Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fragments of Globalization

“In times immemorial, God without form, Brahman, the “oldest of all” the gods, bored with nothingness, created the goddess Maya for his enjoyment (In other versions of the story he creates the mirror universe in order to admire himself.).
And so he said: “Maya, shall we play?”
Maya answered: “Only if you create the world.”
So Brahman created the heavens, the earth, the sea, the sun, the moon, the stars, humankind and other animals.
“What shall we play now?” asked Brahman
“Hide and Seek,” said Maya, and taking Brahman by the hands, tore him into millions of pieces, placing the creator god in each of his creatures. And then she challenged him, “Now let’s see if you can find yourself, Brahman!”

There is a God trying to remember of Himself inside of each one of us, and we will only manage to have Him becoming conscientious in us, if we manage to see Him in others as well. “By the way that we came, that will have to be the way of coming back”. But, globalization is not, on itself, the re-unification of Brahmam´s cosmic conscience. Therefore, it is also argued here that different traditional fragments - the techniques of the Reiki, the Feng Shui, the Toltec shamanism, the Vipassana meditation - are simplified and distorted by the New Age consumerism. It interests us, over all, to think about the therapeutical possibilities of the Ayahuasca within the globalization scenario and the shock of different cultural identities.

Reiki and Feng Shui

Recently, I attended a course on Traditional Reiki (that is, on how this technique is known and used back in Japan) and I found out that everything or almost everything that I had learned of this technique was not true, or at least, that it had been re-invented by the western esoterism. The symbols, that many believed to come from Atlantis and Lemuria, do not really play an important role in the technique, There is truly a ritual (with chants and meditation) before the practice, and there are many procedures that had been left behind (scanning, cleaning, different usage of the hands: the left hand, directed upwards, catches energy; while the right hand applies the energy caught in the patient).
When I first got interested in Reiki, I was told that Dr. Mikao Usui was the main elaborator of the technique, transmitted, around 1930 return, to 16 teachers, among them the Dr Chujiro Hayashi. He opened a hospital in Tokyo and was responsible for the cure of a cancer on a Hawaiian lady, miss Hawayo Takata that brought Reiki to the Occident[1]. Today there is at least three international groups that dispute the legacy of Dr. Hayashi and Ms Takata: the Reiki Alliance[2], the American International Reiki Association (AIRA)[3] and the Usui System[4]. Osho also decided to open its own line of Reiki, the neo-reiki. One of its disciples, Frank Arjana Petter, in order to go further in his studies, decided to go to Japan to undertake a research on the origins of the technique. Then it was discovered a Reiki very different from what was known. The master Usui, not only passed his knowledge to Dr. Hayashi, but also created a secret society, the Gakkai, that counts on thousand of participants. Although the Buddhist origin, the traditional Reiki is inserted in a Shintoist context (a Japanese religion of cult to the ancestors, of extremely nationalistic characteristics): before the applications verses of the emperor Hiroito (ally of Hitler and Mussolini in II Great War) are recited, the Gassho meditation It is practiced (with the hands joined together) and the abdominal breathing plays a much more important role than the visualization of the symbols. The most interesting thing of this discovery, however, it is to notice what we made of a spiritual practice removing it from its cultural context. Transposed to the occident as a commodity, Reiki started be a `franchise' of spiritual work, in which the initiations (actually, symbols sales) had substituted rigorous procedures of moral and energy development.
And more: It is curious how we erect systems of proper beliefs over a cultural fragment out of context. But, as my deceased father used to say: “in the path of the spiritual life there is no deceivers only deceived”. Nobody have deceived me, it was me who deceived myself. Once more.
However, facing one more mistake, I see three different attitudes: the disillusioned (that had abandoned the use of the technique), the ones that had adhered to the traditional Reiki (but, not to Shintoism, I hope) and the ones that solemnly ignore the discovery of Petter, a time that the important thing is the practice of diffusion of the light and not the theories that support it. In certain form, I include myself in this last group. Although I always prefer to know the truth, it believes that Destiny writes right in askew lines and that all the mistakes are necessary so we can become conscientious.
Another example of trans-cultural deceit: the Feng Shui, the Chinese art of energy organization of the ambient, that studies the relation of man with its environment, based on the observation of the stars, the shape of the mountains, the form of the rivers, streets and buildings and the furniture disposal. This knowledge had its origin in old Taoist masters that studied the nature and understood how the energy around them behaved, and how it could affect a residence. They had evidenced that two basic forces influenced the environment: wind and water. In a second moment, also it was considered the stars of the date of the property foundation and the birth of its inhabitants (in general, by the method of the four pillars: hour, day, month and year). Beyond the study of the fundamental forces of the environment and the various astrological techniques, the Feng Shui guides the choice of the place where the building must be constructed; it determines the North Pole through an astrological compass, Lu Pan, associating it always to the entrance of the house; and, finally, it analyzes and considers changes in the internal organization of the environment in accordance with the harmony between the five Chinese elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water.
However, good part of the ‘New Age’ Feng Shui that is published in the media drift from the American School system, that is not properly of Taoist origin, but actually partisan of the Tantric Buddhism, the 'Black hat sect', School that simplifies considerably the traditional system of the Feng Shui, eliminating its macro-cosmic reference and giving more emphasis to the environment decoration then the construction of the houses. Then, there are no astrological influences, and a mirror (representing the element water) is always in the entrance, independently of its position in relation to the cardinal points.
