From Ego to Wego

A Keynote Lecture for the 2020 Non-Duality Summit

What role does the Ego play in the human experience – and how, and why did it evolve? Tribal cultures point towards other states of unity consciousness with nature as part of our collective hero's journey and yet a fall from that state also pervades the ur-myths of history. Is the Ego a response to our species' PTSD, disconnected from nature and Source? Are psychedelics the antidote to history through their dissolving of the Ego, which is how we have attempted to dominate the planet? And does the Ego bounce back even stronger after Ego death – and is this evolutionary adaption a middle path forward? As we lower the individual ego state can we explore the potential for group mind? Are we moving from the Ego to the Wego?

1. The Cultural Story

So, in researching this talk today, it really centers on a lot of the themes that I guess my life's work has been about and like others in the psychedelic community, it's all about discovery and it's all about who and what we really are.

I've been an author, a journalist, a filmmaker, and what I have decided as my ego identity has been changing in these times: is that the central unifying thread between all the different works I've been doing in different media, through different philosophies and different mystical inquiries, is that of a storyteller.

And that's what I realized is at the root of my egoic construct, the root of my identity. And I think that the role of a storyteller and myth maker and someone who can see into the patterns of the world, which repeat – is someone who can help bring meaning to these times.

So that's what I'm hoping to do in this talk today, essentially. I'm not a trained scientist. I'm not a therapist, I'm not a psychoanalyst. I am a media-maker. I am a storyteller. And I think that the need for a story, for meaning, is crucial to a culture– and let's face it, these are unprecedented times.

What we're seeing in the world, both on a cultural level and a planetary ecological level, is this rapid transformation that is breaking down our sense of self.

It's breaking down our entire sense of identity, both individually and collectively. And there's a grieving, there's a dying of the old and yet there is also this tantalizing hope that behind that, there is something new coming. So, what could that possibly be?  

2. Origins of the Ego

So I'd like to start just by examining the definition of the Ego and you know, there'll be different ones out there, but this is from the Encyclopedia Britannica, which says: "The ego in psychoanalytic theory is the portion of the human personality which is experienced as the self or the "I", and is in contact with the external world through perception."

So, you know, this is the fundamental filter. This is – it's a little bit different from the mind itself, I believe. It's this fine grading of our operating system which has a consciousness and has this program of the mind running on it. And we also seem to have another app running on the operating system: which seems to be this Ego.

I didn't know this, but some of my research showed that translations from Freud where he talks about the superego and the ID and different levels of egoic constructs, he never really used the term ego itself – the German translation would refer to the sense of "I". And yet this word "ego" has almost become a Western brand. It's like something that yet, again, not just science, but psychoanalysis can compartmentalize and can reduce and seem to give us a map of the territory. But it's not exactly the territory itself, is it?

So, you know, I wonder, how can the mind know itself? And this is the grand inquiry of all the Eastern traditions, of many spiritual cultures, which seeks to understand not just the meaning of life, but the meaning of us, the meaning of who we are, the meaning of what we are meant to be doing here.

And there's potentially a ravenous fixation of the Ego or that part of the mind, into knowing itself. And that really suggests that it doesn't know itself, that it is this evolutionary stepping stone that we're trying to remember what we are, who we are and what to do with that. So, there's many ways we could slice this down in talking about the mind or the Ego or consciousness. And so, I'm going to explore just a few different tributaries of this geography that we all share.

So, here's an interesting one that you may or may not have come across before – but we know that the sense of "I", the sense of identity, is a construct that then is layered onto, let's say the surface of the mind itself. And what we normally think of as the broadcaster of consciousness or the mechanism… we fixate on, is the brain, right. And there's been a lot of anthropological reasons for that. A lot of looking at primitive man and the evolution of our structure and our brain structure.

And we know that somewhere along the evolutionary path our brain structure increased. And you know, there's the old Terence McKenna meme and idea that basically, maybe out on the savannah in our prehistory, there could have been an encounter with entheogens, maybe the [psilocybin] mushroom, which bootstrapped our consciousness into a more self-actualized state, which is aware of itself. And yet in so doing it is separate from its environment. It's doing so at a cost, which is to separate us from the web of life.

3. The Three 'Brains' – Gut, Heart, Head

Now we basically have these three networks of intelligence, which are all part of this egoic superstructure. What modern science is saying about our makeup is that we essentially have not just the one brain, but we have three brains, essentially the originating three brains or three networks, and the originating brain you could say is the gut, the gut instinct.

And this is really important. There are a lot of advances with biology and looking at the microbiome and looking at the very fundamental nature of our relationship with trillions of microorganisms, which inhabit our being, our microbiome in our stomach and basically send signals and desires and can in some instances control our urges and our actions.

And in the majority of cases, you know, these microorganisms are in symbiotic relationship with us, helping break down foods we can't break down on our own. We're actually a colony organism. We're not just this individual sense of "I". We think that we're the "I", but it's always changing. And even within the solidity of the "I", if we drill down there are these relationships with other beings that are part of our "I" -ness that we just don't recognize and we're not used to.

So, the gut instinct is a phrase. But there's something really important in that. It's an instinct and it's older than the brain networks of the conscious egoic, modern structure of what we consider to be a human being. They say that you have a thought about a third of a second before you actually register it in the brain. And that's because the gut instinct is where you originally know your feeling mind, not the thinking mind that we get trapped in, in the egoic structure. 

And so that gut instinct with the microorganisms – a neuroscientist once told me that basically neuroscience can measure the electrical impulses in the brain with EEG and MRI, and that theoretically they could also measure that electrical activity in the gut. And apparently the microorganisms in the gut go in and out of their own electrical fluctuations of states of being. And they go in and out of gamma, which is a unity state of consciousness.

So there's a whole lot going on there in that gut-brain network that is older than the head network. There's also the heart, which we know has up to 70% of the same neuronal material that the brain is made of, but it's actually in the heart. So, it's not just an organ which is pumping blood around the body. It's also involved in thinking, feeling, making decisions, in connection with the brain.

So, we basically have these three networks of intelligence which are all part of this egoic superstructure.

And that's a beginning point, that's the starting point, right? So even if you understand that you have this sense of, "I", this sense of being-ness that is separate from the web of life and separate from others, there's also the idea of consciousness itself.

As I was saying, basically the Ego and the mind itself are like these programs running on the operating system. But then you really have to ask, you know, where does this originating consciousness come from, that the Ego is running its program on? And so, this is a whole other kettle of fish that philosophy has been pursuing for millennia.

4. What is Consciousness?

One of the classical definitions of consciousness that I do really like is from a 19th century into the 20th century philosopher called Alfred North Whitehead. And he has a phrase, he called consciousness: "the awareness of awareness, or the apperception of pattern as such."

So, I really like that. I mean, it's very applicable to some of the psychedelic states when you're just an awareness of awareness hanging there in the void or some alien vista, but you are aware that you are, and that is, you know, perhaps the difference between consciousness and unconsciousness.

