« Making Sense with Sam Harris

#242 — Psychedelics and the Self

2021-03-23 | 🔗

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with James Fadiman about the psychedelic experience. They discuss who should and shouldn’t take psychedelics, set and setting, the role of a guide, the effects of microdosing, the difference between MDMA and true psychedelics, “good” and “bad” trips, the power of thought, the fiction of a unified self, changing states of self, compassion, and other topics.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Can't afford a subscription there's an option at San Aerostat or to request a free account, and we grant a hundred per cent of those requests northwestern tens ok a lot going on out there in the world, lots of shootings and other chaos and just absolutely abysmal coverage of seemingly everything in the media. If ever we needed a sign, that journalism was broken, my God, some of the stories were telling ourselves now, but rather than get pulled into that morass, I will press on here, but I'll be doing more amazed. That might be the context in which to process alot of this topic,
stuff for bringing a is back on the palm cast and the way to submit questions if you're a subscriber you can submit. Questions by sending an email to ask SAM at SAM Dot, Org or you can do this on Twitter, with the hashtag ask SAM and we will gather questions and I will release amaze on those topics and can only be selecting questions from actual? subscribers, whether your pain for then or its free doesn't matter, but you need to be a subscriber, ok, too, damn speaking with James Famine. Jim is a psychologist who has degrees from Harvard and Stanford. He's also taught it for different universities and has had a very low.
Standing influence on the topic of psychedelic, sir. He is one of the early researchers here it's probably more responsible than any one for the phenomenon of Micro, dosing he's written several books, relevantly here the psychedelic explorers guide. He also a new book on the structure of the self that he co, authored with Jordan, Gruber titled, yours funny of cells and in today's conversation we cover the terrain in both those books to some degree. The first half is entirely on psychedelic how to think about taken them, who should take them, who shouldn't take them considerations of set and set in the role of guide, the effects of Micro, dosing, the difference between India May and other proper psychedelic, so called good and bad trips. The power
thought, and then we move on to a discussion about the nature of the self and the fiction of there being a unified self. As we talk about the self in its multiple forms as states of self and even multiple selves per se, and how this might relate to compassion and an understanding of and acceptance of what we are as people in a way. This is your cup t? Jim is a very wise companion for this terrain APOLLO, It is for the audio quality. This was one of those conversations during covered where the local recording failed, so all we had in the end was the backup recording of the actual zoom conversation. So there's some dropouts on Jim side
everything of importance is intelligible, but the audio certainly less than ideal, but I think your ear will get used to it and now bring you games, famine, here with James Famine, Jim thanks for join me, it's a great pleasure. We could been a lot of time. Trying to figure out are where our mutual history intersected. I've. I'm but ninety percent. Sure that you and I once met face to face at least once and I'm showing many people in common, but am perhaps well we'll get their m organically, but Perhaps you can summarize your background. And here had he had you describe what you ve focused on low these many decades that you ve been covering. The topics were about the touch well, I got involved in psychedelic before I
and her graduate school, because Richard Albert turned me on. I was living in Paris. Writing a very bad novel and my draft board said do I go to graduate school or Vietnam and I took the obvious choice and then worked with the clinical group in Menlo Park and just as I have completed my dissertation on psychedelic therapy and by the way I said it was good. The government said we don't want to know anything more. Thank you very much and closed us down in the midst of Asia, a research project where people were using so academics to solve absolutely linear, rational physical scientific problems. And then I had another few careers outside of psychedelic, since the government did want us to know much and
a number of years ago, got back involved in psychedelic research, particularly in micro, dosing and in between I've worked the and taught a number of of of psychology systems or in life. Changing systems like affirmations, psycho censuses and recently just completed a book on internal, healthy multiplicity,. Which was apparently from the outside, like where did that come from, given what I just told you, I've been working on that quietly for Why in five years and finally got it out so I'm at a place of feeling a lot of life. Ambitions, perhaps or inclinations or directions, are in a completed stay so. I have a couple of turns left lots of things I'm intending to do and it's a pleasure to to be with you and
Several of my relatives are very excited because there are long term fans of yours and I'm a short term fan of yours nice, whether the the admiration is mutual. I found your book your books, very useful and illuminating, and I want to cover them somewhat systematic, equally here, and I think that the focus will be on this first book that the term not your first book, but this first book. I want to touch the psychedelic explorers guide and I want to have a fairly structured conversation that can be useful to people who were Thinking about taking psychedelic, sir, are that they are taking them and that can be done safely. In? Who should do it? Who shouldn't do it?
