Breaking stereotypes and biases of psychedelics through a wide-ranging and science-backed conversation with Paul Austin, a responsible use psychedelics advocate. Paul talks about the applications of MDMA, ketamine, psilocybin, and LSD.
Paul F. Austin is an entrepreneur, public speaker, and educator. He has founded two companies in the emerging psychedelic space, The Third Wave and Synthesis.
Within The Third Wave, Paul leads a team of creatives, engineers, and coaches to develop a comprehensive educational platform that serves the psychedelic ecosystem.
Currently, The Third Wave offers in-depth psychedelic guides, online courses, and 1-on-1 coaching.
Because of his pioneering work at the intersection of microdosing, personal transformation, and professional success, Paul has been featured in the BBC, Forbes, and Rolling Stone.
[6:10] Paul’s introduction to Psychedelics
[14:52] Going back: the History of Psychedelics
[20:54] Microdosing for Performance
[25:47] Risks of Microdosing Psychedelics
[32:00] Benefits of Micro dosing Psychedelics
[43:09] High dose psychedelic experiences
[45:36] Overcoming trauma through psychedelics
[51:53] Use cases of MDMA
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van der Kolk
The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide by Jim Fadiman
How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan
Consciousness Medicine by Françoise Bourzat
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Boomer Anderson 0:06
Welcome to decoding superhuman. This show is a deep dive into obsessions with health performance, and how to elevate the human experience. I explore the latest tools, science and technology with experts in various fields of human optimization. This is your host Boomer Anderson, enjoy the journey.
Today we’re taking a deep dive into the world of psychedelics. We’re going to look at what traditionally people thought of as psychedelic, use the science behind it, as well as microdosing for performance. But before I get into that, and really introduce you to today’s guests, let’s give another shout out to a listener who took the time to write a five star review. Subject wonderful combos, and this is from Jolguin87 I enjoyed boomers interview style, super humble, super curious and makes for engaging conversations. And Jolguin87 you actually make me blush. So thank you so much for that. If you’re inclined, please head over to iTunes and leave a five star rating, just with a little bit of a message. We’ll read yours on the show soon. And I look forward to hearing more from you guys and getting more feedback. My guest today is the CEO and founder of the third wave. Paul Austin is an entrepreneur, public speaker and educator and he’s founded two companies in the emergent psychedelic space. The first one I’ve already mentioned, but the second one is called Synthesis, which is actually here in Amsterdam. Within the third wave Paul leads a team of creatives, engineers and coaches to develop a comprehensive educational platform that serves the psychedelic ecosystem. His work has led him to be featured in BBC, Forbes, and Rolling Stone magazine. So what did Paul and I get into today? As you guys know, if you’ve tuned into any of the episodes in the past six months, psychedelics has become an increasingly talked about theme on the podcast. Part of that has been a result of my own exploration in the space, both with larger doses of substances and smaller micro doses. caveat emptor here, I’ve done my own research, you should do your own and going down this path is not for everyone. But I invited Paul on the show to have a really educated and science backed discussion around psychedelics and trust me didn’t disappoint. We talked about psychedelics role in ancient cultures, the research that came out of the 1960s. And what is emerging as sort of this? Well, I guess you can call it third wave, if you will, in Silicon Valley and other places with the use of microdosing in performance. We talk specifically about certain psychedelics, namely MDMA, ketamine, psilocybin, as well as LSD, and how they can be used both from a performance context but also from a healing context, which I guess even if you’re healing, it will contribute to performance at some point. The show notes for this one are decodingsuperhuman.com/thethirdwave and enjoy this conversation. Probably the first of many with Paul Austin. Decoding Superhuman is all about performance optimization through health optimization. performance can come from many avenues. But one of the foundational aspects that I tell people to work on first is sleep. And sleep among many high performers is elusive. It’s difficult because we find ourselves working late into the night. And to say to somebody who’s extremely ambitious and on this mission to stop working at 6pm is categorically ridiculous. So if you want to keep working, we’re on your electronics. How do you protect yourself? My favorite hedge is blue light blockers. And I’ve had Andy Mant on the show before but if you go over to his company blublox.com, you know that they do a lot of research on the product that they’re producing. If you want a pair of OSA sexy blue light blockers, head over to blue lock, head over to blublox.com use the code DS15 You’ll get yourself a nice little discount. Let’s get to this conversation with Paul Austin.
Paul, welcome to the show. Boomer. Thanks for having me on. Man, I can’t wait for this. This is a conversation you and I have had multiple conversations. Multiple seems like a fractal like connection in terms of networks. But this is a conversation I’ve wanted to have on the show for a very long time. And I’m glad that you’re joining me here today to talk about a topic that needs some addressing for sure.
Paul Austin 5:42
Yeah, you know, psychedelics, in particular. microdose. Ian is one of the things that sort of entered our cultural Zeitgeist The last few years and there are a lot of people who still you know, have questions. There’s a lot of unknowns in that process because there just hasn’t been a lot of education about it, you know, in the past.
Boomer Anderson 6:00
How did you come to this field? Because it’s, I mean, originally remind me again, where you’re from. Are you from California region?
Paul Austin 6:09
Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Boomer Anderson 6:10
That’s not quite California. So Midwest, Midwest, West, which I’m a Midwest boy, too. And so Midwest boy, California, psychedelics connect the dots for me. How did it eventually click for you?
Paul Austin 6:27
Yeah, so, you know, grew up in West Michigan, which is more traditional, you know, Midwest salt of the earth type family. suburb, smoked cannabis when I was 16 for the first time is sort of my initial act of rebellion. And then when I was 19, I started to look into psychedelics and did psilocybin mushrooms, and soon after, tried Hi, this is at all high doses, high doses of LSD with close friends in beautiful Outdoor nature its settings. And you know, I’ve always been a bit of a rebel a bit of an outsider, a very independent thinker, you know, kind of like carving my own path, if you will. And one of the conclusions, I would say the main conclusion that I came to from those high dose experiences was coming to terms of death, which sounds very, you know, odd but this is what happens is we have this ego dissolution we realize that death is just another step in the process of of our own, you know, evolution and that for that reason, why not live to the greatest extent possible. So, when I graduated from college at the age of 21, I moved to Turkey, where I taught English
Boomer Anderson 7:46
Istambul or somewhere else.
