Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution

From Kirkus Reviews

The ethnobotanist co-author of Psilocybin: The Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide (not reviewed) puts forth the theory that magic mushrooms are the original ``tree of knowledge'' and that the general lack of psychedelic exploration is leading Western society toward eventual collapse or destruction--controversial statements, to say the least, though the argument's details often prove fascinating. In the beginning, McKenna tells us, there were protohumans with small brains and plenty of genetic competition, and what eventually separated the men from the apes was an enthusiasm for the hallucinogenic mushrooms that grew on the feces of local cattle. Claiming that psilocybin in the hominid diet would have enhanced eyesight, sexual enjoyment, and language ability and would have thereby placed the mushroom-eaters in the front lines of genetic evolution--eventually leading to hallucinogen-ingesting shamanistic societies, the ancient Minoan culture, and some Amazonian tribes today--McKenna also asserts that the same drugs are now outlawed in the US because of their corrosive effect on our male-dominated, antispiritual society. Unconsciously craving the vehicles by which our ancestors expanded their imaginations and found meaning in their lives, he says, we feast on feeble substitutes: coffee, sugar, and chocolate, which reinforce competition and aggressiveness; tobacco, which destroys our bodies; alcohol, whose abuse leads to male violence and female degradation; TV, which deadens our senses; and the synthetics--heroin, cocaine and their variations--which leave us victimized by our own addiction. On the other hand, argues McKenna, magic mushrooms, used in a spiritually enlightened, ritual manner, can open the door to greater consciousness and further the course of human evolution- -legalization of all drugs therefore is, he says, an urgent necessity. Provocative words--often captivating, but not often convincing. --Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Plants, Consciousness & Transformation~Terrence McKenna 

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These is a very interesting post, Joseph, however, it is not necessary for everyone to use drugs in order to have all these  kind of experiences, and I was not only told so by my teacher "Guru", but I verified it, myself, since I have traveled in many dimensions without ever taking any hallucinogens in my life! 

Not that I am against anything that would help people to get out of their robotic hypnotism, but as Carlos Castaneda teacher, Don Juan, told him, after having given him "mezcalito", that he only gave it to him because there was no other way that he could loose his grip in the idea of his reality, but that there are many that can do it without using any drugs!

And  here he is talking about diet, and the reality of that, I have also proved it to myself, I was raised a vegetarian, and when I needed to eat meat because of my anemia, it did not make any difference in my ability to visit other dimensions.

Therefore we can not generalize about these things. Generally speaking, people that are vegetarian, are also marginal to these societies and they are not as integrated as the meat eaters, neither do they take everything for granted, and possibly they are more alert, as well, because they are not eating dead materials.

However he has so many good points, and it is a very interesting discussion!

 Yes, I agree Carmen drugs are not necessary for spiritual activities. I find this topic more interesting from the standpoint of the evolution of consciousness and its relations to the botanical ecosystem we are inextribacly tied too. 

A very good book on this subject as well is the Cosmic Serpent by Jeremy Narby a professor of Anthropology who studdied the Amzonian Shamans and their brilliant pharmacutical abilities. He wanted to find out how these so called "primitive people" were better chemists than university educated pharmacists. The Shamans told him that plants told them. So he himself took the Ahyusaca and experienced the "cosmic serpent" which is the dialogue between the his DNA and the DNA of the plant. 

Did Neanderthals eat their vegetables? First direct evidence of plants in Neanderthal diet

Date:
June 25, 2014
Source:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The popular conception of the Neanderthal as a club-wielding carnivore is, well, rather primitive, according to a new study conducted at MIT. Instead, our prehistoric cousin may have had a more varied diet that, while heavy on meat, also included plant tissues, such as tubers and nuts.
Credit: Illustration by Christine Daniloff/MIT

The popular conception of the Neanderthal as a club-wielding carnivore is, well, rather primitive, according to a new study conducted at MIT. Instead, our prehistoric cousin may have had a more varied diet that, while heavy on meat, also included plant tissues, such as tubers and nuts.

Scientists from MIT and the University of La Laguna in Spain have identified human fecal remains from El Salt, a known site of Neanderthal occupation in southern Spain that dates back 50,000 years. The researchers analyzed each sample for metabolized versions of animal-derived cholesterol, as well as phytosterol, a cholesterol-like compound found in plants. While all samples contained signs of meat consumption, two samples showed traces of plants -- the first direct evidence that Neanderthals may have enjoyed an omnivorous diet.

