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Scientists Discover 1,000-Year-Old Shamanic Pouch Containing Cocaine and Ayahuasca

Elias Marat, TMU
Waking Times

Archaeologists have found evidence of powerful psychotropic drugs inside of a 1,000-year-old leather pouch discovered in the Bolivian Andes. The pouch likely belonged to an indigenous shaman and contained traces of a dizzying array of plant-based psychoactive substances, ranging from coke to the ingredients used to brew ayahuasca, along with paraphernalia used to prepare and consume it.

The pouch—which is comprised of three fox snouts stitched together—contained two wooden tablets for grinding the plants into snuff, a woven headband, and a pipe-like tube with two human hair braids affixed to it that was used to smoke the psychotropic plants.

Photograph Courtesy Juan v. Albarracin-Jordan and José M. Capriles via National Geographic

An analysis of the pouch revealed traces cocaine, harmine, benzoylecgonine, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), bufotenine and possibly psilocin, a chemical component of psychedelic mushrooms. The find constitutes the earliest evidence of the ceremonial use of ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic brew associated with the Amazon jungle.

Ayahuasca is a fairly loose term that describes a range of shamanic concoctions, with the main components typically being harmine and dimethyltryptamine. There has long been a consensus in the scientific community that psychedelic substances were commonly used by ancient cultures for their hallucinogenic effects, but the current find provides proof of their use for millennia.

The expedition and analysis was led by a team from the University of California, Berkeley, who made the find along the now-dry Sora River valley in the southwest of Bolivia back in 2010. There is evidence that humans have inhabited the region at least as far back as 4,000 years.

According to a press release from the university, the “remarkably well-preserved ritual bundle was found by archaeologists at 13,000-foot elevations in the Lipez Altiplano region of southwestern Bolivia, where llamas and alpacas roam. The leather kit dates back to the pre-Inca Tiwanaku civilization, which dominated the southern Andean highlands from about 550 to 950 A.D.”

The find shows that human society was capable of not only using single plants to embark on psychedelic journeys and hallucinations, but were also adept at combining plant ingredients into potent compounds that amplified and lengthened their trips.

Head archaeologist Melanie Miller of the UC Berkeley Archaeological Research Facility announced:

“This is the first evidence of ancient South Americans potentially combining different medicinal plants to produce a powerful substance like ayahuasca.”

The range of different substances has led researchers to believe that the pouch is evidence of a major transcontinental trading zone capable of bringing medicinal plants and substances across great distances.

Miller explained to Science Mag:

“Whoever had this bag of amazing goodies… would have had to travel great distances to acquire those plants [or] they had really extensive exchange networks.”

For example, while some of the chemical traces were derived from plants grown throughout South America, they are not known to have grown in the Andean region where the pouch was found. Likewise, the chemical harmine—a common ingredient in Ayahuasca—is known to only grow in the Amazonian lowlands.

Anthropologist Jose Capriles of Penn State told ScienceAlert:

“We already knew that psychotropics were important in the spiritual and religious activities of the societies of the south-central Andes, but we did not know that these people were using so many different compounds and possibly combining them together.

This is the largest number of psychoactive substances ever found in a single archaeological assemblage from South America.”

Miller noted:

“Our findings support the idea that people have been using these powerful plants for at least 1,000 years, combining them to go on a psychedelic journey, and that ayahuasca use may have roots in antiquity.”

***This article (Scientists Discover 1,000-Year-Old Shamanic Pouch Containing Cocaine and Ayahuasca) was originally featured at The Mind Unleashed and is re-posted here with permission.

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Spirituality

What Is Karma

Everything that you say, think or do unto others directly affects the lessons you experience across lifetimes. This is the basis of karma, which is really an energy feedback process. 

Karma started out as an Indian concept. However, it has spread to a wide range of cultures in a wide range of countries, not least because of the incredible influence of Indian religions. In short, karma is the concept that a person’s actions in the present will determine that same individual’s circumstances in the times to come. As such, good actions will lead to good results, while bad actions will lead to bad results.

Beyond this life

Often-times, the concept of karma comes hand-in-hand with the concept of reincarnation. When this is true, good karma from a past life make for better luck as well as a higher station in the present life, while bad karma from a past life make for worst luck as well as a lower station in the present life. In some versions, karma can even cause individuals to be reborn as members of either superior or inferior species, though this is very much reliant on the exact beliefs of the exact religion.

How should we behave in light of Karma?

The concept of karma isn’t particularly unusual. In fact, it is very similar in its essential message to a number of other principles from other cultures. As a result, the lessons are much the same as well.

In short, if someone wants to live well, they should treat other people well. Moreover, it is important to note that karma is something that can pick up a momentum of its own because the more that people behave in a particular manner, the more that they become accustomed to it. In effect, this means that someone who does good will find it easier to continue doing good, while someone who does evil will find it easier to continue doing evil, thus making it that much more important for interested individuals to start out right so that they won’t have to engage in an uphill struggle against their own bad habits.

