DMT, Forehead Pulls, And Friendship Show The True Nature Of The Universe
I'm about to describe an experience that is patently dangerous and irresponsible. You will read about hook play (ie. suspension, pulling, etc.) where the participants have been drinking alcohol heavily. If you do this, you will first of all bleed a lot more than usual, putting those around you at increased risk of being contaminated by your blood, as well as you being contaminated by the others involved. Impaired thinking also increases the chance of making mistakes, both in controlling contamination, and in making judgement calls about safety.
All that said, drinking and drug use is most definitely an element of my life personally, and I feel that I am aware of my limits and I have acted inside what I consider safe personally. Definitely objectively dangerous, but well inside what I consider acceptable behavior for myself and my personal limits. In addition, on a historical level, it is certainly not uncommon for people to perform analogous rites in extremely strained states, be it from fasting, physical activity, or even psychotropic drug consumption.
Finally, I've found with ritual activity, for myself, that I get far more out of it if I just throw myself at it and go with what it gives me. It's been my experience that a ritualized buildup takes away from the carnal truth of the experience.
In any case, on with the show. I've changed a few names, but I'm sure people who were there will know who's who, and that's good enough.
At one of the recent BME BBQs Jack was trying to raise money to send himself and his suspension group to the big Dallas SusCon (the mother of all suspension events, hosted by the original suspension group TSD). He'd already swung around wildly and lifted up at least a half dozen audience members and had close to $500 in his donation jar. To top it all off he wanted to finish the night with a two-hook chest suspension.
Jack is I think known for pushing himself to his limits physically -- I don't think many people could consistently put themselves through the physical abuse he does and still be standing, especially if you count the probably close to a dozen beers he'd drank as well -- as a result of the alcohol, his back was drenched in huge bloody angel wings, lit in stark chiaroscuro as he twirled under the ropes in the night, lit only by what little light made it out from the house.
Anyway, back in the house Jack was sitting getting marked for the chest hooks. The 6ga needles were passed through, bringing to the surface nodules of fat -- immediately the blood began to pour down his chest and it was clear to me that this was not a good idea.
"Jack, I really don't think you should be doing this -- this isn't going to turn out well."
"Well, I want to do something. Do you want to do another forehead pull?"
And that was that -- we took the hooks out of Jack's chest, stopped the bleeding, and bandaged them. We found the last 8ga needle and pierced Jack's forehead with it -- for those of you that saw the video, you can see that he was none too thrilled about the way it felt. The hook followed through, and other than a few drops of blood that ordeal was over and it was my turn.
Now, I actually really like getting pierced, although even though I've been pierced hundreds of times, it still scares me on some instinctual level. I think maybe part of the reason I like getting pierced when I've been drinking is that it relaxes me and takes away that fear, and allows me to experience the piercing with a clear head (I'm sure that must sound like an oxymoron!) -- to feel the subtle nuances of flesh being torn.
There are only a very small number of people that I trust to pierce me. I base that trust not on technical skill, but on the way I feel about that person. Piercing, to me, is an intimate act and I would never get pierced by a person I don't deeply trust and feel comfortable with on an intimate level.
We only had a 6ga needle left, which was just fine by me because I have very tight skin and without using a dramatically larger needle (the hooks were I think 10ga) I don't bleed at all, which for me takes away from the intensity of the experience. Jack lined the needle up with the entrance point and started to push. I think it was Bud the Punk that likened stretching big piercing to "getting fucked by a really big dick" (or something similarly true but crude) -- there is most definitely something sexual about forcing a large gauge needle through touch flesh.
I felt the tip of the needle gently slide into and under the skin, and then catch on the bevel. Jack pushed harder -- I could feel hands supporting my head and force coming in along the shaft of the needle. With a steel grunt the bevel penetrated me and the full girth of the needle slid inside me. I felt full and I felt complete -- the needle felt "right" there.
I could feel it moving under the skin, approaching the soon to be created exit hole -- the skin tented up, lifted by the glans of the needle. I felt it move through the layers, and rather than cutting it's path, I could feel everything tearing and separating as it forced its way out, leaving a shredded exit hole.
In satisfaction my body, or the needle, or both together, ejaculated volumes of blood. My face was immediately covered with thick dark essence. It kept flowing, and by the time we got outside my white shirt was well marked with love.
Emrys (who is straightedge, but willing to tolerate us fools and play designated driver -- as well as being someone that both I and many of you reading this owe a debt of gratitude for the hard work he's done for us) hooked us up flesh to hook to rope to hook to flesh, and we became some meaty version of a tin-can telephone -- I won't go so far as to say that thoughts conduct along suspension rope, but there's definitely a connection.
The pull itself was less intense than you'd see in a back pull (which often has an almost tug-of-war quality about it) -- more of a swaying back and forth. This is probably the hardest part of the experience for me to describe. There wasn't really any pain, at least not in any negative way -- maybe a little when we were leaning back at our hardest, but I really don't think that I could say it hurt.
More than anything, for me anyway, it was a trust exercise and an inquiry into the nature of self. I'm pretty much totally heterosexual, but I think maybe pulling allows me access to a level of male-male connectivity that is analogous to making love minus the sexual overtones. I don't know if it's right to say that I felt "connected" to Jack, more so that I felt that we were the same person. Not that we'd merged, but that this "physical trick" had made me aware of the true nature of the universe and opened a little window letting me see behind this illusionary reality.
