The Big Problem With “Plant Medicines”: Part 1

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On June 1, 2022, I reached one of the most important conclusions and subsequently made one of the most important decisions of my life.

I decided to completely stop using, endorsing, encouraging, extolling, promoting, praising, or otherwise having any involvement with so-called “plant medicines” – specifically when it comes to their use in an unsupervised, recreational setting or their use for getting “divinations”, “downloads”, “God experiences”, or anything else that involves intentionally using drugs to alter your consciousness with the goal of having some kind of contact with the spiritual world.

Now, before you roll your eyes and stop reading because perhaps you were never interested in plant medicines in the first place, or you think I must have had some kind of a “bad trip” on shrooms, or you're convinced that plant medicines play a vastly important role in your own personal, spiritual, or professional development and there's no way you'd ever come to the same conclusion I recently have…

…I beg of you: please stick with me here.

Please hear me out. I am not throwing the entire plant medicine industry under the bus. As my friend Tucker Max recently wrote about, and as I'll detail later, there is a time and a place for the use of certain plant and synthetic compounds for healing trauma (therapy) and for mind expansion (which some call spiritual enlightenment, but as you'll learn later, I'd be a bit careful with the whole spiritual part of things , and would personally stick with “mind expansion” as a more appropriate term).

However, when it comes to the use, and specifically the abuse or misuse of psychedelics, hallucinogens and entheogens, I have some very important things to say that I think the world desperately needs to hear right now. After a great deal of studying up on the topic (and, over the past decade, experimenting with nearly every plant medicine substance known to humankind) I strongly feel that it is now my responsibility and God-given calling to share my newest thoughts with you on this matter. Frankly, there is absolutely no way I want to go to the grave without speaking my mind on this topic.

Furthermore, this information is going to be important for you to know because, if you've glanced around you lately, you may have realized that plant medicines seem to be taking the world by storm. Folks are now performing ayahuasca ceremonies in their New York City apartment loft and strolling through town with a DMT pen in their back pocket; you can't swing a dead cat by the tail without hitting some self-proclaimed or otherwise certified “shaman”; half the people you know are likely already experimenting with microdoses of LSD, psilocybin, huachuma, and beyond; ketamine clinics are popping up right and left, and often frequented by folks simply using this substance for escapism and recreation, and not true “trauma” or addiction problems; gym junkies and health enthusiasts are sneaking off on the weekend to explore themselves with iboga, often with some kind of self-labeled “shaman bro”; MDMA therapy is lauded as the final, close-to-legalized solution for everything from PTSD to romantic couples therapy; there's a shockingly high likelihood the person standing next to you at the museum or passing by you on a nature hike is dosed up on psilocybin or san pedro; cannabis so potent in THC content that it can knock you on your ass with one pull on a vape pen can be found on nearly every street corner in most states; and even modern-day evangelical Christians are now considering the fact that, as Brian Muraresku writes about in his book The Immortality Key, that the early church growth was fueled by psychedelic spiced wines, mind-bending fungus, and drug-induced heavily altered states of consciousness, and that we should consider a return to these practices so that we can finally commune with the divine and grow closer to God.

And yes – I realize that a few of you might be cringing because, deep down inside, you suspect that I'm about to expose the “noble and laudable” excuse of “healing yourself” with plant medicines that a shockingly high number of health enthusiasts and spiritual warriors and shaman-bro's and sis's engage in on a frequent basis…

…as just an excuse to get high and do drugs without feeling like an addict.

You'd be right if that's your suspicion.

Admittedly, I'm partially responsible for fueling this entire movement.

I've podcasted and written multiple times on the benefits of journeying with plant medicines.

I've heavily promoted microdosing with plant medicines for focus, creativity, productivity, and social outings.

I've equated cannabis and shrooms with coffee and wine (trust me, they're a bit different).

I have owned multiple investments in ketamine clinics, cannabis companies, and psilocybin research laboratories.

I've encouraged couples—in the same way that my wife and I have done—to consider compounds like sassafras, MDMA, ketamine, lysergamides, and beyond for enhancing sex or having highly bonding weekend getaways.

Perhaps most interestingly, I have derived a great deal of benefit and personal insight and relationship enhancement and creative ideas from “journeying” with plant medicine, which made what I am about to share with you very difficult to write. Frankly, I thought because all the fruits of my use of plant medicines were nothing but good, that the ends justified the means.

But I was wrong.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

I am sorry.

I am ashamed.

I have severely missed the mark.

I was playing with fire, and you might be too. There should be a much bigger red warning flag on plant medicines.

And I am about to tell you why.


What I Mean When I Say “Plant Medicines”

Before I delve into the nitty-gritty details as to why I am “done” with plant medicines – specifically when it comes to seeking spiritual wisdom or “divining” with the spirit world – I think it's going to be important to establish what exactly I mean when I say “plant medicines.”

I am specifically referring to chemical compounds—both synthetic and plant-derived—that have the capability, even in relatively small dosages, to induce a rapid and dramatic altered state of consciousness (or gnosis or metacognition or hallucinogenesis or any other similar term bandied about these days) and that have or are chemically related to compounds that have a tradition of use for spiritual divination, “journeying,” witchcraft, sorcery, shamanism, the occult, white magic, black magic and any other forms of “pharmakia” (more on what that term means later). This includes nearly all psychedelics (also known as entheogens, hallucinogens or psychotropics), which are a class of psychoactive substances that are capable of producing significant changes in perception, mood, and cognitive processes.

While this list may not be exhaustive, when it comes to some of the more popular plant medicines being used these days, I am specifically referring to:
  • LSD, LSA and most other “lysergamides”
  • Psilocybin (magic mushrooms, shrooms, etc.)
  • Wachuma, huachuma, peyote, san pedro, mescaline, and other such amines typically found in cacti
  • Ayahuasca
  • Ketamine (used recreationally, not medically, of course)
  • Cannabis (recreationally, not medically—e.g. pain, cancer, insomnia, etc.)
  • MDMA, MDA, Molly, Ecstacy, etc.
  • DMT, 5-MEO-DMT, etc.
  • Ibogaine, Iboga, etc.
  • Kambo

Please note that the substances I have listed above have both the capability to alter one's state of consciousness in a dramatic and undeniable fashion and a tradition of use across many cultures both ancient and modern for spiritual divination, sorcery, magic, witchcraft, shamanism, etc. That doesn't mean the list above is exhaustive: there are dozens and dozens of other compounds—both synthetic and natural—that have similar consciousness-altering effects. Rather, the list above mostly includes the plant medicines that seem most culturally pervasive these days, and are most capable of shifting one's state of consciousness quite rapidly and dramatically.

There are three important caveats here, however.

First, I am aware of a few, little-known synthetic compounds without a history of dark spiritual practices that do shift the brain in a way that merges left and right brain hemispheric activity in a mind expanding manner while allowing one to remain in a fully lucid state (so-called “clarogenic” substances), and I don't currently consider those to fall under the same category as anything else I describe in this article (divination, escapism, addiction, etc.), but those substances are few and far between, and discussion of them 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. When it comes to mind expansion with plant medicines such as psilocybin or ayahuasca, however, you must be very, very careful – not only because “nature” (e.g. plant compounds) is traditionally a medium via which dark elements of the spirit world prefer to interact with the human flesh world, but also because the folks who administer these type of compounds are often either not out for your best interests or influenced by spirits, demons, entities, etc. that – trust me – you probably don't want to be possessed by for the rest of your life.

Second, I have seen substances such as ketamine, MDMA, psilocybin, iboga, etc. offer significant healing benefits for people with addiction, PTSD, trauma, TBI, concussions, and even bacterial or microbiome based gut issues, most likely due to the neurochemical and neural rewiring effects of such compounds. So I will not deny that there may be a specific time and place for targeted use of such compounds in a very precisely controlled medical set and setting—although, as I will write about later, there is still great potential for these substances to be abused and for them to serve as a replacement for trust in God and the simplicity of salvation of sin and shame and freedom from all burdens and past history of shame and trauma through a belief in Jesus Christ. Ultimately, I do think we need to draw the line between someone toying around with a music playlist, an eyemask and some self-dosed MDMA and psilocybin in their basement for a DIY trauma relief session vs. a medically supervised, safe, controlled and accountable scenario.

Three, many hallucinogenic or psychedelic plant medicines (for example, cannabis, quite notably) can have a potent analgesic effect, and I suspect that in addition to some of the microdosing benefits for creativity, productivity, focus, etc. one of the reasons God would have sprinkled such plants across the face of the planet was so that both ancient and modern medicine would have access to highly effective pain-killing compounds. So nothing I say in this article or Part 2 would really apply to medical analgesia, a field in which it's quite rare that anyone reports “tripping out” during surgery anyways.

“Wait, wait, wait!”, you—the educated plant-medicine enthusiast or educated chemist might say—“What about stuff in the average Westernized pantry that could get you high if you consume enough of it, like nutmeg (psychoactive “prison drug”), coffee (yeah that's a big one!), kratom, kava, the St. John's wort growing in my backyard, etc., etc.”.

Yep, stuff like that can certainly get you high.

But you have to use a crap-ton of it. It's not the same as, for example, LSD or psilocybin, for which just the tiniest dosage calculation error can send you to the moon and beyond. And with these common household “plant medicines,” you'll usually get nauseous and horribly sick before you get remotely close to an altered state of consciousness, which is also why most of these compounds have very little history of being used for spiritual divination, sorcery, witchcraft, etc. They have built-in mechanisms that keep them largely fenced into the boundaries of, say, culinary use, energy increases, sleep enhancement, or otherwise non-psychoactive medicinal usage.

The same could be said for “Bible-based” plant medicines, such as saffron, cassia, cinnamon, frankincense, mastic, costus, spikenard, and agarwood. Unless specifically blended, which I have done, as I describe here, to commune with the divine in a notably altered state of consciousness (e.g. hotboxing with the stuff in a charcoal incense burner in the sauna, like I actually did and now don't feel I had any business doing), it's quite difficult to get sufficiently high from such compounds.

“But wait!”, you might also say, “Can't you also get high on your own supply via activities like breath work and orgasm? Isn't that doing the same thing as plant medicine?”

Not really.

Inducing a state of altered or elevated consciousness by triggering the production of your own endogenous chemicals not only takes lots of dedicated hard work (e.g. 60+ minutes of intense, focused breathing, or hours of tantric sex or a very focused mind-emptying Eastern-style meditation), but comes nowhere near the high or the rapidity of onset induced by the plant medicines listed above. I would, however, for the reasons that I'll state below, avoid using even for such activities as breath work or tantric sex as a sort of spiritual divination (e.g. getting high on holotropic breath work so you can pray better, or “emptying your head” during meditation so that you can hear the voice of God, or attempting to “experience God through sex” or something like that).

Furthermore, just because a compound can induce a mystical experience, which, as defined here by by Peter Bebergal, includes: 1) ineffability (the experience defies expression); 2) noetic quality (the experience offers a new form of knowledge or insight); 3) transiency (the experiences are short-lived and often difficult to recollect in full), and 4) passivity (despite possible preparation, the actual experience is something that happens to a person), this does not mean the possible universality of mystical experience with that compound means it should be had by anyone, anywhere, at anytime. I'll admit that in therapeutic, medical and religious environments – depending on the dose of and intentionality behind the compound used – such mystical experiences can have lasting positive effects, but what we're seeing now in society is a far cry from anything resembling a tightly controlled set and setting, or an absence of seemingly quite dark spiritual activity surrounding the use of such compounds.

Hopefully that's all clear, and now we can proceed.


Why I Am Done With Plant Medicines

OK, now that we've established definitions, I'm going to tell you why I am done with plant medicines.

But I am only going to friggin' scratch the surface of everything you really need to know.

To fully grasp the gravity and seriousness of this matter, the full and shocking history of the evil behind many of these plant medicines, and why the growing popularity of plant medicines likely threatens to be the biggest, most dangerous battle the Christian church in particular is going to face over the next few decades, you must, must, must read the book Pharmakia by author Robert Orem. It's a pretty inexpensive paperback or Kindle, and will take the average reader just a few short days to get through.

Yes, I'm going to try to eventually get Robert on my podcast to discuss his book in great detail, and possibly even get the audio rights from him so I can record his book for you on my podcast, but for now, I'm going to give you the executive summary. However, please read the book when you have a chance.

So here we go…

…I'm a Christian with an extensive history of using and justifying my use of plant medicines for personal, professional, and spiritual exploration, but during a recent Bible reading session, I came across a passage that I'd read many times before. For some reason, however, this time something stirred in my soul and made me pause and re-read it. I then made a mental note to research what it really meant.

The passage was from Galatians 5:16-25, and it goes like this (bolded emphasis mine):

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft [pharmakia]; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

The Greek word pharmakia that I bolded above is a noun. Depending on the context, it can refer to 1) the medicinal use of drugs; 2) the medicinal use of drugs along with magic spells; 3) poisoning someone, or; 4) the use of drugs in sorcery, which is the medieval term for occult magic.

But here's the thing: the only way the word pharmakia is used in the Bible is in reference to occult magic that includes the use of drugs. So when someone proposes that God or any other supernatural beings experienced by people who are under the effect of entheogenic compounds are just a product of the brain's shift in neurotransmitter and neurochemical production, I would say that is not necessarily the case. Spiritual entities can absolutely be experienced when on is immersed in unhindered consciousness. God knew this and so God laid down specific laws protecting us against such states, or at least how we approach, in what setting and what we are seeking when in such states.

If this were all just soups of chemicals being created in one's head, do you think we'd see a large number of religious groups in the United States (such as the Peyote Way of God Church) regularly practicing the ritual ingestion of entheogens as foundational for their tradition? Just because these churches implement entheogens in their worship does not make it right, but does do a good job pointing out the fact that there's just a bit more to plant medicines than, say, a surge of serotonin that changes the way one thinks or interacts with the world.

Throughout the Bible, God repeatedly condemns all idolatry, including all forms of witchcraft and occult magic. Nor does He work through them, as some modern-day practitioners of so-called “white magic” using plant medicines attempt to do, as though they have God at their full disposal on speed-dial and can command or call upon Him whenever they fancy to do so, specifically by using drugs. With regard to drug use specifically, the fact that the Bible flat-out condemns pharmakia in both the Old and New Testaments does not necessarily mean it is not possible for God to communicate through us at any time through any means, including when someone is journeying and divining with plant medicines.

Fact is, God can commune with anyone at any time through any means.

For example, God can call a drunk to sober up while that drunk is in a state of alcohol-induced stupor, and subsequently call that drunk to repentance. But that doesn’t mean that one should therefore drink in order to communicate with God. It simply means that God can use that sinful situation to reveal Himself to a person, and ultimately lead that person to repentance and salvation. I won’t deny that there are many folks (I know dozens of them!) who have come to know Jesus or throw aside any threads of atheism as a result of experiencing an intense plant medicine trip that showed them our human capabilities of evil, made them feel God's presence heavily, or made them aware of their need for Christ’s love. But in the same way, we should not justify God speaking to someone in a drunk state as a way to recommend one should drink to excess with a goal of connecting to God, we should not justify the use of these “forbidden fruits” of pharmakia, namely plant medicines traditionally used in the occult, witchcraft, pagan rituals, oracle practices, divination and beyond to commune with God.

In other words, God can speak to us at any time, and He doesn’t need us to be in an altered state of consciousness in order to effectively do so, especially if that involves using methods that are strictly forbidden in the Bible, because of their great potential to open the portal of influence from dark and deceptive spirits other than God.

That should be an important news flash for any modern-day Christian or pagan mystic: you don't need drugs to talk to God or hear His voice or seek His direction.

Just imagine if you did.

Billions and billions of people across nearly any third-world country would be banned from communing with their Creator because they just can't afford a shaman session or a heroic dose of psilocybin. Therefore, access to God could only be attained by the select few: those “chosen” to journey into the spiritual world and come back with special messages for all the rest of the people. Though that form of divination may have been a practice in ancient Jewish religion (e.g the Levites going into the holy of holies as I describe here, prior to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus) that's just not how God works anymore. As a matter of fact, books like Rudolf Steiner's The Influences of Lucifer and Ahriman: Human Responsibility for the Earth details how the forces called forth via entheogenic medicines actually keep humans asleep and disconnected from God.

The incredibly interesting article “On Psychedelics and/or Entheogens: Drug-Induced Mysticism Revisited” also contains several compelling anecdotes, including:

On the emergence of of psychedelics as a “replacement” for elements of Roman Catholic Christianity:

“It is highly interesting that psychedelic drugs burst upon the scene at precisely the same moment that the Second Vatican Council was abolishing traditional Roman Catholicism and deconstructing the sacramental order. It’s as if the grace of the Roman Catholic sacraments, while they were still intact, overflowed their specifically Catholic context and maintained a certain level of elevation in the “collective unconscious” of the western world, an elevation which was rapidly lost when that grace was cut off. Faced with a sudden unconscious or half-conscious sense of spiritual loss, and the stifling sensation that always results when the psyche is cut off from the plane of the Spirit, the western collectivity became susceptible to the temptation of psychedelics, which at the very least can provide (though not without extremely negative consequences) a horizontal psychic expansiveness which appears to compensate for, and sometimes actually counterfeits, the loss of a vertical spiritual elevation, while at the same time concealing the fact that such a loss ever occurred. Psychedelics, in other words, were a kind of Luciferian “booby prize” offered as compensation for the fall of western Christendom…”

The idea that “finding God” on psychedelics may actually set one up for disappointment during “sober” spiritual experiences in the future:

“…the conclusion that, from the spiritual perspective, no trip is good—especially if one is actually able to access higher consciousness or “see God” by means of it (assuming, of course, that these experiences are not delusions, or so mixed with delusionary elements that the way to the valid experiences and insights they counterfeit is not in fact blocked forever). If you drop acid, see horrible hallucinations and experience excruciating feelings of loneliness, degradation and fear, you may actually be luckier than if you experience “ecstasy” and “profound insight” and “consciousness of God”, if not (momentary) “liberation from the wheel of becoming”. If you break your way into the Inner Chamber on your own initiative, you have committed sacrilege—how can you ever become obedient to and annihilated in God’s will if you think you have the right to break into His house any time the fancy suits you? I am not saying that the higher consciousness that can on certain occasions be experienced through psychedelics may not sometimes have a positive effect on one’s life and outlook—but at what cost? If you find God after being disappointed in love or wounded in war, does this mean you can recommend such experiences to other people as a way of finding God…”

On knowing God truly and following God's law vs. simply experiencing God in some kind of spiritual enlightement path:

“We cannot reach God through the psyche, through experience; the essence of the Spiritual Path is to place ourselves in the presence of God, and let Him reach us. He may do this through experiences, through events, or through a secret action within the soul that we aren’t even aware of. The function of spiritual experiences or states is not to “enrich the soul” with fascinating impressions of the Divine, but to burn out specific aspects of the ego, specific attachments and identifications; this is why the realized Sufi, the one who has transcended himself, died to himself, become objective to himself—or rather to the Absolute Witness within him—is beyond spiritual states entirely…As religion degenerates, the felt sense of the reality of God is progressively replaced by an obsession with morality for its own sake, and with religious fervor considered as an end in itself, both taken out of their own proper context. No longer is moral purity felt to be something we naturally owe to God in view of His love for us and of the fact that He created us, something that prevents us from falling into the ingratitude of worshipping the passions as idols in His place; now morality has become an idol in itself. “

The link between psychedelics and a gradual loss of Christian morality combined with a cultural shift toward apathy (for more on a cultural shift towards apathy, consider the idea of psychoactive compounds designed as “moral enhancement pills” that could even potentially be used to initiate mass formation psychosis, which is discussed in detail here).

“…the fact is that LSD initiated a sort of “bardo” or revelatory decay of American culture; all the latent tendencies, good and bad, the dominant belief-systems, conscious or otherwise, were called up in a very short time, laid out for all to see—and much of the social and cultural potential of America and the Western World rapidly exhausted in the process. The family was largely destroyed (not by LSD alone of course); Christian morality (including the concept of human dignity) was undermined; political responsibility was seriously eroded. And the social engineers simply sat back and took notes. They noted the main trends, the major “cultural archetypes” operating in the “collective unconscious” of society, and devised various ways to appropriate, per vert and control every one of them; in so doing they initiated the world we live in today…The hippies naively equated social control with a simplistic authoritarian repression; they rarely awoke to the fact that REAL control is based on co-optation, on the covert implantation of engineered beliefs and attitudes in the mass mind. The powers that be do not want heroes who courageously oppose them and die as martyrs; they would much rather find, or create, dupes who will obey their every command in the firm belief that they are following their own desires, their own creative expressions and “spiritual” intuitions, all in perfect freedom…”

And more related to cultural decline into apathy:

“One other deleterious effect of psychedelics, which has clearly operated on the mass level (though not in every individual case), is that they broke down people’s protection against the surrounding psychic environment; first you “open up” too much, and then compensate by “closing down” so as to protect yourself from the painful influences emanating from your surroundings, including other people. Excess empathy ends in paranoia; the artificial breaking down of what psychologist Wilhelm Reich [1897-1957] called “character armor” often results in a worse case of such armor later on. (Perennialist Titus Burckhardt [1908-1984], in his book Alchemy: Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul [1986], speaks of the close relationship between psycho-physical dissolution and psycho-physical petrification.) As Jesus put it, the demon we have exorcized wanders in waterless places until, returning to the soul from which he has been expelled and finding it swept and adorned, he brings with him seven demons more evil than himself. We probably could never have produced a society where millions spend hours a day alone before computer screens—while imagining that, via Twitter or whatever, they actually have thousands of “friends”!—if LSD hadn’t softened us up first; the isolation and excess introversion produced in part by psychedelics has effectively broken down the kind of social solidarity we need if we are to maintain our political freedoms and human rights; we are all too happy in our cubicles, or at least afraid to leave them. A friend of mine once said to me, back in the 60’s: “Acid would be great if you could have all that incredible imagery without those feelings”. Bill Gates must have heard his plea; cyberspace reproduces in many ways the hallucinatory content of psychedelics without the accompanying insights.”

