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Sept. 20, 2022

Consciousness in a Nutshell w/ Jay & Lindy Nelson

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For many, intuition labels psychedelic experiences as threatening, knowing that character defects and shameful behaviors are bound to confront them under the influence. But what happens if we lean into that fear? What do the molecules have to teach us, and how can we heed their teachings?

After years of dissatisfaction and a cynical world view leading to psychological and emotional struggle, Jay Nelson was catapulted into the vulnerability of a life curiosity by way of an unintentional LSD overdose. From there, Jay became obsessed with the hard questions of consciousness, and began devoting his life, in partnership with his wife Lindy Nelson, to finding and sharing answers.

What is consciousness? What is its purpose? And how can we function most skillfully knowing its influence? Join us for this week’s episode as we sit down with authors and explorers Jay and Lindy Nelson to discuss their forthcoming creative nonfiction, Consciousness in a Nutshell.

Intro to Consciousness

  • Jay’s recounts the near death experience that that cracked his brain open and started him on his quest to explore the nature of consciousness
  • 350 micrograms of LSD and the experience of the never-ending moment
  • Jay comes face to face with death and resists surrendering to his ego
  • Jay’s brains reboots and he sees the layers of consciousness stack up


The Photoshop Layers of Reality

  • Exploring the layers of consciousness and how psychedelics increase the permeability between the unconscious and conscious selves
  • How the majority of our reality is constructed from memories and past experience
  • Understanding the malleability of our internal experience and how to use that knowledge to rewrite our identity and past experiences
  • The similarities in psychedelic accounts of dissolving ego identity and experiencing unity consciousness


Depression & Healing Through the Shadow

  • The default mode network, how it helps us to navigate the world, and the dangers of getting stuck in the past
  • Seeing depression as a disconnect between the feeling body and thinking mind
  • How altered states serve to surface subconscious information that the conscious mind doesn’t want to face
  • Accessing “possibility space” through altered states of consciousness and how to bring that awareness into daily life

Other Resources


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Jay and Lindy NelsonProfile Photo

Jay and Lindy Nelson


JAY NELSON is a writer, researcher, and award-winning screenwriter obsessed with three questions: (i) What is consciousness? (ii) Is there an edge of experience? And (iii) How best to explain ecological awareness? After originally getting his start in acting, Jay soon found a love for psychology and explaining the human mind. But after a near-death-experience realigned all of his perceptions in 2013, he started moonlighting in neuroscience, philosophy, and evolutionary biology. He has been called a philosopher, a shaman, and a man of science. But, by his own description, he’s a “moderately well-read person who wants to test the limits of human perception.” You can find him online at

LINDY NELSON is a lifelong student of what makes a human a human. She has always believed that we are more alike than we are different, and is forever on the journey towards a better understanding of that knowledge and vocabulary for sharing it with the world. From Managing escape rooms to restaurants, and film sets to corporate offices, she is adept at seeing all of the pieces that make up the whole. She leads with patience and the mantra that we should each use what we have to improve where we can.