Thus, the Feng Shui was reduced to the harmonization of the interior environment through the theory of the five elements and its two cycles: the cycle of the creation (in accordance with the clockwise rotation in the mandala) and the cycle of the control (formed by the interior arrows). In the cycle of the creation the wood is combustible for the fire, whose ashes vitalize the earth, that creates the metal, that mineralizes the water, that puts off the fire that in its turn melts the metal, that cuts the wood. The Feng Shui consultants analyze which is the dominant element or in disequilibrium, and, according to the two cycles, add or remove other elements thus harmonizing the environment.
However, this analysis and change of internal environments through the five elements out of the context of the astrological techniques is a simplification. There is an emphasis in the symbolic relation between the body of the inhabitant and its residence; while, in the traditional Chinese systems, the relation was between the Microenvironment Macro universe. In fact, there are many Feng Shui schools and different methods and emphases. The Taoist Society of Brazil[5] teaches traditionally the science of two important schools: the Eight Houses (Ba Zhai) School and the School of the Flying Stars (Fei Xin)[6].
Another controversial point in relation to this macrocosmic aspect of the traditional Feng Shui is the question of its applicability in the South hemisphere, a time that there are many symmetrical factors inverted in relation to the Chinese symbolic structure. For example, there is an analogy between the seasons of the year and the Pa Kua mandala that guides the construction of the property. Below the line of the equator, however, the seasons are symmetrical to the ones of the north hemisphere north, inverting the whole symbology of the system. Moreover, the gravity itself has its rotation in the contrary direction, determining the movements of the winds and maritime flows to develop inversely.
Taking these inversions in account, some authors present an adaptation of the Feng Shui to the south hemisphere; substituting the Pleiades of the Ursa Major (that represent the stellar North Pole to and the center of all Chinese astrology) for the constellation of the Southern Cross (and for the stellar South Pole as center of the sky). Also it is necessary to say that, currently, the Feng Shui evolved to new disciplines: the Radestesy, the Bio-geology and the Permaculture.
Another interesting case of esoteric self-deceit - that brings these same three attitudes - the person without illusions, the one who do not accept the truth and the one that coexists partially with disillusionment - is given by the followers Carlos Castaneda ideas, the great adapter and propagator of the Mexican Shamanism. What we want to stand out it is that, as well as the Reiki, the Toltec Shamanism was re-invented, forming a new system of beliefs, and very different of that originally intended to be followed. The important to us is to now stand out, with these three examples of simplifying appropriation of fragments of the traditional cultures by the New Age movement (the traditional Reiki made commercial, the `Toltecity' transformed into Tensegrity and the Feng Shui reduced to ambience decoration), that the globalization gave us a vast gamma of techniques and specific sciences directed toward self-knowledge, but that the desire of if being deceived continue to be dominant and universal[7].
But, there is also in this scenario, ‘successful adaptations’, traditional fragments that had revitalized with globalization, interacting with other cultures without losing its original force, as it is the case of the Vipassana meditation, revitalized for S.N. Goenka[8].
Out Mind with Buddha
In January 10th 2008 I made my first ten day reclusion of Vipassana meditation in Miguel Pereira, state of Rio De Janeiro[9].
Vipassanā (Pāli) or vipaśyanā (Sanskrit) means ‘insight’, to see things as they really are. Sidarta Gautama, 1º Buddha, elaborated it 26 centuries ago. It is the observation of the experience of direct perception. And the underlying principle is the investigation and understanding of the phenomena manifested in the 5 aggregated (skandhas), nominated as the attachment to the physical form (rūpa), to the sensations or feelings (vedanā), to the perception (saṃjñā, Pāli saññā), to the mental structures (saṃskāra, Pāli saṅkhāra) and to the conscience (vijñāna, Pāli viññāṇa). My interpretation: We become conscientious of the sensations of the body; of the individual affections; of the perception syntax; of the collective standards of thought cognition; and, finally, conscientious of our own conscience. However, due to social framing, most of the people are limited to the body-mind observation, and hardly ever gets to the conscience of the context of enunciation of conscience itself[10].
I had already done, in 1985, four days of Vipassana meditation in the Buddhist monastery in the Rio de Janeiro’s neighborhood of Santa Teresa, with Don, a former Theravada monk that had been direct disciple of the Krisnamurti. In this version, the Vipassana meditation had a part walking and mental notes to punctuate the observation. Moreover, he supervised the interior process of each one very closely; different from the Goenka method that is for 100 people each time (for at least ten days) and that the lectures are previously recorded in CDs.
The traditional technique is divided in two stages: Anapana, in which the person concentrates attention in a specific point of the body (usually it is the air entrance and exit from the nose), and Vipassana properly said, that consists of moving the attention through the body ascending and descending, as scanner - what it is sufficiently difficult and may take some days to achieve. There are no mantras, visualizations or specific breathing, but the observation of the breathing (whereas it is deep or fast). The Vipassana meditation focus the interconnection between mind and body, which can directly experimented through the disciplined attention to the physical sensations, that constitute the life of the body, and that are continuously interconnected with the life of the mind, at the same time that conditions it.
