I have done DMT only once. On 20 December 2010, I smoked 3.5 hits. Terrence McKenna said “anyone can do DMT once but it’s the truly courageous who do it a second time.” As of yet, I have not been truly courageous.* Although I did not plan to do it on an auspicious night, it turned out to be a full moon, the winter solstice and a total lunar eclipse all at the same time. Also, it was the proverbial dark and stormy night. But everything changed after that night, so I am including it in this blog because it had the effect of changing my worldview forever which has led me to the path I’m on now. For that, I am forever grateful to the intelligence of the DMT. If I had to claim a personal religion, I would say “what the N,N-Dimethyltryptamine showed me.” I went in as an atheist-rationalist-scientist and came out with an understanding that there is much more to this world than I thought. The Spirit Molecule, indeed.
I had posted my trip report to the DMT Nexus within days, but unfortunately my original, edited file has been lost and I can’t find my original post. I scoured the site and every corner of my hard drives from the last 7 years. Below is the rougher, more raw first draft. I will try to remember more and and add it. If you could boil it all down into one sentence, the takeaway from the experience is this:
There is nothing from this world there.
In that realm, there is nothing from our Earthly realm. It’s a 100% separate reality. The two worlds intersect nowhere.
Trip report from the night of 20 December 2010, Hollywood, California with my longest and closest friend Sonny as sitter:
The whole 5-minute trip could be divided in three parts: beginning, middle and end. I have no memory of the middle. This will forever remain a mystery. I smoked 3.5 hits (according to Sonny) which really quickly released me from reality. In a matter of seconds, a visual shutter came down and I had no sense of the room around me. There was a vague sense of physical unease and not being able to breathe. This part was traumatic with the coughing and the smoke – this was difficult and scary for me but I got through it. I’m not a smoker, don’t smoke pot so I tend to cough when inhaling.
I felt disengaged from my body. It was a violent beginning, like the Big Bang. The first visual I remember was a background field of gold that seemed exquisitely bright and illuminated. Layered in front were infinite geometric shapes – specifically red dotted crosses dancing and twirling. There were 2 swirling firecracker-like, circular, star-like shapes: one from the left, one from the right and they met in the middle. But they were different from firecrackers because there was no chaos or randomness – just purity and symmetry. Everything was perfectly symmetric, infinitely deep, complex, pure and clean. Polished. I remember seeing polished, curved, silver metal. Like an Escher drawing that goes to infinity but in color and illuminated like nothing I’ve ever seen. Fast. Fast. Fast. Faster than fast. Light speed. I didn’t know it would be so fast! Not peaceful. Violent but exquisite. The word “beyond” seems to apply to any description you could come up with.
The overarching theme was that everything was happening at warp speed and this was very disarming and somewhat scary and difficult to process. Hyperreal. It was like someone turned the dial on my brain from a 1 to 1,000. No, make that 10,000. I was physically thrashing around a bit. Sonny said I kept extending my leg (sometimes almost hitting him as he kneeled next to me) which we decided was me trying to ground myself in some sort of reality. Everything was hyperreal. Beyond the reality of all life experienced before this. It felt like every neuron in my brain was firing at once. Complete brain overload. I remember thinking “this is too much for my brain! Aaah!” I don’t think I could take more than 5 minutes of it.
There was a sense of no time. There were senses here and there of wanting to go to sleep which Sonny said is the body’s defense mechanism in dealing with the violent stuff going on in the mind’s eye. There was a feeling of high voltage – that my brain had been zapped by some crackling, metallic electricity and left to sit in this high-voltage state for 5 minutes. It felt like my brain had been seized, squeezed and then slowly expanded back to normality like a loaf of baking bread as I processed what I had seen afterward.
I don’t remember what happened during the middle. I was more at ease during the last third (Was it a third of the trip? There was no sense of time). I kept reaching for water, I was so parched from the smoke but I couldn’t quite focus on my water glass to pick it up. Sonny looked like a short dwarf (sorry, Sonny!). His presence was very grounding and I was thankful for it, always sitting there next to me for what seemed like a long time, constantly changing (short, close, far away). As I came off it, the floor looked like it had liquid running horizontally across it. I could see beads of water on the surface. The cat looked like a sausage. I enjoyed the distorted reality of the room around me as I came off it, as things started to slow down. This part was more like an LSD trip or mushrooms. I felt resistant to the first part, it was so utterly mind-blowing and violent and fast that I was relieved to know it was ending. It felt like rebirth. I cannot describe the intricacy and color I saw. It took me about 20 minutes to stop shaking afterward.
This was the most extreme thing I’ve ever seen in my mind. The experience was nothing like I was expecting. Nothing can prepare you for this. No videos or descriptions or previous experiences. I feel like my brain was re-booted. I had no idea I could see the things I did, that my mind’s eye could project such scenes. I will never forget that first firecracker explosion of gold and red and perfect geometry. Everything was so pure and clean. Not a spec of toxin or adulteration or randomness. I did feel later, after thinking about it, the vague sense of being shown something by something outside of me. And that something was slightly laughing as if to say “here you go! you asked for it! We’re gonna show you everything at once.” It was so fast, everything happened at such warp speed, that it was absolutely overwhelming and scared me. But I am so happy to have seen that. Regular life now seems really slow. Maybe this is what reality looks like when there is no time dimension – everything happens at once, on top of each other.
I am really thankful and happy for this experience and have a new amazement and respect for what our brains can experience. The lasting image is the first one: the gold and red and symmetric, metallic geometry in hyper-speed motion. I do feel I took a trip from which there is no return. I agree with Sonny that everyone should experience this once.
Integration: In the days after the trip, I was extra sensitive to color. I would notice rainbows and fall into a little trance if I saw vibrant color. It was also hard to reconcile dirt. In the DMT world, there is nothing dirty or soiled or toxic. So I could not figure out where all the toxins and filth of our world emanate from. It was perplexing. It the universe is comprised of pure mathematical truth, how are impure and repulsive things generated? I wanted nothing to do with anything ugly or sick. I had no desire to consume alcohol or eat processed food or animal products. This wore off after several days.
I had been a little depressed at the time, being bogged down with work, and any figment of sadness was immediately stripped away by the DMT. It’s a sure cure for depression. You emerge with a new wonder and amazement of the world. Like coming out into the light after being in a darkened cave. Driving home on that rainy night in my tin can car felt very strange, like I was stuck in a wonky world of wrong. It’s good to know there is so much more. I feel one day we will all see it, but not until we die. (Or do lots and lots more DMT, haha!)
Thoughts in the Interim from Then to Now
One could say that the DMT experience is like this: imagine your brain is a sphere, with conscious thought on the outside of the sphere and subconscious thought/universal truth always hidden on the inner surface of the sphere. When you take DMT you are turning the sphere inside out like a balloon out so that your subconscious/universal truths are revealed, now on the outside surface. The conscious is still present but it is now the one submerged and subdued on the inner surface. The N,N-Dimethyltryptamine’s mechanism allows us to see what really is. The process of turning the sphere inside out is violent and scary and can be difficult but it’s how you can see truth.
*with the exception of the DMT cigarette night which is another story