400. Solving the Microdosing Mystery & the 3rd Wave of Psychedelics w/ Paul Austin

Paul Austin

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.

Paul Austin of Third Wave talks about the third wave of psychedelics, navigating the complex legality of plant medicines in the United States, microdosing 101, and using legal ready-made plant medicine products.

Since Paul first founded Third Wave in 2015, he’s dedicated himself to changing the culture and conversation around psychedelics. Inspired by his own early experiences with LSD and psilocybin mushrooms, Paul’s personal mission is to help legitimize psychedelic substances through the lens of intentional and responsible use, ideally beginning at a microdose level.

Part social entrepreneur, part psychedelic advocate, Paul drew on his early entrepreneurial experience in online language learning education to launch two ventures in the psychedelic space: Third Wave and Synthesis.

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.

Paul Austin is one of the world’s foremost experts when it comes to both safety and access to plant medicines. Since founding Third Wave in 2015, he’s dedicated himself to changing the culture and conversation around psychedelics. Inspired by his own early experiences with LSD and psilocybin mushrooms, Paul now sees it as his mission to help legalize psychedelic substances through the lens of intentional and responsible use.

Paul talks about the third wave of psychedelics that we’re currently experiencing, navigating the complex legality of plant medicines in the United States, microdosing 101, and using legal ready-made plant medicine products. For those of you curious about plant medicine and psychedelics, this one will be super helpful in your exploration.

07:08 — How Paul Got Into Psychedelics & Plant Medicine

  • Finding cannabis and psilocybin
  • An eye-opening LSD trip in the Serengeti
  • Recognizing the shifting narrative around psychedelics
  • Uncovering what the latest research had to say about it
  • Pushing psychedelics into the mainstream
  • Using them to solve some of the universe’s biggest problems

12:02 — The History of Psychedelics

  • The nonlinear nature of time
  • The ways psychedelics have been used throughout civilization
  • How the third wave of psychedelics is aiming to shift consciousness
  • How psychedelics open us up to making new connections
  • Government regulation
  • Destigmatizing psychedelic use
  • Using psychedelics intentionally

1:06:20 — Microdosing 101

  • Where the term microdosing came from
  • How microdosing became mainstream
  • The experience and impact of microdosing LSD
  • Doing the work to change your life
  • Having an integrative psychedelic experience
  • Finding the right mentor to guide you through your journey

1:49:37 — Navigating the Legality of Psychedelics

More about this episode.

Watch on YouTube.

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

Paul Austin: [00:00:27] It's great to meet you.

Luke Storey: [00:00:28] Actually, we met in an event. 

Paul Austin: [00:00:29] The assemblage.

Luke Storey: [00:00:30] Yes, in New York City.

Paul Austin: [00:00:32] Like three years ago now, maybe, two-and-a-half years ago.

Luke Storey: [00:00:33] Yeah. Was that the WITMA Live or something we were doing?

Paul Austin: [00:00:37] That's right.

Luke Storey: [00:00:38] Yeah.

Paul Austin: [00:00:38] Yeah, it was. That was a great little panel that we had.

Luke Storey: [00:00:41] Yeah, super cool.

Paul Austin: [00:00:42] Yeah, and a fun event.

Luke Storey: [00:00:42] It's funny, at one of those, I don't know if this is the same one at which I met you, might have been, but I think Brandee from Rythmia was there, and that was before I had ever taken ayahuasca. And I was chatting with her about it, and during that same trip, I interviewed the medium, Paul Selig.

Paul Austin: [00:01:02] Uh-huh. Oh, cool.

Luke Storey: [00:01:03] Yeah, because Aubrey had introduced me to him, and during the interview with him, I said, Hey, Paul, would you mind, if it's appropriate, could you ask the guides if it would be chill for me to go take ayahuasca as someone with addiction in my past, like in a sobriety? And he felt into it, and he asked the guides, and then the guide spoke, and said, "You'll be safe to do that and it's something that could benefit you".

And for some reason, I believe he is channeling these guides, I mean, based on the books he writes, there's no editing, like no one can talk like that, even the most brilliant person or philosopher. So, I was like, you know what, I mean, there was a lot that went into it, but yeah, that trip was actually the catalyst that brought us to this conversation.

Paul Austin: [00:01:48] Really?

Luke Storey: [00:01:48] Yeah.

Paul Austin: [00:01:49] Psychedelics.

Luke Storey: [00:01:49] Yeah.

Paul Austin: [00:01:50] And that was the opening for you. 

Luke Storey: [00:01:53] Yeah.

Paul Austin: [00:01:53] Because up until that point, you really hadn't-

Luke Storey: [00:01:55] I had done a lot of psychedelics, but only as a total in buffoonery of-

Paul Austin: [00:02:00] Like a way to disassociate, it's like a party, or a way to whatever.

Luke Storey: [00:02:04] Yeah. I used to take acid just to stay awake to drive from Aspen to Denver over the continental divide to go see shows.

Paul Austin: [00:02:11] Not the worst thing.

Luke Storey: [00:02:12] So, like in high school. So, yeah, we would take like half a hit of acid or something to stay awake and drive through these blizzards in the middle of the winter, not the smartest way to do it. So, anyway, I digress. How did you get into all of this, the world of psychedelics and plant medicines in the first place?

Paul Austin: [00:02:30] So, I grew up in a traditional home, West Michigan. Morality was based on religion and Christianity, this is good, this is bad. And then, I found cannabis at the age of 16, which sort of opened my mind to like, oh, maybe some of the things that I was taught aren't necessarily what I thought. And then, at the age of 19, that same friend introduced me to psilocybin mushrooms. And so, I had my first psilocybin experience. It was interesting, but not profoundly life-changing or anything like that. And then, about five months after that first psychedelic experience, I did acid, LSD, for the first time. Probably around 200 micrograms, which is a good dose, a solid dose level with a few friends.

Luke Storey: [00:03:13] What's one hit, 100 milligrams?

Paul Austin: [00:03:13] About 100 is about two hits.

Luke Storey: [00:03:15] Okay.

Paul Austin: [00:03:16] Out at the beach. It was like a beautiful early May Day in Michigan, went with a few friends, went swimming in Lake Michigan, walking in the woods, and just had that sort of before-acid and after-acid experience, where I was like, oh, I get it now, like I kid it. And actually, about a week after my first acid experience, I went to Tanzania with a school group, because I was studying biology at the time and we were doing field studies in Tanzania, which was code words for just going on safari out in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. And so, I brought some LSD with me on the trip and ended up taking a hit of LSD on safari and sort of witnessing this "circle of life", but on an LSD experience.

Luke Storey: [00:04:02] Wow.

Paul Austin: [00:04:02] Right? And so, that just sort of plugged me in to this harmonious relationship that nature has. And I remember looking at the wildebeest and looking at, oh, the wildebeest is constructed in such a way, which makes it easy for the lion to go eat it, because the lion's at the top of the food chain. And so, just seeing that regenerative relationship then, it was around the same time that I was starting to get into paleo and crossfit.

And so, it really opened me up to this sense of ancestral wisdom, and how a lot of, let's say, hacking biology and physiology is actually just letting go of all the industrial stuff that we've accumulated, and getting back to the roots of who we are as humans. And so, I thought as part of that, what's so natural to us as humans is to be free, right? And psychedelics, I think, almost more than anything else, teach us what it feels like to be really, truly free.

And so, several years later, four or five years later, after those first experiences, I was starting my entrepreneurial path, living in Budapest at the time, and just noticed that there was more medical research coming out about psychedelics. Tim Ferriss and Joe Rogan were starting to publish podcasts about it. Cannabis was generating more and more momentum. And I thought back to those early psychedelic experiences, and thought, if I could dedicate my life to one mission at this point in time, I was 24 at the time, it would be to help educate a broader populace about the real pros and cons of psychedelics.

What does the research say? How are these useful? And in particular, how can microdosing be used in an intentional and responsible way to help shift an individual's consciousness to accept these broader altered states of consciousness, as some folks might not be willing to dive right into? And so then, I started the third wave, and then from that point in time, that was about six years ago, there's been a lot that's happened, to say the least, in the psychedelic space, broadly, but also specific to the work we've done through Third Wave.

I also started a retreat center in the Netherlands called Synthesis. And so, it's been fun as an early entrepreneur in this space and someone who has done a lot of this work myself just to witness the growth and the evolution of the psychedelic space, the third wave of psychedelics. And we've now reached a point in 2021 where billions of dollars of investment are starting to come into this space. There's a lot of conversations around nonprofit versus for profit, indigenous reciprocity, patents on psilocybin, and I'm just fascinated by it all, the good, the bad. It's a very rich space, and it's just been an honor to be able to do this work and to educate people in the way that we've been able to do.

Luke Storey: [00:06:52] So cool. God, yeah. Talking to you and just looking at your site today to kind of prepare for this interview, and this happens every time I journey, I'm like, I need to drop everything and just do this, you know what I mean? Like literally, every journey I have at the end, I'm like, I think I'm supposed to be a shaman or whatever, I don't even—not that. That would be not a good look for me.

Paul Austin: [00:07:15] A guide, or a facilitator, or a trip sitter, or-

Luke Storey: [00:07:19] Yeah. I'm just like, everyone needs to do this, and then of course, I come back to my senses, and I'm sure we're going to talk about, for some people, and sometimes, it would not be appropriate. But it's interesting, as you just described yourself kind of being immersed in this world in all ways, and creating businesses around, and things like that, I almost wish that I could just zoom out of it all completely and kind of look at a longer arc of time to see what's really happened, because it's kind of, the wheels are moving. And so, it just is normal to me now that there's someone in Vancouver looking into DMT drips, and there's Kuya here in Austin doing ketamine, and it's like normal people, I mean, like who's normal, but I would say just moderate people who aren't necessarily into drugs or psychedelics.

Paul Austin: [00:08:12] Weird stuff or whatever, yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:08:12] Yeah, or DM-ing me like, "Hey, what's up with this microdosing? Where do I find some?" I'm like, "Oh, it's illegal", first off, but it's interesting to see where we are. And I also get the sense, I mean, aside from any kind of post-trip naive enthusiasm, I really do have a sense that even through the bumps in the road that this is going to experience, as it will with any kind of movement, that this could be the very thing that is the bridge for humanity to reach a higher level of consciousness.

To me, and I want to get your take on this, solving the problems that we have as a human race in the realm of form, and cause and effect in Newtonian physics is not only the most ineffective, but slowest way to effect actual change in evolution. And these medicines allow us to interface with reality in a quantum realm outside of space and time.

And that allows us, as individual souls, spirits, and bodies here to elevate each of our consciousness, if that's what consciousness is, and I think it's the hundredth monkey effect of just people breaking free. You mentioned the word free and popping, and I sense that there will be kind of a critical mass when a certain number of people, whether it's through the use of entheogens, or a lot of meditation, or whatever they're doing. 

Paul Austin: [00:09:45] Or breathwork.

Luke Storey: [00:09:46] Yeah, all the things, right? I mean, I've had totally psychedelic experiences doing kundalini yoga and just completely deep healing, trauma work, all kinds of stuff. But anyway, the point I'm trying to get to is that a problem can't be solved at the same level of consciousness, which created the problem, right?

Paul Austin: [00:10:04] Which is the Einstein quote, right?.

Luke Storey: [00:10:05] Yeah, yeah. And so then, what's the solution to all the problems we have, like fighting on Twitter with this side or that side, or vax, no vax, I mean, all the things, right? And it's like, no, the only job we have, if we're smart, I think, and that's presuming that I'm smart, is the elevation of consciousness. And I don't know, man. I think this is the thing. I really do. I think it's a juggernaut that maybe people like you, and me, to some degree, are aware of, but because you're so in it, can you really get an objective point of view on like where this is taking us as a species and where it could go?

Paul Austin: [00:10:46] So, a few—lots here.

Luke Storey: [00:10:49] That was totally not a question, by the way, is just like-

Paul Austin: [00:10:51] But there's a lot to like peel apart, and one element that I want to hit in is like space and time, right? Because time, the way that we've been taught or conditioned to think about time as a very linear process, right? We're born, we experience life, and we die. It happens in a line like that, and that's it, there's nothing else. And industrialism in particular is the thing that has conditioned us to believe in time in that way, because we've had to break up time in order to build an industrial framework that then allowed us to become materially happy or whatever.

But prior to that, Nietzsche often talked about the eternal recurrence, we often saw time as circular, right? And so, when we're looking at where we are now in this third wave of psychedelics, the context that is often so important is, historically, when have we been here before? Right? And I think in particular, when have we been here before from a Western perspective or a Western viewpoint? Right?

Because psychedelics has been used for probably millennia, going back to Göbekli tepee, and the cradle of civilization, soma in ancient India, ayahuasca in the Amazon, but rooting it actually in, let's say, the ancient Greeks, because Plato and Aristotle attended these things called the elucidation mysteries, where they drank kykeon, and had this beverage that awoke them to the truth of reality, the truth of who they were, the sense of divinity that was within sight of them.

