We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth.
A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
DMT, Ayahuasca, The Pineal Gland – A Professor Talks Neurotheology
smartly, science is catching up to the whole spiritual experience.It can now be safely replicated in the lab
without much effort, unlike meditation and its like.
conforming and repetitive nature of such observations suggests that the sensitized
brain is accessing a source that is common to all.
As I have
postulated a human manufactured GOD machine that applies the SOUL through the pineal
gland on the 49th day after conception, this information conforms
nicely.We are discovering the organic
method.For new readers, GOD was
produced as much as 40,000 years ago and will be reproduced during the next two
generation by ourselves.
puts the whole line of inquiry into perspective and brings us up to date on the
real science involved.The evidence supports
my conjecture in terms of an external SOURCE although it is hard to winkle out
or fully test.The best naturals deliver
hard data that can only be acquired externally.
promising here is that the safe usage is fully indicated and will become
available in time and place commercially.
DMT, Ayahuasca, The
Pineal Gland – A Professor Talks Neurotheology
chemist Steven Barker sits at his desk, surrounded by curious objects — a
mortar and pestle, a DNA model, the cylinder of a spectrometer.
Professor Steven Barker is a curious, if strange, man. And he does little
to hide it, if he does so at all.
With 28 years of
work at the University behind him, this particular afternoon sees Barker
smiling comfortably from the worn-in furniture in his office, his open-wide
blue eyes betraying an eagerness to explain himself.
There is much
explaining to do.
Every surface of
his office in the Veterinary Science Building is bespattered by his youthful
inquisitiveness with strange and intriguing curios. A large, marble mortar and
pestle glows in the windowsill; a dusty three-dimensional model of a DNA molecule rests in the corner; awards and accolades adorn the
homey wooden walls, which surround two exceedingly homey sofas; and atop his desk
sits a cylinder from an outdated mass spectrometer — an intimidating device
whose mystery is only exceeded by its price.
Though it looks
like it would shrink one’s family or churn out superheroes with the flip of a
switch, it is used to detect chemicals in focused samples, or quadrupoles.
stuff,” Barker laughed, and with a price tag that set the University back
nearly $400,000 15 years ago, a dash of facetiousness doesn’t hurt.
of these oddities would be relatively germane in regards to one another if left
alone, but the tone of the scene changes with a glance at the man’s
wall-spanning bookshelf. The topics addressed here range from molecular biology
to philosophy to religious texts to atheism then back to more biology. And
these topics couldn’t more fittingly summarize the mind behind Barker’s short,
white beard and spectacles.
Along with being
the director of the University’s Analytical Systems Lab in the Veterinary
Medicine Building, Barker currently holds the position of State Chemist and
works with the Louisiana State Racing Commission drug testing racehorses for
steroid usage. But he stressed this work merely “pays the bills” and gives him
the funds to pursue the motley interests bedecking his voluminous bookshelves.
acute attention is focused on the study of hallucinogenic substances,
particularly dimethyltryptamine — commonly referred to as DMT. This substance
has slowly crept to popularity over the past few years, partially due to the
2010 documentary “DMT: The Spirit
Molecule,” which was hosted by actor and
commentator Joe Rogan and featured Barker’s professional opinion.
studying the effects of these substances is not nearly enough for Barker’s
“If you’re going
to ask questions, you might as well ask the big ones,” he said, in excuse for
the fact that the conversation had moved directly from pharmacology — the
effects of drugs — to belief in God.
with scientists around the world, Barker has been studying the pharmacology of ayahuasca, a type of tea preparation of DMT that has been used by
various indigenous religious sects across South America for thousands of years.
