PT450 – Dreams, Psychedelics, Symbolism, and Cockroaches

October 12, 2023
Featuring: Mackenzie Amara & Dr. Ido Cohen

In this episode, Johanna interviews Jungian analyst-in-training, writer, researcher, 5Rhythms® teacher, and Vital graduate: Mackenzie Amara; and Vital instructor, clinical psychologist, and creator of our new course, “Illuminating the Hidden Self: Navigating the Jungian Shadow with Psychedelics“: Dr. Ido Cohen.

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In this episode, Johanna interviews Jungian analyst-in-training, writer, researcher, 5Rhythms® teacher, and Vital graduate: Mackenzie Amara; and Vital instructor, clinical psychologist, and creator of our new course, “Illuminating the Hidden Self: Navigating the Jungian Shadow with Psychedelics“: Dr. Ido Cohen.

This sequel to their fascinating discussion about shadow work earlier this year focuses on dreams, as Amara, while dreaming that she was having an acid trip and coming to the realization that dreams and LSD may be sending her to the same place, is researching the similarities between the odd worlds of dreams and psychedelic experiences: Is it the same place? Do the dreams we have after psychedelic experiences continue those visions and ‘Aha!’ moments? Can they answer questions for us (the concept of “sleep on it”)? Does dream analysis result in a greater feeling of integration? Can we use the dreams we have before experiences to help guide the experience itself?

The conversation goes a lot of places: the many aspects of Jungian psychology; the fluidity of Indigenous perspectives around visible and invisible worlds; how Jung wrote “The Red Book”; the concept of eros and reclaiming our relationship with aliveness; how nature is in constant equilibrium (as are we); how to build a relationship with your dreams; how to work with symbols in dreams; and much more. Ultimately, this episode is about the clash between the conscious and unconscious, the willed and the incidental, and waking life and other realities, and dream analysis and integration work is really tracking vitality in the human psyche: what is alive in us and how does it want to live out in our beings? What makes us come alive? Can our dreams tell us?

Notable Quotes

“I was inside my dream, analyzing my dream, and having the phenomenological experience of being on LSD, and it was like, ‘Holy shit, is this the same place?’” -Mackenzie

“When you sit with a dream image that maybe scares you or that you avoid: When you sit with it long enough for its purpose to be revealed, it’s like, ‘Man, cool, thank you for sending me that image.’ And you can start to trust that there’s something larger inside of you that has your back. And that level of trust, that level of existential secure attachment (is what I’ve been calling it lately) is un-fuck-with-able. Nobody can take that from you. Once you have that, you’re good. All the chaos can happen around you, but you’ve got something inside of you that nobody can touch.” -Mackenzie

“These are all experiences with the numinous. The numinous wears all the shapes. It’s only our human hubris that searches for it in particular shapes. If we kind of quiet that hubris a little bit and let the self, let the numinous talk in its own language for a second, we can all be humbled to see how vast its language is and how it can find us even in the most ridiculous images.” -Ido

“When we have these experiences, when we’re given this content from our unconscious, it’s an invitation to join the family, to join the life that is living through all things. And that to me, is just really, really hopeful, and I think it’s why I’m so inspired and passionate about psychedelics, is the possibility of them to alleviate that nihilistic thought pattern that says ‘I’m alone in this world.’ When we really, really feel into what’s happening for us, it’s collective. We’re in a collective experience, constantly, all the time. And that’s really beautiful and healing.” -Mackenzie


PT390 – Vital Psychedelic Conversations, featuring: Mackenzie Amara & Dr. Ido Cohen

Illuminating the Hidden Self: Navigating the Jungian Shadow with Psychedelics

Imagination as Revelation: The Psychedelic Experience in the Light of Jungian Psychology – An Introduction to Psychedelics and Carl Jung

The Red Book, by C. G. Jung (Use code PT10 for 10% off!)
Mackenzie Amara 3

In this Episode

Mackenzie Amara

By trade, Mackenzie is a Jungian psychotherapist, consultant, & 5Rhythms® teacher. By vocation, she is a psychedelic facilitator, depth psychology scholar, and writer. By design, she is a collection of fractal, holographic cells dancing around some strange attractor for the sake of who knows what to live an insignificant, mythic life reflective of the mysterious vital spark within her. She identifies as a series of memories & unverifiable subjective experiences of self-hood to which she is rather fondly attached. She has a penchant for scholarship, the occult, pedantic erudition, morbid humor, grandiosity, nihilism, & semi-responsible hedonism. Born in the shadow of New Age culture into a fractured family system & the subjective experiencer of (arguably) extreme early childhood trauma, her life’s work is to heal psychic wounds – her’s and other’s – that she & others become strong enough to contend with the unconscious quicksands and transpersonal abysses which lap at the periphery of developing consciousness. She is an emergent property of Being playing at becoming sovereign. She really, really loves butter.

Socials: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook

Ido Cohen

Dr. Ido Cohen

Dr. Ido Cohen, Psy.D – serves individuals, couples, and groups in San Francisco. He received his Psy.D from the California Institute of integral studies and trained at the Jung Institute In San Francisco. He works with a diverse range of challenges, including childhood trauma; inner critic, relationship, and intimacy challenges; lack of fulfillment; psychospiritual growth; and facilitates psychedelic integration and preparation sessions with individuals and groups. His doctoral study researched the integration process of ayahuasca ceremonies, while applying Jungian psychology to better understand how to support individuals in their process of change and transformation. He is currently finishing a study on the use of psychedelics in couples. He is the founder of “The Integration Circle” and facilitates workshops on the different dimensions of integration and the intersection of mental health, spiritual health, and the entheogenic experience. Ido is passionate in supporting individuals to create long term, sustainable change, leading to intimate, authentic, expressive and love-filled lives. In his free time, he likes to find new paths in nature with his dog Luna, marvel at art, write, create, and connect with his community.

Socials: Instagram / The Integration Circle instagram