UKC Psychedelic society
As plant medicine includes psychedelics, I wanted to learn more from people who are invested in shining a light on the psychotherapeutic benefits. So, I joined the University of Kent Psychedelic society.
Attending guest lectures allowed me to see psychedelics from multiple perspectives. One of the most notable lectures was that of Miguel Alexiades, where he spoke on the interaction between people and plants. The healing potential of any plant is determinant on the people and their receptiveness to it. He also led me to watch 'The botany of desire', this documentary looks at how a plant is able to cause a particular feeling or sensation, which results in a greater distribution of said plant. By building a positive relationship between itself and the people, the plants more widely used; thus, its survival and distribution are more secure. What is the purpose of any living thing other than to secure its place on the earth? So, plants may have evolved to have effects on people resulting in a favourable relationship between the two.
Following the guest lectures, the members of the psychedelic society would go to the on-campus bar K-bar to socialise. I was able to use these opportunities to learn a lot about how people have learnt to connect the messages they receive during their psychedelic trips to the extraordinary and mundane aspects of their life. From this, I have learnt that by entering into an altered state of consciousness, people are able to see beyond themselves by becoming introspective. When you look inwards, you can better understand the world around you and have a mentality that separates you from the victim mentality where the world is happening to you as opposed to seeing everything as interconnected.
I was able to better understand how our perception of the world is fundamental for healing. As a person who believes in signs and is not a fan of the word 'coincidence', interconnectedness resonates with me on a deep level. From my conversations, I was also able to come to the conclusion that intention is a fundamental part of gaining insight from these plants. The largest dose resulting in the biggest trip does not necessarily result in the most profound experience. As the use of psychedelics is healing through shadow work and understanding one's inner child, it can be an incredibly painful experience. So, intention, setting, dosage and support are essential components when using psychedelics for healing. Much like any other method of healing, you have to be mindful. Psychedelics are not a one way trip to enlightenment and healing. They too require, commitment.
Hopefully, when the COVID-19 pandemic is over, I can have my own experience and add to this. Until then I will continue to take in the benefits of the may other plant centred healing methods available.