Psychedelics for Mental Illness - Is This the Future of Treatment? with Devon Phillips
Could we use psychedelics for mental illness treatment?
With the micro-dosing burst in silicon valley in 2017, micro-dosing psilocybin and LSD have become quite a hot topic for productivity. Recently, these drugs are being studied to see if they can help in the long term effects of mental illness. Devon Phillips and I talk today about our own experiences with micro dosing and the use of psychedelics for mental illness. This episode does not blatantly advocate for the use of psychedelics but positions it on a case by case basis. There are many steps to take before some people are ready to explore the realm of psychedelics. It's integral that you are ready for the experiences. These substances remain illegal in most countries, and this episode does not advocate, promote or encourage the use of any illegal substances.
TODAY'S GUEST: DEVON PHILLIPS
> Who's Devon Phillips and why he wanted to pioneer the use of Psychedelics for Mental Illnesses (03:40)
> How Psychedelics can help as a form of medication for mental illnesses (18:00)
> Devon shares how LSD works in our body based on research (38:10)
> How was Amy's experience with trying LSD and what're the benefits into her mental health (42:10)
> Important things to keep in mind before you try Psychedelics and why it's important to educate yourself if you thinking of using them (50:00)
> What's the first thing you should do before trying any form of Psychedelics (01:01:51)
E033: Psychedelics for Mental Illness - Is This the Future of Treatment? with Devon Phillips
Could we use psychedelics for mental illness treatment?
On this episode, we will be talking about a very controversial topic. Psychedelics for mental illness. These include psilocybin, aka magic mushroom, LSD, aka acid, ketamine, aka Special K, iowaska, and peyote.
Now, this is quite, as I said, controversial. I do want to give you guys another disclaimer. The views in this episode, although they are held quiet firmly by myself and my guest, are not necessarily the views that we recommend everyone take. There is a lot of research and education around this topic that is doing wonders for the mental health space. However, we are in the stages. Although I personally am quite quick to jump on this bandwagon, as I have seen my own personal results using this form of medication, in most places it is illegal. We do not condone the use of illegal drugs.
If there’s something in this episode that you are interested in learning more about, I really encourage you to do your research. If you’re not sure where to start, or you need someone to talk to, please know that I’m always available to chat. You can find me on Instagram at Amy.Demone. Or you can email me at Amy@theempathyfront.com. Both links will be available in the show notes. Enjoy
Amy: [00:02:18] Welcome back to this episode of What We're Not Talking About.
Today, I have with me Devon Phillips, who is an entrepreneur by accident who wants to bring back constructive conversation and help pioneer the use of psychedelics for mental illness.
Welcome to the show.
Devon: [00:02:38] Thank you, Amy. I'm really happy to be on the show. Very grateful for you having me on.
Amy: [00:02:42] Yes, I am really grateful for you to be on the show as well. And this is a topic that I have just recently started to really dive head first into. I'm really excited to talk to someone who is open to having these conversations so candidly on interview. Because we're still in that stage where we ask, is it legal? Is it not? And most of the time it's not. So it creates some weird, not tension, but vibes let's say, sometimes. Yeah.
Devon: [00:03:16] One hundred percent.
Amy: [00:03:17] Yeah. So, let's start by just learning a little bit about you. You and I, we've talked off this recording. But for all our listeners out there, why don't you give a little overview of who you are and how you came to want to pioneer the use of psychedelics for mental illness in this crazy world that we are living in today?
Devon: [00:03:40] Yeah, I'd love to. So, a big summary, I'm just a huge nerd from West Texas. I was born and raised in Lubbock, Texas. I'm in Denver, Colorado right now, but let's say I'm an accidental entrepreneur. In 2016 I kind of started my entrepreneurial journey. Me and a few buddies had a whole startup in the garage thing.
We had a software company and we specialize in virtual reality merchandising for the auto industry.
In 2018, that company actually got acquired. So I kind of started my journey. We went from about four people to 24 people and it was an amazing time. But during that time I loved who I was around because they were my best friends and I had a really awesome team, but I just wasn't loving what I was doing.
To be fully upfront, I was also taking Adderall, non-prescribed because I was working 15, 16 hour days. So, with Adderall, you just become kind of emotionally monotone, and I just wasn't fully happy. I felt like, “Man, I have everything I want right now. I'm young and I've sold a company and I'm around my best friends.”
That's not what was going on. What I found was, yeah, I didn't really love the company, per se, to technology. I just loved the people, I loved hearing about their problems, their home life, their kids, their families, and I love being out rock for them to solve problems and just, you know, going on their day.
So, I need to find a way where I can be emotionally present, where I can be what everyone needs me to be. But Adderall, that's not an answer. That's not a solution.
So, I had experimented with psychedelics, before, prior to that. But not psychedelics for mental illness. Again, this is 2016 to 2018 ish. So, I'm 21 to 23 years old. But my introduction was with how most people my age are introduced. It was at music festivals, you know, going to ACL or Coachella or whatever.
That was kinda my experience, you know, you taking a tablet of acid and listen to the music.
And that was kinda my approach, so it wasn't like a scientific approach. It was more like, “Hey, you take this to go have fun.” And that was kind of my background in it.
Well, back to my working days. I kind of got into the study of people in Silicon Valley, microdosing psilocybin, which is mushrooms and LSD. It’s not just psychedelics for mental illness, but to work better.
And I would microdose for the day and go to work. I found out what a microdose was in comparison to an actual dose. An actual dose is like a full tab or, you know, two or three and a half grams of mushrooms. Compared to a microdose, which can be 0.1, 0.2 grams of mushrooms, is extremely different. You know, it's almost not even, it's still psychoactive, but you're not tripping, per se.
It's more of a present feel, it’s more of an energy. You're not like Adderall where you're just focused on one thing for 12 hours and nothing else. It's a very present and expansive type of focus. I could see why you would take psychedelics for mental illness.
I started experimenting with that, but for more of a scientific approach of, “Okay, I'm going to journal what I'm doing. I'm going to do it every two days, every three days to see how I feel. I’ll write down how I feel about it.”
“How are my conversations? How did I approach my day, how was my happiness? Could I still get onto people that I needed to get onto when they weren't... You know, where it was? Was I happy-go-lucky? Or was I still me?” That was my journey. Like, “What is me?”
And I really started that question of “Who am I?”
Because I was leaning on a substance to keep me up, which means I wasn't really passionate about what I was doing. So, that wasn't my love. So, who am I? And what do I love? And that kind of started my whole passion. I've always been a neuroscience, cognitive psychology nerd. Anything has to do with human behavior, especially like our evolution and evolution of culture.
