Keynote presentation at the World Bufo Alvarius Congress, Mexico City, 2019
Rak Razam (USA) The Bufo Nation. The medicine of the Bufo alvarius toad is a powerful tool to unlock human consciousness and reveal our full potential. As it spreads across the world via a network of practitioners nurturing a global community, we are witnessing and participating in a cultural shamanic movement. What are the dangers and the potentials, the ethics and the sustainability of this medicine? How can we remember All Is One and work together as a community to self-regulate, educate, and move beyond the catalyst to the integration of this endogenous experience?
So as we know, this medicine of 5-MeO-DMT from this sacred creature, the Bufo alvarius toad, is just that, it is a sacred medicine, it is carried in the body of this creature for nine months under the ground in the darkness; potentiating the 5-MeO DMT, as well as other alkaloids.
We know that there's about 484 species of toads in the world, many of them contain bufotenin and other alkaloids but this is the only one we know of which contains 5-MeO-DMT, probably because it spends so long in darkness. The Bufo Alvarius is a cousin to the Bufo Marinus, the Australian cane toad. It doesn't contain 5-MeO-DMT, and it lives above the ground.
This medicine has arrived on our cultural radar, in our awareness, and with great respect to all the Mesoamerican traditions, to all the ancestors who have come before, many of which have worked with plants and animal earth medicines to not just change their consciousness, but to plug back in, to go back to that Gaian broadband, which is always being broadcast, but which the egoic human mind has fallen out of.
1. The Cultural History of the Bufo Alvarius Toad
There is, to the best of my knowledge and this culture's knowledge at the moment, no proven ancient lineage to this medicine of the Bufo alvarius, when it is inhaled in a smokable form. We do know that there is iconography in Mesoamerican art showing the toad, which some anthropologists and academics say is a fertility symbol of the rain. There's other archeological and pictorial evidence showing the toad right next to the jaguar, right next to Quetzalcoatl himself, showing it has some type of shamanic significance. So, with great respect, it may have had an ancient lineage that has been lost.
What we do know at this time is that there is a modern lineage. There is a movement, and it's us, with this medicine. There are many lines in the sand you can draw of where this medicine may have emerged in modern times. Science knows about it from the 1960s and has reported on it. Those scientific reports are probably responsible for White Dog and the Church of Toad and Albert Most, and the underground Bufo alvarius information that very loosely percolated out into the late seventies and early eighties, but it never really went further than that.
It really wasn't until 2005, 2006, I talked to Corvis who is here today, who is one of the key figures kickstarting the movement, who served the doctors, the members of our community, Dr. Jerry and Dr. Octavio. And there may have been others too. I'm not trying to attach authenticity or say, this is what happened. We were communicating this amongst ourselves, we're figuring this out as we go.
But we do know that there was a modern usage of this medicine around 2005-2006 in Sonora with these certain individuals who were switched on and through those, and perhaps other lineages, we're all here today. There's many people that have been involved, but essentially what I'm trying to get at is this is a modern medicine, and this is a global medicine, and it has arrived in the cultural awareness, piggybacking on at least a generation or two in the West of ayahuasca use, which has had indigenous caretakers and lineages all through South America with their dogmas and their wisdom.
Because of what has come before, even in the West with the psychedelic movement in the Sixties and even all the way back in the Fifties and Forties, there's been a seedbed created culturally for altered states and not just from the lab, but from a relationship with nature. So, piggybacking on that cultural movement of medicines, of shamanic medicines of reconnection to the planet, the toad arrived just in the nick of time. It seems to me that there's no coincidence about that.
2. How Psychedelics Affect the Default Mode Network of Consciousness
We know that this medicine has been studied a little bit by science, and we know that psychoactives in general, including ayahuasca, psilocybin, LSD etc., have been studied in clinical legal tests in the last decade with EEG and MRI machines. When you take a psychoactive substance, it doesn't take you on the journey. It actually switches off these regional clusters of the brain called the Default Mode Network (DMN). Which is what your state of consciousness is at when it's at rest, this channel of reality.
The brain is filtering out the full spectrum of potential realities and different channels that are out there and the medicines are helping tune us back into that. 5-MeO may do that. It's still to be proven with the Default Mode Network, but some of the neuroscience has been pointing to the fact that it also definitively seems to reduce the parietal lobe and the frontal lobes of the brain, where partially the sense of ego and identity reside.
That sense of "I", which is so beautiful, is also keeping us separate from We.
