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Advance Praise for
DMT: The Spirit Molecule
"Strassman's important research contributes to a growing awareness that we inhabit a multidimensional universe that is far more complex and interesting than the one our scientific theories have shown us. It is of the utmost importance that we face theimplications of this discovery, for it has so much to tell us about who we are and why we are here." John Mack, author of Abduction and Passport to the Cosmos "The most extensive scientific study of the mental and perceptual effects of a psychedelic drug since the 1960s. Strassman provides fascinating insight into the world of psychiatric research as he seeks to understand these most mysterious substancesand their profound effects on human consciousness." Ralph Metzner, Ph.D., author of Ayahuasca: Consciousness and the Spirits of Nature "This book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the mind, philosophy, the nature of reality, and spirituality. The world's foremost expert on DMT has created a masterpiece of the genre, as he brilliantly leads the reader through a series ofstartling revelations about the nature of the universe, revealed behind the doorway once DMT turns the key." Karl Jansen, M.D., Ph.D., author of K. Ketamine: Dreams and Realities "DMT: The Spirit Molecule points the way beyond the present impasse of the reigning "drug abuse" paradigm. We owe a debt of gratitude to Strassman for persevering in the face of bureaucratic obstacles to conduct importantresearch into the human pharmacology of DMT and elucidate it for the general public, in both scientific and humanistic terms." Jonathan Ott, author of The Age of Entheogens and Hallucinogenic Plants of North America
A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences
Rick Strassman, М.D.
Park Street Press Rochester, Vermont
Park Street Press One ParkStreet Rochester, Vermont 05767 www.InnerTraditions.com Park Street Press is a division of Inner Traditions International Copyright © 2001 by Rick J. Strassman, M.D. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission inwriting from the publisher. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Strassman, Rick. DMT : the spirit molecule : a doctor's revolutionary research into the biology of near-death and mystical experiences / Rick Strassman. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 0-89281-927-8 (alk. paper) 1. Dimethyltryptamine. 2. Pineal gland—Secretions. I. Title. RM666.D564 S77 2000 615'.7883—dc21 00-050498 Printed and bound in the United States 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 Text design and layout by Rachel Goldenberg This book was typeset in Bodoni with Bodoni Open as the display typeface
To the volunteers, and all their relations
We do not possess imagination enough to sense what we are missing. Jean Toomer1
Acknowledgments Introduction Prologue: First Sessions xi xv 1
PartI: The Building Blocks
1 • Psychedelic Drugs: Science and Society 2 • What DMT Is 3 • The Pineal: Meet the Spirit Gland 4 • The Psychedelic Pineal 21 42 56 67
Part II: Conception and Birth
5 • 89-001 6 • Labyrinth 89 99
Part III: Set, Setting, and DMT
7 • Being a Volunteer 8 • Getting DMT 9 • Under the Influence 121 136 143
Part IV: The Sessions
10 • Introduction to the Case ReportsНи Feeling and Thinking 12 • Unseen Worlds 13 • Contact Through the Veil: 1 14 • Contact Through the Veil: 2 15 • Death and Dying 16 • Mystical States 17 • Pain and Fear 153 156 176 185 202 220 233 247
Part V: Taking Pause
18 • If So, So What? 19 • Winding Down 20 • Stepping on Holy Toes 266 278 294
Part VI: What Could and Might Be
21 • DMT: The Spirit Molecule 22 • The Futures of...