S7E5 - Why Are You Creating That? with Jonathan De Potter
Shawn Buttner: [00:00:00] Today's guest is very fascinating because it's about psychedelic medicine. Now, quick disclaimer, psychedelic medicines are, or substances, are still illegal in a lot of parts of the world, so this is not You know, condoning or suggesting that you should go out and do that. You definitely need to talk to your profession or health professionals.
If this is an experience you decide is for yourself, make sure you're doing it with people that are responsible and have experience and access to the proper support structures that you need. for me, I don't think this is an experience that I'll ever have. it's something I'm fascinated about.
There's a lot of research in how these types of medicines can help. PTSD, anxiety, depression, and so research is being kicked up again through popular support with Tim Ferriss, or if you've read Michael Pollan's most recent book, [00:01:00] How to Change Your Mind. I think there's a Netflix series on it.
This is a very fascinating arena for really doing some deep personal. Diving, right? And it could be a bit spiritual in the fact that it allows you to connect more and be more empathetic with people or to access something that, that feels greater that, but it's a path and again, it's not for everyone, but Jonathan talks really confidently and very, frankly about the pros and cons of these types of experiences.
It is. Who it might be for, who it might not be for, the amount of vetting that his organization Behold Retreats does to screen potential folks that want to try these transformative psychedelic medicines and [00:02:00] What you need to prepare for the journey and then sustain it afterwards. it's a very fascinating, fun conversation.
again, coming from someone that probably will never have this type of experience. but is interested in just how different it seems, right? I hope you enjoy it. I hope you approach it with an open mind. And again, we're not advocating for these types of experiences one way or the other. I think there will be a lot more on the horizon for this as research continues to develop and therapies that are targeted towards helping people with specific mental ailments is realized.
So with that, enjoy my conversation with Jonathan D. Potter and enjoy this conversation.
Shawn Buttner: [00:03:00] How's it going, Jonathan?
Jonathan de Potter: Going really well, Shawn. Thanks for having me.
Shawn Buttner: Super thankful to have you on today. Right off the bat, you were talking about plant based medicine or plant based medicine experiences I saw in a lot of the research I did for this interview today. So first off what do we mean by that? What kind of plant based medicines are we we talking about?
And. Full disclosure, I've been resistant to these types of experiences myself going on, so I have a lot of questions and I'm just really curious about this topic, so I want to explain what I guess plant based medicine is right off the
Jonathan de Potter: Yeah, sure. Happy to share. So generally speaking, when you hear people talk about plant medicine or psychedelic medicine, there's a bit of an interesting overlap between those two groups. So generally speaking, when people are speaking [00:04:00] about plant medicine, they will be talking about, say, ayahuasca.
There's be speaking about perhaps San Pedro. There might be about Iboga.
these are all powerful entheogenic. or medicines that can be found naturally occurring around the world. And then confusingly, and perhaps unhelpfully, there's also medicines such as psilocybin, which is actually magic mushrooms, which is of course a fungi.
And then there's medicines such as Bufalovirus or 5 MeO DMT which can come from a variety of sources. It can actually from a plant. It can come from an animal and can also be synthetic in nature. And generally speaking, when people are talking about medicine or plant medicine, they're speaking about the the broader collective category of psychedelic medicine, rather than some subset.
But again, the definition that sits in people's minds actually vary person by person. And so [00:05:00] there's, yeah, there's a little bit of disambiguation sometimes required when people are getting into the weeds. But generally speaking these are that are number one, neurogenerative, which means they facilitate the growth of new neurons.
And two, they support neuroplasticity, which means that they regions of the brain that don't normally. Freely communicate and exchange information to do so more readily. and then they can also facilitate really transformations in healing. We can relive childhood traumas, begin to release and work with some of the energies that are down some of the impacts upon our own development that have taken place, and also
Deep spiritual experiences.
understanding of what is you hear about people experiencing love and the interconnectivity of all things and all of these other kind of more cosmic and mystical experiences that have been written about for hundreds and thousands of years.
Shawn Buttner: Right on. Okay, thanks [00:06:00] for clearing that up and giving us a little bit of some of the... Common why people might use psychedelic or psychedelic medicine. So I'm curious with a little bit of the definitions out of the way, I was watching a YouTube video. /
You were explaining your experience about how your parents growing up in Hawaii, how your parents were, I think you said hippies is the quote and how you rejected substances
Mid thirties or you had a successful career, you had a successful life and then you, somebody convinced you to, give it a try and you were ready at that point in time could you explain so in my world, I like to call it the call to adventure when somebody sets off to live a more meaningful life or make a bold decision to transform their lives, there's usually something in their [00:07:00] heart or their soul that's calling them to something more.
And so I was curious, did you have that moment and could you explain a little bit
Jonathan de Potter: about that?
I did. I certainly did. I was in Hong Kong as a strategy consultant and I had been doing that for about five years. And for those first five years, I found that incredibly intense, but also I found meaningful. I was, the learning curve very steep for me in moving that line of work.
