Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park

“We have to stop consuming our culture. We have to create culture. Don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are NOW is the most immediate sector of your universe. And if you’re worrying about Michael Jackson, or Bill Clinton, or somebody else then you’re disempowered, you’re giving it all away to icons. Icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shitbrained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you, and your friends, and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we’re told: ‘No. We’re unimportant. We’re peripheral. Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that, and then you’re a player.’ You don’t even want to play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.”

Terrence McKenna (via marsnebelwald)

Yes!

(Source: listo)

badassmonkeyfighter:

“This is not a pipe” \ The treachery of images (La trahison des images) by René Magritte

badassmonkeyfighter:

This is not a pipe” \ The treachery of images (La trahison des images) by René Magritte

“Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary.”
Henry David Thoreau (via forest-monarchy)

(Source: seabois)

ventusetmare asked: Thanks for the reblog! :)

Anytime.  Please keep writing.

Very nice long-read analysis of the current controversy surrounding the recently-“banned” TED talk I posted last week and another which I have not yet viewed.  I put the word in quotations because, due to conflicting reports, it’s unclear to me the intentions of Chris Anderson and the TED organization, and I have not followed the whole situation.  All that is clear to me is that it seems as though at some point someone wanted to stifle these talks in some capacity — which is totally uncool.  Hopefully a positive side-effect of this row will be increased public awareness of the existence of alternate states of consciousness.  

Some of the sources are a bit sketchy but it’s passionate and well-argued and it’s fucking Tumblr. Very good work.  Please follow the OP.

Allow me to list another valuable resource for more information on this fascinating subject: 

http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/ayahuasca/ayahuasca.shtml

ventusetmare:

“Thanks TED, for giving Mother Ayahuasca her big break! :)”

Let me start by saying that, as suggested by the “Mother” in front of “Ayahuasca”, this is a post that disagrees with TED and supports Graham Hancock. If you’re curious as to why, good! Curiosity is great. So keep an open mind… and read on.

My two-cents (more like 2 bucks) on the TED/Hancock debate:

Mother Aya: from http://shamanism.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/caspi-maman-mother-of-the-trees-by-pablo-amaringo/

There has been a heated debate going on online regarding writers Graham Hancock, Rupert Sheldrake and the TED organization (behind TEDTalks). In this post, I’ll be focusing on Hancock’s talk on the “War on Consciousness” as I’m much more familiar with his subject. Hancock, amongst a few things, talks about Ayahuasca and the psilocybin mushroom (links at the end of the post). The talk became popular on YouTube quickly reaching 130,000 views. Since it went live in January, the talk gathered hundreds of comments and drew the attention of spiritual-seekers and atheist’s bloggers alike.

Recently, the video was taken down from the TEDx YouTube channel, along with all the original comments. TED’s mysterious Scientific Board (nobody really knows who it is comprised of) labeled both talks as “pseudo-science”, and therefore, they arbitrarily decided they were NOT “ideas worth spreading.” Hancock responded in detail to every one of TED’s accusations, along with questions of his own. But TED curators provided nothing more than a red herring response.

TED’s founder and head curator, Chris Anderson, has personally engaged on the debate on TED’s blog but so far has provided nothing more than, in my opinion, hollow, deflective, and even disrespectful comments directed at Hancock as well as TED fans who happen to disagree with TED and support Hancock on this debate. For instance, he once suggested that “the hordes” of Hancock supporters should “calm down a little.” Not really the eloquent and professional response you may expect from the founder of TED.

For many fans of TEDTalks, this has been a huge disappointment. As suggested in a comment on TED’s blog, our disappointment mainly comes from our romantic view of what we hoped TED was - an uncorrupted, boundary-pushing global platform for the spreading of the most powerful and innovative ideas that have the potential to propel the human kind forward. As it turns out, TED might just be like any big corporation out there. As popular and far-reaching as they are, they might have to answer to a few sponsors and institutions that at the end of the day, are unfortunately interested in maintaining the status quo.

