(TMU) Opinion – Last month researchers released a new study on the hallucinogen DMT (or dimethyltryptamine) that provided fresh survey data on the phenomenon of DMT users experiencing and encountering sentient ‘entities’ while tripping. Scientists believe the findings could help to better understand near-death experiences and alien-abduction experiences, as well as develop treatments for mood and behavioral disorders.
The study involved surveying over 2,000 DMT users, the majority of whom claimed to have had positive encounters and even emotional exchanges with beings they felt were advanced and benevolent. Most of the users, upon coming down from the drug, felt the beings were real and not manufactured solely by a hallucination.
The survey produced the following additional data: 99% had an emotional response and of those, 58% believed the entity they encountered also had an emotional response and the feeling was overwhelmingly positive, though some reported instances of fear; 81% of respondents felt the ‘entities’ were real; and two-thirds believed they had received “a message, task, mission, purpose, or insight from the entity encounter experience.”
The study adds more anecdotal corroboration that the DMT psychedelic experience is unique from other drugs.
First discovered as a psychoactive agent by Hungarian psychopharmacologist Stephen Szara in the 1950s, DMT is a psychedelic compound of the tryptamine family. It’s the only psychedelic that is found both in nature and produced naturally by the human body. Because its chemical structure strongly resemble neurotransmitters, particularly serotonin, some refer to it as ‘nature’s serotonin.’
As an endogenous chemical, produced naturally by the human body, it has also been referred to as the “brain’s own psychedelic.”
In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Rick Strassman conducted some of the first human DMT trials and was shocked by a trend he saw. There was a significant prevalence of patients who described their DMT experience some sort of contact or communication with interdimensional entities.
The patients strongly believed they had entered some kind of realm where intelligent “beings”, “entities”, “aliens”, “guides”, or “helpers” were working. Though they appeared differently for different people–sometimes as reptiles, spiders, geometric shapes, stick figures, etc. The common thread for most of the patients was that DMT did not produce a hallucination but rather acted as a kind of biological portal to a different dimension or level of reality that we normally can’t see.
These entities appeared in different ways for different people, but most often as “clowns, reptiles, mantises, bees, spiders, cacti, and stick figures.”
Legendary ethnobotanist and writer Terrence McKenna, who experimented with many different psychedelics, became a major advocate of DMT. Between 1967 to 1994, McKenna smoked DMT 30 to 40 times.
In an interview in The Archaic Revival (1992) Mckenna said:
“It was really the DMT that empowered my commitment to the psychedelic experience. DMT was so much more powerful, so much more alien, raising all kinds of issues about what is reality, what is language, what is the self, what is three-dimensional space and time, all the questions I became involved with over the next twenty years or so.”
He describes the DMT experience as a hyperdimensional reality that can not be described or “downloaded” by human language, “a fundamentally different order than any other experience this side of the yawning grave.”
“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!”
McKenna, a famously eccentric though revered social philosopher, was fully convinced DMT established a portal between humans and one or more of the following: extraterrestrials, entities in a parallel dimension, dead humans, or humans from the future.
A surprising number of other scientists and medical professionals have agreed with this. Though he did not form a definitive conclusion, Rick Strassman, who later went on to write the popular book DMT: The Spirit Molecule (which inspired the popular eponymous documentary), studied the release of DMT in the brain at the moment of death and during dreams. Ultimately, his research left him confused and overwhelmed.
Dovetailing with his research into Zen Buddhism, he stated:
“I worked through various models’ methods of understanding the DMT volunteers’ experiences, and found them wanting. The Buddhist psychological model didn’t comport with the data – the “more real than real” element of volunteers’ experiences (Buddhism proposes these phenomena are all generated by the mind, rather than “real” observations of external reality); [this] did nothing to suggest a satisfactory evolutionary explanation for the presence of DMT in the human body.”
Pharmacologist and medicinal chemist Dr. David Nichols said he could not discount the possibility that DMT really does grant some kind of extra-dimensional contact:
“There are probably conscious, sentient beings that don’t look like life as we recognize it,” Strassman said in an interview, “that maybe exist at some level of existence that we don’t have any awareness of. The universe is 95% dark matter/dark energy; we don’t even understand what gravity is. So the possibility that there are intelligences that exist at some other wavelength or in some other dimension or some other frequency I don’t think is out of the realm of possibility at all.”
Of course not everyone believes these hallucinations are anything more than powerful archetypes.
In 2004, author James Kent, who wrote “Psychedelic Information Theory — Shamanism in the Age of Reason,” wrote that “humans across all cultures have alien and heavenly archetypes embedded in their subconscious, and psychedelic tryptamines can access the archetypes with a high level of success.”
Kent embarked on his own immersion journalism adventure with DMT and tried to extract information from the ‘entities’ that otherwise would not have been available to him. He said he could not.
So is DMT just a particularly powerful hallucination generated when the brain has its visual processing system hijacked by a tryptamine or is Mckenna right when he says it allows the user to access an alternate reality where there’s a “raging universe of active intelligence that is transhuman, hyperdimensional, and extremely alien”?
The new study provides some interesting data that, though anecdotal, suggests that DMT provides the user with an “ontological shock” that may be able to rewire negative psychological patterns.
The researchers write in their paper that “it is possible that, under appropriate supportive set and setting conditions, DMT could show promise as an adjunct to therapy for people with mood and behavioral problems (e.g. depression and addiction).”
Recent research on DMT by Brazilian scientists additionally “suggest[s] that classic psychedelics are powerful inducers of neuroplasticity, a tool of psychobiological transformation that we know very little about.”
