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***See below for a complete topic breakdown.***

What is the actual point of taking psychedelics?

Of course, there is no one answer to this, but the question informs a lot of my work. One of the avenues of curiosity I have around this question leads me towards something akin to ‘becoming a better person to help make a better world‘. Well, what the hell does that even mean and what might it be like? Furthermore what deep-seated patterns of self-identity lead me to perceive myself as fundamentally not better enough already?

Well, look at that: one question lead to more questions and I am sure if we followed the trail even further along, our due diligence of intellectual vigour aboard, we would find more questions all the way down (likely along with many, many turtles). So let’s fine-tune our direction a little bit and avoid the infinite regress as best we can for today.

Becoming a better person, with or without psychedelics, requires more than just ourselves, which means more than just the individual. We are social creatures; I am not without you. Thus, becoming a better person means participating in the social realities (models) of better people, which requires a bettering of those social realities. Now, maybe ‘bettering’ is not the best term to use, but either way what we are talking about here is a deep re-imagining of the very basis of our models of engagement, personally and interpersonally. Moreover, in order to reimagine those models of the world, we have to be able to get a sense of what our models currently are and what it is about them that is so fundamentally impoverished that we are called to ‘better’ them at all.

Jean Robertson, 2018

Well, that’s a lofty line of inquiry we’ve got there today, and it’s one that our guest for this podcast, Jean Roberston, is going to explore with us. Specially, she is going to share with us the vision, and the lived experience of what it might mean to live in a post-judgement, collaborative world. Humanity 3.0, as she calls it.

Now, I admit I don’t think I can adequately introduce Jean to you, so I will leave you here with her words, introducing herself.

Enjoy the episode!

Actually, this is an auto-bio for James’s interview of me. And that’s a challenge! Who are you reading this, and what would it make sense for you to hear from me? Who do I, Jean, think I am anyway? This is a core question I have posed to myself and to people around me frequently in many forms. What story do I offer you here, and who might we be and become to one another based on what story I offer here?

One thing that seems relevant is that back in the 1990’s I remember saying to a friend, “I want the rest of my life to be a series of passionate conversations. Overall that seems to be the way it is working out. [I am offering you here a sample of the meta-flavoured conversation that surrounds me.]

Interdependent scholar and context artist, busking for world change and collaborative wisdom generation.

Founder and context holder/convener of Upstart Collaboratory for Collaborative Culture Designing, which is a social lab as Zaid Hassan has evolved them (see, “putting the creativity and knowledge of the people of the community to work to design the institutions we don’t presently have and can’t yet imagine ourselves needing.” (from our vision statement.)

Wisdom Anchor in Zendo56, a grassroots zen learning context, one of those institutions we ’can’t yet imagine ourselves needing’.

Age presently: 76. Born in Toronto, 1942, a pre boomer war baby, early adopter in Toronto of the 60’s mindset, but not fully formed till after several years living in London England at the end of the 60’s into the 70’s. I have been understanding the effects and implications of the context of my birth on my life for the whole of my lifetime, and also learning the effects and implications of all of history, including especially the history of humanity, especially the last 10,000 years.  I began to discover history through a quiet but mighty Grade 12 history teacher and my also passionate reading habit.

Reading Habits: I own and host a house in Waterloo Ontario with about 10-15,000 books and with a rotating cast of live characters in an ongoing reality show. I offer among other things orientation sessions on ‘diffractive reading’ ( the term is author Karen Barad’s in Meeting The Universe Halfway) and books as the interface between people and minds in conversation.

— Jean Robertson, 2018



Episode Breakdown

  • The slippery creative nature of language
  • Shifting meaning with language
  • Collaboration vs coercion
  • Post-judgement; Humanity 3.0
  • The coercive mindset and the patriarchy
  • Different forms of power
  • Unconditional love as an accessible, learnable skill
  • It needs to be more than just intellectualism
  • The central role of the kitchen sink
  • The lived experience of the collaborative model
  • Relationships in the collaborative model
  • Nothing is wrong, and no one is to blame
  • A new definition of thinking
  • Putting unconditional love in the Cultural Commons
  • The meaning of meaning

Relevant Links

The Upstart Collaboratory for Collaborative Culture Designing

“The Upstart Collaboratory is a focus of learning events, resources, community and action supporting a transformative cultural shift to Humanity 3.0 and a collaborative culture. […] Collaboration is us taking creative action together for the future we desire, while nurturing trust of ourselves and others as creative designers and learners in an interdependent world.”

I highly suggest taking a look at their assumptions and commitments and the circle maps to get a deeper sense of Jean’s cultural models.



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*** Big thanks to my patrons on Pateron for helping keep this podcast alive! Especially, Thomas & Melanie H., Clean S., Steven B., Greg A., Dean H., Joe A., Andy D., Angela & James J., Ian C., Gibson V., Reese. H., Harry P., Don J., Robbie G., & Yvett F.C.



  1. Hello,

    I was wondering if there is any way you can direct me in how I can access the Circles Maps?
    The website is not working and I’m not sure how to find Jean Robertson to inquire how I can access them further. I stumbled upon them last year and found them fascinating and helpful and would love to be able to review them again. Do you have an email for Jean that I can reach her?

    Thank you so much.

    Allison O

    • Hi Allison, I believe you also messaged me on facebook, yes?
      I confirmed with a member of the Jean-team that the website should be back up in the next few weeks.

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