Our disappointment also stems from the hypocrisy and contradiction of projecting themselves in one way, and acting in another. As it has been pointed out in the active conversation happening on TED’s blog right now, after noticing the popularity of these talks on YouTube and the conversations happening in the comment box, instead of removing them from YouTube, TED curators could’ve done two simple things to avoid this whole mess: first, they could’ve changed the category of the talks from Science to Global Issues or another more appropriate category if the claims made by the presenters were based on “bad science” (as TED defines it). Second, they could’ve added a simple disclaimer stating that “the opinions and views of the presenters do not necessarily reflect those of the TED network.” Instead, they chose censorship.

As many others have also pointed out, there are numerous other TEDTalks, some of which are quite popular, that would have to be censored as well if held to the same “good science” standards that caused these two specific talks to be removed.

On another note, it’s impossible to miss Hancock’s photos of big corporations like Redbull and Starbucks and his reference to drugs mass-produced by “Big Pharma” during his presentation. He compares our socially-accepted, often destructive, alternative states of consciousness induced by pharmaceutical drugs, alcohol, coffee, and sugar, to currently socially-unacceptable, often healing, alternative states of consciousness induced by psylocibin and Ayahuasca.

It doesn’t take a conspiracy-nut to wonder if maybe, just maybe, the spreading of Hancock’s message on such a powerful platform like TED poses a lil’ too much threat to the core beliefs that are keeping the current system in place. After all, for those of us who have experienced it, a world where Ayahuasca is globally legalized, studied by mainstream science and taken seriously by mainstream society, is undoubtedly a VERY different world from the one we have today.



Metaphor # 1:

Let’s pretend the TED organization happened to be around in the 16th-century. Their mission was to organize “Agoras” all over Europe. Let’s say Nicolas Copernicus, Johannes Keppler, or Galileo Galilei happened to give a TEDx talk on heliocentrism. Based on the recent events, is it reasonable for us to assume that no matter how forward-thinking and revolutionary the idea of the sun being the centre of our solar system might be, TED curators would have stopped printing transcripts of the talk and spreading it with the public as soon as they realized the potential consequences of being affiliated with such a controversial subject?

Fearing the judgement of mainstream scientific minds and the masses of the time, would TED curators maybe move on to dismiss the idea as “pseudo-science” and “pseudo-astronomy”? Would they maybe leave one single record of the idea tucked away somewhere on their vast library, so as to protect themselves from the accusation of censorship by the minority of supporters of a heliocentric view of the world? What ya think?

But going back to the debate again, it has made me realize how quickly Ayahuasca is spreading around the globe. It seems like sooner than later we might reach a point where a significant part of society will have experienced it, or another kind of entheogen (psychoactive substances used in a religious, shamanic, spiritual, or healing context). I don’t think the majority will experience it anytime soon, but maybe a significant part, significant enough to reach a tipping point (of course, this is me being very optimistic about the near future).

But knowing the deep transformational nature of these experiences first-hand, I do believe that as more and more people are exposed to these ideas and more and more people decide to experience it for themselves, more will begin to stand behind these substances and more will be willing to fight for the fundamental, inalienable human right to expand our consciousness and heal ourselves.



Nonetheless, the reality is that us freedom-of-consciousness fighters will continue to share the planet with those on the other side of the “psychedelic fence” (dibs on the term) - those who never had such experiences, either for lack of awareness, interest, or bravery, and who will never truly understand our side of the story. These people will remain unable to fully grasp how incredibly limited their so called “orthodox scientific views of the world” are in comparison to the true reality of the universe, a reality that is opened up to us through sometimes beautiful, sometimes scary, but nonetheless, intensely real, entheogenic experiences.

Experiences that yes, often allow us to access different levels of dimensions and connect with different kinds of beings, and that yes, very often allow us to deeply heal ourselves, our traumas, and our addictions, in ways that no pharmaceutical drug or typical therapy even comes close to. Sensory, visionary, paranormal, spiritual, transformational, mind-blowing, healing, life-changing experiences (not opinions) that leave absolutely NO doubt in our minds that there is SO much more to this world than meets the eye (or that science has had a sincere interest in exploring).

