The Kubrick Gaze

Jump to Section

Jump to Section

“You don’t find reality only in your backyard, you know. In fact, sometimes that’s the last place you’ll find it.”
-Stanley Kubrick, 1969 [1]

A lot of ink has flowed over the contradiction that is Stanley Kubrick. He seems to be the kind of artist everyone wants to have pinned, yet slips out of every critical grasp. Interpretations of his work tend toward the extremes: Kubrick has been called a right-wing propagandist and a left-wing militant, a misogynist and a feminist, a fatalistic cynic and a quasi-religious optimist. Few directors have attracted so much vitriol, adulation, controversy and analysis. Kubrick’s own silence about the meaning of his films, combined with his notorious reclusiveness and his disregard for “social responsibility” before critic, church and state, only added to his mysterious aura.

If it is true that Kubrick’s films are rigid and cold, as many like to point out, it is also true that they are mercurial, dreamlike, and deeply personal. Their atmosphere is a necessary outcome of the filmmaker’s approach in making them. From Dr. Strangelove (1964) onward, that approach can only be called holographic. What you see in a Kubrick film is the conscious manifestation of an unconscious play of forces taking place beneath the celluloid surface. Kubrick is more concerned with psychic forces – archetypal, philosophical and cosmic – than he is with the emotional life of his characters or the diversion of his audience.

The relevance of art in society is a burning question today. In a world on the brink of annihilation or possible transformation, what role does the artist play? Should she forego the ideals of self-expression in order to create what is essentially propaganda, fuzzy New Agery or pointed didactic? Should he give up the ghost and occupy his time doing something more productive than playing the fiddle while Rome burns? Can art effect change, or can it really be relegated to mere entertainment, devoid of transformative power?

It is in response to such questions that I bring up Kubrick now. At the risk of seeming idolatrous, I hold him up as a model of how vision and conviction can make art that is relevant, spiritual and transformative. His genius, combined with his refusal to submit to the dictates of Right or Left, or even to the dark satanic mills of Hollywood, produced some of the most revelatory images of postmodern art. My goal is to show that Kubrick’s vision is as relevant today as it was when his films were released – perhaps more so.


Kubrick once told Jack Nicholson, “We’re not interested in photographing the reality. We’re interested in photographing the photograph of the reality.”[2] Stanley Kubrick’s films are not fictions but psychic documentaries. Suspending our disbelief – à la Hitchcock or Spielberg – was never his priority. Nothing in a Kubrick film is supposed to feel like it’s happening in a physical world analogous to our own. Their setting is the mind itself. Kubrick’s work belongs to the Gnostic hyperreal; it aspires to direct cognizance of pure thought. As psychedelic tours of history’s dream galleries, his films are inherently political, dealing with power and the creation and destruction of values. Most importantly, their core is mystical, even shamanic. Kubrick was one of the few filmmakers to take up André Bazin on his famous ideal of the Holy Moment, which posits that the motion picture camera can extract a slice of space-time and enframe it in Plato’s hyperspace, creating a reality that supercedes the historical moment originally captured on film.

Some of the most potent Holy Moments Kubrick filmed feature the Gaze, that uniquely Kubrickian device that appears in all of the films post-Strangelove, most famously in the first shot of A Clockwork Orange (1971) and in that one-shot scene in The Shining (1980) where Jack Torrance begins to slip over the edge. Kubrick valued this posture so much that he often assumed it himself in photographs, giving us the image of a man who is seeing beyond, which is precisely what the Gaze signifies. Whether they are looking into some unfathomable distance or straight at us through the camera lens, the characters who adopt the Gaze are piercing through the illusion of conscious life to spy the deep archetypal forces that shape reality.

In most cases, characters react to the truth that the Gaze reveals by going insane. It’s as if the eyes are gateways through which the spirit world can pass into the mind and take control. The challenge is to lift the veil of Maya while retaining our humanity. There is a moment in Eyes Wide Shut when Alice, Nicole Kidman’s character, adopts the Gaze before the mirror while her husband (both real and fictional) initiates sex with her. In the seconds before the screen fades to black, she turns to us. In that moment we know that she sees everything, and that the experience will either lead her (and, as it turns out, her husband) to enlightenment, or into a deeper dark.


This primacy of the eyes reveals an obsession on Kubrick’s part with clear vision. The skeptical and often ruthless attitude that he adopted with his cast, crew and co-writers is symptomatic of this obsession. Nothing can be taken for granted; everything must be broken down, examined from every angle and photographed in its most naked state. For Kubrick, film was a lens through which one can know the world. If he often spoke of the importance of objectivity, he invariably meant his personal objectivity. You can see this in the title of the dark comedy Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), in which one insane general provokes a nuclear war. The first-person title refers to Kubrick’s own disillusionment in the face of rational materialism, a doctrine whose inbuilt absurdity the movie exposes with the existential hysterics of a Laughing Buddha.

Kubrick said that his original intention was to make Strangelove a serious thriller. It was only when he realized how fundamentally insane the military-industrial complex was that he decided a comedy would better express the gravity of the post-war situation. The final film, however, went beyond the Cold War in its condemnation; it is a critique of the rational materialist doctrine of which the state apparatus of the Cold War was a direct product. How could a truly rational society give birth to such a lose-lose situation, let alone make an atom bomb in the first place? From the credit sequence showing the mating rituals of military aircraft to doomsday, Strangelove is a damning send-up not only of the military establishment but also of the governing logic of the modern world, a logic rooted in a deep denial of the irrational depths of the soul.

Dr. Strangelove set the stage for two more films, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and A Clockwork Orange (1971), which complete Kubrick’s science-fiction trilogy. It also set the stage for the cinema of the mind that dominated his work until his death. As if to make it clear that nothing can be the same after the disillusionment of Strangelove, Kubrick ends the film by destroying the world. The mushroom clouds let us know that only a complete collapse of the system – be it in the form of collective awakening or of the destruction of the planet – can make possible a new appraisal of life and humanity. “We’ll meet again some sunny day,” Vera Lynn croons as the world explodes. Dark humor aside, it’s as though Kubrick were promising us a solution.

