The Psychedelic Map For Change: Transforming Systems from Within


Episode 168

Marcus Antonius Druen

Integration coach and change catalyst, Marcus Antonius Druen, joins Paul F. Austin to discuss the Psychedelic Map for Change.

Over the last 20 years, Marcus Druen optimized his career to play the ‘success game’ as a self-employed executive coach and organizational development consultant who worked for corporations such as Microsoft, Adobe, KPMG, Sanofi Biologics, EON Energy and Lidl, as well as European VCs and start-ups like Future Energy Ventures, Xempus, and Desolenator.

For the next 20 years, he endeavors to play the ‘impact game’. He is a bridge-builder between the existing system and the new one that clearly wants to emerge. Accelerated by the pandemic, Marcus is on an exciting yet daunting journey of stepping into his purpose with love and power.Marcus is committed to elevating the consciousness of business people to co-create the regenerative renaissance. His current contribution to this movement is the Psychedelic Map For Change, which he uses as the basis for his practice as a psychedelic integration coach.

Podcast Highlights

  • The impactful events in Marcus’s life that led him to coaching and consulting.
  • How Marcus bridges his “two strengths in life,” psychedelics and business.
  • The Psychedelic Map For Change: ‘Tool, Tribe, & Token’
  • Marcus’s current projects, including his breathwork course.

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Podcast Transcript

0:00:00.1 Paul Austin: Welcome back to The Psychedelic Podcast, brought to you by Third Wave. Today I'm speaking with Marcus Druen, executive coach and change catalyst.


0:00:09.0 Marcus Druen: I realized that I am a bridge builder. I'm a bridge builder between business and psychedelics, between capitalists and let's say eco warriors or people that are deep into regeneration. I'm a bridge builder between Web3 organizations and classic businesses because they can't even imagine what's coming.

0:00:29.3 MD: I think I'm here to help business leaders become more conscious, to co-elevate, to concrete a new system. I think I have a clear stance when it comes to using psychedelics in a non-clinical context, that it's not for recreation. That's not the work I do. It's for healing and for transformation.


0:00:51.7 PA: Welcome to The Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave, audio mycelium connecting you to the luminaries and thought leaders of the psychedelic renaissance. We bring you illuminating conversations with scientists, therapists, entrepreneurs, coaches, doctors, and shamanic practitioners, exploring how we can best use psychedelic medicine to accelerate personal healing, peak performance, and collective transformation.


0:01:26.4 PA: Hey listeners, I'm so excited to have Marcus Druen on the podcast today. We go deep into the topics of integrated change, of what it means to lead a teal organization. We go into how Marcus' story, growing up as a young child in Germany and then eventually moving to London, how that was influential with him starting to get into C-level executive board rooms and actually change them from within, not initially with psychedelics, but increasingly so, using psychedelics as a tool on the modality for that.

0:02:02.2 PA: Marcus is a graduate of our coaching certification program, he was in our second cohort, and what I love about his approach is his intellect is extremely sharp, and so he's able to really look at how all of the pieces are moving together from an integrated lens and integrative perspective, and then go deep into the details. It's that Germanic lens around how that might actually apply and be influential in changing the future of business.

0:02:29.5 PA: So if you're interested in emerging paradigms of leadership, if you're interested in the role that psychedelics can play in that, or if you simply interested in learning more about our training program and how Marcus was transformed by going through the training program, then I think you really love today's episode.

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0:04:29.5 PA: Hey folks. So welcome back to The Psychedelic Podcast. Today we have CCP graduate Marcus Druen. Marcus, we first connected over LinkedIn, what seems like many moons ago now. It's probably only a year ago now, maybe a year and change at this point. And found a lot of alignment with the initial call that we had, and then you ended up joining CCP and now here we are to talk about your PMFC, the psychedelic model for change, and so many other things that I'm sure will come up in conversation today.

0:05:04.7 PA: So thank you for joining us for the podcast. I've been looking forward to this, I'm sure you've been looking forward to this, and I think we're gonna have a lot of fun with it today.

0:05:11.9 MD: Yeah, likewise. Thanks for having me, Paul.

0:05:16.7 PA: So born Germany, now live in London. I want you to provide just a little bit of background and context about professional career, when and how you started to transition into coaching, and then when did psychedelics come onto the scene for you, and how has that sort of brought you to where you are now? Let's start there.

0:05:45.1 MD: Yeah, so let's just start with my professional career, then I can maybe back cast a little bit into childhood. So I come from a coal miner and steel plant town in Germany called Duisburg, and in 1987, 50% of my mates' fathers basically lost their job. That was a life-defining moment for me, because at the same time, I read a book called, At The Bottom, which in German is called, Ganz Unten.

0:06:19.7 MD: It basically was a book about the steel plant and how people were treated and in particular foreign workers were treated, and I think I must have been 13, 13 years at the time, and it had a profound impact of how I viewed the world of work, which is what my parents were engaged with. My father is an entrepreneur and architect, and my mother is a teacher, and I thought like, "How can people treat other people like that?" Where both basically go for the same reason, to make money, to put food on the table and I guess to do a good job.

0:06:49.8 MD: Fast forward a few years, when I did my civil service, which is an alternative to go into the military, but you still are drafted, at least back in the day you were drafted in Germany. And I did this in a youth hostel, and I effectively became a whistleblower because the guy who ran it was a crook and was basically siphoning money off the books and was cooking the books.

0:07:13.0 MD: At some point I just had enough of that and I called the ministry and said, "I think this guy is a crook," and they said, "Thank you. Thank you so much. We knew it, but we could never prove it." My mother was not impressed, which has to do with my backstory, I can get into that later, but for me, it was the first big standing up to something that I fundamentally believed in.

0:07:38.8 MD: So it sort of like relates to the book, and now here was I, in a situation where I actually could assert some power into the system. It had a profound impact on me, because I realized that if you raise your voice and if you articulate yourself well, you can actually stand up to what we call authority or power. And the guy got fired, I'm not sure he got into prison, but he got really strongly a, let's say sentence with the financial fine.

