Since 2010 I have been exploring what it means to cultivate a spiritual practice with psilocybin, otherwise known as “magic mushrooms.” I have since written two full-length books—Decomposing The Shadow (2013) and The True Light Of Darkness (2015)—and given several public presentations on the subject.
The primary lesson I have gained through my work with Psilocybin is that integration of the dark, unaddressed, or shadow aspects of one’s self are essential for psychospiritual development and general health. Without the direct experience of Shadow emotions from a place of surrender and acknowledgement, those aspects of us are likely to be inappropriately stored, repressed, in the deep psyche. This creates blockages for the flow of life within us and new, detrimental behavioral pathways are created to maintain these blockages, to maintain the repression or evasion of undesired emotional content.
These new pathways are resilient and difficult to undo, but they are not energy efficient, nor are they advantageous to the long-term health of the entire organism (personal or collective). Imagine what happens to a dynamic forest system when a water dam is erected. The natural tributaries, and the dynamic ecosystem they support, are flooded.
Now imagine this dam is poorly built and is constantly cracking under the pressure, causing more damage that only ends up requiring further maintenance of that dam as well as new dams installed to keep the flooded areas maintained. The erection of this first dam creates a chain of events that lead to causing further harm to the integrity of the whole ecosystem.
In similar fashion, the repression of dark emotions—sadness loneliness, inadequacy, hopelessness, etc.—can flood and wreak havoc to one’s inner-landscape. Yet the uncomfortable emotions we are trying to keep at bay can never be truly contained. They will eventually escape and lash out, causing harm to one’s self and their larger social ecosystem as soon as an opportunity arises.