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    Claudio Naranjo ayahuasca AYA2019 World Ayahuasca Conference ICEERS

    The Relevance of Ayahuasca in the Problems of the World



    When community elder Dr. Claudio Naranjo took to the stage at the 2019 World Ayahuasca Conference, he commented that this would likely be his last talk. Less than six weeks later, he passed away at the age of 86.

    In his talk, Naranjo spoke about the relevance of ayahuasca to the problems of the world. He said, “We know what’s the purpose, what’s the use of ayahuasca for people, for communities. But maybe the community of the world needs ayahuasca as well. Maybe society can be fixed, and ayahuasca is a tool for fixing it.”

    Claudio Naranjo and the problem of the world

    For Claudio Naranjo, the problem of the world is that we have become isolated beings, disconnected from our empathetic and instinctive parts. Sometimes, he says, ayahuasca helps people to reconnect with the animal, with our instincts, and thereby our love for ourselves: “If we reject, if we criminalize our inner snake, our reptilian brain, our instinct, this cannot happen without a profound act of un-love towards ourselves. So, this process of re-converting a dangerous animal into a sacred animal means that we recover the love for ourselves.”

    “When you drink ayahuasca and you have this phenomenon of conciliating yourself with the animal, what happens then is that you recover the love for yourself. There’s a problem in understanding how Christianity, which was so powerful in the world and which insisted so much on the commandment of love, as it’s called, hasn’t managed to originate, to create a peaceful kind civilization. Quite the opposite. It is an increasingly violent civilization. And I think this is the key. That Christianity mandated the commandment ‘love your neighbor as yourself’, but it ignored that we don’t love ourselves because we’ve been led to believe that loving ourselves is selfish. This is a blind spot in our cultural history that ayahuasca is here to repair without having to undergo long fervent analysis. That’s how we can explain the amount of devotion in ayahuasca. The love of ourselves is the root of what I call the tree of love. It’s like we had in our belly the love for ourselves.”

    A full English translation of Dr. Naranjo’s talk is available on

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