Altered States and Shamanic Initiation
What are commonly called vivid dreams may be the result of deep sleep’s pineal DMT rush - but is the “spirit molecule” stimulated from within, or by an outside force? In the utilisation of supranormal amounts of the mystical neurotransmitter DMT, dream visions often echo archetypal shamanic experiences during altered states of consciousness (ASCs).
Considering the overlap of myriad ASCs at certain times in my life, I associate the following vision with the extraterrestrial visitations in which I was consciously immersed during the early- to mid -1990s. The strangest thing is that another ET experiencer and I had virtually the same ASC journey, suggesting that our identically-themed “dream” wasn’t mere coincidence, but rather that we experienced the same scenario. Independently, in an altered state of consciousness, we were both taken in a small boat with a white-robed and bearded guide across moonlit, choppy water, arriving on the shore of some island where we were both presented with the challenge of climbing over a barrier of cluttered, rusty, appliance-themed detritus.
The details seem too specific and unusual to have arisen by chance - especially between two people who’d never met and had never spoken to one another or learned about the other’s experience before having their own. But it wasn’t just an experience shared by only the two of us. Significantly as well, during shamanic trance, initiates often travel over water to a place where they encounter and overcome obstacles in order to reach the otherworld. Travelling over water to face obstacles is a motif of shamanic initiation.
Another extraordinary ASC echoing shamanic initiation occurred during another “vivid dream” when I was a small girl, perhaps 7 or 8 years old. While “asleep” or at least visiting another dimension, I had an extremely vivid vision of being inside a huge, transparent, crystalline structure - a cathedral of sorts — realising that someone I loved deeply had died. For awhile I was totally inconsolable, but gradually my altered state began to fade away with a rush of waking tears, leaving me with indelible images: The towering quartz crystals! The overwhelming sorrow! Waking, weeping, in my mother’s arms…!
The crossing of water to encounter and overcome obstacles shares significant details with the cathedral dreams, reflecting worldwide shamanic experiences as described by Eliade. I associate these visions and others with my apparent interactions with non-human intelligence over the years - indeed spanning my life. If an association between these “dreams” and a mysterious “other” intelligence exists, have I accessed that dimension accidentally -perhaps through a naturally-occurring DMT spike? Or has this experience come to me intentionally via exogenous DMT or even by somehow stimulating an endogenous DMT release to establish the interface?
Rick Strassman, DMT: The Spirit Molecule
Nevill Drury, The Shaman and the Magician: Journeys Between the Worlds
Mircea Eliade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy