Author Topic: Ayahuasca  (Read 22403 times)

Offline earthw7

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Ayahuasca
« on: February 05, 2008, 09:15:14 pm »
So this is what they are talking about???

http://www.latimes. com/features/ magazine/la-tm-ayahuasca.02feb3,1, 6118145.story

Ayahuasca: A Strange Brew
Can a psychotropic jungle potion cure the existential angst of the
McMansion set?

By Gina Piccalo

In an affluent corner of encinitas, just north of San Diego, a young
medicine man named Lobo Siete Truenos sits cross-legged on the polished
wood floors of a backyard temple. Here in this suburban sanctuary, behind
the gates of a faux-Spanish villa, just past the manicured lawn and an
artificial lagoon, he’s carefully unpacking a collection of stones,
feathers and oils that he’ll use for an all-night spiritual odyssey that
will kick off after sunset.

If all goes as planned, Truenos’ nine participants— all seeking his
psychedelic “doctoring???—will sip a murky, foul-tasting potion and then
wait, eyes closed in the dark, for it to take effect. Wooziness may be
followed by nausea, then probably vomiting. For many, a kaleidoscopic array
of geometric patterns could emerge. Others may be greeted by friendly
plant-like creatures, gnomes, elves or even a giant anaconda—known by
indigenous tribes as Mother Ayahuasca, omniscient ruler of the plant
kingdom—who communicates telepathically. And the really lucky ones may be
treated to a cinematic review of their lives, each scene illustrating a
moral failing.

“It’s a deep process,??? Truenos says, as he places his precious stones on a
tapestry woven with wild serpentine patterns. “It’s certainly not a game.
It takes a lot of purifying to serve this medicine.??? Truenos, 34, is
precise about his tools because, when they’re correctly assembled, they
constitute what he calls “the fire altar of the eagle and the condor.??? But
these instruments are just supporting players for the evening’s star
attraction, an inky fluid that Truenos has stored in three plastic drinking
bottles.

This liquid is known variously as hoasca, yagé, caapi and daime, but in the
U.S. it’s most commonly called ayahuasca. (The word, which comes from the
ancient Incan language Quechua, means “vine of the spirits??? or “vine of the
soul.???) Tribes of Central and South America—Shipibo, Kofan and Tukanos
among them—have used the drug for hundreds of years or more in their
spiritual practices. In Ecuador, Brazil and Peru, the drug is legal and
attracts many pilgrims to ayahuasca ceremonies every year.

The brew was introduced to pop culture in 1963, when Beat writers Allen
Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs published their collected correspondence
on their ayahuasca experiences in “The Yage Letters.???

In the U.S., ayahuasca remained for years a largely underground phenomenon
that, like peyote and psilocybin mushrooms, attracted a following of
academics, journalists, psychiatrists and other soul-searching
intellectuals. Now, thanks in part to a 2006 Supreme Court ruling,
ayahuasca (pronounced EYE-yah-WAH- skah) appears to be gaining in
popularity. East Coast writers have generated interest among the
intelligentsia, and online head shops are selling ingredients for making
the ayahuasca brew. At the same time, some scientific studies suggest that
ayahuasca has legitimate uses as an alternative psychotropic medicine that
can abolish depression, cure addiction and improve brain function.

For ayahuasqueros such as Truenos and the eclectic mix of button-down
professionals and New Age acolytes joining him on this night, the potion
may be a conduit to higher consciousness. Who exactly are these
psychotropic explorers? Truenos won’t reveal much about them, except to say
that the owners of the home in which they are meeting are retirees (young
ones, it appears) and that participants typically include doctors, lawyers,
celebrities, New Age healers and academics. They’re working folks, he says.
“People from all walks of life.???

For them, the vision-inducing elixir made from Amazonian jungle vines and
leaves opens doors to parallel realities where mystical creatures reign.
Because ayahuasca must be exactingly prepared and administered to achieve
the desired benefits, a cadre of itinerant shamans such as Truenos has
emerged, roaming the U.S. to host marathon candlelight ceremonies in yoga
studios, private homes and remote open spaces, and charging as much as $200
a person for each session.

