While religion and science often seem at odds, there’s one thing they can agree on: people who take part in spiritual practices tend to live longer, healthier, and happier lives. The big question is: Why? In the “How God Works” podcast, professor Dave DeSteno takes us on a journey to find out – one that combines cutting edge neuroscience with ancient wisdom.
He’ll speak to leading scientists, spiritual teachers, and religious leaders to explore what we can learn from faith practices ranging from meditation and prayer to psychedelics and fire-walking. He’ll look at how we can adapt and use spiritual practices in our own lives, whatever our beliefs -- including none at all.
By working across boundaries that usually divide people – science versus religion, one faith versus another – we’ll find new ways to make life better for everyone.
For centuries, Central and South American cultures have used psychedelics to induce mystical states. And while in the US they’ve mostly been used as recreational drugs, interest in their power to offer a rapid route to transcendence has recently been growing. But in our haste to use these chemicals to alter, and perhaps even heal, the mind, we might be losing sight that with speed comes risk. Join Dave as he talks with author Michael Pollan and researcher David Yaden about the nature of self-transcendent experiences, the science of how psychedelics can bring them on, and the dangers of disregarding centuries of shamanic knowledge about how to use them wisely.