From the first shots of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the story of humanity’s journey from ape to overman, it seems that Kubrick intends to keep that promise. We’re back together on a sunny day, but we’re not in Kansas anymore. The sun rises over the barren savannah of prehistoric Africa, where a tribe of frightful man-apes, our early ancestors, mingles with the plain animals. Evidently, the demon of Strangelove can only be confronted by returning to our origins. In a Joycean time warp, Kubrick’s Strangelove apocalypse “brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation” back to the Dawn of Man. Here, the famous Black Monolith will make its first appearance in history, bestowing upon us a new power.

Most critics assume that what the Monolith teaches is tool making. This isn’t wrong but it misses the point: most importantly, the Monolith bestows imagination. The film makes this clear in the scene where the man-ape smashes the skeletal remains of an animal with a bone. The magic of the moment lies in the primate’s sudden ability to imagine a connection between the skull and the living creature to which the skull once belonged. Intercut into the scene are shots of tapirs falling dead; these are taken right out of the man-ape’s mind. But the film uses the tool to symbolize imagination, and it is in the nature not just of film critics but of human beings in general to mistake the symbol for the thing. In fact, the worship of our creations is what leads the humans of 2001 into an abusive relationship with the supercomputer HAL, whose self-righteous attempt to take control of our destiny is a direct consequence of our blind adoration of technology at the expense of the visionary power that gave it birth.

2001 is Kubrick’s most overtly mystical film, and it has always seemed strange to me that his other films are only rarely assessed in light of it. At the time of its release, many people found the film too ambiguous for words. Kubrick himself thought this frustration stemmed from the literal-mindedness of contemporary filmmakers and audiences. “It’s time to abandon the conventional view of the movie as an extension of the three-act play. Too many people over thirty are still word-oriented rather than picture-oriented,” he said in a 1969 interview.[3]

To Kubrick, becoming “picture-oriented” represents an evolution in consciousness, the development of an ability to go beyond language, the source of all of those binary deadlocks and either-or’s that blind the third eye. The transdimensional “Star Child” who, at the end of the film, turns to us on his way back to Earth is a “picture-oriented” being, capable of seeing through the illusion of Maya. When it turns its Gaze on us, we are reminded of our power to imagine, to envision, and to shape our future. Here the Gaze is an invitation.

In its abandon of all but the rudiments of narrative, its use of trance-inducing imagery and its open-endedness, 2001 is not a movie but an ecstatic vision, and in conveying it Kubrick showed us for the first time the shamanic potential of cinema to induce visionary states. An example of film as entheogen, 2001 sheds the propagandist mantle cinema had worn until then (and all-too-often continues to wear today) to reveal its psychedelic heart.

The Nietzschean journey from ape to man to Star Child that shapes the plot of 2001 is in fact an exploration of man’s relationship with technology, which led to global destruction in Dr. Strangelove. However, here Kubrick seems concerned with technology’s positive potential. Echoing Heidegger, the film suggests that in technology, the process that is transforming nature and humans into “standing reserve,” mere resource to be used and then thrown away, there lies a “saving power.” Yes, technology and the capitalism that makes it proliferate are the result of a mad quest that threatens all living things, but 2001 proposes that this quest may not be as blind as we think. It may be guided by a higher consciousness. In the film, technology leads us to the discovery that it is within ourselves, not outside of us, that the solution to the problem of technology – a solution Heidegger called poiesis, or pure creativity – is hiding.

From the film, it would seem at first that interplanetary travel is the key to that discovery. This is where 2001 becomes allegorical. In reality, technology’s saving power has nothing to do with spaceships or space travel but with cinema itself. The Black Monolith that appears at the Dawn of Man, on the moon, in space and in the astronaut Bowman’s psyche at the moment of death, is not simply a throwback to Masonic symbolism or the Philosopher’s Stone. The Black Monolith is the movie screen.

This is the big secret of 2001. I’d never thought of it until it was pointed out by sources on the Net.[4] During the prologue and interlude, where we are made to stare at a black screen for several minutes while Ligeti’s alien choirs howl, we are actually looking at the Monolith. We are invited to transform ourselves, to become “picture-oriented,” to break out of the prison of language. Kubrick drives this secret thesis home in his subtle cameo appearance. In the scene where the astronauts gather for a photo-op in front of the lunar Monolith, we can see Kubrick holding a camera in the reflective visor of a space helmet. By gazing at us like the Star Child at the end of the film, Kubrick is showing us that the saving power of technology, that new poiesis made possible by industrialization, is the cinema. Never before its advent was humanity more capable of transcending language, of thinking in visions.

A Clockwork Orange picks up where 2001 left off. Now that the Star Child is born, it is necessary to determine how and if it can be integrated into society. Here, Kubrick’s optimism seems to fade. The story of the criminal Alex’s encounter with the sinister state apparatus of a kitschy dystopia forms the last chapter of the story that began with Dr. Strangelove.

The last shot of 2001, of the Star Child gazing into the camera, and the first shot of Clockwork, of Alex doing the same thing, are a conscious juxtaposition. Alex is the Star Child, the Nietzschean overman come to earth to expose society’s entrenched hypocrisy through a rejection of obsolete values. His love of music, his use of dramatic language, his costumes and posturing make him a kind of artist, a mercurial trickster dancing on the ruins of history. His pet snake – a classic shamanic symbol – and his ability to trance out and receive visions of violence make him a shaman. But this is the shaman as sorcerer rather than healer. The complete failure of the tribe to integrate Alex has resulted in his using his power to control, dominate, rape and destroy. Horrified by his instinctive disregard for the consensual trance of traditional morality, society reacts first by imprisoning him and then by reprogramming his mind. After undergoing the Ludovico treatment, Alex’s violent soul is put in a vice, yet in an ironic twist the treatment also stifles his love of music. Kubrick is telling us that in denying our shadow, though we may eliminate that part of us that we do not wish to face, we are also denying the visionary power that makes us human. In the end, only a suicidal leap provoked by his revulsion at Beethoven will enable Alex to transcend the vicious dialectic of his situation.

