The War on Our World’s Most Sacred Medicines
Why advocating for ayahuasca, an illegal “drug”, may just be the thing that heals ourselves and our planet.
You may have seen my video, Project Ayahuasca: The Journey Within, posted last month about my first experience with the plant medicine, ayahuasca. If you haven’t, check it out here. Since then, I’ve had a lot of people ask me why I did all of this. Why I’m advocating for ayahuasca so openly and passionately. The answer is multi-faceted, and is so much bigger than me. Hopefully this blog post can help shed some light on why this topic is so imperative.
We’ve lost touch with almost everything…
As humans, we have lost touch. We’ve lost touch with ourselves, we’ve lost touch with our purpose, we’ve lost touch with our environment, and we’ve lost touch with each other. We’ve also lost touch with what really matters: love, peace, harmony and leaving the world better than we found it. We’ve even lost touch with preventative medicine and what healing looks like. Because of this, addiction, mental illness, and separation between human – environment – and animals have become a problem – so much so that thousands are dying from suicide, addiction and mental illness, and not to mention the deterioration of our planet via climate change and other detrimental issues.
You may remember your D.A.R.E. officer telling you in school how awful and even life-threatening illegal drugs and psychedelics are. However, psychedelics may be the very thing that will solve our ever-increasing problems as a species. Psychedelics, or psychedelic drugs, are a subclass of a broader class of drugs commonly referred to as hallucinogenic drugs. These drugs alter one’s conscious perception and thinking processes (cognition) in such a manner that the individual’s conscious experience of the world is altered in a way different than other drugs alter it. For instance, central nervous system stimulants simply amplify familiar states of conscious experience, whereas psychedelic drugs alter these in such a manner that they are no longer familiar states, but to many people represent “new” states of consciousness. (American Addiction Centers).
Why would you try to lose your consciousness to experience a new state of consciousness?
Well, perhaps that’s exactly the solution — to get lost a bit to find what you’re looking for; to wake the sleeping mind. You may see the word ‘psychedelic’ and think of tie-dyed rainbows, the 1960s and LSD. But Psychedelics are not new — they date back thousands of years. Frequented by indigenous tribes for centuries, psychedelics are used in ceremonial, therapeutic settings, in an effort to heal and be in better communion with the natural world. In some ways, they are the antidote to propaganda; to the conditioning and campaigns our governments puts us through. They help one develop a mind that sees through all of that. If I’m being honest, that’s the real reason they’re considered dangerous — they encourage you to think for yourself.
But aren’t psychedelics harmful?
Psychedelics are non-addictive. Any addictive qualities that are present in common pharmaceuticals (such as opiates and stimulants) or other drugs (such as cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine) are non-existent in psychedelics. They don’t activate the reward pathways in the brain, which give you dopamine; instead, they mimic the neurotransmitter Serotonin. Many of the psychedelics are actually used to help people quit highly addictive drugs such as opiates and alcohol. There are so many benefits coming to light of these substances that organizations such as MAPS, Hefter, Beckley, and many others are putting together a science-based campaign to decrease the stigma and reverse the prohibition, because the evidence is clear: psychedelics are non-addictive and have remarkable medicinal and therapeutic value.
So the question remains: Why do Schedule II drugs, such as Demerol and Percocet, which are highly toxic and addictive, receive widespread medicinal use, while these age-old plants with safe and ceremonial history are marked with a Schedule I lockdown? Is it a war on drugs? Or war on the mind? A question that is gaining momentum as people are waking up to the realities of how backward our Western society is.Psychedelica, Gaia TV
We are losing contact with our fundamental roots.
Shamanic use of psychedelics nearly always includes a community and ritual backdrop. These people viewed psychedelics as sacred medicines, and as a tool to open up the mind to another world. Yet, there has been a war on these sacred plants. In the late 1960s, they became illegal in all aspects. No public use. No medicinal use. Not even research to back up the claims that place these plants in the strictest category. The propaganda campaign had worked.
