In 1962 Walter Pahnke, under the supervision of Timothy Leary and the Harvard Psilocybin Project, set about testing the hypothesis that a heavy dose—a “God dose”—of the psychedelic psilocybin (a.k.a. “magic mushrooms”) would precipitate a religious experience under certain conditions (i.e. divinity students listening to a live sermon on Good Friday in Boston University’s Marsh Chapel).
Though the study was somewhat flawed—nearly all the subjects reported having a profound religious experience. And in one instance, the experience was profound enough to cause a subject to run out of the chapel and proclaim the existence of God to people passing by on Commonwealth Avenue.
But what happens when a former federal public defender, award-winning novelist, and mother of four ingests a similar psychedelic drug—in a significantly less potent doses—every day for 30 days straight?
According to a recent article in the the New York Times, the effects can “bring mental balance, as well as enhance productivity.” Indeed, this was the very experience that Ayelet Waldman had when she began “microdosing” LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide).
Ms. Waldman recounts her experience of microdosing in her new book, “A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life.” For Waldman, LSD has proved to be less about seeing the Divine and more about a quotidian enhancement of productivity and mood.
Consciousness Hacking NYC invites you to join Ayelet Waldman and Carolyn Gregoire for a conversation on the creative powers that can be unleashed through technologies such as microdosing. Gregoire is a senior writer at the Huffington Post and co-author of, “Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind.”
We hope to see you there!
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AYELET WALDMAN is the author of the novels Love and Treasure, Red Hook Road, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, and Daughter’s Keeper, as well as of the essay collection Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace, and the Mommy-Track Mystery series. She was a federal public defender and taught a course on the legal implications of the War on Drugs at the UC Berkeley law school. She lives in Berkeley, California, with her husband, Michael Chabon, and their four children.
CAROLYN GREGOIRE is a senior writer at the Huffington Post, where she reports on psychology, mental health, and neuroscience. She has spoken at TEDx and the Harvard Public Health Forum, and has appeared on MSNBC, the Today show, the History Channel and HuffPost Live. Gregoire lives in New York City.