Light in darkness.
We are recklessly heading into a future with much of world leadership in the unfamiliar territory of pandemics, climate change, global human suffering, unprecedented growth in IT and biotechnology, and increasing financial disparity between those that have and those that don’t.
The toxic aspects of patriarchal systems and top-down consciousness that got us into this situation cannot show us the way out. Many know this intuitively. Many no longer trust mega-systems like corporations and governments. Many that I personally work with have lost faith in these systems and many believe that decision-makers no longer know the way. Too many suffer, too much, and for too long. These are unprecedented times, and nobody can really say they know a way out. There seems to be no source of light in this darkness of global perturbation.
How Can Psychedelics Help Us?
Sometimes, the suffering can be so great that The Only Way Out, is In. I read somewhere that the only Truths in the world are Paradoxes. Everything else claiming to be ‘a truth’ is a construct, a story, belief, narrative, myth and so on. I believe this to be true. Truths that we held so dear, trusted, relied upon and had faith in, no longer provide the sense of community and safety they once did.
Better understanding this paradox is deeply related to psychedelic journeys. Sometimes, the only way to get out of an overwhelmingly distressing situation, like grief or trauma, is to go as deep as possible into it – to find out why it won’t leave you, or what it wants to teach you. For thousands of years, meditation and plant medicines have been the two primary ways some have gone into themselves, into non-ordinary, non-dual, or expanded states of consciousness, to resolve their suffering and expand the boundaries or continuum of their personal consciousness.
History of Psychedelics
For millennia, Indigenous Peoples around the globe have been ‘going in’ to expanded states of consciousness with the use of locally grown plant medicines containing psychedelic or “mind revealing” compounds. Ceremonial Traditions for going into vastly expanded states of consciousness are as varied as the plant medicines themselves and the countries in which they like to grow.
From the 1950s to 1970, psychedelic compounds were legal and widely used by clinicians and researchers alike. Much valuable information was learned, and great strides made in understanding the benefits of these remarkable molecules.
During this time of prolific psychedelic research, in the 1960s, psychedelics escaped clinical settings and research laboratories and landed in the community and in university campuses all over the Western world, especially the United States. In 1970, the US government seems to have found all the ‘love, peace and social resistance’ of the 1960’s threatening to their control and declared a “war on drugs”, which has its own violent and fruitless history but also put an end to very promising research in consciousness and healing.
While research into these essentially nontoxic compounds was halted, in the 1980s, Opioids in the form of Oxycodone was approved for medical use and widely and aggressively marketed, contributing significantly to the current opioid crisis.
The Psychedelic Renaissance
And now, with a Psychedelic Renaissance unfolding everywhere, we have the opportunity from the Bottom Up to deal with problems that affect us all. Mental Illness does not care about the color of our skin, culture, language, age, status, the religion we practice, the country we live in, or anything else. Neither does Plant Medicine. Healing by plant medicine can be life-changing.
If there is one single thing the medicine teaches us that we are all connected in one way or another, and we are all on this one planet together. Occasioned with the use of psychedelic medicines, expanded states of consciousness can reveal an expanded perspective that may be surprising, but almost always healing, if properly and safely supported.
Dare we imagine a world in which our leaders are awake and serve the people, and not themselves or unfounded rules allegedly made to protect us, but in our reality oppress us and sustain our suffering worldwide? We look forward to the day when psychedelic plant medicines are responsibly and ethically made available to all people that want to end their suffering, or simply explore the contents of their nonconscious minds, safely and legally, for personal benefit.
At this time, we at BTT cannot offer a safe setting for plant medicines as they continue to be illegal. But we work towards and look forward to the day plant medicines gifted to us by Mother Earth are not illegal, and we are not criminalized for accepting her gifts. I fully believe this would bring some light into the darkness of global suffering.
Dawn DeCunha, C. Psych.