Jasper Degenaars is on a mission to share and empower the global community with the magical wisdom of sacred mushrooms and the archetypes they bring forth for healing. Nestled in the lush green lands of Guatemala is the Fungi Academy HQ, a space Degenaars envisioned for journeying, learning, growing, creating, cultivating, and intentional community living. An extension of this Psilocybin empowering community is the Sacred School Of Mycology; An online space where people connect globally to learn the art of sacred mushroom cultivation and become skilled psychonaut's through psychedelic journeywork courses. With the growing consideration around normalising/legalising the use of psychedelic medicine, this conversation between two chief mushroom men couldn't have landed at a better time. Mase and Jasper get into the realities and beauty of community living, how to responsibly grow and hold space for people journeying with sacred mushrooms, the emergence of the psychedelic 'industry', and staying connected while living in a capitalist world and honouring the financial part of a successful business. This conversation really highlights the beauty and healing our magical fungi friends are bringing into the world. Tune in!
"I've had mushrooms that I know came from big-ass laboratories, and they didn't feel nice to me. I don't resonate with that at all. But I do resonate with the mushrooms myself or my friends grow. Because we put in our intentions, our magic, our prayers, our grace, and our thanks. That's a big part of it".
- Jasper Degenaars
Mase and Jasper discuss:
- Sacred mushrooms.
- Reimagining education.
- Psychedelic censorship.
- Psychedelic journeywork.
- Why quality products matter.
- Decriminalisation of psychedelics.
- Clinical application of psychedelics.
- Mycorrhizal sphere (aka. the wood wide web).
- Growing Psilocybin as an individual vs big labs.
- Psychedelics for PTSD, depression and healing.
- The power of online psychedelic integration circles.
Who is Jasper Degenaars?
Jasper Degenaars is the CEO of Fungi Academy and the co-founder of the Sacred Mycology Online School. The first fungi-focused online school that teaches individuals how to grow, and work with Psilocybe cubensis anywhere in the world. He has taught over 1000 people how to successfully grow all kinds of mushrooms. Born and raised in The Netherlands he knows the potential of a legal psychedelic landscape where the cultivation and consumption of Psychoactive substances are not punished by law. He believes that Sacred Mushrooms have the potential to deepen our connection with nature, ourselves, and our communities.
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Check Out The Transcript Here:
All right, let's go.
Jasper Degenaars: (00:02)
Yeah, excited. Thanks for having me on, Mason.
Pleasure. Jasper, how are you, brother?
Jasper Degenaars: (00:08)
I am actually really good today. I just came from a weird stomach thing, combined with a couple sessions of Kambo. So for a couple days I was feeling pretty weak and just recharging my batteries, listening to audio books. But today, I woke up and I had so much energy and I got so many things done and spent some time next to the river, so today was a good day.
Nice. Yeah, I mean, it is a good day, you're lucky. Normally I ask everyone in a segment called up your guts, and I ask every guest to explain what's going in their guts and what their bowel movements are like. But we've just decided not to do that. So you're getting off today.
Jasper Degenaars: (00:44)
Yeah and it seems like it would have been a bit of a mess going in there.
Jasper Degenaars: (00:48)
Yeah, yeah that would be like the whole podcast.
We're sparing you, everybody. No more up your guts, and we're going to go more into the psychonaut, psychedelic, mushroom space. I'm really looking forward to this. We've chatted about mushrooms, of course. Everyone that, they ask me like, "Oh, what do you do?" And I'm like, "I sell medicinal mushrooms." And they're like, "Not those kinds of mushrooms, hey?" I have to have that chat and have that dad joke thrown at me every day. But you, we've got that. We've talked about clinical mushrooms in a clinical setting, but never in the context of what you're doing. Maybe I've introed you slightly, but I'd love for you to give everyone a bit of a spiel of what's going on over in Fungi Academy. Fungi Academy? Do you say Fungi or Fungi?
Jasper Degenaars: (01:41)
I say Fungi, because it's a fungus. But in Dutch it's like Fungi. In Spanish it's Fungi. It doesn't really matter.
Must be my Spanish blood. Fungi.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:53)
Yeah, probably. What we do at Fungi Academy, we're based in Guatemala, that's where our high headquarters is at. But our community is basically worldwide. We teach people about all kinds of mushrooms. Edible, medicinal, and what we call the sacred mushrooms, or what most people refer to as the magic mushrooms. My expertise is mainly in cultivating and teaching people about beneficial properties. I have a lot of learning about ethnomycologies, so traditional uses of any kind of mushroom. And here in Mesoamerica, it's obviously the sacred or the psychedelic mushrooms, they used to consume up to 38 different species of psilocybe alone, here in Central America.
Jasper Degenaars: (02:36)
Besides a fungal education centre, or like mushroom school, however you want to call it, we're also an intentional community. So we live with a bunch of people together, we create art. Right now, it is visionary art, it is making this epic mural. We grow mushrooms together. We make music together, and basically live together with a bunch of people. This is why I think it's really interesting to live in a community, because it's basically a psychedelic experience all day every day, because you get faced with, it's a house of mirrors, right? The psychedelic experience is a house of mirrors, but living with the same people, and confronting archetypes that come up and play with each other. So we can deal with these on a day-to-day basis is very nurturing and very healing, and often a lot of people ... Got to burp.
Jasper Degenaars: (03:26)
See, that's the gut thing.
Totally. Mi casa, su casa. Yep.
Jasper Degenaars: (03:30)
Okay. Yeah. That archetype of connection is very mycelium-like, right? Mycelium is not one organism, it's many, many organisms working together. We, as humanity, we are destined to do the same thing. Unfortunately, our western society has bred us to be in this individualistic mindset of, it's us against the world. Or if you're married, it's me and my partner against the world. But we're tribal people. We're meant to live in groups. I really think that is the future for us, especially if we're looking at whole life humanity. It's like, right now, you're born, you grow up in your family with your parents and there you have two adults teaching you. In traditional cultures, hunter-gatherer cultures, or even small farm towns, you have many adults teaching you the ways. Your uncle as well, and your uncle is maybe a really good shoe maker or something.
Jasper Degenaars: (04:33)
If you're old right now the state takes care of you. But in the past, that would've been your community. We're really getting more and more people warmed up for these bigger communities that are also taking shape, where people really want to live their whole life, raise a family, grow old, and this kind of thing. Often, this goes hand in hand with sustainability, right? Because if you live in a community, you want to be able to support your neighbours and your loved ones with food and medicine. If you know how to grow mushrooms, you can grow food and medicine. It's a super powerful skillset to have.
Yeah it's cool. The intentional community thing, it's such a beautiful conversation. You can see people dive into it just thinking, "This is just going to instantly be bliss, and I'm sure it'll just all naturally happen. You're on audio, there's a big shaking of the head. But you brought up a couple of things. Just very quickly, I think it leads into work with mushrooms or other psychedelics. You can see, if you're in a house of mirrors constantly, which is whether you're in a community, whether you're in a business, whether you're living even in a suburb, it's a neighbourhood that has interactions. You're getting these reflections. You've got to be willing to do the work and change. And look at what's coming at you in the mirror. Every time I've heard of a community not working, not panning out so well, it's when the way that it systemically works is, a capacity for people who aren't willing to actually look at the reflection, take on that capacity to change, come back to that part of them, maybe come back to their own true nature.
But then continue to evolve, and actually really change. Whether that's changing the mannerisms, whether beliefs are able to evolve and change, you need to really get malleable. I don't think people realise just how malleable and adaptogenic you need to get when you're living in a community, when you go and start doing work, inner world, or inter dimensional work with psychedelics, all that kind of stuff. I think this leads in. I'm sure you've seen, and maybe not, because maybe you guys are actually good facilitators. But you're in the psychedelic world, you can almost see, like living in a community, you can see people that may be in a loop. You can see the loop and people, it actually gets really egoic, and people just want to dominate and they don't actually want to change.