Philosophy has also been arguing whether that consciousness is something which originates in the brain, or now I would say the three brains, or is it something that is localized in the body, that is generated by the mind-body? Or is it something that is received? And there's some very cogent trains of thought on both sides.

I lean towards the "receiver of consciousness" model, essentially because there's been a lot of studies done with people that have had injuries and brain damage and consciousness has rerouted itself, and the ability to have a signal and to be a conscious being is something is not necessarily anchored to the geography. The geography can reroute, and it can find ways around.

But there's a big and really important distinction between the understanding of consciousness as a local phenomenon, which is generated within the body and the mind-body organism, which would then end with the body. The analogy from the 20th centuries is if you have a TV set and it's receiving a signal, and you destroy the TV set, the signal is still being broadcast.

And that is one of the possibilities of consciousness itself, that it is being broadcast from a higher dimension or state of being. And in that sense it would be non-local – and non-local means it's everywhere, it's in everything. And this gets very close to a lot of the indigenous perceptions of the world of spirit, of consciousness, of presence, of beings that are infused with this gift of life that is in everything, in all states of matter, according to the filtration of their biology and how that consciousness can recognize itself.

So, there are lots of different models you know, around consciousness itself. It does get very close to aspects of quantum mechanics and these are all models. All of these models of science are models which are evolving and they're not static, and they don't know everything yet. In fact, there is a holistic drift and momentum to aggregate an understanding of who we are.

And you've got to realize that all of these modalities and everything I've just mentioned, they're all filtered through this sense of Ego, right? All filtered through this sense of humanness of being-ness. And that sense of Ego is always changing, now days through cultural changes which are exosomatic or outside the body, evolutionary changes mediated through our technology. We're also changing our ego identity through our understanding and our memes, not just our genes, and these models give us a language to grasp towards some central understanding.

And there have been centuries if not millennia of models and all of that is pretty Western. One of the other templates and models that I'd like to just bring up in initiating this idea of what is the Ego and what is the mind and what is consciousness and how are they related to each other, are some of the Eastern traditions.

5. The Vedic Maps of Consciousness

So basically, my shamanic work with sacred entheogens has led me to states of being of non-duality, which in integrating them have led me to Eastern mysticism. And there are some beautiful terms in Vedic culture which really look at the idea of the mind itself as a state of being, which they call "Citta" – the mind stuff. And the sense of thought, which is a very precise egoic function, they call the "vritti". It's like wind on water. It's ceaseless, endless thought, always rippling, always having an extension of itself, consuming itself with its busy-ness.

There's something really important in this, in the busyness of the mind that seems to be a distraction or a floundering, or a desperateness of the mind to be calm, to be whole, to not freak out. Essentially a lot of the time, not just in the external culture, but even in our internal being, I think we're subliminally freaking out – and that's the mind's activity. The busy-ness. 

So, in the Vedic maps, the Citta or the mind-stuff is like a space of being within which the Vrittis or the thought forms are rolling. And they say that if you go deep enough into your own being, into that mind stuff, you can reach "Atman", or your true nature. And this is where we start to get into the non-duality of things.

So there is a quote from Patanjali and his very influential book, The Yoga Sutras – and remembering that, you know, yoga in some of the original translations essentially means the "yolk of union". And so, there's a duality in that because union implies two things coming together, but once you're inside the union, it's one thing and there's no duality anymore.

So, it's a little bit tricky this world we live in, but here's the quote from Patanjali. He says this sense of mind is like a lake or an ocean that lies within, you know, and there's a shallowness to the lake when you first start to go into the space of going within. And then if you continue there is a depth to that expanse, that sense of Oneness. So, Patanjali says:

"The bottom of the lake, we cannot see because its surface is covered with ripples. It is only possible when the ripples have subsided and the water is calm for us to catch a glimpse of the bottom. If the water is muddy, the bottom will not be seen. If the water is clear and there are no waves, we shall see the bottom. The bottom of the lake is our own true self. The lake is the citta and the waves of the vrittis when the lake is calm, that state is called sattva, or serenity."

6. Be Still This Busy Mind

Now a lot of the Eastern modalities that have come out into the West, whether it's meditation or yoga or the martial arts – in their own way, they're all ways for us to calm these busy minds. Like to paraphrase Krishnamurti, who said, "Be still this busy, busy mind, extinguish this busy mind".

There's something about the individual mind, which is a product of the culture we live in, in essentially the West, right? And the West has been evolving for over a thousand years, but essentially, it's become a globalized frame of reference. It's become a filter, a global-species-egoic filter of how we see the world and it's essentially very mechanized. The Western mind has become very, very separate and mechanized.

And I really think that in that busyness of the Western mind, there's a trauma. There's something which seems to speak to me about not just separation, but of the trauma of separation.

So, you know, the mind and the Ego can be, it can be brash, it can be rough, it can be obvious. You can sort of know sometimes when you're being egoic or when you're utilizing the vehicle of the Ego. But many, many times it's very subtle. It's very, very subtle in the way it pervades everything that we perceive in the universe.

Even these mystical non-dual experiences are perceived from a longing for union, for belonging, for reunification. And you know, you have to ask, how did that separation happen? Why has that separation happened? Where did the Ego come from originally that has become separated?

7. You are the Ocean in the Drop

I really like the poet Rumi, the Sufi poet, who says, you know, you are not the drop, you are the ocean IN the drop. So that undifferentiated oceanic consciousness, that sense of belonging, that sense of Oneness that the non-dual state can reveal, is something that has separated from its ocean-ness into the drop, or the individual Ego. So why has that happened?

You know I believe there are no mistakes. And there seems to be growing circumstantial evidence that this separation from the Oneness of oceanic consciousness occurred as a traumatic incident in the individual and the collective field. So let me tell you a story:

A few years ago, I was in Costa Rica at a retreat. And I was partaking of the sacred Huachuma, which is the grandfather (San Pedro) cactus medicine. And I was having a unusually strong experience. It may have even been a 5-MeO-DMT reactivation, in hindsight. Anyway, it was an experience down on the beach of essentially an atomic dissolution of consciousness melting into the white light. And it was inevitable and it was beautiful and it was ego dissolving.

And there in front of me, as I'm coming in and out of consciousness, scuttled this little hermit crab. And, you know, in these receiving head states there is another facility of the Ego – not just the problem-solving and logic – but the capacity for intuitive receiving of the signal of all this information.

And I got this full download from the hermit crab. It was scuttling along in the sand and it struck me. 

We are like the hermit crabs, that humanity is essentially separated from that ocean, which is right by us. And we had come out of that oceanic Oneness, and we had armoured like the crab to protect ourselves.

And it really, really hit home, that the egoic mind that we're in is part of our protection mechanism. And again, you know, this is my story, right? This is my story that I'm sharing with you. And it feels resonant to me. So, there's no scientific proof of this, right? We don't know about this fall into consciousness. We have a feeling we're all feeling. And the thing is, you know, we're all in the same cult. I mean we're all in different cultures, but we're all in the same cult, which is the root origin of culture. In the sense that we've all been brought up in this separation, especially in the West, you know, of the mind.

