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DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences Paperback – January 1, 2001
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From the Publisher
Chapter 12: Unseen Worlds
In this chapter, we begin following the spirit molecule into more unexpected territory. This terrain is not so easy to recognize or understand because the experiences are less clearly related to the thoughts, feelings, and bodies of our volunteers. Rather, they suggest freestanding, independent levels of existence about which we are at most only dimly aware. These reports challenge our world view, and they raise the emotional intensity of debate: “Is it a dream? A hallucination? Or is it real?” “Where are these places? Inside or out?” These are the some of the questions we’ll begin pondering as we review the following reports.
Volunteers have referred to these places already. Marsha journeyed to “the Taj Mahal,” and Cassandra was yanked into “the crazy circus sideshow” full of clowns and other beings. In this chapter, I will focus on this issue of “where.” Where does DMT take us by the hand and lead us to? This is a necessary part of mapping the spirit molecule’s territory.
"Rick Strassman's pioneering research work with DMT, a natural psychedelic drug used by Amazonian Indians, raises fascinating questions about the neurochemical basis of experience and the feasibility of conducting human research with mind-altering drugs in a university medical center. Truly adventurous reading!" ― Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Spontaneous Healing
"This book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the mind, philosophy, the nature of reality, and spirituality." ― Karl Jansen, M.D., Ph.D.
"DMT: The Spirit Molecule points the way beyond the present impasse of the reigning 'drug abuse' paradigm." ― Jonathan Ott, author of The Age of Entheogens and Hallucinogenic Plants of North America
"The most extensive scientific study of the mental and perceptual effects of a psychedelic drug since the 1960s." ― Ralph Metzner, Ph.D., author of Ayahuasca: Consciousness and the Spirits of Nature
"Strassman's important research contributes to a growing awareness that we inhabit a multi-dimensional universe." ― John Mack, MD Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, author of Abduction and Passport to t
"Strassman raises vital questions about the origin of spiritual experiences and the nature of consciousness." ― Larry Dossey MD, author of Reinventing Medicine, and Healing Words; Executive Editor, Alternative Th
"DMT: The Spirit Molecule is a fascinating journey into the research of psychedelics. . . . The questions and possible explanations about the endogenous presence of DMT that he raises not only enlarge the discussion about psychedelics but also expand our understanding of the nature of consciousness." ― Jule Klotter, Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients - July, 2001
"This book will be of profound interest to . . . anyone with a deep interest in the study of consciousness, visionary states and/or psycho-pharmacology." ― J. P. Harpignies, Lapis
"Strassman's psychonauts regularly found themselves hurtled into alien laboratories, high-tech nurseries, and Day-Glo hieroglyphic hypercubes." ― Erik Davis, The Village Voice
"DMT: the Spirit Molecule is an enriching journey into one scientist's courageous attempt to solve a bit more of the brain/mind/spirit mystery at the center of human existence." ― Vicki Ecker, UFO Magazine, December-January 2002
"What you will find is a thoughtful, well-written report about another of life's mysteries." ― James Dekorne, Fortean Times, November 2001
"Strassman's research was an important step, one that will potentially illuminate the path for future researchers and volunteers alike, and this book is a great contribution to the ongoing dialogue surrounding psychedelics." ― Scotto, Trip, Fall 2001
"This is probably the most thorough book on the psychedelic, DMT--its history, chemistry, uses (legal and illegal), and its effects. This is a very compelling, thoughtful book, written by a scrupulous scientist with the soul of a meditator." ― The Book Reader, Spring/Summer 2002
"The account of the project is an excellent inside view of human drug studies, especially those with psychedelics." ― Paul Von Ward, The AHP Perspective, June/July 2002
"This book is a highly readable, intriguing, provocative description of Rick Strassman's theories and research concerning the effects of DMT." ― Alissa Hirshfeld-Flores, M.A., LMFT, The American Journal of Psychiatry, August 2002
"Rick Strassman's experimentation with the psychoactive substance DMT is taking up where Leary's 1950/60's LSD experiments stopped." ― Rev. Dr. S. D'Montford, New Dawn, Jan-Feb 2006
"[Strassman's] account, written more for the layman than the specialist, is ground-breaking, and raises the interesting question as to what is truly a psychedelic experience." ― Peter Fenwick, The Scientific and Medical Network, Summer 2007
"Near-death experiences. Alien abductions. Lucid dreams. Even gods and goddesses. Try DMT for an explanation and it all holds together. It's brain chemistry. It's neuropharmacology. It's quite possibly other realms. Whatever it is, it's the new frontier, a closer examination of consciousness, and it's very, very exciting!" ― betaphilings.com, Dec 2008
