Most of those who have engaged in the psychedelic experience can attest to some sort of mystical experience taking place. Even with that happening it doesn’t always bring one close to religion. Why is that?
Walter Houston Clark has defined “religion” as an individual’s inner experience of a Beyond, especially as evidenced by active attempts to harmonize his or her life with that Beyond. The Johns Hopkins experiments suggest that a large fraction of mentally healthy people with spiritual interests can have a profound experience of a Beyond—a mystical-type experience—with the aid of several hours’ preparation and a supervised psilocybin session.
Furthermore, most of the study volunteers report that encounter as among the most spiritually significant of their lives and as bringing sustained benefits. How do we get from such experiences (however occasioned) to “religion” in Clark’s sense, and in the sense of a group pursuing spiritual ends? Perhaps that transition is, as Brother David Steindl-Rast claims, inevitable. The talk will address that process, and will argue that some social organizations have strong but unacknowledged religious aspects.
Robert Jesse is Convenor of the Council on Spiritual Practices (CSP; csp.org). CSP’s interest in non-ordinary states focuses on the betterment of well people, in contrast to the medical-model treatment of patients with psychiatric diagnoses. Through CSP, Bob was instrumental in forming the psilocybin research team at Johns Hopkins University, and he has co-authored three of its scientific papers. He also lead the writing of an amicus brief for the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the União do Vegetal’s use of a sacramental tea containing DMT, a controlled substance. A unanimous Court upheld the UDV’s right to its practice. Bob has long participated in the development of the Bay Area spiritual community that draws liberally from the non-creedal, non-hierarchical ways of the Quakers (the Religious Society of Friends). His formal training is in electrical engineering and computer science.
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For info on the CSP please visit www.csp.org/about.html
Many variables factor into the diseases that afflict our lives that go beyond the obvious medical symptoms. Complex unconscious psychological stresses underlie and contribute to all chronic medical conditions, from cancer and addiction to depression and multiple sclerosis.
Therapy that is assisted by psychedelics, in the right context and with the right support, can bring these dynamics to the surface and thus help a person liberate themselves from their influence.
Gabor Maté, MD is a Canadian physician, speaker, and the author of four bestselling books published in nearly 20 languages on five continents. His interests include the mind/body unity as manifested in health and illness, the effects of early childhood experiences in shaping brain and personality, the traumatic basis of addictions, and the attachment requirements for healthy child development. He has worked in family practice and palliative care, and for twelve years he worked in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, notorious as North America’s most concentrated area of drug use. He currently teaches and leads seminars internationally
Please visit drgabormate.com for more information
I’m so thrilled, honored and humbled to announce that the MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) Podcast is now live. It’s been in the works for some time and took a little crafting to get it just right. Myself and the good people at MAPS are finally ready to release it to the world!
The intention of the podcast is to take the very rich and valuable MAPS audio archives and to curate them in a way that can target not only researchers but also the general public that is looking to learn more about the vast landscape of modern psychedelic research. Some episodes will feature some of the great talks by many of the great minds that have spoken at past Psychedelic Science conferences, breakout panels and keynote speeches while others will be original content that tap some of the great modern luminaries, scientists, journalists and even comedians.
My role, as the host, is to give each episode context and flavor stemming from my life long admiration and association for the community, the research and culture. Without getting into too much personal melo-drama (because the podcast is not about me) I do want to say that I am very humbled to be able to contribute to this community in any sort of official capacity. I spent many years keeping a distance because of the ever looming presence and brilliance of my dads work. Being too close to it simply felt too nerve racking and not authentic to my own path. Time does pass and it’s afforded me wisdom in the form of being granted confidence in my own voice and knowing exactly what I have to offer. With that, I am beyond excited to find a little niche that works for me.
Thank you to the MAPS family for including me in this adventure!
These two episodes are now available:
Episode 1 – James Fadiman, Scientific Problem Solving with Psychedelics
Episode 2 – Stephen Ross, MD – Psilocybin, Addiction and End of Life Anxiety
To listen and subscribe on iTunes please click here
To get more information on MAPS please visit their site at www.maps.org