#33 I Don't Need Your Help | Mike "Zappy" Zapolin

August 31, 2021
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As a film-maker, his documentary film, “The Reality of Truth,” explores his ayahuasca experience in Peru, and features Deepak Chopra and actor Michelle Rodriguez. He also directed “Lamar Odom: Reborn,” a documentary that features NBA star Lamar Odom, and his path to recovery through psychedelics. Zappy joins Ronan to discuss how his early psychedelic experiences inspired him to go deeper later on in life, how the psychedelics industry could be the next big tech boom (but which could also really help people), his utterly jaw-dropping experiences with ayahuasca and ketamine, and more!                                

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[00:00:00] Zappy: So when you can take something like ketamine and you can get beyond the human filter, now you're able to, you know, really connect to what I would call source, to connect to yourself, and the beautiful part is when you come out of it- you're resonating. It's almost like this ketamine is this incredible frequency that, you know- Timothy Leary in his paper, The Eight Areas of the Brain, he said, The way you unlock the eighth area of your brain, the one that turns on your supercomputer, you know, the expanded satellite that you can take all this information, is using ketamine. And so I just think that we are limited with our human filter and that if you can disconnect from that and get back to your own frequency of vibration, that's spirit. You don't have to think- it's not necessarily outside of you. It's not, you know, some guy up in a cloud. It's- you reconnect to [00:01:00] that source and you know, that's what I consider to be spirituality.

[00:01:05] Ronan: Hello everyone, and welcome to Field Tripping. I'm really excited about today's episode with a great guest who has an even better hairstyle, Mike "Zappy" Zapolin. Before we dive into his story and all the incredible things he's doing, let's hit up some news to trip over.

As many of you know, in May of 2019, Denver became the first city in the U.S. to decriminalize psilocybin. In another first, the city is now launching a psychedelic harm reduction training program aimed at educating the police department, fire department, paramedics and mental health workers. The training is intended to help first responders identify when someone is [00:02:00] having a challenging psychedelic experience and respond in such a way that any potential harms are mitigated. MAPS is working alongside other groups to develop this educational program, hoping that it will set a precedent for harm reduction initiatives across the country. A recently published study in the journal of neuroscience uncovered a link between inflammation and depression. Scientists out of the University of South Carolina found that when mice are injected with a substance that causes inflammation, levels of serotonin in their brains decrease. They went on to discover that this decrease may be driven by increased histamine levels in the brain. So inflammation triggers histamine release, which acts as a signal to decrease serotonin release and may eventually lead to depression. More histamine, less serotonin, more misery. What's really cool is that a number of psychedelics have been shown not only to activate serotonin receptors, but to block histamine receptors. In other words, these drugs might be able to [00:03:00] simultaneously target multiple pathways involved in complex disorders like depression. Finally, our friends at DoubleBlind recently published an article all about the rise of shroom slang, that helps people understand terms like set and setting, microdose, hero dose, and integration. It's a great guide for someone just getting familiar with the space. Speaking of integration, I'm happy to announce that at Field Trip we've recently launched a new pioneering program offering group integration sessions for people. Group sessions are amazing for a number of reasons. It gives people a sense of community and belonging, the opportunity to learn shared insights from other people's experiences, which is in truth, part of the reason for this whole podcast, and it cuts the cost of treatment in half. If you'd like to learn more, check out fieldtriphealth.com for details. 

And now onto today's discussion. We are talking with a man known as Zappy. American entrepreneur, award-winning filmmaker, and psychedelic [00:04:00] concierge. Zappy is considered a thought leader in everything he involves himself in from, from working on Wall Street, to becoming a domain name mogul, to traveling to sacred lands with the company of Deepak Chopra, to document the power of psychedelic healing. His influence paired with an unmatched swagger and passion for radical change have shined a bright light on the power of mindfulness and integrative medicine, and I'm so happy to have him here today. Zappy, thank you for joining us today and welcome to Field Tripping. First off, let me say that I like your look. There aren't many short bald guys with great style and a penchant for nice glasses in the psychedelics industry, so I'm glad we're on the same page, and I'm going to pose a challenge to you, which is if either of us become global celebrities, I want the other person at Halloween to dress up like the global celebrity. Deal? 

[00:04:54] Zappy: Ooh, I like that deal. Yes. We need more [00:05:00] short bald guys running around with glasses. 

[00:05:02] Ronan: That's a hundred percent it, and you know, if you become the celebrity, then I just have to get glasses. And if I become a celebrity, I think just get a beaded necklace and we'll both be good to go.

[00:05:11] Zappy: Thanks for doing what you're doing, Ronan, in this space. You know, it's just so amazing that you were out in front of this industry and, you know, I've been more of an advocate, you know, go, go, go. And as I, as I watched you, you know, start to put your businesses together and, and really, kinda be one of the thought leaders in this space. It's just, it feels so good to see people like yourself, you know, going as deep as you're going with the, with the business, but also, you know, making sure that the education and, you know, things are being done really high conscious by you and everybody around you. So hats off to you for sure. 

[00:05:51] Ronan: Thank you. I really appreciate that. And vice versa, you know? What I'd love to do in this podcast actually is like, understand where your path came [00:06:00] from and how, how you got into this. Cause I, as we were researching this, and for all our listeners, Zappy and I had the pleasure of being on a panel, I don't even know how long ago was that now? It had to be at least six months, maybe a year ago. 

[00:06:13] Zappy: Yeah. It was like, it was in the beginning of the pandemic. It was one of the first like virtual Zoom conferences and we were both, like, you know, early on in that it seemed. 