Most if they get into consulting, they generally start straight out university. It's the way in which you forge your Early career skills in corporate world, but I joined consulting when I was 28 and I joined in a role that I think was probably a little senior for me if I if I'm to be honest.
And so the learning curve would have been. Deep naturally. In this instance, it was very steep. And so found those five [00:08:00] years very rewarding. However, at the end of those five years I was leading quite a team, a team of about of about 150 people. I was, I had multiple clients and a lot of large projects on the go.
I just reaching this place of that no longer having any meaning.
So whether I had gone for another client, another project, another type of project I just remember looking at myself in the mirror going I don't know what the answers life is, but I know that
this isn't it./
And at the time I was atheist. I didn't have any spiritual of my own to speak of. And so that point I just had to, I had to begin a search and I took a year off. And as part of that, attend one of these first retreats myself. About seven, seven years ago now.
And yeah, that was the opening for me terms of shall we say, creating some, new [00:09:00] meaning. There was a lot of healing to be done as well. But certainly it opened the doorway to spirituality and, new meaning in life.
Shawn Buttner: Right on. I've I'm not sure if you're familiar with Michael Pollan's How to Change Your Mind book. And Tim Ferriss has done a lot of work and funding research in psychedelics, so it's always been something I've been a little bit. More interested in as I've gotten older from your experience how did it feel like a switch?
You went through your experience and all of a sudden you had all these new ideas and all this new this new world to explore? Was it a process? What are the pitfalls? I had so many different questions, but maybe start with, like, how was that transformational experience before and after the...
event? I don't know what to call it, but...
Jonathan de Potter: Yeah I [00:10:00] share that. I.
I wasn't very prepared for the experience, nor did I really receive any meaningful guidance coming out of the experience. And I went into the experience as an atheist, and I out honestly, pretty confused. I had some very powerful very frightening experiences, I would say, and...
I've, spoken about that a little bit in past. It was really, I was not in a good way. It was a very challenging experience for me. Particularly the, first the first ceremony but also the first ceremony was really just a of fear, a lot of fear coming the surface and a lot of fear that I didn't.
know how to process because I wasn't well prepared for experience. These medicines you'll hear people speak about very positively. In many cases, I look at them more neutrally [00:11:00] in that they help us amplify our sensitivity and they help us access to our subconscious mind.
And so what was happening in my case was that a lot of these big fears that I was onto were coming up very quickly all at once. And for me, someone who was at the time quite emotionally disconnected from childhood traumas it was really just, lot happening all at the same time. And so was contracting in fear away from the fear rather than able work with the emotions, release the emotions, and to progress through the trials and that were presenting themselves at that time.
And it was, took me many
years to actually, Recognize what was that had taken place retreat. Now, that being said, I did have some very positive transformational experiences as well. In the second ceremony there was moment where I [00:12:00] remember just receiving this download of wow it's there's nothing holding you back in life other than you.
And it was so It was a message that was like felt in every cell of my body at the same time. And then there was this little this little piece of doubt that in and it was like. Yeah, but it's not 100% me there's, these other factors around me as well.
My boss did this and that and the other thing, and then the message just came back like 10 times as strong. I was like no, This is, it's just you. And it it was simultaneous. It's the empowering and humbling experience that I had in my life. To know that we are really the creators of reality to to such a strong degree and that we, that all of the things that present themselves in of challenges and arguments and
Dynamics at [00:13:00] work and dot, those are all things that we've chosen. Those are all things that we've created so that we could our own evolution. And and yeah, I gained a lot from the experience, but equally part of my motivation for establishing Behold Retreats was very much to provide a lot more support and a lot more guidance than I had received for my first experience.
Shawn Buttner: Right on. And you set me up for my next question beautifully, and that is... What do you wish you would have had in that first experience? To prepare yourself for it, and then... What kind of guidance... Should you have had or would have been the most helpful in that
Jonathan de Potter: moment.
Yeah. If I can speak in general terms most people come into this work with Some some motivations themselves. So I mentioned some of those motivations before. In
my case, think I [00:14:00] was really just searching for more clarity on what I should doing.
I was taking this year off from work and was, You know just a little bit more clarity in that sense. However, I didn't really do much preparation. So I didn't have any tools for mental and emotional work going into that. If your education was like mine, John you probably weren't taught tools for managing your mind. You probably weren't taught tools for managing your emotions. And that's predominantly how most us experience ourselves through our thoughts and through our emotions. And so we are like a bit like babies in, in, in a sense out out of school, we still don't have any of the core life tools for managing ourselves.
And what we do with our guests and what I wished was there for me really setting very deep and intentionality that relates to [00:15:00] the emotions that presenting the thoughts that are presenting in your everyday life. And for most of us, there's some version of I'm not enough that is that is out in in our mind. And there's many reasons for that, but but fundamentally it's not true. And so there's a bunch of stuff that needs to be surfaced and processed and ultimately released. And so ultimately you can begin to find. love for yourself. And then once you find the love for yourself, then you're going to find a lot love in life more broadly.
