Not without listening, without seeing.
– David Gilmour
Meditation and psychedelic-psychotherapy are two archaic practices that modify self-referential processing without causing long-term adverse effects or addiction.
– Sasha Shulgin
Excerpt from 'True Hallucinations,' Energy and Time:
Terence McKenna's final reflection on the self, excerpt from 'The Transcendental Object at the End of Time.'
Psychology Study Explains Psychedelic Ethics: Awe, the Small Self, and Prosocial Behavior
Health Benefits of Positive Emotions: Awe, joy, pride, and contentment lower levels of IL-6.
Forty years after the Nixon administration effectively shut down research on psychedelic drugs, Roland Griffiths helped reopen it. One of the nation’s leading psychopharmacologists, Griffiths’ research focuses on the behavioral and subjective effects of mood-altering drugs. Griffiths was the 2015 Nathan B. Eddy Award winner from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence.
He is the lead investigator of the Psilocybin Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins, which includes studies of psilocybin occasioned mystical experience in healthy volunteers and cancer patients, and a pilot study of psilocybin-facilitated smoking cessation. He has been a consultant to the National Institutes of Health, and to numerous pharmaceutical companies in the development of new psychotropic drugs.
Roland Griffiths, Johns Hopkins University
The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss: My Life with Terence McKenna by Dennis McKenna. "Here, for the first time, Dennis gives his account of the ideas, adventures, and anguishes he and Terence shared—and some they didn’t." ~Luis Eduardo Luna
Surely our lives were destined to be unique in many ways, as all lives are... And yet I’ve also realized how much Terence and I were the products of our age, our minds and dreams shaped by the cultural influences that touched so many.
– Dennis McKenna
Dr. Dennis McKenna’s research has focused on the interdisciplinary study of Amazonian ethnopharmacology and plant hallucinogens. He has conducted extensive ethnobotanical fieldwork in the Peruvian, Colombian, and Brasilian Amazon.
Follow and support: Psilocybin and Cancer Research, Heffter Research Institute (website), The Beckley Foundation (website), Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (website), OPEN Foundation (website), and International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service (website)
The big challenge in neuroscience for the 21st century is to understand consciousness. How does what we know about the brain—which is quite a lot but still an incomplete picture—translate into our experience of being a conscious entity? That’s the holy grail of neuroscience.
These psychedelic compounds are to the study of consciousness what the telescope is to astronomy.
Dennis McKenna Discusses the Importance of Set
The set is really everything you bring to it. Who you are, what your expectation is, it's you. It's your mindset and everybody's mindset is different. Terence told me once when we were young, before I'd ever taken LSD. He said, "Don't take LSD until you've ready 'Psychology and Alchemy,'" by Jung. And we were reading Jung at that time. He said, "Don't take LSD until you've ready 'Psychology and Alchemy,' you'll get much more out of it if you do that." Well, I hadn't read Psychology and Alchemy when I took them the first time. But later I did and I realized what he meant. A lot of the things that came up... Psychology and Alchemy is a kind of a good map for a lot of the gestalts and ideas that come up during a psychedelic experience.
Courageous Heffter-Funded Work at UAB School of Public Health that Changes Perceptions & Could Change Your World
- 2015. Hendricks. Classic psychedelic use is associated with reduced psychological distress and suicidality in the United States adult population. J Psychopharmacology.
- 2014 Hendricks Hallucinogen use predicts reduced recidivism among substance-involved offenders under community corrections supervision. J Psychopharmacology.
Similar work to that of Peter Hendricks' research above: University of British Columbia (UBC) study finds that psychedelics may reduce domestic violence
In the video below, UBC professor Zach Walsh takes a fresh look at psychedelic drugs as he leads a research study that reveals the use of hallucinogens may help curb violence against intimate partners.
Because the Fact of the Matter is... Terence McKenna and Steve Jobs' Words of Wisdom About Life and Death
Could Psilocybin Be Useful in Combating Depression and Anxiety in Homebound Older Adults and Patients with Chronic or Terminal Illness?
Past president of the American Psychiatric Association, Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D., said about classic hallucinogen research in a July 2015 Medscape blog post:
We have had a nearly 50-year hiatus in any serious investigation, except for some heroic investigators at a few universities, primarily in Europe but also in the United States.
I believe that the scientific investigation of mind-altering psychedelic drugs in the 1960s and '70s was a truncated but promising avenue of research, and that these medications, these drugs, could have significant value for a variety of indications if studied adequately... Until we have studied them, however, it is not prudent for any proposals for these to be used on an ad hoc experimental basis. They need to be studied, and we need to determine for what purposes they should be used and what risks and benefits are associated with these treatments.
