A show discussing the important academic and other research in the field of Psychedelics. We discuss how psychedelics relate to human potential and healing.
A show discussing the important academic and other research in the field of Psychedelics. We discuss how psychedelics relate to human potential and healing.
Solidarity Fridays - Week 18
In today's Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down to discuss recent topics in the news and analyze the ongoing debate of decriminalization vs. legalization.
They first discuss the story of LSD chemist William Leonard Pickard, who was released from prison on July 27th due mostly to his age, health status and risk for contracting Covid-19, and while it's great that he's out, how it changes nothing about the conspiracy surrounding his arrest ("Halperngate") and the very questionable DEA claims of LSD availability decreasing by 95% after his imprisonment.
They then talk about Denver mushroom grower Kole Milner, who is facing up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and all the complications surrounding state or city legality vs. federal legality, and how anyone in this space should be extremely careful about what personal information they share publicly, regardless of any perceived legal safety.
This leads to a long discussion about decriminalization vs. legalization: the need for more conversation, what the model might look like for the US, what we can learn from Portugal, how Covid-related economic issues might influence things, the "my drug is better than your drug" issue with advertising, the problem with D.A.R.E.'s "scare you straight" model and the need for truth instead of manipulation, and how advertising and corporate profit incentives may come into play- does legality mean that companies will try to convince more people to use these powerful medicines irresponsibly?
Notable quotes “It’s a false dichotomy to just say ‘decriminalization vs. legalization.’ As we say, decriminalization doesn’t necessarily mean anything. It can mean something for a municipality or a county or a state but it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the case for the feds. And as soon as you’re crossing state lines, that’s when they can be really into it. But realistically, the DEA seems to have plenty of power to do whatever they want.” -Joe
“I remember a few years ago, I started making this comment: ‘Oh cool, so you want it to stay illegal so you can have your heady, farm-to-table LSD. Cute, but that’s not really how it works and there’s plenty of people getting hurt as a result of not having these controls in place.’ ...It just takes a couple high schoolers whipping up a shitty lab, or non-safety-oriented people just trying to make a quick buck to get a few people hurt. I want to be a libertarian, but I don’t necessarily trust people’s motives enough to fully be a libertarian. I feel like there needs to be incentive structures in place and regulation in place for a lot of things.” -Joe
“I remember them threatening us: ‘If you do this, we will come and arrest you.’ Like, whoa... What if you had somebody that was like, “Hey, psilocybin mushrooms- these were originally used in ceremonial contexts, they had these kinds of safety mechanisms built in place, and this is what’s going on, here are the risks and dangers, this is why you would want to do it in a situation like this, people are using it to find spiritual growth…” And I don’t know, is that more enticing to people? Like, “Oh. I’m really curious!” But at least when they would practice, hopefully, they’d be like, “Oh yea, remember, they told us to do it in this context” instead of being like “This is an illegal thing, we’re going to get arrested so let’s hide and do it in secrecy and not tell anybody about it because the police chief is going to kick down my door and arrest me and tell me I’m a bad person.” -Kyle
“Let’s just be fact-based. Like, ‘Ok, here are the laws, here’s where it comes from, here’s the history, here are the pluses and minuses, and here are the legal consequences at this point in time.’ I would just like the facts, you know? I don’t need to be manipulated. Becau
Lauren Taus - Wellness through Yoga, Meditation and Psychotherapy
In today's episode, Kyle interviews Lauren Taus: yoga instructor with 20 years of experience, host of the Inbodied Life podcast, and psychotherapist specializing in ketamine-assisted psychotherapy.
Taus talks about growing tired of more traditional therapy and cognitive loops so many people find themselves in through cognitive behavioral therapy leading to her taking a break from therapy altogether, trying psychedelics with her brother, learning of psychedelics being used therapeutically, and coming out of the psychedelic closet to her father (who now works with her). She speaks about her practice, and the process and importance of building up therapeutic relationships first before introducing any psychedelics.
She discusses how Covid-19, cannabis legalization and the way our culture is set up are all exacerbating mental health issues and the challenges of fighting through that while trying to better partner with disadvantaged communities, the frustrations around the illegality of certain medicines, the power of ketamine, the concept of spiritual bypassing, what she's doing differently during this disconnected time, harm reduction around psychedelics without a therapist nearby, mindfulness, and the importance of touch and dancing.
