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.


  • 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.”

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025: Psychedelic Medicine Trials with Participant Kirk Rutter by Joe

This is Entheogen. Talk about tools for generating the divine within.

Today is February 28, 2016, and we are discussing Psychedelic Medicine Trials with a participant in a recent psilocybin study, Kirk Rutter.

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Special thanks to our guest on today’s show, Kirk Rutter, who offers listeners a rare glimpse of what it’s like to participate in a psychedelic medicine trial. Kirk worked with Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, David Erritzoe (who sat in on the sessions), Prof. David Nutt (who oversaw the project), and Mark Bolstridge at the Imperial College of London, studying the impact of psilocybin on depression.


  • Kirk shares a bit of background about why he sought out this study

  • The screening process

  • Kirk’s prior experience (none) and opinion of psychedelics before the study

  • No interaction with the other participants during the trials, meeting these automatic allies after the conclusion of the trials.

  • The benefit of the “dry run” of set and setting a week ahead of time. Compare this protocol to the DMT studies by Strassman – demonstrates the importance of a comfortable setting.

  • Kirk offers the term “psychedelic turbulence”, and the analogy of taking off in a plane: passing through the clouds, there may be some turbulence, and then once you reach a certain height it becomes calm.

  • Sanskrit text flashing in the darkness, faint geometrics, jewels, golden structures…

  • Describing the session room: niceties like ambient laser lights, aroma machine, candles, fresh flowers.

  • The music in the room. The care given to the playlist. The importance of the playlist as part of the protocol.

  • Psychedelic lacrymation.

  • The “psychedelic yawn”.

  • We all share our deep cries.

  • Using music to help embed the experience.

  • The roles of David, Robin, and Mark and how they factored into the experience.

  • Robin: “one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.”

  • We all don’t like the zoo. (E.g. “Meerkats basking under sunlamps.”)

  • Kirk’s experience of seeing “an Indian god ‘look in on me’ like a parent looking over a baby's crib”

  • Kevin’s experience seeing the same deity as Kirk: Ganesh, the "remover of obstacles", the "God of wisdom, knowledge and new beginnings". He sounds like a good totem to have through the 25mg experience”

  • Chanting, meditating

Check out Kirk’s blog for a first person description of what it’s like to participate in modern psychedelic research, including videos from your accommodations at the Imperial College campus in London.

003: Resident psychedelicists discuss entheogens vs. other paths by Joe


Is the psychedelic experience "real"? Does that question have merit?

Is taking entheogens "cheating"? Why do people think so?

Is the entheogenic experience comparable to experiences achievable through meditation, yoga, shamanic drumming, etc., or is it substantively different?


Interview with Patrick Lundborg: 60’s psych & garage guru, psychedelic culture scholar and author of brilliant „Psychedelia” and „Acid Archives” books

Unified Psychedelic Theory: An Interview with Patrick Lundborg R.I.P.