Wanna become less sad and more glad? Listen to the mushrooms…
*This blog was originally published on Wild Times Media.
To survive (and thrive), we need more people to eat psychedelic mushrooms.
I’m 100% serious.
It goes without saying that it’s a challenging time to be on Earth right now.
We are anxious. Depressed. Isolated.
Our increasingly authoritarian systems are crumbling at the same time they push hard to proliferate. Trust in the government has plummeted during the pandemic. In the last two years, billionaires made billions more while inflation approaches 7% in the US and the 99% are having an even harder time making ends meet.
More people listen to Joe Rogan than most mainstream news channels combined.
More people are ill, and fewer people are putting their faith in pharmaceutical cures.
We are afraid to live. And to die. We are so disconnected and fearful of the natural and inevitable death process that we continue to tighten our stranglehold on perceived safety and security. Our elders die alone in windowless rooms, and we younger generations neglect to realize that will likely be us, too.
For many, life has become increasingly less worth living.
We are surrounded by toxicity. In the air, water, soil, food, pharmaceutical medicines, smart technology EMFs, even our clothing. We are making our home planet toxic, and it feels increasingly unsafe. The future is unknown, and our lives require more management to keep a standard of living amidst extreme weather and supply chain shortages.
Our animal and plant kin are suffering, unable to adjust to the pace of destruction happening to our beloved earth.
And neither are we.
So wtf do we do?
Listen to the mushrooms.
Mushrooms Make Us Happy.
Mushrooms are one of nature’s many natural antidepressants. As you can see below, psilocin, the active psychedelic compound in psilocybin mushrooms, is very similar to serotonin. It fits perfectly into the serotonin receptors in our brain and gut.
It’s as if nature intended us to ingest them.
Serotonin regulates our mood and plays a critical role in responding to stress.
This is a crucial reason why I believe mushrooms can be helpful during these confusing, anxiety-provoking times.
While pharmaceutical SSRIs (the most commonly prescribed antidepressants) also work in the serotonin pathways, some people hate taking them because they can make them feel numb.
As Dr. Jim Fadiman found from interviewing 2,000 people about their microdosing experience, mushrooms make people feel “less sad and more glad.”
People worldwide report feeling more expansive, creative, socially outgoing, and “in flow” when microdosing magic mushrooms.
A wise tik-toker once said, “If you are having a hard time, take 1g of mushrooms and go for a 4-hour walk in nature.”
You are almost guaranteed to feel lighter and better.
Whether in a micro or macro dose, mushrooms can help us refocus on what we can control in our lives, rather than succumb to doom and gloom about our collective future.
Mushrooms Help Us Build New (Brain) Systems.
Psilocybin has been shown to create new neural connections in our brains.
This is why it has proven so helpful for those suffering from addiction. And why many are turning towards it to change unhealthy habits.
We often stay stuck in unhealthy habits and addictions because we can’t see a way out. Those neural pathways are so well paved that they can seem like the only option available to us. We can only see inside our rigid boxes and don’t even know that an ‘outside-the-box’ exists.
We continue strengthening those same unhealthy pathways as we age and our neurons start to degenerate. This can create stuck-in-our-ways, inflexible members of society who have cognitive issues and are unwilling to change—aka a consciousness that is not going to change the world for the better.
Psilocybin, especially when combined with the non-psychedelic mushroom Lion’s Mane, is a beautiful ally to get us out of these brain ruts. The two combined create new neural connections in our brain. This can help us think outside the box and expand into new ways of thinking and being that we never realized possible.
When we increase the plasticity in our brains, we can tap into more potential for creative solutions.
Instead of numbing ourselves with Netflix, video games, and other vices to cope with the state of the world, we can invite the mushrooms into our lives and start to feel alive again. When microdosing, it seems that unhealthy habits don’t seem so attractive anymore—and we are more interested in the natural world around us. We have more spaciousness to choose how we want to utilize our energy.
