Psychedelics and Death: A Conversation with Dr. Neal Goldsmith
Where: Morbid Anatomy Museum
424 Third Ave. Brooklyn
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How does the modern view of death differ from the tribal perspective attained through the ingestion of visionary plants and admixtures (including Ayahuasca, AKA the vine of death)? How do stage theory, birth trauma, near-death experience, and the death-and-rebirth experience as explored by Grof and others, help illuminate the psychedelic experience? Why has the Psilocybin End-of-Life Anxiety research project (at NYU, Johns Hopkins, and UCLA medical schools) found the ego-death experience to be of such central importance to successful outcome?
Psycho-spiritual and existential distress is often an integral component of end-of-life suffering. Many individuals diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer experience
hopelessness, but for some, a cancer diagnosis can initiate a search for meaning. Subjective features of a mystical experience include unity, sacredness, transcendence, and a greater connection to deeply felt positive emotions including that of love. The psilocybin-facilitated mystical experience offers a novel therapeutic approach to promote meaning and openness to the mystery of death. Implications for thanatology and consciousness studies will be addressed.
Neal M. Goldsmith, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist and author specializing in psychospiritual development. He is author of dozens of popular and scholarly articles, curates and hosts innovative workshops, salons, and conferences, and a frequent speaker on psychotherapy and change, adult developmental psychology, psychedelics research and policy, and the integral future of society. Dr. Goldsmiths book, Psychedelic Healing: The Promise of Entheogens for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Development, describes the current renaissance in psychedelic research and the influence of psychedelics on his personality theory and clinical practice. (A six-minute clip from his interview on Fusion of Spirit and Science may be found at: http://vimeo.com/7517009.) Trained in humanistic, transpersonal, and eastern traditions, Dr. Goldsmith maintains a (non-psychedelic) psychotherapy practice in New York City, and Sag Harbor, NY and may be reached via his Web site: http://www.nealgoldsmith.com/psychedelics.
Anthony P. Bossis, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. He is director of palliative care research, co-principal investigator, and a session guide for the NYU Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Study, a clinical trial investigating the efficacy of a psilocybin-facilitated mystical experience upon the existential and psycho-spiritual distress in persons with cancer. He is also Project Director and the session guide for the NYU Psilocybin Religious Leaders Study evaluating the effects of a psilocybin-facilitated mystical experience upon religious leaders and professionals. Dr. Bossis has a long-standing interest in comparative religion, consciousness research, and the interface of psychology and spirituality. He maintains a private psychotherapy practice in NYC.Buy tickets/get more info now