#105 My awesome guest this week is filmmaker and director Mitch Schultz, the man behind the cult classic documentary: DMT; The Spirit Molecule.
I remember watching this movie when it came out, and it literally blew my mind! And with the ten year anniversary coming up of the film, it was fantastic to have Mitch on the show. Naturally, we dive into this topic, and why Mitch made this film… but here are a few random facts about DMT:
– DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a hallucinogenic tryptamine drug that occurs naturally in many plants and animals. It is also referred to as the “spirit molecule” due to the intense psychedelic experience.
– DMT has been used as a drug for thousands of years.
– Use of the drug as part of shamanic ritual is common in South America.
– Side effects include powerful hallucinations.
– Due to the nature of the drug, DMT is known as the “spirit molecule.”
So strap in and enjoy this conversation with me and Mitch 🙂
About Mitch Schultz: Mitch Schultz’ curiosity of the unknown universe forged his path in storytelling. With over 20 years of creative experience as a transmedia producer, experience designer, and educator, Mitch’s work explores the inherent connections among consciousness, nature, culture, and the evolving human mythology.
In the early ‘90s, the confluence of art, information, and technology became the perfect storm for the germination of ideas that continue to inspire Mitch today. His academic research (‘95-‘03) at UT Austin and New York University focused on communication theory, information technology, and media production. During his education, Mitch mentored with Visionary Producer, Tommy Pallotta, on films (Waking Life), music videos (Destiny, In the Waiting Line), and interactive sci-fi mystery (Amnesia Moon).
In 2003, Mitch launched Spectral Alchemy as a creative interface for his work and continued to develop his skills over the next decade- indie/studio development, broadcast, interactive design, and commercial production. In 2009, Mitch decided to focus exclusively on his personal creative vision. As a result, his first documentary, DMT: The Spirit Molecule, premiered two years later and became an instant cult classic. The DMTRMX project- an open source media library and emergent storyworld- became the inspiration for MYTHAPHI.
Links & Resources For Mitch Schultz
Ps. Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help begin to create lasting change in your life with this work.
1. Grab my free Daytime Reset Meditation
This is the very thing I do daily. And it only takes 7 minutes! The benefits are endless and a swear by it. DO NOT underestimate the power of this simple process– Click Here
2. Subscribe to my podcast. It’s completely free
Here I have conversations that go well beyond conventional health, wealth and wisdom to inspire us to be the best versions of ourselves daily. Guests include world leading experts in this field of work. Join my newsletter to stay up to date or… Subscribe on: iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Youtube
3. Join our Let It In Academy & connect with others who implement this work
This is where the rubber meets the road. Be part of a supportive community and also have direct access to me. This is a proven program to demystify meditation and help create transformation from the inside out – Click Here
Guy: Hi, my name is Guy Lawrence. And thanks for tuning into my podcast today. If you’re enjoying these conversations and you want to check out more of this transformational work, be sure to come back to guylawrence.com.au and join me as we go further down the rabbit hole. Enjoy the show.
Guy: Mitch, welcome to the podcast.
Mitch: Thanks for me having a guy. Appreciate it. Great to be here.
Guy: I have to say, it’s funny how things come full circle because I watched your documentary, DMT, the spirit molecule. I think it must’ve been 2011 something like that.
Mitch: would probably be about right. Yeah.
Guy: Okay. And I had no idea what the hell DMT was. I had no idea what the spirit molecule thingymajiggy was. And I remember watching that movie just go in no way. Holy shit. Yeah. And aside with me for months, like I like it, it really did. And it made me start to question everything and put me in, put me onto Joe Rogan, who I’d never heard of at the time either. And, and then in 2013 I found myself try and DMT. Okay. Uh, which I was terrified, but at the same time it was, it really was a very powerful experience. So I think as is certainly shaping who I am today, so I’ve got a lot to thank you for, I guess.
Mitch: Well, thank you for tuning in and, and uh, absolutely. I’m glad we could put that thing out there. It had the same effect for me.
Mitch: Um, never heard of it. Came across it. Try it, and life has never been the same in an amazing, amazing way.
Guy: Yeah. Wow. Well, look, before, before we get into DMT and dimethyltryptamine and everything, I always ask everyone, if you were on an airplane and a stranger sat next to you and asked you what you did for a living, what would you say?
Mitch: That’s a great question. I like that,
Mitch: you know, I’ve been struggling with how to define what I do over the last five to six years, um, because filmmaker just doesn’t seem to encapsulate everything anymore. Um, that had always been the case and it’s like, Oh yeah, I’m a filmmaker. I’m a filmmaker. Uh, at the same time really since the film came out, uh, that has opened up a lot and I’ve been diving more into philosophy and this is where the conversation always gets interesting on the airplane, uh, philosophy and technology and just human evolution as well. Um, and so that conversation usually goes, you know, one or two ways. It’s like, what the hell are you talking about? Uh, and then we just kind of shut it down or there’s a spark here and there’s usually a spark, um, on some level. And I always look for something that is going to resonate with the person that I’m chatting with, um, and trying to get a read off of where are they coming from, um, who are they in this world and what’s gonna sound enticing or at least open up some, some level of curiosity. Um, so it’s a of things I guess.
