Healing Experience in the Santo Daime

Experiences in the Church of Mapia

The vision overwhelmes me."I" disapear and merge with my environment, with the large wooden, hexagonal church in the middle of the amazon rainforest. I become part of the surrounding jungle, part of the starry firmament above, part of the energy happening of the daime ritual - no, not a part, I am all that, it has sucked me in, dragged me along in the universal flow of the universal longing which is the soul of our living globe.

The daime vision transforms my perception, or is it refinement? Complex, geometrical patterns are superimposed on my vision, reminiscent of aboriginal tattoo patterns or those found on traditional weavings - living, four dimensional ornaments, which tend to densify in some places to draw me into other spaces, into other, parallel, worlds. The flower garlands above the central star altar become alive and seem to wave and speak to me. The room, meanwhile, is filled with a thundering roar coming out of multiple dimensions. It feels as if thousands of gigantic ventilators were blowing a mighty storm on and through us, carrying me away in a cosmic flight. And then the hymn sung by hundreds of throats draws me back down here, to the "trabalho", the ritual work, to the precise rythmical and vocal performance of this 114th hymn out of the 129 hymns of Master Irineu's hymnal. It is like meditation, back to the Self, to the mantra, to the here and now, in spite of the astral vision which wants to carry me away, out of my body - back here to the steps of the dance, the strokes of the marac, the lines of the hymn.

Often, when the daime unfolds its full force in me, I have to sit down, just before my legs give way under me. Some participants just collapse and are carried away by the helpers, the "fiscals", to a space behind the lines of dancers. Overwhelmed by the inner vision I then sometimes stretch out and let the spirit of the daime do its healing work, while "I" step aside and let go completely, in an attitude of "Thy Will be done". The daime spiritually impregnates each and all fibres of my being, of my consciousness. My body, jerking and twitching, remembers the passage in the birth channel, then, total let go, I am Mother, Father, Son, Holy Ghost in the intra-uterine, pre-worldly paradise, merged into the "sap" of the universe, where every ending is a beginning and where all beginning ends, where all is simultaneous, good and bad, strong and weak, right and wrong, birth and death, where every thing has its own value and its proper truth, where all roads lead to everywhere...

The daime is Sap, the nature of Sap, pure potentiality, It has no language, and yet generates form, potential forms. The Sap is part of me. It does not speak to me, It flows through me, It reveals forms to me, It gives me vision. Vision is the nature of the Sap. While others act, the Sap is just potential fluctuation, pure longing.

Experiences in the Rainforest

While watching the green foliage of the trees it becomes alive, it waves to me to come closer, it offers me its thousand arms for an intimate hug, it looks at me lovingly out of thousands of eyes, it speaks to me with innumerable voices, out of innumerable mouths. I let myself be swallowed by the forest. I become forest, the all permeating Sap.

Night in the rainforest. I have switched off the light. The forest is luminous. Patches of phosphorescence on the ground, moldering leaves, and here and there sparkling and glittering in the air, flying glow-worms. It becomes a fairy-forest. The Sap, from above, it rains, from inside, deeply merged in the universe of Sap, everything is impregnated, the Sap unites everything, now, eternally, ever anew, the forest, the Sap, myself merged within. I don't remember how much daime I have drunk today during this "feitio" (the ritual elaboration of the sacrament), often I had to lay down. Healing happened, I have worked hard, harder than ever. Healing, wholeness, holyness. Thank You, oh Sap! Thank You! This endless glittering and sparkling flow, roads, endless, infinite roads, which lead everywhere, below the earth, around the earth, into the universe, in all directions, all simultaneously, the Sap impregnates everything, simultaneously.


The Sap is God - there is no god. But I'll use this word as I have no other and this word has been useful, instrumental, in the past - god is not contained by it. He exists forever, in everything, in my thinking, or rather, before my thinking starts. Before I think, act, react, I am with HIM, I AM ME, before I become active in my cortex, in My own creation.

