Sacred plants, like a medicine, can help us to become conscious of a broader sense of identity, providing the necessary stimulus in order to overcome the habit of restricting our consciousness of the “I” to the world of abstractions or the world of egoistic and childish desires.

Certainly, the vigour of a potion like Ayahuasca (and other traditional, ritualistic plants) is capable of giving us the help we need to redirect our destiny, pointing humanity towards the realisation of its true nature: thoughtful, understanding, compassionate, tolerant, flexible and integrated.

The path of the “vegetalists”, or “ayahuasqueiros” is more intense than that of many other disciplines, and may therefore in some ways seem easier because it is gives a quicker and more intense contact with the sublime. Such contact may inspire commitment and open the door to more strength and creativity, more grace, in overcoming its uncomfortable contents.

Certainly, these same experiences may be achieved by those who practise the art of meditation – if they invest a huge amount of time and effort. For those whose spiritual practice co-exists with the need to work and provide for themselves, the appropriate use of the ancient technology of Ayahuasca may make the process more feasible. For those who, despite living in our competitive and consumer-oriented society, still find the time to meditate, these experiences may represent a qualitative leap in their practice.

However, Ayahuasca is not a path for everyone: psycho-active substances are not bridges or short cuts, but quicker routes.The choice should be based on a wide-ranging knowledge of the factors involved. Being enlightened requires the resolution of unconscious conflicts. Those who aim to achieve this need to examine their willingness and courage, and to decide how intensely they want to find this psychodynamic, this “purgation” or purification – in the language of those who take Ayahuasca.

Ayahuasca reveals that the knowledge which we have of the world, of existence, is a psychosomatic state or process. The mystical experience is the realisation of the ecological relationship between all beings, of the unified field. This experience implies detachment and transformation – in other words, a refinement of the idea of the “ego”.

If our intention is sincere, if we have enough courage and generosity, then it is worth studying all useful techniques which contribute to spiritual realisation – Ayahuasca, used with the right motivation, with skill and integrity, can contribute a great deal to the relief of suffering, giving access to the wisdom and vision necessary for mystical union.

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