[00:06:24] Ronan: Yeah, COVID is a timewarp amongst other things, but it's certainly a time warp. Every day starts to blend together. It's crazy. But in researching this conversation, because I didn't fully know your story beforehand, you said in an insider.com article about you, "I hit this point in 2011, where I had this spiritual midlife crisis. I was like, oh my God, I just did everything that society told me I should do. And I'll be totally happy. And yeah, I have happiness, but I'm not fulfilled." Can you tell me about that? It's something that I think, god, a lot of people experience. If I, if I was going to chalk up one factor to the global mental health crisis and the global mental health malaise we're [00:07:00] experiencing right now, you know, I'd probably say it's all of us, at least in the west, got pitched a story about what the path to happiness is, you know, work hard, succeed, make money and everything kind of happens. And then you kind of get there and I certainly experienced this to some degree. Like, what now? Right? Like it really is that, be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it. And it certainly sounds like that kind of happened to you. But if you could go into that a little bit more, tell me about how you got there and where you were when, when you had this realization. 

[00:07:31] Zappy: Yeah. You know, I, you know, so in my, in my youth, like a lot of people, I had some really positive psychedelic experiences, but they were just sort of, you know, things that I was trying out and things. But when- in that 2011 time, you know, I had made a lot of money, all kinds of, you know, accolades and things like that. And I had a family and I was looking at my life and I was like, Wow, you know, I'm supposed to be completely happy. I'm [00:08:00] not. And I- there's something about myself that I just don't know. I'm not in contact with some piece of me that I feel like I need to understand. And thankfully I had heard about ayahuasca at the time. And I started thinking about that. And I said, you know, I've had these great psychedelic experiences before without really putting any intent on it. And now I'm putting the, if I go into this with some intent to try to find some answers, maybe this could be something really significant for me. And that was my premise. And as I thought about it, you know, I said, well, I've done everything else. There's, I'm not, you know, gonna kill myself. I'm not going to go on antidepressants right now, but like, I need something right in this moment to break me through. And I wound up getting the opportunity to go down to Peru and do ayahuasca. 

[00:08:49] Ronan: Yeah. 

[00:08:50] Zappy: And as it, you know, came together, I was able to wrangle actress Michelle Rodriguez from Fast And The Furious to come with me and do it; some friends of ours. [00:09:00] And we went down to the jungle and her and I, and some friends, we drank San Pedro at the top of a mountain. And had an incredible experience with that. And a couple of days later, we hiked into the rainforest and did in the jungle the ayahuasca. And of course it was a life changer. It reaffirmed everything that I was looking for. I got all the things that I was seeking and I felt that, almost like I went back to that original frequency that I had when I was young before all the institutions and everybody told me what to do and how to think, it was like now I was resonating at my own frequency. And it just- I felt so grounded. And so of course I just, at that point wanted to share it with everybody and tell everybody they have to do this. So- 

[00:09:49] Ronan: That's super cool. If I can ask, and I think this is a relevant question, because recently it came up- there's a, a good friend of Field Trip, a guy named Robbie Bent. I don't know if you've ever crossed [00:10:00] paths with Robbie, but he launched Inward Breathwork and he's doing some super cool work and he's really, you know, into everything that's happening. And he recently kind of relayed to us that most of his friends aren't cool with psychedelics or, or ketamine. And we're like, What? Robbie Bent's friends aren't cool with psychedelics or ketamine or anything? Like, it was mind blowing about how, kind of, unique, our openness to what's happening is. So back in 2011, you said like, you did everything up to that point. What else had you tried, you know? Most people don't go from, I'm feeling like not totally fulfilled. Ayahuasca. That's what I'm going to do. Like what else was a part of that process? 

[00:10:38] Zappy: Yeah, so, you know, when I was younger, I had a really amazing experience where somebody gave me some mescaline and I had that experience and I was just like, Wow, you know? Something incredible here, you know? I tapped into that spirit part of life, and just to kind of see that there was more going on than just my physical five senses [00:11:00] was like a real aha moment. You know, and I had a psilocybin experience that was really incredible for me, where I took a high dose of psilocybin, and in that moment- and this was a real life changer for me- because in that moment I looked at my hand and I, I was seeing everything just as frequency. And I looked at my hand and I looked and I said, Oh my God. It's just trillions of atoms, like vibrating at a certain frequency. And then I looked at my friend and he was the same atoms, but they were vibrating at a slightly different frequency. And I looked at the table and it was the same atoms just a different fre- I was like, oh my God, everything's just frequency, everything's one, it's all connected. And of course, you come out of that and you can never unsee that, you know? So I was really lucky that that was my experience because I never un-saw that. And then at the same time, it occurred to me later that, because I had had those good experience, I was like, maybe I got to go back inside of myself for some answers. And that's, you know, [00:12:00] my kind of- my mantra is right, whoever you are, you know? Take the time right now to go inside of yourself. And that could be through meditation or breathing or whatever. But if it's psychedelics, it's like trust nature, and don't take anything too seriously, and you are going to have, probably the experience that you're looking for.

[00:12:21] Ronan: Cool. Okay. So you, you kind of went, you were kind of predisposed to being like, Okay, ayahuasca like, I'm kind of feeling languishing, so what am I going to do? Oh yeah, this is a good idea. You didn't, you didn't have a big arc to get back to psychedelics as being a, an appropriate choice for you in terms of going inward. One question I do have. How long had you been feeling this? You know, I think one of the things, and I think it's particular to men, but certainly not exclusively of like languishing, but feeling like, yeah, everything's fine, you know? But how long does it kind of, how long is the duration of that? So how long were you kind of in that, kind of [00:13:00] mediocre state when you're- until you realized I gotta do something about this? 