On “suffering” vs. popping pills for “spiritual purgation”:

“…The use of toxic pharmaceuticals and traumatic interventions is common and sometimes necessary in the practice of medicine, but these things have little or nothing to do with the Spiritual Path per se. Psychedelics—whose toxicity is by and large psychic, not physical—may have a therapeutic effect in cases of alcoholism, heroin addiction etc., but this doesn’t mean that they create no problems of their own; it’s a question of the lesser of two evils. And what may be a lesser evil in psychophysical terms may or may not be a lesser one in Spiritual terms. Our post-Christian secular society obviously does not have the final end and eternal good of the human soul on its radar screen, nor does it hold a very clear idea of human dignity or the intrinsic value of the person; abortion, for example, is not even seen by many people as the taking of human life. Our society has no concept of suffering as spiritual purgation (by which I certainly don’t mean to imply that all suffering is purifying simply because it hurts); its highest good seems to be production, consequently it tends to define healing in terms of making us “productive members of society”. There are even muted but increasingly audible suggestions that non-productive citizens ought to be euthanized; Bill Gates recently stated that a certain degree of medical care ought to be denied the elderly and diverted to the maintenance of productive workers. And now, under the “war on terror”, torture has become acceptable to us for the first time since the passage of the Bill of Rights. How can a society capable of such barbaric actions and sentiments be relied upon to accurately evaluate the effects of psychedelic drugs in either moral or spiritual terms?…”

On religion being “founded” by psychedelics:

“Since religions are founded by Divine action through prophets and avatars (Buddhism possibly excepted yet Gautama Buddha is considered to be the ninth Avatar of Lord Vishnu within the Hindu tradition), to say that they have been initiated by psychedelics is to deny that God can act on His own initiative, and consequently to deny God. It is to make “religion” an entirely human affair, and thus to posit something that does not fit the definition of that word. No religious tradition claims to have been founded on the basis of psychedelic experience; such claims emanate from users of psychedelics who like to project their fantasies upon traditions they in no way intend to follow. Anyone who thinks that Moses met God on Sinai or Jesus became “Christ” after eating some mushroom, because how else could they have done it, has no sense of the sacred whatsoever. Within certain contexts and in certain yugas it might have been spiritually possible to open initiates to the graces of an already established spiritual Way through the use of psychedelics, but such things are certainly not possible to us in our own time, except at great cost—and with what coin could we pay that cost, poor as we are? In any case it is certain that the establishment of a legitimate spiritual Way through the use psychedelics has never been either possible or necessary.”

On the modern infatuation with spiritual tourism to places like the Amazon for ayahuasca:

“And spiritual tourism in places like the Amazon damages not only the indigenous cultures but the tourists too. (I recently saw a news item where one village prohibited such tourism; a villager characterized the North American strangers who’d visited them and immediately asked to be told all about the local sacred rituals and beliefs as, in effect, “creepy”.) When well-heeled Norteamericanos and Europeans enter dirt poor villages in the Amazon and elsewhere looking to satisfy their spiritual hunger, a hunger based on their abandonment and betrayal of their own spiritual tradition (usually Christianity), they tempt the village elders to what traditional Catholics call the sin of simony: selling sacred things for money. Spiritual tourists are by and large not pilgrims but thieves, vampires. In most cases they aren’t looking for a spiritual Path to dedicate their lives to, but simply picking up here and there whatever sacred art objects, or psychedelic experiences, or sacred rituals degraded to the level of mere spectacle, might suite their fancy—if, that is, they aren’t actually sorcerers in search of “personal power”. Very often their basic set is psychic rather than spiritual; like most tourists, they are looking for “experiences”, not principles to live by. They leave behind them the destructive influences of their own profane postmodern attitudes, and return home polluted with the toxic psychic residues of the forms of the sacred they have plundered, so as to release them to do their damage within their own cultures.”

On the failures of ancient shamanism vs. modern medical care steeped with roots in the “Golden Rule” of early Christianity:

“Shamanism, even relatively degenerate Shamanism[29], has a certain practical justification under truly primitive conditions, since it represents a large portion of the technological heritage of the tribe. The Shaman heals disease, finds and attracts game, carries on criminal investigations, influences the weather, protects the tribe in war and guards it against psychological imbalances and/or demonic incursions. But under modern conditions, when at least some of these functions can be fulfilled by other means, Shamanism loses a certain amount of its raison d’être. French poet and cinematographer Jean Cocteau [1889-1963] recounts the story of an anthropologist who was studying native folkways in Haiti, where trees are (or were) used for long-distance communication; when a woman’s husband was away at market, she might send a message to him by speaking to a tree, and receive his answer by the same means. When the anthropologist asked the natives why they spoke to trees, their answer was: “Because we are poor. If we were rich we should have the telephone”.”

In a nutshell, there is nowhere in the Bible that says we must use drugs or “plant medicines” to effectively dialogue with God. Claiming that this is necessary reminds me a bit of John 10:1, which read, “Whoever enters not by the gate to the sheepfold, but comes up from another place, is a thief and a robber.” As Jesus says later in that chapter, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” In other words, the only element necessary for eternal life and constant, daily union with God is a relationship with Jesus Christ achieved through robust prayer, Bible reading, and a life rich in the spiritual disciples of worship, fasting, meditation, silence, etc.,—and not a calendared session for a plant medicine journey so that you can go delve into the depths of your consciousness, dissolve your ego, and divine what “God” has to say to you.

So why the heck would God not want us, his precious human creations, to use such drugs?

Here's why: when we have out-of-body experiences and delve into altered states of consciousness, we are entering a spiritual world—a kind of “fourth dimension”. Anyone who journeys with plant medicine will affirm that this is the case. I've been there many, many times myself. It's totally real. It's not a figment of your imagination or a chemical soup of serotonin and other neurotransmitters tweaking some dials in your brain. You can quite literally see entities, talk to spirits, see with great lucidity ancient “sacred geometrical” forms, relive epigenerational experiences and trauma from your ancestors, and even encounter bright, blinding, lights that many claim is actually God (though, please note, that Lucifer, AKA Satan, literally translates to “light-bearer”…just something to think about!).

That's what these plant medicines are supposed to do and they do it quite well, hence their strong history in pagan practices for being used for astral travel, shamanic flight, drug-induced out-of-body experiences, calling upon spirits, angels and demons, distance healing, casting magic spells, possessing human bodies with spirits of other creatures and beyond. I know several shamans who have converted to Christianity who describe traditional plant medicines as having a slight “dark” edge to them, as though something lurks in the intelligence of plants that has great potential to open a vulnerable human brain up to intense, potentially negative spiritual influences.

For example, drug-laden balms comprised of compounds such as ergot (an early form of LSD) and hallucinogenic chemicals in Atropa belladonna (deadly nightshade), Hyoscyamus niger (henbane), Mandragora officinarum (mandrake), and Datura stramonium (jimsonweed) were the original  “witch's brews.” To distribute these drugs with maximum effectiveness, witches— from the 1300s to the 1600s—would borrow a handy technology from their home: a broom. They would specifically take the handle of the broom, dip into the salve, and apply the broomstick rectally and/or vaginally for a very fast and effective induction of a plant medicine journey, during which they would be equipped to astral travel, cast spells, possess people, call upon spirits, etc.

Wow. Kinda makes you think a bit differently about a popular Halloween costume, doesn't it (much less taking a weekend heroic dose of LSD as a noble excuse to “find yourself” in an intense act of self-improvement)?

See, all of these methods easily allow Satan or any other demon to imitate God’s very rare practice of taking people out-of-body to deliver to them prophecies, messages, and visions. Unfortunately, the false prophecies, misleading messages, and “visions” such spirits can create are quite convincing deceptions, especially because as you'll find if you ask any 1960s era hippie or modern-day plant medicine enthusiast, the typical “message” one receives when in these states is one of love, light, human connection and all sorts of gooey, feel-good, come-together-ness.

This may all seem mighty fine, but the ultimate end result is a human being getting convinced that we can fix the world all on our own, and that we either don't need God's help to do it, or we are one with God and basically God ourselves, which is a pretty big slap-in-the-face to the Almighty Creator and a pretty big thumbs down to any need for God to have sent his beloved and innocent son Jesus to be beaten, tortured, and brutally murdered on a cross for our sins.

Instead, all we need is love, baby.

We're good enough, all on our own.

We're inherently decent folks capable of choosing our own morality and no death on a cross was necessary, at all.

Heads up: you made a mistake, God. All we need is our own inherent goodness and a bit of magic mushroom to change the world, hold hands, and sing kumbaya around the campfire into all of eternity.

Based on this understanding that all forms of occult magic are demonic and lead us down a path of placing our trust in something much different than God, you can hopefully now better understand why the Bible forbids such plant medicines, like in Deuteronomy 18:10–12, which says, “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft [pharmakia], or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.”

The early fathers of plant medicine knew all this.

For example, consider this somewhat troubling anecdote from Timothy Leary's autobiography, in which he and Aldous Huxley are having a chat while journeying on psilocybin (Timothy Leary was an American psychologist and author known for his strong advocacy of psychedelic drugs, particularly LSD, and Aldous Huxley, Leary's mentor, was a British Novelist who repackaged drugs such as mescaline as a means to spiritual growth and social evolution):

“The question that haunted our work in those early days was: how could we introduce these methods for mind expansion to society? I raised this issue with [Aldous] Huxley one day at the [Harvard] Faculty Club. “Why don’t I come over to your place tonight,” he said. “We’ll take the drug and ask our expanded brains that question.” Around sunset I built a fire while Aldous stacked the books he had brought with him on a coffee table, then stretched himself out on the couch. We each took psilocybin. For the next three hours we listened to music—Bach, Mozart, African drums, Indian chants, Ravi Shankar. Occasionally we waved reassurance to each other or murmured of bliss. Aldous sat up, lanky legs crossed, and looked at me quizzically. “So you don’t know what to do with this bloody philosopher’s stone we have stumbled onto? In the past this powerful knowledge has been guarded in privacy, passed on in the subdued, metaphorical obscurantism of scholars, mystics, and artists. “But society needs this information,” I said passionately. My anti-elitist button had been pushed. “These are evolutionary matters. They cannot be rushed. Work privately. Initiate artists, writers, poets, jazz musicians, elegant courtesans, painters, rich bohemians. And they’ll initiate the intelligent rich. That’s how everything of beauty and culture and philosophic freedom has been passed on.” We fell into silence. The fireplace threw dancing colors around the room, a meadow of serenity. Huxley‘s eyes were closed. A beatific smile played around his thin mouth. Suddenly he clapped his hands against his bony leg. “Your role is quite simple. Become a cheerleader for evolution. That’s what I did and my grandfather before me. These brain-drugs, mass-produced in the laboratories, will bring about vast changes in society. This will happen with or without you or me. All we can do is spread the word. The obstacle to this evolution, Timothy, is the Bible.

See that, especially my bolded emphasis about the Bible bit?

Both these guys fully realized that plant medicines had great promise to be an incredibly powerful force to take people away from God and to instead place an idolatrous belief in exogenous, mind-altering compounds that were traditionally used to summon spirits and demons. Worse yet, Huxley's original adviser was the evil Aleister Crowley, who is arguably the most famous, and infamous, occult magician of all time. He referred to himself as “The Great Beast—666,” and the media of his day named him “The Wickedest Man in the World.” Crowley's teachings on magic are widely used in modern-day Satanism, and he is venerated by Satanists, witches, occult magicians, and rock musicians to this day.

Huxley’s books even reek eerily of words that Satan himself spoke in the Bible when tempting Adam and Eve with the forbidden fruit. For example, in his book The Doors he promoted a view of drug use that is the polar opposite of the Biblical one, literally saying: “Did God really say you must not do drugs?” In his book Heaven and Hell he claimed drugs are a way to experience heaven and that there actually is no real hell, claiming: “You will not surely die.” Both these books argue that partaking of the “forbidden fruit “of pharmakia could result in a personal transformation very much like that promised by the tempter in the Garden of Eden, including the phrase: “When you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God.”

Wow.

Here's more: if you want to hear a couple of modern leaders in the plant medicine movement discussing their “worldview” so you can better wrap your head around how much we are now placing our faith in drugs vs. God, listen to this recent “Plants Of The Gods” episode, in which a fungi research and plant medicine enthusiast discuss mushrooms, magic and mortality.

Perhaps the demonic origins of these plant medicines are why things can go terribly wrong when people use them. I'll give you a few examples of the extremes of what can go wrong when humans pursue an altered state of consciousness via compounds and chemicals, and though the examples below may seem to directly contradict the relatively innocent and peaceful experience one might have in a “proper set and setting” with precisely controlled doses of, say, psilocybin or ketamine or MDMA, I'd be remiss not to at least point out what the worst of what can eventually happen when humans place their trust and infatuation in drugs and altered states of consciousness rather than God alone. This is not an attempt to be overly dramatic but rather an attempt to point out that these compounds can really, really shift one's decision-making process and psyche in a far more dramatic way than, say, a cup of coffee or chomping on a piece of nicotine gum:

  • For example, in the ninth century, the legendary Norse warriors known as the “Berserkers” used either henbane or hallucinogenic mushrooms to drive themselves into a raging, murderous frenzy before their battles. They would then kill everything in sight—men, women, children, and animals, until the drugs wore off.
  • In 2014, after taking a “drug cocktail” that included ketamine and cocaine, Swiss art dealer Bennet von Vertes beat his friend Alex Morgan to death with a giant candlestick because he was hallucinating that Morgan was an alien.
  • Darla Hise, a mother of three from Virginia, was recently deceived this way while she was high on meth and marijuana. Hise felt aliens invade her body and then became convinced they were going to abduct her six-year-old daughter. Hise shot her own daughter with a shotgun to “send her to heaven” instead.
  • One-fourth of those who commit murder, rape, and assault in the US are high at the time, and the violence that drug cartels and trafficking gangs frequently engage in is horrifically barbaric (yes, yes, I doubt these criminals were on MDMA or doing some form of constructive psilocybin therapy, but my point here is that an intense neurochemical shift can occur that changes one's personality and can lead to people making very poor decisions, becoming psychotic, etc.).
  • In Mexico, the cartels kill soldiers who fight against them, they kill politicians who oppose them, and they kill journalists who write about them. More than thirty-three thousand people were murdered in Mexico in 2018, and most were killed by the cartels. That’s ninety murders every day!
  • Mexico is fast becoming a “narco-state,” and its murder rate is now five times higher than that of the United States. In Brazil, the use of crack cocaine is so widespread that dealers and addicts have taken over large swaths of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. These areas are known as “the cracklands.” There are seven million heroin addicts in Russia. Two hundred and fifty of them will die from overdose today.
  • In Yemen, 90 percent of adult men chew the herbal stimulant kaht every day. Khat, hashish, and amphetamines are pouring into Saudi Arabia, of all places, despite the fact that convicted smugglers are publicly beheaded in accordance with Islamic law.
  • Australia has the highest per-capita population of drug users in the world, largely due to the use of Ecstasy (MDMA).
  • Thailand has been battling an epidemic of yaba (methamphetamine) abuse for decades.
  • Meth-related crime is so rife in the Philippines that Filipinos overwhelmingly support President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent killing of thousands of dealers and addicts. 
  • In 2002, police officers in Los Angeles found a man standing naked in the street, covered in blood, staring up into the sky. They soon discovered that he had brutally murdered his female roommate after they had taken PCP together. She had teeth marks on her face, her chest was torn open, her internal organs were exposed, one of her shoulder blades was torn off, and her lungs had been chewed on. Medical examiners found pieces of the girl’s flesh in the man’s stomach.
  • Less related to the “drug war” and more related to the sexy world of plant medicines, New Yorker Cover Story has a recent multi-episode podcast story on shamanic sex scandals, sexual abuse within the plant medicine world, traumatic experiences in the Amazon and beyond and rampant abuse of esoteric hallucinogenic compounds.

Look, I realize that you may think that these horrors—which include just a brief glimpse of a few examples of what happens when plant medicine goes wrong—are simply what happens when “bad people take drugs,” and that good people or Christians who use such compounds are protected by the blood of Christ and thus are only going to open themselves up to a divine, mind-expanding, heavenly experience in which they more directly experience God. But, as the tweet below humorously implies, all drug users are at risk of demonic influence or mental damage when using drugs.

The paper “By its Fruits? Mystical and Visionary States of Consciousness Occasioned by Entheogens” says,

“It is important that the risks of hallucinogen use not be underestimated. Even in the present study in which the conditions of volunteer preparation and psilocybin administration were carefully designed to minimize adverse effects, with a high dose of psilocybin 31% of the group of carefully screened volunteers experienced significant fear and 17% had transient ideas of reference/paranoia. Under unmonitored conditions, it is not difficult to imagine such effects escalating to panic and dangerous behavior. Also, the role of hallucinogens in precipitating or exacerbating enduring psychiatric conditions and long-lasting visual perceptual disturbances should remain a topic of research.”

So yes, handing an honest and innocent spiritual seeker a tab of LSD and telling them to go discover themselves even more deeply is probably not a good idea. Though I never denied that such compounds open one up to a kind-of fourth dimension spiritual world, I myself was deceived that if I was a Christian I was “safe and protected” when venturing into spiritual realms using plant medicines – until I got on my knees in a fully sober state to seek God's wisdom and, following His voice, finally buckled down and fully educated myself on all this.

The problem is that when you are in a drug-induced altered state of consciousness, you are directly at risk of being heavily influenced, or even possessed, by not just good spirits such as angels, God, or Jesus, but also by bad spirits, such as Satan and demons. At that point, things can go downhill fast, and worse yet, you can be deceived that everything is alright because all you've experienced up to that point is love, light, and pure bliss.

But when we venture into the spiritual world by using drugs, none of us are immune, because, as 1 Peter 5:8 says, we are to, “…be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” When you're laid flat on your back deep into plant medicine with your tongue lagging out the side of your mouth, your entire world wobbly, your vision cloudy and your brain flooded with chemicals that completely dissociate you from reality, you are a veritable sitting duck for spiritual influence, both good and bad. It's a dangerous enough state to be in that we are warned repeatedly in the Bible to avoid using drugs to commune with the divine, no matter how pure our intentions might be. When immersed in a plant medicine-induced altered state of consciousness, you really have no way of knowing whether the voices and insights and downloads you are getting are from the light side or the dark side. When you're on your knees, fully sober and awake, in prayer and meditation and fasting and worship and Scripture study, you do know. But when you're taking the “easy route” of popping pills to experience God, you simply don't know. You're in too vulnerable and confused a place to truly discern right and wrong, light and dark, angels vs. demons, or God vs. Satan.

I fully realize that this can all seem kind of weird and spooky. But the fact is, we actually live in a weird and spooky world.

The question is, which side of the weird and spooky are you going to be on: the light side or the dark side?

And look, I personally got lucky (or, more appropriately, providentially spared – unlike folks like the guy in this video “I Took Psychedelics as a Christian, What I Saw Shocked Me“). Fact is, I spent many years engaged in the use of plant medicine without experiencing any demonic possessions or “bad trips” or violent outbursts or anything of the like. All of my plant medicine experiences actually seemed to solidify my faith and bring me closer to God and closer to others—at least that was how I justified it. But the fruits of an action don't necessarily mean that action is right. For example, if my wife and I decide to adopt a polyamorous, open relationship, and it seems to solidify our marriage and make our relationship happier, that doesn't mean it's right. Similarly, if I shoplift milk from the grocery store to feed the poor, it's still stealing.

I was deceived and I was playing with fire.

See, I didn't need any these compounds to develop a stronger faith or a stronger marriage, or a stronger personal or professional life. I got caught up in the modern-day infatuation of discovering oneself, dissolving the ego, and becoming a better person through the use of plant medicine. Yet, had I spent more time sober, awake, alert, fully conscious, and on my knees praying to God instead of flat on my back slobbering on psilocybin, I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt I would have achieved the same (or better) results, but without the risk of demonic influence while in an altered state of consciousness. Instead of relying on the power of the spiritual disciplines of prayer, worship, Scripture, meditation, silence, solitude, fasting, and the like, I instead took the easy pill-popping route and abused drugs, all with the excuse that it was all for the noble purpose of building my faith, and only seemed to produce good fruits, so how could it be bad?

Fact is, like so many others who are dependent on and intrigued with plant medicines these days, I was placing my faith in something other than God, and using dangerous, exogenous substances to attempt to “divine” and experience God in a fuller sense. Had I kept on this path, I guarantee that at some point me, my wife, or my innocent young sons would have eventually opened a big portal to demonic influence. It actually scares the hell out of me how close I probably got many times, without even realizing it.

I was in sin.

Sure, I was ignorant of the troubling history and spiritual potential of these mind-altering compounds, but as the saying goes, ignorance of the law is no excuse. 

So even though I seemed to experience a great deal of benefit and personal and professional growth through my use of plant medicines, I'm not wishing that experience upon anyone else, nor am I endorsing what I did as right. See, God draws straight in crooked lines. I strongly feel that the reason He allowed me to fall into sin via my attempt to seek God, journey into the spiritual world, or to better divine God's will via the use of plant medicines was so that I could come out of that journey with a strong, experienced voice to cry out from the rooftops that you don't need these chemicals, that they're dangerous, and that you can achieve far, far more God-seeking and divination by dropping to your knees in prayer and reading the Bible every single day, no magic mushrooms required.

Sadly, I have come back from my own journeying and toying with plant medicines spiritually scarred, bruised, beaten up, and damaged, with much time lost that I could have better spent in prayer and Scripture, communing with God in a fully sober “ego on board” state. If you are considering using plant medicines to alter your state of consciousness or to “journey” and find yourself, I can tell you with confidence that I have gone to that place many times, it is not the way and it is dangerous. You only have one soul and one spirit, and I don't recommend sullying your invisible self in this manner. The only way to true spiritual enlightenment, eternal life and salvation is through Jesus. This is why Christianity, way back when it first started, was called “The Way”. It was different than everything else out there, including the ancient Greek and Roman dependency on multiple gods and pharmakia.

Just imagine if the time every psychonaut spent in a week long special food dieta followed by 8-72 hours flat on their back hallucinating under psychedelic plant medicines was instead time spent sober, awake, alert, fasting, in prayer, on the knees, playing soaking worship music, reading Scripture, and seeking God with intelligence, wisdom, discernment and in a non-tripped-out state. That's true spirituality and, yes, that's much harder work than popping a pill. Consider that to be your challenge though – after all – as Matthew 7:14 says, “Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.”.

