An initiation with tabernanthe iboga

Claude I would like to give you as much info as i can relating to the concept of concious dreaming and iboga. Unfortunately this will need to come in fits and starts as i cannot write for too long, my brain overheats (due to malaria). First off let me start by saying that my belief system is closest to that of the buddhist and in fact I adhere somewhat to a Tibetan buddhist way of perceiving things. That allows me to understand and perceive most of what you say from that perspective, and everything you discuss falls within the parameters of my understanding interepreted from the buddhist perspective. Thus my experience in the jungles is also coloured by this perspective and to try and describe things without referring to buddhist conceptual models would be tying my own hands. Profound experiences of insight have happened to me on a couple of occasions, experiences that left me with a harmonious and centred being, and the effects stayed with me for up to even a year. It was these experiences, understandings of the essential emptiness that is our fundamental reality, the "skylike" nature of mind, that gravitated me toward your piece on conscious dreaming and its essentially western intellectual interpretation of a phenomenon I have experienced. However it was a long time ago that I read it and I haven't read it recently and am going from memory.

These profound experiences, some thru psilocybine and others through trichocereus cactus, were all conducted with the aid of a loving and benevolent teacher, without whom I would never have approached these states of being.

Essentially these states allowed me to perceive that the fabric of our reality is our imagination, and thus with that understanding, anything, absolutely anything is possible in the universe (however it is important that we realise that it is all a product of our imagination). This is the fundamental nature of exoreality - and endoreality.

The intellectual however can never come close to the experiential as much as we try.

Using words and concepts to describe the subtlety of the experience can be compared to using a ten pound hammer to forge butterfly wings - the wrong tools, clumsy and blunt.

Iboga functions in a subtly different way from these other plants. In small amounts it seems to somehow slows the metabolism down, slowly, more so the more you take. Your entire being becomes still and through the stillness, you begin to see.

You begin to be aware of what is going on around you, as your intellectual mind is stilled and the mechanisms that cloud your mind with random thought, are all put on slow, or pause. Other senses start coming alive, as the 5 senses mix synergistically.

This is the case up until you take the barely sublethal doses they give you in an initiation. Then you really start to see! Somehow the iboga manages to change your vibration, slow you down to such an extent that you become super-aware on the physical plane (exoreal) of events occurring at other dimensional vibrations (endorealities?). Your body cools down, you seem no longer to even breathe and it would look to an outsider, as if you were comatose.

In fact your motor coordination is not functioning properly however your conciousness is now coming into it's own. Early on in the experience you are extremely ill, unpleasantly so. This is understood by them as the 'dying'. Once dead you experience the profundity of the plant. One experiences pretty much what death is like but on a smaller scale.

This is a pretty difficult phase to talk about because no words come close even to describing the intensity.

It is the essence of the iboga experience. The Bouiti say that on this side the plant is called Iboga, but on the other side, "there", it is called conscience (French), awareness in English. Iboga epitiomises the concept of awareness. Through the stillness that Iboga allows you to enter, you find yourself understanding the concepts of equanimity. And through this majestic gift that is available to each and everyone of us, you realize that no matter how incredible the visions are, no matter how sacred and profound are the feelings we have in the company of such an awesomely compassionate and loving beings as abound in the universe, we realize that there is only emptiness, and that nothing exists, and that everything we are seeing and feeling are just products of the imagination, manufactured in the oneness of the universal mind. And again I come round to the idea of possibilities: with this understanding absolutely anything is possible and absolute nothingness is possible too. The fundamentally fundamental understanding of Rigpa, the nature of mind, allows us to understand that we don't exist.

Playing with creation is a simple act of imagination and here I see the functionality of your exo/endoreality complexes serving a function.

Once those poor souls caught in the paradigm of scientific thought realize how they have limited themselves by invoking scientific rules to try and understand phenomena that goes beyond science's parameters, they will have tools that will explain the nature of this new reality in terms that they are familiar with.

