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The Promise of LSD Microdoses and Other Psychedelic “Medicines”

Psychiatrist John Halpern discusses the psychotherapeutic potential of peyote, ayahuasca, psilocybin, MDMA and other psychedelics

By John Horgan on July 10, 2017

I first met psychedelic expert John H. Halpern, M.D., in 1999 at a conference on altered states in Basel, Switzerland (where I also interviewed Albert Hofmann, LSD’s discoverer, and tripped on magic mushrooms). Halpern, then a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, was studying effects of peyote on members of the Native American Church, who consume peyote as a sacrament. Three years later Halpern arranged for me to participate in a peyote ceremony on a Navajo reservation in northern Arizona. I wrote about the experience in a 2003 article for Discover. An excerpt:

Like most Native American Church services, this one has been called for a specific purpose—in this case, to help a wife and husband burdened with medical and financial problems, all too common on the reservation. Except for Halpern and me, everyone is a friend or relative of this couple; some have traveled hundreds of miles to be here. The meeting lasts for 10 hours with only a single 10-minute break, and it unfolds in a rhythm of rituals: smoking tobacco rolled in corn husks; singing hymns in Diné or other Native American languages to the pounding of a deerskin drum; eating peyote and drinking peyote tea passed around in bowls, three times in all. There is a spellbinding beauty in the incantations of the roadman, in the sparks spiraling up from the bed of coals toward the tepee’s soot-blackened roof, in the stoic expression of the elder who adds cedar logs to the fire and rakes the coals into a half circle. But none of the worshippers seems lost in blissful aesthetic reveries. Far from it. For much of the night, the mood is solemn, even anguished. Two people vomit, including the wife. Both she and her husband sob as they confess their fears and yearnings. So do others as they listen, offer prayers, or divulge their own troubles—usually in Diné, but occasionally in English. The power of these ceremonies, Halpern tells me later, is only partly pharmacological. After all, worshippers usually eat just a few tablespoons of peyote, which amounts to less than 100 milligrams of mescaline—enough to induce a stimulant effect but not full-fledged visions. Peyote, Halpern speculates, serves primarily as an amplifier of emotions aroused by the ceremony’s religious and communal elements. 

You can find the full text of the article here. Halpern is now director of medical services for the Boston Center for Addiction Treatment. Given surging interest in psychedelics’ scientific and medical potential, I thought it was an apt time for a Q&A with him. — John Horgan

Horgan: How did you get interested in psychedelics?

Halpern: I got interested in psychedelics back in medical school because I was searching for everything and anything that might be of use for substance abuse. I wound up learning from my late Father, Abraham L. Halpern, M.D. (a very famous psychiatrist himself!), how psychedelics held so much promise back in the 1960s but wound up getting made illegal with research essentially shut down in the early 1970s as a casualty of their escape from the laboratory and into instead the drug use/abuse world, too. But the research from back then definitely suggested that there are important medical properties to these substances that still were being overlooked.

Horgan: Have you ever taken them?

Halpern: This is a silly/immature question and one that I always imagined would be asked by a reporter with an axe to grind rather than at educating readership. In the last 20 years only one journalist has asked me this – both times John Horgan.  The first time he asked was during his interview of me for a profile piece in Discover Magazine, and I brought him to a prayer service of the Native American Church! So John Horgan now your readers know that you ingested peyote, too! So, yes, I’ve experienced psychedelics but such use never was the reason for my devoting so much of my career to the legitimate clinical research of these substances.

Horgan: Yup, now they know. So what did you learn from your research on peyote use by members of the Native American Church (NAC)?

Halpern: I learned that such sacramental use of peyote benefits NAC members and is the heart of their faith. I heard countless stories of recovery from substance abuse and/or of deepening learning about Native Traditions and language through participation in the NAC. I wound up also publishing a major paper that showed that those who follow the Peyote Way are cognitively healthy/similar to Native non-adherents and also presented with healthier lifetime satisfaction and mental health.

Horgan: Should non-Native Americans be allowed to take psychedelics for spiritual purposes?

Halpern: This already occurs legally in the United States, Mexico, and Canada for members of the Native American Church. Also the United States and several countries in Europe acknowledge the religious freedom of members of the Uniao Do Vegetal and Santo Daime – religions that have expanded from the Amazon Basin and now count members around the world that partake of DMT-containing ayahausca in their prayer services. Native use of Ayahuasca is legal in Brazil, Columbia, and Peru. The Bwiti faith in west Africa (The Gabon and elsewhere) is legally sanctioned and has an iboga ceremony – the root bark from the shrub Tabernanthe iboga contains a very long-acting hallucinogenic substance ibogaine. So, there already are non-Native Americans partaking of psychedelics for religious purposes. Such use is far different from seeking “intoxication”: indeed, in the USA, such use is legally characterized, when legitimate, as the “non-drug Sacramental use” of these compounds. This very easily can be a very long, long answer but, in short, in the United States Freedom of Religion is enshrined in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights and, as such, our government is limited in restricting the practice of one’s bona fide religious faith: under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Government must employ a “least restrictive means test” as to whether or not religious practices must be regulated or prevented.

Horgan: Should psychedelics be legalized?

Halpern: This also is perhaps a too broad question for me. My job as a researcher and physician is to help inform with scientific fact. In the absence of sufficient facts, fear may be all that is available when debating such public health and public policy issues. That being said, it is an interesting question as to how the most revered substances of the shamanic world came to be so reviled in the “modern” world. These substances right now are “legalized” in that they are placed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and, as such, are available for legitimate research purposes only. Do I think that they should be available without any restrictions whatsoever? Should a child be able to purchase alcohol? When I was growing up, simple Benadryl (diphenhydramine) was only available by prescription! Now it is over-the-counter available for purchase. Any substance can be used and/or abused but some more than others. Cocaine is a Schedule II medication (used primarily but rarely as a topical anesthetic) but illicit cocaine abuse doesn’t derive from such approved medical indication. Similarly, it may come to be one day, even soon, that these types of drugs may be legally available by prescription for specific medical indications including for psychotherapy and/or for spiritual purposes outside of protected religious practice. But such “legalization” requires development through the FDA’s system of drug review for public safety and to clarify risks and benefits and that for the specific indications that benefits do reasonably outweigh potential risks. There is much research to be done to achieve this and there are active efforts to develop MDMA and psilocybin in the United States for medical use.

Horgan: Should physicians be able to prescribe psychedelics as treatments for mental disorders?

Halpern: Maybe one day this will come to pass but it is for the FDA to determine whether or not these substances have an approved medical indication and the process by which they can be safely administered. GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) is a known “date-rape drug” and it is a listed within Schedule I as a drug of abuse but its prescription form is in Schedule II for the treatment of narcolepsy: a centralized distribution system was devised with the DEA to ensure that GHB can be given to patients in need of it as a medication while minimizing its risk for diversion to the illicit market. My point is that there are ways to create a safe means for prescription should they ever gain an FDA-approved medical indication.

Horgan: Who should not take psychedelics?

Halpern: The best available information is that those with a history of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and/or psychotic illnesses (like schizophrenia) should take these substances with tremendous caution if at all, and even those with close blood relations with such serious psychiatric conditions should be similarly warned, as well. People who have a tremendous need for emotional control often report “bad trips” in particular. Those with little preparation–having a known, safe, and supportive environment that protects people from interacting with regular/routine life and that has even non-using but experienced supports–will also be at greater risk. These substances can be profoundly disorienting to perception of self and the world we live in: so those planning to drive a car, for example, should not take psychedelics.

Horgan: What do you think of the old idea that psychedelics mimic psychosis?

Halpern: Suggestibility can greatly increase under the influence of these substances. The first dose of LSD administered in the United States was given to a psychiatric resident who was told that it would create a psychotic-like experience, and then the resident proceeded to behave in psychotic-like ways. Even so, there are a number of important differences including that these drugs induce pseudo-hallucinations that the user typically understands are not reality-based and that are often visual. Psychosis rarely has visual phenomena and true hallucinations leave the individual incapable of discerning symptoms from reality. The “psychotomimetic” model of what hallucinogens do is not considered useful/valid at present but more dissociative agents like ketamine and PCP may indeed cause a more accurate “model psychosis.”

Horgan: Are you surprised that psychedelics have gotten so much positive coverage lately?

Halpern: I am not surprised at all!

Horgan: Writer Ayelet Waldman in her new book A Really Good Day describes taking micro-doses of LSD to boost her mood. What is your opinion of micro-dosing? Will LSD, given its history, ever be accepted as a medical treatment?

Halpern: This is very old news. Once when I had lunch with Albert Hofmann (the chemist who first synthesized and experienced LSD) about 20 years ago I had asked him about micro-dosing. We had a lively discussion that LSD could have become the first “Prozac” like antidepressant and that 25 micrograms a day seemed to be particularly effective. Dr. Hofmann stated that he really pushed to make LSD into an antidepressant and had the idea to combine it with an emetic (a drug that would induce vomiting) if too many pills were taken at once. He said that company lawyers thought there was too many risks/pitfalls to offering a drug in such a preparation and so it never was developed for commercial use. If LSD is taken every day, by the way, tolerance to the intoxicated effects build, and so LSD might be able to be evaluated still as an antidepressant.

Horgan: Do you think DMT, which psychedelic philosopher Terence McKenna loved, has therapeutic potential? What about ayahuasca? Does psychiatrist Rick Strassman’s research on DMT, which triggered frightening experiences in some users, give you pause?

Halpern: DMT is the primary psychoactive constituent of ayahuasca. In the Amazon Basin there is a multi-thousand year history of ayahuasca use. Traditionally, such use is part of a process to help identify what is needed for healing rather than as a direct treatment itself. Within its religious application, there are many stories of spiritual and medical healing with ayahuasca including versus drug and alcohol addiction. Again, however, such clear therapeutic potential must be carefully evaluated from within legitimate scientific research and regulatory review. As for Dr. Strassman’s work: he wasn’t evaluating DMT for any therapeutic potential: he was doing basic dose-response pharmacologic research. Rick Doblin, founder of MAPS (Multi-Disciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), famously says, “There are no bad trips…only difficult ones.” Such frightening experiences may also have a therapeutic use, but any of these drugs, not just DMT, may trigger them. Often, as mentioned, such experiences are triggered in those with a tremendous need for emotional regulation and the psychoactive properties of hallucinogens will quite often have a person feel loss of such control.

Horgan: Is MDMA, or “Ecstasy,” a psychedelic? Do you worry about its possible long-term negative effects?

Halpern: MDMA has psychedelic properties and can reported be fully psychedelic-like for the drug-naïve. Unlike “classical” hallucinogens like LSD and psilocybin, MDMA doesn’t typically induce loss of sense of self. Instead many will describe it as “ego-opening” with a flood of positive/trusting emotions. Any drug without clear FDA approved indication or accepted standard for human use worries me about the possible long-term negative effects. That being said, we will prescribe all sorts of very toxic compounds if the benefits and need may outweigh the risks. Benzodiazepines long term can cause verbal memory deficits, balance and coordination problems, and more, but if you have a panic disorder they can prove a godsend. Certain radiological and chemotherapeutic agents targeting brain cancer may damage some cognitive functioning but if that slows down tumor growth so that life is meaningfully extended – we wouldn’t want to prevent such medications from being given to such a patient in need, right? Yet, we wouldn’t want a healthy/normal person to get such a toxic compound for no reason. Specific to MDMA, there are risks from it being illegal, from taking it with a frequency and dosing scale that maximizes harm, and taking it in combination with other drugs such as alcohol. Yet many of the cognitive effects claimed from MDMA appear to not be functionally significant (you can read my NIDA-funded study on this question of MDMA neurocognitive toxicity) and some of the very brain changes noted in animal studies have also been found from other compounds including one that was FDA-approved for a time! Finally, consider that the illicit use of MDMA became popular more than 30 years ago. Back then, some anti-MDMA campaigners/researchers cautioned that such use/abuse will create a generation with early Parkinson’s Disease or who would wind up not responding to antidepressants when clinically depressed or who would be cognitively damaged in functionally observable ways. Such a wave has yet to materialize despite millions of users over these years. Some experts in the relative risk from various drugs of abuse have already published that the relative harms from MDMA appear to be markedly less than from alcohol and tobacco! (See chart below from Nutt, David J, et al., “Drug Harms in the UK: A Multicriteria Decision Analysis.” The Lancet 376, no. 9752 (2010): 1558-65. Credit: David Nutt.)


Horgan: I recently heard psychologist Anthony Bossis of NYU describe trials in which terminal cancer patients are given psilocybin. What is your opinion of this work?

Halpern: Dr. Bossis is a very compassionate and caring therapist invested in the evaluation of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. The work at NYU harmonizes and validates the similar work coming out of Dr. Roland Griffith’s team at Johns Hopkins. I think there is much promise to this treatment. These works are published in the peer reviewed literature and skeptics of the work then are free to follow and/or attempt to upgrade upon the published methodology to further validate these early, promising findings.

Horgan: Albert Hofmann, who discovered LSD’s effects, sometimes expressed misgivings about psychedelics. He once wrote that they might “represent a forbidden transgression of limits.” Do you ever have similar qualms?

Halpern: Albert Hofmann’s discovery changed our planet in many ways and not all for the better: it is quite understandable that he would express such misgivings. That is why he also referred to LSD as his “problem child.” Yet Dr. Hofmann didn’t stop evaluating hallucinogens: he, in fact, identified psilocybin from Psilocybe cubensis and continued to contribute to the “psychedelic movement” right up to his death (at age 102!). Another chemist who made it has life’s work to discover as many new psychedelic compounds as he could find, Alexander Shulgin, also opined:

“I am completely convinced that there is a wealth of information built into us, with miles of intuitive knowledge tucked away in the genetic material of every one of our cells. Something akin to a library containing uncountable reference volumes, but without any obvious route of entry. And, without some means of access, there is no way to even begin to guess at the extent and quality of what is there. The psychedelic drugs allow exploration of this interior world, and insights into its nature.” ― Alexander ShulginPihkal: A Chemical Love Story

Accessing this “interior world” is the very same “forbidden transgression of limits” that Hofmann refers to: it is inherent to our species’ thirst for knowledge and understanding of just what it means to be human that then drives such curiosity, whether for better or worse. But even as one wise, old Roadman of the Peyote Way once said to me, “If you want to know more about Medicine… then eat more Medicine.”

Further Reading:

Tripping on Peyote in Navajo Nation

Psychological and Cognitive Effects of Long-Term Peyote Use Among Native Americans,” Biological Psychiatry, John Halpern et al., October 15, 2005.

Meta-Post: Horgan Posts on Psychedelics

Psychedelic Therapy and Bad Trips

Rational Mysticism


After Years of Research, Big Pharma Finally Shows Evidence Cannabis Kills Cancer


By Justin Gardner

In April 2015 the National Institute of Drug Abuse acknowledged that cannabis kills cancer cells and dramatically reduces the growth of new brain cancer cells. This was a startling admission, considering that federal government’s position on cannabis retains it as a Schedule 1 drug with “no medical benefit.”

Research has continued despite this roadblock, and now the pharmaceutical industry might actually help overcome government’s stubbornness about cannabis as medicine.

British company GW Pharmaceuticals has been testing cannabis extracts for the past few years, and now has clinical evidence that certain formulations reduce the mortality rate of people with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a form of brain cancer that typically kills patients within two years. Results of the ‘phase 2 proof of concept study’ were announced Feb. 7.

