Lovely to have you here. The audio from this production was extracted from E12 of Voiceclub – Truth, Psychedelics, and Society, with the Co-Founder of the Australian Psychedelic Society, Nick Wallis. Below you will find a full transcript of the above video, along with a link to the full episode.
Welcome to Voiceclub, a platform for transformative conversations. This is a Voiceclub Short, taken from Episode 12 on Truth, Psychedelics, and Society. The message here, although there’s much, much more to unpack than what can possible be done in a video as short as this, is vitally important, not only for the project of Voiceclub moving forward, but I think to a much grander level than that.
Close to the core of this message is that: you really best beware of what it is you don’t understand about yourself. Because what you don’t understand about yourself — well, it has you, for good or ill. And so, wisdom of the kind that Jung puts forward is really not to be brushed aside. This is to say little more than where there’s potential there’s danger, and we’d do well to keep both sides of the coin in mind.
Let’s flip the coin here. I’m going to read out a passage that Carl Jung wrote, in a letter to VIctor White, and he wrote this on the 10th of April 1954.
‘Is the LSD drug you’re referring to mescaline? It has indeed very curious effects, of which I know far too little. I don’t know either what it’s psychotherapeutic value with neurotic or psychotic patients is. I only know there is no point in wishing to know more of the collective unconscious than one gets through dreams and intuition. The more you know of it, the greater and heavier becomes your moral burden, because the unconscious contents transform themselves into your individual tasks and duties as soon as they become conscious. Do you want to increase loneliness and misunderstanding? Do you want to find more and more complications and increasing responsibilities? You get enough of it.
If I once could say that I had done everything I know I had to do, then perhaps I should realise a legitimate need to take mescaline. If I should take it now I would not be at all sure that I had not taken it out of idle curiosity. I should hate the thought that I had touched on the sphere where the paint is made that colours the world, where the light is created that makes shine the splendour of the dawn, the lines and shapes of all form, the sound that fills the orbit, the thought that illuminates the darkness of the void. There are some impoverished creatures perhaps, for whom mescaline would be a heaven sent gift without a counter poison, but I am profoundly mistrustful of the pure “gifts of the gods”, you pay very dearly for them.
This is not the point at all, to know of or about the unconscious, nor does the story end here. On the contrary, it is how and where you begin the real quest. If you are too unconscious, it is a great relief to know a bit of the collective unconscious. But it soon becomes dangerous to know more, because one does not learn at the same time how to balance it through a conscious equivalent. That is the mistake Aldous Huxley makes, he does not know that he is in the role of Zauberlehrling, sorcerer’s apprentice, who learned from his master how to call the ghosts, but did not know how to get rid of them again.’
I think what Jung is getting at there cuts very close to the core of what the element of responsibility incumbent on anyone who decides they want to take a psychedelic substance has to come to terms with. We’ve been talking about the fact that these are, if nothing else, strange and powerful things. Where strange, here, is the very essence of strange. And powerful is, at least on the psychological and perhaps spiritual level, the very essence of power.
And, the question then becomes: if you have such experiences that you can’t quite put into words, but feel somehow filled with a sense of meaning to take or integrate some of that experience into a life — well how do you go about doing that? What should you orient towards? What kind of life facilitates the integration of some of these experiences?
Now, Jung of course, references here the collective unconscious, and it’s a vast domain of study filled with the requirement to have a real deep relation to a kind of psychological symbolism and an appreciation of thematic content that I think cuts at this area of confusion about truth, and where something like the mystical parts of our world might meet the scientific endeavour and, there’s these strange things that are brought together that pop up through, and from a place that we can construe as the unconscious, we can construe it is as the potential for human experience, but that they pop up in our experience, and they have the power in fact to orient our action but also reveal how it is we are already acting. How we might be relating to our parents or our friends in a particular social environment. How that might relate to certain systems that are mechanically involved in the cycle of world affairs.
There can be an awareness of the power associated with what something like a pure malevolent feeling is when it’s attached to someone who is animated by a particular view of the world or a particular ideology, even though that person themselves might be the most benign person from one view: perhaps they are speaking purely rationally and purely factually, but in actual fact, it’s somehow a, there’s a possession there.
Thank you for watching, you can find the full conversation in the description below. If you’re interested in content like this, do hit the subscribe button, and subscribe where you usually listen to your podcasts. You can also visit voiceclub.com to join the mailing list, and there will be a link to Patreon as well if you’d like to support this project in a more committed way. Voiceclub is a platform for transformative conversations, and there’s a lot more to come. The next conversation to be uploaded has been recorded in full video as well, as was the first episode. And it’s a very interesting conversation with a wonderfully interesting man his name is Warren Roberts, and he’s an entrepreneur who has provided people a novel and important way to conceptualize our post-death rituals in the Western world.
Read the show notes @ https://voiceclub.com/e12-nick-wallis-of-the-australian-psychedelic-society/
Island (Boy with crown) by XHXIX @ http://xhxix.tumblr.com/page/9
DMT visuals @ https://vimeo.com/stebbing3d
Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man – by Salvador Dali
Other sources available on request.