Guy: Yeah, definitely. And it’s definitely one of those things if, if your ears prick up to the depths of this conversation will, hopefully people will appreciate it today as well. Where we cover, um, was, did you always want to be a filmmaker? And did you ever expect to be them making a movie about DMT? Like how did the all converge in your life?
Mitch: Um, well, good question. I, I was raised in a family of storytellers I guess, and um, and my dad was a politician, but also worked in the banking world and he was always really good orator and I, you know, to hear him to speak. And my mom was a business owner as well, but she also had a way of being able to just connect and to communicate well with people and that would make them feel included as part of the conversation. And also feeling like, and always picked up on that and saw the power of that and not power in the sense of how do I control this? Um, but, but what it did for everybody involved in that communication. Um, and then also the storytelling aspects from kind of the mythological level that, that was always something that intrigued me. And coming across different mythologies always fascinated me.
Mitch: Um, and I guess the first time it really resonated with me that, Hey, I want to be a filmmaker. Um, I was probably an eighth or ninth grade and I was reading Jim Markson’s biography out of all fishes. And prior to him becoming a musician, he wanted to be a filmmaker. So went to film school and Jim being Jim, uh, kind of challenge quite a few people in his class with a short film that he made about sadomasochism and Nazis. And you can imagine in the early sixties that still had some, some pretty heavy resonance with people and really got anger, angered a lot of people in class. There were yelling at him as the story goes. Um, but I just saw that emotion that came out from that and I thought, wow, um, if you can do that with a film, what are the possibilities? Um, and I just thought I want to do something that can have that same sort of power, but in a very positive way.
Mitch: And so that was my first click to say, I want to be a filmmaker. And I didn’t really know that I’d be making the spirit molecule or anything related to psychedelics. Um, in fact, I had visions of making fiction films. That’s what I wanted to go do is direct feature films. Uh, but in my kind of early teens, I started dabbling in psychedelics myself. And at the time I’d say that was more of an escape as opposed to kind of an opening up and, and more discovery of self-discovery. But there were several, several experiences that were a lot more than just going out to a party and getting high and something that hit me and it always stuck with me. I wasn’t quite sure what that was, but there was something more there. Um, and it also just tied back into priority. Even touching psychedelics.
Mitch: I had a lot of mystical experiences as a child. I had a lot of experiences, yeah. With entities, uh, dreams where I was, where I felt I, I couldn’t even put the words to it at the time, but astral projection and just being able to get out of my body flying around. But these, these experiences were more real than real. Uh, they felt like they were something other than just this physical reality. Um, and then DMT came into my life right before my last year of grad school. Um, and this was in 2002. I had left psychedelics for a long time, hadn’t really touched them, and in front of mine was moving back to Brazil. He said, Hey, a group of us are getting together. Come on by. And uh, so never heard of DMT. Um, kind of was like, well, I’ve done LSD. I know what this is all about.
Mitch: The guy just kind of looked at me and laughed. He said, do you want to do this or not? I said, sure. Um, but had the most profound experience. I had the full ego death. Um, felt like I was dying in that first minutes, that experience, he saw the look of fear on my face and literally the second or within the first minute of coming back from that 10 minute experience, something clicked in me that said, you’ve got to make a movie about this. And that’s how it all kind of started. And, uh, I didn’t want to touch DMT again until I learned some more about it. So I spent about four years just researching as much as I could. And, uh, dr Strassman’s book popped up and that’s how we got here.
Guy: Wow. Maybe it’s taken me back to when I tried it actually. Cause I, I think I had the same thing. I was just terrified for the first minute or two. I had no idea what was going on. I had no one does. It’s like, you know, it’s almost like there’s this, it’s almost like we’ve been looking through a slither of reality and then, and then it’s just like somebody like was and open the curtain, you know, um, which is really hard to comprehend, but maybe we should explain what DMT is. Maybe let’s go there.
Mitch: Yeah. So dimethyltryptamine commonly referred to as DMT is probably the most profound psychedelic or psychoactive that we know about because of its short duration. And also because of its kind of other worldly nature. A lot of people described going to other places, um, being visited by entities. That could be any range of things from aliens to angels. Um, but to me where the most fascinating parts about dimethyltryptamine is that it’s a come straight from trip to fan. So it’s a, you know, from, you know, acid and basic building block of life and it’s not only made in our own bodies, um, goes through the blood brain barrier. It’s in our lawns and our urine flowing throughout us, but throughout nature, um, all mammals wait, certain plants have it and potentially every living organism has dimethyltryptamine within it. Um, and if you start thinking about what that means, um, as a Leanna standards set in the film, a common molecular language amongst all living beings, that changes the way that we start to interact, I think, um, and really opens up again, something big or why are people having such other worldly experiences where they’re tapping into what they feel is kind of like an information scape of reality.
