Book review: DMT, the Spirit Molecule

by Rick Strassman, M. D.


Absolutely fascinating! Suspend your skepticism for a few hours and enter the incredulous world of Strassman’s research with a powerful hallucinogen. DMT, sort of a fast-acting LSD, was used in DEA-approved clinical research at the University of New Mexico between 1990 and 1995, where volunteers repeatedly described experiences similar to near-death and alien abduction reports.

The question is this: Are the experiences entirely psychedelic, or is the drug allowing volunteers to tap into another reality, where aliens really do exist? Strassman takes the question seriously, and while the implications are more than a little disturbing, the volunteers “unquestionably had some of the most intense, unusual, and unexpected experiences of their lives.” (After reading the case studies, I can believe it.)

Strassman connects DMT with the pineal gland, the “house of the soul.”  The pineal gland develops in the human fetus 49 days after conception, with its DMT chemical secretion serving as a portal to astral worlds. OK, this is wayyy outside my comfort level and not something I know anything about, yet I can’t help it: This is a five-star book, guys, even though it steps on some religious toes. Skip ahead to part IV, The Sessions, if you must, and then come back to read the rest after your mind is blown.

Strassman presents his data like a research doctor, and he admits that one of his deepest motivations behind the DMT research was the search for a biological basis of spiritual experience. He went into this research already intrigued with the pineal gland, so his hypotheses are not unexpected. His application was entirely professional, with intravenous injections under strict supervision—this is not an experiment that can be undertaken at home. The experiences are kaleidoscopic and often frightening. Yet I couldn’t help wonder how many people, after reading this book, found a way to obtain the drug and jump into the next universe. I sure wanted to.

1 Comment

  1. Okay, I’ve been thinking about reading this book – now for sure I want to. Thanks for the great review.

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