Thursday, November 19, 2015


I have not yet branched out into the realm of interviewing people for this book, but today want to spend some time reviewing possible questions and formats for these upcoming talks.  In addition, I have been asked to speak on a podcast for the website "Psychedelic Parenting" this coming Monday and so want to get my thoughts in order in terms of the essential info I would like to get out about this book project.

1.  Tell me a little bit about your history with entheogens/plant medicines/psychedelic substances.
2.  Why did you first take a psychedelic substance?  Did this reason change at all over time?
3.  Do you still use psychoactive/entheogenic substances?  If so, which one(s), and why?  What do you hope to gain from their use?  Are you part of a structured organization that uses these substances as sacraments? 
4.  Has taking these substances changed your life?  If so, how?
5.  Has taking these substances affected your relations, with family, partner, children?  How?
6.  Has taking these substances affected your internal life?  If so, how?
7.  Have you ever communicated your spiritual beliefs around the use of entheogens to your family, partner or children?  If so, how did that go?  Are you honest with others about using these (currently illegal) substances as part of your spirituality?
8. Have you ever discussed using entheogens with your children? 
9.  Do you feel it is appropriate to invite children/minors to imbibe entheogenic substances?  Why or why not?  Is there an age limit you would suggest? 
10.  What is your view on parenting in terms of sharing spiritual beliefs if these beliefs are non-conventional and actually in part involve ingesting illegal substances?
11.  Do you make any distinction between the terms plant medicine, drug, entheogen, psychedelic, substance?  If so, what?

Format for parents: Have person talk about their past with entheogens in general, then their specific spiritual path and beliefs about how these medicines have been of benefit, and then if/how this has impacted their families.  If their use of entheogens has impacted family, custody, or career.  If and how they have broached the topic of using entheogens with their own children and if their children have had exposure to these medicines, and what impact this has has on their family life/ relations.

Format for kids: Have kid talk about parent, relationship with parent, and then ask if parent has shared spiritual beliefs about medicines with them.  Ask if they have any experience taking a medicinal plant, if so, if they had a reason to take it, and what happened?  Ask if they have noticed anything different about their parent as a result of the parent taking plant medicines.  Ask if their friends know about all this., and if not, what that is like for them.  Ask if they have noticed any change in themselves resulting from using the medicine. 

Podcast with Jonathan from Psychedelic Parenting  
He is asking me to look within, to see if my talk would fit into one of the 5 main themes of his site, the 5 Psychedelic Family Values.  They are Spiritual Growth and Openness, Conscious Living, Infinite Curiosity, Radical Honesty, and Authentic Expression.  My first reaction - all of them! 

Here's what I wrote to Jonathan just now:

"I looked at your 5 values, and it is hard to choose which one is most aligned with my sentiments, because I really feel connected to all five!  But radical honesty appeals to me the most, because the campaign of mis-information - ie the fear and smear campaign - waged against entheogenic medicines is radically dis-honest.  The way our society tries to use the abstinence model (Just say 'no' -  to both drugs and sex) to teach our youth is radically dis-honest, ineffective, proven NOT to work, and actually harmful to the relationships between youth and adults in the long run. Also, the way people are shunned and shamed for their spiritual practices involving entheogens is a violation of radical honesty - and authentic expression - which I would like to see remedied in my lifetime."

(I took out all my 'qualifiers - ie 'I think,' 'I feel' - reads much stronger now!)

In thinking about it further, radical honesty definitely defines how I raised my kids.  I worked hard to make complex ideas understandable for their ages - and was very cognizant of not oversharing about my own traumas but talking in general about feelings and how they can get stuck inside, that sort of thing.  I did not hide the fact that I partied, for example, but shared with them that I did, why I thought I did (both then and now), and the effects it had on me, both then and now.  I shared an honest evaluation of the subject, instead of denial and platitudes or canned responses.  I trusted in my children to hear my truth, all of it, to an age-appropriate level, and to come away better informed and better able to make their own conscious decisions when faced with situations with which they would inevitably be faced.   I honestly can't say they were better off that other kids their age, although I know we had a more connected communication than many of their peers appeared to have with their parents.  I have no idea how they would have turned out if I had managed things differently.  But I wouldn't change this aspect of my parenting if I had it to do all over again. 

It is already the end of the day - 5 pm.  I can't imagine how time goes by so fast!  


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