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Psychedelics Today

Psychedelics Today is the planetary leader in psychedelic media, storytelling, events, and education. Covering up-to-the-minute developments and diving deep into crucial topics bridging the scientific, academic, philosophical, societal, and cultural, Psychedelics Today is leading the discussion in this rapidly evolving ecosystem.
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Now displaying: 2020
Oct 2, 2020
Joe and Kyle discuss the effectiveness of group therapy in psilocybin sessions, AI therapy, Decriminalize Nature opposing Oregon Psilocybin Service measure 109, and Dr. Bronner pulling funding from national DN initiatives.  
 
www.psychedelicstoday.com

Sep 29, 2020
In this episode, Joe interviews Del Jolly, co-founder and Director of psychedelic research nonprofit Unlimited Sciences. They talk about Charlotte’s Web, Cannabis Moms, The Realm of Caring, athletes and concussions, and psilocybin.
 
www.psychedelicstoday.com

Sep 25, 2020
Joe and Kyle discuss items in the news, including Ann Arbor, Michigan voting to decriminalize entheogenic plants, the formation of the Psychedelic Medicine Association, Compass Pathways going live on the stock market, and more. 
 
www.psychedelicstoday.com

Sep 22, 2020

Joe interviews Vanessa LeMaistre: motivational speaker, author, minister, and healer. She discusses her path to shamanism, ayahuasca, entities, Michael Harner, Voodoo, and being a multi-raced woman in the psychedelic sphere.

www.psychedelicstoday.com  

Sep 18, 2020
Joe and Kyle discuss items in the news, including Compass Pathways, Peter Thiel, UC Berkeley launching a new center for psychedelic science and education, Dr. Bronner’s “Heal Soul” campaign, and cannabis-assisted psychotherapy. 
 
www.psychedelicstoday.com

Sep 12, 2020
In this episode, Joe interviews Ash, Netherlands-based psychedelic entrepreneur behind Synergy Trading, Cerebra Nootropics, the Shifty Perspective podcast, and the world's first legal lysergamide microdosing product, Micro1p.
 
www.psychedelicstoday.com

Sep 10, 2020
Joe and Kyle discuss corporate news, including HAVN Lifescience, Synthesis, AWAKN Life Sciences, and Field Trip Psychedelics’ new “Trip" app. They also cover neural plasticity, Rick Strassman, DMT, and the dangers of isolation.
 
www.psychedelicstoday.com

Sep 8, 2020
In this episode, Joe interviews Wade Davis: anthropologist, ethnobotanist, star of El Sendero de la Anaconda, and author of "Serpent and the Rainbow" and "Magdalena: River of Dreams: A Story of Colombia," which comes out 9/15. 
 
www.psychedelicstoday.com

Sep 4, 2020
Joe and Kyle discuss recent news items, including a new LSD microdose study on acute pain, Compass Pathways filing an application for a NASDAQ listing, and Mind Medicine Australia attempting to de-schedule psilocybin and MDMA.
 
www.psychedelicstoday.com

Sep 1, 2020
Joe and Kyle interview Sara Reed, MS, LMFT, and Director of Psychedelic Services at the Behavioral Wellness Clinic in CT, about her ketamine-assisted therapy practice, working with Dr. Monica Williams and MAPS, and more.    
 
www.psychedelicstoday.com

Aug 28, 2020
Joe and Kyle discuss recent items in the news, including MAPS’ Capstone Campaign, MindMed’s upcoming candy flipping phase 1 trial, and Oregon’s upcoming psilocybin ballot measure. They then have a larger discussion about lineage.
 
www.psychedelicstoday.com

Aug 25, 2020

In this episode, Joe interviews Dr. LaMisha Hill, licensed Counseling Psychologist and Director of Multicultural Affairs for the Office of Diversity and Outreach at UCSF. They talk about the effects of race and gender in the psychedelic world. 

www.psychedelicstoday.com

Aug 21, 2020
Joe and Kyle discuss recent items in the news, including the passing of Tav Sparks and Jordi Riba, the Netflix docuseries “Unwell,” and Bright Minds Bioscience’s recent claims that they are shortening trip times to 60-90 minutes. 
 
www.psychedelicstoday.com

Aug 18, 2020

In this episode, Joe interviews Jerry and Julie Brown. Jerry (Ph.D.) is an author and activist, who served as founding professor of anthropology at Florida International University in Miami for 42 years. Julie (M.A.) is an author and integrative psychotherapist, who worked with cancer patients with a focus on guided imagery. Together, they are co-authors of The Psychedelic Gospels: The Secret History of Hallucinogens in Christianity.

 

They talk about their blogpost on Psychedelics Today and inspiring studies: Walter Pahnke’s original psilocybin study at Marsh Chapel and Roland Griffiths’ recent studies at Johns Hopkins and the amazing results at each, Robin Carhart-Harris’ MRI analysis, and some of Julie’s successes using guided imagery to empower 3 cancer clients to heal after conventional cancer treatment was ineffective.

They talk about guided imagery and the body’s ability to heal itself, how mystical states actually help heal people, how disease starts in the mind, Ancient Greece’s psychedelic Rites of Eleusis, and their own personal life-changing psychedelic experiences related to Johns Hopkins’ 5 common elements of mystical experience.

And they talk about their most popular book, The Psychedelic Gospels: The Secret History of Hallucinogens in Christianity, which highlights images of mushrooms and psychedelic art found throughout Christian history (all the way back to Gnostic Gospels), and their possible relationship to the birth of Christianity and the story of Jesus. 

