- Paperback: 358 pages
- Publisher: Park Street Press (January 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0892819278
- ISBN-13: 978-0892819270
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 318 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences Paperback – December 1, 2000
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"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)
"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)
From the Back Cover
PSYCHOLOGY / MYSTICISM
“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.
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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 second half is when the stories of the studies begin and it gets really great.
This is an almost perfect mix of being scientific/research-focused and also being accessible for most people. I can't imagine many drug hobbyists having problems understanding the content of the book or having problems understanding the writing.
Good stuff, really recommend this!
That said, I recommend "DMT: The Spirit Molecule" to anyone interested in the topic as an important contribution to psychedelic research. Despite forays into unfunded speculation, this book provides interesting user reports and an account of the research process that is both bracing and instructive.