DMT, Liminality, and Hyperspace

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Known to produce out-of-body states and profound changes in sensory perception, mood and thought, DMT (N,N-dimethyltryptamine) is a potent short lasting tryptamine that has experienced growing appeal in the last decade, independent from ayahuasca, the Amazonian visionary brew in which it is an integral ingredient. Investigating user-reports available online and from other sources, this paper focuses on the “breakthrough” event commonly associated with the DMT trance. While different modalities of DMT use/experience—gnostic, therapeutic and recreational—inform the breakthrough event, I explore some of the commonalities: extraordinary transpersonal experience, perceived contact with “entities”, and the transmission of visual language. Significantly, for a global networked community whose participants venerate DMT among a variety of entheogens, the breakthrough event enables re/connection with the natural world from which humanity is imagined to have grown alienated—a sensibility often revealed or affirmed through personal exposure to the liminal effects of DMT and other tryptamines. Examination of this event offers insight on the liminal ontology of tryptamines—an entheoliminality given primary expression in reported travels in “hyperspace”, an ontological realm that appears to feature ritual-like modes of transmission. The paper concludes with an exploration of these modes in this transitional terrain.
Period23 Apr 2017
Event titleMultidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies 2017 Conference
Event typeConference
LocationOakland, United States, CaliforniaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational