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The secret to accessing information from our consciousness field may boil down to a naturally occurring chemical in the brain, N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT). Rick Strassman, the psychiatrist who did extensive research on DMT with human subjects, was intrigued by the question: why does a potent psychedelic exist in our brains? Our brains have enkephalins as natural opiates that reduce pain and melatonin which induces sleep after the sun goes down, but why would brains have molecules that cause OBEs and hallucinatory experiences? DMT appears to have two adaptive purposes. One is the role in psychic phenomena and the other is to make the process of dying less frightening when our time comes.
The source of DMT is the pineal gland, which is often called "the third eye." This refers to its rich cultural association with seeing other realms of reality. But, in at least one species, it actually has the features of a third eye. The western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) has an opening on the top of its skull through which on can see the upper half of the pineal organ, which has an optical lens, cornea and retina. During the course of evolution, the pineal gland started out as an eye on the top of the head that lost its ocular features and became buried. The limbic system's development buried it, but it became buried even deeper after the expansion of the outermost part of our brain, the cerebral cortex. In humans, the pineal gland sits in the center of the brain and slightly above the level of our eyes.
Dreaming and OBEs, the two major states of consciousness associated with psychic information, are both linked to DMT. Small amounts of DMT are released during dreaming, which which may contribute to the vividness of dreams. DMT also facilitates psychic dreams by its effect on the limbic system. Larger amounts of DMT can cause an OBE, once again by its effect on the limbic system. So DMT temporarily breaks down our brain's filter by shifting the relative activity of our cortex and limbic system, enabling our conscious awareness greater access to information in our holographic consciousness field.
When people come close to death, the massive release of DMT can lead to a near-death experience that includes an OBE and other features, such as angels, that are comforting. Sometimes the near-death experience is very frightening, which is most likely to occur if at some level the person feels he is not living his life according to society's morals or values. Regardless of whether the NDE felt blissful or terrifying, people are usually much more spiritually inclined afterward. Also, once large amounts of DMT have been released, the brain's filtering system is often less effective. Many survivors of near death are more likely than others to experience psychic phenomena while awake. Evidence that their limbic system and temporal lobes underwent a permanent change in wiring has been observed in various studies. In one, more than 20 percent of near-death survivors showed evidence of seizures in their temporal lobes. In another, there was a characteristic disturbance of the normal sleep cycle in people after an NDE.
Mystics engage in certain rituals to expand their level of consciousness and psychic abilities. These practices appear to stimulate the brain to produce and release more DMT. During kundalini yoga, some people experience a rush of energy traveling upward from the base of the spine to the brain. The kundalini experience intensifies with each successive one, eventually resulting in what some describe as an "electric storm." Many see a blinding light (which is one reason these experiences are associated with a path to "enlightenment") or a state of highly evolved consciousness with enhanced spirituality, cognition and psychic abilities.
Engaging kundalini yoga and fasting can activate this process, but for some individuals kundalini experiences can happen spontaneously. For some, too, the experience can become complicated by psychotic symptoms, perhaps because of an uncontrolled release of too much DMT, or an inadequate metabolism of the DMT released. Gopi Krishna wrote extensively about his kundalini experiences, including the frightening period in which he went insane.(a) Afterward he regained his sanity and possessed greater cognitive and psychic abilities than before.
Psychics, including Edgar Cayce, often identify the pineal gland as the source of their abilities. Eastern religions also teach that the pineal gland is transformed by the kundalini experience. Scientific research supports the connection between the pineal gland and psychic abilities because the pineal gland releases DMT. Also, the pineal gland is influenced by the earth's electromagnetic fields, which have been shown by several studies to impact psychic phenomena. Neither Cayce nor the Eastern mystics had modern research available to them to reach their conclusion about the pineal gland. They accessed it psychically, which makes any scientific corroboration especially intriguing.
(a) Gopi Krishna, Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man (London: Shambhala, 1971)
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It seems to be a partial answer.
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I think that the brain also acts as a filter to block out many "paranormal" events that are occurring all the time around us. How some people can access this area of reality/dimension fascinates me to no end.
"We are just points of attention within one infinite conscious." Icke
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I know there is a link between DMT and many types of spiritual experiences.
Its actually quite logical for scientists in the material world we live in to approach everything 'bottom up' so to speak, whereas more spiritually inclined folks tend to approach things 'top-down'. The middle ground between the two is where the magic of expanding awareness really happens, its where the envelope of human knowledge is being pushed around and continually expanded. Unfortunately it means that neither spiritual people nor scientists tend to feel safe in that zone!