And I think that's really this work is all about. It's really, it's yeah, you can go cosmic experiences and dot But, ultimately it's how much love do you show up with yourself and the world on a day by day basis. So that's really what I wish was there for me as just a lot more preparation for such a powerful and
transformational experience, because[00:16:00]
ultimately We're left after such an experience. We're left again with our own minds and our own emotions. So unless we move the dial in terms of how we manage the mind manage the emotions, then we've just had this kind of. Multidimensional experience, which honestly can bring some confusion. It, can really
of the way in which we perceive reality.
And so doing that without any tooling I don't think is necessarily as, it's just not as beneficial as this work can be.
Shawn Buttner: Definitely. And so I'm curious could you go into maybe a couple of specific tools? Because I imagine that whether you have a psychedelic therapy session or experience or not. Like you were saying, we're not trained in any of these tools to help us navigate and live in this world. Regardless if you have that experience or not, what are a couple of [00:17:00] common tools that can help people manage their thoughts, manage their emotions, and manage their intentions?
Jonathan de Potter: Yeah, absolutely. So I think I'd by mentioning meditation, of course just the practice of sitting down and trying to find inner peace and watching the
the Thought machine that is mind do its thing and try to peel you away from a state of peace And you know once you really go it for the first time, you you sign up for a 10 day meditation retreat and you begin to witness the level of activity And degree to which one does, one is not choosing the the thoughts are coming into the mind.
It's really quite alarming actually, because you just see wow this thing is not being driven by me. But certainly there's a that's going on in here. And I think that's one, I would meditation. I think also there's tools for metacognition that I would say just to us [00:18:00] become more aware of the thoughts and the thought patterns that are that emerging.
The, distinction there is you're, you are the thing that's watching the thoughts not the thoughts themselves. And so I think in the Western world, we have come to identify so strongly with our own minds that we've really reduced the human experience as a result. It's I think for so many of us, which was case for me for so many years.
I thought my mind was the top of my hierarchy of self.
And it's not
The soul, spirit is the top of the hierarchy self. And that goes perhaps even further depending upon how how deep down rabbit hole you go. But, fundamentally, yeah, returning the mind to be back in service to the whole.
drug rather than the mind uh, thinking it's the, the big boss. These [00:19:00] medicines a really powerful role
um, But ultimately, we to hang on to that understanding that metacognition, that awareness, order for us to really benefit.
The third thing
I would mention would be
In my case
I had a big trauma when I was about four years old, that hidden from my consciousness. And it was Actually, not the first retreat that I discovered or rediscovered that experience, but a subsequent private retreat that I did and through I came to recognize there was a lot that was
just fundamentally emotionally disconnected in me through that huge trauma that I lived through when I was four.
And What trying to do through this work to connect mind, body, heart, and spirit back into the ways that should be connected so that we can feel good We feel whole. And so for me, emotional processing has been a really large part of that. so [00:20:00] just feeling the sensations in the physical body and saying, okay, what's, what are the energies and motions? What are the emotions? And then. through using breath feeling into those sensations, more energy to those emotions and then processing and releasing those emotions. That's a very powerful tool to begin to let go a lot of the stuck energies that are in our body. So this is the kind of three of the that I highlight. We do a lot more in terms also visioning anything is possible in relation to.
relation to who we are and who we become. And what sometimes people do and what's quite typical in this line of work initially is that I might say, Oh, I want to make a hundred million dollars.
Maybe that's my goal. That's me. That's my People are often bringing You know, some perhaps egoic intentions. And this is where I think a coach can really help us in relation to this. It's do you really 100 million or do you want self love? [00:21:00] And usually through conversation, it's okay, yeah, I actually want more self love, not a hundred million
And so these medicines they do respond to intentionality. intentionality. The putting a stake in ground in relation to what want. You might bring your. ego to that in the first instance and have one set of intentions and motivations. But then in working with a coach, you might actually come to another set which is going to help you more closely align to who and what you truly are.
And that's where you're going to find your success, your abundance, your joy all of those sorts of things, because it's a representation of who and what you really are, not a representation of the societal programming, which is that I need to go out and get a bunch of money, which is a completely different thing.
Shawn Buttner: Definitely. I feel like you're preaching to the choir. As a I'm a certified high performance coach. And so a lot of these things without the medicine experience seem pretty aligned, which is interesting. [00:22:00] And we can go more into that, but I'm curious. So I want to ask you more about how like the coaching part goes or the therapy part goes. During and after, but also as someone that's not had these experiences and speaking of societal messages there's a lot of alarmism or or I'm a product of the D. A. R. E. program here in the United States, which is an anti drug campaign that they ran in the 90s. And I had the shirt and bought into it and the whole thing It was very straight laced growing up.
/ What are like some of the risks or the downside? Because imagine If you could find spirituality, you could also find the opposite of that is, which is probably not great.
Jonathan de Potter: Yeah. Yeah. I wanted to I was part of dare. It was a very strong program in in Hawaii. So I remember it. Yeah. I remember it very vividly [00:23:00] the police coming to organize games when we were what, eight or nine or 10 years old
all of that.
And, yeah for me personally The messages from that program very much aligned to what I around me in relation to substance use, or shall we say substance abuse
Because My, lot of my friends from a young age found marijuana and subsequently psychedelics still in their, I would say, teens actually and it was, I wouldn't say that beautiful things ever came of it.
