About Psychic Matters Podcasts

Ann Théato, International Psychic Medium and Spiritual Tutor, investigates psychic development, mediumship techniques, and paranormal science, so that you can come to understand your own innate psychic ability and expand your knowledge, whilst learning to develop a curious mind.




This Week’s Episode

“As our consciousness expands, so much more becomes available.  I really do believe it’s humanity’s greatest untapped resource, because it changes our experience itself.  And from that, I think we can really radically change the world.” 
– Jahan Khamsehzadeh



PM 086

How and why do psychedelics exist? Did psilocybin catalyze our early human ancestors’ social evolution? And how can an integral understanding of psychedelics quite literally change the world?

My fabulous guest, Jahan Khamsehzadeh, PhD, is in the studio to discuss our historical and ancestral relationship to psychedelics. 

In an ambitious and comprehensive look at psilocybin, and an inside look at how humanity co-evolved alongside “magic” mushrooms, he presents new and exciting research about what psilocybin can mean for us today.


You’ll Learn

  • What a naturally occurring psychedelic is

  • How psychedelics spur human brain development

  • Why mushroom use gives rise to creative expression

  • How psilocybin creates new pathways in our brains

  • How humanity co-evolved alongside “magic” mushrooms

  • Why psychedelics exist

  • Where in the world Psilocybin mushrooms grow

  • Why society has a stigma around substances

  • Why love is the most important thing in the universe

  • Why psilocybin assists in trauma therapy

  • The proven scientific benefits of psilocybin use

Thank you for listening!

Why not share it now

Or ask a question over on Psychic Matters! Podcast Facebook page


Hello everyone, my name is Ann Théato and welcome to the Psychic Matters podcast, episode number 86.

Don’t forget to like and subscribe to the show and Please – do leave me a written review to help Psychic Matters climb up those important podcast charts.

This week’s news is …Spiritual Development.  Would you like to learn how to use your own intuition?  Do you think you are psychic? Would you like to learn how to communicate with the spirit world?   If the answer is yes – I can help. 

I have 3 development circles starting next month on Fridays and Tuesdays and I’m opening up a class for all those in Australia and New Zealand time zones!  [huzzah] My classes take place on Zoom. We will be covering several topics including meditation, moving into and working in the power, advancing your intuitive skills, understanding the difference between your psychic and mediumship faculties, and learning how to better maintain and sustain a spirit link. And we always do some fascinating exercises in breakout groups, which gives you an opportunity to work with other students from across the globe.   

My Development Circles are perfect for you are a beginner, and would like guidance, if you are at intermediate level and want some more tuition and assistance, or if you are an advanced medium, who wants to practice their craft weekly and fine tune their skills or experiment with new ways of working.  Go to my website anntheato.com and you can book under Courses and Event.

Meanwhile, in this week’s episode, I am discussing attaining altered states of consciousness with Mother Nature’s help.  I do hope you enjoy it.

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Ann: I have an incredible guest with me in the studio today who has written a fascinating and heavily researched book called, The Psilocybin Connection, Psychedelics the Transformation of Consciousness and Evolution on the Planet. It is a comprehensive look into psilocybin, and how psychedelic substances have aided humans throughout history. Johan Khamsehzadeh, welcome to Psychic Matters.

Jahan: Thank you. It’s such an honour to be here with you and your guests.

Ann: Oh, bless you. Thank you so much for making time to speak to us today as well, and I’m really, really excited to talk to you, your book, which you kindly sent me prior to this interview. It’s absolutely jam-packed full of information. So maybe we can just start by you giving our listeners a little bit more of an insight into what your book is about.

Jahan: Yeah, you know, as the publisher writes, it’s definitely the most comprehensive look at psilocybin mushrooms. I read, 75 books just on psychedelics to write it. I did my master’s and my Doctors in Consciousness, the Doctors in Philosophy, Cosmology Consciousness. So, it’s also a look at evolution from the Big Bang till now. And it was this idea first put forward by Terence and Dennis McKenna, that perhaps it was psilocybin mushrooms that catapulted human evolution. Right, that I found just absolutely fascinating in the history of the consciousness development, and I became aware of this idea 20 years ago.