Same with whether it's some kind of therapy, or some kind of psychedelic work, you can just loop. You're not actually willing to go through and change, and really get uncomfortable in that new space. I'm curious how much you sit and hold that space. I can just feel that energy from you, talking about the community, and I thought I'd just jump right into it. Because it's always the piece that's not missing, people talk about it. It's just the hardest one, I think, to nail in this work.
Jasper Degenaars: (07:26)
Yeah, it's very challenging, right? Because when those stuck energies start to happen, or these loops start to happen, often, and especially regarding men in the community, confrontation needs to happen. There needs to be a moment where you both sit and confrontation doesn't have to be violent, right? Where you both vocalise your perception. So how do you experience it? It always goes from I statements. For example, I feel not seen when I just cleaned the kitchen, often it's about the kitchen. Doesn't matter if you live with some flatmates or a bunch of hippies, it's always about the kitchen, you know?
It's always about the dishes in the sink and the kitchen and the crumbs.
Jasper Degenaars: (08:06)
Jasper Degenaars: (08:09)
But a good example would be like, "I don't feel seen when I just worked hard to clean the kitchen for everybody, and you come and you cook, and you leave it like shit, and I don't feel appreciated." That's like sharing your reality and your experience. Then you often come with desires. Like "I would really appreciate for next time if I clean the kitchen, that you just clean your shit after it." This way, this is a very basic example, right? But most of the times when you always work from I am statements, share your experience, and then come up with requests. Often what works really well, as well, in these kind of confrontations, is repeating. If, for example, this person that does not clean the dishes, after this person just cleans the whole kitchen, it would be like, "I see, you don't feel seen or appreciated when I come into a clean kitchen and make a mess, basically."
Jasper Degenaars: (08:59)
Repetition of what the other person has said is a very powerful tool to create not only an understanding but also an empathy within ourselves. Yeah most of the time, this is a lot of work. Luckily, to an extent, right now, we've been living with the same group of people due to COVID for quite a little bit longer, so we understand each other in lots of ways. But yeah, it goes with a lot of talking and communicating and expressing needs and desires. It's like living in a partnership, basically. A romantic partnership, with a bunch of people, because you want everybody's needs to be met. And you want everybody to thrive and to be happy, because we're all here for the same goal, because we love the mission and we sometimes call the over soul of the community, right?
Jasper Degenaars: (09:42)
Because as a community member, you can not only think of yourself, or what you think is good for the community, but you really have to start understanding what is good for the common consensus of the community. Yeah, right now, for me, it's an extra challenging time with our main community leader, Oliver Merivee, passing away in December. We were also running the online school together. Now a lot of things came onto my shoulders, and we're currently in the process of finding, really, somebody that can not only hold space for these potential conflicts, but also gets all the logistical things of the space done, and that makes sure that there's enough food for everybody. Because right now it's very spread out, but I used to be more the manager, together with Oliver, the moment one falls away and you have to take more on your shoulders, it's very challenging.
Jasper Degenaars: (10:39)
Right now, I've actually decided to step a little bit away from the physical community. Also since there's a lot of people that have lived there for a longer time, so I can give away a lot of the responsibility. But yeah, it's the way that I want to live, but it's not always the easier, like you said. It's not always singing Kumbaya, and yeah, living in paradise. But it is living in paradise, and I've grown so much from it. It's unbelievable how much I've grown as a communicator, as a person, as somebody that can listen. Actually mostly, I learned to be a better listener form being in a community.
Yeah, and they're things you will take with you for the rest of your life. Everything I hear, you're like, all right, you sit back and you get the dominance of your ego out of the way, you learn some skills, and you sit back and you see what emerges. Even though there's one person that might have this solid idea, it's like anything. It's like, I have an idea of the spiritual being that I want to evolve into. Then if you get too attached to it, you don't actually move. You keep looping. Same with the community, how you want it to be, you can sit back, and you trust, and you see what emerges by getting yourself into a place where your virtues are coming out, rather than you just wanting to dominate a win or avoid being dominated, and avoid conflict, and all those kinds of things. And you have to get that uncomfortable evolutionary phase and go, "Oh, this is who I'm going to become now. This is actually where I need to be now."
And it's like, it's not what it looked like, what that younger self thought it was going to be. But it takes balls. It also takes balls for you guys to go after this mission. I'm curious, I'm sure it's an evolving mission. I'm sure it's got more of an evolving feel rather than just the words that I'll ask you for. But yeah, what is it? What's bringing the cohesion, and that mycelial connection between you all there?
Jasper Degenaars: (12:34)
Yeah. So our mission actually is empowering a global community to share the magical fungal wisdom in many ways, as a society, and as humanity. We have so much to learn from all these archetypes from the mushrooms. I think the last conversation we talked about that they are creating abundance for everybody around them. They are literally taking the trash, the bad things in the ecosystem, so trees can flourish. And if trees flourish, animals will flourish. They're all doing it together, right? They're connecting the trees to what some people all the mycorrhizal sphere, also known as the Wood Wide Web. They're connecting, and they're creating harmony and unison in these ecosystems. That's really what inspires us.
Jasper Degenaars: (13:22)
I really see that also as the lessons of the sacred mushrooms, right? I was actually talking to quite an influential figure in the psychedelic space as well. He had a very similar idea of how psychedelic "industry" is evolving, because he saw this beautiful symbiotic network where everybody is collaborating and right now a lot of us see capitalism as a place for competition. But actually, the world is so big, and especially in the online realms, there's so much room for collaboration on all sides. I, personally, see this in myself, and I've heard this from many other people, that that's one of the big lessons of the sacred mushroom in a journey. I need to work more together with other people. How can I help smaller organisations that are doing something similar to what I'm doing? And how can I call in help from people that are a little bit further ahead?
Jasper Degenaars: (14:15)
Yeah, that's the most powerful thing that I, every day, get from the mushrooms. And yeah, mushrooms are epic. Most of us here know how to cultivate them, love cultivating. Some are really way more interested in applying some of the newer ways that are coming into micro-remediation. They're really thinking, how do we apply this on small scales to develop this technology, so we can develop on big scales? It's really about mycology and mushrooms, and community and psychedelics. But it's also mainly about learning. We are all about learning anything. Especially regarding the natural realms. If you're just surrounded by other people that are focused on growing as an individual by becoming, for example, a better listener, but also growing as an individual by gaining a skill or gaining more knowledge so that they can share that knowledge with other people, it's very inspiring.
Yeah. Everything, because right now, my main community, my little micro one in my family, but then business, you know I was putting so much time in the business. When I was your age, I thought I'd be in a community when I was my age. But running around the forest naked. But instead I'm upgrading to a collar, at the moment, as I get into our winter rather than my Bond singlet. And wearing shoes more often. But nonetheless, everything is saying there, it's the exact same in the community I'm feeling here. But I'm interested to hear a little bit more, because this is something I talk about and have talked about quite a lot in collaboration with businesses that are doing something similar.
Sometimes, I'm not ragging, I like a little bit of competition. I'm not ragging on people that come in, especially at this late stage of the industry, and they feel they really need to elbow their way in. And they've got a little bit of an, I don't know, survival instinct going on, that they need to quickly stamp on that person. There's a lot of backstabbing starting to happen, even in the medicinal mushroom space. And it's going to happen because we're humans. But I do see more and more the presence of that integrity of like, there's enough for everybody. Just those little acts of always being available to help someone who's emerging, coming up, sharing resources.
Also, having boundaries in that. I'm interested to hear a little bit more about your process. You guys are getting to a particular size now, how have you experienced the collaboration with people that are bigger? What was your personal journey in setting your expectations of what is an appropriate collaboration, an appropriate connection, versus one that was an unrealistic connection to make? I don't know if you've got much to share, but I'd love the people listening to this podcast to get the insight of what's going on in our minds constantly as there is a bit of capitalism there, or there's a bit of hierarchy there, and there's finances, and all those kinds of things going, how to stay connected really deep into the ground at the same time, while we're honouring that financial part of the business.
