New Video from Jason Silva: 'Drugs As Tools For Spirituality'

New Video from Jason Silva: ‘Drugs As Tools For Spirituality’

“The new space is inner space,” says Jason Silva in his new video. It’s the latest edition in his series of thought-provoking short-films called Shots of Awe, which continues to live up to its name. This episode focuses on MAPS — the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies — and the importance of set and setting in maximizing the potential of a psychedelic session. He name-drops Timothy Leary, who stressed the importance of preparing a positive tripping environment for yourself. “You are immediately plunged into a dialogue with your own subconscious,” Silva says. Meanwhile, “The world becomes like a sensurround system. The fidelity, the...
Psychedelics linked to reductions in suicide and distress

Psychedelics linked to reductions in suicide and distress

People who have used psychedelic drugs are less likely to suffer from depression, psychological distress, or suicidal thinking, according to a new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. The research was led by Peter Hendricks, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Survey responses from over 190,000 adults were analyzed and the respondents were divided into two groups — lifetime psychedelic users and non-users. Lifetime users were defined as those who had ever, even once, tried DMT, ayahuasca, mescaline, psilocybin mushrooms, or LSD. 13.6% of survey...
'Dreaming While Awake' -- An Examination of Hallucinations by Mike Jay

‘Dreaming While Awake’ — An Examination of Hallucinations by Mike Jay

Today’s guest post is by Mike Jay, the celebrated author of High Society, an illustrated global history of drugs, among other books. His essays have appeared in Aeon Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and the London Review of Books, covering topics as diverse as drugs and creativity, flying potions, influencing machines, brainwashing, and opium pipes.   In February 1758 the 90-year-old Charles Lullin, a retired Swiss civil servant whose sight had been progressively failing since a cataract operation five years before, began to see considerably more than he had become accustomed to. For the next several months he was visited in his apartment by...
Damning Critique of ESC, the Sustainable Ayahuasca Non-Profit

Damning Critique of ESC, the Sustainable Ayahuasca Non-Profit

You may have heard of ESC, the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council which bills itself as “a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving lives by assuring the sustainability and safe use of traditional plants.” They recently raised over $20,000 in an Indiegogo campaign. Their aims may seem honorable enough, but not everyone is impressed. Below is a scathing condemnation of the ESC’s structure, methods, and plans for the future, signed by a number of academics and other concerned parties. (via PsyPressUK)   Statement Critiquing the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council (ESC) (*) We, the academics and other experts undersigned, manifest publically our rejection of the...
'Remember': A Mind-Blowing Series of Beautiful Illustrations

‘Remember’: A Mind-Blowing Series of Beautiful Illustrations

I recently discovered this incredible series of illustrations by Chops Wanderweird, called Remember. It’s as thought-provoking as it is beautiful, with a retro children’s-book vibe that I really love. Plus those intricate geometric lines, lovingly rendered in gorgeous colored pencil and ink, make me feel like I’m tripping! As you look through the pages you’ll catch snatches of ideas explored by Alan Watts, Terence McKenna, Timothy Leary, and other psychonauts and philosophers. Yet there’s something utterly original about this project. Prepare to get your mind blown. (Click each image for full-size and use arrow keys to navigate.) Oh, and buy the...
LSD, DMT, and 'Aliens Made of Light' -- In a Country Song?

LSD, DMT, and ‘Aliens Made of Light’ — In a Country Song?

