Are Supernatural Entities Encountered on DMT Healing People?
Could supernatural entities encountered during a psychedelic trip be responsible for the dramatic psychological healing that many reports? New research seeks to find out.
DMT or N, N-Dimethyltryptamine is widely considered the Earth’s most powerful hallucinogen. It is the latest psychedelic to be clinically studied for its potential to treat mental health issues like major depression and PTSD.
One frequently occurring phenomenon of the DMT trip researchers are particularly interested in is the appearance of entities whom experiencers often credit with the healing they receive.
Jay Waxenberg is the director of the DMTx program at the Center for Medicinal Mindfulness. Based in Boulder, CO, it was one of the first centers to offer legal psychedelic therapy in the U.S.
“The entities are really this unique aspect of DMT and they play different roles for different people in that space. What’s very common is, one, you’re going to encounter one of these things, and two, that you’re going to feel like they’re giving you some piece of information to take back to the regular consensus reality. Also, that they are benevolent — lots of love and kindness, these are very common elements for the entities — and we have linguistic models to kind of relate to those spaces, whether they’re elves or imps or fairies, they could be angels, bodhisattvas, aliens, interdimensional beings — these are kind of like the things that people will come back and say ‘[T]hat’s kind of what that felt like, that’s kind of what that thing is.’”
The groundwork for current research on the topic was laid by Dr. Rick Strassman- a psychiatrist and pioneering psychedelic researcher who first described these entities in his book ”DMT: the Spirit Molecule.”
“The beings were beneficent, they did healing, they gave advice, some predicted or showed volunteers the future, some were examining the volunteers. But one of the hallmarks of the interaction was the strength of those beings,” Strassman said.
A recent study surveyed 2,500 individuals who encountered entities after taking DMT. The researchers found that “[T]he experiences were rated as among the most meaningful, spiritual, and psychologically insightful lifetime experiences, with persisting positive changes in life satisfaction, purpose and meaning attributed to the experiences.”
“People will refer to the entities as guides to some extent that they’re trying to teach something or give some piece of information. You’re getting this very positive loving, kindness feeling; feeling supported, feeling cared about, or observed in some way. That comes back and can be really beneficial, it’s kind of the groundwork of ‘wow, I am loved’ or ‘I am supported in some kind of way’ and then you can build on that therapeutically.”
There are a number of theories about the nature of these DMT entities, from neuroscience research into activation of specific brain regions to more metaphysical ideas about extra-dimensional visitations.
“The most mundane explanation of what these things could be, I think, comes from Carl Jung who talks about the collective unconscious and autonomous pieces of the collective unconscious. So if you’re interacting with archetypal energy — the warrior, the healer, or whatever that is — that interaction itself can be the healing.”
Further research into this space is underway. For Waxenberg and his team at Medicinal Mindfulness, that will take the form of a fascinating new program called DMTx.
“So, DMTx — the x being ‘extended’ — so we’re looking to extend the DMT state, we’re really focusing on the fact that these experiences, like the peak experience, is less than five minutes. So, when it comes to therapeutic benefit, problem-solving, or even understanding if that space is real or these entities are real, five minutes is not really enough. DMTx we’re pioneering the research that Rick Strassman and Andrew Gallimore wrote up, which is this pharmacokinetic model of basically (using) an anesthesia machine and running DMT through that and keeping someone in the DMT state for extended periods of time to allow more healing and more understanding of that space and to maybe even map that space in some capacity.”
As DMT is still considered a schedule 1 controlled substance in the U.S., the DMTx program will take place in a country, such as Jamaica, where this kind of use is legal.
For proponents of DMT therapy, hopes are high that exploration will yield definitive findings of the therapeutic value of the psychedelic, so as to ultimately make healing available to all who could benefit.
New Gene Discovery May Explain Rapid Human Brain Evolution
A revealing new study on human evolution and brain development has just been published. Could this lend credence to the stoned ape theory of brain evolution?
About 300,000-800,000 years ago the human brain experienced a massive and accelerated growth spurt. Scientists have offered many explanations for how and why this may have occurred, but a new study out of Boston Children’s Hospital focused on a fast-evolving set of the human genome called human accelerated regions (HARS). Previous studies have found about 3,100 HARS during brain development, but the team at Children’s Hospital determined one HAR gene PPP1R17 could be responsible for or play a significant role in, rapid brain development. Further, they discovered this works differently in humans than in other animals.
Ben Stewart, the host of Gaia’s Limitless series, said,”[T]hese regions of the human DNA may hold some kind of an answer at the rapid explosion of human neo-cortex because if you think of it evolutionarily, there’s not been one creature, at least on planet Earth, that has been studied that had any organ increase in size as large and as rapidly as the human brain did, so there’s definitely some unanswered questions there.”
“I’m pretty sure that these HARS regions are being looked at for something very unique in the evolution of the brain, and my own personal twist on it is this also might be important when we start looking at brian-machine interfaces and how the brain can potentially cause mutations to adapt to some kind of technology in the brain to enhance or evolve the human brain,” Stewart said.
How could this new discovery be related to the Stoned Ape theory?
“There’s a possibility that the Stoned Ape theory could lead into this. Now, the Stoned Ape theory was really popularized by Terence McKenna,” Stewart said. “Over time, you would have some of our ancient ancestors, hominids, that would be following behind bovine creatures, cows, and in the cow patties in the fields that would naturally, having followed these creatures around for hundreds of thousands of years or whatever it might have been, that they would have started eating the mushrooms, the psilocybin mushrooms that grow naturally in cow patties. These experiences tickling the language centers and other parts of the brain, bringing down the rigidity of the default mode network, and activating other communication hubs within the brain, that could actually explain the rapid explosion of the human neocortex.”
“In this article, they’re saying that these human accelerated regions act differently in humans than they do in primates or creatures like mice and ferrets that they’ve looked into now. So, potentially if there is some connection with the Stoned Ape theory, that psychedelics or psychotropics helped in the expansion of the human neocortex, and made us as, at least psychologically, so much different than the rest of the creatures on Earth, then there may be something to look at here.”