This meditation technique, done for ten consecutive days inside of the noble silence and a low calorie vegetarian diet, leads to the observation of the mind by the conscience as something objective, external to the perception. In the level of normal conscience, the conscience lives inside the mind. In others techniques that I practiced (taking Daime or with Osho´s dancing meditations), there was an expansion of this conscience that surpasses the limits of the ego, but remained inside the mind. The conscience, in state of extended perception, accessed deeper levels of the unconscious, but remained inside the limits of the mental-emotional structure. What happens with the Vipassana technique is different: through focusing the attention in the breath (sensorial border between intentional and the involuntary), without the use of any sounds or visualizations, the deep standards of the unconscious are accessed, seen from the outside. The sensations of pain and emotional suffering due to perceptive restrictions of the enormous cognitive effort directed toward the attention on the body and the breathing make to emerge desires aversion and the corporal well-being sensations bring desires of greed (not only sexual, but of repetition of pleasant situations). Normally, in others techniques or therapies with sensorial focus, these desires are seen as positive, but when seen objectively, with the conscience put outside the mental-emotional structure, it is revealed to be only deeper layer of the individual unconscious. And more: it is the speech that organizes the memory with its narrative. With `the noble silence', there is an increase of the memory and its reorganization out of the discursive standards. Not only we remember more things, as the form as we remember the events is not so ego-centered. With silence, the memory does not function with reminds anymore, but with remembrance.
The experience also brought me a cognitive paradox produced by meditation itself. The paradoxes are recurrent subjects, without solution, that, contradictorily and at the same time, are also a form of resistance and a form of deepening of the mind during the observation process. My paradox is related to a neo-Kantian suspicion that my efforts to concentrate my attention in the breathing and the physical sensations were, in fact, imaginary. I was really feeling or I imagined that I was feeling? Is there any difference between these two perceptions? Between observation and imagination? Is it possible that the conscience can observe the mind from the outside or I (or my mind) had created an imaginary observer exterior to the mind? This paradox of the being subject-object has many levels and has no solution. For example: the contradiction between acceptance and reaction/conscientious action. The practice of the Vipassana meditation brings the Buddhist hermeneutics inlaid in itself, its concepts and its values, its Metaphysical structure. The non-reaction idea per passes the whole Buddhist doctrine. To deepen the meditation we shall not react to pains and nor to the other cognitive manifestations (sensations, feelings, perceptions, etc) – just to observe. But, to me, the warlike spiritual ethics (the samurais, the toltec, the guarani, among so many others) are beyond the patterns of the Buddhist paradox of `reaction-acceptance'. Instead of reacting or not reacting, it is necessary to stalk; it is necessary to understand "to give the other one cheek" as conscientious creative action and not as acceptance of the suffered violence or as a reaction. Perhaps because of that in Kashmir, in the Tibet and in Burma, the Buddhism does not get to defend itself, while the American shamanism in general face the colonial violence as challenge of development. And it is necessary to behave in a way different than the Buddhism in relation to the tyrannies of the world. The Vipassana meditation consists exactly in domesticating oneself in order to not react to anything. Then, it came to me an interior fight between accepting the world as it is and the non-conformism of not acting to transform it, and also a consideration over the contrast between the Buddhist morality and the warrior ethics. The Bhagavad-Gita, the sublime chant, was introduced in the Vedas in century II A.D.[11] The birth of Sidarta Gautama was around 600 and 400 B.C. It is possible that the Gita is a reply of the Hinduism (mainly of the Kshatriyas, varna of the warriors) to the five principles of the Buddhist morality[12].
These paradoxes between observation/imagination and acceptance/rejection, lived inside of the meditation process as resistances/deepening, work as challenges of development, impediments that provoke us to overcome them. We will go back to them in the future, or better: they are the ones that always come back in my efforts to know me.
I would now like to establish some parameters for the therapeutical use of Ayahuasca as well as procedures to give to contingency to the spirituals emergencies; and to discuss the factors that determine the creative adaptation and the cultural dis-characterization of a determined religious tradition or spiritual technique of the global world, giving emphasis, evidently, to the process of international expansion of the Ayahuasca.
Umbanda, Brazilian proto-synthesis.
However, first I would like to advance my opinion on a point that I consider fundamental: the role of Umbanda in the Ayahuasca globalization. Umbanda cannot be deprived of its characteristics because it has no have well defined traditional characteristics of its own. It is anthropophagous. And it is this characteristic is that makes of it (and not of Santo Daime or other Christian cults of the Brazilian Shamanism) a form well adjusted for integration of the different traditional fragments in a global environment. It is not a matter of superiority or philosophical magnitude: the Umbanda is more resilient and adapts itself much better to the multicultural scene of the religious globalization. `Umbanda is charity' therefore it has no problems integrating the most diverse practices and techniques to help the human development.
Currently, there is three possible positions to see the relations between Umbanda and Santo Daime: the adepts of ‘Umbandaime’, that affirm a synthesis between the two doctrines; the ones that believe that `Umbanda is in Daime', that is, that the doctrine of the Daime Saint is more embracing and includes Umbanda - generally practitioners of the white table ritual; and, finally, the ones that prefer the perspective of the shamanism, in which Daime is seen as a cult or ritual to be preserved and the Umbanda as universalistic philosophy capable of multiple metamorphoses.
The spiritual chain in the Santo Daime is centrifugal (from the inside out) and ascending (from bottom to top) and the chain of the Umbanda is centripetal (from the outside in) and descending (from top to bottom).
Gê Marques[13] not only believes that a higher corporal conscience mark the great difference between the two religious proposals, but the reason of its recent approach.
