January 10, 2024
Science and Spirituality with Deepak Chopra

Magic Mushrooms With Special Guest, Paul Stamets.

Dive deep into the fascinating world of magic mushrooms with Dr. Deepak Chopra and legendary mycologist Paul Stamets. This conversation explores the science, spirituality, and potential of these remarkable organisms, from their role in ancient rituals to their modern-day applications in healing and consciousness exploration.


Embark on a mind-expanding journey through the mycelial network, revealing the profound potential of mushrooms to heal our bodies, minds, and planet.


Key topics:

  • Unraveling the Mystery: Paul’s journey from childhood fascination to leading authority on mushrooms and their impact on the human mind and body.
  • Psychedelic Secrets: The science behind psilocybin and its ability to promote neuroplasticity, reduce anxiety and depression, and even increase neurogenesis.
  • Microdosing Magic: Unveil the benefits of microdosing with psilocybin and discover the “stack” that could be a game-changer for cognitive function and aging.
  • Mushrooms, Myths & Morality: From Soma to Manna, explore the historical and spiritual significance of mushrooms across cultures and traditions.
  • Healing the Planet: Discover how mushrooms can hold the key to ecosystem restoration, bioremediation, and sustainable living.



“People out there don’t know that psychedelics are non-addictive. In fact, they are anti-addictive by nature.”


“I believe psilocybin makes nicer people.”




#mushrooms #mycology #psychedelics #microdosing #consciousness #science #spirituality #healing #climatechange #sustainability #DeepakChopra #PaulStamets


Paul Stamets BIO


Paul Edward Stamets is an American mycologist and entrepreneur who sells various mushroom products through his company. He is an author and advocate of medicinal fungi and mycoremediation.


Follow him on social media at:





For his references and publications, please visit www.mushroomreferences.com

To enroll in the study: www.microdose.me


Listen to the podcast here

Magic Mushrooms With Special Guest, Paul Stamets

A Conversation With Deepak Chopra And Paul Stamets About Mystics, Medicine And The Mind

We are continuing our conversations with influencers, luminaries, sages, scientists, philosophers, and psychotics. We’re a group here looking at reality from different perspectives. In this episode, it’s my great privilege on Earth to bring into this conversation somebody who I’ve admired from a distance for decades. He’s also a common friend of a lot of common friends, but more importantly, I think he’s the preeminent number-one expert on the world of mushrooms. I’m holding this book in my hand called Fantastic Fungi: How Mushrooms Can Heal, Shift Consciousness, and Save the Planet. The editor and contributor here is our friend, Paul, who’s joining us now.

We have a lot to cover. I’m very grateful that he’s here with us. We’ll be reaching millions of people with this conversation. Hopefully, this will inspire you and friends of yours to look into this amazing work that Paul Stamets has done for us, for the world, for science, and consciousness. Paul, I had the occasion to actually meet Louie Schwartzberg and he’s done a good job with your help in this book. I just like to start by first thanking you. Also for our audience who may not know you or your work, a little background. Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school? I know several accolades. Share a little bit about your personal life and how you got into becoming who you are, this authority in mushrooms.


Thank you for that very generous opening. I grew up in a small town in Columbiana, Ohio outside of Youngstown. It is a very conservative and dry town if you know what that means. I grew up in a scientific family and was the youngest of five kids. I adored my brother, John. He was my eldest brother, seven years apart. John went on to Yale. John was a serious scientist. In our basement, we had 3 or 4 rows of chemicals. My dad served on the Aircraft Carrier Intrepid, so we got the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier radio. The main radio for the aircraft carrier after World War II was in our basement.

Magic Mushrooms: Fantastic Fungi: Expanding Consciousness, Alternative Healing, Environmental Impact

My brother, John, was running all these serious experiments in chemistry, and he let me play in the corner when I was younger and tune in to all these things like coded messages from behind the iron curtain from a 200-foot-long antenna with a glass insulator in order to pick up long-range signals. I was just fascinated and I lived in his shadow. He went to Colombia, South America, and Mexico and came back with these amazing stories about psilocybin mushrooms. I was blown away. He lent me a book called Altered States Of Consciousness. It was one of those textbooks.


