Author Topic: Ayahuasca  (Read 28031 times)

Offline bls926

  • Posts: 655
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2008, 07:14:22 pm »
I must share this;

This medicine works... outside any cultural norm. Oh my God how it works!!! It is extreme and physically demanding and unpleasant so I can't understand how anyone could abuse this for simple pleasure or getting high. It is not possible.

I LITERALLY threw up my accumulated "existential angst" and those feelings haven't returned yet. I can contemplate the eternal questions without getting depressed every night and falling into the state of lack of meaning and will to live, now.

It feels like it switched off this mechanism... I can now recognize the pattern of thoughts that previously pushed me into extremely nihilist state of mind, but now it just stops at the rational level and those negative emotions don't occur.

So even though I only imagine this effect as a result of literally hearing "some(thing)(one)" commanding me to accumulate the existential angst through the whole night of incredible insights and physical pain and nausea and then throw it up violently (like throwing up my soul and dieing) in the early morning - it still worked. Calling it placebo is easy. I have now too much respect for it to reduce it to just this...

I think this medicine should be studied as a priority and incorporated into western (and any other) psychological treatment. It should probably also be synthesized so that increased demand does not cause any further ecological and cultural damage to indigenous people and the Amazon rainforest.
We are "plastic" civilization, so I think it is appropriate for us to use "plastic" medicine with the right knowledge if we continue to live in a "plastic" way.
"Return to nature" and going back to any "old ways" seems like utopia (and meaningless) at the moment and actually one of the insights that reassured this position to me was directly like that (spoken by "something" I percieved as outside my receptive tought process): "humans are part of "nature" - you are born/made out of the same substance as everything else, everything you do is therefore "natural" - you cannot do anything OUTSIDE the natural order. All your actions, everything you call artificial or human-made is already a part of this same system. You can't work outside it, because you are IT. Everything you use is IT, everything you do is IT, when your technology reaches nano-level, when you will be constructing molecules out of nano-elements your technology will be exactly the same as you are made - there is (will be) no difference. You are inside, you are part of it. The laregly subonsciously or even consciously percieved division of "human adventure" and the rest of nature/Universe is misconception. You are not OUTSIDE and some independant detached agent/observer. You are too an "active ingredient"..."

I am rational enough to give such substance-induced visions a reasonable doubt, but the psychological impact remains.

 
This medicine has definitely a potential of curing depression and suicidal tendencies... But a knowledgable and trained "therapist" should be present and mental/psychological/spiritual preparation should be made, so you enter the experience with the right mind-set and supportive surroundings.


A.H, remember this discussion we had on the Books & Spiritual teachings - education or exploitation thread?

Quote from: A.H.
But that is what I also think about - forms of rituals and spiritual practices that cannot be transfered, but the ideas - like, what is the concept of purifying yourself before going to hunt (board meeting, lecture, exam, performing concert, etc.) or what is the meaning of animal sacrifice - how did your culture understand and use it, etc. can be shared as concepts of knowledge. What are the ideas and methods of communicating with ancestors, spirits - symbolic, literal, mystical or just ritual and ceremonial? Things like that. Maybe I am too far out with this - but sort of rethinking or uniting your authentic knowledge with contemporary analysis and philosophy... Maybe this worlds can't coexist, I don't know... But why leave that to superficial new-agers if you could write it down in a meaningful way - that was my premise somehow...




I don't think you can separate the "idea" of spirituality from the "form". Even while saying you're only interested in the "idea", you talk about "methods of communicating with ancestors, spirits".

Spirituality cannot be understood as "concepts of knowledge".


Your reply

I don't think you can separate the "idea" of spirituality from the "form". Even while saying you're only interested in the "idea", you talk about "methods of communicating with ancestors, spirits".

Spirituality cannot be understood as "concepts of knowledge".


But spirituality is (in books at least) presented as concepts of knowledge.

You can write a "manual" like self-help section does or you can write an in depth research or presentation - possibly in a clear way (if it is intended for global use) that other cultures can understand it. I am not saying that your people must do it, but I don't think it is wrong or bad if it is done properly and that it actually might be good.

"Methods" were thrown in too easy - you can read from the context that I am not interested in knowing "how to call spirits", but what exactly does this action (if it does exist) represent as a specific spiritual practice and I only used it as a quick example of something that can be presented "sensational" or that could also be explained more authentically... and preferably also explain it through some analogy in other cultural systems.

What I meant is books like this (but on specific aspects of NA indigenous culture) - in depth - explained through philosophical language:

 http://www.routledge.com/books/Buddhist-Phenomenology-isbn9780700711864

and a review of this book that gives some idea of the way of presentation used in it, that I think might me good and applicable also for presenting NA indigenous spirituality in books:

http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.cgi?path=222281062535348

But it would be good to be written by your people not just "white" researchers or in cooperation. Just don't leave those topics to new-agers or some of your own people who might want to earn a quick buck with writing exciting pseudo biographical fairy-tales... that is my thinking about that. And my interest.


