Psychedelics at The Intersection of Science & Spirituality

Psychedelics at the intersection of science and spirituality are progressively gaining attention as research continues to investigate how and why psychedelics induce such rapid and large-scale changes to levels of openness, acceptance, and connection. The answer though, is one that science may never be able to fully uncover.

Those with experience using psychedelics can understand the ineffable dimension of reality that becomes unveiled through such an event. At the core of psychedelic healing is an unquantifiable experience of unity, divinity, and Truth. Thus, our hosts present the question– can the spiritual component of psychedelic journeys truly ever be measured by scientific testing methods?

Jimmy and Nicholas propose that though scientific research into psychedelic medicine is key for advancing our mental healthcare systems, some aspects of the experience are and will likely continue to be inherently limited to observation by personal experimentation. 

Our hosts will provide anecdotal accounts that exemplify the spiritual dimension of psychedelic experiences. They review how psychedelics can enhance 12-step addiction recovery programs by strengthening connection to a higher power. How can we leave space for science and spirituality to peacefully coexist within psychedelic treatment models? 

Ep. 24 – Psychedelics at The Intersection of Science & Spirituality

Jimmy: Welcome to the Psychedelic Passage podcast. My name is Jimmy Nguyen, I’m joined here by my co-host and co-founder of Psychedelic Passage, Nick Levich. Thanks for joining us this week, we have a juicy topic for you all this week. 

And what I found, as we’ve been doing this podcast more and more, we’re just like diving into topics and things and just dissecting, exploring, which I really appreciate. 

What we’ll be talking about today is the intersection between science and spirituality in the psychedelic experiences, the measurable and immeasurable. The data versus the intuition. The explainable versus the ineffable, as Michael Pollan has really coined. 

I just want to start off our conversation by highlighting that with anything in our society, we love to define things and label things and put things in a box or a category. And I want to acknowledge that as a part of our conversation here, it’s not about pitting the science against the spiritual. 

And it’s not about saying that it’s one versus the other. I think one of the outcomes that I want to have in our conversation today is that there is a link between the two, that there is interconnectedness, I think, between the two. 

In order to really explore the full possibilities, all the facets of psychedelic use and of intentional use around plant medicines and drugs in general, is to hold a world where they both exist. I think that that’s really important for us to chat about today. 

I hope that through our conversation, we’re going to be breaking down some of those relationships, some of those commonalities where some of these things may feel a little bit at odds, and to really paint a broader picture of all that is involved and encompassed in intentional psychedelic experiences.

Nick: What a beautiful introduction. Thank you for that. [Jimmy laughs] Yeah.

Jimmy: I’m getting better. I’m getting better over time.

[laughs]

Nick: You teed it up perfectly. Yeah, I mean, I think what prompted me to want to cover this topic is that anyone that’s gone through a psychedelic experience, regardless of your belief system, your background, your religious affiliation, your cultural affiliation, there is a general acknowledgment that what we just went through, there’s more than meets the eye. 

And that experience is bigger than just us, like it upends for a lot of us the paradigm that we hold around what it means to be human. And that can be both healing and jarring. 

And there’s a component of that- the science that’s coming out of Johns Hopkins and some of these other institutions is not capturing. It’s all rooted in these more clinical outcomes. But there’s a lot more going on than just that.

Jimmy: Mm-hmm. Yeah, what we can’t measure, I think is what you’re talking about.

Nick: Or choosing not to measure?

Jimmy: Sure. Yeah. It depends on our scope of the way that we’re viewing psychedelics, how do we define it? What are the success outcomes? And if it’s not checking off these things on a box, well, then is it deemed successful or unsuccessful? 

And this is pretty interesting because for many folks who are becoming psychedelic curious nowadays, they usually have a pretty directed intent or pretty directed outcome, whether that’s a mental health issue or whether that’s moving past trauma.

Or whether that’s building a better relationship with themselves or finding more fulfillment in life. People are pretty, clear to a degree with a little bit of refinement, a little bit of discovery with the help of your support and your facilitators. People are pretty direct about it. 