There was a lot of yeah, there's a lot of negativity, a lot of pretty heavy energy around that stuff. And so never felt any inclination myself it was just like what's going on here? Like people are clearly themselves There's there's bad things happening. And yeah, I think this is clearly very powerful work, sensitive work. [00:24:00] And so it's that people understand the risks that are associated with work. And I think I'll share with you a recent statistic. I think 70% of our applicants that come, that want to come on retreat us, they have been thinking of retreat of this nature for two or more years. Many of them have been thinking about it for years or even seven years. So I think it was 25% have been thinking about it for seven years or more. So it's a huge decision and say, I always say to people we, we quicker with our marriages and our mortgages than we are with
With an experience of this nature and it's really it's really important to spend the time and the energy to do your own research and to there's usually some conflict that's arising between the soul, which is the spirit, It just saying this is something going to help you and you're a yes.
And people know that at a deep and intuitive level.[00:25:00]
And then the mind and the body, which is usually what we're used to listening to is up all sorts of objections because the mind and the body, to a large degree, they things to stay the same. They want things to be predictable. And there's certain patterns that we're running on the mind and the body, and they want to stay within those patterns.
And so something of this nature is putting those parts of yourself ill ease. And and so there's negotiation taking place within the self that runs its own natural process. And I think it's it's a very natural, it's a very beautiful process. We with the popularization of this work, we also see That there's a very there's a large
Number of people that are now motivated to explore this work, not by virtue of their own years of consideration, but just it's popular and it's known to help a lot.
And that's actually that's actually potentially dangerous for an [00:26:00] organization like ours because they're they're not bringing the right level of understanding or intentionality. To work that is really powerful, really deep. And so I'll speak a little bit. I just want to set that frame before I straight into here are the risks. The first thing I would say would be you can't op, you can't unopen the box, right? So if someone is. life through a rational frame as I was moving this experience, then you're you're likely going to be opened to a new understanding. And the reason that people continue this work is that a new understanding is.
is usually available. And continues to be available. So we continue to I would say improve our understanding the, you touched on a key point there, which is what's the opposite of spirituality. And my answer to that is going be spirituality
There's, It's all. It's obvious that everyone wants [00:27:00] to go up there and experience universal love and the interconnectivity of all things and light and the love. And wow, that amazing? But reality is that the gold is on the other end of the fear. And as high as we want to go with plant medicine is the same. We need to go low. Yeah, this work that exists in polarity. Consciousness exists in So if there's going to be high highs, then there's going to be low lows. And so there's always some energies, some shame, fear, grief, apathy, that's down there to released. Now, that being said I will speak a bit more to the risks in relation to what we screen for.
be quite broad. I think I'll start with the physical people need to be in reasonably good physical health. They need to have a reasonably healthy heart. They need to have They need to be taking care of body. If there's [00:28:00] absolutely no attention to the health, then this is probably not an that they're ready for. I would recommend that they start by on the physical health a little bit more. The if people are not eating, if they're eating a whole bunch processed food and a bunch of preservatives and toxins that are in the system as a result of that, and they step straight into a ceremony, with ayahuasca, that would also not be a very good outcome because these are strong, these medicines detoxify the physical body. And so there's actually a strong requirement to take three weeks of to really prepare for the experience, prepare the physical body. So that the body is clean ahead of ahead of such a powerful experience. And And then the other things that we screen for is if people have mental health conditions bipolar, schizophrenia, multiple personality disorder these are things that certainly they can be helped. there's a [00:29:00] lot more science that's coming out now around. The for these medicines to with these I would say more serious mental health afflictions, but the sensitivity of that work, as you can appreciate, is very high. And so for an organization such as ours the chances of having, shall we say an episode, something that destabilizes that person even further from where they are is considerably higher/
If you ask me we've got very experienced medicine guides, people who really know this work. And so when they are looking at someone, they know where they're at and they know if and how they can treat them. They're looking at things from
very different perspective than say, a rational Western doctor.
They wouldn't even necessarily provide the same types of labels to the condition that the person is experiencing. So for a multiple personality disorder, I'm just going to say what a medicine guide or a shaman might say. They might say, there's spirit that's in [00:30:00] your, that's in your being. And so going to remove that spirit.
Shawn Buttner: ha!
Jonathan de Potter: that's way in which, you know shall say more indigenous traditions might look at a condition such as that one, but I'm giving you more kind of Western frame in terms of the do's and nots
of Of psychedelic.
