A show discussing the important academic and other research in the field of Psychedelics. We discuss how psychedelics relate to human potential and healing.
PT215 - Cultivating Connections - The Power of Rituals
In this episode, Joe interviews Ryan and Rory of Cultivating Connections, a Vermont-based nonprofit and podcast dedicated to fostering deeper connections between themselves and the members of their ritual, as well as promoting the idea of intentioned rituals, answering questions and giving advice on creating your own ritual, and eventually, hosting larger group rituals.
They talk about how Ryan's depression and Rory's heroin and crack addiction (and eventual overdose) and experience with ayahuasca led them to realize that their biggest problem was disconnection, and through sharing a joint in the woods and talking openly, they realized they could help each other by continuing to embrace that connection with each other. They discuss the weekly ritual that blossomed from that: the different things they've tried, the specific details of what they do, and the big moments that made them believe that what they were doing was helping them grow and change.
While they admit that they wouldn't be where they are today without psychedelics, psychedelics or other drugs (they use cannabis) are not necessary: ultimately, it's the intention and dedicated practice that matters most. Being vulnerable, accepting yourself and others, opening up and sharing, remaining consistent and steadfast, trusting the process, and most importantly, embracing their fear is what has helped them the most. And the biggest thing they've learned is the power of staring into each member's eyes for as long as possible, which has given them deeper connections than they thought they could have.
Notable Quotes “You can say, ‘I want to experience something in a psychedelic experience. I want to face my fears.’ But what you say is not what you get. If you create a structure that you come to every week, where everyone has this unwritten, unspoken bond- that you know the intention is to get deeper into your psyche- into your unconscious, and confront the shit that you need to deal with, then every week you go there, you can’t avoid it.” -Ryan
“I’d say the most intense experiences of my life have been these weekly sessions the past 22 weeks. And it’s also been the most transformative time of my life. So I think there’s a lot to be said about the intensity of what you’re feeling and how you can use that. If it’s not in the right setting, it can become traumatic. But if you’re in a setting where you’re supported and you can grow with it, then it becomes a transformative experience.” -Ryan
“For us, it’s really about doing these things with intention in our group setting and our community setting, with the intention of connecting and facing fear. Really, I think the big thing that we focus on is not looking at fear as a negative thing. Fear is not something that we should repress, it’s something that we should let in- we should accept, and we should find value in. But if you repress your fear, you end up manifesting it.” -Ryan
Cultivating Connections Podcast
Collective-evolution.com: Eye Gazing: Science Reveals How It Affects Our Communication
About Ryan and Rory
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PT Solidarity Fridays - Episode 30
In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and discuss some very scientific (read: hard to understand) articles. First, they talk about one on Salvinorin A and its interactions with a different receptor than other psychedelics (kappa opioid receptors) and what that could mean, and a related article from Wired- a first-hand account of taking salvia as part of a brain-imaging study at Johns Hopkins University. The biggest takeaway from these can be summed up in researcher Manoj Doss's closing quote: "Not only does this tell me how little we understand psychedelics, it also tells me how little we understand how to study them.”
They then review a recent double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study on LSD, which showed results we expect to see, but the full details haven't been released yet. This leads to a discussion about intergenerational trauma and researchers finding that children of Holocaust survivors often display more trauma-related behavior than their parents, commonality between people of Irish and German decent (due to shared traumatic histories), the idea of "group soul," how the lymphatic system works within the brain to remove toxins and how this and the blood-brain barrier can be affected by a concussion, and the effects caesarian sections have both on an individual person as well as in higher concentrations of people per country. Do countries with more C-sections produce more traumatized people?
Lastly, they talk about how psychedelics opening up people's brains and thought processes could possibly lead toward more conspiratorial thinking, which leads to discussion about QAnon, Alan Moore, a crazy story about 9/11 from Kyle, and the very idea of truth: what is your personal criteria for something being true? What do any of us really know?
And one last reminder- October 28th is the premiere of the new 15-week online course offering called An Introduction to Philosophy and Psychedelics with Lenny Gibson, so if you're considering taking it, now is the time to sign up!
