Heaven Earth

Heaven EarthHeaven Earth explores the practice and commercialization of amazonian ayahuasca-shamanism in Iquitos.

The feature-length documentary film portrays all day activities of Percy - a Peruvian healer and another western ayahuasquero, named Ron. Both live near Iquitos and host nightly ayahuasca ceremonies and retreats, mainly for interested westerners.

Participants of ayahuasca ceremonies, tour operators and –guides, as well as western vision seekers reveal episodes of their internal imagery and recount stories about their journeys.

A growing global pop culture - swinging between psychotherapeutic healing procedure and spiritual sell-out.

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Ratings: 6.59/10 from 17 users.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • wald0

    The only assertion in this whole documentary that I know to be true, some plants have medicinal powers. Everything else my common sense and thirty nine years of experience says is probably false. No offense to others that buy it, I just don't- and trust me "I" isn't anyone important so don't let it offend if "you" do. My opinion is that any "healing" past the curative powers of the elements or elemental compounds found in whatever plant you have ingested in the Amazon can be obtained right here in the U.S. Just go buy the Audubon Society's Guide to North American Mushrooms and hit the woods or local cow pastures, you'll figure it out. I can't say the little daisies "healed" me, nothing was wrong as far as I know, but I had a great time with them and learned a lot. Just be careful and use some common sense and you will as well. Who knows, you may start a new religion, some scholars think it has happened before.

  • Guest

    Lost me at 'there are spirits in plants'. Make way for the tree-huggers :/

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LVIY4XEAKUYWYEMSL7CDOEJUWI Barzee

    Your 39 years experience of what? Living in the US with no experience of how these people live, their customs. I'm stopping here because your not worth the time.

  • wald0

    Oh, I'm sorry did someone not like something you did, poor, poor you. Get over yourself pal! Maybe the spirit of your yard grass or something can cheer you up. In the mean time I'll try my best not to lose any sleep over it.

  • Irishkev

    The opportunity to have experiences like this is all around us in nature. While I would love to visit South America, you don't have to.

  • bobthebboy

    in 39 years have you not learnt that some things cant be know unless you experience them go down try it and then you can tell us from that experience weather or not you found that what they saying in the doc is true or false once youve tried it you can lets us know if you think the beings you meet are just created by effect of ayahuasca on the brain or if feel that the ayahusaca open you up to another dimension of reality and that beings you encounter are real you cant make that decision on a gut feeling. but that gut feeling can tell you if this medicine is for you. ive had both ayahuasca and mushrooms and the experience cannot be compared

  • Virakotxa

    You know how shamans discovered the precious compounds that pharmaceuticals are so eager to steal...?
    Starting by the mixture of the Ayahuasca itself (impossible to have been found through empiric experimentation, since they don't go around testing random plants, and it's completely innocuous if not mixed properly)
    When asked they will tell you: "The plants themselves tell them their use." For a scientific mind, you have to admit that the process escapes our usual understanding of how things work... But that's what it is. Whatever the "real" underlying mechanisms at work: That's their word for the means they achieve that knowledge.
    I tried it... And while mushrooms might give you a nice trip... this is a healing substance that can teach you about your inner self in one session than twenty years of psychoanalysis.

  • Virakotxa

    You know how shamans discovered the precious compounds that pharmaceuticals are so eager to steal...?
    Starting by the mixture of the Ayahuasca itself (impossible to have been found through empiric experimentation, since they don't go around testing random plants, and it's completely innocuous if not mixed properly)
    When asked they will tell you: "The plants themselves tell them their use." For a scientific mind, you have to admit that the process escapes our usual understanding of how things work... But that's what it is. Whatever the "real" underlying mechanisms at work: That's their word for the means they achieve that knowledge.
    I tried it... And while mushrooms might give you a nice trip... this is a healing substance that can teach you about your inner self in one session than twenty years of psychoanalysis.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LVIY4XEAKUYWYEMSL7CDOEJUWI Barzee

    "I'm sorry did someone not like something you did"

    Oh dear, if thats not a struggle and failed attempt at an insult I dont know what is. For a start where do you even get this "idea" from? and second, what's it got to do about anything? I can only guess you said it because you wanted to appear even more stuipd and ignoratnt? well let me be the first to tell you that you have succeeded! well done buddy! Love you! xxx

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/D5Y7YM7WZ4EUQ765OVLNDCE5NU Peter

    Barzee!!!!! Get ya head out of ya ****, mate. Yeah, that was an attempt at an insult, and no, I don't think it failed. The geeza said not to take offence in his first post, he said, 'when I say 'I', I mean no one important'. That to me sounds like he just wanted to air his view, and he has every right to. Then you went on the attack, for no good reason. You're a p**** mate. That was an insult too, just incase you was wondering. I study neuroscience. I look on these posts to see what the general consensus is of the topics raised, not to read about some p**** having a go at some, sorry to offend, some poor informed fella about what he holds to be true. If you're so ******' smart, then go to University, get a science degree, and put ya money where ya foul fetid mouth is. You P****.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/D5Y7YM7WZ4EUQ765OVLNDCE5NU Peter

