Sting on Ayahuasca

The English musician Sting, in this video, talks about his experience with Ayahuasca. The video is decent quality, it  seems that the up-loader used a camcorder to record this piece from a broadcast television show. In the clip, author of the book Breaking Open the Head, Daniel Pinchbeck, asks Sting questions about his ayahuasca journey and whether or not it is related to Sting’s founding of the Rainforest Foundation.

The Rainforest Foundation was founded in 1989 by Sting and his wife Trudie Styler, after they saw first-hand the destruction of the Amazon rainforests, and the devastating impact it had on the lives of the indigenous peoples who lived there.

Sting counters saying that he’d been to the rainforest before taking ayahuasca. But, even more interesting, Sting states in the video that his first Religious Experience happened while participating in an ayahuasca ceremony.

Sting on Ayahuasca

Sting attributes ayahuasca to being responsible for his firs religious experience.

Sting goes into more detail about his ayhuasaca experiences as they relate to his sense of a religious experience in his book Broken Music: A Memoir, pertinent excerpts of Sting on ayahuasca below:

“A series of discrete phone calls have secured us an invitation to a religious ceremony…the home of a syncretic religious group that uses as its core sacrament an ancient medicine derived from plant materials known as ayahuasca, and it is said to induce extraordinary and profound visions.”

“I have never had a genuine religious experience. I say this with some regret. I have paid lip service to the idea, certainly, but a devastating, ego-destroying, ontological epiphany I simply have not had. More devout souls than I may have visited this realm through prayer, meditation, fasting, or from undergoing a near-death experience. Religious literature is full of such visionary claims, and while I’ve no reason to doubt their veracity, I would venture to say that such experiences are rare. For every St. Teresa, Ezekiel, or William Blake, there are millions like me with no direct experience of the transcendent, of the eternal, of the fathomless mystery at the root of all religious thought. But the ayahuasca has brought me close to something, something fearful and profound and deadly serious.”

“I may be out of my gourd, but I seem to be perceiving the world on a molecular level, where the normal barriers that separate “me” from everything else have been removed, as if every leaf, every blade of grass, every nodding flower is reaching out, every insect calling to me, every star in the clear sky sending a direct beam of light to the top of my head. This sensation of connectedness is overwhelming. It’s like floating in a buoyant limitless ocean of feeling that I can’t really begin to describe unless I evoke the word love. Before this experience I would have used the word to separate what I love from everything I don’t love – us not them, heroes from villains, friend from foe, everything in life separated and distinct like walled cities or hilltop fortresses jealously guarding their hoard of separateness. Now all is swamped in this tidal wave of energy which grounds the skies to the earth so that every particle of matter in and around me is vibrant with significance. Everything around me seems in a state of grace and eternal. And strangest of all is that such grandiose philosophizing seems perfectly appropriate in this context, as if the spectacular visions have opened a doorway to another world of frankly cosmic possibilities.”


Note: Sting is also referenced and quoted about his Ayahuasca experience–yet, can you believe, no ayahuasca recipe details–in an article published by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, titled Ayahuasca Tourism in South America.

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