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Descriptions of the 5-MeO-DMT Experience
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If you seek the kernel, you must break the shell. And likewise, if you would know the reality of nature, you must destroy the appearance, and the farther you go beyond the appearance, the nearer you will be to the essence.

 

~ Meister Eckhart

 

This section is divided...

 

Introduction

 

 

Introduction: 1976 – 1997

 

While 5-methoxy-DMT has been proven to be the active entheogen in the various Virola snuffs used across the Upper-Amazon for hundreds (if not thousands) of years, the psychoactive properties of 5-methoxy-DMT were not recognized during the psychedelic era of the 1960’s, and so no accounts of its use appear in the psychedelic literature of that time. There is no evidence that the compound was ever manufactured or sold before the mid-1970’s, a fact that meant 5-MeO-DMT avoided being included in the 1970 Controlled Substances Act’s list of prohibited Schedule 1 drugs that included DMT, LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.


When the first mentions of 5-MeO-DMT did first appear, they did little to promote the unknown compound. In the first known mentioning of the 5-MeO-DMT in the underground media – in an article titled ‘DMT’ by Jeremy Bigwood and Jonathan Ott for Head magazine in 1977 – the authors compared smoking 5-MeO-DMT to ‘being sat on by an elephant’ (from a reference from M.V. Smith’s Psychedelic Chemistry 1976) and concluded that they felt the compound had ‘little recreational value”.


5-MeO-DMT appears to have generated little subsequent interest until 1984 marked the publication of Albert Most’s pamphlet Bufo Alvarius: The Psychedelic Toad of the Sonoran Desert, which popularized the fact that ‘organic’ 5-MeO-DMT was available from the right toads. A small but undoubtedly enthusiastic population of ‘toad-smokers’ has probably existed since that time. (See Descriptions of Smoking Toad.) By the early 1980’s, 5-MeO-DMT was occasionally synthesized and available on the Californian underground market for the new breed of emerging psychonauts. Further interest in 5-MeO-DMT amongst that small underground community was caused by the publication of extraction techniques in The Entheogen Review in 1992, and by the publication of  Pharmacotheon by Jonathan Ott in 1993, and TiHKAL by A. and A Shulgin in 1997.
For many people the most difficult aspect of the 5-MeO-DMT experience is often describing or explaining what it was like to be inside of that experience itself. The 5-MeO-DMT experience is often described as ‘transcendental” since it generally defies a linear recollection, or even sensations or images that can be easily described, and often “peaks” in a realization (for lack of a better word) that is clearly reminiscent of the perennial ‘classical’ mystical experience – 5-MeO-DMT users clearly have the same struggle with language in describing their experiences that countless mystics have had since the beginnings of our recorded spirituality. A search through internet archives and the various books written about the psychedelic experience for information about the 5-MeO-DMT experience more often than not reveals that while 5-MeO-DMT is described as one of the most powerful psychedelic/entheogens know to man (if not the most powerful), the descriptions of the experience itself are more often descriptions of the total confusion of the 5-MeO-DMT smoker, rather than actually revealing the experience itself.

 

© Luke BrownThe fundamental thought in the Oriental philosophical world is that the mysterious, ultimate truth, that which you seek to know, is absolutely beyond all definition. All categories of thought, all modes of imagining fall short of it. When we ask, “Is God merciful, just, loving? Does he love me, does he love my people more than those? Are these not chosen, are those not rejected?” this from the Oriental standpoint is sheer kindergarten stuff. This is the projection of anthropomorphic forms of thought and feelings upon a mystery that transcends even the categories of being and nonbeing. The categories of logic, the forms of sensibilities of time and space—all of these are functions of human thought, and the mystery that you’re seeking lies beyond it. This is taken seriously; the absolute is absolutely transcendent of all thought.


In Occidental theology, the word transcendent is used to mean outside of the world. In the East, it means outside of thought. To imagine that your definitions of your God have anything to do with that ultimate mystery is a form of sheer idolatry from this standpoint. Your God is good enough for you and mine’s good enough for me. A God, from this point of view, is merely a reflex of one’s ability to conceive of God. Since people have various abilities of this sort, they have various powers of apprehending God.

 

~ Joseph Campbell on the definition of transcendental

 

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Excerpts from TiHKAL and Tripping: An Anthology of True-Life Psychedelic Adventures (2000)

 

As the following excerpts from TiHKAL and Tripping: An Anthology of True-Life Psychedelic Adventures (2000) illustrate, while these earliest descriptions of the 5-MeO-DMT experience clearly describe the overwhelming power of the event, they often reveal the lack of any kind of narrative or description that can be provided.

 

Though it gets included with DMT in the index, 5-MeO-DMT itself gets two significant mentions in Charles Hayes book Tripping: An anthology of true-life psychedelic adventures, although once again in both descriptions you can see that the narrator is struggling to bring the experience into words.

