Revealing the Mind: The Promise of Psychedelics

  • Published on Aug 17, 2019
  • Nearly every culture throughout history has used chemicals that alter consciousness for spiritual exploration. In the 20th century these drugs caught the attention of scientists. Psychedelics, as they were named, proved effective at treating intractable illnesses like depression and addiction. And they became a tool for studying the mind, opening “the doors of perception,” as Aldous Huxley wrote. But those doors slammed shut when President Nixon declared psychedelics dangerous and medically useless. Join scientists and “psychonauts” who are now picking up where research left off 50 years ago, experimenting with LSD, psilocybin, DMT and other psychedelics to heal-and reveal-the mind.
    The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.
    PARTICIPANTS: Alison Gopnik, Eduardo Kohn, Stephen Ross, Anil Seth
    MODERATOR: Emily Senay
    0:03 - Opening film
    6:05 - Panelist introductions
    7:27 - What are psychedelics?
    11:00 - Phenomenological effects of psychedelics
    14:31 - Brain development and plasticity
    17:15 - Psychedelic usage in the Amazon
    19:43 - Amazonian ayahuasca ceremony
    20:51 - Dissolution of the ego
    22:46 - Default mode network
    25:17 - Psilocybin testing on religious professionals
    27:59 - The shaman’s message from the rainforest
    31:04 - Rainforest soundscape
    33:03 - Mind altering experiences without drugs
    37:03 - Philosophical questions about psychedelics
    42:37 - Can psychedelics restore brain plasticity?
    45:16 - Measuring randomness of brain activity
    51:58 - Psychedelic drugs as medicine
    58:38 - Psilocybin cancer study participants film and Q&A
    1:04:43 - Treating psychiatric disorders with psychedelics
    1:09:23 - Micro-dosing and “freelancing” psychedelics
    1:13:50 - Medical complications and medication interactions
    1:18:14 - The future of psychedelics in science
    - Produced by Nils Kongshaug
    - Associate Produced by Emmalina Glinskis
    - Short films produced / edited by Vin Liota
    - Music provided by APM
    - Additional images and footage provided by: Getty Images, Shutterstock, Videoblocks
    - Recorded at NYU Skirball Center
    This program is part of the BIG IDEAS SERIES, made possible with support from the JOHN TEMPLETON FOUNDATION.
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  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 874

  • Gli Poi
    Gli Poi 36 minutes ago

    Everything was perfect until you had to quote steve jobs at 00:13. If that is for you the example of a mind enlightened by psychedelics, I'm done. A man who became a billionaire by exploiting the intelligence and work of others is not my idea of anything good.

  • Eric Rhodes
    Eric Rhodes 23 hours ago

    Vermont has a bill that would legalize the plant hallucinogens as natural plants that have been used for thousands tng erstiof years and are held with deep spiritual powers and are healers and should be legal. Ayahuasca ceremonies, peyote, mushrooms. Don't know the idea is iin about extracts, I doubt it will pass though. It's State level, but its in the news so that's test of the waters..🍄

  • Clive Lindley
    Clive Lindley Day ago

    Interesting that they have so.much respect for shamans but disrespect, laugh at and mock the Christian religion. Perhaps they know nothing of the Christian mystics and their ecstatic experiences which led to profound and sublime music, writings and art.

  • orion9k
    orion9k 2 days ago

    37:57 FYI

  • rares mircea
    rares mircea 2 days ago

    This was a great panel, they should be invited again

  • Laylow Longer
    Laylow Longer 3 days ago

    Psychedelics are the red pills of our society. They would cure most if not all the evil in our world.

  • Lukas Holm
    Lukas Holm 3 days ago

    We need another Terence McKenna. WE NEED A SPOKESPERSON

  • High Frequency
    High Frequency 3 days ago

    Give that lady in all black some mushrooms bring her back and see how her perspective would be so different. I wonder if any of those people have actually have had a psychedelic experience. The idea that plants like ayahuasca are label “Drugs” because they altered the mind hurt my brain. This psychedelic grow naturally yet they label them as drugs.

  • Sanpha Koroma
    Sanpha Koroma 4 days ago

    LSD is what cause DEPRESSION!

  • midi510
    midi510 5 days ago

    Why in the world are these drugs still schedule 1? They obviously have medical uses. I doubt I'd still be alive if it weren't for LSD. For God actually, but LSD was the path of my healing.

