Apparent Communication with
Discarnate Entities Induced by
Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)
by Peter Meyer
from PM&E #5 collected by Thomas Lyttle

(HTML'd & OCR'd by GluckSpilz HTTP://

DMT (dimethyltryptamine) is the most powerful and fast-

acting of the tryptamine class of hallucinogens. After

smoking DMT users regularly report fantastic trips to

other dimensions and conversations with intelligent alien

life forms. Meyer outlines DMT usage, pharmacology,

mythology and occult application, including shamanic

uses. He also presents fascinating anecdotal material re-

garding DMT "alien contact." Materials from DMT

researchers Terence McKenna, Gracie and Zarkov, and

dozens of other correspondences are included, providing

clues to deciphering the DMT "hyperspace" state.

...and in search for answers people have feared to place
themselves on the line and to actually wrestle with life and
death out there in those strange, bardo-like dimensions, not
realizing that there is no other way to win true

-Terence McKenna
Psilocybin and the Sands of Time

1. Tryptamine psychedelics

In this article I wish to draw attention to a strange prop-

erty of the tryptamine psychedelics, especially N,N-

dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which sets them apart from other

psychedelics, namely, their ability to place users in touch with

a realm that is apparently inhabited by discarnate entities of

an intelligent nature. The investigation of such a possibility

clearly takes us to (and perhaps beyond) the fringes of what is

considered scientifically acceptable. Nevertheless, the phe-

nomenon of apparent alien contact is so impressive to those

who have experienced it, and the implications of such contact

are so radical, that the evidence deserves serious


The term "psychedelic" may be understood to denote a

class of substances whose primary effect is to alter conscious-

ness in an ego-transcending manner so that the experience of

a person whose neurochemistry is altered by such a substance

is enhanced and expanded in comparison with ordinary expe-

rience. This enhancement and expansion may be emotional,

intellectual, intuitive, sensory, spiritual or somatic. The quali-

fication that the experience involve a tendency to ego-

transcendence is added partly to distinguish substances such

as LSD and MDMA from stimulants such as amphetamine

and cocaine and partly because it is one of the more remarka-

ble properties of psychedelics that, by their means, we may

enter mythological and spiritual dimensions not normally the

concern of our everyday selves.

Psychedelics may be classified most easily in two ways:

according to their effect on consciousness or according to

their chemical structure. The former is difficult to quantify,

and the data here tends to be of a literary nature (e.g.,

Horowitz [56]). Due to the regrettable proscription of the use

of psychedelics in many countries, and to the suppression of

research in this field, not much has been published during the

last 20 years regarding the effects of psychedelics on con-

sciousness. With the increasing recognition in more enlight-

ened societies of the potential value of psychedelics we may

hope to see a renewal of publication in this area.

The structural classification lends itself to quantitative sci-

entific investigation. From such work as has been permitted

in this field it seems that, for the most part, "hallucinogens are

divided into two separate categories. The first...covers the

substituted phenylalkylamines, with the prototype for these

structures being mescaline. The second category includes in-

dole-based compounds, including various substituted trypta-

mines, beta-carbolines, and LSD." (Nichols [81], p. 97) Not all

psychedelics fall into these two categories. Ketamine is

clearly a psychedelic but is structurally unrelated to the phen-

ethylamines or to the tryptamines.

The most well-known psychedelic tryptamines consist of

DMT and three variations on it:




Psilocybin is converted to psilocin in the body. The corre-

sponding diethyltryptamine analogs are similarly psychoac-

tive (and reportedly longer lasting). Psychoactivity has been

reported in a-methyltryptamine (Murphree [791), 4-methoxy-

DMT and 5-methoxy-a-methyltryptamine (Nichols [811) and

bufotenine, which is 5hydroxy-DMT (Fabing [23]and Turner

[1261). 6-hydroxy-DMT has been reported as one of the excre-

tory metabolites of DMT (Szara [118]). A review of the litera-

ture will reveal a considerable number of other tryptamine

derivatives which either are known to be or may be


Although LSD is not a tryptamine, its molecular structure

includes that of the tryptamine molecule. We cannot thereby

simply classify it as a tryptamine psychedelic because its

molecular structure also includes that of some psychedelic

phenethylamines such as ?,5-dimethoxy-4-methyl-

amphetamine (DOM) (Nichols [81], p. 114). Nevertheless,

LSD is usually classified with the tryptamine psychedelics

and seems more closely related to them because it is more

readily displaced from receptor sites by the tryptamines than

by the phenethylamines.

DMT has been found to occur naturally in mammalian

brains (Barker [4] and Christian [171). "Indolealkylamines...

are the only known hallucinogenic agents whose endogenous

occurrence in mammals, including man, has been confirmed"

(McKenna [67]). Szara [114]says that it "seems that the whole

enzymatic apparatus exists in mammals which can produce

tryptamine from tryptophane, DMT from tryptamine and 6-

HDMT [the probably hallucinogenic 6-hydroxy-DMT] from


The question as to what function DMT and related sub-

stances have in the mammalian body has not yet received a

definite answer. DMT is structurally similar to serotonin (5-

hydroxytryptamine) which is well-known as a neurotransmit-

ter in the mammalian brain. It has been suggested that DMT

is also a neurotransmitter, but this has not been established.