Mitch: Um, and so that’s kind of the basics of it. Um, and then some human research was done by doctor Rick Straussman in the 90s, and that’s what the film was about. Okay. Okay. [inaudible] a thing that occurred to me then if it’s ever present within us and we produce it, why aren’t we, why is it not being activated? Right. Um, well I think it is being activated, but I think it’s on such minute levels that we just don’t have these overwhelming kind of spiritual experiences all the time. Um, it does play some role in how we’re perceiving reality because it’s in our bodies and you know, it doesn’t have to be all the way through to super psychedelic state, but the fact that it’s there, it’s part of our normal, how we’re regulating our space and time and how we’re perceiving how we’re seeing. And some people that might have higher levels of it or might have a little bit less of a MOA AI or the oxidase inhibitor, I always get tripped up on that point.
Mitch: Um, then there might be times where they’re going to have a little bit larger experience. Yeah, yeah, for sure. That’s definitely happened to me since, just from my own personal practice. But I mean, from my understanding, it, uh, the pineal gland produces it, which, which that’s the theory. That’s the theory, right? Yeah. Yeah. Dr Straussman had put out there and a lot of people have taken it since then and say it’s definitely produced by the pineal gland. We don’t know that, but there is some good indication that that might be the case now because since dr Straussman stopped his work with humans in the 90s he started doing some animal research and they have targeted and said that the pineal gland seems to be producing DMG [inaudible] at least at least in mice. So yeah, we’ll move. Maybe we should get into a doctor stress man. And how you guys came across, because obviously you played a big part in your documentary.
Mitch: Yes. So what happened to you? You had this profound experience, you’re thinking, right, I’m going to make a movie on this one day. How did the serendipity work from there? Yeah, so I just started getting online reading as much as I could and then found DMT, the spirit molecule, the book by dr Ricks Rossman. And I immediately ordered the book and just kind of devoured it. And I thought this, that, that to me resonated at the time. Like, this is the way that this story could be told. Because originally based on my experience, I was like, this is going to be the weirdest trippiest movie ever. And it really was going to kind of be off the wall. But then once I got that and I started to look at from kind of a scientific and a spiritual perspective, I thought that those two things had to come together in some way and, and merge.
Mitch: Um, and so dr Straussman did a wonderful job of doing that. I mean, he came from a very scientific backgrounds, psychiatrist, uh, what he was really looking at or studying, at least to the FDA. The DEA was about the physiology of what’s happening in a human being when they’re under different levels of DMT. And now what came out of that was a lot more, and the experiences were a lot more. Um, but that’s, that’s so, you know, once I read that book, I said, this is a great way to tell a story. I just reached out, um, contacted dr Saltzman and said, Hey, I would love to make this into a film. Um, he was open to it, but he had also had others that had contacted him and said, yeah, I don’t want to make a movie. So I think he was a little, yeah, we’ll see if this happens. Um, we chatted for about a year and put some things to place and then I went out and visited him. And in New Mexico we started a month after we met for the first time. So I was in June, 2007 and, uh, brought him on board as a producer and he was integral in making so much of it happened, bringing in all the people that we interviewed, um, and helping guide kind of the, the structure of the narrative as well.
Guy: Got it. And, and essentially, so dark Rossman in the nineties did a legalized study with random people, correct?
Mitch: That’s correct, yeah. From 1990 to 1995 basically.
Guy: Yeah. Wow. And then you invited them all back. So this would have been 10 years later.
Mitch: Yeah. Even more than that. Yeah. I think it was 2007 when I started. So yeah, we’re looking at, you know, 12 years or something like that at a time. They all came in. We brought that 10 of the, the volunteers that were part of a study and then we interviewed about 40 other, you know, from philosophers to psychiatrist, psychologist, um, just any number of people that, that have been tied into the psychedelic movement, uh, since the 60s.
Guy: Yeah. Got it. What really resonated with me and really challenged me because, because look, I’m a Welshman I grew up in the valleys of Wales. Like it’s not, it’s not an everyday conversation back along I can tell ya, you know, but, but when watching the film, the people I could relate to, it wasn’t like people had just run out of the Hills with long hair and just, you know, I haven’t been seen in three weeks or something. Like, you know, this, this, this was everyday people talking, talking about these experiences. Yeah. And particularly with the,
Mitch: with the volunteers themselves, I think they, they looked at a wide range of group and brought in different people from all walks of life, mothers to psychiatrists to psychonautics if you want to go there. But I think they had a good range of folks. And I think part of the criteria was that they had to have at least some psychedelic experience before it didn’t have to be done. Netflix, tryptamine and most of these people, if they had that or they did that, it was, you know, once or twice maybe back when they were in their teenage years or early twenties. And they’d never had anything like this. But I found them all very relatable, um, easy to talk to. And, uh, even even all of the, uh, the ed quote unquote experts that we had on, uh, there were some heavy, heavy conversations in there. And, uh, getting through all of that, distilling down a hundred hours of footage down to, we use 1% of our interview footage actually in the film. So there’s a lot of other stuff there. And I’ll give a lot of credits. My editor, Debbie Owens too, is who’s amazing at what she does and really helped. It took us about two years to kind of get through that big chunk of footage and really whittle it down to what is that core story space. And we tried to make them relatable as much as possible. Yeah. So that was it.
