press release - Mama Editions

Commentaires

Transcription

press release - Mama Editions
PRESS RELE A SE
MAMA PUBLISHING
PRESS RELEASE
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
METSA
Foreword by Jan Kounen
From the Shadows
to the Light
A Healer Journeys into the Lands of Shamans
A Frenchman with an unusual destiny discovers
shamanism following an experience of imminent death.
Initiated into a number of indigenous traditions in the
Amazon as well as North America, he was adopted into
these cultures as a follower of venerated healers before
becoming a shaman himself. In his Foreword, filmmaker
Jan Kounen divulges that he wishes to shoot a movie
based on this book.
208 PAGES, 14 x 22 CM, SEWN PAPERBACK,
ISBN 978-2-84594-121-2
« He is the first Westerner
I have ever met who holds
the knowledge of an
indigenous curandero. »
JAN KOUNEN
From the middle-class districts of Paris to the Brazilian favelas, from the
suburbs of Medellin to the Amazon jungle, and the Peruvian mountains
to the North American plains, François Demange tells the amazing
story of his personal and spiritual evolution.
As a young traveler, he wanders throughout the Orient in search of
powerful experiences with nature and psychotropic plants. François
then returns to Paris and becomes a heroin addict. He immigrates to
Colombia, where he falls into a downward spiral of cocaine abuse and
survives an extreme overdose. His quest for personal healing – and
the healing of others – leads him to the teachings of shamans from
various cultures, extraordinary experiences, and an ever-intensifying
life. A captivating story.
THE AUTHOR
François Demange, alias Metsa, the name given
him by the Shipibo people of the Amazon, or
Medicine Bear, as the Lakota Indians call him, is
a healer recognized by his peers in various Native
American cultures. He lives in the United States,
where he teaches the practices he has learned
throughout his life.
PUBLIC RELATION
Agnès Chalnot
+336 20 20 24 78
[email protected]
WORLDWIDE ENGLISH EDITION
TO BE PUBLISHED 2017
SEE THE BOOK DETAILS:
www.mamaeditions.com/catalogue.html#9782845941212
RECEIVE A MEDIA REVIEW COPY:
[email protected]
DOWNLOAD THE BOOK’S RESOURCES
(PICTURES OF THE AUTHOR, COVER VISUALS, FREE EXCERPTS):
www.mamaeditions.com/resources/9782845940284.zip
MAMA ÉDITIONS | 7 RUE PÉTION, 75011 PARIS, FRANCE
TÉL. +331 77 32 54 36 | TÉL. +331 77 32 57 89
[email protected] | WWW.MAMAEDITIONS.COM
MAMA PUBLISHING | 7 RUE PÉTION, 75011 PARIS - FRANCE | TEL. +331 77 32 54 36 / +331 77 32 57 89
[email protected] | WWW.MAMAPUBLISHING.COM
3
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
Praises
Reviews
He is the first Westerner
I have ever met
who holds the knowledge
of an indigenous curandero.
The journey of a Frenchman
who became a shaman.
JAN KOUNEN
A life journey that is rich
and interesting.
JEREMY NARBY 
An absolute must-read.
A book that not only takes you
on an incredible journey,
but also teaches you a lot.
LAURENT HUGUELIT 
This heartfelt story
shows us that the seeker
and the healer are one.  
What an amazing
adventure (…) A story
about extraordinary
encounters and healing.
An incredible journey,
(…) a vibrant plea in favor
of indigenous culture
and knowledge.  
François Demange
is the first Westerner to have
been adopted as a shaman
by the Lakota Indians
of North America.
The incredible story
of a man who has lived
several lives in one.
AGNÈS STEVENIN
4
5
PRESS RE VIE W
MAMA ÉDITIONS
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE
COLLECTION
TÉMOIGNAGES
METSA
Préface de Jan Kounen
De l’ombre à la lumière
Voyages d’un guérisseur chez les chamanes
C’est à la suite d’une expérience de mort imminente
que François Demange découvre le chamanisme.
Il nous livre ici le récit captivant d’une initiation hors
du commun. D’abord adopté comme apprenti par des
guérisseurs reconnus en Amazonie et en Amérique
du Nord, ce français s’immerge au sein de ces cultures
traditionnelles et parvient finalement à lui-même
devenir chamane.