  • Tri Biz
    Tri Biz 5 days ago

    This host is a Karen

  • Tri Biz
    Tri Biz 5 days ago

    Lotta woo woo shit around psychedelics. Don’t ever forget that medicalization isn’t enough. Full legalization is what’s needed

  • Brenda Wise
    Brenda Wise 6 days ago

    I could have learned so much but instead they chose to use things to shut the mind off along with the pineal gland. Fluoride Mass drugging. You couldn't pay me to take a flu shot now. God help us all without him we don't stand a chance and I know it. Don't let your faith Fall by the wayside. We did not evolve from apes. We are created with a soul and the creative mind. Worked really good when we were children. I could read a book and be there and see all of it around me. It's not that way anymore fluoride flu shots Pneumonia shots shots shots shots

    • Newark man
      Newark man 4 days ago

      I'm on the Geoengineering group on Facebook. My friend from high school started it. She is totally against shots. So many things are in them.

    • Brenda Wise
      Brenda Wise 5 days ago

      @Newark man I got the pneumonia shot 3 years ago my arm is still sore.

    • Newark man
      Newark man 5 days ago

      Bingo Brenda. Flu shots are bad.

  • Michael Chandler
    Michael Chandler 6 days ago +1

    Give them to people who were born blind. If they see similar experiences it would support the idea of this being a real experience versus all in the mind.

  • Josh Cavallo
    Josh Cavallo 6 days ago +2

    Psilocybin mushrooms cured my severe depression over a year ago, not to mention my IBD mysteriously disappeared after also. There is more to psychedelics than just brain chemistry, the Sharman’s have more wisdom than a materialist - and worth taking their advice seriously.

    • Josh Cavallo
      Josh Cavallo 5 days ago

      midi510 wow, great insight, thanks. Yes IBD is inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis) I had

    • midi510
      midi510 5 days ago +1

      Serotonin is found in three places in the body. The gut, the blood platelets, and the brain. It doesn't pass the blood/brain barrier, so any of it used by the brain is made in the brain. In the gut it helps regulate those functions. I'll assume that IBD stands for irritable bowel disease/distress and so, it's no surprise mushrooms helped.

  • tiluriso
    tiluriso 7 days ago

    Dr. Stan Grof would have been a great addition to this panel, simply because he's arguably the most knowledgeable living scientist on the subject of Psychedelics, with over 60 years of both personal and professional experience.

  • william jamieson
    william jamieson 8 days ago

    To many adverts

  • 1337S0lja
    1337S0lja 8 days ago

    The structure of society needs to be fluid and ever changing. A level of acceptance and gratitude for variety has to be present to be in this state. Our society today is rigid and concrete and full of thou shalts and thou shalt nots which only lead to forms of oppression.

  • Robert idonotsharemyfullname

    being CEO or President should require LSD assisted psychotherapie in advance.

  • Romeo Lima
    Romeo Lima 11 days ago

    Thank you WSF! Fantastic panel, stimulating discussion and excellent showcasing 2 wonderful outcomes of what is possible. Thank you for helping propel humanity forward. Much love to everyone here! I microdose on LSD for neuroplasticity, performance and cultural cleansing and my goal is to pursue Hayewasca for a deeper dive into self and to promote higher consciousness.

  • kstars
    kstars 12 days ago

    Wonder how much push back from the big pharmaceutical companies there will be. Sick people are their goldmine.

  • Kjell Erik Wahl
    Kjell Erik Wahl 12 days ago

    The music in the beginning of the movie where can i find it??

  • Fredrik Svärd
    Fredrik Svärd 12 days ago

    Thats too many ad breaks for me, bye

  • Treasure Detector
    Treasure Detector 12 days ago

    Go Science!

  • 4kassis
    4kassis 13 days ago

    Love the flower boobs on the baby lady :)

  • oldschoolman 144
    oldschoolman 144 13 days ago

    Bill Willson the cofounder of AA had a spiritual experience in the hospital for treatment of alcoholism when he was given drugs with hallucinogenic effects. He later experimented with LSD in the 50s for the treatment of alcoholism. But if you go to a AA meeting and bring it up they will look at you like you have a second deformed head growing out of your shoulders.

