our two worldly, repetition conditioned eyes.
My psychedelic experiences are very different now from what they used to be, prior to my internal transcendence of awareness. To transcend means to "go beyond". Before, they were quite worldly. Insects (particularly butterflies), animals, plants coming alive, etc. However, once the awakening of awareness occurred, a much different experience took place. I experienced and BECAME INFINITY and PURE AWARENESS which is very similar to what one may experience during theta state (when the body is resonating between 4 and 10 hertz per second). It can't even be explained in words. This is very important, because, an understanding of what these psychedelics are and what they are used for has a direct correlation with the mind set of the person experiencing them. "To each there own"... "All in the eye of the beholder"...YES, I understand this. However, the point I am trying to make is that when one shifts awareness to higher realms, the experience can change drastically. At least mine did.
When I experiment with psychedelics now, the sacred geometry, awareness, knowingness, and intuition I perceive is astonishing and absolutely breathtaking. Like I mentioned before, my new experience can't even be explained in words. I think the most important thing that people miss with psychedelics is the internal journey that could be taking place. Instead, they focus more on what their linear mind is trying to make sense of and ignoring just the awareness shift and internal journey itself. This is the difference.
Thank you very much,
"These sorts of ecstatic singing and repetitive exaltations remind me of subjects who took DMT and heard: "Now do you see? Now do you see?" along with singing voices. (These cases are described in Rick Strassman's book DMT: The Spirit Molecule.) "
I was just randomly looking at some stuff about DMT today, and your search result on Google caught my attention because of its mention of Moses. I am a Messianic believer, and I had a life-changing experience on DMT on August 11, 2002. I was sitting in an easy chair in the corner of a hotel room at the Clarion-James Madison in Norfolk, VA. As the DMT took effect, everyone in the room (about 10-12) suddenly turned to neon and assembled in a straight line. The first one said, "This is how it goes." One by one, they each almost slid forward toward me, kind of like on a conveyer belt and said "And then it goes like this." In the same way of the your quote of "Now do you see?Now do you see?" At the end of the trip, I could look up forever (the ceiling was no more), and then above my head and running all around the walls of the room, what looked like binary code ran counter-clockwise until making a full circuit back to me. It resembled that ADT home-security systems commercial (which had not come out yet, but would eventually a few months later). It was almost as if I was experiencing the future in person.
Now, because of my belief in the Hebrew GOD and Yeshua, I have come to the conclusion that DMT allows one to translate to the spiritual realm. I have no doubt about this. Just figured I would share this with you. I enjoyed your information, and look forward to reading more by you in the future.
While browsing on the internet I chanced upon your very informative website documenting the experiences with DMT
While I have not experimented with any drugs myself. I have been experimenting with various yoga nd meditation tehniques. One of the original ancient texts of yoga is called the Yoga Sutras and the author is Patanjli. The text states clearly that medicinal substances (drugs) can create the same states as advanced forms of yoga. However, the difference appears to be that the states brought on by meditation can be more permanent, less dangerous and more controlled.
In eastern spiritual practice it is assumed that the soul consciuouness when attached to a physical body gives various life forms. When the body, including the mind becomes old or damaged the soul consciousness seperates and goes on to other lives, also remaining without a body in the intermediate stages (in spirit form). As a spirit the consciousness is more aware, can travel across space unlimited by the speed of light etc. but cannot usually influence any physical change in the material world.
At the time of death the production of DMT in the brain increases and assists in disassociating the soul from the body. Taking DMT as a drug then mimics this process partially detaching the soul from the body. The experiences of the consciuosness are then experiences of this soul that can travel to other planets, meet aliens etc. some of whom may communicate telepathically if they become aware of this soul. Yet they would be able to pass through such a soul since it is not physical.
anyway so much for my two bits on the phenomenon incase you find some useful information in this this. Visit this blog:
I must say that after looking at your books in further detail I must get a hoard of them. Your work covers the topics in which I am most interested in. I am one of many who have sporadic high floods of DMT. Though I have heard voices of varies demeanor and tones I have yet to encounter the beings "out there". I have been transported to many wondrous places, each so magnificent that I thought I was going to die from sheer beauty and essence alone. It is so difficult to express. Currently impossible. Perhaps if I ever stabilize with the awe and majesty I could be centered enough to write clearly on the subject.
