SPIRIT MEDICINE - Exploring the world of psychedelic plants
SPIRIT MEDICINE - Exploring the world of psychedelic plants
The documentary that will change the public perception of psychedelics.
The documentary that will change the public perception of psychedelics. Read more
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Despite the incredible plethora of scientific research and evidence suggesting the efficacy of psychedelics in treating various disorders, they continue to be illegal in most countries, EVEN FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH PURPOSES.
This is unacceptable, and with your help, I plan on changing that.
By backing SPIRIT MEDICINE, I would like to offer you a first class seat as we depart on an adventure through two continents, meeting fascinating human beings, participating in shamanic ceremonies and getting a first-hand view of the incredible power of natural psychedelic sacraments.
Film is an incredibly powerful medium to transmit ideas.
With the right story, It has the power to change lives and culture.
With the help of the Internet, the ideas contained in this documentary can reach a global audience at an unprecedented scale.
Once these ideas reach the minds of those who are ready to receive them, they will never look at psychedelics in the same light - Not to mention, many people will gain new insight into using these natural psychedelic sacraments for healing themselves.
The most exciting part about SPIRIT MEDICINE is how it can potentially affect future public policy, laws, and the field of medicine.
With the ease of distribution, and ability to present a cohesive argument in an interactive manner, a documentary is a perfect medium for this project.
I cannot tackle the monumental task of changing public misconceptions about psychedelics as a lone filmmaker because the subject matter is already frowned upon (or misunderstood) by politicians and the public at large.
This is quite clear by the insane amount of restrictions and stigma around psychedelics -- even with scientific studies showing their potential efficacy in healing people.
I have devoted a lot of time interviewing prominent figures in the scientific community to help corroborate my findings.
Some of those figures are Dennis McKenna (ethnobotanist), Gabor Mate (clinical psychologist and addiction expert), Claudio Naranjo (psychiatrist and author), Ralph Metzner (psychologist and consciousness researcher), Jordi Riba (pharmacologist), Rick Doblin (founder & executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies—MAPS), David Jay Brown (science writer and consciousness researcher), Daniel Pinchbeck, (author & Journalist), as well as several neuroscientists, shamans and plant medicine practitioners.
My name is Javier Prato, I am a Los Angeles based filmmaker that is fascinated by the potential medicinal uses of psychedelic plants.
I have spent the last three years traveling around the world researching psychedelic plants and their potential in treating various conditions/disorders.
During this three-year journey, I have also interviewed key figures from the psychedelic, scientific and indigenous communities.
I have also immersed myself in various shamanic ceremonies to gain first-hand experience, test my assumptions and gain insight into the medicinal uses of these powerful substances.
In order to share my journey and wisdom with the world, I am creating a feature-length documentary called SPIRIT MEDICINE, and I need YOUR HELP.
In SPIRIT MEDICINE, I explore the potential medicinal benefits of psychedelic plants with the help of indigenous cultures and modern science.
I have exhausted all of my savings while making this film. While I have completed a significant portion of the documentary, I still need to raise the necessary funds for post-production. In other words, WITHOUT YOUR HELP, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO FINISH THIS DOCUMENTARY.
What kind of psychedelic plants are explored in SPIRIT MEDICINE?
While there are MANY naturally occurring psychedelic plants, SPIRIT MEDICINE focuses on exploring the potential medicinal benefits of the following 4 natural psychedelic sacraments:
- Psilocybin Mushrooms
The central theme in SPIRIT MEDICINE is the exploration of the potential medicinal uses of natural, psychedelic plants.
Naturally occurring psychedelic plants and fungi have been used by indigenous cultures (often in a ritualistic fashion) since the ancient times.
This theme is explored from the perspective of both indigenous cultures and modern science.
For example, some of the questions explored in SPIRIT MEDICINE include:
- What have we learned about these psychedelic plants from the limited amount of scientific research we have done thus far?
- How do these drugs function in the brain and what are the potential risks involved?
- What are the effects of these drugs on the individuals mind and behavior? How can we potentially use these psychedelic plants in a medical context? Can these plants be used as alternatives to dangerous pharmaceutical drugs/opiates?
- Can these plants be used to treat or even cure known disorders?
- What is the historical and cultural relevance of psychedelic plants in indigenous cultures?
- How is this all relevant to you?
Here's a bit more information on the psychedelic sacraments explored in SPIRIT MEDICINE:
I began my journey through the Peruvian Amazon to experience the power of ayahuasca for the first time. Ayahuasca translates from the Quechua language, spoken by the Inca, to “vine of the spirits”.
Many different variations of the ayahuasca brew have been used by indigenous communities for centuries to identify and address the root causes of many physical and psycho-spiritual ailments. It is made of two plants, the banisteriopsis caapi vine (a giant forest liana) and the leaves of the psychotria viridis plant (a perennial shrub), and traditionally may include up to 75 additional plants.
The leaves of psychotria viridis contains N,N-Dimethyltryptamine, better known as DMT, a compound closely related to serotonin, found in every living organism and throughout the plant and animal kingdoms.
