The Pros And Cons Of Plant Medicines, The Truth About Pharmakia, Spiritual Growth & Much More With Josh Trent Of Wellness + Wisdom.

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josh trent
Body, Diet & Nutrition, Mind-Spirit, Podcast, Podcast-new, Spiritual Growth & Disciplines, Spirituality

Back in June of this year, I published a two-part article and podcast series on some of the huge problems with the growing surge in popularity of plant medicines.

In that comprehensive article and podcast series, that provoked a wide range of responses, I detailed my reasoning for reaching this conclusion (you can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here). And while I've returned to reiterate this decision here and there since June, I have not yet – until now – devoted an entire follow-up podcast to the subject.

Today I'm doing just that, as a guest on my friend Josh Trent's Wellness + Wisdom Podcast. Josh is the CEO and founder of Wellness Force Media, a company that has a mission to help humans heal mental, emotional, and physical health through podcasts, programs, and a global community that believes in optimizing their potential to live life well. Josh has spent the past 19+ years as a trainer, researcher, and facilitator discovering the physical and emotional intelligence for humans to thrive in our modern world.

In Josh's words, he has been “bouncing around inside my orbit and consciousness) for 10+ years now, but it took this rather polarizing and controversial to bring us together for a real discussion on his Wellness + Wisdom podcast.

Now, Josh is not for or against plant medicines. He does believe that plant medicines have special use cases, and that four lifesaving “levers” that need to be taken into account when considering usage:

  1. Preparation. Was the plant medicine prepared in a sacred way? Does the shaman or facilitator have the sacred experience and trusted lineage, combined with a pure heart?
  2. Setting. Has the space been properly cleared of dark energies, and are all participants aligned with humility and curiosity?
  3. Intention. Has the participant done preliminary work to get very clear on their intention, and to not come to the medicine with a disempowered wish?
  4. Integration. Is there a pre-, peri-, and post-integration skilled facilitator so the participant will avoid going away with no lessons learned?

This podcast episode may ruffle some feathers. But at the end of the day, you are the only one who can answer the profoundly important question of whether or not you will partake in plant medicine. Hopefully, this fascinating conversation with Josh will get you thinking (and if you'd rather watch the video, that's below, too).

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Ben's stance on plant medicines…11:17

-The shift Ben experienced in his being that made him decide to stop using plant medicines…20:05 

-Unearned wisdom and climbing the mountain of spirituality…31:33

-The dark side of plant medicines…39:56

-Where does intention come from?…54:27

  • Coming into a ceremony with pure intentions (coming from the heart) is just as important
  • Ben once sensed dark energy before a ceremony
  • Ben wants his sons, or anyone, to know that they can go to God anytime without drugs

-Ben's take on Isaiah 45:7…57:02

  • “I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I the Lord do all these things.” Isaiah 45:7
  • Ben has experienced “God draws straight with crooked lines” several times in his life
  • Podcast with Paul Chek:
  • Desire to create because God made us in his image and also gave us free will
  • The nature of free will allows for a lot of mistakes and evil; lessons from mistakes teach us to love others more
  • God allows bad things to happen to teach us about unconditional love
  • Are bad things just consequences of wisdom? Cause and effect?
  • Not only does God use people to punish those who have become so evil (Joshua or Judges) but he also uses natural disasters (hailstones and fire)
  • “I think, unfortunately, one of the things that could stand in the way or impede the progress of that is people placing their faith in plant medicine, rather than people placing their faith in the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.” – Ben

Endure: Tools, Tactics, and Habits for Spiritual Stamina…1:04:22

  • Pixar's movie Soul
  • 3 gems/pieces of wisdom that Ben includes in his book, Endure
    1. Stop and smell the roses
    2. The grass is always greener
    3. Find your spark
  • BGL article: Sabbath Ramblings: Soul
  • That there's a lot more to us than just flesh and blood
  • C.S. Lewis says something like – an immortal soul capable of being a horrific monster or an incredible immortal being
  • Finding your unique spark does not require you to be earning a lot
  • For Ben, living a simple yet extraordinary life is his spark
  • Changing the world and helping one person at a time is far greater than any amount of money

-Ben's spiritual awakening and what he used to believe about society as real but through his spiritual faith he has seen as a lie?…1:09:47

  • People aren't inherently good
  • When left to our own volition, we get selfish, we covet, we lie, we steal, we kill
  • We are fallen creatures and we need a higher power to help us
  • When we think we can do it on our own, we never see things go right
  • The idea of forming a society around absolute morality and truth, influenced by an intelligent being is seen as a good way for society to operate
  • We need more than to just be good; we can't just be good on our own

-How does Ben stay sustainable in his own spiritual growth?…1:12:47

  • Knowing and acknowledging that I'm not good, that I can't do it on my own, I need God's help
  • What gives Ben confidence and hope is knowing that there is a rescue line extended, for free
  • Josh finds it hard to believe atheists who say there's no proof of God

-What are the 3 biggest rocks that we all could move as a society?…1:16:06

  1. Know that Jesus lives in our hearts and we don’t need plant medicine to commune with God 
  2. Love covers all
    • At the end of the day, you set aside disputes, you humble yourself, you are forgiven, you forgive
  1. You were made for a reason; you have a purpose
    • Never underestimate the power of the unique skill sets and the things that come easy for you because that's how you can love the world the most
    • Find your purpose and know that you never have to be ashamed of that purpose