And then obviously we're looking for things that have from the past, right? So if there's major addictions, if there are huge abuses and dissociation is common very strong suicidal ideation. Those also things that we would screen out just virtue of this being high risk for us as organization. It's not to say, again, that these things can't help those people but that it's just, we're not in a position to be able to help them. We would generally recommend that they go find more personalized attention that is [00:31:00] more to one in nature. We do provide private retreats, but it's just, that's such sensitive group of people to work with. In terms of, let's let's just say that you don't fit any of the the categories that I've just You're healthy you're doing pretty good in life. Everything's moving in right directions. You've passed a quote unquote safety screening a retreat of this nature. What's, the risk there? The risk there is that change I think... All else equal, there are some risks of some destabilization, right? Because we understand reality in our own way. There's a quote that I really love in relation to this, which is that seems to be is to those whom it seems
be. be. So I think if we think about the state of the world at the moment, it's very clear to me that a lot of people are coming to understand that many of us fundamentally [00:32:00] inhabit different realities and it's not that it's that Shawn's reality is right and that Jonathan's reality is wrong, it's that they are just realities. We're different consciousnesses.
It's our own consciousness that mediates the of our experience. You've never had an experience that outside of your consciousness. That's just it's the lens through which we everything. And so when we do this work at a high level, we are changing the lens in a very deep and fundamental way.
And I used to experience. Reality is material and dense and 3D. And now I don't. I experience reality in quite a different way. the material and the dense and the 3D is part of that reality, but it's not the entirety the way in which see things. And by definition a successful transformation is destabilizing actually.
so there's no soft way [00:33:00] to change the nature of the through which you perceive all things. And so that's why it's as, and when these, major in perception do take place. It's really important to with a coach, with a guide that is going to help you find new stable foundations for the ways in which you perceive because there's a lot that's going to shift in relation to perhaps what you do for work.
Where you find joy, how you relate to one another, how you relate to yourself, how you want to spend your time, how you don't want to spend your time. All of these things are going to shift. And so I would say to people, I can't remember if I just said it, but you can't unopen the box. So once you open this, it's open and you're like, wow, okay. So reality is not what I thought it was. And so if one major shift is possible in the way that I've just experienced, then what else is possible? If you're a curious person, as I am, then you're going to be inclined to continue the exploration of what is, [00:34:00] that's a deep process and not for everyone.
And so it's important that people really consider if they're ready for for this. So I hope that gives some context about what I would describe as the general risks as well as the the risks to the stability and the way in which you perceive
Shawn Buttner: Yeah, no, that definitely paints a great picture for so I'm a systems guy by training and so we have an adage that garbage in is garbage out. And I would never say that your physical body, your emotional and mental states are garbage, but if those aren't right. Going through this transformational process, it's going to be a different experience based on how those lovers play in your life. So I absolutely love that idea. And the idea that this is a one way street you're not going, there's no [00:35:00] way to tread backwards. And so there's that risk of the unknown that people face inherently in the experience. But it's also life, as much as we try to trick ourselves into thinking that things are stable and okay so much of life is we really don't know what's gonna happen in the next five minutes being...
Open to that, I think is pretty cool. I did have one question on potential risks, and that is, is, there like a particular age group that you should wait until your brain's fully formed at 21 or 25 or you're good to go at 16? Is there like some type of physical physiology that, or growth that has to happen before these experiences are beneficial?
Jonathan de Potter: Yeah, so I'm going to answer in, in two ways, which is, I think [00:36:00] there's the generally accepted societal answer, which is, I think it's, generally speaking, something like 21. The brain continues to grow, obviously, I think more, more physically until 25. 25. And certainly I say that
As we grow older, let's just use the number 30, then there becomes a, the mind becomes, I think, naturally more patterned or it's very easy for the mind to become more patterned. So we're, our thoughts are following. the kind of subset of pathways more commonly. And so there's a loss of neuroplasticity that's coming with that. And so I think often some of the most powerful transformations you hear about are with people who are 60, 70 years old,
just because they've been thinking a particular way for,
let's just say or 50 years. And now all of a sudden they things entirely a different way, and that's because they've regained some of their [00:37:00] neuroplasticity. I always say to people, We all know someone in lives where if you were to present them some new information, you already know how they're going to respond to that.
And so it's a loss of the function of brain when you really think about it, because it's just following a predetermined path. You already know they're going to do and say about the information that you're giving It's really quite sad when you about it, because just wow, this thing is not the way it's intended to operate. It's been programmed to a large degree. Yeah, I that would be my answer. Now, again if you go back to ancient lineages if you go back indigenous tribes, if you go back and you look at from a more historic and culturally immersed perspective, then what you will find is that often these medicines play a role in rites of passage from, childhood into [00:38:00] adulthood.
And that generally speaking, those take place, it would say between 12 and 15 years old. upon the person and depending upon the culture.
And Again,we're, looking this in the West from very different perspective than
Say, an Indigenous tribe would be looking at this. But it's worth considering yeah, the thousands of years of lineage that exist and why they exist in particular ways
Versus, I think, the West, which I would have said
Eight years ago, I would have said that the West is got all the answers and moving in the right direction.
Now I look at it very differently, which is we're clearly out of harmony and out of balance in many ways. And that's presenting in our physical health, that's presenting in our emotional health, that's presenting in our politics, that's presenting in so many different ways on a societal level that we can't help.
But see that there are, that there is a requirement for a return to a [00:39:00] balanced and sustainable way of life.
Shawn Buttner: Okay.
