SOUL X SPORT: How Psychedelics Can Help Reprogram The Mind/Body Interphase
PRACTICAL EXPLORATIONS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Dangers & Programming The Psychedelic Experience
In a conceptually-similar way to how I might approach program design for strength & conditioning, one can program the psychedelic experience. There are right ways to do it and wrong ways. You absolutely can abuse or misuse these items. That said, like any substance, the dose makes the poison. Furthermore, your relationship to the substance is worth perpetual inner dialogue-psychedelics, caffeine, sugar, or otherwise. Are you using these substances as tools or are you using them to escape your life? Consciousness exploration is one thing, but THIS is the reality we all ultimately have to live in.
Jason Silva introduces MAPs-the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
The Consciousness Chemicals:
Mystic Dosing: Framing Psychedelics As A Substitute For Rites Of Passage
In our society, we face greater depression, anxiety, stress, and lower self-esteem issues than ever before. There also appears to be a generational gap between the elders and the new breed that creates a growing divide by which each camp seemingly can't relate to the other. Dating back to ancient times, the concept of a rite of passage involved a ritualistic passing of the torch. The golden generation communicated with the diamonds in the rough and oversought the transpiring event. Who you were was on display for everyone to see and the integration (or lack thereof) is something everyone would know was or was not going to happen.
That is almost utterly lost in society today. It's why I've chosen to rage against the dying of the light and push myself from comfort zones (something I've been far too guilty of milking in my time). It's why I did an ayahuasca retreat. It's why I forced myself to move out of a cushy work/living situation out of my hometown womb and go out into the world.
The idea of a hero's journey, as depicted in Joseph Campbell's Human Myths is something we all embark on, knowingly or not. We will endure some rites of passage (death, moving away from home, marriage, entrepreneurship, etc.) but many of us grow stagnant, forgetting that we can-and fucking should-take a proactive role in our own life. We are the author of our own journey.
However, we live in a society where our version of a rite of passage is getting car keys at 16.
This is why I believe that when called-upon (not for the sake of novelty) at a gut level, using plant medicine/psychedelics can be a substitute for rites of passage in a society from which they are lost on.
A plethora of studies and anecdata exists on testimonies from ceremonies, heroic doses, etc. and you'll find that most list the event as something akin to a religious/mystical experience and one of the most significant experiences of their lives.
Microdosing and Personal Optimization:
The Third Wave
Microdosing psychedelics involves taking a sub-perceptual, sub-hallucinogenic dose as part of a regular routine in a cyclic framework of a set amount of weeks and days/week. This is much lower than a 'trip dose' or journey. Microdosing can help you access higher levels of creativity, increased focus/cognition, energy, productivity, social lubrication, health and athletic performance.
The last two are micro-niche areas of research I'm forerunning myself (in conjunction with The Third Wave), but more on psychedelics, athletics, health, and strength & condtitioning at my previous seminar, Project 47.
Psychonauts (soul-surfers) on a spectrum of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs looking for their next big creative breakthrough, all the way to individuals wanting quality relief from anxiety, social issues use microdosing as part of a regular routine. Microdosing has also been used extensively to alleviate depression, cluster headaches, quitting smoking, ADD/ADHD, pain relief, and beyond.
Dr. James Fadiman, Ph.D., is the thought-leader in the microdosing sphere in modern times. His research has uncovered an overwhelming majority of people engaging in microdosing have reported overall enhancement of well-being, emotional equilibrium, spiritual awareness, charged mental faculties, and a keen ability to remain present sans effort. His work to this point has been synthesized in The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide, which serves as something of a rubric for microdosing n=1 experiments.
While we are at the tip of the iceberg in terms of our understanding of microdosing, we know enough to see promise of microdosing as an alternative to many addictive, side-effect laden prescription drugs today. What's more is that while many of these said prescription drugs can't even outperform a placebo, psychedelics have massively outperformed even a credible mean by about 60%.
Technologies of Altered States
Soul Surfing and Tapping The Void:
Entheogens, Consciousness Voyage and Spiritual Experience
Of all of the uses of psychedelics, this is most akin to what comes to mind for the lay person when they think of the 'acid dreams' 1960's wave of psychedelic use. This is the framework for looking inward and odysseying through the idea of reality, itself. The reality is that these substances have been used in mystic and religious contexts by shamans for thousands of years.
This type of ontological engineering oft occasions downloads and insights about the nature of the reality matrix, itself. Yes, I realize this may sound on the 'woo' side of things, but there's no reason to be shy here.
Profound spirit-shaking experiences are potentially life-altering, profound, serve as catalysts for real change. They also have played a pretty damn important role in human history. Scientists, researchers, therapists, doctors, and biohackers realize the scientific underpinnings and magnitude of the cause-and-benefit effect they have, which is helping to change the cultural consciousness surrounding psychedelics and shift them from woo-land to the mainstream.
Some get it. Some don't. Psychedelics are for everyone. Not everyone is for psychedelics. Those who are can use them as a tool-one of many-to dive into the big questions, study the mind, and beyond.
Future/Past: Psychedelics, Trauma Therapy, and Reframing The Past
Fork in the Road
Psychotherapeutic uses of psychedelics is extensive and has been netting prolific, promising outcomes in therapy settings since the 50's. Much of the groundwork was paved by Stanislov Grof, whom Magellan'd LSD-assisted psychotherapy in the 1960's psychedelic wave by demonstrating a constellative effect of traditional therapy with psychedelics could accelerate the rate of treatment outcome, healing and hardening. He was quite the prolific n=1 experimenter and creative (a needed shift in modern medicine).
In my own research (and others), I have expounded upon this to include light therapies, somtherapies, and direct current electrostim (yes-THAT electrostim) to potentiate the effects into the nervous system/body so that the psychedelic experience is not purely cognitive. This creates a biopsychosocial model for treatment outcomes, all the way to athletic performance.