‘We find then two distinct views towards the body: the one from Santo Daime and from Umbanda. In first contained, distrustful, moralized, ruled, threatening; the other is cathartic, free, accepted, reckless. It is questioning how they co-inhabit inside of one religious system, and there we come across again with this attitude so common within the popular religiosity, in which fragments apparently dispersed and disconnected glue together and coexist, composing an acceptable set for its adepts. (...) We live a moment in which the body cult became general, why not to say that it became fashionable, mainly to the individuals of the university average layers. Thus, innumerable ways to deal with the body had been introduced, created or yet revaluated in our society: gymnastics academies, dance, aerobics, anti-gymnastics, bio-energetic: the oriental practices, such as: Yoga, tai chi, kum nye, some of them even having a spiritual matrix. This was the environment of the time, when the fragmented contact of multiple traditions, knowledge and techniques, so keen to post-modernity, already was installed. In the Umbanda, for the alternative young person, nobody demanded rupture of his recently conquered relation with the body, more aired and less fearful. But in Santo Daime we can affirm that a tense hiatus was created between two distant positions; the fluid relations between the genders, the conquests of the feminine world, the experimentation of the sexuality in new clippings of relation, are some examples of attitudes of the world of illusion difficult to conciliate with the more severe behaviors assimilated by the daimist religious universe. In way that the Umbanda, inside Santo Daime, when bringing as possibilities that love for ecstasy so keen to the African religiosity, was presented as a more acceptable alternative to the egresses of modernity.’

But, is not only a matter of the body. The Umbanda more absorving as well as it has multiple relations with other segments of the Brazilian contemporary culture: aesthetically, it has relation with the current neo-baroque movement (therefore share the alegorical overlappings of different immanent universes in opposition to the representation of a single transcendent symbolic universe); theoretically, it has relation with the theory of complexity (because comprehends that the multiplicity inside of each part and the plurality of interpretation of the whole); and, culturally, Umbanda is anthropophagic.
In the literal sense, anthropophagy is cannibalism; in the symbolic sense, it is to acquire the qualities of the enemy. Oswald de Andrade will give a cultural interpretation to the term, as a form of creative resistance to the colonizing cultural impositions. For Darcy Ribeiro, this is a singular trace of our cultural identity , resultant from the ethnic miscegenation between indians, blacks and white latins. This identity is singular in relation to the colonized people, as the testimonial ones (Andean and Mexican) that keep the distinctive traces of old pre-Columbian civilizations (in Bolivia, for example, the elites turned globalized and the people was culturally excluded), and among the people where the cultural characteristics of the colonists had started to be dominant (as the Argentines and Canadians, for example). That is: the Brazilian culture do not accepted nor reject the cultural colonization, it integrates contents and values of its tyrants, re-interpreting the imposed foreign culture inside its own intentions. And, in this direction, Umbanda is the spiritual “proto-synthesis” of the Brazilian culture.
On the other hand, we cannot say that the Umbanda is `integral', in the sense pointed by Ken Wilber, that is, of a knowledge transversally holistic that selects different objects and aspects of diverse universes in a single specific focus. The Umbanda does not have a specific focus. Also in this perspective it could be said that the Santo Daime, Reiki, Feng Shui and other the religious fragments would be `hólons' (wholes/parts), irreducible and perfect in itself, but the Umbanda (or the donward philosophy of the shamanism) as well as the Vipassana (or the upward philosophy of the Buddhism) are more general interpretative approaches, able to contain and to explain the relation of several holons and its hierarchies.
And this for two reasons in special: 1) to Umbanda, the change of the conscience states is collective and is coordinated by spirits of the deceased and other entities; 2) who is the cogniscent subject? I (the conscience), as it thinks the Buddhism and the integral philosophy; or the Deity in me awaken as it is believed in the Umbanda? And would this be only a difference of approach?
Perhaps due to its intellectual development to be originated in the theoretical reflection of psychology and in the practice of the Buddhist meditation, Wilber works mainly in the two first quadrants: subjective individual and the objective individual. He even admits this emphasis and this limitation and hopes to others to complete and re-interpret its analytical model. Good, maybe to my intellectual development through the anthropological reflection and mine main spiritual practice to be the work with ayahuasca, in which the trance is a collective process, my main perspective in the study of changes in the states of conscience is inter-subjective and trans-objective, placing itself in the two inferior quadrants of the model of Wilber.
I recognize four overlapping and simultaneous different paradigms in the spiritual service: the paradigm of the fight of good against evil; the paradigm of aid to the suffering spirits deed and living; the paradigm of the dialogue/conflict between I and the Other; and, finally, the paradigm of the Conscience of the Deity (or of the recapitulation of the biography by the conscience/identification with mythical and symbolic narratives). For the Umbanda, the process of formation of these paradigms is collective and, even in the last two, is co-ordinated by spiritual entities, according to the progress f the subject , in counterpoint to the philosophies that emphasize the ascension of the individual conscience.
The bio-cinema
The mystic Ramana Maharshi, for example, emphasizes the self-inquiry idea as a form of self-knowledge able to lead to the construction of a new spiritual identity. “Who am I? Who is this that asks? E this third that it questions about the first nosey parker” God, reality and everything else are illusions, there is only the superior I (in a meaning of Self, or I constructed by the self-inquiry). He has an analogy between the cinema and the human perception that illustrates well this neuron-linguistic process of emphasis in the cogniscent subject.
At a first moment, conscience is the perception. It represents the light that will be projected over different objects. If we give attention to what we see, the eyes will illuminate; if we try to perceive the sounds, the conscience will be focus in our auditory capacity; and so on. In this analogy, the conscience is a shine that dislocates according to our selective perception. But, who is conscientious?