And these can be found in your conceptual model of realities - explained in a logical sequence that if followed, will arm the ex-scientist with the vocabulary to defend and explain his new understanding.

I highly recommend the initiation as there is no other way you can experience the fullness of iboga, but in that situation. These people have evolved in parallel to the plant, as has their ritual. the ritual manages to stimulate thru the music and chanting, all those aspects of the plants effect on the mind that synergistically turbo boost the mind into total awareness. It needs a specifically designed music and ritual to have that effect, and aspects of the iboga are potentised, catalysed and actualised by the music, aspects which would not emerge if the iboga was taken out of that context. That is not to say Iboga wouldnt work, just that it is not quite the same. More in the report which i am slowly writing.

A brief comparison of the bouiti to the ayahuaska (yâgé, caapi) ceremonies. A direct experiential comparison of Iboga and Ayahuaska however is impossible they are both teachers of the highest order. Only the rituals can be compared. A bouiti ceremony is a week long procedure, and that is when rushed for whities. Two days cleansing (internal/external), imbibing and then one to two days other side, then three to more days needed for rest and recuperation. The process is understood as being first day dying, second day death, third day onwards rebirth. This is a serious plant. With ayahuaska there are often people in Peru etc who conduct less than sacred rituals - i know i experienced that once. You would never find that here, the people regard this as the ultimate sacrament, when discussing it it is never 'Iboga' it is always "l'iboga sacré" or "l'boue sacré", etc. The ritual is not conducted by a single shaman. The entire village takes part, each individual having a specific role to play, instrument to play, part to sing, and they know the ceremony intimately. Having an entire village dedicate a two solid days or more to helping you clearly see through the fabric of this reality in the most profound manner by singing chanting dancing is an incomparable experience that even now moves me deeply. There is such love eminating from these people. And it is'nt your normal african percussive trance inducing music ceremony - the chief instrument is the eight string harp of David, the drums are brought out for only a couple minutes in the whole ceremony, there are so many instruments played, all of them having spiritual significance. I think the drums are used as a last resort, used for those who have 'blockages' as they referred to them. For those who need a real atom-smasher. The music is of a light and angelic nature as opposed to a heavy trancelike beat. trying to use words to describe the effect of the music is impossible. It was too beautiful for thoughts let alone words. The fact that it is a combined effort by the whole village, and that you are the centre of focus, you are the "Banzie", the neophyte, initiate, makes this a very powerful experience indeed.

I won't go into detail on the actual experience as I think you know what thats all about. It is the method that the experience is served to you that is so impressive, profound and overwhelming.

I sent this as a note that I scribbled on a scap of paper in a restaurant in Libreville, Gabon.

I would say briefly that the whole concept of stillness through the use of a plant is best embodied through the use of Iboga. It is the most peaceful, beautiful, still, loving plant I have yet encountered. The experience was pure peace and love, and I was blown away by the tenderness and care with which these people use the plant, and the reverence with which they treat it.

I think it would be quite an experience for you two to be initiated into the Bouiti.

My initiation was essentially the equivalent of a Freemason's introduction to the elemental beings. It was quite the most beautiful and loving embrace by these beings that you could imagine and I think that the Bouiti have evolved an intricate and specific ritual that perfectly compliments the universe you access through Iboga.

Which is why I recommend you at some point you do the Bouiti initiation. It is perfectly structured, smoothly and proficiently conducted with an ease and simplicity that belies a profound experience, far more profound than the humour they conduct it with indicates.

The whole experience is built around you the individual, and is formulated with your happiness in mind. They are such mindful people, not a thing is left out. Once you have taken the Iboga, you understand the significance of each and every part of their ceremony, from the baby powder to the umbrellas. I can't tell you too much about the experience other than to say that to get to know Iboga, the Bwiti ritual is probably the best way. They really know the plant and conduct such a precise ritual that it activates exactly those principles of the plants' psychoactivity and cerebral action that you see the most incredible things and feel quite non-physical... words are no good at this point. "

Author: Iboga-Conscience, in Gabon.

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