Apparent Communication ... Parts 6-8
This is a continuation of “Apparent Communication with Discarnate Entities Induced by Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) Parts 3-5”. This article was first published in1992 in Thomas Lyttle (ed.): Psychedelic Monographs and Essays, Volume 6. The numbered references are given here.
6. Levels of Experience
Based upon these reports and others I tentatively put forward the following classification of levels of experience associated with the effects of smoking DMT. This classification should be compared to further reports, in particular those resulting from an experiment conducted by Dr Rick Strassman in 1992 involving the administration of DMT via intravenous injection.
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Level I: Threshold experience
This stage is characterized by an interior flowing of energy/consciousness. It may be extremely intense. It often has a positive feeling content.
Level II: Vivid, brilliantly colored, geometric visual patterns
Here one is observing a colored, patterned, two-dimensional field, although it may have a pulsating quality. One may remember having seen this before.
Transitional phase: Tunnel or breakthrough experience
One may see or fly through a tunnel (a passage to the next level). A veil may part, a membrane may be rent. There is a breakthrough to another world (or perhaps even a series of breakthroughs). Alternatively, it may also happen that the transition from Level II to Level III is abrupt, almost instantaneous, with no experience of transition.
Level III: Three- or higher-dimensional space, possible contact with entities
This stage is characterized by the experience of being in an "objective" space, that is, a space of at least three dimensions in which objects or entities may be encountered. Sometimes the entities appear to be intelligent and communicating beings. This stage may be extremely energetic with an experience of everything happening incomprehensibly fast. Alternatively it may be relatively coherent. Travel is possible at Level III. One may, for example, assume the form and consciousness of a bird, and fly. The limits of this stage, if any, are unknown.
Recently one person who has ventured far into the DMT realm has reported that beyond Level III there is another state, that of "the white light". Whether this is the same as "the white light" spoken of by Aldous Huxley in connection with his mescaline experiences is hard to say.
[See also 340 DMT Trip Reports (2010)]
7. Interpretations of the Experience
Although the amazing kaleidoscopic visual patterns experienced under the influence of DMT are sufficient in themselves to command attention among students of psychedelics, the really interesting part of the experience may well be the apparent contact with alien beings. Since some may feel reluctant to admit the possibility of the existence of alien beings getting in contact with DMT-modified humans, we should consider all hypotheses that might explain the observations, or at least, be consistent with them.
Several questions can be distinguished. At the least controversial level the matter can be approached from the point of view of orthodox physical science, in particular, neuropharmacology (which, like all other branches of natural science in the West is a part of physical science in the wider sense, since [orthodox] Western science acknowledges no reality other than the physical). When approached from this perspective we can ask: What exactly is going on when those DMT molecules get in there among the neurons of the brain, causing it to function in what appears subjectively to be a radically different manner?
Secondly, we can seek a phenomenology of the DMT experience. What do people experience, and how do their experiences differ? How often do they experience contact with entities, and when they do what are they seen as and seen to be doing? What is happening, for example, when some people report seeing thousands of these entities simultaneously? Even more interesting is the phenomenon of communication, or attempted communication, which many explorers report. Some also report seeing the entities communicating with each other, in some kind of mutual exchange - but of what?
Finally there is the question of the independent reality of the entities. Explorers report experiences of contact with communicating beings whose independent existence at the time seems self-evident. These experiences are not described as dream-like. If the entities have an existence independent of the DMT-influenced subject then a realm of existence has been discovered which is quite other than the consensus reality which most of us assume is the only real world.
Such a discovery of a separate reality would directly challenge the foundations of the modern Western view of the world. One might be tempted to say that it would be the most revolutionary change in our understanding of reality since the fish crawled out on land, but this would be to overlook the fact that the worldview of the modern West is a comparatively recent invention, stemming mainly from the rise of physical science and technology in recent centuries. Earlier cultures had, and non-Western cultures still have, more expansive views of the extent of reality.
Listed below are eight suggested interpretations of the DMT experience which imply answers (true or false) to some or all of the questions raised above. Some of these, like the experience itself, are bizarre, but at this stage any idea should be considered since probably in this matter (in the words of the 20th C. British biologist J. B. S. Haldane, himself an explorer) the truth "is not only stranger than we suppose but stranger than we can suppose."
It's all merely subjective hallucination; there are no alien entities. The DMT state may be interesting, even extremely so, but really (come now) there are no independently-existing alien entities to be found there.
DMT provides access to a parallel or higher dimension, a truly alternate reality which is, in fact, inhabited by independently-existing intelligent entities forming (in the words of Terence McKenna) "an ecology of souls".
DMT allows awareness of processes at a cellular or even atomic level. DMT smokers are tapping into the network of cells in the brain or even into communication among molecules themselves. It might even be an awareness of quantum mechanical processes at the atomic or sub-atomic level.
DMT is, perhaps, a neurotransmitter in reptilian brains and in the older, reptilian parts of mammalian brains. Flooding the human brain with DMT causes the older reptilian parts of the brain to dominate consciousness, resulting in a state of awareness which appears totally alien (and sometimes very frightening) to the everyday monkey mind.
A non-human intelligent species created humans by genetic modification of existing primate stock then retreated (a la Zecharia Sitchin and others). So that we would have a way to call them if we needed to, they left behind biochemical methods for contacting them. The psychedelic tryptamines are chemical keys that activate certain programs in the human wetware that were placed there intentionally by these ETs as a way to contact them.
