A review by Caroline Taylor
"DMT: THE SPIRIT MOLECULE" by RICK STRASSMAN M.D.
In November 1990 permission was finally granted to Dr. Rick Strassman to undertake a five-year study of DMT (N, N-dimethyl-tryptamine) at the University of New Mexico's School of Medicine in Albuquerque. This was to be the first legal study of a psychedelic substance in humans for over 20 years. Dr. Strassman, a clinical research psychiatrist, administered various doses of the drug (0.05mg/kg - 0.4 mg/kg) to more than 60 volunteers, adhering closely to medical protocols.
"DMT: The Spirit Molecule" is the book Dr.Strassman wrote about his experiences and those of some of the volunteers in the experiment. He goes well beyond his remit as a scientist, both in terms of his grasp of the complex spiritual, therapeutic and paradigmatic issues that are raised, and in terms of the sensitivity and care with which the research volunteers are treated. Never are they subjected to a reductionist or sceptical attitude, however bizarre their reports.
In his discussion of DMT using the name "Spirit Molecule" Strassman is fusing two approaches; one based on his detailed "nuts and bolts" scientific knowledge and the other on spiritual knowledge and practice. One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the author's investigation into the possible connection between naturally-occurring DMT in mystical states (NDE's for example) and those encountered in outwardly administered DMT. The similarities are striking. Perhaps the most striking is in the area of reported contact and communication with autonomous, intelligent, non-corporeal beings.
The extreme strangeness of the "other worlds" and their "inhabitants" he heard about caused conflicts in the author's mind about how he would choose to integrate them into his worldview (or make the leap into another?) Professional and personal allegiances were also challenged. By the time the experiment drew to a close, mounting pressure from various sources (not just scientific ones) lead to his decision to retire from publicly-funded psychedelic research. However, not before completing some truly groundbreaking work.
The "spirit molecule" is, for Dr.Strassman, essentially a kind of chemical "vehicle", enabling disembodied consciousness to be carried to other realms of existence. If McKenna and the Mayan Calendar creators were right, it may be that we will be needing this vehicle - en masse - in the near future. Rather than a redundant organ like the appendix (as it was once thought) the pineal gland, about which Strassman presents substantial evidence for an essential function in DMT production and assimilation (perhaps supplanting the previously demonstrated synthesis of DMT by blood, brain, and lung), may in fact be a FUTURE ORGAN. Upon this little pine-nut of an organ could rest a new model of brain and mind - indeed a whole new paradigm.
The relevance of the DMT experience - and hence Rick Strassman's book "DMT; The Spirit Molecule" - to the 2012 scenario was for me, connected to two sources (three, if you count my own intuitions.) These two are:
1) Terence McKenna's Timewave Zero; specifically its consciousness-changing aspects, both literal and conceptual. In other words, elements of McKenna's work which are concerned with actual brain chemistry, as well as to radical changes in our worldview. If we accept McKenna's reports of his experience with tryptamines as "real", then it follows that there exists the possibility of widespread, genuine, shamanic-type dialogue with extra-dimensional beings. At the same time there is also the possibility of an ongoing and accelerating dimensional merging of some kind, involving an evolving of human consciousness, as we approach the proposed point of "concrescence" in 2012.
2) The accounts of many "abductees" or "experiencers", as reported by Prof. John Mack. These are remarkably similar in many ways to reports of DMT experiences, including communication with "beings" (and the content of some of the communication.) This suggests perhaps a chemical (pineal) triggering of some sort, involving a DMT surge, either before, or in response to "contact".
Prof. Mack has said "It is of the utmost importance that we face the implications of this discovery (that we inhabit a multidimensional universe - speaking of Strassman's contribution) for it has so much to tell us about who we are and why we are here."
Before writing this review, I contacted Rick Strassman by e-mail. At the end of the following chapter summaries there is a short dialogue containing some interesting replies to several questions I asked him in connection with the relevance of the sources mentioned above.
