Edited by elfstone, 11 January 2019 - 08:12 PM.
Mazatec Traditional Velada Ceremony
Posted 16 January 2019 - 06:43 PM
I've undertaken two additional veladas since my last post, both via 5g of cubensis, "Golden Teacher" strain. Since I am privileged to live in a part of the world where Psilocybe cyanescens grow in abundance, I have much less experience with cubensis as I do with the woodlovers. The highest dose of cubensis I had consumed prior to these two most recent veladas was 4g, which I found to be extremely unpleasant, and paled in comparison to the power of 2g Ps. cyanescens, my previous highest dose with that species. I was surprised to find that the cubes were very clean and friendly, without any of the unpleasant body aches or feelings of toxicity that I had experienced from them in the past. In fact, I much preferred the 5g cubensis over the 2.25 cyanescens velada I had about a month ago. I may have lucked out with my strain (it is an isolate I've been working on for a couple of years), but in any case it's a treat to have a high-yielding cubensis strain that is, in my opinion, nearly on par qualitatively with the revered Mexican species I've sampled (Ps. mexicana and Ps. semperviva).
The first of these two more recent veladas was remarkable in that I experienced almost no fear or paranoia for the entire duration. Consistent practice seems to help with this. I've become aware of a part of my psyche that expects to experience fear, and in turn manifests it. This time, however, the spirit of the mushroom seemed to endearingly tease me for suspecting that it would hurt me. Instead what I found was the emergence of a very real and visible being which, although strange and somewhat unsettling to look at, presented itself as patient, nurturing and kind, offering self-empowerment and an overwhelmingly powerful maternal love. It seemed that I could, to a certain extent, control this being by tempering my reactions to it. As long as I quelled all fear and kept my emotions at bay, it presented as nonthreatening. At one point, when my emotions were well under control, the being seemed to communicate the following thoughts: "You've been a good boy Don, but you still have some fear, and you tell yourself dumb stories about who you are. I'll take these things away for you now. Also, I think you're ready to take the wheel now. Here, take the keys. Where would you like to go first?" My reply, which seemed to emerge from my own mind, rather than the other autonomous source, was: "I'd like to go somewhere where people can express themselves freely, without fear or shame". The spirit's reply: "That's a cool suggestion Don, I like it. I'd love to show you this place".
At this point, something very peculiar happened. I quite literally felt the presence of two large hands on my body, massaging my neck and my shoulders. All of the tension and anxiety in me was released, and I felt a powerful, loving presence enter into my body. I cried genuine tears of joy for the first time in a very long while, and I felt an incredible release of sequestered emotions. I had the spontaneous urge to spring out of my chair and dance. I had never danced like this before, it felt as if my body had been possessed by a ferocious dragon, and I moved with an uninhibited liquidity in time with beautiful music emanating from my own mind. This lasted for about half an hour, until I became too exhausted to remain standing. I blew out my candles and collapsed on my bed, and with closed eyes I observed a heavenly realm full of magnificent, powerful angelic beings, which were joyfully reciting to each other the most gut-wrenchingly hilarious jokes I've ever heard. As a lay in bed laughing, the feeling of godlike hands massaging and caressing my body resumed. A stream of phrases flowed through my mind, a flow of seemingly incompatible words, though at the time they incited tremendous hilarity. The mushroom definitely has a bizarre sense of humor. One particular piece of "advice" that it gave to me sticks out: "You should consider opening a nail salon that serves complimentary gourmet snow cones." This absurdity continued until weariness took over and I fell into a deep and luxurious slumber.
The next velada, which I undertook two days ago, was of a completely different nature. I went for a brisk 5km run beforehand, which I find to be a good way to release excess energy and tension before settling into the chair. Again I downed 5g cubensis, the same GT strain. Initially I was a little jittery going into the velada, knowing full well how unpredictable the unfolding experience always is, Again, the cubes presented no unpleasant side-effects such as body aches or nausea. I was a little bit more fearful this time, and I had a more difficult time focusing on the candle and quieting my thoughts. As I got deeper and deeper into it, I had to work hard to fight off a lot of my inner demons, which proved to be more than I was able to handle.
By about the 2.5 hour mark, I lost my grip on reality and I descended into a hellish nightmare of paranoia that would last well until the following afternoon. I maintained my gaze on the candle, but all around my periphery an imaginal world opened up into a scene in which I became the focal point of an antagonistic drama involving real people and events in my life. This scene presented itself as a movie superimposed over my altar, and played out exactly as if I was really watching a film on a screen. I felt I had become possessed by the archetype of Christ, and I was being hunted down by armed swat cops who surrounded my home, tipped off by a young fellow I had met with the previous morning, a real person whom I had momentarily suspected to be a narc. This young man (whom I actually quite like, and hope to befriend) became the surrogate Judas for this archetypal betrayal-and-crucifixion drama that I had projected onto the real world. From this perspective, I understood that the realm of the unconscious (which seems actually to be a kind of meta-consciousness) had intentionally catered this dramatic situation, using real figures in my life as unwitting puppets, in order to enact a teaching program designed to free me from my own debilitating narcissism.
It seems to me that the ego is a prison we can not easily free ourselves from. Contrary to popular belief, one high-dose psilocybin session may not be close to enough to separate the identity from the ego, particularly for someone so ego-enslaved as myself. My battle has raged on for years now, and the scariest part is, that I was unaware of just how deeply entrenched in egoic thinking I was. For me, consistent repeated exposure to high-doses has, I believe, finally started to let the light of reality into my life.
