Rick Strassman: The Pineal Gland & DMT
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Dr. Rick Strassman is a medical scientist and the author of the bestselling book, DMT: The Spirit Molecule. Strassman has led some of the most significant studies in psychedelic medicine.
More articles on Dr. Rick Strassman
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Dr. Rick Strassman: Career and History
Dr. Rick Strassman: DMT Research
Dr. Rick Strassman: Szara and Strassman
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Past vs. Present
Strassman’s massive DMT experiment was safer than a series of late 1950’s and 60’s studies where DMT was given intravenously. In the early studies one girl’s heart stopped. In the Strassman study, however, the dosages were specifically calculated for safety, and no one was injured nor reported psychological or physical problems at the close of the experiment.
Volunteers were warned that they may experience alterations in mood and a fear of dying. At most one volunteer was reported to have high blood pressure while under the influence of the psychedelic.
Strassman’s research concluded that the chemical DMT worked both naturally in the brain and that administering further dosages created the potential for increased spiritual awareness, this including visions and guidance from sentient beings. Strassman further suggested that this chemical already worked within the brain and helped designate patterns of design and orientation in the soul of individuals.
These studies have left the United States government to reconsider the uses of the drug in modern day medicines and their potential for positive outcomes in psychiatric treatment of the sick and mentally ill.
Strassman suggested that those who were suffering from fatal diseases could find peace through DMT visions. In most cases many have described speaking with sentient beings of light under this psychedelic influence. Individuals speaking on the DMT experience have made statements that the sentient creatures involved had revealed to them a life after death.
Strassman’s research reportedly showed, time and again, that the psychedelic drugs create an onset of spiritual vision. This has been described in nearly half of his volunteer’s experiences. Strassman has come to the conclusion that the DMT molecule that was administered held similar properties to a chemical that is already produced in a portion of the brain, known as the pineal gland. Strassman stated this naturally occurring chemical controlled the sense of spirit within an individual without further DMT administration.
This is the Pineal Gland
The pineal gland is a pea sized conical mass of tissue behind the third ventricle of the brain that secrets a hormone like substance. 17th century French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist, Rene Descartes, believed this gland was the principle seat for the soul and the place where all of human thought stemmed from. In his philosophical book, the Treatise of Man, Descartes account of the pineal gland was that it controlled sensory perception, imagination, memory, and bodily movements.
This gland is also known as the third eye and nearly all vertebrate species have this gland. It is about the size of a pea (8mm) in human beings and sits between the two main hemispheres of the brain. Strassman argued that the properties of DMT were so similar to those secreted naturally by the pineal gland that they were conducive to spiritual awareness.
Dr. Strassman found that human fetuses secreted the DMT chemical and that secretion after seven weeks was “the mark of the spirit” in the developing individual.
Many scientists have tried to debunk the idea that the pineal gland is capable of accessing altered states of reality or higher consciousness, this including people with claims of prophetic visions on the psychedelic drugs. These scientists suggested that all of the functions, including the visions, were merely happening in the brain and didn’t exist outside of the psyche as true alternate worlds.
Dr. Rick Strassman argued against these reductionistic beliefs, stating those phenomena were happening both within the mind and outside of it due to external forces (i.e. In other realities. While Strassman didn’t completely delineate the two forces, he suggested that sometimes personality predominated ones perception, yet when this self indulgency wasn’t happening, the possibility for external awareness could be processed in the consciousness.
Strassman recalled one volunteer’s vision, stating that she saw a manikin figure from the late 1800s on a merry-go-round. Strassman concluded that this had manifest on a personal level given her own thoughts of her body image and the status of her marriage at the time. Another volunteer reported having entered into a blissful state of yellow and white light and merging with it, as well as other visionary proportions, in which no central personal psychological theme was relevant to the case.
This belief reinforced the possibility that higher consciousness existed and could be connected with the pineal secretion of DMT structures in the brain. If this was true, then Strassman’s study suggested that additional administrations of DMT could lead to highly active levels of conscious awareness, and furthermore that human’s might have the ability to see into other realms, where they may very well be able to speak with sentient beings. This scientific phenomenon is still in controversy, leaving scientists and mental health researchers to consider life beyond the temporal body with possibility into our evolutionary state to see into ethereal presences and move amongst other worlds.
- Brandon Petty