That's my jam there. That's what I read all day, every day. So, I was always passionate about that, no matter what I was doing. Then when I added psychedelics for mental illness standpoint and how it helps addiction... My family has addiction to pro. My dad has battled addiction and is in prison still.
I've always really been kind of interested in that topic. And when I kind of put the two things together, I just… One day, I was about 23 years old. And also, side note, the company who bought my company, our parent company, they ended up committing 116 Million dollar fraud, which is the biggest for plan fraud against Ford motor company of all companies they pick forward.
Yeah. Like, “Hey, let's pick a small one.” Right?
So, we go from doing 400, well, my team doing $450 million online, and they're doing about 800 million to the next day, we're going bankrupt and we have to let go of everybody. So, it was all of a sudden boom! Punching it got done. And during that time period, I was like, “Okay, this is terrible in a sense of what's happening, but I don't feel bad. Why do I not feel? I feel bad for my people because I love them. But as far as me, I don't feel bad. I'm losing this.”
And I just had this moment where it's like, “Okay, my, I love people. I love talking to people and solving problems. And I know there's this space in the mental health space where there's no, it's not connecting. The pharma and what's going on is not connecting, where we're actually creating more problems. And my purpose on here is to bring together the psychedelics for mental illness to the medical field and get rid of the stigma. Because I'm an entrepreneur. I've done the whole cell companies.”
“I've been a whole startup success. And a lot of people may think of psychedelics, they think of hippies, they know the enlightenment movement and, you know, going on to Woodstock and stuff. Now I am a great communicator, it’s who I am. I'm biracial.
I come from a very conservative city, but I'm not conservative myself.
So, I know how to talk to both. This is very open-minded. So, I feel like I can be that person that can bring together these two things and help out the people who really need help. It’secause we can't talk about it. It's not just one of the things like, “Oh, it's annoying that we can't talk about it.”
It's one of those things that, because we can't talk about it, millions of people are missing out. And that's the main concern. It’s not that we need to get rid of stigma and that so we can go do it at Coachella. We need to get rid of the stigma because there are people who are battling PTSD, clinical depression, who are literally suffering throughout their lives and not having an opportunity to have this.
So, once I have that realization that this is what I meant to do, I doubled down in my research. I started reaching out to companies who I want to work with. And that's kind of been the whole process. I moved up here to Denver, Colorado. And so that's kind of, in a nutshell, has been a whole process how I got into actual psychedelics for mental illness research and use it myself and for others and kind of my career path.
Amy: [00:09:47] Wow. That is quite the path. And that's very interesting. I also love how the world works. It's like, you know, you're not feeling it. You're like, “Well, maybe I don't want to be here.”
And then it's like, “And now this company that just acquired us is going to commit this fraud and I have no job more or less.”
Devon: [00:10:04] Exactly. Yeah. It's one of those things. It's like, “I'm planning to spend my career here. I'm thinking about the next 10 years.” And it's one of those things too. “Yeah, I don't love it, but if I stick it out for 10 years, I'll be financially free and I can do what I love.”
It's like the reasoning we all tell each other and ourselves. Actually, it's like, “If I just stick this out, I can then be happy because of this.” But it's really because we either, one, don't know what we really want to do, which is hard in itself. Or two, we don't really want to take the leap of faith because you know, to have faith is to be scared.
And that's the opposite in a faith is you have to have fear to have faith. So, yeah, it worked out for me. Again, I'm very empathetic for people who lost their jobs. And I love them to death. They're like family to me. But as far as my career path goes, it really allowed me to approach what I want to do for the rest of my life. Focusing on psychedelics for mental illness.
Amy: [00:10:42] Yeah. And that's so awesome that you were able to do that.
Obviously, there's some horribleness of the company going bankrupt and all that stuff.
I'm not negating that for sure. But when it comes to you, it's great that you were able to leave that in a way that... yeah, it was a bit of a shit show, but at least you got to move forward and almost step into who you knew you could be.
Devon: [00:11:20] Yeah, a hundred percent. The thing is, I love that you said that. Life's a shit show, right? The one thing you and I, I know we just met, but what we share for sure is our humanity, and within humanity is suffering. It's just the fact that everyone suffers in their own relatable way.
Suffering is perceived by one's own person. Whether you are in a third world country right now or not, you can't always compare yourself. You should always be grateful for what you have, but your suffering is your own. And what might be a 10 pain for you, you shouldn't be embarrassed if it's a 10. It hurts for you.
And once I was able to understand that... again, I just get fired up about how much help these things like psilocybin and LSD can be. And ketamine and all these other approaches for psychedelics for mental illness awareness and progression.
Amy: [00:12:07] Yeah, absolutely.
And I know for some, maybe listening to this conversation, or for others that have had the opportunity to listen to other podcasts or YouTube videos or whatever.
When it comes to the use of psychedelics for mental illness in therapy, there's a lot of apprehension. Because we're fed this narrative as children in schools of, you know, there was this person that got high on LSD and jumped off a roof and died.
Devon: [00:12:34] Yeah.
Amy: [00:12:35] I know that one for sure, because that's still sticks with me today. And it's interesting because, we could say that at the base of it, it was for a good thing. Because I do believe that taking psychedelics, when your brain isn't fully developed, does pose added challenges that maybe as adults, we won't have to experience?
Not always, not always. But from my little bit of research, because I'm the type of person that dives head first into it without really looking at anything. So, yeah.
So you, you mentioned that you got started, you know, in a more recreational setting. At what point did you really start focusing on taking psychedelics in the microdose form for your own use?
And also, do you still microdose?
Devon: [00:13:30] Yeah. So, I'd say about three months after the company got acquired, I realized that I don't want to take Adderall or lean on this. I needed to find a way that is, one, more opening, and two, doesn't make me a zombie. And I remember my past psychedelic experiences and I've been through some crazy trips both good and bad.
And again, I remember I'd listened to some podcasts about people in Silicon Valley taking it instead.
That's when I kind of started taking it serious and using kind of a scientific measurement approach. And until this day, yes, I still do microdose, not nearly as much as every two or three days.
I'll go months on end without microdose at all. But I'll take 0.1 or 0.2 grams of psilocybin in the morning, and I will go along with my day. But I'd say that's every... in a month or two, I'll go on a week or two of not doing it and then kind of coming back to it. Because it's not because I want to stop. I don’t always use psychedelics for mental illness either. It’s for focus and being present.
I feel like I need breaks in between. This is one of those things that, no matter what, it's still a substance. And I want to, when I have these conversations with people, it's still... one, it's still illegal in most places. It is decriminalized in a few, which is awesome. You know, we're making the right steps forward.
