It would not remotely be an understatement to say that DMT is by far one of the most important and intriguing psychoactive substances in existence. The profound ease through which it can reliably transport the majority of people into incomprehensibly complex hallucinatory states is perhaps completely unmatched within the world of hallucinogenic compounds. However, it is because of these capabilities that this substance has developed a reputation which is surrounded by misconceptions and cultural mysticism that I feel the need to address within this section directly.
For example, the claims that DMT is released by the pineal gland during birth, death, and dreaming are entirely unfounded by the scientific literature. This idea was first popularised by the Richard Strassman's book "The spirit molecule" in which it was stated as pure speculation more so than as an evidence-backed theory. Although it is true that DMT is found in trace amounts within a vast number of plants and animals (including humans), there is absolutely no evidence that it is specifically produced by the pineal gland or that it is released in psychedelic amounts during certain situations. In fact, the current scientific consensus regarding the prevalence of DMT within plants and animals seems to suggest that it is most likely a byproduct of biological processes that are entirely unrelated to that of the pineal gland.
In regards to the specific claim that the neurological mechanism responsible for dream states is due to the pineal gland releasing DMT during REM sleep, I think it is worth mentioning my position that the people who believe this have it completely backwards. In my opinion, it's not that normal sleeping dream states occur because endogenous DMT is being released, but that waking dream states are temporarily induced when dosages of DMT and other psychedelics are ingested which are strong enough to cause the specific subjective effect known as internal hallucinations.
My reasoning behind this is that there are some interesting commonalities between the behaviour of psychedelic induced hallucinations and dreaming that are too prevalent to discount as purely coincidental. For example, the four-tier levelling systems which I have devised for both internal hallucinations and autonomous entity contact communication can both be applied perfectly to dreams and dream character communication in a manner which does not require any substantial changes to their descriptions. Alongside of this, the amnesia that is commonly experienced during the offset of a DMT experience behaves identically to that of the amnesia which is frequently experienced after waking up from a dream. Last of all and in a more subjective sense, the general feeling of a DMT hallucination feels very dreamlike to me and is commonly described as such by many people.
While there are some apparent aesthetic and behavioural differences between that of psychedelic internal hallucinations and normal dream states, in my opinion, these can be accounted for by the simultaneous occurrence of other subjective effects alongside these high-level internal hallucinations. For example, the simultaneous experience of psychedelic geometry during a hallucinatory state seems to result in it appearing to be physically comprised of ever-shifting and incomprehensibly complex condensed geometric forms in a manner which gives them their well known "hyperspatial" aesthetic. In terms of their behaviour, however, the simultaneous experience of an incredibly wide range of cognitive states such as ego death and various transpersonal effects seem to synergise and interplay with the specific effect of internal hallucinations in a manner which results in them displaying themes and concepts which would not ordinarily occur during normal dream states.
Another even more outlandish although less common claim is that DMT literally transports the user's consciousness to an alternate dimension or higher plane of transcendental existence in which the autonomous entities are it's real and living inhabitants. While this idea has likely been around for as long as DMT has been used by human beings, it was seemingly popularised by Terence Mckenna and his recounts of visiting "machine elves" within what he claimed was a real space which legitimately existed somewhere outside of the human subconscious. From his perspective, McKenna hypothesised that the DMT was potentially an access point to a parallel universe, a tool through which extraterrestrials use to communicate with us, a space in which human beings from the future reside, or an afterlife which contains an "ecology of souls" of previously living and unborn ancestral spirits.
On some level, I can definitely empathise with these perspectives as it is easy for me to see how a person could come to these conclusions given how absolutely incomprehensible and profound many DMT experiences can be. However, it is still worth noting that for a variety of different reasons, these conclusions almost definitely arise as a result of undergoing the DMT experience without a general understanding of occums razor, critical thinking, and scepticism. While these various forms of misinformation may seem relatively harmless, I would argue that spreading them as fact is harmful to our community as it gives people the impression that psychedelic users are irrational proponents of pseudoscientific ideas.