I have established a relationship with a variety of entheogenic compounds, most notably Psilocybin mushrooms, San Pedro cactus, Ayahuasca, and most recently, 5-MeO-DMT. These are the teachers that have, for some reason or another, entered my life’s journey. And I call them teachers for a reason.

I call them teachers not because I subscribe to some a priori animist worldview. This metaphysical belief and associated linguistic framework, co-opted from shamanism, has become very popular of late in circles that use entheogens for “spiritual” reasons. And if this ontological mythos serves those individuals, or anyone else, I have no qualms with it. As long as they do not force it upon anyone else, or judge others for not sharing their particular beliefs, they are free to interpret reality as they see fit. But because I believe everything to be an expression of the Self, I do not subscribe to the notion that there are spirits specific to certain plants that exists outside of yourself that are “summoned” when you consume them.

Rather, I think that when you consume a certain compound, let’s say for example psilocybin mushrooms, it acts as a specific key that opens a specific lock, which then reveals a specific aspect of yourself. I am borrowing this key metaphor with reverence from the late Sasha Shulgin. So then why do I use the word ‘teacher’ to refer to a process that I believe is contained within my own being as if I am referring to external entities? It’s because I find that word to be an extraordinary useful semantic placeholder to remind me what tremendous knowledge, insights, and wisdom is brought into my life when I connect with entheogens.

When you consume entheogens with an honest intention, open heart, and willingness to surrender to the experience, it is as if you are in the presence of a very wise and benevolent teacher. A teacher who is able to reveal to you the most penetrating insights into your life in a completely objective manner. Sometimes the teacher reflects to you where you are stuck in your life, and shows you which past events caused it. Other times the teacher show you what you can do to become unstuck, how to let go of those past events, and shows you the potential future that awaits you should you do so. And when you are truly fortunate, the teacher gives you a glimpse of the nature of your true being – infinite and eternal. These teachers are you, they are aspects of your divine and infinite being. So use these miraculous tools with reverence, embrace the little keys, and allow the teachings into your life.