DMT and the Soul of Prophecy
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At long last, I’m delighted to announce the publication of my latest book: DMT and The Soul of Prophecy. In this book, I tackle the major unresolved issues with which I was left after finishing my DMT project nearly 20 years ago. This was to find a model that fit the data from our volunteers’ reports of the drug state. This ultimately led me to the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) where the notion of a “prophetic state of consciousness” began taking shape. At the same time, in order to make sense of the Hebrew Bible, I turned to the classic medieval Jewish philosophers like Maimonides, who proposed rather sophisticated metaphysical/spiritual mechanisms for the prophetic experience. Thus, to the extent that the prophetic and DMT states resembled each other, I could propose metaphysical and spiritual mechanisms in common in addition to shared biological mechanisms.
While the phenomenological properties of the two states overlap convincingly, the information content of the prophetic state appears to be much more highly articulated, enduring, and pervasive as evidenced by the Hebrew Bible’s influence throughout the world over the last 2500 years. The striking differences in the prophetic message versus the DMT one then led me to propose fundamental differences in how the two states come about. This finally led to a novel model of spiritual experience—either prophetic or psychedelic— that works from a top-down rather than bottom-up perspective. The bottom-up perspective is represented by neurotheology wherein changes in brain chemistry give the impression of communicating with the divine, whereas my new model, theoneurology, posits that God communicates with us via the agency of the brain.
The first part of the book reviews my DMT research and subsequently launches onto my search for a new, more salient, model. I take the reader by the hand and walk them carefully and patiently through the minefield that the Hebrew Bible and its various notions, especially that of God, is for many educated secular Westerners. I then carefully compare the DMT and prophetic states using excerpts from my clinical notes as well as from the Hebrew Bible. This comparison is of both the phenomenological content as well as the information each state seems to contain. I use the similarities and differences to posit similar and different mechanisms both biologically and metaphysically/spiritually. Finally I suggest practical implications both in the field and in the research laboratory that follow from these theories.
The practical implications of my theory suggesting that Hebrew Bible prophetic experience partakes of the same psychedelic-like features of the DMT state are twofold. One is that those who revere the text but lack experiential confirmation of its truth may consider the prudent application of the psychedelic state in such situations. The other is that one might use the Hebrew Bible as a means for deciphering and extracting much more information from the contemporary Western psychedelic drug experience than has hitherto been possible.
Click here for a non-edited sample chapter.