"[Strassman] is a gifted writer and makes scientific jargon easy to read. The book gives very interesting examples of what the volunteers envisioned and how they felt throughout the experiences. . . . It is important for us as a society to look at legal, controlled, and supervised experimentation with psychoactive drugs with open minds, and with eventual scientific benefit in mind." ― Levi Cox, FLC Law and Society Science & Metaphysics Blog, Feb 2009
"Fascinating stuff! If this kind of thing interests you then pick up this book today." ― Loretta Nall, blog by former Alabama Gubernatorial Candidate, June 2009
"In the end, I felt the most important element of the book was the contextualization of the questions most important in psychedelic research. Strassman keenly recognizes and extrapolates the areas that appear to be most vital in the further study and theory of psychedelics." ― The Psychedelic Press UK, Sept 2009
“Highly readable, intriguing, provocative. . . . [An] intellectually courageous book. . . . Will be of great use both to researchers and clinicians, as well as to laypeople.” ― American Journal of Psychiatry, 2002
“A dazzling journey through psychedelic drug experimentation and a tantalizing peek into a new model of how the brain and mind work. Strassman’s research points toward a physiological basis for spirit and its interaction with the human body; his data suggests that our brain chemistry allows us access to other realms of existence just when we need it most, and his story recounts both the dangers and promises of entering this brave new world.” ― Bruce Greyson, Editor, Journal of Near-Death Studies
From the Back Cover
“Highly readable, intriguing, provocative. . . . [An] intellectually courageous book. . . . Will be of great use both to researchers and clinicians, as well as to laypeople.”
--American Journal of Psychiatry, 2002
“Rick Strassman’s pioneering research raises fascinating questions about the neurochemical basis of experience and the feasibility of conducting human research with mind- altering drugs in a university medical center. Truly adventurous reading!”
--Andrew Weil, author of Spontaneous Healing
“Fascinating and provocative. A remarkable exploration of the boundaries of science and consciousness itself.”
--Rupert Sheldrake, author of The Presence of the Past
“A dazzling journey through psychedelic drug experimentation and a tantalizing peek into a new model of how the brain and mind work. Strassman’s research points toward a physiological basis for spirit and its interaction with the human body; his data suggests that our brain chemistry allows us access to other realms of existence just when we need it most, and his story recounts both the dangers and promises of entering this brave new world.”
--Bruce Greyson, Editor, Journal of Near-Death Studies
From 1990 to 1995 Dr. Rick Strassman conducted DEA-approved clinical research at the University of New Mexico in which he injected sixty volunteers with DMT, one of the most powerful psychedelics known. His detailed account of those sessions is an extraordinarily riveting inquiry into the nature of the human mind and the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. DMT, a plant-derived chemical that is also manufactured by the human brain, consistently produced near-death and mystical experiences. Many volunteers reported convincing encounters with intelligent nonhuman presences, especially “aliens.” Nearly all felt that the sessions were among the most profound experiences of their lives.
Strassman’s research connects DMT with the pineal gland, considered by Hindus to be the site of the seventh chakra and by René Descartes to be the seat of the soul. DMT: The Spirit Molecule makes the bold case that DMT, naturally released by the pineal gland, facilitates the soul’s movement in and out of the body and is an integral part of the birth and death experiences, as well as the highest states of meditation and even sexual transcendence. Strassman also believes that alien abduction experiences are brought on by accidental releases of DMT. If used wisely, DMT could trigger a period of remarkable progress in the scientific exploration of the most mystical regions of the human mind and soul.
RICK STRASSMAN, M.D., is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.
- ASIN : 0892819278
- Publisher : Park Street Press (January 1, 2001)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 358 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780892819270
- ISBN-13 : 978-0892819270
- Item Weight : 0.035 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #18,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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The meat of the book is in the middle and the thesis of the book is to portray this experience as objective realities; sets the progressive synopsis of the trips as such. That part is fascinating and if i was rating the book based on its subject matter it would be a 5. If i based the book on it's thesis it would be a 2. The reader is kept from many factors that would be contrary to the thesis unless they have tried it themselves. Seems the Doctor was given permission to conduct these studies but wasn't able to give us the data of the physiological changes and brain activity necessary to give us the full picture. I was surprise by the length of the study how little information we have in comparison.