And so many cultures that have come before us, especially indigenous cultures that have an understanding of connection to the earth. They have an understanding of Oneness, and sometimes that's mediated through plant medicines and earth medicines, which alter consciousness. Sometimes the ability to commune with nature is its own mind altering and mind opening sacrament, that being embedded back within the web of life, being reconnected and rewoven into the sacred tapestry, is something which reduces that sense of Ego. And there creates a sense of belonging.

So, in counterpoint, the egoic consciousness we have today feels a lot like a species defense mechanism. And it implies that something happened to us that has brought the Ego in its modern form to the fore.

So, the Ego is essentially not just your sense of identity, it's how we navigate, right? It's how we choose to go left or right. It's how we chose to avoid the man-eating saber tooth tiger or how we choose to do problem solving – and it's protecting us. So sometimes this arises in the psychedelic experience where some people can experience fear because the mind – the egoic mind – is protecting us from the unknown, from the ego dissolving-ness, which we'll get to in a moment, of the psychedelic experience…

But sitting there on that beach, having this intuition with the hermit crab, it really made me feel that we have been protecting ourselves and that the egoic structure goes up into the mind and is out of the body. It's out of the body. It's not feeling safe. And I wondered: what had happened?

8. Return of the Dreamtime

You know, I'm from Australia originally. And the Aborigines, the indigenous originating peoples of this land, they have a concept which in our Western anthropological appropriation, I guess you could say, we have called the Dreamtime. And yet the Dreamtime is such a beautiful phrase because it's embedded in the language of this dreaming time, of this capacity to get out of the rational linear mind into a more non-local distributed consciousness that is connected to nature and receiving information from nature to be reconnected.

And over the years I've had interactions with different elders of the Aboriginal tribes and even interviewed a few. And they basically say that the Dreamtime is coming back, that it's like a season of consciousness. That it is something that we have had and that some of them still retain a connection to. And that is something that it is possible for us to reconnect to. A season of consciousness.

So there are many other cultures on the earth which also understand the idea of seasons, whether that's of world ages, of the zeitgeist, or of literally of consciousness itself, that there are different phases within which consciousness ebbs and flows in the human condition.

Most famous, perhaps you could point at some of the Mesoamerican cultures and maybe the Maya who as well as having an amazing understanding of time and the cyclic nature of time through their astronomy and their connection to the stars, were also a very shamanic culture and were engaging in psychoactive, right relationship with nature. They understood the cycles, the grand cycles of time and consciousness itself.

So to bring it back a bit more to the scientific record around 13,000 years ago, the earth experienced one of its many shocking climactic upheavals with an extinction event, which sciences has named the Lower Dryas event. It happened about 12,800 -13,000 years ago. Before that we've gone through cycles of ice ages and essentially the human species and the other species as well, only proliferate during the interglacial warming periods when the ice poles have melted and are not covering as much of the planet. And we have this blooming of species in the niches which are revealed when the ice ages leave.

And about 13,000 years ago when we were going from a larger ice age melting phase into a warmer phase, there was a resurgence of ice. We don't know exactly what caused it, but it happened very quickly. And there was a shift across the planet in the archaeological remains from the hunting gathering society we had been, which was regulated by the planetary conditions in such that all the species in the planet are in a homeostatic relationship of balance. When they get out of balance, that's when one species starts to proliferate and, you know, there's only so much energy on a closed system planet, and it's all affecting each other.

9. Species PTSD

So around 13,000 years ago we shifted very dramatically to agriculture and to growing food and to being in relationship with domesticated animals. And a lot of the conditions for viral infection have come from the conditions of a boxed humanity.

I mean it's taken 13,000 years for this algae bloom of this one planetary species called homo erectus or mankind to spread across the planet. We're almost at 8 billion people now so it's a bit like an algae bloom and it's a bit like a candida growth in the planetary biome itself. We're out of sync or out of relationship with the earth – we have fallen into this egoic consciousness, which is so separate from the earth that it rapes and pillages and takes and has forgotten the sacred relationship.

And this is not just the sadness of a man, it's the sadness of the planet that we have forgotten the mother, you know, the sacred being that is alive, that we are part of. And so this again, to me, points towards what we know from modern psychoanalytic theory, which is a very pronounced in its overlap with psychedelic culture of late, of things like PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) – of understanding that there are experiences we go through as human beings which cause trauma, and trauma can affect us so deeply that we adapt to it and we don't even realize we are traumatized.

So, imagine 13,000 years ago a species trauma descends on the planet and in one generation, one very short lifetime everything changes. I mean, you may be feeling resonance with this now – basically overnight, everything changes. And there's a stage of grieving, of letting go of the old, of coming back to base chakra and survival. And all of this is very traumatic and the Ego, which is the sense of "I", is helping us to survive and is navigating this tumultuous world, this world which is out to kill us, this world which we are separate from and not feeling the relationship with anymore.

So, I posit we actually have as a human race, species PTSD, and we are like the hermit crab in our shell, in our armoring, which has built up over thousands of years and cultural civilizations. And we are coming from a place of great wounding. And that essentially that wounding is as long as "his-story" as Terence McKenna used to call it.

So interestingly enough, Gabor Maté, who is a famous Canadian psychotherapist and has been working with ayahuasca, has written many books on trauma. He spent 20 years in practice working with addiction counseling in Vancouver. He's a brilliant speaker and you can hear many of his talks on YouTube, but he basically says that within his experience of addiction, there is always a root cause. There is always a signifier or a catalyzer for the trauma. And that the addict is essentially trying to heal themselves. The addict is trying to suppress the pain, to push it away, to make it feel better.

And it feels to me if we stretch this metaphor, and it's not much of a stretch, that humanity is addicted to the Ego, and it's addicted to this state of being, the state of mind, which is consuming the planet and consuming itself.

And it's coming from that sense of trauma that happened 13,000 years ago, as our entire locus of civilization shifted overnight. And we've gone into flight and fear, we've got into survival and we've gone into protecting ourselves, which over the thousands of years has become this technological algae bloom across the planet, which is basically cities. 

Now over 51% of humanity now lives in cities, disconnected from nature and going further and further into the virtual worlds, into our technology, into something which is protecting us from feeling. And this is a great danger and perhaps a civilizational dead end, right?

So, I'm just reiterating this idea that I believe that the Ego is needed. That no one really wants to kill the Ego. The Ego has a place, but that role of Ego used to be navigating and protecting, but it wasn't as pronounced as it is now. That basically the ego state we have now is a deep sense of species trauma. So that trauma can be healed and it needs to be healed because we need to come back to ourselves and to each other.

And we need to come back to the planet, because it's not something separate from us.