The realm to which DMT provides access is the world of the dead. The entities experienced are the souls, or personalities, of the departed, which retain some kind of life and ability to communicate. The realm of dead souls, commonly believed in by cultures and societies other than that of the modern West, is now accessible to Westerners by using DMT.
The entities experienced are beings from another time who have succeeded in mastering the art of time travel (or the art of moving from one time stream to another), not in a way which allows materialization but in a way which allows them to communicate with conscious beings such as ourselves when in an altered state.
The entities are probes from an extraterrestrial or even an extradimensional species, sent out to make contact with organisms such as ourselves who are able to manipulate their nervous systems in a way which allows communication to take place.
These hypotheses can be expanded and are, of course, vulnerable to objections. No doubt other hypotheses are possible. These matters will not be resolved until we have more data with which to test these and other hypotheses.
8. DMT and Hyperspace
In this section and in the following one I shall present a view which elaborates upon interpretations (ii), (vi) and (vii) in Part 7. This is speculation but nevertheless provides a preliminary framework for steps toward an understanding of what the use of DMT reveals to us.
The world of ordinary, common, experience (in which we normally experience ourselves interacting with other beings) has three spatial dimensions and one temporal dimension, forming a place and time for the apparent persistence of solid objects and enduring persons. Since this is a world of experience its study belongs more to epistemology than to ontology. The being, or ontological nature, of this world (if it has any) may be quite different from what we experience it as.
Psychedelic experience strongly suggests that (as William James hypothesized) ordinary experience is an island in a sea of possible modes of consciousness. Under the influence of substances such as LSD and psilocybin we venture outside of the world as commonly viewed and enter spaces which may be very strange indeed. This happens as a result of changing our brain chemistry. Why then should we not regard ordinary experience too as a result of a particular mode of brain chemistry? Perhaps the world of ordinary experience is not a faithful representation of physical reality but rather is physical reality represented in the manner of ordinary brain functioning. By taking this idea seriously we may free our understanding of physical reality from the limitations imposed by the unthinking assumption that ordinary experience represents physical reality as it is. In fact physical reality may be totally bizarre and quite unlike anything we have thought it to be.
In his special theory of relativity, Albert Einstein demonstrated that the physical world (the world that can be measured by physical instruments, but is assumed to exist independently) is best understood as a four-dimensional space which may be separated into three spatial dimensions and one temporal dimension in various ways (the particular separation depending on the motion of a hypothetical observer). It seems that DMT releases one's consciousness from the ordinary experience of space and time and catapults one into direct experience of a four-dimensional world which is perhaps identical to the four-dimensional world studied in special relativity theory.
This hyper-dimensionality to some extent explains the feeling of incredulity which many first-time users report. The DMT realm is described by some as "incredible", "bizarre", "unbelievable" and even "impossible", and for many who have experienced it these terms are not an exaggeration. These terms make sense if the world experienced under DMT is a four-dimensional world experienced by a mind which is trying to make sense of it in terms of its usual categories of three-dimensional space and one-dimensional time. In the DMT state these categories no longer apply to whatever it is that is being experienced.
Some persons report that it seems that in the DMT experience there is information transfer of some sort. If so, and if this information is quite unlike anything that we are used to dealing with (at least at a conscious level) then it may be that the bizarre quality of the experience results from attempting to impose categories of thought which are quite inapplicable.
The space that one breaks through to under the influence of a large dose of DMT has been called "hyperspace" by Terence McKenna and Ralph Abraham  and by Gracie & Zarkov . It may be that hyperspace is an experience of physical reality which is "closer" to it (or less mediated) than is our ordinary experience, and that in hyperspace one has direct experience of the four-dimensionality of physical reality.
Parenthetically we may note a mildly interesting case of historical anticipation. In 1897 one H. C. Geppinger published a book entitled DMT: Dimensional Motion Times , an appropriate title for our current subject. However he was, of course, quite unaware of what the initials DMT would later come to mean (the compound was not even synthesized until 1931).
In The Doors of Perception [56a] (the book that introduced many people in the 1960s to the “good news” of psychedelics), Aldous Huxley, reflecting upon his mescaline experiences, suggested that there was something, which he called “Mind at Large”, which was filtered by the ordinary functioning of the human brain to produce ordinary experience. One may view the human body and the human nervous system as an instrument for constructing a stable representation of a world of enduring objects which are able to interact in ways that we are familiar with from our ordinary experience. This is analogous to a computer's production of a stable video display — for even a simple blinking cursor requires complicated coordination of underlying physical processes to make it happen. In a sense we may be thought of as hyperspatial bushes whose typical shrubbery is the world of everyday reality (as we experience it). When our neuropharmacological processes are modified by unusual chemicals the hypermetabolic process functions abnormally, and we have the opportunity to view the reality underlying ordinary experience in what may be an entirely new way.
Einstein's four-dimensional space-time may thus turn out to be not merely a flux of energetic point-events but to be (or to be contained in a higher-dimensional space which is) at least as organized as our ordinary world and which contains intelligent, communicating beings capable of interacting with us. As Hamlet remarked cryptically to his Aristotelian tutor (following an encounter with the ghost of Hamlet's deceased father), “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Should we be surprised to find that there are more intelligent, communicating, beings in the higher-dimensional reality underlying our ordinary experience than we find within that experience?
Parts 9 to 11 of this article are to follow soon.
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