The Psychedelic Renaissance

“I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.” ― Aldous Huxley

 The word renaissance is loosely defined as “a cultural rebirth”, and if we were to look at time as a cyclical pattern – this period of “rebirth” seems to continue to emerge after long periods of darkness/density. In looking at our time now, the juxtaposition between light and dark, technological advancement and human evolution – one could consider this time to be an emerging of a new culture, and perhaps this is happening (in part) due to what may be deemed a psychedelic renaissance.

Over recent years, the psychedelic conversation has made its way into the mainstream media, and we are continuing to see more of an influence in art, music, and literature that seems to stem from the visionary state.

The notion of psychedelics and entheogens acting as agents of healing, and transformation – mentally, emotionally, and physically is something that has been considered sacred by shaman for hundreds of years – but is now an area of research that is seriously being studied by scientists and universities.

“You’re only as young as the last time you changed your mind.” – Timothy Leary

Johns Hopkins University conducted a study in 2011, where they administered dosages of psilocybin (aka: magic mushrooms) to 51 willing participants to see how the experience alters personality (more than half had postgraduate degrees). Nearly 60% of the group experienced a measurable personality change that latest over a year after the study, with marked changes relating to creativity, imagination, emotions, and a new sense of open-mindedness.

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies is a “non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana”. MAPS also explores scientific research of the lasting effects of the psychedelic experience administered in an intentional/disciplined way.

“Ancient wisdom is the medicine for the modern world.” – Don Howard

Science and academics taking psychedelics seriously are a few pieces of the puzzle, which have been integral in this evolution of understanding of the power of psychedelics in relation to body and mind. The acclaimed work of Dr. Rick Strassman, author of “DMT: The Spirit Molecule”, has been an inspiration for the psychedelic state bridging the gap between the spiritual and material worlds. His latest book “DMT and the Soul of Prophecy,” explores the relationship between DMT and the prophetic state. The book expands upon the relationship between science and spirit, and elaborates on the “theoneurological” (as opposed to “neurotheology“) model of spiritual experience, stating: “The bottom-up perspective is represented by neurotheology wherein changes in brain chemistry give the impression of communicating with the divine, whereas my new model, theoneurology, posits that God communicates with us via the agency of the brain.”

“You are a divine being. You matter, you count. You come from realms of unimaginable power and light, and you will return to those realms.” 
Terence McKenna

While the psychedelic experience may not be for everyone, its influence is undeniable in the awakening of the collective conscious and unconscious. The little ripples of expanding consciousness, may be responsible for the bigger waves of change in this new renaissance we are all participating in, in one way or another.

According to Wikipedia, The 100th Monkey Effect “is a purported phenomenon in which a new behavior or idea is claimed to spread rapidly by unexplained means from one group to all related groups once a critical number of members of one group exhibit the new behavior or acknowledge the new idea.”

Perhaps we are hitting critical mass with the “new ideas” and “new” behavior caused by the visionary state, and one can only posit on how our consciousness will continue to evolve as the conversation continues, and our creativity reaches new heights (and dimensions).

Article originally published on Watkins Magazine

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