Apparent Communication ... (DMT) Parts 3-5
This is a continuation of “Apparent Communication with Discarnate Entities Induced by Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) Parts 1 & 2”. This article was first published in1992 in Thomas Lyttle (ed.): Psychedelic Monographs and Essays, Volume 6. The numbered references are given here.
3. Dosage and Duration of Effects
If DMT is synthesized to a high level of purity it emerges as crystals which are then broken up into a white powder. If the DMT has not been completely purified during the synthesis it may be encountered by the user as a pale orange waxy material. Dose levels mentioned in this article refer to pure DMT unless otherwise noted.
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The amount of DMT needed to produce significant psychic effects when smoked is 5 mg to 20 mg, there being considerable variation in individual reaction. Some people have reported "profound" effects with as little as 10 mg. A moderate dose is 25 mg, with 50 mg a large dose. A very large dose (for example, 75 mg) will often lead to loss of consciousness.
Stafford writes of DMT, DET (diethyltryptamine) and DPT (dipropyltryptamine) that:
More often [compared to injection], these tryptamines are smoked because less is needed to feel the effects . . . The DMT peak lasts for three to ten minutes, and it's all over in twenty to thirty minutes. DET and DPT, which have more subtle effects than DMT, may take a few minutes to register . . . DET lasts about an hour when smoked; the most intense part of a DPT experience is over in about twenty minutes." (, p.322)
Several different methods may be used to smoke DMT, and there are differences of opinion as to their efficiency. "Some users prefer to smoke a compound like DMT . . . in a small glass pipe. A small amount of the crystals or oil is placed in the bowl and then slowly heated until fumes begin to fill the pipe. . . . A regular pipe covered with a fine screen can also be used." (Stafford, ) In this method the DMT should be spread over some plant material such as mint leaves, parsley, marijuana or mullein (which is smoked by asthmatics to clear bronchial passages); a flame is held over the bowl and the vaporized DMT is inhaled deeply. It is usually advisable to do this under the guidance of a person who is experienced in this practice.
When smoked, one or two deep inhalations may be sufficient in the case of some people to cause profound effects very quickly, whereas others may require up to four or five inhalations for full effect. One should be in a position to lie or to lean back comfortably, since the effects of smoking a large amount (for example, 50 mg) are usually physically incapacitating. Some favor a sitting position. As noted above, the effect is most intense in the first few minutes, and wears off after about ten or fifteen minutes. Since DMT occurs naturally in the human brain there are probably homeostatic mechanisms for regulating its concentration, which would explain the rapidity with which the effects wear off.
As noted in the previous section, smokable DMT is not the same as injectible DMT. What is smoked is the freebase (the compound itself) whereas the salt (usually the fumarate or the hydrochloride) is normally injected, snorted or taken orally. According to Alexander Shulgin ([98b]) a "complete psychedelic experience" results from the intramuscular injection of 50 to 70 mg (75 mg subcutaneously) or from smoking 30 mg.
When calculating doses for the injectible DMT fumarate, one should reckon on the fumarate being equivalent to 75% by weight of the freebase. That is, in terms of DMT content, 40 mg of the fumarate is equivalent to 30 mg. of the freebase (this figure may be different for other salts of DMT, such as the hydrochloride). However, injecting 40 mg. of the fumarate does not have the same effect as smoking 30 mg. of the freebase because with the latter method the DMT is delivered to the brain faster than with intramuscular injection, producing a more intense experience. To produce a result comparable to the effects of smoking 30 mg. of freebase, an injection of 80 mg. of fumarate may be needed.
When DMT fumarate is injected the effects come on in about five minutes (compared to one minute when the freebase is smoked) and last for about twenty to thirty minutes (compared to the five to ten with smoking).
DMT has been extensively tested both in the U.S. and in Europe and is apparently quite safe in normal subjects.
