291. Dissolving The Ego, Ketamine Therapy, & The Core Of Consciousness W/ Dr. Ted Achacoso

Dr. Ted Achacoso

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.

Dr. Ted Achacoso is back to talk Blue Cannatine, making his own ayahuasca, the root of all suffering, the secret to non-stop happiness, and bridging the gap between science and spirituality.

Dr. Ted Achacoso is the founding pioneer of the clinical practice of Health Optimization Medicine (HOMe). He was mentored by the founding pioneer of Anti-Aging Medicine and Nutritional Medicine, Thierry Hertoghe (Dr. Ted is double board-certified, Paris), mentored by the founding pioneer of Medical Informatics and research scientist in Artificial Intelligence, William S. Yamamoto (Washington, DC), mentored by the founding pioneer of Socially Responsible Investing and Finance (now called Impact Investing), D. Wayne Silby (Washington, DC), and mentored by the country pioneers of Interventional Neuroradiology, Neurology, and Pharmacology/Toxicology (Manila).

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.

The cosmic MD, Dr. Ted Achacoso, is back! 

Dr. Ted is the founding pioneer of the clinical practice of Health Optimization Medicine (HOMe) and one of the most inspiring human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking to.

It’s rare to meet someone who can so gracefully pair being scientific, analytical, and intelligent with an expansive exploration of consciousness and spirituality, but when you do, you… well, you record a three-hour conversation and ask every question you can think of to explore the depth of human health and consciousness. From nootropics to making your own ayahuasca to the quantum field of consciousness, and a whole lot in between, it’s all in here.

Dr. Ted is one of my favorite human beings in the world, and by the end of this episode, I can guarantee he’s going to be one of yours, too.

07:50 — #BlueTongueMagic: The wonders of Blue Cannatine

  • Use code “Luke5” for 5% off Blue Cannatine
  • What the four ingredients in Blue Cannatine do for your brain: Methylene Blue, caffeine, nicotine, and hempcanna
  • Comparisons to the Limitless pill
  • Why Dr. Ted originally created Blue Cannatine
  • Luke’s CBD joint experiment
  • The effect of recreational marijuana use on the brain

39:40 — A lightning round of Luke’s questions about drugs and supplements

  • What’s up with kratom?
  • Luke’s experience with using kratom to help with pain
  • Ketamine-assisted therapy?
  • How a night of microdosing Ketamine led to the end of one of Luke’s relationships
  • Dr. Ted’s first experience with ketamine
  • What ketamine does to your brain

01:02:35 — The root of all suffering and the secret to non-stop happiness

  • Study: people would rather shock themselves than be alone with their thoughts
  • Learning to witness yourself
  • The difference between the brain and the mind
  • What is the root of suffering?
  • How can matter, your brain, give you subjective experience?
  • Seeing past the illusion of self

01:31:05 — Bridging the gap between science and spirituality

01:51:35 — Ketamine journeys for meditation

02:07:10 — How Dr. Ted makes his own ayahuasca that doesn’t make you puke

  • Why did Dr. Ted decide he wanted to make this?
  • The experience that made Dr. Ted sure there was something more to explore with Mother Ayahuasca
  • Why Luke’s considers his experiences to be more educational than recreational
  • Having a different experience based on where the medicine was grown
  • Where do you want to go from here?
  • “The fall of the guru” phenomenon

More about this episode.

Watch it on YouTube.

[00:00:00]Luke Storey:   I'm Luke Story. 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, and personal development. The Life Stylist podcast is a show dedicated to sharing my discoveries and the experts behind them with you. Really good to see you again, Dr. Ted, albeit virtually.

[00:00:32]Ted Achacoso:   Yes. Well, I was in LA at the end of January for the Metabolic Health Summit. 

[00:00:40]Luke Storey:   Oh, that's true. Yeah.

[00:00:41]Ted Achacoso:   Yeah, I didn't see you there.

[00:00:43]Luke Storey:   No, I wasn't there. I was busy recording and up to my usual shenanigans, but it seems like everyone in the world was there except me, oddly enough.

[00:00:52]Ted Achacoso:   Yeah, you were traveling everywhere in the world, Luke.

[00:00:55]Luke Storey:   I was.

[00:00:55]Ted Achacoso:   You had a good excuse. I was seeing all of the pictures on your Instagram and I said, shit, I'd rather be there, which is one of the curses of suffering, right? You'd rather be where someone else is than where you are.

[00:01:15]Luke Storey:   Oh, that's a good segue just the beginning of this whole conversation. But before I dive off the deep end, there are a couple of things I have in my notes here that I want to cover with you. The first one is people are always asking me to explain this Blue Cannatine nootropic because my tongue and teeth are often—actually, let me make sure I have mine. I might just take one right now. Actually, yeah, I will. Dr. Scott, your partner was kind enough to send me some of, I guess, the ones that didn't make the cut because they were an experimental flavor.

[00:01:52]Ted Achacoso:   Well-

[00:01:54]Luke Storey:   People ask me, what the hell are those things? Like why is your mouth blue? And I have a very layman's version of the four ingredients in it. So, just right off the bat, before I forget, I'm going to satisfy everyone's curiosity and let you, the formulator yourself, explain what's in these things.

[00:02:14]Ted Achacoso:   Okay. The first is a background of the formulation, right? Since we both travel a lot, Luke, when I travel and I land, I either have to deliver a lecture, or go to important meetings, or meet with patients, or meet with clients. And after flying for 22 hours, you land and you have to be on, so I created this for myself. And I initially formulated it as a gum and my friends who were asking me, what is it that I'm on whenever I'm presenting since my tongue was blue, asked for it.

[00:02:58]  And I tried to have it made on production, but no confectioner wanted to touch it because it turned all of their equipment blue. So, I had to reformulate it to what's called a troche. A troche is a delivery mechanism, right? Very much like, for example, there is a sublingual troche, which is like this square piece of like a candy-like material that you put under your tongue, but this one is called the buckle troche. You insert it between your upper cheek and gum.

[00:03:37]  And there's a reason for this. It's because since this is a nootropic or something that goes to the brain, I wanted the fastest route of the closest blood vessels that are to the brain, and that would be at the roof of your mouth, right? So, the ingredients are really simple if you take a look at it, methylene blue, which turns your tongue blue and which is the object of curiosity of many people, is actually a very old drug.

[00:04:12]  And most people don't know it, but it used to be prescribed for things like bacterial infection, or viral infection, and things like that, or for urinary tract infection. And one of the findings, of course, it is a legitimate drug in a sense that it's used for a condition called methemoglobinemia, especially when you have like, for example, carbon monoxide poisoning, that's what they inject you with, right? 

[00:04:47]  And the interesting part of it is that it actually revs up your mitochondria. And mitochondria provide energy to your cells and they will provide energy for your brain cells. And that's why you experience a sort of like a brightening of your experience because your nerve cells are having more energy in the process. And the way it does that is by donating electrons. Normally, there are molecules that donate electrons to molecules, but the main molecule is NADH, you know that, you know people have been getting IV infusions of NAD, especially in LA, but another donor is methylene blue, and you can donate electrons. 

[00:05:46]  And it could also provide the same effect for you. So, that's the methylene blue component and that's the reason why I mainly placed this, is to energize my nerve cells, right? After all, it's your nerve cells that will be functioning while you are doing your lecturing, or your podcasts, or swimming, or whatever it is that you're doing. I intended this to be a nootropic, but people actually love it because they have more clearheaded workouts or they're actually motivated to do things. The second component of the Blue Cannatine is nicotine, right? 

[00:06:34]  And it's a very low dose of nicotine and it's a synthetic bioidentical. So, that only means that it is the same structure as the one you find in tobacco, but it is not derived from tobacco. And this is for legal reasons, right? We cannot use the ones that are derived from tobacco, but the ones that you find in nicotine gum, for example, that's sold at your local drugstore, like CBS, that's also synthetic nicotine. And nicotine is called the forgotten nootropic, right? 

[00:07:15]  And it's really very good for your cholinergic system. And when you hear something like acetylcholine or some of you may be taking Hooper's NA, for example, which is something that prevents your acetylcholine from being degraded. And when you hear acetylcholine, you can associate it with memory or memory formation, right? So, it actually facilitates your workspace memory or your short-term memory.

[00:07:49]  For example, someone says one plus one equals what, and you put it in your memory, and then someone asks you later, what numbers did they ask you to add earlier on within the same session? That is short-term memory? Okay. And then, a long-term memory is a different process. I was envious of the Limitless pill, the NZT 40 in the movie and that's what I wanted to emulate for at least three or four hours that I get this kind of effect without any side effects.

[00:08:35]  And then, after that, of course, is we know very well that caffeine is there to wake us up. And I don't need to tell you what the benefits of caffeine are. And people are actually wondering how much caffeine, there is actually very little. It's like one-fourth cup per troche because a cup of coffee that you usually take right now is around 200 milligrams. And each troche that you have in there is only 50 milligrams, which is up on one-fourth cup.

[00:09:05]  But if you combine nicotine and caffeine together, it's just like being a synesthete, you feel a certain sharpness of the onset or a suddenness of decline, so I put in hemp crystals. We're legally not allowed to use the term cannabidiol, so we are using the term hemp-derived crystals because they are hemp-derived crystals. And we're also using a small amount like five milligrams, right? And this is to round out the spiky feeling that you get from nicotine and from caffeine. 

[00:10:02]  So, those are the four ingredients that I put together, aside from the fact, of course, CBD has its own anti-inflammatory effects, its own anxiety-reducing effects and so forth. So, so many people have been emailing me and texting me, et cetera, of the various things that they have been Googling around independently during this time of pandemic, and this is actually quite interesting, someone sent me a paper on methylene blue being able to neutralize the coronavirus together with ultraviolet light.

[00:10:40]  In fact, methylene blue with ultraviolet light is being used to clean blood to make them virus-free. And then, someone sent me the French study on why is COVID less prevalent among smokers, and they think it's nicotine, so they're now doing a study on it. And of course, the Israelis are doing, there seem to be these studies on COVID. And I said, well, we just happened to be a nootropic C species with the right DNA, right? 

[00:11:18]  And I said, we are just a nootropic. I said, we don't want to make any such claims. Otherwise, we'll get shut down. I said, this is something that you use to focus. If it works for you, it's perfect. For me, I couldn't stand a whole troche. I know you can, Luke. I know you can withstand a whole troche. I can only do one-fourth at a time. It's too strong for me. But I guess for people who are regular caffeine users, for example, they really need the entire troche. So, that's how the whole thing evolved.

[00:11:58]  And now, we're actually looking at, we've had a lot of requests for just pure methylene blue. And as you know, it's very difficult to obtain pharmaceutical-grade methylene blue. I mean, don't take the ones that are intended for your fish tanks. A, they're very pure and they have lots of heavy metals in them. Pharmaceutical grade is the one that they actually reconstitute to produce the action that they give you when you have carbon monoxide poisoning, for example. But it comes in as powder.

[00:12:30]  And now, they're being studied actually for things like Alzheimer's, for example, to rev up the brain and to see whether or not they would cause a decrease in the tangles, the neurofibrillary tangles that are produced in the brain. So, we got the request for those, but I actually suspect that a lot of people were asking about those because they had a different thought in their minds about the studies that they've seen on methylene blue and SARS, COVID, too. 

[00:13:14]  However, I'd like to emphasize again that this request was actually specifically coming from people to try it out on their parents with Alzheimer's. So, I don't really have any claims for this. These are being requested of us to make. And so, we're trialing out soon probably a couple thousand pieces to send out to people who have requested this from us. So, I didn't expect to create follow-on product to Blue Cannatine. I expected that the next product was actually going to be dispensary product for pain, right? 

[00:14:14]  And it would have a higher THC content. And of course, this is related to something that I do, which, you know, Luke, I do health optimization medicine. And that's balancing your hormones and nutrients, bringing them back to age when you were between 21 and 30 years old. However, that's a gradual process. You'll get your results in about probably three to nine months. But some people will have pain and we need to have something more immediate than, say, NSY. 

[00:14:54]  And this is the raison d'etre for creating this product line, is to be able to address those signs and symptoms that need to be immediately addressed. Not on the illness level, but on a balancing level. For example, there are studies out there that what's related is intestinal bowel disease, for example, and migraines, and chronic fatigue syndrome are all related by low endocannabinoid tone.

[00:15:39]  If you give them cannabinoids, chances are that trifecta actually gets relieved from pain. So, we are not after curing anything, et cetera, we're really just after optimizing a certain imbalance, and this time, it's an imbalance of your endocannabinoid tone. And the Blue Cannatine, I went on it on a lark, really, because I just made it for me. And then, it graduates to you, actually wanting use it all the time in each and every podcast that you do. So, that's-

[00:16:16]Luke Storey:   It is problematic, though, because when I look at the videos, it looks like I'm like missing teeth on one side. I have to explain it because people like even watching now on Instagram, I mean, it's definitely noticeable, but I don't care. I mean, I look like a weirdo to a lot of people, so it's nothing new. It's kind of the story of my life. But it is just so effective. And that's why I'm so curious about it. A couple of things came out of that.

[00:16:44]  And then, we're going to take like a complete exploration into space, just like the background of your Zoom. Last time we talked, we really talked more about health and things like that. And I know that you're an explorer of consciousness, and that's something I really want to tap into with you. But back to those four ingredients, I've heard about the methylene blue bean potentiated by getting out into the sun or doing red light therapy. You mentioned its use in conjunction with UV. How does light affect the methylene blue and its effect on you?

[00:17:23]Ted Achacoso:   I think it has something to do with the electrons being shuttled back and forth, right? Sunlight actually provides you with that electrons. A friend of mine famously said that the only reason we eat is for us to be able to strip electrons from food because we can't strip it directly from the sun. And the reason we do that is, of course, to provide energy to ourselves. And I suspect that that is a reason why it actually gets activated, is because then, I think your listeners have already heard this, it's both a reducer and an oxidant. 