The common view is that after his suicide attempt, Alex essentially reverts to his old self, becoming a violent sociopath once again. I think this view is incorrect. Though the film understandably skips over his coma, Alex’s narration describes it to us as “a long, long black gap of what might have been a million years,” a literal dark night of the soul that changes him profoundly. When the psychiatrist comes to his bedside to test him by having him fill in the word-bubbles in a series of suggestive comics, his answers are irreverent but not psychotic. When the Minister of the Interior plays Beethoven’s Ninth for the state’s new golden boy, Alex goes into a trance just like he used to, but whereas his earlier visions were of historical violence (a woman being hanged in the Old West, WWII explosions, a tribe of cavemen crushed by an avalanche), his final vision is completely different. He sees himself having sex with a woman, but for the first time the sex is consensual, the woman on top and in control, and a crowd of bourgeois are applauding the act. The film is telling us that revolt against old values isn’t enough – the mystic eye and the evil eye are the same organ bent on different ends. Only by recognizing and accepting our shadow will the cancer ravaging civilization go into remission.

The last shot of A Clockwork Orange ends the science-fiction trilogy. From the mechanical sex that opened Dr. Strangelove we have come to the dream of a fully cognizant union of male and female. This image of union suggests that in order to evolve, our patriarchal culture must embrace the feminine, a feat we will accomplish only once we have let the shadow of our civilization, where the feminine has been repressed, reveal itself. Full Metal Jacket (1987) echoes this theme in the scene where the sniper who guns down three chauvinistic and immature Marines turns out to be an adolescent girl. But it is not until Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Kubrick’s final film, that the theme of the feminine in the modern world is given its proper treatment.


The Star Child makes at least two more appearances in the three films following Clockwork. It appears as Danny in The Shining and as Matthew Modine’s dualistic Joker in Full Metal Jacket. In both those films, the Star Child can only see reality; it cannot do anything to help the situation. In order to do so, it must take on a different avatar. It must manifest as a female.

As Tim Kreider argues in his essay “Introducing Sociology,” Eyes Wide Shut is first and foremost a condemnation of the repressive and decadent patriarchy that continues to govern us:

“The slice of that world [Kubrick] tried to show us in his last – and, he believed, his best – work, the capital of the global American empire at the end of the American Century, is one in which the wealthy, powerful, and privileged use the rest of us like throwaway products, covering up their crimes with pretty pictures, shiny surfaces, and murder, ultimately dooming their own children to lives of servitude and whoredom.”[5]

The film tells the story of Bill and Alice, a married couple that embarks upon a dream journey to the dark heart of modern sexuality after Alice admits to lusting after other men. There they discover that society is enmeshed in a web of lies in which sexuality is used as currency by the rich and powerful while common mortals struggle to live up to the tyrannical ideals of sexual “decency” and pasteurized love.

In the fin-de-siècle Manhattan of Eyes Wide Shut, the clumsy totalitarianism of Clockwork Orange has grown omnipresent, cunning and decadent. In fact no one notices it anymore. The behavioral science of B.F. Skinner and company, still theoretical in 1971, has now been applied across the board, turning the global microcosm of New York City into a rat maze of luminous marketing and complacent Christmas trees. While the husbands and wives of the middle class do their damnedest to hide their true nature from each other, the reigning elites, portrayed as members of an international Satanic cult, reap the rewards of absolute power at masked orgies where women are subjected to ritual hypnosis, brutal sex and, in one case at least, murder.

Kubrick showed all of this to his audience but, judging from the reaction of critics and the public, his audience remained unmoved. Programmed to expect sexual fulfillment to come vicariously through the pornography of sex films and family TV, most viewers sat in the theatre feeling ripped off. The movie seemed to promise some kind of thrill, but when Dr. Bill, played by Tom Cruise, begins to suspect that all is not well with the world, the elite Victor Ziegler comes to the rescue with a cold shower of boring common sense. The orgy, the rites, the murder… it was all a charade, he says, threatening but ultimately harmless. It’s almost as if Kubrick appeared at the end to remind us that we are only watching a movie.

The problem lies in our susceptibility to the hypnotic mechanics of plot. The typical viewer’s acceptance of Ziegler’s explanation at the film’s anticlimax signifies that we as a species have yet to evolve out of “word-orientation,” so much so that we are still perfectly ready to dismiss what we see with our own eyes if it is casually denied by some arbitrary figure of patriarchal authority.

Eyes Wide Shut is Kubrick’s most scathing critique of the modern world, but it does offer hope. The hero of the story is not Cruise’s Bill but Kidman’s Alice, whose name resembles “Alex” for good reason: she is the Star Child reborn as a woman. For the first time, it is a woman who gets the Gaze into the unconscious, and the consequences are drastically different. Throughout the film, she keeps up the image of the good modern woman. As a wife, she is sexy, intelligent and serviceable. As a mother, she works hard to pass on to her daughter her submissive qualities. Still, she is unable to shake off the feeling that she is living a lie. Her memories and dreams tell her with increasing urgency that the world she has been brought up in is false. Repressed archetypes of the feminine surge up inside her, seeking entry into the world. The Gaze into the beyond makes it impossible for her to keep pretending that her husband’s chauvinistic self-delusions have any substance. When she tells Bill how she was willing to throw away her entire life for a single night with a naval officer she’d never seen before, she opens up the floodgates to the unconscious so wide that it swallows her up along with her husband, who spends the rest of the film swimming through her mind, where she manifests in the form of various Other Women, until ultimately she lets him out again, summing up the wisdom of the ages in a single word.

