411. Desperation vs. Inspiration: Plant Medicine Integration Tools & Tips w/ Cameroon George


DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

In this conversation with Tru Kava founder Cameron George, we go deep into the plant medicine renaissance and why there has been such a resurgence in interest in this field. We talk about the historic uses of plant medicine and why kava plays such a significant role in parts of the world.

Cameron is a researcher, writer, entrepreneur, and the founder of Tru Kava, a company that is striving to set the industry standard for quality, safety, and education around kava within the mass market. Tru Kava is focused on developing scalable user-friendly products that deliver the full therapeutic action of the traditional kava drink, which is the only form that has been highly prized in south pacific islands for over 3000 years.

Since discovering the amazing effects of traditional kava during his own chronic illness, Cameron spent many years investigating every aspect of kava and has collaborated with many of the most prominent experts in the world within the fields of kava research and historical kava use. The goal of this project is to provide the safest and most effective kava products on the market, as well as educate the public on the complex story surrounding kava, explaining some of the myths, the massive variation of quality on the market, and the many amazing benefits that kava can offer to the modern world when it’s used correctly in its traditional form. It is an initiative to educate on the clear distinction that the scientific literature and historical accounts have made between safe and questionable kava products, as well as to advocate for the use of only lab-tested safe kava varieties.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Cameron George is quickly becoming a Life Stylist veteran guest, and for good reason. To refresh your memory, he is the founder of Tru Kava, a growing company espousing the incredible benefits of kava as a therapeutic plant medicine.

In this conversation, we go deep into the plant medicine renaissance and why there has been such a resurgence in interest in this field – before touching on the historic uses of plant medicine and why kava plays such a significant role in parts of the world.

We also unpack the psychological and spiritual aspects of humanity, from the search for purpose and meaning to embracing imperfections and the drive toward heightened consciousness. It’s a fascinating and free wheeling discussion that I know you’ll enjoy.

Visit lukestorey.com/trukava and use code LUKE20 for 20% off your first order! TruKava carbonated drinks coming this Summer!

07:00 — The Plant Medicine Renaissance

  • How plant medicine expands and optimizes consciousness
  • Playing off of the two hemispheres of the brain
  • The intentionality of plant organisms
  • Seeking meaning and purpose

27:54 — Embracing Life’s Contrasts

  • Embracing imperfection
  • Utopia cannot exist without contrast
  • Bad experiences vs. painful experiences
  • The value of going outside of your mind
  • The human drive to alter consciousness
  • Doing things to improve your life
  • How plants communicate with us
  • Why we’re numb to the way nature communes with us

1:36:06 — Learning About Kava

  • What kava is and how it works
  • The origins of kava in indigenous tribes
  • Changing your thought patterns
  • How kava aids addiction
  • Kava as an alcohol substitute

More about this episode.

Watch on YouTube.

Luke Storey: [00:00:02] I'm Luke Storey. For the past 22 years, I've been relentlessly committed to my deepest passion, designing the ultimate lifestyle based on the most powerful principles of spirituality, health, psychology. The Life Stylist Podcast is a show dedicated to sharing my discoveries and the experts behind them with you.

So, you've been on the show a couple of times before. One of my favorite guests. Any time I talk to you, you're a wealth of enthusiasm, information. You're someone who's constantly researching, constantly working on yourself, building your company. You're a very dynamic dude. And that's one thing that I really enjoy about you.

So, let's start off. Speaking of dynamics, what is new in the world of TRU KAVA? What do you guys have going on in development of products and things you're learning about kava, how you're really pioneering the industry of this amazing plant medicine?

Cameron George: [00:00:59] Yeah. We've got so many things in the works right now. And right now, the landscape, even though it's been a really challenging time, obviously, everybody knows the last year, two years, three years here, the Chinese have a word - and I don't remember the word, but they do have a word - that means both danger and opportunity. Risk and opportunity would be more specific. And I think that we're at that juncture right now.

And I think that because we've had so much pressure put on us, both physiologically, environmentally, psychologically, emotionally, collectively, it really has created a lot of opportunity for personal growth and a lot of opportunity to have our weaknesses exposed. And a lot of opportunity to kind of figure out what is it that we really need, what is it that we really need as a culture, what is that we really need for community, what do we really need individually too.

And so, you know, because of that, it's definitely given us some clarity. It's like we had a lot of different avenues on the table, specifically with TRU KAVA and some of the other projects that we're involved in, of like, "Okay. We go here, and here, and here, and here, and here."

But, for me, especially after the things that I've been through in my life - I mean, obviously the past two years, but going back even further than that. We've talked on past episodes a little bit about my story - actually COVID was kind of like another another day of trauma for me that actually wasn't all that bad because, you know, I spent all of my 20s in absolute, almost indescribable, just daily hell trying to just scour to survive in any way that I possibly could.

And, ultimately, what allowed me to do that was just learning different forms, ways, strategies to sort of seek self-empowerment through knowledge. And being able to then ascertain a vision out of that knowledge. And then, create a plan out of that vision. And then, execute that plan. And that's been a long process of understanding that and learning that, especially from where I started from.

So, with TRU KAVA, we've been working on a lot of stuff. So, we talked about on the past couple of episodes just kind of what kava is, its basic applications, the basic science around it, how I discovered it, how I came across it, how is what we're doing any different than anybody else. Or for most people, they're just hearing of kava for the first time on those episodes or even maybe now, because it really is in this wheelhouse of very relevant psychoactive plant medicines.

That right now - and we had had talked about this before too as well - I see this time that we're in right now as kind of a renaissance period. But just specifically a subcategory to that is that we're in the middle of a plant renaissance, a medicinal plant renaissance, which is part of sort of a renaissance or rediscovery of a nature reintegration process. Because the pressure that's being put on us is forcing us to sort of introspectively look inside and sort of get reconnected with our existential core and the source from where we came from, which is the collective intelligence of nature. Or we'll perish, basically. Literally, we're falling apart from disease. We're falling apart psychologically, emotionally.

And, you know, nature is solace and nature is sanity, in my opinion. So, basically, we kind of go from here in the conversation is there's many aspects that we can expand on from, like you said, the addiction aspect of it. Because the addiction aspect is probably the most relevant to what kava contributes to the overall sort of plethora of compounds and strategies that are available.

But there's also a broader conversation about plant medicine in general. Most specifically, of course, we've got all the physiologic plant medicines that are being rediscovered that are available in health food stores, at supermarkets, and things more and more.

But more specifically the psychoactive, and more specifically the psychedelic plant medicines, any of the plant medicines that affect and have the potential to expand and optimize consciousness by creating a more all encompassing, complex reintegration of the duality of the brain, the left and right hemispheres, that we tend to, under states of trauma, retreat farther into one side or the other. Which is why everything in our split groups is split right down the middle. And usually that's predicated by the side of the cortex, this side of our consciousness, that is either practical rational or introspective creative.

Luke Storey: [00:05:53] I never thought about that. That's interesting. I'm thinking about politically, the left and right paradigm. That's so interesting.

Cameron George: [00:05:58] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Which is literally just like an external manifestation of that.

Luke Storey: [00:06:04] But, you know, it's kind of inverse though, right? Because I know of people that would classify as more right, which would really be more left centered brain, relying on logic and facts. Versus, the classical left, which would be more about emotional feeling things and making decisions based on that. It's interesting.

Cameron George: [00:06:24] Right. Yeah, exactly.

Luke Storey: [00:06:25] I never thought about that.

Cameron George: [00:06:25] It's that polarity that occurs. And in the political arena, in times of adversity and pressure, people tend to retreat either into opposite sides of their duality, whether it be masculine or feminine, or whether it actually be full-blown into the more practical or the more introspective emotional. Because it's really the marriage or the integration of the duality of nature, the two sides, whether it be the light and the darkness, even the idea of integrating the darkness is important, like Jung-in principle.

The idea of integrating the masculine and the feminine. Because we're all masculine and feminine. We have that even though you and I, our bodies are masculine, we're males, but we still have that feminine side to us. And it's well-known too, you know, by psychotherapists and people who study human psychology that men under trauma tend to retreat into their opposite side in order to gain introspection. You know, it's kind of a defense mechanism because they tend to be more on the other side. And there's a tendency for humans to retreat into their opposite.

And women under trauma - not all the time. There's all kinds of exceptions to this, especially because masculine and feminine can occur in anybody and all this stuff - they tend to retreat more into their masculine side to defend themselves. You know, it's basically more of that aggressive side, more of that executive side. But either way, basically, it's a retreating aspect. It's like the fight or flight. So, you're kind of retreating into something that you're not currently inhabiting.

And that happens in the left/right paradigm as far as broad scale is actually the brain and consciousness itself, like the two sides of the physical brain that helps transceive, I guess you would say, in the principle of more of the morphic resonance principle, I guess you'd say, that picks up and transceives consciousness and then creates your perceptual experience in this body, in this life.

But at the end of the day, the combination of both sides of duality at whatever layer, whether it's the all encompassing layer of light and dark, which would be truth illusion, all the way down into its more intricate sort of subcategories, which would be all the way down into the human experience of the physical brain, that left/right thing. But really it all comes down to duality.

But I think where I was going with that is, I think, that an incredibly important aspect to growing as an individual is finding some combination of strategies, practices, circumstances, connections, relationships that can help you create more to pull the duality together and integrate the two sides of your consciousness at every level to the greatest degree that you can.

For example, the left and the right, people go left and right. We all know if you're someone who's kind of moved more towards the center or that just has gotten to a point in your life where you can look really, truly, objectively, it's hard. And probably none of us truly can fully be objective because we all have our own biases and we're human. But if you can look just objectively about, say, the two sides of the political sphere, you can pick and choose where one side is right and where one side is part right. And that the rational and the creative and the emotional both actually have their place.

