DMT & My Occult Mind: Lite by Dick Kahn | Self-published | 2019
DMT & My Occult Mind: Investigations of Occult Realities using the Spirit Molecule by Dick Kahn was originally published in 2017, and ran to almost 700 pages. Along with a recent sequel (DMT & My Occult Mind II, 2019), Kahn has also created a Lite version of his original book, which condenses his key experiences and observations into a more succinct format. In it, he records over sixty sessions taking the powerful, short-acting psychedelic N-N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and the extraordinary visionary experiences he underwent.
The book begins with a brief autobiography of Kahn’s altered states. From an early age in the north of England, he considered the enormity of space and imagined himself on the moon. Sleep, he also decided, was an adversary. Each night he tried to explore the transition between wakefulness and sleep, and on the very odd occasion he managed to defeat his foe, he found himself floating up above his sleeping body, able to move through his home. A few years later, he tried magic mushrooms, experiencing weird perceptions of time, and it ‘rekindled something deep inside me… a yearning desire to find answers to those deepest questions’.
Kahn also became interested in occult literature and attended the Manchester Theosophical Society, where an old gentleman lent him Occult Chemistry by Annie Besant and CW Leadbeater. However, it was after watching the documentary DMT: The Spirit Molecule that he became fascinated by DMT. The documentary, and the classic book from which it takes its name, explores the DMT research conducted by Dr Rick Strassman in the 1990s. Kahn became fascinated by the strange stories of entity encounters and bizarre worlds, and as a result he undertook an extensive period of online research about the substance.
He discovered that the dried root bark of Mimosa hostilis contains a high percentage of DMT (it is also used for various ayahuasca analogues), and having purchased some, after a bit of trial and error Kahn learnt to extract the chemical. What then began was his extraordinary odyssey of psychedelic sessions, which he dutifully recorded with the intention of providing an accurate and undiluted account of what he experienced—and what he discovered was no less strange than what had been recorded in Strassman’s research.
Each trip was typically untaken in his home with a usual range of 25–30mg and this establishes a regularity throughout. Kahn’s ‘come ups’ were often accompanied by a ringing sound that he connects with pineal gland ideas, followed by a surge of voluminous energy. He refers to this space as ‘occult’, i.e. that which is hidden, and as having a ‘psycho-spiritual’ nature. This extends to an array of DMT beings he meets, or ‘psycho-spiritual entities’, which traverse personalities and differing levels of powerful presence. This DMT space therefore is an inhabited container for his intellectual and literary engagement with occult revelation.
There is, as one might expect if one is familiar with DMT, a certain bodily passivity throughout the trip reports. Movement is inflicted rather than expressed. Of one entity, for example, ‘Inside my head, I could feel its movement. It was a strange and unique sensation. I could feel it moving behind my left eyeball’. Elsewhere, an entity took control of his breathing ‘by sealing up the inside of my mouth’. And also, ‘there came a sense of disembodiment. Not bodily; more as though my psyche had just been divided up’. This interplay of movement and stasis beautifully underpins the reports.
DMT & My Occult Mind Lite is without doubt a strange and fascinating text describing encounters with one of the weirdest of all psychedelics. Aspects of it will be familiar to those who have experienced it, but the sheer quantity of sessions is quite mind-boggling, and although there is an understandable degree of repetition, there remains plenty of surprise. Overall, Kahn asks many more questions than he answers, and that is perhaps the book’s most objective reflection of the occult world of DMT—a space that tears apart sensual and consensual realities, only to return you minutes later.
This review first appeared in the Psychedelic Press journal.