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  • After six million years of boredom, the evolutionary ascent of our species from the last common

  • ancestor with the chimpanzee, something extraordinary happened to us less than a hundred thousand

  • years ago, which, by the way, is long after we'd become anatomically modern. It was a

  • kind of emergence into consciousness less than a hundred thousand years ago; really

  • less than forty thousand years ago, when we became fully symbolic creatures. And this

  • great change has been defined as the single most important step forward in the evolution

  • of human behaviour; is intimately associated with the emergence of the great and transcendent

  • rock and cave art all around the world. Over the last thirty years, research has been lead

  • by the professors at David Lewis Williams at the University of Witwatersrand in South

  • Africa, and many others, have suggested an intriguing and radical possibility, which

  • is that this emergence into consciousness was triggered by our ancestor's encounters

  • with visionary plants and the beginning of shamanism.

  • If you analyse the cave art - there's not time to go into the details here - but there

  • are so many details that make it clear that this was an art of altered states of consciousness,

  • of visions. Plants like the amanita muscaria mushroom and psilocybin mushrooms appear to

  • have been directly connected with this sudden and radical change. So to investigate this

  • possibility when I got interested in this mystery, I went down to the Amazon where there

  • are still surviving shamanistic cultures today; and where they drink the powerful visionary

  • brew: ayahuasca - of which the active ingredient is Dimethyl Tryptomine (DMT) which is actually

  • closely related at the molecular level to psilocybin. Now, normally DMT cannot be activated

  • orally - when we encounter it in the west it's generally smoked. There's an enzyme in

  • our stomachs called Monoaminoxydase which switches off DMT on contact. But in the Amazon

  • they've gotten around this problem, they say it was the spirits that taught them how to

  • do it. The DMT in the ayahuasca brew is contained in these leaves from a plant that they call

  • {{chakruna}} in the Amazon, and there they mix it together with this vine. And out of

  • the 150,000 species of plants and trees in the Amazon, this is the one that contains

  • a Monoaminoxydase inhibitor, which switches off that enzyme in our stomachs, and allows

  • the DMT in the leaves - when the two are married together and cooked in water - to be absorbed

  • orally and takes us on a four hour journey into extraordinary realms. Now, it's no joke

  • to drink ayahuasca. The ayahuasca brew has a foul, foul taste - really, really hideous

  • - and a dreadful, dreadful smell, and after you've drunk your cup you'll find within 45

  • minutes or so that you're sweating, that you're feeling nauseous. Pretty soon you may well

  • be vomiting, you may have diarrhoea, so, you know, nobody's doing this for recreation.

  • And, I'd like to add that I don't think any of the psychedelics should be used for recreation.

  • They have a much more serious and important mission with humanity. So, we're not doing

  • this for fun, but what draws people to ayahuasca again and again to brace themselves for this

  • experience? (and you do have to brace yourself) is it's extraordinary effects at the

  • level of consciousness. One of those effects has to do with creativity, and we can see

  • the creative cosmogenic impulse of Ayahuasca in the paintings of Ayahuasca Shamans from

  • Peru - like the paintings of {{Pablo Amaringo}} here those richly saturated colours, they're

  • amazing visions that they reproduce. This creative impulse has also spread to western

  • artists - many western artists now have been deeply influenced by ayahuasca and are also

  • painting their visions. As these paintings show, another universal experience of ayahuasca

  • is the encounter with seemingly intelligent entities which communicate with us telepathically.

  • Now, I'm making no claim one way or another as to the reality state of these entities

  • we encounter, simply that phenomenologically, in the ayahuasca experience they are encountered

  • by people all over the world. And most frequently of all, the spirit of ayahuasca herself, mother

  • ayahuasca, who is a healer - and although she's kind of the mother goddess of the planet

  • she seems to take a direct personal interest in us as individuals - to heal our ills, to

  • want us to be the best that we can possibly be, to correct errors and mistakes in our

  • behavior that may be leading us down the wrong path. And this is perhaps why - and it's an

  • untold story really - ayahuasca has been fantastically successful in getting people off harmful addictions

  • to hard drugs such as heroine and cocaine. {{Jacques Mobbit}} of the {{takiwasi clinic}}

  • in Peru brings heroine and cocaine addicts out there for a month, gives them twelve ayahuasca

  • sessions, and they have encounters with mother ayahuasca during those sessions that lead

  • them, not to wish to take heroine and cocaine anymore, and more than half leave completely

  • free of their addiction and never return to it and don't even have withdrawal symptoms.

  • The same incredible healing work was being done by a doctor in Canada by Dr. {{Gabor

  • Matte}} until the Canadian Government intervened and stopped his healing practice on the grounds

  • that ayahuasca itself was an illegal drug. Now, I have some personal experience of this

  • - I've not been addicted to heroine or cocaine, but I had a 24-year nonstop cannabis habit.