So, when the Bufo Alvarius medicine or synthetic 5-MeO-DMT is combusted and inhaled, it goes straight to the blood-brain barrier through the lungs. And this is really important I feel. The brain lets it in, it doesn't say "Oh, that's toad 5-MeO or synthetic 5-MeO or other plant material 5-MeO, it's 5-MeO." And it lets it in.
And from that point, I feel like the toad is like a flat battery on one car that's getting jump-started by another car, but you are the vehicle. You are the one who goes on the journey and unlike the other entheogens, it's not a journey into alternate realms, it's a journey into yourself. What has always been there, what is just being revealed and being peeled away.
The fact that the brain lets it in, I think, is really significant because we know what to do with this medicine. And in a sense, I believe that the 5-MeO from an external source is a catalyst and almost like a training wheel.
3. The Mystical Nature of 5-MeO-DMT
We've had talks earlier today about the mystic nature of 5-MeO and about the different cultures on the earth which have accessed this same space and they've left us maps. It's almost as if 5-MeO is the key, but we have the lock, and what's behind that door is us, is the greater us, is the full potential, is what some of the Vedic terminology called Samadhi or the unified field or the big G word, and it's in us all along.
It's where we come from. And it's where we go back to. Every human being has this within them, this potential for the God molecule to unlock. All through history there are reports of spontaneous mystical experiences and connection to the divine, through a state of grace, because it's not just the dosage or the armoring or the sensitivity, it's the heavenly permissions and protocols. When you open into that space, which is always within you, it's always been there, it always will be there and it's running the show.
This Source Consciousness–and this is just my story, everyone has their own interpretation. This is not dogma. This is not the rules. This is not a religious text to run with and promulgate into the next generation. This is a personal, spiritual connection to what we have within us.
So, this Source, I believe, I mean, I've felt it. I'm sure many of us here have felt this. We may have different interpretations of it. It's beyond words, it's translinguistic. It needs to be felt. And when it's felt it is known, and then we may not remember or choose it's too big to remember, or we may come back and the ego reloads, and then the ego makes a story of the bits it remembers, but it's too big for the mind.
The mind is designed to help you navigate down here. What Source reveals is, what you really are and where we come from. This Source is not just "up there" or "in there," it's incarnated. And somehow through the miracle of its unconditional love, it keeps loving. It keeps growing. It keeps making everything from its Source stuff. So, I think that's pretty significant. And I also think that there's an intelligence.
4. The Toad Palace Protocols and the Vedic Maps of Consciousness
In some of my experiences with the medicine, as the ego has been there just enough to receive the signal, I get a big bandwidth. It's like everything is there. There's a beautiful little PDF, which is little known, by an Australian religious scholar called Richard King, called the Toad Palace Protocols, which deserves more scrutiny. It maps the Vedic maps of Samadhi in the different states and toad consciousness and the different states. And they're the same.
And in it, he says that essentially level three Samadhi, like Sambhoga bliss body, this unified field, this connection with all things in the Creation, Source in the Creation, there's no separation, the ego dissolves or lowers enough for you to be present, witnessing the connection to everything that is. Level four, going into the white light, the unconditional love. The ego's there just enough to witness the naked face of Creator, Creation. And that's an event horizon. In some of my experiences, it has been pretty shamanic.
My first experience with Octavio Rettig and the medicine, after I reloaded from the whiteout, I was baptized by these curanderos made of light in the unified field on that event horizon and it made me realize there's an ecology, as above, so below, nature repeats itself on different levels. It's like the condensation cycle of moisture when it rains and then it goes back up, there's a cyclic nature.
Source consciousness is designed to incarnate to come into and create spacetime, to grow more of itself. They say that we all have the potential for Buddha nature within us, or the seed of God.
I've been getting into the Eastern mysticism since toad. There's a beautiful riff in the Upanishads where they say we all have the seed of God within us.
I believe when we hack the code, the Source code, and when we use an external catalyst like 5-MeO, we are germinating that seed of God and we have this experience, but it doesn't end there. The seed will grow if you nurture it, if you water it, if you love it, if you talk to it, if you make room for it, this is what the Upanishads says. There's seven layers to the growth of that seed as it sprouts to become the fruition of its potential, to become the God incarnate that we are designed to be in our spiritual templates.
