Field Tripping

Coming Home | Bob Parsons

Episode Summary

Bob Parsons, entrepreneur and psychedelic philanthropist best known for founding the domain registrar GoDaddy, joins Ronan to discuss his harrowing combat experience in Vietnam and the ensuing PTSD, his path to psychedelic therapy and healing, how to address the failed war on drugs, and more! After returning home from the Vietnam War, Bob realized he was not the same person as before, and eventually became aware of his PTSD after years of struggle. After reading Michael Pollan’s book “How To Change Your Mind,” he immediately began exploring psychedelic therapy as an option to heal his trauma. Parsons is currently working with MAPS to help conduct clinical trials of MDMA-assisted therapy for FDA approval, and with Dr. Rachel Yehuda to help with PTSD research, and to train therapists to specialize in treating veterans and active-duty members with psychedelics.

Episode Notes

Bob Parsons, entrepreneur and psychedelic philanthropist best known for founding the domain registrar GoDaddy, joins Ronan to discuss his harrowing combat experience in Vietnam and the ensuing PTSD, his path to psychedelic therapy and healing, how to address the failed war on drugs, and more! After returning home from the Vietnam War, Bob realized he was not the same person as before, and eventually became aware of his PTSD after years of struggle. After reading Michael Pollan’s book “How To Change Your Mind,” he immediately began exploring psychedelic therapy as an option to heal his trauma. Parsons is currently working with MAPS to help conduct clinical trials of MDMA-assisted therapy for FDA approval, and with Dr. Rachel Yehuda to help with PTSD research, and to train therapists to specialize in treating veterans and active-duty members with psychedelics.


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Episode Transcription

[00:00:00] Bob: Man we've got a problem. I mean, we got a problem where you hear where 22 veterans that they commit suicide. Well, all the, look at the ripple- I mean, consider, okay, first the, the, the men of women that are actually taking their lives because they believe there's no way out and they can't live like that anymore. Um, but think of the ripple effect of everybody that that impacts. I mean, it is, it is huge. And so, you know, I, I am working to mitigate that as hard as I can. And, and by doing that, I'm telling my own story and I've been very blunt and open about it. Uh, so people understand that. And they're happy that there's at least some light at the end of the tunnel. And see, you and I both know that the psychedelic for this, that's the cure. So it's not only a light at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel ends [00:01:00] and we're out in the sunlight. So yeah.

[00:01:14] Ronan: Hello everyone and welcome to Field Tripping. Today, we chat with Bob Parsons, psychedelic philanthropist, entrepreneur, best known for founding GoDaddy and Vietnam War veteran. Our conversation touches on the personal impacts of Vietnam, how working with psychedelics can change your mind, and why the war on drugs is the biggest war we've ever lost, which we're still fighting. Before we get started, here's your reminder to subscribe to our podcast so that you never miss an episode. Towards the end of the episode, we'll dive into our “how to” segment where listeners can call in and ask a question for me to answer. If you have a question about mental health, psychedelics, or anything we've chatted about drop us a note at fieldtripping@kastmedia.com or leave a voice recording at speakpipe.com/fieldtripping. And if you love the show, leave us your thoughts in [00:02:00] a review on Apple Podcasts. It's much appreciated and helps us reach new people to help educate them on psychedelics. Just go to our show on the app, scroll down and click “five stars” then drop us a review where it says “write review.” Now let's hit up some news to trip over. 

A lot of people who might benefit from psychedelic therapy are currently taking SSRI's to treat their depression. A study out of Switzerland looked at whether there could be negative interactions between the SSRI escitalopram and psilocybin. Previous reports had suggested that SSRI's might dampen the intensity of the psychedelic experience and potentially increase negative effects. Surprisingly, the researchers found that taking escitalopram for 14 days before a psilocybin session had no effect on the overall intensity of the experience and even reduced negative effects such as anxiety and increases in blood pressure. These findings provide some early evidence that people who are [00:03:00] currently taking SSRI's might not have to stop their medication before taking psychedelic therapy with drugs like psilocybin. We know that large doses of psychedelics in the context of psychedelic assisted therapy can be especially useful for promoting psychological wellbeing. But what about small doses? A study found that people who microdose report lower levels of anxiety and depression. While many media outlets have taken these findings to mean that micro-dosing is responsible for reduction in the symptoms, there is no evidence that supports a causal relationship. What the study does reveal though, is that people are microdosing to address mental health conditions. Whether or not microdosing is actually helping is still unclear, but there is certainly growing interest in using psychedelics to enhance wellness. Randomized trials are underway to determine whether or not micro-dosing might pose risks or provide benefits. 

First off, I'd like to apologize if the sound quality for today's conversation is not up to our usual standard. There was a technical issue, all my fault, [00:04:00] which may affect sound quality. So apologies for that. Secondly, if you're listening to today's episode with psychedelic philanthropist, entrepreneur best known for founding the domain registrar GoDaddy, and military veteran Bob Parsons, odds are that you've probably at some point navigated your way to our website for the podcast fieldtripping.fm. With what I'm about to say next, this 44th episode of Field Tripping may also be our shortest because I'm afraid to say that I registered the domain for fieldtripping.fm through the domain registrar namecheap, not GoDaddy. So Bob, my first and possibly last question to you is, are you okay to continue on with the podcast, notwithstanding this terrible transgression that I've committed? 

[00:04:41] Bob: I'm absolutely fine with proceeding. I'm no longer affiliated with GoDaddy in any way and haven't been for years, so while I wish them well, I'm fine with you having your domain wherever you, wherever you have it.

[00:04:55] Ronan: Awesome, I appreciate that. All right, before we dig into this episode too much more, [00:05:00] I want to share with you, Bob, that you and I share at least one common trait, uh, which is that we both, owe Michael Pollan a debt of gratitude for our current participation in the emerging psychedelic renaissance. In fact, Michael Pollan was on the podcast last week in an episode that we titled, This Is Your Mind on Michael Pollan. But the reason I'm telling you this is because not only it was Michael, in some ways, instrumental to the evolution of Field Trip and this podcast, preparing for last week's podcast actually helped me crystallize what I want to achieve through the podcast in general, which is to help people maybe just briefly be able to see the world through a different lens. In this case, through the minds of interesting or successful or thoughtful or provocative people, all of which descriptions fit you to some degree. So my first question, I guess my second question to you is, and it's possibly the hardest question I think I've ever asked a guest, uh, is what is it like to be Bob Parsons? And before you answer that, let me share why I [00:06:00] asked such a broad question. In interviewing Michael, he and I share many common features. Both of us are beautifully bald, both raised in middle-class suburban Jewish households, both academically inclined. In other words, while his insights on the world are unique, I kind of understand what it's like being Michael Pollan. But your story is very different, very post-war classic kind of American upbringing who volunteered to be in the military. So I'd love to know what it's like to be in your head these days. 