Future research, therefore, could help get DMT removed from the list of Schedule 1 drugs, where it currently sits alongside heroin and marijuana.
FBI Seizes Capitol Building LEGO Set From Alleged Rioter’s House
Many of us know, either from our childhood or even our adulthood, that building and collecting LEGO can be a fun hobby that allows us to tap into our creativity in a relaxing, stress-free way.
But what if someone’s LEGO hobby is something much more nefarious – or even seditious in the eyes of the government?
Such may have been the case when special agents with the FBI confiscated a fully completed LEGO set of the U.S. Capitol Building from the home of Robert Morss, 27, whom they allege participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, according to court documents published by The Smoking Gun.
The large LEGO set is comprised of 1,032 pieces and was released in 2016 and is no longer available for retail. The agents seized the finished set along with other items matching those they believe Morss had in his possession when he allegedly stormed the building – including a neck gaiter, a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, a military-style satchel, a black tourniquet, and military battle dress uniforms.
The documents also note that he “had three different firearms including a handgun, a shotgun and a rifle” in his possession.
According to LEGO, the United States Capitol Building set “focuses on the structure’s neoclassical style facade, steps and lawns” and is “finished with a decorative ‘US Capitol’ nameplate.” In 2019, the product was “retired” – which has less to do with politics and more to do with the limited availability of the company’s unique product lines.
Morss, who is from Pennsylvania, was arrested last month on a range of federal charges. According to the Department of Justice, his alleged crimes “include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; obstruction of an official proceeding; civil disorder; and robbery of personal property of the United States.”
An FBI investigator’s affidavit notes that Morss joined rioters in direct confrontations with officers guarding the Lower West Terrace doors of the Capital in “an intense and prolonged clash between rioters and law enforcement.”
Law enforcement officers claim that they also found a notebook in Morss car that had instructions on a “Step by Step to Create Hometown Militia” that included a list of names, equipment, and sections on “ambush,” “battle drills,” and “formations.” The notebook also contained notes that said “bring assault rifle,” “4 magazines,” and “bring kit/body armor.”
However, the court documents do not indicate whether the LEGO set was deployed in tactical drills prior to the botched uprising.
The DOJ says that roughly 465 individuals have been arrested on charges related the events of Jan. 6.
Neptune, the Roman God of Water, ‘Emerges’ From Waves in Photo During UK Storm
If we were to believe our eyes, it would seem that the ancient Roman god of water himself made an appearance on the shores of New Haven, England, on a day of especially rough surf.
What appears to be the “face” of Neptune was captured on Tuesday when photographer Jeff Overs of the BBC was taking photos of waves crashing over the harbor wall in the port city.
Of course, one is free to believe that the ferocious deity emanated from the depths of the sea to remind us puny humans of his wrath.
But alas, it was likely a simple example of pareidolia – the phenomenon of seeing faces and figures in otherwise random or ambiguous everyday objects.
The photographer snapped the shot amid high tide and winds exceeding 50 miles per hour (80km/h), namely because of the violent nature of the shore.
“It’s become a popular location for photographers because the sea ‘boils’ in high wind against the sea wall,” Overs explained.
“The waves splash into the high wind and when blown back occasionally make patterns that look like ghoulish faces.”
Overs added that one of the small foreground waves even resembles a hand – albeit a pareidolic one.
“It’s a straight shot and I haven’t manipulated the image at all,” he added.
Lunar New Deal: GOP Lawmaker Suggests Altering Moon & Earth’s Orbit to Stop Climate Change
Texas Republican Congressman Louise Gohmert raised the eyebrows of his Congressional colleagues on Tuesday after seemingly suggesting that climate change could be combatted by changing the orbit of the moon, or even altering “Earth’s orbit around the sun.”
Gohmert, who has been decried as the “dumbest member of Congress” for his past absurdly anti-scientific comments regarding the ongoing pandemic and a number of other issues, has been a vocal opponent of progressive legislators’ attempts to put a “Green New Deal” on the government’s agenda.
However, his apparent suggestion of a “Lunar New Deal” to mitigate global warming could take the cake as his most hare-brained idea yet.
The comments came during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on four pending bills while questioning Jennifer Eberlien of the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, reports NBC.
“I understand, from what’s been testified to the Forest Service and the B.L.M. [Bureau of Land Management], you want very much to work on the issue of climate change,” the Texas congressman began.
“I was informed by the immediate past director of NASA that they’ve found that the moon’s orbit is changing slightly and so is the Earth’s orbit around the sun,” he continued.
“We know there’s been significant solar flare activity,” Gohmert said. “And so, is there anything that the National Forest Service or B.L.M. can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun?”
“Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate,” the lawmaker added.
Responding, Eberlein said with a smile: “I would have to follow up with on you on that one, Mr. Gohmert.”
“If you figure out there’s a way in the forest service you could make that change, I’d like to know,” Gohmert responded, without any trace of irony.
Longtime critics of the conservative legislator were besides themselves with bewilderment and mockery over the out-of-this-world suggestion.
On the opposite side of the aisle California Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu suggested that perhaps Marvel Comics superheroine Captain Marvel was up to the task.
“She can alter planetary orbits with her superpowers. I’m going to work on a bipartisan resolution asking for her help,” Lieu wrote on Twitter.
According to NASA, the Earth’s climate has changed throughout history for various reasons, including small variations in the planet’s orbit.
However, the agency’s website notes that this doesn’t discount the fact that anthropogenic or human-caused activities are the culprit of the current warming.
“The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over millennia,” the site says.