This documentary, released on September 26, 2010 in the U.S. (Wappinger Falls, New York) and is based on the research of Dr. Rick Strassman, professor of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico, made between 1990 and 1995 with the help of 60 volunteers, some of them being interviewed in the film and the results were published in the book DMT: The Spirit Molecule.
Dimethyltryptamine or N, N-dimethyltryptamine, DMT short, is a hallucinogenic compound of the tryptamine family.
DMT is naturally present not only in plants but also in the body of mammals and especially in humans, is a derivative of an amino acid essential for human metabolism, tryptophan, producing a documentary claiming his unorthodox hypothesis, in fact, the pineal gland.
According to official science, the role of this substance in the human body remains undetermined and the physiological mechanism of its production is not understood, how can it be considered a simple “biological waste” when it should be clear that a common substance in plants, animals and man, can unique in this regard, must be of a significant value. Some of the protagonists of the film considering it as “common molecular language”, a kind of natural spiritual mediator.
As DMT chemical structure is related to a well-known neurotransmitter, serotonin, the hormone melatonin, and, of course, with other tryptamine with hallucinogenic effects, such as: psilocybin (4-hydroxy-dimethyltryptamine – alkaloid that goes into hallucinogenic mushrooms) 5-methoxy-dimethyltryptamine, bufotenina (5-hydroxy-dimethyltryptamine) and psilocin (4-hydroxy-dimethyltryptamine).
In many cultures, indigenous and modern, DMT is used in various forms and is usually injected or inhaled, but remains best known ayahuasca, a combination used by indigenous people of the Amazon, obtained by boiling a plant containing DMT and another containing a monoamine oxidase, an enzyme produced by the liver that metabolize quickly DMT making it harmless if taken orally.
The film has a simple structure: Joe Rogan chapters and practically defines the basic concepts that will be discussed later in terms of two concepts that are traditionally opposed, science and spirituality, by Dr. Strassman himself, by Graham Hancock, for some of the volunteers who participated in the experiment or other users of DMT, experts in medicine, neurology, social sciences and even theologians.
Spiritual experiences narrated by the interviewees are accompanied by outstanding graphics, many colorful images, strange, psychedelic movies taken directly from the 60s, managing to give visual substance meaningful words, moreover, in the scenario.
Dr. Rick Strassman, proves to be one of the notable exceptions of psychiatry, which has exceeded its obligations scientist, evident both in terms of its openness to the spiritual side incontestable experiments and sensitivity which recognized temporary treated patients that did not undergo an skeptical attitude , reductionist, as it would have been strange reports, which clearly contradicted the paradigm of our nature and our existence only limited materials become citizens of the so-called official science intake direct two famous Masons, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin in physics and in biology.
In the book, and the film goes even further than that, reminding striking parallels between the states induced by artificial administration of DMT and DMT naturally induces mystical experiences in cases of clinical death, what are known as NDE (Near Death Experiences) , when reported, almost generalized contact and communication with almighty beings or reporting that no body in higher dimensional spaces exist or as one of the subjects thoughtfully repeated experiments, the divine realm.
In any case, the killer hypocrisy of Masonic leaders of this world is evident to us mortals being allowed to eat in any amount and legal alcohol 70-80000 responsible for deaths annually in the U.S. alone and the escalation of violence in any form, or, why not, tobacco, well treated in the phase of culture with radioactive insecticides and herbicides, and then with ammonia at the manufacturing stage to increase nicotine dependence (as evidenced by Lorillard Tobacco Company, companies documents disclosed in the 70’s), which also leads to more than 400,000 deaths annually in the U.S. alone.
Watch DMT: The Spirit Molecule – Turn off the lights
Ayahuasca, the holy sacrament which the indigenous people and Shamans of the Amazon have known as a powerful holistic purgative medicine capable of great healing and transformation for thousands of years. The film ‘Other Worlds : A Journey Into The Heart Of Shipibo Shamanism‘ by Jan Kounen primarily shows the therapeutic power of the Shamans and their plant teachers. This power is a type of ancestral psychoanalysis or human psychotherapy backed by 4,000 years of experience and practice.
Ayahuasca is a powerful purgative and curative mixture which is used by the shamans of the Amazon to commune with the spirits, who then oversee the healing of the person who drinks the Ayahuasca brew, while the shaman guides the healing session and appeals to the spirits on behalf of his client.
Amazonian shaman, Javier Arevalo, who serves the community of Nuevo Progreso had a patient who was HIV positive and had been in hospital a fortnight. Javier says, “That night we drank Ayahuasca and I saw in my vision that HIV was like the devil destroying him and that he was getting worse.
“He stuck to the Ayahuasca diet for two months and he also took bitter tasting herbs which cure internal wounds. After three times [three Ayahuasca sessions] he was better and, when tested, proved HIV negative”.
The Pulitzer Price-nominated author, John Perkins, who has written extensively about Ayahuasca usage among the Shuar Indians of Ecuador, has confirmed other ‘miraculous’ healings. “During the ten years we have been taking people to meet the shamans, there have been a number of remarkable stories”, he says4 – among them, cures for deafness, depression, weight loss, as well as endless accounts of life changes and new visions for a different personal and social future.