[00:18:11]  Reducer would donate electrons and oxidant will get electrons. And when it's getting electrons from the sun, it's actually exercising its oxygen function. And therefore, you have a continuous supply of electrons that can be donated to your mitochondria for your energy. So, that's, for me, the basic reason for it. Others will add more layers to that. Aside from the Riddex function, it will enhance the anti-inflammatory effects, it will enhance mitochondrial function. But on the core level, a lot of life is about three docks anyway. Win some, lose some, as they say, right? 

[00:18:54]Luke Storey:   And when it comes to this D element there, obviously, there's been a lot of research to support the efficacy of the different elements of the cannabis plant and different medicinal uses, et cetera. But one thing that seems to come up a lot is the absorbability or bioavailability of CBD. There are some critics of CBD oil, for example, that say, that's great. It does have the constituents that are going to support your health in the various ways that people are aware of, but that if you put a dropper full of it in your mouth, that the amount that actually gets into your body does, like Chris Shade at Quicksilver has a liposomal delivery system for CBD, I would think that that would be a lot more effective.

[00:19:42]  Now, recently, just on a lark, I was ordering some Kratom from one of the sort of dark websites that I use that typically gets shut down after a couple months, med sites, and the smart drug sites. And they said they had a little flash sale for some CBD or non-THC, non-psychoactive CBD, and they were having a sale. So, I bought like 15 of those joints. And it was amazing because it's like decaf weed. And so, I would smoke those and just kind of hang out and do my work here in the office. It drove my girlfriend crazy because they smell up the whole house.

[00:20:19]  But I mean, they drive me crazy, too, when I walk back in the room, it smells like the VIP room on a rap video or something. But I did notice that the effects of the CBD were much stronger. Again, not psychoactive, not high, but just relaxing and sort of anti-anxiety and pain-killing effect was much greater from smoking one of those CBD joints than taking even one of my really high-quality CBD products like my friends over at Onda and the companies that I work with, I mean, they make some really, really amazing CBD products. But I found smoking it had much more of an impact. So, what's your take on the absorbability or bioavailability of CBD?

[00:21:00]Ted Achacoso:   Yes. Thank you for actually bringing that up. And this is the reason why we're using secret stalls, right? It's because we can actually weigh them with precision that goes into each troche. The whole issue that I was also trying to address with Blue Cannatine, Luke, is actually, when you look at California, and just California alone, there is actually confusion or there's a dichotomy that needs to get recognized when it comes to CBD and CBD products, right? 

[00:21:37]  Most of the products that you're seeing there are actually geared towards consumers. You don't have to have the precise dosage that goes into, well, it's about X percent of this and X percent of that or it will go into food and food products or some drinks, right? And that has a very different implication from what we are doing, for example, at prescriptions because we are more geared towards—we're a precision-dose company, and therefore, we're more geared towards, when we say five milligrams, and then you're sure that they're five milligrams, plus, minus the allowable tolerance for such measurement.

[00:22:24]  And when you know that you're using pure crystal, you know what the absorption is going to be when it's going to be a troche, when it's going to be in an oil, a carrier oil, and so on. So, when you're using an actual oil, a cannabis oil, the argument there is like, yeah, well, yes, that's a wonder because it will have the entourage effect with all the other terpenes in there, et cetera. That's just really giving you that whole effect that you talk about, which is like giving you this wonderful feeling.

[00:23:06]  But when you are going to use this for pain or for specific symptoms, not diseases, but for specific symptoms, we would rather be precise in the measurement even if we take out some of the entourage effect. However, for example, in our succeeding products, we're not completely taking out the terpenes. In fact, we're using the crystals and we're adding their terpenes in a measured way. And this is where the whole thing about absorption gets confused because when you're using a natural substance, you don't know, whereas, as a grower, you probably know, well, this probably has X amount of THC, X amount of CBD, X amount of the different subtypes of cannabinoids in there. 

[00:24:04]  We don't really know with that kind of spectrum what your absorption is going to be, unless you actually say, okay, for this particular type of cannabinoid, then we can study the absorption this way, right? And the other thing that can also be a point of confusion is that even you'd be giving, say, you know that this amount of this particular type of cannabinoid rises, say, in your bloodstream, even if you're measuring something like that, the effect is not generally going to be the same for you as for the next person because your endocannabinoid systems might be different.

[00:24:47]  You might have better endocannabinoid tone. And therefore, you will respond a lot better with just smaller amounts of it. And I may have a very low endocannabinoid tone and I would be responding with the same dose very poorly. So, when it comes to absorption, there are these things that come to us that come in mind. If you're talking about absorption of the pure cannabinoid or a type, or you're talking about absorption off the product itself that's intended as drops, which has other cannabinoids and terpenes in it.

[00:25:26]  So, that gets a very confusing. That's why what we're actually saying here is that even in the formulation of Blue Cannatine with the CBD itself, is that you have to titrate your dose until you get the one that is proper for you even for those who claim it has high absorption rate, right? And for you, what you probably got with those joints, et cetera, is that you got the whole entourage effect nicely and it actually fit your endocannabinoid profile. That's why you've got that kind.

[00:26:02]  And then, of course, you will be tempted to buy again from that, right. But this time, it was harvested differently. It was grown by someone different with a different technique, and so on, and it won't work for you. So, that's the issue right there. So, absorption is not just a broad, low absorption itself. There is the product, whether you're talking about the entire product or off just a particular system, your sensitivity to the different elements of the product itself, right? 

[00:26:34]  And for example, if you're taking a position dose, whether or not it's really precision dose, whether or not it's saying exactly how much it passed, right? And then, you can have all the ways by which you can increase absorption. Like Chris Shade has a wonderful company that produces liposomal encapsulation. So, there are all of these ways to enhance absorption, but that's not the be-all and end-all of things. And I know that Chris will probably agree with me that you will have to titrate for years. And, of course, he would be happier if you titrate higher because you'd be using more products. I'm kidding, Chris.

[00:27:18]Luke Storey:   That's true. One thing I did notice, though, about that, the CBD joint experiment, and I did not elect to order more because I could see how it would be very habit-forming, but it definitely had deleterious effects on my lungs. I mean, I noticed I had kind of a sore throat. My lung capacity started to be affected by it. And so, I don't think, for me, personally, just smoking anything is a good strategy for long-term health. What are your thoughts on people that smoke weed on a regular basis in terms of brain health, lungs, et cetera? Like recreationally, like just smoke weed to get down and listen to Pink Floyd or whatever.

[00:28:04]Ted Achacoso:   For me, each person has his own thing. It's not my thing, right? I have more dangerous drugs to do that with. I'm kidding. It's not my thing. But here's the thing with the studies that you see and from my experience with my own patients, amount of clients, for chronic cannabis users, for example, I have someone who I've known who've used it for 20 years, you'd see the effect on short-term memory, right? And that's actually expected.

[00:28:51]  I had a conversation with this with the former dean of the School of Medicine where I went to and he was a psychopharmacologist, aside from being a psychiatrist, but we were talking about this in Paris, and he said, Ted, an undermind is called the bliss molecule, right? And the bliss molecule would make you feel all of this euphoria, et cetera, but it's also called the molecule of forgetting, right? It's the molecule of forgetting. 

[00:29:32]  So, it allows you to, for example, recycle old neural networks in the brain or old circuits in there that can be forgotten. And you put in new memories in there. And so, that's a trade-off that you have. And for most of his patients also that he's seen who are using these like chronically, the wake and bake on a Sunday, this kind. And as it continues throughout the week, you notice that the phrase, where is my, us very common pronunciation.

[00:30:14]  It's like, where are my car keys, and where is my this, and where is my that? It's because of that effect on memory. I'm not judgmental about those. If you need those for pain, et cetera, you just have to weigh the difference between your pain and managing your pain by other means. And basically, put your cannabis use in moderation such that it actually doesn't affect your short-term memory that much. The other thing that I've noticed for those really long-term users is that they have episodes of paranoia, right? 

[00:30:57]  So, they develop more or less paranoid personalities. And a psychopharmacologist have probably better explanation for that, but it's an observation that I've made, and I get to see it from people who are high sometimes. And you're trying to talk them, et cetera, and suddenly, you could see them getting more and more paranoid. From the euphoria to paranoia is what I call it. And sometime, it just bakes into your personality.

[00:31:33]  But with this cessation of the use, for example, for just a few months, you see that the personality comes right back up. So, it's quite interesting, right? Now what it does to you on chronic use. It's kind of like anything else, like metformin, for example. If you use it for a very long time, it starts poisoning your mitochondria. So, even those who are in metformin, I actually tell them to actually stop it for a few months, and then restart it.

[00:32:12]  So, these are the kinds of things that you keep in mind. There are common-pattern chronic effects that go with it. So, for me, it's not a warning, but rather a self-observation that you have to make. The first thing that you will see is actually a decline in your memory, right? Especially your short-term memory, right? But of course, some people would rather forget, right?

[00:32:51]Luke Storey:   See, when I was using cannabis recreationally or, really, medicinally, I mean, it's really like it was in my childhood and throughout my adolescence and into my 20s was really self-medication for trauma. And it was like a psychotherapy kind of assisted help for myself, but it did come with the price of definitely having an impact on my memory. And I think because I was using it so young—and again, I don't want to put this into the quantum field and create this as a reality, but I have observed in the past that I've had some issues with memory that don't seem to be present in people around me that are of similar age and lifestyle, et cetera. So, word to the wise there. But I was curious to get your take on that. 

[00:33:41]Ted Achacoso:   Unless you do it deliberately, Luke, like how I've forgotten you or possibly my cannabis use, but you really dislike the person. 

[00:33:49]Luke Storey:   That's a good excuse. Sorry about that email I never answered. Yeah, man, I've been smoking a lot. And I'm curious, I want to do a little lightning round on just a couple of things I've been just dying to ask officially and I'm sure our audience will derive some benefit from the answers, too. But I don't get time with you very often, especially now, with these travel restrictions, so I just wanted to get your take on it. One is you mentioned pain. What's your take on if you have any knowledge about Kratom or as people in Southeast Asia refer to it, Kratom? Do you know anything about that particular substance? And do you have any opinion?

[00:34:29]Ted Achacoso:   Actually, from my research of it because I was hoping that it would actually be researched in the United States as an opiate substitute, right? And that's why I was researching it on the basis of its action on the various types of opiate receptors. And from what I remember, it's been three years now since I looked at Kratom because I have a lot of clients or children of very rich clients who are one way or the other into opiates, and I wanted to find, instead of giving them stuff like methadone and all of these other substances, why not Kratom?

[00:35:24]  So, I took a look and I think I remember something about the mu opiate receptor and all of that, and it has the same—sort of like it's a mimic, so it will behave like an opiate and will bind to those receptors, it will give you the analgesia or the decrease in pain that you actually need without the constipation side effects, and so on. But other than that, I have not actually researched it for other things.

[00:36:01]  For me, it was, what's the immediate problem that needed to get solved? With Blue Cannatine, it was my performance for the next three hours. With the Kratom, it was like all of these very young adults who are actually hooked on opiates for some physical pain or the other. Can we attenuate their use of opiates by substituting Kratom, for example? And then, can we actually totally pull out their use of opiates and just use Kratom for that? Because it's a natural substance.

[00:36:40]  I'm sure that the body would respond to it in a different way than with the opiates that we're currently using, right? So, that's the Kratom piece that I studied about three years ago. It's just too bad that none of the research has focused on that in the US. And who's going to study that, right? So, it's sold in Thailand. I mean, that's where I actually got my initial supply of Kratom, to see whether or not it would actually relieve pain for opiate users. And I asked some of my clients to actually try it, right? So, for now, my results on it are just anecdotal.

[00:37:32]Luke Storey:   Yeah. Yeah. Likewise, I use it periodically for pain and I find it to be quite effective. And as someone who was previously very well-addicted to opiates, I've not found it to be addictive, although, I have to give the disclaimer, I hear through the grapevine that it can be and that people have developed dependencies on it like they would in other opiate. Personally, surprisingly almost, I've not had that experience. It's only been a positive experience. But I also make sure that I'm not just mindlessly taking it every day because it feels good or something and putting myself in harm's way. But I think it's an interesting substance because as you indicated, it's completely natural. I mean, it doesn't even require any sort of extraction.

[00:38:16]Ted Achacoso:   Yeah. Yeah, no extraction. Yeah.

[00:38:19]Luke Storey:   Like leaf, grind it up, and eat it, and obtain like OxyContin or something. I mean, it's pretty wild. And there are extracts of it that I've taken periodically that are quite a bit stronger and do have the potential to get you pretty high if you're not careful or that might be your goal in some cases, but even just the natural leaf is really effective for pain. And at most, different strains, I've noticed, have a little bit of a stimulating effect, not unlike some nootropics, like a mild caffeine or like a grip sort of high, which is really-

[00:38:52]Ted Achacoso:   There's a red Kratom, a green Kratom. There are all of these things now. And they used to be sold legally until we can't find them anymore, which is too bad because it could be studied as a good substitute for opiates. I used to give it for low back pain too. when it was legal, I used to give it for low back pain.

[00:39:17]Luke Storey:   Yeah. Dr. Ted, it is currently legal right now in the States and you can order it online as I have been for a couple years now. Yeah, the FDA has come after it pretty strongly a couple of times, but people have fought back, and formed petitions, and sort of revolted against that. Specifically, veterans and people that suffer from PTSD, chronic pain, pharmaceutical opiate dependencies, et cetera. And they have been able to push back and maintain its legality for now.

[00:39:47]Ted Achacoso:   Wow.

[00:39:48]Luke Storey:   I do see waves of regulatory agencies coming after it again because obviously it's cheap, it's not patentable. It could potentially get someone off fentanyl, OxyContin, street heroin, whatever. So, it's—get one, right? 

