Denis attended The Horizons Conference: Perspectives on Psychedelics. There he met with other enthusiastic attendees, most notably Kalindi Iyi, Hamilton Morris, and Roberta Russell. He also got to hear accomplished speakers share their research findings on the therapeutic applications of MDMA to treat PTSD, DMT for treatment-resistant depression, and psilocybin to treat cocaine addiction. Michael Pollan was a highlight. Pollan’s in depth, solemn, and almost ‘mainstream’ treatment of psychedelics in his book, How to Change Your Mind, was the inspiration Denis needed to attend this conference and seek out other therapists who are bringing entheogenic substances to the folks who need them.
Denis mentioned the reception in the sublime co-working space of The Assemblage.
The conference sessions were held in the historic Great Hall at Cooper Union.
Michael Pollan signed Denis’ copy of, The Secret Chief Revealed: Conversations with Leo Zeff.
Denis was blown away by the art and madness of conference presenter, Dustin Yellin, who created Pioneer Works, a place for art and science to win minds back from the tyranny of corporate capitalism and other soul sucking institutions. What really got Denis’ attention was Dustin’s video documenting a psychotic break.
Denis was deeply affected by the message of risk-reduction delivered by Annie Oak. She addressed the problem of sexual assault, misconduct, and harassment at community events. There has been a lot said on this topic over the last year or two. But this was different. Annie talked about Carl Jung, our shadow, and the great opportunity we have to comprehend our true selves. Even as she fulfills her leadership role in deciding whether to banish someone from a community she stewards, she takes care to make room for both accused and accuser to be seen and heard as a whole person, and not reduced to mere victim and victimizer. Her message, delivered with formidable severity and open-minded compassion was a rare feat. It was a moment, for Denis, that restored a great measure of trust.
Denis can’t wait to read Bett Williams’ next book, The Wild Kindness.
Denis also visited the Oculus.
Denis mentioned his friend and mentor, Angela Myles Beeching. You can learn more about Angela and her book, Beyond Talent in a previous episode.