But at the end of the day, decriminalization doesn't mean legally. And two, again, it's a substance you're still putting in your body. I'm not the spokesperson of psychedelics. And three, like all things you can do it the wrong way. And you do have to approach it with purpose and not just...
I'm not talking down on people who take that music festival. That was me.
And I think it's... the spiritual side of psychedelics makes the music so much better, especially with your group of friends.
There can be benefits, but. I think to use it correctly, you need to, you need to have a purpose in doing it and making sure your settings are right, you have the right people around you. If you have people around you and yeah, you're just doing it for a reason for maybe a soul search or a really find out who you are. Who you want to be. And psychedelics for mental illness could really help.
Amy: [00:15:29] Yeah, absolutely. And I think it really gives a great alternative for people like myself who are very adverse to the... Just the mentality behind taking prescription medication for depression or anxiety.
That being said, and I always like to say this when I talk about it, I'm not knocking this. I know that SSRS and other medication has done absolutely amazing wonders for a lot of individuals out there.
But for me, I was chronically ill as a child, and that was really just a manifestation of my chronic anxiety. I had a traumatic event happened when I was about 5? We're not entirely sure the age, but between like five and eight and my body just couldn't handle it. Then I was constantly getting ear aches and I had Scarlet fever.
I didn't even know you could get Scarlet fever, like in the 2000’s.
I had all these like crazy illnesses happen and I was just constantly filled with antibiotics. Whatever it was wrong, I got an antibiotic. What happened in the long run is that ended up destroying my gut. I'm not going to go into too much about the physiological repercussions of taking antibiotics, mainly because I don't know if they're scientifically found but... Or science founded.
But for me, I noticed that I started getting leaky gut and I have intolerances to whey and gluten and all these things that I never stopped eating. And I'm sure there's people listening to this. They're like, “Well, it might have not been the antibiotics!” And that's true.
But I always saw a correlation. Because what always happened is I would take a bout of antibiotics, I would be okay, and then, almost immediately, I would get another form of sickness. A lot of the times as I hid it, because I knew that the prescription that I would get would just be the same thing that caused the issue in the first place. Now, what does that have to do with anti-depression or anti-anxiety, depression medication?
Well, really, not much when it comes to like the compounds of it.
But when it came to my mentality, I was so terrified of putting another chemical into my body that didn't have enough research on to say that it was, you know, more than 50% effective.
I think that's one of the things that we really don't talk about is if this medication and all the options out there were really as powerful as big Pharma markets them to be. Why is mental illness and anxiety and depression at an all time high?
Devon: [00:18:12] Exactly. Yeah, no. You have things like Prozac, which in a double-blind a lot of times. And again, like you said, we're not knocking anything. Our goal at the end of day is get people happier. Right? Not just happier in like a goofy, false sense. We just want you to feel like you're you, which is sometimes the hardest thing to do. It's and that's one of the problems we're going to face with psychedelics for mental illness and other things.
So, you know, we see studies in the UK and John Hopkins is doing them here too. We'll give psychedelics for mental illness, a psilocybin dosage, we'll give two or three in a three month time period to nicotine addicts. They had like an 80% success rate in over a year, which is nuts compared to the nicotine solutions we have now, which is like a 23% success rate.
But the thing is they only had to take two or three dosages.
Right? So, you're not making money when you feel like that in two or three times. Psychedelics for mental illness are cheap. Psilocybin is a fungus that costs nearly nothing to make, right? Will Pharma even want to take this? It's something that they give someone and say, “Hey, look, you're not have to...”
Pharma’s goal isn't to get you better. Pharma's goal is to get you sick enough to use for the rest of your life. From a business standpoint, I'm sure there are people who work in Pharma who truly do care about people. So, I'm not just trying to say that as a blanket statement, but from the business perspective their goal is what can we give someone that will help somewhat so that they'll buy again, but we'll also be on it for the rest of the life? That's how we get paid.”
So, that's definitely a problem I see in the future. And I don't really know the best way to approach that seen as pharma is literally one of the biggest industries in the world. It's one of the leading contributors to all political space.
So, that's something that we'll have to cross when we get there. But yeah, I want to see a lot of these things that are given out now.
Also, the mind is such a... we know so little. We're creating these prescriptions and telling doctors, “Hey, prescribe this, although we know very little about the mind, but we think this works.” And the doctor's like, “Well, I know very little about the research, but I'll also prescribe it to you.”
Then you're like, “Well, I got it from the doctors. Let me take this every day.”
It's just compounding thing to where we're already making our theories off little knowledge. It's because of how complex the brain is. Then giving it to people to prescribe who also know less, because that's not their field, you know, neuroscience. And then give it to the people who are trusting these doctors and scientists to take it every day.
So it's kind of like this little, “Alright, I know very little but need help now. What can I do? I'll take whatever y'all give me.”
Amy: [00:20:40] Yeah, exactly. And that's a perfect way to really describe it. It's something that will help mitigate the issues in the present moment. Hopefully. I mean, a lot of medication makes you worse before you get better.
But you know, there is the idea that in six weeks or eight weeks, you'll eventually balance out and you'll start to feel more... I mean, they say more like yourself. But I've never met anyone personally that has been on medication where once they settled in, they felt like themselves, but that's just my own experience,
Devon: [00:21:12] Yeah. I think to yourself... and I want to get into kind of a trip with yourself. I think we forget what we are. If we ever figured out what our self looks like. And I think that's what the scary thing is when people take psychedelics for mental illness, like an acid or psilocybin trip.
I think a lot of times their quote unquote, “bad trip” is the fact that they saw themselves for the first time.
We don't live the present life that we have is the only life we have. It's the place we live the least. I mean, we're either thinking about the future or the past and both those things aren't real. And the great thing about psychedelics for mental illness like psilocybin and acid is you're extremely present. You know, you're like, “Oh my gosh, what is going? Like, I've never felt grass like this. I've never smelled the air like this. What is this?” And it's you.
And that's the thing I think that's really scary is, “Wow, this is me and I had to explore this and there's some things I don't like.” You know, that's what you go death is. There's some things that I really don't like about me that I've never really seen in front of me. And it scares me and it freaks me out.
But that's the kind of, I guess the spiritual side of things of psychedelics for mental health can do for you is like, “Wow, this is me.” But once you feel what love is in the present, and once you feel like what truly talking to people you care about is in the present, you just can't get enough of it.
And that's when you can be sober.