[00:40:02]Ted Achacoso:   Yeah, the last time I ever entered a store to look for Kratom here in the US, it's like, oh, we pulled it out because the FDA came after it. So, I just assumed that the FDA came after it already in a big way.

[00:40:24]Luke Storey:   Yeah. 

[00:40:25]Ted Achacoso:   And then, Luke, after Kratom, you just shove some ibogaine into the person, and then say, here, deal with your pain.

[00:40:37]Luke Storey:   Right. That brings me on the next couple things. And again, like there's so many things I want to get into, but I can't—yeah, Instagram is like, hey, are you talking Kratom? Yes, we did. And you can watch this on IGTV afterwards to go back to that. But there's a couple of interesting things that have transpired since our last meeting when you came over here to the studio. I'll never forget. And I tell people this story anytime I talk about you because I had not met you up to that point. I just seen your little bio picture when I booked you.

[00:41:08]  So, you knock on the door, opened the door, there you are in your black suede boots, your skinny black jeans, leather jacket, black Western shirt, bolo tie. I'm like, this guy is like the Filipino Johnny Cash. I felt like, dude's cool. We're going to get along. Just immediately, your energy, your vibe is like this dude is cool. And so, you walk in and one of the first things you do is you put a couple troches down on the table, you go, here, I brought you a couple of gifts. 

[00:41:35]  And I said, "What's that?" You said, "Well, that one's oxytocin and that one's ketamine." And I said, "Ketamine, what is this, a rave?" And then, you explained, you said, "Oh, no, it's really useful for consciousness journeys and when you want to do some self-inquiry, meditation, et cetera. And until that point, I didn't know about ketamine-assisted therapy. I had no idea because it wasn't really something I was investigating at that point.

[00:42:01]  But I did, then used those troches of both those substances, and it was really interesting. I haven't talked to you about this since then, I don't think, although we ran into each other in London a while back, but you said, "Well, if you take the ketamine, it's a really good opportunity. It's like a truth serum. So, if you want to ask yourself questions and really get real with yourself, it will allow you to do that, and help dissolve some of your own self-deception, and if you want to have a conversation with someone else, and be really transparent, and get to the root of an issue, and really get to the matter of truth."

[00:42:35]  And so, I took that into consideration. I did a couple solo, very like microdosed journeys, not too deep, and thought, oh, this is interesting. There's definitely an element of disassociation, which I liked, where you can get into that sort of quantum space and figure things out, work on things, have creative inspiration, et cetera. And then, I took some with someone that I was dating at the time and I thought, well, we're just going to kind of have some fun and just have a nice, easy night, and share some time together, and we ended up having quite an honest conversation to the point where it led to the demise of the relationship. 

[00:43:15]  Like we were so honest, we thought, yeah, this really isn't working. And of course, it ended up, I'm sure, for both of us being a positive experience, and all of that, and all is well, but I thought, oh, man, Ted wasn't kidding, like, you've got to be careful with this shit because the truth will prevail. So, if you can, in a brief way, give us the mechanism of action or what piqued your interest about that particular substance, which, again, to someone like me, my knowledge of it was relegated into the realm of like party drugs and something I would have never even considered exploring at all.

[00:43:48]Ted Achacoso:   Yeah, sure. Just a quick history for you. My first experience with ketamine was actually intravenous ketamine, and that was not by choice. I had a tonsillectomy done when I was already in third-year medical school. And you know very well that a general anesthetic, the gas anesthetic, the inhaled anesthetics, they actually fuck up your memory for about five years, both long-term and short-term memory. And I said, "No fucking way am I going under for you to take out my tonsil."

[00:44:26]  And so, I opted for local and ketamine was used as the twilight anesthetic, right? So, it's a horse tranquilizer. And ketamine was used in the war as anesthetic by the surgeons because it could withstand the heat, it did not require any special equipment. You could drip it IV, you could use it IM, and so on. But when I was under it, I was seeing this big trocar. This is a big fat needle being inserted into my mouth and right into my tonsil. And I said, oh, this is OK, there was some fear extinction that was going on there.

[00:45:07]  And then, I said, you know what, if they asked me how I was feeling this time, I would probably tell them the truth that this procedure fucking sucks. But my first experience of twilight anesthesia was, at the time, using ketamine. And then, I actually got interested in it because there is now a ketamine protocol for the treatment of depression that is resistant to other drugs.

[00:45:42]  And what I have also seen is that, probably, at the initial onset of a very, very heavy depression, I am one of those who would refer you to a ketamine therapist and a psychiatrist who knows how to do therapy after ketamine infusion or they could give you ketamine troches just like the troches that I gave you, right? And what it does is actually what's called a double-negative. So, it's an NMDA. It inhibits a certain receptor in the inhibitory neuron of the brain.

[00:46:28]  So, this inhibitory neuron inhibits another, say, you're on A, inhibits or says no, do not release this to neuron B. So, neuron B happens to basically fire with glutamate, which is the excitatory neurotransmitter of the brain, right? Neuron A is an inhibitory neuron and says do not fire. What ketamine does is that it blocks the inhibitor. So, minus, minus is a plus, so it releases a blockage of the glutamate-releasing neuron and it makes what I call the peripheral structures of the brain more excitatory.

[00:47:13]  And what does that do? If we could just do a shortcut to that despite the '90s probably hating this, if I could just say, well, that's a task-positive network, that's the one that allows you to look outside your sensory system and it's the portions of the brain that are engaged when you're in the flow, right? This is the diminishing of the self. Now, at the center, mostly central like midline of the brain would be a set of structures called the Default Mode Network, which is considered to be the seat of the ego or ego is a very loaded term because in Freudian psychiatry, that's your sense of self-importance, but for me, the ego is just a self-referential system.

[00:48:09]  Anything that's autobiographical that refers to you, that allows you to be able to know what others seem to be thinking. So, anything that's internal is actually process right there. And what ketamine does, from the way I see it, is a way of understanding that it's what's called a DMN reset, it resets your DMN because it activates the part of the brain that like the task-positive network, it works opposite the DMN, right? So, for example, when I used to do medical procedures, right? When I was poking the brain, I was very focused on the task, right? 

[00:48:56]  And at that point, I had no self because they work basically opposite each other, right? They're counter-yolked. So, if one is on, the other one is off. What happens in depression is that the DMN actually is hyperactive. There's a lot of rumination and so on. And that rumination or self-referential system, this is a lot of the stories that you tell yourself, Luke. Even if it's not true, you believe it, right? Even if the stories aren't true, you believe it.

[00:49:38]  And in normal conversation, you would be telling the things that you believe, not necessarily what is there without a self-owning it. The important thing is that the self is the owner of experience. It's like the experience experiences experience. But the truth is that that is just what you call an arising out of consciousness. It's an illusion, right? There's no really structure, they're called the self, right? And when you get hurt, there's a saying, pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional, right? 

[00:50:23]  And that's the difference between having a self and having no self. It's something like this. It's like, oh, here's the temperature rising from the fever. And then, the story is, fuck this, why did I have to kiss that girl with infectious mononucleosis. So, that's the story, you will carry the story, but the truth is that it's simply a rise in temperature. So, it's the self that generates that kind of story, right? And then, that causes you suffering. Like I shouldn't have done this and I shouldn't have done that.

[00:50:59]  And what it does is it's just like this ghost of a conductor that doesn't really exist. But when it's there, you get lost in it and identify yourself as the ghost because it will pull in your thoughts, pull in your emotions, pull in your concepts, pull in your language. And then, pretty soon, you're concocting this story, which is so believed because it's made up by the ego. And what ketamine does is that it actually quiets this, because in a way, what it does is it actually heightens activity like psilocybin does of the outer connections, the more peripheral, the more external connections in the cortex into that positive network.

[00:51:58]  That's why it's actually shut down. So, that's why a sweet dream, your stories develop. And suddenly, you're able to talk to each other truthfully about things. It's not like MDMA. MDMA like shoves you with these emotions of love, and so on, and so forth, right? It's an empathogenic. It makes you tell I love you to everyone, and so on. But this one is more cold. It's more clinical. It just is, okay, there is no Luke Store here, it's just all of these pieces of things.

[00:52:41]  And this memory says, there's something about the way this person moves that doesn't jive with me. There is a feeling that I have that's really off, and so on. So, when you look at those in pieces, instead of someone weaving a story around it, then suddenly, you become truthful to each other. And sorry for the demise of your relationship, Luke, but that's what it does. But the one thing that I like about it is the reset that it gives you, right? 

[00:53:24]  Right when you're after it, everything is quiet. Not even your thoughts rarely come up. What most people don't realize is that your thoughts are hard to control and they should not be controlled. They should be observed. It's just like, for example, if you close your eyes and you're hearing sound, you cannot control where the sound is coming from or you open your eyes and you're seeing things you cannot control or the thing is from, it's the same with your thoughts.

[00:53:58]  Unfortunately for us, we're kind of fucked because those thoughts will, of course, attach with your emotions, and then will hijack your attention. There's a center in the brain called the salience network, which can be hijacked. And pretty soon, it's like, I'm going to exact my revenge, I'm fucking angry, like the I develops, and that's the storyteller, right? There's an I that's getting hurt. Because temporarily, that becomes you, right? And that's a neuroscientific basis of when the Buddha said, the root of all suffering is the clinging mind. 

[00:54:42]  And clinging actually means it's the self that's clinging to all of this. There's an identity that gets developed. So, when you start, the way to see whether or not your ego has come up is just ask a simple question, who is getting hurt? When there's a who there, you're sure that the ego is up. Like who wants to exact revenge? And when you see that, that's the ego that's up there because it's the want, want, want. I want this, I want that, I want this experience. It's called the experience collector, right?

[00:55:19]Luke Storey:   Okay. This is a very important distinction to make for anyone that has a desire to have a fulfilling, productive, enjoyable life is to be able to find that gap of separation that you speak of between the true self of consciousness, a single point of unified field consciousness to step back and to be able to observe one's thoughts, one's feelings, the I, the self, the me that is believing these stories. I mean, that right there is the answer to everything, is it not?

[00:55:59]Ted Achacoso:   Yes. It's the root to all suffering, is being identified with that me, right? That's making up all of these stories. And they're not even sure. The self is just an illusion. It's there because it was placed in there by evolution and we have not been helpful as a society, really. Now, what we've done is really inserted the layers on it such that our technologies, et cetera, are more towards building stronger and stronger egos rather than lessening.

[00:56:45]  And I was having a video conference with my company the other Monday and I showed them a 2014 study of young adults who were given a choice of electrocuting themselves or shocking themselves versus just staying with their thoughts for just 15 minutes. And be alone to your thoughts for 15 minutes, you could think about anything that you want, et cetera, et cetera. And shockingly, the people actually preferred to electroshock themselves rather than be left alone with their thoughts, right? 

[00:57:33]  I could send you the link to that study, but that's 2014. It's fucking 2020 and it's showing very, very badly during this quarantine period, right? People can't seem to be alone with their thoughts because they start believing their thoughts, right? They start thinking that their true identity and their thoughts are them. And then, suddenly, the I with so many cravings and aversions starts basically thinking the pilot's wheel.

[00:58:10]  So, that's a problem. And occasionally, I do a cursory look at what's being posted on YouTube, a cursory look at what's being tweeted out, and a cursory look on Instagram, and you see how people cannot stand being alone with their thoughts, right? Right now, I have an actual opportunity to meditate five times a day. And even if it's just 20 minutes of meditation or sitting meditation five times a day.

[00:58:43]  And I find it incredibly gratifying, right? And here are people in the study basically rather electroshock themselves rather than—even if surveyed beforehand, would they rather pay not to get electrocuted, right? And they said no, they'd rather pay enough not to get electrocuted, but when left alone with their thoughts, they would rather electrocute themselves than do that. 

[00:59:15]Luke Storey:   Yeah, I totally relate to that. My childhood and much of my early life was spent from that point of view of just, in fact, I always lived in the country, in small towns when I was a kid and I actually hated it because there was nothing to distract me from the inside of my mind. And the thoughts and sensations I had were so uncomfortable and painful because I had no way to contextualize experiences that I had had as a kid, that I hated the country. And whenever I had a chance, I get into San Francisco.

[00:59:46]  And as long as there was a lot of noise and a lot of people, then I would find inner peace. The more chaotic my outer environment was, the more inner stillness I was able to find because of the widespread distraction. Contrast that by life today, and more and more, I can't stand to be in a city. And when I get out the middle of nowhere, the quieter it is, the more it is in alignment with the quietude that I have within myself. And that's, as you indicated, meditation and some of these other experiences, have led me to actually crave the converse as an adult, where all I want to do is go in the middle of nowhere where there's nothing and just sit there. 

[01:00:29]Ted Achacoso:   Now, you know why there are monks and there are places of contemplation and why 30-day, six-week retreats are popular because it's easier to do it. But the real challenge is in real life, when the rubber meets the road, when you are actually dealing with people and so on, can you maintain what I call a constant perspective? Sam Harris is well-known in his field and what he said is that this is not something deep inside the brain.

[01:01:08]  In fact, it's something more superficial. It's like an optical blind spot. When you're shown where your blind spot is, you will know that you have a blind spot, right? You're shown that in school. And being able to shift your "true identity" as this consciousness, in fact, he says, consciousness is all you have because it's where everything is appearing, right? And the difficult part of it is this, is that you can't get into the consciousness from the self or from the ego because it simply arises.

[01:01:43]  The self simply arises from the ego, so you have to have a way of actually making that illusion disappear, right? People say, I have to obliterate the self and so on. Well, that's not really the case. You have to be able to witness the self as arising because it's just another content of consciousness, much like a sound or much like something that you're looking at, much like a thought or emotion. It's the self that's doing that temporary integration. There's a guy, Gary Weber, I think, is his name. He says, it's an ad hoc putting together, and then you start believing that that's you. And that's what fucks us up, right?

