My last full day in Orlando and I am having a quiet day at the hotel’s outdoor pool as I try to make sense out of my recent transcendent experiences. I know it will take a while but, while things are fresh, I will use the time I have attempting to gain so perspective. Maybe even begin to ‘humpty-dumpty’ myself back together, while basking in the restorative warmth. So much has happened in such a short time that it feels luxurious to have this day to myself before I begin another journey and return to another world order.
Better minds than mine have settled on either a creationist or an evolutionary rationale but, after Ayahuasca, I am inclined towards a cosmic consciousness creating our world
As I lounge high above the din of street noise, I beatdown on takeaways from my time here as the sun beats down on me. I knew that it wouldn’t be easy since Ayahuasca has opened up another dimension, a cosmic dimension, in my life. This has opened up my internal debate around the existence of what many people refer to as God. After experiencing the warmth of a cosmic compassion and love it is difficult, for me, to deny the existence of a higher authority
I think that I am still in shock in some ways. I almost can’t believe that a plant, Mother Ayahuasca, has the power to rip me apart in order for me to see myself more clearly. Is this plant a product of evolution or a higher authority? What is its purpose? What does it say about us when a plant provides something we need or something that is a doorway to something we need?
It probably says that we need nature more than it needs us. That truism doesn’t answer the question of what created our world. As an agnostic, it has been easy to be cynical and dismissive until now. I don’t really know how to explain that a plant has made me question the evolutionary theory as the source of creation. Better minds than mine have settled on either a creationist or an evolutionary rationale but, after Ayahuasca, I am inclined towards a cosmic consciousness creating our world.
My transformative experience with Mother Ayahuasca has shifted my perspective away from external, out-of-my-control matters in my life
The last time I remember feeling such magic-like goodness like I have this week was when I believed in Santa Claus, over six decades ago. Back then, I felt like a part of a loving, supportive world. My parents were my loving guardians. Santa spread his joy around the world every year to good children, like me. Santa was magical. He was loving and generous, although, to be honest, a little judgemental.
Mother Ayahuasca was the same, for me. Now, instead of just being good for Santa I need to stay true to true-self. Now it isn’t Santa or his ‘helpers’ keeping tabs on me as I’m on the honor system. Fortunately I’ve been rewired such that I now know exactly when I am deviating from who I truly am. It means that my childish, creative, and curious self needs more daylight, more sunshine.
Life was simpler as a child. Everything was about exploring and learning. I lived in a kid-friendly neighbourhood in a time when parents didn’t hoover over their children or need to, especially. many non-school day were spend with a neighbourhood gang á la the ‘Little Rascals’ (50’s TV show). I fondly remember firecracker mishaps, discovering girly magazines in the woods and playing stick baseball on a meridian between two busy city streets all day long. Every day was different and no day was boring.
I was jolted out of my childhood when Santa Claus was revealed to be a hoax perpetuated by my loving parents. It was a rude awaking that launched my adolescence and started of a lifetime diet of disillusionments and disappointments. As a child, I always imagined that our humanity and common sense would dictate a just world. Now, however, none of this seems important. My transformative experience with Mother Ayahuasca has shifted my perspective away from external, out-of-my-control matters in my life.
The way we think and act is not a matter of freedom of choice
We are a predictable social species and, therefore, easy to manipulate and mould into unthinking followers that live a life distorted by special interests. This doesn’t just impact and influence crazy wing-nut fanatics, zealots, and extremists. It also controls each and every one of us, whether we are aware of it or not. Why we drink, smoke, ignore climate change or take other unnecessary risks harmful to our ecosystem, our brethren or even ourselves is all a function of social and individual manipulation.
Socialization, propaganda, and indoctrination prepares us for our society and culture and everything that this represents, both good and bad, and is essential for social progress. We have fundamentally different outlooks in life depending on where we were born and the circumstances of our lives. In India, I first judged all locals as miserable and destitute people then discovered most felt sorry for my spiritual poverty and were as happier than I’ve ever known.
In the West, progress is yet another ideal that serves special interests above individual needs. It raises the question what is social progress? Is it the economy? Clean environment? Happiness? Peace? When we have debt and duties, when we fail to think or act beyond the next pay check, we join our brethren on the path paved by deceit and lies: conformity.
But taking the road more travelled didn’t serve the proverbial lemmings that unthinkingly joined a mass movement and committed mass suicide, which, ironically, was fabricated by Disney ‘documentaries’ of the 1950’s and 60’s. The ‘lesson’ was clear, no matter the source for it is clear the way we think and act is not a matter of freedom of choice.
I could see through social manipulation but never fully appreciated that I was also vulnerable
Our socialized selves are easily fashioned into compliant consumers, workers and citizens whose desires, needs and duties allow little or no aspirations beyond survival. Happiness is just one more purchase, promotion or child away from being realized. The goal is to take away our choices and make us predisposed to buy things and ideals. It become a reinforcing cycle, fed by the self-interests of others and nourished by a lack of critical thinking.