    Hello. If you would really like to know a bit more then please read Dr. Rick Strassman's 'DMT the spirit molecule'. And Jeremy Narby's 'The Cosmic Serpent'. And, just for good measure, read Graham Handcock's 'Super natural, meetings with the ancient teachers of mankind'. There is a bit of shit to sieve through, but it's good. The rabbit hole runs deep my friend, very deep. I'm not just talking about ayahausca, or should I say, dimethyltryptamine. I'm saying that these are just small pieces of a very large puzzle. I'm beginning to feel that the human mind is far too inept to ever begin to comprehend its supreme genius. What 'It' is, I do not know; I can only hope I am wrong in my assumption of man's mind's capabilities. But there is some empirically tested, hard science pointing its fickle finger in the direction of some very strange terrain, terrain the I hope to traverse. The next decade in science is going to be very interesting indeed. I haven't even seen the doc yet, I'm waiting for it to load :)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/D5Y7YM7WZ4EUQ765OVLNDCE5NU Peter

    Hello. If you would really like to know a bit more then please read Dr. Rick Strassman's 'DMT the spirit molecule'. And Jeremy Narby's 'The Cosmic Serpent'. And, just for good measure, read Graham Handcock's 'Super natural, meetings with the ancient teachers of mankind'. There is a bit of excrement to sieve through, but it's good. The rabbit hole runs deep my friend, very deep. I'm not just talking about ayahausca, or should I say, dimethyltryptamine. I'm saying that these are just small pieces of a very large puzzle. I'm beginning to feel that the human mind is far too inept to ever begin to comprehend its supreme genius. What 'It' is, I do not know; I can only hope I am wrong in my assumption of man's mind's capabilities. But there is some empirically tested, hard science pointing its fickle finger in the direction of some very strange terrain, terrain the I hope to traverse. The next decade in science is going to be very interesting indeed. I haven't even seen the doc yet, I'm waiting for it to load :) I didn't know this gets edited!!! My first time writing on here!!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LVIY4XEAKUYWYEMSL7CDOEJUWI Barzee

    I'm the one with the "foul mouth" haha that's comical! Whats that? five swear words you used in your reply. You study neuroscience... and what? I can only see that as an attempt to make yourself and your immature tirade seem more creditable. I really get the biggest laugh out of people like you. I mean here you are swearing, ranting and raving at a complete stranger on the internet trying to validate yourself. Really it's better than any show on TV. Thanks for the laughs Peter. I really look forward to your next outburst.

    PS I hope you dont burn your boyfriends ***hole to bad with that acid tounge of yours! lol

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/D5Y7YM7WZ4EUQ765OVLNDCE5NU Peter

    Na, I wasn't trying to validate myself, I was having a dig at you because you was having a dig at that other fella for no good reason. I think swearing has its place, and if used too much it looses its meaning, I mean in life, not in a tirade, and as that tirade was in the defence of another I thought it judicious to use bad language in the post to imbue it with emotion and feeling that I felt was warrented for the subject matter. As for my study of neuroscience, well I must admit, I probably did write that so the reader would know that I'm not just some scum-bag with a foul mouth, and I will admit, that I have been a scum-bag with a foul mouth, but I have seen the light; well most of the time I see the light. Another reason why I think that I wrote that, is that, if we were debating about the documentary, which is what these posts are meant to be about, then the fact that I study neuroscience would then become, hopefully, most helpful for ther greater good, as everyone benifits from debate if there is something to be learned. Neuroscience is the study of the brain and the nervous system. Do you see the connection? Don't shout someone down just because they don't agree with certain tenets. If you're an advocate of the healing power of the mind and hallucinogens then you should educate others about it rather then argue. I could put up arguments both for and against, if someone sways my thoughts with a good debate then I am lucky enough to have learned something, that is what these posts are meant to be for! If you read the post I sent to the other fella you will see some material that should help you get a bit deeper into the enigma that is our mind, if you don't read much then there is a doc on here, type in DMT the spirit molecule and it should come up. Shaman's say that if you want to use ayahausca to trip out, then you will. If you want to use ayahausca to learn, then you will. There was talk that Sir Francis Crick discovered the formation of DNA when tripping on LSD. That's a different debate. I don't think he's the hero, but I won't go there. There was also a mathmetician that was working on a problem, and John Nash, the famous mathemetician, came to him in a dream and gave him the answer. When the bloke won a nobel prize for it he mentioned, and gave credit to John Nash in his acceptance speach. Is it the drugs that give information, or the mind? I have a good idea of what is happening, but it is a theory that I hope to, one day, win a nobel prize with, once I can prove it, so I'm not about to start shouting my mouth off about it. But write to teach and read to learn, especially on here. And as for my boyfriend; I haven't had a bunk up since about two weeks before Xmass, so turning gay is starting to look appetising - and please don't waste a post by saying 'now we know why you went on one'. I explained why I went on one, and it has nothing to do with that fact that I haven't tasted a fine ladies nether regions in over a month. I hope you watch the doc and read the book. There is enough fighting in the world today without seekers of education getting in on the act.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OGGEOM3EL4UQPL44YE22DIPGNI MichelotO

    Soon or later, this place will be destroyed by the drugs company,and all the healers will be apprehended by the C.I.A .

