What if we had a microscope for observing the mind, a telescope for seeing the soul? A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin follows research meant to produce that tool and provide effective new treatments for depression and the existential distress of the terminally ill. In the early seventies, psilocybin and many other drugs known as “psychedelics” were declared off-limits not just to the public, but to medical research. When regulations relaxed in the nineties, a dedicated group of doctors and scientists picked up where earlier studies left off, using psychedelics as part of a therapeutic treatment of mental illness and trauma. Annie and Matt, two patients with terminal cancer, share their compelling stories of going through psilocybin-assisted therapy and what it meant to their lives. Sandy, a “healthy normal” in her 50s, shares insights of her treatment and how it can benefit anyone. Their accounts intertwine with the science behind psilocybin and interviews with the research community who are working so hard to bring this once vilified substance back into the medical mainstream. At its core, A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin is about the quest to redefine “psychedelic” back to its original meaning: “mind revealing.” The potential benefits for discovery may well be, like the mind, without bounds.

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