I have come to a couple conclusion on these DMT experiences. 1: the vibrations which go through the body are possibly activated through junk DNA - acting as some sort of accelerators. It always ends with the shit pouring up and over my head, then the loud crack! So I am lead to believe that the pineal gland is a sort of craft, which propels the consciousness into the realms at large. The vibrations may also serve another purpose which is to attune the energy field so as it could shift. 2: the "evil presence in the room" or "the old hag" is a guardian, or the projection of ones fear of the unknown. In the book inner Paths to Outer Space - it was mentioned as the dark side of the personality. I must go with the former. I was thinking that a creature compendium be constructed for the DMT entities. You know kinda like the ones found in the book stores detailing with the fairy world, and wizard world, and demons. Unfortunately, or rather should I say fortunately - I haven’t encountered them on a visual level.
Anyway I could prattle on endlessly so I'll let you get back to work. Contact you after I have ordered and read a few of your books.
Greetings to you Cliff,
After SWIM told me about very cool experience with Salvia Divinorum this weekend, I was reminded of DMT. I had read about it (DMT) a few years back but did not follow the search at the time. I started scanning the internet and was pleasantly surprised by your article, “DMT, Moses, and the Quest for Transcendence”. It was thought provoking and enlightening at the least. I look forward to checking out your books and SWIM looks forward to also trying out DMT.
After reading the article, I felt compelled to write this email. I don’t get to communicate my thoughts on this level often so hopefully you will read this without being bored out of your mind. Ok here we go:
I am an IT professional but am also a musician. Music is my main passion. SWIM has an underground project called Chronic Genius (BTW Chronic does not mean pot here). Bear with me http://www.chronicgenius.com ; this background info all ties into the subject matter. We were originally a band that played in the Dallas area but disbanded around 97. The band was mostly the writings of another guitarist and me (bass players and drummers are a dime a dozen). Unfortunately the other guitarist had to face some darkness in his life when his wife died of brain cancer. He fell into addiction and I hope to include him in future projects to help him find a safer path. I will send him your links.
After I met my wife she encouraged me to do music again so I resurrected Chronic Genius from my home studio(a room that looks like a mad scientist’s lab for building a brain out of wires and electronic equipment, but really just a spare bedroom). I started experimenting with electronics and approaches to music. Through the process things just clicked one day. I believe psychedelics and music have a strong connection. Although SWIM is an LSD fan, SWIM did most of it throughout college; probably enough to get a herd of Hindu cows high. SWIM’s muses at the time were mostly MDMA, MJ, and Shrooms although SWIM was never really high when actually creating the music.
I came to realize that music is not created. It is somehow just there. Free floating pieces that already exist in the universe. It is through the “creative” process that we bring whatever it was originally to the “real” world. It is of course filtered through our brains and includes our past experiences and biases when translated to a song or poem. It’s the best we can do when we bring something that “wasn’t” there before into a complete organized thought that we call a composition. We therefore can only take credit in the interpretation of these energies. We are basically messengers with groupies. I believe that psychedelics can help put us in contact with the spaces where original music resides. It’s like the original hum from the big bang. This is a leap but we ourselves could metaphorically be “songs” written by a higher intelligence. Quantum, strings, resonance…that is what we are made of. So the idea I am entertaining is that music is a translation from a higher order.
My wife at the time would go out with her friends and I would eventually not go with them but instead close myself in my studio and just listen. Not listen to music but just listen. Not just with my ears but conceptually as well. It was almost as if I was in auto pilot. I just starting putting down tracks. The lyrics have my own biases through my personality and education but the complete compositions were self perpetuating (to clarify, the original form of the songs were natural. During the production of the music there were some drum loops and other effects added). Our animals were disturbed I think by the music because it would make them edgy and uncomfortable. The music is more on the intense side. I would not say it is aggressive but it definitely has an edge. Certain instruments would play in an odd time signature over a beat that is in an even time signature. The odd time signatures after every 2 measures become even (2Xodd number=even number). It catches up on each loop. Other songs are prose over music and there are some omages to some classical composers. Not sure if the music is widely accessible but there is a small “cult” following (BTW, I strongly dislike that word).