All the related questions here and then we can actually do those near at hand. Then we can touch Europe. Your latest book, which is titled your symphony of selves, which you wrote with CO author, Jordan, Gruber and I M talking about- is how you think about the self yourselves. Oil, and that could be interesting but damages just to get a little more of your back stories. Always so when, were you worry, you did your graduate worker at Stanford, correct, yeah, that's correct, you did you weren't at Harvard getting dozed, Richard Albert and TIM Leary, how did you had you come too? I I was just before that and they Richard Richard Dick Albert and I had become friends. I was an undergraduate and I worked for a summer for him in a research project in California so and we We share the house, so we were. We were really of genuine friends and
was living in Paris, truly writing a novel, and he showed up on his way to Copenhagen, where he was to present with Aldous Huxley and TIM Leary, the first major presentation about psychedelic to the World Council of psychologists, we met. I took him to a little cafe on this Richard Albert and I are sitting there and he's he's really looking and feeling a lot a lot less neurotic than I knew him to be. He was brilliant neurotic ambitious, charming alot of wonderful things, and he said. This thing in the world has happened to me and I want to share with you and I thought well it how bad can that be, and then he took out of his breast pocket a little bottle of pills, and I I didn't freak out, but I certainly withdrew emotionally. I was so straight. I was not drinking coffee, but he said he'd find
Is it took a pill which I now would say would be a moderate dose of suicide, and I say this with synthetic saw aside, and this is not the allegedly writer for this was that they had not. They had not discovered Ellis D at this time. They started with silver, Simon and after a while, the the colors got brighter and everything, but and do you know. Google a little with energy, That was all new to me and then I was also aware of the conversations behind me. His people were walking by as one does then I suddenly realized that my French isn't that good. Wasn't that, wouldn't I
It never hear those conversations prior to this, and I looked at Dick, and I said this is really too much for me and he said well, why don't we go back to your hotel room, and that was great and he said is too much for me too, and I shall finish it means you haven't taken anything. He said this my first night in Paris, I thought we'd both withdrew to my sixth floor, walk up and Some of my chariot beliefs were disassembled about what was valuable and not valuable in my life. Nothing, nothing! Sarah breakthrough, but just a week, does if there was a more to the way the world was I was still me and it was still my personality in my issues and a week later I had followed Dick to Copenhagen and where I had another session with him, which was really about human closeness and connection And kindness and support one another
at a level that the words dont handled, well, if we had one more notched up in value of each of those words, that's what it was life went on and a few weeks later I was at Stanford and I discovered in one little tiny corner of Stanford, a professor who was working with psychological and experience that has forever shifted. My my where it is my belief system and also shifted my career. So that's it. That's a little more backstory when, with this event, around nine early, sixty one nineteen sixty one year. Yeah. Well, it's! Yes, I am Sure that you and I met with thy Richard Albert who was then what are known as robbed us at some point in the end in the late eighties somewhere and near aware, Stanford.
I know it's great- to meet again before we dive into this. I just want to offer the obligatory disclaimer to our listener said Lina. We are not giving met. Go advice. We're not recommending that you personally take psychedelic. Some Obviously we don't know your personal situation dear listener, so you just have to read the lines and between the lines in this conversation to extract anything that might be useful to you in your specific situation. Obviously we're not going to soft pedal. We underline truth here, which is that psychedelic have been incredibly useful to to each of us personally and the resurgence of research on them I hold great promise for everyone really, and it says one of them happier developments and in recent years in psychological science, but obviously
where most people are living, these drugs are are likely to be illegal and therefore you encourage some risk just taking them out of a benign your experience on the might be, and you know some people can have bad experiences which hole will get into. So with that caveat out of the way, let's start with general considerations here, Jim, who should and didn't think about taken. Second Alex will one is obviously the questions I get a lot over. The years is I'm thinking of taking LSD But- and I say, don't do it and they say, but I haven't told you my reasons- I said: no, if you feel there's a reason you shouldn't take psychedelic, you have to listen to them, so my caviar is much stronger than yours salmon. That way, and the question of
who and who shouldn't take. It is only one that can be answered by an individual. I can tell you that if you read the literature, there's a lot of discussion about not having a psychedelic. These are all high dose. Discussions were having right now right. You have what will talk about my producing later but for high doses. The science world says: no one, not if you ve had a psychotic episode, not if you ve been schizophrenia, not if your bipolar and not if you have a serious mental, something like that now I used to wonder about that is: where did we get that information? So I searching around. I asked some of the senior researchers who were friends and the
answer was? Actually there isn't any information like that out there? What there is is people doing research dont want those people in the research, because if they have a bad experience or six months later, they have a bad experience. It has nothing to do with psychedelic. They will blame it on psychedelic I followed this a little bit more or with bipolar cassettes when the groups it can never get in any research projects, and If you go online, of course, if you go to the web, of course, there is a group of people who are by or who talk to each other. And so I asked them, would you commented have you had any psychedelic experience? Do you have any advice for the other people on this, this group, the general advice was from people who had you cited
said I don't know how and under what conditions, but they said on the manic phase of being bipolar. Don't take anything. And on the depressive phase of bipolar. A number them said that that psychedelic had been very helpful, so that's not published, and that's not science with that's what I call citizen science, which is what actually happening out there. It's important to keep There are a lot of research studies and most of them very favourable exciting, but behind that since psychedelic were made illegal in the late sixties, early Seventys in the United States and just United States? Thirty million people have tried hydro, psychedelic, we're just LSD, not all academics and as
Yet we have, we have no deaths and we have a lot of people who had very unhappy and difficult experiences, but in some senses it's a very safe these you're safe substances physiological. And if you don't know what you're doing you can have a terrible experience, even on a moderate those too the variable is having some understanding of what you are you you're doing and what you're learning and so a recommending or not recommending is not something I do except to not recommend. Unless you know what you're doing yeah. This is a bit of a conundrum, however, because even very experienced psycho knots. As you know, I can feel the significant trepidation when thinking about taking a high dose. Anything, a major study, even knowing what you're in for even having experiences under your belt that you can.
