A Psychedelic Renaissance
Psychedelic Science 2017: Evolution of Mind, Heart and Spirit (MAPS Conference)
S.O.U.L. endeavors to further expand consciousness by sharing our experience from the MAPS sponsored Psychedelic Science 2017 conference, where the international scientific community came together at the Oakland Marriott City Center to explore new research into the benefits and risks of MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca, ketamine, ibogaine, medical cannabis, and more for such applications as: psychotherapy, neuroscience, spirituality, creativity, and more…
The historic, global gathering featured three days of conference presentations, workshops, a sunset cruise on the San Francisco Bay, the Psychedelic Comedy Banquet, networking opportunities, a public marketplace and art gallery, and so much more.
It occurred to us that gathered in this Oakland hotel may be 3000 of the best positioned people to provide real systemic change in our world by having elevated their consciousness to a level of expanded perception that enables them to visualize what shift in our cultural paradigm would actually enable our human family to thrive together at last. And perhaps what those wielding their power over us and perpetuating the cycles of consumption, waste, and destruction fear most is a consciously aware, truly free humanity. If so, these could be some of the most dangerous minds on the planet, posing the greatest threat to the existing system of beliefs, having used the tool of psychedelics to liberate their consciousness from the constraints of the current cultural programming and value system.
“I think now everybody takes for granted our current narrative about drugs is clearly false.”
– Richard Hartnell, Students for Sensible Drug Policy
Don is an award-winning journalist and the author of six published books, including the national bestseller The Harvard Psychedelic Club (HarperCollins 2010) and his latest work Changing Our Minds — Psychedelic Sacraments and the New Psychotherapy (Synergetic Press, 2017). His writing has appeared in many U.S. magazines and newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, where he worked for two decades as a staff writer covering religion, spirituality and psychology.
The research for Mike’s latest book The Secret Drugs of Buddhism: Psychedelic Sacraments and the Origins of the Vajrayana began with his study of Buddhism in 1966 with a Tibetan Lama. In the book, he explores the historical evidence for the use of entheogenic/psychedelic plants within the Buddhist tradition. Drawing on a wide range of disciplines (including pharmacology, iconography, botany, and scriptural sources), he points out the central role which psychedelics played in Indian religions, tracing their history from the psychedelic drink “soma” of the Vedic period to “amrita”, the sacramental drink of Vajrayana Buddhism. Also covered are some of the methods used to ensure covert usage, such as disguising substances with names like “umbrellas” as code for psychedelic mushrooms. Mike’s works have been published in Fortean Studies, Time & Mind, the Journal of Archeology, Consciousness and Culture, Psychedelic American, and Psychedelic Press UK.
Richard, an overachieving academic and uniquely talented circus performer, graduated with honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2016. He studied cognitive science and neuroscience in order to satisfy a pressing curiosity about the intersection of entheogens and creativity. While there, he reinvigorated a dormant chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), and made it one of the most active chapters in the organization, earning two nominations in the first year for Rising Star Chapter and Rising Star Activist. The chapter has found success in their high-profile harm reduction campaigns. In their first year, hundreds of doses of fake MDMA were identified, and drug-related 911 calls at the campus’s annual 4/20 celebration were reduced by 90%. Richard honors his commitments as a psychedelic advocate by volunteering as a psychedelic crisis counselor, working to re-integrate psychedelics as a promising avenue in psychology research, and making psychedelic art.