[00:06:26] Bob: Well, in my head, I am a I'm 71 years old, turned 71 a few days ago. 

[00:06:34] Ronan: Happy belated. 

[00:06:36] Bob: Yeah, I grew up, I grew up with absolutely nothing. As a matter of fact, uh, we lived in a poor neighborhood in east Baltimore and, uh, my parents were both gamblers and not very good at it. So we had less than nothing. And, um, uh, terrible in school, failed the fifth grade, every other year was a photo finish. Uh, joined the Marine Corps when I was 17 [00:07:00] with some buddies, carried a rifle in Vietnam, came back. When I came back, I was a different guy. And uh, you know, I, I just had a lot of luck, did one thing right after another, but I can tell you, I still see myself as a, as a worker bee. Uh, I'm not- you put a tux on me, it's like putting a saddle on a hog. Uh, it just doesn't look right, no matter how it's on. And, uh, you know, I just am a regular guy. Uh, so I've just tried to do the best that I can and make a little difference. And we found this psychedelic thing and what a difference that is going to make. So, uh, you know, that's what it's like to be Bob Parsons. I mean, I get up, I go to work. At the end of the day, I'll go home, maybe pop open a beer and watch something with the Mrs. So there you go. 

[00:07:54] Ronan: That's awesome. I think it was uh George Burns, I always really appreciated his lines, which is his secret [00:08:00] to longevity was he always had a reason to get up in the morning. And if I was going to pose that to you these days, what is, what is your primary reason to get up every morning? 

[00:08:08] Bob: Well, my primary reason right now is to try to make some headway with treating my brothers and sisters in the military who have PTSD and bringing them home. Uh, when I came home from the Vietnam War I had a significant case of PTSD. Didn't know it at the time. The guy that came home was a very different guy than the guy that left. The guy that came home didn't like being around people, uh, he, he didn't, um- had a short temper, uh, was depressed, uh, buried himself at his work. And, um, I didn't know I had PTSD, I just knew I was different. And, uh, I had two failed marriages, totally due to PTSD, I gotta tell you. And, um, uh, you know, it, it, um, [00:09:00] to me, uh, when, when I discovered psychedelics, what a difference it made, you know? And, you know, I'll get into the details of that, uh, it's just, I'm sure you'd probably like to, but, uh, after the psychedelic therapy, I was a different guy. I mean, I was like I was before the war. It had been 50 years since the war when I took them, Ronan, and I finally came home. Well, what I want to do is I dedicate myself now to getting these, these, uh, uh, psychedelics, MDMA is the one in the, uh, and th th the leader for getting approved, getting that done. And, uh, it's a game changer, uh, for, uh, for all walks of life, particularly veterans. So that's, that's my purpose. 

[00:09:48] Ronan: I appreciate that. And I have a whole bunch of questions about, uh, psychedelics that I'd like to get into, but, uh, I have a couple of questions here first that if you're okay with I'd love to hop into, and the first question [00:10:00] was, what was it like to serve in Vietnam? I've actually never spoken to a military veteran who served in Vietnam. And my only impression is what I've seen in movies, which portrayed at something akin to unimaginable hell. Um, was that, was that it? 

[00:10:18] Bob: You know, it, it was grizzly. So that's, that's how I'll describe it. You know when I first got to my unit, I was with the Marine Corps. I was a rifleman. Uh, I was one of the guys that get up close and personal with, with, uh, with our enemy and. Uh, my unit was on top of this hill, hill 190. And when I sat down and talked to them, uh, there wasn't as many as I would've expected to, uh, have been there. Uh, and the reason was they were ambushed a couple days before then. And they had, uh, four guys were killed. One guy was seriously wounded. So they [00:11:00] were down five guys. And I was one of the replacements. Now, the guy who had been there- oh, and this, the guys that were all killed were all the senior guys, the guy who had been there the longest and the man in charge now, uh, have been there six weeks and just turned 19. Uh, and, uh, man, I, I tell you that, uh, uh- well, it was a shock for me. And what I did was before we went on that night's ambush, um, I, I went and sat on, uh, on one of the walls at the top of the hill and looked out over the valley. And I remember thinking, how in the world am I going to survive this? Uh, you know, it's like, nobody's been here very long. Nobody knows much more than, than I do. And, uh, yet, uh, I got the Marine Corps tour was 13 months. The other branches, the tour was 12 months. Uh, so I'm going to, how am I [00:12:00] going to be alive 13 months from now? And, uh, the, the thing that pulled me out of it was the thought that, uh, Ronan, that I wouldn't survive it. This is where this is where I'll meet my fate, I'll meet Jesus, and the moment I accepted that I was okay. It was like a weight lifted off of me, you know, and I was still a little somber, uh, because, you know, confronting your, your own mortality is a pretty significant thing. Uh, so, um, we went on our first night ambush that night. And, um, one of, uh, one of my brothers had a, uh, north Vietnamese hand grenade thrown at him. It didn't go off. He went to pick it up and it went off right here. And I mean, it, you could just imagine, uh, and, and a number of other things happened that night. When that happened, I wasn't with the unit four hours, then I, um, uh, next night, our point man, [00:13:00] decided to walk on a rice patty dykes instead in the rice paddies. Well, he hit a trap within five minutes, shredded his legs. I carried him a mile and a half to a, to an, a medivac point, or help carry him. And that's the way it went. Uh, and then other nights were just bored stiff. Uh, and the only combat we seen was fighting to stay awake. Uh, and, and that's the way it went. And then, uh, after one month, I had a, we were walking through a village at night and I was doing the point team and I hit a trip wire, and that was the one uh, it was a north Vietnamese hand grenade at the end of it. That thing blew my pants off, blew part of my sleeve off, shrapnel in legs, arms. And then I was medivaced out and went to Japan and that was, uh, never seen combat again. 

[00:13:55] Ronan: Uh, I mean, it's terribly unfortunate and fortunate at the same time, I suppose. Two [00:14:00] questions. First is, it easier to talk about Vietnam now having gone through your psychedelic experiences, and I do want to go very deep into your psychedelic experiences and what it was like, but is it easier now or have you always been able to talk about it? 

[00:14:15] Bob: You know, I could talk about it to a certain degree, but usually I would get this overwhelming feeling of sadness and I'd start crying. I mean, and I just, no matter how I tried to push it back, I had no control. So, um, um, If you had interviewed me back then, I'd be a very sad guest. 

[00:14:43] Ronan: Right. 

[00:14:43] Bob: So there you go. 