BILL: What do you think we should do?

ALICE: I think we should be grateful that we’ve managed to survive through all of our adventures whether they were real or only a dream.

BILL: Are you sure of that?

ALICE: Only as sure as I am that the reality of one night, let alone a whole lifetime, can never be the whole truth.

BILL: And no dream is ever just a dream.

ALICE: The important thing is we’re awake now. And hopefully for a long time to come.

BILL: Forever.

ALICE: Forever… Let’s not use that word. It frightens me. But I do love you, and you know, there is something very important that we have to do as soon as possible.

BILL: What’s that?

ALICE: Fuck.

Like the closing shot of A Clockwork Orange, the final scene of Eyes Wide Shut places the woman on top, only now intercourse has been replaced by the formulation of a new social contract. As she walks through the toy store with her daughter and husband, Alice seems completely detached. When her daughter points out a toy baby carriage, she replies that it is “old-fashioned,” meaning that the illusion of the nuclear family as the elemental unit of the World Order has expired for her, leaving in its wake the ever-burning energy of human instinct transmutable into creative power. By “fuck” Alice does not mean “making love” or “making babies.” She means that it is time we reclaim that power from those who have taken it away from us.

The last scene of the last film represents a historical passage out of the world in which Kubrick’s stories were set – the patriarchal world of rational materialism -into a new state where the feminine has been restored to its proper place on the earth.


At the end of 2001, the Star Child is shown returning to Earth rather than drifting deeper into the cosmos. Indeed, as the overman of Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, the Star Child is “the meaning of the earth.”[6] What Kubrick’s films call for is not a return to the abstract spirituality of the heavenly spheres, but the (re)spiritualization of the earth and of earthly life. His mysticism was not transcendent but immanent, his religion not priestly but shamanic. Kubrick’s overman is not the eugenics monster of the ex-Nazi Dr. Strangelove and his technocratic disciples, but a human being capable of transmuting unconscious shadows into conscious light. Though human beings have been given the gift of creative vision, fear of and detachment from our own nature have prevented us from assuming our role as the co-creators of reality. It is only natural, then, that control over our fate and our world has landed on the laps of the most deluded and hypocritical among us, the dreamers of the nightmare of history. Kubrick’s entire work was a call to awake from that nightmare.

Having said this, I don’t think Kubrick went into any project seeking to deliver a specific message. Unlike most of what’s out there, his filmmaking never told us what to think about the images on the screen; he knew that to be didactic was to contribute to the cultural and intellectual disenfranchisement of the species. As his classic quote goes, “I have found it always the best policy to allow the film to speak for itself.”

The ideas I have drawn from Kubrick’s films are also present in the work of artists such as Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Blake or Nietzsche. Art made with openness to the mystery of being and trust in the imagination produces Heidegger’s poiesis, sacred art, and the “message” of sacred art is always the same. Joseph Campbell said that the two sides of “true” art are beauty, which lifts the soul, and the sublime, which shatters the ego.[7] This kind of art, the kind Kubrick was making when he was at his best, is by its very nature essential, useful and transformative, especially in times like these.

The artist’s role, then, is to shape the chaosmos into figures that inspire us to create the world. As I write this, the marketing and advertising industry continues its tireless work of populating our minds with the myriad logos, concepts, lies and clichés of universal capitalism. Only art – independent, democratized and shared,- can save us from this final chapter in the story of world colonization.

Bibliographical Sources:

Heidegger, Martin. Basic Writings. HarperCollins, 1993
Nietzsche, Friedrich. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Viking, 1966
Kreider, Tim. “Introducing Sociology: A Review of Eyes Wide Shut“. Film Quarterly vol. 53, no. 3. University of California Press, 2000 (Article available at the Kubrick Site: [1])
Gelmis, Joseph. “An Interview with Stanley Kubrick” from The Film Director as Superstar. Doubleday, 1970 (Article available at the Kubrick Site: [1])


[1] Joseph Gelmis, “An Interview with Stanley Kubrick” ( [1])

[2] Interview with Jack Nicholson in the Warner Bros. documentary Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001), directed by Jan Harlan.

[3] Gelmis, op. cit.

[4] Most notably Rob Ager’s analysis of the film, available at [2]

[5] Kreider, “Introducing Sociology: A Review of Eyes Wide Shut” ( [1])

[6] Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, p. 13

[7] Campbell, “”The Way of Art””: [3]

Psychedelic Resources

A Foraging Trip: Where Do Magic Mushrooms Grow?
Eager to learn more about the origin of psilocybin species? Read this article to find out where magic mushrooms grow and more!

How to Make Shroom Tea: Best Recipe and Dosage
A step by step guide on how to brew shroom tea, and why entheogenic psilocybin tea is a preferred method for psychedelic connoisseurs.

R. Gordon Wasson: Author and Mushroom Expert
Learn about R. Gordon Wasson, the “legendary mushroom expert” and popular figure within the psychonaut community.

Shrooms vs Acid: Differences and Similarities Explained
Ever wondered what the differences are between shrooms vs acid, or if you can take both together? This guide explains what you need to know.

Quantum Mechanics, Reality, and Magic Mushrooms
Scientist and author Dr. Chris Becker takes an in-depth approach in understanding how we perceive reality through magic mushrooms and quantum mechanics.

Psilocybin Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
Our ultimate guide to Psilocybin has everything you want to know about this psychedelic fungi from its uses to its legal status.

The Psilocybin Experience: What’s the Deal With Magic Mushrooms?
From microdoses to macrodoses, the psilocybin experience has been sought after both medicinally and recreationally for millennia.