You may actually remember that book by Charles Tart. It was several books at the time. I also spoke to Andrew Weil, our dear friend. He wrote a book called The Natural Mind. Those two books were two pistons in the engine and excited me, but the Altered States Of Consciousness John lent me, I voraciously read with my friend, Ryan, who was my best friend. He borrowed it. I said, “You have to give it back. Brother John’s going back to college. He needs it. It’s one of his textbooks.” Ryan said, “No problem. I’ll give it back to you in a few days.”


A few days passed, and he didn’t get back to me, and more days passed. My brother John was pressuring me to return his textbook. I finally just came to Ryan and I said, “Ryan I got to have the book. My brother wants it.” He goes, “I can’t give it to you.” I said, “Why?” He says, “My father found it and burned it.” I said, “Your father burned my brother’s book?” I was in disbelief because his father was a very authoritarian far-right conservative who didn’t want his kids changing their consciousness for some unreasonable fear.


When that occurred, I was very upset and I was so ashamed. My brother, John, was so disappointed in me because he entrusted me with this, but I like to take lemon and make it into lemonade and I thought, “If this was a causal thing to make Ryan’s father burn my book, then I think I found a subject matter I really want to pursue.” That’s it basically. I grew up in a very scientific family. My brother went on to Cornell, where my dad and my sister went during their college. My twin brother and I went to a prep school called Immersive Academy.


We got kicked out of marijuana, which is probably one of the best things that ever happened in my life as well. I ended up in Washington state. I worked in the woods for 3 or 4 years. I went to The Evergreen State College and I was fascinated with scanning electron microscopy and I was living in the mountains. I was self-taught on the taxonomy of mushrooms. I tried to find psilocybin mushrooms. It was very difficult to find, but I immersed myself in the science of mycology and then I started writing taxonomic keys, the binary keys that describe a mushroom, black spores, and non-black spores. I go down to a decision tree.


I wrote some taxonomic keys to the genus philosophy, which contains the majority of the psilocybin mushrooms. It’s important to know that there are 116 known species of mushrooms that contain psilocybin. It crosses continents and cultures. They are hiding in nature on every continent on this planet. I think people tuned into the ecosystem and eventually discovered these or the mushrooms discovered the people. That’s probably more likely that way. That’s a short history.


It is very enlightening. My very special guest is Paul Stamets, the foremost authority on mushrooms and mycology, including taxonomy. I’m holding in my hands a number of papers and scientific reports published in various peer-reviewed journals. Paul has become the leading authority on all things mushroom. Let me share a little bit about my history with Paul and then I want your comments and some notes about what we can also discuss as this conversation goes along. My first experience with anything psychedelic was in 1966. The experience was with LSD.


We had Harvard professors visiting our medical school in India, which was funded amongst other institutions by the Rockefeller Foundation at that time. There were four medical students visiting from Harvard including their professor. Remember, this is before 1969 when the Beatles went to visit and all that. The word was out that there was interesting experimentation going on with psychedelics. I was 1 of 4 people recruited from my class of Indians along with the four Americans. We went through two experiences. The first one was very scary to me. I lost my moorings and I lost my so-called identity. I couldn’t figure out who I was, but in the second experience, we were all looking at a poster or several pieces of art. One of the posters I was looking at was Mother Teresa kissing children with leprosy.


The myth at that time was that when she lovingly kissed children who had leprosy, their wounds would heal. I understand how that could have happened, but that was the prevailing conversation. It is that this deep compassion that she had would cure people. I was looking at this poster for almost eight hours. It filled me with a kind of compassion that I never lost. It influenced everything like medical school and then coming to the United States for internship, residency, and on and on.


