012: Interview with Carl A. P. Ruck, the Man who Coined the Term "Entheogen", on Renegotiating our Covenant with Mother Earth by Joe

This is Entheogen: three human beings discussing generating the divine within while still being human beings.

In this episode, recorded on June 22, 2015, we are honored to be joined by Dr. Carl Ruck, professor in the Classical Studies department at Boston University. Ruck is credited with coining the term Entheogen to describe neurotropic substances.

Ruck explains the importance of the term entheogen as distinct from neurotropic and other terms which may be used in scientific literature (see also: alchemy…chemistry, astrology…astronomy; alchemy minus theology = chemistry).

Dangers of guidance under the guise of a false guru.

Ancient entheogenic substances and principles of practice being reinterpreted in modern culture is prone to pitfalls.

"Our own European culture has a rich panoply of paradigms to help us with the experience, but we're told that it has nothing to do with this kind of drug induced visionary experience, so people don't understand that the ancient greek myths are a fantastic way of mapping out a pathway for self-discovery." - Carl A. P. Ruck

What is the role of the entheogen in society?

Finding ways to go to "the origins of religious cognition."

Should entheogens be used in a ritualistic setting, or as a private experience?

The Gaia Project: Reclaiming the Mysteries of Eleusis (more info)

The Breaking Conventions conference

Further reading: Entheogens, Myth, and Human Consciousness

008: The Trip Treatment by Joe

Recorded on Feb 26, 2015

This is Entheogen: three human beings discussing generating the divine within while still being human beings. In this show we're discussing the Trip Treatment, an article in the New Yorker by Michael Pollan in the Feb 9, 2015 edition.


- use of entheogens for terminal cancer patients, nicotine addicts, PTSD

- use of entheogens for "betterment of well people" (in the words of Bob Jesse)

- Roland Griffiths, trained as a behaviorist and holding senior appointments in psychiatry and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, is one of the nation’s leading drug-addiction researchers. Pollan quoting Griffiths: “There is such a sense of authority that comes out of the primary mystical experience that it can be threatening to existing hierarchical structures. We ended up demonizing these compounds. Can you think of another area of science regarded as so dangerous and taboo that all research gets shut down for decades? It’s unprecedented in modern science.”

- Robert Jesse, founder of Council on Spiritual Practices (CSP) in 1993, former VP of Oracle.

- Rick Doblin, founder of Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in 1986.

- Charles Grob, at U.C.L.A., who won F.D.A. approval in 2006 for a Phase I pilot study to assess the safety, dosing, and efficacy of psilocybin in the treatment of anxiety in cancer patients.

- David Nichols, emeritus professor of pharmacology at Purdue University and a founder of the Heffter Research Institute in 1993, key funder of psychedelic research.

- Robin Carhart-Harris and David Nutt of Imperial College, London. See prior coverage on the show: Entheogen 002: Psychedelic Research Renaissance, Part 2


- Roland Griffiths, a leading psychedelic researcher at Johns Hopkins University and the States of Consciousness Research Team is conducting an anonymous, web-based study to characterize experiences of personal encounter that might be described as "Ultimate Reality," "Higher Power," "God" or any aspect of the God of your understanding. If you’ve ever had such an experience, taking the Johns Hopkins survey could serve science and help others.

006: Interview with Meriana Dinkova: Navigating Altered States by Joe

This is Entheogen: three human beings discussing generating the divine within while still being human beings. In this show we are honored to be joined by Meriana Dinkova, licensed psychotherapist. Thanks for joining us.


- Meriana's work: preparing and processing

- techniques for protection and optimization of a trip

- the Bruce Lee technique: superheroes as archetypal guides or guardians to be called upon during altered states

- personifying LSD, mushrooms, and ayahuasca:

LSD: that's you. That's your shit. Deal with it. (Can cover a lot. Can be cold about it.)

Mushrooms: the little brothers, jokers. This is your shit and this is how it's funny. Lightness. The universe is a cosmic joke. Intelligent. Caring. At higher doses, less funny and more deep.

Ayahuasca: the great mother; the grandmother: wise feminine being who cares about you. These are the ways in which you're not your shit. Hard truths, e.g. shows you how you've harmed other people. Non-judgemental. Caring, wise. Supportive.

10 Day Plant Medicine Reteat With 3 Shamans- Peru; Apr 18-27th 2015 – Tickets

- future topic teaser: Sex Magic and Erotic Influence

002: Psychedelic Research Renaissance, Part 2 by Joe

Brad, Kevin, and Joe discuss: Dr Robin Carhart-Harris is the first scientist in over 40 years to test LSD on humans - and you're next

Stanislav Grof, 1975: "psychedelics, used responsibly and with proper caution, would be for psychiatry what the microscope is for biology or the telescope is for astronomy”.

Professor David Nutt: "I think it's the worst censorship of research since the Catholic Church banned the telescope.”

See also: Nutt calls the outlaw of entheogens "the worst case of scientific censorship since the Catholic Church banned the works of Copernicus and Galileo"

Carhart-Harris scanned test subjects’ brains with an fMRI scanner while they were on LSD, showing for the first time higher activity in the hippocampus, which is involved in memory.

Schedule I drugs: "high potential for abuse”, "no currently accepted medical use”, "lack of accepted safety” – LSDreally?

Carhart-Harris: "It's slightly hypothetical, but it's based on what we know about the way the brain works, which is that it settles into configurations of activity that seem to underly certain psychopathologies. Depression and addictions rest on reinforced patterns of brain activity, and a psychedelic will introduce a relative chaos. Patterns that have become reinforced disintegrate under the drug. I've used the metaphor of shaking a snow globe”

Carhart-Harris: "music can do a number of things. It can have a steadying influence, but it can also help facilitate emotional release.”