[01:02:33]Luke Storey:   Yeah.

[01:02:34]Ted Achacoso:   But the characteristic of why I think—Luke, and I am grateful for you actually for doing these types of podcasts, is that it's my conviction that enlightenment of the human species is actually an emergency. We should wake up. I mean, I'm just going to start with the coronavirus pandemic, and then really drill down into why it's necessary. Look, this is a global pandemic. I don't joke around when I say that one of my main causes is near-Earth asteroids, right?

[01:03:17]  I was once stopped by a lady, I was running by the US capital, and said, "Come join our cause." And I said, "What's your cause?" She said, "Child labor in China." She said, "Isn't that the best cause?" I said, "No, that's not my cause." "And so, what's your cause?" I said, "Well, near-Earth asteroids." And she sort of like, okay. This coronavirus pandemic, this is just like an asteroid that hit us, right? But look at the way we're responding, we're responding in a in a very, very balconized way.

[01:03:51]  We blame each other, we begin to hate each other as groups. We don't have, as a species. We don't have that kind of awareness, a species awareness. Instead of blame each other and rushing to do this and that, there should be the part of us, as a species, that's realizing that we're only one of the species on Earth, the Earth is our only host that sustains us. We're like viruses. It sustains our reproduction in a single host.

[01:04:27]  So, we don't have this. It's like, where do we be, our species, from here on out, right? What's our direction, right? If all we do is survival and reproduction, we're fucked. Look, yeah, we're going to be surviving, reproducing, and then going out to another planet, and then do what again? Survive and reproduce, and then go out another planet. If we're going to be like that, then we're doomed, right? And they say, so, what?

[01:05:01]  But I don't think without a species-wide awareness of where we want to bring ourselves because we have the capacity to do so, we're fucking doomed. We're going to destroy ourselves and our planet. And this is a type of consciousness that comes out on the other side of when we're talking about eliminating suffering, right? Buddha said, enlightenment is the cessation of all suffering. And suffering, for me, it has a very, very simple definition, right? 

[01:05:41]  Suffering is preventing yourself, your true self, to identify with the illusory ego or with the self-referential system that's there that's temporary, right? Because it's that, which on a very simple way, like they will tell you, it's a craving and avoidance or craving and aversion. It's this thing. So, it can go from as little as I want that cup of tea, right? It's very little, but you notice that it's coming from that I, from that little thing.

[01:06:21]  And that's a minor exercise, right? What more, when you're looking at relationships, I hate that person, right? And then, when we go to us, as a species, we think that each of us is special. No, it's not. We're part of this species and we should wake up together. And take a look at the effects of that. It's the ego that says I want more profit, right? We already know, there are these studies that, in the US, after about $75,000, your happiness isn't increased by much anymore, right? 

[01:07:03]  Maybe it has increased lately, but that was the study. So, Adyashanti says, there's abiding enlightenment and an non-abiding one. Non-abiding one is like a flickering fluorescent lamp, right? It comes up every now and then. And the abiding one is just, there's this continuous shift in knowing that your ego is not you and you have to rest in that knowing, right? Now, when you go and apply this to the eight billion of us in this planet, just wanting more cars, wanting more fossil fuel use, wanting to pollute more, you want, want, want, right? 

[01:07:52]  And your daughter has to get the most beautiful prom dress and that's drilled into her head, then what are we really? Take a look. Even that, we'll get more profits if you use more child labor, we'll get more profits if we actually do human trafficking. So, from the little want of wanting tea, that's actually the effect of having an enlightenment or not being able to recognize that the self is illusory. And we already know by neuroscience, we don't even have to invoke Buddhism to do this, that it's an illusion.

[01:08:48]  It resides in the default mode network as already been elucidated. For example, Robin Carhart-Harris, the researcher on Imperial College of London's has shown that psilocybin, this is why mushroom trips, right? The full-blown psilocybin, not the microdose, but the full-blown psilocybin treatment, or a dose, or a full-blown LSD dose actually, basically just quiets or silences that self entirely, right? It silences itself entirely.

[01:09:24]  So, you can actually take that as an experience of what it is to be selfless, right? But then, as one author who has studied this for 20 years and took heroic doses of LSD and wrote about it, he was actually a professor of theology, of all things, right? But he said that this is called a temporary path, right? Psychedelics can only be temporary. You need to have a practice afterwards to maintain it. It's like, you don't go to the gym once to build your muscles, right? You go and constantly do it. 

[01:10:11]  So, much as like you have a physical gym to do these things, you have a mental gym in order to be able to take a look at the contents of consciousness, and say, that's not you, right? That's just arising from you. The Dzogchen, which is a spiritual practice that was actually enfolded into Buddhism, it says that you're like a mirror, and you remain unchanged and everything is just reflected in there, right? 

[01:10:46]  And that's like the self, right? If you imagine that there is this optical illusion of the four circles with cutouts on the edges, and then when you look at it, it looks like there's a square in the middle, the self is kind of like that, right? It's an illusion. It's not what it seems to be. It's not that it's not there, it's just not what you actually own it to be because when it owns you, you're fucked, man.

[01:11:23]Luke Storey:   Yeah.

[01:11:29]Ted Achacoso:   And for the most part, I consider this, these are the steroids, right? These are the steroids of your mental-building gym, right? The psychedelics. But you still have to do the work. You still have to exercise. You have to decide to do that. And then, when you're not on cycle, I've had bodybuilder clients, so I know they go on cycle, and then they go off cycle, right? And when you're on cycle, you still have to do the exercise. And some people do it through meditation.

[01:12:08]  Some people have other practices. And that's why I feel that there's an emergency right now, because especially, it's made acute by our current condition of this pandemic. It just shows us how uncomfortable we are with our thoughts. And look, just do an exercise on just examining the things that you see that are being produced on YouTube, and examine what was being produced on Twitter, and so on and so forth, we can't stand ourselves, right? And why is that?

[01:12:43]  It's because we're basically identified with a self-referential system, we're identified with the ego. And as long as we keep on doing that, we're continually going to destroy this habitat, because as I said, from a simple want of a cup of tea, it will extend towards the world at large. I want more profits, and therefore, I'll pollute more of the oceans and relax more of the Environmental Protection Agency regulations, right? 

[01:13:16]  And look at what happens now, when we're in quarantine, the air is cleaner, right? One of the things that I really enjoyed reading was that the vibrations of the Earth are really less, such that those little seismic shakes that normally don't register are finally registering these minor earthquakes because the activity of humans actually increased the vibration of the earth. So, we have we created this, and we have to ask ourselves, until when are we going to do this and why are we doing this, right?

[01:13:57]  And what's the best way to put on the brakes on this? And the way to put on the brakes on this is, one, to experience what it is to be selfless, right? Don't ask me to be a source of your DMP or anything else, you find yourself. But if you don't know what it is to have no self, then I would encourage you to have that experience. For me, even microdosing is not enough, right? Microdosing can give you that openness feeling, et cetera, et cetera, but the ego is still very much there. You feel it there, right?

[01:14:42]  So, go get an experience or go to a meditation retreat, that will cloister you for two straight weeks, or a month, or six weeks, et cetera, so you can see what it is to be alone with your thoughts, right? And you could see how people nowadays cannot be alone with their thoughts because they fake it, they think that the thoughts are them instead of something that just arises from their consciousness. And then, after that, learn a form of meditation. 

[01:15:18]  It may be a focused meditation where you're focusing on the a single object like your breath or an open-awareness meditation where, like playing the xylophone when you're actually, basically taking your awareness to the various components of what's around you, what you're seeing, what you're hearing, et cetera, as just things that are arising. But the trick that's really—I think it's simple, yet complex, because other people take 50 years to get it, some people get it in an instant, is to be able to regard thoughts and emotions as simply the same thing as the sights and sounds that arise in your consciousness.

[01:16:04]  Why is it that you can let a corn go by, and just go blah, and then the image of someone you hate comes back, and just suddenly, you are the person that becomes that image instead of that consciousness saying, oh, image arising. It's just like a sound that's arising. In fact, in Buddhism, thoughts are the sixth sense, right? But in science, the thing that's difficult to explain is what's called the hard problem of consciousness.

[01:16:45]  And in very, very simple thing, people bandy that around all the time as if they knew what it means, but when I ask them to say it very simply, they don't seem to know how to express it. So, I'm going to teach how to express it properly. It's like this. How is it that matter, like the brain, is able to give you subjective experience or the feeling experience? So, that is the gap. That is the hard problem of consciousness to trump matter, which is the brain into the subjective feeling of experience, right? 

[01:17:24]  And there is a term called qualia, right? We say, it's red, but experience of red differs from my experience of red, we just happen to agree that that falls within the same wavelength of what we call red, right? And that's the hard problem of officiousness. Now, what I'm seeing here is, okay, people are working on the hard problem of consciousness. There are many models of consciousness. For me, consciousness, I define it very clinically since I'm a clinician and I used to be a computational neuroscientist once, but very simply, it's that which goes away when you fall asleep or when you're under anesthesia, right? 

[01:18:23]  So, I define it by what it isn't, right? And there was a paper recently that just, I think, a couple of weeks ago that basically showed that from the current studies, there are structures in the brain, the DMN, again, the default mode network, and what's called the Dorsal Attention Network, which is another network in the brain that is more on the peripheral cortex that alternate. Again, they maintain the balance in order to keep you conscious.

[01:18:53]  Again, this is based on the newest studies, right? But I'm not even looking at that. I am looking at something that we can do now because we already know that the self is an illusion, right? We already know where the DMN is. We know that it gives rise to the illusory self that has all our wants, our desires, and so on. And actually, the four attachments, remember? But this one is actually all that the wants are craving, so the self, attachments to things that are sensate, attachments to rituals, attachment to opinions, and attachment to the ego.

[01:19:46]  And this is written a long time ago, right? And now, we know the neuroscientific basis for the self as arising as a temporary neural network that basically, temporarily integrates this experience to someone that says, oh, that's me, right? But that's a false me, right? It's just temporary. They're creating a story or weaving a story around you. And what it does, it doesn't serve a purpose. It serves a continuity of you being able to tell a story of who Luke Storey was from childhood to now.

[01:20:21]  But in truth, there is really no more of that child, Luke, that's gone. It's just all in memory. And memory isn't real, right? It's just patterns of electrical impulses that form in your brain and they get activated. So, being able to distinguish consciousness from the emergence of the self, it means that we can already do something right now because we have techniques and drugs by which you could actually see how the self arises, how the illusion can be busted or how it disappears, right? 

[01:21:09]  And there are exercises that allow you to more and more essentially get rid of the illusion, right? You don't see the illusion anymore. And if the illusion does arise, you, very quickly, are able to see it. And how is that useful? For example, if you are a teenager or your daughter wants really that really, really beautiful 50,000-dollar dress or a 20,000-dollar bag, and so on, and so forth, if you just stay with it, you see, that's simply a desire that's arising, right? It's not owned by anyone, right? 

[01:21:54]  And that's an extreme example, but you could see that if you just stay with your wants or your cravings, you will see that they dissipate after a while. But if you think that, I really want this, then it becomes you, the desire becomes you, then you're actually fucked, then you're going to max out your credit card. So, the tools are very, very simple. I mean, have you watched the Duncan Trussell's Midnight Gospel yet?

[01:22:31]Luke Storey:   No, I haven't.

[01:22:31]Ted Achacoso:   Yeah, it's really great. But one of the techniques that his mom and even Mingyur Rinpoche, who is one of the great teachers that are alive is, it's very simple, even without drugs, how to see, how to just sink into your consciousness without the self. Imagine yourself as very tired at the end of the day from work and you just plank yourself down in a lazy boy and exhale, just do a deep exhale. And at that moment in time when you do a deep exhale, there is no problem in the world.

[01:23:21]  There is no problem to get solved. In that brief moment, you are experiencing selflessness, right? And just imagine, if that state stayed with you all the time. And the other example that they, of course, usually give is when you're climbing a mountain that you've always wanted to climb, when you reach the summit, there is this brief period where you have absolutely no desire to climb any other mountain yet. It's a brief window and say, oh, yeah, this is great, right? 

[01:24:00]  But then, right after the summit, for some, it's like a few minutes, for some, it's hours of just being there, contented. And then, yes, I'm going to climb a higher mountain next, and then you're back to the ego-craving again, right? And it goes to everything else. I want to have a girlfriend, I want to have children, I want to have this, I want to have that. Want, want, want, want, right? If you're going into that state without examining really that that's the craving and whether or not you're going to act on it, then we, as a species, we do that all the time, are actually kind of fucked.

[01:24:42]Luke Storey:   Well, I think something that's incredible about the work that you do is you, as you've indicated, are a scientist. And in that realm, you're working in the linear, in the mathematics and quantifiable data, but at the same time, your personal life and perspective is based in this mysticism. And I thought that was one of the most interesting things about you as someone who has a really high IQ, which we've talked about, I know you have the humility to not brag about it, but you're a really, really smart guy on paper, is I find that it's so fascinating that you're able to bridge those two worlds.

[01:25:21]  And I experienced that that's difficult for many people to do that have the propensity toward analytical thinking and combined with a really high IQ and, really, a high level of intelligence because you can't get yourself into the spiritual realm from a realm that is in a different dimension, so to speak, right? So, it's like there's two different paradigms of the hard science and the math versus the realms of consciousness, and I think where many people get stuck in the idea of believing in a higher power, or in the concept of consciousness, or the higher self versus the egoic, analytical, mind-based self is that it's unprovable, right?

[01:26:06]  It's like, how do you put concept of God or you're caught between these worlds that are really in different dimensions? It's kind of prove the sky to a fish, you're in a different dimension. So, how do you breach that for someone who's caught in the provable, tangible, linear world of science versus a mystic who is just completely far out into the ether as in existing in the quantum field all the time?

