Editor's note

Greg Rienzi, editor

Image caption: Greg Rienzi

What if?

Even the most skeptical among us has encountered something so extraordinary that the fantastical becomes plausible, even if just for a fleeting moment. An apparition that's there one moment, gone the next. Maybe? Nah.

I've experienced things that left me puzzled. One day while I was walking in a park, a man came up to me, smiled, and knelt to pet my dog. "Oh, hi, Simon," he said, accurately. Saying goodbye, the man used my name. I'd never met him before, and I never saw him again. For months after my mom's passing, I was frequently visited by butterflies, my mom's favorite creature. Without fail, a butterfly would flutter around me on the start of a run. One even landed on my shoe as I wept tears of grief. I could not escape them.

In my interview with psychopharmacologist Roland Griffiths, we talked about unexplainable mystical experiences after doses of psilocybin, like communication with a deceased loved one or with a benevolent, eternal, all-knowing being. In the scientific tradition, Roland is a skeptic, but he knows that what we don't know about the human brain and reality could fill an ocean. In this issue, we also feature clinical psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison, who delves into the history of psychotherapy and the mountains that lie between us and a deeper understanding of the mind's demons. I'm grateful for those like Griffiths and Jamison who have searched for answers to life's biggest questions. Enjoy this issue.

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Greg Rienzi

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