The Man Who Drank The Universe

After almost two years, we’ve finally got around to uploading the documentary we made about my experiences with ayahuasca. You can go to the site by clicking here. It’s a simple low-res file for quicker streaming and easier downloading. Enjoy.NOTE:We weren’t able to fly over to New York in 2004 to interview Fiona about the effect of the ayahuacsa on her Parkinson’s long term. I asked her to write a short message about what happened to her, which I print here:

I wanted to give a little bit of a follow-up to my Ayahuasca experience, since it was hard to film me afterwards as I live in New York. Those first Aya journeys in Brasil were probably among the most profound days of my life. The plant works in peculiar ways. She presented herself to me as an entity of almost unimaginable love and intelligence, and in a short, compressed period of time, taught me extraordinary things that I will never forget, that have changed my life and way of thinking forever. Since then, I have had amazing experiences with a variety of healers, totally magical occurrences, and have been placed on a path that has been gathering mystery and revelation as I proceed. I am not completely separated from Parkinson’s Disease yet, but I am better than I was in the film, and continue to incrementally improve – an enormous feat, considering it is a disease that only degenerates and it has been with me it now for almost 20 years. I am learning how much I can actually accomplish in and for the world through having this disease, and so my experiences now have great meaning and logic for me. And yes, I am still dancing, and active with my dance company. I know that so far Mother Ayahuasca has only shown me a tiny portion of the majesty of her kingdom, and my sense of astonishment keeps growing. Thank you, Alistair, for being my companion in those first days and in my heart ever since.Fiona Marcotty Dolenga

13 Comments

  1. Amanda

    November 19, 2007 at 5:26 am

    Thanks for uploading this; I enjoyed reading your blog posts on this subject immensely, and this didn’t disappoint either–not that I had any reason to believe it would. Your insights and honesty are always as refreshing and entertaining as they are informative and thought-provoking.

    Again, thank you; hope to see another update soon.

  2. Jay Lakkis

    November 19, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    It is good news that u r all safe… and even better news that some of you felt better about themselves afterwards… but the fact remains that it was v risky – like you perceived yourself in your documentary… This is a sensitive issue to comment on without being judgmental. I attached below a link reporting in 2005 a fatality that MAY be linked to DMT ingestion; I wonder if you and the other volunteers had that information available to you (even if the cause effect relationship of DMT and the fatality is not definitely established) whether you would have proceeded with the adventure.
    As to the personal experiences reported, I feel sad that science still has not provided a cure for Parkinson’s or Cancer which caused two of the volunteers to seek hope to the end of the world… As to your last comments, I am afraid the attitudes towards the sexual orientation or color or faith of an individual will continue to be sources of hatred towards self (even unconsciously as you put it with a guilt complex) and others… What we need is an herb that enhances tolerance and then happiness may spend more time with us…

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=16356341&ordinalpos=7&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

  3. Nitsa

    November 19, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    I utterly enjoyed watching this video!
    one thing I noticed is that you, Alistair, experienced strong sadness and the high of happiness (which seems to last!)while the others had more of a soul searching esperience.
    I hope you keep your happy smile 🙂

  4. Rick

    November 20, 2007 at 2:59 am

    Alistair, this is fascinating & fantastic, thanks for
    finally sharing your documentary with us!

  5. St

    November 20, 2007 at 5:40 am

    Alistair,
    I have been visiting your site for the past 2 years
    trying to find myself and answer questions about
    my own life. I even took up meditation believing in
    what you wrote about and the effects of meditation.
    It has allowed me to face myself and accept those demons
    knowing it does not cure me but allows me to deal with
    those demons and try to resolve the issues that I face.

    I have been most interested in your experiences with
    Ayahuasca and how it has affected you. I have been waiting
    to see your documentary on “The Man Who Drank The Universe”.
    I want to say “Thank You” for being so kind and willing
    to share the documentary and allow us to see the
    video.

    I am lost for words because the things that you talk
    about at the end have been one of the major demons that I
    face. I will not reveal because I think people should watch
    the video. For the first time in my life I feel that I am
    not the only one that has those thoughts or feelings. I feel
    as if though some weight has been lifted off my shoulders
    and allows me to accept myself and to live my life to the
    fullest. It has been a couple hours since I watched the video
    and I am still on a high. I know I am not great at writing
    and not the greatest at expressing myself but trust me when
    I say that I am so relieved and in joy knowing that there
    is light at the end of the tunnel.

    I wish there was a way to repay you back for what you have
    done for me these last 2 years. I hope by saying Thank You
    from the bottom of my heart will be enough. Take care and
    I hope things go well for you.

  6. robin

    November 23, 2007 at 4:06 am

    Excellent to see this at long last. Cheers and thanks for putting it up.