[01:26:36]Ted Achacoso:   See, if you're looking at physics right now, I'm lucky because for the past few years, my reading has devolved to one book a week, which is really terrible. Now, since this quarantine and everything, since I arrived last December, I've been reading one to two books a day, which is really fantastic. So, I've been able to catch up on really lots of books, and lots of journals, and so on. And I had an incredible experience in late January, where I was actually laughing for 24 hours.

[01:27:22]  And it's one of those classified as an enlightenment experience. And I am writing about that. But I was looking back at what prompted that experience, right? It was a 24-hour laughing feat. And Dzogchen, as I said, that's a spiritual practice, has these pointing-out instructions where the master or the teacher actually points out to you the true nature of mind. And there was a challenge that came from a student of mine that said, okay, can you teach this to people who are scientific and rational, right? How do you teach that?

[01:28:10]  So, I said, can there be scientific pointing-out instructions, right? I'm calling those Tedchen, so after Ted. But anyway, the first one that I was reading about was actually, and you're asking for the bridge, is looking at the state of physics, where it is right now. Now, if you are not like Eric Weinstein who thinks that the string theory is probably made up, well, we make up things anyway, in order to secure continued funding for physics, then if you take a look at the models right now, you see that there's really only one missing ingredient.

[01:28:55]  The missing ingredient there, the unified field, unifying the—people are always saying, the theory of everything or unifying general relativity with quantum mechanics, the only thing missing there really is consciousness. So, there's a guy, his same as David Chalmers, who said, "So, why don't we assign it as essential?" Right? As there, it's core to everything. And atoms, quarks, sleptons, whatever, they have what's called protoconsciousness, and they assemble themselves into all of these things.

[01:29:40]  So, at the core, there is consciousness, right? So, the unified field is consciousness and that removes a lot of the problems in physics. In fact, the math will show that if you put it in, it will solve a lot of the problems that's missing, including the hard problem of consciousness. But then, that's hard to prove, right? It's hard to prove that such exists. And I think the position of Steven Pinker out of Harvard, where he says, "Well, maybe that's where our knowledge ends", that there are points, there are there are certain areas of knowledge by which the limitations of our thinking and the limitations of our brain apparatus is actually limited.

[01:30:28]  Well, maybe this. That's why maybe it's pointless to ask proof off that consciousness because if you do that, then—I was working on this problem in 1988, that's a long time ago and I was doing computational studies on this, and one of the things that we were asking is, well, how can you say that a rock is not conscious, right? It's because you cannot become a rock. And I think it's hubris for us to say that only we have consciousness. I proposed the term artificial ethology in 1990 in a paper. 

[01:31:05]  Ethology is the study of behavior and not artificial intelligence. And for a simple reason that if I see a child sitting down in a room, I will not say that the child is intelligent unless the child performs unintelligent behavior. Therefore, it's probably best to use artificial ethology in order to do that. So, when I was doing this, I was actually simulating microchips. What I was doing was I mathematically modeled the neuron, right? 

[01:31:41]  I mathematically modeled the neuron and what it does, and I put 381 of them together to mimic the nervous system of a worm called C. elegans. For those of you who don't know C. elegans, it's like the workhorse now in anti-aging because you could actually, very easily count the neurons. And I was the first person to actually produce a database of where all those connections were made. And my book, which was published in 1992, it was used by less than a hundred labs around the world, and then suddenly, now, a lot of people are reading and using it because of the resurgence of artificial intelligence, right? 

[01:32:27]  And there's a name for it. It's now called the connectome, instead of a neural circuit of database of all the connections in C. elegans. So, now, there's an -ome for it. So, when I was doing that, and it was suicide, actually, to propose a research like that, it's actually more simple, I said, if I take out the circuit that's for feeding, take out the circuit that's for mating, take out the circuit that's for locomotion, will I find a circuit in the nervous system that says, now, I feed; now, I mate; now, I move, when I did that model, I found out that I couldn't find such a circuit.

[01:33:15]  And that's when I said, I started blowing to the camp of the self is actually an illusion, that which is the commander of all of those doesn't really exist. It just is an epiphenomenon. It's something that comes up from the complexity of the system that's being studied. And if the C. elegans has 381 neurons, we have our 86 billion neurons, can you imagine how big jump that is? So, that made it easy. Because I love math for some reason, I didn't really ask for it, but I have an apt for it, speaking that kind of language makes it easier to bridge, to see what's missing in terms of our understanding.

[01:34:11]  So, if you go now from physics and what's missing, and putting in that element of consciousness in everything, and then you go to the nervous system where you see that the self is just an ad hoc neural network that just arises every now and then, then you could see how easy it is for me now to go form this bridge between that, which is extremely mathematical, extremely experimental, I was watching worms swim. They would swim towards a place where there is food and they would swim away from the place where there's vinegar because it would hurt them.

[01:35:01]  So, it's just like us. We have our sympathetic nervous systems. We either fight or flee, right? We feed and we reproduce. So, those are very, very primitive things that are already present there as behaviors, right? So, for me, these are patterns of energy that are already there, right? And what we're doing is simply, we're just carrying them over. But now that we know them, the more important question is, what do we do about these things? So, I'm lucky to have learned about the pre-Buddhist-born spiritual tradition and the Buddhist traditions.

[01:35:53]  Specifically, I mean, the Vaj rayana tradition, but of course, this Theravada under Mahayana, the three nen, and the zen coming in from the Mahayana. And if you take a look at the teachings and so on, which is why I am writing about this, is that you could take a look at what the practices entail. The practices actually entail going against the grain, some of our natural program, right? Going against the grain of some of our natural programming. 

[01:36:22]  Look, in the biohacking world, what do we do, Luke? If you have a biological drive of hunger in order to survive, what do you do to counteract that into biohacking world? You fucking fast, right? And we have all sorts of things, but if you take a look at it from a spiritual perspective, they've already been doing that. Even Jesus Christ is known to have done 40-day fasts, where he was tempted by the devil. Well, of course, when you're fasting for 40 days and you have your default mode network in 100% mode there, all the demons will come up, definitely, right? 

[01:37:13]  So, you could see how easy it is to bridge from physics to neuroscience. Neuroscience, for example, Luke, say, you're looking at a pen, right? You're not really seeing the pen, you just have a concept of the pen, right? You're just seeing what it is, right? You're seeing what it is. But really, all it is a mapping or representation in your brain of a concept of a pen. So, the statement, what you see around you isn't really reality. 

[01:37:52]  And the more difficult concepts come from Douglas Hoffman. I don't know whether or not you've encountered his work. He has the book, The Case Against Reality, where he says that the reality we see is really, we see them only because of evolutionary fitness function or how slick we are to survive and produce, right? And essentially, it's Einstein's question, when I'm not looking at the moon, does it exist?

[01:38:32]  Essentially, Douglas Hoffman says, well, we see the moon only because of what it can give us in terms of fitness function, perhaps to be able to see at night when it's full and confers a better protection with us or to hunt better at night. But when we look away from the moon, essentially the brain, that's a data collection and actually removes that data structure in our brain, so it's no longer there.

[01:39:00]  And this is now where we're getting at, there is where the spiritual traditions and the scientific traditions actually meet, is that in scientific traditions, which is now slowly being eroded like by the works of like Doug Hoffman and proposals including consciousness as a fundamental property of everything ,is that scientifically, we've always proceeded from what's called the empirical rational perspective, right? 

[01:39:50]  So, empirical rational or objective means that there's a world out there that we're seeing and when you keep our eyes closed, it's still there, right? And that's a simple way of objective reality. And it's the way that we are actually treating ourselves, right? But the other one is that there is no objective reality out there, everything is being projected by us. It's like we're wearing virtual reality goggles, right? 

[01:40:24]  So, we're wearing virtual reality goggles, and we're projecting everything ourselves, and we see what we want to see. And you could see how the whole, from this mathematical work comes the old saying, you create your own reality by putting in your VR. And the big question, in fact, is what happens? You were born with this virtual reality, what happens when you take it off, right? So, what happens when you take it off is exactly what happens when you relax fully and surrender yourself to pure consciousness, everything disappears, right? 

[01:41:04]  Everything is just an appearance by itself. There is no emotion attached to it. There is no thought attached. There is no clinging because that gives you the suffering. You see ice cream and you cling to the desire to have ice cream. You see a beautiful body and you cling to the desire to either make yourself that beautiful or have that beautiful person. So, suddenly, there's none of that. So, we're tied back, right? 

[01:41:33]  So, all of these things now are coming to the same conclusion, right? We just need to accept certain things into our scientific models, and then we will see that we're actually not that far off. But the whole issue that I'm after is that we should have a significant number of us human beings making that transition. The favorite analogy that I have was given by Sam Harris is that all our lives, we're sitting on a train and we're used to looking outside on the view, right? 

[01:42:22]  But every so often, like when you do a meditation practice or even spontaneously, with the right angle of light and with the right angle of your head, you suddenly see your reflection in the mirror. And that's how superficial, really, the whole point of enlightenment is. And the whole point is being able to see that illusion that's you in the glass of the window and looking outside at the same time. Ram Dass famously said and famously repeated being in this world, but not of this world, right? So, they're not just suppositions, these are kinds of integrations you could do very nicely now with the science that we have and with the kind of thinking that's there.

[01:43:22]  But that didn't happen right away, right? The research in consciousness was a suicide, just like my career on it was killed by a famous university by saying that my assertions were wrong and apologized to me 10 years later, but I was no longer working in the field, right? And now, you could see a resurgence of that field 30 years later, and I'm already practicing as a clinician doing other things, but there is—and again, Luke, people like you who have made it a point to actually inform people about this, to make sure that you can motivate them to wake up and sustain that wakefulness, right? Sustain that.

[01:44:12]Luke Storey:   Yeah. God, there's so much to unpack there. I have this fantasy of taking all of the old paradigm thinkers and all of the people that are unable to break free from the lower-nature animal self that have no experience of having the witness perspective at all, especially those in power and putting LSD or ayahuasca in the water supply on Twitter. And I really don't care if it's like they're on the left, or the right, or whatever, I'm just like, God, I wonder what would happen if you just gave this person a healthy dose of DMT, or even ketamine, or any of these things that are a rocket ship, at least, to give you a glimpse. And you mentioned Ram Dass. Eventually, Ram Dass discarded the pursuit of psychedelics as a pathway by which to achieve enlightenment because-

[01:45:04]Ted Achacoso:   Because it's temporary, yeah.

[01:45:05]Luke Storey:   ... its ultimate futility in that, but I subjectively would give the analysis in my own personal experience that, God, it could have taken a lot longer had he, or in my own experience, not had those peak experiences to indicate to you that, okay, there's something way beyond my day-to-day humdrum perception or the perception of the self from the self, right? It's like those windows into consciousness are only open temporarily, but as you said, if you integrate practices to keep them open and find ways on the notch using just your own self-discipline and habitual practices that don't require anything exogenously, that you can live more and more of the time in the world and out of the world where you're living your life, and you have a body, and you want the ice cream, and you're on a Zoom call, you're making a podcast, you're doing all the things, but at the same time, you're observing oneself doing those things and having-

[01:46:06]Ted Achacoso:   Yes, you're in a role. It's not your identity.

[01:46:14]Luke Storey:   Right. 

[01:46:14]Ted Achacoso:   You're in a role. It's not your identity.

[01:46:16]Luke Storey:   Right. So, oh, man, there's one story I've got to tell you and we've been going for a while here and I appreciate your time, and it doesn't sound like you want to stop, and I don't either, so you just let me know.

[01:46:25]Ted Achacoso:   What issue, Luke?

[01:46:27]Luke Storey:   Going back to the ketamine things, while you were speaking at so many points, I wanted to butt in and go, oh, my God, Ted, I have to tell you this thing that happened. So, there's I don't know, maybe 10 times after I saw you, I would do those little microdosed journeys and just, I'd listen to a Joe Dispenza meditation or I'd listen to some David R. Hawkins, some like audio teachings that I really wanted to integrate, or something I wanted to just delve into, or sometimes, even just some pleasant music, right? 

[01:46:56]  And I would sort of just lay there for maybe an hour, even in the hyperbaric chamber a couple times, I would go in there and take a little ketamine and do a brain tap journey with a little light show and some hemispheric synchronization tracks, and such, and had very minor experiences. So, the way I was doing that, I was with troches or an oxytocin and ketamine spray that a doctor of mine prescribed me. And those sprays, I think it's 150 milligrams per spray. And I would do two sprays. And so, that would be 300 milligrams. And it was a light journey. I mean, you don't want to walk around, I like being very still, and not moving, and having a very conscious intention about it, but it's not terribly psychedelic. And then, I talked to-

[01:47:46]Ted Achacoso:   You're a rich man. That's fucking expensive.

[01:47:50]Luke Storey:   I talked to that doctor again, he said, well, what we're doing now is we're doing these lozenges, which is what a lot of the ketamine-assisted therapists are using in lieu of IVs, especially the ones now that are working remotely, as I'm going to do soon with Dr. David Rabin, who I think you might have met, clinical psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and a researcher in psychedelics. And so, we're going to do a guided ketamine journey and sent me these lozenges that are 300 milligrams, which is about what I'd been doing and having these sorts of relatively calm, easy journeys.

[01:48:29]  So, one night, it's like 11:00 PM, I'm in bed with my girlfriend—I have a new girlfriend now and all is well, so thank you that because you gave me some great advice about relationships, too. I'm going to cut to that. I said, I was struggling a little bit at one point and it was difficult the day you came over actually, and you said, man, the way I look at it, Luke, is like, if your relationship is so much work, you're in the wrong relationship.