In these sects, the psychoactive substance is treated as a sacrament and is
used solely (and strictly) for religious purposes. This highly common tendency among native populations, as
Barker explained, makes sense when considering the so-called “religious
experience” DMT is known to produce.
compounds] cause euphoria, tunnels of light, they see fantastic beings —
deities, relatives — you can’t explain it. Those phenomena … we know these
compounds can do those things.”
then, is the fact that DMT can be found in trace amounts throughout the
human body, Barker said, from urine samples to blood to spinal fluid. And
again, the implications therein are too grand for Barker to relax just yet.
around forever,” he said of psychoactive substances, especially in regards
to use for religious purposes. “It’s something that’s run throughout history.”
Barker also notes
that people around the world have reported these experiences without actively
administering the substance, which is to say that even acts such as deep
meditation or sensory deprivation can generate religious experiences,
seemingly from thin air.
But if DMT is so
ubiquitous, what does that say about the similarly described religious
experiences perpetually reported from around the world?
of perception is so minimal … Man has interpreted his hallucinatory experiences
as being religious. There’s no question that people feel deep emotions when they undergo a religious conversion,
[but] there’s a possibility we misinterpreted the entire thing.”
This idea has
evolved into a budding field of study — and thought — known as neurotheology,
denoting a biological and molecular basis for religious faith.
of the entire thing evolved into religion,” he said.
DEUS EX CORPUS
Latin phrase “deus ex machina” reveals oneself to either be a fan of drama,
video games or Donnie Darko. In classical drama, deus ex machina signifies the
turning point in the story when the day is miraculously saved by the whimsical
gods of the day and age, and the phrase literally translates to “god from the
While it has been
customary through the ages to blame the unexpected and unexplainable on divine
intervention, Barker said he believes these phenomena can be sufficiently
accredited to naturally
occurring hallucinogens like DMT,
which comes not from the gods but from our own bodies.
out to scientifically justify “creativity, dream states, near-death
experiences” and various forms of hallucinations and religious experiences, and
Barker thinks DMT could hold answers.
As a drug, DMT is
much like serotonin, another compound naturally created by our bodies. Serotonin is a compound mostly involved with mood — though it
is also involved with heart rate and other physiological functions — and
elevations of serotonin levels can generate euphoria.
occurring without anyone on the outside being able to confirm it — that’s a
hallucination. If a scientist watches a person undergoing a religious
experience, well that’s serotonin,” Barker explained.
And these religious
experiences and hallucinations engage the same areas of the brain we use for
regular perception, Barker continued, which is why people think they’re real.
The search for
objective answers to intangible experiences like hallucinations and dream
states have intrigued Barker since he was a child. In his hometown of
Birmingham, Ala., Barker said the religious faith of his community never quite
sated his desire for clear answers.
“I always had
trouble as a kid going to Sunday school,” he admitted with a chuckle. “‘Well,
where did that come from?’”
He said the quest
for more convincing answers began with his tendency toward intense dreams as a
child — and dissatisfaction with the explanations he received to account for
“Most of the
people who have experienced this kind of phenomena have relegated it to a
religious experience,” he said. “I wasn’t able to accept it.”
For Barker, faith
was never enough, and his desire for objective explanations persists to this
day through his work.
“I find all of
this far more exciting than just accepting someone’s belief. If you stop asking
questions because you think you understand it all, you’ve made a big mistake,”
he said. “Faith is not questioning — it intersects this whole field.”
not late to this metaphysics party, Barker’s theory is not a new one. In fact,
the term “neurotheology” was coined by famed British author and proponent of
hallucinogenic substances Aldous Huxley, who used the term in his lesser-known utopian
novel Island — the counterpoint to his revered dystopian
novel Brave New World. In Island, Huxley uses the term to
describe a marriage between human anatomy and a utilitarian approach to
transcendent experiences, such as meditation.