I believe everything is connected. Everything is perfect. What we're seeing in the material world, in the culture, the assembly line of this medicine going out to the world– we spent three days talking about this and it's been very necessary. Just in the last few years, there's been this self organizing homeopathic response from the culture, from the community of people that have taken toad, to find the others; to connect to the others, to share our experiences, to nurture each other, to bootstrap ourselves up and to do what are we doing here and then to figure it out together.
Because we're not alone, we've never been alone. The time of the lone wolf is over. This is the collective consciousness. I believe this is what the new age term "awakening" is really all about, awakening to our true nature.
5. Who Do You Serve?
We have seen the medicine move from Sonora, moved from the collectors, many of which have spoken here at the conference, and we have seen it spread to the indigenous tribes of Sonora to hopefully re-empower and reinvigorate and resacralize their relationship with the land in themselves and the great medicine of the Bufo alvarius toad.
And we are growing. We are going through teething issues, and we are dealing with it, I think very, very well. Within the last seven or eight years, as the medicine has promulgated itself or blossomed around the world, there are now a lot of Facebook groups, there's certain practitioners which claim they've served people in the thousands.
I've found with ayahuasca culture if you take a hundred people that have drunk ayahuasca maybe 70 or 80 will want to do it again, maybe five of them will want to be practitioners because it's a hard path. Not only do you purge, not only are there the songs and holding that space in the ceremony and the lineage, it's very, very hard work. It requires, in the indigenous Amazonian traditions, decades of learning how to be a curandero to work with ayahuasca.
With 5-MeO-DMT, and especially the Bufo, I think it's about one in three people feel like they want to be practitioners. And I ask you feel into that. Feel into what you're really feeling, feel into if there's a potential to contribute to the community. Maybe not in that centralized role as a practitioner, which does have a learning curve and does have a great responsibility and does have a lot of power dynamics; and it's – I wouldn't say it's a burden, but it's a great responsibility.
People who have felt the power of 5-MeO-DMT, feel it; it reverberates, it stays with us. It doesn't just go away. It's not a peak experience. It's an opening and people want to connect. They want to share it with their loved ones. They want to share it with the world and that impulse can get us all in trouble.
So, the community has been self-organizing and WBAC is an incredibly concrete example of that, of creating a platform for the community, by the community. It's your platform. It's what you make of it. Mario Garnier, Sandra, me and Fernando, and a dozen other volunteers, it's like we've been creating an organism, a group entity to be filled. A container, like in the medicine space, to hold the space for the medicine of us.
So we really, dearly, invite you to remain part of the WBAC community and things like Fair Trade Toad and other organizations that are springing up, because it's part of the community's self-organizing to grow itself.
6. Dangers, Good Practices and Malpractice with 5-MeO-DMT
We know that there are a lot of potential pitfalls and dangers with this medicine. There's the Conclave.info who have released best practices for practitioners, for information around integration, for ethics documents. And they're not alone, the ATBA, the Association of Therapists of Bufo alvarius here in Mexico City, they're feeling into the dynamics as well. They're coming out with statements and announcements of what they feel is integral to represent them and their work, and the community as well. No one wants to create a hierarchy because this is a network. This is the unity field. This is the ego moving to the Wego. This is all of us, and we're still human.
What we're seeing, and we've talked about this in some of the talks and the breakout groups; we had a very robust discussion in one of the breakout groups about practitioner malpractice and also good practice. One of the key things that came up was practitioners are human too. And they have a shadow. They have unprocessed things they haven't dealt with, they have egoic concerns, and that can get projected into their style of ceremony and into the way that ripples in the domino effects of affecting the person taking the medicine.
We have seen that over the last few years, on the YouTube videos, on a lot of the comments on Facebook on the toad pages, and it's happened and we're correcting, we're self-correcting. We're all in this together. And for all of the structure that we've been building, it's just words. We can't do it without you. It takes blood, the lifeblood of a community, the passion, the commitment, the trust to build something, to build the Bufo Nation.
It feels like this is what is happening. And it feels like it has this potential. As we're still human and working through all our egoic stuff, there's a very understandable approach that we've been taking. We often think here we are, we're taking the medicine or were running the ceremony, or we're creating a platform for the community or were doing something. That's the ego again. I mean, we are doing that, but we continually fall into the forgetfulness that we're in control, because remember, if you felt it, there's a unifying Source consciousness, which is it, it's it. And it's running the show.
7. Beyond the Peak Experience – the Ceremony of Life
In my journey with the medicine over the last four or five years, I've noticed that it doesn't stop at the ceremony of the peak experience, there's a ceremony of life and the same intuitive understandings, the same respect, the same cleanliness or purity or preparation for his ceremony, the same way we hold ourselves in that medicine space, it doesn't stop. It reverberates into this ceremony of life.
