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Renowned Doctor Gabor Mate on Psychedelics and Unlocking the Unconscious, From Cancer to Addiction

Drug addiction expert speaks on the mind-body connection and the medical and emotional potentials of psychedelics.

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Never for a day did he contemplate giving up the work he so loved at Toronto Sick Children’s Hospital. He carried on his duties throughout his year-long battle with cancer, stopping only a few days before he died.

So if you had a friend who was diagnosed with the same condition, would you say to him or her, “Hey buddy, here’s what you do: You got cancer, go back to work tomorrow, and not for a moment consider your life, and the meaning of your life, and the stresses that you’re generating. Just continue working while you’re undergoing chemo, radiation or surgery,”?

So this automatic identification with duty, role, and responsibility rather than the needs of the self is a major risk factor for chronic illness.

The next one— [applause] thank you, but if you’re going to applaud every time I say something smart, you’ll be applauding the whole afternoon. The next one, the next obituary, is about a woman who dies at age 55 of cancer.  Her name is Naomi. And this obituary is written by the appreciative husband:

In her entire life she never got into a fight with anyone. The worst she could say was "phooey" or something else along those lines. She had no ego, she just blended in with the environment in an unassuming manner

Now, I’m sure that many of you who are in relationships, sometimes you wish that your partner would blend into the environment in an unassuming manner, but the point is that the suppression of healthy anger that this woman engaged in all of her life actually suppresses the immune system. And I’m not going to go into the details of that, but the science of psychoneuroimmunology has amply shown that you can’t separate the mind from the body and when you’re repressing yourself emotionally you’re actually diminishing the activity of your immune system and therefore you're less capable of responding to malignancy or to invasion by bacteria.

And again this idea that external things cause illness—take a condition like, uh, the flesh-eating disease, Necrotizing fasciitis is the medical term. And we think we know the cause, the cause is a bacterium, the strep bacterium. It isn’t. Because if we did swabs on the people in this audience, we did swabs of the throat or the crevices of the body, we’d identify the strep bacteria in probably 25, 30 percent of the people here. But there’s nobody here with necrotizing fasciitis, nobody here with flesh-eating disease.

In other words, the presence of the bacterium does not explain the disease. What happens is that the self-suppressive patterns in somebody’s life at some point will suppress the immune system, and that bacterium that has been living on your body in perfect unity with your immune system all of a sudden becomes a deadly enemy. It’s not just a bacterium, but the self-suppression that suppresses the immune system that actually causes the illness.

And I’ll leave you with one more obituary, and this is almost too incredible to believe except it is directly from the same newspaper. This is a physician who died of cancer:

Sydney and his mother had an incredibly special relationship, a bond that was apparent in all aspects of their lives until her death. As a married man with young children, Sydney made a point to have dinner with his parents every day as his wife Roslyn and their four young kids waited for him at home. Sydney would walk in greeted by yet another dinner to eat and to enjoy. Never wanting to disappoint either woman in his life, Sydney kept eating two dinners for years, until gradual weight gain began to raise suspicions.