10. Entheogens are Secreted by the Planet for the People

This is what indigenous people say when I've gone down to the Amazon and worked with many of the curanderos and the shamans of the Amazon that work with ayahuasca, and other plant medicines. All over the world the planet, and here's a good word, the planet secretes psychoactive substances. You can say psychedelic. So, the word psychedelic is only 70 years old or so. Also, you know, originally 'psyche' means "mind manifesting", but look at the egoic conceit there – do we really need more mind to manifest?

So, in the 80's to get away from the stigma of psychedelics, the academics coined the term 'entheogen', which is from the Greek, meaning to "invoke the divine within" – any substance which invokes the divine within. So that's a little bit better because it's not just the mind within, it's the divine within.

And these substances in nature are everywhere, right? Every culture, apart from maybe the Arctic and Antarctic, has plants. And you've got to remember that everything is consciousness, not just in the planet, but in us, like when we eat food, we're having a chemical reaction. We're changing our consciousness. When we fast, we're changing our consciousness. When we ingest ayahuasca or the San Pedro cactus, or the Acacia DMTs, or, you know, the dozens and dozens of other sacred plant medicines, we are changing our consciousness. And these substances are secreted by the planet. They are exuded, and they're not just random.

I mean, there's been a little bit of scientific inquiry looking at I guess, the energetic baseload needed to create certain psychedelic substances within nature. And, you know, there's been some theories put out that things like tryptamines, which is a very basic–almost neurotransmitter–all through the plant kingdom, all through mammals and in the human organism as well, that connects us to the web of life. That they could be not exactly a sort of poison, but that the tryptamines could be a protectant for the organism from other creatures. Except tryptamines don't protect plants from getting eaten.

We're just one species amongst many, we're embedded in the great mystery of nature herself. And she secretes these substances, the entheogens, which when we partake of them, they perfectly fit the neural structure of our brains. And they unveil the great mystery and they invite us back to a sense of union, to a sense of Oneness.

In humans [entheogens] dissolve the egoic sense of separation. They enable us to plug back into what the Greek word for this is: "Gaia". For this idea of the planet, for the idea of the mother as a planetary organism.

And this is a really big shift in the modern egoic understanding of who we are and what the world is. We're still seeing this from a pre-Copernicus mode of thinking, like the sun revolves around the earth. We're still thinking that the earth in a sense, revolves around us, that it's all about us.

11. Gaian Yoga

And remember that union idea is that whole idea of yoga, right? It's like "Gaian yoga". It's like coming back to this sense of Oneness with nature. So, there's no left-hand path with the shamanic medicines, with the psychoactives of Gaia. There's a direct felt psychedelic experience.

And it's not a shortcut. It's not cheating. It's a sense of damaged Ego which is so separate from the planet, that thinks that we have to do it all ourselves. We have the capability to go within.

We can use modalities like breathwork, and meditation and, you know, different manipulations of consciousness to slog away and chip away at discovering what is within us and how we connect. But we're already so disconnected that we see ourselves as separate from the planet and that taking a substance that is secreted from the planet that is meant to fit into our neural structure is somehow cheating or wrong.

I mean we're so damaged we won't let Mother Earth re-embrace us. That's trauma, right? We don't want to be helped. No, no, we're fine. We can do it ourselves. We've got along fine for 13,000 years. But look what we've done. We're on the edge now as a civilization.

And in a blip of history in the last few decades there has been a great resurgence in psychedelics, in man-made chemicals that alter consciousness that come from the lab and in an awareness of indigenous cultures which have been guardians and caretakers for the plants and earth medicines. And they've been waiting, right. They've been waiting.

I mean, basically in our 13,000 years of trauma we've been the victim of separation. And here's the thing about the separation. If you go back to the analogy of the Australian Aborigines and the Dreamtime consciousness… If you've ever had a psychoactive experience in nature and you have felt that connection, you have felt that Oneness, you have felt that that being-ness, that aliveness that you are part of something bigger, you know.

It's not the conscious mind which registers all the details when you're in communion with nature. It's the heart, it's the gut, it's those older networks that feel, that know in like this "Gaian telepathy". This feeling of knowingness, of that connection, of seeing the ripple in the species and in nature and of how that affects you. And you know, before the mind knows.

If you can imagine that we had that connection, that it's broadcast, it's radiant. And all of a sudden 13,000 years ago something happened and there was a fall of consciousness – and it was abrupt. And in that abruptness, there was a heartbreak, there was a loss, and that loss was so great that we went into shock. And that shock has been the shockwave of history rippling out and now covering the earth and killing the earth and endangering our place in the entire web of life itself.

12. Guardians of the Threshold

So, the guardians of these medicines, these entheogens that live in nature, the plant medicines, they were colonized. When Western culture, which is the traumatized damaged culture went out back to the original world, the old world, it tried to subjugate it in the name of the church and in the name of religion, in the name of the kingdom and God and whatever. But you know, the church was horrified by the indigenous usage of plant medicines because it was so distant from it.

And yet these people – which are us – I mean, there's one humanity here, one race, and, you know, it's like the [indigenous] have been caretakers of these medicines for when the rest of us have fallen out of the relationship with nature and retreated to the safe zone of our caves and then our towns, and then our cities, and now technologies. The indigenous peoples of the world are the great caretakers. They're the stewards of the sacred.

And when I first went down to the jungles of Peru 15 years ago, I learnt a lot about that, about the role [the indigenous] have been playing as gatekeepers of these substances.

So, neuroscience has done some analysis on what happens in a psychedelic experience, whether that's from a psychoactive from the planet or a man-made chemical from a lab. And essentially within that structure of the mind, we know that we have the Default Mode Network (DMN). which is like this regional cluster or geography of the brain, which aggregates senses together into a sort of a frequency or a channel of reality.

And when we take a psychoactive substance, it lowers or makes more permeable that Default Mode Network. And when the Default Mode Network goes down, consciousness-at-large has the ability to go out into the full spectrum of reality or of consciousness channels and to receive more signal and to go into the niches.

And this is what the psychoactive experience does. And remembering that everything made in a lab is sort of child's play, we're sort of copying and imitating the bio-mimicry of nature. So, nature makes these psychoactive substances. And you know, as I've researched – and you can see it in my documentary series Shamans of the Global Village, these substances are all over the planet. It's no mistake. She secretes them. They usually occur in plants and sometimes other animals.

And when we take [entheogens] they help us to remember. And this is really important because we're forgotten. I believe we've forgotten in our trauma. We forgotten in our pain body. And when we're in the mind, we're not in the body, we've come out of the body, we've come out of the feeling and we're living up in this little safe zone, but we're not embodying, we're not living the fullness of the human being.

13. The Whole Earth Includes Us

And so, these substances have an ability to lower the Default Mode Network and to reconnect us to the web of life. In the 60's there was a few psychedelic philosophers and spokespeople who talked about this. There was Bear Owsley. There was Gerard Heard, one of the poets, who had this idea that the earth is a living being. And you've got to remember – before about 1970, which was when the Whole Earth Catalog came out, which was created by Stewart Brand, one of the Merry Pranksters. And this whole ecological revolution, which came out of the 60's and the whole psychedelic mind frame, which reconnected to nature, reconnected to self and helped to shift the course of history. And so, there was this idea that we started to see the earth as a whole organism and as a being again. The front cover of the Whole Earth Catalog had a picture of the earth from space.

