The Holy Medicine has tremendous influence on the human mind and the ‘consciousness’. Benny Shanon, a explorer of the Holy Medicine, and the author of the “Antipodes of the Mind: Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience” has identified the following ways the human consciousness is impacted upon:-
- Agent: An individual or participant in the Sacred Ceremony who has consumed the Holy Medicine may feel they are able to access and report ’knowledge’ they did not have access to. They act as a kind of ‘agent’ through whom messages and information may be delivered or ‘expressed’.
- Self-Identification: One may lose the understanding of self, and can become another or an object. Or example, looking at the hands of the clock, one may feel one has become the hand.
- Unity: One may lose the sense of an individual body, and can feel and know or have access to multiple bodies or existences. For example, a shaman can feel, or be, present in the body form, at the same time be in the skies, beyond the clouds in the heavens, and in many more places.
- Boundary transcendence: One’s boundaries of memory and reality may become blurred, and one may no longer be limited to the limited peripheries of the body or a shape or form, and one may not know memories from what is actually going on in reality. One’s perception of the external world is overlapped with the internal world.
- Individualism – group-consciousness – super-consciousness: One may feel one’s consciousness has elevated to increasingly elevated form of consciousness and one is being connected to or integrated within some sort of super-consciousness. When there is a group, one may feel one’s identity is defined not individually but rather in group terms where one may feel that the group is a kind of a single-organism, which acts in precise and highly concentrated manner, similar to an ant colony or a bee hive or the eusocial animals, having a sense of a group-consciousness, where consciousness is not confined to the bounded selfhood of the human beings.
- Calibration: One may feel one is of different shape and or size. For example, individuals or participants in Sacred Ceremonies can feel they are tall as a Tree, or one may feel one is as small as an ant.
- Locus of Consciousness: One may become aware of the ‘location’ of their consciousness, which they regularly may not be aware of; One may feel it is in the heart, or in the pineal gland or the belly.
- Time: One may lose sense of time, or feel one is outside of the temporal.
- Self-Consciousness: One may lose the sense of who one is, becoming transcended and boundless, unified with all. However, remnant of who they are remain.
- Intentionality: One intention is said to set the scene of what happens to someone, often in the Sacred Ceremony one may be experiencing an state of mind where there is no object to which thought is directed and no content is being entertained by the mind. Often, intentionality, which is considered as a defining feature of consciousness, is absent, although and experience is existent.
- Connectedness, knowledge and conferral of reality: One may feel one’s consciousness is connected with everyone with the world. One may feel tremendous affinity and love for others. One may feel one has ‘seen’ all there is to see or know – or may feel in possession of ‘knowledge’ and ‘wisdom’, Divine. Such knowledge, self-verified, stands self-proved. One may also feel that the ‘reality’ experienced is ‘more-real’ than earthly reality, and forms the foundation behind ‘this’ reality.
The Holy Medicine of the Holy and Divine Mother Ayahuasca provides an individual at a Sacred Ceremony with life-altering ‘experience’ through various phases which one may experience as a journey of progression. As all experiences happen through one’s mind, by distinguishing between various phases one goes through helps to understand how the experience with the Holy Medicine augment’s an individuals life.
- Shanon B., 2002, Antipodes of the Mind – Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience, Oxford University Press, UK