  • This started off smoking the herb, and naturally vaporising it, but the basic truth is that

  • for 24 years I was pretty much permanently stoned - and I enjoyed being stoned, and I

  • felt that it helped me with my work as a writer, and perhaps at some point it did, but when

  • I first encountered ayahuasca, I had already been smoking cannabis for 16 years. Almost

  • immediately, ayahuasca started giving me messages that this was no longer serving me, that it

  • was leading me to behave in negative and unhealthful ways towards others. Of course, I ignored

  • those messages for years and years and went back to being stoned 16 hours a day. But that

  • negative behaviour that ayahuasca was pointing out did actually get worse and worse - I don't

  • want to put down cannabis and I believe it's the sovereign right of every adult to choose

  • to smoke cannabis if they wish to do so, but I think I was overusing it, I think I was

  • abusing it, not using it responsibly. I became more and more paranoid, jealous, possessive,

  • suspicious, I was subject to irrational rages, I often made the life of my beloved partner

  • {{Santher}} a misery. When I went down for my regular encounter with ayahuasca in October

  • 2011, I was given the most unbelievable kicking by mother ayahuasca. I was put through an

  • ordeal, it was a kind of life-review. It's not an accident that ayahuasca is "the vine

  • of the dead". I was shown my death, and I was shown that if I came to death - and what

  • awaits us after death - without having corrected the mistakes that I was making in my life,

  • that it would be a very bad thing for me - and actually, mother ayahuasca literally took

  • me to hell, and that hell was a little like this "Hell" painted by {{Heronimus Boncture}}

  • - a truly terrible place and a little like the place that the ancient Egyptians called

  • the judgement Hall of Osiris, where our souls are weighed on the scales in the presence

  • of the Gods against the feather of Truth and Justice of Cosmic Harmony. And I was shown

  • that the path I was walking - my abuse of cannabis and the behaviour associated with

  • it - was going to lead me to be found wanting in the judgement, and that I might face annihilation

  • in the world beyond death. So, perhaps not surprisingly, when I came back to England

  • later in October 2011 I gave up cannabis and I've never smoked it again since then. Actually,

  • again I'm speaking only personally with no comment on others' use of cannabis, it's as

  • though a monkey has been lifted off my back. I'm liberated in incredible ways, far from

  • my creativity being inhibited, I find myself writing much more productively, much more

  • creatively, much more focused, and much more efficiently as well. I've begun to be able

  • to address those negative aspects of my behaviour which cannabis had revealed, and hopefully

  • to make myself slowly - it's a long progress - into a more nurturing, more loving, more

  • positive person. This whole transformation - it really has been a personal transformation

  • for me - was made possible by this encounter with death that mother ayahuasca gave me.

  • That leads me to ask, what is death? Our materialist science reduces everything to matter,

  • the material science in the west says that we are just meat - we're just our bodies -

  • so when the brain is dead, that's the end of consciousness, there is no life after death,

  • there is no soul; we just rot and are gone. Actually, many honest scientists should admit

  • that consciousness is the greatest mystery of science and that we don't know exactly

  • how it works. The brain is involved in it some way but we're no sure how. It could be

  • that the brain generates consciousness the way a generator makes electricity, if you

  • hold to that paradigm then of course you can't believe in life after death - when the generator's

  • broken, consciousness is gone. It's equally possible that the relationship - and nothing

  • in neuroscience rules it out - the relationship is more like the relationship of the TV signal

  • to the TV set, and in that case, when the TV set is broken, of course the TV signal

  • continues. This is the paradigm of all spiritual traditions; that we are immortal souls temporarily

  • incarnated in these physical forms, to learn and to grow and to develop. Really, if we

  • want to know about this mystery, the last people we should ask are materialist reductionist

  • scientists; they have nothing to say on the matter at all. Let's go rather to the ancient

  • Egyptians, who put their best minds to work for 3,000 years on the problem of death...

  • and on the problem of how we should live our lives to prepare for what we will confront

  • after death. The ancient Egyptians expressed their ideas in transcendent art, which still

  • touches us emotionally today. They came to certain very specific conclusions: that the

  • soul does survive death and that we will be held accountable for every thought, every

  • action, every deed that we have lived through in our lives, so we'd better take this precious

  • opportunity to be born in a human body seriously, and make the most of it. And in these inquiries

  • into the mystery of death, the ancient Egyptians weren't just exercising their imaginations;

  • they highly valued dream states, and it's now known that they used visionary plants

  • like the hallucinogenic blue water lily. It's interesting that the ancient Egyptian 'tree

  • of life' has recently been identified as the {{acacia mellotica}} which contains high quantities

  • of DMT, Dimethyl Tryptomine, the same active ingredient that we find in ayahuasca. Now,

  • it's difficult to imagine a society more different from the society of ancient Egypt than our

  • society today. We hate visionary states in this society. In our society, if we want to

  • insult somebody, we call them a dreamer. In ancient societies that was praise. And we

  • have erected huge apparatuses of armed bureaucracies who will invade our privacy, who will break

  • down our doors, who will arrest us, who will send us to prison - sometimes for years - for

  • possessing even small quantities of psilocybin, or substances like DMT, whether in it's smokable

