In preparation for my experience with Ayahuasca, I had to follow a strict diet for ten days.
Before engaging with Ayahuasca, I needed to refrain from salt, sugar, fat, caffeine, and alcohol…pretty hard for any westerner.
Having experienced ayahuasca before, I was already well aware that it pays to take it seriously.
I had seen others had not heeded the traditional guidelines of this plant, with traumatic results.
As you may know, the mainstream media has given psychoactive plants a bad rap, tarnishing their names with fearful stories.
Ayahuasca: the ‘vine of the soul’
There is a lot of hype around alternative media as there is scaremongering about ayahuasca.
No doubt the mainstream have designed specific narrative to scare the general public away from this particular plant.
If that wasn’t enough, it isn’t hard to find stories about challenging psychological experiences under the influence of ayahuasca. What may not be immediately obvious to an inexperienced reader is that all of those psychological challenges are down to resistance, and resistance is the result of ego domination.
Enter that persistent and tricky little ‘friend’ the ego
The ego is without a doubt our biggest trickster.
It is a phenomenon that is all-encompassing, so much so that humans often identify with it fully, obey it without analysis and are completely unaware of its unhealthy hold over us.
A lot of the behavior displayed by those that are ‘unconscious’ is driven by egotistical impulses.
Sure, the rational mind serves a purpose and we need it in order to carry out the multitude of practical tasks in our everyday lives, so we should not demonize it.
Likewise, it is a mistake to think that it can be eradicated.
Anyone who thinks they have destroyed their ego is being fooled by it.
The problem is not that we have one, but that many people are so accustomed to relying on the intellect for almost everything that they have become disconnected. Is it any wonder that relationships are increasingly challenging?
It goes without saying that the ego is petrified of ayahuasca.
It fears both the unknown and loss of control, but ayahuasca requires that we relinquish control; doing so is the only way to objectify the ego and see its workings in action.
The plant allows you to step back from it and see the constant taunts, reminders, narcissistic notions and fixations with the past or future.
It makes it undeniably clear that we are holding ourselves back from being in the places we want filtering
Filtering out the negative and gives you a choice: do you want to be ruled by your ego, fears, and trivial concerns, or do you want to be brutally honest with yourself?
If you have the guts – and serious guts it takes – to choose the latter, the rewards are huge.
The voice of ayahuasca is unmistakable and the wisdom imparted profound, it’s like 10 years of meditation in one go.
The key is in letting go
As if that weren’t enough, ayahuasca requires that you not only purge psychologically (crying, laughing, shouting, sighing, even raging) but physically too.
This part puts people off: vomiting and diarrhea don’t occur for everyone but they are certainly a possibility.
Yawning, fidgeting, and twitching are also common ways to purge negative energy.
Purges don’t usually last all night, but they often coincide with heavy resistance on the part of the imbiber.
When ayahuasca knows she has your trust, you will rise up from the depths and literally see the light.
The amazing visual experience is also something almost impossible describe in terms of our usual perception.
With plant medicines, the proof is in the pudding; no amount of reading about it will prepare you for an experience that can only ever be unique. All I can say is, it’s worth it.
My most recent ayahuasca experience was at times borderline overwhelming and physically and psychologically challenging.
I was in awe of how much my rational mind had me in its grip.
Funny how the ego itself can try to convince you that it doesn’t have such a hold over you anymore.
It’s like a cosmic joke.
My experience invoked a very positive mindset, one of true acceptance; not just of circumstances but of other people and most importantly, of my full self.
The overall theme had been learning to relax and not obsess over details through fear of an imperfect experience.
Not all plant medicines are the same
The ayahuasca seemed to have prepared me well for a huachuma ceremony the following weekend, although in hindsight I would say that huachuma may be an even better preparation for ayahuasca, due to its more gentle approach and the way it encourages.
The South American cactus otherwise known as San Pedro and containing mescaline seemed to have a different effect on some of the group.
Both plants cultivate a sense of universal connectedness, but they do it in different ways; ayahuasca encourages introversion whereas huachuma seems to more frequently encourage real-time connection with others.
As this medicine took hold, objects around me developed an unusual level of luminosity.
After I imbibed second-time things started to intensify.
We sat in a circle and the shaman began drumming and chanting. I found myself wanting to giggle at it and felt like a naughty child not taking things seriously.
I realized that it was the medicine taking effect, I found myself giggling at things repeatedly.
The shaman passed me his drum, so I started playing. Soon it seemed that I wasn’t moving my hands but the drumming kept happening anyway.
Others picked up instruments and we developed a rhythm that went on for a long time.
We seemed to be in a trance. I started singing, just making things up.
I remember thinking that I didn’t seem to have as much control over my voice, it seemed like someone elses.
Intelligent plants can speak to the DNA
The visual experience had started and everything I looked at seemed to be alive.
The detail I could see in everyday items was astounding. I remember looking at a towel in the bathroom and seeing every minuscule variation of color in the fibers.
It was like I was able to view anything as if I were looking through a magnifying glass.
When I eventually went back downstairs everything in the lounge seemed to have a silken quality.
Everything in the room shone with an effervescence impossible to perceive through the normal filters.
Patterns danced and moved constantly, and all colors had intensified with a range of hues.
Every item had an iridescence and a depth of detail that was captivating.
It was like living in a hologram.
“The medicine energized my entire being as if my DNA had come alive, so to speak.”
Everything seemed to be lighter and anything white gleamed like a mirror.
Upstairs, others were having a more introverted experience akin to that which ayahuasca often facilitates, but I couldn’t sit still. I was dancing and laughing.
I couldn’t stop moving for hours and every song complemented the experience perfectly.
While I danced, I found myself looking at my own arms moving.
They seemed to be doing it of their own volition and seemed very long and thin; the skin seemed to be flawless, like a newborn baby’s.
Surprisingly enough, it’s all quite simple
I suddenly realized that the medicine highlighted the perfection in everything. Even the simple fruits we ate tasted unbelievable.
I had a profound sense of appreciation for everything and everyone; a deep sense of love for the people in my life, and for myself.
The medicine made it very easy to clearly see peoples’ positive traits.
This is because there is no place for ego in a plant medicine experience. Ayahuasca requires that you face the ego and deal with its authoritative nonsense.
Huachuma it seems that ego just slips out the back door with its tail between its legs.
The Huachuca infused my entire being with love and appreciation so that I could see my own potential”
On the contrary; it just removes the layers of illusion, the false conceptions of the ego and unnecessary fears.
The whole experience lasted around sixteen hours for me, although I had no concept of time.
We had started at midday and the visuals didn’t calm down until around 4 am.
I will paraphrase what microbiologist and anthropologist Jeremy Narby states in his groundbreaking book ‘The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge’: such synthetic drugs are pseudo-psychedelics.
There is no guiding intelligence behind them so the experience stems from your own mind. Yet there truly is intelligence in nature and perhaps it can only be fully understood after a person has consumed a psychoactive plant medicine.
The difference is that you do not ‘lose your mind’ with these substances.
If anything, you gain a clarity you couldn’t have previously dreamed of.
Nevertheless, humans continue to ignore tuition of the most powerful and knowledgeable source available.