DMT: The Spirit Molecule
USA, 2010, 75 minutes
Director: Mitch Schultz
Producers: Andrew Lee, Mitch Schultz & Rick Strassman
CANADIAN PREMIERE SCREENING!
The Spirit Molecule investigates dimethyltryptamine (DMT), an endogenous psychoactive compound, which exists in humans as well as in numerous species of plants and animals. The feature-length documentary traces Dr. Rick Strassman's government sanctioned human DMT research and its many trials, tribulations, achievements, and inconceivable realizations. This includes looking deeper into the intense psychedelic experience that DMT causes when consumed, and examines DMT’s scientific, spiritual, and cultural relevance. Ultimately, The Spirit Molecule explores the connections between cutting-edge neuroscience, quantum physics, and human spirituality.
Although the story revolves around Strassman's research, and the experiences of the human test subjects, the film draws on a variety of experts to voice unique thoughts and experiences with DMT from within their respective fields. The experts include research scientists, doctors, religious leaders, writers, artists, anthropologists, psychologists, physicists and psychonauts. As Strassman’s story unfolds, these contributors weigh in on his remarkable theories, indigenous use of DMT, the history and future of psychedelics and psychedelic research, and the current news about DMT; including a recent Supreme Court case allowing the use of ayahuasca in the United States within the religious ceremonies of the UDV, a hybrid of indigenousness beliefs with that of Christianity. Other areas of exploration include possible roles for endogenous DMT production, DMT’s role in near-death and birth experiences, alien abduction experiences, and the uncanny likeness to ancient religious texts describing prophets with DMT-like experiences. The contributors offer a comprehensive collection of information, opinions, and speculation to help understand the nature of the DMT experience, and its role in human society and evolution.
In addition to the interviews, the film features mind-blowing visualizations of the DMT experience and motion graphics displaying a collection of technical illustrations, charts, and graphs that explain the substance’s structure and Dr. Strassman’s physiological findings. The film collaborates and seeks inspiration from artists like Alex Grey and other visionary artists skilled in DMT motivated art to best recreate the visual aspect of the experience.
To better navigate the expansive realms of Strassman’s DMT universe, popular actor, comedian, and social satirist, Joe Rogan, will serve as tour guide. His own personal experiences with DMT, and a fascination that borders on reverence, have motivated him to be a central component of the project. In stylized scenes reminiscent of Rod Sterling’s famous Twilight Zone bookends, Rogan will shepherd the audience through the great unknowns of the DMT space.
The subtle combination of science, spirituality, and philosophy make this film, and the DMT experience, provocative. It results in an abundance of incredible ideas and theories that could alter the way humans understand the universe and their relationship to it.
Featuring (partial list):
Ralph H. Abraham, PhD, Mathematician
Erik Davis, Author (TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information)
Marlene Dobkin de Rios, PhD, Medical Anthropologist, Professor Emerita of Anthropology at California State University, Fullerton
Ede Frecska, MD, PhD, Psychiatrist and Psychologist, Chief of Psychiatry at the National Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Budapest, Hungary
Alex Grey, Visionary Artist
Allison Grey, Visionary Artist
Roland Griffiths, MD, Psycho Pharmacologist, Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Dependence for the World Health Organization; Principal Investigator of the States of Consciousness Research Project at Johns Hopkins.
Stanislav Grof, MD, PhD, Psychiatrist, founder of the International Transpersonal Association and its past and current president, Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and at the Pacifica Graduate School in Santa Barbara.
Graham Hancock, Author (The Sign and The Seal, Fingerprints of the Gods and Heaven's Mirror)
Kathleen Harrison, Ethnobotanist
Martina Hoffman, Visionary Artist
Jan Kounen, Filmmaker (Other Worlds, Blueberry)
Dr. Dennis Mckenna, PhD, Ethnopharmacologist, co-author (with his brother Terence) of The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching; serves on the Advisory Board of the American Botanical Council, and on the Editorial Board of Phytomedicine, International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology; founding board member and Vice-President of the Heffter Research Institute, a non-profit scientific organization dedicated to the investigation of therapeutic applications for psychedelic plants and compounds.
Ralph Metzner, PhD, Psychologist, co-wrote The Psychedelic Experience, past editor of The Psychedelic Review, editor of two collections on the science and the phenomenology of shamanic entheogens: Sacred Mushroom of Visions - Teonanácatl and Sacred Vine of Spirits – Ayahuasca. He is founder and president of the Green Earth Foundation, an educational organization dedicated to “harmonizing humanity with Earth and with Spirit”.
Benny Shanon, PhD, Psychologist/Philosopher, Professor of cognitive psychology and ex-chairman of the Department of Psychology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem