Many say that in order to make psychedelic assisted therapy more accessible some form of regulation is needed. I think it's a good idea for many reasons.
The pharmaceutical approach
We can already observe a current movement when a traditional pharmaceutical process is applied in order to regulate psychedelic assisted therapy. At the same time some companies like Compass Pathways are moving from a charity to for profit drug company and trying to patent their synthetic form of psilocybin treatment protocol.
Read more about this in this article: Can a company patent the basic components of psychedelic therapy?
This type of legislation requires standardization and generalization of substances and protocols in order to measure and guarantee certain results.
Another aspect of this one sided pharmaceutical approach is a real possibility of creating monopolies through ownership of psychedelic assisted therapy protocols.
This article is an invitation for intelligent conversation to share different perspectives and find the best solutions. These are my feelings and thoughts.
Unique individual healing experience
For me one of the greatest gift of psychedelic medicines (and here I refer to specifically psilocybin and ayahuasca) is that each experience is tailored to the individual in the present moment.
All of those who consciously worked with this medicines with the intention of healing would probably agree that the set and setting is crucial part of the individual experience. What works for you might not work for others. I would highlight more the set which refers to the mindset of the individual who is participating in a medicine ceremony. This has a major effect on the experience, this is why even though some people might take the same medicine in the same setting but still have completely different healing experience based on what serves them the best.
I believe that these plants can work with the individual psyche in a unique way to honor the uniqueness of each healing path.
The spiritual aspect
Working with these powerful plant allies has an undeniable spiritual aspect, a transcendental nature. There is a sense that the healing journey is guided by something bigger, something greater on the soul level. People often experience a sense of connectedness to something greater and receive strong inner guidance that arises from beyond the mind, thoughts and beliefs.
It is a great question how to measure or regulate this important spiritual component of the individual experiences from a material and mental perspective.
I believe that these medicinal plants are important tools and allies to assist us to go beyond our mind and our material understanding. To expand our awareness into our emotional and spiritual aspects. To integrate all of our parts together and to recognize our spiritual nature.
This all makes sense if we consider that we have a multidimensional nature of body, mind, heart and soul. Our natural state is wholeness.
Most people who are called to work with these sacred plants have tried looking for tools and answers on the mental and material level but haven’t found them. However when they work with these plants in a responsible way they often experience a sense of reconnection, peace and expansion of awareness of themselves as part of something bigger. As a result of energetic alignment and integration often natural healing and rejuvenation occurs in the physical body.
One of the most important milestones on the healing path is to take responsibility and recognize our power. We have to remember that we are the healers.
You are your healer. Plants, people, places can only assists you on your healing journey.
You need to make the necessary changes in order to heal your life.
People who work consciously with plants like Ayahuasca for healing, often experience a sense of personal empowerment and the awareness that healing is an internal affair.
Your healing is your responsibility. Therefore other people or outside regulations can’t really guarantee your healing and the outcome of your healing experience.
It greatly depends on you. What you put in, you get out so to say. This is because healing is really a participatory process that you play the most important part.
I believe that these plants have the potential to guide us to reconnect and integrate all parts of ourselves, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual and expand our awareness to our multidimensional nature.
How van we comprehend and regulate a mystical, transcendental experience with the limited framework of conscious mind?
Some ideas to consider
I believe that we can take a more holistic and practical approach to create framework and support the important healing work in relation to these special healing plants.
1. Looking at existing results, looking at what is already working
There are many healers, shamans, teachers and retreat centers who offer different plant medicine programs tailored to groups and individuals all around the world.
There are many people who already participated in these programs and already went through their healing journey.
There is plenty of information available on this subject and more and more organizations are popping up initiated by these places and individuals.
Looking closely and examining these results of the programs, people, places that are already offered out there can give us further direction to determine what works best in practicality.
2. Transparency, focusing on feedback of participants, clients
One of the most important factor in decision making can be the reputation, based on the real feedback of participants who choose different approaches, retreats, healers and programs. At the end of the day no matter what certificates or marketing tools people have, what matters more is their result, meaning if their clients are happy and content with their experience and feel healed, whatever that means to them.
This type of feedback is always more valuable than any paid advertisement and creates more trust, safety and transparency that supports people to make their own informed choices.
When I take on a new client I always offer the person the opportunity to talk to my ex-clients and hear their experience working with me. Also When I finish working with a client I ask for their detailed feedback in writing and often have them on my podcast to talk about their experience.
3. Primary focus on education and harm prevention instead of regulation and control
I believe that the best way to prevent the abuse and misuse of any substance is education. I have seen many times with indigenous people that children who grow up in a culture where these plant medicines are used in a sacred and responsible way with a spiritual understanding there is no abuse or misuse of these medicines.
In a western consumer culture that is disconnected from the spiritual aspect of life we simply don’t know how to respect and work with these plants in sacred and responsible way.
Therefore I think our number one priority in the west should be on education of people who are interested in this way of healing and awakening.
Thankfully this is already starting to happen. There are more and more teachers, space holders and guardians of the medicine path who are already out there sharing their wisdom.
4. Community, cooperation and diversity
Instead of competition we could create a community guided by the most experienced people to share and cooperate creating a vast source of tools, information, resources and platform for conversation and collaboration. Community and cooperation is a framework that has long term proven results. It’s very important to preserve diversity and acknowledge that there is many different paths leading to the same destination. Every human being is different, what works for one, might not be suitable for another. Diversity allows people to choose their individual path, that resonates with their heart.
5. Listening to people with experience and best results
Regarding psychedelic plants, I believe it is vital that all individuals who participate in creating legislation has personal experience with these plants. Without that they have only part of the information needed to make a truly informed decision. There are some things that can be only understood by experience.
A great example and my personal hero is Dr Stanislav Grof, with over 60 years of scientific and practical experience in psychedelic assisted therapy and healing in non-ordinary states of consciousness.
I believe that it is important to include healers, teachers and guides of psychedelic assisted therapy to participate in creating new framework and regulation regarding the responsible use of these powerful plants like Ayahuasca and psilocybin.
My intention is to contribute to an evolving conversation around the healing potential and more widespread use of these plants and to create the best solutions for our collective benefit.
You are the healer. Love is the medicine.