As individuals, we think in terms of a narrow perspective of our socialized and monetized lives. We are what we see and do, not what we think. We think that our lives matter or that we are important but we act against our better knowledge to maintain the status quo. The inherit message of having being manipulated by others is that you are enslaved to someone else’s desires and happiness. It is seldom an obvious choice as such manipulation is often involuntary because it is either wrapped in a flag, fear-based, sexually suggestive or projecting a positive self image, like the cancer-free Marlboro Man.
I’ve had several mis-steps in my life. My eventual career took three wrong turns: electronics, acting and psychology and my eventual life partnership took three marriages, five children and a more conscious self to realize. No question I regret the suffering that I’ve caused but I do not regret having my children or making my difficult decisions. I wish that my needs were more apparent to me at the start of a journey.
I choose my life’s path willingly and gladly. Inevitably, I discovered what personal needs were non-negotiable when the fullness of the circumstances were revealed and my flush of enthusiasm had paled. At the root of that discovery was the fact that my choices were often for the wrong reasons, none of which had to do with my needs as an individual. Ironically I always felt that I was aware, that I could see through social manipulation but never fully appreciated that I was also vulnerable.
I was ‘converted’ by a cosmic chiropractor that aligned me to a new reality, one that has made it possible to see and experience another dimension in my everyday reality
None of the life-long societal moulding prepared mefor what I experienced this week. It was beyond the scope of the physical world that I have known. Not just the hallucinations and insights but the feelings of a higher consciousness and overwhelming love and acceptance. It was the ‘magic’ that I once whole-heartedly invested in with the higher powers, my society, parents and Santa, that I knew as a child. But now I no longer was an innocent child. I began the week as a healthy skeptic.
I was someone who struggled to believe in a higher power. I have lost my faith in the Roman Catholic Church because they have lost their way, and, perhaps never even had a way. I sought other religions that seemed either more relevant or more inspirational but nothing has really stuck. Nor have I ever completely believed in an all-powerful, all-loving super-being called God. Perhaps it was just too early for me after my all-powerful, all-loving super-being Santa bubble burst.
Or it could be my education, which featured rote-learning through memorization and didn’t teach critical-thinking until University. At that point science and logic prevailed. Creationists were mocked and evolution embraced. It was absurd for the intelligentsia to even comprehend another version of anything that didn’t exist in the physical world. To do so opened up a can of worms that circled the ephemeral and the essence of spirituality.
I didn’t have expectations so much as fears for my health and well-being this past week. Yet everything that I knew fell apart this past week. I was ‘converted’ by a cosmic chiropractor that aligned me to a new reality, one that has made it possible to see and experience another dimension in my everyday reality.
I truly believed that I have been blessed by some higher authority who was growing weary of my trail of failed marriages and my circuitous struggle for enlightenment
So, with all the forces working to shape each and everyone of us into social compliance how do I, or anyone, transform in to a more fully realized individual? There are a lot of choices but only one prerequisite that I’ve known and that is awareness. It starts with becoming aware of yourself. Your mind, body and heart will lead you into the the right zone if you take the time to reflect on why you feel and act the way that you do?
Self-discovery occurred later in life for me and this is one of the few regrets that I have in my life. I have failed relationships and marriages but, yet, I didn’t see the pattern and when I did glimpse it I still felt in control. I was happy in my life but only because I had leant to live in various compartments. Some compartments were wonderful, most were alright and some were lonely. But like many of my changes in life, once my pain was no longer tolerable than I had already surrendered my control over the situation. I needed to act.
Today I have only one compartment: contentment.It is all I needed until I experienced the Ayahuasca-illuminated path to honor my true self. Since then, I have gained the wholistic perspective that I have always felt that I needed to be have a higher consciousness. Now after nearly twenty years in my ‘last-room’ marriage I truly believed that I have been blessed by some higher authority who was growing weary of my trail of failed marriages and my circuitous struggle for enlightenment.
It is my destiny to be in a constant struggle to reach a higher level of consciousness in order to live more in concert with who I am
Now, of all times during my tumultuous life, to experience a higher version of long-time content self the moment that I have chosen, this time of contentment may appear superfluous. Yet, although I am content, I am also curiousand know that I knew to get out of my head and live in the moment. It is something I know but seldom realize. It is an epic battle for sovereignty fought between my ego and my true-self.
There is no widely accepted path from unawareness to a higher consciousness or enlightenment, especially in Western society. My well-being, your well-being is each of our own individual responsibility. Yet, I seldom acted on that knowledge for most of my life and, probably, still do. I was too busy, too distracted, too ignorant of my own individual needs.
Now, even in my current state of contentment, I know this need is still present. Maybe more than ever for contentment, like apathy, does create a certain lack of inertia, after all. Most of know something about apathy because many of us still expect the government to solve our problems or weekend religions to save our souls.
I’ve learnt that you need to be engaged in your own life. You need to more than a passenger just along for the ride. At nearly 70 I still believe in Santa Clause and that there is an all-powerful, all-loving super-being that looks after us. Now, even as an adult, I believe that much of life is largely unknowable to us. Nonetheless, I am in a constant struggle to reach a higher level of consciousness in order to live more in concert with who I am.