Or to be not only benign but incredibly transformative. You still approach to this, howling abyss with the appropriate awe and concern in all. Often end amaze, even someone is a seasoned, is Terence Mckenna would would talk about the feeling of fear he would live with IRAN, and this consideration of whether he should trip again, and so, if your prescription or non prescription is it feel any hesitation about doing this. Don't do it it's a little hard to apply at will that's probably, why put it out there because it gives people the hesitation and the image it came to mind. As you were saying, it is his skydiving
no matter how many times you skydive and how carefully you check your gear. You know that sometimes people fall out of the sky and an adult and the shoot doesn't open, and it's not a matter of skill or experienced its. The matter of the facts are that these these substances will take you places you do not intend, and I think that are the reason why I backed off from high dose work and high dose research. Because it can be. It can always be not only a scary experience, which is fine people. You know, pay a lot of money to be frightened if you ve ever been to what's called amusement park, but the question of
benefit is really where I'm I'm looking at. I'm not really that interested in people who a kind of our tripping, because their streaming sir This is now very enacted in people who were saying. I really want to learn something important that will perhaps changed my life and therefore I am preparing appropriately. He I should say I have said before that I didn't take any second Alex for at least twenty five years based. The kinds of concerns we we ve just sketched here and then just just a growing awareness of what a colossal span of the psychological roulette, we'll it was and having handsome Gary experiences, I decided I you know I meditation was- was a much more governor ball game, and so I What was until very recently about lowering
Oh, that I had my first in several decade, significant trip, which I found incredibly useful, but this is because seriousness of intent that should frame this project is worth emphasizing because there really is a to stay, between a recreational approach to these things, a mere just bored, and you want to have fun and you might do this had a part you're doing it at a concert or anyone under conditions where those things exist. Obviously we're having a conversation during the Covid nineteen dam neck and there's not a lot of either of those things. But people tend to approach this frivolous.
And something that doesnt certainly doesn't guarantee a bad experience. You can have a great experience doing that, but it's not really the appropriate orientation. In my view- and it sounds like you agree, Jim Mistress- that there really is. These are incredibly powerful tools. Well, as as my favorite kind of what why you have to why recreational it may be a little more you, then you think, is my kind of young people who said to me once we were having this fabulous trip until the car caught on fire. That really should did everybody's reality in a way that they were unable to cope. So we really looking at something and an actually in terms of my being conservative and it's wonderful. The second acts of moves so far that I'm concerned
Is if you're going to have a high dose experience and you intend to get anything from it- is very important to have a guide, a companion, a designated drivers so to speak? Somebody who knows more than you do and cares about you that turns out to be a way of preventing almost all strongly negative experiences, because when your keys, in a negative experience and you're on your own or your with other people who are off on their own trips. Very hard to get out here. Women as a guide, it's very easy to get up here. So let us talk about that, each of us, since in chapter so yeah, I won't talk about the role of a guide here, but this section might be called. Sat and set in. How do you recommend and again what we're talking about large, effective doses here? Not micro doses, which will talk about
How do you think about people preparing for a significant trip, whether its in a cellar Simon, were LSD or I want stir. What will we can talk about specific compounds in a moment? How do you think about this? Could the concept of said and setting well, what we know is the target Alex are incredible. Sensitive to set or your mental attitude and setting the literally physical situation you're in, and that includes the other People who are around and the main reason that I wrote that book the psychedelic explores guide is for the first two chapters which detail how to become.