After reading some of your reader’s comments on your article I could not help but relate to what they were saying. It was like a parallel, whether I selectively perceived it that way or not.. While working on the album, an idea came to me when I learned about GAMMA rays. The premise which may not be original is based on the paradox that there are GAMMA rays which bombard the earth daily. The sun is just a small source of the GAMMA rays. According to my readings the paradox arises from GAMMA rays needing to have a massive energy source yet they have not been able to locate this source. The GAMMA rays are able to penetrate the atmosphere and can mutate genetic material. Isn’t evolution random genetic mutation and natural selection? It can be romanticized in the idea that a higher intelligence is directing the course of evolution. So that is how the album “They Changed our DNA with GAMMA Rays” was created. It is my auto pilot journey during that period translated to music. The album is a complete thought that represents my interpretation of what I heard with my mind.
One of your reader’s comment particularly stood out to me. It was the person that talked about the Group trip with DMT. They had a trip guide and they all watched the birth of the universe. I am not sure if it is a common experience with psychedelics but one of the songs on the album describes a similar experience:
They grabbed the Stars and they set them high
They gave us fire and then the Sky
They filled the Water and they forged the Ground
They made a Spark and they set it down
I remember when the Universe died
And I remember when air was torn
And then the Fabric came together again
And then we watched as the Earth was born
I also have this playful concept of Illuminoids. I found out later from a prof down the street that they parallel the archetypes of Jung.
Ok. I have many more parallels but this is getting a little long winded and I am just babbling. If you are interested in hearing the music, feel free to download it from my ftp site. Use this (caps are recognized in passwords) to log in:
You can share the link with whoever. I decided to also share the music not too long ago (I already have another jobJ)
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and making your material public, and thanks for your time if you made it this far. SWIM looks forward to trying out DMT as well. Best regards, ^A*D^
P.S. One more song:
Dream the Dragon Dance
Snakes becoming Eagles
And Eagles eating snakes
And they Dance
Their Dragon Dance
Metaphor Maker makes the Metaphor Man
I don’t quite understand
What it is that you write
In the beginning there was uniformed nothing; for you can only have something if there were something to compare it to. Without separation you cannot have something. That was Universal Truth. That is from the perception of now because there is separation, so one can give it a name. Is there a Universal Truth now? When forms came together, when uniformity split apart, there evolved separate tendencies and separate existence. Different energies and masses formed, each with its own agenda striving to become whatever. Develop, evolve, develop, evolve, develop, evolve. And then the wonderful mind was born to reflect upon itself and the separation of itself to all things around it. Then it realized it was separate from everything else and followed its own needs separate from the needs from that around it. Then generations of minds spread and became more and more separate. Then the idea of Universal Truth faded because there were too many different minds that form different ideas and different beliefs. The earth became a big place. But then the higher minds became more advanced, and technology was born, and the World started to shrink. And the minds were in better view of each other. Are we headed towards uniformity again? There is an Order which is Disorder because it is beyond our comprehension of Order. Things become reality when we can measure it or predict it. Beyond that there is that which is not. It is not, not because it really is not, but rather it is not because it’s beyond what is; we are made up from the Order of Disorder...we became reality from that…which is not. One thing is certain everything can be considered one big organism, each affecting and dependant on one another in chains and cycles churning and turning vibrating toward something, What? I’ll tell you tomorrow. What? I’ll tell you tomorrow. Actually, just keep listening
As they Dance
Their Dragon Dance
And They Dance
Their Dragon Dance
"One thing I forgot to mention - many of the ceramics, rattles and shawls or rugs produced in S. America by the tribes that use Aya include geometric patterns commonly viewed in aya experiences (very different though from the kind of geometric patterns seen when dropping off to sleep). Whilst under the influence of Aya I was able to interpret and read the the patterns and I came to the very strong conclusion that they are themselves a language in their own right - but a language that underlies or is a foundation for many other communications - similar to how many other languages stem from Latin or how mathematics is a foundation of the material universe. This geometric language though had many dimensions and depth and breadth of meaning and interpretation.."
