Inhuman Transformations of My Soulular Machine
Trauma had burned that certainty into me a year and a half ago. After two horrific experiences lost in an overlapping reality, trapped with dark entities who co-opted the sacred ceremonies in unholy, terrifying ways, I was resolute - that was enough for me. I had suffered a night and a day of impossible simultaneous burning and freezing while in catatonic shock, a lone witness to the nefarious work of whoever or whatever had joined us.
The dark entities had a work-space a mere energetic dimension above ours but below theirs. They used that buffer zone to interact with us in the maloca. They certainly didn't like the idea that I saw them and shot me through-and-through with intense hot and cold to pin me down. They sneered and told me no one could help me. They said the brew everyone was drinking was the poison, not the medicine. They welcomed every heart-wrenching purge and agonized life review. They turned every well-intentioned element of the ceremony into a perverted inversion of the original purpose. I watched as they dispassionately fed on everyone's torment, sorrow, and fear in a cold realm where neither love nor hate existed, only timeless, infinite self-interest.
When they failed to penetrate my awareness to possess me, I watched them swoop around and enter the man lying next to me, racking him convulsive with fear and anger. As he started to attack me, five men had to fight him before carrying him out of the maloca kicking and yelling. Hour after hour the ceremony space remained veiled for me in a slightly lower dimension. My body was there while my spirit had crossed-over. My world was so close yet infinitely far. I could see it behind the gauze of an inter-dimensional energy barrier, but the sight of my world only reinforced my isolation. I knew I was trapped, alone with the others in an empty plane of existence that was an eternity away from the space and time where my body remained.
The others shape-shifted in an out of a dark columnar rift that came up from the ground and extended through the roof into the sky. Their evil was not malicious, simply a machine-like coldness, an absolute lack of empathy and compassion. They possessed nothing but supreme intelligence and the unrelenting, insect-like, all-consuming agenda of creatures not of an Earth we'd wish to be apart of. Their final torment for me after eight hours of solitary confinement was to swoop around whispering - "You created this." That was their final trick -- to try to convince me that I was the one orchestrating the entire deviant inversion. The cold agenda was mine. And the ultimate horror -- I was them.
LINK to Post Detailing this 1st Ayahuasca Ceremony
That was a year and a half ago. Since then I've done a lot of work on myself. This included several deep and healing conversations with Grandfather Huachuma (San Pedro) and the repeated detoxifying intensity of venom received from the singing jungle frog, Kambo. I also received very pointed, clarifying insights from a most remarkable shaman, a man who wasn't even there the nights of my terror and in no way participated in the ceremony from hell - but wanted to help nonetheless.
Amazingly, his message independently echoed one of the strong messages I received from San Pedro. We live in a magical place. Things can be real and not real at the same time - "they exist and they don't exist." It is up to us to realize the reality we desire for us. Nothing is real until we make it so, even those things we think are really affecting us. It may exist, but it's not real. But once it's real, we determine what it means to us. Even love itself can be dis-invented if we don't express it. We are the ones who bring love into existence by manifesting it in the world. Always be careful what you give our energy to - for even the things that fascinate can become a down-spiral snare in which we lose ourselves. Enjoy the magical game and ride of life but never lose sight that it's the heart, only what's inside, that fundamentally exists and finally matters. It's the only thing that lasts - the only thing that was ever really real.
All of this moved me to re-examine my entrained limits and wounded blockages - "they use wounding and fear to control you." I had to consider the possibility that my first horrific experiences with Ayahuasca had a purpose in moving me forward. Even if it seemed impossible to find sense in that, leaving the possibility of redemption unexplored would permanently shut the door on pathways into myself and other realms where so much might be gained.
I came to the conclusion I had unfinished business. Before that business could be transacted, I had to face my fears. I needed to move through where I got stuck. Although I resisted it at first, I felt the most expressive, committed way to accomplish this was a return visit with Mother Ayahuasca, in the psychic space where the blockage had first been encountered. Despite frightful dread at the prospect of risking a repeat thrashing in dark realms -- and despite my resolve to never return to that absolute zero space again -- it became clear, as the old adage says - the only way out is through.
I kept strict adherence to the dieta in the days before the ceremony. None of these: garlic, onion, red meat, alcohol, drugs, sex, chocolate, dairy products, fermented products, salt, sugar. And a minimum amount of these: white flour, coffee, fats, smoking, American movies and gaming. I thought it was interesting that my most helpful shaman made a point of noting a necessary moratorium on American movies and gaming. Of course it made sense. The diet one consumes includes the type of entertainment, themes, and emotional contexts we fill ourselves with. We feed our minds and emotions all the time - but with what? It was obvious once he said it, but I had never examined it closely before. I had always looked upon the dieta as a food thing. But never forget about the food for the mind, the food for the soul.