I first read Terrence’s book, Food of the Gods, at 19. I’m 39 now, and to this day, it’s the best explanation of human evolution I’ve ever come across. You know, I’ve been looking at it through anthropology, through biology, through psychology, through spirituality, through ecologies, all of it, and all the pieces seemed to fit. And as I kept doing more research, the evidence just kept building. And I haven’t found still a single contradiction. It was my dissertation in my doctor’s program, so I had to defend it. And so that was the heart of the book. But I wanted to look at, put together all the science, and then if this is what made us human and I could talk about how the pieces fit later, how can we move forward as humanity as we build our relationship to it consciously?

Ann: Wow. So, for those of us who haven’t read that beautiful, book you just referenced Food of the Gods, what is in that that moved you so strongly then by Terrence McKenna?

Jahan: I’ve been studying at Philosophy for the last 20 years and he was probably my favourite philosopher and he definitely felt his language abilities were quite expanded through the use of psilocybin mushroom. So, he’s a quite an eloquent speaker and writer. So aside from just his ideas and this scholarship, it’s still the most grounded approach, to evolution. I’ve seen the idea being very simple, that there was consciousness expanding compounds in the environment that expanded humanities consciousness.

And so, it’s such a grounded look at human evolution, either looking at the neuropsychology, the, the chemicals of the environment, the ecology, and also gives an explanation for the emergence of religion. The idea being that we have access, so you could say through these psychic states or these spiritual realities through meditation or spontaneously, because psilocybin mushrooms helped us evolve the hardware of our brains to have those experiences now. So, we know now from the last 10 years of looking at the neuroscience that psilocybin catalyses what’s known as neurogenesis, the growth of new neurons.

The brain physically begins to grow, quiets what’s called the default mode network, the ego part of the brain, which then allows it to have a hyperconnected brain state, so more of our brain becomes aligned. The idea is that this happened millions of times over millions of years from primate development all the way to like more like our human form.

Over and over and over, giving us now these capacities of empathy, of cognition, of imagination, logic, language, art, you know, and I think what more of your audience is kind of more interested in the, the telepathic or kind of sense of deep oneness that we can enter to and have information access to, you know, through our minds and hearts.

So, the implications were huge, you know. This was real. And the last 20 years of looking at it, it’s again, the most concrete explanation I’ve seen for our human evolution.

Ann: And so, tell us a little bit more about it, let’s just go back a little bit, a psilocybin mushroom is what?

Jahan: Yes. There’s over 200 different species of psilocybin mushrooms around the world. psilocybin itself being a, a chemical that grows out of them. And but to even get the, the bigger picture, we have to look at the, the kingdom of fungi. There’s three large kingdoms in say in biology. There’s the animal kingdom, the fungi kingdom, and the plant kingdom.

The fungi kingdom evolved about 2.5 billion years. Animals about 500 million. So, fungi is about five times older than animals. Fungi came onto land and evolved onto land before plants and actually created a soil for plants to evolve. Fungi was the first root system, so the larger body of fungi, we think of mushrooms.

Mushrooms are the fruits of the fungi. The larger body is known as mycelium, which is this large underground network that connects all the root systems in the environment. Sometimes these root systems, these, the myel can be miles long. They’re the largest organisms on the planet. So, it’s this large living web that’s always been in the soil.

It creates soil, pretty much. And our entire animal and human development has always been on top of this living network. and it’s a network that breaks down decomposes material to create into nutrients to feed the rest of the ecosystem. But it also sends electrical impulses to all the plants.

So, the great mycologist, Paul Stamets calls, its, you know, nature’s internet, you know, this living web that connects everything. And so, once we start to see that out of this living web comes these little fruit bodies, the cap deformation, the mushroom, it starts to make sense of why psilocybin exists. It’s a way for nature to communicate to the rest of the organisms.

So, psilocybin, which we find in the mushrooms, fits into the five H T two, a serotonin receptor in our brain better than serotonin itself, with no bio toxicity, creating this hyperconnected brain state. Creating expanded more complex forms of consciousness. So, a big insight came reading this book called Darwin’s Pharmacy, sex Plants and Evolution of the Noosphere by Professor Richard Doyle.

He were thousands of trip reports, and he said that the main psychedelic insight that he found was the participant realizes they’re part of a vast, interconnected living system, and they should be returned ecodelics. So, these are compounds growing throughout nature that give ecological awareness, meaning we begin to realize we’re part of larger systems, larger living systems. And again, I think that’s a paradigm, not only that they bring or grow out of, but I, I think it would be resonance with many of your reviewers. You know, it’s the sense that because we’re all connected in one, that we can have access and you could say to psychic and extra sensory information.