0:08:10.3 MD: And I then basically went into the internet world, so I worked in a startup. I was the fourth employee, this was 1995, and by the time I left, we were 40. And the reason why I left was because they said, "Look, you don't know anything, you're just, you're a good talker. You can go on trade fairs and talk business people with suit and ties into the internet, but you need to learn some kind of craft." And one of my early mentors, he recommended me to go to business school.

0:08:44.7 MD: I never saw myself in that sort of category with the tribe, with all the paraphernalia, the people with the gel in the hair, I just thought like, "This is not me." But at the time there was a really new type of school in Germany, which offered a dual degree in Business Administration and an Asian Studies, and I thought, "You know what? I've never really been much out in the world. I really wanna go to Asia and I really wanna experience different cultures."

0:09:17.6 MD: And so I did that degree and almost from day one, when I looked at the curriculum, I thought like, "I want to do organizational development, that's the only thing that I'm interested in." Because for me, organizational development draws from strategy, from change, from leadership, a little bit from more structure elements as well, but for me, it was all about how does a company grow from 40 to 40 people as I just experienced? How does it grow from 40 to 400? When do you actually know when you peaked and then basically become stale and one of the corporate dinosaurs that we see dying, like Kodak or other prominent companies?

0:09:57.1 MD: And so with that toolkit from business school, I went to London, and the reason I went to London was because again, I knew exactly what kind of job I wanted and in Germany, that wasn't really, let's say available, because Germans like the things like in a bento box, it needs to be neat and structured and needs to fit in a particular category.

0:10:19.4 MD: I said, "Well, I want to work with the top leadership team in a company and I want to learn how an organization of the bigger size really works." And they say, "Well, again, you don't know anything, you're just a fresher from university, but here's a job, it's called executive assistance to the chief operating officer of this company. Go and prepare his agendas and write some minutes, and you'll be in the room." Because that was really important to me, that I'm in the room where the action happens.

0:10:48.3 MD: And very quickly I became I guess a go-to person for all things related to change, because there was plenty of change programs, and they were usually led by McKinsey and the big global famous consultancies with the smartest people that I've ever come across in any left brain context.

0:11:07.9 MD: I think after three change programs, I went to my boss and I said, "Yeah, but Andre, one thing I don't understand, we never change the people? We change the process, the structure, the governance, the operating model and the KPIs, but we never change the people." And with that I left the corporate world. I basically said, "Okay, that's enough insight into how an organization works. I now really want to learn the tools of the trade of being a coach, being a facilitator, being a consultant, an organizational design expert."

0:11:41.0 MD: I then went to a number of consultancies to really learn, and it was always very intentional in the way I chose them, and eventually I landed on what we call the "systemic consulting approach", and that's when I had a big epiphany terms of like, "Okay, I think I've found home. I found intellectual home. I don't think I need to search any further." This approach, this way of seeing organizations and then intervening in organizations is big enough, it's wide enough, it's complex enough for me to really get my teeth into it.

0:12:22.0 MD: And I've then I also started my own company because I realized I'm unemployable. I was a bit of a troublemaker, and I would say too many organizations I got fired a number of times, and it was usually a mixture of being too vocal about certain things, not reading the room, not adjusting to politics, and then eventually in 2014 it was time to start my own business.

0:12:41.1 MD: And here I am eight years later, doing exactly what I was meant to do in the world, working with leaders, with entrepreneurs, with change agents to, at all the systemic levels, the level of self, the level of teams and relationships, and now also at the level of organizations. In 2014, actually in 2013, so is just about Christmas time, I had a near drowning.

0:13:14.6 MD: And when I say "near death experience", it's not a near death experience where I had to be resuscitated, but I had a near death experience in the sense that I had... I experienced Eagle death. Because I was stuck under a sports device called a Waveski, which is a mixture of a surfboard and a kayak, and I couldn't get out of the belt, and I was stuck under it.

0:13:39.7 MD: First I was in denial, then I was in anger, then I was swimming for my life, and I used to be an athlete swimmer so I swam for my life. And then I didn't come up anymore, and then I let go. And that letting go process was not induced by myself, that was just happening. And within a few seconds, I was floating, I was at peace. I was fully aware that I would die in front of my family, because this was quite close to shore. If the people that were on the shore that could see me struggling would finally come into the water and get me out.

0:14:22.9 MD: So it was this kind of like, if you can last holding back trying to breathe until they grab you, you are gonna live. And if you can't, if your survivor reflex kicks in and you want to gulp in air, but you will gulp in water, that's it. It doesn't even matter if they then get you out, you're done.

0:14:44.6 MD: 'Cause I used to body board a lot for like 15 years, surfed many oceans in the world, and I had quite a good understanding of what drowning means. 'Cause I've surfed in surf spots where people drown just a few days before. So this whole drowning in the ocean thing was something I was aware of and a bit familiar with, and I just knew instinctively what to do.

0:15:10.7 MD: And that instinctively what to do, as I said, appeared to be from a different space, from a different... Really a different dimension. And everything afterwards, there is a before and afterwards, everything afterwards is in the spirit of finding out and understanding why the universe did not let me go.

0:15:40.7 MD: Why did it put me back on the shores to then go through probably the most painful years of my life, where a lot of my childhood trauma came up, where a lot of the stuff in my marriage went wrong and eventually I got divorced. It was just excruciatingly painful to deal with the aftermath of that atrocious risk assessment that I made.

0:16:06.1 MD: And this is where psychedelics came in. So I had some experience with MDMA and I think maybe one or two psilocybin recreational experiences with friends, and I had been at the time for years in therapy because of my psychological and mental health issues. And luckily my therapist is an old hippy, she's been in in India in the '60s, and whilst she never advocated it, she never really talked me out of it.

0:16:45.2 MD: So in the two, three years since after, immediately after that accident, I basically experienced what we now call "psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy", and I would say that I healed beyond my wildest expectations of what I ever deemed to be possible, when you're in this, life happened to me, I'm in a co-dependent relationship. I blame everything, I'm a victim and a perpetrator. And yeah, that's how I got to psychedelics at a personal level, and that's a whirlwind overview of my professional biography, if you like.