Paul Austin 7:48
I was in Istambul initially, for about two months, I taught at a camp a summer camp. I taught Turkish kids how to teach English and how to play sports. So basically playing sports with them through Teaching English. And did that worked at a private school in a place called Izmir for about nine months, and in my free time, just taught myself how to build an online business. And then once I left that job, I took that skill, teaching English and I built my first coaching business online, where I taught one on one and group classes for people, you know, professionals from Japan or China, or even immigrants who had already come to the United States, so they could go get their MBA at Harvard, so they could go, you know, go become a pharmacist, essentially train them on psychology, you know, like really high performance psychology for passing this test. And, you know, one thing led to another that business is going pretty well in 2015. I noticed a few trends going. One trend that I noticed was cannabis was becoming legal. You know, in 2015, there were about four states that had already legalized cannabis. There were several more states states that medicalize cannabis. So clearly there was something going on there. There was more and more research on psychedelics coming out of places like Johns Hopkins and NYU. And so it’s like there’s something going on there. And then Tim Ferriss who is really, you know, kind of a cultural star, if you will started publishing public podcasts about psychedelics, I thought, Oh, this is interesting. So in mid 2015, I started a website called the third wave, which was essentially an educational resource with a particular focus on micro dosing, that just helped to inform and educate people about responsible unintentional psychedelic use. And that was sort of, you know, as initially a hobby project, I was running this coaching business as my main business. The third way was a hobby project for a couple years and then 2017 you know, turned it into a lifestyle business. And then recently, you know, we’ve started to raise investment and make it a real legit business as more and more money poured into the psychedelic space. So I kind of have this Interesting intersection of travel. And I’ve traveled to about 60 countries lived in five different countries, building online educational businesses, which is what happened with the third wave. And then I also had a brief hiatus, if you will, in 2018. Because in 2018, I was fortunate enough to speak at a number of tech and business conferences, The Next Web and Amsterdam, South South by Southwest Conference in Germany, another conference in Switzerland, which was like a one day self optimization conference. And just noticed that a lot of people who are going to these conferences, these tech and business conferences, you know, they were interested in psychedelics, but they didn’t want to maybe, you know, there were a lot of concerns because it was so new. There’s a lot of unknown so for that reason, we launched a legal psilocybin retreat center in the Netherlands called Synthesis with a co founder of mine who is Dutch and started doing retreats just outside of Amsterdam with silicon I’ve been truffles which are illegal and another one. And so I’ve, I’ve started a few businesses, you know, there was an educational component to that. And now it’s really like, I would say, what drives me most is an awareness of the crises that we seem to be going through as a culture. We have the mental health crisis, we have an income inequality crisis, we have a meaning crisis, you know, basically an existential crisis. And what the climate crisis is also a big one. And I think, you know, what really motivated me about educating people about the benefits of responsible psychedelic use is, these are tools that help us to wake up to these crisis and understand them and feel them and in that feeling, we then actually can start to take action on what do we need to do to address them and overcome them? And I would say is sort of my main mission is how can psychedelics when used responsibly help with humanity, kind of get been through its current period of crisis.
Boomer Anderson 12:02
And I want to go into a number of those benefits that you’ve laid out because I think meaning ego, dissolution, all of that existential crisis I’ve dealt with, in a way through psychedelics at least effectively. Before I go into kind of the the science side of things, which is what I love about the third wave, you lived outside the US, and you said five different countries. What’s your favorite one? If you had to, I mean, I guess first off, what are the five and then we can kind of dosey doe from there.
Paul Austin 12:41
Yeah, so I lived in Turkey for a year. Yeah. And I know turkey the best I would say because I lived there for a year I taught at a Turkish school. I was close with like a Turkish family. I learned, you know, Turkish, at least some Turkish. So in terms of the culture that I know best, it would be Turkey, and there are a lot of Beautiful parts of it. There are also a lot of things that I didn’t like about it, but it was fantastic. I also lived in Thailand, in Chiang Mai. But when I was living in Thailand, it was much more of like, I was the digital nomad. Yeah hanging out with other expats who are living in Chiang Mai in Thailand.
Boomer Anderson 13:17
I commonplace. Do you do that? Right?
Paul Austin 13:20
Yeah, exactly. So I love the food, and I loved everything about it, but I wouldn’t say I was I was as like, integrated into Thailand. And then I lived in Portugal, in Lisbon. And, you know, Lisbon was probably my favorite, you know, overall, because it has the best weather in Western Europe. Yeah, it’s on the water. All drugs are decriminalized in Lisbon in Portugal. So there’s just a sense of freedom there that you don’t have elsewhere. The people are very kind and warm and friendly and the city Lisbon itself is going through an amazing rebirth which remains affordable. Yeah.
So lived there lived in Mexico as well and well Wahaca.
And again, food. This is this is what draws me it’s food feeding Mexico, the food in Thailand, you know, it’s Portugal, right. Portugal as well. And then I lived in Hungary, Budapest for a short period of time as well. So those are the five foreign countries that I lived in. And I would say of those Lisbon, Portugal was my favorite. And Turkey is the one that I that I know the best.
Boomer Anderson 14:26
Amazing. I can second Lisbon. I haven’t been to Turkey. Ironically, I’ve done the 60 countries thing, but I haven’t been turkey on the list. Let’s go into the third wave because I came across your site, because I was looking for somebody to explain the science behind all this stuff. And I know the research goes back quite a bit, but you aggregated it in such a nice way. Can we talk a little bit about the history of psychedelics specifically from the scientific research side, like when when did it get started? In what do we actually know?