Dr. Strassman's milieu is biological psychiatry, so it is not too surprising that he begins with an uncritical account of the history of psychedelic research within clinical psychiatry in Chapter 1. The "highly unnatural evolution" of scientific psychedelic research is described thus: LSD and its ilk began as "wonder drugs", became "horror drugs", then "nothing". Repressive drugs laws were, according to Dr. Strassman, mostly a response to public and media pressure, rather than possibly being a consequence of establishment (including scientific) fears. He defends the majority of early researchers who turned their backs on psychedelics out of expediency. They were "for the most part professional scientists, not zealots." (p.29)
Following this slightly tentative beginning, there is some fascinating information in Chapter 2: clear diagrams of the molecular structure of tryptamines (pp. 32-39) and useful, well-written explanations of what psychedelics "are" and what they "do". Strassman seems to warm to his subject progressively, finally "getting into the water", with an account of the effects of tryptamines in general and DMT in particular. The spiritual element is also introduced in a vivid way in answer to his own question "What is DMT doing in our bodies?".
Chapter 3 contains interesting detail about what is known of the pineal gland, along with some relevant autobiographical detail. He also brings in some personal knowledge of mystical spiritual traditions and practices, as well as biological facts about "the site of the seventh chakra", all lucidly described.
The resistance within science to serious research into pineal function is tackled in Chapter 4. Despite the taboo in psychiatric circles against equating the words "pineal" and "psychedelic" (no-one has yet actually seriously looked for DMT in the pineal, for example, nor its inherent MAO levels, nor circadian DMT levels in relation to dreaming) Strassman persevered with private study, drawn from scientific data as well as spiritual/religious sources. His general DMT hypothesis is that: "Pineal DMT production is the physical representation of non-material, or energetic, processes. It provides us with a vehicle to consciously experience the movement of our life-force in its most extreme manifestation." (p.68) The spiritual element cannot be ignored, he feels. He is fascinated by the apparent connection between the 49 days the soul is said to reside in the bardo and the fact that it takes 49 days for the human embryo to develop a recognisable pineal gland - and also to differentiate fully into male and female. (pp. 81-82)
Chapters 5 and 6 describe actual research proposal and the labyrinth of boards and agencies through which the protocol had to pass in order to qualify for research funding. After two years of pressure and patience, Strassman finally received the go-ahead to perform DMT trials with volunteers in the University of New Mexico's medical wing in Albuquerque in November 1990.
Chapters 7 and 8 describe the set and setting of the experiment and the lengthy physical and psychological health checks he is obliged to conduct with each volunteer (including a 90 page questionnaire.) Strassman admits to some reservations about the suitability of a hospital setting for his psychedelic experiments. He felt that the clinical atmosphere, with medical apparatus in situ and occasionally disturbing background noise, was not conducive to the ambience of relaxation and security he feels is necessary for volunteers in a highly impressionable state. He received permission to improve the decor of Room 531 and succeeded in making it a little more comfortable but the noise and apparatus remained. Strassman appears to have succeeded in compensating for the shortcomings in the ambience with his responsiveness and sensitivity (including hand-holding) to the volunteers' needs during the DMT sessions. He was nevertheless obliged to undertake some disturbing techniques in pursuit of data; for example the volunteers were subjected to MRI scanning, amongst other tests. These could be "noisy and invasive", at the best of times but during a DMT experience, he says, they could be potentially "quite terrifying". He marveled at the robustness of most research subjects and thankfully was able to draw the line at radioactive PET scanning.