  • rational inquirer
    rational inquirer 13 days ago

    No mention that Timothy Leary was hired by CIA to distribute said LSD

  • Katie Kane
    Katie Kane 14 days ago +1

    They used propaganda to silence hippies because we called for peace. That threatened the military industrial complex which STILL controls our economy & our lives (and deaths).

  • Joshua Cahoe
    Joshua Cahoe 14 days ago +1

    I love when good conversation is brought up about this subject from the perspective that you can’t give a definitive answer on what is happening when a person takes it, but believe in its beneficial uses in the future.
    I haven’t watched the video just yet but I’m glad this is coming from a reliable source of people that have a better ability of discovering psychedelics affect on the human mind so we can reach better conclusions about it.
    That being said, it’s often very hard to read into a video about this subject’s comments, because there’s always this huge brigade of people that speak in absolutes about everything based on their own psychedelic experiences unable to even consider possibilities outside of what they believe but consider fact. Sure people do this from the other side, but not as much as from what I read from continual users of psychedelics. There’s this ignorant arrogance that turns me off to the community, although I find the subject incredibly interesting and have even used a few substances like this before.
    I really wish this could change, so more people could be introduced to psychedelics, but a lot of commenters that speak like this are absolute repellent. I guess it’s like any fandom, the most outspoken ones are usually the most ignorant and obnoxious that ruin it for everyone.
    Just my two cents.
    Edit: I will say that these obnoxious comments aren’t as rampant on this video thankfully.

  • david mark
    david mark 14 days ago

    I'm a religious person and I believe in the specific teachings of Jesus Christ. I say this, because I also use psilocybin and LSD. I do not use these for religious purposes, but to more or less ground myself to the Earth and nature. What I did find, specifically with psilocybin, is that during the peak of the high dose experience I suddenly became aware of the presence of Christ, whom I choose to call God.
    It was a wonderful experience and it lasted for the duration of the peak and then subsided towards the come down. I was in prayer, or sort of forced into prayer as this feeling of his presence poured over me. I was thanking him, the Father and the Holy Spirit for allowing me to have life and for being a part of the experience.

  • Zen Racca
    Zen Racca 15 days ago

    Call from the Amazon I thought was the deforestation and pushing families and tribes out of their place of reside.

  • S. O.
    S. O. 16 days ago +1

    Experienced L.§.D.

  • infinity spiceout
    infinity spiceout 18 days ago

    so just you.. are allowed to psyhcedelics.. only you.. i dongt think so.. im glad they are dicriminalized in colorado.. as well as all the good positive drugs of our life... and go after cocaine heroin and these negative drugs alcohol.. and glutony and tobacco.. get rid off that

  • infinity spiceout
    infinity spiceout 18 days ago

    1:12 12min.. im glad the question.. came up... mushroom has its own counsciousness .. maybe u docs wil see that.. you cant stop people from taking shrooms.. and you would be sick to control shrooms.. i like to see you guy

  • infinity spiceout
    infinity spiceout 18 days ago

    healed from f cancer... now im for sure that there is no love from our governors to us... i am for sure this medicine called psilocibin would prevent vcancer .. and the society that creates cancer..i know some ignorant fuck will tell me cancer comes from forever... hey bud... psylocibin comes from forever also..

  • Bruce Bruno
    Bruce Bruno 18 days ago

    I don't think humanity can't take the steps forward that were and are necessary for growth as a collective without psychedelics. The growth of the collective starts with the individual. Without the deeper realization of a new perspective or new perspectives humanity either stagnates or regresses as a whole. A new envisioning of "what is" and "what can be" must be obtained. We must dream our dream before we can begin to make it a reality. Humanity always dreamed it's dream first and then we slowly bring it into reality until it becomes a full reality. Psychedelics help us, in part, dream the dormant dream that lies within. They show us the true potential of the human mind. They show us that there are vastly different ways of viewing things and that we should not be afraid of the unknown. For the fact is the unknown is UNKNOWN, so aim for the positive. Meditate on the positive since you can only control the way you view things. What will be will be! We don't have control of anything but our own perceptions and actions. Psychedelics teach this on a very deep level of understanding. Experience is the best teacher. I don't think they are toys, and should not be taken lightly. You may receive unearned wisdom; which will be in turn mishandled!