Think about Moses and Aaron, for example. They were mere humans, just like you and me, rift with their own temptations and personal struggles. Don't you think that the magic, sorcery, pharmakia, drugs, witchcraft, divination and easily accessible tactics used by the Egyptian priests were incredibly appealing and tempting to Moses and Aaron in the same way that the instant spiritual enlightenment offered by plant medicines is appealing to us in our modern day, especially compared to calling upon an “invisible God” who they or we may not be able to taste, touch or feel? Yet, during the time of the Egyptian plagues and miracles from God that brought the Jewish people out of slavery in Egypt (full story here), Moses and Aaron called upon God and God won over the drugs and plant medicines (which were effective and impressive, but not as incredible as the miracles God pulled off without drugs). Moses and Aaron could very easily have fought fire with fire and used the pharmakia and sorcery tactics of their day, “claiming them for God”. But they didn't. They went direct to God (and no, despite the common myth floating around out there on the interwebs, Moses was not high on ayahuasca when God spoke to him through the burning bush). That took faith. That took trust. That took bravery and courage. For Moses and Aaron to have taken drugs instead would have reflected distrust and disobedience.

Interestingly, the Bible also teaches that at the end of this age, such drug use as I've described above will eventually encompass the entire earth. For example, in Revelation 21:8, Jesus states quite clearly that he is going to sentence the pharmakos to eternal torment, when he says,

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts [pharmakos], the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.”

With the booming popularity of plant medicines, painted in the noble light of science, therapy, and mind expansion, we seem to be dangerously getting close to that point now, don't you think?

Even if you're not a Christian, the idea of a large majority of the human race getting the equivalent of slobbering drunk multiple times per year to find themselves, while risking spirit possession, violence, psychosis and the like ought to make you just a bit nervous and cautious about this.

Yes, yes, I know you could say the same about, say, guns or knives or dynamite or anything that has the potential to be “dangerous,” but the uniqueness of plant medicines is their ability to put you not only at a physical risk (which, when plant medicines are used responsibly, isn't really a big deal), but more importantly at significant spiritual risk. Though many can commit horrific atrocities with firearms, none of which I would endorse or encourage, you don't actually risk getting attacked by dark spirits when you handle or fire a gun. It's all physical. But you do carry this great risk when you “journey.” As Matthew 10:28 says, “…fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Weapons kill the body. But mind-altering drugs can kill both the body and the soul.

So, somebody has to put their foot down.

Somebody has to stop this madness.

Somebody has to point out what could eventually happen if we continue down this road.

As Aldous Huxley and Timothy Leary themselves noted, the only thing standing in the path of plant medicine taking over the world and replacing people's faith in God…

…is the Bible.


Freedom From Bondage

Look, like I said, I've gotten away, relatively unharmed and probably better for it personally and professionally, with pretty robust use of plant medicines.

But I was playing with some potentially deep and dark fire.

Furthermore, my life's purpose statement is to love God through prayer and worship and to love my family by preparing and providing. Obviously, I can't exactly do that if I've made it a part of my lifestyle to regularly be flat on my back hallucinating in a shaman's den, vomiting, pissing my pants, slobbering, and seeing visions. The reality is that through the hard, spiritual disciplinary work of prayer, worship, Biblical meditation, devotions, study, silence, solitude, fasting, and the like, both you and I can experience all the benefits that modern-day psychonauts would seek through plant medicine, without the extreme risk. But the spiritual disciplines are the hard, straight, and narrow path, and far more difficult to traverse than the wide, easy, and increasingly accessible path of popping a pill, sipping a medicine brew, or munching on a magic truffle.

However, which do you think makes you ultimately leaner, faster, and stronger with greater character? Gastric bypass surgery or stuffing your mouth with food less? Hill sprints or steroids in your butt cheek? Calf implants or hardcore barbell squats? An intramuscular ketamine injection and hit on a DMT vape pen, or dropping to your knees fully sober to seek God's direction?

Hopefully, I'm making my point.

Once again, as 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

The devil is there, masquerading as an angel of light, and waiting to pounce. By journeying with plant medicines and seeking drug-induced altered states of consciousness, you are laying yourself out in front of his lair like a wounded rabbit in a trap. You're vulnerable, you're exposed and even if you're a Christian, you're in a very dangerous place.

Interestingly, when I made the decision on June 1 to swear off any association with plant medicines when it comes to divining with the spiritual world, it was a full-on heart yes.

Here's what I mean: perhaps you’re familiar with a book by Derek Sivers entitled Hell Yeah Or No: What's Worth Doing. If you haven’t read it or heard of it, you’ve no doubt been introduced at some point in your life to a saying that was directly influenced by that book, namely, “If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.” For the most part, I think that this is a pretty good bit of advice to live by, especially when making important decisions or weighing the prioritization of the many opportunities that inevitably come the way of most humans these days. However, the part that Derek and this saying largely leave out is the consideration of seeking God’s wisdom and discernment in any decisions—large or small—that we might make. 

Lately, I’ve been making it a point to ask God to guide my decision-making. So what does that process look like? First, it requires constant daily dialogue and union with God. Don’t wait to come to God when you have some massive, life-changing decision to make. Instead, worship God daily, praise God daily, talk to God daily, pray without ceasing (yes, that means talking to God and speaking with Him about any decision you make and an excellent book to learn how is Walking With God by John Eldredge), ask God for direction in even the small things (e.g. what game should I play with my kids tonight? or what song should I learn on the guitar? or how should I dress for this particular social function?), and perhaps most importantly, make space in your busy life to slow down and listen to God daily.

After all, in the Bible, God meets with Elijah, but 1 Kings 19:11-13 describes that it required silence: “…there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind, and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake, and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire, and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”.

So these days, I shut down my headphones. My music. My audiobooks. My podcasts. My phone calls. My text messages. My notifications. I make space, usually in the morning, and then I lay my decisions before God. What should I choose, God? Who should I talk to, God? What should I eat, God? Is this right for me, God? Does this honor you, God? 

If God says, yes, and if it is truly a “heaven yes” (trust me, that’s much better than a hell yes), then, if your experience is anything like mine, it is not a shout or a thundering voice that you will hear, but rather a sensation that your heart feels clean and light about the decision you made or will make, and a feeling as though a weight has been lifted from your chest and a burden removed from your back. You will feel peace and a subtle knowing that you have made the right decision. That is what a heart yes and a heaven yes from God feels like.

So go to God for every decision you make, whether large or small, and you will, with practice and dedication, learn to discern His voice.

What I'm getting at is this…

…the very second I made the decision to forego plant medicine and to write this article that you're reading right now, I felt as though an enormous burden had been lifted off my back, and I felt a sensation of righteous freedom from bondage that I haven't experienced in years. I began making other decisions in life that were based on trusting God and following His law no matter what, because I had removed from my life a glaring example of not trusting God fully. I expect that you will feel the same shift if you are a current user of plant medicines and you decide to take this step along with me. You may also notice, if your experience is like mine, that you begin to question any other chemical attachments in life that you may have, such as caffeine, nicotine, kratom, kava, microdosing, and the like (but more on that in Part 2 of this series).

Now are there exceptions to everything I've just said. Sure. Go back up and read my three caveats near the introduction. We need to approach this entire topic with great respect, wisdom and discernment. For example, for something like ketamine, a synthetic compound with the capability (but not the necessity!) of induced a drastically altered state of consciousness. For example, I get a full body deep tissue massage one or two times a month, and typically administer to myself a small dose of intranasal or oral ketamine beforehand. Am I in a somewhat “dissociated” state because of using ketamine? Well, yes, I am. Am I tripping out, hallucinating or in a K-hole-esque out of body state? No – at least, not with the dose I take (in the same you can be “psychotic” on caffeine you can be “psychotic” on ketamine, but the dose is the poison). Am I seeking to “divine with God” or “interact with spirits” when I use ketamine? No, although I do find that I have different thought patterns, altered perspectives and new creative ideas with a small dose of ketamine in my system. So this would be an example for which both the dose and the intent makes the poison, but an example – much like my earlier examples of medical anesthesia, trauma therapy, so-called “clarogenic” compounds for mind expansion, etc. of a right and responsible use of a potentially mind-altering compound.


Summary of Part 1

Look, I'm quite self-aware that this article is a bit preachy and speaks quite a bit to Christians like me who have at some point placed their faith not in God alone, but also in mind-expansion using plant medicines.

But please, please, please realize that even if you're not a Christian, you're playing with fire.

Even if you don't believe in demons and a spiritual world, or that you can somehow be physically, mentally, or spiritually harmed by plant medicines, you're still putting yourself at risk of being influenced by dark forces (and, incidentally, if you do not believe in an unseen realm that surrounds us, I highly recommend you read the excellent books Unseen Realms or Supernatural by Dr. Michael Heiser).

You may think I'm being silly and overly dramatic, but I'd rather speak up and say my piece on this matter than keep my mouth shut and eventually see a lot of people get hurt and place their faith in something other than their dear Creator. Furthermore, if you're a Christian and you're feeling convicted while reading, please know that any guilt or shame you may have stirring up in your soul about substance use or abuse can all be laid down at the foot of the cross by simply asking God for forgiveness and placing your trust instead in the free salvation offered through a belief in Jesus Christ.

See, once you discover the peace, love, and joy that you can only get through trusting in Jesus and crying out to God in a fully sober state when you need help, direction, and insight, you will find that your desire for plant medicines and altered states of consciousness will fade away.

This is because nothing but Jesus can replace the eternal hole in your soul that you are trying to fill.

Nothing.

In Part 2, I'll tell you even more about this, but in the meantime, you may find this article helpful if you want to understand more of what I mean when I tell you that all you need is the simplicity of Jesus.

As I mentioned earlier, I've barely scratched the surface of everything I've learned in the past several weeks about the shocking history of plant medicines and the extreme risks of dabbling with drug-induced altered states of consciousness. So if this article has even remotely piqued your interest, you must, must, must read the book Pharmakia by author Robert Orem.

Finally, within the next one to two weeks, I promise you a less lengthy Part 2 of this series, because there are a few unanswered questions I plan to tackle for you—namely: microdosing (you may be surprised at what I have to say about this); the use of plant medicines in small amounts for sensory enhancement for activities such as sacred hunting or sex; recreational “responsible” small-dose use of marijuana (e.g. hitting a vape pen at the end of the day instead of having a glass of wine); and any other loops I haven't closed based upon what you've just read.

But in the meantime, I welcome your questions, your comments, and your feedback. I promise I will read them all, and do my best to respond. Trust me, I'm very much aware that this article is a big shift from what I've said in the past about plant medicines. But it is a very important shift because this is a battle for your eternal soul. Thank you for reading.

Ask Ben a Podcast Question


319 thoughts on “The Big Problem With “Plant Medicines”: Part 1

  1. Noah Kahn says:

    Reading through the comments, hey, at least it’s not as bad as Twitter 😂. For me, at the end of the day, for the most part, the more information, data, and perspectives you have, the better decisions you can make. I may not agree 100% with EVERYTHING, but I believe a lot, and I deeply appreciate and loved having my beliefs and thoughts about reality challenged! Ironically, this came to me at a very interesting time, as I was about to buy LSD as a way to treat my Binge Eating Disorder, being that with BED, I’m really chasing feel-good hormones and pleasures, and thinking LSD, because it doesn’t cause intense stomach aches, might be a healthier alternative. I’m going to think more about that idea now and likely hold off for now at least. Thank you SO SO SO much Ben for sharing this, and I always so deeply deeply DEEPLY appreciate how articulate you are, your intense research, and how much you care. I’m 19 years old, there are certainly quite a few around me my age that use such things and in such regards it can be a risky world my generation is growing up in. Temptation galore. I mean, just thank you. Thank you thank you thank you. LOVE! -Noah

    1. Noah Kahn says:

      P.S. Ben you are literally the #1 reason I became I Christian. Thank you <3. Well, I guess GOD technically is the reason, he just used you as a evangelist, but Amen.

      1. Ben Greenfield says:

        🙏

  2. John says:

    Hi Ben, your post on psychedelics is quite informative. I might have missed it, but have you spoken / considered the case for using ketamine and other psychedelics for mental disorders such as suicide and PTSD? There are few drugs like ketamine that can stop suicide in its tracks. In addition this is backed up by credible science. There is a lot written by Johnathan Edwards book – Suicide, CVD 19 and Ketamine: How a little known drug may save lives.

    1. Yep, I see a use case there in the proper set and setting.

  3. YG says:

    Ben –
    While your religious beliefs are not in question – the title of your podcast is misleading to the public. As an authority and person of influence, you have prescribed and consigned the term “Plant Medicines” to the realm of psychedelics and mind-altering substances. When in fact, they have a healthy tradition and a history that goes back a long time. All Traditional Chinese Medicine is for example, plant based.

    What’s happened is that the term “Plant Medicine” has been hijacked by health pundits to suggest only one aspect and this is entirely misleading. Unfortunately, by not titling your podcast more specifically – e.g. “Why I will no longer use Psychedelics” for instance, you’ve perpetuated this mislabelling. Ironically, you promoted Kava at the beginning of your podcast. And what is Kava? A plant derived substance.

    Also, Christianity notwithstanding – why associate Plant Medicines with all things un-Christian (and hence evil). You have had Hindus and I am sure, Buddhists on your show, and in your audience. Somehow, by labelling everything else “Pagan” – it’s somewhat medieval in its outlook and somewhat disrespectful. Do the brave thing and relabel your podcast. This is more than addressing your ego. Thanks.

    1. You are correct that the term plant medicine can certainly include other helpful substances that are not hallucinogenic, etc. – but the terminology I chose to use was what I chose because I felt like that language is something people really understand. I suppose I could have said “psychedelics”…

  4. Lisa says:

    Wow! So glad I took the time to listen to this. I have prayed for you and your family as I read/listened to some of your past hallucinogenic promoting episodes. This was SO encouraging and informative. I have spoken my own belief that drugs open the mind to dark spiritual forces, but did not have references to back that up.
    Thanks, so much, for your boldness in speaking the truth on this topic. The willingness to admit when wrong is one of the greatest expressions of strength.
    Keeping your family in my prayers. (Wisdom, Holiness, Unity, Protection, Boldness, Love, Strength)

  5. Niklas Rikardo says:

    Hi.
    People describe me as one of the happiest person they know. I love the planet, my family and my job. I am truly happy and I don’t belive in a fake God. I sorry to see that this is the path you taken and this is the last time you hear from me and I from you.
    I hope in the feature you can see that happiness doesn’t come from worship a fake God but instead you worship life itself.
    Take care
    //long time listener

  6. doug says:

    I have some experience here as I’m a bit of a pyschonaut, deeply familiar with Christian spirituality, and have encountered dark entities (unintentionally) while on LSD. First I should say I’m ultimately a non-dualist (a la David Hawkins flavor, or advaita philosophy), meaning, to get to “home” or heaven, you gotta be on the straight and narrow, “go through the eye of a needle”, so ultimately I am uninterested in anything occultish or not having to do with absolute love as the substrate of existence. Christ of course directed us this way and offers salvation (a spiritual quickening for those that partake). Buddha is the slow and steady path…taking eons if that’s what it takes. Both encountered dark forces, and each passed up the offer from the evil realms to have the power for themselves. Upon their refusal they carried on to grace us with the gospel and their presence on earth.
    Anyhow, my particular take is that entheogens are nondual – they don’t choose sides. But they certainly do expose folks to dark forces, and should be taken with the ultimate sincerity and caution. It is advised to go into it with the most bed rock faith in the absolute truth (of Christ as absolute love). There’s no guarantee that you won’t be overcome and undergo serious spiritual battles (this is exactly what happened to me; I’m quite certain very powerful demons had latched on to me and my brother, who tortured us and I was convinced there was a battle for one of our souls and I was ready to step in and accept the fate, to the point that I started telling my brother to tell everyone that I loved them dearly, like my last rites). Thankfully this didn’t happen. Ultimately I believe this is because there are not only dark forces, there are forces of love out there. Most of the time my angels, through the protection of my parents faith and love and righteousness, have protected me. But sometimes karma needs to be burned up, it just happens. And for the auspiciousness of good overcoming evil, I do recommend Sir Iain McGilchrist’s the Coincidence of Opposites for the asymmetry of symmetry where Love is more powerful than not love.
    So anyhow, tread carefully. I still enjoy mind traveling. When I take my trips, I advocate the angels to cleanse me and the world, and I carry the knowledge that I submit to Christ absolutely no matter what I encounter on my trip. It is my foundation. But to each their own. I wish you the best on your journey

  7. Grif says:

    Amen! It’s amazing to see your Spiritual journey more than anything Ben. God bled you for continuously seeking Him and being strong enough to follow His conviction and repent from it. Most of your audience may not grasp the maturity it took to do what you did but I’m thankful for it!
    May you continue to follow God and may His hand of Blessings be on your family for generations to come!

  8. Johnathan Edwards says:

    Hi Ben, Have you spoken / considered the case for using ketamine and other psychedelics for mental disorders such as suicide and PTSD? There are few drugs like ketamine that can stop suicide in its tracks and not a lot of people know about it. In addition this is backed up by credible science. There is a lot written by Johnathan Edwards book – Suicide, CVD 19 and Ketamine: How a little known drug may save lives.

    1. Yes and I leave room for such treatments in the article above.

  9. Rob says:

    Unfollowing you bro.

    It’s been great for years.

    Fingers crossed you come out of the haze sooner or later.

    Peace

  10. Jake says:

    Ben, I’m a long time listener, first time commenter. You and I met in the SLC airport going to a Spartan and have some mutual friends in common from the Human Garage. Your headline for this Podcast SCARED ME! I waited until today to listen. WHY? I’m 41 and Mormon (Christian) and I spent 36 years of my life free from any plant base medicine or alcohol. Then, legalization happened and I partook and still do. On the one hand the past 5 years have been amazing for me! So many new, deeper experiences. This is why I feared, big time, listening to this. But, in short, damnit, you are right. There is so much more I could say but I’ll admit I’ve had a personal, quite feeling for a good year now that it’s time for me to clean it up. You have verbalized that publicly for many of us. Good job bro! I’m nervous, I’m scared but I’ll take your challenge and I thank you for making it. #viceless Let’s do this.

    1. Grif says:

      Blessings abound!

  11. Lawrence Maz says:

    Hi there,
    Came across this article when someone shared it on twitter. God works in wondrous ways because this is EXACTLY what I needed to hear. I have a long history of substance abuse and have battled it for years. I know firsthand the spiritual realms and entities ABSOLUTELY exist. One time when taking LSD I believe I opened myself up to demonic forces. That night I experienced sleep paralysis for the first time and the dark entities that come with it. It was horrifying and I still get it, to this day and that was in 07′. A few years ago I got really into UFOs and would try to summon them late at night during binges. I know this sounds insane lol. I came to understand this as a spiritual or interdimensional phenomena and realized they were spiritual entities, not aliens from another planet. I would know when to walk outside and even experienced them with family and friends. However, it was a trap, they were manipulating me and I had made myself available. Eventually it got very, very dark and my life spun out of control. It wasn’t until I accepted Christ fully into my life that these hauntings stopped. I still have some pretty wild videos on my phone of these clearly non human lights. I wont get into it now. I still battle with depression and some lighter substances like kratom and marihuana and occasional alcohol. I’ve been feeling disconnected from God recently and yesterday stumbled upon an old vile of DMT. Having sworn off psychedelic’s about a year ago I had the urge to dive back in and planned on doing so. That was until I read this article and the truth hit me like a ton of bricks. I prayed to God and was filled with strength. Excellent article. Thank you so much.

  12. Jessica E. says:

    I am saddened by the many negative comments here, but not at all surprised. Ben, THANK YOU for sharing this, for your vulnerability, and shedding light on this topic they way you did. Thank you for listening to what God was telling you and following through. I 100% support everything here and am grateful for the message you are sharing, even though there are many who don’t want to hear it or listen. I am grateful for you, your faith and your boldness, and may God bless you and your family.

  13. Big D says:

    Yikes! So sad to see your regression in full public display.

    It is an unfortunate loss to see someone who once made such meaningful contributions to human evolution get lost in religion and proclaim it as their saving grace…all the worse that you think this is so valuable for people to hear.

    I personally hope you are met with profound intelligence, keen discernment, and a world-centric embrace of peer-review that can contextualize your process in a deeper fold of shared humanity and learning. I also hope that plant medicines help humanity evolve away from this kind of religious dogmatism.

    1. Alex says:

      I agree with this . He should have titled this article ‘I’m no longer taking plant medicines due to my religious beliefs’. I’ve followed Ben for years, however not for his advice through his religious lens. If he wants to talk about religion then setup a new website or business and keep it separate from his other great work. If this is going to be a constant from now on. He should rename himself the Christian Bio-hacker.

      The bit that did it for me is when Ben said that when “in the states of one, love, light, human connection we feel we can fix the world on our own and we don’t need god or we feel one with god and basically god ourselves. He said that’s basically a slap in the face for the almighty creator considering he sent Jesus to be beaten, tortured and murdered on a cross for our sins. Instead all we need is love, baby. “

      I think that if people even healed/improved themselves a little bit and took responsibility the world would be a better place. They don’t need a book to be a better person.

      1. Gareth says:

        Agree with this. Ben – you’ve made an amazing contribution to many people in health by emphasising science, diversity of opinion, learning from experience and data. And recognising that science is just the current best guess and constantly evolving. It feels so incongruous that you can then resort to placing almost 100% emphasis on a single “book” written by multiple people, thousands of years ago, and edited frequently through the centuries by vested interests who were clearly focused on controlling and influencing society.

        This seems to mean building your whole life on one highly subjective belief – that the Bible is a factually correct source of divine wisdom. And that all other books and evolution in understanding of the nature of reality subsequently are subservient. This makes no sense to me. Understanding on what basis you make this leap of faith would be an interesting article.

        1. Peter says:

          100% I what I find particularly astounding is that the humans that wrote the book from which all this is being rationalized knew less about science and the nature of the universe than my 10 year old does. Sad.

    2. Grif says:

      Everyone should get away from Religious Dogmatism, however EVERYONE needs to get a relationship with their Creator.

      If Ben didn’t proclaim it as your saving grace (which it is) or place value in the Bible and he said I believe in this thing called God what service would he be doing to you/others/himself by keeping it to himself. Discern where he’s coming from with the message Biblical/practically on why he’s not using plant based medicine and learn from what he’s saying.

  14. Dianne Demik says:

    Thank you so much for this podcast.. Your honesty and courage is inspiring and your information so critical. Some of the posted responses have made me heartsick. Please keep up your good work. And know that you have support and admiration from many.

    1. Grif says:

      Dust off your feet!

  15. Chris says:

    I want to follow up on a question written earlier about the Kava/Kratom tonic “Feel Free”. It certainly works in a way that alters the mind. Ben, do you have any thoughts on this specific combo. I started using twice a week as an alcohol replacement but became a daily user for months. I quit taking it completely over 5 weeks ago and had a hard time with withdrawals.

