Ayahuasca – A National Geographic Account

Below is an exerpt and the link to an account of one author's trip to Peru, and subsequently, to the stars…


"Ayahuasca is perhaps a far more sophisticated and effective way to treat depression than SSRIs [antidepressant drugs]," Grob concludes, adding that the use of SSRIs is "a rather crude way" of doing it. And ayahuasca, he insists, has great potential as a long-term solution.

While it's tantalizing to wonder whether such positive physiological changes took place in me when I was last in Peru, I'm also intrigued by the visions I had, which seemed to have an equally powerful role in alleviating my depression: It was as if I'd been shown my own self-imposed hells and taught how to free myself from them. What was really going on?

According to Grob, ayahuasca provokes a profound state of altered consciousness that can lead to temporary "ego disintegration," as he calls it, allowing people to move beyond their defense mechanisms into the depths of their unconscious minds—a unique opportunity, he says, that cannot be duplicated by any nondrug therapy methods.

"You come back with images, messages, even communications," he explains. "You're learning about yourself, reconceptualizing prior experiences. Having had a profound psycho-spiritual epiphany, you're not the same person you were before."

But the curious should take heed: The unconscious mind holds many things you don't want to look at. All those self-destructive beliefs, suppressed traumatic events, denied emotions. Little wonder that an ayahuasca vision can reveal itself as a kind of hell in which a person is forced—literally—to face his or her demons. …"