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1
General Discussion / Re: ta vs hcl?
« on: July 11, 2017, 02:07:44 PM »
By iboga hcl I think you mean ibogaine hcl. Ibogaine makes up around half of the proportion of alkaloids in iboga (something like 12 alkalods in total). So ibogaine hcl is great for accurate dosing and so is safe and precise in a treatment context. TA gives you the essence of the full plant, and is a little rougher on the system, and more visionary, but still much smoother on one's system than ingesting root bark. Having ingested all three, my personal preference is for TA...the full spectrum of the iboga alkaloids, much easier to ingest and far smoother on one's system than root bark. I found the ibogaine hcl to wash through my system very rapidly, there was none of the afterglow I experienced with the TA or root bark, this for me was a great part of the iboga experience so I felt the experience was lacking because of this. The other alkaloids I think contribute to the overall effect in a positive way and I'd rather have them in the mix, personally. More detailed notes on comparisons between these different iboga preparations are discussed in the thread below.

http://eboka.info/index.php?topic=657.0

2
The Muse / Adam, Eve and Iboga (Interesting article)
« on: July 11, 2017, 01:57:26 PM »
Interesting article on a westerner's (ethnobotanist's) experience of Bwiti use of iboga in a ritual context, I thought it may be of interest to some.

http://ibogaine.mindvox.com/articles/adam-eve-iboga/

Quote
Adam, Eve and Iboga

Giorgio Samorini
(Original Publication: Integration, vol. 4, pp. 4-10)

Abstract

In this article, the author describes his personal experience in a Bwiti religious community of Northern Gabon, where Tabernanthe iboga, a powerful hallucinogenic plant, is used sacramentally. He believes that Bwiti represents one of the greatest contemporary religions based on its ritual use of hallucinogens, and discusses the importance of this African cult in relation to the general field of research in hallucinogens.

“You have heard what the Catholics tell us regarding a fruit that our first parents ate. What kind of fruit did our parents think they ate, Adam-Obola and Eve-Biome? What type of tree was it? They are lying because they do not want to tell us the truth. For this reason God left the iboga, so that men would see their bodies as God had made them, as He himself has hidden inside them. Therefore brothers take the iboga, the iboga plant that God gave to Adam and Eve, Obola and Biome” (quoted in Swiderski 1979).

Iboga, identified in this sermon as the Tree of Good and Evil of the Garden of Eden of the Catholics, is a powerfully hallucinogenic plant widely distributed in Equatorial Africa (1); since the second half of the last century, the ritual use of its roots, and the hallucinatory-visionary experience following their ingestion, have been the cornerstone of a system of religious beliefs, recognized today by researchers as a true monotheistic religion: Bwiti. Its area of origin and development is in the forests of Northern Gabon, presently populated by the Fang, who belong to the large Bantu language family.

According to the Fang themselves, the discovery of the psychoactive properties of the plant goes back to the Pygmies, who have a profound knowledge of the secrets of the equatorial forest. This knowledge was passed on to the Mitsogho and to the Apindji, peoples who originated the first Bwiti thinking and practice. The common awareness of iboga effects amongst the Fang (which took place around 1890) is what gave rise to the syncretic Bwiti cult, which was a result of an adjustment to Christian beliefs. This transformation was so important that in a few decades the Bwiti cult has become a strong syncretic African religion. In the last decades, the Bwiti creed has crossed the national borders of Gabon. Bwiti temples have arisen in Equatorial Guinea, in Cameroon, in People’s Republic of Congo and in Zaire. Some believe that the Bwiti religion will become (if it is not already so) one of the most important religions of Equatorial Africa; one that should reach the same level as the competing religions – Missionary Christendom and Islam (Fernandez 1982; Mary 1983; Raponda-Walker & Sillans 1962; Swiderski 1965 and 1990-91).

Since my first days in Gabon (Spring 1991), in a tiny and unknown Fang village surrounded by a great forest, I distinctly felt that I would be witnessing something very real; in contrast to meagre ethnographical remnant of the cults of renowned hallucinogens. For the first time, here in Gabon, I was able to understand the profound religious aspects of the conscious states induced by powerful hallucinogens, the absolute trust in the mystical experience and in direct contact with the divine (the visio-beatifica) which is a basic and indispensable factor in all ecstatic religions.

Even though the Bwiti is syncretic to Christendom, its syncretism seems to be more vital than that achieved by means of symbolic substitutions and superimpositions of the hallucinogenic cults onto Christianity in other parts of the world. The Bwiti syncretism is a system of symbolic, theological and ethical adjustment continually transforming and evolving, through which the following criticism against the Catholic Mission is uttered: “We are the true Christians. The Catholics have lost the way that leads you to Christ; the missionary who offer us their insipid Host and ask us to abandon iboga, do not know what they are talking about.”