  7. Craig Mc

    November 26, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    Alistair,
    For years I watch you, for years I read your postings. At long last I finally get it. But yet, I don’t know how to “get it.” I just need to learn it, and I believe you are the one who may be able to teach me. How did you gain a higher conciousness for and of yourself? It’s perhaps that we are the same age, similar interests, we’re gay & don’t care, we both seem to have always been able to not quite grasp someone who is that “ultimate love” – the one who really solidifies the fact that two gay men are as equal in love and passionate for eachother as any stereotype would have you not believe possilbe.
    I need to know from you, where did you start? How did you begin your journey to truly understand that there may just be a higher level of being that we just haven’t evolved to yet? I do “get” part of it now, I need to be in touch. I need someone else to be “in touch” with me. But, I don’t think that will ever happen until I check in, and put all the stupid things I’ve done in my life behind me. I have to be in a postition where I have control of my health, and my health doesn’t have control over me. Can you just tell me where to start? How can I connect to that inert understanding of yourself that you have? You really seem to me that you are “checked in” ` can you point me down that path?

  8. Hugo

    January 29, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Hey mate!
    A group of friends and like-minded people are facilitating sessions with the grandmother in London and someone sent me a link to your site… Wow! Hearing about your second trip you made me laugh and I remembered my first trip with Ayahuasca… that overwhelming, joyful, bubbly feeling of “How am I going to explain this?”
    Thank you very much. I am still smiling.
    It is also so enriching to read and hear your honest insights into sexuality and the sacredness of it. We are in a quest of re-sacralizing our sexual energy and celebrating our full expression as sexual beings. We need more open, healthy, celebratory examples of the spiritual side of intimacy.
    It is always fascinating to see how deeply we all get transformed when we use the plant as our sacred ally, as our guide back into ourselves, as the joyful highway into God herself, God himself.

    Keep up the exciting, blissful work, and see you in the timeless space! =)

  9. Mark Harwood-Scorer

    June 21, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Appears akin to the Brandon Bays journeys that my wife is currently investigating but sounds more like my bag. I’ll wish to try it but how or where may I book myself in?

  10. Sol

    September 5, 2008 at 6:53 am

    Hello. I just watched your documentary and I feel myself identifying with the depth (or “epiphanic moments”) you openly shared with the public.

    I myself have gone through a smiliar, yet not as dramatic process of healing of the self, not with ayahuasca, but with marijuana. It might sound silly but for me it is as real as you claim ayahuasca to be for you.

    I feel that, if we allow it to, hallucinogens allow the mind to transcend the physical boundaries that we find ourselves locked into. If we learn to trust (at times blindly) and hand over our control to it and really let go, the drug allows us to transcend our physical senses and tap into – and feel at one with – the underlying fundamental element that connects us not only us as humans, but as beings in this universe.

    I find it amazing how even though you did this with ayahuasca, and I with marijuana, that we were both able to have somewhat similar encounters and intimate healing sessions with our inner child. I have learned that the child is not merely a character residing deep in our memories that can only be found and healed through drug use. A mature adult is really comprised of the child and the parent. The child is THAT SAME CHILD (who some of us at one point learned to reject but now must learn to accept). The child who experiences life with curiosity, wonder and unashamed un-self conscious joy! The parent is an inner nourishing voice we learn to cultivate in ourselves through acceptance of the child, who lovingly guides and pushes the child to make mature logical decisions based on reality of the situation we find ourselves in. (Like for instance, I might find myself acting selfishly, but then the accepting parent urges the child in me to be kind and share)

    Healing (or what I feel in essence is Accepting) the self is truly a life long process and even if were learning how to do it from a teacher or therapist, (or through the use of drugs) the actual act itself can only be done by the person him/herself. While hallucinogenic drugs may be similar to the virtual reality IMAX experience into our own subconscious minds, the real litmus test to see if we are actually healed is to observe how we act while sober. After all, while informative indeed, it is still only a big screen movie.

    Im sorry for rambling on your blog but i really wanted to share, considering how much you share with us. Thanks and good luck!

  11. Fee

    February 14, 2009 at 4:12 am

    AA,

    I am readying to do my ceremony tomorrow, here in Toronto,
    but with a proper shaman, not some madness from the internet
    that will leave me snot-nosed and weeping in my bathtub.

    I have been reading about the vine for several years now, yet unable to make the journey south to partake in the embrace of the jungle. Thankfully, there is a shaman who has been making trips to Toronto to deliver the vine to those who can’t make it to Brazil, or Peru.

    I am afraid, and excited and wholly unprepared for what is
    to happen but I am re-watching your film to help me prep for the experience. I do fear dying, and that’s one of the reasons I am taking the medicine – but hope the Terence McKenna
    quote about astonishment can be a touchstone should I feel suffocated by such fears. (Dennis McKenna will be at this ceremony, which diminishes my fear, somewhat).

    All of this is to say, thank you for this film. You’re so open and forthright about your experience, and even about your initial judgments and that has made doing such a thing seem possible for a not so spiritual person such as myself. (I’m a cynic with a hippie rising. I’m trying to get the balance right.)

    See you on the other side.

    B.

  12. sandrar

    September 10, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  13. Martin

    August 6, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    @ Jay Lakkis
    You might also be hit by a bus on your way to the shop. Does this influence your decision to leave the house?

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