Hits 1594 | Created 2008-11-11 | Modified 2008-11-11
A friend recently took part in an ayahuasca ritual. Often these are pretty mild and very little seems to happen. However, my friend found it all a bit intense. Here's his experience:
I thought I'd write down my experience, for myself and perhaps of interest to you too.
It is important, I think, to know what my question was when I went into the arms of this plant. Suffice to say that it was a spiritual question that has dogged me for some time, of the sort of 'how can I do one thing, and also another that seems incompatible, together'.
I have to say that I felt a bit odd a few minutes after taking the drink. Definite odd edge and tingles. This did make me wonder if I was in for an intense time, after the 20 mins to an hour estimate. Still, nothing much happened for a little while. I just sat in the dark, eyes closed and relaxed.
Then the visions started. But they weren't what I expected at all. I was being led from object to object in some crazy landscape that seemed like it was inside out. There were things everywhere, really, really busy with things.
And all the things I was being shown, in a whirl, were wrong somehow. The best way to explain perhaps is to wonder if you have seen the film 'Toy Story'? Where the kid next door takes apart all his toys and puts them back together in a different order. But he chooses an order that horrifies, or jars rather than works. So like my vision. It was overly heavy with mundane, material things, unpleasant, crazy, scarcely anything of nature around, and what there was was twisted.
Did I mention the noise? No? Well, that's quite important. Now a buzzing, chirruping, electrical noise started to build, growing ever louder, roaring. Then I was aware of spirits all around me, dozens of them. Trying to speak to them was like a burst of noise and vibration that shook my mind - impossible. But if I let my thoughts run loosely, they would pick out words and phrases, and speak them to me through objects in my vision.
I expressed discomfort and confusion, I tried to communicate my question to them.
Ah, and they seemed to understand, I was whisked away, upwards into a large sphere with many lights in incredible patterns. But then it was like the spirits were too excited, they crowded around me, suffocating me. Each pushing things into my mind to look at, and the noise! The noise was unbearable, well, so were the visions by now, frankly.
The things they were showing me were not pleasant. I don't mind being shown unpleasant things, but in such intensity it was not good. And with the noise, oh, the noise!
So, I tried to focus on my question, tried to push past them, escape, fly into space, but they were always around me, impossible to get past, buzzing and being insane.
This was my thought at the time - you are all insane, there is no communicating with you any more - and there didn't seem to be.
This all peaked when I decided to tell you that I wasn't having a great time. To my surprise, opening my eyes didn't actually change much. My body was burning up and I felt in physical distress now.
The light made the visions fade, though to close my eyes was to be there again immediately.
You might wonder, maybe think, that I should have stuck with it, seen the visions though, no matter how unbearable, but let me give you an example of the kind of thing I would see. This is after the light was on and I closed my eyes in experiment for a few moments.
Ah, an endless green cavern, vast and made up of crystals perhaps. A sea of grass covers the floor with wild, oversized plants. Spirits fly around in odd ways. There are curious pods floating high up that seem to be half in this world, half in another. It's all quite fantastic. Then I'm sucked into a plant, right inside it. I examine it and notice that its leaves end with hypodermic needles. It has teeth, full of rotting, stinking meat where it should have petals. The cavern is dark now, I can feel barbed wire pressing against me, the needles make a jab for my eyes... I open my eyes and keep them open for quite a while.
X's shamanic rituals helped. I felt peace for a little while. Exhausted now, I had no fight left. I just sat and tried to ignore the ghetto visions, the nazi hoards, the creeping dead for the next hour or so.
I thought it interesting when X asked if the negative things were coming from within or without. I don't hesitate to say without. After the initial experience had passed, it felt like someone, some things, were there, and every time my mind turned to something pleasant they would quickly sift, carelessly through my mind and choose an alternative, unpleasant version, skewed in a personal way.
Upon reflection now, I wonder if it might have been possible to abandon my mind to those spirits originally, to their insanity, but it felt like if I had, I'd have lost my mind completely, and not in a good way...
I wonder if this is an answer to my question, of sorts - i.e. no, you can't.