Due to the constant interpretation of myths from the Old and New Testament, the Bwiti religion can be considered as a “parallel” to Christianity, and it has its own interpretation of biblical events. For example, according to the Bwitists, the original sin was the incestuous sexual bond between Adam and Eve, Obola and Biome, the first human twins. Abel’s remains have become the ancestors’ (byeri) first relic of the cult. The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil are the plant of iboga, and the Universal Deluge is the Ozambogha – an historic even which took place at the beginning of this century, during the difficult migration of the Fang population from Cameroon to Gabon. The Christianity Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is in Bwiti represented as the divine Trinity Nzamé, Gningone and Noné. Noné is the evil one – the Devil.

Nzamé and Gningone created the first human beings, Adam and Eve. Eve conceived her first child with Noné, who entered her vagina in the form of a serpent: “… She delivered three children: a White one, a Black one and a Red one. The White resembled the colour of Adam. The Black had the colour of Noné, the colour of the Devil. It was only after the first twelve children, who became the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles. Noné’s children were the Monkeys .. After having killed his brother, Cain departed for the forest and there he mated with a chimpanzee and from this union the Pygmies originated” (passage taken from a sermon quoted by Swiderski, 1990, vol. II: 65-66).

The differences between Bwiti and Christian theogony may appear trivial to Western who are unprepared to deal with the deductive labyrinths of religious syncretism, and all of this may seem but a superficial interpretation of misunderstood biblical myths. Yet the Bwiti mythology, through its biblical interpretation, expresses principles intrinsic not only to the self but also to the African spirit. Various versions have been reported of the myth regarding the discovery of iboga, and the origin of Bwiti (called “histoire de Muma” by Fang people), which is a “feminist” mythologem cherished by all Bwiti sects (Swiderski 1980 and 1990-91; Fernandez 1972 and 1982). The first human being ever to eat iboga was in fact a woman, Bandzioku, as she was told to do by the spirits of the dead, so that she could see them and communicate with them. Similarly, a woman was the first to be initiated into the Bwiti cult. Bandzioku was also the first woman to be sacrificed – originally, it was part of the Bwiti cult to offer a human sacrifice and to enact ritual anthropophagy during the ceremony of initiation of new converts. This was done to recall the mythical event of Bandzioku’s human sacrifice. This was done to recall the mythical event of Bandzioku’s human sacrifice. Today, chickens are sacrificed rather than human beings, and most of the rituals that take place during the Bwiti ceremonies involve the ritualized reenactment of the original mythological event.

Having been accused by the missionaries of sanctioning drug addiction and homicide for ritual cannibalism, the Bwitis had their first martyrs as the result of the persecution (which reached its peak during the years 1920-40) against the Bwiti and other tribal cults by the missionaries with the support of the French Colonial government. Among the Fang people, the original Bwiti cult progressively abandoned an ancient ancestor’s cult, the Byeri, which worshipped the skulls of ancestors and made use of a different hallucinogenic plant, alan (plural melan) (2). Various aspects of the Byeri cult, including human sacrifice, were first adopted by the founders of the syncretic Bwiti Fang. It was only after the 1948-69 reform movement that the Bwiti cult abandoned these practices and, with the religious and ethical unification on the different sects, Bwiti became part of a social movement of nationalistic and racial unification which brought about the end of French colonialism and gave rise to the new Republic of Gabon. It was no coincidence that the first president of the Republic, León Ba, was a Bwiti initiate. Under his protection, the cult achieved strength especially against the Catholic missions, and it experienced a period of peace which continues to this day.

The Bwiti sects are numerous. Each has its own founders, its own reformers and its own temples (bandja) and each has a particular degree of syncretism with Christendom. The Dissumba, one of the oldest sects and one most antagonist toward the Missions, has retained most of the mythology and cultic practices of the past tribal traditions. The Ndeya Kanga sect on the other hand, also widespread in the capital city of Libreville, has embraced numerous Christian principles, and not just with regard to aesthetics.

It was in one of the Ndeya Kanga communities that I was invited to partake in a four-night-long Bwiti Easter celebration. Although I was the first White man to participate as a matter of fact they seemed rather intrigued. To these people Bwiti is a universal religion and its doors are open to any person who may wish sincerely and humbly to enter. They dressed me as one of them and treated me as a special guest. I ate iboga, danced, sang and rejoiced them and with them. Whenever I accepted iboga offered to me, I could see that a deep sense of respect was felt towards me; and for this reason they considered me to be a strong man. The woman particpants were dressed like nuns, the officiants like cardinals or bishops. At first glance one might have thought this was an ironic parody of the Catholic mass, but as time passed, I realized this was something else. “Il faut voir pour croire!” (“You have to see to believe!”), was a saying that was often repeated to me by the members of the various sects of the Bwiti cult. This is a parody of the saying of the missionaries: “You just have to believe”.