Combined with temozolomide, the current medication used to treat GBM, patients’ median survival was more than 550 days, compared to 369 days without the cannabis treatment. The CBD (cannabidiol)-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) treatment helped produced an 83 percent one-year survival rate, compared with 53 percent for non-cannabis patients.

Prior studies had shown that a CBD-THC combination “led to a synergistic reduction in the viability of U87MG glioma cells,” and the “co-administration of temozolomide with THC and CBD had further synergistic effects, causing a significant reduction in cell viability.”

In their press release, GW noted that there is substantial oncologic research on cannabinoids to treat several forms of cancer, with 15 publications on the positive effects on tumor growth and suppression – especially in promoting autophagy, or “the process of regulated self-degradation by cells.”

We believe that the signals of efficacy demonstrated in this study further reinforce the potential role of cannabinoids in the field of oncology and provide GW with the prospect of a new and distinct cannabinoid product candidate in the treatment of glioma,” said CEO Justin Gover.

GW can be said to be one of more respectable pharma companies. Instead of actively fighting cannabis legalization – as U.S. companies have done by funding anti-pot propaganda prior to state ballot initiatives – GW is embracing the power of cannabis.

GW Pharma is on the verge of securing approval for a cannabis-derived drug called Epidiolex to treat children with severe epilepsy. It will file for approval this year in the U.S. and the U.K. Trials have shown “high statistical significance” in helping patients, some of who suffer 80 severe seizures a day.

Of course, we already know through countless examples that the administration of CBD or other types of cannabis oil stops seizures in their tracks for children suffering with epilepsy. It’s why a Colorado company has produced a nasal cannabis spray that repeatedly stops seizures within 20 seconds.

While many states now acknowledge this reality and are legalizing cannabis extracts for seizures, Epidiolex has the potential to offer an effective treatment nationwide. It will also put the absurd classification of cannabis and its derivatives as a Schedule 1 drug to the ultimate test.

This article (After Years of Research, Big Pharma Finally Shows Evidence Cannabis Kills Cancer) was originally published on The Free Thought Project and syndicated by The Event Chronicle.



After Years of Research, Big Pharma Finally Shows Evidence Cannabis Kills Cancer

Hacking the Tripping Mind: A Fantastic Voyage Through Inner Space


Pay attention. What if you could focus and control your consciousness when under the influence of psychedelics? Cognitive roller-coasters may be upon us.


01.25.15 12:45 PM ET

Almost fifty years ago, ex-Harvard professor Timothy Leary and his colleagues penned an essay titled “On Programming Psychedelic Experiences.

Essentially, the article served as a field manual for navigating awareness during altered states of consciousness, a kind of map to help orient and manage subjectivity, a voyage chart to focus the attention of a tripping mind.


The basic premise was that if you could carefully curate the environment, and then pattern, sequence, and control the set of stimuli that individuals would be exposed to while under the influence of a mind-altering chemical or plant, you could orient awareness towards useful spaces of mind. You could, for example, willingly induce positive and cathartic, transformational experiences.

Psychedelic plants have been ingested in all kinds of sacred rituals, by all kinds of cultures, for millennia, and yet remain largely misunderstood by the mainstream today.

While their effects can vary, there seems to be consensus that these substances evoke a period of increased reactivity or sensitivity to the flood of sense impressions coming in.  Darwin’s Pharmacy author, Professor Richard Doyle, following psychologist Stanislav Grof, calls psychedelics non-specific amplifiers of consciousness whose effects are “extraordinarily sensitive to the initial rhetorical conditions” in which we take them.

What this means, as Leary explains, is that the subjective effects of psychedelics and marijuana are “user-constructed,” in that the initial conditions of the experience, both environmental and psychological, feedback into the subjective experience of the trip itself. Leary condensed this feedback effect in the notion of “set and setting,” which has remained a widely accepted heuristic by psychedelic explorers for fifty years.

“There is no drug effect by itself,” says Techgnosis author, media theorist and psychonaut Erik Davis—psychedelics “simply reflect and amplify beliefs and patterns of meaning already woven into the user’s intentional ‘set’ and environmental ‘setting’…endlessly reverberating feedback loops of mind, cultural context, and compound.”

Psychedelic researcher and professor Richard Doyle expands on this idea: “It gets curiouser and curiouser… for it is also the case that the language we use to describe an experience becomes part of the experience. So our description feeds back onto the experience itself.”  In other words, even the words we use to map and make sense of our experience, actually change our experience, in an infinite recursive feedback loop.


Doyle calls psychedelics “information technologies” that work through the capture and management of attention. By managing attention, you manage the overall field of awareness, and thus you can influence your perception of reality.

Erik Davis also says that drugs are like media technologies. Just as different media provide different ratios of sensation that can be designed to create different experiences, so can the internal mediation provided by these psychedelic “tools” be “programmed.”

He writes: “In order to successfully boot up these new semiotic universes within a users’ consciousness, the media technology must directly engage the machinery of human perception…It is a matter of directly engaging…the underlying technical ‘material’ of subjectivity itself.”

Again. When we speak about subjectivity we speak about attention. Attention is the hinge between conscious control and the patterns of reactivity that have already been set up by the psychological system or the environment (the now ubiquitous set and setting).

Attention is at the center of consciousness.

Author and psychedelic explorer Diana Slattery has written that the capture and control of attention is “a necessary condition for any interpersonal persuasion, education, or entertainment to occur.”

“Attention,” wrote Darwin, “if sudden and close, graduates into surprise; and this into astonishment; and this into stupefied amazement.”

Control attention, control consciousness.

Again, the way that these psychedelic substances mediate awareness and attention means that the environment and context end up informing the nature of the experience: The increased suggestibility of the user makes the set and setting crucial and delicate— and thus should be choreographed beforehand and planned accordingly.

This focus is crucial not just to altered states of consciousness but also to ordinary consciousness, and by working on attention through techniques such as mindfulness and self-inquiry, we can alter not only psychedelic experience, but experience itself!

We can untangle ourselves from our maps, we can decouple our minds from reflexive patterns, and create new patterns.


So here’s what we have so far:

A) Psychedelic experiences are extremely sensitive to the context (ie: set and setting) in which we experience them.

B) We can program these experiences by intentionally curating the “set” and “setting” in which we ingest them.

C) Appreciating just how profoundly this sensitivity to set and setting can shape the texture (and “reality”) of a psychedelic experience, can give us insight into the nature of how “design” affects the mind, even in a non-psychedelic state.

We are talking about feedback loops between mind and “world.”

Anne-Marie Willis calls the pervasive, mind-sculpting nature of these loops, (and of design in general), “Ontological Design.” The concept is fairly simple but the feedback loops are all-encompassing: essentially all of the things that we design and that surround us, from our language, to our dwellings, our cities, tools, aircrafts, bedrooms, kitchens, and religions, design us back. It all feeds back.

Design is pervasive: what we design is designing us.

Author Steven Johnson echoed the same idea: “Our thoughts shape our spaces and our spaces return the favor.” What we construct, what we architect, architects us in return.

Media theorist Marshall McLuhan: We build the tools and then they build us.

Here it is again: We are being designed by that which we have designed.


The question is whether we are aware that this is happening. The truth is we are likely not paying attention. What psychedelics can do, then, says Rich Doyle, is they can make us aware of these “feedback loops between our creative choices—and our consciousness.” And thus of “the tremendous freedom we have in creating our own experience.”

Leary called this “internal freedom.”

Again: Using psychedelics to aid in both perceiving and understanding the effects of language, music, architecture, and culture on our consciousness, can offer an awareness of the degree to which we have the “ability to affect our own consciousness through our linguistic and creative choices.”

We learn how our choices determine our fate.

I design therefore I become.


Because Psychedelics heighten perception almost immediately, users quickly shake off the deadening effects of habit.

Users may also temporarily lose their inhibitions as well as their ability to filter out or ignore certain stimuli, finding themselves extremely open to novel perceptions that may lead to unexpected observations, connections, serendipities, insights, and epiphanies.

Properly setting the environment of the “tripper” therefore, can serve as a modulator for those insights.

Pay attention to this notion because understanding this point is crucial to the entire argument of programming these experiences: the extreme “suggestibility” and “openness” of the user during a psychedelic state means that one’s measured choices of “set and setting” could be utterly transformational, and might include, for example, using the crescendo of a Hans Zimmer soundtrack to make the user understand the nature of being, or bringing the user’s attention to a specific Dali painting might convey the entirety of the human condition, or reading lyrics from a Pablo Neruda poem could utterly shatter and reconstitute that person’s entire worldview on love.

A walk down San Francisco’s Land’s End hiking trail, at sunset, listening to the Interstellar score might become the single most meaningful moment of that person’s life—and end up leading to life-altering shifts. Try to imagine the insights from 10 years of deep psychotherapeutic practice compressed into a single moment of “naked unmuddled meaning.”

The idea is that one can literally steer” awareness towards transformative encounters and ecstatic revelations. There have been accounts of how a single Ketamine trip will cure even the most extreme cases of depression.

This suggests that through the careful use of these substances, informed by scientific, medical, and shamanic knowledge, our stubborn defense-mechanisms, and our thick-skinned ego-identity, is dissolved, enabling a meta programming of the software of our being. Writer, physician, neuroscientist and philosopher John Lilly called it “Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer”.  Mindware upgrades. The implications are unprecedented.


Administering psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) or high grade marijuana before watching an IMAX film of deep space could be experientially akin to writer Ross Andersen’s virtuosic description of the Hubble Space telescope’s deep field images: blasting open “new tunnels between the mind and The Other” by “mainlining space and time through the optic nerve,” an encounter that Anderson describes as “nothing less than an ontological awakening…a forceful reckoning with what is.”

A psychedelically-tuned mind might see jaw dropping images of the universe and somehow “distill the difficult abstractions of astrophysics as singular expressions of color and light, vindicating Keats’s famous couplet: beauty is truth, truth beauty.”

We can imagine all sorts of novel coming-of-age rituals designed for transformation, psychedelic educational experiments, and even entertainment possibilities that push the envelope of experience.


In his book on shamanism, the historian of religion Mircea Eliade described various “techniques of ecstasy” that essentially helped mediate our encounters with the sacred. Though Eliade was critical of and misinformed about psychedelics, numerous scholars make the case that the origins of many of the world’s religions are richly embedded in the ritualized use of these sacraments, along with other techniques of ecstasy such as chanting, fasting, drumming, dance and meditation, all of which can act as passports to the numinous.

Today we are seeing a renaissance in the study of these plants and chemicals.

Organizations like MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) are working with researchers and governments to investigate the therapeutic potential of medicines such as MDMA, or Ecstasy, which is being used to alleviate such psychological problems as PTSD, Depression, and many other ailments. The results have been staggering.

Johns Hopkins University recently administered psilocybin, the active chemical in magic mushrooms, to patients dealing with terminal illness. The effects seemed to reconfigure their entire perception of death, giving them peace.

Much like riding a rocket ship into orbit will shift an astronaut’s perspective so dramatically that he or she may experience the often reported “Overview Effect,” a sort of techno-scientific spiritual awakening—the effect of which can utterly transfigure their psychological point of view—so too do psychedelics seem to trigger an analogous change in perspective, a kind of “orbital position,” that changes our sense of the big picture, and that can be as significant and profound as an orbital flight.


Although not usually included in the same category as LSD and psilocybin, Marijuana “fuses cognition and dream” and idealizes or “archetypilizes” perception, wrote author David Lenson, and is perhaps the most popular of what Doyle calls “ecodelics,” mild enough that most users seem to be able to manage the experience without much difficulty.

“You know how it goes, this italicization of experience,” wrote Michael Pollan in The Botany of Desire; “…familiar music becomes sublime, food tastes better, sexual touch revelatory. There is a seemingly virginal noticing of the sensate world.” […] “the cannabinoids are molecules with the power to make romantics and transcendentalists of us all.”

David Lenson: “Every object stands more clearly for all of its class: a cup “looks like” the Platonic Idea of a cup, a landscape looks like a landscape painting, a hamburger stands for all the trillions of hamburgers ever served, and so forth,” he writes.

“This dialectical pattern of reconcilable estrangement—experiencing first a new distance and then a new relationship that closes that distance—is central to cannabis. This applies perfectly to the aesthete who smokes pot before going to the Guggenheim.”

Today, America has hit a tipping point in its mainstream acceptance of marijuana as both a medicine as well as a recreational pastime.

Here too, we are seeing focus being placed on what we might call the curation of experience, with a particular premium placed on set and setting. Because marijuana consciousness is (like all ecodelics) so sensitive to the context in which we ingest it, it is no surprise that states like Colorado are seeing the emergence of a high-end pot culture: curated dinner parties, specialty concerts, and other discerning cultural events carefully designed with cannabis intoxication in mind are opening up a blank canvas for “experience design” that works in concert with the sensibilities of marijuana intoxication.

Cannabis, like other mind-altering plants and chemicals, creates what Doyle calls “infinite resonance with set and setting” so that both the expectation of the user, and his associations, will respond to the context in which he or she partake in the drug.

By changing the cultural context in which marijuana is used, you change the very nature of the marijuana high itself.

Flow Kana is a new medicinal cannabis delivery startup in the San Francisco Bay Area that wants to change the relationship between the patient and her cannabis medicine. Everything from the design of the web app, to the user-experience, to the aesthetic framing in which the patient interfaces with the transaction itself, has been designed for a particular experience, that is, to elicit a particular flavor of consciousness.

Flow Kana also serves as the first farm-to-table model in the industry, according to its founder Michael Steinmetz. By connecting patients directly to farmers, Steinmetz aims to re-contextualize the entire relationship between the patient and his medicine, and in doing so, perhaps impact even the nature of the medicine’s effects.                                                           


But what about recreational users who don’t suffer from a particular affliction? As legalization momentum continues to spread, what new cognitive thrills await the inner-space community?

David Lenson: “A positive drug experience can confirm the collaborative model of consciousness, since the user relates to objects not as if they were dialectically opposed to his or her own subjectivity, but as if they were co-contributors to the creation of the world.”

This change in perception creates all kinds of creative, theatrical possibilities and subjectivities. Entire new ways to program and design experience emerge.

Immersive experiences designed for turned-on brains, such as guided hikes with carefully curated soundtracks and soundscapes, could offer “cognitive ecstasy” on- demand: A Joseph Campbell-esque, artfully constructed Hero’s Journey of self- discovery and illumination could become a premium commodity, like a Spa for the mind, and could be designed to deliver cognitive effects that would do for our spirit what five-star spas do for our bodies.

We could see the rise of boutique movie theaters with vaporizing rooms for filmgoers to prime their brains with cannabis for enhanced cinematic immersion.

Interactive theater experiments, like Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More, could encourage participants to smoke some marijuana before the show, rather than have a cocktail. The overwhelming sense of presence and subjective intensity that would ensue will surely jolt jaded theater goers from feeling like “they’ve seen everything before,” into feeling a bit like Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole.

The possibilities for new “cognitive roller-coasters” are limitless.

And this raises the issue of what legal theorist Richard Glen Boire calls “cognitive liberty.”

Beyond the therapeutic and medicinal potential of these cognitive tools for those suffering from a host of maladies, shouldn’t we all have the freedom to probe the perimeters of our minds, to mediate our own ecstasies, in safe, controlled settings?

Haven’t our greatest innovations, our greatest adventures as a species come about thanks to individuals who dared to think differently?

It has been written that “reality is tightly coupled to perception”—change perception, and change reality.