And that, let's say, first wave of psychedelics eventually informed the second wave of psychedelics, the '50s and '60s, when Albert Hofmann invented LSD, and psilocybin came onto the scene, and the counterculture, and all of that, but it went sideways very quickly, because as a culture, we didn't have the container to be able to hold the chaos of the psychedelic experience, because what they did in the Ancient Greek times is they said, hey, look, we have this thing, it's called The Eleusinian Mysteries, you're going to go to 20 miles outside of Athens, in a place called Eleusis, you're going to drink a beverage called kykeon, and you won't tell anyone about it. It's a secret, right? And if you tell anyone about it, you'll be excommunicated, you'll be killed, you'll be totally cut out.

Luke Storey: [00:13:05] I'm going to interject for a second, right? That's so brutal. Can you imagine like having—I mean, any of the experiences, but I'm thinking of the most mind-blowing, like 5-MeO, like imagine you're a person, and you did that, you have to walk around the world and never tell anyone?

Paul Austin: [00:13:21] Exactly. So, it was a very quiet, private thing. And so, now, with this—again, and we tried that with the second wave, but we didn't have the cultural context for it, and now, where we're at with the third wave of psychedelics, is we're trying to understand, how do we manage this, so to say, so it doesn't sort of blow up again, but guide it in a way where we can have that evolution of consciousness, that blooming that we're looking for, right?

And so, when I think about that in terms of how psychedelics are relevant to go beyond time and space, because we're at this point in time with—there's a lot that's happening in the world with various crises. We're like in a metacrises, the mental health crises, the climate crises, the meaning crises. I mean, there are like 20 crises that we seem to be going through, right? And it's because we're trying to address these crises from this Newtonian framework, from this materialist, reductionist framework, whatever that is.

And what psychedelics opened up is this sort of truth of what I call interconnectedness, right? Truth of interconnectedness. We are interconnected with everything else around us. And so, if we accept that as a truth, how does that inform the very systems that we're creating to hold this evolution of consciousness that we're stepping into? So, Buckminster Fuller, you probably heard a little bit about, he had a quote which was basically, "Don't try to fix the old system, don't try to fix what's broken, don't try to solve the problem, but instead, create a new system that makes the old system obsolete".

And it feels like that's what's starting to come into being with psychedelics, is they're allowing us to create that new system. Some would call it a mycelial way of being, some would call it the metaverse and web three, some would call it—they would point to these networked states that are starting to pop up all over, and the attractor point that all of that is going to is decentralization, right? And so, when I think about that new system and what psychedelics can do to help us with that, they allow us to step out of this time space industrial continuum and into a space that is much more expansive, where we can use these tools to actually dilate time in such a way to shift consciousness, to address these metacrises that we're going through.

Luke Storey: [00:15:46] Dude, love it. Keep going. Now, to someone who's living in the 3D world without peak experiences that have tapped them into, oh, there's something else here, talking about something like bending time, it would have a hard time gaining relevance with someone, but I know, subjectively, in my experience, we were talking earlier, in some ceremonies in which I've sat, I mean, the amount of realizations, and problem-solving, and trauma-healing that's taken place in 6 to 8 hours in linear time of, say, talk therapy, for example.

I mean, it would have taken years, and things that I worked on, psychological stuck points and things like this, patterns of behavior, patterns of thought that just went on for literally decades, could be undone in one night of linear time. So, it's like without one having the experience of really going quantum, and that word is like—it's a funny word. I have like quantum devices all over and stuff.

It's like you can make anything and call it quantum, so it's a term I use conservatively, but there's just no other way to say it. It's like the world that exists beyond matter, right? And when your spirit and your kind of awareness is, for a temporary time, untethered from this physical world that seems so real to us, you really do step out of space and time. And the evidence of that is what I just described, that such massive changes individually can take place.

Paul Austin: [00:17:37] Well, and then there's clinical research to back that, right? So, that, even to go a little bit deeper into how that's played out, so Johns Hopkins has done a lot of clinical research on psychedelics, and the first study that they published was in 2006, which showed that psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, could occasion a mystical-type experience. So, essentially, they try to quantify through a clinical trial how psilocybin could help someone connect with God and source energy.

And then, what they did is they showed that the stronger that experience was, the greater benefit it had on depression, addiction, alcoholism, PTSD, end of life anxiety, all these sorts of things. And it goes back to your point, I think Gabor Mate has said this, where like with ayahuasca, you can have 10 years of therapy in a single night, right? Because of how efficacious it is at opening up the subconscious and the unconscious, which most modalities that we've used in the typical medical framework do not do, right?

So, that opens that up, and it allows you to actually have a catharsis in process and integrate that. So, that's more the medical side of things, right? The clinical framework that they've established for that. But in our conversation and in the work that I do, what I'm much more interested in is not necessarily the medical and clinical model, because again, my hypothesis and my thesis is that's broken, let's not try to fix it.

Instead, what is the new model of human evolution, right? How can psychedelics help with performance? How can psychedelics help with physiological well-being? How can they help with creativity, with flow, with self-actualization, so to say? And so, there was a really interesting study published in the 1960s by Jim Fadiman, who's sort of the godfather of microdosing, he wrote The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide and really kicked off all the microdosing craze in 2015, and he did a research study in 1966 that showed that LSD and mescaline were incredibly efficacious at helping managers, engineers, architects, professionals solve problems and be more creative.

So, oftentimes, these folks would come in and they'd have a problem that they'd been stuck on for 3 to 6 months at the minimum. And so, Jim gave them either LSD or mescaline, and like 80 to 90% of the people who went through it ended up being able to solve that problem, because of the psychedelic, because normally, in everyday waking consciousness, we have a very limited framework, right? The classic example is we use 10% of our brain. And when we take a psychedelic, it allows that expansion to happen, where all of a sudden, these things that we didn't see as connected, we finally see as, oh, like I see how that is tied into that, which allows a new system to emerge from it.

And of course, in normal business, if you're dealing with a problem or a challenge, you do a brainstorming session, you would go for walks, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, it can take months, if not years, sometimes, to actually solve it, but what I've noticed with psychedelics is that divergent thinking process, which is tied into creativity, psychedelics, more than any other tool that we have, enliven that divergent thinking process and make us capable of coming up with solutions that some people would be like, "How did you come up with that in the period of time that you came up with it?"

And the reason I talk about all of this is for the skeptic, so to say, right? For someone who maybe hasn't done this before, there's a lot of clinical research that actually points to how psychedelics can dilate time. In fact, there was a research paper published on microdosing LSD about two years ago, where, in this research paper, they proved that microdosing LSD changes the individual's perception of time itself. And so, I think looking and rooting in some of that, and of course, having the experience yourself can open up some new pathways and avenues of how these might be useful tools.

Luke Storey: [00:21:50] Yeah. I think one thing about it that's so interesting to me is that specific ability that these experiences have to take you into warp speed, out of the limitations of time and space, especially as it pertains, as you were indicating, to creativity. I'm thinking about, we were talking about our mutual friend, Harry, with whom I sat in a—I guess it was an MDA, and sassafras, and psilocybin journey, just one on one, eye mask, music, and I mean, so many things happen, I could give a six-hour trip report just from that, but in terms of the creativity, I had this desire to write a book, because it's just like what people like me do.

And I was stuck on, what it was going to be about, how was I going to do it, I couldn't get started. And during that journey, the inquiree presented itself, "What's up with this book thing?" And I was like, "Let's look at it", talking to a consciousness or myself. And I was shown, I mean, it's so interesting, but I was shown that the whole motivation for wanting to do it was based on a self-serving purpose, essentially.

Like I want to have a book, because you look cool, and smart, and you get paid more to speak, and this, and that. It was just like a business idea, kind of. And so, the ideas that I had were really flat, and that's why I wasn't excited about it, because that's not really what motivates me. What motivates me is elevating consciousness. And so, in the course of 5 hours, I was given the title of the book, the cover of the book, the entire premise of the book, and also, the sequence of a children's book, because the book that I'm writing now, and I'm writing the book, is definitely not for kids, you know what I mean?

It's pretty hairy. But that kind of thing, and it's like, I don't know, if I just sat down on a Monday morning at 9:00, set an alarm, Luke, think of what the book thing is, I mean, I could have been sitting there for years, like, I don't know, is it this? Is it that? And it wasn't just that the ideas came and kind of a creative inspiration, it was this knowingness, this is what you're supposed to do and why you're supposed to do it, right?

And without a purpose, I wouldn't have been interested and I wouldn't have begun the process. And the purpose was to help people, and it sounds so funny saying it, because it sounds so novel, well, duh, why else would you want to write a book, but to make a contribution to humanity? But I hadn't really thought of it that way until then. And then, when I did, it was just like it just got like thrust into my heart, no, this is the thing that you have to do, you need to do, here's why, and here's what, and here's how, and thus began that process.

Paul Austin: [00:24:45] One, that why is so important, right? That, oftentimes, we start with the upper layers of what's the what or the how, and we really just got to go to the why, right? Because the why then influences everything around it. And oftentimes, again, in culture, society, we've been conditioned not to think about the why, right? We've been conditioned to, instead, think about what do our parents want us to do, or what does culture want us to do, or what do all these external things want us to do?

Whereas, what psychedelics help to open up is that sort of reconnection with the self, reconnection with the soul, which I see there's a connection between the soul and the why, because once you tap back into that, the why becomes very clear. And like you said, it often has something to do with contribution to community, contribution to something greater than you. That deeper why is not about money or it's not about status, it's not about these sort of egoic tendencies, right?

Luke Storey: [00:25:46] Right.

Paul Austin: [00:25:46] You need to get like below that, because those are very fragile and they don't really last that long. But what psychedelics do is they allow us to go right to the why, so to say, the purpose and meaning, and then kind of beauty grows from that. And that's even proven to be true on my own journey. Like I started Third Wave in 2015. For two years, it was a hobby. I was running another small business at the time.

It was just a labor of love. I thought, we really need to publish this content. I've had these incredible experiences myself with psychedelics and I think a lot of people could benefit from this, so let's start publishing content, let's start a podcast, et cetera, et cetera. It's only been in the last, let's say, year or so that it's actually become financially feasible for me to do what I'm doing, but somehow, someway. And like I had another business, I sold it not for a ton of money by any means, so I've always had to like stretch, but I figured it out, right?

And oftentimes, if the why isn't clear, then any creative project that we want to take on that is significant, that isn't just, I'm going to make a painting, but instead is like a three to 5, to 10-year project, if that why isn't really fucking like clear, and clean, and strong, then when the going gets tough, so to say, we'll just quit, right? And so, I think it's really important for any creative project that we are very clear on that why, and that's something that psychedelics can help us with.

Luke Storey: [00:27:17] That's really interesting in finding the motivation to do or not do something. And when you're in a psychedelic experience, typically, depending on with whom, where, what you're taking, all that, but in most cases, the ego is subjugated to some degree, and in some cases, very dramatically, and you're tapped into your soul. And when you were saying that, I'm thinking, what does the soul want? What's our purpose of being here in a body? And it seems to be that we're in a school called Earth and that we take on a body so that we can have—you're making the feel free face.

Trust me, it's worth it. We're having this body, we're in this material world so that we can grow and evolve as a soul. And so, when you're in a medicine experience and your ego is shoved to the side, however gentle or not that process might be, and you're getting downloads for creative ideas and finding your why, obviously, the why is going to come from your soul and your soul is a benevolent, loving entity of sorts that is looking out for you as a personality, as a human's best interest, and also, the best interests of all others, presumably, unless your soul is demonic or something, which maybe could happen.

Paul Austin: [00:28:36] Which happens in psychedelics, you have a few narcissists.

Luke Storey: [00:28:38] Yeah. But it's trippy to think about that, and that was the experience I had with the book idea that I wanted to chew on a little bit, and it was like, oh, no, your little limited, egoic motivation is just so feeble in comparison to the magnitude of what the soul wants. The soul like really wants to heal people, and make a contribution, and to alleviate suffering. And so, getting that idea from the soul perspective, it's just like, man, there's a passion and a fire there, because that idea didn't come from like a flimsy or more superficial motivation, right?

Paul Austin: [00:29:18] Right. It has depth to it. It's rooted in something that's beyond just the individual self. It's rooted in something broader, something great.

Luke Storey: [00:29:25] Yeah. So, imagine just millions and millions of people popping through their inspiration from the soul's perspective rather than base level instincts of survival, and ego gratification, and hoarding of material, you know what I mean? There's so much more to the human experience as many of us know. So, yeah, that's very interesting. Oh, man, there's-

Paul Austin: [00:29:50] Well, one more note in that before we kind of move on from that, just for the listeners, psychedelic, the very word means soul manifesting.

Luke Storey: [00:29:58] Oh, wow, I didn't know that.

Paul Austin: [00:29:59] And so, psyche, which is from Greek, technically means mind, but where the Greeks thought about it was actually much more soul, because they were much more focused, and then Delos is manifestation, which is what delic comes from. So, even the very word, psychedelic, is soul-manifesting.

Luke Storey: [00:30:18] Wow.

Paul Austin: [00:30:18] And so, we can fully tap into that essence.

Luke Storey: [00:30:21] That's cool, because sometimes, I get caught up in the vernacular of these things. There's not like a blanket, like people will say plant medicines, and then mention psilocybin, it's not a plant, or 5-MeO, Bufo Alvarius toad, like that's not either. So, I'm like, do you just call them entheogens? And we were talking about 2C-B earlier, and I've taken that, and it, to me, wasn't necessarily psychedelic. So, if I think of psychedelic, I just think of visuals, right? It's like space perception, and colors, and things moving around that aren't actually moving and all that kind of stuff. So, that's very interesting. I like that definition.