[00:13:03] Zappy: Yeah. I, you know, I feel like I was probably in it for about a year, you know? When I realized what I needed to do, I still fought it, you know? I was kinda like, well. You know, there was a guy in Topanga Canyon, California who used to invite me to these full moon ayahuascas and, he'd say, You got to come. And I would be like, Oh I'm out of town that night or, oh, I have something. I was just putting it off, putting it off. And I got to a point where I was like, I can't put this off. I want to probably go to Peru and do this in a really, you know, guided way, but I'm ready. And I think I just, you know, got to that point that maybe you have to get to where you, you, you realize that all options, other options are off the table and that you have to take this step inside yourself. And so, you know, I think the cool part for me about the pandemic is that if there is a silver lining, it's that we've all spent more time [00:14:00] with ourselves. We've all have assessed our mental health. And a lot of people are starting to say, I want to feel better. I don't want to have anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, these things. They don't necessarily care what it is that gets them out of it. And- but I'm happy because I know it's psychedelics and I know that as a society, it looks like we're about to go off the cliff, but the psychedelic opportunity is going to let us just kinda take a right-hand turn before we go off it. And you know, I've been calling it, Ronan, an empathy crisis is what I think is happening in society right now, is we're all having this empathy crisis where you want to care, and a lot of times you do, but then the phone rings or something and you just, you know, you forget about it. It's gone. And you're not ever able to put yourself in somebody else's shoes.

[00:14:49] Ronan: Yup.

[00:14:50] Zappy: And I think the psychedelic experience- when you are in that experience and you are able to be empathetic and understand and feel that connection with everybody else, [00:15:00] you come out of that and you instantly have more empathy. And that's what I think could change society, if enough people had that, you know, empathy booster and in a shot like that. 

[00:15:12] Ronan: For sure. My first psychedelic experience- at least when I was not otherwise heavily intoxicated on booze- that was one of the most profound things that came out of it. At the time we were myself and Joseph [inaudible] my business partners were in a bit of a dispute with our former employer Aurora Cannabis, Inc. All along, we thought we had taken the principled approach. And in fact, we had. Looking back, I don't, I don't regret anything that we had done or how we had communicated it. But during that first psychedelic experience, and this was in 2018, so I'm still relatively novice at all of this, but had this moment where I appreciated how they felt, right? Even though it didn't change our actions or what I thought was right. And I'm like, okay, see this from a different, I see this from their perspective now. I understand why they're pissed off about this particular situation, even though there's [00:16:00] nothing that would have happened differently. And even though I can point to- we did everything thoughtfully and in a mature way. And I really do agree that that is one of the incredibly powerful aspects of what psychedelics enable. It's like, it's true empathy. It's putting yourself in someone else's shoes, not as an academic exercise, but as a very visceral experience, like you feel it. And when you feel that it's different than you think about it. 

[00:16:23] Zappy: Yeah. That's the difference between caring and empathy, I think, is that you're actually feeling that, that feeling and, and, and in that person's shoes. The other thing I want to comment on, because I have been, you know, asking people to become more radical and demand the right to go inside their own minds, using these compounds. But the reason I'm pushing so hard is that I think that what, what these psychedelics do is that they really reconnect you to the miracle. And by that, I mean, you know, it's such a miracle, you know, we have this, you know, sun, that's a certain [00:17:00] distance away. So we have an atmosphere to breathe and I'm talking on a cell phone and to China on video in real time. And people are like, "Yeah, there's no miracles anymore. I want a burning Bush. Nothing is interesting." I'm like, Oh my God, this is- everything's a miracle. And so when you have the psychedelic experience, you come out. You're like, wow, you reconnect to the miracle. And when that happens, it's it changes everything. And so that's why I think just having people have one experience- and I think you and I are probably, you know, singing the same tune which is- hey, ketamine is legal, it's available, it's safe. This is probably the Western gateway to allow people to have that reconnection to the miracle. And then whatever happens after that, you know, is gravy. They're going to be back in that miracle. 

[00:17:52] Ronan: Totally. Yeah, I absolutely agree with you. I, I don't, I don't use the words in the miracle. I talk about like joy and wonder, right? Like we had one patient who [00:18:00] came through our clinic and she talked about how after her experience, which is her first larger dose of psychedelics with ketamine, she was like looking at her hand and you know, how kids and babies look at their hand and they seem in awe, and she was having that experience. And it's like, when you're in that state of wonder, right? I don't even know how to describe it, but when like, something is so fascinating, so engrossing and it doesn't have to be drug-induced by any stretch. I feel like depression, anxiety, all of those kinds of resonances or indications, however you want to talk about them, there's no room for them to kind of get pushed out. Now it's hard to stay in that state in the longterm, you know? But just even tapping back into that and feeling it again, like you kind of mentioned it from your ayahuasca experience, can shift things, right? It just moves things and open up some possibilities that didn't exist. 

[00:18:46] Zappy: The way that I've found that I can access that feeling and that, that moment, that present moment awareness is when I go into gratitude, you know? When I start thinking about the things I'm grateful for, all of a sudden, there's [00:19:00] no space, like you said. And, and that's really the only way- you know, sometimes people say, oh, it's all about love or this and that. I think it's about gratitude, because in gratitude, you all the sudden are in that spot that you're, everybody's trying to get to. And it's there. It's so easy, but when you come back to the miracle, you're just like, Oh my God, the trees look beautiful. This food tastes incredible. I appreciate my mom more, you know, like whatever it is, you're just in, you're seeing the miracle of it all. And that is just awesome. 

[00:19:36] Ronan: Totally. Can I ask about your ayahuasca experience? Because one of the things that I've always found helpful, at least in like my meditation practice and, and the work I've done with metaphysics is, at least initially I found it super annoying, listening to other people talk about their meditation experiences and what came out of it, but over time, as, as I kind of let go of my resistance and my ego, I realized that a lot of the insights and awareness that people got out of their [00:20:00] meditation experiences were actually relevant to me and would help inform or give color to my personal experience. And so one of the things I'd like to do on this podcast is invite people to share in more detail in a more color, as much as you're comfortable, what actually happened? What were the tangible, oh my God moments, being like, ah, I never thought about it that way or God. Yeah. When I do this and I act in this way, I saw like how self destructive that can be or, or whatever the case may be. So if you can offer more color about what you experienced in that session would be great. 

