Citation: Akpsyconaut. "Extensive Research: An Experience with DMT (exp70021)". Erowid.org. Nov 6, 2009. erowid.org/exp/70021
I am here for a fast of sorts. I am not fasting of food or water, but of life. I hope it to be a serious meditation, a destruction of ego, and a learning journey into another realm. I am armed with this notebook, a voice recorder, a sleeping bag, and the DMT.
I am not convinced of an adequate dose thus far, despite many intense and informative experiences. I have by far lost count on my trips, probably 30 to 40 all in the last 45 days. Recently I have had experiences of dismantling my conscious mind in a physical way. I have had experiences of timelessness offering a unique vantage point of where this life sits on the time line. I have had all sexuality removed from the concept of love, and I have been offered access to the most ultimate, intimate wholly engrossing love that could ever be imagined. Now I hope to go further. I want a galactic journey and an intimate encounter with the beyond. If I do too much of this, and I don't come back, and the doctors say I overdosed, just know that I chose not to come back, it was too beautiful to turn away from.
Consequently, I did make it back... again and again. Over time, as I have become more familiar with this realm beyond, not that I am comfortable or familiar hardly at all, the visuals have decreased, and the significance has increased I am to the point now where even after 5 fully held hits, I am only slightly intoxicated, even after not having smoked in more than 24 hours. I do not believe that I have developed a tolerance for it, congruent with Straussmen's studies, but instead I am developing a theory that this truly is a spiritual substance rather than a psychedelic one, and further I am suggesting that I have received it's message, and therefore do not feel it's colorful mind bending effects anymore. I do not think that I will necessarily stay in this space indefinitely, but for now the message has been received.
And what is the message? The vast majority of my time spent on the other side left me speechless afterward, and aside from forgetting many of the deepest parts to to an inability to even wrap my thoughts around the experiences, I fell short of words to try and describe and explain what had happened to my girl friend, a journal, or even a voice recorder. To varying degrees I have been concerned that my dosage has been too low, and at one point I even thought it may be too high, leaving me with no memory of an experience hardly at all. The angle I see now is that other than a thresh hold of far too little, every dose has taken me over the rainbow. I think the 'chrysanthemum' of colors is a version of being spiritually overwhelmed. With the exception of a few trips where the colors played a specific role in the lesson, I have not seen the geometric color spectacle since before coming up to Alaska, the last one I recall being with a friend in Washington, the colors less intricate and representing walls to the space or room I was in. It was one of the few times I felt like a specimen, a being working some controls and watching me in a scientific fashion like he was on the job, and also excited to see me.
So my emphasis is the shock value, the places I go and the things I see are so far beyond the waking realm that there is definitely shock value. Even in Mckenna's description of the machine elves, he quotes them as pleading, 'Don't be amazed, don't give in to astonishment...' The colorful confusion is the first lesson. In order to get to the second lesson, this one must be learned. I did this with sheer will power. Experience with other drugs may help, but I did not have that advantage. A friend's first experience on it started out 'bad' in her words, the flashing colors representing trash of the modern consumer world - candy wrappers and smashed coke cans and things - but she powered through this and found a beautiful experience. Or one can do it my way, beating my head on the wall trying higher and higher doses more and more times. In any case eventually the colors fade, the intangible becomes somewhat more tangible, and the lessons can move forward.
I was then taught, or shown, confidence. Also a view from beyond the third dimension, from where I can see my greater self, the parts that don't fit in space and time. And with it a sense of where I fit in the time line, respect for times past and times to come. The ego is a funny thing. The concept of it that I have always had, and the concept that I have now, almost merit separate definitions. My classic definition places the ego as a primarily masculine concept, the thing that gets hurt next to pride. The new definition is much more encompassing, paired with the idea of conscious thought instead. The ego represents 90% of conscious awareness, if not more. It is the voice that narrates my thoughts through the conventions of language. It is that thought that drives me to Taco Bell at 2 AM when I'm not hungry. It is at many times irrational, it is easily manipulated, and - as well as in my old definition - it has been pumped up and overinflated, and has been given much more credence and power than it deserves.
It has been since Rome, since our 'time of Christ,' since the birth of Western civilization even, that the ego has been given this exaggerated importance. We left the animal kingdom with the birth of consciousness - and I believe it was necessary for evolution. We left the balance and harmony with our earth in the development of western society, and as devastating as it has become, I believe this too was necessary for evolution. The industrial revolution and Edward Bernays have turned us into brainless consumers and inflated this ego beyond reason. Now I believe it is time to hand this gift back, this inflated gift of ego, and trade it in for the next level of evolution - higher consciousness.
A side tangent of a theory, but bear with me - What if the subconscious mind was not as age old as previously assumed. What if animal instinct was separate from subconscious thought, and the subconscious mind IS the next step in evolution. What if it is sneaking up on us and those who jump aboard evolve, and those who don't, don't. Very similarly the Neanderthals - lacking the vision of future - failed to adapt to the ice age and perished, while the cave man was able to plan ahead with the discovery of fire. So too may those perish, who refuse to transcend into the spiritual realm, as our planet quickly becomes uninhabitable.
As I beat around the bush with theories being put together almost as fast as I can write (finally the bells are sounding and connections are being made), I'm sure it has become evident that ego itself was one of my biggest lessons, and it is one that will require much practice to master. Not just ego, but the separation of ego. Many times have I had it physically dismantled, personified and represented by objects in the room around me, the rafters, the ladder, the dining table. The lesson here made simple by 20/20 hindsight, was that in order to make a conscious observation of the room, and the situation I was in, it was required that I use my conscious mind, and thereby dismantle the image.