Notable Quotes

“The questions are: Can psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy be used not only to alleviate the psychological anxiety (as we saw at Johns Hopkins) and the depression, but can it also be used to facilitate the physiological healing in cancer patients, as Julie has done through facilitating mystical experiences? That’s a big question. The second one is: in time, are we going to see what today, is long-term costly, clinical psychotherapy of a variety of different modalities, eventually be enhanced by short-term, much more affordable psychedelic psychotherapy?” -Jerry Brown

“In astrophysics, dark matter, which they say makes up most of the universe- it can not be directly detected or seen. It can only be implied through the gravitational effects that it causes. So, in psychology, mystical experience cannot be easily accessed, but it can be reliably created both through psychedelics, and as Julie’s work has shown, through guided imagery. In other words, hidden from ordinary consciousness, mystical experience manifests from the dark matter of the mind to facilitate healing.” -Jerry Brown 

“F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author, said there’s no second acts in American lives, but fortunately, psychedelics is having its second act, and I think if we do it right this time, we can really integrate it into our culture, both in a therapeutic setting, and [also in settings] modeled after the Greek Eleusinian mysteries, where healthy people can go to explore psychedelics for personal growth and for spirituality and creativity.” -Jerry Brown

Links

Psychedelics Today blog: Mystical Experience and Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy: Insights from Guided-Imagery Therapy with Cancer Patients

Website: psychedelicgospels.com

Psychedelic Gospels Facebook

The Psychedelic Gospels: Evidence of Entheogens in Christian Art presentation on Youtube

Email


About Jerry and Julie Brown

Jerry B. Brown, Ph.D., is an anthropologist, author, and activist. From 1972 to 2014, he served as founding professor of anthropology at Florida International University in Miami, where he taught a course on “Hallucinogens and Culture.” Julie M. Brown, M.A., LMHC, is an integrative psychotherapist, who works with cancer patients. They are coauthors of The Psychedelic Gospels: The Secret History of Hallucinogens in Christianity, 2016; “Entheogens in Christian Art: Wasson, Allegro and the Psychedelic Gospels,” Journal of Psychedelic Studies, 2019; and “Mystical Experience and Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy: Insights from Guided Imagery Therapy with Cancer Patients,” Psychedelics Today, May 28, 2020.

Support the show

Navigating Psychedelics

 

Aug 14, 2020

In today's Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle talk about recent items in the news and dive deep into Stan Grof's work, different types of therapy, and the way touch comes into play in the therapeutic world. 

They first discuss Wisconsin-based non-profit medical research institution, The Usona Institute, and their recently published new method for synthesizing psilocybin, and how great this is for the community. There is a danger to locking away ideas, and new methods of synthesis could lead to monopolization of the market, but publishing their findings means this can be available to all. 

They then talk about re-reading Grof and the concept of the body's inner radar bringing forth what the inner healer needs to work on, and the idea that hyperventilation could be the body trying to heal itself. This leads to discussion of Kyle's time at a Soteria-inspired house in Burlington and their method of simply sitting with people and being there through difficult times. They then discuss different types of therapy, from how traditional talk therapy seems to be more of an art form rather than a measurable methodology, to Grof's Fusion Therapy (which is a type of therapy involving touch that may be over the line by today's standards), to new sex therapies that are starting to make headway. The main threads through this discussion are touch: when can touch be used safely, the dangers of touch being perceived as sexual, and the importance of communication and boundary-setting before sessions, and distraction vs. work: when is a participant wanting to talk about things during a session part of the work and important to respect, and when is it simply a distraction and a way to avoid the work?

Lastly, they remind us that seats are still on sale for the 2 new rounds of (now CE-approved) Navigating Psychedelics (beginning on September 17th), "Psychedelics and the Shadow: The Shadow Side of Psychedelia" is on sale, and there is a new class developed with Johanna Hilla-Maria Sopanen called "Imagination as Revelation," focusing on Jungian psychology and how it can be applied to understanding psychedelic experience.

Notable quotes

“A corporation finding a new synthesis and being able to patent that and then kind of locking it away and saying ‘It stays within our corporation and we’re the only ones that can produce this in this way’ doesn’t mean that other people can’t find other ways.” -Kyle

“In holotropic breathwork, Stan [Grof] talks about how if someone doesn’t land by the end of the workshop and get somewhat settled and resolved, a traditional psychiatrist might say ‘ok yes, this is a psychotic break.' And what do we do? You do your normal interventions. So, optimal for the breathwork and psychedelic world would be to have a place where folks could go and be for days to months to settle and kind of reorganize. That’s the model of spiritual emergence, I think, that Stan talks about. You have to have really careful discussions and criteria for: psychotic break? Or possible spiritual emergence? Or, what’s the real difference?” -Joe 

“I definitely saw some magic, by just being with people, not trying to really change their experience.” -Kyle

“I think delaying is really undervalued. You want to do just the right thing at just the right time. Well, what if you do the wrong thing? Why not wait, so you don’t do the wrong thing?” -Joe

Links

Usona Institute Publishes Breakthrough Development in Scalable Psilocybin Synthesis

Direct Phosphorylation of Psilocin Enables Optimized cGMP Kilogram-Scale Manufacture of Psilocybin (scientific breakdown)

Psychedelics Today: "Spiritual Emergence or Psychosis" Webinar

Support the show

Navigating Psychedelics

 

Aug 11, 2020

In this episode, Joe interviews Court Wing: early adopter of kettlebell training, earner of a 3rd degree black belt in Ki-Aikido, first certified CrossFit instructor for the NYC Metro area, first certified Z-Health instructor in New York, and former co-founder of CrossFit NYC; one of the world's largest CrossFit gyms. 

Wing was a recent participant of a psilocybin trial in NYC, studying the effects of psilocybin on (mostly treatment-resistant) major depressive disorder. He talks about his struggles with depression and how reading studies about changes in neuroplasticity and neurogenesis made him wonder if his depression could be alleviated, the measures taken and process surrounding the trials, the concerns over receiving a placebo or the psilocybin not working, and post-trial; the amazing transformation he's gone through and the power of his experience, psilocybin, and intention-setting. 