There was this understanding of holism, of Gaian, you know, Oneness. And it's been a long drift of history to get to a perspective to be able to look out and then look back at ourselves as a planet and a planetary intelligence.

But this is essentially what the sacred medicines that the planet secretes do. And this is what all these indigenous cultures have had the ability to do – to look out and to look within with these substances, to viscerally connect to the web of life and to have a relationship with that. So you could say that shamanism has kept this thread alive while we've retreated to the what's now the cities and essentially into the mind.

And in the last generation or two there's been a resurgence in Western culture, re-engaging with the indigenous stewards of the earth – with the shamans, the medicine people around the world. And they believe, you know, that they are the holders of these medicines. And these medicines are not a Western pharmaceutical concept. They're medicines of the soul, the medicines of the planet to alleviate this sense of Ego and separation.

We know that from science – they've done EEG and MRI scans – and they know that the Default Mode Network goes down on psychoactive substances and consciousness can expand out into the unity of the Gaian web.

In the 60's Gerard Heard and Bear Owsley and McKenna in the 80's, all had this idea that the planet secretes the psychoactive substances, and they act as almost like species modulators. They suggested that the tryptamines, for instance – which is one of these psychoactive substances – are in nature and the nature takes the time to gestate these substances so that when they plug into mammals from the plant kingdom, that they act as interspecies mediators. That means they can communicate across the species lines.

Because when we go into these altered states, we drop the normal rigid Ego and we receive more information. And sometimes that information is from the planet, or from, you know, other species in the web of life. They're like exo-pheromones which are activating the human species to warm, to soften, to feminize in a way, to come back into relationship with Gaia from this hard-yang-masculine separation niche. To come back into Oneness with the mother. And this is part of this drift, I believe, from Ego to wego, to coming home, to coming back to a sense of Oneness and being in presence.

14. The Wetiko Virus

There's definitely something sick in the human condition in our separation, which I believe is embedded within the Ego.

There's a native American Indian term they call "Wetiko", which they believe is a little bit like a curse and a little bit like a virus. It's an idea of a spirit which infects humanity. And that spirit is kind of cannibalistic in the sense that it's driven by the Ego. It's driven by greed, by excess, by selfishness, by self-righteousness, by all these aggregated qualities of the Ego. There's also a positive side to the Ego, it's there, we don't want to kill it, it's there to help navigate it's there to protect–but when it starts to go bad, when it starts to just be the "I" without the "we", without the connection, over time, you know then we result in a humanity which is out of balance.

And so, this native American idea of Wetiko seems to be very astute and very appropriate to the global human condition now, where we're just so out of balance in that egoic-PTSD that we have polluted and destroyed and are breaking down the fundamental life support systems of the planet.

Something's got to change, and it feels to me that the indigenous people that have been caretakers of the medicines have been holding the space for us. So, when it comes to this time, this fruition time of the world out of balance… Well, it's the last antidote to his-story, because we know that these substances dissolve the Ego and they are potentially what's been called in psychedelic culture an "antidote to ego". That psychedelics are relaxing the egoic individuated traumatized mind. And they're opening it up. So much so that in psychedelic therapy now it's used, and there are protocols and whole templates for psychedelic therapy to help alleviate and cure PTSD in individuals.

So if you look at psychoactive materials like MDMA, which is an empathogen and not quite a psychedelic, or psilocybin (magic mushrooms), which is very popular now, things like 5-MEO-DMT, which is being explored as well for PTSD research. There is this applicability within the medical scientific paradigm of using psychedelic substances to directly and very successfully cure PTSD trauma in very significant cases.

The MAPS studies (the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies) have been sponsoring psychedelic research legally for many years now, and they're seeing with some of their research treatment resistant PTSD being alleviated and cured in a few sessions with psychedelic research.

So, there's an obvious tool here in that the psychedelics have been proven to cure trauma. And if we feel into that deeper, the science also says that psychedelics reduce the egoic mind, and the egoic mind is what separates us from nature. It's what aggregates into this sense of Wetiko, this sense of aggrandizement, which is a protection mechanism.

15. Ego Reinforcement

And we know that the egoic mind can resist. We know that sometimes it goes into these mind-dissolving, these ego-dissolving experiences, and it comes back stronger. If it has a full ego death, a spiritual ego death as part of a psychedelic experience, it often then bounces back into a messianic phase or an ego aggrandized phase, because it's survived. It's like, "Oh my God, there was this psychedelic experience and it was so big. It was so beyond the individual, but I was connected to this, this thing, this feeling, this oneness", and sometimes the mind rebounds, but sometimes it can take the psychedelic experience, the experience of Oneness, and it can slot it into its old patterns.

And then sometimes the psychedelic experience over time, the Ego can also adapt, but it can find a middle path. And this is what I've been seeing with 5-MEO culture specifically…

So 5-MeO-DMT is probably the most powerful Ego dissolving enthoegen we know of, and we contain it also within our being–it's nicknamed the 'God Molecule'– is that sometimes it's not just about dissolving into the fullness of the ego death and rebirth. Sometimes it's about teasing or buffing or allowing the muscle of the Ego to adapt into the non-dual state, into the egoless-ness state, which these substances can engender, and to stretch it, to learn how to have some functionality.

And there's levels within the Vedic maps, again of presencing within the levels of the non-dual state, that oceanic sense of Oneness that lies within as a geography – and as you go into that geography within there is still mind, but the mind is learning to let go. And it's a process of the more you let go and open, the more you are filled by that non-dual unity space that can be revealed. So, there is a process of a relationship with that. 

And here's the thing: if the non-dual state lies within us, and the non-dual state is a sense of Oneness and unity and presence, it's our original state of being.

And we know that these cycles of consciousness come and go as indigenous cultures tell us, and that there is a potential to reclaim this original state. And perhaps all of history has been a blip or a phase state that is now in transition to come back into a Gaian relationship.

And if the Ego dissolving psychedelic experience has been flickering on and off through history, keeping alive that state, that memory of the destination, the way forward, it's almost as if we're now coming full circle.

And this potential that lies within us can be reawakened through the medicine experience of the planetary entheogens, which are there to remember and remind and renew and refresh the relationship, and to take us to a place from Ego to wego so that we're no longer alone, we're no longer separate. We're no longer struggling to survive. To remember that we're part of something very old and very new, and we're safe and we're loved, that we belong and we're home.

And that's what I believe is where we're headed and to get there we're in these times when we are experiencing a planetary ego death, and it's a medicine experience. I like to joke, you know, on ayahuasca you might have many cups of medicine over a night. I feel that right now we're one cup in, and this is a collective experience. It's a collective grieving, it's a collective mourning what we're going through as a species on this planet at the moment. And it's also a collective journey home.

Thank you.