A case of a severely adverse reaction which has been reported in the literature is that of a woman who received 40 mg by intramuscular injection and who "suddenly developed an extremely rapid heart rate 12 minutes after the injection; no pulse could be obtained; no blood pressure could be measured. There seemed to have been an onset of auricular fibrillation." (Turner , p.127) However, this woman (who had been diagnosed as schizophrenic) was, at the time of the injection, extremely tense and apprehensive. Her anxiety was no doubt justified insofar as she was an unwilling participant in Nazi-like medical experiments performed by Drs Turner and Merlis in 1959 at a New York mental institution. Jonathan Ott describes these experiments in detail ([82a], p.167), and referring to this woman he writes:
Only when a female "patient" nearly died of cardiac arrest after a 40 mg injection ("extreme cyanosis quickly developed" and the poor woman was without pulse for 30 seconds, necessitating cardiac massage) did the good doctors cease their murderous experiments with DMT.
Whether such "medical" experimentation continues to this day is uncertain. In any case, the enforced administration of this powerful psychoactive material to uninformed and hapless prisoners and mental patients in a hospital prison environment is very different from the voluntary use of DMT by individuals intent on exploring the potentialities of their conscious minds.
For such exploration (so I am informed) to proceed safely one should have good cardiovascular health and avoid drugs and foods which increase heart rate and blood pressure by direct stimulation of the heart or by vasoconstriction. DMT should not be used by anyone who is taking MAO-inhibiting drugs. Insofar as MDMA (Ecstasy) is a mild MAO-inhibitor, the combination of MDMA and DMT is not recommended.
4. Subjective Effects of Smoking DMT
The subjective effects of a good lungfull of DMT are usually very intense, with consciousness usually overwhelmed by visual imagery. With eyes closed this may take the form of extremely complex, dynamic, geometric patterns, changing rapidly. Such a dose of DMT may produce a visual pattern consisting of overlapping annular patterns of small rhomboid elements all in saturated hues of red, yellow, green and blue. Gracie & Zarkov  refer to this, or something similar, as "the chrysanthemum pattern". The pattern itself seems to be charged with a portentous energy.
This state of consciousness, characterized by amazing visual patterns, is a prelude to a more profound state, which subjects report as contact with entities described as discarnate, non-human or alien. A very articulate account of the subjective effects of smoking DMT is given by Terence McKenna in his talk "Tryptamine Hallucinogens and Consciousness" , in which he describes his contact with what he calls "elves".
As usual with tryptamine psychedelics there is usually no loss of ego, although large doses will produce unconsciousness. There is often loss of body awareness. It is usually possible to think under the influence of DMT, but with larger doses it may become difficult to hold a thought, and sometimes confusion will occur.
The term "mind blowing" might have been invented for this drug. The experience was described by Alan Watts as like "being fired out of the nozzle of an atomic cannon" (Leary 1968a p.215). Thoughts and visions crowd in at great speed; a sense of leaving or transcending time and a feeling that objects have lost all form and dissolved into a play of vibrations are characteristic. The effect can be like instant transportation to another universe for a timeless sojourn. (Shulgin [98b])
With a fully effective dose the experience is usually so bizarre that an inexperienced person may believe that he or she has died, or is dying, especially if body awareness is lost. If this belief arises then it is important to remember that one will survive and return to ordinary consciousness. In general, yielding to the temptation to believe that one has died is not helpful when navigating psychedelic states since the resultant anxiety will usually distract one from a scientific observation of what is going on. More experienced users, knowing that hitherto they have always survived, however weird the experience, can learn not to succumb to this anxiety.
Unfortunately most users are not especially experienced in using DMT in any form. In fact, some first-time users of DMT are not at all well-informed as to this substance. It has happened that some, perhaps having heard of DMT only from their friends, are persuaded to smoke some by peers who are mainly interested to see what observable effects they can produce, the weirder the better. In the wrong setting a first-time user smoking DMT can find themself in a state which they never wished to be in. Fortunately all return safely. Nevertheless such an experience is hardly to be recommended (and it is unethical to induce it in others), and need not occur.