Thus, as the light is produced by a light bulb, conscience is produced by a luminous sphere, also called in other traditions Self, superior I or divine sparkle. And this is the second moment of Maharshi comparison: in order to perpetuate itself, instead of only shining alternatively over different objects, the conscience needs to construct its support: the superior I.
The third moment of this analogy consists of the lens that the light of the light bulb trespass in the projection of a film and the collective and external mind for where the conscience of the self passes when noticing the different dimensions (rational, sentimental, sensorial) of the reality. The mind here is not individual here, but a social filter, culturally constructed.
The photograms of the film projected in the movies correspond to the varied mental forms (archetypes, memories, images) that form the thought - in the fourth stage of the analogy. Also here there is no individuality: the thought is collective and external to the cognitive process.
In the fifth step of the analogy, however, appears the comparison between the projection of the film and the "Observer", that is, a I-focus formed to observe the thought, the mind and the perceptions of the conscience. This observer is one determined framing selfconcient that we create in order to deal with ourselves as third person and exists in various meditations. In the system of Castaneda, observer corresponds to the distinction between stalker and prey. The reality that we perceive is similar to the projection of the images in the movie screen.
Or simply: the screen is the reality that we see in this sixth moment of perception. The difference is only in the form of representation: in the cinema the images are bi-dimensional and reality is holographic (and solid). But, also, in the cinema as in perception, there are many types of images according to a variety of factors. The images of external references (sensorial, mental, emotional); There are images produced by the memory, others by the imagination.
The seventh level of perception, then, is this selective interpretation of the images, the ego, a determined subjective description of reality where we involuntarily classify the different items of our perception. It is the responsible mechanism for the projection of the images, the machine or Inferior I. This mechanism receives the images automatically and it does not have full conscience of its meaning. But through the gradual des-mechanization and of the unfolding of its attention in different levels of conscience we will be able to understand the images emanated from the light source and which is our role regarding the whole process.
Clearly that is no contradiction between the ascending process of the ego towards spiritual conscience and the descending process of the light towards cold and shady land where we inhabit. We choose the example of the analogy between cinema and perception of Maharshi because, contrasting with the complex model elaborated by Wilber, describes the process of individual subjectivation in a merely formal way, without degrees of moral or cognitive development, without scenarios, contents or interference of the systems of beliefs. Also it is clear that there is no have incompatibility between the individual, collective, subjective and objective perspectives. But, it is necessary to recognize that there are two distinct forms to conceive the cognitive symmetry: the scientific or the hypothetical that thinks the quadrants of the left trhough the ones on the right; e the traditional one that believes that the material world was emanated from interior universes. And the Umbanda, in this direction, is the dialetic counterpoint of the integral philosophy of Wilber.

The therapeutical use of the Ayahuasca

A first necessary distinction is about the ideas of ‘religious use' and ‘therapeutical use' of chemical substances that promote the expansion of the conscience. In my perspective, the religious use is characterized mainly for being vertical, emphasizing the relation between the Ego and Superior I (or the deity); while the therapeutical use is horizontal, focused in the relation between `I' and `Other'. Although this is a theoretical distinction, therefore in practice this two aspects are unseparable, there are intentions and environments (sets and settings) well different in the two proposals. And this difference bring up many questions.
For example: Would it be that a drugs abuser does not have greater possibilities of recovery in a religious paradigm (= surrounding + intention), where its dependence trans-mutates in spiritual autonomy, than in a psychological paradigm where it could be transferred to the therapist or to other horizontal objects? Or yet: would it be that Ayahuasca facilitates or amplifies emotional catarsis? Why the exposition of negative feelings and emotions (such as anger and sadness) so appropriate in the therapeutical process can generate psychic and spirituals obsessions, when carried through in states of altered conscience? The worship to the sacred cures due its gratuitousness, already to give supported to the development of resiliences (therapeutical work) is a professional remunerated activity - how to conciliate these questions?
The religious use in general has for objective the ethical and moral development of the participants of the cult, while the therapeutical use suposes a specific problem to be solved by someone in particular. But, it is necessary to define better how one can (or should not) use the DMT and its entheogenic beverages to deal with a specific resisrtence to the individual development. And not to establish a ‘new use' for the drink.
The daimist tradition rigorously prescribes the not-intervention, either as corporal touch, corporal massage or verbal attempt of communication, when a participant of the cult has a `passage', that is, face some resistance in its process of development and suffers some type of illness. In this perspective, it is advisable that `the drink and the person to get along' or that psychic process unchained is decided through a self-adaptation of the person to the emergent situation without interferences. Such perscription is extremely valid, mainly in the scope of the churches and religious temples where people without preparation (without specific professional formation) can want to help others at a circumstantial critical moment, through a corporal touch.
On the other hand, the use of ayahuasca joined with some experiences with changes in the corporal standards proved to be really productive, due to the muscular relaxation propitiated by the ingestion of the beerage, as the successive applications of the massage technique developed for Ida Roofing. The process of postural alignment can be potentialized through stretching and of daily regular exercises (of Pilates, RPG or of Iso-stretching), without the ingestion of any chemical additive. The exercises would prepare for a deep and permanent postural and behavioral realignment, made in altered state of conscience. In this in case, the ayahuasca is used inside of a long period process, with objectives and other therapeutical practices.