That was a very seminal experience, as you being the authority, LSD is described that it ultimately comes from a mushroom, even though it’s synthetic. Many years went by, I had never felt the need to explore anything until I became very close to neuropsychiatrists from Oxford in England who live in New York. Her origin is British Indian. She’s become a bit of authority here in the local medical schools on assisted therapy, including with ketamine. Everyone has access to psilocybin now. I’ve been sitting with her as she takes people through sessions and guided meditation before and after the experience, including psilocybin.


My interest is, as you know, only consciousness. That’s all I’m obsessed with for the last years, including the hard problem of consciousness and why we think it’s a wrong approach. I’ve talked to Michael Pollan. I’m privileged to talk to you. I have also sat with Geeta, sitting with people going through the last phases of their lives. We sat with one of my agents who had been my agent for many years. She also was the agent for Bishop Tutu, a very well-known person in the publishing industry. She was in a terminal stage of brain cancer. We sat with her and got through a session.


She had what we call in our medical world terminal lucidity and had the most peaceful transition a week later. I have many questions for you, but let’s start with what interests me most. I know your work is totally science-based and I have had my own struggles with the scientific paradigm, which we’ll catch on later. I come from a wisdom tradition where consciousness is fundamental and pure before it gets modified into what we call states of mind, including this experience we are having now.


Tweet: Consciousness is fundamental, consciousness is pure before it gets modified into what we call states of mind.


Intuitively, I felt that these substances or medicines somehow erased the editing of the conditioned mind and all this with the default mode network and all the other benefits that you so eloquently talk about. Tell me one thing. Is this what is happening? Are we removing the editing of the conditioned mind that goes back thousands of years of human history and actually entering a domain of awareness that is so pure, timeless, and incomprehensible because it’s infinite and yet it is the fundamental reality and everything else is a modified form of that? Answer this question for me. I have lots of other questions.


That’s so parallel. For those of you reading who have not done a deep journey with psilocybin for instance, which is what I specialize in, the words ineffable and indescribable are not just words that are thrown around lightly. It’s our struggle to create a language to explain what we experience. In my experience with psilocybin, I only do psilocybin once or twice a year. I oftentimes wonder why I don’t do it more often, but for people out there who don’t know, psilocybins are not addictive. In fact, they are anti-addictive by nature.


Tweet: Psychedelics are not addictive. In fact, they are anti-addictive by nature.


The next day after you look at the mushrooms, most people say, “No way. I won’t touch that for a long time.” These are also experiences that affected me deeply and personally from the very beginning. I had an extraordinarily bad stuttering habit. If you have seen the movie The King’s Speech, I was worse than that. My psilocybin experience taught me to love myself. If you love yourself, then everything else is easier because I know fundamentally that I’m a good person. I also know fundamentally that people are good. There’s a unanimity of goodness as a bridge across all peoples, I believe. The experience I had was one word came to me and it was really powerful. It was existence. We always exist in different forms.


With high doses of psilocybin, you realize that everything is talking. Everything is communicating. The experience that I’ve had, it called me out, and probably you as well as many others too, “Now that you are aware, you have a responsibility to the planet. You have a responsibility to all living creatures, even inanimate objects to walk a path of dignity, caring, and loving.” I believe we all are part of one giant consciousness. This is something that has come to me that’s so powerful.


I feel better about my own mortality on realizing that this organic matter I sprung into, which I return, gives me a great solace that I’m just on this journey and that human existence is one episode or one chapter in an exhaustive endless book of experiences of existence. We have to be careful because we don’t want to become messianic about this because there are a lot of pitfalls associated with that. I always learned that as soon as your ego goes up, nature comes around and slaps you back, so I’m going to be careful.

Magic Mushrooms: As soon as your ego goes up, nature comes around and slaps you back.

I feel like I am a thought leader, one of the many generations throughout thousands of years, and we need to pass this knowledge forward. How do we do that? I’m really happy to hear about your LSD experience because you had preprocessing, post-processing, analysis, and structure. Many indigenous societies and cultures have these structures in place. It is displaced in a sense where people migrate all over the world. By the way, when you migrate, we take our ancestral knowledge. We carry it forward.