[00:14:44] Ronan: I appreciate the honesty. And on this podcast, you know, if, if, if sadness comes up that's okay. You know, that that's part of this process. In one of the conversations I've had with, uh, Dr. Mike Dow, who's one of our therapists in LA, what I realized is that [00:15:00] the thing about therapy, I think the greatest value that comes from just general psychotherapy and maybe psychedelic assisted therapy, is just being received without judgment. Whatever happens, you're okay. Someone's going to respect you. And I think that's really powerful. So whatever comes up on this conversation, it's totally, totally welcome. And I appreciate your honesty. The second question I have is, and you touched on this, you've talked about it in your many interviews about accepting and maybe even embracing the fact that you were going to die in Vietnam, and that gave you an incredible amount of freedom. It touches on something that came up in uh, a podcast we did with, uh, Brian Muraresku, uh, who's an authorof The Immortality Key which, if you haven't read it, I have to certainly suggest it because it's a super fascinating book, but one of the things he touches on it is this notion of the ancient Greek stoics, who embraced, embraced the idea that if you die before you die, then you don't die when you die. Uh, which is basically, um, you know, accepting [00:16:00] your death, accepting your fate. And if you can let go of everything in this real world, and you're truly free to live. Um, it took the ancient Greeks, a shitload of an LSD derivative to embrace that, but you seemingly pulled that together, I think you said in one of your interviews in about 30 minutes. I know it's easy to say intellectually, it's like, okay, I'm going to die here and I accept that. But like what, what did it really feel like? How did you like actually let that in and be okay with it? Cause I can think about being like, sitting there and being there and being like, I'm going to tell myself that, but to let it in, to really let it sink in and be okay with it seems like an incredibly different experience. And so how did you know and, and what did you do to kind of let that be? 

[00:16:47] Bob: Well, well, here's, here's, here's what happened is, um, you know, what I was, what I was thinking about was, um, how I was going to survive this. And, um, [00:17:00] it wasn't like something that is coming, you know, a year from now or, or, or much further into the future, or a couple of months. This was something that was coming within an hour or two, a couple hours. And, um, so I mean, it was, I was right up against it, and I had this, uh, this, this feeling of, of just dark is the only thing I can say. It was just a really dark, cold, cold feeling. And, um, uh, you know, I, as, as I kept thinking about, uh, my chances of surviving, uh, I couldn't see any way that that would, that would happen. Uh, so as, as I was done, I mean, I remember, uh, I just kept sitting there and just, just looking out without any thoughts. And then the thought came to me that, uh, you know, I'm going to die [00:18:00] here and it, it was, it wasn't a thought that I'd say, oh, I'm going to think that it was a thought that just, I arrived at. And, uh, and when I arrived at it, you know, I thought, yeah, okay. That's, that's, what's going to happen. And I made myself two promises then, Ronan. The first promise I made was, I would do until that happened, everything I could to do my job as, as a combat Marine and make my parents and the people back home proud and to do my job for the other guys in my squad. And that done, then the one thing I had to look forward to was I wanted to be alive for mail call the next day. And every day when I would get to mail call, sometimes I get mail. Sometimes it wouldn't, which didn't matter because my buddies would always get me. I'd read their [00:19:00] letters. And they've read mine when I got them. Um, and, uh, uh, and, and, you know, it just, it just got me through it. And so in the next day, I'd work for mail call the next day. But to me, in my mind, I could see where it was possible to be alive during mail call and, uh, you know, to when I arrived at mail call and then I'd work on it for the next day. It's mentally, you can get a grasp on that much more than you can 13 months out. Uh, so that's what I did. And I have used that, that same experience to get me through, I'm going to tell you, brother, some hairy business situations. Uh, and it works. 

Just, uh, 

[00:19:46] Ronan: just make it to the next day, just having that reason to get up, have a reason to get up. Absolutely. You mentioned, um, you know, uh, you come to Jesus moments or you'd meet Jesus or something [00:20:00] along those lines. When you were speaking a couple of minutes ago, did you have some sort of like spiritual practice or, or religion or anything that kind of gave you pause, or was it just kind of like, I don't know, call it your soul, call it your higher self, call it, I don't know your intuition speaking to you and it said I'm going to die here and I'm just going to accept that. Where did it come from, do you think? 

[00:20:21] Bob: Well, I was, I was raised Catholic, uh, but I never went to church. Uh, so that's my spiritual, spiritual training that I arrived there with. Wasn't much. 

[00:20:35] Ronan: Fair enough. You said when you came back from Vietnam, one of the hardest pieces was the reception you got from anti-war protesters that, uh, who saw you as part of the problem. And thinking about what that must have felt like last night, as I was preparing to speak with you today, it actually sends shivers down my spine, but the rage and the fury you must have felt to come home to such a reception. I can't even imagine. Do you still hold [00:21:00] onto that? Have you managed to let go of that? You know, have you managed to forgive the people who, you know, looked at you that way? Cause you literally sent your life, put your life and were prepared to give up your life, uh, in, in pursuit of the service, whether people agreed with it or not. And it was still your life that was on the line. Um, and you know, I, I, I'm just curious to know how that, how that still sits with you. 

[00:21:22] Bob: Well, I didn't quite know to expect that when I came home. Uh, but, uh, you know, when we came home and so many of us ran into protestors and, you know, all sorts of things, you know, accusing us of being, uh, some of the names were murderers, Nazis, drug addicts, uh, baby killers, of course, and, and, and on and on. And that was- it, it evolved to be for me, devastating. Because the one thing that [00:22:00] balanced that out a little bit, when I got home was, I was home baby, you know? I actually made it home, right? So, so that, that balanced it out a little bit. And. Uh, but you know, as time went on, uh, you know, trauma affects everybody differently, but one of the things that, that, um, uh, will help trigger PTSD is the outcome of the trauma. And the outcome for all that to come home, and I mean, we really thought we did something because, uh, the guys that we fought, I mean, people thought we were bad, they were horrific. Uh, so, so we actually looked at that, uh, that we were doing a good thing. And, and, and for the most part we were, because we were there, we knew what was happening, right? But, um, it, um, I don't know. I don't know. It just, it, it, it is something [00:23:00] that over the years, is just horrific. If, if, uh, I try not to think about it, if I think about it too much. Um, I mean, it, it really brings me down. And I know of nobody that I serve with that will not tell you the same exact thing. Uh, so now, uh, do I, uh, do I forgive the people that did that? Uh, the way I can explain that is, while I wish that didn't happen, uh, over time they were doing what they thought they should do. And one of the things about the United States that I carried a rifle for is we get to express herself the way we feel as, as is appropriate. Uh, so actually I've fought for the right to do that. And, um, so I I'm, I, I haven't forgiven them, but I don't hold anything against them. So I guess I don't need to forgive them. [00:24:00] So if that makes any sense at all. 