But you can take what you've learned from those trips with you as, “Man, I'm not going to be on Instagram when I'm talking to my mom on the phone.” You know? When I'm eating... Sam Harris has this great example about when you go to a restaurant that has your favorite burger. You've been waiting all week for this burger and you sit down and you take the bite. The first bite is amazing. Amazing. This is the greatest. I love this place is the second. Third is incredible. But by the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh bite, that burger is like any other burger because you're on your phone or you're talking to someone else like your mind's gone. And once your mind's gone from it, you can't appreciate what's presently happening at the present moment.
And that's how we live. Our life is like, we talk, but we don't really pay attention or are there. We don't even know what the present feels like. And it's such a magical thing. As corny as that might sound, you know, live in the present, it's really, “Oh, we're not just saying it because it's like, that's how you live a better life only.”
He's like, “Well, that's the only life you have is this present moment.” You know, you can worry about things in five minutes that happened in five minutes. And then if you think about things in the past were terrible. I think about memories. I remember change all the time. And psychedelics for mental illness can help with that.
That's why I have things we think about like, didn't happen, how it really did happen.
So, really the only thing you have and the only way you can love and live this life that we live is by recognizing what the present is. You can try your best. Because this is way easier said than done to just be in this moment. Psychedelics for mental illness or anything else can help us live in the moment.
Amy: [00:23:49] Especially for people with anxiety. My experience is that I lived with always being three steps ahead, right? I was in a constant state of fight or flight for a very long time. And then depression set in and I, you know, what the other way. And that was something else I had to deal with.
But then when I finally was able to manage the depression and the symptoms of depression, then it went back to my... I'm going to say normal state because honestly I have been in a state anxiety for much longer than I had been able to be in that calm, present-ish state. I would argue that a lot of us, even if we're not in an anxious state, aren't necessarily in the present state.
Devon: [00:24:31] Oh, a hundred percent.
Amy: [00:24:33] Yeah. And sorry, go on.
Devon: [00:24:35] No, no. I was agreeing. Yeah. It's interesting to me because I'd have the honor of being surrounded by a few people who are truly warriors. I mean, things that they go through... your mind is the biggest prisoner is.
It's literally that there is no bigger core or case where suffering doesn't live in the mind.
I've seen them go through things that, you know, is in their head and get through things. And it's, one, I'm very empathetic for him. Because I don't know how I'd be able to handle it myself. But, two, is what I've realized with working and having relationships with people like this. Although there's dark, dark times they deal with, they're more. They're some of the most self-aware people I've ever me.
Because I know people who don't deal with any type of mental wherever you want call it, mental problems or depression or PTSD. And their life is quote unquote “normal.” And they're the most just unaware, glossy-eyed, just almost empty people.
And again, I love them to death, but it's because they don't have to do soul searching. When you're battling your mind, may you do some soul searching. You search for almost anything you can grasp. So, it's like, because you don't have to do do that, it's like, they've never had to try and look at themselves.
And it's just really amazing to me how two completely intangible things you can't grasp, look at, or really explain, can have such an impact on how you view yourself in the world.
Amy: [00:26:00] Yes, that's so true. And I have a few friends like that as well. It's fascinating for me because I am the opposite. I would argue I'm way too cerebral. I'm in a different dimension half the time. And I look at them sometimes and I'm like, sand
I mean this with genuine love, “If I could be in their brain, how much easier would my life be?”
But with that, I truly believe comes a huge disadvantage. Because there will be times when they do end up experiencing relationships or situations that they don't want to be in and they cannot see why they are there. And for me, that's one of the most uncomfortable feelings, is not understanding how you ended up where you are.
Devon: [00:26:58] Oh yeah, that that's very uncomfortable. And I think too, what you're allowed to see is, is how complex we are as people. You could be happy 30 minutes ago, and now you're depressed. And it's like, “Wow, this doesn't make sense. I am incredibly complex.” And therefore, “Okay, if I'm complex, that means people are complex, which means society is complex. Culture is complex.”
I think that's some of our major problems is that we put these simple categories on society. And I don't mean to completely change that the conversation, but it was kind of brought up.
Amy: [00:27:34] Go for it. I love it. Let's do this.
Devon: [00:27:36] yeah, I don't know if I'm gonna die in society. We're all gonna, you know, burn up probably tomorrow.
For example, we sometimes know that as an individual we're complex, but we think as a society we're simple. We put these really simple labels over problems. Like, whether it's being racist or it's being... You know, whatever. And don't get me wrong.
There are layers of racism and things like that within society, but you can't just have one problem layer or something and say, that's it.
Because as people we are insanely complex. Cornell West, he's this brilliant professor at Dartmouth, culture sociologist, and amazing person. He brought this up in one of his lectures. It's like, some of the two biggest symbols that we have in the history still doesn't encompass what it is to be human.
So, you have Socrates who is like the father of philosophy in the Western world. And he, throughout all his work, never cried. So, much so that when he was dying, his wife came in crying. He kicked her out which is crazy. We have this guy who we literally use a ton of our philosophy principles from never cry. And to be human is to cry.
I mean, if you, you know, your son graduates, you cry. You have a family member who dies? You cry. To be human means to cry.
Then you have the assemble, like Jesus Christ, which in his work he cried. I mean, Jesus wept is one of the most powerful scriptures in the Bible. And he was even angry. He flipped tables of merchants in the streets the time. But throughout the whole Bible, he never laughs. Not once. And to be human is laugh. I mean, I've probably spent 20, 30% of life laughing, right?
So, you have these two huge, huge symbols in our world that millions of people follow and take their principles from and even their work doesn't fully encompass what it is to be human.
That just shows you how complex we are as individuals. Well, a person becomes people, people becomes culture, and culture then influences society. So, all culture and society is a compounding of us. It's going to be complex. Like taking complex squared, complex to a hundred power.
When you don't have that internal view of like, “Man, I'm very complex, therefore society is very complex,” it's easy for you to fall in the trap of, “Okay, everything's messed up because of this.” When you get in these buckets it's like you can't get narrow-minded. If you get narrow vision, you can't see any other buckets. It's just like this oversimplified thing, and you're not making any progress. And at the end of the day, when you're not making progress, it's annoying.
But two people are hurting. Real people are really hurting just because we can't talk to each other and we can't communicate actual things that are going on in a multiple ways. We can say, “Look, there is some things going on. Y'all might not believe, but it's not as much as some are saying.” They can say, “Well, there's also stuff that's going on that y'all don't believe. But now as much as these guys are saying.”
You can get to a point where it's like, “Okay, let's stop.” Let's not. I'm tired of symbolic wins.
Let's stop with the symbolism and let's actually get some actual progressions to help people.