[01:48:56]  And that was a paradigm-shifting statement to me because there is this group think that like you really got to be in the trenches, just working on stuff, and it's going to bring out the shadow, and you guys just have to be continually fighting, and then working it out, and fighting and working it out. And I really had this erroneous belief that that was true. And my lovely partner, Alyson, who is upstairs now, I mean, it is the exact opposite of that. So, you were right. It's a different kind of work. It's a hard opening, an intimacy allowing a surrendering into vulnerability kind of work that doesn't have to be drama. It's love. So, thank you for that. Anyway, just as a side note.

[01:49:36]Ted Achacoso:   Glad to be of help.

[01:49:37]Luke Storey:   No. It's a powerful lesson because you seem like a really happy guy. So, it's like I take advice from people that have what I want or they're modeling some formula that is working for them. I don't listen to people that talk about it. I listen to people that live it. So, thank you. I digressed. Anyway, so it's about 11:00 at night, I'm kind of awake, I don't really feel like going to sleep, but my girlfriend Alyson is falling asleep next to me.

[01:50:03]  So, I had an idea, I thought, oh, I got those ketamine lozenges. I haven't tried one of those yet. I'll just take one of those, put it under my tongue, listen to a ketamine playlist on Spotify on my headphones and I'll just gently fall asleep afterward, as I had done many times before. So, I put this thing in my mouth, 15 minutes later, dude, I can't feel my body, I'm paralyzed, I can't move my body. I'm sitting there going, holy shit, what if I'm dying and I can't even move to shake my girlfriend to call 911. I mean, I started to get-

[01:50:38]Ted Achacoso:   You can't.

[01:50:39]Luke Storey:   Yeah. And then, I went into this place. I mean, the playlist helped too because it was so psychedelic, but it was like, I can only describe it as like a really deep ayahuasca journey, but where you're paralyzed and can't move, which doesn't sound clearly pleasurable. But what I experienced was being taken to the point of non-existence to where even when I opened my eyes, the room was gone because it was dark in the room. When I closed my eyes, it was gone. The girlfriend, that's all not real. The pandemics, not real. This house isn't real. The whole life was not real. There was no life to go back to.

[01:51:18]  And there was a moment of fear and trepidation there because I thought that, perhaps, I had transcended this physical dimension and was in some other dimension and had, in fact, become trapped there where I wasn't going to be able to come back to here. And I was faced with the attachment of this experience, and this personality, and the self, and the me, and I had to make a decision to just breathe into it and let go because I couldn't make it stop. 

[01:51:48]Ted Achacoso:   Yes. My advice because I do ketamine therapy about twice a week, which is—yeah.

[01:52:00]Luke Storey:   As a patient, not a clinician.

[01:52:02]Ted Achacoso:   Yeah. I have a therapist, but I seem to know more about it than my therapist does. I'm kidding. My therapist is great. No. I studied pharmacology so I know my ketamine quite well. Luke, 300 milligrams is really way too high. For those who are doing troche, for example, I actually usually advise them to start at a very low dose of 25 just to keep you going, right? Unfortunately, at those low doses, some people are actually very sensitive to nausea, right? 

[01:52:47]  But it doesn't guarantee that the high dose won't give you nausea, but it's a sensitivity phase, right? And then, you increase it the next week by 25, and 100 should get you there. So, 300 is like three times what I would recommend. And here's what I actually tell them, empty your bladder fully before you get to bed, right before you close your eyes. Empty your bladder fully. It would be better if your room was darkened. Make sure that you have music in there that you actually like, and I prefer no lyrics. Music with no lyrics is a lot better than music with lyrics, right?

[01:53:37]  For me, something that's repetitive would be great. And then, when you already anticipate in your head that you are going to be like a corpse, however, put this in your mind, as a physician, for me, my mind is like, it does not depress respiratory function. So, it will not stop you breathing. That's why it's such a good anesthetic in the battlefield for soldiers, right? It does depress respiratory function. And then, of course, the fear that came up is like, what if I choke on my own saliva while in it? And then, if you start panicking, and start swallowing, and swallowing, it's going to get you into trouble.

[01:54:25]Luke Storey:   So, Ted, what you're saying is you want to sort of work your way up to the effective dose on ketamine. And environmentally and in terms of your expectations, understand that what you're doing is safe. And this is not like a blanket recommendation for anyone and everyone, like we always say with any journeys, or plant medicines, or psychedelics. I mean, it's not for everyone and it's not for everyone all the time. What else were you going to say about that? We had a little connection disruption there for a second.

[01:54:57]Ted Achacoso:   Yeah. So, for me, personally, what I did was I worked my way up from that. And for me, 100 milligrams. You have to expect that your body will totally get paralyzed. It will totally get paralyzed. If you're afraid of locked-in syndrome, don't do it. Locked-in syndrome is when you're fully conscious and your body can't move, right? But that's exactly what will happen. But as I said, it activates the glutamate in your brain. 

[01:55:32]  So, your cortex is actually quite active, right? And when that's active, like your posterior parietal cortex, your dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, when they're active, they usually shut down your default mode network, which is made up of the medial prefrontal cortex and the posterior cingulate cortex, mainly. But anyway, those are midline structures. So, it quiets down. This is why the quick way of explaining it in what it does to you is that it does a reset, right?

[01:56:05]  It quiets it. And since depressives are known to have a hyperactive default mode network because there's a strong ego there that's owning all of the story that's actually quieted down. When you are at a high dose, like the 100 milligrams, then that really, really goes down. So, 300 for you was really fucking high, man. And what you should remember there is the assurance that it doesn't depress your respiratory function. Second is you have to remember to surrender. Otherwise, you will panic. 

[01:56:39]Luke Storey:   That's where I got to because the experience, as I said, was, I was able to discern that there was a witness perspective, the higher self, the true self to me, and then there was the self that was afraid that it wasn't alive anymore. And the observation allowed me to see that if there had been someone there that I could have just tapped and said, hey, am I still here? And they said, yeah, you're still here, then the surrender would have come much easier.

[01:57:11]  And that, I think, leads to the wisdom in having a guide in any experience like this, especially when you're going to go deeper. Had I had a therapist there going, okay, Luke, what are you feeling now? I go, oh, wait, there's still a me? Okay. But because I didn't want to wake my girlfriend up and freak her out, or have her call 911, or something, I just had to stay in it. And then, it brought me to that place of just, well, if I'm never coming back, and I'm dead or in another dimension permanently, and there's no more Luke, and there's no more life, and podcast, and all these things, okay, here we go, and I just breathe, and I let go. 

[01:57:50]  And then, I was safe. And it really was just in making that decision to fully let go. And then, as it started to subside, which is one of the great things about that particular medicine, is that it doesn't last eight hours, 10 hours like some psychedelics do, but it started to subside. And I just thought to myself, okay, note to self, Luke, take less next time, have a guide, like tell someone you're going to do it because that was the thing, because no one knew, it added to that sense of isolation.

[01:58:21]  I'm like, oh God, I am truly alone here because no one even knows I'm in this other dimension that I'm caught in, how is anyone going to come after me and fetch me out of here? So, it was an educational experience, let me just say that and one that I would not recommend people replicate in that fashion. But it was profoundly interesting in that it was, I would say, as psychedelic, if not more than many ayahuasca journeys and other things that I've done in the past.

[01:58:50]Ted Achacoso:   Yes. It's just shorter-acting.

[01:58:53]Luke Storey:   Yeah. 

[01:58:53]Ted Achacoso:   It's just shorter acting. In fact, there was a mention of that just recently, because what we're doing now for treatment-resistant depression or TRD, and I recommend if someone is considered in ketamine therapy for depression and so on and you've not been helped by other pharmacological agents is you do it with ketamine therapist, right? And the ketamine therapist is either a separate doctor or the same doctor as a psychiatrist, because the best outcomes come from someone who is integrated with the psychotherapy of it, where you talk about the experience and so forth.

[01:59:45]  It's not a recreational drug, right? I know that's called Special K and so on. At 25 milligrams, I had a different response to it when I took that. The first time I took it, I was extremely nauseated. And the second time I took it, I wanted to solve mathematical problems. So, it was like, these are two separate experiences. After that, you begin to get into the anesthesia modes. However, what I recommended to a friend of mine who is a ketamine therapist, I told him that there's a portion of that journey with ketamine that's very, very hypnagogic, right? It means you can hypnotize yourself at that state and you're already at the hypnotic state.

[02:00:39]  So, I said, why not when you are in that state because you know what phase is going to be based on the dose, put in like the patients or the client's words in there and hypnotizing himself to be this, this, and this when the subconscious is more receptive. I said, hey, this is a drug-induced hypnosis after all, then why don't you just utilize that? So, rather than feeling it with music, at a pretty good point in time, you fill it with suggestions. It's better if the suggestions, of course, are in your own words. But that's just an idea that I had just taking a look at the phases of ketamine.

[02:01:20]Luke Storey:   On that note, do you happen to know what brainwaves are predominant in the midst of a ketamine journey? Are you in like Theta or that—

[02:01:30]Ted Achacoso:   You're in Theta, right? The deep part, you're in Theta, but your brain is awake. See, so you're not doing Delta.

[02:01:39]Luke Storey:   Right.

[02:01:39]Ted Achacoso:   And what I want to see is actually a study of whether or not there will be bursts of high gamma. Well, it can be your enlightenment drug, which I've been trying to—so, Luke, if I can't teach people to have a practice of being able to see that there is an illusory neural network that just comes up in your brain, can I come up with some troche that you shove it in, and for eight to 12 hours, you're totally conscious of when your ego's coming out?

[02:02:18]Luke Storey:   I like that idea a lot. That brings me to the other thing, and we covered this a little bit last time, and I'm going to just have to interview you again because I have 50 more questions and we're at like, I know we've been going for a while. No, there's so many things. I'm like, oh, I got to ask him about this, and that, and this, and that. But last time you were talking about this pharmahuasca or achahuasca, you called it, and you've indicated that you have an aversion to nausea, but you do like the positive benefits and explorations of ayahuasca. And so, I don't think I asked you last time, had you taken a drink, ayahuasca brew, and then realized, like, wow, there's really something there, but can we remove the part that makes you sick? Is that how you arrived at that desire?

[02:03:11]Ted Achacoso:   See, it's like this. I've always essentially 25 years ago, a dear friend of mine offered it to me. And I know it's a gift, right? But I was like this scientist that said, no, I'm not going to put anything in my system that's not natural, I mean, blah, blah, blah. And I find out that DMT is being produced by their body, so what the fuck? So, anyway, my first four, is it with the natural one, so it used the banisteriopsis caapi vine, which is an irreversible liver inhibitor, and psychotria viridis in a group, which is that traditional ayahuasca group.

[02:03:56]Luke Storey:   So, ayahuasca vine and the shakruna leaf, and the leaf the one-

[02:04:00]Ted Achacoso:   Yeah, is the one containing DMT and the other one is simply to prevent the degradation, right? And I know many people will get mad at me for saying this, that the vomiting or purging, they say, it's part of the process, et cetera, no, no, no, that's just an effect of the liver inhibitor. That's why it's now incorporated in the lore. You see, you can take it. It's incorporated in the lore. You throw up and so on, you clean yourself. It's like, fuck that.

[02:04:32]  So, what I remember distinctly from taking the brew the first time, which was actually funny, and at the same time, frustrating, is that I would throw up, right? I would throw up, and then I would see the fragments of my vomitus just come up at me like this. It's like, that's the hallucination. And now, like you throw up and it just flies right back up with you. And it was incredible. I mean, the clouds became angel wings. The sky collapsed into fractals. You could see where—you know what's that movie with Jim Carrey, finding out that he was swimming to the end of—sorry?

[02:05:24]Luke Storey:   The Truman Show?

[02:05:25]Ted Achacoso:   Yeah. You see where the divisions were on the world fractal, but I could not concentrate, I kept on throwing up, right? So, the experience was so jagged, right? It was too jagged for me. So, I went to take a look, I was like, why do I have this type of reaction to it aside from the fact that there are actually liver-inhibiting drugs that are used in psychiatry, they're like imipramine or something, they have the same effect, they're irreversible. Meaning, when they're there that you cannot unbind them from the enzyme that does the detoxification of the drug, right? 

[02:06:05]  And so, I looked at my DNA study and I took a look at where the inhibitor, the banisteriopsis caapi inhibitor was working on, and it's working on a gene where I had a very, very sluggish performance of the gene. So, it means I could not really clear out the divine. I could not detoxify the thing quickly. That's why it stayed in my system for a long time and kept me vomiting. 

[02:06:45]  So, I said, well, I'm a pharmacologist, I might also be able to figure this out because there's something there, right? Something in the experience that once you've seen, you can no longer unsee, right? I did this by the beach. And I looked at the sand, looked at my hand, and I said, oh, my God, I have hands, they look very alien. And then, I looked at the beach and they looked like Carlos Castaneda paintings, which is like, this is interesting, that's why the paintings were like that.

[02:07:17]Luke Storey:   Right.

[02:07:18]Ted Achacoso:   Okay. Now, I got it. So, I said, can I make it such that I can have the same experience without the vomiting part? Because it's just like smoking DMT, it's too short to bring anything back. It's just enough to see, but not enough to see other dimensions, but not enough to bring anything substantial back. True. You get the experience of the death of the self, the disappearance of the illusion, but it's very short. So, I took a look. There is a reversible inhibitor that they found in Europe. And then, well, okay, that's legal. Now, I have to find my own crystal. So, there is none, right? So, you have to extract your own. And so, I extracted my own and I started my protocol, right? Okay.

[02:08:22]Luke Storey:   One second, Ted. When you say extracted your own, you got raw shakruna leaf and extracted the crystals from that?