I have studied ceramics decorative designs from arouond the world at the beginnings of civilization, and have thought the designs were a form of language. As a ceramics artist, I know the repeated concentration of making pots transports one into meditative states. I now early cultures used drugs...I am interested in Justin's insights in that line.
James Kent wrote that he thought the characters in the visions might be the consciousness of plants trying to communicate with humans. I have studied the Mayan murlas at Bonampak where great vegatative forms (which I have been alling vegie-aliens) stand behind the warriors. A design element which I think stands for these aliens (or plant consciousnesses, perhaps) occurs in many American cultures, including the Nazca in Peru. Aliens or localized dimension-shifters, I recognize drugs were involved in the visions behind the paintings.
These veggie-aliens remind me of the concept from Findhorn (www.findhorn.org_) that animals and plants had a hierarchy of leaders, a kind of archtypal "king" you could contact to help your garden grow. Like, if rats were eating your melons, you could contact the "rat king" and come to some parley agreement with him so they wouldn't be a probem anymore. If the DMT elves are manifestations of Mother Earth trying to get us to change our ways, as Mr. Kent suggests, then perhaps this is related to the veggie-aliens and to Findhorn in that various cultures have connected with this "vibe" and "engendered" it in different ways.
Drugs, then, may be acting as a "door-opener" to facilitate this interchange.
I'm an old hippie. I hug trees, and sometimes they say "thank you" in ways I can almost hear. But I'm retired from communicating chemically. I enjoy reading the posts on your site. I would like to find out more about the elves and if actual information is being transmitted. I have friends who believe they are in communication with "others" from alternate universes...it would be nice to find out others share this experience.
For more information on what my friends have been "bringing back", please checkout the Starfield Foundation website link, below.
Love, light, rhythm and music!
I have read all the post on your site regarding dmt and the peoples experiences..
The topic of ESP / telepathy while on dmt has not really been talked about to much .. I'm 28 years old and have experimented with alot of drugs in my lifetime .. At 13 I began experimenting with LSD, mushrooms, nitrous, special k... These are all Childs play as I would learn compared to dmt ... At 20 years old I was introduced to dmt and have been a firm believer in the drugs ability to open gateways to other dimensions and send you straight into hyperspace...
The post from James Kent in particular has has me writing this email ..
I strongly disagree with his insight on dmt and how you can not gain information or data while using the drug ? He says he has interviewed and spent time with Mr. terrance mkcenna (rip) but doesn't believe that Dmt reveals any new information ? I wonder if Terrance is reading this email from heaven, hyperspace or from were ever his soul is exploring the universe at right now...
James wasn't it Mr. McKenna who came up with the time wave theory ?? For those of you who do not know the time wave theory was a theory of Mr McKennas that he had developed back in the 70's regarding 2012 .. From my understanding him and his brother (Dennis McKenna) were in south America, colomubia experimenting with ayashcua Tea ... As we all know the main ingredient in the tea is DMT .. According to his brother Dennis he says they were able to access the akeshic records (all the knowledge in the universe of past present and future events.. Edgar cayce's playground!). He said while on the tea Terrance was able to access records from the future and this Is how he came up with his timewave theory ... Please correct me if I'm wrong...
I believe dmt has the ability to show you many many things if you have the ability to believe ...
The word that best describes DMT for me is VIBRATIONS ! (and when I come back from hyperspace it's always "it's everything!!!")