Amy: [00:30:47] Yeah, absolutely. And I think that's really important that you're highlighting it. I always use this word. We live in a very... We live in a society that wants to be binary. In theory, we're not, it's all gray scale. It's not black or white. Sometimes we, not everybody. I find that a lot of people, when you are approaching a healing perspective in whatever element that you want to take it from that, we are looking for simple fixes. Because we are holding on to that belief that society or culture told us to believe in or taught us subconsciously or consciously (or both) to look for that simple fix. Because life is so simple, and it's this or that it's, you're happier.
You're not you're this, or you're that. And to add to it is that we really put so much focus on two things.
Time, but time as a linear process, or evolution, as a linear process.
I know for my own personal healing journey, I always say this and I laugh at myself because it sounds so ridiculous. But my own personal healing process I really... shoot. I've lost my train of thought. This happens so much when I'm like in the conversation. What was I just saying?
Devon: [00:32:13] No, you're spitting fire right now, Amy. Your own healing journey we simplify things?
Amy: [00:32:21] Okay. Yes. So, when I first started, I was really into this process of, “I'm going to go out and I am going to educate myself and then I'm going to apply this and then that's going to be it.” Even though that I knew intellectually that there was so much more going on inside than what kind of society, such culture spoke to me.
And it's interesting because we approach the idea of psychedelics as it's either good or it's not. And most of us are saying, it's not. Because we hear these stories and all these allegedly horrible stories. We want to believe it because it's easy to. How can we have moved through this world believing all these things that don't exist?
I remember what I was talking about! Back to time. Let's do this!
Okay. So, see, it's perfect. Because I was like, “It's not linear.” And then I got lost and here I've got back to where I need to be. So, the idea that evolution and time is linear and the way that we perceive time is definitely a linear fact.
And I'm not going to get into the crazy spiritual stuff, because I am really into Terence McKenna and Ron Dass and the like.
Devon: [00:33:38] I love it. Same here here. “Be Here Now” is one of the most influential books I've ever read.
Amy: [00:33:41] Yeah, I'm obsessed. I literally am obsessed. I can't like...
But so much in our own mental health journeys is we think that that is going to be linear as well. And we think like once we overcome this one thing, when it comes to our anxiety or our trigger, then that's never going to come up again.
Or once we finally get over a certain depressive episode that was, you know, a result of X, Y, and Z, we're just going to avoid those situations and that's never going to happen again. We hold onto these very finite hopes and dreams that we... And I speak from experience. I'm only speaking from experience in this. And also friends that I've talked to.
But we hope that we're fixed. Or that we are done putting our energy onto that area of our life. And we're just not.
For me, learning about psychedelics for mental illness... just learning about it, not even necessarily going into the whole process of taking them, I have learnt so much about acceptance of myself and also of the way that the world is.
Because it's hard. It's really hard. I had an interview yesterday and we were talking about COVID and all this other stuff. And I was getting really flabbergasted. I was just like, “I just don't understand how people can't treat other people nicely,” or, you know, a little, I'm very much a child like light and love.
And, his name's Colin on the other end, was like, “You don't need to understand the madness. You just need to help someone through it.” And for me, psychedelics allowed me to stop understanding.
Now, granted, this quote came to me yesterday. So again, it's not linear, but I'm connecting. I'm connecting my stories.
Devon: [00:35:48] Yeah, no, I love it. I love it. Yeah. You understand that? You don't understand
Amy: [00:35:53] Yeah, exactly. I think that's the thing. There's so much walking contradictory, but not in the way of like right or wrong. More is like, “This is the way, but this is also the way, but they also contradict each other, but they also don't contradict each other.”
Devon: [00:36:11] Yeah, no. I thought you said, I think what the theme of life is, and it's hard.
Amy: [00:36:17] Yeah.
Devon: [00:36:18] And as soon as you stop trying to make it make sense, you realize, “Oh, it just naturally doesn't make sense.” I mean, that's why our brains are set up. We're not set up to be logical.
If we were set up to be logical, we would all be good at math. That's the most logical language there is, is math.
We're set up to learn by stories. Storytelling is the way our brains are set up for it. So, it's not so much.
And that's why we believe on how we feel, because that's how our brain perceives things. It's, “Does it make us feel good?” Yeah. Cause it probably won't kill us. If you want to go all the way back from evolution.
But there's two things you said that I really want to touch on. One, not do lightly now, maybe more towards the end, but you said learning by culture and that's such a big thing we don't learn.
School is for information and very important. I don't want to talk bad about schooling. The school is information. Education is a transformation and we get that transformation from culture. It's from expression, it's from music, it's from dash, it's from art, it's from our peers. That's where we learn.
And that's why it's so hard not to fall in these cultural traps. Because, again, culture teaches us. So, of culture is saying this one thing, and that's what teaches us, we believe this one thing. So, that's why it's really easy to fall into a trap of and I'm not saying what culture says is always bad. Not at all.
I mean, there's a lot of good things that the culture is behind that we're making better. I'm just saying that we can fall into traps. That's one of the main reasons is because we learn from expression.
You know, it's a reason why in the darkest times in our history, we produced the greatest art.
It's because there in the darkest times when you express the most. We have the great songs, and it's where hip hop came from, from the streets. Poetry, art. I mean, literally a comedy came from the Greeks because of tragedy. They needed another way to sing, tell tragic stories. and we were given a comedy.
And another thing is too, it's the whole thing of time. And again, I won't get in deep time too. We can be here for 12 hours. It's still barely...
What, the time? The time exists? But the thing about psychedelics for mental illness is so... We don't know a ton about psychedelics or how work psychedelics for mental illness. Again, I'm not the spokesperson. So, if I get something wrong, please feel free somebody who's listening to correct me. But how LSD works, it fits a certain receptor site. Serotonin 52A receptor.
And what we have seen it does is this scientist/researcher in England or London. I want to say named Robert? Or was it Robin Carhart Harris, I think? He figured out that when you take LSD and psilocybin, you have something in your brain called the default mode network that essentially shuts off.
The default mode network, are a tightly set up structures that are connecting parts of like your cortex and deeper, older centers of like emotion and memory.
So, what we believe it is, it's what makes you, you.
It's like the autobiographical memory, like the function by which that constructs a story of who we are. Essentially is like your habits who you are, who you love.
What we found out is when we take psychedelics, that kind of turns off. And we figured out that that area there is also what's responsible for self-reflection. But more importantly, the mental time travel. So creating our identity with our mental clock is like, “I should be this person because of this.”
Because our mental time clock is what creates the present for the past, your memories. And in the future is this mental time clock that we have, without that we wouldn't be able to say what the future is. And psychedelics essentially turns that off.
