Contemporary Peruvian Ceremonies take place within a post modern setting. This liberates the practice from its amazonian ethno-cultural practices to a vaster set of applications. We now have at our disposal a Treasure trove from all over the planet that spans centuries of experimentation and guidance on the Art of Living and Dying. Of course, living and dying superbly. In this context personal transformation to an ongoing state of well being is often the aim of practitioners and participants.
We then have an opportunity to use what works in the West East to bring individuals to attain sustainable results in their Fulfillment practices.
However, do the ceremonies, shamans, hosts, and organizers of the Ceremonies construct the set and setting for a truly revolutionary life changing practice or are unexamined assumptions, embedded stories, implicit metaphysical premises, financial gain restrict what is possible?
Or is the nature of the Ceremony now because of its post modernity explicitly polyalent, state dependent, highly individualized or subjectified, where the commonality of use is even not ascertained.
Where Do metanoic, entheogenic pursuits, place us all? If we pursue any kind of classificatory schema a La Wilber we might end up repeating the same hierarchical transcendent politics and practices that our age has so aptly critiqued though politically and economically still transitioning out of? If individuals and communities stay embedded within their respective socio-cultural historical horizons than what does the practice of Shamanism really offer as a viable Transformational modality?
Of course, the Superlative Aesthetic suffusion of awe, wonder and delight could be enough. Is the sense of connection, meaning, and vastness often experienced through these ceremonies sufficient unto itself as a starting or confirmation juncture of another possibility in human evolution?
So, again, what Self in the world, in action emerges from the practices of Shamanism? Are we back to James' again.....evaluate by who these folks are and their impact on others and themselves?
How does contemporary shamanic practices lead to a fully self expressed life? What is the Self of the shamanic practitioner in post modern settings?, as well as the shaman's ?
Is there a way to articulate impact using distinctions from science, psychology, sociology, "spirituality"? What would those distinctions be so that shamanism does not regress into Narcissus on DMT? or why not pursue other disciplines of illumination and impact such as Zen, Tantra, and so forth?
I will develop what I am about to say in more detail at a later post.
My take on the Entheogenic Revival is that the Ritual Use of Ceremonial Sacraments such as Ayahuasca is that it fulfills the Spiritual need to have a relationship with the Second Face of God.
Briefly, there are three faces of God. THe It which encompasses an External Account or reflection as to What God is: Gaea, Big Bang, The Universe as an Objective entity. The third account is the Face of God as "I", The Witness,...and so on. Go to Wilber and his folks on this sort of theological distinctions and experience.
My experience as a Shamanic Musician is that when I work with the Shamans in Ceremony participants have an experience of being in relation to a THou or Sacred other.
This experience of Relatedness in distinction to First Person or Third Person faces of Gods is that Sacramental use of entheogens supplants what once occupied by Western Religions and Metaphysics,
The phenomenology of the experience has vast features one which is almost universally reported is Communion with a deity or deities...
Western Religion was superceded by the truth claims of Science and also by how Religion behaved in its ascendancy to power through out the ages. Whatever credibility Religion had with a living communion all too often the economic, political, and theological hierachies dissuaded the veracity of God as a Thou...
Perhaps the Entheogenic Reformation is an antidote to the societies of control we are under as well as a restorative to the full dimension of how the Divine shows up for us humans.
Again, I hope we are able to maintain a freshness and vitality to these newer integrations of traditions. We are in many ways now standing in the Clearing.
Let us create, since for me Shamanism lands as a constructivist ontology in Response to that Clearing, the best of all possible worlds for all that is.
We are the nomads of the bridge.