Health Benefits Shared by Psychedelics, Yoga, and Meditation -- Science of UsLast year, Enzo Tagliazucchi, a postdoc at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, co-led a brain-imaging study in Current Biology on LSD-induced ego dissolution, and found that the state was associated with increased connectivity between several brain areas. In explaining to me why that dissolution might be therapeutically helpful, he said that the entire psychedelic experience — even the challenging parts — has a way of “extracting the patient from his or her usual patterns of thought and contemplat[ing] upon them from a vantage point,” he explained over email. The dissolution itself seemed to play a direct role in the case of anxiety in terminal cancer patients, he added. It’s a catalyst for epiphany. “In a typical ego-dissolution experience, the user feels the boundaries between his or her body and the rest of the universe dissolve, and becomes ‘one’ with the surroundings,” he added. “This might lead to feelings of transcendence or permanence in the patients, making them realize that even after their death they will still be part of something ‘larger.’”
We cannot wipe the mind clean of its knowing, as one would wash a face, for, indeed, paradoxically, we need that knowing. It is an essential part of living and not to be despised. Only when the mind attempts to usurp the whole realm of consciousness, of which, after all, it is but a fragment, are the possibilities of discovering Unknowing overlaid and lost. The world belongs to silence and stillness. Unknowing, itself being empty, can be approached only in moments of emptiness which the ego-mind mistakes for boredom and hastens to assuage that condition with ever more and more learning. To it the phrase “I do not know” is one of self-reproach. But for one intent on seeking the Unknown, that “I do not know” is the door to it, the “Open Sesame” which to pronounce costs nothing less than everything. So, he drops from his busy awareness into the stillness whence life springs, into the void within him.