Psychedelics For Personal Growth


Episode 28

Mark Manson

Mark Manson, author of “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living the Good Life” joins us for a conversation on psychedelics and personal growth. We discuss how psychedelics can be used for maximum benefit, and how Eastern philosophies have influenced Mark’s unique style of self-help advice.

Podcast Highlights

  • Psychedelics can be miraculous, but can also be used in ineffective or harmful ways
  • Most self-help is too focused on positivity – psychedelics reinforce the idea that there is balance between good and bad, suffering can give life richness

Mark had a rebellious childhood – he started taking psychedelics at the age of 15, and smoked pot since he was 13. This early and unprepared drug use culminated in a bad LSD trip which completely changed Mark’s attitudes about drugs; during the early hours of the morning, covered in dirt, still tripping hard, Mark was kicked out of a shop – he overheard one of the employees assuming he was homeless.

This experience made Mark step back and look at his life. It made him more accepting of people in different situations to him. He thought about where he wanted to go in life, and what changes he needed to make.

Mark was using psychedelics to run away from something, when they should be used to go towards something. Psychedelics, says Mark, are like tools in a toolbox, and we need to understand how to use them properly. There’s an amazing spectrum of psychedelic use ranging from utter silliness to genuine profundity. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell where you are on that spectrum.

Psychedelics have heavily influenced Mark’s unique style of self-help. “I try to make an argument for negativity. I feel like there is way too much focus on positivity. There’s a reason for negativity and it can help us in our lives.” Mark’s experiences with psychedelics led him to an interest in Zen Buddhism, which does not value positivity or self-aggrandizing. “The world needed a Zen version of self-help,” says Mark: “Oh, you achieved something today? Doesn’t matter. Get over yourself.”

Mark believes that ultimately, the psychedelic experience can show us that the easier life becomes, the harder it is to find meaning. “Suffering can give life richness.” This is part of what psychedelics can offer modern life.

Podcast Transcript

0:00:28 Paul Austin: Hey, listeners. Welcome back to The Third Wave podcast. I'm your host Paul Austin, for anyone who is a new listener, and we might have quite a few this week. I wanna just welcome you to the podcast. This podcast is about the changing cultural conversation around psychedelics and how we can look at the responsible reintegration of them into a global society. Today's podcast is with the New York Times best-selling author Mark Manson, who recently published the book, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck. I interviewed Mark when I was in New York a couple weeks ago at a pretty loud Breather room. Breather is a cool new app that you can use to book office spaces in various cities around the world for one hour or two hours or a half day. I booked a Breather room and, unfortunately, right outside the Breather room was a bunch of construction. So we did our best with the podcast audio and noise, I will apologize to our regular listeners, and any new listeners in terms of the quality.

0:01:29 PA: We did our best to improve it, but it might be lacking in certain areas. We did this podcast in person, and I had a wonderful time getting to know Mark. I had known of Mark for a few years, had been reading his blog for a considerable period of time and read his recent book as well. We also share a number of mutual friends. And so when I read one of his pieces on his blog a few years ago about a bad acid trip, I knew that in starting this podcast, I really wanted to get him on to hear more about his thoughts on his own LSD experiences, as well his general thoughts about how the intersection of psychedelics and personal development, where the intersection is and how it develops. So we had a great conversation about various things. Few more notes.

0:02:14 PA: Like every other podcast, we have a "This Week in Psychedelics," so this is just a couple of updates from the psychedelic world. First of all, we had a feature in Playboy. So Playboy just wrote a piece about microdosing. Article was entitled, Creative Juice: How LSD Became the Go-to Drug of the Smartest Guy in the Room. And I'm featured in that piece. I'll just read you a couple of quick excerpts so that you can get a sense for it, and if you wanna read the full piece, you can go ahead and click on that from our blog. "Paul Austin, a successful entrepreneur turned microdosing advocate surmises the utility of microdosing. He said that it's not just in achieving the flow state but that it helps entrepreneurials unlearn something. In Silicon Valley, where the mantra is "Fail hard, fail fast and fail often," it's important to be able to re-examine your product or market by absorbing new knowledge while purging the old from your thought process. With microdosing, the critical un-learning process becomes honed. Ideas come together and memory recall, a coveted aspect of bio-hacking, become significantly easier. Bad data out, good data in. Operating system upgraded."

0:03:15 PA: And one more note. "Austin adds that, 'Microdosing helps with impulse control because users become more mindful and present. By not being fixated in the past, anger is released. By not focusing on the future, anxiety is gone. By being in the present, there is greater joy in each moment which domino effects into productivity. There's a sense of incongruence between our values and what's going on in the world. Microdosing allows you to re-examine that and make that a reality in our subjective experience.'" That's a direct quote from me. So if you wanna see the full article, you can see that on our site.

0:03:45 PA: The second piece of news for this week in psychedelics is that a new study shows that people with more psychedelic experience have a more pro-environmental viewpoint. Nearly 1500 people were surveyed and asked about their experience with classic psychedelics LSD, Psilocybin mushrooms and mescaline, as well as their views on the environment and their ecological behaviors, in terms of saving water and recycling. The study suggests that lifetime experience with psychedelics in particular may contribute to people's pro-environmental behavior, regardless of core personality traits or general propensity to consume mind altering substances.

0:04:17 PA: And you can see that full study. Again, we have a link on our website if you would like to view that. So now let's get into just a couple more things. Like I said, the interview this week is with Mark Manson, the author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life. We talk for about an hour and a half, and we ended keeping about an hour of that interview in total, so I think you guys will really enjoy it. A couple house cleaning things. In the last episode that we published, I emphasized the importance of listener-supported media. How it creates a truly independent voice and although millennials, specifically people in my generation, have an apprehension to paying for digital media, really, that's the only way forward to de-corporatizing media and actually having media sources that are honest, authentic and stick to the truth, and don't just curate their message based on corporate interests.

0:05:09 PA: So again, this podcast is listener-supported. There will never be advertisements. At the same time, to make it sustainable, I do need financial support, bottom line. So we've introduced a couple of other things to make it easier for you if you would like to donate.

0:05:22 PA: One, of course, there's always the Patreon page, where, if you donate, you will receive a number of gifts or prizes as a result of that. So there's a little bit of a give and take there. However if that's too complicated for you, we also have a text-to-donate. Basically, that means you can text the word GIVE, G-I-V-E to 616-918-3200. GIVE, G-I-V-E, 616-918-3200. If you wanna give and support the podcast, you may do it by texting GIVE to that number, 616-918-3200.

