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Metaphysics & Psychology

Shamanic Approaches to Healing Addiction

Jonathan Davis, Guest
Waking Times

Are There Other Ways to Deal With Addiction?

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the use of ancient shamanic medicines, and remarkably one of the most promising uses for them in the modern world is the healing of the destructive relationship we have with their modern cousins: substances of recreation and abuse.

Keep in mind that all of the shamanic medicines listed below have the potential to do harm when facilitated by practitioners who don’t have the appropriate level of training and experience.

The True Purpose of Culture… and Psychoactive Substances

Before the written word existed, knowledge was passed down through culture. In each generation, the vital information learned through life experience that could help ensure survival for future generations was encoded into story, dance, song and ceremony so that the accumulated the wisdom of that generation and all the ancestors before them could be remembered and passed on indefinitely into the future.

In the world we live in today, we may have the written word, but culture seems to have lost its original purpose of carrying information designed to prevent us from losing our way and becoming self-destructive, and potentially even leading ourselves to our own extinction.

One of the most self-destructive aspects of modern ‘culture’ is our relationship with substances that have the ability to alter our consciousness, i.e what we commonly call ‘drugs’.

Long before these self-destructive aspects of modern western culture, there was a long history of knowledge around the use of non-ordinary states.  Psychoactive substances, for almost all of human history, have been used to support the original purpose of culture: to preserve and enhance our ability to survive and thrive in our environment.

Iboga and Ibogaine

The chemical compound found within iboga – ibogaine – has been found to be effective in many cases to completely cure heroin addiction (and other addictions) in a single session.

Iboga is a plant from the equatorial rainforests of West Africa. The most well-known use of this plant comes from The Bwiti tradition in Gabon, where it is used in flood doses for initiation rituals; introducing the initiate to a fully immersive and personal experience of the world of the spirits. This initiation can last for around 72 hours, where the person is in an intense and non-ordinary state. Reports from recipients often describe a strong, loving, masculine presence guiding them through and supporting them as they experience all the pain they have ever caused others – from the perspective of the person who was harmed. This is by no means the only kind of experience, however, it’s common enough to mention. Like all visionary shamanic medicines, the healing is occurring on emotional levels as well as physical. Practitioners claim that the healing also occurs on spiritual levels.

On a neurological level, ibogaine resets the opiate receptors in the brain to the state they were in before the addiction. Though, this is a double-edged sword because, on one hand, it completely removes all craving, but on the other hand it also removes tolerance. Therefore if a person relapses (often due to social reasons), there is a high risk of overdose, if the person was to take what they had come to consider a normal dose.

Ibogaine is illegal in many countries where the war on drugs still continues to escalate. It has been shown to also be effective for other forms of addiction including cocaine and methamphetamines.

Kambo a.k.a. Sapo, or Kampu

The Phyllomedusa Bicolor frog of the Amazon jungle is known as the Giant Monkey Frog for its ability to go anywhere it chooses in the jungle, including high in the canopy, and far from water. It is able to do so due to a secretion that has the two-fold effect of keeping moisture in, and being poisonous to predators. Kambo is also known as the king of the amazon, as predators know to leave it alone and it is, therefore, free to roam where it chooses without interference.

Several tribal groups in the amazon, including the Matsés, use this secretion as an intense purgative to remove parasites, flukes, and anything else that might be obstructing hunters from being at the absolute peak of their capacity to sense and track game.

Kambo could certainly be described as ordeal medicine. Think of the vomiting, sweating, and evacuation that comes with acute food poisoning and then imagine a shamanic jungle technology that causes this natural function to be switched on, on purpose, for about 20-30mins. Kambo is not a visionary medicine and the secretion is not ingested. Small, light burns take the top layer of a person’s skin off so that the frog’s secretion is able to make contact with their nervous system (by being placed on the burns).

Kambo has been effective in assisting with addiction interruption and acceleration of the withdrawal process in a wide variety of addictions, (along with a great many other ailments), according to extensive anecdotal evidence.

