CW: drug use, mental health
I cannot explain why I had such a strong gut feeling, but I’m very glad that I trusted my intuition and had participated in what my friend, Steven, had claimed would be the most exhilarating, enlightening, and mind-expanding experience of my entire life.
The event, which I speak of, had occurred a couple of months ago after my friend Steven had returned from an extensive vacation in Peru, where he spent time socializing with numerous indigenous people, such as the Urarina of the Peruvian Amazon.
Prior to his vacation, Steven had suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A condition he acquired due to his time deployed in the service, when stationed in Afghanistan. As treatment, Steven, while visiting the Peruvian Amazon, had sought out a well-trained shaman, and while under the shaman’s guidance and supervision, Steven participated in numerous ceremonies, where he engaged in the consumption of ayahuasca - a brew made from the leaves of the Psychotria viridis shrub along with the stalks of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine. Ayahuasca is used for spiritual and religious practices, as well as a treatment for depression, anxiety, mood disorders, drug and alcohol dependence, and also PTSD. This drink, which affects the central nervous system, can generally be expected to lead one to altered states of consciousness, often inducing euphoria, yet it is also said to cause hallucinations, and even promote out of body experiences.
Following Steven’s treatments, he swore that his use of ayahuasca had increased his brain’s mindfulness capacity, while improving his psychological well-being, therefore benefiting his overall health. However, Steven, upon returning to the U.S., had smuggled two bottles of ayahuasca with him through customs, and at around 2:00pm on the first Saturday following his arrival, he had, with one primary purpose in mind, rang my apartment’s doorbell. Thus, I answered it, vulnerably opening my front door:
“Hey there, Steven, good to see you. How was your trip?” I asked.
“Oh, even better than anything you can imagine,” he replied. “Here, I brought you something.”
Steven handed me a plastic bottle filled with a brown colored liquid.
“What’s this?” I asked.
“Drink it.” He replied.
“What is it?” I again inquired.
“It’s the best invention since the microwave. You won’t believe its soothing effect, along with its ability to quadruple your awareness. It’ll put you in such a higher state of mind, totally expanding your consciousness, even having you believe you’ve suddenly became a renowned shaman, and to such an extent that you’ll feel as if you actually now know all the answers to the secrets of the universe.”
“Oh, come on, Steven, get out, you’re pulling my leg. I mean, well, aren’t, um, aren’t you?” I asked.
“No, I swear to God, Brian, I’m not lying,” Steven responded. “This stuff is a medical miracle. I’m also absolutely one hundred percent convinced that it cured my PTSD. In fact, I’m now a new man. Why, just look at me, don’t I look great?”
“Well, you do appear much less edgy and nervous.”
“The bottle is all yours, my friend, drink it now or whenever you want. However, I’m sorry, but right now I got to run. I told my girlfriend, Susan, that I’d take here out to dinner tonight. So, alright, Brian, I promise you though, we’ll hook up soon enough. So for now, hey, take care my friend.”
With that said, Steven turned around, walked away, and headed back to his car.
That Saturday evening, regardless of the initial positive gut feeling I had about ayahuasca, it took me several hours of contemplation with much trepidation before I finally mustard up the courage to give the drink a try.
Upon opening the bottle, I instantly smelt its very strong sweet scent. Then, when taking my first sip, an earthy, woody, and bitter taste had immediately caused me to quiver. Truthfully speaking, it tasted absolutely horrible; but still, I finished the bottle.
Albeit, within the first half hour, severe nausea had caused me to repeatedly vomit, and then, within another few minutes, I had developed diarrhea. Yet, regardless of the extreme onset of discomfort I had initially undergone, each and every negative symptom had eventually subsided. I gradually then began to feel as if I was in heaven and walking on air. Wow, I started to experience such a soothing sense of inner peace. I actually felt as if no existing words could ever possibly convey the elated euphoric feeling that my senses were presently experiencing. Although, little by little, I soon began to also feel somewhat sleepy, therefore I then decided to retreat to my bedroom, where I would lie down. Within another few minutes, I had fallen deeply asleep.
What happened next was a totally unexpected shock, for I inexplicably found myself standing outside on the lawn, directly in front of my apartment. I instantly became overwhelmed with the feeling that my physical body was somewhere else. Yet, somehow I knew that I wasn’t dead. I felt very light and thin, as if I were inside out, while at the same time it felt as if I were made out of sheer electricity. I also felt, almost as if I were doing something wrong, where someone might now scold me for leaving my physical body behind. Although, at the same time it seemed very natural, to such an extent that it even felt as if this was intended to be a fundamental part of everyone’s life. But we, being a progressive culture, had predominately abandoned its use, almost like our appendix. In fact, I became convinced that mankind had forgotten one of its genetic primary senses. A moment later, I thought about heading back to my apartment. But before I could even finish the thought, and while still in the upright position, to my surprise a force had swiftly pulled me straight through my apartment’s solid wooden front door entrance, finding myself standing in my kitchen. The next thing I knew, I awoke back inside my physical body.