    Thanks!

    1. I’m totally fine with Feel Free. It’s not altering your consciousness nor is it psychedelic, etc. It could be abused, like alcohol, though.

  16. David Solomon says:

    Ben, you have to make a video. You have to publicly repent for what you’ve done and unfortunately, you have ill-gotten gains that need to be shed and you must do that, too. This podcast is only the beginning of what you need to do for repentance.

    1. what are you talking about when you say ill-gotten gains?

  17. Andrew Schnelly says:

    Well now… does not the Holy Word of God, Genesis 1:29 say ; ” Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you,”
    My personal experiences with brewing my own entheogens, have been very positive. While I must admit my personal experiences studying to be a Catholic Priest were far more “Evil” and destructive to my soul. The catholic church turned me away from God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit… Entheogens brought me back to the Holy Trinity. Even if you believe plants are Demonic, they cannot make you “evil” they can only work with what is already in your heart, to bring out what you keep hidden in your personal darkness.

    1. Grif says:

      That verse is specifically talking about food while Adam was in the garden. Before any evil entered the world. Much less before any mutation of plants came about to alter consciousness.

      We have been given the knowledge of good and evil. Even though your intention, however pure, may be the ability for it to be turned into evil becomes easier. You can’t test the spirits you’re commanded to do if you can’t control your mind. You also can’t turn off that spirit from effecting you if you are not in control of yourself.

      All that said it’s wonderful to hear that you turned back to the Lord! Don’t let worldly knowledge take the place of knowing Him! (Goes for me too) Ecclesiastes is pretty clear on this, especially if you want to use personal accounts and God allowed the smartest man who ever lived to experience it all to tell you to seek Him.

  18. Rumplestiltskin says:

    Talk about a “Hit Piece” by a born-again. You are certainly an idiot if you believe in trading one addiction for another gives you special powers because you believe Jesus is going to come back to save your silly rear end.

    I have never heard or read such clap-trap in my life except by born against Christians who believe in fairy tales as if they are real today. Christianity is failing because it has never truly given humanity what it desires relative to our spiritual development.

    Now get this my friend: Two of the worst religions on earth came out of the middle east, but yet no one is questioning why. Being created in the immage of our progenitors has also imbued us with traits that are not at all worthy of being considered SPIRITUAL. WHY? Because they are not the Gods you believe them to be, and neither is Jesus.

    Humanity has used plant medicines since our beginnings, some change how we think about life and others heal our bodies. If you had an epiphany after reading one paragraph in the bible then you really were looking for absolution because of your self-induced guilt.

    Sorry my friend we don’t accept your religious explanations of what is good for us and what is not. You have no proof of your observation that is not also colored by your newly developed religious beliefs. You do realize that religions from the middle east were set up as CONTROL MECHANISMS and had nothing to do with spirituality, as do Bhudistic teachings of the Far East.

  19. MadMagyar says:

    Too many words. The Truth is simple. When you have a VALID experience of the divine, you’ll see that EVERY drug-induced ‘experience’ can’t hold a candle to that.

    1. Rumplestiltskin says:

      Many years ago Magyar, I had a non-drug induce Cundallini Fire experience while sleeping. It felt as if I was having a mental orgasm. And it did change how I view the world and humanity.

  20. Erik says:

    I’ve never of you before i just stumbled upon your podcast title thought it sounded interesting so i listened.
    Thank you for sharing i appreciate the story of your faith in Christ. As a fellow believer it is great to hear inspirational and knowledgeable content i can learn from.
    Thank you.

  21. Mom of 5 kids and 2 huskies and my husband introduced me to your show! Christian since Oct 19th 1976, age 7. The best PODCAST EVER! Thank you so much! I have always enjoyed your podcast and listened faithfully…but thought in my spirit that you were going down the broad path and being deceived, so I stopped listening and putting stock in what you said. I am THRILLED to hear what all you said on this episode and believe you are SPOT ON! Pharmakeia is sorcery and everything you said and I am just praising Jesus for this! I am very well read and can not wait to order the book you referenced. I recommend https://www.amazon.com/Inoculated-Science-Lost-Soul-Autism/dp/1945390964; this book was AMAZING! You would enjoy the read. Very informative and it is a difficult read, but well worth it! Anyway, I see you have a ton of comments to read but I wanted you to know I am 100% in agreement with you and love you more than I already did! God bless you and your wife and kids. I believe the Lord let you go down this road to now save many lost souls! Amen brother! Love you!

  22. Nico says:

    Ben, it‘s OK to be vulnerable. Nobody is perfect and your God knows that. It’s OK. You will not go to hell.
    But every plant is your gods plant and you are just going from one extreme to the other. So basically you did not change anything.
    Just trust your intuition, not only a book.

    I was Ok but not happy when you introduced the religion topic more and more into your fitness topic. I think you may have been bored with the fitness topic and now you are looking for something more.

    But you lost me at the point when you trust a book more than science.
    And the problem with the Bible, Koran etc is that people interpret it differently.
    So we will never know, which next line you see in the Bible and than decide to remove the Navi from your car and only navigate by the stars.

    Still, which you all the best. You will find other followers which share your religious thoughts and will only do stuff because a book says it.

  23. Bruce says:

    Gotta preface this by saying that Ben clearly has a good heart and means well. I admire many aspects of what Ben’s doing.

    1. Ben loved plant medicine. Now Ben says don’t use plant medicine. How long will it be until Ben recommends plant medicine again.

    2. It is actually a manifestation of what Ben calls Satan (in my tradition, “Ego”) to claim that Jesus is the only Way. Jesus is _a_ way. Such a claim is a disguised statement from the ego of “I, me, the amazing/fortunate one, have found the one and only true way”, with the emphasis on “I”.
    Do you really think that if Jesus was the entity you believe him to be, he would have condemned all those who never heard of him to eternal damnation, or barred them from salvation? All Muslims? All Hindus? All Buddhists? Please. This is making Jesus into an idol

    3. One point where I strongly agree: Plant medicines should be used as a gateway, not as an ongoing vehicle. The point is to use the plant medicine experience, learn what you need what you need to learn, and then bring that learning to your everyday life. If you’re using them over and over, you’re missing the point, wasting time, and possibly endangering yourself.

  24. Derek Norsworthy says:

    Ben, my brother!

    Thank you so much for your boldness and bravery in sharing this message! The way that you unpack this and support it with scripture is so beautiful. While having many friends and close colleagues who use plant medicine in their life, God grabbed a hold of me with my health crisis in 2018 blessed me to connect to this space in different way. I’ve been offered incredible experiences with plant meds, but the spirit never urged me to follow through. What are you are unpacking here has been very much of my experience over the last 4-5 years of how God works. While I do think that modern “religion” has ruined many people’s “relationship” with God, spiritual warriors like yourself speaking the good word is starting to show that through Christ we can experience the same knowledge and wisdom. I mean look at Jesus, healing, levitating and even rising from the dead, display the power of God in man if we really tap into the conscious connection with the creator. I feel the more we become like Jesus in mind, blue and spirit, obeying at al costs, and truly follow His teachings without the dogmatic principles that cloud it up for worldly gain, we can truly experience a supernatural life. It’s been my personal experience and sole reason for the new devotion God called me to write called Live Consciously. As a musician and songwriter, I never knew God would leave me or use me better yet to write a devotional book but when the spirit grabbed a hold of me it was undeniable that was part of my mission. As we approach scripture with an open mind it has ability to elevate us to a state of consciousness far beyond this 3D world. I’ll stop here, but you can see my passion for people to know the power of the teachings of Christ and developing a disciplined relationship with the spirit. Of all of the books in concepts I’ve been exposed to throughout my life, I’ll see now that the Bible trumps them all. I also wanted to share this song that I was exposed to for the first time in a church service this past Sunday. I also wanted to share this song that I was exposed to for the first time in a church service this past Sunday, Coming from a guy who at one point in his journey and relationship with God felt it was strong and no need to attend church. Got also proved my inadequate and I thought process as well. Coming from a guy who at one point in his journey and relationship with God felt it was strong and no need to attend church. God also proved my inadequacies in that thought process as well.

    Keep being a light!

    Derek Norsworthy
    “inspire people to inspire people”

    Too Good To Not Believe
    https://music.apple.com/us/album/too-good-to-not-believe/1568527347?i=1568527587

  25. River Hofman says:

    Thanks, Ben! Putting some real truth and light out there — much needed! Keep it up ✌️

  26. Tony says:

    Thanks Ben for your thoughts on the matter. I have followed you for a while and always struggles with the issue you have changed your position on. Once I found you were a follower of Christ it concerned me more for all the reasons you mention. As believers we all do not come to the same place at the same time and often the journey God allows us take is so we can even better share the truth.

    I see many in the responses say they are done with you or demean Scriptures as some fantasy. I get it since to those who do not follow Christ will see His Word as just that and have for centuries. What I do pray they would see is you have a reasoned, even if they disagree with your reason, and thought out explanation for the change in direction and that is what needs to be seen. and dealt with.

    Keep the course brother and looking forward to part 2.

  27. Shauna says:

    I have struggled with this as well because I identify as Christian. I’ve tried to meditate and bring myself closer to God through the Bible, but as I read the Bible it feels like there is so many fucked up stories and tests from God, gods wrath, etc. I do not believe that God is a vengeful God.

    What plant medicine taught me was the magnitude of gods love. I feel it’s brought me so much closer to God by opening me up and showing me. I used to suffer from PTSD and it was completely cleared after 1 ayahuasca ceremony. My whole life took a different, more positive track after that one experience.

    Do I believe plant medicine is the answer? No. But I think it’s a powerful tool to help bring people closer to god. With so much sin, pain, suffering in the world it’s so hard for people to connect with their spirituality on their own. I think that plant medicine is the window to help open their eyes.

    Plant medicine helped me see open my eyes and see that there are many paths to enlightenment, I now believe that all religions are fundamentally the same – teaching gods love. I also have seen how plant medicine has helped so many heal and come closer to god. I think God put it here for a reason for us to use as a tool to help heal. There are some that may continue to use and seek the answers for the rest of their life – so I congratulate you on graduating and no longer needing it, at some point I feel like I will do the same. But I think it’s a powerful and beautiful tool that god has given us to break free of the confines of this miserable and sinful world and find solace in gods love. Would you be at the same place in your life right now if it weren’t for plant medicine? Maybe you would at it would have taken you much longer. I don’t know for sure.

  28. adam says:

    And on this very page you have an ad for a CBD product.

    As someone who doesn’t identify with a faith, I tolerated your frequent references to it. But it sounds like you’ve gone off the deep end now and become a full zealot.
    Which makes it very hard to listen to.

  29. Marcellus says:

    Hey Ben, I’ve been struggling with this specific topic lately.

    I came to Christ after an intense MDMA experience. I cried out to God after feeling really intense anxiety so much so I though I might die, I put on worship music to see if I could feel the holy spirit or God presence it was the only thing I could think of, what happened is I felt not only the peace of God that defies all understanding described in Philippians, but I also felt the full weight of Jesus’ burden like I could feel that he died for every sin EVER…like ever.

    The trip was so intense that around the same time I felt God’s love and it felt liked it was like every grain of sand on every beach, while my love was like one small grain. It didn’t make any sense but it was realer than anything I could imagine. I knew God loved me more than anything, and also Jesus indeed died for me and also anything I could ever do wouldn’t be enough to stop his love. As I listened to the worship music the choir in this specific song kept saying Holy speaking of God in a way that felt like the purest thing ever, like it was something I could never touch or be at least not now in this life…It felt weird but also I could feel the truth of it in my soul.

    This trip lasted maybe like 5-7 hours and I had taken the MDMA as a way to commune with “God” or a higher power. In fact I had this trip out of the fact that I was so in my head logically about how YHWH or the God of the bible couldn’t exist, but yet after many LSD and Shroom trips I knew there was something more out there, and I was desperate to know. After consulting with a Christian coworker he told me to seek God with everything I had in me and he would reveal himself….

    So I did however in the only way I knew how…by getting into an altered state of consciousness. God not only came through but my heart was hardened at the time I dont think it wouldve happened any other way for me. Praise God for that. This was 3 years ago now and I am now a believer in Christ.

    What about the people like me? I have Anxiety, I’m pretty sure I have PTSD to some extent although I haven’t been diagnosed. I have considered taking SSRI’s but I am terrified of the consequences. I have had a Stellate Ganglion Block done which has decreased a lot of symptoms, I also pray and seek God’s wisdom but boy I am messed up lol

    I see the danger in entering the realm of relying on these trips or even entering dark places because I’ve known people who have ended up there. However to some people this might be their only hope to break that threshold and heal. I think micro dosing is fine and in fact I do it from time to time. I wish we lived in a world where it wasn’t so hard to just live and breath for some people but that’s not the truth.

    My question for you is this: If I can take SSRI’s without anyone batting an eye as I battle extreme withdrawal, wouldn’t it be better if someone microdosed without those extreme side effects while seeking communion with God first? Also what about people like me who were directly seeking God through these means? I clearly felt the holy spirit and know what still does feel like. How could we be confused by that if a Christian did decide to trip?

    I know this is a long post but I would REALLY appreciate a response! Thanks!

    1. In brief, microdosing as a natural alternative to SSRI’s is, in my opinion, an appropriate use of these plants. Seeking God through the plants, however, is expressly forbidden in the Bible, so I just can’t get behind it. God doesn’t need shrooms to love you or accept you or save you. Come as you are. And don’t worry: you’ll get plenty of “drug like bliss” in heaven, forevermore. We’re just for some reason told to avoid it here on earth, particularly for spiritual divination.

  30. Jeffrey Gratton says:

    Ben,

    The sheer LENGTH and TEDIOUSNESS of your argument shows you are futilely trying to convince YOURSELF.

    The problem with Sacred Medicine has almost nothing to do with all of this theorizing, theology and anthropology:

    Because sacred medicine was never intended for the masses.

    It was intended to be administered within the confines of an extremely trusting and private teacher/pupil relationship.

    The fact that you – and countless others – have spent years encouraging the commercialization of sacred medicine proves to me that you have never worked with a real teacher.

  31. Linda says:

    Ben, since when has God made a mistake. Your comment at the 28:23 mark took my breathe away.
    Linda

  32. Sister in Christ says:

    Wow Ben! I’ve been following you for quite a few years and it’s amazing to see how your faith has grown and how God is transforming you. Praise God! Of course there is always a cost to pick up & carry your cross – praying for safety, satisfaction, favor, continued strength, wisdom and knowledge in the fullness of Christ. Keep running the race, sharing your testimony & the gospel of Christ. Well done brother! 👍🙏👏

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      appreciate this 🙏

  33. Lor says:

    Matthew 7:14
    Out of the night that covers me
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance,
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate
    I am the captain of my soul.

    1. Lor says:

      *strait
      1. A narrow channel joining two larger bodies of water.
      2. A position of difficulty, perplexity, distress, or need.

  34. Dav says:

    The hate you are getting in your comments means you are on the right track

    “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. But you are not of the world, since I have chosen you out of the world; therefore the world hates you.”
    John 15:18‭-‬19 TLV

    The one who says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in the darkness.
    1 John 2:9 TLV

    If you are feeling hatred, you are in the darkness. No drug will pull you out of the darkness, only Elohim. God bless

    1. Mike says:

      People disagreeing with you isn’t the same thing as “hate” as you have proposed. The crux of the issue is that Ben is basing his decision about “plant medicines” based on writings of the bible. Ben and those like him, like you I suppose, feel that what is in the bible is the world of god, or divinely inspired. Others, like myself, see it as something written down by a regular person a couple of thousand years ago. Basing your decisions on what someone wrote a couple of thousand years ago, with no reflection or thinking and ignoring what we have learned from modern day science is to my mind foolish. Responding to every argument with a rote bible passage denotes a lazy mind and a person that won’t think for themselves.

  35. Dude says:

    Ben,
    Awesome article, it took some guts to publish this one. Faith too.
    Not everyone seems to think so, they can’t believe that you have changed your mind. Free will isn’t normal in the land of the Ovis aries.
    I am grateful for your faith and honesty.
    Let’s go forward, Brother.

    1. Sister in Christ says:

      Wow Ben! I’ve been following you for quite a few years and it’s amazing to see how your faith has grown and how God is transforming you. Praise God! Of course there is always a cost to pick up & carry your cross – praying for safety, satisfaction, favor, continued strength, wisdom and knowledge in the fullness of Christ. Keep running the race, sharing your testimony & the gospel of Christ. Well done brother! 👍🙏👏

  36. Sarah Welton says:

    Ben,

    You speak boldly as you ought to speak. Well done, good and faithful friend.

  37. Leila says:

    Ben! I started listening to your podcasts and following you about 7 yrs ago and you’ve changed my life for the better. I’m always grateful for that and I do have huge respect for you. Your podcasts used to be packed with science and it was the one-stop anyone needed to keep up with health and longevity and body/mind optimization, unfortunatly not anymore. It’s a shame that has changed so much and there are a lot fewer scientific learning opportunities in your content.

  38. Regina says:

    This podcast made my day! I kept asking The Lord to open your eyes on this and all the New Age stuff you seem to integrate into your daily walk. You can’t have one foot or even toe in the world and the rest into God’s Kingdom. Don’t worry about those that check out bc they are not your provider…The Lord is. As much as you may believe you got off the hook you will need deliverance. Every believer needs it. Isaiah Saldivar, Robert Clancy and others actively practice deliverance in their ministries and you can do self deliverance also (Derek Prince on Youtube). I’ll continue to pray for you in The Spirit as you will need this in your arsenal. HalleluYah! PS I will now consumer more Kion than ever before. I love the coffee and aminos.

    1. Answers says:

      Hahahahaha. Oh my God.

  39. Answers says:

    My God. Pun intended

    You just sealed your fate. You just lost thousands of supporters. But possibly gained that many more poor, confused and obtuse minds. Perhaps a great marketing tactic and the Christian religion is one of the most profitable.

    You are a sham. I’ve lost all respect

    1. Answers says:

      And you literally promote an ad for Kava before this nonsense.

      What a Hypocrite!!!!

    2. Emily says:

      So you’re one of Jon’s extremists that think their way is the only one?

  40. Geno Murdock says:

    Am I the only one that is curious to know how somebody would of Ben’s intelligence could be so devoted to to promoting Christian influence? I am not sure what life is all about, nor what shall become of us once we perish. I can say that religious stories are hilariously hard to believe. That is consistent to any practice. I have listened to this podcast for many years, and am a consumer of most of Kions products. I follow Ben’s guidance, and defer to his wellness practices in my daily life. I absolutely feel he is the most educated, and trustworthy health influencer in the industry. This podcast has increasingly become more of a religious infomercial. There is no harm in the religious structure he has implemented into his life. I feel this can be very valuable for humanity, but I continue to be bewildered how he follows scripture for how it is articulated. I hope this is just a phase and we return to the structure of this being a high level bio hacking information hub instead of an extension of the dubious provocation to endorse religion.

    1. Spencer says:

      Forreal.
      The dude lost me when he preached a Bible verse. It is sad to say and I am incredibly disappointed that Ben is in fact deranged. He believes an ancient fictional story. This is truly disgusting and disheartening for, as you said, someone who has been the forefront of health hacking. I have lost much, if not all, respect for this person. What a disgrace.

      You, sir Ben, are now poisoned. Clear your mind. Best of luck

      1. Truth says:

        Oh ye of no faith! If the Universe was not created by consciousness, then what?

      2. Michelle says:

        For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
        1 Corinthians 1:18

    2. Soup says:

      Y’all should check out Paul Chek. He’s a real one!

      Hey Ben, judge not lest you be judged ;)
      Life doesn’t have to be so serious. We’re here to love, learn, and most of all, PLAY <3

    3. Grif says:

      If you believed in something way more important (eternity) than any hack/improvement/strategy would you not want to share that with more conviction than the less important things (our short life on earth)

  41. gareth says:

    Shall we start by replacing “plant medicines” with the word “drugs”.

    You have been on drugs

    1. Spencer says:

      I bet you take pharmaceuticals.

      Drug addict

  42. Jon says:

    Interesting, the ad leading up to this was you selling Kava and pitching it as a drug with all the benefits of alcohol without the downside.

    If you cannot intelligently use tools, it makes sense you should stop using them – not ban all others who might be able to.

    If you are going full teetotaler, the let’s see it on all drugs. Caffeine (a psychoactive drug), Alcohol, Kava, and all the things you take for performance enhancement that alter the mind. Drugs a drug apparently?

    1. Emily W says:

      **Those things will not summon demons.

      My question to Ben…are you going to amend all of your books?
      I’ve always promoted your fitness and Christian advice to my husband and adult daughter, with the caveat “He does a lot of drugs though 🤔 so just ignore that part.” So this is HUGE for us 3 people and we thank you because all of us tend to put others things in front of God. It’s even difficult to not idolize fitness over God. I’m going to listen from this podcast and beyond. Thank you!

      1. Jon says:

        Alcohol doesn’t summon demons? It’s one of the worst drugs in terms of direct lethality, externalities, and addiction. I could go line by line how the “demon summoning” is part of the slippery slope evoked in this podcast. Using odd drugs like PCP to demonize psilocybin is insane and destroys the credibility of the other, non-emotional arguments being made.

        Funny how you compartmentalize his fitness advice. All of his marketing and pictures are tantamount to gay porn and drugs. Even this podcast has him crawling naked on the ground. If you wanted a fitness expert, there are hundreds that are drugging themselves to win meaningless races and rationalizing it with a Christian motif.

        I enjoy the “fitness” advice, but this is not the first guru who has lost their mind and blamed magic mushrooms. It’s usually in the pick up artist realm, such as Roosh V going from a super whore to an insane Orthodox Christian.

        1. Emily says:

          Again, people are not allowed to change? Sounds like you’re not very tolerant of “sexual sinners” are you? Jesus was!
          What attracted you to Ben? I just want strength and bio hacking knowledge like his, and he’s a bodybuilder so yes there will be pics of his muscles, it’s called a “career” with advertisements.