0:06:00 PA: You will be prompted for how much you can give. It could be $1, it could be as much as $100 or anything else. Payment is taken through credit cards, and your donations will again support the podcast so that I can remain an independent voice and a credible media source in terms of what's going on in the psychedelic space and how that ties into addressing some of the major issues that we're dealing with as a global culture and society. Last thing, leave us a review on iTunes if you like the podcast. We had something like, I think, 2500 downloads for some of these previous podcasts. If you're listening to this and you like it, please leave us a review on iTunes. It will help more people find the podcast, and it would mean a lot to all of us at Third Wave. Again, thanks for tuning in and enjoy our podcast this week with Mark Manson.


0:07:04 PA: Let's transition into your story a little bit. I just want to hear a little bit more about that.

0:07:06 Mark Manson: Okay, sure.

0:07:09 PA: Right before I was having coffee, I read through the piece you did about your bad acid trip.

0:07:15 MM: Oh, cool.

0:07:15 PA: And I'd read that a few years ago, which is when I was like, "Okay, so he's obviously doing LSD," 'cause I had done LSD when I was 19.

0:07:21 MM: Yeah.

0:07:22 PA: It wasn't quite as challenging as the description that you provide. Can you just talk a little bit about that, when you first started doing psychedelics?

0:07:30 MM: Sure. So I was a pretty rebellious kid/teenager. Started smoking pot when I was 13, and I did acid the first time when I was 15? 15 or 16. And then I would say I did... I experimented with it. I probably did it, did acid or shrooms, maybe eight or ten times in my teen years, up until about the time I was 20. And then I think the bad acid trip happened when I was 19, which got me to quit doing drugs for a while.

0:08:02 MM: I think I did it one more time in my 20's, 'cause I had a girlfriend who really wanted to do it. And then I did MDMA throughout a lot of my 20's, mostly at parties and stuff. And then stopped that in my late 20s. So I hadn't really done anything for a while. But it was a big part of my adolescence, particularly. It informed a lot of my experiences, my teen years. Of course, it just got me thinking in a bunch of different ways, most of which were completely inane and just silly but some profound ways, too, as is usually the case.

0:08:36 PA: I mean, what were some of those... Like for me, when I first did LSD, it helped me come to terms with the fact that I was an outsider, to some degree, 'cause I grew up in West Michigan. So it's the bible belt more or less in the Midwest. So everyone goes to church, and I grew up in a very conservative home. Not politically or socially necessarily, but just in terms of like Christian values. Right? So drugs were bad. So that helped me to recognize that maybe have a little bit of courage of my own in the thought process. And also just for me it was really informative. Growing up I was a little socially awkward, and so it helped me to have that objective lens of, "Oh, I am socially awkward and I'm socially awkward because when I have this interaction with someone I'm doing X, Y and Z. Let's shift that a little bit." Did you have any insights or things from those experiences that you...

0:09:27 MM: I did. I always tell people that there's always a ratio of stupid insights, pointless insights, important and profound insights. And the funny thing is when you're on the drugs, you don't know which one is which. So, I remember it was actually the second time I ever took LSD, I became obsessed with symmetry. For five hours, everything... I'd look at these pencils here, the table and I would be like, "It's symmetrical this way and it's this way." I would clear everything off and look at it from different angles. To me, it was just such an important thing, symmetry.

0:10:06 MM: And then when I got sober, I was like, "What the fuck was I thinking about?" But then there were other times, too. There was one time in particular when I was 17, I had, I guess, what most people would call a spiritual experience. But basically, I had this trans egoic... I transcended my own ego, so it was like, "I'm one with everything" type of thing. And that was hugely powerful for me, just mainly because it set me upon a path. I came out of that trip basically like, "What the fuck was that? What just happened to me?" And it started me down a path of reading a lot of philosophy and Eastern religions and spirituality, which eventually led me to where I am today. So it kick started that curiosity into that whole world, so that was very, very influential on me.

0:10:56 MM: In terms of my personal life, I think it definitely made me more accepting. I remember one time doing shrooms and having this really profound realization that basically everybody's form of self expression, you could... If art is simply self expression, then technically everybody is being an artist all the time. So even that awkward weird kid who is hard to talk to, there's something beautiful in that. I remember really feeling that on a deep level, and actually it carried with me for a while even after I came down. That was pretty powerful, especially being in high school where people are really fucking mean to each other.

0:11:36 PA: Especially in the states, I talk to friends in Europe, and they're like, "We didn't really have popular kids. We really didn't have the sport thing. You went to school and you studied and people did their own thing."

0:11:48 MM: Yeah. US adolescent culture is really weird. My wife's Brazilian and I've told her, "You know, a bully in high school," and she's like, "What's a bully?" I explained it to her, and she's like, "That's horrible. Why would somebody do that?" "Nobody does that in Brazil?" She's like, "No, they all just play soccer and dance." Yeah, it was really... 'Cause high school feels like such a hostile environment, where who you're in with and who you're out with and who's cool and who's a nerd seems so important at the time. I think it was my junior year. I just adopted this perception.

0:12:22 MM: Yeah. Everybody is just who they are and not only is that okay, but there is actually something beautiful, so I think it made me a lot more accepting. And the other thing I will say actually goes back to the bad acid trip, so anybody that wants to read that it's on my website. You just search "bad acid trip" on the website.

0:12:40 PA: It's in the archives, I think... I went off there.

0:12:43 MM: So basically what happened, I tripped acid with a couple friends. We went to the park but then we lost track of time, as it happens. It got dark. Also, it was the middle of the night and we really didn't know what to do with ourselves, and so we went to the grocery store, I guess, just to like wander around. Just be inside, I guess. And we were covered in shit because we had been laying in the dirt all night. And we're tripping, laying on the ground, playing with leaves and stuff, so we were filthy, just completely dirty. And the manager came out. We're wandering around this grocery store for 20 minutes, and the manager came out and kicked us out, and as we were leaving, I heard him say to the cashier... I don't know, he made some quip about the homeless get younger every... Something fucked up. But basically he assumed we were homeless, and that freaked me out because I was like, "Wait a second, we're actually... We go to a really nice private school. My family is wealthy. I'm going to college next year." Me and my two friends are really, really smart guys. And that just started freaking me out. I was like, "Oh my God, this guy thinks I'm homeless."

0:13:53 MM: And it got me questioning my whole life decisions. And at that time I think I was doing drugs too often. I was a slacker at school, I was getting high every day. I was doing drugs most weekends, and yeah. I just had this, "Holy shit. What am I doing with my life? I'm fucking everything up. I'm squandering my time. I'm a really smart, fortunate, privileged guy who has a lot of potential to do good shit in the world. What am I doing in a drainage ditch rolling around in leaves and stuff?" I became everything... Anybody who's had a bad trip, it's... Everything gets very dark very quickly. Everything feels very bad. No matter what anybody says to you, it just feels awful. And I felt that way for the rest of the night and then I started sobering up. I told my friend, I was like, "I'm not doing this anymore." He laughed, he's like, "Yeah." I basically stopped for the most part. I stopped doing it regularly at that point.