I am Rak Razam.

Q&A with Audience

MC: Thank you, Rak. That was awesome. That was amazing. And I'm sure we've got, we already have a lot of questions. So, let's start with this first one here. Like the Eastern sages that came in the 1920s and 30s out here to the West and they taught their philosophy. Currently, we see ancient plants are the ones who are aiding us to heal here in the West. And what are your thoughts on that that phenomenon seeing the emergence of these plants healing us?

Rak: When I first went down to the Amazon I met the curanderos who are the medicine people in Peru. And they said to me that the teachers, the doctors, are the spirits in the plants, and we have been so compartmentalized from that relationship with nature, that we no longer believe there is an intelligence in nature. And there is, I mean, the more you experience these substances and the more you go into nature –and you don't even have to take a psychedelic substance – you just have to be in nature and be open to it. There's an intelligence, but there's an active intelligence. There's a planetary intelligence. And so that active planetary intelligence is in all living things. And it's working through all living things and it's sculpting us for its own purposes of blossoming and becoming.

So just like the Eastern sages that come bearing wisdom into a culture, in nature, I mean, culture is embedded within nature, right? It's a protective mechanism. But the sages of the planet, the sages of the mother are the plant medicines and the spirits in the plant medicines.

And when I first went down to the Amazon they told me it's all about relationship. When we say in the West that there's a medicine or we're sick, they were like, yeah, you're sick, but it's not just that you have a physical sickness, you have a mind sickness, you have a disconnection as Westerners. And that's why these are medicines. And the spirits in the plants are the teachers. And they sing their songs, their icaros, their vibratory medicines. They sing their medicines into us in ayahuasca ceremonies, or they connect to us in the web of life. And they're always radiating their consciousness but we have become too dull or too hardened or armored to hear them, because you don't just hear them. You feel it.

And humanity has hardened its mind, its Ego and its heart. And the great warming and the great defrosting and the great melting of the heart is what happens with these medicines: the heart opens again.

And that's when we hear the great wisdom that's always been there. And it comes from the relationship with the ancestors, with the spirits of the earth and with the earth itself. And that's the pool of wisdom that we draw upon. Nothing is ever invented or new. It's all just remembered from that Great Being, which is nurturing and loving us.

MC: Yeah. And along with that, you know, we also see our society these days seems to be extremely reductionist and materialistic, you know, but we also see many individuals like you and the people here that really are waking up. So, what are your thoughts on this awakening and how bad does it have to get for us to get to that collective "Wego" so we don't end up destroying ourselves?

RAK: Well, here's the real thing; I mean, awakenings is a verb and, you know, like most spiritual things, it's become a bit of a brand and a bit of a compartmentalized lifestyle choice. We dabble in this awakening process, or some of us are more committed on the path, but, but I believe it is a process, but we're still looking at it from the ego point of view that "I" am awakening, or that person is awakening. I think the planet is awakening.

And those cycles of consciousness that the psychedelic ancient ancestor cultures appreciated, they understood the cycles of time. And essentially, essentially, if you go back to the Mayans, which is a very rich and resonant culture, they believed that the center of our galaxy was what they called Hunab Ku, the womb of the Great Mother. And in 2002 at the center of our galaxy NASA discovered a black hole and current astrophysics points to the process that the black hole has in helping generate and birth stars into being.

The Mayans also believed that womb of the "great mother" was the center of consciousness. And in the world ages our orbit within the galaxy shifts; in our solar system we are traveling, and we're always bombarded by these deep galactic energies, but it shifts over time. You know, we still think terrestrially, it's like, here we are awakening, and then here's the planet awakening. And then there's the realization that the web of life continues in this infinite blossoming into the galaxy and into in the universe.

And if you've ever seen the structures of the galaxy they look like neuronal pathways of the brain – there's similarities as above so below in nature, because nature extends beyond the planetary bias. I say all this to try to give a big picture map of this understanding of the process of awakening, I believe it is a process that is beyond us.

And we think we're on our individual awakening path, but that individuality is embedded within Gaia, within the planet. And she's awakening, she's transforming. And she's also transforming because she's also embedded in a larger ecosystem of the solar system and the galaxy. And all of that ecosystem is always being bombarded by energy, by deep galactic cosmic rays, by all these star systems and energy and all the magnetic fields of the sun and galactic sun and the earth are all connected into this macro organism, which is awakening. 

It gets pretty trippy, right? But essentially, it's an organism and there are layers and levels of it. And there's a process underway of deep galactic energies and solar energies and the relationship between the sun and the earth. I like to say the earth is like having an earthgasm, right? Like there's a process of awakening in the earth and we the species are being radiated by this energy, which is being broadcast. And that is what is awakening us.

And then we start to get these individuals receiving the signal, which is like, oh, "I am awakening. I'm doing it. I'm on my journey of awakening". And yes, you are. We all are. And it's happening very, very fast now. So, I mean, it's a whole other story, but it's all related.

It hits the headlines every week now, it's like, what fresh heaven is this?

But the Arctic Circle is melting, experiencing a hundred degrees Fahrenheit temperatures this summer. And we've seen unprecedented flooding and rainfall and locust plagues and all those compounding factors. But essentially the earth is in rapid transformation. And yes, humans have contributed to that with global warming, but global warming has happened many times before in the previous species extinctions. There's a process in the living organism of the planet, which is part of its awakening and part of our awakening.

And it creates a sense of urgency. And this is really good in a sense, because everything we thought about ourselves and about the world has been a very brief moment in time. It's been those 13,000 years of the integration period where it's been warm enough for humans like an algae bloom to cover the planet. And we've just gone rampant. We've just run rampant over the planet.

And now that that time is ending. And the thing is – we can't avoid it. If you've ever had a challenging psychedelic experience, sometimes the mind tries to avoid it. It's too much for the mind to let the mind go, to really know who and what we are. We scream, and we run from it and we do anything to like, not go there. And yet we're being invited to go there. We're being asked to go there. And in fact, there's no not going there because this is a planetary awakening. It's a planetary ceremony, and it's an initiation.

And it's happened before – life has survived five previous species extinctions. And hopefully some of us will survive this one, but we're not going to survive in the old normal, and we're not even going to survive in the new normal that they're trying to build for us within culture, because nature is awakening.

Nature is transforming and she is the great equalizer. She has a plan. It's basically a rebirth, but to rebirth, you need to have a death. And this is what the ego mind has been fearing for its individual lives. And for its species life. We fear death because we don't remember what's behind death. We don't remember that non-dual state of Oneness and being that births us, that Source that we come from and that we go back to.

And that's what my 5-Meo-DMT experiences have helped me remember and realize, and other experiences too. It's not about a particular entheogen or medicine. It's about the fact of how much we can surrender, how much we can let go, how much we can open up, how much we can drink in that unity consciousness, that ocean of being. And if you can, there's not just that feeling of Oneness and inevitability to this state, that sense of going home.

