SingularityU South Africa Summit 2021 Highlights: Ronen Aires - 40 Lifetimes of Therapy in 40 Hours


Founder of Student Village and Flow enthusiast, Ronen Aires presented a keynote talk at the SingularityU South Africa Summit Online 2021. Here are a few key highlights from his presentation.

 Image supplied by SingularityU South Africa

When my alarm goes off every morning at 6:00 AM, I struggle to get up. It also sets off some of the five stages of grief and I spend my time snoozing between denial and acceptance. While the outside world sees me as a successful entrepreneur with a loving family ,which is true, for many years, I’ve been in therapy and needed medication to cope with things like anxiety. Ruminating thoughts and other things have prevent me from feeling and performing at my best.

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After asking myself whether this is just me, whether I had an issue, or faulty genes, I looked into this matter and realized it isn’t. It actually seems like there is a worldwide crisis. In the USA alone, there are an estimated 40 million people just like me. Half of them don't even respond to the medication that they're taking.


This led me to question - Could there be another option? Is there an alternative way to either reset my brain or rewire my mind in a way that I didn’t need to be so reliant on either medication or therapy?


On Christmas Day in 2019, things started to change. While in a foreign country, I had my first “hero dose” of Psilocybe or magic mushrooms with a qualified facilitator. I was madly excited at the journey ahead. I expected it would be like a magic carpet ride of my universe, one that would help me understand myself and see the weird and wonderful things that were happening in my mind.


After hours of touring through the various lands of my mind, I accessed deep areas of real pain and real trauma. I processed memories that I had never been able to retrieve before, even in therapy or waking consciousness. It all made a lot of sense and gave me a deeper understanding of why I was the way I was. The big lesson in that session was you get what you need and not necessarily what you want. It felt like the software in my brain, and my entire mind got an upgrade.


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The good news is that after this, I managed to come off my medication. I also managed to lower my anxiety. I'm now living with a lot more purpose, perspective and meaning.


Don’t get me wrong. I'm not suggesting by any means that everyone should run out and go buy a bag of mushrooms and try this on their own. In fact, it’s the opposite. These journeys must be done in a safe and supported environment with someone who is trained to deal with whatever comes up in the session.

Not only is it safe to do in the right setting, but if you look at what's happening internationally, you will see that most of the top universities and medical hospitals have already set up psychedelic units to do further research on how these compounds work. They are also studying how to use them to help patients that are dealing with mental health issues.

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In fact, the FDA has already considered Psilocybe and MDMA as breakthrough drugs for dealing with conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. Various psychedelic studies have shown that those that have had a safe psychedelic experience view it as one of the most meaningful experiences of their lives.


It is expected that the next season of psychedelics will bring a huge alleviation of suffering and a huge amount of meaning to people that are struggling on a day-to-day basis. Furthermore, it is predicted that within the next two years, these psychedelic agents or substances will become legalized around the world. Trained therapists, psychiatrists, or spiritual healers will be able to help you deal with your pain, trauma, anxiety, depression, or PTSD with the assistance of substances such as Psilocybe, MDMA Ketamine or even breathwork, which alongside technology, will objectively help you manage and measure how your body and mind are coping. The future of therapy is about to get its own upgrade.


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 #iloveza❤️🇿🇦 #AfterFajrGrind Accolades:

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Nabihah Plaatjes Accolades:

2018 Contributing Author to SAFFRON: A Collection of Personal Narratives

2017 Recipient of Owami Women & Brand South Africa's Play Your Part Award

Ziyaad Plaatjes Accolades:

2021 Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans: Arts, Entertainment, Film & Media 

2020 Contributing Author to There's a Story in Everyone

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