A few months back I read two very fascinating books on the subject of psychedelics; Inner paths to Outer Space by Rick Strassman (and others) and Supernatural by Graham Hancock. Both books bring to the table the idea that through the use of psychedelics, humans beings are able to access other realms of 'reality' (there's that loaded word again) and perhaps gain new insights. Some years ago studies had actually been performed in the United States on the therapeutic uses of psychedelics for the treatment of all manner of conditions. But like most reactionary institutions these substances, especially LSD, where outlawed in the United States. And so they have been until recently. (The notably exception to this being Dr. Rick Strassman's work with DMT in the early 90's).
Over the last few weeks news articles have been appearing on a variety of websites indicating that the taboo on the use of psychedelics, or the sometimes preferred term of entheogens, is perhaps being lifted. And that we may soon see medical research again head down this path. I for one am quite excited about this prospect. On the medical side, the research that was done seems to indicate that the substances have the capability of; helping alcoholics stop drinking, helping terminally ill patients deal with anxiety, or helping people with OCD handle their compulsions.
All of these are great and reason enough, I think at least, for the US to allow research back into to the medicinal benefits of these substances. However this is not the only reason that I find these substances fascinating. No there is a much more Fortean reason for that. During his research with DMT, Dr. Rick Strassman had participants that were reporting what sound similar to alien abduction experiences. The participants would often report being taken to white rooms in order to be examined by alien beings. The examinations would some times end with some sort of insight being given to the individual. This is really fascinating, but as with most of these topics we are left with more questions than answers.
If, as Dr. Strassman speculates, we produce DMT internally; can the alien abduction phenomena be written off simply as yet another function of the human body? I don't know the answer to that unfortunately, but let's play a little 'What if?' game for just a moment. Suppose that the alien 'Other' that interacts with us from time to time is aware that we have DMT inside our bodies. And they know that DMT can cause humans to have psychedelic experiences. So what if when they wish to interact with us, and in order to keep the experience just outside the realm of 'reality', they induce the DMT experience and then use this to do whatever it is they are doing to us? I don't know if this is the case or not, but I do think that it can make for some interesting speculation. Obviously this couldn't explain all abduction events, as some have physical traces. Unless of course the 'Others' use a combination of physical and psychedelic tools to interact with us for their own purposes.
To learn more about some of the research that has been done into these topics I highly recommend checking out the two books I mentioned earlier; Inner paths to Outer Space and Supernatural. Both are extremely fascinating books that I think you would enjoy. Also to read more about some of the recent murmurings about psychedelic research follow this links for recent news articles on the topic.
The Economist; LSD: Acid Tests, Mother Jones; Geeky stats about Magic Mushrooms, WebMD; Magic Mushrooms show promise as therapeutic tool
Well thats all for now readers, until next time this is your friendly neighborhood Fortean Philosopher saying, 'Don't have a bad trip!'