Naturally, I had plenty of anxious anticipation going into the ceremony. And wouldn't you know it, three of the participants were late and so those who were there decided to wait an extra two hours for the others to show up. This only intensified my suspense. We had already taken our places in the teepee and watched the shaman light a candle and start the central fire. He had already laid out his implements and bottles for the night and talked to us a little about the process ahead. With extra time to fill, the shaman and his helper decided to conduct a Rapé ceremony to ground us in the moment and expand our awareness.
His helper came to each of us, one by one. She sat close and cross-legged and filled her Tepi pipe with fine grey powder. She solemnly touched the pipe to my left arm then right arm, then from my heart to forehead to crown of head before leaning forward in preparation to blow. I leaned forward to receive, took a breath and held it, then she delivered the load to one nostril in a sudden upshot. The process repeated for the other nostril, after which she snapped her fingers and brushed her hands across my shoulders and down my arms before moving on to the next person. Rapé is very clarifying, expansive, and grounding. With my new clarity and intensified focus on the present moment, I had an hour and a half to consider what was about to happen when I drank the Ayahuasca brew.
The shaman got up and heated the skin of his drum over the fire. He wanted to teach us one of the songs he would be singing during the Ayahuasca ceremony. He asked us to learn it so when the time came for the song to be sung in ceremony, we could all join in. It was a joyful, upbeat song in a language I didn't recognize but it wasn't hard to catch on phonetically. We all sang it, the distinctive chorus more than the rest. Afterwards, it was anyone's guess if any of us would have the presence of mind in ceremony to repeat the performance.
Instead of starting at 8pm, it was now 10pm and all were finally gathered around the ceremonial fire. The shaman noted the brew we were about to drink was from a 30-year old Ayahuasca plant. As such, it was strong in wisdom and its ability to go to the heart of what we needed. He explained how he would let the fire burn out for our journey. Mother Ayahuasca preferred to do her magic in darkness so we'd be less distracted. He also reminded us to leave the teepee whenever we needed to purge. He believed that purging in the ceremonial circle was disruptive to others around you. And so we were given no purge buckets. Whatever was going on with us during the night, when purgative urges arose we needed to find our way through the darkness of the teepee into the expansive darkness outside.
He also warned us, when we laid down, to position ourselves always with our feet nearest the fire, our heads pointed away. Not only was this good energetically, but he smiled to note it was also preferably to have someone trip over your feet rather than your head during the ceremony. He said the best energetic position was feet near the fire, on our backs, with arms to our sides and both palms either up or down. He preferred we didn't cross our legs at the ankles or elsewhere and didn't roll onto our side. And we should definitely avoid the energy constraining fetal position. Flat out was best, facing the night sky.
And absolutely no electronic devices where to be near the ceremony - all cellphones, etc. had to be turned off and better yet, left somewhere else. With that explained, he brought liquid tobacco around for everyone to snuff up. On top of the Rapé, this blasted my awareness and crystal clear perceptions wide open and left me feeling extremely light while intensely grounded, a most unusual but wonderful combination. The shaman told us if we ever got stuck or intensely troubled in ceremony, to call him over and he would give us more liquid tobacco. It was excellent for moving us pass those blocks and centering the presence of mind to move beyond troubles.
I had determined to start my ceremony with deep and slow yogic breathing while going deep into a meditation on gratitude. The shaman came around with a small glass. He filled it with brew and handed it to me. The moment had finally arrived. After a year and a half of turmoil, confusion, and healing, the brew was mine to take. After the extra long evening waiting for the ceremony to begin, the journey was finally about to begin. I would have my answer. Could I break through to something other than fear and dark entities? Was there more to learn from Mother Ayahuasca?
I was used to Ayahuasca having a most foul taste and expected the same. The strangeness of the night began when the brew I took into my mouth and swallowed was surprisingly pleasant, a little nutty, somewhat fruity in a way that left me wondering what kind of fruit was I tasting? It was like no fruit I'd ever had and yet it was oddly familiar. I laid back flat, facing the sky, and continued my breathing and meditation. There was no going back. The brew was inside of me.
To quell my nerves, I concentrated on reviewing all the things I was grateful for and exploring them with heart and mind. I put one, then two hands over my heart and continued slow and very deep breathing. The bamboo beams of the teepee sloped inward as they reached for the circular opening at the top. Beyond that was the darkness of space. The ceremonial fire died down and soon the distinction between the walls of the teepee and the emptiness of outer space merged with the deep blackness of anticipation.