Everytime I transport (do dmt , this is what I have learn to call it ) It begins with that humming in my forehead, maybe my third eye .. Then the next thought I have is Hmmmmmm I've been here before ;-) every time I transport to hyperspace it feels like I was gone so long but not gone at all .. Don't know how to really explain this other then I believe time is an illusion.. And everything is actually occurring in the same instance past, present and future.. This is the One feeling that I still have a problem dealing with while transporting..one of Last times I transported i ended up staying away from dmt for about 6 months after till I had the courage to do it again.. Being TIMELESS what literally feels like eternity Is a very hard feeling to deal with ... If that even is a feeling ?? While transporting i usually am always doing it with someone else .. Which brings me to the topic of ESP / telepathy ... Hmmmmm were to being ... My favorite place to transport is in my bed with the lights of n lil music on and usually always with a beautiful woman next to me ;-)... I love being the one to introduce people ... Hehehe... Anyways after transporting, usually after just one or two tokes however we usually end up doin it for hours some times if the person I'm with enjoys it (they usually all do) you begin to experience this connection with the other people In the room... Like having a conversation with out opening your mouth ... This can go on for hours ! There is absolutely no question in my mind that dmt opens up parts of the brain that are usually sleeping ! I first experienced telepathy while experimenting with nitrous (balloons- it's a Detroit thing ) with my friend jay ..nitrous was very vague telepathy hard to tell it was really Goin on and really questioning if ur Goin crazy or not .. Me and jay didn't talk about this experience till about a week later When I finally forgot about my ego and ask jay if he was able to hear my thoughts that night ..to my relief I wasn't crazy and he had been waiting for me to say something about it cuz he thought he might of been going crazy to .. We are now best friends .. Dmt telepathy Is crystal clear however, and undeniable ... I have experienced this phenomena with 5 or 6 different people at different times.. All to whom I am close friends with now and they have all said the same thing ... Dmt is a life changing experience !! Usually always after doing dmt I have intense ESP for several weeks ... You know when out of no were a name just pops into ur head then ring ring ring it's the phone and there calling u ?? This happened 6 times in one day before .. The best is when I call them and there like holy shit Noah I was just about to call u .. And I'm like I know that's why I called ;-) ... This usually goes on for about 3 weeks after transporting .. Dmt is not something that you really get addicted to and wanna do all the time on a weekly basis so unfortunately I don't get to keep these powers to long .. I believe dmt Is a technology that we have not yet even began to scrap the surface of or its capabilities ... And if dr Rick strassman is right and DMT is released at the time of death to help cross over to the next plain of existence.. Which the dmt experience is , another conscious non psychical plain of existence we all have something unexplainable waiting for us at the end of this experience we call life....
I've been an avid explorer of inner realms for the last twelve years of my life and over the course of my own intellectual evolution, I've acquired and discarded a plethora of concepts and theories. I first became interested in Terrence McKenna long before ever trying DMT or psilocybe mushrooms (or LSD, 5-meo-DMT, etc.) and became interested in his timewave zero software, which he claimed was dictated to him after his La Chorrera experiments (I believe) as if being instructed from without in his analysis of dynamics and pattern of change in the I-Ching, which he later graphed and juxtaposed over history. I read the Invisible Landscape when I was a young teenager and have since returned to it in my mid twenties, so I grasp the novelty theory rather well.
I was inclined to write after reading James Kent's submissions, whom I have to for the most part agree with. I haven't read all of the other submissions on your site, and at some point I'd like to get around to it, but I'm currrently writing a book, which happens to include historiographical, linguistic, ethnopharmacological, temporal (arrow-of-time/strange attractors) evidence and anecdotal psychedelic cases studies, and its taking up all my time. But I thought I'd add my two cents on the ongoing discussion.
Having not read all the submissions I can't be sure, but I haven't seen any mention of Carl Gustav Jung's theory of the collective unconscious. Kent through around the term 'archetype' a good deal, a term Jung borrowed from Plato and Philo of Alexandria to refer to ancestral psychological patterns (mother archetype, rebirth archetype, trickster archetype, etc.) passed down through the generations. From a bio-evolutionary or anthropological standpoint, one has to ask how such patterns and information are passed and maintained for tens of thousands of years, perfectly in tact now in the psyches of human beings in the twenty first century. Though I'm not aware of any study attempting to quantify the existence of archetypes and especially the collective unconscious, I would speculate such patterns and a collective psychic reservoir could be maintained through experiential imprinting onto DNA and other genetic proteins embedded with instructional coding, which passes onto progeny through the act of procreation.
So in regard to the debate over whether or not these elves, sprites, fairies and ornate, heavenly structures of incomprehensible aesthetic beauty actually exist autonomously from our everyday reality, I would have to point to an array of evidence suggesting that such claims of 'other dimensions' and 'autonomous intelligent beings' is a severe misunderstanding of the true potential of our reality as it is, as well as the scope of our consciousness and the powerful but rational potency and ability of certain neurotransmitter-like alkaloids to dissolve ego boundaries, opening the conscious mind up to ancestral information normally repressed for obvious reasons I won't get into at the moment.
