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    Terrance McKenna and DMT
    The molecule DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a psychoactive chemical that causes intense visions and can induce its users to quickly enter a completely different "environment" that some have likened to an alien or parallel universe. The transition from our world to theirs occurs with no cessation of consciousness or quality of awareness. In this environment, beings often appear who interact with the person who is using DMT. The beings appear to inhabit this parallel realm. The DMT experience has the feel of reality in terms of detail and potential for exploration. The creatures encountered are often identified as being alienlike or elflike. Some of the creatures appear to be three-dimensional. Others appear to lack depth.

    Author Terence McKenna has used DMT and feels that, "Right here and now, one quanta away, there is raging a universe of active intelligence that is transhuman, hyperdimensional, and extremely alien... What is driving religious feeling today is a wish for contact with this other universe." The aliens seen while using DMT present themselves "with information that is not drawn from the personal history of the individual."

    DMT is also naturally produced in small quantities in the human brain, and it has been hypothesized that DMT is produced in the pineal gland in the brain. The pineal gland appears in the developing human fetus around 49 days after conception. Perhaps an embryo should not be considered human until DMT production commences. Note that "zygotic personhood" (the idea that a fertilized egg is a person) is a recent concept. For example, before 1869, the Catholic church believed that the embryo was not a person until it was 40 days old. Naturally occurring DMT may play a role in near-death experiences and alien-abduction experiences.
    Is it possible that the reality exposed to humans by injecting DMT is in some sense a valid reality, on par with our normal reality? Our minds, which evolved to help us run from lions on the African savannas, might not be engineered to see these other realities under normal circumstances.

    What is the guarantee that our minds are naturally designed to sense the "true reality"? Perhaps there is no guarantee. If this concept seems weird, consider a far-fetched example. Imagine a creature or phenomena that has been lurking among us since the dawn of evolution. If our ancient ancestors died every time they perceived the phenomena, evolution would favor creatures who did not perceive the creatures or phenomena. One might counter this argument by saying that our modern instruments, such as X-ray machines and cameras, should be able to make the creatures apparent to us, even if our unaided sensorium is not up to the task. Reasoning further, because our instruments have not made these realms apparent to us, the realms must not be real. However, perhaps our traditional instruments and theories are also not up to the task. Or perhaps our interpretation of the instruments' results is incomplete. Perhaps DMT is an instrument.

    As a metaphor, consider infrared goggles. A person leans on a tree. At night, we don't see the person. Put the goggles on, and a new reality results — a truer reality — and we see the man. Similarly, is it possible that our brain is a filter, and the use of DMT is like slipping on infrared goggles, allowing us to perceive a valid reality that is inches away and all around us?



    DMT revelations 1
    DMT revelations 2
    DMT revelations 3

    more on pineal gland:
    video:Rick Strassman

    Mon, Jan 11, 2010  Permanent link

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         Mon, Jan 11, 2010  Permanent link
    For example, before 1869, the Catholic church believed that the embryo was not a person until it was 40 days old.


    There's an idea that matches this in tibetan buddhism, that for 49 days the soul resides in the 'bardo' (kind of a limbo before reincarnation). Rick strassman mentions this in his book DMT: the spirit molecule (Read that book!).

    There's some interesting research being done into this stuff, beyond the strassman experiments. We'll see where this goes!

    Abstract: N,N-dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, is an endogenous psychoactive chemical that has been shown through repeated human subject experimentation to provide the subject with a perception of an ‘alternate reality’. When administered a sufficient DMT dose, subjects have reported the presence of intelligent beings that do not appear to be the projections of their subconscious in the Freudian sense. Furthermore, and of particular interest to this article, many subjects believe that the percieved alternate reality is persistent in that it exists irrespective of their subjective momentary perception. Past research into the DMT-induced alternate reality comes solely from subject testimonies and to date, no analysis has been conducted to understand the objective aspects of these extraordinary subjective claims. This article provides a methodology for studying the nature of the DMT-induced alternate reality by means of various simple information theory experiments. These experiments can be used to test which of the presented interpretations of the DMT-induced alternate reality appears most plausible.

    Full paper:
    A Methodology for Studying Various Interpretations of the N,N-dimethyltryptamine-Induced Alternate Reality

    Another interesting theory being explored is that endeogenous DMT (still theoretical of course) serves as relief from anxiety.

    The presence of the potent hallucinogenic psychoactive chemical N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in the human body has puzzled scientists for decades. Endogenous DMT was investigated in the 1960s and 1970s and it was proposed that DMT was involved in psychosis and schizophrenia. This hypothesis developed from comparisons of the blood and urine of schizophrenic and control subjects. However, much of this research proved inconclusive and conventional thinking has since held that trace levels of DMT, and other endogenous psychoactive tryptamines, are insignificant metabolic byproducts. The recent discovery of a G-protein-coupled, human trace amine receptor has triggered a reappraisal of the role of compounds present in limited concentrations in biological systems. Interestingly enough, DMT and other psychoactive tryptamine hallucinogens elicit a robust response at the trace amine receptor. While it is currently accepted that serotonin 5-HT2A receptors play a pivotal role in the activity of hallucinogenic/ psychedelic compounds, we propose that the effects induced by exogenous DMT administration, especially at low doses, are due in part to activity at the trace amine receptor. Furthermore, we suggest that endogenous DMT interacts with the TA receptor to produce a calm and relaxed mental state, which may suppress, rather than promote, symptoms of psychosis. This hypothesis may help explain the inconsistency in the early analysis of endogenous DMT in humans. Finally, we propose that amphetamine action at the TA receptor may contribute to the calming effects of amphetamine and related drugs, especially at low doses.