The concoction itself is said to taste so vile that most people fight their
gag reflex to swallow it. Devotees liken the flavor to forest rot and bile,
dirty socks and raw sewage. Vomiting is so common that indigenous shamans
often refer to the ceremony as la purga, or the purge. And ayahuasca can
severely test the commitment of its followers: The potion often reveals its
celebrated wisdoms only after repeat encounters. The payoff, adherents say,
can be life-altering. Debilitating illnesses such as chronic depression or
addiction may disappear after just one session, some say. Others say they
shed their egos for a night, finally seeing their lives with a startling
clarity.

With that kind of reputation, ayahuasca has predictably intrigued
celebrities known for charting the supra-conscious: Oliver Stone, Sting and
Tori Amos have sampled it and openly discussed their experiences. “It’s
quite an ordeal,??? Sting told Rolling Stone in 1998. Amos talked on BBC
Radio 4 in 2005 about how she envisioned having a love affair with the
devil during one ayahuasca encounter.

In Peru, ayahuasca ceremonies are so common that the nation’s tourism
bureau tracks the number of visitors seeking the sacred brew. But no one
needs to travel to Peru to experience ayahuasca in 2008. A community,
shepherded by ayahuasca shamans, has begun to emerge in the United States.
It initially established itself in New Mexico. And now—in an act of
psychedelic entrepreneurship and under the aegis of his spiritual and
religious society, Aurora Bahá—Truenos is bringing the ayahuasca ceremony
to Southern California.

Ayahuasca traditionally is made from the boiled or soaked bark and stems of
Banisteriopsis caapi—also known as the ayahuasca vine—in combination with
the leaves of Psychotria viridis (a bush that contains the alkaloids needed
to produce ayahuasca’s psychoactive compound, dimethyltryptamine, or DMT).

But ayahuasca is no recreational drug. Unlike a drag on a marijuana joint
or a snort of cocaine, even a single encounter with ayahuasca can be
life-threatening under some circumstances. It poses serious risks when
taken with certain medications, such as SSRI antidepressants; reputable
shamans strictly prohibit the use of the beverage by anyone taking these
drugs. Some also demand abstinence from alcohol before a ceremony. A
Canadian woman, albeit with advanced diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular
disease, died in 2001 after an ayahuasca ceremony. An autopsy gave the
official cause of death as fatal nicotine poisoning due to tobacco mixed
with the ayahuasca preparation, an unusual method of brewing the drink. But
ayahuasca’s supporters consider the risks associated with the brew easily
avoidable with strict adherence to their shamans’ orders. The rewards, they
say, are worth the risks.

“It’s totally new, unlike LSD, unlike [psychedelic] mushrooms, unlike
anything else,??? says artist Joel Harris, a Santa Clarita native who first
heard about the brew from his roommate in the U.S. Marines in 1998 when
they were stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. A couple of years ago, Harris
says, he sold his possessions, decamped to Peru and took up ayahuasca as a
quasi-spiritual practice.

“It brings your awareness to a place where it’s understood that you are
connected to everything on Earth,??? he says. “If everyone had a chance to do
ayahuasca, the entire reality would shift and we would be living in peace.???

Journalist Erik Davis, a longtime chronicler of emerging religious
practices and author of the 2006 book “Visionary State: A Journey Through
California’s Spiritual Landscape,??? gives Harris’ comments more context.
“For a variety of reasons,??? Davis says, “with some negative side effects,
ayahuasca has been able to enter into Western culture in a way that
preserves a ritual format and a spiritual intention and gives it a much
more potentially transformative effect. Psychedelic mushrooms can take you
just as far out, but the way they’ve been adapted by Westerners has been
more informal, which means they have the potential to be used in much more
erratic ways.???