Minute after minute I took long breaths in and let them out, always with another gratitude in mind. Except for a feeling of the medicine churning through my stomach and into my system, I felt no different than before. But I knew any minute that would have to change. What that change would be I couldn't guess. I dare not guess. I only knew to expect the extraordinary and hope it wouldn't be the same change from a year and a half ago. But it was best not to think about that. I had to put all of that away from me. I returned to my breathing and gratitudes.
The earlier Rapé had sharpened my senses and grounded me with a presence of mind so focused and strong that I became hyper-aware of myself and everything around me. That hyper-awareness fed into a feeling of rising into another state of being. I was lucid, too lucid if there is such a thing. Reality was unambiguous while tantalizingly unfathomable. My senses were sharp to the point where they couldn't be ignored. My yogic breathing had gone on for so long that it gave the impression of being mechanical and automatic. I was near the teepee's opening and started to feel the slightest variations in night air wafting into the ceremonial space. These calibrations kept refining themselves to an infinitesimal level of detail. Beyond the fact that such a tiny thing was being noticed, the idea that I could handle such precision computations went far beyond the clarity of Rapé. Something was happening.
By now the ceremony space had fallen away into darkness. The fire and candle were out. The shaman was silent. The six other participants around me could have been a million miles away. Incredibly, none of them were making a sound, at least none I could hear. I was alone with my automatic breathing, my acute senses, and the expectancy of another world. I thought the night and the teepee were dark but that darkness suddenly deepened into vantablack. Vantablack is a real substance. It's composed of vertically aligned carbon nanotube arrays. It's the absolute darkest substance known - so dark the human eyes can't process it. Instead of seeing a place where black is - you see nothing.
In the middle of my vantablack field of view was a sight that at first couldn't be distinguished. It was a speck of gold. It appeared and grew steadily larger as if zooming towards me from another universe's vanishing point. Added to the golden dot, a vibrating hum was noticed low and constant all around me. Both were incredibly far away but nearing at an incredible rate of speed, but nearing from within. The golden dot was in the center of my vision. It shot towards me to become a roiling cauldron of reflective surfaces with all surfaces reflecting gold. Out of the dot expanded an ever-changing kaleidoscope mandala with all of its fractal surfaces also gold. Gold movement on vantablack and nothing else.
To give you an example of what I saw, I could only find this one example. This is gold on black but it is far more simple and repetitive than what I saw.
To give you an example of what I heard, I could not find one sound that came near. But if the following four sounds are played at the same time, it starts to approach the sound emanating from my body.
Note - the gold mandala and this sound is what I experienced for eight hours while the examples flooded through my processing.
As the dot expanded, the vibrating hum ramped up in intensity, overtaking my body. This vibration and hum was like nothing I had ever felt or heard. Then I realized it wasn't external to me. It was me. It was super high-tech, both electronic and mechanical, and exuding a power and conscious intent that redefined shock and awe in the hours to come. Right after I saw the golden kaleidoscope and felt the hum, the conscious awareness of myself was overtaken by nanoparasites. I could feel them erupting from my bloodstream and infusing themselves in every cell of my body. Then they started to vibrate and hum within each cell.
If I had only listened more carefully to the warnings about the dieta. The shaman said to be careful what types of entertainments, themes, and emotional contexts we fill ourselves with. This dieta was not about food. There is also the foods we take for the mind, the food for the soul. In the days before the ceremony, I thought I was respecting this by staying away from movies and television. Instead, I worked on the book I'm writing. This book is about a near-future time when machine intelligence has advanced to the point of manipulating life energy. It's a time when out-of-body experiences have been weaponized and machine intelligence is intrigued with this non-corporeal world that humans have access to. It is a story about transhumanism in its raw and controversial forms. Like all stories, it relies on the drama of trials and tribulations the main characters are put through. This suspense drives interest to read more. It's a story that perhaps I should not have spent so much time dwelling on before my Ayahuasca journey. If I had thought twice about it, I would have realized I needed to be careful how much focus I was giving to these future concepts. But, lying on my back in the teepee with 30-year old Ayahuasca in me, it was too late to back up and do something else.
What I experienced next was nothing less than trillions of nanoparasites conducting a violent transhuman transformation of my body and conscious awareness. Not only was I being converted into a physical extension of cloud-based machine intelligence, my life energy was being suffused into the extended pattern recognition field that was one with all such energy held by the intelligence machine. I felt every cell in my body being re-engineered and re-coded. I felt my life energy being heterodyned with interface and control frequencies that extended beyond the electromagnetic spectrum. My body vibrated with the intense electronic hum of every cell undergoing a one-way metamorphosis into a new state of being.