As a self-proclaimed fan of Terence McKenna’s lectures and Rick Strassman’s DMT studies, with interests ranging from modern physics to religion and cosmology, Sturgill Simpson is not your average country singer. The lyrics of the opening track to his latest album, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, prove as much: There’s a gateway in our mind that leads somewhere out there beyond this plane Where reptile aliens made of light cut you open and pull out all your pain. Tell me how you make illegal something that we all make in our brain? Some say you might go crazy but then again it might make...
Psychedelic DJ Conjures a New Reality in 'Plastic Flowers' Video

Psychedelic DJ Conjures a New Reality in ‘Plastic Flowers’ Video

This short video starts way, way out in the vast cosmos, then zooms in to a dreary hospital bed where a man lies comatose. But the patient’s mind is far from quiet. A DJ stands at a turntable, spinning up a new reality filled with colored bubbles and a giant four-armed sky god. A testament to the creative power of music and imagination, all in under 3 minutes. Is this what dreams are made of?  Liked this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed to get much more! Or enter your email address for weekly updates:
Underwater Tripping: 5 Hours at the Bottom of a Minnesotan Lake

Underwater Tripping: 5 Hours at the Bottom of a Minnesotan Lake

Today’s guest post is by Alex Beyman,  an author, diving enthusiast, and psychonaut. His story of tripping at the bottom of a Minnesota Lake was originally posted to Reddit’s /r/drugs forum. Note: This is not a how-to guide. I do not condone irresponsible diving. I urge readers not to try diving without scuba certification and an understanding of the risks diving entails, especially where DIY gear is concerned. If you’re not careful it’s easy to kill yourself, so don’t try anything similar until you’re certified to dive conventionally. A few years ago I developed an obsessive interest in diving technology....
A 1914 Trip Report of Psilocybin Mushrooms from Science Magazine

A 1914 Trip Report of Psilocybin Mushrooms from Science Magazine

In the treasure troves of Erowid I found a very old experience report for psilocybin mushrooms — a ‘trip report’ from long before that term was coined. It predates mycologist R. Gordon Wasson’s groundbreaking article, Seeking the Magic Mushroom — which exposed psilocybin mushrooms to a much wider audience in 1957 — by over forty years. It is as funny as it is historically interesting, so I am taking the liberty of re-posting it. Erowid Note: The following report is from the September 18, 1914 issue of Science magazine, generously contributed to Erowid by archivist Michael Horowitz, as a silvered, heavily-aged copy from old...
Six Things the World Could Learn from Burning Man

Six Things the World Could Learn from Burning Man

Meditation instructor Emily Fletcher gives an excellent talk on the six things we can learn from Burning Man. From the video description: Most people think that Burning Man is a bunch of naked hippies doing drugs in the desert… and they are right. But Burning Man is also much, much more. It has become a giant social experiment. It has launched movements, shaped global organizations and brought creativity to a whole new level to those who are brave enough to face the heat and face themselves in the infamous dust. Check out the video. But I warn you — once...
'All the Butterflies': A Monumental Shrooms Trip from 'Thank Earth You'

‘All the Butterflies’: A Monumental Shrooms Trip from ‘Thank Earth You’

Thank Earth You is a memoir by Armand Daigle about his transformation from cubicle slave to a free-spirited creative force. In last week’s chapter, he embarked on a camping trip with three good friends — his wolf pack — and downed a heady brew of psilocybin mushrooms. This week we share the next chapter, All the Butterflies, in which the mushrooms take effect! Armand calls it “the most important campfire in my twenty-eight years of existence.” If you like what you read, you can buy Thank Earth You here. On our late afternoon descent, a phalanx of purples, dreams, triangles, oranges, and jellyfish races above us, fanning...
'Power-up Pelt': A Story of Campfire Tripping from 'Thank Earth You'

‘Power-up Pelt’: A Story of Campfire Tripping from ‘Thank Earth You’

Thank Earth You is a terrific memoir by Armand Daigle about his transformation from cubicle slave to a free-spirited creative force. Central to the story are two profound psychedelic experiences, one with mushrooms on a camping trip, and the other a traditional ayahuasca ceremony. I interviewed Armand last week, and today we’re sharing a chapter of his memoir for free. In this chapter, Power-up Pelt, you get to know Armand’s wolf pack while witnessing the early stages of the mushroom trip that stretched his consciousness and changed his life. You can buy Thank Earth You here.   The four of us are holding hands in a circle—one hand up, one...