In my experience, Buddhist monks often say that modern externalities (technologies, drugs, etc.) are unnecessary for seeing absolute reality and for healing or improving oneself, that they can have negative side-effects, and that meditation contains natural safeguards (e.g., progress in meditation depends on one becoming increasingly loving/harmless and sober of mind and body, and meditators can maintain control of themselves throughout the process) which technologies and drugs lack. They also sometimes claim that the most advanced meditation masters can see atomic-scale phenomena directly with their minds in jhana meditation. Wouldn’t it be interesting, and possibly validating of meditation for billions of non-Buddhists around the world, to find a rigorous way to compare what such people can see vs. what microscopes can see?
For example, have a CPU manufacturer produce metal plates with microscopic pictures etched onto them at scales from millimeter to nanometer. Deliver highly reputable meditation masters to an isolated facility, so they can’t be accused of cheating. Perhaps they should make the trip secretly, so there is no humiliation if they fail. In a controlled environment, give them the plates, without telling them what pictures they should see, and give them as much time and comfort as they need. Have them draw or describe (on record) whatever they could see, and then let them see the images for themselves with their eyes in a microscope, so that they know they were not deceived, before taking them home. Incentives for their participation might be that, the smaller of pictures they can accurately see, the more money will be donated to their home monastery or village, and the more positive international publicity and funding there could be for their branch of Buddhism. If any masters are found to be reliably capable of competing with powerful microscopes, perhaps the experiments could be demonstrated more publicly.