As I listened to an interview with well known DMT molecule researcher Richard Strassman I couldnt help but wonder if he himself had taken the drug, besides it naturally occuring in his body that was. In the interview he was asked directly from the female host who sounded like an early 90's late night radio host for some sexy station that tries hard to sound turned on and wanting "Did you yourself participate in those kinda of recreational activities?"
"Oh.. I.. I.. I have a lot of friends that were experimenting with those drugs and I would hang out with them, uh.. you know, pretty regularly. I was intrigued at the profundity of the effects and the similarities of the states people were having." He answered her question with a stutter at first. I suppose he was nervous at the question. This is what had me wondering if he himself did or did not try them, truthfully. I am not concerned morally if he did or didn't but it had me thinking how should I take this in. How much value should I place on this character either way. If he did in fact not try DMT, LSD or other psycadelics for that matter, then how valid was his opinion?
I speak from the perspective of someone who has indeed tried a number of psychedelics and had my own unique experiences with them. After all, my interest in alter states and what they provide is what leads me continually to listen to interviews such as these. I think its a great and enjoyable, and at times disturbing, way to find yourself. When you realize your god and you see nothing but infinity around you, you tend to not forget an experience like that. It rips open your view of the world and mutates it into something shockingly brilliant. People who try psycadelics, if they dont run into the nearest hidy hole to get away from themselves, tend to open up to a spiritual life.
I think either way Dr Strassman has a valid perspective through mear observation. His scientific approach does leave us with accounts of experience and his observations of those experiences. Though his findings are valid from his perspective, I find them lacking in the face of real experience. He is mearly a log keeper of the real deal that his patient guinea pigs got first hand. So what makes him a doctor? Going to school and understanding chemical reactions is fine and dandy. It serves its purpose. But does that make his interpretations any more applicable? In my eyes doctors and scientists go first. They find the path and develop the trails for us to follow in. They are our heroes and leaders. But what happens when they setup basecamp and send others ahead to have the experience themselves? Is this why society is so ill? Have our doctors retreated from the front lines in order to maintain something, yet the majority still insist on following them? Why do would our "leaders" do this?
Do doctors care more about how they are taken by others than what they are exploring? The scientific community will make or break you if you attempt to participate. I suspect people like Strassman who "know" their careers hang on the very way they are accepted would rather play by the rules than dive in head first. This may be why Im more attracted to people who do go first, willingly or not. Terrence Mckenna, one of my favorite speakers, was happy to go first. His insights and depth with the tales of dreamscapes and experience are literal expressions of the drugs themselves. His willingness to let go and allow the drugs to alter his consciousness and perceptions changed him into the being he became.
You may be thinking that doctors cant solve all the mental and physical illness plagueing humans by taking drugs first. At this moment in time I think that is true. I think they are stuck in one spot too afraid to move. How can they cure what is changing by staying in one place? Its like trying to dig your feet into the rockbed of a river. You refuse to move because all the other people around tell you they wont accept you if you dont do it too. The pressure of the water is stressful. Some people hold onto the edges of the river and the doctors tell them how to do it right. They position them differently on the edge and see how that changes things.
At one point in our history we didnt have doctors. Doctors play by scientific rules. They swim in scientific doctrine. Before there were scientists there were shamans. Shamans were the men who traveled the cosmos before others were guided. We seem to have switched out shamans for doctors. Look at the past hundred years and how the most popular drugs are outlawed, we live in an age of prohibition. The drugs that are given are controlled substances.
I imagine a future where science as we know it now is long gone. And the time we experience now is known as the era of ignorance. A brutal disruption of healthy flowing life by shear pig headedness. Where wheelers and dealers are the leaders and the cattle buy whatever is sold. Where the ones who resist the most are seen as powerful and strong. We live in the age of commercialism and because of this have lost a real connection with reality, to the point where most people dont see god in everything they experience. Where so many people would rather not think instead of searching.
We are told we are limited. That our bodies die and so do we. And that is that. What if you knew you were infinite? That you were everyone and everything. That your body doesn't stop at your skin. That your mind isnt restricted to your brain, but is literally everything. How would your life change? No doubt thats a scary thought to even ponder for most. The sense of freedom you would find yourself in hurts. It would feel like you just came up from the pressures of living 16000 feet under water and tried standing on land. Evolutionary theories tell us this is exactly what we did. I'm not saying science is all bad. Its merely stuck. Its taken on an egoic role of importance and it doesn't want to change. But it will. Its already changing by me writing this.
So what happens when everyone gets sick of being sick? When everyone gets tired of not knowing who to trust and where real leaders exist. We turn inward. We become the shaman. As buddha said "Perception is everything [and] Your health is in your care". You are the victim of the rules you live by. When you see that the act of the holding to the edge of the river or digging your feet into its floor is futile and harmful you see that you have a choice. Hold on, or let go. Who then is your leader? You are.