Dr Gallimore explains how the sober brain perceives the default reality and how on DMT it seemingly attunes to a completely different frequency.
by Dr. Andrew R. Gallimore: When I was a child, my parents kept a tiny 1970s black-and-white TV set in the kitchen, presumably relegated from the living room after we went full technicolor. In contrast to the shiny buttons of our swish 1980s color set, this vintage one employed a circular dial to move between channels. Playing with this dial as a curious child revealed the distinct phases of the channel switch: the crisp black-and-white moving image would first distort as the dial was rotated and interference patterns would encroach. This was followed by a complete breakdown of the image into pure noise with no discernible structure. However, continued rotation of the dial would eventually reveal an entirely new channel which would crackle into view: order gave way to disorder which then gave way to a new order. A couple of decades before our little TV set was built, Hungarian physician Dr. Stephen Szaraalso discovered a channel switch that seemed to operate in a similar way. Self-experimenting with the newly-identified natural psychedelic molecule, DMT, Szara discovered a channel switch for reality itself.
describing effects of breakthrough doses of DMT in the brain
Referring to DMT — N,N-dimethyltryptamine — as a “100 percent reality channel switch,” Terence McKenna perfectly captured what it’s like to be catapulted into the bizarre realms to which this most mysterious of psychedelic substances grants access: after two or three lungfuls of its curious tasting vapor, the old familiar world begins to distort and break down, as complex geometric forms at first veneer the world and then replace it entirely. The tripper is then propelled through a procession of wild and chaotic imagery before finally, assuming the dosage is sufficient, bursting through a veil into an entirely new, astonishingly strange, world: the DMT space.
Although the superficial parallels with flicking to a new TV channel are obvious, a reality channel switch is actually a rather appropriate descriptor for the effects of DMT on brain activity during a breakthrough trip. To understand how this switch works, we first need to consider how the brain, in the absence of DMT, constructs and maintains the channel of your normal waking world.
Your Brain On Channel Consensus Reality
To be born is to be born into a world. To be conscious is to be conscious of a world. Whether you are awake, dreaming, or at the peak of a psychedelic experience, you are always immersed in a world. Of course, the extremely bizarre world of high-dose DMT bears little resemblance to the normal waking world — often referred to as the consensus world — whereas the dream world is usually much more familiar. And, of course, there are other types of worlds that can be distinguished: the fragmented worlds of a schizophrenic patient or the utterly ridiculous and often horrifying worlds that are experienced after taking concentrated Salvia divinorumextracts. But what unites these disparate worlds is their subjectivity: whenever you are conscious, your world is your own unique subjective world experienced from behind your eyes, the world you live in, and the only world you will ever know. While the structure of that world might change dramatically depending on your state, your subjective, phenomenal world is always yours and yours alone.