Strassman [110] has presented evidence that psychoactive

tryptamines are produced indigenously by the pineal gland

and are related to the metabolism of the pineal hormone

melatonin. Clearly much research in this area remains to be


2. DMT usage

(a)Shamanic usage

The history of human involvement with DMT probably

goes back many thousands of years since DMT usage is asso-

ciated with South American shamanism. Stafford [108] men-

tions that the "Spanish friar Ram6n Paul, who accompanied

Columbus on his second voyage to the New World, was the

first to record native use of ... 'kohhobba' to communicate

with the spirit world" (p. 310). A series of distinguished eth-

nobotanists eventually established that the psychoactive

ingredients of these native snuffs (known under various

names, including cohoba, yopo, and epana) were obtained from

plants such as Anadenanthera macrocarpa, formerly peregrina

(Schultes [95] and Harner [481). Chemists then showed that

the active ingredients consisted of various tryptamine deriva-

tives, especially DMT, 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenine

(Holmstedt [:55]and Fish 1251). "These and related in-

dolealkylamines have been have been detected in members of

at least five different plant families" (Nichols [81], p. 120).

Plant tryptamines are also used by Amazonian shamans in

the form of ayahuasca, a dark Liquid formed by boiling sec-

tions of a vine from the Banisteriopsis genus, usually B. caapi

(Rivier [881). This vine contains harmala alkaloids, in particu-

lar, harmine and harmaline, which are sufficient in them-

selves to induce visions. Usually another plant is added to

the brew "to make the visions more intense" (according to the

native shamans). This additional plant is often Psychotria viri-

dis, a plant which contains DMT and 5-MeO-DMT. Although

the DMT content of ayahuasca is sometimes thought to derive

solely from the additives, Stafford [108] reports that the leaves

and stems of one species of Banisteriopsis, B. rusbyana, "have a

large amount of N,N-DMT, 5-methoxy-N,N-DMT, 5-hydroxy-

N,N-DMT [bufotenine] N-P-methyltetrahydro-P-carboline."

DMT is not by itself orally active (in doses of up to one gram),

since it is broken down in the gut by the enzyme monoamine

oxidase (MAO). This breakdown may be prevented by the

presence of an MAO inhibitor, allowing the DMT to enter the

blood and reach the brain. Ayahuasca contains an MAO-

inhibitor, namely, the P-carbolines derived from the B. caapi


Ayahuasca is frequently consumed at night by a group of

people (Kensinger [60]and McKenna [691), although there are

large variations in its mode of usage among the Indian tribes

of the Amazon. Currently the use of ayahuasca among

Indians in the Amazon is declining due to the destruction of

traditional tribal cultures. This lends an urgency to the pres-

ervation of the knowledge associated with its use, a knowl-

edge which concerns not only the preparation and use of

ayahuasca but also the manner in which the experiences of

the practitioner are to be interpreted.

In Brazil there is an interesting religious organization

known as Santo daime, whose members use ayahuasca within

a Catholic/Christian context [87].

(b) Professional and academic research

Stafford [108] mentions that DMT was first synthesized in

1931 by the British chemist Richard Manske (who was also

the first to synthesize harmaline, in 1927), and that "Albert

Hofmann synthesized a series of DMT analogs, but little

attention was paid to this work until the mid-1960s."

In the 1950s and 60s some researchers experimented with

tryptamine hallucinogens injected intramuscularly. The first

to publish in English on this subject seems to have been the

Hungarian investigator Stephen Szara, while working for the

U.S. National Institute of Mental Health in Washington, DC.

(For some reason most of the earliest researchers appear to

have been Hungarians.) Szara published on DMT as early as

1956, and produced a series of at least 11 papers on the phar-

macology of the Alkylated tryptamines during the next 11

years. Writing in 1961 he said:

I became interested in the possibility of

hallucinogenic action of alkylated tryptamine deriv-

atives in 1955, when I read about the chemical analy-

sis of a snuff powder prepared by Haitian natives

from Piptadenia Peregrina seeds which they used in

religious ceremonies to Produce mystical states of

mind which enabled them to communicate with

their gods... [C]hemical analysis... revealed the pres-

ence of bufotenin and a small amount of N,N-

dimethyltryptamine (DMT). (Szara [1141)

Szara administered 75 mg of DMT intramuscularly to him-

self and experienced intense visions. He established "that

intramuscular injection of 50 to 60 mg of DMT brought about

intense visual displays... within five minutes. These reached

peak effects within a quarter of an hour, diminishing and then

disappearing totally within half an hour... Subjects became

catatonic or lost consciousness when given doses larger than

125 mg." (Stafford [108], p. 314)

During the early 1960s the Southern California psychiatrist

Oscar Janiger administered DMT to many subjects. The data

and conclusions from these studies remain unpublished. One

time he administered to himself an excessive dose and

described the result as "terrible -- like being inside a gigantic

pinball machine with lights going on and off everywhere"


(c) Amateur and extra-mural research

In the 1950s William Burroughs and Alien Ginsberg jour-

neyed to South America in search of the ayahuasca experi-

ence. They wrote about this in The yage Letters [14]. Later

Burroughs, like Janiger, injected an overdose (100 mg) of syn-

thetic DMT and had a "horrible experience."

Timothy Leary heard of DMT from Alien Ginsberg and

contacted Burroughs, who warned him of the perils of this

substance. Undaunted, Leary, Richard Alpert and Ralph

Metzner began to experiment, and discovered that the DMT

experience, although intense, was manageable and very inter-

esting. Leary published in 1966 an article discussing DMT

and giving, in his usual style, an extremely positive account

of what he experienced following an iv. injection of 60 mg


Stafford writes:

This article by Leary and Metzner caused a wave

of interest in DMT among many in the countercul-

ture. About this time came the discovery that DMT

evaporated onto oregano, parsley leaves or mari-

juana and then smoked could produce effects similar

to those from injections, except that they occurred

almost immediately and disappeared more rapidly.

([108], p. 315)

There is a certain art to smoking DMT to produce a signifi-

cant effect which is only acquired with practice. Some who

have tried it have not experienced its full effect; others have

found it too much to handle. It is indeed not a drug for "party

trippers," but only for those who "take drugs seriously."

