Five Key Takeaways From Aubrey Marcus' Webinar on Psychedelics
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What do we need to know about psychedelics? How can we use psychedelics to better optimize our performance? Those were just some of the provocative questions posed to Aubrey Marcus during a recent webinar interview with Green Entrepreneur.
Marcus is the founder of Onnit, a nutritional supplement and holistic health provider. He is also the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Own the Day Own Your Life, and the host of the Aubrey Marcus podcast. Marcus is an outspoken proponent of the healing power of psychedelics.
Hosted by Ken Jordan, editor in chief of Lucid News, the hour-long interview took a deep dive into the hot topic of psychedelic use. You can watch the entire video free here. These are some key takeaways.
1. Psychedelics aren't just for trippy hippies.
Contrary to popular belief, psychedelics aren't just for Burning Man-going, flower children looking to "turn on, tune in, drop out," as Timothy Leary famously said in 1966. Although the media and popular culture have perpetuated psychedelic stereotype , Marcus says these portrayals are dated and inaccurate. "It's MMA champions; it's Stanley cup champions; it's Superbowl winners. These are the people who are doing psychedelics now," he says.
Marcus points to a recent conversation he had with NFL player who admitted that his experience taking psilocybin on the beach with his friends was better than winning the Super Bowl. "Why was that so great for him?" asks Marcus. "It's because when you're in states, you enter this radically different purview where the smallest interaction with somebody can be incredibly delightful.
2. Psychedelics help you understand yourself better.
Marcus admits to experimenting with psychedelics for the past 21 years. "There are continual different refinements and understandings that I get from the medicine work," he says. For example, during a recent "psilocybin journey," he was able to come to a better understanding of why he continued to eat certain inflammatory foods even though he knew they would bring him "diminished capacity." Rather than blaming himself for not being disciplined, Marcus came to a more compassionate verdict that helped him overcome these desires. "It was the psychedelic experience that allowed me to understand what I was doing and then apply the change that I was formerly unable to make," he says.
3. Psychedelics don't have to be scary.
Many people avoid taking psychedelics because they fear losing control, Marcus concedes. "Change seems scary," he says. "We're afraid of understanding things in a different way." But Marcus believes that a lot of the fear of psychedelics comes from a false belief that the drugs are going to project terrifying visions into your head "like it's a viral software program that's going to take over your brain."
Marcus says the opposite is true. Psychedelics actually reveal the deepest, most authentic part of yourself. Everything you see comes from you, not from external sources. "To be afraid of the deepest part of you talking to you, it doesn't make any sense," says Marcus. Psychedelics "peel away the layers so that you can get in touch with that unborn and undying aspect of self."
4. It's better to start with non-substance related altered states.
If you've never taken psychedelics before, Marcus suggests starting off with non-substance related practices that give you the experience of similar altered states. For example, he recommends a sensory deprivation tank. "You're in a body of water, the same temperature of your skin in absolute darkness and silence floating," he says. "It really kind of activates a deep meditation that's not usually available if you're just trying to sit down and stop thinking about things."
Marcus also suggests guided deep-breathing exercises such as shamanic breathwork or the Wim Hof Method. He describes it as "taking a breath to the point where you're continually deep breathing until you feel that altered state." He suggests finding a real guide and not doing it yourself. "You definitely want to have a good practitioner if you're going through the deep breathwork experience."
5. Start low, go slow.
When you are ready to take psychedelics legally, Marcus says you should ease into them slowly. He recommends starting with psilocybin (aka magic mushrooms) or ketamine. For mushrooms, "start with one gram or half a gram to feel what it's like in your body," he says. "You don't need to go for the full three and a half, five grams. Again, be sure to have a good guide who is knowledgable about strains and dosage. Says Marcus, "You really want to have somebody [there] that if you start feeling something that you've never experienced before, you can look at them and be like, 'Am I all right?' And they'll just smile at you, like, Yeah, you're all right.'"