Overall there was a disconnect between the reason given for the cessation of the study and the reason the study was even granted.
There are two major problems which I can identify:
First, there is a lot of tedious and unnecessary detail which is of no interest or value to almost anyone. For example, the great lengths the writer went into in order to obtain FDA and DEA approval to run his study did not need to be long. He could have written a paragraph stating these difficulties and red tape and could have stated "It took three years and many calls and paperwork etc but he went on and on and on. You might say that this would be helpful to anyone wanting to follow in his footsteps but the information presented manages to be both vague enough to not be useful for that, while also having a lot of detail which was simply uninteresting. The author also dedicated a chapter to the difficulties he had involving his faith and at times this just came across as venting his frustrations. Again, not the reason people picked up the book. We are curious about DMT. How it works, what its effects are and what cool stuff people experienced while under the influence of it.
The second problem, is the overly medical descriptions. Yes I realize he is a Doctor. It felt like reading a scientific journal at times. When you present your findings, explaining in detail how you injected something and over how many seconds and how you flushed the line with saline is important to those reading and scrutinizing that research. In a book for the general public, it comes across as padding for what could have been a much shorter book. I say this as a medical professional who understood the jargon as I read it.
In a book about DMT, we do not really care about his unruly grad student he had to eventually fire, the problems at the author's Buddhist temple and the politics there and government red tape. These should have been removed in editing.
Do I recommend this book? Yes as long as you can muscle through some very boring and unrelated parts of it, you will find some gems. There are some incredible experiences contained within and it is quite thought provoking at times. It just feels like looking for diamonds in a muddy lake.
Dr. Strassman had me laughing with (or maybe "at") him during much of the book as you can feel first his surprise and then his exhaustion at the turn of events during his case studies. One can envision him reaching for a bottle of liquor as he has to listen to another "being encounter" and then talk to his subjects as if they were real.
The case studies are [of course] awe inspiring and makes one ponder "what really is happening"? Why has DMT been placed on this planet in so many plants and species? What purpose does DMT serve if it does naturally occur in our brain/bodies (as well as countless plants)?
The author's attempts to connect parallel universe, interplanetary travel, and dark matter to DMT at first seem so far fetched (and perhaps dated now), it almost made me stop reading; however, after absorbing it a while, and knowing humans have used these drugs to channel the "spirit plane" for thousands of years, perhaps it's not so far fetched after all.
The biggest upset was Dr. Strassman "giving up" on his psychedelic research after being delivered some blows he may have predicted after seeing the early psychedelic "pioneers" suffer similar fates in their respective communities.
Highly recommended reading...
The book is bloated with unnecessary content, however. The chapter detailing the author's struggle with getting past the DEA regulations, while demonstrating just how much red tape one has to go through to get this stuff, could have easily been ommitted. The book contains a great deal of baseless speculation on the part of the author as well, and the last couple chapters were nearly impossible to slog through. Several chapters can safely be skipped without really missing out on the useful information.
Top reviews from other countries
I'm sure in years to come this research will be well read and built upon, maybe not in the USA but somewhere in the world.
As I read the final chapters “what could be and might be” It came to me that we may all have different levels of DMT awareness in our brains. This could well lead to different personality traits within us.
1. People with high levels of Dmt would become more spiritual , becoming shamans and the like, and want to live within nature accordingly as tribes in the rain forest do now. They would totally within their means and only take what they need.
2. People with mid levels of DMT have a yearning for a spiritual understanding but are materialist to want but want security and safety. They can tolerate some injustice and destruction if they feel it's will keep them safe. I.E.: they except over seas wars and rain forest destruction as part of keeping our economy functioning.
3. People with low levels of DMT will be totally materialist, will crave power over others at any cost, Destruction of people and planet will be condoned as long as it increases their power base, and will have no understanding of anything of a spiritual nature, looking at these people as weak and inferior .
It will take more people like Dr Srtassman to have the courage to really look at the spiritual side of human nature and reveal the truth as they are sidelined and ignored by funding agencies.
Thank you for a beautiful well written book
A good companion I found to Graham Hancock's Supernatural. Also sits well with Anthony Peake's books too.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 2, 2017