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News DMT | Dr. Rick Strassman ~ Blasting Off with Dr. DMT

mr peabody

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DMT – The differences between oral administration and smoking

by Barbara Bauer, MS | Psychedelic Science Review | 11 Aug 2020

Research is indicating that a less efficient metabolic pathway plays a role in DMT’s psychoactivity.

Psychedelic Science Review
has previously written about the biosynthesis of DMT in living organisms. Understanding this three-step process is essential in psychedelic research, particularly because some researchers hypothesize that DMT may act as a neurotransmitter. DMT is also of interest to psychedelic researchers because of its role in the effects of the beverage ayahuasca.

But the biosynthesis of DMT is only one side of the coin. How the body metabolizes DMT in the brain is critical to getting the complete picture of the compound’s pharmacokinetics. Although the metabolism of DMT has been extensively studied, examining what is known reveals gaps where further research can focus its efforts.

The all-important route of administration

The metabolism, and therefore the effects of DMT, depend on how it enters the body and then the brain (the route of administration). People taking DMT orally experience virtually nothing. The absence of activity is due to monoamine oxidase enzymes (MAOs) in the body, which rapidly break down DMT into inactive metabolites before enough of it can reach the brain (another way to say DMT has low bioavailability when given orally).

However, if DMT is given orally along with a compound that inhibits MAOs, then some of it has time to pass through the digestive system and reach the brain before being metabolized. This is why ayahuasca causes effects when a person drinks it. Ayahuasca is made using other plants that contain MAO inhibitors like harmine, harmane, and harmaline.

Injecting (intravenously or intramuscularly) or smoking (vaporization and inhalation) DMT bypasses some of the first metabolism in the liver that oral administration undergoes. Therefore, the compound is pharmacologically active when administered via these routes.

The mechanisms and products of DMT metabolism

As previously mentioned, much of DMT that is orally administered is broken down by MAOs. The two primary metabolites are:​
  • DMT-N-oxide (DMT-NO)​
  • Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA)​
Other metabolites include:​
  • N-methyltryptamine (NMT)​
  • 6-hydroxy-DMT (6-OH-DMT)​
  • 6-OH-DMT-N-oxide (6-OH-DMT-NO)​
In the early 1980s, Barker et al. discovered that IAA resulted from the oxidative and direct deamination of DMT by MAOs. DMT-NO is produced via N-oxidation of the 2-aminoethyl group on DMT.

Research is showing that there are other metabolic routes for the breakdown of DMT. In 2014, Gomes et al. found that DMT can also be broken down by peroxidase enzymes, resulting in other metabolites including:​
  • Hydroxy-DMT (DMT-OH)​
  • N,N-dimethyl-N-formyl-kynuramine (DMFK)​
  • N,N-dimethyl-kynuramine (DMK)​
In terms of the mechanism at work, the authors stated that “Oxidation of DMT by peroxidases apparently uses the common peroxidase cycle involving the native enzyme, compound I and compound II.”

Different routes = different mechanisms = different effects

Scientists are finding out that there are different metabolic pathways for the breakdown of DMT in the brain, depending on whether it is taken orally or smoked. And, not surprisingly, the data suggest that the subjective effects of DMT depend on the route of administration.

In 2015, Riba et al. observed differences in the metabolic pathways of DMT breakdown in volunteers, depending on whether it was smoked or taken orally. As the researchers predicted, these differences correlated with the subjective effects reported by the users.

The DMT used in the study was extracted from the root bark of the plant Mimosa tenuiflora. Isolating DMT like this for the study is essential because it removes any variables associated with the possible interactions of other compounds in the plant (the entourage effect).

The urinalysis of study participants revealed that oxidative deamination was the primary metabolic route when DMT was taken orally. These people had higher levels of IAA in their urine and no residual DMT. Specifically, IAA comprised about 97% of the compounds in the urine and DMT-NO about 3%. Notably, these subjects had no detectable DMT in their urine, demonstrating the MAO degradation pathway’s efficiency. As expected, these participants reported virtually no psychoactive effects from the oral ingestion of DMT (remember the action of MAOs in the body).



Participants who smoked the DMT had higher levels of DMT-NO in their urine, showing more activity in the N-oxidation metabolic pathway. The levels of IAA dropped to 63%, and DMT-NO increased to 28%. Also, unmetabolized DMT accounted for about 10% of the compounds in the urine. This residual DMT suggests that this degradation pathway is less efficient than MAO. All the participants in this group reported “fully psychoactive” effects from smoking the DMT.

The authors summarized the study findings by saying, “As the highly efficient MAO-dependent first-pass metabolism is circumvented by the smoked route, DMT metabolism is directed to the less efficient N-oxidation allowing the access of larger amounts of the parent compound to the central nervous system.”

This study had another significant finding. Analysis of the data revealed a statistically significant inverse correlation between the amount of IAA in the participant’s urine and their scores on the States of Consciousness Questionnaire (SCQ).

The SCQ uses seven subscales to assess several aspects of the mystical experience. The researchers observed the correlation between IAA levels in the urine and the Internal Unity subscale of SCQ. They explained that Internal Unity assesses “the sense of pure awareness and a merging with ultimate reality.” The inverse correlation means that the lower the IAA level in a participant’s urine, the higher their rating was for Internal Unity. The authors summarized these results by saying,

Though preliminary due to the small sample size [n=6], these results suggest that psychoactivity depends on the shift from oxidative deamination to N-oxidation.

Finding more pieces of the DMT puzzle

Science continues to advance the knowledge base of how and why DMT works in the brain. The effects of orally ingesting the DMT-containing brew ayahuasca, despite naturally occurring MAOs in the body, is no longer a mystery.

Now, by isolating and testing DMT in humans, the enzymatic pathways governing its metabolism and psychoactive effects are revealing themselves. Studies comparing the metabolic and subjective effects of different routes of administration of DMT offer additional insights and further reveal the complexity of nature.

 
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DMT Increased the Growth of Neurons by 40%, study*

Psilocybin alpha | 7 Sep 2021

Algernon Pharmaceuticals, a clinical stage pharmaceutical development company, has confirmed in its own preclinical study, that DMT increased the growth of cortical neurons by 40% with statistical significance in one arm of the study, when compared to control. Algernon also reports that the increased growth was achieved with a sub hallucinogenic dose.

Professor David Olson of the University of California, Davis was the first to investigate the decoupling of DMT’s psychedelic effects from its therapeutic effects in an in vitro study and Algernon has now validated this important discovery with its own in vitro study conducted by Charles River Laboratories.

This initial data set is from the first part of the Company’s in vitro experiments designed to provide information on the dose and duration of infusion needed to achieve maximal cortical neurite outgrowth as well as the underlying mechanism of the drug’s action. The second data set from the study will focus on the duration of treatment time ranging from 1 hour to 72 hours and is expected to be completed by the end of October 2021.

The overall purpose of these studies is to identify a blood concentration and exposure time to target in the Company’s Phase 1 study to optimize the neuroplastic effects of DMT without triggering hallucinations.

“These exciting in vitro data provide further evidence supporting the use of DMT in stroke, and strongly suggest that low doses and short exposure times are feasible,” said Dr. Rick Strassman, author of the book DMT: The Spirit Molecule and Algernon Stroke Program Consultant.

Study Data

In the study, rat primary cortical neurons were treated with DMT or vehicle for one hour at varying concentrations, and then allowed to grow for three days, at which point the cells were fixed, stained, and examined for neurite outgrowth. Ketamine was used as a positive control. The one-hour exposure in the Algernon study is dramatically less than the 72-hour exposure window explored and reported by Olson in his experiments with DMT.

In a preliminary analysis, an increase of 40% in the number processes per cell was observed in the group treated with 30 nM DMT (p < 0.01; one-way ANOVA, Dunnett’s multiple comparison test). Significant growth was also observed at concentrations as low as 100 picomolar. These concentrations are well below measured levels in humans required to achieve psychedelic breakthrough. The positive control ketamine also stimulated process growth, although at higher concentrations than were required with DMT. Further analysis of the study data is in progress.

“We are very excited to have now independently confirmed with our own study that DMT is active in stimulating neuroplasticity,” said Christopher J. Moreau, CEO of Algernon Pharmaceuticals. “It is also vital to have shown that this activity in the neurons can be achieved with a sub hallucinogenic dose and with only 1 hour of exposure, a dramatically shorter period when compared to Olson’s study. Things are moving along very quickly, and we are looking forward to the final data set from this preclinical study and starting our Phase 1 human study as soon as possible.”

*From the article here :
 
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Therapeutic effects of N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)

by Barb Bauer | Psychedelic Science Review | 9 Jun 2020

Researchers are uncovering reasons to think there’s more to DMT than just hallucinations.

DMT (N,N-dimethyltryptamine) is a naturally occurring psychoactive molecule found in plants of several genera, including Acacia, Desmodium, Mimosa, Virola, Delosperma, and Phalaris. It is the main active compound in the beverage ayahuasca, traditionally obtained from the leaves of Psychotria viridis.

DMT has also been isolated in mammals. In 1961, Axelrod was the first to demonstrate the presence of DMT in rat and human brains. A study published in Nature in 2019 generated media coverage by finding synthesis and release of DMT in the brain of rats, leading researchers to wonder if this mechanism also occurs in human brains.

The resurging interest in the therapeutic potential of psychedelic compounds is setting the stage for more investigation into DMT. Typically, the primary area of interest for DMT research is its hallucinogenic effects, mostly in the context of ayahuasca. However, some studies within the last decade indicate DMT may have health benefits all its own.

Some possible therapeutic applications of DMT

In science, if you don’t understand how something works and what it does, it’s hard to figure out what you can do with it. Since Axelrod’s discovery in 1961, scientists have been wondering why DMT is present in humans and what it does.

In 2013, Frescka et al. published a review paper in the Journal of Neural Transmission, which suggested an answer. The authors proposed that DMT may have a role in adaptive biological processes via sigma receptors such as sigma-1. “Our main conclusion is that DMT is not only neurochemically active, but also bioactive in general. Its sigma receptor actions are not so revealing for its psychedelic effects, but rather point to a universal regulatory role in oxidative stress-induced changes at the endoplasmic reticulum–mitochondria interface.”

Building on this work, the results of a 2014 study by Szabo et al. indicated that DMT (and 5-MeO-DMT, 5-methoxy-dimethyltryptamine) modulates the inflammatory response via the sigma-1 receptor in humans. In a 2015 review article discussing psychedelics and immunomodulation, Szabo summarized, “The mentioned studies demonstrate and propose new biological roles for DMT, which may act as a systemic endogenous regulator of inflammation and immune homeostasis.”

In 2016, Carbonaro and Gatch summarized the neuropharmacology literature on DMT. They observed that the literature indicated DMT might be useful for treating anxiety, substance abuse, inflammation, and cancer. However, at the time, they cautioned, “Experimental studies have been few and it is premature to conclude that DMT may have clinically relevant uses.”

In a 2018 study using rats, researchers found that DMT (and other psychedelics) increased the number of synapses in the brain. In addition to this, the authors stated, “…serotonergic psychedelics are capable of robustly increasing neuritogenesis [growth of neurons] and/spinogenesis [growth of spines on neurons] both in vitro and in vivo.” These changes were seen in areas of the brain that regulate emotion and mood.

