Hallucinations and religion

I recently took DMT for the very first time - and was completely unprepared for what happened to my brain. What I saw and experienced for the 10 minutes or so of the trip was more real than reality - which I know makes no sense. My son (who persuaded me to give it a go) had said something similar to me, and I just wrote it off as a bit of hype. I have spent the last few days trying to convince myself that the experience was a construct of my drugged brain and nothing more - but it has been a hell of a battle. Apparently, DMT is naturally produced within the human body, but I have not read any peer-reviewed research to back this up. But if it is, and some people have an excess of the chemical, then I completely get why a vision of this nature would be so convincing. The book of revelation reads like a dmt trip, as does the apostle Pauls Damascus road experience and the visions of Isaiah.

I was one who believed (never researched the claims) about DMT and the pineal gland. Not to say that the pineal glad doesn’t produce, just that up till now, no studies on human production of DMT. Also it is produced elsewhere as well in rats :rat:

Those little buggers are tripping! Lol :laughing:. It appears it may be a feature of mammalian brains :brain:. Perhaps :thinking: mammals need an illusion (loose usage) to survive. Wonder if reptiles produce it? Wouldn’t it be funny if they (:lizard::crocodile:) interpreted the “world” more accurately- whereas our group (mammals) coped with reality via illusion???

I’ve only had a couple of lucid dreams. Never tried DMT (I would given the right conditions) - but I can still recall the smallest details of the lucid dream and the amazement I felt of how “real” everything was, even though I was aware I was dreaming.

I can’t even fathom how you would come to any other conclusion. What you have experienced is an altered brain state that was brought on by the chemicals you consumed.

Having no experience with DMT, I can not speak to it directly. Never the less, I am a child of the sixties and I have tried everything from heroine to crack. Lucky for me, I guess, I hated most of it.

The one drug I really enjoyed and would even do today if I had access is Magic Mushrooms, (psilocybin) and that is a 6 to 8 hour trip to na-na land. I have had so many mystical (cough cough** cough** throat clearing sounds…) experiences while shrooming that I can’t count them. (*There is nothing mystical in the mystical.) What is amazing is the things that a brain can do.

From a very early age I have been able to do this whole Astral Projection Thing. My first OBE was when I was 3 years old and I still vividly recall it. There was a time during my teens and early twenties that I believed it was all mystical but as I looked into it, I discovered the people talking about it were full of shit. The more I learned the less magical the shit began to appear.

I can still do the OBE thing. Occasionally I do it by accident while falling asleep. I know it is just an altered brain state and it is familiar to me.

Two things happen in this state. 1. Sleep Paralysis. The brain detaches from the body in the very same way it detaches every night during dream sleep. If it did not detach, a person would dream about running and then find themselves hundreds of miles from their home and bed when they woke in the morning. This is a natural function of the brain.

Now, when the brain does this, it is no longer bound by the body. It is only bound by imagination. However, the brain is used to having a body. So when it detaches, and when you maintain a degree of alertness during that detachment, (You are still awake when the brain detaches - ie sleep paralysis.) and you manage not to freak the hell out, the brain will generate an “astral projection.”

This is the exact same thing as “Phantom Limb Syndrome.” but for the whole body. Because the body is no longer communicating with the brain and because you are still alert, the brain creates an image of itself in your very real imagination. It does the exact same thing with victims who have become paralyzed or lost arms or legs. The brain continues to think of the body as still being there.

Really weird shit can happen at this point. I used to visit a restaurant at the end of a pier. The restaurant was not on the pier but under it. The waves would smash into a Plexiglas frame as I sat and enjoyed my coffee. And when I looked across the restaurant and onto the beach, I could see the dinosaurs lumbering along. (This was all as real to me as the reality I am seeing now as I type.) Only upon waking could I realize it was a brain state. Or was it really a soul visiting some distant planet or alternate reality?