ALEX GREY - Meditation

And for those who have expressed on TED’s blog a strong opinion about the lack of study and research on the claimed positive effects and healing power of psychedelic, entheogenic experiences, well, maybe you haven’t used Google to its full potential? Below are a few juicy resources just to get your started. How far you go down the rabbit-hole of information is up to you.
 But remember – no amount of reading can ever compare to actually experiencing first-hand what the readings are talking about.

That’s what’s cool about shamanism - unlike most organized religions, there’s no book or head guru telling you how the world works, what is real and not real, what you should and shouldn’t believe in, and how you should and shouldn’t act. In these shamanic entheogenic ceremonies, you get to experience the deep, naked, profound reality of your existence for yourself. All the shaman does is guide and facilitate the experience to make sure you stay safe and get as much out of it as possible. Anyway, here, have fun:

So anyway, I think the issue with TED censoring these talks has made a rapidly increasing division of modern society very clear. To us on this side of the “psychedelic fence”, the deep frustration comes from knowing that a handful of people who happen to have the incredible power of choosing which ideas will be propagated through such a wide-reaching platform like TED are able to dismiss Hancock’s talk as an idea NOT worth spreading without ever having experienced anything he talked about.

Seriously, how could anyone truly have such a strong opinion about the validity of the effects of an experience without viscerally experiencing it first-hand? How could they simply intentionally undermine these kinds of experiences when they have been claimed by so many people to have extremely powerful healing effects? How is any idea related to the profound healing of our species NOT an idea worth spreading, especially in times like these???



You can see our frustration…

Total Confusion by Tamra Davisson.jpg

Metaphor # 2:



Let’s take a minute to imagine a dystopian futuristic world where humans no longer sleep due to pills and bio-technology mass-produced by corporations to keep us awake and working 24/7. Hundreds of years go by and humans eventually forget what sleep is and, consequently, what dreaming is too. Generation after generation, our need for, memory of, and any knowledge related to sleeping and dreaming are intentionally wiped out of our minds.

Then one day, an archaeologist finds the ruins of an ancient pharmacy. He finds a bottle of something called melatonin. He reads on the back of the bottle that melatonin is not an artificial substance as it naturally occurs in our bodies at night to help humans “fall asleep.” He doesn’t know what that means, but his curiosity gets the best of him and he courageously decides to take a few pills to see what happens. Within half an hour, he’s sleeping for the first time in his life. He then experiences intense vivid dreams, full of visions and insights about his childhood and relationships, about his self and his life and the nature of the universe. When he wakes up, he’s so completely transformed by this unique and profound experience that he rushes to tell his family about it. But to his disappointment and frustration, they don’t believe him.



See - they cannot understand what sleep is. They cannot grasp the idea of closing their eyes for a long period of time, having their alert, awakened minds turn off, and seeing visions of the past, present, and future flash behind their eye lids. The concept is way too distant from their reality. So because they have never experienced anything like it, they have no reason to believe dreaming is even possible. They think the dreamer has gone mad or is trying to pull some kind of trick on them for his own selfish purposes. But the dreamer knows in every single cell in his body that he has experienced something real. There’s just no way he can deny the reality of what has happened to him. And the whole time, all he’s saying is: “Here - try it for yourself, you’ll know what I mean.”



taken from: http://a4.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/19/730293e9f37a9a75729d8a40955fbb12/l.jpg

But his family doesn’t want to go to sleep. They’re too busy being awake. And truthfully, most are too absorbed in their own self-righteousness to entertain the idea they might be wrong. Some are actually scared, some don’t have the time, some just don’t care. Regardless of their motives or lack of knowledge, they all agree on disagreeing with the dreamer. They actually believe they don’t need to try any pill to know that the dreamer is wrong. Yep, that is their logic - they don’t even need to try it because they just “know” that what he’s talking about is not possible.