Paul Austin 15:04
So when it comes to the history of psychedelics, you know, this is sort of where even the name, the third wave came from, right? Where there’s a first wave, there’s a second wave, and there’s a third wave. And the first wave was, you know, in indigenous us for thousands of years, these, these, these medicines have been used since, you know, ancient ancient times. So that was like, there’s obviously a rich, there’s a rich evolutionary history. And what most people don’t realize is people like Plato and Aristotle, back, you know, in ancient Greece, they were utilizing psychedelics for insight and awareness about the nature of reality, which I think is fascinating. So obviously, we didn’t have the scientific objective, you know, methods that we do now to measure that, but if you read through Plato’s philosophy and Aristotle’s philosophy, they will refer to these experiences at the eveness any mystery. So then when it comes to the second wave of psychedelics, this is really You know, the first wave was Ancient Greece and kind of the introduction of plant medicine into Western culture, because that was the bedrock of Western culture. Then the second wave of psychedelics was the reintroduction of psychedelics into Western culture. And that was the counterculture. That was the 50s and 60s. And how most people know the 50s and 60s is Timothy Leary, and, you know, like dropping out and sort of like, kind of, you know, doing that whole crazy thing, but what most people don’t realize is there were over 1000 clinical papers published on psychedelics in the 50s and 60s, and it was a highly respected and regarded sort of nascent area of research that held so much potential but unfortunately, because specifically with LSD, it got out of control. There was a huge government backlash and crackdown on psychedelics which led to this sort of Dark Age period. Was it Nixon or was it somebody else that kind of put the clamp down? Just trying to remember his Oh, it was it was sort of it was it was like a cascading effect, right. So California was really the epicenter for a lot of it, you know, the Summer of Love in 1966. And so initially, at the California, the state of California made it illegal in 1966. And then richard nixon came in a couple years later with his war on drugs in 1968. And crack down on it that really, and then in 1971, the UN passed a convention, you know, an Act, the UN convention act that basically made all psychedelics illegal globally, and that if anyone was to have them legal in their country that they would be kicked out of the UN so and that was of course informed by the United States because you know, United States has been especially since World War Two, the predominant will power so anything you know, they want to see happen has happened. So that that, you know, a lot of the research was fascinating. It showed that LSD was super effective for depression for, for autism for alcoholism, with it. Big one big big for alcoholism and addiction. And so, you know, we basically entered this dark period. And then in 1996, there was a guy named Bob Jesse who, who started talking with Roland Griffiths and Ron Griffis was a highly respected addiction researcher.
Boomer Anderson 18:18
research university in Minnesota right. thing or I could have that roll.
Paul Austin 18:24
Rolling is at Johns Hopkins. That’s right.
Boomer Anderson 18:27
Okay. There’s somebody in there. That’s a Minnesota guy, but
Paul Austin 18:30
Dennis McKenna. Okay. There you go. That’s the kind of Yeah, so rolling, you know, basically, like they started doing research in the late 90s, early 2000s. And then there was the first landmark paper published on psychedelics in 2006, which essentially proved that psilocybin, which is the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, when used within, you know, the right container can facilitate a mystical experience and that happens It’s like, it’s effective. It shows that if you do it this way that 70 to 80% of people will have a mystical experience. And as a result of having a mystical experience, there are significant physiological benefits and psychological benefits, including, you know, just more contentment, a release of, you know, healing of depressive symptoms. A sense of this being the most profound experience that one has ever, you know, gone through, there were all these things that they were starting to build the framework for. And then since 2006, there’s been dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens of papers published proving the efficacy of psychedelics for treating everything from PTSD, to addiction, alcoholism, and xiety, to treatment resistant depression to major depressive disorder. You know, like, basically, if you pick a click OCD, if you pick a clinical condition, you struggle with psychedelics likely help with it, which I think is fascinating.
Boomer Anderson 19:57
Mm hmm. And right now, we kind of Sit at this interesting area where you know, psilocybin, I believe is legal in Colorado, right?
Paul Austin 20:07
Boomer Anderson 20:09
decriminalized in Denver. We sit at this interesting kind of precipice, if you will, whereby maps is going through phase three FDA trials on MDMA, I believe for PTSD. And, you know, the future seems quite bright. For psychedelic and psychedelic therapy. I mean, ketamine for depression is already being used. When we look at it in terms of just proof, let’s go down the micro dosing route, because when I started investigating micro dosing, and actually like I was microdose by a friend, you know, dissolution of ego, loved it, and went down. So micro dosing for performance. When did this start to become a part of the picture? And because I know you weren’t one of the first people public bushing on it and how to do it. When did it start becoming part of the picture? And maybe we can start getting into tactically how people can use it and what the benefits are.
Paul Austin 21:11
Yeah, so what’s fascinating is it’s sort of the again, I I studied history in college. So I’m like, I’m a history buff and the history you me both. Yeah, right. Yeah, like. So I think context is so important and so useful to explain current trends that are going on. So, you know, most people at this point have heard the Steve Jobs quote, you know, that Walter Isaacson wrote in his biography, and Steve Jobs essentially said that like doing LSD was one of the most profound things that he ever did. top two or three profound things he ever did. That basically helped him to see things from a totally different perspective, and that he was totally different ever since that point. And so there’s a rich history because a lot of the initial psychedelic research was in Menlo Park, you know, which is in Silicon Valley, then the tech world and the psychedelic world the second the use of psychedelics in the 50s. And 60s is sort of what inspired you know that the tech boom in the 70s 80s and onwards the whole computer revolution. So I think that’s the first key point to look at. It’s like engineers and scientists and developers and whatnot. They’ve been, we’ve been using LSD for 50 years to help with creativity and performance and leadership. It’s just been under the covers. Yeah. It’s kind of a trade secret of what’s going on in Silicon Valley. And then, you know, in 2012, Jim Fadiman published a book called the psychedelic explorers guide, and Jim was one of the researchers from the 60s who, you know, he basically did the only research study proving that LSD helps with creativity. So he took in a number of engineers in 1966, or 25, put them through a study where they took they took about 100 micrograms of LSD, and he had them come in with a big problem that they wanted to solve that they were struggling with. And essentially, he published this entire paper proving that look, LSD helped with coming up with all these innovative solutions. And this is back in 1966. And then while he was in the middle of doing that study, he gets a he gets a letter from the federal government saying, hey, LSD is illegal, immediately sees everything that you’re doing. And he tells a story of like, he gets the letter, and he had just dosed everyone. He’s like, he’s like, I got this letter tomorrow, and continued with the experience. And then after that point, you know, LSD was illegal and couldn’t be used. So that was sort of like an apologist
Boomer Anderson 23:36
for perspective on people 100 micrograms of LSD versus you know, what are we talking about in terms of micro versus larger dose here?