Smoking DMT has been compared by some novice tokers to

parachuting at night into the midst of a tribe of frenzied New

Guinea natives at the height of an elaborate war-dance.

Carlos Castaneda gives an account of his terrifying experi-

ence with something that (apparently in December 1963) Don

Juan gave him to smoke ([15], pp. 151-157). Although

Castaneda does not identify the substance, one cannot help

but wonder whether it contained a psychedelic tryptamine.

[Castaneda:] "But what does the smoke teach then?"

[Don Juan:] "It shows you how to handle its power,

and to learn that you must take it as many times as

you can."

[Castaneda:] "Your ally is very frightening, Don

Juan. It was unlike anything I ever experienced be-

fore. I thought I had lost my mind."

...Don Juan discarded my simile, saying that what I

felt was its unimaginable power. And to handle that

power, he said, one has to live a strong life.... He

said that smoke is so strong one can match it only

with strength; otherwise one's life would be shat-

tered to bits. ([15], pp. 160-161)

3. Dosage and duration of effects

In its Pure form DMT is a white powder. If it has not been

completely purified during the synthetic process it may be en-

countered as a pale orange waxy material. Dose levels men-

tioned in this article refer to Pure DMT unless otherwise


The amount of DMT needed to Produce significant Psy-

chic effects when smoked is 5 mg to 20 mg, there being con-

siderable variation in individual reaction. Some people have

had "profound" effects with as little as 10 mg. A moderate

dose is 20-25 mg, with 40-50 mg a large dose. A very large

dose (e.g., 75 mg) will normally lead to loss of consciousness.

Stafford writes of DMT, DET (diethyltryptamine) and DPT

(dipropyltryptamine) that "More often [compared to injec-

tion], these tryptamines are smoked because less is needed to

feel the effects... The DMT peak lasts for three to ten minutes,

and it's all over in twenty to thirty minutes. DET and DMT,

which have more subtle effects than DMT, may take a few

minutes to register... DET lasts about an hour when smoked;

the most intense part of a DPT experience is over in about

twenty minutes." ([108], p. 322)

Several different methods may be used to smoke DMT,

and there are differences of opinion as to their efficiency.

"Some users prefer to smoke a compound like DMT... in a

small glass pipe. A small amount of the crystals or oil is

placed in the bowl and then slowly heated until fumes begin

to fill the pipe.... A regular pipe covered with a fine screen

can be used." (Stafford [1081) In this method the DMT should

be spread over some plant material such as mint leaves, par-

sley, marijuana or mullein (which is smoked by asthmatics to

clear bronchial passages); a flame is held over the bowel and

the vaporized DMT is inhaled deeply. It is usually advisable

to do this under the guidance of a person who is experienced

in this practice.

When smoked, one or two deep inhalations may be suffi-

cient in the case of some people to cause Profound effects

very quickly, whereas others may require up to four or five

inhalations for full effect. One should be in a position to lie or

to lean back comfortably, since the effects of smoking a large

amount (e.g., 30-40 mg) are usually physically incapacitating.

Some favor a sitting position. As noted above, the effect is

most intense in the first few minutes, and mostly wears off

after about ten minutes. Since DMT occurs naturally in the

human brain there are probably homeostatic mechanisms for

regulating the concentration of DMT, which would explain

the rapidity with which the effects wear off.

DMT has been extensively tested both in the U.S. and in

Europe and is apparently quite safe in normal subjects. The

only case of a severely adverse reaction which has been

reported in the literature is that of a woman who received 40

mg intramuscularly and who "suddenly developed an

extremely rapid heart rate 12 minutes after the injection; no

pulse could be obtained; no blood pressure could be meas-

ured. There seemed to have been an onset of auricular fibril-

lation." (Turner [126], p. 127) However, this woman was

schizophrenic and at the time of the injection had been

extremely tense and apprehensive.

I am informed that to Pursue DMT experimentation safely

one should have good cardiovascular health and avoid drugs

and foods which increase heart rate and blood pressure by

direct stimulation of the heart or by vasoconstriction. DMT

should not be used by anyone who is taking MAO inhibiting


4. Subjective effects of smoking DMT

The subjective effects of a good lungful of DMT are usu-

ally very intense, with consciousness usually overwhelmed

by visual imagery. With eyes closed this may take the form of

extremely complex, dynamic, geometric patterns, changing

rapidly. Such a dose of DMT may produce a visual pattern

consisting of overlapping annular patterns of small rhomboid

elements all in saturated hues of red, yellow, green and blue.

Gracie & Zarkov [44] refer to this, or something similar, as

"the chrysanthemum pattern." The pattern itself seems to be

charged with a Portentous energy.

The state of consciousness characterized by amazing vis-

ual patterns seems to be a prelude to a more Profound state,

which subjects report as contact with entities described as dis-

carnate, nonhuman or alien. A very articulate account of the

subjective effects of smoking DMT is given by Terence

McKenna in his talk Tryptamine Hallucinogens and

Consciousness [72], in which he recounts his contact with what

he calls "elves."

As usual with tryptamine psychedelics there is normally

no loss of ego, although large doses will produce uncon-

sciousness. There is often loss of body awareness. It is usu-

ally possible to think under the influence of DMT, but with

larger doses it may become difficult to hold a thought, and

sometimes confusion will occur.

With a fully effective dose (e.g., 25 mg), the experience is

usually so bizarre that an inexperienced person may believe

that he or she has died, or is dying, especially if body aware-

ness is lost. If this belief arises then it is important to remem-

ber that one will survive and return to ordinary

consciousness. In general, yielding to the temptation to

believe that one has died is not helpful when navigating psy-

chedelic states since the resultant anxiety will usually distract

one from a scientific observation of what is going on. More

experienced users, knowing that hitherto they have always

survived, however weird the experience, can learn not to suc-

cumb to this anxiety.

