Harm Reduction

Transcript: Psychedelics and Immunology Webinar – Paul Austin

The Third Wave · April 13th, 2020

Please enjoy this transcript of the Psychedelics and Immunology Webinar.

Paul Austin joins Talia Eisenberg, founder of Holistic Healer Collective, to discuss psychedelics and how they can help with immunity and immune function.

In this webinar we talk about:

  • Staying healthy, staying sane and in a regulated parasympathetic state during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • How microdosing can help you make much better decisions, embrace the concept of self-love, and achieve discipline.
  • How psychedelics can help with alcoholism, PTSD, addiction and depression.

02:41 Talia: Hi Paul, this is Talia. Hi everyone.

02:54 PA: Hi Talia.

02:55 Talia: Hi, we may have lost some people sorry about that, that was weird, but should we start now or wait a few minutes?

03:03 PA: We can start now. I think Ashely was gonna maybe making an introduction and then we could get going.

03:10 Talia: Ashley is on a call, figuring something out. So, I’ll make an introduction for you.

03:15 PA: Okay.

03:16 Talia: So we thought We are the holistic healer Collective and we have put together a series of online sessions around healing and the planet at this time and how as a species, we can work together. And Paul is someone that I met not to… Short time ago but I feel very kindred to him, and he’s leading a movement around psychedelics microdosing and human self-actualization, and it’s perfect for these days, especially with corona virus and issues of immunology. So Paul is here to tell us more about that.

04:06 PA: Cool, thank you Talia. I think more than anything. I’m not gonna sit up here top because I think there are… There’s seven of us. So, I would consider this more an opportunity to ask questions, and those questions could be about microdosing those questions could be about as we’re in quarantine for the foreseeable future or to say how long, what it looks like to incorporate a plant medicine practice into our routine, whether that’s micro or maybe higher doses with mushrooms or other plant medicines. How I’m happy to answer questions and how psychedelics relate to immunology.

04:44 Speaker 6: I think it’s safe to say that…

04:46 PA: So as we’re learning from research on psychedelics that can help with immunity, and immune function, so I’m happy to talk a little bit about that and then just give any sort of tips or advice or thoughts on Staying healthy, staying sane staying regulated. Because all of us, I assume are we have either friends or family members who will be impacted by COVID-19 even if we aren’t directly impacted by it. So just what’s a process what’s a practice to be able to stay regulated and grounded even when it seems like the world is falling apart a little bit, because it sort of is.

05:25 PA: So I’m just here to offer insight and help on that. So most of you, from what I can tell, are muted at this point in time, there a few of you that are unmuted. I’ll ask you to keep yourself muted just throughout the session, and then with any questions, just unmute yourself, and go ahead and ask the question, and you can just speak up through the Zoom platform, and say it or you’re also free to write in the chat box. So here’s the chat box, if you wanna just write a question that I can answer for interview about… Again, psychedelics microdosing immunology. Staying in a regulated parasympathetic state, anything like this. I’m happy to go into. Who wants to start? I know, Talia do you have any questions?

06:18 Talia: I think it’d be great to start with sort of your background, how you came to this and how microdosing has helped you on a personal level, the improvements that you’ve seen with yourself and then how you’ve gotten interested in bringing this to the world. Obviously, it’s worked so well for you. Now, this is your life’s mission.

06:38 PA: Yeah, so a brief back story. Thank you, actually, great question. A brief back story about who I am. So, I’m 29 now, about 10 years ago, I did LSD, and Psilocybin mushrooms for the first time at much higher doses in where I grew up in Michigan, outside hiking with friends. And after those experiences, noticed that I made much better decisions for the week or two weeks after those high dose experiences so I ate healthier, I exercised more, I was more disciplined when it came to the school work that I was doing. It was just this concept of self-love was easier. It was easier to nourish myself and take really good care of myself in that process. And through taking good care of myself, I was more present with other people, it was easier for me to connect, to relate, to not be so in my head and be more out and in dialogue. And so I had those early experiences, they were super helpful and informative, but at that time I didn’t know a lot about psychedelics. I assumed what I was doing was unhealthy for me. I assumed because psychedelics were illegal, that I was harming myself in some ways, and it was just nice that the feelings that were coming were just nice, but I was sort of at this paradox of this feels really good, I’m making much better decisions, I’m getting clarity about where I’m going and the government or the authority figures who I deem to have expertise are telling me that this is really bad for me.