 

TiHKAL and Tripping: An Anthology of True-Life Psychedelic Adventures (2000)I’ve separated from my body a number of times on various substances. My body usually goes limp and just lies on the ground, while my mind goes off to amazing places. But on a few occasions, my body behaved in strikingly bizarre ways, according to my companions who saw.

 

One such instance occurred while I was on 5-MeO DMT. The people administering it had a stopwatch and a notebook, using me as a guinea pig for a sort of experiment. I got two good hits off of a pipe. After the second, I told them that it felt very much like garden-variety DMT, but right after I said that, the back of my head exploded visually. I got sucked out through the hole into an amazing trip. The weirdest thing about it was what my body did. I knew what was happening outside my body, but had to rely later on the test administrators’ accounts of what the body itself was doing.


According to them, right after the explosion I looked straight up in the air with a stupid look on my face, fell back, then sat up again and started looking around in a panic. Then they panicked themselves for some twenty minutes, because “Kenny” was gone, leaving only his nervous, bewildered body behind. “Kenny” had never left like that before. When I first heard “him” leave, I wondered, “Is ‘Kenny’ coming back? Oh, my God! Am I dead if he doesn’t?” My body tried to run, but it had no equilibrium and couldn’t even stand up. I was almost crying. How do I die if “Kenny” isn’t here?


Then I had an out of body experience very much like the time I had on ketamine, when I felt as though I’d been thrown into a boiling vat of murky white liquid where I wasn’t sure I had a physical body. As the bubbles in the liquid passed by my skin, they grazed my consciousness with emotions and memories. I was able to have eight or ten memories at once, depending on how many bubbles were touching me. After that, it was like an interstellar ride, a satellite buzzing through the cosmos.


 When I was back in my body I was sitting on my sofa, asking the test administrators, “How do I know if I’ve smoked this? Have I smoked enough to get high?” They wrote that down and asked, “How did you get on the sofa?” I’d smoked it on the floor. I stopped and thought about it for a second, and right then, everything I did outside the body came rushing in.

~ Kenny: b. 1958. Farmer, carpenter, plumber, avid chess player.
Resides in South Kona, Big Island of Hawaii. Born and raised in Philadelphia.

 

“I took a huge hit of smoke in my lungs and thought Oh, this is going to be big. I felt like I was at the top of a roller-coaster about to go down, like the ride of a lifetime was impending. I lay back on the couch and the next thing I remember, I woke up and it was 30 minutes later. I heard this industrial vacuum zzzhoooom! sound, the sort that accompanies a change of dimension on Star Trek and opened my eyes…


I returned to normal two minutes later. It was a little scary coming out of it. And because of that fear, I had to struggle to recall where I’d been for thirty minutes.


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.

 

~ Lena: b. early 1960's. Health-care professional.
Born, raised, resides U.S.A.

 

In images more conceptual than graphic I envisaged a sea of humanoid creatures with stick figures with happy faces. Above them was a sunlike icon, which they worshipped and prayed to. Then a moonlike image, the sun’s opposite number, came along. For lack of precise terms for these icons, let’s say the moon came into the sky, and the moon and the sun combined to become something larger than the sum of the to, like the two hemispheres of the yin/yang symbol. The people affirmed that the union was right and went wild with jubilation …


… But this was only the first part of the trip, which lasted but a few minutes. The greater part of it was much harder to access. The more I thought about it, the more I remembered scary things. At one point there was some kind of Techno music playing, and as the beat slowed down, everything deaccelerated accordingly until it finally stopped. Then everything, including me, ceased to exist. I told myself, This time you’ve gone too far.


… For a couple of months after that trip, I got paranoid when I smoked pot, which echoed the trippy feeling and the driving techno beat that preceded the cessation of all things during the dark side of the episode. A fellow I talked to who did a lot of DMT said that it changes your hard-wiring, making it easier to permeate the membrane between ordinary waking consciousness and psychedelic consciousness, so that one can move between the two with relative expedience. If that’s true, I consider it a downside to tryptamines. I like to have complete control of when I go over to the Other Side, I don’t necessarily want the two sides to touch and meet so easily …


…In spite of the nice union synergy at the onset, I took away more dread than euphoria from my 5-MeO-DMT experience …Someone likened a 5-MeO trip to taking a thousand peak-LSD experiences and putting them on the head of a pin. Part of me feels proud that I went on such a high-octane, industrial-strength tryptamine voyage into the depths of my own psychic hyper-space. But I haven’t taken any psychedelic since. (1996)

 

Compiled from Tripping: An anthology of true-life psychedelic adventures (edited by Charles Hayes) without permission.