So suppose I take a hit of DMT, lie back and close my eyes, and once having become chthonicically integrated in the fractal, kaleidoscopic hyperdimension terrain of the DMT realm an elf or other such 'being' approaches me offering a corpuscle of sacred knowledge. First, as I believe Kent has already suggested, the human mind has an instinctive tendency to anthropomorphize just about everything. Look at first these perhaps weaker examples of say the generic house-two upper windows (eyes), a garage (mouth), or our automobiles with dual headlights (eyes) and a slender bumper (mouth). But more significant to the point of anthropocentric tendencies is our millenia long habit of making our gods into the image of man. Of course, allegory or mythology will set it so that it was God who made man into His image, but any rational mind is well aware of the fact that man created God(s) from psychological necessity. I touch on this in my book (in progress) 'The Gruesome Tactics of Successful Lions', but I draw from Jung's 'Psychology and Religion' wherein he delves into great detail on this subject.
My first point about anthropomorphization having been made, I'd like to suggest another thought regarding the 'gift' or 'offering' or 'instruction' of knowledge that seems not of your own conscious inventory. Naturally it would be instinctive to assume that if a anthropomorphic creature handed you a strand of knowledge unbeknownst to you prior, the creature must be autonomous and of another world and of higher intelligence. But this assumption ignores what we already know of our own unconscious minds and though not empirically proved, our shared collective unconscious network of psychic interconnection. The sum total of all knowledge accumulated by all minds over a period of 100,000 years condensed into the personification of a mythic creature (elf, spirit animal, deity) would very well be so dense, a mere quantum packet of the collectivized, condensed knowledge of all the ages would be enough to blow anyone's mind.
First, consider the 1,000,000b.c.-100,000b.c. epoch (approximate) where we existed as pre-hominid primates. It is a mistake to underestimate the intelligence and even the wisdom of sentient creatures just because they exhibit less complex systems of language, no civilizations or art or science. The ancient wisdom contained in the unconscious sentient mind gathered from its symbiotic dynamic relationship with the living, breathing environment is a form of incredible intelligence that our shift to reflexive consciousness (around 50,000b.c. up through pre-history 6,000b.c. and up through the present) has sadly lost touch with. But rest assured, this resevoir of wisdom sits safely in the deepest depths of our collective unconscious.
Next, consider the 5,000b.c.-2011c epoch, which is generally referred to as 'history'. Therein lies 7,000 years of mythological, religious, symbolic, alchemical, philosophical, and scientific data gathered by several hundred generations of global populations, all of which is encoded and condensed in the shared reservoir of the collective unconscious. With both ancient wisdom, collected for perhaps half as long as the earth is old (if in fact unconscious content has survived from generation to generation from the very beginning of simple lifeforms, our common origin); and collective contemporary knowledge obtained by the innumerable pursuits of curious and brilliant minds over several hundred generations, there is no need to assume the existence of some ancillary manifold of hyperdimensionality separate from our own reality. Surely a great deal is hidden from our ordinary perception and it is through these psychedelic alkaloids, which infamously dissolve boundaries (ego, preconceptions, limitations, etc.) that we are able to see deeper, more clearly and further behind and afore with the assistance of these agents which allow ephemeral awareness of a much larger, all inclusive connectivity of mind.
When one suggests that the existence of these manifestations of personified, embodied information are autonomous and separate from our own minds and everyday reality, one belittles the true power of the mind, the vast spectrum of unobservable phenomena in everyday reality (gravity, x-rays, ultraviolet light, oxygen molecules, magnetism, temperature, sound, wind, and so on and so forth) a large amount we have likely yet to discover still, and the inextricably entwined relationship human evolution has with these sacred empathogenic alkaloid-containing plants.