08:03 PA: So I was sort of stuck at a cross-roads. About five years later, I was living in Thailand bootstrapping my first business, and noticed that a guy named Tim Ferriss, who wrote a book called “The 4-Hour Workweek“, has a big podcast. He was starting to publish information about psychedelics, and so I was 24 at the time, I looked back into it, and I was like, “Holy shit. There’s so much research and information about psychedelics that just isn’t publicly known.” So I ended up reading 15 or 20 books, going through a lot of clinical papers trying to understand how psychedelics can help with health and well-being, with health and wellness, and just started to understand like, wow, there’s so much research and how it helps with alcoholism and PTSD and addiction and depression and you name it. You name it, psychedelics were seeming to help with it. So I just started to work with microdosing.

08:53 PA: I started to dig into more like about how it could be integrated into my lifestyle as part of a ritual, and a routine, just like I integrate meditation or yoga or fasting or sometimes a ketogenic diet or CrossFit, functional fitness, anything. It was like psychedelics are just another tool in the tool kit of feeling healthy and well and vibrant and alive. And so then, that in form starting Third Wave which is an educational platform, so more people could recognize that these are really beneficial substances, and a lot of the stigma is unnecessary, it’s not needed. And also, I started a Psilocybin retreat center in the Netherlands called Synthesis. Because Psilocybin is legal there, we could do legal retreats with people, and so we facilitated retreats for almost 1000 people at this point at Synthesis. We reach about a half million people every month through Third Wave, with our educational content. We have a podcast, about 80 podcasts published. I speak about this topic largely from a business and tech perspective, how psychedelics can help with leadership and creativity but also from a wellness perspective, just because it’s been part of my journey. So, at some context, I’m happy to go further into that based on any questions that all of you have about that lot. Okay.

[pause]

10:15 PA: And many of you are muted, so you’ll have to unmute yourself to ask any question.

[pause]

10:46 PA: Any questions? I mean, if there aren’t any questions…

10:48 Brandon: I have a follow-up question.

10:50 PA: Thank you.

10:53 Brandon: Fellow, I would say, psychonaut exploring, going deeper into taking much more higher substances in the past, and slowly trickling off and finding more studies in the microdosing area. I’ve been following your stuff for a few years, what have the studies been saying though in comparison to having those heroic dose trips to doing those maybe gradual over time microdosing trips or I don’t know what you would call those scenarios, but what have been the difference between the two? And some people have such more profound movements on one big one or one big experience to them gradual over time. So, what’s the difference? What are some of the studies been showing?

11:45 PA: Yeah, great question. So what’s the difference in the research between high doses of psychedelics and microdosing in psychedelics, right? Or something like that.

11:52 Brandon: Over a long period of time as well. Like has there been a difference that, oh we should be taking these over a long period of time, or is it just, hey, once a year, every six months kind of thing?

12:02 PA: Great question. So the analogy, I’ll first start with an analogy and then I’ll go into what we know from a research perspective. So, from an analogy perspective, think of like going to the dentist. Maybe you’ve heard me talk about this before but I’m not sure, but every six months, we go to the dentist, we get a deep clean. We do everything we need to do from a hygienic perspective to just get that super clean, and then every day twice a day at home, we floss, we brush our teeth, we use mouthwash, right? So, from an analogy perspective, the high dose, the peak experience, the sort of the big opening, that’s like going to the dentist every so often. We don’t do that consistently, but it’s every so often. And microdosing…

12:40 PA: In or a practice like yoga and meditation is like the practice. Every day of flossing and brushing your teeth to stay regulated, to stay in a parasympathetic state, to stay grounded and rooted in all these. Now when we look at research, we have a lot of research showing that occasional high dose psychedelic use is perfectly healthy and fine. So we have research dating back from the 1950s. So over 70 years showing people who even did psychedelics for many many many many years, high doses occasional, there’s been no heart issues, there’s been no central nervous system issues. There’s been no physical issues with that. There are some mental and emotional issues, but that’s largely contained to people who are predisposed to psychosis and schizophrenia. In terms of microdosing, microdosing is fairly new. So microdosing came about in 2011 in a book called “The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide“, which is a great introduction to psychedelics. And in that book Jim Fadiman wrote a chapter on microdosing and that’s when it started to take off. So this is only been around for about eight years.

