Jesús Alejandro Lopez: “I think that for our cultural context, LSD is the right tool”

Jesús Alejandro López Castillo was born in the city of Tehuacan, Puebla, Mexico. He has a degree in biology from the Universidad Veracruzana  and is author of the book: La Buena Muerte: Enteogeónos y Euthanasia (The Good Death: Entheogens and Euthanasia); an analysis from the bioethics of the use of entheogens for the management of anxiety in terminal patients. He has had the opportunity to present papers within specialized congresses such as Sacred Plants of the Americas 2018, and has presented at various Mexican universities, proposing an approach from a transdisciplinary perspective, and a search for dialogue between traditional knowledge and the Western scientific point of view.

His presentation at BP 2018  has the title :The absence of the sacred: abuse of entheogens in Mexico


What do you think about Beyond Psychedelics 2018?

I believe that this symposium is an excellent place for dialogue between professionals and those interested in the topic of research with entheogens.

How do you feel about the current situation around psychedelics?

I believe that the global landscape has been changing in recent years. Beyond the superficial changes in the legislature, I believe that there is a change within the perception and conceptualization that the general public has regarding this type of substance.

What do you consider to be the biggest challenges of the current psychedelic movement?

The main challenge is to adapt as a society to coexistence with the entheogens, by this I mean adapting to live with them in our daily life.

Do you think psychedelic experience (and/or altered state of consciousness induced by other means) should be compulsory part of training for mental health professionals?

Absolutely, I think they are an excellent tool for health professionals to empathize with their patients

How do you envision the ideal society in terms of psychoactive substances and altered states of consciousness?

That the members of our society can coexist with users, consumers and administrators of this type of substance, without prejudice.

What do you consider to be the greatest benefit of psychedelics?

Functioning as elements of spiritual exploration, an element that is difficult to find in the Western Culture.

We believe in the importance of interdisciplinary, intercultural and international collaboration. Between which areas do you think new synergies would be effective to develop? Which of those synergies already happening do you see as the biggest potentials for the future of psychedelic studies? Do you think that western science and practice should collaborate more with the traditional healers?

Of course there must be a collaboration between both perspectives of knowledge, but these must be within an atmosphere of dialogue, without one perspective imposing itself on the other.

What roles should psychedelics have in our society? (which areas of life, what purpose of use, who should use them)

I believe that the main function until now has been to serve as tools of spiritual growth … As an example to this, the appearance of the LSD m in the 60’s allowed the creation of peaceful civil resistance movements against the dominant capitalist perspective.

Which is your favorite psychedelic substance and why?

I think that for our cultural context, LSD is the right tool

What do you see as the “shadow sides” or “dark sides” of psychedelics? Which topics do you feel are not being presented enough or appropriately.

I think  that the darkest side of the entheogens, in recent times, has been the use and abuse on the part of the occidentalis of the entheogenic sustancias within indigenous communities. This is contributing to the loss of biological-cultural wealth of many since there is not a full understanding of the context in which these substances are used in cultural terms.

Since your own personal experience plays a big role, would you be open to sharing some of your own psychedelic experiences – which were the most beneficial / harmful / strange for you?

Of course. The way of dialogue is a major tool for the understanding of this type of substance.

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