"We have passed through different phases in our interpretation of Neanderthals," says Ainara Sistiaga, a graduate student at the University of La Laguna who led the analysis as a visiting student at MIT. She and her colleagues have published their study in the journal PLoS ONE.

"It's important to understand all aspects of why humanity has come to dominate the planet the way it does," adds co-author Roger Summons, a professor of geobiology in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. "A lot of that has to do with improved nutrition over time."

Unearthing a prehistoric meal

While scientists have attempted to reconstruct the Neanderthal diet, much of the evidence has been inconclusive. For example, researchers have analyzed bone fragments for carbon and nitrogen isotopes -- signs that Neanderthals may have consumed certain prey, such as pigs versus cows. But such isotopic data only differentiate between protein sources -- underestimating plant intake, and thereby depicting the Neanderthal as exclusively carnivorous.

Other researchers recently identified plant microfossils trapped in Neanderthal teeth -- a finding that suggests the species may have led a more complex lifestyle, harvesting and cooking a variety of plants in addition to hunting prey. But Sistiaga says it is also possible that Neanderthals didn't eat plants directly, but consumed them through the stomach contents of their prey, leaving traces of plants in their teeth.

Equally likely, she says, is another scenario: "Sometimes in prehistoric societies, they used their teeth as tools, biting plants, among other things. We can't assume they were actually eating the plants based on finding microfossils in their teeth."

Signs in the soil

For a more direct approach, Sistiaga looked for fecal remains in El Salt, an excavation site in Alicante, Spain, where remnants of multiple Neanderthal occupations have been unearthed. Sistiaga and her colleagues dug out small samples of soil from different layers, and then worked with Summons to analyze the samples at MIT.

In the lab, Sistiaga ground the soil into a powder, then used multiple solvents to extract any organic matter from the sediment. Next, she looked for certain biomarkers in the organic residue that would signal whether the fecal remains were of human origin.

Specifically, Sistiaga looked for signs of coprostanol, a lipid formed when the gut metabolizes cholesterol. As humans are able to break down more cholesterol than any other mammal, Sistiaga looked for a certain peak level of coprostanol that would indicate the sample came from a human.

She and Summons then used the same geochemical techniques to determine the proportions of coprostanol -- an animal-derived compound -- to 5B-stigmastanol, a substance derived from the breakdown of phytosterol derived from plants.

Each sample contained mostly coprostanol -- evidence of a largely meat-based diet. However, two samples also held biomarkers of plants, which Sistiaga says may indicate a rather significant plant intake. As she explains it, gram for gram, there is more cholesterol in meat than there is phytosterol in plants -- so it would take a significant plant intake to produce even a small amount of metabolized phytosterol.

In other words, while Neanderthals had a mostly meat-based diet, they may have also consumed a fairly regular portion of plants, such as tubers, berries, and nuts.

"We believe Neanderthals probably ate what was available in different situations, seasons, and climates," Sistiaga says.

Sistiaga, Summons, and their colleagues plan to use similar geochemical biomarker techniques, coupled with micromorphological analysis, to analyze soil samples in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania -- a 1.8-million-year-old site where some of the earliest evidence of human ancestry have been discovered.

"We're working in a micro context," Sistiaga says. "Until now, people have carried out residue analysis on pots, tools, and other objects, but 90 percent of archaeology is sediment. We're opening a new window to the information that is enclosed in Paleolithic soil and sediment."

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The original article was written by Jennifer Chu. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Ainara Sistiaga, Carolina Mallol, Bertila Galván, Roger Everett Summons. The Neanderthal Meal: A New Perspective Using Faecal BiomarkersPLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (6): e101045 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101045

Yes, Joseph, the subject is very interesting and I even have a book on the paintings of a man while he was under the influence of  the ayahuasca plant.

But I have not heard of the "Cosmic Serpent" book, although I heard that Timothy Leary used to communicate with his own DNA, while using LSD.

And the other subject, about the Neanderthal people, well, we think wee are advancing somewhere in our civilization, and yet, civilization is nothing but a Matrix that we have created, and probably people that do not live under the influence of such a Matrix know more about life and everything else.

However, we also believe that Time exist and the Universe is linear, which it is not.

These are our own constructs and we have been trapped in them.