While enduring the torture of this paranoid crucifixion narrative, I perceived my past peeling off of my awareness like an insect molting its old exoskeleton. The most terrifying part of this experience was in the reflexive observation of this shroud I left behind me. I could see my old self in the full light of my insanity, greed, insecurity and pride. I felt at the time, that elements of what I perceived could actually be described as pure evil. Despite that I had convinced myself I was a victim perpetually deprived of love, it may very well be more accurate to say that I habitually rejected and erected boundaries between myself and others who continuously offered their unconditional love to me. The narrative that I established for myself as the "family scapegoat" is likely only partially true. While I was indeed the black sheep of my family for a time, the identification with this role denied the reality that others mature and change their behavior. I became comfortable with the role of scapegoat because it served the narcissistic persona I had chosen, the role of victim who is never at fault for anything. This is obviously bullshit and is a symptom of a severely underdeveloped sense of self and personal value.
I recalled numerous occasions when I could not palpably feel or understand the love sincerely offered to me by the sagely beings I've had the privilege to encounter in this life. Because I had no internal vault of love, no consistent wellspring of imagination inside of myself, I was often unable to reciprocate this love, and repeatedly became emotionally bankrupt, distancing myself from those who genuinely cared for me. Instead of behaving based on genuine inspiration, I could only feign affection and appreciation until even that became impossible. Still, I have always been a very gentle person. Aside from a few drunken scraps in my youth, I cannot concede that I have ever been intentionally violent or cruel toward others, but I have certainly unconsciously behaved in ways that I did not realize were hurtful and insensitive, simply because my behavior has historically been chiefly geared toward self-preservation, rather than cooperation. The unconscious search for the soul, the vampiric quest for self-reflection, is a potentially destructive path, one which many will likely never walk to the point of atonement.
So, I peered directly into my black evil core, something which I had never hitherto accomplished with such clarity. It was an extremely unsettling experience, feeling as though everything I had done up until this point was vanity, illusion, a farce. Oh, how I had taken for granted the innumerable gifts that life continues to bestow upon me, how I repeatedly saw Judas in every loving face. I felt sick, diseased, I wanted to vomit. I have devoted the greater portion of my existence to the fine art of destroying beautiful things. I was a thief and an alien, a vulture as ugly and spoiled as the carcasses I fed upon. I thought it likely that I deserved to die, or at very least, that the world would be far better off without me. In every reflective surface I have imagined a hero, a handsome prince charming come to save the day, but this was only a satanic veneer to disguise the evil goblin toad inside of me. At every stage of my life I have been showered with unconditional love, but have been too sick with selfishness to experience its value. All of my problems I continuously deferred to others in a perpetual ironic cycle of blame. I was the God of narcissists, captain of the Ship of Fools. I was the asshole of history... or, so it seemed.
It may be that each life contains, at some variable juncture, a point of no escape, wherein the nucleus of life and death is rent upon a razor's edge, and the true Self is unveiled in its glistening, steaming, vulnerable reality. In order to progress from this tipping point, the redundant shell of the old being must be violently discarded and left to rot, to dissolve back into the muck of forgotten ambiguity. If it is not viciously hated and abandoned, it may reawaken and attempt to negotiate and deliberate, to bargain for an abortion, like the backward glance that killed Eurydice dead for good. No, the Holy Terror must be snatched up like rescinding lightning bolts, bundled up in woolen stormclouds, nourished with moonmilk, worshiped, lullabied and protected at all costs. We must not kill the angel that bursts from the demonic cocoon. There is no sense in dwelling on the past. It is better to simply acknowledge our errors, change our behavior and move on in the light of renewed awareness.
I hold fast to the conviction that this consistent work has been immensely rewarding. It must be said that it has also been overwhelmingly frightening, at times even to the point of regret and the desire to end my life. But I believe it is exactly the thing I needed. I often wonder if I'm an especially sick person, or if I was simply lucky and curious enough to have figured this out. Could it be that so many of us are sick that we've collectively forgotten what it feels like to be well? I have a hunch that I'm not simply an isolated uberdemon, but rather that I represent a culture of demons, and I may actually have the power to help others progress through their bearing witness to my example of conscious transformation. Of course I'm not even close to being out of the woods yet; no amount of writing, explaining or apologizing will ever set me free of the shackles my actions have bound me with. To remain on this Earth will necessitate drastic change. And change I will. I feel that my quest is just now beginning, and I am prepared to continue this practice until it is no longer possible, necessary, or until I am erased from the Earth. It seems to me that the present state of the world calls for deep methodical work like this, an intentional reconnection with the soul of the world, so that we can, through faith in our collective power, bring ourselves back to reality, and bring reality back to the world.
Edited by DonShadow, 16 January 2019 - 08:14 PM.
- Samwise, Zwapa, swayambhu and 3 others like this
Posted 19 January 2019 - 12:55 PM
Fascinating write up as always, Don Shadow.
Having read some of your other posts, and in the understanding that the experience of such things can differ in degrees of great magnitude (i.e. not to belittle your experience at all), it seems to me (Unqualified Internet Stranger No.7995649033876574) that the things in which you find yourself at fault are paradigmatic of the normal Western male human experience, the prognosis being perhaps that your condition is not something to be resolved, but rather to be accepted and, again perhaps, transcended, and the self absolved of its natural and inherent flaws.
As an aside, I was interested to see the use of Catholic imagery in this thread, and, during my last session, I was experiencing a etherial "female" being drawing various small and dysfunctional things down out of of my neural network. Inspired by memories of the pictures of Our Lady of Guadalupe seen on this thread, and my subsequent idea that I should try and engage with the vast library of similar religious imagery and metaphor from my childhood, I started to recite the "Hail Mary".
The energetic interaction I was experiencing immediately lost all colour, and then stopped entirely. It was interesting and very definite, and I won't be doing it again any time soon.
Posted 19 January 2019 - 01:36 PM
Being aware is kind a torturing me. I know I need to heal but can't find my way.