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Dimethyltryptamine and the Argument for an Afterlife

Updated on July 2, 2012
The kind of patterns one might see on a full-on enviable trip.
The kind of patterns one might see on a full-on enviable trip.

Of all the attempts religion has made at irking its way into my life, there's only one experience that can occur in this reality we're adhered to that has made me doubt the absence of the supernatural. That experience is caused by, of all things, a drug. A drug has made me more likely to believe in the afterlife than any church, sermon or anything of the sort. The drug is Dimethyltryptamine, or DMT. The experiences I've heard of that have been described by users has me wondering how the hardest of atheists can say once they've tried it that they believe in some existential plane beyond the one we know.

Users describe the opposite of an ego trip, losing all identity and perception of time and space for the roughly five minutes of a trip. Some believe it's the ego that determines the trip. Yet it's not the experiences themselves that make me believe there might be some truly spiritual purpose for it, but rather the physiological structures we're composed of that allow us to experience this drug universally. Both humans and animals all have receptors in the brain specifically meant to react to DMT. Dimethyltryptamine is released both when we dream and when we die. It's believed that this substance may be the catalyst for our dreams to take place, which play on our egos and the unconscious.

DMT as a Compound

In nature, several different cultures in South America have found the ingredients for DMT, which can be either ingested through a concocted drink or smoked. It's a drug commonly associated with Buddhist philosophy, in that with just about every experience reported, a single trip usually supports the idea that all of humanity and every entity in the universe is interconnected. There's a holistic principle to DMT that surpasses most other substances, though some have reported bad trips, though they're usually the ones not ready for it, anticipating a bad time instead of rolling with the experience.

When artificially ingested, DMT induces an experience that lasts for an extremely short period (about 5-10 minutes) but in that time, so much happens that it often feels like hours. Everything from a loss of identity, to a cathartic epiphany and voyage through the universe has been described. Imagine a drug that plays on your innermost being, projecting all your desires and wants in the form of a peaceful resolve. This is usually what's described by people who've experienced a near-death experience, for which it can be argued naturally produced DMT is responsible. When we die, our brains convert serotonin and other hormones into DMT, making the slip into death a more easy transition.

My question about this is: why does nature do this? What evolutionary purpose does DMT serve us? Why build in a psychological defense mechanism when we're dying? Anybody with logic running their brains knows that nature is cold and largely unsympathetic, and yet we're infused with receptors and the ability to experience something so potentially life-altering and lucid when we pass on. Even in a traumatic situation such as a sudden car crash, this substance has allowed people to experience near-death visions that they're lucky enough to speak of later. It's almost as if DMT is something meant to assist us when we're transitioning between the reality we know and the next we'll face. What strikes me as most unusual is the fact that every near-death experience (reported at least) is positive. There's the ever-present white light, always calming and inviting, and everything else usually revolves around the psychology of the person (usually he or she confronts someone they love, loved or admire). Sure, you could argue that it's just something that occurs naturally before we slip into the infinite abyss of nonexistence, but why does this need to happen to so many people?

Also, there's an element to control in most DMT hallucinations. People are able to manipulate the worlds around them and even communicate in engaging conversations with people in their hallucinations--all within a quarter of an hour! Maybe the mind goes into hyperdrive, and since our perception of time is lost we simply lose ourselves in what's happening, but it just seems like so many of the experiences are only, like near-death experiences, reassuring in the idea of another reality outside of what we normally perceive. That DMT could be a temporary, universe-provided window into what we'll all experience when we die, is an idea alone that calms me. The fear of death is my biggest, just the idea that we'll never be able to experience again once we cross over, which is making my desire to seek this (unfortunately illegal) miracle out. Of course the DMT experience discredits the idea of a permanent heaven for the most part, in my eyes. If anything, the experiences I've read and heard about suggest we view the universe from different vantage points throughout eternity (which would keep things from ever becoming boring), resembling more the theology behind reincarnation. Gaspar NoƩ's film Enter the Void is the closest to anything made that describes what kind of experience I believe could be in store for us when we go over the ultimate line, and explores DMT heavily from the first person perspective throughout the entire thing. Though it's a long-ass film, running at about three hours more than an actual DMT trip, it's definitely one of the most entrancing and unique experiences I've ever had.

I've never actually been able to experience a trip myself, as I haven't even tried acid or shrooms at this point, but one thing is for certain: there is more than we can ever understand in our lifetimes here, on this Earth. So before we fall off, why be afraid of what we have access to? I believe life is fundamentally about experiences, and if it's not hurting anyone, it's an experience worth indulging in. Call me a hedonist, I don't care.