All is always the same through eternity in a World without beginning or end.

There have been  thousands of so called "civilizations" and will continue to be, that are not as ignorant of everything as we are.

We are the creators of the play and then we learn the script and forget that we created it, ourselves!

Therefore we are dumb Gods!

Ah yes but it is the forgetting that makes the remembering exquisite :)

Yes, indeed, that is why we did it!

Biological basis for magic mushroom 'mind expansion' discovered

Date:
July 3, 2014
Source:
Imperial College London
Brain activity under psilocybin with a decrease (blue) in evolutionary advanced brain regions and an increase (orange) in memory and emotion centres.
Credit: Image courtesy of Imperial College London

New research shows that our brain displays a similar pattern of activity during dreams as it does during a mind-expanding drug trip.

Psychedelic drugs such as LSD and magic mushrooms can profoundly alter the way we experience the world but little is known about what physically happens in the brain. New research, published in Human Brain Mapping, has examined the brain effects of the psychedelic chemical in magic mushrooms, called psilocybin, using data from brain scans of volunteers who had been injected with the drug.

The study found that under psilocybin, activity in the more primitive brain network linked to emotional thinking became more pronounced, with several different areas in this network -- such as the hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex -- active at the same time. This pattern of activity is similar to the pattern observed in people who are dreaming. Conversely, volunteers who had taken psilocybin had more disjointed and uncoordinated activity in the brain network that is linked to high-level thinking, including self-consciousness.

Psychedelic drugs are unique among other psychoactive chemicals in that users often describe 'expanded consciousness,' including enhanced associations, vivid imagination and dream-like states. To explore the biological basis for this experience, researchers analysed brain imaging data from 15 volunteers who were given psilocybin intravenously while they lay in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. Volunteers were scanned under the influence of psilocybin and when they had been injected with a placebo.

"What we have done in this research is begin to identify the biological basis of the reported mind expansion associated with psychedelic drugs," said Dr Robin Carhart-Harris from the Department of Medicine, Imperial College London. "I was fascinated to see similarities between the pattern of brain activity in a psychedelic state and the pattern of brain activity during dream sleep, especially as both involve the primitive areas of the brain linked to emotions and memory. People often describe taking psilocybin as producing a dream-like state and our findings have, for the first time, provided a physical representation for the experience in the brain."

The new study examined variation in the amplitude of fluctuations in what is called the blood-oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal, which tracks activity levels in the brain. This revealed that activity in important brain networks linked to high-level thinking in humans becomes unsynchronised and disorganised under psilocybin. One particular network that was especially affected plays a central role in the brain, essentially 'holding it all together', and is linked to our sense of self.

In comparison, activity in the different areas of a more primitive brain network became more synchronised under the drug, indicating they were working in a more co-ordinated, 'louder' fashion. The network involves areas of the hippocampus, associated with memory and emotion, and the anterior cingulate cortex which is related to states of arousal.

Lead author Dr Enzo Tagliazucchi from Goethe University, Germany said: "A good way to understand how the brain works is to perturb the system in a marked and novel way. Psychedelic drugs do precisely this and so are powerful tools for exploring what happens in the brain when consciousness is profoundly altered. It is the first time we have used these methods to look at brain imaging data and it has given some fascinating insight into how psychedelic drugs expand the mind. It really provides a window through which to study the doors of perception."

Dr. Carhart-Harris added: "Learning about the mechanisms that underlie what happens under the influence of psychedelic drugs can also help to understand their possible uses. We are currently studying the effect of LSD on creative thinking and we will also be looking at the possibility that psilocybin may help alleviate symptoms of depression by allowing patients to change their rigidly pessimistic patterns of thinking. Psychedelics were used for therapeutic purposes in the 1950s and 1960s but now we are finally beginning to understand their action in the brain and how this can inform how to put them to good use."

The data was originally collected at Imperial College London in 2012 by a research group led by Dr Carhart-Harris and Professor David Nutt from the Department of Medicine, Imperial College London. Initial results revealed a variety of changes in the brain associated with drug intake. To explore the data further Dr. Carhart-Harris recruited specialists in the mathematical modelling of brain networks, Professor Dante Chialvo and Dr Enzo Tagliazucchi to investigate how psilocybin alters brain activity to produce its unusual psychological effects.