The village is the small social nucleus around which the Fang people’s life revolves; it is a microcosm of archaic spatial symbols, built in two parallel rows of 3-5 wooden huts, which are flanked by a Bwiti temple. The temple is also a wooden hut, but of larger size and with a room in back, the “vestry”, where musical instruments are stored. The iboga and other paraphernalia of the cult are kept in a small tabernacle. In the entrance to the temple’s large hall, there is a pole (akun) symbolizing the Tree of Life or an axis mundi, and its decoration varies from sect to sect. Outside, surrounding the temple, there are numerous iboga plants carefully cultivated. The iboga roots are considered ripe only after the plant is some years old. A few ripe roots will be completely uprooted for use on occasions such as Christmas, Easter and during the initiation rituals. Otherwise the plants are left in the ground, and small holes are dug laterally in order to allow parts of the roots to be harvested. This allows the plant to continue its growth and therefore to produce more roots. With a precise rotation program, the village’s yearly requirement may be fulfilled. In larger villages, iboga is cultivated in fields, usually along one side of the village.

While on a trip of a few kilometres in the Gabonese forest, I was able to see twenty Bwiti temples in as many Fang villages. My guides, mainly bwitist officiants (kombo), told me that in Gabon there are 1000-2000 Bwiti temples, mainly scattered along particular pathways called the “streets of the iboga.” The Bwitists meet to celebrate their nocturnal rites (ngozé) according to dates taken from a religious calendar similar to that of the Catholics: every Saturday night, Christmas, Pentecost, Ascension, etc.; and whenever the group feels the need to reinforce and renew community relationships. “If the Catholics hold their ceremony during the day, it is only because they venerate the sun. We hold our ceremonies during the night because we worship the moon .. The night is muliebrity, the night is dark as we are” (quoted by Swiderski 1979). The ngozés are dedicated to the glorification of God and to collective spiritual rejoicing expressed through hymns and dances rich in all night; some breaks are allowed for rest, refreshment, talking and even for jokes and laughter. In the early part of the evening, iboga, the sacred Host, is distributed. As the night wears on, upon approval by the officiants, iboga is given to whomever may wish to have more.

Like every else, I kneeled, placed my hands together and opened my mouth when the officiant was about to place a teaspoon of iboga root power on my tongue, after making a sign of blessing before my face. The iboga, being a Host, must not be touched. It has a strong bitter taste and it numbs the inner part of the mouth, a sensation that fades away in few hours. A full teaspoon is sufficient to take a “trip” that will keep a persona awake for the entire night and will be accompanied by a state of euphoria with hallucinations. On the basis of my personal, but limited, experience with hallucinogenic substances, I can say that, with iboga, I distinctly felt that I was dealing with a sacred plant, comparable to the “great” hallucinogens such as peyotl and the Andean San Pedro. Sleep is not allowed during the four nights and the three days of the Bwiti Easter celebration (from Wednesday evening to Sunday morning).

This is a “sacrifice” which, in the strongly syncretic sect of Ndeya Kanga, is meant to recall the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, his Passion. Iboga helps you to stay awake and reduces fatigue. During the ngozé, the initiates relive the moment of the world’s creation and that of the discoveries of iboga by Bandzioku, the first woman initiate. The musical instruments, which are considered to be sacred, must recreate the mythical atmosphere of that time. The bow, mongongo, symbolizes the Word of God and his will to create; the player’s mouth, used as a sound box, expresses the cosmic void in which the first Word echoed. The obaka, a pair of sonorous sticks that give brief and sharp sounds when stricken, reproduce the violent creaking that caused the burst of the primordial egg from which the divine trinity originated. The most melodious and penetrating instrument, however, is the sacred harp, ngombi; it as an anthropomorphic shape so as to recall Bandzioku and its sound represents the voice of the dead who called the woman and showed her, by means of iboga, how to establish contact with them. The sound box symbolizes the cave from which the dead called Bandzioku (Swiderski 1970).

Among the officiants, in each Bwiti community, there is a fixed hierarchy of different roles. The highest official and the unquestioned leader of the community is the nima; he is followed by the kombos, of which the yemba introduces and explains the rituals, the songs and the words of the Gospel. The nganga leads the dances and the kombo is the guardian of the temple and supervisor of the rituals. Finally, there are players of musical instruments. The player of the sacred harp must be especially pure, both in spirit and flesh; he is subject to special obligations and taboos and must consider himself to be “wedded” to the harp. A female leader, yombo, is always present in the communities, and she is responsible for the ritual behaviour of female worshipper. Outside of the cult, these people lead a life which is similar to that of other members of the village. They have families and work to support them. In fact, it is typical of the African spirit to regard being single and without children in a negative light. They give the example of the missionaries who sexually molest the young black males attending catechism in their mission (among Africans, apart from those who are influenced by the life of the big cities, homosexuality does not exist and it remains inconceivable).

The Bwitists are known to be experts in the effect of iboga. During their nocturnal sessions, when groups of 20-50 people (inhabitants of the village, children and elderly included) take this hallucinogen, precautions are taken to protect individuals and ensure that everybody feel secure. While under the effect of iboga, a number of people, who have taken it in smaller quantities, have the appointed task of looking after the others and being assistance, should the need arise. As a special guest, I was treated with extra care. Whenever I was offered food or drink, somebody tasted it before me to assure me there was no risk of poisoning (among the Fang, poisoning is the most common method of homicide). When I left the temple to go to the forest and relieve myself, discreet glances followed me. It is easy to lose oneself in the forest by night, especially for a foreigner under the effects of iboga.

