April 23, 2009

Inner Paths to Outer Space

This book looks very much up my alley, like insanely. Rick Strassman, who contributed to this book, wrote one of the most fascinating books on psychedelic research ever written, DMT: The Spirit Molecule, about his government-funded research into the psychedelic compound, DMT (which occurs naturally in our brains). Amazing sober-minded research. From a (horribly formatted, though it reads like strange prose poetry) interview on Reality Sandwich:

Something that comes up time and time again in people's experiences in your book, DMT - The Spirit Molecule, is that when volunteers are being injected with DMT, they experience UFO's, alternate technologies, and really sci-fi kind of material, so I can see how that would definitely speak to people who are interested in science fiction. Maybe you can tell us a little bit about what those kinds of experiences were like for people and what they were encountering.

I had taken about 1000 pages of notes by the beside of the volunteers - 400 DMT sessions that we gave them over the space of about 5 years - and in reviewing people's accounts of their experiences, probably half, maybe more, reported having the experience of being in some sort of contact, some sort of relationship, more or less passive, more or less active, with these free standing, discretely demarcated, sentient sort of beings. I ended up calling them "beings" rather than "entities" or "aliens" or any of that sort of thing because it seemed like the most neutral term to use, but they were described in various shapes and forms and guises. Sometimes they were humanoid, sometimes they were insectoid, sometimes they were reptilian, and sometimes plant-like. They were more or less aware of the volunteers. Oftentimes they seemed to be expecting the volunteers and were glad to see them, and then began interacting with them.

Other times they seemed surprised and angry that the volunteers' consciousness, at the very least, had intruded upon the sphere of activity of that particular being. Sometimes the volunteers were treated or experimented on. Sometimes they experienced some type of sexual intercourse with the beings. Some were told scenarios of the future. Others were marked somehow or another for future reference in a way. Others showered light and love onto them. Others were guides to lead them to some other place, like through a tunnel leading to a typical near death or mystical experience. So it was the whole gamut of what you might expect.

Some of the motifs were pretty classical science fiction - kind of flying toward a space station or a space ship, or automatons or robots were busily doing their business. Sometimes they would see very hard to describe hybrid entities - machine/animal, even furniture kinds of conglomerates of beings.

If I ran the world, this is the kind of research that would lead the local and national news. Screw the billion-dollar space program, funnel research into substances where you can travel to other universes without leaving your chair and possibly prove the nature of reality. The backwardness of our priorities is mesmerizing, but at least there are some people who address such an important subject with a critical, scientific eye.

Strassman’s Cottonwood Research is a great development in serious-minded psychedelic research and if I had the money I’d donate. It’d be great if an insane eccentric millionaire could fund that project – sort of like the guy in “Contact” who funds the space project. Think of it: going into outer space without moving, researching our potential psychic evolution and place in the universe, nothing’s more important.

Update: Bought it.


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