As part of the new study, the researchers applied a measure called entropy. This was originally developed by physicists to quantify lost energy in mechanical systems, such as a steam engine, but entropy can also be used to measure the range or randomness of a system. For the first time, researchers computed the level of entropy for different networks in the brain during the psychedelic state. This revealed a remarkable increase in entropy in the more primitive network, indicating there was an increased number of patterns of activity that were possible under the influence of psilocybin. It seemed the volunteers had a much larger range of potential brain states that were available to them, which may be the biophysical counterpart of 'mind expansion' reported by users of psychedelic drugs.

Previous research has suggested that there may be an optimal number of dynamic networks active in the brain, neither too many nor too few. This may provide evolutionary advantages in terms of optimising the balance between the stability and flexibility of consciousness. The mind works best at a critical point when there is a balance between order and disorder and the brain maintains this optimal number of networks. However, when the number goes above this point, the mind tips into a more chaotic regime where there are more networks available than normal. Collectively, the present results suggest that psilocybin can manipulate this critical operating point.

The research was funded and intellectually supported by the Beckley Foundation. Professor Chialvo is from the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnologicas (CONICET), Argentina and Dr Tagliazucchi is based at Goethe University, Germany.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Imperial College London. The original article was written by Francesca Davenport. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Enzo Tagliazucchi, Robin Carhart-Harris, Robert Leech, David Nutt, Dante R. Chialvo. Enhanced repertoire of brain dynamical states during the psychedelic experienceHuman Brain Mapping, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/hbm.22562

Making Love with the Cosmos while Puking my Guts Out: An Ayahuasca ...

aya

I’ve just returned from a stay in a beautiful slice of jungle paradise, nestled somewhere in the South American rainforest.

Over the course of seven days, I drank the ancient brew named ayahuasca five times, was whipped with a prickly jungle leaf called Ortiga twice, vomited more than I have in my entire life, and was completely reborn.

I was led to plant medicine when I became fed up with being incredibly bored by the life that I was living and sick of my repetitive, isolated culture. I was deeply disappointed with my prospects of adulthood and I couldn’t bear the thought of living in a world devoid of magic.

I began to surround myself with nature—a place where I had always been able to find serenity and connection.

Much to my surprise, the Earth began to speak to me, comforting my depression with mountain air and rolling thunder. She gave me gifts of plants that could teach and people who could help me to understand them. I was a lost child, and she took me by the hand and led me home.

I heard about ayahuasca through whispered rumors among my group of “tripping buddies.” I was told stories of her healing powers, but I did not ever expect to drink the medicine. I was terrified by what I had heard about the intense visions and the prospect of the grueling, infamous purge.

Yet, less than two weeks ago, by a chain of mysterious and magical events, I found myself sitting before three shamans in a circular hut at 5 a.m., my shaking hands holding a small bowl filled with a thick brown liquid that smelled like really gross wine.

I gulped the brew, thanked the shamans and returned to my mat. Although I didn’t know what to expect, I was certain the plant would be gentle with my delicate self.

Within an hour, I was face down in the dirt, completely puking my guts out. I have never felt more sick in my entire life. The jungle was swirling around me as my mind lit up with beautiful images and brutally honest lessons.

I was completely lost in a psychedelic world, and the voice of ayahuasca made it very clear that I was cleansing my body and mind from years of self-doubt, hatred and ignorance, but was absolutely certain I was about to die.

Yet, even as I experienced this miserable state, I felt like a baby in the arms of her mother. There was no punishment, only consequence for the decisions I had made and the paths I had taken.

For hours I lay outside on beautiful, grassy knoll. Trees bent over me, laden with flowers, and I began to stop resisting the purging that continued to come. I had asked to connect with nature, and I saw that I was being connected to all of her aspects: The disgusting, painful, harsh, beautiful and complete reality of my own mortality.

Everyone else left for lunch, except one shaman who coaxed me back inside and sat patiently while I lay on my mat, slipping in and out of lucidity.

After 20 minutes, like magic, I felt perfectly fine. I sat up, and she came over to help me stand. My arm around her shoulder, we walked to the kitchen where I ate enough of the delicious, homemade food to feed a small army.

Still seeing geometric patterns and slightly tripping out, I was told that we would be having another ceremony in seven hours.

Surprisingly, I couldn’t wait to have my ass kicked again.

That night, I did not expect that I could possibly need to purge more, but 20 minutes after I drank from the cup, I was outside kneeling on the ground.

