The Christian Psychedelic: Should Christians Use Plant Medicines, Is Microdosing (Or Tripping) A Sin, Accessing Spiritual Realms, DMT & Much More With Paul Risse.

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My guest on today's show, Paul Risse, is a husband, father, and a bit of a modern Renaissance man—but also happens to be a deep well of knowledge in the realm of psychedelics and Christianity.

He was a personal trainer on ABC's Extreme Makeover TV show in L.A. as well as a personal trainer, chef, and life coach for “Average Joe on the Raw.” He ate 100% raw vegan for a couple of years and lived off-grid with no electricity for a year. He is the CEO of Cleanse America, which has led 10,000 people through a cleansing process over the course of 2 years. He created and ran a smoothie bar called Barefoot Market for 6 years. He built his own “tiny house” with no experience going into the process and wrote a book about the journey called Kinda Tiny Home: An Unorthodox Approach to Building & Owning Your Own Home. He is currently a designer and builder with the Hayhurst Brothers. His business has been on the DIY network show “Texas Flip and Move” the past two years, and he is now preparing to film a new show for HGTV.

Paul has taken psychedelics around 1,000 times over the course of a decade, including DMT, Salvia, 2CB, 2CI, and LSD, but 99% of what he engaged with were mushrooms. He is almost finished writing his new book entitled The Psychedelic Christian, which will be written for people searching the spirit realm for truth.

During this discussion, you'll discover:

-Why tiny houses are so popular among the youth…7:30

  • Parents are not content with the big house
  • Consciousness of the carbon footprint
  • Less responsibility, more freedom to travel
  • Paul's book: Kinda Tiny Homes

-Paul's history with psychedelics and Christianity…11:10

  • Traditional upbringing; father a steady leader
  • Began experimenting with drugs as a teenager (parents not drug abusers themselves)
  • Lack of spiritual maturity as a teenager
  • Fathered a child; stopped drug use when this happened
  • Knew of Christ, but didn't know Christ on a personal level
  • Experienced trauma after a divorce; used mushrooms for relief

-Differences in the use of synthetic vs. natural substances…24:50

  • Synthetic substances that affect mood, thoughts, etc. have a different effect than natural ones
  • Possible use for sorcery
  • Asking a blessing over a meal from a non-Christian perspective can be very different than a Christian perspective
  • The intent and spirit of the creator of the substance may affect the quality or nature of the experience
  • Romans 14:17 “The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking…”
  • Matter of personal conviction and the response to it
  • Awareness of the convictions of others too
  • Disconnect between conventional biblical dogma and real-life practice (ex. sugar highs)
  • Book: The Immortality Key by Brian Muraresku and Graham Hancock
  • Book: Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal
  • Stealing Fire: BGF podcast with Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal

-The use of psychedelics in the Bible and early church…41:00

-Balancing creation and the use of it via psychedelics…49:30

  • All things were created for good; does not mean that they cannot be bastardized

-Are we entering the spiritual realm when we take psychedelics?…53:40

  • Paul has had experiences when he knew he was in the spiritual realm
  • Also knows when visions are simply his imagination
  • The body can produce hallucinogenic effects even without the use of substances
  • Entity outside of human consciousness or a product of human consciousness
  • Playing with fire; take the use of substances very seriously (caution, preparation spiritually)
  • Some may be harming by ingesting substances just as we have food intolerances and allergies
  • If you don't feel called, or feel insecure partaking, you shouldn't

-Whether the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is actually a modern psychedelic plant…1:08:40

  • Adam and Eve became their own gods, rather than allowing God to be sovereign in their lives
  • The same temptation is before us today
  • Less about the actual fruit than about the result of it on the course of human history

-Why you need to just come to Jesus before anything else…1:19:15

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

Resources from this episode:

– Paul Risse:

– BGF podcasts and articles:

– Books:

– Other resources:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Paul or me, or your own experiences with psychedelics and Christianity or plant medicine and spirituality in general that you'd like to share? Leave your comments below, and one of us will reply!

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38 thoughts on “The Christian Psychedelic: Should Christians Use Plant Medicines, Is Microdosing (Or Tripping) A Sin, Accessing Spiritual Realms, DMT & Much More With Paul Risse.

  1. Ed says:

    Also on the topic of abuse in some shamanistic circles what Ben fails to mention is that it also happens in the christian church.

  2. Ed says:

    screwdriver? As far as Ben saying that he’s seen people loose their shit because of a psychedelic experience,and end up in an institution.I would say,ya that’s possible,and I would also say that more than likely these people had a predisposition towards that outcome.Schizophrenics should not be using psychedelics.