On a scientific level, the Kambo secretion apparently contains the highest number of peptides of any substance known to man, and more research is needed to understand it from a modern scientific perspective. It is, however, proven to have powerful analgesic effects.


This plant is being used in a method of addiction recovery known as ‘stepping down’. It is itself a mild opioid-containing plant, which is about as addictive as caffeine. People suffering from opiate addiction have experienced rapid success in getting off pharmaceutical and street opiates by switching to kratom, as a way of achieving immediate relief from withdrawal symptoms.

The person first steps down to Kratom to get off the more intensely addictive opiate and then is able to come off the Kratom with little or no problem.

Drug abusers have also long known that they can escape the pain of withdrawal from a substance like crystal meth by switching to opiates like heroin. Meth addicts are also seeing success with healing their addiction by using Kratom in a similar way, which brings the relief they seek, without the continuing harm of further drug abuse.


Cannabidiol or CBD is derived from cannabis and is useful in helping to rehabilitate the damage to the central nervous system that can come with extended drug abuse, particularly for meth users. Over the past 50 years, CBD has been progressively bred out of recreational strains of cannabis, in order to make room for more of the intoxicant, THC. CBD has many medicinal qualities including being a natural antipsychotic.

An interesting combination being explored is the combination of Kratom for addiction interruption and CBD oil for central nervous system rehabilitation in meth abusers to relieve and heal the extremely raw feelings of nerve sensitivity that can result from meth abuse.

CBD oil is illegal in many territories, despite it not being an intoxicant and having an incredible number of healing qualities already proven by science.


An excellent example of the Amazonian visionary plant medicine being used for addiction interruption can be found at the Takiwasi healing center in Peru. Prof. Jaques Mabit accepts addicts for a 9-month program, which combines the use of Ayahuasca and other non-visionary master plants from the amazon, with western psychotherapy and a live-in community environment.

Ayahuasca is used initially to assist the purging process, in order to accelerate and reduce the severity of the withdrawal period. Throughout the program, it is also helpful in allowing the participant to understand the root causes of their addiction and heal past emotional trauma.

While far from perfect, the rate of relapse and re-use is exceptional when compared to modern western rehab methods.

Canadian addiction specialist, Dr. Gabor Mate, has also seen success working with ayahuasca. You can find out more about this in the episode of ‘The Nature of Things with Davis Suzuki’, called ‘The Jungle Prescription’ at the end of this article.

Huachuma and Peyote

Huachuma, sometimes known as the San Pedro cactus, as well as its northern cousin, Peyote, both contain the visionary chemical mescaline. The cultural mecca of Huachuma is the Chavin temple complex in the Peruvian Andes, used in ancient times to allow thousands of participants to attend Huachuma rituals together. Peyote has been a medicine of tribes, such as the Huicholes in Central America who still, to this day, participate in annual pilgrimages into the desert to collect their sacred medicine. Peyote has also migrated north and can be found being used in the Native American Peyote Church.

These medicines are anecdotally known to heal heart and blood pressure problems, along with a wide variety of other ailments. There is also a great deal of success claimed around healing alcoholism, as well as other substance abuse problems.


There is a good deal of peer-reviewed evidence suggesting that psilocybin is highly effective in breaking nicotine addiction. I would not be surprised if this was the case with other addictive substances as well. A great video from ‘The Atlantic’ on the modern use of psilocybin in clinical trials, at Johns Hopkins, can be found here,


LSD is a man made substance originally derived from Ergot Fungus, which may well have been the elixir served at the Temple of Eleusis in ancient Greece. The Eleusinian Mysterieswere large scale rituals not dissimilar to those held at the Temple of Chavin in Peru. Initiates included Socrates, Aristotle, and Pythagoras and may have actually had a significant influence on inspiring the founding of western civilization.