Guy: Yeah. Well it’s, it’s a, it’s an incredible topic. I would when, um, what was your hope for the movie before you released it?
Mitch: Yeah, that’s another good question because I, hard of me always had a sense because of the experience that I had with it, that I wasn’t, as long as I put together a well-polished film and that that told a cohesive story, but it was just going to do its own thing. Um, and in many ways it has, um, it’s found people all over the world. We still get people that come to it that have never heard of it. Um, and my goal was just to really get this information out. I wasn’t looking to make a buck. I wanted to to just to put this information out and let people kind of decide for themselves and see what happens. And I think we’ve made an impact, I’m at least opening up some, some points of conversation. I think since we released the film out here in the States and I think there’s some new research starting to happen in Australia, but things have changed dramatically and we’re starting to look at what psychedelics in general can teach us and help us heal from and help us understand ourselves better. Uh, and that’s really what I wanted more than anything I guess, or my hope was, is that we can start to have a conversation that wasn’t based just around fear. Um, and it wasn’t based off of propaganda. Um, a lot of that was early on and I understand how that happens, but I wanted to at least have an open conversation about it and that has started to happen.
Guy: Oh yeah. Well, like I said, you know, it’s changed me and, and you know, the ripple effect is like I’m out, you’re passionately recording podcasts every week and you know, passing on different information as well. So
Mitch: I mean, how many times would that movie have been viewed by people and impacted them in some way? It is quite a bit. I have a rough guesstimate of about 60 million, but it could be 20 million more than that. And it could be the last, but I think we’ve hit quite a few people.
Guy: Wow. I mean, I hear that, correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it the most downloaded movie on Netflix when it, when it ed on Netflix? What? Yeah, what we heard and I they don’t give us the numbers exactly. But I heard for the first couple of weeks it was on Netflix was the most viewed movie
Mitch: on Netflix and that was ahead of other Hollywood films and things that were out there. So we had an audience and it resonated with people. I think even those that had not had the experience or were completely unfamiliar with this, we wanted to make it accessible for others and, and you know, I feel like we were able to do that even though it was heavy stuff.
Guy: Yeah. Fair enough. Well, what would your advice be then to people they watch this movie, they start questioning things, you know, what, what would you, what would you say to someone that would maybe even curious and looking at this and trying it or exploring it for themselves?
Mitch: Sure. I think first off, I always encourage people to do their research. Um, don’t just go from the film, but get out there and read. There’s a lot of information online now. Um, you can look along the different research that’s happening. Um, talk to people. Don’t just run out and try to take this. I don’t think psychedelics are for everyone. Um, I think there’s some reasons to be cautious with psychedelics. Uh, people that have psychosis in the family as it has a histories. Um, schizophrenia, things like that. You need to be a little cautious with this stuff because I think that it can trigger things. Um, at the same time if people are interested in and they feel like they’re, they’re grounded and that they have a, they’ve done their research and have a safe, safe source for that. Um, keep in mind because they’re illegal and so either look at places to go do that or countries to do that than it is legal. Um, and be safe, be safe, make sure that you are with people that you know, that you trust, um, that can take care of you. Cause sometimes you can get into some very, uh, deep places and you need somebody there that really knows what they’re doing to, to help guide you. So please don’t just run out and previously try this. Um, do the research and find people that they care and that you trust.
Guy: Yeah. Beautiful. Yeah. Well what’s your view then with like with your experiences, cause I know you’ve explored, um, plant based medicine as well. Um, with, um, um, for me I’ve like, um, I’ve done one iowaska journey, you know, to explore that cause obviously the missiles trip to mean as part of the, the IOSCO. Exactly. Yeah. And um, what w with all your experiences, how do you view what’s going on in terms of reality and consciousness? Like what are your beliefs around all of that? Yeah, well I let me start out really wide if I could before I come to see a human perspective. Um,
Mitch: because of my experiences with DMT and also what I’ve been looking at over the last, you know, decades since we put it out or less, is that I think the universe itself is conscious. Um, and that it has been evolving and becoming more and more conscious sense, quote unquote, the big bang or whatever that launch into. And if you could just do a thought experiment with me, if we’re starting off and let’s say the big bang happens, we start to get simple, um, elements of, you know, we’ve got hydrogen and then it starts to go into helium and, and imagine that complexity starting to grow and clumping together. And then we slowly get mad, or not even slowly but quickly get matter. Um, we get stars, we get solar systems, planets, and then from our planet. Let’s just look at life on planet earth. You know, roughly four and a half billion years ago or 4 billion years ago, we start getting single cell organisms, which I think can correlate to having hydrogen again.