They talk a lot about pain and the ways pain is related to the mind: the concept that depression may be a nociceptive pain, how common back pain may often be somatosensory pain based on emotional trauma creating a neurological link (similar to Grof's COEX system), and the Ki-Aikido phrase: "Your mind is the body made subtle. The body is unrefined mind." How much of pain is emotional, and how much is the body trying to communicate to the mind that a change needs to be made?

Notable Quotes

“I can see, going in now, the difference that intention makes in what you’re seeking from the session. It’s just astonishing that it’s responsive to intent. ...It’s so mindblowing because you’re not just taking this passively.”

“The contrast from before to after made me want to go back and upgrade my scores in those depression assessments because I had no idea how bad it was until it was gone. And it was in less than 8 hours. ...We did a little intention-setting ceremony, and I did a little Shinto type of prayer thing- [an] incantation that I’ve always done since I left Aikido, and they gave it to me and put in this chalice, and I looked down at it, and honestly, I was praying to God or my higher power or the universe (however you want to phrase it). I looked at it and said, ‘I really hope that’s you.’ And it was.”

“I had been in recovery from a profound drinking problem for over 17 years, so there’d been significant hesitation on my part to do this, because there’s a lot of cautioning within that framework- you know: ‘there’s no such thing as a chemical solution to a spiritual problem.’ But, what do you do when the chemistry brings you a spiritual experience?”

“A false picture has been painted of what’s possible here. And when it’s only seen in a recreational context where they use some slightly marginalized, perverse catchphrase like ‘hippies’ or ‘dirty hippies’ or something like that, and use that as a way to blame and shame people for seeking relief, and even worse- to claim that the results they’re bringing back are invalid, I think that’s a crime. I honestly do. If I can bring any of my previous experience and reputation to weigh on the scale of the good that can be caused from this, I’m happy to do it.”

Links

courtwing.com


About Court Wing

Court Wing has been a professional in the performance and rehab space for the last 30 years. Coming from a performing arts background, Court served as a live-in apprentice to the US Chief Instructor for Ki-Aikido for five years, going on to win the gold medal for the International Competitors Division in Japan in 2000 and achieving the rank of 3rd degree black belt.
After a 14 year career in martial arts, he returned to Acting, getting his BFA from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts & Film at Purchase College. At the same time, he was simultaneously pursuing three leading-edge performance certifications. First as an RKC/Strong First kettlebell instructor, eventually going on to be ranked a "Top 10 Instructor" and assisting a closed-course certification of SEAL Team 6 at Virginia Beach. Next he became the first certified CrossFit trainer in NYC, becoming the former co-founder of CrossFit NYC in '04, New York's largest and oldest CF gym. His final certification was as a Z-Health Master Trainer, using the latest interventions in applied neuro-physiology for remarkable improvements in pain, performance, and rehabilitation.

He has also served as the principal designer for the UN's Close Protection fitness assessment and preparation program, and has been featured in the New York Time’s Sunday Routine, Men's Fitness, and USA Today.

Please visit him online at https://courtwing.com

Support the show

Navigating Psychedelics

 

Aug 11, 2020

In this episode, Joe interviews Court Wing: early adopter of kettlebell training, earner of a 3rd degree black belt in Ki-Aikido, first certified CrossFit instructor for the NYC Metro area, first certified Z-Health instructor in New York, and Former co-founder of CrossFit NYC; one of the world's largest CrossFit gyms. 

Wing was a recent participant of a psilocybin trial in NYC, studying the effects of psilocybin on (mostly treatment-resistant) major depressive disorder. He talks about his struggles with depression and how reading studies about changes in neuroplasticity and neurogenesis made him wonder if his depression could be alleviated, the measures taken and process surrounding the trials, the concerns over receiving a placebo or the psilocybin not working, and post-trial; the amazing transformation he's gone through and the power of his experience, psilocybin, and intention-setting. 

They talk a lot about pain and the ways pain is related to the mind: the concept that depression may be a nociceptive pain, how common back pain may often be somatosensory pain based on emotional trauma creating a neurological link (similar to Grof's COEX system), and the Ki-Aikido phrase: "Your mind is the body made subtle. The body is unrefined mind." How much of pain is emotional, and how much is the body trying to communicate to the mind that a change needs to be made?

Notable Quotes

“I can see, going in now, the difference that intention makes in what you’re seeking from the session. It’s just astonishing that it’s responsive to intent. ...It’s so mindblowing because you’re not just taking this passively.”

“The contrast from before to after made me want to go back and upgrade my scores in those depression assessments because I had no idea how bad it was until it was gone. And it was in less than 8 hours. ...We did a little intention-setting ceremony, and I did a little Shinto type of prayer thing- [an] incantation that I’ve always done since I left Aikido, and they gave it to me and put in this chalice, and I looked down at it, and honestly, I was praying to God or my higher power or the universe (however you want to phrase it). I looked at it and said, ‘I really hope that’s you.’ And it was.”

“I had been in recovery from a profound drinking problem for over 17 years, so there’d been significant hesitation on my part to do this, because there’s a lot of cautioning within that framework- you know: ‘there’s no such thing as a chemical solution to a spiritual problem.’ But, what do you do when the chemistry brings you a spiritual experience?”

“A false picture has been painted of what’s possible here. And when it’s only seen in a recreational context where they use some slightly marginalized, perverse catchphrase like ‘hippies’ or ‘dirty hippies’ or something like that, and use that as a way to blame and shame people for seeking relief, and even worse- to claim that the results they’re bringing back are invalid, I think that’s a crime. I honestly do. If I can bring any of my previous experience and reputation to weigh on the scale of the good that can be caused from this, I’m happy to do it.”

