The following is the Story behind my ongoing Indiegogo Campaign.
Please head over to the Campaign and Check it out directly 🙂
Who Am I?
My name is James W. Jesso. Four years ago I began a journey that would change my life forever by committing to taking a significant doses of (magic) Psilocybin Mushrooms once every month, and go out into the night alone to meditate and reflect on my life. Through this process I hoped to address some invasive and destructive mental illness patterns, particularly depression and borderline psychosis, which had emerged from a year of destructive drug use. Over the thirteen months in which I remained committed to this practice, I changed my life entirely for the better.
What is The True Light Of Darkness?
The True Light Of Darkness is the next step in my mission to open up the discourse surrounding psychedelic use. After a lunar year of psilocybin sessions,
I felt a deep calling within myself to share with others what I had learned about the mushrooms’ healing potential. I dedicated myself to writing a book outlining, in accessible, rational, and contemporary language, what the psilocybin experience can offer us in the form of psychospiritual healing and maturation.
My intention was to offer a complete cognitive and conceptual model for the psilocybin experience as it pertains to healing and maturation, with a focus on developing an understanding of the so called ‘bad trip’ as potentially the most powerful experience for personal transformation. That focus was part of my intention to offer a book that opened the opportunity for beneficial experiences, while mitigating the potentially harmful ones.
In 2013, with the support of the international indiegogo community, I did exactly that. It’s called Decomposing The Shadow (DTS), and since its release I have been blessed to share my message with people all across the world, finding others within and bringing fruit to the underground mycelial network of people whose lives have been bettered through this mushroom.
I began touring with DTS as a cultural anchoring point, delivering public talks, speaking on podcasts, and releasing articles, essays, youtube videos, and various audio lectures, even starting a podcast of my own – all of which has been an opportunity to live what I deeply care about through being an openly public figure addressing the legitimacy and potential of entheogens in general, and psilocybin in particular. It has been my mission and my passion to open doors for those who were once too apprehensive to share their stories and offer to those people the opportunity to be honoured in their personal accomplishments with psilocybin.
As I toured with DTS, I got the same comment over and over: ‘I was hoping to hear more about your story’. DTS is a work of non-fiction written in a textbook-like tone which hardly scratches the surface of my story; the project was a deliberately a depersonalized academic approach. I have since come to understand that such an approach is limited in that it often engages only the intellect. Whereas in storytelling I can come from a more vulnerable place, engage the (figurative) heart, and thus connect with more people.
The True Light Of Darkness (TLOD) comes from this intention and more. By sharing three of my most potent and dark experiences, taking places at various stages of my life, I intend to offer people my experience with the powerful potentials of Psilocybin through the medium of storytelling. With the model presented in DTS as a foundation, I offer a tapestry interwoven with insight and applicable knowledge, traveled in the body of my recapitulated experiences. But there is more than just positive insight; the stories, dark and vulnerable, expose the dangers of psilocybin when taken in unsafe contexts. Two of these stories detail experiences I was lucky to emerge from without long term psychological damage. And so again, more than offering merely the potential benefits, it hope to mitigate harm by allowing people to learn from my poor choices as well as my insights.
But this project means nothing without you.
“The unconscious of the author, shaped in countless ways by the environment in which she lives, contributes to the shape of the text she writes, which then resonates with and influences the text’s readers, and space is made through the vehicle of a literary text for the communications of what would be otherwise excluded.”
-Christina Vischer Bruns, Why Literature?, 2011 (pg.33)
One taps their deep consciousness in storytelling, and through the ‘vehicle’ of language offers far more than the storyteller is able to recognize on their own. The real value of a book comes from meaning unlocked by the reader. So without you, this book, this project, this mission, means nothing. It is only for and through a community that the co-creative process of cultural and personal transformation can occur.
This is why I, we, need your help. The True Light Of Darkness can be more than ‘my book’, it can be our project. By helping to financially and culturally bring this book into the the world, we enable it to become so much more than just a book. So I ask you to please check in with yourself, feel whether or not you are inspired to be a part of this project, and if so, please donate to the campaign.