[00:20:30] Zappy: Sure. Yeah. You know so me, Michelle Rodriguez and one other person, we were a hundred percent committed to doing the ayahuasca. The other people that wound up doing it, they were kind of on the fence, but we said, Hey, we came all the way down here to Peru, we're filming this. Like you got to give us the hero dose. Like we're just, we're going for it. And so I had an incredible experience and some of this I detail in The Reality of Truth, but some I want to share with you that wasn't- isn't in there, but [00:21:00] I think almost universally, I had this feeling that everybody has, which is that there was this feminine spirit energy that was with me, that was guiding me, and that was protecting me during this process, because at some points it was pretty intense, but I always felt like this feminine spirit of mother nature, Pachamama, and I just- I felt that along the way. And I think that's encouraging anybody that, you know, to do, ayahuasca, it's like, you're going to have your grandmother there hugging you the whole time. Just surrender to it. And, but there's a point that you hit- I also think this is kind of universal- where I hit this point where I was sitting in the room. I had Michelle Rodriguez next to me. I had my friend on this side, we're sitting there, I'm in the room. I'm- once in awhile, I'm aware. But all of a sudden I had this feeling. I was like, oh, oh my God, I just died. I was like, I died. And and I looked around not, you know- within my eyelid, I looked around at everything and it was, it was so dynamic. I [00:22:00] was scared. If I didn't have that spirit presence with me, I probably would have had a heart attack, but I breathed and I looked around. I said, This is death. It's so dynamic. It's so incredible. If I was here forever, like I might just dive right into this and live that, but I realized I was teetering between the life and death. And I thought, you know, I'm never going to be scared to death again. I go, if this is it, this is- I can't wait. But at the same time, I said, if I come out of this, I'm going to spend every day just living the miracle and trying to share the fact that, you know, this is an incredible situation that we find ourselves in, and I'd like to do that. And I kind of felt myself, you know pull back and get pulled in. And I think that's like the dance that happens in ayahuasca. And I was, I surrendered, you know? I was going to expand my consciousness. I didn't have any questions. I didn't- wasn't trying to overcome something. I just wanted to expand. And so when that [00:23:00] death hit me, I leaned into it. And in that surrender, it kind of evaporated in that, but other people that were there in the room, they wouldn't surrender and they were just, you could see them having a harder and harder and harder time in it's lasting hours and hours. And I'm into this next phase of total bliss consciousness, sitting there, you know, as if I meditated in a cave for 30 years. And I knew that I could, at that point, you know, ask any question, go into the past, whatever I wanted to do. And in The Reality of Truth, I say how I asked the question, why do bad things happen? And I was shown by this God conscious energy that at, at the magnification that it brought me out to, this edge of the universe, I could see everything in the universe I contained, and it was totally balanced. And in the ayahuasca this feminine energy spoke to me for the first time. And it said, "Do you see that it's totally balanced? If something happens over here, it's just going to get [00:24:00] made up over here." And I looked at it and I was like, oh my God, it's totally balanced. It's perfect. And in that moment, this isn't in The Reality Truth, but this was really the life changer was, this spirit, God consciousness said to me, "Do you know how you're breathing right now?" And I said, "no, I don't." And it said, "Do you know how you're growing your hair? You're doing it, but do you know how?" And I said, "no." And it said, "Well, then what makes you think I need your help?' And I was just like, oh my God, that's right. I was like, if I don't even know how I'm breathing, like, how am I supposed to get upset? Because these people aren't listening to me or they're doing that- I don't even, literally don't know how I'm breathing. And from that moment, Ronan, I was just like, I was freed. I was just like, oh my- nothing is going to get me down because there's something guiding this and there's something happening at a level that I don't understand and I have to accept that I don't even know how I breathe. [00:25:00] And coming out of the experience, to kind of encapsulate it, what was amazing is several hours into this, we had taken different amounts and some people were taller and bigger and smaller. And at several hours into it, the ayahuasca frequency, it just like [wooshing sound] It left the room for all of us. And we all opened our eyes and we looked around and we were like, did you just come out? Yeah. And we were, we were stunned and it was so powerful. As I came out, I started laughing and I was like, oh my God, I just got the whole cosmic joke of the whole universe, which is that we have God with the beard and Buddha, Muhammad, jesus, and I was with God and it was a woman, you know? It was at least half feminine, you know? And I just, every day since then, it's been, you know, just, I have to readjust every day to that reality. And when I hear people say, God, the father, him, he, you know, all this stuff, I'm just, [00:26:00] I laugh. And I go, the underpinnings of this, you know, religion itself is flawed in that it doesn't understand that this feminine, creative energy is what is God consciousness.

[00:26:13] Ronan: Wow. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. I got goosebumps, actually listening to that, to be quite honest. And you know, the thing that, like, it just hit me, like, it's so powerful and I'm still trying to digest it. I'm going to have to take some time with it. But like when that, that energy, and when, when that God consciousness said, "Why do you think I need your help?" I felt like this- personally felt the sense of freedom, right? Like it's like, oh, you know, so much of our lives- and I've recently been thinking a lot about the word "should," and "should" implies a level of judgment, right? And not in a good way. In a negative way. Like there's an obligation, not a choice. And, and so much, I think of how we live our lives as in that "should." Like, I should be helping. I should [00:27:00] be doing more. I should be exercising. It should be- and then you kind of realize, like, I don't, I don't have to write like she will say she's- she's got it. She's got it. And that gives you freedom to choose about what I want to do, as opposed to what I should be doing. It's- wow. That's incredibly powerful.

