Jan Kounen, between fiction and reality
The ayahuasca is a vine-based beverage consumed traditionally by shamans of Amazonian Indian tribes for its psycho-spiritual healing virtues in sacred healing rituals. It is preparing the film Blueberry the filmmaker Jan Kounen became "ayahuascuero", that is to say, a follower of the "vine of the spirits". Il a accepté « L’interview Nexus ».
Nexus : After Plants and Shamanism, preparing a new book, innermost, sur l'Ayahuasca, the plant which opened on "other worlds". What part she took in your personal evolution over the past decade ?
Jan Kounen : It is difficult to make sense of things, between the maturity that necessarily comes with experience and practice of aging of the plant itself. It is clear that simply allows to take years to get to know. Cependant, I owe ayahuasca being more balanced in the end, plus cool… This balance is mine today spoke at the end of a process, _and not during, because it goes through several phases ! On the professional plan, I am also more zen, I relativize and I would probably more. Raising my fears and my inhibitions, ayahuasca allowed me to explore territories of film that I never thought to address. This is the case of my last film, Stravinsky and Coco. A distant universe mine, the years 20, a closed anti-romantic psychological closed, asking a classic shape.
In your book, you put on guard against the "messianism", it is also a possible effect of ayahuasca ?
This plant has great revelatory flashes of union with oneself, but the main problem is wanting to conceptualize. It's a reflex for us, the Westerners. Or, Shamanism is first medicine. Its particularity is to work in healing territories who go through spiritual meetings. Unfortunately, our psyche, our psychology, tends to interpret them as prophetic experiences while they are encounters with the spirits of plants through visionary experiences. The most important, it is finally to monitor yourself. This is not to grasp the meaning at all costs and get carried away by his own interpretations. Otherwise, we tend to take for a new prophet. Thoughts are energies that are best left move. Attempting to enter, bring them back to self, is doing wrong.
Keep feet on the ground ?
L'Ayahuasca ouvre l'intuition, connects to his animal instinct. This is a fundamental aspect. Cependant, rationality is also a tool of knowledge that we must not drop. If one branch exclusively on domestic voice, this represents a danger, that of making misinterpretations. It may therefore very well lead oneself boat ! The rational dimension has all its importance. Actually, the balance between the two is essential. When this balance is present, everything falls into place. Otherwise, we can quickly say that it is a great shaman, since we went traveling in the minds of worlds, of the soul and the dead. A big mistake that will make you grow in toxic ideas.
Attention to the ego that their spots ?
Exactly. Beware of ourselves, especially when we believe possess the truth, when we build a truth from our own experiences in medicine… Normally, when you get to "drop", the plant and take care of the healer you bring reason and you hang up the real. We must remain humble and vigilant.
Are the plants the best friends of man ?
They are like men, some other less well-meaning. The plants were there before us on the planet. They are our ancestors. Jeremy Narby said that they always meet the questions we ask them. Although our civilization bully or bully, still they end up giving us the information we asked them, a bit like a grandfather exceeded by a turbulent grandchild still accepts to talk to and to educate…
Are there different plant families ?
The shamans say that some plants have souls (ibo), a spiritual world. It is not necessarily also psychotropic, it is "master plants", the "teacher plants". Plants are masters of power plants, that is to say, they have their own intentions compared to you. Care should be taken to maintain a balance in our relationship with them : what they can do for us and what we can do for them. Otherwise, it can quickly become their puppet ! There are also master plants in the West. A shaman came traveling in France told me the mistletoe. Some of these plants can be toxic masters. We must therefore know before taking the, because one can put his life in danger.
L’Ayahusca, she, is neither toxic nor addictive (even if it is a psychotropic). Healers familiar alchemy preparations, it can brew potions containing ten masters plants. It is an ancestral knowledge, it is dangerous to venture if it is not guided.
Where is all this cannabis ?
This is a very strong herb that can be beneficial in specific conditions that are far removed from those practiced by Western youth… I happened to use cannabis in my youth, but this never tempted me after my meeting with ayahuasca. I understood that we behaved in respect of plants like wild poorly educated, without any guide. Cannabis having practiced a diet, make a conscious decision and meditate in silence, focusing on his state of mind, can bring us the benefits and develop creativity, but this requires a suitable lifestyle, as opposed to a purely recreational outlet, see a dangerous mix : firecracker alcohol party.
Without going until Amazon, how we meet our plants ?
