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 tears.

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 amusement.

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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