However, no matter how strongly they hold on to their beliefs, at the end of the day, they ARE wrong. Because in reality, dreaming and sleeping ARE possible, and the dreamer DID experience them. And even if the idea that sleeping and dreaming don’t exist is defended by the majority of people in that world, that doesn’t make them simply stop existing. And the dreamer knows that, because, again, he experienced them first-hand. So unless anybody in his family decides to take a stand, disagree with all the other family members, and give their brother dreamer the benefit of the doubt - unless they decide to give this damn pill a try, they will never, ever truly understand what the heck he’s talking about. They will die thinking he was crazy, or a liar. And the dreamer will die knowing they were wrong.



Now all you have to do to make the story above a direct metaphor for today’s world is replace melatonin for another naturally-occurring substance: DMT, which, yes, is also found in our bodies (it’s actually what makes us dream), as well as in most animals and plants on Earth, and of course, in Ayahuasca and other entheogens. Then you replace dreaming and sleeping with the profound “awakening” and healing that happens during entheogenic experiences, replace the dreamer with all those who have experienced this “awakening” and healing first-hand, and replace the dreamer’s family with the majority of contemporary society who hasn’t had such experiences.

Guess what human family: no matter how strongly you believe that what Hancock and so many of us are talking about is nothing more than “pseudo-science”, that does not make any of our experiences less real, profound, and potentially Earth-saving. Which is why, as you can tell, many of us are so passionately engaged in this debate and determined to defend the fact that the entheogenic experience IS an idea worth spreading. We have learned from history that what mainstream science tells us to believe is not always right. And based on our own experiences, we know that if you don’t take the “pill” at some point in your lifetime, yes, you might die thinking we’re “cuckoos”. But we’ll die knowing you’re wrong.

From: http://www.spiritvine.net/ayahuasca-retreats/77/11-Exploring-the-Afterlife

Clearly, a lot of people are upset that their beloved TED has censored Hancock’s and Sheldrake’s talks. Some because they’re “dreamers” and they understand the importance of those ideas at a deeper level. Others because they simply oppose censorship and dislike how TED chose to act as a gatekeeper of what seems like controversial, yet interesting information. I was very disappointed too, but I’m beginning to feel VERY optimistic about the situation. I’m beginning to think that this whole thing will strongly work out in our favour (by our I mean humanity’s favour).



Based on the extent of the debate that is going on, we can see that huge numbers of people are being exposed to these ideas for the first time. And let’s remember that a lot of these people are very intelligent, wisdom-seeking people - they are avid TEDTalk watchers after all. So this seems like Ayahuasca’s much-anticipated “big break” into mainstream society (after being so poorly depicted and made a joke of in Hollywood’s “Wanderlust”).

In the past few years, La Medicina (the medicine) has rapidly worked its way through underground veins all the way from the Amazon to the majority of the western world. It has been introduced to mainstream culture by people like Dr. Gabor Mate, a doctor from Vancouver who made a compelling documentary about treating his substance-addicted patients with Ayahuasca. Now that I think of it, it’s interesting how CBC, a Canadian Government-owned and operated communications company, was open to featuring Mate’s documentary on a reputable scientific program called “The Nature of Things” hosted by respected Canadian academic, science broadcaster, and environmental activist David Suzuki - meanwhile, TED, an organization founded on the principle of “ideas worth spreading” arbitrarily decided Ayahuasca is just not one of them.

In other words, it’s been a long time coming for Mother Ayahuasca. Though this is only a fraction of the attention this topic deserves, if we choose to be optimistic, don’t let the conversation fade away, and begin to address the very serious issues of the global popularization of Ayahuasca, this break might be the beginning of something big.

However, I must note that I also once heard a shaman say, “Ayahuasca is for everybody. But not everybody is for Ayahuasca.” If you’re reading about all this for the first time, it’s important to mention that Ayahuasca is not recommended for those who experience or are genetically-inclined to suffer from certain mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and psychosis and physical ailments such as chronic heart conditions and severe high blood pressure. Entheogens are also not meant to be used recklessly and recreationally, as Hancock pointed out in his talk. Their mission with humanity goes way beyond making us “trip.”

