Scott Douglas Jacobsen: How did you become interested in the discipline of psychedelia?
David Wilder: I was actually pretty opposed to all drug use when I grew up and it wasn’t until I got to college and began experimenting with drinking alcohol that I loosened up enough to try cannabis a few times. It didn’t have much effect on me the first few times (probably because I wasn’t actually inhaling properly), and eventually the people I was hanging out with bought some salvia divinorum to try. Without any knowledge of what I was getting into, I joined them one time while they were smoking the extract and ended up having an extremely intense out-of-body experience where I was looking down on myself from above. That experience threw me for quite a loop and gave me a lot to think about. Later that summer I traveled to Europe and purchased some psilocybin mushrooms from a smart shop in Amsterdam. I ate them and had a life-changing transformative trip which showed me quite a few things that I needed to work on. When I got back to America, I became somewhat obsessed with learning as much as I could about psychedelics, reading lots of books, watching tons of videos, and listening to podcasts about psychedelics. It’s been over ten years since that summer back in college and I’m still consuming a lot of psychedelic content to learn as much as I can.
Jacobsen: What is the purpose and content of Psychedelic Career Day?
Wilder: This event is designed to facilitate a conversation about how people can create a career related to psychedelics. I’m a freelance writer that spends a significant amount of time writing about psychedelics, and the rest of the panel consists of psychedelic researchers, an event organizer, an entrepreneur, and a ibogaine facilitator. I’m very interested in what these panelists have to say about their own careers, and hope that as a group we are able to give some inspiration to people out there who are wondering what type of psychedelic career they can create.
Jacobsen: You have a wide range of interests including “music, reading and writing, plant-based diets, fitness, meditation and yoga, psychoactive drugs, gardening, alternative economics and self-development.” How does Think Wilder provide an outlet these?
Wilder: My blog Think Wilder is a place where I can write about my interests in an effort to spread information to others. I have a weekly “This Week in Psychedelics” column where I link to a wide variety of psychedelic-related articles that show up each week in the news. Some of these articles focus on the risks that can come from taking psychedelics, while others delve into their benefits. The column is intended to catalogue how psychedelics are presented by the mass media, which includes everything from the latest scientific research to misinformation. I also write a weekly “Weekend Thoughts” column, which briefly talks about some of the things that have happened in the previous week. That column tends to focus a lot on news about technology, which is another topic I’m very interested in. In addition to those two weekly columns, I have published a few “how to” articles about various meditation techniques and several book reviews that cover the topics that you mentioned. Ultimately, my blog is a place for me to work on my writing ability and express the things that I’m thinking about to the wider world.
Jacobsen: What will be your own contribution to the panel?
Wilder: I will be speaking for 5-10 minutes about my personal background and history with psychedelics before diving into some of the tips and tricks that I wrote about in my “Continuing Further Education with Psychedelics” article that is published on Psychedelic Times and then talking about a few psychedelic careers that are options for people who want to create a psychedelic career. Although I don’t have the same wealth of professional experiences with psychedelics that the other panelists have, I’m hoping that talking about my story as a freelance writer will help upcoming psychedelic content creators to think about how they can carve out their own careers.
Jacobsen: How do you hope to help the younger generations explore the world of psychedelia?
Wilder: My hope is that we see a lot of different types of careers bloom out of the psychedelic community. One potential path that younger people can take is to study psychedelics in college and become psychedelic researchers or trained therapists that can help people integrate their psychedelic experiences. In addition, some people may want to get involved with drug policy work, while others could become content creators and help expand the conversation about psychedelics even further. It’s an exciting time to be involved, because although there are a ton of options available to pursue.
Jacobsen: Any final thoughts or feelings in conclusion?
Wilder: I think that about sums it up for me. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today, and I am looking forward to participating in the webinar!
Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He founded In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He is a Tobis Fellow (2016) at the University of California, Irvine’s (UCI) Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality (Ethics Center). He researches in the Learning Analytics Research Group, works as the Gordon Neighbourhood House Community Journalist/Blogger, researches and writes for the Marijuana Party of Canada, and is a contributor for The Voice Magazine. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.