5. Personal reports

As regards the nature of the DMT experience, we are still

at the Baconian, data-gathering, stage. Before going on to

offer some generalizations and speculation I shall here

present some descriptions of DMT experiences, especially

insofar as they relate to the question of contact with discar-

nate entities. Because the use of DMT is still illegal in certain

countries whose governments do not yet recognize a person's

natural right to modify his or her consciousness in whatever

way desired, the authors of these reports shall for now remain


Subject S (no previous experience with DMT; written


My first attempts with DMT have left me with some serious

thoughts... I did less than 10 mg on my second attempt and had a

very weird experience. Not only did I have what I can only call a

"close encounter," I was left with two thoughts. First, they were

waiting for me, and they were not "friendly."... ion the] third

attempt lit] seemed like they could not wait for me to experiment.

In this event, I did not have actual contact, but rather "felt" them

wanting to get into my consciousness. The actual experience was

far more frightening than any major "trip" previously experi-

enced.... I was profoundly affected.

Subject O (description of first DMT experience; written


Remember to breathe. Recline and get into position, subsumed by

the momentum; before me I see an irridescent membrane, taut and

gently pulsating, something stretching and pushing towards me, on

the other side, straining to emerge. fissure rends, tears and inside

I glimpse the existence of something/place consisting of a dense

whirling body of brilliantly multicolored primordial life/thought

stuff, seeping and beckoning... I breathe and return into the plexus,

center of my being, to witness myself as an outline-constructed 2-0

diagramatic shell of many coherent light-points, revolving quad--

rated vortices, large central to smaller and then tiny outer, phospho--

rescent green and I... enter into utter emptiness, space matrix....

[I]mpression of basic colors, unmuted blue, yellow and red, shim--

mering into being depth imperceptible yet defined within the space,

endlessly recurring back from/into the corner when, slowly, from

around the edges they peer towards me, watching eyes bright and

watching in small faces, then small hands to pull themselves,

slowly, from behind and into view; they are small white-blond imp--

kids, very old in bright, mostly red, fogs and caps; candy-store,

shiny, teasing and inquisitive, very solemn and somewhat pleased

(ah, here you are!) watching me as I meet only their eyes bright and

dark without any words (look!) or any idea remembered they only

want to convey (look!) through their eyes that I must know that

THIS is what they/we are doing...

Subject O (second DMT experience; written


...I found myself once again in the company of the "elves, " as the

focus of their attention and ministrations, but they appeared much

less colorful and altogether preoccupied with the task at hand, i.e.,

pouring a golden, viscous liquid through a network of long, inter-

twining, transparent conduits which led into the middle of my


Subject G (very experienced with DMT; Gracie [44], #5):

We each had taken 150 mg of pure MDA.... About hour 4, 1 decided

to try smoking some DMT.... This time I saw the "elves" as multi--

dimensional creatures formed by strands of visible language; they

were more creaturely than I had ever seen them before.... The elves

were dancing in and out of the multidimensional visible language

matrix, "waving" their "arms" and "limbs/hands/fingers?" and

"smiling" or "laughing, " although I saw no faces as such. The elves

were "telling" me (or I was understanding them to say) that I had

seen them before, in early childhood. Memories were flooding back

of seeing the elves: they looked just like they do now: evershifting,,

folding, multidimensional, multicolored (what colors!), always

laughing weaving/waving, showing me things, showing me the vis-

ible language they are created/creatures of, teaching me to speak and


Subject T (several previous DMT experiences; verbal


I saw a tunnel, which I flew down at great speed. I approached the

end of the tunnel, which was closed by two doors on which was

written: THE END. I burst through these and was carried up

through seven heavens, breaking through each one in turn. When I

emerged at the top I was flying over a dark landscape (it seemed to

be Mexico). I felt that this was all so weird that I should be scared

(perhaps I had died), but I did not feel scared. I continued to fly on,

over a ravine, leading up to a mountainside, and eventually saw a

campfire. As I approached this, cautiously, I saw that on the other

side of the fire was a human figure wearing a sombrero, whom I

intuitively knew to be Don Juan. He invited me to come closer, and

spoke to me.

Subject V (very experienced with DMT; verbal


I was in a large space and saw what seemed to be thousands of the

entities. They were rapidly passing something to and fro among

themselves, and were looking intently at me, as if to say "See what

we are doing" ... I noticed what seemed to be an opening into a

large space, like looking through a cave opening to a starry sky. As

I approached this I saw that resting in the opening was a large crea-

ture, with many arms, somewhat like an octopus, and all over the

arms were eyes, mostly closed, as if the creature were asleep or slum--

bering. As I approached it the eyes opened, and it/they became

aware of me. It did not seem especially well-disposed towards me, as

if it did not wish to be bothered by a mere human, and I had the

impression ! wasn't going to get past it, so I did not try.

Subject M (several previous DMT experiences; written

report; each of the following paragraphs in this section is a

description of a separate experience):

(i) It was not until my fifth DMT trip that I became aware of alien

contact. I took two inhalations from a mixture of 75 mg of DMT

wax (less than 100"/0 pure) and mullein. The visual hallucination

was experienced as overwhelming, totally amazing, incredible and

unbelievable. I could only surrender to the experience, reminding

myself that I would survive and attempt to deal with the sense that

what I was seeing was completely impossible. I wondered whether

this was what dying was like and reassured myself, through noting

my breathing, that I wits still alive. What I was experiencing was

happening too quickly to comprehend. At one point I suddenly

became aware of beings,, who were rapdily flitting about me. They

appeared as dark, stick-like beings silhouetted against a rapidly-

changing kaleidoscopic background. Although I could not make out

much detail, I definitely feIt their presence.