So if you decide to try Ayahuasca, it’s extremely important that you do so in a safe environment with experienced and qualified shamans to guide you. As some of you may know, a tragedy happened last year when a 19-year-old wisdom-seeking American boy named Kyle Nolan passed away in a Ayahuasca retreat center in Peru. As events unfolded, it was discovered that the shaman had seriously unethical shamanic practices. He was known to mix other powerful plants in the Ayahuasca brew, which some people are very sensitive to and which might have been the cause of the teen’s death, and allow people to go out into the forest on their own during a ceremony without being supervised, which should never, ever happen.

But hey, truth is, if you’re curious about participating in an Ayahuasca ceremony, you may not even need to travel to South America to experience it. If you live on a developed country, chances are people are gathering somewhere to expand their consciousness and heal themselves with the brew. If you really look for the tribe, I’m sure you’ll find them.

Alex Grey's Net of Being

Going back to the debate, I also think that the extremely poor manner in which TED and its curators are dealing with this whole thing is not helping their cause at all. As mentioned before, many of Chris Anderson’s comments have been laced with cynicism and an air of superiority over Hancock and those who support him. And may I call some attention to his profile on TED’s website? (http://www.ted.com/speakers/chris_anderson_ted.html) The page headline reads: “Why You Should Listen to Him.” But after reading his bio, I find nothing that compels me to listen to anything he has to say. All the bio really says is that he’s an educated, successful businessman - as if we don’t already have enough of those.

Plus, note how he highlights the fact that he’s a graduate of Oxford with a degree in philosophy. Does that mean TED is implying that an Oxford degree makes someone worth listening to? I was under the impression that evolutionary critical thinkers (such as TED presenter Sir Ken Robinson) agree that our education system is outdated and merely a tool to perpetuate our broken systems. Or is TED maybe implying that Chris is a philosopher? In that case, based on my limited knowledge of philosophy, I believe that judging a controversial but powerful idea as not worth being “affiliated with” without having ever experienced it, does not seem like something a good philosopher would do.

I don’t mean to criticize the guy so much, but hey, I truly feel like he’s downplaying not only TED’s mistake in censoring the talks, but also the importance of these topics to so many people. Yes, TED has been an awesome platform thus far, so huge kudos to Chris. I just expected to feel a lot more passion for our world’s urgent need for revolutionary ideas in the biography of the founder of such a game-changing organization like TED.
.. After reading it a few times, I still can’t figure out his “why.”

But hey, being the optimist that I am, I hope to read on the news some day soon that Chris has taken off on a trip to Peru. And we all know what tourists do when they go to Peru these days. ;)

From National Geographic: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/0603/features/peru.html

Metaphor # 3:

Instead of a dystopian futuristic world, my third metaphor is about the past. So let’s imagine that one day an Apple Genius develops an app that allows him to travel back in time.

Imagine if the Genius showed up in a small village in 15th-century England (times of witch-hunt) with an iPhone in his hand. Now, picture this Genius trying to tell the villagers, including any “scientists” of the time, that his iPhone is NOT a work of witchcraft. Or imagine him swearing in an “archaic court” that his strange device is developed based on technological knowledge and hard scientific facts - not demonic practices. I honestly think there’s no way he’d convince them. Right? Think about it.

The iPhone is so far from the reality of their time that they cannot accept it to be anything “scientific”. He offers to explain exactly how the phone is built and to teach them all the scientific knowledge they have not yet discovered, but nope, they don’t want to listen. They’re not ready for it, their 15th-century minds can’t wrap their heads around it. And because they can’t understand it, they’re scared. Plus, of course, as a result of the commonly shared values of their time regarding the existence of witchcraft, they all agree that the metal-looking black thing the Genius is carrying is nothing more than a voodoo doll of some kind. So they burn the him alive in the town’s square, and the crowd cheers as his allegedly evil iPhone 5 is thrown in the pit fire too.