0:14:56 PA: What you're saying is, it made you face something or understand something about yourself, whatever that behavior or habit was, and it put you right in front of it, and you just had to look at it. And I think that's interesting about what psychedelics like LSD can do, is they illuminate things that you maybe try to keep hidden, try to keep away.

0:15:17 MM: What's interesting about psychedelics is you can't... So if I'm sober right now, if I think about something really unpleasant about myself, it's very easy for me to distract myself and talk about something else or look at my phone or whatever. For some reason, psychedelics... When your mind gets fixated on something, whether it's symmetry or I'm wasting my potential or wasting my life, it doesn't let go. It forces you to... It's like, "All right, this is the theme." My friends and I, we used to call it the theme of the night, because we would just get obsessive about these really strange things. And sometimes they would actually be really important things.

0:15:57 PA: Sometimes they won't.

0:15:58 MM: Sometimes they're completely stupid.

0:16:01 PA: Oranges, I've had a thing for oranges.

0:16:04 MM: Yeah. I mentioned that night... That one of my friends that night, he got obsessed with... He stole an eggplant from the grocery store, and he was obsessed with the thing the entire night. So this fixation happens and sometimes it can be completely frivolous, and sometimes it can be really profound. I remember one of those friends... There was one time we started tripping and he started freaking out about his family. He's just like, "Wow, my dad's a deadbeat and I'm becoming like him." He just started losing it. And I was like, "Whoa, dude, calm down. Look at the sun, look at the stars. Everything's gonna be fine!" It's interesting. The interesting thing, too, is that you can't control it. You can't decide beforehand, "All right. This trip, we're gonna have fun with oranges tonight." You don't get to decide. It just happens. Something happens, some experience or somebody says something funny happens, and that's it. You're hooked.

0:17:00 PA: Well, this is... I think this is why psychedelics in the 60s got such a bad rep, because people were having these experiences and there was no channel on which they could cultivate that energy, so they would have these experiences and they'd be wild and crazy and sometimes really profound and insightful and spiritual. But once they were done tripping, it's like, "Well, what then?" So, what's interesting now... What's your familiarity with where psychedelics stand now? Have you seen any articles or you somewhat familiar with...

0:17:28 MM: I would characterize myself as vaguely familiar. So the thing that I'm curious about these days is more the therapeutic. I know there's a lot of research going on now, which I find that very interesting in terms of just more recreational stuff.

0:17:43 PA: So, the therapeutic stuff is the interesting stuff, right?

0:17:46 MM: Yeah, yeah.

0:17:46 PA: Because it is like, okay, you can have this experience. And then it is about the experience, but it's more about the outcome and in terms of how do you integrate that experience, how do you work with a psychotherapist to dig into this experience, and this is why it's becoming so effective for PTSD. They're doing MDMA for PTSD trials, [unclear speech] Phase 3, psilocybin for depression. And I was reading through the notes from your book and for me it was like... You mentioned in Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck how one of the things that prevents personal development is this refusal to accept death, in a way. It's a refusal to face it. It's a refusal to understand that it's coming, and I think that from a psychedelic perspective is what's interesting for me, 'cause now they've been doing research at Johns Hopkins where they've given high doses of mushrooms, psilocybin to people who have terminal cancer and they have high levels of anxiety and have high levels of depression. They give them one dose and anxiety and depression plummets, and these people can finally enjoy the last years of their life. But I think it's because, like you were saying, having this quasi-spiritual, this mystical experience, this kind of ego transcendence, it gives us a chance to really look at... Okay, death happens. At the same time, we don't need to be afraid of it because it's just a transition.

0:19:08 PA: Right. Yeah, when that stuff started coming out it didn't surprise me, because I figure... I was saying earlier, you can't control it. And I guess that's not totally true. I guess it's like when you're in a recreational context... When you're at a party with a group of friends and silly shit is happening... In that context, you can't control it, but I imagine like...

0:19:28 PA: One thing that excites me is I feel like, if you get some guys with like real lab coats and letters after their name working on this for a long enough period of time, that yeah, maybe you could find some context where you can control it, or you can direct it a little bit. Or use the stuff like I keep hearing, one of the things I keep hearing about, is like micro-doses, where people taking like smaller doses and that way they still have some executive function in their brain to kind of like control where they're going. So like, I find a lot of stuff fascinating and I haven't seen... I'm not familiar with the research, but I would not be surprised to see if there was a lot of [unclear speech] in that. I wouldn't be surprised if say, 10-20 years from now, it has common therapeutic applications. So I'm excited to see where that goes.

0:20:13 MM: So am I, I mean, I guess that's... I like psychedelics, I like doing psychedelics, I like microdosing and obviously this is why I'm building this platform and talking about these topics and doing this podcast. And I think they're interesting for various purposes, right. They're interesting for therapeutic purposes, I think. Especially now because there are people who are basically suffering, who are suffering, and they know we have a substance that it's non-toxic, it's non-addictive, it's been used historically for thousands of years. And then we know if we create a container for them, that there's a high likelihood that they could help X, Y, and Z out.

0:20:46 PA: Sure.

0:20:46 MM: So PTSD, typically if you go to a typical doctor, you tell them that you have PTSD, they'll just give you antidepressants and tell you, sorry, you're never gonna cure it. And I was doing an event in Portland last month, and a guy got up on stage who tells a story, he was a vet from Iraq, struggled with PTSD, he went to the doctor, the doctor said we're not gonna cure it, he enrolled in a phase II trials, took MDMA, was cured of PTSD. So it's like, when it can be that much of a transformation, that also for me is like, it's really important that we medicalize it, so that it can be used within a responsible integrated framework. At the same time kind of building off that I'm also interested in not only helping people who struggle with X, Y, and Z. So they have some sort of, we could say, like, deficit, right?

0:21:29 PA: Sure.

0:21:29 IV: To get them up to a point where they're functioning normally. But also like my curiosity is like... The betterment of well people. So people who are already pretty good, they already have pretty good lives, what could creating a container for them with psychedelics do to help them live better lives. So like this concept of the mystical experience is really interesting because it helps people really come to terms with I think who they are.

0:21:53 PA: Yeah.

0:21:53 MM: And I think, like we were talking about earlier in our conversation, there's... With work, we don't have to be busy anymore, there's going to be a sense of "what's our contribution". Right? And if we have substances that can illuminate that, to some degree, maybe that helps people to really, really kind of get back in touch with a sense of who they are, and that's not to say that psychedelics are the only thing.