So you have this thing where it's like, “Oh, it's even hard for you to think in the future.” And now, I've tripped a lot, so I know this when I'm on psychedelics. But don't get me wrong, I can see crazy things, but it's really hard for me to daydream and think about future things.
Amy: [00:40:03] Yeah.
Devon: [00:40:04] Essentially, what we believe with scientific community believes right now is that part of the brain is that it gives you the ability to do a mental time clock is turned off.
So you're having to deal with things in the present, to whatever you see. And then there's new... Michael Poland, which I don't know if you've, it's-
Amy: [00:40:21] Yes. Yeah. I know who you're talking about.
Devon: [00:40:23] He has that.
He has that brilliant example of the snow hill.
If you're on top of a mountain or a snow hill and you have a sled. Say you go down a hundred times. Well, those grooves that you make that you're now stuck in is like your default mode, it's you. It's your habits, your addictions, it's who you are. Your ego, essentially. It's a ego. So, you can't go anywhere else because you have these grooves because you've gone down so many times.
But when you take psychedelics, it's like a fresh snow storm goes over and it's clean. And now the sleds are able to go in new parts of the mind and new communication between the brain. It's crazy to you because there's parts of your brain commute. Now, you can see music, like what you can visually see what music looks like. And eventually the old grooves come back, but there's now a new connections are made.
That's why we believe that people are able to get over addiction so quickly with psychedelics, especially like heroin and nicotine. Because what all addiction is, like depression, is a negative feedback loop. Those negative feedback loops come from who you are. It's what you say to yourself. And it's negative sled groove.
So when you have this fresh snowfall piles, those negative loops to stop. It allows you to get in habits of more progressive and positive things that can then make you...
You don't like fear, how fear works in your brain. You don't forget fear. When you're afraid of something, to get over it, you don't just make another connection.
That connection called fear is gone.
You learn not to be afraid of it. So, you still have that fear connection in your brain, but then you have another connection to thing that you're not afraid of. It it's the same thing with addiction. It's like addiction, it just doesn't stop.
But that connection to your brain is not there anymore. As this, you have a stronger connection now saying that you're not addicted to it. You don't have the want for it. And that's how you essentially can move on from it.
Amy: [00:42:12] Yes, absolutely. And I just want to add something and I'm going to add a personal experience that I had just last weekend. So, like two days ago, I tried LSD for the first time. I’ve used psychedelics for mental illness. I microdosed with psilocybin and I have normal dosed with mushrooms as well, but I'd never done LSD before.
So, I took one hit, which is just the regular recreational kind of suggested dose. And as I mentioned earlier when we were chatting, I'm a very cerebral-like, in an alternate dimension person. In other words, I live in my head. I don't recommend it. It can be quite exhausting, but it's something that I have had to manage and learn to accept for quite some time.
Since I started taking psilocybin, as well as experimenting more with a little bit higher than recreational dosage of psychedelics for mental illness, there was a delay in my reaction.
And for a lot of people, that sounds really terrifying. But for me, I am someone that is speaking before they even realize what they're saying. You know, it happened earlier on this podcast. I was talking and then I forgot what I was saying. And I couldn't bring it back. That's something that happens very often to me, but what the most magical thing was is that that disconnect allowed me to not react.
So, if something were to happen, for instance, my dog was with me. And he is a bit of a barker, and he's not very much often allowed off leash because I'm just an anxious mess, I love him to death, and if anything would have happened to him, I would just die. But you have to go to the bathroom while I was in the middle of my trip. Obviously he's a dog, so I let him out.
And he kind of just waddled around in an area I couldn't see. And I could feel it a little bit in my body just because it is a visceral reaction that I have. But in my mind, I was completely calm. I was just watching him. Well, I wasn't watching him because he was out of sight, but I was just watching the space, waiting for him to reappear.
And I know this sounds so minuscule to a lot of people, but for me, like this is a huge, huge change in my psych.
Like a huge change.
Those moments where we can see what's happening and then choose to respond in a way that, to use our words that we've been using earlier, that mimic, who we really are, is very powerful.
That's something that can happen with, as you said, addiction to heroin and nicotine, bigger things. It also allows you to... I don't want to say depersonalized because there's a lot of negative connotation with that when it comes to the mental health space. But it's similar to that where if you are experiencing trauma or you've experienced trauma in the past that you haven't been able to face, you're able to feel, or not feel it, but like maybe not analyze... But experience it in a way that you're not connected to it.
That's so powerful because we really don't know how to not be connected to our emotions in these days.
Devon: [00:45:45] No, I mean, you hit it right on the money. One. I really appreciate you sharing that with me. But, that's where meditation comes from. It's you learn that you're not synonymous with your thoughts. It's not that you're trying to hide your thoughts or keep them from coming. That's impossible. You can't control what you think, but it's saying “those thoughts aren't me.”
Now, I can analyze them and I can see if they're good or, you know, good or bad. But those dots aren't me. It's like a stranger on the corner yelling something. Yeah. He might say something good. I'll take in and might do.
But if not, that's just a stranger on the corner yelling random stuff.
You said it was something small. Or being able to do that with small. But when you think about it, our lives are made up of compounding small moments like that. So, if it's those small things that compound and make up who you are, just that step right there to be able to delay when you see your dog not in sight and delay the feeling of anxiety and creating the anxiety of what was before. That small thing is huge.
I mean, that's huge progress because now you remember that. That is a feeling that you hadn't had before. So, when it happens again, you can almost call on that experience that you had in that psychedelic phase to help you out with the current. And you might still get fully past it. You might next time.
So, be kind of anxious a little bit, but it's almost like one is a shift lower. It's just like, it's this, it's a welcoming new thought pattern that psychedelics in meditation. I've talked about the formal network earlier. They also saw that same thing when it turned off and people who met, who meditated thousands of hours. Professional meditators, they were also able to turn their default mode network off when put through an MRI.
But you hit it right on the money.
You can associate yourself with your thoughts. That's not you, that's just someone recommending stuff that you can't control.
And again, you can choose to analyze it and look at it, but the end of the day, It shouldn't shake your emotions because that's not who you are.
There's just random thoughts in your head.
Amy: [00:47:47] Exactly. I mean for the longest time I thought, “My thoughts are me.” That is, I've personalized that everything that comes to my head belongs to me and is me and makes up who I am, but that's not really how it works. In fact, that's the opposite of how it works.
It's funny because I have these moments in my life where I've said things that I've come back to years later and said, “Wow, Amy at that age did not know anything.” I used to be an... maybe not be. I used to identify as an addict when it comes to harder drugs. So, not psychedelics. I had not taken psychedelics for mental illness until 2020, just to lay some groundwork. But I have done pretty much every drug except for heroin and on repeat for quite some time.
