PT275 – James Fadiman, Ph.D. – Transpersonal Psychology, Microdosing, and Your Symphony of Selves

November 30, 2021

In this episode, Joe and Kyle finally interview legendary author and microdosing popularizer, James Fadiman, Ph.D. 

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In this episode, Joe and Kyle finally interview legendary author and microdosing popularizer, James Fadiman, Ph.D. 

He talks about Tony Sutich, Abe Maslow, and the emergence of transpersonal psychology in an era when psychology was especially uncomfortable with spiritual experience; the early days of the Transpersonal Association and their relationship with Ram Dass; how easy it was to get LSD from Sandoz Pharmaceuticals and the vastly different ways people started experimenting with it; and how society dealt with him, his ideas, and these new substances as they started to become more mainstream.

He discusses microdosing: how it emerged, dosing amounts, how you’re supposed to feel, and how researchers are finally starting to look at brain waves of microdosers. And they discuss the recent self-blinding microdose study and how he thinks the “not statistically significant” difference was actually notable; the strictness of clinical trials and how researchers often stack the deck to get the results they want, and how real world evidence (which psychedelics has a ton of) is seen as the defining factor of a successful trial. 

And he talks about his newest book, Your Symphony of Selves: Discover and Understand More of Who We Are, which he sums up quite well with: “Have you ever argued with yourself? Who is the other person arguing?” He believes (and psychology believed, before Freud) that we are made up of several different shifting selves and the key to a happy and healthy life is to embody the right self at the right time. 

Notable Quotes

“I’m still not acceptable. I have no University affiliation, no hospital affiliation, no clinic affiliation, and I talk about the correct use of psychedelics in ways that the people who are doing the fundamental research either don’t know or can’t talk about.” 

“The level of oversight from the federal government – you cannot imagine it, knowing anything about the federal government today. You wrote Sandoz and Sandoz said, ‘I don’t know who you are. Here’s a whole bunch of LSD.’ Literally, the instructions you would get is: ‘Tell us what you’re doing.’ Because Sandoz had this wonderful problem: they had this substance that was the most powerful substance per molecule that they’d ever found and they didn’t know how to make any money out of it.”

“The secret of microdosing is if you’re noticing it, that’s a little too high a dose. …The perfect definition of a microdose is: You have a really good day, you get things done that you’ve been putting off, you’re nice to someone at work who doesn’t deserve it, after work you do one more set of reps at the gym than you usually do, you really enjoy your kids, and at the end of the day you say, ‘Oh, I forgot I had a microdose.’”

“The last step is always real world evidence, which is why drugs get recalled. …The funny thing with psychedelics is we have all the real world evidence pretty well stacked up to start. So I’m not waiting for the clinical evidence, because it comes in last.

“The image of the healthy self is more like a choir, where everyone is singing their correct note, but not the same note. And also they’re singing at the right pitch, at the right tempo, at the right volume, so that it works. And a beautifully organized choir doesn’t need a leader because they’re hearing each other.”



Pubmed: Might Microdosing Psychedelics Be Safe and Beneficial? An Initial Exploration


YouTube: Psychedelics Today: Exploring LAPSS – Los Angeles Psychedelic Science Symposium

The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys, by James Fadiman, Ph.D.

Your Symphony of Selves: Discover and Understand More of Who We Are, by James Fadiman, Ph.D. and Jordan Gruber, J.D.


Linkedin.com: The Stephen Hawking of Psychology: Anthony “Tony” Sutich

Transpersonalcommunity.org: The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology

The Only Dance There Is: Talks at the Menninger Foundation, 1970, and Spring Grove Hospital, 1972, by Ram Dass

Wikipedia.org: Human Potential Movement



About James Fadiman Ph.D.

James Fadiman, PhD., has been researching psychedelics since 1961 and the effect of microdosing since 2010. His most recent books are The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys and Your Symphony of Selves: Discover and Understand More of Who We Are (with Jordan Gruber). He is working on a new book about microdosing and wants to hear remarkable microdosing stories: jfadiman@gmail.com

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