Do you know of any of the specific differences between smoking DMT and drinking ayuhausca? (i.e., why are there different experiences?).
The rate at which dimethyltryptamine transcends the blood-brain barrier is faster when smoking the pure extract, and thus the exact neurochemical reaction is different from orally ingesting the stuff. The uptake may be entirely different, and not dependent on rate. There's probably little documentation on this, since scientific studies of most psychedelics are (hilariously/unfortunately) banned.
When you say you gained a "strong sense" of spirituality, what actually caused this?
Well, that's the question, isn't it? It's almost like someone has just given you conviction, or levied purpose onto your shoulders. Not in a burdensome way, but in a way that makes you want to... stay alive. To achieve. To make the most of what you've got. Like many aspects of psychedelics, it doesn't translate well into sober-speak. Personally, I am strongly under the impression that all of this results from neurochemistry, perhaps identical to the same neurochemistry that can arise from performing religious rituals en-masse. When I went to church as a kid, I knew people who would get legitimately Jesus-high. Maybe it was social anxiety, or maybe I was always too logically oriented for religion, but Jesus never did it for me. DMT? Well, yes, I got the sensation of what I would dub "spirituality", but I only harbor the conviction that it was the result of chemistry. Does that make it less "real"? Not at all, it just implies that it's likely neurochemically-based, and also entirely subjective, which brings me to...
Was it specifically a personal moment while on DMT?
I was the only person that imbibed the stuff on the occasion, but I would bet that if it was taken amongst a group of people (say, like, on an ayahuasca retreat) that you would share some elements of a "trip" together, but at the same time have entirely different experiences... if that makes any sense. I have taken other psychedelics with friends (and strangers), and although you'll have the same external stimuli to respond to (your environment), how you yourself react and process the information will of course always be unique. Rarely/never will you have two people that both hallucinate the Jolly Green Giant rising out of the river and eating the treetops on the far shore like broccoli (crude example).
Was it an entity or feeling or shape/colour?
Synesthesia, man. Your brain fires neural patterns completely outside of its normal networks. It's beautiful, frightening, enlightening, but perhaps meaningless, all at the same time. I've come to model the brain like a filter: imagine reality as a liquid stream of information, with your brain like a sieve, but you can move the grid around, like on a tennis racket. You might pinch some strings together, impairing your fine motor skills, but at the other end of the racket/sieve, you've opened a wider area for brain function in an area you previously were bandwidth restricted in.
Although I didn't experience an entity, the feelings are hard to describe... which is a little frustrating. The conviction and purpose I mentioned earlier is just one little sliver of an entire ocean of inklings, emotions, and everything in between. Some do experience an entity or deity, and I have as well, though not in my one and only DMT experience. In that vein, I say, the brain is a powerful thing; it can fool itself beyond it's own wildest dreams.
Was it any of the following:
1. Bursts, puffs, and splashes of colour.
Oh god yes. I tasted the rainbow, and there weren't any skittles involved. I smelled rotation. I saw the bitter, plastic taste of DMT smoke. Again... synesthesia.
2. Repetitive, multiplying non-figurative elements.
Sure. If you want to have some real fun, look up username "MescalineBanana" on deviant art. Pull some of his fractal-based art up on a screen, and watch it idance for you.
3. Geometric designs and patterns.
On other substances, I have seen Mayan-esque art in carpet. You know, how carpet gets randomly pushed every which way from foot traffic, and the light side and dark side align differently? My brain has made that into sensible, patterned geometry while tripping. I have found many psychedelics to be similar in the way that my visual perception is changed, although there are certainly some differences. Geometric designs and patterns are usually present, and become more prominent to me with increasing dosage.
4. Designs with figures. [Figures are vis-ual elements that look like things, plant, animal, human, and so forth.]
My friend (the one I attempted to bring into this thread) draws little doodles to this effect, certainly influenced by his experiences as a psychonaut. He prefers psilocybin, hence why his alias is "vegenaut". He only drew one quadrant of the artwork on that page, and patterned it, obviously, but you will notice how... Mayan... it looks, for lack of a better word.
5. Rapid figural transformations
Everything is constantly morphing. Everything. All the time. This increases with dosage for everyone.
Yep, especially when you close your eyes. Closed-eye visuals were the most stunning on DMT, but on other psychedelics they were usually quite impressive as well.
7. Well-defined, stable, single figurative images.
Not so much, truthfully. In fact, most things have a fuzzy glow. Your pupils are pretty dilated. Oh, and while I'm thinking about it, make at least some effort to steer clear of mirrors.
I'm unsure what this means.
Again, unsure of the definition.
10. Interactive scenes. [The visionary has limited interaction with things in the scene.]
11. Scenes of flight. [The visionary is fly-ing over the scene and has a subjective sense of flight, though he or she is, in fact, immobile. One may become trans-formed into a bird.]
I've never experienced this personally, but it's not uncommon for psychedelic experiences. I have had a few times where I've dreampt of something like this, and guess what. When you're dreaming? That's a little dose of natural DMT.
12. Celestial and heavenly scenes.
Yeah, but not in the angels and demons sense of the term. No Renaissance-ish stuff. More like glowy, hazy, bright (yet cloudy), and with feelings of ecstasy at times.
Side notes: I've never really had a "bad trip", but there have been times when I've felt pretty heavy-hearted. The ego death aspect of tripping is always strange and uncomfortable, but it's nice after the ego has been stripped away and you get to decide who and what you are all over again, consciously, without really letting anyone else tell you what to be. Research "ego death", if you haven't done so already.
Nah. Reality does feel pretty strange, but not like... Tron... or "cyberspace". If you want to rephrase this, I'm not sure I'm interpreting it entirely correctly.
Does the spiritual feeling stay with you today?
A bit. It's kind of undergone an exponential decay as time goes on, but it's an interesting proposition that renewing the feeling is as easy as dosing up again. Does this "convenience" diminish the significance? Not really, at least not to me. Of course, I have a notoriously pragmatic way of "getting it done", in general. If nothing else, it is an incredible insight into the mechanisms of one of the most complex systems known to man; our own minds.
Has the experience changed you in a long-term positive way?
Not so much with DMT specifically, but with psychedelics in general, YES. I wouldn't be who I am without some of the insight I was given both by the introspection on the substances, and the people who were similarly interested in learning about altered states of consciousness, and interested in learning in general.
In fact, let me take another paragraph to touch on this: psychedelics should be treated as a tool, as a means to an end, not the ends in and of itself. If you're taking them to get fucked up, sure, you'll achieve that. But if you're taking them to attempt learning about yourself, about your environment, or you're looking to approach a problem from another angle, I applaud you. Generally, you will find at least some of what you're looking for. The mindset and mood in which you embark on a trip is just as important, if not more so, than your environment.
That said, theadvancedapes, you are an ideal candidate for psychedelic experimentation, IMHO. You approach things scientifically, skeptically, but with a healthy dose of enthusiasm and optimism.
I have not read any of the works you have referenced, but I will at least take a peek, if nothing else. Thank you for linking them.
It's been a while since I've taken psychedelics, but I'm not closed to the idea. I have always appreciated what they've had to tell me... or what I've told myself while under the influence, if you'd rather phrase it as such.
I apologize for the delay of this response. I've just relocated apartments, and do not have internet configured yet. Thank you for your questions, I look forward to any updates or additional questions! :)