15 June 1996
Sorry to have been out of the loop for a while. I have been ill with some
complicated thing that brought its own ambiguity with it. Strangely the
experience seemed to have implications for our discussion. Ten days ago
slipped into a flu that seemed to have a mortal viciousness about it that
actually frightened me. Was it a kind of couvade for the late lamented
Leary? Who knows. Anyhow the delirious fevers and icy night sweats, the
body aches and the vomiting was all accompanied by thoughts, myriad of
thoughts, many obsessive in the sense that though they were trivial yet
once begun there seemed to be no end of them. And there were dreams in
which, familiar territory, I seemed to be on the brink of some great
understanding. After days of roiling epistemic murk and no diminution of
the fever I realized that this was no flu at all but rather a set of
sensations that I had known before years ago but had long ago suppressed
and forgotten: all the signs were there of so massive a dose of intestinal
parasites that it was hard for me not to think of myself as already half
corpse so congenial to worms had I become.
It was from that vantage point that I tried to look back on the bright
spaces of the DMT experience. The soul is never so clearly glimpsed as
when like a kite she hovers a great distance from the corruption of the
body. I once gave DMT to a high Tibetan character, not one of the grab
tail assholes current or recently at work among the easily fleeced denizens
of the New Age, but actually someone who I regard as the real McCoy. His
words to me upon return from those realms was to say that he had been
carried into the realms of "the lesser lights" by which he meant
could go only that far and no farther without abandonment of even the idea
of a return. Sort of a end of the rope look over the wall into an ecology
of souls, that was the impression I got from listening to him describe his
So perhaps that is the ultimate gift of this material: Consciousness
expansion. I will give you consciousness expansion that will turn your
blood to ice water. Consciousness expanded to the limits reveals what?
The limits of consciousness obviously. Perhaps it is this for which we are
not prepared and to which we are both attracted and repelled as an insect
to a flame. I remind myself as I write these words and play this game with
you that realities edges, and the edges of biology are not for sissies.
mystery is not an unsolved problem. A mystery is something else, and all
the big stuff: birth, orgasm, love, death and DMT partake of that mystery.
There is always that perspective from which we recognize ourselves as
gnats caught in the lens of eternity. Death reminds us of this. And so
too, but by a different route does DMT.
All the best,
June 16, 1996
I'd guessed your silence was prompted by a meticulous inspection of thoughts
before committing them to the file. Is there anything strange about subject-synchronicity
when discussing the pentultimate synchrosubstance? Strange if there were
no string of coincidences to accompany this. My notion of the Eschaton is
a convergence of coincidences so striking that a non-coincidence would seem
I cringe at the report of your discomfort. The deluvian barrage of trivial
thoughts. Garcia reported an awful layer of science-fiction hallucination,
full of puns and dumb jokes, endlessly trivial, when coming out of his first
coma. He grasped my hand and asked: "Have I gone insane?" "No,"
I said, "You're delirious. You've been very sick." "That's
a relief," he said.
The Hellish visions of the sickened body interested me back in my psychotropic
heydey. I purposely indulged in physical activity (rather than observing
strict bed rest) during a bout of hepatitis, in order to prolong the delirium
phase. All I wanted in 1967 was MORE consciousness! This quest was kicked
off by the government MK-Ultra "psychotomimetic" drug tests in
'62, in which I participated, being the first kid on my block to take LSD,
psilocybin and mescaline, with a bonus of all 3 at once for my fourth and
final session. Got paid $140. It was two more years before psychedelics
hit the street and my friends could finally comprehend what I'd been raving
Your report of the high Tibetan character reminds me of an experience by
my bright and believable friend Paul Mittig in 1968. It happened in a pueblo
in New Mexico. He was looking for a shaman he'd heard about and found him
in the corral of the pueblo. He tried to strike up a conversation, but the
medicine man didn't have much to say. Paul, a DMT advocate in those days,
happened to have some crystals with him. He avowed that you didn't even
need to smoke it, just carrying the crystals on your person was enough to
change reality. Paul said to the Indian: "I'll show you some of my
magic if you'll show me some of yours." The braided grandfather agreed
and Paul prepared a tiny pipe with mint leaves, sprinkled DMT on top, and
lit it for him. The shaman smoked, then sat silent for a few minutes. Finally
he said "Pretty good magic. Now I show you some of mine." A strong
wind rose and hit Paul from the East side of the corral. Then a wind hit
him from the West. Then one from the North followed by one from the South.
Suddenly half a dozen white horses galloped into the corral, circling Paul
and the Indian three times before running off through the open corral gate.
"My magic good. Yours better," Paul said to the old magician.
The ultimate limit of consciousness, seeing your reflection on the surface
of infinite ice, is awe inspiring. The Gnostic horror of Leviathan. It is
only ice because we're conscious of ice; if of fire, then it is infinite
fire. If of God, infinite God. Consciousness of self is ultimately consciousness
of nothing. Full consciousness of nothing is the state of being seen from
the outside. Outside in. Purely objective. This can be a vision of joy,
but more likely not. More likely everything one is made of screams for quick
reintegration. Elsewise we live no more. Or so it seems. But to hang in
there and take it right square on the jaw, to refuse to run, if only from
some deeply determined cellular vow to the quest, is to WIN POINTS! Something
just loves that we do this and rewards us with crowns, flowers, and the
sweetest air to breath. I trust it is so with death. Let me put it this
way: why trust otherwise? Ah, Tim!
It occurs to me that you did mighty battle with "the worm" last
week, old Leviathan itself. It also occurs that the vision of the limits
of consciousness is the worm's legacy. In that sign it conquers. Onion sauce!
Consciousness is endless. But it's by facing the Hellish delusion of its
finiteness that we earn motive power to ascend. Were all revealed, why,
all would be revealed. Ho hum... Revelation's the thing! The delicious taste
of exploding ignorance. A bath in a rainwater sea. The tits of Aphrodite.
The tongue of Minerva down your throat. Kid's stuff, but good fun. Beyond
that, it gets serious. Compassion serious. The broken toe of the world.
Ouch! What right do we have to all that fun? The right of grace, that's
all. Free ice cream. Moments of gladness neither to be sought nor shunned.
Mm. That felt right. Felt good to say. How else do you judge? By logic?
Hope you're feeling a lot better. Ever gargle with Clorox? Those little
suckers don't stand a chance! Try peroxide if you can't take the taste.
ps/ off to England in 4 days, where Maureen, Kate (8) and I will spend the
Summer. I'm assuming modems work there and the dialogue can continue apace.
I can't tell you what a pleasure it is to speak straight across about these
things. Can only guess what it means to those reading over our shoulders,
but conversing in depth with a fellow stranger is not the usual for me.
I believe what we're talking about is almost pathetically important.