Psychedelic compounds found in mushrooms are known to alter your consciousness profoundly. They are known to affect the way we think and feel significantly in a way that ‘opens the mind,’ or increases how and how deeply we are able to process things. That is why they are called the “fruit of the Gods”.
Mushrooms, Consciousness and Ego
This effect that psychedelic mushrooms have has been known for decades, but it is only recently that science has been able to offer an explanation into how brain chemistry is altered by taking mushrooms. The mushrooms which contain psilocybin are generally found in all areas of the world from Russia to Central and South America and have historically been used by indigenous tribes and cultures to induce psychedelic states of mind that eliminate the Dark night of the soul and help you connect with nature and the Universe.
What is the Effect on the Brain?
Psilocybin is the main chemical found in certain types of mushrooms which are often used to get to a state of altered consciousness, and this chemical has been used by researchers to examine the effects of taking mushrooms. Current studies have found that when studying the difference in the brains of volunteers who had been given psilocybin and those who hadn’t there were two central differences. After both groups underwent a brain scan, it was discovered that the psilocybin group had increased activity in the part of the brain which is usually only active when you are in REM sleep period, or in deep meditation that causes, Theta brain waves. This is same group had an expanded consciousness.
What do we mean by “expanded consciousness?”
Expanded or altered consciousness is understood to be a process of both disjointed thinking, and uncoordinated brain activity in the section which manages self-awareness. The ego-system, or the parts of the brain that control our self-consciousness, becomes disorganized when we take psilocybin and therefore, our feelings and emotions are affected. This may be why psychedelic substances are useful in expanding our consciousness and making us dis-inhibited enough to embrace the journey that plant medicine takes us on. In many ways taking mushrooms is like participating in a waking dream which frees us to participate in a shamanic journey.
Therapeutic Use of Mushrooms
Current research is exploring whether using psychedelic substances can temporarily alter your sense of self and even your personality. All of this information is important as it gives an insight into the therapeutic uses of mushrooms, namely as a treatment for anxiety and depression. It may be that the effect of emotional release on the brain when you use mushrooms helps in conjunction with talking therapies.
Psilocybin releases the mind from its default network system and frees it to communicate more creatively, and this ‘ego dissolution,’ or softening of our usual personality, allows us to think more creatively or access areas of ourselves that would usually be locked away. Ego dissolution also changes our belief system. Consider that you know longer believe in Santa Claus or that you do not think that the earth is flat or the moon is made of green cheese. This change is perception is critical in changing your mental health for the better and stepping into you own personal power. Changes can be so profound that an integration process in needed with a Shaman trained in shamanic healing ceremonies.
The usefulness of mushrooms as part of a shamanic healing journey, or simply to detox your life and start a long term healing journey has been proven, and research into their uses is still going on. The research will undoubtedly continue to show how this expansion in consciousness is achieved and even more ways in which it can guide us on a long term fulfilling journey, something that the plant shamans have known for thousands of years.