Naturally occurring DMT may produce prophecy-like states of consciousness and thus represent a bridge between biology and religious experience
• Reveals the striking similarities between the visions of the Hebrew prophets and the DMT state described by Strassman’s research volunteers
• Explains how prophetic and psychedelic states may share biological mechanisms
• Presents a new top-down “theoneurological” model of spiritual experience
After completing his groundbreaking research chronicled in DMT: The Spirit Molecule, Rick Strassman was left with one fundamental question: What does it mean that DMT, a simple chemical naturally found in all of our bodies, instantaneously opens us to an interactive spirit world that feels more real than our own world?
When his decades of clinical psychiatric research and Buddhist practice were unable to provide answers to this question, Strassman began searching for a more resonant spiritual model. He found that the visions of the Hebrew prophets--such as Ezekiel, Moses, Adam, and Daniel--were strikingly similar to those of the volunteers in his DMT studies. Carefully examining the concept of prophecy in the Hebrew Bible, he characterizes a “prophetic state of consciousness” and explains how it may share biological and metaphysical mechanisms with the DMT effect.
Examining medieval commentaries on the Hebrew Bible, Strassman reveals how Jewish metaphysics provides a top-down model for both the prophetic and DMT states, a model he calls “theoneurology.” Theoneurology bridges biology and spirituality by proposing that the Divine communicates with us using the brain, and DMT--whether naturally produced or ingested--is a critical factor in such visionary experience. This model provides a counterpoint to “neurotheology,” which proposes that altered brain function simply generates the impression of a Divine-human encounter.
Theoneurology addresses issues critical to the full flowering of the psychedelic drug experience. Perhaps even more important, it points the way to a renewal of classical prophetic consciousness, the soul of Hebrew Bible prophecy, as well as unexpected directions for the evolution of contemporary spiritual practice.
Debatable in the best sense of the word, Strassman's (DMT: The Spirit Molecule) latest explores the meaning of the human psychedelic experience. He brings both religious scholarship and scientific inquiry to bear on an intriguing question: are humans uniquely designed to have mind-expanding experiences, and is that how God communicates with human beings? Strassman strongly suggests that the answer is "yes," and while correlation doesn't prove causation, he has amassed a formidable body of evidence. Hebrew Bible passages relating prophetic experiences visions, sounds, emotions, thoughts, etc. appear alongside remarkably similar reports from Strassman's experimental subjects under the influence of DMT (dimethyltryptamine). The parallels underscore Strassman's fascinating, though not foolproof, theory of theoneurology: the idea that the Divine intentionally communicates with us using the brain, rather than the oft-posed model of neurotheology, which holds that altered brain function simply causes hallucinations with content that can be interpreted as spiritually significant. Which is it? Strassman lobbies hard for theoneurology, and along the way offers a wealth of examples and experiments that lend credence to the theory.