Links

courtwing.com


About Court Wing

Court Wing has been a professional in the performance and rehab space for the last 30 years. Coming from a performing arts background, Court served as a live-in apprentice to the US Chief Instructor for Ki-Aikido for five years, going on to win the gold medal for the International Competitors Division in Japan in 2000 and achieving the rank of 3rd degree black belt.
After a 14 year career in martial arts, he returned to Acting, getting his BFA from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts & Film at Purchase College. At the same time, he was simultaneously pursuing three leading-edge performance certifications. First as an RKC/Strong First kettlebell instructor, eventually going on to be ranked a "Top 10 Instructor" and assisting a closed-course certification of SEAL Team 6 at Virginia Beach. Next he became the first certified CrossFit trainer in NYC, becoming the former co-founder of CrossFit NYC in '04, New York's largest and oldest CF gym. His final certification was as a Z-Health Master Trainer, using the latest interventions in applied neuro-physiology for remarkable improvements in pain, performance, and rehabilitation.

He has also served as the principal designer for the UN's Close Protection fitness assessment and preparation program, and has been featured in the New York Time’s Sunday Routine, Men's Fitness, and USA Today.

Please visit him online at https://courtwing.com

Support the show

Navigating Psychedelics

Aug 11, 2020

In this episode, Joe interviews Court Wing: early adopter of kettlebell training, earner of a 3rd degree black belt in Ki-Aikido, first certified CrossFit instructor for the NYC Metro area, first certified Z-Health instructor in New York, and co-founder & co-owner of CrossFit NYC; one of the world's largest CrossFit gyms. 

Wing was a recent participant of a psilocybin trial in NYC, studying the effects of psilocybin on (mostly treatment-resistant) major depressive disorder. He talks about his struggles with depression and how reading studies about changes in neuroplasticity and neurogenesis made him wonder if his depression could be alleviated, the measures taken and process surrounding the trials, the concerns over receiving a placebo or the psilocybin not working, and post-trial; the amazing transformation he's gone through and the power of his experience, psilocybin, and intention-setting. 

They talk a lot about pain and the ways pain is related to the mind: the concept that depression may be a nociceptive pain, how common back pain may often be somatosensory pain based on emotional trauma creating a neurological link (similar to Grof's COEX system), and the Ki-Aikido phrase: "Your mind is the body made subtle. The body is unrefined mind." How much of pain is emotional, and how much is the body trying to communicate to the mind that a change needs to be made?

Notable Quotes

“I can see, going in now, the difference that intention makes in what you’re seeking from the session. It’s just astonishing that it’s responsive to intent. ...It’s so mindblowing because you’re not just taking this passively.”

“The contrast from before to after made me want to go back and upgrade my scores in those depression assessments because I had no idea how bad it was until it was gone. And it was in less than 8 hours. ...We did a little intention-setting ceremony, and I did a little Shinto type of prayer thing- [an] incantation that I’ve always done since I left Aikido, and they gave it to me and put in this chalice, and I looked down at it, and honestly, I was praying to God or my higher power or the universe (however you want to phrase it). I looked at it and said, ‘I really hope that’s you.’ And it was.”

“I had been in recovery from a profound drinking problem for over 17 years, so there’d been significant hesitation on my part to do this, because there’s a lot of cautioning within that framework- you know: ‘there’s no such thing as a chemical solution to a spiritual problem.’ But, what do you do when the chemistry brings you a spiritual experience?”

“A false picture has been painted of what’s possible here. And when it’s only seen in a recreational context where they use some slightly marginalized, perverse catchphrase like ‘hippies’ or ‘dirty hippies’ or something like that, and use that as a way to blame and shame people for seeking relief, and even worse- to claim that the results they’re bringing back are invalid, I think that’s a crime. I honestly do. If I can bring any of my previous experience and reputation to weigh on the scale of the good that can be caused from this, I’m happy to do it.”

Links

courtwing.com


About Court Wing

Court Wing has been a professional in the performance and rehab space for the last 30 years. Coming from a performing arts background, Court served as a live-in apprentice to the US Chief Instructor for Ki-Aikido for five years, going on to win the gold medal for the International Competitors Division in Japan in 2000 and achieving the rank of 3rd degree black belt.
After a 14 year career in martial arts, he returned to Acting, getting his BFA from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts & Film at Purchase College. At the same time, he was simultaneously pursuing three leading-edge performance certifications. First as an RKC/Strong First kettlebell instructor, eventually going on to be ranked a "Top 10 Instructor" and assisting a closed-course certification of SEAL Team 6 at Virginia Beach. Next he became the first certified CrossFit trainer in NYC, becoming the former co-founder of CrossFit NYC in '04, New York's largest and oldest CF gym. His final certification was as a Z-Health Master Trainer, using the latest interventions in applied neuro-physiology for remarkable improvements in pain, performance, and rehabilitation.

He has also served as the principal designer for the UN's Close Protection fitness assessment and preparation program, and has been featured in the New York Time’s Sunday Routine, Men's Fitness, and USA Today.

Please visit him online at https://courtwing.com

Support the show

Navigating Psychedelics

Aug 11, 2020

In this episode, Joe interviews Court Wing: early adopter of kettlebell training, earner of a 3rd degree black belt in Ki-Aikido, first certified CrossFit instructor for the NYC Metro area, first certified Z-Health instructor in New York, and co-founder & co-owner of CrossFit NYC; one of the world's largest CrossFit gyms. 

Wing was a recent participant of a psilocybin trial in NYC, studying the effects of psilocybin on (mostly treatment-resistant) major depressive disorder. He talks about his struggles with depression and how reading studies about changes in neuroplasticity and neurogenesis made him wonder if his depression could be alleviated, the measures taken and process surrounding the trials, the concerns over receiving a placebo or the psilocybin not working, and post-trial; the amazing transformation he's gone through and the power of his experience, psilocybin, and intention-setting. 