208 PAGES, 14 x 22 CM, BR. COUSU,
ISSN 2109-7240, ISBN 978-2-84594-028-4 • 20 €
« Le premier Occidental
que j’ai rencontré
qui ait la connaissance
d’un curandero indigène. »
JAN KOUNEN
« Un must absolu... »
LAURENT HUGUELIT
PRÉSENTATION
François Demange fait partie de ces hommes dont on peut dire qu’ils
vivent plusieurs vie en une. Jeune voyageur, il sillonne l’orient en quête
d’émotions fortes, explorant à fond tant la nature sauvage que les effets
des plantes psychotropes. De retour à Paris, il tombe dans l’héroïne,
avant de partir s’installer en Colombie, dans les faubourgs de Medelin,
où il plonge bientôt dans la cocaïne et survit in extremis à une overdose.
Sa quête de guérison l’amène dès lors à côtoyer les chamanes de
diverses cultures, vivant dans la jungle amazonienne et les montagnes
du Pérou, ou encore dans les plaines d’Amérique du nord. Auprès d’eux,
au fil d’expériences bouleversantes, il va petit à petit apprendre l’art
de soigner, pour lui-même et pour les autres.
L’AUTEUR
François Demange, alias Metsa pour les Indiens
shipibo d’Amazonie, ou encore Medicine
Bear pour les Indiens lakota, est un guérisseur
reconnu par ses pairs dans différentes cultures
amérindiennes. Il vit aux États-Unis, où il enseigne
les connaissances acquises au cours de sa vie.
SERVICE DE PRESSE
Agnès Chalnot
+336 20 20 24 78
[email protected]
PARUTION
11 juin 2014
CONSULTER LA FICHE COMPLÈTE DU LIVRE :
www.mamaeditions.com/catalogue.html
RECEVOIR LE LIVRE EN SERVICE DE PRESSE :
[email protected]
TÉLÉCHARGER LES RESSOURCES DU LIVRE (PHOTOS AUTEUR,
VISUELS COUVERTURE, EXTRAITS GRATUITS…) :
www.mamaeditions.com/resources/9782845940284.zip
MAMA ÉDITIONS | 7 RUE PÉTION, 75011 PARIS | TEL. +331 77 32 54 36 / +331 77 32 57 89
[email protected] | WWW.MAMAEDITIONS.COM
9
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
Livres Hebdo
TV5Monde
ON EN PARLERA
Le premier Occidental
à avoir été intronisé chamane
par les Indiens Lakota.  
LA UNE FRANCOPHONE
Le destin d’un Français
devenu chamane.  
« Des quartiers bourgeois
de Paris aux favelas du Brésil,
des faubourgs de Medellín
à la jungle amazonienne
et des montagnes du Pérou
aux plaines d’Amérique du Nord,
François Demange raconte
son incroyable itinéraire,
celui d’un homme qui a vécu
plusieurs vies en une. »
10
11
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
Rêvez livres
Inexploré
TÉMOIGNAGES
À LIRE
Une magnifique immersion dans le monde
de l’invisible et des guérisseurs. Une leçon
de vie et d’espoir.  
enfance et de son adolescence pour comprendre
ce qui l’a mené à cette quête, à l’apprentissage de
guérisseur. C’est un récit passionnant et dépaysant
qui nous fait voyager de Paris, au Pérou en passant par le Canada, l’Amazonie. Il a rencontré des
chamanes de différentes cultures et en a tiré des
enseignements uniques.
Son témoignage est d’autant plus important car
il est porteur d’espoir, il était sur la mauvaise pente,
drogue, mal-être et à trouver son salut dans le chamanisme et à remonter la pente. J’ai aimé les descriptions des transes et des diverses expériences
par lesquelles il est passé.
J’ai aimé l’authenticité et la simplicité qui se
dégagent de ce témoignage. Le seul bémol c’est
qu’on reste sur sa faim car le livre ne relate que la
partie initiation j’aurai aimé avoir des expériences
sur la pratique, mais peut-être suis-je trop impatiente et que ce sera pour un autre tome ? En tout
cas, je l’espère.
J’ai passé un agréable moment de lecture et
d’évasion et j’ai apprécié la simplicité et la facilité
de lecture.
