EVENT – APS SYDNEY – The Politics of Awe with David Nickles



The Australian Psychedelic Society – Sydney will be hosting speakers with a focus on DMT, Ayahuasca and how psychedelics fit within our cultural and economic context.


David is an underground researcher and moderator for The DMT-Nexus community. He has worked on numerous harm reduction projects including KosmiCare, TLConscious, The Bunk Police, The Open Hyperspace Traveler and others.

‘Underground Research’
As new developments in sanctioned psychedelic research continue to drive increasingly positive mainstream publicity about psychedelic plants and compounds, governmental restrictions have relegated significant research efforts to the shadows of the criminalized underground. For the past decade, the DMT-Nexus has been at the forefront of this underground research, providing a hub where researchers from around the world and across numerous disciplines autonomously collaborate to push the boundaries of scientific knowledge on these substances. Underground research is an often overlooked and undervalued component of the current psychedelic resurgence. The members of the DMT-Nexus believe that psychedelic research should embody the psychedelic experience: open, inquisitive minds and a participatory spirit should be the bare minimum to engage in psychedelic research.

While sanctioned research is incredibly important to the current psychedelic paradigm, it is equally important to consider the social, political, and legal factors that influence the content and viability of these efforts. As new opportunities for discreet collaboration between sanctioned and underground researchers appear, larger questions loom with regards to the role of psychedelic research in dominant culture and the tension surrounding what applications are considered meritorious.

‘Acacia DMT in Australia, a Personal Overview’

Col will give a acknowledgement of Ancestors and recognition of the Sacred Plants and places.
Col discusses Acacia’s importance as an entheogen and the plant’s environmental vulnerability with considerations for its responsible use from his perspective of 20yrs association with its Spirit.

‘Does Psychedelic Substance Use Predict Empathy and Sharing?’

Psychedelic substances facilitate connections with others by enhancing social awareness and reducing egocentricity. Emily will explore the recent findings from her thesis, as well as neuropsychological and clinical evidence which supports the capacity of psychedelics to increase empathy and prosocial behaviour.

‘From Changa to Change – Self to Society’

By exploring Changa as a unique representation of modern alchemy, the theme of change becomes a central one. The way Changa alters our sense of being in the world has (like all psychedelics) the potential to act as a powerful catalyst in shifting conditioned personal, sociocultural and political boundaries. Changa is used here as a lens to inquire as to how selftransformation informs social change and to what extent people’s reactions to or utilisation of Changa and other such experiences validates the Ghandian notion “If you want to change the world, start with yourself”.

‘Psychedelic Capitalism and it’s Discontents’

The commercialization of psychedelics is happening in the context of a capitalist lifeworld which is itself becoming increasingly psychedelic. This far reaching process will likely change how revolutionary politics conceives of itself in the era of the eco-techo apocalypse. Put another way, as we fall deeper into the techno-capitalist “bad trip”, the psychonautic experience gains in cultural and political salience. This short talk will try to throw light on these issues.

Posted in Events, Upcoming Events.