[00:27:21] Zappy: Yeah, it was a life changer. Yeah, I want to tell you, I- what happened was I came back from Peru and I was telling everybody y'all you got to go to the jungle and sit with a shaman. And all my friends who really needed it they would say no, Zappy. My family will Baker Act me if I tell them I'm going to the jungle to sit with the shaman right now, okay? I can't do it. So I was like, oh, I got to find a Western medicine approach that they could be open to, and that's about six years ago that somebody tuned me into ketamine and I thought, wow, you know, maybe this could be that Western medicine approach. And so I convinced the doctor to [00:28:00] let me try a series of treatments. And as the first time I had it, I went into that present moment awareness state, where there was no past and no future. And I was, oh, wow. I am I'm back here in present moment awareness, but what's different was there wasn't this feminine energy spirit. It was like, I was there by myself and I was very happy and very, you know, in bliss to just be in this space where I wasn't afraid. I wasn't having these crazy, you know, experiences, but I was in present moment awareness. And I think in society today, people- it's hard for them to even like go, [breathes in and out] you know, and take one good breath, you know? And when you get in that ketamine experience, it's like all of a sudden, you're like, oh, you take a breath. And I want that for everybody. And that's why I'm like,I praise you and your [00:29:00] organization and anybody else that is working in the ketamine space, because it's the one- it's the bridge that is going to allow Western society people to have these types of experiences without being scared, intimidated, or doing something that, you know, seems maybe, you know, not, not the right thing to do.

[00:29:19] Ronan: For sure. Do you, do you have a an ongoing practice with ketamine or other psychedelics? Or, you know, we were- I was speaking with Dr. Andrew Weil a couple of weeks ago, and you know, he's one of the godfathers, so to speak of the modern Western experience with this, and I asked him about his current practice and he's, he's like, eh I don't like I got what I needed and I don't need it, have these experiences anymore. And he's not the first person I've heard say that, but I'm curious to know what your ongoing engagement is with psychedelics right now. 

[00:29:48] Zappy: You know, I, I think this is turning on aspects of the brain, especially ketamine. It's got so much evidence that you're building new neural pathways in the brain, that you're [00:30:00] turning, you know, you're turning on 80% of your brain. So when you look at that, you go, well, that seems positive. That seems like something that even if I'm content and everything's good, I should still continue to try to build the structure and move forward in that way. And so I do semi-regular. Now I've got a company called KetaMD. We're doing at-home ketamine treatments guided by nurses over tele med. And so I have access to be able to do treatments when I feel like I need it. And what I've been doing is I've been going around to silicon valley companies and we've put, even during coronavirus, we put as many as 20 executives- a lot of times it's around 10- but we'll sit together in a room on yoga mats, socially distanced. We get all cleared by the doctor to have our ketamine lozenges, we put a group intent on it, and we listened to the same frequency based music, and we have this, you know, hour and a half second. And after that we'll have [00:31:00] some high-frequency food, and then we'll have a share session about what went on. And these are, you know, incredible experiences. I've had executive teams at the top silicon valley companies say, "What we just did here with our team would have taken us a month in the wilderness to get this type of cohesiveness, this kind of empathy. This is incredible. We have to roll this out to our HR department because all our employees- a lot of them work in at home. We know that they need this. And so I love seeing it, you know, get out there, but I wind up doing the ketamine treatments, I would say I do one a month at least. And I either do it in a group practice or I'll do it by myself when I need to, you know, go into present moment awareness and, and every time I come out of it, and you probably have had the same experience as have most of your clients, when you come out, you're just, it's so affirmational, and for me, I always come out and I go, Wow, you [00:32:00] know what, if Bill Gates paid me a million dollars to do what I just did, it would totally be worth it. And I think, wow, the fact that Western people can now access this and companies like Field Trip or KetaMD are making this available so that somebody can, you know, have a transformational session, number one, but number two, I think most of us were, were a little stuck in the illusion and we have to be popped through, into, back into the miracle. And I come out of the ketamine every time, and I'm just like, wow, look at this miracle I'm in. And for days and weeks, I'm feeling that connection to source and to, you know, just everything around me being incredible.

[00:32:43] Ronan: That's amazing because one of the things, and I appreciate you touching on that, is that I'm focused on personally is trying to sort of reconcile science with spirituality, you know? Spirituality for a lot of people is a dirty word. And putting spirituality into conversations about the spiritual and putting it in [00:33:00] context that makes it approachable. Because there's a lot of hyper rationalist out there, right? Like over the last hundred years we have emphasized, and certainly over the last probably 20 years, we have emphasized, I think it's left part of the brain and that's a hyper rational focus on science facts, data, right? Like straight line, linear logic and all that kind of stuff. And I think a lot of what psychedelics enables is, is getting in touch with the spirit, right? However you want to describe it. I'm curious to know, like, I try to live and I believe- I put that in quotes- in, in reality creation, which is we are literally making this all up, right? Our whole experience is a function of our minds and in some scientific ways, it made sense, right? Like if you think about what light experiencing sight is, it's not like, you know, if you cut into an optic nerve and slipped into a person's optic nerve, you would see what that person is experiencing. So your brain is literally translating these signals that we receive into our experience. But what I really like about reality creation is that it. It makes nobody a victim, right? If you [00:34:00] are the author of everything that you have happens to you, whether you like it or not, then you can always choose to take something from it as opposed to be a victim of circumstance. I say, I believe that because I like to believe it and it's a great lens through which to experience the world. But you know, if I had to die on a cross as, as to whether I need to recant my belief in reality creation as opposed to hold onto my beliefs, I would probably recant it because it's not so firmly held as a conviction of, this is what's actually happening, but I think opening up these conversations and let, letting people have more honest conversations about the spirit and, and, and God, goddess, all that is, the source, the miracle, and all that kind of stuff is really important because I think it opens up a part of life, part of experience, part of our brain, that's just been shut off. And so I'm curious to know, like, where do you land on the spirituality perspective? Like, what is, what is your world view about the nature of reality? And I get it, it's, everyone's only got an opinion and their personal [00:35:00] experience to offer it, but curious to know if there's any sort of, you know, construct, I go back to The Reality of Truth when Deepak said is, The illusion is that we are separate from the universe, right? And in a recent podcast, I recorded with Matt Johnson, he said, It takes a magical level of thinking that consciousness only emerges at an arbitrary level of complexity, which he was saying in the context of everything is probably conscious if you take that panpsychism worldview, but curious to know what your worldview is if it fits into any of them or if it's kind of, as you've described already? 

