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Masters and Houston - Transmutation into another substance



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience – Dr Robert Masters and Dr Jean Houston

The psychedelic subject may feel that his body has been altered in a variety of ways.  He may feel, for instance, his normally flesh and bone body transmuted into some other substance, as if by a psychedelic alchemy.  Then he will experience himself as wood, of metal, of glass, whatever.

Experiencing such a transmutation of substance, the subject will, however, continue to regard this body he occupies as his own.  To experience one's body as metallic in substance may thus be a thoroughly different experience from that of robotisation  .... That is, robotised man may become something other than himself; he may be a thing.  He has lost his autonomy and must exist in accordance with whatever restrictions govern the existence of what he has become.  The 'metallised man' on the other hand, continues to function largely as before.  Rarely does being metal [or whatever] interfere even with the flexibility of the body.  It is simply a feeling as to one's substance – probably impossible to convey to one who has not experienced it or at least observed a person experiencing it.

Any perceptual distortions will be tactile. Picking up an object, the subject may feel as if the contact were that of two hard objects touching. The subject may, if metalised, feel the surface of the body is colder and slicker, as well as harder than before.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps