Whoah. Have you heard how we have this natural chemical in our brain that is released on death and gives us an infinite hallucination? That would be N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT for short) and some people truly feel that this chemical is spiritual and/or magical. What is it really? If you think that stand up comedians and sports casters are enough credentials on the matter, you could consider the following video which many hold to be the truth about DMT:
Additionally, you can visit http://rickstrassman.com/ to see the breeding grounds of DMT and its spiritual associations.
Rick Strassman was the first one to purport theories about DMT that people now take as truth (ie. Joe Rogan). He conducted an experiment with DMT and people back in the 90’s and came up with the hypothesis that DMT is massively released before death and during sleep (F1). However, he never actually provided a reason for thinking so, it is just arbitrary. He could have just as well said the hippocampus instead of the pineal gland, except that we know that the pineal gland is the manufacturer of the endocrine system. So, after reading more about the “spirit molecule” I looked more into current studies of DMT today (it was been 20 years since he proposed these theories, with no real evidence).
Today, we know that DMT is in the same chemical family as psilocybin (shrooms). This is evinced in the typtamines chemical structure which acts on the neurotransmitter serotonin. (F2) We also now know that DMT acts on the Endogenous Sigma-1 Receptor Regulator. (F3) This receptor is chiefly correlated (and hypothesized as the crux of) mental disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. (F4)
I’m sorry if this is too technical, I just find it really interesting to read about. In everyday life, we have neurotransmitters which inhibit the projection of our cognition. So, when we think about a fire truck, we just imagine it. However, in a dream or by taking drugs like DMT, it affects these neurotransmitters so that our projections actually seem like real external stimulus. The problem is that we do not have any sense of control over these projections, they just continue until the neurotransmitters can be produced again. (F5)
Naturally, our senses presume that anything incoming is external and does not exist in our mind. Our mind has it’s chemicals to help us discern what is external and what is internal thoughts. However, when we influence those chemicals, it should come as no surprise that we think that these hallucinations and visions are real because they appear external. Even though we consciously know we took drugs to influence our senses, we fail to see that these ostensibly external images are, in fact, interally influenced images. What this means is that we will never have a case of someone taking DMT and experiencing a novel experience – it is always within the mind of the user, contrary to what people will say with it’s connection to another dimension. It is a glorified view of the drug which is dangerous because there are dire consequences to consistent use of it.
By constantly stimulating serotonin receptors, there is danger of afflicting schizophrenic symptoms. (F6) The most particular symptom that manifests in DMT users is Alogia – poverty of speech. This is simply the first manifest symptom as it progressively becomes worse and resembles that of schizophrenic disorders and even cocaine addicts (F7). In fact, there are associates of Stressman (the man who originated the “spirit molecule” theory) who oppose him and work very hard to spread caution. For example, Patricio Dominguez, although he takes a more spiritual standing, opposes the use of DMT but makes it sound as though only experienced users ought to take it.
While the truth is that there is a correlary effect of schizophrenic symptoms that develop in most psychadelics due to it’s influence on the sertonin receptors (just as it naturally develops in schizophrenics). Thus, the most significant side effect is mental trauma that even the most prideful ignore and yet succumb to.
Hope this was interesting! What do you think?
F2: DMT (2-(1H-indol-3-yl)-N,N-dimethylethanamine) Psilocybin ([3-(2-Dimethylaminoethyl)-1H-indol-4-yl] dihydrogen phosphate) Serotonin (5-Hydroxytryptamine or
3-(2-aminoethyl)-1H-indol-5-ol) if googled, the chemical structures are a good visual.
F5: I am speaking about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monoamine_oxidase_inhibitor if you want to read up on it