0:22:14 PA: Of course.

0:22:14 MM: There's meditation, there's other things that kind of initiate this sense of being in the zone, these states of flow. But it seems like psychedelics are the most, instantaneous [unclear speech].

0:22:25 PA: I agree with that. On the flip side, there are some dangers with them, and I don't mean physiological dangers. And I think you mentioned why they get a bad rep, especially from the '60s, but like... And even like now, so like my... I dated a girl couple of years ago who was like way into psychedelics, Burning Man and going to raves and all the stuff, and some of her friends were like really hardcore consistent users. And I've met some people here in New York too that like use it all the time, and I think one of the reasons it kind of gets a bad rep, it's one of these things where... It's such a fine like between like using it and using it as moving towards something. And using it as running away from something. And a lot of the people that I've met who are very enthusiastic about it, I feel like they're... It's like... Is an escapism.

0:23:12 MM: It's a distraction.

0:23:14 PA: Yes.

0:23:15 MM: Kind of like travel, in a way, for some people I think, they use that as a distraction.

0:23:18 PA: Yeah, totally, totally. It's like anything, right? Anything that's enjoyable and I guess intense, intensely moves you out of your typical comfort bubble. So it can be anything, it could be travel, could be therapy, could be starting your own business, dating somebody new, all these things they have, they're not in a vacuum, they're not necessarily good or bad on their own, they have a lot of potential. There's a lot of energy encapsulated in them, and they can push you very far in different directions. And I think a lot of it has to do with the intention that you bring to it. So there are people like you said, there are people who travel to escape their problems instead of dealing with them. There are also people who use travel as a very powerful form of growth. There are people who get into relationships as a way to escape their problems. There are some people who will get in a relationship as a powerful form of growth.

0:24:08 PA: And I think psychedelics is one of the more extreme versions of that. It's interesting like a lot of teachers in the meditation communities and stuff like that, and this is just what I've heard, I'm not in an expert on this. But from teachers that I've talked to and I've heard, and I think Sam Harris kind of talks about this too, they're always very reticent when they talk about psychedelics, 'cause they're like, yeah it can get you this experience, sometimes very quickly, but it's like the vehicle that it gets you there with, it can potentially be messy. It's not necessarily the best way to get to it, because there's all this other shit going on, and all this other stuff going on in your brain, and it's... To give you another example, so when I had this kind of profound spiritual experience where I had transcended my body and everything, I became completely convinced that my friend was communicating with me telepathically.

0:25:00 MM: ESP, right? Naturally...

0:25:01 PA: Yes, completely convinced, and I was convinced of this for like two months, like to the point where he actually pulled me aside at school and was like, "Dude, it was the drug, you need to stop talking about this". And I was like, "You don't understand dude, there was no me, there was no me, we were the same." And he's like, "Okay, that's nice, but like seriously, I wasn't sending my thoughts to you." And of course, a few more months, I'm fine. Yeah, that's kind of ridiculous, but I was tripping out of my fucking mind, but at the same time, so there was a genuine moment of that experience, that was extremely profound and powerful. But there's also a lot of nonsense going on around the edges. Whereas if you attain those experiences say purely through meditation or through practice, it's just like, it's a clear straight path to that experience. I think Sam Harris talks about that, and I know Ken Wilber talks about that a lot. Ken Wilber, in his books, he's stated a lot of times, like he says like, you can access these higher spiritual perspectives through substances, but he said, like, it's not... He says it's kind of tainted. It's like seeing it through a fun-house mirror, kind of, which makes sense to me.

0:25:26 MM: I'll agree and disagree. I think there's a sense from me that like... I've talked about this on the podcast a little bit, but like the sense of the Christian morality and Christian values really underlies a lot what we still believe and think. And it seems like part of that perspective from people in the meditation space or people who are teachers is somewhat tainted by this western perspective, that drugs are bad in that there's like a level of intoxication, that comes.

0:26:43 PA: I mean I don't think, I don't think Harris would argue.

0:26:45 MM: No and he would not, but I would say some like he had for example, [unclear speech] and recently and they briefly spoke about psychedelics and [unclear speech] basically was like, "Oh, I've done MDMA once I've never done anything else" and [unclear speech] is like two-month meditation retreat.

[overlapping conversation]

0:27:02 MM: There's people who just get caught up in the experience and then they never really do anything with it. And I think for me that's like, yes, that's true, this does happen with people, at the same time, nothing is as instantaneous as a psychedelic experience. So Sam Harris talks about this in his "Drugs and the Meaning of Life." If you listen to his first podcast ever that he did he described that and says, "We know that through meditation we can eventually reach these peak states, so to say, but not everyone gets there. However, we know that if we take this substance we know that something is done."

0:27:35 PA: Sure.

0:27:35 MM: And so from my perspective it's like, I think part of the issue or the problem is just the fact that because of the lack of education that so many people have around these substances, I think there's a lack of saying, "Okay yes, like it can be just this fun house mirror, right. There can be all these distractions on the periphery. But, if you know what you're getting into beforehand if you create the container for that."

0:27:56 PA: When I say that, I'm not saying it... It sounded derogatory.

0:28:00 MM: No you did not sound derogatory at all, I just wanna clarify this.

0:28:04 PA: Because like I mean I've felt this myself when I've hit these higher states like on retreat or whatever. It's almost, there's like a crystal clarity whereas on psychedelic there's like silliness going on at the same time so that's not necessarily bad or better or worse. It's just different. And yeah, if you're a monk who's spent 30 years meditating, in a corner or whatever, you're gonna look at the silliness be like "Well, yeah, it got you there one night, there's a lot of silliness going on too." Which is true, I think it's, they're extremely useful tool. And the thing that's so powerful about it too, is that once they crack your brain open in that way it's much easier to get back to that than to work your way to there in the first place. So there's a lot of value but at the same time, I wouldn't say it's a replacement, you can't just like why go meditate for 10 years when I can just like do a bunch of shrooms and then see what happens.

0:28:58 MM: 'Cause then we get into this narrative that's so common in our culture is like the pill is the fix. If I take this thing and I have this experience, I'll be better.

0:29:09 PA: Yeah.

0:29:10 MM: And I think what psychedelics do is they just illuminate things very brightly so that when you come back into a sober state you can recognize what they are, but really the change comes with the work. So regardless of whether you're meditating whether you're taking psychedelics whether your doing whatever, it's still the work that needs to be done. So we can illuminate it but the experience itself is enough.

0:29:32 PA: Yeah.

0:29:32 MM: So that it's a tool in the tool box is what I say it's one of many ways for...

0:29:38 PA: Yeah.

