37/ ayahuasca: jumping over the edge
Letting go of everything
This article is part of my journey “my awakening — bursts of consciouness.” You can read and listen to all parts of it here.
If you have not read yesterday’s post, please read it first for context: 36/ drinking ayahuasca, again.
The next four nights and ceremonies will follow the four phases of life which we can observe everywhere in nature, in the seasons, our ageing process and our heartbeat: excitement, expansion, contraction and relaxation.
Tonight is excitation. And excited I am. And a little apprehensive. Last time I drank Ayahuasca ten months ago, I got lost in the recesses of my mind fighting the battle that I had fought many times before drinking the medicine: Having to make a choice between stripping naked and thereby seeing the Truth or not doing it and staying asleep to the illusion of life. It felt like an impossible choice to make: Stripping naked in front of 20 mostly strangers and worse, friends. I was in huuuge resistance but I had been in this exact same place many times before. And so that time I did it. I stripped naked. Not just once but three times in a row.
Flashback: Wow, it was a powerful experience that taught me three things: There are things in life I feel resistance to but deep down I know I need to do them. When I actually overcome my fears and do them, it is easy, it’s just the mind that makes me believe it is difficult. And when I do them, they are powerful.
The girl that was sitting next to me, now a dear friend, told me afterwards that when I stripped naked, the energy of the whole room changed. I know what you might be thinking but there was no sexual connotation or anything, it was about me overcoming something and everybody felt the power of that. It was the power of authenticity. Both literally, as I was not covered with and “hiding” behind clothes anymore, and figuratively as I overcame my fears and did what I needed to do. (The full story is here.)
Back to tonight sitting in the dome (see pictures below). Given that I had gotten the stripping naked out of the way, I wondered what could come up this time. I reminded myself of the things we were taught by Nader: Stay present and grounded, don’t get lost in the mind, don’t resist or try to control the journey, stay in the seat of a dispassionate observer, stay seated upright, don’t get lost in the distractions, keep my eyes closed with an unfocused gaze as if I were a little drunk.
And, if whatever came up I could not face or deal with, start praying, whatever prayer I was familiar with. For me, that was Our Father in German though I think I had not prayed it since I had my confirmation at age 16 or maybe many years ago at the Christmas service. Anyway, here it would be a tool to get the demons and entities that might come up out of the way. Who knew prayers actually do work — just not in the way the church teaches us.
After we did a joyful dance together in the circle, we sit down and one by one receive our cup of Ayahuasca. The light turns off, I close my eyes, the music starts playing. After 40 mins or so, I start feeling the effect.
I find myself going crazy, again. Without realising it, I am totally lost in my mind. And I am presented, again!, with an impossible choice. Not stripping naked this time, no, much worse. To fulfill my life’s purpose, my destiny, I need to let go of everything: Of all my money and material belongings, of my social media accounts, of everything. I will need to live from the support of others and I will have to live in full trust in life and with no planning or securities. One day at a time.
My mind is contemplating this. If you have never drunken Ayahuasca you might discard the above as crazy stuff and say, of course I would never do that. But this is not how Aya works. It feels so real, so clear and there is no escape from it. Time stands still under the influence of DMT — the psychoactive ingredient of Ayahuasca. And that’s the purpose, that’s why drinking Ayahuasca is so powerful.
I know I can’t escape this choice. The way it is presented to me again is that I either follow this call for letting go of everything-I-think-I-am-and-own and fully surrender to life in whatever way it unfolds, no more controlling but just trusting, and then I shall find all the bliss, peace and serenity I have been seeking. Or, I don’t do it, and I keep myself in a meaningless life of worries, anxieties and the mundane. Obviously, me having been on this truth seeking journey of wanting to understand life, no way I choose the latter. But the former, giving away everything, sounds very scary to me. Well, probably to most of us. It was just like the striping naked, just worse.