Paul Austin 23:46
So a moderate dose is 100 microgram. microdose is about 10 micrograms. Okay, perfect, approximately, you know, so micro dose is about a 10th of the regular daily data. So you have that rich history and then You know, Jim published his book in 2012, at a single chapter on microdose St. And then Jim was on the Tim Ferriss podcast in 2015 and spoke about microbes. And then that’s when we started to see this really come out. There was a couple there was a piece published in Rolling Stone, you know, piece published elsewhere. They were like, oh, Silicon Valley engineers and reason scientists are like microdose seen for performance and creativity. And ever since then it’s sort of like blew up in 2015 was when I first heard about it. And because I had had these high dose experiences before that were really profound for a week or two. After I did high doses. It was always like, things felt easy in my life. I was disciplined, I would go to the gym consistently, I would eat much healthier, I would treat people around me with much more compassion and interest and openness. And then eventually, after one or two weeks, some of those things would dissipate. So it’s like I wonder if I microdose It’s a way to continue to integrate and just maintain that level of presence with everything and mindfulness with everything. So I think you know, what’s really going on at the fundamental level with microdosing is just like meditation, just like breath work just like yoga. It’s just helping us to be more present. It’s helping the hemispheres in our brain to, you know, the two hemispheres to communicate in a better way. It’s helping us to generally just be more healthy and well, and then when we’re more present as high performers, then it becomes easier to be creative, right? Because we’re not sort of in this anxious sympathetic state, but we can actually drop back and relax into a parasympathetic state, and respond to things and be creative from that position. And then with creativity comes flow and productivity and all these other sort of things that people will often read about with microdose. But at the fundamental level, its presence, its mindfulness. And then it just sort of benefits build on top of that.
Boomer Anderson 25:47
So the presence in mindfulness and my understanding is a lot of this comes from shutting down of the default mode network, or at least sort of working through the ego, but why don’t we go Little bit into like just tactically if somebody wanted to start microdose and what does that actually look like? Because I live here in Amsterdam, there are certain substances that are traditionally available to me, I think every stereotype you have, that aren’t necessarily available to those living outside of the nodes. But one of those substances which is now available worldwide legally, is truffled mushrooms. And these are from a company called Provithor. Provithor was founded by a lovely lady named Lily who I’ve come to know very well. And if you want to try truffle mushrooms, which have been effectively bashed in micro doses for you, you can head on over to provithor.com and yes, they do deliver worldwide legally. You can use the code Boomer that’s BOOMER for a nice little discount. Enjoy your experience with that. And let’s get back to my conversation with Paul Austin. Because for instance right now, I mean, between us and whoever’s listening to this, I microdose on psilocybin mushrooms. Right. And so, you know, I’m enjoying that. But it tactically, how would people start to get into this? Or how would they explore this space? If you were to recommend a way?
Paul Austin 27:35
So, so what are the risks? Yeah.
Boomer Anderson 27:39
Let’s lay out the risks and just address the fraud, fully disclose everything right.
Paul Austin 27:45
We’ll be good. And then I and then I can just give all the information there. So the main risk is that these substances are still illegal. Yeah, of course. Right. So, you know, the Netherlands is an exception because there’s simplified and truffles, but generally like LSD and And mushrooms are early. So so just so people have that framework. The other risk to be aware of is specifically with LSD. And we could talk a little bit more about this the difference between LSD and mushrooms because that’s often a big question as well. With LSD, LSD is more dopaminergic. So there’s more dopamine going on. And that’s why it can be useful for very useful for flow states and productivity just like caffeine, coffee. But if someone already struggles with anxiety, or they have insomnia, or they generally tend to be pretty high strung person, LSD might just make that worse. I think that’s also something to be mindful of. So
Boomer Anderson 28:37
yeah, go ahead, Bob. I interrupted you.
Paul Austin 28:40
Well, with With that being said, and we can kind of dive deeper. You know, the basic logistics of getting started with microdose seen are to start low and go slow, but I’d like to say so with LSD, you know, typical microdose is 10 micrograms. And the best place to start is probably start at five micrograms and seven and a half micrograms, then 10. micrograms, then 12, and a half micrograms and 15 micrograms. And of course, what we’re doing through this process is we’re titrating. You know, we’re titrating our dose level to understand, particularly both from a data driven perspective, maybe through, you know, blood tests through the aura ring through other methodologies that we can use through data, how useful it is, but also just an intuitive sense, like, does this feel right? Is this giving me the energy I want? Am I a little too anxious, you know, just like starting to develop that relationship with it to understand how it impacts us. So I think that’s always the best way to start with mushrooms, it would be something closer to probably point 05 grams of 50 milligrams of psilocybin 100 milligrams of psilocybin 150 milligrams of psilocybin and usually what I will do when I’m micro dosing psilocybin is I’ll combine it with lion’s mane and niacin. This is called the Paul Stamets stat because lion’s mane and niacin are both their Lion’s Mane is also neuroprotective, and how And neurogenesis, just like psilocybin does. And so that’s a useful step. I’ve also microdose psilocybin mushrooms with ashwagandha. Because it’s an adaptogen and just helps with maintaining a sense of balance throughout the day. So, yeah, I think those are probably the best things to be aware of when it comes to starting.
Boomer Anderson 30:19
So I guess maybe I should have done this earlier, but laying out the cast of characters when it comes to micro dosing, we have LSD and psilocybin predominantly Are there other ones that you also consider worth exploring in the world of micro dosing.
Paul Austin 30:36
So I think to two substances to be very mindful of specifically because they can be easier to purchase our one p LSD, which is a very close cousin to LSD, and that can be purchased through like the clear web, you need Bitcoin, but you can purchase it through the clear web on through Canada. And then there’s another substance called for a co D NT, which is a psilocybin, analog, and same sort of situation. It’s very similar to psilocybin, but you can purchase it from from Canada. So I would say those are two things to be mindful of the other thing that people should be mindful of is mescaline. Yeah, mescaline is from the cacti. It’s the psychoactive component and cacti, both San Pedro and pod. And I think one of the fascinating elements of psychedelics both with high doses and microdose is is its anti inflammatory properties. And we know that inflammation is more or less the key thing that’s tied to longevity, if you could keep inflammation reduced, as this is why omega threes are so important. This is why you know, minimizing vegetable oil intake is so important. This is why you know, getting tons of sunshine is so important. So microdose seen is just another way and mescaline is the most anti inflammatory of all the psychedelics and so that’s also something to be mindful of when micro dosing is it’s probably if you can find it, mescaline is the ideal way to That’s
Boomer Anderson 32:00
okay. And I guess in terms of ranking priorities, or maybe going through those cast of characters and saying, What are sort of the chief benefits so you mentioned mescaline as being the anti inflammatory. LSD I’ve looked at as more of a dissolution of ego. Are there additional things that you know, for instance, LSD, psilocybin have their own properties, additional benefits for each of those that you wouldn’t mind highlighting?