          As a recovering alcoholic, yes, for an alcoholic, alcohol can destroy all kinds of lives when one person drinks to excess and does ridiculously horrid things that embarrass family members and themselves. But I’ve never heard another recovering alcoholic say they saw God or a demon while intoxicated. Conversely, I’ve never seen my non-alcoholic Mom and Dad and sisters share a singular margarita by tasting it with teaspoons 🙄 have a God or demon experience. Thankfully Jesus accepted me, (past nightmare drunk stories and all) and actually washed my past away. That’s what I BELIEVE, but I’m not trying to reverse countless opposing statements that I’ve said to millions of people, so I don’t have to publicly proclaim my shame and regrets. You may still enjoy your mushrooms but if you ever truly experience Jesus it won’t be FROM any drug. He may call you during intoxication to cease using this plant or alcohol or even to stop holding Christians to an impossibly high standard of perfection and never call someone a whore again 🤨. Nonetheless changing your life has to come by REVELATION. Otherwise it’s too crazy of a story to believe. And honestly I don’t think you should 100% follow ANY human’s advice, so yes, compartmentalization of certain advice he or anyone gives is the only way to hear others’ advice, yet still be true to myself! From the Christian comments, there are remarks saying they are happy for him to leave behind drooling in the fetal position and pray more, study the Bible more and experience more sober moments. If you open the Bible, it’s advice on how to live life here and now….sober and diligently. For me it’s like a drug 🤷‍♀️! Do you want to be tripping on something when you hear your loved one passed away or just gave birth to a child? I’ve been drunk during these life changing events and regretted not FEELING that real sadness or joy respectively.
          I’m just not understanding that anger you are feeling from him dissing shrooms? It’s literally his choice! If he suddenly dissed Jesus I would not Berate him for it, because we’re supposed to be tolerant of each other, but I would move on to someone with more like-minded views, free will!

  43. ABUSAFIAN MAJID says:

    Might be worth getting Dr Gabor Mate on the show. He is addiction specialist and trauma expert but also uses plant medicine to help specifically with trauma. But I do agree with Ben though. The divine connection to our creator should be enough. Torah, Bible and Quran have the answers.

    1. Mike says:

      ” Torah, Bible and Quran have the answers.” These bookd were written by people thousands of years ago and they all believed at the time that the earth was flat. Sure, they “have all the answers” and many of them are wrong.

      1. Truth says:

        Where in Scripture does it say the earth is flat? Lol

      2. Truth=Freedom says:

        Seems to me the Bible’s description of the earth leans more towards it being flat. In fact it is easy for the common person to prove the earth is flat than anything else. People have done it. I know it is crazy sounding, but true none the less.

    2. Spencer says:

      Lol. How can these similar stories have the answers when it specifically states it is THE one truth and condones all others.
      Nothing more than a farse.
      All Abrahamic religions are poison. The true devils.

      F*k your “GOD”

      1. Emily says:

        So you’re one of Jon’s extremists that think their way is the only one.

        1. Jon says:

          Cool, I have a following now? Thanks for starting that lol.

          Pot calling the kettle black. Christian extremists are the ones analogous to the radical Left and their various forms of censorship and banning. You can take or not take whatever you want.

          Since Ben is your guru of choice now – how about you get him to put on some clothes, stop gelling up his hair like a frat boy, and making pouting faces or is the sexuality acceptable?

          I lean towards Christianity myself, but I’m not a drooling drone who parrots everything they here or read from their pastor/priest. Ben has known for a long time he was using “Magic Mushrooms” and now suddenly has a problem with it. Odd timing with the only excuse being “it’s getting popular, must be Satanic.”

          I’m perfectly copacetic to someone changing their course, but the hypocrisy and logical fallacies are pathetic. This is why Orthodox Christians are the most respectable. They don’t cherry pick and rationalize their choices. No drugs = no drugs.

          1. Emily says:

            Ahhhh hence the whore comment….and I just asked my husband if he’s feeling like he’s being lured in sexually by Ben’s pout…he looked at me like I was crazy 😝
            If you think Jesus would ever condone ANY action or past behavior, you need to study up before actually being a hypocrite yourself! That’s the exact opposite of who He is.

          2. Emily says:

            Also Jon… speaking of fallacious logic…I believe this is your personal favorite?
            Types of Ad Hominem
            As a logical fallacy, it is of four basic types.

            Abusive: When you abuse a person or use invectives to attack his/her argument, it is abusive ad hominem.
            Circumstantial: It means when you attack a person’s situation or circumstances that might have motivated the argument.
            Guilt by Association: It means to associate the person with something negative.
            Tu Quoque: It means to evoke the past actions of somebody to attack his argument.

  44. Ross Mitchell says:

    Love it Ben, through my own journey I’ve been coming to the same conclusions over the last couple years. Timely podcast for me, solidified my position. Thanks mate, God Bless

  45. Simon says:

    Hey Ben

    I may not agree with you but love and blessings nevertheless.

    // Simon 🙏🌞

    1. Emily says:

      That is called being TOLERANT.

  46. Spencer says:

    Ben,
    At least you allow comments. Every gift comes with a curse. Some people will experience profound healing, others that may take plant medicines without intention may have a negative experience. But to insert moralism from a Biblical/Christian perspective, now that’s just laughable. Here is the hilarious irony you may not see:

    “for more on a cultural shift towards apathy, consider the idea of psychoactive compounds designed as “moral enhancement pills” that could even potentially be used to initiate mass formation psychosis”
    Christianity is mass formation psychosis.
    All is self.

    1. Donovan says:

      Couldn’t agree more. The openness of Ben’s control of comments indicates a marketing scheme. The more attention you can grab preaching to the masses increases profits. Followed and respected Ben for years. A dedicated lister and consumer of his products and platform.

      Super disappointed in this gradual change of introducing his religion into bio hacking. Good luck Ben with your newfound platform of preaching to the masses. I think your a hypocrite and a false prophet and certainly will not purchase or support your platform in the future.

      Maybe we’ll see you on the news someday like all other religious leaders asking for forgiveness.

      1. Emily says:

        So you’re one of Jon’s extremists that think their way is the only one.

    2. N/A says:

      Satan is your ego and your self serving desire. If in your life you are serving only yourself, you are serving Satan

    3. Soup says:

      “Christianity is mass formation psychosis.
      All is self.”

      AMEN

    4. Truth=Freedom says:

      Christianity is a choice, following Christ is a choice. All Christians should know that and if they don’t they have been lied too.

      Another thought to Ben’s article. I am not sure he is asking anyone to believe what he is saying, I got the jist that he was just explaining why you won’t hear him promote the drugs in the article. He went into so much depth because he values the intelligence of people and wanted folks to know where he stood. I think he even said somewhere in the article that if you see it differently, then just proceed with caution.

  47. Rebecca says:

    Thank you Ben,

    I’ve been praying for you to have this realisation, praise God that you have!
    I’ve only been listening to your podcast for a couple months now. Initially I didn’t even know you were a Christian.
    Until one day a month ago I decided to listen to an Endure episode whilst caulking my parents bathroom.
    I heard for the first time – you openly speaking of your faith – and I was shocked, yet so happy that the person who was inspiring me to live a life of wellness had dedicated his life to the Lord.
    However, that was when I started to feel uneasy and worried about how much you spoke about the benefits of “plant medicines”.
    As a Christian I too have come to the same realisation, having been infected by mindset of “God created it, therefor it must be good” and then waking up to the truth of the Bible and repentance of my sin in the use and condoning of “plant medicine”.
    I am happy that from now on I will be able to listen to your podcasts and fully support you in faith that God is using you as a conduit to reach those who will listen. And I pray that you will/are changing hearts and minds through the witness that you are – to follow Christ Jesus.
    God bless you and keep you safe.

    I pray that you do not have the brain collapse I had once I no longer gave myself access to these mind altering drugs. Don’t go back. Don’t let yourself be tempted in the years to come. I went years without taking drugs until a few years ago on my sisters 21st birthday I decided to partake in the festivities – I overdosed in her housemates bedroom and almost lost my life. God saved me in that moment and I vowed to not go back to that dark abyss. I have a life and a God given purpose, the devil knows this and that is why he seeks to deceive and destroy.

    Peace be with you brother.

    1. Jay says:

      Yikes. You poor poisoned mind.
      Your God does not exist

      1. Emily says:

        So you’re one of Jon’s extremists that think their way is the only one.

    2. Dav says:

      You faith is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your experience 🙌🏻 stay in the Light :)

  48. Elisha says:

    I’ll start by saying that I largely agree with Ben’s philosophy on the dangers of plant medicine when used incorrectly, and about the issue with shooting your consciousness/spirit into a place that it may not, in all likelihood, be emotionally, mentally, and spiritually ready to go due to a lack of understanding or a “negative” mental and emotional state at initiation.

    Where I depart is in Ben’s deeper reasoning — because it may have roots that aren’t aligned with the Western Christian paradigm. I also come from a deep Christian background and have the utmost respect for my beliefs; however, I also recognize that the bible was translated by men with agendas over the years. I’m not sure what translation was used for the passage in Galatians 5, but his translation is not at all what I’ve read in in other translations over time. And yes, there is some pharmakia that is associated with occultism, but does that mean we don’t see the deeper value in the use of plant medicines AT ALL? If we used that philosophy, nobody would ever do yoga. I am a christian and a yogi. I recognize that the pose Hanumanasana (splits, essentially) was associated with the monkey god Hanuman. Does that mean that every time I do a split in yoga, I am paying homage to Hanuman? No. But I’m also not ignorant enough to believe that poses don’t mean anything from a spiritual perspective. The truth is that it’s more about where your heart is when you go down those paths. If you go to the amazon looking for a trip on the local plant medicines because of what you are lacking in your own life, then yes, I agree this wrong. But if you go there with an open, full, guided heart to understand and be guided by wisdom that has been known for generations keeping yourself aligned with the fruits of the spirit in that same chapter of Galatians, is that really evil and against God?

    Ben has explored Human Design in other podcasts and articles. That is based in Chinese i-Ching, Western astrology, Kabbala, and the Indian Chakra systems (Hinduism). People abuse those systems regularly as well using them as divinations in place of trusting God. By the philosophy he uses in this article, then the Human Design system for which he advocates would be evil too. Why can’t we see wisdom that these some of these systems or medicines hold in their essence (they are tools), and recognize that the capacity for abuse is based on OUR flawed human condition. We rise above that and find the truth in it with wisdom and discernment if we are called to it, and respect if we are not.

  49. Diane says:

    ..and I’m out. I’ve removed all + anything “Ben Greenfield” from all my Longevity clients’ educational & inspirational articles and podcasts. Ben’s off the rails, too extreme, like a witch hunt leader. Studies clearly show Plant Meds lend great help when used in a controlled setting under medical supervision; I agree not to be used freely & rampantly on the streets. Plant Meds seem to be the ONLY modality to aid many who’ve failed with traditional therapies, big pharma approved drugs, and yeah – praying to God. So.. Ben wants to keep these people “in misery” b/c they’re lazy.. don’t try hard enough, don’t pray hard enough? How dare he use God as a vehicle to judge these poor people, whose subconscious traumas trap them in lives of misery.

    1. Mike says:

      Agree 100%

    2. Gabe says:

      Same. Wayyyy ahead of you.

    3. Scott says:

      Yep – out too. Ben, your slide into a bible dogma dominated narrative has been of concern for the past year. No issues with anyones choice of faith, but living your life quoting a book written 2,000 years ago and corrupted and re-written by those in power for their nefarious cause is fraught with danger and a path to ignorance not enlightenment. If you look at the comments of those in support of your new approach, you will notice that they are borderline Christian religious extremists. Those providing feedback that this new approach is a step too far are more moderate (and includes moderate Christians).

      If this approach is a process of you narrowing your audience to that of extreme Christians, then best of luck, but if your intention is to share your (often insightful) wisdom with the broader world, then its a step in the wrong direction. If you continue down this path, it would be interesting to see how your total number of subscribers to your various platforms changes.

      1. Bryan Rayner says:

        Why are you scared of a God who commands all of creation? Mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional?

        “It’s old”. Not a strong critique. And that’s not your real opposition to Him.

        He loves you. You can ask Him to help you obey. That’s the path to fullness of joy.

        1. Jon says:

          I’m not. I’m scared, or better yet annoyed, by extremists that think their way is the only one.

          1. Emily says:

            So YOU think that think YOUR way is the only one.

        2. Oof says:

          Yikes. Listen to yourself.
          Your mind is diseased.

          Live in the present. But fearing some fictional character that may or may not have existed and basing your entire existence on and judging others by.

          You are wrong. There is no other stance.

        3. No name says:

          No fear friend. Capture reality in your eye. If there ever was a God he would be ashamed of a hypocritical wanna be preacher and all of humanity that believes or promotes religion of any form with a history prosecution and mass death to the name of a lord and god.

          Religion is the worst form of a weapon of mass destruction and Ben has now started the war.

    4. Brian says:

      I will not listen to hysterics based upon Christianity. So Ben got burned with life and success and is now on a morale high ground. Ben is a hypocrite! Deleting and no longer referring to Ben’s team or supporting his products.

    5. chris says:

      I agree I have been listening to Ben and reading his articles and books for 7 yrs and always thought he was eccentric but the further he mixes his personal religious beliefs the crazier he seems to be. Too bad as his research on health/ longevity and performance provided great benefit to many.

    6. Jay says:

      Exactly. Confirmation bias much, Ben?
      He tweaked the words to his own benefit and solely about his “God”, whom is a fictional character.

      GFY Ben

  50. Anna says:

    Hi all,

    As an avid psychonaut of 10+ years I’ve seen an interesting trend of many “OGs” now turning away from psychedelics as the masses are starting to discover them. Absolutely agree with the lack of discretion and reverence the psychedelic community have for these medicines and there’s an air of gross self-righteousness and “fakeness” in this community, lack of connection with God outside of the medicine space. This will correct itself, because nothing that isn’t Truth will survive.

    The Bible has alot of wisdom but it wasn’t written by God – it was written by men who have changed it over the years to suit their own socio-economical and political gain. The bible and christianity (or any religion) takes me further away from God, no human should dictate what your relationship to God is.

    This part: “…and that we either don’t need God’s help to do it, or we are one with God and basically God ourselves, which is a pretty big slap-in-the-face to the Almighty Creator” << I disagree with wholeheartedly, isn't it much bigger of a slap to reduce God to Christianity's man-made idea of God rather than Universal Consciousness which lives in all of us and in all that exists (therefore we ARE God) ?

    All in all – psychedelics have made my life exponentially better and shown me what's possible, shown me the door… but the walk through that door must be done sober and carried out with Love in our everyday lives. For someone with 2 suicide attempts behind me, psychedelics have helped SO.MUCH. I wouldn't be here without them.

    Love to all :)

    1. Bryan Rayner says:

      We ARE God….
      Sounds a lot like a certain snake.

      What about John 17? How can you read that and come away thinking the Bible disconnects us from God?

  51. Garrett says:

    Ben, I have the utmost respect for what you contributed to the world. I respect your decision to move your life in the direction which you have, especially over the last couple years. Christianity is a beautiful philosophy when taken with a grain of salt. Unfortunately, you appear not to be doing that. I’ve listened to a slow devolution in objectivity the deeper into Christianity you’ve dove. From your web page, to your podcast introduction and especially in your podcasts. Regardless of the topic you seem to find it necessary to inject Dogma into everything.

    I’m a Christian also and like I said I respect your right to believe what you will. Unfortunately your tone has taken on a cult like vibe which has colored much of what you do. Often it’s not a big deal as it doesn’t detract from the objectivity in the material however this time you’re trying to jam a square peg in a round hole based on dogma and it’s quite unfortunate.

    I remember a podcast where someone brought you into a past life or something like that and you commented you don’t believe that’s possible because the Bible.. unfortunately for that perspective, reincarnation was a part of Christianity until the 15th century, don’t quote me on the date, decided to write it out. What else have they written out? Perhaps psychedelics.?! The book “The Immortality Key” points to that possibility.

    Thank you for all your amazing work over the years which undoubtedly is a result of having a growth mindset. Hopefully you’re fixed mindset in reference to religion feels like the opposite of objective logical reasoning which is what made your show so valuable.

    I will pray you can gain Clarity from this cult but as is quite obvious in our world today, Breaking Free from a cult can be nearly impossible. And it always leads to disaster. God bless you!

  52. emre says:

    Wait until see these;

    Mapping the Autonomic Nervous System
    https://vimeo.com/610743826

    Psychedelic Treatment of Childhood Attachment Trauma
    https://vimeo.com/508330642

  53. Joyve DeWitt says:

    Read “River of Fire” by Kalamiros – if you appreciate the fire of entheogens – then you’ll appreciate this fire even more.
    https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/the-river-of-fire-kalomiros/

  54. Hi, Ben, I just wanted to encourage you to persevere in your quest for truth, especially the truth of God. When I listen to you I know I will always be hearing a deep dive into a subject with a thorough, intelligent treatment. I especially admire your courage in transparently speaking out about your convictions and sometimes your changes of heart about principles. Thanks for standing up for what you believe and articulating that for us.
    God bless and strengthen you and your family.

    1. Kimberley Patterson says:

      Agree 💯

  55. Anthony says:

    Ben’s example of demonic origins of these plant medicines…
    For example, in the ninth century, the legendary Norse warriors known as the “Berserkers” used either henbane or hallucinogenic mushrooms to drive themselves into a raging, murderous frenzy before their battles. They would then kill everything in sight—men, women, children, and animals, until the drugs wore off.

    Ben’s source book of morality…
    Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys – 1 Samuel 15:3

    1. Dakota says:

      Exactly. I wouldn’t use Christianity for a source of morality. Do none of the Christian folks remember all the murder and stealing of land “in Jesus’ name?” The Christian church has more blood on it’s hands and has been more trauma inducing for the world than “shaman bros and evil plants.” I’ve never heard a plant medicine discriminate against someone or tell them if they don’t convert they’ll be killed.

  56. Jared says:

    Ben, I love your podcast and your love for Jesus is undeniable, which is why I know you won’t find my words crazy.

    I’m sure you’re aware, but it’s 2022 and there still actual shamans, witches, warlocks, sorcerers, diviners, conjurers, spellcasters, alchemists and mind controllers of unparalleled proportions who control the narrative of online distractions; those of their father the devil, or those who’ve emptied themselves (as they’re a vessel) and have been filled with evil spirits. In opposition, Yahweh has always had his prophets of old (Elijah, Elisha, etc.) before he sent his son, Jesus. These prophets we’re powerful conduits of the Holy Spirit with unique gifts. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, the Holy Spirit became accessible as Jesus made a way to Yahweh, having direct access to our father, just as the prophets. Even though you’re no longer exploring plants, it’s crucial you stay in the know, as the enemy uses any method he can to deceive into false comforts apart from the father himself.

    Thank you for being a light in the darkness. Love you, brother!

    1. Nope says:

      Listen to yourself. Nothing more than a deranged individual unable to think for themselves

    2. Kimberley Patterson says:

      Amen! Totally agree.

  57. Shannon Dent says:

    Ben,
    I really love your podcasts because they offer so much insight and many open-minded discussions. This is the first podcast that I have heard from you where your title was a definite conclusion that you had already decided on. I wish you would have made an episode prior to your decision perhaps titled: “a second look at plant medicines, are they as safe as we thought?”. That way we would have time to delve into questions with you.

    I’m a little bummed with this episode. It seems much more one-sided as you have made a decision without any openness to questioning your conclusion and perhaps changing your mind. This is much different from your other episodes where you are always questioning even the most core of your decisions. I’m so curious your thoughts and why you made the episode this way.

    Thanks for all of your great podcasts,

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      I did put a lot of thought and prayer into this decision, I appreciate your honest feedback

  58. Pavla Komprsova says:

    I am a Christian and I have been listening to your podcast for about 2 or 3 years but lately I felt a disconnect because of your plant medicine approach. What an amazing episode! I wish the whole world would hear this. Satan is a piece of work! The work of the Holy Spirit in your life Ben brought me to tears. God is good🙌🏻

    1. Dana Walsh says:

      Yes! Me too!!

    2. Kimberley Patterson says:

      Same here. I really appreciate your boldness and sensitivity to the spirit regarding this shit issue. Satan is deceptive. It’s always hard to admit when we’ve been led astray on something, especially when that admission goes against the world‘s views.
      Your meekness and humility are encouraging.

  59. Jeanenne says:

    Amen and bravo to you for figuring out and speaking out on this. The demonic realm is real, and resides just on the “other side” of our realm, looking for an entry. I am pleased and proud you are shutting that door.

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      thanks Jeanenne

  60. J says:

    Ben,

    In light of your changed stance on plant medicines based on Bible justifications will you also be getting all your tattoo’s removed? Levticus 19:28 to start. If we are made in God’s image it is sinful to deface that image. Consistency demands a full examination Ben.

    1. Rainee says:

      You are referring to the moral and ceremonial laws, the ethical laws and rituals in Leviticus. As Ben referred to, pharmakia is found in the New Testament, the New Covenant.
      In Christ Jesus, we are a new creation. Tattoos, trimming the edges of the beard, putting two different types of material on clothing, eating certain foods like bacon, certain fish, these were rules to set the Israelites apart. We look to the Ten Commandments as the law; and even then, it is a schoolmaster to show we aren’t righteous, “no not one,” which is why Jesus came and died for us. :) Hope that helps. With all love and respect, I’m replying to this because turning this conversation from “plant medicines,” an actual delve into the demonic realm and away from God, and talking instead about tattoos, I would refer you to Matthew where Jesus says to the scribes and Pharisees, “Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” Tattoos don’t even belong in the same conversation lol

      1. J says:

        Please re-read my last sentence: “Consistency demands a full examination.”

        Christians, of which I am one, do not exclude the Old Testament in favor of the New or vice Versa. They work together. The Ten Commandments are still rather important wouldn’t you agree? And if so then perhaps other Old Testament teaching are as well. It doesn’t have to be either or and intellectual honesty and consistency based on Ben’s thoughtful article demands such.

      2. Mike says:

        It’s all nonsense and mumbo jumbo anyway so who cares?. Arguing about the fine points of what superstitious people NOT Gods wrote a couple of thousand years ago, is like discussing the finer points of alchemy. It’s a waste of time

      3. Wow says:

        …. you do know Jesus is an Arab and middle eastern…. no different than Allah. Right?
        In fact very much the same story.

        Get a grip on what’s real

        1. Emily says:

          So you think that think your way is the only one?

  61. Christopher says:

    BEN !!!!!!!
    Finally! You took the blinders off.I’ve noticed a change in your mannerisms and your speech patterns for well over a year now. I got increasingly concerned when you had the guy on with his Kratom shots company and you announced downing a few of those a day! As you know , kratom is basically an opiate. I am a recovering addict and can now sleep better with your acknowledgement… God bless my friend.

