Death is the Road to
Awe: An Account of Ego Death
DMT Trip #2
Taken: 4/25/14
Written: 4/30/14
Ego death.
Ego death,
my god, ego death.
It exists, it is tangible, it is terrifying and it is beautiful. And how, oh how do I begin to
write about it? It is a Wednesday, April 30th, and I experienced my body fully fall away
from me on Friday, April 25th. For five days I have been contemplating whether I wanted
to write about. When you experience something overwhelming, you often find yourself
not wanting to tell everyone because you know that what you witnessed and felt can
never be justified with words. But sometimes you try anyway, like I am here, right now,
and hope that your recollection of the events is nearly as beautiful as the events
themselves. on Friday April 25th I was ready for ego death. I had known it to be the
consciousness falling away from the body, I had thought that the "death" wa merely just
the release, the separation of two entities. I was very right, and very wrong. I will do my
best here to explain what death is, and how I lived through it.
It was around 6 pm, and I was in my friend Sergio's apartment. I was walking around a
circular table of his, it was wooden, looking sun-faded, and there were things scattered
all over it. I was gripping a lapis lazuli crystal, pointed at both ends with hard edges and
smooth, faceted sides. It was dotted with glints of pyrite, and I held the blue of the stone
in my mind as I prepared for the DMT trip. I remember feeling the carpet of the floor
underneath my feet even though I had my shoes on. I could feel the earth underneath
me, it was moving, it had to be moving, slowly, waiting, pausing to let me contemplate
my own balance before I melted into the ground.
I had only met Sergio once in my life, when he watched my first dmt trip unfold before
my eyes, and here I was in his apartment, ready to die. And what do I mean when I say
I was ready to die? Well, I'm still not sure. I think death at that time manifested itself as
this escape from bounds. Death was literally the consciousness shedding its skin and
adapting to a new form. Or rather, that's what I wanted it to be. Before April 25th, I told
myself I was a self-actualized human being; I had reached the peak of self actualization,
I was free and full of Self but I wanted to be without Self. Not selfless, just lacking in the
essence of what we commonly define as the self: the external body, the predetermined
state of mind. And I was self-actualized. I am self-actualized, a feat among Maslow's
hierarchy: a 19 year old, rooted willow tree. I was ready to die. I wanted to be the tree
that didn't fall, but rather melted, leaving thin rings to float up into the sky. And I had a
thousand rings to share with the atmosphere.
A thing about trees is that we never see the rings apart from the actual tree, even
though we refer to them as their own idea, and entity. It's like the consciousness. We
see it as a separate entity yet can't separate it from the actual body. Here I was, pacing
the room, ready to experience a separation no one was able to prove. I was nervous,
and still I remain nervous to even wish for something that holds no bounds in proof. I’m
not religious, I don’t believe in a god, and I have reason behind this. But the
consciousness, if it resides in our Self, if it IS our Self, can we claim its provable?
“Reality is created in the brain” “Reality is created in the mind,” over and over my
psychology professor chants these words into my head while I sleep.
I watched Sergio dig through a small plastic packet of yellow powder. I watched a little
dust float around the powder when he disturbed it, it reminded me of sulfur, crumbled
and malleable. I turned Teebs on, music that would ultimately define the mood of the
A thing I remember thinking was, is this music to die to?
Was this sulfuric looking powder the catalyst and the prerequisite for ultimate
Did it even matter whether I questioned it if I had already accepted it?
Sergio held out the pipe to me and eagerly I inhaled. I waited. I wasn't used to smoking
so the burning and the coughing was all I could feel, hear, think of,
one more inhale, more coughing, wait, I needed water,
more coughing, inhaling of only air, more air,
and one more hit, a blurriness, coughing,
a haziness.
I realized I was looking down, so I led my eyes up into the room.
I was back.