Paul Austin 32:31
For psilocybin and LSD and
Boomer Anderson 32:33
psilocybin and LSD, we can go into the other ones as well.
Paul Austin 32:38
So benefits I would say.
Again, all of them, they just help with cultivating more presence. I think LSD is more useful for flow states for hiking, like going outside and like having a lot of energy. If you want to go for a long hike or walk our seats are they good for that for jujitsu or any sort of physical exercise? LSD will be really, really good for that. Potentially for like, you know, if there’s any sort of intense endurance sports, LSD would be really, really good for that as well. cross country skiing or snowboarding or again, you get you need to know your substance before you start doing it. Like if you titrated appropriately and you understand how it’s going to affect you. I think LSD is best for that. psilocybin is more best for like emotional processing and the development of intuition, you know, because it’s suicide is more serotonergic it’s tied to contentment and ease and peace. So you know, when I would microdose psilocybin, I would often do it in conjunction with therapy. From a therapeutic perspective, it just helps with talking about emotions, and opening up emotions and dealing with emotions. So I find that’s usually the the frame of reference that I use now, I will say and I think this is this is really good for me to share with the audience is when I first started my career Kudos and in 2015 i microdose LSD for seven months, I did it twice a week. And that’s something important to emphasize with micro dosing, it’s usually done once or twice a week for a period of anywhere from 30 to 60 days, tracking and measuring from day one to day 30 or 60 the impacts that it has on your overall both quantitatively and qualitatively. And when I first started microdose, and it was what seven months, it was, for seven months, it was twice a week. It was anywhere from 10 to 15 to 20 micrograms I would sort of experiment and play around with a different level levels and it was very useful. But when I moved to New York soon after that I had to stop micro dosing with LSD I could only microdose psilocybin from time to time because the energy was too intense in New York, and in fact, nowadays, like where I’m at currently, I’ve cut out all coffee. I don’t drink coffee anymore, because it is so stimulating. And I also don’t really microdose LSD anymore. The only thing that I microdose nowadays is psilocybin mushrooms. ticularly because I noticed that LSD was leading me to be in a more anxious state, a more like really driven state and I just needed time to like chill out and so as I’ve been mushrooms with these other like plant medicines, whether it’s Lion’s Mane or ashwagandha, or kakaw or whatever Jin sang or you name it, there gonna be a ton of botanical formulations that start to come out. Can we go
Boomer Anderson 35:22
I just I want to go deep on the kakaw because I’ve played around with this one. What was what was your experience with psilocybin plus kakaw? That was?
Paul Austin 35:32
Well Coco is really known as like a more of a heart opener. Yeah, it’s a it’s an pathogen if you want I don’t know ceremonies in the past where it’s not I mean, it has a little bit of psycho activity but it’s not only free like super psychoactive and I just noticed that it just helped more with sort of the heart opening the sensitivity, you know, the compassion and sort of those elements whereas when I microdose suicide with Lion’s Mane a nice and it’s a bit more cerebral on the cognitive, you know, part
Boomer Anderson 36:02
We talked about the importance of setting setting with not just microdose aim, but we’ll probably transition back into larger doses here. When you’re doing this, I mean, obviously you can use it in a work setting to a certain extent, you know, legal disclosures aside, but when you’re doing this what’s what kind of setting do you have? You mentioned earlier suicide been in therapy? But also, are you using these in meditative states? Are you using these predominantly as a work catalyst? How are you using them?
Paul Austin 36:37
Yeah, so what’s the intention going in to the intention is so important because you know, psychedelics are known as nonspecific amplifiers. In other words, you know, they’re just going to amplify how you’re already feeling before you take them. So if you’re feeling very anxious, and you go take a high dose of a psychedelic, it’s just gonna make you way more aware of how anxious you are. And sometimes that’s useful, right? Because sometimes it’s like, the only way out is through, which is why these high doses are useful because they get you to face whatever you’re doing. But when it comes to performance, you know how I use it nowadays, it’s just like, I tend to have some sort of structure for my day I am at the moment, you know, in a very intense work period, and probably will continue to be for the next five to six to seven years really build sort of, you know, my legacy and profession. And so typically when I’m microdose seen, it’s just like a normal workday. It’s usually the psilocybin line VEDA nice and stack. It doesn’t you know, there’s not anything specifically that I’m doing some sometimes it’ll be like a workday where I’m, I have more writing to do, if I can just help with the flow state of really getting getting into a writing mode. Sometimes though, I’ll microdose and go hiking with my business partner or with you know, potential investors or with people we might collaborate with. And that’s just a way to like, you know, micro dosing can also just help taking a step back, you know, having perspective on things, looking at things from a wider angle talking about some of the high level creative brainstorming elements. So it really just depends on what you want to do with it. You know, another thing that I will often do is I will microdose before I do any public speaking, because microdose think can help with articulation. And when it helps with articulation, it just I can communicate more clearly and effectively the message that I want to share with everyone, so that’s what’s so great about it, it can be used for various purposes, but the second studying is important in terms of the intention that you’re putting into it. And so it’s really important, I think, anytime someone is micro dosing just to take a few minutes to journal beforehand and just clarify, like, why am I doing this? What’s my intention for the day? Where am I going with this and that just helps with just like visualization is a really effective way to like do things microdose with visualization is an even more effective way to to set that attention.
Boomer Anderson 39:00
You work with a number of high performers in doing these types of activities? And not disclosing anybody’s name, obviously. But I’d love to hear about some of the successes you’ve you’ve seen with them. But also, what are you tracking along the way in terms of like, to just ensure that the benefits the physiology are actually there? Is it all heart rate variability, are there other things as well.
