The God Drug
[Speech transcript by Professor Bryce DeAngelo, as presented live at the University of California, NewLima—approximately two weeks prior to the conclusion of the investigation into the serial murderer commonly known as Bedroom Friday]:
“Thank you. Thank you so much. You’re more than kind…such a warm welcome. Thank you!
“The evolutionary process is a dreadfully slow thing indeed. It’s a relentless procession of chance that lumbers through time, unwavering in its determination but perpetual. Once in a long while, however, something amazing happens. Arguably, the most dramatic evolutionary event ever known to have occurred, in fact, happened less than 40,000 years ago, long after the human species had become anatomically modern. There was an emergence of mindfulness that was experienced the globe over when homo sapiens became fully emblematic entities. It was like a switch in our brains had been flipped from its dormant setting to full-on. And…this great existential shift, which has been defined as the single most important step forward in the progress of the human condition, is intimately interrelated with the emergence of our species’ adoption of practices utilizing visionary plants.
“An intriguing, and I believe quite sound, possibility has developed over the last 30 years. Research headed by Professor David Lewis Williams, at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, along with many others, is leading us to believe that the human species emergence into conscious awareness was triggered by our ancestors’ encounters with visionary plants and the beginnings of worldwide Shamanism. It is, in my opinion, unquestionable, when looking at the cave art that was springing up everywhere back then, that what was being depicted was altered states of consciousness and the profound visions these states conjure up. Plants like the Amanita and Psilocybin mushrooms, Salvia Divinorum sage, the San Pedro Cactus — even Cannabis Sativa — all appear to have direct connections with the changes that occurred at that point in our evolutionary history.
“As many of you are aware, long ago I too became very interested in this subject. Why would the adoption of these plants — and, more specifically, their visions — lead to the only known transition of life on our planet from largely unaware sentient beings to creatures with fully rational, consciously aware predilections? The questions with which I was presented intrigued me so profoundly, in fact, that I decided to investigate these mysteries first-hand. That quickly led me to where the world’s only surviving shamanistic cultures remain today: deep inside the rainforests of the Amazon, where its inhabitants still drink the powerful visionary brew, Ayahuasca.
“Ayahuasca, as you may know, is valuable to the shamanistic cultures for its active ingredient Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which is actually closely related at the molecular level to Psilocybin. An astonishing fact about this fascinating spiritual tonic, is how chemically advanced its ingredients actually are. Best we have been able to determine, the Ayahuasca brew has been used by the cultures of South America for at least 3,000 years — probably longer — which adds to the miraculous nature of the potion. You see, normally DMT cannot be activated orally. In the West, where it’s rarely encountered, it’s almost invariably smoked, which is a crude and far less effective approach to unlocking the experiences inherent in the molecule. But if we were to ingest DMT directly, there’s an enzyme in our stomachs called Monoaminoxydase which cancels DMT on contact and renders it entirely benign. Ingested that way, it has no effect on our conscious state of being whatsoever.
“Traditions of the Amazon, however, teach that the plant spirits of the rainforest showed the aboriginal peoples a way to get around this predicament. The DMT in the Ayahuasca brew comes, most usually, from a plant called Chacruna, which if ingested alone is inactivated by Monoaminoxydase. However, of the 150,000+ plants known to inhabit the Amazon rainforest, the only one that contains a Monoaminoxydase inhibitor is the key ingredient of Ayahuasca — the Ayahuasca root itself, from which the brew’s namesake is derived. This switches off the enzyme in our stomachs and — when the two are steeped together in boiling water — allows the DMT to be experienced to its fullest effect. This miraculous combination of plants allows the molecule to be absorbed orally, and then it takes us on a five-hour expedition into otherworldly realms.
