Reflections on Ayahuasca, Psychedelics, Marijuana and a critical look at the Psychedelic Movement

Our curandero Pancho with his wife and daughter

In December of 2013 I visited the Peruvian jungle with two of my best friends. Spending time away from modern civilization deep in the rainforest has been healing and beautiful on one hand but also eye-opening and disturbing on the other hand. It’s the fourth time I’ve been to Peru. The last time was in 2007. The ponerization of society has reached even the most remote corners where the virus of “modern progress” has also infected that part of the world. Many people have this romantic view of exotic places like the Amazon and the natives who live there. The issue is not only the pathology of the modern world with its globalization, greed, and capitalism, but that many natives themselves actually want that life style in so many ways. It’s a bit ironic, some of us are trying to escape the modern world and the people living in what we see as “paradise” yearn for what we are trying to get away from. But it’s a clash and doesn’t fit.

It’s not black and white and there is much we can learn from these cultures and their traditions. I’ve certainly learned a lot and the insights I gained from working with ayahuasca, the “grandmother”, have been revealing and healing in many ways, but we need to get over this romanticizing. I see this a lot as well in the yoga community with people drawn to Eastern practices and philosophies which also have become very distorted over time, romanticizing India and that whole guru culture. Many people don’t question any of that. …

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