Mitch: Um, and that starts to build a complexify and get into denser and denser States until we come up with humans. Um, and so I see this as kind of a we’re elements are almost [inaudible] in this entire beautiful cosmos. Um, and that it is also conscious. Um, and I think when we take some of these psychedelics, what happens is we can peer into that. We can S we can see different layers of borough and consciousness, but we can also pure into quote unquote one, um, and, and understand that we are part of something much, much bigger. Uh, we’re not disconnected from that, although sometimes it may feel like that on planetRE that humans are separate from nature. I don’t think we’re separate from nature at all. We are nature. Um, people talk about technology being separate, um, and artificial intelligence, well, it’s coming straight from us.
Mitch: It’s coming straight from natural products. It’s just a different complexity that’s coming out of that. And so what it started to show me is that everything, even inanimate objects, um, in some way, shape or form have consciousness. Uh, and that, that changes the way that I perceive the world and then also interact with it. I’m not saying I’m perfect by any means. I struggle with things on a daily basis being human. But it does start to change the way I, I talk to people hopefully, and how I might open a door or just smile at somebody. Um, how I could take care of the planet a lot better than I used to. Um, and what that does, it’s, it’s like, you know, when you throw upon a rock and upon and you see those ripples go out, this stuff, everything that we do and everything that we say has a ripple effect on those that are around us. Um, our family, our friends or lovers, uh, even the environment, all of those things are being influenced and we’re being influenced by it as well. Um, and so again, kick broad perspective, but from what I’ve come to, um, I think it’s all alive and conscious.
Guy: Yeah, no, I resonate with every single thing you say because I’ve had embodied experiences that make me connect with that instantly. And until I actually had embodied experiences, and I’ve said this before on the show,
Mitch: it felt just from the intellect, you
Guy: know, but the moment it got beyond the intellect to a deeper understanding, then that changed changes everything. I mean, I’ve had experiences where I felt like you said you just part of, you just, all of a sudden you’re like this individual drop and all of a sudden you do become part of the ocean, that you’re part of the cosmos part and you realize you’re part of that. And when you have these experiences and you feel a connection to some sin or an emotion, for me it was love. Like, I felt this, this feeling that I’d never, um, didn’t even know if it was possible. Like I felt loved, but not to this amplified way of being. And then when you come back and coming back into life, you just think, Oh my God, you’ve got a different, you got a new reference point. Right.
Mitch: Well and that love that universal love. Um, it’s so different than the way that I think we just just describe and feel loved here. A lot of times it’s this, there is no judgment whatsoever. Just that that is, it just is. Um, and that seems to be a common common experience for people that take these, these compounds. Um, and that’s the other interesting part to me is the commonality in these experiences for people. Um, they get simplified, but they’re also completely amazing and overwhelming in, um, in a very positive way. Um, in ways that just [inaudible]
Guy: we don’t need to hold on to a lot of the shifts that we hold on to. Yeah. We get, we give it so much meaning, don’t we? And it’s not necessary. I don’t think so. You know, we lose the essence of what it is to be human. And what’s your thoughts on this? Because from my own experience and like I have a meditation practice, I practice most days. It’s like when I start hiding a few of the experiences, it was almost like new circuitry within me was it was being developed and evolved almost to, to allow, I dunno, it’s like almost like 12 how my own consciousness to run better. It’s like I’m having a software and hardware upgrade.
Mitch: That’s exactly, I love that analogy because I think it works so well with our modern times is like we just kind of wipe the hard drive clean. We put a new operating system on, but we can develop new patterns of energy flow in our bodies and in our minds it’s that simple. It doesn’t have to be all new agey or anything else. It’s, it can be that simple. And, and what we’re starting to realize with, with trauma for instance, particularly with these medicines, is that our traumas are stored in our, our nervous system. They’re not stored right here. There’s a relationship that’s going on there, but really what’s being, what’s embedded there are these energetic patterns. Am I safe or am I not safe? Do I need to run? Do I need to fight? Is my nervous system anxious and heightened? Um, and what you can start to do with these is reformed those patterns, um, and start to, to teach yourself that, yes, I am okay. Um, or if I’m not, what do I need to do to make myself okay or to get out of a situation or a relationship? It may not be in my benefit, uh, but we’re seeing that we can actually reprogram ourselves, which is fascinating to me. Just absolutely fascinating.
