Concerning the Nature of the DMT Entities
and their Relation to Us
A Talk by Peter Meyer
Delivered on September 23, 2015, at Tyringham Hall, England,
Under the Auspices of the Tyringham Initiative[32]
as Part of a Symposium[36] Hosted by Anton Bilton
German by
Klaus Scharff

Portuguese by
A. Weber &
A. Domingos
This article is the talk as delivered (slightly edited) plus numerous supplementary notes added in January and February 2016. Links to the supplementary notes are in {curly brackets} and links to references are in [square brackets]. The supplementary notes are quite extensive, so in order to follow the reasoning of this article (and to avoid initial confusion) it is recommended to skip the supplementary notes on a first reading and to follow the links to them only on a second reading.

Peter Meyer
Unlike most of the other presenters here, I'm not a well-known researcher or writer and I have published little on the subject of DMT except for an article published 22 years ago in 1993 in the journal Psychedelic Monographs and Essays, Volume Six. This article was entitled “Apparent Communication with Discarnate Entities Induced by Dimethyltryptamine” [1] and it was the first publication to describe in detail contact with apparently intelligent beings in an apparently alternate reality, and to speculate on their nature, although, of course, Terence McKenna had already been speaking in public on this subject, and very eloquently, since the early 1980s.{5}

When someone smokes a sufficient dose of DMT they experience what appears to be a 'space' of some kind which is inhabited by 'entities' which appear to be aware of the observer and appear to wish to communicate something, though what is to be communicated is usually not clear. I term this 'space' containing these 'entities' the DMT World, because it seems to be a place which can be entered by multiple observers whose reports are more-or-less consistent with each other, and who predominantly report that it appears to them as an alternate reality, that is, something wholly other than our everyday consensus reality.

I suggest that the criterion of “real” is intersubjective verifiability.[2] One or two people claiming to have experienced such entities may be dismissed as hallucinating. But when a couple of hundred people report such an experience, and the reports, while mostly independent, are curiously similar, it is not so easy to dismiss them in this way. And, indeed, a couple of hundred people have reported contact with these entities, as documented in a page on my website entitled “340 DMT Trip Reports”.[16] Of those 340 reports (most of which were collected in 2005), exactly two-thirds of them (226) include reference to apparently independently-existing entities, that is, beings of some kind existing independently of the observer, just as we assume that material objects and other people exist independently of our observation of them.

Up to now I have used the term “the DMT World” in a phenomenological sense, that is, the DMT World is what most people experience when they smoke DMT. My purpose in this talk is to outline an approach toward a metaphysical framework for understanding what the DMT entities are, and this clearly goes beyond phenomenology into ontology. Later in this talk I shall speak of “the DMT World” in a more ontological sense, and I shall then explain this.

It is not difficult to observe the inhabitants of the DMT World, since one only has to smoke a sufficient amount of DMT. But reports of these observations currently make no sense to someone who accepts the conventional materialist account of reality, which asserts that reality consists only of material objects and their interactions in physical space and time.

Materialism is a close cousin of “physicalism”, the view that only the physical world is real, where “physical world” means the total of, firstly, what we can observe via our senses, in particular sight and touch, augmented via the use of instruments such as the microscope and the telescope, and, secondly, of objects and processes whose existence we can infer from such observations, for example, genes and molecules.{1}

Clearly the physicalist account of reality is not consistent with the claim that observation of the DMT World is observation of an alternate reality in which intelligent entities may be encountered which are not objects within the physical world. Any account of reality which attributes real existence to the DMT World and the entities observed within it thus constitutes a denial that the physicalist account provides a complete understanding of the world we live in.

Furthermore, the physicalist account of reality has no place even for these observations themselves, because these observations are based upon conscious awareness, and the physicalist account either has no place for consciousness, or supposes it to be something which automatically emerges from activity within the brains of humans and possibly other animals. How this “emergence” occurs, or is even possible, is currently a mystery, and from the physicalists we have only the assertion that an explanation will eventually be found.

In the Western philosophical tradition there are three classical questions, namely: “Who are we?”, “Where did we come from?” and “Why are we here?” The answers given by the physicalist account are as follows: Firstly, individually, we humans are complex metabolic systems, ultimately composed of molecules and atoms, which acquire the ability to interact via language with other such metabolic systems to form organized societies. Secondly, we are the result of hundreds of millions of years of organic evolution resulting from natural selection. And thirdly, this evolution has been driven by natural physical laws, whose origin is unknown, combined with random events, and there is no reason or purpose at all for our being here.

In this talk I wish to provide alternative answers to these three classical philosophical questions, which some people may find more satisfactory than those provided either by physicalism or by one of the organized religions. {6} I shall also suggest an answer to the question, “Can a robot be conscious?” These answers are of a metaphysical nature and are not meant to be asserted dogmatically, but rather put forward for your consideration.

Firstly, “Who are we?”

We begin with ontology, which is the philosophical study of what is, what exists, or what is “real”.

According to the metaphysical view presented here, the fundamental reality is a primordial Awareness, with a capital “A”. We can call it “the Primordial Mind”, or “God” if you wish. There is nothing beyond or above the Primordial Mind that we can conceptualize. It can, however, be known to some extent by direct experience, in what is loosely termed “mystical experience”. {12}

There is nothing other than the Primordial Mind, so there is nothing that could limit it. It is creative but does not create anything exterior to itself. All that exists is from the Primordial Mind. The consciousness of all conscious beings arises from this primordial Awareness. {19}>

That consciousness is fundamental was believed by many of the founders of quantum mechanics such as Erwin Schrödinger and Max Planck. Schrödinger is reported as saying: “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.” [3]

Now we delve into history. In the thought of the 3rd Century philosopher Plotinus, the Primordial Mind is called “the One”. Plotinus taught that from the One there emanated two more so-called “principles”, “the Mind” and “the Soul”, making a triad or trinity. {14} Neoplatonic doctrines influenced the 3rd Century Christian Neoplatonist Origen of Alexandria, who developed the first systematic Christian theology, which begins by postulating a typical Neoplatonic divine hierarchical triad, but instead of using the Neoplatonic names, “Nous”, “Logos”, and so on, he calls them “Father”, “Christ”, and "Holy Spirit”.