L’HISTOIRE
Ce livre raconte l’histoire d’un
Français au destin qui sort de
l’ordinaire. Il découvre le chamanisme à la suite d’une expérience
de mort imminente. Initié à diverses traditions d’Amazonie et
d’Amérique du Nord, il est adopté dans ces différentes cultures comme l’apprenti
de guérisseurs reconnus, avant de le devenir luimême. Des quartiers bourgeois de Paris aux favelas
du Brésil, des faubourgs de Medellín à la jungle
amazonienne et des montagnes du Pérou aux
plaines d’Amérique du Nord, François Demange
raconte son incroyable itinéraire, celui d’un homme
qui a vécu plusieurs vies en une. Jeune voyageur
sillonnant l’Orient en quête d’expériences fortes
avec la nature ou les plantes psychotropes, François, de retour à Paris, tombe dans l’héroïne. Émigrant en Colombie, il plonge alors dans la spirale
de la cocaïne, jusqu’à une overdose à laquelle
il survit in extremis.
Sa quête de guérison, pour lui-même puis pour
les autres, l’a amené à apprendre l’art de soigner
auprès de chamanes de diverses cultures, au fil
d’expériences bouleversantes et d’une vie toujours plus intense. Il nous livre ici un témoignage
captivant.
VERDICT
Un incroyable parcours,
un plaidoyer vibrant pour
les savoirs autochtones.  
« Incroyable parcours que celui de
François Demange, dit Metsa — le nom
que lui ont donné les Indiens shipibos.
Le livre s’ouvre sur son adolescence
bohème de jeune bourgeois parisien.
Premières découvertes de la drogue :
l’herbe, l’héroïne. Premiers voyages, de l’Indonésie au Brésil, à la recherche d’expériences fortes. Premiers états modifiés de conscience, premiers sentiments
de se connecter au versant énergétique du monde. Puis
l’excès, la spirale du shoot et de la cocaïne, jusqu’à l’overdose. Il survit in extremis. Sa volonté de s’en sortir l’emmène en Amazonie, à la découverte des plantes maîtresses, de leurs pouvoirs et de ceux qui les maîtrisent.
Le gaillard s’en sort, et découvre sa voie : guérir, lui aussi, par le végétalisme, le chant, la transe, la connexion
au monde spirituel. L’histoire d’un destin, un plaidoyer
vibrant pour les savoirs autochtones. »
Une magnifique immersion dans le monde de l’invisible
et des guérisseurs. Magnifique ! Une leçon de vie et d’espoir.
Chris Lilac
MON RESSENTI
Lu d’une seule traite, un témoignage touchant et
poignant dont on ne ressort pas indemne. J’ai aimé
en apprendre plus sur la guérison par les plantes.
On suit l’auteur de certains événements de son
12
13
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
Soleil Levant
Psychologies
LIVRES / ÉDITIONS
Un témoignage captivant !  
RÉCITS
Quelle belle aventure. Un récit
de rencontres extraordinaires
et de guérison.  
Metsa. Voyages d’un guérisseur
chez les chamanes
Ce Français découvre le chamanisme à
la suite d’une expérience de mort imminente, survenue lors d’une overdose de
cocaïne. Sa quête de guérison, pour luimême, puis pour les autres, l’a amené à apprendre l’art
de soigner auprès de chamanes d’Amazonie et d’Amérique du Nord. Il est adopté et initié dans ces différentes
cultures comme l’apprenti de guérisseurs reconnus
avant de devenir lui-même chamane. Un témoignage
captivant !
François Demange - Mama Éditions - 20€.
14
15
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
Radio ici et maintenant
Le Journal du Yoga
ANTENNE LIBRE AVEC CLARA
Merci pour ce partage
de parcours de vie.
16
À LIRE
L’incroyable témoignage
d’un homme qui a vécu
plusieurs vies en une.
17
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
France Dimanche
TÉMOIGNAGES
Je me suis toujours senti attiré par le monde
des esprits et le mysticisme. Mais notre culture
occidentale a perdu ses connaissances ancestrales
et tout ce qui s’en approche fait peur ou est jugé
trop rapidement. C’est donc à l’étranger que j’ai pu
trouver des réponses à mes questions. J’ai reçu ma
première claque culturelle en Inde. A 15 ans, loin
du milieu bourgeois de ma famille, sac au dos, j’ai
découvert un autre monde. Dans la rue, j’ai croisé
un sage indien qui m’a paru lire mon âme d’un
seul regard. J’ai alors compris qu’il existait une
autre façon de voir, de voir au-delà de la vue.
