Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Quotes 2017 #81

"Among these plants is the 'corpse vine' (AYAHUASCA), which produces the curative hallucinations of the shaman who, in his spiritual voyages, envisages the investiture of kinship in the forest, as when he sees a forest tree as full of people. His soul travels beyond the confines of the living and the dead into the generalized and depersonalized worlds of the forest and the river, which have been created and are maintained by 'owners' variously described as mothers, anacondas, and beautiful tall white foreigners. 

Though the owners are usually indifferent to humans, they do inflict sickness and death on those who must inevitably invade their domains to survive---to hunt, fish, and farm. It is the shaman who must intervene, paradoxically, by means of the very plant, ayahuasca, whose source of power lies with the owners. He comes to see, as the spirits do, human settlements in the depth of the river and the center of the forest. By sharing the spirits' food and listening to their powerful songs, he mediates between them and the Piro."

Vincent Crapanzano, Negative Horizons.