I've always loved science fiction. I've read many kinds and, generally, I prefer the kind that is more science than fiction. For instance: if you're creating a world with four suns you really need to think about what those four suns would do to a planet. That means learning something about physics, or astronomy or maybe talking to someone who knows something.
As a science fiction buff who does know a little about science, novels bug me that show little regard for realism.
In the better science fiction, we see predictions over several decades coming true, although not always at the pace predicted. The idea of good science fiction is to not necessarily predict the future, but to imagine the possible; to combine knowledge and imagination to create a future that could exist.
In writing The Buddha Technology, I have tried to create plausible scenarios and this has involved doing some research.
Some of the elements are:
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) – this is a therapy that has been around in some form or another for a couple of decades. It uses the principal of induction. A magnetic coil is held at a specific spot over the brain and this increases the electrical activity in the stimulated areas. This has proven beneficial to those with depression and other problems. There are some who think that brain stimulation will replace some drug therapies in the future.
Telepathine – the name was in use for a while as it was believed that this component of ayawasca had properties that included enhancing psychic abilities. The substance is now call Harmaline. It allows the naturally occurring chemical DMT to persist and have a potent effect on consciousness.
DMT – also known as The Spirit Molecule. It has been linked to a wide variety of experiences – including mystical and paranormal.
Scientific exploration of consciousness: The are a significant number of researchers, who work independently or as part of institutes, who are trying to understand human consciousness and the various levels it functions at and to discover ways to modify it to induce or replicate expanded states of awareness.
The Buddha Technology attempts to deal with some of the implications of this search for understanding of consciousness and the ability to induce altered states. To my knowledge, there are no attempts to combine brain stimulation and herbal or pharmaceutical substances - but it is entirely within the realm of possibility.