Do you remember when you were a child with an overactive imagination? You saw the world through a lens of curiosity and magic. Nothing was as it seemed. You and your friends played games in which you had different names and identities; maybe you were cats and dogs crawling around the kitchen, maybe you were mermaids exploring the ocean in a pool, maybe you were survivalists living off the land in your backyard — the possibilities were endless. You had dolls, or action figures, or stuffed animals with their own in-depth personalities and complex background stories. And in your head, you were an entirely different person — a celebrity, a superhero, king or queen of the world.
Now you sit in front of a screen, bored out of your mind, in hopes that something — a TV show, a TikTok video, whatever — will bring back that glimpse of excitement you once had as a child. But never again, will you allow yourself to stray so far from reality… because imagination is stupid, weird, immature, illogical, and insane.
In this post, I will be discussing the science behind imagination and how it is directly linked to a specific area of the brain (pineal gland), a specific chemical produced in the body (DMT), and the strength of synapses. I will explain how the loss of imagination is directly related to the loss of plasticity in the brain, a natural process of aging along with the stressor of environmental factors. I will also show how, and why, world leaders have been actively fighting to suppress the power of imagination. And lastly, I will give my best advice for reclaiming your imagination.
The pineal gland
The pineal gland is a small part of the brain that is poorly understood. What’s known for sure is that it plays a role in cardiac rhythm and regulating hormones. And most importantly, it controls how you perceive reality.
This gland produces melatonin, which is responsible for sleep. A lack of melatonin is not only linked to poor sleep, but also heart problems, cancer, irregular menstrual cycles, and brain disorders such as chronic migraines, schizophrenia, and dementia.
Seventeenth-century philosopher, Rene Descartes, claimed that the pineal gland was “the seat of the soul.” Even today, this mysterious gland can be referred to as “the third eye.” And the pineal gland goes much further back in history, all the way to ancient Egypt as it was referred to as “eye of Horus.”
It is not yet completely proven, but extremely likely that the pineal gland is also responsible for producing DMT.
DMT (N, N-dimethyltryptamine) is commonly referred to as a psychedelic drug that is classified as an illegal, Schedule I currently in the USA. It is made in a lab or extracted from plants that naturally contain high amounts of the chemical. When taken, it is said to produce a complete loss of reality, intense hallucinations, in which one feels like they are dreaming.
Unlike any other psychedelic drug, DMT is said to naturally exist in humans. Many experts believe it is released during sleep (causing dreams) and excessively released during birth and death. Yet still, there is some debate around this.
Very recently, a 2019 study proved that trace amounts of DMT naturally occurs in rats. Not only that, but excess amounts of DMT was proven to be released during cardiac arrest. This study provides further proof that all mammalian brains, including humans, naturally produce DMT.
Loss of imagination with age: changes in the brain
Babies and small children have very different brains compared to adults. In babies, brains are “permeable” or “fluid,” (high plasticity) while an adult’s brain is “solid” and “concrete.”
In contrast to an adult, a baby’s brain has far more synapses and connectivity between different areas of the brain. With age, certain synapses become much stronger while other synapses weaken and die out. And so, an adult’s brain is basically separated into different parts, and all of these parts have minimal interaction with one another. This is what gives adults much more focus and control than a child’s, but also more stubbornness and inability to adapt to change.
Many recent studies have explored brain activity and concluded that an adult’s brain while dreaming (or on psychedelic drugs) draws many parallels to a baby’s brain.
Along with a loss of synapses and neural connection, aging also comes with the deterioration of the pineal gland — known as “calcification.” Being the most vulnerable spot of the brain, the pineal gland has no blood-brain barrier and therefore receives a significant amount of blood. Consequently, it is prone to excessive amounts of fluoride and pesticides found in our food, water, and hygienic products.
It is likely that in the near future, with the further understanding of the pineal gland and DMT, that we will be able to find proof that children have higher amounts of naturally-occurring DMT in their bodies, as well as stronger pineal gland function, compared to adults — which can provide scientific reasoning as to why we lose our imagination with age.
“Why do we lose our imagination with age?” is a commonly asked question — our loss of imagination is commonly blamed on an accumulation of life-experience, the increase of responsibility, a reliance on technology, and the conditioning of logical perception. While all of these factors may partially come into play, I would argue that the answer is more simple than that — that is all comes down to one thing: biological degradation.