Creativity is birthed from within. Instead of doom-obsessing, we start to feel a glimmer of possibility. We become curious about what we can create rather than hyper-focused on the destruction seemingly all around us.
Working with mushrooms can help us tune in to a new and ancient model for living by increasing plasticity in our brains, supporting our cognition, and building new connections and openness that keep us curious and energized.
Mushrooms Thrive In Community.
There are an estimated 6-20 times more species of fungi than there are plants on earth. They have been on earth for at least 810 million to 2.5 billion years (depending on who you ask). They flourish on every continent, even Antarctica. Their mycelial root structures cover 90% of the earth’s landmass.
In other words: It seems that as a species, they’ve figured out how to do this life-on-planet-earth thing.
The extraordinary thing about mushrooms is that their mycelium connects trees, plants, and microorganisms so they can share nutrients and information. The mycelial network is the original underground internet happening right beneath our feet.
The fungi model interspecies cooperation. Without the fungi, trees wouldn’t be able to alert each other to incoming disease or share water with each other in times of drought.
Can you imagine what it would be like if humans were this efficient in sharing our resources? What if, instead of top-down hierarchical leadership models, we each shared our unique gifts as an essential contribution to the whole? What if we listened and trusted each other? What if we knew how to communicate effectively with each other and with animals, insects, and plants?
Through mushrooms, we can learn how to create non-hierarchical, regenerative, fulfilling community systems.
Mushrooms Teach Us About Death—And So, Life.
While many animal species are going extinct and humanity very well might be following suit, the fungi show no signs of slowing down!
Fungi are decomposers. They digest fallen trees, leaf matter, heavy metals, plastics, and even oil. The ultimate alchemists, fungi quickly and creatively adapt to their environment, turning harmful toxins into fuel.
In psychedelic journeys with mushrooms, many have experienced an “ego death” when all of their identities fall away, and they experience their pure soul. These unforgettable experiences have cured those with treatment-resistant depression because they remind us of what’s essential in life.
Magic mushrooms can also help with end-of-life anxiety and ease our transition to death.
Mushrooms help us refocus on what is truly essential, the importance of enjoying life, and the sacredness of death.
Mushrooms Guided Our Ancestors.
Mushroom medicine isn’t new. There is mounting evidence that we have turned to communal psychedelic fungus rituals as religious practice since Ancient Greek times.
In indigenous Mexican traditions, mushrooms are referred to as los niños, the children. They are believed to help us connect to our innocence and innate capacity for healing.
From Russia to Greece to South America, our ancestors have turned to mushrooms for guidance for millennia.
Ancestor tested, ancestor approved: Mushrooms could be one of the best kept secrets in history.
Nature has gifted us the wisdom we need to survive (and thrive) in these little fruiting body friends we call mushrooms.
By inviting psychedelic mushrooms into our lives, we can reconnect with the joy of being alive rather than feel weighed down by the doom and density of the human experience.
Mushrooms can show us fresh creative solutions that can help our species survive.
Mushrooms have been our guides for thousands of years and can remind us of the importance of community resilience.
They teach us how to create regenerative, holistic, and interconnected systems so that all plants, animals, and human kin can live in harmony.
Maybe you’re not quite ready to emerge from the forest with sticks in your hair after a magic mushroom journey–that’s okay! In that case, I hope this article taps you into the potent and timely wisdom that our mycelial kin have to share with us. The more I have modeled my life around the mushrooms, the happier and more resilient I have become.
*Disclaimer: While I believe psychedelic mushrooms are integral to our collective healing, they are not for everyone. If you have a family history of bipolar or schizophrenic personality disorders or are on lithium or tramadol, psychedelic mushrooms are not recommended. But, the wisdom of the mushroom extends far beyond the psychedelic ones, and there are many ways to tune in with the fungi network. I hope this article inspires you to connect with the fungi friends in whichever way you’re called. Also, as of writing psilocybin mushrooms are not legal to buy in the US.
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