Solidarity Fridays - Week 24
Release Date: 09/10/2020
In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and discuss some very scientific (read: hard to understand) articles. First, they talk about one on Salvinorin A and its interactions with a different receptor than other psychedelics (kappa opioid receptors) and what that could mean, and a related article from Wired- a first-hand account of taking salvia as part of a brain-imaging study at Johns Hopkins University. The biggest takeaway from these can be summed up in researcher Manoj Doss's closing quote: "Not only does this tell me how little we understand psychedelics, it also...info_outline PT214 - Dr. Michael Sapiro - Engaged Spirituality: Bringing the Mystical Into the Ordinary
In this episode, Kyle interviews Doctor of Psychology, faculty member at Esalen Institute, Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Dharma teacher, and former Buddhist monk, Dr. Michael Sapiro. Sapiro talks about his recent travel pilgrimage to the northeast US, living in a camper with his dog and spending a lot of time in the woods working on himself and his connection with others. He talks about the "ways of knowing" that is taught at Esalen Institute, where people ask their cognitive brain about an important decision, then ask their body, their intuition, and even their ancestors and/or...info_outline PT Solidarity Fridays - Episode 29
In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and discuss a recent segment on CNN highlighting Brian Muraresku's book, The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name, about the role psychedelics have likely played in the origin of religion and western civilization. They talk about psychedelics throughout history, like the Eleusinian Mysteries, soma use in Hindu scriptures, therianthropy and the idea of psychedelics leading towards these human-animal hybrid visions, and even the idea that Moses was huffing acacia or some other type of mind-altering plant...info_outline PT213 - Dr. Matt Brown - Osteopathy and Exploring Energy
In this episode, Joe speaks with Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Psychiatrist (specializing in the treatment of OCD), and Psychedelics Today Advisory Board member, Dr. Matt Brown. Brown talks about osteopathic medicine and his thoughts on energy: how the principle of osteopathic medicine is that "mind, body, spirit" and the things we interact with contribute to what makes up a person, and by shifting things within each body system (neurological or respiratory, for example), change can be made, just like the way small postural shifts can lead to a decrease in pain or anxiety and how smiling can...info_outline PTSF 28
In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and discuss several items in the news, including Mark Zuckerberg donating $500,000 towards Oregon's Measure 110, national psychiatric associations coming out as in opposition to Oregon's measure 109 due to concerns over medical treatment being determined via a ballot iniative, voters in Mississippi being able to vote on medical cannabis and voters in Arizona, Montana, South Dakota and New Jersey being able to vote on legalization measures (with polling data showing 65% of New Jersey voters likely in favor), Denver's Kole Milner...info_outline PT212 - Zoe Helene - Colonization, Coevolution, and Cosmic Sisterhood
In this episode, Joe interviews environmental and cultural activist, founder of advocacy group Cosmic Sister, and purveyor of psychedelic feminism, Zoe Helene. In this very open and free-form conversation, Zoe discusses her past corporate life in a male-dominated high tech world leading to a major change in her life and the creation of Cosmic Sister, the concepts of othering people and ableism, the importance of Michael Pollan's concept of coevolution/coextinction, how psychedelics potentiate identity-fluidity (most seen in gender-fluidity), how people usually talk about ayahuasca...info_outline Solidarity Fridays 27
In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and dissect 3 recent items in the news. First, they discuss a 2-year study on 18 older long-term AIDS survivors (OLTAS) with a high degree of demoralization and trauma, in which participants underwent 3 hours of individual psychotherapy, one 8 hour psilocybin session, and 12-15 hours of group therapy. While the study predictably showed improvement in demoralization after a 3-month follow-up, the bigger takeaway is the effectiveness of group therapy and the ability to replace hours of individual therapy, (in this case) cutting...info_outline Del Jolly - Psilocybin, Concussions and Unlimited Sciences' Mission
In this episode, Joe interviews Del Jolly: co-founder and Director of psychedelic research nonprofit Unlimited Sciences, previous Business Development Manager at Charlotte's Web, previous Outreach Director for Decriminalize Denver, and member of the Board of Advisors for cannabis nonprofit, The Realm of Caring. Jolly talks about his path to Unlimited Sciences and its purpose: to collect as much data as possible through an observational research study through Johns Hopkins University, where participants are asked to provide as many details as possible about their psilocybin use. Like "Cannabis...info_outline Solidarity Fridays - Week 26
