DMT: The Spirit Molecule

"Rick Strassman's pioneering

research work with DMT, a natural psychedelic drug used by Amazonian Indians, raises fascinating questions about the neurochemical basis of experience and the feasibility of conducting human research with mind-altering drugs in a university medical center. Truly adventurous reading!"
(Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Spontaneous Healing )


“Highly readable, intriguing, provocative. . . . [An] intellectually courageous book. . . . Will be of great use both to researchers and clinicians, as well as to laypeople.”
--American Journal of Psychiatry, 2002


"Fascinating and provocative. A remarkable exploration of the boundaries of science and consciousness itself."
( Rupert Sheldrake, author of The Presence of the Past )


"The most extensive scientific study of the mental and perceptual effects of a psychedelic drug since the 1960s."
(Ralph Metzner, Ph.D., author of Ayahuasca: Consciousness and the Spirits of Nature )

Strassman’s research connects DMT with the pineal gland, considered by

Hindus to be the site of the seventh chakra and by René Descartes to be the seat of the soul. DMT: The Spirit Molecule makes the bold case that DMT, naturally released by the pineal gland, facilitates the soul’s movement in and out of the body and is an integral part of the birth and death experiences, as well as the highest states of meditation and even sexual transcendence. Strassman also believes that alien abduction experiences are brought on by accidental releases of DMT. If used wisely, DMT could trigger a period of remarkable progress in the scientific exploration of the most mystical regions of the human mind and soul.


His research was conducted, from 1990 to 1995 with DEA-approved

clinical research at the University of New Mexico in which he injected sixty volunteers with DMT, one of the most powerful psychedelics known, which is found naturally in the human brain and in hundreds of plants, including the sacred Amazonian brew, ayahuasca. His detailed account of those sessions is an extraordinarily riveting inquiry into the nature of the human mind and the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. DMT, a plant-derived chemical that is also manufactured by the human brain, consistently produced near-death and mystical experiences. Many volunteers reported convincing encounters with intelligent nonhuman presences, especially “aliens.” Nearly all felt that the sessions were among the most profound experiences of their lives.


RICK STRASSMAN, M.D., is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry

at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.