A constant theme of this blog has been how my encounters with La Madre Ayahausca have led me to question and reevaluate the rational, patriarchal, materialist system of thought that has shaped my education and upbringing (my parents were both atheists) and dominated Western culture since at least the beginning of the scientific revolution in the sixteenth century.
As I have written before in this blog, for a brilliant, thought-provoking and erudite account of the emergence of the Western worldview, read Richard Tarnas‘ book, “The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that have Shaped our Worldview.”
As I like to use my mind, I have looked for intellectual resources to help locate the experiences I have had with La Madre. Steiner, Jung, and Hillman have been important for me in being able to situate these experiences within a coherent and developed system of thought. The poetry of Rumi is another rich and valuable source in describing and evoking these experiences.
As happens in any competent psychotherapy, La Madre Ayahuasca shows us the deep conditioning of our beliefs. Actually, she does not simply sweetly show us (though she can also do this too as she is very versatile) – she rubs our noses in it. In so doing, again like good psychotherapy, she offers us the opportunity to examine and free ourselves from these limiting beliefs. Most Western psychology posits that these world-forming beliefs come from our childhood experiences and Western sociology points to how these beliefs are deeply culturally conditioned.
Certainly, as my path with la Madre has unfolded, I have come to see that what I thought of and highly valued as my normal waking consciousness is a tiny fraction of what is potentially available.
Jung said that consciousness is just a small boat in a vast ocean of unconsciousness. Of course, Jung is following in the footsteps of Freud in referring to the ‘unconscious’, thereby hoping to legitimize his work in the scientific medical establishment of the time. I prefer the term Hillman uses of ‘the invisible world’, which would be immediately understandable to nearly all indigenous cultures.
In sharp contrast to Jung and Hillman, and over 300 years before them, Descartes’ declaration that “I think, therefore I am” has become the foundation stone of Western thought and knowledge. It locates the only trustworthy source of truth in individualistic, disembodied thinking. This is so partial and restricted as to be almost laughable. It takes one admittedly important aspect of our consciousness – I think it is important to be able to think critically and this is the gift of our Western philosophical tradition – and uses it as the gold standard to weigh all others.
The interesting thing is how come it gained acceptance so widely and has had so much sway for so long? How come European cultures have been prepared to accept this, base their worlds (and empires) on it, and successfully export it all over the globe?
I’ll leave answering that for another time as I don’t yet have much approaching an adequate answer. Part of the answer must be that the technological applications ushered in by this way of thinking can be shown to work – white man’s magic. “Hey dude! Check out my new iPhone”. But then other kinds of magic – the ones outlawed and suppressed by Science and the Church – work too, though not in the same predictable, repeatable way beloved of science.
Experiences with La Madre have opened my eyes, heart and mind to the existence of other realms, notably the realms of the plant spirits, as well as the realms of the ancestors, and what might be generally called the spirit world – though this is a simple shorthand for an incredibly rich, complex, interweaving set of realities existing outside our normal space-time perceptions.
For me, it has not been too much of a stretch to accept the realities of plant spirits, which are part of the ancient and indigenous belief in the animus mundi – that the world is alive and ensouled.
Jeremy Narby has done a good job of framing these ideas – though he would not refer to plant spirits (at least in the academic world) – within the traditional scientific framework in his book “Intelligence in Nature.”
However, there are experiences I have had of other entities in the worlds introduced to me by La Madre that require a much greater stretch.
My first encounter with these was in a ceremony the night after first reading David Icke. My immediate reaction on reading his work had been to find his ideas of fourth-dimensional reptilian beings from the planet Draco and their reproduction through interbreeding programs with the wealthy elites and the royal families of Europe ludicrous. But that night my ceremony was full of reptilian beings. It was the time of the BP Gulf oil spill and they were gloating.
Hallucinations induced by auto-suggestion would be the obvious rationalist explanation of these visions. Yet I have encountered these beings at other times. Unless I am completely self-deluded, as my work with La Madre has progressed, I have become much more discerning about what visions are the product of my personal subconscious and what visions seem genuinely ‘other’.
There is a quality to the latter that is usually very clear but the dividing line is blurred – I don’t think we can ever escape our subjectivity entirely or, put in other words, we will always imagine these experiences within our personal history (which may span many life times) and they will be mediated by the spiritual modes of experiencing and resources we have available to us.
Recently, I saw the reptiles in a kind of inter-dimensional space. They were approaching the earth in ever greater numbers, like sharks closing in for the kill, preparing for the mass extinction, which seems increasingly likely.
At one point, I was out of my body and part of a much wider field of consciousness. I imagined that the reptiles would like to use my absence from a normal body-based consciousness as a way to get into and gain control of my mind and body.
This brings me to the theme of mind control. This is a huge area and I only want to make some preliminary remarks here based on the limited reading I have done and experiences I have had.
