Benefits

045: Stealing Fire Part 1 by Joe

This is Entheogen. Elevate the Conversation.

Today is November 5, 2017, and we are discussing Stealing Fire, a book by Steven Kotler & Jamie Wheal.

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Introduction

In more contemporary terms, the Eleusinian Mysteries were an elaborate nine-day ritual designed to strip away standard frames of reference, profoundly alter consciousness, and unlock a heightened level of insight. Specifically, the mysteries combined a number of state-changing techniques—fasting, singing, dancing, drumming, costumes, dramatic storytelling, physical exhaustion, and kykeon (the substance Alcibiades stole for his party)—to induce a cathartic experience of death, rebirth, and “divine inspiration.”

Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann and Harvard-trained classicist Carl Ruck argued that the barley in kykeon might have been tainted with an ergot fungus. This same fungus generates lysergic acid (LSA), a precursor to the LSD that Hofmann famously synthesized in his Sandoz pharmaceutical lab. — Excerpt from Stealing Fire

Part One - The Case for Ecstasis

Chapter 1: What Is This Fire?
Chapter 2: Why It Matters
Chapter 3: Why We Missed It

“The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.” —David Foster Wallace

  • Entheogen’s take on the book: “We like it.”
  • Debate on how to pronounce the word ecstasis
  • Why does “fire” need to be stolen? Why does access to altered states need to be banned?
  • How the Navy SEALs train for dynamic subordination, another kind of altered state
  • Partying with Eric Schmidt at Burning Man
  • Finding “flow” and why it matters
  • Signature characteristics of ecstasis: selflessness, timelessness, effortlessness, richness (STER)
  • An examining of the word “pale”
  • The “state sanctioned triad” of mind altering substances: caffeine, nicotine, alcohol -- what makes these special? What ends does accepting these particular substances serve?
  • The institutions that create / endorse stigma: the church and the state
  • Are humans already cyborgs? What is truly “unnatural” anyway? If humans are beings of nature, is anything that humans create also natural?
  • How altered states are directly related to evolution of humans as well as certain plants and other animals (like French Bulldogs)
  • The current and historical balance of individualism vs. collectivism, and its impact on the proliferation and acceptance of certain types of altered states

044: Interview with Dr. Rosalind Watts, Clinical Psychologist in the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London by Joe

Rosalind Watts photo.jpg

This is Entheogen. Elevate the Conversation.

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Find the notes and links for this and other episodes at EntheogenShow.com. Sign up to receive an email when we release a new episode. Follow us @EntheogenShow on Twitter and like EntheogenShow on FaceBook. Thanks for listening.

It’s April 2, 2017, and we are talking with Dr. Rosalind Watts, Clinical Psychologist at Imperial College London, working alongside Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris.

  • Joe’s story of psilocybin on his first “date” with his now-wife, and psilocybin’s role in their engagement

  • The Couples Using Magic Mushrooms as Relationship Therapy

  • Kevin’s regular practice of taking psychedelic medicine with his wife

  • How Ros came to study psychedelic therapy after initially becoming disillusioned with the limits of talk therapy for the treatment of anxiety and depression; her initial skepticism about psychedelics based on their negative legacy

  • The importance of the patient-therapist relationship

  • Some guidelines from one of the father figures of psychedelic therapy, Bill Richards: “We prepare people to welcome whatever they may encounter – no picking and choosing. Sometimes you have to go through the dark night to get to the top of the mountain and the sunrise. If the inner dragon or monster appears, look him in the eye – go straight towards him. If you look the monster in the eye and go towards it, ask it what it wants – there’s always resolution, transformation, and new knowledge. When you run from it, you get into panic and paranoia, like a typical nightmare – and then you say, ‘I’ve had a bad trip.’”

  • Although psychedelics including psilocybin tend to be considered non-addictive, there are examples of people using them habitually

  • Ros mentions some examples of people in the psilocybin study for depression giving up addictions and habitual behavior

  • To help fund this important research, visit the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London

042: Interview with Dr. Neal Goldsmith on Psychedelic Healing by Joe

This is Entheogen. Elevate the Conversation.

It’s March 12, 2017, and we are discussing psychedelic healing with Dr. Neal Goldsmith.

Topics:

  • Neal’s book Psychedelic Healing: The Promise of Entheogens for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Development provides copious discussion points for our conversation today.

