#284 – Hamilton Morris – Creating The Future Of Psychedelics | Modern Wisdom

Key Takeaways

  • Drugs are perceived differently in areas depending on the marketing, cost, and social connotation
  • “Consciousness isn’t a single thing that can be understood and characterized [the way DNA can], it’s a collection of different computational experiential phenomena that in concert create a perceived experience.” – Hamilton Morris
  • In the right setting and under the right psychological state, psychedelics have the potential to dramatically enrich life
  • Psychology plays a large role in psychedelic experience: there are determinants of psychedelic experience that are not tied to the physical properties of the drug alone
  • The war on drugs has had such a lasting impact on the perception of drugs and addiction, it’s has set therapeutic research back
  • One of the most damaging things happening in society is that we’ve become disconnected from the way things are made – this applies to drugs, movies, articles, etc.

Introduction

Hamilton Morris (@HamiltonMorris) is a journalist, documentary producer, and chemist.

In this episode of Modern Wisdom, host Chris Williamson discusses Morris’ TV documentary series, Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia, and the research behind his work. They take a deep dive into psychoactive drugs, psychedelics, and implications for medicine.

Host: Chris Williamson (@ChrisWillx)

Science & Consciousness

  • Chemistry is to understand the natural world
  • Chemistry is important to everyday existence, controlling every aspect of reality at all times
  • Astrophysics destroyed an interest in chemistry that should be present
  • Consciousness will be better described by science and better understood – but science will explain it away
  • Consciousness is many things, the same way life is complex and multifaceted
  • “Consciousness isn’t a single thing that can be understood and characterized [the way DNA can], it’s a collection of different computational experiential phenomena that in concert create a perceived experience.” – Hamilton Morris

Psychedelic Drugs & Culture

  • Psychedelics have the potential to dramatically enrich life
  • Cultures exist which see peyote as a spirit, not a drug
  • The toad is not a tradition with no spirituality associated – it started in the 80s by a man from Texas

Experience Of Psychedelics

  • Psychology plays a large role in psychedelic experience: there are determinants of psychedelic experience that are not tied to the physical properties of the drug alone
  • Determining factor of a psychedelic experience is probably psychological, not chemical
  • Unlike ibuprofen, environment and mindset changes the outcome of psychedelics
  • Psychedelic experience is probably closest some people get to religious transcendence
  • The way we think about drugs impacts the experience
  • Having respect for the drug positively impacts your experience and is associated with responsible use

Legalization Of Drugs

  • Drug policy is complicated
  • Drugs are perceived differently in areas depending on marketing, cost, social connotation
  • Some people are so irresponsible, you have to appreciate the role of regulations  
  • When things are sold as medicines, they should be regulated; when things are sold as chemicals, they should be unregulated
  • With education, people will work out how to use psychedelics for therapeutic use
  • Cars are dangerous but we practice, we learn, we put in safety measures such as seatbelts and snow chains in bad weather, etc.
  • Drugs could provide an opportunity of uniting people through growing farms, artwork, etc.
  • “The responsibility associated with liberalization of drug laws could mature the world.” – Hamilton Morris
  • There are a lot of lingering impacts of the war on drugs and how society perceives addiction
  • All the horrible things we associate with cocaine are tied to cocaine’s illegality – in many other countries cocaine is consumed via leaves in a morning tea and is similar to a caffeine boost
  • When a drug becomes illegal, people panic buy huge quantities

Media Illiteracy/Literacy

  • One of the most damaging things happening in society is that we’ve become disconnected from the way things are made – this applies to drugs, movies, articles, etc.
  • We read articles and don’t even look at the date or author to understand whether the source is current and reputable
  • We are a society that hates people for what they’re not instead of loving people for who they are
  • So much of what we consume is made and released within short timespans (e.g., podcasts are made and released quickly), we are becoming disconnected from appreciating classics
  • The internet has made people mean or allowed people to have a space where it flourishes
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Notes By Maryann

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