Psychedelic mindstates are suppressed, meaning mainstream science is hindered from advancing its knowledge and understanding of the paradigm shifting potentiality wrought by these profound experiential states. To those who have experience with DMT, it must seem unthinkable that the effects of this mind manifesting substance will fail to revolutionise western science. If the practical inquiry and resulting philosophical debate cannot take place within our institutions of learning, then they will take place elsewhere!
A quiet revolution of unparalleled proportion is well underway. But unless you operate as a witting or unwitting participant of that revolution, or have an academic or lay interest in the developing entheogenic subculture, you could easily be forgiven for missing the slow and steady emergence of a new zeitgeist. Contrary to what some commentators may say, DMT and the growing entheogenic subculture is still very much an underground affair. It is nowhere near to exercising mainstream cultural influence, despite the emerging evidence of its influence in film. What must be clear to those observing this slowly emerging entheogenic revolution, is the strength of conviction conveyed by those brave enough and curious enough to have experienced the so-called spirit molecule for themselves. Few, if any, are ever disappointed. But how many return for a second or a third helping must be anecdotal in the absence of any meaningful statistical survey.
Save for the exception of a few approved research programmes, the widespread prohibition of entheogenic substances precludes practical academic research on the subjective effects of entheogenic substances that would otherwise benefit and advance human knowledge and understanding. There may be genuinely valid reasons for such a state of affairs, depending on which lens of consciousness frames the view. The lens of consciousness framing the view of political lawmakers is one of prohibition on the basis of a public health and harm reduction stance – undoubtedly fuelled by a media all too keen to peddle fear and hysteria. The significance of the relevance that entheogens are natural, or are derived from natural plant sources, seems almost lost in the modernity of our technologically dependent society. But this one single fact must surely underpin all the arguments that wish to promote the use of entheogens; whether in a ritualistic, sacramental, medicinal, psychonautical, or even a philosophically phenomenological exploratory capacity. Should the consensus lens of societal consciousness view entheogens as something positive and medicinal, or something negative and toxicological?
This is of course not to say that entheogens should be viewed as the equivalent for adults of what candy is to young children. The entheogenic experience is, by and large, a life changing experience – one should never underestimate the incredible latent power that these mind manifesting substances can unlock from within oneself, and their capacity to attract powerful discarnate intelligences into one’s immediate setting. It would be wrong to deny, however, that there can oftentimes be a playful element involved. But speaking from my own experiences of smoking DMT, it was seldom my mind alone that dictated or orchestrated the unbelievable experiences that rapidly unfolded and imposed upon my perceptions. So then, in terms of one’s mental health, the following salutary warning from the DMT Nexus website is wholly valid:
This experience is not for everyone, and not all who choose to open the door deal well with the questions it raises. It should never be undertaken lightly or treated in a casual manner. Those who approach it with little respect often pay a psychic price. Should you choose to proceed, be aware that integration issues may follow. What you find inside may change your life. It will almost certainly alter your deepest, most fundamental assumptions.
And even then, one’s choice of entheogen and one’s chosen route of administration are additional factors that will, or at least should, determine one’s set (mental and emotional capacity for the experience) and setting (the chosen location where the experience will occur). And then beyond that comes the experience. Here’s what DMT Nexus has to say about the DMT experience, in very general terms:
This chemical of revelation is what religions all point towards, it’s what all beautiful art tries to convey, what all of the greatest symphonies try to make you feel. DMT is your personal doorway, your connection to a filament of the divine, to the God/Goddess that lives within you and I and everyone. DMT is the key, the doorway is our soul, care to enter?
Such sentiments and statements will no doubt inspire some, and yet fill others – powerful individuals and certain organisations within nation states, perhaps – with scepticism, disapproval, or even downright dread. However, for those with the capacity to commit to the experience, and then pursue something of a lifestyle commitment to continuing that exploration in a research capacity, the rewards are truly magnificent. Those individuals are witness to something that is so utterly profound and of such a revolutionary magnitude that the consequences of its impact upon our science, culture and society are not only staggering, but simply without question.
Such changes do not occur overnight. Here, one could contemplate the esoteric considerations that pertain to the changing of an age – a slow and unstoppable paradigm shifting deconstruction of the past and an active construction of the now and the becoming. Indeed, one could be forgiven for suspecting that some hidden cosmic timetable, shaping both earth’s and mankind’s immediate future is steadily and silently ticking away. What will be in fifty years from now; a hundred years from now, or a millennium hence? For now though, institutional science is, by and large, fettered by nation state legislatures from exploring the very thing that should be completely revolutionising its most fundamental materialist assumptions and underpinnings.
It is on that basis that DMT (and entheogens as a whole) surely require serious practitioners to continue in the capacity of data collectors and data analysts – making individual cases for what one believes to be the truth of the mechanics and the phenomenology operating at the heart of the experience. It is only by documenting and sharing, discussing and comparing, and eventually coming to agree on common terms and nomenclature, in a rational manner, that this fledging science will find its legs and grow in strength and stature. Paramount to this advancement must be a complete commitment to honesty, and a complete distrust of ego-centred individuals pontificating that they have progressed beyond ordinary mortals and returned with insights unparalleled in human history. Entheogenic substances – and the realities they can invoke – can be powerful beyond belief, and the human psyche is not infallible to misperception and misdirection. The goal is, unsurprisingly, the same goal as traditional science – a knowledge and understanding of a facet of nature that is otherwise hidden from our unaided senses. How that new knowledge comes to be applied by individuals – and by nation states in the fullness of time – is an area thoroughly ripe for imaginative conjecture that will, in all likelihood, help to shape the unfolding future.