And why are they so important?
An introduction by James Oroc, 1/11/11
This web-site is dedicated to the only two known endogenous entheogens, Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and 5-Methoxy-Dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT).
These two compounds are of unique interest to humanity for a number of extraordinary reasons probably the best-known being the simple fact that they are the most powerful of the known natural psychedelics. Found in the leaves, roots, and bark of a wide variety of trees, plants, and grasses, (and in the case of 5-MeO-DMT, also in the venom of the Bufo Alvarius or Sonaran Desert Toad), both DMT and 5-MeO-DMT have been utilized by Amazonian shamans for at least three thousand years in a wide-variety of sacred methods including snuffs and the now-legendary jungle brew most widely known as ayahuasca.
DMT and 5-MeO-DMT both have the reputation of being so powerful that when snuffed, drank, or in these modern times, smoked, they can produce a myriad of near magical effects, including the classical shamanic death-and-rebirth, and the ultimate mystical realization of Union-with-God. Psychedelic compounds this powerful are now often classified as entheogens a term which means 'God-generated-within' - in an attempt to recognize the often spiritual or even mystical nature of the experience they produce.
DMT can create extraordinary visual tapestries that seem to be able to mine the entire mythos of the Collective Unconsciousness, while 5-MeO-DMT allows for an out-of-body experience that can result in a singular resonance with The Void, which like so many mystics before, many users often identify as The Source of All Things. Both compounds are capable of producing intense intuitions about the sacred unity of all life, and even the transpersonal experience itself, where one actually feels the connectivity of all things and experiences a state most commonly described as Oneness. Both compounds have been known to produce genuine religious conversions, even converting hardened atheists to a more spiritual interpretation of Life. Because of its similarity to the near-death experience, 5-MeO-DMT has proven useful for easing the suffering of people dying of terminal illnesses, and also has a reputation of being able to break addictive patterns.
Within the psychedelic community itself these two compounds now have an almost mythical status thanks to both the advocacy of Terence McKenna and the scholarship of Alexander Shulgin, and more recently, the publication of simple extraction recipes on the Internet, coupled with the enthusiasm of today's crop of psychedelic authors such as Rick Strassman, Daniel Pinchbeck, Martin Ball, and myself. Due to the intense and often fantastical visions that DMT creates it has been particularly influential with visual artists such as painters and video artists. The art, music, and video forms being produced by this neo-tribe of artists influenced by DMT and other psychedelic compounds is known as Visionary Art or Visionary Culture, and is at the heart of a now global web of psychedelic influenced electronic music, performance, and art festivals with illustrious names like Burning Man, BOOM! (Portugal), Symbiosis, Lightning-In-A-Bottle, the Rainbow Serpent Festival (Australia), Moksha, and Alchemeyez.
But as extraordinary as the effects of DMT and 5-MeO-DMT may be, as fascinating their history with humanity, or as influential their role may be in our spirituality or art, the most extraordinary fact about DMT and 5-MeO-DMT is the fact that they are both endogenous, and are in fact the only endogenous entheogens we know of. Endogenous means that a compound is found and produced within the human body itself; Serotonin is another endogenous tryptamine natural to our bodies and brains, just as DMT and 5-MeO-DMT have been discovered to be. But what makes both DMT and 5-MeO-DMT so unique is that they are the only endogenous entheogens compounds that can invoke a mystical experience and are in fact two of the most powerful entheogens we have ever discovered.
One would think that the discovery in the early 1970s of the two compounds most known to be capable of invoking a mystical experience naturally within the human physiology would have been the cause the cause of tremendous scientific and social excitement, since such a discovery could obviously have potentially extraordinary implications upon the age-old search for the source of Human Spirituality; these two compounds may well be the link to that Source itself. But thanks to the draconian world-wide laws imposed against virtually all psychedelic compounds at around the same time (1971) there has been a virtual ban on research on the endogenous tryptamines (or any other psychedelics) in the United States since then. DMT and 5-MeO-DMT are now both highly illegal Schedule 1 drugs in most countries, the possession of which could result in lengthy jail time even though we all possess both DMT and 5-MeO-DMT that is produced naturally from some where within our own bodies.