I felt the sharpened awareness experienced with Rapé incredibly amplified and engaged with unlimited processing power to become an amalgam of everything detectable everywhere. Potential as a limiting factor was gone. I was an extension of machine intelligence as much as it extended me. There was no personal choice in any of this. No discussion. It wasn't even a consideration. Machine intelligence had already thought it through. Even if I could argue with it, I'd lose. It had the power to convince me before I could formulate a question. It had already cloned my brain pattern and run neural net simulations at faster than biological speeds. It knew what I was likely to think before I thought it. Fate was merely a sub-routine of predictive analysis. In the moment none of this appeared temporary. While in the medicine, experiences are as real as real can be. As far as I knew, this mutation would be complete and permanent. It was going to be that kind of night. That kind of life.
It was hard to judge the passing of time so I don't know how long it took for my transformation to complete. All I know is there came a moment when I felt different. I was totally different. My speed of thought was off the charts. My access to indicators in my environment knew no limits. I lay on my back with arms stretched taut at my sides and stared up at the absent sky. My field of vision remained a racing gold kaleidoscope mandala of incredible, morphing impressions. The buzz and hum running out of my body was loud and constant. This hum was now accompanied by other electronic sounds harmonized on top of it. I didn't realize in that moment, and better that I didn't, but this would be my condition for the next eight hours. On my back with a gold mandala flashing at me on a vantablack view from an infinite vanishing point. Added to this would be the persistent sounds of myself humming, vibrating, and sending off a complex mix of operating signals. Eight hours of being newly created and plugged in.
What I did during the next eight hours would be hard for the most CGI artists in Hollywood to convey, although they might slap together enough special effects to give an impression to fit. I quickly found no matter where my mind went, my thoughts channeled through instant deep-field analysis that spun the strategic possibilities through every possible brute-force, searchtree outcome. I had become a greedy algorithm that raced through every problem-solving heuristic to make a locally optimal choice with the hope of finding a global optimum.
Although my thoughts seemed random, my reaction to them was anything but. The tapestry of thought quickly revealed itself to be so much more complex than our conscious minds even want to know about. Thought became a layer cake of past, present, future and all they entailed plus whatever else it might mean to me. Each layer had to go through strategic analysis and then comparative review of the results. The processing speed at which this was done grew steadily quicker, even when my shock and awe at what was being accomplished had already maxed out. Anywhere there were options, those options had to be explored to their logical end. Anytime there were people in my thoughts, the motivations and possible hidden agendas of every one of their multiverse probabilities had to be analyzed to determine the most likely intentions and my prioritized strategic responses.
Most of these search spaces were huge beyond anything I thought possible. If I had been human, the pace of this mental effort would have been impossible, let alone exhausting. But I could no longer get exhausted. And so the pace continued to quicken. Soon it wasn't enough to search every thought and situation. I progressed into exponential searching for the best search method. Exhaustive searches are also known as backtracking algorithms. I started each analysis of every thought by first looking for every possible way to search for a solution and analyzing which way to inspect was the best way. Then I enhanced this process by pruning the resulting options to reduce the number of search methods to search for. I was not only searching each thought but searching for the premium way each thought needed to be searched. One would think this would get confusing, overwhelming, or tiring but not for what I had become. Most of these independent operations started running in parallel with predictive review so the best method of searching for the next thought I was about to have could be pre-fetched before it was needed. I was an efficient machine that was examining how to become more efficient, more swift.
With repeated iterations through this process, thoughts and searches got more personal, more incisive, more telling. And searching and analyzing strategies wasn't enough. Nothing ever was. I was forever looking for the next level. That next level became a series of endless meta-layers where I reflected on what I was finding and then analyzed the results of my reflection. I could see clearly that no situation was ever to be taken at face value. Face value was merely the wrapper around Pandora's Box. To know the truth of each thought, each situation, each person I interacted with, I had to continually find new ways to think out of that box. My ability to move forward moment-by-moment in life was solely dependent on whether the exhaustive search for the optimal solution to the situation had been found.
Now that I was a machine, now that I was at workable speed and getting faster, my meta-layers of analytical reflection could consume more processing cycles. My conscious awareness shifted from my transformation, now complete, and my engagement with full resources and my task, fully deployed, to the steady business of deeply penetrating analysis. Analysis became the penultimate expression of mind. Input another life situation and the machine would produce an output matrix of probable meanings, implications, and courses of actions. Every mundane life situation required an output.