Lifting the veil covering DMT

Although the studies so far are intriguing, DMT has a long way to go. It faces the same stigma that has stalled research on other psychedelic compounds. However, compounds like psilocybin and LSD are being examined in a new light, hopefully laying a path for DMT to follow.

Frecska et al. eloquently summarized the overall paradigm change needed for harnessing the potential benefits of DMT: “…while DMT is a substance which produces powerful psychedelic experiences, it is better understood not as a hallucinogenic drug of abuse, but rather an agent of significant adaptive mechanisms that can also serve as a promising tool in the development of future medical therapies.”

 
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Early Clinical Research History of DMT

by Nathan White, PhD | Psychedelic Science Review | 27 Mar 2021

The psychoactive effects of DMT were discovered in 1956 by Dr Szàra.

Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) was first synthesised by Richard Manske in 1931. However, its psychoactive properties in Western medicine were not discovered until self-administrative experimentation by Dr Stephen Szara in 1956. This discovery contributed to the explosion of research regarding psychoactive compounds at the time, but like many in this class of drugs, its history of use in clinical trials has been turbulent.​

From tree to trial: self-administration experiments

The seeds from the perennial tree Anadenanthera peregrina, long used by South American tribes in the preparation of ceremonial hallucinogenic snuff, were found to contain both bufotenine and DMT. At the time, out of these two compounds, only bufotenine was known to possess hallucinogenic inducing properties. The presence of DMT within the seeds and its highly similar chemical structure to that of bufotenine alluded to the fact that DMT may also induce similar effects. To explore these effects in humans, Dr. Stephen Szára carried out the first human trials using synthesised DMT initially through self-administration experiments, eventually progressing to a group of healthy volunteers.



Through an initial series of self-administration trials taking DMT orally in March 1956, Dr Szára quickly found that the compound did not elicit any observable effects (unknowingly due to enzymes rapidly breaking down the DMT), even up to very high doses of 150 mg. In an effort to subvert the rapid breakdown, succeeding trials were administered intramuscularly, starting with 30 mg of DMT. This concentration was enough to result in observable pupil dilation and mild disturbances in perception, with the effects far more evident when the dosage was increased to 75 mg.

Within 5 minutes of administration of the higher dose, Dr Szára noted a distinct physiological response of tingling sensations, increased pupil dilation, and an elevation in blood pressure and heart rate. These sensations were accompanied by visual hallucinations consisting of icons, colourful geometry, and mask-wearing entities. At the peak of his experience, involuntary hand movements were present, and his ‘visual space’ was completely filled with optical hallucinations to the degree where he could not describe what was in his immediate surroundings. After 45 minutes, most of his ‘symptoms’ had largely subsided, and thus, he was able to describe his subjective experience.

When compared to other psychedelic compounds such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and mescaline from his previous experiences, Szára noted that the effects arrived and dissipated in a ‘wave-like form’ though the duration and the intensity of each compound differed. Specifically, the DMT induced symptoms were rapid in onset but had a relatively short duration compared to other psychoactive compounds.

A study in 1955 showed that in rats, DMT is broken down by amine oxidase enzymes with 3-indoleacetic-acid (3-IAA), the main product produced. Dr Szára found 3-IAA in both his blood and urine samples, with the concentration of 3-IAA rapidly increasing after just a few minutes and returning to normal levels after around 90 minutes. Overall, there was a distinct lack of any unaltered DMT in the urine, thus supporting the idea that DMT is rapidly broken-down following administration and provides an explanation of the brevity of the experience.

Dr Szára lastly noted that DMT invoked a unique euphoric response within him compared to other psychoactive compounds such as LSD, which resulted in heightened anxiety.​

The first group trials of DMT

Upon Dr Szára experiencing first-hand the effects of DMT and demonstrating its relative safety, within months the trials progressed to a group of healthy volunteers.

An intramuscular injection (0.8 mg/kg) of DMT was administered to a group of male and female medical professionals between the ages of 20 and 42. Subjective accounts experienced by the volunteers were recorded by Dr Szára alongside measurements of blood pressure, heart rate and pupil dilation.

Effects were felt as early as three minutes by several participants with some experiencing illusions, hallucinations, and waves of euphoria. Alterations of body perception and sensory stimuli, depersonalisation, and involuntary movements were also noted.

Verbatim remarks were also recorded with reports from one participant including: “Everything is brighter, the whole world is significantly brighter” and “’Oh, a new wave! The pictures come in such quantities that I do not even know what to do with them!”

Some physiological parameters were relatively consistent across all volunteers (including the experiments Dr Szára conducted on himself) such as slight elevation in blood pressure and heart rate, vegetative symptoms including loss of awareness, dilation of the pupils, and intensification of visual hallucinations with closed eyes. The rate of DMT metabolism in the form of 3-IAA concentration collected from the urine of volunteers was consistent with the analysis of the blood and urine of Dr Szára’s self-experiments. This further supports the rapid yet short experience that DMT induces.

The early experiments conducted in the late 1950s highlighted the relative safety of DMT, its potent hallucinogenic inducing effects, and the high degree of consistency regarding the symptoms it induces across different people. This work laid the foundation for future trials carried out by Dr Szára and also more recent clinical research from teams led by Dr Rick Strassman in the early 1990s, and Dr Robin Carhart-Harris in the late 2010s.​

UK starting first DMT clinical trials to treat depression

In partnership with Dr Carhart-Harris at the Centre for Psychedelic Research, Imperial College London, Small Pharma will soon be carrying out the first DMT clinical trials of its kind in the UK. Over 60 volunteers are enrolled over both phases of the trial which aims to assess the safety, tolerability, and how the drug is broken down in volunteers both healthy and those suffering from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). A series of objective and subjective measurements are to be carried out similar to previous trials though this is the first study to evaluate the effectiveness of DMT-assisted psychotherapy in those living with MDD.​

Conclusion

Clinical research regarding DMT has been intermittent since its initial discovery, largely due to political hurdles preventing the study of the compound. These early published studies have shown the relative safety of DMT, and now finally researchers are working to further interrogate the effects of these compounds in a therapeutic context.

 
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Nick Sand

Moving Into the Sacred World of DMT

by Nick Sand

The world of DMT is incredibly vast. What DMT opens in us is so profound that it is impossible to truly express. I have been making, using, and initiating people into DMT use, for around 40 years. I was the one who first discovered that the free-base could be smoked. It has never ceased to amaze me, nor have I ever felt that one could fairly arrive at any hard and fast conclusions about what was happening during a DMT trip. I do think that there are general rules for approaching the DMT journey such as diet, preparation, set and setting, and intention. But DMT is about the beyond. “Beyond what?” you may ask. Beyond the intellect, beyond the senses, beyond any devices and biological instruments for dealing with the external world. When you journey through the realms of the interior, the rules of the intellect and the values of the material world are not only irrelevant, but using them as yardsticks can create confusion. Tools of intellect are analytical, and as such are divisive. The processes of expression, communication, analysis, and intellect are tools for the ignorant. With these tools, we work our way out of the dark; but this ignorance is of the material world, not the spirit realm.

DMT is about unity and the healing of division, conflict, and the sickness brought about by compartmentalization. It is on a higher order of reality than the intellect, but it will weave message-laden images with any mental state or environmental input. The trick is seeing the pattern in the fabric and not getting hung up on the colors and threads. Thus, when I see someone trying to understand the DMT experience from a non-mystical, intellectual viewpoint—subsuming the whole by the parts—I am strongly motivated to share a critical viewpoint in the hope of extending our understanding of DMT and its use by traveling toward the beyond, which is its proper landscape.

World consciousness is changing and expanding very rapidly. The part that freaks everyone out is the idea that we will have to bid a fond farewell to the absolute authority of the intellect and the senses. These are the crutches of the material world. In the material world we fall down without them— we would remain as cripples. However, in the vast beyond, they are just distractions. These tools need to be dropped when you enter the ocean of consciousness, as they will only drag you down when you need to float.

When I read the excerpt in ER from DMT: The Spirit Molecule by Dr. Rick Strassman, I was struck by what I feel are a few fundamental misunderstandings that he made, and his failure to notice the crucial effect that the presence of he and his crew, as well as the overall environment, was having on his subjects. I wish to point these out and to put this type of research back into the vast perspective to which it belongs, lest this materialistic viewpoint create decades of misunderstanding.

First off, DMT is not a re-run of the X-Files. There are no aliens squiggling through psychospace to do experiments on us. That idea is just plain silly. It is fine to wonder how these perceptions occur, but it’s another matter to jump to conclusions. Wouldn’t it make sense to first examine the environmental design rather than look to alien origins? Over and over, Strassman’s subjects describe being examined by numerous strange beings in highly technical environments during the visual phase of their DMT experience. They are being examined, discussed, measured, probed, and observed. They are in high-tech nurseries and alien laboratories. There are 3–4 people moving around operating machinery according to some design or agenda.

Now lets look at what the physical surroundings are. These experiments are being done in a hospital room. There are a number of people in attendance, helping the one who is in charge, Dr. Strassman. He has an agenda and an experimental scientific viewpoint based on intellectual assumptions. There are people from NIDA, a government agency overseeing these experiments. They are labelled “Mr. V.” and “Mr. W. ” It seems clear to me that these individuals are the “aliens” represented in many of the experimental subjects’ trips. The elements of the experimental environment seem to be cropping up in the trip world that the subjects are experiencing. Why haven’t other environmental designs been considered?

One of my many memorable DMT trips (at about 0.9 mg per kg of body weight, intramuscular of the HCl) was sitting on a Persian carpet listening to a recording of Sharan Rani playing a love raga on a sarod. I had my two trip buddies with me. There were candles and incense. The room was setup as a temple space for tripping. As I arrived at my internal trip space, I was filled with overwhelming feelings of womanly love and sensuality. I looked down and was very surprised to see myself dressed in filmy harem pants and no shirt on. I had a beautiful copper-colored female body— breasts and all. I had many bangles on my arms, and ankle bells on my legs. I looked around and found that I was dancing a seductive love raga to the two musicians facing me playing sarod and tabla. We were performing in the courtyard of a beautiful Indian temple similar to Bubhaneshwar Temple, famed for its erotic sculpture and soaring towers. My dancing was an exact counterpart in rhythmic motion to the melodies and rhythms of the music. It was an exquisite act of love. It was so beautiful that when I came down, I declared that if I died right at that moment, I would regret nothing as I had experienced beauty more exquisite than I could ever imagine. Perfect love and unity. As I came down, I saw my beautiful breasts shimmer away and the bangles slide off my arms twinkling into nothing. There was a momentary ache in my heart as all of this love withdrew. As the room reappeared around me, I experienced a confusion; I could not remember if I was a sacred temple dancer dreaming I was a man, or if I was a man dreaming I was a female dancer. This was obviously a very touching and profound trip that infused my being with a new appreciation of love and harmony, something I carry as a memory and a perspective on life to this day. Obviously, I am not a woman, but I was so profoundly influenced by a woman playing a love raga that I created myself in accordance to what was entering into me from my environment. So it is apparent that set and setting are extremely influential in acting upon the DMT state, which is clearly a magnifying, creative, and sensitizing medium.

Now what would have happened if I had been injected with DMT in a clinical setting with two authorities from the National Institute on “Drug Abuse” watching me while little machines were beeping and orderlies and nurses were moving about? How different is this from the early CIA experiments with LSD? […]Theseare experiments being done by government agencies examining the use of these psychedelic substances in the pursuit of more power, money, and success (and based on the fallacious concepts of “drugs” and “abuse”). Remember, these are the same folks that rub elbows with the masters of disinformation that create absurd commercials like a frying egg in a pan saying, “This is your brain on drugs.”