  3. Ed says:

    As far as Ben,and his puritan idea that psychedelics don’t require work,I would strongly disagree with that.Not only can the experience be challenging,but it takes real work to integrate the experience.Would he also say that you shouldn’t use a battery powered drill to put a screw in,because it doesn’t take as much work as a screwdriver?

  4. Jonathan S Liedtke says:

    Awesome convo! It’s good to hear measured talk about these “spicy” topics from a Biblical perspective. My brother and I recently were led to a similar stance regarding psychedelics, etc. but it is a difficult topic to broach with other Christians due to traditional and cultural stigma. The whole thing really brings home “Lean not unto your own understanding”!

  5. Gaeton Parente says:

    I feel very blessed to have found you!!! You are a fountainhead of useful important information—Many Thanks
    When you put together your (keto chocolate salt and either coconut milk or bone broth how much milk or broth do you use?
    Also do you a blender?

    Many Thanks,Dave
    Gaeton Parente

  6. Ishani says:

    Hey very long time audience very first time commenter. I believe we should value that humanity has lots of religious beliefs, to state that Christianity needs to be eviction caretakers of plant medicine and also psychedelics is until now from fact it’s painful, I respect your religious freedom and y’ all must respect others, it’s racist and intolerant to claim that you need to accept Christianity/jesus to have “appropriate” or useful partnerships with these Medicines.

  7. Vanshika says:

    Excellent understandings and feedback! Many thanks for listening. I agree with almost everything you said. I have actually seen scenarios where a person has depression and for years prayed in confidence that it would certainly be healed and absolutely nothing altered. I have actually seen them consider medicine and it stabilized them out. I have additionally seen prayer astonishingly recover a variety of points!

  8. Alex says:

    Interesting podcast, but I believe that as Christians, we should avoid any substances that take our mind and heart off where we are and give us visions and ‘insights’ that are most likely not from God. Justifying it by saying that everything God created was created for the good can be extended to justify anything and everything – though your rendering of the subject was intelligent. As Christians, we stand firmly on this earth where God placed us, and do not seek refuge, help or spiritual experience anywhere outside God. And God is simply in the Scriptures, prayer, and love. From personal experience (confirmed by other people I know), prayer and simplifying your life and having God in your heart is the best and surest way out of depression, trauma, and any other negative spiritual state. All is lacking for those for whom it doesn’t ‘work’ is faith. Having said that, I do understand that it is a personal matter and people come to God (or don’t) in different ways, and there are many pitfalls into which we fall on the way. I’ve been there, and I’m still walking an unsteady path, as all of us humans do. But my stance on psychedelics (which I used to take for various reasons including ‘spiritual’) is firm. All ‘insights’ I had on drugs turned out to be delusions. It’s a very dangerous territory. Better to be avoided, and that’s so much easier for those who are with God.

    1. Paul says:

      Excellent insights and response! Thanks for listening. I agree with almost everything you said… I have seen situations where a person has depression and for years prayed in faith that it would be healed and nothing changed. I have seen them resort to medication and it balanced them out. I have also seen prayer miraculously heal a number of things!
      If prayer and medication made by man are acceptable routes for dealing with depression the why would we exclude using things from Gods creation to try and heal? I believe it’s wise to judge something by it’s proper use and not it’s abuse. It could be in the future with a better understanding of plants and our bodies that a wise approach could be developed on using them for healing?

  9. Andrew says:

    Hi Ben. I am not a Christian (was deeply so in my youth, then found other paths to God that rang truer for me), but I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation, particularly where you guys discussed psychedelics in relation to spirits and spiritual realm – a great discussion to follow the one you had with Jamie Wheal, who seems to take a more secular, materialistic view of things. Anyways, I experienced an ayahuasca plant ceremony recently and I came away a strong impression that I’d had contact with a realm of gods and spirits. It has left me very curious about the nature of this plant medicine and to what degree the experiences are simply endogenous constructs of a medicine-affected mind versus a doorway into something other. Keep up the great work, Ben!