While LSD may not be a traditional shamanic medicine, there were those who explored its potential for inducing a non-ordinary state and being used as a healing tool for almost 30 years, before it escaped the lab and was banned in the late 60’s. Remarkably, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous was a supporter of LSD as a tool for addiction interruption.

With the ban on scientific research slowly lifting during the 90’s and 00’s, one of its most impressive clinical uses is in the treatment of alcohol addiction.


As spoken about in the Uplift article The Opposite of Addiction Is Connection, trauma, and the severance from family and community that it can cause, is very likely the underlying reason for addictive behavior.

While not a shamanic medicine in the traditional sense, MDMA is being trialed extensively in the US for use in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, for people suffering from extreme trauma (PTSD).

The theory is that the MDMA has a mood elevating effect, allowing the participant to go into the traumatic memory and come to emotional completion, without being triggered into an experience of trauma flooding. Trauma flooding is an overwhelming and immersive experience of re-living the event, which itself is traumatic and potentially only compounds the original trauma.

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy may be helpful in finally releasing the pain and trauma at the root of a person’s addiction. Hopefully, clinical trails will give way to legalized MDMA-assisted psychotherapy by the end of this decade.

Plant-based 5MeO-DMT and Otac, The Sonoran Desert Toad

Arguably the most intense experience a human being can go through, other than their own birth or death, 5MeO-DMT consistently takes the subject into the very deepest states of non-ordinary awareness. This can include the temporary dissolution of personal identity and a sense of return to the oceanic oneness at the essence of all existence.

Participants report having the experience of becoming all of the infinity of existence. Transpersonal psychotherapist and theorist, Prof. Stan Grof suggests that this unitive state of oceanic oneness may be exactly what we are all craving, and may be the underlying desire at the root of all addiction.

Perhaps this state of oneness is where we came from and where we return to, and during the time we exist in this physical reality, we can experience an immense pain of separation from this state of oneness.

5MeO-DMT participants often return with a feeling that this sense of separation causing them pain is actually just an illusion, and that we are in fact always in a state of connection to ‘the source’ or to the infinite unity of all things. This separation may be the original trauma; the original feeling of disconnection discussed in my previous Uplift article ‘The Opposite of Addiction is Connection’.

Perhaps this is a clue as to why crack cocaine addicts, meth addicts, and others have been assisted in abstaining and recovering by working with what is arguably the most intense shamanic medicine of all.

Sweat Lodge

The sweat lodge is one of the earliest known shamanic ceremonies. It is a ritual cleanse which involves literally crawling into a warm, damp, dark womb-like environment and going through the ordeal of intense heat, for usually four rounds that correspond with the four directions, and then having the opportunity to crawl out again renewed.

Pain and intense experiences such as ritual ordeals have the potential to open up a heightened state of neuroplasticity, so if a person wishes to change an unhelpful behavior pattern, an ordeal ritual can be helpful. Addiction is one of the most challenging behavior patterns possible so it may take a series of sweats to rewire our neural pathways, and also sweat out the toxicity of the addictive substance and its associated lifestyle. If medicines that induce psychedelic visions aren’t your cup of tea, then working with a traditional sweat lodge may be a helpful path for you.


Another method of clearing trauma used in shamanic cultures was working with the breath to flood the body and brain with oxygen; triggering a non-ordinary state. This can allow for the rapid re-arrangement of things within our consciousness that have become misaligned, including the release of trauma. In this instance, just as deep breathing can bring the pain of physical injury down from a something like an 8/10 to a 5 or 6/10, so too can the deep breathing of a breathwork ceremony dilute emotional pain. For those who are dubious about the thought of MDMA as a medicine, or those who can’t wait for years for it to become legal, breathwork could be a good avenue for releasing the underlying trauma at the root of the addictive behavior.

How and Why Do These Medicines Work?