The role DMT plays as a naturally occurring compound in our bodies is unknown, but when ingested in larger quantities, it may induce altered states of consciousness, opening up a whole new reality beyond our senses.
For my research on Peyote, I traveled to San Andres Cohamiata, a remote village in northern Mexico where the Huichol Indians have been living for thousands of years.
The Huichol are one of the last pre-Columbian cultures in the world. They struggle to preserve their sacred land, where the peyote cactus grows.
This ancient community lives in harmony with nature, without electricity or running water. They have held peyote cactus ceremonies for thousands of years to heal their sick and wounded. The Huichol also uses peyote to connect with the spirits of their ancestors as well as nature.
The Huichol people conduct a pilgrimage every year to hunt the peyote cactus. They take day walks to where the peyote grows, where they cut the cactus and ingest it ceremonially.
I traveled to southern Mexico to the town of Huautla de Jiménez, where I learned about the legendary Mazatec curandera (healer) Maria Sabina, who has played a major role in sharing wisdom about the medicinal uses of psychoactive mushrooms with modern society.
I also made my way to San José del Pacífico, Oaxaca, to further explore psilocybin mushrooms and learn more about Mazatec Indians and their culture.
Psilocybin is currently banned by the U.S. government, and considered to be a drug of abuse with no medical value.
Bwiti is a spiritual tradition of the forest dwelling Baongo and Mitsogo peoples of Gabon. Bwiti practitioners use the root bark of the iboga plant for spiritual growth and strengthening the bonds of community and family.
I also explore the potential benefits of treating drug addiction with ibogaine as a natural alternative to dangerous pharmaceutical drugs.
Addiction to heroin and prescription opiates is at an all-time high, yet promising natural alternatives such as ibogaine still remains under-explored and illegal in most countries.
I explored the potential of using ibogaine as an alternative to opiates and Ibogaine being a potential aid in alleviating certain symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
While more research is necessary in order to develop ibogaine as a medication in the United States and elsewhere, ibogaine-assisted detox has offered thousands an opportunity to detoxify, even after countless other attempts through conventional addiction treatment programs. Programs are currently open throughout the world.
We are in an unprecedented time. For the first time since the 1970s, researchers are being (slowly) allowed to study the potential medicinal properties of psychedelic compounds. What's even more interesting is that the overall findings have been positive and compelling in treating all sorts of conditions. Yet, most of these substances remain illegal in most countries. While we are headed in the right direction, we have not yet hit a critical mass point (or "tipping point") with the public's perception of psychedelics.
SPIRIT MEDICINE is that tipping point.
Changing the public perception of psychedelics is vital for getting public policy/laws changed.
This is a prerequisite for being able to carefully research/study the potential medicinal benefits (and dangers) of these substances by the scientific community.
One of the major goals with SPIRIT MEDICINE is to balance the discussion about natural psychedelics with facts and scientific research without ignoring the cultural origins of how and where psychedelic use in rituals originated.
The other goal of SPIRIT MEDICINE is to become the catalyst that will educate and change the public opinion on how psychedelics can be used to benefit humanity.
SPIRIT MEDICINE is the "tipping point" that is needed right now. Help us make this a reality by backing this project and sharing it with your friends.
The photography is 80% done. $75,000 is the minimum required to cover Fees, Donations, Travel expenses and most importantly: The Post-Production of the film.
• Fees (10%): Along with Kickstarter's mandatory 5% fee and payment processing fees, approximately 10% of the funds will be used to pay for administration fees.
• Donations (10%): I will be donating 10% of all funds to organizations supporting psychedelic research such as MAPS and the Heffter Research Institute.
• Travel expenses (20%): I will be traveling to Africa to film a segment on ibogaine and to participate in an initiation ritual with the Mitsogo people to gain first-hand experience and knowledge about the ancient ritual use of ibogaine. In addition to covering travel expenses to Africa, I will be using a portion of the funds to cover travel expenses to shoot additional footage and to attend Film Festivals.
• Post Production (60%): Most of the funds will be used to complete post-production of SPIRIT MEDICINE. This is a rather pricey and time-consuming process that involves editing, sound design, mixing, 3D Animations/Visual Effects, Color Grading, Original Music, etc.
1. Back this project.
2. Tell your friends by sharing this project on Twitter or Facebook. -- You can also share the spiritmedicinemovie.com URL or scroll all the way to the top to find share buttons for social media.
Risks and challenges
Filmmaking is not an easy task.
Unexpected Issues can and do show up.
As a professional filmmaker with over 15+ years of experience, I am quite used to dealing with unexpected contingencies and problems.
It is simply part of the game.
Delays in scheduling interviews and post-production drawbacks may be a risk factor, but not to complete the film.
Many production challenges can be encountered along the way, but with 80% of the film already shot, this last stage of the process should be simple and trouble-free.
We have done everything necessary to get this project in a prime position to succeed before asking you to back it. With your help, we are 100% confident that we will be able to finish this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)