The Primordial Mind is a unified Mind. In order to enhance its possible experience it created from itself individual spiritual intelligences able to contemplate the divinity of the Primordial Mind and also to form relationships among themselves. Some of these spiritual intelligences are known as archangels and angels. From them, or possibly from the Primordial Mind itself, emanate many other minds. The essential nature of all of these beings is the Primordial Mind itself, since nothing exists which is other than the Primordial Mind.

Origen calls these lesser mind “logika”, meaning “rational natures”, or “souls”, and has this to say about them (according to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy[4]):

These souls were originally created in close proximity to God, with the intention that they should explore the divine mysteries in a state of endless contemplation. They grew weary of this intense contemplation, however, and lapsed, falling away from God and into an existence on their own terms, apart from the divine presence and the wisdom to be found there. This fall was not, it must be understood, the result of any inherent imperfection in the creatures of God, rather, it was the result of a misuse of the greatest gift of God to His creation, [namely] freedom. ... Thus departing from God, they came to be clothed in bodies, at first of "a fine ethereal and invisible nature," but later, as souls fell further away from God, their bodies changed "from a fine, ethereal and invisible body to a body of a coarser and more solid state. The purity and subtleness of the body with which a soul is enveloped depends upon the moral development and perfection of the soul to which it is joined. Origen states that there are varying degrees of subtleness even among the celestial and spiritual bodies.” {16}

We should not understand Origen's talk of “bodies” in a modern materialist sense, that is, that a body is something of a totally different nature from a mind. This is the basic error which was introduced into modern philosophy by René Descartes in the 17th Century. Modern philosophy is only now recovering from this basic error.

In his book On First Principles[5] Origen says that only the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are incorporeal, that is, lack bodies. All “rational natures”, that is, souls, have bodies. Among the souls there are angels, humans and one or more types of souls which occupy an intermediate position. {8} One of these types of souls are the DMT entities. So the DMT entities, like angels and humans, have bodies. Their bodies are actually visible to anyone who ventures into the DMT World.

William Blake said, in his book, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: “Man has no Body distinct from his Soul. For that called Body is a portion of Soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age.”

This is an important insight, and leads to the understanding that for all souls at whatever level, the term “body” can be interpreted as having a dual meaning. Firstly, it is the body as experienced by the soul, and secondly it is something not directly known by the soul that is extrinsic to the soul, but still part of the Primordial Mind, which informs the soul's experience. {9}

So the answer to the first classical philosophical question, “Who are we?”, is that we, and also the DMT entities, are among the souls that Origen describes in his cosmology. {22}

We come now to the second question, “Where do we come from?”

This question is partially answered by the answer to the first question, since we are souls who have been instantiated by the creative activity of the Primordial Mind or by one of the principles emanating from it. But there is a more specific answer, which concerns our relation to the DMT entities.

In my article entitled “Apparent Communication with Discarnate Entities”, published in 1993, I suggested eight possible interpretations of the DMT experience, one of which was:

The realm to which DMT provides access is the world of the dead. The entities experienced are the souls, or personalities, of the departed, which retain some kind of life and ability to communicate. The realm of dead souls, commonly accepted by cultures and societies other than that of the modern West, is now accessible using DMT.[6]

I elaborated on this idea in a section of my article entitled “DMT and the death state”, in which I said:

Who are we and how did we get here? Clearly we are personalities who develop in connection with our bodies. But are we personalities who have our origin in the development of our bodies? Or do we originate as hyperspatial entities who become associated with bodies for the purpose of acting in what appears to us as the ordinary world?[7]

I now wish to expand on this idea that we humans originate as hyperspatial entities. Specifically, I suggest that before each of us humans became incarnate organisms in this natural world we were entities in the DMT World, and that during foetal development in the womb we made a transition from the DMT World to this natural world.

A very important article about DMT was written in 2012 by Andrew Gallimore and is entitled “Building Alien Worlds”.[8] The concept of building a world derives from contemporary neuroscience, most of whose practitioners assume that consciousness is somehow produced by the activity of the brain. One of the foremost exponents of this is the German philosopher Thomas Metzinger. In his book The Ego Tunnel[9], Metzinger speaks of the so-called neural correlate of consciousness and defines this as “that set of neurofunctional properties of your brain sufficient to bring about a conscious experience.” Brain activity is alleged to “underlie” consciousness, but no philosopher or neuroscientist can explain how consciousness can be generated by what is essentially a system of interconnected biochemical processes occurring in physical space and time.

The orthodox scientific theory of consciousness assumes that a human is an organism existing in physical space and possessing a physical brain, mainly composed of neurons, whose activity is observable and measurable. Such observation itself presupposes consciousness, a fact that adherents to the orthodox theory usually ignore. Thomas Metzinger considers the problem of how to explain the appearance to us of a single, unified world to a “self” apparently existing at the present moment in that world. The explanation he gives is, of course, given in terms of brain activity. The brain allegedly constructs a model of a world, a world possessing the qualities of space and time, in which occur multiple objects possessing stable properties. This construction is called “building a world”, and when the brain builds a world then, according to the orthodox theory, consciousness of that world simply happens. To believe this requires an act of faith.

This claim, moreover, seems to be reached by a failure to distinguish clearly between representation and appearance. For example, a navigational device in a car possesses a representation of a world consisting of roads, their geographical relations, “rules of the road” and the current position and velocity of the car, but the world so represented does not appear to that navigational device. An appearance must be an appearance to a conscious being. So when Metzinger attempts to explain the appearance of a world to humans in terms of a complex model constructed by and within the brain, by using the word “appearance” he is covertly inserting the assumption that the world which is built by the brain is a world which appears to a conscious being. Or to put it more succinctly, “building a world” is not the same as “building a phenomenal world”. {10}

However, the neuroscientific concept of “building a world” helpfully provides us with insight into what a “world” is, namely, it is the totality of the appearances of a world to a community of conscious beings (or souls). The consensus world that we believe we live in, is the totality of all appearances to humans of a world. Similarly, the DMT World is the totality of all appearances to DMT entities of a world. Obviously, since we are not them, their world is not the same as our world.