One peer reviewed paper at a time, science seems to be proving psychedelic theorist James Kent correct on his hypothesis that psychedelic substances bring about a state of accelerated or enhanced neuroplasticity. This is an important point relating to why ceremonial use is so different to recreational use.  When people take these kinds of substances casually, it seems increasingly likely that they are in a heightened state of being able to rewire their own brain… but towards what exactly? The randomness of a party or festival? On the other hand, a ceremonial setting encourages focused work on a chosen intention which means the neuroplasticity isn’t rewiring ones brain into randomness at best and a tangled mess at worst, it is instead wiring the brain towards a greater state of coherence around the person’s chosen intention for healing or personal growth.

It is my contention that this extends to ordeal medicines such as sweat lodge, vision quest and initiation rituals involving pain.  Consider when the first time you burned yourself on a hot stove.  Pain causes extremely accelerated neuroplaticity, helping it become ‘burned’ into our memory to never make the same mistake again.  I feel it is likely that over the coming years we will see clear evidence to show that indigenous initiations involving ordeals are a technology for bringing about a non-ordinary state and a heightened state of neuroplasticity so that the lore and law of their culture can be passed on and never forgotten.  We may even find that all forms of non-ordinary states bring about varying degrees of enhanced neuroplasticity.

There may be no behaviour pattern more ingrained than substance addiction, so it’s easy to see why non-addictive substances which enhance neuroplasticity may be of benefit.

Drugs are about dulling perception, about addiction and about behavioral repetition. What psychedelics are about is pattern-dissolving experiences of an extraordinarily high or different awareness. They are the exact opposite of drugs. They promote questioning, they promote consciousness, they promote value examinations, they promote the reconstruction of behavioral patterns.
– Terrence Mckenna

A Final Tip

Should you wish to explore any of these options it is important to thoroughly understand the legality of these medicines in the territory in which you live. Travel to another country may be required.

When choosing a practitioner, look for people who are, without any doubt, in service to the good of all instead in service to them self above others. Humility, reverence, and self-discipline are key qualities to seek out. It’s also best to seek references from people who have had similar challenges to you, and have been successfully helped by the practitioner you are considering.

The Nature of Things with David Suzuki – The Jungle Prescription

About the Author

Jonathan Davis is an Australian writer focusing on shamanism and alternate modes of healing.

This article (Shamanic Approaches to Healing Addiction) was originally posted at Uplift Connect, and is reposted here with permission.


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Metaphysics & Psychology

Man is able to induce controlled hallucinations without psychotropic substances

The human brain is so cunningly designed that accidental damage or malfunctions in the neural network can generate large-scale effects that do not harm a person, but, on the contrary, deliver a lot of new sensations. 

We are talking about hallucinations, influences on the sensory system, which stem from the inside of the brain itself. Modern technologies make it possible to purposefully launch such reactions without harm to humans.

The technique of guided hallucinations is based on the Ganzfeld effect, which states that when the brain receives a powerful stimulating signal in only one area, it automatically begins to “think out” signals in other areas. 

For example, if you peer into the darkness and listen to white noise, the brain draws an imaginary picture, although the eyes do not receive a single photon of light. And if you run noise on the screen in absolute silence, the brain will complement them with sound hallucinations.


One interesting experiment with guided hallucinations was conducted by TV host and inventor Derek Müller, who locked himself in an anechoic and completely darkened chamber for 45 minutes to conduct a sensory deprivation experiment. 

His brain, which at once lost 90% of the signals from the outside world, remained fully functional, and Derek did not go crazy. Moreover, in the absence of external stimuli, he began to feel the subtlest vibrations of his heart and the flow of blood through the veins. 

It was not a hallucination, it was just that the brain switched to processing the signals that remained at its disposal, amplifying them and presenting them in the form of sensations understandable to the mind.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Angels showed the End of the World to a child from Indonesia?

In early October, on many eschatological and conspiracy sites (The End Times Forecaster ,, a video was posted by a girl named Jacqueline, who lives in South Africa. The video tells that on September 16, in some altered state of consciousness, similar to a lucid dream, Jacqueline was given a warning: on October 10, 2020, there will be some kind of nightmarish geological catastrophe – either a volcanic eruption, or an earthquake. 

