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The Architecture of the Psyche

How SMOKING WEED Shifted My Reality

For 16 years, I smoked cannabis…and it wasn’t until an intentional fast that I stepped into reason and changed my life forever…at the end, I’m going to share yet another story that may change your perception of cannabis forever.

But of course, let’s give some context to what today’s letter is about.

Last week we spoke about the primary Metaphor of Leaving the Cave.

The second metaphor is the Architect of the Psyche.

By now, you should have a solid grasp on the origins of all self-improvement and a working model in the form of the metaphor of how we transcend and break free from the biologically hardwired and socially conditioned patterns of being that produce the very inner conflict and self-deception that is holding us back from everything we want in life.

The rest of this letter (and in the coming weeks) will be devoted to sharing the “light” that will help you escape your cave of ignorance and move into the “real” world of purpose, meaning, and prosperity.

It will deliver the tools you need to trade:

  • Powerlessness → Competence

  • Isolation → Connection

  • Confusion → Clarity

At a high level, you have to learn more about yourself.

Use that information to make a radical change.

And construct your own Utopian Mind.

This is done through the metaphors of the Monster, Lion, and Human, or what Derek and I call 👇

The Architecture of the Psyche (Mind and Soul).

Here’s a view from 10,000 feet:

  • The Monster

    • Our primal nature. Appetites and desires. Associated with the gut and genitals

  • The Lion

    • Our social connection. Passion and emotion. Associated with our heart

  • The Human

    • Our highest self. Reason and creativity. Associated with our head

Most of us are controlled by our appetites and desires (monster), led by our passions and emotions (lion), and rarely have full access to our reason and creativity (human).

We are operating from the bottom up.

This produces a lot of inner conflict in the form of shame, frustration, disappointment, and burnout that clouds our minds leading to self-deception.

The problem is that our Psyche is misaligned

A Utopian Mind, however, is derived from the inverse.

We learn from reality through reason and implement it through our creativity.

As we gain wisdom through this process, we train our passion and emotions.

Finally, with our higher facilities aligned, we tame our desires and appetites.

  • The Human leads

  • The Lion informs

  • The Monster takes massive positive action

This is the Union, the Tri-Ad.

Basically, we start operating from the top down.

At its core, a properly structured psyche produces the character traits you need to succeed at the highest level, produce good in the world, and cultivate meaningful relationships.

That is true Virtue, excellence in everything you do.

“Virtue is the health of the soul.” ~Aristo of Chios~

All three areas are vital and properly structuring them is critical for your health, well-being, and success.

From the Monster to the Human

I smoked pot for 16 years.

I have a deep relationship with the spirit of cannabis.

You see, cannabis is a plant medicine that the shaman would refer to as a Grand Master Doctor.

It’s known to alleviate dozens of conditions. Depression, PTSD, Cancers, Inflammation, and this list goes on.

For those of you new here. I spent the last decade of my career in the cannabis industry, building the largest cannabis edible company in Arizona called Baked Bros.

At our peak, reaching more than 115 retail locations and servings hundreds of thousands of patients.

I could likely blow your mind regarding the topic of cannabis, but what I want to share today is about the spirit of cannabis.

How the relationship I formed with her went from:

  • The Human (creativity) → The Lion (passion) → The Monster (appetite)

And then reversed 16 years later from:

  • The Monster (appetite) → The Lion (passion)→ The Human (creativity, where I reside today)

In the Beginning (The Human)

I was 15 years old when I first came across this plant.

The relationship was introduced to me through music, Bob Marley specifically.

Pure creativity (The Human) was bursting out of me, imagination and exploration.

I found the dance to be sweet, joyful, and connecting to myself and to others.

It also alleviated a lot of the physical pain associated with wrestling and martial arts throughout my teenage and early adulthood.

I was unknowingly self-medicating (I had no idea cannabis was a “medicine” then).

I did well in school, excelled in sports, and always showed up for work.

It was simply a great part of my life.

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Then It Saved Someone’s Life (The Lion)

In college, I had a wrestling coach who smoked cannabis. But not for the same reasons as I.

No, he had a condition. Crone’s (a type of inflammatory bowel disease) and would have flare-ups that would cause him to black out.

He would smoke just 2-3 puffs from a so-called “pinner” (a small cannabis joint), and the relief would experience (almost instantaneously).

He could function normally within 10 minutes…he would catch signs of a flare-up, partake, then the symptoms would subside.

