Psychoactive Medications and the Mind

Psychoactive Medications and the Mind

Psychoactive Medications and the Mind 1920 1280 Gary Ruelas, D.O., Ph.D.

“Excuse me while I kiss the sky” – Jimi Hendrix

I have written quite a bit on the subject of the heart, the soul and our awareness into a broader sense of consciousness. For today let us reflect more on the mind, which might be viewed as the perceptual aspect of the brain. The mind, which is of this time frame in our lives, evolves developmentally as the brain does. It is sensory based and as language evolves there is a narrative that occurs to store our perception and memories. First in form, then in syntax. Language may also be the lens for our perceptions. Based on our narrative and history the mind also experiences recurrent injury, doubt, guilt, shame, etc. from memory as these experiences are stored in our brain. We can say in a form of a container of sorts (a file). The containers are also part of our development and are created and recreated as our consciousness changes as does our sense of reality. Many times, these changes happen slowly through our experiences, mostly in interactions and relationships with others or with our environment. Many times, these experiences are joyfully disruptive, such as meeting a new person, falling in love or accomplishments which change our relationships to the world. At times they may be more painful as with an injury, illness, loss which may create a different view of life. At time the change maybe minimal and we may experience a slight stretch however not much of a change in our view.

Because we all live in these mind sets or containers, we might further understand the resistant that is built in to change. We are all creatures of habit, and we can believe are realities to be truths. John Lilly the late physicist once said, “our realities are framed by our fears.” There may be containers that hold our security, stability, peace of mind, no desire to change those. What if we cannot get out of the containers that maybe holding our anxiety and or depression in place or limit our experiences of life. We are self-directed, so we try therapy, mindfulness, medications and yet the change though of value is slow and slight… we keep perhaps hoping for more (the ego mind, more is better). Or we just want more harmony, peace of mind, less pain. What now, we may seek other forms of care, other experiences. This is where the psychedelics as medication maybe

This question is whether psychedelic medication can open up the mind, shift the container, and or can we experience an awakening of consciousness. The answer is possibly YES. However, the opening of the mind and the management of those opening is what remain ambiguous. So, what can be done.

Presently, outside of research the use of certain psychedelics for treatment remains illegal. This may change in the near future, but presently it remains ILLEGAL. This article is not promoting illegal use of psychedelics; however, it is meant to emphasize for those engaged in its pursuit, some precautions.

If our mind lives in a container of sort and all of our perception of the world, be they good or bad are derived from these containers. Then all forms of treatment of the mind are meant to alter the container, that schema, that paradigm.

Some experiences may awaken us to shift around within the constrainer we have, others may stretch the container and therefore alter our perceptions. Perhaps for some, after a while they may resume their previous form. So no fundamentally change, So as the Maharishi stated the “western medicine (psychedelics)” lets us kiss Jesus, and not stay with him.”

For others when the opening to a beautiful experience occurs, then to come back to a previous state of discontent, can be experienced as a strong fall, and that in itself maybe too much. Or though the opening of the container, may also bring with it the repressed, formerly distant pain, which also emerges. These are the experience that warrant on going processing with others, in the form of healers, therapists, trained guides. Remember the opening is not the answer the opening is just that, an opening to do more stretching and clearly out, NOT TO DO IN ISOLATION.

If we are to value psychedelics, it is helpful to see them as a tool in the journey of rebuilding and reawakening to a new life… not a destiny or outcome.

Studies of psychedelics have been around for decades. The most challenging part has to do with management off the awakening or changes of perception… a little is good a lot is not better.

This is not a new paradigm, whether you want to change using psychological tools, medication, spiritual awakening, or psychoactive substance our brain and our lives are more complete in connections with others who are there to support and guide that is the purpose of love and grace.


Gary Ruelas, D.O., Ph.D.

Dr. Ruelas holds doctoral degrees and is licensed to practice in both medicine and psychology. He approaches his patients by gathering and analyzing data differently from other physician’s moving away from a disease model to a holistic functional model. Read Bio

All articles by : Gary Ruelas, D.O., Ph.D.