I've found my relationship with the medicine to be always with me, to be sculpting me, to be shaping me, to be loving me, to be a better person, to be in service to the collective and to get my ego out of the way. I often feel, in and out of medicine space, that same distributed tryptamine awareness stretched across the universe where everything is happening all at once.
If, and when, you could step outside of space time, you might see this hyper-organism on a 12-dimensional level or more, which has a shape to it. It's like the past is like our feet and the future might be up here in their heads, but it's an organism and it's feeding itself. It's feeding chronal nutrients from the past to the future and the future to the past. It's an organism, we're embedded in it. It's Source consciousness growing itself in the matrix of creation.
And it listens to itself. It's not separate. That unity field is described by cultures all across the world. I think it's Lakota, if I'm wrong, bear with me and I apologize, but the beautiful term Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ – all my relations, all that connection, Great Spirit, which runs through all things. I'm feeling that more and more.
It's like, there's these beautiful holographic synchronicities where in ceremonies, someone's in a peak experience and it's like, the mind goes down, the ego goes down, Source opens up and reveals itself. It's like a singularity point that is felt in the energetic web of life and then birds will start to circle directly overhead and you can't miss the signal.
And then reverberations will happen. I've seen people in a peak experience, screaming in ecstasies and then a dog will start barking and it will carry that sound and then a fire engine will start and it's like the entire reality grid is consensually in on it.
It's like the web of life is listening and is present. Source intelligence, consciousness is peaking in. And it's amazing. So, I say that because I feel that we are one organism finding ourselves again. And the potential of this medicine is not this peak experience. This is a transitory phase. This is a relearning. This is a great and sacred gift from the toad, which is us, just like the desert is us, and the ocean is us, and the sky is us and everything is us, but we've been falling into individualization.
I often quote the poet Rumi, the great Sufi poet who wrote such beautiful love songs to the beloved – who wasn't another human – it was God. And his love felt that feeling that overflowed into words that has carried down the generations. One of his key phrases that is so powerful for this experience, is this idea that you are not the drop, you are the ocean in the drop. You are connected right now to everything.
That Source consciousness and that seed which is growing, that has been activated, it's vibrating right here, right now in your heart. The only thing between that and a mass reactivation right now, in all of us is this beautiful gift of the mind, of the ego, which we're learning to allow to relax. It's okay. You're not in control. You're being guided at all times.
Everything is an opportunity. Everything is a lesson which will repeat, cause there's an attachment until you learn and unlock that. And bad things seem to happen, evil in the world. You know, all I can say is in duality and in unity, it's all expressing. It's all guiding. And we're all part of that, as one organism.
8. The Bufo Alvarius Community as a Global Movement
To bring that down to this microcosm of toad culture, here's an idea. Imagine we are one organism. Imagine we're the Bufo Nation, imagine that we are all cells in this larger macro being, which is awakening in the larger human species, seven and a half billion people and growing on the face of ecological devastation, planetary catastrophe. Trust. Don't give into the fear.
So, within the Bufo Nation, it starts at the root. It starts with the toad and mother earth. It starts with that connection. The responsibility and the gift are for the first responders, which are the collectors. We've seen just a few of them and there are more, there are indigenous tribes. There are the Yaki. There are the Seri, there are the Tohono. There are others. We invite all the peoples of Sonora, who come with respect to this great medicine, who want to be caretakers of the toad to work with it, to ethically and sustainably receive the gift of Bufo Alvarius. They're our feet into the root structure of Gaia, in this group identity that we are.
The practitioners are the ones that the collectors deliver the medicine to. The collectors have their ethical statements, which we are going to read to reintegrate at the end of the closing ceremony. Practitioners across the world, you can do whatever you want to do, no one's telling you what to do, but the self-organizing nature of the global community is demanding respect, safety nets, ethics, sustainability, good practices, not malpractices.
There are a lot of practitioners out there amalgamating into groups and unions to secure that safety net for people. They're our arms and our hands, they receive the medicine from the earth and the toad and the collectors to the practitioners. They give that medicine in service to you, to whoever feels they're ready. If they've been informed about the bigness of the experience, if there's the right protocols in the initiation and the right support and integration afterwards, and they disseminate that to the body, to all of us who are ready for this medicine.