The DMT experience itself is vividly described in Chapter 9. For most of the volunteers, the dose at which clearly psychedelic effects predominated ranged from 0.2 mg/kg through to 0.4 mg/kg. The peak response occurred at 2 minutes and it was over in half an hour. Volunteers typically described the initial rush as "like a freight train", or "like a nuclear cannon". Nearly all remarked on feeling "vibrations". (There are similar reports in Dr. Mack's work.) A rapid loss of bodily awareness caused some to think they had died. There was often a sense of rapid movement or "flying"; many felt they had left their bodies and had become "pure awareness." Auditory affects included "whirring", "crinkling and crunching" and comical "sproing-boing" noises. Among the visual effects were intensely coloured geometrical patterns, (sometimes described as "4-D") trees of life, fantastic birds, tunnels, stairways and machinelike forms. The most startling encounter, however, was with human-like, or completely un-human-like, non corporeal entities, some with insectile or reptilian qualities. Although the majority of the volunteers found the experience euphoric, pleasurable and revelatory, some found it terrifying. This situation tended to improve in subsequent sessions, especially once they were "prepared to lose control", in a safe and supportive setting. (p.149) DMT may be thought to be comparable with other hallucinogens in some ways, remarks Strassman but it has a certain "peerless quality". A more tangible difference is that the human brain actively seems to seek it out. The chemical easily passes through a normally impermeable blood-brain barrier.
Chapter 10 begins a review of the sessions. The volunteers' experiences were grouped into three categories: Personal, Invisible and Transpersonal. This grouping was partly so that they could be more easily compared with what is suggested may be endogenous DMT experiences (for example, mystical states, NDE's and "alien abductions".) The Personal category included body-based feelings and mind-based thoughts, i.e. personal issues. It was on this level that "exquisite sensitivity" was required by Strassman and his assistant, in order to arrive at a balance between "letting things be" and offering appropriate reflection, support, advice and interpretation.
Discussion of the Personal level continues in Chapter 11. Here DMT, "as a true Spirit Molecule, gave our volunteers the trip they needed, rather than the one they wanted." (p.156) Some were able to work through difficult personal problems with the aid of the powerful, lucid-dreamlike, DMT-induced state. Some described the benefits as "purely energetic"; some "cumulative". One said that between the 3rd and the 4th dose (in a tolerance study that involved four sequential 0.3 mg/kg sessions separated by 30 minute intervals) "something changed" (for the better.) "I just gave up." (p.161) Strassman mentions the great potential for psychedelic-assisted therapy, not only in the area of problem solving but also in what he terms "structured voluntary traumatic experience." i.e. in a safe and supportive environment people could use DMT to "promote absolute loss of control", so as to contact, and permanently let go of, painful emotions. One young female volunteer was actually able to do this. In a moving account she describes how, during the DMT sessions, she was helped by "presences" - "DMT elves", to release the trauma of childhood neglect and rape . "I feel like I have a new body" she said, one month after her healing experience. (p.171)
Chapter 12 explores Dr. Strassman's second category of experience: the Invisible. In attempting to answer the question "where does DMT take us?" language seems to fail - to some "free-standing, independent level of existence"? But "place" does not perhaps seem so interesting to most volunteers as the information that is felt to be held there, or even of which it is felt to entirely consist. DNA-like patterns and hieroglyphic-like alphabets abound. One volunteer described experiencing a "core of reality", which he felt to be "the Logos." (p.179) Some found themselves in nursery-like rooms, or "playrooms"; some in futuristic looking "apartments". These spaces/places appear to have an "organic" or "living" quality (again, Mack's abductees mention this particular quality.) The strangeness of these worlds, Strassman admits, stretched him to the limit as a guide. However, he tries to maintain a scrupulous respect for the volunteers' accounts. An offhanded or doubting remark, he observes, could easily trigger a negative DMT experience.
