Homeward Bound
Homeward Bound (including The Great Humbling)
The Great Humbling S3E4: 'Do shrooms!'

The Great Humbling S3E4: 'Do shrooms!'

Dougald shares Lucille Clifton’s poem ‘Blessing the boats’

And this week’s instruction is – ‘Do Shrooms!’

Ed introduces one of the inspirations for the episode Merlin Sheldrake’s book, ‘Entangled Life - How fungi make our worlds, change our minds and shape our futures’

Dougald talks about his fly agaric birthday cake. For his fifth birthday.

And then references Alan Garner’s book Strandloper and a collection of talks and essays called The Voice That Thunders before sharing the story of how he knows and first met the author.

Ed does his etymology thing relating how pioneering psychiatrist Humphrey Osmond asked Aldous Huxley in 1956 to suggest a word to describe the therapeutic use of hallucinogens, Huxley proposed ‘phanerothyme’ - from Greek for ‘manifest’ and ‘spirit’, writing...

“To make this mundane world sublime,

Take half a gram of phanerothyme”

To which Osmond replied:

“To fathom Hell or soar angelic,

Just take a pinch of psychedelic”

Psychedelics…Greek ‘mind manifesting’ or ‘soul revealing’

‘Entheogens’ - from the Greek ‘to be made full of the divine’ – a term coined in 1979 by a group of mythologists and ethnobotanists

Ed introduces Michael Pollan’s ‘How to change your mind’...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_to_Change_Your_Mind

And mentions the John Hopkins Psilocybin Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5KWf8H2pM0tlVd7niMtqeU?si=_P3Xi61wQrmrWcU__M8Lgg curated by researchers to accompany the experiences of their subjects in their research on treating severe depression

We talk about David Abram and sleight of hand magic – how it confounded expectations, ends up sharpening senses - seeing the world as it actually is, not how we expect it to be!

‘Could it be there is another ground on which to plant our feet?’

Relaxing the ego’s trigger-happy command of reactions to people and events. Freed from its tyranny, maddening reflexivity and pinched conception of one’s self-interest - into an ability to exist amid doubts and mysteries without automatically, instinctively reaching for certainty…

Transcend our subjectivity - to widen its circle so far that it takes in everything - ourselves, others and the whole of nature...

Dougald talks about Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing’s book The Mushroom at the End of the World

Ed talks about his personal experiences...from picking mushrooms on the military firing ranges in the Brecon Beacons, to the sublime and the ridiculous

Dougald recalls meeting Vinay Gupta for the first time who asked ‘you’ve done a lot of acid, haven’t you?’

We speculate about whether mushrooms ‘have an agenda’

Dougald talks about his personal experience and references a fascinating essay by the philosopher Justin E. H. Smith about agrarian shamanism in early modern Europe:


Ed refers to Jonathan Haidt - American Social Psychologist’s ‘The Righteous Mind - Why good people disagree over politics and religion’ and the cultivation of the ‘hive mind’

Ed quotes David Graeber: “the ultimate, hidden truth of the world is that it is something that we make, and could just as easily make differently.”

Dougald concludes with ‘getting ‘far out’ is the easy part, it’s finding your way home that’s hard

Homeward Bound
Homeward Bound (including The Great Humbling)
How will they look in hindsight, these strange times we are living through? Is this a midlife crisis on humanity's road to the Star Trek future – or the point at which that story of the future unravelled and we came to see how much it had left out? What if our current crises are neither an obstacle to be overcome, nor the end of the world, but a necessary humbling?
These are the kind of questions which we set out to explore in The Great Humbling. We hope you'll join us and let us know what you think.
Ed Gillespie & Dougald Hine