Enter the Void is a 2009 experimental film about a young American drug dealer living in Tokyo. Much of the film revolves around him, our protagonist, using what is often considered the strongest hallucinogen known to man, dimethyltryptamine, commonly referred to as DMT. In film, the protagonist experiences outer-body visualizations that are quite bizzarre, yet are at the same time quite beautiful on the silver screen. This real-life compound is considered a class is a Schedule I drug in the United States.
In simpler terms, it is extremely illegal. But I was curious to see what this compound/’drug’ was that was able to act as the backbone of an award-winning film such as Enter The Void. Upon further research, I found that DMT is a compound that is, surprisingly, found in many organisms on this planet, plants, animals, and even humans. How is that possible for a naturally occurring compound in every living person’s body considered so illegal by our government, and many other governments around the world?
DMT is a major ingredient in Ayahuasca, which has been a drink used by South American natives for thousands of years, using it for ritualistic purposes, in which it was thought to have been a gateway to the gods. The compound has extreme effects on users, especially on his/her perceptions of the world around them. Many users admit to experiencing eerily familiar experiences. Users often state that the so-called trip is as lucid as reality, in which he/she is transported through either a blinding white light wormhole/portal or a wormhole/portal consisting of snakes. From there, trips often vary among individuals, but there is a running theme of the user experiencing a legitimate understanding of the meaning of life/their place in the universe. Some users recall meeting what one would initially perceive as other-worldly beings created entirely of energy. A lot come out of the trip tranquil and talking about how beautifully vivid it was.
I myself have not tried it, but I have heard bizarre stories of others who have. One girl described that she was literally knocked into a 4-dimensional space in which a 500 ft. tall human-figure was spinning on a platform in what she described as this human-figure as “being animated”. Another guy described how he was also literally knocked into a fluorescent white room, with a blacked out, tall humanoid creature looking down at him. By literally knocked, I mean that there have been many cases in which a user feels as though they are physically in this space, rather than simply visualizing it in the mind (the degree of reality apparently varies according to dosage and means of ingestion-smoking it in high amounts is often considered to be the most correct way to do it). These trips last for a good 5-7 minutes, but are often described a being felt of as an eternity by users in which they are all similarly sucked in through a portal and into a new reality. Now, you would think that such a chemical would lead to adverse effects on the human body. I mean, its got to, right? Interestingly enough, there are no profound after effects, aside from feeling as though you were drained of energy. A University of New Mexico medical study on DMT effects are as follows:
“RESULTS: Peak DMT blood levels and subjective effects were seen within 2 minutes after drug administration, and were negligible at 30 minutes. Dimethyltryptamine dose dependently elevated blood pressure, heart rate, pupil diameter, and rectal temperature, in addition to elevating blood concentrations of beta-endorphin, corticotropin, cortisol, and prolactin. Growth hormone blood levels rose equally in response to all doses of DMT, and melatonin levels were unaffected. Threshold doses for significant effects relative to placebo were also hallucinogenic (0.2 mg/kg and higher). Subjects with five or more exposures to 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine demonstrated less robust pupil diameter effects than those with two or fewer exposures.”
CONCLUSIONS: “Dimethyltryptamine can be administered safely to experienced hallucinogen users and dose-response data generated for several measures hypothesized under serotonergic modulatory control. Additional studies characterizing the specific mechanisms mediating DMT’s biological effects may prove useful in psychopharmacological investigations of drug-induced and endogenous alterations in brain function.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8297216)
Again, you would think the strongest hallucinogen known to man would be bad for you right? Maybe if you experience stress disorders it can be a problem, but otherwise, no major negative effects have been found in DMT usage.
In regards to what is known about the vast intricacies of the human brain, it can be inferred that our bodies can handle it so well because it is widely thought that our brain releases it every night while we sleep in small amounts. That might be why we experience dreaming. Another widely held belief is that it is released in large quantities in one’s brain during near-death experiences, and right before a person dies. We have all heard of the ‘blinding white light’ seen by people who have had near-death experiences. Maybe that’s the blinding white tunnel experienced by many users?
I have never attempted to try the compound myself, but it makes me wonder whether it is just an extremely vivid trick of the mind, or that maybe the compound plays an important role in what many regard as transcending to the other side, passing on, or in religious terms, going to Heaven. This is a far fetched assumption, I am totally aware of the fact, but still…it’s possible, right? I mean, no one knows what happens when you die, and the complexity of the human brain has only been scratched on its surface by scientists, doctors, and psychologists/psychiatrists up to today. Plus, the possibility of other dimensions aside from our own are most definitely possible, if not close to fact, advocated by such theoretical physicists as Stephen Hawking.
So what’s your opinion? Is it possible that DMT serves to transcend people into ‘the beyond’? Is it possible that recreational consumption of the compound enables a user to briefly travel inter-dimensionally or are they simply too high for their own good?
Is it stupid that I even considered the possibility of this?