The bizarre contents of Chapter 13 are described as the easiest to skirt around when he is asked "What did you find?" Strassman admits the reason is that his own world-view, in common with the prevailing one, is seriously challenged by the answer, which is: the "beings." (This does seem a little strange, since he obviously has an appreciation of indigenous cultures' approach to the spirit-world; also an understanding of how scientists (and others) tend to compartmentalise, or water down, matters of faith. Could it be that his subsequent reflections on whether existing religious structures could cope with the strangeness of encounters with real "spirit beings", he might be concealing a bitter acceptance of the obvious answer?) He is optimistic, however, that physics and cosmology might be capable of providing models and explanations of "spirit-world" experiences. Strassman's openness is admirable in his frank admission of being totally unprepared, emotionally and intellectually, for the frequency and bizarreness of the volunteers' encounters with beings. It was always an unpredictable two-way communication - and "they" were always in control. Often they seemed machinelike, yet still definitely alive. Medical-type tests were often carried out, using technology apparently far in advance of our own. The volunteers unanimously claimed that their experiences were absolutely real and not an hallucination. Also that they felt ultra lucid, not intoxicated. (Once again, simlarities with alien abduction stories abound. Unlike some of these, however, little fear was usually present where the beings were involved. Could this be because the volunteers were open to the experience and willing participants in it? Also because mostly they were familiar with the effects of psychedelics? The answer seems to be yes, on both counts. In response to the repeated insistence of the "high reality status" of the beings, Strassman decided to suspend his reductionist instincts and "act as if it were true." He did, however, apparently worry about starting some kind of "communal mass psychosis".
Chapter 14 concentrates on detailed accounts from two of the volunteers - a male and a female - who are felt to represent the "full blooming" of the DMT phenomenon. The experiences were so intense and strange that Strassman feared both for himself and them, i.e. that he was getting "in over his head", and that they might have trouble going back to ordinary lives. The male volunteer initially encountered menacing insectoid presences, whose menace seemed to increase the more he tried to fight off their influence. When he finally surrendered to death, with feelings of love for God, they began somehow to feed on him and his emotions. Far from being horrific, this part of the experience felt pleasurable; as though he was somehow making love with them. At the same time he felt his DNA was being manipulated. The volunteer emerged feeling euphoric and deeply changed. In a follow-up assessment Strassman felt the man had fully integrated his DMT experiences and had started pursuing an interest in shamanism and dreams in a more focused way. He also notes the remarkable resemblance between this and other research subjects' reports and many "alien abductees'" accounts.
The connection between near-death-experiences (NDE's) and endogenous DMT, according to Strassman's hypothesis, is investigated in Chapter 15. He believes endogenous DMT mediates naturally-occurring NDE's - but admits this would be hard to prove. Instead he prefers to focus on the DMT experiences in the trials where death has emerged as a theme. Several people said they "lived" the phenomenon described in "Introductions to the Dead" from "The Tibetan Book of the Dead". This made them much more confident about their actual deaths, as well as in their ability to "die and come back" in any future DMT experiences. Some felt the bardo state was familiar, as though they had been there many times.
Mystical states are discussed in Chapter 16. This is the aspect of the DMT study that most interested Strassman personally, especially having practiced and studied Zen Buddhism for many years. His concept of enlightenment is that it is a "profound, mystical way of being", which entails white light, experienced as "a searing sense of the sacred and holy." (p.235) An alternative definition might be: "cosmic consciousness", accessed through religious practice and discipline. However, the DMT experiences in the "Transpersonal" category, he admits, seemed more unexpected, more vibrant, more "real." One volunteer says of her mystical experience: "The euphoria goes on to eternity. And I am part of that eternity". (p.238.) Another: "I was devoid of self, thought, time, space, of a sense of separateness or ego". Another: "All of my ideas and beliefs seemed absurdly ridiculous." (p.240) Strassman concludes that there are striking similarities between "natural" spiritual experiences and DMT-induced ones.
Chapter 17 tackles the "dark side" of DMT. Negative experiences happened to 25 out of the 60 volunteers. This was rather surprising to Strassman, since all had had previous experience of psychedelics and none had any current psychological health problems. He surmises that the hospital environment may have contributed in some cases, e.g. blood tests, questionnaires, etc.. But he seems to have made every possible effort to make the volunteers feel at ease and does indeed seem to have a natural talent as a "sitter". He and his assistant Laura, were, for example, very aware of the nuances of speech and gestures. (p.248). So perhaps the dark element did not, after all, originate from an external source? One unfortunate male volunteer experienced anal rape by crocodiles on a 0.4 mg/kg DMZ dose. Although Strassman was extremely concerned about lasting psychological damage in this case, thankfully there appeared to be none, according to follow-up assessments. ( He relates this person's terrifying encounter with his tendency to be too much into "love and light", fending off all dark, shadowy aspects of himself.) (p.253) There were also one or two frightening experiences (on both sides) connected to physical problems, such as sudden dangerous drops in blood pressure (despite prior screening.) In retrospect Strassman felt that he should have paid more attention to his intuition regarding peoples' physical and psychological suitability for the study. But the fact remained: DMT could open up horrific as well as blissful realities and had to be handled with care.
