The before, the after and the endless questions
Over the last couple of months we’ve been deep-diving into the world of psychedelics. It’s fair to say that many of our initial thoughts were symbolic of a childlike excitement around their benefits. As with anything, however, the more we dug, the more our assumptions were challenged — leaving us with a set of new, more nuanced questions in their place.
CAUSE AND AFFECT
First hunch: Psychedelics seem like an exciting new wellness trend.
Afterthought: How can we elevate psychedelics as more than a ‘wellness trend’ and de-colonise the way they are marketed?
First hunch:I’d love to work on a branding project for psychedelics.
Afterthought:How can we ensure more responsible storytelling, one that respects and elevates countries of origin?
First hunch: If psychedelics can optimise our performance, their growth potential will be immense.
After-thought: How can psychedelics scale in a way that reduces harm to everyday users?
First hunch: Psychedelics will likely follow the path of other now-mainstream practices like Yoga or CBD.
After thought: Will barriers like underdeveloped legislation and research, cultural sensitivity and the avoidance of appropriation, as well as the complexity of harm reduction see the temple construct operate on the fringes in the short to medium term?
First hunch: Psychedelics are merely a physical product.
After thought: Does the resilient temple speak less to the actual act of taking psychedelics, and more to the mindset that surrounds their powerful properties?
First hunch: Psychedelic retreats seem like the future.
After thought: Is the shared experience more invisible, more like a movement? And is digital the medium that will best support the spread of this message?
But rather through the combined efforts of multiple passionate businesses and brand advocates, co-ordinating their message to create a holistic, lifestyle-based movement. Vitally, and above all else, this needs to be a movement that respects and elevates the natural habitats and communities that make them.
This exploration of the ‘future resilient temple’ was enriching, sometimes disturbing but always extremely eye-opening. The content we have consumed has been fundamental to our thinking — so we wanted to share our resources in the hopes that more people will untangle the web that makes this debate one we’ll continuously come back to as the industry evolves.
‘Inside the movement to decolonise psychedelic pharma’, Neo Life
‘What does it really mean to decolonise wellness’, Refinery29
‘Designers are tripping over themselves to market psychedelics’, Surface Magazine
Broad psychedelics and wellbeing resource hub — DoubleBlindMag
Magic Medicine: Over 4 years, filmmaker Monty Wates was given exclusive access to the first ever medical trial to give psilocybin (the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms) to a group of volunteers suffering from clinical depression.
How to Change Your Mind: Netflix’s weighty new show follows thumpingly authoritative author Michael Pollan as he outlines the benefits of psychedelic drugs such as MDMA and mescaline.
‘The myth of good skin, with Jessica DeFino’, Doing it Right with Pandora Sykes
‘Decolonising wellness: The Podcast’, Jyoti
‘Decolonising yoga with Angie Tiwari’, All the Small Things with Venetia La Manna
Audio resource for the emerging industry of psychedelics, Business Trip
‘Overdose Prevention Centres with Gillian Shorter and Mat Southwell’, The Drug Science Project