Monday, October 17, 2011

Somebody Asked...So Here's My Answer

Someone I don't know got hold of me today--not unusual--and suggested that if the ayahuasca dieta called for no salt or sugar--because the spirits are slightly repelled by those things, among others--then why do we need salt or sugar in real life when not on an ayahuasca dieta?
I answered the best I could. Maybe tomorrow I'd answer differently, but here's what I wrote:

Dear X: The human body needs salt. It retains the water in your system, keeping the fluids in your body inside your body. And good salt--I mean real sea salt, which is expensive--has a lot of trace minerals and so forth in it. Without enough water in your system, down goes the electrolyte system and then you can't think straight. Fruits and their natural sugars replenish those electrolytes--as, to a certain extent, does sea salt.
So, in a perfect world, you might get what you need salt-and-sugar-wise from eating fruits and, like a lot of Amazon indigenous, getting their salt from eating salt-heavy clay--just like a lot of US southerners eat a couple of handfuls of dirt now and then.
But we live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with information to all our senses and so we need much more salt/electrolytes/natural sugar than hunter/gatherers ever did. Most people on the river that I know, even now, work hard three/four hours daily and then don't work at all most days. Westerners like myself get up at 5 AM, read newspapers, feed animals, get kids ready for school, drive to school, get work done for 8-10 hours, go to the store, buy food, make food, feed kids, get laundry done and so forth--a reasonably full 16 hour day, 7 days a week most of the time. So our needs are simply different.
Now, you got to know that I eat maybe two burgers from Sonic a year. No fries or soft drinks ever. Fresh fish or mussels/scallops three times a week, a little chicken--maybe a thigh or a quarter of a large breast--a couple of times a week, and then beef maybe once a week. Maybe eggs once a week. Rice with garlic a couple of times a week, bread maybe once a week or twice if I'm dying for comfort food, fresh corn, 4-5 helpings of veggies daily, lots of garlic, lots of onion, spinach, tomatoes, green beans, asparagus, zuccini, yellow squash, broccoli, cauliflower.
If I didn't drink at all I'd be in great shape. Happen to like my little bit of bourbon most days and a couple of glasses of wine. I also drink Una de Gato with Sacha Jergon pretty religiously--just a couple of ounces daily, but it keeps immune system up and keeps the liver clean.
Do I need a lot of salt? Not really. But there is a little good sea salt in the water in which I steam veggies, even if I don't add it later. And always a bit of salt on fish, beef, chicken, though it's down from what it was five years ago and that's down from what it was 25 years ago. I don't exercise as much so I don't need as much.
But I have to hold my ground on what I say about the dieta. If Amaringo was told by his spirits that they don't like salt or sugar, then that's perfect for him. The spirits that hang around me want me to indulge in everything. They're freaking rock 'n rollers who want to taste, touch, feel things to the extreme. They hate it that I don't drink so much anymore. They hate it that I've cut down on cigarettes. They can't believe I have not done cocaine for nearly 30 years.
The spirits that hang near me want the visceral. They don't have bodies and cannot feel the physical. So they want to step into my body and feel it all. And I mean all of it. Just for a second or two.
And they love salt and sugar (which I hardly ever have) and wish I would do more, just so they could experience it.
So, lesson? Different people, different spirits. And each spirit wants a different thing from a human host, even if we're just hosts for a little while.
Any of this making sense?
I would never cut salt out of the diet of the people I take to the jungle. I couldn't. They'd all fade after the first half day of walking 5 miles in the rainforest if they didn't have a little salt with their lentils and avocados and eggs and rice and river fish.
But this is just me talking and I've got no special pipeline to anything. I just do the best I can with the info I'm given and with the way I was taught.
I hope this ramble somehow helps you muddle through it.

No comments: