With regard to psychedelics, I've been unimpressed with some of the people I've met to be honest. Well, down in Peru, it's a big sales gig. Many of the Peruvians feed people lies to sell the "genuine" experience... every person you meet seems to have a shaman. It's understandable since its big money in a poor country.
On the other end of things, I happened across a notable foreign (american) ayahuasquero on my travels. For good reason, I won't mention his name. It's hard to describe, but I guess it wasn't what I expected. Yet, he's a guy that was friends with Terence McKenna, his brother, etc. There are big egos in that world, for sure. I've met gradations of people. I've met a woman who gave everything away to leave for Peru, worked as a facilitator. She spoke like a teacher and spoke of seeing angels. But I found her later emotionally destroyed by certain circumstances. I met another man, an ayahuasquero, who had really taken a turn. When I first met him he was clear and alert, within a few years, when I found him again he'd completely changed and seemed destroyed by circumstances. He was on heavy anti-anxiety meds. He seemed to act as if he knew so much, regurgitating some ego-dropping bs, but seemed susceptible to really simple forms of relational delusion. By that, I mean, he was angry and tended to target certain people for, sometimes, no good reason. Competitive as well. There was much more too. It's hard to sum up.
It's not just psychedelics either. First Buddhist monastery I came across, the monks spent the greater part of the day, held up in their rooms playing video games. And again, the monks seem fairly underdeveloped as human beings. I often just refer to one of them as an asshole. I'll tell you guys a story. One of these monks would piss in water bottles while he played video games, then for some reason, he'd throw them out into the tall grass. He did this so many times that there were probably 100 bottles out there. Me and a friend cleaned them up. I'm thinking to myself... wtf? This was a relatively senior monk there too.
Now, let's consider something else. I'm often pretty skeptical. Having seen just this much of the psychedelic and buddhist community... then I move into meeting the people that saw the romantic ideas and attempted to live them. So, all those modern psychedelic healers and mindfulness teachers. When I come into contact with them, I just find myself thinking, you've got it wrong. I greatly suspect that they tricked themselves into not seeing what's obvious. They wanted to become "teachers" and "healers"... they wanted to be important, so they blinded themselves. Then, they can self-lovingly say, "I trained with so-and-so," of course, so-and-so was ... an abusive alcoholic! For example.
I don't know, but you get my drift?
I said it before, but I think it's written into the story of my life. I take the story seriously enough, but I've got an inkling that it's BS. I found piss-poor monks for the same reason I was born into a family with an alcoholic father and an abused mother, a family of many more alcoholics and drug-users which would slowly kill themselves as I traversed my twenties. I found broken ayahuasqueros because I was meant to. Perhaps I sought it out. Or more likely, I don't trust anyone that isn't sitting in their own shit.
So... what will reveal the answer? What's the truth?
I took a big dose of mushrooms many years ago. I remember I picked up the phone and dialed 911. I was totally delusional at the time. I heard a voice on the other end. I spoke to him... Then, I noticed that it was me that was on the other end. The next day, I checked my phone and realized I hadn't dialed 911 at all. Hah.
There's a great mystery. I'm playing by its rules.