Paul Austin: [00:30:58] Well, and the classic psychedelics are the 5-HT2A agonists, right? So, there are 14 serotonin receptors, and the classic psychedelics, mescaline, LSD, DMT, psilocybin, ibogaine, maybe, 5-MeO-DMT would be a classic psychedelic, and those activate the 5-HT2A receptor, so that's typically how they're measured, but then some people would say MDMA is a psychedelic, some people would say cannabis is a psychedelic, some people would say ketamine is a psychedelic.

And I like the word psychedelic. I still think it's the best word. Plant medicine has its issues. Entheogen, I find to be too religious in a way, like a little too spiritual. And a lot of folks are like, "But psychedelics has all this baggage from the '60s", and it's like, "That's true and it still is the best phrase that we have to actually describe what these compounds do to us".

And so, much of what we're working on now is like, yeah, it had stigma, and we can reframe that, right? Like that word, psychedelic, doesn't have to be tainted until the end of time. Part of the work that we're doing through education is to actually help people understand that psychedelics are healthy, they're beneficial, they're useful when used, of course, with intention, in ceremony, et cetera, et cetera.

Luke Storey: [00:32:14] Well, now that I know a better definition of psychedelics, I'm going to start using that one. There are a bunch of other very specific things I wanted to ask you about, and especially as it pertains to microdosing and such, but going back to the waves of psychedelic, like you could say it might have been a millennia was the first wave, right? We don't even know how long that was. But indigenous peoples, and then into kind of the beginnings of Western civilization. And then, of course, we land in the '50s and '60s, and then there's some experimentation, there is research going on, and then something gets out of a lab, and Ram Dass, and-

Paul Austin: [00:33:00] Timothy Leary.

Luke Storey: [00:33:00] ... and Timothy Leary are giving it to college kids. And then, you've got Woodstock and all the things. And then, the government's like, "Whoa", pulling the reins on this and starts classifying all of these substances in one category. They put mescaline in the same category as cocaine or crystal meth and mushrooms. And I've done every drug, I think, I've ever heard of, except PCP, I never did that, probably never will.

But literally, any drug I've ever heard of, pretty much, I've done. And they would, definitely, to me have a different classification, which is a longer conversation. But to the point, call me paranoid, but generally speaking, throughout the course of history, I would not say that most governments have been there by the people, for the people, and that their efforts at controlling a populace, and their behavior, and the consequences and legislation around what you put in your body seem to be based on control, right?

So, to me, when the '60s happened, and you had all of these young people waking up, and getting crazy and reckless in many cases. And I'm sure, as you said, like the culture wasn't really ready. It didn't have the integrity and kind of the framework by which to have these experiences be beneficial and really move us forward. So, we had a lot of great art and music. And if you look at the Beatles in 1964 versus 1968, you know what I mean?

Paul Austin: [00:34:29] Way Cooler. 

Paul Austin: [00:34:30] Sgt. Pepper's or I Want to Hold your Hand, right? So, it's like it obviously did—Jimi Hendrix. I mean, like it did something culturally, but my question, if I can get to it, is why is the government, who I do not see generally as being my friend, like not stopping this now? Because it's like, now, we have the sort of blueprint for it from people like us and many others who are moving this forward in medicine, and just outside of medicine and culture in a more mindful way, to me, like the powers that be's worst enemy is an awakened populace. So, I'm always sort of just curious as to why they're allowing certain states to legalize psilocybin, and MDMA therapy, looks like it's around the corner, and there's ketamine clinics. Like why are they letting us do this, I guess, is the question? Do they not understand that this is going to be their downfall, eventually?

Paul Austin: [00:35:30] They don't.

Luke Storey: [00:35:30] They just don't. Do you know what I'm trying to get at?

Paul Austin: [00:35:33] I get what you're coming from. I don't think they can grok that, because they're still stuck in such, let's say, a 3D world, to use a phrase. Whereas, we're going into 4D, and 5D, and 6D, so to say. And like the way that psychedelics have been brought through clinical research, with Roland Griffiths at Johns Hopkins, with Robin Carhart-Harris in Imperial College, all the work that Rick Doblin has done through MAPS, MDMA for PTSD, the forerunners of the psychedelic renaissance, this third wave of psychedelics, have been very cautious and careful not to repeat some of the mistakes of the '50s and '60s, right?

Because as you mentioned, in the '50s, there were, I think, 1,000 clinical papers published on the efficacy of LSD to treat everything from anxiety to depression, to alcoholism, to autism, to a number of other things, right? But when it got outside of the clinic, it was in very, very high doses, and things went sideways as a result. Now, also in the '60s, those who were using these high doses of LSD were also protesting the Vietnam War, right? And they couldn't make protesting illegal, but they could make the drugs that the protesters were using illegal, LSD and cannabis.

Luke Storey: [00:36:55] Ah, interesting.

Paul Austin: [00:36:56] So, that's also another element. Now, what's happened this time around is cannabis is making a really big difference, right? Because cannabis is now legal, I think, in 12, or 13, or 14 states, something like that, it's medical in a number of other states, it's helped to reframe the general populace to understand, oh, this is how and why cannabis can be beneficial for taxes, or for pain and opiates, or for a number of other reasons and things.

And as we both know, cannabis is just the gateway drug. And I don't mean that in like cannabis is going to open you up to the harder drugs. I mean, cannabis is the gateway drug for psychedelics to be more widely accepted. And I think because of how amazing the clinical research results have been with psilocybin and MDMA, the government has come to a point in time, where like they have 22 veterans who are committing suicide every day as a result of these useless wars that they've committed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They're looking, they're actively looking for solutions to help them, and MDMA looks to be the best solution at this point in time to help them, so they want to support that to some degree. When it comes to something like psilocybin, we have a mental health crisis with major depressive disorder and treatment resistant depression, and there seems to be a sense of wanting to help people who have those issues, and Prozac, and Zoloft, and all this other bullshit that pharmaceutical companies have been feeding people forever, again, is not working.

And so, I think they're open to looking at novel and new solutions. In fact, the DEA has actually publicly supported the rescheduling of psilocybin from schedule one to schedule two or three. And the DEA has also supported an increased production of psilocybin, because they see how much momentum is being generated. But again, what you and I both understand is this larger metatrend, and this larger metatrend started in the '60s, right?

So, there is actually a phenomenal book called The Third Wave. It was written by Alvin Toffler, who's this futurist who wrote it in 1980. And in that book, he talks about the transition from the industrial age to the information age, right? And so, what happened in the '60s was, because of the widespread use of psychedelics, the widespread use of psychedelics is what influenced the computer revolution. And the computer revolution is what influenced this decentralization technology that now is much more widespread.

And so, since the '60s, we've wanted to be more free in terms of the type of systems that we're building, but the government, the federal government has sort of kept it clamped down, and now, what's happening, specifically with psychedelics, is you have Oregon, who just legalized psilocybin, you have Detroit, Seattle, Oakland, and Denver, who have decriminalized all plant medicines. You have a state like California that's looking to legalize psychedelics, as well as Michigan and Massachusetts.

So, there is this sort of decentralizing of psychedelic acceptance, where even, let's say, a worst case scenario, we get all the clinical trial results in for psilocybin and MDMA, the FDA wants to approve it for use, and the DEA says, "No, we're not doing that, we're not ready yet", et cetera, et cetera, there are still then these other channels that are developing that are not reliant on the centralized structure of the FDA that ensures that psychedelics will become more commonly available.

So, I think it's partly like the clinical research has just been so great that they can't turn a blind eye to that. And we live in a very different time age, time period, whatever, than the '60s, because in the '60s, there wasn't the internet. There weren't all these podcasters who were openly talking about it. There wasn't a decentralized sort of approach to education and information.

Now, I mentioned Joe Rogan and Tim Ferriss before, you have a very popular podcast, there are many other popular podcasts that have just started to openly talk about psychedelics, and that way of influencing is much different than traditional media, because a huge element of why the '60s went sideways was because of the media coverage and the way that the media covered this blossoming of psychedelics.

And what's happening now is traditional media companies don't hold as much power as they used to. Instead, individual podcasters like you can influence people in such a way. And so, when you're actively talking about this, I think that has sort of a grassroots downstream effect, where people go, okay, I had heard one thing, and now, I'm hearing something else from someone I trust, let me dive deeper into this. And so, there's definitely momentum in that.

Luke Storey: [00:41:44] Wow. Well said, man. God, I didn't even really give you a cohesive question and you still answered everything I was thinking about. And to your point, it's funny, after being sober for so many years, and obviously, my family, supportive of that, I was in a real bad way earlier in life, but when I did my first ayahuasca retreat maybe two-and-a-half years ago or something, I never mentioned it to my parents, and my dad's a bit more square, I think. My mom grew up in Berkeley in the '60s, so she's no stranger to these ideas, has probably taken acid herself for all I know. Probably has, actually.

Paul Austin: [00:42:25] Microdosing or higher dose.

Luke Storey: [00:42:27] If she's watching, Mom, sorry. My mom hates it when I talk about her on my podcast. I'm always like, careful what you say. She's like, "Dude, I have a life here". But anyway, to my point, my dad, maybe a week ago, calls me, he's like—he texted me. He's like, "Hey, can you talk?" And that's not abnormal, "Sure". We got on the phone, he's like, "Listen, what's going on with the psychedelic stuff?"

And I was like, oh, here's the call, because they see the content I'm making. And I had the talk with him and he was not overly concerned, but like, "I'm just kind of worried this could lead back to your old ways kind of thing". And I was like, okay, here we go, I got to educate him about what makes this different, and really, I could have just summed up that in like, look at the external manifestations in my life, I'm more successful, healthy, happy than I've ever been in my entire life. And if I was doing drugs in the way I used to do them and the types of drugs I used to do, you'd have about two months before you see my entire life just cave and I'm literally in jail or dead, you know what I mean?

Not even exaggerating, that's how bad things go for me when I'm doing the types of drugs I used to do and the way I used to do them. So, I said, "A, let's look at the results. By their fruits, you shall know them", and I don't mean to prove anything to my dad, but just to assuage his concerns. And then, I started just explaining some of the things you're talking about, and the history of it, and how it was vilified, and how they were miscategorized, and all the research that's going on, and really, what the intention and purpose of a guy like me exploring these things is. And by the end of a 30-minute call, he was like more interested than he was-

Paul Austin: [00:44:10] Concerned.

Luke Storey: [00:44:10] ... concerned, yeah. And then, he sent me a text like a week later, he's like, "Yeah, I talked to", I won't mention who it is, but, "I've talked to this other person in the family and they've been doing this thing called microdosing. It sounds awesome." Now, he's like curious about it to the point where I'm almost like, when we leave the United States, thinking about send him some microdosed mushrooms. It's like, dude, do half a cap, see how it goes, but-

Paul Austin: [00:44:36] I mean, I have a similar story with my parents.

Luke Storey: [00:44:38] Really?

Paul Austin: [00:44:38] So, I'll just give a shout out to my parents as well, because I grew up in a not conservative but traditional environment. Both of my parents are more progressive in terms of social policy, but definitely traditional. And I remember in 2014, I told my mom, both my parents, that I had done acid, and I remember my mom's response was, "If you keep doing that, you will turn into a wet noodle".

That was her belief, because she had never done it herself, but growing up in the environment that she had, someone very close to her had fallen into the drug trap, so to say, cocaine, other harder drugs, as well as mescaline and LSD, and my mom thought, "Oh, the reason that this person close to her is struggling so much is because she had all this drug use before", so she's like, "If Paul does that, it'll turn out really bad". So, I just started like, we now have an internal joke on the team with Third Wave that I built the website for my mom.

Luke Storey: [00:45:36] Right.

Paul Austin: [00:45:37] Right? Because I wanted a public place that anyone could go that has guides, and has good information, and is well-presented. But then, I just would send her information and send them research, and over time, they started to sort of open up to it. And my dad has always been more accepting and understanding. My mom and I tend to be, she's a Taurus, I'm a Leo, we kind of like go head to head in that way. And then, in 2018, Michael Pollan's book came out, right? And so, I sent it to my dad and he read the book, because we have this thing where we trade books, where I'll read one, and then he'll read one.

And so, he read Michael Pollan's, How to Change Your Mind, and he was like, "Okay. I might be interested and I'm more open to this than I was before", right? And this is someone who has never done any substances, whatsoever, has never been drunk in his life, has never smoked cannabis in his life, and all of a sudden, he was open to potentially trying something like microdosing or a higher dose of psilocybin. So, my parents went from, "This is going to ruin your life, very skeptical, we have no idea what you're doing", to, "Oh, we see why you're doing what you're doing, we're more and more open to it".

And in fact, six months ago or so, my mom, she worked as a social worker in a hospital, she's retired now, and she sent me a few emails, she works for a major hospital system up in Michigan, and they were starting to get emails in their newsletters about ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, and how this major hospital network was going to start doing education for their doctors and clinicians about psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, and I thought, wow, like things have really changed in the last few years to get to the point where my mom in the Midwest, as a social worker, is now getting emails about training for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy from her employer, who's a very conservative employer in Michigan.

Luke Storey: [00:47:40] So cool. Let's all dose our parents. 