A good journey or how to be how to do had a set yourself up the best way possible and also how a guide should behave end and what it but knowledge they should have, because it's not a simple question. But fundamentally the question is always: do you feel safe is a truly safe? Is it true, I would say you won't be disturbed and do you have some idea of what you do you understand the substance? Do you understand what you did the doses or are like an do? You have some intentions and perhaps that's what set is about, which is what do you intend, and it is likely that you will have what you intend, but you'll have some
sing Elsa goes with it. So all of those were important that I think the way I've said it's it set and setting and situation, which is what's your life situation. If your life situation is very difficult, even if you're in a lovely setting setting it's not going to be your life situation is going to impinge on that and you're going to be in trouble. What's the substance, do you know what you're taking you bought illegally? Have it has it been tested? The word I use than his sitter, because I'm actually trying to seduce essence cause you do that when you write books, but us a sitter is almost like. A coach in a coach doesn't bother you unless something is needed to be helped. So if you, for instance, you you're lying on a couch, you have music, you take off the headphones, you sit up and you said
think I'm dying, and you do you think you're dying and everything in your in your mind, is telling you that and the guide friend sitter looks over two and said: oh, that's great and reaches out his hand were her hand And part of you says we're way way when I just that, I'm dying and and this person who I know and love says it's great and another part of you said, oh, I took this substance and its taking me in an indifferent and also see what what actually is beaten by the notion that I'm dying and what people then it find out. Mrs more on reflection later, is, as your ego is noticing that it's about to be demoted from amazingly important to something that is
useful, yet often will come up with these amazing scenarios of what a bad idea. It is for the rest of you to discover the correct placement or the correct kind of the status of your of your so called identity. Remember Alan Watts had a wonderful comment, as he would look in the mirror and he'd say what percentage of me has Ever heard of Alan Watts, get yourself physiologically? The answer is a tiny amount of your brain has to do with your identity and the rest of it really has other other preoccupations. So that's part of what I am suggesting is why preparation is important You want us any more about the role of a guy and we can't can guide, be assumed we any well intentioned person who's, not tripping along with you or does not require some special experience. Well, the fact
the matter is that most people do not have access to highly trained sophisticated guides who participated in research studies, etc. So the reality of what my opinion or not is the very kind. Loving people who ve had prior psychedelic experiences that are positive, often can be very healthy, safe guides again at the term, is close to designate The driver where you dont need someone who is an auto mechanic and race car driver to be designated dry. We need someone who has, for all of their feelings and emotions, is physiologically sound and who. I'll drive. So it would be. There is a whole class of people known as guides Corridor, Michael Pollen, in his work for his book. He says there are hundreds of them.
Ass, the country there is even an international gilded guides, which has been found in the Netherlands, for there is an occupation where you can actually in many locations, fine people who will have a lot of experience and sitting with people, and so that's that's a kind of in between place- and I was struck a few years ago in Berkeley on a on a powerful There were stable, the LU, Lu Notice, it said trip center. I have just someone sit with you. While you are tripping at a basically gave a phone number and this was someone who you can hire to come to your house and sit with you? So we are creating a kind of new occupational group here are people who know up not only a lot more than you do, but consider it
there are usually more than a vocation to help you Haggis final question on sat in a. How do you think about the difference between- taking one of these compounds, what's a lsd or sell us Ivan out in nature or you know, with with senses directed outward verses and an inn, Colonel Journey, whether Europe, blindfolded or age, in in a dark room. Well, I think it's it's. The same discussion you have about mysticism is this internal mysticism? Where you go inside, then you find that everything in the universe is inside or you go outside and you find that everything in the universe is outside. The difference is that if you have If your interested more in your own psycho dynamics- and you have say therapeutic intent, since probably you will do better staying inside where
You are less literally likely to be distracted by the the amazed beauty of the ten thousand things if you wish to bland more to become more aware of your continuity. The natural world then outside, is fantastic and will give you a a recognition. Of your continuity with the natural world. That is not that you dont lose you dont forget. Now talk about toe surgeon, and here we can. We can talk about micro, dosing as well.
