Jan 31, 2019
If psychedelics are one thing we can all agree on, is that it will make a lot of people happy. There's a lot of people who could use a heavy dose of psychedelics to stop being angry. There's something about stepping outside of yourself and even up the reality that comes with these types of experiences that is getting even more useful in a culture that is becoming even more obsessed with the day to day and itself.
In this episode of Made You Think, Nat and Mansal Denton talk about Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna. This is a fun book episode about Terence McKenna’s take on psychedelics. First of which is that because mushrooms or “shrooms” basically grow faster in Caledon it leads us to see respect and certain religious adoration towards animals and lastly, that psychedelics are originators of religion.
We cover a wide range of topics, including:
And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna!
If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our episode on Smoke Signals by Martin A. Lee, a book about the history of marijuana and the war on drugs in the US. Check also The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell that talks about the origin of religions.
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Links from the Episode
1:25 - Mansal Denton is the co-host for today’s episode! He has recently left an organization called Nootropedia, where his whole focus was helping people optimize their mental performance using nootropics. He found that some of the best nootropics were psychedelics and from that path he moved into another organization called Oyasin, which is a lifestyle brand reharmonizing people with the natural world. A high-level view of what he's interested right now: he believes that all of the external problems in the world are a manifestation of what's going on in our minds collectively at the society and that psychedelics can be a powerful tool to solve what's going on in our minds. He thinks that transformational or peak experiences are things that we all crave and could help change our perspectives someway.
4:00 - Interesting shift of perspective in society about Psychedelics and plant medicines. “How To Change your Mind” by Michael Pollan is a great influence to this. Some of the kinds of psychedelics are Silicide, Magic Mushrooms, and MDMA for PTSD. It is so compelling and helpful for PTSD.
6:25 - If psychedelics are one thing we can all agree on then it will make a lot of people happy. There's a lot of people who could use a heavy dose of psychedelics to stop being angry. There's something about stepping outside of yourself and even up the reality that comes with this types of experiences that is getting even more useful in a culture that is becoming even more obsessed with the day to day and itself. Imaginary world which is everything in the internet, a reality that doesn’t exist in a physical way. Recreating our relationship with our internal map is something everyone can benefit from, like meditation, like a recognition of something lost.
7:55 - Society's take on psychedelics. Safety and inherent risks with these substances despite its legality in some places. Be smart. In today’s generations, there are negative responses to these plant medicines. War on drugs has done injustice to psychedelics.
10:54 - What kinds of drugs people are comfortable taking and which ones they aren't. Coffee, alcohol, tobacco, and aspirin are drugs all of us use that alter our daily experience.
12:00 - Drugs and hunting. Drugs and animals. Ayahuasca doses given to dogs for more effective hunting today in the jungle. Which plants are mixed with Ayahuasca. There’s an archaeological evidence that people were making ayahuasca thousands of years ago.
14:42 - McKenna’s Hypothesis: hallucinogenic compounds may have actually had influence in developing our own self-reflective abilities. DMT vs LSD trips. Stoned Ape Theory.
18:16 - Brain as primarily a filtering tool. Idea that the brain functions not to understand our environment but to filter out all of the less important noise from The Doors of Perception. Consciousness as a subtractive process, not an additive. Psychedelic substances are lowering the floodgates of one’s experience to open your senses to everything that’s going on in your environment that you’re normally unaware of. Examples: appreciating trees, books you never heard of and hearing it a lot of times after within a week. There is some part of your brain that becomes receptive to that specific thing.
20:57 - Research on the brain about finding truth and logic in certain aspects of life are actually developed more with the intention on how can you create truth to make others believe. Humans are actually social animals. Our brain may not be interpreting actual reality rather it is interpreting reality socially. Elements of stimuli not normally present in our normal consciousness.
22:20 - Why animals seem interested in psychedelics. There’s some element in psychedelics that’s completely pressing reset in our consciousness that almost every species can benefit from. It’s actually an evolutionary disadvantage for animals to be tripping but all animals have habitual patterns which are sometimes helpful and sometimes not. Having these patterns interrupts allowed animals to change habits that proved to be more advantageous. Animals know how to micro-dose psychedelics. The higher the dose of LSD the more tolerant you become.
