Field Tripping

Whole | Tom Eckert & Sheri Bessi-Eckert

Episode Notes

Tom Eckert and Sheri Bessi-Eckert are professional counselors and life partners leading a historic campaign to legalize Psilocybin Assisted Therapy in their home state of Oregon. They join Ronan to discuss why they believe in the power of psilocybin, share views on the nature of consciousness, and why measure 109 could become a breakthrough initiative for millions. Then, we talk about the connection between healing and wholeness – and how we're the authors of our own next chapter.

Show Notes:

Sheri and Tom discuss how they discovered – and then began to advocate for – Psilocybin Therapy (2:33)

Sheri and Tom talk about their effort over the last 5 years in bringing together a ballot initiative with the Oregon Legislative Council (5:35)

Tom details the origins of the Oregon Psilocybin Society (9:30)

Tom and Ronan discuss the FDA process (11:00)

Details on Measure 109 and how it could create access to psilocybin assisted psychotherapy – and what that entails (11:55)

Sheri highlights some of the strict parameters and safety considerations built into the law – and protections of over-commercialization – to maintain a community-based service (13:00)

Sheri discussed how the Psilocybin Service Initiative (PSI) aims to be inclusive, rigorous and will legitimatize practitioners with essential training programs (15:00)

How we bring about drug reform and learn as an industry from the errors of the 60s (17:00)

‘But What If We’re Wrong?' – and what does the narrative look like (20:00)

What the throws of transformation can look like – and how important the history of these plant medicines really are for us to know and pay attention to (21:20)

Consciousness as a final mystery – and the relationship between consciousness and reality. The subject/object split that physics brings into question and how these exact questions are intrinsically healing. And they seem to be related to positive therapeutic outcomes (23:10)

Sheri believes it's important for individuals to have their own genuine experience. We are all our own best guru’s. We can experience awe – and even the cosmos (26:00)

Sheri shares her personal experience with psychedelics, and how her view towards them evolved – from conservative to advocate. Psychedelics helped her see the emotions that were stuck within her – called ‘memory trauma’ (30:20)

Tom talks about his experience with psychedelics and how they helped him cope with the loss of his father (32:50)

Sheri adds how her and Tom experience the universe together when on psilocybin. “It’s a wonderful thing for a marriage” (34:38)

To heal is to become more whole – and suffering is estrangement from the whole. A psychedelic experience can bring the whole together, and to recognize that you are not separate from the cosmos itself (38:00)

Once expanded – you can never go back to your original shape. And for Sheri – that is the work of psychedelics. And for Tom, this idea of neuroplasticity is important; flexibility away from rigid mental loops. (39:00)

Sheri talks about how she challenges the men she works with to ‘sit with their beliefs, and ask themselves: why they believe what they believe?’ (45:30)

Tom discusses the identification of meaning, and how looking forward is a blank page for all of us. You are free to be the author; can be called 'reality creation' (47:00)