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Descending the Mountain

18 juli 2020 - Documentary, News, Projects

Descending the Mountain

A story about mushrooms & meditation

What happens when you administer psychedelics to experienced zen monks? A neuroscientist and a zen master carry out a double-blind experiment on a sphinxlike mountain in Switzerland. Their goal: to examine the nature of consciousness.

“If approached respectfully and under good conditions, these substances have the power to facilitate the real deep spiritual mystical experience”
– Vanja Palmers in ‘Descending the Mountain’

On the last day of a 5-day retreat, a group of zen monks – who have never used psychedelics before  –  is given a psychedelic drug, the second group receives a placebo. Mystical experiences are induced through a combination of deep meditation and psilocybin, a psychoactive compound found in magic mushrooms.This scientific experiment, which was published in Nature magazine in 2020, might be able to lift the controversy that has clouded the realm of psychedelics for far too long.

Scientist Franz Vollenweider and zen master Vanja Palmers descend from the mountain of bliss, to teach us how we can integrate mysticism into our day-to-day life.

Leaving the iconic visuals of the 60’s behind, Nevejan allows animation, sound, and A.I. visual art to create a contemporary rendering of the mystical experience of oneness with nature.

‘Descending the Mountain’ is a mesmerising testimony of inner climate change that shows us how psychedelics could create a revolution in improving mental health and strengthen our connection with our environment.

Premiere: end of 2021