I think this encapsulates our conversation quite well. I had a client who was like, “Look, I’m not here for spiritual experience. I’m really just here for the neurocognitive benefit, for the neuroscience around this, for the lowering of the default mode network to increase neuroplasticity in my brain and to fire off more synapses and rewrite all that. 

I’m like, “Okay, I acknowledge that.” And in the conversation that I had with this person, I’m like, “Look, what I’m about to share with you as far as this framework, this is purely strategic.” What I mean is that if you only look at this- as with the example of this client, from a neuroscience standpoint, you may be blindsided if it’s not purely rooted in science in your experience.

And so, we had this conversation about just acknowledging the possibility that other stuff can come up, acknowledging the possibility that people do have spiritual experiences with psychedelics, acknowledging the possibility that they do have unexplainable parts that cannot be totally defined and rooted in science. 

And then, with myself and this client, we arrived at a place, because I’m a ceremonialist. We brought an altar, we did our opening rituals, and we did all of that. And of course, it required consent, between myself and that specific client. 

And then at the end of the experience, they’re like, “I’m so grateful that I at least put all of the stuff on my radar, because the experience that I went through isn’t something that I could answer in a survey or put on a chart, or put on in a data point.”

And they were actually really grateful that they were like, “Okay, now I get it.” This stuff is a little bit more interconnected than how they were siloing it in their mind about it just being science and data. You know what I mean?

The Immeasurable Truth of Psychedelic Experiences

Nick: Well, I don’t know about you. But I was raised to think that if you couldn’t see it, it wasn’t real, like the way that I was indoctrinated was like– I mean, just inherently materialistic. And I think that that’s true for a lot of people that don’t have a direct connection to something bigger than themselves. 

And it can make us feel very disconnected. But it’s also maybe not a worldview that we’re open to until we’ve been through a ceremony like you’re describing, where it proves to you beyond a reasonable level of doubt that there is more going on than what we can see in our day-to-day experience.

Jimmy: Yeah, it’s limiting, is what I hear you say, and this phrase that comes up for me is seeing is believing. And I’m like, “Well, is that actually really true?” I also had an individual who I was chatting with the other day in the integration session, and they’re like, “I feel like a shift has happened, but I can’t put my finger on it and figure that out.” 

And one thing that I’ve said many, many times through this podcast, and in a lot of just my dialogue and work with, just folks in the space and clients and whatnot, is that the mind is powerful, it’s going to convince you in and out of things. It’s going to validate certain things, it’s going to invalidate certain things.

One of the things that I share is that well, what I hear from you is that at a minimum, requires a level of openness, a level of openness to the possibility that as you move through a psychedelic experience, you’re not going to be able to define and categorize and label everything that you experience and know. 

Which, by the way, is a lot of why people are looking at psychedelics as a very compelling outcome because of this alternative, there is this embarking into the unknown. What you have been doing and what you do know, and what you have brought into your own process. There’s something there that’s missing, that’s not working. 

And so inherently in psychedelics is wanting to try something new, wanting to explore something a little bit unknown, wanting to have this potential alternative, which you may not be able to fully define. 

And so what, I think, a pitfall of this conversation, or I think a pitfall that can happen based on what we’re talking about, is that if you are just moving through the psychedelic experiences on what you can measure and what you can define, well, that doesn’t validate all the things that you can’t measure and that you can’t define. And there’s a lot of possibility in those things.

Nick: Totally. It brings up a couple of things for me. It’s like, okay, so you’re in the psychedelic experience yourself, and you all of a sudden have this overwhelming intuitive knowing. A major realization and a deep inner knowing about some aspect of your life. 

What part of science explains that? Or, you have the experience of sitting with God, directly. You and God just sitting together. What measuring stick are you going to use to validate whether that’s real or not? 

Jimmy: Or do you need science to validate that, also?

Nick: Right.

Jimmy: Does any data or science or brain scans or anything that could happen during that experience, either validate or invalidate that lived direct experience that you had. And that’s where I talked to folks a lot about like, “This is a process that’s beyond the mind. 

This is really beyond what you can cognitively track and analyze and think.” And there’s a practicality to it, of course, there’s stuff that goes on in our body, there’s stuff that goes on in our emotions, it’s beyond just what’s going on between the years. 

