This is Part One
Part Five (current)
I enjoy the idea of a slow moving dialog, I hope this can continue.
I suppose the "facts" of DMT might as well be written in cunieform on our breastbones for all the good it does to know about it, as opposed to "dwelling in the know of it." And memory, of course, cannot serve, at least not in its normative form. The moment you go back to bflbfzdxqitenamaton South of sprshguiekefwom (sp?) your memory is again a living parchment and complete, all events self-referencing, co-incident, current, and existing in eternity. To be there is to be where "that" is and "this" isn't, except metaphorically. We are metaphor, that is -- where it is almost painful to write or say "is." Bumblebees, aerodynamically too heavy to fly, rise, it could be, on the word "is" -- We don't take DMT; DMT takes us.
My personal take on the "secret" of DMT: it was long, hard work making this world real. It was, and is, done for a purpose. To have others. To believe in them fully in order to experience love. It goes against common sense to try and see through it. Ignorance is the primary condition of Eden. But entropy is at work and a world made for love is not satisfied with the transformational edict "eat and be eaten" but kills and does not eat. A sense of ultimate unity is lost and the delusion of fundamental diversity breeds alienation. This is not Eden. Yet the monad doesn't face itself and subsume Its creation. The failing would be eternal. Therefore, doors are opened and enough of the plot is "made flesh" to allow orientation regarding the surface gist of the matter. Collectivism is a wrong approach to nostalgia for the purity of the monad. Healthy diversity perpetuates the rationale of the creation, such as it is. Healthy men, women, races and nations evolving gladly to a recognition of the source, rejoining it in a gradual and rejoicing manner, "bringing in the sheaves," would be a better solution to the human aspect of this work, and is the substance of sacred ceremonial.
My take could be way off base but anything more Gnostic is off-putting. Phil Dick fell down that sink. And Lovecraft, I wouldn't doubt, though he professed no belief in what he wrote.
In saying any or all of this, it's only sane to assume I'm dead wrong since I'm speaking in polar terms. But it raises issues and generates metaphor. The emperium is neither philosophical space nor information repository but a nexus of rhythms. (nexi?) It's rhythm that transports us to the possibility of xing tangential to eternity with no fixed point of reference, including " I am." I say xing, rather than: being, moving, exisiting - because of wanting to be as exact as possible. A lot of DMT lore can't be expounded because our verbs and prepositions correspond to realities of four dimensions or less, gainsaid. To catalogue conditions where one accelerates at warp speed to stand still in one place / where transfer among interconnecting universes is instantaneous / where we connect, with full memory, into other lives we're in the process of living, for example, the land of living armchairs and laughing sunshine (or the heartbreaking Tuesday Afternoon Ballroom in the Rain at the end of time) we must understand the nature and limitations of our grammar and be self-motivated to think beyond it. To avoid the condition of pathological meme-ing, we must not over-state our experiences, or mis-state them for easier referentiality. We may, however, talk around them and establish communication based on mutual recognitions. A language begins in this manner.
If your calculations about Omega point are KoreKt, it should be a matter of mere months before the language evolves, like a flu virus, to allow western discussion of living items of eternity. I mean, we're doing it, aren't we? And, if we feel mysteriously driven to do it, I presume it's because the time is ripe for it. There was a time when I felt the DMT lore was critical information. I don't entirely disbelieve it yet.
We need a few verbs and prepositions to explain ourselves. "Trip" & "farout" aren't going to do it. Suggest "xing" as the verb of standing/moving in relation to an eternal scenario from no fixed reference point, psychic or positional. We could say "evolve" to a "transdimensional viewpoint" but it would be clunky with accumulated baggage. I'd as soon say "xing to Unity One" to describe the place of 360 degree spherical vision. The Visor, I call it, but that would be private slang. The visor goes back and you see behind and above you, where the sky is infinitely deep and Summer blue. Scientific language, with its distaste for adjectives, is useless here. But not later, back home, with a case of the post-extasis blues, having just conversed with Eve and missing her already.
I don't want to sell this stuff, DMT. It's damned well not for everybody. Fortunately, its abuse potential is rock bottom. I, who loved it, have only taken it twice in the last 20 years and that was too much. It's like jumping on or off a speeding train. Omni-dimensional fact finding is not a very high priority among the "kicks" crowd; they're better off with gas and its infinite fractals of memory, or airplane glue. DMT is for those with a desperate need to know, and, among those, for only a small percentage whose neural wiring happens to be heavy gauge with appropriate sheathing. Nobody ever got rich peddling DMT. It was only always passed from hand to hand outside normal "drug ring" circles. It is, to LSD, as 198 proof rum is to hot milk with a few drops of brandy. I feel it's important to say this, since I don't want our public discussion to be seen as advocacy. Nor do I say it shouldn't be tried. For some, its the key to the lock. One good hit should tell you where you stand with it. The fact that's it's generally unavailable indicates that demand is wanting. I thoroughly understand your comment about the difficulty of summoning the "raw courage" to experiment further with DMT.
