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Thread: When Plants Dream

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    When Plants Dream

    I've never done ayahuasca, and don't intend to. Nonetheless, it has had quite an influence on folks' spiritual lives. Daniel Pinchbeck writes about entheogenic compounds.



    During the last decades, a visionary medicine escaped from the Amazon, spreading like a fast-moving vine across our globalised world. The growing popularity of ayahuasca is part of greater psychedelic renaissance—a new exploration of the visionary and healing properties of a class of compounds once deemed to hold extraordinary promise, then demonised for contributing to the radical turbulence of the 1960s. I was an “early adaptor” to this new phase of experimentation. I have enjoyed a front row seat, witnessing the psychedelic movement as it rapidly grows, iterates, and evolves.
    In 2002, I published my first book, Breaking Open the Head, on my personal and cultural exploration of psychedelic shamanism. Before writing that book, I was a journalist and magazine editor immersed in Manhattan’s media, art, and literary worlds. After a number of years writing about contemporary art and other subjects for magazines like The New York Times Magazine, Wired, Esquire, ArtForum, and so on, I fell into a dank, miserable spiritual crisis.
    I had been raised as a secular materialist who assumed that consciousness was purely an epiphenomenon caused by an accident of evolution, limited to the brain. I therefore assumed that there was no possibility of any kind of experience after death. There could be no such thing as a soul or spirit that existed beyond the physical plane. Everyone I knew in the media and cultural worlds shared this assumption.
    I began to realise that this underlying belief induced collective nihilism and despair that we rarely acknowledged. Our innate sense of spiritual emptiness and meaninglessness was reflected in how we were treating each other as well as the environment. Why would we care to protect the Earth’s fragile ecosystems for future generations if life was inherently senseless and ended in total annihilation, in any case?
    When Plants Dream is a journalistic investigation of the ongoing ayahuasca explosion. The vine continues to spread across the world, extending its tendrils into communities across Europe, South Africa, Japan, India, and many other countries. I coauthored the book with Sophia Rokhlin, an anthropologist who is program coordinator at The Chaikuni Institute, a nonprofit in Peru that supports local indigenous communities to sustainably grow and harvest ayahuasca. One of the negative outcomes of ayahuasca’s skyrocketing popularity is the increasing scarcity of the banisteriopsis caapi vines in the Amazon. It takes three to seven years for the ayahuasca vine to reach a point where it can be harvested, and over ten years for it to truly reach maturity. Western tourists have poured into the region seeking spiritual gnosis or healing, often heedless of their impact on local cultures or ecosystems. This has led to a predictable overconsumption of the plant, which becomes increasingly difficult to find in the jungle.
    One thing that ayahuasca can teach us is that we grow spiritually by undergoing difficult initiations and confronting our shadow material. As we clear away layers of personal and societal trauma, we can make ourselves available as vehicles assisting the larger process of collective transformation. Rather than dreading this, we can accept it as a great opportunity.
    More here.

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    Thanks.

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    Daniel came onto Aeon Byte radio last week.

    Rising accounts of extraterrestrial encounters indicate that something momentous is happening across society. Even the mainstream media have started reporting on the sightings from military pilots around the world. Are we being observed and visited by beings from another planet or a different space-time dimension? Is this just mass projection or some big reveal coming from some faction? We deal with all these questions from various angles that include scientific, spiritual and psychological – tapping into the ideas of impactful thinkers like Richard Dolan, John Lamb Lash, Carl Jung, Rudolph Steiner, Patrick Harpur, and more.

    Astral Guest – Daniel Pinchbeck, author of The Occult Control System: UFOs, aliens, other dimensions, and future timelines.

    As a bonus, Scott Smith, author of God Reconsidered, joins us for a Trimorphic Paranoia, sharing his ideas and experiences on UFOs, including the possibility it’s all the Archons.

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    our abilities are not suppressed, some are more prominent in the wiring of the individual brain. I would suggest that he has 'less wiring' than others and either by design or coincidence psychedelic substances act on those centers of wiring. A shaman would be on the opposite side of the spectrum, an individual with a great deal of wiring and the cumulative effect of the psychoactives have a commensurate effect on the individual brain. It makes sense...his grandmother wouldn't let him 'visit' certain spiritual arenas. Maybe, or maybe the natural effect of the plant doesn't enhance his native abilities enough to let him get there and his interpretation is that his grandmother is holding him back. Possibly because 'he couldn't handle the truth, I can dig that...
    "We are one thought away from changing the world!"

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