Oh, and am I right in thinking that you're you're a century the Father of Micro dosing? At this point, I think at the moment I'm probably the the the person who has the largest number of of cases in his in his research base and has talked about about it and is probably the most quoted. There's a generation of researchers coming up fast behind me and will soon push me aside, but right now, yeah, I'm problem, probably them that the most the most well known and person and has done and his as reported on micro doses in ways that other people have yeah, ok, well, that was over the ground. What what was in it have the humility and I think a girl, I'm gonna, have to
both the dosage, then I think that, as always, that does not necessarily always the best exertions. So on must differentiate these two projects because they really are distinctive was talk about macro dosing. First you'll. Let me just go right up the line shirt and, let's start at around twenty five micrograms where people report Some psychedelic effects were very mild about only just talking Ellen then I'll do it in micrograms around fifty micrograms is a what was called originally a museum dose and now is called a concert dose. Ever wondered when you go to a concert. Why there's that unbelievably you'd light show its because such a large percentage of the patrons have come intending to get as much of the light show
as the music and that maybe is fifty two hundred at a hundred microgram AMS one can do very hard, no scientific research and there's a great many companies round the world, some of which admit to it where a number breakthroughs are Trib, to working in that way. With that dosage, when you get into the hundreds two hundred micrograms arrange its psychotherapeutic, which is you can work with a therapist somewhat the way the therapist wants to meaning you're still in communication, you will trip off into a kind of thought loops if someone if you're therapist do you want to look up. Look at the death of your mother. Ten minutes later, you may return to the room and say yes thank you for four, that I understood
much better and I understand my reactions once you go above two hundred and up to say four hundred, then your usually talking about what is all the transcendent or a mystical or unity experience. That's when you lose your primary identification. With your own physical identity and your psychological identity. So you
no longer if I'm it in taking four hundred miles round. At some point, Jim Famine becomes a subset of the larger being that I feel myself to be, and in that state people report things like experiencing the birth of the universe or physically their own birth or memories of past identities. It's what we called it an original report in the sixtys, the psychedelic experience which is experiencing that you're
that you're Ellen was set it nicely as you exist, your body doesn't ended your fingertips, and that is a revelation to people and on their return from that higher dose. They often will see that parts of their own emotional physical social system are really defective and they make massive change. I recall, working with several alcoholics and they were referred by the courts, so they were not exactly eager to have a psychedelic experiences. The early sixties in all of this was not known and each one A week later went out and drank and then came back to us and said what have you done to me and we said you know we gave you a psychedelic and they said, but I don't like drinking. It doesn't feel feels like it shrinks. Mi Mi, MI, expanded awareness
So there is a wonderful bit of video footage from some work done its spring grove. Little again and late sixties. This was forty years later, one of these overnight recovered alcoholics and the filmmaker is saying. Well, can you talk about your drinking says? I haven't had a drink in forty years and they Filmmaker talks about willpower and the man laughed and says his do with willpower. I've never had any interest in drinking ever since so a high dose or a mystical experience. Level dose has a number of additional effects that will not be found at lower doses, and that's pretty much all the way down that the two hundred, the psychotherapeutic too, the other thing is what happened at a lower goes etc. Does that earlier? What what's it? What are you
consider analogous dose of of mushrooms and or synthetic said, Simon well yeah in a couple of thousand. Cases I have. We have adding one person was synthetic suicide and so centres as if some like It, is coming back now right into the in the research, but its Noel is going back because there are a lot of people who can make money from it. It's coming back research because researchers. Who who have come out of a second fireworks Ology model once something: that's it close to a normal, psychologically active substances possible, and they loved to have accurate measurement, even though the amount a person should take should be based on what the person actually needs not on wait or of their age. It's it's a little bit as if people
in four meals and you gave everyone the exact amount of each food carefully measured and they said but hey, I want more potatoes and they said no. The study says everyone has to have the exact amount of potatoes, so I have obviously some biases about some of the scientific research, even the best of it. But what we're looking at with Scylla Simon is three to five grams of mushroom. We'll give you aim a fairly expansive trip. People have taken much more than that and at some point they they stop. Bringing back useful information and in my world that's what too much of a doses each mushroom has its own level. It is an amount of suicide, and even if you have mushrooms from the same same little patch, the same species will be different
so it's much harder when you get into natural substances and for ample. What I know is, and with an eye was the IRA scattered D. The farmer who is who is doing the giving the medicine whether their training America word, or one of the hundred or so in LOS Angeles I'll give you what they think is a good amount. And then later on, they will do you more. If that seems to be useful now how much is a good amount? Ok, it's a quarter cup. It's a half cup they're using their clinical.