You know, whenever you fuse emotion with rationality and practicality, you get emotional intelligence, right? If you have emotion that's raw and of itself that comes out from our more primitive side of just the survival fight or flight thing, that's just called emotional reactivity and that's dangerous. So, whenever people say you need to think more, your mind has to be stronger than your emotions, which is something that a lot of successful people have said.

Kobe Bryant used to say that. What I think that he really meant was not that the emotions aren't important. Your emotions are what make you human, they're incredibly important. But it's the integration of the mind and that the emotions should be filtered through the practicality of the mind and integrated so that you can check it against measurable aspects of objective reality. So, like, does this emotion make sense? Is it in line with objective reality?

Because just raw emotion by it of itself is the quickest path to the most delusional behavior that you can imagine. That's how dictators take over is they hijack emotions through a lot of different means, that's how sociopaths, that's how cult leaders, all of this stuff.
So, anyways, that left/right brain sort of fusion is really important.

And so, kind of back to how I got started on that was just we're talking about plant medicine. And just giving it some context of why psychedelics or entheogenic compounds, these very specifically comprised organisms, which is what they are, whether they be out of the fungal kingdom, out of the plant kingdom, or even out of the animal kingdom, say with bufo. They are organisms that have developed the neural networks that can produce chemistry that's fully compatible with other aspects of the natural ecology, too, which all humans are, that that can be transferred when one ingests that.

And it offers, you know, almost like a connection between two synapses. Last time, we talked about sort of that principle of, like, do plants kind of surface at a time of great need because they have an intention they want to.

Luke Storey: [00:12:29] You have a great memory, by the way. I need to drink more kava, man. How do you remember this shit? Then, again, to be fair, you only had that one conversation with me, and I've probably had a hundred since then.

Cameron George: [00:12:41] That is fair.

Luke Storey: [00:12:42] But I love that you're able to catch those touch points.

Cameron George: [00:12:44] Yeah. But that was an interesting conversation, I thought, you know. Because a lot of people are skeptical of that, and you should be skeptical of everything, and just have it as a thought exercise if it's not provable. But, yeah, so we kind of touched on it. Like, do plants actually manifest intentionally at a time where they're needed? How does that plant know that it needs to be inside you or whatever?

Luke Storey: [00:13:05] Or how does ayahuasca make its way from the jungles of South America to Texas?

Cameron George: [00:13:11] Right. Right. And my perspective was tailoring it back to the base of the Gaia Principle that this underpinning intelligence is the baseline of reality that's orchestrating everything. And that all these organisms are extensions of that apples on a tree. And so, just like microcosm and macrocosm, as above so below, just like the human mind, like the collective mind of Gaia Principle of the planet.

There are a bunch of other individual extensions units of life called cells, brain cells. And whenever one cell is in trouble, the entire system will orchestrate other cells and recruit other cells to be able to go and to give that cell aid to either break it down and replace it or give it aid and secrete all kinds of things to allow it to heal.

So, if you look at the natural ecology as that system and you think of these plants are just other cells or they're other compounds, they're are other living parts of the same mind as a human, that there may be some underpinning intention or intentionality out of the substrate, the intelligence, that we're really just an extension of. We're not these things that just reign over this thing. We're just the brain cell. From my perspective. I mean, thought exercise. 

But from that perspective - like we had talked about last time - I've always found it incredibly fascinating that plants could have an intention. Meaning that it's really the intelligence of the entire organism that has an intention from that perspective.

So, when it comes to the necessity of some of these plants and why so many kingdoms or so many different kingdoms produce them, I guess we would have to know a lot more specifically. We can't necessarily fully communicate with the source. I mean, every spiritual practice is trying to do that. But it's everything. So, it's not like you can break it down like, "Oh, you know, I put this plant here because of this and because of this, because of this." There's more than we can [inaudible].

Luke Storey: [00:15:27] Because there's nothing that's not that. I think at one point in my spiritual journey - I forget where I heard it or kind of how it started to come to me as a solid realization - I found myself I'm always out there looking for God. It's like, "I've had these practices so I can be in contact with God." And then, at some point, it started to evolve into maybe it's not so much looking for God. It's just acknowledging the fact that that's all there is.

And then, what are the things in my subjective experience that are blocking me from having that realization on a daily basis. It's like God isn't a thing you need to go out and find. It's like you need to get out of the way. And then, it's like you get the cloud out of the way of the sun. The sun's always been there. It's not that you need to create the sun or contact the sun or believe in the sun. There's just some clouds in the way that are obscuring your view. Which would be, I guess, for us, inner peace and fulfillment, if that's what we seek from a spiritual experience.

Cameron George: [00:16:25] It's like you're not just this separate entity that's just been placed on this physical Earth or in this existence, just this puppet that life pushes around. It's like that old Alan Watts quote, "The real you is not a puppet that life pushes around. The real deep down you is the whole universe." Or you are something that the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is something that the whole ocean is doing. I love that metaphor. I always thought that that was beautiful when I heard that. It's like, "Gosh. How much wisdom is in that?" It's really powerful.

Under that sort of oneness principle that's kind of unanimous throughout all even religions, but all spiritual practices, of we're part of a process that is life. And so, any spiritual practice or anything that we're trying to do for personal growth is really just trying to dissolve the barriers that we've created that have created some perceptual separation from the process of life where we're not synced with it in this human experience or we're synced with it less.

And if you can sync yourself with the process of life by acting in a way with your behavior, with your service, with your actions, with your practices, with your job, with your care, with your immediate family or your community, when you do things that actively contribute to objectively making life better, that is part of dissolving those boundaries, because that's dissolving the illusion that you're something else.

You understand that giving is the doorway to that whole process. It opens up that truth principle, that love principle, which is intimately integrated into that whole oneness principle of the idea of this consciousness knowing itself through giving itself away, that entire thing. That's what personal growth is all about. It's all about aligning yourself with the process of life through all of your actions, which that is truly pro-life in the real sense of the word. Are you pro-life or are you pro-illusion or are you pro-death?

Just trying to align yourself with that, I think, is just incredibly from just a relative standpoint. It's a reference point to have to kind of just understand that we're not just these separate things. These victims that walk around.

We are the process of life. And it's us that create these boundaries. And it's our job to dissolve these boundaries. And it's part of the human experience is that we're not perfect, but that's part of the ride. I think that's what it certainly feels like. It's all about discovering, is that self-discovery of what's real, what's true, and what really is life. Which is basically the same thing, what really is life or love, which is the force that governs and harmonizes life.

Luke Storey: [00:19:45] Embracing the imperfection, I think the imperfection within oneself and the imperfection in humanity is the key to peace. And I've talked about this a lot on the podcast because it's such a huge revelation to me. But let's take like the human experience on Earth and all of the strife that we see, poverty, suffering, starvation, just all the bad things. If we could just fix all those. Kind of the do-gooder syndrome of there's something wrong with the world and I know how to change it. If it was just the way that I believe it should be, then all would be well.

But from the perspective of Earthly life's purpose for humanity being the evolution of consciousness, Planet Earth and our experience is absolutely perfect for that. Because you have this imperfection and you have a spectrum of consciousness in which you can play. You have the free will as an individual, soul and a body, to move up and down the scale of, what we might call in duality, good or evil, is to simplify it, light, dark, et cetera, however you want to couch it.

But it seems to me that if the world was perfect and there was no suffering and no illness and no cruelty, then there would be no necessity for Earth to exist because its entire purpose would be negated by that. We'd be living in this angelic realm, and perhaps there are.

I believe there are. I've visited them occasionally, angelic realms where there is true oneness, and abundant, unconditional love, and the other side of duality is no longer present. Perhaps that's one of the places we go when we die. Or there's other dimensions and realms where there are beings right now that are 100 percent benevolent 100 percent of the time. But if that was the purpose here, it would already be that way. But it's not. And that is embracing the perfection of it.

And then, each of us taking it upon ourselves, if we so choose and we're directed by our higher will to do so, to work on our personal evolution because we have the perfect playground to do it. Sort of if we lived in Utopia, it would be like sending a postgraduate student to kindergarten. It's like, "Well, what would be the purpose?" We have to have the bandwidth of experience so that we have some malleability and room to change and evolve. Otherwise, we would just be all at the highest level, and we'd all just be here singing Kumbaya, and there would be no room for growth.

Cameron George: [00:22:24] And there would be no perception of the significance and the meaning behind that state on that level of perfection, that level of greatness or experiencing it. Or at least, of course, nobody knows exactly about any aspects of these conversations. But just from a feeling standpoint. That's beautiful what you said.

I mean, perhaps even this place here in space and time that we reside, that we call existence in life, which is it just resides somewhere in infinity, never ending infinite existence. Perhaps it's part of a training module. Perhaps it's an intermediary in order to instill within us a sense, or an understanding, or a perceptual experience of significance so that it can be an experience moving to higher levels. Dissolving those boundaries and remembering who you are. Or the oneness remembering what itself is.

And, again, philosophers, Alan Watts and others, always had interesting thought exercises where he would bring the crowd through and say things like, "Imagine that you could be anything that you wanted to be in existence." Basically, imagine that you were the oneness. Eventually, you would get bored, and you would go off and have great experiences that were absolutely perfect. You'd go off on great adventures and you could turn into anything that you want. You can manifest any experience. And, eventually, that would get a little bit boring because it's too easy.

And then, you start to go down the ladder, and go down the ladder, and you have every experience humanly possible. And then, eventually, you would end up in an experience that is you right now, exactly where you're sitting. No matter how big your trials and tribulations are or anything like that, at some higher level of existence, there's a manifestation of the construction of the process of building the opportunity for experience. So, for something that is infinite, if it was infinite, for it to experience itself at first has to forget what it is.

Luke Storey: [00:25:05] Yeah. It has to differentiate.