Mes recherches spirituelles ont commencé assez
jeune avec des livres que ma mère me prêtait. Puis,
j’ai essayé des drogues : des champignons, de
l’herbe, jusqu’à tomber dans l’héroïne… Grâce à
mon père, j’ai voyagé en Indonésie et au Brésil où
j’ai côtoyé une prêtresse du candomblé, la religion
afro-brésilienne, un peu magique, très présente
dans ce pays. Elle m’a aidé mais de retour à Paris, je
ne me sentais pas à l’aise et je suis retombé dans
l’héroïne…
Puis, j’ai rencontré un homme qui avait passé
du temps avec les Amérindiens Sioux Lakota.
Chez eux, les techniques de soin sont liées à la
spiritualité et se pratiquent par la prière et la
relation aux éléments, aux esprits. Ensemble, nous
avons fait une Sweat lodge, (hutte de sudation)
selon un rituel très précis avec des branches de
saule plantées dans la terre, recouvertes ensuite
de couvertures. Au centre nous avons placées
des pierres chaudes, comme dans un sauna.
J’ai regardé Michel prier, me « nettoyer ». Cette
cérémonie a éveillé ma curiosité mais elle ne m’a
pas guéri. L’emprise de la drogue était sans doute
trop forte et je n’étais pas prêt.
Mais c’est en Colombie quelque temps plus
tard où j’avais suivi ma femme que je touche
mon fond avec la drogue avec une overdose, j’ai
senti que je devais choisir entre la vie ou la mort.
Je venais de divorcer et j’étais perdu quand j’ai
retrouvé un article de presse que Michel m’avait
donné sur un centre au Pérou où un médecin
français travaillait avec des toxicomanes en
suivant des principes du chamanisme amazonien.
Exactement ce que je cherchais ! Grâce à ce
programme basé sur le végétalisme, des diètes, de
plantes médicinales que les Indiens d’Amazonie
considèrent comme des guides spirituels et à des
cérémonies traditionnelles pendant lesquelles
j’ai pris de l’ayahuasca, une plante psychotrope
interdite en France, qui provoque un état
d’hypersensibilité et d’hyperouverture j’ai pu
transformer ma toxicomanie. L’ayahuasca, ce
ne sont traditionnellement que les guérisseurs
qui la boivent, mais j’ai aussi participé. Elle
leur permet de visualiser, les émotions et les
dysfonctionnements des corps. Je me souviendrai
toujours de la première fois. A ma grande surprise,
j’ai effectivement visualisé des images de mon
corps mais j’ai aussi accédé aux visions des autres
participants ce qui est très rare quand on n’est pas
chamane ! J’ai voulu apprendre, comprendre.
Je suis resté neuf mois au centre, j’en suis sorti
sevré et avec la volonté de devenir chamane
guérisseur. Je suis allé trouver un indigène
shipibo, Guillermo Arevalo Kestenbetsa, rencontré
au centre et je lui ai demandé de devenir mon
maître d’enseignement. J’ai alors passé des
semaines en forêt à boire des racines et des
plantes. Peu à peu, j’ai appris le monde des plantes
et approché celui des esprits. J’ai commencé à
sentir une énergie m’envahir lors des cérémonies
et je me suis mis à chanter et à jouer du tambour.
Le chant du chamane guide la personne qui reçoit
le soin et lui apporte un soutien énergétique. Un
rôle qui me fascine toujours autant, au point que
j’ai réalisé une étude anthropologique universitaire
sur le sujet. Grâce à une amie, j’ai aussi rencontré
18
les Sioux Nakota du Canada et, depuis 7 ans, je suis
danseur du soleil selon leurs rites. Être blanc au
milieu des indigènes et le poids de l’histoire de la
colonisation ne m’ont pas aidé à me faire accepter
mais ma volonté a fini par convaincre la tribu de
ma bonne foi. J’ai suivi l’enseignement d’un grand
maître très respecté qui m’a donné le nom de Ours
médecine et m’a adopté officiellement ainsi que
toute ma famille. Des moments incroyables !
Aujourd’hui, je sais que je suis à ma place. Je
peux mener des cérémonies, faire des huttes
de sudation, essayer de communiquer avec les
esprits… J’ai l’impression que de plus en plus
d’occidentaux veulent connaître ces pratiques,
alors j’essaie de partager ce que je sais lors de
conférences et de stages dans le monde entier.
Je veux aussi transmettre l’esprit sacré de ces
traditions. Il n’est pas question de me vanter,
au contraire, je m’efforce de rester humble. J’ai
conscience que devenir chamane est le travail de
toute une vie.