(ii) On the sixth occasion I took two inhalations of about 35 ms of

pure DMT in a glass pipe. Immediately upon closing my eyes I was

overwhelmed by visual hallucination. This seemed to last but

briefly, whereupon I passed abruptly through to another realm, los-

ing all awareness Of my body. II was as if there were alien beings

there waiting for me, and I recall that they spoke to me as if they had

been awaiting my arrival, but I cannot remember exactly what was

said. This time, rather than (or as well as) flitting about me, the

entities approached me from the front, rapidly and repeatedly,

appearing to enter and pass through me. I could make no sense of

what was happening. I opened my eyes and made contact with my

companions, locating myself once move in the room from which r

had begun. Immediately I completely forgot what I had just experi-

enced. The contents of the room appeared stable but weirdly dis-

torted. I was able to recognize and to talk to my companions, but I

felt and appeared very disoriented. .... The memory of this experience

came back only when, Inter that evening, I smoked the remainder of

what was left in the pipe -- not enough to break through, but enough

for me to remember....

(iii) ...I got deeply into the visual hallucination. I was barely able to

remind and to reassure myself that "DMT is safe," though I had

some difficulty recalling tire name "DMT. With eyes closed, I

experienced intense, overwhelming visual imagery. I was seeing a

large, extremely colorful surface, like a membrane, pulsating toward

and away from me. ...I recalled that I had seen this before, on previ-

ous DMT trips, but had forgotten it. During this experience I was

aware of my breathing and heartbeat, and was careful to continue

breathing deeply. The pattern was in intense hues, and its parts

seemed to have meaning, as if they were letters of an alphabet, but I

could not make sense of it. I was quite amazed. I felt that I was

being shown something, and I tried to understand what I was see-

ing, but could not. I also heard elf-language, but it was not mean-

ingful to me. Eventually the visions subsided with no

breakthrough and no overt alien contact.

(iv) ! smoked at around 2 a.m. with little effect and some vaguely

unpleasant visual hallucination (harlequin-like gargoyles?). This

might have been due to being tired and to having eaten substantially

a few hours before. There was a sense of alien presence. Upon

awakening next morning I noticed that my electronic alarm clock,

while obviously still "ticking," had stopped at the time I had been

smoking the previous night. I have never known the clock to stop in

this way before or since.

(v) Smoked 40-50 mg of DMT wax. ...An overwhelming and con-

fusing experience. My heart rate seemed to go way up, which

caused me some concern. I had to remind myself that one does not

die from smoking DMT. The experience was disjointed and erratic.

There were white flashes, like subtitles in a film, except that they

were not verbal but rather like a white-energy-being rushing quickly

through the scene from left to right (what I now think of as "the

white lightning being"). There was a strange, incomprehensible

auditory hallucination. Confusing and unpleasant. I reflected that

this is what hell might be like (good practice for hell: stay calm and

try to observe what is happening).

(vi) Upon lying back I became aware of brightly colored, moving

patterns, which I remembered having seen before on DMT (but hav-

ing forgotten about -- indeed even now, a half-hour later, I cannot

recall them clearly). I was then immersed in a totally weird state,

like being in a large multicolored hall whose walls (if it had walls)

were moving incomprehensibly. ...Apart from occasional awareness

of my breathing I was hardly aware of my body at all. I seemed to be

in another world, disembodied, and feeling flabbergasted. I seemed

to be aware of the presence of other beings in the same space, but had

only fleeting glimpses of them, as if they were shy about appearing

to me. In this state I did not know what to do. It was as if I was

offered a wish by the dragon but dill not understand what was being

offered -- or even that there was a dragon at all. Throughout there

was elf-music, and elf-language in the background. I did not attend

much to this since the visual effects were so overwhelming. As the

influence of the DMT wore off I felt myself losing contact with this

state and I knew that I would forget what was happening. It felt as

if there were beings "waving goodbye. "

(vii) I smoked 40 mg of pure DMT mixed with some marijuana. ...I

quickly entered into the trance state without noticing any great

amount of the usual patterned visual hallucination. ...I seemed to be

falling away, spiraling into some large, black void, after which I

seemed to be in a bright, open space in the presence of two other

beings. Their forms were not very clear, but they seemed to be like

children, as if we were together in a playground. They appeared to

be moving very rapidly....The two beings seemed to be frying to

attract my attention, and to communicate something to me, but I

could not understand. It was as if they were trying to make me

understand where I was. One even seemed to be holding up a sign,

like a speech balloon, but, as I recall, the sign was blank. I attended

to my breathing, and with this came an increased sense of serf-

identity, and with this a lessening of contact with the two beings.

(viii) Smoked 40 mg spread over mint leaves, in three tokes, sifting

upright. 1Lly intention was to see what spirits, if any,, are currently

about me. As the experience came upon me I managed to keep that

intention, or at least, "What spirits...'" and also remembered to

breathe regularly. A strange state of mind ensued, one of dynamic,

patterned energy, in which I was not sure whether I was perceiving

a scene, with a moving being, or not. I finally realized that the

answer to my question regarding spirits was that there were indeed

many around me, and that they were merry, hiding and playing a

joke on me. However, I did not specifically see or hear any.

(ix) Smoked 40 mg of DMT wax spread over mint leaves as usual,

sifting up leaning against a pillow....As the trance came on I was

overwhelmed with visual imagery that I did not even attempt to

make sense of. I struggled to remember who I was.....[I]] turned my

attention to the visual component, and what I saw was an incredible

amount of stuff coming at me in waves, sort of rolling toward me.

There were two beings in the scene, and they were doing the roll-

ing, definitely throwing all this stuff at me -- I don't know why.

The scene changed, and there was more visual hallucination, but I

don 't remember the details -- all happening very quickly.

