Saturday, July 05, 2008

A Quick Note on Intent

On a forum I sometimes post on there has been a raging and boring debate recently regarding whether the forum should permit discussion of plants other than ayahuasca, or whether by sticking only to ayahuasca the DEA will be less likely to begin coming down on people for it. I've stayed out of the debate because, as noted, it's boring. But then this afternoon, the fellow who started that debate suggested that ayahuasca was, in the end, only a plant, not a plant spirit, and that its power came from the chemicals it had within the plants used in its brewing.
I couldn't disagree more.
And here is what I wrote in response to such poppycock:

I believe when you say it is only a plant you are not recognizing that plants have will, desire, intent and soul--however one defines soul. I think stones do as well, as do tea cups and lampshades and everything else in this universe and probably a million other universes as well. Just because we cannot communicate with a lampshad--or at least I can't yet--doesn't mean it doesn't have a life spirit. And plants, in particular, have life spirits that allow them to put out 5-foot root sections in very short order when a riverbank falls away and they begin to topple. That indicates will to live. Intent. Desire.
Harder to see that in a desk, I know, but still, just the fact that whatever made that desk or went into making it has its beginning at the very beginning of time, at the creation of the universe--just as you and I do--I'd think most anyone should give the desk the benefit of the doubt.
With ayahuasca, I don't think the chemicals have a darned thing to do with anything. Maybe they're good at the beginning when the colored lights begin to go on. But having done ayahuasca for a long time now, I often only need to smell it to have a full blown--I mean full blown--experience. I have had them at home without seeing or even smelling ayahuasca, and those are not flashbacks, those are push-forwards. My oldest son has had them and the last time he did was more than a year since he had done ayahuasca. Born in the Amazon, he of course was introduced to it as an infant, with a blessing of a drop on his crown; then later on his lips. And at 12 a full cup as is the custom of the locals in certain parts of northwestern Amazonia. But to have a full blown experience, a wonderful, healing experience out of the blue more than a year since his last experience...well, I'd be hard pressed to chalk that up to a very minor chemical present in minute doses in two ounces of something he drank in Peru a time ago. No, I attribute that to the will of the plant. And I think the plant never leaves you. I think once you have opened that door to those other worlds, it can never close again. It never should close again. And when the plant feels you need to learn something, well, I think the plant will willfully give it to you, whether you ingest it or not.
And that's a good thing because she's such a wonderful teacher.
As for her being feminine: Well, the vine is certainly considered feminine. And to balance that, the chacruna used, if done well, will all be male chacruna--identifiable by the tiny spikes on the back of the male chacruna leaf that the female doesn't have. So the medicine is both female and male, traditionally, though the vine is certainly female.
Maybe I'm wrong, of course, maybe plants don't have will or intent. But when you see a 60-foot tree get its footing on the riverbank torn away one night and you return the next day to see that that tree now has two 10-12 foot long root sections going out into the river and holding it up while the tree behind it has suddenly produced five branches that are sticking out forward and have wrapped themselves around the falling tree's trunk, well, that to me is will and intent and action based on intent. Just take a trip up any river in the Amazon. You won't see it happen but you will see that it happened. To me that's very obviously will to live, desire to live, will to help a friend and so forth.
So if you think ayahuasca is chemical in nature, I'll respectfully disagree.


Triche said...

Peter, you need to read, 'The Botany of Desire' by Michael Pollan. (I would lend you my copy, but I gave it to Todd.)

daisyduke said...

it's a perspective that many just cannot seem to wrap their heads around. They've stumbled into a black place, and forgotten their past (lives) and energies from all the agos they've lived.
Thank you for planting a seed of Intent in a way even the forgetful can begin to cultivate