We have no evidence for alternate realities and those people who live in them end up in psych wards. We have no evidence for a soul or anything at all going on other than an altered brain state and we have so many amazing stories about altered brain states that it really becomes the only logical conclusion outside of “gee I just don’t know.”

So why the long post and the weird story… Well, there was a time when I thought all of this was special, mystical, a door opening to a new world, a higher plain of consciousness and all that crap. It’s all bullshit. All the enlightenment in the world will not get you a cup of coffee if you don’t have a dollar in your pocket.

There is a Zen tale that I love (I was a student of Zen for quite a few years.) about a young apprentice who was walking up the hill to the temple and as he walked he was practicing mindfulness. Watching his mind. He noticed the sun on his face and his impressions, He noticed the rocks under his feet and his impressions. He noticed the wind and his mindful impressions. He noticed the cows in the cornfield munching on delicious corn and watched his impressions. He did this until he finally reached the temple. When he got there he saw one of the elders and he told the elder about his trip up the mountain and how he had been mindful all the way. Upon concluding his story, the elder took a stick and smacked the young apprentice on top of the head. “You Fool!” he shouted as he ran down the path… That corn is all we have to eat for the winter."

One more story, now that I think about it. “One day a young apprentice was walking along a road when he met a sage who was carrying a heavy load. The young man asked the sage, “Maser what is it like to be enlightened?” The sage pulled the pack from his back, set it on the ground by his feet, straightened up, stretched and smiled at the young apprentice.” “Yes, I see, said the young apprentice. But, what happens after that?” The sage picked up his load, swung it again onto his back, and continued up the road."

You might want to follow some of the research on DMT.

Apparently this drug and other forms of hallucinogens, psilocybin specifically, are being considered as viable means of treating depression.

Closing comment: The brain is a remarkable thing. Dream states, states of altered consciousness, illusions and delusions, it’s all interesting. It is being explored and there is nothing wrong with exploring it; however, getting caught up in all the woo woo will NOT stop your shit from stinking. Yes, it seems real. As real as the reality you are in currently. Your BRAIN is responsible for the reality you see now, and the reality you invent. I wanted to say …“The next time you try DMT, try reminding yourself that it is all you. You are creating the experience in your own mind.” However, on reflection, I really have no advice to give you. You will do with your experience what you will. I can only share with you the results of my own journey. I hope I have been clear enough to understand. And so, whether or not you end up sharing my conclusions, I wish you luck on your journey.


As I read over this I think perhaps I should have mentioned “connectedness to the universe” “oneness” and all that shit too. But the post is already long enough. I still hold a philosophy of oneness but it is nothing religious or spiritual.

The phrase, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” has its origins in the Bible and conveys the notion that humans are made of dust and return to dust after passing away. One of the most profound assertions, the Bible makes. We are stardust. We came from the universe and return to the universe. We are a part of it all. That is just a fact. Nothing spiritual. Nothing supernatural. Just fucking amazing. I am here and that is fucking amazing! It’s amazing to me anyway.

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I have sometimes commented of Paul’s behaviour as recorded in Acts and in some of his own letters (and here I am asserting he did exist) both before and after the Damascus road event was likely a version of hyperreligiosity caused by psychotic disorders or a frontal lobe epilepsy event or maybe even both.
First he becomes a bounty hunting Christian killer while claiming to be a student of the pacifist rabbi Gamaliel (who defends the apostles and their new heresy in Acts against the Sanhedrin), then to suddenly abandon his Judaism to become a devout disciple of a Jesus he never met nor understood and then having the gall to produce a new religion on the basis of revelations and visions and his own personal interpretation of scriptures that oppose and contradict the teachings of his supposed saviour and defending his new religion in furious disputes with anyone who disagreed ultimately leading to all the churches he supposedly founded turning against him as he complains in his last letters, depicts him as one messed up and deeply disturbed religious zealot.
I doubt he ever had access to DMT or even just some marijuana, which might have chilled him out a bit. The one thing about him is that his new faith certainly did not seem to bring him any peace or harmony.