Psilocybin and Magic Mushroom Resources
Curious to learn more about psilocybin? This guide is a comprehensive psilocybin resource containing books, therapeutic studies, and more.

Paul Stamets Profile: Mushroom Guru, Filmmaker, Nutritionist, Scientist
Learn about Paul Stamets, read his thoughts on psilocybin mircodosing, the future of psilocybin, and his recent film “Fantastic Fungi”.

Microdosing Psilocybin & Common Dosage Explained
Microdosing, though imperceivably, is showing to have many health benefits–here is everything you want to know about microdosing psilocybin.

Psilocybin Nasal Spray: Relief for Anxiety, PTSD, and Depression
Microdosing nasal spray with psilocybin, is that possible?! Oregan a start-up Silo Wellness believes so and has created this new option for PTSD treatment.

Mazatec Mushroom Usage: Notes on Approach, Setting and Species for Curious Psilonauts
A look at traditional Mazatec psilocybin mushroom usage, and a comparison to the cliniical therapeutic approach, with an examination of the Mazatec setting and species used in veladas.

María Sabina: The Mazatec Magic Mushroom Woman
Magic mushrooms are incredibly popular today. How they became introduced to into American culture isn’t usually a topic discussed while tripping on psilocybin fungi. We all may have María Sabina to thank for exposing the Western world to the healing properties of the psilocybin mushroom.

Guide to Magic Mushroom Strains
Are there different types of psilocybin? Read our guide to learn about the different magic mushroom strains and their individual effects.

Kilindi Iyi: Mycologist, Traveler, Teacher
Learn about traveler and mycologist Kilindi Iyi known in the psychedelic community for his research and exploration of psilocybin.

How to Store Shrooms: Best Practices
How do you store shrooms for optimal shelf life? Learn how and why the proper storage method is so important.

Shroom Chocolate Recipes: How to Make Magic Mushroom Chocolates
This recipe provides step by step directions on how you can make mushroom chocolates with the necessary ingredients. Read to learn more!

Why Do People Use Psilocybin? New Johns Hopkins Study
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicines has just published a new study on psychoactive effects of psilocybin. Read here to learn more.

How-To Lemon Tek: Ultimate Guide and Recipe
This master guide will teach you how to lemon tek, preventing the onset of negative effects after consuming psilocybin. Read to learn more!

How to Intensify a Mushroom Trip
Learn about techniques like Lemon tekking, or discover the right time to consume cannabis if you are looking to intensify a mushroom trip.

How to Grow Magic Mushrooms: Step-by-Step
This step-by-step guide will show you how to grow magic mushrooms at home. Read this guide before trying it on your own.

How to Dry Magic Mushrooms: Best Practices
Read to learn more about specifics for the best practices on how to dry magic mushrooms after harvesting season.

How to Buy Psilocybin Spores
Interested in psilocybin mushrooms? We’ll walk you through all you need to know to obtain mushroom spores. Nosh on this delish How To guide.

Hippie Flipping: When Shrooms and Molly Meet
What is it, what does it feel like, and how long does it last? Explore the mechanics of hippie flipping and how to safely experiment.

Having Sex on Shrooms: Good or Bad Idea?
Is having sex on shrooms a good idea or an accident waiting to happen? Find out in our guide to sex on magic mushrooms.

Gold Cap Shrooms Guide: Spores, Effects, Identification
Read this guide to learn more about the different characteristics of gold cap mushrooms, and how they differ from other psilocybin species.

Guide to Cooking with Magic Mushrooms
From cookies to smoothies and sandwiches, we cover various methods of cooking with magic mushrooms for the ultimate snack.

2020 Election: The Decriminalize Psilocybin Movement
Are you curious if mushrooms will follow in marijuana’s footsteps? Read to learn about how the U.S. is moving to decriminalize psilocybin.

Oregon’s Initiative to Legalize Mushrooms | Initiative Petition 34
Oregon continues to push ahead with their initiative to legalize Psilocybin in 2020. The measure received its official title and now needs signatures.

Canada Approves Psilocybin Treatment for Terminally-Ill Cancer Patients
Canada’s Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu approved the use of psilocybin to help ease anxiety and depression of four terminal cancer patients.

Mapping the DMT Experience
With only firsthand experiences to share, how can we fully map the DMT experience? Let’s explore what we know about this powerful psychedelic.

Guide to Machine Elves and Other DMT Entities
This guide discusses machine elves, clockwork elves, and other common DMT entities that people experience during a DMT trip.

Is the DMT Experience a Hallucination? 
What if the DMT realm was the real world, and our everyday lives were merely a game we had chosen to play?

How to Store DMT
Not sure how to store DMT? Read this piece to learn the best practices and elements of advice to keep your stuff fresh.

What Does 5-MeO-DMT Show Us About Consciousness?
How does our brain differentiate between what’s real and what’s not? Read to learn what can 5-MeO-DMT show us about consciousness.

How to Smoke DMT: Processes Explained
There are many ways to smoke DMT and we’ve outlined some of the best processes to consider before embarking on your journey.

How to Ground After DMT
Knowing what to expect from a DMT comedown can help you integrate the experience to gain as much value as possible from your journey.

How To Get DMT
What kind of plants contain DMT? Are there other ways to access this psychedelic? Read on to learn more about how to get DMT.

How DMT is Made: Everything You Need to Know
Ever wonder how to make DMT? Read our guide to learn everything you need to know about the procedures of how DMT is made.

Having Sex on DMT: What You Need to Know
Have you ever wondered about sex on DMT? Learn how the God Molecule can influence your intimate experiences.

Does the Human Brain Make DMT? 
With scientific evidence showing us DMT in the brain, what can we conclude it is there for? Read on to learn more.

How to Use DMT Vape Pens
Read to learn all about DMT vape pens including: what to know when vaping, what to expect when purchasing a DMT cartridge, and vaping safely.

