Transformation of consciousness and brain networks.

Psilocybin not only has hallucinogenic effects, but also profound psychological experiences. The main feature of the psilocybin experience in my own and our clients’ sessions is a profound psychological experience. It manifests itself in our minds in ways that are unimaginable before the session. At times it is similar to a sleep dream, but unlike dreams we have at night, it is a qualia psychological experience that feels more real than the reality we perceive in our normal state of consciousness.

This is an experience that cannot be described by verbal descriptions and can be described as an experience that precedes words. This more vivid and qualia experience, when experienced in a safe and secure space with a guide, has the power to restore mental contentment after the session, and thus fix addiction and depression. Various researchers have conducted recent studies on why this is so.

Here is a study of clinical trials with psilocybin and other psychedelics in Australia in 2023.

Default Mode Network Modulation by Psychedelics: A Systematic Review

The study verified that psilocybin causes certain areas of the brain to become less dominant, particularly those areas that control the Default Mode Network (DMN), by measuring brain waves during psychedelic sessions. The Default Mode Network is a function of the brain that is necessary for our daily life and it is also very much connected to the ‘I’ of the ego. In the state of altered consciousness during a psilocybin session, this default mode network is no longer dominant. When the part of our brain that has always been our usual way of thinking is no longer dominant, the workings of a different part of the brain than the part we normally use are activated. It starts to bring us new perspectives that are different from our usual thinking. This experience and awareness leads to a rest for that part of our brain that has tended to fall into the same thought processes, and to a different thought process than before.

What is the default mode network?

The default mode network is a network in the brain that is particularly active when we are at rest. This network is associated with functions such as self-relevance, introspection, planning for the future and recalling the past. Research into the effects of psilocybin on the default mode network DMN has become one of the core components of psychedelic research. Briefly, as you think about the causes of your previous failures, do you find yourself unable to just get out of those thoughts? I wish I hadn’t done that then. What if I am in a similar situation? I may be tormented by anxiety about things in the past and possible futures that are not what I see in the present moment, such as To get on with everyday matters, we use our brain’s default mode network to live comfortably on the same pattern without thinking too deeply each day, but if, due to trauma or various triggers, our thinking hooks up so that it only goes to the same circuit, we can experience increased anxiety, develop an addiction to something in order to heal that anxiety. So, the activity of the default mode network is closely related to mental illness and psychological health.

And this study shows that psilocybin modulates the default mode network (DMN), which may enable new approaches to the symptoms of these disorders.

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However, what exactly is experienced in a state of altered consciousness, when areas other than the Default Mode Network are dominant, is a very subjective and very difficult problem to predict. This is the hard problem of consciousness. In other words, it is a problem that cannot be explored by brain studies that measure brain waves. It is very difficult to study the depths of a psilocybin session in this way, but every time I see the huge changes that occur before and after the session, and the healing that takes place in the client, I am amazed by the psilocybin session and in awe of the mind and the brain.

Research has increased so much in recent years. I will now tell you about other research in psychedelics in this blog. What was not mentioned in this study, but I think is important, is to tell the facilitator before the session what issues you want to work on, and to go into the session with a strong intensity. For clients who wish to make this psilocybin session the answer to their own problem, as opposed to a recreational psychedelic session when the default mode network is no longer dominant, it is important to have a strong own focus on that problem, which is very important for the successful utilisation of the session. There are still many unanswered questions about the circuitry of consciousness and the brain, but we will talk more about the default mode network in the next article.

——Japanese translation b



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