There were other things going on, some hooting and hollering from the crowd. We did some silly things like dip down and Emrys and Marc and maybe others limboed underneath the rope... However, I have essentially no conscious memory of any of that happening (I only know because of the pictures) as I was in another place.
At the end of it I walked away with a little more insight into myself and the universe, and with an even deeper connection with my friends that helped it happen.
Other than taking out the hook I did nothing -- even though it had been pouring blood before and during the experience, it stopped almost immediately afterwards and no bandage was placed and little cleanup was done. When I got up in the morning it was a little swollen, but not that badly and I literally just ignored it. I'm left now with two scars, which most people probably assume are acne scars... and I'm left with a bit of truth.
(The rest of this experience is not directly mod related, so if that's where your interest ends, you can stop now. However, I feel that there is a direct connection between the two that we should not ignore.)
You may remember that in one of my previous experiences (the one about tearing the hook out of my arm) even though I'd gone into it as a jackass doing a party trick, I was suddenly torn from my body (as the hook tore from my flesh -- Alex Binnie says, "when you open the flesh you let something in"):
Even though I was surrounded by a large crowd, I couldn't hear them. They were all tiny and muted, almost as if they were far away. They became utterly insignificant, and faded out of my perception. As this was happening, I became acutely aware of myself. When I say that, I do not mean that I could feel my arm more than usual or anything like that. I mean that I became aware of myself as a sentient presence in the universe, and I became aware of where "I" ended and where the rest of the world began.
As if that wasn't profound enough, it didn't stop there. I then became aware of similar entities all over the universe -- everyone I knew, and everyone I would never knew was a part of this massive ocean of energy, and I could touch every one of them and we were all a part of each other. It was probably at that moment that I knew that, for lack of a better way of putting it, "it was all real".
I'd always thought that there were deep connections between the psychedelic experience and the suspension experience, and this gave me some ammunition to convince myself with. Recently I was visited by a friend who left me a little bit of 5-MEO-DMT, a powerful dissociative hallucinogen. (Dissociative in that it generates "new" visions, rather than simply altering your perception reality as with a drug like LSD).
In any case, Jack was driving across the country to visit friends so he stopped by on his way. I told him about the DMT and described the classic DMT experience -- he was of course intrigued. I hadn't tried the DMT because years and years ago I'd overdone it with LSD and at this point I find that experience extremely emotionally taxing. Jack was a bit scared I think to try the DMT because of the intensity of the experience, but I convinced him that it was safe and that he was around people he could trust to take care of him should anything go wrong (and I think if it was not for the pullings and the mutual trust that generated, none of what is about to follow would have happened).
I filled the pipe with DMT and Jack sat back in the chair, lit it, and inhaled the noxious stuff in one puff. He felt a little odd and described minor hallucinations, but it was clear that nothing had happened. Maybe I hadn't put in enough so we filled the pipe with the remainder of the DMT and tried again. Still nothing. That was odd -- so we assumed we must have wasted it, somehow burning it up in the pipe without getting anything. I smoke pot due in part to chronic arthritis pain in my legs, so we just decided to relax and smoke that instead.
Little did I know, that the DMT had just turned into a resin and stuck to the screen, and then with the pot it got hot enough to vaporize. All of a sudden static started to build up in my ears and the world got "tight". It undulated up to an insane volume, like a jet engine parked on top of me. All of a sudden all of reality shattered like a giant mirror -- quite literally, I could see pieces everywhere -- and I got pulled into "another place", a place very similar to the one I'd been to in my first suspension experience.
Every sense was merged into a single primordial sense -- totally primitive and totally pure. There was no mass or energy or anything physical at all any more, and all that existed -- all that made up the entire universe -- was thought. Not so much that what I thought became real or was hallucinated, but in that I was somehow seeing the "true nature" of the universe on some spiritual quantum level.
You know how they say that when you go to another universe the laws of physics are different? Well, the universe I went to didn't even have physics, and the laws of thought were radically altered. The experience is literally indescribable using words.
And then about six minutes later (apparently I was totally catatonic the whole time, which is normal) I was fine again, and ten minutes after that, there was nothing -- no residual effects, no comedown or anything. To be honest, I felt great -- not in a drugged euphoria, but great in the way a person feels when they figure out how a very impressive magic trick is done.
I'd been shown something amazing.
Baba Ram Dass said something along the lines of "there are many paths up the mountain, but the view's the same." Maybe it's just a shared delusion, but I believe that both physical ritual (suspension, pulling, and so on -- probably even ball torture when it comes down to it), as well as extreme psychedelic exploration, can show us the true nature of both ourselves and the universe we inhabit.
Here is what I have learned (or here is what my descent into madness has produced, if you prefer to see it that way):
The fundamental construct of the universe is not matter and energy, but thought. The physical universe is a dream. We are all small parts of a single superbeing (call it God, call it the universe, it doesn't matter).
Every activity I have ever undertaken that has taken me outside of my day-to-day physical existence (or non-existence) has confirmed these facts to me. So maybe rushing fast, headlong, and without constraints into the guts of life is a good thing.
As a conclusionary warning, I would like to emphasize that if you want to undertake any of these activities it is monstrously important that you do it while surrounded by people who you trust with your life, and that you care for deeply. If you try and do these things in an inhospitable environment, don't be surprised when you find yourself cast into the depths of a self-imposed hell.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 22 Oct. 2002