Posts Tagged 'Religion'

Religion: Is Everyone Right?

I was working at the place where I work, which I refer to as GPE (Greatest Place on Earth). During the Thanksgiving break, I was required to work 31 hours in 4 days. I’m sure many of you have to work more hours on a regular basis, at more grueling jobs. But you get paid more, I’m sure, and you don’t have to spend that time listening to the endless prattling of a 17 year old psychedelics enthusiast who I will refer to as Ronny Sifkind. He is a coworker of mine, and was scheduled for almost the exact same hours as I during this time.

Anyway, he was going on about this chemical that the brain releases during the dream state called DMT. I didn’t listen to much of what he said, as I generally attempt to block out most of what comes out of his mouth. But I was nevertheless mildly intrigued and looked DMT up on Wikipedia the next week.

In addition to Wikipedia, I came across an overview for a book called DMT: The Spirit Molecule by Rick Strassman. All of the following is conjecture and its basis is assembled from those two sources. It isn’t conjecture because I was lazy and didn’t look at more sources, it is because so much about this molecule is unknown.

It is found in some plants, and is naturally produced in the human body, albeit in trace amounts. It is speculated, and not confirmed, that DMT contributes to the visual process of dreaming. In South America, there are tribes that ingest DMT as part of psychedelic rituals. In other parts of the world, it is smoked in a synthesized form. It is considered extremely illegal.

What produces DMT in the body? It is hypothesized that the mysterious pineal gland is what creates natural DMT in the brain. At 49 days after conception, this gland releases DMT into the body for the first time. When someone dies, there is a massive rush of DMT.

So what can we glean from this? Perhaps human consciousness is derived from the production and release of DMT. Perhaps people do, in fact, have “souls” and “spirits”, which enter the body at 49 days and leave when that person dies. Perhaps consciousness is a form of hallucination produced by this molecule. Strassman makes the claim that the rush of DMT at death is responsible for people’s so called “Near death experiences.”

It is also speculated that people who have tried DMT can experience a whole lifetime in a span of ten minutes, simply by means of hallucinating. This leads me to wonder what association time has with consciousness. Could the massive release of the molecule at death create an afterlife in that person’s mind, which time would have no bearing on, seeing as that person’s consciousness had ceased?

Think about dreams. In them, no new information is available to you that wasn’t in your awake state. Dreams are based on reality. Could it be, then, that if someone truly believed in a heaven, or a hell, that they could very well enter that place in their own mind? Could a Buddhist hallucinate another lifetime as a different being? Could a Muslim extremist encounter 99 virgins in the afterlife? Perhaps what happens when we die follows the same pretense as Santa Claus; if you believe it, then it’s real.

All speculation, of course. But a (Quasi) scientific theory is more palatable to me than something involving the supernatural. Just something to think about.


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