Manifesting the Mind – The significance of DMT
by Andrew Rutajit (originally published at Souldish.com on 9/16/2009)
Our perception of reality is strongly based upon a delicate balance of chemicals. Altering these chemicals, often resulting in altered states of consciousness and profound inner visual experiences, has been the goal of the shaman for millennia. Today, we have all but abandoned this technique; we are derailing millions of years of human evolution by saturating our reality with materialism, religion, porn, and fried food on a stick. We have traded altering our consciousness via plant-based shamanic techniques for altering our consciousness with electronic media and sugar. A global return to the shamanic techniques of ecstasy could get us back on track. However, power-hungry men on religious crusades long ago demonized and criminalized these shamanic techniques. They wedged themselves between the “pagans” and the direct blissful experience provided naturally by numerous ethnobotanicals. Still today, these people have positioned themselves in such a way that they have become the only “religious experience” legally available. The foundation of human evolution has been laid upon a persistent quest for more and more consciousness. This combination of religion, materialism, and addiction to entertainment has all but suppressed our natural desire to expand our consciousness. Ironically, an archaic revival may be a giant step to regain a forward direction in our evolutionary drive for more and more consciousness.
DMT, the most potent psychedelic compound known to exist, is manufactured in the ventricle (third eye) system in the human brain. Previously, anatomists relegated these ventricles to a position of little importance; simply calling them bags of fluid used for shock absorption in case of trauma – such as a blow to the head. Occult anatomists, alchemists, and symbolic mythologists have known for millennia that these fluid-filled sacks and the pineal gland that lies directly in the center of it all are connected to consciousness. It has long been speculated that our consciousness exists holistically within the entire chemical and cell composition of the brain. Consequently, the ventricle system of the brain, cerebrospinal fluid, and DMT are all now in the game as a players in the complex question of consciousness. DMT is present in our brains in higher than normal doses during the birth process, higher than normal doses of DMT (possibly a result of REM) may be responsible for vivid dreams during sleep, and DMT is also present in our brains in high doses at the time of death. It is also the active ingredient in the Amazonian shaman’s psychedelic brew called “Ayahuasca.” This is important. It is worth reiteration – this naturally occurring, extremely psychedelic compound is the chemical link to the profound inner visual experiences reported by Amazonian shaman, lucid dreamers and those reporting near death experiences.
Internal vision has puzzled humankind for a very long time. How is it possible to see inside one’s mind when the eyes are closed? Death, sleep, dreams and visions have long been appointed religious significance because of their seemingly unexplainable and often spontaneous occurrence. Like death itself, sleep imposes its will upon you and overtakes you. There is nothing you can do to avoid sleep or death. In Greek mythology, Hypnos was the personification of sleep. Hypnos is the root of our word, “hypnosis”. Hypnosis is more of a trance-like sleep, but even the word “trance” comes from a Latin word, “transitus”, meaning a passage. This is why Hypnos is depicted with wings on his head – to navigate these passages of sleep. To say you are somnolent is to say you are sleepy. The Roman equivalent of Hypnos was Somnus. It’s easy to see just how sleep and death were quite literally related in the minds of the ancient myth makers; I say “related” because Somnus had an identical twin brother named Thanatos (meaning death). Death and sleep were seen to be so closely related, they were anthropomorphized into identical twins. The pineal gland, DMT, advanced levels of anatomy, sleep analysis, etc. – all of these things were beyond the imaginations of these myth makers. They instead used their minds eye to build characters around things they found mysterious; leaving it up to us to use our imagination and decipher their meaning.
Imagination is a wonderfully fascinating characteristic of the human experience. However, it seems as though we lose it as we progress through life. It’s easy to envision two little girls playing with their dolls. What is not so easy to visualize is what is going on in the minds of these children. Their imaginations are soaring as they act out entire scenes (complete with dialogue) with their dolls. Psychologists from the University of Oregon found that 65% of children had imaginary friends at the age of seven. However, an adult who plays with dolls and has imaginary friends is ripe for a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Where does this heightened imagination go? Calcification of the pineal gland begins before puberty. Could this calcification of the pineal gland be a factor?
