Your Brain and Psychedelics

Your Brain and Psychedelics
Reading Time: 6 minutes

The Easter Sunday Test

Before the Good Friday ceremony in 1962, when Christians abstain from meat consumption until Easter, students at the Boston school of seminary were administered about 30mg of psilocybin containing substances or placebo. The study was conducted at the Marsh Chapel of Boston University, and it was spearheaded by one of the most revered teachers of Martin Luther King Jr., Howard Thurman, despite the fact that all twenty participants were white men. Walter N. Pahnke, a Harvard PhD student, carried out the entire experiment receiving assistance from Timothy Leary. Participants were positioned in Marsh Chapel’s basement while watching a moving Good Friday sermon delivered upstairs by Thurman on a television. The experiment’s double-blind component immediately failed as it became clear the person that was tripping in the group, as was to be expected. Almost all of the subjects who received psilocybin reported profound mystical experiences that served as a turning point in their lives.

The Good Friday experiment happened to be among those high levels of the spiritual lives, according to the majority of those who were located by Rick Doblin 25 years after it took place. It gave me a fully unquestionable knowledge that there exists an ecosystem larger than the one I’m aware of, one participant remarked. Although I hold an interpretation of mine, it changed from being a theoretical idea to an actual experience.

A Mystical Experience’s Neurological Basis

Since 1962, a lot has changed. The moon landing, the arcade release of Street Fighter 2, and the development of fMRI technology all occurred in the same year. This led to the identification of the Default Mode Network (DMN), which happens to be a network of the brain essentially serving ss the ego’s seat and has been linked to numerous psychedelic studies. The DMN is essential for the growth of social functions, sense of time, the ability to remember the past and predict the future, and the ability to distinguish oneself from others.  Head on to Canada Mushrooms and buy shrooms Canada now.

Van Elk makes a really good point. The Default Mode Network has actively been involved in psychedelic science, however this does not indicate that changes to the DMN are only used to modulate psychedelic effects. The brain isn’t that simple, and what we need to do last is that we need from psychedelics is for phrenology to make a comeback. The study of neuroscience experienced a significant setback as a result of “been there, done that.” Scientists believed that the bumps on our heads correlated with our behavior and IQ in the 19th century. People made wildly ludicrous and false conclusions based on gender and ethnicity as a result of their poor understanding of the brain. This is not what neurospirutality performs.

The Brain on Spirituality: An Introduction to Neurospirituality

The definition of spirituality is the conviction or acceptance that some occurrences within a logically consistent universe are the consequence of forces that defy intellectual explanation. The belief that existence is connected to a purpose that is typically described in a world outside of our physical realm is another definition of spirituality. On the other hand, neurospirituality is the study of a person’s own neurological processes that underlie spirituality. It was Michael Ferguson’s concept at the Harvard Divinity School, not mine. When he subjected faithful Mormons to task-based fMRI in a 2018 study—a neuroimaging technique that displays brain connectivity while doing a specific action—he began his quest to measure spirituality scientifically.

Relationships Between Psychedelics and Neurospirituality

The research by Peter Mayer and Martina Erdtmann-Vourliotis at the Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg, which was published in August 1999, is the only neuroscience study I could discover about the connection between psychedelics and the periaqueductal grey. In the periaqueductal grey, which Michael Ferguson first observed in neurospirituality about twenty years after, they discovered that both LSD and MDMA showed strong neuronal activity. They proposed that this might be because the PAG contains large levels of serotonin, a neuromodulator released during a classic psychedelic trip.

Surprisingly, the same study also revealed one of the areas of the brain Ferguson addressed in his investigation of neurospirituality. Researchers discovered that the nucleus accumbens, a region of the brain implicated in the experience of pleasure, exhibits strong neuronal activity with LSD, MDMA, and even moderately with THC. (In contrast, the nucleus accumbens showed little activity in the presence of drugs like cocaine and morphine.) When patients expressed sentiments of spiritual acceptance, Ferugson also observed a link with the nucleus accumbens. The nucleus accumbens, which is active both when a person is high on psychedelics and when they are predisposed to embrace spirituality, is a region of the brain.  Go on to Canada Mushrooms to buy shrooms Canada.

