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I’m one of a wave of spiritual seekers travelling to the Amazon

13/07/2013

Ever heard of Ayahuasca? No? Well there’s a growing interest in hallucinogens and in particular Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca is an Amazonian plant mixture that is capable of inducing altered states of consciousness, usually lasting between 4 to 8 hours after ingestion. Ranging from mildly stimulating to extremely visionary, Ayahuasca is used primarily as a medicine and as a shamanic means of communication, typically in a ceremonial session under the guidance of an experienced drinker.  

… waves of spiritual seekers are travelling to places like the Amazon to learn about indigenous cultural rituals and practices. According to a recent study, well-educated professionals and university students are taking psychedelics such as LSD, mescalin, DMT (present in the South American brew Ayahuasca), peyote, and psilocybin (found in ‘magic’ mushrooms). [1]

My interest in Ayahuasca goes back to 1992. I was in San Diego, California where I met two Shamans (Canadian and Brazillian) who told me at some length about the “sacred spirit medicine ceremony.” I was invited by the Brazilian to attend a sacred ceremony in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I didn’t. I never did. I then had no interest in drugs. I was delighted to read that such ceremonies continue in Amsterdam to this day.

My interest in Ayahuasca was awakened when I stumbled across Graham Hancock’s video and his book: Supernatural. I’m amazed by this man’s extraordinary research and articulate writing about the influences that shaped the modern human mind.

Less than 50,000 years ago mankind had no art, no religion, no sophisticated symbolism, no innovative thinking. Then, in a dramatic and electrifying change, described by scientists as “the greatest riddle in human history,” all the skills and qualities that we value most highly in ourselves appeared already fully formed, as though bestowed on us by hidden powers. In “Supernatural”, Graham Hancock sets out to investigate this mysterious “before-and-after moment” and to discover the truth about the influences that gave birth to the modern human mind. His quest takes him on a journey of adventure and detection from the stunningly beautiful painted caves of prehistoric France, Spain and Italy to remote rock shelters in the mountains of South Africa where he finds a treasure trove of extraordinary Stone Age art. He uncovers clues that lead him to travel to the depths of the Amazon rainforest to drink the powerful plant hallucinogen Ayahuasca with Indian shamans, whose paintings contain images of “supernatural beings” identical to the animal-human hybrids depicted in prehistoric caves and rock shelters. And hallucinogens such as mescaline, also produce visionary encounters with exactly the same beings. Scientists at the cutting edge of consciousness research have begun to consider the possibility that such hallucinations may be real perceptions of other “dimensions”. Could the “supernaturals” first depicted in the painted caves and rock shelters be the ancient teachers of mankind? Could it be that human evolution is not just the “blind”, “meaningless” process that Darwin identified, but something else, more purposive and intelligent, that we have barely even begun to understand?

My Ayahuasca step (remember all journeys begin with a single step), which has startled a few, deviates from a life devoid of drugs (of course there were fags when younger and too much booze occasionally—but never any drugs). My renewed search follows from realising that everything I know is nothing but second-hand knowledge, and mainstream dominant cultural knowledge at that. The mainstream media disseminate only that information that has been approved – or supplied – by government agencies who place their own spin on the hot topics of the day, which include large portions of sports, entertainment news, and weather reports. Of course, that approach by the establishment scoundrels applies also to education, religions, and so forth. This is unbearable, devastating, and disappointing, and required me to review my life. Thus I’m reaching out and taking a fresh new direction and the Ayahuasca retreat is but a first step in my quest for truth.

Your ignorance is not because the truth is not available to you. There have been ‘radicals’ preaching it for thousands of years. No. You are ignorant because you shun the truth with all your heart and soul. You close your eyes and run away when a hint of reality lands in front of you.~Unknown

You condemn as ‘extremists’ and ‘fringe kooks’ those who try to show you the chains you are wearing. You don’t want to be free. Responsibility and reality scare the hell out of you so you cling tightly to your own enslavement and lash out at any who seek to free you from it. When someone opens the door to your cage, you cower back in the corner and yell, ‘Close it!’ ~Larken Rose, The Iron Web

Anyway, I’m of to Iquitos, Peru on 10 August for an Ayahuasca retreat somewhere in the Peruvian Amazon. I’m surprised to have found a reasonably priced return fare, and that required some patience and determination, and that’s a good omen.

I considered combining the retreat with a tour to Machu Picchu. I’m not! The added cost is too much. (I’ve never met anyone who managed to get there on the cheap, and I’m told it gets very busy.)

References

[1] Mind at Large: http://goo.gl/ihJX9

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