Essays & Interviews

Cosmic Consciousness, Transcendence and Dissociation

The distinction between dissociation and transcendence is not always easy to make. At Harvard in the early 1960s, we experimented with DMT. While most of us found the experience to be chaotic and dissociative, one of our visitors assumed a yoga posture and sat in deep meditative absorption for 40 minutes, thanked us and left. The ability to make sense of the experience would certainly be a function of having had some prior experiences of transcendent consciousness...
Ralph Metzner

The Legal Cannabis Business: A Talk with Mike "Zappy" Zapolin

Reality Sandwich interviews Mike "Zappy" Zapolin about what's happening in the fast-changing cannabis business. Zappy shares his expertise on a range of issues and opportunities in a field now emerging from the shadows into a multibillion dollar industry.
Zappy Zapolin

Mediumship & Folk Models of Mind and Matter

Mediums often claim that the standard materialistic view of science is inadequate as an all encompassing model of reality because bodies are permeable, matter is essentially non-physical, consciousness is far more expansive than our normal waking state would lead us to believe, and that persons are multiple, can survive death, and may be influenced by external spiritual entities.
Jack Hunter

Stanislav Grof and Richard Tarnas: The Birth of a New Worldview

In the mid-1960s, psychiatrist Stanislav Grof’s research in LSD psychotherapy challenged the orthodox Freudian model of mind. For years, Grof and his colleagues looked unsuccessfully for some kind of diagnostic system to predict the experiences of their clients in deep self-exploration. When Richard Tarnas applied archetypal astrology to this problem, Grof had to ironically concede that the one successful technique was even more controversial than his research in psychedelic therapy.
Renn Butler

Laevorotation at Boom 2012

Time dissolves during the weeklong gathering of Boom 2012 in the steppes near the Portuguese-Spanish border.
Reba Manuel

A Love Letter to the Temple Guardians of Burning Man

In 2013, camera in hand, I arrived on the playa with clear intent. No more was there a dilemma between spectator and participant, between giver and taker. I came to make an offering to the Guardians. But there was something I had to do first.
Ian MacKenzie

Vulvatron and the Re-Birth of the Evolver Network

The Vulvatron is a radical agitprop project that honors the female form and celebrates the divine feminine in us all. Helping bring this revolutionary idea to life is the newly revamped Evolver Network.
David Metcalfe

Stephen Hawking and the Black Hole Information Paradox

Information can't be lost when a black hole evaporates, as it was never an aspect of tangible existence to begin with. Despite the readings of a measuring apparatus, from its own perspective the quantum is never quite lured into the trap of definite form in a distinct moment to be instantly sucked into a dead past. When it comes to information, the next moment never arrives because the quantum, like the conscious, is forever now.
Ted Dace

Eckhart as Sufi

Sufis, the mystics of Islam, have employed poetic language as a way to convey their unorthodox teachings while protecting themselves from charges of heresy. We can see the same approach in the work of the Christian mystic Meister Eckhart.
Matthew Fox

A Restorative Response to MH17

We have been fighting wars to overcome evil for a very long time. This year is the 100th anniversary of World War One, the “war to end all wars.” Given the legacy of that failure, by now one would think we would try another approach.
Charles Eisenstein

The Drugs Problem

The primary problem with drugs is that they are illegal and/or state-controlled. This counter-evolutionary state control of substances that we ingest for other than nutritional purposes is the root cause of virtually all the problems that people are concerned about in connection with drugs, drug abuse, and drug-related crime.
Gregory Sams

NYC Special Edition Report

A few weeks ago I attended the NYC Special Edition — the very first of its kind. At first glance, Special Edition seems like an offshoot of the fall Comic Con, but this would be missing a subtle and important point.
Jeremy D. Johnson

Smokeless in Seattle: On the Quest for a Legal, Recreational High in America

A week after recreational sales become legal in Washington State, Seattle, I happened to be in the area and decided to go in for some first-hand knowledge.
Terra Celeste

The Astrology of Game of Thrones

The popular response to HBO’s Game of Thrones series made me wonder if the characters and themes carry an archetypal resonance more substantive than that of other current fare. The show’s characters embody something ancient, yet familiar. I began to see parallels between the Game of Thrones panoply and the celestial archetypes.
Dorothy Abrahams

Psychedelics, Parapsychology and Exceptional Human Experiences

At the beginning of the 1950s the developed world began in earnest its psychedelic research era. Since then these profoundly mind-altering substances have been inextricably associated with paranormal experiences—such as telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and out-of-body experiences—by many of the researchers who have studied their effects. Currently however, virtually no research is being conducted in this area.
David Luke

