“Dancing the Liminal Ridge” is Dr. Bruce Damer’s chosen title for his presentation at the 2015 Spirit Plant Medicine Conference (SPMC), Oct. 24 and 25 at UBC in Vancouver BC. We really are extremely fortunate to have Bruce—or Dr. Bruce as some of his co-workers have dubbed him—as a presenter this year.
Dr. Bruce is a brilliant scientist who, among other accomplishments, led a team to provide space mission simulation and design for NASA. More directly relevant to the mission of the SPMC, he is also a deep explorer of sacramental medicine space, and a true visionary in the mode of people like Terence McKenna. He speaks openly about his extraordinary “conversations with the Madre”—the Mother, the spirit of Gaia—in ayahuasca encounters, and has brought back essential information to shake rattle and roll the hidebound conditioning of the Madre’s “most precious progeny, the manic yet astounding monkeys.”
“Dancing the Liminal Ridge” is a perfectly appropriate title for Dr. Bruce’s opening keynote address at the SPMC on Sat. Oct. 24. Merriam-Webster defines liminal as:
of or relating to a sensory threshold
of, or relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition.
Looks to me like a pretty good description of our current state of affairs on the blue planet, at least for those of us on awakening paths. Throw in “dancing” and you have a beautifully concise nugget of guidance for how to traverse the liminal ridge. Dr. Bruce talks about the necessity of overcoming depression and despair and instead embracing hope and “the possibility of possibility” as Bishop Desmond Tutu once put it.
What follows are a few brief thought-packets of Dr. Bruce’s insights into the human journey taken from his talks, along with this first one from a recent phone conversation I had with him. He told me that during one of his conversations with the Madre she said something like, “You silly monkeys. Stop trying to figure it out. If you want to know something, become it.”
“We have the audacity to think that the planet is running toward doom and there’s no hope. Who gave us that message? There is hope everywhere. Our minds create this dross that floats on the surface and doesn’t hope. The entire bolus of life is one huge expression of positivity and we invent the other—despair.”
“We have to recognize that we have all been traumatized by our materialist culture and there is good reason now to say no to it. We each have to develop a practice: exercises you can do to train yourself like a warrior to block the toxic elements coming at you from the culture. The best thing we can do for the future of humanity is to unify these hopeful, optimistic, mostly young people to just say no to the bullshit, to develop these practices and thrive while building a new reality.”
“If the Madre—the entirety of life on Earth—has some kind of collective form of will, it may well manifest primarily as the drive to survive. One could then conjecture that this Madre might seek contact with its most precious progeny, the manic yet astounding monkeys called humankind. Why would she do this? As a possible mechanism for her own survival.”
“The climbing medicine is ayahuasca. She [the Madre] has taken the most powerful medicine used for climbing and said “wind the vine into the monkey mind.”
“What if a small, or a large group of clear-eyed, big-hearted, well-informed monkeys gathered together with the intention of opening a pore with the Madre. A pore is the primary interface between any living thing and its environment. More information, coded as a raging river of molecules, passes through pores than any bits we monkeys will ever hurl at the ether. The pore is the ear, eye, and mouth of nature, so an energetic amulus opened up by the monkey mind may for an instant throw wide the valve on a communications crescendo.
We may use this open mic to ask the Madre for help, but we must first inform her of our situation and that of our planet, for perhaps she doesn’t grok the whole pickle. And who knows what answer may flow back our way? Worth a try?”
“Feminine power is rising, and it’s rising fast. I think that is what we need, that counterbalancing mechanism to basically knock the spear-carrying male off that pedestal, let the center of the human world come back to the women’s circle, and we can finally get this thing back, we can save our civilization.”
May we monkeys awaken—soon,