July Updates!

I don’t usually do personal updates on this blog, but since most of my writing is scattered elsewhere throughout the psychedelic community, it makes sense for this to be a bit of a hub for my informal thoughts, in addition to my favourite pieces of writing.

The big news is that I’ll be presenting a small talk at Breaking Convention this year – the first time I’ll be discussing a psychedelic topic at a conference. I’m excited about it, especially because the topic is Salvia, the first psychedelic I ever experienced, and a truly special plant. Hopefully the talk will be online afterwards, and I’ll share it here.

I’ve also been working as the content manager for EntheoNation for the past two months, an opportunity I’m really grateful for, considering my departure from The Third Wave was a fairly risky decision! It’s been fun so far, and the feel of the site is a lot more spiritual and conscientious than The Third Wave was, which suits me fine.

EntheoNation also gave me the opportunity to travel to the World Ayahuasca Conference last month, the content of which was both fascinating and worrying in equal measures. I hope to write about it sometime soon.

An exciting project I’ve just started working on is a new campaign for the UK government to reschedule psilocybin, to allow for research into its therapeutic potential. Our website is here, and we plan on holding some fundraising events in the near future.

Finally, to continue the unashamedly egoic theme of this post, a short list of the things that are mostly on my mind at the moment:

  • I think the psychedelic community will shortly be seeing a big division between the more social-justice minded components and the more corporate/entitled. Compass Pathways, for example, is gaining a lot of support in its effort to monetise and monopolise psilocybin therapy. More and more people seem to think that tripping harder and harder will solve social problems such as oppression, prejudice, and appropriation. Spiritual bypass is going to be a huge issue.
  • People thinking they can speak for others is dangerous. I’m seeing this especially with Bia Labate and Chacruna, who seem to be making decisions on the behalf of marginalised people without any real understanding of the issues, or respect for their autonomy. Again, we need to be careful about who is at the head of our community, to avoid corporatisation and monopolisation that leaves the most vulnerable people behind.
  • Psychedelic researchers are playing philosophers. There seems to be a rise in the number of scientists (and psychedelic scientists) who are interpreting their results in dogmatic ways, in order to confirm their philosophical leanings. The threat of ontological physicalism is real, and pervasive. Scientists forget what the scientific method actually is, and instead become religious leaders. This has been happening for a long time in western science, but has crept into psychedelic academia too.

That’s all for now! Stay tuned and I’ll aim to keep posting the occasional article and update. Don’t forget to follow me on twitter, where I’m more active (and more angry).

 

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