Note that we now have a more “ontological” definition of “the DMT World” in addition to the “phenomenological” concept with which we began, namely, the DMT World is the totality of all appearances of a world to the DMT entities.

In his article “Building Alien Worlds”[10] Andrew discusses the neurotransmitters serotonin and DMT, which are so-called neuromodulators in that they alter neural activity in a global manner.

The abstract of Andrew's article says, in part:

Arguably the most remarkable property of the human brain is its ability to construct the world that appears to consciousness. The brain is capable of building worlds during waking life, but also [of doing so] in the complete absence of extrinsic sensory data, entirely from intrinsic thalamocortical activity, as during dreaming. ... [By] regarding this unique molecule [DMT] as equivalent to serotonin ... DMT’s effects may be explained. Serotonin has evolved to hold the brain’s thalamocortical system in a state in which the consensus world is built. When serotonin is replaced by DMT, the thalamocortical system shifts into an equivalent state, but one in which an apparently alien world is built.

I believe this idea is a very important contribution to our understanding of the DMT World. However, I suggest that what is stated in the remainder of the abstract, namely, that DMT is “an ancestral neuromodulator”, is not correct. In his article Andrew says:

DMT is an ancestral neuromodulator, that is, a neuromodulator that, at some point in our evolutionary past, was secreted in psychedelic concentrations by the brain ... [but] has subsequently been lost. ... [In] this ancestral period, the brain would have produced both serotonin and DMT, although probably not at the same time. The evolution of the consensus world-building capabilities of the brain took place under the modulation of serotonin, and was driven by the extrinsic sensory data from the consensus world. However, periodically, the brain was able to switch from primarily serotonin secretion to DMT secretion. ... [The] thalamocortical system developed an ability to build the ‘consensus world’ when serotonin was present and the ‘alien world’ when DMT was present. ... [The] brain underwent a parallel neural evolution, in which two entirely separate world-building capabilities were developed.
It should be noted that Andrew is here suggesting that the ability of the brain to build the consensus world and its ability to build the DMT World developed concurrently. Andrew then continues:
Perhaps, however, in order to cement the human species more firmly in the consensus world, the DMT-secreting ability of the brain was gradually lost and only serotonin remained. As a consequence, all knowledge of the other reality was eventually forgotten.

I now give my reason for thinking that this is not correct. According to the received account of organic evolution, new features develop in a species because they increase the chance of survival to reproductive age of members of that species. Clearly the ability of the brain of any mammalian species to build the world it lives in, that is, the world in which it acts, eats and reproduces, is something that has value both for the individual and for the species. Thus we can understand the evolution of the consensus world–building capabilities of the brain as being driven by extrinsic sensory data from the natural world. Andrew describes this well in an article published in 2014 entitled “DMT and the Topology of Reality” [11], where he says:

As patterns of sensory data are sampled from the environment, they activate specific column populations and the connections between them are strengthened, whilst others may be weakened. Over time, those patterns of connectivity that are most adaptive to survival (i.e. that generate useful models of the worlds) are selected and the brain gradually develops the ability to generate a stable, predictable and, most importantly, adaptive model of the world.

However, it is not clear why the evolving brain should develop a second and alternate world-building capability, and in particular, why the evolution of a brain capable of building the world of the DMT entities would have survival value for our ancestors. What our ancestors needed was a way to represent the natural world so as to clue them to opportunities for food and mating and to warn them of dangers, such as, an awareness of ... large animal with teeth approaching from the left. Voyagers into the DMT World do not find anything which gives them immediate information about their situation in the natural world, and indeed they may become entirely unaware of their body. So it seems doubtful that the ability of the human brain to build the DMT World would have come about as a result of its survival value.

Thus I suggest an alternative view of why this ability exists in the human brain, as I'll now explain. Here I revert to a “metaphysical” mode, since I am speaking of what has not been established by observation but is put forward as part of the metaphysical framework that I am proposing for understanding what the DMT entities are.

I suggest that an intelligent being in the DMT World, which is a “soul” in the sense discussed above in connection with Origen's cosmology, may be born in a human body, and that in fact most of us were once souls inhabiting the DMT World who have been incarnated in this way. {7} To examine this idea further we should first consider the development of the brain of the foetus during its time in the womb.

Scientists who have studied this development have discovered an amazingly complex process in which cells of the primitive ectoderm differentiate into cells which migrate and form a pathway for the migration of other cells arriving later which will become neurons. This process is described well by an American professor of Neurobiology, Dr Arnold Scheibel, in an article entitled “Embryological Development of the Human Brain”[12]. In that article he says:

Another curious mechanism which seems to be involved in cortical development, is the stratagem of developing temporary connections or holding patterns for incoming, cortex-bound fibers until the proper target cells are available for them. A large number of significant fiber connections from structures below the cerebral cortex, particularly in the thalamus, begin to grow into the primitive cortex ... before the nerve cells have been able to migrate into their proper layers to receive them. Without target cells, such fibers would turn away or wither. To avoid this, groups of special “decoy” cells are quickly sent into position before the main migrations begin. ... The elaborate ensembles of neurons, their dendritic branches, and their projective axons communicate via a myriad of connections known as synapses. ... Tens of thousands of synapses may cover the dendrites and cell body surface of a single neuron. ... The process of synapse formation probably starts in the mid or late second trimester ...

I quote this passage partly to illustrate the fact that highly complex processes underlie the development of the foetal brain, but also to establish that sometime in the 2nd trimester the foetal brain has become sufficiently organized and complex for a thalamocortical system to emerge. If Andrew is to be believed then at this point the foetal brain is capable of building a world. I suggest that it does so, and that the world it builds is the DMT World. I suggest also that the foetus is conscious of this world, and remains so for the remainder of its time in the womb, and intermittently for some considerable time after birth.

That humans were once conscious beings in the DMT World explains the fact that many voyagers into the DMT World feel a sense of familiarity with it, and feel that they have been there before, and it sometimes appears that the DMT entities are welcoming them back home.

This leads to a problem: The DMT entity is conscious of being in the DMT World. After the 2nd trimester the foetus is conscious of the DMT World also, since that world is built by the thalomocortical system of the foetal brain, presumably with DMT as the neuromodulator. How does this transition of consciousness occur? In other words, when and how does the consciousness of the DMT entity become the consciousness of the foetus?