[00:35:33] Zappy: Yeah. I mean, I think like, when I think about science, I think about, you know, me as a, you know, why, first of all, why did I manifest myself into this physical reality to be here? And as I've put myself into this physical reality, you know, I look at it and I, I know from my experiences with psychedelics, that there's so much more going on than I, then I'm [00:36:00] perceiving with my five senses. And I think that's the thing is that, you know, we, as humans, we're doing this ska- we're like scanning for danger. That's all we're doing is just, scan for danger, scan for danger. And so you become that, and you're just scanning for danger and the psychedelics realign you and bring you into a place within yourself- and this is where it I consider spirituality- which is when you get to a point within yourself where you are no longer looking at things through to human filter. And that's the problem is we human filter everything. So when you can take something like ketamine and you can get beyond the human filter, now you're able to, you know, really connect to what I would call source, to connect to yourself and the beautiful part is when you come out of it, you're resonating. It's almost like this ketamine is this incredible frequency that, you know, Timothy Leary and his [00:37:00] paper, The Eight Areas Of The Brain, he said, The way you unlock the eighth area of your brain, the one that turns on your supercomputer, they tell, you know, the expanded satellite that you can take all this information, is using ketamine. And so I just think that we are limited with our human filter and that if you can disconnect from that and get back to your own frequency of vibration, that's spirit, you don't have to think- it's not necessarily outside of you. It's not, you know, some guy up in a cloud, it's you reconnect to that source and, you know, that's what I consider to be spirituality. So you don't even really need to, you know, believe in God, necessarily to have a spiritual experience. You can just go inside yourself, your own frequency and have that experience. And to me, that's what spirituality is about, and you know, science is so limited that, you know, we all [00:38:00] know that, you know, we keep finding things, you know, we didn't know there were bacteria and then we didn't know there were atoms and then they find quarks and it just, it goes on forever. So it's like, if, if you're going to try and science your way out of this thing, forget it. You're going to have to use the technology of psychedelics, of plant medicine, these things that are going to allow you and your incredible, miraculous machine to tap into that spiritual place. 

[00:38:29] Ronan: Totally. I think Matt Johnson said it really eloquently, which is like, he's like, I don't believe in the supernatural, but that doesn't mean that the natural is not so much more complex than we give a credit to, or, or, or we can measure right now. It's all natural. Like whether it's God source, you know? Or even just like that recognition that there's more to this world that we currently experience with our five senses- or I just read, you know, scientists have officially discovered a sixth sense that we actually have the ability to echo locate things in motion in the [00:39:00] right circumstances- but it's like just even the recognition that there's so much beyond what we have the capacity to absorb as humans. Even at our highest level, even at our highest frequency, there's still probably stuff outside of that that's outside of our realm and it's not supernatural. It doesn't involve spirituality. It just requires a little bit of belief or maybe the more accurate term is a little bit of humility to say, yeah, there's things we just don't understand. Right? It's not that they're supernatural. They're just beyond our comprehension right now. But yeah, that's cool that that's very helpful. You know, we've been talking about your experience in Peru with ayahuasca and I know there's been a lot of debate, some of the friendly, some of the acrimonious, about the corporatization of psychedelics, the institutionalization, the Western medicalization of psychedelics and what it means for traditional practices. And you know just the evolution of how things evolve. Curious to know, I mean, [00:40:00] you're an entrepreneur like me so I'm guessing your viewpoints are probably fairly similar, but just curious to know how you feel about everything that's happening besides, you know, the excitement of, of enabling access, which I think we're all excited about whether you're in the most traditionalist, shamanistic approach or the most Western medical, I think we're all trying to achieve the same things. Just kind of through different paths, but some people are scared by what's happening and some people are excited. I wonder, kind of where you land on that conversation?

[00:40:29] Zappy: Yeah. I, you know, I'm treating this as, this is a really important technology that we need to get out. We need access, we need education and we need to convince the public that these things are safe. And I think that there's been so much propaganda since 1971, you know, with you know, the with drugs getting scheduled and Nixon and all that stuff. And so in that context, I think we- it's our job. It's not that the doctors don't know [00:41:00] about this, but they're hiding it, or that the government knows that these are good, but they're just not telling us. It's just that literally they don't know. And so we, as the psychonauts, we need to be the people who educate them, the establishment and the institutions. And so I'm really, you know, it's so exciting on a business front, when you have a trillion dollar industry that's just starting, with psychedelic medicine. And we had the internet, which was a trillion dollar industry, we had the biotech companies. Now we have cryptocurrencies, that's a trillion dollar space. And now we have this psychedelic medicine space that could replace antidepressants, pain medications, all kinds of things. And for me, I'm excited and I want to, I want to encourage businesses to push forward and to spend the money and the time and the resources to make these things happen. I'm involved with the company. I'm a chief visionary officer for a company called Psycheceutical [00:42:00] Incorporated and a psycheceutical- it's basically the best of psychedelics and the best of pharmaceutical. And what we have is we've got a couple of patented delivery systems that allow us to deliver psychedelic compounds together in time-release, we can deliver them and pass the, the digestive system where there's a lot of degradation and toxicity that can occur. And so this is so exciting to me when I saw this, I was like, I have to get involved because this is just going to make taking the psychedelic, you're going to get more, you know, take less medicine, get more bioavailability. This is the holy grail. This is what the medical establishment needs to say, here is your psycheceutical. Now we know that in five minutes, this is going to happen. You're going to have this much bioavailability and all these measurements. That's what they want, because when they see a mushroom or hear about a brewed tea, they go, oh man, I want to recommend it. But I can't. And so these [00:43:00] psycheceuticals, as I see it is the way for society to say, okay, I'm comfortable. This is like my pharmaceutical. I'm going to take this. And I'm going to know that I'm getting what I'm supposed to get. And so on all levels of business, there's probably 40 companies now that are publicly traded. And some of them are great businesses and organizations like Field Trip, you know, and some are probably just chasing the next thing like they chase cannabis or crypto, whatever they were chasing. But I think the companies that create an environment for people to, you know, have better access and a better experience, you know, those companies they're- these are going to be the next biotech companies. And you can own these companies like Field Trip and others. And you're literally, this is like owning the pharmaceutical companies in the 1920s or the biotech companies in the 1990s. It's like, all you got to do is just lay your back down and just wait for all the drugs to get [00:44:00] rescheduled all the scientific data to be in. And you're probably sitting on the next Pfizer, Amgen, you know, huge, huge company. So I'm, I'm really excited. I want to encourage everybody to just, you know, this is the entrepreneur's dream right now. 

