At present I am in Madrid finishing my masters in molecular biomedicine at the Universidad de Autonoma Madrid; specializing in neuroscience. Before this I completed a biochemistry degree at Imperial College London after having roamed around for a few years travelling in a camper van and teaching English in different countries. When I was a child, I emigrated with my family from Albania to London as refugees and since then have realized that the only certainties in life are the ones in our minds. I have particular interest in the disorders like schizophrenia and psychosis as well as in spirituality and enlightenment. I have slowly come to believe that psychedelics can possibly be important in understanding what is happening in the brain in these very different conditions which are similar in their certainty.
POSTER TITLE: The fine line between psychosis and enlightenment
Abstract: With psychedelics it is clear that the present is amplified so that we are able to focus on reality unfiltered. We can see things without insecurities and past bruises that hang on us like curtains. But this unfiltered reality it can become dangerous and essentially not useful if one does not remain aware and selective. An image of a child comes to mind who is drawn to everything and sees all as significant. There are too many dots connected; one can become limitless to meaning. Concentrating too much on each individual dot you forget about all the other dots and hence their meaning gets shifted; so in fact you see the meaning of nothing as you don’t see the big picture. It is in only in the whole (which is made up of all the dots) that there is a meaning. In a period of awakening individuals seem to see everything as connected both directly and indirectly. You realize the power you have; you see you are your own creator and master. But where is the line that distinguishes a moment of enlightenment from being different to one of psychosis? Among different theories manic patients who suffer from schizophrenia for instance, have been noted to have a hyperactive dopaminergic signal transduction focusing too much on separate entities which are in fact meaningless. In an individual under the influence of psychedelics depending on the environment, state of mind and dosage there can be a similarly profound meaningless experience…. Could it be that there is similar biological process occurring in that instant of mania as in a moment of unbreakable enlightenment induced by psychedelics and other means? A moment of enlightenment if mapped in the brain how different would it be to that of a moment of psychosis?