Other Worlds : A Journey Into The Heart Of Shipibo Shamanism
The brew blended in careful measure, contains Ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and leaves of the chacruna plant (Psychotria viridis), often with datura and pure jungle tobacco, which cause the purging qualities that ayahuasca is famous for. The final mixture is also known as ayahuasca, from the Quechua words, aya meaning ‘spirit’ or ‘dead’, and huasca meaning ‘rope’ or ‘vine’. Hence, the brew is often referred to as the ‘vine of souls’ or the ‘rope of the dead’.
It is prepared by cutting the vines into short lengths which are then scraped, cleaned and pounded to a brown pulp. The vines, along with chacruna leaves and other ingredients are then placed in a cauldron, water is added, and the entire mixture is boiled for 10-12 hours, overseen at all stages by the shaman who will continuously blow sacred tobacco smoke into and over the brew. When ready, the mix becomes a muddy, pungent liquid with a foul, acrid taste.
Once ingested, the mixture produces initial feelings of warmth which spread up from the stomach, creating a sense of well-being and a sensation of skin elasticity, almost as if the skin has become rubber-like and pliable and no longer separate from the air around it. After this first phase, which may last 30-60 minutes, the visionary effects begin, which are often dramatic. Harvard ethnobotanist, Wade Davis, in his book, One River1, described the sensation as akin to being “shot out of a gun barrel lined with Baroque paintings, and landing in a sea of electricity”.
Visions of snakes and vines in bright primary colours are very common but, for the trained shamanic eye, information on the illnesses and diseases which inhabit his client’s bodies are also expected. It is these visions which enable him, and the spirit of ayahuasca, to heal his clients.
Conceptual thinking is a limited tool when one truly attempts to develop one’s consciousness. Indeed, human consciousness has a natural tendency to identify with thoughts and reason – stopping there. Shamans use a technology or an outside element, generally consisting of sacred plants. Using powerful psychotropic substances, the Shamans guide individuals, enabling them to “peel away” consciousness from thoughts and reason. The subconscious is gradually unveiled. During these experiences, a different reality appears and is observed through the prism of our consciousness.
The film depicts the Shamanic culture and their underlying belief systems which stem from their knowledge of the Invisible.
“The objective of this documentary is to impress upon viewers that these little-known Indians developed veritable cognitive technology through their own sciences of the spirit, thousands of years ago. To me, these men are warriors in the battle to unlock the mysteries of consciousness. Shamans consider the greatest ally and the worst enemy of every individual to be one and the same… himself or herself.”
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin mushrooms, and mescaline-bearing peyote are the more well-known psychoactive drugs, but by no means the only ones. Stepping Into the Fire is a documentary about a much lesser-known option in this arena, ayahuasca. The film follows two recent first-time takers of the drug, Bo and Rob. Bo being a rather straight-edge lifetime professional diagnosed with a terminal case of cancer in his esophagus, Rob a former stock broker accustomed to hard work and hard living along with his wife Donna and son Declan.
After hearing about the potential transformative experience that can come from taking ayahuasca and tired of dealing with their lives in the way they currently were, they each set out for a shaman in Peru that is known for administering the ayahuasca experience.
In a series of interviews both subjects explain how much more “in touch” with themselves and their environments they were after that first go-round with the drug. Bo cites that it’s not so much the taking of the drug itself, in which dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is the active ingredient, that heals you, but more how it opens you up the plant life and all the benefit they can bring you. Bo goes on to explain some of his experiences, thoughts, and breakthroughs achieved during that first experience – psychedelic visuals of the moon and facing long-forgotten love life regrets.
Rob describes the boon of the experience being that it allowed him to see the positives in even the most negative of situations in his life. That, and a realization that he was supposed to use his financial achievement to create a compound of sorts where others could comfortably gain access to the same enlightenment he feels he stumbled into. In doing this, he has expended his entire life savings and it’s created a sizable rift between he and his wife.
Attention then turns back to Bo, who has made a number of other changes in his life since trying ayahuasca. He has trimmed his diet to raw, unprocessed vegan cuisine that has resulted in a loss of around 90 pounds – one of numerous changes both men go through over the course of this film about what they deem the “teaching plant.”
Can a sacred plant from the Amazon
heal our minds and spirits?
For centuries, indigenous people of South America have used ayahuasca, a psychoactive plant medicine, to cure all manner of psycho-spiritual ills.
Today, thousands of Westerners, seeking healing and spiritual awakening, attend ayahuasca ceremonies around the world to drink the vision-inducing tea and experience dramatic transformations in their lives.
Ayahuasca: Vine of the Soul is a documentary that explores the mystery of ayahuasca shamanism, offering insights into the nature of spirituality, mystical experience and self-healing through a heightened state of consciousness.
Filmmaker Richard Meech follows key protagonists as they journey to Peru – and back home – capturing the life-altering epiphanies and nights of terror encountered after drinking the sacred brew.
Is ayahuasca a doorway to direct knowledge of the divine or a path that leads to psychological trauma? Can it cure modern addictions to drugs and alcohol or is ayahuasca itself a possible substance of abuse? Some people call it a medicine, others a sacrament; the Amazonian shamans say it is simply a ‘plant teacher’ that tells you what you need to know.