A podcast about movie making and the science fiction featurette, Daughter of God, with Director Shri Fugi Spilt, (Dan Kelly). Daughter of Godcast, 052 Mirror. An encounter with Ayahuasca.
Hello people of Earth. Tree people, fish people, 4 leggeds, 2 leggeds, everybody who's ready to party. Welcome to our one year birthday party for the Daughter of Godcast, Episode 052, Mirror. Our 52nd episode, an entire year of continuous weekly podcasting. Holy Smokes! Huge appreciation for this collaboration, and your passion for peering with me at the mysterious screens and meters of the panoramic control console, puzzling over the archaic maps, and following the trail of breadcrumbs deeper into the labyrinth. Blissfully unaware that we're crewing a massive living deep space exploration vessel, paired to a moon that just happens to fit auspiciously over the nearest star. How about that?
AND we're just a month away from the 12 year Scriptday party for the Daughter of God.
This week's story starts with a broken mirror.
I'd been tooling around on my Honda XR650 motorcycle, a hybrid street and dirt bike, practicing my chops. On paved roads, choosing my line into the curves, counter steering and leaning right through. I detoured onto rough two tracks, surfing the packed dirt and puddles. Then, along a sandy road that skirted the edge of a meadow, I had the idea of practicing transitions by drifting back and forth between the edge of the roadbed and the grass.
The thick grass and weeds concealed an edge trap, a sort of low earthen curb created when the road was graded and the meadow cut back. As I attempted to ride up onto the grass, my wheels caught on the edge, the bike abruptly dropped and I rolled off into the weeds. I wasn't hurt, but the bike's brake lever snapped off and the right rear view mirror was smashed.
I had a long ride coming up, my longest ride ever on the XR650, 5 hours one way. Fortunately a spare brake lever was on hand. I improvised with the mirror. I removed all the broken glass and filled the concave frame with epoxy. The liquid resin started to leak into the adjustable ball joint for the mirror, but I gently worked the ball joint free just before the resin completely cured. I bought a $2 fish eye mirror with an adhesive foam backing and mounted this to the cured resin. Viola!
I was pretty happy with my kludgy mirror fix, and though the fish eye rear view took a little getting used to, I was legal and ready for the road.
What was I riding 5 hours for? To get to my first Ayahuasca ceremony.
Around April of 2017, Episode 033, a wave of new clues flooded into my life out of the bubbling nothing. Joe Cissell had been linking me to YouTubes of Randall Carlson and through Randall I found Graham Hancock.
Graham is a writer researcher with profound insight into Egypt and far earlier human civilizations. My take away from Graham is that the accepted historical record is pretty much bunk, or as he says built on foundations of sand. So many aspects of western civilization seem to celebrate ignorance. Forgetfulness might be inherent to the design of theme park Earth, but so called consumer culture really pushes the envelope of deliberate amnesia! Then again, snarly puzzles are inspiring. What a ride!
Anyway, Randall and Graham's work is fascinating and opens up a whole new story about who we are, and reorients our thinking about what the most useful application of spacefaring might be.
Aside from Graham's impeccable and probing scholarship, he brought Ayahuasca back on my radar.
Ayahuasca is a shamanic brew from the Amazon. Several close friends have attended Aya ceremony and reported feeling enhanced. Years ago, when I took the Pachamama Alliance training, I heard the prophecy about the condor and the eagle (North and South America) flying together.
I am not unfamiliar with hallucinogens, having tripped on LSD in the 80s and taken magic mushroom since, sporadically. (!) I definitely respect thier power to shift perceptions far beyond what can easily be described, or described at all. Along with a shift in perception, Graham described his Aya experience as an encounter with an allied entity. Being reminded of Aya by Graham felt like another rendezvous, akin to being reminded of Wim Hof on my birthday in episode 040.
The obstacle was traveling to South America and finding a shaman. I knew that shamans were coming to the USA, that the medicine was moving North, but I wasn't tapped into a network. Or was I?
My friends in south Michigan were hooked into a wonderful community. I made contact and was invited to participate in an Aya ceremony.
After tightening the freshly fixed mirror to the XR650, I strapped my backpack on the cargo rack, mounted up and rode into the sunny afternoon.
I roared up and down the hills out of Elberta and Arcadia, a little nervous at first about starting my longest enduro ride. After an hour I was able to relax and enjoy the day. Eventually highways and maxing out at 70 mph on my new-ish knobby tires. Then, a wrinkle. I began to hear an intermittent rattling during acceleration and at mid range speeds.