Taboo from the Jungle to the Clinic

Of all the potions boiled up and blended in the cauldron of Amazonian prehistory, the most fascinating to layman and researcher alike is ayahuasca. With a few notable exceptions, academia does not take seriously the folkloric tale that the plants themselves told the shamans how to prepare them, bringing the powers of a particular vine to bear upon a particular leaf, and thereby unleashing its latent visionary potential.
Rev Nemu

Yoga, Ayahuasca & A Course in Miracles: Long Reads & Short Roads Home

Ayahuasca hasn’t made me enlightened, if there truly is such a thing, though it has done the work of a traditional guru and illuminated the darkness within, which has allowed me to be more aware of and correct/prevent self-serving, fear-based thoughts, words and actions.

America is a Place Where Nothing Ever Happens

Richard Linklater’s latest film, Boyhood, follows the character of Mason from the age of six until he arrives at college. This movie is unique in that we see the kids grow up and the parents enter middle age over the 12 years it took shoot the film.
Steven Taylor

Five Ways Materialists Beg the Question

In this essay, I want to summarize some of the common ways in which materialists beg the question: that is, the ways in which they argue for the validity of materialism by assuming materialism in the argument. The circularity of their reasoning becomes clear once it's pointed out, but it is astonishing how often educated, intelligent materialists fall for it.
Bernardo Kastrup

William Irwin Thompson on the Horizons of Planetary Culture

My second rap with poet-philosopher William Irwin Thompson, on the transformations of self and society in an age of collapse and emergence – of cyborgs, surveillance, and psychedelics, paranoid apocalypticism and inspired new visions for our species...
Michael Garfield

From Citibank to Vegan Activism: A Talk with Philip Wollen

I discovered Philip Wollen by watching the video of a debate called “Animals Should Be Off the Menu” last May. I was mesmerized by his oratory skills and the passion in which he described the absolute horror that animals live under all over the world.
Gary Smith

The Lemon Juice Syndrome and the Hunger Games

Americans who, under the rubric of conservatism, oppose nutrition assistance to children also tend to deny the looming devastation of global climate change, the human costs of an inept healthcare system, the negative consequences of a constricted view of consciousness, and the dangerous costs of denying biological evolution. This is very troubling.
Larry Dossey MD

A Druid's Approach to the Spiritual Power of Plants

The ancient Druids used the variety of plants and trees available to them in a unique way, employing the gentle extraction and refinement of the plant’s physical benefits in the form of “complexes” and energizing these complexes in order to release and focus the natural spiritual attributes of the plant.
Jon G. Hughes

The CBD-Only Stampede

For every family that has moved to Colorado, many more have chosen to stay home and lobby local officials in an effort to change state law. However, there’s a catch: The bills under consideration will only allow the use of CBD-rich oil extracts with hardly any THC.
Martin A. Lee


News, Videos, Podcasts & Events

This Week in Psychedelic Culture

Here are some top highlights from the past week's Psychedelic Culture section: the War on Consciousness, Mushroom dunes, Aya Awakens in San Francisco and another case of coming out of the psychedelic closet.
Jeremy D. Johnson

Issue Two of The Nexian is Out

The Nexian has just published its second e-zine edition, dedicated to the late Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin and featuring contributions from Rick Strassman.
Jeremy D. Johnson

Indigenous Tribe Seen for First Time by Outside World

A tribe of men emerged from a Brazilian jungle, seen possibly for the first time by outsiders, and captured on video. According to a Brazilian group that tracks such tribes, they were fleeing illegal loggers and drug traffickers. Watch the video.
Faye Sakellaridis

Support Brooklyn Performance Venue "House of Yes"

House of Yes is a performance venue that creates culture and community in Brooklyn and beyond, where artists can present their work and audiences can socialize and be inspired. Help them create the best space possible through their Kickstarter.
Faye Sakellaridis

The Largest Organism On Earth, and It's Not the Blue Whale

If you asked anyone what the biggest living thing on Earth was, what would be the common response? Blue Whale? Perhaps, in ancient times, a dinosaur? Well, it might surprise you that the largest organism on Earth exists right under your feet.
Jeremy D. Johnson

2020 Mars rover gets X-ray vision

Nasa announced today that its next Mars rover will have advanced cameras, more sophisticated lasers, and the ability to see underground as it explores the Red Planet starting in 2020.
Faye Sakellaridis