In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and discuss recent items in the news. They first discuss an update to last week's Michigan story: that this week, the Ann Arbor city council unanimously voted to decriminalize entheogenic plants. While this is great progress, remember that these substances are still illegal- just decriminalized, and as the saying goes: don't be the low-hanging fruit. This brings up the concept of likening the ability to get these substances to earning (and keeping) a driver's license, and the idea of temporary autonomous zones. Next, they...info_outline Vanessa LeMaistre - Embracing a Path to Spiritual Discovery
In this episode, Joe interviews shaman, motivational speaker, author, minister, and healer, Vanessa LeMaistre. LeMaistre talks about her path towards shamanism: from being told she was different as a child, to traveling to India at 25 and falling in love with yoga and meditating on the Ganges river, to a tarot card reading inspiring her to earn her Master's degree at Naropa University, to trying coca for the first time (without realizing ahead of time that that's what she'd be doing), to training with Michael Harner. Ultimately, what led her towards accepting her fate as a shaman was...info_outline
In today's Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle discuss several recent items in the news that further the advancement of psychedelics, including: Canadian company Havn Lifescience following Compass Pathways' lead and registering with the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol HAVN, Amsterdam-based psychedelic retreat company Synthesis announcing that leading Clinical Psychologist Dr. Rosalind Watts has joined their advisory board (which also includes Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, who joined in November), European psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy company AWAKN Life Sciences Inc. announcing the launch of its Commercial Clinical Research Division with Professor David Nutt and (past Psychedelics Today guest) Dr. Ben Sessa at the helm, a recent study at the National Center for Biotechnology Information that further proved that psychedelics promote structural and functional neural plasticity, and a new app called "Trip" from Field Trip Psychedelics Inc., which was designed to help people through psychedelic trips, and brings up the very difficult balance of encouraging harm reduction and safety while also essentially promoting dangerous experiences.
They also discuss a recent article in ScienceAlert, which focused on the similarities between psychedelic trips and religious experiences through 288 people filling out a Mystical Experience Questionnaire, the Good Friday experiments’ roots of this questionnaire, and the important point that not all good data needs to be scientific and collected through clinical trials.
They also talk about books by Louis Cozolino and Rick Strassman, Strassman's DMT-pineal gland hypothesis, whole-plant statistics vs. single-molecule statistics, the idea that LSD could promote life extension, the insensitivity and danger of playing music with historically bad roots during sessions (like playing anti-semitic composer Richard Wagner's works), and the possible similarities between COVID isolation and the concept of nuclear families.
And they remind us that spots for the next round of Navigating Psychedelics (beginning September 17th) are going quickly- the early class is sold out, but spots remain for group 2, so sign up now! Additionally, there is a new class offering called Imagination as Revelation, developed by Kyle and Johanna Hilla-Maria Sopanen, which explores Jungian psychology.
“These competitive forces are going to continue to drop prices, and I think that is optimistic for accessibility, long-term. But, you know, realistically, this comes back to the same question- are psychedelics exclusively in the domain of psychiatry, or do they belong elsewhere? Is peer to peer use ok? I think yes, but how do we, as a culture, kind of land on that? That’s the big question. I think a lot of psychiatrists probably agree that people should just be able to use mushrooms when they want to, or LSD when they want to. Others would be vehemently opposed, but there are people in that field that are on our side of liberation and cognitive liberty and whatnot. So it’s there. It’s coming, I think, and competition plays a part.” - Joe
“If we’re in isolation, we’re probably going to see brain atrophy. If we’re in community, we’re going to see heightened neural activity. And perhaps the brain will come back alive with the heightened neural activity. I remember hearing somebody recently talk about a visit to the actor/singer Jamie Foxx’s house. You know, super rich, right? But he’s got at least 20 people in the house at all times, and perhaps that’s how some high performers do so well- is that they’re just always around folks. ...I’m wondering, are nuclear families toxic? Is the concept of a nuclear family one of the major factors at play here?” -Joe
“You can have a mystical experience. DMT doesn’t necessarily need to be involved at all. Does that take away from the value for you? If so, why? Are you fetishizing DMT? There are a lot of other drugs out there that do amazing things. Your brain is an amazing thing. The human psyche is an amazing thing. Why not fetishize the highest thing, which is psyche and its relation to the universe?” -Joe
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