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    • Recently Awakened profile image

      Recently Awakened 4 years ago

      We humans are actually able to do more and be more than what we have been taught. For most of us, our pineal glands have hardened (calcified) due to ingestion of fluoride (which is poisonous) and other factors. One of these is misinformation to discourage the use of this gland. Anyhow, this gland naturally produces the chemical DMT. In Vedic scripture, it is written that enlightened people have soft, malleable third eyes, moldable like clay, while people trapped in ordinary, dull logic have third eyes that are rock hard and unseeing.

      The important thing is that our bodies have the ability to supply us with the DMT experience. We just need to exercise our anja chakra (pineal gland). We do not actually need to get this substance from any outside sources as it is not a lasting experience as our bodies are able to provide. I am glad that you were able to have such an experience, however short the time frame.

    • Ben Graves profile image
      Author

      Ben Graves 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Thanks for commenting. I never actually experienced it myself (other than in dreams of course), though I've done a lot of research and am willing to try it if it ever comes my way, especially if I ever somehow make a venture into the Amazon. The spiritual implications of DMT fascinate me and the idea that the pineal gland acts as a spiritual window in itself is interesting and raises even more questions.

    • tonie2weeks profile image

      tonie2weeks 4 years ago

      Peak Experiences as described by Albert Maslow had the same effects as what you are talking about but there have been many ways to get there... The problem is is that it usually takes a random happening for people to have one.... This can also be seen in a "Manic Phase" of mental illness. This to me, however, questions if mental illness is indeed caused by too much acsess to the other side...if you will.. most mentally ill people who have these experiences are very intelligent, yet their experiences are ignored as the illness...... Have you read Alex Hucksley's version of his experience of LSD... a great read and from a man that tried to record it as he would any other phenomenological research.... Interesting subject.......

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 4 years ago from Tasmania

      Ben, occasionally I read something "out of the blue" that lifts my knowledge and understanding. This Hub of yours has done just that.

      Thank you so much.

      I have just finished watching the movie, Rock Haven. That has taught me so much about myself and my life - in just a short space of time, 1 1/2 hrs.

      It seems to me that I will be prepared to try a lot more things that "come my way," sometime before the final DMT kicks in.

    • BiG ChinGS profile image

      BiG ChinGS 4 years ago

      i want some DMT......hit me up BiGChinGS.com@Gmail.com

      check out my website too brO. www.BIGCHINGS.com

    • profile image

      Wildblue09 3 years ago

      Reality

      From the Cree Tribe, wired with the Haplogroup X-2 DNA, in my 61st year, 1500 + sweat-lodge trips to the Eagle’s Domain (the great void where all potentiality resides). I’ve lived a wonderful exciting life (lucky in love) and have studied our native cultural wisdom and anybody else’s with any substance.

      This past year I was seriously injured falling a large Alder tree and came to a place in healing retrospection, asking myself what was my relationship with reality? I came away from that with the obvious, “I did not have a functioning relationship with Reality”.

      Every teacher from time immemorial was trying to teach us (without actually saying it of course) that as beings we possessed tremendous unused spirit consciousness resources, and in each their own way, attempted to share their insights on how to access and utilize these, to our benefit. The wisdom of the ages can all be distilled down to onboard brain chemical secretions, specifically the atrophied but golden pituitary and pineal (DMT) glands. The ancients left us the trancendental schematic, the Caduceus Symbol reminding us that the path to enlightenment, was and is brain glandular secretions. The ancient symbol is missunderstood and has been reduced to a shirt logo for ambulance drivers.

      Anyone who has lit a DMT pipe will tell you the brain is capable of processing 10,000 years of intense experiential data in only 10 fr*kin minutes. Unbelievable brain bandwidths are available to each and everyone of us. Our DNA designers did not leave us the owner’s manual and that has left us in this lobotomized brain state with atrophied pituitary and pineal (DMT) glands. Fortunately they can be quickly rejuvenated and brought back on line seriously kicking up the brain bandwidths. Personal Sovereignty is a real achievable possibility. To learn a simple "duck to water" gland rejuvenation technique and kick up the brain bandwidth, go to: http://fukushima50.blogspot.ca/

      The reality is we are living in an age of consciousness without a functioning relationship with reality. We need to get over the fact that from a cosmological perspective, we are an emerging civilization with a multiple history as a failed society in the process of blowing it again for the umpteen time.

      Of necessity, a functioning relationship with reality includes, Gnosticism, Alchemy, ET, Archons, Lockheed Martin Ben Rich’s alumni disclosure, knowledge of the advanced civilizations who built the precision stone megaliths (that we can not build today), being present to nature's process of creating matter from information encoded energy, LENR, that consciousness and matter are quantumly coupled, rejuvenated pituitary and pineal (DMT) glands, the value of service, a loving family and the wilful intention to have a source connected relationship with reality.

      With these in place we have a chance to be in the cosmic game called life and without them we are basically hooped.

      Sovereignty

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