Last week I was invited to be with a friend of mine who was having a DMT experience. Supposedly, DMT is the most intense psychedelic known to mankind. My friend was looking for enlightenment. He wanted to “pierce” the veil of death. I was looking for clarity about what was happening to his brain.
He greeted us when we walked into the space. His pupils were already dilated. He had already snapped, talking about the sacredness of the experience. Entering the space was freaky – a throw back to the hash dens and pot parties of the hippy days of the 70’s. People were clearly in their own drugged out, delusional altered reality already. An older guy was the leader of the pack. Frankly, just one look at him should let you know you don’t want to do DMT, but that’s another story – and requires the rational brain to be intact in order to see that.
The older guy reminded me of a western, wannabe Indian guru, who was trying to take people into “reality.” He played horrible music about stepping into reality of who we really are. To me, this idea of reality makes me want to vomit.
This delusional belief in an unseen Reality was popularized by Plato’s famous Allegory of the Cave. But this is just a bunch of philosophical bullshit. There are all types of modalities that create the illusion of there being a hidden reality, but the reality of reality is that there is no hidden life directing us. There’s a bunch of stuff going on inside a brain that does a very poor job distinguishing inside stuff from outside stuff. it’s easily tricked by life, spiritual experiences, and by drugs.
Inside the room, my friend was given two instructions: say “yes” to everything, and surrender to everything. He looked me in the eyes as he took a hit of DMT out of a blue led vaporizer. He looked a bit scared. He said he had prepared for this moment for 10 years. As he sucked in the blue smoke and was told –cajoled even– to hold it in his lungs for as long as humanly possible. Within a minute he was squirming on the floor, writhing. He hugged his girlfriend tightly. He laughed, cried, writhed and relaxed.
“I see now. I see now. Now I get it,” he said knowingly. The other people in the room said “YES”. Now you see. For a moment I felt like I was on the set of Valley of the Dolls.
I was thinking to myself, “I see now too.” The drug quickly affects the brain, and causes near immediate hallucinations. Having meditated for 30 years, I am very familiar what happens when the brain releases psychedelic chemicals. It makes us feel as if we are seeing “through” reality, when in fact, we are witnessing our brain malfunctioning – which most people are not used to seeing while they are conscious and awake.
Everybody in the room saw the moment of my friend’s hallucination as an entry point into reality – including him. I saw it as a sad road down a path to nowhere. There is very little to be gained from watching the brain malfunction and thinking that we are seeing into reality. We are not. There truly is no “hidden” reality. Nothing in the 3D room was different. The only thing different for my friend was the drug racing through his brain altering his perceptions of reality. Reality was neither affected nor moved AT ALL.
The peak of the experience seemed to last about 5 to 10 minutes. Everything after that was just a kind of joyous bliss (which I’m all for by the way). We hugged and looked into each others eyes. I actually felt a lot of love, appreciation and compassion for my friend and his experience. I was able to allow my mirror neurons to go on his journey – in relaxed openesss – and have the experience without the drug. My girlfriend had a similar contact high, and after the experience, we all talked and cuddled for at least an hour.
The thing is, there are so many ways to take the brain to the point of perceptual malfunction – without the need for drugs. Unfortunately drugs give us the illusion that a veil has been pierced – but there is no such thing.
The bottom line: the idea of a hidden reality in support of our life is a myth. It’s the belief that we are so important that there is a whole universe of invisible support just for us. This is out of touch, narcissistic thinking. Basically, true enlightenment is learning to deal with the fact that there is no hidden reality. We are on our own in this.
The reason people see this “hidden reality” with drugs is because hallucinogens cause the brain to malfunction in similar ways–while we are conscious of the malfunction. Similar drugs make brains malfunction in similar ways, so people who have the experiences compare them with other people’s subjective reporting and believe they have tapped into THE ULTIMATE REALITY – an alternate reality… but this is just incorrect. Wrong in fact. The only thing they have done is disrupt their brain’s perceptions. And the brain already has a VERY loose hold on reality so the only thing the drug really proves is how easily our brain’s sense of self can be disrupted.