Dissemination of sacraments and knowledge of sacraments is part of our path. You meet somebody on a remote trail going over the mountain range and they’re a friend or foe. If they’re a friend, you exchange items and knowledge that are useful in friendship. I see that there’s a zeitgeist of our time with psilocybin. I feel that we face an enormous climate crisis and chaos. I believe psilocybin makes nicer people and smarter people. There are multiple meta-studies that I like speaking about that have been reported that show that one psilocybin experience is statistically significantly related to a reduction of partner-to-partner violence, reduction in crime, larceny, theft, burglary, and other crimes.


With a large meta-study, I think 200,000 people, there was only one psychedelic associated with a reduction of opioid use disorder, only one. Not LSD, not MDMA, not ketamine, but psilocybin. Psilocybin offers a way of creating neural pathways for neurogenesis. So much of my work has been focused on microdosing. We have excellent examples of neurogenic activity. There’s no genesis in the hippocampus. Newborn stem cells become neurons.


There’s neurogeneration, which causes nerves to generate. There are neuroregenerations when nerves are atrophying and then they’re stimulated into regrowth. There’s neuroplasticity or synaptogenesis, which causes these brain networks to better cross-talk to each other. We’re seeing evidence across all of those. I want to speak to something that’s practical to people because if we speak in the ethereal or the spiritual always, how is it rooted in the reality of actionable solutions? We discovered this and published it in two papers on microdosing.


I have the papers. It’s amazing stuff.


They are in the top 99.9% of all papers ever published in Nature Publication Ecosystems. Nature is a big deal for scientists. Only 7% of the articles submitted get published approximately. What we found that is so extraordinary is the reduction in anxiety and depression from microdosing. What is a microdose? Maybe I should define these terms. Microdose has been typically sensorium. That means below your senses, but it’s really not quite that. It could be 1/10 of a gram of liftoff dose. You’re not intoxicated. Colors are a little bit brighter. You’re in a better mood. That’s basically what defines a microdose. We did this large study with Quantified Citizen about microdose.


Anyone can sign up for the Droid or the Apple device. We’ve over 20,000 people now reporting. The first study was qualitative, why did they microdose, is it increasing intelligence? Fighting depression was the biggest one and anxiety. Who doesn’t have anxiety and depression in these challenging times? We also narrowed down to something that we want to look at, which is psychomotor benefits. The expectancy of taking a mushroom and hoping you become less depressed is there’s an expectancy factor. People expect the medicine to reduce depression, so how do you disambiguate cause and effect versus expectancy of the medicine?


We had one called the tap test. Anybody can do this. How many times can you tap your two fingers in ten seconds? There’s a side fact of that, folks. We all suffer from neurodegeneration and age. Deepak have a vested interest in your wisdom, to the very end of your life being on the top of your game and many other people. The tragedy of aging is that we lose encyclopedic knowledge not to pass on to the next generation. The body intellect of knowledge that we need to preserve for humanity is so critical for fighting climate change, overcoming wars, developing better relationships, etc. The tap test is a psychomotor test. I popularized a stack, and a stack is a combination of psilocybin with lion’s mane and niacin. I came up with this in 2014 and 2015. I just call it the stack but it’s known as a Stamet stock.


In our survey, we ask how many people are stacking and how many people are doing the Stamet stock. I think 58% of the people who are stacking are using this combination of lion’s mane, and it’s a mycelium the way, not the fruit bodies, big difference. The mycelium augments neurogenesis and the fruit bodies do not, so make sure it’s mycelium, lion’s mane, niacin, nicotinic acid, which is the flushing form, not the non-flushing form, and then a microdosis psilocybin. An extraordinary result occurred. I’ve got 7 or 8 co-authors and 3 statisticians. They literally called me up and said, “We see something, but we don’t want to tell you until we re-analyze this data with three different analytical methods,” and it held up true.


