DMT - Dreams & Near Death Experiences
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A popular clip from the magical egypt series about DMT
and its possible relation to near death experiences and dreaming. Rick Strassman
talks about his research at the university of mexico, and gives a really good overview of DMT. As must see for anyone interested in this fascinating topic of endogenous psychoactives.
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From the description: "Does DMT play a role in near death experiences? Clip from an episode of the magical egypt series featuring Rick Strassman.
Endogenous DMT, produced in the human brain, is involved in certain psychological and neurological states. As DMT is naturally produced in small amounts in the brains and other tissues of humans, and other mammals, some believe it plays a role in promoting the visual effects of natural dreaming, and also near-death experiences and other mystical states.
Western and Eastern mystical traditions are replete with descriptions of a blinding bright white light accompanying deep spiritual realization. This "enlightenment" usually is the result of a progression of consciousness through various levels of spiritual, psychological, and ethical development. All mystical traditions describe the process and its stages.
The pineal gland is unique in its solitary status within the brain. All other brain sites are paired, meaning that they have left and right counterparts; for example, there are left and right frontal lobes and left and right temporal lobes. As the only unpaired organ deep within the brain, the pineal gland remained an anatomical curiosity for nearly two thousand years. No one in the West had any idea what its function was.
The pineal gland of evolutionarily older animals, such as lizards and amphibians, is also called the "third" eye. Just like the two seeing eyes, the third eye possesses a lens, cornea, and retina. It is light-sensitive and helps regulate body temperature and skin coloration—two basic survival functions intimately related to environmental light. Melatonin, the primary pineal hormone, is present in primitive pineal glands.
As animals climbed the evolutionary ladder, the pineal moved inward, deeper into the brain, more hidden and removed from outside influences.
These hypotheses are not proven, mainly due to ethical concerns and anti-drug legistlation, but they derive from scientifically valid data. The pineal is very hard to test as it is in the centre of the brain, and the person would have to be alive to produce any DMT because it is absorbed into the body nearly instantly.
The most general hypothesis is that the pineal gland produces psychedelic amounts of DMT at extraordinary times in our lives. Pineal DMT production is the physical representation of non-material, or energetic, processes. It provides us with the vehicle to consciously experience the movement of our life-force in its most extreme manifestations. Specific examples of this phenomenon are the following: When our individual life force enters our fetal body, the moment in which we become truly human, it passes through the pineal and triggers the first primordial flood of DMT. Later, at birth, the pineal releases more DMT. In some of us, pineal DMT mediates the pivotal experiences of deep meditation, psychosis, and near-death experiences. As we die, the life-force leaves the body through the pineal gland, releasing another flood of this psychedelic spirit molecule.
The pineal gland contains the necessary building blocks to make DMT. For example, it possesses the highest levels of serotonin anywhere in the body, and serotonin is a crucial precursor for pineal melatonin. The pineal also has the ability to convert serotonin to tryptamine, a critical step in DMT formation. The unique enzymes that convert serotonin, melatonin, or tryptamine into psychedelic compounds also are present in extraordinarily high concentrations in the pineal. These enzymes, the methyltransferases, attach a methyl group—that is, one carbon and three hydrogens—onto other molecules, thus methylating them. Simply methylate tryptamine twice, and we have di-methyl-tryptamine, or DMT. Because it possesses the high levels of the necessary enzymes and precursors, the pineal gland is the most reasonable place for DMT formation to occur. Surprisingly, no one has looked for DMT in the pineal."
Last edited by Synesthesiac; 20-11-2008 at 19:50.