Paul Austin: [00:47:43] Let's do it.

Luke Storey: [00:47:43] Heal the generational trauma.

Paul Austin: [00:47:46] Might take more than a microdose for that. 

Luke Storey: [00:47:49] But that's exciting. It's like I want to kind of take a time machine to even five or 10 years from now, I mean, can you imagine? I just think, man, the healing that has taken place in my life, and we'll get into the disclaimers and warnings, and I'm always, what's that word? Resonant.

Paul Austin: [00:48:12] Resonant?

Luke Storey: [00:48:13] Resonant. I think that's the word I'm looking for. Hesitant.

Paul Austin: [00:48:15] Hesitant.

Luke Storey: [00:48:16] Yeah, hesitant. There's another one that I like for that, but I'm hesitant to be like a cheerleader for psychedelics.

Paul Austin: [00:48:21] Reticent.

Luke Storey: [00:48:21] Reticent. Thank you.

Paul Austin: [00:48:23] Reticent. Got it.

Luke Storey: [00:48:24] Too much acid. 

Paul Austin: [00:48:26] Today?

Luke Storey: [00:48:27] Yeah. That's the old paradigm, right? It causes brain damage.

Paul Austin: [00:48:32] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:48:33] But I always want to be responsible, yet at the same time, sometimes, it's hard to bridle my enthusiasm because of my subjective experience and just the things that I've been able to heal, and I think, oh, my God, there are so many people out there with PTSD and they don't even know it. So many people have not only had childhood trauma, but just being a human being, even if you do everything right and you have good people around you, is traumatic, right? It's not an easy game and it's just incredible to think about the potential of people outside of our circles, like you're discussing with our parents and just normal people having the opportunity to heal themselves.

Paul Austin: [00:49:16] Like actually heal themselves. And that's something we even talk a lot about with Third Wave in our internal team. There's a lot of bullshit in the sort of spiritual, evolutionary space, if you will. Like it's hard to tell what's real and what's not, sometimes, because it can be very murky. And what we both know is that psychedelics work, right? They just do, like there's something about them, and of course, it's not blanket, right?

I think this is something that you've probably talked about on other podcast, like it requires preparation, it requires intention setting, it requires a ceremonial setting or something that is a bit more held for that to happen. It requires, I think, more than anything, integration. But if you follow that process, so to say, and you have community to support you, you have a coach or a guide to support you, these medicines work. They heal trauma. Most importantly, they heal trauma. They inspire creativity, and agency, and freedom. And I think they're a sort of glimmer of optimism in a world that feels very cynical at this point in time.

Luke Storey: [00:50:32] Yeah, to say the least.

Paul Austin: [00:50:33] Right?

Luke Storey: [00:50:35] I mean, even being a pretty chipper guy, sometimes, I just go on my Telegram channel, shoutout to my Telegram channel, if you want the bad news, join my Telegram channel, but yeah, I mean, I look at alternative media and things that are going on in the world, and it's very tempting to get drawn into the duality of like, oh, my God, we're fucked. But after enough of these experiences, I think one is more easily able to kind of walk between both worlds and take all of it a little less serious.

Paul Austin: [00:51:06] Way less serious, right.

Luke Storey: [00:51:07] I think that's been kind of one of the big benefits for me, aside from just, oh, I healed this thing and that thing, and had this realization. It's a more sort of detached experience of life. I was talking to my wife, Alyson, about this, this morning. Actually, it's like it's hard to describe, I think, to someone who hasn't had this experience over time, but it's like I'm kind of here, but also not here. And I used to be so here that it was suffrage. It's like just believing the thoughts.

Paul Austin: [00:51:42] So attached.

Luke Storey: [00:51:42] Yeah, and believing the feelings, and just attachments, and addictions, and patterns, and habits, and stress, and wanting to wrestle my control over every little thing to stay safe, and all of that. And so, with what's going on with the world now, I mean, yeah, there's like kind of a fighter inside of me that's really concerned about just the human rights abuses and just the power grab that's going on worldwide. I mean, it's just astonishing, yet at the same time, like I know that this is all kind of theater, especially after a few 5-MeO experiences.

I mean, I don't want to talk about coming back here, and being like, oh, this is totally not real, but I think that to your point of the integration, it's like, okay, so we have this lift off experience with psychedelics, in which you have not just an intellectual concept of you not being your body, or your mind, or your ego, all of these philosophical ideas that so many of us had read in books, and been to meditation retreats, and done the yoga, and non-duality, and all of this stuff, it's like, yeah, it's there and you kind of get it, but as you start to have that visceral experience, it's so fun to actually come back and just be a person again after you've been disintegrated.

It's like you're just blown apart and everything you think was real is not, but you can't walk around in a body in that state, I don't think. I mean, maybe very few enlightened masters have been able to stay here in a very high level of consciousness, and be a householder, and do their human thing while they're just totally blown out into full-scale self-realization. So, it's almost fun just kind of coming back from those experiences in learning how to bridge those two worlds.

And in so doing, everything's just a lot less serious, you know what I mean? I have shit going on in my life right now, dude, that would, I mean, years ago, I'd be having a nervous breakdown. I mean, I would be complete fucking disaster, apart from all of the things going on, broadly speaking in the world, just buying a house, and renovations went to hell, and just not really being grounded, and just so many crazy things happening. And it's like, I don't know, there's just a trust in spirit that everything is exactly as it's supposed to be.

Paul Austin: [00:54:06] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:54:07] And not like just saying that, but having the felt experience of that, that I'm going to be alright. I am alright. You're alright. The world's alright. I don't need to save the world. I don't need to save all those people that are, I think, harming themselves in various ways. It's like, no, man, I'm not in charge. I'm not in control. And from the ego's perspective, that's terrifying, but from the soul's perspective, that's freedom.

Paul Austin: [00:54:33] That's freedom.

Luke Storey: [00:54:34] That's liberation. It's like, I don't need to control. I remember at the end of my first 5-MeO experience, I was like praying to God, and one of the many prayers was, would you just be with me and just protect me? Like this voice from the heavens said, "You don't need protection, because you are safe". I mean, just a morsel like that just changed my life. If I could read that in a book, and go, oh, yeah, I kind of get that.

Sure. And in the final analysis, like we're all going to be cool, okay? You leave your body, you drop your body, and then you go on wherever you go, and it's all good, but no, to know that I don't have to walk around like interfacing with the world like a bumper car, like, oh, danger, danger, danger, or praying to be protected or to be safe. No, we're all inherently safe, right?

Paul Austin: [00:55:28] Right. And it's the remembrance of that, that's what psychedelics do, right?

Luke Storey: [00:55:36] Yeah.

Paul Austin: [00:55:36] They help us to remember that, because we often forget, right? The personality and the way that we've been raised, oftentimes, is, because of traumatic experiences that have often happened to people, they don't feel safe in the world. And when we have this direct connection to divinity, it lets us know that you are safe, and that you are loved, I think, as well, is really, really big. The love element is huge, because that sense of unconditional love is we literally can't get that anywhere else.

I mean, I had a relatively great upbringing. My parents, a lot of love, I had no major trauma, and like still, my mom's love was conditional in some ways, my dad's love was conditional in some ways. And I think that is the appeal, oftentimes, with this experience is when you experience God, source, whatever you want to call it, there's this felt embodiment of unconditional love, which physiologically, and emotionally, and spiritually is so healing, and I think it's where so much of that healing comes from.

Luke Storey: [00:56:41] And so transformative. Back to that evading space and time, one moment of feeling that changes your life forever. It's just crazy. And the people in your life could tell you how much they love you and even demonstrate that every day, and it pales in comparison to what that felt sense of—it's not even a feeling, it's just the knowingness that there is love that exists universally and that you were included in that, and that there is this benevolent field, energy, source, God, thing, that just totally loves you no matter what you've done, or who you are, or what you'll be, and that there's no way to undo that, it's incredibly transformative. It is just the best. Alright. I want to get into some other questions here.

Paul Austin: [00:57:37] I love it.

Luke Storey: [00:57:38] So, I would be definitely remiss if we didn't get into microdosing, and this is kind of a nice segue out of that, because-

Paul Austin: [00:57:46] You don't really experience God when you're microdosing.

Luke Storey: [00:57:48] Yeah. Well, the deeper experiences aren't necessarily appropriate for all people at all stages of development and there are so many different life circumstances that could be and probably are prohibitive to some people, even just socially. Our parents, for example, right? Just the social constructs, and the fears, and the stigma. But I think the Trojan horse, and the best way possible, and obviously, the safest way into this is microdosing.

And you mentioned it before, and I know you have like a course, I think, on your site to do this, and so many people message me all the time with so many questions about microdosing. And these are people that maybe don't run in circles where these substances are prevalent, and there's, oh, I probably know five people right now that I could text that could bring some microdose capsules of mushrooms over here or whatever, but I think that this is going to be such a meaningful contribution to start to educate people, and I really appreciate the work that you're doing.

And so, I want to get into kind of the nuts and bolts of that, and also, just admit that, I think, because I started microdosing different things around the same time a couple of years ago as I did going and having ceremonies, and doing full journeys, I think I've kind of missed the benefits of microdosing, because it's just kind of in the periphery, right? I didn't go from modus operandi to microdosing here and there, and then later on, having a big journey.

I went right into four ayahuasca ceremonies and all kinds of other things, and then added microdosing, so I kind of don't notice the impacts, but I know that it's profoundly impactful, because I've been the guy that's turned a few people on that weren't ready to take a full journey, but they're willing to microdose. I mean, I can think of my friend, David, right now. I mean, he has told me on numerous occasions, he said, "Luke, dude, you changed my life", because I turned him on to microdosing psilocybin, he's like, "It literally cured my depression and anxiety", and also, in his case, addictions. Just crazy, because he was a sober guy.

Paul Austin: [00:59:52] Like to drugs or just-

Luke Storey: [00:59:53] Yeah. I mean, he was sober, but then—this is not something I'm going to try, and addicts, don't try this at home, but he uses some things like alcohol and cannabis recreationally now, and it's been a couple of years, and does not show any signs of becoming addicted to them, like he was before.

Paul Austin: [01:00:13] Sure.

Luke Storey: [01:00:14] And this is like a sober guy that had a lot of problems and had to stop everything 100%, started microdosing, had a few macroexperiences and is basically like healed of addiction. Just fucking crazy.

Paul Austin: [01:00:28] That is crazy.

Luke Storey: [01:00:29] But his big, most meaningful first launch was just following a nice, safe microdosing schedule, and it had a huge impact. And I know that's true for so many people, I just feel like I kind of missed the contrast of that, because I just went for all of it at once. So, let's cover a few of the different types of substances that are common in microdosing and maybe even a couple obscure ones, and then get into like schedule, the amount, like the whole thing, if you could kind of tie a bow on that for someone, say, is hearing this and they have just heard the word, but have no idea what's happening here.

Paul Austin: [01:01:09] Can I do a little history?

Luke Storey: [01:01:10] Totally. Oh, yeah, that's great. I didn't even think of that, because I don't even know that there is a history.

Paul Austin: [01:01:15] I studied history in undergrad, so it comes back, I'm like, let's leave a little more context on this. So, Albert Hofmann, the inventor of LSD, he was interviewed by High Times in the mid-'70s. And so, there's like an article that was published in 1976. And in that article, he said that he thought that 20 to 25 micrograms of LSD would be useful as an antidepressant or a euphoriant. And so, Albert Hofmann went on, for the last 30 years of his life, microdosing LSD to help with energy and clarity. He lived until he was 102 years old.

Luke Storey: [01:01:46] Oh, shit, really?

Paul Austin: [01:01:47] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:01:48] Wow.

Paul Austin: [01:01:49] So, word of that got back to Jim Fadiman somehow. And so, Jim was like, "This is interesting, let's explore this with a small group of friends". So, Jim got some acid, and sent it out to a small group of friends in the Bay Area, and just ask them to write back about their experiences with microdosing and how it went. And then, he included a lot of those experiences in his book, The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide. He had a chapter, chapter 16, that was just about microdosing.

Luke Storey: [01:02:16] Is that the word he used for it?

Paul Austin: [01:02:17] Microdosing?

Luke Storey: [01:02:18] Mm-hmm.

Paul Austin: [01:02:19] Yeah. And he sort of invented that term, so to say. 

Luke Storey: [01:02:21] Oh, okay.

Paul Austin: [01:02:22] Because microdosing was not a thing in the '50s and '60s. They did some research on psychoanalytic-assisted psychotherapy, which is taking lower doses of psychedelics, like 40 times instead of just once, but microdosing was not really a thing. So, Jim invents the term, publishes the book in 2011, and 2015, he's on the Tim Ferriss podcast, and then it sort of blossoms and takes off from there. Rolling Stone publishes a piece on it, a number of other media publications publish a piece on it.

And it was at that time that I heard about it, that I heard about microdosing, because I listened to the Tim Ferriss podcast here and there, and I thought back to the early experiences that I had with psychedelics when I was 19 and 20, these higher dose LSD experiences, and I remembered from those experiences that I had this sort of afterglow effect, where for the week or two weeks after, I was more mindful, I was more disciplined about the food that I ate, I was more connected in my relationships, right? Kind of these typical afterglow effects we have, right?

Luke Storey: [01:03:24] For real, yeah.