  • babylonkill

    Hey guys no need to be rude and abusive to each other. I think it is important for everyone to be able to freely express opinions on this site as long as it is constructive and open minded. I would very much like to hear the opinion of a neuroscience expert as much as some clouded drug taking hippie. Its all relevant. I personally am not an educated person, I am studying health sciences and have taken a lot of drugs over the years and find this very interesting and hope future posts are about peoples experiences or ideas/knowledge on this topic. About to watch this doco, have watched others on this topic and believe that there is more to this than science can explain. Peace everyone :)

  • bcbingram

    When I was in VN I met a few Montagnards. Some Montagnards are very primitive. Meaning they felt a part of their environment and that plants 'talking' to them would not be so strange. I do believe Our Native American Indians felt very connected to the world.
    But you and I were taught that that stuff is all imaginary, and it turns out that way we think of the world influences it. Right ? Thats what the 'sub nuclear physicist tell us anyway.

  • sknb

    Read The Cosmic Serpent by Jeremy Narby:

    Here is a summary of the book with quotes from Erowid:
    The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge is a major breakthrough for not only the field of entheogens but for all science and perhaps religion too. Originally published in French as Serpent Cosmique, this book presents the journey of a western scientist who ventures past the primitive superstitions of modern anthropology and takes part in a millennia-long scientific research program of Amazonian shamanism; wherein he learns of their seers’ profound communication with other species via experiential access to DNA.

    In 1985 Jeremy Narby, a Stanford-trained anthropologist, was doing fieldwork for his dissertation in the Amazon Pichis Valley among the Ashaninca people. Inquiring how their extensive botanical-medicinal knowledge was derived he heard from a shaman that “one learns these things by drinking ayahuasca.” Narby thought the shaman was joking, and he had intended to leave that finding out of his report: “For me, in 1985, the ayahuasqueros’ world represented a gray area that was taboo for the research I was conducting.” But an “unexpected setback” caused Narby to move to the neighboring community of Cajonari where he was invited to partake of ayahuasca himself. Like a modern Adam he writes:

    Deep hallucinations submerged me. I suddenly found myself surrounded by two gigantic boa constrictors that seemed fifty feet long… I see a spectacular world of brilliant lights, and in the middle of these hazy thoughts, the snakes start talking to me without words. They explain to me that I am just a human being. I feel my mind crack, and in the fissures, I see the bottomless arrogance of my presuppositions. It is profoundly true that I am just a human being, and, most of the time, I have the impression of understanding everything, whereas here I find myself in a more powerful reality that I do not understand at all and that, in my arrogance, I did not even suspect existed. I feel like crying in view of the enormity of these revelations. Then it dawns on me that this self pity is a part of my arrogance. I feel so ashamed that I no longer dare feel ashamed. Nevertheless, I have to throw up again… I have never felt so completely humble as I did in that moment.

    From here Dr. Narby soars past the methodological limitations of modern anthropology and deciphers “the main enigma:” “the Ashaninca’s extensive botanical knowledge comes from plant induced hallucinations” via a sophisticated interdisciplinary study that includes direct personal experience of ancient shamanic mysteries, extensive comparative structural analysis of cross-cultural symbolism, and molecular biology. The result is the testable hypothesis “that the human mind can communicate in a defocalized consciousness with the global network of DNA based life.”

    Deftly written, one hopes this book will cause quite a stir. It has already been reviewed in The New York Times. It is a major step toward western science’s reconsideration of the validity of shamanic states. The book’s neutral tone transcends the reactionary politics that infect entheogens within medical research, while avoiding tiresome theological questions. Here is pure exploratory science. Entheogens as heuristic.

    Let us note that direct communication with DNA is not groundbreaking news in the psychedelic literature and it is remarkable that Narby, in his extensive scholarship, missed this. “To my knowledge,” he writes, “the only other mention of a link between hallucinogens and DNA is by Lamb (1985) who suggests in passing: ‘perhaps on some unknown unconscious level the genetic encoder DNA provides a bridge to biological memories of all living things…’.” Narby has completely missed Dr. Timothy Leary’s Info-Psychology wherein the subject is first presented:

    When the seventh circuit of the nervous system is activated, the signals from DNA become conscious. This experience is chaotic and confusing to the unprepared person--thousands of genetic memories flash by, the molecular family-picture-album of species consciousness and evolution. This experience provides glimpses and samples of the broad design of the multi-billion year old genetic panorama. …genetic engineers will use as their basic instrument their own brains, open to and conscious of neurogenetic signals. Only the DNA neuron link up can produce the immortality and symbiotic linkage with other species… The key to higher intelligence is direct DNA-RNA neural communication among species.