 François Demange, alias Metsa
(Hudson, États-Unis)
19
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
Ça m’interesse
20
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
Après ses années d’apprentissage auprès
de guérisseurs shipibos et d’hommes-médecine
sioux Iakota, François Demange transmet
à son tour les mêmes savoirs.  
21
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
Plantes & Santé
Glamour
ON EN PARLE
Voyage au cœur de la psyché
avec les plantes chamaniques.  
22
La quête d’une vie
plus proche de la nature.  
23
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
Planete Gaïa
Bio Info
LIVRES
Un destin qui sort de l’ordinaire.  
24
RENCONTRE / PORTRAIT
Un itinéraire hors du commun. 
25
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
Librairie OFR
DÉDICACES
Tigrane Hadengue, Agnès Stevenin, François Demange (alias Metsa), Michka Seeliger-Chatelain, Jan Kounen
26
Metsa & José Garcia, Jan Kounen & Aunt Mary, Tigrane Hadengue, Priscilla Telmon & Michka, Mika de Brito
27
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
DE L’OMBRE À LA LUMIÈRE
Ils en parlent
Également dans…
Le premier Occidental
que j’ai rencontré
qui ait la connaissance
d’un curandero indigène.
JAN KOUNEN
Un parcours riche
et intéressant.
JEREMY NARBY 
Un must absolu… un livre qui
non seulement fait voyager très loin,
mais qui, en plus, enseigne.
LAURENT HUGUELIT 
Ce livre sincère nous rappelle
que celui qui cherche et celui
qui soigne ne sont qu’un.  
AGNÈS STEVENIN
28
29
E XC E R P T S
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
A Healer Journeys to the Lands of Shamans
33
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
METSA
FROM THE SHADOWS
TO THE LIGHT
A Healer Journeys
to the Lands of Shamans
Foreword by Jan Kounen
© Mama Publishing (2015)
All rights reserved for all countries
ISBN 978-2-84594-121-2
Mama Editions, 7 rue Pétion, 75011 Paris (France)
34
MAMA PUBLISHING
35
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
FOREWORD
Dear Reader,
It is with real pleasure that I write these few words before
letting you begin your journey with François on this rollercoaster
of a story, as he tells it.
I won’t reveal too much since you are about to embark on this
adventure; instead, I’ll tell you a bit about the author.
I met François in Iquitos at the Espiritu de Anaconda Center
a little over ten years ago. Guillermo had often mentioned him.
To begin with, it was great to finally meet another of Guillermo’s
students, someone who wasn’t a native, and a Frenchman to
boot. François had followed the path for longer than I had, and
he had years of the shaman diet and practices under his belt.
The first impression I had of him was of a lively, dynamic,
funny guy with a steely glare and a mischievous smile. He was
altogether rather intimidating.
The very same night we met, we had our first ceremony with
“The Boss” (that’s my nickname for Guillermo).
At the height of the “trip,” I tighten my butt cheeks to resist
going off on a rather violent tangent. In the dark and inhabited
maloca, I hear sounds of vomiting, nervous giggling, sighing,
and crying….
Amidst this chaos, while attempting to redress my tailspin
with a prayer, I become aware of a large, imposing man moving
toward me slightly unsteadily. He stops right in front of me and
sits down. Humph! One of the healers must have noticed my
confusion, and I prepare to receive a chant. It’s as if your boat
has just capsized and you find yourself holding onto the tiny No
Way Back’s life preserver; it’s your only chance—you are alone
36
37
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
FOREWORD
and adrift in a raging sea, and then suddenly you hear the distant beating of helicopter blades and it’s the civil aviation craft
come to save you. All is not lost, just grab onto the lifeline and
concentrate!
This chant is my lifeline, and I grab onto it with all my strength.
And then it happens: The visions darken, but it is actually
a catharsis. With no hesitation I walk on, through the closed
windows of suburbs filled with demons, guided perfectly and
calmly and emerging upon a bucolic clearing.
An idea forms in my drunken spirit: “When a driver’s vehicle
is out of control, instead of resisting the spin he must accelerate
to retrieve momentum and regain control.” And that’s what the
chant does; it has saved me from hell and catapulted me back
into the starry sky, instead of leaving me alone in my underwear
in “Demon City.”