Jacqueline does not specify where the catastrophe will occur, but immediately after the volcanic eruption, she saw President Trump in Washington and the destruction of the Washington Monument with fiery stones falling from the sky. The full text of Jacqueline’s video was posted on the forum and can be viewed at the link, but her revelation itself is not very informative. It is only clear that on October 10 something may bang, and very strongly. Another thing is much more interesting. 

Since Jacqueline was shown truly creepy things, she, like anyone in her place, doubted that all this was true. However, she noticed that in her dream, before the horror broadcast began, she was shown a calendar on which she read the KIMIKO inscription.

“Kimiko” is a popular Japanese female name that literally means “wonderful unusual child”, so Jacqueline decided: if she got it right, then she needed to look for a girl from somewhere in Japan who would kind of hint at her deciphering what was shown in her dream. 

Kimiko was never found, but another girl named Catherine was found. She lives in Indonesia, is in 4th grade and is 9 years old. Jacqueline had her dream on September 16, and on September 18 some angels took this Catherine to heaven in a dream and showed her what would be on Earth in the very near future. 

According to Catherine, everything will begin on October 10, 2020, when some kind of catastrophe occurs – a catastrophe, most likely of a geological nature. Buildings will collapse and coastal cities will suffer from terrible tsunamis. At the same time, a terrible rain will pour, which in some regions will flood buildings up to the fourth floor. Thunder will thunder in the sky, which is 10 or even 20 times stronger than ordinary thunder, and after the thunder, hail will fall the size of a car windshield. But besides the hail, all the planes located there fall from the sky. 

However, the End of the World will not happen as life goes on and Trump wins the US election. After that, Israel will begin to restore the Temple, but they will not have time, since a war will start around. At this moment, the Earth will face unprecedented catastrophes.

A huge new planet will appear in the sky and the atmosphere will take on a reddish tint. It will get hotter. H achnut erupting volcanoes, and terrifying winds will become commonplace. And further, in the region of the Bermuda Triangle, a hole is formed in the lithosphere, and armada of some strange flying machines will appear from there. On TV they will say that these are good aliens. 

In parallel , a total vaccination will take place on Earth, after which people who have received the vaccine will be endowed with some unthinkable ability to communicate with their gadgets – phones will show them everything at the click of a finger and connect to subscribers with the power of thought. But happiness will not last long, because then the skin of the vaccinated will begin to turn green and many will be covered with ulcers. Further, these people mutate into a kind of zombie who will engage in cannibalism and those who have not taken the vaccine will become their preferred food. And for those who will not be eaten by mutants, aliens will chase in their flying cars, kidnap, throw bombs at them and burn them with rays. 

Finally, to top it all off, mutations will affect flora and fauna. So, insects will become gigantic, and algae will begin to crawl ashore and whoever gets into their nets will be devoured. Mutations will affect birds, jellyfish, and the rest of the fauna. Dinosaurs and real fire-breathing dragons will appear, which will fly everywhere and pour fire on everything. 

In general, the girl tells something that is impossible to believe – no reality can stand that. However, the probability that reality is real, according to estimates of the theory of probability, is no more than 50%. That is, we live in the Matrix with a probability of 1/2, although nothing can be proved / disproved somehow. But if we take into account various strange quantum effects and other miracles, then the probability of the Matrix is ​​already seventy percent and 30% remain for a flat / round Earth, for the rest of “natural science”. Therefore, maybe we are now on the eve of the reboot of the Matrix, during which we will begin to load characters from other entertaining games. 

It is possible, of course, that all these stories were invented by her mother, but similar stories are told by other children, and even adults, who were thrown either somewhere into the astral plane, or into the next world, or generally into the deepest warp. Different, unrelated people cannot tell the same tale. Therefore, most likely this is not a fairy tale and there is something in all this. But what – here we do not know, so we just have to wait and see. 