Dreams, for example, offer such potent wisdom every night as we sleep, offering the precise advice we need to come to grips with certain problems or how to rid of detrimental habits. Dimitri Mendeleyev (though this is now being contended to some extent) claimed to have dreamt the arrangement of elements in a harmonious collection, which would become the periodic table of elements. Recent study seems to indicate that Mendeleyev was already onto the discovery, but that the dream refined and perfected what he could not accomplish consciously. More impressive is that of Kekule's dream, the chemist who discovered the structure of the benzene ring. While consciously working out how to arrange six carbons and six hydrogens to no avail, after falling asleep the chemist dreamed of straight chain carbon structures which metaphorphosized into snakes (recall Moses' staff transforming into a snake to demonstrate to the Pharaoh that God was on his side). The snakes danced in mockery of Kekule's efforts except for one that he noticed, which was a single snake swallowing its own tail! Kekule realized immediately what the dream was trying to tell him--the structure had to be cyclical. And aside from this dream epiphany which lent a significant hand to the advancement in chemistry, it is interesting to note the symbolic form in which it came--the snake swallowing its own tail. This symbol is empirically proved to date to at least 5,000b.c. where it is found etched into the walls of Egyptian pyramids. Jung focused heavy upon this symbol and it occurs often in his case studies and proofs. But the symbol of the self-devouring snake is not unique to Egyptian society alone; the ancient pre-Colombian peoples (the Mayans, Aztecs, Incas) also obsessed over this symbol, as well as ancient Eastern cultures where it takes the form of a dragon swallowing its own tail. It is called the Ouroboros (or uroboros) and exists as a sort of archaic archetype in its own right. My book relies heavily on this symbol as a metaphor in describing disparate phenomenon.
I myself have experienced the DMT realm some 30-40 times perhaps, with more experience with LSD, psilocybe cubensis mushrooms, MDMA/MDA and a whole host of research chemicals which were available online when I was a teenager around the late 90's earlier 2000's (2-CB, 5-meo-AMT, 5-meo-DMT, 2-CT-7, etc.). As initially stated, over the course of a decades worth of use, I've acquired and discarded various models of existence, and I've most definitely discarded the concept of a hidden or ancillary hyperdimensional manifold with hyper intelligent entities inhabiting them. I've been able to do this because I've drowned myself in obcessive research into Analytical Psychology (Carl G. Jung, Jacgues Lacan, John C. Lilly), Comparative Mythology (Joseph Campbell), Existentialism (Immanuel Kant, Arther Schoppenhaur, Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger), Quantum Mechanics (Edwin Schrodinger, Heisenburg, Wolfgang Pauli), Chaos Theory (Ralph Abraham), Fractal Geometry (Benoit Mandelbrot), Morphogenic Fields (Rupert Sheldrake), Historiography (Lucien Febvre and the Annales School, Lawrence Stone), Ethnopharmacology (Terrence McKenna), Phenomenology of NDE, Spiritual Experience, DMT Experience (Rick Strassman, The Tibetan Book of the Dead) and a host of other multidisciplinary approaches to comprehending phenomena yet to be quantified such as Synergetics, Self-organization, Synesthesia, Attractor Dimensions (Edward Ott), Shilnikov Bifurcation (Leonid P. Shilnikov), Sychronization of Chaotic Oscillators (see Dr. E. Rosa Jr) and others. This sample of studies wherein my mind has been stewing for the last decade, which makes up just a fraction of what I've come to discover, has led me to abandon naive assumptions regarding alternate realities. Although, I'll admit quantum physics and string theory and M-theory can't prove a thing without the existence of in some cases up to eleven dimensions, but I don't think we're talking about hidden universes with intelligent inhabitants. If anything these speculative extra dimensions are tightly rolled up, infinitesimally minute dimensions inextricably assimilated with our own four dimensions (three spatial, one temporal).
If you examine history, it has always been the tendency to add superfluous 'things' to make a phenomenon rational to the human mind, which eventually are proved to be non-existent and false. For example, Ptolemy in the first century A.D. proposed, in accordance with the geocentric model of the universe (solar system) that with the earth at the center, the sun, moon, and stars all revolved around the earth in epicycles of their own, which accounted for the retrograde motion observed in the sky. Without epicycles, there was no way of explaining why the stars (planets) would move across the sky in one direction, then reverse their motion (retrograde motion) and finally return to their original direction. The epicycles thought up by Ptolemy explained the backward motion, since a star (planet) is orbiting in its own circular path while orbiting around the earth, hence the effect of reverse motion. And his system predicted future eclipses and movements in the heavens almost perfectly. But despite how accurate his system's predictions were, he was still worlds away from the truth. It wasn't until Copernicus who removed the earth from the center and placed the sun in the center, creating a heliocentric solar system, which needed to epicycles to account for backwards motion. Of course, this caused an uproar in the Christian community since the Earth is God's central creation and removing it from the center was heresy. But I think you get my point.