The assumptions are all wrong. Dr. Strassman’s interpretation is about the recording of specific hallucinations, psychological modalities, and intellectual structuring. In actuality, the hallucinations are only visual by-products of a mystical state. What is important are the feelings and the hidden meanings you experience from entering into the vastness, and the new consciousness that can result; this is the glimpse that can open your soul to the sacred.

At the end of the excerpt, Strassman decides to “act as if the worlds volunteers visited and the inhabitants with whom they interacted were real,” so that he can show more “empathy.” It is difficult for me to interpret this “acting” as allowing true empathy. It seems more like psychological roleplaying to me. His concern that this approach might create a communal psychosis is valid, however.

The administration of DMT in these highly artificial and agenda-driven environments may very well create a warped impression of assumed importance and reality that does not allow DMT to function as it should. Let Strassman take his subjects into the forest or a temple, and turn on with them after he has mastered it himself, and I think he will find that the little alien doctors will disappear and be replaced by other mystic beings—beings that can tell you about yourself. Or you can go to a completely non-representative space of the rare “level three” state, where there is no light, no design, just the voice of God using your soul as a silent tuning fork. Alas, this is unlikely to happen, as Strassman would probably lose his job or grant, might very well be prosecuted and jailed, and worst of all, like Leary and Alpert, lose his scientific “objectivity” (another great myth).



Moving from this critical mode into a more expansive mode, I would like to address this topic from a mystical/religious point of view. The “objective” viewpoint was adopted by science as a more realistic way of describing reality than the “subjective” views filled with rigid dogma espoused by various organized religions. Actually, this understanding of objective (standing aloof from an experiment so as not to have one’s judgment distorted) and subjective (being so immersed in what one is observing that meaningful observations cannot be made) are really misnomers. Subjective consciousness can be thought of as the personal inward journey involving mystical experience and self-realization. Objectivity has to do with the outward application of the mind for the realization of materialistic goals and intellectual pursuits in the world of practical life applications—for communication and social survival.

I would like to consider this topic from the subjective point of view, to share a perspective that I feel can lead to a much richer appreciation of where one can go with the sacramental substances, should it be decided to use them in this manner.

One of the two “commandments” we had in the religious institution that we established in the ’60s called the League for Spiritual Discovery was “Thou shall not change the consciousness of another person without their consent.” On the surface, this means don’t dose anyone without their knowledge. Dosing someone without them knowing it is a mean-spirited form of violence. Our consciousness, limited as it may be, is ours. It is intensely personal. It is also our entry and connection with Divine consciousness. So to dose someone without their knowledge is to mess around with their connection with God. To do this for fun or revenge is nothing short of an abomination. It is disgusting and the height of unconsciousness. This is sin.

Now, let’s look at changing someone’s consciousness with their knowledge and permission. When one enters into the field of consciousness to explore or find God, unity, healing, inspiration, beauty, or love, one is making a commitment to meditate or work, or to take a psychedelic in a conscious or purposeful way to find one’s self or gain some hidden inner knowledge. This is one’s promise to one’s self. This is extremely personal. It is between one’s own heart and mind, and God’s. No one else’s.

When you take an inner voyage, you may be asking someone to assist you. This someone may know more about this journey than you do. This person has made the trip before. This person knows, perhaps, how to navigate his or her path without fear and stumbling. This person does not know your path. Nevertheless, a calm, loving presence while you are passing through the rough patches and sticky bits may be helpful to you, if you want it. This is your trip. Your mind. Your idea. Your freedom. You take the responsibility for your trip. This is not really social. Even if you are in a cuddle-puddle this is your personal connection with love. The other person is only a mirror, a friend, a companion, a helper.

So when someone sets up an experiment—a program with some “idea” behind it, some agenda—they are imposing a kind of mind-trip on the psychedelic experience. The environment may then have to accord with medical, psychological, or even governmental rules, precepts, and regulations. Even if the person running the program wants to demonstrate how useful and helpful these substances are, the very fact that there is an exterior organized program controlling the way in which the substance is administered interferes with the nature of the experience. Such a program in a clinical environment may produce some interesting results, but this is not the entheogenic or sacramental use of these substances. This applied program (curing, drug abuse, psychotomimetic model, or whatever) is a linear kind of thing—a control and concept modality that does not even begin touch on the true potential of what can be a very profound multi-leveled experience. It is but one very small window, a tiny part of what is possible, and the part cannot subsume the whole. Holistic, deep spiritual research cannot be authorized by its very nature. Authority does not command God. If authority is an organized and limited temporary utilitarian structure, when its use is finished, it is disposable. God is not disposable. Neither are people.

Consciousness research and exploration must always be unauthorized to be authentic. Authorization is simply irrelevant. This does not mean we cast psychedelics hither and yon all over the landscape irresponsibly. It means that this is a deeply personal, tender, passionate search for self-realization. No one can tell you this. You must learn it for yourself. This is your love dance with yourself. For anyone to diddle with the controls in a gross or even subtle way, it distorts things (to put it “objectively”). To put it subjectively, it’s simply perversion.

Let’s look at it from another angle—a scientific angle. There is a concept sometimes referred to as the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Put simply, it means that the act of observing something changes the nature of that which is being observed (in subatomic particles). The very act of just observing it. In our social life this happens all of the time.

For example, you walk into a room full of people. They look at you. You act very differently than you would if that room were empty. What might the fundamental effect of having substances administered by strangers (albeit possibly friendly strangers) who are taking notes, monitoring heart rate, respiration, video and audio taping, talking, whispering, or what-have you, in a technical, clinical environment? Obviously the nature of the journey will be profoundly influenced and changed from what it could be if the “subject” were in a natural, private, aesthetically pleasing environment. No one is going to be entirely comfortable in a clinical setting. There is an agenda here. This agenda is not up to the standard of a spiritual, friendly, and supportive environment. Strange smells, strange sounds, and the wrong kind of lighting, pervade. Past memories of doctor’s offices—pain, poking, injections, etc.—can arise. This has to change the nature of the experience. It is simply laboratory experiments with human beings being used as experimental lab animals.

The highest use of psychedelics and the empathogens is for finding love, beauty, joy, ecstasy, unity, and integration. This search for our essential inner perfection and Godliness is the spiritual search. When these substances are used this way, they are used for the highest good. Then they are sacraments, and we can call them entheogens. We must never forget, no matter how much disinformation is spread, that these substances are inert, innocent materials. It is we who interact with them and confer the variety of qualities that we attribute to them. It is we who have the choice to malign, terrorize, or scandalize them. It is also we who have the choice to treat them with the respect due to a gift from existence that can help in our search to find ourselves. And in doing so, to find the glory of love and illumination.

There may be some skeptics who say, “How did we get so deeply into spiritualism and God?” Yet, we have many accounts of elves, guardians, extra-terrestrials, and magicians that we see on DMT. What’s going on here? If we can accept imps, little monsters, and elves from this DMT spirit world, why cannot we accept God?

Let’s approach this topic from another neglected aspect. What is happening when we ingest DMT and reach this level of elves? Perhaps we are accessing the ultimate significant spirit of life when we apprehend these animated and symbolic representations. We may be intuiting the universal life code—the DNA molecule—which is found by the trillions all over the body. Perhaps the elves and imps are small subloops of information that we are accessing, which show how we can re-unify parts of our program that have gotten out of kilter. It has to come from somewhere, so why not look closer, rather than further? It seems that man’s search for knowledge started from the stars with the Greeks, and slowly worked its way closer and inward, until we are finally looking at the genetic engineering that is the basis of life. It is looking like the DNA molecule is possibly the origin of our spirituality also.

Let’s look at the feelings that occur during these visions, by examining them via a format for smoking DMT. I used to have a portable temple of very simple design—a beautiful handkerchief like a mandala, plus a candle. We’d sit around and smoke, one person assisting the smoker with matches and anything else he/she could do, like catching the pipe when the smoker went beyond physical coordination. We never passed the pipe around the circle, since that would mean you were already coming down by the time the pipe circulated again. The candle and mandala served as centering devices. As the DMT came on, the edges of the cloth would start moving, and so would the designs on the handkerchief. 2-dimensional surfaces would become 3-dimensional, independently moving in and out, up and down, relative to each other. The center would become a vast depth reaching away into infinity. The feelings that accompanied this were a sense of intense profundity, as though one had just arrived at the edge of the Grand Canyon. There was a sense of hidden inner meaning just about to be revealed. Everything seemed especially precious, and the real meaning of the word “sacred” resonated in my entire being. This is a feeling of coming into oneness with everything. It is the end of loneliness and emptiness, and the feeling of unity and completeness. It doesn’t get any better than that. In this space, anything can happen. Curing can happen. It can be accompanied by “agents,” little doctors working on you, signifying monsters, or even magicians teaching you lost knowledge. Worship and prayer suddenly have a whole new depth and meaning, because the sacred opens up the infinite.

One time many years ago in the penitentiary on McNeil Island we had managed to get a group of psychedelic prisoners living all together in one of the 8-man cells. Every Saturday night we would sit together in a circle around a little makeshift shrine, and take LSD, as well as smoke DMT. One of our cell mates, whom we could not dislodge from the cell, was an exception. He was a Mafia hitman. Sick as he was, he eventually gave it a try. The night he smoked DMT he came out of it with a look of astonishment and awe, and he said, “That’s the first time I’ve gone to church in 30 years.” Even this stone-cold killer could recognize the sacred. DMT creates a well-spring into a type of infinite space. You can feel and taste it, as it moves through your whole being like a cool refreshing breeze on a hot sticky day. Like a mother’s soothing touch on your fevered brow, but much deeper and more profound. You can feel the wind of the Divine blowing through your soul. Not every time—it is a trial and error process of finding the best moment, the best preparation, a moment when you are already in a great space. Then you can catapult into the vastness of Godliness, and this is the highest fulfillment in life.

So much time is wasted trying to find a rational excuse for using the psychedelics. A use that can open the door for government approval. Let’s cure some junkies of their habit. What for? The government-backed prosecution of drug users creates the problem. The problem is fictional. So we are going to use a sacrament to cure a non-existent problem? It has been said that the psychedelic voyage is a trip from wellness to even greater wellness. I agree. To use these sacraments only in a perverse application is to bring them down to a much lower level than their potential. What my experience indicates is that the most profound way to use psychedelics is to create ideal, healthy, high-energy environments with people who are in top form—then you will be able to approach the highest. Yes, the sacraments are curative and can be used that way, but it is all about curing, on any level.