If there is some risk with smoking DMT, the solution is not to criminalize the use of this material but rather to provide accurate information, based on first-hand experience, to those who are interested in exploring it. It is lack of information which is the problem. And this lack of information in contemporary society about DMT is primarily due to the fact that DMT, along with other psychedelics, was in the late 1960s made illegal. Had its use not been criminalized, research and publication would have continued (hardly had reports begun to be published when it was made illegal). Thus the prohibition of the use of this material has not protected people; it has had the opposite effect, it has harmed them, by suppressing important and relevant information. What is needed is not a repressive attitude from society but rather an attitude which fosters the free flow, and general availability, of useful information. Information about what happens when you use DMT (or any other psychedelic) is without doubt useful to those people (increasing in number) who wish to explore the use of these substances (as they have a right to) and so in fact society has an obligation to its members either to make this information available, or at least, not to object to its dissemination.
5. Personal Reports
As regards the nature of the DMT experience we are still at the Baconian, data-gathering, stage. Before going on to offer some generalizations and speculation I shall here present some descriptions of DMT experiences, especially insofar as they relate to the question of contact with discarnate entities. Because the use of DMT is still illegal in certain countries whose governments do not yet recognize a person's natural right to explore his or her consciousness in whatever way desired, the authors of these reports shall for now mostly remain anonymous.
Explorer O: First DMT experience (female, written communication)
Remember to breathe. Recline and get into position, subsumed by the momentum, before me I see an irridescent membrane, taut and gently pulsating, something stretching and pushing towards me, on the other side, straining to emerge. A fissure rends, tears and inside I glimpse the existence of some-thing/place consisting of a dense whirling body of brilliantly multi-colored primordial life/thought stuff, seeping and beckoning … I breathe and return into the plexus, center of my being, to witness myself as an outline-constructed 2-D diagramatic shell of many coherent light-points, revolving quadrated vortices, large central to smaller and then tiny outer, phosphorescent green and I … exit into utter emptiness, space matrix ... Impression of basic colors unmuted blue, yellow and red, shimmering into being, depth imperceptible yet defined within the space, endlessly recurring back from/into the corner when, slowly, from around the edges they peer towards me, watching, eyes bright and watching in small faces, then small hands to pull themselves, slowly, from behind and into view, they are small white-blond imp-kids, very old in bright mostly red togs and caps, candy-store, shiny, teasing and inquisitive, very solemn and somewhat pleased (ah, here you are!) watching me as I meet their eyes bright and dark without any words (look!) or any idea remembered, they only want to convey (look!) through their eyes that I must know that THIS is what they/we are doing ...
Explorer O: Her second DMT experience (written communication)
... I found myself once again in the company of the "elves", as the focus of their attention and ministrations, but they appeared much less colorful and altogether preoccupied with the task at hand, i.e., pouring a golden, viscous liquid through a network of long, intertwining, transparent conduits which led into the middle of my abdomen ...
Explorer S: No previous experience of DMT (male, written communication)
My first attempts with DMT have left me with some serious thoughts. ... I did less than 10 mg on my second attempt and had a very weird experience. Not only did I have what I can only call a "close encounter," I was left with two thoughts. First, they were waiting for me, and they were not "friendly." ... [On the] third attempt [it] seemed like they could not wait for me to experiment. In this event, I did not have actual contact, but rather "felt" them wanting to get into my consciousness. The actual experience was far more frightening than any major "trip" previously experienced. ... I was profoundly affected.