[00:44:16] Ronan: A hundred percent and you heard it here. 

[00:44:20] Zappy: Yeah, especially cause you're helping people. I mean, if I were talking right now about, you know, some calendar system or some battery that saves energy, it's like, yeah, that's cool, but like we're talking about changing somebody's life in a single session. I mean, that's a miracle and that is, you know, what's really happening on the ground. 

[00:44:39] Ronan: Totally. Are there any companies in particular that you like that are doing things besides, you know, KetaMD and Psycheceutical. What other companies are, are you excited by? If any.

[00:44:49] Zappy: Yeah, I mean, I'm, I'm excited by the companies that are doing the IP work, you know? Because I think, you know- and good IP- because I see some people and they're like, [00:45:00] oh, we're, you know, we're going to patent, you know, what color eye shades you wear during a psychedelic experience, or we're gonna, you know psilocybin for weight loss. And you're like, well, yeah, but like, that's like years down the line, you've got to do all this work. Like, what can you do for me today? So I'm, I'm encouraged by, I like the ketamine companies and I like, you know, companies like Psycheceutical, where they have intellectual property that works in the traditional medicine that's being brought over to psychedelics. Those are the companies that I say, oh, these are the buy- these are the Amgens or these are the, he, you know, the, the winners. And I look at companies, you know, even like Field Trip in these, the data, this data that we're collecting is so powerful that I think, you know, whoever- the Googles and the Facebooks and the United Healthcare and all these people, they want access to this information. If we, as companies can be generating, you know, quality data, not only is that going to be [00:46:00] lucrative, but it's really going to help society in a super big way. 

[00:46:03] Ronan: A hundred percent. Okay, one last question I have for you. I think you introduced Lamar Odom to the conversation around ketamine. I don't know if it was you that, but you certainly facilitated it. And, and you've been described as a concierge for, for psychedelics. And I think one of the things that we need more of is having more people- Lamar Odom's great. I'm a big Lakers fan. I've been a Lakers fan since I was really young, but like, he's one of those cases where it's like, it's a broken individual finding redemption. And for a lot of people, that's not a story that resonates with me. Like, I'm not broken like that. Like, and I don't mean broken in a negative, but like he went through incredibly challenging times and that doesn't resonate for the average person. Are there other celebrities and I'm sure there are, but how do we get more celebrities to come out? You know, we saw- we we've seen like Megan Fox talk about it recently. We saw Kacey Musgraves just come out, and I'm guessing you're probably seeing, maybe even facilitating a lot of these experiences, but what do we do to [00:47:00] help have this conversation continue to be a mainstream, cause after a while it's like, you see my head and my bald head, your bald head after a while. And it's the same people having the same story has been like, yeah, I've heard that Zappy guy before. Yeah. I've heard that Ronan guy before. They're saying the same shit over and over. How do we get, how do we, what do we do? What does it take to get the next, gets to the next level? In this conversation?

[00:47:18] Zappy: Yeah. That's a great question. You know, I, I think it's just, we got to keep educating people because, you know, while Lamar might resonate with certain people, it's like, Megan Fox might resonate. And you know, I am working with some celebrities that, you know, if I said their name, you'd be like, no way, why do they have a problem or something like that, you know? And I think it's going to take, you know, I want to, you know, have the relationship where, you know, a Prince Harry or a Barack Obama or these people have these experiences with people like us, that you can trust to have these companies. And those people can come out and be, you know, representative to another group. I, you know, anybody, [00:48:00] you know, politically. You know in music, whatever it is, the, and, and, you know, the hard part is that I do have a lot of celebrities that I've worked with, who, you know, don't want to be out because it's just not, you're not ready. Society's not ready to, you know, allow them in their context of their career to come out like this. So they're waiting to come out. I think it's just a little bit more, you know, push it over the goal line, and, you know, I just, as a quick example, you know, when Lamar, when I met him, I was doing a screening of my film The Reality Of Truth. And somebody came up after and they said, "Hey, I'm friends with Lamar Odom, and he's in a bad place. And I just saw your movie about plant medicine. Would you talk to him?" And so I spoke to him and I said, Look, I think you should come down to Florida, and with my partner, Warren Gumpel and I, and KetaMD. You should do a couple of these ketamine treatments and go inside of yourself. Cause you've never done that. And you know, we have to make this right between ourselves and the community, [00:49:00] because Lamar had always been told, you know, these are white people drugs, you can't do this. If something goes bad, you could be shot by the police. You could be put in a mental institution. And I think as the psychedelic community, we have to level the playing field so that everybody can have a non-judgemental experience, that's going to be right for them. But Lamar went inside. He had an incredible experience. And then I brought him down to Mexico. I said, now that you trust me, you have an addiction profile. You're an African-American guy. There's this African root, you know, maybe you're supposed to be taking it, but culturally you've been cut off, so take it and see if this can break your addiction pattern. And he took it and he came out and like, like a lot of people I've done ibogaine myself- you come out and you just feel so good. And every day you're feeling better and better and better. And you're just like, oh my God, like, I feel like I'm 18 and you're super clear and you have no cravings cause it wiped your prefrontal [00:50:00] cortex. So Lamar, he said to me 48 hours after he did the ibogaine, he said, I feel so good mentally and physically. He said, I think I can make a comeback in professional basketball. And this was a guy who had had 12 strokes and six heart attacks wasn't even supposed to walk. And he comes out of that and he's like, I think I can play again. And boom, six months later, he trains and he goes down to Dubai and he plays in a professional tournament there. And I was like, wow, this is like his- yeah, it's in the film, but he's, it's like his personal Rocky moment and I'm like, there's nothing else in the world that could have kept this guy, you know, clean and living a healthy lifestyle and waking up every day and being, and not having the kind of anxiety that he had, other than psychedelic medicine. And I think if, you know, the tipping point may be for, somebody else might be the Prince Harry or so on and so on. But I think if we just keep pushing these [00:51:00] people to say, Hey, you know what, it's normalized, it's safe to talk about. You know, you could inspire a lot of people. Please, lend your voice here. 

