Widgets Magazine

OPINIONS

Dimethyltryptamine

I’m alone, in my room, lights off, with some laid back house music playing quietly in the background. I have recently watched the documentary film “DMT: The Spirit Molecule,” based on Rick Strassman’s work in the 1990s, and, as such, am full of expectations. Stories of otherworldly encounters, self-transforming machine elves and all sorts of craziness fill my mind. It’s my first time using DMT, so I’m very hesitant and start small. I vaporize a small amount and feel some somatic effects but not much else. Then a bit more. And again. I get some visuals and basic messages but still haven’t reached the level I am aiming for. Frustrated and confused, I load up close to twice as much and vaporize it. The hit is massive and I can barely hold it in (as required for best DMT absorption), but I know that, regardless, I have absorbed enough already. I take another small toke for good measure, and things begin.

Lying back into my hammock, I intuitively sense something big is coming. I close my eyes immediately. I start to lose myself between the beats of the music. A ringing begins in my ears, getting louder and louder with every second. It starts to overwhelm the music. My body suddenly feels heavy and I’m unable to move. The backs of my eyelids are replaced by the most beautiful, intricate fractal geometry that I’ve ever seen. Deep reds and aqua blues lie in contrast with bright yellow blotches scattered amongst them. I notice that the field of visuals is moving toward me, or I toward it. As I focus my attention more intensely on the movement it seems to be accelerating faster and faster. Each square inch of fractal contains within it an entire world, ready to be viewed and explored. The depth is endless. At some point while looking at this imagery, an overwhelmingly bright white light appears in my field of vision. I gaze at it and immediately feel an intense sense of forward acceleration. As I approach it the light gives way to a well-lit tunnel and I pass through it.

I wake up in a room somewhere distinctly else. I’m laid flat on a table and immediately sense some sort of alien machinery entering both the left side of my head and the right side of my abdomen — not unlike the classic alien “probing” story but without the negative perceptions that usually carries. I don’t necessarily feel these tubes or whatever they were in the physical sense, but I know they’re there. I rather enjoyed my probing. Now all plugged in and somewhat accustomed to my surroundings, I look around and see a figure standing above me. The figure is vague in appearance but stands upright and appears humanoid. Its whitish silhouette stands out against the faded black background that is my field of vision in this state. It’s as if I’m looking through tinted glasses on a cloudy day. The entity reaches over to me and helps me off the table, taking a moment to make sure I’m ready before walking me over to another room. It seems friendly enough.

I look around at my surroundings, but there is nothing to ground me to reality. This is a totally foreign world. We reach the other “room” where another half-dozen or so entities are waiting for us. They stand in a tight circle and seem excited to see me. I enter the circle with my guide and feel, somehow, instantly at home. Peering down at me, these figures, though alien, appear to show love and compassion. They want to help me in some way. They feel like family.

Throughout this whole period, from the moment I snapped into the room until now, I haven’t had a single thought. There is too much strangeness to experience — no time to think. My mind is blank. After some time I snap out of this thoughtless state and my mind starts racing. I distinctly remember my first thought — “Is this the afterlife?” — and as soon as this entered my mind, I was thrown out of this space and back into ordinary reality, dead sober but with open-eye visuals not unlike those achieved after consuming a bit too much LSD. I didn’t bring much back in the way of personal messages or new information, but the intensity of the experience certainly had an impact on my spiritual beliefs. I unfortunately don’t remember most of the messages they were trying to give me on that first encounter, but I left with one very strongly reinforced: “All is not as it seems.” Certainly, my atheism (or whatever remained of it) was long gone after this experience.

The entity contact described above is the defining feature of what are known as “breakthrough” DMT experiences and can be very consistently elicited with even relatively low doses of DMT. The entities use a combination of symbols, colors and sounds to telepathically convey their messages. At times they appear to have hands and use very specific hand shapes (not unlike sign language) as well. These entities appear to be entirely separate from the individuals experiencing them, and this is reflected in the accounts of DMT users. This shit is not a joke.

By a more philosophical definition of “reality,” it can be said with full certainty that the entities contacted in the DMT experience are “real.” That is, they exist somewhere even if it is just within one’s mind. Looking more specifically though, it is difficult to tell exactly where it is that these entities exist, because the space perceived by DMT users feels so foreign to them that it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that it must be geographically separate from this consensus reality. Even the terminology used with the molecule reflects this: It’s called a “trip” or “journey” for a reason. But I find this sort of thinking is somewhat flawed. By assigning three-dimensional characteristic such as “distance” and “travel” to hyperspace, we fundamentally misunderstand it. Matter and physical space are irrelevant there.

I provide the following compromise: DMT removes the brain’s filtering mechanisms and allows perception into a deeper reality outside of human conceptions of space and time. Dennis McKenna shares this view. The entities then are always around us, or inside us, but we can’t usually perceive them. They are filtered out. DMT undoes this process. The entities contacted could be parts of one’s self, the spirits of those physically around the DMT user or even discarnate entities. They could be all three. The room entered in the experience above could be a space in Heaven, or my next door apartment, or a secret compartment within the mind. I don’t really know, nor will I ever most likely. Knowing that the entities simply are is enough for me.

 

Contact Noah Anderson at noah2212 ‘at’ stanford.edu.