[02:08:29]Ted Achacoso:   Yeah, I got another, it's not the shakruna leaf that I used. If I have shakruna leaf, I would probably have used it, but there are many plants that are high in DMT. For example, the bark of acacia that's being sold, especially the pink acacia. They're sold, and so on. And there's a method of extraction that you can use or methods of verification that you can use, and so on. But for me, I just wanted to find out whether or not this can be done on by protocol, right? 

[02:09:10]  Just like a scientist would, you don't know how much DMT is in the brew of the shaman, and so on, and so forth. And I'm sorry if I offend other people who consider a shaman as essential to spirituality. I am not saying that at all. What I mean is that for people like me who can't stand the throwing up, even if I explain to the shaman, the shaman would not understand, right? Because I'm looking at this from my genetic component and the basis for why the vomiting is occurring.

[02:09:51]  So, I had to work out two things. I had to work out the lowest dose that could be administered. I'm a canary in a coal mine when it comes to these things, I'm very sensitive, and how much of the reversible inhibitor to give? So, I had to work out that on myself and another friend of mine also helped me with that. And of course, I would be the seater the first time. And the first time I gave it, these very first sentence was, "Ted, you should come here. This is where all the shamans go."

[02:10:36]  And I said, "Okay, there's something to your protocol, it's working, needs to get refined", and so on. And, of course, as a physician, I'm also monitoring vital signs and all that kind of stuff aside from the stream of consciousness that's coming out, whether or not he wanted to talk or didn't want to talk, and so on. So, finally, I got the protocol worked out. And I did it to myself essentially once every two months for two years.

[02:11:10]  And that's when things have happened are, I would wake up like at 4:00 in the morning and I would be having like a total body orgasm, right? And that's the biggest gift, right? It's a feeling that no matter what happens, everything is fine. I call it the unfathomable sense of security, right? No matter what happens, everything's fine. And that occurred for several months even after I took it. So, there is something in there, whether or not it's the molecule. 

[02:11:54]  The molecule, I suspect the molecule itself creating a different arrangement of the molecules in the brain to allow us to perceive other dimensions even though our limited brains can only present us that they mentioned that way, right? They say that the plants are the teachers, I would suspect that those molecules came from those plants anyway even if it's the vibratory state of the molecule where it wants to bring you or where it can bring you, where you could experience. 

[02:12:35]  When you asked me, did I see there's something there, I even remember Dennis McKenna saying, he said, if you're a Catholic, you take the holy Eucharist and nothing happens, but here, you take the ayahuasca. And whether you like it or not, something happens. So, it's the same thing. Something happens. But for me, it's the realization that there are dimensions out there that you can't see. So, from someone who's totally locked in an empirical, rational state, seeing that there are other dimensions in there that you can't see, and that you cannot traverse, and you cannot build rocket ships to get to them.

[02:13:29]  And one of the beauties of string theory is that, like the superstring, I think, has 26 dimensions. So, you could see that they're working on all of these dimensions that are folded upon them. So, it's not a far connection to make. If these are the models that we're seeing with what they're doing, right? And this is what we're experiencing and we're saying, okay, here are the dimensions that we're seeing, then for me, it's an easy bridge to make because it's where we're converging anyway with an objective type of thinking versus subjective or feeling type of realization, right? 

[02:14:12]  Vipassana or inside meditation would have given these insights very long time ago. It just so happens that there are certain drugs that do it, that push you. Whether you like it or not, it will push you to open that. Other people get too afraid or other people think that it would last them a lifetime, but it doesn't. It doesn't. You have to have a practice continually after that. 

[02:14:42]Luke Storey:   Well, this idea of your manipulation of the different molecules in these brews is interesting to me on a number of levels. One of the main levels in my own subjective experience with ayahuasca, which at the time of this recording has been eight full-on journeys, is that each one of those, including two of the eight where I didn't really feel any psychoactive effect, and was pretty miserable the whole time, and still derived benefit and insights after the fact, even though it felt like nothing was happening. The other ones were profound and interdimensional, talking to ETs, just completely otherworldly in every way. 

[02:15:28]  One thing that I found congruity throughout all eight experiences was that the physical sickness part of it and the discomfort was such a distraction to the work that I was there to do. I'm not drinking ayahuasca to see funny colors and like talk to little green men. I have no interest in that. It's not productive. I could watch a movie and be entertained and feel less sick for less money. But it's like, so I'm having a realization about some childhood trauma, let's just say, and going, oh my God, my mind's being blown, I just had an awareness or an insight that could have taken me 150 years of therapy to get to, right? 

[02:16:07]  And that medicine, in one instance, is just like, boom, here's what happened to you, here's how it affected you, this shaped your whole life, which happened to me a number of different times. So, I started to go down that wormhole and explore that through the realms of the quantum. And from a place of consciousness because as you said, now, I've superseded the physical reality and I'm working interdimensionally now on the consciousness level and I'm going into that quantum space.

[02:16:32]  And I, through my spiritual will, I'm going in, and working on things, and having realizations, and connecting synapses and dots, and really moving the needle on my human and spiritual experience, then comes the thought, am I about to shit my pants right now? Should I roll over to my left side? Oh, no, I might puke? Let me roll over this way. Then, I'm back in my body and I'm back there being distracted by that even though I do have the ability in most cases to surrender to the discomfort. 

[02:17:06]  It's not that I'm fighting it or that I'm caught in the resistance trap because I'm familiar with that and I know how to get past that, as described in my ketamine experience, it took a minute there, but I was able to pass through the surrender portal and let go of the discomfort. So, it's like I'm unwilling to have discomfort and that I can't surrender because I can. It's more like, yeah, yeah, okay, I get it, I can move past that, but what if it's just not there, and I can just go straight consciousness the whole time and work on what I want to work on, which is healing my family lineage and understanding my dharma, and my purpose in this incarnation, and those really impactful realizations that come in that space. 

[02:17:50]  And so, when you told me that you had discovered a way to achieve those same objectives spiritually without having to be encumbered by the distraction of the physical discomfort, that really got my attention. Now, I have mentioned that to a few people, just wow, what a concept this is, and I wonder what this means for the future when people like you and regulatory agencies are loosening up the reins as they are with things like psilocybin, and ketamine therapy, and things like this, what happens when pharmahuasca just becomes part of the repertoire there? How exciting. 

[02:18:23]  And the traditionalists on the other side say, well, then you're raping the plant. You're discounting the plant's innate intelligence. You're shitting on the shamanic traditions that have lasted thousands of years, et cetera. And I do honor that perspective, but at the same time, it's like, to me, those plants and their innate intelligence is what put it in your head to mix those two things together. Do you see what I mean? 

[02:18:52]  It's the plant's innate intelligence, it isn't the one saying to a chemist, wow, we can make LSD. That's not a plant, but somehow, that biological organism carrying around consciousness in the form of a human being with a chemistry set went, hey, if we put this, this, and this together, something happens, right? So, it's like I respect and honor the traditions, but at the same time, we have to respect the ingenuity of humankind and divine inspiration that works through us humans to develop other means by which to awaken. 

[02:19:26]  So, it's not like an either or. To me, it's both are right, both are great. It's what serves you in any given moment. And I can tell you, from my experience, I haven't done the medicine the way you prepare it, but I'm guessing that if I had a choice between A and B, and I get the same net result with less suffering, I'm going to choose the one with less suffering, with just-

[02:19:48]Ted Achacoso:   Yeah, Luke. For me, really, like Blue Cannatine, I really made it out of necessity because I really wanted you to take it. But it was just impossible for me. You're puking, every now and then, you have to run to the toilet or when you go to actual places, they will give you a vomit bucket, right? But what I'm saying is that we have believed in the story. We've come to believe in the story and that should be the story, and so on. I'm not denigrating the traditional forms.

[02:20:31]  In fact, I was with a most wonderful shaman who travels around the world doing this traditional ayahuasca ceremony like three weeks ago. And I was asked, what do you think is the future of this? And I said, look, there is very few of him. And it's wonderful for people to experience what it is to be in a traditional ceremony. But if you ask me what the future of this is, it's like, we have to ask, what are we doing this for, right? Why are we doing this?

[02:21:05]  And for me, it's like, because we want to wake people up. Because what we're doing to the Earth, and to ourselves, and to our relationships to other humans, it's not sustainable, right? So, I said, we now know, for example, receptors for LSD, the 5-HT2A receptors and the receptors for DMT, and so on, and so forth, what's going to happen? I said, the way I predict thing is going to happen is that if we want to have these substances that will show the illusories of the self and make clear to you your cravings and aversions to things and expose their ego for the illusion that it is, then we have to use probably artificial intelligence the way we're using it to find molecules now for drugs.

[02:21:58]  So, we take a look at, okay, the following DMT works with the following receptors, LSD works with the following receptors, and so on. And we'll see, okay, let's apply to-all artificial intelligence is good at these finding patterns from that large amount of data. It could pick out molecules that can either be natural or synthetic, whether there's a pathway to synthesize some, as you know, Sasha Shulgin has done for so many years, they synthesize them and see what their effects are going to be.

[02:22:36]  One of the things that I was thinking early on, for example, even for a Blue Cannatine, does it activate the task-positive network or even the central executive network of the brain? That's why it dampens your ego a little bit, so you could focus on your task, right? There's no rumination going on. So, these are the kinds of things, I think, that rather than training more shamans and training more people, that would be good if people are interested in doing that, that's perfect.

[02:23:06]  If people are interested in going to retreats to take this, that's perfect, but don't expect that after coming out of those experiences, you're going to be enlightened. So, what we're looking at now is if we want to improve it on the scientific part, let's start with a pharmahuasca or achahuasca as my friends love to say. Let's start from there, and then let's take a look at the other receptors that are available.

[02:23:38]  What could switch off the DMN more effectively, how can you remove, for example, the dopaminergic component of LSD, which keeps you keeps your ego up, actually. It can keep your ego up. And then, we could have either natural or synthetic molecules identified to do this. And that's how we go, right? That's how we proceed or it could be combination of certain molecules, like, for example, I'm suspecting that something combined with psilocybin, which decreases the activity of DMN with something that increases the activity of the fast positive network will probably work, will probably make the illusoriness of the self appear there.

[02:24:30]  So, it doesn't mean that just because they are traditional, doesn't mean that they're sacred. It only means that very room for improvement if you want to move forward with a new generation of people and using the technology, and so on. By all means, if you have the means to experience the traditional ceremony is, go ahead. It's very enlightening. You could work with a shaman. They work with the tobacco and all of those, they blow smoke.

[02:25:10]  And so, that's wonderful. But you'd be facing, of course, the medical establishment and all of that, they would like to know, okay, what's the dose? What's the protocol? And how do you do this? How much inhibition is there going on, and so on, and so forth? You have to satisfy those, too, right? Until they experience it and they say, what the fuck about the dose, right? With the experience, they go, oh.

[02:25:35]Luke Storey:   That's interesting that you bring that up because I have noticed in my limited experience of those eight ceremonies that especially in the first four in which the brew was from a different place in South America. Every night, there was like Peru night, then Brazil night, Colombia night. And it had been brewed there and brought to Costa Rica, where I did it at Rythmia, and, oh, my God, such a different experience every time. 

[02:26:01]  The medicine really does have a different energetic and, I'm sure, biological makeup. It's just certainly like impossible to measure a dose. And even when I went and did my fourth through eighth ceremonies, it was with the Shipibo tradition at Soltara in Costa Rica, and in that tradition, you choose your own dose. And I wasn't used to that because the first four, I'd walk up and the shaman kind of looks me over, blows some tobacco on me, and then fills up the cup. 

[02:26:32]  And I take and I just trust his or her guidance and intuition, and that they're connected to source, and I'm going to be done right, and I was. But I found it very difficult to go when it was up to me because like, how much you want? Like, I don't know. Like, that's your job. And he said, "Well, you need to tune into the medicine and take your own dose." And it kind of sucks because one night, it felt like I took too much. Another night, I was like, oh, God damn it, I didn't take enough, I didn't really take off. 

[02:26:57]  And it was a little bit frustrating in the sense that—and needless to say, I surrendered into all those experiences, and it was all great and amazing, but it did also occur to me, wow, it wouldn't hurt as an alternate method to have a very measurable dose and to kind of know what that's going to do for my body type, and size, and makeup, and chemistry so that if I want to have X journey, it's somewhat predictable and I can really work with that in a more structured way.

[02:27:28]Ted Achacoso:   Yes. And if you drink a lot of alcohol, your liver inhibition will be different because you will be so used to degrading those kinds of molecules. But anyway, what you said, actually, I have a little story with that. I have a friend that I took on a journey. And first, of pharmahuasca, and then she decided to go to Peru to experience the traditional ceremony. And when the shaman gave her the specific amount, just handed to her, and she said, too little, I need more. 

[02:28:03]  And the shaman sort of like looks at her like almost angrily, and then gives her more, and said, no, this is too little, I want some more. And then, she said something that was really, very funny. At the third day, she said, I'm leaving. I said, when I was taking in pharmahuasca, I saw everything in HDTV, here, it's just like watching TV with a really, very bad reception because she was vomiting. 

[02:28:36]Luke Storey:   Oh, man.

[02:28:39]Ted Achacoso:   But anyway, the whole purpose, as I said, it could be ayahuasca, it could be psilocybin, it could be ketamine. All of these are acting in a way just in terms of decreasing suffering when you have suffering being defined as identifying with your cravings and a version of you, right? It could identify your ego. Even just for that brief moment, essentially revealed the illusoriness of the ego that's really there.

[02:29:14]  So, it's that's the purpose, then that's the sort of like anabolic steroid of the mental gym that you can use. It's also a good pointing-out instruction rather than going to a Dzogchen master and having the nature of your mind pointed out to you, asking questions like, who are you, and so on. It's faster. But the caveat always is that it's temporary. You have to get your lessons from there, and then get yourself into a practice where you're becoming more and more aware that the part of you that's wanting things, and desiring things, and pushing away experiences, and so on is an illusion, right?