Lieberman describes the impact that LSD and Freud had on his decision to enter the field of mental health:
Perhaps I’m biased, since without psychiatry I might not be alive.
As a teenager my depression nearly got the upper hand before I was saved by drugs—a one-two punch of tricyclic antidepressants and tryptamine psychedelics—and I continue to find better living through chemistry.
My trip did produce one lasting insight, though--one that I remain grateful for to this day...I marveled at the fact that [if] such an incredibly minute amount of a chemical...could so dramatically alter my cognition, the chemistry of the brain must be susceptible to pharmacologic manipulations in other ways, including ways that could be therapeutic.
Below: Slide from psilocybin researcher Robin Carhart-Harris' presentation to the Czech Psychedelic Society, Psychedelics in Science and Medicine. More about research of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression below.
We’re especially curious about your research into the connections between psilocybin, spirituality, and consciousness. Can you tell us more? Are there any updates?
In ongoing studies, we’re examining the effects of psilocybin in long-term meditators and in religious leaders from the major faith traditions. We’re also conducting two anonymous internet surveys. One is asking about experiences that some people report of an encounter with God, or the God of their understanding.
Finally, we’re initiating a study to explore the efficacy of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression. (continued below).
Psilocybin vs. Ketamine: Imperial College London psilocybin researcher Robin Carhart-Harris presents preliminary data for treatment-resistant depression.
The United States is home to a terribly deficient mental health care system that has shown no significant progress in the treatment of mental illness in the past 4 decades. The annual cost by 2030 of mental illness will exceed $6 trillion. Treatment with antidepressants are trial and error and may take 8, 10, or 12 weeks to see an effect, if any, while benzos are addictive and play a part in 8,000 overdose deaths a year. In spite of this, U.S. drug laws are the greatest barrier to meaningful research with non-addictive classic hallucinogens like psilocybin, ayahuasca, and DMT. Robin Carhart-Harris discusses a preliminary open label study using psilocybin to treat depression and compares it to an early study with ketamine, a Schedule III dissociative hallucinogen and anesthetic called "one of the most significant advances in the field of depression in recent years."
Why study mystical experiences? What does this work mean to you?
Many of the challenges facing the world today, such as the environmental crisis and hostilities within and between cultures, stem from a lack of appreciation for the profound interconnectedness of all people and all things. This sense of interconnectedness or unity is a core feature of the world’s ethical and moral systems. Our interconnectedness is also a core feature of the mystical or transcendent experiences that occur with high probability after the ingestion of psilocybin under appropriate conditions. Ultimately, systematic prospective study of mystical experiences and their consequences may be critical to the survival of our species and the healing of our planet. Read the full Griffiths interview.
The Default Mode Network & End of Suffering: Experienced meditator Gary Weber talks about the effects of meditation, psilocybin, ayahuasca, on connectivity of the default mode network and cingulate cortex, areas of the brain responsible for the sense of self.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) attempts to manipulate brain circuitry in the same therapeutic way as psilocybin and ayahuasca, without the hallucinations.
30 Years of Futility in Mental Health: AZT and Prozac were invented in the same year. While patients with HIV have seen good health outcomes, those with mental illness have not been getting better. That’s according to Dr. Amit Etkin, assistant professor of psychiatry at Stanford University. In this video for the World Economic Forum, Etkin explains why he thinks mental illness is not caused by chemical imbalance, but by faulty neural circuits. TMS isn't cheap and it takes multiple sessions to see an effect, if any.
In the February 2016 video below, H. Westley Clark, MD, JD, MPH, CAS, FASAM, retired former director of SMHSA gives his perspective on the scourge of poorly addressed mental health and substance abuse issues in the U.S., as well as current mental health bills in Congress, one of which is Representative Tim Murphy's H.B. 2646. According to the right-leaning National Review: "The most important part of Murphy’s bill is to eliminate SAMHSA and replace it with an assistant secretary for Mental Health, charged with shifting federal dollars away from useless, often duplicative programs and those that focus on “behavioral
NPR: Mental Health Advocates Oppose Rep. Tim Murphy's Bill for Promoting Forced "Treatment" over More Effective and Less Expensive Voluntary Care
Dr. Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Is SAMHSA to Blame for a Broken Mental Health System? Two members of Congress differ on how to fix a failing system
H. Westley Clark
Dr. Clark held a workshop in 2015 titled, "Can there be a role for psilocybin as a medical intervention?"
Beyond the Status Quo:
Legacy of Perseverance: Protecting the Peyote for Future Generations
– Terence McKenna