Notable Quotes “Healing happens in relationship, and it happens in relationship with self too. I believe that so many people (and I certainly have been one of them) are walking warzones. The violence that happens inside of an individual heart and mind is far more outrageous than what you’d read in the news, and what you read in the news is a lot. ...With my work, I want to know you, I want to feel you, I want you to feel safe, I want you to feel love, I want you to feel unconditional regard and care. And that doesn’t happen overnight, and that doesn’t happen when you take a pill.”
“When I think about what’s happening with cannabis now, there’s essentially white cartels, and there’s cannabis stores on every block of Venice Beach, and people making lots and lots of money on weed. And then there’s so many black and brown people in prison for smoking a joint. And so the inequity there- what kind of reparations can we do? I like to say you can’t bypass the 'fuck you' on your way to forgiveness. And love is big enough to hold the anger and the rage, and there’s appropriate righteous anger that’s due.”
“People are struggling to be with what is- to welcome the wildlife that courses through their veins, to sit still with their fear and their sadness, and even their joy. I have so many people who try to crush their joy and celebration because they’re afraid of losing it. And they will- it’s going to shift. But can we be in the big wideness of what it is to be human? And in our inability to do so, we create all these different unique and not-so-unique misguided defense mechanisms. All these mechanisms for evasion- flight strategies. They can look like work, they can look like sex and food and drugs and alcohol and running or even meditation. The intention is what informs it a lot- what are you doing? Are you looking to go in, or are you looking to leave?”
“Do your work and remember to play along the way. Joy is an act of resistance.”
Inbodied Life podcast, featuring Kyle
About Lauren Taus
Lauren Taus graduated summa cum laude from Barnard College at Columbia University in 2004 with a BA in Religion before continuing on to NYU for her Masters in Social Work. Lauren is licensed as a clinical therapist in both New York and California with a specialty in addiction and trauma treatment.
As a clinician, Lauren integrates alternative modalities of treatment into her work. She trained with David Emerson under the supervision of Bessel van der Kolk at The Trauma Institute in Boston in trauma sensitive yoga, and she’s traine
Solidarity Fridays - Week 17
In today's Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and discuss two news stories emerging from Portland, Oregon- first, paramilitary-like federal agents showing up in unmarked cars and arresting protestors, and second, the beating and pepper-spraying of one of those protestors, Christopher David.
They look at these events from multiple perspectives- what fears are driving the opinions of people who are against these protests? Why does there always seem to be money when it comes to military expenses, but never any money when it comes to the wellbeing of people? How many police officers fully stand behind what they're doing, and how many are simply following orders or deeming certain evils necessary solely to earn their federal pension?
They analyze systems and better ways forward, like considering a bottom-up approach vs. the standard top-down approach or Ken Wilbur's framework of transcending an old system while including all the lessons from it. They also discuss decriminalization vs. legalization and the importance of regulation, and the massive scale of concepts and systems, like how MKUltra needs to be included when discussing the history of psychology.
They also discuss telehealth and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and the complications surrounding it right now, from both therapists and clients not wanting to be in an office to the concerns of self-administration at home, to the benefits of self-exploration for those who do feel comfortable and safe engaging on their own. And lastly, they talk about their upcoming Navigating Psychedelics class, which is selling fast and will never be cheaper than it is now.