Paul Austin 39:27
So in terms of, you know, some of the clients that I’ve worked with, it has been, you know, there’s been some that have been exclusively microdose seen a few, but what they tend to be more of is those who go through a high dose experience, and then need help with the integration process afterwards and want to utilize micro dosing as part of their integration protocol, continue to step into their new sense of self, if you will. So when that occurs, you know, we’re both looking at quantitative and qualitative things. So you know, with coaching process. It’s where you now know, where do you want to go? What’s the gap in between? And how can I, as a coach help you get from point A to point B? So, you know, for some people, for a lot of people, it’s just like, especially for leaders, it’s how can I show up more consistently and more often as my best self? And how I define that is how can I show up more often in a parasympathetic state rested and regulated so I can respond to chaos and adversity that is so prevalent from a leadership position. So you know, when we’re looking at what different measurements that were taken as a result of that, one is definitely gonna be sleep quality, right, which is where the aura ring comes into place because the number one key to being in a rested and regulated state is, you know, deep sleep, and probably REM sleep as well to help with kind of creativity and memory and whatnot. So, heart rate is all we are not heart rate. Um, but um, heart rate variability is a part of that. But I think it’s more expansive than that. And just looking at General sleep quality is always the number one thing typically, with high performing executives, there’s an element of, they don’t sleep well, you know, there’s a sense of burnout, there’s a sense of too much going on, there’s not being able to really downregulated not being able to really drop into a parasympathetic state. So that always has to be sort of the key North Star for anyone that I’m working with is how can psychedelics help with help us stay in a regulated state. And then you have other things as well. You know, there’s there’s blood tests that we can do and biomarkers that we can look at that look at inflammation, and you know how inflammation is going on. I think that’s another key key indicator is inflammation. High inflammation is a sign of not being so healthy, low inflammation is usually a sign of being interested in regulated state more often. Exercise is another one, you know, making sure that there’s consistent exercise going on it’s going to be key, and how you know, micro dosing and output just general motivation and building new habits. Because that’s a big thing with psychedelics is big Because it interrupts the default mode network and makes it easier for the two hemispheres of the brain to communicate with each other. That that’s a key, you know, it’s opening this window of neuroplasticity, which makes it much easier to new integrate new ways of being. And that’s what’s so great about microdose. And after a high dose, when we have this high dose ceremony, we really oftentimes, sort of feel into what it means to be at our best. And then when we get back into everyday life, there’s work and there’s family, and there’s relationships and there’s distraction, and there’s triggers. And there’s things that draw us back into who we were before. And a key component with micro dosing is let’s keep that window of neuroplasticity open longer. So you continue to integrate new habits that support that new sense of self that you want to embody as a leader. And so typically, that means meditating more often having a breath, work, practice, maybe doing yoga, going to the gym consistently eating healthier, potentially a ketogenic diet or a paleo diet. You know, there are all these things And then when I’m working with a client, it’s just like, what’s going to be most useful and most effective for you with where you’re currently at and what what your skill set is. Mm hmm.
Boomer Anderson 43:09
So we’ve mentioned into, you mentioned integration, I want to come, he did a good job of explaining that. Now, some of the larger doses and experiences that people go through. I realize this kind of depends on which psychedelic you choose. But when you’re guiding a high performer through this, and we can choose whichever psychedelic you’d like the higher doses what types of experiences do people typically go through?
Paul Austin 43:40
higher doses? Yeah.
The full range of human experience from from
Boomer Anderson 43:49
Yeah, I should speak from my own experience. It is pretty wide ranging
Paul Austin 43:55
from my like, the most harrowing of experiences where you just you experience The world suffering, and the immensity and totality of that to the most blissful, joyful, incredible, you know, experience of being one with everything, you know, and being one with with creation and being one with the universe and you know, like, just full, blissful love. And then and then the specific experiences kind of go in between that and there are people who you will experience you know, like, I recently did three grams of mushrooms. And I experienced the totality of that as well I experienced the immense suffering that humanity is going through and everything that’s going on right now with the Coronavirus and you know, the climate crisis and all that and just felt that and how like intense it is and how real it is. I also felt how grateful I was for like, just being here and being alive and existing and getting to like play and talk and be in relationships and do all these beautiful things with life. And then the emotions that come with that the anger, the sadness, the joy, the suffering, the bliss, the all the The reference the whatever else it is. It’s really psychedelics just allow you to experience the totality of the human, the human condition, within within a safe container. Yeah, and that’s the key to this, right? You can’t fully experience that range unless you feel safe. Yeah, unless you feel like you can totally release, let go, be vulnerable, you know, and just like, submit, and surrender, and I feel like that’s a huge, huge part of having a successful, quote, unquote, successful psychedelic experience is you just have to surrender to whatever emotions are coming up.
Boomer Anderson 45:36
So some of the personal things that have come up, I can share from my own experiences, like looking at external validation and the need for that growing up and dealing with it within a psychedelic experience. That was profound in some ways, but I mean, you seen a lot more different types of people. What are the wide range of issues that people have been able to do? With effectively and maybe very quickly through psychedelics.
Paul Austin 46:06
So some of the things that we already spoke about, right, like we could map them to clinical conditions like PTSD or addiction or depression or anxiety, you know, like super, super useful for that. But I think there’s obviously something underneath that. Underneath that as a lot of people go through what are called adverse childhood experiences, they see an adverse childhood experiences, you know, there’s been there’s a great book called your body keeps the score for the body keeps the score, which goes into by a guy named Bessel Vander kolk, that goes deep into this, about how adverse childhood experiences can impact and affect our growth as adolescence and early adults. And so a lot of the work that happens with psychedelics is healing from those early adverse childhood experiences. And we pretty much I mean, there are people who go through significant ones which are traumatic, very traumatic, which is what leads to PTSD, depression, anxiety. Maybe alcoholism addiction are usually the case. And then, you know, for someone like me, I had to be honest, I was very fortunate to have a very good childhood, you know, up until the age of 12. I was everything was loving, great. And I had a great, great parents, great sisters, great upbringing, you know, everything I needed food, all the good things, but I still experience my own trauma was when I was 10 or 11, I was basically rejected by my entire peer group. Yeah, for being who I was. And so basically, my process of psychedelics and overcoming that was like, being able to love myself again for who I was, and healing from that core wound, because we all have these core wounds, right. And so a lot of what psychedelics do is they just help us to forgive ourselves. And, and kind of have that sense of in, in, in, in compassion and whatever. A lot of self love, and, and, and the love. I know this is sort of we’re getting Maybe slightly in the room but but I would say the compassion for oneself and the love for oneself is the key component of all of this and understanding that regardless of how odd we might be, how we might be the things that we don’t like about ourselves loving every part of who we are both the beautiful parts and all the broken parts that’s where like the healing comes in is being comfortable with loving every part of who
Boomer Anderson 48:28
we are. So and you’ve got some experience with this right and you’ve gone through a few journeys I imagine that have brought you to this point. Is there a running average of let’s say, and how many journeys it takes before somebody starts experiencing a healing process or is it to each their own as in it could be one it could be five etc.