Thank you for that. That. Yeah, that, that's very curious. I'm,
/ you mentioned like the history of these types of medicines. As like a rite of passage or in spirituality. I guess when you and in Behold Retreats, do you folks follow those types of, I
don't know, what's word? Why does ritual ceremonies?
Ceremonies is probably closer to, the what I'm thinking of. Or is it something that you've melded your experience with Western society and the Eastern ideas
Jonathan de Potter: together? Yeah. Yeah. It's a really good question. And it's also a very sensitive subject. I came recognize years after my own experience, my own first experience that [00:40:00] actually a different belief system was actually being superimposed upon me in my first experience and that's not quite right. It's not that and so I'll share a little bit about the way in which we hold this work and why we do it. So it's not that,
Any person has your truth for You That's the same game actually. That's not what we're looking for. What we're looking for is
ultimately what we're looking for is spiritual sovereignty. So that means that someone is directly spiritually connected to what they might describe as their higher power or the higher self.
Source many different God, many different labels that we might use to point it this thing. And so it's not that, it's not that anybody else has the truth for you, but rather that these facilitate your own exploration and your own furthering [00:41:00] of understanding of.
What other truths are there and available for you? And I think that each of us individually is our little piece of a much bigger puzzle. And that's really part of what's taking place. Is that as we evolve, that more us are coming together in more meaningful ways and collaborating in more meaningful ways.
And that's furthering our own individual as well as our own collective evolution.
And so the way in which host this work, I'll share a bit. You might say, Oh clearly the, West, the Western world doesn't have much of the answers here. You shouldn't go into a a white walled clinic and take some of these medicines and sit with a doctor.
that's probably not going to yield you best experience probably because they don't really have a deep spiritual and energetic understanding of the nature of this work. However. Some people feel inclined to leave their trading desk [00:42:00] and to go up the Amazon and to find the most authentic experience that they could, that also be very for a large number reasons.
And what I often say is that large group ceremonies may be the norm for these indigenous tribes, but they were generally dealing with. Say last three or six months of tribal drama that they were coming together to clear the air. Whereas we're bringing multi generational trauma, stuff been passed out for generations and generations. /
So we're a much different type of energy. And so we host this work with number one, small and focus groups. So typical group size for would be seven to say 10 or 11 guests. Which is much smaller than what is typically out there. We respect all faiths and all belief systems. We welcome lot of Christians from the U S and atheists from all over and Muslims from Saudi and Dubai and all faiths and belief systems are welcome in the way [00:43:00] in which we hold this work.
And that relates to us not pushing any version of the truth. On. Then also it's we really look for expert plant medicine guides, people who have done this
a decade or even decades. So they really just have a lot of experience in hosting this work. And also we host typically one week long retreats, which is a really immersive way to do this work. You can really disconnect from technology spend a week with yourself and a group of like minded people who are ready to go deep with themselves and really do some deep self exploration work. And so holding this work in a way that as you say, weaves together the best of the ancient wisdom lineages, as well as is respectful and appropriate for a more Western psyche is what, was what we were
Shawn Buttner: Excellent. / That brings up a good point. Something that occurred to me is in context [00:44:00] more ancient practices, it is more community based. And I imagine you're bringing all these different ideas, all these different folks, all these different cultures together.
In a small group how does community factor into this experience? As I imagine, if you take a look at the stereotypical 60s are
you turned tuned in or not, it's this we had this common experience,
with psychedelic it's like about LSD or whatever it is, so we're part of that tribe or not.
And so I'm not trying to say it's us versus them, but I guess the question Is there a fostering of community after this experience with people that have shared this? Or, cause I imagine like in the ancient practices it's like bringing the community together on a common habit or practice that the community has.
I don't think I quite have that [00:45:00] clear, but you get what saying? Okay.
Jonathan de Potter: Yeah,
Shawn Buttner: heh.
Jonathan de Potter: And
really glad that raised it because it's so important. I think the truth is that we live in a, especially the U S we live in a hyper individual culture.
And we did a piece of research a of years ago that showed 46% of Americans believe that they are the best person they know.
Self belief is amazing. Don't me wrong, but
But that's a level of ego, I think, that is really and you can see it each time no longer live in the U S. But each I visit, sometimes I'm just sitting next to the table, there's a table next to me and I hear some of conversation.
I'm just like, wow, this guy's really he's speaking for 25 minutes without a single break for any other person to to even. Provide one little bit of information or receive and acknowledge receiving or anything. It's just this one sided dynamic wow, this is really [00:46:00] fascinating stuff. You don't see that in Asia where I live. You don't see that at all and so pointed that because I think community so important and one the, one of the things that I think that we are guilty of in the West is turning everything into a problem
And. With the growth of ongoing self work, and dare I even point the finger at plant medicine work, coaches, therapists, I think we're all guilty this to some degree, is that what we've done is we've turned human beings into a problem to solved and that's, really a big A big mistake in my understanding, because I think the human experience is something that's not easy, but it's certainly something to be celebrated and to be celebrated together. So that's I think it's so [00:47:00] beautiful you raise community, because I think that's what we're missing.
