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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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"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)
“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)
"Fascinating and provocative. A remarkable exploration of the boundaries of science and consciousness itself." (Rupert Sheldrake, author of The Presence of the Past)
"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 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)
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.
Top Customer Reviews
And the case studies are intriguing indeed. Through various permutations of set, setting, and dosage, Strassman's volunteers experience DMT trips ranging from explorations of personal emotions and thoughts to full-blown sojourns into Cosmic Consciousness. And somewhere between these polarities of personal ego and impersonal Absolute there reside experiences of an altogether different order. It is these experiences that perhaps set the DMT molecule drastically apart from the other major psychedelic drugs. They're perhaps best explained with an example, and generally go something like this: A person is injected with DMT; within fifteen seconds the person feels a rush and suddenly finds him- or herself perceiving a completely different environment, with no major alteration in the quality of awareness, and usually there appear one or more "beings" in this environment who interact with the person and are felt, with certainty, to be entirely "real" entities, independent of, but not exactly separate from, the DMT tripper's mind.Read more ›
DMT or di-methyl-trptamine is produced by many organisms and is found abundantly in plants and animal tissue. In humans it is believed that it is produced in the tiny pineal gland, which is situated deep within the brain. Its location in the brain corresponds with Eastern Ayurvedic traditions of the highest "chakra". In reptiles, the pineal is a light sensitive organ, and though this function has been lost in humans, it has been referred to as the "third eye". Descartes called it the "seat of the soul", and in modern times it has been a focal point of consciousness research.
Though the academic purpose for the research at the University of New Mexico from 1990 to 1995 was to find the purpose and function of "endogenous" (produced in the body) DMT, as well as its relationship to psychosis, it was Strassman's emersion in the teaching of Buddhism that was his inspiration throughout. Ironically, the findings of his research undermined many of his beliefs and left him alienated from the Buddhist community.
Many of his research subjects were experienced psychedelic users, but they were unprepared for the intensity of DMT. One volunteer described his acute ten minute voyage into another dimension as being hit by a "nuclear cannon." While LSD allows the user a self-guided trip, the DMT experience has its own agenda, stripping the subject of any goals, expectations, and ego.Read more ›
Strassman's research connects DMT with the pineal gland; this corresponds to the esoteric belief that the pineal, connected with the Crown, Keter or Sahasrara chakra, eases the spirit's movement into different levels of consciousness or various dimensions of existence. Graham Hancock's Supernatural similarly explores the use of psychedelics to induce altered states or allow the soul to explore other dimensions.
Psychedelic substances in science and society, the chemical qualities and molecular structure of DMT, the pineal gland and its role in the psychedelic experience are all discussed in the first part. Part Two relates the history of the author's research, from the actual research proposal through the process of obtaining permission; this section may be skipped by the average reader.
Next Strassman describes the process of selecting volunteers, obtaining DMT and the first experiments, whilst in Part Four he examines the case reports: what the volunteers said and did, their behavior, etc. This makes for strange and fascinating reading. Some experiences were positive and illuminating, resembling uplifting meditative states, whilst others were eerie or deeply unpleasant.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A phenomenal book describing the clinical research into the safety and pharmacological activity of one of the brain's critical molecules, DMT (N,N dimethyl tryptamine), when... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Michael Townsend
This book is written very objectively and doesn't "sell" DMT - rather it describes the experience, process of discovery (scientific and otherwise) and illustrates the... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
The description sounded interesting plus I read a news article on DMT but for my science challenged brain, it was too much. Read morePublished 1 month ago by JGM
I loved the book. A great book about something very cool. A great book for people interested in psychedelic research and psychedelics.Published 2 months ago by dwaine
Very interesting book. It has practical scientific information, and the mess of obtaining scientific permits, together with the interesting results of the experiments with DMT, and... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Hannah Noa Barad