DMT, nicknamed the “spirit molecule,” or as it’s empirically known, dimethyltryptamine has traversed endearing elements of cultural influence throughout the modern world.
Its composed sister, ayahuasca, has presumably been used for centuries by dozens of Amazonian cultures. But in Western culture, DMT was only first synthesised by a Canadian chemist, Richard Manske, in 1931. Later discovered by microbiologist, Oswaldo Gonçalves de Lima, to be a naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in small concentrations in various plants, mammals and even the human brain.
Capable of producing radical shifts in conscious experience, many scientists and psychedelic researchers have questioned the potential of its miraculous nature. And since centuries have passed since its indigenous use, psychedelic science has recently made phenomenal developments in dimethyltryptamines’ true potential.
2021 research published by the University of Greenwich, named “An Encounter With the Other: A Thematic and Content Analysis of DMT Experiences From a Naturalistic Field Study,” analysed the experiences of 36 seasoned DMT psychonauts. All participants who volunteered smoked 40 – 75 mg of DMT and were questioned about their experience.
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“Invariably, profound and highly intense experiences occurred,” the authors wrote, explaining 94 per cent of subjects reported breakthrough encounters with otherworldly “beings” and a full 100 per cent reported that their adventure connected them with another world.
The section of the study labelled “Distinguishing Features of DMT,” analysed the “otherwordly beings” that appeared in almost every studied DMT trip throughout the study. “It seems that there is virtually no single experiential feature of the above thematised DMT experience which cannot be found in either the alien abduction, faerie lore or shamanic, especially ayahuasca, experience,” the study authors wrote.
Entities the study subjects encountered presented a vast array of different features. While one presented cartoonish and clown-like characteristics, another was said to mimic a “multidimensional moth structure.” Others had serpentine, octopoid, and insectoid qualities. While most were described as humanoid, subjects also reported run-ins with “dancing lattices” and “sentient geometries.”
Pascal Michael, one of the study authors, wrote “All psychoactive chemicals are enthralling just by virtue of their being able to manipulate the mind via their molecular mechanisms — but DMT is especially so, because of just how quickly and dramatically it can transform almost everything about one’s conscious experience.”
Regardless of how the beings appeared, most subjects believed they were “kind” in nature and held pure intentions. Many even saw them as teachers or guides. “These meetings were also overwhelmingly positive, with over half of participants conveying the entities’ enchanting nature.”
The study authors continued, “Almost half felt some, usually ‘telepathic,’ communication from the entity, mostly happening to be on the subject of cosmic insight (such as the game-like nature of reality) or love for others and oneself.”
The palaeolithic value of DMT
The earliest evidence of psychedelic use was found in Guitarrero Cave, in Peru’s Callejón de Huaylas valley. Researchers found cave paintings that appear “alien-like” in parts of the cave that were occupied by the earliest humans – dating back between 8600 and 5600 B.C.
When a human takes a hallucinogen the chemical reaction it causes in their brain makes them see patterns that resemble the cellular structure of the brain. These are called Turing Instabilities. Examples of the instabilities were compared to cave art dating back 40,000 years.
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The origin of cave paintings suggests that humanity’s earliest artists deliberately sought out psychedelics to create visionary art. A 2018 study confirmed that the earliest humans were using psychedelics. Their brains—like ours—had a biological predisposition to “see” certain patterns, especially during consciousness-altering states.
Researchers Tom Froese, Alexander Woodward and Takashi Ikegami, also claim that the cavemen would have actively sought out these drugs to give greater meaning to their visions and the world around them.
Many DMT users claim to have experienced the psychedelics’ “other-worldly” effects and claim to have been left feeling closer to nature, the universe and even a “god-like” presence. Zac Whelan, CONTX Media founder and CEO, shared extensive details about his “godly” DMT experiences with me. “The sheer visual experience of DMT alone is so profound that you’re left questioning everything, for a few days or even weeks after the trip,” Zac said.
Adding, “It really taught me that taking an alternative perspective to controversy and life challenges can be a profoundly powerful tool. In my belief – this was a spiritual awakening of sorts.”
Zac claims to have had quite the visual experience, saying “On one trip, I specifically remember lying back and staring at the roof of the room I was in. After about 20 – 30 seconds jungle vines, plant life and snakes started growing up and down what looked like four-dimensional wallpaper surrounding the room.”
“Not long after, the roof began spinning into geometric patterns and the joining parts between the roof and walls began morphing into cartoon piano keys and playing music I could see,’’ he said.
Aliens and psychedelic significance
As we continue to learn more about the significance of the DMT experience, we are perhaps reminded that each DMT experience holds a personal element to it. “This [one] trip in particular certainly made me further appreciate the natural creativity of the world and showed me that art is just nature’s way of expressing itself – in all its forms.”
Zac added, “’I’ve had one DMT experience where a ghost-like creature tried communicating with me in a language that made complete sense at the time, but now means absolutely nothing to me. It had a cliche ‘ghostly’ aura around it with a recognisable, almost human-like face, resembling something like a grey alien (bald, slender and very tall). The creature stayed with me for most of the trip, guiding me, for I’d say around 10 – 15 earth minutes.”.
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After reading a large number of reports of people claiming to have met “god” or come in contact with a “god-like entity,” I asked Zac if he had the same experience. He said “Some might call it god – but that’s too simplistic for me. I just call it an experience; something to learn from, the same as everything in life.”
These profound and ontologically shifting experiences are endearing to many who believe in the dynamic potential that psychedelics hold. The result of this study presents evidence of a hyper-real, otherworldly, and potentially transformative experience that has had a significant impact on people’s lives. And thus – should continue to be studied.