Paul Austin: [01:03:25] I mean, like, "Oh, my gosh, I feel amazing".

Luke Storey: [01:03:27] Yeah, I have that after ayahuasca and 5-MeOs. Those two, mainly. Yeah, it's funny, because I never actually thought about that afterglow, but that is quite pronounced in some cases.

Paul Austin: [01:03:40] And it's because you were talking about rigidity, how, sometimes, we become too attached and rigid, and what happens when we do these higher doses of psychedelics is we become more malleable, we become more relaxed, we become more flowy with life, so that we were not resisting it so much, but we're simply going with it. And so, I thought back to those higher doses, and considered microdosing, and was like, okay, I bet if I might produce, let's say, two times a week, which is what Jim Fadiman had recommended as a protocol, that will elongate this afterglow effect, where instead of it just being for a week or two weeks, I can have this afterglow indefinitely.

So, I ended up microdosing twice a week for seven months with LSD. It was profoundly impactful. It was so interesting to me at that time that I started Third Wave just to educate more and more people around it. And essentially, what I learned, both through microdosing myself, but also doing all that research, is that microdosing is not so much, hey, just take a very low dose of a psychedelic and see what happens.

Instead, it's taking a subperceptible dose of a psychedelic, so about a 10th of a regular dose, and doing it two or three times per week for a minimum of at least a month. So, just like you wouldn't expect to experience all these benefits from meditation if you sat down on the cushion, sit down on the cushion, 15 minutes later, you were like, am I enlightened yet? No.

Like with meditation, you meditate every day for 4 to 6 weeks, and at the end of those six weeks, you're going to notice significant changes from when you started. Microdosing is very similar, where you're committing to doing it two or three times a week for, let's say, 4 to 6 weeks, combining it with some sort of mindfulness practice, meditation, yoga, breathwork, because that helps to ground the energy a little bit more, and then doing it, usually, most people do it with LSD or psilocybin, because those are the two most common ones.

So, with LSD, it would be somewhere between 10 and 15 micrograms. With psilocybin, anywhere from like 100 to 200 milligrams, usually, is what people will do. Some people will microdose ayahuasca as well. Some people will microdose iboga. I think microdosing San Pedro is actually the best substance that we currently have for microdosing. And the reason for that is because psychedelics are anti-inflammatory, right?

And the psychedelic that is the most potent as an anti-inflammatory is San Pedro. And so, microdosing, my sense of the benefits that people experienced from microdosing is the impact that it's having on inflammation, chronic inflammation, and that by microdosing, let's say, for a consistent period of time for 4 to 6 weeks, it's helping to lower chronic inflammation in the body, which is then leading to a relief of depression, alleviating anxiety.

Some people had like shingles, and they started microdosing, and their shingles went away. Some people, women, obviously, women, in particular, had really painful periods, and then they start microdosing, and their really painful periods goes away. So, there seems to be this harmonious impact that microdosing is having, where it's just allowing the body to better communicate with itself.

So, that way, it can show up in the world a little more balanced, a little more centered in everyday life. Other people will talk about how it helps with creativity, it helps with flow, it helps with social anxiety. For me, it was largely social anxiety that it helped with. When I started microdosing, I was 24 at the time, and just coming out of college, and I had been in a fraternity in college, and had used alcohol quite a bit to help with that, and I started microdosing to replace alcohol, and it helped quite a bit with that as well.

A lot of folks are also using it to get off pharmaceutical medications. So, they've been on Zoloft, they've been on Prozac, they've been on Wellbutrin. They've been on a number of other medications, and they're sick of feeling numb, they're sick of not feeling any emotions, whatsoever, they're sick of the addictive nature of these pharmaceutical medications. I mean, it's terrible. So many people get on it, they don't realize how addictive it is.

Luke Storey: [01:08:02] I forget, sometimes, because it was long ago, and it wasn't that long, but I was given antidepressants. I think it was called Effexor. It's a funny thing about it. So, I go to a shrink. I'm newly sober. I'm just a fucking trainwreck. It's like so damaged, man, poor little Lukey, man. I was hurting. So, I go in there, I'm like, yeah, I got these racing thoughts, angry at everyone, I mean, I didn't even know what anxiety or depression was, but basically walked in, and was like, I'm fucking crazy.

And so, they gave me this Effexor, and I started taking it, and I don't even remember if it helped those symptoms or not, I think I just really had like untreated alcoholism and I didn't have the kind of help that I later did within the 12 steps to just identify like the illness of the mind that is a sober alcoholic or addict that has not healed yet. But anyway, they gave me these pills, dude, and I will say they were great for sex, which, at the time, the doctor said, "I'm just going to warn you, you might become impotent". And I was like, "Anything's better than crazy like I am now". But yeah, it was awesome for sex for me, actually. That's the one thing I remember. Like prolonged sexual experiences that were awesome.

Paul Austin: [01:09:22] Wow.

Luke Storey: [01:09:22] Yeah, crazy.

Paul Austin: [01:09:23] Unexpected.

Luke Storey: [01:09:23] But the addictive piece, dude, I was addicted to heroin, right? I mean, in a lot of other things, but that was like acute physical addiction, you don't have it for so many hours, you start getting real sick, and really depressed, and stuff. It's like opiate withdrawal, people have asked me what it's like, it's like having a combination of suicidal depression and the worst flu you've ever had in your life at the same time, knowing that if you just had a little morsel of this one thing, that it would all go away and you would feel amazing, which makes it even more torturous. It's just the worst ever. I would highly advise people to not do-

Paul Austin: [01:10:03] Heroin?

Luke Storey: [01:10:03] Yeah, just bad idea. There's a sweet spot in the beginning, I'm not going to lie, people do it for a reason, but that sweet spot goes away quickly. Anyway, I run out of these Effexor pills and I'm freaking out, man. I was worse when I ran out of them when I was when I first started taking them, right? And so, I found myself like calling the office, and I couldn't get over there, and they would literally like, this is like a shrink in Century City, $400 an hour, this isn't like some shady doctor, this is a legit psychiatrist, and they would like leave them behind the mailbox in the front of the medical building, and I'd go over there in the middle of the night, and get them, like, oh, okay, like it was a whole thing, and I remember thinking, I didn't get sober to live like this, man. Like this is what I was doing before, only I don't even get the feel good part of it, albeit how fleeting that was most of the time. So, yeah, not to tell anyone like quit your meds, but I had to wean off and it was a whole thing. It was horrible. It was a horrible experience.

Paul Austin: [01:11:05] Oh, it's terrible. Some people have been on it for 20 years, for 30 years, and they haven't gotten better, or maybe they get better for a little bit, and then they go back. And so, what we've—I mean, having built the course that I did four years ago, we've probably had 3,000 to 4,000 students who have gone through it, and I would say, probably 30% to 40% of folks who go through it is specifically for this reason, because nothing else has been working, they really want to get off their meds. And again, like you said, this isn't recommending or advising that you get off your meds.

In fact, I would say if this is something that someone is listening to and they're really interested in microdosing, we have a directory of therapists and clinicians at Third Wave where you can get connected to a psychiatrist or something like that, who can actually help you get off your meds, because the other thing is most psychiatrists don't know shit about psychedelics and microdosing, right? So, they are just still within that medical pharmaceutical paradigm. And so, they're just prescribing what they know to prescribe. So, you also have to find a clinician who knows about microdosing and psychedelics to help you with that.

Luke Storey: [01:12:11] Well said. And also, in the Western medicine paradigm, it's all about symptomatic relief. I mean, generally speaking, I'm sure there are exceptions, rather than like root cause, right? So, if the root cause of my anxiety or depression is damage done to my brain by past traumatic experiences, and years and years of negative thought patterns, and my brain's been wired into this negativity bias, it's kind of how I look at the way I used to think. I would walk in a room, I'm just using like a trite example, but I would walk in a room, and immediately, just find everything wrong, you know what I mean? But that's how I viewed everything, right? Walk in, and there's a little chip in the paint on the wall, and I'm like, who painted this place? Meanwhile, I'm in a palace or something, right?

Paul Austin: [01:12:56] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:12:56] I mean, just metaphorically speaking. But to take the antidepressants like I did, I mean, I guess I got some relief of symptoms, but certainly didn't heal any of the underlying causes that were manifesting as suicidal ideas, and depression, and just gnarly, gnarly panic attacks and anxiety. I mean, that didn't stop that, but it sounds like if microdosing is done in a supervised kind of legitimate way, that you're going after the root cause. I always think of it as kind of, even in microdosing, it's sort of like the medicines are going in and it's like they're healing my brain. I mean, there's not-

Paul Austin: [01:13:36] Well, they have an intuitive intelligence themselves-

Luke Storey: [01:13:38] Is that what it is?

Paul Austin: [01:13:38] ... where it's like you have to trust that process, which is why we often say like, don't just take a single microdose and expect miracles to happen. This is going to be something that you have to commit to for at least a month, two or three times a week, and it is medicine. So, what it's doing, we haven't fully been able to clinch onto it. Like I said, it's anti-inflammatory. It helps with neurogenesis.

And the other thing that we teach is like microdosing is not a magic pill, just like psychedelics are not a panacea, right? They require an ability to be proactive in what it is that you want in life, and that means that as you're microdosing, it's also worth journaling, meditating. A lot of people start microdosing, and they start changing their diet, they start exercising more, their sleep improves, right? So, there seems to be this holistic effect, but it can't just be a reliance on, this thing is going to fix me, what this thing is going to do is it's going to open up a capacity for you to have more energy.

It's going to open up a capacity for you to be more creative, it's going to open up a capacity for you to be more proactive, but you still have to do it, right? And it's also true of high doses for psychedelics, right? There will be a lot of people, I'm sure you've been privy to this, just like I have, there are a lot of people who have been doing ayahuasca for 22 years, they've been in hundreds of ceremonies, and not much has tangibly changed in their lives over the last 10 to 15 years.

Luke Storey: [01:15:06] I'm so glad you mentioned that, and this is the naivete that I've had to kind of process, is not to toot my own horn at all, but prior to intentionally using psychedelics, I did nothing but work on myself for 22 years. I mean, I was obsessed with getting better, going to India, learning to meditate, every self-help book. I mean, I used to listen to, I mean, it was cassettes in the beginning, then it was CDs, then it was mp3s, like Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra-

Paul Austin: [01:15:39] Tony Robbins?

Luke Storey: [01:15:39] Yeah. I got into him later. But just like spiritual books and audio books. And then, later on, my favorite teacher, David Hawkins.

Paul Austin: [01:15:47] I love David Hawkins. Letting Go?

Luke Storey: [01:15:51] All of them, dude. All of them. Incredible. Yeah. I'm going to digress, totally go off the rails, because I feel like it.

Paul Austin: [01:15:59] Why not? We're on a podcast.

Luke Storey: [01:16:00] So, a couple of years ago, a doctor gave me some ketamine lozenges, and they're like 300 milligrams, they're strong. And I've never taken a whole one, thankfully. Actually, no, I did one time. That's a whole other story. But I was alluding to this earlier, my favorite kind of verbal meme now is like these edibles ain't shit, when you kind of like macroed by accident. Anyway, last night, I was too energized and I went to bed like at 11:00, I thought, oh, I had this idea, I'll just take like a tiny little piece of ketamine and melt it under my tongue.

And I did that, I did a couple of BrainTap like manifestation sessions that are 20 minutes each, and I'm like, these edibles ain't shit. So, I took an equal little piece, so by now, I've probably taken half the thing, which cumulatively would be around 150 milligrams, and then just went into a really deep and beautiful solo little ketamine journey, listening to David Hawkins, and specifically listen—and I was guided to listen to one of his, it's like an audio program called Love, and it was the last talk he gave in 2011 at which I was present.

Paul Austin: [01:17:04] Oh, wow.

Luke Storey: [01:17:04] Yeah. So, I was there in the room, and I had this whole totally unexpected, just beautiful transformative journey last night, where I, oh, man, just went into just the depth of love, and it was profound. I mean, even today, I got up and integrated with Alyson, who I think you've met, actually. She said she'd met you. 

Paul Austin: [01:17:27] At an apple orchard.

Luke Storey: [01:17:28] Yeah, that's what she said.

Paul Austin: [01:17:30] In New York City.

Luke Storey: [01:17:30] You remember. She said, "He probably won't remember".

Paul Austin: [01:17:31] Oh, I remember Alyson.

Luke Storey: [01:17:32] She's hard to forget.

Paul Austin: [01:17:32] She's hard to forget. 

Luke Storey: [01:17:36] But yeah. So, I got up, and I was like, I think I kind of need to integrate, and we went through a really beautiful process. But that was one of those times, where it's like it wasn't really intentional, actually. I didn't like have set and setting. I mean, my house is set and setting, but it wasn't like a ceremony, per se, but it ended up being just incredible, just a really, really unexpected launchpad into a great day today. But I totally forgot what I was talking about before that.

Paul Austin: [01:18:07] Well, we were talking-

Luke Storey: [01:18:08] I digressed myself out of what I felt like was an important point.

Paul Austin: [01:18:11] Well, I want to make one point, and then I'll get back into the point that we were going to make. So, I think part of the reason that's the case for you is because-

Luke Storey: [01:18:19] Oh, I know what I was talking about, but go ahead. Go ahead.