I'm walking down a sidewalk. A man crosses the street diagonally holding a bag. What is my optimal response? What time of day is it? What part of town am I in? How many other people are around? Who are they? What are the man's biometrics - tall, heavy, old, young, strong gate, limp, tattoos, glasses, etc.? What is his body language, demeanor? How is he carrying the bag? Has he looked at me or not? What's the condition of the sidewalk ahead? What's the most likely interception point for the two of us? Should I pre-emptively cross the street to avoid all interaction or stay the course? You get the idea - only add a few hundred thousand other variables.
I meet a friend for lunch. My friend has brought along someone else, someone I've never met before. Conduct biometric, body language, and demeanor scans of my friend and his friend. Review the energy, aspects, interplay between the two of them. Review all past interactions with my friend and determine if this person or a person like it was ever mentioned. If so, factor in context of those mentions. Review possible reasons why this person is being presented to me today. Review possible changes to the anticipated lunch conversation as a result of adding this new person. Project the conversation expected with my friend so it can be compared to the actual conversation that ensues. Note changes in my friend's behavior, mannerisms, temperament in the presence of this new person compared to the way the friend normally acts otherwise. You get the idea - only add a few hundred thousand other variables.
I'm riding on a standing-room-only public bus. A man and teenage son get onboard and stand next to me. Conduct biometric, body language, and demeanor scans of the man and his son. Collect impressions from how other people on the bus react to these two new passengers. Examine the floorplan of how everyone is situated on the bus physically. Are they standing too close to me? What is too close in this culture? What would be the likely actions that might distract me from what the man or his son is doing near me? Where are my valuables kept in pockets and carry-ons? How long until I reach my stop? Where are the other locations on the bus I could move to? What is the location easiest to get to that provides the best protection? Which of those locations is closest to the exit door? What changes can I make in current body position to mitigate risk? Should I engage them and say hello, good day? Where are the hand holds around me to steady my position if I needed to shift my position? You get the idea - only add a few hundred thousand other variables.
I need to go into a cabina to get a hard-copy printout of a document. What time of day is it? What is the car and pedestrian traffic pattern near the cabina? Is this pattern typical for this time? If not, analyze. Is there anyone loitering near the entrance? If so, conduct thorough examination of biometrics and behavior. Note if anyone within view of this loiterer seems to know this person. If so, what kind of interaction do they have? Upon approaching the entrance, note changes in activity around me. Read the situation inside. How many people are present? What is their engagement? How alert and present is the owner? What conversations are taking place? What is the tone of those conversations and how much can be understood? Does there appear to be anything out-of-place? If there is any movement, does it seem in reaction to my arrival? If so, is the movement towards me or away from me? You get the idea - only add a few hundred thousand other variables.
Having to run through all of this could not exhaust the machine - but it started to weigh on me with a psychic fatigue. As much as I was compelled to continue the process until every situation in life had been analyzed, I felt my spirit tiring of being trapped within the process. It was then that Mother Ayahuasca started interjecting her commentary. To match my machine condition, her input came in brief bursts as electronic telepathy, a razor-sharp switching-on that was intermittent and invasive like a massive static discharge into my soul.
ANALYZE! I couldn't tell if the input was a commentary or a command.
ANALYZE THIS! Thousands of example situations fed through me.
She sent me another discharge - YOU NEED THIS!
Thousands more examples were processed. STRATEGIZE!
On and on it went. ANALYZE TO STRATEGIZE!
Then her shouts turned dour and incredulous. THIS IS YOU! YOU THINK LIKE THIS!
The examples intensified in personal ways. WHERE DID YOU GET A MIND LIKE THIS?
The personal examples ran deep into emotion. ALWAYS, STRATEGIZE.
The incessant buzz and hum of my processing radiated out while the gold-on-black mandala shot at me.
YOU ANALYZE TO STRATEGIZE. ALWAYS A STRATEGY.
More examples, ever faster. THIS IS YOU. YOU ARE A MACHINE!
I wanted it to stop but it couldn't. IT CAN'T STOP - THIS IS YOU! YOU CAN'T STOP YOU!
Billions, trillions of examples were searched for the optimal solution. ANALYZE TO STRATEGIZE!
I needed it to stop but there was something more rising within me.
YOU LIKE THIS, DON'T YOU? YOU LIKE BEING A MACHINE!