0:17:21.4 PA: So I think the next question that then comes up as a continuation of this is, at what point did the two worlds converge, right? You have this near-death experience, as a result of that near-death experience there are all these cascading shifts that happened in your existence.

0:17:37.4 PA: One of them is starting to work with psychedelics to help heal some of these issues that were coming to the surface and that were arising, and as we'll soon get into, you now have the Psychedelic Map For Change. You went through CCP, so the coaching training program here at Third Wave. So at what point did you start to see that, "Oh, psychedelics are not just these therapeutic tools, but that they actually could transform the leaders of tomorrow."?

0:18:13.0 MD: Yeah, it happened in late 2020 when I got a little bit carried away with I guess what you call "penny stock investing". And the funny thing is, I actually was made aware of what we now call the psychedelic industry or biotech 2.0. I got a newsletter in October 2020 from Wave Parts, which I signed up to I think a year ago, and they just had a crowd funding campaign.

0:18:39.6 MD: When I looked at the pitch deck on the last page, they kinda showed the prospective exit companies that they might want to sell in and customers and so forth, and there they were, the ___ and Compasses and Awakens of this word, and I had this like penny drop moment, like, "Huh? Yeah, of course. The compounds that I've been experiencing, there's a burgeoning industry now behind it."

0:19:05.1 MD: Because if you medicalize things and you have to go through the FDA approval process in the US and you need to have insurers signing up and underwriting all of that stuff, and of course these companies are VC-funded and they will eventually do an IPO, and obviously the one you can invest in as a normie, they are already gone public, usually on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

0:19:27.9 MD: And so I really dived into that rabbit hole and invested or traded some of these companies and did a lot of research. One of my student jobs early in my career was I did a few due diligence projects for a VC in Asia, 'cause they didn't really have anyone who could do that, and I was just studying Corporate Finance in business school, and I paid my way into the room that way. So I kinda like really knew what standard research looks like still 20 years later.

0:20:03.8 MD: So I did my research and I then started to go to these investor conferences, they are very much driven by investor interest, and it's basically just a series of pitches from the startups or the companies to investors, and this is when I started to ask some questions around, "Hang on a second. You are creating companies in the way Silicon Valley companies have been created in the last 20, 30 years."

0:20:30.2 MD: You're creating corporate structures in the way that Fortune 500 companies are operating, and you want to solve a big mental health issue by bringing psychedelics into the world, and what I think I sense is that the very way these companies do their business, the very way the incentive structures incentivize managers to make decisions, has a massive impact on what created the health problem in the first place.

0:21:00.5 MD: I saw a massive conundrum, but I was a complete outsider or newbie, I just asked some silly questions, and the more answers I got, the more I thought, "Hmm, I'm really struck by what I hear, that there are leaders of psychedelic companies who openly say that they've never taken psychedelics and they do not intend to do so." That made no sense to me whatsoever.

0:21:24.7 MD: And then my first foray into bridging those two strands in my life, psychedelics and business, was I actually tried to get some clients in the psychedelic space and I had no luck because what I offered to them to create more authentic relationships, to be more agile, to be more purpose-driven, when you look at the way they operate, it's probably not in their, at least not in their short-term interest.

0:21:54.2 MD: So I then pivoted into, okay, let's just see who in my network is interested, and most of the people that openly warned me to not do this. "This is to risky, you're putting your reputation on the line. If clients find out about this post on Linkedin, that might not engage you as a customer." And that's when I realized, okay, they may have a point.

0:22:21.0 MD: I disagree with them fundamentally, in the sense that I think this is exactly what the business world needs, but I did listen to some... Especially some of my good friends, realizing that if I'm completely honest, I'm a bit out of my depth. I actually don't really understand too much. I've done the research on these companies, but what do I really know other than my first-hand experience of what psychedelics do to other people?

0:22:47.2 MD: And this is when I found you and Third Wave. I think it took a few googles to then come to Third Wave. I started to listen to the podcast and this is how I digest usually my media diet, by podcasting, so I listened to quite a few episodes of yours. And at the same time, I started to put this map out, and at the time it wasn't called Psychedelic Map For Change, it was just called the Map For Change, I think.

0:23:16.0 MD: And it was my quest to, I guess entice business people to think beyond their company, beyond profit optimization, beyond the short term, and to really see what is emerging in front of our eyes triggered by COVID. I think COVID was a blessing for humanity. I know a lot of people died and a lot of misery ensued for a lot of people, but ultimately nature had spoken.

0:23:49.0 MD: "Look humanity, this is how far I let you, and I'm giving you a warning shot. And the warning shot means I'm making it just about painful enough for you to have to stop the way you live, but I'm not gonna kill enough of you for you to really, really decimate as a species."

0:24:11.2 MD: And because I am so deeply, I guess you can say, programmed and educated by systems thinking, by the systemic consultants that I learned my trade, I just really saw the need to put something out that integrates all the realms, the level of self. So how do you really feel inside the level of relationships and the link between the level of self and relationships.

0:24:35.0 MD: Because there's a trade-off, you have a need for authenticity at the level of self, you wanna express yourself, otherwise people get sick. And at the same time, you have a need for attachment. If we can't have attachment, starts as an infant, then again, we get sick. And so I was putting this map out many on LinkedIn, and this is how I met Alan.

0:24:58.3 MD: So Alan was one of the people that commented on it frequently and said, "Dude, this is really resonating with me, and I like what you do in your podcast, Leading Audacious Change. I have a podcast myself, let's talk." And then we had our Wednesday talks, I think it was 01:00 PM UK time, 01:00 to 03:00 PM UK time, and in the morning in New York, and I think over the course of six to eight weeks, we realized, "Okay, let's just put something out there, I think we need a website."

0:25:27.5 MD: And this is where the Psychedelic Map For Change was born, conceived, I guess from both of us. I provided the microstructure of what the map actually is, and Alan provided the beautiful iconic graphic design, the logo, the website, and we hustled a few people in who did this on the sideline.

