Three more interesting Aya resources on the internet
In a recent post (August this year) I wrote about ‘The Ten Best Ayahuasca related resources on the web’. Like any list of this type, this is a very subjective and short-lived selection.
Since then, and this must be a measure of the possible exponential growth of worldwide ayahuasca use, I have come across three other interesting resources, which I list here.
This is a surprisingly good nearly 45 minute mainstream documentary (possibly the first) about ayahuasca. It was aired on Sunday October 26th this year and focuses mainly on Americans suffering from depression, trauma and PTSD, going off to Iquitos, Peru (called the “epicenter of ayahuasca tourism”) to drink ayahuasca in largely American owned centers. Despite being full of journalistic cliches and flirting with sensationalism at the beginning, as the documentary progresses, it becomes genuinely moving especially when dealing with the group of veterans suffering from PTSD.
It is clear too that the presenter, Lisa Ling, who I gather is a reasonably respected US journalist, was visibly moved by the stories of the veterans and very curious and open-minded about what she was investigating. There is an interesting short summary video clip here where she says that she “was strictly forbidden by CNN from partaking in the ayahuasca ceremony.” She goes on to say that if she had not been forbidden she would have liked to participate in a ceremony, recognizing that ayahuasca is very different from what are commonly called ‘drugs’.
Possibly even more surprising from a mainstream media provider like CNN, the documentary ends on a very positive note for ayahausca showing that the people who had principally featured in the program had been significantly helped with their depressions, PTSD and suicidal feelings. Perhaps the conspiracy theorists will have to revise their opinions about how tightly controlled the US mainstream media are. Or perhaps it’s just a sign of how powerfully hegemonic neo-liberal capitalism is that it can try to co-opt Madre Ayahuasca by making an entertaining, reasonably informative documentary about her.
This is a video of a talk by Graham Hancock on October 12th 2014 for the Horizons event ‘Perspectives on Psychedelics’.
People familiar with Graham Hancock’s work and/or the ayahuasca literature in general are not likely to find anything particularly new here but Graham Hancock does an excellent job of weaving together a number of important themes into a very coherent and compelling narrative.
The key themes that Hancock addresses are:
- the widespread use of psychedelics by ancient societies and their reverence and respect for these substances in contrast with the fear and demonization with which Western society treats them (building on Terence McKenna’s “Stoned Ape” theory of human evolution)
- in common with the CNN documentary, the amazing healing potential that Madre Ayahausca can offer to people suffering from illnesses that Western medicine is spectacularly unsuccessful in treating
- the hypocrisy that in Western societies, which are supposedly founded in the name of freedom, we are legally forbidden to exercise our sovereign right over the control of our own consciousness.
OK I know this is not directly related to La Madre but I have enjoyed receiving short daily passages from Jung’s writings in this blog. It confirms my view that Jung was indeed engaged in a profound shamanic descent – as The Red Book makes clear. The range of his writing, his poetic expressiveness at times, and his insights are extraordinary. Reading these short passages also shows that in comparison with Jung – and the people he deeply influenced like James Hillman and Joseph Campbell amongst many others – nearly all other psychology is narcissistic and just skating on the surface of the ego.
Here, just one example, is part of a letter Jung wrote to someone suffering from depression:
“If I had to live in a foreign country, I would seek out one or two people who seemed amiable and would make myself useful to them, so that libido came to me from outside, even though in a somewhat primitive form, say of a dog wagging its tail. I would turn in rage against myself and with the heat of my rage I would melt my lead. I would renounce everything and engage in the lowest activities should my depression drive me to violence. I would wrestle with the dark angel until he dislocated my hip. For he is also the light and the blue sky which he withholds from me.”
PLEASE ADD FURTHER SUGGESTIONS IN THE COMMENTS FOR INTERESTING MATERIAL ON LA MADRE.