Friday, March 2, 2012

Let the sun shine in

Your brain on 'shrooms is an article about what happens when the psychedelic ingredient in magic mushrooms reaches the brain. Here's an excerpt:
The study found decreased blood flow and BOLD in the thalamus, anterior and posterior cingulate cortex, and medial prefrontal cortex. The researchers concluded that the surprising results strongly suggest that the subjective effects of psychedelic drugs are caused by decreased activity and connectivity in the brain’s key connector hubs, enabling a state of unconstrained cognition.
In other words, it turns your filters off and lets everything in. It is cognition without blinders. When you're tripping and you see a white wall, you also see a rainbow rippling through the whiteness. That rainbow was always there but our brains filtered it out. And hey, it's just like they told us: white is the presence of all colors.

The odd truth is that our brains actively hide things from us, apparently as a protective measure. We are only aware of the things that evolution decided we should be aware of, in order to survive as a species. It is the brain, operating on these ancient rules, that draws a line in the sand and says "see this" but "don't see that."

There's lots more stuff out there, a whole world that goes on without our notice. And if what I saw on acid is any indication, it's gorgeous.