13:40 PA: A lot of the research that’s been done so far has been surveys and in some of the clinical research it’s been shown that like microdosing helps with depression, microdosing helps with mood, microdosing helps with energetic levels, but there’s no conclusive data or research showing long-term efficacy data in terms of if you were to microdose over a span of five years, what would the result of that be. So for that reason when I talk about microdosing my preference… The way that I started microdosing was with LSD. I microdosed LSD for twice a week for about seven months. This is back in 2015. And what I’ve noticed is a lot of people who are coming to microdosing are doing so because they’re transitioning off of conventional pharmaceuticals and LSD is a closer, it’s more of a mimic to conventional pharmaceuticals because it’s a semi-synthetic but the goal I think for many people is how do you start a practice with plant medicine, psilocybin and mushrooms in particular, because that’s much more sustainable and healthy in the long term. It’s better in particular when we’re talking about immunology in the time of COVID-19. Psilocybin is highly anti-inflammatory.

14:49 PA: And we know that inflammation is a significant factor in how well our immune systems do and we can look at inflammation in two ways. We look at chronic inflammation and we look at acute inflammation. Chronic inflammation is tied to the lifestyle choices that we make, it’s tied to our diets, it’s tied to our sleep patterns. It’s tied to our exercise. It’s tied to how much sun we get. It’s tied to our meditation practice, how we stay in a parasympathetic state and the goal is always keep chronic inflammation as low as possible, and you can keep chronic inflammation as low as possible through number one: Great sleep, seven to eight hours of sleep every night. I wear an Oura ring, O-U-R-A. Which I will type in, which is fantastic. It’s a thing that helps you to track your REM sleep, your deep sleep, your heart rate variability. All these things which helps you to understand patterns for your sleep patterns. The other thing that helps is a low inflammation diet. So it’s important to know that a ketogenic diet is very healthy for inflammation, fasting. I’m only gonna speak for men at this point. Fasting for men is really good for inflammation; women, it’s a bit of a different thing because there’s a hormonal difference between men and women.

16:05 PA: The other things to keep in mind or like vegetable oils are gonna be bad for chronic inflammation. So Oat milk for example, has is largely vegetable oil, grapeseed oil. You’ll see it as the main ingredient, that’s highly inflammatory that will lead to chronic inflammation. As will various other like eating unrefined grains, eating various other things that are just leading to chronic inflammation, we wanna keep that as low as possible. Microdosing helps lowering chronic inflammation. High doses help with lowering chronic inflammation and that helps us to stay in a parasympathetic state, which is a regulated emotionally in tune state. Now, there’s also acute inflammation. Acute inflammation is when you cut yourself and then there needs to be something that helps to heal that, that’s acute inflammation. So essentially what you want to do is COVID-19, something like a virus that’s when your body needs to respond with an acute inflammatory response to defeat it and destroy it and it can only respond with an acute inflammatory response if your chronic inflammation is really really low because then it has the energy and the ability to go in and attack it and kill it and eliminate it as fast as possible.

17:19 PA: So for thinking about viruses, for thinking about cold, for thinking about anytime you get sick, the lower you keep your chronic inflammation through great sleep, through a healthy diet, that’s a low inflammatory diet, through exercise, through sunlight and vitamin D, through meditation, through micro dosing then any acute inflammatory response you’re gonna kill that right away. It’s gonna be much easier to address it and attack. So I think yeah, that’s a little bit going deeper in into your question, Brandon.

17:54 Brandon: I have no problem keeping it going. What are some of these things that the variables that when you guys do these studies or experiments, like what controls are you going after to come after these signal when you’re giving people a microdoses or macrodose or things in these experiments?

18:13 PA: So I’m not a researcher. So we do some survey based research through Third Wave. I’ve helped with other research projects. Usually they’ll do it in terms of a placebo controlled person. So they’ll have people who are microdosing, they’ll have people who aren’t micro dosing and then they’ll compare the two and they will usually give a placebo to the randomized controlled trial. So that’s partly some others is just a lot of survey based research right now because psychedelics are illegal. It’s prohibitively expensive to do research. So that’s also been one of the issues with getting more and more information and data out about microdosing, about high doses is its funding is the core issue. Anyone else. Brandon? I’ll come back to you. I wanna see if anyone else has any other questions that are popping up here as we’re talking about these topics.

