Psychedelic Science, Consciousness, and the Mystical
This is a conversation about the relationship between psychedelic experience, mental health, society, the prominent role of the mystical experience in positive outcomes, and more – charted through the lens of one of the field’s leading research scientists, Dr. Matthew Johnson.
It’s also the first of a series of conversations which took place at Beyond Psychedelics in Prague, June 2018. The aim of the conference can be stated as follows:
‘To provide a platform for global cooperation among people with a professional interest in psychedelics. We aspire to facilitate the exchange of both scientific knowledge and real practical experience – at a global level and across a variety of disciplines, thus creating new synergies.’
Voiceclub is not affiliated with Beyond Psychedelics.
2.00 What led Matthew to have an interest in consciousness and psychedelics, answered through the lens of behaviour and pharmacology.
3.50 Tools in the toolbox to alter consciousness from undesirable states to desirable states.
5.25 The betterment of well people and self actualisation.
6.00 The mystical experience as predictive of better outcomes.
6.45 De-habituation as a way to understand the mechanism of these better outcomes.
9.20 The negative self-story understood from a phenomenological perspective, and how someone could understood the de-habituating experience of a mystical induced change.
14.10 Psychedelics and meditation
16.00 Experiences of research participants in psychedelic trials
17.40 Altered traits
18.40 Difference in psychedelic experience for meditators and non-meditators
20.00 Sense of awe, wonder and engagement with majesty
21.40 Peak experience and mystical experience
22.40 What drives Matthew to put his life to this cause
24.00 The importance of recognising our interconnectedness
25.00 The importance of the insight arguably afforded by the mystical experience.
About the guests:
Dr. Matthew W. Johnson
Matthew W. Johnson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, is a leading expert on the effects of psychedelics. He is an experimental psychologist with expertise on psychoactive drugs and the psychology of addiction and risk behavior. Matt has received >8 million US dollars in research funding as principal investigator from the US National Institutes of Health and non-profit foundations. For 20 years he has conducted academic research in psychopharmacology and addictions, and for 14 years he has conducted human research with psychedelics.
Melissa is co-founder of The Australian Psychedelic Society and board member of PRISM (Psychedelic Research in Science and Medicine). She is a commentator on the science and philosophy of psychedelic substances on radio, print and online. Melissa holds a BSc in Neuroscience with a minor in computer programming. She is an avid meditator, yogi, performance artist, bio-hacker, and futurist. Her intellectual focus is currently the development of tools and frameworks to facilitate creative output, personal healing, and self-actualization. A survivor of complex PTSD, she lives as a case study for the efficacy of psychedelics as therapeutic tools. Melissa on Twitter: https://twitter.com/neuronymph_