Ann: And so, if we were to consume, and I’m not advocating drug use at all, disclaimer, but I’m very interested in what happens. So, you talked there about complex forms of consciousness. Speak a little bit more about what that is.

Jahan: Yeah, so the teacher, Stanislav Grof, he’s been working in the field for over 50 years and he’s in his eighties now. You know, he’s, he’s held space for about 50,000 people first with psychedelics before it became illegal. Then he created holotropic breath work, and he says psychedelics catalysed, what’s sort of his holotropic states of consciousness. States are organically moving to wholeness. The idea being that the system’s always trying to heal itself, like your body’s always trying to heal itself. The ecosystem is too, so is our psyche.

Right. So, if you give somebody a good psychedelic compound in a safe environment, even better with a guide or therapist, repressed material tends to come up by itself. You know, whether repressed sexual energy, repressed memories, pain, fear, repressed pleasure, or you can even say the repressed part of our spiritual identities that we’ve unconscious to.

So, people tend to come out of these experiences. When psychology is found in the last 20 years, the main part of the personality that’s developed is the one knows its openness, so people become more open-minded, and openness is correlated with creativity, learning, and intelligence. So, it, it gets us out of our rigid structure worldviews and allows us to keep adapting and moving forward.

But there’s also a lot of correlation with, um, empathy where people tend to feel, because they feel the sense of oneness with everything. They start to care about everything a lot more, the planet, each other, the world. So, you know, there’s been a lot of work, even that perhaps the first form of religions was catalysed by these psychedelic states.

I mean, there’s thousands of psychedelics all around the planet. They grow in most ecosystems. The idea being that our ancestors were always communing with the plants around them. Having these ultra-state experiences and it’s what’s originally sparked to give us the capacities for civilization.

Ann: It’s fascinating. And how do we know that our ancestors consumed these?

Jahan: Yeah, no, great, great work. Uh, there’s been a lot of work in anthropology over the last, you know, a hundred years starting first and foremost, the oldest evidence is cave paintings. You know, some of the oldest being going back about 12,000 years in the case of Africa. Not far for when we developed and evolved, but there’s cave paintings found all over Europe going back thousands of years.

So still psilocybin mushrooms grow on every continent, but Antarctica they’re everywhere, right. Then we’ve ck painting K views throughout, uh, Asia. And then when we go to the Americas, north, central, south America, it’s really, really rich. You know, there was, they grow plentiful on this side of the world. And so, we have all these, um, relics left by the first, the Mayans, and then the Toltecs and the Aztecs.

And so, even as the clergy came over from the Europeans over 500 years ago and came to see the indigenous civilizations here, the clergy wrote of all the large level psychedelic use. You know, we know today that indigenous traditions around the world still use psychedelics. They’ve just kind of been repressed.

So, when Western culture came in contact with them, the church especially the Vatican was, uh, they wrote to eradicate the use and there’s like one of the largest ethno signs in human history. So, because they was seen as demonic or evil, you know, so you can, the same way they looked at it as pagans or witches, right?

So, they’re using plants and they’re having with spirits. So, a lot of that was taken away, but several tribes did survive. It was particularly because of one tribe, the Mazatec’s that live in Oaxaca in Mexico, that we even learned of psilocybin mushrooms. In, uh, 1955, this banker named Gordon Wasson and went to the Mazatec and had a psilocybin ceremony with a curandera named Maria Sabina.

And then he published his report in Life Magazine in 1957, and that was the first time Western culture at Widespread became aware of psychedelics. Then people flocked to Mexico to try these mushrooms, and then mushrooms made their way around the world. And then not too long later, LSD became even more popular.

Then we had the huge psychedelic revolution, you know, in the sixties, early seventies that really, I think, catapulted human culture and creativities and politics, even in science. So, yeah. So, uh, and to answer your question, there’s relics all over and there’s religious texts written. Uh, one of the more popular ones that came out that was the bestseller recently is this book called The Immortal Key by Brian Muraresku, uh, subtitle is the Secret Religion With No Name.

He spent about 15 years studying Greek history. And so, the Greeks had this large tradition called the Eleusinian Mysteries that went on for a thousand years. And every citizen in Greece was, you know, um, encouraged to go. And in these mysteries, they drunk a brew, a drink called Kykeon that used ergot from which we derive LSD.

So, we’re talking about the same people that gave birth to Western culture. You know, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and they all make references to Kykeon and these mysteries. And so, all these ideas that came out of western culture and politics, economics, science, spirituality, philosophy, were partly influenced by these states.