Cameron George: [00:25:07] And I know that's a lot. This is probably even over. This is pretty intense conversation, obviously. I mean, anyone who's ever engaged in these spiritual practices, religious practices, or read any philosophical text, I think it's important because these are underpinning themes here. And none of us know for sure. Even the wisest people, great authors, and researchers, scientists, spiritual practices, gurus, et cetera, can't see all ends because that's part of the human experience. That's something that we know for sure, is that we don't know. We don't know everything.

Luke Storey: [00:25:52] That's a good place to start.

Cameron George: [00:25:53] It's a damn good place to start because only then can you even start to learn anything, if you can admit that. So, no matter what experience you have, where you go off into other places, or even with plant medicine or anything like that, the deeper that you go and especially if you've been humbled by real life circumstances, nothing will teach you that you know nothing more than being slapped the hell around through serious trauma.

You can have a blissful psychedelic experience and come back with a bigger ego. You try having a horrific experience or going through ten years of absolute hell, clawing your way through a horrific disease process, or watching a loved one do something, and it's either going to crush you or it's going to change you for the better. And so, that's kind of risk opportunity type situation, I think, kind of we're all in now.

But even just to kind of circle back a little bit, I think it was good that we kind of went there because some of it is interesting thought exercise, but a lot of it is just some of the core principles of just the pursuit of purpose, and meaning, and truth, which is our highest aspiration of humans no matter what way you slice it, no matter what your religion is, no matter what your perspective is. Even if you say that you're atheist or anything like that, we all understand that meaning and purpose are important, and that love and community are important.

And those are just different ways of kind of trying to pull back the curtain and see where does that stuff come from. But we all agree that anyone who's not a sociopath agrees that. I think that's kind of good having a little bit of that conversation because it kind of puts into context what we're seeking with any of these practices when we talk about psychoactive plant medicines. Or if we talk about meditation, deep breathing practices, or psychotherapy, or any of that stuff, what are we actually seeking? We're seeking a sense of meaning and a sense of purpose in our lives. And we're seeking fulfillment.

I mean, meaning comes through, I think, as Jordan Peterson would say, you know, the adoption of responsibility is primarily where meaning comes from. The adoption of responsibility overcoming very difficult things which allow you to be able to build and then maintain the things that really, really give the highest level of meaning, which is going to be connection, you know, human connection and ultimately connection to your deeper self and so on and so forth.

Luke Storey: [00:28:26] Yeah. And having some reserves that are shareable. When you're depleted spiritually and physically, you're inherently stuck in a lower based nature because survival is the only thing possible. And the only thing that has meaning is like, "How am I going to get through this hour, get through this day, get through this month, this year, et cetera?"

But when one's been faced with some adversity and by whatever means you sought to overcome it, you did in fact do so - I don't know - I don't know many people that haven't been driven into service as a way of life, or at least part of their life in profound ways without having that suffering.

It's like I know so many things. And you and I share a past of addiction, which we'll get into. But as I started to be able to overcome that through grace and a lot of surrender and some work, I was compelled, and I'm compelled to help people overcome that. It's like if you run out of a burning building and you found the door that's not burning, you have to go show people it's that door, "Door number 3. Run." Unless, again, you're a sociopath. You're just kind of compelled to share what you've learned through the adversity that you've experienced and overcome.

Cameron George: [00:29:45] Yes. You feel completely compelled because the experience has imprinted itself on you so deeply whenever something like that happens. When any serious trauma happens and you're not a sociopath - which a sociopath would be a human who's just far disconnected and divorced from their existential core enough to where they don't have a good signal to their empathy, they don't have a good signal or a good connection to their existential core, it doesn't mean that it's not there, for my belief anyways.

It doesn't mean that it's not there. It just means that maybe for now or in this life, that's just not your karma. That's just not your circumstances, and your free will, and your choices has separated you so far from that.

But if you're a standard person, you do feel absolutely compelled because you felt that experience of suffering. And what that does to you is it pulls that sort of deep, more authentic, empathetic part of you, that part that feels. And then, afterwards, it primes itself to where when you see others hurting, you hurt. It dissolves your ego. And your ego is that thing that creates perceptual separation. When that's dissolved, you just automatically feel people's pain more, which is a natural thing. It's not something that you have to develop. It's in you. It's just those barriers get dissolved and you find it. 

We've talked about before, I think, the two paths to growth. There's the desperation path which we've been talking about. You're forced into a corner and that's powerful, because that locks into your primitive system, your fight or flight system, your DNA. It's in you. It's that survival mechanism. And then, there's the inspiration path. The inspiration path is seeing something that someone else went through, or your own process and shifting out of the desperation and then just being truly inspired.

I honestly think a lot of people would tell you desperation is more powerful. Like, you need to be insecure and angry or hungry in that regard to be successful or to be aggressive. Aggressive is a dual sided coin, there's a good side and there's a bad side. There's a good type of aggression.

I think inspiration can be more powerful, especially people who have been through the desperation and then have had their inspiration, they're not in the desperation anymore. It teaches them how to build a life that they can avoid that desperation or overcome that desperation, which awakens many times an inspiration. And that locks you into something that is innate inside you that I believe is connected to your existential core and your real power, what you really are.

Luke Storey: [00:32:41] That's so good, dude. I've never heard it articulated that way. And it sparked something in me thinking about the early days of my own recovery from addiction. And coming to the realization that seeking a relationship with a higher power and living truly a spiritual way of life, however difficult that was in the beginning. But I was doing that because I had to. Not because I wanted to.

And then, over the course of some years, as I started to kind of gain my footing a bit, then I never thought of it in this way until you stated it that way. But then, the desperation did evolve into inspiration, where it's not I'm doing the things that I'm doing, say prayer, meditation, helping other people because I have to because I'm going to die if I don't do it. But it's like, well, what else is there to do? Of course, I'm compelled to do it. I'm inspired to do it. It's just there's no other way to live. There's nothing else that gives life meaning.

But I'm not praying or reading a spiritual book or going to retreat or doing plant medicines because I'm afraid to die. I'm doing it because I want a more rich and broad experience. It's that inspiration from within myself that's like, "Keep going. Keep going. You're making progress." Not because I have to but because I want to.

Cameron George: [00:34:02] And when you think of it, it's a beautiful process because desperation is such an opportunity. It's that risk opportunity. Like, I was saying, I believe we're in now culturally. It's such an opportunity in that way because desperation is usually all about self-preservation, especially in a disease process or something. And that has its purpose. It's kind of those dark times. Desperation is part of darkness, a dark experience. But it has its purpose because it teaches you how to be inspired.

It's like freedom. Only people that are truly deprived of it have the slightest inclination as to what it is. And we're starting to experience a little bit of that in the last couple of years here that we live in this bubble, in this part of the world, that most of us going back decades, we've never tasted any form of real control or enslavement. We've been able to walk out of our houses for the most part not worried about being brutally killed by someone in our government just coming by and saying, "I'm going to execute you today," or "I could get to tell you what to do, where to work, how to think, how to feel, how to speak," all these kind of things. 

We've tasted a little bit of that, and I think that I'm optimistic about where it goes. But we definitely have dipped a little bit into some darkness that I think has catalyzed some inspiration in at least a percentage of people.

So, desperation is a catalyst. It can be a catalyst. It's an opportunity. It's an opportune catalyst for inspiration. But it's a beautiful thing. It's like we're talking about the purpose of darkness of why you need darkness. In order to have that experience, in order to be able to dissolve those barriers to remember who you really are and to find your true power, the truth inside of you, the truth that resonates inside of all of us, that core that most spiritual practices we believe is unconditional love. You don't just summon it by saying hey. It's like trying to let go of your ego with your ego. Things have to happen in order for you to connect and sort of come off of yourself because we live through our egos most of the time.

But, anyways, that process of desperation to inspiration is just such a beautiful one because the darkness gives that opportunity to kind of dissolve those barriers. And it cuts it down almost like the pressure makes diamonds thing, where it just sort of squeezes that real juice out of you like you're pressing a seed or something. And then, it's there. And once it's there, it's kind of like that saying, "The truth is like a lion, you don't have to defend it. It defends itself," or whatever. There's a part in every person that whenever you become truly inspired, you don't have to fully push yourself all the time anymore.

Like, when you're in desperation, you're constantly having to kind of find ways to motivate yourself. So, whenever you find a way to push yourself, that's good, because at times you need to do that. Whenever you align yourself with something that's real, something that you're meant for, something that you're made for, and it's pulling you, you have a whole new level of power, real power. Because then, you're not constantly having a motive. You're being pulled by something.

I've actually heard Tony Robbins allude to that before, too, sort of discussing his trajectory and his process of sort of aligning himself with what he was made for. And, obviously, everybody knows the guy is like an absolute machine because the guy aligned himself absolutely with some level of synchronicity, and throughout his experiences, and just being with those things and people like him. He's just been able to do so many seemingly impossible things and reach so many people. That power is inside of all people. And some people never find it in this life, in individual lives. And maybe there's a higher purpose to that, too, within the entire organism.

And I would say, that there certainly is. There's some sort of darkness opportunity or principle for the collective in some way from everything that happens. I'm kind of at the point in my life where I don't believe in bad experiences. I believe in painful experiences. Some experiences are incredibly, unimaginably painful. But every single time I've had a painful experience, what I thought was a bad experience, I saw on the other side that at some level there was some meaning to it.

Not that every bad thing that happened to us, we'll be able to actually see the full magnitude of its positive impact in our lives. But, say, if you watch somebody else who actually does perish under their bad circumstances, usually at a higher level, collectively, somewhere, somehow, there's some sort of meaning for it in reality, whether it's to give rise to this or that or whatever. Even if in this life you can't zoom out high enough to see the big picture because we're locked in right here.

Even to just kind of bring it back a little bit, I know that we started this conversation with where are we with kava and TRU KAVA, all that kind of stuff, and then we went here.

Luke Storey: [00:39:30] Right off the deep end.