Look at it as though consciousness were a set of stairs. Each stair represents a higher level of health, integration, and preparedness. At the bottom one can use the psychedelics with beer, opium, and cocaine to have a wilder party. One can use them to lose one’s self, have great sex, etc. Fine and good; nothing really wrong, if that’s what you want to do—it beats shooting people and raping the environment! This is, however, a low level of consciousness. Then you go up a few levels and you think that you can do some good with these compounds. Let’s use them for studying madness or curing addiction. Still a pretty low level of consciousness and no real commitment to personal development. This use is directed outward, not inward. Change comes from within—it can never be imposed from the outside. The next step up it occurs that maybe you could use psychedelics for finding answers to questions in your life, perhaps even for vision questing. Now we’re beginning to start on a more consciousness-oriented trip. But how are we doing it? Are we really arranging it so that we are creating an environment that unequivocally sets the stage for a leap into consciousness, or are we programming the trip with interruptions (telephone calls, visitors)? The purer our intention, the greater the possible results become. It can be quite subtle. You cannot plan it all out beyond a certain point or it becomes a control trip. You cannot program out spontaneity, but you can be intelligent and sensitive, and remember not to make the same mistake too many times in a row. Then you can use the psychedelics as an adjunct to tantra, meditation and/or yoga, devoting your entire trip to learning to go deep in thesedisciplines while continuing these practices on a long-term basis. This is the highest, most visionary, and most productive level. From whatever level you begin, the psychedelics will enhance, intensify, deepen, or broaden your experience, but they are working with the level of consciousness you provide them.



I have been using psychedelics for over 40 years productively and creatively. Of course, how I take them has changed over the years, otherwise it would be senseless repetition. Many people, especially youngsters, take them for a while, change from that experience a bit, and then turn away without discovering the staircase effect that is the practice of consciously choosing the highest level of existence possible at that time of your life, and launching your trip from that place. Even less known is that DMT, according to your readiness, will manifest on one of three levels: 1) the design and symbol level; 2) the messenger level; and 3) an ineffable level of total communion with the Mystery.

The saddest thing is to waste these potentials when experimenting with this truly great psychedelic. To hear of doctors dancing on government’s strings for carrots of money, power and prestige, while cringing from whips of criticism and disenfranchisement, during the very act of turning someone on and polluting their trip with this nonsense, strikes me as the height of unconsciousness. If this is not appropriate behavior for a curandero, how is this acceptable for a doctor in a modern society?

The proof of the pudding is that Strassman’s subjects have formed a support group because they thought that they might be losing their minds! What they need is an entirely supportive environment and free access to more DMT so that they can create their own sacred space away from government agents and all of that paranoid and polluting programming that occurs in “authorized” settings.

Unauthorized settings are free settings. Authority is slavery. Only in a free and supportive environment of grace and love, aesthetic and compassionate caring, can this sacrament be used to attain the highest. The freedom to practice this fundamental religious use of DMT must be found again.

Once there was a time when we could gather together lovingly, and peacefully take sacraments together. Hardly anyone remembers that time now. The ambience of government terrorism against psychedelics produces a very different set and setting. I was a guide at the Millbrook League for Spiritual Discovery. This was a legally-incorporated religion whose charter included the use of psychedelic sacraments. When one night the door was criminally kicked in by G. Gordon Liddy (now convicted burglar of Watergate infamy), that changed forever. Overnight the quality of magic that we had created was invested with fear. Although nothing illegal had been found and psychedelics had not yet been scheduled, the reign of terror had begun. The Inquisition had arrived. It is flourishing even more now. The negative effects of the government-supported substances of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine are more than a hundred times worse than all illegal drugs together. (If you consider only the psychedelics, empathogens, and herbs such as Cannabis, these government supported drugs are thousands of times more harmful.) Yet we are criminals, and soon we may go to federal prison for only talking or writing about scheduled plants and compounds!

The Bill of Rights is dead. No religious freedom. No free speech. No right of association. No right of assembly. The people who call us “druggies” are the true criminals. Explorers of consciousness are persecuted, jailed, and vilified by the people in charge of this inquisition—hypocrites, who are rarely called “druggies,” despite their frequent addictions to alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine (some of the most consciousness lowering drugs known to man). These “drug warriors” fear expanded consciousness because it exposes the lies and perversions of their loveless and violent lives. In desperate acts of self-serving stupidity, they blame others for the very sins of which they would rid themselves. Although the consciousness explorers are the victims of this reign of terror, it has nothing to do with us. It is just the mindless raging of the beast. It is important to remain transparent and cloud-like in the face of this. This incredibly vast wash of lies and cruelty must be ignored. This is their battle with themselves. Do not be washed away in the waves of disinformation and lies. Stay centered. Know thyself. Stay with that thread of truth and love that you have discovered within; even though it fades in and out, it is your inner truth and the doorway to your own authority.

I am a “criminal.” I am a fugitive. I have been for 40 years. But I have been true to myself and my friends. It has been hard. But I have a vision. Someday, somewhere, I will establish the University for Psychedelic Studies. There will be a department of psychedelic botany and chemistry. There will be a beautiful park and temple with lawns and ponds, peacocks, swans, and wildlife walking fearlessly. There will be pavilions for initiation. There will be a department of entheogenic worship. There will be a school of psychedelic medicine and curing. There will be acres of psychedelic herb gardens. There will be places to dance and places to meditate. There will be a school of yoga, tantra, and a “Mystery” school. A school for breathing, for art, music, for meditation, for ecological and planetary studies as well as applications. A school for love and one for beauty. There will be no government inspectors or police. They will not be necessary. There will be guides, friends, helpers, and lovers. On the new level of consciousness struggling to be born now, this will be how it is, for the old way of competition, murder, and exploitation is fast becoming an impossible situation. This planet must be lovingly cared for or we are all doomed. We are the guardians of life and planetary harmony. This is where we are going. That is what I have seen in my visions, and that is what I have been working for all of my life. That is what I will continue to do until my last breath.

Care to dance?

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Just a wee bit more... about DMT

by Nick Sand

Consciousness is very flexible. Like a gas, it will fill any container in the form of that container. It is as ubiquitous as the universe, subsuming and interweaving with the fabric of nothingness, matter, and energy. This fabric is a naturally evolving pattern out of which we and the cosmos are woven. This for me is the level on which DMT functions. We can focus on any part of this pattern, minuscule or cosmic, depending on our orientation, environment, expectations, fears, and if we are dedicated to having a transcendent vision, our intention.

By and large, it strikes me that intention is the basic formative influence on the type of vision one will experience on DMT. Of all the psychedelics, DMT might be the most visionary one. I have many reasons for this declaration: DMT is produced by the body; it is found in hundreds of different plants and animals all over the planet; its tryptamine structure is woven into numerous important psychedelics (psilocybin/psilocin, LSD, ibogaine, the ß-carbolines, etc.); and it is one of the most purifying and curing of the psychedelics. It is also very close in structure to serotonin, possibly the most important nerve impulse facilitator. This is not to say that mescaline, LSD, psilocybin, et al., are not important; it just strikes me that DMT is the touchstone of the psychedelics. The body and consciousness recognize DMT and work with it almost instantaneously. The visions it produces are here and gone in a matter of minutes by clock time, but by our existential clock, time has been transformed—by the concentrated and incredible fullness of the experience—into eons. All this and only 15 minutes have passed? Wow!

We create our reality. We are all individually responsible to ourselves for the reality we create, whether we are miserable or joyous, this is our choice—our design. We are not alone; we exist as an integral part of all life, breathing, pulsating, vibrating, giving off plant food, absorbing animal food, in a multi-level fabric of incredibly beautiful designs and patterns. This is what DMT shows us—those patterns, as much as we can absorb at one time—to realign us to the sacred design of which we are a part. DMT works with the energy that surrounds and enters you. If you are an artist, you are likely to see an array of color and design that will fascinate and delight you. If you are a psychiatrist, you may interpret what is happening according to the psychological fashions or, perhaps, as a model of psychosis. Demons, doctors, elves, guardians, magicians, guides and Gods are the manner in which we sometimes manifest this paradigm-revealing substance. Is it we who are choosing the manifestation, or the DMT? Where do these creatures come from? Why do we see them? To what good effect can we put these visions? These are a few of the questions that I needed to answer for myself during the 40 years in which I made and used DMT. From the first time I made it and took it, I knew I had discovered something so deep, so magnificent, so profound, that it blew away everything I had ever experienced before. Period.


Nick and Usha Sand

I have taken DMT thousands of times. I never had two trips that were the same. Mostly I had good trips—only a few were unpleasant. But I figured out why; it was always a mistake in preparation, set, or setting. I began to investigate and plan how to best use this divine sacrament to find my place in the Grand Design. The best trips always seemed to come when I was in the best place. If I had used Cannabis, alcohol, or amphetamine in the day preceding a DMT journey, I usually had the more unpleasant type of trip. Once after an intramuscular injection of 60 mg of DMT, following a bit of Cannabis use, overeating junk food, and an inappropriate setting, I had a stressful period building up to the trip’s peak.

It put me right into a field of pretty cartoon flowers, with little faces waving their petals and leaves in unison, singing together, “You know that this is not the way to use DMT.” I looked up and saw the monolith from 2001 hovering above me, massive and dark; then instantly it came crashing down on me again and again, beating me down and spasming my whole body with cramps. I crawled to the toilet to puke huge amounts of vomit. The toilet bowl was crawling with mysterious interlocking hieroglyphs that seemed to be the keys to the universe. This was a clear message to enter into the DMT space with my system clean and no hectic social scene going on around me.

Another time I had been travelling in México, and wound up on a deserted beach in Zihuatanejo, leaning against a huge rock. I was tired, and I had just had a fight with my wife. I went for a walk and sat down against this rock at the end of the beach to smoke some DMT. It was a dark night, and a distant street light cast a wan light over the sand, as soft sounds of the jungle surrounded me. I lit up my DMT pipe and took 3 or 4 tokes. Suddenly, I shot upwards and was at an upscale cocktail party. The colors were rich and enchantingly beautiful. The men were very big and handsome, dressed in well-cut suits. The women were gorgeous in gowns and cocktail dresses. They were gathered in groups of 4 or 5, discussing very arcane, deep, and interesting topics. I couldn’t quite hear and my head barely reached up to their shoulders. I felt like a juvenile trying to crash an adult party. I was standing on my tip-toes, looking into one of these groups, trying to hear, when an intelligent-looking large fellow in a light grey suit turned to look at me. He regarded me with a benign expression of friendly sympathy and said, “You know you are too tired to be here.” With a wave of his hand, he threw a lightning bolt at my feet. There was a flash of light, an explosion under me, and I was falling into a black void at whose depth I settled slowly, finding myself seated cross-legged on the beach with the pipe in my hands. I was clear. I was completely unintoxicated, as though I had not smoked any DMT. I understood one of the many lessons that these guardians were to teach me over the years about the proper and most enlightened way to use the sacrament. Who are these creatures? Where do they come from? I don’t know, but I have my ideas.

What is most important is that I recognize that I have touched a really beautiful place, the source of all creation and healing, and that the projections I see are beneficent beings spun out of consciousness—as everything is, but just on a higher plane of realization. On this plane, there is no “other,” no subjective/objective—no duality at all; just convenient structures for teaching ourselves those sacred lessons that we have known, but forgotten. These guardians are a reminder of this knowledge, whose pattern is that of which we are also composed.

Perhaps you are finding this a little hard to follow, but at the same time it seems like common sense? I feel the same way. But some things just have to remain mysteries—we cannot analyze and dissect everything. At some point we have to put it back together. Humpty-Dumpty wants to be whole again. When we constantly pull everything apart trying to see how it works, we may end up with only an understanding of how to destroy something. We can have piles of spokes, rims and axles, but the beauty only happens when we see the wheel rolling. The guardians are our inner Gods, teaching us from the well-springs of unity. That’s my conclusion anyway. I have learned to listen to them and come to them clean and pure, and let the nectar of their approval bless my soul. This is what I have found with DMT through the experiences of myself and those of fellow psychonauts, in environments of support and love. The environment makes a big difference, as it does with all psychedelics.