Paul Austin: [01:18:21] Part of the reason that's the case for you, you can take a little bit of ketamine, and then have this beautiful journey, is because you're very skilled now at working with these medicines, right? You've done ayahuasca, you've done 5-MeO, you've microdosed, you've done higher doses of psilocybin, and MDA, so you have a really sort of rich context about, even if it's a random Wednesday night with a ketamine lozenge, there's still sort of this intuitive ability for you to have that be productive and tangible, and then integrate the next day.

And I think what's often the case with a lot of people is they might do a lot of psychedelics, because this is what we were given, too, they might drink a lot of ayahuasca, but it's actually more of an escape or disassociation, some people would call it spiritual bypassing, rather than actually going into these shadow elements of who they are, and facing them, and actually healing them, so to say.

Luke Storey: [01:19:13] Thank you for having the wherewithal to bring us back there. What I was wanting to say was there are 22 years of really deep work. And I'm not saying like, oh, I do medicine better than other people, I don't want anyone to misconstrue what I'm about to say as that, but I feel as though I had a really solid kind of spiritual practice. I've been meditating for 22 years pretty much every day, and especially the 10 years prior to that, doing all the things.

And so, when I started experimenting in the medicine space, it's like the journeys aren't random. It's like I get in there, and I know what's happening, A and B, I think because of some of the experiences I have in my past of using drugs very unconsciously as a means to just numb the pain of being me, I'm able to handle pretty deep experiences and not freak out, like last night, for example. I mean, it was pretty deep and unexpected, and there were moments where I was like, oh, am I alright here?

Paul Austin: [01:20:18] And you breathe through it, because you've trained yourself.

Luke Storey: [01:20:19] Yeah. And I breathed through it, but I also knew like I'm not just going to lay there and listen to Pink Floyd or something, I mean, not that that would be a wrong way to do it, but as I started to feel that the medicine was stronger, I was like, oh, what can I imprint right now? Like what can I integrate? It was like, who's my favorite teacher? David Hawkins. What's one of my favorite talks?

The one at which I was present. And then, it's like the whole thing was guided by the unseen hand. That was exactly the recording I needed to listen to, and I heard it in a completely different way. And it was so beautiful, in that even in the experience, and also, today, in integrating, I was like, oh, my God, that was 10 years ago, and how much progress I've made in my spiritual evolution, and how much grace I've had, and how much help I've had to transform so dramatically from the man I—really, the boy I was even 10 years ago in so many ways. And to your point of meeting people that work with medicine a lot, I was very naive to this, because when I went into this game, I was like boots on the ground, doing the shadow work, doing the real shit.

Like I'm not a spiritual bypasser, I want to get to the core wound, like take me there, let's do this shit, because I want to move on, right? And I've had to learn, and especially this has been part of my discernment in the process of choosing with whom I'm going to participate in ceremony, who's leading it? What's the deal? Alyson's got a lot more built in discernment, I think, in that realm, being a shaman herself and whatnot, but I was shocked when I started to meet people that even serve medicine, and this is not a judgment, it's an observation of a seeming reality, that their moral character is very faulty.

Paul Austin: [01:22:03] Right.

Luke Storey: [01:22:03] Right? I mean, just out of integrity, and people that are super shadowy and shady, but have done a lot of medicine, and I'm over here scratching my head like, I don't know, how could you do ayahuasca 20 times and still be like a manipulative, or dishonest, or coercive, creepy person?

Luke Storey: [01:22:23] It's like, how could that not elevate your consciousness? But to your point, this is, I think, really the where the rubber meets the road is having a framework and spiritual truths or principles that one lives by, like having some code of ethics, and moral character, and moral fortitude that you've had to actually spend the time working, and then ride the wave of these peak experiences on top of that seems like a much more productive and safe way to explore these realms.

And not just because that's the way I've done it, it's just I'm seeing the results, and I see other people that have done more medicine than me, and they don't seem to have the same results. And again, it's not a judgment, it's not like a higher level of consciousness is better than a lower one. It's just contrast. It's just different, right? It's like I like chocolate and vanilla, right? But yeah, anyway, so to those listening, like be careful who you go sit with, because I've heard some really secondhand stories of like weird shit happening with people who are like medicine people.

Paul Austin: [01:23:27] And I've heard firsthand stories, many firsthand stories, and I think this speaks to one of the biggest concerns of even the growth of interest in psychedelics, is who do I go sit with? How do I know that I can trust that person? What medicines might I do with that person? Right? Because it's still a little bit of the Wild, Wild West until this becomes fully legal. There are so many underground practitioners who will refer to themselves as psychedelic coaches, or psychedelic guides, or psychedelic therapists, or shamans, or whatever it is, but there's no real clear way to verify that in some ways, right?

Luke Storey: [01:24:05] I think the only way is to like talk to someone-

Paul Austin: [01:24:08] Who has actually gone and sat with it.

Luke Storey: [01:24:08] that you trust, right? Yeah. Like I don't recommend anyone I've sat with, unless I've been there, then I'll vouch for them.

Paul Austin: [01:24:16] Precisely.

Luke Storey: [01:24:16] Having had the direct experience myself, but anyone else, I'm like, I don't know.

Paul Austin: [01:24:20] And so, you have some organizations in the space, again, who are in the clinical medical model, who are giving certifications or who are doing trainings, because they want to make sure they have folks who are ready for it. And that doesn't necessarily mean that individual is going to be able to be a great therapist or guide just because they've completed the MAPS training or completed a training at CIS. I've met plenty of people who have the professional credentials, but who I would never sit in ceremony with, right?

So, this is a tricky grey area as the psychedelic space grows, because the biggest tail risk, so to say, of the growth of interest in psychedelics is when you only have, let's say, 10,000 people who are actively doing psychedelics and you have maybe 10 experiences that don't go so well, that's not as big of a deal, but when you have 10 million people who are starting to work with psychedelics, and you have 10,000 people who now have had difficult experiences, or bad facilitators, or weird sexual stuff that happens, because that is often one of the most common things, particularly with women, is they'll go into a space and it'll be with like a creepy-

Luke Storey: [01:25:31] That's so brutal, dude.

Paul Austin: [01:25:32] It is, right? And that's what I've continued to think about. It's like, so how do we create technology, how do we create education, so that way, people know how to be discerning.

Luke Storey: [01:25:45] I got it. We need a Yelp for facilitators, but then you have to have legality. Yeah, this is really, really good stuff to cover, because I mean, I'm just thinking about the potential for, say, a woman to be taken advantage of or something under medicine.

Paul Austin: [01:26:05] Exactly.

Luke Storey: [01:26:06] Like it's horrific anyway, but like when you're under the influence of powerful psychedelics, man, it's like you are wide open, right?

Paul Austin: [01:26:15] Very suggestible.

Luke Storey: [01:26:16] Yeah. And very vulnerable, right? When you're in that space, I mean, like, oh, the quantum, it's so mystical. Yeah, but also, it's like your guard is down in the most profound way, right? And so, I mean, I'm very—I don't want to say paranoid, I'd be overstating it, but I'm extremely cautious about anyone I'm around, not just who's serving the medicine, but I don't want to be in a room with anyone that has any potential negativity or too much shadow for me to deal with, you know what I mean? Because I'm already very sensitive person, I pick up on-

Paul Austin: [01:26:54] And you pick up on it.

Luke Storey: [01:26:54] Yeah, I pick up on a lot, but man, add like a deep medicine experience to that, and it's like I'm just a sponge and it's just too scary to have the potential of any darkness or negative energy present at all.

Paul Austin: [01:27:06] Because you'll take that on, potentially. It will sip in you.

Luke Storey: [01:27:09] Not to mention even the more supernatural realms of like, probably get to—I do want to reel this back in, because there are some things I want to cover with you, and we've been going a while. But when you remove the veil between this world and the infinite other dimensions of reality, just like on this Earth plane, there are entities that are malevolent, while there are also entities that are malevolent, I would presume, in all of these other dimensions.

And when we're traveling interdimensionally under the influence of these substances, I don't want to have anything to do with any darkness out there, and that's obviously in shamanic ceremonies, and throughout history, these traditions have been imbued with protecting the entire energetic field of the space, and the music, and the people there. It's a whole thing. It could get real gnarly if it's not done mindfully.

Paul Austin: [01:28:04] And that doesn't mean that it can't be difficult or that doesn't mean that, I've sat in ayahuasca ceremonies that are Shipibo, and so like the way the curandero will sing the ikaros, it can put you into the shadow material, but that's your shadow material that you are facing. It's different to have other dark, like you're saying, malevolent forces that you're open to. And so, anyway, gets to the point of the circle, the ceremony has to be tightly held, and the facilitators, the guides, the shamans, the healers who are great at what they do know precisely how to do that.

Luke Storey: [01:28:42] Yeah, exactly. I remember the first time I sat with ayahuasca, afterward, I was chatting with—I mean, I was still kind of in it, but after the depth of the experience had subsided, I went up and started chatting with her, and I was just so fascinated with her. I was like, "You do this all the time?" She's like, "Yeah, this is my life". I'm like, "How do you guys like manage the energetics of it?"

And she's like, "Well, I've been drinking ayahuasca all day before you guys came in". And I was like, "Wait, hold up". I was like, "You're on it, too?" Because, dude, they're like helping people out, and they're very cognizant and capable, and I'm like on the mat, just like, ah. And she's like, "What do you think, dude?" Like she goes, "How do you think we create the grid?" I was like, "Oh, you're the architect-"

Paul Austin: [01:29:28] You're weaving all that together.

Luke Storey: [01:29:28] Yeah, the architect of the grid, right? And I was like, "Oh", then I almost thought, how could you not be? Right? But of course, many facilitators don't use medicine while the others are. But anyway, I do want to jump back here a little bit to the microdosing. And also, I want to let everyone know, it's probably like 10:00, I knew this was going to be-. 

Paul Austin: [01:29:50] We could go until 10:00.

Luke Storey: [01:29:51] I knew this is going to be a good conversation, because you know so much, and I just love what you're doing, you're such a fun dude. And also, people can find the show notes for this at lukestorey.com/thirdwave, because we're probably going to talk about some practical things right here that you want to look up, and go to your site, and we might reference other people. So, all the show notes, lukestorey.com/thirdwave, click on them on your podcast app if you can't remember that. 

Paul Austin: [01:30:18] Is that a thing now, you can click it?

Luke Storey: [01:30:20] Yeah.

Paul Austin: [01:30:21] On the podcast app?

Luke Storey: [01:30:21] Yeah, all the links are in the—most like on Overcast and the Apple Podcast app, yeah, you can click on the links.

Paul Austin: [01:30:27] Oh, I'm behind. Okay.

Luke Storey: [01:30:29] Yeah. So, I just put everything behind one hyperlink, lukestorey.com/thirdwave, so that they can just get access to them all, because people ask, what was that thing you said, but, ah—and I'm that way when I listen to the podcast, I'm like, rewind, rewind, wait, what? And I'd write it down, it's like it's annoying. So, I just like everything to be clickable. But I do want to just kind of sum up the microdosing thing.

So, you mentioned kind of the frequency with psilocybin with LSD. For people to be able to contextualize it, when it comes to psilocybin for like a kind of hero's journey dose or a macrodose, we're looking at like three-and-a-half grams to maybe five grams or something like that, right? So, to give people an understanding when you're talking about 100 to 200 milligrams, that's like 1 or 2/10 of a gram, which is minuscule compared to the psychoactive.

Paul Austin: [01:31:24] Correct.

Luke Storey: [01:31:24] And then, with LSD, you mentioned 10 micrograms to 15 micrograms, a whole hit of acid being 100, right? So, if you take a true microdose unperceivable dose of LSD, you're taking 1/10. Would that be 1/10?

Paul Austin: [01:31:41] About 1/10.

Luke Storey: [01:31:41] Okay. 1/10 of a hit of acid. What about San Pedro? Because when I took San Pedro, which has only been once, and it was phenomenal. I mean, I don't know, it was like two massive tablespoons, and then a couple of hours later, I mean, I don't know what I felt, like it was a lot of material. If one is using that in a subperceptual dose, what does a San Pedro microdose look like?

Paul Austin: [01:32:11] That's a great question that I don't know the answer of.

Luke Storey: [01:32:13] Let's find out.

Paul Austin: [01:32:14] Off the top of my head.

Luke Storey: [01:32:14] And I want to get some.

Paul Austin: [01:32:15] We do have—you can go to your local Home Depot and get San Pedro that way, if you want.

Luke Storey: [01:32:19] Oh, that's right.

Paul Austin: [01:32:20] Right? Because they sell San Pedro.

Luke Storey: [01:32:21] You can grow it, but you just can't eat it legally, right?

Paul Austin: [01:32:23] But we have a guide to microdosing San Pedro on Third Wave, so we can link to that in the show notes, and that'll have all the—

Luke Storey: [01:32:29] I think like, yeah, I'm going to just tell people, just go to—I mean, your site has everything. I was on there today, and I'm like, damn, bro, the content on there is super solid, kudos to that. I wanted to ask you about something with Microdosing. Have you microdosed Kanna?

Luke Storey: [01:32:42] I have not. 

Luke Storey: [01:32:45] K-A-N-N-A.

Paul Austin: [01:32:45] I know of Kanna, but I have not microdosed it.