How to get rid of bad Karma

A series of bad events taking place in your life can create a negative chain reaction of events – bad karma, which can ultimately make you unhappy with your life. Follow these 4 simple steps to become unstuck from your current karma and manifest a new reality:

  • Demonstrate regret for your misdeeds
  • Repay any bad deeds with good deeds
  • Apologize to anyone you might have offended
  • Perform some good deeds

Mainly don’t forget to keep a positive outlook on life.

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5 Things You Need to Start Forming Better Habits

(Susie Pettit) If you’re interested in life advice for self-improvement, you’ll need to learn how to form good habits and how long it takes to break bad ones.

SourcePsychcentral

When it comes to forming good habits, there are no golden rules.

It does not take two weeks, 21 days, 1,000 hours, or 10,000 hours. I’ve stopped behaviors that I’ve been doing for years in a moment, I’ve also taken months to wean myself away from whatever habit I was doing. At any moment, at any time, on any day of the week, you can choose to do something differently.

What is needed to start a new habit or change a bad one? Here are the five things you need to form good habits and start your self-improvement journey.

1) A Strong Why

What I call your WHYspiration. Why are you inspired to change? Get real clear on why you want what you want and your path towards arriving there will be smoother.

Ask yourself: Why do you want what you want? How will your life be different when you make that change? Why have you not made that change yet?

What are you willing to do to get where you want to be? I invite you to get really clear on your ‘Whyspiration’.

Knowing why you want what you want is crucial because of our brain’s [motivational triad, brain health, neuroscience] motivational triad. Our brain is wired for our survival; to make sure we make it to the next day alive.

It does not care if we are happy. It does not care if we feel fulfilled in our days. It does not care if we make it to the next day with confidence or care. It cares that we make it to the next day.

Our brain does this by repeating over and over what we’ve always done because, as far as it’s concerned, that’s success: you’re still alive, right? Our brain wants us to be safe, comfortable and to expend as little energy as possible.

We must disrupt this. This is not serving us or our society. In order to change habits, we have to practice different behaviors which means that our brain will rebel.

It likes things to be easy and we are breaking the “habit of easy”. Our “Whyspiration” needs to be strong so that when we feel the discomfort, when our brain comes up with excuses (as it will), we don’t stop. We remind ourselves of our “Why” and keep going.

2) Accountability

You need someone by your side to keep you accountable. Your brain is an excuse generator. It is an expert at convincing you why you need to keep doing what you’ve been doing.

It’s an expert at convincing you that your “new plan” is ridiculous and pointing out the reasons why you should not change what you’ve been doing. Again, your brain isn’t evil. It’s trying to keep you alive.

Get a coach or a friend to hold you accountable to your goals. You will get faster and more sustainable results with a professional coach; just as you will get better at tennis when you hire a tennis coach versus ask your buddy who knows as much about tennis as you.

If you hire a coach, they’ll help you set small, achievable goals. If you work with a friend, tell them your goals. Get specific. Tell them how they can help you.

Left alone, you will continue to do what you’ve always done. Get a Coach. #accountability.

3) Visualization

Get out a journal and answer these questions:

  • How will your life be different with your new habit?
  • How will your days be different?
  • How will your health or relationships be different?
  • What will you feel like when you’re consistent with your new behavior?

Athletes are constantly trained to visualize their winning race down to every micro-detail. What will the uniform feel like, what will your breath sound like, what will your body feel like as it gets to the finish line first, who will be watching you, how will it feel when the winning medal is hung around your neck?

Why do athletes take time out of training to visualize? Because it works.

Close your eyes and get clear on what your day will look like and, even better, what you’ll feel like. Take something as simple as getting to bed earlier. Visualize it. Where will your phone be? Visualize yourself pouring your sleepy time tea. What excuses will your brain come up with to stay up late? What will you do?

How will you feel as you get under the covers and look at the earlier time on the clock? How will your body feel as it drifts off to sleep? How will you feel in the morning when you know you did what you said you’d do?

You get the point. Visualize it and make it happen. Expect your brain to resist and visualize how you’ll override it.

4) Mindset Shift

Get your mind on your side. If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. I hear from so many clients that they can’t lose weight. When I ask why, they say because they never have before.

It doesn’t work that way. If Tiger Woods thought he never could get a hole in one because he hadn’t yet, what. would’ve. happened? If I thought I couldn’t write a blog because I never had before, where would I be now?

If a 16-year old thought he couldn’t drive because he never had before, where would we be? You get the point.

The fact that we haven’t yet, doesn’t mean we can’t ever. What we think about our future is what it will be. If we think we can or think we can’t, we’re right. Edison said: “I’ve never failed. I just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.”

When we shift from seeing our past attempts as failures to learning experiences, we move from hopeless to hopeful. #mindsetshift #brainhack #habitchange.

5) To Take Action Every Day

No matter your new habit, take action every single day. If you are doing sit-ups to strengthen your back, do some every day. If you are scheduling your days to bring calmness to your system, write out your schedule every single day.

If you are cutting back on sugar or alcohol in your diet, cut back in some way every day. If you are lessening the influence Facebook has in your life, set specific time goals every single day. Get specific and start today.