Guy: Well, it is because then every time I go into a meditation practice or I’m around personal journey because I have a new reference point, right? I know where to navigate now and drop in the little flagpoles. Yeah, exactly. And then honestly, my own experiences, you could kind of like, it’s almost like there’s a quickening of [inaudible] of learning or allowing on the surrendering to it. And it seems to be just getting, picking up speed. I dunno. Right, right. Yeah. No, I think you’re right. I think there is that you kind of move the stuff out of the way that’s slowing us down or blocking us and as some of those things start to fall away, it’s like okay, it does have a tendency to kind of speed up. Yeah, absolutely. And one other thing I want to touch on as well is, is plant based medicine in Moscow. Because I know you’ve looked at that and I, cause I checked out your IMDV profile and I didn’t realize you were involved into stepping into the fire, which was another film that influenced me because of that. When did the plant based medicines. Okay. Yeah, I was, um, it was early on that I was
Mitch: involved in that and Rob who was putting that together was, um, was one of the investors in the spirit molecule and really helped us make the spirit molecule happen. Um, and it was right around the time we were finishing shooting and the editing process where I, where I met him and started to think that I’d be putting that together. Um, and then he decided to go a different direction. But, um, I was involved in that early on. I wasn’t part of the final piece, but, um, and you know, that’s been another great thing about the work from the spirit molecule. How many other projects have been popping up and I’ve been lucky to be involved in some other ones. We just, I know you talked to my colleague Steve McDonald and we just had a tour about from shock to, uh, which is looking at veterans coming back and finding plant medicines as well.
Mitch: Um, another one that I worked on was called the new understanding, which is looking at the Johns Hopkins psilocybin research with cancer patients. Um, and the other part that’s just a bit, we’re just starting to, uh, that I’ve just come on to consult on is a new one about Stan Grof, um, called the this ICO, not, yeah. And for those that don’t know Stan Grof, I highly encourage you to look at his work. Not only is he a psychedelic pioneer and sacred psychedelic psychotherapy pioneer, but also developed holotropic breathwork. Um, it, Stan is a visionary and amazing man and needs a story out there more.
Guy: Wow. That’s going to be fascinating. I’ve, I’ve Ivy researched much on the breathwork side of things so far I haven’t, but now
Mitch: that, you know, it’s always kind of been on the outskirts for me, um, from like people that I know that have been done it and they swear by it and I’ve just never gotten around to doing it. Um, but then now with this project coming up, it’s like I better start studying a little bit and go do my own, my own thing. And so I’m looking at some sessions coming up, uh, in February and may, yeah. Have you done any of that breath work?
Guy: I have. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And it’s been, yeah, look, I’ve had, I’ve had experiences stronger than, than, um, my Iowasca from just meditation and brass work is part of that. It’s, it’s quite incredible. Um, what’s, what’s possible, but I th but I think that there’s, there was an element of feeling safer about it as well because it almost like there was a part of me that I knew I had control if I choose to, when when I did the Iowasca ceremony, I was terrified. Like I can’t tell you how terrified I was before I took it because I had had a bad experience as a kid with mushrooms growing up and wills. And it kind of kept me away from all psychedelics drugs full stop. But as I was evolving, I look at almost like the, the deeper part of me was wanting to grow more in my, my own ego self was holding me back.
Guy: I realized I had to start overcoming my fears. So that’s why I actually decided, literally step into my own fire and look at this work. But, but what was fascinating for me was that when I did the plant medicine, and I remember taking the drink, I had to let go. I had to fully surrender. I thought, I can’t fight this in any way, even though my fear is gripping me right now. And it was one of the biggest lessons I ever learned in what it means to surrender and to fully surrender and just accept whatever happens, happens. I mean we tell ourselves that, but you know, so, Oh mate. But yeah, it was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, the most terror and the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. When I came out of that experience the next day, it was like the universe had given me the greatest gift because it actually, I don’t know, it, it appreciated my full surrender. It was just the strangest thing, you know? So
Mitch: stepping into that fear as opposed to trying to push it away or not address it, but literally jumping right right into it. Things just change so quickly.
Guy: Absolutely. Um, but what that does for you in life is of course we are, I have fears every day. I have things come up, but I have such a different navigation relationship with those fears. And that was thanks to these experiences or allows me to lean into things much more than opposed to just continually pushing away, pushing away, pushing away, and letting them manifest and grow and, and you know, um, affect us more deeply, longer term. I know that’s not like,
Mitch: it just takes all your fear away. We’re still human beings. We still feel that here. And it does, it gives you that different navigation tool to say, all right, I don’t have to run away from this. I don’t have to push it away. And also, I know by doing that I’m just slowing myself down or I’m stagnating my development. Um, it gives you that opportunity to at least have that conversation in your own head to, to then go forward with it.
Guy: Yeah. So I guess to wrap it up with the breathwork, there’s that element of I can control this if I choose to. So am I going to fully surrender right now or not? You know, so, so, so where the other way, uh, was just like, no, I’m all in like I had to kind of thing. So.
Mitch: Well, and I guess it tells me if I’m on, but I, from what I understand about the breathwork, getting back to some very primal experiences that are embedded us all the way back to the womb. Um, from Stan Ross perspective is that getting back to these places of being an infant and even, you know, back into the womb itself and what that experience was like for you, that was that positive. Was it negative people, you know, was your mother or family abusive in any ways and how all that ties in going forward as a developed human being?
