The active ingredient in magic mushrooms, psilocybin, can cause a dramatically different perception of time, space and sensory input. This is actually caused by a decrease in brain activity rather than an increase, as most expect. Many believe that psilocybin effectively allows consciousness to bypass a kind of “too much information” filter in the brain, allowing one to glimpse a larger amount of information from the field of reality than is usual available.
There are over 200 species of magic mushrooms that we currently are aware of. There are likely hundreds more that grow in hard to reach places or have been kept secret by medicine men who preserve them for only their own private use.
Magic mushrooms are not addictive and have a self-regulating quality. Tolerance to psychedelic substances rises dramatically quicker than that of alcohol or nicotine. For example, psychedelics used for two or more days in a row will have a remarkable drop in potency of effect – even if the dose remains the same. Many have reported that psilocybin in-particular may not have any effect for up to a week following the first experience.
Psychoactive mushrooms may be responsible for the famous character known as Santa Claus. Shamans who have used the Amanita muscaria mushroom were known to revere reindeer as a highly spiritual animal and would decorate themselves using red and white, the colors of the mushroom they held as sacred. The imagery of flying reindeer and laughing, wizard-like men would come easy to those who know of the realm of possibilities these mushrooms are known to open for the user.
Psilocybin is known to decrease depression for weeks to months after a single session, providing the therapeutic effect of a year of psychological therapy in a single afternoon. These staggering results could see an end to the pill-a-day depression medications.
Psychedelic experiences, especially states induced by magic mushrooms, date back to ancient times and are theorized to have even been responsible for many of the world’s religious texts. There is speculation by anthropologists and religious scholars that DMT, psilocybin and an analog of LSD were responsible for the holy moments encountered by figures like Moses, the writers of the Rigveda and leaders of the Eleusinian Mysteries.
There have been reports of contact with extra-terrestrial, interdimensional and divine / angelic entities under the effect of psilocybin and similar compounds. Sometimes through vision, other times through auditory transmission, but most frequently felt as a presence or emotion, these encounters often lead to spiritual cultivation and ideas of consciousness being non-local or similar to a radio frequency being picked up by a receiver, the brain in this instance.
There is a theory by ethnobotanist Terence McKenna that magic mushrooms were the catalyst to human consciousness as we know it. In short, apes live in trees, apes find food on the ground, apes find mushrooms, mushrooms have a psycho-spiritual effect on ape, apes repeat use over generations, increasing the level of mental faculty and spiritual understanding and viola, humans! There are a lot of factors in this theory that can be researched in full in McKenna’s book ‘Food of the Gods’ and we may never know for certain, but the idea is intriguing to say the least.