0:29:38 MM: For example, a lot of the Buddhist teachers who are now relevant in today's world, almost all of them have done psychedelics. There's this book called "The Secret Drugs of Buddhism" that was recently published. Where the guy talked to 39 or 40 current Buddhist teachers, and all of them in the book, all of them except one, had been inspired to go on this spiritual path and journey because they took psychedelics. Now the one person who said that that wasn't the case was lying about it.


0:30:05 MM: And actually had used psychedelics but didn't wanna be public about it in the book. So it's like this, I think of people like Sam Harris. He was taking psychedelic when he was 19 or 20 as his story is in Pokhara, Nepal and then he got into a long-term 10 years of meditation after. So it's like...

0:30:22 PA: It got me into it.

0:30:23 MM: Yeah, I mean, I got me into it as well. So I think that it's a tool in a tool box. The work still needs to be done by the individual. It just...

0:30:33 PA: Yeah.

0:30:33 MM: From my perspective, it can see you to, like you said crack open the head so to say.

0:30:37 PA: Yeah, and what I'd like to see to and this kind of ties into like the clinical stuff we were talking about. Is I think we just need to as a culture, gain more understanding of what this shit does and how we can leverage it in a useful way. Because like I said at the beginning of the conversation, like I've taken acid and had like some of the most profound moments of my life like insights, things like that. I've also taken acid and done the stupidest shit like wasted an entire day cumulating over fucking nothing, which was fine. Like there's nothing wrong with it. But like it's this amazing spectrum between of like just complete utter silliness and like actual profundity. And again, a part of the problem with the drug is when you're on it, a lot of times you don't know where on that spectrum you walk. Like you think you're like on the profundity side you're actually on the silliness side or vice versa. So I think there's... Yeah, there just needs to be a lot of awareness around like what to expect going into it like...

0:31:42 MM: Sun setting almost?

0:31:46 PA: No. When you finish doing something that you look back and process.

0:31:50 MM: Reflect?

0:31:52 PA: I guess. There's some word I'm looking for.

0:31:54 MM: Integrate?

0:31:56 PA: That's a good one.

0:31:57 MM: That's what we'll call in the psychedelic space, it's like the integration afterwards.

0:32:01 PA: Yeah.

0:32:01 MM: Like how do you take that experience and actually apply it and reintegrate into your waking life so to say.

0:32:08 PA: But I think it needs... There also needs to be a lot of like honesty there and understanding the like just because he tripped doesn't mean he's [unclear speech]. And on top of that just because something felt very important doesn't mean it is, just something felt very true doesn't mean... So it's like, it's very hard to like navigate these questions because you can find yourself spending, like I did spending months thinking your friend talked to you telepathically and it's like... Yeah, it's like six months later you're like "Wow that's really stupid." [laughter] "What was I thinking?"

0:32:36 PA: It's tricky, its's such a tricky thing. There's a lot of ways to get lost in it, I really feel like it took me years to be able to look back and have an objective perspective on a lot of my experiences and kind of see them what for what they were.

0:32:55 PA: Hey listeners this is just a quick interruption from our regularly scheduled programming, we are introducing a text to donate for listeners in the US and Canada. All you need to do to donate to Third Wave is text the word GIVE to 616-918-3200. Again, the word GIVE, G-I-V-E to 616-918-3200. GIVE 616-918-3200. It will prompt you for how much you can give $1, $5, $10 or anything else and the payment is taken directly through credit cards or donations will go again into our Patreon campaign, into the general funds to make sure that we continue to create a high quality podcast for all of the listeners who are currently tuning in. Hoping to set up funds for special projects later on like psychedelic sponsorships. We believe that engaging the psychedelic community is an important part of building something together. And so, we are now offering this option. That's it. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

0:34:01 PA: It's like a guy I was doing an event last night which I think I sent over to this psychedelics professionals event whatever, a guy who was on the panel there he's a psychotherapist in his mid 60s, and he's written a book about specifically psychedelics for personal development.

0:34:16 MM: Yeah.

0:34:16 PA: And so I did a podcast with him a few months ago, his name is Neil Goldsmith. He was saying at the biggest, the major contraindication for psychedelics is lack of maturity, basically.

0:34:28 MM: Yeah.

0:34:28 PA: When we have experiences and many people get into them when they're like 15...

0:34:33 MM: Right.

0:34:33 PA: Sixteen, and I think there's something human to that in a way because we're looking for meaning, we're looking for where we fit in the world. I mean, people in the Amazon, they take ayahuasca from a young age eight to 10-12, these plants have often been used as like this sense of initiations. Joseph Campbell always talks about the importance of initiation for men, and of course this is why we have a 13-year-old as a president. And that...


0:34:57 PA: That's because we don't have anybody to incubate that. So it's like [unclear speech] But at the same time because we don't have a cultural framework for that.

0:35:04 MM: Right.

0:35:05 PA: Then people have these experiences like you and I have done, it's like, "What the fuck was that?"

0:35:09 MM: And what's interesting about those Amazonian tribes is that you have the adults guide the children through their experience. So the children take part like, use the substances but they have their parents there saying, "It's okay, this is... No, that's normal. Like this is... No, that doesn't mean anything." Helping them through to process everything." Which is great.

0:35:31 PA: No it is great. And it comes back to education, it comes back to awareness. Because you talked, like "My parents would not be cool with that. You're parents probably would not have been cool with that."


0:35:41 PA: The vast majority of parents would not be cool with that because again this cultural perception of psychedelics is they're bad, they'll make you go crazy. Obviously, they're schedule one substances, so they must be highly addictive and have no medical value. And so I think that's... It's interesting what's going on with cannabis.

0:35:56 MM: Yeah.

0:35:58 PA: Because that is also opening the door to have these conversations. And getting back to that point, it's like when we're 15 and 16 and 17 we're having these experiences. I think it can be difficult or challenging to really understand them because you don't have the framework.

0:36:13 MM: Yeah, I agree. I agree, I think that framework is important.

0:36:16 PA: Yeah, and I would be curious to see... Let me know when someone comes up with one [laughter] 'cause I'd like to see it.

0:36:22 MM: Comes up with what?

0:36:23 PA: A framework for understanding psychedelic experiences.

0:36:25 MM: Okay, I will send you a couple of resources because there would be developing better and better ones. And I think it has to do with the set and setting, it has to do with the individual. The one idea that I've had, basically where I see health care going and medicine going is customized to the individual. So we've seen this with 23&me, with the biotech company, we've seen this... Kevin Rose is now working on a project with the aura ring which is ring that you wear and it tracks all your biometric data. So it tracks your [unclear speech], it tracks your heart rate variability. So, I think in the next few years, we're gonna be able to say, "Oh you, you have depression but you also have a family history of psychosis, and you are 34 years old. Can you do psychedelics? Well, probably not. Oh, you have PTSD, you are in your early 20s, and you are struggling with X, Y, and Z. Would psychedelics be a good fit for you?" Within a certain set and setting, within a certain...

