OUR FIRST WISDOM WEDNESDAY
The term psychedelic is usually taken to mean “mind-manifesting”. But did you know that psychedelics substances were first described as “psychotomimetic”, which means something that mimics psychosis? A lot of psychedelic experiences are described by individuals as being spiritual or religious in nature. But these very same experiences can be seen by mainstream psychiatry and psychology as delusional or symptomatic of underlying mental illness. And individuals with family histories or predispositions to mental illnesses like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia are often advised to be extremely careful or avoid using psychedelics altogether.
Earlier this summer, BPS chief entheogen officer Colin Pugh found himself smack in the middle of a psychedelically inspired awakening/non-dual experience that landed him in a psychiatric hospital. There, his experience was interpreted as a “drug-induced manic episode”. He was not allowed outside for a week, and his symptoms were temporarily managed with a low-dose antipsychotic. The docs had little interest in an authentic spiritual interpretation. After leaving the hospital, Colin spent the following weeks and months exploring the ups and downs of integration with the help of family, friends, and members of the New York psychedelic community. During this process, he came to realize that our current way of engaging with these breakthrough experiences is inadequate. But perhaps there is a new kind of environment and community structure that would help blossom these difficult experiences into bona fide insights?
This Wednesday, at the Pacific Standard in Brooklyn, join us for for a candid and down to earth conversation with psychedelic researcher and integration guide, Katherine MacLean, PhD, and Colin Pugh of the Brooklyn Psychedelic Society as they discuss spiritual experiences, mental illness, our society’s current way of interfacing with these experiences, and what the future landscape might look like for supporting individuals and their friends and families through these periods of transformation.
This is our first WISDOM WEDNESDAY at the Pacific Standard bar in Boerum Hill! At Wisdom Wednesdays, we will have communal discussions around a topic relevant to the contemporary psychedelic explorer. Members can also share their learned wisdom (sometimes hard, sometimes easy) via the use of a microphone that will be made freely available to make sounds into.