The beginning of the experience was very sudden and dramatic. I was hit by a thunderbolt of immense power that instantly shattered and dissolved my everyday reality. I lost all contact with the surrounding world, which completely disappeared as if by magic. In the past, whenever I had taken a high-dose of psychedelics, I liked to lie down and make myself comfortable. This time, any such concerns were irrelevant because I lost awareness of my body, as well as of the environment. After the session, I was told that after taking a couple of drags, I sat there for several minutes like a sculpture, holding the pipe near my mouth. Cristina and Paul had to take the pipe from my hand and put my body in a reclining position on the couch.
In all my previous sessions, I had always maintained basic orientation. I knew who I was, where I was, and why I was having unusual experiences. This time all this dissolved in a matter of seconds. The awareness of my everyday existence, my name, my whereabouts, and my life disappeared as if by magic. Stan Grof … California … United States … planet Earth … these concepts faintly echoed for a few moments like dreamlike images on the far periphery of my consciousness and then faded away altogether. I tried hard to remember myself of all the existence of the realities I used to know, but they suddenly did not make any sense.
In all my previous psychedelic sessions there always had been some rich specific content. The experiences related to my present lifetime – the story of my childhood, infancy, birth, and embryonal life – or to various themes from the transpersonal domain – my past life experiences, images from human history, archetypal visions of deities or demons, or visits to various mythological domains. This time, none of these dimensions seemed to exist, let alone manifest. My only reality was a mass of radiant swirling energy of immense proportions that seemed to contain all of existence in a condensed and entirely abstract form. I became Consciousness facing the Absolute.
Grof's Most Powerful Experience: It had the brightness of myriad suns, yet it was not the same continuum with any light I knew from everyday life. It seemed to be pure consciousness, intelligence, and creative energy transcending all polarities. It was infinite and finite, divine and demonic, terrifying and ecstatic, creative and destructive - all that and much more. I had no concept, no categories for what I was witnessing. I could not maintain a sense of separate existence in the face of such a force. My ordinary identity was shattered and dissolved; I became one with the Source. In retrospect, I believe I must have experienced the Dharmakaya, the Primary Clear Light, which according to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Bardo Thödol, appears at the moment of our death. It bore some resemblance to what I encountered in my first LSD session, but it was much more over whelming and completely extinguished any sense of my separate identity.
My encounter with the Absolute lasted approximately 20 minutes of clock time, as measured by external observers. As far as I was concerned, during the entire duration of my experience, time ceased to exist and lost any meaning whatsoever. After what seemed like an eternity, concrete dreamlike images and concepts began to form in my experiential field. I started intuiting fleeting images of a cosmos with galaxies, stars, and planets, Later, I gradually visualized a solar system, and within it the Earth, with large continents.
Stanislav Grof's "When The Impossible Happens": Initially, these images were very distant and unreal, but as the experience continued, I started to feel that these realities might actually have objective existence. Gradually, this crystallized further into the images of the United States and California. The last to emerge was the sense of my everyday identity and the awareness of my present life. At first, the contact with the ordinary reality was extremely faint. I recognized where I was and what the circumstances were. But I was sure that I had taken a dose that was excessive and that I was actually dying. For some time, I believed I was experiencing the bardo, the intermediate state between my present life and my birth in the next incarnation, as it is described in the Tibetan texts.
As I was regaining more solid contact with reality, I reached a point where I knew that I was coming down from a psychedelic session and that I would survive this experiment. I was lying there, still experiencing myself as dying, but now without the sense that my present life was threatened. My dying seemed to be related to scenes from my previous incarnations. I found myself in many dramatic situations happening in different parts of the world throughout the centuries, all of them dangerous and painful. Various groups of muscles in my body were twitching and shaking, as my body was hurting and dying in these different contexts. However, as my karmic history played out in my body, I was in a state of profound bliss, completely detached from all these dramas, which persisted even after all the specific content disappeared from my experience.