Susan Sarandon Comes Out of the Closet About Her Psychedelic Use

Susan Sarandon recently sat down for an interview with The Daily Beast to promote her new film, The Last of Robin Hood. The conversation ran the gamut from her love affair with David Bowie, to marijuana and her use of psychedelics.
Jeremy D. Johnson

Petition to Reinstate Medical Marijuana Researcher Receives Over 100,000 Signatures

A petition launched on Change.org by an Arizona veteran has gathered over 100,000 signatures in support of Dr. Sue Sisley’s efforts to initiate medical marijuana research in Arizona. Launched on July 10, the petition reached 100,000 signatures in just 21 days.
Faye Sakellaridis

Campaign to Regulate Marijuana In Alaska Unveils New Bus Ads

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol In Alaska unveiled a series of bus ads yesterday in Anchorage that highlight the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol.
Jeremy D. Johnson

Borg Like Me [Expanding Mind Podcast]

The maker movement, the surveillance web, and fanning the embers of 90s cyberculture: a talk with Gareth Branwyn, former editor at MAKE, Boing Boing, and Mondo 2000, and now author of Borg Like Me.
Jeremy D. Johnson

Aya: Awakenings San Francisco Full Panel Feb 18, 2014

A dynamic discussion on the evolution of the Western ayahuasca tradition, the DMT visions and the role of entities, guides and spirits, madre ayahuasca as an avatar of the planetary intelligence and how to become shamanauts of the invisible landscape...
Rak Razam

How to Have Cybersex

If you've tackled the delicate art of cybersex recently and found yourself wishing for some guidance, look no further than this instructional video from 1997. Who else to learn the fine tips of digital wooing from than a topless, apathetic woman in mom jeans?
Faye Sakellaridis

Trippy Portraits of Famous Psychonauts

Nicolás Rosenfeld has produced a capturing series of portraits of famous psychonauts, from Carlos Castañeda and John C Lilly to Syd Barrett and Nick Sand. Colorful, vibrant, and "apt" are all great ways to describe these. Check them out.
Jeremy D. Johnson

Nightlight Horoscope of the Day 7.29.2014

Venus squaring Uranus. When a new idea comes firing into our lives we generally have a strong reaction. The reactionary response goes along with the fact that strong new ideas tend to come suddenly, striking down like lightning.
Adam Elenbaas

The First Man-Made Biological Leaf Turns Light and Water Into Oxygen

Julian Melchiorri, a student at the Royal College of Art, has invented an artificial photosynthetic leaf after pondering interstellar travel. The future inches closer.
Jeremy D. Johnson

New Insight into Emotional Memory

Adam Anderson at Cornell unravels how the brain processes emotion
Jeff Firewalker Schmitt, PhD

Co-Working Spaces Expand into Niche Markets, Like Marijuana

Co-working spaces have largely been utilized by startup tech companies, but in Denver, they've expanded to other industries like the newly burgeoning marijuana business.
Jeremy D. Johnson

Oldest medical report of near-death experience discovered

The oldest medical report concerning near-death experiences has just been discovered, and it dates back to 1740. The French military physician attributes the experience to too much blood flow to the brain, the exact inverse of what doctors say today.
Faye Sakellaridis

Long-Term Couples Develop Interconnected Memory Systems

New research from Macquarie University in Australia reveals that intimate couples become part of an interpersonal cognitive system where each is dependent on the other to fill in certain memory gaps.
Jeremy D. Johnson

The War on Drugs = The War on Consciousness

Author and historian Graham Hancock explains how the "War on Drugs" is actually a "War on Consciousness." Listen and pass along to a friend.
Jeremy D. Johnson

Nightlight Horoscope 7.28.2014

Venus square Uranus this week and Mars squares Jupiter...what to look for...
Adam Elenbaas

What the Cannabis Health Revolution Means for You

Join host Martin A. Lee and fellow experts in the field of medical cannabis for the upcoming live, interactive video webinar, "The Cannabis Health Revolution: Understanding and Utilizing the Latest Science and Research." This 5-session course starts tonight!
Evolver Learning Lab

5 Things Everyone Needs To Know About Earthships

Earthships are being touted as affordable alternatives to unsustainable housing. Ultraculture provides a guide for everything you need to know before building your own.
Jeremy D. Johnson

The Most Accurate Model Yet Of Jupiter's Bizarre Magnetic Field

Take a look at Jupiter's massive magnetosphere that resembles something from a Lovecraftian space horror, extending 4 million miles from the gas giant's surface.
Jeremy D. Johnson