"Did anything good stick to their (the subjects') ribs?" the author asks in Chapter 18. The answer is, of course subjective. Also inconclusive, due to the rapid termination of the trials. Only eleven long-term follow-up studies were carried out. One of the most positive was from a volunteer who reported a permanent removal of her fear of death. Another said: "DMT shook some things loose .. I now feel I have more control over my reality by letting go; it's a paradox." (p.270) A third:
"My own divinity is less of an abstraction. Thinking and feeling overlap more now." (p.273) Many said that their experience was not permanently life-changing, although it had provided valuable insights, or had had a "cleansing" effect.. Strassman felt on the whole that people emerged from the trials with a greater sense of self, less fear of death and greater appreciation of life. No-one began psychotherapy or a spiritual discipline (disappointingly for the author - but possibly not surprisingly.) He felt that the sessions should perhaps have been more guided, less neutral. Ideally, for him, there should have been some form of spiritual or psychotherapeutic framework, through which the experience would have been processed. In retrospect he felt an overall purpose had been lacking. Reports of other worlds and their inhabitants had left him "grasping at straws as to their reality and meaning." (p.277) (Perhaps this is another aspect of "loss of control" that could be said to apply to any appointed guide?)
Chapter 19 covers the author's decision to terminate publicly-funded psychedelic research. Various difficulties contributed to this move. One was the university's refusal to allow a proposed future psilocybin project to take place outside the hospital, in a more pleasant environment. There was also a growing dissatisfaction with the bio-medical model, with its emphasis on non-subjective data, rather than the subjective experiences of the participants. Colleagues also had not joined forces with him at the University of New Mexico in the way that he had hoped and expected. In addition his wife at this time had developed cancer and he was traveling frequently to Canada to support her. There were other personal issues, connected with his religious life. The Zen Buddhist monastic community, for example, with whom he had had close connections for many years, began criticising his research and withdrawing their personal support. He felt under great stress and sensed "a tremendous amount of negativity piling up around me." (p.292)
The author's spiritual background is the subject of Chapter 20. From Jewish roots, he finally settled on Zen Buddhism as a religious discipline, partly because the "cause and effect moral codes, that apply the insights of meditation to daily life." appealed to him. (p.296) The Buddhist system of psychology - the Abhidharma - he found impressive, with its concepts and exercises in "deconstructing the self", to reach deeper layers of wisdom and compassion beneath. He applied this knowledge in guiding the volunteers through their DMT experiences. It also helped him to "just sit" with them, when appropriate. The Abhidharma was the basis of a new form of questionnaire he devised for the DMT study, the results of which he found "excellent." However, there were some inner conflicts regarding psychedelics versus his religious beliefs. For example, were profound DMT experiences "genuinely" mystical? And how did the perceived reality and strangeness of the experiences square with Buddhist teaching? He sought advice from a senior member of the monastic community, whom he had known for 20 years. Ultimately this led to an outright denouncement of his psychedelic research. "That DMT might elicit enlightenment experiences is delusional and contrary to the teachings of the Buddha." he was told in a letter. (p.304) That the reasons behind this hostility were political provided little comfort. His conclusion: "they were ... no different to any other organisation whose survival depended on a uniformly accepted platform of ideas." (p.307) It was time to stop the research programme.