And I also think what I share about this concept of beyond the mind is that it is also more than what we can explain. And by the way, I don’t think Nick and I are here to have our listeners believe in a higher power, believe in XYZ. What you believe is what you believe. 

But I think that embedded into just work with psychedelics as a whole, is acknowledging that what we believe isn’t all that there is to know. Like, it isn’t the whole enchilada.

Nick: I mean, by definition, it’s consciousness expansion. We can have a certain worldview associated with our certain level of consciousness. And as that awareness, that consciousness grows, our worldview then also expands. 

And so perhaps the point of this discussion is to leave room for that expansion and that expanded worldview or altered worldview. And the other thing that we’re touching on is this whole concept of nonduality. It’s not this business of, is it science or is it spiritual? 

It’s both. It is inherently both, “Can we leave room for both and hold both simultaneously that there are parts of this that can be beautifully explained by science?” And God bless some of the realizations that have come from that data.

Jimmy: Data and research and the clinical trials and studies, yep.

Nick: But there’s also a piece of this that like, “I don’t know if science is ever going to be able to fully capture.” And anyone that’s been through a pretty profound psychedelic experience, like, “You know what we’re talking about?” 

Or it’s like, “Not only is it hard to figure out how to explain it, we don’t necessarily even have the words, you’re not even sure what you’re describing.” And they’re these deeply personal experiences, that’s hard to translate to another person.

Jimmy: Yeah, well, I am, and I think you are too, really grateful for the science and research and the data out there because it’s a part of how our society validates things to a degree. And then what I also use saying is that it’s not just that it’s not just data and outcomes, and it is somewhat of like a chicken and egg thing. 

I think that there was a study that got put out a couple of weeks ago that kind of refuted the neurochemical imbalance theory that that is the cause of a lot of mental health issues. And what I immediately thought about was, “Okay, that study is trying to define the root cause.” 

And the narrative or I guess that “what it posits” is, is it the serotonin or dopamine or other neurochemical imbalance that then causes depression and anxiety,” or is it other things that are actually at the root cause of depression and anxiety, whether that’s genetics or lived-life experience, or trauma, or a number of different things, that then creates this chemical imbalance.

My whole point of bringing this up is, “Does that actually matter whether it’s a chemical imbalance or root cause, or both, in your exploration of trying to figure out how to improve your life and how to find more fulfillment, how to find more joy, happiness, and whatnot?” 

I guess what I’m saying is those factors are important. But if we wrap ourselves around the mental exercise on trying to pick the thing apart. If we define it, it as just a chemical imbalance. Then that closes the door on a lot of different other opportunities, and modalities and alternatives that we can explore to heal. 

And then it goes the other way, too, if we just think that it’s in the spiritual realm, and it’s in the unexplained realm, then we also close the door to modern medicine and science and a lot of other stuff. 

I think everybody has to arrive at their own place with this, their own perspective on how they view psychedelics. And I think just personal healing and inner growth in general. I really like what you said about leaving space, like leaving room for some of this other stuff to actually be a component of people’s healing processes as well.

Nick: Totally. I mean, once again, we’re not trying to convince anyone of anything, but I think it’s important that we use anecdotes to describe what we’re talking about. And we’ve both seen people who are essentially atheists come out on the other end and go, “Oh I might have to change my worldview a little bit.”

Jimmy: I see it going one direction, I don’t see it going, the other. 

Nick: Typically. [laughs] 

Jimmy: I see people who have no beliefs. They’re either atheist or agnostics, and they’re like, “Ah, there might be something else out there.” I don’t see the opposite of people acknowledging that there’s something else, they’re like, “Oh, there’s actually nothing there.” [laughs] 

Nick: No.

Jimmy: And there’s something to be said about that.

Psychedelics Connect Recovering Addicts to a Higher Power

Nick: What’s really interesting is I’ve had a number of addicts in particular, who are a part of the 12-step program. And one of the steps is to turn it over to a higher power, but they have no direct relationship with a higher power. 

And so their motivation for actually engaging in a ceremony is to cultivate that relationship. And I know directly what that feels like because despite being raised Jewish, I would not say that I had any direct relationship to the divine, God’s, spirit, universe, whatever you want to call it, until I sat in ceremony for the first time. 