A short time later, after falling back to sleep, I had once more found myself in the out of body state. Although, this time, I was walking outside, observing my neighboring homes. Yet, before I knew it, the subtle thought of flying had instantly ascended me into the air. Thus, I was suddenly zooming through numerous blocks of adjacent houses. I can distinctly remember soaring effortlessly through dining rooms, bedrooms, living rooms, studies, and even a poolroom. I also recall passing directly through kitchens with counters and cabinets, dens with tables and chairs, couches, desks, lights, bookshelves and television sets. I actually whizzed through such a vast abundance of solid objects at such a phenomenal speed, that each object seemed to be moving towards me, instead of I towards it. Yet, regardless of the accelerated momentum of my travel, I could still clearly scrutinize the minutest details of each and every item, as well as its own individual shape, color, and core contents. Simultaneously, I could also view each item from every angle. My vision had become acutely fourth dimensional, and I could even peer deeply inside the interior of every home moments before my approaching it. Certain homes appeared dimly lit, while others shone prominently luminescent. My perspective also overlapped, for I could additionally see in front, behind, through, and around all articles concurrently. No matter what the side or angle of an article was that I chose to focus on, that article’s side or angle would immediately appear to protrude towards me, instantly becoming the nearest side to me, granting me that side’s sharpest and best possible view. This likewise transpired even if and when an article’s selected side, or angle, entailed being the side that was of my furthest distance. Furthermore, an unfocused upon object’s side, even when initially being the nearest side to me, would then apparently become the furthest side away from me. Moreover, each focused upon object, while appearing solid, would simultaneously also appear transparent, while generally always also seeming to make perfect visual sense. Nevertheless, the currently chosen side or angle of an object would instantly become the keenest, most finely tuned in, and sharpest visually focused side, which would also presently, yet contrarily, once more appear relatively contorted and inside out, and again it would generally always also seem to make perfect visual sense.
Additionally, throughout this entire ordeal I felt so amazingly free, nothing seemed to have a hold on me, the world served as my own personal playground. I operated as pure thought, feeling totally bodiless, formless, and weightless. I was seemingly functioning as an incorporeal pinpoint in space.
While flying through these homes, I also remember seeing and passing through a small number of occupants, along with a minimal amount of their pets. But then, unexpectedly, and out of nowhere, I felt the presence of a benevolent male spirit, who also seemed to be operating as a pinpoint in space, traveling along with me – thus, patiently and philanthropically guiding me, teaching and granting me a learning experience. I sensed my escort as being extremely high-minded, pure and spiritual, virtually knowing of all things, as well as one who possessed an advanced nurturing ability. I also believed that my guide was somehow being evaluated, possibly earning favor through the assessments of some divine supreme beings, perhaps angels or saints, whose virtues were far above and beyond my own mortal capacity of comprehension. Yet, hopefully I am destined to understand all of this some day.
The idea, paradoxical to Heaven, of traveling downward with the intentions of exploring the interior of the Earth, had inexplicably now entered my thoughts, whereupon I immediately found myself plummeting closer to the Earth’s core. My guide, with unwavering patience, had instantly attempted to telepathically coerce me back upward, while I, on the other hand, had tenaciously attempted to ignore my guide’s each and every effort of extrasensory communication. But then, as equally inexplicable as the idea to descend into the Earth had come to mind, the idea to ascend from the Earth had now suddenly entered my thoughts. The next thing I knew, I was back inside my apartment. As I lie awake upon my bed, the room exuded the sweet fragrance of flowers.
For the next half hour or so I lie thinking and diligently reminiscing what I had just experienced, until gradually again finding sleep. However, this time, I slowly began feeling myself rolling out of my physical body. Once out, I stood up and glanced into my bedroom mirror, noticing myself bearing a long, sort of purple, bluish, and reddish in color, connecting cord. Apparently this connecting cord was composed of a skin-like substance, which ascended from my physical body, lying there upon my bed, leading to the back of my, presently standing, astral body’s etheric head. Recognizing this as my astral life-cord, I wondered why it wasn’t the color of silver, the way it has always been depicted.