DMT is self-selecting. It knows who it wants, for whatever reasons it wants them, and scares the bejezus out of anyone else. Those who ought to have it will find themselves in possession of it, like anything else. The human brain secretes it. In miniscule natural quantities, it's the fuel of fantasy, dreams and visions. The alien-ness of many of the realms of DMT is striking. The mechanical "pixies" as you call them, for starters. I call them the klaxton men, with their klik-klak box joints and inter-dimensional warp and woof, though "men" they are not. Or the "firemen" those beings of fire who inhabit one of the closer to home stations on the way "out." They seem entirely unconscious of us. The "pixies" know we're there. They're not much interested, though. And then there's those elemental forces that descend on your room in a vortex and whirl all your property around your head, rattle your windows, even set your curtains on fire and leave your nerves jangled for days! Ah, the memories . . . And the critters, such as you pointed out, who wonder what the hell you're doing in their room! There's no time to explain, even if you could form words. And besides, who are you anyway? Anyone who has been surprised by heavy surf, whirled helplessly and slammed on the sand, has a reasonable metaphor for the power of DMT. Control isn't even in question here. Who controlling what? Caveat emptor is the byword for this empress of psychotropic substances.
Naw, you don't do "research" with DMT. You wrestle for your salvation with Behemoth and sometimes receive an unpredictible vision of actual Heaven on the dare, which makes you game to try such desperate measures again. Religionists, with their guaranteed eventual paradise, of which they know nothing, taking it all on "faith," can't be expected to understand or sympathize with those with a yen to storm the Gate of Heaven and see for themselves what all the praying's about!
I'll stop with this, ill-confident that I've moved slowly as might be into the dialogue, but, considering how much remains to be spoken, what with the eschaton and all, how slowly is it even possible to move?
I like what you have to say about DMT, I agree with most of it, yet I am aware that because the object of our discussion is so non-ordinary and peculiar that when we think that we have said all that we can say we still have not said enough. The experience is somehow able to hold within itself both the sublime and the ridiculous, the awesome and the trivial in one alchemical container.
So as I sit here reading your account I partially become it; I recover and remember the experience through that lens. But I cannot forget that it has made me laugh harder than anything ever has and that it has shown me a candy lacquered form of sexy naughtiness that I else wise would not have known existed. So I take it to be a kind of a pun. It both is what it is and it mocks what it is by being many other things simultaneously. Its nature is that it is many things, including contradictory things, at once, that is what makes it impossible.
Borges, in that story in Labyrinths called "The Sect of the Phoenix" says that to the initiated the secret seems slightly ridiculous. When I was a kid, maybe you knew people like this too, I had playmates that were my own age but so much less sophisticated than the rest of us that when we six year olds were putting on Halloween masks and chasing each other and shrieking and freaking out on sugar, there were a couple of kids who couldn't get that it was not real, that it was a game, that it is fun to scare the shit out yourself and your friends. I am not placing your trepidation in that category. I feel the trepidation too, but I do feel, and this may be the difference between doing it a couple of times and doing it maybe thirty times, that as I sit here I can recapture the feeling of the flash, not only the feeling but in some sense I would say "the Perspective" And looking at it like that it seems like it is the edge of meaning, that meaning is actually being made somewhere over the ordinary horizon of experience, and that when the DMT kicks in one is moved to the domain where meaning comes into existence. And the delight and surprise that accompanies unfolding complicated puns has a very similar feeling.
I am beginning to feel as though I am not making meaning any more so I will knock off for the evening. I am enjoying this, hope you are too.
conversely, when we've just begun we've said it all, taking for granted that we're speaking of the um. . . er. . . infinite. Nasty word, should be stricken from the language and replaced with "linoleum" which, to my ear, is the most gracefully evocative word I know, on a par with "Eloim." "God" is another ugly word; leave it to the Anglo-Saxons to manufacture a brutal set of phonemes for the All. Fortunately we also have "Lord" which most people instinctively substitute. No one ever says "Lord Damn it!" do they? Just warming up here. Before anyone gets unduly upset (not you certainly) remember "God" is a categorical term, not the name of Supreme Being, which, it seems safe to assume, Kabbalah notwithstanding, is patently nameless -- or "all name" which is pretty much the same thing. Does this conflict with one of the 10 commandments? Probably a matter of translation. I would expect the commandment would translate into something more like: "Thou shalt not swear falsely by that you hold most high." Excellent advice.