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I’ve really questioned this whole “Paul the Christian Hunter” routine and regard it as hyperbolic. Christians were rarely “Persecuted.” Though Roam did have strict laws about group meetings and regarded them as seditions. Couple that with the fact that the Christians did not worship the same Gods as the general population and they just caused a lot of problems for themselves. But was it specifically persecution against “Christian” or were they just outsiders violating the law?

Then there was the problem that when bad things happened, the pagan worshipers, like the Christian worshipers of today, would blame all the bad things on those people who are angering the gods. How many times did you hear that the hurricane which struck New Orleans , did so because of all the homosexuals?

Anyway… my point… there seems to be growing evidence that the whole idea of Christian persecution is mythical at best and at the very least, hyperbolic.

Candida Moss debunks the ‘myth’ of Christian persecution

Candida Moss debunks the ‘myth’ of Christian persecution:

Agreed. Paul played up his Christian killer role to make his conversion all the more dramatic, but his boast in his letters, backed up by a brief bio in Acts stating he had been tutored under Gamaliel does not square up. There are quite a number of issues that suggest Paul’s basic dishonesty which atheist Jeremy Bentham details in his book “Not Paul, but Jesus” (published 1823).
It has been estimated that persecution under the Romans totalled no more than 10 to 20 years in sporadic events up to 313 AD. Hundreds, maybe several thousand died but many more non-Christians also died under harsh Roman laws.
Yet nothing matches the long and brutal persecution of the “religion of peace” of the Christians against Jews, philosophers, pagans and perceived heretics that followed the Edict of Milan.
Catherine NIxey also debunks the persecution claims in “The Darkening Age”.

The other thing to consider about Paul. He is heralded as this big evangelic preacher who converted millions to the faith. Actually, if the letters are read, he never visits anyplace that didn’t already have a thriving Christian population.

It was the success of Christianity that was also Paul’s success. We have the Damascus Documents which was written by Paul’s fellow Christians and calling him “That Great Teller of Lies.” I assert that the only reason Paul is popular is because Christianity became popular. And since they had no actual writings from Jesus or any of the apostles (if any ever existed) the Christians relied on the teachings of Paul in the same way the Christians of today focus on the teachings of Paul and not on the things Jesus actually says.

Neither could I until I had the experience. My son told me he was now an agnostic not an atheist after his experiences. To be honest, I scoffed. In my early 20’s I took a few acid and schroom trips, it was largely a pleasant experience and when I was tripping I knew I was tripping and was aware that I was out of it. When I smoked DMT it was like a switch had been flicked and I was instantly transported into another very bizarre realm. I did not feel even slightly out of it - but my surroundings had changed into something that it is impossible for me to describe and were very tangible. I saw beings and interacted with them. At one stage I was looking down on myself, and could see every detail of my face (not a pleasant experience, age has done my visage no favours). Emotionally I felt in awe and was also terrified. I knew my existence was eternal (my worst nightmare) and that once I left where I was that this would fade and I would become a skeptic again. And the experience was more solid and real than the room I now sit in as I type this. At the end of the trip I felt myself reenter my body and felt the impact of gravity. The room I was in seemed less tangible than where I had been and I was shaken to the core. I know that all of this took place in my brain and was the direct result of DMT fitting serotonin 2A and sigma-1 receptors. It was a very real experience, but I reject it despite it being incredibly convincing.

Now that’s interesting. A believer told me that kind of thing happens when a person ‘wakes’ kundalini*** without a teacher showing the right way of doing so.

***Kundalini is the putative spinal chakra at the base of the spine. There are heaps of books about it. The only title I can still remember is “Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man” which is the autobiography of Gopi Krishna, a yogi. As far as I can tell, he seems to have been sincere, so possibly an unconscious fraud.

Interesting. DMT certainly caused the illusion of being detached from my body. I even saw myself and the other people in the room at the time, though my eyes were closed. Your analysis makes a great deal of sense - but, I am still not sure what the hell happened.

