Why I need some cosmic study buddies. And why you might, too.
I'm very sleepy so this may not be coherent, but I read your post and felt inspired, and it reminded me of some of the many hopes and dreams I've had for myself that I've lost track of along the way with all the real world drek. and that I'd like to find even one or two of them again, if I could.
I'm not sure how much I can keep up with anything, but I would like to at least start by being inspired by your words, because that feels like a good place to start, and it felt good to read them and percolate what they mean.
thank you for sharing your experiences. ❤
A sad story, ending on a hopeful note.
Earlier this year, around my thirty-third birthday, I wanted to kill myself. I needed to die.
I have been suicidal many times throughout my life, but this time was different. I was not in despair about some personal calamity, I was certain that there was no future. I had come to a realisation that in almost every sphere of life, economic, social, political, environmental - we, human society, had borrowed against the future, bet everything on future generations solving current crises, and the future had now come crawling back saying "I haven't anything left to give!" I felt that we had simultaneously demanded that future generations solve our problems AND stripped them of any opportunities or resources to do so.
I felt that we were all trapped within a wheel of suffering, every object around us the product of exploitation, slavery and inhumanity. That the device I'm writing this on, or equally any other object, was built by young people in terrible conditions, paid almost nothing, and the most they could hope for would be an education that put them into insurmountable debt and put them through so much stress that they'd break down crying!
Which happens every semester.
And a construction company went bankrupt recently and just before they did, they were underbidding on contracts, taking money to do jobs they KNEW they couldn't afford to finish, hoping that in the meantime something - anything - would swoop down and save them! That they'd be RESCUED by the future.
And one of my students sent me an email saying they're sorry, they're so so sorry but they can't make it through the course and they had to drop out. And I didn't know how to go into school the next day and face my students.
So instead I broke down crying and told my wife I needed to go to the emergency room, where I asked some very nice and caring nurses and doctors to kill me.
Because I couldn't bear to be part of this world. Because I felt that there was no chance of me - or anyone else - doing NEARLY enough good to outweigh the suffering - the blood and viscera we wade through each day simply by being a part of a society that accepts and runs on near-slavery and environmental damage and sheer inhumanity.
And I still don't know if there is.
But I'm going to try and be as kind as I can be, every single day and hope that... it helps? That it makes a difference?
It almost doesn't feel like that's enough. But I'm going to do my best anyway.
absolutely adore this for you! i've been subscribed to your husband's the egg & the rock and was so excited to read that you started a substack for integration. i've been microdosing psilocybin for about 6ish months, i feel the best i've ever felt, the most me i've ever felt, the most in love with everything i've ever felt. i also had a big trip on saturday with friends and it feels weird to just go back to sending my silly little emails. all this is to say, i'm glad you're here and i'm glad to be here with you.
i actually am in the process of moving to become a psychedelic therapist. i live in the US and Oregon just legalized psilocybin assisted therapy, and i received so many messages that that was the path for me. it's still a long journey, and the early centers aren't looking super promising with ceremonies costing thousands. i want to figure out how to make this medicine accessible because - wtf, they're so abundant and the mushrooms want to be in community with us.
something top-of-mind for me with your post as well as what Oregon is trying to move through with the recent legislation, is equity. historically, indigenous societies across the globe have used psilocybin (or other psychedelics) in ceremonies. then, at least for the US, we deeply criminalized all psychedelics, which to me is a colonizing act. i think psychedelics but psilocybin in particular could be a path forward for healing and decolonizing collectively. there is such a huge reckoning in the US of racial & gender equity, of justice, and i think we collectively need to be able to face the hard shit that's happened in history and create a society that is completely different from what we've seen.
I have been following your husband's substack, The Egg & The Rock and got this as a cross-post and am beyond glad I did.
I just recently had a magic mushroom experience myself that was similar to yours with the laughing. I found myself just sitting in awe and watching the universe open up to me and teach me all kinds of things and the only thing I could really do was laugh. I would contemplate what I was seeing and being told but all I could do was chuckle. Some big deep belly laughs, some minor giggles, but everything resolved out to a big humorous joke. As I would learn more, the funnier everything became.