Explorer G: Very experienced with DMT (female, Gracie , #5)
We each had taken 150 mg of pure MDA. ... About hour 4, I decided to try smoking some DMT. ... This time I saw the "elves" as multidimensional creatures formed by strands of visible language; they were more creaturely than I had ever seen them before. ... The elves were dancing in and out of the multidimensional visible language matrix, "waving" their "arms" and "limbs/hands/fingers?" and "smiling" or "laughing," although I saw no faces as such. The elves were "telling" me (or I was understanding them to say) that I had seen them before, in early childhood. Memories were flooding back of seeing the elves: they looked just like they do now: evershifting, folding, multidimensional, multicolored (what colors!), always laughing, weaving/waving, showing me things, showing me the visible language they are created/creatures of, teaching me to speak and read.
Explorer T: Several previous DMT experiences (female, verbal communication)
I saw a tunnel, which I flew down at great speed. I approached the end of the tunnel, which was closed by two doors on which was written THE END. I burst through these and was carried up through seven heavens, breaking through each one in turn. When I emerged at the top I was flying over a dark landscape (it seemed to be Mexico). I felt that this was all so weird that I should be scared (perhaps I had died), but I did not feel scared. I continued to fly on, over a ravine, leading up to a mountainside, and eventually saw a campfire. As I approached this, cautiously, I saw that on the other side of the fire was a human figure wearing a sombrero, whom I intuitively knew to be don Juan. He invited me to come closer, and spoke to me.
Explorer V: Very experienced with DMT (male, verbal communication)
I was in a large space and saw what seemed to be thousands of the entities. They were rapidly passing something to and fro among themselves, and were looking intently at me, as if to say "See what we are doing!" ... I noticed what seemed to be an opening into a larger space, like looking through a cave opening to a starry sky. As I approached this I saw that resting in the opening was a large creature, with many arms, somewhat like an octopus, and all over the arms were eyes, mostly closed, as if the creature were asleep or slumbering. As I approached it the eyes opened, and it/they became aware of me. It did not seem especially well-disposed toward me, as if it did not wish to be bothered by a mere human, and I had the impression I wasn't going to get past it, so I did not try.
Explorer M: The author of this article. Each of the following paragraphs is a description of a separate experience
(i) It was not until my fifth DMT trip that I became aware of alien contact. I took two inhalations from a mixture of 75 mg of DMT wax (less than 100% pure) and mullein. The visual hallucination was experienced as overwhelming, totally amazing, incredible and unbelievable. I could only surrender to the experience, reminding myself that I would survive, and attempt to deal with the sense that what I was seeing was completely impossible. I wondered whether this was what dying was like, and reassured myself, through noting my breathing, that I was still alive. What I was experiencing was happening too quickly to comprehend. At one point I suddenly became aware of beings, who were rapidly flitting about me. They appeared as dark, stick-like beings silhouetted against a rapidly-changing kaleidoscopic background. Although I could not make out much detail, I definitely felt their presence.
(ii) On the sixth occasion I took two inhalations of about 35 mg of pure DMT in a glass pipe. Immediately upon closing my eyes I was overwhelmed by the usual visual hallucination. This seemed to last but briefly, whereupon I passed abruptly through to another realm, losing all awareness of my body. It was as if there were alien beings there waiting for me, and I recall that they spoke to me as if they had been awaiting my arrival, but I cannot remember what was said. This time, rather than (or as well as) flitting about me, the entities approached me from the front, rapidly and repeatedly, appearing to enter and pass through me. I could make no sense of what was happening. I opened my eyes and made contact with my companions, locating myself once more in the room from which I had begun. Immediately I completely forgot what I had just experienced. The contents of the room appeared stable but weirdly distorted. I was able to recognize and to talk to my companions, but I felt very disoriented. ... The memory of this experience came back only when, later that evening, I smoked the remainder of what was left in the pipe - not enough to break through, but enough for me to remember.