Cameron George: [00:39:31] But I think that it's interesting, though, because a lot of this is some really baseline, but philosophical principles that are centered around finding meaning and purpose, and establishing some level of sanity and mental health.

Because we started there with it and the context of this conversation, you know, circling back into various practices, circling back to plant medicine, I think all of that is extremely relevant, because that school of thought or just meaning and purpose in general, what we can all agree upon that are good things that we all objectively want, are things that people are seeking when they're trying to expand their consciousness in any way.

And I think it's good that we went into that because in order to talk about the potential cultural or large scale impact of any strategy that expands consciousness, we have to have some context as to what the significance of that is and the importance of it.

You know, psychedelics, for example. They've blown up, right? They've been rediscovered to some degree. I don't want to say most people, but a lot of people are now aware that they exist, remember that they exist. And now it would start the process of like, well, what is the significance of a compound or a strategy that has the ability to expand our consciousness, expose our weaknesses, allow us to zoom out, and really see ourselves from a much higher level than we previously thought that we could or that we are able to if we're locked in ego consciousness that we don't even know that we're in because we've never been outside of it. What is the value of having an experience of going outside your mind so you know what being inside your mind is? It's all relativity.

And so, in any of these practices, plant medicine is one of the main ones because it's one of the most powerful, like immediate press the button ones, of going outside your mind. We all seek it. And I think some of the stuff we were talking about there with seeking meaning and everything like that, it's the reason why every culture around the world has always engaged in altered states of consciousness, some in a healthy way, some in an unhealthy way.

But I think we have that underpinning drive to alter our consciousness because we've evolved to the point which we can manipulate our reality as higher vertebrates. And we're able to actually seek something that is innate with all of us, where we seek to get out of our minds, to understand more of the big picture, to understand ourselves, to answer the questions of the big why. Or just to get out of our minds to go a little bit deeper.

That doesn't mean that everyone that goes out of their minds actually does those things. I'm talking about a subconscious drive. So, even if you're not consciously aware of it, and once you do those things, you use it as an escape and you just dick around while you're in those places or whatever. That happens more time than the -

Luke Storey: [00:42:51] You can hear the shaman facilitator now, "All right. This evening, don't dick around. Let's get some work done."

Cameron George: [00:42:56] Exactly. But just because you've been to an expanded perceptual space doesn't mean you have the slightest damn clue as to where you've been on any level, or understand the value, or even care, by the way.

Luke Storey: [00:43:08] That's a very good point.

Cameron George: [00:43:08] Many people just go because they want to be out of where they're at. But, anyways, I do believe that there is still an underpinning drive in people to alter their consciousness.

Luke Storey: [00:43:22] Yes. So, one could have one of these out of body, out of mind, out of ego experiences, but not necessarily come back with the practical utility of the experience.

Cameron George: [00:43:39] Yeah. Or even intend to.

Luke Storey: [00:43:43] I want to see some freaky fractals, man.

Cameron George: [00:43:45] But the main thing is that, there's really no question. I don't think that there's any way to make an argument for the fact that human beings have an instilled drive towards altering their consciousness. Anyone who's ever written books on psychoactive practices in general, or even foods, or medicines, plant medicines, it is obvious that we have an obsession with altering our consciousness. Michael Pollan has written about this when he wrote a book about psychedelics. It's a really good book.

We do. And I think that part of what we're talking about in this conversation is at least on the track of some of the underpinning reasons why. We have an underpinning obsession. We crave it almost like we crave food or one of these survival things because we don't necessarily consciously understand. But there's a part of us that's encoded the process of why or the intelligence under us that's pushing us to do it. Almost like the conversation about, you know, the intelligence of nature pushing the plant to give something to us, we are drawn.

Luke Storey: [00:44:51] This is so interesting. Sorry to interrupt. But I'm thinking about the cycle of addiction as you were speaking about all human beings invariably have this desire to alter their consciousness, however they do it. I was thinking, "Wow."

When I was a little kid. I mean, first I did it with sugar, then I did it with trying my first cigarette, or watching horror movies, or discovering pornography, or whatever, just like I got to change the way I feel. And for the first half of my life, it was all about the avoidance of pain. It was out of that desperation. And then, there's a certain turning point at which, I guess in one's development in some cases, the inspiration that we were talking about kicks in. And then, altering one's state of consciousness is coming more from the curiosity of inspiration rather than the aversion of pain.

It's kind of like the attraction aversion model, right? It's like there's an attraction to deeper levels of understanding brought about by inspiration rather than, like, I'm trying to numb myself. And I think that's an important distinction. And I don't classify it like cocaine's a bad drug, ayahuasca is a good drug, because they all have their purposes. I mean, I don't want to go to the dentist without them putting some coca leaf extract in my gums. You know what I mean? Heroin, like, yeah, please give me morphine if I break my leg.

So, it's not a good or bad thing. But there is kind of a classification, I think, in at least with mind altering substances in terms of do they bring one into a deeper relationship with who and what they really are or do they separate one from who and what they really are? You know, and that's an interesting kind of -

Cameron George: [00:46:35] Which comes to what you bring to it from an intention standpoint generally.

Luke Storey: [00:46:38] Right. Right.

Cameron George: [00:46:39] And sometimes, well, there's a conscious intention and then there's an unconscious intention. Because what a deeper part of you really want, sometimes you may not have any clue. But you'll get what you really need, which is what a deeper part of you wants that your ego or your conscious mind doesn't know. A lot of people know that when they go into psychedelics, they think, "Hey, I'm going to get this." It's like, "Don't make plans for something."

Because what's going to happen is going to happen. And whether or not it's painful or something that you don't like or something that you need to address is one thing. Or maybe it'll be blissful and it'll be very nice and it'll be a very good experience. But people who have good experiences are people who surrender to what automatically comes out. The intention that's underneath that comes from that substrate, that comes from that intelligence that goes deeper than even human body and human existence. And just the core of who you are, just tailored back into that substrate reality thing, from my perspective.

But, anyways, my whole point in that was just that no matter what your intention is from your conscious mind, that underpinning drive, there's almost a magnetism there, like the opposite ends of north and south on a magnet. We are pulled towards altered states of consciousness.

Now, we can either distort those once we engage in them with our conscious mind and our intentions if we go into them with bad intentions, for example, or we resist what it's really being pulled towards for. So, if we engage in it from a desperation standpoint to escape pain, then we're going to it for an escapism purpose, in which you usually don't get great experiences or you just get meaningless experiences. You see good fun things and you can have a blissful experience where you're running around in blades of grass and then kind of a state of astonishment or whatever.

But if you set the intention from an inspiration standpoint, that's where the personal growth comes, because you're saying, "I want to dig deep." And you consciously focus on those barriers and where are those things so I can pull out the weeds, instead of just trying to go from the lawn with the weeds onto the nice lawn and roll around.

Luke Storey: [00:48:52] Great metaphor and actually quite realistic. You know, if you think about something like mushrooms, I mean, any time I've been outdoors and taking mushrooms, there's been times where I have some realizations. But there have been many times where I'm like, "Look at this fucking grass."

Cameron George: [00:49:09] Remember Terence McKenna used to say, "Don't give in to astonishment." That was his main recommendation for psychedelic experiences. Because he said, "You'll just get lost in escapism." That was why he said that because you become fixated on an anthill. It's one thing if you're astonished and you see the beauty in it and it leads to a deeper thread that's wired into your own internal state of having this realization. That can happen.

But if you are just staring at it like, "Whoa. That's trippy," then you can get lost in that kind of escapism thing because it looks cool in that moment or whatever.

So, the main point is, intention can certainly affect it, but this underpinning drive is there. This underpinning drive towards altering your consciousness is there, which is why we're drawn to some of these different strategies.

And so, sort of tailoring it back to the whole plant medicine conversation, the reason why your plant medicine is coming up so much is because we are in desperate need of that alignment from good intention and our magnetism of being pulled, our natural drive, our natural magnetism being pulled towards altered states. It's clear that these things are surfacing in conversation. People are seeking them out. And we are in desperate need of a proper alignment of good intention, of inspiration, inspirational intent aligned with our natural drive towards altered states.

And whenever we do that, we're interested in going into altered states that expand our consciousness, expand our awareness, that help us grow, to help us dissolve those perceptual boundaries, to help us to get back to the core, the framework of who we really are, and help us to actually align ourselves with the process of life, we talked about earlier, which is everything that's good and conducting ourselves in a way through which life improves.

Which, if there ever was a meaning to life, this is something that we can all agree upon, is conducting yourself in a way through which life objectively improves, to which your sip is floating higher, not sinking. It's like if you're doing things which life improves, then that's meaningful and you're aligned with something that will fulfill you.

Luke Storey: [00:51:27] It's like that principle by their fruits, you shall know them. That's something that I often think of, and maybe more than think of, just kind of apply to any endeavor. You know, it's like, "Huh. Let's just objectively take a reality check here and say, is what I'm doing making life worse or better?" You can break it down to something. So, we're getting pretty deep here, but you can break it down to something so fundamentally simple.

And this was a huge, I think, barometer or test when I went from being 22 years stone cold sober as a former addict and alcoholic, to exploring plant medicines and psychedelics. I mean, it was something I was extremely thoughtful about in which I had to exercise a lot of discernment and self-checking, you know, what am I about to do here. 

And in the course of the past few years that I've been with some degree of regularity exploring these realms, I've gone back to check myself, "Are you cool, Luke? Again, another ceremony?" But I do step back and I think over the years I've gotten fairly skilled at being honest with myself as objective as one can be about their own behavior and results of that behavior.

But I have looked at it and thought, "Oh, man. This is crazy. I'm doing financially better than ever. My significant other, my wife, my relationship, the healthiest ever. My desire to have a family that I never had and I was terrified of." Just every physical material manifestation of my thoughts, feelings, and thus behavior has improved on a very measurable metric that is undeniable to anyone who would look at my life and go, "Oh, man. He's really gone off the deep end. He's going downhill, back into his old patterns, or he's on the verge of a relapse." It's like, "No. I'm doing better than ever before in a very concrete way."

