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C-Realm Friday!

"C" stands for consciousness

Episode 89: Ayahuasca, Alcohol, & Marijuana

KMO talks with AyasminA, who deflates the ayahuasca hype balloon and re-sets expectations with a much needed reality check. KMO and AyasminA also compare notes on the role that alcohol and marijuana play in the evolving global ayahausca consciousness.

The mp3 on PodOMatic is broken and will remain so until Monday. You can download the full episode here in the mean time:



( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 19th, 2008 04:43 am (UTC)
Ay , got a phone message from you. Hopefully you had fun in Austin and did not have to look too much for a pad.
I had a family reunion in Dallas.. i had forgotten that --! So could not be available.
Apr. 19th, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC)
hi and happy early birthday!

great podcast as always, except the program cut off just as you were getting into the issue of alcohol as a (non)spiritual substance. am really looking forward to hearing this part, so do please advise if you have time.

thanks and best wishes.
Apr. 19th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
I like to confirm the broken file length, Downloaded multiple times, but it's an error I think. 14830 kB (15M) 2008-04-18T15_52_37-07_00.mp3
As a drinker I'm also interested ;p Keep them comming KMO! thanks.
Apr. 19th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
PodOMatic closed for the weekend
I won't be able to get a corrected audio file attached to this episode until the PodOMatic staff returns to their (Pacific Time Zone) office on Monday morning. I'll upload the episode to MegaUpload.com and post the URL here when I drive into town later today so interested parties can get the full episode today rather than Monday. Trying to upload the file from my pokey Hughesnet Satellite home connection would be pointless, as that's probably the reason for the bad mp3 file in the first place. :(
Apr. 19th, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
Here's the complete episode
Apr. 19th, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Here's the complete episode
thanks for the service ;p
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 25th, 2008 12:27 am (UTC)
You Nick
Did the discussion get at the intention behind your question?
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 25th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
I oppose prohibition. Without prohibition there'd be no need for anybody to lobby for the right to use proscribed plants in the expression of their religious sensibilities.

Do I support people who are trying to create a special religious exemption from the heavy hand of the obscenely punitive "War on Drugs?" That's a complicated question with a complicated answer. You can get a pretty good idea of my position if you listen to episode 38: Psychoactive Sacraments and episode 85: Belief & Experience.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 25th, 2008 01:04 am (UTC)
Re: YOUR Nick
I'd say give episode 38 a listen and then get back to me with any questions that episode leaves unanswered.

As for Buddhism proscribing the use of entheogens, I think it would take some pretty serious linguistic limbo to support that proposition. Specifically, one would need to equate the state induced by visionary plants with drunkeness; a ham-fisted conflation to say the least.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 25th, 2008 01:25 am (UTC)
Buddhism and Entheogens
I think the notions of "clear mindedness" and "intoxication" that you're using are specific to your contemporary cultural conditioning and that many a devout practicing Buddhist closer in geography and history to the genesis of the Buddhist tradition would reject your conclusion.

This is really Jan Irvin's schtick, so I'll say no more. I've directed him to this thread, and if he weighs in, I'll attend with interest. If he doesn't, I suggest we agree to disagree on this topic.
(Deleted comment)
May. 13th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Buddhism and Entheogens
I can't directly speak to this conversation, and neither will my comment, but I thought of you last night reading Ralph Metzner's Ayahuasca: Human Consciousness and the Spirits of Nature.

On page 58 there's an essay by Cristina Santos, "We are Experiencing the Joyful Phenomenon of Re-creation" which briefly summarizes her past entheogen use which led to Vipassana which led to a decade of practice including abstinence from intoxicants, up to her meeting ayahuasca. Very interesting. Have you read it?
(Deleted comment)
May. 13th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Buddhism and Entheogens
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
May. 9th, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)
Re: YOUR Nick
I just checked the file, and it seems to be the right size. Perhaps your download got cut off before it was complete.

