Eco Emergency, Psychospiritual Crisis and Plant Medicine
Adrian Freedman, Michel Bauwens, Thomas Hamre and Simona Rakusa
Collective efforts to raise awareness around climate emergency seem to be gaining momentum. Greta Thunberg and Extintion Rebellion made the news. However, a question arises – as the survival clock ticks, are the current narratives and actions being taken enough to prevent climate breakdown from happening?
The panel proposes that “in the last analysis the global current crisis is of a psycho-spiritual nature; it reflects the level of consciousness evolution of the human species. It is therefore hard to imagine that it could be resolved without a radical inner transformation of humanity and its rise to a higher level of emotional maturity and spiritual awareness.” Stanislav Grof .
Perhaps the problems that stand in the way are not of economical or technological nature, but rather their deeper source lies within the human personality itself. Is this core issue being adressed adequately in the current discourse about the ecological crisis? The dominant narrative focuses mainly on practical solutions. What are the deeper roots of the crisis? How does one go about radical inner transformation?
From the powerful sense of a developing emergency that threatens to overwhelm humanity itself, arises an equally powerful call for humans to engage with deep transformative work on an inner level. The paths available for such inner work are many and diverse. One of them is to engage with entheogens and plant medicines and in doing so, to engage and communicate directly with nature itself, the greatest stakeholder on this emergency.
Ayahuasca is a psychotropic brew that comes from indigenous traditions in the Amazon region. Spiritual practices involving ayahuasca are currently spreading around the world, in both traditional and contemporary formats. Unlike familiar spiritual practices such as meditation and yoga, ayahuasca asks us to be ready and available for a radically transformative work that confronts existing ideas about the nature of the self and the world.
The sacred technologies carried by plant medicines can act as catalysts for change at the deepest level, lifting the veils of illusion that condition our perception of the world and our place within it. Often during these processes our world view is shattered, as new insights drive us to confront the hidden or denied shadow aspects of our selves, and allow a deeper integration of these lesser known sides with other parts of our being.
The renewed sense of knowledge of ourselves and of the world that arises from this work of inner transformation can be mirrored in a renewed sense of commitment and responsibility to confront the darker aspects of the world we inhabit and to work to bring about constructive changes within it.
Gail Bradbrook, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion has declared that plant medicine has given her the codes for social change, and were fundamental for the genesis of the movement. Can ayahuasca and other entheogens act as tools for bringing about deep ecological awareness in people? Perhaps they could act as reconnective tools for the generations that suffer from being disconnected from nature, including helping mitigate climate anxiety and adressing related types of trauma.