by Phillip Smith
July 20, 2015
agsandrew / Shutterstock.com
There is something
strange, very strange,
going on inside the heads of
using the fast-acting
Machine elves, anyone...?
Have you encountered stick men, machine elves or other discarnate
entities while tripping brains on DMT? If so, you're not alone.
The use of the powerful, fast-acting
psychedelic dimethyltriptamine (DMT) generates reports of such
entities on a regular basis.
DMT has been around for a long time, although it's never been that
popular - and encounters with extradimensional critters may be part
of the reason why. Back in the 1970s, it was known as "the
businessman's trip" because you could take it at the beginning of
the lunch hour and be back to normal it was time to go back to work.
When smoked, the psychedelic effects
begin almost immediately and fade away with half an hour.
It's also the active psychoactive
ingredient in ayahuasca, the mind-melting tea concocted by Amazonian
shamans and venerated by the
Uniao Do Vegetal (the Union
of the Vegetable), a Brazilian church with some 15,000 adherents.
In an article in
Psychology Today, Scott McGreal
zeroed in on DMT's remarkable ability to allow its users to
"encounter non-human intelligences, often resembling aliens."
What's more, McGreal notes, citing the
work of pioneering DMT researcher psychiatrist
"some users come away from these
encounters convinced that these entities are somehow real."
Strassman, who detailed his 1990s
research findings in
DMT - The Spirit Molecule,
explained that under high doses of DMT, experienced volunteer
subjects experienced rapid and overwhelming psychedelic effects,
losing awareness of their surroundings and their bodies as the
effects peaked at around two minutes.
After the initial rush, the subjects
were able to describe their continuing experience and generally
reported visual imagery that could be seen with eyes open or closed;
brighter, more intense, and more deeply-saturated colors, and
kaleidoscopic geometric patterns.
According to Strassman, "about half" the
subjects went even further, entering into what he called
"freestanding, independent levels of existence" of a most unusual
There, they said they encountered
intelligent "beings," "entities," "aliens," or "guides."
They described them as,
"clowns, reptiles, mantises, bees,
spiders, cacti, and stick figures."
Strassman isn't the only one to report
Terence McKenna also ran into
those discarnate entities, which he charmingly described as
"self-transforming machine elves."
And that repository of drug experience
Vaults of Erowid, has an entire
page devoted to
Apparent Communication with Discarnate
Entitities Induced by Dimethyltriptamine (DMT).
It makes for some wild reading:
"I quickly entered into the trance
state without noticing any great amount of the usual patterned
visual hallucination," wrote one Erowid user.
"I seemed to be falling away,
spiraling into some large, black void, after which I seemed to
be in a bright, open space in the presence of two other beings.
Their forms were not very clear, but they seemed to be like
children, as if we were together in a playground. They appeared
to be moving very rapidly...
The two beings seemed to be trying
to attract my attention, and to communicate something to me, but
I could not understand. It was as if they were trying to make me
understand where I was. One even seemed to be holding up a sign,
like a speech balloon, but, as I recall, the sign was blank.
I attended to my breathing, and with
this came an increased sense of self-identity, and with this a
lessening of contact with the two beings."
"Smoked 40 mg of DMT wax spread over
mint leaves as usual, sifting up leaning against a pillow,"
"As the trance came on I was
overwhelmed with visual imagery that I did not even attempt to
make sense of. I struggled to remember who I was... I turned my
attention to the visual component, and what I saw was an
incredible amount of stuff coming at me in waves, sort of
rolling toward me.
There were two beings in the scene,
and they were doing the rolling, definitely throwing all this
stuff at me - I don't know why. The scene changed, and there was
more visual hallucination, but I don't remember the details -
all happening very quickly."
"I was in a large space and saw what
seemed to be thousands of the entities," yet another reported.
"They were rapidly passing something
to and fro among themselves, and were looking intently at me, as
if to say 'See what we are doing'... I noticed what seemed to be
an opening into a large space, like looking through a cave
opening to a starry sky.
As I approached this I saw that
resting in the opening was a large creature, with many arms,
somewhat like an octopus, and all over the arms were eyes,
mostly closed, as if the creature were asleep or slumbering.
As I approached it the eyes opened,
and it/they became aware of me. It did not seem especially
well-disposed towards me, as if it did not wish to be bothered
by a mere human, and I had the impression I wasn't going to get
past it, so I did not try."
"I saw the 'elves' as
multi-dimensional creatures formed by strands of visible
language; they were more creaturely than I had ever seen them
before," another user chimed in.
"The elves were dancing in and out
of the multidimensional visible language matrix, 'waving' their
'arms' and 'limbs/hands/fingers?' and 'smiling' or 'laughing,'
although I saw no faces as such. The elves were 'telling' me (or
I was understanding them to say) that I had seen them before, in
Memories were flooding back of
seeing the elves: they looked just like they do now:
ever-shifting, folding, multidimensional, multicolored (what
colors!), always laughing weaving/waving, showing me things,
showing me the visible language they are created/creatures of,
teaching me to speak and read."
Both Strassman and Erowid reported
consistent themes around the discarnate entities.
Subjects often reported that the beings
seemed to waiting for them and would subject them to mind and body
probes while communicating through telepathy, gestures, or visual
imagery. Sometimes they entities seemed caring and concerned; other
times they were emotionally detached, if not downright scary.
What's most intriguing about these
reports is that people actually believe them to be real.
They subjectively seem too real
to be otherwise. It is difficult indeed to credit reports from users
of strange drugs that they've opened a window into an alternate
world/parallel universe/weird realm.
Scientific method requires findings be
based on empirical science - not the fever brains of trippers - but
these "machine elves" only manifest themselves in the sensoria of
people under the influence of DMT.
Perhaps it is only psychedelic
mysticism. That appears to be Strassman's stance. Like many others
entranced by the inner mysteries psychedelics can open up, he
believes they can provide insights into the "deeper nature" of
That's not at all unusual among
psychonauts, many of whom are convinced that there is a deeper
reality behind our mundane existence, that there is an objective
spiritual presence in the universe, or that there is life after
I don't know about that.
But if you go tripping on DMT and
encounter any discarnate entities, say hello to them for me.
I'd like to hear what they have to say.