How can psychedelic-induced spirituality get measured?

Most of our knowledge of how psychedelics affect the brain comes from neuroimaging, which examines the flow of blood in the brain. It also helps us comprehend the many brain regions that are activated when someone practices spirituality. However, there are other metrics that can provide us with more insight into psychedelics and spirituality.

The Mystical Experience Questionnaire (MEQ), developed by Pahnke (the same researcher from the Good Friday experiment), was devised to evaluate mystical and spiritual experiences brought on by psychedelics. Extrovertive mysticism, religious interpretation, and introvertive mysticism are the three categories that the Hood Mysticism scale, which was developed more subsequently, divides the mystical experience into. When one achieves extrovert mysticism, they become one with the grandeur of the actual institution and everyone (and everything) who resides there. This category includes concepts like “we are all one.”

The foundation of introverted mysticism is the idea that in order to experience “oneness with emptiness,” the physical cosmos and all contained within it must be transcended or erased. A third component that takes into account spirituality as it is expressed by a person’s particular faith is religious interpretation. The most essential part of mystical experiences may exist independently of any religious interpretation, despite the fact that interpretation might change how extrovertive and introverted mysticism are expressed. Van Elk asserts that however, in order to assess a psychedelic trip, new psychometric instruments must be developed.

“I believe that the field needs more advanced tools and scales to evaluate what transpires during the course of a psychedelic experience. Numerous tools currently in use contain a lot of theory and make presumptions about how to evaluate and interpret psychedelic experiences. For instance, Walter Stace and Aldous Huxley’s perennialist philosophy served as direct inspiration for the M-scale. However, instruments like the 5D-ASC may omit details of the event that many people who have had them still consider to be significant.

Huxley believes in the fact that the entire world religions have a same mystical genesis or universal truth in The Perennial Philosophy. It’s similar to a unified theory of mysticism, and Huxley’s use of psychedelics served as its inspiration. The Hood Mysticism Scale and the MEQ have been combined to create the MEQ30, however as psychedelic science becomes more complicated, new quantification techniques will be required. We might even reach a stage where each psychedelic drug has its own unique psychedelic-mysticism rating system.

Science is just as precise as its measurements allow it to be. Science still has a lot to learn regarding our understanding of psychedelics and neurospirituality. Everything here is relatively new, and we have never before in human history had the resources to identify scientific bio-markers of the experiences that are highly subjective of a spiritual encounter brought on by psychedelics.

Psychedelics and Spirituality in the Future

Without the development of cutting-edge neuroimaging techniques like fMRI and the ensuing identification of whole networks of the brain like the Central Executive Network and the Default Mode Network, both of which are profoundly influenced by psychedelics, the study of psychedelics and spirituality would likely be largely where it was since the 1960s. The first time we have been able to make the spiritual experience become visible inside the brain is thanks to Michael Ferguson’s groundbreaking work in the field of neurospirutality. As of the time of writing, Ferguson’s neurospirituality is solely focused on spirituality attained through religion; however, mysticism brought on by psychedelics and acceptance of spirituality have not been studied.

As a point of emphasis, this article’s goal is to raise the prospect of implementing neurospirutality in the psychedelic realm.

It’s also crucial to remember that not all psychedelic experiences are mystical, and that having spiritual tendencies does not automatically imply having poor cognition because certain brain regions are activated. When defining the degree of the spiritual encounter and the means by which psychedelics can generate it, we don’t want to take the phrenology route, as Van Elk indicated. Although the brain is more complicated than we can fathom, we are gradually unraveling this mystery that is ensconced inside each of our skulls with each high-quality scientific study, and with each psychedelic experience, our understanding of neural activity becomes ever more clear.

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