I don’t recognize the voice of the person chanting to me in
the Shipibo language; it’s neither Guillermo nor the other healer
present in the maloca. I open one eye slightly and discover it is
François. Enough to make your head spin, no?
This is the first time I hear a Westerner chanting and using
Shipibo medicine knowledgeably during such a ceremony—so
well that he could be confused with an indigenous healer. Later
on, reading his book, I began to understand why he is so good at
guiding a person out of the darkest, deepest roots of the spirit:
he has spent a long time in Demon City.
François also uses Reiki techniques in his healing practice. To
receive this type of treatment while you are completely under
the spell of visions is a little like being awake during a particularly dangerous surgical procedure, not including the scalpel. I
remember a time when he put both his hands on my ears, without
chanting. I felt as though my hard skull was being flooded with
the purest revitalizing water, and I had visions of cathedrals
filled with light.
Over time, our friendship has grown and solidified. In Shipibo
medicine, deep trust is earned little by little, ceremony by ceremony. It took me a year to allow François to teach me about the
plants that he had absorbed exclusively for long periods of time
in order to learn their teachings; for example, toé, which can
intoxicate a person like nothing else. I have great admiration for
the extent to which he is willing to throw himself into the most
intense effects of these medicines, as only indigenous peoples
know how to do.
You have to realize that at one time he was the only Westerner
who had knowledge of these practices. He guided me well, and
he still guides me in my spiritual journey with this medicine.
With the Shipibo, most of the spiritual knowledge is transmitted
during ceremonies. It passes through the energy of the chants
with very little explanation or commentary. For a Westerner,
it is a confusing learning process. But with François, I could
communicate. At times, his description of the attitudes to adopt
while having certain visions, or during a more intense trip, has
really helped me.
Later on, I accompanied François on several trips to South
America. There, I got to see him leading ceremonies. He has his
own unique way of doing things, in which he combines Shipibo,
Quechua, and Lakota teachings. He has no qualms about grabbing his drum and performing a powerful chant learned from
the Plains Indians of North America; I guarantee that once you
are under the influence of ayahuasca, this is very effective (bien
fuerte)!
Traveling with him is a great adventure, and reading this book
came as quite a shock.
I knew that François had experienced an eventful life and had
problems with addiction. However, having met him through the
practice of indigenous medicines, I had no knowledge of his
other life experiences, those he describes in this book, including the tremendous violence and chaotic insanity he has gone
through. François is a survivor, a miracle man. So many like him
have died along the way in the abysmal descent caused by the
injection of such poisons. But it is also this experience that has
38
39
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
given him his particular power: he knows all the insiders’ tricks
at the “Demon City Casino.” He can bring you back from there
without getting you lost.
François’ experience has become a validation of indigenous
medicine. His path is also a bridge to the future, to a time when
we will no longer rely on the aid of plants for internal healing
but have the knowledge to use meditation to heal ourselves.
The master plants are guides that open the way, but as with any
master, after the knowledge has been acquired, emancipation
must follow.
As a filmmaker, this book has given me the desire to produce a
film based on François’ tumultuous life story. From the shadow
to the light, the book wears its name well. It would make one
hell of a film!
So, quick! Let’s sign that contract!
I, the undersigned, Jan Kounen, residing close by, if agreed to by
Mr. Metsa, who resides somewhere in the jungle or in the universe,
and by the boys and girls at Mama Editions, would like to hereby take
shamanic options on the cinematic adaptation rights to this book.
Signed in Paris on this 2nd day of March 2014.
Note: Any film producer may, upon reading this book, contact
the publisher in view of drawing up a formal agreement with the
above-mentioned parties.
Thank you, François, for this extraordinary story. Thank you
for your support all these years, your good humor, your energy,
your laughter, and your medicine.
See you soon, Metsa.
Tss tss tsss…
Jan Kounen
40
PRESENTATION
My name is François Demange. It is also Metsa Niwue, which
means “Beautiful Wind” or “Good Wind.” This is my Shipibo
healer name, my “shamanic” name, to use a Western expression.
This second name was given to me by the plant spirits, as told
to me by my master, Guillermo Arevalo, who is also known as
Kestenbetsa, or “Echo of the Universe.” Son, grandson, and
great-grandson of healers, Guillermo is a Shipibo Indian from
the Ucayali region, in the Peruvian Amazon, whose teachings
I have followed.
I was born on January 1, 1968. From 1996 to 2010, I studied
the vegetalismo healing practices of the Amazon. I experienced
many things, first in Peru at the Takiwasi Center, and then later
with the Quechua Lamista people of the San Martin region.
