I'll have to check out that issue.
Funnily enough, this article started off as being about psychedelics before the VR took over and the word count forced me to make cuts. I think you're dead on about the link between these altered states.
As you know, this isn't the kind of thing I normally write. But once I started thinking about this stuff, I couldn't stop.
I'm not optimistic either. But then, I look at the state of the world and wonder if it wouldn't be better if we all just stayed at home permanently, absorbed in our own worlds. Better for the planet, certainly.