Not to say that there isn't plenty still to work on, and I'm here for it, but I think it's important to kind of take a look at oneself. And it's pretty simple to see if you have some degree of self-awareness to go, "Is this a net benefit or a net deficit?" And there's your answer.

And I think, for me, in the realm of this topic, if there were negative consequences that were persistent, I would choose a different path. And perhaps someday I will. You know, I might hit kind of a ceiling where I'm like, "Okay. I've kind of explored those realms as much as is productive and useful. And I'm just going to go back to being a householder that meditates a couple times a day and read some spiritual literature and lays low." But there's just been continual expansion and benefit.

But I think largely because I have been prudent, I mean, there are so many opportunities now, as you said, this prevalence of psychedelics in our culture. Unless you live somewhere very conservative or remote and it's just not part of your social circle, I think if you put any effort into seeking these experiences, they are widely available.

And in my sphere of friends, it's very available and there are opportunities all the time. And I'd say 90 percent of them that come into my awareness, it's like, "Nah." Usually it's a no or a not right now. And that helps me, personally, to determine when it's a yes, because there's a really strong feeling that this is meant to be at this particular time in my journey and in my own development. 

But that discernment is really important because I think if one was just willy nilly about, you know, exploring these realms, there could be some pretty dire consequences. And this is widely reported of people having bad trips and doing 5-MeO-DMT and not coming down for six months. I mean, it can get super squirrely. So, I like to just couch these topics sometimes, and an air of prudence, discernment, caution is wise, but it's also something that one can develop by looking at the results. You might have kind of a harrowing -

Cameron George: [00:55:42] And finding an objective way of measuring your outcome by measuring the fruit that it's producing. And understanding that there are things that are objectively healthier and objectively not healthier. Is your career improving? Your resource allocation improving? Is your life more stable? Are your friendships, relationships more stable, consistent? Are they healthy? Are you in a state of growth or is everything crumbling around you?

What you just said there, I think, is so important because it brings us kind of full circle back to what we were talking about earlier about the importance of left/right brain hemisphere integration.

Luke Storey: [00:56:20] Right. Balance.

Cameron George: [00:56:21] The practical and measurable versus the intuitive. And so, following your intuition and your emotion is incredibly important as sort of a compass that set the trajectory. But it's filtering it through an objective set of criteria of counting the fruit that you're producing that is going to tell you whether you're crazy or you're a genius.

Luke Storey: [00:56:43] That's good. That's good.

Cameron George: [00:56:43] Remember, there's an old saying, the line between genius and insanity is measured only by success. I mean, think about it, anybody who's ever changed the world in a positive way, who's innovated anything, who's created anything, who's had a positive impact on the world, for a period of time, they've had way more naysayers than yeasayers that have all said that they are crazy. Oftentimes, the people who actually end up changing the world are the people that are crazy enough to actually believe that they can. 

And, basically, if you're entering into any expanded state of awareness in your life, whether it be individual experience, an exploration that just puts you on a path or you're just going down a path that's in uncharted territory. That integration is so incredibly important of, yes, you need to have that sort of chaotic, all encompassing, introspective, risk taking, even emotionally charged side of yourself.

Because the emotion is like the path mainly to inspiration. Because inspiration and meaning is a feeling. But if it's emotional intelligence, then you actually get to align yourself with something that gives you true inspiration that's real and not something that just feels good. You see what I'm saying? Which is, it's just so important.

And I think most of this conversation, even though people listening might think, "Oh, this has gone in all kinds of directions," this does. It kind of comes full circle to the importance of investing in, obviously, personal growth and development through practices that help to balance your perception, balance the duality and properly integrate duality. Meaning, if we're talking physiological, left/right brain. We're talking in that sense. 

But the fact that all of these sides, we need to be aware of the sides of our duality and to find ways to properly integrate them. Because right now, the biggest problem in the world - it's a bold statement - I would say a huge problem in the world is certainly straight up division. Just perpetuated negative feedback loop, self-perpetuating division, which comes from an individual level non- integration. Because whenever people are properly integrated they can see other people's perspectives and respect other people's perspectives, and they check their ideas and the other person's ideas, against the fruit, objective reality.

And so, you end up agreeing a lot more because the fruit ultimately is the sum of how many of my ideas are working and how many of your ideas are working. And then, we measure it. And that's really what the scientific method, before it's hijacked through various means, was meant to do. It was to take our inspiration, but ground it into a practical, measurable, countable, counting fruit that you're bearing sort of system methodology that it doesn't matter what I think or you think. I have my ideas and I chase my ideas. You chase your ideas.

But at the end of the day, we count our fruit. And if I got more fruit than you, and if I have eight pieces of fruit and you have none, clearly what I'm doing is working. And that's what it's meant to understand.

And that right there is really where science and spirituality intersect. Which is like also duality, left/right, all that kind of stuff. Because science would be more, obviously, the practical, analytical, the measurable counting the fruit, et cetera. And then, obviously, spirituality would be more like the pursuit of truth, the introspection just the broad exploration, just looking at the big picture. Not focusing in and then actually taking snippets and executing individual things for specific experiences.

So, the fusion of those things is just absolutely incredibly important. And that's where science and spirituality really do intersect and why it's not one or the other. We have to have rationality. We have to have introspection as well. And if we become too dominant in one side, because we've let our traumas push us onto a team, which is something that's more in our primitive side of being on a team and tribalism and all that kind of stuff, it's our survival system working against us, basically, that has brought us out of sync in our duality and push us to one side or the other. And then, you get that polarity. Then, the magnet is flipped and we're telling each other instead of coming together, then it's a huge problem.

And so, again, I really think this conversation is important because, yes, we set out to talk about plant medicine. Yes, I specialize in kava. And that's a very important piece and we'll talk about that for sure. But it's important to understand the context of why these tools are important.

Let's just talk about the plants, for example, why people are so drawn to psychedelics, first of all? And what could be the potential of the proper use of these things in order to really elicit collective growth as a species and of the whole organism of life on this planet?

And people who have engaged in psychedelics, I mean, it's hard to find a community of people more passionate about anything in the psychedelic community. Why? Because the experiences that you have when you really have a powerful psychedelic experience are truly outside of your mind. They are so expansive that what is there to be more passionate about than breaching through the boundaries of reality itself into new uncharted territory that could give us the answers to literally all suffering, or at least one step at a time all that we're able to do in this life with this reality, whatever.
It's like, what could be more important?

And so, you know, this conversation is getting more relevant all the time. There's so much about plant medicine. Today, there's so much desire towards plant medicine. They're all becoming legalized slowly. And people are just obsessed with them.

The biggest podcasters in the world or the biggest people who become the biggest voice in the world, actually many of them - Joe Rogan, very good example - who have largely gained a lot of popularity by being an advocate for those things and the thoughts that expand out of them. Those conversations - let's take that podcast, for example. It's like the biggest one in the world - all of those are very, very psychedelic-like conversations or conversations that are very, very open and fully integrated and usually try to respect both sides of that coin that we're talking about. And people are drawn to that.

No matter how long the conversation is, for three hours, people are hungry for growth, they're hungry for truth, they're hungry to just become better. It doesn't mean it's like some Kumbaya reality where you take some plant and you're going to descend to the heavens tomorrow or something. No. And there's no one magic bullet. It's an opportunity. All these things are tools for personal growth and development. And anything that opens up larger opportunities for us to just become better and to just become more of who we really are and find meaning, fulfillment, and purpose, I think, is just so important, incredibly important.

So, yeah, so we could talk specifically about plant medicine now if you want to.

Luke Storey: [01:04:54] Is that not what we just did? I want to tell everyone that the show notes for this episode can be found at lukestorey.com/cameron. And we'll also have a link in the show notes to TRU KAVA with the discount code, that I forget right at the moment, but I'm sure we have one. And, also, we'll put your past episode's link in there, too, because your story is incredible. And we've touched on it in our both prior conversations. So, I kind of have avoided it this time because I don't want to be redundant for people that heard it. But your story is fucking awesome too. And maybe we can kind of tie in addiction at some point.

But I want to let people know again, lukestorey.com/cameron. Any links, books, anything we've talked about will be found there.

So, one thing I wanted to actually see if I could find to put in the show notes and I want to share it with you, too, I could text it to you if and when we're able to find it. But the other day I'm scrolling on Instagram, or maybe someone sent me, I think it was a TikTok video. I don't know if you've seen this where people have figured out how to put, basically, little microphones on plants and the plants actually talk or make music. So, essentially they kind of get these ultra sensitive microphones, put them on plants, and then run those through an amplifier, and plants make songs and kind of have language. That's really trippy.

So, someone sends me this TikTok and it's a big reishi mushroom grown in a lab. And the fucking mushroom is talking. It's talking. I mean, that's the only way to describe it. And it's talking in this alien, like, ET language. Insane. I mean, that's just like one example of how much we don't know. And kind of the arrogance of the collective human consciousness to think that we are the only sentient beings that carry intelligence.

You know, back to what we were talking about earlier of the possibility of perhaps some of these plant medicines, like kava or kratom or psilocybin or any of them, kind of starting to emerge into culture, perhaps with the motivation from God, head, or consciousness as a whole. Not that I think, "Oh, this plant is a living being and it's like, 'I'm going to fly from Peru to California,'" you know, not in that kind of simplistic sense, but just in the macro that these things do have an intelligence because they're part of the greater intelligence of creation itself.

And so, creation is kind of working its intelligence through something like a reishi mushroom that then is miked up and starts talking to you. And so, it's just really fascinating to me as a Westerner to start to come to these realizations. But if you tap into the indigenous cultures of history, they predominantly already know this. This is like big news to me because I see a reishi mushroom talking, and you could talk to a South American elder and Native American elder, and they'd be like, "Duh. We've been telling you guys this for 20,000 years," or whatever.

