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And if they were, how do we get back to their level of knowledge? A place where everyone can afford a more stable mental clarity, all powered by nature.
It’s a given when thinking about human nature, fear of the unknown. Something that is routinely exploited in modern society, for a myriad of purposes: financial gain, power, influence. We, as a species are built to fear that which we don’t understand. More than just a reflex of our reptilian brains— but something inbuilt and coddled by our modern environments. Boogeymen abound, and there are always monsters in the darkest corners. Whether we have the fortitude to check them out for ourselves or not. So we tend to live in a state of fear. Though rarely obvious, more of just an undercurrent. Fueling an entire generation of fearful individuals who suffer from anxiety and depression. PTSD and unresolved trauma.
Of course there is good argument supporting this fear. Out of safety. Out of care. We teach ourselves and others to fear the unknown because it’s safer that way. This bleeds into nearly every aspect of our waking lives. From the jobs we keep to the people we socialize with. Surfing division, confusion— and of course— more fear. Our ancestors knew this fear. They understood it, respected it, even cultivated it themselves. Albeit in an incredibly different manner.
How History Understands Psychedelics
Entheogens— hallucinogenic substances sourced naturally from the plants and fungi that grow readily around us— were used often and with extreme purpose only handfuls of centuries ago. Some are still used as judiciously today.
The Mayans, Aztecs, ancient Chinese, Greeks, Tungusics, monks, and others all relied on their knowledge of the plants that surrounded them and how they interacted with our psyche. While these cultures used these plants well outside of any realm of science that we would recognise today, there was still a genuine degree of scientific inquiry and application used when administering these drugs. Using them to foster greater relationships with ourselves, our loved ones, and our surroundings.
Vilified in the 1960s psychedelics have struggled to find footing in our modern day society. Despite real need and piles of anecdotal evidence as to their efficacy. Diving into the history of why these substances— like psilocybin— became illegal in the first place is even further filled with dark eddies of confusion. Largely because they have next to zero abuse potential, are almost impossible to overdose on, and outside of some very uncomfortable psychedelic journeys, cause few adverse effects for the majority of users, it becomes incredibly difficult to see why they were outlawed in the first place.
Which can easily lead to some pretty intense and controversial theories as to what the governments of that time were working to achieve. However, these past influences don’t change the fact that in present days, more people than ever struggle with their mental health, and few have any good options on how to best deal with that struggle. Healthcare, particularly the boutique realm of mental healthcare, is often cost prohibitive for most. Many of the modern day medicines used aren’t just relatively ineffective— but are incredibly dangerous. Perfectly exemplified by the subsequent use of synthetic medicines like Quaaludes and Lithium following the outright ban of psychedelics.
Breaking Down in Order to Rebuild
The future may not be as bleak however. Particularly as scientific communities and medical professionals around the world begin to push with renewed vigor for the ability to more closely study the possible benefits that psychedelics may hold. Giving mushroom capsules and cancer treatments, high doses and substance abuse disorders, or highly traumatic mental health states and microdosing closer inspection. Universities from Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom among others have begun to press for more expansive laws regarding testing the power of these medicines— largely because of a thriving underground community that has been relying on them for years.
While a medicinal mushroom dispensary may not be the hottest pop-up in your hood, it may not be far from appearing on the high street. Partially thanks to the endeavors of the scientific community, and partly to those of the mushroom community. Microdosing in Canada, the US, and elsewhere has become not just the newest life hack of our generation, but is also showing real promise amongst the reports of those that have used a microdosing guide. While still illegal to buy shrooms, Canada in particular has turned a blind eye to the use of medicinal mushroom dispensaries online. Particularly those that specialize in creating balanced mushroom capsules exclusively for the purpose of microdosing.
Current Events and Microdosing
Understanding how psychedelics influence our brains and help us to better interpret the world that surrounds us is only half the battle, with the other half knowing how to best use them. Our ancestors generally used them in ritualistic fashions, although there may be some evidence of using them as a recreational tool, most often religious and spiritual rituals were performed alongside administration. Helping to better decipher when and how these drugs can offer the greatest benefit.
While using psychedelics under the watchful eye of a mental health professional is probably the preferred route, this isn’t always a sustainable paradigm. Particularly as most people in modern day society are priced out of the mental healthcare they desperately need. Which has led many to microdosing, but what is microdosing? It’s taking small, sub-hallucinogenic doses of psychedelic drugs like psilocybin, at specific times during the day and week, in order to address certain uncomfortable emotional issues.
Again, the research behind microdosing is severely lacking, but according to several news outlets, forums, and millions of people— microdosing can help increase energy levels, motivation, and improve sleep. As well as improve overall mood, cut down on anxious behaviors, and may even aid in cutting cravings. All you need are tiny amounts of hallucinogens and the ability to stick to a schedule. There are a number of microdosing guides available, so finding one that fits your lifestyle isn’t difficult. Thankfully, with global reform well underway, finding the mushrooms isn’t too tough either. So really, the only thing you may struggle with is the fear of the unknown.