0:25:46.0 MD: Through that process, what Alan effectively provided for me at a meta level, he helped me to take myself more serious. 'Cause I didn't take myself serious at the time, I was just doing my work, I was putting the map out. I don't know how you use LinkedIn, but it just started to feel a bit like, "Just do a few posts each week, some stick, some don't," and the map started to really stick, and I recorded a proof of existence website. It didn't purport to sell anything, it just wanted to be there.

0:26:19.0 MD: Through that process, I then also decided to sign up to CCP. Because I realized, "Okay, what am I? I don't know what I am." I know what I make my money with, I know what I wanna stand for in the psychedelic space, I wanna stand for healing in the business world, I wanna stand for systems change, creating a new system, I wanna stand for creating positive externalities for a regenerative world.

0:26:49.9 MD: But I can't just quit myself an entrepreneur. Entrepreneur for what? I need to think about what I'm gonna do with it. And the way I learn is in cohorts with other people and in a structured way, and so when I saw the coaching program that you put out with Third Wave, it was one of those seven-second decisions. [chuckle]

0:27:10.7 MD: You provide a lot of information, but you sought me after the first top landing page content, this is just how I typically operate in the world, yeah.

0:27:19.0 PA: CCP, the seven-second decision, I like that. That's a good, a good thing. And so you joined, I mean Alan as well, who you've been working on the Psychedelic Map For Change, he ended up joining. Just to spend a couple of minutes there, before and after, what was the shift for you in going through that training program in terms of how you entered and how you left? What happened? What shifted? What clarified? What transformed? How did you grow? What was that process like for you?

0:27:53.9 MD: So I think there is the level of know-how, so I think I really expanded my know-how of the different modalities, the different compounds, the different use cases, and then in particular, I obviously took to, very much was inspired by your meme, if you like, "We wanna use psychedelics for non-clinical outcomes." That was, "From clinic to culture." That meme really, really struck a cord with me.

0:28:21.5 MD: And so I left the course at the intellectual level having, I would say, a good baseline understanding. So if someone now calls me up and say, "Hey, I've got this friend," and he invites me to Costa Rica to go on Ayahuasca retreat, I'm like, "Let's have a conversation."

0:28:38.0 MD: And in that conversation, I can be a concierge, where I ask a few questions and then I pass some advice, and the advice in this case is, no, please don't start there. Don't go on the Mount Everest before you have taken like a 3K peak somewhere else, which is more like your 3 gram psilocybin microdose, right? [chuckle] So at that level, I would say that was the exactly what I wanted to get out from him.

0:29:02.8 MD: And then at a personal level... You said two minutes, that's a challenge.

0:29:06.1 PA: Take as long as you want. Take as long as you want.

0:29:10.8 MD: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So obviously, for the listeners, part of the program is you go also on a psychedelic retreat in Costa Rica, at Brave Earth, which is a beautiful place in the middle of the jungle, which is based on regenerative permaculture and all the rest of it. And flying into Costa Rica, I got COVID and I had to self isolate in Cloud Verde in the mountain forest. It wasn't clear until the day whether I could actually take part of the ceremony or whether I could be admitted to the retreat.

0:29:51.1 MD: That self isolation brought all my triggers up. I mean, let's just say I have eight classic patterns and triggers, every single eight were alive for me. And so this was the most intensive preparation I've ever done for a psychedelic retreat. I've literally done it 24'7 for the week before.

0:30:11.3 MD: And then what happened itself during the ceremony was hardly anything I can remember, so it was just pure time space, and then there was that one voice, that one moment, I don't know, that probably lasted for 10 seconds, and that was the defining moment of the trip, of the journey, and that is the guiding principle of my integration ever since, which is now coming up to like eight, nine months, and that is, "Let it go."

0:30:42.2 MD: "What?" "Yeah, yeah. Just let it go." "No, come on. It's not as if... " "No, no, no, no, no, that's exactly it. It's that simple." So there was that, that voice that as those of you will have taken big doses of psychedelics might know, that some people call God, some people call the wisdom of the field, of the universe, whatever you wanna call it, but it is so distinctively different from any other self chatter that you may encounter in normal states.

0:31:19.1 MD: And that for me was probably one of the biggest epiphanies in my life, that I have to still let go a lot, and what you did really well in the program is to provide some tools, and one that I particularly found useful in the context of my transformation was the four lenses of leadership, and this is very much correlating with the Hawkins scale, which is what I've been using for in my coaching world for quite some time.

0:31:49.0 MD: So before my near death experience, life happened to me for most parts. A bit of creating life happens by me, but there was an awful lot of victimhood and blaming, playing the blame and the shame game. And what happened before this retreat, I was very much in this, "I can do things, I can create, I can move mountains," masculine energy, do do do, up up up, still in egoic state, and knocking on the door of what we call "transcendence", where you co-create, where you trust the process, where you let life happen through you.

0:32:23.0 MD: And I think that moment was the turning point where I really got that wisdom at a deeper level of knowing, that if I let go of my preconceptions, of my assumptions, of my judgments, everything afterwards will just be a lot easier, a lot more rewarding and probably a lot more impactful as well.

0:32:46.5 MD: So I could almost say I came into the CCP as a coach, and I leave as an integration coach, but more than that, I left as an emerging leader in the psychedelic space, and it's a word that I struggled for all my life because I wasn't ready for it. And the people I met since Costa Rica, the resonance I get and the co-creation I'm lucky to do with some of these people already, they make me realize that this space, the psychedelic space for non-clinical outcomes focusing on business people, with a very particular mission to create regenerative structures, not just more performance optimization, that's where I'm...

0:33:45.7 MD: That's where I got that second chance in 2013 when I nearly drowned. Because I come from dire poverty in my first life, where I was called ____ and I was taken away by the authorities at 10 month, because my mom was 17, my dad had buggered off and she was without a job, without money, without education, so she was literally incapable to raise me.

0:34:17.8 MD: I then was put into a very affluent family in this coal miner and steel plant town, which provided tremendous opportunity for me to first be safe, I was very sick, and then later on in life my parents endowed me with a lot of education, because it's very big in their lives. My father role modeled what a good entrepreneur looks like.