When we get to the roots of all the tribal background of all our ancestors, we can see shamanic use. But at the beginning of the first level of civilizations, there’s a written text and most of them talking about some level psychedelic use.

 You know, you were talking about the emergence of consciousness itself and the things that created civilization. Even like the oldest religious texts known as the Rigvedas that started to Hinduism have about 120 times lines talking about Soma, a psychedelic planner, fungi that connects one with God.


And so, I feel we’ve just missed this as a society because we have had such a stigma around substances, right? We’d come across other, uh, traditions that have in different shamanic traditions. And put them as primitive and just not even look into their own technologies and relationship with nature. And it’s only us becoming more open-minded in the last few decades that we’re taking more information, especially ecological information, and now we have to make sense of these powerful things that just grow everywhere.

That, of course, would’ve had dramatic impact on our ancestors.

Ann: And say a little bit more about the connection to divinity or forms of consciousness. I’m just interested to know where these things can take us, because I know in your book you spoke so beautifully about this connection and this love, this beautiful feeling of love and connection. Can you maybe say a little bit more about that, Johan?

Jahan: Totally. the audience that might not be aware, there’s just now been decades of research and a lot of it has been focused on mystical experiences because they tend to be the most transformative experiences in our lives. You know, personally that’s what happened for me. That’s why I got really into this 20 years ago. But 65% of the people on the right set in setting in clinical studies, Have what’s categorized as a mystical experience meeting all their criteria, and the more person has leaning towards what’s HA is known as the mystical experience there is a higher correlation to healing.

You know, so I’d say, so I do this work professionally. I hold space in Jamaica. I’m about to leave in a couple days to do legal ceremonies over there. And what I’ve seen in what depression and anxiety in a lot of the, the mental and emotional illness that we have comes from a sense of fracturedness or sense of feeling separate. Disconnected from ourselves, our family system, society, the environment, the planet, all of it. And as that fracturedness begins to heal and we start to feel unity and more connection with ourselves, partners, our sense of purpose, the universe as a whole, we tend to feel more empowered, more safer, more love.

You know, love is a deep sense of connection and of unity. And then people’s lives tend to transform. The mental illnesses and the emotional blocks tend to go away. And then people tend to be revitalized. So, studies have also found in terms of mental health, 80% of people with treatment resistant depression, meaning they’ve tried all the medicines and therapies and nothing has worked. 80% of that population can heal with the use of psilocybin done in psilocybin therapy. 80% of people with nicotine addiction, with alcohol addiction, and also near end-of-life anxiety. So, people that have had a terminal illness diagnosed, they have six months to two years to live, and they’re petrified and they can’t move, and they can get outta the house because they’re so scared of their death.

You know, psychedelics can give you what’s known as a death rebirth experience where people can kind of come to terms with the mystery of death but find peace because there’s a sense that there’s something more after death, that we’re part of something larger, and then these people are able to let go of that anxiety and still live their lives.

So, I, for me, and I think a lot of us that get into this, they’re deeply spiritual by their very nature.

Ann: And there is this call, I think, within all of us to want to go home, to want to reconnect to the place we came from, I suppose, and I know those of us that work as psychics, those of us that work as mediums, we can enter without use of, uh, psych, I can’t even pronounce it. How do I pronounce it? Psilocybin Psy. Yeah. Without any use of anything, you can enter this beautiful, altered state and connect to ourselves as a divine force, and therefore connect to the matrix of other souls. And it’s a beautiful way to work. So, when we’re working as a medium, we’re com, we’re communicating to those who have passed away already. It’s, it’s such a beautiful connection. So come then coming back down to earth literally is, um, it makes you want to, there’s a feeling of wanting to always be connected to that beauty, to that divinity, to that space. And I know you speak of this so strongly in your book of this connection of love.

Jahan: I think it’s the most important thing. You know what psilocybin mushrooms told me? I mean, just to get to like this gen big mystical experience at 18. I was an atheist, suicidal and depressed before that. Then there’s this feeling of being eternal when I took the mushrooms and the walls breaking down and this voice kind of rose in my consciousness and it said, love’s the most important thing in the universe by far.

And then miles after that is learning. And everything else is so insignificant compared to these two values. And so the sense is that we primarily exist to love. Not only that we are love, that’s our deepest identity, and it’s this kind of deep state up oneness and connection to everything. That’s, I think that’s why we also have, you know, 8 billion humans to experience love and connection.