0:37:19 MM: I think, it comes back into what Harari wrote about in Homo Deus which is the sense of data isn't. The more data we can collect, the more science we can collect, then the better, more informed decisions that we can make. So, all these crazy things that are happening on a psychedelic experience, where it's like you get a lot of good, but you also get a lot of bad. My question is "What can we do to mitigate the bad out there"

0:37:42 PA: Sure. Of course.

0:37:44 MM: And also develop a way to have the most accurate perspective of what occured. When you look back at the trip, have say the framework to have an accurate understanding of what actually happened because again it's, I think it's so hard coming out the other end to really gauge acurately, what everything meant like that happened. And again I've seen it go both ways. Something you thought was really profound turns out silly that something was really silly and unimportant. A year later you realized, "Oh actually that's something I should have been paying attention to that, I had no idea." So it's an interesting area.

0:38:24 PA: It is. I do wanna get into a little bit about your own philosophy, regardless of psychedelics in terms personal development and that whole thing. Because I've been reading your material for a number of years, I read your recent book, I really liked it. If you could just like, encapsulate your philosophy about like what is The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck without getting into it.

0:38:44 MM: Basically in my work, so I write about self-development, but I kinda like try to make an argument for pain, for negativity in general 'cause I feel like there's way too much focus on positivity and personal development stuff. I think pain is important. It evolved for a reason. It forms a part of our feedback mechanism in our life, whether it's emotional pain or physical pain. And so I kind of spend a lot of time just extrapolating that principle into a lot of different areas of life.

0:39:13 MM: So whether you are you looking for your life's purpose, or you wanna be happier, you wanna have a better relationship, there are all sorts of counterintuitive conclusions you can come to. At least counterintuitive to most people, when you kind of insert pain back into the equation.

0:39:28 MM: So with relationships, I have a chapter in the book where I say like, actually like saying no is probably the most important single word in any relationship because it defines the boundaries for both people, it defines what's acceptable and not acceptable. It allows each person to stand up for themselves and to maintain their own personal identity, prevents [unclear speech], prevents abusive situations like.

0:39:49 MM: No is actually incredibly, incredibly important. Yet we're always like implored constantly like, "Oh just say yes, just go with the flow, be a good person, be nice" and all that stuff. So yeah, that kind of like sums up my approach to most things and then the whole not giving a fuck thing is, I always joke in all my interviews.

0:40:09 MM: They ask me they're like, "Why that? Why did you call it that?" And I always reply, like, "Well I wanted to write a book about values, but if I wrote a book about values, nobody would buy it. Except for like crazy Christian people in Alabama, and they would hate it. So I called it "Not Giving a Fuck" because it's basically like we all have to give a fuck... We're all... Every day, we're all choosing what we care about, and even if you choose not to care about anything you're still choosing to care about something.

0:40:35 MM: So it's like we're all constantly making this choice to care about something and the things that we choose to care about are actually in my opinion, the biggest determinants of happiness, level of success, satisfaction, things like that. 'Cause if you choose the wrong thing to care about, let's say, all you care about is just making a shit load of money. No, it doesn't matter how hard you work, how disciplined you are, how much confidence you have, self-esteem you have. If you pick the wrong thing to care about, then it's just gonna lead you down the wrong path, none of the other stuff matters. So the thing that actually matters, is like get your values straight, get your priorities straight then everything else kind of flows.

0:41:10 PA: So how did you come to this philosophy? What's the back story.

0:41:13 MM: I mean, going way back, so I'll tie this in with my psychedelic stuff. My psychedelic experience is... Like I said, when I was a teenager I was raised in Texas, Christian family suburban Texas super conservative. It sounds kinda similar to you.

0:41:29 PA: Yeah.

0:41:29 MM: I did not fit in at all, did not like the environment I was in, at all. And so from a pretty young age, I was a pretty disgruntled kid. And I just took it out by rebelling and I decided I was... My parents made me go to church, I went to a Christian school and everything. I decided by the time I was 12, I listened to a bunch of Marilyn Manson. I was like wait a second this whole God thing doesn't make sense. This is fucking stupid.

0:41:52 MM: Yeah, okay. So I was listening to Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails. Told my parents I was an atheist which really upset them and then started experimenting with drugs. And so I was this slacker kid who just didn't care about anything, didn't believe in anything and the psychedelics, they didn't completely kick me out themselves, but they were like a large component of what pushed me out of that. And like I said one of the big parts was like I had that experience when I was 17, I was like how do I explain this. I gotta find something to explain this. And I went out and started reading a lot of books and over the course of a couple of years, I ended up in Zen Buddhism and spent most of my time in college in Boston like practicing Zen Buddhism like really getting into it, read a lot of books on it. And what I love about Zen is that, it's like of all the eastern spiritualities and eastern philosophies, Zen is like the most minimal no bullshit, even like the more meditation based eastern practices, there're still a lot of rituals and they made me visualizing Krishna and all of this stuff.

0:42:56 MM: Zen is like, shut up, look at the wall, what was your name before you were born. And you try to answer and they're like, don't answer just look at the wall.

0:43:06 PA: [unclear speech].

0:43:08 MM: Yeah. It's like these questions with no answers and all these really cool chants and stuff, like "Manifestations are numberless I vow to save them all, suffering is endless I vow to put an end to it all". It's completely paradoxical, makes no sense like it purposely contradicts itself on every line. I just love that. I'm like, "This is awesome." So I really got into that. And a big part of Zen, is just sitting there and meditating. It's like "Wow, I'm feeling great and I'm elated." I'm having these euphoric feelings all over my body and the Zen master's like "Let go of it, it'll pass." This isn't real, let it pass." But it feels so good, like yeah let go of it. And it's an hour later you're in excruciating pain and you start crying and stuff and the Zen master is like "Yeah that's not real, let it pass." You don't hold on to anything.

0:44:00 PA: In permanence right, to some degree?

0:44:02 MM: Exactly. So, this informed me a lot. In my 20s I started getting like really into self-help stuff and I got very enthusiastic about it. Went to seminars and read books and even started blogging and teaching some stuff myself And the whole positivity "Hey, you're gonna be... Everybody's meant to be great. We're all destined. You can achieve your life full of happiness." It never sat right. It always seemed a little bit just salesy. And so, yeah, once I started becoming more prominent, I was like, "You know what the world needs? They need a Zen version of self help." Where it's like, "Oh you feel good today. You achieved a goal, doesn't mean anything. Get over yourself."