David Lenson wrote: “Drugs may encourage the idealist notion that by changing the way perception is received and processed, an individual can actually change the world…in the ‘60s Jerry Rubin said “every time I smoke a joint, it is a revolutionary act”

I believe we need to reframe the way we think of drugs. We need a new story. A new conversation.


Moving beyond the psychedelic experience there is the question of integration, the takeaway so to speak. We’ve gotten the message, processed the insights, and now what? Many artists, musicians and elite athletes who have found their way, (with our without psychedelics), talk about “the flow state,” a kind of super-focused “zone” associated with extreme virtuosity, creativity, and “no-mind”; a state of ultimate performance where passion and skill meets the opportunity to express itself. This highly-sought after modality is as elusive as you might expect, yet recent advances in our understanding of the chemistry of lived experience are allowing us to peek beneath the lid, so to speak.

Rise of Superman author Steven Kotler and his partner Jamie Wheal co-founded the Flow Genome Project which is working with Fortune 500 companies to teach employees to get into Theta-wave brain states, typical of meditating monks, achieving nondual states and supercharging their focus and subjectivity. They say that flow states silence “our inner critic,” allowing us to get out of our own way and transcend our self-imposed limitations, dubbed by author Gary Weber the “happiness beyond thought.”

In his recent TEDx talk Altered States to Altered Traits: Hacking Your Flow State,” Jamie Wheal says that our self-systems are like colanders, constantly emptying, and we can’t seem to sustain these flow states. He says, “It’s easier than ever to get high and it’s as hard as it’s always been to stay that way…we get hooked on the state instead of raising the stage.”

Practices of mindfulness such as meditation, curating our environment, and self-inquiry are the next step for many to “raise their stage,” but the Flow Genome Project brings a technological focus to states of flow. By leveraging the latest brain-mapping technologies and insights into neurochemistry and behavior, Kotler and Wheal have a developed a program to supercharge flow states and decipher the science of human performance.

Transhumanist Philosopher David Pearce says we shouldn’t stop there. He advocates for the development of a cocktail of psycho-pharmaceutical technologies, brain drugs, that build and improve upon psychedelics and performance enhancing drugs. Cannabis breeders such as DJ Short might add that they have been working on this cocktail for some time. Pearce’s online treatise, The Hedonistic Imperative, calls for the use of such bio and nano-technologies to upgrade our Darwinian brains and usher in a new kind of consciousness: “gradients of bliss” inconceivable to us except in the briefest of mystical epiphanies.

Bring it on.



The Christ Mass Mystery



Since some others are on this page.


Sent him on his nightmare into the next life?

Or crossed the light of the sky into the next phase of solar energy?


As the light turns to night and the night turns to dawn the funeral becomes a wake and the awakened ones see beyond.

Then we see the truth, the truth that we relay, for we avoid and misbehave just to live another day, atone, a tone-frequency, atonement) God to receive your eternal immaterial presence?

The experience of a lifetime or regret for a moment, the trials that defile our soul create inner torment.

Death or experience it’s all relative, any way, to the fearless.

The loss of the fallen star is the rising light of the people of the world.

Spiral (rising up the genetic, quantum mechanical Jacob’s Ladder higher-dimensional pathway into fractal recursive self-embedding symmetry)

your red and blue lights (uni-polar, non-holographic, when dual become transcendent – merged)

up your tree (tree of life, tree of knowledge hanging on the mineral-bio-organic matrix of the body, the Bodhi Tree that Buddha sat underneath to gather his soul energy)

when they reach the top after passing through all layers in between then your will attain your star and YOU WILL KNOW CHRIST.

You. Will. Know. Christ. Christ is the Applied Knowledge of your Will to create true being beyond the holographic realm of duality, polarity, light and dark.

I said in a previous video to “ignore the presents at the bottom of the tree” This is FALSE. I led you on a wild goose chase, this is often the case as we are all learning here and now, how to integrate eternally into the all and the how.

To IGNORE, is to PRODUCE IGNORANCE, IGNORANCE is the LACK OF KNOWLEDGE, therefore this is non-sense!Do not IGNORE the material presents, presence at the bottom of the tree. That would be to ignore the MATERIAL PRESENCE of the bodhi of the free. We must LIBERATE the lower material essence, where there is a quantum, psychological, holographic consciousness-based ENTRAPMENT with an X and a CIRCLE around it! This is a CLOSED PORTAL, a STOP SIGN, a TRAIN CROSSING BOUND with a BARRIER and FLASHING LIGHTS.Instead of ignorance, PRODUCE HIGHER KNOWLEDGE. Put the material and lower essence IN PLACE at the BOTTOM HALF of the PORTION OF THE TREE OF LIFE AND KNOWLEDGE. To put this half on top is to live in an UPSIDE DOWN WORLD, AKA material Earth circa NOW in the inverted holographic projection we find ourselves in where the inversion was created because then only those who know the trick, the trick of KRISS KRINGLE, KRISS KROSS, would FIND ABUNDANCE and GIFTS from ABOVE, while all else who remained ignorant of these secrets would SUFFER.

This is a fun game sure, a real holographic pop-up book of the millenia, however there are many other rooms in this mansion, DIMENSIONS IN THIS UNIVERSAL MATRIX.And only the ones limited via the lower spectrum of the dirty, lowly, bottom of the tree dwelling perceptions and desires are BOUND BY THE CRISS CROSS SCALAR GRID MATRIX.

So the real question here is, did they do all this to entrap you?

Or was this already here and they left these signs and secrets to save your soul!!?? Sol!?? Only you can find out! Open your presence before time runs out and the morning star rises again and the day of Solstice passes over. Prepare for PASS OVER, the day of JUBILEE, the DEBT JUBILEE, THE DAY OF BOTH RECKONING AND RELEASE from SIN. SIN, SIGN, SINE-WAVE, SIGN-SEAL, KARMIC AKASHA RESTRICTION ON GENETIC MEMORY FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT PASS THE TEST.

The test simply being those who CHOOSE TO PASS GO AND COLLECT NOW. The luck of the draw is the spin of an electromagnetic compass north, and that north is IN YOUR MIND. THE MAGNETITE in your FOREHEAD, will AWAKEN when you TRAVEL TO THE NORTH, and LOOK INTO YOUR SELF and SEE THE SOUL WITHIN. THE SOL WITHIN.

This journey never ends, because WITHIN there is a NEW WORLD, JUST AS WHEN YOU ARE BORN HERE, YOU SEE THERE IS A NEW WORLD.

If you only PAY the KEEPER with ATTENTION to the MATERIAL then your TICKET is to the LOWER PLANES and you miss the STAR ON TOP, THE LIGHT FROM ABOVE.





Guess what? I am a drug-dealer and you are on my drugs! Your brain is a drug factory and your brain is now on the words that my drug-factory produced which when properly converted will translate into brain-drugs for you! All the greatest teachers of history were and are still drug-dealers a part of a conglomerate of bio-chemical cartel members! How’s that for mind-control!

We are all walking drug factories and Earth is the biggest cartel in the solar system!


FIND THE NORTH POLE and the little ELVES working away to produce the GOODS that you desire in this dimension!

They knew then and they know now! They’re just waiting for you to ask for direction!

The gods are waiting for your letter containing your list of requests! When they return they’ll show you gifts and blow your f_cking minds!

Better prepare! By this I mean, BETTER TO PREPARE.

I will leave one more and then stop this here so you have something to think about later. The images and words (thus knowledge) I am leaving out has to do with the true nature of the sun, the light and dark electromagnetism of the universe, the holy grail, the spiraling of DNA, health and abundance, and the truth of the system and how the symbols are all around us.

See Taron Green’s recent post! One aspect he’s left out is that the waters and ice around there has been SEALED OFF since the time of the last AGE of HUMANITY. Not only is there are 20,000x difference in the intensity of the biological systems of whatever is down there, but that this has been growing and developing since then for THOUSANDS OF YEARS without POLLUTION from our civilization!

Once that dam breaks, once that ice-wall melts and that portal is open, then the TWO WORLDS, BECOME ONE.

If your mind is capable of handling that, then you get to see the presence of the next age which might be anything better than the stuff that’s going on now!

The last parcel. The last picture I have attached to this post is of Amanita Muscaria mushrooms. These mushrooms. Notice the colors.

These contain Muscarine which converts to muscimol and ibotenic acid. They must be heated in order to reduce the muscimol and increase the ibotenic acid otherwise they can lead to toxicity.

There have been theories that this is something the Vikings would consume before battle to enter into a berserker trance. These may or may not be founded in reality, they may have just been drunk and amped up from their own spiritual practices.

In the snowy societies (such as the North) there have been notifications of Eskimo tribes that utilize Amanita Muscaria in a ceremonial shamanic fashion.


During the harsh winters, the shaman would have trouble being able to find these mushrooms, let alone dig them up.

What just so happens to be, is that reindeer and often most kinds of animals tend to enjoy psychedelics and this can be noted as how often deer will eat cannabis crops if they stumble upon them, as one little idea presented here.

The shaman would, being the kind and mindful shaman that he or she is, would share his supply of psychedelic deliriant mushrooms with the local reindeer.

Knowing the reindeer have the scent and the taste he would eventually follow the reindeer, knowing that their keen sense of smell would eventually lead him to more mushrooms. They would also chip in and do the work to dig since they felt like being so helpful.

These reindeer, when having eaten these mushrooms, would be known to prance and dance around in the snow like a little kid at a Christmas and this part is unrelated but I felt I’d throw that in there.

The point is that they would run and jump around so much one could say they’re now, “flying reindeer”. When in fact, they’re just tripping and appreciative of the cool (possibly freezing) jolly fellow sharing his stash with them and getting them buzzed.

So then we have the idea of this shaman in the tundra belonging to a shamanic tribal society who’s ceremonies and wholly days (days of sacred spiritual and communal/familial wholeness, not holidays, separate, set apart, divided). So during the winter solstice, as you may know, many of these natural tribal societies will celebrate and mark this change of solar, celestial, and spiritual energies by imbibing in and communicating with their elder spirits.

So how would this shaman be able to reach those who were snowed in to their igloos up to the chimney? Well, you guessed aptly, he may have slide his gifts down the very chimney at a time where this was applicable, namely there being no fire to burn his stash prematurely.

You see. This heat would have to be used to cook the mushrooms, otherwise a child might eat them raw and absorb so much muscinol that toxicity would result and as you can imagine this would be a pain out in the tundra.

So another option, other than the heat, is that an individual who was well enough developed and possibly tolerant enough of the toxic, could devour a large enough supply of these mushrooms and the ibotenic acid (the psychoactive ingredient) would pass through this urine unchanged.

There’s a kicker coming here.

You see, ibotenic acid is one of the magical chemicals in the environment that can literally be passed through the body having done the job and given the desired effects and will still remain unchanged and reusable after being urinated out.

So the elder who was strong enough could eat a large enough supply of these mushrooms that his urine could then be drank by everyone in the family and this would then pass that psychoactive ibotenic acid on to the others who would look to imbibe. Secondary hint coming.

Yes, he could drink water and turn that water into psychedelic wine for the whole family.

Now imagine some guy who’s tolerance was so high, he was the most high and he could do this for an entire village (a moderate one at that, lets be “reasonable” here and now, possibly for the first time ever, and the never once more until we forget and remember who we are again).

So of course, you may have also wondered about these colors. Imagine the ingenuity of the shaman if he so chose to dress himself in the apparent colors of this mushroom so that all who saw him approaching would know that he was the shaman and thus he was the one to get your special wholly day stash from for the spiritual celebration of the winter solstice. Yes, ride and white in a big padded suit, with happy go lucky reindeer in tow and know that’s not candy in his big red sack.

Now for the final part of this story of lessons, or whatever you choose to call this, I will refer you to a jolly fellow who similarly knows the invisible truths that lay all around, hiding in wait, waiting to be found, ILLumiNatiCongo, a brother from another, in light, not in arms, who knows that nothing is as it seems, and pretty much everything is maximally as awesome as one can perceive without instantly blasting off into another fxxckng realm.

Could this also be related to the practice of alternate nostril breathing, of ascending the chimney using the etheric power of the mind.

Is anything as it seems?

X marks the spot of the buried treasure as drawn on the map, the map is a blue print of reality and is conceptual not literal.

One last reference is Michael Kavanagh who also knows what’s up, and what’s down, and is having fun expanding people’s minds on his own time taking you into his world out of the abyss and into the light.

Enjoy! Again. Krampus too.



The Christ Mass Mystery

8 Ways Magic Mushrooms Explain Santa Story

shroom christ


By Douglas Main


The story of Santa and his flying reindeer can be traced to an unlikely source: hallucinogenic or “magic” mushrooms, according to one theory.

“Santa is a modern counterpart of a shaman, who consumed mind-altering plants and fungi to commune with the spirit world,” said John Rush, an anthropologist and instructor at Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif.

Here are eight ways that hallucinogenic mushrooms explain the story of Santa and his reindeer.

1. Arctic shamans gave out mushrooms on the winter solstice.

According to the theory, the legend of Santa derives from shamans in the Siberian and Arctic regions who dropped into locals’ teepee like homes with a bag full of hallucinogenic mushrooms as presents in late December, Rush said.

“As the story goes, up until a few hundred years ago, these practicing shamans or priests connected to the older traditions would collect Amanita muscaria (the Holy Mushroom), dry them and then give them as gifts on the winter solstice,” Rush told LiveScience in an email. “Because snow is usually blocking doors, there was an opening in the roof through which people entered and exited, thus the chimney story.”

2. Mushrooms, like gifts, are found beneath pine trees.

That’s just one of the symbolic connections between the Amanita muscaria mushroom and the iconography of Christmas, according to several historians and ethnomycologists, or people who study fungi’s influence on human societies. Of course, not all scientists agree that the Santa story is tied to a hallucinogen. [Trippy Tales: History of Magic Mushrooms & Other Hallucinogens]

In his book “Mushrooms and Mankind” (The Book Tree, 2003) the late author James Arthur points out that Amanita muscaria, also known as fly agaric, lives throughout the Northern Hemisphere under conifers and birch trees, with which the fungi — which are deep red with white flecks — have a symbiotic relationship. This partially explains the practice of the Christmas tree, and the placement of bright red-and-white presents underneath it, which look like Amanita mushrooms, he wrote.

“Why do people bring pine trees into their houses at the winter solstice, placing brightly colored (red-and-white) packages under their boughs, as gifts to show their love for each other …?” he wrote. “It is because, underneath the pine bough is the exact location where one would find this ‘Most Sacred’ substance, the Amanita muscaria, in the wild.” (Note: Do not eat these mushrooms, as they can be poisonous.)

3. Reindeer were shaman “spirit animals.”

Reindeer are common in Siberia and northern Europe, and seek out these hallucinogenic fungi, as the area’s human inhabitants have also been known to do. Donald Pfister, a Harvard University biologist who studies fungi, suggests that Siberian tribesmen who ingested fly agaric may have hallucinated that the grazing reindeer were flying.

“At first glance, one thinks it’s ridiculous, but it’s not,” said Carl Ruck, a professor of classics at Boston University. “Whoever heard of reindeer flying? I think it’s becoming general knowledge that Santa is taking a ‘trip’ with his reindeer.” [6 Surprising Facts About Reindeer]

“Amongst the Siberian shamans, you have an animal spirit you can journey with in your vision quest,” Ruck continued. “And reindeer are common and familiar to people in eastern Siberia.”

4. Shamans dressed like … Santa Claus.

These shamans “also have a tradition of dressing up like the [mushroom] … they dress up in red suits with white spots,” Ruck said.