I am holding my bucket between my legs with my head hanging half into it. I have been purging a few times (the process of throwing up in Ayahuasca both physically and energetically, the purging of trauma, blockages and other entities). And my mind is racing: How do I give my money away? To whom? How will I get back home? Deleting all my social media, videos and writing, all my contacts, can I secretly recoup them again if I change my mind later? But that would be cheating. And when we cheat, we are really cheating on ourselves. There’s no escape from the truth.
As I am hanging and spitting into my bucket, Nader comes to me. He says: I am Nader, who are you? This is to check whether the person is not possessed by another entity. Possession is a real thing. When people act weirdly or, in extreme cases, don’t remember their name, their body is possessed by another entity. (Yes, this sounds crazy and it’s beyond the scope of this post.)
I respond: I am Vincent. And then adding: Or am I really, I mean, our personality is all an illusion, a construct. My playful me coming out in the midst of this suffering. I have not lost my humour yet. Nader ignores it and says: You can do it. Me: But this is so big, this is such a big ask. (Not sure whether he knows what is actually going on inside of me.) He grabs my shoulders and says again: You can do it. You need to be decisive and take action. Then he leaves me.
He’s right. Worrying about making a mistake has kept me holding back doing so many things (see 24/ i can’t make any mistakes). And it has led to a fair share of procrastination. And to what results. My peers have build large, even unicorn businesses and here I am wondering what to do. Decisiveness, ok, I know I can. Just that what I know I need to do might not be what my mind, my ego and my safety seeking self might want to do. The I can’t make any mistake part of me.
I pull myself together, thinking again, yes I can. If this is what it takes to live an extraordinary and beautiful life, I am ready to give it all up, to surrender completely. In the end, thinking didn’t led me to the answers nor the life I am seeking, it has not done it in 44 years. Keeping doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. And I have learnt that the heart, intuition, gut and — in the near future — my higher self are the real guides through life. Not my mind that has created this crazy choice in the first place.
I am playing through in my mind for the 50th time this night what will happen if I really do it. My mind and ego are racing with alarm bells: It’s crazy, who does that, why do that? But deep down I know I am done with the old way. There’s nothing wrong with it but it has not and it will not lead me to where I am going.
I know it is true, I need to let go, I can feel it. It’s the release, the freedom I have been seeking. It is not random that I came here to have that very experience. In fact, nothing in life is random. We are just so distracted in our life experience that we do not see and connect the dots. The universe is pure math and cause and effect. Just our senses are too limited and constrained by time and space to understand it all. But that’s for another post.
I remember my guided mushroom ceremony earlier this year. No, I am not taking psychedelics every week. I am very specific and discerning about what I do, how, when and with whom. These two were the only ceremonies this year and they serve the purpose of healing and growth, not to have fun. This one was also a very special one. What it left me with is that when you want to give birth to something, a child, a company, any creation, it comes with pain. There’s effort, there is shedding, there is learning and that’s what I was doing this night. The best analogy I can think of is having a child. It’s real work for the body, the mind, your whole being to give birth. And it’s painful.
Giving life to something takes effort. And I am birthing something here and it requires me to let go. For something to be born, something else needs to die first. What needed to die tonight was my attachment to money, power and fame — all of which serve the ego that always wants more. But only from a place of purity, one can create something pure. Tonight was the night for me to let go of all of these shadows of the ego.
And so in a final push, I got ready to let it all go. Everything. Money, visibility, connections, power, everything I had and everything my ego wanted. It was painful but I started feeling lighter. A decision was made and I knew it was the right now. I felt it deep inside of me.
It’s probably 4am by now. The music stopped, I am putting the bucket aside, lay down, cover myself with the blankets I have, the night is cold, there’s no heating, and try to sleep. But I can’t. My mind is still racing. How is tomorrow going to be? Will you really dispose of all your money and delete all your social media accounts?
As you can see, the answer is no but that night I truly thought that that’s what I would do. I had made the decision. And I knew from my stripping naked experience how powerful taking that decision is.
In the next episode, you will read what happened in the end and what the second, very different night brought here.
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