Let’s explore this metaphor further. Let’s replace 15-century England with present times. And let’s replace the iPhone with a Panacean Pandora’s Box (fancy I know, but makes sense - click on the words if you don’t get it right away) - inside of it, an enchantingly beautiful, mystical-looking book describing all the knowledge and wisdom accumulated by every single human being who has ever experimented with entheogens throughout the past thousands of years (including spiritual leaders of several ancient civilizations that had some kind of psychedelic magic potion to induce an alternative state of consciousness, as also noted by Hancock during his talk).

Now, let’s give the box to, let’s say, a bunch of generals in a North Korean Army in the present day. Yep, I know making stereotypical generalizations is tricky, but seriously: based on common knowledge of the conditioned ideological beliefs of the North Korean government, chances are that no matter how powerful the book may be, no matter how many transformational accounts of experiences they read, no matter how many different people of different backgrounds, countries, and epochs, swear on the validity, reality, and profoundness of their experiences, there’s a good chance the generals will still not “get it”.



Again, the ideas being presented are too far from their reality. They’re too distant from their world-view, from their perception of self, life, and their limited understanding of the universe. Now, science would say, “Well, but that’s just a book. The generals are right - you can’t confirm the reality of anything based on a book.” And sure, science is right. However, let’s remember that the book inside this Panacean Pandora’s Box is not just talking about something that only happened in a distant past and is not happening right now, like the parting of the sea or humans walking on water. The book is not filled with metaphorical tales, but with accounts of actual experiences that have happened in the past and are still happening today.

Technically-speaking, villagers of 15th-century England could have built an iPhone back then, as the necessary raw materials already existed and the laws of chemistry and physics were the same. But, going back to our metaphor, even if a unique opportunity presented itself to move civilization forward, chances are the villagers would choose not to listen to the weird blue-shirt-wearing time-traveling Genius. And because the Genius knows his life depends on him convincing the villagers of what he knows to be true, he’d likely testify passionately to the veracity of his claims. This unwavering commitment to his position would make the villagers feel uncomfortable, since they understand so little about what he’s proclaiming. He’s too different and his ideas are too radical.

If you follow what I’m saying, the Genius is Hancock. His passion for and knowledge about the subject of Ayahuasca are so evident during his presentation that those who cannot grasp what he’s talking about end up dismissing him as a lil’ too eccentric (or, as TED claims, a “pseudo-scientist”).

But how can you not be passionate about something that has so profoundly changed your life, something that you know has the potential of shifting the course humanity is on, something that has been suppressed for too long by scientific and societal dogmas and that desperately needs to be brought to the discussion table?

Nobody likes to feel stupid by admitting that others know something they don’t. So when a person is so passionate about a subject that others have no knowledge of, many tend to reflexively protect their current beliefs rather than consciously embrace a beginner’s mindset of curious inquiry. Scientists researching social-neuroscience have argued that:

“Specific neurons and neurotransmitters such as NOREPINEPHIRNE trigger a defensive state when we feel that our thoughts have to be protected from the influence of others. If we’re then confronted with differences in opinion, the chemicals that are released in the brain are the same ones that try to ensure our survival in dangerous situations. In this defensive state, the more primitive part of the brain interferes with rational thinking and the limbic system can knock out most of our working memory physically causing narrow-mindedness. We see this in the politics of fear, in the strategy of poker-players, or simply when someone is stubborn in a discussion. No matter how valuable an idea is, the brain has trouble processing it when it’s in such a state. On a neural leval, our brain reacts as if we’re being threatened even if this threat comes from harmless opinions or facts that we may otherwise find helpful and could rationally agree with.”

In my humble opinion, Hancock’s subject can’t be compared with most TED topics. As innovative and important as they are individually, they don’t collective address the fundamental issue/illness/illusion that our species seems to be suffering from, a huge part of which is our disconnection from the natural world and each other, which, surprise, surprise, is the main wound that Ayahuasca seems to heal through the transformational experiences Hancock is talking about.