The Bwitists know what we mean by a “bad trip”. When this occurs in Bwiti (much rarer than in the Western world), it is never attributed to the drug. The individual is held responsible owing to impurity and evil thoughts. The special importance given to initiation was always stressed during the numerous conversations I had with the officiating priests and the rank and file initiates. According to the Bwitists, initiation is a moment that a person should remember for the rest of his life; an “experiential example” always to be borne in mind. When it appeared that I was unable to understand their answers to any questions I asked, from theological to simply ethnographical questions, they explained to me paternally and respectfully that this was because I had not been initiated and that only through initiation might one understand and find answers to all of the different questions.

According to the Bwitists, white people have more chances to get in touch with the divine than do blacks. Nobody doubted this, but me. I forced myself to accept this convention, but regarded it as contradictory: as an underestimation of themselves, or an unjustified estimation of whites. The phrase that always ended these pretentious discussions was invariably: “Only through initiation will you clearly understand your position in this world and your gift of being white. Good and Evil are everywhere, among the White, the Black and Red people, but you have better chances than we have, because you are closer to God; for this reason we must respect you”.

During one of the ngozé, while the iboga effect was spectacularly dominating my mind, a young man who had become bandzi (initiated) a few months before, seeing my perplexity, came to me and said:“See this temple, this House of God; if you observe it carefully you will realize how much it looks like a man. The central truss that supports the roof is his spinal column; the fire is his heart; the two doors leading to the vestry are his ears; the vestry is his head; the pole at the entrance of the temple is his phallus.” Maybe it was the iboga effect or mere auto-suggestion or…, but there, where the temple has stood, I suddenly started to perceive the man that the boy was describing to me. The temple was alive! There were a small door in the vestry that led to another room from which non-initiates and non-officiants were excluded. The boy, anticipating my curiosity, told me that the room represented the memory of the man-temple. He concluded by saying: “The House of God is in the shape of a man, it is a man. You will understand the reason for this only after you have been initiated.”

In all Bwiti sects, initiation is considered to be a direct contact between man and the Divine and this is triggered by the ingestion of iboga root in large quantities: 50-100 times the quantity used during the ordinary collective ngozé. The person to be initiated must ingest it in repeated small doses within a 8-14 hour time-span. The ingestion of the hallucinogen is preceded by a ritual offering to the forest and to its trees, and also by a confession pronounced before the presiding officiants. The confession concerns the entire past of the individual. According to the Fang people, sins of an antisocial nature are by far the worst. In the event of non-confession of sins, it is thought that the effect of iboga can trigger a “bad trip” with unpredictable consequences, leading to madness or – should the concealed sin be homicide – even to the death of the person being initiated. There is only one confession and it is made once in a lifetime, during the first part of the initiation.

Initiation is considered to be a unique moment in an individual’s life. Further initiatory moments are necessary for the acquisition of higher officiant’s ranks. The effect of this heavy dose of iboga lasts three whole nights and days. During this time, the initiate remains stretched out on the ground inside the vestry of the temple and is overseen by an initiated couple – a man and a woman – considered as the “mother” and the “father” of initiation. The person being initiated will have to respect and regard them as his/her second parents for the rest of his/her life. I felt a shiver through my body when, led by an old Fang, I entered the vestry of a temple belonging to the Dissumba sect, during an initiatory rite. Two young women were being initiated. They were sitting on the floor and looked dazed and completely inebriated. Beside them, their two pairs of “parents” were meekly singing a sweet song accompanied by the sacred harp. It was their third and last day of initiation. The following morning, they would “awaken” from the long trip; according to the Bwitists who are baptized in this manner (initiation is also called “iboga baptism”) this trip brings you to the roots of life and to a direct dialogue with God.

Towards the end of the initiation ceremony, the initiate-to-be will have to reveal to the kombos the content of his visions; this is to verify whether the person “has seen.” One who has seen can be considered bandzi in every respect. Through initiation the individual enters into a relationship with the divinity and finally finds his place in this world. Then he is ready to go on with his renewed life, rejoicing with the other members of the community. Every time the initiated again takes the holy plant, in smaller quantities, he will recite the prayer of communion together with other members: “Eboga, tree of life, the tree that reveals, that drives the shadows out of our souls and which illuminates us with its holy light in order to lead us to eternal life. It is with its grace and its holy light that we give glory to God in the Higher Heavens and to He only the way of the Eboga, our Savior.” Then, in the end, individually: “I thank Eboga for coming to me; strengthen my heart with your celestial fire, you oh Lord, Lord Eternal.” (quoted in Swiderski 1971).

