The divinity of the ordinary

The divinity of the ordinary

Since my second Ayahuasca ceremony, it’s as if a light switch has gone off inside of me. Through months of integration, I was surprised to find that a big part of this emanating light was teaching me how to love or to remember my love for the ordinary.

For practically my whole life I have been running after experiences: skinny dipping, getting tipsy at wine farms with friends, eating at strange restaurants, traveling around the country, going to festivals and just about anything you could probably find on some sort of cliche bucket list.

When I reached my early twenties I decided that now is the time to travel the world but, no matter how hard I tried, it seemed that something was always getting in the way. Through my introduction to the ordinary, I realized that this ‘something’, although seemingly on the outside, was my attachment to the idea of travel. Through my constant seeking out of crazy experience after crazy experience I began to conjure up some sort of belief that if I wasn’t consistently filling my life up with experiences that would make your grandma blush, I would always regret it and feel unfulfilled.

What I didn’t realize was that by trying to turn my life into a real-life reenactment of a Getaway magazine I was missing out on the cool breeze when it touched my face or the feeling of wet grass on my feet. I was forgetting about the satisfying soreness in my stomach that I get when I laugh so hard I can hardly breathe or the way my warm bed feels around me as I drift into sleep. I was forgetting the divinity of the ordinary.

This doesn’t mean that I have given up on my dream to travel the world. Desire itself can be a portal into the divine. It’s the attachment to desire that not only blocks its heavenly  nature, but that prevents the true enjoyment that we originally found in it, from coming through.

Nothing, and I really mean nothing, will ever make us one hundred percent happy- at least not in the long term. Happiness itself is a very addictive drug that has us tiring ourselves out constantly in pursuit of whatsoever we think will give it to us-houses, cars, relationships, travel, enlightenment, little puppies that you can cuddle (okay so maybe puppies can give you eternal happiness. I was wrong.)

“Joy comes in ordinary moments. We risk missing out when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.”-Brene Brown

My point is as long as you are always running after some novel idea of what you think your life should look like, you’re going to be missing out on the fact that ‘Spirit’, ‘God’ or whatsoever word you want to use, is right here, right now. If you don’t recognize the divinity within the ordinary, you’ll never truly reach the extraordinary.

 

A mothers love. A mothers pain.

A mothers love. A mothers pain.

I was inspired to write this due to the ongoing events at Standing Rock. I find it hard to get behind many movements due to the complex and in many cases subjectively inspired points of view, but this one has been met with a deeply intuitive ‘yes’ from the depths of my soul and reminded me how much our mother loves and suffers for us.

About a year ago I decided to take some magic mushrooms at a festival. I do generally tend to use psychedelics for growth but that night I was just looking to kick back and relax whilst I went on a psilocybin-bliss-fueled trip. Little did I know that these very special mushrooms had other ideas in store for me which perhaps I should have realized when the dealer handed them to me with a knowing smirk, “These are golden teachers. Maybe you’ll learn a lesson or two,”… I did learn a lesson. A very big one.

A few hours after ingesting, perhaps a tiny bit more than I usually do, I felt the familiar rush of tingles that have accompanied my all very innocent and joyful mushroom trips. Almost as soon as I felt this, a heaviness came over me, like a bomb had been dropped in the pit of my stomach, pulling my feet back down to the earth and forcing me to feel an unexpectedly full and heavy pain.

I looked up, my feet stuck on the ground as if to say ‘you need to feel this’ and the gigantic  mountain before me morphed into a huge naked woman, stricken in pure agony and roped up against her will -but not making any sounds as if to not alarm her blissfully ignorant yet beautiful children, muddy-feet dancing on her giving ground. I noticed how much she loved them, how much she loved me and how she had through this love, allowed us for centuries to explore the darkest parts of consciousness to her detriment, but I could also feel that even she had a breaking point. That perhaps natural disasters were just an expression of pain she just couldn’t hold onto any longer.

” The earth is our mother.Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons and the daughters of the earth. This we know. All things are connected. Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves” Chief Seattle

As I watched the smiling faces around me, I began to feel a resentment that I had always felt but had been unaware of until that moment. Why did I have to feel this as well?  Why did I have to walk around soaking up all the shit of the world whilst the rest of humanity moves throughout their days without a single clue? I was told intuitively that many of us have come here to transmute. That we have chosen to dance in the misery, to make art out of it, to turn it into light, that Mother Earth was now going through a shift herself and that she needs us. I felt the resentment melt away as if remembering some honourable calling.

