63 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Interesting, but needs work...,
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This review is from: DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences (Paperback)This is an interesting, sometimes confusing, work about DMT, probably the most powerful of psychedelics (entheogens). It is interesting when it focuses on the personal experiences of the individuals in the research study that is the focus of the book. It is confusing in that Dr. Strassman at the onset stresses the importance of "setting," the physical environment in which entheogens are taken. He then goes on to give DMT to his research subjects in a hospital room with all manner of distracting noise frequently going on just outside the door or window. This can be highly counterproductive. Strassman knows that, but he carries on the research in that environment anyway. (True, he had no legal alternative.) I was surprised more people did not go bonkers. A few did.
Strassman seemed to undergo a change of heart during the studies. He started with a scientific outlook, which is not surprising. He is a psychiatrist. Toward the end, he began to see that he was in a realm he could not really understand. That is because entheogens have the capacity to alter our reality in momentous ways. They are beyond our science, and they can do things we cannot fathom. Strassman was in over his head.
As my old daddy used to say: It is like trying to explain the workings of the internal combustion engine to a dog.
The book has one huge problem: It is in sore need of an editor's red pencil. Almost the first half is devoted in excruciating detail to the intricacies of obtaining official permission to do this type of research. This book, literally, should be about half its length.
Start reading about halfway through. It gets interesting.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 30, 2007 2:11:55 PM PST
Jason Mierek says:
What you saw as a weakness, I actually saw as a strength. I liked the fact that Dr. Strassman provided so much information on the labyrinthine approval process, because it revealed the insane bureaucracy surrounding one particular area of research while also affording a road map for those who would follow in his footsteps. That said, though, I liked your review.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2008 8:49:18 AM PDT
Michael Dickson says:
Well, okay. However, half the book?? It was too much for me. It would have been appropriate for anyone thinking of following in his footsteps, but for the average reader? Most of us are not scientists. Cheers to you, too.
Posted on Jul 15, 2012 9:41:30 AM PDT
John H. Baumgaertner says:
1. Setting IS important. I did 30 or 32 trips with Sandoz LSD-25 in 1970-72, most of them in isolation on an unpopulated, barrier island. The only times I got in trouble were several experiments at home and once during a concert. At this time, LSD was legal. 2. I am disgusted that here in the USA, the "Land of The Free", citizens and especially psychiatrists have to beg for permission to even experiment with their own bodies. It is obvious that enhanced consciousness is a danger to the lies of those in "control". -- John B (Aalborg) , BleepFree Press
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