After this first contact with the Bwiti religion, I can say that I have finally encountered a pure hallucinogen-based religious cult, alive in this day, of great importance with regard to the relationship between man and hallucinogenic substances. This relationship shows the temporal and, simultaneously, the atemporal value of correct use of holy plants. In spite of the extensive ethnographical and anthropological studies carried out by S. Swiderski and J.W. Fernandez (see bibliography), the importance of Bwitism hasn’t been understood by western experts on hallucinogenic cults. Nevertheless, Bwiti, along with the North American Indian sacramental use of peyotl (called “Red Christ”) in the Native American Church, represents one of the greatest contemporary religions based on the use of an hallucinogenic substance (3).
Notes

1 Tabernanthe iboga Biallon is a small perennial shrub belonging to the Apocynaceae family. The strong roots, extensively branched, contain indolic alkaloids, in particular ibogaine, which is considered to be the main compound responsible for the hallucinogenic effects (for a biochemical review see Gaignault & Delourme-Houdé 1977). The Fang recognize two varieties of this species, based on the form of the fruit, oblong and smooth, or round and rough. The latter is considered to be stronger.

2 Alchornea floribunda Müll-Arg. Is a small tree belonging to the Euphoribaceae family, which can reach 12 meters in height. The parts used as an hallucinogen are the roots. The Fang consider it to be less powerful than iboga, with effects of shorter duration. Its roots do not contain yohimbine, as many researchers state, in reference to an obsolete biochemical survey carried out by Paris & Goutarel (1958). They do contain alkaloids belonging to the alchorneine group (Khuong-Huu et al. 1972), whose pharmacological properties haven’t been studied as yet.

3 Numerous aspects of the religious cults of Gabon deserve a more detailed analysis. Field research could reveal interesting surprises. For example, not everything is known about the ethnobotanical aspects of these cults. Besides iboga and alan, a series of plants, apparently also with psychotropic properties, are used during the rites. Surprisingly, one of these is a mushroom (called duna by Fang people) and its psychoactive properties have already been hypothesized by other authors (Fernandez 1972 and 1982). A wideranging investigation of religious texts and popular tales in this geographical area convinced me of the importance of this mushroom, which could represent a traditional psychoactive mushroom known and used in Gabon and environs. Preliminary field research confirmed that this mushroom is still present in the Fang collective memory. After all, the relationship between man and hallucinogenic mushrooms does not seem to be new in Africa, as recent ethnomycological studies have demonstrated (Samorini 1992).
References

Fernandez W.J., 1972, Tabernanthe iboga: Narcotic Ecstasis and the Work of the Ancestors, in: P.T. Furst (Ed.), Flash of the Gods. The Ritual Use of Hallucinogens, Praeger, New York & Washington, :237-260.
Fernandez W.J., 1982, Bwiti. An Ethnography of the Religious Imagination in Africa, Princeton, Princeton University Press. Gaignault J.C. & Delourme-Houdé J., 1977, Les alcaloides de l’iboga (Tabernanthe iboga H.Bn), Fitoterapia, 48 : 243-265. Khung-Huu F. et al., 1972, Alchornéine, isolachronéine et alchornéinone, produits isolés de l’Alchornea floribunda Müll-Arg., Tetrahedron, 28 : 5207-5220.
Mary A., 1983, La naissance à l’envers. Essai sur le rituel du Bwiti Fang au Gabon, Paris, L’Harmattan. Paris R. & R. Goutarel, 1958, Les Alchornea africains. Présence de yohimbine chez l’Alchornea floribunda (Euphorbiacées), Ann.Pharm.Fr., 16 : 15-20.
Raponda-Walker A. & R. Sillans, 1961, Les plantes utiles du Gabon, Lechevalier, Paris. Raponda-Walker A. & R. Sillans, 1962 (1983), Rites et croyances des peuples du Gabon, Paris, Présence Africaine.
Samorini G., 1992, The oldest representations of hallucinogenic mushrooms in the world (Sahara desert, 9000-7000 BP), Integration, 2/3: 69-78.
Swiderski S., 1965, Le Bwiti, société d’initiation chez les Apindjii au Gabon, Anthropos, 60:541-576. Swiderski S., 1970, La harpe sacrée dans les cultes syncrétiques au Gabon, Anthropos, 65 : 833-857.
Swiderski S., 1971, Notes sur le Ndeya Kanga, secte syncrétique du Bouiti au Gabon, Anthropos, 66:81-119.
Swiderski S., 1979, Les récits bibliques dans l’adaptation africaine, J.Rel.Africa, 10 :174-233.
Swiderski S., 1980, Essai d’interpretation structurale et psychoanalytique du mythe au Gabon, in: AA.VV., Perennitas. Studi in Onore di Angelo Brelich, Roma, Edizioni dell’Ateneo, :521-539.
Swiderski S., 1989-1990, La religion Bouiti, VI volls., Legas, New York, Ottawa & Toronto.