Cameron George: [01:08:02] Anthropologists think that it's just metaphorical. They're like, "Oh. These people, they just are poetic or something." And they are. I mean, shamans certainly can be. But it's like, "Well, no." They've lived very, very close to the natural ecology and to each other in a sense a community. It's where we've created a lot of these artificial boundaries, barriers, boxes, and just endless sort of segments of divorcement from nature through which we've kind of lost some of those signals. We've become numb to them. We've atrophied. 

Luke Storey: [01:08:38] Atrophied is a good word. Yeah. Yeah. My wife, Alyson, recently published a book called Animal Power. And it's all about the intelligence and symbolism of the animal kingdom, it's 100 animals. A little shoutout to Alyson's book there. It's incredible. You can find it at - no. I'm just kidding. We'll put it in the show notes. 

But, you know, when I first got involved with her, she's a shaman and works in ways that I don't totally understand, perhaps I'm atrophied a bit. And so, she's starting to write this book and she's explaining to me the wisdom of the owl, or the caterpillar, and these different things. And I'm, you know, respectfully curious, but kind of like, "Just because an eagle flies by, it doesn't necessarily mean anything." Because it's that reductionist, sort of materialistic, pragmatic part of me that just thinks, "Oh. It's a coincidence."

But sort of - and I want to get your take on this - in terms of the animal and plant kingdom and just our natural environment here on Earth, it seems like you kind of end up in either nothing is random and nothing is accidental or everything is. And there's this nihilistic sort of defeatism in the everything is random and it's a lot less fun. And it's sort of like, why pursue any understanding if it just is all meaningless and we're all floating on a rock? And it's just like destiny is predetermined. So, I'm beginning to lean more into that.

What if everything, including that eagle flying by or the reishi mushroom having its own language, what if all of that does, in fact, have meaning? And that I have just become atrophied as a coexisting being here on this planet, whether it's by the medicines we've been speaking of or not or just other ways. But how about just kind of changing my degree of open mindedness to just consider, "Well, maybe there is a lot more going on here than meets the eye." And being open to and curious about all levels of consciousness, and intelligence, and inspiration as it comes into our awareness.

In other words, kind of putting up one's antenna for maybe there are signs that aren't just hocus pocus, maybe things that I just wrote off as an accident or insignificant actually have a tremendous amount of significance in terms of when an animal enters my life and what it could mean, or the fact that these plants are now traveling around the world seemingly on their own with a little help from humans and airplanes. So, I don't know that there's a question in that.

I think it's just self-inquiry and an exploration into perhaps regaining some of that innate wisdom that we've lost in our modern culture, especially in the West. You know, and as we're joking, people figured this out a long time ago. And the anthropologists, they were superstitious. Maybe they weren't. Maybe they aren't. Maybe there's something there for us to learn, and honor, and respect, and allow ourselves to be teachable, and to divorce ourselves from some of the arrogance that the ego embeds in us as thinking we know more than we actually do.

Cameron George: [01:11:46] It's so interesting, too. I mean, just kind of the old saying which was basically or is similar to what you just said, those two absolute perspectives of life that either everything is a miracle or nothing is. Which, actually, it tends to be where people tend to go.

You know, I volunteered in a nursing home when I was young and I learned a lot in that experience. One thing that I observed almost immediately was that there were two types of people in those situations where they were horribly deteriorated or just very elderly and not in good health.

There were people who were the sweetest, nicest people who saw the meaning and everything that were totally at ease with where they were at, that had a sense of, "This is where I'm at. I've lived a great life," that kind of thing. Just very, very peaceful people.

And then, there was people who were the exact opposite that were very bitter. They were very angry. They were very scared. They are very resentful. And the worst thing, they're full of regret. Because people in their final stages, it's one of the worst things probably human being can experience is to be full of regret. You know, saying, "Gosh. I wish I would have done more." And they tell you about regrets that will literally just pierce your soul. Motivate you, for sure.

But, anyways, the point of that is that this tendency of people to kind of go into these two extremes - and, honestly, it's not just one or the other. It's not everything or nothing - there's actually a spectrum kind of just like anything else where people are kind of down the road of bitter, but maybe they can see some of the meaning in things and it's like we're complex and stuff. But people tend to polarize.

Just like going back to the conversation earlier about how we, under states of trauma, tend to divert, we tend to polarize, we tend to move into one side of duality, one side of our individual consciousness, because that's an absolutist thing. Because when our fight or flight system takes over, fight or flight is a very absolute thing. It's fight or flight. It's very clear. Get the hell away or fight this thing. And that's an action that is actually then sort of encodes a reaction that is absolute, like moving from one side to the other. I'm over here, so I'm going to go over there. I'm going to retreat to this, or whatever.

And so, people, generally, it's usually formed from some form of hardship or trauma that brings people out of sync or out of balance with duality or hemispheres, their consciousness. And we're humans. That's actually part of being human. It's kind of coming out of that and then trying to find ways to move back in. It's not saying that it's a bad thing, but it's something that's important to talk about. 

That is important because, you know, that whole idea that everything's a miracle or that nothing is, is kind of that same thing. Either you move into that side of duality or that just sort of reductionist, highly rational, extreme rational state where it's reality perceptually shifts for you. Literally, shifts for you into this just mundane process of just dead mechanical circumstances, "My physical body, I'm trapped in this. It sucks. I'm going to die and fuck you," this whole thing. And just like I got to pay bills and Lord, you know.

And then, there's the side of things that's really kind of the other side that kind of sees the meaning in things but doesn't necessarily see the individual or the rational, which actually would be more of what a lot of indigenous people are because they didn't live in the era of rationalism. They actually, in many ways, probably became more straight introspective than they were highly, highly analytical or overly analytical. But still had to be practical because they had to survive during harsh circumstances. So, many were actually probably more balanced on that front.

But going to these opposite sides or going to these extremes of everything is a miracle, meaning that you can kind of see everything for more of what it is and you can kind of see the big picture through your introspective, more creative side, or you're locked into individual what's right in front of you, just dead, reductionist, because that's kind of what analysis is. It's like a sequencing. It's like one individual process at a time. You just see what's right in front of you and what's literally right there. So, another example of how duality sort of tears apart that integration, and you have people in those two categories.

And I believe that's one reason why people can be so far apart on how they see reality. Because at the end of the day, this whole conversation that we're having around consciousness, around perceptual duality, which is really what we're talking about, left, right, light, dark, creative, rational, which are just sort of layers of the same principle.

This entire conversation around this is sort of relative to our ability to be able to perceive objective truth. We all can agree that there is an objective truth that exists outside of my perception or your perception, which is great because we can measure the fruit, we can measure that through the language of science and mathematics, which is great about the time that we live in today, if it's kept in balance.

For example, if I go on top of this roof, I step off the roof. I can believe that I can fly, right? Subjectively, I can have an emotion. I could take a drug that could give me an emotion I can fly off this thing. It doesn't matter in that moment what my emotion is. There is an objective truth, an objective force. An objective truth of reality, in this case, gravity, that's going to pull me down no matter what I think or believe. So, that's an objective truth. It doesn't matter.

You know, today, people kind of go into my truth, your truth. It's the truth. And what we're trying to do is to integrate ourselves and develop ourselves enough to where we can tune our antennas to be able to get the best signal of the truth as possible, to be able to tune into to the most inclusive, clear picture of the truth. Like the old T.V.s where you're trying to get the antennas right and the pictures kind of come in there, and you want to get it there. You're trying to adjust it.

That's kind of what I feel like in the process of growth is, I want to know the truth, not just what I feel. Your feelings can betray you. But your feelings are important. But, remember, count the fruit to tell you whether or not your feelings are correct or your feelings are not. So, the whole goal for anything is to get to the truth, because the truth, I guess, it will set you free. And the truth is where we grow. The truth is we solve problems. And the truth is just where real life happens, like good things happen, anything that we would associate with being good.

So, I think this entire conversation really does kind of circle back around to we're talking about perceptual duality and the importance of that. And, yes, because we started talking about plant medicine as a very real strategy, that is the goal. I believe that's one of the reasons why we are possibly drawn to that is by getting outside our minds, by zooming out - which psychedelics have a tendency to be able to do - it gives us a perspective to where we can see the separation between our two halves. And then, try to formulate a big picture strategy instead of just living in dots, instead of just seeing pixels, it allows us to better see pictures. And then, we can start to connect the dots.

If you're just zoomed in because your trauma has pushed you into one perceptual state, rationalism or pure introspection without rationalism, pure creativity or whatever, then it zooms you into this very isolated, non-all inclusive sort of dot. So, you're living in that little dot. But what that left/right brain hemisphere integration or that perceptual duality integration, the more that that happens, I believe, the more that it zooms you out and allows you to connect the dots. And then, you get a picture, and that picture is the truth, because it's measurable. You can literally measure the distance between the dots once you see them. And, again, it goes back to counting the fruit and looking at what's objectively true there.

So, I think that's my perspective anyways as far as some of the importance and the possible reason why we're drawn to all practices for personal growth.

Luke Storey: [01:21:29] Yeah. To arrive at a universal truth that then becomes our compass. Much of the folly of humanity is just our lack of ability to discern truth from falsehood. We just literally suck at it most of the time. I mean, you just look at any of the mass suffering that humans have endured at the hands of other sociopathic humans that were led to slaughter because they couldn't discern, you know, good from evil or truth from falsehood. So, anything we can do to kind of arrive at that, as we've been discussing here.

For me, that's where you find your true north. Ideally, right? I mean, that's what we want is to have some sense of direction that is reliable and is going to take us to where we want to go.

