Many people report that hallucinogenic mushrooms allow them to communicate with extraterrestrials, nature spirits, or God. Should we take these people seriously?
Mysterious references to elves, fairies, spirits, extraterrestrials, and deities appear repeatedly throughout magic mushroom experience reports.
Many people report that an intelligent, living spirit resides inside the flesh of the sacred mushrooms--which contain the potent psychedelic substance psilocybin--and that under the enchantment of the mushroom, this spirit speaks to them in their native tongue.
A substantial number of people believe that they’ve held compelling conversations with this ancient mushroom entity, which, some say, claims to be extraterrestrial in origin, the voice of the Earth, or the mind of God.
The late ethnobotanist Terence McKenna built a career largely upon the seemingly far-fetched notion that psilocybin mushrooms are not only a chemical message from another star system, but that they can serve as a portal for telepathic communication with our Heavenly neighbors.
McKenna speculated that tightly-insulated and well-protected mushroom spores could travel across the vast expanse of interstellar space by hitching a ride inside of comets, seeding planets, forming symbiotic relationships with technologically-sophisticated primates, and spreading their mycelium network of higher consciousness across the universe.
The somewhat less radical idea that life itself spreads across the universe in a similar fashion--through the “fertilization” of warm, egg-like ocean planets, by chemical amino acid chains inside of sperm-like comets--was originally proposed by Nobel laureate Francis Crick.
Crick, who co-discovered the double-helix structure of the DNA molecule--a major contribution to biology, that advanced the hereditary science of genetics considerably--called this theoretical process of life propagating itself through the universe “directed panspemia.”
The mushroom reports of communications with various forms of non-human intelligence resemble experiences that people have had with DMT (dimethyltryptamine, a naturally occurring psychedelic molecule, chemically similar to psilocybin).
In laboratory settings, subjects under the influence of DMT commonly describe themselves as being studied, or experimented on, by highly-advanced, extraterrestrial, insectoid scientists.
These incredible, alien abduction-like experiences reported on DMT both resemble and differ from the powerful “entity” encounters that are commonly reported on ayahuasca journeys--experiences with the hallucinogenic jungle brew, that has been used in the Amazon for centuries, during shamanic healing rituals.
Ayahuasca blends plants that contain DMT and a chemical known as an “MAO-inhibitor”--specifically, “harmaline”--that not only makes the DMT orally-active, but also changes the nature of the experience, by extending its duration, and slowing down the speed of experience.
Interestingly, the DMT experience with harmaline often becomes less frightening, and the “entities” that people report encountering seem less extraterrestrial and alien, less mechanical and insectoid, and more like helpful, healing, teaching spirits from our own earth.
In this respect, I’ve noticed that magic mushroom reports tend to be similar to both DMT and ayahuasca experiences.
It seems that some people on psychedelic mushrooms report extraterrestrial communications from futuristic biomechanical beings in faraway star systems, while others report contact with bygone ancestors, animal, and plant spirits from species native to the earth’s biosphere.
Irish and Celtic literature suggest that some people have also long reported encounters with “fairies” or “elves” while under the influence of hallucinogenic mushrooms.
More than a few scholars have pointed out the similarities between old European fairy adduction “myths” and recent alien abduction reports.
In my previous columns about mysterious, unexplained phenomena, like Bigfoot sightings and Crop Circles, I theorize that some of this phenomena may be understood by considering the possibility that there might be an advanced race of otherworldly beings, historically referred to as “daimons,” toying around with our evolutionary development.
For whatever reason, it sometimes appears as though a race of highly-evolved pranksters may be orchestrating strange, unexplained phenomena in our world, that appears “paranormal” to us, perplexing our best minds, and rendering our cherished scientific theories and religious beliefs inadequate.
It may be that these beings have been interacting with us, throughout our history, by providing us with compelling evidence for strange phenomena--that stands outside the boundaries of our known science--yet, maddeningly, because of our limited mindsets and incomplete paradigms, never allowing us to witness any evidence that would offer definitive proof of what’s actually happening.
In other words, it may be possible that, like crop formations, sasquatch sightings, cattle mutilations, and alien abductions, telepathic communications with the mushroom beings could be just one more example of how these hidden interdimensional tricksters are playfully having their way with us.
I’ve been reading neurochemist Dennis McKenna’s recently-released autobiography, The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss, these past few weeks with great delight, savoring the insights from his psychedelic journeys, and relishing the descriptions of his mind-bending adventures with his late brother, ethnobotanist Terence McKenna.
Among the many fascinating mental excursions explored in this extraordinary book, Dennis McKenna delves into ideas about the intelligence that appears to reside within magic mushrooms, and it’s hard to know what to make of these consistent and uncanny reports.
Since 2005, Johns Hopkins University neuroscience researcher Roland Griffiths has been studying the clinical effects of psilocybin, the psychoactive component of the magic mushroom.
Amidst a wealth evidence for psilocybin’s potential therapeutic value, Griffiths’ research has confirmed that religious experiences can sometimes be achieved with psilocybin that are indistinguishable from those reported by mystics throughout history.
Griffiths is currently conducting “an anonymous, web-based survey to characterize difficult or challenging experiences that people sometimes have on psilocybin mushrooms (i.e., “bad trips,” whether the person later regards them negatively or positively).”
Griffiths believes that “this new survey is an important extension of our research because of the potential therapeutic applications for psilocybin that are currently being investigated.”
To participate in the survey, see: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/bt5
February 7, 2013
David Jay Brown
Santa Cruz Patch
Image: Janett Graden