Interview With Author and Spiritualist, Julian Vayne.

Interview With Author and Spiritualist, Julian Vayne.

Author and Spiritualist Julian Vayne has recently released Getting Higher: The Manual of Psychedelic Ceremony (distributed by the wonderful professionals over at the Psychedelic Press) a guide to injecting entertainment and purpose into the entheogenic pursuits of casual users and experienced psychonauts.

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Interview With Ifetayo Harvey of Drug Policy Alliance.

Interview With Ifetayo Harvey of Drug Policy Alliance.

Ifetayo Harvey of the Drug Policy Alliance has been fighting against the injustice and discrimination found in many of the practices propagated by the perpetual War on Drugs. In our first interview, she told her story about how this war impacted her and her family. She recently wrote a fascinating article for Psymposia about why the psychedelic community is so white and what this says about the culture of drug use.

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Interview With Artist, Author, and Poet Marc Marcel.

Interview With Artist, Author, and Poet Marc Marcel.

Marc Marcel is an Artist, Author, and Poet representing Baltimore, Maryland. I discovered his work some time ago (circa 2013 by way of this video.) after some of my first experiences with psychedelics and was fascinated by his commentary on the nature of reality and what it means to be human.

He explores these themes with his outstanding poetry and in his magnificent, The Book That Doesn't Even MatterIt within this space of examining humanity, he has elevated himself and everyone who has been lucky enough to experience his work.

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Interview With Tim Scully, Mastermind Behind The Legendary "Orange Sunshine"

Interview With Tim Scully, Mastermind Behind The Legendary "Orange Sunshine"

The Sunshine Makers examines the life and times of Nicholas Sand and Robert Timothy Scully, the masterminds behind the mythical "Orange Sunshine", a brand of LSD that is still heralded as the purest and to achieve mainstream notoriety. Nick and Tim were directly responsible for much of the LSD that was in circulation during that time and found themselves in the crosshairs of what would eventually fester into what we now know as The War on Drugs.

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Interview With Artist and Author, Martin W. Ball.

Interview With Artist and Author, Martin W. Ball.

Martin's work primarily discusses nondualism and the dissolution of the ego through psychedelic exploration. He believes that by removing social constructs that bolster the ego (like religion), one can get to the heart of the human experience and recognize that they themselves are God. He has even created the "Entheological Paradigm" which is a kind of grand unifying theory for psychedelic phenomenology based on his experiences. 

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Interview With Artist and YouTuber, Frank Yang.

Interview With Artist and YouTuber, Frank Yang.

Frank Yang (born in Taiwan) is an artist and bodybuilder that has made a name for himself with his impressive physique, abstract pieces (primarily photos and videos) and knack for philosophizing about psychology and spirituality. Using YouTube as his primary vehicle, Frank has successfully translated his dynamic persona into thousands of subscribers and millions of views.

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Interview With Philosopher, Peter Sjöstedt-H.

Interview With Philosopher, Peter Sjöstedt-H.

Peter’s latest book, Noumenautics (a play on the Kantian term “Noumena” that describes objects as they are and without sensual interpretation), attempts to explore the intersections between philosophy, phenomenology, and the psychedelic experience. The book itself is important for both psychedelics and philosophy as it fosters much needed conversation about the epistemological value of these substances, but it does so without being attached to dogma or mysticism.

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MDMA: A Cure for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

MDMA: A Cure for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) has been a resounding success in alleviating and outright curing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the afflicted participants when consumed under the right conditions. While the substance often gets a bad wrap for it’s perceived mortality rate (which is usually exaggerated or false) when compared to other substances being using in clinical research, when done in the proper set and setting, the drug can be extremely beneficial for the user.

One common misconception about MDMA is that it is the same as it’s street variations, E, Ex, Molly, Ecstasy, etc. The substance in it’s pure, laboratory grade form is very safe because it isn’t “stepped on” or “cut” with any harmful chemicals to stretch out the product. If you are taking street variations of the substance, there is a much higher chance that what you’re getting isn’t just MDMA (MSM powder used for joint pain and relief is an example of a substance used to cut pill and powder based stimulants). This has also been an issue with research chemicals like 25-i and other NBOmes being sold as LSD on the street. While there are testing kits available, it is unrealistic to assume that the average user is going to have one on hand or be aware that they even exist, which is a a clear cut example of why a safe and legal free-market should be created for this class of substances. 

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Interview With Ifetayo Harvey of MAPS.

Interview With Ifetayo Harvey of MAPS.

When Ifetayo Harvey was four years old (she is now 24), her father (a Jamaican immigrant) was locked away for eight years and subsequently deported back to his home country after being charged with cocaine trafficking. While she was able to communicate with him via letters during his imprisonment and deportation, this is a far-cry from the kind of guidance and support a developing child needs. Her mother was left to raise seven children alone and Ifetayo, found herself confused and hurt. In spite of these perceived shortcomings, she was able to get active in Drug Policy Reform, graduate from Smith College with a degree in History and African Studies, and secure a job at the prestigious Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) where she works with Dr. Rick Doblin, who has become a legend in psychedelia.

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Endogenous Neurochemicals: What’s Really Floating Around in Our Brains?

Endogenous Neurochemicals: What’s Really Floating Around in Our Brains?

Iboga (Tabernanthe iboga) is a psychedelic plant that is native to central Western Africa that has shown the ability to alleviate addiction in individuals that have alcohol, cocaine, or heroin dependency. Currently, the pharmacological options that we have to treat these addictions are limited and fairly ineffective. Ibogaine (one of the alkaloid structures in Iboga) has shown to have some effectiveness in helping sufferers kick their particular habit. One single session with the plant can remove all cravings for up to six months and multiple sessions with the substance can remove cravings for years. 

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Hikikomori: Social Pressure and Seclusion.

Hikikomori: Social Pressure and Seclusion.

Hikikomori (which essentially translates to "pulling inwards") is a psychological disorder that mimics many of the classic symptoms found in severe depression or social anxiety. Sufferers typically live with their parents, lock themselves inside of their rooms for weeks at a time and only come out in the event of an emergency or if they need to get food, use the restroom, etc. In the more severe cases, some Hikikomori relieve themselves inside of their rooms instead of going to the restroom. During these bouts, these individuals have very little contact with family or friends and can even become belligerent or violent towards themselves or others if asked to come out of their rooms. Many Hikikomori are males in their late teens or early twenties (there have been reported cases of middle aged and elderly individuals as well) that have “failed” at some aspect in their academic or social lives. Seclusion is more often than not a side effect of anxiety, depression, or any other high functioning psychological malady and Japan’s rigid and unforgiving social order has an almost zero tolerance policy for transgression or failure. This is usually the leading cause of this phenomenon. It is estimated that there are several hundred thousand Hikikomori in Japan but this number is actually believed to be much higher and estimates have even reached as high as two million. There have also been cases popping up in other countries around the world so this isn’t something that is exclusive to Japan.

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Love: Neurochemical Trickery or Something Else?

Love: Neurochemical Trickery or Something Else?

For those of you who missed my previous post, I briefly explained that I’ve only ever experienced the unconditional love of modern lore once in my entire life. Since then (September 4th, 2014) I have been ruminating on what real love is and if it can exist outside of transcendental experiences. In the waking world, there are so many factors that contribute to being in or having love for a certain individual. 

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