Possible multilevel. We do that when we make Grandma's Remedies. Some herbal teas act as alchemical potions that are transmitted from generation to generation. Being interested in essential oils, homeopathy, with Bach Flowers, is already trying to get in touch with them. We are always in relation to plants, but be conscious, it is more complex ! Some may, for example, land next to a tree to get in touch with him, but it is also possible to practice "diets plants" just as is done in the Amazon : it goes into retirement and diet while concentrating its attention on a particular plant, which is taken for several days or weeks. The ideal is to find medicinal plants traditionally used for this experiment. It happens when the plants talk to us in our dreams. It is however quite demanding because it implies to isolate, remove alcohol, sex. Why sex ? To focus only in a relationship with diet plant. It should also periods in his psychological practice asceticism…
Contemporary medicine is the opposite of the shaman tradition… How to articulate these two visions ?
All this seems actually very complementary. I treat myself to homeopathy, but I happened, Rarely, taking antibiotics. Western medicine is much more effective when addressing the area of vital urgency or surgery. In contrast, for psychological disorders, like depression, sweet or traditional medicines are more appropriate. Phytotherapy, l’homéopathie, and a more radical version, Amazonian traditional medicine, are very good act on the psychological sphere or, for example, on sleep disorders, mourning, phobias, certain neuroses, and in the treatment of psychological diseases of our origins. The more one is interested in practical plant, our sensitivity grows more and makes us permeable to their effects.
What is depression for a shaman ?
Evil spirits who have taken possession of our psyche ! It is a representation. Translating, I would say that our dark thoughts can have an archetypal form, symbolized by spirits. The healing process as conceived by the shaman results from the confrontation of these negative thought forms, become visions, with the universe of the plant that will help chase then substitute other more luminous and poetic, related to happiness and harmony. The patient attends, wide-open eyes, the operating process. He sees his emotions, confronts himself, but it is guided by the singing of the shaman who ably supports. It passes through tears, shouts, and then by the joy that it reconnects itself and heal its wounds. For one who meets him, the world of good and evil spirits is a tangible experience.
The worst emotions Is not fear ?
This is for me one of the greatest teachings of these trips. Avec l'ayahuasca, we are necessarily faced. Their faces are manifold : fear of missing, fear of abandonment etc. ! The root fear, on which grow all the others is the fear of dying. I happened to see. When in ceremony, we really believe that we will die, it's very scary. But we still survives. This way of dealing with the fear of death, and the thoughts and emotions related to it, allows us to integrate somehow. After a psychic death, we are reconnected to our bodies, our fluids, the heart beat, the simple joy of life. This feeling of being alive is ecstatic !
Do you have less fear of death today ?
It's hard to say "I am not afraid of death" ! We really can not know that when one is in front… The experience of ayahuasca brought me closer to this fear but with the following positive effect : now when I wake up in the morning, I am registered in the moment before. I act more like he could be the last day of my life. Finally, no longer repress the fear of death in his unconscious brings us back to just enjoy life.
Faced with the anguish of dying, consumer society does not she plays the role of anesthetic ?
If comfort it brings us has real benefits, he finally shuts us more than it liberates us. Technology, instead of opening the world, seems close. Among indigenous, happiness translates into a roof, the health, food, and if possible of love. Home, we do not manage to connect us to these fundamental. We live increasingly safeguarded from, depriving us of the encounter with our emotions. As this meeting is essential, we live vicariously through movies or books. Therefore we do not really experimenting. Our humanity is lived in a form of "artificiality". Despite the abundance of goods and facility, the result is a feeling of emptiness I who is certainly no stranger to many cases of depression. Time is gained by pushing the perception of death, but it will one day confront.
How do you see life after death ?
I ask myself more questions anyway. What I know, is that the story does not end after our last sigh. That is the good news : there is something then. This idea can be false, but it comes from my meetings with the world of the dead, real for me, not from a desire to continue the adventure. So there is a sense to watch his thoughts, his words and deeds. I watch as much as possible to be in order, getting ready. I also think we must do everything to live happily because we are only passing.
News, Fact or Fiction ?
Fiction. If the world really looked like the information that we are served, my street would be ablaze or the planet would already have exploded… Along With 90 % dramas offered by way of psychological food by the media to humans, the result is the maintenance in fear. I did not want to let my thoughts navigate this ocean-out. I threw my television on returning Amazon.
Are we manipulated ?
If manipulation ago, it has more to unconscious mechanisms. Maybe what holds society, our humanity, these are very heavy entities, bleak : shamanism represents as big demons lurking and manipulate us without our knowledge. They feed on negative thoughts which we grant credit. These demons are a symbolic way of describing the mysteries of our world view. In his film Mulholland Drive1, David Lynch describes well the underlying invisible world and thoughts behind our actions. This is a director who seems to have explored some depths of human nature. It also shows that we Ayahuasca, it is precisely the true face of our thoughts, and the kind of world they belong. The media are just a reflection of our cultural way of seeing the world and to portray the events that structure… Or deconstruct.
The controversy of the attacks of 11 September you she worries ?
