Adam has degrees in psychology and medical anthropology, and is currently conducting fieldwork towards his PhD. He currently coordinates research for the Temple of the Way of Light, an ayahuasca retreat center in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest. Presently, he leads the qualitative part of a collaborative research project between the Temple, ICEERS and the Beckley Foundation, describing the therapeutic effects that ayahuasca, contextualized within Shipibo medical practices, has on experiences of trauma, depression, anxiety and grief as well as its potential for enhancing general well-being. Besides his academic work, Adam has been active in other aspects of psychedelic engagement, such as participating and leading teams of psychedelic support and harm reduction in many of the main events and festivals of the global community. He has published and presented work in platforms, publications and conferences all around the globe.
This presentation is based on two years of ethnographic and qualitative research conducted at the Temple of the Way of Light, in collaboration with ICEERS and the Beckley Foundation. Blending ideas from the fields of critical medical anthropology, post-colonial studies and ecopsychology, we will examine the erotic aspects of healing, understood as the subordinated and often invisibilized complement to the hegemonic, positivist biomedical practice. I argue that ayahuasca experiences often catalyze epistemological and ontological re-awakenings that erode hyper-rational Cartesian constructs, re-connecting us to the wisdom of the sensing body, our emotions, intuition, dreams, the living and sentient body of the earth and the intangible and ineffable body of the mystery. Participants remember notions of health that go beyond the individual body and brain, recognizing the intrinsic interdependence between the health of individuals, their communities, cultures, technologies and environments. We consider these experiences of deep onto-epistemological realignment and cosmological re-enchantment as an imperative, not only to re-frame our modern epidemics of loneliness, alienation, anxiety, depression or trauma, but also as an opportunity to enact personal, social and political resistance against the excesses of patriarchal late-capitalism and the structural violence that sustains it, a primary source of both individual psychic suffering, sociocultural decay and ecological collapse.