I hold that the human mind and its vast network of physical dendritic connections tend to calcify over time. Not with calcium mind you (although perhaps), but metaphorically. That thought patterns, held over time and reinforced over and over, build paths of thinking that harden into permanent, indelible opinions; old dog, new tricks kind of paths.
Such paths are physical. They exist as true physiological networks of neurons connected and maintained through repetitive exposure and perpetually held convictions. The destruction of these connections, that is, the changing of one’s mind, is a physical process. This physical breakdown and reconstruction of new pathways, the forming of a new opinions — hurts. I propose that certain drugs can assist in the softening of these connections allowing them to become pliable, alterable. That some drugs can actually assist in the easing or elimination of the pain incurred when, approached with a rational argument that refutes one’s own strongly held belief, said argument begins to change one’s world view.
Question: when have youth most often embraced the mind expanding affects of drugs? Most likely during their early 20’s, when, although their neural networks have not ossified into concretions of stubborn opinions, they, instead, embrace the possibilities of what philosophies the world has to offer. This is like drowning the drunk in buckets of spirits and elixirs. On the contrary what society might want to be doing is baptizing the indurate, the starched curmudgeons, in chemicals that may actually relax these rigid stress lines of their brain’s inflexible networks.
“Here old man, take a toke on this.”
“What? Not me. I’m much too set in my ways to suddenly abandon every Calvinistic (Islamic, Catholic, Hindu, etc.) belief I’ve ever had!”
“Yeah, but, I promise it won’t hurt you. And it might just easy that constant tension you feel between your shoulder blades.”
“Ah, now I’m starting to see the world though your eyes…”
Is it possible that were the world to be instantly and globally exposed to such a drug that stubborn opinions, dogmatic judgements would melt away? That perhaps a global consciousness might arise from such an experience?
Naw. Who am I kidding. Go on world — keep killing each other like you have for millennia over the most trivial differences in belief.