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Clinical death helped the inveterate egoist to change his attitude towards life. He is grateful for this experience

William F. did not live the most righteous life. His selfish, authoritarian behavior caused a lot of suffering to the people around him, especially his wife. And it is not known how his marriage would have ended if one day William had not had an accident.

On that fateful day, November 6, 2019, a man was riding a motorcycle and crashed into a truck as it changed lanes. William tried unsuccessfully to get out from under the heavy truck, as his helmet got stuck under the front axle of the car.

A policeman was the first to come to help, then an ambulance arrived. The motorcyclist was evacuated by helicopter to the hospital. The man in the helicopter told William not to sleep, but he collapsed into unconsciousness.

What William saw in oblivion made a strong impression on him and changed his future life.

xusenru / / Pixabay License

William’s near-death experiences

The next thing I remember happened on a large field. There was a fence about 100 meters away from me. There was a black hole in the fence on the other side of the gate.

I was drawn to the gate. The closer I got, the more love and warmth I felt, the more selfishness and bad feelings went away.

When the gate was about five steps away, and I was about to open it, someone’s hand stopped me, grabbing my forearm. Looking at this man, I noticed a few more.

– You need to stop. I watched you for a long time, son, you made a lot of mistakes. Do you know where you are? The man asked.
“I’m not sure,” I said, looking around.
“You are dead,” he said.

I panicked.

“You’re scared,” he remarked.
– No.
“Then [during your life] you were always afraid of it for no reason,” he said softly. I nodded in agreement, and our dialogue continued.
– Do you feel that everything is under your control?
“I don’t know… no.
– You have never controlled anything in your life. It’s an illusion …
– Yes, you’re right, – I nodded again.
– You are given a choice that many do not have. God gives you a choice: come back and correct your mistakes, or you can go through the gate. If you enter this gate, all the regrets of life will torment your soul until you are given another chance. It will feel like eternity.

I still have regrets about my past life, ”he added after a pause. – If you come back and do not start working on yourself to become better, if you do not find happiness in the righteous way, you will always remember and crave the feeling that you are experiencing in this place now, but you will not get here again.
When you return, recover, heart and mind will be restored. You are given something great … But you understand that God already knows your choice.

Then he looked at me and asked:

– What are you going to do?
“I’ll be back,” I replied.

At that moment, the feelings that gripped me were gone, and I let go of the gate.

“See you again very soon,” he said at last.

Then I woke up and saw my mother. I told her that I was back for good and that I would not go anywhere. She had a tired face.

“You’ve been in a lot of pain,” she said.

I said that everything would be all right with me, and told that I saw Him. She clarified who exactly. I replied that I did not know for sure, but they gave me a second chance. Mom laughed and said that probably my grandfather kicked me in the ass to bring me back here.

William’s life has changed

William underwent several operations, but the doctors said that physically he would not be the same. Among other things, the man had to learn to walk again.

About a month after the accident, thoughts of the pain inflicted on his loved ones and loved ones flooded into William, so he focused on correcting the mistakes of the past and changing his future.

Five months later, William was walking without limping. Now she runs for several kilometers, and the only evidence of an accident is scars.

The biggest proof of the reality of what he saw during clinical death is a complete change in himself, says William.

haomao57 / / Pixabay License

“I saw mistakes, especially in my relationship with my wife, and I understand things that I didn’t understand before. It is strange to think that someone was watching my life from a distance and knew about my actions. If I had not changed, I would have yearned for death. “

“I used to have sociopathic tendencies and no empathy. I have never felt guilt or remorse. Now I am selfless and empathetic, I feel the emotions of others, and it is overwhelming. I know how people feel just by looking at them. This is a kind of intuition.

Remorse and guilt help me re-evaluate the past. I also notice that when I do something instinctively, in the old way, I realize it and I can stop. “

“People believe when I share my experience because they see a big change in me.”

Source: NDERF

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