Teebs jingled around me, I was in a jungle this time. The Balam acab playing in the first
trip induced a sort of playground, but this was a jungle gym. I felt like everything was
green and made of soft grasses. It was all structured like cardboard: the television had
flat planes, the table wasn't round but made of vectors like in a rough wireframe
animation. I was in an animation program again, but this time things were much more
structured and definite. I looked at Sergio, I don't remember seeing him, I only
remember the feeling of exploration of my atmosphere. The whole word felt like hazy
sulfur fields. I was still coughing and had my water bottle in hand and was moving my
hands into patterns I couldn't see around me. Each finger collectively guided the music
with my other fingers, they were working together to lead my hand into slices of the
atmosphere, portals that opened to accommodate my fingers, hand, arm. I was sitting at
the edge of the couch watching the way the bright blue of the television reflected
through the water bottle and into my thigh where I let the water bottle rest. I felt like my
whole body glowed in a purple-blue. This all felt so similar to my first trip, and I was
excited for Sergio to experience this world with me. I waited as I watched him inhale the
sulfur as well. His reaction was subtle, he sat there and affirmed himself by nodding and
said something like "yeah this is awesome," I can't remember.
I do remember him lying against the couch, relaxed. I wanted to lay my head back as
well but I didn't want to join him yet, I wanted to look at the world independently. I felt
that this was all mine to explore, and that he was in another realm apart from mine. He
was an object in my world, simply enough. But he was an object with a presence like all
the other objects. I remember asking myself if people were like objects, or objects were
the ones just like people.
And then in between coughs, I let my body go limp against the couch and observed as
my coughing continued but felt more comfortable. My coughing suddenly felt good, it
was actually....warm. It was so soothing to cough, and didn't feel rough like coughing
always does. It felt felt like a smooth and warm fog rushing into me, like a cloud
of warm mist rolling over a hillside. I was watching the water bottle make those shapes
against my leg and I was still moving my arms and hands but I didnt want to. I knew on
my first trip I couldn't stop moving and this time I knew I needed to stop moving. I forced
my fingers against my thighs until it was painful, but my body accommodated to the
change and relaxed.
Sergio offered me his hand and I think I heard him say to take it and I'm not sure if he
said he was ready or I was thinking I was ready but I heard "I'm ready" and knew that
this was a countdown, the countdown of my fingers slowly inching towards his hand,
ready to die.
I had to have been ready to die.
I was ready.
Suddenly I remember a tight grip, fingers laced between fingers, calm touching, and
everything changed. Everything!
I lost the world, as if I had blacked out, but not abruptly, I flowed into this blackout. I
can't remember if my eyes were open or closed but I felt darkness and I felt Sergio's
hand and it was a comfort, telling me I wasn't alone in this blackness. I had heard
accounts of dmt and how new worlds were created when experiencing the drug, but I
had never felt an entirely new world during my first trip. But this....this wasn't the world
anymore. I was in some altered state where everything around me manifested itself into
a frequency. The frequencies were in the form of soft objects. The best way I can
describe them is by explaining the way we can see strange shapes when we close our
eyes after staring at a bright light. If one stares at the sun and closes their eyes, they
often see this strange, brightly lit object floating wherever they avert their vision. And
you can never quite pinpoint what color it is. White, but embodying all colors. And they
danced, they absolutely danced all around me, to the ethereal beat of Teebs. I kept
thinking of them as smiling stars even though they had not definite form. I think it's
because they seemed so excited to see me. Yes, excited! Like they had been cheering
me on the whole time and wanted to chant, "Welcome! Welcome!" as of this was finally
the home I had been looking for, for all of my existence. I wasn't living anymore, I was
somewhere underground, stuck in this realm. But I wasn't dead either, I was in this sort
of transitional phase. I wasn't even thinking about death though, I was too busy
submerged into this alternate atmosphere.