They talk a lot about pain and the ways pain is related to the mind: the concept that depression may be a nociceptive pain, how common back pain may often be somatosensory pain based on emotional trauma creating a neurological link (similar to Grof's COEX system), and the Ki-Aikido phrase: "Your mind is the body made subtle. The body is unrefined mind." How much of pain is emotional, and how much is the body trying to communicate to the mind that a change needs to be made?

Notable Quotes

“I can see, going in now, the difference that intention makes in what you’re seeking from the session. It’s just astonishing that it’s responsive to intent. ...It’s so mindblowing because you’re not just taking this passively.”

“The contrast from before to after made me want to go back and upgrade my scores in those depression assessments because I had no idea how bad it was until it was gone. And it was in less than 8 hours. ...We did a little intention-setting ceremony, and I did a little Shinto type of prayer thing- [an] incantation that I’ve always done since I left Aikido, and they gave it to me and put in this chalice, and I looked down at it, and honestly, I was praying to God or my higher power or the universe (however you want to phrase it). I looked at it and said, ‘I really hope that’s you.’ And it was.”

“I had been in recovery from a profound drinking problem for over 17 years, so there’d been significant hesitation on my part to do this, because there’s a lot of cautioning within that framework- you know: ‘there’s no such thing as a chemical solution to a spiritual problem.’ But, what do you do when the chemistry brings you a spiritual experience?”

“A false picture has been painted of what’s possible here. And when it’s only seen in a recreational context where they use some slightly marginalized, perverse catchphrase like ‘hippies’ or ‘dirty hippies’ or something like that, and use that as a way to blame and shame people for seeking relief, and even worse- to claim that the results they’re bringing back are invalid, I think that’s a crime. I honestly do. If I can bring any of my previous experience and reputation to weigh on the scale of the good that can be caused from this, I’m happy to do it.”

Links

courtwing.com


About Court Wing

Court Wing has been training clients and students in fitness and the martial arts for 30 years.  He began his CrossFit training with Nick Nibbler & Dave Werner of CrossFit North in Seattle, the world's first CrossFit affiliate, in late Winter '03 while on a break from the renowned Acting Conservatory at Purchase College in New York, one of the top three Acting Programs in the US. He returned to train with them that summer and earned his CrossFit Level 1 trainer certificate in July '04 (first certification outside of CFHQ), becoming the NYC Metro area's first certified CrossFit instructor. He began doing workouts in the Central Park that Fall and is the Co-Founder & Co-Owner of CrossFit NYC, the world's largest affiliate, as well as New York's oldest & largest.

Support the show

Navigating Psychedelics

 

Aug 7, 2020

In today's Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and talk about recent items in the news, and dive deep into analyzing 2 articles that are very critical of MAPS' involvement with the police, military, and government. 

They first discuss Canada-based nonprofit TheraPsil's recent win of four people with incurable cancer being granted the ability to use psilocybin for end-of-life therapy, and how this framework could be copied and used in the US through the Right-to-try act, signed into law in 2018.  

They then discuss Dimitri Mugianis's recent article in Salon, which highlighted the long history of psychedelics being used in negative ways, from Vikings presumably using some sort of mushroom to get to a pillaging, "Berserker warrior" mindstate, to the 11th century Nizari Isma'ili State, which reportedly used hashish as a tool for motivation and control, to MKUltra and experiments on Whitey Bulger, to the most recent death of Elijah McLain from a large forced injection of ketamine. And they discuss David Nickles's article in Psymposia, which poses that since MAPS is working to provide treatment to police and soldiers with PTSD, they are essentially in bed with the enemy, and only promoting organizations that create more violence, division, trauma, and PTSD, while treating the perpetrators instead of the victims. 

Both articles are critical of MAPS but neglect to see the importance of diplomacy and working to see eye to eye with people in disagreement for the greater good- that yes, these tools can be used against people, but can also be used by people, with immense benefits. Joe reads a comment sent in by listener Danny McCraken, pointing out that "as the saying goes, ‘only Siths deal in absolutes.’" This leads to more discussion: when and how should ketamine be used for submission? Why do healthy, trained cops need to even get to that point? How much of this is just governments trying to make the costs of war cheaper? Why don't more people see things from all sides?

Lastly, they remind us that on September 17th, 2 new rounds of (now CE-approved) Navigating Psychedelics will be starting up, and there is a new class for sale developed with Johanna Hilla-Maria Sopanen called "Imagination as Revelation," which focuses on Jungian psychology and how it can be applied to understanding psychedelic experience.

 

Notable quotes

“I remember when we chatted with Dr. Katherine MacLean way, way back when we first got it rolling. Something that she said- ‘it’s almost like a birthright for us to try to prepare for death. And do we have to wait to have some sort of end-of-life illness, or can we start trying to prepare a little bit earlier?’ Just really awesome to see that these 4 patients will be able to have an experience and maybe discover things about themselves during their last time here. So congrats TheraPsil for making that work for these folks.” -Kyle

“From the anarchist perspective, this just helps governments, which are typically organizations that have monopolies on power (what anarchists are against, primarily). So any kind of government that’s using tools against people is bad, and these are tools that are being used against people. They’re also being used for people. It’s this weird dichotomy of: these things have such huge healing benefit for so many different types of people, and they can also be used to support things that are against people, like any tool. Like a knife or a gun- it can be used to save a life or take a life.” -Joe 

“Is this what we want? Last episode, we talked a lot about decriminalization vs. legalization, and we didn’t really talk about how that contrasts with medicalization. Do we really want these powerful people in groups telling you when you can and cannot take these things? I think the answer is no. We don’t want that. We want autonomy. We want cognitive liberty. We want to not go to jail for this stuff. We want safe access.” -Joe