Nevertheless the use of the Ayahuasca joined to the cathartic practices of the bioenergy and the dancing meditations of Osho had not presented to me any visible benefit and certainly they can strengthen, instead of dissolving, the psychological resistances, whereas they are` energetic harnesses' or behavioral complexes. That is: the spiritual tradition dissuades the practice of the therapeutical intervention in the religious paradigm, but the psychological experience stimulates the use of entheogens as form of spiritual intervention in the therapeutical paradigm.
Therefore, it is not a matter of using practices and techniques and from other places to `complete' or to `percfecten' the rituals associate to Ayahuasca and the Brazilian plants of power, but yes learn to use these rituals and these plants in therapeutical processes. And, inside the therapeutical processes, inside of the experiences that I organized and witnessed, the Ayahuasca has shown to be bettet adjusted to the techniques of biographical regression through hypnotic suggestion than, directly, to the corporal movements and the massages.
But, there are also other possibilities of integration, as the circle techniques, the exercises of breathing and the methodologies of reorganization of the memory and the present life. Besides these discussions on the adjusted techniques, the question of the therapeutical use of the Ayahuasca still raises some parallel issues, as of the emergency of psychotic surts and the possibility of recovering from chemical dependence.
Ayahuasca has the effect of aggravation of the symptoms, it promotes and develops existential changes, taking the contradictory situations to critical levels. Thus, another related subject to the therapeutical use of ayahuasca, is that it unchains psychic crises and spirituals emergencies. The experience certifies that such cases can be seen as an overcoming of psychotic tendencies and also it can cause irreversible damages, in the case that the subject of the crisis does not find the support and the understanding necessary to understand the situation where he is. The role of the family, of the religious community and the professional environment seems to be preponderant for the recovery and the overcoming of the crises.
From there the need of establishing criteria and parameters to propitiate the spiritual emergency of psychic contents to not become a psychosis or a irreversible schizophrenia.
Many religious institutions believe to defend themselves from these situations through a rigorous interview (incorrectly called anamnese), that carried through of bureaucratically by unprepared people makes a prejudicial selection and of low quality. A preliminary interview with the people that are taking ayahuasca for the first time is fundamental for the adequate joy of the experience, but one shall not have to try to fit the interviewed in categories of risk, therefore this practice, more than moralist and politically incorrect is inefficacious in the sense of identifying problematic behaviors or possible spirituals emergencies. The truth is that nothing substitutes a frank and comprehensive conversation.
In relation to the cure of chemical dependence through therapeutical processes using the Ayahuasca, there are many successful initiatives in course, but also many mistakes. We cannot deal with this subject here deeply, but it would like to point two frequent mistakes that I have observed: a) The substitution of the consumption of drugs for the consumption of the Ayahuasca; and b) the substitution of the appropriate medication for the Ayahuasca. These two `substitutions' are mistake interpretations. The Ayahuasca can help in the recovery of chemical dependents in case it is understood as a `sacrament' and not as a drug or medication. And, of course, the sacramental use of ayahuasca is useless without a therapeutical process that includes the confinement in an appropriate environment, the change of alimentary habits and, essentially, the emotional motivation of the person in recuperation through different types of practice. We prescribe, therefore, such actions together with the sacramental use, and not its double substitution.
The debate involving the cultural globalization of the traditional religious techniques, the therapeutical use of Ayahuasca and the catalytic role of Umbanda in relation to Santo Daime and others to spirituals knowledges are just starting[14]. However, the basic aspect in this tornado of events is the fact of the current society - the post-modern culture yet under construction – to be creating the necessary social conditions to a new use of ayahuasca, that allows us (or will allow us in a mass scale) to try the death and existential transformation in a more accented form.

Denial, anger, negotiation, sorrow and acceptance. By observing terminal patients, the doctors[15] came to the conclusion that there are five emotional reactions regarding death. In the period of denial and Isolation, we don’t believe: "That cannot be happening to me". In the period of Wrath (Rage), we claim: "why me? That is not fair." Afterwards we negotiate: "Let me live until my children grow up." Right away, one comes to depression: "I am so sad. Why to care about anything?" And, finally, we understand the situation and we accept it: "Everything will end up just fine." Originally these periods were applied for any form of catastrophic personal loss, from the death of a dear one or divorce and detachments between family and old friends. With time, however, it was noticed that any significant personal change can lead to these periods. For example, experienced defense criminologists lawyers are aware that culprits who are facing the possibility of severe punishments with little possibility of appealing, frequently experience these stages, and it is desirable that reach the acceptance level before they declare themselves guilty. Also, one can observed that these stages do not always occur in this order, neither are all of them experienced by all of the patients, but usually a person always will present at least two of them. There are persons that defeat their mortal illnesses through insisting denial. Others are defeated by precautious acceptance, still, some are victims of their own selfcomiseration during the period of sorrow or succumb, drowned in their own rage. The periods are progressive, but not hierarchical. And no one is better that another.
Actually, anger and sadness are, in my opinion of a living creature before death, intervals between more organized mental periods, they are emotional discharges more than stages in itself: the anger transforms denial into negotiation, sadness permits negotiation to become acceptance. Osho, in ‘Pharmacy of the Soul’[16]says that they are polar moods and advises to use them one against the other, to mutually neutralize them: when you are angry, try to get sad with what enrages you; on the other hand, when you are sad try to be infuriated with the things that depress that you. That is particularly valid if one remembers that there are people with a higher propensity for sadness (that generally have difficulties fighting for their goals) and also people with a predominantly fiery-tempered character, little sensible in recognizing their own flaws as resultant from their action. Anger and sadness are contrary emotional reactions that we all have in greater or minor ratio before our irreversible losses and the perpetual impermanency of life time.