What we found was simply this. With 55-plus year-olds, there was an increase in the psychomotor skills of tapping from about 48 taps in 10 seconds to 69 after 30 days of using the Stamets stock. With psilocybin alone or with any other form, no significance. No signal at all. People want to know, “Why did you come up with this combination?” I did it for multiple reasons. I suspected that psilocybin causes neurogenesis and I knew psilocybin made nicer people. It made me a nicer person. A lot of people I know are much nicer post-psilocybin trips, so I think the data supports this. I knew that a lion’s mane causes remyelination on the axons of nerves.


Many studies have come out on that. There are four clinical studies. I populate a website called MushroomReferences.com, unbranded, just for physicians and scientists. You can find clinical studies there. Remyelination on the axons of nerves helps your signal transmission. Neurogenesis is what I suspected with psilocybin, even though it had not been reported. I used nicotinic acid, the flushing form of niacin because sometimes that’s a vasoconstrictor. Niacin is a vasodilator. I thought the larger the vessels, the more conduit of neuro-nutrients coming through.


Neuropathy oftentimes presents itself as a deadening of the fingertips and toes. I thought the vascular system could be improved. Neuropathy presents itself as a deadening of the peripheral nervous system, and niacin causes you to itch and flush. All your nerve endings are excited. I thought, “That’d be great.” Also, for the reason as an aversive. How are you going to microdose across the counter? Everybody would like to macrodose, so a lot of people would do so. By adding niacin, if you haven’t done 400 milligrams or 500 milligrams of niacin, try it. In twenty minutes, you’ll start itching.


As a physician, I’m seeing that.


That combination is why I came up with that. Lo and behold, the significance that we found in the tap tests using the stack, the p-value of significance is 0.004. Put this in context. With 0.005, there are five chances out of 100. It would be just random. 0.004 is one chance of 250 that this could be a false signal or a random signal. I believe we have now evidence preliminarily that has to be proven in clinical studies, let me be clear about that, but now we have cellular evidence with neuroreceptors called MAP kinase. These are proteins that are receptors.


Only if you activate these, then they cause neurogenesis. We have massive results. We have over 200 as an example of synergy. People may not know what synergy is. If you have one X of one compound and one X of another compound, you put them together and you’re expected would be 2X. We have zero of one compound with these neuroreceptors and zero with another compound in the stack. The activity is massive. 0 plus 0 plus 0 equals 50 or 100. It is called synergy.


Biosynergy, yes.


I really discovered something that is evidence preliminarily. Again, it has to be proven in clinical studies. It is strong evidence not only with the MAP kinases. These neuroreceptors or neurites, we grow it in the petri dishes of brain neurons. We can see the activity increasing, and then the physical psychomotor test. We have three pearls on the string of evidence that is leading to look like psilocybin mushrooms with lion’s mane and niacin cause neurogenesis. Think about how many people could be saved from not falling when they are older and have better psychomotor skills.


I think about how many guitar players or piano players can be digitally agile. That’s directly related to the tap test. It’s potentially a game-changer. Niacin is a catalyst for many of these compounds of neurological health. Ironically, if you go to ClinicalTrials.gov, type in psilocybin and there are 100 clinical studies that have been registered in ClinicalTrials.gov. Eleven of them use niacin, the opposite of psilocybin, as a positive control. They totally teach away from my invention. Why did they choose niacin? It’s because, in twenty minutes, they feel something.


I want to post you as a physician. Is it ethical to trick people with a placebo in treating their depression when, in twenty minutes, they’re hot, they’re red, they’re itching, and they know they got niacin? Doesn’t that distort the data set because people become more depressed because they’re hoping to get psilocybin and they got the placebo? When they measure the effects of depression against a baseline, the placebo, they’re actually exacerbating the differential. That’s a rhetorical question from one scientist or another physician. It’s interesting to me that other people have not picked up on this. We have 3 papers and 3 published now in Nature, 2 on the tap test.


We like any physicians out there to look into this because it’s how you could have a placebo that’s specific for 55-plus year-olds that increases psychomotor benefits. I looked it up. There are six regions of the brain that are involved in tapping your two fingers. It’s amazing. You have ideation. You have sight. You have the feedback loop. You have the coordination. You have the cadence. It’s extraordinarily complicated. It’s amazing that we humans even exist. We start looking at how much the neural networks are involved or just doing the simplest of things.


