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Psychedelics: Curing Mental Illness, Giving Acceptance of Death, Awakening Society To Our Connection With Nature?

April 15, 2018

 

 

It seems long ago now since the days when psychedelic drugs were seen as "enemy No.1" of the Nixon and Reagan Presidential eras. Major educational institutions such as Imperial College London, John's Hopkins University and Stanford University are among many that are actively supporting a new research-backed psychedelic therapy movement. There is accumulating evidence from this psychedelic research, which is revealing remarkable results that could dramatically change psychotherapeutic and psychiatric practices forever.

 

  

What is psychedelic therapy?

The term “psychedelic” literally means “mind-revealing” or “mind-manifesting”, although colloquially the word has been synonymously linked with psychedelic drugs (hallucinogens). This is largely due to the idea that psychedelic drugs allow us to tap into our subconscious by altering the filtration of perceptions, thoughts and emotions from reaching the conscious mind.

 

In other words, one predominant view is that psychedelics exert their therapeutic potential through providing access to peak experiences. The famous psychologist Abraham Maslow asserted that peak experiences, which are pure and positive experiences where all doubts and fears are consciously left behind, contribute to self-actualization, the most profound and esteemed human need as described in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

 

In line with Maslow’s theories, by providing a short-cut on route to self-actualization, psychedelic therapy reportedly includes giving patients access to acceptance and compassion for the self and others, a fresh appreciation of life, new-found confidence in one’s own perceptions, profound interpersonal relationships, comfort in solitude and a more proficient sense of reality.

 

The Beckley foundationHefftner InstituteThe Multidisciplinary Association For Psychedelic Studies are some of the major non-profit institutes that are transforming mental health care all over the world  Some of the top thinkers and researchers in the world are behind this revolution. One in particular is Dennis McKenna PhD. He is not only famous for his pioneering research, he is also brother to Terence McKenna who was an American ethnobotanist, mystic, psychonaut, lecturer, author, and an advocate for the responsible use of naturally occurring psychedelic plants.

 

 

 (Ayahuasca being brewed for Shamanic ceremony)

 

A deeper understanding of plant medicine

On the recent podcast from The Third Wave with Paul Austin, Dr McKenna discusses psychedelic medicines, plant intelligence, and the failures of organized religion. He also explains what lessons can be learned from psychedelic plants, and what we can do to avoid the imminent obliteration of humanity.

 

Listening Highlights:

 

- Psilocybin & MDMA are synthetic forms of psychedelic, getting integrated into biomedicine

- Ayahuasca should remain a plant rather than get an FDA passing

- Ayahuasca heals mind & body

- Psilocybin heals mind

- Psychedelics get to the route of emotional trauma and heal 

- Pharmaceutical companies aren't interested in drugs that can be taken once or twice in a life time which cures the patients

- Revenue model needs to be reframed away from repeat medicine purchase towards clinics and venues

- The medical "clinic" of the future is going to look like a spa containing a variety of alternative therapies on the menu

- Drugs should be cheap, the integrative therapy around these medicines should be available - such as the ones underground or in South America right now

- The model should be taken from these South American clinics

- Psychedelics - activates the 5HT2a receptor activate coping mechanism. face the trauma which heals long term... unlike common place anti-depressants which patch over trauma.

- When psychedelics become mainstream, they are going to bankrupt the current approaches to mental health treatment e.g Anti-depressants

- Depression, PTSD etc are diseases of the spirit, not of the body

- Psychedelic molecules heal diseases of the spirit - meaning spirit is REAL

- Medicine has to acknowledge spirit

- Psilocybin used in a hospice situation can transform the whole perspective of death

- Ultimately everyone dies - biomedicine currently does not do death well

 

 

Further reading:

 

The Intelligent Plant

Dennis McKenna Podcast

 

 

 

 

 

 

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