Hearing a new noise in a car is always a concern, but on a motorcycle, an unfamilar noise could mean a threat to life and limb, especially at 65+ on a highway. I kept calm and extended my perception into the bike, where was the noise coming from? Seemed to be towards the front but definitely not the engine, maybe a loose cable fitting. Hopefully nothing to do with the front wheel, gulp. By the time I arrived at the ceremony site, the buzzy, rattle was constant at all speeds. Shit.
A friend walked up to greet me and I focused on giving her a hug and making sure the kickstand didn't sink into the grass.
What were my intentions for this Aya ceremony? In the weeks leading up I thought a lot about my myriad priorities. Should I ask for a pain free physicality? Or maybe just a persistent perception of unshakable worthiness. How about complete emotional availability? Or a deeper experience of fullness, the divine foundation of my humanity? Perhaps changing my conception of aging from the conventional idea of wearing out and falling apart to an ongoing seasoning and constant upgrade? What is the ultimate ask that includes all other boons?
Then I figured, hey. There's no reason to be stingy with myself. I don't have to pick just one intention, I can ask for everything. Will Aya be annoyed if I roll up to the cosmic check out with a full cart? Of course not, that's what humans do, aside from being shit factories, we DESIRE. Properly composted, shit is black gold, manna for plants. Likewise, desires are the fuel of expansion.
My friend and I strolled around the location for an hour or so, then the entire group settled into the ceremony space with yoga mattes and sleeping bags, water bottles and extra clothes. Eventually, our guide arrived and she began the introduction.
She asked each of us to talk about our intentions, S, plural. Confirmation! Right then I thought up a couple more.
First, I wanted the buzzy weird rattle my motorcycle had developed to resolve with an easy and possibly humorous outcome before I had to drive the 5 hours back home. Second, I could hear crickets chirping outside. Crickets were a prominent feature of episode 001. Right then I decided, I want to understand the language of crickets. Maybe tree frogs too. Science tells us crickets are talking about sex. Sex is certainly worth talking about, whether crickets were going on and on about sex or maybe another topic entirely, I wanted to understand. I wanted to know what those crickets were saying.
Our guide explained the protocols of ceremony. Her calm and clear style of communication implied we were preparing for a significant undertaking. She radiated competence, letting us know she and her helpers were capable of handling whatever came up.
If you've ever flown on an commercial airliner, you've heard the totally ignorable robotic recitation that flight attendants offer when explaining how to activate the oxygen masks or where the emergency exits were located.
Our guides words were not like that. She was the seasoned captain of our space shuttle, the woman responsible for our 5 hour flight out of the known and into the never before. A paragon of experience, confidence, and compassion.
She emphasized that we stay focused on our own experience, staying silent if possible and not interacting with our neighbors, no matter what was happening for them. Caring for people was the responsibility of her and her helpers, who by the way, were also going to partake of the medicine.
After an hour of having protocols explained and our questions answered, our guide called us up to take our first dose of the medicine. Graham Hancock had described the taste of Ayahuasca to be the worst thing imaginable, so when my turn came, I was both prepared and free of expectation. Unexpectedly, I found Ayahuasca to be yummy.
I walked back to my yoga mat, laid down and waited.
Hallucinogenics, Psychedelics and Entheogens
Not everyone wants to freedive, but they might like to hear what freediving feels like, just because we are all, you know, curious. So here's a sort of whirlwind tour of my perspective on psychedelics.
Conscious altering experiences can be terrifying, ecstatic or both at the same time. And 10k other things too.
One of my first magic mushroom trips was in Vail, Colorado when I was maybe 20. Friends showed me how to make rocket fuel in a blender - frozen fruit and psilocybin caps. Then we stepped out into winding streets and delightful drifting snow lit by crooked street lamps straight out of Narnia. We devoured the night in a wild pub with thumping music, ecstatic dancing, uproarious laughter and rapture.
In contrast, my most intense LSD trip at 23 involved an utter dissolution of the very fabric of reality not to mention the total loss of spoken language. I was a raw egg smashed against the wall, all shell fragments and ruptured yolk. During that experience I couldn't imagine how to ever be a functional homo sapiens sapiens again. Fortunately the savvy Mark Dillon intuited my situation and marched with me through the surreal landscape of the East Village until I surprisingly, reassembled.
