The Second Coming of Psychedelics – Inside the Mind-Tripping, Soul-Changing, Ground-Shifting, 21st Century Therapy.

Picture: Sascha Grabow (CC)

Ancient plant healing meets the ails of a generation ruined by War.

Via Spirituality & Health:

Ric Godfrey had the shakes. At night, his body temperature would drop and he’d start to tremble. During the day, he was jumpy. He was always looking around, always on edge. His vibe scared the people around him. He couldn’t hang on to a job.

He started drinking and drugging, anything to numb out.

Years passed before a Department of Veterans Affairs counselor told him he had severe posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The former Marine had spent the early 1990s interrogating prisoners in Kuwait. Years later, he was still playing out the Persian Gulf War.

Counseling helped a little, but the symptoms continued. He went to rehab for his substance abuse, then tried Alcoholics Anonymous. “That went on for 10 years,” he said. “I don’t know how many times I hit rock bottom.”

Then one of his Seattle neighbors—a woman who also suffered from PTSD—told him about a group of veterans who were going down to Peru to try a psychedelic drug called ayahuasca, a jungle vine that is brewed into a tea. Indigenous Peruvians called it “sacred medicine.” A wealthy veteran had started a healing center in South America and would pay all his expenses.


Read more at Spirituality & Health magazine.

16 Comments on "The Second Coming of Psychedelics – Inside the Mind-Tripping, Soul-Changing, Ground-Shifting, 21st Century Therapy."

  1. Ted Heistman | Jan 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm |

    I hope this trend is a trend of shamanism and not just the idea of using psychedelics to treat addiction.
    Outside of the context of shamanism, I’m not sure it really does anything. I mean you need some type of Spiritual context in order to integrate these experiences and visions.

    Conversely if you have this context, you can journey without the use of psychedelics, using other techniques such as drumming, meditation, visualization.

    For example,There is an account that may be apocryphal of Francis Crick taking LSD and discovering the double helical structure of DNA, yet he appears to have died a staunch materialist. He was motivated by wanting to “nail the final nail in the coffin of vitalism.” “Vitalism” is basically the same concept as “panpsychism” or animism, which is the underlying basis of shamanism.

    So my point is I don’t see psychedelics as wonder drugs for curing addiction in and of themselves. That just smacks of the whole western idea of taking a pill to treat ills of the psyche.

    • well you may have no heard about ibogaine. read about it

    • Trevor Smith | Jan 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm |

      I don’t see them as a wonder cure either. The context/set/setting is incredibly important.

      But just because not everyone takes them in the set/setting YOU think is best doesn’t mean they won’t benefit from it: your idea that people won’t benefit from them outside of a shamanic context is completely incorrect. Have you seen the john hopkins study on mushrooms? Thousands if not millions of people have taken psychedelics now outside of shamanistic circles and have had positive healing experiences.

      I’m not bashing shamanism. Its just that people often have an overly romanticized view of this whole subject. Many actually think that no one can drink ayahuasca without a shaman and all sorts of other malarkey.

      People take things in their personal-spiritual contexts all the time, which often have nothing to do with traditional approaches to the plant their using, and can still benefit tremendously from the experience. And then there is many who aren’t spiritually inclined at all and also end up benefiting immensely from their experiences. The world isn’t so black and white my friend

    • Yes, there is nothing like the Godly glory of a highly profitable life time prescription to high cost patented pharmaceuticals that only just barely treat the symptoms.
      Ban all cures now, especially the cheap ones.
      Somehow the bullshit is becoming all to apparent and people just are not believing that corporate marketing bullshit any more, regardless of the lies and corruption protecting it and blocking cures from becoming available.

  2. Ted Heistman | Jan 15, 2013 at 4:17 pm |

    I mean I wish the veteran guy in the story all the best. I am talking about paragraphs like this:

    “Psychedelic drugs are back. Not that they ever really went away. You could always find them on the street, in the psychedelic underground, and along the more enlightened edges of the drug culture. What’s new is that these powerful mind-altering substances are coming out of the drug counterculture and back into the mainstream laboratories of some of the world’s leading universities and medical centers. Research projects and pilot studies at Johns Hopkins, Harvard, Purdue University, and the University of California, Los Angeles, are probing their mind-altering mysteries and healing powers. Psychedelic drugs like psilocybin and Ecstasy are still illegal for street use and cannot be legally prescribed by doctors, but university administrators, government regulatory agencies, and private donors are once again giving the stamp of approval—and the money needed—for research into beneficial uses for this “sacred medicine.”

    I just don’t see these researchers not trying to look at things in a reductionist materialist way outside of the context of spirituality.

  3. Ted Heistman | Jan 15, 2013 at 4:33 pm |

    DK, I’ve read quite a bit about Ibogaine actually. I think its the Bwiti that does the healing.

    • Trevor Smith | Jan 15, 2013 at 5:51 pm |

      I’ve spoken with several people with medical issues who have taken iboga in the comfort of their own home (they had a lot of experience with other psychedelics) and they benefited tremendously from it, both physically and psychologically.

    • Monkey See Monkey Do | Jan 16, 2013 at 4:04 am |

      Like many other psychedelic shaman cultures the Bwiti are a complex and knowledgeable people. But as i’m sure you know (from your previous posts), psycho-active drugs require phenomenological analysis, meaning a major component of its understanding is experiential and cant be read about.

      • That’s not my point, that I have experiential knowledge of Ibogaine through reading. he asked me if I read about it. The point is, If what I read is true, the plant helper, puts you in touch with an ancestral spirit, this old Stern Grandfatherly dude. He gives you some tough love and advice and probably the power, to get off drugs.

        So its shamanism basically. Getting guidance and power from a Spirit Helper, through the aid of a plant helper.

        • Trevor Smith | Jan 16, 2013 at 3:36 pm |

          Actually iboga helps with addiction in several ways. IIts not just the context, as you claim. Its just a plain fact that people have benefited greatly from it without taking it with the bwiti- although i’m sure thats spectacular to. Ibogaine actually creates a chemical called nor-ibogaine that remains in the brains months after the experience and helps with the addiction recovery process

          • All the ancedotes of healing in the story involve some type of spirituality. Why do you think that is if that aspect is completely immaterial to the use of these substances?

          • Trevor Smith | Jan 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm |

            when the hell did i even say that? Stop putting words in my mouth. I NEVER SAID SPIRITUALITY IS’NT AN IMPORTANT PART OF HEALING

          • Trevor Smith | Jan 17, 2013 at 12:58 pm |

            Christ man… Learn to stop taking words so literally and narrowly. Half of the posts i see from you are filled with projections! I regularly practice shamanism. But even people who do that can acknowledge that these plant spirits do involve chemical aspects that have important affects on us. Just like how the MAOI in ayahuasca are known to be powerful in fighting depression. There is legit studies and many therapy centers who are having great success. I’m not going to spoon feed because your just lazy and don’t want to look up things that contradict your view, just google it. I never said spirituality/shamanism isn’t important. On the contrary, i said its hugely important. But i also said that your wrong in thinking people who don’t take it with the bwiti won’t benefit. Thats just a retarded notion. These things are multi-faceted plant medicines.

          • I think we mosty agree. But you are still mad at me because I said that vegan guy (that says the left brain is evil and claims to have stayed awake for a month or whatever) looks like a Meth head. Call it projection if you want. LOL!

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