  62. Tammy Swinney says:

    Finally! I’ve been listening to you from the beginning and always scratched my head over how you could reconcile drug use with your faith. Nearly made me disconnect many times. Glad I stayed.

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      thanks for the comment Tammy

  63. Mike says:

    Ben, OK so you don’t want to take plant medicines because of Bible passages you read, that’s fine. However in this same podcast I heard a commercial on the intro you had for Kava which I would definitely say is a plant based drug with narcotic like effects. I speak from direct experience having seen it’s use in FIJI. For the most part I think it’s use is harmless (though side-effects have been reported), but all of the great benefits you touted I never saw. Mostly people would gather the roots, add water and pound the roots, then filter the slurry thru a towel. Then they would sit around all night and drink the stuff. From my observation they may have caught a buzz but that’s it. Like smoking weed, it’s essentially a nonproductive use of time. To each his own I guess. My question is with your new “No plant Medicine” philosophy, why are you promoting the sale of a Kava extract? This seems to be hypocrisy at it’s finest. Explain yourself sir.

    1. Tim Parker says:

      I always felt you made the Bible fit your lifestyle with regard to “plant medicines”, crystals and Paul Czeck (sp). So awesome to read. Good on ya!

  64. Amrit says:

    Medicine has it’s uses, but only as medication as you pointed out.

    Basing your 180 reversal, seems fear based, especially since you took your stance from outside information from an ancient book. Yes, that book, or rather the Galatians 5:16-25, got you thinking, and likely fearing such possible outcomes, mostly because in whatever way anyone grows up, one’s reality is always filtered through the defintions one knows of. In your case it is through the lense of Christianity.

    Yes, there are certainly demonic-like beings and worse that one can encounter during Bad trips, but they too are part of creation and only serves as a non-physical manifestation of how life can feel at it’s peak worst when you don’t walk with spirit, walk with your own inner light.

    Those creatures feels hellish at best, and is unfathomably intensly “low” vibration. Encountering such beings can send you off in a spiral that either makes you want to die, or kill yourself.
    I experienced my own death repeatedly in extremely vile cirucmstances and experiences over several years.

    But, eventually, my walls around my heart broke open, and the darkness around me lifted, and I could see I was all those demons, or rather, they showed me the darkness within me, and how life is felt when living such a way. They were a reflection of my capacity for darkness, the capacity everyone has, and some express. I have met many such people when I was young and it seems the world is run by such people.

    I have had many such dark experiences, and it tooks years to work through, but all I really did, was shed off that which I not.

    No need for medicine of such kinds any longer, but not because of fear, or because I read some passage in a book that triggered something from my upbringing but simply because the medicine has done its work and now it is up to me to flow with Life/God/Universe/Multiverse and BE that which I AM.

  65. John says:

    The truth has been hidden from the eyes of the profane
    https://www.bitchute.com/video/D8lbXGJoCnTv/

  66. David Benjamin says:

    Ben, this is an incredibly insightful and well thought out article. Definitely a lot of insight and value here.

    Thank you so much for sharing. I haven’t read an article this long in a long time! Bravo!

  67. Chris says:

    All school shooters were stoners. Epitomy of evil.

    1. Carrie says:

      EXACTLY!! Tons of evidence but all ignored due to the influence of Big Pharma and Psychiatrists

      1. No says:

        Hahahaha. …..big pharma??? Wtf are you even talking about.
        Big pharma has been fighting medicinal Marijuana research for decades.

    2. caroline says:

      all school shooters were on antidepressants that Is a fact big pharma Is the mark of the beast everything they produce causes disease prescription and over the counter

    3. David says:

      Yea and maybe all the Christian youth bullying them over and over for being fucking weird and different.

  68. Roberta Allen says:

    Thank you, Ben for this information.
    You wish to contact/view their websites : National Center Homeopathy Washington Homeopathy.

  69. Michael says:

    Ben, your current disapproval based on a black & white philosophy rooted in religion is just as naive as was your previous endorsement of these substances. No one’s life or faith should revolve around exogenous substance or experience of any kind for that matter. The dangers at this point are well-known and every user of any substance ever faces that, so to engage in it is to take some form of a risk. For some people, that risk is greater than others.

    You probably feel fear and remorse thinking that you may have caused harm by influencing people to delve into this world who likely have less self-control, discipline, and resources than you, so it makes sense that you would respond by retracting all of that. I think the basis of your post here is responsible since the way you were haphazardly talking about using before was actually dangerous, but to now denounce nearly all uses to alter your mind outside of a targeted medical setting as inherently corrupt or sinful is again, just as ridiculous.

    You say that you were “lucky” to pretty much only have positive experiences with plant medicines. You self-admittedly took that risk. What you are saying is that great breakthroughs are possible, but that there is a risk involved. YES. But you yourself, why didn’t you then succumb to that? And why do so many others have the same experience? I think you need to think about that and why so many people that try substances with an intention don’t actually fall down a deep, dark hole as you are describing. It was right and responsible of you to check yourself and abnegate the stance that plant medicines were borderline essential, but your near-180 flip exudes naivety based in fear.

    1. Wow says:

      Well said.
      And for him to the cite some pisspoor violent examples with the majority of them being METH related

      Completely unrelated to plant medicines. Nice try Ben

  70. Kevin says:

    Ben, I have not been “on board” with your use of these plant based medicines from the beginning, and for the exact reasons you, very eloquently, state here. I am very glad to see this shift in position. Not because it lines up with my belief but because it is a more biblical position. I also appreciate the courage it takes to post something like this in today’s world – following God’s direction regardless of consequences. Praise the Lord!

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      thanks Kevin

  71. Carrie says:

    Ben, I commend you for your current awakening! Now, please awaken further and examine how the elites further the “dark” agenda. Please refer back to your guest from San Francisco who has created the huge plant farms run by AI. You are promoting his products, yet he clearly states that he wants to put vaccines in them. This means his customers will be taking pharmaceutical products without their consent.

    Then read what Klaus Schwab’s associate Yuval Harari says about how humans will be controlled in the future: “with drugs and video games.”

    The agenda of these folks is a far greater threat to Christians, Muslims, Jews and all of humanity, by orders of magnitude than “plant medicines.” They are simply one prong of their many-pronged approach.

    1. Lol says:

      How many tinfoil hats do you own?

  72. Alan Pearson says:

    Incredibly well done! Thank you Ben!
    God bless you

  73. Paige says:

    Thanks for shedding light on this topic Ben. I agree with lots of what you are saying and perhaps because I do not specifically follow christianity didn’t jive with a lot of the key points, which is okay.
    The main point is these conversations need to be had.

    This is my antidotal story that lines up with your points.

    I myself use to do LOTS of psychedelics out of a desire to feel connected to god and something greater. About 6 years ago I was at a 3 day “ayahuasca retreat” led by my friends who were “shamans” because they spend a few months in Peru with a shaman. The third ceremony they chose to use a new “medicine” from Hawaii that was unknowingly much much much more potent than anything they had ever used in ceremony. It was hellish. Those leading the ceremony couldn’t even “hold space” for anyone as they were trying to hold on for dear life themselves. That experience honestly broke me and I feel like I am still psychically recovering 6 years later. Since that day there has been a feeling of fragmentation in my soul, like something is missing or part of me is lost somewhere. It’s hard to into words, but I feel physically injured. That was my last rendezvous with plant medicine journeys and I have had deep skepticism around that arena ever since. Note, i have done lots of plant medicine ceremony’s and ayahuasca may may times and this was not just a moment that was hard as I worked through my own inner traumas etc. It was traumatizing an experience that still haunts me.

    Anyways, I share this as a heed of caution for anyone who is being willy nilly with plant medicines as I was. I am not convinced they are “bad” or the devils gateway, though I am open to learning more as I read Ben’s recommended books. I am certain thought that how they are being used today is DANGEROUS, and there needs to be more of a conversation than one that just eludes to commuing with god and healing.

    I have a close friend who I saw completely broken by 5 meo DMT and LSD, and she has never quite been the same. She has gone through some serious scary mental health issues since those experiences, both of which I was there for.
    I am currently, and forever, on a personal journey of connecting with god on a daily basis and no longer using mind altering substances to do so. As Ben said in the article I too feel a deep relief letting that path go and taking the simpler road. This is just my story. I will also just say I had had many life enhancing plant medicine experiences prior to the one I just shared.

    Thanks for always speaking your truth Ben! I’ll be along on your journey even if I disagree on somethings! what a concept.

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      it’s important that people like you share their story, thanks Paige

  74. Dano says:

    Very well written and inspiring article. I’ve gone through some of the challenges and journey you described you are going through. Your Christian beliefs and actions will save you and many of your followers.

  75. David R says:

    The truth is hard to figure out. Maybe you already opened up a portal and are currently speaking to the demons or Lucifer?
    Fear based faith and religion.
    Proverbs 3:7, “Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.”

    Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

    Proverbs 10:27, “The fear of the Lord prolongs days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.”

  76. Aaron Zauber says:

    Just because there is lots of wisdom and truth in the Christian Bible doesn’t mean that ALL of it is accurate. Ultimately, it’s just a collection of books written by humans, approved of as “The Bible” in a committee a long time ago.

    Use powerful substances with responsibility.

    Let go of black-and-white thinking.

    1. Stan says:

      Saying the Bible is written by “humans” is denying that these men were not in Christ and also denying Jesus. Jesus says “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” – Mark 8:35. By reducing the Holy Bible to the crumbs of society, words written by man and without Christ, also reduces Jesus’ Holiness and knowledge of the word of God and the gospel.

      When you use substances responsibly, you use it for the sake of self-preservation and enhancement. You don’t use it to honor or love God. If you’d read the Bible at all, you might become less hypocritical and actually find that the meaning to life is not found using recreational drugs, but something 10fold more meaningful.

      1. Doyle says:

        Aaron made an important point about black-and-white thinking. Deeming all entheogenic agents to be ‘recreational drugs’ is exactly what he’s talking about. So too, assuming that you know the reason why people use such substances. So too, accepting blindly all words written in the 16th century by powerful men with demonstrable political leanings on the basis that they say the words came from God. How about assessing ideas for their merit? Considering that there may be all sorts of reasons that people consume entheogens? That there is a difference between injecting heroin to escape versus engaging in a structured ceremony in order to support ongoing spiritual work, which may or may not be linked to Christianity… Just my two cents ;)

      2. mike says:

        You weren’t around 2000 years ago, so how do you know “these men were in Christ.” That’s the trouble with people that put all their faith in a book and don’t use their own judgment and thinking. You and nobody else currently living knows who and how many different people wrote the bible. You don’t know their character or motivations. It’s that simple. Why not live and act in a moral way based on what you think is important instead of what an old book tells you to do?

        1. Geoff says:

          You make the mistake of assuming any of the Christians praising Ben for this decision know what rational thinking is.

    2. Jared says:

      The Bible is a book consisting of 66 smaller books written by over 40 men from different walks of life over a period of 1,500 years. Many of these men were deemed ordinary by the rulers and elites of their time. Despite the varying backgrounds of the writers, it remains harmonious from its beginning to end. It has been successfully passed down to us over the past 2,000 years while retaining a high degree of intrinsic accuracy. It also contains prophecies already fulfilled, prophecies currently being fulfilled, and prophecies yet to be fulfilled. The same cannot be said of any other book in existence. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 makes a claim that is much different than your expressions above.

      1. James says:

        Please do tell of the prophecies that we’re told that you PERSONALLY know and the current ones that are happening.
        I’ll wait

  77. Soren Kierkegaard says:

    When I first discovered you, I was looking for a replacement for how woke Tim Ferriss has become. And you are indeed the “Based Ferriss”. I was drawn to you as a fellow Christian, but extremely put off with your plant medicine/drug penchant, which is quite obviously verboten in the Bible, and a gateway to demonic activity. Love that you have came around!

    1. Rainee says:

      Amen and amen

  78. Daniel Hilty says:

    Thank you for having the guts to write and post this.

  79. Samuel says:

    Congratulations on writing this Ben, it was clearly a big deal!

    Years ago, when I talked to my life coach about using cannabis she (having never used mind-alterants herself) simply explained to me that we can experience it all without the substances. And that, with time (and proper discipline and practices) it’s use would become irrelevant and unnecessary.

    Her coaching methods were devoid of religion. She did however, quote Jesus many times in our conversations. No religious fervor, just things Jesus said. Impactful.

    Breathwork has clearly taught me that altered states are achievable without external stimuli, with the bonus of keeping the ability to ground yourself almost instantly.

    Keep up the great work Ben

    God bless you and yours🙏🔥🌻

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      thanks Samuel 🙏

  80. paul says:

    Repect your choices, followed you for some time, and love and respect your wisdom and knowledge learned and shared. Ive committed to my spiritual practice and journey for some time, Cant wait for your blog or letter about the bullS#*t in the bible and why it was created and written in the 1st place ..

    1. cody says:

      Have you read the bible?

  81. Olga says:

    Ben is definitely a deep thinker and it is admirable how methodical he is in his approach. He is digging courageously and is committed to THE TRUTH. Or, at least HIS truth… Therefore, I respect him for that immensely.

    My overall impression is that there is a lingering sense of shame, guilt and “fear of God”, which to me is a low vibrational frequency.. Humanity is already drenched in that and that is why we have mental health breakdown and spiritually bankrupt society. That messaging is why so many people rejected religions and dogmas and no longer resonate with the biblical “crime and punishment”, Lord’s detestation of those who disobey. My understanding is that Christ consciousness is all loving, all including and all forgiving. The idea of a revengeful God is not resonating with plant medicine users who at least once had a privilege of experiencing the ultimate state of oneness with all. Sadly, Ben is pointing at himself as “a bad boy” who has sinned and now stepping up to warn the rest. I can hear him: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

    Another thing bible deems “bad” – paganism. Worshiping nature aka “false God” is considered diabolical by the church. That’s how we ended up with burning “witches” at stake.. I can’t think how Mother Nature can be demonic in any way. But I can see, how the Catholic Church enjoyed the power grab through centuries, preaching God’s word and committing the most atrocious crimes against “savages”. The church is cool with “JUST WARS”, when convenient of course. You can find a passage in the bible to justify many things.

    Ben has certainty that when he is talking to God every morning and a whisper comes in – it is GOD. But when he is in the altered state, he has no compass to discern. He mentions: that some people “even encounter bright, blinding, lights that many claim is actually God ( Lucifer, AKA Satan, literally translates to “light-bearer”).” So, to feel God’s presence in altered state – can actually be an encounter with trickster Satan, but to hear the whisper in the sober morning – that is an absolute God’s work? How do you know, Ben? If 1/4 of all rapes and murders were under influence of drugs (pharmakeia)…. What about the other 3/4 ? Who was whispering into those people’s sober ears? My point is that Satan does not need to wait for us to be “high” to poison our minds and hearts.

    In the introduction, Ben set the stage with giving us his list of plant medicine, but in the tragic list of statistics he chooses to mention… cocaine and ketamine cocktail, Meth etc. I think the “collapse” of what spiritual community calls medicines and what we call dangerous street drugs is a bit unfair. There is a pretty clear distinction between two.

    I could be poking this paper in many more ways, but I am actually grateful it was written. I am constantly evaluating my relationship with psychedelics for the last 10 years. I have not touched any medicines for over 18 months, because the message was to: “go and live the message.” And so I did. I am ready to never go back. The problem with these sacred technologies, in my opinion: People confuse transportation with destination. Psychedelics are simply a transportation. And ironically, destination is YOU, back to YOURSELF, back to GOD within. If the devil really wanted to seduce me into the sin, I don’t think he would have discouraged me from entering those realms any time soon.

    Finally, my question is this.. Can this Ben’s acknowledgement: “I have derived a great deal of benefit and personal insight and relationship enhancement and creative ideas from “journeying” with plant medicine” co-exist with an idea, that when all those things happened it was God’s love, God’s whisper, encounter with the divine, sacred lessons and blessings Ben gets to carry with him for the rest of his life. We live in a dual world, is it too much of a stretch to think that plant medicines can be healing and killing, saving and destroying, God and Devil all AT THE SAME TIME….???

    1. paul says:

      beautifully written

    2. Whiz says:

      This was very well thought out and in my opinion spot on.

      Very interesting that he decided to post this massive tome the same day How to Change Your Mind premiered.

    3. Rainee says:

      1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

    4. Jessica says:

      So well said. I love this response.

    5. Kris says:

      Very well said!
      Ben completely lost my support at the beginning when he „compared“ Meth and other street drugs to plant medicine.
      As for the Satan, it’s true he doesn’t need us to be high, BUT it is much easier for „him“ when we are high. Souls or spirits or how ever you wanna call it are taken very easily during the schamanic rituals in altered states. That is why some people feel that something is missing, that they don’t feel as whole after the rituals.

  82. Lora Kidd says:

    Praise God! This makes me so happy! And I am happy for you! Thank you for being so humble before the Lord. This will help so many people. I’m praying for your protection as you step out like this. And I must say please close the door on the ketamine completely. Do not keep a little leaven. May the Lord you and keep you. May He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

  83. brad says:

    Ben is just a beggar, telling other beggars where he found some food.
    He does it with integrity. This day more than any other!
    Ben mentioned a book by John Eldridge, I will definitely check out the book of his suggested. Anyone curious might want to check out this YouTube discussion where Eldridge is talking about some of what Ben, with a lot of vulnerability, is pointing out to us; https://youtu.be/R5ckJbjJQU4?t=1279 As Eldridge pointes out, we are built for something, and our guts long for something, and those of us who follow ben know this and don’t want to miss out on the potential within us! I don’t think you necessarily need look at it from a christian or religious perspective, clearly there are energies…people, causes…that want to distract us from being fulfilled, and while sometimes they try and sell us on a lie, create a world that they want us to be a part of, or convince us we don’t deserve to excel or experience.
    Maybe we are strategically being distracted. (remember the story of the 3 demons in training, the one ready to go is the one who has determined he will not try to fool anyone, he will not lie to anyone, instead he will just distract them.). And sometimes good intentioned people participate in the distractions. Hey Ben, thank you for the years of always passionately sharing what you think is helpful, and you thought was useful. Especially in this case, when you realized that it in fact was not, that with as much passion and purpose, are doing what you can to communicate quickly, boldly and with as much supporting information and context that you can share why it is that you now believe differently, and why it matters. And hey, that is the the human experience, we constantly discover, and learn, then understand, then discover and learn more, integrate it all, and frequently discover more of what the truth actually is. And brother, there is nothing more urgent that dealing with matters of the heart/mind/body aspects of our soul. We all, regardless of our individual walk of faith, know the soul is real, and needs protected, nurtured, and given a chance to grow and to know and be known. This is serious stuff.

    Thanks for being one beggar telling other beggars where you found some food…and coming back to tell us that that the food actually might poison us!

    1. Kimberley Patterson says:

      John and Stasi Eldridge‘s work is fantastic. Check out the Ransomed Heart website. He has written many wonderful books, including Wild at Heart. They also have a weekly podcast that is one of my very favorites.

  84. Diego says:

    Ben I wish you the best in your life, full of love and to get your mind clear in every aspect that you wish for.
    That said, I read the whole thing and this is just a very devote christian defending the Bible and his religion because what it says there is the absolute indisputable truth, right?
    The only point that is just obvious is that people shouldn’t be taking this psychedelics like a tuesday evening chill with doritos. There has to be preparation and a goal. This is meant to be a rite of passage.
    Well you know this.
    But this post of yours seems to be coming from a place of fear, from a realization or a breakdown. A clear disagreement between plant medicine spirituality and christian religion.
    It’s a little bit dissapointing because a lot of people follows you and you influence them.
    But well, every one has their own experience/path in this lifetime.
    I hope you come to peace in yours.

    1. Mike says:

      Huge caution should be taken

    2. Eric Umbarger says:

      Really well put. I’ve been following Ben for well over a decade but this recent turn to hyper religious has been a major turnoff (and I have no qualms against Christianity, I grew up in the Church and my grandpa is a pastor)

      1. Chase says:

        Hi Eric, I grew up in a Christian church too, and when you commented, it made me think to share an interesting observation of myself. I also grew up on a farm, and learned how to work hard and be responsible from taking care of hundreds of cattle. When I became an adult, I swore that I would never have any cattle ever. And now that I’m just over 40, I’m finding myself thinking it would be a great thing to have a bunch of cattle to help my kids to learn how to work (And other reasons).

        I felt to share this with you because sometimes the way we feel today may be different in the future. Ben has been sharing things that are new and exciting to him, many of them might seem opposite of what he said in the past, or a turn off now. But each journey is different and maybe someday you’ll become a preachy cow owner (so to speak) in a similar way that your journey has led you.

        Or maybe not. Maybe you’ll discover something that’s new and exciting to you that makes no sense to someone else. Either way, it’s fun to celebrate people and their progress in individual journeys.

    3. paul says:

      well said..

    4. missy Auerbach rubin says:

      Well said. I wish I could be so gracious. I feel like I just broke up with a long time boyfriend.

      1. John says:

        I have always appreciated and respected Ben for his journey and openness. I fear threats of a rainy day are falling on Ben and his integration of his recent reborn religion theme is not Ben but a reflection of learning how shame and fame go hand in hand.

  85. Jared says:

    Ben,

    You’ve reached a correct conclusion and accurate surmise regarding mind-altering, hallucinogenic drugs. So, don’t be discouraged by many of the replies from those who do not share your excitement and enthusiasm. Daily Bible reading coupled with prayer and true humility are, in my opinion, the fastest path to spiritual maturity. There is so much in the Bible that has application to the time we are now living in. And I would love to share more with you.

    Please take a look at the first link below to a brief article which mirrors your conclusions expressed above as well as the second link to a book that provides an understanding of other basic Bible truths long concealed by false teachings.

    https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1101989223?q=pharmakia&p=par

    https://www.jw.org/ase/library/books/enjoy-life-forever/

    If you have any questions, you always have my email. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)

  86. I applaud the effort, conviction, and courage it took to post this. I had no idea that plant medicine was such a big thing. I agree with your conclusions. I will be praying for you and your family, and encourage you to continue follow God’s leading.

    BTW, I have been using nicotine gum for the past couple of weeks as I heard a naturopathic doctor say it can help long COVID neurological problems. And it has indeed made a significant difference with my severe brain fog, head pressure/pain, and numbness & tingling to arm, face, and back of head.