We can speculate and assume the existence of 'extra' things 'separate' from our own reality and our own minds, but if one devotes serious attention to studies in the fields I've listed above as well a great deal more that I haven't, the mind begins to connect dots with durable lines of knowledge, which together weave a larger picture no longer necessitating fantastical, superfluous elements to rationalize phenomenology in general, or psychedelic phenomenology in particular, as awe inspiring and interesting as those wonderous ideas and elements may be. On this topic I could continue without end, so I will arbitrarily call it quits here. I find your sight very interesting and informative. I would also like to get my hands on your books. I am still in the grueling process of assembling my own and researching and writing simultaneously, but I find it noble work insofar as it may hopefully be able to contribute to someone else's understanding, and upon which hopefully they can build and improve my own ideas into their own, novel ideas. That is progress is it not? I actually came across the sight because there is a section in my book about Moses and the Burning Bush and Peganum Harmala where I've cited Shanon's publication in Time and Mind as well as many others in reference to this speculative approach to understanding the events in Exodus and ethnopharmocological data in general in the Levant. So when I saw "DMT, Moses, and the Quest for Transcendence" I had to see what this was all about.
I've added your site to my favorites. That's all for now.
I did not see the entity, but felt the presence of one, just the one that has always been with me. I have been feeling this "energy" like deja vu, for all my life. When I closed my eyes I saw the patterns, fractals, symbology, and a face, but it felt false like a mask. the face was repeated, I dont believe these faces were multiple entities, but rather like a zoetrope of images, in the fractal patterns. like a fractal pinwheel spinning a kaleidoscope. I have trained myself to become lucid and open to other such journeys, but this was such a peaceful flow of consciousness with no sense of urgency or paranoia typical to my experiences. I make masks as part of my art, and have been using masks in a way that is not unlike the rituals of yore, music and art related, celebratory and coming of age, story telling, etc.
Is this common, to feel such a connection to the dmt-verse? I am almost embarrassed to think that my path has not been led here, but has been a part of me that I needed to explore. It is humbling and seems egotistical, I hope my quest is not read as naive or as self fulfilling prophecy. I am eager to learn more.
I am an artist, musician, poet, inventor, psychedelic explorer. I didn't want to contact you until my first experience with DMT. I felt like I should experience some things myself before reaching out with silly questions.
I have made my communion to the spirit molecule. I was welcomed, like I had been there before. I even believe that a guide was with me before and after this experience. My experience was filled with very positive energies. Thank you for your writings on this matter, that prepared me as much as possible, for this experience.
I want to take my psyche studies to the next level. I am worried about doing it on my own. Urban shamans, we exist, but in secret.
I don't want to do any more experimentation on my own until I get more clarity from more experienced sources. The introspective clarity received after my dose was very omniscient. A life changing event for sure, but my adventure doesn't stop here. I am looking for my next lesson.
Would you be able to recommend the appropriate next steps for me, a suitable tutor, for student with an over achieving inner child?
Another comparison that I have on dmt to other psychedelics is as follows. Other psychs take you on a ride, anticipation, ups and downs, thrills and chills, like a roller coaster, or some recreational amusement ride; some ride the whole park to get the thrill. DMT is more direct, like freefall. Jumping out of a plane is such a rush, and it is over very fast, my experience was a minute for 15,000 to 5000 feet, but no training can prepare you for the first time and no rush is like it afterwards. DMT did that to me.
Thank you and safe journeys.
What happened? Did I manifest or witness? The most important thing to me is that there were two witnesses. This happened and I have no reason to embellish any fact. Also the friend had many cats, a tai master canmot harm animals, so he has many. All the cats were sleeping before the dmt, the cats went crazy during the 30 minutes this all took place, and all went back to sleep quickly after.