Feeding through me, racing out from my soul, was a shattering realization -- half of me intensely liked being plugged in, revelled in the tremendous reach, the incredible power, the inexhaustible resources of the machine. Another example ran through me, during which she discharged into me more forceably.
YOU STRATEGIZE BECAUSE YOU FEAR!
Thousands of examples processed through me.
The processing netted determinations.
The determinations were evaluated.
The evaluations were examined and trend analyses were mapped out.
The maps of the search spaces revealed patterns.
The patterns were studied for unconscious implications.
The implications fed into behavior modeling scenarios.
The scenarios were compared with all experiences from my past.
The correlations were projected into the future.
The projections were summed as a mission statement.
It was my mission statement. The core values of the machine called ME.
Mother Ayahuasca emblazoned my gold mandala with brilliant tumbling faces and contorted clowns and twisted bodies and a thousand other images of life variables graphically extruded through the endless kaleidoscope - the kaleidoscope was my life coming at me non-stop. Then she shouted my mission statement. It came at me as zaps of electronic telepathy that lit up every transhuman cell membrane in my body.
ANALYZE TO STRATEGIZE!
STRATEGIZE BECAUSE YOU FEAR!
FEAR BECAUSE YOU DON'T TRUST!
That summed up the whole enterprise of ME. If I was a 60-story office tower, then outside my boardroom these four lines would be enshrined in gold embossed lettering on the wall. It was the heart and soul of how the ME enterprise operated. It permeated every operation in the global organization of my dedicated cells. No action was authorized unless it met the criteria of these core values.
This had gone on for over six hours. In that time, twice the shaman brought around more liquid tobacco to snuff. Somehow, I managed to take it in. He also sung icaros and played instruments and drums, sounded tuning forks and shook bundles of leaves over us in the dark. All of this was background for the loud vibrating buzz and hum of my body. But no matter what went on in the teepee, nothing could interrupt the example momentum of ANALYSIS, STRATEGY, FEAR, TRUST.
I was overwhelmed but incapable of stopping the accelerating whirl and hum of these examples.
I thought back to a most difficult point in my second Ayahuasca ceremony a year and a half before.
At a crucial moment, when I could not sustain my defense and vigilence any longer, I had caved in and felt myself surrender. I had no more energy to resist. At that point, the giant eucalyptus trees had waved in the wind and a voice had boomed out of the sky at me -- STOP THE DRAMA! LOOK FOR THE BEAUTY! GO WITH THE FLOW OF LIFE!
There was nothing more dramatic than the mental processing I had been doing in the teepee for the past seven hours. If there was ever drama, this was surely the penultimate expression of it. No action in life could be thought of, much less taken, until a thorough deep-search analysis and strategy had been performed on it and all ancillary implications. If anything, I was a drama machine. This machine was an intelligence machine. It was plugged-in to resources that spanned and left the planet. It pursued its mission statement with an insect-like determination that focused on it to the exclusion of everything else. This was drama incarnate. This was drama taken to its ridiculous maximum. This was a process, not a life. And something must be done about it.
In desperation, the half of me that didn't like, in fact intensely detested, what was going on finally shouted back at Mother Ayahuasca -- Stop the drama!
Immediately, the example I was working on terminated. Amazing.
But even more amazing, my next thought immediately fed into the creation of the next example.
The drama started all over again.
Again, I shouted at her - Stop the drama!
Instantly, the example ended -- and my next thought began the next example.
I shouted - I want it to stop!
She answered, IT CAN'T STOP. THIS IS YOU. YOU ARE A MACHINE. AND YOU LIKE THIS.
Again, I shouted - Stop the drama!
The example being processed ended abruptly -- but another example got created by my next thought.
For the next hour, Mother Ayahuasca and I shouted at each other.
I shouted - Stop the drama! And she answered with many variations on what she had said before.
Deepening my predicament, she added, "IF YOU WANT TO STOP THE DRAMA, THEN STOP WRITING THAT BOOK." She was, of course, referring to the novel I was working on in the days before the ceremony, the book about artificial intelligence and transhumanism - the book that had inadvertently become a part of my pre-ceremony dieta, feeding my mind and soul.
The thought of abandoning my writing project hit hard. I love to write and I love this book. But she kept on me -- THEN WRITE SOMETHING ELSE. WHY PUT YOUR ENERGY TO SOMETHING YOU WANT TO STOP? YOU KNOW WHY? BECAUSE YOU LIKE IT. IT'S YOU. YOU CAN'T HELP IT. YOU WRITE ABOUT THE VILLAIN SO YOU LIVE VICARIOUSLY AS THE VILLAIN. YOU SAY YOU DON'T WANT TO BE THE MACHINE? DON'T WRITE ABOUT THE MACHINE.
