Monday, April 25, 2011

The Spirit Molecule, & Personal Thoughts on DMT

Now that it's gotten around that I'm planning on trying DMT, I've gotten some mixed reactions. One friend reports that his trip aged him fifty years, and that he regrets ever having done it. Another friend that I spoke to is planning on trying it as well, and referred me to this documentary so I could "get excited" like he was. Take a look; the full documentary is in one piece on Youtube. In it, they ask some really vital questions, like why are we wired to accept chemical experiences like this? This documentary shows how science has fused with spirituality, which is at once fascinating and unsettling. But all in all, I feel pretty honored that I'm going to get the chance to try what's got so many brilliant and creative people interested.

I'm still pretty nervous. Like most people, one of my great fears is going mad, and one of the best ways to do that is to experience something that you can't handle. I know it's irrational, and probably won't happen, but because of its entirely encompassing nature, DMT seems like the most likely chemical that could bring you to that point. So I feel like if I can pull this off, I'll be able to handle anything. It's making it a little easier on me to remember that I subject myself to that every night when I go to sleep. Dreaming is one of my deepest pleasures, because they are so strange and yet so vital to our waking mindset. Is a waking DMT trip so different? I don't know, but I'm going to tell myself it isn't.

Many people's trips had a death theme. Either I am naive and don't truly understand death, or the year I spent contemplating suicide desensitized me, but I'm not scared of death. I'm scared of pain, and I'm scared of being forgotten after I'm gone, but I have no fear of what lies in wait for us at the end of our lives. Mainly because I think it's probably just oblivion, which seems like a welcome respite, like sleep at the end of the day. So even if my trip does lean that way, I don't think I'd freak out, just be curious. On that count, I think I'm okay.

One thing that threw me off was the spiritual experiences that the interviewees reported. It seemed a unanimous part of the experience. They all talked about the entities that they saw as if they were real. I am more inclined to believe that something is a psychological phenomenon, rather than objectively true. As Hunter S. Thompson said, "All those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy Peace and Understanding for three bucks a hit. But their loss and failure is ours too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a whole life-style that he helped create... a generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture: the desperate assumption that somebody... or at least some force - is tending the light at the end of the tunnel." I'm an atheist, and I have been all my life. Though I do look to psychedelics for secular insights, and to expand how I experience the world (especially for the sake of my writing) I've never had an experience that I would describe as spiritual, and can't imagine how I would react if I did. I'm not saying that it's impossible that I could convert to some form of spiritualism. I'm interested spiritual matters, but I'll never believe in a christian Wizard in the Sky, or really any supernatural being that watches over us. It doesn't make any sense to me. Will DMT change this perspective?

I kind of hope that it does, because sometimes I wish I had the trust & faith that it takes to believe in a religion. Lately, the ideas of Hinduism have been making more and more sense to me, partly because it recognizes that each person needs a different path (or combination of methods) to reach enlightenment, which, in a very earthly way, is one of my goals. But I can't get behind that reincarnation thing. Possibly, it might make sense if every being was really the same being reincarnated again and again and again, like in this story, but I just don't think I can teach myself to have faith in something invisible when I haven't had any my entire life. I could even deal with the various incarnations of the Hindu god, as symbols of various aspects of life. But for reincarnation to exist, someone would have to be judging & deciding who becomes who, and to care about the fate of humanity, and to originate the system in the first place. I can't even pretend that that makes sense to me.

Also, this documentary got me thinking about what if everyone in our culture did DMT, or at least psychedelics. It would change a lot, right? We might not necessarily all turn into hippies, but we'd be a lot more respectful towards our environment, and a lot less interested in the rat race. It so happens that there are cultures, in South America & the southwest U.S., where that dream has come true. It would be so interesting to grow up in a culture like that. Maybe someday, it'll be acceptable once again.