In Praise of CONFEN and CONAD:
The most important rule of government relates to action. When, how and within what limits should it act? The answer to this question constitutes entirely the art of politics. Dr Gustave Le Bon – La psychologie politique.
Thanks to a superior level of creativity, perhaps forged in the difficult struggle to affirm itself as a great nation in the world, the Brazilian government – taking a pioneering and historic attitude – decided to investigate the reality of Ayahuasca, as well as looking at the socia l consequences of prohibition or authorisation, before acting and legislating for
authorisation. I, along with countless
intellectuals and academics around the world, never tire of praising this decision.
In fact we are certain that prohibition would merely have served to throw thousands of productive and well-meaning people into illegality; it would have swelled the ranks of those who eagerly await opportunities to become rich by breaking the law; it would have encouraged the use of the very thing that it was intended to prohibit. Prohibition would have created a series of new crimes and an additional burden for already overworked judges; it would have opened up new spaces and opportunities for corruption. Taoist wisdom tells us that prohibited social movements tend to become stronger with the passage of time, that persecuting people does not necessarily change their opinions, and that the exiles of the past tend – historically – to become the government.
Unjustified prohibition would have opened the way for the dissemination of “pharmaco-ayahuasca”, a mixture of synthetic components of the substance; it would have encouraged illegal and possibly dangerous research; it would have created an illegal traffic.
Whereas on the other side it is certainly possible that a psycho-active agent, which has been proved to be completely harmless to health, a medicine like Ayahuasca, might have an important function in the evolution of our civilisation and species.
Our continuation on the scene of life depends to a great extent on our ability to know how to receive the other as a brother, to recognise that we are all related, part of the same family in the experience of life. Ayahuasca is a medicine, a practical and effective remedy which teaches us to recognise that we are one phenomenon, that we are oneness. It is a sacred movement of union and peace.
This medicine, which in centuries past was dismissed along with its indigenous users by Latin-American Inquisition, today has an official seal of approval and could be the very thing we need in order to become true homo sapiens – people capable of understanding politics, economics and science as sacred activities.