19:16 Talia: Pam.

19:21 PA: Did Pam wanna say something? Pam, do you wanna say something? You have something? No?

19:34 Pam: Oh, does somebody want me to say something? It’s Pam. My cat’s staying…

19:41 PA: I didn’t know if you had a question, that’s all.

19:42 Pam: Oh, let’s see. The only kind of things I think about is when I actually did psychedelics in the 70s, they were pretty good, I should have to say. And it was both LSD and mushrooms. And it’s like back then, I’m in my 60s so back then, when I did those then, it really changed how I look at the world and myself and others, probably, for the rest of my life. So when I microdosed a couple weeks ago, I just wanted to see what it was like again 40 years later or 50 years… Yeah, 40 years later. And it was just the same. It’s like I felt like I did it then, and I did it in a pretty interesting way with friends and nature, and that kind of thing. It wasn’t like a party with Boone’s Farm Wine or anything, it was actually… We did it and we would talk and we would go through our journeys or whatever you call them, and it changed me. And at this point, I am a therapist now, at this point, I wanted to see how this can be used for clients, that kind of thing. I’m not going to be doing that with clients, but I wanna understand what their options are in regulating. You talked about self-regulation, regulating themselves and just getting to where they wanna be. So that’s why I tried it a couple weeks ago. So that’s just what I’m thinking about right now as you’re talking.

21:25 PA: Cool, I love that! I’ll go a little… So I can talk a little bit about psychedelic therapy. How’s that sound?

21:31 Pam: Okay, good.

21:31 PA: And in terms of the research, in terms of what’s been going on. [chuckle] Oh, look at that. Oh, it’s obviously cute.

21:40 Pam: Thank you. [chuckle]

21:44 PA: So psychedelic therapy, there’s been, I would say two main research trials that have been… Three main research trials that have been going on in the United States for the efficacy of psychedelic therapy. And this is all higher doses at this point in time. So one is MDMA, also called Molly, the pure form of MDMA for PTSD. So what’s great about MDMA is when it’s used within a therapeutic context, it helps people feel very, very, very safe. So when it’s used in conjunction with psychotherapy, essentially, PTSD is an acute trauma, usually, emotional trauma. And so, it’s difficult for people when they have that acute emotional trauma to go back and to recall it, specifically, because they have a fear response. Their amygdala tightens up and they just can’t do it without becoming overwhelmed.

22:35 PA: So essentially, what MDMA does is it allows the amygdala to loosen and allows people to go back into their emotional psyche history, like war veterans or sexual assault survivors, and it allows them to process that trauma to act as a catharsis, and then be able to integrate it so that they can heal from PTSD. So they’ve done clinical research with MDMA for PTSD and 70% of people healed and cured their PTSD after about the initial 12-week session with, I think, three MDMA sessions. And then checking in over a year later, 70% have been cured from PTSD, which is about two to three times as… No, three to four times better than traditional ways of healing PTSD. So that’s one psychedelic therapy element to be aware of.

23:29 PA: The other is psilocybin, which is the active ingredient in psilocybin mushrooms, magic mushrooms. Psilocybin has been used for alcoholism and end-of-life anxiety and treatment-resistant depression. And psilocybin is a little bit different than MDMA. MDMA allows the catharsis, allows the ability to process emotional trauma. Psilocybin is better for the mystical experience, for the peak experience, for the opening where basically, you become one with whatever it is that is around you, this unitive mystical experience. And from that insight, you then can go, “Oh!” A, death is nothing to be afraid of. Death is just… It’s passing beyond the veil, it’s passing with what’s next, which I think is really important to keep in mind, especially with COVID-19.

24:15 PA: We’re going to be seeing a lot of death in the coming months. Significant death in the coming year-and-a-half, I would say, because of COVID-19, but more because of the second and third order consequences that there could be potentially massive civil unrest, massive unemployment. There could be a failure of state governments. So I think also, this sense of: How do we come to terms with death as a culture? Particularly, in American culture, which has kept this repressed for so long, we just don’t talk about it here. We put our old people in nursing homes and we just say, “We don’t wanna get away.” So there’s also that process culturally, How do we come to terms with death? How do we come to terms with the ending of life? And psychedelics, high doses, in particular, can also help with that.

