Leonard Pickard and Julian Vayne in Conversation on Bicycle Day

On Bicycle Day 2021, the last day of our inaugural Psychedelic Integration Jam, we were incredibly fortunate to host Leonard Pickard, a legendary psychedelic icon who’d just recently been released from prison following a nearly 20 year incarceration. The relevance of his parting thoughts here are startlingly pertinent as we lament the scathing vitriol of our presently polarized cultural dynamic:

“What message would I like to be most remembered by? Be kind to each other…ultimately it all comes down to human to human interaction, the compassion in our hearts and the delicacy, dignity and graciousness with which we treat each other. To be able to listen and empathise, to recognize the existence of nearly 8 billion souls on this small fragment lost in space…all we really have is each other, and to be loving to the plants, animals, and other blessed beings that we share this hurling rock with. Here, in this tiny speck of the universe, there is life, and we have each other, with every imaginal pleasure and pain. We get to go through life as an artform, practicing human kindness.” – Leonard Pickard

An additional takeaway from Leonard’s presentation is the reminder that lovingly unified states of consciousness are available to anyone, anytime, anyplace, with or without supplemental exogenous substances. As we’re so immersed in and dazzled by the present psychedelic renaissance, justifiably hyping various plant medicines and their analogues, it’s so easy to forget this fundamental truth, and so we’re are especially grateful for Leonard’s words here:

“Joy, gratitude, kindness, basically all positive human emotions are freely available to us, at a moment’s reflection, all at all times, as part of our birth heritage. We’ve always had this! The drugs we’re talking about came later. Drugs still remain a very small part in the spectacle of the joy and glory of this world.”

Leonard is also the author of the absolutely wonderful book, “The Rose of Paracelsus: on Secrets and Sacraments”.
Watch other videos from the Integration Jam Here

Quotable Quotes

“For 20 years I woke up everyday thinking that I was going to die in prison. I learned of my release just a few days before it happened. I had almost reached the point of giving up hope, but with children and loved ones, one can’t do that”

“On the bus from the prison, I saw the horizon for the first time in 20 years…50 miles of desert, of pinion, juniper and sage. I saw past the distant mesa to flat-top volcanic protrusions, the base of which were clouds, just at dawn, the sun illuminating the desert vista..it was the dawn of a new age”

“My first day out I spent 20 minutes just staring at a flower, one minute for each year I’d spent in prison, where all I could see was dirt”

“What message would I like to be most remembered by? Be kind to each other…ultimately it all comes down to human to human interaction, the compassion in our hearts and the delicacy, dignity and graciousness with which we treat each other. To be able to listen and empathise, to recognize the existence of nearly 8 billion souls on this small fragment lost in space…all we really have is each other, and to be loving to the plants, animals, and other blessed beings that we share this tiny rock with. Here in this tiny speck of the universe there is life, and we have each other, with every imaginal pleasure and pain. You go through life as an artform, practicing human kindness”

“In this present psychedelic renaissance, the ‘3rd wave’, we won’t just be seeing the medicalization and corporatization, but we’ll also see a great expanse of uncontrolled use, which is of course a great concern of various enforcement agencies. But, we’ll inevitably see a broader social use for people who’re simply curious to explore psychedelic realms.”

“99% off all substances ever used have been done by the people, privately and illicitly, so I think that this phenomenon will continue in parallel with the medicalization efforts”

“David Nichols is the leading medicinal chemist in the world. He was the lone voice of psychedelic research in academic research for decades”

“We should be cautious moving forward, considering how psychedelics in the past evolved. It’s not always a great party with people throwing flowers and dancing in the streets. We will probably face many hurdles in the next few years, perhaps there may be some untoward events that the media seizes upon. On the whole though it’s a glorious time to be a psychedelic researcher”

“For many of us, the common scenario of psychedelic use will be simply walking in the forest, sitting with friends around a campfire, and enjoying the great art of the world with companions who are initiated in psychedelics…just talking and being in awe at the glory of it all”

“The medicalization and corporatization of psychedelics is moving at break-neck speed. In the next few years we’ll see thousands of analogues and variants being patented, many of which will be vague illusions to legacy compounds such as mescaline, DMT, LSD and psilocybin, though some may have that central formative effect, many will have little or no perceptible effect. Within this spectrum there will be some “little dragons,” aka the bad guys, and this worries me”

“Sasha Shulgin was very concerned about his 2-CB, because of its toxicity at narrow increases in dosage. As we’ve seen with calamitous effects of N-BOM, some synthesized analogues can be extremely harmful”

JULIAN: “In protestant culture, we have this block against experiencing joy, ecstasy, and delight. We have to transition to it being ok to explore and to be nourished by positive psychedelic experiences”

“Joy, gratitude, kindness, basically all positive human emotions are freely available to us, at a moment’s reflection, all at all times, as part of our birth heritage. We’ve always had this! The drugs we’re talking about came later. Drugs still remain a very small part in the spectacle of the joy and glory of this world”

“As interesting as profoundly transformational psychedelic experiences are, we have a drug-free natural mind which contains all of the things we could possibly experience on a substance. If one were to stop for a moment and think of things like dancing in the moonlight, taking a walk with a friend, staring at a fire, listening to the breeze blow through the trees, touching a lover’s hand–these are all precious human qualities that have nothing to do with drugs. Sure they may be enhanced on drugs, but if you just hold a joyful though for a moment, your joy will manifest”

“While we focus on and obsess over this psychedelic or the other, let’s not forget the validity of the natural mind–we must remember our own essential humanity and the divinity of the great gift of the natural mind”

“At the same time, certain substances may affect areas of neuroanatomy that are very difficult or even impossible to access without them. There may be specific areas of the brain that are accessible only via various analogues, and this is exciting yet frightening”

“I suspect that with the world-wide mainstreaming of this taboo subject, with so many people candidly sharing, that we may see a great deal of subjective online reporting of people’s experiences with psychedelic phenomena”

“I like to hold close to the idea that all phenomena we experience with any drug are inherent parts of the natural mind, but also I’ll consider that maybe there are certain altered states that are achievable only via use of certain drugs”

“Phenomena such as psychedelic induced ESP could open enormous realms of philosophical and religious concerns, so these are fascinating subjects to study”

“I wrote The Rose in prison, where I thought I’d live the rest of my life, as a sort of death-song that someone might hear someday. And when they hear it, maybe it will make their heart smile, or make them hold back tears and look at the sky for a moment”

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