DMT is the weaver. Whatever you give DMT, it weaves this into patterns. If you are a doctor sitting in a hospital room filled with people watching a “subject” and injecting said subject with DMT while people are acting out their roles of nurse, doctor, researcher, government representative, etc., and your subjects have little alien robots, insects, reptiles or what have you, crawling all over them, probing and examining, is this really so strange? You are just seeing a DMT woven projection of the very environment you have created. What would happen if you changed the environment?

Suppose now, that instead of a hospital room with beepers and weird electromagnetic currents in the subliminal environment and medical personnel with odd motivations and curiosities, you were in a beautiful wooden house in the woods with a stream outside making gurgling and tinkling sounds. Inside there are friends in casual clothing—soft, tastefully-colored robes. Men and women dressed for a celebration, seated on velvet cushions on oriental carpets with candles and flowers, and beautiful music. Flowers in vases, mandalas, and wondrous paintings on the walls, aesthetically lit by natural and traditional lights, not fluorescents. A fire glowing in the hearth, multicolored fish swimming in an aquarium. Before you is a teacher who has decades of personal DMT experiences who is serving as your travel facilitator. You’ve prepared for days with yoga, meditation, and pure food. What kinds of trips do you think happen in this type of environment?

Instead of reptiles, aliens, and robot doctors, you have Gods, magicians, celestial and magical beings—intimating, winking, indicating, and even speaking to your inner being with lessons of love, healing, inspiration, and creation. You enter into the temple of the source of creation. Everything is ensconced with magical, crystalline beauty. Your heart and mind fuse in loving understanding that heals the rifts in your heart. Tears of gratitude stream down your face, joy lights in your being. Everyone around you understands your bliss— you don’t need a support group of fellow “subjects,” so that you won’t think that you are losing your mind. Perhaps this is the difference between unauthorized research and “authorized” research. What I wonder about is, what authority has the nerve to dictate to God? But before I get lost in a rant…

There is no danger of descending into some communal psychosis. We are already there! (Obviously, in case you hadn’t noticed.)

Below the surface levels of subliminal advertising and purposeful disinformation, we can move toward truth. Below the level of our contradictory morals and values, and the walled labyrinths in our minds that keep them from explosive collision, we can move deeper towards the truth. Below our myths, below our method of splintered and fragmented communication called language, we can move still deeper towards truth. Below our culture and the conditioning embedded in our minds and egos, we can move deeper toward truth. Passing beyond all this, we penetrate the limits of perception and ride on the electric-energy-impulse highways at the center of our hard-wired biological construction; moving further towards truth, until we move past even this, and find ourselves joining ourselves in the cosmic hard-drive.

We have arrived at truth, and now we find truth is a mystery—a play of joy, creation, and energy. This is Source. This is the mystic touchstone that heals and renews. This is the beginning again. This is entheogenic.

Once I was chatting with Jonathan Ott when I had dropped in on an Entheobotany conference at Palenque. At the time I had been underground for about 30 years, and a fugitive for about 20. No one knew who I was. We were discussing sacraments, and I used the word “psychedelic.” Jonathan responded, “We prefer to use the word entheogen.” I replied, “When it is used sacramentally, then it is an entheogen. Until then, it is just a psychedelic, or perhaps only just a drug.”

Intention is everything. The more care and love and consciousness that you put into your preparation, the better the results, of course. But, if you knew completely what to do before the experience, you might not even need the experience. So this is an adventure into the unknown, an experiment or series of explorations in which there is a great deal of trial and error. We are moving into our own unique inner terrain, and it is difficult to find a set of instructions that will fit everyone perfectly. This is your uniqueness, your inner journey, your own quest for truth or answers that you have hidden away inside you. Everyone has those answers inside, but only those truly seeking self realization will have the courage to go beyond the veils to the center. Having made this journey many times, and mostly failing and wasting a lot of time, I would like to relate what I have found in the hope that this will help others to access the cosmic hard-drive and find some answers.

We live in a maze of conditioned responses and conflicting directives, our programmed biocomputer functions to produce a distracting nonstop wash of unconscious noise. Waves of voices, fears, thoughts, plans, ambitions, etc., wash over us constantly. We follow these directives of our mind like robots. We don’t think; we are thought by our minds. We are in a swamp of impulses and thoughts that never let us rest, and prevent self-realization (whatever that is).

This quest then, is about re-emerging from the swamp of forgetfulness and distraction in which we live, and being reborn in consciousness. Here there are no landmarks, no limits, no boundaries, no road signs. We progress in this nether landscape, this cosmic interiority, by accessing intuition, by observing carefully all that happens, and by following penetrating vision. And above all, by following the heart. Intently, we listen for the single true voice that sings out from a unified heart and mind, beyond the infernal chorus of conditioned commands and conflicting directives. Let me backtrack a bit now.

Having set up one’s space as aesthetically as possible (eliminating the possibility of any interruptions), one readies one’s self for a DMT trip. Having followed the previous indications of peaceful set and setting, sensible diet, and totally supportive companions, one sits down and ingests the DMT. Here is what I have found: DMT can be used to find answers.

You can enter into the trip with a strong desire to find an answer to something that is bothering you, something you need to know, either in your practical life or to find a direction or vision to carry you forward on your spiritual quest. You can draw answers from the Akashic record in this DMT space. However, there are some problems and difficulties that have to be overcome. Let us consider some of these.

The contradictory programming and natural impulses that course through us are not just ideas. We are a unity, and the body, the heart, and the mind are all together on the most basic level. If there are any contradictions in you, it will manifest physically, emotionally, and mentally. You will be a little sick from this. Most disease is psychosomatic. This means that faulty programming manifests itself in sickness. This can happen by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or by eating incorrectly, or being unmotivated to properly exercise and care for your body. This can cause an effect on your immune system (which normally protects you from invasion of foreign organisms).

DMT is a healer. It is a curing drug. DMT purifies your systems by quickly eliminating the toxins that have built up from unconscious living. If your gut is filled with junk food, you may spend your trip vomiting. DMT will clean you out. If you are coming down from too much smoking, drinking, eating, drugs, etc., you may have to go through some unpleasantness, as DMT cleans your house with awesome efficiency. Even having mental conflicts and worries will produce toxins that need to be cleaned out. This can take some time, and since DMT is of fairly short duration, you may be down by the time this is over. So DMT can be used for curing and it can be used for getting answers. If you want the big answers, then you do not want to waste your DMT trips on junk food habits or whatever negative conditioning you want to escape from. I have found that pretreatment with LSD and subsequent ingestion of DMT works very well in this regard and produces an impressive synergistic effect. For example, 200 ug of LSD followed by 60 mg DMT HCl or 80 mg DMT fumarate IM in the tenth hour works very well. Or simply smoke the DMT base until you disappear. No Cannabis.

All of the psychedelics are curing and purifying agents. What happens with this combination is that by the time you reach the tenth hour of an LSD trip, most of the pushing through the envelope and inner cleansing has happened. LSD is not as acutely dramatic as DMT is. It lasts so long though, that the inner cleansing can happen. When this stage is reached, then you can approach the DMT experience more efficiently and access deeper levels of understanding and realization without wasting valuable DMT clock time on gross cleanouts. IM injection need not be the only route; smoking the DMT can work quite well also. Three or four good tokes will usually do the trick. If you do it in the eighth or tenth hour of your acid trip, you can move right into the DMT levels as I have experienced them. My experience has shown me three distinct levels. The first level is the region of incredible design. Multi-colored grids flexing and slowly twisting, carnivals of colorful patterns, and little people peering through fences; hieroglyphs of arcane and hauntingly familiar aspects, but not quite decipherable. Floating spheres of lambent iridescence descending through diaphanous veils of woven infinity and passing away leaving a poignant feeling of missing, of not quite understanding, and aching to find the meaning behind it all. Although something is definitely indicating a deeper level, this region is incredibly beautiful and worth the trip just for this.

For a variety of reasons, probably youth, psychological readiness, and spiritual naïveté, I stayed on the level described above for hundreds of trips. Part of it was probably that there was no one who could teach me how to use this sacrament or had any idea how deep you could go with it. I had to blaze my own trails through my jungles of ignorance, conflict, and confusion. There was much I was not ready to accept, especially about myself. So I had to let DMT seduce me along the path of the vision quest, through beauty and mystery, until my rigid psychological structures and boundaries had relaxed enough and I had gathered enough courage to look beyond the veils of these incredible designs.



At some point I had gotten sated with all of these beautiful patterns and designs, and I understood that there was a much deeper level of knowledge that I could access. I had also gathered my courage and was ready to look at myself in a deeper way and see how I was the only obstacle in my path. I became aware that self-realization meant going deeper, and all I had to do was give up this exquisite layer of beauty. I began to realize that these beautiful patterns and designs were disguises that protected my limited mind from seeing a deeper reality that would be disturbing until I had reached a stage of readiness. Of course, this understanding cued the arrival of that stage of readiness. I began to realize that all the designs were symbols of psychological states that were in this form because I didn’t want to see that truth about myself yet.

Inside I said, “Let all these pretty baubles be gone, and let me see beyond,” and immediately the beyond opened as the pretty designs disappeared. Suddenly, I was walking up a steep road carved into the side of a sheer, jagged wall of grey rock. On my right was the mountain, on my left a cliff that dropped straight down into a huge canyon whose other side was a range of these jagged mountains. I was hiking up this steep mountain to a higher place of knowledge. I had penetrated the veil of superficial distractions of the lower mind, and I was approaching the region of the higher mind—a land of magic and realization. As I trudged along this road I saw a gate—a huge ornate rusty portcullis beside which stood a small but very nasty looking beast with piercing red eyes, no neck, large fangs, and an obviously very bad temper. This demon or demigod was without doubt the guardian to the gate of higher knowledge. Humbly, I begged permission, “May I please pass?” The guardian choked and snarled, then fixing me with a penetrating stare, nodded unpleasantly while he hauled laboriously on a chain that slowly lifted the gate. As I passed through, everything faded away and I was back sitting with the pipe in my hand. I was totally disappointed that I had gotten through the gate but had not made it to the magic land just beyond.

In my ignorance I did not realize that I had passed from level one to level two, and the gatekeeper was my initiation. This was the first of many encounters with various teachers who were all symbolic representations of an imminent state of realization of a higher order of understanding and interpretation.

Another time, I smoked and found myself in a beautiful wood-paneled and crystal-windowed room with easy chairs and couches all around. Next to me was an incredibly beautiful white-haired old woman crocheting doilies. The designs on the doilies were all symbols of the world’s religions. I looked at her and said (without speaking), “Where is this place? What are we doing here?” It seemed like a very beautiful waiting room. She peered at me over her spectacles with her piercing blue eyes, and smiled at me kindly, patiently, while she indicated with a flicker. Suddenly it dawned on me—I was in God’s waiting room! All I had to do was wait to be called, and I could step through the door.