“I had an inkling of a thought at some point that there was no possible way I'd ever be my normal self again in my normal life - that I'd shattered the very fabric of time-space or gone insane at the very least. I've had this feeling on high-dose mushrooms and ayahuasca also, and it seems fairly common in MEO experiences. It is state-specific, and no amount of experience seems to keep it form of occuring for some people. The 'Oh no - I've really done it this time…' kind of thing.”
“There was boundless joy, infinite joy - only a brief moment of terror - bafflement - beyond lingual bafflement - this was not elves, no fucking self-dribbling basketballs, I can tell you that - a broad bonk on the head with a blunt cerebral/celestial filter - a cleansing - for a brief moment, I was cleansed of self - my self washed away, it really happened - it was not just a theory, it was a reality - the ontology alteration, the shattering of the world is fully gone, but psychological aftershocks are still buffeting me as I write this, jostling, stunned - christ...”
“I realized I hadn't felt such fear ever before in my life. It was true terror, but something made me feel comfortable. There was no way out, no easy escape, no cheating. I had to let go and accept any potential outcome, and so I did. Gradually I was feeling cold and transported elsewhere, I felt my body was succumbing and my mind had been projected out of it into a void, some sort of space where my perception of time was no longer working or reliable. Everything physical felt meaningless, there was true force there, a power the likes of something I had never seen before.”
“Suddenly, my vision exploded with the most complicated fractals and geometric arrangements as can be imagined. These did not seem to last long, or perhaps I stopped paying attention. Either way, I was no longer seeing anything. I had entered a space devoid of vision, sound, and tactile sensations. I was no longer thinking. I was locked into the experience. I realized that I was finally experiencing reality in its entirety. Gone were the karmic worries of my everyday life. Gone was my sense of 'This is who I am - see, I'm different.' I was one with the universe. I was the universe.”
“Two days after the experience, I feel very little need to return to the MEO space, or any chemically-induced entheogenic space in the near future. There are no more direct routes to the kinds of spaces offered by this and similar sacrements, but there are FAR more gentle ways to nurture the spirit! This one is DEFINATELY NOT for everyone - it is NOT recreational, in my opinion. It can offer, like all entheogens, a terrifying look under the hood, so to speak. If you're not prepared, it could be WAY more than you bargained for.”
“i had lost any sense of identity, of my humanity and of my surroundings. what i experienced next was sensory, though i cannot attribute it to any particular sense. i could not distinguish sights from sounds -- everything enmeshed into a brutalizing cerebral tidal wave that obliterated any and all rational thought. my entire existence was condensed into a hysterical plunge into an incomprehensible abyss. i was not experiencing terror and dread -- i was terror and dread. everything else was muted and vague.”
“Colors entered my perception in impossible layers as the rate of dissintegration increased in exponential leaps. Any concept of 'time' or relative 'space' fractured into a quadrillion holographic pixels and was carried off along with the rest of manifest existence, in impossibly fast motion by another quadrillion overly-anxious, nano-sized, carnivorous ants. 'I' seemed to travel some immense distance in an instant, or more like a non-instant. My perception at once exploded and imploded infinitely. Matrix/lattice-like color patterns gave birth in non-time to explosions of sparks which were galactic in the inward scope and scale. Simultaneously, these explosions recured, compounded, echoed, moving my consciousness inward and outward in unimaginable magnitude, 'eventually' into the yawning maw of Nothingness. All ability to fathom halted. All sense of 'I' became totally transparant, instantly g-o-n-e. No Self/Ego. Breathing, heartbeat, Earth life, past experience... never existed. Absorbed into the infinite, timeless, all permeating, Singularity; the sheer titanic bliss of the Void. This lasted forever. It was a Death, ummm... what can I possibly call 'It'?. It was a state? The anihilation of experience, actually. Infinite, unmanifest potential. Words do not really work, here...”
“Within 10 seconds, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was dying, the world was ending, and I was going to hell. It was utterly terrifying. I had no body, I was in the Void, but my inner dialogue was still intact. I kept thinking, 'Oh, no. Oh, NO! I've killed myself and now my karma is dragging me down to hell.' I had archetypal visions of hell and an angry God and me losing my life. The terror was so overwhelming I had to fight my way back to reality. I realized that I was not dead, but I was afraid of the drug. It felt like it was physically trying to grab me and drag me away violently, back to that place.”