Jasper Degenaars: (17:34)
That's a really good question. In general, I reach out, that's the main thing. That's one of the reasons why we have the mycophile of the week feature in our newsletter. Because I was like, how can I just connect more with other people that are doing epic stuff? And maybe give them a little bump, right? Especially, our main platform is our Instagram. Then a lot of people that are smaller, yeah, of course, they can get a bunch of new followers and a bunch of new spotlight from just being on that. In general, I feel, especially the people that are working in mushroom cultivation, are beyond generous and helpful. Sometimes a little bit too much. That they're like, "Oh my God, this person is amazing, they should totally come and be your master cultivator." Then they come, and we've had this once quite recently.
Jasper Degenaars: (18:20)
It was like, okay, this person is definitely an epic human being. I don't know if they're a master cultivator, but they really wanted to help. Sometimes they're like, too generously wanting to help can also come into a little bit of a flaws. But I, personally, am quite an open book with many things, and I'm always very curious to see how different peoples' approaches ... It happened a couple times that people said something, that they wouldn't do something, then they would do something. It was kind of like, my ego or my head, I don't really know, I was like, "You said something that they wouldn't do it, and now they did it." And now that's kind of our competition.
Jasper Degenaars: (18:59)
But then again, that is only my reality. Because in their reality, they just did the thing that they were most excited about, and they probably thought was best for their business. But in the meantime, the connection, these people are still really warm and especially when "disaster" happened and our Instagram got completely blocked out two weeks ago, everybody jumped in. Okay, well we also reached out. It was like, "What can we do? Can we feature? Do you know any people in the media? We need to talk about psychedelic censorship." It really felt that those moments, you really feel the community of businesses coming together.
Jasper Degenaars: (19:40)
I feel if you are in a geographical same location, then it might be a little bit more challenging, because you can actually get to a stage where there's too much competition. Where you've saturated the market. But because we're mainly working in the online realm, there's so much to discover. There's so many more people, all these verbs today, coming into the psychedelic space, and the mushroom space as well. Everybody wants to connect with somebody different. That's kind of how I see it. This is a word that people kind of hate marketing. But I see marketing as storytelling. Right? But all of our storytelling is different because we all come from different backgrounds, and we all have a slightly different way of seeing how we can change the world. But it doesn't mean that we can't coexist together. That's the main thing that I've been really looking into right now.
Jasper Degenaars: (20:34)
The moment that somebody comes in, like for example, I just got word of an impromptu psychedelic conference in Denver, and nobody in the psychedelic community there knew anybody that was organising it, so they just didn't go. That's the thing. Because the psychedelic community is so tight-knit that it's really easy to connect with the "big players" of this community.
Big players, yeah.
Jasper Degenaars: (20:58)
And the moment that somebody else comes in with big money, I think this is a marijuana company, everybody's just like, "No, this is not aligned with what we really care about, and it's not featuring any of the people that we think should be featured in these conversations." I think that's kind of where a lot of the psychedelic industry's going towards. I think a good example is, for example, Compass Pathways. They are the big Darth Vader of the psychedelic industry right now, because they're trying to patent holding hands, soft furniture, and psychedelic ceremonies with a therapist. It's just, yeah.
Jasper Degenaars: (21:35)
Yeah, they're really trying. They're suing people, and they're doing absolutely horrendous stuff. But the whole community right now hates them basically. I think hate is a big word, but everybody, this proves about them, if we talk about how we're not wanting to see this psychedelic business and enterprises and culture evolving, we all use Compass as a great example of how not to do this. I don't know if that's ever reversible, right? Because if all the people that you talk to have something negative to say about Compass, who would still invest in Compass? Who would still want to sit with any of the psychotherapists trained by Compass? Long-term, those smudges don't fade, as long as the whole community has similar values and one organisation doesn't have the same values. It's really hard to break a community.
Jasper Degenaars: (22:29)
It's really easy to break an individual organisation. But if there's a community of organisations with the same goal in mind, it's really hard to break through that, I think.
It's interesting when you see the emergence of, let's say a right-brained community. And then you see the inevitable emergence of a dominated left-brain community. It happened in Chinese Medicine, I've talked about it quite a bit on the podcast where it's like Taoist Shamanic Earth-bound Herbalism. Up until, we see, about 400 AD, you see the commodifying left-side brain, ultra-organising. It's almost like left kind of open-ended politics and the right kind of really structured type of politics, going to the extremes. It's an interesting one to navigate, when you're on one side of the fence. It's a hard one to hold cohesion between those two inevitables. Especially when you're in the midst of the real trademarking and real industrialization of something. And you can see it goes so far away from its centre.
I mean, yeah, it must be interesting. We've got our own experience of it in the tonic and medicine mushroom world. But with the psychedelic, it must bring up lots of confusing feelings and some very good ... What word am I looking for? Some good material for really going, "This is happening." How are we going to now navigate this new world, now that this has become a hot shit topic that everyone wants to get in on?
Jasper Degenaars: (24:19)
It almost makes you wonder, right, do these people even take the medicine? Or are they just seeing this massive boost that hemp had in the last couple of years, and they just think that psychedelics are the new hemp, and they want to invest, and they want to be the first, and they want to elbow their way in? Because I just can't imagine, after fighting for that patent, and then they would sit in ceremony, that they must get some message that this is now the way to do it. You know?
Some people are here to play different roles, I guess. Because you brought up marketing. I think one of my favourite marketing books, I think the name is Red Ocean Blue Ocean Marketing. Do you know that book?
Jasper Degenaars: (25:09)
It does sound familiar, but I don't think I've read it.
It's just classic, red ocean is when you think there's a certain amount of the market share. And now, we divide the market share between us, and that mentality is okay when there's not huge players. Then all of a sudden, big players start coming in and it's like, hang on, now we're going to really need to fight, and get bloody over that market share. Whereas if you can keep on evolving, and you can go over into the blue ocean, where you are allowing the emergence of new markets and new possibilities, and you've got a foot working your way in, getting attention from the people who are yours in that red ocean, hopefully without actually spilling blood. Then you keep on going with your own core values and you allow your blue ocean market to continue to emerge.
I do like business, even though I think it's ... Anyway, I'm doing a talk this weekend about ethical enterprise, they've called it, at Renew Fest. I'm basically going subversive, I want to talk about the bullshit story we tell ourselves about business is going to save the world, and all this crap. All this shitty justification. But for all of that, I do enjoy business, even though I don't identify as a businessman, really I'm in one. And I am objectively one. I do like the dojo of it. I'm really interested to see where this goes for you guys, especially when you're holding such a sacred space, and then you see such a commodifying ... Yeah. I get the emotion. Because the gravity of what's happened to Taoist herbalism, it being connected so deeply not just to a theory of the elements.
But meditating with and experiencing the wild, never-ending transformation and changing of nature within ourselves, within the micro, within the macro, within the micros within us, that have been in the macros, so on and so forth. It's so deep and such an intimate connection. When you see a system come in and go, "We need to be able to sell this." And they go robotic and they're like, "Bee boop boop. Is this yang, is this these other five elements, learn. Do not think about them, do not feel them, just repeat." It's hard. It really gets you in the fucking heart. I can imagine for you guys, it being so fresh. It's really fresh, this commodification.
Jasper Degenaars: (27:48)
Yeah. It must be wild.
Jasper Degenaars: (27:52)
It is quite wild. To go back a little bit into this idea of ethical business and stuff like this, a word that kept coming back to me is quality, right? You're talking about traditional Chinese Medicine and herbalism. There's only this black and white ying/yang idea, they're the only two things. But that's not quality to me. That's like looking at [inaudible 00:28:13] as just not enough to me. You have good enough in business, but you also have not enough. Some people like that. But the people that are really interested in the quality experience, either by having amazing medicinal mushroom tools and herbs, to your disposal, by amazing companies like SuperFeast.
