MAPS Forum Autumn 1998
I have just returned from a three week stay in Brazil with Paulo Roberto Silva e Souza, who heads the Santo Daime church in Rio de Janeiro. I have known Paulo since 1989 when I began doing The Work, or ceremonies, with him. I have been encouraging him to do a book for some time. On this trip I not only shot 20 hours of video, but helped him structure a book as well. I believe it will be the definitive story and history of the Santo Daime as told through his personal story, together with testimonies/case studies of people using ayahuasca from around the world, plus his understanding and research studies on the psychological, physiological and biological effects of the Daime, the name given to ayahuasca within the context of the Santo Daime church. Why Paulo's story is so moving and important, is that his is an extraordinary example of a life that has been informed and formed by the Daime.
As a young psychologist, he went into the rainforest on behalf of the government to find out what the Indians were doing. When the Padrinho gave him the drink of the Daime, he found his mission in life. Paulo is responsible for bringing ayahuasca through the Santo Daime to Rio, Europe, Japan, North America, and soon Africa. The impact he has had sociologically, politically, psychologically, economically -- all following the wisdom of the Daime -- is awesome. Furthermore, he is eloquent, articulate and poetic. A book of this nature would educate and influence people around the world to the powerful potential of the Daime. It would do so from the perspective of a psychologist who has used it consistently in great quantity for twenty five years with thousands of people.
I have videotaped several hours that need to be transcribed. Moreso, I gave my equipment and taught someone to shoot, so that when Paulo went into Mapia, a three or four day trip from Rio by car and canoe, Paulo could interview his brother-in-laws. They are sons of the Padrinho who introduced the Daime to Paulo, one of whom heads the churches in Brazil, as well as some other key people. These tapes in Portuguese need to be transcribed as well for use in the book. I videotaped on digital video, so that eventually it might be possible to make a comprehensive documentary on the subject. In the meantime, I would like to cut together the material that I do have. Would you know an individual or organization who might support this effort,
and/or a movie? Please let me know.
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