Subjectivity, range of experience, and neural diversity

June 26, 2020
With plant medicine, we are able to expand our states of consciousness, and can be shown entirely new landscapes of experience.

Five years ago, I had an accident that redefined my relationship with physical pain. Up until that day, I was under the impression that I had experienced accidents ranging the broad spectrum of physical pain.

From minor cuts and scrapes, to surfing accidents, to more serious accidents like falling out of a tree and down a 15 foot cliff - you get the picture.

Perhaps I hadn’t quite yet experienced a 10 on the scale, but probably an 8.5 or a 9? 

I was way off.

One night, I dislocated my shoulder while asleep. I had dislocated it before, but this was another animal entirely.

My previous “9” on the pain scale instantly became a 3, and the dislocated shoulder became my new 10. The pain was so intense I lost my vision for 2 hours. 

This is to say I had previously only experienced just a small range of the pain spectrum. And interestingly, it could be that the pain spectrum is much larger still. 

I simply don’t know, as I haven’t personally experienced it.

I am firmly of the opinion that mental health works in this same way. It is incredibly difficult to provide an objective description of your mental health, because any possible description is subject to YOUR range of experience.

With plant medicine, we are able to expand our states of consciousness, and can be shown entirely new landscapes of experience. To be shown directly there are better ways of being and feeling is a humbling and incredible experience.

These expanded states are often referred to as neural diversity, whereby changes to levels of consciousness are measurable, with consistent results across various medicines. See more in the link below.

Over the past few years, a small number of therapeutic plant medicine retreats has been transformational for me personally, opening the door to improvements in daily experience that I simply did not consider might be available.

Research is demonstrating similar improvements are available to the majority of us. In a recent John Hopkins plant medicine therapy clinical trial, 50% of participants rated their experience as “the most significant of their lives”. 80% rated the experience as amongst their top 5 experiences.

To be clear, I am not proposing that plant medicine therapy is for everyone, or that it is any kind of silver bullet for us individually or collectively. Plant medicine therapy can provide the basis for adopting more sustainable wellness and contemplative practices including yoga, mindfulness, meditation, etc. 

Additionally, the choice to participate in a plant medicine retreat is both important and deeply personal. For these reasons, I would recommend that you ask yourself the question “do I believe that plant medicine therapy could benefit me?”

Spend the time to do your own research, listen to people’s stories, and reach your own conclusions.

We are here to help when you are ready to start the conversation.

Behold Retreats has been established to provide holistic wellness programs that incorporate plant medicine therapy retreats in beautiful, safe, and legal locations.

Reference: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170419091624.htm

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