Gnosis Potency: DMT Breakthroughs and Paragnosis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


DMT (N,N-dimethyltryptamine) is a powerful 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 from literary and online sources, this chapter focuses on the gnosis potency associated with the DMT "breakthrough" experience. I explore the parameters of the tryptaminal state and, in particular, the extraordinary paragnosis associated with the DMT event, perceived contact with "entities," and the transmission of visual language. As the reports discussed illustrate, for milieus of the disenchanted, among other entheogens, DMT is venerated as a gift that enables connection to a reality (nature, the universe, divinity) from which modern humanity is imagined to have grown alienated. Through an exploration of the legacy of principal actors, including Terence McKenna, Jonathan Ott, Jim DeKorne, and Nick Sand, the chapter navigates the significance of DMT in modern Western esotericism.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlant Medicines, Healing and Psychedelic Science
Subtitle of host publicationCultural Perspectives
EditorsBeatriz Caiuby Labate, Clancy Cavnar
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783319767208
ISBN (Print)9783319767192, 9783030095642
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


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