What Is DMT?

NN-Dimethyltryptamine or DMT for short is an short acting psychedelic entheogen which allows a persons consciousness to voyage into the most incredible dimensions, visions, thoughts and experiences imaginable.

It is without doubt one of the most powerful yet mysterious psychedelics in existence but to classify DMT as merely a drug would be doing it a great injustice as DMT is more a trans dimensional key into places and vistas so profound and awe inspiring that it raises many new questions regarding the nature of reality and our place within it.

DMT exists naturally in every human being and also throughout the plant and animal kingdoms. It occurs naturally in many mammals, marine animals, trees, grasses, flowers and shoots.

DMT is closely related to serotonin, the naturally occurring neurotransmitter that psychedelics affect so widely. The pharmacology of DMT is similar to that of other well-known psychedelics. It affects receptor sites for serotonin in much the same way that LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline do. These serotonin receptors are widespread throughout the body and can be found in blood vessels, muscle, glands, and skin.


What Are The Effects?

Depending on the dosage, the effects of DMT can range from a multitude of sensations, from bizarre, beautiful and even 'impossible' visions to literally jaw hanging awe as one is propelled into other dimensions of existence where human language and logic cannot even begin to describe or comprehend.

The following is an excerpt from Psychedelic Monographs and Essays which discusses the different levels of a DMT experience:

Level I: Pre-Hallucinatory experience

This stage is characterized by an interior flowing of energy/consciousness. It may be extremely intense. It may have a positive feeling content.

Level II: Vivid, brilliantly colored, geometric visual hallucinations

Here one is observing a patterned field, basically two dimensional, although it may have a pulsating quality. One may remember having seen this before.

Transitional Phase (Level IIB?): 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 as a bird does (cf. Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan pp. 191-196). The limits of of this stage, if any, are unknown. There may be transitions to further stages.

If one would like to read some first hand experiences of DMT journeys, you can download a collection of DMT trip reports here.


Is DMT Dangerous?

"The feeling of doing DMT is as though one had been struck by noetic lightning. The ordinary world is almost instantaneously replaced, not only with a hallucination, but a hallucination whose alien character is its utter alienness. Nothing in this world can prepare one for the impressions that fill your mind when you enter the DMT sensorium.

"The extraordinary brevity of the experience," he continued, "argues that it is incredibly harmless. It virtually disappears from the organism in about ten minutes. The paradox is that DMT is the most powerful yet most harmless of all these things. This is probably because, for reasons which are mysterious to us, DMT occurs in normal brain metabolism (in Serotonin)."
-- Terence McKenna

Strangely, even though DMT is one of the most intense psychedelics in existence physically it is one of the safest. Because the human body and mind already contain DMT in trace amounts the brain knows exactly how to utilize and metabolize this entheogen and it leaves the system in a matter of minutes. In fact one could say that since DMT is endogenous to the human nervous system it is the safest psychedelic known, far safer physically than even common alcohol and cigarettes.

Mentally DMT is extremely intense, one of the few dangers that one may encounter is that a person may not be prepared for the intensity of such experience and may have trouble integrating it. It would help a psychonaut immensely if he is well schooled in esoteric and psychedelic states of mind before embarking on any hyper dimensional DMT voyages. Set and Setting also play a big part in facilitating the most positive, insightful and enjoyable experience possible.


How Can One Acquire DMT?

There are a number of ways to acquire this entheogen. The first and most difficult way is to have some substantial chemistry knowledge and experience and actually synthesize pure DMT in a laboratory. This a rather tricky and time consuming process and requires access to some rather obscure and hard to acquire chemicals.

The most common and easiest method to acquire DMT is to extract it from the various plant species that contain the compound. The various plants and extraction techniques won't be expounded here but all the information you need to obtain DMT via this method can be found here.


What Are The Implications Of DMT?

The DMT experience remains one of the most baffling and amazing enigmas of modern science. The realms one breaks into are sometimes described as 'amazing', 'incredible' and even 'impossible'. Almost all DMT psychonauts who have broken through to the other side feel that what they had encountered was not just mere 'hallucinations' , 'hypnogogia' or even material from the subconscious mind.

Some of the most common ideas of what might be occurring are expounded below from an excerpt of Psychedelic Monographs and Essays:

"Although the amazing geometrical hallucinations experienced under the influence of DMT are sufficient in themselves to command attention among students of psychedelics, the really interesting part of the experience is the apparent contact with alien beings.

Since some may feel reluctant to admit possible existence of alien beings getting in contact with DMT-modified humans, we should consider all hypothesis that might explain the observations, or at least, be consistent with them.

Several questions can be distinguished. Firstly, there is the question of the independent reality of the entities. Subjects 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. I was 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 overlooking the fact that the world view of the modern West is a comparatively recent invention, stemming mainly from the rise of materialist science in recent centuries. Earlier cultures had, and non-Western cultures still have, more expansive views of the extent of reality.

Secondly, regardless of whether the entities are independently-existing or have no existence beyond the experience of the subject, what are they seen as and seen to be doing? What is happening, for example, when some subjects report seeing thousands of these entities simultaneously? Even more interesting is the phenomenon of communication, or attempted communication, which many subjects report. Some subjects also report seeing the entities communicating with each other, in some kind of mutual exchange -- but of what?

Thirdly, the matter can be approached from the point of view of neuropharmacology. What exactly is going on when those DMT molecules get in there among neurons of the brain, causing it to function in what appears subjectively to be a radically different manner?


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 in this matter the truth (to paraphrase J.B.S. Haldane) probably is not only stranger than we suppose but stranger than we can suppose.

1) There are no alien entities at all; it's merely subjective hallucination. The DMT state may be interesting, even extremely interesting, but really there are no independently-existing alien entities to be found.

2) 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".

3) 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 subatomic level.

4) 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.

5) A non-human intelligent species created humans by genetic modification of existing primate stock then retreated, leaving behind biochemical methods for contacting them. The psychedelic tryptamines are chemical keys that activate certain programs in the human brain that were placed there intentionally by this alien species.

6) The realm to which DMT provides access is the world of the dead. The entities experienced are souls, or personalities, of the departed, which retain some kind of life and ability to communicate. The realm of dead souls, commonly accepted by cultures and societies other than that of the modern West, is now accessible using DMT.

7) The entities experienced are beings from another time who have succeeded in mastering the art of time travel, not in a way which allows materialization but in a way which allows them to communicate with conscious beings such as ourselves.

8) The entities are probes from an extraterrestrial or an extra dimensional 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, or course, vulnerable to objections. No doubt other hypotheses are possible. These matters will not be resolved until we have more data to test these and other hypotheses"










DMT-Nexus front-page