6. Levels of experience

Based upon these reports and others I tentatively put for-

ward the following classification of levels of experience asso-

ciated with the effects of smoking DMT. This classification

should be tested in the light of further reports, in particular

those resulting from an experiment currently being conducted

involving the administration of DMT via i.v. injection to

about a dozen subjects. (Strassman [111])

Level I: Pre-hallucinatory experience.

This stage is characterized by an interior flowing of en-

ergy/consciousness. It may be extremely intense. It may

have a positive feeling content.

Level II: Vivid, brilliantly colored, geometric visual hallucinations.

Here one is observing a patterned field, basically two-

dimensional, although it may have a pulsating quality. One

may remember having seen this before.

Transitional Phase (Level IIB?): tunnel or breakthrough experience.

One may see or fly through a tunnel (a Passage to the next

level). A veil may part, a membrane may be rent. There is a

breakthrough to another world (or perhaps even a series of


Alternatively, it may also happen that the transition from

Level II to Level III is abrupt, almost instantaneous, with no

experience of transition.

Level III: Three- or higher-dimensional space, possible contact with

en titles.

This stage is characterized by the experience of being in an

"objective" space, that is, a space of at least three dimensions

in which objects or entities may be encountered. Sometimes

the entities appear to be intelligent and communicating

beings. This stage may be extremely energetic with an experi-

ence of everything happening incomprehensibly fast.

Alternatively it may be relatively coherent.

Travel is possible at Level III. One may, for example,

assume the form and consciousness of a bird, and fly as a bird

does (cf. Castaneda [15], pp. 191-196). The limits of this stage,

if any, are unknown. There may be transitions to further


7. Interpretations of the experience

Although the amazing geometrical visual hallucinations

experienced under the influence of DMT are sufficient in

themselves to command attention among students of psyche-

delics, the really interesting part of the experience is be the

apparent contact with alien beings. Since some may feel

reluctant to admit the possible existence of alien beings get-

ting in contact with DMT-modified humans, we should con-

sider all hypotheses that might explain the observations, or at

least, be consistent with them.

Several questions can be distinguished. Firstly, there is

the question of the independent reality of the entities.

Subjects report experiences of contact with communicating

beings whose independent existence at the time seems self-

evident. These experiences are not described as dream-like.

If the entities have an existence independent of the DMT-

influenced subject, then a realm of existence has been discov-

ered which is quite other than the consensus reality which

most of us assume is the only real world.

Such a discovery of "a separate reality" would directly

challenge the foundations of the modern Western view of the

world. I was tempted to say that it would be the most revolu-

tionary change in our understanding of reality since the fish

crawled out on land, but this would be overlooking the fact

that the world view of the modern West is a comparatively

recent invention, stemming mainly from the rise of materialist

science in recent centuries. Earlier cultures had, and non-

Western cultures still have, more expansive views of the

extent of reality.

Secondly, regardless of whether the entities are indepen-

dently-existing or have no existence beyond the experience of

the subject, what are they seen as and seen to be doing? What

is happening, for example, when some subjects (e.g., Subject

V) report seeing thousands of these entities simultaneously?

Even more interesting is the phenomenon of communication,

or attempted communication, which many subjects report

(e.g., Subjects O, G, T and M). Some subjects also report see-

ing the entities communicating with each other, in some kind

of mutual exchange -- but of what?

Thirdly, the matter can be approached from the point of

view of neuropharmacology. What exactly is going on when

those DMT molecules get in there among the neurons of the

brain, causing it to function in what appears subjectively to be

a radically different manner?

Listed below are eight suggested interpretations of the

DMT experience which imply answers (true or false) to some

or all of the questions raised above. Some of these, like the

experience itself, are bizarre, but at this stage any idea should

be considered since in this matter the truth (to paraphrase

J.B.S. Haldane) probably is not only stranger than we suppose

but stranger than we can suppose.

(i) There are no alien entities at all; it's merely subjective

hallucination. The DMT state may be interesting, even

extremely interesting, but really there are no independently-

existing alien entities to be found.

(ii) DMT provides access to a Parallel or higher dimen-

sion, a truly alternate reality which is, in fact, inhabited by

independently-existing intelligent entities forming (in the

words of Terence McKenna) "an ecology of souls."

(iii) DMT allows awareness of processes at a cellular or

even atomic level. DMT smokers are tapping into the net-

work of cells in the brain or even into communication among

molecules themselves. It might even be an awareness of

quantum mechanical processes at the atomic or subatomic


(iv) DMT is, perhaps, a neurotransmitter in reptilian

brains and in the older, reptilian parts of mammalian brains,

Flooding the human brain with DMT causes the older reptil-

lan parts of the brain to dominate consciousness, resulting in

a state of awareness which appears totally alien (and some-

times very frightening) to the everyday monkey mind.

(v) A non-human intelligent species created humans by

genetic modification of existing primate stock then retreated,

leaving behind biochemical methods for contacting them.

The psychedelic tryptamines are chemical keys that activate

certain programs in the human brain that were placed there

intentionally by this alien species.

(vi) The realm to which DMT provides access is the world

of the dead. The entities experienced are the souls, or person-

alities, of the departed, which retain some kind of life and

ability to communicate. The realm of dead souls, commonly

accepted by cultures and societies other than that of the mod-

ern West, is now accessible using DMT.

(vii) The entities experienced are beings from another

time who have succeeded in mastering the art of time travel,

not in a way which allows materialization but in a way which

allows them to communicate with conscious beings such as


(viii) The entities are probes from an extraterrestrial or an

extradimensional species, sent out to make contact with

organisms such as ourselves who are able to manipulate their

nervous systems in a way which allows communication to

take place.

