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The Plant Medicine / Psychedelics Renaissance

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One thing is for certain - plant medicine / psychedelics are experiencing a renaissance.

There’s incredible momentum; the culmination of life-changing stories (have you seen Mike Tyson’s?), huge investments, breakthrough therapy status being granted by the FDA, innovative new companies, a growing body of academic research, and the list just goes on and on. You get the picture.

The media requires proper education, and is regrettably miles behind, too often publishing exciting but half-cooked stories they are not able to relate to. A friend recently shared a story by one of the largest media publications that unfortunately printed a fatal dose suggestion for 5MEO-DMT, now corrected.

Another “Psychedelics 101” immersive infographic I came across – that clearly had a TON of time and energy put into it, described Iboga as lasting 4-6 hours. My own journey was 36 hours, one of our advisors had a 94-hour journey. Yes, 94 hours, that is not a typo.

Best that we all double check before we push out content.

Recently, my business, Behold Retreats, was working with a journalist to develop a first story on the topic of psychedelics for a major publication in Asia. Cognizant of the many missteps taking place, and as this was new territory for the journalist, I offered a review of her story at my expense with a credible, independent, plant medicine-informed PR agency (Hi Brad Burge & Integration Communications). She declined, citing journalistic integrity, or in other words, that I shouldn’t influence what she writes. Ok, fair enough.

Unsurprisingly, the story that resulted was lackluster, a few anecdotes cobbled together from here and there, with no particularly clear or compelling narrative. Journalistic integrity: 1, service to mankind: 0.

Like the rest of the world, Asia could benefit from legalization. Pre-COVID, there were 520m people in the region suffering from mental health disorders. No doubt much higher now.

Th narrative in the media today is dominated by research and stories about the potential for plant medicine to treat those suffering from mental health disorders. Even after decades of research, hundreds of trials, and thousands of breakthrough success stories – most stories still cite “potential”. Caution is of course required, but it still feels a little soft in terms of articulating value.

In the bubble of the psychedelic industry, it is of course common knowledge that plant medicine like ayahuasca and psilocybin is a powerful tool to treat depression, anxiety, OCD, and a range of addictive disorders.

But plant medicine is not just for the unwell. It also has proven potential to take people from operating at high level (by modern definitions), to operating at a MUCH higher level.

So why is the dominant narrative focused almost entirely on getting people from “0 to 1” rather than from “1 to 5”? Great question. It’s worth asking.

Like anything, there are many influencing factors; however, one personal view is that getting people from “1 to 5,” up into the higher levels of consciousness (refer prior blog post) requires significantly more expertise than to get people from “0 to 1”.

One point of evidence I would point to is Tim Ferriss’ story. Tim has been an incredible proponent for psychedelics for years, and yet my interpretation (and that of others as well) from the sharing of his healing journey on his podcast and his interview with GQ, is that he actually only had a massive breakthrough in recent times.

Think about that for a second. Tim Ferriss, who has access to just about EVERYTHING one could ever dream of, only relatively recently had his own major breakthrough with plant medicine. You can see from the GQ article that he has fundamentally rearchitected his definition of success as a result. Clearly, it’s had a profound impact upon him.

People that are successful in the business world generally have quite a lot in common. They are rational, logical, driven, and want to succeed. They often relish being part of a system that rewards strategic thinking and high-quality execution. You either landed the deal, or you didn’t. You got the promotion, or you didn’t. These relatively objective and clear-cut measures of success are a source of motivation for millions worldwide.

There’s a darker side here at play as well, there’s often a felt NEED to succeed, driven by an inner lack. I know that because I had that need for years and wasn’t able to diagnose it in myself. Now, it’s clear as day that this was the reason that I was constantly chasing promotions, money, and the next best thing. I was hiding from myself.

As I begun working with plant medicine, I went to all sorts of retreats over 3+ years – psilocybin retreats, ayahuasca retreats, iboga retreats, San Pedro retreats, thinking I was making big progress. And I wasn’t. I was still quite stuck at 1.1 (so I was making some progress!)

Once I found expert guidance, I made more progress in a few weeks relative to the 3 years prior.

The massive opportunity we have to improve our collective situation on our lovely little planet is to add to the focus and narrative the potential for plant medicine to elevate the consciousness of our top 1 million most powerful and influential leaders.

Once that is done, the rest will be a lot easier. Those operating from a higher level of consciousness will take care of themselves better, and as a result, others better, and as a result, our planet better.

In summary, I believe we not only need therapists, healers, and facilitators that can bring people from a “0 to a 1” but from a “1 to a 5”.


For more information on the science of how to unlock the rest of your brain, accelerate your growth, and live to the fullest with plant medicine click here.

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