Is the world we typically operate from the realer one? Is this where we’ll find the Universal truths we all seek to make life decisions from? Or is it the psychedelic realm that some people believe is more real than real? Perhaps it’s neither – and they’re both merely reference points that are both pointing to the underlying universal truths; encouraging us to engage with our own truth-seeking impulse. Our innate memory, and inner sense of our place within the fabric of reality – that we are all aspects of a singular phenomenon, only appear as independent things. Even Taoists and Buddhists believe that the outer visible manifestations of life are the illusion of temporary garments cloaking universal and unchanging principles that inform, instruct, guide and breathe life into all that we experience around us.
So why do we experience the illusion at all? What mechanisms cause us to collectively share such a misleading perception of life and living?
To see the world with new eyes.
Psychedelics help us to become more present. Imagine you were just born again and you were free of trauma, family patterns, pain, and cultural conditioning. You looked at things in a new way, like you’re seeing it for the first time. How differently would you look at the people in your neighborhood? Your family members? Animals? Nature? The oceans, forests, and communities around the world? What questions would you begin forming? And what role do you play in all of this? These are the questions one starts asking when introduced to the world of Psychedelica. The mind begins asking deeper, broader, more timeless questions. They allow old patterns to be recognized and new behaviors to be adopted. They allow us to take a spiritual approach to health, while western conventional medicine aims to mask the symptoms, leaving the root causes untouched and unresolved.
The most profound effects seem to be the self-reflection people go through under the influence of psychedelics. The ability for these plants to confront you with your regrets and worries will very often show you the mistakes and errors you have made in your life. Where you have chosen the dark side rather than the light. Where you have chosen evil over good, fear and scarcity instead of love and abundance. It can give you insights into being a better person. Psychedelics helps deconstruct old behavior patterns and build newer, healthier ones as seen through the creation of new neural pathways and the birth of new nerve cells — a quality previously thought to be impossible after childbirth. Psychedelics help liberate 80-90 percent of our brain that we normally can’t use, so we can have access to our powerful subconscious.Psychedelica, Gaia TV
They say that plants are like organisms of the Earth, just as the cells in our body. Could it be possible, just like a human organism, that plants communicate not only among themselves and to humans, but among all other species? Is this the collective consciousness of the planet? And could it be possible the war on the mind is not limited to human minds – but to the mind of the entire planet: animals, humans and more.
Terrance and Dennis McKenna are possibly the most notable pair of scientists and theorists on why these plants are here and what their greater purpose might be. Both have firm beliefs, backed by a lifetime of investigation, that these plants are here to serve the planet by those who are willing to listen to their place in it.
We are a powerful, yet dangerous species.
Human beings, being the most evolved species, have actually caused quite some damage and perhaps more harm than good. We have the potential to completely destroy, or heal, our planet. Look at our oceans, for example, (how many fish are dying every year?) Look at our livestock (over 9 billion land animals are slaughtered every year.) It’s up to us. We are not known to have a compassionate relationship with our environment as a global society. The Earth senses it is in danger and is trying to get a message to us that we have to WAKE UP. Are psychedelic plants here to show us to ourselves? To the shadow of our psyche? To what we are doing to our planet? To the ills that come from the “sleeping mind”?
These plants have been here since the beginning of time. They’ve seen the horrors of the past and have always produced the medicine most needed by these dangerous minds of ours. A class of compounds that when all is said and done, gives us an honest look at ourselves and what we are doing. And from this new perspective – humility, compassion, and community – bonding naturally emerges. Perhaps they confront us and give us the only medicine that can help us out of these dark times: LOVE.Psychedelica, Gaia TV
Now I would love to hear from you.
What do you know about psychedelics? What do you think of them? Is it something you’re interested in? Why or why not? Do you think there’s a possibility that they can be therapeutic? Let me know in the comments below and I look forward to going deeper with you. Much love, self-care, and gratitude.
Psychedelica on Gaia TV