 

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From TiHKAL (by A. and A. Shulgin)

 

Portrait of Alexander and Ann Shulgin by Alex GreyThe brave publication of the text-book sized PiHKAL (1991) and TiHKAL (1997) by the chemist Alexander Shulgin and his wife Ann may be as important an act as any in recorded psychedelic history, since by publishing the chemistry and instructions how to create the 179 phenethylamines and 57 tryptamines that he had either invented or investigated over the previous 30 years, ‘Sasha’ and Ann betrothed the greatest gift  of Promethean knowledge upon our community and has guaranteed that the Genie can never be stuffed back in the bottle.


The publication of TiHKAL can be seen as especially important in turning the interest of the psychedelic community towards the various tryptamines, and especially  DMT and 5-MeO-DMT. In a chapter titled ‘DMT is Everywhere’, Shulgin explains how the basic DMT ‘ring’ is the starting point for a whole family of compounds, describing it as ‘a relatively short-lived psychedelic compound’ with a record of ‘ancient and revered use in many cultures’ before adding to its near-mythical reputation by saying that DMT can be ‘a connection to a vivid world of magic and mystical beings’ or ‘a dark exposure to the most negative aspects of the psyche. And everything in between’. It is also in TiHKAL, within the carefully recorded ‘qualitative comments’ that accompany each compound, that we find the first printed reports of ‘mystical experiences’ on 5-MeO-DMT — the only compounds in TIHKAL that is given Shulgin’s ++++ rating.

 

A rare and precious transcendental state, which has been called a 'peak experience', a 'religious experience,' 'divine transformation,' a 'state of Samadhi' and many other names in other cultures. It is not connected to the +1, +2, and +3 of the measuring of a drug's intensity. It is a state of bliss, a participation mystique, a connectedness with both the interior and exterior universes, which has come about after the ingestion of a psychedelic drug, but which is not necessarily repeatable with a subsequent ingestion of that same drug. If a drug (or technique or process) were ever to be discovered which would consistently produce a plus four experience in all human beings, it is conceivable that it would signal the ultimate evolution, and perhaps the end of, the human experiment.

 

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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.”

 

~ Alexander and Ann Shulgin. TIHKAL: The Continuation (1997)

 

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The Psychedelic Internet Age: 1997 –

 

The Psychedelic Internet Age:1997 Inspired by both the rekindled interest in DMT and the slow spread of tales of the unprecedented entheogenic potency of 5-MeO-DMT amongst the psychedelic community, a small number of bold ‘Research Chemical’ companies openly sold 5-MeO-DMT on the Internet between 1997-2004. This newfound public popularity resulted in a DEA operation (Operation Web Tryp) that brought  legal action against five U.S. ‘research chemical’ companies (prosecuting them under the Controlled Substances Analogue Act) and caused the sudden closure of most others. After coming to the attention of the Federal Government. On January 19th, 2011, 5-Methoxy-DMT was made a Schedule I (illegal) drug.


The Internet would also be the first widespread forum for descriptions of the 5-MeO-DMT experience thanks to sites like EROWID and forums such as Nexus and Tribe.net. The ‘Vaults’ of EROWID oldest 5-MeO-DMT ‘trip’ reports date from the late 1990’s, with the number of reports increasing steadily thru the first decade of the 21st century. As the following abbreviated examples show, these first-hand psychonaut reports that EROWID collects make fascinating reading since they range from the mystically sublime to the depths of abject terror, and often within a few lines in the same report!

 

“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 and N,N-DMT 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.”

 

 

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5-MEO-DMT: The Mystic's Molecule

 

Stanislav GrofDescriptions of the 5-MeO-DMT experience increasingly report distinct parallels to the classical mystical experience. Of the notable attempts at describing the 5-MeO-DMT experience by these “front-line” investigators, none are more notable than the following account by the eminent transpersonal psychologist Stanislav Grof, taken from his recent autobiography, When the Impossible Happens. (2006).

 

Albert Hofmann and Stanislav GrofStanislav Grof (born July 1, 1931 in Prague, Czechoslovakia) is one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology and a pioneering researcher into the use of non-ordinary states of consciousness for purposes of analyzing, healing, and obtaining growth and insight into the human psyche. Between 1960 and 1967, he was Principal Investigator in a psychedelic research program at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, Czechoslovakia, while after immigrating to the United States, Dr. Grof served as Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. Until the time that research in LSD and other psychedelics became illegal in the United States (and virtually everywhere else), Dr Grof was considered probably the lead researcher in the field. After further research in psychedelics became impossible, Dr Grof became the Esalen Institute’s ‘Scholar-in-Residence’ from 1972 till 1987, where he developed his holotropic breathwork technique (with his wife Cristina) and numerous theories on the psychedelic (or transpersonal) state that he has expounded in a series of books including ‘The Cosmic Game: Explorations Of The Frontiers Of Human Consciousness’ (1998), ‘The Ultimate Journey: Consciousness And The Mystery Of Death’ (2006), and ‘LSD: Doorway to the Numinous: The Groundbreaking Psychedelic Research into Realms of the Human Unconscious’ (2009). He is the founder of the International Transpersonal Association, (and its past and current President), as well as a Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