Yet this experience was entirely different. I was transported to the stars, while still aware of my body. As I purged, I felt new spaces opening up in my being. They were filled with the purest love I had ever felt. I began to see that as I gave up my attachment to old beliefs, patterns and stories about myself, I made room for the connections that I had been asking to find. The only way I can describe that night is to say that I made love with the entire universe for eight hours. I was transformed into a jeweled star goddess, crowned with grace and divinity.

I remember saying, “My third-eye is wide open and I’m never closing it” as I saw crystalline geometry and danced without moving a muscle. I laughed and sighed as one lesson after another fell into place. Mother Ayahuasca turned my cheeks to velvet and my eyes to galaxies. I lay in the hut, just feeling my skin and seeing all the ways I had not been loving my beautiful body. I felt one with the cosmos and saw the exquisite beauty in the duality of our world. My mind kept singing, “I forget so I can remember.” And the remembrance of this Love was beautiful.

The next three ceremonies unveiled to me different aspects of myself that I had been ignoring, suppressing and denying. I realized that I had been going to everything—books, articles, videos, fellow humans and even drugs, but never to myself for guidance.

I was shown that in my fear, I had created a safe shell around myself and filled it with a dreamworld, convincing myself that it was reality. I had been given everything that I had ever asked for, but my shell had not allowed me to receive these gifts. I did not want to feel pain and so I wouldn’t let myself grow.

But that day, beneath the warm sun, I began to hatch into something more complete.

It is easy to love light and beautiful things, I realized, but I had been focusing so much on this light and beauty that I had allowed my dark side to fester in the shadows. There were ugly pieces of me that I was denying while professing to accept myself. This made me believe that I had to be beautiful to be loved and resulted in me spending hours in front of mirrors, criticizing and trying to hide my imperfections.

At one point during my fourth ceremony, right after a bout of purging, a friend walked by and asked how I was doing. With vomit and dirt covering my face, I smiled and said, “Amazing. I am learning how to be ugly” He smiled and said, “At last.”

During the final ceremony, it began to rain. I cried with the downpour and let it wash away all of the lies I had been telling myself. Here I am: naked, confessing that I have lied, stolen, cheated, inflicted pain and shattered beautiful things.

And I love myself anyway.

I am being taught how to hold a space of balance for myself. Allowing all of my facets to be loved is a constant choice for now, but I am committed to surrendering to this love over and over again. “I am finished fighting this endless battle against myself,” I scrawled in my journal. I meant it.

On the plane home I wrote:

“I think the most precious thing I have been given is the ability to love and be loved more deeply. It was like being carried home to the nest, held under my mother’s wing, against her heart, then set free to fly away again and become lost in the world. We have forgotten how to be unconditionally loved and it is the wound we are all trying to hide. Thank you, mother, for breathing me into life and then drawing me back to death. I get lost so you can find me, forget so you’ll remind me: I’m a child of the dark and light.”

I’ll be returning to that magical paradise again, but first I have some things to do at home. I am going to spread this love as far and wide as I can reach. I am going to stop wasting my precious life through laziness and start blazing my own path through this jungle of existence. I will rise with gratitude, fall with grace, and above all, keep falling in love with this glorious, wild ride.

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/04/making-love-with-the-cosmos-...

A Mindful Ayahuasca Experience.

ayahuasca drug jungle god

In the Western world, there has been an explosion of interest in the tribal Amazonian art of utilizing sacred plant medicines for their health applications.

Especially Ayahuasca.

And justifiably so. The scientific and anecdotal reflections of its physical, behavioral, psychological, emotional and energetic healing powers has been well documented, particularly over recent decades. I hope to add to the accumulating records of its profound benefits.

photo: yogaartandscience.com

Before traveling to Peru in May 2014, we’d planned ahead by researching its effects and reading on others’ experiences. Universally, consuming this medicine is strongly associated with spiritual development.

Part of the negative expectations was to potentially have challenging emotional processing, as well as uncontrollable vomiting. This is understood in tribal philosophy to not just be a physical cleansing, but primarily an energetic one.

We were also aware of its healing capacity—some users claim it has cured their cancer whilst others have dealt with their life-debilitating addictions of heroin and alcohol etc. Furthermore, others claim it had helped them reassess their morality and forgive themselves and others’ for past indiscretions.

