Tabernanthe Iboga is one of the gifts mother earth has to offer. It contains priceless knowledge and lessons that can make our world a better place.
We all know the story of Adam and Eve and the tree of knowledge.
How they got kicked out of Eden because they disobeyed the order of their creator not to eat of its fruits. The story of the divine tree can be found in almost all the major religions
In the Hindu Vedas for example (Rig Veda Samhita, Mundaka, and Svetasvatara Upanisad) there is a legend for two birds. One of the birds has eaten fruits, the other only watched.
The first bird symbolizes Jiva – the soul of all beings. When she started eating the fruits she instantly forgotten her God, represented by the second birth Paramatman, who accompanies from the birth in the material realm till his death.
This ecstatic state of Jiva is her MahaMaya(delusion), her spiritual death. She falls off the divine world and enters the mortal realm.
Another example can be found in Buddhism. The Buddhism calls the tree of knowledge the Bodhi Vriksha. Under this tree Lord Buddha got enlightenment.
The Peepal tree(Ficus Religiosa), unlike the biblical tree of knowledge, grants enlightenment in return for physical pleasure.
Which is the actual tree of knowledge and enlightenment? Is it the apple or the Peepal or some other, unknown tree? Maybe we will never know
There is a tribe in the heart of Africa however, followers of the Bwiti spiritual practices.
Bwiti is a practice based partially on some Christian influences and the ritual usage of the hallucinogenic plant Iboga (Tabernanthe Iboga).
The iboga is called the Tree of Good and Evil and it is related to the African myth of Obola and Biome. The Creator has made Obola and all the men in his own image and placed a divine part of himself in everyone.
When they use iboga they can once more feel the Creator’s essence. Unlike the Judeo-Christian Apple, however, Bwiti don’t use the fruits, but the root barks of the plant.
Accordingly, to the Fang tribe’s beliefs, Pygmies are those who have initially found the psychedelic effects of the plants, including Iboga. In general, the pygmies tribes are those who know all the secrets of the equatorial African forest.
Part of their knowledge has spread among the indigenous people of Africa and this is how the Bwiti spiritual practice has been born.
Actually, the Fang tribe uses Iboga for centuries
Way to the Christian influence on the continent. The Iboga usage during ministration is at the base of the Syncretic cult. The new form of religion become so popular so that for only a few decades spread out of Gabon borders.
Temples of the Syncretic cult appeared in Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Congo, and Zaire. Bwiti is slowly becoming the most followed spiritual practice in Africa.
The Bwiti’s mythology has a lot of similarities with the Old and the New Testament.
For example, the original sin was an incest between Obola and Biome, the first human twins. The tree of knowledge, good and evil is the Iboga. The biblical flood is a fact for the Fang people.
It made their tribes move from Cameroon to Gabon.Furthermore, the Holy Trinity has its equivalent in the Bwiti beliefs.
Furthermore, the Holy Trinity has its equivalent in the Bwiti beliefs. The Nzame, Gningone and None. None is the evil. Nzame and Gningone are the creators of the first people – the Gabonese Obola and Biome.
Biome conceived her first child by treachery. None has entered her womb in a form of snake.
She delivered triplets. One black, white and red. The white is the color of Obola, the black with the color of None, the color of the devil, and the red is considered a messenger of another realm. Finally, 12 more child’s are born. The 12 founders.
This interpretation of the Christian dogma infuriated the missionaries. The accused Bwiti followers of drug addiction, ritual human sacrifices, and cannibalism.
The persecutions of the Bwiti supported by the French colonial government reached its peak between 1920 – 1940.
Between 1948-1969 the Bwiti cult has undergone some changes and some of the tariffing rituals of the practice, like sacrifices and etc. were removed.
The Bwiti became a part of the movement for national and racial freedom in Africa, which led to the end of the French colonialism and the forming of the new Republic Gabon.
The first president of Gabon – Leon Ba was a Bwiti follower.So the Bwiti cult has turned into an official religion and the peace has spread among the country. This peace still lasts today. Gabon is the most stable country in the area.
In every Bwiti society, there is a strictly followed hierarchy.
The highest place in this hierarchy belongs to the Nima. He is the Bwiti supreme shaman. He is the direct messenger of the spiritual realm.
The N’ganga is the healer. His responsibility is the dances. Kombo is the person that takes care of the temples and the rituals held there.
There are also musicians that are playing on the traditional drums and Ngombi harp, which music is central to the rituals. The one who plays Ngombi must be with a pure soul.
It is believed that his life belongs to the harp. The female leader in the Bwiti society is called Yombo. She is responsible for the behavior of the female followers of Bwiti.
The Bwiti followers are experts in the usage of Iboga.
A ceremony involves between 20-50 people of every age. From children to elders. Each dosage, however, is independently determined by the Nima.
The participants in the rite which have taken smaller dosage are responsible for taking care of the others if necessary.
The incredible tree of knowledge Tabernanthe Iboga has granted the Bwiti community peace, love, and understanding.
The spirits behind his sacred plant taught his children how to live in harmony with nature and one another.
It transformed a whole country in an example of a social way of life. Now Gabon stays as a symbol of how the population of Africa must live like. The sacred Iboga has found its way in the Western civilization too.
Furthermore, the root barks of the plant and its effect are used by the modern psychologists for treating horrible addictions, like the heroin, cocaine and alcohol addictions.
It contains limitless potential and is one of the most suitable candidates for the real tree of knowledge.