Citation: TheAppleCore. "The Impartial Messenger: An Experience with 4-AcO-DET (exp110709)". Erowid.org. May 8, 2018. erowid.org/exp/110709
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When I first began to investigate psychedelic research chemicals, I rather quickly filed away 4-HO-DET and its acetate ester into a lesser category of drugs, perhaps something of interest only to the most dedicated psychonauts or molecule collectors. Among the first comments I read about 4-HO- and 4-AcO-DET were complaints that it was prone to disturbing bodily tremors, and a negative mood, so without further ado I decided that it wasn't worth my while, and moved on.
Until, that is, my friend A, whose history with research chemicals is far more decorated than mine, gave 4-HO-DET as her top recommendation for psychedelic drugs that may interest me, based on my preferences. With rekindled curiosity, I began to research it, and became all the more fascinated as I uncovered the relatively rich history of this particular 4-substituted tryptamine, so I purchased a sample for myself (selecting the acetate for an apples-to-apples comparison to 4-AcO-DMT, which I've taken many times).
Previously, among the 4-substituted tryptamines I had taken the DMT, MET, MiPT, EPT, and DPT variants.
I started with eight milligrams of the fumarate, orally. At first, this resulted in a fairly unremarkable, generic tryptamine buzz that fell somewhere between 4-HO-MET and 4-HO-DPT; but as the night wore on, I found that I enjoyed socializing, with what seemed to be an enhanced sensitivity to the interpersonal dynamics surrounding me. Countless little insecure affectations, such as forced chuckles, bespeckled the conversation like so many particles of dust on an old, crackling vinyl record, which I observed equally in myself as others.
Something about all of this was powerfully reminiscent of LSD, in a way that I've never observed in any other research chemical. I wondered, could the structural similarity between 4-hydroxy-*diethyl*tryptamine and lysergic acid *diethyl*amide have anything to do with the subjective similarity? I flipped open my laptop to compare the two molecules. I've never been terribly interested in chemistry, but in this condition, I was mesmerized. I must have spent a good half hour utterly lost in the 3D ball-and-stick models of these psychedelic molecules. I tried to develop an intuitive sense of how each of the atoms bonded with one another, attempting to somehow visualize the electrons and protons interacting with each other, as if I had shrunk down to the size of an atom myself.
Intellectually invigorated by the experiment, I couldn't resist taking another four milligrams the next day, in attempt to recapture the nootropic-esque stimulation I experienced the night before. I went to the gym and worked out during the first phase, which was again rather ho-hum, and was accompanied by some unpleasant bodily tension, elevated pulse, and a twinge of nausea. But when I came home and got in the shower, a switch suddenly flipped: I became convinced that none of these symptoms were in any way *caused* by the drug, but were only *manifest* by a state of heightened sensory awareness
I became convinced that none of these symptoms were in any way *caused* by the drug, but were only *manifest* by a state of heightened sensory awareness
! The bodily tension was from straining myself at work, the elevated pulse was preexisting stress, and the nausea was perhaps a dietary issue; I was only now made conscious of these things. I had previously accused the drug itself of having a 'dirty' bodyload, but my perception was instantly inverted, and the drug took on a character of immaculate purity, as a crystal clear window into the unconscious.
I was propelled into an energetic hypomania, and my mind began to race along a series of tangentially related ideas. Through a system of interwoven thoughts about subjects ranging from a recent conversation with a friend to the symbolic resurrection of Christ, I developed an increasingly vivid conception of my inmost self as being something totally abstract, intangible, and outside the bounds of time and space. I wondered if pronouns like 'you' and 'I' refer to merely imaginary entities, and all that exist in reality are heaps of flesh and bone, with nothing concrete to which these words can point.
Needless to say, I was really impressed by the effects I got from such modest doses, so I made plans to take it again at sixteen milligrams two weeks later, this time in the morning rather than evening. During the all-important come-up walk outside in the sunshine, my suspicion was confirmed that the bodyload I felt on the smaller doses was not tied to 4-AcO-DET itself: gone were most of the previous symptoms, with a new array of sensations to take their place. Like adjusting a microscope lens, my bodily condition was brought sharply into focus, revealing every hairline crack with needlepoint resolution, from an itchy mosquito bite on my ankle to a kink in my neck. This, I thought, must be why 4-HO/AcO-DET is accused of being prone to negativity. It's a reality check, and the reality is, everything is in a constant state of decay, we begin to die as soon as we're born, and entropy will inevitably destroy the universe as we know it. You can see this as a gloomy fate; alternately, you can view it as a thing of spectacular beauty, like fireworks obliterated in great colorful explosions -- it's all a matter of perspective.
