Conditioned Fear: A Few Words
Fear is limiting. It is simply false illusions seeming real. Some people may argue that fear is necessary for survival, but I think it takes us too far in the wrong direction – especially in the modern age. Our internally conditioned fear is unconnected from any tangible and true instant danger. For our cave living descendants whose circumstances were more treacherous and fierce, these fears may have served a purpose. But now they arise in unnecessary circumstances, and restrict many areas of our lives and confine us in limitation.
“If you have fear, you have fear- why make a problem out of it? You know that you have fear, just as you have two hands. Fear is there: accept it, note it. What will happen? Suddenly you will feel it has disappeared. And this is the inner alchemy — a problem disappears if you accept it, and a problem grows more and more complex if you create any conflict with it. It is there and nothing can be done about it. And when I say nothing can be done about it, don’t think that I am talking about pessimism to you, in fact I am giving you the key to solve it.” Psilocybin Study
A study was recently done which has showed how Psilocybin can help you deal with this conditioned fear. It was conducted by a team led by Dr. Briony Catlow from the Lieber Institute for Brain Development. The main point of this study was to show that psilocybin found in many psychedelic drugs affect the removal of a conditioned fear response. This may bring benefits to not only those who want to live a less limiting and held-back life, but may even greatly assist those who have cue induced fear and psychological challenges.
This experiment was conducted with three groups of mice, with one group injected with varying doses of psilocybin, another with ketanserin (A serotonin antagonist), and another with saline control. The mice were left for twenty-hours, where they were then placed in a chamber and conditioned to fear a 15 second audio signal. The fear was induced through passing shocks of electricity through the floor, which occurred 30 seconds after the audio signal played. After going through 10 trials, all mice froze in fear after hearing the audio cue having conditioned fear.
The following day the mice were replaced back into the chamber, and underwent the same process – except this time without the shocks. The aim was to recondition the mice to disassociate the audio signal from the shock.
The results of this experiment were surprising, yet somewhat expected. The researchers discovered that the mice that were injected with low doses of psilocybin, after just three trials, no longer froze in fear after the audio signal. This provides a confident point towards helping lower the collective fear of society, as it can serve even as just a reminder that the fearless state is the most blissful, joyous and exciting. It can spark a curiosity in people and arouse a yearning in them to find the path to reaching this state. We will all learn to how shed our conditioned fear and live in together in peace.
The two other groups had limited results, with the ketanserin and high dose of psilocybin injected mice stopping after 10 trials, and the saline control kept freezing in fear even after the tenth trial. It is still important to note that even high doses of psilocybin have the ability to remove fear, even though no where as affective as low doses.