Experiential journalist Rak Razam chats with the world's premier mycologist, Paul Stamets, at the Uplift festival, Dec 22, 2012, about the whole systems theory of nature that the mycelium networks of the mushrooms point towards. Stamets describes his pioneering work with fungi and how that has affected his own worldview, from his own shamanic-style initiation as a teenager to his work with bio-remediation and introducing fungi as bio-tools for corporate and government scientific use, and the cultural clashes that have engendered.
Can Western culture drop its mycophobic reaction towards mushrooms and embrace the healing benefits of these substances? Can we integrate the psychedelic benefits as well as the physical ones? As Stamens describes, is the mushroom "earth's natural internet," and what does that mean to our scientific worldview and a network-based future?
Photo credit: Tim Girvin, art: Gerhard Hillman
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Originally aired on: Jan 12, 2013