25:01 PA: And then when that fear is overcome, then people notice it’s much easier to make choices and decisions that align with their sense of self, with their secure, grounded, rooted sense of self. So that could just be making better lifestyle decisions like the food that we eat and then what we put into our bodies and how we exercise and treat ourselves. It could be, oftentimes, it’s relationships in our lives, so cutting off toxic relationships, cutting off relationships that are taking energy from us that don’t serve us to some capacity. So that’s also what a lot of people have insight on. And then it’s a lot of spiritual stuff. I think the larger crisis that we’ve been going through as a culture is existential in nature. Well, why do we live? What’s the purpose? For many years, especially in the States and other Western countries, Christianity provided that structure in terms of this is why we live, this is our purpose, it’s to serve God, it’s to be a disciple of Jesus, etcetera, etcetera.

26:03 PA: And what a lot of people are realizing is they’re kind of going into atheism from that. And what psychedelics are helping to do is helping to bring back, I would say a more maybe developed approach to a spiritual practice, where there’s an understanding of these religions, and the parables that come from Christianity, and Buddhism and Islam, and all the major world religions. And then there’s also a sense of the subjective spiritual experience. What do I believe? What’s important to me? Why am I here? And psychedelics are just helping to provide insights for that individual awakening that a lot of people are starting to go.

26:49 Pam: Yeah, thank you. I mean, what I’m hearing is there’s this convergence of psychology, I think cognitive behavioral therapy can only take people so far. And then this is a truly experiential that people can go through that it’s not like the therapy they’re doing isn’t good or doesn’t further them along on their path. But this is almost an adjunct or a next step. And what I like everything I’ve heard you say, it’s like, sounds like years of what I’ve studied with neuropsychology, and all the different modalities that I’ve learned through the years. And all I know is, what I’m hearing from you is you’re reading the right things. You’re experiencing the right things, you’re talking to me like how my colleagues that have PhDs in psychology talks, so I’m really appreciative, so thank you.

27:50 PA: Thank you. And it’s funny, there was just an article that popped up in Aeon. Which I’m happy to share after this and it talked about exactly what the limitations of CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy. And why depth therapy is so useful and necessary. So more therapy that’s rooted in union psychology, rather than maybe a more Freudian approach or whatever else could be.

28:15 Pam: Yeah, Freud was right about a few things. He’s really the one that started things which is kind of interesting. But yeah, we’ve come a long way from them. And I do like what you’re talking about like what this COVID-19 is bringing up for everybody is the bottom line, which is death and facing our own death. Which is the base of everything, it’s the base of most of our fears.

28:37 PA: Mortality. And… Things get very honest is what I’ve noticed it’s like, I’ll give an example. I was living in Oakland [laughter] for the last nine months. And I moved there in May and was like, “Is this really the place I wanna write out of quarantine?” And I made the decision to pack up all my things within 24 hours in book flight to Miami ’cause I have a close friend here, who we can get a place together and someone who I’m romantically interested in. So it was like, “That’s where I want my energy to be.” Was either there in my parents’ space in Michigan I was like, “I’m not, I’m doing that.” So I think we get very honest and I’ve noticed this with business partners in the last week or two, there’s a lot of triggers coming up. And so I think that’s another thing to be aware of for any other therapists or now is not a good time to take things personal for any of us. There’s a lot of fear, there’s a lot of anxiety, there’s a lot of triggers, there’s a lot of attachment wounds, there’s a lot of things that are gonna be coming up into the collective and into our families. And that’s where it’s so useful to go, “Well, how can I stay grounded in my practice, so I can just help to be absorb and mirror some of these things as a way to help my family and friends, and loved ones to continue to grow and develop in their own process.”

30:01 Pam: Yeah, that’s beautiful. I feel like I’m talking too much. I’m gonna quit talking now, but thank you for everything you said. I’m very inspired by you this morning.

30:11 PA: Thank you, Pam. I appreciate that.

30:12 Pam: You’re welcome.

30:14 PA: All right. Ashley had asked a couple of base level questions. Do we have any other questions that are popping up? I wanna make sure we can keep this as spontaneous as possible.

30:23 Chris: Yeah, I’ve got a question for you.

30:25 PA: Yeah.

