from TheLucidPlanet Website
The debate surrounding the implications
of the so-called "spirit molecule"
continues today among explorers
of all backgrounds - scientists, psychonauts, theologians,
artists and festival-goers alike...
This week on Lucid Planet Radio, I interviewed Australian anthropologist and author Graham St John about his new book, Mystery School in Hyperspace: A Cultural History of DMT.
This book, the first and only cultural history of DMT, weaves together neurochemistry, aesthetics, spirituality, technology, ethnobotany and more to trace the effect of DMT's release into our cultural bloodstream.
You can listen to the whole interview on Lucid Planet Radio, here below:
Scientists like Timothy Leary and Rick Strassman studied its psychopharmacological and phenomenological significance.
And stand-up philosopher
Terence McKenna, enthused by the discovery that DMT is
naturally present in many plants, animals, and the human brain
itself, became its global emissary.
The debate surrounding the implications of the so-called "spirit molecule" continues today among explorers of all backgrounds:
Perhaps one of the most fascinating elements of the DMT experience is the consistent theme of communication with a wide variety of alleged "interdimensional beings."
The phenomenon has been repeatedly detailed in numerous anecdotal accounts, ranging from the legendary stories of the late, great Terence McKenna, all the way to that dude next to you at the Hummingbird stage at Sonic Bloom last year blowing pungent moth-ball smelling smoke into your vicinity.
Because it can be very difficult to write during an intense DMT trip, and sometimes equally hard to recall what happened after the fact, researchers sat with participants and took notes as they detailed their experiences real-time.
Over 50% of the 1,000 pages of notes had some kind of reference to interactions with entities.
Likewise, Philip Meyer spent two decades collecting over 300 DMT trip reports and identified contact with sentient, independently existing beings in over 66% of them.
Terence McKenna also wrote and spoke about his interactions with these entities at length, including the continuously emerging archetype of the spirit guide "teacher" - who with alien, insect-like and interstellar qualities,
According to Graham St. John's synthesis of quite a large body of research and anecdotal reports of DMT encounters in Chapter 12 of Mystery School in Hyperspace, DMT entities are usually reported to fall into one (or more) of these categories:
Across these accounts, the beings are often reported to have an "awareness of us" as Dr. Rick Strassman puts it, with entities themselves often reacting to the presence of the DMT user either by welcoming them as travelers, royalty or long-lost family, treating them as thought they have won a contest or game-show, or sometimes, with surprise and shock as if the DMT user were an intruder or unwelcome.
As St. John reminds us in Mystery School in Hyperspace, the debate over the subject of entity contact in the DMT-verse has been hotly contested by scientists, psychonauts, philosophers and theologians,
Based upon the DMT trip reports he collected over two decades, Peter Meyer, author of Terence McKenna's Timewave Zero Theory, advanced the following potential theories of entities commonly reported by DMT users:
Of these, Meyer himself favored numbers 2 and 6, speculating that,
And yet, we have barely scratched the surface of the theories that have been put forward by various scientists and philosophers about the DMT entities discussed in St. John's book, such as:
We have no concrete answers here, only self-reported experiences and theories.
Scientifically, it is very challenging, if not impossible, to objectively "prove" whether these beings exist in our reality, or in parallel planes or dimensions, or if they only exist independently in the minds of DMT users.
For many of the researchers in this field, including Dr. Rick Strassman, it is hard to deny the feeling of truth and consistency across people's experiences.
Indeed, according to St. John, Dr. Strassman has abandoned his strict psychoanalytic model, apparently accepting the authenticity of his subject's reports.
And if you have ever had
a Level III DMT experience, you may have already drawn your own
conclusions on the topic, regardless of what science might have to
say about it.
Graham St. John and I discussed this during our interview and seem to arrive at the same conclusion:
Communication with DMT entities can be absolutely profound and life-changing, regardless as to our objective standard for determining the validity of the entities or the experiences.
Therefore, from a psychotherapeutic perspective, it is just as valuable to focus on the function of the entities and how they can inspire our future evolution and growth.
Because as Graham St. John concludes, when it comes to objective proof of the entities,