Anon: The first thing I remembered was this tremendous euphoria. They’d (her husband and sitter) been holding me onto the couch because I was squirming around and they thought I was going to fall off the couch. Paul (her husband) said, “You were sailing and soaring. You were milking it. You had this look of pure ecstasy on your face.” Then it started coming back to me, that I had, at least for part of the thirty minutes, been in a tremendously happy state, as though everything had come together and everything made perfect sense: the biggest “Aha!” that you could have. The whole of my being and the world’s existence and history had suddenly made complete sense to me.
5-MEO-DMT Reports From TiHKAL:
(with perhaps 15 mg, smoked) "I took a hit from the pipe with five-methoxy in it, and after the 8 to 10 seconds it took to carry the chemical to my brain I remember starting to fall over from my sitting position. My normal physical perceptions dissolved away from my awareness. My ears started to ring and I started to float off. I was acutely aware of a certain resonation of my aural perception, an electrical buzzing that fluctuated in synch with my visual perception.
What I saw can only be described as a fantastically subtle multicolored phosphene, completely filling every area visually available. I say it in this way because I was simultaneously losing contact with my body, I could not tell if my eyes were open or shut, although I initially had the feeling that they were darting back and forth, from side to side. These feelings and sensations built up in intensity very quickly, a matter of seconds: I can remember this feeling of building intensity up to a point, and then I was not there in my body or in time.
In the 10 to 15 minutes that my body was under the influence of the drug my mind was completely referenceless, there was no way for my consciousness to limit or gauge the stimuli my being was barraged with. I remember switching to a perception where the endless and intricate phosphene was love and the energy of light. I called upon those forces within my being to realign and submit, to let go of all the cogent fears and just exist ... and that innate decision saved me a lot of psychic damage. What is most outstanding about the way it feels is an inability to judge in any way, by any method of the mind ... it is unconquerable, as deep and profound as a totally unconditional love that is life. What a trip, huh?"
(with 15 mg, smoked) "At about 60 seconds after I smoked this free base, I beheld every thought that was going on everywhere in the universe and all possible realities while I was wracked out with this horrible ruthless love. It scared the hell out of me. When I could see again (15 minutes later) it was almost as if there was an echo of a thought in my head saying that I was given an extremely rare look at the true consciousness of it all. I've never been hit this hard since then. A definite ++++."
(with 25mg, smoked) “I placed 25 mg of 5-methoxy-DMT in a stainless steel one-quarter teaspoon and vaporized it over a cigarette lighter collecting the smoke in an upside-down funnel. All smoke was inhaled; the taste was mild—none of the plastic taste of DMT. About 10 seconds or so after inhaling the last of the smoke, it began with a fast-rising sense of excitement and wonder, with an undertone of “Now you’ve done it,” but dominated by a sense of, “WOW, This Is IT!”
There was a tremendous sense of speed and acceleration. In perhaps 10 more seconds these feelings built to an intensity I had never experienced before. The entire universe imploded through my consciousness. It’s as if the mind is capable of experiencing a very large number of objects, situations and feelings, but normally perceives them only one at a time. I felt that my mind was perceiving them all at once. There was no distance, no possibility of examining the experience. This was simply the most intense experience possible; a singularity, a white-out (as opposed to a black out). I have little memory of the state itself.
I have no memory, for example, of whether my eyes were opened or closed. After some seconds or minutes, it started to fade and came to resemble a merely intense psychedelic state. Here I had the feeling, a visualization of being part of the universe of beings, all active in our daily, interwoven tasks, still moving at an incredible rate, and with a longing for a single group/organism awareness and transcendence. In a few more minutes it faded to an alert (+one) state with an additional sense of awe and wonder, relief, and a strong feeling of gratitude toward the universe in general, for the experience.”
1) 5-Meo-DMT and James Oroc's first experience & his interpretation of the series of events that generally occur when he smoked 5-MeO-DMT, from "Tryptamine Palace: 5-MeO-DMT and the Sonoran Desert Toad." (2009):
1. Dissolution into fractals of light upon exhalation of the 5-MeO-DMT.
2. Transportation via rapid acceleration into the coherent white light.
"Love. That is all you need to know. I am Love."