 

Stan Grof about his LSD experienceGrof’s first experience with LSD (and a strobe light) as a volunteer in 1956 would set his life-course as a researcher – he was considered the world’s leading authority on LSD research until that became impossible due to the changes in the law in the early 1970’s – and his account of that experience is considered one of the classics in psychedelic literature, and the bench-mark by which many future entheogenic experiences would be compared. However, in the following account where the sixty-something year old Grof takes a whopping 25 mg dose of 5-MeO-DMT, Grof states that that his 5-MeO-DMT experience actually exceeded his original LSD experience in effect and intensity. Since few writers in history have the skill or experience in describing the psychedelic experience that Stanislav Grof has, this remarkable description of the 5-MeO-DMT experience is perhaps the most important one we have.


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 ExperienceIt 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.

 

~ Stanislav Grof, "When the Impossible Happens: Adventures in Non-Ordinary Reality." (2006).

 

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James Oroc

 

5-MeO-DMT was the compound responsible for both my own spiritual awakening, my renewed interest in psychedelics, and for my subsequent sustained investigation into the endogenous entheogens. In an effort to keep track of my thoughts in the period after my original transpersonal mystical experience on 5-MeO-DMT in 2003, and with little thought or hope of publication, I wrote the original version(s) of Tryptamine Palace for the population of Burning Man (where I knew it would find an interested audience) and gifted it as a book on the ‘playa’ in 2006 and 2007 to my fellow ‘Burners’. (As far as I know this was the first book written for and gifted at Burning Man.) Encouraged by the reception at Burning Man, I was preparing the book for self-publication (with the help of EROWID’sJon Hanna) when I sent 2 copies of the original BM versions to 2 different publishers just so I could get used to getting rejected. To my great surprise the respected meta-physical publisher Inner Traditions actually accepted Tryptamine Palace for publication, and after considerable further effort (and infinite patience from my suffering editors) was published world-wide in 2009. Tryptamine Palace is the first major book written specifically about 5-MeO-DMT and contains numerous detailed descriptions of 5-MeO-DMT’s unique brand of (what Alex Grey calls) ‘experimental mysticism’.

 

Tryptamine Palace by James OrocBy attempting to describe the impossibly intense and paradoxically fleeting “5-MeO-DMT experience,” (Hereafter abbreviated at points within this book as “5MDE.”) I am now moving onto purely subjective ground. I must stress that the chronology that I provide here is only my personal interpretation of my experiences on 5-MeO-DMT, gleaned from my own experimentation. And so while the following information is taken from “the front lines,” so to speak, it cannot be overstated that every individual’s experience is unique. And so what happens to me when I smoke 5-MeO-DMT will not necessarily happen to you, if you choose to smoke it.


But for myself, after 5 years of fairly regular usage of 5-MeO-DMT in both its natural and (lab-produced) synthetic forms, I have come to believe that certain consistent patterns have emerged:

 

1. I fully inhale the smoke, generally holding on until my vision of the physical surroundings has begun to break into fractals, and then I exhale. Virtually immediately upon exhalation, my vision experiences a field of light-fractals. My mind then dissolves into white light, and the vision of my eyes is no longer relevant (or at least no longer recognizes my physical environment). This white light—which blazes with the focused intensity of a laser and which is both whiter-than-white, yet also sparkling with brilliant color—may be the crux of the experience. The first time I smoked 5-MeO-DMT, the only instruction I was given by the friend who provided it to me was to stay in this light for as long as possible.

 

2. At this point a variety of inner phenomena can appear. Some people report seeing protector spirits (animals or angels), while others describe communicating directly with the light. In some of my early journeys, I walked across plains of stars and talked with a Goddess who appeared in a blend of changing forms, some familiar, some archetypical, and I remember she laughed and treated me like a child. Whoever is in charge in that dimension, they know to keep it simple when we visit there; we are children compared to them, and they teach us things in the slow methodical way any good teacher does, one simple lesson at a time.


The following quotation is from Stanislav Grof’s extensive road map of the transpersonal experience, The Cosmic Game:


“Immediately following the experience of total annihilation—‘hitting cosmic bottom’—we are overwhelmed by visions of light that has a supernatural radiance and beauty and is usually perceived as sacred. This divine epiphany can be associated with displays of beautiful rainbows, diaphanous peacock designs, and visions of celestial realms with angelic beings or deities appearing in light. This is also the time when we can experience a profound encounter with the archetypal figure of the Great Mother Goddess or one of her many culture-bound forms.”