Notable Quotes “Do we always need to seek ego death to have profound healing in psychedelic experiences? Could it be more gentle at times?” -Kyle
“There seems to be this trend in the scientific world to say, ‘ok cool, our data suggests that this model of the world and how things are working is true, therefore this model is true’ and kind of sticking to your guns on that, and I think because we finally have our tools back where we can examine the psyche after decades of prohibition, that maybe let’s not rush- like, let’s keep them hypotheses, and perhaps we can be more fluid when new hypotheses come out about the world and the mind and the brain and these things. Perhaps that’ll help us not necessarily have to live in a certain paradigm for a super long time and we can be a little bit more paradigm-fluid maybe, or model-agnostic, and just kind of shift around as new data comes to light.” -Joe
“What’s truth and how do you know what is true? ….How can you validate that that is true? And what do you know to be true in your world? It’s a hard thing to really understand. When I think about it, I think the only true thing that I know is this present moment.” -Kyle
“It’s interesting. How do we know more? How does knowledge work? Epistemology, metaphysics- these are massive questions, and as much as I appreciate science, I feel like science could benefit a lot from being philosophy-aware. Like, what are we really doing? What kind of metaphysics and epistemology underlies our go-forward here? Is there data to suggest that mind and brain aren’t the same thing? Yes, there is, including [from] top neurologists like Karl Pribram and others. Mind does not equal brain. And how do we transcend that and go forward? I know this is not what the establishment wants us to be saying, if we want to talk abo
PT214 - Dr. Michael Sapiro - Engaged Spirituality: Bringing the Mystical Into the Ordinary
In this episode, Kyle interviews Doctor of Psychology, faculty member at Esalen Institute, Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Dharma teacher, and former Buddhist monk, Dr. Michael Sapiro.
Sapiro talks about his recent travel pilgrimage to the northeast US, living in a camper with his dog and spending a lot of time in the woods working on himself and his connection with others. He talks about the "ways of knowing" that is taught at Esalen Institute, where people ask their cognitive brain about an important decision, then ask their body, their intuition, and even their ancestors and/or spirit guides, paying attention to their reaction to each interaction. He talks about methods to deal with body reactions, breathwork, the importance of self-talk, metaphors, cutting karma so you aren't perpetuating old ancestral wounds, the concept of post-traumatic growth, the difference between selfishness and self-focus, and knowing when to be passively working on yourself or actively engaging with and helping others.
They discuss how to fuse your normal self with your mystical self and make the mystical ordinary- through action, being self-aware, staying calm, staying open-hearted, and always thinking of what can be done next to improve yourself and the health of others. This is a bit of a feel-good episode: in a hectic, stressful time, it's a reminder of the importance of checking in with yourself, taking care of yourself, and allowing yourself to just be.
Notable Quotes “One of the things nature and the mystery taught me in my retreat, was to slow down and feel the presence of the mystery in a strand of a spider web. And I’m not being hyperbolic- I would slow down on a walk and see this spider web and just be with it for a while. What can I learn? What can I soak in? How can I be with it? And then I would take that into conversations when I met people. So that’s one practical way of bringing the wisdom of the forest into our daily lives.”
“How beautiful that we have this access to deep knowledge of the universe through us, but we have to be quiet. We have to be quiet to hear the whispers of the heart. And when you become quiet, the whispers of the heart become louder and they start filling you in. Then you have to start believing it.”
“What I learned in the forest and when I was doing my own healing work, is that the mystical states are actually ordinary- profoundly ordinary states of greeting the world [presently]- through my eyes, through my being, through being quiet when I’m agitated. ...Making the mystical states ordinary is a verb. It’s turning mysticism into an action, and that comes out through our speech, eye-gazing, through the way we listen, [and] the way we show up for ourselves and other people.”
“Selfishness is doing a behavior that negatively impacts other people on purpose. ...Being self-focused is different. It’s ok that we have time being self-focused. ...You have to discern the difference. Because it’s not selfish to take care of the vessel that your consciousness is housed in. It’s important so you have good health to contribute to others’ health. It’s important because you’re precious and you matter. You don’t have to be selfish to take care of yourself, so let yourself off a little bit. Because a lot of people say ‘I feel selfish when I take care of myself.’ That’s not fair actually. That’s not fair. If you’re being selfish, call yourself out on it and change your behavior. If you’re just taking care of yourself out of self-love, because you know your health will positively impact other people’s (because we’re interdependent), then it’s really important you do take time to be self-focused.”
Down, Play, or Walk Away: How my dog socialized me to be wiser and kinder during Covid-19, by Michael Sapiro, PsyD
PT Solidarity Fridays - Episode 29
In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and discuss a recent segment on CNN highlighting Brian Muraresku's book, The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name, about the role psychedelics have likely played in the origin of religion and western civilization. They talk about psychedelics throughout history, like the Eleusinian Mysteries, soma use in Hindu scriptures, therianthropy and the idea of psychedelics leading towards these human-animal hybrid visions, and even the idea that Moses was huffing acacia or some other type of mind-altering plant available in that area at the time. Does it matter to the movement if all of this is historically accurate? And why do we romanticize ancient psychedelic use so much?