Reframing work denotes an iteration of his therapy where a shift in the collective viewing lens of past traumas evolves for the better. Neuroscience, brain mapping technologies, neurofeedback, and shifts in understanding have lead is to see that we don't remember events for how they genuinely were, but more for the way we remember them. Perception is reality applied. Each time we perform our own total recall, the memory changes and can evolve. The concept of reframing takes advantage of this phenomena so that we can purposefully dive into our own memories and change the way we remember certain events, which changes how they make us feel.
This isn't seeing things through rose-colored lenses, but in actuality is granting you autonomy over your own experience so it can be fully processed and self-authored. You can visualize events on your own timeline, drop in, and see yourself handling it differently, which can lead to potent rewiring of your brain. Where psychedelics come in is that they can dramatically increase your ability to intensify the moment, so much so that it is if you were actually reliving it. This is critical because it grants you the ability to be the author of your own story. You may not be able to change an event, but you can change the power it holds over you and your life. This is something I first worked on when undergoing Timeline Therapy with James Segal. We also know this is important because of emerging research in the field of neuroscience and behavioral patterning. You are who you believe you are. Releasing yourself from long-standing limiting subconscious beliefs, triggers, etc. can allow you to respond to life with true emotional freedom.
Be the hero of your own journey.
Empathogens, Trauma Release & Changing Habits
Of all of the principle tools of the mind, habituation is both a blessing and a curse. As we navigate through this experience we call life, our brain is perpetually consolidating abstract thoughts, behaviors, and relationships into a receipt of simple habits, void of conscious thought. This can be positive (training, eating healthy, studying, etc.), but it can also be negative (addiction, fear, etc.). These unconscious associations can provide a bedrock that puppeteers our life and can potentially corrupt leveling up and evolving out of our current circumstances.
"Time is a flat circle. Everything we've ever done, or will ever do, we're gonna do over and over and over again." -Rust Cohle, on Nietzsche's Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence.
Applied philosophy: We are doomed to repeat the same patterns that have been conditioned into us in life until we truly learn our lesson from what they are trying to teach us. Only then can we level up and transcend into the next circle in life. In fact, some cultures that believe in reincarnation believe that our set of lessons gets passed on into the next life. It also means that we're potentially handed a set of wounds, behavioral patterns, and preternatural conditioning from our parents and grandparents that are not our own-on top of everything we've dealt with in this lifetime. This idea is now being put into scientific context in the research of transgenerational emotional traumas. The potential for segments of our genome previously known as 'junk DNA' is really 'we don't know' DNA. It is thought that this is where such things potentially reside. A digestible exploration of this work can be found in Mark Wolyn's It Didn't Start With You.
What if instead of a life sentence, we could be eligible for parole now? Right now.
If some event in your past has created associative feelings of shame, fear, sadness, embarrassment, etc. to some situation, thing, place or person, you will find yourself hard-wired to avoid that trigger even if you consciously need or want to experience it. This is well fleshed out with sexual shaming and/or molestation/rape victims and their issues with future enjoyment of making love.
Using psychedelics-specifically empathogens, we can begin to remove the tattoo of these associations from our experience so they no longer hold power over our lives. Empathogens combine neuroplasticity with pleasure-this is married with thoughtgrams, visual re-enactments, and physically engaging with trigger items you have negative associations with-all for the purpose of giving you permanent freedom from your associative state.
This collapses fear/aversion responses to events/things/people/places that evoke within us a strong negative emotion every time it comes to mind. This metamorphosis results in increased emotional openness, empathy, understanding, and allows trigger items to be experienced through a different, neutral lens. The next time the memory is recalled, the person simply doesn't feel the same way; some or all psychological, emotional, and physiological damage has been healed.
MDMA psychotherapy has been in practice for generations for assistance in shadow work.
As my friend and colleague, Ryan Frisinger, would say, you don't have to have a capital T trauma to benefit from shadow work and trauma therapies. People have been using this to edit habits, such as fear, social anxiety, procrastination, and stress/work associations. After the initial experience(s), the net effect is positive feelings being associated with said event or thing.
Sport Shamanism and Human Potential:
Psychedelics, Health, and Human Performance
Psychedelics and human performance is an emergent field of applied science using these shamanic techologies. This is an area of research I'm forerunning, though there is a litany of anecdata out there. To date, only James Oroc has formally written about this phenomenon. You might not have contemplated this before, but some of the best athletes in the world openly (but mostly secretly) integrate psychedelics into their performance programming.
In a nutshell, the neuromodifications of psychedelics also carry over into motor learning, proprioception/kinesthetic awareness, muscle firing patterns, neuromuscular reprogramming, athleticism, and beyond. Stay tuned for a future post on this subject, exclusively.
Conclusion: The Prometheus Paradox
Psychedelics can be profound catalysts for transformation when used appropriately. That said, there is real potential for misuse, abuse, and accidental harm. These are incredibly potent tools that are not to be taken lightly. Bad trips happen, people can use these medicines to escape reality rather than heighten it, and overindulgence with lack of integration can occur.
Use the fire correctly and it will light your way. Misuse it and you will burn.
The reality is that mainstream society has largely avoided, ignored, and repressed these gifts rather than learned as much as possible about them, their therapeutic potential, responsible use, and their larger role in society. Things are beginning to turn around, but we are still waiting for society to catch up and more research to transpire.
In the interim, please find some resources in the resources section of this site. These are organizations, books, and individuals doing amazing work in furthering the understanding, safe use, research, role, and/or holistic interdisciplinary programming of psychedelics to help us all get the most out of our time in this life.
Live. Adapt. Evolve.