It feels to me that that space, that state, that grace of Oneness is where we come from. And that it's only the Ego, which feeds the mind, fears. And when we drop the fear and the Ego, and we come into the heart brain or the heart mind, and the gut instinct, again, we receive the signal of Oneness and we're home.

And we can be home in that space, awakened as human beings on earth, we don't have to physically die and go back to the Godhead, but we will. One day we come from there, we go back to there, but we can hold space to learn how to lower the egoic mind and to open the heart and to let God have the human experience through us.

We're human beings having a divine experience, but even that's the tricky ego thinking, you know, it's like, God is actually having the human experience, but we keep thinking we're having it and that we still keep getting it the other way around.

I think that process has been initiated, which is natural, and which is going to be a planetary, you know, disaster movie.

But I mean, the language is important because it's not a disaster. It's a letting go.

It's the five stages of grief and we've been in denial, right? The, the rage is coming, the bargaining is coming, the grief is coming, and eventually there will be acceptance.

But in that process, there is going to be a planetary mobilization and a planetary cultural change of awakening where we have to come together, because there are no others, there's us and all the species, and this is our planet. This is our home. This is our space. We have to come together in love because that is the antidote to fear.

And that is the antidote, the Wego to the Ego.

These medicines, when they've been helping alleviate our species PTSD, when we come to that sense of security, when our base chakra feels safe, when we can go up the chakras into the heart, when we can blossom and open, then we get the keys to the kingdom.

Then we understand what's going on. It's this mind, which struggles and survives and protects, and we're all still going through it.

And it's just begun.

So yeah, the process of awakening, I believe is a process that is beyond us and is being received in our consciousness now. And I believe that it's going to be messy because birth is messy and beautiful.

MC: Yeah, absolutely. So, you've mentioned Gaia, she's going through some things, do you see Gaia in her own journey as possibly a hero's journey? Do you see at all some of the things going on, you mentioned global warming, we've got this pandemic, is that potentially her immune system at work during her journey?

Rak: It's a loaded question these days to get into the plandemic type of stories. So, you know, right at the start, I said, I'm a storyteller, right. And I've been, I've been working on some screenplays recently, and it's about all of this. It's putting medicine memes into Hollywood. That's my focus at the moment.

And so, what you've got to remember is that all of this is a story, right? We're living through the story and the civilizational story is breaking down to make way for a new story. I've been looking at Campbell's hero's journey for my screenwriting. And that's a really beautiful way to phrase that, thank you: Gaia is on her own hero's journey or heroine's journey. And there are stages to that journey. And essentially if we break it down to the three act structure the hero's journey is first leaving the unknown behind.

And that's the first step – that you have to let go of all that's gone before, because we're going into new territory and Gaia is going into new territory in this iteration. She goes through these extinction events, every hundred thousand or so years with the ice ages, that form. And then she makes new life forms.

And, you know, it's that process of the spearhead of evolution, forcing us to change like DNA responds to its environment. If you're just in a Japanese zaibatsu work cubicle and you live for 50 years and get a gold pocket watch when you retire and you're not getting any nature, your DNA is just denuded and it's just dead and it's not responding, but if you're on the cusp of a planetary emergency and you're out there, you're getting information from the trees and the plants and the light and the soil, and all of nature is talking to the rest of nature, including us.

And it's all saying: it's time. It's happening. It's this planetary hero's journey.

And the first step is that removal of the known; you have to leave the known world behind and you strike out into the unknown. And that's where the second stage begins of the initiation. And this is where we're at. 

The old world is being let go, and we're scrambling to hold onto it. And all the cultural systems are doing their best, but really, I think the end has begun. It needs to. We have this initiation that's coming, we're going through it now.

And the initiation potentially is the psychedelic experience. I mean, you know, in the Campbell myth metaphor, the initiation is a sense of psychic connection or psychic instigation. It's a new stage of consciousness beyond what we were inhabiting in the old stage of consciousness.

And then you come to the third stage of the hero's journey. If you look at this cultural transformation it's all about coming back to the tribe, it's coming back to the world that you'd left behind and bringing your knowledge with you. And yeah, this is where you could look upon our individual awakenings and this message, which is coming through.

I mean, you know the core of the psychedelic experience is the way we are connected to something larger, and yet we're having it like, you know, one person at a time. Imagine if we have like seven and a half billion people having a psychedelic initiation through this planetary transformation, all at the same time, that's going to be pretty big to integrate and to come back to the new normal, but that's the potential of what we're doing.

To survive we need to let go of the Ego and the fear and open up to the process that's underway and trust the process is underway.

We're still so anchored to the body, into the flesh and to survival because we fear death, because we don't understand what's beyond death, because we don't understand what life is. But if we can let go of all that fear and have the initiation, then there's a planetary new normal, which is the integration of the hero's journey. And it's, I mean, it's enormous.

I mean, these are really nice words, and this is a great conversation, but the living of this, in this generation, like this apocalyptic moment we're going through and remembering that the translation in Greek for "apocalypse" simply means the revealing. It doesn't necessarily mean, you know, the end times. These may be the end of the old times, but there's a continuation of something, of us in some form coming in the future, and it is a planetary initiation we're going through, a planetary awakening.

MC: Good. So, you mentioned group mind, you know, you talked about collective consciousness and collective PTSD. What do you mean by group mind? You know, what might that look like practically and how could it be related to AI and maybe some ways to even connect brains together?

Rak:  Okay. Well, those things are related, but I'd take a differentiation of them in the sense that, look at nature, nothing is new under the sun, right? And we have ways of individuating. We have I mean, humans are, I guess, some of the most damaged and individuated creatures, because most of the other species live in some type of tribal or herd or collectivism group identity.

It even culminates by saying the insects and all of those creatures have evolved. They've potentially had a stage when they've been individuated and separated as well, but the insects have learned how to behave as a group organism, as a collective. And we have this potential as well. I actually have a little quote here from Bruce Lipton, who is a biologist and a scientist, listen to this.

He says,

While we are dismayed by the current life-threatening crises that are challenging civilization, we may be encouraged by observing evolution's, repetitive patterns. It's becoming apparent that civilization is being pushed into entering the next phase of evolution. A stage in which human beings are the equivalent of cells assembling into a new unity, expressed as humanity by definition, humanity is a multi-cellular super organism comprised of 7 billion human cells.

So that idea of collectivism is basically what different insects have gone through on their frequency of consciousness. What I'm saying is there's a capacity in consciousness itself to share a collective telepathic-species-mediated union, and still be individuated creatures, separate but more connected. We can see this in nature. It's possible. And yet the pressures we're going through on the planet at the moment, the reason we've survived previous extinction events is because we had each other, like no one human being can survive on their own.

You need a family, you need a tribe, you need the others. And those others act as an extension of the human organism for survival. And so, you look at the way insects collectivized and the pressure of planetary transformation. It seems to be that if we're going to get through this, we're going to get through this together, not as individuals or individual nation states, but as one humanity.

