third eye drops #122 – Wielding the Wonder Caduceus with Stephen Gray

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Stephen Gray enters the mind meld to riff about the less-traveled path, Tibetan Buddhism, Cannabis as a tool for self-improvement, psychedelic awakenings and oodles more!

Stephen is the author of Cannabis and Spirituality and Returning to Sacred World. He has worked extensively with Tibetan Buddhism and multiple shamanistic traditions. Gray is also organizing the upcoming Plant Spirit Medicine Conference in Vancouver, featuring Paul Stamets, Dennis McKenna and more.

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Among the many thoughts that rushed into my noggin after this mind meld, one sticks out most– Where does the magic go?

I’ve never met a child that wasn’t brimming with it, but when I find an adult that’s blasting it, I marvel (then I usually ask them to be on the show).

So what’s going on there? What is it that causes the slow vampiric suck on our magical morale? What is it that feeds off of the awe, wonder and creativity we were dripping with as a child? (Hopefully not literally, children dripping with any substance ain’t my cup of tea).

I’d love it if there were some sexy secret. I’d love it if there were a cabal of black robed energy vamps skulking in the shadows spouting incantations around a demonic Babylonian effigy for the sole purpose of feeding off of the psychic libido of the masses. At least then there’d be some evil wizards to blame for our mediocrity.

Deep down though, I think the answer is much simpler– The parasitic demons live in our minds. They’re called “doubt,” “fear,” “convenience,” “sloth,” “inertia” and so on. Sure there are external ones, too– Born in the wrong part of town with a low level of imaginary numbers in your bank account? Well friend, you’ve got some fearsome external demons to grapple with.

Sticking with that line of thinking– In taking an inventory of our demonic pantheon (both internal external), we take the first toward nullifying their chaotic energy-sucking capabilities. If we keep at them, if we deprive them of nutrition for long enough pretty soon their grip loosens and our will strengthens.

Of course that’s massively over simplified, making real change (inner or outer) is a tough, slogging, time-consuming business.

My aim here, though, is not to give advice. It’s to communicate that it’s a true feat to stay optimistic and filled with wonder. That’s why at the top I mentioned that I marvel at such folks. I marvel at people that manage to carry both the cross of existence and the caduceus of wonder deep into their life.

Point being, our guest on this one really is one of those wonder-dipped marvels. You can tell he follows the golden thread of his intuition and curiosity every time he gets the chance and it’s led him to some really remarkable places– Studying Buddhism with the great Chogyam Trungpa, to Amazonian shamans and many other marvels. Stephen is one of those guys that you talk to and think, “wow, I want to have these sorts of rippin’ tales down the line.”

Musings in this mind meld 

  • Tibetan buddhism, termas and the human mind

  • Stephan’s experience with Chogyam Trungpa

  • Tummo/Wim Hof-style breathing techniques

  • The alien of the eastern mind

  • From buddhism to psychedelics, Terence McKenna and more

  • Are psychedelic substances actually reality enhancers

  • Is cannabis psychedelic?

  • Cannabis as a tool to zoom in on your ego and your bullshit

  • Is there a schism between psychedelics and “straight” spiritual paths?

  • “You must find practices that can reawaken you to your power and your fortune”

  • The power of slowing down

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