By Rocio Alarcon Gallegos, PHD Ethnopharmacology
Rain Forest Sanctuary
All living beings and elements have multiple dimensions—physical, emotional and spiritual. Likewise, the Amazon region holds all these dimensions and possibly more, within its animate entities like plants and animals and inanimate ones like minerals.
According to the indigenous communities, the forests are inhabited not only by different species, but also by another category of entities who live in different dimensions. These Beings are called by different names according to the diverse ethnic groups. There is, for example, Sachahuarmi, the female-entity-who-lives-in-the-forest and Sacharuna, the male-entity-who- lives-in-the-forest. These Beings possess attributes and powers different from humans. The trees and other species and elements that make up the Amazon forest have multidimensional qualities that allow them to house the spirit-entities, to communicate with human beings, and thus to collaborate to solve diverse needs.
The Amazon presents a mosaic of attractions that opens our senses, causing a special multi- sensory energy ecstasy, which is not possible to appreciate in other places on the planet. To walk through an Amazon forest is to feel the power of life in every tree, to contemplate the ranges of the green and to feel in each level of the forest, from the ground to the top of the tallest trees, the power of the spiritual and physical evolution.
Amazonia arose from the evolution of a powerful lake resulting from tectonic movements in South America. Millions of years later, the ascent of the Andes mountain range, originated by the shock of a gigantic submarine plate of the Pacific Ocean against South America, began its inclination toward the Atlantic Ocean. From the summit of the Andes Cordillera, large sediments slid and were deposited in the marine basin, whose only exit was towards the East. Little by little, an enormous valley opened between the mountains of Guayana and Mato Grosso, making way for the current Amazon to flow toward the Atlantic Ocean. By a long process in time, the salt waters became sweet and the marine fauna adapted to the new ecological conditions of the fluvial nature. Due to these movements and with the passage of time, the Amazon became a great positive energy axis for the world, in the form of what is now a unique forest. It is the largest in the world and is one of the largest ecological reserves known to mankind. It occupies a territory whose surface is 6,120,000 square kilometers, equivalent to a third of South America. It is considered a “Great Green Reserve” and “the lungs of the planet.” It is spread among with South American countries: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Bolivia, and Venezuela. 50% of terrestrial animals and plants depend on it to survive.
Gifts of the Forest: Commitment and Spiritual Support
The Amazon forest is a space of communication, energy and healing. The various entities within it are part of a physical-spiritual landscape, whichis constantly shaping and molding human beings, by the process of evolutionary forces both within the region and beyond. A result of this interaction is the agreement and mission of the spiritual entities of the Amazon: to support the inhabitants of this earth. We can consider that all of us human beings, as well as animals and other living beings of our planet, are linked to this Amazonian energy, in each breath and in each beat of our heart.
Over thousands of years, remarkable interactions have developed between the flora and the humans of the Amazon. Trees and plants have developed a communication system that has allowed the development of knowledge of the use of plants in each area of the region. Learning ways of communicating with the various species, humans have been able to discover the power and potential of floristic wealth.
Some trees and plants of Amazonian origin have been recognized as “Sacred Master Plants.” Among these are ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi (Spruce ex Griseb.) CV Morto), curare (Strychnos toxifera R.H. Schomb. ex Benth.), (Curarea app.),tobacco (Nicotiania tabacumi.) and trees like Floripondios (Brungmansia app.), guayusa (ilex guayusa Loes), and Amazon cacao (Theobroma cacao L.). These plants have allowed the emergence of a relationship with people which enables us to visualize other dimensions, other states of consciousness— currently known as shamanic states.
Another powerful plant helper for humans is curare. Many people have surely received the benefit of this species when they have entered an operating room, when before surgery the doctors apply the chemical content of this Amazon plant to paralyze the muscles in order to perform a risk-free intervention.
Is this not enough to feel that the Amazon must be protected? And that it must be loved, even if only from a distance.
The Iamoe Center
In the Iamoe Center, in one hectare of forest, 257 different species of trees have been found, making Iamoe one of the greatest centers of floristic biodiversity on the planet. Some groups of indigenous people use 100% of the trees on a given 1 hectare plot. In each use, the physical and spiritual contact are both important, and these relationships have been recorded in histories, myths, legends and spiritual values.
Our Mission at the Iamoe Center is to protect a piece of forest that has lived with us for over 19 years and which, thanks to the enthusiasm and effort of the people who work there, we have managed to protect and save. We still don’t know the surprises it holds for us, with new discoveries of species for science that take place all the time. In addition, the knowledge that traditional people have developed about the forest has been rescued. We are planting species that were endangered by indiscriminate felling. That was the case of the Ishpingo tree (Ocotea quits (Lam) Koster., which is currently endangered. Our mission is to reforest these species and allow them to develop in protected areas in Iamoe and thus generate future possibilities for neighboring populations and provide a natural habitat where animals, birds, and other beings can live in peace.
It is our duty as citizens of the planet to save and protect our universal heritage for our benefit and for future generations. The Amazon forest is not only for the people who live there, it is part of all our hearts.
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