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A Medicine In Every Poison

I think the most terrifying thing would be to feel absolutely certain of anything I was thinking. There's a lot of poison in the mind.

That being said, I do believe there is a medicine in every poison.

At Burning Man in 2007 I participated in a soul retrieval workshop led by Barnaby Ruhe, a NYU shamanism and art professor and Olympic athlete. Those of us with some form of shamanic training or experience were given space to enter into the spirit world using the help of one or more of our guides to retrieve a piece of another person's soul, something lost, that we would return as a gift.

When I laid down to work with one of the young women I was paired with I saw a very clear vision of a fox. It started to run around the desert, stirring up playa dust, ducking under tent flaps, rummaging through luggage and scaling art sculptures, until it started to spiral furiously around the man at the center. When things began to blur together the fox reemerged holding out a fang-like tooth. I took it from the fox's paw, placed it on my breath, and blew it back into the young woman's heart.

The realization that came from this was just how precious of a gift a tooth is, something I was thinking about a week ago when I had two wisdom teeth removed. It made me wonder what about a tooth made it a part of the soul, and a part that needed to be retrieved.

My thinking is that teeth must predate claws as the original knives and swords, which in the magical lexicon represent air, and the activity of clear, decisive thought. They represent a specific evolutionary strategy, while an extraction represents another kind of strategy.

They are vestiges of evolution, and unnecessary since diets shifted from mostly raw plant matter that required the extra grinding to digest the cellulose that made up the cell walls. My conclusion is considering the evolution of dentistry, pre-anesthetic, having your wisdom teeth pulled while fully cognizant of the sensation would be a Torah scale trauma. The witness of the healing is left wondering: what was it that was lost back there in time.

Interesting thoughts:

- Only about 5% of people have a totally intact and healthy set of wisdom teeth.
- Wisdom teeth contain stem cells, so if you have them extracted you can set your shit in order for the future.
- Close to 100% of indigenous Mexicans don't even bother growing wisdom teeth.

From my blog - The Tree of Life and Knowledge - http://www.jonathanappleseed.com/a-medicine-in-every-poison

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