This is what we’re really excited about. Our first clinical studies will be on Parkinson’s for which there’s no treatment. Also, Alzheimer’s, dementia, traumatic brain injuries, and all of these use the tap test as a standard test for measuring neuropathies and neurological decline or recovery. For many people with traumatic brain injuries, the tap test scores go down initially and they come back up. With Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia, unfortunately, the slope is straight down. We think we have something here that’s really a game-changer.

Magic Mushrooms: We think we have something here that’s really a game-changer.




I’m speaking to Paul Stamet. As you were speaking about love and being nicer, in the ultimate reality, we’re all so inseparable. Love becomes the ultimate experience of unity consciousness. Rabindranath Tagore used to say, “Love is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation.” It is paving the way scientifically to say that love heals. Now we know that the opposite of love, whatever we want to call it, fear, anger, hostility, guilt, shame, depression, or inflammation does the opposite.


We’ve done several studies through our foundation even during the COVID pandemic where those who are getting sick and those who were succumbing to the disease even the elderly younger people all had inflammation, depression, and anxiety, and frequently didn’t even know what their source of anxiety was, yet the anxiety and stress was making them come to these inflammatory storms that were getting these people into trouble. Here is my question. You’ve talked and given us a lot of information. I have it here on neuroplasticity, neuropathy, inflammation, healing, chronic illness, depression, mood changes, and all of that.


I have some existential questions as well because, in my Indian tradition, we go through four phases of existence. The first 25 years is education. The second 25 years is fame or fortune. The third 25 years is giving back. Now, I’m going to be 76 in a couple of months. This is the time when we figure out, “What’s going on? What’s reality? What’s the nature of the self?” As I’ve been exploring this in my own world with my own little curiosity, we’re going to ask you a question. Let’s not risk being blasphemous. In India, in the hymns of the Rigveda, there are two chapters devoted to soma. Soma is the elixir of immortality.


People are always trying to figure out what the soma is. In fact, as a side note, when my father passed away, we were taking his ashes to the Ganges. My brother and I were in the cab that was going up to the mountains. My brother at that time was the dean of education at Harvard Medical School. He’s younger than me by three years. As we were going up again, there were all these Sadhus. They were what we call Samadhi transcendence. My brother asked our driver. He said, “What are they smoking?” He said, “Ganja, sir.” My brother said, “Can we get some?” The taxi driver said, “No, sir. You have to be enlightened.”


With that introduction, you look at soma in the Rigveda. The hymns that are sung to this whatever the substance is tell in esoteric poetic language everything that I have here as a reference from you. It says in poetry, song, and verse. I started to think, “With the manna that dropped from heaven, Moses fed the manna to the Israelites. Was that fungus? When Jesus converted water into wine, did the wine casks have fungus inside them?”


This is not a blasphemous query because what these substances are doing is probably returning us to our primal state of being or existence. You said we had existence in many forms. Now in my body, I can’t even move my fingers to speak to you without the help of the genetic information of all my ancestors, human ancestors, animal ancestors, and microbial ancestors all the way back to the neural networks that your friend, Suzanne, smartly talks about the mother tree. Can you respond to my query?


You’re asking a question that may not ever have a concrete answer because it’s all hypothetical and speculative. You talked about something that when you have such an accumulation of symbols, legends, and uses, it speaks to the same narrative. Because this medicine is so powerful in changing people’s minds and because it’s a disruptor of conventional wisdom, then it’d be natural for the teachers who guard these secrets to protect them. They’re cloaked in poetry, symbolism, and folklore without revealing everything. For those of you who have gone to an Islamic mosque, the shape of the windows is attached and not really perfect for psilocybin mushrooms.