Thanks for letting me know, though.
May. 9th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
Re: YOUR Nick
Well, as long as it remains a fringe movement, I don't see much problem with it. In the unlikely event that it would become as popular as say Mormonism, I'd like to see them switch to the use of an ayhuasca analog that makes use of plants native to North America. I'd hate to see the ayhuasca vine and chacruna plant harvested on an industrial scale in the Amazon to supply the demands of a sizable collection of North American religions that incorporate the use of entheogens into their practices.
(Deleted comment)
May. 9th, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC)
Re: YOUR Nick
From a pharmacological perspective, yes, there are definitely North American plants that can serve as Ayhuasca Analogs. Whether these plants connect practitioners with the same "spirit" is a matter of some debate. I take no position on this question.
(Deleted comment)
May. 9th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
C stands for "consciousness."
I loved Jim DeKorne's book.

About watching what one eats when ingesting MAO inhibitors, one message I certainly hope comes through in the various podcasts that I've done on this topic is the stress I put on using these tools with consciousness and deliberate, discriminating, intent. That would definitely include remaining acutely aware of all of the foods one ingests in the days leading up to and following the ingestion of ayhuasca or an ayahuasca analog.

Edited at 2008-05-09 10:26 pm (UTC)
May. 13th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
What a great interview... I loved hearing AyasminA talk (she's so very well spoken!)

My main frustration with this episode comes down to this I think: instead of just tearing down incorrect notions, how about also giving us something positive and helpful to replace them with? Ok, "ayahuasca is not a quick fix"... so how should we approach it? Where is the line between fostering conscious choices and simply spreading FUD?

This podcast, as well as conversations in other places, bring up a question I wonder about: does ayahuasca put us in touch with something universal or not? I tend to learn toward the impression that it does, which clears up a lot of potential concerns for me. When I hear folks bringing up concerns such as AyasminA's mention of cultural barriers, I wonder what that means about ayahuasca itself.

As to dealing with the experience and its aftermath, AyasminA left me wanting more.

She says that "if dark stuff comes up" we need effective "modalities or method to clear it"... part of me wants to put this back in the shaman's lap; I mean, that's why we're going to Peru right? That's part of the shaman's job, right, to help guide us through those moments. And hopefully we've done our homework and we're going someplace like the Temple of the Way of Light and not drinking with some stranger we meet on the street.

Another part of me wants more from AyasminA though: what do you mean? What types of modalities or methods might we want to familiarize ourselves with before coming to ayahuasca?

She also talks about integration, that we need a means to "solidify and reinforce" what we learn from our visionary experiences. What means? Don't just point out how unprepared we might be; help point us in the right direction.

Fascinating discussion on alcohol and marijuana. In a piece in the Ayahuasca Reader, an indigenous person tells an anthropologist that in a pinch, a shaman can use alcohol rather than ayahuasca to access a trance state from which to do healing, but that it isn't as good.

One thing I'm curious about is the bristling at anything that even seems like prohibition. I am not a fan of prohibition at all, and on the other hand I have a very difficult time mustering sympathy for cultures of excess and/or people who can't abstain when needed.

AyasminA seemed to spend a lot of time talking about how pot and ayahuasca might work ok together in some ways, but eventually got around to speaking the truth that it can be difficult to put pot away for a while. And as Matt P. said in Episode 93 about meat and alcohol, if you're using something so much that putting it away for two months/21 days/etc seems impossible, perhaps our use has been "too much".

I found it most interesting that her qualification of pot use needing to be "sparingly, ritually, in small doses" pretty much excludes most of the pot users I know. Just as she points out that in the West another word for alcohol is "spirits", I would point out that another name for pot here is "chronic". Much of cannabis culture seems to celebrate excess and not paying attention to one's body or the lessons of the plant.

So if pot is a Master teacher plant, then isn't much of cannabis culture in the States extremely ignorant and disrespectful?

When I contrast that with any element of "prejudice", "control", or "ignorance" on the part of South American shamans, the attitudes of the latter seem to be the least of our worries. Perhaps the shamans are not responding to marijuana itself so much as the common attitudes and patterns around it.

Also, and perhaps it's lack of experience on my part, but I would like information/comment on something else: most cannabis users I see/hear/read about treat marijuana as a neutral add-on (rather than a Master Teacher in her own right) to just about any experience. Why is this? Is it simply part of the aforementioned cultures of excess?

Edited at 2008-05-13 08:06 pm (UTC)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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