And was like, “Oh, my God, I’m having a direct experience of this”, and nobody can take that from you. And even if science can’t explain it, even if you can’t explain it to your friends, even if you can’t measure it, does that mean it’s not real? I would argue no, but that’s to me kind of the essence of this episode is like, because you can’t explain it or measure it, does that automatically invalidate it?

Jimmy: Yeah, there’s a really good organization that I want to plug by the way, it’s Psychedelics in Recovery, I think it’s-

Nick: .org.

Jimmy: -.org. Yeah, psychedelicsinrecovery.org. And this is a group of folks who have community resources-

Nick: It’s a full 12 step fellowship.

Jimmy: -weekly meetings– It’s a full 12 step program and fellowship that is pretty open and friendly about psychedelic use as a part of like a standard AA program.

Nick: Which, by the way, the founder of AA, his connection to a higher power came from an LSD experience and the other people involved in forming AA wouldn’t let him write about that, or include that part.

Jimmy: Oh, wow. I didn’t know that.

Nick: Every story. Yeah, really interesting.

Jimmy: Wow, I didn’t know that. I think a core theme that’s coming up in our conversation here today is really positing this question. Do we believe that we know everything? And if we don’t know everything– I mean, that’s a resounding no.

[laughter]

Jimmy: There’s so much we don’t know about the ocean, about space, about science, about our own– There’s a lot that we’re discovering and knowing as humans over time. So, if we recognize that we don’t know everything, and we recognize that not everything can be definable, measurable, I don’t know if this is a word, but analyzable.

[laughter]

Jimmy: I’m creating new words here. Then that means that there is this openness and possibility for, what else is there? This openness and possibility for, “Okay, if I can’t wrap my mind around it, and if I can’t define it, and if I can’t figure out the mechanism underneath it, does that actually contribute to whether that was a meaningful process or an important process on my journey?” 

You and I don’t know how to build a car, but we know the car works, and we know enough about it to know that if we start the engine, it’s going to run and it’s going to take us to where we go, like do we actually need to know how a carburetor works or how a specific thing works in the car for us to like to believe it and use it.

Nick: This is why I’m certain that some of the more indigenous cultures where this is all rooted in community tradition are just laughing at us trying to use science to explain this whole tradition and practice that’s been prevalent for 10,000 years.

Does Quantifying Psychedelic Success Really Qualify Success?

Jimmy: Well, you bring up a really good point, because it’s a part of why we depend on science is this trust, and knowing that psychedelics are challenging in America, because there is rooted history around indigenous people, First Nations people using specifically like peyote as a sacrament and things like that. 

But psychedelics in our modern-day society is something that has been introduced into our society over a period of time. Whereas before, across a lot of different cultures and a lot of different things, it was just known, it’s embedded in your community, it’s maybe your elders practice and plant medicine work, maybe it’s things that you have a conversation with, things that you talk about, things that you’re aware of.

In absence of that, and I would argue, just an absence of community and transparent conversations around mental health. Like, dude, 20 years ago, I don’t think a lot of men were able to talk about how they’re feeling and what’s going on with them internally and all that, and now it’s becoming more socially acceptable. 

So, in absence of all that stuff, what do we look for? We look for data, we look for research, we look for results, we look for percentages, we look for variables that can help us to have a little bit more trust and belief in whatever it is that we’re doing. Like, I’ve had so many folks reach out. And they’re like, “Well, what’s your percentage of success?”

Nick: [chuckles] That’s my favorite question.

Jimmy: Isn’t that the best one?

[laughter]

Jimmy: They’re like “Okay, in your anxiety patients, what percentage are you seeing in folks who are feeling improvement from this treatment versus other treatments?” And I’m like, “There’s a lot layered in there, nor can I answer that for you.” 

And that’s where like, okay, post ceremony or study survey, some of these things that you and I are interested in, it can be really promising as far as defining an aspect of this. But then how do you tangibly define in a percentage, like what that success rate looks like for you internally? 

I know I have a way better relationship with my depressive symptoms, and my clinical depression and all that. But I can’t tell you, yeah, it’s 98% eradicated. And there’s this 2%, where it shows up on Saturdays, every fourth Saturday it shows up.

