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Switch to Forum Live View Dimethyltryptamine and Religious Experiences
2 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2012 - 4:05PM #1
truthseeker630
Posts: 67
Dear all,

I've been learning that DMT is behind the great majority of Near Death Experiences.  That it helps to illict the phenomena of going towards a "Light", while having other beings "pulling you back".  It's also been blamed on feelings of Cosmic Oneness, feeling that you are greater than your body, even causing the idea that you might be divine or "One with the Universe/Brahman". 


Do any of you know much about it?  Because if the brain produces this around death, or in a really tranced out or meditative state -- then this is a serious blow to all sorts of "religious claims".  If we can trace "supernatural" experiences to completely natural causes, then obviously everything spirituality and religions claim can easily be swept aside as false or exaggerated.  It made me think, that this is definitely a good argument to be an atheist or an agnostic.. and reject all gods, religions, etc..   
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2012 - 4:19PM #2
JCarlin
Posts: 6,965

Sounds interesting.  I know nothing about it.  Do you have any reliable references?

J'Carlin
If the shoe doesn't fit, don't cram your foot in it and complain.
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2012 - 4:29PM #3
truthseeker630
Posts: 67

Jun 23, 2012 -- 4:19PM, JCarlin wrote:


Sounds interesting.  I know nothing about it.  Do you have any reliable references?





This guy seems to have written a book on it here.  www.examiner.com/article/dr-rick-strassm...,  and this article seems interesting here: 
troolyunbelievable.blogspot.com/2008/02/...  .   I mostly googled everything, there is always Wikipedia.. but I know it's not "reliable".  I hope that helps to aid to the discussion..

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2012 - 5:37PM #4
chevy956
Posts: 1,968

Jun 23, 2012 -- 4:05PM, truthseeker630 wrote:

Dear all,

I've been learning that DMT is behind the great majority of Near Death Experiences.  That it helps to illict the phenomena of going towards a "Light", while having other beings "pulling you back".  It's also been blamed on feelings of Cosmic Oneness, feeling that you are greater than your body, even causing the idea that you might be divine or "One with the Universe/Brahman". 


Do any of you know much about it?  Because if the brain produces this around death, or in a really tranced out or meditative state -- then this is a serious blow to all sorts of "religious claims".  If we can trace "supernatural" experiences to completely natural causes, then obviously everything spirituality and religions claim can easily be swept aside as false or exaggerated.  It made me think, that this is definitely a good argument to be an atheist or an agnostic.. and reject all gods, religions, etc..   



DMT is the main psychoactive ingredient in yage, which has been used as an entheogenic drug for centuries by Amazonian native peoples.  In the 60's, it had the nickname of "the businessman's high" due to the short but intense experience. John Horgan's excellent book, Rational Mysticism, has firsthand accounts by the author of his experience taking the drug.


If it is indeed produced by the brain, it would be a fascinating find, and one more nail in the coffin of any theistic interpretation of near death experiences

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2012 - 5:40PM #5
Iwantamotto
Posts: 8,377

I have no real issues with there being a chemical in the brain that produces this effect.  We run on chemicals.

Knock and the door shall open.  It's not my fault if you don't like the decor.
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2012 - 11:09PM #6
Blü
Posts: 25,190

From Wikipedia -


When ingested, DMT acts as a psychedelic drug. [...] its subjective effects can range from short-lived milder psychedelic states to powerful immersive experiences; these are often described as a total loss of connection to conventional reality with the encounter of ineffable alien realms.


[In 2005 sensitive tests demonstrated the natural presence of DMT in humans.]


DMT can produce powerful entheogenic [ie religion-related] experiences including intense visuals, euphoria and hallucinations (perceived extensions of reality).


Several speculative and yet untested hypotheses suggest that endogenous DMT is produced in the human brain and is involved in certain psychological and neurological states. DMT is naturally occurring in small amounts in [...] human cerebrospinal fluid, and other tissues of humans and other mammals. It may play a role in mediating the visual effects of natural dreaming, and also near-death experiences, religious visions and other states. [...] A new hypothesis [...] is that [...] endogenous DMT may [also] be involved in the creation of normal waking states of consciousness.  [...] Wallach further proposes that in this way waking consciousness can be thought of as a controlled psychedelic experience. It is when the control of these systems becomes loosened and their behavior no longer correlates with the external world that the altered states arise.

Dr. Rick Strassman [...] in the 1990s [...] advanced the controversial hypothesis that a massive release of DMT from the pineal gland prior to death or near death was the cause of the near death experience (NDE) phenomenon. [...]

Terence McKenna recounts [from the 1950s] encounters with entities he sometimes describes as "Self-Transforming Machine Elves" among other phrases. McKenna believed DMT to be a tool that could be used to enhance communication and allow for communication with other-worldly entities. Other users report visitation from external intelligences attempting to impart information.



Such a small dose, such a lot of fun!


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2 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2012 - 1:35AM #7
Thetwofish
Posts: 590

I find it utterly amazing that this thread was started tonight.  Because, tonight I had my first experience with DMT.


This is what happened.  I smoked a small quantity under the guidance of my adult son, who is very shamanistic in his being.  The first thing I felt was a rush of relaxation throughout my body and warmth.  Then, I started laughing, hysterically for about 10 minutes.  I was crying, tears streaming down my face laughing harder than I have ever laughed in my life.  I was beside myself and loving every glorious moment.


And when it was over...doesn't last long...I was asked what was so funny?  And I thought about what I was laughing about, because at the time, I had no idea.


And then it hit me...I was laughing at the absurdity of it all....


Still makes me wanna laugh now...


Peace


<'{{><


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2 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2012 - 10:01AM #8
Faustus5
Posts: 2,023

I've always wanted to give this stuff a try, but in middle age one tends to lose touch with certain kinds of sources, especially once you've parted company with illegal substances.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2012 - 2:13PM #9
Thetwofish
Posts: 590

Jun 24, 2012 -- 10:01AM, Faustus5 wrote:


I've always wanted to give this stuff a try, but in middle age one tends to lose touch with certain kinds of sources, especially once you've parted company with illegal substances.




My son knows how to make it...so it was pretty easy for me.  He's also a tattoo artist...hence the tattoo on my ankle.  If I had to go looking for it, it would never happen LOL!


Peace


<'{{><

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 25, 2012 - 10:30AM #10
redshifted
Posts: 2,283

Jun 23, 2012 -- 11:09PM, Blü wrote:


From Wikipedia -


Terence McKenna recounts [from the 1950s] encounters with entities he sometimes describes as "Self-Transforming Machine Elves" among other phrases. McKenna believed DMT to be a tool that could be used to enhance communication and allow for communication with other-worldly entities. Other users report visitation from external intelligences attempting to impart information.



Such a small dose, such a lot of fun!




I first heard of DMT through Terence McKenna back in the early to mid 90s when I was experimenting with psychoactives. Although, I never did try this stuff. It always seemed too daunting, especially in higher doses. There seems to be a common experience of seeing these alien type beings as Mckenna describes above. Sounds like it would be a good time if I had the nerve.

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