Notable quotes “This is illegal, and people seem to forget that it’s illegal. Even if it’s decriminalized in a locality, doesn’t mean the feds can’t come in and shut you down. And that’s why they call me the party pooper.” -Joe
“How many people get into higher systems and institutions with really good intentions [of] wanting to make change, and thinking... “I’m going to change it from the top down.” ...What would a ‘bottom-up’ approach be, and how could we give power back to communities to start to create their own change, instead of thinking that we need to change it from these hierarchical systems? I always come back to Bucky Fuller’s quote about just creating a different system- you don’t change a system by trying to change it, you make a new system that’s obsolete to that old way of being. ...I’m thinking also too, from the somatic lens in therapy- approaching it more cognitively, intellectually- this whole top-down brain approach vs. a body-oriented approach and working with the trauma, working with the body and thinking about, ok, what’s the body? It’s people, it’s communities. How do we start to work that way?” -Kyle
“I just prefer to see government funds spent on stuff like the green new deal to save us from climate change. Or health care for all- those kinds of things. Why spend to put people in jail, when we could have, just like with cannabis, taxable revenue. I don’t want to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Just because it’s not equitable, I don’t think that totally excludes the thing. I’d just like to see less people going to jail, less people being harmed by black market drugs, and more clean appropriate drugs available to the people who want them.” -Joe
“How do we have the money to send these paramilitary agents in but you didn’t have the money to produce personal protection equipment for hospitals? What’s going on here?” -Kyle
Links U.S. Homeland Security confirms three units sent paramilitary officers to Portland
Navy veteran beaten and pepper-sprayed by federal agents at protest in Portland
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Dr. Malin Vedøy Uthaug - Ayahuasca and 5-MeO-DMT Research
In this episode, Kyle speaks with Imperial College London research assistant and past guest, Dr. Malin Vedøy Uthaug, who just earned her doctorate and published her dissertation on Ayahuasca and 5-MeO-DMT research.
Uthaug discusses how she started working in this field, why Prague is a good place for research, what past research has led to today, how certain factors could predict whether someone would have a more challenging or more mystical experience, how these experiences can treat people with PTSD differently, what dissociation actually means, the differences between vaporized 5-MeO-DMT and intramuscular 5-MeO-DMT injections and how injections typically lead towards better trauma resolution over the "too much too soon" effects of vaporization. They also talk about reactivation (re-experiencing parts of the 5-MeO-DMT experience at a later time) and why it might happen, how it is different from LSD flashbacks, and how expectations, the experience, and the facilitator all come into play.
They discuss her research and dissertation, which consisted of 2 studies on ayahuasca and 3 on 5-MeO-DMT, focusing on if participants saw improvement in convergent thinking and mental health variables (depression, anxiety and stress), and how her placebo-controlled study revealed that those who received the placebo still saw a marked improvement. This leads to a conclusion that often, context may play a larger role than the medicine- feeling safe and being heard in a ceremonial, community-based setting may be the biggest factor towards healing.
Notable Quotes “Once you make the unconscious conscious, then you can learn from it, and [it’s not] so much about resisting anymore. Carl Jung says, ‘what you resist persists,’ and what I think is happening, especially with PTSD, is that you’re kind of just holding this ball underwater and it’s not allowed to float to the surface.”
“You need to feel safe, you need to experience being heard and seen. Psychedelics do help us remember things that we have repressed, but obviously, [they] also make us very vulnerable and things might come up. And having somebody witness that and validate those feelings that are expressed and shown can be incredibly healing for people.”
“What we can learn is to learn to sit with difficult emotions and to not push them aside. ...I learned that there is comfort in the discomfort. I learned that you can basically figure out so many things about yourself if you just sit with yourself for a moment and you stay in that uncomfortable silence.”
Links The Exploration of Naturalistically used Ayahuasca and 5-MeO-DMT: by Malin Vedøy Uthaug (dissertation)
Imperial College London- Centre for Psychedelic Research
Her past Psychedelics Today appearance, 3/21/2018
Save a Toad, Exploit a Chemist t-shirt
About Dr. Malin Vedøy Uthaug
Malin completed her PhD at the department of Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology, at the faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience at Maastricht University, The Netherlands. As part of her PhD, she investigated the short-term and long-term effects of Ayahuasca and 5-MeO-DMT in naturalistic settings, while simultaneously initiating several other studies on the psychedelic substance Mescaline and the breathing practice known as Holotropic Breathwork (HB). Malin is currently working as a Postdoctoral researcher at The Centre for Psychedelic Research, at Imperial College London, led by Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris. Here she is investigating the effects of 5-MeO-DMT on mental health related variables, brain activity and consciousness together with Dr. Christopher Timmermann. Besides being a researcher, Malin is also an editor for the ‘Journal of Psychedelics Studies’, a board member of the American podcast-show known as Psychedelics Today, and the co-founder of the Norwegian Association for Psychedelic Science (Norsk Forening
Solidarity Fridays- Week 16
In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and talk about various topics in the news and dive deep into somatic psychology.