The answer is that, as said before, DMT entities have bodies just as we humans have bodies, although their bodies are rather different from ours. The brain of the DMT entity builds the DMT World that it experiences just as the brain of the foetus, after birth, will eventually build the consensus reality that it will predominantly experience. The consciousness of the DMT entity becomes the consciousness of the foetus, and eventually of the resulting human, by a transition from world-building in the brain of the DMT entity to world-building in the brain of the foetus. The same world is built in each case, so the transition of the consciousness of the DMT entity to that of the foetus is not a great leap. {17}

According to the view I am suggesting, the ability of the foetal human brain to build the DMT World occurs before the ability to build the consensus world. The former occurs before birth while the latter occurs only after birth. During the first year of a baby's life and in response to input from sense organs, serotonin replaces DMT as the dominant neuromodulator and the capability to build the consensus world gradually develops under its influence.

The view I have developed here is, of course, completely contrary to that of those physicalist philosophers who claim, with Thomas Metzinger, that “consciousness is part of the physical universe”, and that neural activity of a sufficiently complex sort automatically produces consciousness. In his book The Ego Tunnel[13] Metzinger writes:

One way of looking at the Ego Tunnel is as a complex property of the global neural correlate of consciousness ... [which] is that set of neurofunctional properties in your brain sufficient to bring about a conscious experience.

But neither Metzinger nor any other physicalist philosopher can explain how neural activity can “bring about” a conscious experience. They assume that it “just happens”, and implicity assume that a miracle occurs. They have no explanation for this, and so they simply adopt this assumption uncritically as an article of faith. {2}

The neuroscientist's knowledge of the brain depends on two things. Firstly, perception of the brain and perception of pointers and digital read-outs provided by the instruments that neuroscientists use to study brain activity. Secondly, thinking about this information, and in particular the formulation of testable hypotheses to make these observations comprehensible in terms of a theory of brain activity. Both this perceiving and this thinking are conscious activities. They do not produce knowledge of the brain as it is in itself, but rather allow neuroscientists to construct a detailed model of the brain, one that posits, for example, the functioning of a corticothalamic system able to “build a world”.

So when a philosopher asks, what is the relationship between consciousness and neural activity, he is actually asking what is the relationship between consciousness and an intellectual model, in this case, a model of brain activity. But his intellectual model is part of his own consciousness. Those philosophers who assert that consciousness is a product of neural activity are thus claiming that consciousness is a product of something which only came about and which only exists as a content of consciousness. Thus they are trying to explain the whole in terms of a part of that whole, which is absurd.

We can now better appreciate the profundity of Blake's aphorism, already quoted: “Man has no Body distinct from his Soul. For that called Body is a portion of Soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age.” This is about as clear a statement as you can get that what materialists think of as “the body” is a fictional construct built from experiences provided mainly by our senses of sight, hearing and touch. There is thus no “mind-body problem” because the problem presupposes a separation between mind and body, whereas in fact body is a part of mind.

However, we can still ask why there are observable correlations between consciousness and neural activity. The short answer is that we have no answer, because we don't know what the brain of a human really is, just as we don't know what any perceptual object really is. When we see a table we think we know what it is, namely, pieces of wood joined together, with that wood being composed of fibers, themselves consisting of atoms, which consist of sub-atomic particles. But, as quantum physicists now tell us, when we examine those sub-atomic particles they disappear into mathematical abstractions. Thus we don't know what a table really is. The natural world as it appears to us is just that, an appearance, and currently we have no idea of what it is in itself. And in fact it may not make any sense to ask what it is “in itself”. So although we can study brain activity and, as neuroscientists say, “the neural correlates of consciousness”, we can never thereby find a cause of consciousness.

As is well-known, the 18th Century German philosopher Immanuel Kant distinguished between the phenomenal world, the world of appearances of things, and the noumenal world, the world of things-in-themselves. Andrew Gallimore uses this distinction in his article mentioned previously, entitled “DMT and the Topology of Reality”[14], where he says:

The only world we can ever experience is the phenomenal world — the world that appears to consciousness. As far as we know, the phenomenal world ... never reaches out and touches the noumenal world ... Consensus reality is very much a functional reality, a phenomenal reality model that the brain has evolved to facilitate its survival in the noumenal world.

I agree with this statement except for the reference to “the noumenal world”, where this apparently is meant to be understood as a “world” somehow “beyond the appearances”, and which is equated with the natural world “in itself”. However, a “world” is not something which is independent of observers and in which observers exist. Rather, a world is the set of appearances of a world to the observers of that world. There is no “world” which is something “beyond the appearances”. {15} Whatever it is that informs our senses, which Andrew calls “extrinsic sensory data”, and which I suggest derives ultimately from the creative power of the Primordial Mind, is not directly knowable by us. All we can do is to build conceptual models of parts of it. So it is with any world, including the world of the DMT entities (except that they may have a better understanding of this than we have).

Now we come to the question, “Can a robot be conscious?”

This question is very relevant to developments in contemporary society, because some people, especially those who work in the field of robotics, suggest that it is just a matter of a few decades before we have robots who are conscious, just as humans are.

Designers of robots which are intended to behave as humans do, aim to provide the robot with a model of “reality” which is, as far as possible, the same as the model of consensus reality that adult humans possess by virtue of the world-building ability of their brains. This model is a model of a world in time and in 3-dimensional space, containing enduring objects with spatial relations to each other, one of those objects being the robot itself — or rather the robot's representation of itself within the model.

The robot designers may succeed in this. But this does not mean that such a robot is conscious. Philosophers such as Thomas Metzinger assume that a robot which possess such a model is somehow automatically conscious, an assumption which is entirely unjustified.

As stated above, a human is conscious because at the foetal stage, in the womb, the consciousness of a DMT entity was transferred to the consciousness of the foetus. This transference was made possible by a merging of world-building in the brain of the DMT entity with world-building in the brain of the foetus, the world in both cases being the same, namely, the DMT World. Humans are conscious beings because the foetal brain acquires the ability to build the DMT World thus allowing the consciousness of a DMT entity to become the consciousness of the foetus, and eventually the consciousness of the human being which develops from that foetus. But robot designers, even if aware of the DMT World, have no way to provide a robot with the ability to build that world. Thus there is no way for the consciousness of a DMT entity to become the consciousness of a robot, and so a robot can never be conscious.