  10. Rebecca Prange says:

    Greeting from a Sister in Christ, to Paul and Ben.
    Truly enjoyed this episode, I confess to wondering how you reconcile Jesus freakness with hallucinogenic drug use, now I know. Refreshing to hear a different Christian narrative around this and the spirit world. So much here to unpack and examine. Well, to my purpose.
    It’s been on my heart for a while to ask you, Ben, if you’ve heard about Immanuel Approach Prayer? Paul, I think you’ll be interested, too, and it is without doubt a mystical spiritual journey with Jesus, so this seems the ideal place to mention it.
    Dr. Carl Lehman discovered this process in a effort to see healing in his patients. Rather than me awkwardly describing it in writing, you can go to, to learn about it.
    Feel free to reach out if you have interest in my experiences in it.

  11. Lee Robertshaw says:

    Hi Ben, have loved your approach for a long time now but feel a little disappointed with the way you have dealt with this topic. It would have been much more pleasant if you had offered your Cristian beliefs as your beliefs and respected that there are non religious listeners who may believe in similar principals to you but do not put a name to their beliefs. It would be nice if a topic could be discussed in the name of spirituality in an open minded way. Unfortunately, in parts this episode felt far from that but instead quite prescriptive. Equally, it is your Podcast to as you wish with and I have the choice to stop listening. Just wondered if you plan to continue down this seemingly new path? Also, I have made a mental note to comment when feel positive about your offering since I have not done this up to now, but should have plenty of times!

    1. Alex says:

      Lee, I did not hear any disrespect from Ben toward other religions or spiritual beliefs. He has a full right to express himself as a Christian. In fact, he should be respected for being honest and straighforward about it as it’s fashionable these days to bash Christianity (I’m not saying you do that, just saying) and to water down their Christian identity with something to please everybody.

  12. Connor, your biggest fan says:

    You are the man Ben as always. And Paul you too. I want to be Ben Greenfield when I grow up. I realize that people think you’re crazy for this sort of thing but it has been near and dear to my heart for half of my life now since cannabis and mushrooms opened my heart and soul to something more spiritual than this materialistic world. Live by the flesh and die by the flesh, or live by the spirit and you’ll never die. Since my first psychedelic experience as a young man, I have been much more spiritually involved. I now incorporate prayer in my daily life, not worrying about anything but instead praying about everything. And loving God with all of my heart and loving my neighbor as I love myself. I Am proud and happy to be the Christian that I am today and I know for sure I wouldn’t be the spiritual intellectual Hard working caring dedicated man I am today If it wasn’t for these medicines that helped me get into this path.. by no means do I think they are for everyone. And i absolutely don’t think everyone needs them (Jesus didnt) but I know 110% without a shadow of a doubt that it has helped me. And that is something that no one could ever take from me. Also your podcast has empowered me in finding my purpose in how I will serve others, and living a happy adventurous and fulfilling life. Thank you and as always God Bless you all. One love. I thank god for all of the great people who dedicate their lives to serving others as you and so many of your guests do! I love you Brothers!

  13. Andy says:

    You’re a Heroic Dose of Truth Ben. Thank you both, for having this conversation with honesty and humility.

    Also, thank you to all the listeners who don’t consider themselves Christians, for listening with an open mind/heart. People are often shocked when they learn I am a Christian, not because I live an immoral life, but because the mainstream view of Jesus has been perverted and distorted (mostly by the Christian church itself).

    I’ve been on a psychedelic journey the last few years which can be a lonely one if you’re a Christian. It wasn’t until I started consuming mushrooms that I realized a lot of my behavior with psychedelics, was me (sometimes subconsciously) trying to recreate many previous spiritual states in my life.

    I had multiple, very intense, psychedelic experiences before I ever took a psychedelic substance. Mostly, I was doing psychedelics because I find them really fun and I almost always learn something that has beneficial, real-world application in my life. I also found myself making better decisions when taking a small dose of a psychedelic rather than copious amounts of alcohol on a night out.

    The easiest thing to forget as a Christian, is the fullness and goodness of God. Because of what Jesus did, we have Holy Spirit dwelling within us, the fulness of God. How trippy is that? Prayer itself can become a wild trip when meditating on this.

    Heroic doses for me now, are planned adventures with God. The more I care to be mindful of this fact, the better the adventure.

    I appreciate how you both wrap up the podcast and your cautious approach. A couple years ago, accepting that mushrooms just aren’t for everyone was a hard cap to swallow because of how much I’ve benefited from this magical creation.

    Ben is an excellent example of a Christian who isn’t practicing religion, but living out a relationship to the person of Jesus found in the Bible. It’s too bad I can only have these adventures where it’s not illegal!

  14. Sally Abraham says:

    The Christian Psychedelic. Great. Really hoping you turn this into a series. Next could be The Christian Dominatrix, then Christian Bestiality, then Christian Beef Jerky.