These hypotheses can be expanded and are, of course, vul-

nerable to objections. No doubt other hypotheses are possi-

ble. These matters will not be resolved until we have more

data with which to test these and other hypotheses.

8. DMT and hyperspace

In this section and the following one I shall present a view

which elaborates upon interpretations (ii), (vi) and(vii). This

is speculation but nevertheless provides a preliminary frame-

work for steps toward an understanding of what the use of

DMT reveals to us.

The world of ordinary, common, experience has three spa-

tial dimensions and one temporal dimension, forming a place

and time for the apparent persistence of solid objects. Since

this is a world of experience it belongs more to experience

than to being. The being, or ontological nature, of this world

may be quite different from what we experience it as.

Psychedelic experience strongly suggests that (as William

James hypothesized) ordinary experience is an island in a sea

of possible modes of consciousness. Under the influence of

substances such as LSD and psilocybin we venture outside of

the world as commonly viewed and enter spaces which may

be very strange indeed. This happens as a result of changing

our brain chemistry. Why then should we not regard ordi-

nary experience too as a result of a particular mode of brain

chemistry? Perhaps the world of ordinary experience is not a

faithful representation of physical reality but rather is physi-

cal reality represented in the manner of ordinary brain func-

tioning. By taking this idea seriously we may free our

understanding of physical reality from the limitations

imposed by the unthinking assumption that ordinary experi-

ence represents physical reality as it is. In fact physical reality

may be totally bizarre and quite unlike anything we have

thought it to be.

In his special theory of relativity, Albert Einstein demon-

strated that the physical world (the world that can be meas-

ured by physical instruments, but is assumed to exist

independently) is best understood as a four-dimensional

space which may be separated into three spatial dimensions

and one temporal dimension in various ways, the particular

separation depending on the motion of a hypothetical

observer. It seems that DMT releases one's consciousness

from the ordinary experience of space and time and catapults

one into direct experience of a four-dimensional world. This

explains the feeling of incredulity which first-time users fre-

quently report.

The DMT realm is described by some as "incredible,"

"bizarre," "unbelievable" and even "impossible," and for many

who have experienced it these terms are not an exaggeration.

These terms make sense if the world experienced under DMT

is a four-dimensional world experienced by a mind which is

trying to make sense of it in terms of its usual categories of

three-dimensional space and one-dimensional time. In the

DMT state these categories no longer apply to whatever it is

that is being experienced.

Some Persons report that it seems that in the DMT experi-

ence there is information transfer of some sort. If so, and if

this information is quite unlike anything that we are used to

dealing with (at least at a conscious level), then it may be that

the bizarre quality of the experience results from attempting

to impose categories of thought which are quite inapplicable.

The space that one breaks through to under the influence

of a large dose of DMT has been called "hyperspace" by

Terence McKenna and Ralph Abraham [74] and by Gracie &

Zarkov [44]. I suggest that hyperspace is an experience of

physical reality which is "closer" to it (or less mediated) than

is our ordinary experience. In hyperspace one has direct

experience of the four-dimensionality of physical reality.

Parenthetically we may note a mildly interesting case of

historical anticipation. In 1897 one H.C. Geppinger published

a book entitled DMT: Dimensional Motion Times [31], an

appropriate title for our current subject. However, he was, of

course, quite unaware of what the initials "DMT" would later

come to mean.

When reflecting upon his mescaline experiences Aldous

Huxley suggested that there was something, which he called

"Mind-at-Large," which was filtered by the ordinary function-

ing of the human brain to Produce ordinary experience. One

may view the human body and the human nervous system as

a cybernetic system for constructing a stable representation of

a world of enduring objects which are able to interact in ways

that we are familiar with from our ordinary experience. This

is analogous to a computer's production of a stable video dis-

play -- for even a simple blinking cursor requires complicated

coordination of underlying physical processes to make it hap-

pen. In a sense we are (or at least may be thought of as) bio-

logical computers whose typical output is the world of

everyday reality (as we experience it). When our biocompu-

tational processes are modified by strange chemicals we have

the opportunity to view the reality underlying ordinary expe-

rience in an entirely new way.

Einstein's four-dimensional space-time may thus turn out

to be not merely a flux of energetic point-events but to be (or

to be contained in a higher-dimensional space which is) at

least as organized as our ordinary world and which contains

intelligent, communicating beings capable of interacting with

us. As Hamlet remarked to his Aristotelian tutor, following

an encounter with a dead soul (his deceased father), "There

are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt

of in your philosophy." Should we be surprised to find that

there are more intelligent, communicating, beings in the

higher-dimensional reality underlying our ordinary experi-

ence than we find within that experience?

9. The "elves"

Hyperspace, as it is revealed by DMT (revealed to some,

anyway) appears to be full of personal entities. They are non-

physical in the sense that they are not objects in the three-

dimensional space to which we are accustomed. Some of the

beings encountered in the DMT state may once have been liv-

ing humans, but perhaps such "dead souls" are in the minor-

ity among the intelligent beings in that realm.

In his classic The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries [21], W.Y.

Evans-Wentz recorded many tales provided to him by local

people of encounters with beings, variously called fairies,

elves, the wee folk, the good people, the gentry, the Sidhe, the

Tuatha De Danann, etc., who inhabit a realm normally

beyond our ken. The belief in this order of beings was firm

among the Celtic peoples of Britain and France at the time

Evans-Wentz conducted his studies (c. 1900), but has since

been largely supplanted by the beliefs instilled in the public

by the rise of materialistic science and technology. Evans-

Wentz collected numerous reports of elf-sightings, such as the

following (which is part of an account given by a member of

the Lower House of the Manx Parliament):

...I looked across the river and saw a circle of su-

pernatural light, which I have now come to regard as

the "astral light" or the light of Nature, as it is called

by mystics, and in which spirits become visible...