An Aguaruna Indian also had some influence on me, but my
training in these traditional medicines is based for the most
part upon the teachings of my Shipibo master and what I have
learned from plants, above all ayahuasca. This practice enables
self-discovery, builds on the connection we have to the spiritual
world, and allows for communication with vegetal intelligence.
I also have a Dakota name, Pijuta Mato, in other words “Bear
Medicine.” For the past seven years, I have been traveling the
Red Path and receiving the teachings of the Dakota Sioux. I
am a sun dancer and I carry the chanupa, or sacred peace pipe.
To my great surprise, at the end of a four-year cycle of sun
dancing in July 2010, I was adopted by Eagle Claw—Keith Pashe
—a Dakota medicine man who also happens to be the chief of
my sun dance. He honored me by making me his blood brother,
a member of his family and his clan. My wife and I have also
been adopted by Frank Iron Eagle, a Nakota elder.
41
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
A CHILDHOOD DREAM
I have also had the great good fortune to forge connections in
the academic world in Peru and, with the help of close friends,
acquire a master’s degree in anthropology at the University of
East London. During the course of my journeys, I got to know a
Reiki master who opened me to universal energy transmission.
Weaving together all these languages, I work with my native
brothers and lend them my support.
Having become a healer, it is my intention to transmit a
different perception of the world of plants, nature, and selfknowledge to the Western world from which I came.
Above all, I am aware that I know nothing.
A CHILDHOOD DREAM
42
While going to boarding school at the age of twelve or thirteen, I had a dream.
Away from the comfort and security of home, it is normal to
feel lonely, and I did. My parents divorced when I was three,
and I suffered a great deal at being separated from my mother.
I did poorly in school and was unhappy living far away from my
siblings. I was the youngest and did not live up to my father’s
expectations. I was loved but had a difficult time finding my
place in life and already had a lot of unanswered questions. My
mother often talked to me about reincarnation, meditation,
yoga, and particularly the third eye. She opened me up to a
different perception of spirituality than the one I was receiving
in the Christian school in which I was enrolled. I listened avidly
to her with a real desire to comprehend, real curiosity, and the
desire to experience the things she talked about. When I think
of it now, I really can see the first fruits of the desire for spiritual
discovery that animates me to this day.
My mother gave me a book to read, The Third Eye by Lobsang
Rampa, which struck a deep chord. In it, the author talks about
the techniques of astral travel and reaching a state of meditation
through controlled breathing with the intention of leaving the
physical body. After finishing the book, I immediately wanted
to practice his methods and see if I was able to leave my body.
That night, once all the lights were out at about ten o’clock, lying
in my bed in the large dormitory in which our “private rooms”
were actually no more than cubicles separated by curtains, I
attempted the experiment. Under the covers, my eyes rolling
upward, I took a deep breath, concentrated, and imagined I
was leaving my body.
43
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
KATMANDOU—THE EYES OF THE SÂDHU
Little by little, I felt as though a strange force was taking over,
and I felt a kind of departure. But right away, I was filled with
fear; my mind started racing and my heart began to palpitate.
This immediate response prevented me from going through
completely with my experiment. However, several days later,
I had a similar dream. I dreamed that I left my body and reached the astral plane as it is described in the book. I saw myself
floating and traveling above colorful fields of wheat and barley. I flew, and birds, animals, everything was extraordinarily
colorful. There was a kind of peace, and I traveled for a long
time over different countries, over the Earth itself. I woke up
with the impression of having made my dream come true, at
least partially.
This was perhaps my first shamanic initiation, although I
didn’t recognize it as such at the time. I had achieved my goal
of astral travel through a dream, whereas my conscious efforts
had been met with fear and prevented from fulfillment. This
opening through the dream state attests to a certain facility I had,
even in childhood, to perceive other worlds, and I had reached
it without outside help.
But I told no one about this and kept the secret well hidden.
KATMANDOU—THE EYES OF THE SÂDHU
44
I was barely fifteen when my father suggested, at the last
minute, that I accompany my brother Philippe to India and
Nepal instead of the friend who had stood him up. Philippe
was twenty-one years old at the time, and he agreed. I was so
excited to be going with my brother. We departed on July 1, 1983
for a six-week trip, heading first to Delhi and then Katmandu.