“Do not fear,” this other dimension declares, “There is an ocean of love over here.”
After that experience, I stopped asking questions.
3. The subsequent recognition of the unity of All, and that Love is the principle that organizes the universe.
4. Complete dissolution from ego/identity and any concept of time, as I dissolve into resonance with the One; with G/d. (William James “Absolute consciousness”).
5. Fear from disorientation caused by transitioning back into a restricted consciousness, caused by the return of “my” ego.
6. An abrupt repossession of my physical body as the last effects of the 5-MeO-DMT fade away.
7. A period of fading resonance between physical consciousness (consciousness with a small letter “c”) and G/d consciousness (Mind with a capital “M”), as I return completely my normal “baseline” state.
It is important to state once again that within the rudimentary framework that I have provided there is the possibility of an infinite variety of experiences for any given individual. The scenario I have described here is purely from my own voyages and the experience is completely open to other interpretations.
2) From Martin Ball, The Entheogenic Evolution: Psychedelics, Consciousness, and Awakening the Human Spirit:
He then goes on to describe how this situation radically was changed by his first successful ‘full-release’ on a potent, high 5-MeO-DMT mixture of toad venom, phalaris grass extract, and psychotria viridis extract, that was vaporized in a pressurized chamber of argon gas.(!)
With the hit still in my lungs, I lay back on the bed inside the consecrated temple of our ceremonial space. Initially upon taking the hit, I had closed my eyes. But as I was falling back, the hit slowly escaping from my lungs with the sweet smell of 5-MeO-DMT filling the room, my eyes popped open, unable to stay closed.
Within the space of a few heartbeats, I had completely expanded into God. Eyes open in absolute awe and wonder, the room dissolved, my ego dissolved, my entire world dissolved. Everything I had ever known or thought or felt dissolved away into absolute pure nothingness. There was nothing to see, nothing to experience, nothing to perceive. Absolutely pure nothingness. And this nothingness was pure consciousness. And it was love. Infinite love and infinite perfection. Everything was in a state of divine perfection. Nothing was out of place. Nothing was either good or bad. Nothing was right or wrong.
Everything was simply perfect in this pure consciousness, this pure state of being. And this state was not a thing. It was not an object of perception. It was not a concept. It was not an emotion. It was not anything that I could describe in any way. In fact, when asked later, I vaguely described it as “living starlight,” but even that was not accurate, for in truth, it was nothing.
But that no-thing was everything.
It was God.
And it was my deepest nature.
I was one with God.
Not my ego self. That was pretty thoroughly obliterated through the impossibly fast 5-MeO-DMT expansion. It was not as though I identified my personal sense of self with God. Rather, it was that the deepest core of my being, not my ego-identity, was identical with God. As a finite being in a body with a sense of self and identity, I was an expression of God.
At my core, at the very deepest level, my nature as an incarnated being was one with that pure consciousness, that infinite love, that infinite source of creative energy in which all things exist in absolute and unquestionable perfection. In those few heartbeats, this beautiful and sacred medicine had opened me up to the All. I had accepted my own divinity.
“Thank you, God!” I called out as my hands reached up towards that infinite expanse of nothingness, a few moments after the hit of psychedelic medicine flowed out of my lungs. Eyes wide open, gaping in sheer awe at the mysterium tremendum, I embraced God, and the embrace was returned.
“Thank you,” I said, over and over and over again, lasting the better part of an hour as the medicine expanded me out into the farthest reaches of cosmic consciousness and then gently brought me back to myself. I was so overwhelmed that I began crying and laughing at the same time. It was, beyond any doubt, the most beautiful, profound, and total experience of my life.
Nothing in my psychedelic or spiritual history could have prepared me for this divine embrace. It was so total, so complete, so beyond any sense of doubt or wonder or skepticism. It was absolutely undeniable. I could hardly believe that it was true. I could hardly believe that I was saying that word: God.”