What does DMT say about the nature of consciousness?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Magical Realist, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    DMT is a chemical which when taken into the body results in some of the most vivid and transcendental hallucinations of any drug. Yet the molecule for DMT is very similar to serotonin. Why would a few slight changes in a molecule result in such a radical change in human consciousness?

    What's even weirder is that the DMT hallucinations seem to be similar from person to person: the initial hearing of an increasing tone, the crash thru to some underground dome where cartoon elves are seen playing with toys, the sense of a higher alien presences monitoring your trip, the psychedelic chrysanthemum and corresponding fusion with a universal energy seen flowing inside human forms, ancient primitive monsters, arabesque or mayan themes, and the final feeling of being dropped suddenly back into reality. It's as if we have this program molecularly encoded into our brains that can be triggered by this one molecule. What a strange situation! We are vastly and deeply more than we seem to ourselves! There are radiant sensoriums lurking inside matter itself!

    Here's a great website recounting various experiences under the influence of DMT:

    http://www.dmtsite.com/dmt/experience/descriptions_of_experience.html


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  3. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    I'd say that pretty much confirms the idea that consciousness is organically based. After all, if one simple physical molecule can affect our minds so profoundly, how can the mind not be a product of physical processes?
     
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  5. Anew Life isn't a question. Banned

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    those fractal pictures are attractive.
    I have discovered that most fractal pictures have copulation overture.
    I then gander as to earth's massive population increase since the 1990's.

    I guess DMT is an offspring of LSD.


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    natural oxygen intake seems more palatable

    :m: (I wish marijuana leaf tea were freemarket like beer)

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  7. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    My belief, based on 100+ LSD (and mescaline and peyote) trips back in the day, is that the human visual cortex recognizes features in the visual field. Those features include edges, corners, curves, figure-ground relations, colors and so on. Then higher-level pattern-recognizers try to associate that material with items in the environment whose appearance we know.

    The visually active psychoactive drugs seem to typically act as stimulants of this system, and are often chemically related to the neuro-transmitters like serotonin that play a role there.

    So what results is a wild disorganized firing of the feature detectors. And that in turn stimulates the pattern detectors to vainly try to recognize some order in all the chaos.

    The subjective result of all that is the awareness that one's visual field, and all of the conventional objects that it contains, are covered and filled with a constantly moving and changing collection of... colors and patterns and textures. There's an indescribable collection of edges, corners, sides... without anything that they are edges, corners and sides of. It can be very striking, bright, glowing and almost jewel-like at times. At other times it's as if everything is secretly covered with a mysterious indecipherable text whose meaning the visionary eye can... almost understand... but not quite.

    An interesting thing to note is that religious mystics sometimes report similar experiences. Buddhist meditators report visions of the heavens and buddha-fields, in which everything appears encrusted with glowing jewels. My guess is that the physiological mechanisms behind the visions might turn out to be similar.
     
  8. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    "Another metaphor is... I took this stuff to Tibetans, to the Amazon. I gave it to Tibetans, they said "this is the lesser lights, the lesser lights of the Bardo. You cannot go further into the Bardo and return. This takes you as far as you can go." When I gave it to shamanss in the Amazon, they said "It's strong - but this is, these are the ancestors. These are the spirits that we work with. These are ancestor souls. We know this place." Well then, the third and final metaphor, because when you're in that place you have such complex emotions - very complex emotions - something weird is going on with time, because you perceive your body image as infantile. You seem to have a very large head, and a very small body, and very short limbs. And, you know, I dunno what that's about.."--Terrence McKenna

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  9. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    I'd have to take it. In order to draw any personal conclusions about it supporting that reducing valve stuff from the inspiration for the name of Mr. Mojo Risin's band [sans anagram]. Which isn't about to happen. I'm no longer within the age bracket for a gradual descent into the 27 Club, as if the initial long-shot absurdity of my ever qualifying for such an elite status / nomination could be set aside.

    Aldous Huxley:
    But in so far as we are animals, our business is at all costs to survive. To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funneled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us to stay alive on the surface of this Particular planet. To formulate and express the contents of this reduced awareness, man has invented and endlessly elaborated those symbol-systems and implicit philosophies which we call languages. Every individual is at once the beneficiary and the victim of the linguistic tradition into which he has been born — the beneficiary inasmuch as language gives access to the accumulated records of other people's experience, the victim in so far as it confirms him in the belief that reduced awareness is the only awareness and as it bedevils his sense of reality, so that he is all too apt to take his concepts for data, his words for actual things. --The Doors of Perception
     
  10. benjifrank Registered Member

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    Thanks for sharing the information!
     
  11. andy1033 Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    What it says is that humans only like all animals need to know what they know to live.
     
  12. Great Old One Registered Member

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    I think it probably suggests that consciousness is a process or set of functions which are affected by psychedelic chemicals in a somewhat predictable way.
     
  13. thinkthinkingthought Registered Member

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    DMT is actually one of the chemicals responsible for dreams and near death experiences. It occurs naturally in our brains. Which encompasses my view on it really. It explains why the experiences are similar. But that's true of any 'drug'. No matter how elaborate the effects. Salvia divinorum is in a similar category. But salvia supposedly gives the illusion of the eternal which I haven't heard of with DMT.

    Apparently I was wrong about it definitely being in the brain but there is evidence for it and it is found in other parts of the body.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013

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