Jasper Degenaars: (28:38)
Or you want to have an epic learning experience ... Yeah. Well a lot of my Australian friends are kind of stoked that I was going to be on here. So you've got to take a little bit of credit of what you've accomplished in these last years, right? The ego gets in the way sometimes. But sometimes, these are also good reminders that we're on the right path. These are all positive affirmations, and we can tell ourselves positive affirmations, but we can also get positive affirmations from the outside world. To go back a little bit in this idea of quality, right, because we spend so much time in really thinking about how do we learn as individuals? How do I learn in the best way? Often that comes with humour, and it comes with easy ways to remember quite complex topics.
Jasper Degenaars: (29:23)
Like somebody, for example, explains an adaptogen. Like a car that has to go up and down the hill. But then an adaptogen makes you go on cruise control. Somehow, that made sense to me. Then I started to remember it like that.
Jasper Degenaars: (29:39)
Together, we live in such a visual age with Instagram and all these other lights that are coming into our eyeballs. Together with, they just changed the name, but director of creativity, basically, Holden Davis, he's actually an Australian, and he's one of the best videographers, directors, I've ever had the blessing to working with. So we not only create something that's fun and engaging, but it's also beautiful to look at, and really the quality of what we are about, that speaks for itself. If somebody wants to have a less quality course, or wants to do a four hour course with an old lady behind a desk filmed on her phone, the kind of workshop, that's not what we're about. I really think that's the blue ocean that we're all creating for ourselves, is really doing the thing that we would like to have in the world.
Jasper Degenaars: (30:35)
I think especially online education is so archaic, or education right now is archaic. Especially online. Why? I had a super interesting seminar, it lasted eight hours on the Michika, they call themselves, and they're a sacred mushroom use. This man was just having a really old PowerPoint presentation, and would take 20 second breaks. That's maybe tolerable in a university setting. But online, I'm not going to ... I'm sorry, this is my jam. This is what I absolutely love to learn. But this way of absorbing the knowledge is just not the way that I want to absorb that knowledge. It's the same with medicinal mushroom supplements. I don't know if that's a good word, supplements, or working with these amazing allies that create these beneficial compounds and energies.
Jasper Degenaars: (31:25)
If I really want to collaborate with them, I want a mushroom that's grown in their natural environments. Maybe even in the time of year that they like to grow, and sourced ethically. I don't want anything mass produced. I don't want some mycelium grown on grain. Because I just want something that's good for me, and that I like working with. Again, that's where this idea of quality comes in. There's even this old German proverb, it's like, "I can't afford to buy cheap because then you have to keep buying it."
Jasper Degenaars: (31:55)
I think what is really arising from this non-commercialistic or non-mass production movement in many ways, as some people exclaim it to be zero waste movement, which is very similar in many aspects. It's like, I just don't want to buy something that's not going to last. Because that's A, not sustainable for the planet. And that's not creating a nice experience for myself, and that's why I'm getting this thing in the first place. There's many different ways of looking at business and collaboration. I think this is why podcasts and what we do with Instagram Live is such a cool way to collaborate with people, right? Because you can share each others' stories which, again, marketing with each others' audiences, and then everybody's happy.
Jasper Degenaars: (32:40)
Because we have an amazing conversation, your audience gets to know a little bit more about mushrooms and possibly Fungi Academy, and maybe one of those people will be like, "Fuck, Fungi Academy sounds like an epic place, I need to go to Guatemala." Because that can happen. And then an individual's life is changed. I think that is really the beauty of the age of the internet that we live in. And we just have to understand that internet, a lot of it is also not quality, right? Most Instagram is not quality. So consume quality in all shapes and manners and support locally. Because locally there is often more quality.
A couple of things to sort out, I love how the Germans have a proverb for everything .
Jasper Degenaars: (33:22)
It's like I've got a couple of German mates, and it is just endless giggles for me, hearing the sayings and the traditions that just kind of, "Yes, we have a tradition for that." You talked about marketing in this type of conversation. Talking about that side of whether it's herbalism or mushroom cultivation or usage that goes towards, say, the left brain of commodification and structure and sending a system out there, having an aspect of that organisation, utilising maybe the technology and you can feel that go into a black and white kind of sphere, while staying connected to that right brain, real nice and chaotic style of marketing that keeps you connected to the essence. You can see that collaboration between those two ways of being, and it's really, those develop a real nice insight there.
Now, the work there, of Fungi Academy, I can really see you guys, I can see a similarity between the Taoist style of herbalism and the Traditional Chinese Medicine, the 1950s Maoists kind of coming in, they created a new westernised pathology, talking about western disease states and how to treat them, with various points and formulas. I can see how you guys now talk about the teaching of cultivation of the sacred mushroom on an online course, teaching people where to access the spores. I can see you're in this big boom, where the clashing could be, because you're right in the middle of people wanting to institutionalise and completely own the capacity to administer mushrooms. I've heard it from practitioners going, "You really should only do this from a trained practitioner."
It's like, "Well, that's a very left-brained black and white, you're ultimate in this kind of sphere, ultimate republican way of thinking about it." Whereas, how did we get here? Same with herbalism. People are like, "No, no, only practitioners trained in these universities are allowed to administer herbs." It's like, "What about the last 10,000 years of people gaining a less institutionalised way of bringing those herbs into their lives, into the community, with a certain amount of wisdom?" That's what you're bringing out with the mushrooms. I can really see that world that you're inhabiting now of making sure that this doesn't get completely institutionalised and that the fear around having your own sovereignty and using of a medicine, and the fear that we have of even going down the track of going, "Maybe, I could learn about this, and I could responsibly grow or hold space for people journeying with the sacred mushroom."
That's what you're kind of, I guess, by bringing that beautiful light, too, I'd love to hear your thoughts and the journey around that.
Jasper Degenaars: (36:34)
Thank you for seeing us so clearly. And yeah, we're really about decentralising this movement, and I think psychotherapists or clinicians say like, "You have to do it in a safe environment with somebody with a paper from a specific university and you have to lay on the couch, and you have to listen to a pre-curated playlist accepted by the government." Sure, there's going to be a space for that, for the people that really need it. But that's not how I got into it. That's not how most people got into it. I've had crazy healing experiences. I kind of got shivers right now thinking about me and my friends, just walking through the park. Because in the Netherlands, you go to the store, you get some truffles these days, and you go hang out in the park or something.
Jasper Degenaars: (37:21)
I was blessed enough to live in a quiet nature-surrounded area in the Netherlands. For us, the park was actually ... There's wild horses, and there's actually seclusion from some traffic. I was not prepared. I didn't think about setting at those times, I was a young 18 year old. But I had a lot of fun. Then afterwards, I felt happy, and I felt lighter. I think everybody should have those experiences. I felt really confident in my experiences because I like learning. So I went to [inaudible 00:37:50] and I started reading so many peoples' experiences. I started figuring out a couple things. It's always going to end, that's the main thing. You're never going to trip forever. Just drink water, make sure you find a safe spot. Make sure you have a way out, or something. Especially if you go in nature. And control your dose.
Jasper Degenaars: (38:14)
Especially as a young person, I was actually surprised that I've had so many just extremely good experiences. This goes hand in hand with the cultivation, right? I started cultivating because I just didn't want to buy truffles all the time, and they were like 15 bucks. But then I could buy these mushroom grow kits, and they're like 40 bucks, and you get enough mushrooms for basically a lifetime, and for your friends. So I thought, this is way more economically viable for me to have these amazing experiences. Then I just got captivated, enthralled by this experience of seeing them pin for the first time. Then every day, they grow a little bit more. Then you just have this beautiful, happy flush of mushrooms. It made me so happy, that I kept wanting to do it.
