Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dr. Gabor Mate on psychedelics and the healing power of Ayahuasca

Last Friday I spent a lovely day in Vancouver with my old friend from university who I haven't seen for many years. We talked and talked and talked. Ann, at least as far back as I can remember, has been interested in social justice issues, art and creativity, and obviously, found the right home for herself when she moved to Vancouver in the 1970s.  As we sat in a coffee bar, she talked about ayuahuasca healing (there are practitioners in Vancouver) and said that renowned Vancouver psychiatrist and addiction expert Dr. Gabor Mate, is very interested in exploring its potential in healing a wide variety of human suffering that manifests as illness. So much so, apparently, that he is doing a lot of his work in Mexico, having found that his belief is increasingly in conflict with the mainstream. My curiosity was immediately piqued. I haven't had time to explore this topic further, but I found a fascinating interview with Mate on Ayahuasca. There also a Youtube question and answer session.

Please note that I am not advocating that we throw caution to the wind and unquestioningly embark on this potentially healing but also potentially dangerous path. Anyone on antipsychotics, anti-depressants, or anti-anxiety medication is at particular risk. Cold turkeying off these medications in order to avoid adverse side effects of the tea should not be done. For most things in life, especially things we ingest, we need to do our homework.
excerpt from interview with Gabor Mate:
What if we actually got that human beings are bio-psycho-social creatures by nature, and actually bio-psycho-spiritual creatures by nature—which is to say that our biology is inseparable from our psychological emotional and spiritual existence—and therefore what manifests in the body is not some isolated and unique event or misfortune, but a manifestation of what my life has been in interaction with my psychological and social and spiritual environment?
Well, if we had that kind of understanding then we would approach illness and health in a completely different fashion.
What if, furthermore, we understood something in the West which has been the underlying core insight of Eastern spiritual pathways and aboriginal shamanic pathways around the world, which is that human beings are not their personalities, we’re not our thoughts, we’re not our emotions, we are not our dysfunctional or functional dynamics, but that at the core there is a true self that is somehow connected to—in fact not connected to but part of—nature and creation.
Gabor Mate is a Canadian physician, speaker and author of four books. He teaches and leads seminars internationally. He has worked in family practice and palliative care and for 12 years worked on Vancouver's downtown eastside, notorious as North America’s most concentrated area of drug use. For more information

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Jack (or Jonathon?). I read your link about your experiences wit ayahuasca, and hope others will read it too as it is a very good description of what one might encounter. You are on a spiritual path, and thanks for being willing to share your travels with others. In fact, I just signed up for The Rubicon, and look forward to hearing more.


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