  87. Jared says:

    Thanks for this post Ben, I appreciate this a lot. I became a Christian, having grown up an atheist, after doing some perception training in martial arts.. Through the training, I became aware of evil spirits. One thing led to another and the result was that I accepted Christ. He’s continued to use these abilities as a blessing to myself and others and I never had the slightest interest in drugs because of this training, which I’m incredibly thankful for. I’ve been suspicious of this recent drug movement, remaining open to the possibility that it could be beneficial. This article has been helpful and clarifying!

  88. Kent says:

    Ben- thank you for sharing this. As disciples we both know that we are to be the fragrance of Christ, which to some is the aroma of life and to others the smell of death. I hope that I too can have the same courage for speaking the truth in love without compromising for the sake of others expectations. And some of the critics here are right in that there’s a discernible thread of fear woven into these words. A God fearing awe of reverence for the creator and His will. I look forward to reading the next article, particularly your stance on micro dosing.

  89. Travis says:

    Ben, thanks for taking the time to go so in-depth in your biblical referencing and taking the proper time to pray & fast in a sober mind to receive the insights of the Spirit.

    As a 10 year LA-based pastor, it is very clear that followers of Christ will have to rub shoulders on the daily to the New Age and its “slight” of truths that steer many in our community to explore alternatives to “the simple, sober Gospel”.

    I myself am guilty of being lax on the topic so as to remain popular with my peers and constituents. This article is a phenomenal conversation starter with the many veering into the New Age.

    Excited for this conversation to continue. We welcome you to visit our community in any of your future travels to Los Angeles.

  90. Eric Nelson says:

    Wow. Just wow.

  91. Mike says:

    I did like you bridging the gap between the Bible bangers and people seeking God in maybe less? traditional ways (less traditional seems questionable). I also have my reservations of the onnit camp and how far that’s going.

    This has the feel of, it’s done great things for me, but I don’t want you to peek behind the veil. There’s always been a level of control in religion.

    I’m wondering if this is a brand positioning effort. Should we expect to see kion clarogenics in the future? Safe drugs for the believer!

    I am a believer who has essentially moved away from, or never experienced many of these substances, and greatest spiritual experience was via meditation at a tantra retreat. This article still just doesn’t feel good despite primarily aligning.

  92. Nadia says:

    I have never taken drugs but I had a very bad experience with Nucalm meditation and that of joe dispenza, their rhythm acts like drugs on the brain and induces states of trance, I will never listen to binaural meditation again
    Thank you for this Article, it is very brave of you
    I recommend you to research the Functionnal state corrector by Dr Koltsov, they offer a great protection against entities

    https://www.quant-essence.fr

  93. Price Moore says:

    Hey Ben! I’m a little confused by your interpretation of the word pharmika. This is the definition you give below.

    The Greek word pharmakia that I bolded above is a noun. Depending on the context, it can refer to 1) the medicinal use of drugs; 2) the medicinal use of drugs along with magic spells; 3) poisoning someone, or; 4) the use of drugs in sorcery, which is the medieval term for occult magic.

    I did a google search after reading this on the word my self. Everything I found on this word and the Bible had to do with witchcraft sorcery and divination. Reading up on witchcraft and sorcery in the Bible seems to be about mediums or spiritists who conjured up spirts and such for people or used drugs to trick people into thinking they had insight and knowledge that God didn’t. The other word used is divination. The act of divining; a foreseeing or foretelling of future events.

    All that leads me to a different view point as you have come to. In the context of psychedelics use I would see this as not using them against people to trick them that you are God like or preaching false prophecy’s. Don’t use them to purposely try and contact other outside forces for Knowledge or insight other than God.

    You said in a previous podcast that when you go into these things you need the armor of God and should be going in with a purpose. How does some one going into a psychedelic experience with the purpose of prayer and talking to God line up with the definitions of those words above? Psychedelics allow you to be clearer minded so if anything hear and feel Gods presence more clearly. Similar to Christians using lights and incense to enhance the experience at church. What about using these small doses substances to very meaningful conversations with friends maybe to talk through problems, help with creativity or business ideas. I don’t see how using these substances for certain situations can be considered witch craft, sorcery or
    divination. It’s just hard for me to think God left something as powerful as mushrooms all over the planet that interacts with our brains in such a complex way and wouldn’t be super blunt when it came down to its use. Leaving something this complex up to some one’s interpretation doesn’t add up.

    1. Chris Curley says:

      Great Points made here

    2. Jared says:

      The planet is 70% covered by water, but did God need to be super blunt in the Bible and tell us not to snort it?

    3. JoQueta Handy says:

      So well said. Thank you!! As a practicing Christian for 50 years and a mental health therapist using plant medicine with my patients, I find this article having many misinterpretations.

      1. Tim says:

        So true. Looking forward to clarity from Ben in follow up. I use PBM in my practice and have no plans to change but as a long time follower I have a hard time believing it’s all about God. More like cash flow…

  94. Chris Curley says:

    Oh my god I just waded through to the end of this self righteous bullshit and Ben says it is cool to take a small dose of ketamine every once and a while when he gets a massage.

    Okay.

    Right.

    That is called Hypocrisy., Jesus, (not Paul or Saul or whomever) spoke VERY sternly about Hypocrisy

    1. Diego says:

      Exactly. He seems confused by christianity. But well, you believe what you believe

    2. Emily says:

      People are allowed to CHANGE…ask Bruce Jenner! Would you condemn him/her? Just because it’s such a shocker? Find someone else who says and does exactly what YOU agree with…better yet write your own perfect books but don’t ever CHANGE…cuz then you’ll be a HYPOCRITE!!! 😱

  95. Kevin says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience & new found convictions. As one who has struggled with addictions most of my life, I too have justified my vices with a spiritual reasoning. I read the book of Enoch a while ago, which was in wide circulation before Christ. It goes into great detail of how the fallen angels/demons taught men “root cutting” or pharmacy. Very scary stuff man.

  96. Nick says:

    Ben, I don’t know you that well, but this post came across as a rambling, barely coherent diatribe against all things mentally altering, with the source of truth being the bible.

    Without getting into other things (likely taken out of context) in the bible that we don’t / shouldn’t practice as a culture, I feel that nuance is important when looking to the past and what might have been said or written about particular things.

    All the best on your journey, and I hope you find peace in the process.

  97. Kathy Ledford says:

    Ben, I recently became excited when I learned that you were on a spiritual journey/shift toward your own awakening. After reading part one here it was definitely not what I expected. I do appreciate you being transparent and speaking your truth. That’s all we can ask of anyone. I do not personally agree with your judgemental tone as I believe God is love and we must all listen to our own inner being selves (which is connected to God/source/universal consciousness) When it comes to life decisions. It is also a little harder to digest due to the extra detail and length, although I do appreciate your thoroughness. I have admired a lot of your work however I will admit I’m a little concerned now that you seem to be coming from a fear-based mindset.

    1. Diego says:

      Yes. I was very excited too, I begun following Ben a while ago because I really resonated with his life and what he is doing but it seems he had a breakdown with this subject and it seems to come from the fear-based religion that Christianity is (I was Christian too so I know)

      1. Rainee says:

        “Was a Christian?” Oxymoron!

        Read 1 John 2:19 “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.”

  98. Art says:

    I know you are going to have a lot of flack for this post but I want to encourage you to stand firm. I read Boundless each night (almost done) and have implemented many routines to my life. As a pastor, it’s saved me much time and energy deciphering what helps but I was always baffled by the micro-dosing promotion. I’ve enjoyed the increasing boldness in your posts (I’ve noticed!) and even prayed for you! So I’m encouraged. Thanks Ben Greenfield!

    1. Art says:

      By the way, if you want an incredible book to read, that talks about the dangerous spiritual side of shamanism, read The Spirit of the Rainforest. It’s an incredible look at a people group in the Amazon rainforest and their encounter with the white man told from the perspective of the most powerful shaman in the area that trained all the other shamans. They used drug induced ceremonies to access the very real spiritual world and what happened when his people group encountered Jesus. In every way Jesus transformed their culture and society from a fear-based revenge culture to one based on love. Absolutely fascinating! Our post industrial Western world has completely dismissed this reality and relegated the spiritual realm to a little cartoon character with a pitchfork on our shoulder whispering that God wants to be a cosmic kill joy rather than a life giving relationship giver.

      1. wow this one sounds like a great book!

      2. Mike says:

        Almost all of the indigenous tribes in the Amazon and South America have been destroyed because of the white man, thru disease, their land being stolen, and just plain murder. The white man and his Christian religion were used to subjugate the native people, just pickup a history book on the Americas. It’s all well documented. The conquistadors were all “men of god” along with their priests that preached love and accepting Jesus. That didn’t stop them from stealing all of the gold in the country and killing hundreds of thousands of Inca’s and destroying their culture.

  99. Michael Fraser says:

    Thank you for this. In 2020, I went started down the journey after listening to JRE and your podcast as well. It lead to a rapid spiral that from the outside seemed harmless – I still worked, exercised, etc. But my heart was pulled away from the Lord. I had my life in my hands and if I couldn’t control something, I’d just get high or dive into a mushroom trip. My son was born and I sobered up for a little while, but I went back to 1000mg edibles 7 days a week just to sleep and cope with the lack of control that comes with being a husband and father.

    Our pastor reached out to why I hasn’t been in church/home group. I made up some excuses. My last mushroom/cannibis trip lead to two things: God making it clear that He takes care of all of Creation and I must trust that He will take care of me, and I had a terrifying out of body experience where I saw myself, stoned out of my mind where I was glued to the bed in the late afternoon unable to move. I saw myself for what I was: a sinner in desperate need of a Savior, for I was facing eternity separated from God – He will not be mocked and I can’t be a Christian and continue to walk in sin.

    My heart had been hardened trying to persue control through plant medicines that I was so angry at myself and everyone around me. I had no love, and was no follower of Jesus according to scripture. Through the Holy Spirit, my wife and I went back to church on Easter 2022. The next weekend we became covenant members. I threw out the rest of my cannibis in to the trash. A few days after at our home group meeting, I confessed to a group of guys what I had been pursuing. Accountability is absolutely key to overcoming plant medicine. I’ve got men watching my back and making sure I don’t turn back to my old ways.

    At the end of May, my wife and I vacationed in The Outer Banks (where I finished reading Fit Soul and Endure). One night, when I was feeling heavily self righteous, I asked my wife to pray with me as we sat on the deck, facing the Atlantic Ocean during an electrical storm. As we prayed, my heart poured out. I covered the both of us in tears and snot as I cried out to the Lord. Among the repentance, I pleaded for God to rip away my idea of safety and control. Since then, I’ve been sharing the Gospel with everyone I come across, giving away more money than seems realistic. And trusting Christ with all that I am and all that I have. If I were still getting stoned/journeying with plant medicines, none of this would be happening. By His grace, I’m a new creation and I don’t have to submit to plant medicines in my times of need. Christ is my surpassing joy.

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
    2 Corinthians 5:17

    1. Chris Curley says:

      1000 mg edibles.

      Holy Guacamole Michael!!!???

      1. Michael Fraser says:

        I built up to thats because getting high was never enough. A great quote I once heard at a biker church was “more of what doesn’t satisfy will never satisfy. If Jesus isn’t enough then nothing else will be.” But that probably doesn’t apply to plant medicine, right? Psh, I was believing the lie. This article is spot on and only after sobriety do I understand.

  100. Evan says:

    Hi Ben,

    What about Mitozen’s Zen Meditation mist with Amazonian Hape’?

    1. not an issue in small amounts but not to be used pre-plant medicine “ceremony” for divination, etc. Great for breathwork, for example, though!

  101. Clint Kyles says:

    Ben,
    Thanks for sharing your evolving thoughts on this topic. I have always appreciated your honesty when discussing the pros/cons of plant medicine use. I’m eager to read Part 2 and I hope you will consider joining me for a discussion on my podcast. These are exactly the types of stories I seek to share – Christians sharing their honest experiences & thoughts on the topic.
    My goal with The Psychedelic Christian Podcast is to hopefully give my fellow Christians an open-minded introduction to the topic without necessarily promoting or discouraging the use of plant medicines.

    Blessings,
    Clint

    P.S. I believe that we share some mutual connections within the reformed Christian community.

  102. Stephen says:

    Hi Ben, I am a longtime follower and we have met years ago in the gymnastics gym. I have a huge amount of respect for you and have learned a tremendous amount of valuable information from you. Religion is a very polarizing topic and this thread is a great example. I do my best to learn from every religion when possible but currently I am not Christian. I feel what I am witnessing from you is the cycle of life of a human being. It is in our nature to explore, be curious, try things, and make mistakes as we grow in this life. Perhaps you would not have ever written this article without first trying those substances? We are all on our own path….especially when it comes to our spiritual journey. It is our right to choose what is best for us. If it works for you, then I am happy for you. Maybe one day in the future I will agree 100% with this article. My ears will still be open regarding research for these compounds you mentioned. Thank you for your courage my friend. I honor your commitment to being a great human being and that’s what I will remember most from this article.

  103. K says:

    As a healthcare provider and Christian, I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate this post. My knowledge is based in traditional Western medicine; however, I am also a strong supporter of the field of psychedelic medicine for individuals with conditions that are resistant to traditional therapeutics. There is a growing body of high-quality evidence based on randomized controlled trials showing the benefits patients may experience when given psychedelics under the care and guidance of a licensed and trained healthcare provider. The benefits of neuroplasticity and neurogenesis are seen with guided therapy sessions during these psychedelic experiences in patients with conditions like treatment-resistant depression, GAD, PTSD, substance use disorders, etc.. The use of psychedelic medicine in an uncontrolled environment and outside of these disorders not only discredits these game-changing therapeutics from being viewed as anything more than a recreational drug but can also be harmful when used incorrectly. I could go on for a while on this topic, but I’m really glad you arrived at this realization. A clear mind is a gift. God will give you all the insight and answers you need to have, no need to look elsewhere.

  104. Michael says:

    Thanks for sharing this well thought out article. I also am a Christian and truly strive to be non-judge-mental. I make mistakes daily. But my life is one of honesty seeking knowledge and wisdom. With Grace and Patience. I also have cone to similar conclusions as you. I realize this needs to be open for free discussion. All views are to be listened to. Thank you so much for your seeking Wisdom and Communicating so well. I appreciate this so very much. Sending Love and prayers for you and your family. 😊

  105. Katerina says:

    Ben,

    Thank you so much for writing this. This is EXCELLENT work, and I really appreciate the courage it took to write this. I thought I was the only biohacker on the planet who felt this way.

    I LOVE THIS PIECE!

  106. Daniel says:

    So thankful for this article Ben! As a long time reader and friend, I too have been led by the Holy Spirit with regard to these substances. Thank you for sharing your convictions and deeply thoughtful article. I look forward to more on this subject and will be reading and educating myself about this highly important issue. Blessings to you and your family!

  107. Samantha says:

    As a Christian and someone who took part in a Ayahuasca ceremony, I wholeheartedly resonate with this message. I was shown a version of hell, warned of the darkness that accompanies plant medicine and even shown a vision of me as Eden eating the forbidden fruit and tricking my husband (who was also in the ceremony) to do the same. I had chills reading this!

    My question is on your opinion of Kambo which I’ve used medicinally for Lyme Disease. It’s not psychoactive so should we stay away from this as well? It helped me so much physically so I was going to continue with treatments but would love to hear more on this.

    1. Kambo for medical management is, in my opinion, just fine. Kambo to “speak to the gods” pre-hunt, for example, would not be.

      1. Leah Dawn says:

        There may be some confusion with BUFO in reference to Kambo – as BUFO is psychoactive traditionally used to seek connecting and messaging from spirit realm. KAMBO – was my understanding used before hunting because the senses were so sharp post Kambo medicine – clearer eye sight – greater ability to be instinctual sharper hearing – those types of things based on clearing the body of toxins in such a rapid capacity – clarity of mind for instance when not distracted with pain and inflammation or brain fog due to toxins.

    2. Leah Dawn says:

      I have the same question in why kambo is grouped with psychoactive substances. the peptides help so much with pain and the detox component helps so much with lyme, mold, candida – things that take a very long time to detox to the point of feeling better and functional. Kambo gets rid of so much so fast its possible to feel better more quickly.

      1. For medicinal use, I think it’s fine.

  108. Tad says:

    Dude. You have totally turned me off with your religious fervor. I can’t stand when people try to convert others with their dogmatic beliefs. You are losing the ability to have a wide sphere of influence and will be left with only those who have the same beliefs as you. How is that helping the world? I’m almost done with you even though the information that you’ve given previously has been life changing for me. I hope you can open your heart and mind to those of us with different beliefs in the future.

    1. Jon says:

      There was no talk of conversation anywhere in the article. He’s a Christian so he’s speaking from the vantage point of a Christian. Read the last sentence you wrote and apply it to yourself brother.

  109. Sara says:

    Thank you for saying all of this. All the drug talk on your podcast has always seemed out of place for me. I don’t use, and have never used, any of these substances because of the true risks. I have had a strange hallucinating experience which was an unintended drug reaction when I was hospitalized. It was quite disturbing, although I felt I learned something from it at the time. In the years since I have come to realize that I experienced something not based on truth, but rather a spiritual trick. Only reading the Word helped me fully understand that. I fully appreciate your change of opinion on this matter.

  110. Ben Greenfield says:

    Ben,

    thanks for stopping use of these bad substances. I don’t even know how u got into the trap of these substances but glad you found your way out.

    key takeaway:

    Fact is, God can commune with anyone at any time through any means. you don’t need drugs to talk to God or hear His voice or seek His direction.

  111. Mo says:

    What are clarogenic compunds? Couldnt find an answrr anywhere.

    1. Mike says:

      Here is a Ben definition Clarogenic compounds are anything that benefit your mind but don’t make you high because that’s a sin because that’s what he think the Bible says.

  112. Chris Curley says:

    Snickering…..Spitting out coffee…..Jesus Christ! Ben Greenfield believes what the Jewish Tax Collector writes in the “Bible”.

    The biggest Psyop in history……..

    Follow the Christ brother……Not Paul or Saul or whoever he is……..He never even gazed upon the Christs eyes

    1. Jill Dewitt says:

      Cringe take

  113. Carmela says:

    Ben. I pray that all who made a decision to try these mind altering plants because of your past voice come to hear and take heed and listen to your new insights. May the Blood of Jesus protect all who have been and continue to go down that path. Christ’s Peace be with you Brother in Christ. May the Light of God shine on you and through you. Amen

  114. Dan says:

    This from Mat 10:32 came to mind as I read your passionate and courageous article; “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven”. You’re a warrior…mind, body and soul. You’ll have your critics, but I for one am inspired and challenged to up my game and do more of the same.

  115. Nani says:

    Just saw this:
    https://neurosciencenews.com/mood-mental-health-microdose-21010/

  116. Chris Curley says:

    Curious as to why you chose to use a picture of you crawling jaguar like on a jungle floor when you are eschewing the use of these sacred millenium old practices of communion with the vine?

  117. Val says:

    Thank- you for writing this article!!
    I appreciate you taking a hard look at this topic.

  118. Tyler Scheid says:

    Ben – I honor your courage and integrity for taking risk in voicing your truth when it’s not ‘with the herd’ of the cool kids and uber-enlightened ones of modern ‘plant medicine culture’. You own up to your role in propagating that culture. Like you, I’m a father and a spiritual seeker. I’ll spend more time digesting this, and sharing it with my teens, both in terms of the content and the integrity of action in being true to yourself regardless of the herd! I’ve enjoyed your prolific output for some years, but now find myself loving this man Ben Greenfield after reading this post.

    PS. I love Jesus, don’t pray to him, don’t believe in an entity ‘GOD’, and I periodically utilize plant medicines (30+ years with multi year hiatuses). So I take the ‘psychedelic cheerleading’ that I’ve seen pop up in the past 10ish years as important, dangerous, liberating, comical, and just an overall awkward thread in humanity, the universe, and it’s cycles towards who knows where! It’s just an amazing adventure, and one that I personally try to maintain a playfulness with and try not to take myself too seriously, while knowing that life, death, and spirituality are serious matters for us humans. Peace, love, and humor to you and your’s.

  119. Patrick Peter Suter says:

    JAH/GOD is LOGO, is CONSCIOUSNESS – expanding consciousness and the use of substances that expand consciousness ? THINK ABOUT IT. So we know what we know. That’s why we know. Consumption of herbs, mushrooms over millions of years! You are what you eat. JAHKNOW!

  120. Thorn says:

    Well, each to his own! I’m not religious; I founded my unique spiritual philosophy, which has always worked for me throughout my life – I’m 55 -; love, peace, compassion, etc, aren’t exclusive qualities ONLY attributed to a religious order. Any “biblical teachings do not influence me”, so any recreational substances I wish to use shall continue to be my choice!

  121. Patrick Peter Suter says:

    Zauberkünste = [pharmakos] ……this IS the POINT! JAHKNOW this is a……W R O N G Interpretation. Thanks for reading.

  122. Tom says:

    With great joy I read this. I have always been deeply concerned with your use of these various substances. I judge no one. By my own experiences with various “plant medicines”, I encountered great evil. For me, this was enough to realize their danger. For those who seek Him, faith in Jesus Christ can open up way more healing and spiritual enlightenment than anything else. Bravo Ben, my brother in Christ.

  123. George says:

    This is wonderful, Ben! Of note, while your defense is primarily biblical, most of the opposing opinions use human reason to refute your claims. Thank you for your bold stance. I eagerly anticipate round 2 and your discussion on kratom.

  124. Maggie says:

    Thank you for speaking out on this Ben and for all the research you put into it. I’ve been very concerned about it as well. Thank you for your bravery and courage in doing so!

  125. Muhammad says:

    Hello Ben. Long time reader of your blog and books. First time commenting.

    I’m a Muslim, not a Christian, but we both agree on the nefarious nature of these compounds.

    One of Islam’s great mystic-theologian-legalists, Ibn ‘Arabi of Andalusia, wrote a small collection entitled ‘That Which Cannot Be Relied Upon.’ In it he listed numerous things that cannot be relied upon as markers or signs of spiritual progress or development.

    On the very first page in his list, he wrote: ‘Changes to the mind and body as a result of external stimuli that alter the temperament cannot be relied upon in the spiritual path.’ [Paraphrasing here].

    Essentially, this means that the ‘spiritual high’ one experiences during prayer after a strong cup of coffee, for example, cannot be relied upon as a sign of spiritual development, and a fortiori any hallucinogenic compound.