  • Mike
    Mike 19 days ago

    These people are nuts. The experiance is all in their heads, this is what happens when you take drugs. If you have a chemical that alters your receptors your going to create all kinds of experiences and feelings of altered realities. It rewires your neuro networks... scary stuff.

  • Overload
    Overload 19 days ago +1

    Never really got this 'consciousness expanding' idea of these drugs. I would rather call them just consciousness changing, which really is what most drugs, or even normal life experiences invoke.
    This change of consciousness, the 'other' perspective one gets, is what then leads to an 'expanded' consciousness.
    The change these drugs create though, is profoundly different from out usual experiences, which makes them stand out.
    Calling them 'consciousness expanding' is missing the point though imo.

  • Sarah Ashra
    Sarah Ashra 19 days ago +1

    Absolutely amazing and speaks to my essence - i feel its truth. Love knowing that my period of depression is just an aspect of my perception and my ability now to connect more with all life, in every guise, is just a step with greater awareness emerging daily

  • Angelo Karantonis
    Angelo Karantonis 19 days ago

    Eduardos face at 29:55 seconds is priceless
    With the eyes that say it all

  • Gabriel Sagula
    Gabriel Sagula 19 days ago +3

    Nixon was an imbecile. Love psychedelics!

  • Francois Giannini
    Francois Giannini 21 day ago

    they probably continued the research in private ...Right ??

  • Christopher
    Christopher 22 days ago +1

    It's alarming how the establishment left is trying to normalize drugs. Clearly several ways of interpreting the results of their experimentation. Essentially all I heard was a lot of theorizing & speculating + a slough of essoterric bs masquerading as science. Can't believe something like this is being promoted. Societal standards are cruising along down that AC/DC Highway to Hell & Jesus IS NOT at the wheel lol.

    • Christopher
      Christopher 19 days ago

      @david james you only hear "glowing"reports because druggies want you to ruin your life taking drugs, you dumb trash lol. Go do some fucking research you anti-autgoritarian trash 👍👍

    • david james
      david james 19 days ago

      Christopher sounds a better way than right winged intolerance, it’s ok for you to use it and learn from it, but you essentially want it suppressed for other people. And where are all these reports from ‘most’ users that it’s a negative experience? I only hear glowing reports, and the occasional bad one, and also substances abusers who would destroy themselves with glue or whatever is available. I’ve tried shrooms and that was a good experience.

    • Christopher
      Christopher 20 days ago

      @david james & hopefully you end up like most all psychedelic users (like myself), having a nasty bad trip, & learn why they are bad.. maybe just like Terence McKenna myself & most others, ypull learn the hard way & this will happen to you to. I pray you learn wisdom through your ignorance .

    • Christopher
      Christopher 20 days ago

      @david james of course it's a left & right wing issue. They were literally discussing leftist conspiricys theories about the American government lmao.

    • david james
      david james 20 days ago

      Christopher many great minds have great respect for lsd, you making this a left and right winged issue and insinuating a substance that gives you a broader sense of reality is anti social, I think you should try some yourself.

  • Steve Izzo
    Steve Izzo 22 days ago

    Unfortunately, this will not be released to the public until Pharma has figured out how to make a fortune from it. Indigenous peoples have been using this medicine for thousands of years but here, it will be extremely expensive and therefore, as usual, affordable only to those with money, a piece that was missing from this entire discussion by the way. "The FDA is very interested", of course they are!

  • Macy Wilson
    Macy Wilson 22 days ago

    I really want to try DMT. I do get worried about my personality disorder /ptsd from a rape, anxiety, depression.. I dont know what itll do to me but I also kind of want to face bullshit and get it over with, maybe feel what else is in the universe.

  • Matt Leblanc
    Matt Leblanc 23 days ago +2

    As much as i beleive everything they sed and also having used LSD yes it holds healing properties on a spiritual level also on a mental level it can repair the mind. How ever if we think the governments are just going to allow this to be implemented this one time cure thing, I think we're wrong. They're making so much money as it is off the current pills that they're selling people that I don't think they're going to want to give that up for a one-time treatment that cures all. The way the goverment sees it is u cant profit off those that dont need meds anymore lol. I'm sure the pharmaceutical industry is a trillion dollar a year business

  • Scott Cherry
    Scott Cherry 24 days ago

    i have taken dmt over 70 times. i find this the only drug i will take now after being sober off all other drugs even coffee .i think dmt and mushrooms should not be illegal it should be mandatory for everyone to take twice a year. not just because you have pstd or deppression

    • Scott Cherry
      Scott Cherry 23 days ago

      @Brandon S I guess you don't get why I'm saying which is sad.. This is what I mean people needed to open their minds up.. To become a more safer smarter understanding race.. To me it's as if your saying not everyone needs to sleep.