(iii) I got deeply into the visual hallucination. I was barely able to remind and to reassure myself that "DMT is safe," though I had some difficulty recalling the name "DMT". With eyes closed, I experienced intense, overwhelming visual imagery. I was seeing a large, extremely colorful surface, like a membrane, pulsating toward and away from me. ... I recalled that I had seen this before, on previous DMT trips, but had forgotten it. During this experience I was aware of my breathing and heartbeat, and was careful to continue breathing deeply. The pattern was in intense hues, and its parts seemed to have meaning, as if they were letters of an alphabet, but I could not make sense of it. I was quite amazed. I felt that I was being shown something, and I tried to understand what I was seeing, but could not. I also heard elf-language, but it was not meaningful to me. Eventually the visions subsided, with no breakthrough and no overt alien contact.
(iv) I smoked at around 2 a.m. with little effect and some vaguely unpleasant visual hallucination (harlequin-like gargoyles). This might have been due to being tired and to having eaten substantially a few hours before. There was a sense of alien presence.
(v) Smoked 40 - 50 mg of DMT wax ... An overwhelming and confusing experience. My heart rate seemed to go way up, which caused me some concern. I had to remind myself that one does not die from smoking DMT. The experience was disjointed and erratic. There were white flashes, like subtitles in a film, except that they were not verbal but rather like a white-energy-being rushing quickly through the scene from left to right (what I now think of as "the white lightning being"). There was a strange, incomprehensible auditory hallucination. Confusing and unpleasant.
(vi) Upon lying back I became aware of brightly colored, moving patterns, which I remembered having seen before on DMT (but having forgotten about - indeed even now, a half-hour later, I cannot recall them clearly). I was then immersed in a totally weird state, like being in a large multi-colored hall whose walls (if it had walls) were moving incomprehensibly. ... Apart from occasional awareness of my breathing I was hardly aware of my body at all. I seemed to be in another world, disembodied, and feeling flabbergasted. I seemed to be aware of the presence of other beings in the same space, but had only fleeting glimpses of them, as if they were shy about appearing to me. In this state I did not know what to do. It was as if I was offered a wish by the dragon but did not understand what was being offered - or even that there was a dragon at all. Throughout there was elf-music, and elf-language in the background. I did not attend much to this since the visual component was so overwhelming. As the effect wore off I felt myself losing contact with this state, and knew that I would forget what was happening. It felt as if there were beings "waving goodbye".
(vii) I smoked 40 mg of pure DMT mixed with some marijuana ... I quickly entered into the trance state without noticing any great amount of the usual patterned visual hallucination ... I seemed to be falling away, spiraling into some large, black void, after which I seemed to be in a bright, open space in the presence of two other beings. Their forms were not very clear, but they seemed to be like children, as if we were together in a playground. They appeared to be moving very rapidly ... The two beings seemed to be trying to attract my attention, and to communicate something to me, but I could not understand. It was as if they were trying to make me understand where I was. One even seemed to be holding up a sign, like a speech balloon but, as I recall, the sign was blank. I attended to my breathing, and with this came an increased sense of self-identity, and with this a lessening of contact with the two beings.
(viii) Smoked 40 mg spread over mint leaves, in three tokes, sitting upright. My intention was to see what spirits, if any, are currently about me. As the experience came upon me I managed to keep that intention, or at least, "What spirits ...?", and also remembered to breathe regularly. A strange state of mind ensued, one of dynamic, patterned energy, in which I was not sure whether I was perceiving a scene, with a moving being, or not. I finally realized that the answer to my question regarding spirits was that there were indeed many around me, and that they were merry, hiding and playing a joke on me. However, I did not specifically see or hear any.
(ix) Smoked 40 mg of DMT wax spread over mint leaves as usual, sitting up leaning against a pillow. ... As the trance came on I was overwhelmed with visual imagery that I did not even attempt to make sense of. I struggled to remember who I was. ... I turned my attention to the visual component, and what I saw was an incredible amount of stuff coming at me in waves, sort of rolling toward me. There were two beings in the scene, and they were doing the rolling, definitely throwing all this stuff at me - I don't know why. The scene changed, and there was more visual hallucination, but I don't remember the details - all happening very quickly.
Parts 6 to 8 of this article are to follow soon.
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