Once, early on in my experimentations, when I was hyper-excited by some of the strange and wonderful ideas I had encountered in Terence McKenna’s wild book The Archaic Revival, I meditated with serious resolve on the questions, “What are you? Can you let me know?” before I made my journey to that other dimension. After reading McKenna’s book I was intoxicated with the ideas of gods, aliens, and other-dimensional beings and I was certain that this was the correct way of attempting to communicate with them: surely they would respect my intent. Then, as soon as I exhaled, the answer from the other side blasted me like a million volts of pure electricity threatening to fry me to my core:

 

Love. That is all you need to know. I am Love.


This answer is one of the oldest known to man, and the core of many great religions; but it was not one that I had expected, nor one that I had been looking for. In fact, I would probably have never had considered it as an option at all. But as an answer to a child who is making his first frightful steps into the unknown, it could not be paralleled for its effect. “Do not fear,” this other dimension declares, “There is an ocean of love over here.”


After that experience, I stopped asking questions.


3. In this tunnel of light I relive all the experiences in my life in an instant. Your whole life flashes before you like the wave of a hand – the passage of time is like a game here. All the people I have known and loved surround me as I become a part of them and they become a part of me as I expand out of my form towards realization.


Everybody seems very happy and excited at this point, with a keen sense of humor attached to the fact that I/we have had the great secret-and-answer contained within us all along. The multitude of faces around me keep laughing and silently shouting at me, “You knew it all along! We knew it all along! It’s all right! We all knew it all the time! You exist! This is real! This is it! Now just relax! And just … Be.”

 

4. Everything that has come before in my life seems to have led to this point, to this moment. There is no sense of time. I am somehow splitting, growing, spreading outwards, and becoming a part of everything. I am permutating and connecting with the entire universe from within my very being. As I expand out and integrate into the happy multitudes and the universe beyond them, then my ego/identity begins to dissolve as the realization dawns that I am returning to the Source from where everything came. Looking around, in a dimension without time or space, I recognize everything and everyone as One, as the embodiment of all those beings who I have managed to love the most unconditionally. There is a definite feeling, that to go past this point, I have to relax, believe, and somehow, let go.

 

Coil - Methoxy-N, N-Dimethyl (5-MeO-DMT)At this point I have also heard a sound —and this is another experience commonly reported by tryptamine smokers—which grows to become the most incredible, all-encompassing note. It is pure other-worldly angel music, which I can only describe with the word Aum (or Om). The primordial noise. The logos. The original sound of creation. A transcendental note that I effortlessly dissolve into.

 

Dissolution into an omniscient state of Oneness. A place where there is no difference between G/d, the physical universe, or me. We have ceased to exist as separate entities and now resonate as One. Resonating with the possession of a knowledge that radiates with the surest sense of Love—a love that is in everything, and is everything, and is so much more. A conscious Love more intelligent than anything we have ever known. A Love so great that it defies the need for a physical form, and yet paradoxically realizes itself in us, and in all of creation. Aum. I become that Love and I know that everything is One, everything is;


G/d

 

An infinite pulsating field of intelligent energy that all physical forms manifest from, and into which one day everything shall return: an all-encompassing brilliant bejeweled light of Love. The Godhead, the Supreme Mystery, the Conscious Infinity, the Pure Light, Brahman, Yahweh, whatever you wish to call it—it is the Unnamable Name, and yet paradoxically it is also the Creation Principle—and yet I recognize It. I know that It is real, that I am a part of It, and that in this moment I am able to return to It, like the Sufi ‘moth to the flame’.


Resonating as one with my G/d and now having ceased to exist other than as a part of that divinity, all I have to do is breathe to feel the waves of omniscient energy radiate in and out of my ocean of bliss. My friends, my lovers, my life, my species, my world, —we are all One and we are all part of G/d. Atman (individual consciousness) and Brahman (universal consciousness) as One. There is no way to differentiate between anything: I am lost in waves of an awestruck ecstasy that cannot be described, an ego-less bliss. Rudolf Otto’s mysterium tremendum et fascinans is revealed within the singular realization of the true nature of my G/d: that G/d paradoxically resides both without and within.


Physically, I believe this is when I go into the quietest part of my journey—I’m generally peacefully lying down and saying nothing. I am only in this indescribable cosmic resonance for a few short minutes, ten or fifteen at the most, but it makes no difference to me, since I no longer have any concept of time, and its passage could just as easily be considered infinite. This is the period of an intense singularity for some: the white-out (as it is sometimes called), a total dissolution. It is my belief that my consciousness exists during this state in resonance with a realm that is actually beyond ordinary human comprehension. Freed of the matter of my body, my consciousness is able to function in a manner that it can’t understand, or barely even remember, once it has returned to the limitations of its corporeal form.