Nevertheless, even though there may be temporary discomfort, for us the potential long-term benefits were well beyond any rationale of avoiding a ceremony.

DMT is the major ingredient in the brew which generates the altered state of mind. DMT is believed to be naturally produced in the pineal gland and is the physiological reflection of dreams and other natural mind adventures, including advanced meditation. It’s considered to be found in the majority of Earth’s plants and animals. It’s also been dubbed as the spirit molecule.

Usually it is not ingestible, but many centuries ago ancient Amazonian tribes found that if they mixed it with another plant, it inhibited the enzyme in the stomach from breaking it down before it entered the bloodstream. Their legend has it that the plants told them, or more accurately, the plant spirits told them.

This doesn’t seem too far-fetched once you calculate the chance that they randomly stumbled across the formula among the thousands of plants that are found in the Amazon. Plus, once you take Ayahuasca, or smoke DMT, you might just have a different perspective on the validity of non-physical realms of existence.

We somewhat knew what we were getting into as we’re not shy to psychotropic mind expansion. As consciousness warriors, we’ve always welcomed the shakeup of our societal and other environmental conditioning, but compared to the standard hallucinogens, this stuff is on another level.

Bright lights

When I smoked DMT previously, I felt like I was transported to another dimension. I met two entities, one full blown and the other a hybrid. The complete ‘other’ telepathically spoke to me: “It’s nice to meet you.” “Yeah, you too,” I replied. “Don’t wait so long to visit again,” it asserted.

Then I compressed my 12 layers of multiple-perspective ‘selves,’ exited through the wormhole upon which I had entered, and returned safely back to my third dimensional home.

Yet when I took Ayahuasca, I didn’t meet those same entities. I thought I might. In contrast, I felt that instead of going somewhere else, I had brought that somewhere else to me.

We had a shaman of my age, 33. He spoke little English so it was translated by our guide that he had been practicing since around 17. He was a modern day shaman, with a mobile phone and as I was later to find out, a Facebook account too. He also rode a trail bike. This guy was cool as hell.

IMG_20140521_091125 (authors photo)

This photo is of the shaman reading a standard newspaper on the way to the lodge. I love the yin yang in this shot; a spiritually empowered being with human sexuality exploited by the advertisement on the back.

We initiated the ceremony with a tobacco cleansing and then drank the brew. It wasn’t as bad as I’d expected. The shaman engaged in tribal chants and song and shook dry leaves; he had a phenomenally beautiful voice and a controlled energy which he aligned to our vibration relevant to each moment.

IMG_20140518_155517(Authors photo)

The altered state began quickly. It started with my own personal rainbow force field followed by visualizations of the animal energies which I have resonated strongly with in my life. It was not too different from when I meditate, so nothing really out of the ordinary was happening at this point. After half an hour I was starting to consider whether I should ask for another shot.

Then after nearly an hour—boom! Holy fucking fuck I was tripping balls. Never had I experienced something like this before.

Layers of reality came from every direction. Inter-dimensional hyperspace appeared right before and through my conscious eyes. I could open them as well as close them and it was largely the same experience.

I looked at the shaman and he had an angel wing extending from his right side, yet nothing appeared on his left. In that moment I knew that he still had to grow the other wing, something that he no doubt would achieve through a decade or two more of shamanistic development.

Towering over his wing was a big foot like spirit. It felt benevolent but didn’t want anything to do with me except to let me now that it was the shaman’s guardian. It didn’t even flinch when I conceptually held out my hand to engage it in handshake. Remaining there for basically the entire experience, it marked its impression on me.

Moving along, a cat energy or spirit made of light sat a foot to my front left side. It felt like it was a representation of all small and big cat energy, both wild and domesticated. It was timid but curious, yet hesitant to engage me. I literally held out my hand, as my eyes were open at this point, and it smelled me.

We became one in that moment.

I had visions of a few spirits—energy that felt independent of my psyche. Some felt negative or hostile so I remember just consciously wrapping them in my rainbow force field and sending them on their way. Mostly though, the trip wasn’t about other-worldly entities. It was about me grounding my energy and reinforcing my power.

Later I was looking at my hands morphing into themselves. If the room was lighter I believe I would have been able to see right through them. Watching my hands go through an energetic dance I felt that they were being gifted with a capacity to heal. “I can’t wait to try them out for real,” I thought.