“Essentially, the critique is that MAPS is supporting cops (PTSD) and soldiers (PTSD), and as a result, MAPS is supporting violent organizations that are causing more PTSD, and treating the perpetrators vs. treating the victims. I understand why they would write this article, but I think it’s not done in good taste. I think it’s not necessarily aware of the broader implications of these things coming to market and being prescribable and healing a lot of people. But it is helpful in that it says, ‘Look, cops are doing bad stuff. Military has done bad stuff. Should we be supporting it?’ ...How do we balance those two things? ...I think MAPS is almost at the finish line, so I’m going to cheerlead for MAPS to finish [and] cross the line with MDMA, even though they’re kind of pandering to the militarized people who have a monopoly on violence, both inside and outside of the country.” -Joe

Links

4 Palliative Canadians approved for end of life psilocybin therapy

BP will slash oil production by 40% and pour billions into green energy

Salon: How psychedelic drugs are used as a tool of state violence

Psymposia: We Need to Talk About MAPS Supporting The Police, The Military, and Violent White Supremacism

Psychedelics Today- Imagination as Revelation: The Psychedelic Experience in the Light of Jungian Psychology

 

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Navigating Psychedelics

 

 

Aug 4, 2020

In today's episode, Joe speaks with spiritual coach, author, and creator of the upcoming High Together app, John Selby. Selby's most recent book is titled Cannabis for Couples: Enhance Intimacy and Elevate Your Relationship.

Selby talks about how he got to where he is today, from signing up for a hypnosis research center at Princeton that turned out to be a secret government NIH psychedelic research center studying if psychedelic states could be induced through hypnosis, to working on the first quantitative EG study of heavy LSD users to determine if it caused permanent damage (that was marred with corrupted data and later found out to have been an MKUltra mind manipulation project), to becoming excommunicated by the Presbyterian church for teaching his youth group yoga and Buddhist meditation, to becoming a therapist, spiritual counselor and author, to his time at Microsoft and Plantronics leading to him wanting to create an app for improving cannabis use.

His High Together app (which should be available soon) works in conjunction with his latest book to help cannabis users focus their attention, augment consciousness, and in the case of couples, improve their relationships. Through short guided sessions, statements of intent, and a strong emphasis on breathwork, his goal is to help regular users aim their attention towards more rewarding ventures, and help new users get through their first cannabis experiences safely and enjoyably (some estimate that 10 million boomer couples will try cannabis for the first time within the next 2-3 years).

Notable Quotes

On leaving Plantronics: “Right when it was time to do the funding and to launch this as their first software product in your headphones, two people on the board- these two old guys- Presbyterian guys- they decided that I was some sort of subterfuge revolutionary trying to undermine American capitalism. And I had to say, ‘I think you’ve got that just about right.’” 

On his High Together App: “It’s everything that I’ve found, as a therapist and spiritual guide, that’s really, really effective for helping people to focus their attention in directions that augment higher consciousness. We can either get stoned, or we can get high, and people don’t realize that really, they have the choice.”

“Most of the people, they really need help in the basics. It’s very scary for most people. If you’re 60 years old and you’ve never basically let go of control of your ego, it’s like ‘WHOA!’ I’m there to help people make it safely and enjoyably through that first 10 minutes, when you actually have the muse of marijuana come in and say ‘Okay, here we go! Let go- there’s nothing you can do about this, so enjoy the ride.’”

“There’s a pretty sober sense of responsibility that we really have a world civilization that can really self destruct if we don’t wake up and act. I think that cannabis and psychedelics are powerful medicines to help us in that direction.”

Links

Website: mindfullyhigh.com

Cannabis for Couples: Enhance Intimacy and Elevate Your Relationship


About John Selby

John is both a fiction and non-fiction author with over thirty published self-help/meditation books plus eleven feature screenplays and half a dozen novels and 40 published folk-jazz songs. John's most recent book is titled Cannabis for Couples: Enhance Intimacy and Elevate Your Relationship. Over the years he has been a cognitive therapist and spiritual counselor, and conducted NIH brain-research studies examining the inner mechanics of mindfulness meditation. John has taught creative writing and publishing strategies, coached authors in book-project development, and ghostwritten over a dozen books for aspiring authors on a wide variety of themes and genres. He now continues with this satisfying work, while also developing a new app-driven approach to mindfulness training and personality growth.

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Navigating Psychedelics

 

Jul 31, 2020

In today's Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down to discuss recent topics in the news and analyze the ongoing debate of decriminalization vs. legalization. 

They first discuss the story of LSD chemist William Leonard Pickard, who was released from prison on July 27th due mostly to his age, health status and risk for contracting Covid-19, and while it's great that he's out, how it changes nothing about the conspiracy surrounding his arrest ("Halperngate") and the very questionable DEA claims of LSD availability decreasing by 95% after his imprisonment. 

They then talk about Denver mushroom grower Kole Milner, who is facing up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and all the complications surrounding state or city legality vs. federal legality, and how anyone in this space should be extremely careful about what personal information they share publicly, regardless of any perceived legal safety. 

This leads to a long discussion about decriminalization vs. legalization: the need for more conversation, what the model might look like for the US, what we can learn from Portugal, how Covid-related economic issues might influence things, the "my drug is better than your drug" issue with advertising, the problem with D.A.R.E.'s "scare you straight" model and the need for truth instead of manipulation, and how advertising and corporate profit incentives may come into play- does legality mean that companies will try to convince more people to use these powerful medicines irresponsibly?