“I’m sure many of you — those of you who have never tried Ayahuasca — are thinking to yourselves, ‘sign me up’. But not so fast. I can tell you from dozens of first-hand experiences that drinking Ayahuasca is neither for the faint of heart nor for anyone not willing to endure a fair amount of physical torment. To begin, the drink has a lewd, almost retched odor and a taste like nothing you can easily describe — other than it being utterly offensive. Its viscosity ranges from somewhat watery to thick and sludgy if it’s been concentrated for a higher-dosage experience. The thicker the brew, the harder it is to swallow down, but also the more profound its effects. Within 30-60 minutes you’ll end up with cold sweats and nausea, and quite commonly you’ll begin vomiting and often will also have diarrhea. It’s not at all uncommon to be spewing fluids out each end of your body at the same time. Suffice to say, this is not something that will likely ever end up on the FDA’s radar as a pandemic recreational use drug. That said, and moreover, I’d like to also state for the record that psychedelic drugs in general have an important mission for humanity, but there’s never a reason they should be used for recreation. They’re far too powerful and imperative to humanities’ mission to be wielded haphazardly…or simply for kicks.
“So then, considering the daunting process of consuming Ayahuasca, you might be wondering what has encouraged hundreds of generations of humanity to embrace the experience. And when I say experience, it’s for lack of a more appropriate word, because that word is far too maladroit to serve as a proper descriptor. The extraordinary effects of these experiences on human consciousness are unquestionable and remarkable. Beyond the extreme visionary cosmogenic phenomena that are consistently witnessed and depicted in all the shamanistic art of the region, there’s overwhelming evidence of interdimensional transcendence. These accounts, in fact, often describe something bordering on personalized space travel.
“Even more extraordinary, are the thousands of documented accounts of seemingly intelligent beings who are frequently encountered during Ayahuascan ceremonies. I have witnessed these encounters numerous times myself. Phenomenologically, these meetings happen all over the world and have perhaps occurred since the beginning of recorded time. I have no doubt in my mind that what we are witnessing are entities from other regions of this Universe or the next.
“And, of these entities, the most commonly occurring is the spirit Goddess of Ayahuasca herself, Mother Ayahuasca. She is thought to be a healer and a guardian of the planet, but her most interesting aspect is her ability to offer counsel. She seems to always take a personal interest in all whom visit her realm, and she appears to be equally keen on healing us of our ills or helping us correct the error of our ways and the mistakes in our behavior. She seems determined to set us on our correct path of existence, so that we are better aligning ourselves with our central governing purpose. If we’ve strayed too far off the path of our universal truth — especially that truth which exemplifies our higher resolve — Mother Ayahuasca will show us — often in disturbing and horrifyingly eye-opening visions — exactly what will become of our celestial energy — our souls, if you prefer — in the end. After we perish from this life and vacate our earthly bodies, The Mother shows us what’s in store. It’s a sort of life review to which the visitor is usually put, and when it’s all said and done, most of those having been subjected to the review come away with the understanding that they have much work to do in order to right their ship…or else.
“Before we move into the Q&A section of the presentation, I also want to mention that this life review is, in my opinion, at least partly responsible for why Ayahuasca has been so effective at getting people off harmful addictions to hard drugs and alcohol. For example, Jacques Mabit of Takiwasi clinic in Peru brings heroin and cocaine addicts out into the jungle for a month, where he gives them twelve Ayahuasca sessions. They have encounters with Mother Ayahuasca during those sessions that convince them to entirely abandon their use of heroin and cocaine. More than half leave completely free of their addiction and never return to it and don’t even have withdrawal symptoms. And similar work was being done in Canada by Dr. Gabor Maté until the Canadian Government intervened on the basis that Ayahuasca is an illegal drug. The results Dr. Maté was getting prior to his practice being shuttered were no less impressive than those of the Takiwasi clinic.
“Though we have come so far, we still have so much left to do. Please join me in this most significant of crusades. Please spread the message that our consciousness is sovereign ground over which no governmental oversight should ever apply. Our connection to the Universe, through our conscious minds, is the inalienable right of each of us as individual sentient beings. Never surrender to pressure to stop asking the questions. Never surrender your ability to explore the possibilities. Never surrender your mindfulness or your quest for universal truth. Never surrender your authority over consciousness. And most importantly, never surrender your right to be allowed fair access to The God Drug!
“Thank you, NewLima. Now let’s hear those questions!”