There, I got a real slap in the face. I did not understand how
things worked in India; I did not understand Indians. I had no
bearings; I was lost. This was my first trip to a country whose
culture was so different from my own. I was very young, without
my parents, and my brother was my only company. We traveled
with our backpacks in terrible conditions.
When we arrived in Katmandu, I got very sick with giardia
and lost fifteen pounds. Once I felt better, I took off one beautiful day all by myself. There I was with my little map, wandering the streets, attentive to everything I saw and smelled as I
went. I observed merchants, passersby, rickshaws, the smells
of incense, children playing, and the crowds. I walked on and
was soon outside of the neighborhood where we were staying.
Suddenly, I was on a large square. The many statues and colorful temples were impressive. Mystified by all the movement, the
odors and colors, the heat, and the size of the town, I walked
slowly, observing everything. In the center of the square, about
100 feet from where I was standing, there was a sâdhu, a holy
man—one who lives in isolation, prayer, and meditation. He had
his back turned to me, and I could only see his long dreadlocks,
but once I got closer he turned and looked at me. His eyes were
lined with kohl, and his third eye was drawn with yellow ochre
and a little bit of gold. His face was colored with red ochre.
45
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
INDONESIA:FIRSTEXPERIMENTSWITHHALLUCINOGENICMUSHROOMS
He had a slight smile on his lips, and I felt his stare, which was
so intense that it penetrated me to the depths of my soul. There
I was, wearing my little polo shirt, shorts, and hiking shoes. I
found myself transfixed by his smile and penetrating look that
read my soul and saw into the deepest part of my heart. I could
not move, and everything around me disappeared. I was completely under the power of that stare, and then I had to just turn
around and walk away. I was convinced that he could read the
hearts of men, and I felt so much admiration for the power of
this man, who knew exactly who I was, where I came from, and
what I was doing just by looking at me. I had discovered another
way of seeing things, of seeing beyond sight, to see into vision,
into feelings. This memory has remained with me.
INDONESIA: FIRST EXPERIMENTS WITH
HALLUCINOGENIC MUSHROOMS
At the age of eighteen, I was on a spiritual path, but it was
quite unfocused. Stories about shamans, anecdotal things about
African sorcerers (marabouts, or holy men) told to me by my
school friends, the third eye, astral travels, all this fascinated me.
But aside from my mother, I had no one to help me understand.
I went to a Dominican boarding school, and religion dominated
my culture and social life, yet none of it really had anything to
do with spirituality.
Like many kids my age, I was able to reach levels of
consciousness beyond the ordinary by smoking hashish. Once
I began these small attempts, I started to experience the natural
elements, the forces of the Earth, and Nature much more than
I had before. It was as though I was already reaching a kind of
comprehension of the spiritual language that surrounds us.
Of course, it is possible to reach this state in a normal state of
consciousness through certain practices or people who can lead
you on this type of journey. But I had no such help, and my only
“tool” was smoking a joint.
When I obtained my French baccalaureate degree, I left for
Indonesia to join my father and brother, who had become a
“coopérant” (young person working for the state in lieu of military service). In Bali, I took my first hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Obviously, at the time, I had no idea that psilocybins were used
by the Toltec cultures and the Mazatec cultures of Mexico, and
also in therapy sessions, in order to communicate with the spiritual world. I also had no idea that Borneo and other Indonesian
islands had developed a great shamanic culture in which the
world of spirits is extremely present.
46
47
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
FROM THE SHADOWS TO THE LIGHT
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Body is a Temple . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
Dreams and the Sweat Lodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
A Revelation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
A New Chapter in My Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
A New Encounter with Guillermo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Presentation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
My Childhood Dream . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
The Andes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Meeting Dave: Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
The Red Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153
Katmandu: The Eyes of the Sâdhu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Vision Quest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
Indonesia: First Experiments
with Hallucinogenic Mushrooms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Sun Dance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
Paris. The Army and Dope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Second Trip to Indonesia: Lake Toba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Back in Paris:
The Contrast Between Two Societies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
My Name and Adoption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
Full Circle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
Aho!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
Departure for Brazil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Brazil: Trancoso and Caraiva. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Salvador da Bahia, Capoeira, Dona Lurdes,
and the Candomblé Religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Return to Paris.
Father’s Death. Hooked on Heroin.
First Sweat lodge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Colombia, Divorce, and Cocaine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Departure: Discovery of Ayahuasca. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Discovering Chacra. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
48
49