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

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What does it mean to have a spiritual crisis?

Psychedelic therapy is coming and the likelihood of the rapid expansion of access that will come with it being totally harmless is low. Of course, the goal seems to be providing very managed doses to highly screened individuals, so as to protect them from any possible negative side effects. But–the loss that only “well-managed doses” represents to the whole of society aside–chances are, managed doses or not, people are going to be having experiences that are beyond what they will be able to make sense of. They are likely to be confronted with experiences that call into question the very fabric of their lives at the level of revelation.

And by revelation, I don’t mean the watered-down common use of the word today. I mean it in its 13c sense, as “disclosure of information to man by a divine or supernatural agency;” as a personal apocalypse of cataclysmic impact on one’s very sense of reality; as the forced dismantling and re-appraisal of the foundations of what’s real by way of an en-theo-gen forcing a theos into a space that had no space for it. I am talking about spiritual awakenings and the spiritual crisis that can come with them.

Of course, you don’t need psychedelics to experience a spiritual crisis. Many people do, and many people likely are right now. And for those of you who haven’t had one, or don’t know anyone who has, it ain’t pretty when a crisis comes one’s way. It isn’t an angsty confusion on what crystal best activates what chakra. The troubles a spiritual crisis can introduce into one’s life are a blistering salient disruption and often present as symptoms any trained psychiatrist would identify as psychosis or schizophrenia. Lives have been lost at the hands of spiritual crisis (like my friend and colleague Tobias). A spiritual crisis is a serious event.

I hope reading these paragraphs above has introduced a number of questions into your mind. Questions like “what causes a spiritual awakening to become a crisis?”; “what’s the difference between a proper psychosis and a spiritual crisis, and how can we tell that difference?”; “is there something about how our society understands spirituality that creates the context for crisis to emerge?”; and, of course “how does one / how do I heal a spiritual crisis?”

All these questions are going to be explored in this Psychedelic Café episode of Adventures Through The Mind.

All these questions are going to be explored through one central question:

What does it mean to have a spiritual crisis?

In this psychedelic café, we explore spiritual awakening and spiritual crisis; what they are and what causes them.

We also explore how we heal from spiritual crisis; their connection to trauma; the spiritual roots of healing bipolar; differentiating spiritual crisis from clinical psychiatric illness; the anti-theistic paradigm of psychiatry; personal crisis in the context of global climate crisis; and having a force larger than oneself un-make and remake our lives


Episode Clips



Our Guests For This Psychedelic Cafe

Anna Lutkajtis is a higher degree researcher from Sydney, Australia. Her research focuses on psychedelics, mysticism, and the healing potential of altered states of consciousness.

Her book, The Dark Side of Dharma, examines why meditation’s adverse effects, while well known in spiritual and religious traditions, have been ignored in contemporary Western secular contexts. Her Ph.D. is focused on the phenomenology of the psilocybin experience.

Her publications can be found at and

Michelle Anne Hobart, MA, SEC, AMFT is a teacher, writer, and Spiritual Emergence Coach. She trained with Stan Grof, Brant Cortright, and Emma Bragdon, works closely with the Gnosis Retreat Center project, and has an online Spiritual Emergence Course called Awakening Healers with Kyle Buller. She also offers individual, couple, and family SE Coaching, and leads community wellness workshops and retreats.

Spiritual Emergence Support & Integrative Energy Work

Her new book Holding Sacred Space is available now!

Kyle Buller, M.S., is the Co-Founder and Director of Training and Clinical Education of Psychedelics Today, an online media and education platform exploring the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.

Check out his podcast Psychedelics Today
Check out their upcoming educational events

Dr. Nicole Gruel is an author, speaker, mama, and specialist in spiritual health, who descends from a 450 year lineage of samurai.

Nicole has a Doctorate in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology, is an advisory Board member for Spiritual Awakenings International, mentors coaches for the International Association for Near-Death Studies as well as the American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences, is a certified counsellor and life coach, and has trained in various healing and energy psychology modalities.

Download a FREE copy of Dr. Nicole’s latest book:
Join the Agents of Awesome tribe:

Benjamin Mudge, a Psychiatry Ph.D. candidate and Director of the Bipolar Disorder CIC, talks about his own journey of living with bipolar disorder, and how it was ayahuasca that got him off pharmaceutical drugs and to a place of self-awareness and balance he never experienced before.

Check out his interview on Psychedelic Today

Dayle McLeod is a shamanic apprentice, Death Dula,  Qi Gong Instructor &  Artist  (Actress, Musician, and Author).

After drinking Ayahuasca in Ojai CA in 2014, Dayle experienced visions for forty days, which led her to the shamanic practices of her ancestry. She chronicles that journey in her book The Big Dream: My Terrifyingly Beautiful Shamanic Initiation into the Arts.

You can learn more about Dayle’s work on her website

Episode Breakdown

  • Spiritual crisis as a way of discovering who we really are
  • What makes spiritual awakening a crisis and how do we learn from them
  • Spontaneous transformations of worldview
  • Being dazzled by truth
  • Living in a secular society increases the likelihood of spiritual crisis
  • Where is the line between psychosis and spiritual crisis
  • True spirituality is about love
  • What does it mean to have a spiritual crisis?
  • Bipolar, schizophrenia, and being unable to resolve a spiritual crisis
  • The efficacy of psychiatric drugs in treating bipolar
  • The role of the body in resolving spiritual crisis
  • The importance of social context in spiritual crisis
  • Spiritual crisis as a call to your ancestral lineage
  • Preparing the cultural grounds for psilocybin introduction into the medical system
  • The paradigm of psychiatry is anti-theistic
  • The importance of including indigenous voices
  • We are in a global spiritual crisis
  • Trauma’s role in spiritual crisis
  • How we ground through spiritual crisis experiences
  • We need to upgrade our language around religious experiences
  • Should we be trying to feel better?

What Is The Psychedelic Café?

The Psychedelic Café is a structured conversational space exploring various, deep questions about the nature of mind, life, and reality.
Each cafe features a curated selection of 4-5 people to explore a question according to a specific structure. That structure is called Dharma Talking and is a conversational technology from Jean Robertson, forged in The Liminal Space Agency Meta-Monastery, and based on “The World Cafe”.
Why this style?

The cafe structure creates a quality and dynamic of conversation, idea sharing, and mutual learning that is incredibly ripe and valuable for not only the people involved but the listening audience who will be able to listen to it afterward. In the current times of uncertainty, complexity, and change, I believe the psychedelic cafe will offer content not otherwise available in a time where it is deeply needed.




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