25:53 - Intention VS. External Environment. Psychedelics can be powerful tools or just for recreational use. Retreats for self-reflection. McKenna says there’s a stigma against taking drugs or substances alone. Respectful use in productive settings and not in rave parties. Taking it on your own makes more valuable experiences. When with somebody, sometimes the ideas come from all over the place and it’s hard to have coherent conversations when you are tripping. It is important to identify what’s the intention to take psychedelics, ex. to escape reality or to explore and reflect or connect. It’s harder to be locked into a monotonous routine that you hate if you’re having these psychedelics driven wake ups every few months.
31:38 - Legal drugs fits in the Dominator Culture. How would work, life, and environment be changed if people had access to psychedelics. We’re seeing it a little bit with Marijuana, as it becomes more and more legalized. It will always depend on the intentions. Stimulants and alcohol fall in the legal drugs category. A lot of these drug compounds create a baseline that is manageable. Psychedelics create peak experiences. There’s so much value in doing both in a regular basis.
34:30 - Why is Nicotine addictive? Nicotine itself is not actually a dangerous chemical, cigarettes are. If you’re smoking pure tobacco, that’s probably safe. Vapes are intense smoking administration method. Nicotine is only addictive when it is combined with MAOI. Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia on MAOI Inhibitors.
39:39 - How people seem to believe that Science and Rationality are the new god. Science is great but incomplete and can get things wrong like drugs with side effects. Drugs that you can do while going to work or do more work are okay while drugs that you would have to relax in the process aren’t okay, for instance, Marijuana. The term “Marijuana”. The propaganda on Mexicans and Blacks liking to get high to not do work and then attack people as racism.
43:07 - Empathy is so heightened in psychedelics - you start to feel this sense of protection for the earth. Michael Pollan’s take on psychedelics relating to modern environmental movement came predominantly out of psychedelic experiences in the 60’s and 70’s.
44:27- Ibogaine experience. Effects of Ibogaine. There are so many great applications of Iboga but high doses can harm the ones with heart conditions. It can cure addiction, like alcoholism, as well. Ayahuasca has similar effects, generally less statistically significant than Iboga. You can find Ayahuasca, LSD or mushrooms even in the US. Iboga it’s not something you mess around with on your own. Where do people do or take Iboga?
48:07 - Mckenna’s Idea that because mushrooms grow faster in Caledon we see respect and certain religious adoration towards cows in some eastern religions. A lot of religious and cultural texts have similarities, plausible stories of psychedelics being involved. Was Jesus the effect of collective consumption of psychedelics? Psychedelics are so mind-altering, great substances to help humans write down the myths.
51:13 - McKenna’s Idea that psychedelics are originators of religion. In doing them, you experience many of the same feelings and sense of connection and visual experiences of some of what you might see in religious texts. Experience on DMT. McKenna says, “God is not an idea. God is a lost continent in the human mind”. Divinity schools will agree that psychedelics can reliably create mystical experiences and connect to a Higher Power. Ayahuasca sessions and spiritual connection. Aztec religion takes Silicide mushrooms as flesh of the Gods.
55:06 - What kind of Higher Power you’re relating with -- Nature, External, or Ephemeral? Spirituality is very personal. You cannot really explain it but just feel it. The importance of doing deep multi-experience retreats is that you get to connect to a higher power. Mansal’s Kundalini yoga experience. Sweat lodge ceremony.
1:00:15 - How to find a good Shaman and the authentic Ayahuasca experience. Mansal’s recommendation is find referrals, but you don’t need necessarily to travel Peru. For newbies, it’s best to take Ayahuasca with a Shaman to keep you safe. In his hunting experiences, Mansal finds it valuable to do psychedelics before & after hunting yet never during the hunting.
1:05:50 - How to get connected with Mansal IG: @mansaldenton and grab Mansal’s email listening to the episode. Reach Nat on Twitter @Nat Eliason (@nateliason) and let him know what you are yours thoughts about the book and the episode. Leave us a review on iTunes and let your friends know about it.
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