[00:24:02] Ronan: Yeah, yeah, no, absolutely. And I want to apologize that I'm focused on your experience in Vietnam because it's something that don't understand and I really want to understand the perspective of what it actually felt like, not what I see in movies. And if it's a topic that you don't want to continue on with, uh, I'm happy. I only had one more question on it, but I'm happy to move on to the next segment of the conversation, but I want to put that back to you as, as respecting, you know, your experience and your feelings around it.

[00:24:30] Bob: Well, Ronan, I'll tell ya. I'm fine with you asking me anything you want to. 

[00:24:34] Ronan: Okay. 

[00:24:34] Bob: So, um, uh that's- 

[00:24:36] Ronan: So there's only one last question on this subject, which is, what are your views now on the Vietnam war 50 years later? Do you feel like it was something that was worthwhile? Not, not to say that your service wasn't in pursuit of a higher goal, which I genuinely believe it was for the people on the ground, but from a political perspective, you know, do you have any feelings about it?

[00:24:56] Bob: Well, you know, here's, here's, here's what, uh, what I'll say [00:25:00] about the Vietnam War. Could it have been avoided? Yes. Um, would there have been a lot less pain in the world if it has been, if it was? Yes. Um, uh, did we accomplish anything there? Yes. Uh, the people that, uh, that, that we were fighting, uh, they were ruthless. I mean, the people that were fighting in them, you know, were, were fighting in the middle east. They had nothing on them. Uh, I mean, these guys would, you know, during the Battle of Hue city, they, they, they took over Hue city, right after Tet, uh, which was our biggest factory, by the way. And, um, uh, so they took everybody, you know, thousands of people that were had any position of responsibility. And when I say a position responsibility, I mean, could be a low level supervisor at a post office, that type of people. And then anybody was [00:26:00] more responsible positions, you know, they, they said, you know, we realize you've been, you know, living in this situation, so we're going to re-educate you. And they marched him out to a re-education camp. And what actually happened is, uh, they had them dig these long trenches. Uh, the lucky ones had their head caved in with a rifle butt, and, uh, they were all buried alive. Uh, and that was something that happened again, and again and again. Um, I mean, there there'd be times to say be, uh, having, having, um, uh, issues with, uh, maybe a particular village talking to talking to us and then what they do, they would send these assassination squads in. Sometimes they just shoot people. Other times they'd have a big meeting, have a, uh, I was aware of several times where they called the head man to the front to talk to the villagers and [00:27:00] skinned him alive right in front of it. I mean, stuff like that. So, uh, it was horrific, but the problem is that story never gets told. You know, the only stories that get told is, we were the bad guys and so forth. And I will tell you this, did that happen from time to time? Yes. But very rarely. 

[00:27:21] Ronan: Well, thank you for sharing those details and, and thinking about it for all the good and all the bad that may have come out of the Vietnam War, I think one of the things that, uh, the good things that came out of it was that, um, you know, it was, part of the catalyst or part of the impetus to have our first dalliance with psychedelics in the west. And, you know, that laid the foundation despite a very long interlude for what we're going through now. And so I think that's very positive. So let's switch to a, a much more fun and interesting conversation around psychedelics. And one of my [00:28:00] favorite stories that you shared, at least publicly, your first experience with psychedelics involved you, after reading How To Change Your Mind, traveling to Hawaii, where you took a double dose of ayahuasca than a quadruple dose, and the next day you tried mushrooms, and whereas most people would have one cup, you had three, and then it says you ate the teabags as well. What was going through your head at that moment? But like, if I was just getting to know you very, very briefly now, but if there's one thing that I was like, yeah, that's Bob Parsons, it's like that level of commitment to something, it would sum up my perspective of what it is to be you, which is amazing. But what was going through your head at that particular moment or throughout that the duration of that experience? 

[00:28:44] Bob: You know, one of the, one of the things, um, uh you know- I see a psychiatrist every couple of weeks. She came to my foundation and wanted to wanted a grant to treat veterans with ketamine. [00:29:00] And, um, at the time I didn't even know what ketamine was. And so she, um, you know, she told us and I said, well, first I have a veteran I'd like you to treat and we'll see how it goes. Who's that? I said, it's me. So anyhow, I was spending time with her and it has been, her name is Dr. Jane Caplin here in Phoenix, and she's wonderful what she does, and made a, made a good deal of difference in my life. Uh, but, um, uh, what she tells me, I had events during the war, during the time I was there, I mean I was only there a month in combat, uh, where things happened and I know they happened from talking to my brothers, uh, or stuff that happened before then, and I just don't remember. I mean, it was like, I was, I was drinking a lot of hard liquor and blacked out. You know, when that happens, you don't remember much. Well, it was the same thing for here. And what, what [00:30:00] she told me was she said one of the ways you've been able to get, get through all that is, uh, you, you have developed the ability to disassociate and just compartmentalize it, so it's gone. And, uh, so, uh, that's, uh, that's, that's one of the things that happened to me. But she says a side effect of that is when you take like psychedelics, uh, it's like when I, when I was in Hawaii, she said it doesn't have the same impact on you that it does when somebody who doesn't have that ability, it takes a lot more. So I didn't know this until after I took the psychedelics while the ayahuasca, you know, I, you know, I could tell that I took something, but I didn't hallucinate at all. I just felt like I had a pretty, you know, righteous buzz. And, uh, with the, um, uh, [00:31:00] with the mushrooms, uh, like, like you said, a guy was with made a pot and he said, now you should only need one cup, cause I made this pretty strong. I took one cup, nothing. Drank the second, nothing. Third cup, little bit. And then I ate the tea bags and I felt, felt more. Uh, and he told me, he said, I've never seen anybody do anything like this. He goes, you're like a bear. And uh, but anyhow, uh, even though I did that, they still worked. 

[00:31:31] Ronan: What was the experience for you? If you didn't have the hallucinogenic kind of response, what did you feel in that moment? 

[00:31:38] Bob: Well, you know, I, I felt the same thing that most people do when they take something like that, uh, for the first time. Now the important thing is I took them in a therapeutic setting, right? And it was the people that were doing that, it was a controlled dose. 

[00:31:58] Ronan: Right. 

[00:31:58] Bob: Okay, now, now [00:32:00] they, they thought they were giving me a lot, but for me, no, they weren't. Um, and, uh, uh, so, you know, it's just, I was- going into it, I was worried that I, I I'd be seeing snakes coming out of people's ears and stuff like that. I mean, you just don't know. Um, and of course, uh, nothing like that happened. On the psychedelics, I have never hallucinated. Uh, and, um, I have on ketamine. Uh, when, uh, have you, have you taken that where you've been at a doctor and, uh, you know, uh, intermuscular? 