Nick: Not to mention, it’s just entirely subjective. It’s not there’s a universal yardstick that everyone’s using to measure that. But I think where we’re arriving in part of this discussion is just that if we’re going to assume that the default mode network is real, and the scientific method of action is real, and the chemical changes in neuroplasticity that happened in the brain is real, then I think we also have to assume that the energetic component is real, and the intuitive component is real. 

And the parts that can’t be measured currently because of technological limitations or whatever else, are also real. And so, it’s this ability to approach the experience with an open mind and be willing to integrate whatever comes up that actually leaves room for some of these shifts in perspective to take place.

Jimmy: One of the takeaways that I hear from you is that you don’t have to define and explain everything for there to be benefit.

Nick: Right. And you don’t have to change your belief system.

Jimmy:  Right.

Nick: Like inherently. We’ve worked with people of all different religions, that still, they’re able to basically hold it all within that worldview, but they see the mushrooms as being from God as well or whatever the case is. 

This has nothing to do with religion as far as I’m concerned, this whole discussion, it has to do with the acknowledgement that there’s more that’s going on than meets the eye or that we can explain cognitively. And by the way, we are an over intellectualized culture, everything is rooted in being able to explain things and knowledge and knowing. Whatever happened to feeling?

Jimmy: Yeah, features, benefits, outcomes, all of this stuff. And, yeah, I mean, we’ve worked with folks of various religious backgrounds, nonreligious beliefs from different political views, different jobs and stations in life, different socioeconomic backgrounds, different ethnic and racial backgrounds. 

So, there holds this commonality across all of it, that at the end of the day, we’re just humans trying to be better. Regardless of whether that’s, X, Y, Z mental health, or how you show up in life, or you got a job decision coming up. We’re just all humans trying to be better. 

And if we hold a place that we as humans don’t know everything, then that opens up to the possibility that okay, there is maybe  an experience that maybe I can’t define it, maybe I can’t categorize it. But that doesn’t mean that it’s any more or less important or impactful to that pursuit of a human just trying to be better. And so, let’s get tangible for our listeners here.

What are some of these examples in either ceremony or prep, or integration that is important to share? I’ll start with one. So, I like what you were saying about, like, we’re not here to convince anybody of beliefs, doctrine or dogmatic principles, anything like that. 

I’m always very thoughtful and careful to allow the client to lead first before we have conversations about energy or anything like that. And what came to mind was this one client where we weren’t talking about this stuff at all. 

We weren’t talking about the, I guess, the more like woo-woo aspects of this, we were very tangibly talking about this self-inventory process, this awareness, this observing, being in the present moment with the experience. 

And then as they moved through their experience, and afterward, in the integration session, they were like, “Yeah, I couldn’t explain it. But there was this energy that was coursing through my body, and I could tell that it was trying to release in some way. And I could tell that it was trying to escape my body somehow.” 

And then we had conversations about what that felt like, where in their body, was that all over, was at certain places, how did that feel, all of that stuff. So that’s one that I would put on that list is a lot of folks report this energetic component of this either moving through them or that they’re welling up and releasing. 

I don’t know if we can better define energy for folks. I know that that’s a little bit of a loaded term. It’s more than just calories for sure. But that is something that comes up for folks.

Nick: Yeah, so for anyone that’s like, “Well, I don’t know if I believe in energy or whatever.” It’s like, okay, well, I think every single human has had the sensation of walking into a room and knowing something is wrong or feeling icky or feeling like you want to leave. How do you explain that? 

Like, there is some sort of energetic component going on there. How you wanted to define it, or believe it or fit it into your worldview is totally up to you, but I think we’ve all had that sensation where our body goes, “Mm, something’s not quite right here, even if I can’t figure out cognitively what it is.”

Jimmy: Especially around people. You meet somebody new and within a couple of minutes, “Oh, this is a person that I want to be around more,” and then there are people who are like, “I need to get the fuc* away from all these people also.” 

You might not be able to explain it, you might not be able to define it, it might not be rooted in anything, but we can acknowledge that everybody has felt that at some point.

Nick: Some sort of sense or something like that.

