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A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin

New articles about the science backing our culture’s recently revived appreciation of psychedelics are being published every day. Truly, there is no shortage of information about psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, DMT, ayahuasca, and other psychedelic compounds out there. It’s all at your fingertips, whether you’re an academic scholar, researcher, writer, or simply a curious human being. But it’s nice to kick back and watch instead of read, especially after a long day of work.

Consider turning on this hour-long 2019 documentary that explores the treatment of end-of-life anxiety in terminally ill cancer patients using psilocybin. It features the testimony of psychedelic scientists and researchers actively engaged in these trials, as well as the study subjects themselves undergoing the therapy, interweaving scientific theories with ineffable, spiritual experiences described by those who took the plunge into drug-induced ego death. “It really shakes you to the very ground of your being, and can be incredibly humbling, but also enlightening,” says featured psychologist Bill Richards, who studies the subject at Johns Hopkins. One of the most profound psilocybin testimonies comes from a woman who had the revelation that her breath and the wind is one with the breath of God. When she asked to see the face of God during her trip, she was shocked to be shown her husband’s face, serving as another clue that, perhaps, the divine isn’t above or below, but right here and right now, in everything we see.