However, this does not exclude the possibility that a robot may appear to humans to be conscious. Robot designers may well succeed in creating robots which mimic the behavior of humans so well, including their linguistic behavior, that gullible humans will believe that those robots are conscious. So before long we may have a society in which most humans believe they interact socially with robots who are conscious, and thus they will naturally accord them the dignity and rights we naturally accord to humans, even though there will be not a trace of consciousness in those robots. {11}

Finally we come to the third classical philosophical question, “Why are we here?”

There is a reason for a DMT entity to become incarnate as a human being, as follows: From the fundamental reality, that is, the Primordial Mind, emanate multiple worlds. Recall that a world is the totality of appearances of a world to a community of souls. The communities of souls which emanate from the Primordial Mind, and thus their worlds, are many and diverse. One among these worlds is the DMT World, and there may be many other worlds. Within them are many souls, engaged in activities of which we, at present, know almost nothing. These worlds form a spiritual hierarchy, with greater spiritual awareness being possessed by those individuals inhabiting a world or level of being closer to the Primordial Mind.

Many of the beings in these worlds aspire to a higher spiritual awareness. However, an advance to a higher world cannot be made at will (otherwise most of the beings in the lower worlds would already have migrated to the higher worlds). This advance can only be achieved on the basis of merit, that is, worthiness, which is of an ethical and intellectual nature. And the best, and perhaps only way, to attain this merit is to undergo a descent into the natural world in which we humans live, and over the course of several decades of our time, deepen their understanding of the hierarchy of spiritual worlds and — most importantly — acquire a greater moral awareness than that with which they arrived, and demonstrate this in their lives and actions toward other humans and toward all living beings.

Thus according to this view there is evil in our world because only in a world where evil exists is it possible to oppose evil and to strive to do good, thereby acquiring (or adding to) the merit required to qualify for an advance to a higher spiritual world after death. {4}

A similar view was put forward in the 2nd Century by the early Church Father Irenaeus as a solution to the so-called “problem of evil”. That problem was to explain how a creator of the world who was all-powerful, all-knowing and all-beneficent could allow evil to exist. Irenaeus taught that God created a world in which humans would be forced to choose between good and evil actions, and that only in this way could they mature in a moral sense. A similar but more complex doctrine was taught by his successor Origen, who held, as already mentioned, that God initially created a great number of spiritual intelligences, some of whom, when they grew bored with contemplating the Divine, became souls who were born into our world, which, according to Origen, is one stage in a cosmic process of redemption, in which all the fallen souls will eventually regain their original close proximity to God. {18}

When a human dies, their consciousness is freed from the limited awareness of an incarnate being. If that human was previously an entity in the DMT World prior to incarnation then, as death approaches, it again becomes conscious of the DMT World, and upon death its consciousness reverts to the consciousness of that DMT entity, but modified by the experiences of a lifetime in this world. That DMT entity may awaken from this life to find itself back where it came from, or if its actions in the earthly life merit advancement it may find itself in a higher world, or if its actions were evil it may find itself in a place of retribution. {23}

The early 20th Century anthropologist Walter Evans-Wentz studied Celtic mythology and folklore in Ireland, publishing his findings in 1911 in a book entitled The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries. In my 1993 article on “Apparent Communication with Discarnate Entities” I quoted one of Evans-Wentz's informants[15], and I'll end this talk by doing so again:

In whatever country we may be, I believe that we are forever immersed in the spiritual world; but most of us cannot perceive it on account of the unrefined nature of our physical bodies. Through meditation and psychical training one can come to see the spiritual world and its beings. We pass into the spirit realm at death and we come back into the human world at birth; and we continue to reincarnate until we have overcome all earthly desires and mortal appetites. Then the higher life is open to our consciousness and we cease to be human; we become divine beings.

I thank you all for listening patiently to this talk, and I wish you all the best in your ongoing spiritual journey.

Supplementary Notes

{1} In his devastating critique of physicalism, “Consciousness: Why Materialism Fails” [17], Larry Dossey defines it simply as

the doctrine that the real world consists simply of the physical world. Its close cousin is materialism, the creed that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications, as well as the doctrine that consciousness and will are wholly due to material agency. These terms are often used interchangeably.
Note that Dossey refers to physicalism and materialism as a "doctrine" and a "creed", that is, something taught and believed. Although physicalism is the orthodox view among scientists, it is not scientific, because it is not based on observation, experimentation or reason — it is simply a claim whose dogmatic assertion is based on concerns quite different from the scientific quest for truth.

{2} Dossey op.cit. quotes fourteen leading scientists who affirm that we have no idea how the brain could generate consciousness, including the following:

We can admittedly find nothing in physics or chemistry that has even a remote bearing on consciousness ... (Physicist Niels Bohr, [18])
It will always be quite impossible to explain the mind on the basis of neuronal action within the brain ... Although the content of consciousness depends in large measure on neuronal activity, awareness itself does not ... (Neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield, [19])
We have no clear idea how the electrical discharges occurring nerve cells in our brains are connected with our feelings and desires and actions. (Physicist Freeman J. Dyson, [20])
We have at present not even the vaguest idea how to connect the physio-chemical processes [occurring in the brain] with the state of mind. (Physicist Eugene P. Wigner, [21])
Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious. Nobody even knows what it would be like to have the slightest idea about how anything material could be conscious. (Philosopher Jerry A. Fodor, [22])

{3} Dossey quotes neurophysiologist Sir John Eccles saying that "Promissory materialism" (the materialist doctrine accompanied by the promise that soon neuroscientists will be able to give a completely physical explanation of consciousness) is

a superstition without a rational foundation.  Promissory materialism is simply a religious belief held by dogmatic materialists ... who confuse their religion with their science. It has all the features of a messianic prophecy ..."[23]

{4} Dossey remarks in [24] that

Many physicalist skeptics consider the idea of survival of bodily death so dangerous that it must be put down at all costs. These efforts shade into a deliberate cover-up that masquerades as an effort to protect science.

