Self-transforming elf machine
|Average height||3-4 feet|
|Behind the Scenes|
Machine elves (also known as fractal elves or self-transforming elf machines) is a term coined by the late ethnobotanist, writer and philosopher Terence McKenna to describe the apparent entities that are often reported by individuals using tryptamine-based psychedelic drugs, especially DMT.
References to such encounters can be found in many cultures ranging from shamanic traditions of Native Americans to indigenous Australians and African tribes, as well as among Western users of these substances.
At about minute one or two of a DMT trip, according to McKenna, one may burst through a chrysanthemum-like mandala, and find: There's a whole bunch of entities waiting on the other side, saying "How wonderful that you're here! You come so rarely! We're so delighted to see you!" They're like jewelled self-dribbling basketballs and there are many of them and they come pounding toward you and they will stop in front of you and vibrate, but then they do a very disconcerting thing, which is they jump into your body and then they jump back out again and the whole thing is going on in a high-speed mode where you're being presented with thousands of details per second and you can't get ahold on [them ...] and these things are saying "Don't give in to astonishment", which is exactly what you want to do. You want to go nuts with how crazy this is, and they say "Don't do that. Pay attention to what we're doing".
What they're doing is making objects with their voices, singing structures into existence. They offer things to you, saying "Look at this! Look at this!" and as your attention goes towards these objects you realise that what you're being shown is impossible. It's not simply intricate, beautiful and hard to manufacture, it's impossible to make these things. The nearest analogy would be the Fabergé eggs, but these things are like the toys that are scattered around the nursery inside a U.F.O., celestial toys, and the toys themselves appear to be somehow alive and can sing other objects into existence, so what's happening is this proliferation of elf gifts, which are moving around singing, and they are saying "Do what we are doing" and they are very insistent, and they say "Do it! Do it! Do it!" and you feel like a bubble inside your body beginning to move up toward your mouth, and when it comes out it isn't sound, it's vision. You discover that you can pump "stuff" out of your mouth by singing, and they're urging you to do this. They say "That's it! That's it! Keep doing it!". We're now at minute 4.5 [of the trip] and you speak in a kind of glossolalia. There is a spontaneous outpouring of syntax unaccompanied by what is normally called "meaning". After a minute or so of this the whole thing begins to collapse in on itself and they begin to physically move away from you. Usually their final shot is that they wave goodbye and say "Deja vu! Deja vu!". This concept may be related to a tendency for the brain to imagine living entities during certain altered states. The best example of this is the extremely common feeling of a living presence during sleep paralysis (which has been theorized as the origin of the succubus, as well as a common theme in many alien abduction stories). However, Terence McKenna and Dr. Rick Strassman have both asserted the sense of reality of the experience is distinct from ordinary hallucinatory experiences, leading both researchers to speculate that perhaps the physics of many worlds is involved. Jacques Vallee has proposed that the entities met may be of an interdimensional nature in his interdimensional hypothesis.
James Kent has put forth a different explanation for machine elves. Kent postulates that the DMT landscape is simply disrupting or "editing" our processing of visual information and causing a chaotic interpretation of it inspired by hyperactive phosphene activity. The brain may fill in the blanks and since we all have an affinity for anthropomorphic things, a humanoid entity may appear out of all this chaos. Our "imaginal workplace" will take the center stage in brain activity, allowing internal data to be interpreted as external stimuli.
When reflecting upon his experiences Aldous Huxley suggested that there was something, which he called Mind at Large, which was filtered by the ordinary functioning of the human brain to produce ordinary experience.