"The unlikely powers" of the Spirit Molecule are reevaluated in Chapter 21. Strassman asks: Why did nature or God make DMT? The biological and metaphysical possibilities and implications of this question were discussed in Chapter 4, but he adds that high levels of "natural" (endogenous) DMT very probably would result in psychedelic experiences. How might DMT "modify reality"? He suggests the analogy of a TV, i.e. various states or planes of experience could be compared to tuning into different channels. He seems a little reluctant at first to let go of current brain/mind models and to propose a full-blown quantum model of reality; however, he proceeds to suggest that "quantum computing" could be taking place during the DMT experience. This would be as a result of some form of relatively high-temperature superconductivity, allowing access to different "channels" of reality. Continuing this "thought experiment", he speculates that life-forms in such multiverses could be "fantastically different". He also suggests that DMT may alter brain function in a way that allows particles of dark matter (the invisible 95% of the universe's mass) to interact with "normal" matter. This might possibly explain contact with beings occupying separate realities. But he admits that he was utterly confounded by the beings - this went well beyond anything in his experience. At this point Professor Mack's work is acknowledged as "fascinating" in its similarities to DMT experiences and also in its suggestion that spirituality may be at the heart of the alien abduction phenomenon. But personally he is very uncomfortable with the idea that "contact" is what DMT is about. (Indeed, the concept and implications of non-corporeal entities generally appears to trouble him deeply.) He favours the idea that the "goal" might be to reach the "space" between "channels", which envisages as a "perfect emptiness" (the similarity of this analogy to the Buddhist nirvana is clear.) He concludes with the valid point that it is not so much the mechanics or metaphysics of the DMT experience that is important, so much as who we are and what we as individuals might bring to it.
The final chapter, Chapter 22 covers possible futures. Strassman feels this would involve steering a course between wishful thinking and fear. No-one was undertaking any academic studies into psychedelics at the time the book was completed. He observes, with hindsight, that clinical research may be essentially a flawed concept anyway, since the researcher "wants something" from the experiencer and this very expectation is likely to spoil the experience. However, "popular" alternatives go on - and some group activities are are achieving positive results. For example, an ibogaine treatment programme for substance abuse in the Caribbean and ayahuasca used as a religious sacrament, in churches in Latin America (and more recently in North America, Europe, and elsewhere). Although Strassman admits that illegality stunts open dialogue about psychedelics, he believes that an "official" scientific approach has a valid place amongst other settings and motivations. For him, conflict only occurs as a result of "confusion regarding permissible behaviour." (p.332) However, Strassman does readily concede that the bio-medical model, when it is limited to purely academic/analytic mode, severely limits the most fruitful applications of psychedelics, since the "subjective" qualities of wisdom and compassion are also needed. He goes on to suggest various non-invasive lines of research. (Unfortunately these all seem to involve clinical neuroscientific studies and, as such, are unavoidably based on essentially mechanistic brain/mind models.) However, he ends with an attractive-sounding dream of what a psychedelic therapy centre could be like (with similarities to Huxley's vision in "Island".) It would be a centre in a beautiful natural setting but possessing state of the art technology. Superb artworks and architecture would offer aesthetic inspiration. Staff, working under medical supervision, would have spiritual, psychotherapeutic, as well as psychedelic backgrounds and it would be essential that they were familiar with the alien abduction phenomenon. The centre would provide help with creative, spiritual and dying processes. "Mini trips" might be used in simple psychoanalytic or "mind loosening" therapy, whilst for deeply troubling problems, such as post-traumatic conditions, there would be carefully guided, long term therapy. It is quite an inspiring dream. And hopefully one not impossibly removed from "reality".
Here, in Q & A format, are some extracts from an e-mail exchange which took place between Rick Strassman and myself at the end of January 2002:
C: I read your book "DMT: The Spirit Molecule" last summer .... Initially I must admit that I was a little prejudiced in my approach, perhaps due to some question marks I had over the mind-set of psychiatry in general, as well as over some types of experimentation in the field of psychedelic research in the past. However, by the end of your book, beside being fascinated by the volunteers' DMT reports, I was impressed by your courage, not only for overcoming bureaucratic and cultural-mindset obstacles but also for grappling personally with the "multi-leveled" implications of your DMT research. You seem to have taken on board the potential for advancement in therapy, science in general and, beyond that, possibly a whole worldview. Just as important, I feel, is the sensitivity of your approach with the volunteers in the trials; also your acceptance of the validity of their subjective reports of multidimensional and mystical experiences. I feel this work should be a beacon to others, both within the medical professions and beyond.