I believe that what I have been experiencing is the universal state of consciousness before the knowledge of ego and self, a state of undifferentiated ‘Cosmic Consciousness’ that historically William James has described as ‘Absolute Consciousness’, that Aldous Huxley called “Mind (with a capital M)”, and what is now commonly known amongst the entheogenic community as  “God Consciousness.” Me, I just call it G/d for short. Which is a very clinical way of describing what has historically proven to be the most important and awe-inspiring force upon the development of humankind: our ability to achieve some kind of mystical resonance with this G/d; the subsequent realization that the source of this G/d lies within; and the energy and inspiration that this realization has subsequently released into our human society.


Beyond Omega by Denis Konstantin5. “I” have now ceased to exist; there is no knowledge or recognition of “myself”. And yet my consciousness remains, clearly still thinking and experiencing, while seemingly now knowing everything, all knowledge and information within my grasp


Suddenly (probably as the 5-MeO-DMT first starts to wear off) there is the taste of fear: This is all too much. At the apparent pinnacle of the experience, when time has ceased to exist and I have dissolved into this G/d consciousness and lost all sense of my own identity, then I find myself abruptly searching around wildly in this out-of-body dimension, surrounded by layers of information and understanding, struggling to remember how this has all been possible. I exist as pure formless consciousness without limitations - until “I” consciously realize this anomaly. Asking myself; “How did this happen? How have I come so far?” And then finally the killer. “Who am I?”


“I” begins to think: “I must have an identity? How long has this been going on? What is going on here? How is this possible? I must exist! Something really weird is happening here…” From the moment that I recognize that the experience can be recognized, instead of simply being in the experience—then my ego-based identity begins to assert itself, and suddenly it is way, way, too much. I struggle to remember a beginning, a start to “my” own existence – and with this search comes the terror, followed by an abrupt departure from this indescribable state of grace.


6. “You have smoked 5-MeO-DMT,” I usually hear a voice say. And then the remembering pours back in a tellurian wave as my being inexorably flows from a dimension without matter or time back into this physical one. My vision suddenly focuses – I can see bizarrely for a moment between the two worlds, seemingly vibrating in both of them at once - before I am suddenly dropped disorientated back into an awe-struck heap on the floor.


The time between remembering that I exist and then reentering my body is terrifyingly quick and very disorientating, and I think that this specific period is often what people remember from their own experiences. This is especially the case on the first time, and/or if they have smoked too much (which can be easy to do). There is a razor-fine line between smoking enough 5-MeO-DMT to fully experience its out-of-body wonders, and smoking too much, which results in the participant remembering little or nothing of the experience: an often bizarrely terrifying ‘white hole’.


And to further complicate the issue, every person will have his or her own ideal dosage, which takes some experimentation to determine. (This will require owning a gem scale capable of measuring within plus/minus 2 mg to do so accurately.) If you are one of the rare breeds who have the desire to smoke 5-MeO-DMT regularly, then I recommend that you consistently reduce your dosage until you find the minimum required for release, as this is where you will have the best chance of remembering the largest amount of the experience. I believe that too much happens in too short of a time to really have a chance of remembering it all, but some people do emerge with remarkably coherent accounts of their experiences.


7. Now I am fully back in this reality and over-awed by the sheer POWER that I have just experienced, the remnants of which still pulsate through my trembling body. For the following ten or fifteen minutes I am technically still feeling the effects of the 5-MeO-DMT, but my descent back to ground zero is quick. I am usually fairly ecstatic during this period, my eyes filled with wildfire, and I can laugh great whooping belly laughs, deeper than I have ever laughed before. It’s a cosmic laughter at this on-going humor we call life and the unbelievable joke that I have been let in on. Although these days I prefer to smoke 5-MeO-DMT alone, this period is a good time for witnesses to ask what I have seen and experienced. I will respond with great authority on a variety of subjects—as if channeling from some higher force—only to have no memory of my statements thirty to sixty minutes later. The overwhelming sensation that accompanies this phase, even now after years, is that I still have no clue of the depth and breadth of the power of the substance I am so blindly imbibing, and that I should strive to treat the 5MDE with sacred respect.
Forty-five minutes to an hour later, I am completely “straight” (and usually looking for ice cream). All chemical traces of the tryptamine have disappeared from my brain and I am physically free of its influence. Except now, having experienced a full out-of-body mystical experience, my world and my paradigm can never be the same again.


5-Meo-DMT and James Oroc's first experienceAt this point let me recap my interpretation of the series of events that generally occur when I smoke 5-MeO-DMT:

 

1. Dissolution into fractals of light upon exhalation of the 5-MeO-DMT.

 

2. Transportation via rapid acceleration into the coherent white light.

 

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. It is possible that the order in which I have catalogued these events occurring is completely incorrect, since no linear passage of time is evident within the experience. Rather, it is more like being “hard-wired” into another dimension, where you are somehow able to experience everything simultaneously while being channeled towards the “Core.”