These shapes, they sort of pushed into me. I was in this vortex. Constantly moving
upwards, at a slant. And they kept swirling towards me like a spiral that was directed to
a specific point, a coil shooting towards me, then diffusing. I suddenly felt my heart
beating. It was beating louder than it had ever beaten before, but there was no sound to
it, only a vibration. A giant pulse in my body. The only part of my body I actually felt was
the fusion of my hand within sergio's hand. It beat as well, almost as intensely as my
own heart, but it was my heart. Everything was beating all around me, slowly and
mournfully and forcefully. I felt like it was a hand pushing my down, this beating, and the
shapes, the entities, were coiling into me as I was pushed further and further. And then I
became the heartbeat. And my body shrank, into a heat map. The only things that gave
off color was the upper body where my chest was, and the conjoined hands. They
weren't even hands anymore, just a blob that vibrated with energy and gave off color
like the entities still spiraling. All my energy was soothed into this simple embrace. I
didn't feel Sergio’s hand but I felt him. I felt all of him, I wanted to contain him because
he and I were one and the same, the same atoms buzzing sporadically through each
other, like lapping waves but more aggressively.
I never felt my head through any of this, it was hollow. I just felt that beat, that pounding,
it became more forceful, it started to hurt in this strangely comfortable way, like the
coughing hurt. "Jahara" by Teebs was playing prominently. I didn't know that at the time,
but I've been listening to Teebs while writing this and that song happened to play
immediately as I was describing the painful heartbeat, and I knew that was exactly the
song that I started drifting away to. I was drifting away. The beat was dying down and I
felt myself growing downwards, there was an immense pressure of my heartbeat, like a
thumb pressing my chest in, a thumb forcing itself down onto my solar plexus except
everything that I was, was a solar plexus. And the thumb was all encompassing. The
best way I know how to explain what happened next is to create a multiple layering of
metaphors, stacked on top of each other:
I was a mountain.
A soft hill, a tall plateau.
I could feel myself very hollow, I was a shell but I still contained something. I didn't know
what that was. But something was telling me that I had no right to be a mountain, and
that I couldn't be a mountain, because a mountain wasn't really what I was. I could feel
my height in relation to the flat ground, the sea level. My heartbeat pressed me down, it
told me, NO, I could NOT be a mountain. Mine and Sergio's hands pulsed together still,
beside the mountain of myself, but there was still a pressure forcing me down. I was
being diminished, I was crumbling under the weight of this giant thumb, but I couldn't
fight it. I watched myself disappearing, it was so painful.
I suddenly realized I was crying.
I said out loud, "it's happening."
I said I felt it, I said it felt so good. Sergio said he felt it too, I felt a whimper in his voice,
and we were being crushed together. We were both so scared. I needed him, I couldn't
die alone. His hand kept me grounded as I felt the rest of myself flatten out. I was
suddenly nothing, 2 dimensional, a surface, a sea level. I was being so tightly
compressed that I couldn't breathe. I realized, consciously, that I really was dying. I felt
like I was suddenly in this hospital setting, entities were looking over me as I stared
upwards. They were letting me know it was okay, I could see it in their expression, but
their expressions weren't in their faces; they had no faces, only auras. The pressure, in
a pattern, still beat down on me. It was on my chest, it was pressing the breath out of
me. Like I was in an operating room watching from inside of myself like a child watches
their first person character in a video game on a screen, I was watching what the shell
of myself was watching. And suddenly in this simulation I was dying, I had been
wounded and my heart beat flashed in bright colors on the screen and each press, each
beat was becoming slower, and slower, and I was fading, and I was so scared, terrified,
I can't even express how utterly helpless I was as the world was entirely pressing the
breath out of me, and I felt tightness in my chest, but a warm tightness, and suddenly
my lungs flattened themselves out so that they were two dimensional and couldn't take
in any air, and the world beat away, flashes of deep light, and then black.
I was dead.
I have no recollection of the moment right after, and do not know how long it lasted.
Words cannot express that moment, that moment of utter nonexistence, where you can't
understand anything because you have no senses, you have no concept of what IS. I
do not know what it was like, but I know it was. I did not have any notion of coming
back, I did not think, "I will be back." I did not think about what happened after death, at
all. I just knew that I was experiencing death and it was warm and terrifying and utterly
euphoric at the same time, and I was accepting of it. It did not cross my mind that I was
on dmt. I genuinely thought I was diminishing forever.