Examples of Ineffable Psychedelic-Induced Experiences

Jimmy: Yes, some sort, yeah. So, what are some other things that are in this unexplainable, intangible, ineffable category?

[laughter]

Nick: Oh, my God, all right. I mean, the experience of being everything and nothing simultaneously, the experience of dissolving into everything, nothing. Sitting with God, the presence of the divine, communing with loved ones or spirit guides who have crossed over, what else? 

Like quite literal, like death and rebirth kinds of things where physically everything’s fine, but on a mental-emotional level, there’s a full death and rebirth process. We touched on the intuitive knowings. 

Jimmy: Yeah, the sensory inputs is a pretty tangible one here too. A lot of folks report like closed-eye visuals, and even open eye visuals. The word kaleidoscopic has literally shown up in every single one of my ceremonies this past month. 

And this is the point, if you spend all your time trying to dissect and analyze why you’re having closed-eye visuals, it takes you away from being in the experience of having closed-eye visuals. That’s the whole point that I want to make where it’s just in the present experience of things. 

And then you got time to unpack and analyze and see if there’s any relevance or value to that. By the way, you decide. You can have closed-eye visuals and they could mean nothing to your experience, you can have closed-eye visuals and it can create some connection to some memory or something in the past. 

It doesn’t always have to end up as this big epiphany or this thing for every single thing that you experience in your psychedelic trip. But what I’m trying to move people away from is this instant categorization of things. And we humans do that, by the way. 

We’re here to survive and achieve homeostasis, so if we see a threat, we want to categorize it as a threat, so we can stay away from that experience, or person or thing or that dangerous situation. It’s embedded in our survival to try to size things up, to try to categorize things, to try to label things, or try to view threat or non threat. 

But if you’re in a psychedelic experience, hopefully, you’ve found a facilitator or a service provider who has built a plan with you and for you, that takes care of those things that takes care of safety, that takes care of external stimuli, that takes care of random responsibilities and occurrences for the day, that removes all of the stuff, so that you can be fully in your experience. 

And then if you go into that, having planned all of that, like you’ve cleared the slate, you’ve done the prep, you have shown up, you’ve chunked out six to eight hours of time, where it’s just about you and your ceremony. And then you’re sitting there in your own mind trying to pick apart things and analyze and look under the hood instead of–[crosstalk] 

Nick: Is this my default mode network turning off right now? Is that what’s happening?

Jimmy: Or on, what is that?

[laughter]

Nick: I had a client do that, which is why I brought it up. She got out of the ceremony and was like, “I don’t think my default mode network turned off all the way.” Oh, okay, so like–

Jimmy: What do you do with that information? Like, how does that information– Now, you could take the same thing and you could reframe that. Like, what I hear if your client is saying that what I hear is like, “Oh, maybe I was never fully out of my linear mind?” “Or maybe there was something that was holding me back from X, Y, Z.” That’s valid, you know what I mean? Yeah, go ahead.

Nick: What you’re talking about though, is that when you end up in that analysis phase, it detracts from just seeing it for what it was. And so instead of just acceptance and being in that place of whatever she was experiencing, it turned into this whole psycho-mental analysis situation.

Jimmy: Mm-hm, yeah.

Nick: Which is rooted in judgment. The whole line of questioning was rooted in judgment. Like, “I don’t think I did it right,” or “didn’t go all the way,” yeah, right?

Jimmy: Yeah, I see. I think that this also applies to the spiritual aspects of psychedelic experiences that are– this is really important here that we’re not saying that every single psychedelic experience has a spiritual component, what we’re saying is that there is the potential. 

And that you behoove yourself to be open, if that does come up for you in your psychedelic experience, because as you were just describing, with your client, it’s about allowing all of the doors to be accessible because the moment that you start to analyze and start to pick apart things, you’re closing doors and you’re locking them. 

I’m talking about this metaphorically, obviously, in the exploration of the self through psychedelic use. And so, if you lock that door behind, well, this is not tangible, this is not data-driven, this is not whatever, then you close yourself off to that potential.

Nick: Yeah, well, what I want to highlight is that for folks who are closed off to that potential, and then they maybe do have a ceremony or an experience that results in an ineffable, perhaps more spiritual, or just unable to put your finger on the type of experience, that’s what can often lead to that spiritual emergence, emergency-type situation. 