A kind of intuitive knowledge rather than a scale. So once you get into organics it's much harder to say, what's the right amount, when you get into my criticising it's much easier session of dose has always been subject and the people that I worked with clinically I gave you those numbers, but let me give me, show how it works. Four hundred micrograms is an amazing amount of psychedelic. However,. When you have an alcoholic and you give them four hundred micrograms. Our and a half later there walking around the room and sang ruined man, sums going on, but I'll feel comfortable in what are you
is do anyway. Anyone else at that point is on the couch voluntarily asking for headphones and a blindfold, because the input is so overwhelming. Well, when you add to the alcoholics cocktail another four hundred micrograms, so there now taking eight hundred micrograms, which I don't recommend anybody they settle down and again the Hague exactly the way everyone else does on a much lower dose, and I looked at that for a long time actually studied a call as the main and why most treatments work and when I realized was psychedelic CIS alcoholics have learned and have a physiology that cooperate to handle very large doses of substances that distort consciousness So there, in a sense, their ability to hold on and to hang onto their defences is
are more developed, then for the rest of us, so I'm dancing around the dosage question because it's not quite the appropriate question. The appropriate question is: what is the correct amount for this person on this day for this intention, and that, of course, is an individual question? Is there anything in your mind? It significantly differentiates thee experience on a high dose of LSD versus a high dose of suicide, and that is mushrooms and in most cases, the feeling in the the underground, who takes a lot more drugs than I do? Is that suicide and is a kinder,
experience, it's a more emotionally gentle experience and that's partly it is said, because there is a plant spirit behind it. Lsd is considered a little colder, a little more powerful. It doesn't let You off easy, and I know these are all very vague terms unless you know what I'm talking about. My research associate the doctors five core, but one point set up a little bought and it asked the little bought to say here's a hundred reports from error, wid about suicide and experiences here. A hundred reports available. The experiences can you this little learning bought distinguish the two. If you, if you can't be told which substance it is, what kind of a blinded artificial intelligence a I a robot said. No, I actually can't tell
The difference between those experiences? There's another group of people who are saying the difference between a synthetic psilocybin and a mushroom is also great difference, and that is also not yet particularly of we don't know quite what that means. But it's probably true, since a mushroom has a whole mother sat at about the Lloyd's in it, so it should have a slightly different effect than just the suicide molecule. He had one obvious differences just that time course of the trapper LSD trip last set about twice as long as a mushroom trip, that's import, because as one of the reasons that the research Gone away, that's what you're vestiges, whither psychedelic renaissance, why our most of these studies suicide, and why not
less de because with LSD we have a couple of thousand research papers. You know to start with, and I asked one of the senior researchers- and this is this- is this comes on as a little ridiculous, but it's actually quite subtle and sensible. He said there are several reasons one is so. Asylum will give the same experience but in a short amount of time, forty six hours lsd, eight to twelve. If you're working with someone eight to twelve hours in a research setting, that's too shifts of personnel that doubles your personnel costs. So there's a motive
I said these two things about suicide and one is it's not called LSD, meaning it doesnt, there's not a lot of pressure out another research and a lot of knowledge of negative press from the sixties. Yeah the other- and this is my favorite- is suicide and hard to spill her. How they're saying is that just because it's more sounds more like a scientific terms, People are more comfortable with it, which makes me wonder why there is a more research on Dm T, because that's that's over in fifteen minutes and a dime Ethel trip to mean is also hard to spell the empty is not, Andy empty of you do have experience with them purity empty as opposed to the empty. Is that one of the
active ingredients in, I was scope as well, but that's a very different experience. Apparently do you have this smoke very short act, inexperience or the injectable there? short acting experience? How can I may now lose at least half of your audience? I have not a great many experiences and I dont seek out new substances to experience. It's like people who, like wine, Some people like wine to drink some people like wine to find interesting, difficult, rare amazing once the question always for me is what is the take home value now that that's a little bit as if someone I say well, you went to a concert what's to take home value
they don't be ridiculous. I went to the concert for them the being there at the time. Well, I've nothing, nothing wrong with that. Of course, do the same thing, but because of my background, I probably take psychedelic more seriously than most people. So the question of of all these different substances in all these different forms doesn't it it doesn't resonate and- and I remember When I was sending out little, I gave a talk at Santa Cruz. You see Santa Cruz some years ago, when I asked each of the people there to fill out will form. What's your best trip, what you worse trip, why did you come here tonight and what have you used and these raw undergraduates and.
There was one young man who had tried twenty four different psychedelic substances, and I thought he probably doesn't get much out of it- he's a collector of eggs of of of having done experiences and that's very different, the other side of that. The other way arguing that is the the notion is- and this is I think, from shop with soft or come who, which is when you ask, got a question and he answers it. You hang up the phone for a lot of people. They say. Will I learned what psychedelic had to teach me and my interests than diminished yeah yeah at some
certainly resonate with me, I certainly felt that for twenty five years and- and it is not something that I imagine doing with any frequency- it high doses certainly, but I've never taken. I will ask I've, never smoke the empty and- and I just hearing about thee phenomenology those experiences it. They sound like there are certainly opening different doors, in name the mansion of the mind and I'm I do feel like I can attest to a somewhat significant difference between so and at an lsd at higher doses. What you said about the difference does resonate with made us all? Lsd has a kind of metallic quality to comparative suicide in it, not to say that is bad but its. It is different
And then, of course, there's is the agenda ecstasy, which is not classically psychedelic, which, in terms of take home value, has offered a tremendous amount to people. Where do you put em dna in this conversation reach them. Do you may reasons, Liberia's psychedelic. What has biochemical witches?