The comparison to LSD bears repeating here. One of the most striking takeaways I got from Stanislav Grof's LSD Psychotherapy was the incredible absence of any intrinsic character to be found in the drug. Grof was hard pressed to come up with a single consistent effect of LSD: even such seemingly ubiquitous phenomena as visual hallucinations or pupil dilation were occasionally absent in high-dose sessions! I get the sense that 4-AcO-DET shares that mysterious quality of formless invisibility -- a sterile, white light to illumine whatever comes underneath it, such as what you might find in a laboratory or a dentist's office.
By the time I got home, I was more or less peaking. Considering how far I was able to get on four milligrams alone, I expected sixteen to blow me to Jupiter, but the dose-response curve was gentler than I anticipated
the dose-response curve was gentler than I anticipated
. I put on some downtempo electronic music and closed my eyes. Unfortunately, I wasn't quite high enough to get any overt closed-eye visuals, but nonetheless I perceived a dimension of space behind my eyelids, which didn't replace my real environment, but rather existed simultaneously as a parallel inner world. Unlike 4-AcO-DMT, which I'd say creates the impression of being enclosed in a dark interior space like a cave, or perhaps underneath the canopy of a dense forest, 4-AcO-DET's internal space felt expansive, airy, and brightly lit. With my eyes closed I felt as if I were a graceful hawk, soaring high above the mountains in a cloudless sky. On 4-AcO-DMT, music can sound very internal, hardly discernible from my own imagination; by contrast, on 4-AcO-DET the music sounded hyper-real, as if booming over the vast distances of this landscape, reverberating off the mountainsides into infinity. This was the final nail in the coffin for me to become unequivocally convinced that 4-AcO-DET had a special overlap with LSD that most other tryptamines did not.
My choice of music, however, wasn't thrilling me, so I found a video of Christian McBride's jazz trio performing on YouTube, which thankfully was brilliant. I saw the dark color of their skin, and considered that they might be mistreated for this simple fact alone by some people, despite being masters of their craft, gods among men. Suddenly, I was overcome with conviction that my previous notion of racism, and indeed any sort of prejudice, was based on a myth. I felt, for the first time, as if there were no essential conflict between the oppressors and the oppressed, despite sometimes playing out in bloody violence on the surface; that, should the person on the handle of the blade peer deeply enough into the bottom of their heart, they would feel nothing but love for the adversary; and likewise, should the person on the edge of the blade truly know their deepest desire, they would willingly submit to death. I tried explaining this via text message to A, but I quickly realized that this was virtually impossible, so I gave up.
Through the whole experience, I maintained an unusually cool, detached attitude. There was zero fear, but perhaps even more surprisingly, there was no great astonishment or ecstatic rapture. I held roughly the same euthymic mood that I would have had I not taken the 4-AcO-DET. And with good reason! Sure, I made some new discoveries about the drug, and had some fun thoughts in the realm of philosophy and spirituality... but really, it was just another day, another adventure. Possibly the most disturbing aspect of psychedelic drugs to me is their unrelenting insistence that each trip is more impressive and life-changing than the last, a new pinnacle of pinnacles. This often leads me to feel let down after sobering up, and realizing that I did not in fact finally achieve everlasting enlightenment. So, while those manic extremes can be a whole lot of fun, I was actually quite relieved to have found a psychedelic that is humble in its presentation, yet equally powerful to the mightiest psychedelics in its ability to inspire radical, cosmic thoughts.
So far, I conclude that A was right on target in her recommendation of 4-x-DET, as it has quickly ascended to the top of my favorite 4-substituted tryptamines, and if it proves to scale well into higher dosages, it might even threaten LSD as my number one favorite psychedelic, period. The only other tryptamine that I can imagine might surpass it would be 4-HO-MPT, but I haven't gotten the chance to try that one yet. I experienced no muscular tremors, nor any negative mood, so my initial concerns have been more or less allayed. I rarely feel comfortable taking a 4-substituted tryptamine past about 20 mg these days, but I'm really excited to try 4-AcO-DET at 24 mg.
Until then... stay curious!
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