American medical doctor and psychiatrist, Rick Strassman, has been working diligently to improve our understanding of entheogens, specifically dimethyltryptamine or DMT.  In 1990 Dr. Strassman broke a 20 year prohibition on psychedelic experiments in America when he began his work giving intravenous doses of the world’s strongest psychedelic to patients and volunteers.  Like Dr. Grof’s LSD subjects, Dr. Strassman’s DMT subjects found the experience to be overwhelmingly positive with a myriad of long-term benefits.

“Volunteers reported a stronger sense of self, less fear of death, and greater appreciation of life. Some found they were better able to relax, and they pushed themselves a little less. Several volunteers drank less alcohol or noted they were more sensitive to psychedelic drugs. Others believed with greater certainty that there are different levels of reality.”  -Dr. Rick Strassman, “DMT – The Spirit Molecule” (274)

DMT is such a powerful psychedelic that it completely melts away the veil of this reality and transports consciousness into an entirely other dimension occupied by everything from advice-giving telepathic rainbows to body-snatching demonic gremlins. Whether your eyes stay open or closed, these so-called “hallucinations” completely immerse and ensconce themselves into your consciousness taking you out of your body and often out of this world.  The effects then wear off after about 10 minutes when smoked, 30 minutes when injected, and after 3-4 hours when made into Ayahuasca tea.

Dr. Strassman’s patients said in the long-term their DMT experiences made them more open-minded and laid-back, caused their thoughts and feelings to be better integrated and overlap more, lessened their fear of death, and gave them “a more real sense of connectedness to everything and everyone.”  One of his patients named Elena said, “most of my experiences fade with time.  Not so with DMT.  Outside me, not much is different.  Inside, I rest in the comfort of knowing my soul is eternal and my consciousness endless.”  Another patient, Cleo, related how during her DMT trip, a cascading rainbow of colors telepathically communicated with her, telling her that she had been looking for God outside, but instead to go in, that God was in every cell of her body: “The colors kept telling me things, but they were telling me things so I not only heard what I was seeing, but also felt it in my cells.  I say ‘felt,’ but it was like no other ‘felt,’ more like a knowing that was happening in my cells. That God is in everything and that we are all connected, and that God dances in every cell of life, and that every cell of life dances in God.  I am changed. I will never be the same. To simply say this almost seems to lessen the experience. I don’t think that anyone hearing or reading this can truly grasp what I felt, can really understand it deeply and completely.  The euphoria goes on into eternity. And I am part of that eternity.”

Due to all the miraculous, revelatory, and other-worldly experiences shared by his DMT subjects, Dr. Strassman dubbed dimethyltryptamine “the spirit molecule.”  The parallels between classic mystical or “spiritual” experiences and what people experienced with the “spirit molecule” were too similar to ignore: During both DMT trips and mystical experiences time, space, and matter all become secondary to consciousness.  The separation between self/non-self disappears and personal identity fades into identification with all of existence.  Past, present and future all meld together into one timeless moment of eternity.  Space is no longer here or there but everywhere as one.  There is only here now and travel happens at the speed of thought.

“In altered states of consciousness this new perception of the world becomes dominant and compelling.  It completely overrides the everyday illusion of Newtonian reality, where we seem to be ‘skin-encapsulated egos’ existing in a world of separate beings and objects.  In extreme forms of transpersonal perception we can experience ourselves as the whole biosphere of our planet or the entire material universe.”  -Stanislav Grof, “The Holotropic Mind” (88)

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