Where'd that intellectual knowledge premise go? The idea of spirituality and not the form? What about the concepts of knowledge and not the actual practice of spirituality?

Offline A.H.

  • Posts: 72
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2008, 07:48:14 pm »
Hey, what are you so upset about? I would be more than willing to explain this in PM - but this post of yours took the whole thing away from the topic and focused on me personally, which was not my intent..

I will PM you. And you can erase this - because it is staining this topic - I am not embarrased or don't see contradiction - but this is taking it too off topic...


Just this:

There is no "form" in the direct experience - faking, mimicking or even selling some ayahuasca ritual would be that, but the simple proper and respectful use of the medicine itself is "trans-cultural" and "trans-personal" - meaning it is percieved as coming outside your thought or mind, but it speaks in your culture-specific language to you.  It really works as a medicine and it could help many people in different cultures I guess.






« Last Edit: May 15, 2008, 08:26:06 pm by A.H. »

Offline bls926

  • Posts: 655
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2008, 08:43:37 pm »
Hey, what are you so upset about? I would be more than willing to explain this in PM - but this post of yours took the whole thing away from the topic and focused on me personally, which was not my intent..

I will PM you. And you can erase this - because it is staining this topic - I am not embarrased or don't see contradiction - but this is taking it too off topic...


Just this:

There is no "form" in the direct experience - faking, mimicking or even selling some ayahuasca ritual would be that, but the simple proper and respectful use of the medicine itself is "trans-cultural" and "trans-personal" - meaning it is percieved as coming outside your thought or mind, but it speaks in your culture-specific language to you.  It really works as a medicine and it could help many people in different cultures I guess.

Got your PM, read it, and I'm not erasing my previous post. You just don't get it, do you? My post did not take this thread off topic. I know Earth well enough to know she was not endorsing the use of Ayahuasca by the masses when she started this thread. It's already been noted that Truenos has been accused of being a fraud. He's selling the drink and the ceremony to people who have no business messing with it. Ayahuasca is used by the people of Central and South America in their ceremonies. What other use should be made of it? You have taken it out of it's rightful place and used it as a psychotropic. How are you any better than Truenos? Just because you didn't do a fake ritual before you drank it, doesn't make it right. This is not our medicine.

Offline A.H.

  • Posts: 72
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2008, 10:24:40 pm »
Ok, fair enough. I will probably never get it in the way you mean it... I understand your position, but I disagree.

Heck, as a musician I even support Creative Commons concept of copyright... so the concept "my medicine, your medicine" is lost with me... I understand why watering down and pretending to be what you are not is bad. But why using something that can be so helpful is bad - this is something I can't understand the way you want, sorry.

I think there are fair ways and that some things can be shared. The "concept" is outside - there is no going back, now it is up to everyone involved if this will be fair, knowledgable or abuse and dangerous application... 

best


frederica

  • Guest
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2008, 03:46:40 am »
Earth put that up as information. The general fad is that it ihas become  an "thing to do" in California aside from going to South America. There have been incidents and even deaths from this misuse.  It's not meant for experimentation. There are several threads concerning this on the forum. You probably need to check them out.

Laurel

  • Guest
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2008, 12:01:39 pm »
[...] I can contemplate the eternal questions without getting depressed every night and falling into the state of lack of meaning and will to live, now.... I can now recognize the pattern of thoughts that previously pushed me into extremely nihilist state of mind, but now it just stops at the rational level and those negative emotions don't occur.

A.H.,

Mindfulness meditation has similar benefits for me, and I don't piss off any traditional, Eastern Buddhists when I do it outside its original context.

Of course it's not as easy as downing a drug, and I have to do it every day forever.

You support Creative Commons; some musicians don't.  You don't get to use their music without doing something unethical.  You support ayahuasca out of cultural context; its original users don't.  You don't get to use their stuff without doing something unethical.  You certainly can't expect to say "Oh well, ayahuasca's available, cat's out of the bag, and anyway my trip said anything I do is natural and OK" and expect people not to get miffed about that.

And for crying out loud, your original post focused on you personally. 

Offline A.H.

  • Posts: 72
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2008, 03:34:09 pm »
Laurel - my original post was not meant to be about me, but I wanted to express that it really works beneficially, that it can help also non-natives... It is not a simple "drug" it really is a medicine... It did something to the chemical balance or something of my brains so I got rid of those depressive emotions that came despite or maybe exactly because of all intellectual efforts to understand "why am I here?"...

I read about it everything I could from many pro&con sites...

