Peiote e Mescalina [Portas da Percepção #221]

Portas da Percepção

hempadao 25 maio, 2013

por  Fernando Beserra

Hoje vamos mais uma vez acrescentar informações via uma perspectiva prioritariamente histórica, adicionando elementos de outras esferas do conhecimento. Discutiremos mais uma vez sobre um cacto, desta vez, nosso foco ao invés de ser no São Pedro ou Wachuma, será sobre o Peiote.

Para começar podemos esclarecer que ambos os cactos possuem o mesmo princípio ativo principal, a saber, a mescalina. A mescalina foi o primeiro alcaloide visionário extraído de uma planta ou cacto. Em 1888, o brilhante cientista, titular de farmacologia em Berlin, Louis Lewin, obteve alguns exemplares de peiote. O peiote já despertava curiosidade nos acadêmicos ocidentais pelo movimento, que será comentado, conhecido como peiotismo. Em seu mapeamento, embora Lewin tenha identificado quatro alcaloides no peiote, descobriu que apenas um era psicoativo, a mescalina. O pesquisador provou o alcaloide visionário em si e deu a amigos, e descreveu sua experiência:

“Não há planta no mundo que provoque no cérebro modificações funcionais tão prodigiosas […] embora as procure somente sobre a forma de fantasmas sensoriais, ou pela concentração da mais pura vida interior, isto acontece sobre formas tão particulares, tão superiores a realidade, tão insuspeitas, que quem é seu objeto se sente transportado a um mundo novo de sensibilidade e inteligência”.

Crítico do uso de ópio e cocaína, Lewin ficou fascinado pelo peiote e considerou útil administrá-lo a artistas. Um importante médico e psicólogo, Havelock Ellis [1859-1939] foi um dos que experimentou e exaltou o cacto. Seus experimentos com peiote o levaram a afirmação, em 1897, de que:

“Para alguém saudável, o fato de ser admitido uma ou duas vezes aos ritos de botão de mescal não é apenas uma delícia indubitável, mas também uma influência educativa de alto valor”.

Pouco tempo depois, com a influência de Ellis, o peiote chegou a poetas como W. B. Yeats e a pequenos grupos em algumas cidades, a exemplo da famosa Greenwich Village de Nova York. Lá eram realizados ritos kiowa com a presença de fundadores da Internacional Socialista, líderes do anarquismo, o dramaturgo E. O´Neill, dentre outras personagens cruciais da história política e cultural ocidental. William James, pai da psicologia moderna teve uma péssima experiência com o peiote e falou ao irmão, em uma carta, que ficou 24hs prostrado e não gostaria de repetir a experiência. O próprio James, no entanto, seria ainda um entusiasta dos estados alternativos de consciência tendo uma experiência de pico com óxido nitroso [gás hilariante].

Ao falar de movimentos anti-autoritários, cabe mencionar as quatro comunidades indígenas que realizavam uso originário do peiote nas Américas. Foram elas: os Huichol, os Cora, os Tapehuami e os Tarahamara. Estes povos vivam em regiões distantes e de difícil acesso. Um bom exemplo é dos Huichol que vivam na Sierra Madre de Durrango, conhecida dos colonizadores como Serra Misteriosa. A posição estratégica destes povos dificultou radicalmente a colonização dos mesmos, tanto pelos espanhóis como antes pelos povos Astecas. Além disso, estas comunidades de base anti-autoritária tinham o peiote como base central de sua ritualística e cultura. Eram muito religiosos e não faziam distinções claras entre “sagrado” e “profano”. Não havia com clareza um homem medicina, pois todos os homens da tribo exerciam suas potencialidades e capacidades no mundo hoje denominado como espiritual. De acordo com Escohotado (p.104):

“Todas estas tribos são modelos puros do que P. Clastres chama sociedades contra o Estado, aonde as energias do grupo e dos indivíduos se canalizam em uma direção permanentemente oposta a formação de chefiados políticos. Os ideais são a autossuficiência e o autogoverno”.

poza23mh0Diante da colonização agressiva dos povos ocidentais, que logo alcançaria os refúgios dos povos tradicionais, os esforços dos povos indígenas de resistência se revezaram entre resistências culturais e o conflito bélico. Uma das resistências culturais mais importantes dos povos indígenas foi o movimento conhecido como peiotismo. Os cultos com peiote no norte se expandiram pela sua influência a povos nômades que cruzavam as zonas estadunidenses. A partir de 1870 ocorre forte difusão do peiotismo. Os apaches mescalores, p.ex, introduziram a comunhão com peiote entre comanches, navajos, kiowas, que por sua vez passaram a tradição a wichitas, shawnees, pawnees e kickapoos. Daqui seria possível seguir por mais algumas dezenas de ramificações, que resultaram que os cultos peioteiros alcançassem no final do séc. XIX províncias canadenses, resultando em uma mistura com usos candenses originários do fungo enteogênico conhecido como cogumelo mata-moscas ou Amanita muscaria.

Do peiotismo, o próximo movimento ocorre em 1914 quando J. Koshiway registra a First-Born Church of Christ em Oklahoma. Esta foi a origem da que viria a ser chamada de Native American Peyote Church. Como era de se esperar, mesmo com ritos organizados que restauravam a dignidade indígena, e resultaram em um eficiente combate ao alcoolismo que aniquilava as comunidades indígenas do norte das Américas, o movimento peioteiro foi fortemente atacado, inclusive por autoridades médicas. Na Carta original do movimento lê-se:

“Esta Igreja quer cultivar uma espécie de espírito de própria estima, amor fraterno e união entre os membros das diversas tribos de índios dos Estados Unidos […] protegendo e promovendo a crença no Todo Poderoso […] estimulando a moralidade, a sobriedade, a industriosidade (industriosidad) e o correto viver […] mediante o uso sacramental do peiote”. (Master e Houston apud Escohotado, p.107).

O peiotismo e a Igreja Nativo Americana do Peiote sofreram grandes influencias cristãs, o que leva a pergunta do quanto esta influencia seria uma fachada para aceitação do movimento e um modo de fugir de repressão ocidental, ou se de fato os movimentos teriam criado este hibridismo religioso por um movimento espontâneo da interação cultural. Concordo com Escohotado quando ele considera que este movimento se deve a uma tentativa de emancipação espiritual e de proteção, mantendo o contato com crenças anteriores e reforçando, da maneira como foi possível, uma identidade anterior, isto é, trata-se de um movimento autêntico de espiritualidade e resistência a colonização cultural.



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