And then,
The Unbelievable Happened.
I fizzled out, tingling, I was aware of black space, not quite colors. I was diffusing in an
atmosphere. There was an atmosphere! Never had I ever been so excited for an
Wait, I was experiencing! Was this death? Was the actual death just another transition
phase? What was this place that looked so familiar? Was I really back? Was death just
a moment of shut down and recharge before I came back? Was I actually dead in my
past life, was this an alternate reality in which I survived my death? (I shutter at the
thought of my dead body being nothing but a snakeskin on a couch next to another
snake skin, waiting to be found by those who love me). If this latter were true, how many
alternate realities had I already created by experiencing death? How many times had I
already died?? And how many times had I been born, in relation??
To put this new transformation in perspective, think of a drop of food coloring. When a
drop is squeezed out of its bottle, before it even remotely hits the water, it visibly exists
as this round sphere/oval of a shape, colored inside and shelled on the outside. We see
it as this solid object. This is how I felt I was in life. I was a color contained in a hard
liquid shell. Once I touched the surface of the water, I wasn't a shell anymore, I was
spread across the flat water-level until I was the flat water level, momentarily. This was
the stage of death.
And then....
Then I lost my shell and I fell underneath the water in a plume of smoke, a burning fog,
captured and entranced in the water, I had no form. This was my awakening. I then
slowly took on this new form, I dispersed into the water, a diffusion, I became the water
and filled it with color. It became my new shell. I still had a shell but it was thinner and
wider and my consciousness was able to expand and fill more surface area than ever
This was my awakened state, a new breadth of consciousness.
It is now May 7th, 2014 as I am writing this. Over the past few days I have contemplated
how I can even express the rebirth I experienced when I could barely account for the
death. It feels as if the trip/rebirth was months ago, but I feel so young. I feel so freshly
cracked out of a shell, tapped on the side of a bowl and shed open into the light that is
the pure ground beneath me.
It’s difficult for anyone to talk about the moment they died. It’s difficult for anyone to talk
about the moment they were born. How can we discuss these things when our state of
consciousness in each is predetermined as an invalid state to be able to express deeply
with? We take into consideration that death is an end, that life is a beginning without
anything preceding. But what about what I just experienced, was that not both a
beginning and an end simultaneously? It is speculated, although not entirely proven
(based on my own research) that DMT may be released when you’re born and when
you die. Even if this hypothesis is incorrect, I can fully understand the ideas behind this.
Within instants of dying, I was born anew, I was carried into this wave that passed me
from one stage to the next. Perhaps it wasn't a death, but rather a climb to a new height.
Why must there be death to experience life?
I feel as if I was living, and then living again at a higher level. Ever since the trip, I have
mulled this over multiple times a day. I cannot determine whether I was dying or coming
into life in each stage of my trip. It’s a blur, as if it doesn't matter whether I was dying or
living, because I Was. I WAS.
Which has led me into my own questions: Is there a difference between these things we
call life and death? Is there really a difference between existing and non-existing, and
can we even exist in the first place? Is there an end? Is there a beginning? Are we just
constructing these ideas as we go? Why do beginnings and ends have to exist? Are
those two ideas the only thing that we can comprehend? What if there isn't a beginning
or an end, an origin, what is there then? All these questions, stacked upon each other
without answers. “But I don’t have to know an answer, I don’t have to...I don’t feel
frightened by not knowing things.” Richard Feynman once said this, and I feel fully
responsible for soaking this into my core. I don’t have to know.
After this supposed “rebirth” occurred after “death,” I became aware of my ego again.
When the drug starts to wear off, it slowly makes itself known, and you climb on
upwards into a level of being that you recognize. You feel yourself, it’s almost painful,
but it’s different. You realize you are entering a new realm, and you are ready for it.
Since the trip happened weeks ago, I don't feel I can explain this moment of rebirth
anymore. There is a lot more that I feel needs to be accounted for, but i just cant do it.
