Tag Archives: cats

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Does this picture fill you with a warm feeling?

Coca Cola is currently the most popular drink in the world.

What about this picture?

When you see or hear something you recognize, it releases the love molecule oxytocin. But when you are confronted with something unfamiliar, the brains danger detector (the amygdala) activates, and releases the stress hormone cortisol.

This may explain the feelings

for this animal who probably wants to eat me

and this creature who was eyeing me up for some kibble

This mechanic has been hardwired into us for millions of years, and we associate a certain blend of familiarity with each thing in order to map out our reality. It's so we feel safe in our surroundings and dissolve inhibitions. But wait - we're not cavemen anymore. Realizing this makes me want to question everything. Every taboo, stigma, belief and label.

When you already have a strong positive or negative familiarity with something, that polarity only gets further fed when you are exposed to it more, making it harder to switch your mind about it. Being willing to explore fears of the unknown and becoming familiar can open up many doors.

The experience of doing something is often much more effective at changing our minds than logical rhetoric (something called the ‘familiarity principle’ in psychology). The impact of experience is another reason why research will not be the end-all, be-all in changing how our culture perceives psychedelic use, which I believe to be one of the most effective perspective-shifting tools out there. I argue that microdosing will be the key to mainstreaming psychedelics.

Tim Ferris podcast with Dr James Fadiman on The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide - Risks, Micro-Dosing, Ibogaine, and More.