My particular trepidation about further DMT use is not a timidity about the substance per se. I reckon I've taken it a thousand times before receiving my emphatic cut off notice. My preferred method was intravenous. No nasty taste. First time I tried that I X'd growing out of a flowerpot on Venus beneath a great dome.
The comedy quotient is indeed "ridiculous." I remember one sublime journey which ended with a funny little train belching, farting and boogying off into the distance . . . then a Warner Bros. Loony Toons circular rainbow logo descend, upon which was written "That's all folks!"
You noted that what happens on DMT is often "impossible." That sure does say it. Reality just doesn't bend that way -- yet it does. Multiple contradictory viewpoints manifesting at once give the truth to Whitman's utterance "I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes." The most usual manifestation of that, characteristic of almost every journey I can recall, is the sensation of moving at what, I presume, is the speed of light while remaining stationary. You can't figure it out, so you just "relax" and let it rip. The stars congeal into one immense circumference of light, and bingo -- you're somewhere else.
Another notable feature of DMT is the "aliveness" of everything out there. Nothing apprehended which is not entirely, vividly alive, including dust. Nothing is inanimate. Nothing is incapable of rapid and utter transformation. The most stable item I ever experienced was the living water pouring from the Holy Grail in the Sanctum Sanctorum. There, I'd have been content to dwell forever. I still treasure that vision above all others and am largely content to know it exists in the heart -- that love is REAl, not just a term for getting along with one another and making nice.
But I enthuse. A little of someone else's reported extasis goes a long way. Guess I'm compensating a little for the earlier impression I might have given that "DMT beats you up." Yes, it can and does, but that's the nature of the spiritual journey. Is DMT "the way"? No. Because you come back. Because, at least in my case, the gates of Eden can be slammed in you face and presided over by an angel with a flaming sword. But one thing you never forget: the spiritual world is more real than this one, by a country mile.
Anyhow, I went, I saw, was seen, and I'm still sane enough to operate a computer and string words into grammatically correct and hopefully coherent statements -- and to realize I'm walking the edge of big cultural no-no's in reporting what I found. In fact, bucking the enforced status quo is probably inherently more dangerous, innit?
Ps: just ran a spell checker on this and got:
Not in Dictionary: aliveness
Change to: aliens
so help me God!
I will get back to the demented dialog in a moment. But to help mark Tim's journey out I wanted to point anyone interested toward my page http://www.levity.com/eschaton/leary.html
I am back at it. Yes, it does beat up on you, it does and it doesn't. Everything about it seems to come packaged with its opposite. One of the weirdest impressions that I have, and it took me a number of trips to put this all together, but in my own experiences at any rate, it became clear that weird as the place I was carried off to was, nevertheless it was someone's notion, someone very peculiar, of just what a human being like me would prefer. It was an alien effort to make an environment that was comfortable and reassuring to human beings, but as if they/it had only studied human beings from a very different perspective than the one from which we know ourselves. This feeling of important process with grown up overtones and yet with an element of the childish and silly came to remind me of the vibe of a maternity or pediatric ward; high tech, life and death stuff is going on. But they have closets full of teddy bears and the wall paper patterns are all dancing bears and mice in tutus. I have wondered if the wondrous objects offered by the tykes in the DMT encounter, for all their power to stand our world on its head, may be, in that world, no more than plastic geometric shapes strung on a rope and hung over an infant's bassinet for its amusement and to teach it spatial and color coordination. They are no more than toys. But the maternity ward metaphor goes deeper. There is a feeling of arrival, of anxious doctors, and a sense of enormous decompression and relief. Come to think of it, decompression is a good metaphor for how DMT makes me feel, it is as if I has returned at last to my natural medium of existence, having left a zone of constriction and pressurized limitation, hence I feel inflated in every sense in that place. And then there is the language lesson that they always insist on giving me and insist is the entire point of our little meetings, though no else has ever described the stress on language and poetics and linguistic skill that seems to fill my trips. More on all that later. Don't want to shoot my wad in one go.
went to the dentist a few days ago and had NO2 while they excavated my bridge. Caramels again! The sirens and chattering of the void took me to that almost but never quite nitrous surround, the place where All is One with a vengeance and there's always one last detail to realize before the universal riddle is completely solved. I realized I knew that place inside out. It was updated to include current circumstances, sure, but I finally requested the gas be shut off and endured the rest of the session with neither nitrous nor Novocain. My tired old cells require a more gentle view of eternity these days.