{5} Terence McKenna's eloquent (often bordering on mesmerizing) talks in Berkeley, California, revealed publicly for the first time that there is an alternative reality teeming with discarnate intelligent entities, and that this other reality is accessible simply by the act of smoking DMT. He spoke not only of the tryptamine psychedelics but also of the evolution of the human species and the pernicious presence of a dominator elite in modern society. Although his thought is accessible in several published books it is much better to listen to the audio tapes made of his talks, many of which are still available from Sound Photosynthesis [25].

{6} These answers are implicit in the education that children and adolescents in the West receive during their years in school, and people whose minds are conditioned by their schooling may find these answers satisfactory, if they think about them at all. But others, who have thought about them, or who have been subjected to religious rather than secular indoctrination, may find them less than satisfactory, primarily because a consequence of this physicalist view of the world is that each person is nothing more than an animal whose values are illusory, whose goals are mere fantasies, whose decisions are inconsequential, whose life is basically meaningless and whose consciousness will be annihilated at death.

{7} Regarding the use of the word “soul” see the following note.

{8} Some readers may dislike the use of the word "soul" and regard it as a theologically loaded term closely associated with the Christian religion, which these days many people hold in low esteem. But its use is justified provided the concept of soul is equated with the concept of a single consciousness with sense of self. If one can learn (if need be) not to bring to the term any unnecessary religious baggage (despite the fact that in this essay I speak of souls in the sense of Origen, that is, as emanating from the Primordial Mind, or — if you prefer — as having been created by “God” — Christian, Neoplatonic or some other) then it is simply too useful a term to reject. And we do not need to apologize for its association with spirituality (as distinct from religion), since the metaphysical framework put forward in this essay is definitely a spiritual one, affirming as it does the existence of a spiritual world beyond the material one.

{9} Souls should not be thought of as totally separate individual consciousnesses, since all of them emanate from the Universal Consciousness {21} (the first hypostasis of the Primordial Mind) and thus have a common origin and basis. An analogy often stated is with islands in a sea which are all joined at the sea floor. The world which appears to a soul includes the appearances of bodies of other souls and also the appearances of its own body. All these appearances (and all appearances constituting the world in which the soul resides) are coordinated and integrated by some logic (which in our natural world is known as the laws of physics) whose origin is the Original Energy {21} (and thus the Primordial Mind).

{10} Thomas Metzinger is a philosopher who espouses physicalism but in a far more intelligent manner than a physicalist such as Daniel Dennett. Metzinger's The Ego Tunnel is a book well worth reading, mainly for its exposition of the concept of building a world. However he is not above espousing the ridiculous claim (first put forward by biologist Francis Crick) that dreams are the product of random firing of neurons while we sleep, and are inherently meaningless, despite the fact that he recounts several of his own dreams which are so bizarre (or artistic) that they could never have been produced by random firing of neurons. For a theory of dreams as being the experience accompanying a process of long-term memory formation see Eric Wargo [27].

{11} This point has been made well by Eric Wargo [28] who foresees a

political conflict ... between those who are prepared to attribute humanlike sentience to computers that act intelligently and those who ... resist making such an attribution. ... It will seem to Fundamentalist Humanists [that is, those who believe in the primacy of subjective experience] that the fate of humanity is at stake ... in what kind of status, rights and authority people freely give to unfeeling machines and, by extension, to those machines' creators. Is it possible to be supplanted, destroyed, or enslaved by a machine that is not perceived as actually having a “soul”? I suspect the impulse to resist such attributions may go a long way toward protecting us from some dire future involving uppity technology. ... While everyone else is focused on the machines and what they can (or can't) do, the Fundamentalists will discern that it is the machines' human builders and masters ... who remain the real threat to our freedom and our future.

{12} There are varieties of mystical experience. Meister Eckhart's experience of die Gottheit as something beyond God and as devoid of any object (he likens it to a desert) is one. There is also what has been called “nature mysticism”. Doris Lessing describes such an experience in her novel Martha Quest. The 16-year-old Martha is walking along an isolated road in the Southern African countryside ...

The bush lay quiet about her ...and she stood quite still, waiting for the moment, which was now inevitable. ... Suddenly the feeling deepened, and as it did so she knew she had forgotten, as always, that what she had been waiting for like a revelation, was a pain, not a happiness; what she remembered, always, was the exultation and the achievement, what she forgot was this difficult birth into a state of mind which words like ecstasy, illumination, and so on could not describe, because they suggest joy. ... There was certainly a definite point at which the thing began. It was not; then it was suddenly inescapable ... There was a slow integration, during which she, and the little animals, and the moving grasses, and the sunwarmed trees, and the slopes of shivering silvery mealies [maize plants], and the great dome of blue light overhead, and the stones of earth under her feet, became one, shuddering together in a dissolution of dancing atoms. She felt the rivers under the ground forcing themselves painfully along her veins, swelling them out in an unbearable pressure; her flesh was the earth, and suffered growth like a ferment, and her eyes stared, fixed like the eye of the sun. ... Not for one second longer (if the terms for time apply) could she have borne it; but then ... the whole process stopped; and that was 'the moment' which it was impossible to remember afterwards. For during that space of time (which was timeless) she understood quite finally her smallness, the unimportance of humanity.  ... What was demanded of her was that she should accept something quite different; it was as if something new was demanding conception, with her flesh as host; as if it were a necessity, which she must bring herself to accept, that she should allow herself to dissolve and be formed by that necessity. But it did not last; the force desisted, and left her standing on the road, already trying to reach out after 'the moment' so that she might retain its message from the wasting and creating chaos of darkness.  ... There had been a challenge that she had refused.  There had been no ecstasy, only difficult knowledge.
Briefly Martha transcended her everyday self-consciousness and became part of a larger self-consciousness aware of that part of the natural world in which she existed — the animals, the grasses, the trees, the sky and the sun. Why not, then, an even larger self-consciousness, perhaps of the Earth itself (Gaia). Perhaps even of the entire natural world. As Spinoza said, Nature and God are not different.

Concerning the history of mysticism see [29].

