How to change your mind
No doubt it’s difficult to make a case for psychedelic drugs without sounding like a kook. One of the defining qualities of a powerful trip is the sense that mere words can’t do justice to it.
…[demonstrably] the neuroscience of the drugs and their evident ability to suppress activity in a brain system known as the “default mode network.” The DMN acts as our cerebral executive, coordinating and organizing competing signals from other systems. It is, as Pollan sees it, the “autobiographical brain,” and the site of our ego. The long history of people reporting the sensation of their egos dissolving while under the influence of psychedelics meshes with this interpretation. It’s an experience with the potential to both terrify and, paradoxically, comfort those who undergo it … Why should this effect prove so helpful to the depressed, addicted, and anxious? …these disorders are the result of mental and emotional “grooves” in our thinking that have become, as the DMN’s name suggests, default. We are how we think. The right psychedelic experience can level out the grooves, enabling a person to make new cerebral connections and briefly escape from “a rigidity in our thinking that is psychologically destructive.” The aerial perspective this escape offers doesn’t immediately evaporate either.