Iliff School of Theology
Master’s of Theological Studies
Psychic Horizons Institute
Certificate in energy work
Portland State University
BA in Humanities - emphasis’ music and philosophy
Vipassana retreats with SN Goenka
New York School of Improvised Music
Ascension Metaphysical Store
Served as GM and “psychic bartender” at this services oriented metaphysical shop.
10:30 Catholic Community
Taught children’s Ed and youth group at this progressive Roman Catholic organization.
I was raised by two mathematicians with careers in science, one Roman Catholic and the other agnostic and very secular. The religious tension between my parents served as the springboard for a lifelong obsession with spiritual and philosophic inquiry.
My inquiry began as a child when I tried on atheism for a minute at about age 10 (it didn’t work) and also began exploring prayer (that worked better). At age 12 I’d had enough! Was God real or not, I had to know! I devised a test. I’d do my best to believe in God for one week, pray to God, and assume their existence. I don’t remember the details of the experiment, I hadn’t yet learned the importance of recording once’s data, but after a week of pretending to believe in God I was secretly, obsessively religious, silently in dialog with my notion of the divine everyday. I also started playing trumpet at that time, soon gravitated toward jazz, and became fascinated by free improvisation and avant-garde composition.
In my late teens and early twenties I went through a highly formative, but alas short-lived, phase as a devout Catholic. I loved (and still love) devotion to Jesus and Mary, the rituals, and art. Unfortunately the theology and politics of mainstream Catholicism didn’t have room for me and I had to move on.
At college my studies concentrated on music and philosophy at Gonzaga and Portland State universities. During the day I studied the classic humanities and social sciences along with classical music and traditional jazz. At night I explored drugs, free jazz, and eastern philosophy.
My favorite philosopher was Ken Wilber, who lived in Boulder Colorado. My wife Erin and I took this as a sign to move to the Boulder area after college. I soon fell into the “Integral Movement,” the subculture built around Wilber and his ideas. Integral Theory became the foundation of my philosophic approach and I had the pleasure of working directly with Wilber on a regular basis in the early 2000s.
Simultaneously, I studied at the Psychic Horizons Institute where I received my first formal meditation training. Soon after I applied these skills as a “psychic bartender” in a services oriented metaphysical shop, giving clairvoyant readings and holding space for people processing their spiritual experiences on a daily basis.
Things were going well spiritually but something was missing; I needed to learn how to rock! I joined the mystical, psychedelic, free improv, metal band, The Left Channel in 2005. It was amps at 11, heavy distortion, yoga, meditation, mushrooms, and rock and fucking roll twice a week for a year. I also met long-term friend and partner Jeremy Kurn in the band, who introduced me to my primary psychedelic medicine, Salvia Divinorum.
For a few years around 2008 I tried to give mainstream Christianity another chance, I really tried! I played music and ran sound at a Methodist church and got my Master’s of Theological Studies at the Iliff School of Theology. At first I intended to become a conventional minister but I didn’t have a denomination; I wasn’t quite Catholic, nor quite Methodist, so I changed my focus to pure academics. I concentrated on sociology of religion and wrote my thesis on spirituality in avant-garde jazz, interviewing several 60’s era jazz artists about their spiritual lives.
In 2009 I taught English in China for a year. This is when I discovered the famous 10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreats of SN Goenka. I went on my first in the northern territory of Hong Kong and have participated several more times since. Vipassana mindfulness was a better fit than the visionary techniques of Psychic Horizons and soon became the foundation of my spiritual technique. But unlike traditional Vipassana, I also had psychedelics.
Around 2015 Jeremy said something that changed my life. He said, “Chris, I think we should start doing tons of psychedelics.” Together we renewed our experimentation with LSD, psilocybin, and added DMT and ketamine. Coupled with my love of Salvia, psychedelics started to become central to my life.
I’ve had a youtube channel where I published music and videos about philosophy for a long time but they never got much attention. Then in 2021 I published a video called “How to smoke Salvia Divinorum.” It immediately started getting hundreds of views per day. I quickly produced several more videos about Salvia and psychedelic philosophy and these performed well too. Look up Salvia on youtube and my videos come right up to this day. The metrics were nice, but more importantly I seemed to be making a difference. Strangers started reaching out to me thanking me for my work, asking for advice, or even seeking coaching.
I now create artistic videos about psychedelics, train individuals in the use of psychedelics for spiritual growth, and host musical, psychedelic events with the House of Sacred Noise.