In the literature on South American indigenous and mestizo curanderismo, particularly in relation to ayahuasca, I found that harmful attacks by malevolent practitioners using invisible “darts” are widely reported. Perhaps as many as 50 percent of illnesses are said to be caused by such sorcery.
While the DNA double helix may well be the source of serpent visions in ayahuasca at the molecular level, another source at the ordinary botanical level could be that the ayahuasca potion is a concoction of the bark of the snakelike vine Banisteriopsis caapi and the leafy DMT-containing plant Psychotria viridis.
The distinction between dissociation and transcendence is not always easy to make. At Harvard in the early 1960s, we experimented with DMT. While most of us found the experience to be chaotic and dissociative, one of our visitors assumed a yoga posture and sat in deep meditative absorption for 40 minutes, thanked us and left. The ability to make sense of the experience would certainly be a function of having had some prior experiences of transcendent consciousness…