Citation: HuxleysGhost. "Beyond Nothingness: An Experience with DMT (exp101977)". Erowid.org. May 21, 2020. erowid.org/exp/101977
“Here we go; you’ve done it now; there is no getting off of this rocket; welcome back!”— The lights already bombarded me as I finished inhaling the long drag of the not-so-unpleasant chemicals in my Dartmouth-green glass pipe. With my eyes still open, I was quickly engulfed by a plethora of mingling and almost teasingly-humorous colors of different shapes. I finally handed the pipe to one of my friends and proceeded to lay my head down onto the expanded sofa-bed in the middle of my living room. I finally closed my eyes. Immediately, an incessant bombardment of two-dimensional shapes—what I can only describe as pale-yellow, coffin-shaped cardboard cutouts that are not unlike the wooden sticks that hold popsicles and ice-cream bars, but with amorphous patterns on each respective tip—engulfed my visual field, appearing from the edge of my periphery and falling in its center by the hundreds. Meanwhile, a partly-humming, partly-yelling crescendo, rising in volume as would the moan of an anxious roller-coaster passenger bracing for the jet-fueled ascent of the ride’s inordinately high first peak, greeted me as I pierced through the veneer of ordinary perception.
The ensuing visuals were too many to recall, but I do remember an ever-expanding light-show of flower-like replicating and blossoming blocks of white, yellow, purple, and brick-red patterns, as well as a vibrantly rotating and expanding quadrilateral that was of a gilded-brown color, glistening from the beam of my mind’s eye. I felt that this world was co-existent with our ordinary reality—hiding in the subtle shadows of our daily consciousness—and that, on occasion, one could inadvertently stumble into it as I just had. As the visuals danced and showcased themselves before me, I remember experiencing a vague sense of anxiety, as if what I had just done to myself was inexcusable, unnatural, and dangerous. At one—chronologically asynchronous—point, I could feel my heart pounding on my sternum and was surprised to find myself exhaling for the first time since I initially inhaled those dimension-altering fumes. The anxiety soon gave way to a marveling awe at the visuals and a desire to capture what I was seeing in my memory in order to communicate it afterwards (to whom?). I opened my eyes for maybe one-hundred milliseconds and, as I did so, the undulating lizard tails dexterously uncoiled from my visual field—as if they were vampires who could not handle the pale light of my living room—and quickly recoiled from my visual field’s periphery as my eyelids resealed themselves.
The desire to share my experience gave way to a questioning of my own motivations; was this desire just a ploy by my ego to boast about its accrued baggage? This skeptical layer was soon overtaken by an acceptance of the flight and a subsiding of my analytical self. As it turned out, the less I analyzed, the more wondrous the experience became—though this wonder came with the price of forgetfulness
the less I analyzed, the more wondrous the experience became—though this wonder came with the price of forgetfulness
. Conversely, the more I tried to analyze the experience, the less immersed in it I was, and, although the analysis enhanced my memory, it also came with an anxiety-provoking need to dissect and destroy. In short, my sense of self was being dismembered into a cacophony of mutually-exclusive selves that can, perhaps, be best understood with the opponent processes model in cognitive neuroscience.
It was sometime before, during, or after this internal tug-o-war that I started to feel afraid that my life’s course and all of the various manifestations of my dueling selves were predetermined and inescapable—as if I had already lived out my life and was merely going through the motions of its vagaries until the day of my death. For those who are unprepared, this feeling can be fairly dreadful, as it connotes the fact that there is no free will. By that point, however, I had come to accept the incessant flow that was my DMT experience, and this acceptance bled into an acceptance of the incessant flow of life, painting my psychedelic trip as some kind of a metaphorical microcosm of a much larger macrocosm. I died on that day—or at least I came to accept my mortal nature as an inextricable part of life that, ironically, gave it meaning and beauty. The unceasing cycles of analysis, acceptance, anxiety, and wonder alternated in wavelike durations. There was also a vaguely conceived element of something sinister, though I don’t know what it was. I’m guessing that this depravity was also a part of my fractionating self—a homicidal atavism, lurking from the bloody lagoons of my ancestors’ evolutionary past.
As the friction between my modular “selves” swelled, I felt a sense of dread that was brought on by an inescapable acknowledgment of loneliness. I realized that no matter how wondrous and beautiful, how frightening and anxiety-provoking my experience was, I was doomed to keep it locked inside the dungeon of my psyche for all eternity. This feeling soon gave way to an opposing sense of connectedness; although I was doomed to the manacles of my own psyche, everyone else was just as alone as I was and, in our shared loneliness, we could trek down the winding pathways of life together. Indeed, it was possible for me to share something of what I had been experiencing.
Gradually, the vivid colors gave way to an encroaching blackness that was at once foreboding and hopeful. The internal struggle within my psyche could be tamed by nothing save for a deep acceptance of my predetermined life and death. It was then that I acknowledged the utility of yogic and mindfulness practices; it wasn’t that they led me directly into a state of happiness or nirvana, but that, by accepting my predetermined life-course and its unknowns, I found myself centered and at peace. This brought me to an impasse that I believe is felt at one time or another by many practitioners of Eastern meditative practices—albeit I was brought there via a more direct, synthetic route. With my heart throbbing and my steady-but-grave sounding breathing providing me with a deeply materialistic sense of my own being and its concrete surround, I entered into a void of essence-less nothingness, or, rather, a state that was beyond nothingness (as “nothingness” connotes the existence of a “something” that stands in contrast to it). Although I experienced this state for what must have been a second or two (arising during the silence of the interstices between each of my breaths and heartbeats), I sensed that all of my life’s antecedent conditions led me to this omega point or singularity, and that this impasse— roughly visualized as a flame-colored barrier—was the apex of my journey. True to this sentiment, something seemed to pull me back from this beyond-nothingness state. It was then that I started to regain some awareness of my earthly existence—a descent that was symbolized by some vaguely familiar sounds reaching out to me from my living room (perhaps it was the gentle tapping of the window blinds against one another as the gusts of the air conditioner caused them to sway to-and-fro, or the soft lip-smacking of my lethargic boxer, soporifically prone on the carpet—I couldn’t tell which).
With the visualizations dispersed and the usual star-resembling abstractions of my closed eyelids replacing them, I decided to open my eyes and, upon opening them, was surprised to find them slightly tearful. My popcorn ceiling was still revolving in distinct layers of variegated purples and reds, but I knew that I was slowly coming back. There is much that will always remain in those dream-like dimensions that is impossible to recount—much less to bring back—, but I am grateful for the few gifts that were bestowed on me.
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