Guy: Yeah, it is amazing. I’m, what’s really interesting is, um, is cause you know, I facilitate retreats as well. So I actually find myself breathing a lot and working with people a lot in, in this energy. And, and I actually had an experience where I had done some breath work, but the, the release came afterwards, not during the breathing itself. When I, when I, when I, when I fell asleep. And it took me back to all these childhood experiences that I couldn’t even remember in my mind. It was just, but it was actually, it was a beautiful thing and it took me back down and I felt it all starting to move through and release and it almost became like a, um, a DMT experience, you know, it was quite incredible and I thought, wow, that’s so powerful. Um, but then being able to just surrender to it and allow it to happen was again, a key element as opposed to just freaking out what the hell is going on, which
Mitch: to that our bodies and minds, but particularly I think it’s embedded into our bodies. Again, what the nervous system has this kind of a main ability to shake itself off. Like you would see an animal that goes through a traumatic experience out in nature. Um, getting chased by a lion for instance, but then gets away. You see it’s shaped, um, as humans, I don’t think we’re able to do that as much anymore. We’ve, we’ve developed in a way that we are not doing that. So when trauma comes in, it, it sticks. And it embeds itself. Um, but that the body has that natural innate element that it can do that it knows what to do essentially.
Guy: Exactly what, we just need to trust that more. Right. Yeah. Now before I move on is ask everyone on the show a certain set of questions, but I got one last for you. You mentioned that you, you’re looking at DMT,
Mitch: is that correct? Yeah, we’re currently a working title is DMT, the conscious molecule. Um, and my producer contacted me I guess earlier this year and actually he’d been bugging me for a couple of years, but he was like, you know, we’re coming up on the 10 years after the lease. And I was like, wow. Yeah, that’s right. And so much has changed. So what, you know, what story do you want to go tell a, we don’t want to have to go back and redo the spirit molecule. But what I’m looking at now, and I kind of getting back to what I said earlier about universal consciousness, what, what is going on in the universe? And there’s a lot of different science. It’s starting to kind of point this direction that things that are conscious and that our idea of consciousness for one, we don’t really know what consciousness is and we can’t fully define it.
Mitch: Um, but what would it mean if the universe was conscious? Um, you know, through holograms we potentially look at the universe as being a big hologram. Um, uh, panpsychism is another term that gets thrown out there about everything being consciousness. Uh, so looking at it from back to the cosmos and that early boom all the way through to now and even up to our technological development now what is, what is going on there? Is there a transfer of consciousness into a newer form? And I think the T is kind of playing a role in that and it seems to have this information scape almost that has consciousness embodied through that. Um, and so that’s kind of the long and short of what I want to put together. And we’re looking at making that a series, uh, not on Netflix or Amazon. So
Guy: is there a deadline on that then? Or could it be one year from now or six years from now? Or I hope it’s not sick, but we started the spirit molecule. Someone said, Oh, it’s going to take you at least five years. I said, no way. Oh, it took five years. Oh, wow. I think now though,
Mitch: goal would be, is to release in 2021 probably later 2021. Um, it starts shooting again this next year. So that’s a couple of years, let’s say a couple of years.
Guy: Yeah. Fair, fair enough. Beautiful. Beautiful portrait. So yeah, I asked certain sets of questions on the show every week and I’m always intrigued by everyone’s answers the different, um, what’s been the low point in your life that led or turned out to be a blessing?
Mitch: Mm Hmm. Very good. Um, well I’ve had a lot of different traumas in my life. I think one of the biggest ones early on, um, was the divorce of my parents. Um, and the splitting up of the household that like seven years old and not really having a contextual framework for that at the age of seven. And most kids don’t. Um, that that’s a really hard thing to kind of grasp. Um, as you know, these are your parents and the ones that take care of you and the Fiji, and then all of a sudden they’re split. Uh, that had a, a huge impact on me, um, and didn’t quite know how to make sense of all that. But through my work with psychedelics, um, healing with MGMA and getting different perspectives on my parents and myself in relation to that, I see that it absolutely was the best thing that could have happened.
Mitch: Um, and a tougher one for me. And I would say it’s necessarily a blessing, but it’s given me a broader perspective. I lost my brother, um, almost nine years ago now, um, from an opiod overdose and, and that was the most challenging thing in my life. Um, and that happened right at the time when the spirit molecule was coming out. So I had my life going in one direction and then getting pulled in a totally different direction with how to understand life and death again. And then also my, my life. What am I doing to make a difference, uh, to carry on his legacy, but also how am I living? How am I being on a day to day basis, um, to myself and also with others around me. And I think in a lot of ways that helped open me up and, and change my perspectives on how I saw life and death and also how I was being in my life.