0:34:45.4 MD: He's always been in the Green Party ever since I think I can remember. He's not one of those neo liberalists, he's actually what we call a... Or you would actually call it nowadays a "conscious capitalist", but back in the '80s no one would use that term. And ever since I left their house until the near death experience and until that particular letting go epiphany, I couldn't integrate these various parts of my existence, the fact that I had two parents and I had two adoptive parents, and I come from poverty, I was raised in affluence, I like business, I hate business.

0:35:20.4 MD: It just... For me, it was always weird, I never really quite knew where I should be long, where I want to belong. And my podcast image, so the title is Leading Audacious Change, it's been on pause for a year 'cause I had to focus, I wanted to focus on other things, but the image is a person a the bridge.

0:35:40.9 MD: And I realized that I am a bridge builder. I am a bride builder between business and psychedelics, between capitalists and let's say eco-warriors or people that are deep into regeneration. I'm a bridge builder between Web3 organizations and classic businesses, because they can't even imagine what's coming. I'm a bridge builder between also masculine and feminine energy.

0:36:09.5 MD: Yeah, and to finish this thought, this train of thought, I think I'm here to help business leaders become more conscious to co-elevate, to co-create a new system. Because I was born by hippies in a commune who had sex with each other and didn't think too much about it, so they were recreational psychedelic drug users, and that's why I think I have a clear stance when it comes to using psychedelics in a non-clinical context, that it's not for recreation, that's not the work I do. It's for healing and for transformation.

0:36:53.6 PA: Thank you for sharing all of that. You're peeling an onion and then bringing things full circle, which I think is a beautiful way to land the early childhood stuff and how that led to the near-death experience in 2013, and how that sort of epiphany from the near-death experience in 2013 resurfaced again at this ceremony in Costa Rica that we had for CCP.

0:37:22.1 PA: And I remember, because you would come in with COVID, and this was February of 2022, so it was still like we're not totally... You had to wear a mask those first few days, and then you thankfully got to take the mask off for ceremony itself, which I think was a huge relief for you in so many ways.

0:37:44.6 PA: So to come out of that, to have that be again the message, and this shows again, the deepest, profound truths are often ones that bear repeating. So there's this phrase, "Before enlightenment you chop wood and carry water, and after enlightenment you chop wood and carry water." And that sometimes the core aspects never really change, even though we... We just sort of learn how to come to terms with them, in some ways. We learn how to accept and let go of the neurosis around, "Why am I not better or why am I not this way?"

0:38:17.4 PA: I think it's a beautiful transition even to what you were starting to get into as a bridge builder with the Psychedelic Map For Change, because there's been a lot of work done with Integral Theory, with Spiral Dynamics, with sort of cutting edge work, for example, Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux talking about Teal organizations, and yet none of this has really been mapped on to the psychedelic landscape, so to say, as a tool to accelerate and catalyze this process.

0:38:50.4 PA: So I'd love to, sort of as we get into the second half of this conversation, I'd love to get into some of the nitty-gritty on that, and just for our listeners at home, bring us through that Psychedelic Map For Change. First of all, what is it? I think the brass tacks of it are helpful to know.

0:39:06.9 PA: But more importantly, how was it created? What was influential in its creation? What other models maybe did you pull on? Let's start there, and then I'll have a few other questions as it relates to the applicability of it.

0:39:23.7 MD: So the short answer to that is the Psychedelic Map For Change is tool, tribe and token. So it's a toolkit, it's a coaching, toolkit, if you like. And it's a toolkit for a particular tribe, professional, it's people that work in what we call "white collar" jobs in organizations, leaders, entrepreneurs, change agents and charities, and even politics.

0:39:47.9 MD: So it's a tool that helps you understand that when we look at the different levels or realms, so you've got level of self, the level of your relationships, and it could be personal relationships at home and your family, with your kids, and then professional relationships, this is where we normally say it's a team level. And then you use zoom out and the next level is your organization or your network or your community.

0:40:15.8 MD: So if you're employed you work for one employer. If you're self employed you run your organization like yourself. And if you're more like a catalyst like myself, then organization is already a bit more fluid, I have my own organization, but I'm also part of other ones. Then you zoom out to all of humanity, eight billion people, and then obviously we've got nature, we've got the biosphere, and then we've got the cosmos.

0:40:38.7 MD: So these are what I call the "six realms", and I consider it my work at that nitty-gritty level to help people understand that they are all of these levels. That's it in its essence. We can then expand and dive into trade-offs and core beliefs and all sorts of things, but at the first, you have to understand that you are the relationship that you create.

0:41:11.6 MD: See your relationship as an organism, it is an entity in the world, because it has an energetic vibration. Just like an organization, there is no such thing as "the organization", you are the organization. If you're 100 people in the company and you are one of the 100, then there are 99 other people that are this organization.

0:41:31.4 MD: But everyone says, "Oh, someone somewhere should do something," that's what I experience all the time in my line of work. And so I help people to understand that, "No, no, no, you are the organization," and particular business leaders and entrepreneurs and business owners, they have extra proportional power and influence to actually change something in that organization.

0:41:52.2 MD: And very often as we all know, when companies are almost modelled on the image of the founder and also suffers from the shadow of the founder, then the company can often be inextricably linked with the founder as well. And the same applies to humanity, I mean, I think it was Rick Doblin who had his big famous first, I think it was a MDMA experience, where he realized he is Hitler, he carries Hitler in him.

0:42:20.9 MD: What I then do with people is I help them understand through love and kindness meditation for instance, that they could have ended up being Vladimir Putin in if you just take a contemporary person that a lot of people think is a villain. I don't think like that. This is a lot of political statement, but he plays a role, just like you and I play a role, in what we call humanity.

0:42:44.8 MD: Because when you then zoom out at the level of nature, it just becomes a bit more clear that when we say it's all one, we really mean that. Because your DNA is 15% of a tree, for instance. It's just, it's pretty much interchangeable. And the air we breathe, we get provided by trees and by plants, for instance.

0:43:10.7 MD: And we obviously don't know what the cosmos really is all about, we only can measure 5%, so that's an awful lot we haven't understood there. Yet at the same time, the atoms that you are made off come from stars that exploded a few billion years ago, so in that sense, you are the cosmos, the universe, you are just the embodiment of it.