    1. jim stange says:

      this podcast meant the world to me and came at a time in my life so beyond coincidental that i can only assume this is God working in my life. i wish you would [could] open your mind and not treat the seriousness of the topic so glibly. thank you.

      1. Jody says:

        Lighten up Jimmy. Think how much better you life will be with Christian Beef Jerky.

    2. Daniel G says:

      Wow, Karen. Way to just throw your faulty spin on everything, huh? I for one enjoyed this immensely. As someone who suffers from cluster headaches, I NEED mushrooms to live a normal life. I also am a committed Christian. I have no qualms about taking plant medicine to obtain a quality of life that I could not obtain apart from them. Do some research into cluster headaches and mushrooms before you cast your judgement. They actually save lives…

  15. Lisa Steenholdt says:

    I’ve always been so against this, being a Drug and Alcohol Recovery coach. 2 of my sons both had their dads (different fathers) die of drug over-doses. I myself never took drugs. I did have a terrible hallucinogenic experience for 2 weeks straight, after a failed suicide attempt as a young teenager. Terrible hallucinogenic traumatic experience at 15.

    When I became a Christian at 19 I’d always been somewhat of a mystic and someone who’s had a lot of mystical and very vivid spiritual encounters of visions and prophetic dreams and even transportation in the spirit with no outside drug influences at all, I’m not against mystical and spiritual experiences that are tangible.

    This was a great podcast! Loved the perspective. Somewhat has changed mine. Love your openness and fearlessness Ben.

    1. Lisa Steenholdt says:

      I also 100% agree with him when he talks about intentions of sorcery of man made. These things are gateways to the spirit realm and aren’t the same thing as Vitamin C because it doesn’t alter the mind. Pharmacia is extremely dangerous. The source absolutely 100% does matter. Just as much as the source (the motive) of the one taking it.

      1. Paul says:

        Thanks for listening! Your story sounds interesting! God bless.

    2. jim stange says:

      thank you Lisa, you are an example of someone who has every right to justify her “closed mind” about any kind of drug use, but immediately after commenting on another woman who made jokes that the OLD me would have found funny, you more than doubled the tiny amount of faith i lost in someone i can only assume is an overall awesome human, as she took the time not only to listen to my physical/moral mentor [Ben, for 7 years now, met him in Panama], but to comment as well. it was a brave, truly intellectual thing Ben did hosting Paul, but the two of them did more two strengthen my already formidable faith in God than hundreds of Sunday mornings when the unoriginal, overly safe sermon/message fell flat.

      thank you so much Lisa, Ben, Paul, and GOD!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Marissa Farrell says:

    whew, deep breaths and trust in you as a long time listener got me through the early half of this podcast. You definitely took a bigger risk on this show than talking about veganism in others. I really do not agree with all the “knowing” and “trusting in Jesus” talk since it is just as dangerous as all the talk about Satan that was brought up. I am a deep believer in the Holy Spirit and also I am an herbalist, so I walked out on the limb with you throughout this show. I am grateful you tied in how mysterious most ceremonial rituals are when it comes to plant medicine, but whew your guest sounded way too evangelical for my taste and, while I applaud you being true to yourself and showing this entire rich belief you have, I am glad this is not the norm or I would never have the deep trust in the show that I have.

    1. Paul says:

      Appreciate the honest feedback. First time I have been called evangelical. If you don’t mind me asking… if you believe in the Holy Spirit how can a belief in Jesus be as dangerous as a belief in Satan?

  17. S says:

    Hey long time listener first time commenter.. I think we should appreciate that humanity has many religions, to say that Christianity should be the gate keepers of plant medicine and psychedelics is so far from truth it’s painful, I respect your religious freedom and y’all should respect others, it’s racist and xenophobic to say that you need to accept Christianity/jesus to have “proper” or beneficial relationships with these Medicines.

    Christianity doesn’t have a monopoly on the mystical experience.

    1. Paul says:

      I don’t believe that Christianity should be the gate keepers of plant medicine nor do I believe it is the sole religion through which mystical experiences take place.

      I do believe that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world. In all of written literature it is the most historically documented and verified story. I also believe it because of the relationship I have with the Holy Spirit. It truly changed me.

      What we have in life is our belief. Our free will and ability to choose is a gift. When we die we will find out if what we believed in was true. If you are open to other religions I challenge you to pray and ask God to reveal himself through reading the Bible, pray that the Holy Spirit would visit you, pray and ask Jesus to come into your life and reveal who you are without Him and with Him.