  • Neal's therapy practice, and how his use of psychedelics has informed his practice of psychotherapy

  • Imago therapy

  • LSD is a tool: Charles Manson becomes more Charles Manson; Richard Alpert becomes Ram Dass.

  • The substitution of the eucharist as a proxy for the original psychoactive sacrament. Can we please go back to the active version? What are the consequences of inactive substitutes in religious ceremonies? How have alternative spiritual practices sprung up in the absence of sanctioned Entheogenic rituals?

  • George Carlin’s Modern Man.

  • Are we in the midst of McKenna’s Archaic Revival? Is this another way to internalize the unfolding ecological apocalypse?

“If we’re going to be post-post-modern, if we’re going to be integral, we can’t have a fight between tribalism and modernity. We can’t have a fight between spirituality and the material world.”

  • Meditation, mindfulness, yoga, breathing…

  • Deep breathing to expel carbon dioxide in addition to inhaling oxygen.

  • McKenna’s conjecture that it’s possible to get to the same state of consciousness that psychedelics provide access to, using meditation or chanting or drumming, but who has time for that?

  • What do you recommend to listeners who might be interested in some form of psychedelic therapy, present company included?

  • The dichotomy of tribalism vs. modernism: our human ancestors living naturally but for shorter time, vs. modern humans living longer but disconnected from nature. Spiraling up vs. retreating to tribalism.

  • Spirituality vs. science. The concept of rational mysticism. Einstein quote via Rick Doblin: “There's no real conflict between science & religion; there's a conflict between bad science & bad religion.”

Please support Entheogen by making a donation on Patreon. Become a Patron for as little as $1. Pledge just $3 or more, and get early access to new episodes, plus exclusive Patron-only features. Head over to EntheogenShow.com and click on Support.

Find the notes and links for this and other episodes at EntheogenShow.com. Sign up to receive an email when we release a new episode. Follow us @EntheogenShow on Twitter and like EntheogenShow on FaceBook. Thanks for listening.

041: Reflections on our Burning Man 2016 Interview with Alex Grey, Allyson Grey, Rick Doblin by Joe

This is Entheogen. Elevate the Conversation.

Please support Entheogen by making a donation on Patreon. Become a Patron for as little as $1. Pledge just $3 or more, and get early access to new episodes, plus exclusive Patron-only features. Head over to EntheogenShow.com and click on Support.

Find the notes and links for this and other episodes at EntheogenShow.com. Sign up to receive an email when we release a new episode. Follow us @EntheogenShow on Twitter and like EntheogenShow on FaceBook. Thanks for listening.

It’s February 26, 2017, and we are reflecting on our conversation with Alex Grey, Allyson Grey, and Rick Doblin at Burning Man 2016.

Topics:

  • Finding people at Burning Man

  • ReFOAMation Village

  • Getting foamed

  • Meeting our humble heroes

  • Psychedelics as pretense-obliterating substances

  • Effects of MDA vs. MDMA

  • De-scheduling vs. rescheduling cannabis

  • MAPS-hosted Global Psychedelic Dinners raising funds for MDMA research

  • Psychedelic medicine trials beginning to reach a broader audience

 

P.S. Neal Goldsmith interview coming up next! Sign up to be notified.

040: Checking in with Kirk Rutter, Psilocybin Research Participant by Joe

This is Entheogen. Elevate the Conversation.

Please support Entheogen by making a donation on Patreon. Become a Patron for as little as $1. Pledge just $3 or more, and get early access to new episodes, plus exclusive Patron-only features. Head over to EntheogenShow.com and click on Support.

Find the notes and links for this and other episodes at EntheogenShow.com. Sign up to receive an email when we release a new episode. Follow us @EntheogenShow on Twitter and like EntheogenShow on FaceBook. Thanks for listening.

It’s February 26, 2017, and we are checking in with Kirk Rutter, who joined us for Episode 025: Psychedelic Medicine Trials with Participant Kirk Rutter.

Topics:

  • Kirk’s Organizational Upgrade
  • Ganesh Chant/Mantra (108 times)
  • Barack Obama’s “Fired up, ready to go
  • The zoo
  • Ecological mindset
  • Vegetarianism
  • Hanlon's razor
  • Burning Man changed Brad’s life