This blows my mind. People get cured. People who go to South America in hopes that ayahuasca will cure whatever ails them, come back better. Or do they? I personally believe in it and part of me thinks it would be an amazing experience (the other part of me says “hell no”), but you do have to wonder how much of it is due to the placebo effect? Is there some kind of magical medicinal quality to this drug and these rituals or is it the power of suggestion? However, if a person feels better, she feels better, and what does it matter if it was truly from the hallucinogen or from the powerful healing properties of her mind? The hyperreality of Baudrillard's simulated illness can be applied to this. If the ritual allows a person to simulate health and wellness, they become healthy and well.
A spiritual journey
An image from National GeographicBasically people go through their own personal hell and back to purge themselves of these evil spirits and of the illnesses that they bring. But how do we distinguish evil spirits from hallucinations? We call them hallucinations, but perhaps the drugs alter the mind enough allowing it to be more open and receptive to paranormal entities?
Would you do it to cure whatever ails you?
Image sources: ayahuasca-info.com, nationalgeographic.com