Better living through chemistry; that’s one of the telling, if not ironic, slogans from pharmaceutical companies from the ‘60s. They were selling the idea that no matter what ailed you, the solution could be found in a little pill that you could buy from your friendly local pharmacist. The idea still prevails today, with huge multinational corporations pushing pills for everything from erectile dysfunction to anxiety, but it’s becoming increasingly common for the everyman to consider alternative holistic therapies. One such advocate is James W. Jesso, an author from Calgary who has just released his new book, Decomposing the Shadow.

According to Jesso, his new book is “a complete cognitive and conception model for the psilocybin experience as it pertains to psycho-spiritual maturation, the healing of past emotional blockages and the development in psycho-spiritual maturation of confidence; courage, honesty, bravery, an openness to emotional accountability.” For those who slept through high school, psilocybin refers to a funny little fungus that many of us are familiar with under another name; magic mushrooms, the hallucinogen enjoyed by hippies, music festival goers and people who have just rented The Matrix.

Contrary to what you might expect, the therapy that Jesso is recommending may, in fact, not include the drug at all. He tells us the book “focuses very deeply on navigating the darker elements of the psychedelic experience, all the information in which is focused around the model relating to psilocybin but is directly applicable into anyone’s life, regardless of whether or not they choose to use the mushroom as a tool for personal development.” Essentially, the book is basically not just advocating taking a reality-altering substance as a magical cure all but as a whole new way at looking at the way we see ourselves and our world.

Some people may find themselves asking what kind of person would be behind such a radical process. Jesso tells us that he started out on this journey as a normal, everyday kind of person who was at a place in his life that many would find very relatable, lost in choosing what to do as a young man and getting very lost in self-destructive substance abuse. He says that after he put himself through the very process that he outlines in the book, he then found his life has flipped to the complete opposite side of the spectrum, having rediscovered a sense of self-love and an ability to share his vibrancy for life in a genuine and compassionate way.

As well as picking up his book, you can catch James W. Jesso speaking in many forums on the subject of psilocybin and wellness as he continues to tour back and forth across Canada. As well as giving book talks, he speaks to a wide variety of audiences on psychedelics as it relates to wellness, creativity, and our perspective on the world at large. After speaking at an astounding 10 events in a 10-month period, Jesso shows no sign of slowing down as he brings his message to cities as far away as Montreal. With such rapid success, you can be sure that the dialogue on this subject can only go up from here, so be sure to check it out for yourself and see what the wisdom of zoomers has to offer you.

By Max Maxwell

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