A typical third/fourth plateau experience
During the various stages of the third plateau experience, one may glimpse one's life
and self from a wholly external perspective. This may occur in the form of "my life flashed
before my eyes" or some more abstract form. I don't know how others have experienced
this phenomenon, but for me it is one of the most profound emotional experiences a
human being can have. During these moments, I felt that I understood fully the course
and direction and development of my life/self, and, further, I felt a humbling love and
compassion for that self and for everything associated with the reality it inhabits. Even
having had some distance from my last experience of this, it is difficult to recall it without
I've had one fourth plateau experience, and it was so utterly alien to anything I've ever
experienced as a human being that my rational mind has a difficult time understanding it
subjectively, much less communicating it.
Briefly, it started with seeing a lot of regular, brightly colored, 3-dimensional geometric
patterns through which I moved at terrifyingly fast speeds. The patterns struck me as
simultaneously aspects of impersonal space/time, myself, and alien intelligences. This
was followed by a period of time in which I felt as though was though I was collapsing in
upon myself and then exploding outwards in an infinitude of directions/distances/times.
There were moments when I felt myself approaching/merging with impossibly vast alien
intelligences -- unfortunately, I remember almost none of those "contacts". At times, it
was like literally being every instance of space and time observing/being every other
instance of space and time simultaneously.
Coming down, I found that when I shut my eyes, abstract shapes and patterns
"morphed" into rooms that were similar to the one I was lying in. Whenever the achieved
coherency, they'd dissipate, then reform. Once or twice, the "rooms" seems so coherent
that I was able to sit up and explore them, much like in a lucid dream. A few of the
"rooms" were bizarre/alien -- in one, I found myself beneath a tree from which hung
gigantic orange flowers. Each flower had a face which looked upon me with benevolent
Coming down off of shamanic doses can be a beautiful experience, marked by feelings
of genuine spiritual and physical rebirth. I described it to a friend as being loving and
gently returned to my life/self which, for a time, had ended.
Before I close, a few cautionary words from personal experience:
While shamanic doses of DXM won't necessarily turn you into a shaman or Bodhisattva
overnight, I'm convinced that they _will_ open those doors for someone who is open to
having that experience. For me, I was open to that experience, but I wasn't prepared for
the ramifications it would have in my life-as-a-whole. The period of time after my first
shamanic DXM experience was one of extreme emotional turmoil.
The nirvana-like bliss I experienced on the 3rd plateau was so fabulous that not a day
has gone by that I haven't longed for it and felt a tremendous sorrow at being separated
from it. I have since understood this in terms of my particular spiritual path -- but until I
did, I experienced profound depression and suicidal impulses. Whether this is an
aspect of the drug or of "opening doors" to grander spiritual vistas of being, is up to the
reader to decide. Whatever the case, my DXM experiences have transformed me and
my life from the ground-up -- this, despite the fact that before trying it, I'd had subsantial
experience with magic/mysticism as well as other psychedelics.
High levels of dissociatives make you look REALLY FREAKY to sober observers. A
friend who saw me coming off of my 4th plateau experience almost rushed me to the
hospital -- which would have made for a REALLY NASTY scene. He described me as
extremely flushed, with bloodshot eyes that looked "psychotic" and "totally freaked out"
(his words). I couldn't walk or sit up very well. When I was able to speak, it came out as
incoherent and strained babble.
©1998 The Third Plateau
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