Monday, February 25, 2013

Day 96: The Psychology of Crimes against Life: Drug use

I am currently watching a documentary by National Geographic - a series on 'Taboo topics' and the first episode is on 'Drug-Use''. The documentary focusses on presenting various perspectives on the use of drugs from the different types of users to 'professional opinions' defending the cultural and new age view of drug-use.

The first scenario that the documentary investigates is that of the Sanpedro cactus pilgrimage, whereby groups of 'experience-seeking' people are led into the mountains by a guide or 'Shaman' who directs the taking of and specific contextual experience while on the drug. The ritual around the use of the drug is said to have a cleansing and spiritual effect, allowing people to purify negative energy or to delve into a heightened state of consciousness, thus reaching higher states of understanding and clarity about themselves and their path in Life. The drug serves as a hallucinogenic, while the shaman directs the process. It is believed that without 'faith,' one's body will not experience the effects of the drug. The ceremony is believed to take the users into a 'spiritual realm', where the shaman assists with the process of insight, clarity, healing and cleansing. The effects are similar to that of LSD and the Shaman decides who within the group are ready to take the drug and how much.

The effects vary from person to person and for some the experience is rather intense. It is believed that the spirit of the user is then able to leave the body, thus cleansing the body of 'troubles'. The Shaman claims that Sandpredo allows him to see inside the users, allowing him to direct the specific cleansing and healing process of each. The Shaman then discusses the point with the person, directing them to understanding and clarity. During the 8 hour high, the users go between exhilaration and tiredness and this apparently assist with the effect of the drug on the user. At dawn the users return to their lives within a new belief of themselves, a new found understanding and focus within the possibility of a new life. An example is given of a man who believed that a curse was placed on him, resulting in his once successful business failing within a few months - after his Sanpedro experience, he was able to 'release' the curse and his business returned to normal...

To be continued...

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