That’s the, you know, the, the main thing at the end of the day, when we die, that’s what’s gonna matter, you know? So, and I think love is the most intelligent force. It is the most connective, I think it’s the compass, you know, really moves us forward. I think there’s a lot of wisdom in it, you know, and I, I think anytime people feel it, they like, they, their soul recognizes it by itself.

It’s trans rational. We can rationally come to like, why love’s important, but when it’s felt, you just know it is.

Ann: But there’s something different. I, I’m speaking as somebody who has not taken any drugs, um mm-hmm. So, I, so I don’t understand. I don’t understand it. You see, I don’t understand those realms of consciousness that you can enter or attain or experience, and it seems to be very different to what we experience as psychics and mediums, there seems to be a difference in intensity or, um, three-dimensional, four-dimensional perhaps with psychedelics. I don’t know. Could, could you speak a little bit more about the actual experience of other realms of consciousness?

Jahan: Absolutely, definitely a difference in intensity, you know, um, I think there’s states of consciousness we can’t get to without certain chemicals, you know, if we are to agree, you know that reality is somewhat non-dual, you know, and there’s a correlation between you could say what’s going in our brain and our state of consciousness. Then just rationally we could see if we bring in a new chemical in our brain, it’s gonna give a different kind of state that otherwise isn’t possible.

Um, that being said, there is a lot of overlap. There’s been times where I’ve gotten really into meditation and during a very specific period, I was doing an hour, then two hours, then three hours a day, you know, and then about a hundred days in you kind of had this also like, I’m about to die. Like this is really real.

Stay with it. The massive breakthrough experience of divinity Bo bodies vibrating, feeling deep love and all connection. and the first thought that arose was, wow, I’ve experienced this on psilocybin. Only this took me hundreds of hours. And psilocybin, you can get there, you know, sometimes within an hour.

So, I mean, psilocybin itself is, is kind of mysterious, I think, than a lot of the other psychedelics in the sense that it’s, it’s different every time. Right. That being said, there are common characteristics. One of the first things most people see when you take psilocybin is what’s come to be known as sacred geometry, like the landscape gets flooded by geometric symbols and deep symmetry and patterns of aliveness. It looks like the entire environment is, is breathing and alive, and there’s a deep sense of vividness and there’s a lot more. Presence in your being and a lot more sensations in your body. So you start to feel your organs in your body, but then also this visionary realm comes up and your heart seems to expand.

So, it’s, it’s amazing for trauma work. That being said, when your heart opens, it’s more access to all the feelings. So, it could be terrifying. There could be rage, fear, shame, guilt, whatever’s repressed, along with bliss, joy, peace, calmness, you know, ecstasy. So, we have to be okay when we take it to the entire emotional realm.

There are other psychedelics like D M T, that if people smoke it, it’s you’re transported immediately in a highly visual realm that seems to be many times occupied by other intelligent beings. You know, so I, I think it’s all one consciousness at the end of the day. So, when you’re either meditating or I’m assuming mediumship, you know, my, my grandfather was a medium.

I never got to meet him. But we’re still working with the very same realm. It’s just more subtle and sensitive. And when you take these pathways you found through nature, through psychedelics, you’re just expelled into it within 20 minutes to an hour for many hours. So, it’s just more of a radical entrance rather than more of a subtle, more sensitive, graceful way to commune with that reality.

Ann: Yeah. Thanks. That’s a lovely explanation very clear. Thanks so much for that. That’s just, it fascinates me and um, Johan. You facilitate, uh, these experiences? I think you said you’re going off to Jamaica to do that. What, what does that entail? Is there some preparation that you do before you take the mushrooms, uh, and what is the sort of breakdown of events, I suppose?

Jahan: Yeah, totally. Yeah. No, there’s a lot of prep and integration so. You know, people have to apply for it. And we scan out, we do just 12 people at a time, a free retreat, and then we do two retreats back-to-back. And then once we see that their application fits, you know, with what we’re trying to do, um, we have an intake call.

So, we meet with them, we go over their history, see who they are, make sure everything’s safe and okay. And once they get there, we have, um, they have to adjust. They’re coming to a different country and have to feel something. They’re tired normally, but we have about four hours of prepping that first evening to go over logistics, get them comfortable, uh, personal exercises with each other because the sense of safety is so important and so much of our safety has to do with knowing the people around us, you know, so we get the whole group to bond together.

