Mystical experiences on demand? Welcome to spirit tech

Brain-based technologies of spiritual enhancement can induce mystical experiences in many people on demand. What does this mean for spirituality today?

Credit: Mohamed Nohassi via Unsplash
  • Spiritual or mystical experiences have particular "neural signatures."
  • Technology like transcranial stimulation can lead people toward these experiences.
  • The technology appears safe and offers "authentic" experiences, but there are clear dangers.
Keep reading Show less

First-ever pregnant Egyptian mummy discovered

The mummy was first thought to be a male priest. But a recent radiological analysis revealed a surprising anomaly.

  • The woman was likely from a noble background, buried around 100 BC in the royal tombs of Thebes, Upper Egypt.
  • The researchers said it's curious that she was buried with the fetus inside her, considering organs were typically removed and embalmed before burial.
  • The peculiar burial may suggest that ancient Egyptians believed unborn babies possessed spirits.
Keep reading Show less

Can you be scientific and spiritual?

Spirituality can be an uncomfortable word for atheists. But does it deserve the antagonism that it gets?

  • While the anti-scientific bias of religious fundamentalism requires condemnation, if we take a broader view, does the human inclination towards spiritual practice still require the same antagonism? The answer, I think, is a definitive "No."
  • Rather than ontological claims about what exists in the universe, the terms spiritual and sacred can describe the character of an experience. Instead of a "thing" they can refer to an attitude or an approach.
  • One can be entirely faithful to the path of inquiry and honesty that is science while making it one aspect of a broader practice embracing the totality of your experience as a human being in this more-than-human world.
Keep reading Show less

Psychedelics: The scientific renaissance of mind-altering drugs

There is a lot we don't know about psychedelics, but what we do know makes them extremely important.

  • Having been repressed in the 1960s for their ties to the counterculture, psychedelics are currently experiencing a scientific resurgence. In this video, Michael Pollan, Sam Harris, Jason Silva and Ben Goertzel discuss the history of psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin, acknowledge key figures including Timothy Leary and Albert Hoffman, share what the experience of therapeutic tripping can entail, and explain why these substances are important to the future of mental health.
  • There is a stigma surrounding psychedelic drugs that some scientists and researchers argue is undeserved. Several experiments over the past decades have shown that, when used correctly, drugs like psilocybin and LSD can have positive effects on the lives of those take them. How they work is not completely understood, but the empirical evidence shows promise in the fields of curbing depression, anxiety, obsession, and even addiction to other substances.
  • "There's a tremendous amount of insight that can be plumbed using these various substances. There's also a lot of risks there, as with most valuable things," says artificial intelligence researcher Ben Goertzel. He and others believe that by making psychedelics illegal, modern governments are getting in the way of meaningful research and the development of "cultural institutions to guide people in really productive use of these substances."
Keep reading Show less

How “radical well-being" leads to peak performance

Don't let a crisis be wasted. Use this moment to find meaning, purpose, and to refocus on self-care that will improve your mindset and relationships.

How have you been feeling, thinking and acting during the COVID-19 pandemic? Are you implementing the right self-care so that you can be the person or leader that you want to be?

Keep reading Show less
Quantcast