{13} Or more exactly, space and time are not themselves appearances but rather are inseparable from appearances of a world and have no existence except as inseparable from such appearances to conscious beings. In his Critique of Pure Reason (A24/B38-9) Kant says:

Space is a necessary a priori representation that underlies all outer intuitions.  ... It must therefore be regarded as the condition of the possibility of appearances, and not as a determination dependent upon them, and it is an a priori representation that necessarily underlies outer appearances.
Time, like space, is an indispensable part of our experience of the physical world. To suppose there could be a time or a space which is not part of the experience of a conscious being is to assert the possible existence of something whose existence could never be known.

{14} Exponents of the teachings of Plotinus generally agree that the principal component of the divine triad is termed “the One”, but they differ on how the other two components (termed hypostases) are named. The first hypostasis is variously termed Demiurge (from Plato), Intellect, Intelligence, Nous or the Good. From this emanates the second hypostasis, usually called Soul or World-Soul. The Nous is of an intellectual nature (containing the archetypes of everything possible) whereas the World-Soul is concerned with manifestation — the phenomenal world (or worlds) — what can appear to conscious beings (or souls). In Christian doctrine the term Logos (deriving from Heraclitus and later given prominence by Philo of Alexandria and by John the Evangelist) is often identified with the second person of the Christian trinity (Christ) and is thus analogous to the Nous.

Some people in the West who eschew 'religion' but are attracted to 'spirituality' may feel a certain discomfort as regards whether they “believe in God", since the word “God” in the West is understood by most people as the Christian God of the New Testament (which is not the God of the Old Testament, whose jealous, wrathful and vindictive personality is entirely contrary to that of the “Father” as spoken of by Jesus according to the apostles). According to Christianity (as defined in the Nicene Creed[33]) God sent “Lord Jesus Christ, [His] only-begotten Son ... who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven ...” This is no part of Neoplatonic doctrine (not to mention the stories about “Adam and Eve” and — worse — “Original Sin”).

Thus the “God” of Neoplatonism is not the “God” of Christianity (although Origen attempted to meld them). The “God” of Neoplatonism is “the Good”, or rather the source of all goodness. It is also the source of all truth and beauty. So someone whose spiritual view is more akin to Neoplatonism than to Christianity can say, instead of “I believe in God", rather “I believe in the Source of all goodness, the Source of all truth and the Source of all beauty; the Good, the True and the Beautiful are my God, and none other." Of course, Christians can also say (and some do) that they believe in the Source of all beauty, truth and goodness, but this belief is associated with much other belief about salvation via faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer of our sins, a doctrine not found in Neoplatonism.

{15} Astute readers familiar with Western philosophy will note the similarity of this view to the immaterialism of Bishop Berkeley. There is no such thing as matter because what appears to us as material objects are simply appearances, that is, appearances in the awareness of a conscious being.

{16} Some interpretations of Origen's teachings seem to result from a projection onto his teachings of dogmata concerning sin and grace which were promulgated as a result of several Church Councils occurring centuries after his time. Some intepreters, influenced perhaps by a Christian education portray (a) the falling of souls away from God as due to 'sin', (b) their becoming clothed in bodies as both punishment and (re)education and (c) the return toward God as possible only via divine grace.

{17} Since we normally think of the foetus as an object in ordinary space and time, we are inclined to view this transition of consciousness as occurring in ordinary space and time. But this is not so, because consciousness itself is not in ordinary space and time. Recent research has demonstrated the reality of clairvoyance, precognition and psychokinesis, showing that these phenomena exhibit non-locality, that is,

They are unmediated (no connecting signal is involved), unmitigated (the strength of the correlations do not fade with increasing distance), and immediate (they are instantaneous). ... There are compelling scientific, historic, and experiential reasons for believing that consciousness behaves nonlocally in space and time — that it is spatially unconfinable to brains and bodies, and that it is temporally unconfinable to the present. The evidence suggests that space and time are simply not applicable to certain operations of consciousness. This evidence overwhelmingly suggests that consciousness is both trans-spatial and trans-temporal, that it is not in space and time. (Dossey, [26])
Thus the transition of the consciousness of a DMT entity to the consciousness of a foetus is something that does not (as we might suppose) occur in space and time but rather occurs in some manner outside of space and time as we ordinarily think of them. How this happens is, of course, currently a mystery, due to our ignorance of what ordinary and non-ordinary space and time are. Probably our ignorance will not be removed until we can discuss this subject with the DMT entities themselves. This possibility may be realized in the near future.

{18} This process of the restoration and reunion of all souls with God is known at the apokatastasis, one of the most important concepts in Origen's teachings. Since it required, for each soul, more than one bodily life, Origen taught that souls incarnate many times. This doctrine of reincarnation is not consistent with what Paul of Tarsus asserted (in his letters reproduced in the New Testament), namely, that upon death one's body will (somehow) be preserved until, at the end of the world, it is resurrected and reanimated by one's soul (which in the meantime has presumably been sojourning in some spiritual realm) prior to heavenly judgement. For dissenting from Paul's view Origen was posthumously condemned at the Second Council of Constantinople in the mid-5th Century, along with his teachings, thus impoverishing Christian doctrine (both Catholic and Orthodox) forever.

{19} The Primordial Mind is pure Awareness without awareness of anything, not even of itself (see [30]). It has two hypostases, one personal and one impersonal. From the Primordial Mind emanates (a) the personal Original (or Universal, Cosmic or Christ) Consciousness and (b) the impersonal Original (or Universal or Cosmic) Energy. The former is characterized by self-awareness, intelligence, knowledge, love, compassion and wisdom (and in fact is the fundamental source of all these). All forms of consciousness other than the Original Consciousness (that is, all souls) are limitations (or restrictions) of the Original Consciousness (and thus essentially are identical with the Primordial Mind). As regards the Original Energy (which is known, obscurely, to modern physics indirectly via the concept of energy), this is what provides coherence and consistency to what appears to souls as external to themselves, and manifests itself to humans (and to all animals) as the natural world, or Nature. Since the Original Energy is a hypostasis of the Primordial Mind, it too possesses awareness, but not in the same way (self-awareness) as the Original Consciousness. The two hypostases could be likened to purusha and prakriti in Hindu Samkhya, or yin and yang in Taoism, or prajna and upaya in Buddhism.