It reminded me of the DMT experience aforementioned. Before I had lay down and experienced the wormhole and entities, I was standing up and looking straight through my legs and several meters into the earth.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/4879286486/sizes/n/

Then I was floating through the universe. It didn’t matter if my eyes were open or shut, galaxies and star clusters whizzed past and through me. I was outside of myself and inside at the same time.

The final vision containing a spirit or energy was of Mother Ayahuasca herself. For the majority of the experience my corpus callosum and third eye was lit up as it does when I meditate—it’s literally a strong physical sensation. But during this time I could also sense the feeling outside of me and it felt like a vertical force, a silhouetted staff, projecting from the infinite distance. I hadn’t even paid too much attention to it, then as the trip was softening this force spontaneously presented itself in front of me as Mother Ayahuasca. I could see her. Without any words, we emanated each other our hearts, and absorbed each other’s in mutual love and respect.

I felt very present. Very centered. Not needing to vomit I just enjoyed the experience. I must have yawned a hundred times, each more deeper and re-calibrating then the last.

Nearing the end of the session, I could feel that there was some stuff to expel from my stomach. I eventually made myself spew as I knew it would be the best thing for me. It didn’t feel like it was a lot of bad energy, more like the negative residue leftover from the general human experience. It was reinforced within that moment that I had being doing the right things health-wise for many years.

We thanked the shaman with some big hugs and left to lie down in our private bungalow. We digitally recorded our conversation—an attempt to verbalize the experience—but words will never come close to truly reflecting the depth of what happened.

Afterwards I felt so cleaned, so empty. I was the healthiest I had ever felt. It was best feeling I had ever felt.

The entire experience was a reinforcement of my spiritual understanding and an innate power that we all share. It wasn’t revolutionary by any means, although I could easily imagine a strict materialist having revelations that would change their mindset forever.

Accordingly, my first session contained no significant healing, no past life visions, no future prophecies—the best way to sum it up is purely a tribute to my consciousness of consciousness.

Then we did it again three nights later. It was nowhere near as intense or visual. As I understand it, you can’t build a tolerance to DMT, so I’m assuming that either the brew wasn’t as strong or our mindset was too strong to let it properly take hold. Or both. Nevertheless, it was still worthwhile.

In the latter half of the session the shaman performed an energetic cleansing and what felt like an initiation on us. It was done individually and lasted about half an hour each. He asked me to take off my shirt and then coated me in a plant based mixture, basically from head to toe. I’m not too sure what it was, but it was used in both ceremonies as basically a protector from negative spirits or energy.

He also made the most beautiful sounds whilst blowing tobacco smoke and energy into my third eye and other major energy centers like my heart.

We ended the session early and retired to our bungalow porch where we listened to the sounds of the jungle for hours afterward. Now that was pure bliss.

blisshead

 

I’ve traveled fairly extensively over my years and the more I experience the more myself I become. In this respect, our Peru adventure was my best holiday yet, especially because I was able to become a more genuine me then ever before.

Did our Ayahuasca adventure change us? Yes and no. Of course subtle changes are happening energetically whether you’re abroad or at home, but more so in new contexts. We all naturally change our vibration within each new moment and Ayahuasca seems to have a strong capacity to amplify that.

We feel that the Ayahuasca ceremonies fundamentally changed us—potentially on subconscious, atomic, molecular and cellular levels.

Yet there were no major epiphanies or mindfulness revolutions for either of us. Ultimately, we simply reinforced that we’re interconnected energy within a multidimensional and life-abundant reality.

It’s always the final decision of anybody who decides to participate in an Ayahuasca ceremony, but I’d certainly recommend it to anyone whose mind and heart yearns for such a point of view.

For the entire Peru adventure, see Peru, Ayahuasca and 2 Mindful Aussies.

We partly agree with the statements made above to introduce a short summary of some of McKenna's views.  We think this may be an overstatement of a valid position in which the conclusion regarding legalization may be inevitable.  We know from experience the value of psilocybins, however we might scare some people to believe these may be more dangerous rather than truly beneficial both to individuals and their societies.

Nonetheless, psilocybins are illuminating and may be a gateway drug for greater compassion, nurture, love, truth, and justice.  The war on drugs can only be lost by everyone except the people selling guns, violence, and mind control.  It's high time we take back our own minds and free ourselves to be better people.

Enjoy!

love, Grigory Rho Gharveyn, etc, et al...

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