DMT Resources
This article is a comprehensive DMT resource providing extensive information from studies, books, documentaries, and more. Check it out!

Differentiating DMT and Near-Death Experiences
Some say there are similarities between a DMT trip and death. Read our guide on differentiating DMT and near-death experiences to find out.

DMT Research from 1956 to the Edge of Time
From a representative sample of a suitably psychedelic crowd, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who couldn’t tell you all about Albert Hofmann’s enchanted bicycle ride after swallowing what turned out to be a massive dose of LSD. Far fewer, however, could tell you much about the world’s first DMT trip.

The Ultimate Guide to DMT Pricing
Check out our ultimate guide on DMT pricing to learn what to expect when purchasing DMT for your first time.

DMT Milking | Reality Sandwich
Indigenous cultures have used 5-MeO-DMT for centuries. With the surge in demand for psychedelic toad milk, is DMT Milking harming the frogs?

Why Does DMT Pervade Nature?
With the presence of DMT in nature everywhere – including human brains – why does it continue to baffle science?

DMT Substance Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
Our ultimate guide to DMT has everything you want to know about this powerful psychedelic referred to as “the spirit molecule”.

DMT for Depression: Paving the Way for New Medicine
We’ve been waiting for an effective depression treatment. Studies show DMT for depression works even for treatment resistant patients.

Beating Addiction with DMT
Psychedelics have been studied for their help overcoming addiction. Read how DMT is helping addicts beat their substance abuse issues.

DMT Extraction: Behind the Scientific Process
Take a look at DMT extraction and the scientific process involved. Learn all you need to know including procedures and safety.

Microdosing DMT & Common Dosages Explained
Microdosing, though imperceivable, is showing to have many health benefits–here is everything you want to know about microdosing DMT.

DMT Art: A Look Behind Visionary Creations
An entire genre of artwork is inspired by psychedelic trips with DMT. Read to learn about the entities and visions behind DMT art.

Changa vs. DMT: What You Need to Know
While similar (changa contains DMT), each drug has its own unique effect and feeling. Let’s compare and contrast changa vs DMT.

5-MeO-DMT Guide: Effects, Benefits, Safety, and Legality
5-Meo-DMT comes from the Sonora Desert toad. Here is everything you want to know about 5-Meo-DMT and how it compares to 4-AcO-DMT.

4-AcO-DMT Guide: Benefits, Effects, Safety, and Legality
This guide tells you everything about 4 AcO DMT & 5 MeO DMT, that belong to the tryptamine class, and are similar but slightly different to DMT.

How Much Does LSD Cost? When shopping around for that magical psychedelic substance, there can be many uncertainties when new to buying LSD. You may be wondering how much does LSD cost? In this article, we will discuss what to expect when purchasing LSD on the black market, what forms LSD is sold in, and the standard breakdown of buying LSD in quantity.   Navy Use of LSD on the Dark Web The dark web is increasingly popular for purchasing illegal substances. The US Navy has now noticed this trend with their staff. Read to learn more.   Having Sex on LSD: What You Need to Know Can you have sex on LSD? Read our guide to learn everything about sex on acid, from lowered inhibitions to LSD users quotes on sex while tripping.   A Drug That Switches off an LSD Trip A pharmaceutical company is developing an “off-switch” drug for an LSD trip, in the case that a bad trip can happen. Some would say there is no such thing.   Queen of Hearts: An Interview with Liz Elliot on Tim Leary and LSD The history of psychedelia, particularly the British experience, has been almost totally written by men. Of the women involved, especially those who were in the thick of it, little has been written either by or about them. A notable exception is Liz Elliot.   LSD Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety LSD, Lysergic acid diethylamide, or just acid is one of the most important psychedelics ever discovered. What did history teach us?   Microdosing LSD & Common Dosage Explained Microdosing, though imperceivable, is showing to have many health benefits–here is everything you want to know about microdosing LSD.   LSD Resources Curious to learn more about LSD? This guide includes comprehensive LSD resources containing books, studies and more.   LSD as a Spiritual Aid There is common consent that the evolution of mankind is paralleled by the increase and expansion of consciousness. From the described process of how consciousness originates and develops, it becomes evident that its growth depends on its faculty of perception. Therefore every means of improving this faculty should be used.   Legendary LSD Blotter Art: A Hidden Craftsmanship Have you ever heard of LSD blotter art? Explore the trippy world of LSD art and some of the top artists of LSD blotter art.   LSD and Exercise: Does it Work? LSD and exercise? Learn why high-performing athletes are taking hits of LSD to improve their overall potential.   Jan Bastiaans Treated Holocaust Survivors with LSD Dutch psychiatrist, Jan Bastiaans administered LSD-assisted therapy to survivors of the Holocaust. A true war hero and pioneer of psychedelic-therapy.   LSD and Spiritual Awakening I give thanks for LSD, which provided the opening that led me to India in 1971 and brought me to Neem Karoli Baba, known as Maharajji. Maharajji is described by the Indians as a “knower of hearts.”   How LSD is Made: Everything You Need to Know Ever wonder how to make LSD? Read our guide to learn everything you need to know about the procedures of how LSD is made.   How to Store LSD: Best Practices Learn the best way to store LSD, including the proper temperature and conditions to maximize how long LSD lasts when stored.   Bicycle Day: The Discovery of LSD Every year on April 19th, psychonauts join forces to celebrate Bicycle Day. Learn about the famous day when Albert Hoffman first discovered the effects of LSD.   Cary Grant: A Hollywood Legend On LSD Cary Grant was a famous actor during the 1930’s-60’s But did you know Grant experimented with LSD? Read our guide to learn more.   Albert Hofmann: LSD — My Problem Child Learn about Albert Hofmann and his discovery of LSD, along with the story of Bicycle Day and why it marks a historic milestone.   Babies are High: What Does LSD Do To Your Brain What do LSD and babies have in common? Researchers at the Imperial College in London discover that an adult’s brain on LSD looks like a baby’s brain.   1P LSD: Effects, Benefits, Safety Explained 1P LSD is an analogue of LSD and homologue of ALD-25. Here is everything you want to know about 1P LSD and how it compares to LSD.   Francis Crick, DNA & LSD Type ‘Francis Crick LSD’ into Google, and the result will be 30,000 links. Many sites claim that Crick (one of the two men responsible for discovering the structure of DNA), was either under the influence of LSD at the time of his revelation or used the drug to help with his thought processes during his research. Is this true?   What Happens If You Overdose on LSD? A recent article presented three individuals who overdosed on LSD. Though the experience was unpleasant, the outcomes were remarkably positive.