    • Brandon S
      Brandon S 23 days ago

      Mandatory? Maybe not. But people should definitely have the option. Psyches unfortunately aren't for everyone.

  • wanda taylor
    wanda taylor 26 days ago


  • wanda taylor
    wanda taylor 26 days ago

    our musical frequency of 440 hertz causes anxiety depression aggression dissonance and does not resonate with our natural frequency..432 hertz plays to the heart heals and repairs dna causes calmness and positive emotions altering consciousness to a positive state. READ BETWEEN THE LINES... THE ESTABLISHMENT/OWNERS ARE HERE FOR THEMSELVES.

  • Donald Payne
    Donald Payne 27 days ago

    Seem to want control over the process . I do not trust psychiatry or psychology.

  • Devon Molina
    Devon Molina 27 days ago

    I was pissed when Joe Rogan didn’t take the stage

  • Alpha Draconian
    Alpha Draconian 27 days ago

    Government doesn’t want you to know stuff that’s why .
    I did psychedelics it’s the most wonderful amazing experience ever . Government is BS 🤥asses .

  • Chan Ho Woo
    Chan Ho Woo 28 days ago

    We're trying to make psychedelics fit into the belief that our brain simulates everything. Perhaps our brains are just radios tapping into something that will always exist and have always existed?

  • Elisa
    Elisa 28 days ago

    They can give us all their science 🧬 🧪explanations but if they haven’t tried them get the f.... outa here!

  • Steelcash
    Steelcash 28 days ago +1

    Hundreds of millions have needlessly suffered directly due to the lack of research on psychedelics, and it continues today.

  • HumanOddity69
    HumanOddity69 Month ago

    I can save you a whole lot of time. These are mind manifesting drugs and that is meant to be literal. They will manifest before your eyes exactly what you really are, your potentials and the overwhelming and aimless dread and terror of your ignorance. What you do with that when it hits you determines your real story, the story that starts writing itself once you open your eyes. Don't look for the truth in any substance, it's your birthright and you know it deep inside. The truth is primal, it doesn't bend to the machinations of fear that our failed ancestors created in order to cage us. Society is a lie invented to keep people under control. What comes next is waiting on you.

  • cine pobre
    cine pobre Month ago

    the great majority of amazon people do not know of nor take Ayahuasca or Floripondio, "the amazon" is not like West Texas.

  • De Dede
    De Dede Month ago

    current law prohibits experiment with substancess on patients

  • taobuddy91
    taobuddy91 Month ago

    My hat to theses academic to explore and Blaze (back) the way to these medicines who bypass the brain and body and shoot us straight in the spiritual realm as spiritual being and then they have to turn around and explain everything to other academic who can only understand comprehend and analyze only what happen the body and brain(the side effect) and not the spiritual part, the real us
    As humans (especially academic) we always see ourself as the pinnacle of everything, and then see other like all animals and even children as exemple and say “ they can only see and handle and communicate the world with their limited capacity of their body and brain can produce”
    And to that I’ll say “yes”, but also include everyone of us, we’re all spiritual Spark of life living a physical experience and are all limited by what that physical body can do perceive and communicate. Isn’t what’s describe by all who manage to get out of that physical boundary either by meditation, OBE, Near death experience, plant medicine, hallucinogenic... we’re not just this mortal body and brain and the more stuck in it and identify by it we are, the more sickness of body and/or brain is express through it

  • Wayne Watson
    Wayne Watson Month ago

    Hi lovely people, this Tracie , I've suffered from depression since i was very young , I'm now 47 and over feeling like this. I have 2 fantastic boys and a very understanding partner , i just wish this was available to me.I'm very spiritual and have alot of love and i just haven't been able to shake this with medication . Much love and peace to you all.

    • Hans Zanden
      Hans Zanden 21 day ago

      Wayne Watson I’m building off my antidepressants atm so I can do psilocybin soon. Maybe you can look online to find how to grow your own shrooms