Standing Rock has ignited this remembrance in me. Of how we came here not only to love but to stand together and fight for love and for the earth. It reminded me of a mothers’ love and the anger that results after being pushed to the edge. I feel as though those at Standing Rock are reflections of this. Of a mother so patient and kind but who simply can not stand the pain anymore.

Let’s go on a little ‘Trip’ (A second glance at psychedelics)

Let’s go on a little ‘Trip’ (A second glance at psychedelics)

 

For many, upon hearing the word psychedelic or L.S.D, images emerge of ruffled hippies, staring longingly at fluorescent kaleidoscopes. These stereotypes arise from the psychedelic-filled ‘Hippie Movement ’ of the 1960’s where many of these hallucinogens have been illegalized in several parts of the world.

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide or its’ street name; ‘Acid’ is conceivably well- known but, there are numerous others. These include Psilocybin mushrooms (‘shrooms’ or ‘magic mushrooms’), Ayhauasca, and Ibogaine.

These substance seem to be making a bit of a ‘come-back’ in modern society .Carte Blanche covered a story in August about a lady named Monica Cromhout, who was arrested for ‘dealing’ Psilocybin mushrooms, although her related ceremonies have allegedly aided its recipients greatly. In Brazil certain inmates are being given Ayahuasca as a form of rehabilitation. The seeming rise in popularity of transcendental festivals has also certainly created a rise in psychedelic use.

There are many claimed benefits of using psychedelics. To name a few, a recent study has stated psilocybin as a possible causal factor in the termination of smoking addiction as well as reducing anxiety in cancer patients. Ayhauasca has reportedly improved the lives of many where it is claimed to help the brain move past traumas. Ibogaine has been said to aid with opiate withdrawal. Furthermore, The discovery of the revolutionary ‘Polymerase Chain Reaction’ was partially discovered by Dr Kary Mullis who attributed this finding to his use of LS.D. A third year Biochemistry student even went as far as to say. “…it literally removes blockages of ideas.” which is not an unfounded statement considering the fact that Ayahuasca and ‘magic mushrooms’ have both been claimed to increase the neuroplasticity of the brain thereby leading to improved cognitive ability.

” The social consequences of the psychedelic experience is clear-thinking-which trickles down as clear speech. Empowered Speech.”-Terence Mckenna

Of course, with such intense benefits come almost certain risks. To name an extreme few, some psychedelics can lead to flashbacks of the ‘trip’, are claimed to emphasize certain mental illnesses(although some claim the opposite) and cause one to take dangerous actions whilst ‘tripping’, ,where over dosage is also possible on certain substances. Some psychedelics such as Ayahuasca are advised to always be taken in a retreat setting with professionals. Lastly, let one not forget the possibility of being imprisoned.

The question then is, should one actually be put behind bars for experimenting with hallucinogens? If not, should it be ingested within a regulated setting or should we have the right as sovereign individuals to decide our own explorations? Certain measures could possibly be taken in society, likened to that of drinking laws. Whatsoever one chooses, the use of hallucinogens are increasingly evident and so perhaps their demonized status needs to be reconsidered.

 

 

 

Sources

Carte Blanche: http://carteblanche.dstv.com/player/909554
The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/29/world/americas/a-hallucinogenic-tea-time-for-some-brazilian-prisoners.html?_r=0
Wikipedia (background information) : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_hippie_movement
The Pharmaceutical Journal: http://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/news-and-analysis/features/psychedelics-entering-a-new-age-of-addiction-therapy/20066899.article
Metamorphosis- Ayahuasca Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz0XLVUq3WI
Ayahuasca and the brain https://youtu.be/aufjjU0EYxk
Promega connections http://www.promegaconnections.com/10-surprising-facts-about-hallucinogens-psychedelics-and-magic-mushrooms/
What is Neuroplasticity? http://www.whatisneuroplasticity.com/
Drug Free World http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/lsd/what-are-the-risks-of-lsd.html
Brown University Health Promotion: http://www.brown.edu/Student_Services/Health_Services/Health_Education/alcohol,_tobacco,_&_other_drugs/psilocybin.php
Dr. Kary Mullis about L.S.D https://youtu.be/CC5ApU4YKBU