The beings and creatures I’ve seen have been curious and various, but they have never looked like anyone I’ve ever seen, nor any mythical creature from history. Nor did I ever feel that these creatures were extra-terrestrial. Although they were totally original and amazing, never did I feel that they were strangers. I recognized them immediately. They had a bizarre but faintly and curiously familiar feeling to them. I think that this is significant, in that the lesson is one of personal responsibility. These are our creatures created by the infinitely capable creative force to teach us about ourselves. They are mirrors that help us to do the difficult job of looking at ourselves, and remembering who we are. In the overworld and underworld of shamanic journeying to the beat of the shaman’s horse—the drum—we also experience passageways, guardians, and guides. The denizens of these netherworlds, although symbolic, do not resemble those of the DMT worlds—they differ. This mind we wear has infinite creative abilities.

Getting back to the ascent from level one DMT experiences to level two for a moment, I remember coming down from that trip thinking, “Boy, that was really a bit disappointing. Here I’ve found the gate, and been grudgingly passed through by some terrifyingly ferocious curmudgeon who I had best pass by humbly with folded hands because I inherently knew he could slap me down with a flick of a finger, and then I am on this same road and everything fades. DMT is too short— that’s the problem with it.” And so on, my mind went. That’s the way the mind is; it is always thinking more is better. So why didn’t I arrive at the promised land, and have all of my questions answered? The point I was missing was that I had gone through that gate. I had moved from a series of colorful hallucinations to a completely different place—going up to a higher place—and I had found the gate. And by an act of sincere humility, I had been permitted to go past this gate to a new level of consciousness, to which I had not had access before. This was a great thing, but the mind is such that it is always rushing hither and yonder, looking for a new distraction out there, that it misses the simple profundity that comes from looking inward. I had passed through the gate. Not only had I passed through the gate, I had found the gate in the first place! Such simplicity. The road was the same rocky road through a dangerous mountain, defiled on either side of the gate, so what was so great? This precious entry into a place so fascinating was the entry into the inner world of spiritual messengers, the land of teachers. And I had figured out how to get there, all by myself. At the time I didn’t realize that. I just thought, “Here I am on that same rough piece of road.” It was the same road, but my attitude and intention had almost totally undergone some subtle and unconscious change (underneath that trite chattering mind that never shuts the fuck up), and on that road I had my first touch of the whisper of creation that underlies all things. This is to me the point about DMT. It can be a doorway to the Divine.

Used with the intention of contacting our inner creativity, we meet our higher selves. The higher the intention, the more devout the sincere supplication will be. While crying for a vision, the higher will be that aspect of self we meet. Properly prepared, we enter into a fluid multi-dimensional field of interpenetrating realities, which are all things to all people. On this path, when we are ready, we meet the Gods that live deep within all of us. In that meeting we experience intense recognition of the oneness of all things. We receive true and simple instructions. We experience such poignant realizations that we are swept away by the exquisite beauty and truth of this inner knowing, which is utterly undeniable.

Dimethyltryptamine is unique and extremely powerful. If I were asked what its most important attribute was, I would have to say that it is the doorway to the intensely personal temple of our own sacredness. It opens the doorway to the vastness of the soul; this is at once our own personal soul, and its intrinsic connection to the universal soul. When the underlying unity of this fictional duality is seen and felt, one experiences a completeness and interconnection with all things. This experience, when we attain it, is extremely beautiful and good. It is a song that rings and reverberates through the lens of God. Now we know why we were born; to have this intense experience of the sacred, the joyous, the beauty, and the blessing of just being alive in the arms of God.

So there it is. And it is there. The mystery. Beyond the known, beyond logic, there is the experience. Each one is a unique journey. There are way-markers, however, and signposts at every turn. And if we are but intelligent enough, we understand that the language of mystery is written on water. Fleetingly, we glimpse the ordinary, and in that momentary flash—if we are quick enough—we see the doorway. When we see it, we must knock. Remember though, that there are no guarantees for the explorer; only the frontiers of consciousness and the blazing of new trails.​
 
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Integrating the DMT Experience

by Sam Woolfe | 13 Sep 2021

One of the most common features (and frustrations) associated with the DMT experience is that despite being profound, it can also be very difficult to recall. DMT has a dream-like quality to it, in that you quickly lose your memory of the DMT trip as you return to normal waking consciousness. Terence McKenna drew attention to this quality of the experience when he said: “the way a dream melts away is the way a DMT trip melts away,” adding that “there is a self-erasing mechanism in it.”

Many people who experience DMT, especially at the breakthrough levels, will find that they simply can’t remember the bulk of what they experienced. This is something quite unique to the DMT flash and I think part of it comes down to the extremely ineffable nature of the DMT experience, which you could even call hyper-ineffable, with certain aspects not only being indescribable but also unrememberable.

Some people might accept this is a DMT quirk and think nothing of it, whereas others might feel that a lot of important knowledge and insight was lost when the amnesia set in. Whatever your attitude may be about DMT and memory loss, one challenge remains: how can you integrate a DMT experience that is difficult to remember?

In this article, I’d like to share my own experiences of DMT and memory loss, relating to one experience, in particular, that took place six years ago, but which I still mull over sometimes. This has been my most profound psychedelic experience to date, yet it has also been the most difficult to remember, with essentially most of the trip (apparently) erased from my memory. However, over the years, I have still been able to integrate the experience by way of helpful discussions, enlightening books, and productive introspection. First, here’s a brief description of what my experience was like.

A Mystical DMT Experience

One day, I decided to go on a solo psychedelic journey and took 430mg of mescaline HCl. This experience was highly profound in itself, with emotional and life-affirming insights. It felt like the negativity bias had been flushed out of me, replaced instead by existential joy. At the peak of the experience or perhaps just after, however, I had the thought of smoking DMT. I wanted to aim for a breakthrough.

I got everything ready and, for the first time, I had zero anticipatory fear or anxiety, something that was usually quite prominent any previous time before blasting off. I think the lack of pre-trip jitters (and the mescaline, no doubt) helped me to go deeper into the experience than I otherwise might have.

I was ‘congratulated’ for taking the last hit by some presence or presences, to my amusement. After that, I began to lay down and remember a tsunami of colour and patterns enveloping me. I’m not sure I even remember feeling my body completely lay down; my sense of self and body was snuffed out in an instant.

From this point on, the memories are hazy and sparse. My clearest memory was having what felt to be universal knowledge. Every question was answered. There were no mysteries left to be solved. These insights felt as clear as the understanding that follows when you finally solve a problem you’ve been working on for a long time: the immediate relief of clear understanding. There came a point though where I had to leave this realm of universal knowledge and I was told (or knew) that as I was leaving, I wouldn’t be able to bring this knowledge back with me. The cosmic secrets had to remain in this realm and this realm only. A pity, I thought.

I do have a snapshot memory of then traveling through a psychedelic wormhole or tunnel, ending up in a realm with ever-shifting activity. This activity was going on for what felt like an eternity – I definitely had the sense of being away for aeons and certainly could not imagine that there would be a time or place in which this experience was not happening.

But eventually, I gained some perception of my body, feeling the pressure of the floor against my back. At this point, though, my ‘body’ felt nothing more than pulsating, pleasurable energy – everything about me seemed to have melted into the totality of the experience. As I regained more bodily awareness, at a certain point I opened my eyes, as if in shock. I saw multi-layered DMT-like patterns above me, so I was half in my room, half in this heavenly realm. I closed my eyes again and I was still somewhat back in hyperspace. There were entities engaged in all sorts of frenzied, zany activities.

After opening my eyes a second time, I went into the fetal position and began sobbing, feeling like pure consciousness. I had felt the presence of the divine: this titanic, loving, and merciful force. I had the feeling of being shot out of some cosmic womb, reborn, and given a second chance at life. I was utterly stunned and in disbelief about the whole experience. Slowly, piece-by-piece, I regained my sense of identity and my memories, realising I had a life here on Earth and had returned to it.

After the Experience

I have thought about this experience a lot since it happened six years ago, but one of my personal frustrations has been how little I remember and whether my thoughts about the experience or what I wrote down some time after the experience even approaches what actually occurred.

There are many things, nonetheless, that have helped me to integrate this experience (and other DMT experiences), despite the gaps in memory. Before describing these techniques, I’d first like to touch on why integration has helped me and how it might benefit you, as well.

The Benefits of Integration

Integrating this particular experience has helped me to sort through some of the confusion, such as endless questions and doubts about what certain elements mean. You want to remain mindful after such an intense experience, as there is often a difference between healthy introspection and unhealthy obsessive thinking.

Integration, for me, has been a process of creating a clear and meaningful narrative that benefits my attitudes, beliefs, and actions, rather than forget about the experience as something ineffectual and inconsequential. If you are struggling with memory gaps and confusion about a DMT experience, you may find peace of mind by accepting that the experience is likely to remain deeply mysterious to some degree and will always be open to re-interpretation.

Integration has also motivated me to explore different ideas and belief systems, especially those relating to transpersonal, humanistic, and Jungian psychology, spirituality, mysticism, world religions, and wisdom traditions. In these explorations, I found connections to my DMT experience, which helped to add new meaning to the experience, by providing frameworks in which to interpret it and use it to benefit myself and others.

As an atheist confronted with ‘the divine’, I also felt a need to reconcile my atheistic worldview with this undeniable experience. This is not a process that has finished (which is true of integration, in general), but so far viewing this divine quality and experience as something human and interior (rather than necessarily exterior) has been productive. You may likewise discover that integration will allow you to find more wholeness, through the reconciliation of different aspects of yourself, as well as the expression of unrealised aspects.

6 methods for integrating a difficult-to-remember experience

1. Let Integration Happen Organically

What I’ve found is that the process of integrating a DMT experience will happen organically when I stop trying to force interpretations onto it and when I give up obsessing about what I might or might not remember. Often, more memories may arise further down the line or existing memories can become clarified or take on a new meaning.

Integrating a DMT experience that is hard to remember might just require patience, time, and being mindful of any new ways in which the experience seems to influence your thoughts, beliefs, opinions, choices, behaviour, and lifestyle. Integration can be organically going on without you even being aware of it.

2. Read Widely

For me personally, there have also been spontaneous moments of integration or clarity when reading a book, article, or someone else’s trip report. A word, phrase, or sentence can seem to bring a memory into focus, create an emotional reaction that feels meaningful, or elicit some sort of constructive thought or insight.

I can give a few examples of books that seemed to help with the process of integration. One was the sci-fi novel Star Maker (1937) by Olaf Stapledon (see here for my review of the book). It tells the story of a nameless narrator who travels through the cosmos, eventually coming into contact with the ‘Star Maker’, the divine creator of everything. The description of this meeting with the Star Maker helped to clarify my own contact with ‘the divine’ during my DMT experience.

Another book was the novel Narcissus and Goldmund (1930), written by Hermann Hesse. There were just a couple of phrases that reignited my memory of the DMT experience:​
At any rate, Goldmund had shown him that a man destined for high things can dip into the lowest depths of the bloody, drunken chaos of life, and soil himself with much dust and blood, without becoming small and common, without killing the divine spark within himself, that he can err through the thickest darkness without extinguishing the divine light and the creative force inside the shrine of his soul.

The phrases ‘divine spark’ and ‘divine light’ helped me to recall how, coming out of my DMT experience, I felt that ‘the divine’ was something in me. The reason these phrases stood out to me, pregnant with meaning, might have been because this aspect of ‘divinity’ in the self held some importance that I should pay attention to. While I am still unsure and sceptical about what this inner ‘divine’ quality actually is, I do believe it is a positive quality and that if I can focus on that feeling of the divine, it will lead to greater well-being and more positive experiences and actions.

