Rick Strassman. Jean Toomer 1. Prolog: Prve seanse. Biti volonter.
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GT: Dr Strassman, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. DMT is a controlled substance in the United States, and gaining permission to do research with it must have been an epic journey unto itself, let alone the design of the study. What was it about DMT that pushed you to go to such lengths? RS: I had always been interested in a biological basis for mystical experiences. DMT as an endogenous hallucinogen, seemed like the logical choice for such a physical correlate of those experiences.
DMT effects are pretty amazing, so it also seemed like a fascinating drug to study. DMT is short-acting, so I thought that we could manage adverse effects in what was sure to be an aversive clinical research setting.
RS: Drug misuse and use are two different things. Drug hysteria and drug research are also two different things. To the extent that some of the properties of psychedelics may have benefit in certain situations, they could be helpful. GT: While you appear to be a supporter of the use of entheogens for self-improvement, you are also aware of the dangers associated with the use of such substances.
I think set and setting are the two most important issues in determining what will happen when taking a psychedelic. In our research, we carefully screened, prepared, supervised, and followed-up our volunteers. No-one with current drug abuse. Everyone was experienced with hallucinogens in general, but not necessarily DMT. However, having said that there are both benefits and dangers, in what scenario can you see the use of entheogens being condoned?
Perhaps only in controlled medical settings? I read with interest in your book that this seems to be common in DMT trips as well. Do you have any ideas as to the significance of this experience? GT: So is there something in common between these experiences?
Is it worth investigating the origin of these elements, are are they beyond examination? That was part of the impetus for my research. I thought if endogenous DMT were mediating the naturally occurring phenomenon, then giving high doses of exogenous DMT would replicate them in part, at least. This was the case. Kenneth Ring has also written a paper covering the similarities between NDEs, abduction experiences and shamanism see here.
GT: Your ideas revolve around the role of the pineal gland in altered states. Can you give us an overview of the pineal gland — the orthodox medical view, previous theories, and your ideas? RS: The pineal has mostly been implicated for its role in melatonin production, which is important in seasonal and age-related reproduction issues. Also, there are some mood, sleep, and body temperature effects.
Some skin coloration ones in reptiles and amphibians. However, there are no hard data to suggest this actually happens.
There are some interesting coincidental findings around the pineal and spiritual issues. The pineal is first seen in the embryo at 49 days, the same amount of time the Tibetan Buddhists believe the soul requires from death to its next rebirth. Also, the first sign of clearly differentiated male and female gonads in the human occurs are 49 days. RS: They can teach us what we might expect. GT: Your research so far has certainly gained widespread interest.
Do you have similarly interesting projects lined up for the future? Mostly, what does the presence of endogenous DMT in all of our bodies mean? Log In Register. Remember Me. Lost your password? Trending Now Week Month.
Dr Rick Strassman – A Conversation on DMT