Do you buy it or do you make it yourself? DMT is the potent psychedelic drug famed for its intense trips. Popularised by Dr. Rick Strassman’s government sanctioned research programme back in the early nineties, Strassman concluded that he thought he was dealing with a spiritual phenomenon. This was and still is big news to those with an interest in such matters – whether from within academic circles or from the burgeoning number of underground adherents regularly testifying to the drug’s profoundly transformative power. When one considers the research that suggests this chemical is produced naturally within our brain, the subject becomes all the more interesting.
DMT has its roots in shamanic Amazonian rituals, where plant-based preparations create a potent brew known as Ayahuasca. The tribal people consuming this intoxicating concoction assert that it is able to put them in touch with the spirits of the forest. Whatever they are seeing under its influence, Ayahuasca has steadily streamed out of the Amazon basin and has spawned its own industry, based around the purported medicinal qualities it offers. Retreats, initiation ceremonies, detoxifying clinics and weekend communal events can all be found and booked online without any need to pack a suitcase or head overseas. This is all the more surprising when one realises that DMT is a Class A drug – ranking it alongside crack cocaine and heroin.
The more popular form of administration is through smoking – or rather, from inhaling the vapour produced from heating waxy DMT crystals that have been extracted from the dried roots of certain plants, within which the compound is relatively abundant. The extraction process, whilst not particularly difficult, does require due care and attention as some techniques involve household chemicals which are strongly corrosive, and flammable. This method of taking DMT is intense but short-lived, and usually favours those with lungs which are capable of inhaling smoke or vapour. Users commonly report visiting alien worlds, seeing strange landscapes, witnessing bizarre visions, and interacting with strange looking beings. One is generally subjected to intense hallucinations that appear to be far more vivid than real life; something more in keeping with the qualities of a lucid dream.
So how does all this equate to a quiet spiritual revolution? Well, according to some underground researchers – including myself – it really does seem that the Amazonian tribespeople are accurate when they attest to the reality of spiritual beings; discarnate entities with which they are able to interact through imbibing their traditional Ayahuasca brew. Essentially, a sufficient intake of DMT facilitates an interactive experience with a spiritual entity – a mind without a body is another way of describing the very same thing. This, however, is not a foregone conclusion. It’s more a question of how one interprets the nature of these strange and powerfully immersive experiences.
Does one interpret the hallucinatory visions as strange and bizarre content from the mind of another being; or does one interpret the hallucinatory visions as the content of one’s own mind – created by virtue of the powerful effect that DMT has on one’s brain, and consequently upon one’s mind? There is no definitive answer here. And given that both scenarios are dealing with the concept of mind, there is no means of measuring or of proving or disproving one interpretation over the other. But through undertaking repeated trips, with a concerted effort to understand the nature of the experience, some underground researchers have come to recognise that the experience is, in reality, a very profound and a very direct experience with something from the otherwise unseen and spiritual side of nature. Just because our eyes cannot ordinarily see such a reality, it does not necessarily mean that such a reality does not exist.
The consequence of engaging with such a powerful experience is that users are genuinely humbled, astonished, amazed, and even perplexed that such an occurrence can be an actual reality. The potency of this substance and the potency of the experience show DMT to be completely unique from all other prohibited drugs. It should go without saying that this experience is not for everyone, and even those who try it once, or even twice, may find the strength of both the substance and the experience is not something to be pursued regularly, if at all, or ever again.
But many regular users posting their experiences online, through the relevant internet forums and through their social media accounts, are finding a resurgent interest in their own spiritual health, as well as a creative and energetic drive to express that deeper aspect of their being. My own approach in this respect was to write about my accounts as I tried to fathom and understand the mystery at the heart of these profound experiences. I have no doubt whatsoever that the impact of the DMT experience upon our society and upon our culture will become significant, as this quiet spiritual revolution gathers pace.