It’s like trying to explain that moment that you actually came into this existence, that
moment you were born, physically (I explain this in a way that those who have not taken
DMT or experienced the realm of ego death will understand). You can't remember that
moment, it fell away from you a long time ago. But you dont have to know, you dont
have to explain it to define yourself, you don't need to justify who you are based on how
you came into this Being. All you need to know is how you ARE being, in this moment,
and that determines the state of your Self.
I am not what I was before the trip, I am not what I was during the trip, I am not what I
was after the trip, I am not what I am right now, I am constantly changing, moving
direction, scattering, frequencing, flowing on.
But in terms of what we call time, I have changed. Time has measured me and it has
deemed me worthy of experiencing a new reality. I look at paintings hanging on
museum walls now and I can experience the realities of each brush stroke, individually. I
can feel the atoms rushing down the highway as I’m driving, particles from my car and
particles from the road twirling together in a double helix as they slide against each
other. My heart beats, slowly, waiting for the moment it will be able to become me. It is
not me, though. It waits, it is a shell. My body is this entire shell that must contain all my
unforeseeable atoms before it gives into the weight of their randomness and
I can't touch human beings lightly anymore. When my fingertips press against the skin
of a human being, vessels colliding with other vessels, I have to consume all of their
being. It’s too much sometimes, I can only blend with so many people. I now take a new
precaution to what I place my hands on.
The strangest effect of this ego death was the new perspective I developed on the
death of others. Someone who was very close to me experienced the death of his father
less than a few years ago. It was always referred to as a painful death, and I believed it.
I’ve never experienced the death of someone close to me, but I felt the pain of death
everywhere. It terrified me. My biggest fear was that it must be painful, and there was
no way to walk around the pain of non-existence. I watched this boy watch his father die
between his fingertips. I was not physically there, but I saw the disintegration of a
human being until he was a human being no longer. His father was “dead.” He had
“died.” Strangely enough, I never felt that his father had died. I had never met his father,
never even met this close friend of mine (we had an extensive online relationship that
developed for years), but I knew that he wasn't dead. No, he wasn't in a heaven, he
wasn’t in a purgatory, wasn't a ghost, but he was still flurried about somewhere, and I
couldn't figure out where. Then when I was born again, I knew. I knew something that I
felt I had no right to know, but I knew it.
There was no pain.
There was no pain in death.
His father
did not
in pain.
Death, it is flawless. It is awe, it is “an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration,
fear produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful.”
That’s all it is. How can death be painful when it is so full of awe?
I send a very long recording to this boy whose father had diminished, in which I
tried to explain to him why his father did not die in pain-
“...I dont even know what im trying to say, I just know, I know, that your dad did
not die in pain. He had to have been comfortable, he had to have
been...enlightened. You can't go through death without being enlightened you just
can't. Death is’s not short, it doesn't happen quickly, we might think it does
but it doesn't, it takes awhile. You have to, you have to sort of transcend into the
And the transcendence is exactly what I experienced on the evening of August
25th. A warm glow, a long, timeless venture into a love that is not describable on
this plane. It is nothing like this world, yet it has always been this world. When one
“dies,” they’re not gone. Theyre just fizzling out into a million directions and
frequencies, like our bodies do on a daily basis. Perhaps our consciousness is not an
object, but a collection of these atoms that have taken the form of every other
thing we know. Energy, it isn't created or destroyed, just altered, changing states,
constantly moving about, never still. Do we then share consciousnesses with each
What could all of this possibly mean?
All I know, is that I do not fear death.
No one can be ready for death, or not ready for death. It wouldn’t matter either way. It
doesn’t matter, nothing matters.
I don’t even know what I am anymore, I never did know. I don’t care. I will keep on
feeling things for as long as I feel them, and then when I cannot feel anything anymore I
will wait until I can feel them again. And this will cycle, between feeling and not feeling
and feeling and not feeling and expanding and contracting and moving and not moving
and flowing and ebbing and flowing and ebbing and feeling and not feeling again.
Look at all this awe,

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