0:44:45 MM: Because I think self-aggrandizing in general, just to make yourself feel better, I think is just as dangerous as depressed people who... People have irrational beliefs that they're worse than they actually are. I think having irrational beliefs that you're better than you actually are is just as bad. And so I wanted to construct a philosophy around that. Where it's not about being great, it's not about being horrible, it's just about being. We're all great sometimes, we're all horrible sometimes. And chances are you don't actually even know when you're being which one. So that really... That's kind of the philosophical basis for a lot of where... Where a lot of my stuff comes from.

0:45:25 MM: Like I said, I've read a lot of self-help stuff over the years. Some of it I really like, a lot of it I don't. And then like I said too, I've read philosophy on and off over the years. So a lot of the stuff I talked about kind of connects into philosophy, which is like we all create our own meaning. That is actually the most important and most difficult task that we face in our life. And so I spend a lot of time in my work saying, "Shut up about happiness. If you just find meaning then all this other stuff will fix itself." Meaning generates happiness as a byproduct. Meaning generates purpose as a byproduct. Meaning generates love as a byproduct. Meaning has to come first and then all this other feel good stuff, the money, whatever, will come later.

0:46:12 PA: This is an increasingly important conversation to have I think because there is this... I think I wrote down this quote from your book. So you say in the book like basically the crisis that we're dealing with is no longer material but it's existential, that it's spiritual. That would do. And I think this goes back into work, this goes back into things that we'll be doing in the next five or 10 or 15 years. These conversations are increasingly important because where we used to find meaning was... I think there was a sense of finding meaning in what others expected us to do and now we have the opportunity to create our own meaning because of the tools of today.

0:46:47 PA: Which is exciting, but it's also daunting because suddenly you're ladened with way more responsibility. It's almost paradoxical, I think, for most of human history life was very hard, but meaning was easy. Because if you grew up in the 18th century, it was clear what the point of your life was, it was like to farm, find food, and take care of your sick mother. People were dying all the time. So meaning was easy to find because life was extremely difficult. Paradoxically the easier, more comfortable life becomes, the more difficult it is to find meaning. All the usual obvious places, survival, food, procreation those are suddenly becoming optional.

0:47:32 PA: You don't actually don't have to think about that. We never had to think about our survival. We never had to think about where we're gonna get our food. So in that sense the meaning question suddenly becomes extremely personal and subjective. And that oddly makes it 100 times more difficult 'cause it's kinda what we were talking about earlier about people who make a ton of money and then have a little crisis and then "Oh fuck it, I'm gonna start a charity or something." As you reach that point, you're like... "My life is only gonna have meaning if I build it someway." That's a burden that you never have to take on. You only have... It's first world problems everybody jokes about. It's top of the first world problems. But yeah, I think as society progresses and simple comforts become more common and you get potentially mass unemployment a lot of people are talking about... Yeah, I think there's gonna be a huge crisis of meaning, I think arguably there's already a crisis of meaning with people in the first world.

0:48:30 PA: It's like they sit front of their TV all day and don't know what to do themselves. Everything's taken care of. So, with that thought there, pretty soon just as the last question, who are writers or speakers or people that really... If there are five or seven people who really influenced your philosophy, the way that you think, who are those people?

0:48:51 MM: I always get nervous with this question 'cause I know I'm gonna forget somebody. I'm gonna be...

0:48:54 PA: Five to seven.

0:48:56 MM: I'm gonna be on the subway home and I'm gonna be "Fuck I should have said this guy." So the big ones that come to mind, death has come up in this conversation repeatedly. Acceptance of death. The last chapter in my book is all about death. Ernest Becker's book "Denial of Death" is like... I think it's one of the most profound books I've ever read. Yeah, it's incredible. How he ties in a lot of... He basically explains all human neuroses and anxiety to a very simple explanation of avoiding of death or avoiding confronting your own death. So that one's very big. I'm a huge, huge fan of actually Steven Pinker who we talked about already. I think he is extremely thorough, and I think a lot of his critics don't give him enough credit, especially guys like Taleb. I think if you go back and re-read Pinker's stuff, he's just so thorough with his arguments.

0:49:49 MM: I'm a big Sam Harris fan. It's funny, I would call Sam Harris my favorite person that I don't agree with a lot, I love listening to him and I probably disagree with 40-50% of what he says. And I think that is actually maybe the highest compliment to pay somebody. If I ever meet him I'm gonna tell him that because it's... I think that's so important is finding people like that, that can challenge your ideas but in a way that you just respect. I respect the hell out of him [unclear speech]. In the fiction world I'm a huge Leo Tolstoy fan both of his big books "War and Piece" and "Anna Karenina" I think are stunning in how much of human experience is captured.

0:50:31 MM: When I read "War and Peace" I remember finishing it and being stunned that a human being actually wrote this. How a single mind could comprehend that much of human experience. Fukuyama's two books that I mentioned earlier, were very profound for me in terms of like understanding what is political history, and human systems in general. It's funny, I was a huge Ken Wilbur fan in my early 20s. He was very significant too, because he was one of the first thinkers, philosophers that I discovered after my psychedelic experiences that seemingly explained them in a very scientific way.

0:51:11 MM: So when I was reading and researching after, in those years afterwards, everything I'd read it was either spiritual, like the "Book of the Dead" and all the stuff that I kinda didn't really get. Okay, I get but I don't really get it. There was no framework or anything like to latch onto or it was super scientific stuff, like explain it or anything. Wilbur was the first one that synthesized those two things. He's like, "This is what spiritual experiences are, and this is what they mean relative to our psychology and biology." Again, he's a guy that I don't agree with everything now, especially now that I'm older, I look back at some of his stuff. I don't love all of it, but he was incredibly... Like he was a huge, huge influence on me, huge influence. I like "Fooled by Randomness", a lot. Taleb, Nassim Taleb.

0:52:00 PA: It seemed reticent to...

0:52:03 MM: He's such a dick, he's such a dick, and like he... The thing about "Black Swan"and "Antifragile" is like, 20% of those books is just absolute gold, and the other 80% he's just this arrogant, blow hard, wasting your time.


0:52:16 PA: Kind of reminds me of our current version of like "Atlas Shrugged".

0:52:20 MM: Yes.

0:52:21 PA: Some of the philosophers in there but by and large they didn't need to write a book that was 1100 pages. They could have done that in about half.