One more book that I’ve come across that benefited the process of integration was The Idea of the Holy (1917), written by the philosopher and theologian Rudolf Otto. In this book, Otto introduces the concept of the numinous, which stands for ‘the holy’ or ‘the divine’, which Otto conceives in a particular way.

He argued, firstly, that this experience of the divine, the “wholly other”, was at the basis of all religions, something that I understood, based on my experience with DMT. I came out of the experience thinking that my encounter with this powerful force, this divine ‘other’, reminded me of descriptions of prophets or Biblical characters being overwhelmed by the presence of God, such as Moses’ vision of the burning bush and Saul’s Road to Damascus experience, when Jesus appears to him, an experience that was so overwhelmingly powerful it caused Saul to fall to his knees.

Otto describes the experience of the numinous as involving fear, mystery, and fascination. This mixture of fear and fascination towards the power of the divine was very relatable and Otto’s elaboration on the numinous helped me to further clarify my experience, although it still remains shrouded in mystery, which, after all, seems to be an essential quality of this divine presence.

So, if you are struggling to both remember and integrate a DMT experience, I would recommend searching for books, articles, and trip reports that relate to the particular themes of your own experience. Reading fiction, non-fiction, and anecdotes can, when you least expect it, trigger some recall or allow you to look at your experience from a different light, helping you to make sense of it. While you may not remember much of your experience, what you do remember can, as it turns out, contain a great deal of potential for meaning and growth.

3. Talk Openly About It

One of the most effective ways to aid integration, when your experience is difficult to remember, is to talk about it openly with someone else. You can turn around an experience in your head for years and wonder about what it means, but sometimes the perspective of someone else can lead you to conclusions you might not have reached on your own. This is especially true when the person you’re talking to has had similar experiences, is aware of such experiences, or is knowledgeable about areas of psychology – such as transpersonal psychology – which deal with altered states of consciousness.

When I was seeking out a therapist once, I found someone who specialised in transpersonal psychology and remember thinking this person could help me examine my DMT experiences in more depth. I believed the positive nature of the experience could help me in my depressive state. When I first met the therapist, however, and voiced this intention of mine, the reaction was not what I had hoped for. Rather than view these experiences as meaningful material that could benefit me, she stressed that because I had depression I should not have used psychedelics, that I put myself at risk of harm, and that if I were to continue therapy, I would have to avoid all drug use.

Not only was this response surprising, given her training as a transpersonal psychologist, but it was also anathema to the integration I needed, as it cast the experience in a negative light, with ‘wrongness’ attached to it. Needless to say, I decided not to see this therapist again. If you are trying to integrate a DMT experience, it is crucial to be selective of who you speak to and to avoid talking about it further if you are met with any judgement. Integration is a highly personal and vulnerable process and so, if other people are to help you in this process, they will need to be open, empathetic, and non-judgemental.

Fortunately, I saw two other therapists whose attitudes about my DMT experiences were completely different. And I am grateful that I was able to discuss these experiences so openly, especially considering that these therapists were not specifically trained (as far as I’m aware) in psychedelic integration. I talked about some elements of my mystical experience with DMT and my frustration with being unable to remember much of it.

Interestingly, both therapists had similar responses to this frustration of mine. They said something to the effect of “you’ll remember what is most important about the experience”, with one therapist saying that I was lucky to have had it, as it is a rare experience. I think this helped to make the process of integration much smoother, as it made me realise I didn’t have to obsess about what I do and don’t remember, or regret not being able to remember more, as the most meaningful aspects are still there, and that the experience is something to be immensely grateful for.

Again, even if an experience is hard to remember, this doesn’t mean integration isn’t going on unconsciously, affecting the way you view yourself, others, and the world at large. However, because a lot of this process is unconscious, you may find it beneficial to seek out a therapist who can work with you in becoming aware of this material and processing it, which can be conducive to personal growth.

Others find that psychedelic integration circles offer the ideal environment in which to discuss and make sense of their psychedelic experiences.

4. Write About the Experience

Writing about DMT experiences that are difficult to remember is another great way of trying to integrate them. Fleshing out ideas in writing is a different process than speaking about those ideas. You can write in a stream of consciousness sort of way, writing down whatever thoughts about the experience arise moment-to-moment. You can write in a divergent, creative way, producing as many new and interesting avenues of interpretation as you can and seeing which interpretation for you, subjectively, holds the most meaning and significance.

For me personally, writing – whether that’s privately or publicly in the form of articles – has allowed me to make a lot more sense of my DMT experiences than I think I could achieve through just introspection and conversations with others. For example, when I get some moments of clarity – moments where memories of DMT experiences start flooding into conscious awareness – I have made sure to make a note of that memory, usually as notes on my phone, or in a notepad if I have one nearby. These moments of clarity are fleeting, but trying to capture them in written form can help you create a clearer picture of the DMT experience, even if what you write down seems harder to relate to once the memory fades again.

5. Recreate the Context of the Experience

Context-dependent memory refers to the phenomenon whereby it is easier to retrieve certain memories when the context in which the memory was formed is replicated. For example, if you are struggling to remember what a DMT experience felt like, but you were listening to particular music during the trip, re-listening to that music could help you to retrieve memories of the visual, emotional, and conceptual components of the experience. The more you can do to try to recall the experience, the easier it will be to integrate.

Another aspect of context-dependent memory is state-dependent memory: the phenomenon in which it is easier to recall a memory if you are in the same state – or a similar state – in which the memory was formed. One possible reason DMT experiences can be so hard to remember is that the memories relating to such experiences (or at least some aspects of them, anyway) are state-dependent. So, if you can put yourself in the same physical or mental state in which the memory was formed, or a similar state, you may find it easier to retrieve the memories of the experience in question, which may provide you with valuable information.

You can access state-dependent memories in a variety of ways. One way would be to use DMT again, as this would mentally and physically put you in the same state in which the memory was formed relating to a previous experience. You may not even need to take a high dose, as even a light DMT experience may be similar enough in its quality to trigger the retrieval of memories.

Since I’ve not tried this, I can’t personally speak on the effectiveness of using DMT again to retrieve memories. However, I remember that when using cannabis, I would sometimes have vivid memories – like snapshots of hyperspace, imbued with emotions – of previous DMT experiences (although it’s hard to say which particular experiences they relate to).

Of course, if you don’t use cannabis or don’t want to, this doesn’t mean you can’t retrieve the memories in other ways. I have also remembered DMT experiences under the influence of a different psychedelic, as well as experienced short moments of recall during meditation. It seems that the ‘similar’ state you need to be in to remember a DMT experience can encompass a range of altered states.

6. Prioritise the Emotional Dimension

While many aspects of the DMT experience can be difficult to remember (e.g. the sequence of events and various details), usually one of the strongest impressions of the experience is its emotional quality. It can be easier to question and interpret how the entities and hyperspace appeared to look than how one felt entering hyperspace, traversing hyperspace, and then coming out of hyperspace.

Many strong emotions and feelings may be involved in the DMT experience, such as awe, bliss, euphoria, joy, unconditional love, gratitude, fear, panic, and the feeling of being overwhelmed. By taking the time to really feel into the emotional aspect of these experiences, you can let your mind freely engage with them, seeing what meaning arises.

Emotionally charged memories may be connected to important insights and lessons. For instance, you might recall how you felt when experiencing love and comfort from the entities during the experience. You may realise that this was connected to greater well-being and so decide for yourself that in order to experience this greater sense of well-being in daily life, it is wise to try to treat yourself just as the entities did. Part of integrating this lesson may involve more attention placed on self-care and self-compassion. This is just one possible interpretation, of course. Integrating the emotional aspect of the DMT experience will always be highly personal.

By prioritising the emotional dimension, you may find you can remember more details of your DMT experience, as well as make more sense of it, offering you some nuggets of wisdom when you least expect it.

A DMT experience might be brief and hard to remember, but it can also be extremely powerful and rich. With patience, self-awareness, and conscious effort, you can unearth meaning and benefits from a single experience over the course of many years.

*From the article here :
 
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New DTP Therapies*
by David E. Carpenter | LUCID | 28 Sep 2021
  • Therapies are being developed for conditions ranging from Treatment Resistant Depression to strokes to addiction.
  • DMT's extremely rapid onset and short duration of action are making it a frontrunner in the competitive field of medical therapies, where quicker patient turnarounds will mean financially viable models.
Once considered fringe medicine and the domain of maverick clinical researchers, innovators in the psychedelics field are now poised to make a significant contribution to the mental health landscape worldwide. Leading the way are companies now investing their energies in therapies using N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a powerful entheogen existing in many plants and animals, as well as present exogenously in human beings. DMT’s extremely rapid onset and short duration of action are making it a frontrunner in the competitive field of medical therapies, where quicker patient turnarounds will mean financially viable models.

While DMT was first synthesized in 1931 by Canadian chemist Richard Manske, for thousands of years prior to that the substance has been used in the Amazonian Basin for ritualistic purposes in the form of ayahuasca brews to heal users and provide roadmaps for living. It wasn’t until 1956 that DMT’s psychoactive qualities were first clinically discovered by a Hungarian chemist and psychiatrist named Stephen Szara, after he extracted DMT from the Mimosa hostilis plant and administered it to himself intramuscularly.

DMT got a boost in the 1990s when researcher Dr. Rick Strassman, author of the iconic book “DMT: The Spirit Molecule,” conducted U.S. government-approved and funded clinical research at the University of New Mexico from 1990 to 1995, where he injected sixty volunteers with DMT. The book details the medical doctor’s groundbreaking research into the biology of near-death and mystical experiences. Many of the participants said the sessions with DMT ranked among the most profound experiences of their lives.

Today, clinicians are again revisiting the drug that promotes neuroplasticity, increased synaptic connectivity, and is showing promise for decreasing depressive symptoms and addictive urges. The following are a few of the frontrunners looking to be the first ones to bring new DMT therapies to market, and in the process ease a significant amount of human suffering.​

ATAI Life Sciences

The biopharmaceutical conglomerate ATAI Life Sciences — a startup that currently has in the works 10 psychedelic programs and counts PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel as one of its primary investors — is currently involved in preclinical studies using DMT for treatment-resistant depression. Acting as a research incubator for the development of effective mental health treatments, one of ATAI’s subsidiaries, Viridia Life Sciences, is creating DMT treatments that will be paired with digital therapeutic integration developed by Introspect Digital Therapeutics (another ATAI-company) with the aim of streamlining preparation, integration, and continued patient engagement. The idea is to eventually make psychedelic treatments available for patients who live far away from treatment centers. ATAI’s website notes that while DMT for clinical trials is commonly administered intravenously by medical professionals, Viridia Life Sciences is utilizing ATAI’s drug development know-how to generate multiple DMT products based on alternative routes of administration. Delivery methods will likely use more simplified devices like mucosal delivery through the nose or mouth. Atai’s website states that studies are underway with clinical trials expected to begin early next year.​

Algernon Pharmaceuticals

Earlier this month, Algernon Pharmaceuticals confirmed in a pre-clinical study that DMT increased growth of neurons in the brain when using “sub-hallucinogenic” doses. Part of their stroke treatment program, researchers conducted in vitro trials (performed in a controlled environments, typically in a test tube or petri dish) using their proprietary version of DMT called AP-188. They found that the compound increased the growth of neurons by 40 percent when compared to a control assay using ketamine. The aim of the study was to identify blood concentration and exposure time to target in Algernon’s eventual Phase 1 trial to optimize the neuroplastic effects of DMT without causing hallucinations. Prominent DMT researcher Dr. Rick Strassman, who is a consultant with Algernon’s stroke program, weighed in on the study results, saying, “These exciting in vitro data provide further evidence supporting the use of DMT in stroke, and strongly suggest that low doses and short exposure times are feasible.”​