I went to Cappadocia as a teen post to death of Christ, the second, third, or fourth century. I was being led by a guide and I said, “What do you think about all these mushroom symbols all over these caves?” He goes, “What mushroom symbols?” I pointed out twenty of them and he looked like deer in the headlights. He just suddenly lit up. There are numerous examples throughout the world like the manna from heaven, soma, and all of these things. That’s interesting. It’s fun to speculate, but the here and now, we can document concrete evidence. Let’s not try to interpret the past and get into a quagmire of dissenters, trolls, and people who argue. It’s not possible.


Let’s argue about what we can see as evidence now. Over 100 clinical trials going on in psilocybin are approved by the IRB or Institutional Review Board and are vetted by scientists and physicians, they’re only approved if there is an urgent need. Some promise of treating these illnesses and low toxicity and availability. With psilocybin, every box there is checked. I could talk for hours about the speculation throughout history since the dawn of humanity. Psilocybin evolved about 20 million years ago when it first appeared. Psilocybin mushrooms have a unique habit of being trail followers. They follow the activities of humans.


I’m in this room on an island in British Columbia, and I spent a lot of time in the old-growth forest. Mushrooms are extremely rare. There’s only one species, Pseudosasa speculosa, that we found in the old-growth forest. When you take other trees and chip them, suddenly, these psilocybin mushrooms come up in the wood chips.


With the advent of landscaping around buildings in the 1960s and 1970s, when I was working with Dr. Daniel Stuntz at the University of Washington, he had never seen these psilocybin mushrooms. These students were bringing them in all the time because they were growing the wood chips around the university buildings. What’s interesting to me is that these psilocybin mushrooms follow human activities. I think they’re following human activity for a purposeful reason. This is out there, but I do believe this.


Tweet: Psilocybin mushrooms are following humanity for a purposeful reason.


They’re coming into play now. They’re so important and, at a time, critical where we must evolve. We are no longer the homo sapiens of the past 200,000 years and we damn well better not be. It’s time for us to evolve to a higher state of being. I propose homo ascendus. We need to ascend to a higher state of consciousness. 200,000 years for species is a very short time period. Suddenly, the human brain expanded in a time of climate change and migration.


There’s no doubt we all came from Africa. I don’t think there’s a serious critic out there that can dispute that. As we migrated, we carried the knowledge of psilocybin mushrooms. People all over the world discovered these mushrooms. When they had this experience, it was so transformative. Cells have mushrooms. Flies land on them, eggs are laid, and larvae grow. There are 23 primates that are known to eat mushrooms. These primates also eat larvae, so mushrooms being fleshy and the mushroom growing in India, you can see it hundreds of feet away.


I go back to your Indian roots. Several things that I think are really interesting are the cows are sacred. You don’t want to kill the mother that’s giving you the sacrament. That’s interesting to me. Krishna being blue, the blue in the psilocybin, soma. It’s well-reported that Buddha died from eating a mushroom. I had a Buddhist priest tell me that he went into a heightened state of consciousness purposely by ingesting the mushroom.


It is totally fitting what you’re saying. They asked him, “Are you God? Are you divine? Are you a messenger or the Messiah?” “None of the above.” “Tell us who you are.” He said, “I’m awake.” That was his last sentence.”


We have an awakening that we realize that we’re part of a much bigger purpose.


What you are calling the awakening to the next species, I’ve been calling that meta-human, going beyond the ordinary conditioned mind that we call human. We need to wake up to that meta-human where we see the inseparability of existence. We can’t go over a certain time limit for social media because we have to go everywhere. I see a lot of patients with neuropathy. Some of them have neuropathy as a result of chemotherapy or they’re taking tamoxifen or something like that. There are many medical drugs that are toxic that cause neuropathy. I’m also seeing all this new information on nicotinamide mononucleotide and these so-called signal molecules that extend lifespan.


Do you think there’s a role for psilocybin not only in the treatment of neuropathy but also in life extension along with other lifestyle measures such as good sleep, healthy emotions, and so on? Lastly, I have appointments now in several medical schools like the University of California, San Diego, Mount Sinai here, and Central Florida. How can we help promote your work? Not that you need more work to do, but this is so important. In a way, you’ve also suggested the role that mushrooms play would facilitate the next evolutionary leap of metahuman or whatever you call it. There was a final question, and that was on mechanism. Does serotonin have anything to do with this or is this entirely a different mechanism?