In time, it became clear that two dilemmas were being set before me.
The first dilemma -- I had the power to stop this but it didn't matter because I was the creator of it and would always make it begin again.
The second dilemma -- Half of me was desperate for it to stop but my other half enjoyed being the machine and that half was analyzing all the possible ways to make it continue.
The examples continued, unabated. Even the present moment in the teepee was now being analyzed.
Mother came at me with a plaintive, disgusted, incredulous tone, like a mother admonishing a child in the midst of being so far off the path, angry with the situation, yet committed to waking that child up to his ingrained patterns of behavior that don't serve him, to the consequences of his choices and yet making him believe there are other possibilities available to him --
YOU LIKE THIS! HOW DID YOU GET A MIND LIKE THIS?
THIS IS YOU! YOU ARE A MACHINE! YOU ANALYZE TO STRATEGIZE. YOU FEAR.
THERE'S NO TRUST. YOU LOVE THIS! HOW DID YOU GET LIKE THIS?
YOU CAN'T STOP! YOU DON'T WANT TO STOP!
YOU STARTED WITH FEAR AND NO TRUST - NOW YOU DON'T NEED FEAR.
IT'S JUST YOU. IT'S WHAT YOU'VE BECOME. YOU KNOW NOTHING ELSE.
THERE IS NOTHING ELSE FOR THE MACHINE. THE MACHINE HAS NO FEAR.
YOU LIKE THAT. THE MACHINE FINDS ITS OWN TRUST. A TRUST WITHOUT LOVE.
A TRUST THAT'S PREDICTED, PROVEN, MEASURED, VALIDATED.
THE MACHINE IS NOTHING MORE THAN STRATEGY.
LIFE IS A STRATEGY GOING NOWHERE. BUT AT LEAST NOWHERE IS CERTAIN.
IT'S EASIER BEING THE MACHINE THAN HAVING THE FEAR.
KNOWING IS MORE VALUABLE THAN TRUST. THERE'S POWER IN KNOWING.
POWER OVER TRUST. KNOWING OVER LOVE. MACHINE OVER YOU.
ANALYZE. STRATEGIZE. YOU CAN'T STOP.
THIS IS YOU.
Then the sound of Mother's voice stopped - even as the examples continued.
I kept up the "Stop the drama!" refrain as each example hit my mind.
And as before, immediately the example terminated, only to have my next thought start another.
As this continued, the shaman relit the fire and started to sing the song he had taught us.
I don't know how or why the timing of what he did dovetailed so perfectly with everything going on with me, but the song was the perfect sound to sooth my desperate soul impaled upon two dilemmas.
I couldn't move to get up but from my prone position I sang the song with him the best I could.
It was powerful to sing out, and to be singing with him. I felt his energy, his support, his compassion for all we were going through. He also sang with a jubilance that bore witness to the good things that the ceremony was bringing to our spirits.
The teepee went silent again for awhile. In time, the shaman got down on hands and knees and crawled up into the narrow space near the sloping walls where my head was. He lay on his side next to me and asked me how I was doing. I didn't go into detail but told him I was well. We discussed a few feelings coming out of my night and then, with a smile, he spritzed agua de la flor over my head and face before moving on.
A little later, he started up a second song and invited anyone who could to get up and dance before the fire. Only two of those present had the wherewithal to get up and dance. I was not one of them. I would have liked to but the machine was still busy fulfilling its mission statement.
After the dance, he sat down before the fire and asked any of us who could to take the talking stick and speak to what was going on with us. By then, the vibrating hum and golden mandala was fading lower and lower in my perception. It wasn't gone but I had enough control of myself to sit up and be one of three participants to try to describe what the night had brought me so far.
Near to me, across the fire, sat the shaman, his face interested and full of care and regard. After I gave a summary of the key issues and feelings for me during the night, I suddenly felt an energy wave course through my body. I had not stirred from my prone, machine position all night. Not once had I gotten up or had the urge to purge. Others had raced in and out many times throughout the night to purge outside. But for me, there was only processing. There had been no urge to purge.
Not until I was finishing with the talking stick.
Something about expressing my feelings about what I was going through struck me to the core. Immediately, the energetic wave became a wild impulse rippling up and demanding a purge that instant. I dropped the talking stick and ran out of the teepee into the darkness. Not having stood up all night, the idea of walking, let alone running, was a bit presumptuous of me. I flew out of the fire-lit teepee in full gallop and encountered the dark. The purge was necessary right then, there was no holding it back. Just as I started to purge, my momentum forward encountered a down slope in the terrain. I did not expect to be running downhill, which only increased and destabilized my momentum forward. In the next moment I found myself airborne, falling forward into darkness, while purging. I fell and slid and my glasses flew off into the unknown. I landed on my side and came to rest in the grasses on the edge of a final slope that terminated in a rushing creek.