Today, we now know that dreams and visionary experiences occurring at death are chemically induced; endogenous DMT is one of these chemicals. The organ thought to be primarily responsible for many of these experiences is the pineal gland, the third eye. It bears mention that the pineal body has optical receptors. Just as the eye is the sensory organ responsible for external vision, the pineal gland is the sensory organ responsible for internal vision. The optical receptors are necessary in the pineal gland in order to assist in the timely production of melatonin, but there is much more. The pineal gland regulates the sleep cycle with these optical receptors by metabolizing tryptophan into melatonin and releasing it into the brain (during hours of darkness).
Contact between brain cells and DMT results in inner visual experience. This stimulus, and our innate drive for more consciousness, may very well be the motivational driving force behind evolving consciousness itself. If it is proven that DMT is indeed excreted from the pineal gland; the model of our brain layers expanding outward from the pineal gland like layers of an onion could be evidence that DMT stimulus was present during all stages of brain development. Considering the unique consciousness-increasing effects that DMT produces when ingested via plant-based methods, the proposal should not be taken lightly that DMT might be one of the most important elements in the process of evolution and a chemical link to the core of reality itself.
How do we perceive reality? Is it always out there in front of us, waiting to be perceived? Or do we somehow envision it internally and then identify it as reality? I believe it is the latter and when we begin to change ourselves, our definition of reality will also change. But how can reality be tested when there is no tangible reality outside our minds? Terence McKenna offered a wonderfully shamanic notion of using entheogens as a way to more accurately preserve reality and triangulate our location in the sea of consciousness. If our only guide is asleep and awake, it becomes difficult to locate our true self. When you have (for example) asleep, awake, and psilocybin, you can triangulate your position and get a better view of this strange thing we call reality.
Modern brain science is changing its view of the functionality of brain components. Back in April 2004, an article in Scientific American Magazine summarized, half of the brain has been ignored as far as functionality of consciousness is concerned. The article suggested modern scientists of the early 21st century are only beginning to study the “other half of the brain.”
Part of this discovery was based upon brain tissue samples from Albert Einstein. The brain was preserved for later study and sections were given to various groups in the hope that something would turn up in future research to shed light upon his genius. It was a good call. Einsteins brain contains higher than average density of Glial cells called Oligodendrocytes. The function of these cells was once considered rudimentary and of little importance. However, mark my words, it may soon be fully realized that consciousness exists in the chemicals of the brain, not simply the electrochemical synapses.
Over millions of years, evolving cells have tasted millions of chemicals. After all this time and after traversing the planet for millennia, humans have also tasted many chemicals through ingesting plants, animals, water, and other forms of environmental exposure. Oligodendrocytes are highly advanced brain cells that look similar to globby multi-legged spiders, or octopi. They touch and exchange chemical information with other cells. The most interesting thing about these brain cells is that their entire surface is covered with chemical receptors. Just how many different receptor sites are in the brain and how many different chemicals can trigger the sites is presently unknown. It is conceivable that cells mutate when they are exposed to chemicals; this could be what creates receptor sites. When a brain has been exposed to a chemical that it favors, the receptor is likely to be quite large. A type of craving ensues, enticing the organism to repeat the behavior that supplied the cell with the pleasant chemical. Once a receptor site has been created (on an oligodendrocyte) it probably remains there forever and is even transferred to successive generations, even though it may remain dormant.
We know that some chemicals utilize common receptor sites. Most of these are chemicals are similar in structure. Also, there are several groups of chemicals that react on common receptor sites. I strongly speculate that oligodendrocytes are like genetic chemical libraries with millions of key holes awaiting a trigger. It can also be (strongly) suggested that these keyholes were created by human exposure to chemicals, many of which came from ethnobotanicals that are still today demonized.
One thing that sets us apart from our ancestors is that today, we have access to an online network of ethnobotanicals. While this is the beginning of a rediscovery of these sacred plants, we are no longer limited to what we can find in our own local environment. The activation of full human conscious potential may only be possible by unlocking (reactivating) the correct receptors in our brains by the use of ethnobotanicals. Today, these receptor sites continue to sit and wait for the keys to reactivate them as humanity cruises along, unaware of a possible fissure in the chain of evolution.