0:43:27.9 MD: And this is where it goes back to my near-death experience when I had this non-dual, the first big non-dual experience in my life, where I fully grasp what the Buddhists mean by non-dualism, that I'm everything and nothing. So that's what the map is at a macro level, and it's just based on the classic systemic levels, and if I want to now dive into a particular application, let's just pick the first two levels.

0:43:55.8 MD: So at the level of self, as I said earlier, you have a need for authenticity, and if you can't be free, if you can't be you, you don't feel well. Let's just say, you know, and as I said earlier, I've lost a few jobs because I just... My need for authenticity was so strong that I said always what needed to be said, what I thought needed to be said, but the system, the team, the organization chucked me out almost like an antibody because I wasn't attachable enough for them.

0:44:27.5 MD: And so I learned the hard way that I need to strike a balance between authenticity and attachment, and particularly in a work context. I'm a little bit neurodiverse in that sense, so it took me a few decades to figure that one out. In this breathwork course that we just piloted, a few people who had some profound epiphanies what other links there exist between the level of self and from the level of, let's say group are relationships.

0:44:55.1 MD: There is the so-called Hawkins scale by Dr. David Hawkins, and he was a kinesiologist, which means he could calibrate whether something is truthful or false, whether something is more powerful, which is good, or whether it's forceful, which is bad. And he could do this with anything, he'd do this with statements, he could do this with supplements, with choices that you have to make, pretty much everything.

0:45:18.5 MD: The way this works is they basically, you try to push your arm or your leg up and he would try to push it down. And I had this experience I think in my mid-20s, and I couldn't believe the difference between force and power, between falsehood and truth. So when I discovered the Hawkins scale, I immediately started to incorporate this into my work, and that was almost the first adjacent tool that I incorporated into this map idea.

0:45:48.7 MD: Because everything you do is defined by your energetic vibration. Jerry Colonna often asked the question, "How do you co-create the conditions you say you hate?" Well you co-create them by your energetic vibrancy, vibration, by your frequency. So if you are in a relationship or in a work relationship and you expect this relationship to be expanding, yet you spend the vast majority of your waking time in contracting energetic states, how on earth can this relationship be expanding? And this is why you then play the blame game, why you are in victim mode, why you can't be a co-creator.

0:46:30.6 MD: And so that's how I help people to understand, not just that, everything is connected with each other, but also how. And in particular, to really drill down now at the nitty-gritty level, we use mirror boards where over the time of the course people check in with what represents a typically high, low or moderate energetic state since we spoke last time.

0:46:57.6 MD: And that gives you a really good baseline of where are you at, what's your locus of attention, what's a construction of reality? Are you coming from states that Hawkins describes as contracting, which is everything belong courage? Or do you experience life above courage, where reason comes in, and acceptance and willingness, and then ultimately love and joy and enlightenment?

0:47:23.5 MD: And then we go onto the next level, to the level of relationships, and I ask people, "Put five work relationships and five personal relationships on this continuum, where on the left hand it's totally contracting and on the right and it's totally expansive, and then let's drill down why does this relationship feel expansive to you, and why does this other one feel contracting to you, and how do you then cast back on how you show up in the world?" And this is when the pennies start to drop.

0:47:57.4 PA: A lot to take in, Marcus.

0:48:03.7 MD: Yeah, let's dig in.

0:48:04.5 PA: Well no there's just a lot there as it relates to... So much of what I'm hearing is that it's rooted in like we are in relationship, and yet, as you emphasized at the beginning of the podcast when you were early on in the corporate workspace, there's no external change without internal shifts and change.

0:48:24.4 PA: So it really is looking at things both from a both and perspective in the Psychedelic Map For Change, that we have to start within internal and make the shift and then slowly we can start to go out and make... You kinda have this really cool graphic where it's a little circle, a bigger circle, a slightly bigger circle, as slightly bigger circle, and then the biggest circle possible as well.

0:48:49.6 PA: I'm just curious, since rolling this out, since starting to bring... I know you brought some of the coaches from our second cohort in CCP through this as well, what are people's direct experience with it? What sort of feedback, what sort of thought, what sort of perspectives are you generating as people start to engage with this Psychedelic Map For Change in a hands-on way?

0:49:18.1 MD: So one person basically realized that he cannot really break through all the different challenges that he has in his life without raising his vibrations. It's almost like a business case, isn't it? You could do another course, you could do another study, you could change your job, you could move country, you could... Whatever you could do, but it is all dwarfed by the leverage that climbing up this Hawkins scale by even one or two steps will provide to your life, because it radiates onto everything that you do.

0:49:57.0 MD: So I would say that is a typical feedback that I get from people who are engaging with the map. What's really important is, and this has a lot to do with what we discussed I think in our warm-up, and I think you're related to Frederic Laloux and the creating Teal organizations, or Integral Theory and Spiral Dynamics or these different colors.

0:50:22.3 MD: And there's the evolution of humankind where just went from very animistic stages to very dominant stages, and then we became authoritative, and then with the enlightenment and with the scientific revolution, we then became scientific and the color is orange we came very reductionist and so forth.

0:50:41.2 MD: And all of these levers are valid, we carry all of them in us. There's no such thing as one level is better than the other, and that's a huge fallacy of people in this, let's say tribe and Integral Theory and Spiral Dynamics, I mean this whole new work and I don't know if it ever has caught fire in the US or in Canada, that new work in Europe and in particular in Germany is quite a big thing because of this book from Frederic Laloux.

0:51:10.8 MD: In particular, green has led to cancel culture and what we call "wokism" and "Wokistan", that's the cancerous outbreak of the color green of communitarianism and egalitarianism. What the map and the tools, and in particular the coaching questions, what it really helps people is, if you really want a break to teal, which is this where everyone wants to be, where wholeness happens.

0:51:40.9 MD: And we all wanna become whole. That's why a lot of people take psychedelics, because wholeness is basically putting previously splintered parts back together into one whole, and that's what integration work is about. So teal really means is you invite, you have accept and you even appreciate all the levels that came before, including the narcissism that is a manifestation of red, of power, of dominance.

