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Ayahuasca and the concept of reality. Ethnographic, theoretical, and experiential considerations. (cont.)
By Luis Eduardo Luna, Ph.D., F.L.S.

I have witnessed extraordinary synchronicities in this respect happening to contemporary westerners. It is as if having a vision had enough power for the universe to conspire towards its completion. Perhaps mind and matter are two apparently contradictory manifestations –like the wave and particle properties of light- of an underlying ultimate reality. Perhaps consciousness is an essential part of reality. It is urgent to have a deep understanding of this paradigm in a world of increasing environmental degradation, alienation from the natural world, and consequently prone to violence and/or depression. Whatever may reconnect us with our past, with nature, and with inner self is of vital importance for our own survival.

Shamanism is ultimately about healing in the highest sense, a reintegration of all levels of existence. Ede Frecska (2008:146-8) sugests to extend the biopsychosocial paradigm in contemporary medicine proposed by George Engel (1997), including also the spiritual dimension: therapy sui generis is reintegration in toto on biological, mental, social and spiritual levels, the identification with higher realms of reality, with the psyche, with the community, and at the end with an entity above community (i.e., environment, nature, Universe, Mother Earth, etc. depending on culturally determined worldviews). A process contrary to what has happened to modern humanity who lost first the connection with any kind of supernatural world, then got alienated from nature and from his/her community, including the extended family, being reduced to an often depressed individual devoid of their dreams and creativity. A concept of reality restricted to the measurable material world is certainly impoverishing.

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