Part Three: Cyber-Shamanism: The Fusion of Modern Technology with Ancient, Plant-Based Shamanism
By Zoe Seven
The effects of ayahuasca are not only psycho-spiritual in nature but biological as well, as it sometimes induces vomiting and diarrhea in some individuals. People whom have had experiences with ayahuasca as well as the shamans that use it in their ceremonies and rituals, feel that these side effects are actually the physical manifestation of the release of psycho-spiritual traumas and blocks.
On the other hand, the mental effects bestowed by this teacher plant can best be described as those of an awakened dreamstate. In other words, one is dreaming awake.
This unusual state of mind gives the waking ego or conscious mind access to previously unconscious material via the subconscious mind – a spectrum of consciousness that few people are consciously aware of or familiar with. Yet this interior landscape of the mind has the potential to offer vast amounts of experiences including healings, transmission of various types of information, and even insights into the true nature of reality and the soul.
Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to sample this legendary shamanic potion while giving a lecture and workshop in the Amazon at an ayahuasca retreat. In the first couple of experiences I had with this teacher plant, I did have a play of dazzling colors and shapes before me – the typical psychedelic imagery – but what I felt was of most value was the release of lots of emotional energy – basically, I cried a lot while I recalled stuff that had happened to me when I was young – which indicated that apparently, I had a number of unresolved childhood issues to deal with. Now this was never apparent to me in my day-to-day life, but every so often I would become very depressed without knowing why. But after these two initial experiences with ayahuasca not only did I understand the reason for my sometimes ill emotional feelings but, apparently, I actually resolved these issues by confronting them on my own. In fact, months after my first encounters with this teacher plant people that know me commented that they saw changes in me and that I seemed much more relaxed, happy, and grounded. These comments alerted me to the immense therapeutic potential that teacher plants have to offer, especially the psychological healing offered by ayahuasca.
During my first stay in the Brazilian Amazon I also had the oportunity to try a plant/tech combination: ayahuasca together with my brainwave synchronizer running a program targeting delta brainwaves. This particular combination seemed interesting to me as I had achived some excellent “cyber-shamanic” results by combining various neuro-technology devices together with psychoactive compounds. These combinations, experiments and resulting experiences are chronicalled in my first book, INTO THE VOID – Exploring Consciousness, Hyperspace & Beyond, Using Brain Technology Devices, Psychedelics & Altered Mind-States (ZON Media, 2001).
Because of all my previous experimentation and research, I consider myself an experienced psychonaut, so I really had no problem, hesitation, or fear in taking the plunge of combining light and sound stimulation together with this potent shamanic brew. However, I should make it extremely clear that there are no studies on the short or long term effects of this particular combination. And as most of you may already know, on its own, light and sound stimulation may induce sizures in some individuals, while psychoactives may trigger psychotic episodes – BEWARE. The third time I tried ayahuasca I decided to combine it with photo-sonic stimulation so as to have the device “guide” the experience and target a specific window of consciousness. The reason for this being that neurological EEG studies have shown that those who ingest this brew go into an altered state most comparable to the hipnagogic state (but in full awareness), and I wanted to go “deeper” so as to see what was doing, so I dialed-up a low frequency delta session on my brainwave synchronizer.
I started by first ingesting the brew since it takes roughly between thirty minutes to about an hour for one to start feeling the effects. But this worked out great for as soon as the session with my brainwave synchronizer was over (about forty-five minutes later) the effects of ayahuasca began. But this time they were different than before, as I knew that I had effectively shifted my awareness to a different window of consciousness – deep delta, as opposed to alpha/theta. In my earlier experiments for INTO THE VOID, I discovered that if I decided on a whim to smoke say salvia divinorum for example, I had a particular type of experience. But if I first slowed down (or ramped up) my brainwave activity by way of binaural frequencies, neuroelectrical stimulation or photo-sonic stimulation, I would then have a significantly different experience when intaking a psychoactive.
End of Part Three
Copyright: Zoe Seven, Author and AVS Journal, Michael Landgraf, Publisher (2006) Granada Hills, CA. All rights reserved.