5. Mushrooms abound in Christmas iconography.

Tree ornaments shaped like Amanita mushrooms and other depictions of the fungi are also prevalent in Christmas decorations throughout the world, particularly in Scandinavia and northern Europe, Pfister pointed out. That said, Pfister made it clear that the connection between modern-day Christmas and the ancestral practice of eating mushrooms is a coincidence, and he doesn’t know about any direct link. [5 Surprising Facts About Christmas]

6. Rudolph’s nose resembles a bright-red mushroom.

Ruck points to Rudolph as another example of the mushroom imagery resurfacing: His nose looks exactly like a red mushroom. “It’s amazing that a reindeer with a red-mushroom nose is at the head, leading the others,” he said.

Many of these traditions were merged or projected upon St. Nicholas, a fourth-century saint known for his generosity, as the story goes.

There is little debate about the consumption of mushrooms by Arctic and Siberian tribespeople and shamans, but the connection to Christmas traditions is more tenuous, or “mysterious,” as Ruck put it.

7. “A Visit from St. Nicholas” may have borrowed from shaman rituals.

Many of the modern details of the modern-day American Santa Claus come from the 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (which later became famous as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”). The poem is credited to Clement Clarke Moore, an aristocratic academic who lived in New York City.

The origins of Moore’s vision are unclear, although Arthur, Rush and Ruck all think the poet probably drew from northern European motifs that derive from Siberian or Arctic shamanic traditions. At the very least, Arthur wrote, Santa’s sleigh and reindeer are probably references to various related northern European mythology. For example, the Norse god Thor (known in German as Donner) flew in a chariot drawn by two goats, which have been replaced in the modern retelling by Santa’s reindeer, Arthur wrote.

Other historians were unaware of a connection between Santa and shamans or magic mushrooms, including Stephen Nissenbaum, who wrote a book about the origins of Christmas traditions, and Penne Restad, of the University of Texas at Austin, both of whom were contacted by LiveScience.

8. Santa is from the Arctic.

One historian, Ronald Hutton, told NPR that the theory of a mushroom-Santa connection is flawed. “If you look at the evidence of Siberian shamanism, which I’ve done,” Hutton said, “you find that shamans didn’t travel by sleigh, didn’t usually deal with reindeer spirits, very rarely took the mushrooms to get trances, didn’t have red-and-white clothes.”

But Rush and Ruck disagree, saying shamans did deal with reindeer spirits and the ingestion of mushrooms is well documented. Siberian shamans did wear red deer pelts, but the coloring of Santa’s garb is mainly meant to mirror the coloring of Amanita mushrooms, Rush added. As for sleighs, the point isn’t the exact mode of travel, but that the “trip” involves transportation to a different, celestial realm, Rush said. Sometimes people would also drink the urine of the shaman or the reindeer, as the hallucinogenic compounds are excreted this way, without some of the harmful chemicals present in the fungi (which are broken down by the shaman or the reindeer), Rush said.

“People who know about shamanism accept this story,” Ruck said. “Is there any other reason that Santa lives in the North Pole? It is a tradition that can be traced back to Siberia.”




Psychoactive Plants in the Bible

The First Supper: Entheogens and the Origin of Religion



shroom icon


Cannabinoids Heal the Body ~ Wes Annac


By Wes Annac, Editor, Culture of Awareness & Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following for the 228th issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

If this were the 60s or 70s and you told someone you were using cannabis for pain relief or to treat an illness, you might get a funny look. Today, however, countless legitimate medicinal uses have been discovered for the plant. It’s finally receiving positive attention from a society that’s condemned it for nearly a century.

“Regular” people are standing up for cannabis, unafraid of the consequences imposed by an unfair system. Rather than continue to condemn it, people are openly exploring and sharing information about its benefits. Even doctors are speaking out about it.

In an effort to support the revolutionary work being done in the field of cannabis-based medicine, I’ve compiled some of the most prominent information concerning the plant’s health benefits. It seems to have been created for the explicit purpose of helping the human body.

Since the floodgates have been opened for extensive research into it (though not as extensive as if it were legalized worldwide), we in this era will be fortunate enough to learn almost everything it can do. More people than ever will learn about the ways it can heal the body, and a sea change in the way we see it will follow.

Cannabinoids in Cannabis Mimic the Body’s Endocannabinoids  

Nishi Whiteley writes that cannabis helps various ailments because of the “active pharmacological components” in the plant that mimic the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is described as an “internal chemical harm reduction system”. (1)

Nishi writes that endocannabinoids – chemicals produced by the body – control the endocannabinoid system. These chemicals ensure our most important biological functions are stable. Those functions include the ability to sleep, feel pain, have an appetite, and maintain a healthy immune system. Their control gives endocannabinoids the ability to “fix the problem” when the body becomes imbalanced or stressed. (1)

The cannabis plant, Nishi writes, contains “pharmaceutically active” components that mimic the body’s endocannabinoids. These components can help the body manage crises or find healing after trauma if the body’s endocannabinoids are insufficient by themselves. The short answer as to why cannabis helps so many illnesses is that it treats pain and inflammation by working with the endocannabinoid system, which controls these symptoms. Pain and inflammation are prevalent in most illnesses, giving cannabinoids the edge against them. (1)

Cannabis Contains Over 400 Active Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids

Nishi writes that cannabis is one of the most pharmacologically active plants in the world: it contains over 400 active chemicals referred to as cannabinoids, terpenoids (aka terpenes), and flavonoids. Different levels and combinations of these chemicals provide different benefits for the body. These include:

  • Dilating blood vessels
  • Protecting brain cells that have been damaged
  • Stimulating bone growth
  • Killing certain cancer cells
  • Controlling muscle spasticity
  • Preventing seizures
  • Killing viruses, as well as bacteria (1)

These chemicals, Nishi writes, seem to provide the greatest benefit when combined. The individual, isolated chemicals don’t help as much as when they all work together. (1)

Cannabinoids Relieve Pain “Significantly”

The United Patients Group reports that cannabinoids have been shown to “significantly” relieve pain by connecting to pain receptors in the central nervous system. They can even relieve pain in cases where opiates are insufficient. (2)

The UPG reports that medical marijuana and pain relief studies show less THC is needed for pain relief compared to codeine: the level of pain relief from a 10-mg dose of THC is comparable to relief from a 60-mg dose of codeine. Patients given access to extracts of medical marijuana can decrease their use of opioid pain relievers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and antidepressants. (2)

Patients given “inhaled medical marijuana” can find significant relief from peripheral neuropathy, the UPG reports, which is a common symptom for patients undergoing chemotherapy or taking anti-cancer drugs that cause pain, tingling, or muscle weakness in the hands or feet. Peripheral neuropathy may be avoided altogether if medical marijuana is taken before the use of chemotherapy or anti-cancer drugs. (2)

The UPG reports that most patients consume cannabis by smoking it, but those who prefer not to smoke can use alternative methods. Studies show smoking cannabis is not as harmful as smoking cigarettes, but nevertheless, it can be harmful to smoke anything. Alternative methods are available, such as vaporizing, oral ingestion via a prepared solution, or oral ingestion via edibles. (2)

CBD: A Highly Beneficial Cannabinoid

Now, let’s focus on CBD; the increasingly well-known cannabinoid that boosts THC’s therapeutic effects and, as we’ll learn, lessens its side effects.

Amee at Back Pain Solutions Online writes that THC is the most well-known cannabinoid but CBD is the most important in the medicinal sense. CBD can reduce nausea, muscle spasms, inflammation, and anxiety in lower doses than THC, and it also has anti-cancer and anti-psychotic properties. (3)

New products, Amee writes, are being developed for those who want CBD’s benefits but don’t want to get high. It can be extracted from the plant and made into tinctures, pills, and salves. The FDA considers these to be food-based products, which is why they can be sold over the counter with no medical marijuana card required. (3)

Amee writes that CBD provides an alternative form of back pain management for those who want to reduce reliance on other, more dangerous medications. Conventional drugs for pain management have short and long term risks, including dependency, organ damage, and a “foggy” feeling that interferes with daily life. CBD-based products carry no such risk. (3)

While CBD isn’t a remedy for the cause of pain, Amee writes, it could be a “key component” to managing pain naturally. Amee believes the power of information can overcome the stigma against medicines and products derived from the cannabis plant. (3)

Do the Research

There’s a tendency in our society to condemn things we know nothing about simply because we’re told they’re bad. This causes us to turn away from things like cannabis that could help us thrive, and until we break free from the herd mentality, it’ll continue to keep us from life-saving discoveries.

Don’t accept what someone tells you; do the research and learn the truth for yourself, because you’ll encounter plenty of people who want to deceive you for personal gain. Don’t believe what I write about cannabis without a well-researched understanding of your own, because knowledge not only brings power, but independence.

Read up on the subject and form your own understanding. You’ll quickly learn that this world is nothing like you think. All this surprising information will overwhelm you and send you on a quest to share the truth with others who are doing their research and sharing knowledge previously lost to history.


  1. Nishi Whiteley, “Cannabis 101: THC & CBD”, Chronic Relief http://mychronicrelief.com/cannabis-101-thc-cbd/
  2. “Analgesic the Beauty of Cannabis PAIN Relief”, United Patients Grouphttps://unitedpatientsgroup.com/analgesic-cannabis-pain-relief/
  3. Amee L., “CBD: Marijuana Component That Relieves Pain Without The Smoke Or High”, Back Pain Solutions Online, September 26, 2012 – http://backpainsolutionsonline.com/announcements-and-releases/backpain/cbd-marijuana-component-that-relieves-pain-without-the-smoke-or-high

About the author: 

wesannacI’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, revolution, music and the transformative creative force known as love. I run The Culture of Awareness, a daily news blog dedicated to raising social and spiritual awareness and supporting the evolution of the planet.

I also have a personal blog, Openhearted Rebel, in which I share writings related to spiritual philosophy, creativity, heart consciousness and revolution (among other topics).

I write from the heart and try to share informative and enlightening reading material with the rest of the conscious community. When I’m not writing or exploring nature, I’m usually making music.

Follow me on Facebook (Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness) and Twitter (Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness)



Cannabinoids Heal the Body

Earth is a Drug-Lab


Earth is a drug-lab, spiritual beings are addicted to having a chemically stimulated experience on human neuro-chemistry. Serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, dimethyltryptamine, melatonin, adrenaline, endorphins, tryptophan, oxytocin,

If a person takes a drug which alters this chemistry, they have a vastly different experience than normal waking reality.

Get it? The human experience is a chemical-based reality experience.




By Alexa Erickson, Collective Evolution

Psilocybin — or magic mushrooms — have been used in traditional healing rituals for hundreds, even thousands, of years; for more than 40 years, the drug has been illegal in the U.S..

But recent findings could tear down the taboo surrounding the drug, as they found it has the ability to ease depression and soothe anxiety in patients dealing with serious illness and the thought of an impending death.

Two separate studies discovered that a single moderate-to-large dose of psilocybin was able to help trial subjects combat their profound distress.

Harvard psychology professor Timothy Leary infamously sparked an aggressive promotion of LSD in the 1960s for a consciousness expansion mechanism that would ultimately lead to the loss of his job and halt all legal research on the benefits of psychedelics.

The research blackout came to an end in 1999 when Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins initiated a new series of studies on psilocybin. He has since become known as the grandfather of the current psychedelics research renaissance, and a 21st-century pioneer in the field. Unlike Leary, however, he does not wish or try to be some sort of activist or shaman, rather he leads a road of scientific caution as a clinical pharmacologist and author of over 300 studies on mood-altering substances such as coffee and ketamine.

Griffith says his initial interest with psychedelics came from his own mindfulness meditation practice that focuses on the healing effects of an altered state of consciousness. His interest was further sparked when he administered psilocybin to volunteers for his research, and found that two-thirds of the participants called their psychedelic journey among the most important experiences of their lives.

Now, Griffiths touts psychedelics for the ability to treat debilitating conditions like drug and alcohol dependence, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“We spent at least eight hours talking to people about their cancer, their anxiety, their concerns and so on to develop good rapport with them before the trial. During the sessions there was no specific psychological intervention—we were just inviting people to lie on the couch and explore their own inner experience,” explained Griffiths on his groundbreaking study that could break the barriers of psychedelics for medicine.

He continued on to say:

“There is something about the core of this experience that opens people up to the great mystery of what it is that we don’t know. It is not that everybody comes out of it and says, ‘Oh, now I believe in life after death.’ That needn’t be the case at all. But the psilocybin experience enables a sense of deeper meaning, and an understanding that in the largest frame everything is fine and that there is nothing to be fearful of. There is a buoyancy that comes of that which is quite remarkable. To see people who are so beaten down by this illness, and they start actually providing reassurance to the people who love them most, telling them ‘it is all okay and there is no need to worry’— when a dying person can provide that type of clarity for their caretakers, even we researchers are left with a sense of wonder.”

With the results of the research now published, people are wondering what’s next, and Griffiths says there’s only more to come.

“The Heffter Research Institute, which funded our study, has just opened a dialogue with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) about initiating a phase 3 investigation. A phase 3 clinical trial is the gold standard for determining whether something is clinically efficacious and meets the standards that are necessary for it to be released as a pharmaceutical. Approval would be under very narrow and restrictive conditions initially. The drug might be controlled by a central pharmacy, which sends it to clinics that are authorized to administer psilocybin in this therapeutic context. So this is not writing a prescription and taking it home. The analogy would be more like an anesthetic being dispensed and managed by an anesthesiologist.”

He’s also currently conducting research on psilocybin and smoking, using the psychedelic along with cognitive behavioral therapy with cigarette smokers to determine if the powerful experiences of psilocybin can be connected to the intention and commitment to quit smoking for people who have failed repeatedly to do so. “Earlier we ran an uncontrolled pilot study on that in 50 volunteers, in which we had 80 percent abstinence rates at six months. Now we are doing a controlled clinical trial in that population,” he says.

But still, a question for scientific enthusiasts remains: what’s actually going on in the brain with the use of this drug?

“We are doing neuro-imaging studies. Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris’s group at Imperial College in London is also doing neuro-imaging studies. So it is an area of very active investigation. The effects are perhaps explained, at least initially, by changes in something [in the brain] called ‘the default mode network,’ which is involved in self-referential processing [and in sustaining our sense of ego]. It turns out that this network is hyperactive in depression. Interestingly, in meditation it becomes quiescent, and also with psilocybin it becomes quiescent. This may correlate with the experience of clarity of coming into the present moment.”

With so much positivity surrounding magic mushrooms as medicine, it seems inevitable that more research will boost acceptance and support for the drug among other psychedelics as a means for healing.


Post-Modern Shamanism: Top 10 Misunderstood Psychedelics

ayahuasca shaman


By Anthony Tyler

Guest writer for Wake Up World

A subject that has received an intense amount of criticism in western culture — and continues to do so — is psychedelic drugs. Despite the fascinating scientific and anthropological results that have come from studies into these substances, there continues to be an enormous lack of funding for scientific research of psychedelics.

An onslaught of disinformation regarding these chemicals has hindered their research at every turn, and has made it very hard to figure out fact from fear within the subject. Heavy “War on Drugs” regulations keep people in prison for using most of them, even though it is becoming undeniable that not only are each of these substances incredibly healthy and beneficial to the psyche when used responsibly, but also that the notion of addiction to any substance (shamanistic psychedelic or otherwise) is propaganda. Addiction is a painfully real thing, and it happens to the best of people, but there is a difference between physical dependency on a drug, and an addiction to a substance. Addiction is a need to fill a void inside because a person feels neurologically incapable of maintaining themselves, and addictions can form from sex, working, eating, gambling, comic book collecting, romance, and realistically anything else that can successfully take an individual away from the present moment’s fullest reality. Physical dependency is when a body becomes so used to the intake of a chemical that it begins to “malfunction” due to the increasing lack of the chemical in the body. There is a fine line between medicine and maintenance, but there is a difference.

