Sunday, September 19, 2010

Now I'm you!

And you, and you. Apparently ayahuasca turns me into other people. You read about people turning into jaguars or snakes or god or occasionally vinyl siding (but that's only after smoking salvia), but apparently I'm limited to my fellow Homo sapiens. Second ceremony in Brazil I found my heart opening so much I turned into my partner, Kali-Kava, hips and all, and had incredible empathy for and understanding of her afterwards - it blew my mind.

But now it just seemed like part of the program. I turned not into my partner, but Chaco, this dude she had some romantic involvement with. He always struck me as one of those disingenuous, falsely-sensitive, skirt-wearing New Age player dudes - not that I was biased or anything - but one Tuesday evening an hour or two after drinking the tea I felt that warm generous heart-opening-up feeling and suddenly I'm Chaco. And he/I are this warm, wonderful open-hearted person, overflowing with integrity. Afterwards, I actually feel like I'd like to get to know him. Defies all logic.

A few days later, I make another ceremony with Cyan for the new moon. I turned into Bambini, an Italian girl I'd met here in Brazil, who seemed to posses some of my least and most favorite traits of Kali-Kava. Then I turned into Kali-Kava. And for a moment a little bit of Cyan floated in. And then me as a little kid, and round and round in circles. By now it it just seemed very matter of fact, like anything else you might learn - first time it's an impossible miracle, by the time you're good at it, it barely seems worth remarking on.

For most of this time, Cyan was sitting attentively in full lotus. Of all the people I'd met in Brazil, he had by far the most disciplined approach to the medicine and his spiritual advancement; he's quite focused, keeps a pretty strict diet, treats the medicine with a great deal of respect, always has a clear intent going into the ceremonies etc. It was one of the things I most appreciate about him, though once in a while it seems a tiny bit dogmatic. One of the things he was big on was staying super present and sitting with your spine straight to receive transmissions from celestial bodies during the ceremony. I can hear the naysayers arguing that belief in, let alone prepping oneself for such transmissions is grounds for institutionalization, but if you're working hypothesis is that we're a function of some intergalactic intelligence, you might as well tune into the mothership.

Or not, in my case. I was pretty happy rolling around like some unspecified child/feline-like creature. I kept looking at Cyan and thinking I should sit up and focus but I was too happy chasing my own tail. I also convinced myself there was value in being and thereby understanding other people and in playing with something before one becomes seriously disciplined with it. Comfortability is a necessary part of the learning process after all.

Although all that makes sense to me, I realized that on top of all this was a larger dynamic that I always saw playing out between myself and Kali-Kava, in which I wanted her to be more disciplined about the work she was doing on herself, and to just more present to the world and herself (particularly those parts of herself she found painful and difficult), and she often felt like rolling around like a kitten - except I was the playing the part of her and Cyan was playing the part of me.

I took one look at Cyan's austere, un-fun seeming posture and I had to admit, I could see her point.

Later, Cyan explained how each chakra is associated with a vowel and showed me this basic sound healing exercise where you just start with associated sound at the bottom and work your way up to the top and back down. I really haven't been convinced either way about chakras or sound healing, but I have to say, it was pretty cool.

Then he just leapt out with a freestyle about how we're all here receiving cosmic energy and guidance from the stars. It had that kind of noetic/poetic truth that drugs will give you late at night. It was quite striking.

Eventually we stumble back home - literally - the ground water swelled up through the earth, so it was slow going and on the moonless night Cyan had lost his bearings and the flashlights weren't working - I think he finally wound up navigating, somewhat circularly, by the light of my iphone. He seemed to be getting more and more annoyed with himself, but I just had to laugh - getting lost at night when you're high is both such an amateur move and such a classic. But it was warm and we were probably singing and I still had a little ayahuasca magic in me and no need to hurry or be focused and I didn't feel any sense of responsibility for getting us lost - a kind of carefreeness and that seemed so unlike me and so much like Kali-Kava.

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