[00:32:39] Ronan: That's what we offer a Field Trip, yeah. 

[00:32:41] Bob: Well, I'll tell you what I thought I was- I thought I was on the moon. I didn't know if I was going to see anybody again or not. And, uh, uh, you know, a couple of times, you know, I talked to God and, uh, the one time I thought I [00:33:00] might actually talk to him because he, um, uh, he said to me, he goes, you know, um, you know, I, I I've, I've battled my weight, Ronan. So he said to me, he goes, There are things about yourself that trouble you a lot. Um, you shouldn't worry about it. Just know you are the way I made you and I made you that way for a reason, which was a very profound message for me to receive because, uh, it's just, um, I mean, it, I just felt great. And the second time I think it was just me, um, hallucinating, cause he told me his name was really Ron and I thought, well, that can't be the case.

[00:33:45] Ronan: That's amazing. Um, uh, that's a beautiful experience, though, that experience with God about just self-acceptance. I mean, I think that's what all of us in the end just strive to achieve. It's just being accepting and like who we are is who we are. Doesn't mean we can't work to be better, but only doing that [00:34:00] out of a sense of desire as opposed to running from the demons that haunt us, I think is the healthy way to do it. So that must have been an incredibly beautiful experience for you. Have you had, have you had many psychedelic experiences since, have you experienced MDMA or anything along those lines?

[00:34:15] Bob: Um, you know, one time, one time and, um, uh, I had some, and I took it with my wife and, you know, I understand it used to be used for, um, marriage counseling. And now I know why. I'll tell you what if, um, uh, this is, this is my third and final wife, unless I could cut from the team again. Um, but, but I, I, I try to earn my wings every day, Ronan. So, uh, you know, hopefully that won't happen, but I tell you if, um, uh, you are in a, in a long-term relationship or maybe I guess even a short term, and [00:35:00] you want to remember why you loved each other once. Well that'll do it.

[00:35:04] Ronan: Yes. 

[00:35:05] Bob: Beautiful. It's just beautiful. And, and I, and you know that as you know, MDMA is what, uh, uh, we're all working to get, uh, approved by the FDA because it will be a game changer. 

[00:35:21] Ronan: A hundred percent, a hundred percent. One of the conversations I find- I get tied up into quite a bit is, um, you know, the medicalization of psychedelics versus the more, I guess, humanistic applications, which is, yeah, of course MDMA is a potent treatment option for people suffering with chronic and severe PTSD, military veterans, people who've been in Vietnam. People have experienced traumas that nobody should, you know, in any lifetime have to experience, but they do. But it's also amazing for people who don't necessarily suffer those level of trauma, you know? And, and could benefit even if their lives have looked pretty ordinary, uh, by [00:36:00] comparison. What's your kind of viewpoint on that? Like, do you feel like this should be something that's more broadly available, kind of akin to what we see happening in Oregon? Or are you much more supportive of the pure medicalization approach? 

[00:36:12] Bob: Well, you know, I, uh, it's hard for me to say because you know, on, on one end for it to, to really do the job of making somebody's life better, I think it, it, it helps to do it in a therapeutic setting. Uh, and, and, uh, you know, the, the, the thing I like to say is, um, uh, you know, the therapy does say healing, the psychedelic opens your mind to be receptive and to volunteer actually what happened. And, um, uh, and talking with Michael Pollan, Michael Pollan said, you know, when you go and you're doing a therapeutic setting with psychedelics, and you're going to the deepest [00:37:00] stuff that bother you, uh, he says, you know, that's not a pleasant experience. Um, it can, uh, you know, might be something that, you know, you might not really, really run towards doing again, uh, anytime soon. So, uh, from that standpoint, I don't know that the individuals doing that are, are going to want to do it for lack of a better term recreationally. I think if, if it's done and you're with people who understand it and people you're going to sit and talk and they're going to be there with you, you know, I, I, I think it would always be positive. Uh, short of that, I don't know.

[00:37:41] Ronan: Yeah, no, I agree. I I'm, uh, in, in nothing that I communicate do, I think that this is something that should necessarily be freely recreational, where people can drop MDMA and go to a party. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I'm not necessarily sure from a policy perspective that's the battle we should be fighting. But you know, [00:38:00] whether people need to have a DSM five diagnosis or just suffer through the ordinary stresses of everyday life, which is, which is the requirement to experience this kind of thing, I am certainly of the view that more people should have access to it because we've all got trauma. Doesn't matter if it's big T trauma, little T trauma, we all gotta work through it and we can all make our lives better, but by confronting it and psychedelic assisted therapies are amazing way to do so. 

[00:38:25] Bob: Yeah. Yeah. 100%. And, um, you know, I, I have, um, changed totally with respect to, uh, to all substances that are scheduled 1, 2, 3, that the government makes illegally. And, and there, the reason for that is, um, you know, the biggest war we have ever lost we're still fighting. And that's the war on drugs. Uh, more casualties than any war this [00:39:00] country's ever been in. We've accomplished very little, put a lot of people in jail that shouldn't be, have taken a huge step back in many ways. And now, um, one of the, you know, you might know this, but the, the only country, that first world country that doesn't have a drug problem is Portugal. And in Portugal, all drugs are legal and they spend all their money on, on education, what this actually does and rehabilitation. And you would think this population to be devastated. No. I mean, do they still have, uh, like, uh, deaths from heroin? Yes. One third of what the US does. And I mean, it's legal over there and it's just because the people know what they're getting into and, uh, and, and in many ways, taking it is not cool because they understand why [00:40:00] it's not cool. Uh, so, um, there ya go. 

[00:40:04] Ronan: Yeah, there was a meme after Joe Biden's election that went around and said, congratulations to the drugs for winning the war on drugs. Uh, and I thought that was totally on point. And, um, it's, it's interesting because a lot of people ask me, am I worried about psychedelic experiencing what we experienced in the late sixties and early seventies with, uh, the political backlash against it. And generally speaking the answer to me is no, you know, we fought a war on drugs. We spent 50 years and more money and more lives on any other than any, just about any other war. Um, and it hasn't succeeded and drugs are still ubiquitous. I don't know a single person who can't get their hands on any kind of drug that they want to at any given time. And so I think there just needs to be a collective acknowledgement that the more on drugs has failed and it won't succeed, even if people try to put it back in the box. It's just, it's, it's a losing argument, particularly in the era of the internet where, you know, there's resources for just about [00:41:00] anything anybody wants these days. And so, you know, I think the conversation needs to shift, and actually on that note, uh, you know, a number of years ago you were pretty open about supporting Donald Trump politically. Uh, two years, post-Trump uh, do you still think the future is going to be kind to him and before you answer that, I just wanna make sure you understand my perspective, which I think is actually a bit more nuanced than many. While I personally wouldn't have voted for him, in many ways I think his enduring legacy will have been to start to deconstruct some of the institutions that needed deconstruction. So in some ways I think you're right, you know, history might be kind to him because it started a process that needed to happen- needed to happen. And even Elon Musk was quoted the other day as saying, quote, there's not really an effective, garbage collection system for removing rules and regulations. So this hardens the arteries of civilizations where you're able to do less and less over time, which is kind of the point I was trying to make. But again, back to you, have your views on him changed at all? Do you think, you know, he achieved what he set out [00:42:00] to do? Do you feel good about that experience? 