Jasper Degenaars: (38:58)
That kind of ties in with the idea that the moment, for example, psilocybe cubensis the mushroom that most people cultivate because it's by far the easiest will become legalised everywhere in the world. There's going to be mass production. That's what happened in the Netherlands. That's still happening in the Netherlands, to an extent. It's happening in the United States right now. I've had mushrooms that I know come from big-ass laboratories, they don't feel nice to me. I do not resonate with that at all. But I do resonate with the ones I grow or my friends grow, because we put in our intentions and our magic and our prayers and our grace and our thanks.
Jasper Degenaars: (39:37)
The moments, not even before the last stage. I talked to another sacred mushroom cultivation teacher, he's based in the UK and his name is Darren Le Baron. He said for him, the ceremony starts when he goes to the store and he buys the grain that he's going to give the mushrooms for food. That's what I thought was really beautiful. Well, for me it starts the moment that I germinate the spores, and then the spores become mycelium, and then I'm going to give the mycelium a bigger home where they have more food and then when they're ready, I'm going to give them their ultimate food source. Often, we actually do a little prayer. I play music, there's mushroom jazz, I think mushrooms love jazz. Makes total sense to me.
Jasper Degenaars: (40:20)
I've had really beautiful experiences. It's funny, most people, for example, don't like the taste of mushrooms. But I've grown mushrooms that tasted delicious. Which is dangerous, don't grow mushrooms that are delicious. But yeah, the main idea is that it's a quite easy skill to get a hold of. Spores are accessible everywhere in the world. If everybody knows how to grow mushrooms, then there's no need for a big industry to pop up, because everybody can have a shoebox in their home. It's really easy, like I said before, to grow so much that you don't know what to do with it. If 10% of the population knows how to do that, everybody in the world has enough mushrooms because it's really easy to grow so much.
Jasper Degenaars: (41:07)
And the decriminalisation, right? Because if everybody knows how to grow mushrooms, what, is the government just going to arrest 40% of the population? That's not going to happen, you know? On the other hand, there's also going to be less space for these massive, massive industries. Because it's such a beautiful process. And with most psychedelics, you can't really easily build it on personal relationship with your medicine. Some people can grow ayahuasca, you can grow San Pedro. If you have patience, you can grow peyote. If you're a really good chemist, you can make LSD, but that's out of the question for most people. But growing mushrooms, or even getting a mushroom grow kit like you can buy in the Netherlands, and then having that experience of seeing them grow and putting the intention and harvesting them, I think is accessible to everybody.
If it's decriminalised, you can see those big labs, there are going to be people that just love the mechanical, organised pharmaceutical nature. It will find its natural place in the ecosystem, and it will naturally have its market. Then, it's got the opportunity for people. They come in, they just maybe discover it that way, they're prescribed it that way, and it's like someone going from a big medicinal mushroom from this huge company, grown on grain. Actually I want something now that's grown in the wild, that's [inaudible 00:42:33], they have a powder or move from a tablet to a powder. Then potentially, they move to, hang on. I've got all these medicinal mushrooms in my backyard that I can go and harvest.
People can fluctuate and move through that spectrum. That's why criminalization is just an absolute crock of shit. It's just trying to artificially control, which is what we do, an ecosystem. Eventually, the ecosystem's going to buck its back legs and kick you off. One way or another, we know that's going to happen.
Jasper Degenaars: (43:07)
I like to tell a story, actually it's quite relevant. It warmed my heart so much. Because with our students, we started doing these online integration circles for people that have had psychedelic experiences. One of our students is actually a lady, and I think she's at the end of her 50's. And she hadn't done psychedelics for 20, 30 years. But she had to call. So she signed up for our mushroom cultivation course and psychedelic journey work course. And what I really loved is that she obviously didn't have anybody in her community that's like, "Yo, can I buy magic mushrooms?" Because she was doing the working thing, and yeah. So she decided to take that into her own hands, and she grew her own mushrooms from spores, and then she had her first psychedelic experience in 30 years.
Jasper Degenaars: (43:51)
Now, she feels completely connected to her creativity. She feels so empowered. Because she had this calling, she decided to take action, and she did it herself. That's also the power, especially before decriminalisation. Right? There's a lot of places where it is decriminalised. But some people really want to call in this medicine, and if you don't know a drug dealer, if you don't know how to forage, where are you going to get mushrooms these days? I think that's also a big power of learning how to grow mushrooms yourself, if you're not reliant on finding some shitty guy on the corner that maybe will sell you some bad stuff, or having to really hunt for something you're not completely certain of.
Jasper Degenaars: (44:36)
I think before, the widespread thing ... I'm not encouraging anybody to do anything illegally. But I think it is where some of the power and how some of this movement and changing can definitely happen.
For sure. Yeah. I'll just tell everyone, please don't reach out and ask where to get mushrooms in Australia.
Jasper Degenaars: (45:01)
No, I don't sell mushrooms. No selling.
Or with Jasper anywhere in the world. Just to put it out there. But I like the fact that you're mentioned, because quite often, the way that we're programmed is it's a bunch of hippies, running around, irresponsibly taking drugs. You've already mentioned it's like, hang on, there's a few principles and a little bit of wisdom and common sense. But if that's out there in the community, we know how to ensure that you've got the odds in your favour to have a beautiful experience and that you're safe. It doesn't take much. It does not take much to have a beautiful, deep experience that's really, really safe.
But it's beautiful to see that, getting out there. Let's talk about that space, and what you see has been the major healing to people, having journeys. Being called to the medicine. What do you see being that particular intention that someone has, or a particular stage of their life where that resonance and that connection with the medicine when it comes up? What do you see is the teaching that people are really being called to? And how is it done with this mushroom?
Jasper Degenaars: (46:11)
That's a really good question. I think why are people mainly called to it, in our lives we have experiences that create patterns in our system that are not necessarily aligning with who we are destined, or who we naturally are. These things are called traumas, and they're quite hard to overcome. For example, I think my personally, when I was 18 and I first started experimenting with these things, I never intended to get over my depression to help with these mushrooms. But I really liked altering my state of consciousness, and one day, my parents were out of town for the weekend or something, and I bought ... This is before I started cultivating. This is actually the first really big journey I had by myself. I bought a big one, it's actually like a little container of truffles.
Jasper Degenaars: (47:09)
I went home, and I ate all of them together with some bread and, I think, peanut butter or something. I didn't like the taste of truffles. I put up the Lion King, just a way for it to come up. Because I was just thinking, I'm going to laugh, I'm going to see crazy things, I'm going to have a good time. And I just saw so much of myself in Simba. I was like, "Oh man, I'm spending too much time with Timon and Pumba in the jungle, I need to step up my game and become a little bit more serious. I need to become the prince that I'm destined to be." Or something like that. I really felt a connection. I had just started crying for so long of the beauty of life, and how gifted ... Not gifted, but I'm a little lost for words here. But how lucky I was, I was born in the Netherlands, and that I had all these opportunities.
Jasper Degenaars: (48:04)
I decided to really make a big change in my life afterwards. I was going to take care of this body of mine, and I was going to be nicer to people, and be more out there, and develop the things that I'm good at developing. That's when I started to grow mushrooms, because I really wanted to, yeah, explore that. I feel that that was a healing of a pain that didn't make me believe in myself. I think that completely got washed over. Fast forward many years later, almost two years ago, when we first moved to this property with Fungi Academy, and we did a big group ceremony, and I was addicted to the spliff, my man. Not weed, not tobacco, but together, oh my God. I got so addicted.
Jasper Degenaars: (48:52)
I was like, "How can I shake this addiction?" I'd stop for many months, and then I went back into it. How can I shake this? I came in with this journey, and I had five grammes. The classic Terence McKenna hero's dose, whatever you want to call it. I asked the mushrooms, why am I doing this to myself? Why can I not stop? Then without force or anything, the mushrooms just showed me where it originated. I got picked on when I was 13. But then I was able to see the pain that the people that were picking on me were going through. I saw, didn't meet their parents ever. But I saw that their parents were also causing them pain, and they needed to reflect that pain on somebody else, and I was able to forgive them. And I was able to forgive myself.