At the University
of Alabama at Birmingham, Barker said he was even lucky enough to become
acquainted with British psychologist Humphrey Osmond, who supplied Huxley with
the hallucinogen mescaline, which in turn inspired Huxley’s book The Doors of
Perception. Osmond not only coined
the term “psychedelic” but also gave rise to the idea of hallucinogens
“Turned out that
it was in …” Barker leaned forward and whispered, “everyone.”
regarding the universality of DMT, perception and religion are massive, but
Barker wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Our failure to understand
things has led us down some dangerous paths. Understanding some of these things
will really help us understand who we are,” he said. “Philosophically, it is a
lot to wrap your head around. I’m not against religion, but let’s keep in mind
there are thousands.”
Religious men and
women around the world share similar religious experiences, Barker said.
“Fine, let’s look
at the pharmacology of it,” he said. “Every state of consciousness can be
connected to different areas of the brain being activated or deactivated. If we
get an understanding of that, we may gain a better understanding of what the
brain has to offer.”
room for glass houses in the world of neurotheology.
“Why do humans
produce hallucinogens in their brains?”
question posed by Barker remains unanswered, the number of scientists willing
to approach it is slowly growing — and as it does, the taboo fades and more
possibilities are realized, especially in medicine.
“Little by little
their effectiveness is being realized,” Barker said. “It’s just the passage of
No one seems to
have aided this passage more than Rick Strassman, medical doctor and author
of DMT: The Spirit
Molecule. Between 1990 and 1995,
Strassman conducted the first series of psychoactive substance tests on humans
in more than twenty years, ending the embargo on such studies and opening
countless doors to the future of psychedelic science.
“One of the things that came out of our
studies was that you could give these drugs safely under medical supervision,”
Strassman said. “That was a fundamental finding which I think sometimes escapes
notice under the other data we noted.”
Barker, is also searching for that biological key to understanding the
transcendental experiences shared by all humans — and he thinks the key to the
question above could have been foretold millennia ago.
“I was always
interested in the pineal gland as a possible spiritual organ, as it were,”
Strassman said. “It’s always been an object of veneration in esoteric
physiological systems — the
anatomical location of high spiritual centers in Buddhism and Judaism.”
The pineal gland
produces melatonin, a derivative of serotonin which affects our sleep and wake
cycles, or circadian rhythms. It is no coincidence the pineal gland has also
been referred to as the “third eye,” and directly linking this crucial part of
the brain to the production of DMT could have huge results for the field.
“It would be icing
on the cake,” he said. “We already know that the lungs make DMT — it seems as
if the lungs are continuously producing DMT. It also seems the brain requires
DMT for normal function.”
synthesis in the pineal gland would inject the hallucinogen into the everyday
functions of the brain, and having written about this topic time and again, Strassman
maintains that such a connection could finally rationalize and literally
materialize the injection of the spiritual experience into the human
“The pineal is
quite protected from outside stimulation, generally, and the kinds of
situations that overcome pineal protection are states of extraordinary stress,”
he explained, listing common religious activities such as fasting and chanting
as exemplary instances of great stress.
DMT in the pineal
could be the keystone holding the weight of the field of neurotheology, tying a
tight knot in the tangled ropes of spirituality and biology.
“It would validate
all of these esoteric theologies that have been pointing to the pineal gland as
a spiritual gland throughout history,” he said.
stresses these findings say little about the existence of God, per sé, but
offer more of a proof that spiritual
experiences do exist and a reason
to explore their anatomy further.
“You’re really not
taking God out of the equation at all,” he said. “That’s why it’s called
neurotheology and not theoneurology: This is how the spirit is working through
the body rather than the other way around.”
While the clinical
uses of such controversial substances as DMT, LSD and ecstasy are still being
developed and explored, the simple credo of “science for the sake of science,”
as Strassman put it, changes and advances the both the scientific and medical
fields in the case of these chemicals.
The most important
outcome is the removal of these substances from the Schedule 1 classification,
thereby allowing them to be freely researched in the proper settings under the
proper supervision, he said.
brain and the way the mind works is important,” Strassman reasoned. “I think it
is important to apply psychedelic states for the greater good, and the greater
good could just be increasing our database.”