Welcome to day 1 of PSYJuly!
I thought a good place to start would be to ask the question:
My first psychedelic experiences totally blew me away. They blew my mind in the most awesome and extraordinary way. It was the most fascinating thing, the most incredible experience. I thought: “How is not everyone talking about this?!! Like, all the time? How is this a fringe thing, underground? How is it not the headline on all the newspapers?”. It certainly became the headline of my own personal paper.
I wondered about the experience so much in the weeks and months after, fascinated and curious, devouring information online about it day and night.
If the human brain was a computer, it felt like the processing power was increased 100x on psychedelics. Even in the afterglow of my first experiences, I felt like the operating system of my mind was working much more smoothly and cleanly. I felt like I’d gained IQ points and even remember even saying to a friend that LSD was like a fertiliser for the mind.
Since that fateful day in late 2011 when I had my first LSD and MDMA experience, psychedelics have been my foremost interest, one of my greatest passions, and my favourite and most rewarding practice/hobby/activity/enhancer (I struggle to find a single word as the applications are so wide reaching).
Even after years of exploration and countless experiences, the psychedelic experience remains as fresh as ever. I continue to be surprised and amazed at what these incredible substances can offer. The range of experience that is possible continues to blow me away.
They have given me gifts of creativity, inspiration, awe, wonder, healing of the heart, courage and insight.
Those gifts have spread to all aspects of my life and have helped me tremendously on my journey and path of growth.
Through my own experience, reading others’, speaking to others, seeing and engaging with the movement, and finding out more about their influence on some of the most influential figures in human history, I continually come back to the same conclusion:
Psychedelics are the single most powerful tool for individual transformation.
They are the change agent. Perhaps catalyst is a better word; as it has been said, they don’t make the change for you, but they do make it easier. Still, their power is undeniable.
As the collective Team Human, we are made up of individuals. Putting this all together, psychedelics are an absolute force to be reckoned with, a technology to be used wisely, and judiciously, for collective transformation.
At this mind bending, oft confusing, post meaning crisis moment in human history, we are facing many problems: continuing warfare, racism, greed, tremendous and increasing wealth inequality. And the one that no one, no matter how rich or seemingly protected they are, can escape from, the big timer counting down to our species extinction: environmental destruction.
We are at the 11th hour and 59th minute with a need for a total and complete breakdown and reformation of the political and financial systems that govern the world and keep us locked on our course for suicide. We need some big answers and ingenious solutions. And very quickly.
And this comes to my why of focusing my energy on psychedelics. Because to heal the world, to face our shadow, our collective destruction, we need to heal as individuals, as families, communities, societies, cultures, as a species, and as the biosphere.
Our increases in outer tech; computers, nanotech, space tech etc. are not solving those problems, because ultimately our problems stem from the human heart; our fears, our separation.
As Jack Kornfield has said:
“What’s needed to match this extraordinary outer development is a transformation of consciousness, individually and collectively.”
I also believe that with healed hearts, psychedelics can help us with creative problem solving, to find solutions for the epic problems we are faced with.
I believe that placing my focus on psychedelics is how I can have the greatest positive impact that I can on the world.
Why Write About Psychedelics?
There are many ways to get involved with and work in the psychedelic movement, why not another?
Last year I lead a small team to launch the retreat project New Moon Psychedelic Retreats. A key aim was to make the psychedelic experience accessible to more people. I thought of people who could benefit from the psychedelic experience but who would never do a thing like drink ayahuasca with a shaman and are put off by any overly spiritual or ‘woo’ terms; things that don’t fit with our logical, rational tendency (or better said, bias) in the modern Western world. I imagined people like family members and co-workers, and there was an aim to modern western people. I wanted to bring psychedelics to Europe, in a framework that suited Europeans.
However, whilst the project has been extremely rewarding in the sense of creating and being with people in spaces for deep self exploration, it has dawned on me that its reach is limited. The amount of work required to manage and run the project means that we can likely only get about 8 people through every 2-3 months.
Considering the ocean of our global crisis, this is a rather small drop.
And then, Corona hit, forcing us to postpone the two retreats we had booked, the number of people we could help through their process went to down to 0.
Even when we resume retreats later this year, the cost of running it means that its access is limited to people’s with certain financial means. And that is even before we’ve made the price increases we will need to to make it a sustainable project.
And so, I’ve turned my focus back to what spawned the project, to my labour of love, to Maps of the Mind. Back to providing information to people through the internet. Using this means I can increase my reach and the number of people I can influence.
I want to provide information but also to empower people to make their own retreats, their own ceremonies and sessions, to devise their own protocols and psychedelic practices. I want to hand over the tools to the masses. I want to pass on the knowledge that has been passed on to me. I want to share what I’ve learned from my experience. I want to play my part in a global transformation of consciousness. Then, when I lie at the end of it all, when I breathe my final breath, whatever the outcome of our universal fate, I can rest in peace, knowing I did my part.