Question

Can the unseen/abstract/spiritual (unknowable, immeasurable) be separated from the seen/material/physical (knowable, measurable)? If the mind cannot exist without the brain, nor consciousness without electric sensation/connection, then isn’t the unknown/spiritual intertwined with the known/physical? Can psychedelics help Western society overcome an extreme secular reaction to religion and return to the mystical/metaphysical through the physical?

Question

Will off-label psychedelic prescription use be the new recreational or will it mostly be sought for self-directed therapy or therapy with the help of alternative facilitators? Will people—with or without diagnosable mental conditions—prefer off-label use so they can direct/choose the therapeutic style?*

In response to this recent article in Scientific American. 

Question

How could clinical psychedelic practice accommodate the fact that some people experience the most insights/healing from the most uncomfortable trips? Is there a ‘right way’ to experience a psychedelic trip? How will new psychedelic therapists be trained to deal with patients who receive the message: You kinda suck. Your past behavior—awful. And it’s time to start over. Should legislation allow all people to seek psychedelic experiences in non-clinical settings for personal or ontological inquiry?

Dosing after microdosing

Moving from psychedelic routine to spot-treatment, originally published on Medium

Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 2.06.50 PM
Kristina Johnson

Fifteen micrograms of acid, on a sliver of paper, washed down with a glass of water. This is my medicine of choice.

*

I microdosed 1P-LSD from April to December 2017 following a regimen: one day on, threeish days off. It’s been over a year since I stopped that routine and tapered my dosing to as-needed for mood support.

Eight months is a bit longer than most ~microdosing experts~ recommend. Online sources typically suggest six weeks or three months, but that’s mostly speculative. Any recommendations for continued psychedelic use (and all psychiatric medicine?) are relatively inexpert given our still premature understanding of the brain. When it comes to intimate psychological issues, there is no single cure for what has complex—and largely unknown—causes. No one knows which precise treatment or prescription will work for anyone. Especially in people with discreet or hard-to-diagnose issues, who experience difficulty communicating, or who are especially young or old. It’s all an experiment. That’s what the medical community has been doing, as well as a few rogue individuals.

Testing, and reflecting. Continue reading “Dosing after microdosing”

Is Australia ready for psychedelic progress?

Notes from the Mind Medicine Australia launch, originally published on Medium

My only photo that night
Only photo I took that night

Psychedelic researchers, advocates, and skeptics alike met on February 13th, 2019 in Melbourne for the Mind Medicine Australia launch. Fresh from San Francisco and eager to meet people in this city also interested in psychedelic medicine, I bought an early-bird ticket.

***

February 13th, 2019, 5:30 PM. At this point in life getting ready to go out involves more time bopping around with acid under my tongue than looking in the mirror. Microdosing quells my zapping nerves and oftentimes overactive mind, especially before larger gatherings.

So I took a small dose before biking to the University of Melbourne for the Mind Medicine launch. The bats weren’t out yet, but they would be soon, and the air was a perfect 23°C. I locked my bike, tried to tame my helmet hair, and entered the Sidney Myer Asia Centre. Immediately greeted, thick lashes ushered me to the left. More smiling eyes appeared around the corner, showing the way upstairs. I entered the full, bustling theater.

There were only a few seats left. Everyone was finding their space, finding their friends. I sat down in the back and observed the crowd. No matter if it’s in Melbourne, London, Berlin, or San Francisco, the general attitude and sense of psychedelic conferences remains the same: compassionate, curious, positive, and present. There’s this shared understanding, communicated with kind and sometimes cheeky glances that say: “We’ve seen a glimpse of the possible. That’s why we’re all here.” It’s usually a clash of characters, buttoned-up scientists, artists. The kind of people you might bond with at a music festival and never see again are there, anticipating a lineup of lectures.

Sound cultish? It really shouldn’t. People from all edges of the earth have been interested in psychedelic medicine and its potential for millennia. Many aboriginal people wonder what took us so long to make the connection. This goes beyond a Reddit thread.

“Hi neighbor,” the man next to me introduced himself. He was wearing a sheen suit and said he wanted a job.

Continue reading “Is Australia ready for psychedelic progress?”

Notes from the mycelium

Also published on Medium with a new title from the editor: The Future of Psychedelics is Inclusive: Why we need to have more than one conversation about the potential of psychedelics

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Sketches from the audience, by Sam.

Last night I attended the Women and Psychedelics Forum at CIIS, organized by Bia Liabate of Chacruna, with support from MAPS. Topics of conversation included the ethics of psychedelic therapy, sexual assault in ceremonial settings, the current state of crisis/division, and our history in a dominator system. We talked about psychedelic-assisted pattern-seeking, deconditioning, education, and healing. For individuals and societies. We talked a bit about the War on Drugs and how it has been used against black and brown people to benefit a few white people. This has been and still is our reality.

Speakers addressed the fact that these cultural problems of social inequality, sexual violence, and greed also exist in this psychedelic bubble. Surprise! (Well not really.)

But I left overjoyed that this space even exists, and while I’m still processing everything from the seven hour conversation — the many lines of thought to be continued — I am almost certain that last night’s gathering pushed me and other attendees a little further into our own hope/work. For ourselves and this community.

Compared to other conferences I’ve attended in the last few years… this gathering was different. The psychedelic space can be an inviting bunch, but the female psychedelic space provided a uniquely thoughtful, stimulating, and progressive mixing of minds.

I loved when Kathleen Harrison compared women’s work in this space to mycelium: a growing underground network, working from the bottom up. A web of connections highly aware that our current system is not collectively caring and compassionate (like it could be!). A group of voices that have chosen not to succumb to attempted silencing and “be quiet”s. We met here and chose otherwise, just like people before us did during the abolition of slavery, the suffrage movement, and the civil rights movement. Psychedelic medicine can help us carefully gather information, come back, and share.

Continue reading “Notes from the mycelium”