Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 14, No 2 (2018)

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Parapsychology, N,N-Dimethyltryptamine and the Pineal Gland

Nicola Luigi Bragazzi, Hicham Khabbache, Marco Perduca, Bruno Neri, Fabio Firenzuoli, Gabriele Penazzi, Mário Simões, Riccardo Zerbetto, Tania Simona Re

Abstract


In the last decades, one of the psychedelic substances which has gained high attention for its implications in several para-psychological phenomena (including out-of-body states, deep changes in sensory perception, mood, and thought, travels in "hyperspace", and meetings with disincarnate entities, as well as other "breakthrough experiences") is dimethyltryptamine (N,N-DMT, or simply DMT). High dose DMT-containing plants (like Psychotria viridis, in Quechua language Chacruna or Chacrona) are one of the two principal ingredients of the Ayahuasca, the visionary Amazonian brew reported to induce a range of paranormal experiences, but it can be found as well in a huge number of different natural sources, even some of animal origin - e.g., the Sonoran desert toad, in the form of 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine or 5-MeO-DMT. It was Rick Strassmann (born 1952), a medical doctor, psychiatrist and clinical psycho-pharmacologist, who had the virtue of giving a second birth to the academic interest in scientific research of psychedelics after the post-70's age of obscurantism lead by the American prohibitionist position on this field. Strassman is also the person who named this compound "the spirit molecule", in order to suggest the deeply psycho-spiritual implications concerning this substance. Here, we overview the scientific basis and evidences supporting the association between DMT and the pineal gland.

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