As students of the psychedelic domain, we understand that the situation of being in the world
requires us to participate in culture in ways that promote interconnectedness and love. This is
the consistent understanding these medicines carry with them. In contrast, the cultural message
that we often experience as men is one promoting insulation and emotional suppression. One of
these messages is an invitation toward curiosity and furthering understanding; the other is a
coaxing toward severance and self abandonment.
We know from being in touch with our basic humanness that a state of interconnectedness and
love is a state of naturally thriving. We know from psychology that repressing that which desires
to blossom from within degrades both psyche and physiology. We understand from being
networked in relationships that when we’re living in a state of discontent, we radiate negativity to
those in our circles of influence, which often radiates outward from there.
From this understanding we can see how being told by culture to repress and isolate makes us
sick, which leads to the perpetuation of sickness in the culture. We recognize that we must stop
being agents of sickness in the cultural system. We recognize that we must become agents of
healing and regeneration. In order for us to become agents of healing for others, we must first
heal ourselves, so that we may embody a position of healing in the world.
It is for this reason that the Portland Psychedelic Society Men’s Support Group was formed.
Those who have experienced psychedelic states know that, as agents of healing themselves,
the psychedelic medicines allow us to face with openness the parts of ourselves that we
typically close ourselves off to. If we are in a container of safety, this attentive openness
facilitates integration and healing. In the same way, by creating a safe container for men to
explore the parts of ourselves that we don’t give enough attention to, we can facilitate healing in
ourselves, and feed that healing forward throughout our families, communities, and the greater
global consciousness. When we take the message of the psychedelic domain seriously and put
it into practice, we each become what I call “the psychedelic man”.
The psychedelic man understands that the process of integration is a lifelong undertaking that
imbues life with meaning. The psychedelic man speaks courageously, listens deeply, embraces
humility, and approaches all issues with curiosity. The psychedelic man leads other men toward
integration through wisdom, action, and firm but compassionate guidance. The psychedelic man
looks at all beings as his brothers and sisters, and thereby takes responsibility for engendering
the thriving of all beings. The psychedelic man looks to the entire ancestry of humanity as
teachers. The psychedelic man looks to archetypal stories and myths rather than cultural trends
for guidance. The psychedelic man understands that a system of support is a prerequisite for
flourishing. The psychedelic man lives his purpose and undertakes only what is meaningful. The
psychedelic man is the man it is our duty to become.
If this writing speaks to you, or resonates with something deep within, I hope you’ll join us at the
next PPS Men’s Support Group meeting. We await your contribution.
Keith Gilmore is a writer, presenter, and professional life coach.