Author Topic: Ayahuasca: drug or sacrament?  (Read 2089 times)

drone on

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Ayahuasca: drug or sacrament?
« on: August 15, 2010, 12:27:22 AM »
Anyone familiar with this topic? Some famous people like Sting and Tori Amos have used this psychedelic and it has many proponents saying it can cure some mental illness and even physical illness, and that it is not harmful (like ecstasy and other synthetics).  Any "experiencers" here?

Blackinfinity

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Re: Ayahuasca: drug or sacrament?
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2010, 07:52:26 AM »
I know this band takes it :)


Seren

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Re: Ayahuasca: drug or sacrament?
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2010, 12:36:25 PM »
Ayahuasca is also known as the vine of death.

It is very strong and when taken traditionally involves a period of time prior to taking of eating a strict purification diet and clarifying the intent for the ceremony. It is part of the native people's relationship with the jungles they live in - the ceremony enables participants to journey into the spiritual realms and myths of their history and environment, which is dangerous.

Like many things, there is a western attitude that we can just translocate such things and do it how we want. Traditionally the dangers of the environment are reflected in the realms journeyed within during such ceremonies. People passing permanently into the spirit world was considered a risk of these and other native ceremonies.

Seren

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Re: Ayahuasca: drug or sacrament?
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2010, 12:41:50 PM »
I did see on TV a guy travelling the Amazon and staying with various tribal people was invited to participate. He was deferential and respectful. He vommited a lot and thought nothing much happened - I hope he watches the programme and realises that the things he describes were things happening, he just was expecting something else and so missed them. He was on his first journeys and in anything like this a beginning is often deceptively simple, but also the invitation by spirit to explore his own relationship to the environment.

judd stephens

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Re: Ayahuasca: drug or sacrament?
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2010, 10:46:32 PM »
Like Seren said there are actually tours people can go to to experience this.  I just recently read (can't remember where, Mother Jones maybe? )  about some people who went to Peru to do such a tour.  The person overseeing the ceremony was actually a Frenchman living there.  According to the article there are a lot of people offering this now- some legit and some just cashing in.  So to answer your topic's question, it can probably be both, depending on the intention of the ones giving it, and those who are receiving.   Vomiting, terror, and shitting oneself were also present.... not my kind of spiritual journey!  But all who did claim to come out of it changed and purified.  Still though... I'd rather get a massage and some reiki, and enjoy a cup of white tea, of course after hiking around in scenic nature.  That would be my ideal spiritual experience.   

drone on

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Re: Ayahuasca: drug or sacrament?
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2010, 01:06:59 AM »
Anything called "the vine of death," or involves a vomit bucket, pretty much rules this one out for me.  There is an online article in National Geographic where the writer went on one of these tours and described the effects of the vine.  She kept describing "utter darkness" and seeing "demons."  I will always treasure the LSD experiences I had in my 20's and don't really see the point in taking psychedelics at this point in my life. 

Seren

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Re: Ayahuasca: drug or sacrament?
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2010, 03:32:25 AM »
With these journies you are supposed to have someone, preferably a trained shaman of the amazonian jungle to guide you and keep you safe - both from your own inner 'darkness or demons' (bred in the underground caverns of your own culture and not related to those of the indigenous people) and the possibly dangerous spirits of the locality. I understand that the strict purification diet may lessen the amount of vomitting.

I suppose the question is - can we take the cultural and spiritual legacy out of such experiences and still have a 'valid' experience? The native people taking the sacrament will have grown up hearing the songs and prayers, will know the sorts of things that need to be avoided in the jungle and avoid them in the dream without even having to think about it.

Westerners tend to think of archetypes as 'symbolic' and myths as 'just stories', things that can be visited as if going to a theme park.



LNerell

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Re: Ayahuasca: drug or sacrament?
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2010, 11:26:08 AM »
I know the guy who made this documentary:

http://shop.mwp.com/products/the-shaman-and-ayahuasca

I went to the premiere of the film here in LA and talked with him about it afterward, if you are interested in this then the film is worth seeing. Ayahuasca is not something you want to take as a recreational drug at some rave or something similar. He said it was the most powerful hallucinogen he's ever taken, including LSD which is kids stuff in comparison. You need to be guided into the right state, and even then it can be pretty heavy. He said the first time he took it, it went about destroying his ego about 10 times a second for the first part of the trip. On the positive side Iím not going to repeat what he said exactly as I couldnít do him justice, just that there is a spiritual side and a sort of connectedness as well. Oh, also what he took was not just the vine itself, but a concoction that the shaman made of various herbs that go with the ayahuasca. As for the vomiting part, you are so far out of it that you hardly notice, itís like second nature. And I have to say probably the best hallucinogenic trip I ever had was on peyote, which did involve some vomiting.

Take care.

- Loren Nerell

drone on

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Re: Ayahuasca: drug or sacrament?
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2010, 06:21:02 PM »
That's a good point about it not being a "casual" drug to take at a rave!  Besides, you might be kinda unpopular puking every few minutes.  The worst thing you can do is take heavy pychedelic amongst a large group of total strangers. 

I remember there was a track on that Roach/Stearns/Sunsinger "Kiva" album "Mother Ayahuasca." 

I'll have to check out that link, thanks for posting it.

LNerell

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Re: Ayahuasca: drug or sacrament?
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2010, 11:47:19 PM »
Funny, I guess this officially makes Ayahuasca hip, just heard this on NPR's All Things Considered on my drive home from work tonight:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129282176
Take care.

- Loren Nerell

Youngblood

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Re: Ayahuasca: drug or sacrament?
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2010, 09:11:46 AM »

I remember there was a track on that Roach/Stearns/Sunsinger "Kiva" album "Mother Ayahuasca." 


Roach played back that song for me and pointed out that you can hear a man vomit. They put a harmonizer on it because it was pretty nasty sounding.