{20} No member of the Divine Triad — Primordial Mind, Original Consciousness and Original Energy — exists in any space or time. The Primordial Mind has no awareness of any particular object (see [31]) and thus is without awareness of any space or time. The concept of spatial or temporal consciousness is available to us only as qualities of our own experience and cannot be attributed to the Original Consciousness. As for the Original Energy it is what makes possible the spatial and temporal qualities of our experience and so is beyond space and time. There is no space or time other than the space and time of some world, and a world is the totality of appearances of a world to a community of souls. Space and time are thus appearances and have no existence except as appearances to conscious beings. {13}

Four-dimensional space-time, as first suggested by Minkowski and used by Einstein in his special relativity theory, exists only as a mathematical construction which enables physicists and astronomers to model the physical world accurately (moreso than the model of 3-d space and 1-d time used in Newtonian physics) and thereby to make very accurate predictions (confirmed by observation). Its usefulness does not imply that it exists as something in itself, beyond appearances.

{21} Regarding the Original Consciousness and the Original Energy, see {19}.

{22} Origin's characterization of souls as rational beings (logika) suggests that animals do not possess souls. However, it is obvious to anyone who cares to observe animals closely that they (or at least cats, dogs, rabbits, sheep, cows and other mammals) are conscious, are aware of their surroundings and of other animals, and have feelings (such as pain). It is consistent with Origen's teaching about the creation of souls to hold that all conscious beings, including animals, are souls created by God (or, if one prefers, are conscious beings which, like humans, are limited instantiations of the Original Consciousness), and as such should be seen as persons, with the same rights that we attribute to humans, including the right not to be exploited for the benefit of others.

{23} In his Magicians of the Gods[34] Graham Hancock briefly mentions the Egyptian concept of the Ka, describing it as “the 'double', the astral or spiritual essence of a person or thing. It existed with the human being during his or her mortal life but was 'the superior power in the realms beyond the grave.' Indeed, the term for death in the Ancient Egyptian language meant 'Going to one's Ka' ...”

Hancock quotes Margaret Bunson[35]:

The Ka entered eternity before its human host, having served its function by walking at the human's side to urge kindness, quietude, honour and compassion. Throughout the life of the human, the Ka was the conscience, the guardian, the guide. After death, however, the Ka became supreme ...
Is the Ka the DMT entity who becomes the human? Standard interpretations portray a person and that person's Ka as separate beings, but might they be thought of as different only because the Ka is the soul of the person which pre-existed in the DMT world and the person is the Ka which has become incarnate in our natural world?


[1] Peter Meyer, “Apparent Communication with Discarnate Entities Induced by Dimethyltryptamine”, Psychedelic Monographs and Essays, Volume Six, 1993

[2] Peter Meyer, “An Essay in the Philosophy of Social Science”

[3] Erwin Schrödinger, quoted in Walter Moore, A Life of Erwin Schrödinger, Cambridge U.P., 1994, p181.

[4] Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy,

[5] De principiis (On First Principles), [2.2.2],

[6] Meyer, “Apparent Communication”,

[7] Meyer, op.cit.,

[8] Andrew Gallimore, “Building Alien Worlds”, Journal of Scientific Exploration, 2013. Also available on a CD-ROM concerning Terence McKenna's TimewaveZero theory -- see

[9] Thomas Metzinger, The Ego Tunnel — The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self, Basic Books, 2009

[10] Gallimore, “Building Alien Worlds”

[11] Andrew Gallimore, “DMT and the Topology of Reality”

[12] Dr Arnold Scheibel, “Embryological Development of the Human Brain”

[13] Metzinger, op.cit.

[14] Andrew Gallimore, “DMT and the Topology of Reality”

[15] Meyer, op.cit.,

[16] “340 DMT Trip Reports, attesting to contact with apparently independently-existing intelligent entities within what seems to be an alternate reality”  Fifteen of these reports were also in a set of 187 DMT trip reports retrieved independently from Erowid, many of which also attest to such entities. And most of the subjects in Rick Strassman's 1990s study of i.v. administration of DMT reported contact with alien entities, as discussed in his book DMT: The Spirit Molecule.

[17] Larry Dossey, “Consciousness: Why Materialism Fails” The five references following are taken from this article.

[18] Quoted in Heisenberg W., Physics and Beyond (A.J. Pomerans, trans.), Harper and Row, 1971, pp88-91.

[19] Penfield W., The Mystery of the Mind: A Critical Study of Consciousness and the Human Brain, Princeton U.P., 1975, pp.79-81.

[20] Dyson F., “How we know”, The New York Review of Books, March 10, 2011, pp8-12.

[21] Wigner E.P., “Are We Machines?”, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 113, No. 2 (Apr. 17, 1969), pp. 95-101.

[22] Fodor J., “The big idea: Can there be a science of mind?”, Times Literary Supplement, July 3, 1992, pp.5-7.

[23] Eccles J, Robinson DN, The Wonder of Being Human, Shambhala, 1985, p36.

[24] Dossey, op.cit.

[25] Sound Photosynthesis Terence McKenna tapes and videos

[26] Dossey, op.cit., where references are given to recent research demonstrating the non-locality of consciousness.

[27] Eric Wargo, “Dreams and the Art of Memory: A New Hypothesis About Dream Bizarreness”

[28] Eric Wargo, “Mysterianism and the Question of Machine Sentience”

[29] Peter Bindon, FRC, "Mysticism in the Evolution of Cultures", in Neoplatonism (Rosicrucian Digest, Vol. 90, No. 1), 2012.

[30] Nisargadatta's Difference Between Consciousness & Awareness  (Archived here.)

[31] The Philosophy of Consciousness Without an Object

[32] The Tyringham Initiative

[33] The Nicene Creed

[34] Graham Hancock, Magicians of the Gods: The Forgotten Wisdom of Earth's Lost Civilization, St. Martin's Press, 2015, p.175

[35] Margaret Bunson, The Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Facts on File, New York, Oxford, 1991, p.130

[36] Entheogenic Plant Sentience Symposium, Tyringham Initiative, 2015

Top of page Supplementary Notes 340 DMT Trip Reports Serendipity Home Page