So fundamentally in Western culture, we feel disconnected. We feel like we don't belong. And because we're so disconnected, we, because we don't feel like we belong, the purpose is missing too. Because it ultimately comes back to service or once you have done enough of your own exploration and we've all got some stuff that we want and need to explore in order to further our own evolution./
And we need generally speaking, we will have some lower level stuff that attracts us in life, right? So it could be It could be greed, could be pornography, it could be alcohol, it could be bad substances. It could be chasing after. Chasing the other gender. It could be many things that are work actually is another addiction, highly addiction.
uh, any way we can feel like we can escape ourselves. And it's important. I think community plays such an important role at really helping see themselves more clearly. [00:48:00] Because when we're all living in our own apartments, doing whatever it is that makes us feel comfortable, it out that life isn't as meaningful or valuable as when we're living in systems where there is.
Mutual care for one another and different people can see different aspects of yourself on a more regular basis. And then as a result of that, help different aspects of yourself on a more regular basis, because that's where it's really going to help you forge your soul. Because that's what I believe the purpose of this experience is there's another quote that I love to share here, which is your soul is for the benefit of mankind. I came across that one recently, And I just really love that because it points at this really high point that there's you're this this, you're the soul that's here on earth and there's something very unique, very special, very individual that's embedded in your DNA. And your job as a human being is to do what needs to be done in order to access more and [00:49:00] more of what.
what you really are. And then to bring that forward out in here into this 3d it's not this work with plant medicine. It's not about going up to play with the stars yes, you can do that, but it's about bringing it back down here into the 3d. And once you've benefited yourself a little bit, then you can focus more on benefiting others.
And that's where the real magic happens, I believe.
Shawn Buttner: I absolutely love that, and I think it actually brings the whole conversation back when we were talking about how it's based in love for yourself and love for others community is people. And I recently had a professor from University of Michigan on who does, his research is on brand love and he has a book that he came out about it called The things that We Love and it basically saying that Everything in our life that we love, if you have attachments to like your microphone, guitar, TV or whatever, [00:50:00] it's really just a proxy for, and in relation to the people that you love I love my TV because it brings my family together.
We watch movies together. And that's what I want that community experience. And it's a weird, this is a psychedelic therapy is a different kind of way to maybe get there. But it's interesting to see how
That idea, it's all at the end. It's all about love, right? The Beatles had it, right?
It's all about love. So that's awesome.
Jonathan de Potter: A hundred percent. A hundred percent. Yeah agree with that. And I think also in, in our retreats also see a lot of people quickly develop a lot of love for one another.
Shawn Buttner: Awesome.
Jonathan de Potter: interesting, right? Because we have so many loved ones around us in our daily lives. And yet somehow for often, for many reasons there's some conflict, right? There's some karma between us and the ones that are closest in our lives. And [00:51:00] so it can be difficult to feel that kind of unconditional love for our parents. And the ones who are closest to us. It's conditional and it's it's hey it's maintained, used. this is your side of the fence. That's my side of the fence. And so it's interesting when you see a whole bunch of strangers together and they have some meaningful breakthroughs. They really and love one another. How quickly deep and bonds conformancy,in our chat groups after the retreat, you can really see how well people are They want to stay connected. They want to go back on another retreat together in the future. It's really amazing that when we up to the power of love how much becomes to us.
Shawn Buttner: Awesome. Oh, That brings up a good point. So having run a bunch of these groups over time, of course, my processes and programming. I'm always looking for patterns. I'm curious, Are there any discernible patterns of transformations that generally people have, like maybe [00:52:00] It's unique for each person, but have you seen any trends or any kind of threads of commonality that maybe surprised you? I'm just super fascinated. so this is
Jonathan de Potter: cool.
Yeah there's it's...
the question is interesting because my mind immediately went into the number of different ways in which I could answer question. There's so many ways to answer that question. And the answer of course, yes. I would say that there are a set relative patterns and there's a set of absolute patterns, right? So we all have our own relative human experiences. And then as far as I can tell, seems to be also absolute truths that, of us can discover for ourselves that's why when, whether we read the Upanishads the Bible or the Quran or dot there are many universal absolute truths, that are [00:53:00] common across cultures, across time.
When you read what mystics have captured and so I think certainly there's a lot of absolute truths that we see over and over again if are like, Oh, the only thing that's important is love
and you're like,
yep, of course or is already in divine order and that's a really beautiful experience where go, Oh, I the role that cause, cause it's, yeah. It's, without a doubt, a lot of suffering in this world there's a of things that we often wish were different and so it's very easy to most of us think that things will be okay when and that's actually a very painful place to be like things will be okay when there was world peace.
Or things be okay when I get my promotion or things will okay when I find the love of my life or dot, And so we're actually to a large degree, we're removing ourselves from accepting reality as it is here and now.[00:54:00]
And we're creating this gap between what is and what should be.
And that's. At a fundamental level, a painful place to live from. And through these experiences, we come to accept and indeed the love more of the good, as well as more as what we might label as bat about four months ago now, maybe five months ago, I actually I my motorbike and I broke my collarbone and it was genuinely one of the best things that's ever happened to me.