This type of lesson occurred on many occasions, the way it came on can be likened to taping a man's mouth shut and having him witness a car accident. To rip off the tape and call for help is to fail the lesson, and fail I did over and over. The way to pass the lesson for me is to hold that frozen thought, whatever it may be, hold onto it like my breath, don't think about what it is, or why I thought it, don't think ANYTHING, just hold.... and in holding have an experience that is free of ego, free of direct observation, it is the mastering of 'being in the moment' of Buddhism, it is spiritually participating, rather than physically observing. Using ego to miss the point, but have something to report when I return to earth.
The mission that I always had, and held steadfastly to before and during each trip, was to reach Mckenna's version of what to expect. This was a motive drawn directly from the ego, and it was the cause of much mental activity, mental static. I toiled over this issue throughout my experiences, almost to the very end, this desire representing the flag ship of the ego activity - not all the activity, just the most constant. This static was the primary driving force of the visuals - circus geometrical dancing images. To silence the desire, the ego, was to silence the static, and only then could I see the amazing strength, beauty, grace, and steady love that was sitting there waiting the whole time.
I locked myself in the cabin with provisions for a week's meditation and a fast of life, I was done in five hours. In that time I probably tripped at least 10 times. One after the other in a desperate attempt to achieve the ultimate dose, the ultimate experience. Each time forgetting that I was smoking by the 4th or 5th hit, or so confused in the hallucination as to lose the ability to meet the flame with the pipe, each time falling short of the epic trip. I can not go into these things with an intention, short of the desire to punch through the color hallucinating. Instead of my ultimate trip, I received my ego, dropped in a flaming brown paper bag on the front door step, fully separated from it's pedestal. It was something I could hold at arms length, see from all sides, grasp the limitations of it's dimensions, and usefulness.
This concept was brought to me in a transcendent form itself - both during and between trips as I battled the wood stove to stay lit and provide some heat. I crawled over to it one time and thought it might eat me, then stared at it contently (silence of ego) for a full 5 minutes before realizing I was looking at glowing embers, and not flames. In all soberness, the fire was burning solidly for 3 hours or more, and even so I had no rise in temperature in the cabin. This is ego bruising material to a guy that lives off grid in the woods of Alaska. One trip was a hallucination of a sudden cold snap, as I lost body temperature more extremely and more rapidly than is normal, especially for it to be above freezing outside. At the end of the 5 hours I was not satisfied. I was unaccomplished, I was cold, my mind was sprung from tripping so much. I was hungry for something hot instead of the lunchables I had packed, and I was lonely. On top of it all I had a bruised ego (to use my old definition) and it was all perfect, a lesson learned the hard way, kicking and screaming again.
DMT is crazy in that it is arguably the most potent mind altering substance in the world, and yet because it is so natural, such a part of life, there is no side effect to speak of. Fifteen seconds (or less if I keep hitting it) into it I forget what planet I am on. Within a few minutes I am at the height of the experience. Many times I experience this moment like a change in the tide. Even to the degree that the multicolored geometric patterns come smoothly to a stop, pause momentarily, and reverse direction. A few minutes later I am noticeably returning to the third dimension - sometimes for me it is like an elevator ride, coming out of the depths, one floor at a time, each with a degree of increased simplicity, and decreased beauty. Our world is not the top floor, but it is close. Five to Ten minutes into it you are back, dazed, but with enough wits to interact with people unaware of your tripping. Fifteen minutes after hitting the pipe you are 100%. Sometimes as I come down I am amazed to find that the pipe is still warm to the touch - SO MUCH had happened since I had last seen that pipe.
A good friend of mine, far more experienced than I with hallucinogens, firmly believes that if there is no poison, then you don't get a lesson from it. No pain, no gain. I do not necessarily agree with that school of thought, however after a long afternoon of crawling around the floor in a sleeping bag next to a fire, freezing and tripping, I really needed a drink. I desired to slow my mind down, allow it to simmer with all the new experiences.
Drinking also provided opportunity as a scapegoat the next day to explain to myself and to others why I was so detached from reality. The reason I was so 'out of it.' The truth however was that my ego was so detached, so humbled, so put in it's place that in every action I was taking, it was a new beginning for my recently-turned-infant-ego.
I should pause to note a significant difference with my redefined term 'ego.' My confidence has been boosted dramatically in the recent months. Confidence, ego, condescension, cockiness; these terms are each their own concept, capable of running on their own. Recently I was at a campfire after a festival. The crowd around me was largely comprised of professional musicians and we sang and played music all through the night. It was one of the most touching moments of my life. Around sunrise, a man, elf-like in features, beautiful voice, beautiful on guitar, stood up to face the rising sun. He paused his improvised singing and dropped his clothes to the ground, reached to the sky and proclaimed, 'I AM MAN!!' and then continued back into the song. It is something poorly described here, yet so beautiful there.
A few weeks after I had closed myself in the back of my camper bus, and partook in my first fungus trip. Five grams was Mckenna's 'heroic' dose, and short a few stems I could not choke down with coca cola, I had a very serious first psychedelic experience. To bring this back to my point about confidence, during the 8-10 hours in the back of the van I had the epiphany that it was true, 'I AM MAN!,' and 'THIS IS MY STORY!!' This new found confidence is of central importance to life. We are here to learn, to grow, to live.
So the day after my 5 hour stint in the Bird House had me in a particular balance - confident, but without ego. No condescending inner judgment, no operating narrative, I was fully living in the moment, helping a friend run a saw mill for my first time. I was being more useful than normal, jumping in and doing, rather than sitting back and calculating a better way. I had learned a valuable lesson, but there was more to be had.
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