But was this imagery static or do you think it was playing out in real time? Your argument would definitely stop me in my tracks if you had your eyes closed, a friend muted the TV, switched channels, back to the original, and when you opened your eyes could identify what channels he switched to.

At present I am sitting in a room, my wife in an adjoining room, TV playing. She constantly plays on her tablet, and I can, right now, bring up a very accurate mental image on what she is doing and what that room looks like. But I can not identify what TV channel she is watching, and what is being displayed on her tablet.

I have often thought about the connection between religion and hallucinations, and I believe I have something constructive to contribute.

There is a (controversial) neurological disorder called Geschwind Syndrome that may occur in people with temporal lobe epilepsy.

This syndrome involves a hallucinatory experience (caused by a temporal lobe seizure) accompanied by an overwhelming sensation of mystical transfiguration . . . along with feeling of intense and obsessive religiosity, and a compulsion to write.

When I pondered the implications of Geschwind syndrome, it made me wonder about the foundations of religion.

Moses–if he existed, which he may not have–seems like someone who is a candidate for Geschwind Syndrome.

The burning bush, a voice from God, his possible speech and communication difficulties (Aaron was deligated to speak for Moses), his compulsion to write . . . all seem to speak to me about autism and temporal lobe epilepsy.

Certain forms of temporal lobe epilepsy are inherited, which led me to the idea that certain families are considered as a holy lineage. In my example, the tribe of the Levites (from whom I am supposedly descended) were the priests and holy men.

Autism affects boys much more often then girls (4 to 6 times more often, by some estimates), which may also partially explain why only men were allowed to become the religious leaders.

So, Moses (if he existed) may have been an autistic, temporal lobe epileptic with Geschwind syndrome (autism dramatically increases the chances that one may also be epileptic). See below:

  1. The burning bush was a mystical hallucination caused by temporal lobe epilepsy.
  2. Hearing God’s voice can be explained by temporal lobe epileptic auditory hallucinations. When I was a paramedic, I knew any number of epileptics who heard voices in the aura of a seizure.
  3. An overwhelming sense of obsessive religiosity is explained by the Geschwind syndrome that may be associated with epilepsy.
  4. Moses was obsessed with black and white absolute rules that have no exceptions . . . and a defining feature of autism is an obsession with “following the rules” even when it’s patently wrong to do so.
  5. Moses possibly had severe difficulties with communication, which is why his brother was appointed to speak for him, and communication problems are a characteristic of autism.
  6. Moses had a compulsion to write. He retreated to the slopes of Mount Sinai, and returned with stone tablets. He also (supposedly) wrote the first 5 books of the Bible (although Duteronomy–the 5th book–is believed to be a fabrication that was penned hundreds of years after the death of Moses). A writing compulsion is also a tendency one sees in Geschwind syndrome.
  7. His killing of the Egyptian overseer in defense of the Hebrew slave shows social incompetency, which is another autistic trait.
  8. It seems implied that Moses had a difficult birth (born in slavery and sent down the Nile in a basket), and difficult, traumatic births along with adverse conditions immediately after birth are a risk factor for autism.
  9. When he came down from Mount Sinai and discovered his people disobeying the rules, his temper tantrum may be interpreted as an autistic meltdown.
  10. Stomach and digestive issues often go hand in hand with autism . . . and dairy products are often implicated as bothering the stomachs of autistic people, and here I must point out that milk is specifically mentioned in the Levitical religious rules, which is why pious Jews don’t eat dairy products and meat products at the same time.
  11. People with autism often can’t stand the textures of certain fabrics because of sensory issues, and there are Levitical rules from Moses which expressly forbid clothing made by using different kinds of threads in the same cloth.

Below, I have provided links with documentation that support most of my claims.


Even if you guys don’t agree with me . . . can you see my points? I often have problems communicating.

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well bugger me…IF Moses existed that would be a banquet for thought.