I want to ask you, now we've covered it in the past two episodes quite extensively, but we've talked about kava as one of these medicines that I think is really valuable, especially there are so many people in fight or flight over the past couple of years. And I think our nervous systems, myself included, for various reasons are just fried and tapped out.

And so, you know, in the furthest end of the spectrum, you have, well, not a plant medicine, but a substance like 5-MeO-DMT, from the animal kingdom, from the bufo toad is maybe - well, not maybe - for me, the most expansive of all possible human experiences while you're still in a body down to some of the more subtle that are more in the adaptogenic herb medicine space, which I would consider kava to be something that can be used daily, continually, no known side effects, has compound benefits over time, but isn't going to take you into the stratosphere of galactic consciousness. You know.

Cameron George: [01:23:19] It uproots you from rationalism as much as -

Luke Storey: [01:23:21] Yeah. Yeah. So, maybe for those that have heard the word kava kind of dropped in this conversation and this being the one thing that you focused in on and formed your company, TRU KAVA, around, give us a little bit of a breakdown for people that don't end up finding it in the show notes.

Cameron George: [01:23:35] Yeah. Exactly. You know, so kava, it's one of the most probably lesser known, under-reported, underappreciated, really unique, very relevant - I would say more relevant than ever - plant medicines in this wheelhouse of therapeutic entheogenic compounds, but that also bridge into a physiological medicine and an adaptogenic medicine as well too.

So, kava is kind of like this overlap. It's kind of this meshed sort of almost connect or grouped overlap substance in terms of its broad spectrum of therapeutic effects, characteristics, and applications between the standard physiological plant medicines, the adaptogenic herbs that basically acts as more nutrients that you can use on a regular basis to build the physical body over time.

And the medicines, like we've been talking about, the tryptamines psychedelics, the ones that really bring you into a hyper perceptual state that give that opportunity to go outside the mind and elicit, spiritual, psychological, mental, and personal growth from a mindset perspective, it kind of bridges the gaps and takes some of the best elements of all of those things.

So, it kind of takes some of the best effects of alcohol, coffee, CBD, microdosing certain psychedelics, adaptogenic herbs. And it has qualities and characteristics that bridge over all of those substances, which is extremely relevant, obviously, because that gives it a level of versatility and the potential for widespread integration into the culture that a lot of these other substances lack due to their limitations in one category or the inverse.

For example, reishi mushroom is a great physiological medicine. And, even, it's great for the psyche, too, as far as an adaptogenic herb, the Chinese called Shin Tonic. It does help with the emotions but it's not psychoactive in that sense. It's great for the immune system, great for the whole body. But it's more like a nutrient daily sort of tonic type of thing.

As where, 5-MeO or ayahuasca DMT, these powerful, powerful psychedelic plants and other organisms are lacking on the physiological nourishment side of things. And, in fact, are so powerful, can actually pull from the physiological in order to get that experience. It's like you're spending a little bit of your physical currency, your energy to be able to do that, which is why preparation recovery is so important if you're taking heavy hits of LSD or something like that.

So, all the plant medicines sort of have their place, all the most relevant ones, all of them are exploding in this renaissance thing that we're experiencing. I mean, you know, health food stores are exploding with these adaptogenic nutritional medicinal mushrooms. People are putting them in coffee and they're just exploding into sort of mainstream use, and all this stuff and different herbs because there's a great need for them. There's a pressure. There's a need.

And the psychedelics, obviously, are exploding for all the reasons that we just covered, the draw to human consciousness and everything, expanding consciousness, but they all have kind of their limitations. And every plant compound has its limitations.

What interested me so much in kava, besides the fact that it was necessary for me to survive in my circumstance because it was able to stop my convulsions and seizures. And so, that was a desperation thing of how I got into it. But like we talked about earlier, a desperation quickly turned into an inspiration once I got that specific benefit of it and then got these other unintended effects and started to realize all the potential that this plant medicine held.

And just really dove head first into the indigenous people, the South Pacific, all the anthropological information, historical accounts, and started to really understand what this plant is as an organism, and what it is as an intelligence, and how that intelligence manifests in this thing, both from a philosophical standpoint, but also from an objective scientific standpoint, because it's one of the most well-studied herbs in the world outside of cannabis and ginseng. So, you can place these two things together. And that's how we count the fruit on that one.

But what interested me and fascinates me to this day and makes me so excited about kava is that its potential, let's say, on the psychedelic side of things, on the mental, emotional perspective base, medicinal aspect of things, it has these qualities where in high dosages, even in moderate dose, just even low dose, just to some degree, instigates this left/right brain hemisphere hyper connection or sort of interaction through various chemical pathways, the dopamine system, GABA system, serotonin system, cholinergic system, et cetera, and others as well, that gives this very, very clear experiences that indigenous people have always reported on that now we're starting to kind of be able to put together with some of the scientific literature that brings about these sort of introspective states of mind that we've been talking about this whole time.

But not in a sledgehammer whack you over the head take you completely out of your mind where you visually are seeing a totally different side of reality like DMT would. It's doing it sort of in the back of your mind, especially in high dosages, to where you're having conversations like we're having now. And if you notice you're drinking kava like you are now. All of a sudden you start to realize that you kind of get into more of a flow state, where all of a sudden it's easier for you to put these thoughts together, it's easier for you to kind of zoom out, and to kind of connect the dots, and kind of reflect on your past experiences, your current life framework, your whole perceptual timeline of what I did the last few months. It's easier to kind of reflect and have access to those things during these enhanced states of mind, certainly with really powerful psychedelics. But for the case of this, for sure.

So, it has an element of that to it. And that's something that's why it's so heavily prized in the South Pacific. Which for those who don't know, we talked about on past episodes, kava is the most sacred substance in all of the South Pacific, in these South Pacific countries, which are countries that have indigenous people that are very, very in-tune and live very close to nature because they have the elements, obviously, of the ocean and their environment, their landscape. And they've lived, basically, a third world lifestyle in villages for so long and in tight knit communities. And they discover ways of instigating deeper connection with the environment and with one another, because they see it as not only a way of good survival, but a thriving set of circumstances as well. 

But, anyways, it's the most sacred substance in these islands for a reason, because it has this psychological medicinal effect on the mind, and they notice this. As an average person that just drinks at once, especially a person who's out of tune with that side of themselves, would just be like, "Oh. It's just mildly relaxing," or whatever, and maybe didn't take high enough dosages or whatever.

But over time, even if you don't realize that it's happening, what we see anthropologically and what we even see now, observationally and objectively in some of the studies now, is we see a objective marked change and shift in behavior in the positive direction on average in people whenever they consume coffee on a regular basis. This is something that is objectively observed in every way that you slice it.

And the reason is, is because of kava's versatility, because it doesn't whack you over the head or deplete you, and it actually helps to balance your brain chemistry, and kind of feed your brain chemistry, and replete your brain chemistry at the same time, it creates the opportunity for you to engage in a very subtle entheogenic expanded state of consciousness consistently, sometimes daily, over long periods of time. 

As where heavy, heavy psychedelics, you hit hard and you can't do it all the time. Some people do it fairly regularly if they take care of themselves and blah, blah. But you can't do it every day. And then, sometimes doing strong experiences and then using tools like kava in between can help you reflect better on those very strong experiences as well too. So, hazard has its time and place.

But the indigenous people of South Pacific, they have access to psilocybin mushrooms. Kava is their most sacred substance because of its versatility. Because it has the ability to consistently whisper this message, and it allows for good integration whenever you can get these whispers and kind of get the message slowly over time. And it changes your thought patterns. When you spend that much time in perceptual states that are enhanced like that, your brain starts to rewire itself. Because any time you have a thought, a feeling or an emotion, your brain is rewiring itself, neuroplasticity.

You know, think of it like, every thought that you have is driving down. It's like you have a clean slate of, say, snow. And that's kind of what your brain has landscape. Every time I have a thought, every time I hear a new idea or go down a certain path of thinking, I make a new path in that snow. And so, that's like a new connection. I bridge those connections.

And so, then your brain, in order to conserve energy, it prioritizes traveling paths that already have been traveled a lot because it already finds its way through that. It doesn't have to exert the energy to find and make a new path to push snow out of the way the next time. So, the brain does the same very thing. When you spend time in a perceptual state, it starts to create new neurological structures and ways of habitual thinking that become easier and easier to access. And it creates new neurological structures, new synaptic connections, that solidify those things. So, your brain is constantly changing itself. There's actually a book called The Brain That Changes Itself. It's about neuroplasticity.

So, this is why all psychedelics lead to changes in perception and changes in the way that people perceive and reflect on their past circumstances. And if they can shift the perception or relationship to a past traumatic event or a current event, they can change the way their body reacts to it. Hence, application for PTSD, et cetera.

Luke Storey: [01:34:31] Yeah. I've experienced that ad infinitum. So, it's astonishing actually the ability for the brain to -

Cameron George: [01:34:39] Yes. Yes. And so, that happens incredibly powerfully during, like, these sledgehammer experiences. And sometimes that's needed. So, the powerful psychedelics have their absolute place. What excites me about kava is that it's this hidden gem of something that one of the biggest barriers with classic psychedelics is the lack of versatility.

I mean, in order to get a good experience as a psychedelic, you've got to take some serious care and precautions. You've got to go into it with intent. And you've got to go into it prepared, usually. And you've got to sanction it. In culture and society for a lot of reasons as we integrate these things, they have to be in a medical context. People can go off and do them responsibly on their own. But we can't just release them into culture because the culture isn't ready for it. They're just too strong. So, there's a lot that needs to be built out over time with those.

And that means that the amount of people that can access them is going to be a smaller group, at least, for the time being. Like, your 80 year old grandmother is probably not going to jump into psilocybin just for a lot of reasons. Younger people or just people who just don't even know that there's value in psychedelics, they're not going to agree to that kind of a commitment. But they will take something that is extremely subtle, that has all of these other relaxing benefits and feels good, but then has that as an extra adjunct to it, and can start to kind of teeter in some of these states of mind.