30:28 Chris: So over the last, I would say, 20 years or so, I’ve had many different psychedelic journeys that have been all amazing in different ways. But I’ve never experienced with microdosing. And so I guess my question is, from a more like practical standpoint, what does a typical microdosing protocol look like? And then also, aside from the sort of anti-inflammatory effects and the other things that you see from a physiological perspective, what are kind of the benefits you get from maybe an emotional perspective or a creative perspective, or things like that?

31:03 PA: And what’s your name?

31:05 Chris: My name is Chris.

31:06 PA: Chris, great. Thanks Chris for the question. So, I’ll preface this for saying, “Go to third wave after thethirdwave.co. CO is the website, thethirdwave.co we have microdosing guides and information. Anything I mentioned today, you’ll be able to find there. We also have a course with the community of people who you can connect with and talk to about this. So there’s lots of support. Microdosing, the basics of it is you’re taking about a 10th of a regular dose. So if a regular dose of LSD is a 100 micrograms with LSD microdosing, you’re taking 10 micrograms. If a regular dose in mushrooms is let’s say two to three grams, a micro dose is 0.2 to 0.3 grams. And the idea is you do that two or three times a week. And you go and you basically observe and pay attention to how does your baseline change from day one to day 30? So we know for a high dose experience, there’s gonna be a significant change from day one to day two ’cause you’re having that peak experience that opening. With microdosing were more look at how is microdosing helping us on an ongoing basis from day one to day 30 doing it two or three times a week. So I would say three things to pay attention to in that process that you observe. One is your physical well-being. How was your sleep? And I mentioned this earlier, but the Oura ring is great to track and measure sleep. How is your diet? How are you eating? Are you making better food decisions? Are you making better exercise decisions?

32:39 PA: So that’s one thing, physical. The next thing is, what I would call mental. How is your cognitive function? Are you focused? Can you stay present with the work that you’re doing? How is your creativity, right? And usually what microdosing does is it helps with creativity, it helps with focus, it helps with the concept called flow. So, flow is this idea of being in the zone, you’re really in the zone, and you can just sort of woosh woosh woosh woosh woosh with the work that you’re doing and microdosing can help with facilitating us once there. So that’s the mental part. And then there’s the emotional part. And the emotional part is really tied to presence. Just like mindfulness meditation or yoga or breath work is helping us to facilitate presence. Yeah, I like that, actually. So, it’s helping us to facilitate more presence. When we’re more present, we’re more regulated, we’re in a more of a parasympathetic state. We can make better choices and decisions because we’re in a parasympathetic state.

33:39 PA: We’re not just reacting to things, but we’re responding with our whole sense of self to whatever it is that’s calling them. And then because it helps with presence, then when we’re more present, the ego is less likely to flare up in reaction, so the ego can stay grounded and rooted, meaning it’s more adaptable. You become more adaptable, you become more open, you become more willing to make new choices and decisions because they’re not threatening some wounded part of you. Through that emotional processing that wounded part of you is continuing to be integrated, more and more in an outgoing basis. So yeah, I would say that’s kind of the basic gist or overview of my content.

34:20 Chris: That’s super helpful, thank you for that. One follow-up question I have is whether or not you or anybody you know has experienced, or experimented with microdosing and exercise and what sort of the outcome of that is?

34:34 PA: So what… I have, so count me in for that. When I first started microdosing, I was living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and so I was living in Chiang Mai, I was microdosing, and I would go to CrossFit pretty consistently. At that point I was doing CrossFit. And what I noticed is there’s just a better sense of coordination. You’re more in tune with your body, there’s a better sense of coordination, you also have more energy because LSD is dopaminergic. It helps to facilitate more energy just like coffee does. So LSD, microdosing LSD, I sort of joke but it’s like a psychedelic coffee essentially ’cause you’re having more of the stimulation, more of the focus and sort of convergent thinking, but with that sort of creative flare that comes with LSD as a psychedelic. There’s also a couple resources about extreme sport athletes who have been microdosing since the 70s. So this has always been their, sort of like, “Don’t tell anyone this, but this is what we’re doing to have better coordination,” whether it’s snow borders, or skiers or you name it.

