In the year and a half since Michael Pollan’s book How To Change Your Mind was published, the psychedelic renaissance has kicked into high gear. Yoga moms in California are doing bufo shots in underground sessions with hip gurus 1, Johns Hopkins launched a center for psychedelic research2 and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy credentialing has begun in earnest3. Rick Doblin is the man responsible for much of the progress we have made, particularly of late.
His decision to pursue MDMA-assisted pschotherapy, has proven prescient, and if MDMA-assisted psychotherapy gains FDA approval, we will find ourselves in a truly extraordinary time. Despite all of this, the psychedelic renaissance is still only in its infancy. The renaissance part of the psychedelic renaissance hasn’t even truly begun. But it is coming.
The Fifth Great Awakening
All around the world, men and women engage with psychedelics to improve their own lives and the lives of people around them. As psychedelic use flourishes, so too do communities and societies that allow their use and yes, even encourage their use.
Perhaps someday, this period will come to be known as the Fifth Great Awakening5. Only time will tell. But for now, let us tell you a little bit about what it’s like to be at the tip of the spear.
We have embarked upon a chemical flourishing, the likes of which the world has never seen before. Unlike in the days of Leary6, a solid foundation is in place that will allow for sustained progress. Much of the guruism that plagued this space during the days of Leary and Kesey7 has been banished from the more serious discussions about psychedelics. These chemical compounds are being studied rigorously, scientifically, and most importantly — safely8. It could not come at a better time.
An astonishing 1 in 6 American adults are prescribed psychiatric medications9. American psychiatry has seemingly blunted American society into a state of mass-malaise, much the way Aldous Huxley unflatteringly describes one of the “two societies” in his essay Drugs That Shape Mens Minds.
But increasingly, people are foregoing the 15 minute appointments with psychiatric professionals and opting for solutions that offer them an entirely new paradigm for the self-administered care of body, mind, and soul. These people are increasingly looking to psychedelic chemical compounds for help in their daily lives. And indeed, the number of people helped by these regimens, experiences, and journeys, are already well into the millions. But this is still nothing compared to what is coming.
A Thousand Flowers
A thousand flowers are blooming. Psilocybin trials are being administered professionally within the halls of academia. These results, then studied meticulously, show that while the experience may be ineffable10, the results are not. Ibogaine clinics around the world administer care to addicts seeking rescue from the sinister clutches of the pharmaceutical companies’ manufactured opioid epidemic. And as always, people in every corner of the globe experiment with psychedelic drugs in the privacy of their own homes. People use these chemical compounds to help them unlock their full potential, conquer hurdles, elevate experience, or simply explore the deepest corners of their psyche.
Ibogaine Is The Tip Of The Spear
Government sanctioned clinical trials are great, they’re actually better than great because they will eventually allow the truth to overwhelm the entrenched bureaucracies that stifle mans communion with his mind. But the fact is, my partner Jose Cerda and our team here at BAJA IBOGAINE have been doing clinical ibogaine treatments for eight years continuously. Our accomplishments are built atop the shoulders of giants. From where we sit, one titan of the psychedelic history rises above the rest.
Howard Lotsof11 is a figure that stands with greats like Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin12, Albert Hoffmann13, the aforementioned Rick Doblin, and the unparalleled Aldous Huxley14. Lotsofs discovery of the anti-addictive properties of ibogaine has directly and very literally saved the lives of tens of thousands of addicts. In fact, we discharged two patients just yesterday who ceased taking opiates four days ago, they were in the best spirits imaginable, and their continued pursuit of recovery will serve as walking monuments to Howard Lotsof.
Indeed, men like Lotsof define what we shall call, the tip of the spear. At first, Lotsofs discovery was ignored by the doctors and intellectuals of his time before they would even listen to his extraordinary findings. But history records that Lotsof was the very definition of a genuine scientist, because, when faced with an accidental discovery, he persisted in pursuing it to the very end.
We would go so far as to say that Lotsof has achieved more in the realm of addiction science than any other individual over the last 70 years. He’s not just a discoverer, he dedicated his entire life to elevating a life-saving treatment, and we think he truly represents the tip of the spear. His tireless advocacy is an extraordinary gift to humanity.
We at BAJA IBOGAINE use the GITA guidelines 15 each and every day and it serves as a reminder to live, work, and play as Howard did, with gratitude and humility.
Dawn or Dusk
Some will say, “this is the dawning of something new,” heck, earlier we called it the Fifth Great Awakening, but we want to take a minute to ponder an alternative perspective. Psychedelic mainstreaming may be best understood, for a moment, by looking at what it is replacing instead of what it is becoming.
Here is a brief list of some of the most common antidepressant side effects:
American psychiatry (particularly over the last 40 years) is an unmitigated disaster, no amount of tinkering to the present formulations and cocktails will ever change that.
What we are witnessing is the dusk falling rapidly on American psychiatry as practiced today (2020). This does not mean that overeducated people will not continue to make money by staring blankly at desperate people, and then scribbling haphazard prescriptions. Psychiatrists will slowly, and then, all at once, become (financial) beneficiaries of the dawning psychedelic age. Indeed they will probably charge even more money then before.
But the Prozac era is on its last legs, gasping for air. Yes, many people will continue to take these medications, probably for decades, before they (SSRIs etc.) genuinely go extinct. But American psychiatry, as constituted presently, has drawn its last breath. We now must wait and watch as it’s hulking machinery turns off completely and then resets and joins us at the tip of the spear.
They say that it is darkest before the dawn, but from where we stand, it is the most majestically brilliant at dusk. When you come to visit us in Baja California, you can sit out on our gorgeous patio and see why we chose orange and black as the colors to represent us.
If you’ve got something you need to sunset…
…We invite you to come and join us. We are the tip of the spear, we are the special operators of psychedelic science, we are BAJA IBOGAINE.