Jimmy: Sure.

Nick: Because they don’t know how to hold it. For those of you who are unaware of what that is, we’ve recorded an episode previously all about spiritual emergence and emergencies

And it’s that willingness to stay open to a new expanded state and worldview that allows this whole thing to function, not your facilitator telling you how to look at it, but just a little bit of malleability and your own being and curiosity around what may shift for you.

Jimmy: Yeah, I hear that it’s about challenging your beliefs, and the openness that your beliefs are not all defining to your life. Now, there are some core principles, values, and beliefs that are immovable. 

Like how we feel about our family, our values, whether it’s loyalty and work ethic, or honesty, there are some of these core values and principles that I think are embedded in each of us to varying degrees. But it’s about challenging what else is possible, because that’s baked into the psychedelic experience. 

If you don’t believe, you ask these questions to your clients a lot, which I really appreciate. Do you believe that change is possible? That’s one, because if you don’t believe it, no amount of psychedelics, no amount of experiences, regardless of your dosage, regardless of whatever. 

If you don’t have this internal belief that change is possible, then likely nothing’s going to work. Medication, therapy, psychedelic experience, any and all of that. And then the second part is, do you believe that you have all of the inner resources and all of the tools to navigate the experience to take ownership over your own healing process? 

And those are hard internal discovery things for every person and so a part of why I want to have this conversation with folks is like, don’t shoot yourself in the foot around this because the moment that you start to have biases and preconceived notions on defining psychedelics as this, versus this, versus this, then you’re limiting yourself in the possibilities there.

Nick: Psychedelics and the psychedelic experience do not like to be put into boxes.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Nick: And so, to the best of our ability, withholding that analysis, withholding that judgment, withholding that classification, is almost always in our best interest.

Jimmy: Yeah, I have mentioned this to a couple of folks. But I think that this holds really true that if I look at, if I imagined like a wheel, almost like a hub and spoke type of thing. 

Psychedelics are at the middle and it lives at the intersection of personal growth, that lives at the intersection of neuroscience, that lives at the intersection of spirituality, somatic experiences of recreational and entertainment experiences. It’s this common thread that can find ties across a range of things where if you just looked at these things on paper, you’d be like, “This is not connected.”

But by evidence, we hear these stories of people who eat mushrooms recreationally with their friends who go camping or go to a show and they have a deeply spiritual experience. 

Does it necessarily matter if we can dissect that and pick that apart or is it enough that that person had a spiritual experience? So, I’m glad that we have this conversation, Nick, is there anything else that you want to share with our listeners here about this topic?

Nick: I think we did a pretty thorough job.

Jimmy: Yeah, and thank you to our listeners for going along with us on this topic that is– you know it’s a little bit harder to have, a little bit harder to define and I hope that you hear that we’re really taking a respectful approach to honor each individual’s beliefs and values and their worldviews. 

While also just inviting in a little bit of space, a little bit of space for the unknown, a little bit of space for the mystery around these psychedelic experiences, because science has a lot of catching up to do. In our society, we’re really just starting to uncover the possibilities and all of the different outcomes that can be had with psychedelic experiences. 

So, that wraps up our episode this week. Thank you so much for listening. You can download episodes of the Psychedelic Passage podcast by going to cannabisradio.com or subscribing to the show on Apple Podcast, Amazon, Spotify, IHeartRadio, wherever else you stream your podcast. If you liked the show, please leave us a rating and review, and we look forward to connecting with you next time.

Explore How it Feels to be Connected

Are you ready to embark on your healing journey? If you’d like to get connected to our carefully vetted network of experienced psychedelic facilitators, we empower you to book a consultation with us. 

Public education on this topic is the number one way to engage social support for this psychedelic mental health movement. Thus, we invite you to head on over to our resources page for more informative articles like this one. As always, safe and mindful journeying, friends!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Reddit
nick and jimmy headshot, psychedelic passage co-founders

About Us

We are a psychedelic medicine concierge service, providing comprehensive consultations and connecting you with our trusted network of local guides.

Related Posts

Get Your Free Guide!

Just tell us where to send it...