Jasper Degenaars: (49:39)
Then boom, next thing you know, two years later, and I'm not addicted anymore. I'm even at the stage where I can have one or two puffs, and I'm not wanting a lot more than that. I think a lot of us that are called to the mushrooms are looking to heal parts of themselves that are not aligned, that are blocking their complete alignment with themselves. Besides that, I also see it's a good wake up call. For example, another personal example, because that's the easiest for me. I kind of subconsciously repress anxiety. But that's not naturally good. But when I'm on a big psychedelic journey, I often feel immense anxiety. Sometimes, I can't leave my bed for the first 30 minutes that it's really coming on. I just need to feel that. I just need to let it out of my system and my body, and I feel lighter.
Jasper Degenaars: (50:33)
And I feel more myself. I have more of an open heart, and I feel I can be more myself for other people and show up more for other people. Those are the two basically main ones, is healing and nice, like we've talked about at the beginning of the conversation, right? That house of mirrors, a nice, little reflection. Like hey, where am I going? What am I doing? Is this actually aligned with the things I find really interesting? They're mentors and teachers. They will be that for my whole life.
How do you teach people about a way to have a relationship, a friendship, a mentorship, whatever it is with the mushroom? Do you have conversation around like, again, there is a crazy correlation between tonic herbs and the work that you're doing, just and I can see where the terminology I assume would go. In the beginning, like let's say Terence McKenna, hero dose. Every now and then, it's like a mega dose. When I started, I was like, two high heaped tablespoons a day of chaga and reishi, for two years. Then I did a 10 day fast on reishi. I'm pretty sure I will never have to do that again in my life. But maybe, I might have a big corner to turn. I go, "Yeah, you know what? Yeah, that hero dose or that megadose comes into relevance."
Maybe when you start out, you've got a deficiency of jing or whatever it is. And you go hard on jing herbs for two months. Then once a year or twice a year, you may have that feeling towards a particular herb and you go hard to build yourself up. But then, where you land, eventually, is a really responsible maintenance dose of small amount of herbs, consistently, and you don't really need them or rely on them to give you those feelings that you got to begin with, because your lifestyle, your food, your little bit of herb, the way you're living, is keeping your organs flowing. Therefore, you kind of can't feel that big hit of energy anymore from the herbs, because your energy's already moving.
How do you have that conversation in the world of psychedelics and mushrooms? Where do you see dependencies come up? Where do you see people not respecting the fact that their body wants to have more of an immersion, but they're too scared to go into that? How does that whole world look?
Jasper Degenaars: (53:05)
It's a very good question. It's a challenging place to navigate. Because it depends. Everybody is very different. Some people are very sensitive to the medicine, and some people are not sensitive at all. I even keep meeting more and more people that the mushrooms have stopped working in its entirety, which is very fascinating to me. Because I've become more sensitive over the years. If I would do five grammes now, yeah, that would be a very big dose for me compared to what it was two years ago, for example. I feel it's like, really important that everybody needs to tune in with what their state of mind is.
Jasper Degenaars: (53:44)
Dependency is not ever something that I really see happening with psychedelics, because they're not always pleasurable. They will show you your dark side. Especially if you start, I say this a lot, but "abusing them." Because if you just use them too much, it's amazing to take psychedelics at a festival sometimes. But if you take it all the time at festivals, they're going to show you some not pleasant experiences. I remember for example, the last day of a festival, I had a little bit of LSD, and I couldn't talk to anybody. That was a good lesson for me. That is not what I want to do at a festival. I want to connect with these people. I don't want to be in my own world, and confused, and not being able to talk.
Jasper Degenaars: (54:26)
I really encourage everybody to tune in with themselves. If you're uncertain, don't do it. If you're called to the medicine, and you want to work with the medicine, and you want to face that fear. Even if, because uncertainty and fear is not the same thing. If you're like, "Well I really want to do this, but I'm scared." That's what I experienced with my first Kambo session this Saturday. I was like, "Oh my God, I really want to do this, but I'm scared as fuck." Okay, then I should probably do this. But if there's uncertainty ...
This coming Saturday? Or last Saturday?
Jasper Degenaars: (54:55)
No, it was last Saturday. So yeah. I had another one on Tuesday, and it was less scary, and it was really beautiful.
Yeah, second Kambo is so much. I found it much more approachable.
Jasper Degenaars: (55:10)
Yeah. Actually I found it a little bit [crosstalk 00:55:13].
Jasper Degenaars: (55:13)
But yeah, the first one was actually, I completely surrendered, right? To go back into this idea of really tuning into what you want, I think it's really important to really listen to your guts. Even with Kambo, we can use this example as well. The medicine woman I was working with was asking me, "What number is coming to your mind?" That's how it is. Do your research. Kind of understand, what an average of two grammes does to a person of my weight and height? What do those five grammes do to this person? And start with something that you think you're going to be comfortable with. You can always take a booster dose. That's the beautiful thing with mushrooms, right? If you feel it coming up after 45 minutes, you get the gut feeling. It's like, "I think I can have more." Have more. That's the simplicity of this.
Jasper Degenaars: (56:07)
I do this all the time. I start with a smaller dose, then after 45 minutes when I'm like, "Yeah, I feel comfortable, I feel like I can face this a little bit deeper." I'll have some more. I think that's the beauty. If you're not comfortable, if you don't know how you're going to respond, have somebody close to you that's experienced that's actually there to look after you, and maybe to take like half a gramme, or even 0.2 or something, a micro dose, so they're tuned into the same energies. But you go deeper. That's really what I experienced.
Jasper Degenaars: (56:41)
As somebody that has a lot of solo journeys, if somebody is right next to you, and you feel safer, you feel safe with this person, your whole body just relaxes. You're allowed to go deeper into this space. I think those are the big lessons. Listen to your guts, ask for help, and do ... I think knowledge is power with everything. If you're not feeling certainty, maybe read more about how the ancient Michika were taking these sacraments. Read about the Shamans in Siberia, how they used amanita muscaria, you know? There's never enough information, at least for me, information gives me confidence. If you're called to something, and you really want to do this, confidence is key in mushroom cultivation but also psychedelic exploration.
Do you guys cover this in your course? Psychedelic, is it journey work?
Jasper Degenaars: (57:38)
Yeah, so we actually teamed up with Julian Vayne, I don't know if you're familiar. He's one of the best psychedelic teachers I've ever encountered. He's a super well spoken, amazing storyteller. Has written over 30 books on psychedelics and magic and Paganism, and these kinds of things. He wrote one of the best psychedelic books that I've ever read, not written but read. No, that's the explorer's guide. I'm a little bit like ... The name [crosstalk 00:58:13].
What's his name?
Jasper Degenaars: (58:14)
Julian Vayne, and Getting Higher.
How do you spell Vayne?
Jasper Degenaars: (58:16)
Oh yeah, cool.
Jasper Degenaars: (58:19)
Julian Vayne, V-A-Y-N-E. Getting Higher, that's it.
The Manual of Psychedelic Ceremony?
Jasper Degenaars: (58:27)
It's super short, it's super powerful, and we just go a little bit deeper into this with the course. Together with, we had a brother create a whole psychedelic soundtrack for the course, and the cinematography. It's like a journey in itself. But then you learn about journeying, and yeah, it's super well done. It comes with great tips, it comes with journaling prompts. It comes with hot to set up a space, what kind of music is often appropriate for these kinds of ceremonies.
Dude, it's such a good offering. Connecting, the certification of becoming a certified psychonaut. Just learning how to put on that uniform and take off.