Luke Storey: [01:32:46] Bro, I'm going to give my friends, now, the partners, Ryan and Phoebe, a plug. They have a company called-

Paul Austin: [01:32:52] Oh, I love Ryan and Phoebe.

Luke Storey: [01:32:53] You know them?

Paul Austin: [01:32:53] Oh, yeah. Hearthstone Collective.

Luke Storey: [01:32:54] Hearthstone Collective, yeah, and they just put out a product, which, it's like some other adaptogenic herbs in a capsule with kanna, dude, incredible. Like mood booster nootropic, completely rad, awesome.

Paul Austin: [01:33:10] I've had it with psilocybin before and it's a real hard opener. I think kanna is from South Africa.

Luke Storey: [01:33:17] It is.

Paul Austin: [01:33:18] And it's legal here in the States.

Luke Storey: [01:33:20] Yeah, it's super cool.

Paul Austin: [01:33:21] So, a really great heart opener for you.

Luke Storey: [01:33:23] Super cool. I know. And a couple of times I've done a full journey dose of it, and I mean, it can be strong, son. Yeah. I liken it to, I don't enjoy MDMA, I don't know why they call it ecstasy, I think that makes me feel like shit, I'm not into it. I don't know. Call me crazy. I've been to like small gathering, and they're doing like MAPS, like legit pharmaceutical, pure MDMA, and I'm like, oh, maybe it'll be different this time, I'm like, no, I hate this stuff.

But there are like slivers of like moments, where I'm like, oh, this feels nice, but then it goes away, and I get all moody and weird. Kanna is like really strong MDMA without any like destabilizing mood. It's like a very solid heart-opening without a lot of fluctuation. It's just full on until it's not. I think that's the thing with MDMA. It's just like, oh, my God, really? Like how many hours am I going to lay here trying to sleep?

Paul Austin: [01:34:20] You're trying to go to bed, and you're like grinding your jaw.

Luke Storey: [01:34:24] Yeah, I think it reminds me of crystal meth in that way, and I guess for those, some of those molecules need a bit of amphetamine to kind of activate it and make it work, as I understand it. And so, maybe that's what it is. But I always hated crystal meth. I still did it, but I didn't like it. I just did it, because I had to do something. So, the kanna, Hearthstone Collective, highly recommended, we'll link to that in the show notes. And then, have you ever heard of anyone like microdosing MDMA or 2C-B, or any of these other more novel substances?

Paul Austin: [01:34:57] So, what we usually say is do not microdose MDMA, because MDMA, if done often, can create neurotoxicity and it also can create issues with your heart valve, the 2B or something, H2B heart valve. And so, we say, if you're looking to work with MDMA, keep it limited to these higher dose sessions, 100 to 120 milligrams. Within a container, that's intentional, but do not microdose with it, because it's also slightly addictive. It's the same with ketamine.

There are a lot more people now microdosing ketamine and I would hesitate to support that in any way, because ketamine can also be addictive. And so, if you start taking these low doses of ketamine consistently, you might become somewhat reliant on it. The classic psychedelics, LSD, psilocybin, San Pedro, iboga, ayahuasca, DMT, even I've microdosing DMT before, N,N-DMT, not 5-MeO, but N,N, all of them are anti-addictive, so you can't become physically dependent. That's not the case with ketamine and MDMA.

Luke Storey: [01:35:59] Thank you for issuing that warning, because someone was telling me the other day, I was like, yeah, I've had some ketamine in my drawer, I just forget about it, it's not really a thing, you know. And I've also had the nasal sprays, and they were like, "Oh, man, so many people in Austin are like addicted to ketamine. They have the nasal spray in their pocket and they're at a party." I'm like, "Ew". No offense, but I can't imagine trying to recreationally or socially use ketamine. That is the weirdest thing to me.

Paul Austin: [01:36:26] It's like a late night 2:00 AM thing if you're out, but definitely don't be drinking alcohol if you're also doing ketamine.

Luke Storey: [01:36:34] I don't get it. So, I didn't know that, but I've talked about it favorably before on the show.

Paul Austin: [01:36:40] And in higher doses, it's great. Like I've done ketamine lozenges, I've done ketamine rectally for body work, phenomenal.

Luke Storey: [01:36:49] Suppositories?

Paul Austin: [01:36:50] Yeah, suppositories. Well, it's kind of like a goop in a syringe that you-

Luke Storey: [01:36:54] Oh, okay, got it.

Paul Austin: [01:36:55] But all the same, like ketamine can be really great. But again, it's like one or two times a month, microdosing ketamine. I can't support anyone-

Luke Storey: [01:37:03] Yeah, I think that would be a bad idea. Okay. Well, I think that covers that, except the elephant in the room of all questions, and this is the number one question I get from people about this, is like, "Where can I get this stuff?" The legality is so tricky, and some people like you and I have some ideas on how that could be facilitated, but I'm not going to answer someone's Instagram DM, and be like, "Here's my guy's number to get some microdose mushrooms", you know what I mean?

Paul Austin: [01:37:28] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:37:29] It's just weird. And I'm like, I don't want to give people my personal number, per se, either, if I look at their profile, and I'm like, they're not a narc, but still, like I don't necessarily want to open up a communication line with someone that I don't know, especially around that. So, I mean, what's the deal with, like how do people get access when they want to intentionally play around with microdosing?

Paul Austin: [01:37:52] So, this is the biggest problem that we have at Third Wave as well in terms of like people reaching out, and being like, "Hey, I really want to start microdosing or I want to work with these compounds, but like I can't source them, I can't get them". It's obviously different for you and I, because our circles and the people that we run with-

Luke Storey: [01:38:07] Yeah, we hang around a bunch of hippies.

Paul Austin: [01:38:08] Yeah, it's pretty easy to get, but for the average everyday person who's new to this space, it's tricky. So, what we've done at Third Wave is we were, probably by time this podcast is live, we will have a sourcing guide that is available on our website. So, we have a free one right now. We'll roll out a much more comprehensive one that helps people then navigate if they want a source, or if they're going to source, how to do so safely and how to make sure that they're getting the right compounds or the right substances to microdose with. So, just briefly off the top of my head, LSD, regular LSD is very difficult to come by, but there's a compound called 1P-LSD that is a precursor to LSD. So, if you take 1P-LSD, your body turns it into LSD. Because it's a new compound, you can buy it with cryptocurrency in Canada.

Luke Storey: [01:39:00] Oh, wow.

Paul Austin: [01:39:01] So, you can actually put in an order, it's for research purposes only, but they will ship it to your home. So, for LSD, that's typically the direction that we will appoint. For psilocybin, what we have coming out at Third Wave is we're selling now a grow kit and a grow course. So, to make it much more easy and accessible for people to grow their own mushrooms. So, we have this little grow kit, it comes in, you spray some water on it, put in the spores, put it in a closet, check it, make sure no mold gets in, and within six weeks, you'll have a mushroom flush and you can microdose with those mushrooms. It comes with a course to teach you actually how to use the grow kit to how to do it. So, that makes it more accessible.

If any listeners are in Canada, it's really easy, nowadays, to find suppliers in Canada. So, there's probably like 20 different microdosing suppliers that are out of Vancouver. So, you can actually just purchase it online and they'll ship it to your home. Also, in the States, that's starting to happen, but it's not quite there yet, but there are a lot of companies in Venice or companies in Austin that are starting to be more public about it.

And again, we outline a lot of this context and details in that sourcing guide we put together. I think those are the best places to start with LSD and psilocybin. MDMA, I'm not going to get too much into, just because it's MDMA. But with ketamine, ketamine is legal, right? It's medically available. And so, if people are listening to this podcast, and they're struggling with depression, or they're struggling with anxiety, or maybe they have PTSD, or just things aren't going so well for them now, it's pretty easy to find a practitioner, like a nurse practitioner who will prescribe you ketamine, either within a clinical format or as a nasal spray.

And my suggestion to anyone who's interested in ketamine would be to make sure that you're not the guy at the party who's just squirting ketamine up your nose at 1:00 AM, but instead approach ketamine like you would any other psychedelic medicine. Do it intentionally. Do it with a playlist. Do it with a coach or a guide, someone who can help you navigate that landscape.

Luke Storey: [01:41:05] Yeah. I'm going to interject. The playlist with ketamine is really important.

Paul Austin: [01:41:09] Oh, my gosh. Nils Frahm is my favorite.

Luke Storey: [01:41:10] I had one time, that time that I kind of accidentally took 300 milligrams, which is not, I mean, unheard of, but I didn't know. It was in the lozenge. It dissolved quickly, et cetera. But I went on Spotify and just picked, it's like a ketamine playlist, and I was like, this will be good [making sounds] went into the k-hole, and then it was all like electronic music, which is not my vibe. I like listening to like shamanic music and just very heart-centered, that type of thing.

Paul Austin: [01:41:40] Porangui? Is Porangui your vibe or? 

Luke Storey: [01:41:42] I've not listened to that much Porangui. I listen to like Native American peyote chants, and ikaros, and this kind of stuff. Like the Devi Prayer, that would be like the quintessential journey music for me. Anyway, I put on this ketamine. It's like [making sounds], just not even club music, just the weirdest music, and that actually kind of made it—it colored the experience a bit darkly, because it was just so inorganic, and mechanical, and weird, and, oh, God. So, playlist, crucial.

Paul Austin: [01:42:17] My recommendation is Nils Frahm.

Luke Storey: [01:42:19] Nils Frahm. Okay.

Paul Austin: [01:42:20] Nils Frahm is phenomenal. He's a, I think, Danish musician.

Luke Storey: [01:42:25] I've heard of this.

Paul Austin: [01:42:25] Composition. Dude, listen to all melody with ketamine next time on a lozenge, you will be blown away. It's phenomenal.

Luke Storey: [01:42:32] Done deal. Okay. That's really great information. I think that's a very sane approach and very resourceful, the stuff that you just recommended. Now, for macrojourneys, and then we'll wrap it up, I know we still have another podcast to do, but I'm just having so much fun, for macro journeys, obviously, the legality is an issue, and also finding qualified, safe facilitators, shaman, et cetera. So, psychedelic tourism is now huge. You mentioned that you have something like this going in the Netherlands.

Paul Austin: [01:43:07] I co-founded something like this.

Luke Storey: [01:43:09] Yeah. And I know you have a directory on your site, so you don't need a list like the 30 spots, but what's kind of happening in the psychedelic tourism space, and retreats, and also, where do you see that going? What might someone want to look for or look to avoid if they're seeking to leave the country they're in, in order to find something like this?

Paul Austin: [01:43:30] So, there are a number of places, jurisdictions, where this is legal. So, psilocybin is legal in the Netherlands, it's legal in Jamaica. Those are the two major ones. So, we started synthesis in the Netherlands. Retreats are on and off just because of the COVID situation over there. Europe is a clusterfuck, so it's a little tricky to navigate that, but there are many other retreat centers in Jamaica. And again, we have a list of those in the directory. There's probably three to five that are good. There's also a few in Mexico as well. There's a lot of ayahuasca retreats in Costa Rica, and Peru, and Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, right? I think the one that I would highly recommend is Soltara in Costa Rica.

Luke Storey: [01:44:14] Yeah, same.

Paul Austin: [01:44:15] I love Satara, as well as the Temple of the Way of Light in Peru. That's another really good one that uses the Shipibo tradition. And I would say the thing to look for or some of the things to look for if exploring potentially going to a retreat center is, first of all, asking, what's your intention in going to the retreat center? If you're someone who has PTSD, clinical depression, if you're struggling with addiction, alcoholism, any of that, you want to make sure that you pick a retreat center that is able to handle that.

There are some retreat centers that are just coaches and facilitators, but they don't have clinical support. And if you need clinical support, you want to go to a retreat center that offers that, that has a nurse, or a physician, or some other medical person on staff just to ensure that you are fully supported. Because again, with deep trauma and ayahuasca, it can get messy. There's some real shit that can come up and you want to make sure that you're being held and supported by a team and a group of people who have done this for a long time.

And I would say that's the second thing to look for, is longevity. Who has been doing this for a considerable period of time, who really knows what they're doing? It's interesting because in the scope of things, a lot of these retreat centers have not been open that long, because this is still fairly new. Like we started synthesis in 2018, so just over three-and-a-half years ago. Soltara's only been going for maybe 2 to 3 years.

Temple of the Way of Light, a little longer, maybe 10 years or so. So, I think look at longevity, how long has this been around? Is this just a new retreat that came on the scene or have they been doing this for at least 3 to 4 years? The retreat center that you attend, you don't necessarily want it to be their first go around, you want them to have some experience before you go there.

Luke Storey: [01:46:09] I think also with even outside of retreat centers, something that's been meaningful to me, like with a Bufo, for example, is asking the facilitators like, how many times have you done this? Right? Because maybe something hasn't been around for that many years or someone hasn't been practicing for that many years, they discovered it three years ago, but they might have served 4,000 people by now, especially with Bufo, because it's so short-acting, right?

Paul Austin: [01:46:35] Right.

Luke Storey: [01:46:36] So, that's always a good indicator to me. When someone's like, oh, about 600 times, I'm like, okay, cool. Chances are if shit goes sideways, you're going to understand how to handle it, and I'm going to be safe, and the energy grid is going to be clean and stuff like that.

Paul Austin: [01:46:52] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:46:52] Yeah.