They rest, sleep early, wake up, and then there’s more kind of therapeutic check-ins. People come for very important reasons. Most of the time they’re in pain, so you know, something is moving them to come all the way out there. Maybe 10% come for spiritual experiences, but a lot of them come for depression and anxiety, OCD addictions. Um, and then the actual ceremony itself is six to eight hours. You know, everybody’s a little different when it comes to sensitivity. We give two rounds of mushrooms. Uh, we try to get them to put the blindfolds on so they go really inside and stay connected to themselves and allow this visionary realm to just really arise.

Uh, they’ll be exhausted that evening, and then the next day is all integration. So, a lot of circle sharing within the group for a couple hours. Then individually meeting with each one of them to see what came up, you know, to help them progress. Then the next day we do more integration. They take off, and then we have a follow up call once they get back too, to make sure they’re feeling safe, stable, and to help them remember the experience.

The point being, we don’t want this just to be a beautiful four days and with some really peak moments, uh, the hope is we want deep changes in their lives. So, we’re there also working kind of in a therapeutic capacity to support them and coach them into making these changes.

Ann: What is the si… What, what are we missing as a culture ourselves by not because.

They’re so vilified, I suppose, at, at, at this stage in our , uh, human evolution. What are we missing scientifically by not having these experiences? What is science proving that the benefits of it as it were.

Jahan:  Totally, totally. You know, we’ve come really long way, especially the last two decades. So right now, projected legalization in the United States for psilocybin is two years federally. So, there’ve been 20 years of work going. So, doctors will be able to prescribe psilocybin for depression in just two years, M D M A for P T S D in two years. And so, once that has that level of public approval, you know, and it’s accepted, things are gonna change very, very fast. You know, Michael Poland, who wrote his bestseller, How To Change Your Mind in 2018, that just was really large. You know, he wrote, he was surprised to find there was no opposition. So, things have really shifted in terms of the stigma. The science is really on board, all political sides are on board.

Everybody just wants it done safely. What the science has found is it increases empathy, creativity, deep sense of healing. You know, I’ve already mentioned, you know, whether it’s alcohol, addiction, nicotine, and addiction, anxiety, depression, major, you know, People have been stuck for decades, but I think there’s even more possible, but it takes tremendous amount of money and sometimes years to set up a study.

You know, most of these studies that I shared goes on for multiple years and they’re done by major universities. Um, the neuroscience has also just been absolutely astounding. You know it, it also stimulates what’s doing a pathogenesis, which is the re-enlivening of dentes at an atrophy. So, it literally heals parts of the brain.

The sense is it creates wholeness, wholeness in your being, so you feel at home in you and not fractured, but it seems to create wholeness in the brain and the body. You know, there’s, there’s a lot of preliminary evidence that even starts to heal nerve cells throughout the body. You know, there’s an article that came out recently that somebody had a spinal injury and it started to heal because of psilocybin.

You know, cuz it creates wholeness through the system and there’s an actual experience of wholeness, you know, experientially in our consciousness. But it seems to be happening in our body at the same time. When it comes to creativity, there were studies done in the fifties and sixties on, you know, to people to come into the study, they had to be a scientist, architect, engineer.

Uh, scientists stuck on a problem for 18 months, and then they came and they took LSD, which is in the same family as psilocybin, and 90% of those people solved their problem within a day. Right. And so, there’s a good work done. Also, that the computer revolution, especially here in Silicon Valley in the west coast, US, was spurred by psychedelic states.

And a lot of us know, ‘cause I live over here in this area, that Silicon Valley is pretty regularly used to Microdosing, psilocybin and L S D for creativity. So, you know, people just. Can look at the arts and the music in the sixties to see how powerfully it transforms psychedelics. But the same thing can be said about philosophy, technology, spirituality, ecology, ethics, politics, everything.

As our consciousness expands so much more becomes available. I really do believe it’s humanity’s greatest untapped resource because it changes our experience itself. And from that, you know, I think we can really radically change the world.

Ann: Yeah, that’s such a beautiful explanation. Let’s talk about the dangers of psilocybin.

What are the dangers?

Jahan: As I had mentioned, they can bring up very difficult emotional, and psychological states and so biologically for the most part, we can see they’re safe. So, you’re theoretically, you could have to take a thousand doses to die. It’s, it’s not something really could do. That being said, you are very vulnerable in the sense, even physically, like if you take a high dose, you can’t really move around a whole lot and you’re very perceptible in your ideas, in your mind.