0:52:26 MM: Yes, exactly and just insert your 200 page diatribe against socialism. So yeah, I have incredibly mixed feelings. I love "Fooled by Randomness" though just like, especially, too, because it's... "Fooled by Randomness" is mostly about investing, which is... You can tell that's the area he's actually an expert on, of like all the other areas he talks about. And then yeah, Atlas Shrugged was very important for me when I was a teenager as well. It was like "Atlas Shrugged" for me was very important for me when I was a teenager as well. "Atlas Shrugged" for me was my big, "get your shit together" book which I think it is for a lot of people.

0:52:58 MM: I read it when I was 20, and it was soon after my first psychedelic experiences and I think for me, it really made me... It was also for me, like a transition where I was going through a bunch of shit and trying to figure out what I really wanted to do. And, I think it just helped me to take a level of personal responsibility where it's like, "Okay, it's up to me to figure it out." And to a certain degree, that's true, but I think we all...

0:53:18 PA: At least many of us we evolve.

0:53:21 MM: You kinda reached that point anyway, but yeah, that book was a big kick in the ass, for me. And actually, I got much better at school because of that book. It made me... I always kind of thought school was silly, it's like... It was all very arbitrary, most of the time. I'm like, "Oh, if I need to know something, I'll just go figure it out myself". And yeah I read "Atlas Shrugged" and it made me take pride. It's like, you know what? I should take pride in doing a good job, for the sake of doing a good job. Like it's not about great, it's not about... It's about meaning.

0:53:49 PA: It's not about pleasing someone else like...

0:53:51 MM: Yeah, it's about taking pride, and doing something well. There's something ethical in value beyond that. So that was my big take-away from that. But yeah, her political philosophy, I fucking hate that. I think she's just an awful woman.


0:54:06 PA: I agree, totally. Well let's wrap up. If our listeners wanna find you, and your stuff. Like, what links to this video do you have?

0:54:15 MM: there's a, "best articles" link on there, if you just wanna check out a few of the articles. That acid trip story is on there. And then the book is called, "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck" it is, literally everywhere. Any book store, website, so check that out as well.

0:54:29 PA: Thanks so much for doing this, and agreeing to do this. It was really like a great chat.

0:54:33 MM: Yep, it's great conversation.


0:54:52 PA: Again, thank you so much for tuning in to the Third Wave Podcast. I'm so glad that you guys had a chance to go through it and listen to the whole thing. Per usual, we will finish up with a few questions from our audience members. We have three questions today, one is from Dangy and then we have two anonymous questions as well. The first one, is about the benefits of microdosing. Are they dependent on what you are doing the day you microdose? Meaning going to work, going out and being social, or sitting at home watching TV. Would you reap more benefits from one over the other? Not necessarily, but kind of as well. So, a lot of the benefits of microdosing come from the container and the intention in which you are entering the space for microdosing. So if you have the intention or the purpose in microdosing to help with overcoming creative resistance or entering states of flow a little bit easier then if you micro-dose and you have a day of work where you're working on a project or something, then chances are, that's going to be a bit easier, you're going to be able to access flow states a little bit easier, you're going to be able to be a little bit more productive, be a little bit more focused because that's the intention, and that's the container in which you've created it.

0:55:58 PA: However, microdosing can also help with empathy, it can help with vulnerability, with relationship building. So if you micro-dose and if you say, have a party later that evening that you're going to, chances are, as you become used to microdosing, then your ability to interact with people at that party will improve. You'll be able to build better social relationships and bridges with various people. So microdosing is largely about the container in which you do it and your intention in going into it and that way you then can create the experience for yourself and however, which way you want it in terms of amplifying your overall life experience. In terms of reaping more benefits from one over the other. It just depends on the individual, it depends on what you are orientated towards. I don't know if you necessarily would, for example, get more out of work and microdosing than social relationships and microdosing.

0:56:44 PA: However, someone who's extroverted already, and is struggling with, for example, focusing and discipline might get more out of microdosing because they realize that their weakness, they realize that they're struggling with focus, and discipline, and microdosing might help them with that. Same with someone like myself, the reason I got into microdosing was because I've always been quite introverted, and I struggled a little bit with social anxiety. I started microdosing to help overcome some of that and as a result of that, I'm much more socially adept now, and cognizant of my place in time and space when I'm interacting with other people. From anonymous, "What psychedelics should a beginner, try?" I think probably the easiest psychedelic for a beginner to try is LSD.

0:57:25 PA: But I would caution anyone who is a beginner who has not tried psychedelics before... A couple of things, if you are going to take LSD. That's one, to always test your substances and your drugs to make sure that it's actually LSD and two, to start really low with LSD. LSD is one of the most potent molecules that man has ever created. As a result of it, just a little tiny bit of LSD goes a very long way. And I think that's why microdosing LSD has caught on so quickly is because in the past, we associated LSD use with these crazy wild visions and the uncontrollable because it was so strong. Now that people understand that we can just take tiny bits of it, and we really don't have almost overwhelming, confusing experience, it makes it a bit more accessible. Whereas with some of the plant psychedelics, Ayahuasca... Specifically Ayahuasca and mushrooms it's hard to take too much Ayahuasca, or too many mushrooms meaning like, "Yeah, you can eat 30 grams of mushrooms" but you're gonna be vomiting and sick and it's just not gonna be a pleasant experience.

0:58:23 PA: LSD because it's man-made, it's semi-synthetic is a little bit easier to over-consume. At the same time, at low amounts, it's probably the most accessible for a first time person, because it has a very uplifting, energetic, smiley effect moreso than some of these plant medicines which are more balanced and can get negative as well as the positive. The other question is, "if you're having a bad trip what's the best remedy?" I think one... The best remedy to prevent a bad trip, is to make sure that you pay attention to set and setting, that you create an appropriate container that you do the experience with someone who you really know well, who cares about you, who can be there for you. I think that's the best remedy in terms of prevention. However, even those who pay attention to all the necessary things for set and setting the container still have bad trips. So I think, typically the best thing if you're in the moment, in the middle of a bad trip is to breathe through it, just to breathe through it, and ideally, you'll have find a guide or a sitter who will remind you, you're not dying. Who will remind you, things will be okay, who will hug you, who will hold you, who will just keep you grounded, present and breathing through the experience in itself because typically, the best way to overcome a bad trip is just to accept, to accept things as they are, rather than trying to change our external reality to how we think it should be.

0:59:46 PA: So the best way to prevent a bad trip is find a guide or a sitter, who is compassionate, and caring, and who can be there for you, and if you find yourself in the midst of a bad trip, to try to accept it and breathe through it. So those are the questions for this week, about psychedelics. Please, if you have any other questions go to our Facebook page or respond to us on Twitter. Our Twitter handle is @ThirdWaveishere, Facebook, if you just search, "Third Wave" on Facebook, you will find us, and you can submit your questions on our page for the podcast. If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave a review on iTunes. That's it, thanks so much for tuning in.

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