May 18, 2016

"Speaking to reporters, the practitioner of ancient South American religious rituals involving the hallucinogenic ayahuasca plant explained that..."

"... while he was ordinarily happy to share his culture’s spiritual wisdom with others, the constant stream of wealthy Silicon Valley executives seeking transcendental enlightenment had become an increasingly loathsome and disheartening part of his occupation...."
“I know it’s my job to guide them, but after meeting these guys, the last thing I want to do is witness the visions they have deep in their souls,” [master ayahuasca shaman Piero Salazar said]. “Even when I do manage to help one of them overcome a long-held fear, it’s always something really boring....”

9 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Surprise, surprise. The life of a Shaman drug dealer charging big money to watch drug taking customers be born again into personal demonic hallucinations is boring.

I think we all knew this. Hannah Arendt called it banality.

Terry said...

Didn't Zuckerberg get all excited about hunting and killing and eating a goat?
The spiritual shallowness of these wannabee masters of humanity's future is appalling. Doesn't Christianity, or Judaism, or Islam hold wonders enough for them? Why do they think that the fix for all of their problems lies in a curated spiritual experience?

tim maguire said...

So disappointed that was The Onion. It seems so true.

traditionalguy said...

Damn. It's too early in the morning to read the posts first.

mezzrow said...

Souls? These guys have souls?

I think I've found the problem here.

Big Mike said...

From reading the New York Times to reading The Onion, I'm glad to see you moving toward more factual reporting, Professor.

Fernandinande said...

Linked from "Epigenetics Has Become Dangerously Fashionable", here's a real article on the ayahuasca guys.

"What they found wouldn’t have surprised Quinto: Six months after the experience, the participants reported higher levels of hopefulness, feelings of empowerment, mindfulness, and overall quality of life compared to before, and during, the ayahuasca retreat. Use of addictive substances among the participants, like alcohol, tobacco, and cocaine, declined as well (though marijuana and opiate use, the authors note, did not). Their findings corroborated what previous studies have shown: Ceremonial ayahuasca drinking has positive effects."

mikee said...

Fernandinande, was the effect with ayahuasca statistically different than the Hawthorne Effect, wherein one is just told one is being studied, and productivity, positive outlook and general well-being all improve?

Because that simple bit of human nature might explain the apparent effect on these guys who were studied during and after taking the stuff. A double blind control study is necessary. Heck, I'd volunteer for such a trip, the trippy experience, and the psych followups!

JamesB.BKK said...

Notable here is that The Onion actually produced a humorous story for the first time in a couple of years, hitting the once taboo target of Silicon Valley cum NY Democrats. The editors and owner must be getting ready for a Republican presidency. Here's hoping Democrats lose executive power so the jokers can joke again. Also, current lovers of government power can redevelop their healthy mistrust of government. Also, anti-war "protesters" can go back to their street corners and finally get some sun. Pale.