Jason Silva: Psychedelics Can Compress A Decade Of Therapy Into A Few Hours

Screenshot: Jason Silva.


by Aaron Kase

on April 20, 2015

Imagine compressing a decade of therapy into three hours. That’s the crux of Jason Silva’s interview on Huffington Post Live about why humans need to explore the medicinal use of psychedelics.

“Imagine if you could have the cathartic breakthroughs that ten years of hard therapy might give you in one afternoon,” said Silva, who hosts the National Geographic Channel’s Brain Games show. “It’s a shortcut to the divine.”

He cited the benefits of using psychedelic substances to treat mental disorders, like using MDMA to confront PTSD and psilocybin mushrooms for addressing anxiety in people with terminal cancer. Psychedelics have also been successful in treating addiction and depression, giving patients the tools to conquer their inner demons.

“It’s about time that the government and everybody is opening their eyes to the psychotherapeutic use of these substances that mankind has experimented with for tens of thousands of years to connect us with the transcendent,” Silva said. “Probably the origin of many of the worlds’ religions is even associated with psychedelic drug use.”

Silva noted theory by a leading psychopharmacologist named Ronald Siegel speculating that the desire to alter our consciousness is as natural for humanity as the pursuit of sex and shelter. “Literally human beings are just wired to experiment with their perceptions of the world,” said Silva. “Part of what it means to have an imagination and have a consciousness is to probe the perimeters of our perception.”

The philosopher and freestyler argued that the use of psychedelics is essential to cognitive liberty, whether they are taken for medicinal, therapeutic or recreational purposes. “Your boundaries dissolve,” Silva said. “What does that result in? Humility. Compassion. Empathy for the other. These tools blast new tunnels between the mind and the other. And it leads to a different way of looking at the world.”

Check out some of Silva’s other interviews as well:

  • Silva calls cannabis legalization “a huge win for civilization” and a step toward “cognitive freedom” — the freedom to choose how to use one’s own mind.
  • Silva discusses the potential for exploration of consciousness that psychedelics offer, explaining that “you are immediately plunged into a dialogue with your own subconscious.
  • Silva describes the “entheogenic revolution,” occurring across humanity. He calls psychedelic substances “God hacks,” or tools that “can act as conduits” and mediators for “encounters with the numinous.”
  • Silva explains that we are “definitely witnessing a turning point in America’s relationship” with marijuana. “It’s been used for thousands of years in all kinds of contexts for promoting healing, for promoting transformation, for promoting spirituality and everyday we’re learning a host of new benefits that are associated with the plant.”