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Full Spectral Dominance (Part Two)
2006 01 27

By Jeff Wells |

Dr Albert Hoffman, the "father of LSD," but perhaps better described as its midwife, turned 100 a few days ago. Like so many other things we trip over this fraught century, lysergic acid diethylamide first appeared in Nazi-dominated Europe, and first through dreams and intuition.

Hoffman was looking for compounds that induced muscle contraction. After synthesizing LSD and testing it on animals to no useful effect Hoffman's research moved on. But strangely, he began to dream repeatedly about its molecular structure, and was gripped by a "peculiar presentiment" that compelled him, five years later, to resynthesize the compound and ingest it intentionally.

"In the annals of science," Daniel Pinchbeck writes in Breaking Open the Head, "it is notable that many scientific insights first appear in dreams and visions":

The German chemist Friedrich Kekule, for instance, dreamt of a snake with its tail in its mouth, and understood that the molecular structure of benzene was a closed carbon ring. The French mathematician Jules-Henri Poincaré, during a sleepless night, saw mathematical symbols colliding until they coalesced into equations. These intuitive levels of insight, whether scientific or artistic, function like the prophetic dreams of shamans.... Hoffman's discovery of LSD was that kind of insight - a flash from a deeper order of the self or, perhaps, from outside the self entirely.
How did the Amazonian shamans come to discover their complex psychoactive compound of ayahuasca? They say the plants taught them in dreams. And intuition seemed to lead the synthesis of DMT in 1931, nearly 20 years before it was discovered to be a naturally occuring alkaloid in plants. (It wasn't until 1972 that it was found to be an endogenous compound, produced by the human brain.)

Pinchbeck records his ceremonial ingestion of ayahuasca:
The hallucinations started to deepen into a realm that I could not recognize, that I lack language to describe. I found myself wandering across a shimmering space with beings that never stopped changing - porcupine-quilled, tusked, multitongued, amoebic, but even those words are only approximations of entities that could be compared to the darker imaginings of HP Lovecraft. The shaman and the elders seemed to be inhabiting this space with me. Glowing in the light cast by the fire, their features seemed animated by an almost nonhuman intensity. They sang, their words unintelligible, to these creatures, interacting with them, in mystical communion. It seemed that this was the goal of the ayahuasca ceremony, the arrival point. These were "the heavenly people."
The scene is similar to that described by Robert Monroe in Journeys Out of the Body of a hellish layer close to our mundane reality through which he would pass while projecting his astral self, which felt like bait above "a gray-black hungry ocean where the slightest motion attracts nibbling and tormenting beings." He writes that "it is easy to conclude that a momentary penetration of this nearby layer would bring 'demons' and 'devils' to mind as the chief inhabitants." It also recalls the hallucinatory witness to shapeshifting in some accounts of mind control survivors.

DMT frequently induces similar visions of interstellar voids, hungry insectoid intelligences and abduction scenarios indistinguishable from those of UFO encounters, including alien intercourse. Here "Rex" describes his controlled injection in Dr Rick Strassman's DMT: The Spirit Molecule:
When I was first going under there were these insect creatures all around me. They were clearly trying to break through. I was fighting letting go of who I am or was.... They were interested in emotion. As I was holding on to my last thought, that God equals love, they said, "Even here? Even here?" I said, "Yes, of course." They were still there but I was making love to them at the same time. They feasted as they made love to me.... The thought came to me with certainty that they were manipulating my DNA, changing its structure.
Strassman ended his clinical studies of the drug in part because he gave serious weight to the warning of a "highly intuitive" friend who told him she saw "evil spirits hovering around you. They want to come through this plane, using you and the drugs."

If there are many dimensions beyond, or behind, those we normally inhabit, it would seem by the congruity of experience that there are a variety of means to their unlocking. Yet all of them - occult workings, remote viewing, astral projection, UFO abductions and shamanic chemistry - share the trait of inducing altered states of consciousness. And something else they share is the abiding, deep attention of military intelligence.

At this point, someone's likely to mention the "holographic universe" and its alleged implication that "nothing is real." Perhaps instead it means that everything is real, including the "imaginal realm" described by French Islamic scholar Henry Corbin in his 1972 work, Mundis Imaginalis:
Upon returning [from a mystical vision] the beholders of this world are perfectly aware of having been "elsewhere": they are not mere schizophrenics. This world is hidden behind the very act of sense perception and has to be sought underneath its apparent objective certainty. For this reason we definitely cannot qualify it as being imaginary in the current sense of the word, ie, unreal or nonexistent. [It] is ontologically as real as the world of the senses and that of the intellect [perceived by] the "psychospiritual senses."
Psychologist Kenneth Ring talks of "the shamanizing of modern humanity" in his book The Omega Project, which studies the commonality of Near-Death Experience and UFO encounters. Ring writes that "we could be in the beginning stages of a major shift in levels of consciousness that will eventually lead to humanity's being able to live in two worlds at once - the physical and the imaginal." He believes that NDEs and UFOs, like the mystical and visionary states found in shamanic ritual, may be adventing at this time as an evolutionary aid towards the development of "latent capacities for imaginal perception."

I'm not sure I agree with Ring's rosy conclusions drawn from the evident thinning of the veil. I wonder instead whether a nexus of powerful parties on both sides of the portal with investments in control are conspiring to exploit gateways, the result of which may mean a near blunt-force stunting of the development of human consciousness.

I know this is highly speculative, but it's one of those crazy thoughts I have when I look up and see grids in the sky where there were none before, and marvel at the calculation behind our conspicuous dumbing down. What is it about us that is being suppressed, and who most profits by it?

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Related: Full Spectral Dominance (Part One)

"No man sees my face and lives"

Daniel Pinchbeck - Two Lectures from Burning Man Festival

The Way In is the Way Out: An Interview With Daniel Pinchbeck

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