New York writer Daniel Pinchbeck brought ayahuasca to the attention of
liberal thinkers, detailing his mind-blowing journeys with the brew (and
numerous other hallucinogens) in a pair of books: 2002’s “Breaking Open the
Head: A Psychedelic Journey Into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism??? and
2006’s “2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl.??? “When I published my first book
in 2002 and I spoke to audiences, 50% to 80% of the people hadn’t heard of
ayahuasca,??? Pinchbeck says. “Now everywhere I go, everyone is familiar with
it.???

Truenos, a former comparative religion student and computer engineer, is
relatively new on the ayahuasca circuit. And he’s unusually candid about
his practice compared with other ayahuasqueros. Most established
ayahuasqueros operate in secret, speaking in code on the phone for fear of
attracting too much scrutiny from the authorities. Federal law classified
one of ayahuasca’s components, DMT, as a controlled substance in 1970.
However, Truenos suggests that he does have the U.S. Supreme Court to fall
back on, at least for the moment. In February 2006, the court ruled (in
Gonzales vs. O Centro Espirita Beneficente União do Vegetal) that
practitioners of the U.S. branch of the Brazil-based Christian spiritist
group União do Vegetal—which uses hoasca, the traditional brew that others
call ayahuasca, as a sacrament—have the right to legally consume the
beverage under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. That law aims
to prevent the federal government from “substantially burdening??? a person’s
free exercise of religion, the court said.

Truenos took the court decision as a green light. He and his wife,
Gabriella, have been leading ceremonies for several years. They haven’t
consulted attorneys; instead they take their orders from the “Creator,??? he
says.

“We have been operating completely above the radar because we understood
that in this country, if any church is given protection or recognition by
the government, that recognition or protection is given uniformly, or it’d
be unconstitutional,??? Truenos says.

And now the couple, who sometimes live in Austin, Texas, have become a pair
of jet-setting ayahuasca missionaries. Tonight’s ceremony in Encinitas was
preceded, Truenos says, by a few days of “doctoring??? in the Bahamas. After
the gathering they’ll be off to minister to wounded souls in Topanga Canyon
on the occasion of the winter solstice.

As Truenos sees it, the legal decision by the nation’s highest court, the
media’s percolating interest and his rising profile as a shaman are all
part of a grand supernatural plan. The Divine Mother, he says, is laying
the groundwork to prepare the developed world for “the great coming of age
of humanity.???

With his scruffy beard, long white robe and skullcap, Truenos looks a bit
like a post-conversion Cat Stevens. He speaks in the colorful,
metaphor-rich language of Native American tribal elders. With just an hour
to go before tonight’s ritual, he explains his reasons for going public
with his practice. “The medicine wants to be properly represented,??? he
says, delicately placing the containers of murky ayahuasca on a sacred mat,
a tapestry woven by Peruvian women during an ayahuasca ceremony. “It wants
to be known in an integral way.???

All this heavy-duty mysticism is more than a little incongruous amid the
nouveau wealth of Encinitas. But he deflects any suggestion that by
“doctoring??? the wealthy he’s neglecting the needy.

“We live in different times than our predecessors,??? Truenos says. “There
has been a promise throughout every culture that there would be a moment in
humanity’s history where we would have social and economic justice. One of
the things the fire altar states is that this day that has been promised
has arrived, and so with it all of the various hallmarks are sure to be
emerging in humanity. This includes a spiritual solution to humanity’s
economic problems so there isn’t a disparity between the poor and the
wealthy.???

This sort of response is typical of Truenos, who gives few straight answers
about his background but plenty of mystic filigree. Indeed, over the course
of several conversations, his story became increasingly fluid, evolving
with every telling. The covenant of his spiritual society, Aurora Bahá, a
baroque document posted at www.aurorabaha. org detailing the tenants of his
faith, is also ever-changing. Though he established his society’s covenant
in 2005, he said it “continues to go through revisions.??? What Truenos will
reveal is that he was born in the Dominican Republic, is of Lebanese,
Basque and Taino descent and has lived in the northeastern U.S. He prefers
to keep his birth name private. He left home at 15, he says, because of “a
spiritual crisis.??? A “personal crisis??? followed at 23, after which he
returned home to attend engineering school at Clarkson University in
upstate New York. His adopted name, Lobo Siete Truenos, means Wolf Seven
Thunders; medicine men in northern Mexico gave him the name “Lobo,??? he
says. Truenos was introduced to ayahuasca in 2001, and after a series of
ceremonies, he journeyed to Peru to be closer to native ayahuasca culture.
Later, by a strange confluence of events he declines to detail, he became a
voting systems supervisor for New Mexico during the 2004 election.

