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***See below for a complete topic breakdown.***
MONEY CORRUPTS; OR DOES IT?
It is certainly the case that the influx of money or capital into an industry—or community, for that matter—shifts the dynamic of that industry; and the more capital that comes in and the quicker it does, the greater that shift in dynamic.
Often, this shift tends to have a degrading effect on whatever was at the center of that industry, usually because the more money that flows into something, the more likely it is that those with money will use that something to make more money, to make profit. Meaning that, eventually, the dynamics that surrounded whatever that industry—or community—was once about become corrupted as the industry itself shifts towards being about profit and driven by profit motives.
THIS CALLS TO MIND A QUESTION, IS IT THE CAPITAL, THE MONEY, ITSELF THAT CORRUPTS, OR HOW WE WIELD IT?
Setting that question aside for a moment, this shift in dynamic is the growing case for psychedelics, as people with a lot of money are beginning to see the potential profitability of psychedelics and psychedelic therapy as an industry.
And although the kind of corruption by profit-driven motives we just spoke of is, generally, a sad outcome for any industry, there is something especially sad, and even worrisome, about how the influx of profit-driven motives will affect psychedelics, in particular.
Why? Because the psychedelic experience is one of deep sacredness and that sacredness has something of profound value to offer both humanities and, through humanity, life itself in the troubled times our planet is presently in. And, there is a real concern that the profit-driven industrialization of psychedelics that is now underway threatens to corrupt that sacredness and all that it could offer us, as it shifts the cultural dynamics that hold the psychedelics themselves and us in our experiences with them.
ALONG WITH THE QUESTIONS POSED ABOVE—IS IT THE CAPITAL, THE MONEY, ITSELF THAT CORRUPTS, OR HOW WE WIELD IT?—ANOTHER QUESTION NOW COMES TO MIND: HOW DO WE SAFEGUARD THE SACREDNESS OF PSYCHEDELICS AGAINST PROFIT-DRIVEN INDUSTRIALIZATION?
It is with the foundation of these two questions that we feature Martijn Schirp on this episode of Adventures Through The Mind.
Martijn Schirp is the co-founder of Synthesis Insitute, a psychedelic retreat centre in the Netherlands. As CEO for two years – and now as Chief Visionary Officer – he has stewarded Synthesis through early concept to maturity with the vision of making psychedelic tools accessible in a safe, legal, and modern context. Under Martijn’s leadership, Synthesis has heralded a world-class, professional standard for psychedelic wellness and mental health.
Furthermore, Having previously co-founded HighExistence and Apotheosis, Martijn is an experienced entrepreneur in the wellness and transformative space. As a writer, speaker, and interviewer on psychedelic subject matter, he was one of the first in the space to anticipate the microdosing revolution in early 2014.
Applying his academic background in interdisciplinary science and philosophy, his work and identity as an entrepreneur is strongly influenced by eco-phenomenological thought, and by his decade-long personal practice with Buddhism and Shamanism. He is currently focused on scaling opportunities for flourishing, well-being, and transformation through the synthesis of contemplative practices, immersive technology, and psychedelics.
Together, Martijn and I wonder about the potential harms that will come from the profit-driven industrialization of psychedelics and psychedelic therapy; how we might safeguard the sacredness of psychedelics and people seeking psychedelic therapy against those harms; and where and how he sees Synthesis Institute as attempting to do so.
We also talk about cultural maturity; the systemic issues that lead to broad-sweeping ill-health amongst modern people; why no, it’s not “just business”; psychedelics’ role in helping us to learn to be better people in uncertain times; indigenous issues, and our personal sense of where we land in the long history of colonial harms; and why choosing love ain’t easy, but well worth it.
Martijn and Synthesis Follow-Up Links
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- (0:00) Opening
- (1:59) Overture
- (4:28) Guest bio
- (640) Support the show
- (7:29) Interview begins
- (7:48) What is (and what inspired) the Synthesis psychedelic retreat centre?
- (12:39) The complex legality of psychedelics (psilocybin) in the Netherlands
- (18:53) The impact of capital on the psychedelic space/industry
- (26:42) How profit-driven management will impact people undergoing psychedelic therapy
- (36:08) What is the proper container for holding the full depth of learning present in learning to institutionalize psychedelic therapy?
- (38:08 ) Psychedelics’ role in being better people in uncertain times
- (43:14) Further possible issues of psychedelic underground therapy in the growing industrialization of psychedelics
- (46:01) Psychedelic therapy is expensive; who’s gonna pay for it?
- (53:44) Cultural maturation | It’s safer to critique than to do the work
- (58:28 ) Choose love. It ain’t easy, it’s but well worth it.
- (1:02:06) Safeguarding the sacred through Steward Ownership
- (1:10:53) How might Synthesis’ move to steward ownership positively impact the larger psychedelic space
- (1:14:51) Why work towards greater ethics as a company, even though it might not succeed financially
- (1:22:44) No, it’s not “just business”; how you use money is a reflection of who you are
- (1:26:21) What is making us sick? | Systemic institutional change is needed to optimize psychedelic healing
- (1:33:56) Addressing these questions in the context of indigenous issues
- (1:43:02) Wondering about our place in the long history of colonialism
- (1:48:20) Is the shadow of historical displacement and ancestral disconnection at the root of white nationalism?
- (1:52:52) Compassionately wondering about the psychological impact of widespread displacement from heritage amongst Western people
- (2:01:31) Information about Synthesis’ facilitator training course
- (2:06:18) Synthesis’ new psychedelic retreat centre in Oregon, USA
- (2:08:16) Follow up links
- (2:11:20) Outro