I have been working through this experience and the integration into my life and the laughter was something I could not wrap my head around. I have learned over the years that laughter is a very common coping mechanism for me in uncomfortable situations but this wasn't that. I was never once uncomfortable and was not fixating either like you said. I was genuinely being cracked up by all these "answers to the Universe" I was being shown. So I have been trying to reconcile what the laughing meant and then this stack enters my email inbox unprompted.
Like you said, integration is different for everyone, but hearing your experience with laughter while tripping, has given me more to ponder with my own experience. Also the fact that it came to me unprompted as I've already been working through this myself just feels like the universe helping me out. I am greatly looking forward to begin this journey with you and anyone else who joins this community!
As I am reading this and decided to reply, a tree frog began croaking nearby. I asked some time ago for animal guides to help me know where I am to go, what I am to do and how I am to BE in this world. Your piece resonated deeply with me. I cried a few tears and a big smile is upon my face. I love words, research, adventure, open people and mushrooms, as well. They don’t overwhelm with anxiety and worry the way my last LSD trip some 30 years ago did. I spent a large part of my life putting brain altering chemicals into my body. First alcohol, MJ, LSD and eventually OxyContin and Benzodiazepines. After getting sober and being sober for a few years, I began experimenting with mushrooms again. Not Willy nilly popping them whenever, like the old days, but for purpose and understanding. I have been able to heal some of my most vivid memories and pain through touching the memories with the mushrooms. I would love to be part of a community of study buddies with you. Thank you for this piece and thank your husband for sharing it with his readers. I just recently found the Egg and the Rock and that also resonates deeply. THANK YOU BOTH.
Coming over from the 'egg and the rock' and am really glad to find this!
Did some dabbling back in college and these continue to be very nice memories but acknowledge what you say regarding intention and ceremony. It's different.
Read Michael Pollan's book when it came out and was deeply struck. Searched out a therapist who has done great research on plant/fungal medicine for trauma, depression and the like. But I am one step removed, even with the therapist as it's not legal to directly use psilocybin or the like in therapy - not yet anyway.
I have friends with whom I discuss this but none of them are 'cosmic study' oriented. I have even spoke to my dad who has come through some grim cancer therapies over the past year...
As I said - one step removed. I have nominally joined maps.org to keep up on the topic. Listen to podcasts and read stuff by Stamets and McKenna, etc.
What's holding me back? I don't have a place. Live / work in metro NYC and feel the need to have a space to do this. I guess by space that also implies community.
NYC has ketamine clinics and I gave it a shot - quite interesting but not the place. Felt like I was in a dentist chair and was deeply aware I was in a building a few blocks north of Wall Street in Gotham. Not where I wanted to be. It was fun and interesting but missing a context.
In addition I am interested (long term) in the whole idea of becoming a facilitator. I am an EMT on the weekends and software engineer during the week. The EMT experience is leading me somewhere...
So this substack is very much of interest.
Thank you for sharing your experience, and creating this wonderful space. I find it odd of all things, within the span of a few weeks, The End poem has led me to here, and yet it feels very fitting to my journey today.. perhaps it is just that the work spoke so deeply to me in a way as these themes of discovery beyond our physical vessels do.
In my short life so far, I realize I have much to learn - truly I always will - and I have been fascinated with the workings of the universe and where I fit into all of it since I was a young teen. I struggle to find peers, especially around my age, that share similar sentiment. In the last several months especially, I have delved into spiritual, sometimes very esoteric readings and arts, and somehow what's often nonsense to others (and likely would have been to me just a few years ago) makes complete sense to me, in not a way that words can describe, but in a way I feel deeply inside me, far beyond spoken language.
So to be notified of this beautiful project, to read what you have shared, and to be invited into this space feels, especially now, like something of a cosmic gift. I will certainly be tuning in, I am ever interested in how this community grows and develops, and hope to someday, through my own discovery and creation, gift such feeling to others...
Re: Integration. The word, as I interpret it, is synonymous with 'oneness', and oneness refers to the connectedness of everything to everything. Everything that exists in the world of form. Everything that is not in the world of form. Everything that is bound by time and space. Everything that is not bound by time and space. That which the word oneness points to can not be held by the mind, but it can be experienced. It can be felt. We (everything) is one. We just have to feel it.