    Full paper:
    Endogenous psychoactive tryptamines reconsidered: an anxiolytic role
    for dimethyltryptamine
    nagash     Mon, Jan 11, 2010  Permanent link
    Take some time to read the Case Against DMT Elves by James Kent. It's a very skeptic analysis, contrasting to most articles we usually find on this subject ; )
    weather     Mon, Jan 11, 2010  Permanent link

    thanks for the inspiration!
    AsylumSeaker     Mon, Jan 11, 2010  Permanent link
    Nice post, keen. DMT is an incredible tool and deserves as much exposure and exploration that communities of intelligent people such as this one can give it.
    gamma     Tue, Jan 12, 2010  Permanent link
    Fabulous movies. (What's with the fish?)

    I believe that we need to present the world some counter initiative to the drug propaganda, because people could be injured.

    contra from Vicent Gisbert Soler on Vimeo.

    People could be injured by unknown plants that might seem like a "sure thing", until science discovers unknown and complex behavior of components found within plants. Brain was designed to be accurate and contain in itself the representation of world (any world). A psychedelic experience could be okay, or safe, but we should note that it is probably incomplete, because the body is incomplete or the space is absurd and dysfunctional somehow (however special and separate from physical reality).

    DMT and tryptamines are just very small molecules in a very large, detailed and intelligent story of the protein-based nanotechnology of life. So, what about the intelligence? DMT is received by protein receptors. These receptors are our senses; they are like eyes and ears found not only in the eyes and ears, but equally throughout the brain. Protein-based mechanism possess the capacity to learn by training - training the perception, perhaps the same ordinary perception we used to know, until it became boring and neglected. I hope that people can present their journeys in books and posts for those senses... and beyond!

    (oh how amazing I was when I added "and beyond!")

         Tue, Jan 12, 2010  Permanent link
    For years researchers have been trying to figure out which endogenous neurotransmitter might bind to a specific type called the 'sigma-1' receptor. About a year ago they finally found out:

    It'd be especially interesting if we don't find any other weird endogenous ligands that specifically have affinity for this receptor. However, don't be so sure that this activity is g-protein coupled. This research indicates the opposite. I don't know about any other research that replicates these findings yet, although it is possibly the case that g-protein coupled receptors are to be a lot more significant in the way you mentioned with DMT's interaction at the 5HT2-A receptor and maybe even trace amine receptor sites. What I find interesting is what sigma-1 receptors have been implicated in having to do with: Calcium & ion channel activity (Something to do with cell survival mechanisms), and nerve growth signaling (Maybe some of you remember my post on BDNF from ages back).
    gamma     Wed, Jan 13, 2010  Permanent link
    Interesting. (I thought your old post was about Proust, phew.)

    Did you notice how Sigma 1 is a chaperone protein whose primary role all around the body is to protect against heat shock? Maybe it does not sound much, but the brain has two "glands", one of which is regulating the body temperature and the other one perhaps... body cold?
         Wed, Jan 13, 2010  Permanent link
    The fact that DMT "consciousness" reveals itself in so many forms tells me that the "messenger" — be it elf, alien, jaguar, or whatever — is basically arbitrary within the context of the patterns and archetypes our minds tend to pick out of random noise. However (and this is the good part), the really interesting thing about DMT experiences is not the elves (messengers) themselves, but what it is they are saying (the message). And when you get to the heart of what the typical DMT message is, it is usually something about the environment or living systems or the vast plant consciousness that penetrates our world. The "Gaia consciousness" that infuses the experience is undeniable, and what to make of that I don't know, other than to entertain the possibility that this ancient plant consciousness actually exists and is attempting to make itself known through the DMT-enlightened mammal brain. If so, then this is the real discovery of the DMT experience, and this is the topic that should be looked at more closely. In the context of DMT being a two-way radio for plant-human communication, the "elves" themselves are nothing more than a cartoon interface for the exchange of information.

    That's from the link nagash posted earlier on. Interesting take on it.

    In the strassman studies, entities were doing everything from expressiing benevolent communications of "this is where your future lies!" to raping people. I wonder what that means if it's all in their heads.

    I'm eager for the movie based on the book about those studies to come out:

    I hope they do a good job on it!

    Strassman's got a research foundation going, maybe someone with too much money on their hands reading this would like to throw some money their way: 
    keen     Thu, Jan 14, 2010  Permanent link
    you should check out Shpongle, music by Simon Posford and Raja Ram with the vocals of Terence McKenna:
    a new way to say hooray
    Divine Moments of Truth

    very good!