Mitch: Um, I just now, after nine years roughly feel like I’m actually back to Mitch and I don’t even know how to fully describe what that is. Um, but that process over the last nine years of, of kind of going through the hurt and the anger and all of the different emotions that are tied up with that and just the extreme loss because it wasn’t only my little brother, but he was my best friend. Um, so that, that was a challenge. Um, but it has also reinvigorated me to come out and help other people. Um, I, I don’t want to see this kind of stuff going on and I want to do everything I can to, to make a difference in, in educate people, hopefully off of some other options that are out there besides the traditional ones. So long story there, was there a couple of different elements there, but um, both of those elements were probably the most profound in my life I’d say.
Guy: Yeah, no, thank you for sharing. I always find it interesting cause we all have hardships and I think it’s very difficult to walk, meaning we associate to the things that happen, you know, and, and if we’re able to get a different sense of perspective on something, you know, it can, it can certainly help a lot of suffering and absolutely. You know, and it’s been able to look at these very things that can help help us support that when we’ve gone through different things. Yeah. Um, what’s one thing about yourself most people wouldn’t know about? I don’t know. I like to think I’m an open book, but, um,
Mitch: ah, I love hip hop. I love hip hop. Uh, it gets me moving. It gives me kind of jazzed up and moving around and uh, I wouldn’t say it’s kind of in my traditional upbringing or anything like that, but it’s just something that I put that on and I just start moving and dancing and
Guy: I want to go do some awesome. Oh, good on him. It’s, yeah. Uh, what does your morning routine look like?
Mitch: What do you routine? Well, I love my coffee. So first thing when I get up as I go, I go to my, my local coffee shop or downstairs and have my coffee and read the news. I like to kind of keep abreast of what’s going on in the world and it’s kind of my, you know, for the first hour to that conscious sip on my coffee, read the news, start to coordinate what’s going on in the day. And also just kind of getting a sense of what’s going on out there, um, and, and how it’s relating to, to my life and to the world that I’m doing.
Guy: Yeah. Fantastic. And last. Yeah, that’s all right. I love my coffee to my dad. I always love it. I love a good coffee in the morning. Um, I, I’m going to flip this question slightly, but, um, if you could interview anyone from any, anywhere at any timeframe, you know, if you could wave a wand and you could sit there and interview them, who would it be, do you think and why?
Mitch: Yeah, so I’ve kind of couple, um, Nikola Tesla would be at the top of the list. Huh. Fascinating man. And I think way ahead of his time it was perceiving things that we still don’t fully grasp in his technology and his, in his invention. Um, Dawn D has been another finger that, that has always stuck out to me as a, um, yeah, same Jor angelic person that has come here and did a lot of good work and helped us open up to, to a lot of different things and fight oppression. That was the other big thing that I was just fascinated by and his willingness to just put himself out there and take away all of his human aspects, not fight back against these powers that seemed like they were way larger than could ever be fought back against. Um, and he did it. Um, so yeah, those two and one last one, I guess I’d say Elvis. Uh, I was born in Memphis, Tennessee and um, this was actually in a hospital when I was being born and I’ve just always had this fascination with all this. So I’ve always been like, I want to talk to that guy. It kind of covers the gamut. Right. You gotta you gotta scientists didn’t venture to spiritual leader and I know this Unitarian and then Elvis.
Guy: Yeah, absolutely. Well, it’d be great if you could blend them all into a doco. That would be one hell of a [inaudible].
Mitch: It’s a possibility. I have tattoos of each one of them on my, on my arm. So it’d be that if the next documentary. I like that.
Guy: Oh, fantastic. And the last thing, with everything we’ve covered today, um, is there anything you’d like to leave our listeners to ponder on?
Mitch: Yeah. Trust your instincts, explore your curiosity and don’t believe everything you’re told. Those would probably be my three things.
Guy: Yeah. Beautiful. And the true, how can we best support you, Mitch, for our listeners listening to this? Well, I think, um, come and visit the website, the spirit molecule.com. Uh, you can find our social media links on there. There’s also tons of content on there that we did not put into the film. So if you want to look at any of that, we also have other films listed there that we’ve been a part of from from shock to all that we’ve mentioned and you understanding why this new one up there soon. Um, also my work with my colleague in Australia, Steve McDonalds, um, aadii.org. I’m sure he’s given you these links but excuse me, a-a-d-i-i.org and then we’re also working on a new Docu series over there called Future sets.
Mitch: So check those out. There’s plenty of content on there. There’s a podcast as well that Steve and our mate Nick are working on on a regular basis. And just check that out to an end to us on social media. Check out the podcast and get ready for more content.
Guy: Yeah, beautiful. Mitch, thank you so much for coming on the show. Thank you for your time and thank you for everything. That was awesome.
Mitch: Cool. Great. Thanks for having me and we’ll look forward to doing it again sometime.
Guy: Totally. 100% thanks, Mitch.
Mitch: All right. See you soon. Cheers.