Citation: IAM. "Launch Trajectory: An Experience with DMT & Damiana (exp97363)". Erowid.org. Oct 26, 2017. erowid.org/exp/97363
I had carefully experimented with many drugs including Marijuana, LSD, mushrooms, cactus, mdma, ketamine, morning glory seeds and several others. I had gone far with some of these substances and always found my way back with insight and experience gained. I had read the book 'The Spirit Molecule' about DMT as well as listened to many of Terence McKenna's lectures and read some of his writings.
My friend R acquired enough DMT for substantial experimentation. My friends and I were all psychonauts and always researched and proceeded with caution before experimenting with new substances. After much reading on the subject we decided that DMT was nothing to play around and that we should begin very carefully with very light doses.
I smoked 'light' doses of DMT on about 4 separate occasions, taking a cautious, small puff from a pipe. Each time was profound and unnerving as if I was glimpsing something I wasn't supposed to see. On one occasion I got an impression of golden shimmering heiroglyphics. On another I seemed to feel that I was in an operating room, surrounded by doctors. It took me days after each of these 'light' experiences to work up the courage to try it again.
One night we were passing the bowl with DMT-infused damiana. My friends R and K were each starting slow, taking light puffs. When it was my turn, on a whim, I decided to go all out with a breathing technique I call the 'Zen Bong Technique'. I took an impossibly large hit... slowly burning almost the entire bowl, breathing the thick, chemical-tasting smoke in deeply. My friends exchanged looks of surprise, then looked at me with raised eyebrows, curious what would happen. I was about to go further than any of us had. I sort've shrugged at them as if to say, 'Eh, you know, might as well!' I thought I was ready to see what this drug was all about. Yeah, sure...
About this time I felt the beginning of the wave... I realized, 'Oh shit, this is about to get serious.' I exhaled and leaned forward to hand the pipe to R, knowing that I had seconds before I was in DEEP. As I leaned forward the chair I was sitting in snapped and broke and I stumbled forward onto the concrete.
R started yelling at me about breaking his chair just as I launched into hyperspace. This, I believe, contributed to the effects which followed, in addition to the state of my life in general. Either way, it hit me - or I hit it. 'It' was a giant fractal stained glass window, deep emerald green. I shot out through my third eye, blasting through the emerald veil like a bullet. My body slumped onto the concrete spread-eagle but I was in a different universe.
What happened next was stunning. My life flashed before my eyes... But it wasn't how I thought it would be. It was in the form of photographs - real photographs that actually exist - that I've seen, in chronological order. First I saw a photo of myself as an infant being held by my parents. As quickly as I saw it it was replaced by next photo. I was a little older, held by my Dad. These are real photos that exist in various family albums. I watched myself aging... It was very surreal. There was a photo of me and my sister watching TV. A photo of us playing in the park. A photo of me in a white tuxedo in church for first communion. They came faster and faster, photo after photo. Time was speeding up. I saw a picture my sister had taken of her, my Dad, and I on a ski-lift together. More and more. I saw what seemed like 50-100 pictures.
The final picture I saw was a picture I had taken myself. I had been doing a lot of drugs and was homeless and living in a tent. I took the picture of myself in front of this tent, looking disheveled, unhappy, like a loser who had wasted his life and thrown away his family.
The contrast of that bright smiling face of the young kid in the white tuxedo to the unshaven, unkempt, drugged out hippie in front of his tent seemed to sum up my life's trajectory.
This was death, after all. There was no going back. I remember thinking, 'Oh my God...'
The final picture fell away - some 2-3 seconds after the breaking through the veil - and I was in Hell. Just infinity, solitude, with my pain and failures echoing around me. I felt the presence of God but in an impersonal sort of way. It wasn't like I was being punished. The transition from life to death was the transition from the finite to the infinite. My finite failures became infinite. It was natural. This was the fate I had chosen - what all my life had led up to. All of my decisions, my state of mind, were multiplied times infinity.
The nature of the Hell I experienced is difficult to describe. I was in a tremendously large volume of space... All fractal chaos. There are various impressions of my body being torqued and twisted at absurd speeds into incomprehensible angles, spinning, twisting, rocketing through space. I have this memory of a face - my face - protruding out of the surface of an infinite, featureless plain, my eyes spinning madly in their sockets while a thousand different and pained expressions played across the features of my face. But these are just symbols, fragmented impressions of what really happened.
I don't believe being burned alive at the stake would be a more distressing experience.
Each moment of this was the first moment. It was like being born into hell each moment. In that sense it was eternity. I had already been there for eternity. I need to emphasize that word - ETERNITY. That's different then 'a long time' or 'a thousand years' or 'a million years'. Eternity is FOREVER. It was a place more fundamental than this 3D waking life - a place where I had always been. It was beyond time.
Finally the absurdity began to slow. As I began to come down I was sure that I was brain-damaged. I knew I had destroyed myself. I wanted to tell my sister not to make the same mistakes I had made. I needed to talk to her. I crawled on the ground into the house, looking for a phone. My friends followed me, trying to calm me down. A few minutes later, when I had finally come down a bit more, my friends asked me what I had experienced.
All I could say, frantically and amazed, was, 'I exist? I exist! I exist! This exists. I exist! Oh my God, I exist!'
As I came down even more I became euphoric that I had made it back. I was grinning, almost crying. I couldn't believe I had survived.
Still... I was a different person for 4 months. I experienced profound mood swings. Sometimes reality would suddenly lose its emotional content. In a crowded room, for example, instead of seeing people in front of me, I would see 'matter', no different from rocks. I saw bodies engaged in activities but no sense of humanity to them. These experiences would last a few seconds and were rather disconcerting. The DMT imagery also affected other psychedelic use. Eating Cactus, doing mushrooms, even smoking weed would bring back images that I hadn't been able to integrate. Images of my own personal Hell. Over the months these issues faded away as I integrated the experience.
Over the months these issues faded away as I integrated the experience.
I have since grown to be thankful for what I experienced, even though it still makes me shudder to think about some of the deeper aspects of the trip.
It's been two years now. I'll never be the same of course. I no longer have any doubt that I am an eternal being - this is a certainty to me now. I value my life immensely in a different way than I ever have could before. It was something I was meant to experience and has drastically affected my choices. In four days I'm going back to college. I've still got my problems... But I'm doing something with my life, whatever that is. Maybe DMT has something to do with that.
I'll likely never smoke DMT again because frankly I don't believe that's how it's 'meant' to be consumed. I will very likely consume ayahuasca in a traditional ceremony in the near future. I even expect to find my way back to 'Hell'. I have unfinished business there. But I'm hoping to ease my way into that realm in a way that's more workable than going from 0 to 5000mph in 14 seconds AKA 5 minutes of hardcore tripping, peaking harder than you've ever comprehended was possible.
So in short... Make sure you have a sturdy chair when you smoke DMT.
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