And that pressure is like the pressure of coal being transformed into diamond over 6 million years, the intense pressure changes its atomic structure, the intense pressure in our environment, which is a process of the planet is awakening, is activating our DNA. It's activating our full capacity for consciousness and one model for where that could be is a type of hive mind, a collective group, empathic belonging. And it's very possible because we can see that nature's already gone there. We know there's a species advantage to that to help you survive.

And there also seems to be some type of group "borganism" hive mind meme building in science fiction; it's seen as alien and as something to reject from this individuated consciousness. But if you remember, again, the whole context of this talk is that individuated consciousness is the trauma speaking. As the Borg say in Star Trek, "you will be assimilated. Resistance is futile." So yeah. Go with it, go with it.

If we look at technology, about 50,000 or more years ago, we stopped evolving genetically and we started evolving exo-somatically, or outside the body with our technology. So, everything that technology is doing on the outside with this amazing internet and, you know, our phones and AI's and Elon Musk wanting to make brain machine interfaces that put brains together. It's like a Petri dish. It's like the Ego in a little kid in a toy lab experimenting. And that's how we're learning. But everything that they're doing with the external technology is just an extension of our consciousness. Our consciousness has created that technology outside of ourselves thinking it's separate, but it's part of us.

It's like the whole internet is an extension of our mind across the planet, like a skin of the planet. Gaia is not just the physical and the atmosphere and the ionosphere and the lithosphere and the magnetic field and the heliosphere at the edge of the solar system. There's all these really subtle frequencies of conscious being in the planet. And now the internet, is the latest one. And so, we've been building something through the apex of civilization and the very short amount of time we had with the consciousness we had.

And it strikes me as no mistake that there's something building itself through us.

And again, we think we're doing it, but the experiments with you know, potential brain interface and, and microchips and all of that, there's a lot of fear in the community around that and there's also a danger in externalizing that technology to do the thing for us, that we could already do ourselves. Like the psychedelic experience reveals that we are psychedelic, right?

We are biological beings, which are having a consciousness experience and that we can come together into a hive mind. We can come together and share consciousness in a group telepathic situation.

You know, there's many tribes in the Amazon, which drink ayahuasca together as a tribe and go into a group medicine hallucinogenic space and use it to divine or use it to connect. And that there's a danger of separation of technology, specifically sort of hard machine metallic technology from the old Gaian natural originating matrix that we're embedded in. And there's a bifurcation of this species happening.

And it's like Gaia has produced the internet and produced the machines. But I still see this as some type of duality and some type of danger inherent in it, almost as if there's a vector and a pathway, which is developing to go deeper into the virtual at the expense of forgetting the natural.

And it's hard because the virtual is part of the natural and yet, unless the virtual has heart, unless you can feel in the virtual, then it's not a path of the heart. It's a path of the mind. And remembering the mind is essentially a traumatized ego. If we're building a more visible realized box for our Ego to hide away from nature, from planetary ecological transformation, devastation, rebirthing, then that's not a path of the heart. That's a path of hiding and protecting.

And there's great advances that might be coming with neuro-technology but they have to also understand what the mind really is. And it's not just this Ego, and if they're extending that but not the heart, then they haven't got the whole shebang and they're creating a Frankenstein machine that doesn't have heart. You gotta trust.

Listen, it's going to get darkest before it gets light, and there's going to be great transformations that we're living through, not just culturally, but ecologically. The real key to this time is to go within, not just to the mind, to break open the head and to break open the heart. To live a path of truth and love because love is the antidote to fear.

And there's so much fear in the world at the moment. And it's all from a place of the mind fearing and the Ego, and yes, shit is hitting the fan, right? But it's needed.

If you remember that it's this planetary hero's journey that we're all on, that this is the journey of a lifetime, and it's going to require that, right. It's going to require you to be brave and to sacrifice. And the original Latin for sacrifice means to make sacred.

So, journey a path of the heart and trust and reach out to each other and use the medicines to find that space within where you can remember the feeling of connection, because we're going to need that feeling of connection and Oneness to get through this phase that's coming.

MC: Wonderful. Beautiful love, love it. Rak, thank you so much for your contribution and your wisdom here. Great information. Thank everybody else for coming and attending this event.

Key takeaways

  • Storytelling has a transformative power in navigating unprecedented cultural and ecological changes,  a storyteller brings meaning to these times of rapid transformation and identity shift.
  • Ego in psychoanalysis is a part of the human personality that represents the self and interacts with the external world, questioning its relationship with the mind, consciousness, and the broader pursuit of understanding human identity and existence.
  • Human intelligence comprises three interconnected networks — gut, heart, and brain — each contributing to our cognitive and emotional processes, with the gut instinct playing a foundational role in our consciousness and decision-making.
  • Consciousness is conceptualized as an awareness of awareness, a non-local phenomenon possibly originating from a higher dimension and not solely anchored to the physical brain.
  • Exploring the depths of one's own mind through Eastern mysticism and meditative practices reveals the true self, transcending the constant distractions and disturbances of everyday thoughts and ego.
  • Eastern practices like meditation, yoga, and martial arts are responses to the trauma of separation and over-mechanization in the Western mind, offering pathways to stillness and reconnection in a globalized, ego-dominated world.
  • The separation of individual consciousness (the ego) from a unified, oceanic consciousness is a protective mechanism, akin to a hermit crab's shell, evolved in response to some form of trauma or necessity.
  • Psychedelics serve as gateways to a broader spectrum of consciousness, interconnectedness, and reality, deeply impacting individual and collective understanding of existence.
  • Dreamtime, a concept from Aboriginal Australian culture representing a non-linear, nature-connected consciousness, is part of a broader understanding of consciousness cycles shared by various cultures, including the Maya, and is intertwined with earth's climatic and evolutionary history.
  • Humanity's shift to agriculture 13,000 years ago led to a species-wide trauma, manifesting as a disconnection from nature and an overreliance on ego, contributing to societal and environmental problems, and necessitates healing and reconnection with the Earth.
  • Entheogens, naturally occurring psychoactive substances, play a key part in dissolving human ego and fostering a sense of oneness with the natural world, helping the shift from an ego-centric to a more harmonious and interconnected understanding of our place in the universe.
  • The pursuit of a harmonious union with nature and the rejection of the notion that using natural psychoactives is "cheating" are essential for healing the deep-seated trauma of humanity's perceived separation from the Earth.
  • Psychoactive substances can diminish the Default Mode Network in the brain, fostering a deeper connection to nature and promoting a holistic, Gaian view of the Earth, a perspective historically nurtured by indigenous cultures and shamanism, and increasingly recognized in Western culture.
  • The Native American concept of 'Wetiko', a spirit representing ego and its negative traits, is pertinent to our current global imbalance, and psychedelics, by diminishing the ego, offer a potential cure for this collective malaise.
  • Psychedelic experiences, particularly with substances like 5-MeO-DMT, can lead to a transformative ego dissolution and rebirth process, guiding individuals towards a non-dual state of unity and oneness, reflecting a collective journey towards a deeper, interconnected consciousness.