When I was in my early twenties, I was really sad. There was a lot of stuff going on all at the same time.
When someone came up to me one day, I think I was at a festival. They were like, “Oh, I have some,” I don't even remember what it was, but I know it was a psychedelic. And they were like, “Oh, do you want it?”
And I just remember, high as a kite, but turning to them being like, “I would never, ever do that.” Like, you know, my little weird pretentious boots on.
Devon: [00:49:12] How dare you.
Amy: [00:49:13] Yeah. Like why would you think that? But yeah, exactly. Which is so funny because I'm the type of person... and I've, through these stories have kind of realized that every time that I've had this really unfounded reason for something, it's subconsciously like I know that that is going to actually help me.
And I think in that moment, when I did say no, it was exactly what I needed to say. But now that I have experimented, started to microdose with psilocybin and do other psychedelics for mental illness, and have seen tremendous results in it, I just laugh. Because I'm like, “Oh, silly Amy. What did she know back then?”
Devon: [00:49:56] Yeah. I like to say I'm better than I was a year ago. So please don't ask me about Devon a year ago,
Amy: [00:50:03] Yeah, yeah.
Devon: [00:50:02] I'll probably say that until I'm 90.
Amy: [00:50:04] Yeah, exactly. I hear that. I definitely hear that.
Devon: [00:50:07] That's amazing though. Yeah. Again, with psychedelics for mental illness too, what I always tell people is that it is illegal. I'm not telling everyone to go to a dealer and to pick some up, but if you're going to try it, which, you know, people are, here are a few things to keep in mind. One, if you're gonna do a full dose, always make sure your setting is correct.
Make sure if you're around with people you trust and love and it's in a place you trust.
Don't go to Coachella with sixty thousand people for your first time and take a tab of acid. It might go amazing. But it also might be terrible. And then again, always have purpose. I journal a lot before I trip, I'll say,
“Hey, this is what I'm trying to do. That doesn't mean it will happen because it is psychedelics. But this is what I'm trying to do. This is what I'm trying to find. And this is why I'm taking it and go in to control the things you can control.”
You can control very little. So, try to control what things you can control. It's going with the right mindset, go in with a solid approach, and try to get something out of it.
I think we're just on a cusp of what it's going to... I truly think psychedelics is going to change culture in ways that they'll write about in two, three, 400 years. We're still there. Who knows, maybe 20 years of we're still here? I don't know.
I think it's going to be something because again, I see, like I said, culture teaches. And I have people that I look up to like Sam Harris and Cornell West. They're all different sources of platform, left, right, or whatever, who are just brilliant, brilliant minds who really changed my life.
They've saved my life, I like to say.
It's through education I was able to get through the suffering. But what the thing is, is there is academia. academia doesn't reach the streets. Academia does reach a skate park. Academia has reached a basketball courts. Culture does. That's what we get taught so well. And culture, because culture is where we're at.
So, to be able to solve this thing of suffering, to get, you know, the true education of psychedelics and just as people as a society. It's who we are to the peoples, you have to put that in culture and things like psychedelic and expression. Cultural culture only understands one language, ans that's expression.
Now, your next question is art, dances, fashion, and music, that's expression. That's what causes movements. You know, that's what causes emotions. And we have to get something within our culture to educate that. Because the only way to reach these people, be able to educate them, get through the suffering, be able to look at things how you need to be look them to be able to make wise decisions, and really move forward is for our lives to look inward.
Because at the end of the day, you and I, again, we share our humanity.
And the only way I can look and find my humanity is looking within me and the closer I get to my humanity, although it's inward, the closer I get to you. Because that's what we both share. And the only way we can learn how to do that is by a true transformational education that I think academia can't provide right now. It has to be provided by culture.
Amy: [00:52:58] Yes, a hundred percent agree. To take a line or two from the Reddits, the subreddits, if you are going to do psychedelics for mental illness, you need to do at least an hour of reading on the topic before you should take it. I don't know if you go on Reddit, but they-
Devon: [00:53:18] Oh, yeah.
Amy: [00:53:20] They always post those. But yeah, I think that's a really important a really important thing to talk about. Because we saw that happening back in the late sixties, early seventies, when the psychedelic boom really started. And it was shut down for a variety of different reasons, mainly because of dissidence. We could be so much farther and using psychedelics for mental illness already if they didn’t.
But we have platforms now that people like you and I are able to educate in a way that does fit into that cultural landscape.
And we're able to express in a way that is much more digestible and much more... I'm just gonna say “cool” then certain types of academics. Yeah. I really think that's what is about to happen.
I don't know. Something shifted in me. Something has shifted in me over the last month. Maybe it was all the psychedelics for mental illness. No, I'm just kidding, but I'm incredibly hopeful. And yes, we've had some good wins when it comes to representation. And well, depending who you talk to, good wins in the United States.
For instance, like the, I forget if it's the legalization or the decriminalization of certain psychedelics for mental illness, like psilocybin therapy in Oregon that was voted on in the election. And there small achievements that we're experiencing that, as you said, is going to shape this culture and the world that we live in in ways that so many are not ready for. But so many of us need
Devon: [00:54:53] Yes, yes. No, really big. Yeah. You hit it right on the money. Cool. I mean, again, that's what creates trends and culture and is making things cool almost. And it sounds kind of surface level. But, actually, I have a project I want to kind of throw in here real quick.
So, right on this topic is it's called the “All One Book” project.
And what I realized with my nerdy self, because again, a huge nerd over here. I read and write like my life depends on it. And that itself has really saved my life, so I wanted to find a way to make that cool, essentially. And again, get it through our culture. Get these great minds within our culture.
I found it through fashion. So what we're doing at “All One Book” essentially is we... it's a fashion way. We're in the business of storytelling, but I say. But technically you buy clothing from us and every time you buy clothing, we release these empty QR code activated books. And within organizations like foster care and we're working with some Child Specialist hospitals, and they're empty.
And then when you scan and we'll have celebrities and influencers say like, “Hey, this is LeBron James, let me tell you about a time that blah, blah, blah. I have a question for you. What does happiness feel like for you? Like the actual feeling?” Then you have two pages to write or draw, it could be a story, it could be a comic book, whatever.
You can post or you can attach a picture and he'd give it to a stranger.
And then when those books are filled, we have ways that we're going to pay for it to get back to us. We're going to make some really good short stories and animated stories from them.