35:34 PA: There’s an entire article in the Maps Bulletin. I think 2013, a guy named James Orich wrote a piece about this and talked about extreme sport athletes who were like microdosing and how it’s their sort of secret. So that would be another cool thing to look in. But yeah, definitely what I would recommend would be before you do that first create a relationship with it. So have an idea of how it’s impacting you, what’s an appropriate level, what’s too high, what’s too low, what’s sort of your middle ground. And I would say do that microdosing at home. Well obviously, we’re home. That’s a great thing, we’re all at home now. So microdosing becomes a little bit easier and then as you start to go, “Oh yeah, I can do that,” then go for a run or go for a walk or do some sprints, or lift some weights or whatever it is that you wanna… However you exercise.

36:27 Chris: Well thanks.

36:29 PA: For sure. I like that Talia. So what’s the relationship between us as a Mycelial network and microdosing and psychedelics? So a Mycelial network is what connects mushrooms. So we see the mushrooms and the spores that are all above the grass, but below is a vast Mycelial network that’s connecting mushroom across huge, huge, huge lots of distance. So there’s this fantastic film, which I know Talia is well aware of and maybe many of you are as well, called “Fantastic Fungi”, and “Fantastic Fungi” explains this really well. So Mycelial networks are decentralized. If you kill part of a Mycelial network, all the other parts will survive, so it’s very anti-fragile and adaptable. It grows from chaos. And essentially, what psychedelics are helping us to do are become like those Mycelial networks. So we’re looking at things like how decentralization is becoming more and more common, how peer-to-peer currency like Bitcoin. That sense of a Mycelial network.

37:36 PA: There’s not a top-down structure, right? Industrial era organizations, industrial era ways of being are top-down, right? That’s capitalism, essentially, because that top-down model helped with getting resources into the hands that needed to be on top. And what we’re gonna see with a shift with COVID in particular is the adoption of more and more decentralized networks, because as we’re seeing centralized networks like the United States federal government with a highly incompetent president cannot respond to crisis like this. It’s slow, it takes way too long, there’s not near enough resources, our healthcare systems will likely fail, we don’t have enough ventilators, there’s the second order consequences of the economy of greater income inequality, of greater poverty. All of these are failures on behalf of the system and that’s because the system that we have is fragile.

38:39 PA: If there’s something called a Black Swan event, which is a totally unknown event, and it’s like, “Where the fuck did that come from?” A black swan event will break fragile systems, right? That’s what we have, we have a system that is fragile and that’s why a lot of it is breaking and what we need to build as communities, as individuals, in relations with our family, in relations in the businesses and the organizations that we create our anti-fragile systems. So anti-fragile systems, you have fragile, which is great from chaos and disruption, like we’re seeing right now with COVID-19, we have a fragile system. You have resilient systems, which just go… They don’t break, but they don’t get stronger. So this is South Korea, this is Taiwan, these are governments that have responded to this crisis and have kept most people safe and healthy, but they’re still not able to adapt as quick as they need to and then there’s anti-fragile systems. And anti-fragile systems are, “Oh”, there’s something that happens, a black swan or disruption and then that system grows, becomes stronger and more resilient and more capable to handle future chaos like climate change and major income inequality.

39:55 PA: And so what we need to do is we need to create more anti-fragile systems. There’s a writer, Nassim Taleb, who has written a lot about this. That’s a bit more theoretical, I think, on the ground, how that shows up for us in terms of being more anti-fragile and being more adaptable is again, not taking things personal, right? So how can we act? This is the fundamental core of good therapy. How can I as a person hold space for others in my life? And in holding that space, how can I act as a mirror and not project my own wounding into that space? And so, psychedelics help with that process of holding space, of being open, of being adaptable, of not taking things personal and then if there’s feedback, if there’s criticism, if there’s like, “Oh, I should make this change, because making this change, serves my higher self, it serves my stronger sense of self, my more healthy and secure sense of self”, then it’s just like, yeah, I can make that change because that behavior, that part of me, it’s not actually part of me. It’s a story that I took on, it’s an expectation that I took on.

41:03 PA: And a big part of, again, what COVID is bringing up is what stories aren’t yours? What beliefs have you taken on that aren’t yours? And how can you really come in this time of internal reflection, of self-awareness, of really dropping in with yourself, how can we start to make choices and decisions that are fully ours and that come…

[background conversation]

41:33 Talia: Someone is on their iPhone and needs to mute it. Thank you, yes.

