Psychedelic experiences can open and expand your mind in unimaginable ways. But what is a psychedelic experience?
The effect occurs when psilocybin–a hallucinogenic chemical found in some types of so-called “magic” mushrooms–transforms the neurons in the brain, ostensibly freeing us from the constraints of the ego and heightening cognition. For those who have had psychedelic experiences, the process can open new ways of seeing and thinking about the world and can have a profound impact on how they perceive time, space and the self.
Just one psychedelic experience, say some, can change your life.
In a Medium post, visual artist Jake Kobrin took magic mushrooms for the first time when he was 18. The experience allowed him to escape depression, suicidal thoughts and overcome his nihilistic worldview.
“I didn’t know who I was,” he wrote, describing the experience. “I didn’t remember my name. I couldn’t name the town I was in or tell you anything about my personal history. I experienced what I would later learn is called an ‘Ego Dissolution Experience’ and it felt GOOD.
“I saw myself and who I was in my essence to be full of love, sweetness, and enthusiasm about life,” he continued. “I saw that this story that I had adopted was a way to protect myself, to try to keep myself from being hurt in an environment where other people had not been kind to me and I in turn had not been kind to them. This journey taught me that I was safe, so safe. And that I was loved, so loved.”
The experience has impacted his daily life ever since. While he still faces the stresses of everyday life, his perspective shifted permanently. He experienced, he said, the equivalent of five years of therapy in five hours.
Korbin isn’t alone. In a 2018 TED talk, then-student Julius Khoo also talks about how his psychedelic experiences helped him understand the subjectivity of reality. Psychedelics, he says, can help silence negative self-talk and mental health issues. In the same vein, it can also help treat addiction. In one example, he cites results from John Hopkins University’s clinical trials with psilocybin and visualization, which helped people successfully quit smoking.
Now that you know what a psychedelic experience is, what do you think about it? Have you had a psychedelic experience? If so, how did it impact you?