Since what we're trying to do is we're returning through the means of fashion and trends and street fashion is get these books out. Because some of these people, this might be the first time they've ever written in their lives. And we want to ask things, you know, you might have John Mayer on there and he'd say, “Hey, when's the last time you cried?”
And some people might be afraid to write about crying, but if someone like John Mayer asked them, that might open them up to tell about the last time they cried. When we get these stories back, if you want to remain anonymous, we completely let you remain anonymous. And then we're able to create these cool short stories that represent real people.
They're not echo chambers, social media, or what's going on in the news. These are real people and real stories. Then you get a perspective like, “Wow, everyone does go through things.” And essentially, our goal is to make a deep, and I say, education, but I don't want to associate with schooling.
I mean, I deep soul turning, so maturing, self-reflective education. And we want to make that cool.
That's kind of our hope with “All One Book” project, and that should be dropping here next two or three months.
Amy: [00:57:19] That's amazing. That's one of the coolest projects I've ever heard. And I'm not just saying that,
Devon: [00:57:25] I appreciate it.
Amy: [00:57:26] Yeah, that's so wonderful. Wow. How did you come up with that idea?
Devon: [00:57:33] Well, I had this, the book club and I had this Google document where I put it all the books. I loved to share for all my friends and say, “Hey, I'll put y'all's books next to the ones have this running Google document.” And I got some really cool feedback. I thought that, “Man, it'd be cool if I could get a book recommendation from strangers. Well, it'd it be cool if I can get stories from strangers. Because I don't want to just hear about the books you read. I want to hear about their experiences from the books.”
And that grew from me wanting to send out a Google document to me saying, “Hey, I want to send out random books to strangers in this and read them for myself. I'd even have a plan for fashion as when they're reading stories from strangers.” I thought, “Okay, how can I make this to where I want to get these books into skate parks, basketball courts, and lower income areas to where they can maybe write for the first time or read about others and worry about suffering and read about triumph and all those things.”
“How do you do that?” Well, you do that through expression culture.
We need to get it within the culture. Again, fashion, music. I'm hoping to eventually turn into the music festival, big picture thinking. But how do you begin? How do we get into the culture at as fashion? If I can have influencers be actual influencers, not as hot, but be actual influencers.
And I can have them talk about real tough questions. And things that like normally people might not want to write about to because it's hard. But if you have someone who you look up to to ask, you might be a little bit easier because they're also expressing themselves. They're also being involved
So, you see someone you look up to be vulnerable, so then you write and then we get these stories back and we make it. And again, we learn by storytelling and it kind of all came together. I have some friends of my past company to data scientists and other software developers. So, I have this amazing team, amazing family.
I couldn't be more pretty sure about the people I have around me. So I was able to kind of think out loud, these ideas, and this eventually kept on evolving and evolving and evolving to where I got now. And, now, we got some people on a team, some more meetings with some investors. We are excited about it and we're just ready to kind of help get it going and rock and roll.
And hopefully hopefully bring great conversation back to the world in the means of storytelling.
Amy: [00:59:30] I love that. That's so wonderful.
Devon: [00:59:32] So, I'm definitely gonna send a book your way as for sure.
Amy: [00:59:35] Please do. I would love that. That would be amazing. If you ever want to expand to Canada, I'm in Canada. So, please let me know. I'll be your contact. Yeah, just gonna shoot my shot right now. I'm not kidding. I'm not kidding this. So... Pardon?
Devon: [00:59:53] I said we'll send multiple books that way.
Amy: [00:59:55] Yes. Perfect. I love that. Well, it's been... I could talk to you. I feel like I could talk to you for hours. Like, absolutely hours. And we could just talk about everything and it would be so much fun.
But thank you so much for this introduction to like psychedelics for mental illness and your experience. And also combining the two worlds, because I think that's one thing that a lot of content that does surround psychedelics. It's either incredibly dry and academic or it's like the other way where it's like people are tripping in the middle of Hyde park and going live, and balancing. It's just like absolutely ridiculous.
So, I really appreciate that. And I'm so thankful that you agreed to come on this podcast episode and yeah...
Devon: [01:00:42] Oh, no, Amy. No, thank you. Thank you for, one, having me on. I'm extremely grateful that you would even decide to have me on. And also even more grateful for the work. Again, I've listened to a few of your past podcasts. This ability to be able to talk to people with these stories. I mean, you're doing incredible work.
So again, I appreciate you to the fullest.
Amy: [01:01:01] Thank you. Now before we go, I will let the listeners know that I will put all of Devon's links to social and all that fun stuff. So, you can follow him and follow along with the amazing project that he is going to start. Or has started and he's going to execute very soon. So it's there, it's in the show notes of description.
So, make sure you take a peak, but Devon, the way that I like to end these podcasts is by asking the experts or guests to leave the audience with some words of wisdom. Now, because we are on the topic of psychedelics, I am going to ask a little bit more specific question this time and that the question is this.
If there's a listener out there or a few listeners out there that are toying with the idea of looking more into micro-dosing or normal dice dosing psychedelics for mental illness or to help them overcome their mental health problems, what's the very first thing that you would suggest to them when it comes to safely experiencing and experimenting in this realm?
Devon: [01:02:18] Oh, a hundred percent research on psychedelics for mental illness. You have great organizations like MAPS and then John Hopkins, who are maps is a nonprofit. It just raised 30 million and John Hopkins, I believe raised 30 million. MAPS is also right behind them. They have a lot of resources where you can read about actual disorders, what they're working on, what they're doing, but a hundred percent of research.
I mean, don't. This isn't just a, “Take a pill, I'm done” thing.
Again, it's finding you 100%. The goal is finding you and it might not be through psychedelics. I know people who've taken it once. That's all they needed. And that's the goal. We're not trying to create a substance or give you a substance that you take all the time.
The goal is this for you to be you. Because this is the only life that you have. So, again, research out the wazoo and talk to people who've done psychedelics for mental illness. Talk to the experts. People in this community are very loving. And again, they just want the best for you.
So, I would reach out to as many people as possible. There are no dumb questions because when you're tripping, you see so many crazy things that nothing on this world becomes impossible to you. There's not a single dumb question that you could ever ask someone who was involved in psychedelics for mental illness that they'll be like, “Hey, shut up.”
They're all that type of people. You don't need to be talking to me anyways. But yeah, an insane amount of research, but a good amount of research, have a purpose, write down what your purpose is, what you're afraid of, and what you want to happen. Talk to someone about them. And again, just go in with the mindset that you're there to find who you are and to see what this present world is.
And once you get there... it's a different life. I mean, once you realize that the present is, and you get the love in the present, you get the laugh in the present, even when you cry in the present... I mean, there's no better world.