[Ibogaine] ruminations on entheogens, addiction, and NA

elfstone at sati.us elfstone at sati.us
Sat Sep 29 20:04:15 EDT 2007

Encounters with the sacred plants are potentially mind-expanding
experiences, versus the mind-contracting experiences, which narcotics
often can result in (though Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who wrote Kubla Khan
after an opium-induced visionary experience, and many others, may disagree
with that statement).  From the indigenous perspective, which places human
beings in a world of fellow subjects, versus the contemporary, alienated
egoic perspective of being in a world of objects, the sacred plants have a
spirit with something to say and lessons to teach.  From this more
enlightened perspective of an inter-subjective world, the plants have a
spirit which one can establish a living relationship with.  The years of
apprenticeship that an ayahuascero goes through, or the Mazatecan
curandera/curandero goes through with the sacred mushrooms, or the Bwiti
initiate goes through, is a necessary training that introduces the shaman
to the territory and the means to navigate it.  For a few, the sympathetic
resonance with certain plant spirits leads them to greater facility in
navigating these hyper-dimensional domains and they become the elder
shamans and keepers of the tradition.  After over 30 years of working
intensively with the sacred plants of the Americas, I am of the mind that
not only has humanity had a long relationship (over at least tens of
thousands of years) with these sacred plants but that the suppression of
their usage is born of fear of anything which may take people out of the
blind submission to the collective conditioning that power possessing
people use to subdue others and maintain their status in the world.  The
self-doubt that people may experience, in their attempts to trust
themselves to the insights that relating with these living presences of
our natural world have to offer, is a really a symptom of the disease of
oppression that we labor under.  Do not be afraid of the plant spirits and
what they have to offer.  Ibogaine is just another one of these powerful
plant spirits and, like all the rest, has been declared illegal not
because people are afraid of drugs; as Brother David Stendl-Rast has said,
we have drug stores on every corner, people are not afraid of drugs,
they're afraid of "mind expansion."  Though I am also quick to add that
the concept of "drug" is just another tactic of repression designed to
dismiss anything gathered from this source of knowledge and insight.  I do
not see the sacred plants as "drugs," which is really an overly broad,
clumsy concept that is used to classify something that cannot be easily
controlled by labelling it as dangerous and to be avoided.  To my mind, it
is just another fear tactic being employed to supress and repress a power
that lies far beyond what the egoic, judgment-ridden oppressor mind-set
can grasp.  Bottom line: trust the immediacy of your own experience in
this domain.


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