The other is that you do not go beyond yourself. Your psyche, Attics Tiberias, only your you in an incredibly inner safe place where all the parts of you that are awful to consider or terrible events or traumas or worse. You can objectively look at and move them from the part of your brain that holds them as terrible trauma and disturbs or destroys your life and puts them into conventional memory. Where you can remember that you did terrible things, but it doesn't dominates your present. So it's a totally different set of experiences and, however, the way it's given is exactly the way we developed it in the sixties, with the comfortable room and the music and the headphones Nancy.
Male and female guide, all of which are to make it easier for people to look at traumatic experience. If you give the same, person a very, very high dose lsd. They will. They will pass right through the trauma area and have perhaps again one of these transcend and explore. Answers which may or may not affect the trauma. We haven't really done that kind of research. So empty may in a sense, is psychologically less threatening because you don't go beyond your own identity and that that's real difference. How should the springs up an interesting point about which there may be research that I'm unfamiliar with the just based on my own experience? it's often fail to me that not taking enough of a psychedelic is.
As much of a risk factor in determining having aim bad trip. We'll talk about good and bad trips next, but come here we're talking about dosage not taking enough not not achieving escape velocity of some kind can do You, too an unpleasant experience as much is taking too much. If, if taken too much is in fact a liability and others have had trips, words fell like I took just enough to have you, my ordinary mental ray. The good and scrambled or or am I took just enough to be given an unusual mental energy with which to fixate on my psychological problems, but not given enough to fly clear of them for any span of time, and so the net result
there was something considerably more than a micro. Does that potentially aided my capacity for unhappiness and I believe I believe I've noticed this from both sides, because you have had trips where you have gone very far out. Well beyond any personal reference point to my life and my psychology, and and it's only upon re entry. You know I'm coming down that yeah. You begin to punch into the atmosphere of of the familiar and begin thinking about your life. Is it that strata of the mind that there's a sort of a new capacity for chaos and complication and neurosis you're, a commercial for guides disappoints me up, look at particular event that happens in a high dose, which is you have I found that you are immortal you.
One with whatever your religious tradition teaches you is the highest or gone past that it into feeling that that everything is interconnected and it's all the same stuff. And then you come down and you find that their you are there. You are a kind of middle aged physician in a difficult marriage, and one of your kids is has some kind of illness, and you have economic problems and you love kites. If that person. Can as a whole, with a little bit right into the heart their issues than they could coming up. And one of the message that we use when we're doing a clinical rotations, a couple of hundred people is we them to bring in important photographs again noticed. This is visual. We also ask them to have a list of questions, and I will mention them, but we ask you to bring an important vote.
Rather than is usually would be of of important human beings and their lives. And we would say, would you like to look at your photographs and they will look at US what's a photograph whenever you but you have them a photograph and say it's there, it's their spouse. Now again, these are trained guides, and what do they do? They do nothing. The person looks at this photograph and they may look at it for a minute and put it aside. They may look out for forty five minutes and then they say: okay, I'd, like another photograph, And you don't know what's gonna, but when they write a report, Two weeks later, you find out, they spend a huge amount of time therapeutically reworking a lot of their issues around that particular person. So it's a method of depth psychological work without
form without vocabulary and without SIRI that was We also gave them a arose, bud of rose the starting to open- and most every religious tradition that had access to roses makes them an important the symbol or active force, and we found again The people would have an experience of working, with a living expand. Ding, beautiful piece of nature that they felt was important and again people would take a look long time, just looking into that Rosen indicating how open and they went inside it and how. Became arose and how that that made sense to them their usual life. So as as one coming, down, but one those coming down aware that
is more than one's identity and when you have those high experiences SAM, the ones that, as you said, coming back into being, you he's always little puzzlingly, I'm part of everything there is: why did I come back into a SAM Harris? Have all pay and that's where you then get an opportunity to say proudly. I came back into the SAM Harris To clean him up a little bit so that he would get more benefit out of being in this lifetime. So let's talk them micro dose in which superficially seems like a similar projects, because we were again we're talking about taking LSD or sell Simon generally, but.