In any case, his life as a bureaucrat ended abruptly. In 2005, he
established Aurora Bahá, which shares some principles, such as spiritual
unity and the unification of mankind, with the Baha’i faith. However,
Aurora Bahá is independent of the Baha’i organization, which has about 5
million members worldwide. Now Truenos has devoted his life to holding
ayahuasca ceremonies wherever he is called.

“What ayahuasca provided to me, initially, was a sense of connectedness
that I didn’t even realize I was missing,??? he said during an interview
several weeks before the Encinitas ceremony. “That connectedness to all
life, to all things, an opportunity to know myself more deeply as a mirror
of my most inner tendencies and motivations and intentions. It’s very
profound in that way. It also gave me a direct avenue for receiving answers
to questions that I couldn’t find anywhere else.???

He believes that, in addition to carrying out the will of the Divine
Mother, he has been tapped to help fulfill a prophecy that has been
expressed by all the world’s religions. That prophecy will see the
indigenous peoples of North and South America united, he says.

“This could never be a recreational compound,??? says Dr. Charles Grob, head
of adolescent and child psychiatry at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in
Torrance. “It’s too unpredictable and dangerous.??? But Grob, one of a
handful of scientists who has studied ayahuasca, thinks there may be some
legitimate medical uses for it. In 1993, he led a team of researchers that
conducted the first medical study of its long-term effects on 15 members of
the Brazilian ayahuasca church União do Vegetal. The team found that some
church members experienced remission of their addictions, depression or
anxiety disorders without recurrence. In the same study, published in 1996
in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, pharmacologist J.C. Callaway
discovered an increased density of serotonin reuptake sites in the blood
platelets of habitual ayahuasca drinkers, suggesting an antidepressant
effect similar to what is now achieved by prescription drugs such as Prozac
and Zoloft.

“I was suffering from severe depression,??? says Xthas Hoy, 32, a high school
math teacher who says he has taken ayahuasca hundreds of times in the nine
years since he has joined PaDeva, an ayahuasca church with Wiccan and pagan
influences in New Mexico. “I went through the entire pharmacy, everything
from Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Xanax and Prozac,??? Hoy says. “Within hours of the
first time I drank ayahuasca, I’ve never had a recurrence again. From that
moment on, there really was no question that this was my path.??? (Hoy is now
a priest offering ayahuasca ceremonies for a suggested donation of $75 to
$300 per person.)

Michael Shermer, editor of Skeptic magazine, counters that ayahuasca’s
effectiveness in treating depression isn’t exactly groundbreaking. Science
shows, he says, that any serious jolt to the system—shock therapy
included—can bring the mind out of depression. That doesn’t mean ayahuasca
treatment is the wave of the future.

Nor are ayahuasca’s quasi-religious effects any great revelation, Shermer
says. History is rife with strange rituals believed to inspire divine
intervention. “In a way, the ayahuasca phenomenon taps into a lot of what
religion is. There’s the social aspects of religion, and then there’s the
transcendent, spiritual aspects to it.??? There’s no reason, he says, that
ayahuasca wouldn’t trigger feelings of transcendence any more than deep
meditative prayer. “The monks used to self-flagellate to change their brain
chemistry.???

But all the medical skepticism in the world may not counteract the upsurge
in grass-roots interest in ayahuasca that the Internet has propelled in the
last five years. The Burning Man-friendly social networking website Tribe
has its own ayahuasca subgroup. Erowid, a sort of Wikipedia of
psychedelics, tells visitors everything they need to know about the brew.
And aspiring ayahuasqueros can order Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria
viridis directly from the online head shop Azarius for about $22 to $30 per
50 grams.