~ James Oroc, Tryptamine Palace: 5-MeO-DMT and the Sonoran Desert Toad. (2009).

 

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Dr. Martin Ball

 

The author, lecturer and self-admitted ‘entheogenicist’, Dr. Martin Ball, is probably best known for his popular podcast ‘The Entheogenic Evolution’. (http://entheogenic.podomatic.com//). While originally clearly skeptical to claims that any compound could induce ‘God Consciousness’ when the Burning Man version of Tryptamine Palace was discussed on his podcast in 2008, Martin experienced his own mystical epiphany with 5-MeO-DMT shortly afterwards and now has become a vocal and enthusiastic advocate for the mystical potential present in 5-MeO-DMT in his subsequent books The Entheogenic Evolution and Being Human.

 

Dr. Martin Ball's The Entheogenic Evolution…In the years that followed, I continued to explore the shamanic and mystical states of consciousness that mushrooms opened up for me – what I considered to be my “personal” schooling as I made my way through my graduate program.  After finishing graduate school, I discovered Salvia divinorum, and began working with that magical plant, eventually using those experiences as the basis for my book, Sage Spirit: Salvia Divinorum and the Entheogenic Experience.


I spent over a decade working with mushrooms, and then later salvia, exploring shamanic consciousness and practice.  I felt I had a fairly good understanding of how these two visionary medicines worked and what kinds of experiences they made possible, but through it all, I would never claim that I had experienced God in a direct sense.  Certainly, I had many profound and deeply meaningful spiritual encounters, but there was never a moment where I felt secure enough to say that I had absolutely experienced a force that I would describe as God.  In fact, if asked if I believed in God, I would give a fairly cogent Buddhist response about the impermanent and empty nature of existence and how all our concepts are relative, and how even in the Buddhist wheel of reincarnation gods are still conditioned by karma and not absolute.  I had my intellectual and philosophical views, but no real experience to base those views on...


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.”


~ Martin Ball, The Entheogenic Evolution: Psychedelics, Consciousness, and Awakening the Human Spirit.
(Kyandara Publishing, 2008).

 

 

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An Account Of A Burning Man 5-MeO-DMT Ceremony

 

The following account comes from my original ‘Burning Man’ versions of Tryptamine Palace. I prepared it as an Appendix for the final Inner Traditions version, but unfortunately due to page requirements it never made the final cut.

 

The ‘Basura Sagrada’ Temple, by Shrine, Burning Man 2008. http://shrineon.com/ The first time I offered to take some of the members of the camp through a 5-MeO-DMT ceremony, I asked that anyone who wanted to try the compound to stay off alcohol and any other drugs for that day. But when sunset arrived, and I was ready to start the proceedings, I realized that the whole camp had been partying all afternoon, and so I moved to call the whole thing off. But one of my camp members had been especially keen to try it, and along with having stayed mostly sober, he seemed like a good candidate for the experience. And so when he specifically asked that I initiate him, I agreed.
    
Imagine this scene now if you will, and it will be easy if you have ever been to Burning Man: A bunch of semi-inebriated and high freaks go into a small dome and sit cross legged in a circle around the first participant. The whole thing is a party, a prank, it's like you’re in a car park of a Dead show waiting for nitrous balloons ... at this point the whole affair is a ceremony only in words, 5-MeO-DMT holds no specific power for them, before the week is out these people will probably have eaten copious quantities of mushrooms, MDMA, LSD, 2-CB ... whatever party drugs they can lay their hands on. Burning Man is a party, 24/7 ... I'm sure all of this is easy enough to visualize.
    
Now comes the stranger part. I had my misgivings about the whole affair but I pressed on regardless. Explaining to the waiting people what may or may not happen. We had something like a dozen or fifteen people in the dome, sitting in a large circle, by far the largest audience to a 5MDE I had ever attempted. I gave Heff, the first participant, a regulation dosage, and he followed my instructions to the letter about slowly filling his lungs with the smoke and then holding on. As soon as he emptied his lungs, the dome filled up with an unbelievable energy, and I spent the next 20 minutes gently guiding Heff as he mysteriously moved around (First time participants are often active.) The Dome sat in dead silence for the whole time, every person in there transfixed, it was clear to everyone that Heff was in the depths of a remarkable experience. By the time he had come down and was sitting wide-eyed and smiling while I was preparing the next pipe load, everyone who had witnessed Heff's 'event' in the Dome seemed completely sober, attentive, and totally in to what was going on. (Only one person got up and left after the first participant - after that everyone stayed.)
    