MindMed

MindMed is exploring a number of psychedelic compounds as part of their mission to “discover, develop and deploy psychedelic-inspired medicines and therapies to address mental illness and addiction.” In addition to psilocybin-assisted therapy for alcohol use disorder and the ibogaine-derived molecule 18-MC for opioid addiction, this summer MindMed announced the initiation of a Phase 1 clinical trial of intravenous DMT therapy intended to produce a stable and prolonged DMT experience. Because DMT has a rapid onset and offset compared to the longer-acting psychedelic substances like psilocybin, the company believes their study will show that intravenous administration may allow greater control of the patient experience by enabling an acute termination of the psychoactive effects of DMT in the event of an excessively challenging event.​

Psilera

A biotech company specializing in the clinical development of psychedelics and analogues to target mental health disorders, Psilera’s current preclinical studies are focused particularly on alcohol use disorder. Their psychedelic-inspired new chemical entities are based on the DMT molecule and meant to affect the brain’s 5-HT2A receptors and other neurologically relevant proteins. Co-Founder and CSO of Psilera Dr. Jackie von Salm said in a release, “The growing prevalence of alcohol use disorder, especially in conjunction with the Covid-19 pandemic, needs to be addressed as the current methods of treatment are outdated and insufficient.”
Entheon

Focusing primarily on DMT for addiction recovery, Entheon’s therapies are intended to treat the underlying causes of substance use disorder. Developing a combination of genetic and predictive data analysis through its genetic testing subsidiary HaluGen Life Sciences, the company’s intention is to ensure the safest possible DMT treatments. To that end, Entheon employs genetic testing using a saliva sample to help determine the risk probability of different compounds prior to treatment, in the hopes of mitigating risk factors like serotonergic toxicity and other adverse outcomes. Entheon’s biomarker platform is powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning with the intent to understand individual biological traits and align suitable treatments, as well as establish patient-specific support post DMT experience. Entheon’s website notes that a proof of concept human study (Phase 1/2a equivalent) is estimated to begin in Q4 2021 at the Centre for Human Drug Research in Leiden, Netherlands, to assess the effect of DMT in otherwise healthy adult nicotine users.​

Small Pharma

Creating a treatment strategy aimed at the psychedelic naïve, Small Pharma is exploring DMT therapy as a rapid-acting treatment for major depressive disorder and beginning clinical trials early in 2021 in collaboration with Imperial College London. In an announcement last week, Small Pharma says their study is “the world’s first regulated clinical trial for DMT-assisted therapy in major depressive disorder.” They note that their “proprietary intravenous formulation of DMT was very well tolerated in individuals with no previous experience of psychedelics.” The Phase I study of their DMT formulation, called SPL026, was administered in combination with psychotherapy to 32 healthy volunteers and showed a favorable safety profile with no serious adverse effects. Small Pharma is now in the process of a Phase IIa study of SPL026 in combination with psychotherapy in 42 patients with major depressive disorder. The study, being held at two UK clinical trial sites — Hammersmith Medicines Research and MAC Clinical Research — will assess the efficacy of one versus two doses of SPL026 in combination with psychotherapy.

*From the article here :
 
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Could DMT sweep existing treatments for depression aside?

Psychedelic News Wire | 19 Jul 2021

Since research on psychedelics was revived in the 2000s, prompted by the easing of the regulations that govern the substances, a lot of studies have shown that drugs such as LSD and psilocybin possess great therapeutic potential and can be used to treat conditions such as depression, anxiety and addiction.

These discoveries have led to the creation of companies that are focused on psychedelic therapy and that are working on finding ways in which these substances can be used in lieu of conventional medicine.

Among these companies is Small Pharma, a neuropharmaceutical firm based in the United Kingdom, which is carrying out the first clinical trial globally on DMT. The company’s main objective is to uncover whether the substance can help treat major depressive disorder.

This research could shift the focus away from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are currently used as antidepressants, towards psychedelics’ healing powers as well as revolutionize how professionals in the field of mental health approach therapy. The company’s chief scientific and medical officer Dr. Carol Routledge stated in an interview that she believes DMT-assisted psychotherapy may be among the best treatments in existence.

DMT is a chemical that occurs naturally and can be found in many animals and plants. Humans are known to produce DMT in the brain. The chemical, which is medically known as N, N-dimethyltryptamine, acts on the serotonin receptors in the brain, which leads to strong perceptual and emotional changes. The hallucinogenic induces intense psychedelic experiences in a matter of seconds after it has been ingested, with its effects only lasting a few minutes.

DMT’s psychological effects do not decrease with repeated dosing, with researchers finding that individuals who ingest the drug do not develop a tolerance for it.
Small Pharma started its first phase of the trial in February of this year, and the company will focus on exploring the effects of DMT-assisted therapy on healthy participants who have never ingested psychedelics. After the completion of the first phase, the company will begin the second phase of the trial, which will include enrolling participants who suffer from major depressive disorder.

Researchers note that while standard treatments such as SSRIs help stabilize patient moods, they don’t tackle the psychological issues that bring about depression or help every patient who uses them, which is where DMT comes in. DMT may, apart from fixing the underlying psychological issues that contribute to various mental health conditions, also have long-lasting psychological benefits for patients.

Scientists have found that the hallucinogen, just like other psychedelics, breaks the negative thought-pattern pathways that are common in mental health conditions and increases synaptic connectivity as well as neuronal connectivity.

The medical potential of DMT has encouraged many entities such as XPhyto Therapeutics Inc to allocate significant amounts of resources to research the different medicinal applications to which this psychedelic compound can be put.

 

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Rick Strassman: Blasting Off with Dr. DMT

Between 1990 and 1995 Dr. Strassman helped 60 patients enter the void and then documented their experiences at the University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine. I contacted him to talk about DMT and the legalization of psychedelics in the United States.

by Gabriel Roberts | VICE

Dr. Rick Strassman, author of DMT: The Spirit Molecule, is responsible for groundbreaking research on dimethyltryptamine that reopened the legal doors for serious psychedelic study fter decades of stagnation. Between 1990 and 1995 Dr. Strassman helped 60 patients enter the void and then documented their experiences at the University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine. Aside from his scientific observations, he has also suggested that DMT might have ties to stories of alien abduction, and that the release of DMT from the pineal gland into a fetus roughly seven weeks after conception “marks the entrance of the spirit.”

My third book, The Quest for Gnosis, was released last month and features interviews with many of the leading minds in psychedelic study, including Dr. Strassman. His work has been a profound influence on my own life and research, and I was privileged to speak with him about DMT, ecstatic states, alien encounters, religion, death, and the legalization of psychedelics. The below conversation is an excerpt from the book, which you can buy here.



VICE: You wrote the groundbreaking book DMT: The Spirit Molecule and were granted the first clinical study of psychedelics in 20 years. How did it feel to have that much riding on the research?

Dr. Rick Strassman:
I felt a lot of responsibility, but at the same time I knew that the people aware of the research and monitoring it were relatively few. I wasn’t directly responsible to that many people, even though the long-term effects of my research made me feel a lot of responsibility to perform the study with the utmost rigor and care. Besides making certain to minimize the likelihood of adverse effects, the degree of direct observation and supervision was quite manageable. I recognized the importance of my work for the future of American psychedelic studies, and I wanted to make certain that it was performed in broad daylight. That way I felt the responsibility was shared among everyone involved in the process.

There is much debate about whether or not the psychedelic experience is entirely within the mind, or possibly reaching outside of it. Can you cite an example within your ongoing research that leads you to a conclusion one- ay or the other?

At this point, I don’t believe that it is possible to objectively determine how much of what we apprehend under the influence of psychedelic drugs is internally generated or externally perceived. It makes sense to me to suggest a spectrum of the phenomenon. There are times when our own personality predominates, rather than the awareness of something external to us. At other times, what we see is more external to us rather than self-generated. It’s impossible, though, to have a pure culture of one or the other. Without our personal life experience and biological makeup, we’d be unable to decipher what it is we are seeing.

For example, one of the DMT subjects, Marsha, saw a profoundly psychedelic vision of manikin-like 1890s figures on a merry-go-round. With some questioning, we decided the vision related as much to her body image in the context of her marriage as to something more metaphysical. Another volunteer in the study, Chris, entered into a blissful yellow-white light and merged with it, along with very few contents that he could associate with personal psychological themes.

At the time of your research on DMT, you were a Buddhist. What benefit did your own spiritual path bring to the table as a scientist, if any?

I’m not an active member of any Zen organization these days. I practice sitting meditation most days. Unquestioningly, I would have been unable to pursue serious study of the Hebrew Bible without my Buddhist training. While the material that my DMT volunteers reported was beyond my understanding of Buddhism, the meditation practice helped determine how we supervised drug sessions. From the results point of view, the interaction of my sitting—a spiritual practice coming out of a well-characterized religion—and how I acquired and analyzed the data as a scientist were linked. The greatest impact on how I interpreted our results was on the development of our rating scale for the DMT effect. This was based on Buddhist psychological concepts and pointed to future studies that could tease apart the pharmacological underpinnings of the Buddhist skandhas.

Gnosis in the traditional sense is an experiential knowledge that removes the necessity for “blind faith.” How is gnosis in this sense important, if at all, in a spiritual pursuit?

If you are speaking of gnosis as a particular type of spiritual experience, it may function as a goal of spiritual practice. However, for gnosis to be important the information it contains needs to be transmittable. I say this for at least two reasons: to verify the experience as truly gnostic, and to educate and exhort others.



How would you like to see us, as a society, handle psychedelics in the future? Graham Hancock, for instance, claims that the ability to explore our own consciousness is a core human right and that we should demand legal access to these substances. What’s your take, both as a scientist and a citizen?

Psychedelics are potentially destabilizing, and to either take or administer them requires a fair amount of training so as to provide for optimal positive effects and minimal negative ones. Thus, specialized centers might be developed where that type of training is provided. The various settings could be religious, creative, psychotherapeutic, and so on.

How does belief change test results and how do you, as a scientist, withhold your own assumptions in order to have the most objective outcome possible in your research?

Generally, test results are difficult to change by belief. One can design a study based upon one’s beliefs that would make more likely the yielding of particular results reinforcing your beliefs. More often, one’s beliefs affect the interpretation of those results. With respect to our data from the DMT study, we divided it into objective and subjective. Or rather, we had turned the subjective into objective by the use of the rating scale. So we had objective data to treat with various analyses. In my scientific work, my conclusions were aligned with the model in which the studies took place: human psychopharmacology, psychometrics, and psychology. I suggested certain explanations for our findings and called for future research to help answer unresolved questions.

Let’s end with an age-old existential question: What do you think happens when we die? Why do you think we are here?

The founder of Japanese Zen, Dogen, said that our death is just another moment in time. Life goes on without us. Our impact has the potential to be immortal, however. One of my favorite authors is Olaf Stapledon, who suggested that our task on Earth is to interact creatively with our environment. Maimonides, one of my favorite medievalists, reminds us that the universe was not created for mankind. That leaves us quite a bit of leeway.

 
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