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.
Rick Strassman, M.D., is clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and president and cofounder of the Cottonwood Research Foundation. From 1990 to 1995 he performed the first new human studies with psychedelic drugs in the United States in more than 20 years, focusing on the powerful naturally occurring compound DMT. The author of DMT: The Spirit Molecule and coauthor of Inner Paths to Outer Space, he lives in Gallup, New Mexico.