• Phil Tanny
    Philosophers interested in exploring the nature of reality and the human mind will likely find the film DMT: The Spirit Molecule to be of interest.

    This film recounts a scientific investigation in to user experiences of the drug DMT, more formally known as Dimethyltryptamine.

    DMT is a hallucinogen which is consumed by injection, inhalation, or taken orally. Shaman in the Amazon region have been cooking a combination of plants in to a form of DMT called Ayahuasca for centuries.


    Unlike LSD, which alters perception of this reality, DMT takes users in to an experience which feels like an entirely different reality. Some have described this destination as the reality behind our reality. Users often report that the place they experience feels more real than the world we inhabit in our everyday lives. Experiences vary considerably, and many users find it's impossible to describe the experience using words and concepts currently available to us.

    The film DMT: The Spirit Molecule is currently available for free on Youtube.

    BTW, this hour long video focuses on a scientific investigation of DMT, and a number of academics, scientists, and study subjects are interviewed. It’s not a hippy commune story, just so you know.

    Further discussion of DMT can be found in many places, such as articles on BusinessInsider and MedicalNewsToday. Or check out The Ultimate Guide To DMT.

    Here's a 30 minute video from a DMT user which describes the experience from their perspective.

    A DMT online discussion forum can be found here.

  • Phil Tanny
    As we explore the subject of DMT the following questions are likely to arise.

    1) Is DMT simply a drug induced hallucination which offers no valid insights in to the nature of reality?

    2) Or does DMT open additional properties of the human mind which allow us to see parts of reality we don't normally experience?

    Does the fact that these experiences are launched by the consumption of a powerful mind altering drug automatically mean that such experiences are merely entertaining fantasies which provide no valid information? That could be of course, but this question led me to another...


    Are the insights you and I write about automatically invalid when such ideas come to us after drinking a cup of coffee? On one hand, many of us will assume that DMT experiences are just drug induced fantasies. At the same time we will likely assume that ideas come to us while our minds are stimulated by caffeine are not compromised by the cup of coffee sitting on our desk.

    Does DMT, like caffeine, open parts of our mind which allow us to see aspects of reality we wouldn't otherwise see? Many DMT users seem to feel that this drug is like a telescope, a mechanical device which extends human ability, and allows us to see things we couldn't otherwise see.

    I haven't taken DMT myself and can't answer these questions. I'm not sure if anyone can.
  • Phil Tanny
    After you watch the DMT video, we might discuss things like…

    Our eyes capture only a tiny fragment of the electromagnetic spectrum. What we see when we observe reality with our eyes is not “reality” but rather a thin slice of reality. But because we all have essentially the same eyes and all see pretty much the same slice, a group consensus has grown around the notion that what we see in our everyday human experience is what’s real.

    The DMT phenomena suggests, but of course does not prove, that our minds may be in a similar situation. Our rational minds, like our eyes, may see only a slice of reality. The rules of reason that philosophy is built upon are useful within the slice of reality our rational mind can access.

    So, in this theory, reason is not “wrong” but neither is it a “one true way” applicable everywhere. Like our eyes, reason is useful, but also very limited in comparison to reality as a whole. Or so this theory goes.


    What DMT seems to provide is not just an edited version of this reality, such as is the case with drugs like LSD, but rather an experience of a leap in to an entirely different reality. What is experienced may not actually be a different reality, but it seems to be experienced that way at least.

    But the phrase “another reality” isn’t quite right. I believe DMT users are reporting that what they experience seems like an underlying structure of our everyday reality. Not a different place, but a look behind the curtain of this place.

    To return to the eye analogy, DMT may be proving users with access to a wider slice of the electro-magnetic spectrum, so to speak.

  • Phil Tanny
    Here's a video which explores the possibility of using DMT as a treatment for depression.

    I don't know. Personally, I would be extremely wary of giving such a powerful drug to those experiencing personal difficulties. But, let's keep an open mind, and see what we can learn here.

  • Phil Tanny
    Mathematician Ralph Abraham compares his experiences of LSD to DMT.

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