0:52:08.4 MD: And so seen through that lens, the Psychedelic Map For Change first and foremost helps you to understand the way the world is as it is right now. So why do we have the war in Ukraine? There is no easy answer to that. Why do we have climate crisis? Why do we have this gas leak now in the Baltic which creates enormous amounts of methane on a weekly basis?

0:52:33.0 MD: Before you try to change everything, and that's very congruent by the way with meditation, very often my guru that I listen to every day on my app, Sam Harris, he said, "Don't try to change anything." Because if you change a system too early, you haven't understood it, and in particular, when it comes to zooming out to the level of humanity and nature, it can be quite painful for people to realize that they are the reason why we have the war in Ukraine.

0:53:07.4 MD: It seems very far away, it seems very disconnected, but if you do say everything is connected, then you have to accept that whatever choice you make, you are a player in this game called humanity, and some people are dictators and some people are just what we call "Joe Blocks" in Great Britain, and they just go about their work and don't make a big fuss in life. But they are part of the same system, and we as humanity, we are an incredibly extractive species.

0:53:35.0 MD: The reason that you and I can talk here on Zoom means that we have and our ancestors have extracted massive amounts of materials from Earth and we have not replenished them. So progress is fantastic, and it comes at a price, and we can't just say, "Oh gosh, we need more UN sustainable targets and this company sucks and they should be more like Patagonia."

0:53:58.3 MD: Yeah, it's alright, but what do you actually do at that level? What do you as a consumer do? Because if you can't really tell your kids a story what you did in 2020, 2022 in the first two years after COVID that made the world more regenerative, then I really advocate stop asking everyone else to change.

0:54:20.1 MD: Because that's why we have the problems we have, we want everyone else to change, but we're not prepared to do that ourselves. And so that's probably the hard apart for people, for some people, to really understand why is the world the way it is and how do I contribute to these outcomes? And then we look into how it might be.

0:54:44.2 MD: And this is where I have an absolute... I went into the rabbit hole of Bitcoin and crypto and Web3 in the last two years as well, because this is where I see a genuine opportunity driven by a lot of scams and get rich quick schemes, don't get me wrong, but there are so many genuine people like Kevin Owocki from the Green Pill and from Bitcoin.

0:55:06.8 MD: When you listen to four, five episodes on his podcast, you can't help but see the future like, "Yes, yes, this is how we actually can create structures that can turn these incentives, these perverse incentives on its head." And here's the thing, you can participate in that. As long as you... Let's just create the... Paint the picture here.

0:55:29.0 MD: You need to probably speak English, you need to have a smart phone, and I think the cheapest smartphone probably is $50 now, and you need to have access to the internet. Those are the three requirements for you to participate in Web3. And that means billions of people can now participate in what we call the financial system, and all the other use cases that Web3 will produce that currently are excluded from that. All the unbanked and the under banked.

0:55:57.6 MD: If you keep putting your money into the big bank, then you're part of the old system. Whereas if you put your money into something like DeFi protocol, decentralized finance where you are the bank, then you basically literally vote with your wallet, you put your money where your mouth is. And you can. This is the thing, this is why we call it permission-less, you actually can do it, no one is going to stop you.

0:56:24.5 PA: There are still challenges that present... I just wanna say this is not financial advice. Either of us.

0:56:31.1 MD: Not financial advice.


0:56:33.7 PA: Just wanted to clarify that. I even wrote down, I have a lot of notes that I'm taking as you're going through this. One of the notes that I just wrote down is what happened with BlockFi recently with some of the crisis, where people I think have or have been struggling to actually pull that money out now of their accounts because of the hit that took place. So I think there is a level of discernment that needs to happen with getting into a decentralized landscape.

0:57:04.1 PA: I agree with you that it's easier now than it ever has been before, and it will only become more accessible as the decentralized landscape continues to grow and emerge, and with all that being said, anyone who's listening at home, do your own research, do your own diligence, don't make any quick naive decisions like buying monkey jpegs for no good reason whatsoever. This is something that requires sort of patience and discernment to get into.

0:57:33.4 PA: A couple of other notes that I took. I love your phrase, "Wokistan". I think that if I could name that a podcast, I think I would.


0:57:46.4 PA: But you're speaking to there around the green is what's also called "po-mo's" or the post-modernists, where it's often simply a critique, but it's not necessarily about the creation. And this "transcend and include" model that you hit on is really what teal is about. And then when we're thinking about consumers, how are we shifting from being consumers to what Alvin Toffler called "prosumers", where we are both producers and consumers, and those two actually become merged, where we are producing ourselves9 the things that we are consuming, like we had been for thousands of years before the advent of industrialism and extractivism.

0:58:29.9 PA: And I think that's often, when we look at the development of a regenerative landscape, it's how are we simplifying the capacity for us to become prosumers, to produce the very things that we consume, whether that's solar energy in our house, or whether that's food in our backyard, or whether that's the cryptocurrency that we're leveraging in our intentional community.

0:58:55.1 PA: And then finally, you mentioned the Hawkins scale, and I wanna clarify that Hawkins scale, 'cause you mentioned it a couple of times. Well, Hawkins had talked about, and this comes from the book, Letting Go, which is an appropriate book for this conversation, Hawkins talked about how anything below 200 is a frequency that is contractive, that has negative emotions that are tied to it, anger, guilt, shame.

0:59:21.2 PA: And that in the letting go process, when we let go of those negative emotions and we start to go above 200, anything from 200 to 1000, is that that what you call the vibration of frequency, that positive, that is accepting, that is an open, that is expensive. And a lot of "personal work", Hawkins would say, is about how do we let go of those negative emotions and allow ourselves to fully feel joy and love and compassion and acceptance for the existence that we're within. So just to help land a few of those.

