Can DMT produce inherently spiritual experiences? This week we profile the work of Dr. Rick Strassman, whose seminal study on the effects of DMT set the stage for contemporary clinical psychedelic research.
Rick Strassman is an author, psychiatrist, and researcher for whom an interest in chemistry, psychology, and altered states fostered a passion to reduce suffering by finding the link between neurochemistry and spiritual experience.
In this episode, we talk with Rick about the early psychedelic experiences that inspired him to explore the function of these substances, and DMT in particular, in an effort to heal the world. We also discuss the limitations he faced pursuing these ends in an academic context, and how a dissatisfaction with what his study concluded about the link between DMT and spiritual experience led him back to his Jewish roots.
“I dropped acid and watched the sun go down, and I had this flash - I’m going to do psychedelic research. I’m going to cure humanity through a combination of drugs, meditation and Freud.” - Dr Rick Strassman
DMT - The Spirit Molecule
Rick Strassman - Researcher and Spiritual Seeker
Psychedelics and Psychological Health
The Search for the Spirit Molecule
The Biology of Spiritual Experience
Books by Rick Strassman
Thanks for checking out the podcast. Want more?
We love our listeners and hope to hear from you soon!
Author / Psychiatrist / Research Consultant
Rick Strassman was born and raised in southern California, attended Pomona College and Stanford University, where he majored in biology. He attended medical school at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York City, trained in general psychiatry at UC Davis in Sacramento, and took a clinical psychopharmacology research fellowship at UC San Diego. His melatonin research at the University of New Mexico in the 1980s established its first known role in humans, and his DMT and psilocybin research in the 1990s began the American renaissance of clinical psychedelic drug research. He is the author of the best-selling DMT: The Spirit Molecule (and co-producer of the same-named documentary), DMT and the Soul of Prophecy, Joseph Levy Escapes Death, and The Psychedelic Handbook. Dr. Strassman is Adjunct Associate Professor Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and lives in western New Mexico where he writes, consults, and mentors.