Immediately following my discovery, I, while still in my astral body, strolled down the hallway into my kitchen. Again I had freely passed straight through my apartment’s exterior door, and ventured outside. Once outside, I could feel the cold without ever being cold. While brushing my hand up and over my head I grasped my astral life-cord appendage. Pressing downward, it felt as if it were made of pure elastic. Once released, it bounced, giving me the impression that it would have fit appropriately had it made a “boing-boing” sound, however it hadn’t. Excluding its length, my astral life-cord’s dimensions, as well as its texture, reminded me of one of those giant flat taffy sticks.
Afterward, I had once again, but without fully awakening, involuntarily returned to my physical body lying upon my bed. This time, within seconds, while feeling myself sinking into the bed, I had, through contemplation, instantly willed myself back out, which resulted into finding myself standing outside on the lawn again.
Immediately following, within another second or so, I once more attempted flying into the air, although this time much higher. Ironically, a short time later I came to realize that somehow I was now completely lost. Thus, I paused, freezing in mid air, while hovering just to the side, yet also indirectly just below some low hanging telephone wires.
Now even though the neighborhood looked somewhat familiar, I still could not pinpoint my exact whereabouts. I did not know whether I was near, far, or even en route to my apartment. Therefore, out of the clear blue, I arbitrarily decided to turn around and fly in the complete opposite direction, all the while continuing my travel just beneath, yet also just to the side of the low hanging telephone wires.
Be that as it may, while still oblivious to my exact whereabouts, I suddenly realized it was now lightly snowing out. With this realization in mind, and while also casually looking downward, I unexpectedly began noticing numerous piles of an unidentifiable substance scattered alongside the road. Eventually though, I recognized this unidentifiable substance to be snow.
Following this, I noticed at the end of the street, in the direction of my travel, stood a yellow house with two trees on its front lawn. The house appeared relatively close to me in distance, yet contrarily, it felt as if it was taking a much longer amount of time for me to reach this house than what I had originally anticipated. I wondered if the house’s apparent close distance was an optical illusion.
Therefore, after awakening the next morning, I got into my car and drove around the neighborhood. As fate would have it, within ten or so minutes, I found just what I was looking for – the low hanging telephone wires, the piles of snow, along with the yellow house with its two trees out front located at the end of a street. Everything was basically identical to how it previously appeared to me while in the astral state. Each validation became even further confirmed when I drove towards the yellow house, because once again it seemed as if it was taking me a much longer amount of time to reach than what I had just now, again anticipated; only this time, while driving in my car, I was fully awake and in my physical body, which thoroughly confirmed that it did not matter whether I was in the astral or the physical, the yellow house’s apparent close distance was one hundred percent, indeed an optical illusion.
Later, this very same day, I phoned my friend, Steven, and after telling him every single detail about my adventures, I had thoroughly thanked him, letting him know just how glad I was that I trusted my gut feeling and tried the ayahuasca he had given me. Nevertheless, at first the only thing my friend had to say was:
“My pleasure, Brian, although from what I’ve been told, ayahuasca affects different people differently.”
“Oh, okay, Steven. But now, hey, what I’m really very curious about is what the shaman had taught you. So then, like, well, can you teach me something that he had taught you?”
“What do you want to know?”
“You said that after drinking ayahuasca, I’d feel as if I actually knew ‘all the answers to the secrets of the universe.’ So then, well, I mean, like, can you teach me a shamanic secret or two?”
“Certainly. To begin with, Brian, the higher up we go, the narrower becomes the gap between time and space. Until, ultimately upon the highest of planes, the past, present, and future integrate, and are perceived as running concurrently, but we, inside the physical universe, view time as running consecutively. Although, through vast degrees of consciousness, time traveling can sometimes simply mean becoming aware. With this being the case, ascending journeys may then, at times, just be illusions. Yet, we are unaware of our perceptions being illusions, due to the fact that our five senses continuously draw in energetic information and convert it into electrical information, which our minds then decode into our collective third dimensional, digital-like, holographic reality. However, in reality, we’re only ghostly images, projections from a level of reality that is so far beyond our own, that it is literally beyond space and time. Observed electrons are particles, unobserved they are waves, plausibly proving our universe’s dependency upon our own decoding observations. Factually, our physical brain can anticipate our each and every response up to six seconds prior to ever being asked even a single question, again plausibly proving our universe to be only a subjective creation, also possibly further proving just how subjective the universe may be to the power of the mind – ‘Mind over matter!’ Yet, our reality may appear objective and real to us, perhaps because we exist within our own illusions. Truth be told, there isn’t any ‘out there’ out there. A higher consciousness conceives, our physical brain receives, our mind then perceives. Thus, this higher consciousness remains our only truth, and everything else, with the exception of unconditional love, is an imprisoning illusion. Furthermore, many physicists believe that we’re existing simultaneously in parallel universes, while our world here functions in linear time. Additionally, during each of our incarnations it is believed that we are being anywhere from highly manipulated to marginally influenced by advanced alien beings from alternant dimensions of reality, which are still within the virtually infinite electromagnetic spectrum, but are beyond the minute frequency range of visible light. Albeit, our generator is eternal, while we the bulbs will stop emitting light once our astral life-cord connection becomes severed.”