41:36 PA: I got it. I had to do a little bit of searching.

41:38 Talia: Thank you.

41:43 PA: Cool, resilient versus anti-fragile, yeah, Ashley, and this is gonna become big, it will become very, very, much more calming ’cause anti-fragility is how we deal with systemic risk and we’re at a point where we’re facing incredible systemic risk, because all of the infrastructure that we’ve built is not useful for dealing with situations like this. So that’s enough for now. I have five minutes until 1:00 and then I have to go. So are there any kind of final wrap-up questions that we wanna get into for today? And I’m happy to do another one of this. We can probably set up another call, dig deeper into some things around psychedelics. We just had some technical issues with Facebook Live, so that it was just a bit challenging.

[background conversation]

42:34 PA: Thank you, thank you panel.

42:35 Speaker 7: Recommend three times a week.

[background conversation]

42:36 S7: Is there a length of time that that baseline should continue for the three times a week, like let’s say three times a week for three months, six months, or this is just like a consistent always-on thing that you emerge into?

42:50 PA: If you’ve never micro-dosed before, I would say start doing it for just a month, right? Two to three times a week for a month and see how your baseline changes. So journal, have some sort of practice of self-reflection where you can just go, “Oh, I was here for day one and now I’m here in day 30, I’m making, I’m eating healthier, I’m exercising”, or whatever it is. Have that mindfulness to know, how does my baseline change? And then once you know how your baseline changes, then, once you know your baseline changes, then you go, “Oh, so this has been useful and this has been useful because I was doing X, Y, and Z as a result of microdosing.” So then it’s up to you from an intuition perspective, do I keep microdosing or do I move to something else? And what I would highly recommend anyone doing if you still have maybe significant trauma that’s still not dealt with, if you struggle with depression or anxiety or PTSD or anything like that, I would say that first month, get a therapist who’s there for you with that first month, to help ’cause to be honest, for some people, the first month is great, everything feels great, but for others, there’s gonna be things that need to be processed and that will come up.

43:56 PA: And so having a therapist to talk about some of maybe the anxiety or some of the challenges that you’re facing as you’re starting to micro dose, as you’re becoming more aware of who you are, having a therapist to talk to is gonna be great for that. So what we’re gonna do is, with third wave and Talia details later, but I think doing another thing for this is we’re now bringing on therapists for third wave, who you can talk to as you micro-dose for a month from a telehealth perspective. So you’ll have a qualified psychedelic therapist, who essentially, if you wanna micro dose at home, and you want someone who can be there with you during the duration of that, then we’ll provide support for that process.

44:41 Talia: Fantastic. Any more two-minute answers, any questions anyone has?

44:41 Pam: No, but what it brings up for me is that there’s so much more to talk about with this.

44:41 PA: There is.

44:41 Pam: Yeah, and that definitely, you should come back.

44:41 PA: Let’s set up another time, I’ll coordinate with Talia and Ashley and we can maybe even send out an invite for people to sign up.

44:41 Pam: Yeah.

44:41 PA: And that way we could do a webinar about it and that way people can come and I can answer more questions and I’ll come… I just was here to answer questions, but I can prepare a little something and we could work on putting a webinar together about this because I think it would be very useful for a lot of people then.

44:41 Pam: Well, the other thing is, I’m thinking is, I’m on two huge listservs with therapists that are asking for speakers for our symposium which can’t happen now in May, and that you could do some kind of a webinar where you get paid or there’s some kind of a fee where you would get paid.

45:43 PA: I would love that. Let’s try to set that up because I think we’re gonna do some similar stuff with third wave webinars, and all that stuff, so I would love that and that would be great.

45:51 Pam: Alright, so what I can do is I can connect with somebody on this listserve and see if there’s interest there, and then get your information and then pass it on.

46:01 PA: Okay, that’s great, and Talia, I’ll connect with Talia as well, and Ashley, thank you everyone for attending, for being here, for asking questions and we recorded this, so I’m gonna send the recording to Talia and Ashley after if you wanna review and go through some of that and then I’ll look forward to seeing you all hopefully in the next one or at another conference, virtual conference.

46:24 Pam: Alright, stay well.

46:25 Chris: Thank you Paul.

46:25 PA: And you too, all of you stay well, stay healthy.

46:28 Talia: Bye bye.

46:28 PA: Bye.

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