Psychedelics have been an important part of my life for 26 years. If you’re visiting this site, they have likely impacted you in profound ways as well. Or perhaps you’re curious and seeking reliable information. If that’s the case, you’ve landed in the right place.
In the aughts, when Reality Sandwich was first founded, it was still risky to discuss these substances in a public forum. For some it still is. Yet we’re making rapid progress after a half-century of regression. I remember in 2007, when I first wrote for this site, being both apprehensive and excited. Declaring yourself an advocate at the time was not without risk. The opportunity proved too tantalizing to deny, however. The psychedelic renaissance was beginning.
Across the planet, such a renaissance has always been ongoing. We know how valuable these substances have been in the formation of entire cultures, serving as the ritual basis of numerous spiritual practices. We also know their illegality is due solely to political reasons. That too is changing.
A Voice for Change
No matter what direction my career has shifted—world music, science journalism, group fitness, blockchain—psychedelics have been there as a source of guidance and inspiration. When I read that Reality Sandwich was being revamped and revitalized, I knew I had to be part of this renaissance. As fortune would have it, the new team felt the same way. This is my first week as the Head of Content not only for this site but for our sister properties, Meet Delic and The Delic.
I recognize that change is never without pain. It tests our boundaries in uncomfortable ways. Fortunately, this project is in great hands. The team here is focused on providing an important voice in the psychedelic renaissance. We’re here to serve the public in an educational role. I’m inspired by the integrity and vision of everyone I work alongside. It’s rare that you get a peek behind the curtain of any company, so I’ll allow the work to speak for itself. I’m thankful that I get to wake up each morning excited to dive in.
The reincarnation of Reality Sandwich is focused on starting important conversations. That is at the top of my mind with each piece of content we publish.
Set and Setting
As psychedelic medicine becomes a thing—and it is becoming a thing—there are going to be more growing pains. Set and setting are the fundamental pillars of psychedelics. Your mindset and environment are as much a part of the experience as the substance.
As psychedelics such as psilocybin, LSD, ayahuasca, MDMA, and ibogaine join ketamine in becoming federally and medically sanctioned, they are entering into an environment that is a capitalist society with opinions as diverse as the population itself. Some believe they should only be ritualistically consumed. Many want indigenous populations to be compensated. Others are seeking ways to maximize profit. Some claim that microdosing is a blessing, others a curse. Removing the hallucinogenic qualities by creating new analogs to treat mental health disorders is another contentious conversation. Everyone has an opinion and they often believe that theirs is the right one.
This isn’t about right or wrong. This is about the freedom to choose. We have an opportunity to work together and encourage civil discourse. My goal is to help Reality Sandwich serve as a platform for discussions such as these.
I cannot overstate how important psychedelics have been in my personal journey. At root, they often invoke a sense of universality and community, a reminder that I’m only one small part in a vast and mysterious world. Even in a politically-fractured culture as modern America, I maintain faith that civil discourse is possible. I believe that psychedelics can help us have such a conversation. The tamping down of the boisterous monster known as the ego is one of these medicines’ greatest therapeutic benefits. Plants and fungi are phyla that predate animals. They have much to teach us.
As Alan Watts writes about awareness in The Joyous Cosmology, a book documenting his experiences with mescaline, “in paying attention to differences, it ignores relationships.” We all have relationships with the psychedelic experience, substance-related or otherwise. Best to share rather than compare. As Watts concludes, “when defenses are down we begin to see, not hallucinations, but customarily ignored aspects of reality—including a sense of social unity which civilized man has long since lost.”
Let’s bring it back, together.