  • form or in the ayahuasca brew. And yet, ironically, DMT is, we now know, a natural brain hormone

  • - we all have it in our bodies and it's just that it's function remains unknown for lack

  • of research. It's not as though our society is opposed in principle to altered states

  • of consciousness, I mean, billions are being made by the unholy alliance of psychiatrists

  • and "big pharma" in overprescribing drugs to control so-called syndromes like depression

  • or attention deficit disorder in teenagers. We have a love-affair in our society with

  • alcohol; we glorify this most boring of drugs despite the terrible consequences that it

  • often has. And of course we love our stimulants, our tea, our coffee, our energy drinks, our

  • sugar, and huge industries are built around these substances which are valued because

  • of the way they alter consciousness. But what all these approved altered states of consciousness

  • have in common is that none of them contradict or conflict with the basic state of consciousness

  • valued by our society, which I would call the alert, problem-solving state of consciousness,

  • which is good for the more mundane aspects of science. It's good for the prosecution

  • of warfare, it's good for commerce, it's good for politics, but I think everybody realises

  • that the promise of a society over-monopolistically based on this state of consciousness has proved

  • hollow. And that this model is no longer working - that it's broken in every possible sense

  • that a model can be broken. And urgently we need to find something which can replace it

  • - the vast problems of global pollution that resulted from the single-minded pursuit of

  • profit, the horrors of the nuclear proliferation, the spectre of hunger that millions every

  • night go to bed starving - that we can't even solve this problem, despite our alert, problem-solving

  • state of consciousness. And look what's happening in the Amazon, the lungs of our planet, this

  • precious home of bio-diversity. The old growth rainforest being cut down and replaced with

  • soya bean farms so we can feed cattle so that we can all eat hamburgers. Only a truly insane

  • global state of consciousness could allow such an abomination to occur. I did a back-of-an-envelope

  • calculation during the Iraq War, it seems to me that six months expenditure on the Iraq

  • War would have solved the problem of the Amazon forever; would be sufficient to compensate

  • the people of the Amazon so that no single tree ever needed to be cut down again, to

  • garden and to look after that amazing resource. But we can't make that decision as a global

  • community. We can spend countless billions on warfare, on hatred, on fear, on suspicion,

  • on division, but we can't get together the collective effort to save the lungs of our

  • planet. And this is perhaps why shamans from the Amazon are now mounting a kind of reverse

  • missionary activity. When I've asked shamans about the sickness of the west, they say it's

  • quite simple: "You guys have severed your connection with spirit. Unless you reconnect

  • with spirit and do so soon, you're gonna bring the whole house of cards down around your

  • heads, and ours." And rightly or wrongly, they believe that ayahuasca is the remedy

  • for that sickness. And many now are being called to the Amazon to drink ayahuasca, and

  • ayahuasca shamans are traveling throughout the West offering the brew - often under the

  • radar, often at personal risk - to bring about consciousness change. It's true that the message

  • of ayahuasca, the universal message, is about the sacred, magical, enchanted, infinitely

  • precious nature of life on Earth. And the interdependence of material and spiritual

  • realms, and it's impossible to work with ayahuasca for long without being deeply and profoundly

  • affected by this message. And let's not forget that ayahuasca is not alone, that it's part

  • of an ancient worldwide system of the targeted, careful, responsible alteration of consciousness.

  • It's recently been shown by scholars that the {{kykion}} used in the Eleusinian mysteries

  • in ancient Greece was almost certainly a psychedelic brew. That the soma of the vedas may well

  • have been a brew based on the amanita muscaria mushroom. [more rapidly now, more fervently

  • -CD] We have the DMT in the ancient Egyptian 'Tree of Life'. We have the whole global cultures

  • of surviving shamanism and what it's all about is a state of consciousness that's designed

  • to help us find balance, harmony - the ancient Egyptians would've called it "ma'at with the

  • universe" - and to remain mindful that what we're here to undertake on Earth while we're

  • immersed in matter is fundamentally a spiritual journey, aimed at the growth and perfection

  • of the soul - a journey that may go back to the very origins of what made us human in

  • the first place. I stand here invoking the hard-won right of freedom of speech to call

  • for and demand another right to be recognised; and that is the right of adult sovereignty

  • over the consciousness. There's a war on consciousness in our society and if we as adults are not

  • allowed to make sovereign decisions about what to experience with our own consciousness

  • while doing no harm to others, including the decisions to use responsibly ancient and sacred

  • visionary plants, then we cannot claim to be free in any way, and it's useless for our

  • society to go around the world imposing our form of democracy on others while we nourish

  • this rot at the heart of society, and we do not allow individual freedom over consciousness.

  • It may even be that we're denying ourselves the next vital step in our own evolution by

  • allowing this state of affairs to continue, and who knows, perhaps our mortal destiny

  • as well.

After six million years of boredom, the evolutionary ascent of our species from the last common

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グラハム・ハンコック - 意識の戦争 BANNED TED TALK (Graham Hancock - The War on Consciousness BANNED TED TALK)

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    Randy Castle Ville に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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