Altered States of Consciousness

An altered state of consciousness, also called a non-ordinary state, dream state, or trance, can be any state that is generally different than a normal state of consciousness. There is no clearly defined boundary between “normal” and “altered” states of consciousness, but it’s generally understood that in an altered state, a person feels “awake” but in a manner different than a person normally experiences it. This state can be reflected physically—in how one senses one’s own body—and mentally—in how one is processing information. Though they are most commonly associated with the use of psychedelic drugs, altered states can sometimes purposefully be brought about by hypnosis, hallucination, or meditation or accidentally through witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event, undergoing a brain injury, or suffering from oxygen deprivation, among other triggers. Many report having religious, mystical, or spiritual experiences while in an altered state, though the experience is not always pleasant or enlightening. There is great interest in both the scientific and spiritual community in the interplay between consciousness and the physical body that occur during altered states.


Revealing the Mind: The Promise of Psychedelics

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.


Hofmann’s Potion—Albert Hofmann LSD Documentary

By the mid-1950s, LSD research was being published in medical and academic journals all over the world. It showed potential benefits in the treatment of alcoholism, drug addiction, and other mental illnesses. This film explores those potential benefits, and the researchers who explored them.


Michael Pollan - Psychedelics and How to Change Your Mind | Bioneers

As one of our most brilliant and clear-eyed explorers of such topics as plant intelligence and how we feed ourselves, Michael will share his luminous insights from what began as investigative reportage and became a very personal interior journey into the mystery of consciousness and the nature of sp...


Dmt: The Spirit Molecule (2010) [Multi Subs]

An investigation into the long-obscured mystery of dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a molecule found in nearly every living organism and considered the most potent psychedelic on Earth.


How to Change Your Mind | Michael Pollan | Talks at Google

Michael Pollan has written 5 New York Times best sellers including Food Rules; In Defense of Food; and The Omnivore’s Dilemma.


Scientific Problem Solving with Psychedelics—James Fadiman

James Fadiman will describe how to best use psychoactive materials for enhanced problem solving, a poorly understood and under-researched area. However, there are established methods that open minds to useful solutions for real problems.


Rick Strassman MD // DMT Soul of Prophecy / Part 1

In this segment, he provides a brief summary of his research with the endogenous psychedelic substance DMT, his findings, and the need to find a new model consistent with his volunteers’ description of the DMT experience.


Christopher Timmermann - the Neurophenomenology of the DMT State

The Neurophenomenology of the DMT State, presented by Christopher Timmermann from Imperial College London, UK


Amanda Feilding: LSD, Precious Key of Neuroscience | The Beckley Foundation

The Beckley Foundation Scientific Program conducts cutting edge research with LSD in human subjects, explores neurophysiological similarities between LSD and the mystical experience through observing modulations in the blood supply, brainwaves and a broad spectrum of cognitive changes.


The Treasure Called the Psilocybes: Paul Stamets

In the second half of an extended talk at SAND 18, Paul Stamets, author, mycologist, medical researcher and entrepreneur, tells stories of the early years of research into psychoactive mushrooms, and describes a number of species and their characteristics, in particular psilocybes.


Psychedelic Research