They first discuss Canadian mushroom life sciences company Cybin Corp's recent collaboration with drug delivery company IntelGenx to create an orally dissolvable film to administer psilocybin in controlled doses. This feels to them like the early days in the expansion of cannabis offerings, and how, for people with difficulty swallowing or pill-phobia, this may be the best option for psilocybin.
Next, they talk about a recent study of 65 U.S. Special Operations Forces veterans who took Ibogaine on day 1 and 5-MeO-DMT on day 3 (with surrounding processing and integration time) and the amazing results, including most participants rating their psychedelic experiences as one of the top five most personally meaningful and spiritually significant experiences of their lives. Joe brings up a seldom-asked question on whether non-combat veterans should be differentiated from combat veterans in these studies and therapies.
The last article they look at highlights a study where physicians used a new selective‐dose cannabis inhaler to administer microdoses of THC (either .5mg or 1mg) to patients with great results in decreasing pain without affecting cognitive performance. They talk about their experiences with low dose edibles and how they've seen great benefits from tiny amounts.
They then discuss many aspects of Kyle's area of expertise (and often not mentioned in-depth on this podcast), Somatic psychology. They talk about how breathwork and a session with a physical therapist led Kyle to this practice, the concept of character armoring, William Reich's idea of neurosis being represented throughout the entire organism, how the western mind focuses on the material body, trying to fix things, and technique, how the smallest muscle quivering during a breathwork session can show where work needs to be done, and the difficulty people have in discussing the body- how it's almost a secret language only learned through experience or their therapist's suggestive questions on whether they're feeling a certain emotion or even seeing a color.
Notable quotes “Thinking about my early years exploring psychedelics, I was so focused on the mind- the experience was outside of me, the knowledge and the wisdom was in the numinous. And that’s where I was going to find all the answers. ...It wasn’t until I had my first breathwork experience, where it was such a somatic experience- where I was feeling the experience in my body vs. externalizing my experience outside of my body and viewing it more as this thing of novelty- of something I’ve never experienced before. Actually having that experience and feeling it within myself, [I realized] I have felt this before, and it’s inside of me.” -Kyle
“[Bodywork] just reveals how much is not immediately available in the day-to-day consciousness. There’s so much happening- so much stored in our body that we just don’t even really have a handle on it. ...My favorite line (which, I’m starting to feel like I’m cheating) is: “Mind is, at the very least, diffused throughout the body.” -Joe
“As a culture, we’re so body-oriented at times, right? We think about diet, exercise, yoga has turned more into more of an exercise than a lifestyle or practice. ...We’re so focused more on the physical, material body than the emotional body, and that’s something that’s really hard to tap into.” -Kyle
“Try not to set out with some of these goals that ‘we need to change this.’ What does it feel like to just maybe feel some of these things?” -Kyle
Links Psychedelics For Seniors: A New Sublingual Option
Psychedelic Treatment for Trauma-Related Psychological and Cognitive Impairment Among US Special Operations Forces Veterans
Mike Crowley - Secret Drugs of Buddhism
In today’s episode, Joe interviews Author Mike Crowley to talk about his book, Secret Drugs of Buddhism.
Links About Mike Crowley
Michael Crowley was born February 26th, 1948 in Cardiff, Wales. He began studying Buddhism with a Tibetan lama in 1966, becoming an upasaka of the Kagyud lineage in 1970. In order to augment his Buddhist studies, he acquainted himself with Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Mandarin Chinese. Mike has lectured at the Museum of Asia and the Pacific, Warsaw, the Jagiellonian University, Cracow, the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work has been published in Fortean Times, Time and Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness, and Culture, Psychedelic American, and Psychedelic Press UK. In January 2016, Mike received the R. Gordon Wasson Award for outstanding contributions to the field of entheobotany. He currently serves on the advisory board of the Psychedelic Sangha, a group of psychedelically-inclined Buddhists, based in New York and he teaches at the Dharma Collective in San Francisco.
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