Marlene Rupp: “I see a big chasm between science and spirituality“

Marlene Rupp  is Master of social and economic sciences at Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (2002-2008). She is also the head of Psychedelic Society Vienna and author of Sapiensoup Blog.

In 2017, Marlene started to hold Integration Circles on her own, with the goal of building a culture of mindful integration within the local community in a bottoms-up approach.

At BP 2018, Marlene will share her findings in her talk titled : How to start a Psychedelic Integration Circle


Marlene Rupp, source:

What do you think about Beyond Psychedelics 2018?

I’m excited about the talks and workshops and all the lovely attendees that—I’m sure—will make this conference most memorable.

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?

No. A mental health professional who specializes in substance-supported therapy will naturally be interested to have first-hand experiences with these substances. And if not, I believe they must have very good and specific reasons for it. Same is true for any other kinds of therapy. I believe we should abandon prerequisites and bans likewise, and let the individual make the decision.

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

I’d like to see a complete legalization of psychoactive substances, i.e. freedom of choice, side-by-side with a well-fostered awareness of the risks and benefits of psychedelic substances.

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

One of the biggest challenges for us people is to think outside of our usual thought patterns. Psychedelics afford people across all age-ranges a safe and radical shift in consciousness—the chance to change our minds and adopt new strategies that are more beneficial for us and our environment.

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.

What concerns me is that I see a big chasm between science and spirituality. The psychedelic  community sometimes seems to be divided into scientists and mysticists; a division that I believe is neither helpful nor necessary. Without spirituality, our understanding of psychedelics remains trapped within mechanistical neuroscientific models. Without science, psychedelics give rise to dogmatic gurus who may abuse psychedelics for their own personal interests. I believe that there has to be a place for both and I would wholeheartedly welcome more openness on both sides.

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