The second participant, Howler, had one of the maddest (and longest) 5MDE's I have ever seen. At first it seemed like it was too much for him, I could see his body stiffening with the extreme speed and even though I kept touching his arm, he seemed to be very tensed up for the first five or six minutes, until he suddenly curled up into a ball and then exploded out of it, shouting at the top of his voice, 'Yeah, fuck yeah! Yes! Yes. Fuck Yes!' And when I mean shouting, this kid was shouting, he was screaming it out with every atom in his being, and his shouts drew so many curious people towards the Dome, we had to put a sentry out in front of the door to stop people from coming in. If Heff's journey had sobered and fascinated the circle of observers, the Howler's experience left no doubt that we were witnessing something extra-ordinary, something very special, and while his trip is too long to describe here, the extreme hilarity of some of his actions were so great, that at times I suspected he had long come out of the trick and was now putting me on. (He wasn't).
    
Pretty much everyone in the Dome wanted to try the 5-MeO-DMT by now, but each experience takes about 45 minutes, and I get exhausted by the psychic responsibility of looking after the person while they are under the influence. I wanted to balance the ceremony with some female energy, and so I invited a member of the camp who I did not know very well (but felt a strong connection towards) to take the next hit. She is quite a small person physically, and only needed a small hit before it was obviously effective. As she lay down and entered her journey, I saw that she had left a fair amount of 5-MeO-DMT in the bowl, and just as I had with Yaron at Burning Man the previous year, I put the pipe to my lips and 'piggy-backed' along. The difference this time, was that I did not fully release (i.e. I remained somewhat aware of my body), but I seemed to be connected to the participant's journey in a distinct way, and I felt as if I was guiding both of us toward realization. At some point I took the hands of the people sitting either side of me, lifting our arms above our heads, and all the other members of the circle did the same, as I floated in and out of consciousness. Heff had put a beautiful piece of ambient music on the camp sound system that seemed to mesh physically with the Experience, and I felt waves of rapture wash over me. At some point - after a number of minutes I was later told, I slowly bent forward at the waist and lowered my arms (still holding hands with my neighbors) down to the ground, in a seamless action that the entire circle as one performed. At the same instant our hands met the ground, the piece of music (which I had never heard before) suddenly ended. And a rather dazed participant emerged from her experience.

 

These three experiences affected everyone in the Dome, participant or non-participant alike. Since they were witnessed by more than half of our camp, they became a reoccurring topic of conversation over the days to come, and a number of people telling me that they would appreciate the opportunity to try 5-MeO-DMT in the future. There was also a keen interest in the copies of my still-unfinished manuscript. And in the same way that a shared 5MDE had promoted harmony on the Bus the year before, it strengthened our connections as a tribe, because we had all been common witnesses to something remarkable, and our minds had in some way 'meshed'. I believe that the 5MDE, presented as a sacred ceremony, is one of the most powerful ways to help build the unity of your tribe.
    
The more I smoke 5-MeO-DMT, the more I realize the necessity of presenting this unique entheogen in a ceremonial setting. Not only because this is a compound which can lead to the ultimate mystical realization and as such is sacred, but because the ceremonial setting is the safest and most effective way for a person to experience a 5MDE. If you are surrounded by a protective circle of genuinely loving people who respect the seriousness of what you are doing, then you will experience the least fear, and the greatest chance of achieving the highest result. My conviction of this is now so great, I anticipate that Burning Man may end up being the only place I smoke 5-MeO-DMT anymore, safe within the billowing domes of my tribe.”


~ James Oroc, Tryptamine Palace: 5-MeO-DMT and the Sonoran Desert Toad. (2009).

 

An Appeal Regarding The Original Burning Man version(s) of Tryptamine Palace

 

 It has come to my attention that the original 500 something copies of the two early versions of Tryptamine Palace that I gifted on the Playa in 2006 and 2007 are acquiring a near-cult status … and are often handed from one person to the next until they have acquired a readership far greater than their distribution. While I am both flattered and honored by this fact, I am also a little embarrassed, for those versions of Tryptamine Palace were difficult to read and far from complete. A great deal of effort and vital information occurred before Tryptamine Palace’s final publication in 2009 and there is a tremendous difference between the Playa (Burning Man) version(s) and the ultimate (Inner Tradition) version. While I have been greatly rewarded for the personal social experiment that was the gifting of Tryptamine Palace, the final version that leaped off the Playa to be published to the rest of the world is by far the superior book. And since it is only the final Inner Traditions publication of Tryptamine Palace that can be said to have the full summation of my views and ideas, I ask that if you read either of the Burning Man versions of Tryptamine Palace, please read the final Inner Traditions version before you come to any conclusions about my ideas or my writing. I would also humbly request that if you have a Burning Man copy of Tryptamine Palace, put it away somewhere safe, and tell your friends they can order a proper copy of Tryptamine Palace off the Internet, or better still at their favorite local book seller. The end result is better for everyone and I would thank you for it.

 

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