Suspended in dead silence, I was dumbfounded.
Steven asked me, “Perhaps I’ve given you too much to process at once?”
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A cool, very interesting read, Joseph. Like how the 'Alternate realities of existence' are shown via the M.C's Ayahuasca journey and then fleshed out into an understanding via Steven's take on what happened to Brian. Yes, the world seems solid and time bound until something like a drug or meditation or even an accident shows us it is just energy dancing within a mysterious field of omni-present consciousness. Fascinating stuff and a fascinating read. Cheers and keep up the good work.
Thanks so very much, Scoop, you truly understood it, and actually summed it up perfectly.
Fascinating! Looking forward to reading more of your entries!
Thank you so very much, Jody.
You have a great talent for vivid, accurate description! However, I personally would be careful not to lose my plot in the midst of all this great description.
I'll keep that in mind, Rama, and I thank you very much.
And I thank you for reading my stories, Joseph! Any feedback/kind criticism is very welcome!
Your responders are almost as good as the story. Some loooong paragraphs. For me, I like how you gave 100 points of philosophy in the Byron story as a "show not tell" performance. The dialogue in Christmas was fantastic with 50 opinions on how people act and talk. Those 2 stories are very attractive. This one reminds me of JL Borges.
Thanks again, Tommy.
I was pleased to read that your main character had such an enlightening experience on his Ayahuasca sojourn. As Steven says, it affects everyone differently, and, as a result, isn't a good trip for all those seeking its benefits. Like many hallucinogens it may even incur lasting trauma on some who chose to take the chance of taking it. Therefore its use shouldn't be taken lightly. Nevertheless the descriptions of the out of body experience of the MC are vivid and you have made the adventure sound very factual. The story deserves acknowl...
Your insight is right on target, Mike, and once again I thank you for your comment, as well as for reading my story.
I would love to give ayahuasca a try
So would I, Nemira, and I thank you.
A very good and interesting well thought out good story. It shows that man's comprehension is limited but I'm on my way to Peru anyway
Thanks, Darrell, if you get some let me know. LOL
I like your writing subjects. As an awakened person I am very motivated to do more of these. Also, thank for not trying to impress with PP.
Thanks much, Rick. BTW, what is PP?
purple pose. basically it means over describing something in order to impress the reader
Thanks for informing me as to what PP means, and also thanks for writing to me: "Also, thank for not trying to impress with PP." I'm pleased to know that you value this.
Hey Joseph! Can I just say I find it a little eerie that you wrote a story based on the theme of intuition and kick the story off with a Peruvian tea and then next week the theme is tea!!?!! Any insight into what next week's theme is? Congratulations on the story. I enjoyed the ride!
Yes, when I read that the following weeks theme was about "Tea," I thought it was a very big coincidence. I also wondered if I knew this prior, would I have waited a week? Maybe. Thanks, Craig.
Hey, thanks for liking my story :-) This story is a real journey, or should I say trip! I like how we experience the confusion and wonder of what is going on with Brian. And like Brian, I felt dumbfounded by Steven's explanation at the end! One thing I found a little confusing was the use of the past perfect tense, for example, in the second paragraph ''...which I speak of, had occurred ....my friend Steven had returned'' . The past perfect tense should be used to describe an event before another event in the past, but in this example...
Wow, mustered not mustard, you are correct. I've used & spelled the word correctly numerous times before, but this time I goofed. Thus, I have made other mistakes in my past writings too, and I probably always will. Thanks for liking it though, Lorna.
You just reminded me of Lobsang Tampa and his works. Fine work.
Thanks much, Phil, and to remind you of Lobsang Tampa is a huge compliment.
Pretty cool and deeply thought out. with the exception of unconditional love, is an imprisoning illusion. I didn't get that. I love to love and all but why would that be an exception?
You asked me why is love an exception to everything we experience, and why it is not an illusion? It is a belief that love transcends above and beyond our space & time, and the so-called interdimensional parasitic beings that promote and feed off of our negative energy all starve when we love. Although I cannot say for sure whether this is factual, but it definitely is the belief of many. However, my story is merely fiction. Thanks, John.
Wow, this was a deep story. You got into some philosophical stuff here and I think you executed it well. That last paragraph was pretty awesome. Great read!
Thanks so much, Heather.