“I am deep in the Amazon rainforest, anxiously losing my mind as the world begins to disintegrate. Around me, all sense of distance is wrapping itself up like spatial origami, slowly shrinking until an entire dimension has disappeared. A moment ago, I was surrounded by 200 people dressed in white and singing like angels, but now they occupy the same space as me… if that makes any sense.

Wherever I look, that is where I am. I can see everything from every angle, all at the same time. In fact, I feel I am everywhere. Outside, in the forest, the thrum of frogs and cicadas drowns out the sound of shrieking monkeys. Below me, the floor is shimmering, vanishing in waves like a spent mirage. Behind, I feel a cold vibration on my neck and sense a growling malevolence. I turn and see a red door, bulging at the hinges. Overcome with dread, I push hard to keep it closed, and all the while I feel a horrible nausea.

When will this end, I am thinking. And, with sweat running down my forehead, how can I survive it? Welcome to the Church of Santo Daime, one of the fastest growing religions in the world. Its mixture of Christianity, South American shamanism and African animism is proving irresistible to thousands of new believers across the globe. But it is its central sacrament, ayahuasca, a powerful hallucinogenic brew made from rainforest plants – a brew that I have just drunk – that makes the Church so appealing to some yet so controversial to others.”

(via the Times Online)

(Santo Daime site)