Diary of a Derdeba

•August 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

By Paulina Muhape

A Moroccan family had organized a Derdeba in the heat of the night of June 11th in Tanger, Morocco. The house, situated on a narrow street, was a typical Arabic medina. We were accompanied by Angel Lafuente Laarbi – a Sufí therapist, a Kinetic trance researcher, a musician and a member of the Gnawa Brotherhood.

Photo by Paulina Muhape

Photo by Paulina Muhape

Derdeba is a healing ceremony where music and dance play an important role. It means dance, madness, annihilation of the ego, ignoring of the mind.

The courtyard of the house was decorated as if it were for a wedding; the women busy in the kitchen, the men dressed in white robes were receiving relatives and neighbors who wished to participate in this Derdeba night.
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Trances, the official trailler of the documentary series

•June 29, 2009 • 1 Comment

This project observes individuals performing extraordinary physical acts during altered states of consciousness – an anthropological and scientific voyage into the depths of the human mind. This project proposes the trance as a doorway to a transformation -a transition to broader horizons, a search inherent in humanity. Countless are the cultures and religions, which through rituals of music, dance, and the usage of substances come to these states of super-consciousness, allowing a greater comprehension of their surroundings. “TRANCES” studies the most primitive ceremonies existing throughout our planet. The best experts in every field will join us to conduct an investigation of the mind and its unlimited potential. This project questions the reality we perceive, the limitations of our senses. We propose the altered states of consciousness as a tool to expand the human perception – a resource available since ancient times to clean, heal and ultimately, understand the spiritual world. Presently found not only among indigenous communities, but also in our Western culture, trance rituals across the world are a testimony left by our ancestors in their own search for answers.

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Ayahuasca

•June 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

By Mind Surf

 

Bejucos de Banisteriopsis caapi Photo by Mind Surf

Bejucos de Banisteriopsis caapi Photo by Mind Surf

The ayahuasca is an important ceremonial beverage that is made with the colorful bejuco from Banisteriopsis caapi or Banisteriopsis inebrians originated in América in the valley of the Amazonas, east of Ecuador and in some zones of Perú, Colombia and Venezuela. And with the bark of these bejucos and the leaves of other plants from the region, like the chacruna. During years has been consumed with the aim of rituals in native’s towns from Brazil, Ecuador, and the Peruvian Andes.

Ethnographic documents exist, that overcomes the knowledge of the ayahuasca among the amazonic towns from millions of years ago. The different cultures that use it, tell with their respectives miths about its precedence, asociated divinities and events about the origin of the same tribes.

These practices remained occult to the occidental world until 1851, when Richard Spruce, a famous inglish explorer traveled to Perú and had some news of this beverage of ritual use.

Neurochemistry and Trance

•June 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Extracted from The altered states of conciusness. Reflexion about the states of extasis and trance. 

By: Juan Alfonso Méndez Zavala

Since the discovery of the acetylcholine, the discipline of Neuropsychopharmacology has demonstrated the function of the brain through chemical principles, this means that our brain functions on a drug base, as does the endogenous (those that we produce our selves) and exogenous (those that our body can not produce).

Amanita Muscaria Photo by morelmushroomhunting.com

Amanita Muscaria Photo by morelmushroomhunting.com

Trance is a state produce by exogenous substances. The most used in different ethnics on the planet to achieve different states of trance are: the peyote (Lophophora Williamsí) and the hallucinogen fungi in México. The fungi, Amanita Muscaria, in certain regions of Siberia. And in the far West, the Cannabis, in its peculiar way known as “Hashis”.  And the opium. 

Also, managing to identify substances in the brain that meet the effects of the exogenous opiates, these ones called neuropeptides, related with the pain and pleasure.  And actually, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has found an endogenous substance that combines the receptors of THC, cannabis (Marihuna). To this “endogenous binding”, given the name of anandamida, word that comes from the Sanskrit that means “internal Blessing”.  (Brailowsky 2002).

Its important to emphasize some relations between the endogenous and exogenous substances, because they give similar action patterns, what’s mentioned above, invites us to think how our own organism functions with substances that exist in the natural habitat and that links us from the most profound of our being with the nature.

Sexual magic

•June 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

According to George Feuerstein, doctor in Philosophy, erudite in Oriental traditions, the exoteric sexual practices fisrt arrived to the Occident through secret of the Templars and the Alchemists. Part of these teachings (that could have its origin or some kind of remote influence in a more primitive Tantrism or in the sexual doctrines of Taoism), survived the Inquisition and were reveled in the acts of famous magicians like Eliphás Levi or Gerard Encausse (papus), among others.

Aleister Crowley

Aleister Crowley

The most rigorous conservation of these tecniques seems to have given origin to the Order of the East Temple, which secret branch was governed during years by Aleister Crowley.

Crowley was born on October 12th in 1875 in Warcickshire, Great Britain. In the heart or a wealthy brewery family and had a severe religous formation. As an adult, he used different names, adopting various personalities, he flaunt to have noble titles all over Europe, was Hitler´s spy and one of the greatest investigators of the Occidental traditions of black magic. According to his biographers, Crowley practiced the esoteric coitus reservatus, sex without ejaculation. This technique, similar to the Transism or Taosm, although conceptialized in other way, was one of the priviledge tools of different esoteric sects to alterate the state of mind.

Holy sex

•June 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

By Juan E. Fernández Romar 

The Temple of Khajuraho. Photo by El Baúl de Joselito

The Temple of Khajuraho. Photo by El Baúl de Josete

Many Anthropological studies made throughout the world, suggest that in the earlier times of human history, sex was understood as something beyond physical pleasure, as a magical power that connected humans with the Gods.

Detail of the Temple of Khajuraho (India). Photo by El Baúl de Joselito.

Detail of the Temple of Khajuraho (India). Photo by El Baúl de Josete.

All of the archaic rituals associated to fertility comprehended in one way or the other sexual practices and design that those encounters transcended the dimensions of the body. Those believes survived with modifications in the chinese Taoism and the Tantra in India, acquiring a basic psychological significance. Sexuality was a way of expression of a power beyond the mortal body. Notion that can be advertised in other traditions.

Tantrism

•June 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

By Juan E. Fernández Romar

 

Bhagwan "Osho" Rajneesh Photo by Gaia

Bhagwan "Osho" Rajneesh Photo by Gaia

The tantrism was born in India as a religious movement in the C. IV after Christ, altought many of their ideas and practices find their roots in beliefs and Neolithic rituals of sex and fertility.

The word tantra means “net” and is explained as that “which expands the conscience”. In general can be defined as a system of believes and practices oriented to expand human knowledge, conducting its adherents to a superior level of understanding. 

The Tantrism celebrates the divinity of all beings, leading them into practices that in other religious contexts are consider sinful. There are two ways of Tantrism: the way of the left hand (vama marga) and the way of the right hand (dakshina marga). The way of the left hand, more known in Occident, follows the tradition of the ancestral sexual rituals, while the other way, understands in symbolic terms the doctrine and does not include in them the secxual contact.

The sexual practices, collective or in couples are usually accompanied by respiratory  exercises, meditation and strict diet. Tantrism looks to transport in an individual level the transcedental fusion of the principle of the masculine shiva and the principle of the feminine shakti. Same as Taoism, the Tantrism proposes as one of their privileged practices the long-term sexual stimulation without the relief of the orgasm. One of their biggest spokesmen in Occident has been Bhagwan “Osho” Rajneesh, polemic who is now deseeded.