You spend your day constantly inundated with exciting solutions; ORGASM, NOSEJOB, SPARKLY THINGS. The day continues, your idle moments spent on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, SPAPCHAT comparing yourself to others, getting depressed you aren’t doing more, and branding your life to make it look cool. But social media is real right? Unfortunately, very far from the truth. Most of the time, nothing can be deduced from social media except for what kind of mental health issues, insecurities, projections, false senses of selves people are dealing with. Authenticity is rare. Actually, it is rare in real life as well as no one wants to be found out for who they really are. Social media and orgasms and nosejobs more often than not keep us in the throes of our own anxieties and neurotic thoughts. More and more we cater to the behavior and reactions that perfectly fit an algorithm. The algorithm is spit back to us and we continue to react. The algorithm keeps adjusting till it gets better at making us notice, distracting us into thinking we ought to live our life a certain way. Is this not the first generation of artificial intelligence? The algorithm comes from us but it controls us in our passive lives which then controls us in our active lives. It takes work for the algorithm to not define us. Work that most people know nothing about for how to make their lives more full and whole and genuine. What came first; the egg or the algorithm? Or was it the chicken? I can’t seem to remember. What were my original ideas and incentives? Everything is always so distracting. Following the maze of stimulation and being led by our thoughts and all that constantly surrounds us keeps us from a more “real” and “in depth” state of being human.
Somehow despite all this stimulatory and solution-oriented options a vast emptiness looms. Where do I turn to next? We become obsessed to finding the next solution, perhaps even after we just encountered a different one. The hamster wheel will inevitably turn. How do I get off the wheel and the ride of supposed connection and awareness? Over stimulation with connection and solutions leaves us de-sensitized and never really diving deep. Going after constant pleasure actually trap us more. Short term attention spans thrive. What happens when you stop moving and get off the hamster wheel and you stillness occurs? What happens when Plato leaves the shadow dances of entertainment in his cave and how does he then become emotionally content with realizing his old version of reality was just a shadow dance on the wall? What happens when most people you love and admire still abide by the shadow dances?
Ayahuasca has the potential to increase serotonin levels in your body by 25% and do a “reset” to your limbic system in your brain. Wow, what magic! Ayahuasca is for me!
Deep down, a large percentage of people who take Ayahuasca want it to be the antidote to their lives. They’re human. They just want to feel better and magic bullet mentality is, oh so convenient, even if we don’t really believe in it for other things in our lives. After all, most of us grew up being socialized to believe in Santa Clause. Is it really that far-fetched that a society that grew up thinking a red, fat man would appear from their chimney to give them whatever they wished for in the form of presents, actually not believe in magic-bullet, fix-my-humanity quick fixes?
We desire so longingly to be rescued from the symptoms of our problems. Why can’t there big be a Santa Clause for adults to bring presents for depression, anxiety, sense of self-worth, past traumas, addictions, relationships, longing for love, etc? Is that what this Ayahuasca thing is? Is Grandmother Aya (short for Ayahuasca) going to make all that darkness go away? The desire for quick fixes is too alluring for most of us and even those that don’t believe in them will secretly wish for them to work. The desire from being delivered from pain to pleasure is too great a quick fix to ignore, especially when it is shoved in our faces constantly. Yes, advertising works.
The only magic bullet, Ayahuasca, Santa Clause antidote is that there is no magic bullet for most of us. Rather, the magic bullet is to break the spell and wake up from this kind of mentality which does not come in the form of any medicine, pill, present, love from another, etc. Relying on anything as such will most likely only perpetuate whatever problems you are already having and further bury you deeper in delusion. However, Ayahuasca CAN be a powerful catalyst to shock your brain and jump start a spark to ignite a deep, positive change. A deep change that most likely takes the symbolic form of a turtle. A turtle which will slowly be at your side, for you to decide when you incorporate the slow changes in your life that revolve around implementing more intention, awareness, and emotional honesty in your life. The changes will be slow, quicker at times, when you’re in particular good flow (and when turtles rarely have faster days) but mostly without the pizazz and gusto of whatever quick change you’d want to implement and be defined as, and it won’t look sexy to post about on social media. The quick, pizazz changes, look-at-me-on-social-media, perhaps will work for a short time or give you some temporary confidence about yourself, but really will not be any real definition of who you are because you have no infrastructure behind it. That infrastructure comes in the form of presence and communication and emotional awareness in your life around others and what is felt by others and has nothing to do with your branded online avatar. It will be up to you when you want to implement the turtle approach into your daily life. These things take time, unfortunately, but fortunately in the sense that having faith in enacting patience, authenticity, awareness and dialogue brings you to REAL places full of anything but emptiness.
Just as important as partaking in Aya or any other medicine for fixing our problems, is additional medicine in the form of daily practices such as meditation and emotional introspection. This framework of personal growth is more important than any medicine you take that gives you any type of short term enlightening, mystical experience. Another way to put this, is integration. How you integrate your medicinal experience into your daily life is far more important than the actual medicine experience.
Satisfaction, fulfillment, wholeness, peace, love, growth are not the same things as feeling good, although feeling good frequently occurs as a side effect of those things. The romanticized story of taking medicine like Ayahuasca enchants us with a false sense of reality. Yes, people CAN instantly change from such medicine but it is very rare and believing in those stories is yet another distraction that makes us want to ignore our pain and move away from actually relating to our interactions with the light and more importantly the darkness that is inside of us. Don’t get stuck on the feel-good, rainbow perks of medicines. This sentence will make most people feel uncomfortable, even those within the Aya community because they know it is true. People are people after all whether they are in the jungle medicine community or the pharmaceutical industry. You can fool yourself for a long while but you can’t hide from yourself forever.
The spiritual journey to home and wholeness is whatever it needs to be: long, sometimes very painful, sometimes very subtle or utterly ordinary, sometimes ecstatic. Overall, this journey requires commitment, patience, self-honesty and, fundamentally, a shift in the way we relate to our pain and darkness.
Many of us have lost touch with our capacity to relate to pain and darkness in a healthy way. When we were little, we internalized that pain and darkness were bad. We made a choice to not engage with this energy because it didn’t feel good and that change re-formed our personality and allowed it to penetrate deeper into our sense of self. Then comes in the quick fix, antidote fantasy that is forever thrown our way and it further manifests into our dysfunctional relationship with our pain and darkness. Dissolving this fantasy will lead us to a more respectful, harmonious, and intelligent relationship with plant teachers like Aya, and ultimately with all kinds of teachers and beings in our environment.
The process of the positive long-term effects of all of this is a movement that occurs within ourselves towards more productive ways of relating with others and all that is around us. Achieving such or at least putting in the effort that will lead to positive transformations is all that can be asked of people. No results should be expected, although it is very common that they occur. That is evolution.
Writing above is a summation and in my own words from the writing at https://tangle-foot.org/2015/08/26/ayahuasca-¨the-antidote¨-how-our-fetish-for-a-quick-fix-affects-the-ayahuasca-process/