Propaganda (brainwashing) is everywhere, both in the formal and in the informal. You can spend days and nights to explore theories about September 11. I decided that this… m’emmerdait. On the one hand, I want to preserve my mental pollution : plants taught me the importance of this. On the other hand, I prefer to focus my thoughts or viewfinder of my camera on the subjects on which I can act. In which areas do I want to venture my thoughts ? This is a question that everyone has the right to ask. Personally, I do not save my energy but I concentrated to be effective in the field that I chose to explore.
Do you believe in aliens ?
Yes, I do not think we are alone in the universe. To say otherwise seems very irrational. There are likely lives or civilizations elsewhere. The healers also speak of this subject. There are, according to them, extraterrestrial entities here, on earth, certainly in different dimensions, finer and more vibrant, those where spirits remain. Some shamans also evoke an alien race whose origins are terrestrial, having lived under the oceans, and which would then expatriate in the cosmos. I had the opportunity to discuss with me a shaman recounted his meeting with the "Controllers", extraterrestrial entities who do not live on a planet in particular, but who watches over the balance of the planets and the motion of the stars. It is a reality for indigenous.
So you could encounter aliens with Ayahuasca ?
Sometimes with Ayahuasca, in visions, can be related to entities that appear to have developed technology, sometimes is believed to be in connection with aliens while spirits is related to plants that are ingested. It is always very difficult to make sense, to say that we met with extraterrestrials. It is equally difficult to validate his experiences. The Indians also say that we are like alien entities, there are those who have good intentions of others, on the contrary, who do not have. Today, I know some realities such as these can prove to be of practical experience, even if experience sometimes sounds like science fiction.
Crop Circles they resemble visions of ayahuasca ?
It is true that these absolutely beautiful mandalas are close to the world of visions. I asked the question and showed pictures healers in the Amazon. To them, these forms can be done non-human entities, working energy and can intervene on the matter, but impossible to decipher the visionary Message. It is nonetheless surprising that we are not more interested in this phenomenon.
2012, the end of the world ?
Honestly, I do not think much. Some say it is an "alignment of the Earth on the Galactic Center". Will there a particular radiation affect our consciousness ? I like this idea. That of an inner revolution. This is also true translation of the word "Apocalypse". As I avoid cultivating paranoia "conspiracy", I do not live in fear of the cataclysm. But that does not prevent me to make some nod : My Qumran scenario happens in 2012… I hope to have the opportunity to bring it to the screen by then.
1César 2002 : Best Foreign Film.
Born the 2 May 1964 Utrecht (Netherlands), Jan Kounen studied at the Decorative Arts in Nice (E.P.I.A.R.), particularly in the fields of cinema / animation / pixilation. In 1989, he realises Gisele Kerosene, which won the Grand Prize at the Short Film Festival of Avoriaz , he made other short films including Vibroboy, The last Red Riding Hood, Captain X.
January directed his first feature film, Dobermann, in 1995, controversial but highly noticed. Then party trails in Mexico and Peru for its project adaptation Blueberry, he discovered the traditional medicine of the Shipibo-Conibos, in which he plunges ; He devotes several years during which he films a documentary feature : Other Worlds (exit 2004).
He is the author of Visions : looks on shamanism (And. Telemachus, 2005) and Plants and Shamanism, Conversation around the ayahuasca and iboga, Jeremy Narby and Vincent Ravalec (Mama Editions, 2008)
Feature films : Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009), feature film. 99 Francs (2007) feature film. 8 segment Panshin beka Winoni feature fiction (2006) Darshan, embrace the (2004), Documentary Feature.
Blueberry, the secret experiment (2003), feature film. Other Worlds (Other Worlds, 2001), Documentary Feature. Dobermann (1997), feature film.
Its occupation of the moment
"My professional occupation is geared more time on writing, with two projects, which are well advanced. The first is the story of the Dalai Lama and lineage. It will be co-directed a docu-drama with Anne Paris written by Jean Claude Carrière. The second, This is an adaptation of a metaphysical thriller, Qumran, Eliette Abecassis d'».
Qumran (Few, 1996), is a journey in the footsteps of the Essenes, a "Da Vinci Code in reverse", says Jan Kounen. The plot of this novel takes as a starting point one of the most important discoveries of the century : the manuscripts of the Dead Sea, The theft of a valuable manuscripts from the Dead Sea, discovered in 1947 in the Qumran caves, Ary precipitates, young religious Jew, son of an Israeli archaeologist, in a survey dotted with corpses. The enigmas surrounding the life and death of Jesus were they so issues that may cause the killings ? It is this theological thriller, Jan Kounen is adapting a screenplay for a feature film.
Jan Kounen also preparing a comic book and another book on Ayahuasca, Inside Travel book, an intimate story embellished stories. One way to take stock after ten years of experience of the plant, in the Shipibo shamanism.