by Diego Palma
“Power plants are a legitimate way to remind us that the real world is very different from the misshapen universe we have created for ourselves by means of our cultured-conditioned prejudices.” – Aldous Huxley
First we need to understand that Ayahuasca, San Pedro, Peyote and other Sacred Power plants are “entheogens”, coined from Greek roots meaning “to realize the divine within.” The entheogens are different to drugs such as cocaine, heroin and speed since they are low in addiction potential and overdose risk, and are of very low organic toxicity.
However it is vital to relate to this power plants in a proper manner using them in ritual settings and context. By using them in a skillful and respectful manner they can heal and transform lives in wonderful ways and free us from the imprisonment of our limited mind sets. Like fire, they are not to be played with casually or used in a irresponsible way.
Government role toward power plants
Today we still live in a society that tries to control states of mind (cognitive censorship). Certain substances that leads to altered states of consciousness receive state approval while others are forbidden -even criminalized. A person’s thoughts should remain inviolable. The government should not be in the business of policing thoughts, by authorizing acceptable states of mind and outlawing others. There is a need to affirm “cognitive liberty” -the right of each individual to use the full spectrum of their mind, to engage in multiple modes of thought, and to experience alternative states of consciousness.
Government interference should be restricted to constraining people only when actions violate the freedom of others, or when assistance is required by the person themselves.
The ritual context
In our little community in the Sacred Valley of the Inkas (Pisaq, Cusco – PERU) we approach the use of power plants as a sacrament, a teacher plant that contain spirit powers, which we contact directly by ingesting them and that helps us access a transcendental experience and integrative healing process. We use them in ritualized settings where embedded meanings are shared by the community at large.
Sometimes on the day after the ceremonies we gather for an integration process. We discuss about our experiences to optimized retain and understandings of insights and gains achieved during the journey.
At the end the real value of the ceremony is what you do with it, how it serve you to live a better life and enhance all your actions and relationships. In other words, how to bring it back home.