Merlin Sheldrake on Ayahuasca and the interface of Science and Culture

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Lou Gold
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Merlin Sheldrake on Ayahuasca and the interface of Science and Culture

Post by Lou Gold »

The ‘enigma’ of Richard Schultes, Amazonian hallucinogenic plants, and the limits of ethnobotany

Very interesting science paper by Rupert's brilliant son and best-selling author Merlin Sheldrake.
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Jim Cross
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Re: Merlin Sheldrake on Ayahuasca and the interface of Science and Culture

Post by Jim Cross »

Thanks for sharing this.

After a little research, I'm not clear whether there are really different varieties of B. caapi or not. It appears more likely that plants just take on slightly different appearances, which may be reflected in their effects, depending upon local conditions. I know the same variety of hydrangeas can have different color flowers based upon nutrients in the soil. It wouldn't be surprising that altitude, soil, surrounding plants, and amount of rainfall would introduce subtle differences. That the Amazonians would notice this isn't surprising either since they live in the environment and likely are cultivating the plant. So it doesn't seem that much of enigma to me.

Still the account was interesting.
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Lou Gold
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Re: Merlin Sheldrake on Ayahuasca and the interface of Science and Culture

Post by Lou Gold »

Jim Cross wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 6:14 pm Thanks for sharing this.

After a little research, I'm not clear whether there are really different varieties of B. caapi or not. It appears more likely that plants just take on slightly different appearances, which may be reflected in their effects, depending upon local conditions. I know the same variety of hydrangeas can have different color flowers based upon nutrients in the soil. It wouldn't be surprising that altitude, soil, surrounding plants, and amount of rainfall would introduce subtle differences. That the Amazonians would notice this isn't surprising either since they live in the environment and likely are cultivating the plant. So it doesn't seem that much of enigma to me.

Still the account was interesting.
So it doesn't seem that much of enigma to me.
Yes, little enigma for you but how would you explain the persistence of enigma for Schultes who spent 12 continuous years there and was generally recognized for his stellar powers to make identifications and, nevertheless, chose to present a serious scientific paper about it. Why might he miss such an obvious explanation as yours? Additionally, how do you explain that the observed variations were accompanied by qualitatively seriously different visions for the locals but not for Schultes? Or, more seriously, why one variation not observed by RS heals an illness and not another despite RS being trained to search for pharmacological usefulness ?
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Jim Cross
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Re: Merlin Sheldrake on Ayahuasca and the interface of Science and Culture

Post by Jim Cross »

Lou Gold wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:37 pm
Jim Cross wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 6:14 pm Thanks for sharing this.

After a little research, I'm not clear whether there are really different varieties of B. caapi or not. It appears more likely that plants just take on slightly different appearances, which may be reflected in their effects, depending upon local conditions. I know the same variety of hydrangeas can have different color flowers based upon nutrients in the soil. It wouldn't be surprising that altitude, soil, surrounding plants, and amount of rainfall would introduce subtle differences. That the Amazonians would notice this isn't surprising either since they live in the environment and likely are cultivating the plant. So it doesn't seem that much of enigma to me.

Still the account was interesting.
So it doesn't seem that much of enigma to me.
Yes, little enigma for you but how would you explain the persistence of enigma for Schultes who spent 12 continuous years there and was generally recognized for his stellar powers to make identifications and, nevertheless, chose to present a serious scientific paper about it. Why might he miss such an obvious explanation as yours? Additionally, how do you explain that the observed variations were accompanied by qualitatively seriously different visions for the locals but not for Schultes? Or, more seriously, why one variation not observed by RS heals an illness and not another despite RS being trained to search for pharmacological usefulness ?
I think you know the answer. Until relatively recently Westerners approached the indigenous as ignorant savages who lived with little observation or study of their environment. It's the same prejudice that insists the ancients could not have built pyramids so aliens must have done it for them.
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Lou Gold
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Re: Merlin Sheldrake on Ayahuasca and the interface of Science and Culture

Post by Lou Gold »

YUP!

Or that ancients might have had a better ability to access guidance from higher beings.
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Lou Gold
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Re: Merlin Sheldrake on Ayahuasca and the interface of Science and Culture

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There's a real problem in presenting a single story of any people, past, present, other or self. This TED TALK is in English with Portuguese legends and is a MUST VIEW for the brilliant way it highlights the problem.