Tripping feels like more, of being in contact with what we can't normally see, hear and feel. That can be amazing or terrifying, depending basically on what you believe. You might insist this mor-ing is a symptom of a chemically imbalanced brain. If you've never been there, that's a perfectly reasonable assumption.
I'm just relating MY experience. Being beyond and then afterwards, having metabolized whatever was ingested, days later, I am still beyond, sans substances, because now I know the way.
Hallucinogens can yield persistent and profound insight that feels useful. In this sense, they are not recreational, because the process might not be fun. At all. Hallucinogens are for those interested in learning and exploring. Keep in mind that plenty of explorers end up as skeletons just below the snowy caps of mountains or trapped in caves under the sea. Exploring is dangerous.
There's plenty of other ways of going beyond besides ingesting fungus, plants or lab products. The fall I took off John and Laura's slippery porch in Episode 020 got me beyond, but I needed a month before the bruises all healed up.
I was introduced to hallucinogens with just enough protocol, such as surround yourself with trusted friends, be some place lovely or at least safe, go easy, and have some vitamin C available. Then roll with whatever shows up.
Usually I was lucky enough to be surrounded by excellent friends. Except one bitter cold winter night I accidentally spent alone in the back of my van, convulsed by a psilocybe super food smoothie, recording a heartbroken and slightly hilarious monolog on a dying iPhone. Fortunately, I had stashed a sleeping bag for emergencies. That was just a few years back! Silly me.
Aya is medicine, protocols AND ceremony - a very beautiful structure, supporting and protecting the participants.
I wanna draw an arrow to the Catholic sacrament of the holy eucharist. Catholics believe that through the mass, bread and wine are transubstantiated into the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ. Then the congregation eats of his body and drinks of his blood, because, quoting John 6:54 "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day."
I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school for 8 years as a kid. I haven't been a Catholic since my teens but I still think this is cool, ya gotta love the Catholics for Transubstantiation. Super primal. You get to eat GOD.
The difference between the Catholic mass and Aya ceremony is that instead of bread and wine, WE are transubstantiated, YOU and ME. The whole ceremony enfolds US in community, in love as we go beyond, as we more ourselves. Remembering what we are - the cosmos. Heal, awaken, release, renew. Swapping duality for the divine can be tricky, can be harsh, can be scary. Ceremony keeps us safe.
As I lay there, gradually going beyond, I marveled at the intelligence inherent in the ceremony, compared to all the times I'd self administered in the company of rag tag adventurers and then cannon balled into the torrent of existence.
Maybe I lack grace, but the Holy Eucharist still tasted like bread and wine the last time I took communion, around the mid 1990s in Paris. I'd been listening to a lot of Joseph Campbell when I visited Notre Dame Cathedral. I was like, "here I am in Notre Dame hearing the high mass in French, I want the full experience." So I got me some body and blood. Awesome.
Aya was a unique experience. There's a hallucinogenic component certainly... and something else. The protocols made sense, the ceremony was truly gorgeous and also totally unprecendented, yet there was more to the experience than the sum of the parts. What is Ayahuasca?
Ayahuasca can cause vomiting, or in the language of ceremony, purging. Everyone has buckets nearby their yoga mats just in case. After taking my first dose, my body was shaking and vibrating, and this was not at all unpleasant, like intense internal bodywork from a virtuosic healer.
The darkened room echoed with the sound of purging. The first 20 or 30 times caused me to silently chuckle, or wince in compassion. I found myself almost constantly grinning. How wonderful are humans, choosing to explore their fullness even though they might need to throw up along the way.
When I was in high school, I went running with my brother Jim who was 12 years older and in prime condition. We ran a brisk 6 miles and then sprinted the last 100 yards. He pulled ahead of me and I pushed with everything I had. He still beat me, and I immediately threw up, the first and only time in my life after a run. I was a little embarrassed, but proud too.
I felt a little proud in ceremony. My body was clean and strong, the medicine tasted good, I was fully assimilating, no nausea, no need to purge. Laying in the dark grinning, hearing the sounds of retching and dry heaves all around me, I writhed and buzzed with uncontrolled spasms of energy. I was alive.
Though I was going deep, internally focused, I could also hear sobs of grief, quiet laughter, sighs and huge exhalations of release all around. There was a sense of love in the air. Even the sound of intense purging, coughing and gasping for air added a strange emphasis to the warmth and general ambience of encouragement. Then there was the ubiquitous crickets.