By the way, the maniac-depressive cycle, discovered by Willis and Freud and reinvented currently as bipolar perturbation, is a proof that these periods must be seen as opposing moments of emotional re-balance of the body and not as specific reactions before death and loss. Therefore, excluded anger and sadness from our model of the emotional periods of grief, three genuine reactions towards death remain: the denial, the negotiation and the acceptance. Perhaps it is only a matter of correlation between forces: when we have a lot of energy, we deny death; when we don’t we accept it; in doubt, we negotiate.
Universal stages, truth, but with infinite variations reflecting a great diversity of people and reactions. In a general ternary typology, as the typology of the Naranjo’s Eneagram, for example, one can say that the more mental people are more inclined to fear, while the people of the sentimental kind are more anxious and the people with emphasis in motricity are the ones who have, mainly, this polar oscillation of the Aggressive and depressed temperaments. Furthermore, one could recognize a ternary typology based on the different kinds of early reaction to one’s own death: the neurotic ‘denialist’ (or refuters), the compulsive negotiators (or the dominators) and the professional consenters (or submissive)[17]
It happens that the moment of confrontation with death is a moment of overcoming of the neuroses and of psychological recurrences. And many automated behavior standards are recognized, accepted and dissolved. All of the ways lead to acceptance (even the neurotic acceptance, that believes to be able to forgive before suffering, after others dramatic periods, take to true acceptance). There are many diferent persons and forms of reaction to catastrophe, but the death and its acceptance grade everything to two common points: the end of time and the need for change.
In that context, conscience plays the central role. Formerly, doctors avoided to tell their patients their situation because they believed that it would accelerate the process. Afterwards, in a humanistic wave, people invested on the contrary attitude, telling their patients their real chances (or not) of recuperation and how much time of life they have left. Today, both procedures are used depending on the maturity of the people involved, of the ethical principles of the doctor and, mainly, of the private interest of the families involved (what, in many times, is 'iparticularly' cruel).
Conscience being as much the sense of having access to information (consciousness), as the sense of straight perception (conscience); affectionate and effective, of his state terminal. One thing is the information ("smoke is bad for your health" - by example), something else is perception. By the way, the very definition of the 'moment of death' is a complex issue[18]. Generally, we perceive unconsciously that we are dying, or that (since everybody is dying since we are born) we are close to leave the material world. It is about mentally assuming what already we perceive involuntarily through the body.
The great mammals (elephants, whales), not only know the moment of their death but also accept their destination with a wisdom that we, human beings, hardly reach. This because there are (had been and will be) rare the men who knows the day of his own death and several are the traditions consider the ' knowledge and the acceptance of the predestined day' as one undisputed proof of human spiritualization. There is, also, some legendary and literary narratives on the subject of knowing and to accepting ones destination.
This is the first point that would like to firm: the flower already exists in the seed, the death is imanent to life, and not its transcendency to another plan. And, in this imanent sense, it is not only is a mechanism of genetic improvement of the biological evolution, but, above all, a mechanism of ethical improvement and spiritual evolution of the conscience. That is: the death is not only refers to life but also to conscience.
Thus, the true question is not if there is life after death, but if there is conscience after death. E this is the second question I would like to approach. The concept of Death Proximity Experience (DPE)[19] that refers to a set of sensations associated to the situations of death imminence, associated the cerebral hipoxis, as the effect ' tunnel of light' e ' experience of being out of the body' (autoscope). The term was coined by Dr. Raymond Moody in its book written in 1975, "Life After Life”[20]
For us, the important thing is that after the DPE, patients seem to modify their point of view in relation to the world and to other people. The behavior changes are significantly positive. The main reason for the change is losing the fear of death; they start to give more value to their lives and of the others; they reevaluate their usual values, ethics and priorities; they become calmer, confident and… conscientious.
In others times, those DPE´s were rituals of initiation. The confrontation with death was a social mechanism for qualification of the conscience and was part of the 'civic traditions of the tribe'. In fact, our society did not abolish completely that mechanism but sprayed that rite of passage in diverse micro-deaths, in diverse losses and frustrations by the which we remember life and we sharpen our conscience. We 'almost-die' several times in an only life.
And this leads us to a third point: the post-modern life and the death of death. Edgar Morin, in the mat of the death of God (requested by Nietzsche) and the death of the Man (maintained by Foucault) tried to assassinate death itself, with the notion of 'scientific amortality' (in opposition to the traditional 'immortality').
Medicine and the present sciences wish to extend the time of life to the maximum, wish to defeat the death. Tradition as much Science aim to defeat death, but while the first one, romantic, aspire the immortality of the gods in eternity, the last one, more realistic, studies ways of increase longevity and of ease the pain, the sorrow and the effects of the ageing in the material world. And to this neurotic and not wise scientific project of the modernity, Morin called 'amortality'.
Another one big difference between the traditional societies and ours is that, while previously we faced mainly dangers and external threats, presently we create artificially our risks for optimize our life in society. "Our time is not more or less risky than that of preceding generations, but the equilibrium between risks and dangers had alternate". (GIDDENS, 2003, p. 44) And more: now we are our biggest threat: today the risk of an ecological catastrophe provoked by the industrial growth; yesterday, we lived the risk of a thermonuclear war; tomorrow, we will live the risk of having a life of growing uncertainty (and uncertainty is a risk that cannot be calculated). The reasons that afflicts us are real, but are also artificial.