Paul Austin 48:54
If the individual is working with the right but the correct healer yeah If they’re in the ideal set and setting and container, it should be the first experience. Yeah, every time. If it’s not the first experience every time, then something wasn’t done right. I like either it wasn’t the correct substance that was huge. It wasn’t the correct level of substance that was used. It wasn’t the right healer to be doing it with the second setting or the container wasn’t tight enough and safe enough for the person to be able to surrender. The preparation maybe wasn’t effective enough. But if if all those things line up, they’re prepared adequately, the set and setting is ideal. The container is tight. It’s the right substance, it’s the right level of substance. Then with that first experience, there should always be a healing process involved.
Boomer Anderson 49:51
frequency for high doses, is there such a thing as too much because I’ve met people who have gone down this path and it almost seemed Like it could be an addiction, if you one were to look at it from an outside perspective.
Paul Austin 50:06
So instead of it less of an addiction and more of a disassociation, gotcha. So when people are continually going back into the high doses of medicine, it’s essentially a sign that they are attempting to disassociate from the reality because it’s too difficult to face. So the analogy that I will often use when describing like, how often should we do this stuff, it’s like going to the dentist, right every six months. Typically, we go to the dentist, you know we get a deep clean you know, check to make sure all our teeth is good and wash everything out and then we go home and everyday we fall. Everyday we brush our teeth every day we use mouthwash, whatever it is that we do. So when we look at high dose psychedelic experiences, high dose psychedelic experiences are like going to the dentist. It’s like getting a deep deep clean and then microdose seen or yoga or meditation or breath work or whatever it is, that’s the flossing. That’s the brushing your teeth. That’s the consistent practice the maintenance modality that’s really going to help you to maintain that parasympathetic state on an ongoing basis. So as a leader and high performer, it’s, you’re more creative, you’re more productive, you’re more flow, it’s easier to respond to difficult situations, you know, things like that.
Boomer Anderson 51:21
breathwork, you’ve mentioned a couple of times, what modality Do you use or teach your clients?
Paul Austin 51:29
So the one that I haven’t specifically started working with clients with breath work, I want to start to use that but I’ve been really getting used to it myself, I typically would just do a traditional Wim Hof breath work in the morning with a little bit of yoga. So essentially, you know, like, the deep belly breaths up to the head and in and out, in and out. 30 or 40 times, breathe out, breathe in, repeat, and then go into a little bit of yoga to stretch. That’s about it.
Boomer Anderson 51:53
Okay, two things we haven’t mentioned. And I know we’re coming up on time here, two things we haven’t really mentioned. we’ve focused a lot on LSD and psilocybin, but we haven’t really spoke that much about MDMA or ketamine. Do you mind just touching on MDMA, maybe as a micro dosing substance by more interested as to what’s going on on the scientific side with MDMA? On the larger doses?
Paul Austin 52:20
Yeah, so when it comes to micro dosing, we generally recommend that people do not do a micro dosing regimen with MDMA. And that’s, and that’s because it’s an amphetamine as well. And so it can be slightly addictive, whereas LSD and psilocybin are, are anti addictive, you cannot become addicted to them. So that’s one thing to be mindful of. So when it comes to high doses of MDMA, you know, the technical term for them is in in pathogen because they really helped to open the heart, empathy and compassion. And so that really looks like you know, MDMA is good for two specific use cases. One is healing trauma, specifically, acute trauma. That’s why it’s so useful. for treating PTSD is because normally with PTSD when war veterans, for example, come back, and they try to talk about, you know, these experiences that have happened to them as a catharsis to get it out, they can’t talk about it because their amygdala tightens up so much their fear based response gets so tight. And what happens when you take MDMA, and psilocybin, specifically, MDMA is loosens up the amygdala really well. So you can talk about these really traumatic experiences without becoming overwhelmed. So that’s one good use case for it. The other great use case for it is in relationship. You know, there’s oftentimes when when we’re in close relationships with people in our lives, we get sort of in the head and we get back and forth about logic and rational and I’m right and you’re wrong. And you know, and what MDMA does is it just helps us realize that’s just a story. We’re telling ourselves. Worse here, we’re connected. You know, our hearts are open. I’ve done MDMA with my business partner. It’s been incredibly useful, you know, I think MDMA For example, executive teams or leadership retreats or whatever else will be so, so useful for facilitating better communication, especially when things get stuck. You know, with people it’s also great for for romantic relationships and personal relationships. You know, just sometimes after we’ve been dating or married someone for a long period of time, things can get stale or, you know, there’s there’s there’s separation and distance that starts to occur and you’re doing MDMA Anna, I don’t know, maybe every six months to a year. It’s like a relational ritual. I think it’s very useful just to like, reconnect and rebound about, you know, what matters most which is the relationship. Mm hmm.
Boomer Anderson 54:39
Yeah, MDMA for me. And I wouldn’t say it was necessarily a PTSD incident. But MDMA for me was profound. Again, setting setting I had a therapist with me and it was just first time boom, opening up so much stuff but extremely, extremely effective. Let’s talk about ketamine. Because ketamine right now, you can go and get it and depression clinics. How do we look at this in terms of, you know, I guess micro dosing but also larger doses.