The Umiyac statement, that is one of the rare organized petitions form the South American Natives - concerning the exploatations of yage/ayahuasca and especially the negative effect of occurance of many charlatans, some even their own people also acknowledges that this medicine is beneficial for the mankind. They demand regulations and respect to which I only say YES!, but they don't say superstitious stuff like - this is our medicine, only we can use it - it is not your medicine, you cannot benefit from it... They don't say that.  They would like to make a clear distinction between valid healers and charlatans and when in contact with parmaceutical industry, botanists, etc. they want to be acknowledged as authors of this and to also acknowledge their knowledge. As I am informed the progress is done here slowly - the west doesn't only come and steal patents (anymore) - at least there are conferences and debates about that. I hope also the practical results.

What I am saying - they are practical, they see the value and why it is interesting to the rest of the world, but they want the medicine to be presented properly and so they are also not left out of its spreading in the world.

Those words don't contradict anything I feel and think about the more universal use of this medicine (my emphasis in bold):

"We demand respect for our territories, our indigenous medicine and our traditional healers or Taitas. We ask the world to acknowledge that our medicine is also a science, although not in the same way Westerners understand it. We, the Taitas, are real healers and for many centuries we have effectively contributed to the health of our villages. Furthermore, our medicine looks beyond the physical and seeks the wellbeing of the mind, the heart and the spirit.
We demand the immediate suspension of the patent Loren Miller was awarded in the United States. For us, the patent represents an abuse and a defilement of our sacred plant. We declare that yagé and other medicinal plants we use are the patrimony and collective property of the indigenous people. It’s use in the name of mankind must be carried out with our participation and we should enjoy any other benefits that derive from its exploitation.
We ask for legal recognition of our autonomy in caring for the health of our peoples in accordance with our traditions and values.
We must regain possession of our territories and sacred sites. The forest is for us the fountain of our resources. If the forests disappear so will medicine and life.
We request support for our cause. Non-indigenous people can help us consolidate our unity and the defense of our traditional medicine, as it has been proven that they also benefit from the wisdom of the Taitas.

At the end of the Gathering, we agreed to work toward the unity and defense of our traditional medicine and offer our services for the health of indigenous people and of humanity.
The Taitas agree to initiate a process of certification of practicing healers and establish our own code of indigenous medical ethics. In this way it will be able to distinguish between real Taitas and charlatans. We are also willing to travel in order to bring the benefits of our medicine to indigenous communities in Colombia and other parts of America upon request. Conscious of the fact that non-Indians also need our services as doctors, we propose the construction of Indigenous Medicine Clinics so they may have easier access and in conditions better suited to the way in which we work, always closely linked to nature. The Taitas present at the Gathering have decided to formally create the Union of Traditional Yagé Healers of the Colombian Amazon (UMIYAC) and name our own representatives to carry out the various tasks to which we are committed and to represent us before the world, governments and other institutions. "

I respect this medicine. It helped me. I hope I can finish here.






« Last Edit: May 16, 2008, 03:39:08 pm by A.H. »

Offline Barnaby_McEwan

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Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2008, 06:28:17 pm »
I hope so too. You remind me of Sigmund Freud raving about the amazing new cure-all - cocaine:

Quote
In my last serious depression I took cocaine again and a small dose lifted me to the heights in a wonderful fashion. I am just now collecting the literature for a song of praise to this magical substance.

http://www.historyhouse.com/in_history/cocaine/

Laurel

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Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2008, 10:55:41 am »
The statement you reproduce is at least ninety per cent about how the yage must remain in its indigenous cultural context.  They say:  "We request support for our cause. Non-indigenous people can help us consolidate our unity and the defense of our traditional medicine..."

but you said:  "We are 'plastic' civilization, so I think it is appropriate for us to use 'plastic' medicine with the right knowledge if we continue to live in a 'plastic' way." [i.e., I have a perfect right to take this traditional, indigenous medicine out of its traditional, indigenous context.]
   
They say:  "...we propose the construction of Indigenous Medicine Clinics so they may have easier access and in conditions better suited to the way in which we work, always closely linked to nature."

but you said:  "'Return to nature' and going back to any 'old ways' seems like utopia (and meaningless) at the moment..."

They say, Get your patent off OUR MEDICINE.  The phrase "our medicine" appears in the statement seven times, sometimes with the qualifier "traditional" or "indigenous"--you know, the silly baggage you say you don't need to take yage.

but you said: "they don't say superstitious stuff like - this is our medicine."

Nobody can stop you from doing what you want to do and calling it spiritual growth or whatever.  But don't pretend you have permission and blessing of Native peoples to take their medicine out of context when your "defense" is a statement that says over and over again that you do not.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2008, 05:22:28 pm by Laurel »

Offline A.H.

