PodcastProductivity & Lifestyle

The Healing Power of Psychedelics: Ayahuasca, LSD, Psilocybin & More w/ Dr. Dan Engle

“I don’t know of a better modality for [getting right without ourselves]… than the psychedelic medicines.”
— Dr. Dan Engle

Greetings, SuperFriends!

Today, we are going to talk a bit about “drugs” – or rather, medicines. But not the drugs or medicines you’re thinking of.

In fact, we’re going to be talking about ancient, psychedelic medicines, used for hundreds or even thousands of years by indigineous societies for spiritual exploration. You may have heard of some of these substances – things like ayahuasca, psilocybin, or MDMA.

What you may not have heard is how powerful they can be for personal growth and development.

On that note, we are joined today by Dr. Dan Engle, a board certified expert in Psychiatry and Neurology with a clinical practice in holistic medicine, orthomolecular psychiatry and integrative spirituality.

He is medical consultant to the Temple of the Way of Light Ayahuasca Center in Peru and Onnit Labs in Austin, Texas.

He is also Medical Director of Crossroads Ibogaine Recovery Center in Rosarito, Mexico and the Rejuvenation and Performance Institute in Sedona, Arizona.

In this episode, my objective was to learn more about the power of tribal medicines such as Ayahuasca and Ibogaine, learn how they affect the body, and see why it is that they’re experiencing such a renaissance. But, as always happens, I got so much more out of this conversation than I could have possibly imagined.

It’s a bit of a longer and denser episode. We go deep into the world of psychedelics, spiritual exploration, trauma recovery, and more. We geek out on neuroscience, and share incredible stories. It’s a bit of an unstructured conversation, but easily one of the most fascinating and engaging we’ve ever had.

By the way, you’ll notice that there are no ads in this episode. Instead, I wanted to connect with you guys a bit, share something that I feel is important, albeit controversial for people to learn about, and throughout the episode, I even open up a bit about things I’ve never shared publicly. I hope that this episode touches you, inspires you, and challenges your thinking – and if it does, I’d really appreciate if you dropped me a tweet or a review letting me know.

Just a quick disclaimer: As always, the Becoming SuperHuman Podcast is intended for educational and entertainment purposes only. Nothing in this week’s episode should be considered medical advice or any condonement for illegal substances of any kind. Be safe out there, people.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How did Dr. Dan Engle come to become one of the world’s foremost experts on psychedelics?
  • How Dr. Engle’s life completely transformed after experiencing ayahuasca for the first time
  • What exactly is ayahuasca? Where does it come from? How’s it made? What is it used for?
  • Do we actually know how ayahuasca works in the brain? And if not, is that a big deal?
  • What is Dr. Dan Engle’s biggest concern with the growing popularity of ayahuasca?
  • What are the dangers and risks of something like ayahuasca?
  • What do you need to look for in a shaman or guide? What causes things to get out of control?
  • How does ayahuasca compare to LSD, psilocybin, or other psychedelic medicines?
  • What is the safest way to start your spiritual exploration?
  • Dr. Dan Engle’s experience doing 10 hits of LSD (1000 mcg!!!)
  • How is LSD more dangerous than other psychedelic substances?
  • Who should absolutely NOT experiment with psychedelics under any circumstances?
  • The idea that life is actually a “game,” and how to live with that understanding
  • How do psychedelics heal you at a psychological level?
  • What is the “pyramid” of psychedelics, and which medicines fall where?
  • What negative outcomes have come out of the popularity of these medicines?
  • If these medicines were all legal, how would they best be used and administered?
  • A discussion of the perils of the war on drugs and why it should (and likely will) fall apart
  • What are Iboga and Ibogaine, and why are they “Level 3” psychedelics?
  • What does the data say about psychedelic therapies? How effective are they, and what are they used for?
  • Which different ailments are each of the types of psychedelics effective at healing?
  • Should everyone who is psychologically healthy experiment with psychedelics? Why or why not?
  • Where should you get started, if you’ve decided to experiment with psychedelics? (Tons of practical tips!)
  • Should you be concerned about long term effects? Does science know enough about it?
  • How do psychedelic drugs change the bran and the neuronal patterns of the brain?
  • Which supplements to take before and after a psychedelic experience to minimize the risks and side effects
  • How can you get in touch with Dr. Dan Engle?
  • What is the biggest takeaway from this episode, and one of the most important life lessons according to Dr. Engle?

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Favorite Quotes from Dr. Dan Engle:

“… I was introduced to ayahuasca, and experienced personally what I would say the equivalent of 10 years of good psychotherapy would have gotten to.”
“The ability to see the deep, preverbal, emotional, and energetic experiences that make us who we are and how we see life come to the surface. And it’s really hard to get to that kind of material using standard psychotherapeutic means and approaches.”
“That was me, taking the red pill, waking up, and deciding to really commit my life… into the investigation and the exploration.”
“These are medicines that have been held in tradition for centuries if not longer, and there is a very clear technology in interfacing with the medicines.”
“I was kind of pissed off at the entire field of psychology for never mentioning anything relevant towards these kinds of medicines.”
“The medicine itself is the one doing the direct healing.”
“If you just get out of the way… the medicine’s going to to do the work.”
“I’ve seen things, in ceremony, get really #$@%ing out of hand.”
“If people can’t hold their stuff together in a float tank, they’re really not going to be able to hold their stuff together in a ceremony.”
“Ultimately, you can only help support people as far as you’ve gone.”
“Often times, our greatest challenges are our greatest teachers.”
“If you’re dropping 300 mics at Burning Man, you could really blow your lid off!”
“There’s such a desire to connect to spirit… to the grandeur of life and the universe. And the medicines can help be a doorway into that experience.”
“The medicines are like the corkscrew that unlock the cork… once you take the cork out of the bottle, you don’t need to keep coming back.”
“The data is so freaking good, it speaks for itself.”
“Everybody, in my opinion, should be motivated to support this kind of research.”
“If most are going to explore anyway, then let’s help them do it in a good way.”

Jonathan

Jonathan

Jonathan Levi is an experienced entrepreneur and angel investor from Silicon Valley.

After successfully selling his Inc 5,000 rated startup in April of 2011, Levi enlisted the help of speed-reading expert and university professor Anna Goldentouch, who tutored him in speed-reading, advanced memorization, and more. Levi saw incredible results while earning his MBA from INSEAD, and later went on to teach a best-selling online course on the subject. With this unique skill, he has become a proficient lifehacker, optimizing and "hacking" such processes as travel, sleep, language learning, and fitness.