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DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences [Paperback]

Rick Strassman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
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Book Description

15 Jun 2001
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 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 found in the psychedelic Amazon brew, ayahuasca, is also manufactured by the human brain. In Strassman's volunteers, it consistently produced near-death and mystical experiences. Many reported convincing encounters with intelligent nonhuman presences, aliens, angels, and spirits. 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 Rene 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.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions Bear and Company; Later Printing edition (15 Jun 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892819278
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892819270
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.4 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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. . . an enriching journey into one scientist's courageous attempt to solve a bit more of the brain/mind/spirit mystery. -- Vicki Ecker, UFO Magazine, December-January 2002

. . . profound interest to . . . anyone with a deep interest in the study of consciousness, visionary states and/or psycho-pharmacology.
-- J. P. Harpignies, Lapis

DMT: The Spirit Molecule is a fascinating journey into the research of psychedelics. -- Jule Klotter, Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients - July, 2001

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

Fascinating and provocative. A remarkable exploration of the boundaries of science and consciousness itself. -- Rupert Sheldrake, author of The Presence of the Past

Raises fascinating questions about the neurochemical basis of experience and the feasibility of conducting human research with mind-altering drugs. -- Andrew Weil, author of Spontaneous Healing

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 Therapies in Health and Medicine

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 the Cosmos

Strassman's psychonauts regularly found themselves hurtled into alien laboratories, high-tech nurseries, and Day-Glo hieroglyphic hypercubes. -- Erik Davis, The Village Voice

The Spirit Molecule is a tantalizing peek into a new model of how the brain and mind work. -- Bruce Greyson, editor of the Journal of Near-Death Studies, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia

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

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.

About the Author

Rick Strassman, M.D., author of DMT : The Spirit Molecule, and co-author of Inner Paths to Outer Space, lives in Taos, New Mexico, and is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
134 of 137 people found the following review helpful
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.
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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Speculative but Fascinating 20 Nov 2002
In this book Strassman describes a number of research projects he has undertaken into the effects of DMT (one of the most potent hallucinogens/entheogens known to man) on human volunteers. Rather than merely presenting a bunch of trip reports, he gives plenty of relevant background, and details the research methods used and the hassles he went through to get approval for the trials.
The book is both written and arranged in an easy-to-handle manner, and I found it highly readable. The experiences documented are fascinating, and much of Strassman's commentary about them is interesting and insightful.
My only reservation is that some of the ideas he presents are initially pure speculation, by the next page have turned into a fundamental assumption on which other speculations may be based, and for the rest of the book appear as solid fact.
This is true of the central theme, that DMT is the "spirit molecule", somehow representing or intimately connected with human spiritual experience. Strassman misses a couple of opportunities to make his case more robustly, I feel. But that doesn't mean he's wrong, and it doesn't negate the overall value of the book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Ever so often I find myself going "YES!" "YES!" again and again. This book brings together spontaneous mystical experiences, states of illumination and enlightenment and the NDE's with the secretion of DMT in the pineal gland. His research into laboratory administered controlled doses of the DMT and the emerging parallels in the description of the individuals is fascinating.
Not only does he take the lid of the "mystique" of the way in which we think that our perception of reality is unshakable and predetermined, his research also opens up doors to many more avenues and I hope that fellow researchers will be able to carry the batton further into this field.
This is essential reading for anybody with an intereset in the workings of the mind, in mystical experiences, the question of what happens to us after death, mental health and deviations from the norm, energy healing and manifestations of other-dimensional phenomena. DMT goes way beyond other psychedelic drugs, and is truly the bodie's own doorway to expanded perception.
The book is easy to read with a good balance of technical detail and background information with fascinating stories and often supplemented with the personal testimony of some of the volunteers.
This research is important as it brings para-psychological anecdotal evidence into the laboratory and thereby into serious science. I had the same reaction when reading Dean Radin and Candace Pert.
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82 of 87 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
The theories that Rick Strassman has concerning the D.M.T. molecule as being the "Spirit Molecule" are astounding!!! Readers will be amazed at the information this book contains, Rick brings the story of his research alive with his straight forward and scientific approach on a type of research that is considered "Tabboo" in the normal stream of everyday life. I found his speculations about the production of D.M.T. in the penial gland of a fetus 49 days into it's development and how he considers this as the vehicle of the soul moving into the body before birth astounding!! Also in the same chapter he mentions that upon dying D.M.T. is produced in large amounts in the human brain,,(the soul leaving the body) This book is the history of his research, injecting humans with D.M.T. the most powerful, and short acting psychedelic known to man. he includes detailed information about "what's on the otherside" from test members in this project, describing their experiences in their own words. The book represents a possability that through the clinical use of this chemical we can actually experience what it is like to die and travel to new dimensions in 15 minutes with no adverse effects!! Amazing factual data on this subject which brings forth the possibbility of researching this and other chemicals for the benifit of mankind, in a proper time for such research to begin again,,,not as it had begun during the war torn times of vietnam when the counterculture tried to find "Enlightenment" through just taking these drugs. Their enthusiasim got the best of them and therefore led to the problems that interfeard with further research in the scientific community. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good one
Published 1 day ago by Mm Fitek
5.0 out of 5 stars got it for my boyfriend and he loved it: )
very interesting book, got it for my boyfriend and he loved it :)
Published 20 days ago by harriet
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
loved it x
Published 22 days ago by pjay
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Absolutely mind-blowing revelations in this book that turn the term 'hallucination' upside down.
I'd never heard of DMT until I stumbled upon a blog about Ayahuasca while... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Martino Catalano
3.0 out of 5 stars a very interesting experiment written in a book
Starts off boring and scientifically technical at first I put it down and didn't pick it up again for 2 years because I was determined to get through the pile of books I gad... Read more
Published 3 months ago by sheila
4.0 out of 5 stars Anatomy of a Clinical Study
What most people would want to read about in this book are the actual sessions. But this starts only in part IV and constitutes less than one third of the book: 112 pages out of... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Normand Hamel
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
What an amazing read. This book is fantastic, if you have seen the documentary you MUST read the book too. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Pouya
4.0 out of 5 stars A psychiatrists research into the effects of DMT
This book describes a psychiatrist's scientific studies using the psychedelic drug DMT. It is written like a scientific notebook (surely helpful for people who intend to design... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Manuela Brand
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read.
This book is very scientific. If you are looking for a romanticised view of DMT and its effects then look elsewhere. Read more
Published 8 months ago by J. Stalker
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind blowing, but I expected that!
I had read a little about the subject matter before reading this book so I had an inkling that it would be a great read. Read more
Published 8 months ago by David
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