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Paperback Dmt: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research Into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences Book

ISBN: 0892819278

ISBN13: 9780892819270

Dmt: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research Into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences

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Book Overview

A clinical psychiatrist explores the effects of DMT, one of the most powerful psychedelics known. - A behind-the-scenes look at the cutting edge of psychedelic research. - Provides a unique scientific explanation for the phenomenon of alien abduction experiences. From 1990 to 1995 Dr. Rick Strassman conducted U.S. Government-approved and funded clinical research at the University of New Mexico in which he injected sixty volunteers with DMT, one of...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Highly recommend this book

If you're interested in DMT and the role it plays in our minds, this is the book for you. Be warned, you will never think about the universe the same afterwards. Buy this book and read it! I couldn't put it down.


The book reveals and analyses Strassman's clinical research into DMT, a plant-derived substance which is also produced by the brain. As such this is one of the most thought-provoking studies on altered states and the nature of consciousness. The volunteers reported an amazing array of positive mystical or frightening hallucinatory experiences including encounters with intelligent entities. 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. Part Five takes stock of these reports and considers the question of whether the experience was worth the effort for each individual that took part. Strassman attempts to assess the ultimate benefit that each person derived. Definitions come into play and determining something so subjective is difficult but it would appear that the experiments did reward each individual in some way or other. Then follows a discussion of the soul/psyche and states of consciousness. It seems that spontaneously occurring psychedelic experiences are mediated by elevated levels of endogenous DMT. This `spiritual' molecule thus unlocks unknown territory. If the brain is a receiver, DMT fine-tunes this organ so that the individual consciousness moves beyond familiar awareness into other realms, most of which are inhabited. Many volunteers mentioned a `ripping' sound as they made the transition. There's a difference between this awareness and normal dreaming. Current psychological theory does not satisfactorily explain the phenomenon or the peculiar experiences, especially as regards the entities encountered. This leads to a speculative discussion on cosmology, the possibility of parallel universes, a multiverse and dark matter with reference to David Deutsch's book The Fabric of Reality. The author concludes his extraordinary work by looking at the practical use of psychedelics in therapy, as promoters of crea

High marks on a controversial subject

Covering a groundbreaking psychedelic substance that is actually found in human cerebrospinal fluid, Rick Strassman tells a first-person story of his research on the profoundly mysterious substance dimethltryptamine (DMT). We learn the political, medical, and ethical obstacles that surround the creation of Strassman's research program in 1990's America. Also explored are a far-ranging array of puzzling questions: foremost, WHY does this tryptamine compound exist naturally within the brain? Is DMT flooded into serotonin receptors to help mediate trauma, meditation, and near-death experiences? If so, why? And could DMT yield a framework for defining consciousness? The topics are explored through the vivid experiences of research volunteers at the University of New Mexico and the sincere, contemplative hypotheses of the author. This is a nicely crafted book which nimbly treads a thin line between restraint and enthusiasm, between cold objectivity and speculation. At the end, the reader is left with many intriguing puzzle pieces. "The Spirit Molecule" is perhaps the first title to break ground on what might be a Pandora's Box of the upcoming century.

Pries the lid off the coffin of human psychedelic research

Detailed, very accessible description of Strassman's studies of the effects of intravenously administered DMT in human volunteers in a clinical setting. He describes his research protocols, his struggle to obtain government approval, and the volunteers' reports of their DMT experiences, with clarity and compassion. The book raises questions about the nature and purpose of mystical experiences, the similarity between externally induced experiences of death and rebirth, alien contact, and spiritual enlightenment and naturally occurring experiences, and the role of DMT (which occurs naturally in the body) in these types of experiences. Strassman discusses the limitations of the biomedical model in understanding these experiences, as well as the risks and benefits of using DMT as a research tool. Open-minded scientists, those on a spiritual path, therapists, and dedicated "psychonauts" will find much to ponder in this book. It enlarges the scope of rational discussion about psychedelics, and goes a long way toward dispelling the fear, ignorance, and stigma that have hampered psychedelic research for the last 30 years. The addition of an index would have been helpful, but other than that this book exceeded my expectations and deepened my sense of wonder about the nature of consciousness and the spirit.

A Bold Study of Chemicals and Consciousness

Dr. Strassman describes his research with dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a very powerful psychedelic drug that can produce very profound experiences that go beyond the explanations of our current scientific model. In this bold treatise he explains how this simple chemical induces mystical states that were previously reserved for religion and the occult. Not since Robert Monroe and his Institute's "Hemi-Sync" sound technology have I seen such potential to facilitate such events.I was relieved to read that this Doctor of Psychiatry didn't reduce these extraordinary experiences of the volunteers down to creative imaginations, and I was impressed with his mature methods of studying a psychedelic drug. This isn't Timothy Leary tuning us in so that we can drop out. This is a scientist who is sincerely searching for something that can enhance our lives in areas such as creativity, therapy, and spirituality.Dr. Strassman has a good grasp of our culture's perceptions about drugs and he not only discards the militaristic attitude against drug use, but also the naive acceptance that they are always beneficial. His clear insights allow this book to have a wide appeal to a mature audience. Hopefully, as he states, this research will at least be the start of more open discussions of practical applications of psychedelics.
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