‘Terra Incognita’ is the hidden landscape, that of the mind itself, one of the last unexplored frontiers. Current advances in neuroscience technology (MRI, EEG and QEEG) are becoming mainstream and applications for the gaming industry and neural entrainment are skyrocketing.
Using off the shelf, inexpensive technology scientists can now reliably document states of mind in the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Theta frequencies. These technologies produce data, but what are the applications? How do we navigate altered states? What commonalities are being reported in the landscapes of the mind? How do we languagize the subjective experience of the invisible landscape and anchor it into our understanding? How do we describe what mystics call the ‘Godhead’ and what psychology is calling the ‘non-dual’ state? How can group work and EEG entrainment devices lower the individual ego and create frameworks for deeper immersion into frequencies of consciousness that can be recorded and shared?
These are some of the questions we seek to answer. By using state of the art hardware and inducing various states of consciousness with entrainment, ethnobotany, yoga, meditation and energy work, we will be able to produce a large sample of ‘brain maps’ – profiles of brainwave activity tied to various states, and cross-reference these maps with analysis of the subjective experience.
We then intend to use these maps to better understand altered states: particularly the tryptamine experience, which neuroscience shows is central to consciousness itself. We will work with 5-MeO-DMT where it is legal in countries like Mexico, setting up each session as an experiment with concrete aims and objectives to measure the 5MEO state, and ensure our results are accurate and replicable in the scientific model.
Because our team is focusing on neuroscience technology with EEG and QEEG technologies, we seek to create ‘maps’ that can be culturally understood, shared and quantified. We seek to understand consciousness, and the energetic ecology we are embedded in. By utilizing objective science and exploring the subjective world of shamanic journeying with an anthropological foundation, we aim to push the boundaries of the known, and advance our worldview–and ourselves.
Dr Rick Strassman conducted the last legal tests into the tryptamine realm in 1995. Since then organizations like MAPS have been conducting legal trial research into psychoactive substances like LSD, MDMA and psilocybin to explore the thereuptical benefits. Dr. Juan Acosta and others have been conducting legal tests on subjects taking ayahuasca, Salvia Divinorum and 5-MeO-DMT in countries where these entheogens are legal for the past few years.
DMT (dimethyltrytamine and related tryptamines) occurs naturally in the human brain and can be induced endogenously. Studying the endogenous use of natural psychoactives in triggering altered states and exploring the realms they open up, is the obvious next step.
Moreover, many of the world’s cultures, religions and meditative modalities record use of psychoactive materials as part of their foundational platforms, from the somas in the Rig Vedas to DMT-containing acacias in the Middle East. Modalities like yoga containing asanas (body positions) mudras (hand gestures) and mantras (sound vibrations) seem especially resonant with the tryptamine space, and have been proven to be effacious in controlling, and navigating the experience.
Entheogens and yogic practice have a deep history and the connections and parallels between them will be rigorously explored and documented.
Shamanism exists across the globe in all cultures that have a connection to spirit. Often indigenous shamanism is assisted by plant-based entheogenic (‘invoking the divine within’) plant sacraments like ayahuasca, which contains the powerful psychedelic compound DMT (Dimethyltryptamine). Smokable DMT has also been growing in countercultural and neo-shamanic circles, as the West slowly engages with and integrates a return to a holistic worldview that includes hyperdimensional space.
While it’s function in the brain is not fully understood, DMT is produced endogenously in our brains and is found in throughout the animal and plant kingdoms. Its powerful psychedelic effects reliably cause ‘mystical experiences’, especially when imbibed from plants with high natural concentrations. Traditional and indigenous plant-based shamanism using DMT rich plants are not illegal in many parts of the world. It’s only when DMT is chemically extracted that it is considered illegal under the law. The mechanism of DMT is believed to be intimately connected to consciousness itself, where its similarity to the neurotransmitter serotonin allows it to bond to serotonin receptors in the brain and trigger hallucinogenic activity. Some researchers, like JC Callaway, of the department of Pharmaceutical chemistry at the university of Kuopio in Finland, believe it may be involved in producing the visual hallucinations we experience in dreaming.
Dr. Rick Strassman, who wrote the book DMT: The Spirit Molecule about his legal research with volunteers taking DMT at the university of new Mexico in the 1990s, also suggests that a surge of DMT is released from the pineal gland at peak experiences like birth, the point of death or a near death experience, which may also explain spontaneous “contact” experiences throughout the West, whether that be with angels or aliens. Drug information portal Erowid states the effects of smokable DMT include: ‘a powerful rushing sensation; a change in the perception of time; an experience of the “void”; profound life-changing spiritual experiences; internal visions; muscle jerking, twitching, abnormal vocalizations; sensual enhancement and occasional euphoria; fear, terror and panic; disassociation and even unconsciousness.
5-MeO-DMT engenders, unlike N,N-DMT, a full immersion into the non-dual or unity state of consciousness reported by meditators, mystics, and other shamanic practitioners in cultures all across the world. It is endogenous to the human brain, and present in other animals, plants and the Bufo Alvarius or Sonoran Desert toad.