A new study examines the potential of ayahuasca to help Israelis and Palestinians see eye-to-eye with one another. The results of this study came from interviews with participants in ayahuasca ceremonies attended by both Israelis and Palestinians. Out of the 31 interviewees, 13 were Arab Palestinians and 18 Jewish Israelis.
One bold statement from the study contains sentences such as: “The songs sung by the shaman are sometimes considered a ‘sonic substance’ which remains in the body of the patient”
“During the ceremonies, a common event that occurred to individuals, or to the group, was to relate to each other beyond local collective identities (Palestinian, Israeli, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, etc.), and based on shared universal similarities (18/31),” the study reads. “Interviewees described this as moments of ‘unity,’ ‘oneness,’ or as a strong sense of ‘togetherness.’”
“We stop viewing each other as you’re Israeli, or you are Palestinian,” one interviewee commented. “We stop viewing each other as male or female. We don’t view Muslim, Christian; it all melts, like melts down, and dissolves through the journey.”
Interviewees described ayahuasca visions that led them to empathize with their perceived enemies. They also reported connecting to these supposed adversaries through music and prayer, as well as by listening to and appreciating one another’s languages.
“Suddenly you hear the language you most hated, maybe the only language you really hated, and suddenly it is sending you into love and light, and that’s the way it always is,” a Jewish-Israeli participant noted. “To sit and listen to a song in Arabic, that’s peace.”