[I]nto this space, and the circle of light, from the sur-

rounding sides apparently, I saw come in twos and

threes a great crowd of little beings smaller than

Tom Thumb and his wife. All of them, who ap-

peared like soldiers, were dressed in red. They

moved back and forth amid the circle of light, as

they formed into order like troops drilling. ([21], p.


Reviewing his data, Evans-Wentz writes:

We seem, in fact, to have arrived at a Point in our

long investigations where we can postulate scientifi-

cally, on the showing of the data of psychical re-

search, the existence of such invisible intelligences as

gods, genii, daemons, all kinds of true fairies, and

disembodied [i.e., deceased] men. ([21], p. 481)

He then goes on to quote an earlier researcher:

Either it is we who produce these phenomena

[which, says Evans-Wentz, is unreasonable] or it is

spirits. But mark this well: these spirits are not nec-

essarily the souls of the dead; for other kinds of spir-

itual beings may exist, and space may be full of them

without our ever knowing anything about it, except

under unusual circumstances [such as a sudden

change in brain chemistry]. Do we not find in the

different ancient literatures, demons, angels,

gnomes, goblins, sprites, spectres, elementals, etc.'

Perhaps these legends are not without some founda-

tion in fact. (Flammarion [28], quoted in [21], p.


Evans-Wentz concludes ([21], p. 490) that a realm of

discarnate, intelligent forces known as fairies, elves, etc.,

exists "as a supernormal state of consciousness into which

men and women may enter temporarily in dreams, trances, or

in various ecstatic conditions," such as, we may add, the con-

dition produced by smoking DMT.

I suggest that the faerie world studied by Evans-Wentz

and the objective space into which one may enter under the

influence of DMT are the same.

10. DMT and the death state

Who are we and how did we get here? Clearly we are

personalities who develop in connection with our bodies. But

are we personalities who have our origin in the development

of our bodies? Or do we originate as hyperspatial entities

who become associated with bodies for the purpose of acting

in what appears to us as the ordinary world? The answer

may be a combination of both. It may be that a personality

must first come into existence in connection with a body but

that, once developed, it may leave the body, and perhaps sub-

sequently become associated with a new body. Or it may be

that intelligent entities, most of whom were never human, can

come into existence as beings in hyperspace by virtue of a

creative power associated with the origin of hyperspace itself.

In the more poetic words of an Irish seer, they may "draw

their life out of the Soul of the World" ([21], p. 65).

DMT appears to allow us to leave our three-dimensional

bodily organisms and enter into hyperspace where we can

function (for a short period of earthly time while our brain

biochemistry is altered) as disembodied personalities, able to

communicate with other discarnate personalities. In fact it

may be that this is what happens to us when we die. In

death, however, unlike the DMT trance, you can't return to

your body. Once your body is destroyed, or is damaged so

that it cannot function as a channel for your will, then you

have entered hyperspace and you will remain there indefi-

nitely or until association with a new body becomes possible.

After telling of frequently seeing spiritual beings envel-

oped in shining light, one of Evan-Wentz's informants says:

In whatever country we may be, I believe that we are

for ever immersed in the spiritual world; but most of

us cannot perceive it on account of the unrefined na-

ture of our physical bodies. Through meditation

and psychical training one can come to see the spiri-

tual world and its beings. We pass into the spirit

realm at death and come back into the human world

at birth; and we continue to reincarnate until we

have overcome all earthly desires and mortal appe-

tites. Then the higher life is open to our conscious-

ness and we cease to be human; we become divine

beings. ([21], p. 84)

It now seems possible, by the use of the psychedelic tryp

tamines, to venture into the death state before we die and te

accustom ourselves to that state. This is the path of the sha

man and the spiritual warrior. At death, when the transition

is finally and irrevocably made, the psychedelic explorer will

enter a realm he or she knows from previous experience, and

will, hopefully, not be swept away by fear and ignorance.

11. Further research needed

The idea that there might be a realm inhabited by alien

beings able to communicate with humans in an intelligent

manner, and that these beings may be contacted through the

use of a psychedelic, is sufficiently bizarre that some may be

tempted to reject it unthinkingly. Modern-day common sense

certainly rejects the possibility entirely, but a scientific

approach to the subject requires suspension of common sense

in favor of an unbiased study of the available data. In this

case the rawest data available is the actual subjective experi-

ence of the DMT state.

Further research is needed to distinguish among the possi-

ble interpretations presented above, or to Provide a basis for

other interpretations. Basically this means further human

explorations of the DMT experience, with articulate reports

on the experience. This would allow us to begin to determine

what are the common characteristics, in humans, of the expe-

rienced induced by smoking DMT. Do all subjects eventually

experience (apparent) contact with alien beings? How is this

contact related to dose and method of administration? In

what form(s) do the entities (tend to) appear? How often are

cases of human-alien communication reported? What is the

content of this communication?

As an aid to further research in this field I have compiled

the bibliography of publications, mostly articles concerning

DMT, which is reproduced below.

Contact with alien entities in other worlds has long been

reported from non-Western and pre-modern societies. Such

reports are usually presented in the context of a particular

mythology or cosmology that makes it difficult to relate them

to a modern scientific view of the world. This may mean not

that these reports are false, but that our scientific view of the

world needs to be extended. A scientific attitude -- that is, an

open and questioning attitude to the advancement of knowl-

edge, one which does not shun any repeatable observation

regardless of how bizarre it may seem -- is not inconsistent

with the discovery of intelligent, non-human entities in a

higher-dimensional realm. If they are there, and can be con-

tacted reliably, let us see what they have to say.


I would like to thank those people (you know who you

are) who read earlier drafts of this article (it was begun in

October, 1989 and completed in June, 1992) and who offered

helpful criticism and suggestions for improvement.


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