And if I wind back eight or years ago and I had same accident, I wouldn't have been able to see it that way. Because I was given so lessons alongside with this this accident, it really showed me subsequent the accident, I was shown very specifically I created the accident, why I created the accident, and was given a pretty good list of lessons that came out [00:55:00] of it
really helped me. Further my own belief in own ability to heal myself. So I took my X-ray to three different orthopedic surgeons. All three of them said, you need to go into surgery immediately. And I listened to my intuition. I said, Nope, this is, you don't need to go into surgery.
You're going to heal this yourself. And I did. And four weeks later, five weeks later, I was back to. It was like for, orthopedic perspective, it was a miracle. I had basically full range of motion within four or five weeks, and I would say I had 80 to 80% strength in the already.
And so there was just absolutely no need for surgery. And as you can imagine from doing this line of work, I already had, shall we say, a reduced sense trust in the medical system.
Once this happened and
I was able heal my own bone through meditation and listening to certain sound and a lot of rest and no painkillers then it [00:56:00] completely changed my perspective the meaning of of suffering and injury and from, myself, but also on a more collective level.
These are things that happening so that change can take place wherever there's suffering. Is it's the trying to nudge us in a direction to have more love fundamentally so that we experience less suffering.
Shawn Buttner: that's amazing. I'm glad you're okay too. That's such a cool story. Shifting gears a little bit before we close up.
/If you could start a meaningful revolution out in the world a fulfilling transformation an authentic movement, What would you call it, and why would you call it
Jonathan de Potter: that?
Yeah. I would call it, why am I creating this?
Shawn Buttner: I love that.[00:57:00]
Jonathan de Potter: So we tend to we tend to with the experience. And we ascribe all sorts of stories and narratives and all this person did this to me and that happened to me and it's not fair and this should have happened or that should have happened or I should have gotten this I should have achieved that.
And it's just not true. Things are happening exactly as they're meant to happen because either we can see things about ourselves and the dynamics we create good, bad, and ugly, and we are able to. abstract away from it and take the lesson and learn or not. And so there's a quote that I love, is like smart people learn from lessons. Wise people learn from other people's lessons. And I really like that. And we, once we begin engage with the world, in understanding that we are co creating 100% of reality [00:58:00] that it, everything really begins to take on a new significance. We really begin to think much more clearly about how we want to spend our time, how we want to our energy.
And and each time. Suffering emerges an argument. I live with my mom and we have lots of dissonance between us. We love each other a lot.
she's on a healing herself and there's a lot of love between us, but certainly dissonance can arise. And the question I always ask myself is.
Okay, why am I creating this? What's the lesson? And for my mother is my teacher for unconditional love. And really hard. It's really hard. It's much harder than treats to truly love unconditionally. She's through a really intense period of her life from from health perspective.
And there's from
my perspective, there's some inconsistencies in the in which she's managing herself and her condition. And it's [00:59:00] sometimes I feel like it's just it's that I want things for her more than she good things for her. And for me, that's a very painful thing to experience at times. It's hard to stay in unconditional love when you're sometimes seeing someone who's doing things that are not necessarily what you think is in their best interest. But it is in their best interest because they inhabit a different reality than you. And so to
Shawn Buttner: mm
Jonathan de Potter: truly accepting and truly unconditionally loving is is I think is one of those, one of those things it's.
It's a big lesson.
truly, for all of our major friendships, all of our family members, each and every one of the people who are close to us, they have major significance terms of their ability to help you see something Big about yourself. And so when those dissonances arise rather than to shy away from it and say, okay well, let's talk about this later.
My encouragement would be to lean into these experiences. Be like, you really are seeing [01:00:00] things differently than I am. And that's okay. And I honor that. And I love you. And I want you to take some time and energy to how I see things and why I see the way I do because between those two versions of reality, there's a higher truth in that higher
two of you walk it together, you're going to love each other and love yourselves even because of the revelation that's taking place. And so there's, an invitation and an exploration there that is so powerful once we truly take it for what it is.
Shawn Buttner: Wow. Why are we creating this? I
Jonathan de Potter: Yeah.
Shawn Buttner: That, yeah yeah, I, love that whole idea. I'll just leave it at that because that's, I think it's great. Jonathan before we let you go if people want to follow up with you or with behold the treats what is the best way for folks to reach you? [01:01:00] And I'll put it in the show notes.
Jonathan de Potter: Yeah.
generally speaking through our website. We do have a little following on on Instagram, but we do most of our work online through our website. Behold retreats. com. We sell, we do things a little bit differently. We select each of our guests individually. That's really important to us. We want to make sure that we're really able to be of service to a high, at a high level to of our guests. So there's no big green book now button on our website.
Thank you. Awesome.
Shawn Buttner: Cool. Definitely go check out the whole retreats there. I have that in the show notes. Jonathan, thank you so, much for being on with us today and sharing your
Jonathan de Potter: wisdom.
Yeah, Thank you, Shawn. You've asked really great questions. The time has flown, by so quickly and yeah, it's been a real pleasure.
Shawn Buttner: Likewise, man. And with that thanks for joining us on the Meaningful Revolution, folks.