Change Your Mind by Losing It
Last year at the House of Beautiful Business, one of the most popular sessions featured philosopher Christoph Quarch speaking on “A New Religion.” In Quarch’s view, the drive to technology is diminishing our comprehension of the complexity, interdependence, and beauty of life. In order to tackle the problems we collectively face, we need a new religion that helps us talk about our common future as humans. As a wanna-be yogini, an inconsistent meditation-app-user, and an advocate for practicing rituals that help us reconnect to ourselves, I have to wonder: How can we push the existing consciousness movement further, to go beyond making changes only for our own wellbeing?
One way might be to literally lose our minds—temporarily—with the help of psychedelics.
In his recently published book, How to Change Your Mind, Michael Pollan introduces the history, science, and potential of psychedelics’ therapeutic and literally mind-changing power. Pollan, in interviews, has referred to LSD’s potential to dissolve almost everything with which it comes into contact, “beginning with the hierarchies of the mind… and going on from there to society’s various structures of authority.” Noting today’s need for a more collective consciousness, he adds that these drugs “undermine our tendency to objectify nature, to think of ourselves as separate from it.” They also undermine the growing trend of tribalism in that “people tend to emerge from these experiences thinking that we are all more alike, all more connected.”
Why would we assume that our normal consciousness is the only “right” and real one?
At the House of Beautiful Business this November in Lisbon, I will be hosting a session with Martijn Schirp, co-founder of the world’s first legal psychedelic retreat Synthesis, and Robin Carhart-Harris from the Imperial College London, whose groundbreaking work on using psychedelics to treat depression and other disorders shows that temporarily altering our consciousness might be exactly what we need more of.
I hope you will join us!
Monika & the House of Beautiful Business team
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