Daniel Pinchbeck – How Soon is Now?

Daniel Pinchbeck, author of the new book, How Soon is Now? joins us this week to talk about the global ecological crisis, climate change, and how psychedelics may play a role in transforming human culture.

If you do believe that we are in a time of great ecological crisis, what are you doing about it? Taking action is the most important step to creating change, but are we willing to take the sacrifices and action to create change?

Daniel shares his insights about how to take action to implement change. While some of these changes may be challenging, i.e., stop traveling as much, it may be necessary to help cut carbon emissions and to slow down the global warming cycle. Or is it too late to even take action?

A recent journal article, “Lifetime experience with (classic) psychedelics predicts pro-environmental behavior through an increase in nature relatedness” states:

Our model controlled for experiences with other classes of psychoactive substances (cannabis, dissociatives, empathogens, popular legal drugs) as well as common personality traits that usually predict drug consumption and/or nature relatedness (openness to experience, conscientiousness, conservatism). Although correlational in nature, results suggest that lifetime experience with psychedelics in particular may indeed contribute to people’s pro-environmental behavior by changing their self-construal in terms of an incorporation of the natural world, regardless of core personality traits or general propensity to consume mind-altering substances. Thereby, the present research adds to the contemporary literature on the beneficial effects of psychedelic substance use on mental wellbeing, hinting at a novel area for future research investigating their potentially positive effects on a societal level.

About How Soon is Now

Description of his book from Amazon.com

We are on the brink of an ecological mega-crisis, threatening the future of life on earth, and our actions over the next few years may well determine the destiny of our descendants. Between a manifesto and a tactical plan of action, How Soon is Now? by radical futurist and philosopher Daniel Pinchbeck, outlines a vision for a mass social movement that will address this crisis.

Drawing on extensive research, Daniel Pinchbeck presents a compelling argument for the need for change on a global basis. The central thesis is that humanity has unconsciously self-willed ecological catastrophe to bring about a transcendence of our current condition. We are facing an initiatory ordeal on a planetary scale. We can understand that this initiation is necessary for us to evolve from one state of being – our current level of consciousness – to the next. Overcoming outmoded ideologies, we will realize ourselves as one unified being, a planetary super-organism in a symbiotic relationship with the Earth’s ecology and the entire web of life.

Covering everything from energy and agriculture, to culture, politics, media and ideology, How Soon Is Now? is ultimately about the nature of the human soul and the future of our current world. Pinchbeck calls for an intentional redesign of our current systems, transforming unjust and elitist structures into participatory, democratic, and inclusive ones. His viewpoint integrates indigenous design principles and Eastern metaphysics with social ecology and radical political thought in a new synthesis.

Show Notes/Links

Daniel’s Books

How Soon is Now?
Breaking Open The Head
2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl

Check out more of Daniel’s writing: Here

About Daniel Pinchbeck


From Daniel Pinchbeck’s Website

I am the author of Breaking Open the Head (Broadway Books, 2002), 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl (Tarcher/Penguin, 2006), Notes from the Edge Times(Tarcher/Penguin, 2010), and How Soon Is Now (Watkins, 2017). I co-founded the web magazine, Reality Sandwich, and Evolver.net, and edited the publishing imprint, Evolver Editions, with North Atlantic Books. I was featured in the 2010 documentary, 2012: Time for Change, directed by Joao Amorim and produced by Mangusta Films. I founded the think tank, Center for Planetary Culture, which produced the Regenerative Society Wiki. I hosted the talk show Mindshift on GaiamTV. My essays and articles have been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone, ArtForum, The New York Times Book Review, The Village VoiceDazed & Confused, and many other publications.

Check out our upcoming course, Navigating Psychedelics

Learn about harm reduction practices, self-care, and ways to integration your experience

Sara Gael, M.A., Director of Harm Reduction, Zendo Project, Psychotherapist

Sara Gael joins us on this week’s episode. Sara is the Director of Harm Reduction at the Zendo Project. We get into some great stuff including some of Zendo’s biggest wins, how Zendo works, how to discuss harm reduction with festival organizers, and how to manage difficult experiences that arise in the Zendo.  Something interesting that we learned during this talk was how law enforcement at Burning Man has really been interested in learning more about Zendo and their services, and requested Zendo to help train their staff.

