When You Trip, is it Like the Threshold of a Dream?
Evidence is beginning to reveal the possibility that psychedelic experiences induced by magic mushrooms are strikingly like waking dreams. The subconscious mind can provide us with profound messages. Tapping into our subconscious appears to not just be through our dream state, but also through the use of psilocybin.
Neuroscientists have determined that the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, psilocybin, produces much of the same effects as what goes on when we are experiencing lucid dreaming. By measuring brain activity using MRI technology, while the subject was on psilocybin, they found that there was increased activity in the hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex, which are the areas of the brain involved in emotions and memory formation. The areas of the brain involved with self-control and higher thinking, like the thalamus, posterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex, showed decreased activity.
This is the same activation pattern that is observed when an individual is dreaming.
Tripping and Dreaming
Hypnagogia is a transitional level of consciousness just before sleep when the brain goes from wakefulness toward a sleeping stage. At this stage, visual and auditory phenomena begin to manifest. This is said to be remarkably similar to a low dose of psilocybin mushrooms.
When a higher dose is taken, experiences very similar to when a fully immersive lucid dream occurs. Fully formed hallucinations appear. This is your new reality. This is very much like REM sleep when your deep dreams happen.
The nonsensical experience is perfectly acceptable to both dreamer and tripper alike. To the lucid mind, what you are experiencing would seem nonsensical, yet in both instances, dreaming or tripping, this seems completely real and acceptable.
If we think of both experiences as a certain stage or state, then we can view psilocybin as providing a “waking dream state.” Psilocybin opens the doors to your subconscious, but you are still receiving input from the world around you. You’re having a psychedelic mushroom experience.
DMT, or N, N-Dimethyltryptamine, is referred to as the spirit molecule. It is the main ingredient in Ayahuasca, which uses two different plants called Bainsteriopsis caapi and Psychotria Viridis. Psychotria Viridis contains the DMT, Bainsteriopsis caapi contains MAOIs which prevent enzymes from breaking down DMT.
No one knows if DMT exists in our brain. Some experts believe that it is produced by the pineal gland and released when we dream or released at birth and death. Since ancient times, DMT and the pineal gland have been associated with dreaming, astral travel, and death.
DMT affects people in different ways. Sometimes enjoyable, other times frightening. Some report travelling at warp speed, some report an “out-of-body” experience, some say they changed into something else and some claim that they visited another world and communicated with elf-like beings.
Know that DMT is a naturally-occurring tryptamine and has been used in various forms for centuries. Recently we have developed a synthetic form that has powerful hallucinogenic effects. Psilocybin is DMT with the addition of an oxygen atom with a phosphate group attached to it. Therefore, DMT is not activated orally whereas psilocybin is.
There is plenty of evidence, thanks to research, the makes it clear that psilocybin mushrooms don’t just induce waking dreams but help us be better functioning humans.