You've joggled my memory, thanks. One of my kindest interdimensional experiences was in a nursery. There were several children, presence strong, though I never "saw" them visually. I'm not certain but I think I may have been one of them. Hard to tell who, what or how many you are, except later - when able to define oneself as the subject of the experience. That's always an overlay on the raw perception, but necessary to "file" anything in memory and reduce the experience in order to look at it at all. To remember the egoless state would be to be re-subsumed by it. One just wants to put everything relating to DMT in quotes to draw attention to the provisionality of terms used in dealing with any of "this." What "I" saw on "my" trip.
The children were laughing, mischievous and quicker than sight. The sense of nostalgia was overpowering - as of being re-united with deeply loved ones separated by aeons and vast distance - the love was mutual. The room was red; it was "the Cherry Room" and, toward the end, the children manifested as immense fluid cherries on the wall of the room. Your mention of "wallpaper" brought this to mind.
The sense of someone older and wiser in charge of instructing us fledglings, in some immensely obscure study, is prominent in my memory, now that you happen to designate a category for it. Strange to be able to muster a re-organization of psychic experiences of decades ago, which I doubt I can do with "normal" experiences at such a temporal distance. So many things have faded from memory, while key DMT experiences are often as vivid as though they're being recalled only a couple of weeks after the fact.
The language lessons interest me very much. The feeling that the "teachings" were of immense importance, and that one did, in truth, learn them is strong - though what they were I can't remember. It may be visualized re-integration of data on a cellular level, interpreted as "language." Would like to go back there and check it out with that in mind - as much as one can keep any set of earthbound intentions in "mind" outside ego boundaries. Are we harking back to memories of ontogony in the blastula stage, re-reading our own blueprints of how to make a body? Is access to those instructions stored in the 'nine tenths of the brain we don't use' because they're of no earthly use once we're born?
Really the rat's ass being locked out of the lab, but I expect THEY know better. I wonder - did I make a mess on some sacred carpet, thinking I was emitting flowers? Did I insult some petty DMT bureaucrat who's had me barred? Am I under house arrest in this dimension? Or did I just graduate?
Sorry to have been out of the loop for a while. I have been ill with some complicated thing that brought its own ambiguity with it. Strangely the experience seemed to have implications for our discussion. Ten days ago I slipped into a flu that seemed to have a mortal viciousness about it that actually frightened me. Was it a kind of couvade for the late lamented Leary? Who knows. Anyhow the delirious fevers and icy night sweats, the body aches and the vomiting was all accompanied by thoughts, myriad thoughts, many obsessive in the sense that, though they were trivial, once begun there seemed to be no end of them. And there were dreams in which--familiar territory--I seemed to be on the brink of some great understanding. After days of roiling epistemic murk and no diminution of the fever I realized that this was no flu at all, but rather a set of sensations that I had known before years ago but had long ago suppressed and forgotten: all the signs were there of so massive a dose of intestinal parasites that it was hard for me not to think of myself as already half a corpse, so congenial to worms had I become.
It was from that vantage point that I tried to look back on the bright spaces of the DMT experience. The soul is never so clearly glimpsed as when like a kite she hovers a great distance from the corruption of the body. I once gave DMT to a high Tibetan character, not one of the grab tail assholes current or recently at work among the easily fleeced denizens of the New Age, but actually someone whom I regard as the real McCoy. His words to me upon return from those realms was to say that he had been carried into the realms of "the lesser lights," by which he meant that one could go only that far and no farther without abandonment of even the idea of a return. Sort of an end-of-the-rope look over the wall into an ecology of souls, that was the impression I got from listening to him describe his DMT experience.
So perhaps that is the ultimate gift of this material: Consciousness expansion. I will give you consciousness expansion that will turn your blood to ice water. Consciousness expanded to the limits reveals what? The limits of consciousness obviously. Perhaps it is this for which we are not prepared and to which we are both attracted and repelled as an insect to a flame. I remind myself as I write these words and play this game with you that reality's edges, and the edges of biology, are not for sissies. A mystery is not an unsolved problem. A mystery is something else, and all the big stuff: birth, orgasm, love, death and DMT partake of that mystery. There is always that perspective from which we recognize ourselves as gnats caught in the lens of eternity. Death reminds us of this. And so too, but by a different route, does DMT.