I have grown very fond of crickets now, having started this podcast with crickets and now ending our first year with being able to understand cricket language. They were chorusing for the entire ceremony and not long after taking the medicine I knew, I could understand them. I realized I have always known what they are saying. Since I was a kid summering in Michigan, listening to the crickets as I fell asleep, I've known. Summer coming to a close, but not yet, no, not tonight. Every word in the language of crickets means beauty. 10,000 words for beauty, more than inuit words for snow, just beauty, beauty, beauty. Like dour George saying his creed.
The medicine was super strong, this certainly was shaping up to be one of my most powerful psychedelic experiences. Wave after wave of visceral power carried me between pre and supra consciousness. I was out, gone, other.
Then a drum or rattle would sound, or the voice of our guide, gently encouraging us to rouse, sing, or speak a few words. The guide and space holders were still present, doing their thing, steadily unfolding ceremony.
When my turn came to talk about how I felt, all I could say was how impressed I was that any of the assembled could even manage human speech.
We lay back again and thousands of years slid by. I marveled at these incredible badasses, especially our guide. If she was experiencing anything remotely close to the state of altered consciousness I was in... yet she was somehow functional, fulfilling her obligation to rest of us. Knowing when to shift our states. I could vaguely sense her and space holders drifting past to help those who might be struggling.
I've mentioned several remarkable aspects of ceremony. The ambient vibe of love and encouragement, the responsibility and care of the guide and space holders under quite incredible circumstances, the supportive and ingenious structure. Another unusual aspect was non-causality of dosage.
Eventually our guide offered us a second dose. My process was still super intense, though beginning to ebb slightly, and a second dose was of no interest whatsoever. I was being gentle with myself. I actually had a mild internal argument about pushing, but kindness carried the day and when the space holder came around to ask, I was like, "thanks, but no way."
Many did want a second dose, and after they had gone up and drank again, power swept through the room and carried me even deeper. After hours of shaking, whisking in and out of describable states, a zany grin on my face, I suddenly felt nauseous. I sat up and grabbed my bucket and purged 1, 2, 3 times. I then lay back sweating and weak but deliciously euphoric. Later I had an echo of nausea, but this gradually faded.
Another millenia passed.
Eventually we were called to stand up, dance and feel our bodies. I did a little, but was creaky and weak. I lay down again and luxuriated in my sleeping bag. There was beautiful recorded music, then various participants took turns singing. Dawn light began filtering in. I imagined going outside and throwing myself into the dew wet grass. Ceremony continued, there was an opportunity to go outside and greet the day but now I was content to be with my people, stay in the ceremony as long as possible. Inviting though the outside felt, I was cozy right where I was.
Eventually I got up and visited the bathroom for a leisurely poop. When I came back, the ceremony was closing down. I returned to my space and we gradually finished. I took my purge outside and gave it to the earth. I lay in the sun with my friend and tried to sleep, but though I was quite spent, I was ready to ride. Alert. I packed up the bike and my friend and I said our goodbyes. I thought to myself, let's see if the mysterious buzz will now resolve itself in a simple and humorous way, as per my intention. I inspected the front wheel and cables, saw nothing unusual. Then I started up the bike. The buzz immediately kicked in. I reached up to my improvised mirror and pushed. The buzzing stopped. The adhesive tape securing my $2 mirror was coming loose and the mirror was clacking against the resin. On my way out the driveway I repeatedly pressed and released the mirror. No buzz. Buzz. No Buzz. Buzz. I stopped and dug out some duct tape that I had thrown in my tank bag just in case. I tore off a strip and wrapped the bottom of the mirror tight. End of buzz, and I could still see what was behind me. Amazing. Awesome. Hilarious.
You've been listening to Episode 052 of the Daughter of Godcast, Mirror. I was given many powerful and exciting insights into Daughter of God while in ceremony and I look forward to sharing them in future episodes. Thank you so much for podcasting with me for the last year. We totally rock. Come back next week if you dare, and we'll begin our second year of podcasting. Pretty sure there's not going to be a third.
Remember, even though the Disclosure Project has revealed a transnational shadow government bent on interstellar conflict backed by hoarded uber instrumentality like free energy and anti-gravity, you can be sure that your fleshy body is the highest technology ever, and that you are a direct hookup to the very ground of being, the essence of existence, love. You and I have access to all the resources of the cosmos, just by learning to be, fully. Hallucinogens might help us remember, but just breathing is all we really need.