[00:42:02] Bob: Well, let me, let me tell you. Back when I, I supported him, it was, uh, when he was running for election the first time. Um, I was Republican then, uh, uh, I voted for him then. Um, and, um, I am now an independent. A registered independent. And, um, uh, will also say that, uh, to be an open book, I voted for him again only because, um, uh, you know, it's just, it just was not a great choice, uh, in my opinion. Uh, so, um, uh, do I see us coming back his way? I hope not. So, so, so, so there you go. What we need to do, the United States as a country, we need, we need leadership that will bring us all together and it's not, you know, I'm the president [00:43:00] of, of this particular group, whoever it is, he or she has to be president of the whole country and represent, represent us all and bring us together. Uh, so, uh, what, what we're going through now in the United States and, and, you know, up to now, uh, it reminds me of the sixties so much and how violent everything was. You know, the 101st Airborne was actually called into Philadelphia- 101st Airborne is an army combat unit to deal with snipers during the sixties. Most people don't even remember that. So, I mean, that's how that was. I mean, it was, it was rough and tumble, uh, but, uh, you know, we got past that. We came out a stronger country. Uh, I believe when, uh, all the stuff we're going through, where we're, re-inventing our country, you know, [00:44:00] and, uh, you know, and our country, you know, you have a certain part of the population, you know, uh, Americans of color where, you know, they're just not treated the same or haven't been, and they need to be, all right? And, and, and it is about time that's starting to happen while we're moving to make that happen. And I mean, are we going to eliminate it entirely? I hope so. Probably not, but what happen is over time. It'll just ease up so much where everybody gets their piece of the pie and, um, I hope I live to see it. Uh, we'll see.

[00:44:38] Ronan: That's awesome. I appreciate that. Um, you just clarified your current political position, but I know that the psychedelic community is pretty sensitive. Have you encountered any kind of backlash from your supports in the psychedelic, uh, psychedelic science from the community at all? We were like, uh, Bob Parsons, that guy's a Trump supporter. We don't like him or has [00:45:00] it been just uniformly welcomed and receptive. 

[00:45:03] Bob: You know, not at all. I haven't received it at all. And I, I think part of it is because everybody knows that people- men and women that have served in the military, certainly our military, um, and, and have been in combat at all, man we've got a problem. I mean, we got a problem where you hear where 22 veterans a day commit suicide. Well, all the look at the ripple- I mean, if consider, okay, first the men and women that are actually taking their lives because they believe there's no way out and they can't live like that anymore. Um, but think of the ripple effect of everybody that, that impacts, I mean, it is, it is huge. And so, you know, I am working to, to mitigate that as hard as I can. And, [00:46:00] and by doing that, I'm telling my own story and I've been very blunt and open about it. Uh, so people understand that and they're happy that there's at least some light at the end of the tunnel. And see, you and I both know that the psychedelic for this, that's the cure. So it's not only a light at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel ends and we're out in the sunlight. So, yeah. 

[00:46:29] Ronan: Yeah. I was talking to a Sanjay Singhal, um, one of our investors and advisors and is a member of the, uh, Psychedelic Science Funders Collaborative with Joe Green. I don't know if you're a member of that or not a suspect you might be. But, uh, one of the things he was talking about is how his wife noticed differences in him following his, uh, experience with 5-MeO-DMT. What do you think your wife would say about how you've changed since these psychedelic experiences? 

[00:46:56] Bob: She would, she was saying it was a [00:47:00] transformation. The people that I work for, uh, the work with work with me, uh they'll they'll all, they will all tell you that, um, uh, you know, [they] said my God, what happened to him? He's so nice. He listens he's, he's not as intense as he was. And intense is a word that keeps coming up, uh, dealing with people with PTSD, um, because you're always on edge. Um, and, but the most interesting one was my son. Um, my, my son, uh, you know, after I started, you know, I was talking to him, you know, after that, and I didn't tell him what I did. And so he tells his wife, he said, I'm really worried about dad. And she goes, why? And he goes, he's so nice now. He's just so nice. He's a different person. And he goes, Stephanie, I'm afraid he found out he's going to die soon, and hasn't told me. And that's how profound it [00:48:00] was for me. 

[00:48:01] Ronan: Wow, what an amazing kind of, uh, finish of the, the, the cycle, right? From embracing your death in Vietnam to your son now being like, my dad is so nice. He must be dying. What a, what a nice elegant close to that loop. Uh, it's an amazing story. Um, There are people who are concerned about capitalism and psychedelics. Uh, what are your thoughts on that, you know, the for-profit versus non-for-profit perspectives? 

[00:48:28] Bob: Well, you know, the for-profit thing makes the world go around for, for most of the world and, um, uh, that's that's capitalism and it certainly works. Uh, so, so, you know, I, I kinda expect that to happen and expect that to happen. And, and maybe there's some downsides with it, but I also think there's some big upsides because, um, uh, the people that are involved in the economics of it are going to work hard to [00:49:00] make it mainstream and to keep it mainstream or to see that it gets use, it gets the credit that it deserves. So I think, uh, from, from my position and maybe from your position, I, I think that outweighs the downside. 

[00:49:17] Ronan: Right. That's entirely fair. 

[00:49:18] Bob: Now, do I plan to be involved in that? No. And, and, and the reason that I, that I don't is I can do more to help the cause if I don't have a financial interest, because then, um, first of all, I can say things that may be, they can't, that the FDA hasn't signed off on, or, um, I, I, I can also, um, uh, because I speak without a financial interest, uh, people will give me more of the benefit of the doubt, um, and when, when it needs to be there. So, so I, so that's why I'm not involved in it.

[00:49:56] Ronan: Beyond MAPS, what other causes are [00:50:00] organizations within the psychedelic sphere are you supporting and, and what, what causes and organizations that you're supporting outside of that, where else is your philanthropic focus? 