3
Introductions / Re: Greetings - Parkinson's Practitioner
« on: February 26, 2017, 08:52:29 AM »
Hey Parkinsons Practitioner,

Welcme to Eboka! This is an area that interests me greatly too, so I think this is something worthy of investigation. A post here I made trying to bring some of existing research together.

http://eboka.info/index.php?topic=660.msg6380#msg6380

4
Introductions / Re: Reddit sent me here. Hi guys!
« on: February 26, 2017, 08:48:40 AM »
Hey Robin, as a supplemental holistic approach, it may be worth researching or experimenting with CBD/Cannabidiol..non-toxic, non-psychoactive and has anti-anxiety effects. While this won't reveal the root cause of your anxiety, it may provide a benign and non-invasive way of managing day to day symptoms.

5
The Muse / Cool Ibogaesque animated film
« on: January 20, 2017, 08:40:18 AM »
This is worth a watch...I thought the visuals were in some way really reminiscent of iboga, along with the general feeling of it as well.

https://www.nfb.ca/film/afterlife/

6
Eboka Talk / IbogaShop.com - AVOID!!!
« on: November 11, 2016, 10:22:18 AM »
Hi y'all,

Given iboga's plight in the wild, and my feeling that I have learned the core lessons I need to from it, I reluctantly sought out a source on behalf of two good friends who I felt could benefit greatly from an experience with it.

Myself and the two other guys consumed 10g of iboga TA we ordered through IbogaShop.com, split three ways between us. Obviously 3g of average potency iboga TA should have been an ample dose for each of us.

This would be one friend's first time with iboga, another friend's second time, and my fifth flood dose iboga experience, so I'm fairly well versed with this plant. On ingestion, this iboga failed to yield the effects roughly expected of iboga...what we all experienced were very nasty and ongoing intense electric brain zaps, very blood shot eyes, a general feeling of unease and uncomfortableness, and a feeling of lethargy, an exhaustion that lasted some days after the experience...it was half a week from dosing until we all felt back on form!

My first time ever consuming iboga, prior to my five flood experiences, I made the very foolish and reckless mistake of consuming a large quantity of iboga whole root, as oppose to the iboga [inner] root bark which is preferentially used and consumed. This was due to my own lack of education and research on this matter at the time, but it resulted in a prolonged, hellish experience, lasting five days, and over which electric brain zaps and very blood shot eyes were noted, and a feeling of being incapacitated, of lethargy and ataxia, which had me bed bound for the five days, and scared the hell out of my family. It goes without saying that I was keen to avoid any kind of repeat of this experience, for either myself or people I know.

Thus, going on my symptoms, it really seems to me that we were given a TA extract of whole iboga root and NOT the iboga root bark, which was being advertised on the site. My symptoms I experienced MUCH more closely matched my accidental poisoning with the whole root than they did of any previous experiences with either iboga root bark or iboga TA extract.

Selling whole root extract as oppose to root bark TA is a highly dangerous and irresponsible move on this companies' part. I emailed them my concerns (my friend spent £720 on this), and the company failed to even apologise, let alone offer a refund (they passed on the blame onto their supplier), giving us a drivel of a reply stating that they only offer botanical specimens not for human consumption.

So yeah, to summarise, I was very unimpressed with both the quality of this company's TA, and their general conduct, so I say avoid like the Ebola virus, and seek out your iboga elsewhere...you have been warned.

http://www.ibogashop.com/default2.aspx

7
Hi y'all, I'm sharing this on behalf of a friend Down Under, and somebody who is a quite well known among the consciousness/OBE community, [Dr] Alexander De Foe. Have you ever had a spiritually formative experience of any kind that has changed your views on life, the universe and/or everything?? If so, he'd really like to hear about it...very short 10 minute anonymous online survey linked below.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KCKH692

8
Micro-Dosing / Re: Magnesium and NMDA Receptors
« on: February 11, 2016, 10:04:37 AM »
Hi Ryu,

Very interesting to hear! I very much want to have a float session and hope to make floating a more regular practice, so you've definitely stoked my motivation furnace! I have a feeling floating will be a great ally for meditation and dream work and projection, I'm intrigued to try it. 

:)

9
Micro-Dosing / Re: Magnesium and NMDA Receptors
« on: February 11, 2016, 07:01:31 AM »
Hi Ryu,

Interesting stuff, thanks for sharing. It seems part of the therapeutic and stress relieving effects of floatation tanks may be due to the magnesium content of the Epsom salts used for buoyancy in the tank, as well as the deep relaxation and sensory deprivation. The skin is able to absorb magnesium directly from the tank water itself. I've heard cannabis use can deplete magnesium, and that cocoa is a rich source of it, something I have most days. Interesting though, I'm going to look into this more.

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Staying Clean / Awakening the Third Eye (Meditation)
« on: January 28, 2016, 10:55:40 AM »
It seems to me a fair few people report third eye experiences during iboga floods, myself included (never having believed in a third eye prior to my first iboga flood experience). Below is some information on a meditation practice that works directly with the third eye, and it seems to yield feelings of peace, contentment and consciousness expansion for some, including those experienced with others forms of meditation. This practice may be of interest or benefit to people post iboga, for a number of reasons.