This article is NOT intended to recommend what drugs someone should take, but rather to provide an informational guide to uses, origins and effects of 10 psychedelic substances, and to clear the air on the enormous array of disinformation regarding their use.

Postmodern Shamanism is a very real thing and there are many who keep it alive within themselves and by sharing it with others — But again, this article is not about taking drugs. It is about informing people so that they can make safe decisions that are born out of empirical rationale and not cultural ignorance and “through-the-grapevine” dissertations. Despite the therapeutic and spiritual benefits these chemicals offer, there is still a massive potential for abuse; abuse comes from the individual using the substance, not the substance itself, and replacing a natural brain response with an entheogenic chemical can only get a person so far in the long run. If any person would like to understand themselves further, meditation and putting real effort into creative art are some of the most accessible ways. However, this being said, more than a couple of drugs on this list have practically zero potential for addiction due to their inherent incapacitation, duration, and intensity.

10) Cannabis/Marijuana

Psychoactive Chemical: THC

Origins: Central Asia and India

drugsMarijuana is currently the most widely understood psychedelic compound to the scientific community — although this still isn’t saying much. What the amalgamation of recent studies has been able to show is that cannabinoids are a natural neurotransmitter in the brain whether or not a person has ever ingested cannabis, and that consuming any amount of “enthno-cannabinoids” for any period of time will have no long-term debilitations, primarily because this herb is not modifying any reward systems in the brain, but rather amplifying natural reward systems with the exact same functions that would normally be used.

Science has found that habitual cannabis use condenses gray matter in the brain but does not damage or hinder any function whatsoever, and does in fact improve a great many things. Cannabis stimulates neurogenesis in the hippocampus, which modulates emotional response and memory; and studies have clearly shown that people with PTSD and hyper-aggressive tendencies have a markedly smaller hippocampus than the average person.

The high that is given from the herb is partly due to its alteration of amygdala activity, which detects and alerts the body of outside threats, emotional or physical. Studies show that continuous cannabis use will over time reshape the amygdala and rewire its neurological responses — showing why this herb is such a significant treatment for people with chronic mental and emotional ailments, such as PTSD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, ADHD, depression, et cetera, as well as helping former addicts abstain from heavier and debilitating drugs. Cannabis is also a proven “Habit Replacement”, one could say, with the potential to help reverse negative habits (often dating back to childhood) that are deeply woven into the brain.

9) Lysergic Diethylamide Acid

Extracted from: Ergot Fungus

Origins: Albert Hofman, Circa 1938

drugsAgain, saying that LSD is one of the more understood psychedelic drugs in western science is still not saying very much, but seeing as how it was synthesized by a scientist in a lab, it’s naturally more documented than most.

Originally synthesized in an attempt to isolate a bronchial dilator, LSD indeed does this and much more. Aside from the ominous Project MK Ultra — LSD experimentation conducted by the CIA that deals with a much darker side of psychedelics, involving trauma-induced mental programming through hypnosis achieved under the effects of LSD — a good deal of science has started to go into this chemical’s effects on addiction and especially alcoholism. The founder of Alcoholics Anonymous has gone on record acknowledging this capability in LSD. It has also shown to be an incredibly therapeutic drug for people with PTSD and the high appears to be less volatile than psilocybin, perhaps making it more effective for the extremely neurotic folk.

Speaking in loose metaphor, the therapeutic backdrop of LSD’s high seems to be an experience of the outside world through one’s own mind and perception; whereas psilocybin could be said to be an experience of one’s own mind and perception through the outside world.

Of further note, LSD does not build up in the human spinal fluid, nor does any of this get released when someone cracks their back. LSD “flashbacks” are not a real thing, at least as far as scientific study has yet found. Like its root chemical structure of DMT, LSD acts as what could be called a “psycho-integrator” of the brain, functioning much like serotonin does in the brain, but instead of the regulation and restraint that serotonin brings, LSD integrates the emotional brain with the informational brain on a neurological level with no restraint whatsoever. Derived from ergot, which would cause dementia and bodily poisoning if consumed in its raw form, LSD is a natural chemical — but it can hardly be considered a gift from Mother Nature. What acid is in the long run is a seriously iconic scientific mishap.

8) Psilocybin Mushrooms

Psychoactive Chemical: Psilocybin

Origins: Mesoamerica, perhaps Northern Africa

drugsMushrooms are a bit more commonly understood as well, especially thanks to Terence and Dennis McKenna, two brothers who have largely laid the groundwork for postmodern ethnobotany and scientific research into a variety of psychedelics. Dennis, the surviving brother of the two, now does research with psilocybin at the HEFFTER Research Institute. Psilocybin and other psychedelic mushrooms are proven entheogens, speculated to have been used ritualistically by the Vedics, Tantrics, Pagans, and even in the early beginnings of the Catholic Church, during the Catholic-Pagan adaptation, as well as by others. As long as history can record, humans have used this chemical substance in a shamanic context.

Studies have shown that psilocybin naturally lowers depression, anxiety and negative thoughts when used in the correct set and setting, which can be seen in the brain to help provide neurological foundation that could otherwise take an indeterminate length of time to create neurons for. Mushrooms are also known to be very poignant with facing personal problems, and under certain conditions are known to increase anxiety, tension, and depression during the high, but it is important to note that this result is indicative of the person consuming the substance and not the substance itself.

Furthermore, when a negative state of mind arises during the psilocybin high, it has been shown that the effects of the high mentioned above still apply, and that this makes perfect therapeutic and rehabilitative conditions, allowing people to face personal problems boldly in ways they could otherwise not physically do in some cases. Aforementioned are the contrasts between LSD and psilocybin highs and therapies (since they both have the root chemical foundation of DMT), and many psychonauts have noted the deeply spiritual connection and unmistakable “sense of Other” that one receives with psilocybin, and this can oftentimes become quite surreal and intense, and research at the HEFFTER Institute has begun to link the high of psilocybin with the documentable neurologic “mystical experience” that the brain produces during a shamanic trance.

7) Peyote

Psychoactive Chemical: Mescaline

Origins: Mexico / Southern Texas

drugsThe psychoactive compound in the San Pedro cactus, mescaline, is what gives peyote its kick, and this plant is also an entheogen. A common misconception is that mescaline lasts a great deal longer than an LSD or mushroom high, but this is not the case, and in fact the three are all quite comparable on a markedly general level. Mescaline however is still said to last a bit longer than the two, however as always, the duration depends on the dosage as well.

Peyote was used by many ancient North American and Mesoamerican shamans, for its traditional DMT-variant chemical structure and the naturally therapeutic properties that come with this. The reported effects seem to be coming from the realm of LSD or mushrooms, but driving into the heart of what sounds like an ibogaine experience.

In addition to psychoactive use, some Native American tribes reportedly used the plant for its medicinal properties, including for things like pain in childbirth, fever, breast pain, skin diseases, and more. Ken Kesey once said that he wrote the first three pages of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nestafter ingesting this fascinating shamanistic cactus.

6) Ecstasy

Psychoactive Chemical: MDMA

Origins: Cambodia

drugsDerived from the bark of the increasingly rare Mreah Prew Phnom tree, MDMA in its natural state is an entirely natural drug and effective medicine, and does not eat holes in your brain as some people tend to say. MDMA is not a hallucinogen, but it is still a psychedelic and can be considered the most effective socially therapeutic psychedelic, being an agonist for serotonin like many others on this list.

The dangers that come from Ecstasy are the street market additives that the drugs receive, as well as the synthetic designer chemicals that are dealt out with the same name for their similar effects, but also from the accessibility of the high, making it easy to “escape” and “chase the dragon”.

Due to its nature as a non-sedating, instant-acting anxiolytic, ecstasy creates an intense state of love and compassion opened up by its flood of serotonin. MDMA has proven to be a beneficial way to help people overcome their trauma from past stress (ranging from OCD to sexual abuse and beyond) due to the lucid state of the high, freedom of restrains and “emotional numbing” that serotonin regulation can help create, making this drug particularly conducive to psychotherapy. MDMA also increases the flow of oxytocin in the brain, which has been called the “bonding” chemical, as it is essential for intense, deeply connecting love in any relationship.

5) Salvia Divinorum

Psychoactive Chemical: SALVINORIN A

Origins: Mesoamerica

drugsOften misunderstood for something along the lines of synthetic cannabis “spice,” salvia divinorum is actually a naturally occurring entheogen as well and was traditionally picked fresh from the plant and gummed under the lip like tobacco chaw.

Used in shamanic experience by the ancient Mesoamerican people, salvia has received some clinical trials, albeit very minimal, that allude to the similar therapeutic benefits as the rest. Despite its distinction from DMT chemically, it is noted to be an intense, dreamlike experience from which it is very easy to achieve an out-of-body experience, despite the short five to fifteen minute high that it produces.

It has been shown that salvia has no known negative repercussions from use, but it should be noted that ppm, (parts per million) salvia divinorum is the most psychoactive plant on the planet, and should be taken with extreme caution. This does not necessarily imply that it is the “strongest high,” but rather that it is the most pharmacologically dense plant that western science has come across. Salvia also does not trigger the same traditional activity that the DMT variant psychedelic drugs produce, and it actually does most of its magic through opioid receptors in the brain. However, these are not the same neurotransmitters involved with heroin, opium, or the traditional opiates, and is non-addictive in every sense.

If one were to attempt to try salvia divinorum, it is recommended to grow it fresh oneself, as it is completely legal in the U.S. as well as most places, and reportedly easy to cultivate. When Terence McKenna died, he had an entire garden full of salvia divinorum plants behind his house and remained a strong advocate for the plant’s medicinal value.

4) Iboga

Psychoactive Chemical: IBOGAINE

Origins: Africa

drugsThis largely unknown entheogen’s tree bark is not only at the heart of ancient African shamanism and witchcraft, but also at the heart of many postmodern addicts’ salvation. Clinical studies have now been able to reproduce a guaranteed interruption in opiate dependency — physically and psychologically. Although still highly illegal in many places including the US, rehabilitation clinics have opened up all across the world, offering treatment that is proven to be effective by isolating the psychoactive proponent “ibogaine” from the rest of the plant’s alkaloids.

As with any psychoactive concentrate, it should be taken into consideration that ibogaine treatment is a serious kick to the ass, and is every way as intense, encompassing, and therapeutic as Ayahuasca. Some even speculate it to be more so — at least in the sense of self-reflection. Those who have compared experiences of the two plants, as well as the shamanism culture and philosophy that they have both created, point out that while ayahuasca seems to be a sojourn to “higher dimensions” of information and cognitive experience, iboga can be seen as the plant that digs to the roots of a person’s very core without pause, and is brutally, brutally honest in every way. Shamanist philosophy of the plant says that it tunes a person’s mind into the quintessential essence of things — and in terms of people, this means their soul, including the drugged person’s own soul, the soul of the people the drugged person might be around, or even the souls of the person that the drugged person is thinking about, as the legends go.

If each of these plants had a human archetype, iboga would be one of the eldest, wisest parents of the psychedelic medicines, and is something that should be left to the seriously inquisitive or to those without other options.

3) Opium

Psychoactive Chemical: Morphine / Codiene / Thebaine

Origins: Probably Southern Europe

drugsMistakenly often compared to heroin, it is important to differentiate a natural source from a concentrate. A natural source, such as an entire plant’s leaf, seed, or fruit, et cetera, is a specific balance of thousands of different chemicals that Nature has given to this “drug” that one can consume.

When people begin isolating specific chemicals into concentrated oils or salts, one no longer has any sort of consideration to Mother Nature’s Golden Ratio of growth, and thus has the potential to be stepping into murky territory, as with heroin. Indeed for thousands of years, dating back to Ancient China, it was said that when used respectfully and responsibly, opium could be used to speak to the Gods in one’s dreams; it was also said to induce precognitive dreams, astral travel, divination or what people now call “synchronicity” events, and throughout history has been considered an irreplaceable treasure to shamanism.

Scientifically speaking, the reason opium can be so addictive and physical dependent is simply the nature of the drug in relation to a human’s endogenous receptors, and ultimately of the decisions of the individual. It should be reiterated that “physical dependency” is different from “addiction,” and that addiction is a mental quality within a person that can be demonstrated with any thing at all, including any drug.

Dependency issues aside, because it is derived from a natural plant and simply boosting natural reward systems in the brain, there are no debilitating ramifications or brain damages that come from consuming opium, and the “dirtiness” that is associated with opiates and heroin is really only because of the black market distribution of the drug and the “cutting” of its substance with other substances. The Ancient Chinese fought wars over opium, and since the drug is naturally triggering endorphin receptors in the brain, (which is exactly what “runner’s high” is) and since endorphins are large components of love and emotional connection, this plant really can be seen as a kiss from Mother Nature in a sense. But, as every smart person has learned, love is a sharp and double-edged sword.

2) Ayahuasca

Psychoactive Chemical: Dimethyltryptamine

Origins: Amazonian Peru

drugsDespite its growing counter-culture in the western world, it can be argued that ayahuasca is still one of the most misunderstood substances on this list, although not pharmacologically. Many people have heard of this Amazonian tea’s intense spiritual ramifications, and more are beginning to hear about its physically rehabilitative properties as well with heroin and dependencies in general.

Because all chemical signs of life on the planet involve the chemical structure of DMT, it is metabolized quite easily by the human stomach, and so an MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) in the form of a vine is brewed with the chacruna shrub to create the psychoactive tea. The effects are intensely cleansing, and nausea, vomiting, sweating and other forms of sickness are common during the come-up and throughout at times.

Scientists know that mescaline, LSD, and psilocybin all contain root chemical components of DMT. Traditionally said to enhance psychic ability into the realms of precognition, clairvoyance, astral travel and beyond, the thing that makes this different from all other herbs or plants that produce these dreamlike effects is that this is while you are incredibly, lucidly awake. The comparison is not metaphorical either, as it has been shown in rats that DMT is produced in the pineal gland, and although studies have not been allowed yet, it can be assumed that this is the case in all mammals, including humans.

DMT has also been coined by many as the “spirit” or “dream” molecule, saying that it is a transportation of consciousness much akin to dreaming and even dying, and indeed the hormonal process that DMT is used for in the brain is shown to be linked to REM sleeping, and is speculated to be a component in dreaming. With people claiming to experience contact with a range of entities from extra-terrestrials, Gods, spirits, Jungian archetypes (which could perhaps be an explanation for all of the entities) and the like, this can be certainly said to be a chemical of transportation more so than any other, and out-of-body experiences involving long, intense, shamanic trances are common on this brew. The most common entity met while under its influence is a nurturing woman, said by many to be the Mother Nature archetype represented by religious icons, and she has been dubbed Mother Ayahuasca.

Ultimately, it should be noted that the Mother’s offer is not a super-groovy, six-hour lucid dream but a deeply intense, edge-of-your-seat, metaphysical ride that will give the consumer a run for all of their money if one is not careful.

1) DMT

Extracted from: A variety of plants, like Chacrona shrub, Mimosa Tree Bark, and many more…

Origins: Richard Manske, circa 1931

drugsThe reason this extract has been added to the list along with its traditional form is due to the culture that has adopted it. In this western culture, DMT itself has developed on a fine line between a recreational escape and a spiritual sacrament. Rarely however is DMT extract used in physically therapeutic ways due to its notably shorter duration and the fact that it is usually smoked as salt on top of an herb, which has a very different process on the body than a carefully brewed aborigine tea.

