The Meme of the Earth: Ayahuasca and the Future of Humanity – A Conversation With Daniel Pinchbeck

I recorded the inaugural episode of The Michael Ellsberg Show while sitting at home talking about ayahuasca—the visionary indigenous plant hallucinogen—with my friend Daniel Pinchbeck, author of Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Ayahuasca and the 2nd Reformation (Direct access to visionary experience, without religious authorities as intermediaries)
  • Could ayahuasca be co-opted and neutralized in the same way that yoga has been commercialized in the West?
  • What happens when celebrities, financiers, and other influencers and powerful people experience this shamanic medicine?
  • Will ayahuasca become a recreational drug and/or a drug of abuse? (Probably not!) Why not?
  • Will “the business of ayahuasca” endanger its medicinal/spiritual potential as unqualified charlatans and hucksters sell the experience to the masses in unsafe ways?
  • Is ayahuasca always benevolent?
  • Is ayahuasca a meme for spreading Earth consciousness?
  • Ayahuasca as a bullshit-remover and ego-reducer – how Italian playboys and narcissistic millionaire cokeheads are transformed by the experience into a life of service

P.S. For those interested in learning more about ayahuasca, I recommend reading Daniel’s book (linked above) and also reading Javier Regueiro’s excellent site Ayaruna.