Wondering if anyone here is familiar with the meditation techniques of the Clairvision school? This has recently come to my attention...the founder, Samuel Sagan seems like an interesting guy, a medical doctor, but someone who grew a bit disillusioned with western conventional medicine and wanted to explore consciousness deeper. He has studied with Taoists and practitioners of Kriya and Kundalini yoga, and also had a five year stint of full time meditation to see how far that rabbit hole goes.

This is kind of the mission statement of the Clairvision school:

"The approach of the school is resolutely experiential. It is designed for people who cannot be satisfied only with other people's opinions and beliefs, but wish to gain first-hand experience of levels of consciousness. In short, it is not what you presume or accept as true that will bring about transformation, but what you experience directly. Clairvision therefore always emphasizes the superiority of experiential knowledge over belief and dogma."

Clairvision's core practice is a form of third eye meditation using a form of yogic ujjayi (restricted) breathing while placing awareness between the eyebrows. Even if one has no belief in a third eye, this form of meditation seems to work well for a number of people, with some switching to it permanently after trying different forms of meditation...it seems to provide some with the deep sense of stillness, peace and expanded consciousness they were seeking but not getting from other forms. So for anybody interested, I would encourage you to experiment. Below is a link to his book in PDF form, as well as two youtube clips which give instruction on how to go about doing this. 20 minutes of meditation practice a day is recommended.

Book:

http://www.eso-garden.com/specials/awakening_the_third_eye.pdf

Clip 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp1XpdAkXng

Clip 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp1XpdAkXng

Website:

http://www.clairvision.org/

Would be interesting to hear how others get on with this if you decide to experiment.

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Announcements, News & Events / Re: Hey everyone.
« on: August 20, 2015, 09:03:07 AM »
Hope you got my donation too dude! I wired you the required funds and a $5 tip the day after you posted. Long live Eboka!!  :)

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Staying Clean / Re: Pranayama & meditation
« on: August 13, 2015, 05:18:35 AM »
Hi Alexandra, thanks for chiming in here. So far, pranayama wise, I've been focusing on the type of alternate nostril breathing you describe here. It seems when practicing kumbhaka, a ratio of 1:4:2 is important when inhaling: holding: exhaling. Some yogi's claim one must first practice alternate nostril breathing/nadi shodhana without any breath retention, as the kumbhaka can raise the kundalini and your system needs to be first prepared for this via the alternative nostril breathing without breath retention, does this not apply to Kundalini yoga?

So, with the counting, or you simply mentally stating "Sat Nam" in your head when you count? Have you noticed any interesting energetic effects with this technique? Is this technique used as a method to raise kundalini?

Appreciate your input here, and the instructions, this is exactly what I was practicing before so I'm going to go back to it. Spinal breathing pranayama and its tantric equivalent cobra breath also seem like interesting and powerful pranayama techniques.

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Staying Clean / Re: Pranayama & meditation
« on: August 11, 2015, 02:00:08 PM »
Health benefits of pranayama & meditation

Dr John Lilly once said:

"Yoga is the science of the East. Science is the Yoga of the West."

While he was referring to the direct experiential methodology of consciousness change that comprises yoga, a kind of science of the self, I thought it might be of value to see what our Western science says about this science of the East.

It seems to me there is a fair bit discussed about how meditation and yogic practices are good for one's health (or more to the point, these practices can act to keep one in optimal health), but I thought some peeps here might want to know a bit more on the science of this area to back up some of these claims.

There has been a fair bit of research to date on meditation, and some also on yogic practices and pranayama, or controlled yogic breathing exercises. The science states that all these practices are potent stress relievers and activators of the parasympathetic nervous system, and lower blood pressure. The bulk of research has been on meditation practices, and research has found that meditation can increase immune system function, increase focus, and reduce stress, depression and anxiety to name just a few things. It is important to distinguish between Transcendental/mantra style meditation, and mindfulness (predominantly breathing) meditation, the two meditation practices on which the vast bulk of research has been conducted to date. Both have positive and overlapping benefits to some degree but they are also quite distinct in the effects they produce.

Research on pranayama has tended to focus on yogic cross breathing, or nadi shodhana, also known as alternative-nostril breathing. This is a very simple pranayama technique to perform, and is held in very high regard by a number of yogi's. Practice of this technique has been found to result in greater hemispheric symmetry and greater activation of the parasympathetic nervous system.

Yoga has a variety of different limbs, and it seems that the asanas or body positions are to assist in preparing one for pranayama, which in turn is a preparation for meditation. However one can do pranayama and meditation and still gain benefit. For any interested, I'd highly recommend experiment with a pranayama technique like nadi shodhana, or bhramari (humming bee breath). Both practices are simple and safe to do (this does not apply to all pranayama techniques it seems and an experienced teacher is recommended for some), and both have a great synergy with meditation if one goes straight into this afterwards.