Jasper Degenaars: (59:15)
Just again, as I get older, you realise, wow, that really is a dimension. Like any dimension, you can really learn that landscape. I think that's where for me, being a bit younger, jumping around. I've never really had what I'd call a negative experience, or anything happened that was untoward with my psychedelic journeys. But I definitely can see coming out the back-end I was like, I didn't really have that facilitation of the dimensions I was going into with Ayahuasca, with San Pedro, there wasn't as much of a community with an understanding of that terrain. Not that it's bad. It's just taken me a few years to land all the experiences. It's just really sweet to see, like a course ... How long does a course take? It's like 12 videos, right?
Jasper Degenaars: (01:00:18)
Yeah. I think it's like 12 15 to 20 minute videos.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:00:24)
Yeah, it's basically like two, three weeks. We like that people can watch it at their own pace, and it comes with a 70 page workbook with more reading material and checklists. I actually just accumulated some playlists that I'm going to put in as well. Dear brother, latest ancestor, Oliver Merivee made amazing psychedelic journey playlists that have made me go so much deeper as well. I think the playlists are actually already on the website as a freebie for people.
I saw that.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:00:59)
If they want to check out the playlists, that's a really good way to connect with a very dear, past brother of mine. If you want to go deep, it's wow. I still cry thinking about the last songs in that playlist. It's just ridiculous what kind of emotions music comes up to. It's all based on the four matrices of Stanislav Grof, I don't know if you're familiar. But the idea that every psychedelic journey is the four stages of birth. So first you're in the womb, you're chilling, floating. Then you get pushed through and suddenly your whole world is changing, everything you've known before is just changing. You're getting pushed through. Then you're getting to the moment of birth, the almost coming out. Then the last stage is the actual coming out of your mother. That you hear her voice, and all these kinds of things.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:01:52)
So a playlist that's tuned into those ideas, I think Stanislav Grof was on the right track, and Oliver made a very, very good playlist. I think one thing that people think, intense music actually brings up these emotions sometimes that we need to feel. It's not always pleasant. But I'm not hitting a big dose of mushrooms to necessarily have a consistent experience. I come in with wanting to get something out of that experience, to learn something about myself that makes me a better person, or makes me a better version of myself is a better way to put it.
Yeah. And you can judge or consider where you're at, and how healthy and sound you are, in that capacity. How wide your container is, in being able to go into a more uncomfortable space. I feel you on that, and that's the whole integration thing. If you up the IQ of what it takes to land an experience, then you don't just have your container sitting there, constantly filling up and going for another journey. When what you need to do is really assimilate and then if you go through that assimilation process and you're actually evolving, changing your mind, and you're leaving behind attachments of your belief systems and your dogmatic way of seeing the world and yourself and everyone else.
Then your container becomes nice and empty again, maybe even a little bit bigger, and you can go even get a little bit more uncomfortable. Yeah. [inaudible 01:03:23] man.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:03:24)
I think that's even a meme. You're a man of memes, and there's a meme of this person coming out of a cave, and it's like, "I'm going to have a psychedelic experience." Behind him is this big, sludgy monster, it's like all the past experiences you have not yet integrated, right? Often, integration is often about talking about your experience. Sharing that experience, and asking for ... If you're hurt, and maybe people can give some reflections. That's why we started doing these online integration circles. Because a lot of people don't have the time or the capacity or are not allowed to go sit in a circle with people and talk about their psychedelic experience. Yeah. We just did the first one on Tuesday, and it was very magical. Everybody left with some butterfly, warm feelings. It really was beautiful to see that sense of connection from people that I've never seen or spoken to before from around the world.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:04:17)
That is also the power of the internet, again, right? We can feel community and connection and be heard and go through our experiences. And sometimes even better. I can talk to this complete stranger about all my darkest secrets, because they live in Botswana. I don't know why Botswana came to mind. But Botswana, and I'm here, in Guatemala. So that's a safe person to talk to.
I feel you. I feel you. It's like it's separating us but just smashing all these boundaries that were present before. The course looks great, rad. I think we might organise to grab one of those off you, we'll purchase that and do a giveaway.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:05:00)
Do a giveaway?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:05:03)
Do a giveaway.
What do you reckon? Do a giveaway for someone who's feeling the call to get on that course? If you're listening to this, hopefully you've got in early and you're not too late.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:05:16)
Otherwise, for the people who are late, we're going to do a big discount for the SuperFeast listeners as well. That's a good thing.
Do we need a code for those people?
Jasper Degenaars: (01:05:25)
It's probably, let's do SuperFeast, easy, it doesn't exist yet. We'll make it.
It will by the time these guys listen.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:05:34)
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Guys, think, that's how organised we are. Man, I reckon it'd be good to jump onto a chat down the track, and really get into some nuance around the journey work. This has been really insightful. I really love falling into this world, because it's emerging so fast, and evolving so fast, and there's so much. It's like the universe expanding, and there's so much chaos. Just, I know what it takes to quickly go out in the creation cycle and put structure around that chaos as it emerges, so that it is something that can be integrated with grace and ease into everyone's life. You know? Whether you're a bushman who's bringing in those fungi vibes into the matrix, and you want a little bit more insight of how to really land it, into people who are a little bit more in civilization, or someone who's sitting at a desk and they want to know how they can ...
Beyond going and seeing someone like a therapist who's going to go and facilitate them, that feels maybe a little bit serious, how to actually start stepping out of your comfort zone. But make sure you're getting some real solid wisdom to ensure that your experience is going to be really potentiated. I can see how much work and intent's gone into it, over at Fungi Academy and all the other beautiful people that are on that journey right now. I think as many people as possible who are feeling the call should just tune into your work. Definitely follow your Instagram, it's really great. I really enjoy following your Instagram.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:07:24)
Thank you. I really appreciate that, too. And check out our newsletter, because our newsletter. Because our Instagram is, I want to flip them off because they're on a fucking Facebook censorship machine, and I actually don't want to support censorship. But on the other hand, newsletter, we can talk about MDMAs, and psychotherapy. And we can talk about psilocybin and all these things that I cannot talk about on Instagram, because they will ban us again. That's really where I see it more evolving. And of course, our website as well. These are the places that we own, and we can be safe in.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:07:56)
Yeah. It's a good lesson, of getting banned and getting your account back. Because it's like, okay, we need to not be this reliant on one platform. What do we actually control? Even, he just got his account back as well, but Fascinated by Fungi, 500,000 people on Tik Tok, he doesn't even talk about psychedelics and he just got banned. You know? That's ridiculous. Why is that happening? It's like, you guys don't like people learning about the natural world, is that it? That's just crazy to me.
Social media's a weird and wonderful beast.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:08:31)
I know, I know. But I like the idea of a podcast, right? Because you have the time to go in depth and really hear somebody's character and story. Yeah. I really think those longer, deeper media is how we connect more as individuals. You know, I kind of felt like we didn't cover the fun of psychedelics just yet. That's a thing that the whole narrative's now going towards. And that we definitely cover. We want to represent in all of our teachings as well. It's fun. Psychedelics can be so much fun. I don't think I've ever laughed as hard as one of the first times, I think the first time I did mushrooms.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:09:11)
Before smartphones, we put this phone with some carnival music, and there's this lazy dog on the beach. We put the phone with the music on under the dog, and the dog doesn't give a fuck, and we just hid behind a bush and just watched people freak out, because this music was coming from the dog. So they thought the dog swallowed a radio or something. It felt like hours just straight up laughing. It was the best thing ever. It felt healing, but I think that's a powerful lesson of it as well. Especially the mushrooms, you know, they're light hearted, they're fun. That's also another way I'm looking at life. How can I live life more fun? How can I see work as play? Going back into this business talk. Because that's not what I'm doing.