R: It was a liberating book to write, in many ways. Not the least of which was that I chose to not let possibly negative reactions by my colleague scientists effect what I wrote.
C: One of the main reasons I am writing to you is that I have undertaken to write a review/summary/article, based on your book, and wonder if you would kindly answer a few brief questions? To give you some context: I am an admirer of the late Terence McKenna. Whilst openly confessing that some of TMcK's mathematical data especially is a little beyond me, I do feel a very strong intuition that some of his insights and ideas may be of major importance and relevance to our times .. maybe indeed prophetic.
R: Yes, Terence was a major influence in my work. I don't mention my indebtedness to him as much as I ought to have in the book.
C: I would be interested to know how you feel about Mr. McKenna's work generally, and about his contribution to the understanding of the role of tryptamines in particular.
R: Terence's ideas, of course, are brilliant. His courage in describing his own experiences, and his spokesman's role in asking us to seriously consider what DMT in specific, and psychedelics in general, say about consciousness, is especially noteworthy.
C: Put more specifically; do you feel that endogenous DMT could have a role to play in some future scenario, involving mass major trauma of some kind? This would be followed, potentially, of course, by a sudden evolution of consciousness to a happier state, for some/all of our species? In other words, a biologically-based eschaton? Such a scenario could be the result of some major environmental collapse of course - or some harder to imagine one, involving the final timewave "concresence" in 2012? In either case, do you agree with my feeling that endogenous DMT could, figuratively speaking, be waiting in the wings right now for its star performance, as a vehicle of mass transcendence, or purveyor of large amounts of human (and animal?) consciousness to some other dimension? (I hesitate to say "higher", for it could also be called "deeper", or "fuller.") In any case, the pineal gland (body) could be both the "port" of this vehicle, and possibly a vital "future" organ.
R: I have been nursing a theory along these lines for some time. Briefly, that the N-methylating enzyme responsible for DMT production turns on in everyone across the planet at the same time, thus ushering in the escahton, messianic age, non-corporeal consciousness, or what have you. This could take place any number of ways; one way is a common cold virus gets a bit of DNA implanted into it that is inserted into all of us, which is programmed to turn on at some specific time, unleashing the N-methylating enzyme effects. This time would be an astrologically determined event, such as solar flare, particular constellation alignment, etc. Of course, along the lines of your interest in John Mack's work, that stimulus for enzyme activation could come from "them."
C: Final question! Professor John Mack is for me an important pioneer in terms of "paradigm shifts". I wonder to what extent your views and his overlap, particularly re your understanding of the nature and origin of the "aliens"? (alias "beings" "elves" etc..)
R: John knows of and is very interested in our work.
C: Incidentally, I was struck in your book by the resonance between Cassandra's description of the process of letting go in her third trip, followed by a major resolution or assimilation of her difficulties in her fourth, and the description by one of Prof. Mack's "abductees", under regressive hypnosis, of four steps (literally, and fearfully!) through a wall! The third step amounted to high anxiety; the fourth, liberation. As in some of the DMT experiences you describe, there seems to be a metaphorical, dream-like quality present. The "fourth step" could refer to the process of transition to a fourth dimension... I feel all this part of one and the same mystery.
R: Yes, and if DMT were involved, it gives credence to the objective reality of such phenomenon.
Caroline Taylor is a Kent, UK-based graphologist, who says she feels quite strongly about aiming to balance, in her work, yang skills of measurement/analysis with yin ones of intuition/compassion.
Caroline Taylor's website Rick Strassman's website BACK TO WHATS NEW