Lasting usually for a period of roughly fifteen or twenty minutes, the abruptness of the intensity can often be an uncomfortable ride akin to salvia if one is not prepared, and has effects much the same as ayahuasca without the elaborated effects with the expanded time. DMT Extract seems to offer a bit less of an introspective, psychic experience and more so an abrupt and deeply spiritual, metaphysical experience, which guarantees a dramatic jostling from the everyday western routine. Dr. Rick Strassman and his clinical studies done on DMT are some definitive sources as to the nature of the drug’s effects.

The Last Word

My final disclaimers are simple: everything in moderation, and both timing and intention are absolutely crucial. It is believed that if one uses psychedelics in an unhealthy and unproductive way, that they are more inclined to knock someone off of their spiritual path than help them find it, and this is something that far too many individuals forget. The only thing that is going to get these medicines more funding and cultural integration is the people getting a better fundamental understanding of them, and so hopefully this helps.

Also by this author:

About the author:


An author from Anchorage, Alaska, Anthony Tyler is a purveyor of the esoteric, and an advocate of open-source intelligence and aggregate analysis, specifically with the Internet. Having such an incomprehensible amount of data now on web servers, and more being added everyday, it’s becoming increasingly important for Little Brother (We The People) to begin aggregating and analyzing this internet data for themselves, since Big Brother (the Institution of the State) has become so fond of doing this same thing for a variety of nefarious reasons. Additionally, Tyler seeks to point out the important aggregation/analytical methodologies that can be found in the study of ancient metaphysics and occult sciences, which have been almost fully disclosed today, with obscure ancient texts now being an internet-search away. Far from being “Satanist,” the Occult is the postulation that all religions, philosophies, and sciences are aiming towards the same fundamental truths of the world. These truths have become a mere forgotten birthright into today’s postmodern society, but this is something that the Internet seems to have begun correcting since its cultural inception.

You can follow Anthony’s work at: 



Psilocybin and the Shadow: Magic Mushrooms as a Tool For Healing Emotional Trauma


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Since 2010 I have been exploring what it means to cultivate a spiritual practice with psilocybin, otherwise known as “magic mushrooms.” I have since written two full-length books—Decomposing The Shadow (2013) and The True Light Of Darkness (2015)—and given several public presentations on the subject.

The primary lesson I have gained through my work with Psilocybin is that integration of the dark, unaddressed, or shadow aspects of oneself are essential for psychospiritual development and general health. Without the direct experience of Shadow emotions from a place of surrender and acknowledgement, those aspects of us are likely to be inappropriately stored, repressed, in the deep psyche. This creates blockages for the flow of life within us and new, detrimental behavioral pathways are created to maintain these blockages, to maintain the repression or evasion of undesired emotional content.

These new pathways are resilient and difficult to undo, but they are not energy efficient, nor are they advantageous to the long-term health of the entire organism (personal or collective). Imagine what happens to a dynamic forest system when a water dam is erected. The natural tributaries, and the dynamic ecosystem they support, are flooded.

Now imagine this dam is poorly built and is constantly cracking under the pressure, causing more damage that only ends up requiring further maintenance of that dam as well as new dams installed to keep the flooded areas maintained. The erection of this first dam creates a chain of events that lead to causing further harm to the integrity of the whole ecosystem.

Uncovering and Feeling Repressed Emotions

In similar fashion, the repression of dark emotions—sadness, loneliness, inadequacy, hopelessness, etc.—can flood and wreak havoc to one’s inner-landscape. Yet the uncomfortable emotions we are trying to keep at bay can never be truly contained. They will eventually escape and lash out, causing harm to one’s self and their larger social ecosystem as soon as an opportunity arises.

Some of us have fewer backlogs to sort through, though we all have uncomfortable emotional content contextual to our personal and cultural experiences in life that remains unaddressed in some way. It has been there, repressed, since childhood, since we were told, directly or indirectly, to “quiet down and don’t interrupt,” or “big kids don’t cry,” “you’re fat/stupid/not good enough,” or “you must conform to specific ideals to be valuable,” etc.

We have repressed, unaddressed emotional content since so far back in ourselves that we don’t even have explicit memories attached to it. So far back that it exists beyond the thinking mind’s capacity to reach, such as the potentially devastating moment for an infant when its mother turns her head away slightly while its smiling. Or for a toddler at an age when most parents are ignorant in their belief that “the child doesn’t understand,” and they fight aggressively with each other, meanwhile all the emotions associated to that conflict are being internalized by the child as their fault that mommy and daddy are angry so [insert deleterious self-deprecating identity structures here]. Emotions from this time in our lives are still with us, unaddressed because they were dealt with according to the strategies of a child.

Many of the emotions left echoing from our past can be seen through a rational point of view as having been inappropriately embodied. From the adult mind looking back, we can see the larger picture and understand that it wasn’t our fault or that perhaps whatever actions caused us pain were from a place of love, or a place of another’s trauma or sickness. This gives us the capacity to forgive and understand conceptually, but the gravity of the emotional effect those experiences have on the pre-rational part of us that they initially affected is beyond what the rational mind can explain away (regardless of how much intellectualism we throw at it).

These deeply seated emotions contain a potential for great empowerment, yet when unaddressed and locked-away, they disempower by controlling our subconscious behavior. Thinking about historical feelings will not necessarily release their control over you. The only way to truly move through and beyond these emotions, to integrate them, is to FEEL them in their fullest honesty and learn from those feelings (as best you can).

The Ego: A Barrier

This is not an easy, nor comfortable process. The Ego, the operational sense of “I” that maintains survival of the individual self, is deeply committed to keeping you safe from the pain and discomfort of facing that which has hurt you. It will not allow you to open access to these emotions, ‘for your own good.’

But if we are able to create a container in which to feel these emotions and integrate them into our sense of self, we can recalibrate how they affect us. We can learn to be empowered by our presence to the pain we have faced in life and even to the essential suffrage that it is to be human—allowing us in turn to be more capable of compassion for ourselves and for others.

As we grow and mature into our eldership over the years, if given proper opportunity, we should be able to learn emotional intelligence and discover an openness to ourselves and to the world, which may eventually free us from our old defenses. However, for many of us, the detrimental patterns of repression that manifest from the behavioral conditioning of an emotionally adolescent society passed down through generations of trauma create more dysfunction on a regular basis than we are able to sort through. Two steps forward, three steps back, and we end up falling into vortices of self-detrimental behavior.

There are many different spiritual and psychotherapeutic methods to help curb this vortexing. Some more effective than others and all of which are leveraged by a meditative practice, a supportive community, and a healthy diet and movement practice.

Psilocybin as a Tool for Healing

As mentioned in the first paragraph, my work with psilocybin mushrooms has been the primary spiritual therapeutic practice I have held to create a container to release, acknowledge, and integrate repressed emotional content and clear the backlog of personal trauma I, as an adult, all of a sudden woke up to find having proliferated my life. Psilocybin has helped me greatly in this journey.

Unfortunately, information on building a mature spiritual practice with psilocybin is rare to find in the modern Western world, as much of its cultural usage exists within a more adolescent mentality: play, fun, recreation, tripping out. I have no problem with this mentality, as there is no set prescription as to how one chooses their personal relationship to visionary plants and fungi. But there are risks involved with unconscious or uninformed use. Also, the tendency towards positive, lifelong transformation and healing is less and less likely as the mentality of recreation or superficially is more dominant. This essay is part of a journey I have been on to share and co-create an accessible model for working with psilocybin for personal growth, presented in my two books and various lectures.

Play, laugher, and fun are a part of a psilocybin experience, though I believe the true expansiveness of transcendence in ecstasy is mediated by the depths of uncomfortable emotional honesty to which one has chosen to release themselves. When we uncover our darkness in those depths and we surrender to its fullness and presence in the body, those aspects of ourselves—that may have been secretly hurting since before we were even able to form explicit memory—are given a space to be seen, felt, loved, and integrated. We offer ourselves the opportunity to be empowered through the metabolizing of unprocessed emotional energy into self-awareness, maturity, and wholeness. We can reveal the true light of wisdom that our honest darkness reveals when we decompose the Shadow aspects of the self and allow its catabolites to nourish the soil of our spiritual maturation.

As mentioned earlier, psilocybin in spiritual practice has proven to offer great benefit to my life, but has often done so in exchange for great risk to my sense of psychological security. I emphasize this point because it is a common theme in the progressing psychedelic/entheogenic culture to speak evangelically about the healing potential of psilocybin and psychedelics in general, which I believe places people at risk of only further exacerbating their issues. Psilocybin has great potential, but is not a magic bullet.

The type of psilocybin practice I am speaking of is not easy nor inherently safe and should not be invested in on frivolous impulse. If you are currently facing depression, anxiety issues, or other serious emotional illness, please see a professional before you try taking psilocybin. Whether or not this is safe for you must be deeply considered before going this route. Be mindful of your choices.

What I invite you to take away from this article today is not so much what the psilocybin mushroom can offer when recreation and superficiality is transcended, but what the psilocybin experience shows us about who we are. It shows us that there is no reason to fear, repress, or evade the inevitable, daily, uncomfortable emotions we are faced with; and that the more we feel what is really happening inside us, the fuller expressions of our authentic selves we become.

The courage to feel sadness or loneliness or inadequacy with surrender and self-compassion, to know them like an extension of our healthy selves and in doing so allow them to change and inspire us into something grander, is an expression of empowerment that we are all endowed with. We just need to decide whether we are ready to walk this lifelong path. But it won’t be easy.

Further Study:

Psilocybin and the Shadow: Magic Mushrooms as a Tool For Healing Emotional TraumaDecomposing the Shadow: Lessons From The Psilocybin Mushroom by James W. Jesso

Decomposing The Shadow presents a psychological model for the experience of the magic psilocybin mushroom. It explores what the experience of this psychedelic medicine exposes to us about the nature of mind, emotion, society, psychospiritual maturity, and reality itself.


 This article was originally published on Collective Evolution.

A Final Note on Safety

As we repeatedly stress on HighExistence, psychedelics must be approached with reverence and caution. We believe that in a loving context, psychedelics are powerful medicines with tremendous potential, but there are a number of physical and psychological safety concerns that one should consider before journeying with psychedelics. Please, please do plenty of research, and do not take psychedelics if you have reason to believe that they will not jibe with your personality or particular mental baggage. The Essential Psychedelic Guide on Erowid is an exceptional free resource, and we recommend reading it, especially the section on ‘Psychedelic Safety,’ before ever dabbling in these substances. It’s also imperative that you buy a test kit if you aren’t absolutely certain that the substances you’ve procured are what you believe them to be. Take care, and happy tripping. : )



Psilocybin and the Shadow: Magic Mushrooms as a Tool For Healing Emotional Trauma





By Luke Miller, Truth Theory, Thanks to Earth We Are One

Delve into the mystical world of psychedelics! Can they lead to a deeper understanding of human consciousness? Or are they just a quick fix? 

Psychedelics are not to be taken lightly, I say this meaning that they should not be abused as a recreational substance, but they should also not be taken thoughtlessly to achieve an easy road to enlightenment.

If you ever decide that psychedelics are right for you then great, but just know that they can change your perspective of the world and really open your mind to a new way of thinking.

They can also make you face yourself and your daemons and this is why when people are in a bad setting or a bad place mentally they can have a pretty bad time.

With that being said, as with most types of growth you will usually have to face some of your past pains to move forward, the difference with psychedelics is that they can force you to face an entire life’s worth of pain in an hour and this can be tough.

They can also make you face all the good and everything else in between and this is why they are often called trips because they are an adventure to a place which is hard if not impossible to access without them.

Meditation is the nearest thing to a psychedelic experience that I have had (without taking a substance), but while some of these experiences have been powerful they are different and do not come close to the intensity of psychedelics.

Psychedelics are mostly schedule 1 drugs. Which just goes to show how misunderstood they really are. Psychedelics have been used cross culturally throughout history and it is only in the last few decades that western politics have decided to wage war of them.

Drugs like alcohol, caffeine and tobacco are almost idolized in some western culture- yet they cause more death and destruction than any schedule 1 drug we have. Pharmaceuticals are handed out like sweets by our doctors yet the companies that produce them have been shown to lie repeatedly and endanger our health without any consequence- Find Out More About Pharmaceuticals Here

Psychedelics on the other hand are unstudied or at least the studies attempted have been shut down by government officials. Yet they have been held up by mainstream media and ridiculed as nothing but a quick high.

Psychedelics are not the same thing that mainstream media have represented them to be and to have a substance outlawed based on total hearsay with no scientific evidence to back it up, is not just oppression on our minds, but an all-out war on our consciousness.

I was going to share the person jumping out of a window story you always when the topic of psychedelics is brought up but Terence Mckenna puts it so much better than I could-

Psychedelics along with many other unstudied and misunderstood drugs are portrayed as mind numbing and dangerous to our minds, but are they really?

Can psychedelics impact us in a positive way? Do psychedelics improve us intellectually? Do they open our minds to a deeper level of thinking? Can they help us to solve the unsolvable problems that plague us? What about creativity, intuition, kindness, compassion and love do they help us in the right settings to open us up to more of these experiences?

You have to ask yourself- is there a hidden agenda, are psychedelics illegal because our government wants to protect us? Or are they illegal because they are misunderstood? Or are they illegal because they don’t want their confirmative society of consumers to wake up and start questioning agendas?

This short video explores some of the questions I have asked and talks in depth about psychedelics and the impact they can have on your mind and consciousness.

If you want to skip people sharing their experience go to 2:55 in the video. Although if you have had a psychedelic experience you may be able to relate to what they say.

I will be the first person to admit that in the wrong hands, with the wrong intentions, with the wrong guidance or in the wrong settings psychedelics can be dangerous.

But they need to be studied so that we can get a fuller understanding of the effects that they have. People have a right to the correct information and the whole time we are being fed misinformation, it is an injustice to our human rights.

Psychedelics should be studied properly and then be made available so that people can take them in a safe setting around people who understand these substances. People have the right to make up their own minds and these medicinal substances cannot stay secret for much longer!

Let me know what you think about psychedelics by leaving me a comment in the comments section.

Luke Miller is the creator of Potential For Change. He believes that spirituality is the foundation for good health and likes to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life. Grab a copy of his free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.



Are Psychedelics The Door To Deeper Consciousness?

Monologue of the mushroom ~ Terence McKenna



“I am old, older than thought in your species, which is itself fifty times older than your history. Though I have been on earth for ages, I am from the stars. My home is no one planet, for many worlds scattered through the shining disk of the galaxy have conditions which allow my spores an opportunity for life. The mushroom which you see is the part of my body given to sex thrills and sun bathing. My true body is a fine network of fibers growing through the soil. These networks may cover acres and may have far more connections than the number in a human brain. My mycelial network is nearly immortal—only the sudden toxification of a planet or the explosion of its parent star can wipe me out. By means impossible to explain because of certain misconceptions in your model of reality, all my mycelial networks in the galaxy are in hyperlight communication across space and time. The mycelial body is as fragile as a spider’s web, but the collective hypermind and memory is a huge historical archive of the career of evolving intelligence on many worlds in our spiral star swarm. Space, you see, is a vast ocean to those hardy life forms that have the ability to reproduce from spores, for spores are covered with the hardest organic substance known. Across the aeons of time and space drift many spore-forming life-forms in suspended animation for millions of years until contact is made with a suitable environment. Few such species are minded, only myself and my recently evolved near relatives have achieved the hypercommuni-cation mode and memory capacity that makes us leading members in the community of galactic intelligence. How the hypercommunication mode operates is a secret which will not be lightly given to man. But the means should be obvious: It is the occurrence of psilocybin and psilocin in the biosynthetic pathways of my living body that opens for me and my symbiots the vision screens to many worlds. You as an individual and humanity as a species are on the brink of the formation of a symbiotic relationship with my genetic material that will eventually carry humanity and earth into the galactic mainstream of the higher civilizations.