The Ayahuasca Experience
Ayahuasca is both a medicine and a visionary aid. You can employ ayahuasca for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual repair, and you can engage with the power of ayahuasca for deeper insight and realization. If you consider attainment of knowledge in the broadest perspective, you can say that at all times, ayahuasca heals.


Trippy Talk: Meet Ayahuasca with Sitaramaya Sita and PlantTeachers
Sitaramaya Sita is a spiritual herbalist, pusangera, and plant wisdom practitioner formally trained in the Shipibo ayahuasca tradition.


The Therapeutic Value of Ayahuasca
My best description of the impact of ayahuasca is that it’s a rocket boost to psychospiritual growth and unfolding, my professional specialty during my thirty-five years of private practice.


Microdosing Ayahuasca: Common Dosage Explained
What is ayahuasca made of and what is considered a microdose? Explore insights with an experienced Peruvian brewmaster and learn more about this practice.


Ayahuasca Makes Neuron Babies in Your Brain
Researchers from Beckley/Sant Pau Research Program have shared the latest findings in their study on the effects of ayahuasca on neurogenesis.


The Fatimiya Sufi Order and Ayahuasca
In this interview, the founder of the Fatimiya Sufi Order,  N. Wahid Azal, discusses the history and uses of plant medicines in Islamic and pre-Islamic mystery schools.


Consideration Ayahuasca for Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Research indicates that ayahuasca mimics mechanisms of currently accepted treatments for PTSD. In order to understand the implications of ayahuasca treatment, we need to understand how PTSD develops.


Brainwaves on Ayahuasca: A Waking Dream State
In a study researchers shared discoveries showing ingredients found in Ayahuasca impact the brainwaves causing a “waking dream” state.


Cannabis and Ayahuasca: Mixing Entheogenic Plants
Cannabis and Ayahuasca: most people believe they shouldn’t be mixed. Read this personal experience peppered with thoughts from a pro cannabis Peruvian Shaman.


Ayahuasca Retreat 101: Everything You Need to Know to Brave the Brew
Ayahuasca has been known to be a powerful medicinal substance for millennia. However, until recently, it was only found in the jungle. Word of its deeply healing and cleansing properties has begun to spread across the world as many modern, Western individuals are seeking spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical well-being. More ayahuasca retreat centers are emerging in the Amazon and worldwide to meet the demand.


Ayahuasca Helps with Grief
A new study published in psychopharmacology found that ayahuasca helped those suffering from the loss of a loved one up to a year after treatment.


Ayahuasca Benefits: Clinical Improvements for Six Months
Ayahuasca benefits can last six months according to studies. Read here to learn about the clinical improvements from drinking the brew.


Ayahuasca Culture: Indigenous, Western, And The Future
Ayahuasca has been use for generations in the Amazon. With the rise of retreats and the brew leaving the rainforest how is ayahuasca culture changing?


Ayahuasca Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
The Amazonian brew, Ayahuasca has a long history and wide use. Read our guide to learn all about the tea from its beginnings up to modern-day interest.


Ayahuasca and the Godhead: An Interview with Wahid Azal of the Fatimiya Sufi Order
Wahid Azal, a Sufi mystic of The Fatimiya Sufi Order and an Islamic scholar, talks about entheogens, Sufism, mythology, and metaphysics.


Ayahuasca and the Feminine: Women’s Roles, Healing, Retreats, and More
Ayahuasca is lovingly called “grandmother” or “mother” by many. Just how feminine is the brew? Read to learn all about women and ayahuasca.

What Is the Standard of Care for Ketamine Treatments?
Ketamine therapy is on the rise in light of its powerful results for treatment-resistant depression. But, what is the current standard of care for ketamine? Read to find out.

What Is Dissociation and How Does Ketamine Create It?
Dissociation can take on multiple forms. So, what is dissociation like and how does ketamine create it? Read to find out.

Having Sex on Ketamine: Getting Physical on a Dissociative
Curious about what it could feel like to have sex on a dissociate? Find out all the answers in our guide to sex on ketamine.

Special K: The Party Drug
Special K refers to Ketamine when used recreationally. Learn the trends as well as safety information around this substance.

Kitty Flipping: When Ketamine and Molly Meet
What is it, what does it feel like, and how long does it last? Read to explore the mechanics of kitty flipping.

Ketamine vs. Esketamine: 3 Important Differences Explained
Ketamine and esketamine are used to treat depression. But what’s the difference between them? Read to learn which one is right for you: ketamine vs. esketamine.

Guide to Ketamine Treatments: Understanding the New Approach
Ketamine is becoming more popular as more people are seeing its benefits. Is ketamine a fit? Read our guide for all you need to know about ketamine treatments.

Ketamine Treatment for Eating Disorders
Ketamine is becoming a promising treatment for various mental health conditions. Read to learn how individuals can use ketamine treatment for eating disorders.

Ketamine Resources, Studies, and Trusted Information
Curious to learn more about ketamine? This guide includes comprehensive ketamine resources containing books, studies and more.

Ketamine Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
Our ultimate guide to ketamine has everything you need to know about this “dissociative anesthetic” and how it is being studied for depression treatment.