This website was created to collate and share what is known and what has been speculated about DMT and 5-MeO-DMT, in the hope that our Society can realize how important these two extraordinary compounds may be to both understanding ourselves, and our relationship with the spiritual dimension within Life itself. It is intended as a web-companion to my book also titled Tryptamine Palace: 5-MeO-DMT and the Sonoran Desert Toad: A Journey from Burning Man to the Akashic Field. (2009). I realized upon completion of that book in 2009 that after 6 years of research into the endogenous tryptamines I had a lot of information that I had gathered (and especially on DMT) that did not fit within the parameters of that book itself. And now, thanks to the publication of Tryptamine Palace to a global audience, even more information continues to pour in, and my own theories and intuitions continue to develop as I have been fortunate to travel and speak about my book and my experiences around the world.
I have thus created this related website and blog in an attempt to share my own ever evolving view of both the mighty Tryptamine Universe and the emerging global Visionary Culture that it is inspiring. It is also my hope that this web site will help to separate some of the facts from the rampant speculation that is unfortunately most common. I hope the information you find within this endeavor both resonates within you, and is of some value in your own journey life, for regardless of your position on the Drug Laws or your personal experience with psychedelics, if you simply consider the facts, personal accounts, and tremendous art that you will find within this website, it is hard to argue that there are many things more capable of putting some Mystery back in the world then the remarkable endogenous entheogens, DMT and 5-MeO-DMT.
In 1956, Humphry Osmond derived the term 'psychedelic' from the Greek words (psyche, "soul") and (delein, "to manifest"), translating the new word to mean "mind-manifesting". He created this new word in an attempt to differentiate the experiences of certain compounds that he believed were being insufficiently classified by the psychiatric community as 'hallucinogens'. Many of today's researchers, writers, and psychonauts, now prefer the term 'entheogen' over the term 'psychedelic' as way of further differentiating the unique and sacred properties of certain fascinating compounds that can induce a lasting sense of spirituality, or even the mystical experience of union-with-god itself.
Creating a new term is obviously easier than assuring its definition, an anomaly that Humphry Osmond undoubtedly realized when the word 'psychedelic' left the confines of the psychiatric community and over the following decade took on a life of it's own. The definition of what compounds should be classified as 'entheogens' remains at large up to the discretion of the user, since it can be applied to compounds that are capable of inducing out-of-body mystical experiences, such as DMT and 5-MeO-DMT, more broadly as compounds that promote a heightened sense of awareness or 'love' such as MDMA, or even compounds that are used in a spiritual context or ceremony, such as cannabis. The majority of the compounds classified as 'entheogens' belong to the tryptamine family or are closely related to it, and include DMT (di-methyl- tryptamine), 5-MeO-DMT, DIPT, psilocybin, and LSD.
While an entheogen can be entirely created (such as LSD or 2CB) or synthesized (DMT and 5-MeO-DMT) in a laboratory, and are sometimes packaged as 'research chemicals' (AMT, DIPT, etc), many entheogens also occur naturally and have been utilized by human beings for centuries in numerous inventive ways. (Rain-deer urine leaps to mind). The natural tryptamine-containing entheogens can be eaten directly, or as a tea ('magic mushrooms' - 4-HO-DMT), administered as snuffs of powdered barks (such as y-kee, y-to, and yopo, in Colombia, epna in Brazil and Venezuela, and paric and nyakwna in Brazil; 5-MeO-DMT, 5-HO-DMT, and DMT in varying degrees), as plant admixtures (brews like ayahuasca; DMT/and sometimes 5-MeO-DMT), or even by smoking dried Bufo alvarius toad venom (5-MeO-DMT).
The consumption of entheogens has been at the core of humanitys search for the sacred since the earliest days of our societies, and examples are abundant. Some 3,500 years ago the ancient Hindus worshipped a lost entheogen called Soma as if it was a God and created their greatest legacy (the Vedas) in tribute to it. Mescaline-containing Trichocereus cacti were used by the Chavin culture of Peru as long as 3000 years ago and continue to be used by the northern Peruvian shamans today. Psychoactive kykeon was drunk for the two thousand-year period of the Eleusinan Mysteries, which were considered to be the pinnacle of Greek civilization. Tryptamine snuffs have been used in South America and the Caribbean for at least 2000 years, although their origins, along with the origins of ayahuasca as well, now appear to be lost in the mists of time. Peyote has been used by the Mexican Native Americans for the past 400 years, and the Amanita muscaria in Siberia for the past 300 years. A wide variety of many additional visionary plants - Psilocybe mushrooms, morning glory seeds, Salvia divinorum, Cannabis, tobacco, Datura, and so on have been used ceremonially by other traditional peoples the world over.
~ James Oroc, Tryptamine Palace (2009)
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