Imagination as a threat to society
The so-called “natural” loss of imagination is a travesty. It is our reasoning for the fast-paced, productivity-obsessed, consumerist society that we currently live in. Imagination places us in a space of “being” — while the loss of imagination puts us in a state of “doing.” With age comes the fixation of accomplishment, which can be blamed on everything from war (conquest of land) to climate change (killing the environment through consumerism.) In the grand scheme of things, it is not so extreme to make the statement that imagination saves lives.
There is an active war on imagination. A likely reason for this is that the loss of imagination is the foundation of a capitalist society that forms a corrupt system in which the 1% owns most of the entire world’s wealth.
Proof that imagination is actively being suppressed by world leaders can be shown through the (failed) attempt of suppressing psychedelic research. This is because psychedelics have the power to reverse the biological degradation that is responsible for the loss of imagination.
Out of all the type of drugs that exist, psychedelic drugs seem to be the greatest threat to first-world countries. Think about this: opioids are accountable for 70% of overdoses, yet are classified as Schedule II drugs and commonly prescribed by doctors. On the other hand, psychedelics are classified as Schedule I drugs with no recognized medical benefit.
Psychedelic research took off in the first half of the twentieth century, until it was abruptly prohibited in 1970. While the prohibition of psychedelics for recreational use has liable arguments, there is no logical reason as to why the government put a stop to the scientific research of these substances in lab-controlled environments, conducted by professionals under medical watch.
It was not until 2000, when psychedelic research was lawfully resumed. The start of the millennium brought brilliant insights into psychedelic medicine — a 2014 study proving psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”) helps smokers quit, a 2019 study showing psychedelics can treat alcoholism, and studies from 2020 showing that psychedelics “tamp down brain’s ego center” and also works as a treatment for clinical depression.
But what stands out most is the 2021 study titled “Serotonergic Psychedelics in Neural Plasticity.” The study confirms something that many researchers have been proposing for years — that psychedelics can induce neural plasticity by reconnecting neural pathways and synapses that are lost during growth into adulthood. In other words, it brings back the imaginative powers of a child’s brain. And this not temporary, rather long-lasting on the brain.
And remember — DMT is a psychedelic — the only psychedelic in existence that naturally occurs in our bodies.
It’s not too late – bringing back imagination
One can only hope that someday, with the accumulation of enough research, psychedelic medicine will be readily available for all adults. So far, we have recently seen the incorporation of psilocybin and MDMA in therapeutic settings. However, we cannot (nor should we) rely solely on psychedelics to save the day.
There are plenty of ways to decalcify your pineal gland and induce neural plasticity — take supplements such as melatonin and Omega-3s, reduce WiFi and screen time, avoid fluoride products, eat organic, exercise, indirect sunlight, strengthen your immune system to avoid infections, etc.
However, I believe that the most effective way to reclaim your imagination is to activate it with the power of your mind. Just give yourself the permission — permission to dream, to be whoever you want to be, to seek beyond the surface…
Imagination is a muscle — the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. As you use your imagine (for example — imagine that there’s a dragon right in front of you) you can actually feel part of your brain working extra harder. People equate imagination to stupidity, when it’s just the opposite — it requires great mental strength!
We are conditioned to fear imagination — and that’s because, as stated before, it is the greatest threat to consumerist society, the world leaders, and the 1%. But there is absolutely nothing to fear about imagination when you’re in control.
For example, take hallucinatory disorders such as schizophrenia — a brain disease that is linked to a lack of melatonin. It could be argued that the suppression of imagination leads to these uncontrollable hallucinations. The more you suppress your imagination, the more overpowering it becomes, thus controlling you. In contrary, when you make the choice to actively embrace your imagination, you become the one who is in control.
This post may seem overwhelming, so let me put it all together… Imagination likely comes from a mysterious chemical called DMT, which is produced by the pineal gland. Due to aging and environmental factors, the pineal gland becomes defective and produces less DMT in the body, decreasing the plasticity of the brain as synapses weaken and neural connections break. As imagination decreases, our mind state transforms from a place of “being” to “doing” — the very foundation of a consumerist society that keeps the 1% on top. They tried to suppress psychedelic research, but the truth is slowly coming out that psychedelics have the power to heal the brain and therefore restore imagination. Despite the fate of psychedelics, you have the mental ability to bring back your imagination if you set your mind to it!