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Cleric K
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Re: Merlin Sheldrake on Ayahuasca and the interface of Science and Culture

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Lou Gold wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 8:58 am There's a real problem in presenting a single story of any people, past, present, other or self. This TED TALK is in English with Portuguese legends and is a MUST VIEW for the brilliant way it highlights the problem.
Without doubt we always need to seek all the angles. This is a logical necessity. It's impossible to recover the complex shape of a 3D object by looking only at a single photo. So it is with stories - they are all perspectives of a whole.

And here comes the stumbling block. The impulse to have all the angles is healthy. No one disputes that. But at the same time this can turn into a very convenient way to stop at a certain stage. It's easy to get so carried away in delineating the different stories that at the end one forgets that after all they are angles of a unified reality.

The woman says:
The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.
Quite true. But here's the question: when we put together the different (and incomplete) stories together, do we approach a single more complete story? And of course it's not about some mechanical putting together of stories (like some kind of anthology) but about evolution of consciousness where we can find within our own soul the impulses of the animal, of the tribal man, of the colonialist, of the Divine Self. Then the different stories are seen as different organs of the one Cosmic organism.

So we arrive at the same question from the other thread. Do we simply celebrate the diversity of stories which however remain irreconcilable (at least while on Earth)? Or we seek the single Divine story, which I repeat is not simply a sequence of words patched together but inner transformation of consciousness which encompasses the past and future epochs as organs of a higher being?

Lou, what is your take on that? We know that you cherish the richness of the many stories and don't want a single story to take over but what about the single story of the Divine reality within which all the other stories fit? Is this one story worthy of becoming an ideal of human evolution? Is this even possible for the mere mortal?

Would you seek the consciousness which can integrate the stories within the single ever-unfolding Divine story? Or from your perspective any attempt to integrate toward one higher order story inevitably results into an one-sided and incomplete story, thus man on Earth is destined to live with plethora of irreconcilable stories and we just need to learn to get along and respect our differences?
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Lou Gold
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Re: Merlin Sheldrake on Ayahuasca and the interface of Science and Culture

Post by Lou Gold »

Cleric K wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 5:41 pm
Lou Gold wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 8:58 am There's a real problem in presenting a single story of any people, past, present, other or self. This TED TALK is in English with Portuguese legends and is a MUST VIEW for the brilliant way it highlights the problem.
Without doubt we always need to seek all the angles. This is a logical necessity. It's impossible to recover the complex shape of a 3D object by looking only at a single photo. So it is with stories - they are all perspectives of a whole.

And here comes the stumbling block. The impulse to have all the angles is healthy. No one disputes that. But at the same time this can turn into a very convenient way to stop at a certain stage. It's easy to get so carried away in delineating the different stories that at the end one forgets that after all they are angles of a unified reality.

The woman says:
The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.
Quite true. But here's the question: when we put together the different (and incomplete) stories together, do we approach a single more complete story? And of course it's not about some mechanical putting together of stories (like some kind of anthology) but about evolution of consciousness where we can find within our own soul the impulses of the animal, of the tribal man, of the colonialist, of the Divine Self. Then the different stories are seen as different organs of the one Cosmic organism.

So we arrive at the same question from the other thread. Do we simply celebrate the diversity of stories which however remain irreconcilable (at least while on Earth)? Or we seek the single Divine story, which I repeat is not simply a sequence of words patched together but inner transformation of consciousness which encompasses the past and future epochs as organs of a higher being?

Lou, what is your take on that? We know that you cherish the richness of the many stories and don't want a single story to take over but what about the single story of the Divine reality within which all the other stories fit? Is this one story worthy of becoming an ideal of human evolution? Is this even possible for the mere mortal?

Would you seek the consciousness which can integrate the stories within the single ever-unfolding Divine story? Or from your perspective any attempt to integrate toward one higher order story inevitably results into an one-sided and incomplete story, thus man on Earth is destined to live with plethora of irreconcilable stories and we just need to learn to get along and respect our differences?
Yes, don't forget, be aware, there are traps and cracks everywhere. Transcend and include in multiple directions, in ever unfolding Divine processes, stories and gatherings. Different pauses for rest or for specific purposes in different seasons and settings. New expansions, horizons and integrations within self and with others forever unfolding. My faith says the one story will be known naturally by the healings and the renewals, by the palpable feelings and expansions of Truth, Beauty and Goodness, by appreciating and embracing the glorious mysteries of Love. It's a participation and not a passivity. Sobeit.
Be calm - Be clear - See the faults - See the suffering - Give your love
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