  • Posts: 72
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2008, 12:33:57 pm »
I seem to be over enthusiastic in my writing about ayahuasca, you're right Barnaby. But I don't think it is a magical cure for everything, but it surely is beneficial also to non-indigenous, "atheistic" or at least non-religious persons and that's not from just my experience. Also the abuse possibilities are limited due to its rather unpleasat physical effects.

And like I said, you can dismiss my voice and persona, but this medicine is beneficial anyway and you cannot just throw it in the "drug" section and compare it with cocaine...

Laurel you seem to misinterpret a few things I wrote.

Anyway - as someone around here in another post said "the only ones who are not controversial are the ones who do nothing"...

My sugggestion of the future use of synthesized medicine seems appropriate so it doesn't cause too big ecological problem if it gets used more universally for the whole planet of people... They also claim: "We declare that yagé and other medicinal plants we use are the patrimony and collective property of the indigenous people. It’s use in the name of mankind must be carried out with our participation and we should enjoy any other benefits that derive from its exploitation."
So I see no contradiction if the "West" studies this medicine with the help of those cultures who know it already and if they finally synthesize it for the broader use and give part of profit and the credits to the native people and there are thousands of possibilities how to use that money and public attention for protecting the forest, their societies, etc.

And I clearly said they don't talk about "our medicine" as something only they can use or are able to benefit from (like it would be culture specific in its effects). You cannot only extract a short part of my sentence and theirs and construct opposing ideas where there are not any... I quite cleary explained the difference of saying "this is our medicine, only we can use it" or saying this is our medicine, we want acknowledgement and respectful use and being part of any furhter more universal exploitation (in a "neutral" meaning of the word as they used it in the declaration).

I talked about the utopian way for the urban "westerners" to try to mimick the "old ways and return to nature". We should rather explore what is this technical civilization about, why did it occur and we can incorporate new technologies that are based on the strict and unbiased research of old wisdom/science. And not recreating old rituals (even our own "pagan") and other more "religious" aspects of culture. As I understand those healers are very practical in their understanding of the possible use of their knowledge and plants and the possible collaboration with the rest of the world.

The part of misunderstanding comes also from that you understand the use of this medicine as something "religious" or "spiritual" in a religious way that is logically more bound to the specific culture, while even in their understanding it is more "science" but not in a way the West understands it. The science that produces the medicine that "looks beyond the physical and seeks the wellbeing of the mind, the heart and the spirit" as they say.
They know how to use it. They must work close to nature as this is their modus operandi, but they are willing to teach it to the rest of the world and if they get credit and benefit, I am sure, from what I read in that statement, they wouldn't object if it is used properly in its synthetic form in the urban surroundings in a controlled and proper manner and even with their direct participation if they choose so.
Well any further discussion should surely be made with them, not just throwing our opinions what they think upon reading that declaration. We can draw some conclusions, but certainly we should ask them for further details and debate. There are actions in this direction already.

Just being appalled by its ever rising "popularity" in the "West" and not understanding why it happens doesn't help any cause.  I think those suggested regulations and joint research in its more universal use are a good thing to do.

And finally - I really wanted to post only about the possibilities and the existing benefit of the use of this medicine outside indigenous world of its origin.
But if you can't stop dismissing me personally - I am guilty, I expect no pardon and I am claiming no blessing from anyone for my personal undertaking. I am not politically nor morally correct. I may even be a selfish bastard if you will. I am nobody.

BUT - this medicine is good and can/should be used fairly "world-wide"...

 




« Last Edit: May 21, 2008, 01:35:37 pm by A.H. »

Offline A.H.

  • Posts: 72
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2008, 02:58:16 pm »
Interesting:

http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2003/05/08/5951

I copy/pasted the part about serotonin receptors' changes - but also some "negative" or at least "concerned" opinions that come later in the article...

I guess this medicine when properly studied and applyed outside its native origin could also be beneficial for those North American native communities that have problems with suicidal youth and alcoholism.

[Barnaby's note: looooong quotes from article removed. That sentence above isn't from the article. It's A.H.'s solution for alcoholism & suicide in native communities.]
« Last Edit: May 21, 2008, 03:11:19 pm by Barnaby_McEwan »

Offline Barnaby_McEwan

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Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2008, 03:01:04 pm »
That's it. You're out of here.

Laurel

  • Guest
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2008, 03:05:21 pm »
[writes on blackboard]

I will not feed the trolls

I will not feed the trolls

I will not feed the trolls

Offline Barnaby_McEwan

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Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2008, 03:12:28 pm »
I don't think he was a troll: I think he was sincere, if very stupid.

Laurel

  • Guest
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2008, 02:03:56 pm »
Either way I shouldn't have bothered with that last post.  It only encouraged him to hang around.