“At the deepest level, our consciousness is what we are—to the extent that if we are not sovereign over our own consciousness then we cannot in any meaningful sense be sovereign over anything else either.” – Graham Hancock
There are quite a few polarizing issues in the world, which are extremely misunderstood. There is also a lot of disinformation out there as well. There are over 300,000 different species of plants on the earth that we know of, but only a chosen few have the ability to alter our state of consciousness. The different states can vary from relaxation to cracking open the proverbial head and allowing one to experience the vastness of the cosmos as we know it. Some fear these plants, some use them blindly, but I feel there should be a certain level of respect for these teacher or wizard plants. Timothy Leary coined the term “set and setting”. The “set” is the state of mind one brings to the trip, and its factors include, current state of mind, previous experiences, and mood. The “setting” refers to the surrounding events and time. These include other’s present, location, and time of day. Set and setting show how using these wizard plants under different circumstances can produce different results. Not all wizards are created equal. A bit of cannabis can ease you into a calming state and open one to think in a different perspective about the ideas of the world around them, or taking a few grams of psilocybin mushrooms can take you down great depths of confusion and / or understanding about yourself and the nature of reality itself.
Ayahuasca has been used for generations by indigenous people in rainforest areas. Called the vine of souls, it can be a quite painful experience on the body with the common purging that comes with it. The end-game of the trip is to find out important (and sometime life-changing) insights about yourself. Iboga is another quite extreme plant that can give a harrowing journey to the user. The Iboga plant has been used ritually in Africa since at least the nineteenth century, perhaps much earlier. There are several contemporary Iboga churches such as the Bwiti which use Iboga as a visionary sacrament and initiation tool. It breaks down the users body and mind for at least 24 hours. It is so powerful that it is used and has a high success rate for opiate addiction therapy
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is currently doing research and clinical trials on these wizard plants and putting data to the idea that has been around a long time, that there are beneficial properties of these and other plants. It is a shame that there is limited access, or rather virtually no legal access to these plants, but great strides are being made in the information age. It is getting harder to propagandize due to the unprecedented access to information. Some great works of art, science, philosophy, and music have been inspired from use. Not to mention that large numbers of people could benefit from the use of these plants as entheogens, introducing people to spiritual experiences, reducing pain and suffering due to isolation, by the irresistible realization that each of us is a small part of something much greater than any of us, that separateness is an illusion, there is nothing to fear, and love is accessible, shame can be left permanently behind, and rites of passage that could be responsibly organized, could benefit everyone. You can check out our conversation with Brad Burge of Maps in Episode 9. Great information and education can be found through www.maps.org and www.erowid.org on these plants. The best way to bring awareness to this is to talk openly. And don’t take my word for it… Research for yourself.