Stepping Into the Fire

Stepping Into the Fire

2011, Society  -   30 Comments
Ratings: 7.64/10 from 96 users.

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin mushrooms, and mescaline-bearing peyote are the more well-known psychoactive drugs, but by no means the only ones. Stepping Into the Fire is a documentary about a much lesser-known option in this arena, ayahuasca. The film follows two recent first-time takers of the drug, Bo and Rob. Bo being a rather straight-edge lifetime professional diagnosed with a terminal case of cancer in his esophagus, Rob a former stock broker accustomed to hard work and hard living along with his wife Donna and son Declan.

After hearing about the potential transformative experience that can come from taking ayahuasca and tired of dealing with their lives in the way they currently were, they each set out for a shaman in Peru that is known for administering the ayahuasca experience.

In a series of interviews both subjects explain how much more "in touch" with themselves and their environments they were after that first go-round with the drug. Bo cites that it's not so much the taking of the drug itself, in which dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is the active ingredient, that heals you, but more how it opens you up the plant life and all the benefit they can bring you. Bo goes on to explain some of his experiences, thoughts, and breakthroughs achieved during that first experience - psychedelic visuals of the moon and facing long-forgotten love life regrets.

Rob describes the boon of the experience being that it allowed him to see the positives in even the most negative of situations in his life. That, and a realization that he was supposed to use his financial achievement to create a compound of sorts where others could comfortably gain access to the same enlightenment he feels he stumbled into. In doing this, he has expended his entire life savings and it's created a sizable rift between he and his wife.

Attention then turns back to Bo, who has made a number of other changes in his life since trying ayahuasca. He has trimmed his diet to raw, unprocessed vegan cuisine that has resulted in a loss of around 90 pounds - one of numerous changes both men go through over the course of this film about what they deem the "teaching plant."

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8 years ago

This is a fairly good documentary relating to ayahuasca.
(I do not think this was meant to be a complete overview of ayahuasca.)
I wonder if my atheist friends will want to watch it?

8 years ago

This is not a documentary, it's just advertising of a shamanic center that doesn't exists anymore. Do your research and please don't waste your time watching this piece of cr*p. I'm not against ayahuasca, but the practices shown in this film are far from responsible and should not be taken by any shaman.

Laird Beevor
8 years ago

Even though, at this particular centre, Kyle Nolan died. RIP. I am not dissuaded from partaking. The Doc was well done and the experiences authentic. Thank you. I am going to Dr Gabor Mate's website to find advice. A Canadian Dr with much experience in such matters. Find him as well on you tube

8 years ago

I take issue with the Shaman suggesting Marijuana is not a means to becoming one with our spiritual selves. I've always seen marijuana as something of a "religious" experience. I use it now, and I feel it makes me "real", makes me sensitive to BS so I do not tolerate it in my life, but gravitate towards truth and harmony in my daily life. I value exercise and quality food and creative outlets to sustain my body and soul.
Marijuana used properly, that is not like an entertainment drug but an "awakening herb", can open your eyes to Reality.

8 years ago

Peruvian shaman confesses he buried body of U.S. teen who died from drinking hallucinogenic herbal brew at spiritual retreat

A Peruvian shaman admitted to police on Wednesday that he had buried the body of a U.S. teenager to cover up his death during a spiritual retreat in the Amazon last month.
Shaman Jose Pineda Vargas, 58, told the authorities that 18-year-old Kyle Joseph Nolan, from northern California, died on August 22 from exceeding the dosage of a medicinal brew called Ayahuasca while staying at the Shimbre Shamanic Center.
Vargas then buried Nolan’s body at his jungle retreat and said that the teenager disappeared. Nolan's mother began searching for him after he failed to return from Peru as scheduled August 27
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8 years ago

For those that have a negative viewpoint of this film...I can understand the need to vet everything out, to not be a "fool". This is especially true when it comes to things of a spiritual nature; there are so many con artists making a buck off of those who are gullible enough to believe them. Many people are not just cautious however, they are quite stiff in there way of thinking. Having an open mind and remaining flexible in your thought process is a greater display of strength. By all means, question the world we live in. Question everything, but don't get that quality mixed up with feeling superior to other "fools" who don't believe as you do. Especially if you have not personally experienced something you consider false. That way of thinking is what we can see in the lives of former "fools" throughout history. Just because you don't understand something does not mean it doesn't have the potential to be real.

Sarah Fillmore
8 years ago

Yes, it's an interesting documentary but important to note that there are many of us out here that don't need to go to the Amazon to take a drug with some shamans to come to the same conclusions (that it's the simple things that count, closeness to nature is important, etc). It's just too bad that we're all too often surrounded by these selfish, materialistic, ego-driven people (these people pre-Amazon) who only have s*it to spew on others until they clue in (after the damage is done to us). Makes one want to be a hermit, staying at home watching documentaries online.

8 years ago

...a fine documentary (I really admire all the great documentary film makers)...maybe a bit long and a tad "disjointed" for me, at times...I have it 8 stars but was hesitating if I should stay with a photographer I was puzzled by how the time-lapse star movement sequences were made....very compelling....

Kansas Devil
8 years ago

Then there are all the quacks who have murdered people with this psychotropic chemical mixture.
Everyone wants a drug to fix everything. Something to take all the responsibility because they are too lazy to do the work themselves.
Then there's the miracle cure nonsense that con men have been using for centuries with anecdotal evidence being claimed as proof.
Humans are good a deceiving themselves.

8 years ago

Nice documentary, although no direct mention of coming to understand their position as an eternal servant of a supreme consciousness. Human life is simply meant for breaking the bond of material nature and making it back to the spiritual sky. There is so much evidence of this. Learning to love god is the perfection of life, and acting appropriately. A nice impersonal effulgence of the supremes mercy is contained here, but I don't see any devote liberation in changing their position to understanding that God is Great. We are tiny fragments of god, who are desiring to lord it over material nature, and have come here by our own energy to enjoy. Now with this higher intelligence than the animals, we need to purify our existence and learn to act transcendentally and subside sense gratification, or simply continue our way through evolutionary process accepting bodies life after life. Birth, death, old age and disease are the problems of life. If we are eternal souls, why not our eternal bodies? This is intelligence. This plant is a pointer to supreme consciousness.

8 years ago

Excellent documentary!
It´s beautiful and heart-touching to see people change so rapidly from self-centered, insecure, materialistic and confused people to ones that have more compassion, understanding and inner peace and happiness just after one or two ceremonies, amazing!
Ayahuasca is truly a medicine. I hope that it will reach more and more people and that we will see more and more changes like we´ve seen here in people.

Live in peace

Patrick Adrien Varencaus
8 years ago

Than you need a substance for happyness !! Dont need nothing of this planet except water and food

Colonel Sanders
8 years ago

Wow. Blow my mind. Best part was at 1:08:45 to 1:09:14. I had to learn that one the hard way.
Kudos to Rob. I only ever imagined people like you exist.
Going to take me awhile to digest this one, but damn great doc.
Thank you