As a self-proclaimed pothead at the time (18yo), this BLEW my mind 🤯 and changed my perspective on cannabis forever.

I suddenly became VERY passionate (The Lion) about the potential healing benefits of cannabis; why weren’t people talking about this?

So passionate that I dropped out of school and moved to Arizona to be somewhere where I wouldn’t go to prison for possessing the plant.

I read every blog, joined every forum, picked up any book on cannabis I could find (not a lot of information in 2008), and immediately got into cultivating.

Fast forward 6 years, and we won the HighTimes Cannabis Cup Award for Best Product at America's very first Hightimes Cannabis Cup event (this was a massive win) it propelled my career, pure passion.

The Appetite for More (The Monster)

I had to learn, and I had to learn fast.

Trauma is too much, too fast, and that is what I experienced.

Growing a business to 50+ employees with no former experience presented its challenges.

Mistakes were made along the way. And many lessons were learned.

But not until after I became aware of my appetite for cannabis…

What was once a relationship of creativity, imagination, and passion turned into a relationship of suppression, bouts of depression, and despair.

My friend at the time and I would get into scruffle over something moronic, and instead of working through it, we would “go on a ride,” smoke, and forget about it…

“There is a chemical in weed called “f*** it” ~ Kat Williams

For the record, that is not true, but it certainly seemed that way.

Compound those moronic debates over a decade, and I suddenly wake up one day finding myself in the cave of ignorance.

Not knowing who I was anymore. I lost sight of the real world. My purpose, meaning, and prosperity…

The only tool I had or knew of at the time was cannabis.

So I would consume more the thinking that everything would work out (complacency).

Boy, did that not end up being the case…

The Remembering (Union of The Tri-ad)

Lost and searching for answers. I decided to dance with the Grandmother of plant medicines, Ayahuasca.

But here is the fascinating part of this entire story… it wasn’t the ceremony that brought clarity (although I will share a vision).

It was in the moments leading up to the ceremony that everything became clear when I was re-membered with myself.

Before the ceremony, you go through what is called a dieta (for simplicity's sake, we’ll call it a fast) from certain foods and substances.

This usually can be 4 - 6 weeks leading up to the ceremony.

Mind you; I had NEVER taken a fast from cannabis before. Why would I? It was serving me well, right?…WRONG!

The relationship shifted, and I lacked the knowledge to see this clearly.

During this fast from cannabis, about 4 weeks in, I noticed a significant shift in the algorithm of thoughts I was experiencing.

My dreams (came back), and my courage to say, “hey, I’m not going to tolerate that,” was stronger than ever.

I could see with my mind’s eye so clearly that cannabis plays on both ends of the spectrum…

Little Black Dress

The spirit of cannabis has a mile-long wardrobe. Filled with hundreds of little black dresses.

Each dress represents a different condition if you will. i.e., pain, depression, PTSD, etc.

And she will happily and willingly dance with you and your condition with the pure intention of soothing your pain.

This is a mother’s love.

But at the end of that mile-long wardrobe is a purple dress.

And that purple dress is what she WANTS to wear; it’s what she wants to dance in with you.

This purple dress is imagination, creativity, and prosperity…it’s the real world she opens you up to.

It’s the dress she wore when we first danced…

Final Thoughts

Understanding all the aspects that makeup who you are is true power.

When we cultivate self-knowledge, we rid ourselves of self-deception.

Understand your biology - Your genetics and physical health

Understand your psychology - Your thoughts, feelings, and emotions

Understand your sociology - Your family, community, culture, and time

It sounds simple, but it isn’t easy. We are multi-layered, and it takes time to peel them all back to see who we truly are.

My brother Derek has been working closely with me in writing these past few letters to help process and organize the quest of developing a Utopian Mind.

Thank you Derek.

Nadeem Al-Hasan,

It would mean the world to me if you would send this to someone you feel could use a lift of inspiration. This is my service to the world.

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Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

  1.  Build 1 Thing Community -If you're looking for traction in your personal brand or business, I invite you to join the Build 1 Thing community. It’s free to get in and loaded with resources.

  2. → Utopian Mind- Understand yourself on every level of existence. Break maladaptively hardwired and conditioned mental models. Construct a mind that allows you to navigate any obstacle in your way.

  3. Somatic Breathwork - Using the breath, you will engage your innate ability to heal and sweep out any defenses, blockages, restrictions, or pains that hold you back from who you are and how you want to show up in this world.

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The Creators Blueprint
The Creators Blueprint
Nadeem Al-Hasan
Derek Espinoza