Larry Laveman, LCSW, BCD
If you’ve ever taken ayahuasca, dropped some acid, smoked peyote or ingested a few magic mushrooms, then you know the feeling of the ego shrinking away as the mind dissolves into a mystical union of oneness. These transcendent experiences send us to a dimension of love and gratitude where we don’t want or desire anything. Sometimes we can see just how petty we really are and at other times we become lost in a phantasmagoria of mystery and illusions. Specifically, ayahuasca and peyote ceremonies, ritualistic in nature, have seen a rapid increase over the past ten years as more and more people attempt to break out of the ties that bind us. At the end of the trip, however, we’re left with the knowledge that our spirit is bigger than the life we lead. We vow to live a more conscious and loving life but the vow is often transitory even though the experience remains firmly intact within us.Click here to read more.
I define spiritual malaise as a very personal type of burnout that robs us of the energy we need to pursue the lifestyle we desire. It’s not a grounded feeling or phenomenon, but rather a deep sense of uneasiness and frustration with daily life characterized by a lack of self-connection and engagement. It’s more ambiguous than depression and less fretful than anxiety. It does not declare itself or spread rapidly, it sits, like smog, degrading the oxygen around it. In one sense it’s the malaise of the modern age. With so many daily distractions, from cell phones to job competition, to family and relationship demands, we barely have enough time to consider the things that make life worthwhile.Click here to read more.
Confirmation bias is a cognitive distortion that causes us to selectively search for evidence in support of what we already believe to be true. For example, if you believe in ghosts and go to a haunted house then every creak in the floor, movement of air or unexplained noise will serve as validation that the house is haunted. If you don’t believe in ghosts then the house is just old and drafty. Confirmation bias is not based on objective facts; it’s based on selective facts that reaffirm our beliefs. As a purely subjective occurrence, confirmation bias creates self-fulfilling prophecies that traps us in a web of our own assumptions.Click here to read more.