I cannot reach Him. When I am Him, or He is Me, that is when I AM ME, then I am not "I", and I am not really Him, because He IS not. Existential being is only in space, time, body. And yet I experience Him, or better, I touch his Consciousness, which reaches over all of life. He perceives the planetary history of our life force in a blink of the eye, from the first chemical reactions of earths matter, to us humans today. And I AM all that! I am simultaneously in my acting body and in that all pervading consciousnes. On the journey to that "space" my ego is fading, it is flicked off, like a light. Here and immediately now and eternally! No effort leads "there", I cannot attain through thinking, "HE/ME" is not at the end of a though process. It is the non-doing, the "Thy Will be done", the total let-go which lets me merge with Him. And even all of that is wrong. I do not merge with Him, He does not merge with me - He IS always there and yet He isn't, He is not here and not there, not now and not then. It's just "me" who loses the contact, I forget Myself through my own creation!

He talks to me - but not Him - He has no language. He speaks to me through Me. I am His voice, while speaking to me! He cannot DO anything for me. Only through myself can He become active I am his instrument! This tremendous, divine koan: God talks to me, with me, through me. God shows me my way through me finding my way (my dharma). God does not act, he works through ME.


My consciousness is the interface to the world of spirits within me! I am an incarnated spirit, of the same nature as them, even as the Geat One. "I" step aside and let them enter my being, to have them get the chance of waking up for a moment in this world. First, the entering spirit tumbles through the new experience, realizes that he cannot remember. Now that he has found a bodily apparatus able to remember, he cannot remember. Because this is not his system, not his memories, only mine! And yet such a moment of incarnation seems to be of evolutionary importance for those desincarnated spirits, "frozen" very often in a state of despair. They somehow get some "hope" from this moment. The very way in which I am healing myself is healing them - at least a bit.

This is my "witching hour" - when the daime has unfolded his total force. He heals me and through my healing the spirits receive healing. He penetrates the most remote corners of my nervous system - reprogramming "bad" software. The pain reaction, which seems to be glued at the basis of my social behaviour, especially towards women, receives additional information "this pain signifies that I love her so much! I absolutely and totally love my mother!" (who died in the first months of my life). While my unconscious internal dialogue would have been "off with it, I do not want to experience this, contact with woman produces pain...", this could now transform into "I am crazy with love for her, with all my heart, with all my soul, all my being is love!"

After the second dose of daime I feel very nauseated and must lay down. I am submersed in primal pain, which overwhelms and blocks all of my consciousness. Then I find myself again with the spirits, in the realm of the glimering, sparkling flames. My consciousness is too small to encompass all of it. I just let go with the conviction that it's ok, that I do not need to bother consciously - the spirits are doing their work, the tiny, transparent hummingbirds which somehow enliven and heal.

The passage to the world of the spirits is so real! When I am being snatched from this world, when I leave this cortical perception of the world, there is a feeling of coming home, back to my real home with the spirits. There are no more distances to be bridged, I do not have to do anything to "converse" with the various entities, no thinking, no effort. Something like the "pure intent" (Castaneda) which gets me immediately wherever I focus it, which lets me merge with the being of this or that spirit. The "wulf spirit" for instance, which had tremendous teaching for me on the subject of "endurance". And there are the encounters with the "highest" spirit, the Exalted One, who teaches me, without me being able, afterwards, to remember what the teaching was. But when being there, again, I remember.


Healing happens in an "other" awareness, a preverbal one, basic, primal. There I am aware of programmes and automatic behaviour patterns which are normally unconscious. Then I can reprogramme those, can heal myself. And yet, when back in normal consciousness, my mind would ask "what has changed? I don't notice any difference, any improvement!". And my mind, my ego, easily follows the habit of becoming depressed! - And yet I know, it is because I am always ME - this conviction, this deepest truth that "this is Me" which will always accompany me, whatever my state! Even if they put a different head on top of my body, it would be ME, although I might have strange memories!

I perceived the energy of pure pain It blocked out everything, overwhelmed my thinking and feeling with its reflex of "I want this to go away" dominating my mind. I could reprogramme this by introducing the message: "this pain means that I loved her so much (my early deceased mother)" . In this way I could liberate my love potential, could transform blocking pain into overflowing love. And this was so real during the healing experience, not just imaginative. And yet, in my "normal" state, I still witness the old symptoms (I close down, run away, turn away, can't think, can't feel, have existential pain in the presence of an attractive female). And yet I know that there is choice now, that it's just a lingering habit, some sort of addiction, that it doesn't have the quality of demonic posession, of a curse as it used to have.

During the works this pain occurs now less and less. In the beginning I just had to lie down very soon. Now I often can keep up with the singing and dancing ecstatically throughout the ritual.


German man.

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