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I forgot to include the Biblical verses. See as follows:

Leviticus 19:19

Exodus 4:10

Agnostics are either atheists or theists. You are either an agnostic-atheist or an agnostic-theist. Agnosticism addresses the question “What do you know.” Atheist addresses the question “What do you believe.”

I personally assert that everyone on the planet is “Agnostic.” No one knows a damn thing about God or gods. Still there are those who insist they do. The question is, “What do you believe?” You either believe there is a god or you do not. If you do not, you are an atheist. If you do, you are a theist. There is no middle ground. You either believe the statement “God exists” or you do not. If you make the assertion, no one can know that, you are in fact asserting non-belief. If you assert “No one can know that but I am going to pretend to believe any way because I am afraid of going to hell.” (Ala Pascal’s Wager) You are being dishonest with yourself.

What do you mean you reject it? That makes no sense at all. It happened. It was in fact, as you have stated, “A very cool experience.” But “Convincing?” Convincing of what? It is your “interpretation of events” that are coloring the experience. What conclusions have you drawn and for what reasons? You are “rejecting” your own interpretations and not the event itself. Perhaps it’s usefull to look at how or why you came up with the interpretations you did.

I would submit to you that you might want to find a way to accept your interpretation of events as a part of yourself. Your conclusions actually came from you and may be pointing in a direction that you just don’t want to look. This is the very meaning of a “brain state.” You generated the entire experience within yourself. You created it and all the drug did was open the door. It did not tell you what to think. You have looked deeply into yourslef. Perhaps look at why you feel the need to reject it and why you are having this specific reaction to it? Is it not a human thing to feel this connectedness to the universe without calling it spiritual or god or mystical. Have there not been dream cultures on the planet before? Is the whole ‘mysticism’ thing not something inherently human and a trait or characteristic that we all have, and yet have been trained by culture and society to ignore?

Perhaps the answer lies in simply embrasing (Finding a way to accept) the experience as part of being human. Humans have always had these sorts of experiences. Modern humans obviously less, hence the ease by which we are manipulated into believing in the miraculous when suddenly introduced to what is our acutal nature. Altered states of consciousness happen. They have always happened. No one has ever used one to win the lottery, break Vegas, grow an amputated limb, move an object with their mind, communicate telepathically, transport their body to another dimension, heal the sick, or produce loaves and fishes. The real world that we live in does not work that way. No matter what happens, in our brain state, we are real beings living in a real world. That which is real is that which comports with reality.

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Yea… Transendental meditation was a thing when I was doing the Buddhist Zen shit. Had a friend that was big into waking the chakras and reading auras. I read a few books on the stuff but it never really grabbed my attention. I even did Hatha Yoga for a bit… well… until I discovered Raja Yoga which I much preferred. But even that didn’t last long. I found the writings G.I. Gurdjieff and the “Fourth Way.” which ripped me away from all of that nonsense and into some new nonsense that actually tied a lot of shit together very well. I must have been a really spacy kid as a teen… Hell… I’m probably still spacy…

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I’m an agnostic atheist. I don’t believe in gods, nor can I disprove their existence.


I reject what I plainly saw and heard, despite the beings that appeared to be as real as I am. I reject that they really exist and I don’t believe that we are eternal. But, I can’t prove they were not real, nor can I prove that we are not eternal. It was a major mind bender and I am still shocked by it. If you ever get the chance, give it a go, I guarantee it will be the wildest 10 minutes of your life. If a god turned up right now and grabbed me by the scruff of the neck I would have no way of knowing if it was just a major mind fuck or the god was in fact real.

Yes, I would love to agree and you may well be right. I have always had a vivid imagination, read a lot of fantasy and science fiction back in the day and have even written some fantasy myself. Where the hell my brain drew those characters from or the world that they dwell in is beyond my conception. One minute I was sitting in a lounge, the next I teleported into another dimension. Yes, I do believe it all took place in my mind, but I am having a hard time convincing myself of the fact?