"Integration is about reflecting on what happened, but it’s also about making these small, tiny changes in everyday life that would support whatever new direction people want it to go in. And that’s really the key to the integration process: putting into practice what you had learned or experienced or decided to try or that you hoped for."
Psychedelics in the sixties were used as a counter cultural tool: a protest to the rat race, the consumerism, and the superficial spirituality of modern culture.
Since the crackdown on psychedelic research in the seventies, the counter culture revolution died, and so did the mainstream consciousness of psychedelics. Hippies tried to create a culture outside of the mainstream and failed in sustaining it.
The use of hallucinogens didn't re-enter mainstream consciousness until the mid 2000's. And MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) played a big role in that. MAPS was founded by Rick Doblin in 1986. It is dedicated to the study of the therapeutic uses of psychedelics.
Instead of presenting psychedelics as a tool for a counter culture, he’s trying to integrate their use as a medicine into the mainstream. One of his main goals is to obtain FDA approval for the use of MDMA as a prescription drug used by psychiatrist (only used under very specific conditions).
After graduating from high school, Rick knew that he wanted to work with psychedelics in some capacity, but also that he needed to work with his hands before working with minds. So he spent nearly a decade working in construction and starting his own company. Finally, when he felt like he was ready to enter the world of psychedelics, he started his PhD at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in Public Policy.
In this part of the interview Rick told me if he has any recommendations on how to structure a psychedelic trip and how to integrate what you've taken away from that experience.
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