Among the more outspoken academic ayahuasca converts is British journalist
and author Graham Hancock, who was researching a book on human origins
(“Supernatural: Meetings With the Ancient Teachers of Mankind,??? published
in 2006) when he stumbled on what he perceived to be uniform patterns in
the cave drawings of primitive man. He came to the conclusion that the
phenomenon was inspired by the sudden discovery of hallucinogenic plants.
This led Hancock to ayahuasca, which he says he has taken 26 times since
2003; he credits it with improving his life.

Still, Hancock tempers this praise with a warning. “It is extremely
powerful,??? he says. “Its effects can be deeply disturbing, and there may be
some short-term trauma, almost like a post-traumatic shock disorder, with
coming to terms with very disturbing insights about yourself.???

So what has it done for him? “I’m a better husband and father,??? Hancock
says. “My behavior is much more examined.???

Inside the Encinitas backyard temple, Truenos pulls out two feathers and an
eagle’s wing. The red-tailed hawk feather represents love and laughter, he
says. The pheasant feather stands for mercy. And the eagle’s wing is used
to fan ayahuasca drinkers who are “having a hard time??? during the ceremony.
He stresses that these feathers aren’t artifacts—they’ re medicine. “It’s
more than symbolism,??? he says.

Truenos’ ceremonies borrow heavily from indigenous practice. To prepare for
his ayahuasca drinkers, he pulled an all-nighter, clearing the ceremonial
space of negative energies with tobacco smoke. He had already soaked and
boiled the plants down to the dark essence of ayahuasca.

Now that the fire altar is ready, he leaves the temple to eat a plate of
fish and rice in his guest quarters. The ceremony participants will arrive
soon, and he seems to be psyching himself up. Truenos mentions a recent
private ayahuasca session in which a participant experienced “a trust
crisis,??? refusing to believe Truenos could heal him. Mother Ayahuasca
admonished the man for such self-delusion, leaving him writhing on the
floor, wracked with emotion.

Despite this harrowing episode, Truenos believes ayahuasca’s dark
reputation is exaggerated. It is transformative and healing, he says, a
cure for the “cancer of indifference,??? a remedy for our “failures in
integrity.??? But it’s even more than that. “Some people,??? he says, “need to
be frightened by the way they live their lives.???

------------ -

Gina Piccalo is a Times staff writer. Contact her at
gina.piccalo@ latimes.com.
In Spirit

frederica

  • Guest
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2008, 01:38:41 am »
That's it. Used by many South American Indians and Curanederos as it is part of their culture and medicine. And now has become faddish for a price(money, expensive too) to those trying to gain spirituality and insight by use of a foreign substance.

Offline earthw7

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Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2008, 03:21:04 pm »
What is wrong with people all they can do is abuse abuse abuse
People were given these medicine to help and heal their people.
In Spirit

Offline A.H.

  • Posts: 72
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2008, 01:47:28 pm »
(I erased off topic material for more clarity)


Speaking of ayahuasca - here are some more good resources about that medicine and a phenomenon of its recent popularity outside the indigenous users' communities, etc.:

http://ayadoc.blogspot.com/ 

(western guy doing documentaries figured out many of the negative implications and with a lot of information helps fight against it - actually I came to this forum from the link on his blog)

http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/ayahuasca/ayahuasca.shtml 

(information vault - information from all sides . chemistry, anthropology, religion / new-age, politics & law, etc.)


http://www.maps.org/research/kristensen.html 

(MAPS is a research organisation (this article is very interesting and has some useful information)

« Last Edit: March 13, 2008, 02:39:07 pm by A.H. »

Offline Barnaby_McEwan

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Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2008, 03:08:18 pm »
Andrej, please remember that lots of Indian people are Christians of one denomination or another.

Offline A.H.