So, I kind of see kava as something that anybody can have access to, both for its physiologic benefits, which are more relevant than ever today. Because kava primarily has two tiers to it, its physiological benefits and its psychological benefits. There's just people, like I said, mainly prize it's psychological benefits. But in today, we've got so many stress related diseases, kava is a protective substance, like we talked about in the last episode, that has all these neuro and tissue protective mechanisms, anti-inflammatory, stress reduction.

It's most famous for being like an alcohol alternative, that you can relax because it acts like a benzodiazepine that's not addictive, and it helps to restore the brain systems, and all of that stuff, which is obviously phenomenal, which is great for application for the physiologic dependence of addiction. But it also helps with the emotional and psychological aspect of, say, addiction or for PTSD over time, not all at once, which is what's so great about it.

Like, the more you take it, not only does it reduce the physiologic cravings for, say, said substances that people are physiologically addicted to or help to reduce the symptoms of chronic disease that are stress related, like lack of sleep and pain and all these things, nerve pain and anxiety and depression and those things. It helps to relieve those in the short term.

But then, it also works underneath on the psyche which gives the opportunity for a person to reflect and get to the underlying psychological, emotional, and perceptual reasons, like lack of perceptual integration, like we talked about earlier, of why they felt the need to engage in escapism to begin with. Because at the end of the day, people engage in escapism primarily because they have a meaning and purpose deficiency in their life. They need an adventure. They need an adventure that means something. And life is an adventure.

And so, you can simulate one by just skipping the whole physiologic experience part and just pressing the button of that dopamine that would normally naturally come at the end of the assembly line of processes. Once you get that adventure or that purpose, you do get these spurts of dopamine and serotonin. But that's a way of hacking it. That's what addicts tend to do, taking the shortcut, which is part of the whole thing of victimhood process of escapism and the whole thing that leads to that. And that's kind of just a little side trail about, specifically, addiction. But I was talking about all of the physiologic benefits, obviously, to kava and then the psychological benefits at the same time.

So, basically, I say all that to give kind of a broad context and a little bit of a review of what we talked about last time of what kava's basic benefits are, its lowest hanging fruit, which is all the physiologic stuff. But what's most exciting to me is that it offers this great physiologic relief to these stress related conditions and depression, these mental illnesses and stuff. And, yes, a tapering agent from the actual physical dependency side of, say, addiction, which is a huge thing right now.

But, really, what we want to get to is not only the underlying reasons of what caused the addiction, but we also want to get through the addiction and transform that desperation that came through the addiction, into the inspiration, that comes through a more aligned integrated perspective, and that duality integration that can come through some of these practices, in my opinion.

Luke Storey: [01:39:46] Awesome, man. Thank you for that. I love talking to you, bro.

Cameron George: [01:39:51] Oh, thanks, man.

Luke Storey: [01:39:51] You're a fascinating guy. You're one of those guys when I see you at conferences and out and about, we'll have conversations like this. And I'm always like, "Oh, we should be recording this, man. This is gold." So, I'm glad we got to sit down and do this today. And thank you for illuminating all that you did, and also about kava, because I'm a huge fan.

And speaking of which, I've got a question for you. A couple of years ago, you sent me some really high quality kava root. I think it was, like, three or four strains. And you're like, "Dude, these are really special. Hang on to these." And you sent me a video on how to cook it properly and get the extract, which I did a few times, and it was extremely euphoric and amazing.

And then, I moved and put my stuff in storage for a year and then I just found them when we were unpacking. I was like, "What is that word, Kumbi. I'll be Boogie Boo?" And I was like, "Oh, it's that kava." Do you think it's still good if it was sealed in an airtight little suction thing?

Cameron George: [01:40:44] Yeah. Because it was dry. It'll be good still.

Luke Storey: [01:40:47] Okay, cool.

Cameron George: [01:40:47] It lost a tad bit of potency, but it'll still be fine.

Luke Storey: [01:40:49] Okay. Yeah. Because I'm a huge fan. And, also, it's worth noting and I'll just say it as someone who's, you know, I've gone to kava bars and even back in the day I used to buy kava little capsules at Whole Foods, and I've never really noticed much of an effect, honestly. And having you send me those, which was kind of, like, super strong gold standard, rarefied strains of just the raw herb, you've really done it right with the TRU KAVA.

So, I want people to understand, I mean, not that there are no other companies in the world that are any good at it, but I want people to know if they think they've tried kava and they're like, "I didn't experience what he just described," it's probably because you had some subpar version of it that wasn't the right strain or cultivated right, or it was the aerial parts instead of the root, or whatever it might have been. So, I want to encourage people to check out the formulas that you've created because I'm a huge fan, obviously.

Cameron George: [01:41:43] Yeah. Like a little kind of practical, more grounded, just quick message, just about kava application in general and available kava products or just kava as a tool, remember, its main applications, its lowest hanging fruit applications, are all extremely relevant. You know, you have the anxiety relief. You've got the antidepressant effects. You've got the social lubricant effects. You've got the anti-inflammatory effects, the protective effects.

But just from an experience standpoint of what someone might experience, we talked a lot about this really deep side of kava, because we've built up to it in a couple of episodes. And so, there's definitely a lot more information on a lot of the specific mechanisms and stuff of kava in the past episodes if you guys want to check those out.

But, you know, just the experience of kava, it's just so nice to have something that I think a lot of people are looking for today, where people, for the first time, even the age group of 18 to 25 year olds, are starting to move away from alcohol use. Like, percentages amounts of people, even of the young age groups, are starting to be less and less interested in alcohol because of this drive towards a healthy lifestyle and actually being cool now to seek health even if the avenues that you're chasing are right or wrong or whatever, it's just like a thing.

But it is nice to have something that you can use as an ally, not a vice, that can help you relax and assist you. And which is really what alcohol or drug taking really should be, which is what we're trying to do. At the end of the day, none of us want to be addicted to drugs and alcohol, none of us want to be out of our minds and get in fights. We're just trying to, like, feel good and relax whenever we go to the bar and drink, and things go bad sometimes. Things can go bad or they can get out of control, and they can get out of control with a lot of these substances.

And I just think that, you know, it's so good to have something that you can just use that you don't have to feel bad about and you can use regularly, even if you still drink, especially if you drink on the weekends or this or that. But you can just use as something that will nourish your body, is a medicinal herb at the same time, but it can also give you that relaxation in a very smooth, natural way, just being naturally uplifted, and kind of you just feel like more of yourself. You come alive a little bit. You're able to socialize and connect better, which is really why people take drugs most of the time to begin with as far as alcohol is concerned.

And it's just great to have something that you can use as a recreational tool. You can use for medicinal application for all sorts of ailments, which most ailments today, chronic ailments are stress related. You can use in context where you're trying to transition, to have as an ally to transition off of bad physiologic dependence, the imprisonment, the enslavement of what we've both been through in our lives, the hell of addiction to some nasty substances.

There's other tools, and kava is just a great tool that you don't have to worry about it. It's like people trying to get off opioids. There's all kinds of really aggressive, pretty dangerous ways of getting off of them. Methadone, it's like replacing one opioid for another toxic substance. You know, just having something that you can go to, to really try that just helps across the board in all of these things. It's a protector. It's an ally.

Some you can go to and you can actually feel good about taking. Like, you're doing something for yourself at the same time. And it's a tool to be used and I think it's a really great one. And I think that just like coffee back in the early 1900s, helped to shape the collective mind of Western culture.

Michael Pollan wrote a book on that and talked about it on Joe Rogan's podcast kind of recently about how that was the case. It helped to shape the rational mind of the culture and the highly, you know, productivity focused side of things.

Alcohol has shaped the perceptual mind of how we socialize in a lot of ways. Psychoactive substances that we choose to engage in, play a huge role in how we connect as individuals. And I just think that at some point, I really believe that kava will be as common as a cup of coffee. And I think that it bridged a lot of these gaps, a lot of these medicines. I just think it's really important for people to explore and to know about. And if they feel compelled, give it a try and certainly look into it whenever they're studying and looking at all of their options as far as allies in the plant kingdom, or nutrients, or just strategies for wellness. It's one thing.

At the end of the day, what gets people well, what changes people's lives is always a multitherapeutic approach. There's not a magic pill or potion or lotion or whatever. But it is the integration of these things. And there are some really powerful tools that I think surface at times where they're really needed. And this is a really powerful one. And all of the other psychedelics also are extremely powerful ones.

And I'm really excited about the time we live in because we're rediscovering some of these tools that I think are really going to play a big contribution in saving certain aspects of humanity and culture, or at least create the opportunity for that. So, I do think it's important, and that's kind of a practical message mixed with a higher bird's eye view message. I can leave it there.

Luke Storey: [01:47:14] Awesome, man.

Cameron George: [01:47:15] And you can check us out online or anything, T-R-U-kava.com, that's our website. And you can find a lot of information and stuff there. I've done a lot of podcasts with Luke and other people, if you feel compelled.

Luke Storey: [01:47:31] Thanks, brother. Thanks for making the time. I'm glad we got to sit down and share our kava. It's the best, man. I need to have one of these on every podcast I do. The only thing is, I drink it so fast then I have to take a pee break in the middle, as I did today. But no one knows that, hopefully, because we probably edit it out.

Cameron George: [01:47:47] They do now.

Luke Storey: [01:47:47] But no, seriously, great to see you, bro. They do now. Great to see you. Keep up the good work. And thanks for coming by to have a chat with me.

Cameron George: [01:47:54] Thanks for letting me have these conversations. I can't have these conversations on every podcast, but always can with you.

Luke Storey: [01:48:01] You are welcome.

Cameron George: [01:48:02] I love you, man.

Luke Storey: [01:48:02] You too, brother.



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