The Art and Science of Psychedelics for Personal and Leadership Development
Psychedelics: A powerful “consciousness technology”
For Evolute Institute, psilocybin-containing truffles (a legal psychedelic) are an instrument for insight and development, an extraordinarily powerful consciousness “technology”. They enable a temporary exit from the “matrix” of everyday consciousness, offering peak experiences and completely new perspectives outside of the usual perception/thinking routines. Given the right set & setting, preparation and integration, psychedelic experiences can catalyse profound change and development.
Psychedelic literally means “mind manifesting” or “mind revealing”. So, of course, one can talk about the affected serotonin system or the neuroplasticity-enhancing effects of this class of compounds on a biological level. But the defining characteristic of this kind of substances to most people is to be found on the phenomenological or experiential level – i.e. it is that they make accessible to conscious awareness aspects of the mind that are ordinarily hard to access or almost impossible to access. Hence, they can be applied as a “technology”, to access our unconscious and gain new insights into ourselves at the deepest levels, and to influence or even shape our mind in desired ways, i.e. by addressing our intentions in an appropriate setting with an appropriate preparation and mindset.
There is of course much more to be said – please reach out to us if you would like more information on the topic of psilocybin-containing truffles.
Our approach to Leadership Development
What is development and how is it linked to leadership?
Development implies the differentiation and integration of consciousness, such that a new, more functional system state is established which can perceive and encompass or “hold” more. Development means to have an enhanced ability to influence or regulate oneself and be more skilled at interacting with / influencing the environment. Development as we see it thus automatically promotes self-leadership and leadership of others / the building of new interpersonal competencies.
We believe development does not so much happen through “intellectual” knowledge or cognitive insight alone, but through new emotional reference experiences. This is why we structure our leadership development programs in a way that creates optimal conditions for such new reference experiences.
Much of what constitutes development happens through the conscious control of the attention process (sometimes called mindfulness), living through or processing “old” emotional states and accessing new emotional states and new states of being. What is especially powerful is establishing true connection to the present moment, i.e. the experience of direct contact with (the web of) life itself. This is the often referred to as the “transpersonal” aspect of development: a space that goes beyond the intrapersonal and interpersonal elements of development mentioned above.
Experiences outside of everyday consciousness (altered states of consciousness, ASC) are particularly effective to promote development, not least because they help disintegrate or “melt” rigid mental or behavioural structures temporarily and thus create new options for thinking, behaving and being in the world. Under ASC, there is an increased openness to experience and thus to change in the system (on a brain level we would say there is enhanced neuroplasticity).
Hence, on the one hand, we use the power of ASC and peak experiences in our leadership development programs to catalyse profound change and growth. On the other hand, we believe that it is central to the effectiveness and sustainability of the developmental process that it is embedded in a thorough preparation and integration phase, where numerous touch points with peers and coaches guide and support the developmental process. What matters in the end is not having extraordinary experiences, but weaving the insights from your peak experiences into your every day personal and professional life.
This is why we created a 12-week developmental journey (EvoLEAD) as the “minimum effective dose” for deep and lasting change and offer the option of additional coaching and exchange in a community of leaders far beyond these 12 weeks.
If you liked what you read: check out the other articles of this series:
Article 2: Deep inner work: Moving into higher mindsets
Article 5: Overcoming Cultural Conditioning
Article 6: Increasing Psychological Flexibility
Article 8: Acquiring Wisdom for a Good Life
Interested in joining a group of pioneering entrepreneurs, organisational leaders & decision-makers, change-makers and curious minds on their path of inner growth and development? Curious about the power of altered states of consciousness and the use of psychedelic truffles in a safe and legal setting? Then feel free to explore our psychedelic retreat program EvoLEAD or schedule an exploratory call. We’re looking forward to determining with you if our program could be a good fit for you at this point of your journey.