Sunday, 15 April 2007

Ayahuasca drinking and YouTube

[Texto en español debajo del video]

The other day I saw a series of 5 videos of some teenagers drinking homemade "Ayahuasca" (using mimosa) in their living room, washing it down with peanut butter, and talking about watching The Simpsons, here's one of them.  Watching the series compelled me to film and post my first video response.

El otro día vi en YouTube una serie de cinco vídeos grabados por unos adolescentes mientras bebian "Ayahusca" (de hecho anahuasca preparada con Mimosa Hostilis y Paganum Harmala). Inmediatamente después de tomar el brebaje utilizaban mantequilla de cacahuete para quitarse al mal sabor de boca, y hablaban de poner los Simpson en la tele (ver aquí)

Tras ver el vídeo decidí grabar y subir a YouTube una vídeo-respuesta.

13 coments:

Anonymous said...

our brothers and sisters need all the help they can get in anyway we can offer them. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. People need assistance in their search, i hope these kids saw the video and that it helped them in their search toward themselves.


Nathan said...

Muy bien hecho, Legitimo. Well-done.

michelle said...

i could not watch it all. your response was beautiful!

rareworlds said...

i meant i could not watch all of the video you are responding to! lol

Anonymous said...

Guerrerito, me alegro de ir comprobando que aumenta el número de personas que reconocen el poder sagrado de la ayahuasca.

Buen trabajo! Mucha suerte con tu documental.

Desde Madrid también, gracias

Shady Pete said...

Once again, El Weinholdo has sniffed you out...

My contention is this - isn't your opinion about the proper use of ayahuasca completely subjective? Having experienced it as you did, you now insist that it is a superior experience to all the other drug-related experiences. But how can you know for sure that your experience in the jungle is any more legitimate or powerful than a kid who takes pills in Amsterdam or Spain, or than, for example, a person who runs a marathon or prays to his or her God and experiences some kind of non-drug-related rapture?
To me, an appropriate analogy might be a person who's tried all the religions and then settles on one that moves him more than all the others, and now that person looks at people practicing other religions and feels that they're mistaken, or they're doing it wrong, etc.

Just El Weinholdo's two cents...

Anonymous said...

Excuse me professor but your response is whack. You have no right to pass judgment on those kids. What's next, watching an amateur porno and filming a video response that says that sex without love makes you feel "bad"? Puh-lease. Experiences are personal. They are as pedestrian or profound as we make them and nothing more. Get over yourself.

Legitimo Guerrerito said...

@shady and anonymous

I filmed the reply after reading some comments people were making in youtube to the kids, you might check those out first if you thought I was being judgmental

I though there was no way the kids would ever listen to the point that the people insulting them were trying to make. So I tried to say it in a way that they might listen to without feeling criticized or attacked, since I had done things similar to that I made a video where I said that I had, and then I'd tried something else, and that I thought that was much better. I stand by that opinion, people in the Amazon have been using Ayahuasca for thousands of years, they invented it, they know how the get the best out of it, just like the French know how to make very good Bordeaux, or the Scottish whiskey, they've had many generations experiment, make the mistakes that everyone makes at the beginning and build on previous knowedge. The final result is a very refined process, it takes a lot of work on many variables to turn simple grapes into a fine wine, you might try for yourself, but chances are your wine will not be as good.

My argument is that Ayahuasca is just like that, indeed just like everything else in the world, just like sailing, or cooking, or dancing, or bmx, or playing the piano, there is a whole body of practical knowledge around it that helps make experience better, and takes it further. You might, in the name of freedom, start from zero in any of those subjects, eschew all teachers, all previous knowledge, and go at it your way, figuring it out as you go along, it might work, it might not, but you will have to learn from your mistakes, meaning you will have to make them, and that takes -at the very least- a lot of time.

I think this is indeed how we westerners treat most entheogens. In the name of our freedom to experiment, or simply out of ignorance we proceed to make all the novice mistakes again and again and again. Having plant x or y with your friends in your living room is not a "way" it is the lack of a way. It is taking things to see "what they'll do" but what they´ll do depends on what *you* do, and in spite of appearances a living room and a party setting are very limiting environments.

For sure what's above is my "subjective opinion", but at least I've lived both experiences the living room and the jungle. I can compare one to the other and I am very sure which one has been better for me. Also, I wasn't alone, I saw other people go through it, not once did I think they'd be better of experimenting by themselves.

As far as I know, Shady Pete, you have never tried Ayahuasca, nor entheogens in a traditional context. While your opinion is interesting it is also ill informed, an abstract play of concepts. You literally do not know what type of experience I am talking about. So what are we arguing about? If we were talking about Vietnam, or the Vietnamese, I would have to take your opinion in account, because you know more about that than I do. I'd be a fool to say that because you lived there and your wife is Vietnamese you are not being "objective." You know more about Vietnam, and the Vietnamese, than I do.

Life is not a science lab. There is no possible objectivity in Ayahuasca, it is a subjective experience. You have lived it, or you haven't. The rest is theorizing.

@anoymous: Yes, I believe making love to someone you love is better than jerking off to porn. While in theory people should be free to jerk off to porn I believe a steady diet of it is not ideal, or even healthy in the long run. And if I saw someone who only jerked off to porn I might make a video saying: "I tried that as a teenager, later on I fell in love with a girl and there just was no comparison. I recommend you try to give that a try. You might agree with me that no matter what "you make of it" jerking off to porn will never be as good for you as real love-making."

And if you disagree, professor anonymous, you too can make a video about it.