Notable quotes

“It’s a false dichotomy to just say ‘decriminalization vs. legalization.’ As we say, decriminalization doesn’t necessarily mean anything. It can mean something for a municipality or a county or a state but it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the case for the feds. And as soon as you’re crossing state lines, that’s when they can be really into it. But realistically, the DEA seems to have plenty of power to do whatever they want.” -Joe

“I remember a few years ago, I started making this comment: ‘Oh cool, so you want it to stay illegal so you can have your heady, farm-to-table LSD. Cute, but that’s not really how it works and there’s plenty of people getting hurt as a result of not having these controls in place.’ ...It just takes a couple high schoolers whipping up a shitty lab, or non-safety-oriented people just trying to make a quick buck to get a few people hurt. I want to be a libertarian, but I don’t necessarily trust people’s motives enough to fully be a libertarian. I feel like there needs to be incentive structures in place and regulation in place for a lot of things.” -Joe

“I remember them threatening us: ‘If you do this, we will come and arrest you.’ Like, whoa... What if you had somebody that was like, “Hey, psilocybin mushrooms- these were originally used in ceremonial contexts, they had these kinds of safety mechanisms built in place, and this is what’s going on, here are the risks and dangers, this is why you would want to do it in a situation like this, people are using it to find spiritual growth…” And I don’t know, is that more enticing to people? Like, “Oh. I’m really curious!” But at least when they would practice, hopefully, they’d be like, “Oh yea, remember, they told us to do it in this context” instead of being like “This is an illegal thing, we’re going to get arrested so let’s hide and do it in secrecy and not tell anybody about it because the police chief is going to kick down my door and arrest me and tell me I’m a bad person.” -Kyle

“Let’s just be fact-based. Like, ‘Ok, here are the laws, here’s where it comes from, here’s the history, here are the pluses and minuses, and here are the legal consequences at this point in time.’ I would just like the facts, you know? I don’t need to be manipulated. Because that’s all I felt it was- a manipulation of the truth and a manipulation of us. This is not science-based policy, and I think a lot of us now want science-based policy.” -Joe

Links

Breaking: LSD Chemist William Leonard Pickard to be Released From Prison

Lucid News: LSD Chemist And Psychedelic Icon William Leonard Pickard To Be Released From Prison

Erowid character vault on William Leonard Pickard

Erowid's article on Halperngate

LSD Use Up 56% Since 2015, According To Study by University of Cincinnati

Man Accused of Selling Mushrooms Faces Up to Twenty Years

Al Jazeera youtube stream: Are magic mushrooms going mainstream?

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Jul 28, 2020

In today's episode, Kyle interviews Lauren Taus: yoga instructor with 20 years of experience, host of the Inbodied Life podcast, and psychotherapist specializing in ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. 

Taus talks about growing tired of more traditional therapy and cognitive loops so many people find themselves in through cognitive behavioral therapy leading to her taking a break from therapy altogether, trying psychedelics with her brother, learning of psychedelics being used therapeutically, and coming out of the psychedelic closet to her father (who now works with her).  She speaks about her practice, and the process and importance of building up therapeutic relationships first before introducing any psychedelics.  

She discusses how Covid-19, cannabis legalization and the way our culture is set up are all exacerbating mental health issues and the challenges of fighting through that while trying to better partner with disadvantaged communities, the frustrations around the illegality of certain medicines, the power of ketamine, the concept of spiritual bypassing, what she's doing differently during this disconnected time, harm reduction around psychedelics without a therapist nearby, mindfulness, and the importance of touch and dancing.

Notable Quotes

“Healing happens in relationship, and it happens in relationship with self too. I believe that so many people (and I certainly have been one of them) are walking warzones. The violence that happens inside of an individual heart and mind is far more outrageous than what you’d read in the news, and what you read in the news is a lot. ...With my work, I want to know you, I want to feel you, I want you to feel safe, I want you to feel love, I want you to feel unconditional regard and care. And that doesn’t happen overnight, and that doesn’t happen when you take a pill.”

“When I think about what’s happening with cannabis now, there’s essentially white cartels, and there’s cannabis stores on every block of Venice Beach, and people making lots and lots of money on weed. And then there’s so many black and brown people in prison for smoking a joint. And so the inequity there- what kind of reparations can we do? I like to say you can’t bypass the 'fuck you' on your way to forgiveness. And love is big enough to hold the anger and the rage, and there’s appropriate righteous anger that’s due.”

“People are struggling to be with what is- to welcome the wildlife that courses through their veins, to sit still with their fear and their sadness, and even their joy. I have so many people who try to crush their joy and celebration because they’re afraid of losing it. And they will- it’s going to shift. But can we be in the big wideness of what it is to be human? And in our inability to do so, we create all these different unique and not-so-unique misguided defense mechanisms. All these mechanisms for evasion- flight strategies. They can look like work, they can look like sex and food and drugs and alcohol and running or even meditation. The intention is what informs it a lot- what are you doing? Are you looking to go in, or are you looking to leave?”

“Do your work and remember to play along the way. Joy is an act of resistance.”

Links

Inbodiedlife.com

Instagram

Inbodied Life podcast, featuring Kyle


About Lauren Taus

Lauren Taus graduated summa cum laude from Barnard College at Columbia University in 2004 with a BA in Religion before continuing on to NYU for her Masters in Social Work. Lauren is licensed as a clinical therapist in both New York and California with a specialty in addiction and trauma treatment.
As a clinician, Lauren integrates alternative modalities of treatment into her work. She trained with David Emerson under the supervision of Bessel van der Kolk at The Trauma Institute in Boston in trauma sensitive yoga, and she’s trained by the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) for MDMA assisted psychotherapy for complex PTSD.

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Jul 24, 2020

In today's Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and discuss two news stories emerging from Portland, Oregon- first, paramilitary-like federal agents showing up in unmarked cars and arresting protestors, and second, the beating and pepper-spraying of one of those protestors, Christopher David. 

They look at these events from multiple perspectives- what fears are driving the opinions of people who are against these protests? Why does there always seem to be money when it comes to military expenses, but never any money when it comes to the wellbeing of people? How many police officers fully stand behind what they're doing, and how many are simply following orders or deeming certain evils necessary solely to earn their federal pension? 