And so, you need to be in a safe space with safe people. So far in the studies, nothing negatives happened, and we’ve had many, many studies now. Um, so if you have the right container, it’s, it’s good. Uh, that being said, not done in the right container. You know, at worse extremes, people can kill themselves.

Right? That’s happened. People can hurt each other, uh, people can run out and get in the car. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s like you’re still dealing with a level of an altered state, you know? So, there’s gonna be a vulnerability across anything that really does that. Um, that being said, if we’re looking at psilocybin, it lasts about four hours.

LSD about 12, you know, so it’s different according to the characteristic of the medicine. Um, you know, so. I mean, there’s journeys where people’s deepest fears come up, right? Or there’s a large collective shadow where people all of a sudden can start seeing demons everywhere, right? And if you don’t know how to navigate it, that could be terrifying.

And honestly, if it’s not held, well, interpreted right, it could be traumatic, right? And so, there is the possibility of mental and emotional trauma. You know, that’s happened to a lot of people. That’s why the recommendation is to work with a guide or therapist, you know, or at least in a larger group ceremony, and then get additional support afterwards.


Ann: Yeah, it’s, it’s very, very interesting and I, I guess taking alcohol has its own dangers as well. Of course. Um, you know, you take too much alcohol, you’re gonna be put yourself in very vulnerable position too.

Jahan: Totally. Mm-hmm.

Ann: So, this seems, sorry, Johann, you go ahead.

Jahan: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I just like the stuff you’re bringing up and statistically, alcohol kills more people than all the other substances combined each year. You know, we’re just used to it, you know, and most of these other altered states, especially psychedelics, are nowhere near as harmful.

Ann: And that, that’s fascinating. Do you think we’ve got this untapped, there’s so much untapped information that we we should be accessing. But what is that due to funding? Is it due to legalization? What do you think is preventing us from exploring this more?

Jahan: You know, as far as I’ve learned, there is nothing in the world that we could look at psychedelics and kind of have a really good metaphor and point of reference. So it’s something that’s so radically different, and so they could be hard to understand. I mean, we could look at the science and see the outcomes. It’s amazing. I mean, the states themselves are like high level of splendour, high level of terror. It’s, it’s the whole thing. It’s just they’re, they’re really beautiful.

But I think it’s because they’re so different. We have to know how to make sense of them. And so, Michael Pollan writes in his book, um, the Way that Psychedelics entered the mainstream during the sixties. He said, at what other point in human history did the youth have such a searing rite of passage that the prior generation didn’t understand?

Right. So, what happened during the sixties, because that’s when you know, they started to become illegal. The youth were having these spiritual and explanatory, you know, experiences that made them kind of shift their view of themselves in a society. People were leaving their religions. People were fighting the Vietnam War.

People were, you know, there’s a feminist movement. There was, you know, the black rights movements. There’s, and all this outskirts of creativity. People leaving the corporate America and kind of Timothy Leary that was leading a lot of it at the time, had this thing to turn on, tune in, drop out. You had the hippie movements, you had so much change happening fast.

And so understandably that scared the older generation, you know? And it scared the older political generation. So, Nixon moved to just make everything super illegal very fast. And it gave them reasons to come after the activists in many ways that were opposing a lot of the war because now, they’re holding onto something that’s illegal and they did this, and now it’s so well documented it with refusing and not even looking any of the science.

There’s already 1500 scientific papers written on L S D by 1960. Right. And all the entire scientific community was overlooked. Um, and so the science is solid, solid. We, there’s just so much on this. Um, but that information needs to come into the public. And over the last few years, it really has. There’s, if people have Netflix major documentaries, either How to Change Your Mind or Fantastic Fungi has been huge.

There’s now bestsellers on it. You know, there’s, I hear of a new psychedelic guide or therapy training every week. You know, like it’s, it’s massive. We’re gonna have the biggest conference of psychedelics in Denver in June. It’ll be about 10,000 people. And so, it, it’s happening, but the first step to really learning anything or changing, is awareness.

You know? So, I think that’s what we’re doing right now is working on the education spot and then trying to create safe spaces and safe ways people can try these medicines.