They then spend some time on a very important but unpleasant topic: accountability for misconduct in the psychedelic space. With no well-known Yelp-like website to review facilitators or retreat centers, and abuse (or at least unethical relationships) seeming to be very common in the therapeutic world, what's the best way to handle abuse and abusers? In the legal therapeutic world, there are at least licensing boards to contact or police to reach out to (since nothing illegal would be tied to the victim). Is the answer ex-communication? Restorative justice? Some sort of mediator? Filming everything for the protection of both sides? Whatever the ideas, the conversation needs to continue and louder voices need to be a part of it.
They review some other news stories, Kyle lets us know that he's been taking ketamine-assisted psychotherapy training at Polaris Insights center and Alex Grey just followed him on Twitter, and Joe introduces a possible new Solidarity Fridays segment, "Joe's Paranoid Update." And reminder- An Introduction to Philosophy and Psychedelics with Lenny Gibson begins October 28th. Sign up now!
Notable Quotes “I didn’t really grow up very religious, so I’m curious- the people that did and may not understand this indigenous kind of perspective of using plants to alter consciousness and have some sort of relationship with the universe- I wonder how that came off to them, seeing this on CNN.” -Kyle
“What is it about that that is so intriguing to us at times? I know for myself, looking at a lot of Indigenous cultures or ancient traditions helped me kind of provide a framework for understanding some of these experiences that maybe western traditions kind of have but don’t really have. Maybe I found more comfort in these traditions, but to say they have all the answers because they were possibly doing some of this stuff, I think could get a little tricky at times. Like, why do we want to romanticize the past so much?” -Kyle
“I think Dimitri Mugianis mentioned this to us: what kind of movement is it that would cover up rape to achieve its ends, and serious sexual misconduct? And victims have been told: ‘If you out this rape, this is bad for the movement, so please don’t do it.’ Are you f*****g kidding me? No. Absolutely not. If someone raped you, [that’s] not ok.” -Joe
“We’re not waiting on the FDA to get our ethics together. Ethics can happen right now.” -Joe
Links Psychedelics Today: Veronika Gold – Methods of Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy
Forbes.com: Apple iOS 14: Brilliant New Security And Privacy Features You Can Use Now
Cnn.com: Did hallucinogens play role in origin of religion?
The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name, by Brian C. Muraresku
DMT & the Soul of Prophecy A New Science of Spiritual Revelation in the Hebrew Bible, by Rick Strassman
Ancient-origins.net: The Dogon’s Extraordinary Knowledge of the Cosmos and the Cult of Nommo
The Science of the Dogon: Decoding the African Mystery Tradition, by Laird Scranton
Wayne State University: Poison Center warns of effects after A
PT213 - Dr. Matt Brown - Osteopathy and Exploring Energy
In this episode, Joe speaks with Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Psychiatrist (specializing in the treatment of OCD), and Psychedelics Today Advisory Board member, Dr. Matt Brown.
Brown talks about osteopathic medicine and his thoughts on energy: how the principle of osteopathic medicine is that "mind, body, spirit" and the things we interact with contribute to what makes up a person, and by shifting things within each body system (neurological or respiratory, for example), change can be made, just like the way small postural shifts can lead to a decrease in pain or anxiety and how smiling can fool your brain into feeling happier. With bodywork emerging as such a powerful tool and breathwork facilitators learning interventions to help clients work through stuck energy, there is clearly a huge connection between the different energies in our bodies and how they affect us, but how much do we really perceive these shifts, and how do we measure these energies and create usable data out of it all?
They also discuss other new methods of psychedelic healing, like the Integratron, light machines like the Lucia Lucia N°03, and Soren Peterson's sound table, and what it might look like if people used these and other non-drug methods in addition to a small amount of psychedelics- could that take away a lot of people's fear? And they talk about Stan Grof, Dr. Christopher M. Bache's LSD and the Mind of the Universe, Elon Musk's Neuralink, and why people should watch and read more sci-fi.
Notable Quotes “We’re talking about the study of consciousness, which I am fully confident we are not going to find out way past my death. But that’s ok, and actually, I find that somewhat exciting, because this is a really hard problem that humanity has been working on forever, and if we can even push the ripple of the movement in a slightly different direction for a positive change, that’s an amazing feat when you think about the totality of the universe and how huge it is and how small we are.”
“I think that what we might do, is, over time, try to figure out ways of having very, very specific, reliably repeatable experiences mediated through the combination of [a] psychedelic and some sort of a technology, that neither the drug by itself would cause, nor the technology by itself would cause, but if you combined the two, you could have something. What that would be, I don’t know, but it kind of feels a little bit like Total Recall. And then on the opposite side of that, with more the natural medicines, there’s this constant exploration of like, ‘ok, well, what is this broader universe all about and how is nature interconnected with everything else?’ And so, they’d be used for different purposes. So then when you think about it, when you’re talking about the ‘medicines coming from the earth’ so to speak, vs. like, the synthesized version, it’s like, ‘Do you want the blue pill or the red pill?’”
