Deep in the Amazon, a ritual has long existed which has now become somewhat of a tourist attraction. Not the sight seeing type of tourist of course, but rather the consciousness exploring type. The focus of the ritual and the interest it has generated is focused upon a rather innocuousness seeming brew called Ayahuasca – a true mind expanding substance – which for the tribes of the Amazon has been used since time immemorial as part of their meditations.
Ayahuasca means ‘spirit of the vine’. The tribes of Peru, believe the spirits from the vine take the imbiber upon a life changing journey. Anthropologist and writer Jeremy Narby took this wonderful opportunity to further his understanding of how non-occidental cultures view and understand consciousness; something which still eludes the grasp of scientists in the developed world.
Narby’s results where indeed quite shocking; not only did these cultures in undeveloped villages in hidden away locations have a deep grasp of a form of ‘psychology’, but they also apparently understood (without fully realizing) what DNA is and along with its essential place within the universe.
It didn’t take Narby long to realise that a common theme was present within nearly all Ayahusca visions; “snakes”. Most individuals would almost without fail, would report seeing snakes. In fact, snakes would appear constantly in all forms of ayahusca history. Intrigued Narby persued this angle and was shocked to discover that the shamans believed these snakes held the secrets of life itself in the form of language. They expressed ‘language in the building block of all life’.
Knowing he had heard these sentiments before in the developed world, his investigation slowly started to draw parallels between the snakes within the visions and DNA itself. The similarities were hard to ignore; intertwining snakes which contained the building blocks of life in the form of language. Narby summarizes:
According to my hypothesis, shamans take their consciousness down to the molecular level and gain access to biomolecular information. But what actually goes on in the brain/mind of an ayahuasquero when this occurs? What is the nature of a shaman’s communication with the animate essences of nature? The clear answer is that more research is needed in consciousness, shamanism, molecular biology, and their interrelatedness.
Researcher DE Stuckey investigated the effects of Ayahusca upon consciousness, and discovered the profound effects the psychotropic had upon brainwave patterns – in effect confirming the state the individual entered.