[00:50:08] Bob: Okay, well, uh, for, for MDMA, um, we are supporting a number of organizations. We're supporting MAPS to help them fund their, uh, uh, their current field trials. Uh, we are, um, uh, supporting, um, uh, the Mount Sinai Center for Psychedelics, uh, because what they're doing, they're doing psychedelic research again, uh, with an eye towards providing that information to the FDA and, and they're treating veterans alongside of, of, uh, other trauma victims and, and, uh, the lady there is her name is, uh, she's the head of psychiatry, Dr. Rachel Yehuda. She's a wonder wonderful woman. If you talk to her about this, she has you at [00:51:00] hello. Uh, she is, uh, she's just incredible. And, uh, we've also, um, uh, have, have supported the, uh, Bronx Veterans Administration, and so they have the additional funding to do their trials, uh, and, um, uh, Loma Linda University's doing some field trials. We're helping them. Uh, we're helping, um, um, well, you know, another organization that is, uh, so, so where it makes sense we're involved. 

[00:51:35] Ronan: That's awesome. What about outside of psychedelics? What, uh, what are your philanthropic pursuits? 

[00:51:40] Bob: Okay. Uh, what we do, we are moving right now, we're moving a million to charity every 12 days. Um, And, um, it, to me, I look at it as the most important thing, most important thing that I do. And the [00:52:00] organizations we support other than, oh and we also fund, um, um, Semper Fi Fund and America's Fund who are 70% of the veterans say help, uh, have PTSD. So they're working with them outside of psychedelics, but using like SGB blocks and, uh, cereset, stuff like that. Um, and make it a difference, making a difference. It's not the cure, but it, it mitigates it, uh, the, the other, the other organizations that we help are organizations that support children. And also, uh, uh, people that are our victims, domestic violence, that sort of thing. And, um, uh, people that come across undocumented, uh, you can call them, you know, illegals, immigrants, whatever. [00:53:00] But, uh, one of the organizations we do is, um, uh, when, when they, when, when they come here across, across the border, first they risked their life to do it. Second is when they get here, they usually have nothing. There is a whole economy that preys on them. You know, if you and I paid $2 for a gallon of milk, they pay six. Uh, I mean, they make no money, no money. I mean, less than minimum wage. I mean, it it's a situation we got to get fixed one day. And, um, but, um, uh, what they do is when they get a job, here's the question. What happens to the kids? Who takes care of the kids? And, um, the answer to that is we do. We have an organization called crisis center nurseries where they can drop their kids off. It's no charge. Uh, the, you know, the kids get taught English and Spanish, [00:54:00] relevant history, uh, games and fun and, uh, get a couple square meals a day. So when they pick their kid up, they're better off than when they dropped them off. And the parent isn't just worried what what's, what's going to happen. So, so to me, that's a wonderful organization that we support. Um, and can they raise money on their own? No. There's another organization we support called One n Ten and One n Ten is an organization where, um, when a parent finds out that their child, you know, daughter or son is gay, quite often, all too often, they turn their backs on them. The kids thrown out of the house. Um, heartbreaking, just heartbreaking because the kids get, uh, the street, you know, you know, predators and drugs and [00:55:00] prostitution, suicide. I mean, it's just terrible situation. well, One n Ten finds these kids. And, uh, they, they, they have, um, uh, their own, uh, quarters where the kids can stay and grow up and realize they're part of the American dream too. You know what? Feel better about yourself. And again, you're the way God made you, right? So, um, that's a, that's an organization that's so wonderful. We got involved with them a number of years ago, they came to us for a grant. We gave them a half a million dollars. We were the only organization that would support them. And we made it our policy in the valley here The Valley of the Sun in Phoenix, Scottsdale that for us to help you, nobody gets turned away. Now I'm proud to say that us and other organizations that thought that [00:56:00] way. Now, one n Ten has no trouble raising money. Um, uh, everybody- doesn't turn anybody away. And so we're, we're a better place in that respect. 

[00:56:14] Ronan: That's awesome. Thank you for all of that beautiful work. That sounds really amazing and incredibly impactful. Speaking of business pursuits, though, it seems that, um, golf seems to be one of your passions and your, and your new business. And my favorite author Tom Robbins, once described golf as basketball for people who can't jump and chess for people who can't think. He also said that if golf was truly a zen activity, golfers wouldn't keep score. Um, where, where, where did your passion for golf come from? And is it a zen activity for you? Cause I can tell you it is not that for me. 

[00:56:50] Bob: Well, I grew up Baltimore. And my father, my father was a scratch golfer and he used to, he used to [00:57:00] play golf at this course, inner city course called Clifton Park. And Clifton Park, I have all good memories of it, I'd be there- he'd usually be hitting balls and he'd have to watch me and my little brother we'd be chasing rabbits. Uh, so, so I didn't play much golf then. And, uh, Clifton Park, uh, one of the hazards is getting mugged. 

[00:57:22] Ronan: And that turned you onto a lifelong fan of golf? 

[00:57:26] Bob: Well, what happened was says as, uh, when, when I had my first business going and, um, I used to work just hellacious hours. I would work 60 hours at a clip, and I would come in, let's say eight o'clock Monday morning works through eight o'clock, Tuesday morning, eight o'clock Wednesday morning. And by eight o'clock that night I'd be at 60 hours. And what happened is 60 hours is without psychedelics. I started to hallucinate. I mean, I hear people there that weren't there talking to me. I'd see [00:58:00] things moving, stuff like that. So I'd go home and clean up and crash for about eight hours, shower. Come back, do it again. And, um, so when we finally turned the corner and the business was successful, me and some of the guys we work with took up golf together and I was in my thirties and, uh, we started playing Wednesday afternoon taking off Wednesday afternoon, and then Wednesday afternoon, Thursday morning, then that and weekends, and that's just got to be, uh, uh, I don't know an obsession, and, and it never ended with me. I absolutely love it. It's one of the, the highlights of my week, stepping on the golf course. 

[00:58:40] Ronan: That's awesome. What is your, what is your handicap these days? 

[00:58:44] Bob: My handicap is 12. And, and am I, am I an excellent golfer? No, I'm middle of the road. Uh, happy to be middle of the road and, um, uh, that's the way that game works, so. 

[00:58:57] Ronan: Awesome. I have one final [00:59:00] question for you, Bob, which is what makes you excited for the future? Uh, certainly psychedelics are going to be a part of that. 