“He [Dr. Christopher M. Bache] does have that eye about him, of people that have gone really, really deep. ...There’s just a thing- I don’t know how to explain it- it’s like a different twinkle in the eye, that you can just see in folks that have seen more than, I don’t know, what we’re supposed to see.”
“This is very much a global psychedelic experience going on right now. We are on the biggest trip that we’ve ever had, ever. And this is not going to be fast. ...I’m not sure if we’ve gotten to the point where all the other traumas that we get to be able to be introduced to have all been shown to us yet. I think we’ve gotten some glimpses with that, with the whole George Floyd situation, but I’m not sure what’s still on the horizon before this whole thing ends. And hopefully, just like a psychedelic experience, there’s going to be a dramatic healing and growth that comes out of this. We’
In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and discuss several items in the news, including Mark Zuckerberg donating $500,000 towards Oregon's Measure 110, national psychiatric associations coming out as in opposition to Oregon's measure 109 due to concerns over medical treatment being determined via a ballot iniative, voters in Mississippi being able to vote on medical cannabis and voters in Arizona, Montana, South Dakota and New Jersey being able to vote on legalization measures (with polling data showing 65% of New Jersey voters likely in favor), Denver's Kole Milner offially pleading guilty in his ongoing psilocybin investigation, a recent study looking into the effects of chronic THC exposure on the 5-HT2A receptors typically studied more with psychedelics and the question on if cannabis is psychedelic or not, the University of Toronto joining forces with Sansero Life Sciences to study the effects of microdosing and smaller doses of psilocybin, NYU Langone teaming up with MindMed to start a clinical training program focusing on psychedelics and psychedelic-assisted therapies (with the eventual goal of establishing a Center for Psychedelic Medicine at NYU Langone Health), and yet another psychedelic company going live on the stock market: Toronto-based Field Trip Health.
They also issue a correction/update on statements made last week about Oregon's Measures 109 and 110, and talk about why the placebo effect isn't studied more, and how drugs establishing themselves in your personal life story can influence their efficacy. And they discuss some of the positive, community-encouraging COVID-related changes they've seen in their local cities and wonder how many of them can stay when we eventually return to some sort of normalcy.
And they remind us that there is a new 15-week online course offering called An Introduction to Philosophy and Psychedelics with Lenny Gibson, which begins October 28th, as well as a new CEU and non-CEU Psychedelics in Psychiatry offering developed by "EntheoNurse" C.J. Spotswood. Imagination as Revelation, developed by Kyle and Johanna Hilla-Maria Sopanen, is also available, as well as Navigating Psychedelics and others.
Notable Quotes “As we see things decriminalized, it’s not necessarily the case that you’re safe. You can still go to prison, and it’s not a nice place. So, be careful. Please be careful. I’m lucky enough to be blessed with extreme paranoia. Consider what a healthy level of paranoia is for your situation and what you’re up to, and err on the side of caution. The special saying is, ‘Only break one law at a time.’” -Joe
“What I’m really excited about is that in the next year or two, we’re going to have a lot more clinical data on this. Doctors will be a lot more comfortable with it, and this story will keep progressing in really interesting ways that I don’t really think we’re understanding how this is going to look in a couple years yet. Just how much 2020 has changed the movement, it’s going to be really intense over the next couple years.” -Joe
“I think if one thing that comes out of this is, as you say, forced creativity- we’re forced to make some of these changes, and what works, what doesn’t work? If things feel like they’re working in a different way, how do you keep that? Just thinking about coming back to the integration aspect of experiences- if something feels like that is moving in a new direction, how do you continue to follow that without needing to just snap back to what has worked in the past? Food for thought. ...If things start to shift a little bit, could we continue that change, or do we keep feeding a system that feels broken or isn’t helpful in our own evolution?” -Kyle
“22 veteran suicides a day- can we cut that in half through decriminalization initiatives? I don’t think the answer
Customer ReviewsSee All
These guys rock
Joe and Kyle are stalwarts in this arena, consistently offering listeners a chance to hear varied points of view. They back that up by being regular and reliably producing new podcasts and going an extra mile during the pandemic with Solidarity Friday’s. I never have to go without. They teach serious courses in the field too. Thanks guys!
Joe and Kyle approach the podcast with an inquisitive mind and open heart! Great show
Court wing was the best
This episode was amazing. I can’t recommend it enough.