Inner Paths to Outer Space (Park Street Press, 2008) combines the interests and expertise of four co-authors, including Dr. Strassman. The idea behind the book was originally conceived by the 2nd co-author, Dr. Slawek Wojtowicz, a hematology-oncology researcher, who is also a science fiction author and illustrator. He believed the science fiction community should be made aware of the results of the UNM DMT research, particularly regarding the experience of contact with “beings” which was reported so frequently. Seeking a broad base, we then invited Dr. Luis Eduardo Luna, an anthropologist with extensive experience in the cross-cultural use of ayahuasca in shamanic and psychotherapeutic settings, to join us. Dr. Luna then suggested we add to our contributors Dr. Ede Frecksa, a Hungarian psychiatrist with a broad-based and wide-ranging perspective on quantum phenomena in psychiatric research and phenomenology, as well as shamanism. Each author contributes two to four chapters, resulting in a free-wheeling and stimulating presentation of some of the more intriguing implications of the original DMT research in particular, and that of the psychedelic experience in general.
Rick Strassman MD performed the first human studies with psychedelic drugs in the US in over 20 years. His research involved the powerful naturally-occurring compound, DMT – N,N-dimethyltryptamine. Led to this substance through his earlier study of the pineal gland as a potential biological locus for spiritual experiences, he administered several hundred doses to DMT to approximately 60 volunteers between 1990 and 1995. He wrote about this research in the popular book, DMT – The Spirit Molecule, now in its 15th printing. With three distinguished collaborators, he co-authored Inner Paths to Outer Space, which looks more carefully at the common “other worlds” experience volunteers typical of the DMT effect.
Since 1996, Dr. Strassman has been exploring models for the DMT effect, and has focused primarily on the Old Testament concept of prophecy. This is a spiritual experience which takes into account the apparently external, free-standing nature of the DMT “worlds,” in which one’s sense of self is highly preserved and interactive. This is in contrast to previous models that borrow more heavily from Eastern religious systems, ones that emphasize unitive, ego-dissolving experiences. In addition, the prophetic model deals directly with ethical and moral concerns, adding a crucial element to our ability to understand and integrate the content of the psychedelic experience. He is developing these ideas in his next book, DMT and the Soul of Prophecy, out now.