As I am trying to show here, and at the risk of repeating myself, encounters with la Madre Ayahuasca show us that our minds are not our own in the sense that we conventionally understand and experience that. At the very least, La Madre usually takes us beyond the confines and control of the rational ego into the wider psyche, which up until now I have found a relief.
But if our minds are not really our own, who do they belong too?
In an attempt to explore this question more, I have been reading around the wilder fringes of the New Age Movement. Authors like David Icke, Laura Knight (who references much channeling material including her own channeling of the The Cassiopaeans), and Bernhard Guenther all emphasize the way that 4th density reptilian or lizard-like beings are trying to and/or have already gained control of our minds. Guenther says we are not top of the food chain as human arrogance likes to believe but are energetically fed upon by these beings who thrive on the lower vibrations of human fear, guilt, and aggression.
They even go as far as saying in a provocative article called “Manufacturing the Deadhead: a Product of Social Engineering” that the creation of the whole counterculture in the 1960’s was a CIA conspiracy facilitated by people like Wasson, Huxley, Leary and McKenna together with institutions like Esalen, who were all in the pay of the CIA.
Whilst they may have found some interesting evidence linking some of these people to the CIA, it’s another huge step to explain away the counterculture as the result of a tight-knit conspiracy. Social reality is much more complex.
I have to say that there is something in the way that nearly all these people write that I find off-putting. They typically write at length in a hectoring, humorless, rather monotonous, legislative style. Their response to any criticism is usually graceless and heavy-handed. I think they make the mistake of taking their paranoid visions too literally, which does not mean to say that paranoia is not a valid mode of perceiving and necessary in these times of being constantly fed government and corporate propaganda.
In James Hillman’s language, they cannot see through their own perspective. Hillman also points out that any style of expression, such as writing, is not superficial but indicative of a deep aesthetic, which, in the case of these people, does not attract nor inspire me.
On the other hand, I know that these people have suffered great ridicule. David Icke was a well-known TV broadcaster in England. Once he started expounding views well outside the mainstream, he was subjected to a vicious campaign of harassment and humiliation, which even became extended to his children. Laura Knight writes on her website about how she has been attacked. But there is also something self-reinforcing in having a paranoid vision (and again I don’t use this word to depreciate what they are saying), which provokes attack and then further justifies the vision.
But, I think these people are onto something. The best article I have found so far about the theme of mind control and the possibility of our minds being governed by other entities is called, “The Topic of Topics: Gnostic Parallels in the Writings of Carlos Casteneda”.
It is by freelance scholar and mythologist David Lash, who describes himself as the true successor of Mircea Eliade and the rightful heir of Joseph Campbell. It can be found on his website here. I highly recommend the article.
It’s worthy quoting this passage from the article near the beginning in full.
“According to don Juan, [Casteneda’s teacher] the sorcerers of ancient Mexico called the predator the flyer (italicised by Castaneda) “because it leaps through the air… It is a big shadow, impenetrably black, a black shadow that jumps through the air.” This description matches thousands of accounts of the bizarre jumping movements, sometimes sideways, executed by alien Greys who accost people at random. Fleeting black shadows are less often reported, but they play the major role in the long and detailed report of alien activity by John Keel, The Mothman Prophecies.
Gnostic writings contain descriptions of alien predators called Archons, Arkontai in Greek. The texts from Nag Hammadi describe them as heavy, elusive, shadowy creatures. The most common name for them is “beings of the likeness, shadow-creatures.” Could the Archons be compared to the “mud shadows” described by don Juan?”
The following passage is important:
“Don Juan makes a number of statements pertinent to strategies against alien intrusion. He says that the sorcerers of ancient times “found out that if they taxed the flyers’ mind with inner silence, the foreign installation would flee, giving to any one of the practitioners involved in this maneuver the total certainty of the mind’s foreign origin.”
In other words, the realization that another mind can operate in our minds only becomes fully clear and certain when the foreign mind has been exposed and expelled. Only then do we understand how “the real mind that belongs to us, the sum total of our experience, after a lifetime of domination has been rendered shy, insecure and shifty.” The “real mind” of Castaneda can be equated to the nous authenticos of the Gnostics. The main effect of the flyers upon our mind is seen in mental conditioning, brainwashing. This is also the main effect of Archontic intrusion.”
Lash says, following Don Juan Matus’s teachings, that the invasive mind, (or, in his words, the ‘predator’), though powerful, is relatively primitive. The fact that it can be defeated with ‘inner silence’ makes a very interesting connection with meditation practice.
It certainly gives me food for thought in relation to what I wrote about on my last blog that I feel I am being trained by La Madre Ayahuasca and the spirits of two large trees to not get myself distracted by the workings of what I think of as my lower mind or personal subconscious but in these terms could be seen to be invasive entities.
Even if these invasive entities are not real (whatever that means), and even if people are right to say of David Icke’s work that he is using allegory to depict the alien, and alienating, nature of global capitalism, it is still worth the effort to do this work to throw off the effects of the cultural conditioning we have been and still remain subject to.
To conclude with the words of Terence McKenna:
“You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.”