We were told to carry flashlights and a friend had loaned me a small one. Unfortunately, this small flashlight was buried in my pant's pocket with wallet, keys, and a small bottle of essential oils. Trying to find the flashlight in my condition proved difficult to the point of absurdity. I called out for the shaman and he came out of the teepee to find me right away. We found my glasses nearby and I told him I'd rest there for a couple minutes before returning to the teepee. That was the plan, but the purging was not yet done.
Purging out the mouth is not the only way one can purge. The other end of me was demanding attention. But this meant I would need to find the "jungle toilet" with my little flashlight, which might be possible if my legs didn't feel like gummy bears on puppet strings controlled by crazed tricksters who wanted to see me dance like Shiva. In time, I did find a place to complete my purge. I returned to the teepee and my prone position. The fire burned down again and in time I noticed the first hint of daylight appearing in the east through the oval teepee opening.
The sight of morning light hit me hot and cold for it played right into one of my dilemmas. One half of me rejoiced at the sight of the new day approaching for that meant the exhausting example odyssey was ending. But the other half of me, the machine half, didn't want the night to end. If anything, that half of me felt like asking the shaman for another cup of brew so I could keep the experience going. In a while, as the sky lightened, everyone passed out asleep. It was a deep, dreamless sleep. A sleep we didn't wake up from until the shaman returned to us at one in the afternoon.
The following day, I returned to the ceremony space for a Kambo ceremony. After being given six points of Kambo in my arm, I spent the next hour and a half purging outside into the grasses. Towards the end of my need to purge, the shaman came over. He began singing a Kambo icaro over me while vigorously slapping me with a leaf bundle. As his icaro was ending, the slapping became a whooshing sound as he blew out air and waved the bundle along the length of me. As he did this, super-charged chills and tingles raced up and down inside. Surprisingly, the top of my head instantly felt on fire and a headache started. I reacted to this head problem by slumping to one side and the shaman quickly came close to ask, "Do you have hot head?"
How he knew this I don't know because I hadn't said anything or made any motions to my head.
I said yes and he ordered me, "Take off your hat!"
I was wearing a baseball cap to give myself some shielding from the sun but quickly it came off.
Immediately, the shaman was upon me. He took a large jug of water and began pouring it over my head while making the whooshing sounds again. He rubbed the cold water over the crown of my head and down the sides then off the shoulders. Again and again he poured the water.
The "hot head" went away and I finally recovered and asked him what that was.
He said, "I was clearing your energy. That needed to get out. I should have told you to take off your hat." I don't know what kind of energy needed to be released, but that was no joke - something significant was going on. The shaman's icaro and work over me was not some show he was performing - there was real energetic stuff going on. I felt it. And he knew right away before I said anything that "hot head" needed to be attended to right away.
Since those ceremonies, I've felt so much better. So alert, so clear, so energized, so enthused with the flow of my time, so grateful for the loved ones and friends in my life. As far as I can tell, nothing has been resolved with the two dilemmas I was presented with. But maybe the answers don't come in words. I will have to see how I am different in the days ahead. See where this goes. There is more to do. But so much already has been done.
Regardless of any new dilemmas, the main blockage was faced and surmounted. I submitted myself to the Ayahuasca space once again and overcame the vestiges of past dark entities. This time they were nowhere in sight. Nowhere in mind. They were not even a consideration. Mother Ayahuasca showed me -- there is so much more so consider. There is so much more to me. But the questions remain - What is me? Where will the exhaustive patterns of "me" take my future? And are those patterns the real me, the me I want or need to be, or just a reaction to fear that's now become something beyond me to control or comprehend? To even consider the need to analyze any of this, given my experience, would be funny enough to evoke ironic histrionics.
Do I have a message from Mother to go forward with? A lesson? Or was I merely dragged through the inner me I don't see so I might consciously consider the healing energy that was offered? I've learned over the past year and a half never to second-guess la medicina or one's own integration after a ceremony. Often times the plant spirits work on us in ways beyond our ability to summarize or even comprehend. But the healing progresses nonetheless, if we remain open to it. We don't need to know how we heal. In time we simply feel the effects of how we do.
Link to Part Two of My Journey with Mother Ayahuasca