They analyze systems and better ways forward, like considering a bottom-up approach vs. the standard top-down approach or Ken Wilbur's framework of transcending an old system while including all the lessons from it. They also discuss decriminalization vs. legalization and the importance of regulation, and the massive scale of concepts and systems, like how MKUltra needs to be included when discussing the history of psychology.

They also discuss telehealth and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and the complications surrounding it right now, from both therapists and clients not wanting to be in an office to the concerns of self-administration at home, to the benefits of self-exploration for those who do feel comfortable and safe engaging on their own. And lastly, they talk about their upcoming Navigating Psychedelics class, which is selling fast and will never be cheaper than it is now.

Notable quotes

“This is illegal, and people seem to forget that it’s illegal. Even if it’s decriminalized in a locality, doesn’t mean the feds can’t come in and shut you down. And that’s why they call me the party pooper.” -Joe

“How many people get into higher systems and institutions with really good intentions [of] wanting to make change, and thinking... “I’m going to change it from the top down.” ...What would a ‘bottom-up’ approach be, and how could we give power back to communities to start to create their own change, instead of thinking that we need to change it from these hierarchical systems? I always come back to Bucky Fuller’s quote about just creating a different system- you don’t change a system by trying to change it, you make a new system that’s obsolete to that old way of being. ...I’m thinking also too, from the somatic lens in therapy- approaching it more cognitively, intellectually- this whole top-down brain approach vs. a body-oriented approach and working with the trauma, working with the body and thinking about, ok, what’s the body? It’s people, it’s communities. How do we start to work that way?” -Kyle

“I just prefer to see government funds spent on stuff like the green new deal to save us from climate change. Or health care for all- those kinds of things. Why spend to put people in jail, when we could have, just like with cannabis, taxable revenue. I don’t want to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Just because it’s not equitable, I don’t think that totally excludes the thing. I’d just like to see less people going to jail, less people being harmed by black market drugs, and more clean appropriate drugs available to the people who want them.” -Joe

“How do we have the money to send these paramilitary agents in but you didn’t have the money to produce personal protection equipment for hospitals? What’s going on here?” -Kyle

Links

U.S. Homeland Security confirms three units sent paramilitary officers to Portland

Navy veteran beaten and pepper-sprayed by federal agents at protest in Portland

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Jul 21, 2020

In this episode, Kyle speaks with Imperial College London research assistant and past guest, Dr. Malin Vedøy Uthaug, who just earned her doctorate and published her dissertation on Ayahuasca and 5-MeO-DMT research.

Uthaug discusses how she started working in this field, why Prague is a good place for research, what past research has led to today, how certain factors could predict whether someone would have a more challenging or more mystical experience, how these experiences can treat people with PTSD differently, what dissociation actually means, the differences between vaporized 5-MeO-DMT and intramuscular 5-MeO-DMT injections and how injections typically lead towards better trauma resolution over the "too much too soon" effects of vaporization. They also talk about reactivation (re-experiencing parts of the 5-MeO-DMT experience at a later time) and why it might happen, how it is different from LSD flashbacks, and how expectations, the experience, and the facilitator all come into play. 

They discuss her research and dissertation, which consisted of 2 studies on ayahuasca and 3 on 5-MeO-DMT, focusing on if participants saw improvement in convergent thinking and mental health variables (depression, anxiety and stress), and how her placebo-controlled study revealed that those who received the placebo still saw a marked improvement. This leads to a conclusion that often, context may play a larger role than the medicine- feeling safe and being heard in a ceremonial, community-based setting may be the biggest factor towards healing. 

Notable Quotes

“Once you make the unconscious conscious, then you can learn from it, and [it’s not] so much about resisting anymore. Carl Jung says, ‘what you resist persists,’ and what I think is happening, especially with PTSD, is that you’re kind of just holding this ball underwater and it’s not allowed to float to the surface.”

“You need to feel safe, you need to experience being heard and seen. Psychedelics do help us remember things that we have repressed, but obviously, [they] also make us very vulnerable and things might come up. And having somebody witness that and validate those feelings that are expressed and shown can be incredibly healing for people.”

“What we can learn is to learn to sit with difficult emotions and to not push them aside. ...I learned that there is comfort in the discomfort. I learned that you can basically figure out so many things about yourself if you just sit with yourself for a moment and you stay in that uncomfortable silence.”

Links

The Exploration of Naturalistically used Ayahuasca and 5-MeO-DMT: by Malin Vedøy Uthaug (dissertation)

Imperial College London- Centre for Psychedelic Research

Her past Psychedelics Today appearance, 3/21/2018

Save a Toad, Exploit a Chemist t-shirt


About Dr. Malin Vedøy Uthaug

Malin completed her PhD at the department of Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology, at the faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience at Maastricht University, The Netherlands. As part of her PhD, she investigated the short-term and long-term effects of Ayahuasca and 5-MeO-DMT in naturalistic settings, while simultaneously initiating several other studies on the psychedelic substance Mescaline and the breathing practice known as Holotropic Breathwork (HB). Malin is currently working as a Postdoctoral researcher at The Centre for Psychedelic Research, at Imperial College London, led by Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris. Here she is investigating the effects of 5-MeO-DMT on mental health related variables, brain activity and consciousness together with Dr. Christopher Timmermann. Besides being a researcher, Malin is also an editor for the ‘Journal of Psychedelics Studies’, a board member of the American podcast-show known as Psychedelics Today, and the co-founder of the Norwegian Association for Psychedelic Science (Norsk Forening for Psykedelisk Vitenskap [NFPV]) whose main aim is to educate the general public as well as researchers, and mental health practitioners in Norway about psychedelics.

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The Exploration of Naturalistically used Ayahuasca and 5-MeO-DMT: by Malin Vedøy Uthaug (dissertation)

 

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