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DMT: The Spirit Molecule

Miles Rivera
During 1990 to 1995, Dr. Rick Strassman injected sixty volunteers with DMT, one of the most
powerful psychedelics known to man, for DEA-approved clinical research at the University of
New Mexico. DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a plant derived chemical that is also
manufactured in our bodies, making it the only endogenous psychedelic. The drug consistently
produced near death and mystical experiences, including contact with other intelligent life.
Strassmans detailed account of these sessions leads to questions about why our body produces
DMT, and then theorizes the possibility that it facilitates the souls movement in and out of the
This book starts with telling us all the background information that we need to know about
DMT. DMT is a tryptamine and only three atoms differs it from serotonin, making it the simplest
psychedelic structurally. Our brains actively carry DMT through the blood brain barrier, as if it is
brain food. DMT can be found in countless plants and animals, and possibly every living being.
The pineal gland is a part of our brain that has been associated with the brow chakra and our
third eye in various spiritual practices. We know little about the pineal gland other than that
it helps control our sleep cycle, but DMT has been found in the pineal gland. This is especially
interesting because Buddhists believe that the soul enters the body forty nine days after
conception and that is also the day that the pineal gland forms in the human fetus. Strassman
goes deep into the structure and biology of the pineal gland when conveying the possibility that
it produces and releases mass amounts of DMT during the birth and death experience, but it is
too much information to summarize here.
The experiences that people go through with this drug are also largely indescribable due to how
profound they are. All the volunteers for this study were experienced with psychedelic drugs.
When people are injected with DMT they feel as if they got shot out of a nuclear cannon and
take a trip to the spirit world. The mind is separated from the body, all senses are kind of
combines into one super sense, and extreme emotions are felt. The peak of the trip occurs
two minutes after injection and patients know they are coming down at about five minutes
after injection. Despite the short time that volunteers are tripping, their experience can feel like
a lifetime. After all the intense psychedelic visions and other sensory hallucinations at the onset
of the trip, a large percentage of the volunteers come into contact with other intelligent life.
This is super crazy because the volunteers were able to touch and communicate with these
entities and would even describe the experience as more real than reality. There were a lot of
similarities in volunteers contact with these entities, such as being told not to give in to
astonishment, pay attention to me, and having strong loving emotions to one specific entity.

The entities also probed, studied, and modified the volunteers, and the volunteers always
believed it had to do with their emotions or essence. The DMT experience combined with what
we know about it is really when the spirit molecule idea becomes interesting.
I remained a skeptic while reading through this book, but kept my mind open to all possibilities
regarding the hypotheses it presents. I really enjoy when Strassman says in chapter four, These
hypotheses are not proven, but they derive from scientifically valid data combined with
spiritual and religious observations and teachings. Many of these ideas are testable using
available tools and methods. The implications of these theories are profound and disturbing but
also create a context of hope and promise. The ideas in this book are easy to quickly dismiss at
first, but Strassman wrote this book from the perspective of a medical professional and does a
great job of getting his points across our western, Newtonian science based logic. He presents
these theories about the human soul because of the observations he made during this research,
dismissing the nature of what DMT is or the more real than real experiences that people had
would have been extremely stupid. DMT could be the bridge between spirituality and science,
and more research could possibly start to explain life after death.