[Ibogaine] ibogaine and cures not wars web pages down
Eye of the Bhogi
freedomroot at gmail.com
Mon Feb 27 08:16:01 EST 2006
A few more impressions, from Day 2
The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors is truly a wondrous space.
Carl Ruck didn't make it to the morning's first set of talks on revelations
from the sacred, so Lee Albert joined Dana Beal and Paul DiRienzo "at the
table." Interesting speculations from our intrepid conference organizer
(Dana the Daring) about the role of Syrian rue (harmala) in a potential
chemical explanation for Christ's survival on the Cross, and the subsequent
search for the Holy Grail. People familiar and/or uncomfortable with this
line of mystic inquiry may have opted out of this session. I found myself
consulting Chapter 16, "The Passover Plot" of their book, _The Ibogaine
Story: Report on the Staten Island Project_, as well as its 4th Appendix by
Flattery and Schwartz on the botanical identity and legacy of "soma." I'm
personally cautious about this kind of rationalization and reimagination of
an entheogenic history to one of the founding principles of Christianity.
Someone in the audience got up on the wrong side of bed and was hassling
Dana after a while -- pieman, where were you? -- and it turned out he was
impatiently awaiting his opportunity to take the mic. Daniel Pinchbeck -
way to warm up your audience, by insulting the conference organizer and then
interrupting your international guest co-panelist in the middle of a
prepared talk! It made it even harder to concentrate on Lee's talk, sharing
some of his experiences with the Bwiti Angels and guidance he's gotten about
releasing trauma, facing one's shadow, and healing. As Magnolia Martin said
in her "a graduate" post a few days ago -- sorry we didn't get to meet! --
the difference between internet personas and face-to-face interaction is
profound. Lee, I hope we stay in touch, and that Amazing Grace finds its
way into the hands of a larger publishing house!
It seemed maybe Pinchbeck had a spring loose or tight or something, and
actually felt a bit badly for the fellow, as I get nervous around public
presentations myself. But people who've met him before and are familiar
with the shenanigans say no, he's just rude. I personally was made more
unhappy to hear that his research for a new book on the 2012 prophecies
proceeded without obtaining permission from the Hopi Tribe, which has been
quite assertive about protecting and preserving its cultural property.
Again, the ethics of spiritual seekers collude with the same greedy forces
of colonization and resource extraction that contributed to our social mess
in the first place!
Patrick returned for the next session, with Dana, sharing the vision of
spreading the Word about this Sacrament of Transition that has been
institutionally organized in Slovenia. It was a provocative brainstorming
session, with signficant audience input, and among others, Alex Grey
suggested we might read Timothy Leary's book, _Start Your Own Religion_.
There is a great deal of optimism about finding a niche in the religious
protection allowances of the legal system (both U.S. and at the Hague) and
of course fervent evangelism about spreading the good news that the Tree of
Life is alive and well and has some kind of cosmic agenda to save the
humans. Or something like that.
So, medical therapeutic potential and spiritual restoration possibilities
continue their ibogaine weave.
One of the compelling panels of the day followed lunch on the Art of
Ibogaine, with work from Geerte Frenken, David Hunter, and Aivia Monitto.
Geerte's piece on the rise and fall of addiction has always fascinated me
when it flashes up on the Ibogaine Dossier, so it was a special treat to
hear her share the process. (Is it ok to post your online gallery URL?)
David's talk took us through some of the visuals of his ibogaine treatments,
and he premiered a new piece photoshopping an image of wild gorillas in a
stand of Eboga bush that was heart-opening. Alex also shared some of his
process and inspiration while the techhies worked on rescuing Aivia's
presentation, and then she regaled us with commentary on some of the imagery
of patent medicines, Iboga root, and photos of ritual use in African
contexts. It was interesting to be reminded that the modern magazines have
their origins in patent medicine companies seeking ways to advertise their
Finally, the wrap-up on hands-on practitioners of Ibogaine treatment brought
together Howard, Dmitri, Dana, and Ken, and we were again reminded that
there is a lot of love motivating this whole enterprise. People have to pay
their rent and put food on the table of course. But there is a lot of
idealism about the potential of this therapeutic course. Dr. Alper
mentioned the contrast between 1999 NYU conference where there was data on
about 800 patients, and now that number is about 3500. To put that in
perspective, the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that there are
two million "hard drug" users in the U.S. alone. Not to mention the
potential mental health benefits for the larger population or a related
anti-stroke medicine. No wonder Gabon calls it its national treasure!
Afterwards, a journalist shared with me that he had a figure of 320,000
people who sought treatment for opiates last year. Surely for a good number
of those ibogaine addiction interruption might not be the best option. But
shouldn't they have a choice?
Thank you to everyone who made this weekend what it was. And best of luck
to all the neuroscientists, psychologists, doctors, treatment providers,
litigators, legislators, researchers, writers, political activists,
spiritual seekers and lovers of humanity who are dancing in this dream of a
route to freedom. It was good to be with you -- even if you couldn't make
it in person, you were all there.
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