See if you dare.

Shady Pete said...

For the most part I think we’re in agreement...having experienced and researched ayahuasca, there's nothing wrong with you expressing your opinion about how the drug should be experienced and advising these kids to experience it as you did.

I'm just taking up for the kids because the knee jerk reaction, of course, is to criticize them; a group of teenage kids carelessly wolfing down a drug that's traditionally ingested by indigenous peoples via a somber, meditative process in the middle of the Amazonian jungle. But I think people should be careful not to minimize what those kids experience, even if you might not think it’s being conducted under ideal circumstances. Most of us in Europe and America who have experimented with drugs had some of our first experiences in similar living rooms with our friends. And while there might be locations or scenarios or situations that are more conducive to more powerful experience, it doesn’t mean those living room parties don’t have tremendous meaning, particularly at that age.

So while I agree that you have every right to suggest that these kids try ayahuasca the way it was meant to be ingested, I don’t think you or anyone else should judge them or imply that they’re doing something wrong. While they may not be using the drug in an ideal way, they’re still learning valuable lessons and having very valid experiences with the drug. And when you’re eighteen or nineteen years old and you’re experiencing a hallucinogenic for the first time, it can be one of the more powerful experiences of your life up to that point, regardless of whether you’re in a living room or an Amazonian jungle.

little lightening bolt said...

what you had to say to those kids...
it was important that you did... however i could not help but recall that you admitted that that was how it had started for you as well... i know it did for me...
kids have a hard time of it... they have no idea what motivates them towards finding adult spiritual maturity, they have no guides or initiation, there are no elders to help them... what we are seeing in this video are their pure instinct taking control motivating them to discoverer whats important within themselves but with out them even knowing it... thats what a world with out elders who are initiated into life looks like, a bunch of dumb kids learning on their own. hopefully they learned something from the experience or from the attention their video brought them.

Pangolin said...

I think you're on a high horse. I watched the video you posted of the kids drinking aya and watching the Simpsons. Ayahuasca is a plant preparation with medicinal properties nothing more. Like any other medicine there will be people who will find ways to use and abuse it that you won't approve of.

The nasty bit is this: If you are going to make ayahuasca available to people like me who don't have the funds to travel to Peru, or maybe can't get a visa, then you have to make it available to the idiots. I can't see a way where you get one without the other. Not with the current medical system anyway.

I suffer from depression. It runs on both sides of my family, maternal and paternal. Two alcoholic grandfathers, an alcoholic father, an elder brother who committed suicide two years ago and me down here on the tail end. It's crippling and people, including and especially medical personnel, are completely unforgiving of it.

About a month ago my first fumbled ayahuasca brew had probably saved my life. Cooked all wrong, with stale, internet-purchased ingredients, and no support from anybody, no shaman, no sitter, no spa in Iquitos to return to, it did the job. I was otherwise ready to check out; leave the Hotel California. I had the note writ up and everything.

My life for their right to be idiots. It's a fair bargain to me; maybe to my kids also. I never knew my maternal grandfather; he checked out early. Maybe, just maybe, I'll be around for my grandkids.

LG said...


I deleted your repeated comment from the other post since it seemed to better fit this discussion. I think most of the points you made have addressed in this thread. But to clarify: I never meant to imply the people shouldn’t have a right to act freely, even as “idiots”. I was merely trying to state that there are better things out there than stupidity. But indeed, in a place where people are free, you can’t have one without the other. However, whenever culturally established contexts of use exist (like for example our traffic regulations) certain accidents are minimized (never completely avoided.) If, in the name of freedom, everyone who hopped inside a car was allowed to drive as they saw fit, even drive as idiots, (because the have a right to act freely) surely the number of accidents would increase, to everyone’s detriment. I feel ayahuasca is powerful enough to demand certain cautions. I also feel that the people who have been dealing with it the longest, Amazonians, have an accumulation of knowledge, coming for generations of trial and error, that might be useful to us. Because -when it comes to ayahuasca use- we westerners are still very much in the experimental, trial and error, phase, feeling our way in the dark.

I also feel there is an important difference between purely theoretical stances and those opinions that come from deep involvement or personal experience. For example I have many opinions about global warming, but -I’ll readily admit- they all come from hearsay, stuff I’ve read here and there. There’s been no methodic research on global warming on my part. I could participate in a dinner talk about it, but I probably wouldn’t get in an argument with you about it since you obviously seem to have devoted a lot more energy an research to it than me.

As far as I understand you haven’t had any direct personal experience with Amazonian shamanism, and you've had Ayahuasca one time in your whole life, a month ago. So, while I respect your opinions, I commend you for your bravery, and I am really very glad to hear that Ayahuasca helped you through what sounds like a very difficult time. I can tell you that from my experience there is, and there will be, a lot more to it, both to Ayahuasca, and to your own process…. In that sense you might find interesting the J.M. Fericgla video (lg05) I posted. There you can hear what -in the opinion of a therapist who has worked with entheogens for quite some years- are some of the overlooked pitfalls of these substances.

I’ll be glad to hear more about how your own process develops should you decide to continue drinking ayahuasca

Best wishes,


PD: Funny, the pangolin used to be my favorite animal when I was a kid, I hadn’t thought about them for like 25 years or something..

Anonymous said...

it is not a drug. it is a medicine. i commend you for your video response. it can't be compared to other lounge room drug experiences. it needs to be respected and only those who have experienced it in the proper way - set setting substance - fully appreciate this fact. i loved your book analogy. well said!