All the best,
June 16, 1996
I'd guessed your silence was prompted by a meticulous inspection of thoughts before committing them to the file. Is there anything strange about subject-synchronicity when discussing the pentultimate synchrosubstance? Strange if there were no string of coincidences to accompany this. My notion of the Eschaton is a convergence of coincidences so striking that a non-coincidence would seem uncanny.
I cringe at the report of your discomfort. The deluvian barrage of trivial thoughts. Garcia reported an awful layer of science-fiction hallucination, full of puns and dumb jokes, endlessly trivial, when coming out of his first coma. He grasped my hand and asked: "Have I gone insane?" "No," I said, "You're delirious. You've been very sick." "That's a relief," he said.
The Hellish visions of the sickened body interested me back in my psychotropic heydey. I purposely indulged in physical activity (rather than observing strict bed rest) during a bout of hepatitis, in order to prolong the delirium phase. All I wanted in 1967 was MORE consciousness! This quest was kicked off by the government MK-Ultra "psychotomimetic" drug tests in '62, in which I participated, being the first kid on my block to take LSD, psilocybin and mescaline, with a bonus of all 3 at once for my fourth and final session. Got paid $140. It was two more years before psychedelics hit the street and my friends could finally comprehend what I'd been raving about.
Your report of the high Tibetan character reminds me of an experience by my bright and believable friend Paul Mittig in 1968. It happened in a pueblo in New Mexico. He was looking for a shaman he'd heard about and found him in the corral of the pueblo. He tried to strike up a conversation, but the medicine man didn't have much to say. Paul, a DMT advocate in those days, happened to have some crystals with him. He avowed that you didn't even need to smoke it, just carrying the crystals on your person was enough to change reality. Paul said to the Indian: "I'll show you some of my magic if you'll show me some of yours." The braided grandfather agreed and Paul prepared a tiny pipe with mint leaves, sprinkled DMT on top, and lit it for him. The shaman smoked, then sat silent for a few minutes. Finally he said "Pretty good magic. Now I show you some of mine." A strong wind rose and hit Paul from the East side of the corral. Then a wind hit him from the West. Then one from the North followed by one from the South. Suddenly half a dozen white horses galloped into the corral, circling Paul and the Indian three times before running off through the open corral gate. "My magic good. Yours better," Paul said to the old magician.
The ultimate limit of consciousness, seeing your reflection on the surface of infinite ice, is awe inspiring. The Gnostic horror of Leviathan. It is only ice because we're conscious of ice; if of fire, then it is infinite fire. If of God, infinite God. Consciousness of self is ultimately consciousness of nothing. Full consciousness of nothing is the state of being seen from the outside. Outside in. Purely objective. This can be a vision of joy, but more likely not. More likely everything one is made of screams for quick reintegration. Elsewise we live no more. Or so it seems. But to hang in there and take it right square on the jaw, to refuse to run, if only from some deeply determined cellular vow to the quest, is to WIN POINTS! Something just loves that we do this and rewards us with crowns, flowers, and the sweetest air to breath. I trust it is so with death. Let me put it this way: why trust otherwise? Ah, Tim!
It occurs to me that you did mighty battle with "the worm" last week, old Leviathan itself. It also occurs that the vision of the limits of consciousness is the worm's legacy. In that sign it conquers. Onion sauce! Consciousness is endless. But it's by facing the Hellish delusion of its finiteness that we earn motive power to ascend. Were all revealed, why, all would be revealed. Ho hum... Revelation's the thing! The delicious taste of exploding ignorance. A bath in a rainwater sea. The tits of Aphrodite. The tongue of Minerva down your throat. Kid's stuff, but good fun. Beyond that, it gets serious. Compassion serious. The broken toe of the world. Ouch! What right do we have to all that fun? The right of grace, that's all. Free ice cream. Moments of gladness neither to be sought nor shunned.
Mm. That felt right. Felt good to say. How else do you judge? By logic? Hope you're feeling a lot better. Ever gargle with Clorox? Those little suckers don't stand a chance! Try peroxide if you can't take the taste.
ps/ off to England in 4 days, where Maureen, Kate (8) and I will spend the
Summer. I'm assuming modems work there and the dialogue can continue apace.
I can't tell you what a pleasure it is to speak straight across about these
things. Can only guess what it means to those reading over our shoulders,
but conversing in depth with a fellow stranger is not the usual for me. I
believe what we're talking about is almost pathetically important.
Copyright 1996 by Terence McKenna and Robert Hunter
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