Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dr. Stephan Beyer: Singing to the Plants interview

Stephan Beyer 
Dr. Steve Beyer
Singing to the Plants:
A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon

(University of New Mexico Press, 2009)

This outstanding interview is featured in two episodes of the C-Realm

C-Realm Podcast #175: FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD

KMO plays the first half of a conversation between AyasminA and Dr. Stephan V. Beyer. Steve is the author of Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon, and in the conversation Steve details his lifelong odyssey into the deep regions of consciousness and spirituality which include fifteen years spent in the upper Amazon with the Mestizo keepers of the Ayahuasca tradition.

Music by Joseph A.

C-Realm Podcast #176: FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD

KMO plays the second half of AyasminA’s interview with Dr. Stephan V. Beyer, author of Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon. Steve details the importance of the auditory aspect of the Ayahuasca experience, and then the conversation turns to the paternalism and condescension of First World defenders of indigenous peoples. Later in the episode, KMO plays a clip from the It’s Not Us It’s You podcast about the totalitarian aesthetic of Wal-Mart's new generic product packaging.

Music by Zarathustra


muzuzuzus said...

I tried to download the first pod and it seemed to go through the process, and then...nopthing. No podcast. I don't know if it is my end...?

muzuzuzus said...

I thought part 1 on this interview really interesting indeed (haven't listened to part 2 yet)

Some thoughts: Although it may seem hubris--especially for westerners--I really think we should question traditions, even indigenous traditions. Not as in questioning the8ir right to exist of course, but rather their interpretations of reality.

Ie., why should I accept the 'tragic' view of reality that peoples and shamans from the Upper Amazon have about reality, as was explained in the podcast. THAT people basically want to harm people. I do not feel that.

I see that view shared with other traditions and myths like Christianity where people are supposed to be born in sin, or the Darwinian myth that people are naturally aggressive, etc

If we harbour myths like these then we set ourselves up via the assumptions about reality. maybe people who take Ayahuasca for many generations are not differerent, especially maybe with added influence from the Church!

Also, when Stephan warns that the Visionary world is dangerous. Why should this be so? This can tend to put people off exploring visionary plants, and if there is one GREAT need for planet earth now in this world it is for more and more people to explore their deeper selves with the aid of psychedelics!

I do not like Ken Wilber, for various reasons--as he tends to deify Eastern meditative traditions at the expense of idigenous and Goddess 'nature mystical' traditions. But we need something kind of like his critique but much deeper that involves an open embrace of visionarly planet but from a perspective that brings the modern world and the ancient together in some new synergistic diversity

muzuzuzus said...

continued--I would rather want to encourage love and TRUST of each other, and the universe.
To dispence with shamans, and psychedelic psychotherapists, but be there as support for others to heal themselves, and to heal ourselves

No barriers to the universe. Just love. Openness, and trust.

muzuzuzus said...

I find it SO sad that not only do you have the policy of having to review comments before you allow them to be seen, but censor them also so NOone can see them!

If you check my blog out I don't do the same.

That is not the way the internet should be. It is for people seeing others' ideas no m,atter how controversial they may appear to some.

muzuzuzus said...

My favourite bit of second part of interview is when Stephan responds to the view from some long-time drinking of Ayahuasca, by westerners, that Ayahusca visions have become 'ordinary', of streets, and so on, and he says how on the contrary, Ayahuasca is deeply showing how all of life is magical.

I LOVE that. Great interview!

EROCx1 said...

Hey Muzuzuzus,

I really enjoyed this interview as well and cant wait to get my hands on Stephan's book.

BTW, I don't censor posts. I do however review them. Being I initially focused on ethnobotanicals i had a lot of people trying to sell stuff and manipulate their entries in an attempt to drive traffic to their stores. Considering I am also the proprietor of an ethnobotanical store myself. I really don't think thats cool. So I do approve comments and I am not really hip to blogger (I know I should be) I cant even figure out how to email you, so I am replying here hoping you see this. I appreciate what you have to say and I enjoy listening & reading with others you will. thats why I post the stuff I find most interesting here. All the best to you!

muzuzuzus said...


I really am sorry for mis-judging you, and thanks for putting my comments up.

In one of my comments here I said that we should dispense with 'shamans' and pssychedelic psychotherapists (hah! IF they were allowed!) I don't really mean that word, 'dispense' of course. That is to silly.
What I mean is that, I deeply respect the learning these Curaderos and Curanderas--and all other healers do.

But that I feel that we as 'un-trained' individuals also have power to heal ourselves. And that in fact the greater part of our healing, even with the help of shaman etc must come from ourselves. The very ritual will all encourage that.

I read a very inspiring book titled Sacred Mushroom of Visions: Teonanacatl, Metzner which shows how people can heal themselves if they approach sacred plants, etc with the utmost respect, and they have intent. So it is really that which I want to explore myself, and encourage. NOT to dismiss the sacred healing also available for some from healers.

I also found this AMAZING article the other day I would love to link you all too:

How Shipibo Healers Cured My Brain Tumor
Aprile Blake