In my experience thus far I've found pranayama to synergise well with meditation if done right before this. And in this way, one is likely to maximise and augment the benefits of both practices.

Attached is a paper discussing the benefits of alternate-nostril breathing/nadi shodhana pranayama while providing instruction on how to do it.


Sengupta, P. (2012) "Health Impacts of Yoga and Pranayama: A State-of-the-Art Review" International Journal of Preventative Medicine, 3, (7).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3415184/


Relevant Literature:

Abraham, B. (2014) Effects of 8-week Nadi-Shodhana pranayam training on cardio-pulmonary parameters. Reviews of Literature, 1, (6).

Ankad, R.B., Herur, A., Patil, S., Shashikala, G.V. & Chinagudi, S. (2011) Effect of Short-Term Pranayama and Meditation on Cardiovascular Functions in Healthy Individuals. Heart Views, 12, (2), 58-62.

Brown R.P. & Gerbarg P.L. (2009) Yoga breathing, meditation, and longevity. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1172, 54-62

Domínguez-Alonso, A., Ramírez-Rodríguez, G. & Benîtez-King, G. (2012) Melatonin increases dendritogenesis in the hilus of hippocampal organotypic culture. Journal of Pineal Research, 54, (4), 427-436.

Harinath, K., Malhotra, A.S., Pal, K., Prasad, R., Kumar, R. Kain, T.C., Rai, L. and Sawhney, R.C. (2004) Effects of Hatha Yoga and Omkar Meditation on Cardiorespiratory Performance, Psychologic Profile, and Melatonin Secretion. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 10, (2), 261-268.

Hariprassad, V.R., Varambally, S., Shivakumar, V., Kalmady, S.V., Venkatasubramanian, G. & Gangadhar, B.N. (2013) Yoga increases the volume of the hippocampus in elderly subjects. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 55, (3), 394-396.

H?lzel, B.K., Carmody, J., Vangel, M., Congleton, C., Yerramsetti, S.M., Gard, T. & Lazar, S.M (2011) Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain grey matter density. Psychiatry Research, 191, 36-43.

Joshi, A., Singh, M. Bharat Bhushan Singla, B.B. & Joshi, S. (2011) Enhanced Wellbeing amongst Engineering Students through Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing) Training : An Analysis. School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal, 3, 112-120.

Nidich S.I., Rainforth, M.V., Haaga, D.A., Hagelin, J., Salerno, JW.., Travis, F., Tanner, M., Gaylord-King, C., Grosswald, S. & Schneider R.H. (2009) A randomized controlled trial on effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping in young adults. American Journal of Hyptertension, 22, (12), 1326-1331.

Pal, G.K., Velkumary, S. & Madanmohan (2004) Effect of short-term practice of breathing exercises on autonomic functions in normal human volunteers. Indian Journal of Medical Research, 120, 115-121.

Ramírez-Rodríguez, G., Vega-Rivera, N.M., Benítez-King, G., Castro-García, M. & Ortíz-L?pez, L. (2012) Melatonin supplementation delays the decline of adult hippocampal neurogenesis during normal aging of mice. Neuroscience Letters, 530, (1), 53-58.

Ross, A. & Thomas, S. (2010) The Health Benefits of Yoga and Exercise: A Review of Comparison Studies. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16, (1), 3-12.

Singh, S., Gaurav, V. & Parkash, V. (2011) Effects of a 6-week nadi-shodhana pranayama training on cardio-pulmonary parameters. Journal of Physical Education and Sports Management, 2, (4), 44-47,

Tooley, G.A., Armstrong, S.M., Norman, T.R. & Sali, A. (2000) Acute increases in night-time plasma melatonin levels following a period of meditation. Biological Psychology, 53, (1), 69-78.

Wallace, R.K. (1970) Physiological Effects of Transcendental Meditation. Science, 167, (3926), 1751-1754.

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General Discussion / Iboga and nature perception (survey)
« on: July 22, 2015, 07:16:49 AM »
A survey being conducted by friend Dr David Luke of the University of Greenwich...have psychedelics and other plants like iboga influenced your perception of nature? Survey is on ecodelics - relating to psychedelic experiences of/with/in Nature. Only takes 5 or so mins to complete, feedback would be much appreciated.

https://jfe.qualtrics.com/form/SV_7NT0bngfblsTvBX

 :)

15
Diet & Recipes / Re: Brain boosting turmeric tonic
« on: July 20, 2015, 10:44:15 AM »
Hey Mr GratefulDad, I'd recommend this recipe for anybody at any stage of life, whatever their health; particularly as a post exercise and pre bed tonic...I've grown to quite like the flavour of it. A good friend suffers from Parkinson's disease and I'm recommending he experiment with it too, as there is at least tentative evidence that curcumin, one of the key active ingredients in turmeric, may bring relief from Parkinson's symptoms, while being free from toxicity and side effects unlike the drugs used to manage Parkinson's symptoms, such as L-DOPA.

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