0:59:55.4 PA: And I think how this relates to the Psychedelic Map For Change is oftentimes with these high-dose psychedelics in particular, they allow us to do that shadow work to transmute those negative emotions rapidly in a way which allows, which allows us then to much more quickly accelerate through these sort of stages of growth and development, which allow us to then be creators, which allow us to go out into the world, which allow us to be in service of something that's much greater than ourselves, ideally with a vision towards this sort of regenerative landscape that we've talked about today.

1:00:36.5 PA: This has been fun. I knew we'd have a ton to talk about, we're hitting the final final question time. We've almost hit the hour mark, and that tends to be when we wrap up. So as a final question, Marcus, what are you most excited about right now? What are you working on that is... That's just keeping you energized and awake and excited?

1:01:03.3 PA: Let's bring us a little bit into your vision for what it is that you wanna create in the next year to three years to five years. Just sort of tell us a little bit about what's going on for you right now in terms of that?

1:01:15.2 MD: Yeah, so we just finished our pilot cohort for the six-week breathwork course, where we anchor the breath on the six realms of the Psychedelic Map For Change, and we're out now with the Psychedelic Society UK, and the first cohort starts end of October, and I think the second cohort will start in early January.

1:01:37.4 MD: The reason why I put a lot of energy into that specific, let's say first offer, is because the breath doesn't lie and the breath is legal. And the reason why that is important to me is very much a European context. We only really have psilocybin truffles in the Netherlands being completely legal.

1:02:00.7 MD: We have Portugal with the decriminalized status, but it's... I did a retreat there as a core facilitator, and I really learned very quickly that, hey, decriminalized is still illegal, basically. It's an interesting semantics that a lot of people try to bend a little bit too much to my liking.

1:02:16.0 MD: So I realized, okay, this is quite a limited market now, and breathwork can produce profound altered states and really lead to a epiphanies, and then as you said, it can really bring up the shadow, the trauma, massively actually. And you can do that in the safety of your home, it's legal, it's not lasting six to eight hours. Yet the same safeguard principles apply here. So what's the certain setting? Why are you doing it? How do you integrate it? What's the integration support?

1:02:50.3 MD: I guess COVID has really shown us that, at least in my line of work, you can do a lot online, and in particular cohort-based learning is really the way forward. And that's why we created this approach, this particular container where we come together with 10 to 16 people, and you really dive in first, "Okay, so what are my core beliefs? And why are my core beliefs so limiting?" Okay, let's just breathe into them and let's notice how it feels like when that core belief shows up in resistance and whatever shape or form.

1:03:25.1 MD: And then afterwards, we integrated together in the group and people also get a one-to-one with my partner Ruth, who's a compassionate inquirer, which is the relational therapy approach by Dr. Gabor Mate, and the vision really here is to turn this into a regular feature and a regular offering like six, eight, 10 times a year in different time zones, maybe even offer it in a bespoke white label to companies.

1:03:52.7 MD: Because at the end of the day, I haven't invented anything original in this map. I think what I'm good at is repackaging things that already exist and maybe connecting some of the dots that maybe some other people haven't seen yet. And so that also means that it is actually quite fluid and quite open, quite porous to new ideas.

1:04:15.7 MD: So I don't know exactly where this is gonna lead us, but I think it will lead eventually to psychedelic-assisted leadership development programs. But right now, I focus on breathwork because again, it's legal anywhere in the world, you can do it online, so there's very little opportunity cost to get going.

1:04:38.4 MD: I earlier mentioned that Psychedelic Map For Change for me is tools, tribe and token, and so the longer-term vision that I have for this work is for the people, for the leaders, the entrepreneurs that really engage with it and that make shifts that definitely are creating positive externalities in the world, why not get rewarded for that in a change-to-earn model?

1:05:02.2 MD: It's early days, I'm talking to a number of people, but I do have this vision that may be PMFC, which stands for Psychedelic Map For Change, might be tokenized. The logo already looks like a token, it's quite round, and create a, maybe even a DAO, a Decentralized Autonomous Organization. Because I nearly founded a company earlier this year in the Netherlands, and I realized this is not my path.

1:05:30.5 MD: Because if I found a company in the orange paradigm, then I basically just compound existing structures and particular power structures, and what I learned from psychedelics is that that's not why we... That's not why I want to bring this into the world. So I want to create something that is more decentralized and more regenerative.

1:05:52.8 MD: And along the path, this is just kind of like speaking out loud what I have in my pipeline, what I have not yet committed to, but I'm very, very certain that I would create more a classic academic intellectual curriculum. So the breathwork course is centered on the breath with a little bit of content around the map, and what I also learned is that some people are really yearning for a good old six-month program with a lot of content to really dive in intellectually and bring probably a lot more of the models that I've worked with as a coach over the last 15 years into the map. And that's something for 2023.

1:06:38.8 MD: And zooming out from that, and this is like in the context of psychedelics being legal in the UK, I am an integration coach, obviously certified by yourself, by Third Wave, and I do work together with my partner who's a therapist, and we do work with people that have access to legal psychedelics, and then we do the preparation and the integration online, because that's obviously allowed wherever you are in the world.

1:07:08.3 PA: Everywhere, because we got Zoom now, right? As psychedelics helped in the '60s, helped us to become interconnected, we're able to have this conversation about the things that we were just normally talking about either at the retreat or on other Zooms or in class when we were together in class.

1:07:27.5 PA: So Marcus, it's been an honor. It's an a pleasure. There's a ton that we had a chance to cover today from your origin story into how psychedelics started to find their way into that, to the Psychedelic Map For Change. You mentioned a little bit about the change-to-earn model, Hawkins and transcend and include and Spiral Dynamics, and a lot of stuff to dive in here.

1:07:51.7 PA: So just as a final note for our listeners, if they wanna find out more about your work, if they wanna find out more about the Psychedelic Map For Change, where can we point them to get more details?

1:08:04.9 MD: So the website is long,, and my social really is LinkedIn, Marcus Druen. Those two, I would say are the most important ones.

1:08:17.7 PA: D-R-U-E-N. Marcus Druen on LinkedIn, Marcus, again, thank you so much for joining us for The Psychedelic Podcast. It's been fun to have you on today. Yeah.

1:08:29.2 MD: Yeah, thank you very much, Paul. It was fun indeed.


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