Ketamine for Depression: A Mental Health Breakthrough
While antidepressants work for some, many others find no relief. Read to learn about the therapeutic uses of ketamine for depression.

Ketamine for Addiction: Treatments Offering Hope
New treatments are offering hope to individuals suffering from addiction diseases. Read to learn how ketamine for addiction is providing breakthrough results.

Microdosing Ketamine & Common Dosages Explained
Microdosing, though imperceivable, is showing to have many health benefits–here is everything you want to know about microdosing ketamine.

How to Ease a Ketamine Comedown
Knowing what to expect when you come down from ketamine can help integrate the experience to gain as much value as possible.

How to Store Ketamine: Best Practices
Learn the best ways how to store ketamine, including the proper temperature and conditions to maximize how long ketamine lasts when stored.

How To Buy Ketamine: Is There Legal Ketamine Online?
Learn exactly where it’s legal to buy ketamine, and if it’s possible to purchase legal ketamine on the internet.

How Long Does Ketamine Stay in Your System?
How long does ketamine stay in your system? Are there lasting effects on your body? Read to discover the answers!

How Ketamine is Made: Everything You Need to Know
Ever wonder how to make Ketamine? Read our guide to learn everything you need to know about the procedures of how Ketamine is made.

Colorado on Ketamine: First Responders Waiver Programs
Fallout continues after Elijah McClain. Despite opposing recommendations from some city council, Colorado State Health panel recommends the continued use of ketamine by medics for those demonstrating “excited delirium” or “extreme agitation”.

Types of Ketamine: Learn the Differences & Uses for Each
Learn about the different types of ketamine and what they are used for—and what type might be right for you. Read now to find out!

Kitty Flipping: When Ketamine and Molly Meet
What is it, what does it feel like, and how long does it last? Read to explore the mechanics of kitty flipping.

MDMA & Ecstasy Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
Our ultimate guide to MDMA has everything you want to know about Ecstasy from how it was developed in 1912 to why it’s being studied today.

How To Get the Most out of Taking MDMA as a Couple
Taking MDMA as a couple can lead to exciting experiences. Read here to learn how to get the most of of this love drug in your relationship.

Common MDMA Dosage & Microdosing Explained
Microdosing, though imperceivable, is showing to have many health benefits–here is everything you want to know about microdosing MDMA.

Having Sex on MDMA: What You Need to Know
MDMA is known as the love drug… Read our guide to learn all about sex on MDMA and why it is beginning to makes its way into couple’s therapy.

How MDMA is Made: Common Procedures Explained
Ever wonder how to make MDMA? Read our guide to learn everything you need to know about the procedures of how MDMA is made.

Hippie Flipping: When Shrooms and Molly Meet
What is it, what does it feel like, and how long does it last? Explore the mechanics of hippie flipping and how to safely experiment.

How Cocaine is Made: Common Procedures Explained
Ever wonder how to make cocaine? Read our guide to learn everything you need to know about the procedures of how cocaine is made.

A Christmas Sweater with Santa and Cocaine
This week, Walmart came under fire for a “Let it Snow” Christmas sweater depicting Santa with lines of cocaine. Columbia is not merry about it.

Ultimate Cocaine Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
This guide covers what you need to know about Cocaine, including common effects and uses, legality, safety precautions and top trends today.

NEWS: An FDA-Approved Cocaine Nasal Spray
The FDA approved a cocaine nasal spray called Numbrino, which has raised suspicions that the pharmaceutical company, Lannett Company Inc., paid off the FDA..

The Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Bioavailability
What is bioavailability and how can it affect the overall efficacy of a psychedelic substance? Read to learn more.

Cannabis Research Explains Sociability Behaviors
New research by Dr. Giovanni Marsicano shows social behavioral changes occur as a result of less energy available to the neurons. Read here to learn more.

The Cannabis Shaman
If recreational and medical use of marijuana is becoming accepted, can the spiritual use as well? Experiential journalist Rak Razam interviews Hamilton Souther, founder of the 420 Cannabis Shamanism movement…

Cannabis Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
Our ultimate guide to Cannabis has everything you want to know about this popular substances that has psychedelic properties.

Cannabis and Ayahuasca: Mixing Entheogenic Plants
Cannabis and Ayahuasca: most people believe they shouldn’t be mixed. Read this personal experience peppered with thoughts from a procannabis Peruvian Shaman.

CBD-Rich Cannabis Versus Single-Molecule CBD
A ground-breaking study has documented the superior therapeutic properties of whole plant Cannabis extract as compared to synthetic cannabidiol (CBD), challenging the medical-industrial complex’s notion that “crude” botanical preparations are less effective than single-molecule compounds.

Cannabis Has Always Been a Medicine
Modern science has already confirmed the efficacy of cannabis for most uses described in the ancient medical texts, but prohibitionists still claim that medical cannabis is “just a ruse.”

Related Posts

Ready to explore the frontiers of consciousness?

Sign up for the Reality Bites newsletter and embark on a journey into the world of psychedelics, mindfulness, and transformation. It’s where the curious minds gather.

Become a conscious agent with us.

Featured Partner

Cosmic Melts

Cosmic Melts are the latest mushroom gummies we’ve been munching on. Choose from five fruity flavors, each gummy containing 350mg of Amanita muscaria.
Amanita muscaria offers a unique (and totally legal!) mushroom experience, and Cosmic Melts is an ideal entry point for the curious consumer.

Our Partners

Discover the transformative power of breathwork: unlock vitality, healing, and self-discovery.

Hear from the RS community in our new video series, spotlighting shared experiences and stories with plant medicines, psychedelics, consciousness, dreams, meditation, etc.

Welcome to Reality Sandwich. Please verify that you are over 18 years of age below.

Reality Sandwich uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By entering Reality Sandwich, you are agreeing to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.