Ann: I think that’s a really relevant point because I’m frightened of them. I, I have a fear that’s been born in me from things I’ve heard from parents’ news, not necessarily things that are true, but things I have heard. And so, it does need to be discussed. It does need to be brought out into the open and and really examined properly. This is, what you’re saying about the science and all the rest of it, which stacks up so beautifully. This is such a wonderful resource if we could use it in the correct way as a society, it could just be so useful to us on so many different levels. And your book that you’ve written is so in depth and you go into things so clearly and beautifully about the science, about the experiences that you’ve had, uh, taking psilocybin or psilocybin.

Um, what, just before we finish then, Johan, what, what do you think is your biggest take away from investigating these, hallucinatory mushrooms? What, what do you feel is the biggest thing that you’ve learned? What have they really truly taught you?

Jahan: I mean, honestly, they’ve taught me everything. Uh, I mean, I did 20 years of upper academia and nonstop trainings outside of that, and I’ve learned more from my psychedelic experiences than I have anything else, right, which is, I mean, I think about them daily. I mean, you’re talking about felt, seen, depth, experiences where you feel you’re in deep relationship with the universe. Like I can learn more out of that than from other humans, you know? And I’m, again, I’ve sat in countless classrooms for so long, uh, and not that I don’t love learning from books and teachers, it’s just, it’s so transformative when you feel and see something right in front of you, or sometimes a voice comes up and tells you things and there’s a deep sense of guidance. Um, I mean, I, I mean, for me, they’ve saved my life and they’ve saved the life of so many people I am now. And, and so there’s a sense that there’s just so much wisdom available to us.

And you know, just to create the context again, it’s like we might look at these as drugs because that’s how they’ve been packaged in society, but these are a part of nature. These are just, this is nature talking to us. It’s doing the process and healing. And so, seeing this context is, you know, I, I think this is what made us human and this what allows us to become more human and kind of regulate humanity, that I think most of us agree, that’s been out of balance in so many ways. You know, and so I think this is, you know, we’re just coming back into alignment with our deep revolutionary processes that we’ve just been unaware of. So, they give me tremendous hope. You know, I think without it, I’d be scared of the future and of the world, and I have a lot of hope for humanity, especially because these medicines are being reintegrated.

Ann: I love that. I love that. I love that they contain so much wisdom, uh, and I, it excites me. I just think, gosh, where is this gonna go? Just so absolutely fascinating. Your book, the Psilocybin Connection, where could people buy that, Jahan?

Jahan: Every platform, uh, you know, it’s, I’m grateful it was distributed by a Penguin Random House, the largest distributor, so people should be able to find it anywhere, you know, so it’s on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Target, whatever. And it’s also in many formats, there’s the eBook format, like Kindle, and it’s also on Audible. So, the audio book we got, we hired a great narrator for it. So, it should be as accessible as any other book out there right now.

Ann: Fantastic. I really wish you all the very best with it as well. It’s absolutely fascinating. It’s one of the best things I’ve read in a very, very long time. It’s brilliant. Well done.

Jahan: Thank you so much. I really appreciate that reflection.

Ann: Really, really good. And I will put the link to, your book in the show notes for the podcast. , do you have social media platforms as well, Johan, that people can get in, in touch with you?

Jahan: Yeah, follow me on Facebook. It’s uh, I think it’s facebook.com/johan101, and then also Instagram. It’s Jahan_Khamsehzadeh  So on either one, first name and last name, you know, you’ll find me on both those platforms.


Ann: Listen, this has been a talk that has just been far too quick, , and I just wanna say thank you so much for your time. I really wish you all the very best with the work that you’re doing cuz that is just so important for humanity. Thank you for exploring this.

Jahan: Thank you so much. I’ve really enjoyed all your questions. It’s been a very beautiful conversation.

Ann: Bless you. Thank you so much.

Jahan: Bless you too.

Ann: Jahan Khamsehzadeh there everyone, I really hope you enjoyed listening to this episode, I found it absolutely fascinating and certainly worthy of further reading.  Don’t forget to purchase Jahan’s book and as with all my podcast episodes there is a full transcript of this podcast available on my website, along with show notes containing all the URL’s mentioned in this episode and there will be a link there which will take you directly to Jahan’s book and his amazing work – go to anntheato.com and look under the podcast tab.

Meanwhile, I wish you all a wonderful couple of weeks and let’s bear in mind, the wisdom that Jahan shared with us this week –  that love is the most important thing in the universe by far.

My name is Ann Théato and thank you for listening to Psychic Matters.



Reach by Christopher Lloyd Clarke. Licensed by Enlightened Audio.


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