The ‘Psychedelic Renaissance’
The ‘Psychedelic Renaissance’
You may be aware of the so-called ‘psychedelic renaissance’ in personal development and mental healthcare that is taking place right now. Perhaps you read Michael Pollan’s bestselling book, How to Change Your Mind, revealing how psychedelics (such as psilocybin, the ‘magic’ compound in magic mushrooms/truffles) are anticipated to be the next big breakthrough in mental health, self-exploration, and personal growth. During such experiences, “people speak of witnessing ‘the bigger picture’, placing things in perspective, accessing deep insight about themselves and the world, releasing pent-up mental pain, feeling emotionally and physically recalibrated, clear-sighted and equanimous”, in the words of Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, the head of the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London.
Maybe you came across one of the many scientific papers showing how a supported psilocybin process can help people alleviate alcohol and nicotine addictions, depression, end of life anxiety, cluster headaches, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Or how it can reduce levels of narcissism or inflammation, or enhance a sense of being connected to nature, creative thinking and wellbeing, emotional empathy, shared humanity, greater openness to new ideas, values, imagination, aesthetic appreciation, and novelty‐seeking, or even generate a lasting awe for existence.
Maybe you’ve read that psilocybin can increase levels of neuroplasticity (the ability of neurons to flexibly change their connections) and psychological flexibility (the ability to adapt behaviours), helping us to establish and maintain healthier mental, emotional, and behavioural habits.
And you may even know that participants of clinical studies who have psychedelic experiences in a supportive setting often consider them to be one of the most meaningful experiences of their lives, sometimes the single most meaningful experience, attributing to it substantial personal and spiritual significance and sustained positive changes in attitudes, mood, and behaviour. Some people experience ‘becoming one’ with everything, pointing to a non-dual reality espoused by various wisdom traditions for millennia, and is a view increasingly corroborated by quantum-relativistic physics. You may even know that some people predict that the transition from seeing our consciousness as individual, to seeing it as being just one part of a vast shared field of consciousness, could be the next big evolution in humanity in the West, similar in scope to the time we moved from a geocentric view of the solar system to the heliocentric one of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galilei. Let’s see how it plays out.
Or perhaps this is your first time hearing about any of this. Either way, some of the world’s leading research institutions in the US, UK, and elsewhere are underlining what many indigenous and traditional cultures have known and practiced for thousands of years. When taken in a safe and intentional setting, and with thorough screening and support before, during, and after the experience, a guided psychedelic process has the potential to catalyse deep discovery, betterment, and growth.
"When taken in a safe and supportive setting, with thorough screening and support before, during, and after the experience, a guided psilocybin process has the potential to catalyse deep discovery, betterment, and growth."