A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin
7:30pm – Movie presentation begins
9:30pm – End of film
11pm – CoSM Closes
A New Understanding explores the treatment of end-of-life anxiety in terminally ill cancer patients using psilocybin, a psychoactive compound found in some mushrooms, to facilitate deeply spiritual experiences. The documentary explores the confluence of science and spirituality in the first psychedelic research studies with terminally ill patients since the 1970s. The recent resurgence of psychedelic research is once again revealing the power of compounds like psilocybin to profoundly alter our understanding of both life and death. As a society we devote a great deal of attention to treating cancer, but very little to treating the human being who is dying of cancer.
Through the eyes of patients, their loved ones, therapists and researchers A New Understanding examines the use of psilocybin in a controlled setting to reduce psychospiritual anxiety, depression, and physical pain. The treatment aims to help the patient understand that a ‘good’ death is possible, and to help the patient’s family deal well with the dying process.
A New Understanding shows patients and their families coming to terms with dying through the skillful treatment of the whole human being. If we can learn to work more skillfully with dying, we will also learn to take better care of life.
My ambition is that the research documented in this film may in some manner help alleviate human suffering. Shaping a better world for our children, and for my ten-year-old daughter to understand what is important and meaningful to her father, have been the motivating factors for me in delivering this film.
I myself have suffered from cancer. At an early age, I saw my mother pass away from leukemia, and lost a close friend to a brain tumor. I have witnessed firsthand the suffering of those around me and wished so much for alleviation in their struggle. The film offers others the opportunity to find comfort and relief by giving access to information about psychoactive treatment.
Through the vehicle of this film, compelling scientific research is communicated that may assist in changing the legality of psilocybin. Legalizing this medicine to make it available as part of a therapeutic practice to those people who can benefit from this treatment would mean accessibility for end of life patients to experience profoundly more positive states of being. ”
~ Robert J. Barnhart
Robert J. Barnhart has a BA in comparative religion from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. He has been a strong advocate for the study of psychoactive materials in spiritual and non-traditional healing practices for over 30 years. He sits on the board of both The Heffter Research Institute and The Multi-Disciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.
Mr. Barnhart has produced a compelling documentary about the use of psilocybin therapy for modern medical issues: “A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin”. He currently lives in Austin, Texas where he enjoys being a father to his wonderful daughter.
He is also on the board of Alex & Allyson Grey’s Chapel of Sacred Mirrors and on the board of The Bay Area’s first and oldest Chinese Medical School. “Academy for Chinese Culture and Healing Sciences” in Oakland, CA.
He is a “Film Producer”: Producer on “Sushi the Global Catch” which as won awards in film festivals. He is currently involved with approximately 10 film projects which you may view on his IMdB page: Robert J. Barnhart.