So yeah, our Genius would likely be burned alive… Not because he was wrong, but because the implications of the villagers accepting his ideas as true meant they would have to challenge all of their core beliefs on society, life, and the universe. They’d have to embrace being wrong. And oh boy, isn’t that a LOT of work!

“Let’s just continue believing in geocentrism and evil witchcraft, shall we?,” thought the masses at times during our civilization’s history. “It’s just SO much easier.”



As you can tell, when discussing topics that I truly believe in, I find that metaphors are a great way to “capture” those who disagree - capture in the sense of at least planting in their mind a simple seed of curiosity. With a lil’ watering and “light nourishment,” a well-planted seed can grow, enabling people to see how it’s impossible “to know what we don’t know.” Or, in this case, the seed might help grow the idea that one cannot have a strong opinion on the effects and implications of an experience without actually experiencing it first-hand or at the very least, rigorously researching and testing its impact on others.

Okay, I’m almost done. I guess what I’m saying here is if you’ve never been exposed to the ideas that Hancock discussed but agree with Socrates when he said, “The more I learn, the more I learn how little I know” then you can humbly recognize you lack the experiential knowledge required in order to form a valid opinion on the subject. If so, you can deepen your knowledge through either research or experience. If, that is, you see the value in using the “existing raw materials to build your very own iPhone in the midst of a modern-day witch-hunt.” Which can really happen if you’re willing to open the Panacean Pandora’s Box. Or jump over the “psychedelic fence.” Or travel to South America and drink a cup of an awfully tasting brew made of two Amazonian plants prepared by a native shaman whose gentle appearance highly contrasts his timeless, universal wisdom.

The LAST metaphor:

A cup of Ayahuasca is kinda like the red pill offered to Neo by Morpheus, the one that would allow him to escape from the Matrix and enter the “real world”. So my final question is: How far are you willing to go in order to truly grasp what Hancock is talking about and to prove or disprove for yourself the validity of his claims?

Well, if you never, ever want to drink Ayahuasca or have any other kind of entheogenic experience, that’s cool. But then you won’t be able to contribute much value to the discussion. Simple as that. In that case, my suggestion is: close your mouth and open your mind (and ears). Listen and learn from those who ARE willing to drink the cup. They have brought and continue to bring back amazing information that you’d otherwise never know if it weren’t for their bravery in exploring the mysteries of the mind. The revolution of consciousness might not be televised – but it is being very well documented.

To conclude, as someone who has experienced the healing of Ayahuasca first-hand and who knows numerous others who also have, I’d like to take a second to thank TED (that was my catchy title after all). Yes, thank you TED. Really. Your decision to remove the talks from YouTube and the  surprisingly disappointing manner in which your curators have dealt with the issue so far have attracted so much more attention to the talks. And as you can tell by the quality of the discussion and the passion of the debate going on, those really ARE ideas worth spreading.



- Camila :)

@camitheseeker



 

LINKS to Sheldrake’s and Hancock’s talks & more:

PS: Some of the images used on this post don’t have credits. I found them somewhere on the vast world wide web. If you know who the artist is, please let me know so I can add the proper credits.

by Parablev: http://parablev.deviantart.com/art/All-We-Want-To-Be-Are-Dreamers-171005581

Mirrors

You hold your eyes like brown mirrors

Peering portals into essence and

I wear your cognizance in layers or,

More likely, it strips me

As I dance, naked, in your irises


When we are apart, your eyes lay behind mine or

Sheathed in styrene and glass;

Pulsing voltaic silhouettes in either case


The mirror frosts and shaving becomes difficult.

Every day I miss a spot until I am a bearded chimera, and

No one can see my face


Occasionally, during the Night,

In a clear glass,

I reflect in relief.

A somnial sublimation?

Hair flowing freely in long golden locks,

Skin pure and white.

Though I cannot see you,

You are behind this mirror too

(Source: Colin Gelinas)