[00:59:08] Bob: First of all the promise of psychedelics making this a better place will also make what, what I think what almost nobody realizes is is that when these things come in and if they, if we're smart enough to have them come in full throttle one day, it's going to change everything. I mean, you know, and, and, you know, people that, that have, um, just had a horrific childhoods or they got, you know, people don't want to be around them because they're mean, you know, uh, a friend of mine, um, um, Andrea Bocelli, he's an opera singer. He was telling me, we were talking about the death penalty one day and he said, you know, Bob, you can raise a little puppy to be a very, very loving dog or you can raise it to be [01:00:00] completely mean. And, uh, if it comes up and it's mean and a biter people, you know, want to put it down, I says, you can't really blame the dog for that, right? And, and I mean, and that's the way life is throughout the whole world. You know, nobody gets a parent that has been really educated on the whole process. So, um, uh, you know, we just have to stumble through that, but what psychedelics do is it makes people better. Um, you know, like, look at all this trouble we're having with the police today, uh, where, where people are upset with them because you know, you know, they have these events and that event and that event, and they're talking about, well, Hey, let's take the police and defund them. Well, you know, that don't accomplish much, but the answer is make them better, make them better, make the people that got these these problems, you know, take psychedelic therapy and all of a sudden [01:01:00] they'll take the time and understand they're less violent. They're less afraid, right? Well, what a difference that makes. Take people in prison, right? Uh, you could have people coming out of prison better than they went in. Well what a game changer that is, because if it actually does that, then it's shorter times in jail. Right? 

[01:01:23] Ronan: Yeah. 

[01:01:24] Bob: Look, look at what that does. Right? And, and it's just, you know what, everybody wants to do the best that they can, the psychedelics are the map for how that happens. And beyond that, and maybe with that, I think in spite of all this trouble that our country's going through now, our best days are ahead. We're going to be so good. The country reinvents itself, um, every 50 years last time was during the Vietnam war or so. And you know, I, I, I gotta tell ya, um, when we [01:02:00] get to where we're going, it's going to be a good place to be.

[01:02:03] Ronan: Uh, that's a beautiful note to end on. Um, and I love your unabashed, enthusiastic optimism, particularly as it pertains to psychedelics. So I wanted to express my sincere gratitude for making time today to join us for all the work you're doing across so many platforms. It sounds like you're doing incredibly great work. And just for being who you are, uh, thank you for your sharing your story. I think it's important that everybody hears this and sees the world through different perspectives and develops better understanding. And, uh, there's one thing that psychedelics do, and I think it's that. So, so thank you, Bob.

[01:02:38] Bob: It's been a real pleasure to be here, Ronan. Uh, I enjoyed talking with your brother. 

[01:02:43] Ronan: Thank you. You too. I look forward to continuing the conversation, hopefully one day, maybe we can get together in person and, uh, I can show you my lack of skills on the golf course, or, or maybe we can grab a drink or something. 

[01:02:54] Bob: Well, I'll tell you what, we just released some new golf clubs that are made for complete beginners, and they [01:03:00] take a game that is horrifically difficult and it makes it a lot easier.

[01:03:05] Ronan: Wonderful.

It's been said that if there's one thing to be said about money it's that it can make you rich. And it couldn't imagine a better conversation to explore that idea than the one I just had with Bob Parsons. Bob is rich. Really, really rich. Like with a B rich. But I'd go to bat every single day that if you asked Bob today what he values most it's not money. Yes, he likes money. We all do. And we should. Money is an energy of transformation. Money makes things happen. But I bet that if you ask Bob what he values, it's the life that psychedelics has given him. He described it as coming home. Money didn't make Bob rich. Money made Bob wealthy. Psychedelics made him rich. And there are very few things as potent in this world as a truly rich person with money, the [01:04:00] impact they can have such as Bob is having through his various efforts can be outsized and can possibly change the arc of the world a little more easily than for you and I. Which reminds me of one of my favorite Tom Robbins quotes, The rich are the most discriminated against minority in the world. Openly or covertly, everybody hates the rich because openly or covertly, everybody envies the rich. Me? I love the rich. Somebody has to love them. Sure, a lot of rich people are assholes, but believe me, a lot of poor people are assholes too. And an asshole with money can at least pay for his own drinks. And Bob can certainly pay for his own drinks, and these days he's paying for a lot of other people's too, and that's making the world a much better place.

[01:04:47] Caller: How can I recover from grief with psychedelics? I lost my mom to COVID not long ago and I still feel really depressed. I'm not religious, so I don't really have any outlets to turn to. [01:05:00] Uh, thank you so much, ronan. 

[01:05:02] Ronan: Thank you for the question, and I'm terribly sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. When it comes to grief, psychedelics can be a great tool, but fundamentally they are only a tool to get at what we need to do with or without psychedelics. And the truth is that the way to get through grief is to go through grieving. In fact, if you listen to one of the previous episodes we had on this podcast with BJ Miller, we talked about the idea that grief is actually a form of transformation. It helps you transform your connection to a physical person into an attachment to something more emotional, something more metaphysical. And that's a process we all need to go through. And the only way to go through that feeling of grief is to feel the grief, to feel the sadness, to feel the loss, let it flow through you. Holding onto it is just an energy drain. You just keep holding onto it. And your body is [01:06:00] basically telling you to be sad because there has been a loss. It's not a total loss, not everything is gone. As BJ talked about, it's just transformed in a different source. And when that happens and you let that in, then you can actually shift from having that physical person to an emotional person. And it can be very powerful. How psychedelics can help that? Well, they can help you work through the emotions around this, uh, that's what I've found at least. Which is to say sometimes it's easy to say, feel your feelings. It's a lot harder to actually let that happen. And one thing psychedelics are extremely good at is forcing you open and making you feel what you feel and let, let it go of what it is. But I'd certainly suggest that you start the process on your own. Don't turn to psychedelics as a first instance, it should be a tool that you use once you started doing the work or hit a plateau or found that you're stuck and trying to get through it. That's when it's a good time to turn a [01:07:00] psychedelics and open it up because it will help you start the grieving process and it'll help you start letting love back into your heart because that's often what happens when we're in grieving is that we shut things down and psychedelics open us up on so many planes. So that's my advice. Psychedelics can be a powerful tool, but don't make them their only tool and start to do the work on your own first. And then your psychedelics afterwards to really enhance or accelerate or finish the grieving process. Thank you for listening to Field Tripping, a podcast that's dedicated to exploring psychedelic experiences and their ability to affect our lives. I'm your host Ronan Levy. Until next time, stay curious, breathe properly, and remember every day is a field trip if you let it be one. Field Tripping is created by Ronan Levy. Our producers are Conrad Page and Harley Roman, and associate producers are Sharon Bhella, Alec Sherman, Macy Baker, and Tyler Newbold. Special

thanks to Kast Media and of course, many thanks to Bob Parsons for joining us today to learn more about [01:08:00] Bob's work, visit bobparsons.com.