The dosage being dial down as much as we are about to describe really does change things, what constitute a micro dose and and what our people micro dozen well. I have to make a super clear action: let micro doze, I have no psychedelic effect, so they are not a little biddy high, maybe they're the difference between and die. You're still know, there's still radio frequencies, but the micro doses one tends to one twentieth of what is called a recreational. Those with LSD, For the original work I did some years ago, we it was ten micrograms had seemed to be an appropriate amount for people to have the experiences that I'll talk about a little bit more without her to stop or disturb their life. They had their normal day, nor.
Activities normal work, normal driving normal? time with their family etc? The dose for mushrooms was about was then about point to grams two point: five grams. Now, when I say the doses again, what we found after you, you get. A few hundred reports is people say cheat. Ten micrograms was too much, I'm taking seven point. Two was too much, I'm taking one tenth of a grand. What we found is tat. People would correct the dose so to speak for their own understanding and an experience, and we also found in terms of taking it
often, which is a huge difference between psychedelic, some Micro Dosing Micro Dosing, is done repeatedly. People found that, after taking it one day on in two days off over a four month, that's about ten times over a month, most people ended up taking it less often so it looks like it was. It was not a dick just as all other psychedelic, but whatever value it had. People seem to to gain basic benefits within the first months and then allow it to continue at its own pace now. What are basic benefits? Ok, it's very hard to make this easy to understand, but deal it Wildman did a book called a really good day, then it's about her month of microbes and the best Phoenician of Micro Dosing that I've come across again from one of our people is. I did
our work than I usually do. I made a few more coal calls that were successful. I had a few ideas in the meeting that I usually have no ideas when I went the gym. I did one more set reps. And I enjoyed being with my family more than use through, and I forgot that I'd taken a micro, those one never says At the end of a high dose session, I forgot I took his Ike Adela or actually at NASA quite true with if, if it's a sufficiently high dose huge and completely forget taking a psychedelic, but then you eventually remember, as reality can released when you ve taken this vision. If those you forget. You're a human being on this planet, young, because when you come down your very surprised to find out that that's true and hopefully you're not attempting any reps at the gym no letter driving through it. Oh, so a microphone seems too,
improve the overall function of the organs and I'm being kind of vague and sign. Typically, because there are so many people who reported different benefits or different improvements in youth to Micro, dosing that it's very hard to categorize, and we can look at some of the details of that as much as you wish. He, I guess, I'm just give you some anecdotal experience, Heron and then get your reaction site. I only have experienced Microsoft's in Alas day, and so I guess first question as he is there any. Reason to differentiate the effects of taken, sell us Ivan Mercy, LSD or they essentially indistinguishable. I'm a given the given that a Microsoft is as close to subliminal is you can get. I can't imagine there's much to say about the differ,
there, but I'll when I was giving the differences in kindness and coldness. I was actually quoting someone who said in our Microsoft community, in LOS Angeles, we ve come to the conclusion that Phyllis Ivan is a little nicer, Henderson. The important question is: how long is it effective, and this is where it gets interesting. We know that LSD has major effects ten to twelve hours in, and we all say as if that, as if it stops at that point, we forget that, with high doses, there's also, it's called an afterglow of forty six weeks where you feel better about everything in many ways, in your more creative and so forth, with micro. Dosing
very early on what I discovered was what I called it a two day effect, which is, if it still aside and or lsd. There is at least a two day effect and a great many people say I actually prefer. The second day better, so we're dealing with something which isn't distinguish in the easy sense of time. It may be distinguished in terms of its emotional warmth: because you're taking it as part of your normal life, you you know if you feel better. And you're more effective, it's hard to say is that analytic, or is that emotional? It's simply that, my goodness I hadn't noticed way to work there
little niche at the bank that always I'm walking to work. I look forward to the flowers, particularly on days when I Microsoft here is hardly emotional there. Islands, a fourth how my producing might be recommended her country indicated for any Personally, I can well imagine that macro dosing would hat would have antidepressant effects. He seemed to increase arousal generally its it may, as you say, did he take gonna brightens your attention and surprise me if it wasn't function as a kind of cognitive enhance, earn antidepressant, but I can also see that it might be country indicated for somebody with any kind of anxiety disorder and it seems to me that there is a kind of anxiety like valence job to mere arousal will of, I would say, The same as an end of one you have
yet on both of the most important aspects: positive and negative, the people well I'm having, let me break that, let's look at depression, I'd, say: aquifers thousand words, namely seven if you'd like to continue listening to this conversation, you'll need to subscribe SAM Herriston work once you do, you'll get access to all full length, episodes of making sense podcast, along with other subscriber only content, including bonus episodes, enemies and the conversations I've been having on the waking up at the makings, has podcast his ad free and relies entirely on listener support, and you can subscribe now at SAM Harris network
Transcript generated on 2021-03-25.