Yeah, I feel you on that. Again, everyone just thinks it's gone too far with using drugs just to have fun, and it's a sacred medicine, you're not allowed to use them like that. It's like, all right, if you just peel back just a little bit, you respect that it's got a clinical application. Then yeah, it's a riot. The cathartic laughter that you have when you come off the next day and your jaw is absolutely killing you from smiling so much and you go, wow, I really am not smiling so much at the moment. If that's hurting. It's beautiful.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:10:31)
It's really beautiful. I'm glad you brought that up. Because I think right now, everyone's worried about, PC's so prevalent, and everyone's just sitting back on their heels. And it's just like, we're in serious conversation around PTSD and depression and how these things are going to really help with these clinical, awful, life-ending conditions at times. Are we allowed to say that it's fun? Are we allowed to say that it's fun without being branded as a '60s hippy, or someone that's abusing a sacred medicine or anything like that. Yeah. I'm glad you said it.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:11:06)
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, at least [inaudible 01:11:10] they called the laughing mushroom, right?
Jasper Degenaars: (01:11:12)
I love that. It's like Mesoamerica. It's so serious, Teonanacatyl, flesh of the Gods. The Chinese just like laughing mushrooms, just makes you laugh.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:11:25)
If you can keep yourself from getting clinical early on, by using appropriate preventative expansive usage and intention around the laughing mushroom, the tonics, you keep yourself in balance and harmony. If you have a journey where it is laughter and expansion based, and you go, wow, there's a part of me that I'd love to continue to move towards, towards that 80 year old self that is always able to have that laughter. It might not be there in that moment, and there may be a little bit of, this is just coming out when I do the mushroom. But as you go along, it gives you that insight. You really can change your trajectory towards that beautiful, jovial ...
I've got several people in my mind now, and they're those 70 year olds and 80 year olds and they don't need mushrooms, or they don't need anything. They don't need the alcohol, even though it might've played a part in their lives to just open up this huge heart, this never-ending, laughing, beam of light person that you just want to be around all the time. And that's an elder.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:12:35)
Yeah. Not many of those elders, unfortunately, exist. When I think of old people, I even refer to them as old people and not elders. I feel so much change has happened, especially in this last half of the 20th century, that it's so hard for the elderly to adapt. It feels like we're living in absolutely completely different worlds. Most of their knowledge is archaic. Because the next generation is going to need really, really good elders. I think that's why the psychedelic movement is better or has more foundation right now, because there are some of these elders that the '60s and '70s didn't have, right? They didn't have these elders that could hold the space, and do this in a ... I want to say rights, but that doesn't feel like it's the correct term. But the most holistic way that everybody can benefit from it, I think is a better way of putting it.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:13:34)
Those elders exist right now, and I think in the mycology world, Paul Stamets is a good example. Then we have Rick Doblin, and the list goes on and on of these epic human beings that are really pushing this forward in the most holistic way, and they carved the path for us to walk on. Now, we need to make sure that this path stays clear. How do we become those elders that you're imagining, that I'm imagining? And how can we leave this world ... In a communal space, going back to the community, right? Leave the place cleaner than you found it, that's kind of how I'm treating life as well. Let's try to leave this planet more beautiful, more clean, more holistic than we found it, than we got here. We didn't really find it.
Sing it, brother. You know what I forgot to bring up before, I was going to give a shout out, the most boss name in the fungi world, Darren Le Baron.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:14:34)
What a name.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:14:36)
Such a name.
That's a power name.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:14:38)
Such a power name. There's also, another friend of mine, Myc Tyson, M-Y-C Tyson, I think is also fantastic.
Wait, how did you spell it? We're not talking about actual Mike Tyson are we?
Jasper Degenaars: (01:14:50)
No, no, M-Y-C Tyson.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:14:52)
Like Mycology Tyson.
Hang on there, now I'm with you. Oh that's sick.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:14:56)
I think you got the real Mike Tyson, not the real Mike Tyson, like M-Y-C Myc is just a figment of your imagination. We're like, "No." Then we've got boxing Mike Tyson as well, joining the community of psychedelics now isn't he?
Jasper Degenaars: (01:15:12)
Yeah, for sure, I think. But he's a hard headed person. I didn't see the podcast, but I heard he ate five grammes and then went on a podcast, and was still able to talk. I'm like, how? That doesn't look like a fun time. But also how? I can't talk in five grammes, that's just not possible. I go so into myself, that I just need to experience my emotions and my reality. I don't think he's the best role model for the psychedelic industry.
No. He's just a fun presence.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:15:46)
He's a fun presence, yeah. The crazy uncle of the psychedelic world.
Oh man, this has been sick. I really appreciate your time and yeah, going on the mycelial roller coaster, and giving us a little dip into that dimension, which is a place where that bridge, as you were talking about, setting up having the oldest prism, and the academy present, you said the right way. And I hear you on that. Setting up this pathway and this bridge to that dimension, and to that healing process and that ongoing relationship that it's sustainable, it's responsible, it's organised. It knows how to give space to allowing the magic to unfold within a beautiful container almost. So yeah, it's really been great chatting to you about that, not a black and white thing, which I feel I've got a real tangible connection to right now, and I'm sure everyone else is loving it as well. Hope everyone goes and jumps on your mailing list. Fungi Academy, F-U-N-G-I Academy.com, and you'll see where you can sign up there.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:17:00)
Yeah, slash newsletter is the easiest way, probably.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:17:03)
Thanks so much for having me on. I feel, it's like I can do this forever with you. I feel like I always learn something, I always laugh about something. It's an absolutely blast connecting with you, Mason.
Yeah, you, too, man.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:17:14)
Thanks for having me on.
Let's do it again. Maybe another, I think, go live on my Instagram, your Instagram, another podcast, we've got nothing but time.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:17:24)
Yeah, maybe we can start a podcast together, who knows?
That'd be fun.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:17:28)
I've got the only other podcast I want to start, which I haven't mentioned to anyone yet. But my own personal work, you could probably say I've gone more subversive and kind of counter culture to the wellness scene, which is the scene that I am a part of, for some reason. I want to start a podcast called Health Sucks.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:17:47)
Health Sucks, yes.
And that's all, as far as I've gotten. Maybe we can definitely collab and get you on as a very good friend of the show.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:18:04)
Nice, yeah. We're also starting something, the Fungi Show, it's the working title we've got so far. But we only want to do it in person, that's the thing. So I just have to come to Australia, or you just have to come here.
Yeah. It makes it good.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:18:16)
It's got to happen.
When you're only in person, it makes it great because you know, you can feel, you go, "Bang, I know me and that person are going to eventually be in the same place." It just makes you get some skin in the game, or lay some really strong intentions. That kind of prayer goes out there into the fabric of the universe. Then boom. People talk about developing a bucket list. I kind of see it more, I call it the awesome list. On your awesome list of intentions of things that you most likely have in your future, or you've got to choose from, are those sitting down in person with you and you and you. I really like that. I think you should definitely stick to that in person vibe.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:19:00)
Yeah, it's going to happen. Like I said before, Instagram is for digital connections.
Yeah. Instagram gets the [crosstalk 01:19:06] connection.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:19:06)
I need to come back to Australia, man. I miss Australia. When the world opens up, I'm going to visit the Northern Rivers. Mullumbimby is the spot.
Get that van again. I think we were talking about the rails last time?
Jasper Degenaars: (01:19:19)
Oh yeah, the rails.
You were in the van with the rails?
Jasper Degenaars: (01:19:21)
Yeah. Yeah. Living for nothing, no money. That was a time to be alive.
That was a time to be in Byron as well.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:19:29)
Oh yeah, for sure.
[crosstalk 01:19:30]. You're not getting away parking at rails anymore. It's been joojed up a bit. I think the budget for rangers going and shooing people along, all these bloody scallywag, vagabonds, living in their vans, it's gone through the roof. But there's ways to do it, as you always know.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:19:54)
Yeah, always. Great.
Beautiful, man. Come during mushroom season, of course, when you come to Australia. And yeah, thanks for coming on. I'll talk to you next time.
Jasper Degenaars: (01:20:05)