It’s unfortunate that hundreds of studies and many studies on psilocybin show that psilocybin is a molecule. We’re 99.9% not an exaggeration of people using psilocybin in the mushroom form. We have found that psilocybin analogs have extraordinarily powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It is stimulating what’s called interleukin 10 and interleukin 1 or A. These are anti-inflammatory cytokines. Normally, it promotes neurogenesis, but it’s bundled with neuro anti-inflammatory. That’s medically unique to have cell division that buffers down the inflammation. Many physicians at the University of Arizona Medical School, Dr. Andrew Weil, etc. are strong supporters of my work. I don’t make medical recommendations, but you should absolutely source a supply of lion’s mane from a certified organic, preferably US-sourced facility.


We have a product line. It’s at Fungi.com. For over 60% of the people in the nature of the study, that is the most popular lion’s mane product that’s out there. Logically, it seems to be connected. We don’t know and I’m not a medical doctor so I can’t make recommendations, but we’re at an opportunity now with the neuro anti-inflammatories and neuroregeneration that this could be bundled in and further stocked with other conventional medicines. I don’t think that it’s going to be one size fits all. Looking at the receptor landscapes and the ecosystem by activating synergistic responses that are buffering inflammation but promoting neurogenesis in conjunction with other medicines that can help, that’s the best path and much of our research is going in that direction


Does it increase the activity of serotonin receptors?


Psilocybin is a serotonin agonist, so it substitutes. The reason why many of us think that macrodosing and microdosing are a nice pairing is because when you have a macrodose, you think differently of new neurological pathways, but if you chase that with microdosing, you revisit those same new neurological pathways and reinforce them. Dr. Roland Griffiths’ seminal study from 1999, fourteen months later, the act of re-remembering the experience was therapeutically beneficial. Our memories are revisiting neurological pathways. The re-remembering of a positive experience was therapeutically beneficial. That’s extraordinary.


When you’re facing immunological distress, we know that when you’re happier, your immune system is in a better state of readiness. When you are depressed, you are literally immunologically depressed. If you can wake up the day, excited, sharing with your family, and being creative and artistic, you have optimism and this mind over matter that you and Dr. Angel Weil speak so eloquently about. This is potentially a game changer across a wide field of medicine to help people potentially recalibrate in a sense. It was not thought that adults could grow new neurons in the hippocampus, related to brain-derived neurofactors. Now, we know we can. This is potentially a game-changer medicine. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of our elders at the very end of their lives were intellectually intact to be able to pass the torch to the next generation?

Magic Mushrooms: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of our elders at the very end of their lives were intellectually intact to be able to pass the torch to the next generation?




How much knowledge is lost when every elder dies that suffers from neuropathy and dementia? Think of the tragedy of the commons. All of us being reading are thought leaders. It is so important to be able to carry our knowledge forward with dignity, courage, kindness, and love. I really believe that when you open up your heart and you share love and kindness, you do things not as a transactional exchange of, “What is my benefit?” By benefiting the commons, everyone benefits, and I think this is a game changer at a time critical when we need to have a paradigm-shifting solution. Psilocybin can be the one for that.


My very special guest has been Paul Stamet. We are talking about psilocybin, mushrooms, healing, and inflammatory effects, terminal lucidity, neurogenesis, and the future evolution of the human species. As an ending, I trained under a person called Seymour Reichlin. This is in the ‘70s. We were looking at opiates and receptors in the brain.


He visits New York frequently and teaches at NYU when he can. If he finds a snake in his garden, he looks for receptors and all that and still argues with me about the hard problem of consciousness. Paul, this has been an amazing conversation. Thank you so much for your contribution to science, your contribution to humanity, and your contribution to the alleviation of suffering in this world. I’m very grateful to you. Count me as your ally in your future endeavors.




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