[00:51:08] Ronan: Yeah, absolutely. 

[00:51:09] Zappy: I, I just wanted to say, I think, you know, what I love about Michelle Rodriguez and Lamar Odom is they, they beat to their own drum and a lot of, you know, times, you know, celebrities, they've got a lot of wranglers that are telling them not to do things and for all kinds of other reasons, but those people they think for themselves. And at some point, both of them were just like, you know what? I know I need this, so let's do it. And I remember, you know, Michelle, her lawyers or agents saying, don't sign the paperwork. Don't let him shoot you. She's like, already did. Already shot some stuff. Like it is what it is. So, you know, I think they could be inspirational to the, you know, Oprah, Michelle Obama, Prince Harry, to say, you know what, I'm gonna I'm gonna take this path and try to- if it works for me, share that with other people, because I think when you share it, you also get this incredible [00:52:00] feedback loop where you're really helping people and they're helping you to get, you know, stronger and stronger yourself in this.

[00:52:07] Ronan: A hundred percent. Well, that's a wonderful note to leave it on. So Zappy, thank you so much for joining me today on this. It's been an incredibly insightful conversation. Congratulations on all your success. We didn't even talk about The Mind Army, but we'll have to have you on another time and talk about your work there because there's, you know, I'm a big believer despite some of the factionalization that happens in the Industry. I use that word in quotes because a lot of people don't like to think about it that way, but you know, we, we need for-profit and we need not-for-profit. We need advocates, we need underground shamans. We need everybody working to, to elevate this conversation. And so you're doing incredible work. So thank you for all that you do in raising the discourse, making it accessible. It's it's, it's really wonderful. And it's great to share this opportunity with another good looking bald headed dude doing this kind of work. So thank you. 

[00:52:57] Zappy: Nice. Thank you. Keep doing what you're doing. [00:53:00] Appreciate it.

[00:53:04] Caller: Hey Ronan, psychedelics have played an integral part in my self discovery, but I feel misunderstood when I discuss it with my friends and loved ones who aren't familiar with this form of medicine. How can I approach them to help bridge this disconnect, help them better understand? Thanks. 

[00:53:22] Ronan: Thanks for that question. It's not an easy question to answer. You know, we're finally in a place where I think psychedelics are being seen once again, as medicines instead of highly dangerous drugs. And the evidence is really starting to speak for itself. But we do have to keep in mind that for, you know, our parents' generation, our grandparents generation, they were taught, and frankly, we were taught that these drugs are highly, highly dangerous. So even though the evidence continues to emerge to suggest their safety and efficacy, there is a long road to hoe in having these conversations. So the [00:54:00] best advice I can give you is have patience, listen with respect to your friends and family's concerns, but also remember that you're on your own path and you get to make decisions for yourself. To the extent that your friends and family are open-minded to at least reading more, suggest books or documentaries, and maybe even suggest this podcast, if I'm being honest. At the end of the day, you know, this is a concern we hear from a lot of patients and we found that people who just maintain their integrity move forward with their honest beliefs, that these treatments will be beneficial for them seem to have success in eventually bringing their friends and family over to the other side. 

As a quick reminder, you can now record a question for us and we will play it on the show. It's a great way for us to feel connected to you, our amazing listeners. To record your question, go to speakpipe.com/fieldtripping or you can send us your questions, comments, or any episode ideas via email [00:55:00] to fieldtripping@kastmedia.com. That's Kast, with a "K." 

Thank you for listening to Field Tripping, a podcast that's dedicated to exploring psychedelic experiences and their ability to affect our lives. I'm your host Ronan Levy. Until next time, stay curious, breathe properly, and remember, every day is a field trip if you let it be one. Field Tripping is created by Ronan Levy. Our producers are Conrad Page and Harley Roman, and associate producers are Sharon Bhella, Alec Sherman, Macy Baker, and Tyler Newbold. And of course many thanks to Zappy for a great conversation today. To learn more about him and to follow his journey, check out zappyzapolin.com. Finally, please rate, review and subscribe to our podcast and sign up for our newsletter at fieldtripping.fm or wherever you get your podcasts.[00:56:00]

About Ronan

An entrepreneur and a visionary, Ronan is one the founders of Field Trip – with a mission to bring the world to life through psychedelics and psychedelic-enhanced psychotherapy. Concurrent with his work at Field Trip, he is a partner at Grassfed Ventures, a venture capital and advisory firm focused on the cannabis and biotech industries and is Chief Strategy Officer and Member of the Board of Directors for Trait Biosciences Inc., a leading biotech company in the hemp and cannabis industries. Prior to his current roles, Ronan co-founded Canadian Cannabis Clinics and CanvasRx Inc., the latter of which was acquired by Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) in 2016, after which he served as Senior Vice President, Business and Corporate Affairs for Aurora. A lawyer by training, Ronan started his career as a corporate lawyer at Blake, Cassels Graydon LLP and Legal Counsel at CTVglobemedia Inc. (now Bell Media Inc.) He holds a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Commerce degree, both from the University of Toronto.