Psychedelics & Spiritual Therapy

In my previous article on The Mystical, Medicinal Magic of Psychedelics, I discussed naturally occurring psychogenic compounds and their use in therapeutic treatment for a range of psychological dis-eases. After early scientific research provided the data for its benefits, regulatory agencies mistakenly stepped in.

Institutional Control Begins

As is the practice with our predominant institutions of politics, science, business, and militarism, whose power has been largely derived from the perpetuation of false solutions, the discovery of the magical effectiveness of these sacred substances led only to the desire to control them, analyze them, exploit them, or weaponize them.

Applying that twisted form of reason resulted in their suppression and criminalization. The studies were halted in the early '60s. The solutions were redefined as "problems."

The naturally divine was officially proclaimed as socially evil, and, using the over-zealous recreational misuse and proselytizing of a handful of irresponsible experimenters as justification, all of these sacred substances were classified as "Schedule 1 Controlled Substances," the most dangerous, and addictive substance known to society.

Yet, the truly most damaging and addictive substances, like nicotine and alcohol, for example, remain completely unscheduled, and their abuses marketed and profited from. Funny how that works, ain't it?

In the same way we are rapidly returning to the realization that the sun, the wind, and the tides are clearer, cleaner, more naturally effective providers of power, and that unprocessed, organic, naturally grown foods are better providers of our real nutritional needs, we are finally being returned to a place of divine sanity, where these totally natural solutions to some of our healthcare crises are finally being reconsidered, and more importantly, funded for research efforts.

Going ‘New School’ – Medicinal Psychedelic Research

A new school of medicinal psychedelic research, focusing on therapeutic 'mystical' states engendered by carefully administered and mediated doses of psychoactive drugs, is demonstrating the amazing effectiveness of these treatments in the most pernicious cases of 'terminal diagnosis anxiety,' depression, alcoholism, and addiction; or what one of the movement’s younger proponents, Dr. Stephen Ross of the NYU Psilocybin Project, terms: "Orders of spiritual distress."

Following the lead of past pioneers, like Drs. Stanislav Grof, Bill Richards, and Walter Pahnke at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, and leading to studies at Johns Hopkins, led by Dr. Roland Griffiths, Dr. Ross detailed the results of all the studies at a talk given recently at The New York Open Center's Art of Dying Conference. The results are pretty far out, man.

Orders of Spiritual Distress

In controlled experiments, 80% of patients suffering from depression and profound end-of-life anxieties caused by terminal cancer diagnoses (mostly mature women with breast cancer, who had no prior experience with psychedelics), reported dramatic increases in well-being.

Zero patients reported little or no improvement. What's more, 70% of patients called it "one of the top five most important life experiences" they'd ever had, right up there with the birth of a child, or the death of a parent. And to top it off, unlike the comparatively short-lived benefits of other treatments, the effects – foremost among them being a new and profound sense of relief and understanding, and feelings of acceptance and unity – do not wear off over time.

This realization of a new reality, of a previously unperceived dimension of spiritual healing, appears to engender a permanent psychic shift for the better.

And often, these remarkable healings can take place after just one treatment session.

Psychedelics Evoke Mystical Experiences

So what’s really at work here? Let's go back to the top, where I suggested that our rigid model of the world and our own self-importance is the underlying cause of all of our troubles.

Psychedelics reproduce, or invoke, a mystical, spiritual experience that can smash apart those delusional constraints – the rigid, demanding models of the 'real' world that we, as imperfect natural creatures, can never hope to live up to.

They break through the patient's victimized ego, and reveal to them the absolute unity of all life, and the nature and purpose of their very source, which is love. In the light of this transcendent realization, the patient's new, spiritual mentality allows an entirely different, healthier vision of their life and circumstances.

Perceptions change, emotions rise, and life takes on new and profound meaning. Fear and depression lose their power – for good.

Psychedelics are not a substitute for faith. They are a door to authentic faith, born of encountering directly the sacred dimension of everyday experience.

Rick Doblin, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies

The Return to a ‘New’ Natural Reality

Ayahuasca (DMT)

At last, this return to a ‘new,’ natural reality, and means of eliciting mystical experience to find health and balance is happening all over. From the street clinics of Vancouver, to the Peruvian "traditional medicine" recovery community Takiwasi, Ayahuasca (aka DMT) has been used in the therapeutic treatment of addicts and alcoholics with great success. Skillfully mediated doses open patients up, introducing them to an extra-dimensional spirituality that can gently expose the simple realities of their life experience and let them deal with their problems. Living from that transcendent power, their substance abuse is rendered completely unnecessary.

MDMA (Ecstasy)

MDMA (ecstasy) is being studied as an agent of terminal relief for cancer patients at Harvard; and is being used very successfully in the treatment of post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), where the drug inspires feelings of trust and acceptance sufficient to allow the re-examination of the events that were the cause of the original trauma. More progress can be made in one day than could be made in weeks of traditional therapy.

These are only a couple examples of the efficacy of psychedelics in treating life’s existential dis-eases. A quick visit to the website of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) can supply you with lots of information about ongoing studies and their remarkable results, as well as events, publications, items in the news, and even the opportunity to support these very worthwhile causes.

[Mescalito] changes everything…he teaches us the right way to live. He helps and protects those who know him.

Don Juan Matus, A Separate Reality

Extra-Dimensional Aspects for Recovery & Healing

As a kid growing up in the Sixties on the outskirts of San Diego near the Mexican border (and having read plenty of Carlos Castaneda), I had my opportunities to experiment with various psychedelics, and – always in the cradle of nature – I took them. I continued through an eventful (often very painful) life, survived three near-death experiences, and ultimately became a dedicated meditator.

Aside from all that, I’m a very normal guy, I promise. I’ve personally found that those three types of experiences: psychedelics, NDEs, and meditation, all share some spiritually-curative (extra-dimensional) aspects of recovery and healing:

  • They teach the unity and connectedness of our shared consciousness.
  • One is given a true sense of reverence for the sacredness of life.
  • One becomes fully aware of the existence of an ultimate reality, beyond our everyday lives (love).
  • One becomes much more positive, joyful, and loving.
  • Time and space are transcended, with everything distilled within each moment.

Now, I don’t recommend that everyone run out and take drugs – these are sacred substances and experiences that require a responsible approach – proper dosage, and skilled mediation. And, naturally, I can’t recommend having three near-death experiences, either.

But if you want to realize this spiritual dimension, where healing and wholeness are always alive, take my advice and just meditate on it. It may really just take one moment of divine clarity to heal a lifetime of pain.

Give us one free miracle, and we’ll explain the rest.

Terrence McKenna

Psychedelics, Meditation & More on Gaiam TV

If you’re not yet a member of Gaiam TV, sign up now to explore our original programming on psychedelic therapy, dying, meditation, and more. Get started with the following programming:

Cleansing the Doors of Perception (Huston Smith)

Mind Shift – Psychedelics and Religion

Conscious States of Dying

Here & Now: A Guide to Meditation

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Carlosclan5, posted on September 5, 2015

I would be willing to be a participant in a closely monitored study. I have experienced depression since the early 2000, I have come a very long way.
It seems to me, if I could have an opportunity to open some doors of understanding, fresh air would come in.

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