The longer you sit and think about what you “should” do, the less likely it is that you’ll do it. Start small but get started. A body in motion stays in motion. Set yourself up for success by choosing do-able goals.

The more you honor your commitments to yourself, no matter how small, the stronger your discipline will become. — Brooke Castillo

There you go: the five components of behavior change. Choose an area of your life that feels ho-hum and get started today. If you take these 5 steps I promise, 100% guarantee, you will progress.

Don’t allow your brain to convince you to stay where you are so that you get to this time next year and beat yourself up further. You are reading this blog for a reason.

Your inner warrior is speaking. We are here to evolve and it is up to us to lead our brain in that direction. Change occurs when we take small actions consistently. How can you get started today?

Body For Awareness Project: Your cloths can advertise for corporate interests (Nike, Adidas, etc) or they can share your truth and evolve consciousness. Support alt-media and help raise awareness. Law of One Merch on Sale Now (New colors and styles uploaded frequently at Law of One Store).

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https://psychcentral.com/blog/5-things-you-need-to-start-forming-better-habits/

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Labyrinth. Ancient Symbol Of Spiritual Development

From the ancient Minotaur myth to Wes Ball’s Maze Runner … why are Labyrinths so powerful and comforting in confusing times?

For thousands of years, humans have been fascinated by mazes and Labyrinths: built them, told stories about them, created games and puzzles around them.

According to legend, the original Labyrinth was built by architect Daedalus and his son Icarusto to house the Minotaur, a creature with the body of a man and the head of a bull.

Earliest Labyrinths

The Labyrinth is one of the most famous sites in Greek mythology. For those who are unfamiliar, King Minos of Crete is said to have commanded the skillful craftsman Daedalus to build an elaborate maze to contain the half-man, half-bull monster called the Minotaur. When Minos’s son Androgeus was murdered by the Athenians, Minos forced them to send seven of their sons and seven of their daughters to be sacrificed to the Minotaur every nine years. Eventually, the hero Theseus volunteered to be one of the fourteen, with the result that he killed the Minotaur with the help of Minos’s daughter Ariadne. Since Theseus went on to become the King of Athens, the cultural supremacy of that city meant that his stories have remained some of the best-known of Greek culture as a whole.

Labyrinth. Ancient Symbol Of Spiritual Development

Minotaur Labyrinth

With that said, it is interesting to note that the Labyrinth was a popular symbol for the Cretans as well. For proof, look no further than the fact that the Cretans are known to have issued coins with the Labyrinth rendered in gorgeous detail. Curiously, while the earliest examples could be either unicursal or multicursal, these visual representations leaned towards the former more and more over time, with the result that multicursal versions didn’t make a return until hedge mazes managed to become popular in the Renaissance. Due to this, while “labyrinth” and “maze” tend to be used as synonyms for one another in conventional use, it is interesting to note that there are some specialists who define a “labyrinth” as being unicursal in nature and a “maze” as being multicursal in nature.

The path of spiritual enlightenment

In ancient cultures Labyrinths were crafted not to confused, but to send visitors on a spiritual journey.

Labyrinths are known as sacred gateways and have been found at the entrance of ancient sites around the world. Often located at the center of subtle ‘earth energies’ these temples enhance, balance, regenerate and confirm the unity with the cosmos. According to ancient beliefs the Labyrinth invites the intuition to come forth and it is kind of a meditative experience. It may symbolize a journey of self-discovery, a journey in to the center of the self and out again.

This is certainly evident in the mandalas of Tantric literature from India and, most notably, in the Rigveda (c. 1500 BCE) in which the various books progress along the same lines as a Labyrinth where one travels a spiritual path alone to eventually merge one’s inner journey with the outer world. Even Carl Jung, famous Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst  (1875-1961), saw the Labyrinth as a symbol of this reconciliation between the inner self and the external world.

Labyrinth. Ancient Symbol Of Spiritual Development

Meaning of the Labyrinth is to symbolize a path of spiritual enlightenment

The ancient practice of walking a Labyrinth

Although numerous theories suggest that prehistoric Labyrinths served as traps for malevolent spirits or as defined paths for ritual dances, the meaning of the Labyrinth changed to symbolize a path of spiritual enlightenment.

In the Middle Ages, walking a cathedral labyrinth was a substitute for a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Not everyone could make the long and arduous journey to the Holy Land, so walking a Labyrinth in a church was a devotional activity. Labyrinths were incorporated into the architecture of many churches in Europe.

Walking meditatively through the twists and turns of the labyrinth may help a practitioner process his/her twists and turns in the Labyrinth of life. The Labyrinth can also provide the opportunity to examine goals, assess talents and abilities, make decisions, and evaluate progress, both personally and professionally.

Moreover, there are those who see the Labyrinth as a huge concentration of power because of the way that the relevant paths are coiled round and round rather than running straight. Something that provides it with even more metaphysical weight. In any case, interested individuals have been known to use visual representations of the Labyrinth in various ways, with examples ranging from focusing upon its symbolic nature to pondering the path that runs through them over and over.

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