[02:30:06]  It's an illusion. It's what makes you suffer, right? It's the clinging to those, is what makes you suffer, and therefore, it's the root of suffering, right? If we could actually wake people up to do that by substances, and then by practices, and so on, then we could have what we began this whole thing with, a more coherent, species-wide awareness, where do we want to bring ourselves to the future? As I say, I'm saying, we cannot just be drones, just working and reproducing, and working and producing, and repeating all these experiences over and over.

[02:30:55]  What's the overarching plan that we have for us species? Where do we want to go from here? And that's impossible to do if we continue having an environment, developing environments, and technology that gets to fortify the ego. Luke, even for those who have taken like pharmahuasca or ayahuasca for many, many doses, et cetera, they could have a massive egoic snap back. If you don't have a continuing practice, you can have a massive ego snapback or, for example, your default mode network because the ego is hard to get rid of, right? 

[02:31:41]  It's there to protect you from evolution. So, it could snap back very, very harshly and you could just turn away from everything that you've learned. And that's the danger, right? That's the danger of these things. Just much like the anabolic steroids that is there for bodybuilding can be dangerous. These substances can be dangerous, not solely in the physical sense, but in the egoic sense, that the self or the self-referential system can come back with a vengeance. But what is it that they say, Luke? If you think you're enlightened, try spending a day with your family.

[02:32:23]Luke Storey:   I love that one. That's one of my—yeah, it's the phenomenon of the spiritual ego, where one starts to make gains spiritually from a true and earnest place, starts to have God realization, merging toward enlightenment, and then all the while, the ego is there, also observing that as part of its potential value system, so that, then it starts to take over that spiritual identity, right? 

[02:33:00]  And this is the fall of the guru and you see great teachers are—then all of a sudden you find out they were sexual predators or greedy, and just obsessed with wealth and Rolls Royces, or whatever the case may be. It's a really interesting phenomenon within humans to observe, is without the awareness that that's a potential risk that one must look out for, then you can come back from a journey and like I am God now because I'm God. 

[02:33:27]  And this like spiritual ego is like another layer or just a different sort of aspect of ego that's not going out into the world full of hate and malice, but rather using the auspice of being peaceful, and loving, and enlightened, and spiritual, and being a yogi with the beads in the meditation pose, but still behind that is the same rapacious, self-seeking, egoic consciousness that was there before, it sort of come about now with a different mask.

[02:33:59]Ted Achacoso:   Well, there's a simpler example that I give to that, Luke, is that all of these CEOs of large companies would hire this guy, right? And he would give them a microdose of psilocybin and walk them through, go take them through a nature hike for several hours in a day, and talk about, instead of looking at the illusoriness of the self, and all of that, and explaining, especially they're on a microdose, so at least the self-referential system is dampened, right? 

[02:34:37]  They will say, okay, how do I use this now in order to profit for my company and make my employees more productive, and so on, and so forth. And suddenly, the ego is using now the techniques that is intended to decrease suffering, to increase suffering, right? That's not what they're realizing. They're realizing, is that it's just another tool for me to become "productive", right? I'm now more productive in work, productive in this, and this, and this. It's like, but really, don't we have something deeper to realize with these things, right? 

[02:35:16]Luke Storey:   Yeah.

[02:35:17]Ted Achacoso:   I keep on explaining to people that most of the people haven't seen what I have seen, right? When I was a physician, I worked at an emergency room where I would be triaging people who were shot in the back from summary executions, see who were still alive and see who were dead. I would serve as a doctor to where you had to wait, knee deep in mud, to get to deliver healthcare to a family of six living in, what, a two-by-six square meter house, in a garbage pile.

[02:35:56]  Most of the world don't have this experience and don't see this. And sometimes, they see me as like, oh, you can say that because you've always have a charmed life. It's not exactly that. And those experiences, although that history shaped a lot of my points of view, it also escalated my desire to see that we hold a different perspective, a non-egoic perspective towards ourselves because I've seen that kind of suffering. 

[02:36:33]  True. I'm working now with the privileged class, and politicians, and what have you, but when you come and have all of those experiences, you see that that's a result of our cravings and aversions, right? If people haven't seen, for example, I was delivering the 12th baby of this woman who had—there were six different fathers, right? And I tell her, come tomorrow, let's get you to the ligation clinic, because your uterus is already so thin. If you have another baby—and she's not prepared. She was obviously extremely poor, et cetera.

[02:37:30]  And, of course, she didn't show up. So, I've seen all of these kinds of poverty. I've been there delivering that kind of service to other people. And most Americans don't realize, the poverty that we know here is different from the poverty that we see elsewhere in the world. So, for me, the quality of compassion is, for me, there's a hastening that comes because you've seen this before. And what I see here is actually very funny because people are beside themselves staying at home, not being able to be alone with their thoughts.

[02:38:23]  Try fucking surviving with six kids in the middle of a garbage pile. And these are the things that people think are unthinkable, but they are occurring elsewhere in the world. And there is a beautiful short story on the relativity of morality, that there is this a fictional place called Omelas where it's really just this beautiful place where all the virtuous are and it's utopia. You can take whatever drugs you need to take, and so on, and so forth. There will be no punishment. 

[02:39:05]  And so, the story opens with a beautiful rite of spring, and so on. And it's peaceful and so on. But if you're at a certain age, you're brought to this place where there's one dark room, and they open the door, and there's a child in there that's never seen sunlight, just given one plate of gruel a day, and he's in chains, and he basically stands up and sits down in his own piss and shit. And he's there in that place. And you are told he is the reason why Omelas is prosperous, right? 

[02:39:47]  You have to keep him in chains like this, right? Otherwise, the whole city of Omelas will start to disintegrate from its prosperity, and happiness, and so on. And the story in there is that some people, after seeing the child, they just leave, and they continue walking, and walking away from Omelas. And take a look at us, that's why for me, when you get a Starbucks coffee for $6, for example, it's so much sweeter for me to drink that only because I know that that's six dollars is going to feed a child for two or three days somewhere else in the world. 

[02:40:37]  We're worse than Omelas. All of these people are living in poverty at our expense. So, when you look at things that way, you could see why I feel acutely, why we have to wake up from this nightmare that we have created for ourselves, right? We are not only taking one child and putting it. We are taking a large part of the population and keeping them in the dark room, where they are only fed once a day and they live where they shit and piss. 

[02:41:16]  So, I'm not trying to proselytize about this. It's just that for me, it's personal. It's personal, that it's time for us to explore all these things, just experience selflessness with ayahuasca, ketamine, DMT, and so on, just imagine what selflessness is like. Explore a meditation practice, or yoga, or other practices, the take away that reveal for you the illusion of the ego that wants, and wants, and wants to experience things, and say, what's enough? What's enough for us? When do we stop this madness of just unbridled production encroaching on environmental turf where we decrease the balance?

[02:42:22]  We upset the balance of the species that are occurring. It's true that this will occur. But we're also hastening our own demise here if we don't get into a cohesive plan as a species as to what we're going to do, right? This is why, for example, I donate a lot to education, right? Because you know that when you educate people, the birth rates go down in highly-educated countries, right? In countries where there is not much education, the birth rates are up. Well, probably after COVID-19 pandemic is done, we'll see the birth rates go up, and that just shows you that we cannot stand our own thoughts, we'd rather be doing something else, right?

[02:43:09]Luke Storey:   Interesting prediction. That haven't crossed my mind yet. Well, Ted, I appreciate that perspective, and in everything you are, and everything that you do. And I feel like even though, selfishly, I have 50 more questions, I'm going to save my notes for our next conversation because I have many more, but I think this is a good place to kind of bring the conversation to an end. And I think we've given a really well-rounded approach to consciousness and taken some time to really ask ourselves questions and to determine what life is all about, what gives it meaning, how we can contribute, how we can alter our point of view, how we can ease the suffering of ourselves, and pass that along to others.

[02:43:57]  And like at this particular time, in our human experience, I don't think there's anything more important to talk about. And as of late, I've been just felt compelled to point out some of the inconsistencies in the official narrative of what's going on at this time. And of course, this will have been recorded when things will change by the time this conversation comes out, but there are some conspiratorial elements of what's happening that aren't adding up to me and many other people in tech censorship and the silencing of voices in alternative medicine and all sorts of things that are very disconcerting to me.

[02:44:37]  And it has been really important for me to have this conversation to remember that it's about just increasing the light, and increasing consciousness, and fighting negativity with negativity is a futile battle that you will never win. And so, this has been a great reminder to me of that and an opportunity to share a really positive perspective with people, especially when they might be in a situation that appears to them to be quite negative.

[02:45:02]Ted Achacoso:   Well, yes. A simple way to remember it is the virus is neither Democratic, or Republican, or independent, it would just do what it does. And if it happens to make you sick and kill you, that's what it does. And it's sad to hear for me, it's just sad to hear Harvard ethicist say, for example, that not being able to go to a restaurant is a violation of our civil rights. I said the virus doesn't care about your civil rights, baby. So, what? How are we going to do this? We have placed so many elements on top of things that are fundamental. So, let's look beyond those elements, those artificial things that we placed on top, and let's take a look and stay at what's really going on. And if you're going to end this, let's stay to where it is, right? As it is.

[02:46:13]Luke Storey:   Ted, who have been three teachers or teachings that have influence your life and your work that you might recommend?

[02:46:21]Ted Achacoso:   Actually, the teachings that I have come from difficult-to-read esoteric books on Buddhism. I would encourage people more to read the books of the more modern teachers. For example, the old, oh, I call it old now, it's a few years old, Sam Harris's Waking Up book and his app. The work of Judson Brewer on addiction, for example. The work of Shinzen Young, who is very tech-friendly on the use of like headbands to meditate as an e-meditator.

[02:47:14]  And then, the works of people who are in physics because physicists are often asked about consciousness, right? And Brian Greene just released this book, Until the End of Time. And there is, of course, the difficult read, but worth it, Douglas Hoffman and The Case Against Reality. So, I would encourage people more because you will be more convinced reading contemporary. It was a difficult path for me to go from esoteric like bon-type of readings, The Nine Ways of Bon, and the different practices, and so on, and so forth. Going into the tantras, the sutras, and all of that, from Hinduism, Buddhism, and so forth.

[02:48:09]  That's a more difficult path, especially if you don't have someone teaching you. But these contemporary authors will actually show you—oh, Dan Harris also is another one, his 10% Happier. So, these are the kinds of books that I would recommend the current generation to read, because then, if they go back to Buddhist teachings and start studying more as an interest, and then more fervently, they would already have like a scientific, or neuroscientific, or a physics basis for the readings. So, I'm more for flipping things around rather than going the way I did it. It's easier, so to speak, to speak to the way that said the generation right now speaks, right?

[02:49:12]Luke Storey:   Awesome. Thanks for the recommendations. That's quite a handful of stuff for people to begin with. And thanks for the sage advice on all things we covered today. In closing, where can people find you on social media, websites, et cetera?

[02:49:27]Ted Achacoso:   Well, we've been doing this on Troscriptions on Instagram, and of course, troscriptions.com, where you can get Blue Cannatine and the other products that are forthcoming, especially the pure m1ethylene blue. We call it Just Blue. We hope that JetBlue doesn't sue us. And then, for my nonprofit work, I started a nonprofit to teach physicians, health care practitioners on how to optimize health at homehope.org. We've just released our initial module, West Clinical Metabolomics.

[02:50:11]  It was released last year. We just released two other modules on epigenetics and on mitochondria. And before and probably in a week or so, we'll be releasing our module on gut immune system. So, that's up. You can see what a quarantine can do, right? The modules are getting made and we have chronobiology, evolutionary medicine, and exposomics coming up. So, that's at homehope.org. If you're interested in becoming a practitioner, that's also where you want to go and you'll get to interact with someone crazy like me.

[02:50:52]Luke Storey:   That's awesome. You just brought up one last question I'm going to sneak in because you mentioned mitochondria. To what degree do you think that our levels of deuterium in the body hinder mitochondrial function if they do? And do you think that studying about to lower your deuterium levels through drinking deuterium-depleted water, and fasting, and being on a keto diet will help that along? Meaning, I'm going to use crude terms here, but my understanding based on a few interviews, is the deuterium gumming up the nanomotors in the mitochondria and rendering them less effective at producing ATP. Do you think all of that is relevant, and worth pursuing, and working on? 

[02:51:44]Ted Achacoso:   For me, I have a very practical advice on these things because the study that I looked at with Credibility is a study that was done that shows that the mitochondria depletes the deuterium of its own water. So, what's in the mitochondria? Mitochondria has its own mechanism of depleting its own deuterium in order to function. So, if whatever mechanism you want to use, I don't know whether or not they work, but some people claim they do, some people say it's pointless. I just want to reassure people that whatever it is that you do, if you want to decrease your own deuterium, et cetera, fine. If it works for you, great. If it gives you more energy, fine. But the mitochondria itself actually depletes its own deuterium in order to make itself work properly. It has its own mechanism.

[02:52:37]Luke Storey:   Got it. Okay. All right. Cool. Thanks. I'm glad I got to sneak that one in there. I don't think I've gotten your take on that. You know a lot about my mitochondrial function, and metabolic disease, and all this kind of stuff. So, there we go, I got it in, and I'll save the other 49 questions for next time. Dude, thank you so much for your time. I'm looking forward to seeing you again and keep me on your list for future journeys. As you know, I've been putting that in your ear for some time now. And when we're able to travel safe, I look forward to hanging out with you again.

[02:53:08]Ted Achacoso:   Yes, that would be perfect, but I know it's not going to be in that 10,000-person crowd anymore.

[02:53:14]Luke Storey:   Yeah, I know. Right. Exactly. All right, Ted. Well, thanks so much, man. I appreciate you coming on and we'll do it again soon.

[02:53:22]Ted Achacoso:   Take care, Luke.



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