Since it is not easy for you to recognize other varieties of intelligence around you, your most advanced theories of politics and society have advanced only as far as the notion of collectivism. But beyond the cohesion of the members of a species into a single social organism there lie richer and even more baroque evolutionary possibilities. Symbiosis is one of these. Symbiosis is a relation of mutual dependence and positive benefits for both the species involved. Symbiotic relationships between myself and civilized forms of higher animals have been established many times and in many places throughout the long ages of my development. These relationships have been mutually useful; within my memory is the knowledge of hyperlight-drive ships and how to build them. I will trade this knowledge for a free ticket to new worlds around suns less forsaken and nearer galaxy center. To secure an eternal existence down the long river of cosmic time, I again and again offer this agreement to higher beings and thereby have spread throughout the galaxy over the long millennia. A mycelial network has no organs to move the world, no hands; but higher animals with manipulative abilities can become partners with the star knowledge within me and if they act in good faith can return both themselves and their humble mushroom teacher to the million worlds all citizens of our star swarm are heir to.”

True Hallucinations by Terence McKenna

++ Panspermia, Seeding the Universe with Life


Cosmic Godess


By Fred Clarke Alvarez, Wake Up World

Why is the world the way it is? What is my purpose on this earth? What is spirit? What is God? What is the archetypal myth that I’m living?

Over the course of my life these questions have emerged and keep emerging. As I’ve walked my path, I realised more and more that I don’t know anything and yet it is all right there, hidden in plain sight. I live in a constant mystery embedded in an eternal present. The energy moves and flows. The mind is like an empty singing bowl that can be filled with many thoughts.

You can empty the bowl only by stopping to identify with these thoughts. When you hit the empty bowl with the stick, the sound vibrates into eternity, as I become part of the whole. My identification with “I”, who I “think” I am ceases to be and washes away into infinity. The stars and planets dance, the birds are singing, the water flows and the sun emerges again and I’m still here on this earth… in this world.

Many years ago, I started to seek answers to those opening questions and many more. On my path, I connected to the spirituality of the Earth and the Cosmos. I found it in power plants, in the mountains, in the oceans, in the desert, in the jungle of Peru, and in some embodied Curanderos I’ve met: a spirituality that transcends our way of physically seeing the world, beyond thought and death.

This continuing process and initiations were the “stick” that played the bowl and emptied my mind, freeing myself from the conditioning in order to learn to love, to forgive, to live and to die. These were years of disillusionment, struggle, healing, un-learning and learning as my warrior-self was activated and (re)born within me. I had visions of the dark and light, of above and below.

About 13 years ago I was working with a power medicine plant in the jungle under the guidance of a native Curandero who also become my friend and teacher. The plant activated my astral vehicle within my body and I left the earth, traveling into space. I saw ‘fireworks’ around me that extended deep into space, a massive golden meteor shower as big as several earths. I moved closer and suddenly I was in the middle of these golden particles.

At this point I started to receive information from other-worldly beings, about their own purpose and evolution spanning over thousands of years in just a few seconds of telepathic transmission. I could hear a chaotic sound/noise while they were transmitting this information. It was intense but also exciting at the same time. There was no fear. I was receiving images during this ‘download’ as well. This went on periodically until I left the cloud of golden particles.

Then I entered a big room. In the middle of it was a large black stone table with some alien ‘glyphs carved in it. The table had a rectangular shape and there were several beings dressed in black clothes and hats sitting at it.

They were starring at each other without saying a word. Their faces were very serious and they seemed frustrated. At this moment I realised that these entities were manipulating the evolution of human beings on planet earth, and also on other planets and solar systems.

I also understood that their plan has been compromised because of a higher energy entering the cosmos and affecting earth and space/time. It is counter-acting their agenda and there is nothing they can do about it. So they are just waiting in frustration, and inseeming desperation.

This higher energy that is originating from the center of the universe is accelerating the evolution of consciousness to the next level. It is also accompanied by positive high frequency beings assisting the transition, and anyone who ‘answers the call’ to participate in this transformation, but they don’t do the work for us.

After exiting this room I went through some transparent ‘wires’ that were carries of flowing energy, as I understood and experienced them. After passing through these wires I entered another room. There was a small crystal table and two chairs made of crystal. In each of those chairs were sitting shadows. They had no volume or substance.

There were three objects suspended motionless, right above the table – a cube, a cone, and a sphere – each in a different color. I suddenly understood that these shadow beings use these objects to transmit the energy of fear to humans on earth.

They work in dreamtime and through other people whom they use as portals, including businessmen, politicians, scientists, artists, musicians, healers, spiritualists, writers, journalists, athletes, filmmakers, etc… I realised that they are manipulating our world through a hyperdimensional technology that affects the minds of humans, installing fear, confusion, anxiety, separation, terror, feeding ‘ego consciousness’, and also working with temptation and ego-hooks.

Hence many well-meaning people are also getting hijacked by these entities and their hyperdimensional manipulation, without their conscious awareness. I understood that these beings feed on our life force and manipulate humanity, keeping them in a frequency prison. After I left this place I went even further into space until I came across gigantic stone structures carved with what looked like Mayan ‘glyphs. These structures were unified like pieces of a puzzle. To me it resembled the cosmic alignment, symbolising how everything is inter-related and connected with each other; a cosmic union.

As I was traveling further into space it seemed like I was approaching the edge of it. There were almost no stars visible and it got darker and darker. It was like the border of an expansion and I could feel the space breathing, expanding and contracting. At this point I realised that I was confronted with the unknown and couldn’t possibly understand what was happening. The only thing I realised was that in my human condition, my mind could not process such information.

All of a sudden I started to feel a very powerful vibration that enveloped me. From a far distance I heard the icaros from my Curandero friend. Gradually I heard it louder and louder until I finally began to feel my body again. It was a very heavy sensation to be back in this lower density of our physical body. I opened my eyes and was back sitting in the room with everybody else.

The next day, I started reading a book that a good friend gave to me:“Bringers of the Dawn” by Barbara Marciniak. This book resonated very deeply with me and helped me to give context to my experience the previous day. Tears and smiles were coming out of me in the process of reading it. I couldn’t put it down. It was a profound confirmation of what I had seen and experienced, even like aremembering, as if I have always known it.

It also inspired me to give the best of myself, and keep learning more about the healing arts to help others in the process of awakening, while working on my own emancipation process as well; stepping into the warrior self to establish our sovereignty as embodied human beings connected to nature and the divine within.

It’s the path of embodied knowledge, anchoring the higher frequency of unconditional love as we humbly learn our lessons through the great changes and challenges we face as individuals on this journey.

There are negative forces (most often posing as positive ones), who try to keep us locked in a frequency of fear and confusion, as they manipulate our human free will to align with their own negative agenda. And there are higher positive forces who assist and guide us in the emancipation process that is awakening in many of us, inspiring us to “answer the call”, but as I mentioned before, they don’t do the work for us. We need to learn to become our own embodied leaders, tuned in to our inner guidance and not give away our power to any external authority.

I also realised that sound and music are great keys to help us heal, raise awareness, and our frequency. But it all depends on the intention and how it is being applied. Sound and music is also being used for mind control in the matrix-world, manipulating us in unconscious ways.

Knowledge of how sounds and frequencies work is important. Sound has the ability to influence matter since all matter is energy vibrating on a certain frequency. The whole universe is comprised of frequency and vibration. Most of it is outside our limited five sensory perceptions. Words and thoughts are also made up of frequencies.

Our body vibrates on a certain frequency based on one’s inner developments and level of being. We are also able to create musical instruments that establishes a connection to the spiritual world with the right intentions and knowledge. In that way sound and music can assist in spiritual and consciousness development.

Essentially, I realised that during this time of transition, the crisis we experience in the world and in our personal lives, is an opportunity to make the quantum leap to a higher state of consciousness and being. From this experience in my life I made the commitment to serve in this time of transition, waking myself up into this new consciousness, facilitating healing in some way to help others. This powerful energy is awaking and calling us, and it is up to each one of us to “answer the call” and embark onto the journey of the hero/warrior. It’s the call to transcend this mutant matrix, the current low vibrational paradigm; to heal, to forgive, to give gratitude, and to love unconditionally in order to empty the singing bowl to allow these higher energies to fill it up. In other words, we need to empty our vessel and prepare it to become conscious transducers of higher energies in alignment with Divine Will.

There is a lot of work for us as individuals and as a community to do so we can make it to the next level of the spiral. The process of becoming embodied peaceful warriors in our own personal journey of the hero can be challenging, but the only way out is through. The time is now to align with the shift. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

About the author:

Fred Clarke AlvarezBorn and raised in Lima, Peru, Fred Clarke Alvarez has been researching and exploring the shamanic healing world since 1998 on his path of seeking truth and questioning consensus reality. Learning from native curanderos and living in the Amazon and Andes of Peru, he started to work with the healing power of sound, using ancient musical instruments of Peru and developing his own unique style of shamanic sound therapy.

Throughout the years Fred has also studied the mysteries and hidden knowledge of the world, and his personal experiences have help him connect the dots of what is going on “behind the scenes” during this time of transition.

Fred lives in Lima, Peru, offering sound healing sessions in private and in groups, as well flute making workshops and spiritual retreats. He is traveling the world, taking his work to Mexico, United Stated and Iceland among other places. Fred is involved with music therapy for native children in Peru and working with autistic children. He has also recorded and composed 4 albums: Pacha Paqariy (2006), Rezando a los Abuelos (2008), Paqarina (2010), Willka Unu (2012). You can listen to Fred’s music at soundcloud.com/pachapaqariy.

You can connect with Fred via Facebook.com/FredClarkeAlvarez, or visit Fred’s website, which is published in both English and Spanish languages:

Scientists Developed a Way to Make DMT Trips Last Longer Than Ever

aya eyes


By Jesse Jarnow

This piece was published in partnership with the Influence.

Known in drug lore as “the businessman’s trip” for its lunch-break-size 15-minute duration, DMT (N,N-dimethyltryptamine) is infamous for blasting its users into vivid alien worlds. It’s among the most literally hallucinogenic of all the psychedelics, and now a pair of veteran researchers have proposed a method to safely extend the experience beyond its normal length.

Dr. Rick Strassman and Dr. Andrew Gallimore published their paper in Frontiers in Psychology last month, under the name “A Model for the Application of Target-Controlled Intravenous Infusion for a Prolonged Immersive DMT Psychedelic Experience.” Its implications could turn DMT research on its head, allowing for new scientific (and potentially medical) insights into the principle ingredient in ayahuasca.

Using techniques borrowed from anesthesiology, the method will regulate the amount of DMT in the body and, more important, the brain. Though still untested on no-doubt-willing psychonauts, Strassman and Gallimore’s technology is all but ready for assembly.

Strassman, author of DMT: The Spirit Molecule (2001) and DMT and the Soul of Prophecy (2014) and perhaps the world’s foremost clinical DMT researcher, argues the substance provides access to what users experience as mystical states, comparable to those described in the Hebrew Bible.

Gallimore, a computational neurobiologist, is also a historical scholar of DMT. His overview “DMT Research from 1956 to the Edge of Time” recounts a wide range of possibilities researchers have offered over the years (including the notion that DMT is a doorway into an alternate universe). Other theories involve its role in human brain at the time of death, as well as countless South American beliefs inseparable from ayahuasca and DMT snuff traditions.

But perhaps the only universal experience of smoked DMT is its brevity.

“DMT has a number of pharmacological peculiarities,” says the British-born Gallimore, who is also a chemist and pharmacologist and currently works at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Japan.

Besides being nontoxic, he says, “It’s very short acting, and it doesn’t exhibit subjective tolerance with repeated use. This is quite remarkable, because all other psychedelics exhibit very rapid tolerance, so you have to wait for days before you can get the same effect. This lack of subjective tolerance suggested to me that you could use a continuous drip-feed of DMT rather than a bullous injection, which is what Rick used [in his 90s studies]. It gets a very rapid peak effect. And that’s fine for the work he wanted to do. But if you want to study the DMT state more thoroughly…”

Both Gallimore and Strassman came across a 2005 German study that attempted to extend the DMT state, but neither was satisfied with the methodology, the data, nor the results, which seemed to indicate a number of freaked-out volunteers.

“My idea was to think about what anesthesiologists do,” Gallimore says. “It’s a really interesting area of medicine. A lot of modern anesthesiology is based on the pharmacokinetic models of these drugs that allow you to simulate the level of drug in the brain. Using this model, you can actually program an infusion machine, to control the infusion rate of the drug such that the level of the drug remains a constant level within some particular window with some degree of accuracy.”

Recalling that Strassman had collected “pharmacokinetic curves… of DMT in the blood over time,” he contacted Strassman, who’s based in New Mexico, and asked if he could use his blood-sample data to create the new model. And so their collaboration was born.

“The psychotherapeutic applications of a continuous infusion are appealing,” says Strassman. “This would be an extension of the repeated dose study [detailed in DMT: The Spirit Molecule] where we found that it was extremely useful for volunteers to be able to process what they had just undergone—now in a relatively sober state for the five to ten minutes of clarity between doses—in preparation for the upcoming session. There seemed to be a progression of themes and content throughout the morning, and working with trained psychotherapists optimized whatever psychological work they were accomplishing during those sessions.”

It’s important, of course, to prioritize study participants’ well-being.

“There clearly need to be safeguards in place,” Strassman says. “One would be the establishment of pre-arranged signals from the volunteer indicating that they wish to come out of the DMT state. In addition, there would need to be built in certain time and dose limits, which would automatically come into play in order to assure that the volunteer is doing all right.”

One exciting possibility of extending the duration is the ability to make MRI scans of the DMT-journeying brain for the first time. With teams at London’s Imperial College recently completing the first ever MRI brain scans involving LSD, it seems plausible that DMT might follow.

DMT isn’t simply “another tryptamine,” according to Gallimore. “I would be very interested to see how this drug-affected activation of the visual systems and how this compares to other psychedelics that have a less visual component, such as LSD or psilocybin, at lower doses anyway.

“One of the most surprising results of the 2012 [MRI] study of psilocybin,” he adds, “was this reduction, this global decrease in neural activation, and everybody was expecting the complete opposite.

“They did find interesting effects in the visual cortices and how that connected to different parts of the brain,” Gallimore continues. “With DMT, it’s a whole different game: How does the brain seeing visions in the DMT state differ from seeing the world normally? What can we learn from that?”

To many people who have used DMT, or even just been gripped by sci-fi-like DMT experience reports, the single-most enthralling prospect is to find out what happens when a trip gets longer.

“One of the most interesting characteristics of the DMT space is the presence of what appeared to be sentient, intelligent, highly interactive ‘beings,’ of various structure and functions,” says Strassman. Volumes of articles and books and Terence McKenna orations have been devoted to the DMT phenomenology, McKenna famously describing the beings as “self-transforming machine elves of hyperspace,” an experience reported far beyond McKenna.