Sara also shares her experience and insights working on the MAPS Phase 2 MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD trials and how she got involved in psychedelic research. We also explore how transpersonal psychology can serve as an important framework for working with psychedelic experiences.

We hope you enjoy this episode. Be sure to leave us a comment below and share this episode!

The Zendo Project

The Zendo Project is sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Zendo provides harm reduction services to the community and to festivals. Zendo strives to:
  • Reduce the number of psychiatric hospitalizations and arrests.
  • Create an environment where volunteers can work alongside one another to improve their harm reduction skills and receive training and feedback.
  • Demonstrates that safe, productive psychedelic experiences are possible without the need for law enforcement-based prohibitionist policies.

Psychedelic Harm Reduction

Show Notes/Link

Sara Gael, M.A., Director of Harm Reduction, Zendo Project

Sara Gael
Sara received her Master’s degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology at Naropa University. She began working with MAPS in 2012, coordinating psychedelic harm reduction services at festivals and events worldwide with the Zendo Project. Sara was an Intern Therapist for the recently completed MAPS Phase 2 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in Boulder, CO. She maintains a private practice as a psychotherapist specializing in trauma and non-ordinary states of consciousness. Sara believes that developing a comprehensive understanding of psychedelic medicines through research and education is essential for the health and well being of individuals, communities, and the planet.

Community is an important part of integration. One of the most difficult aspects of integration is returning to a society that doesn’t understand or support psychedelic exploration. In fact, re-entering society can feel like a stark contrast between the interconnected, transpersonal state of the psychedelic experience. Therefore, one of most important tools for successful integration is a supportive, understanding community. We encourage our Guests to connect with and build supportive communities around themselves when they return home from the event. We support them in seeking professional help if necessary.

-Sara Gael, Zendo Project Coordinator

Sara Gael – Links

Sara’s Professional Practice site – Re-membering

Sara’s Profile on Psychology Today

Mikedelic Podcast – October 5, 2016 

Understanding and Working with Difficult Psychedelic Experiences – MAPS Bulletin

Entheogen Show – Psychedelic First Aid 

Be sure to check out our upcoming course: Navigating Psychedelics

Cognitive Liberty, The War on Drugs, & Personal Freedom

Psychedelics Today - Cognitive Liberty, The War on Drugs, and Personal Freedom


It is the week of the 4th of July. That means the United States is celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, breaking free from the British Empire, and becoming an independent nation.  With the holiday underway, it seems like a great time to reflect on the concept of freedom (including cognitive liberty) and what it means to each and every one of us.

In honor of Independence Day and the Declaration of Independence, here is a quote by Terence McKenna:

Terrence McKenna - Cognitive Liberty
Photo from: http://www.cannalawblog.com/they-said-it-on-marijuana-quotable-saturday-part-cxxvi/

In this episode, Joe and Kyle reflect on the concept of personal freedom, cognitive liberty, and the impact that the War on Drugs has on the American people. It seems to be the consensus that the War on Drugs is failing. The policy has huge negative consequences on people across the globe, and significantly marginalizes minority groups and people of color.

Cognitive Liberty

As psychedelic research continues to progress in the academic and scientific realm, many people are still subjected to arrest and imprisonment because of this failed policy. Kyle and Joe share their thoughts about the pursuit for cognitive liberty and personal freedom.

The unexamined life is not worth living – Socrates

Do you think that exploring one’s own consciousness, whether through plants or other drugs, be illegal? Why should a person have to “ask permission” to have an experience with their own body, mind, and spirit?

Let us know your thoughts about this topic.

Joe and Kyle also talk about their new upcoming course, Navigating Psychedelics: Lessons on Self-Care & Integration. Be sure to check out this course and sign up TODAY!

We are giving away a SPECIAL offer just for the 4th of July! Receive 10% off our Earl-Bird special with the coupon code “freedom” when you check out. You do not want to miss this offer!


Show Links

Geoffery Schwartz presents: Cognitive Liberty and Entheogenic Freedom for ERIE