Paul Austin 55:14
So again, ketamine, I just I think it could be a potential good replacement for traditional pharmaceuticals from a micro dosing perspective, but it also is addictive. So I think micro dosing ketamine and MDMA be very cautious. I think it’s always better to microdose psilocybin as a starting point. ketamine
you know, again, as as a methodology for treating depression, it’s legal. So there are there are dozens and probably hundreds of ketamine clinics that are open in the United States and Canada. And there are dozens and hundreds more that will be opened very soon. ketamine is technically a disassociated, it has an amazing process of just cutting out the ego completely. You kind of exist in this weird in between hyperspace area, it lasts only 45 minutes to an hour usually. So it’s much quicker than typical psychedelics and the best use of ketamine is with bodywork. Where with ketamine, and actually I just had this about a week ago and it was I did a two hour body work session with ketamine. And
Boomer Anderson 56:25
sorry, like you got the reaction with me because I was like somebody else has told me this recently, and I’m trying to figure out who it was. With a day burn. It may have been actually a funny
Paul Austin 56:37
day was the one who day was the one who hooked it up. Oh, fair enough. I knew,
Boomer Anderson 56:40
David. I’m gonna call you and make you hook it up.
Paul Austin 56:45
And what happens is like, again, we store so much trauma in our somatic body, and it’s not conscious, it’s subconscious and unconscious. And so if working with a great body works who really understands all like where we hold this stuff? Then ketamine just allows the ego to go away all the resistance, get out of the way. So you can just be like an open canvas. And then it’s really easy to start to dig in from a bodywork perspective to like, loosen up all these aspects of who we are. And that it was basically like doing a two hour bodywork session was like a week of plant medicine. Wow, it was that effective in terms of the shift that happened after that. That’s amazing. And so I think that’s another like when you know, the people who are listening to this podcast when we look at most effective modalities for catalyzing shifts and change in a short period of time. ketamine with bodywork is one MDMA with a certified therapist is another one thing we haven’t talked about yet, is it wasco but that’s a whole nother conversation, which we won’t get. We may we may have to do that as a part two. That’s I think that’s gonna be a part. Yeah. It’ll be a part two, and that and then I think microdose You know, on an ongoing basis as largely an anti inflammatory supplement is also really, really useful. So I think that’s when I’m looking at like these different combinations. And that’s what’s so great about psychedelics is it’s not just about the psychedelic, it’s about what lifestyle change or what other modality whether it’s yoga breath, work, or bodywork or meditation or whatever else, how can you combine that with ketamine or MDMA or suicide then because again, the psychedelics are nonspecific amplifier, so they just open up, they make it much easier for you to adapt and change. They really, really help with adaptability, and then if it’s done within another container or another modality. It’s like the synergistic effect that really helps with shifting things very quick, amazing.
Boomer Anderson 58:50
Before we go into the final few questions that are more rapid fire, in terms of resources for people, aside from your own website, which we’ll talk about in a little bit, What types of what books do you recommend people delve into for this?
Paul Austin 59:06
Jim Fadiman the psychedelic explorers guide is usually the first one that pops up. I think it’s, it’s well written, it’s it’s pragmatic. It’s concise. There’s some great stories, it gives the whole lines of sentence setting and how to use it responsibly. There’s a section on microdose. In Michael Pollan’s how to change your mind is fantastic New York Times bestseller top 10 book of 2018. And gives the most in depth perspective of where psychedelics currently stand, what the research is why it’s so useful, why it’s so important. And then another book is called consciousness medicine by Francoise horizont. Francoise is one of the five guides who is working with the FDA right now to develop clinical standards and guidelines for the use of psychedelics in a clinical way. And she wrote a book, which is basically now the go to reference For how to guide psychedelic experiences, and I think it’s a really good read for anyone who’s looking at preparation, experience and integration and how it relates to the physical body, mind, the emotional body, connection to community. There are a few other elements of that as well. Amazing.
Boomer Anderson 1:00:17
Paul, this has been a just amazing education over the past 15 minutes and I think we need to transition just because cognizant of time here into some final questions. But I would love to have you back for round two, perhaps when I’m in California, we can do it in person. But first question is is what book has had the most impact on your life and how you live in
Paul Austin 1:00:50
Boomer Anderson 1:00:52
Oh, good. That’s such a good one. Wow. That’s a great one. How do you in you may be by Last year, how do you enhance your focus?
Paul Austin 1:01:07
Boomer Anderson 1:01:10
What exactly what excites you the most about the health world right now?
Paul Austin 1:01:21
personalized medicine and the transition from the patient doctor relationship to Person Centered healthcare where we can finally have our own all of our own agency and power back in our hands to make ideal decisions for what what we need as individuals
Boomer Anderson 1:01:41
boom, love that. Love that. Where can people find out more about you your work, the third wave, etc.
Paul Austin 1:01:50
So our website is thethirdwave.co So the third wave got SEO. My personal website is Paulaustin.co. I like these to the retreat center that I started which is based out of the Netherlands and if people go there let them know that I sent you is synthesisretreat.com and that’s that’s higher doses. And then you know, I’m on Twitter and on Instagram at Paul Austin 3 W. So Paul Austin three Ws, where you can find me on the socials.
Boomer Anderson 1:02:24
These in the show notes for this one are gonna be at decodingsuperhuman/thethirdwave. Paul, thank you for this amazing education. I appreciate it.
Paul Austin 1:02:35
Absolutely. And thanks for having me on the show Boomer It was a pleasure
Boomer Anderson 1:02:38
to all the superhumans listening out there have an epic day.
Like I said, this is probably the first of many conversations with Paul. It was so wide ranging we went from ancient Greece to large doses of psychedelics microdose as a psychedelics from mescaline to LSD to MDMA, and then back again. And there are many things we didn’t cover. candidly, we didn’t even get into Iosco. And so there’s room for around two, but I want to hear what you guys thought of the episode. Share what you learned on the social medias tag at decoding superhuman and all reshare it, but it’ll also let me know what you guys are picking up from this. If you feel so inclined, head over to iTunes, and rate the show five stars. If you leave a little comment. I’ll read it on the show soon. But these ratings are so so important. And I’m grateful for every one of them. The show notes for this one again, decodingsuperhuman/thethirdwave and I hope you all have an absolutely epic day
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