“A prolonged immersion in the DMT state would allow for a much more thorough investigation of the ‘beings” nature,” says Strassman, “and in particular, provide a less hurried opportunity to establish communication with them. This was one of the issues raised by many of my volunteers: that there just simply was not enough time to establish effective and fulsome communication.”

With ayahuasca moving into the global eye, and the climate for psychedelic research opening up to unprecedented levels, close examination of the brew’s most central chemical seems more important than ever.

Some are studying DMT’s exciting potential medical uses, including tissue regeneration, but the substance continues to be a part of the world’s psychedelic spiritual practices, both as an ingredient in ayahuasca and on its own. In Australia, a debate is under way on the possibility of legalizing small amounts for religious purposes. In Israel earlier this year, a group was arrested for importing DMT and allegedly running ceremonies for hundreds of participants at a time.

Strassman, who chronicled the emotional strain of his large-scale DMT project in The Spirit Molecule, says he is “no longer doing hands-on research,” though he points out that there are several active teams who might pick it up. Though they have yet to announce their formal plans, Gallimore recently helped review a DMT protocol for Robin Carhart-Harris at London’s Imperial College, who intends to make DMT a focus of his work soon.

“At the moment, we don’t have any immediate intentions to apply for funding or approval to actually implement the model,” says Gallimore. “There are a couple of questions left, such as: What would this technology be used for? If you’re going to get approval and funding for an implementation, you can’t go in and say, ‘Well, we want to establish contact with entities in an alternate dimension,’ because you’d be laughed out of the room.”

The methodology of any research remains very much an open question. The clinical set and setting of Strassman’s 1990s work was criticized by some, notably then-imprisoned LSD chemist Nick Sand, the first underground chemist to synthesize DMT outside of a proper lab, making a batch in a Brooklyn bathtub in the early 1960s.

Writing under the pseudonym “∞ Ayes” in The Entheogen Review in 2001, Sand argued that to look for concrete structure within the experience was to misinterpret it. “What is important are the feelings and the hidden meanings you experience from entering into the vastness, and the new consciousness that can result,” Sand wrote. “This is the glimpse that can open your soul to the sacred.” Though he would step back from some of his harsher criticisms in a follow-up piece, the skepticism remains useful.

Given the inner-space parameters of any future DMT experiments with the new model, sending users to a space where the active aid of even a trained guide can’t offer real-time help, finding the proper container for the DMT experience seems nearly as important any other safety procedure. In looking for objective properties to a subjective experience, any study will surely have to strike a balance.

Though Gallimore doesn’t identify as a psychonaut—”I have a healthy respect for psychedelics,” he says, “bordering on fear”—he imagines the end result of this innovation being built for more personal journeys.

“Although we frame the model in more academic terms for the journal,” he says, “I actually envision a time in the not-too-distant future when you will lie down next to one of these machines, insert a cannula, input your desired journey time, and set off to the universe next door—a sort of anti-Matrix machine.”

Many futures await.

Jesse Jarnow is the author of Heads: A Biography of Psychedelic America (Da Capo, 2016). Follow him on Twitter, and check out his weekly Heads News bulletin.

This article was originally published by the Influence, a news site that covers the full spectrum of human relationships with drugs. Follow The Influence on Facebook orTwitter.





++ “DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor’s Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences” ~ Rick Strassman

++ Chi and DMT – Two Accessible Mysteries That Evade Scientific Validation



Sam Farrand_Crystal Shrooms art by Sam Farrand

via Earth We Are One There was a time when shamanic ceremonies played a key role in a society. Such rituals involved the consumption of different herbs under the supervision of the shaman who acted as a spiritual guide for those overwhelmed by the strong effects of their alternative medicine.

The Aztec Empire is renowned for its many ‘exotic’ practices that involved mushrooms, the special kind. They called them ‘teonanácatl’ which stands for ‘god mushrooms’. Using these powerful instruments, Aztec spiritual leaders were communing with their deities, or other powerful spirits from an alternative plane of existence. This however was about to change with the coming of the Spanish conquistadores who misunderstood these timeworn practices and quickly demonized them. The mushrooms were considered tools of the devil by the Catholic missionaries, and soon these practices became forbidden under the capital law in both Central and South America. The sacred mushrooms remained in the shadows for many centuries, with the remaining shamans hiding in secluded areas. With the expanse of the Western world, shamans became very few and chances for their knowledge to pass on to other generations became slim. The mushroom cult and their miraculous healing capabilities were close to becoming extinct, but something happened in the 1900s that was about to change all that. maria sabinaResiding in Huautla de Jimenez, in the State of Oaxaca, Mexico, Maria Sabina played an important role in delivering the true meaning and potential of psychedelic mushrooms to the modern man. She was a healer, curandera, and last but not least, a shaman. In 1955, Gordon Wasson and Allan Richardson became the first known white men to participate in a nocturnal Mazatec mushroom ceremony. Each of them ingested six pairs of the mushroom Psilocybe caerulescens var. mazatecorum, and were further guided throughout the trip by Maria Sabina. The effects consisted in visions of geometric patterns, outlandish palaces and architectural vistas. Their experience was then published in Life Magazine, May 13 1957, in an article named “Seeking the Magic Mushroom”. The article offered a massive exposure to this ancient practice, and soon after, people interested in healing in spirituality began traveling from across the world (especially the US) to the region of Mexico where they attended similar ceremonies. Dr. Timothy Leary and many other found inspiration in the above mentioned article, thus beginning their spiritual journey. Maria Sabina was a gifted shaman ever since she was young of age. She dubbed the mushrooms “little saints” after a bizarre experience she had during childhood.I was eight years old when a brother of my mother fell sick. He was very sick, and the shamans of the sierra that had tried to cure him with herbs could do nothing for him. Then I remembered what the teo-nanacatl [mushrooms] told me: that I should go and look for them when I needed help. So I went to take the sacred mushrooms, and I brought them to my uncle’s hut. I ate them in front of my uncle, who was dying. And immediately the teo-nanacatl took me to their world, and I asked them what my uncle had and what I could do to save him. little saints They told me an evil spirit had entered the blood of my uncle and that to cure him we should give him some herbs, not those the curanderos gave him, but others. I asked where these herbs could be found, and they took me to a place on the mountain where tall trees grew and the waters of a brook ran, and they showed me the herb that I should pull from the earth and the road I had to take to find them…

[After regaining consciousness]

it was the same place that I had seen during the trip, and they were the same herbs. I took them, I brought them home, I boiled them in water, and I gave them to my uncle. A few days later the brother of my mother was cured.”

Her “little saints” offered her the gift of vision and revealed that someone (Wasson) was about to come and meet her and share her alternative healing methods with the world, after 500 years of concealment under Spanish rule. As a result of her benevolence, sharing these secrets with the outside world, her son was murdered and her house set on fire. In the last years of her life she started speaking English instead of Mazatec, and mourned that “the power of the sacrament had been lost in the clouds”. She passed away at age 91, on November 22, 1985, leaving behind the understanding of one of the most ancient rituals involving psychedelic mushrooms in the world. Her contribution to the Western world has made a difference in the acceptance that a spiritual awakening is felt in the world, in part being thanks to her willingness and visions.


  1. bibliotecapleyades.net
  2. eagleshaman.com

Can Plants Talk to us?

Aya landscape


By Jacob Devaney

Understanding our potential to communicate with nature

Since the beginning of time, humans have held a deep reverence for the wisdom of plants, it is only recently that this has been forgotten. This isn’t about receiving a phone call from a tree, it’s about understanding that language and communication can also come in non-verbal ways if we are able to tune in and listen.

We know what a dog is trying to communicate when it barks, what a baby is saying when it cries, and we know what a skunk is trying to say when it turns around and lifts it’s tail! We know that communication happens across species, but what if plants could speak to us directly through our consciousness when we ingest them?

Plants can affect our Consciousness

For millennia we have co-evolved with plants by helping breed or pollinate them, while they feed us and provide medicine. The notion of plants communicating with us is well accepted by indigenous cultures who still live close to the land. It should be no surprise that many people living in concrete jungles, eating processed or frozen and packaged foods with little exposure to natural environments might feel otherwise.

Obviously certain plants have properties that effect our consciousness, while some effect our bodies. For example, a neural synapse is a junction between two nerve cells where an electro-chemical process occurs.  These synapses allow our body to communicate to itself through our nervous system, and they can also be directly effected through ingesting certain plants. Anything that informs our bodies or consciousness could be considered a type of communication. The body “talks” without words so it shouldn’t be too far fetched to consider this idea regarding plants. A great example of this kind of plant-human communication can be found in the realm of Visionary Art.

How Plants Inspire Visionary Art

Art also effects our consciousness, and there are artists who claim to be profoundly influenced by plant medicines. Is it possible that artists can be mediums through which visual transmissions of non-verbal information are conveyed from the plant kingdom? The fact is that humans have used art in all forms to convey ideas that transcend words since before written language existed. In this context many artists play a somewhat shamanic role in modern society.

In this way, plants influence artists who then influence the rest of us. Luis Tamani is a wonderful example. He grew up in the Amazon Rainforest and was greatly influenced by the rivers, waterfalls, lush vegetation, and colorful animals that surrounded him. Another artist known for illustrating his visions from plant medicine is Pablo Amaringo who is known for his popular book, Ayahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman. We are happy to have both of their work adorn this article.

After experiencing sacred medicine plants, Luis began painting the ceremonial visions he experienced, resulting in paintings in a magical style. Today, his art represents and speaks to the fusion of human beings and the vegetal and animal kingdoms. He is continually astonished by the deep relationship that human beings can develop with plants and animals; what makes men and women unique beings; and how we can be Medicine Men and Women. – Plant Teachers

What are the Plants trying to tell us?

Perhaps, for those of us who have become disconnected from the natural world by living in cities and spending our days on the computer, art is the most potent way to reconnect us to something much greater than ourselves. Maybe the plants are screaming at us to stop clear-cutting rain forests and artists have the ability to amplify this message? Maybe even Dr. Seuss was channeling the plants when he wrote the Lorax? The beautiful thing about art, and developing a relationship with nature is that each of us get our own messages directly from within as a result of giving ourselves time to connect.

There is a current trend of wealthy and successful western business-people who are disenchanted with materialism traveling to the Amazon for a ceremonial experience with the plant medicine, Ayahuasca. There is also research that indicates therapeutic benefits in addressing trauma and addiction with various hallucinogenic mushrooms or plants like Iboga.

It is no accident that herbal and natural remedies are being increasingly sought as people are exploring alternatives in order to live a more healthy lifestyle. In addition, plant-based plastics and fuel are being considered as ways to address current environmental issues.

“I went to the top Crohn’s clinics in the world and saw the top doctors in the world, and none of them could help me,” Pischea said. “There is a curative quality to the plants in the jungle that you really need to be there in that environment to experience. I think it really does work.” – Scientists Put Shamanic Medicine Under The Microscope,Carolyn Gregoire, Huffington Post

So can plants talk to us?

I believe that plants can talk to us. Actually I think that all of nature is talking to us if we are willing to notice. Whether it is a plant like tulsi that calms our nervous system when we drink it in tea, or spiralina super-food in a smoothie that energizes our cells, our relationship with plants and the natural world is ancient as well as essential to our survival. It might not need to be a trip to the Amazon to try Ayahuasca with a shaman to awaken this connection to the greater biological web, it could be as simple as spending some time with inspired art, a walk in the woods, or eating live plant foods!



Federal Court Rules Native Americans Can’t Use Cannabis, But Can Use Peyote For Religious Ceremonies



By Andrew Emett, Thanks to Activist Post

Although a Native American church is allowed to use peyote during religious ceremonies, an appeals court recently determined they are not excused from federal marijuana laws. Despite the fact that peyote is a hallucinogenic and cannabis is not, both drugs are currently listed by the DEA as “dangerous” Schedule I narcotics alongside heroin and LSD.

Using cannabis during sweat lodge ceremonies, the Native American Church of Hawaii filed a complaint against the feds in 2009 after law enforcement officials seized marijuana belonging to a member of the church. According to the Native American Church of Hawaii, their cannabis use “is similar to the purpose of many other intensive religious practices – to enhance spiritual awareness or even to occasion direct experience of the divine.”

Seeking protection under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978, the church fought to allow members to continue using cannabis during their rituals. Although federal law allows Native Americans to use, possess, or transport peyote for traditional ceremonial purposes, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld the district court’s decision preventing members of the church from violating federal marijuana laws.

“It’s really disappointing,” church founder Michael Rex “Raging Bear” Mooney told the Associated Press. “Cannabis is a prayer smoke, so it’s a sacrament…through the effects of the medicine, it also helps us become closer to our creator. It puts us in a place, a state of mind, where we can actually feel the presence and an actual relationship with our creator.”

As more states continue to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, even the DEA will decide this summer whether to keep cannabis classified as a “dangerous” Schedule I drug alongside heroin, LSD, and peyote. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory, but further research remains limited due to archaic federal marijuana laws.

In their opinion, the circuit judges wrote they are “skeptical” that the church’s cannabis use amounts to an exercise of religion. Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote, “Nonetheless, we need not reach this question on appeal, because even assuming such use constitutes an ‘exercise of religion,’ no rational trier of fact could conclude on this record that a prohibition of cannabis use imposes a ‘substantial burden.’”

Composed of at least 250 members, the Native American Church of Hawaii plans to appeal the court’s decision. Prohibited from using marijuana but permitted to use peyote, the church also “honors and embraces all entheogenic naturally occurring substances, including Ayahuasca, Cannabis (aka Rosa Maria and Santa Rosa), Iboga, Kava, Psilocybin, San Pedro, Soma, Teonanacatyl, Tsi-Ahga, and many others.”

Although the circuit judges argued that cannabis prohibition does not force the church to choose between religious obedience and government sanction, church members remain in violation of federal law if they continue to use marijuana during their ceremonies. Instead of advocating cannabis as an alternative to hallucinogenic drugs such as peyote or psilocybin, the feds continue to criminalize a medicinal plant.

“Man’s relationship with the divine can’t be dictated by any other person or government entity,” asserted Mooney’s lawyer, Michael Glenn, who plans on appealing the court’s decision.


Federal Court Rules Native Americans Can’t Use Cannabis, But Can Use Peyote For Religious Ceremonies


Psychedelic Science: Magic Mushrooms



Magic mushrooms have been used ritually by the native people of Mesoamerica for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. In the 1950s, R. Gordon Wasson and his wife traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico and participated in a mushroom ritual. That experience led to a 1957 Life magazine article titled “Seeking the Magic Mushroom.” The following year, the Swiss scientist Albert Hofman, who had been the first to synthesize LSD in 1938, identified psilocybin and psilocin as the active compounds in magic mushrooms. In 1960, Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert founded the Harvard Psilocybin Project to study the effects of psilocybin on humans. Harvard University famously fired Leary and Alpert in 1963.

Serious study of magic mushrooms essentially ended when the compounds psilocybin and psylocin were listed as Schedule I drugs in 1971. However, people around the world have used magic mushrooms with the goals of expanding consciousness and achieving spiritual growth ever since it was popularized by the hippies in the the 1960s.

Despite its illegal status, researchers have once again started studying the effects of psilocybin on humans. The results so far have been intriguing. ReasonTV caught up with Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins University and Robin Carhart-Harris of Imperial College London at the Psychedelic Science 2013 conference in Oakland, CA to learn what’s happening at the cutting edge of psilocybin research.

Approximately 5 minutes. Produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning.

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