Marko Rodriguez, at the Computer Science Department of the University of California at Santa Cruz, has come up with a really interesting idea to see whether the spirits seen after ingesting DMT — which would include drinking ayahuasca — are autonomous. persistent, intelligent entities or something else — perhaps, say, imaginal projections of the perceiver. The idea is to ask these entities to calculate a prime factor of a five-digit non-prime number, such as 12233, and then tell you the answer, which you did not know, or tell the answer to someone else who has also drunk ayahuasca either simultaneously or subsequently.

While the idea is clever, it has some obvious drawbacks. First of all, you have to remember to ask the question, which may not be easy after drinking ayahuasca, when there is often a lot going on at once, and it is easy to be distracted. Second, it is not clear how the spirits would respond. In fact, James Kent, the former editor of Entheogen Review and Trip magazine, has tried the experiment. He asked a DMT elf for a prime factor of 23788, and the entity presented the visual answer of undulating Twinkie on rotating lotus, squirting, which was not obviously an anwer to the question. It may be noted that Kent is a longtime skeptic about the existence of autonomous entities encountered after ingesting DMT.

I am not sure whether the plant spirits know mathematics, or whether it matters. Maybe some of them do and some do not. Maybe even those who do still think there are better questions to answer. For example: How do I help heal this broken person? How do I teach this person how to be a human being?

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One Response to “Testing the Spirits”

  1. SeanM says:

    Hi Steve

    I can attest to the spirits in Ayahuacsa “being real beyond Ayahuasca”, but in reverse.

    In 1993, I spent 8 months in a “Monastery environment”, meditating 8 hours a day, 7 days a week with 25 other guys; some of whom, had been there for up to 30 years. A very focused space.

    After I left, and was at home; one morning I was lying in bed wide awake, thinking about my day to come (I could hear traffic passing by outside) when all of a sudden I was back in my childhood bedroom. I experienced some very negative and intense times in that room so it was a powerful place for me.
    A black lion and a black jaguar entered the room through the liquid glass window; the lion first. I made a beeline for the door, then realized I needed to connect with the lion, so I went back and tried to pat the lions head. It put its jaws around my arm, and I wondered if I was going to be a meal, but it let me go. I then turned to see where the jaguar was, and it stood up, pulled a mask off its face, revealing a face that looked like me, but older. He smiled, winked and walked out of the liquid glass window, and into space.

    Five years later I was in Peru to deal with some nasty “other-worldly” issues from my youth growing up in Papua New Guinea, through Ayahuasca. After 2 weeks of very intense cleansing and healing, I was finally comfortable with the ceremony, and had relaxed into the experience. As I sat in the beautiful and colorful silence, I could feel very intense pressure behind my ears, to the point that I felt if I didn’t let that pressure “release”, my ears would explode. So I released the pressure, and was then aware that my body had been replaced by black fur and clawed paws. Once my intellect realized I was now a jaguar, I was back as a human; I immediately shat my pants, and was vomiting and shitting as I ran to the poo-pit in the forest.

    I came back and nervously sat again; and almost immediately, there in the distance (10 feet or so) was the same jaguar I had met 5 years earlier, and had just shifted into. He was reclined like a human, with a big grin on his face, obviously enjoying my shock. Then he spoke to me, “you see Sean, I’m not messing around here, we have work to do, now lets get on with it”. I still don’t know exactly what that means, but it was enough to scare me out of my whits. Seeing and shifting into a jaguar is one thing, but to then hear him speak with focused intelligence, to me, is quite another.

    I have zero doubts whatsoever about the reality of this experience. Its hard to personally doubt it considering our first meeting was entirely without any “external triggers”, drugs or medicine. I was crystal clear, as I was in the ceremony.

    I don’t know how this could be repeated in a scientific study; I doubt it could…
    But I’m no scientist.

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