The experience of death is immanent to life. It is, simultaneously, a goal and a limit: It is not a matter of an eventual threat or an unconscious fear, but of a presence that is constant in every each second that keeps everybody internally submissive to the social nets. It is as if life was a marathon, in which, in order to get to the end, it is necessary to balance your breath, take care of your posture and hydration so you wont be injuried or sick. In contemporary life is necessary to always 'be on the edge' and maintain an obsessive care with the body.
The notion of death as permanent risk is a new form of producing existential significance. The death is like a constant companion, which used to be an exclusive experience of few mystics, it is now a way of subjection of the elites in the contemporary culture. And a way fragmented into many simulated micro-deaths, into some existential shocks of the body at risk, in many antecipated ends of one only irreversible instant.
Is no longer a matter of ‘living death’ but of surviving to the many deaths. And there is no use in denial or to negotiation, to be angry or to be sad, it is necessary to accept changes and adapt to the transformation.
Thus, these are the three points I wanted to stand out on contemporary death and dying: the immanence of death in life; it exists due to the development of the conscience; and, currently, was (or is) fragmented and dramatized in many smaller partial events, at the same time that life is artificially is extended by current science and culture.
And what about Ayahuasca?
Certainly it plays a very important role in this entire process. Not only because it allows a glimpse to these relations we described, but above all, but because it can propitiate this new experience of death on account to a great number of people, or even better, it may potentialize a social process in course, in the direction of turning the experience of death into a more intense and more and secure one.

[1]Reiki´s history at http://reikibr.dataek.net/digo-rs/reikibr/Reiki_I_05082003.pdf
[2]Graduated in 1983, leadead by the Takata ´s grandoughter, Gran Mestre Phyllis Lei Furumonto.
[3]Organized by dr Bárbara Weber Ray in 1982.

[4]Created in 1988 by William L. Rand. Michigan, USA.
[6] Due to the great difusion of this simplyfied Feng Shui, many traditional participants headed towards the promotion of the “real” Feng Shui. Internacionally, the writer Eva Wong is the main defender of the Taoist Feng Shui <http://www.shambhala.com/fengshui>; in Brazil the work of Lucyane Campos stands out.
[7] I approached this simplyfing tendency of the globalization in Jurema Rainha - a planta sagrada do sertão nordestino. Revista A ARCA DA UNIÃO, ano 01, número, 01. <http://arcadauniao.org/artigo.php?idEdicao=6&idArtigo=33>, 2005.
[8]S.N. Goenka, was Born and raised in Birmany (Myanmar). After fourteen years of practice , started to teach Vipassana in 1969. In 1982 he started to name assistant teachers in many countries to help him answer the increasing international demand for the Vipassana courses.
[10] See Ken Wilber critics on Budhism in the Occident.
[11]ELIADE, M. O Dicionário das Religiões. p. 178. São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 1999.
[12]The Gita is the conclusion of a great mythic epic, the Mahabarata or the fight of the five Pandava brothers (descendent from the princes from Nortrhen India) against their cousins, the kauravas, for the kingdom of Bharata. The Pandavas had been exiled, spending tem years passing by the magic kingdoms od ancient India, where they make frinships. When they come back home, their cousin forbid them to get in, an a great battkle is anunciated. The Gita tells how Arjuna refuses to fight (with budists arguments) when Krisna comes and teaches the three kinds of yoga: Jnana for the mind, Bhakti devotional, and karma Yoga, or the art of warrior action without assuming karma. It is not the action itself that produces karma, but the feeling aggregated to it. One may kill, steal, lie – but with no hate, anger or resentenment.
[13]([13]) ALVES JUNIOR, Antonio Marques. Tambores para a Rainha da Floresta: a inserção da Umbanda no Santo Daime. Máster in Religious Sciences. Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC/SP). São Paulo, 2007. p. 253-259.
[14] One of or goal in the AYAHUASCA REUNION is to discuss the factor that determine the creative adaptation and the cultural discharacterization of a determined religious tradition or spiritual tecnhique in the globalized world, emphasizing , evidently, the process of international expansion of ayahuasca, as well as stablishing parameters for the therapeutical use and to give contingence for the spiritual emergencies http://br.geocities.com/encantador_de_serpentes/ayahuasca/index.htm
[15]The model was proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in its book On Death and Dying, published in 1969. The stages were popularized and are known as The Five Stages of the Mourning (or about Pain of Death, or the Perspective of the Death).

[16]Reprint of the book orange, rewritten by the Saniashi after death of Rajnessh.
[17]LEWIN defined these three behaviors from the study of several animal groups (bugs, mammals, reptiles). In others works, I redefined them as "shepherds, sheep and wolves".
[18]There is the apparent death, the cellular death, the cerebral death, the death of the vital functions, the organic decomposition. In fact, death is a process and not a an instant.
[19]Article with scientific literature review http://www.hcnet.usp.br/ipq/revista/vol34/s1/116.html
Videos with interviews with persons that experienced DPE. http://youtube.com/watch?v=XPzTa-HDV3A
[20] Despite these sensations being frequently associated to a mystical experience, they could be scientifically explained as a secondary physiological response of the brain to the hypothesis. In the majority of the cases the clinical death of the patient was atested, but in none of there was the corroboration of cerebral death.