-How has Mark 11:24 played out for Ben in his own life?…1:21:40

  • “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark 11:24
  • It's in the intent; in the heart
  • If your heart's in the right place, you ask for things that you deserve or should be given
  • Sometimes, prayers aren't answered because God knows that you actually need something better
  • Some pray but do not truly believe
  • Eventually, prayers are answered, just in a different way than you anticipated
  • Josh thinks that some people pray from a place of scarcity; If I truly desire something from my heart, I am thanking the creator for that thing that I desire and I am feeling it in myself that it is already here
  • The Biology Of Belief by Bruce Lipton

-How do you create meaning in the world when you look at wellness? How does Ben define wellness or wellbeing?…1:26:57

  • Wellbeing is caring for yourself in such a way that you can love as many people as possible with that unique purpose that you've been given
  • As Jocko Willink says: Discipline equals freedom

-Is freedom also being vulnerable?…1:28:46

  •  Impostor syndrome and how to tackle that with confidence
  • Honesty, vulnerability, showing your true emotions, and admitting that you don't know when you're wrong is the most freeing thing a human being can do
  • When you're in the middle of the forest and you are lost, just stop, just stop and breathe
  • Endure: Tools, Tactics, and Habits for Spiritual Stamina

-And much more…

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Join me for a one-day intensive experience where I will guide you through a series of interactive lectures that explore purpose, meaning, and spiritual health. VIP guests will also join me on an immersive walk through nature and intimate dinner. Learn more here.

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

– Josh Trent:

– Podcasts And articles:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

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Ask Ben a Podcast Question

8 thoughts on “The Pros And Cons Of Plant Medicines, The Truth About Pharmakia, Spiritual Growth & Much More With Josh Trent Of Wellness + Wisdom.

  1. Jay says:

    I understand that Ben’s perspective is that spirituality is l part of health. At the same time, the entire argument against “drugs” necessitates a belief in the Bible’s version of g*d, that the Bible is somehow a book that gets it all right, when in fact it is multiple accounts sprawled across centuries (written not simply entirely by men, but men with western names like Peter and Paul, from all over what is now known as the Middle East). There are so many flimsy red flags wtappd up in basing an argument entirely in the belief of Jesus Christ. So buyer beware. What’s right for Ben is what’s right for Ben. But as someone who spent years in the Roman Catholic faith and finally was able to see it for what it was, a closeted, oppressive, entirely male-dominated structure of guilt, penance, not good enough hypocrisy run by men who looked the other way and supported (and still do) the continued epidemic of pedophilia, the use of the bible and religion as an argument is not an argument that holds up to all folx. In Ly to those who believe in the Bible. Plus, that “slippery slope” Ben mentions? Well, by using PCP and Psilocybin, crack, meth and cannabis in the same sentence, Ben slipped all the way. At least (and it’s admirable he did) he has used all the substances he now argues against. Worshipping Jesus Christ may be good for some folks, but it smacks of the bootstrap argument: that all of us have the means to get ahead, and ignores the multiple ways in which society has a hugely inequitable means and range of belief systems. Go ahead and pray. It might work. If it does, great. Really. But please don’t espouse it as the only means of encountering achieving the divine, particularly at the expense of substances that have worked for many people. Remember, religion has hurt just as many as it has supposedly helped. Religion, Christianity especially, is also a double-edged sword that that has hurt as much or more than it has healed.

  2. Dan Meehan says:

    Ben, you mentioned “clarogenics?” Any more resources on those?

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      Hey Dan. This discussion would best be saved for a future article or podcast, because at the time of this writing I’m still researching the history and potential efficacy or benefits of such compounds, which at this time I do not consider to fall under the category of pharmakia-like substances.

  3. Euselta says:

    You have changed my life in so many ways. I am definitely not going to do plant medicine.
    I love your products by the way.
    Thank you

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      Glad to hear that Euselta, thank you for the comment.

  4. Mike says:

    “You open yourself up to a great deal of influence from spirits or the shaman/facilitator overseeing the experience; you carry the risk of being influenced spiritually by another person”

    “influence from spirits?:” I’m sorry but this just sounds like a bunch of “Mumbo Jumbo” to me. It reminds me of how our ancestors used to always talk about “evil spirits” when anything went wrong that they couldn’t explain.

    For the time being, let’s assume the “influence” argument is valid. When Ben goes to church or reads the bible I’m assuming that he’s “influenced” by his pastor, the congregation and the religious books he reads. As supposedly thinking people we should be able to decide what to accept. or be influenced by. It’s called Free will.

    I think the real reason that Ben dislikes psychedelics, is that he feels that they are “too easy.” That if you don’t suffer or strive for religious enlightenment, then it’s somehow “cheating.” This form of suffering, taken to the extreme by religious Christians, included self-flagellation or wearing a hair shirt as a penance.

  5. Susan Jones says:

    Thank you Ben. Having time in my life to do this deep dive is mitigated by your careful work. Your perspective on health, physical, psychological and spiritual, has been so well researched and aligns w my values. I appreciate your efforts. Mimi

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      thanks for the comment Susan

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