    It is important for people of faith to recognize the role of the psychedelics/enthogens in altering the consciousness of humanity and ushering in the Antichrist. I think you would really enjoy this interview with Charles Upton, who address this:

    https://charles-upton.com/2018/02/25/on-psychedelics-and-or-entheogens-drug-induced-mysticism-revisited/

    1. Thanks, I’m gonna read this.

      1. Muhammed and Ben,

        Interesting, I happen to be a fan of Ibn Arabi as well, since he taught a type of mental imagery that is very much similar to the distinctly Jewish type that was taught to me by my teacher Gerald Epstein, MD whose lineage goes all the way back. Ben interviewed him a few years ago. In regards to Ibn Arabi, This was detailed well by Henry Corbin in many books but especially in this remarkable book https://amzn.to/3uDSqAg

        Ben, good for you – I think this is a wise decision. As I have reminded you in the past – Jewish history knows that the prophets went to prophetic schools, they just didn’t wake up and become prophets and there is no evidence of the use of any plant medicines in this process. They studied and built a solid foundation before attempting to make the connection. The spiritual world does not tolerate people who try to leap ahead before they have built a solid foundation based on morality, faith, prayer, and charity. They unfortunately get bruised and damaged.

        As you mention Elijah, many of these prophetic techniques are in fact preserved and hidden for those who know the metaphors in the text of Elijah itself and this has in fact been passed down through the generations. But for those who want a small taste of that – the books of my teacher Gerald Epstein, MD teach a small aspect of using imagination, prayer, and imagery as a tool for both perception and connection. Which leads us back to the initial comment by my Muslim cousin, Muhammed regarding Ibn Arabi whose elucidation by Henry Corbin is an amazing entry also into the beauty of this similar path. I can assure you that these techniques can in fact lead to wondrous visions and a solid connection that correlates with the person’s current level of spiritual development.

      2. Jon W says:

        Ben so you realize that just as much as you believe “non-believers” are going to Hell that Muslims believe you “a Christian” are going to Hell? How do you reconcile this without the throw away standard reply of “only god can judge”. Both of your scriptures CLEARLY state that the other will be punished in Hell for eternity.
        – coming from a Christian that has been educated in private Christian schools for 20 years.

        1. Jonathan Woods says:

          Just as I suspected- unable to answer.

  126. Joe says:

    Thank Chris and Peter…

    Ben, if this is where your at with your spirituality then that is fine, but you’ve shifted your sensibilities to a very contrived historical narrative.

    Have you researched the history of those writings as much as you research your health?
    These were edited hundreds of years later by councils of an empire looking for greater mass control. You also have been microfiding while watching all the heavily distorted intentionally created abd very widely distributed conspiracy theories – which most are true- but which have been bent toward a rising Christian army of right wing blind believeres.
    Please at least thoroughly question the history and the surrounding politics around those times… how everything pre-existing was termed pagan and of yhe (convenient) devil (Devi) as you couldn’t have that level of tyranny and viscious conquest with a matriarchal femal led society. Do make the very woman- the mother- as well as all things earthly- innately evil abd therefore should obviously be hated?
    Please if your going to choose a rabbit hole go down this one.
    If your beliefs still stand then let them.
    Wish you all the best on your journey 🙏

    1. Chris Curley says:

      Yup…..

      First Question….

      Who is Paul….or…..Saul

      And why did he found the Christian religion when Jeshua himself instructed not to create a religion around him.

      Answer: CONTROL!!!

  127. S says:

    Ben, as someone who was told about sin and damnation at the age of 6 (great introduction to Sunday school) and was then terrified of death for most of my life, I find your message only brings back that anxiety. As an adult, I’ve done a lot of research and personal contemplation and have found comfort in hearing of near death experiences where people of many different faiths, or none at all, report feeling only love and no judgement at all on ‘the other side’. I’ve also wondered about ancient tribal civilisations who have practiced using plant medicines for thousands of years and have incredible connections to the spirit world and how these people could possibly be damned to an eternity of suffering just because they were born into the wrong culture or in the wrong country and therefore would’ve never heard that they needed to be saved. Is it possible that a loving God would’ve created so many souls with the knowledge that they would most certainly go to hell? Surely that’s not love and I can’t accept that as the truth! I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

    1. Chris Curley says:

      The answer is NO.

      All of those brown people in the hot places on the globe are going to hell for eternity because they have not been baptized.

      It is simple bro.

      Just read the bible(and then cherry pick out of it to support your worldview)

      1. S says:

        😂Thanks Chris for the confirmation

    2. S says:

      No thoughts then as I see you’ve commented on later posts. That’s interesting

  128. ken says:

    Dear Ben,

    I agree that any substance, (or practice ),that opens one’s energy apertures can leave one vulnerable to evil entities and deception. However I believe that the “Pharmakia” in it’s greatest sence of destruction of humanity is not the loss of those seeking self awareness and higher consciousness, but the wholesale murder and decimation of humanity by the Pharmakia: “Moderna, Pfizer, J&J, Astrazeneca, and the elitists directing their agenda of engineered fast and slow death and sterilization. They will burn!

    1. Patrick Peter Suter says:

      perfect analysis

    2. Chris Curley says:

      Booyah Kenny!!

      Winner Winner Chicken dinner

    3. Patrick Peter Suter says:

      🔔👽 FUNNY Ben ❗️ Als Anwender des TEUFELS 👿 ALKOHOL predigst du gegen die Pflanzenmedizin ! ? Im Ernst ❓
      GOTT IST LOGO, ALKOHOL IST LEGO. Pflanzenmedizin ist Bewusstsein, Gott ist Bewusstsein. Mr. GREENfield, Nomen est Omen, zurück zum GRÜNEN! Rauche ein gutes Gras, anstatt Wein zu verwenden. Ich wünsche dir das längste Leben.

    4. Carrie says:

      Ken, you are absolutely correct!

    5. Kathleen Kahl says:

      Amen. All of pharma is based on lies and destruction not healing.

  129. Nick says:

    Be careful going from one end of the spectrum to the other end, the middle path. I suggest looking into the principles of Hermeticism. The plant medicines you describe are tools for specific uses, they are not evil as only the intentions or intenders that use it make it in such ways. Duality. This is coming from from one that believes God is in our DNA (Conscious energy). To me alcohol is more damaging to one’s psyche then the plant medicines but alcohol is more accepted and even practiced in religions, go figure.

    I suggest reading the book “The Sacred Mushroom and The Cross” by John Allegro (Original readers of the Dead Sea scrolls).

    1. Yes I have read that book. If you read this article carefully, I give several exceptions and do indeed present a middle road.

  130. Hey Ben,

    When I saw this title of this article pop up in my email, my heart said “heaven yes”!

    As a fellow disciple of Jesus, and functional health coach, I have been specifically praying for YOU and a handful of other well known guys in this space (that you know very well) for a few years, that at some point have a change in heart on the psychedelic plant medicine – ego/self realization, and begin sharing the power & supremacy of Christ and the scriptures within the health, wellness & healing space. I am greatfull for your humility, willingness and boldness to write this article and overall direction you taking using your platform for as a leader in our industry. Many blessings brother!

    PS: I am currently exploring new direction with my functional health coaching and interested in your new coaching platform at Ben Greenfield life. Are you or a team lead open to connect to explore further?

    1. Eric says:

      Hey Ben, HAVE YOU STOPPED DRINKING COFFEE AND USING ALL FORMS OF PLANT-BASED CAFFEINE, DOESN’T SEEM SO BY READING / FEELING THIS MASSIVELY LONG EMAIL, which I can only imagine must have been running from some extraordinarily caffeinated state??? I can’t imagine anyone not being influenced by any form of a drug, which we all know caffeine is one and coffee is a plant, could possibly write an article like this. HAS HE STOPPED USING CAFFEINE/COFFEE, A PLANT?

      1. Chris Curley says:

        Preach my Brotha!!

        LMAO!!!!

      2. Mike says:

        FYI-I think Ben’s company sells Coffee, so it’s on the list of approved drugs.

  131. Kathleen DeMill says:

    Wow, Ben! I am very grateful God has opened your eyes. This was one of the issues I had with you. These practices open doorways to deception, and are doorways God purposely keeps closed. Bravo!

  132. Chris Copley says:

    I have learned a lot from you and your podcasts and all the religious stuff gets tossed in the garbage where it belongs.
    If you could see your Christian tunnel vison from the perspective of a Muslim, Jew it any other religion and see that these old stories are designed to oppress and control the population and also you can’t ignore the atrocities of Christanity through history and up to today as it is hateful, discriminatory toward women, gays, other religion. The modern athiest movement needs to make a big comeback and please spend time reading Dawkins, Hitchens and Sam Harris.

  133. Sven Hansen says:

    Wow Ben. I have learned much from you and have your books. I have noticed a dogmatic approach to life in your work over the past few months and I have been concerned. I also noticed that I have had less and less inclination to read your content. It seems that your followers will soon be primarily fundamentalist. I am sad actually. We all have unique paths to follow. I hope you will remain dedicated to personal freedom and not condemn those of us who find our deepest truth within and use plant medicine for this purpose. I am personally not interested in an external scriptural source to define truth for me. But I do fully support those who feel that they need this. Christian values are for the most part very good and have contributed greatly to the free and abundant society in which we live. But I feel now that I will probably follow your content less and less. Thanks for your all your past brilliance. I hope you find a way to keep connected to it. Sending love and blessings.

    1. John says:

      Feeling the same here. There seems to be less patience for non-Christians lately, or people who believe the Bible is simply just a really incredible book. Surely plant medicines existed before it.

      1. Carrie says:

        I’m not a practicing Christian, but I’ve noted a substantial increase in suppression of Christians over the globe over the last few years. The mainstream media does not air these stories, however.

    2. John says:

      Feeling the same here. There seems to be less patience for non-Christians, or people who believe that the Bible is just a really good book…
      Surely there were plant medicines before it.

    3. Jake says:

      He’s pandering to the religious fundamentalists because he sees dollar signs. Not dissimilar to a moderate political analyst discovering the riches to be made by spewing right-wing ideology.

      1. Emily says:

        So you think your way is the only one?? Not very tolerant…

    4. Emily says:

      Now THAT comment perfectly illustrates tolerance and free choice! When someone you admire “changes” – maybe a boss or family member…you have free choice to disagree and remove yourself from them, but I thought kindness and acceptance were the way to make things better according to such a progressive mentality? Some of these comments are so hate-filled that if they were reacting to something like someone “coming out” it this way, you’d be considered a homo-phobic Nazi.

      If Ben did an article on “Do More Drugs” that is his RIGHT and about the same percentage would disagree but I suspect the comments would be mostly accepting, even if we didn’t agree, and then we could move on to another fitness expert.

  134. Sam says:

    I found that fascinating!
    I am now pondering…
    Where does one find the conviction that “this state/belief/faith” is definitely the One – superior to all that came before it, and guaranteed to endure?
    The thought that “Yes, now I’ve found the truth / the path” may arise many times in life, and our previous paradigm is left behind.
    “I used to be sure about something” but now “I don’t see it that way anymore, because…”.
    With that in mind, how can one be sure that the faith of the moment will endure? Is there a chance that in another 10 years or so, with more lives experience, you might feel differently again?

  135. Derek says:

    Fantastic read.
    I wish more people in general could have the self awareness you have. To admit your errors, assume responsibility, to be vulnerable and to also provide hope is wonderful picture of redemption. Don’t look now but you look like Jesus.

  136. Abraham says:

    Ben, you are an amazing being.
    Maybe go have a therapy session / friendly chat with Paul Chek…. Yes plant medicine/amplifiers can be dangerous, like a knife or even bare hands, which can create/love/make art and kill. All at the choice of the user and their unique mind-ego-heart complex.

    There is some fear in your writing, for whatever reason….

    The church will crumble and fade anyway, as it is a business model created to enslave and not liberate humanity. And we are in the midst of the biggest liberation/evolution in a long time….

    God = source = Infinite love, is not Jesus, but Jesus was like you, a man, who chose to bring more love to the planet.

    All choices are allowed, and all choices have a reaction/cost/fruit…..

    Enjoy the ride, you are a good and true man, speaking his “current” truth. Which…. Changes, for all of us, like the seasons.

    May love keep shining in your heart!
    :)

    1. Eric says:

      AMEN!

      1. Samuel says:

        Fellow Christian and plant medicine/health nut here. Thank you for your courage to speak out, Ben. I truly respect you. I have personally been using CBD (300mg) nightly for sleep. I understand it is a high dose and I feel it’s in the edge of “mind-altering”. I am concerned i am “dependent” at this point. I also occasionally use a 10mg THC tablet for social anxiety. But I am not too confident in that choice anymore. I love how it makes me feel and allows me to rest or socialize but what are your thoughts? I want to honor God with everything I do and represent Jesus Christ as best I can on this earth. Grace and peace to you brother. Thanks again for your transparency.

        1. I don’t think CBD has the capability to come near an entheogen. I also use CBD for sleep. Night and day difference between that and psychedelics!

  137. Jerry Thomas says:

    Thank you for the comprehensive review.
    You did not mention Kratom and I know you did a special podcast about “feel free”
    What is your opinion now? Very very important question – because that is truly a mind altering drug. I actually like it very much but I have to be very careful.
    I was introduced to it by your podcast. I’ve also introduced it to other folks – which I now question.
    Thank you again for the article. God bless you brother.
    Jerry

    1. No issue with Kratom…in moderation. Not really a hallucinogenic in regular dosages

  138. Barb says:

    Wow! Thank you for sharing your journey. As a Christian I always wondered why you used plant medicines. You have been so brave, honest & succinct with what you have learned. We are all on our own journey One Day At A Time.

  139. Bud says:

    Ben,
    Your willingness to say you were wrong is God honoring. I believed your uses of “plant medicines” in the past were suspect. Felt a little off for a Christian and gave me pause to what you were saying.
    Very proud of you, this truth and willingness to speak it has set you free and will keep your family free.

    May God richly bless you and your family,
    Bud

  140. Jody Wallace says:

    Agreed! There are red alerts that are pretty simple to spot to avoid opening doors that shouldn’t be opened.

  141. Peter says:

    Ben,
    I feel completely click-baited by your email. I respect your scientific approach to longevity and health and though I was aware you’re a devote Christian, I found this way over the top and completely devoid of your typical critical thinking.

    “Because God says so” was really a huge let down on for me. Your personal beliefs are your business I suppose but as an atheist AND someone who maintains an open mind to “plant medicines”, I find this uncharacteristically obtuse from you. I find you much more accessible and relevant when you stick to the facts.

    1. Tony says:

      Spot on Peter, I couldn’t have said it any better :-)

    2. Paul says:

      Well said Peter!

    3. Neco says:

      Peter, every belief system we have affects our rationality. To pursue ideas and science with reason and without religion assumes that our reason is not biased, and it most certainly is. Human reasoning has imperfections and accepts central ideas about creation, morality, and purpose with assumptions that cannot be made “fact”, and are birthed from secularism. The very idea came from the enlightenment age and hasn’t worked well because it assumed without religion our lives would be better. But, we have tons of peer-reviewed studies proving in our modern time, that religion has caused healthier families, relationships, education, mental health, and justice, and going without it is damaging to society. The evidence is exhaustive.

      This also means your own atheism, which is reliant on faith because you cannot prove factually many of your ideas, is a religion in itself, that you cannot seem to detach from how you see reality. So “Sticking to the facts” is something you shouldn’t ask for if it’s something you don’t seem to do either. It is something we all do because of our worldviews. Ben is using inductive reasoning here, and it should be taken seriously because of the evidence. Many of our own “facts” are the same inductive reasoning because your same ideas cannot be fully proven themselves. So now, the reality is, who has the best argument, and worldview.

    4. Berlin says:

      Peter
      Exactly right. Thank you for saying that so well.
      It amazes me that Ben’s tunnel vision total all-in belief on ‘religion’ and “God word” without any critical thought applied to the who and where of the origin of that.
      I believe in God as the Presence and the Ground of Being, but I am NOT religious and never want to be because it amazes me that people cannot experience God without going by what a book says to do and feel and believe and act. Who cannot live and feel their inner presence without the babble and rabble of religious control. And all the commenters here who think Ben just dealt a blow and won some personal war against some evil influence blows my mind. And not in a good way. You can feel God without drugs. You can feel God with drugs. You can have it both ways.

    5. Chase says:

      One of the facts is that every person has the freedom to ask God what to do. Ben chose to ask God what he should do and is Sharing his finding. It may be different from who or what you ask, or the answers you receive currently.

      I agree with your perspective that his new opinions are very different from before. I like his new opinion more than you do. I love how he hasn’t chosen to stick to an opinion he had before simply because he worried about what others would think. And I also like how you have been willing to share your opinion.

    6. Emily says:

      So you think your way is the only one?? Not very tolerant…

  142. Terisa says:

    Thank you Ben, for being true and real. I have had the same concerns about plant medicine, while at the same time telling myself ‘they are from plants, God made them, so they must be ok’ . I appreciate your perspective and your understanding of this issue. Thank you for standing up and speaking hard things. God Bless!

  143. Michael says:

    Amen! Thank goodness someone said finally said this. I’m sorry Ben, but I never agreed with your promotion of these things. Any spiritual advancement or fruits gained from using substances have not been attained through our own efforts…and therefore they don’t belong to us. One possible interpretation of John 10.1 is that people who try and gain spiritual experiences or spiritual advancement from substances and not through their own efforts are thieves. John 10.1: “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber”.

  144. Sharvo says:

    Why does common sense have to be backed up with some bible passage?
    I have no interest in people’s religious practices / interpretations and sorely miss the days when it was a personal matter.

    1. Emily says:

      So you think your way is the only one?? Not very tolerant…

  145. Kim says:

    Thank you for the content. I am in agreement with you, Ben.

  146. Ben, I am so thrilled to hear of your decision and the well thought out reasoning for it. It is exciting to see your spiritual growth, your commitment to Jesus Christ, and your dependence upon the Bible as your source of authority. I am so thankful that God has protected you and your wife through your journey, and I trust that your children will follow in your footsteps. This decision will no doubt cost you a lot of money, friends, fans, and opportunities; however, I am sure it put a smile on God’s face which is the greatest feeling in the world. Keep growing!

  147. Tim says:

    Thank you for this article Ben. I have read the majority of your articles and listen to the majority of your podcast episodes for years. This was my favorite article you have written. I too have similar thoughts on the issue of plant medicine. It is becoming too prevalent in our society and I see it hurting more people, rather than helping. Thank you again for bravely speaking up. I do think this is one of the many ways that people are being deceived presently. Like you said, it may have its place and time in certain settings, but plant medicine is being abused by too many in my opinion.

  148. Chaya says:

    This is a personal decision based on your religious understanding of scripture.
    I respect that.
    You are speaking out – and I admire and trust you, and your business, more so, because you have strong ethics.

    I love your work Ben – I follow you more than any other in the arena.
    And I’m happy that you are walking your own path.

    Sometimes however the relentless preaching can – I feel – risk pushing people away from Christianity, rather than the intention you have of enriching lives with its teachings.

    I feel religion and the way we relate to it, is something we need to find ourselves – we do it at a time in life when we are ready to hear and follow.

    The difference between having someone tell you what to think/believe from their interpretation of scripture, and finding it out in your own time and own discovery – is powerful..

    I’m Jewish – and I find the preaching hard to endure at times.. I relate to the example you give through your actions – more than your words when preaching is involved.

    Regardless – this is you – and I would never want you to do anything but walk your own path. I am not criticising – just sharing feelings I sometimes have when reading/listening to your growing religious zen.

    I will continue to listen and read with interest.

    Thanks always for sharing and creating so much valuable content Ben

    1. Tim says:

      Thanks for sharing Chaya. I don’t think this article is really preaching or telling us what to do. I think it is just sharing his own opinion and experience. We can take it or leave it. I hear more and more everyday about the benefits of plant medicine, but rarely do I hear an opposite viewpoint like this, and I’m glad I did hear one from someone I respect and who is highly educated on the subject.

      1. Cat says:

        Hey Tim – appreciate the feedback. In the context of this article – I’d agree.
        Rather my comments come from a background of listening to a lot of Ben’s recent podcasts etc, where long passages of scripture with a relative interpretation make up the content.

        I’m torn between it – on the one hand I love that Ben follows his heart and truth – I have the upmost respect for him.

        On the other hand – it turns me off the religion and scripture (which when read in transition is an interpretation itself).

        Bottom line – I feel like I’m in Church….I want to turn off and walk out the door – I can’t find my own interpretation of the words as I am wrapped in someone else’s inner zeal of what we should and shouldn’t do.

        It’s a personal reaction I have to it – and I cannot get around it. I understand others may have a different experience.

        I listen regardless, because Ben has had such a positive impact on my health and I enjoy him as a person.
        However it makes me feel – I always appreciate the content and lessons gleaned.

        1. Bruce says:

          Well stated.

    2. G says:

      I was raised Catholic and I agree with you 100%! It seems like pushing and even worse, judgemental of you Ben. I follow you and admire you especially for how ethical you appeared to be. It makes you believable. But at this moment, after reading the text above I am struggling with not feeling bad. As I look at it plat medicines are a gift from God. Plant medicines are NOT evil…you are looking at it in a very simplistic way. How much family trauma do you have? How much internal pain are you in? How much anxiety do you suffer every day? How much do you struggle with depression and sadness? Are you part of a very dysfunctional family and carry your ancestors pain? Have you had to leave your country of origin because it was destroyed by communism? Are you burdened with unboreable guilt for being the one that survived? How much do you hate yourself? The changes I am personally experiencing are phenomenal…never realized after 40 years of therapy and suffering. For someone so open minded about so many different things to say that only one thing can save us is disappointing and sad.

      Still…I love you man!

      1. Emily says:

        WOW so he’s not allowed to have a different viewpoint than others? Not very tolerant of you 🤔

  149. jemma says:

    sorry Gingko Biloba xx

  150. jemma says:

    You would hesitate to take Gingko Blob now even though all the incredible research? and medicinal mushrooms?

    1. Ben says:

      I definitely would not place ginkgo into the category of Entheogens I discuss here!

      1. Brian says:

        Ben…..I’m so glad to see that God has been working in you! At first yes I was like really, why would Ben make a case against plant medicine?

        But you laid out the exact reasons I will not participate in all this. I do still believe there is a purpose for herbal medicine as scripture says but not to used for the reasons you mention here (pharmakia) in Greek. Beautifully said…great scripture references, great points about the tree of Knowledge and “praying to let God make your decisions” “So go to God for every decision you make, whether large or small, and you will, with practice and dedication, learn to discern His voice”.

        Just awesome to read your words.

        God Bless

    2. Mike says:

      Ben is only against plants if they get you high.

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