      I have studied and practiced many of the worlds religions before giving my life to Jesus. I have found that if religious discussions stay in the realm of the philosophical or intellectual there will never be an answer. When dealing with the deepest most intense spiritual challenges the power of Jesus reveals itself.

      Thanks for the feedback!

      1. Rebecca Prange says:

        Amen Brother. Beautifully expressed.

      2. Easter Bunny says:

        That is the dumbest shit I ever heard.

        1. Paul says:

          I used to think the same thing…

  18. Taylor says:

    Hey Ben! My wife and I really enjoyed the podcast. I wanted to encourage you for standing for truth and Christ. I’ve always struggled with the fear of man and I can’t imagine having a platform like yours and being able to say the things you said. Thank you Jesus for your faith! It was refreshing to hear Christians speaking with honesty and wisdom about these difficult subjects.

    1. Paul says:

      Thanks for listening!

  19. Roberta Allen says:

    Orthodox Christians fast before the Divine Liturgy. The wine and altar bread is the body and blood of Christ.

    1. Tarek Salti says:

      Orthodox Christians also anoint babies at baptism and new converts with holy oil, Chrism. The Chrism is an olive oil infused with dozens of herbs made every decade by the patriarch. I haven’t found a comprehensive list of plants used, it’s likely a secret, but if you’ve worked with plants long enough you know they are all consciousness altering and it’s possible there’s more master plants out there than we are led to believe. Patriarchs lineage can be traced to the original apostles and the psalms and biblical texts always talked about anointing oils and herbs it just isn’t really talked about in western Christianity but still a living practice among the eastern Christians. Early saint doctors like Cosmas and Damian were known to heal by foraging wild herbs and plants.

  20. Mikey Garasic says:

    Hey Ben, long time listener. Born and raised a Christian as well. I believe that Jesus modeled for us what it means spiritually evolve and have relation with God. One thing in Christianity I have a hard time with is the tribalism of fundamentalism. I believe we live in a perfectly just universe, and you cannot simply recite a mental pray “sinners prayer” at the end of your life and expect to reap the benefits of heaven. I believe as a Christian, like you, we can learn from the other wisdom traditions. Coming to the realization of reality of reincarnation, and the reality that we are all spiritual beings learning lessons in the classroom of earth. 80-100 years simply isn’t enough time to learn all that we need to learn. There’s a channeled resource of a positive entity that was channeled by a Christian Mystic in the name of Christ. It’s called the Law of One, and you can read this free resource online at

    Following the way of Christ is the most effective way to spiritually grow, but it is not the only path to God in my humble opinion.

    1. AJ says:

      Hi Mikey. It sounds like you are on a positive path. The world needs more of that type of positive intent. I just wanted to add that the Law of One, which you refer to, has very little to do with Christ, or Christianity. The channelled entity, which was actually a group of entities, was referred to only as Ra, and was not a Christian mystic. If you read The Law of One, Ra explains Jesus as just another positive entity among others, nothing more. In fact, it mentions many of the Biblical teachings originate from negative entities as an attempt of subversion and deception, hiding the true reality of the universe and “law of one” from us. I’ll leave it there in hopes that you and others do some more research and keep asking hard questions about our faith and our place in the universe. You can find the actual transcript of the channelled material here: There is also an audiobook version.

      Another helpful piece of reading material is ‘The Immortality Key’, by Brian Meraresku (Ben mentioned this). We are learning more how the early Greeks experienced “god” through plant medicine ceremonies. ‘The Road to Eleusis’ by Gordon Wasson is an earlier work on the same subject which was suppressed (for obvious reasons) during the 1970’s. Unfortunately, the rise of Christianity destroyed many of the historical records and secrets in an effort to instill their own story, as most religions do when they try to spread. The modern day eucharist is actually a symbolic gesture from these Greek ceremonies. ‘The Immortality Key’ does a great evidence-based investigation and explanation. As a life long Christian who never stops asking questions, it’s such an exciting time to see a collective consciousness rise. Old beliefs and ways of thinking will have to be surrendered. I sense a great struggle with this in Ben’s interview. All in good time…

      “I leave you in the love and the light of the One Infinite Creator. Go forth, therefore, rejoicing in the power and the peace of the One Infinite Creator. Adonai.”

      1. Michael Garasic says:

        Ra was channeled by a Christian mystic is what it saying. And it helps me be a better Christian personally.

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