This is an excerpt taken from an article written by Tao Lin which appeared in Vice News in 2014. What I found fascinating was the way Terence Mckenna was able to explain the fact that you cannot explain the DMT experience while kind of explaining the DMT experience. I know that is a very contradictory sentence, but if you have felt the effects of DMT then there is a chance that you will understand what is meant by this.
It can take you to a place in which language does not exist, time is not real, there is no up, down, left or right and reality as you know it seems illusory in nature. Compacting this experience into the box of language can be a tough task, but I feel in this description Terence McKenna done about as good a good as anyone could.
From 1967 to 1994, McKenna smoked DMT—an orange, crystalline, earwax-y substance that “smells vaguely of mothballs”—30 to 40 times. He described composites of his DMT trips in “Rap Dancing Into the Third Millennium,” “DMT Revelations,” and “Time and Mind.” Below is my composite of McKenna’s three composites, arranged chronologically, with approximate amounts of time, in minutes and seconds, elapsed since the initial toke of DMT, vaporized in a glass pipe:
0:00. First toke. Colors brighten, edges sharpen, distant things gain clarity—”there is a sense as though all the air in the room has been sucked out.”
0:10. Second toke. You close your eyes and “colors begin racing together, and it forms this mandalic, floral, slowly rotating thing”—”usually yellow-orange”—which McKenna called “the chrysanthemum.” Then “you either break through it, or you require one more toke.” (“The leather-lunged hash smokers among us have a leg up in this department.”)
0:20. Third toke. The chrysanthemum parts. There’s a sound of “a plastic bread wrapper, or the crackling of flame,” and “an impression of transition.” Then ”it’s as though there were a series of tunnels or chambers that you are tumbling down.”
0:40. You burst into this “place.”
In one composite, at this point, McKenna said: “And language cannot describe it—accurately. Therefore I will inaccurately describe it. The rest is now lies.” And later: “I mean you have to understand: these are metaphors in the truest sense, meaning that they’re lies!” McKenna’s awareness of and engagement with this aspect of DMT increases my interest in his DMT accounts. In one lecture, he said:
“The reason it’s so confounding is because its impact is on the language-forming capacity itself. So the reason it’s so confounding is because the thing that is trying to look at the DMT is infected by it—by the process of inspection. So DMT does not provide an experience that you analyze. Nothing so tidy goes on. The syntactical machinery of description undergoes some sort of hyper-dimensional inflation instantly, and then, you know, you cannot tell yourself what it is that you understand. In other words, what DMT does can’t be downloaded into as low-dimensional a language as English.”
The place, or space, you’ve burst into—called “the dome” by some—seems to be underground, and is softly, indirectly lit. The walls are “crawling with geometric hallucinations, very brightly colored, very iridescent with deep sheens and very high, reflective surfaces—everything is machine-like and polished and throbbing with energy.” McKenna said:
“But that is not what immediately arrests my attention. What arrests my attention is the fact that this space is inhabited—that the immediate impression as you break into it is there’s a cheer. […] You break into this space and are immediately swarmed by squeaking, self-transforming elf-machines…made of light and grammar and sound that come chirping and squealing and tumbling toward you. And they say “hooray! welcome! you’re here!” And in my case “you send so many and you come so rarely!”
0:50. You’re “appalled.” You’re thinking “Jesus H. Fucking Christ, what is this? What isit?” McKenna observed:
“And the weird thing about DMT is it does not affect what we ordinarily call the mind. The part that you call you—nothing happens to it. You’re just like you were before, but the world has been radically replaced—100%—it’s all gone, and you’re sitting there, and you’re saying “Jesus, a minute ago I was in a room with some people, and they were pushing some weird drug on me, and, and now, what’s happened? Is this the drug? Did we do it? Is this it?”
1:00. The elves, or “jeweled self-dribbling basketballs,” come running forward. They’re “singing, chanting, speaking in some kind of language that is very bizarre to hear, but what is far more important is that you can see it [which is] completely confounding!” And, also, something is “going on” which over the years McKenna has come to call luv—”not ‘light utility vehicle,’ but love that is not like Eros or not like sexual attraction,” something “almost like a physical thing,” “a glue that pours out into this space.”
1:10. Each “elf-machine creature” “elbows others aside, says ‘look at this, look at this, take this, choose me!’” They “come toward you, and then—and you have to understand they don’t have arms, so we’re kind of downloading this into a lower dimension to even describe it, but—what they do is they offer things to you.” You realize what you’re being shown—this “proliferation of elf gifts,” or “celestial toys,” which “seem somehow alive”—is “impossible.” This “state of incredible frenzy” continues for about three minutes, during which the elves are saying:
Don’t give way to wonder. Do not abandon yourself to amazement. Pay attention. Pay attention. Look at what we’re doing. Look at what we’re doing, and then do it. Do it!
4:10. Then—“and only 5% report this,” McKenna noted—“everything stops and they wait, and you feel like a torch, a spark, lit in your belly, that begins to move up your esophagus.” Then your mouth “flies open and this language-like stuff comes out.” It’s sound, but “what you’re experiencing is a visual modality where these tones are surfaces, shading, colors, insets, jewels, and you are making something.” The elves “go mad with joy.”
4:40. “The whole thing begins to collapse in on itself, and they literally begin to physically move away from you. And usually their final shot is they actually wave goodbye.” There’s “a ripple through the system and you realize these two continua are being pulled apart.” (Once, “as the pull-away maneuver began, all the elves turned simultaneously and looked at” McKenna and said “deja vu, deja vu.”) McKenna added:
“And often it’s very erotic, although I’m not sure if that’s the word. But it’s almost like sex is the surface of which this is the volume. And I’m a great fan of sex; I don’t mean to denigrate it. I mean to raise DMT to a very high status.”
5:00. “You’re raving about it.”
7:00. “You can’t remember it.” You say “this is the most amazing thing, this is the most amazing thing, this is—what am I talking about?” McKenna thought DMT “might have a role in dreaming,” in part because “the way a dream melts away is the way a DMT trip melts away—at the same speed.” McKenna discussed this in an interview:
“There is a self-erasing mechanism in it. I have the feeling that you find out something there that is so contra-intuitive that you literally cannot think of it sitting here. So as you go from there to here, there comes a moment where it slips below the surface of rational apprehensibility.”
Thanks for reading and if you are intrigued by this description please share the article, much love, Luke
Luke Miller is the editor at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. He believes that spirituality is the foundation for good health and likes to use the fundamental laws of nature to help you create more happiness, satisfaction, joy, freedom and bliss within your world. You Can Join Him For His Latest Free Course “Tuning Into The Natural Laws Of The Universe” By Clicking Here.