Paul Austin: [01:46:53] And then, the last thing would be group size and sort of group type, who is attracted to these retreat centers? If you're someone who, you don't want to deal with deep clinical trauma, but you're interested in going to a retreat for spiritual exploration, to connect with other people, for awareness, evolution, you don't want to go to a retreat where most of the people are dealing with deep clinical issues. You're going to have a really hard time.

Luke Storey: [01:47:15] That's a good point.

Paul Austin: [01:47:16] Right? So, you want to make sure that you're going to an experience where you connect with the sort of vibe that's happening and that that experience isn't done with like 100 other people. There are a couple of retreat centers, one of which you mentioned before, that's doing ayahuasca with like 80 to 100 people at once, and that can get very messy, very quick. And so, my recommendation for folks is if you're looking to attend a retreat, find a retreat center that's doing experiences for people, where it's like 15 to maybe, at the most, 25 to 30 people. Anything above that and it's hard to hold a really tight container for that experience.

Luke Storey: [01:47:57] Yeah, I agree. I think, yeah, the first four ayahuasca ceremonies I was in, there were tons of people, and people have asked me about that, too, like, oh, didn't that suck? Especially like really experienced folks that don't prefer it that way, and honestly, I'm like, I didn't even know there was anyone else there, you know what I mean? Like I was in process, man. Like there could have been 2,000 people and that didn't matter.

But to some people, I'm sure it does. But I think that's really good, too, as kind of like developing your peer group, too, in terms of like, as you have these experiences, sometimes, the bonds that are created are immediate, and they're deep, and they're valid and beautiful. I remember sitting in peyote the first couple of times, and we're in a tepee on the desert, and I only knew one or two people, but I was with Alyson, and she had sat with the facilitators many times, and it was a big group, it's probably like 50 people, and I was kind of like, oh, I don't know, like I don't know these people.

By the end of the first 24-hour period in the sharing circle, I'm like, I mean, there were no newbies in the room, you know what I mean? I mean, everyone's integration share was just so mind-blowing and profound, I'm like, where the fuck have you people been my whole life? I mean, they were very experienced, generally speaking. And that was in contrast to the first time in Costa Rica. I mean, there are little old ladies there.

There were so many people that had never—I'm going to talk to this one person, they're like, "I've never even drank a beer or smoked weed". And I'm like, "and you're about to do ayahuasca?" But they had an incredible experience. But I think for me, like being in the field of people that are a bit more evolved with the process has been helpful, and just, I don't know, the collective consciousness of the group also kind of serves my needs and wants, too, like we're really going somewhere here. People aren't just kind of wanting to see some visuals and escape,. Like they're there to do work and to really go deep. So, that's a really good point.

Paul Austin: [01:49:51] Because that's a huge appeal of going to a retreat, is the community and the connections that you make. I mean, a lot of folks can just, especially now, do this alone at home with an eye mask and a playlist, but I think a huge appeal of going abroad and doing a retreat is the people that you meet, and the stories that you come away with. Yeah, especially for people that don't have the luxury of having a social circle, where they live of like-minded people, right? Kind of like I posted some a couple of days ago about like finding your soul tribe or something, and I got DMs, they were like, "God, I wish I could find these people where I live, because I'm in Des Moines", or wherever. And I'm like, "They're there". I've never been to Des Moines, but I'm just picturing a city-

Paul Austin: [01:50:28] Cornfields.

Luke Storey: [01:50:28] Yeah, something like that. And so, yeah. So, that's a really good point, is finding your tribe. And on the microdosing source-locating, that's typically what I tell people, is like start going to breathwork classes.

Paul Austin: [01:50:40] That's what we say as well, yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:50:41] Find the local like ice baths and sauna or red light biohacking center, you're going to find people that are kind of into the same stuff. 

Paul Austin: [01:50:49] And there's a lot of just local psychedelic societies as well now in LA, or in New York, or wherever, groups who are doing weekly, or monthly talks, or meetups, or events around psychedelics as well. So, that's also like your biggest urban city, just type in X psychedelic society, and there's very likely that.

Luke Storey: [01:51:07] That reminds me, I went to see the, I think it's called Fantastic Fungi movie, which is phenomenal. I went to see it in the theater in Pasadena, and on the way out, some guy's like [making sounds] and hands me a card, and it's like, "Interested in microdosing? Call this number." I'm like, go see that movie, the guy out front will probably track you down.

Paul Austin: [01:51:24] Exactly.

Luke Storey: [01:51:26] Man, dude, I mean, we've not, never covered all I want to cover, but I think in closing, I would like to just touch on something you mentioned earlier, and that was the fact that so many of these traditions and medicines have come out of places in the world where the indigenous peoples there have been exploited, eradicated, harmed, all the things, how can people like us or the movement as a whole support these communities and help to uphold their traditions without sort of capitalizing on them to their detriment?

Paul Austin: [01:52:06] So, indigenous reciprocity.

Luke Storey: [01:52:09] There you go. That's the term you used earlier, yeah.

Paul Austin: [01:52:10] Right. And it was interesting, I interviewed a guy yesterday, Mark Plotkin, who wrote this book, The Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice. He was a mentee of Richard Evans Schultes, who was sort of the foremost ethnobotanist in the '30s, and '40s, and '50s. And Mark has been doing this work for a lot of years. He's done ayahuasca like 90 times, a lot of times with curanderos in the middle of the rainforest.

And we talked about this yesterday, because one of his the main project he's been running is this nonprofit called the like Amazon Conservation Team or something like that. And so, I asked him about that, like in terms of indigenous reciprocity, how does that fit into the larger psychedelic renaissance? And one thing that he said that stuck with me is that it's really about, what did he say?

He said, "It's about being polite, essentially, and having manners", so to say. In other words, when you go into someone's home, you show up there as a guest, you show up there in service for them, you show up there to be with them, you don't show up there to steal something from their home, and go, peace out, and say, see you, right? And so, I think a lot of indigenous reciprocity is simply having manners, and being polite, and being in relationship with the people who have been doing this, sometimes, for hundreds and thousands of years as part of their lineage.

And so, that might mean, if there's someone listening to this who wants to start a company in the psychedelic space, or who is involved with a company in the psychedelic space, or who wants to become a coach, or a guide, or a facilitator in the psychedelic space, that you actually go and spend time in Peru, or spend time in Mexico, or spend time with people who are doing this work and have done this work.

I think that's a really important element. And I think the other thing is recognizing that there's a lot of stuff going on in the psychedelic space as it relates to trying to patent psilocybin, for example, and recognizing that going back to the story that we touched on earlier in our conversation about how when I had my first acid experiences, it sort of tapped me into this archaic biological truth of who I am, right?

When we have relationships with a mushroom, or with ayahuasca, or some of these plants of the gods, we're tapping into an intelligence that is ancient, right? And so, honoring that, and respecting that, and having reverence for that, and not trying to synthesize the psilocybin out of it, and not trying to patent it, and corporatize it for profit and shareholder gain, I think, keep psychedelics in a medicinal framework, and ensure that if you use them, you do so with reverence, in ceremony, with preparation, support, integration, right?

And always keeping in mind that part of that healing that psychedelics teach us is being in connection and in a communion with nature. And the people who know how to do that best are those who have been doing this, who are indigenous. And so, I think there's something to learn about specifically the healing that we have, as Westerners, to do in our relationship with nature, and that plant medicines and indigenous reciprocity can be central to that.

Luke Storey: [01:55:28] Beautiful. Thank you.

Paul Austin: [01:55:30] Absolutely.

Luke Storey: [01:55:31] Great presentation on that particular point. It's exactly what I wanted to hear, because I know there's something in there that's important, and I think that's what it is, it's the respect and reverence. I'm not someone who abides by political correctness, so when terms like cultural appropriation are thrown around a lot, I'm like, what? Like I can't like the Rolling Stones, because they played Muddy Waters song.

It's like there's a fine line between celebrating a culture, right? And by celebrating it, sometimes, it's appropriate and even necessary to adopt part of that culture. And so, Muddy Waters probably made tons of money, because the Rolling Stones—well, he probably got ripped off by his publisher back in the '50s, but I found out about Muddy Waters, because I like the Rolling Stones, or Led Zeppelin, or whatever.

I'm using kind of an inconsequential example of that, but had these different cultures not spent those hundreds and thousands of years developing the relationships they had with those medicines, I wouldn't be probably having the experiences I'm having, of just getting second, third, fourth, fifth hand kind of versions of those ceremonies and things like that. But I think that as long as we're respectful, and reverent, and mindful of nature itself, and the fact that nature created these humans and put us in different places, and some of us have nestled in, in the Amazon or wherever it is, and made a thing, and then you have a Euro mutt like myself, whose people came from all over, so I don't have like any sort of groundedness to any culture of my own.

So, I'm making it up as I go, and sometimes, that requires investigating and participating in other cultures. And I don't think there's a crime in that. A lot of unification can take place when we start to get the experience of the oneness. And it is really powerful, to. I remember at Soltara, just didn't interview them, but I was really curious about the lives of the Shipibo shaman that was a couple when I went and they've been married for 25 years, and just serving ayahuasca together all the time, the whole time.

I'm just like, I just want to go inside their head and just see what they see. It's just incredible, the lineage, and the way they speak about medicine and spirit, it's like watching a movie. Like I've seen people talk about things that way, oh, did you hear the wind, or look at that leaf, or a spirit animal appears and these kind of things? And it's like, God, I wish I could have that type of relationship with the natural world and be integrated into the cosmos in that way.

And how do you learn how to do that? Well, you have to spend time with those people and got to do the things they do in your own way. So, yeah. So, thank you for that. I think it's super important. And also, to just preserve the land and the lifeways of people that didn't choose to have their shit fucked up, you know what I mean? No one invited these evil colonizers in to take their resources and their shit, and say, oh, we have this thing called property ownership, and now, we own this thing.

What? Like they didn't invite that in, so it's a pretty egregious trespassing in so many ways. So, thank you for ending on a truthful and sentimental note. And that, my friend, is it, except for my last question, psyche. My last question is you've taught me and our listeners so much today, who have been three teachers or teachings that have influenced your life and your work?

Paul Austin: [01:59:10] Tolstoy wrote a book called The Kingdom of God Is Within You, which was post-Anna Karenina and War and Peace. And it was the book and the philosophy that inspired Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., And Nelson Mandela, the whole nonviolent resistance movement of the 20th century. So, that has been very influential. I would say my dad or my parents even, both of them, in terms of the lessons that they've taught me, the love that they've provided for me. So, they've been central to my growth, my development, the stability that I have inside of me, and all of that.

And probably, I grew up Christian, I would not consider myself Christian, but still, Jesus and the teachings, I think from a Western perspective, and the truth that he taught, and the influence that he has now had, whether good or bad. I think there's a lot to learn from him as sort of this enlightened figure and person. So, I think he, as well, has been, just because I grew up in the church, I grew up going to church every Sunday for like 4 hours, and I resisted it a lot, but now, I'm able to sort of come back from a much more psychedelic, unified perspective, and see the truths of those teachings.

Luke Storey: [02:00:45] Jesus was drinking ergot.

Paul Austin: [02:00:45] Exactly. Yeah, exactly.

Luke Storey: [02:00:47] Well, it's interesting. A few people have cited him as an influence or teacher, and I had the opposite experience, in that I was not exposed to any religion of any kind growing up, and some years into my sobriety, a lot of the 12 step movement was kind of grounded in Judeo-Christian principles, and biblical truths, and things, but someone turned me on to this book called Sermon on the Mount by Emmet Fox. Emmet Fox is incredible. He's kind of part of the new thought movement, and Napoleon Hill, Emmet Fox, kind of after William James, but in that same line of thinking, really interesting stuff, like scientific Christianity, this kind of thing.

And someone gave me the book, and I was like, this is the answer to everything. This is incredible. And I didn't know for a while that it even had anything to do with—like I heard of the book, but I didn't even know what the Sermon on the Mount was, because I was that unfamiliar. But essentially in that book, what he does is kind of dismantles all of the mythology and all of the dogma of the teachings of the Bible, and just puts it in like practical terms that you can apply to your life, and I was like, after reading that, I was like, the Bible is amazing. And when I can actually get the juice out of it without all of the fluff, kind of.

Paul Austin: [02:02:03] Fluff.

Luke Storey: [02:02:05] Yeah. So, that was hugely impactful on me, and I think because of that, I would say, Jesus, whether that was his name or whatever it was, but the human that embodied Christ consciousness for that time, I mean, I don't know how you get much further than that and the depth of the message of love.

Luke Storey: [02:02:22] Precisely.

Luke Storey: [02:02:23] So, yeah. Thanks, dude. Where can people find your websites and stuff? We've mentioned it, but is there anything else you want to turn people on to?

Paul Austin: [02:02:29] The Third Wave, so thethirdwave.co. My personal website, paulaustin.co. We also have a podcast, which listeners can tune in to, and that really focuses on psychedelics themselves. And then, we've mentioned the directory a few times, so directory.thethirdwave.co is where we have the listings of retreats, and clinics, therapists, and coaches you could check out.

Luke Storey: [02:02:53] So awesome, what a great contribution. And for those listening, we'll put all that stuff in the show notes. And with that, let's tune in and tune out.

Paul Austin: [02:03:01] Thanks, Luke.

Luke Storey: [02:03:01] Thanks, buddy.



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