Rick Strassman MD performed the first new human studies with psychedelic drugs in the US in over 20 years. His research involved the powerful naturally-occurring compound, DMT – N,N-dimethyltryptamine. Led to this substance through his earlier study of the pineal gland as a potential biological locus for spiritual experiences, he administered several hundred doses of DMT to approximately 60 volunteers between 1990 and 1995. He wrote about this research in the popular book, DMT: The Spirit
Molecule, which has sold over 100,000 copies, been translated into 12 languages, and has been made into an audio book. In addition, the DMT book inspired an independent documentary with the same name, picked up by Warner Bros. distributing in 2011, which is now widely available. With three distinguished collaborators, he coauthored Inner Paths to Outer Space, which looks more carefully at the common “other worlds” experience that volunteers frequently reported during his research.
Since 1996, Dr. Strassman has been exploring models for the DMT effect focusinG primarily on the Hebrew Bible concept of prophecy. Prophecy is a spiritual experience which takes into account the apparently external, free-standing nature of the DMT “worlds” observed in Dr. Strassman’s research, in which one’s sense of self is highly preserved and interactive.
The biblical concept of prophecy provides an alternative to other models that borrow more heavily from Eastern religious systems, and those of Latin American shamanism. The notion of prophecy also deals directly with ethical and moral concerns, adding a crucial element to our ability to understand and integrate the content of the psychedelic experience. He is developing these ideas in his next book, The Soul of Prophecy, due to appear in 2013.