  • Posts: 72
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2008, 04:33:26 pm »
...erased my unnecesarry off topic replies...

« Last Edit: March 13, 2008, 02:40:39 pm by A.H. »

Offline Barnaby_McEwan

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Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2008, 05:39:58 pm »
Christianity didn't come as some enlightened spiritual movement here - it came with sword and openly political intentions some 1300 years ago (speaking for my country). And it destroyed practically all of pre-christian religions, traditional knowledge about plants, even most of the old traditional music and ceremonies... (do you ever wonder why folk music from Central Europe is mostly from 18th and 19th century? ...post-Inquisition...)

I think that is a huge oversimplification of history, a stereotypical view of Christianity, far from historical accuracy. Please keep the rest of your comments in this thread on-topic.

frederica

  • Guest
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2008, 05:58:26 pm »
I think Earth is right i t is a form of abuse. It's experimentation. The person does not belong to that culture. And in order to do that it has to be taken from another culture for a price. For whatever reasons given the appropiating culture never had this in this form. People can justify it with all the philosophy they wish. But it still has physical effects on the body. You need to look at all the pro's and con's. And there is a lot of information available. It's also a big business.

Offline A.H.

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Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2008, 12:31:09 pm »
Done my time,  ;) .. now I erase another unnecesarry off topic material.

I agree ayahuasca is a gift. To indigenous people of Amazon and the world in general (I insist, sorry).

I hope more good will come of all this interest the World has shown lately than bad.

best




 
« Last Edit: March 13, 2008, 02:45:04 pm by A.H. »

Offline A.H.

  • Posts: 72
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2008, 03:49:57 pm »
Some more superficial abuse report: http://www.boingboing.net/2008/02/05/rise-of-ayahuasca-ce.html

A healthy model for universally applicable good use: http://www.takiwasi.com/eng/index.php

Some more serious research (I hope - because the surrounding organisation has some slightly new-agey vibe):
 
http://www.wasiwaska.org/research.htm
« Last Edit: March 13, 2008, 04:04:14 pm by A.H. »

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2008, 04:25:19 pm »
The person at the first link, Aurora Bahá—Truenos, has been accused of being a fraud. I'm starting a thread on him under Research.

The group at the last link has someone mentioned in here before, Stanislav Grof.

Offline A.H.

  • Posts: 72
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2008, 05:04:58 pm »
The person at the first link, Aurora Bahá—Truenos, has been accused of being a fraud. I'm starting a thread on him under Research.

The group at the last link has someone mentioned in here before, Stanislav Grof.

Yes - the first link is about fraud...

About Grof I don't know yet - I spotted him also (and mentioned him around here) and have mixed feelings... but he still has serious academic credentials in the field in which he works and still some reputation... I am alert though... but the research topics seem interesting and serious...


Offline A.H.

  • Posts: 72
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2008, 01:01:56 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.

 

Offline Kevin

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Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2008, 03:14:23 pm »
 - sort of reminds me of when I was a hippy and we'd go out to the garden eat a bunch of morning glory flower seeds and take a trip to the moon - we didn't attach much spiritual significance to getting high back in them days - we just wanted to take a trip to the moon and never leave the garden - no heavy duty mysticism was needed, we could fly, man!

Offline A.H.

  • Posts: 72
Re: Ayahuasca
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2008, 03:52:39 pm »
You were Vietnam vet and hippy at the same time?

You can dismiss me with such "getting high" comparison, but don't insult the medicine.

It is a different substance from what you mention, it is more dangerous and physically unpleasant. So you're not exactly "high" when treated with it... But you do get this non-ordinary insight. The latter probably depends on your mental state and also on your surroundings, motivations and the persons with you or treating you.

Anyhow - if your experience made you a better man and you could apply any of it in your everyday life or it had any real and lasting psychological benefit for you (like curing some addiction, phobia or depression) - good for you.
Ayahuasca did that for me. And I am grateful and I see value in it.

This is not some substance for the entertainment of hippies, hehe. Don't try to reduce it to this - especially when you don't know it.

peace