Among Strassman’s discoveries was that the most probable source of endogenous DMT production within humans is most probably the pineal gland. According to Dr. Rick Strassman, the pineal gland
“possesses a lens, cornea, and retina. It is light-sensitive and helps regulate body temperature and skin coloration – two basic survival functions intimately related to environmental light.”
This has led to its (the pineal gland) appropriately being called the third eye. When the pineal gland senses daylight, it is thought to labor for the production of serotonin, which regulates appetite, mood, body movement, and a number of other regulatory functions. When the pineal does not sense daylight, conversely, it produces instead melatonin, which regulates sleep patterns as well as body coloration. The conditions under which the pineal is suspected to secrete DMT, on the other hand, is considerably more complex.
“The most general hypothesis is that the pineal gland produces psychedelic amounts of DMT at extraordinary times in our lives. Pineal DMT production is the physical representation of non-material, or energetic, processes. It provides us with the vehicle to consciously experience the movement of our life-force [read soul] in its most extreme manifestations. Specific examples of this phenomenon are the following:
When our individual life force enters our fetal body, the moment in which we become truly human, it passes through the pineal and triggers the first primordial flood of DMT. Later, at birth, the pineal releases more DMT. In some of us, pineal DMT mediates the pivotal experiences of deep meditation, psychosis, and near-death experiences. As we die, the life-force leaves the body through the pineal gland, releasing another flood of this psychedelic spirit molecule.”
In other words, according to Dr. Strassman’s hypothesis, the pineal gland may very well be the seat of the soul, and DMT, the catalyst which facilitates the soul’s entry into and exit out of the body during birth, death, trauma, and mystical or visionary experiences – a wild speculation that might be easily dismissed, without the testimonies of the indigenous peoples who employ the compound sacramentally, as well as those of Dr. Strassman’s research volunteers, who themselves also experienced the spirit molecule firsthand. Moreover, on May 23, 2013 Cottonwood Research Foundation Inc. announced that DMT had officially been discovered in the pineal glands of live rats, making Strassman’s hypothesis all the more plausible.
Strassman’s views are not too dissimilar from those of philosopher and mathematician René Descartes, who postulated a similar function for our mysterious pineal. In his essay The Inter-Relation of Soul and Body, Descartes wrote that
“[a]lthough the soul is joined with the entire body, there is one part of the body [the pineal] in which it exercises its function more than elsewhere. ...[The pineal] is so suspended between the passages containing the animal spirits [guiding reason and carrying sensation and movement] that it can be moved by them...; and it carries this motion on to the soul... Then conversely, the bodily machine is so constituted that whenever the gland is moved in one way or another by the soul, or for that matter by any other cause, it pushes the animal spirits which surround it to the pores of the brain.”
Descartes noticed too that the pineal gland happens to be the sole singleton organ within the human brain. Recognizing via personal introspection that thoughts arise only one at a time, Descartes also postulated that the pineal gland is the source of the many thoughts that are aroused within the mind throughout one’s life.
It is worth noting that this line of research has shed light not only on the significance of the sprig of acacia within Freemasonry, but also potentially on the Master’s fatal blow, the same of which strikes in the same general region, albeit superficially, wherein the so-called seat of the soul; that is, the pineal gland, resides. It was perhaps with a remarkable flash of insight into this same profound and esoteric knowledge that British Freemason W.L. Wilmshurst so cryptically but eloquently declared in his 1922 classic The Meaning of Masonry that
“[t]he ‘head’ of the material organism of man is the spirit of man, and this spirit consciously conjoined with the Universal Spirit is Deity’s supreme instrument and vehicle in the temporal world. Such a man’s physical organism and brain have become sublimated and keyed up to a condition and an efficiency immensely in advance of average humanity. Physiological processes are involved which cannot be discussed here, beyond saying that in such a man the entire nervous system contributes to charge certain ganglia and light up certain brain-centers in a way of which the ordinary mind knows nothing. ...But the Master Mason, in virtue of his mastership, knows how to control and apply those energies. They culminate and come to self-consciousness in his head, in his intelligence. ...The same truth is...testified to, though...under veils of symbolic phrasing, in the reference to the sprig of acacia planted at the head of the grave of the Masonic Grand Master and prototype, Hiram Abiff. The grave is the candidate’s soul; the sprig of acacia typifies the latent akasha (to use an Eastern term) or divine germ planted in that soil and waiting to become quickened into activity in his intelligence, the ‘head’ of that plane. When that sprig of acacia blooms at the head of his soul’s sepulcher, he will understand...the mystery of the death of Hiram. ...It is a mystery of spiritual consciousness, the efflorescence of the mind in God, the opening up of the human intelligence in conscious association with the Universal and Omniscient Mind.”
To quote once more from McKenna, who too intuited the significance of DMT in Alchemy and certain “secret societies,”
“So, how can it be then, that a compound which each of us carries right here, right in the pineal gland, right in the ajna chakra, the philosopher’s stone is no further away than that. How can this be secret from us? …[There] are lots of mystery cults and secret societies in the world, I don’t know if any of them are guarding DMT as a secret, it may be so.”
In our educated estimation, it is so.