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Naturally occurring DMT may produce prophecy-like states of consciousness and thus represent a bridge between biology and religious experience
• Reveals the striking similarities between the visions of the Hebrew prophets and the DMT state described by Strassman’s research volunteers
• Explains how prophetic and psychedelic states may share biological mechanisms
• Presents a new top-down “theoneurological” model of spiritual experience
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.
About the Author
Rick Strassman, M.D., author of DMT : The Spirit Molecule, and co-author of Inner Paths to Outer Space, lives in Taos, New Mexico, and is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.
“This is a powerful comparative project that brings together the phenomenology of Hebrew prophetic literature and modern psychedelic experiences in order to develop a new theoneurology; that is, a new model of how the brain and the microchemistry of DMT may well mediate, shape, and filter both consciousness itself and humanity’s millennia-old encounter with ‘God.’” — Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of Authors of the Impossible
“Not since Huxley’s landmark The Doors of Perception has such a profound treatise emerged exploring the nexus of consciousness, the brain, and mind-altering substances. Strassman accomplishes this tour de force by wisely inverting the vector of the field of neurotheology to that of theoneurology. This book exemplifies rigorous science and keen historical analysis and is a significant contribution to human welfare. A delight to read, a sparkling exercise in clarity.” — Larry Dossey, M.D., author of One Mind
“This book is a revelation. Strassman has written a daring and remarkable book that connects contemporary psychedelic explorers with the roots of the Jewish prophetic tradition. Here is a book that shows us how this ancient model of prophecy might provide an elegant and powerful language for the ennobling of our journey toward expanded consciousness.” — Rabbi Shefa Gold, author of The Magic of Hebrew Chant
“A very surprising and refreshing book. Strassman is unique and opens up completely new perspectives. I have learned a lot from this well-written book, and I am sure that other readers will do so too. Strassman took me far beyond familiar ways of thinking about the brain, minds, and interactions with nonhuman intelligences.” — Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D., author of Science Set Free
“As Rick Strassman’s extraordinary new book explains, the Hebrew prophetic tradition provides an unexpectedly powerful lens for wrestling with the meaning of our psychedelic experiences. Strassman’s model of theoneurology provides the proper context for viewing the religious importance of our mystic visions.” — Alex Grey, artist, author, and cofounder of CoSM, Chapel of Sacred Mirrors
“This engagingly written book will be of interest to those with primary interest in religious experience as well as those with primary interest in psychedelic experience and altered states of consciousness.” — Roland R. Griffiths, Ph.D., Professor of psychiatry and neuroscience, Johns Hopkins
“People interested in DMT, hallucinogens, spirituality, monotheistic religion, Buddhism, consciousness studies, and philosophy will find this book stimulating. I commend Strassman for his bold attempt to bridge science and religion, thereby risking attack from both sides. This is the kind of book that will advance knowledge . . . A deep and intense study outside the usual boundaries of education.” — Jeremy Narby, Ph.D., anthropologist and author of The Cosmic Serpent
“This book is deeply compelling, groundbreaking, thought provoking, and important. Rick Strassman set the bar very high with his brilliant DMT: The Spirit Molecule, but DMT and the Soul of Prophecy comfortably surpasses it by taking the work forward in exciting and unexpected directions. Highly recommended.” — Graham Hancock, author of Fingerprints of the Gods
“By utilizing the worldview of the medieval Jewish philosophers, Strassman has presented this often emotionally laden and controversial subject in such a rational and scientific manner that even the skeptic and agnostic among; us will be pleasantly surprised at how intriguing the confluence of God, the Hebrew Bible, and psychedelic endogenous DMT can be.” — Rabbi Joel David Bakst, author of The Jerusalem Stone of Consciousness--DMT, Kabbalah & the Pineal G
“This is a brilliant, perceptive, and illuminating book. Strassman states that the best way to understand the DMT experience is to see how closely it follows the experience of Old Testament prophets and vice versa. I was surprised to find out he was right.” — James Fadiman, Ph.D., author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide
“A stimulating work that, while controversial, will be of interest to students of the Bible and human thought.” — Rabbi Norman Strickman, Ph.D., assistant professor of Judaic studies, Tuoro College
“Dr. Strassman’s theoneurology theory is a coherent and successful undertaking by a uniquely qualified and situated medical researcher of altered states of consciousness.” — Alex S. Kohav, Ph.D., author of The Sôd Hypothesis
“This book provides enough heresy to provide a stimulating read for both atheists and believers!” — Rabbi Michael Ziegler, cofounder of The Chaplaincy Institute
“A detailed and ground breaking study. The book is a tour de force and a strong counterpoint to prevailing bottom-up explanations involved in neurotheology, asserting the primacy of the spiritual rather than the material.” — David Lorimer, program director, The Scientific and Medical Network
“A fascinating and provocative examination of altered states of consciousness caused by psychedelics, and in particular the powerful, prototypic hallucinogen, DMT.” — Charles S. Grob, M.D., professor, Departments of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences and Pediatrics,
“Rick Strassman, M.D., always provokes and delights. His latest work explores the fractal edges of religion and mind, covering such seemingly far-flung topics as the Hebrew Bible, prophetic visions, DMT, the mysteries of consciousness, and more. Buy this book and feed your brain!” — Clifford A. Pickover, Ph.D., author of Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves
“In science, religion, politics, – everywhere in the academic and public domain – the dominance of spoken and written language is overwhelming. Rick Strassman’s new book helps to tilt the balance to the right direction describing elaborately the fundamental role of visions in our Judeo-Christian tradition.” — Ede Frecska, M.D., coauthor of Inner Paths to Outer Space
“In DMT and the Soul of Prophecy, Rick Strassman courageously examines the Jewish Prophetic Tradition, which in his interpretation has a potent explanatory power of revelatory DMT experiences. Given the renewed interest in these experiences, and the lack of convincing models to interpret them, this book represents a contribution to the dialogue on this subject that cannot be ignored.” — Luis Eduardo Luna, Ph.D., coauthor of Inner Paths to Outer Space
“Strassman lobbies hard for theoneurology, and along the way offers a wealth of examples and experiments that lend credence to the theory.” — Publishers Weekly, September 2014