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?