Thanks for sharing this! I’ve been meditating the past year or so :) I think Integration is something I need as well! Looking forward to hearing from you
I'm in my 70s and eager to take a guided journey with mushrooms. I did some psychedelics many years ago as a young woman of the 60s and 70s, but it was for "fun" and now I'm looking for much more than that. About two years ago Oregon legalized psilocybin and I've been watching to see when they can open therapeutic centers for guided experiences. For those who are feeling despair at life, I know the feeling. I can tell you that life is very hard. And there are many times when it seems to simply be a slog. But that doesn't mean anything is wrong with you or wrong with life. I hope you can hang in there. Life seems so amazing, beautiful and meaningful from here.
Once upon a time, a few days ago, I went for a lunchtime walk along the beach. Something sparkled in the water near my feet, and I reached down to pick it up—a little bottle, carefully sealed, holding a neatly rolled slip of paper. An invitation! I read it and re-read it, smoothing the curled edges with my fingers. I looked up and out over the ocean toward the horizon, then down at my phone. Break time was over, and I slipped both bottle and note into my pocket. I felt them there as the days passed. In stolen moments, haltingly, one clumsy scrap at a time, I began to make a tiny boat.
Mushrooms are a gentle friend of mine--intermittent as-needed micro-doses have been truly therapeutic over the past few years--but the experiences I’m working to integrate have occurred without ingesting any substances: mind-bending, joyous, weirdly insightful, deeply connective, life-giving experiences.
Is it possible to grow and change through them?
How can I live their gifts—and give their gifts--amidst everything life throws at me?
May something surprising, beautiful, and genuinely useful arise here, on this little island of intention.
Deana Gurney, Portland, Maine. Saw your post via The Egg and the Rock.
Definitely one vote for 'Attempt to keep the conduit open even in the world of men', as it were. I'm not sure when it started - I've done a healthy share of LSD & Mushrooms over the last 5-6 years - but these days I notice that that conduit is always a little open.
Oh, sure, I can't commune with Entities and the like the same way I can when actually tripping - but it's like that connection to the Light of Origin remains always open. Like the door is ajar, and in doing so I can sort of listen in to what's on the other side.
It leaves me feeling much more at ease, because generally what I've found on the other side of that door is far more positive than not. Oh, there are absolutely things to be wary of - and it is something I would caution many against, because I think it takes a prepared mind to really be ready to surf that ocean, especially given the likelihood of storms and thousand-foot waves, and losing your balance in those times is Not Great.
But if you are, well - yea. I have at least one Cosmic Study Buddy, and those times we both synchronize resonate a lot.
Anyhoo, definite subscribe, and hopefully will upgrade to paid soon enough. A lot of what you wrote here I've had my own similar experiences of, and being able to relate on that level makes life a little less lonely~
Funny how your journey with psychedelic shrooms coincides with my journey. Though, I have been experimenting with smaller daily doses and now and then larger doses. I have noticed that they have helped me with my everyday wellbeing and creativity. I also start my day with Lions Mane mushrooms in my coffee and micro dose 3 to 4 plus more days a week. Have you seen Fantastic Fungi and How To Change Your Mind? They were very enlightening documentaries. It is very refreshing to see scientific studies going forward and their findings are showing beneficial results. I don’t think it will be long before more States besides Oregon here in the U.S will be legalized.
Big kudos to you writing and reaching out about this subject. It’s in my opinion that if they are consumed mindfully by more people, they could be helpful to many societies ills.
I agree, there is so much to learn about mushrooms and fungi. Paul Stamet is one fascinating individual with his amazing knowledge on this topic. His story of overcoming his debilitating struggle with stuttering is very inspiring on the benefits of psilocybin. His claim that Turkey Tail helped save his mother’s life from cancer is extraordinary too.
I feel like the Lion’s Mane has helped but, I also incorporate taking MCT oil, Fish oil, and Magnesium L-Threonate for brain function. Trying everything I can to keep this aging brain as functional as can be. I do feel like micro dosing has had a big impact on my everyday emotional wellbeing. Also, sometimes I add a mix of a plethora of medicinal shroom powder to water to drink, and I eat Shitake mushrooms a few days a week for they are high in vitamin D.
I’m inspired to watch Fantastic Fungi again. I’ve already seen it a few times. It always blows me away watching it. Maybe I should watch it on shrooms? The visuals already are spectacular. It might take it to another level, eh?!
Just saw this TED talk this morning. Surprised to learn what I was doing on my own is called “stacking”, and has the most effective results. https://youtu.be/vQuuY9xmzjg