Collectively we are one being. So, if we respond from a place of ego, if we say that collector's an asshole, that guy cheated me of money, that guy did this. You're responding from your human ego. Remember you're in service to a greater force. You're in service to a greater momentum in this community.
If practitioners are working from their ego, they may have bad practices or malpractices intentionally or not. I ask them to also still come back to their center, remember we're not in control, there's something bigger driving us and to work from that space, from the Source consciousness space that we're being guided by.
And I ask you all to be respectful of each other, because you're all extensions of the nerve endings of God in matter. It's no use shouting at a mirror. There's no use going online to the toad pages and bitching and trolling and not being respectful. I know not all of us are doing that, but it's out there. It's from the ego. We're still responding from a human ego-centric point of view. If we remember who and what we really are, who we serve.
I think that's a great one for practitioners. Who do you serve? You serve the community, and who else do you serve? If you go from that place and remember, your actions will be integral. I hope so.
We ask you again to please join this community in an active way. WBAC has a website. WBAC has a Facebook page and we have a group, the WBAC Communitas, and we want to stay connected with the social media glue that's out there. We've launched a hashtag from fairtradetoad.org, #KnowYour5ource, with the number five for the S, to share your experiences and to empower the community with your input.
Because to be frank, the collectors aren't going to stand by Fair Trade Toad, unless there's a demand from the community, in the marketplace. The practitioners may not stand by the ethical considerations, if they're lone wolves out there in the field who don't know about them or don't care about them.
But both of those demographics connect with you, the body, the hands and the feet. And if we support each other, be respectful and transparent and honest with each other, then those nutrients of our remembrance can transmit through this community, in this culture. So, we are one organism.
9. Heart, Gut and Head Brains – All is One
The brain is a tool and it's like the ego or the mind is like a program that's running on our operating system. When the mind goes down, it reveals older networks, the heart which has 70% neuronal material like cells, just like the brain its thinking and feeling. And it's always doing that, but it's often overshadowed by the mind up here, the intellectual brain.
There's the gut, the gut instinct, which has something like seven trillion micro-organisms that you can't live without. Again, we egoically think we're an individual. But science says on a very fundamental level, we are a colony organism. These microbacteria help breakdown food, do natural processes. They connect up through the vagus nerve to the brain, which has its own biome.
When the medicine relieves us of that egoic weight, these older networks are open to feel and to intuitively connect, to receive this signal of the Source, which is always being broadcast. So potentially as we work with this medicine, this structure which holds the egoic mind as a program on the operating system, is being formatted, is being retrofitted.
It's almost as if when you have that potential peak experience, which I like to call a galactivation, it germinates that seed of God within, and it's active in you now, it's just that the cork goes back on the bottle and the ego's there and we go out there, but back here, it's still active.
The more we do the medicine, whether it's from the toad or 5-MeO, or if we start to embody the pathways which are revealed by the external medicines with meditation and breath work and prayer, and these other modalities, which previous cultures have left us the instructions for, we can deepen our endogenous connection to Source within. So this isn't just a peak experience. This is something that's within us. And this is something which I believe wants to be known.
The more that our heart-drive is formatted by the 5-MeO experience, the more we can hold that Source consciousness in a relationship, which has the potential to transform humanity.
I know that's a very grand statement, but I trust that something bigger is running the show and there's a process underway.
And as above, so below nature works in cycles here on earth. We have these four seasons or so, and there are larger seasons of time and consciousness, which cultures like the Maya and other indigenous cultures who have been on the land for very long times, understand. And in those cycles of time, it's like we connect to Source and then it goes down to one bar signal. Five bar signal, one bar signal. There are rhythms.
It seems as if we're in a point in his-story now where everything is up for grabs, everything is on the cusp of extinction. 97% of the species in the world will be dead they say in 30, 40 years unless something is done, but again, we're not here to save the world. We're here to let the world save itself through us.
By coming back into relationship with Gaia, which is Source in Creation and Source in Source land, to be connected to that unified field, to be carried like a river to the ocean where we go back home.
So please stay in this community, grow in this community, propagate this community. And it's not just about toad, this community, it's about what toad reveals to us, that we are the Divine within. It wants to be in relationship with us and if you practice that muscle of the Divine within it will get stronger endogenously.
This is incredible. You have this tool within you, this potential within you. It's not about drugs. It's not even about the external medicine.
It's about you and God.
- The use of Bufo alvarius toad medicine for inhalation lacks proven ancient origins but has gained modern significance and cultural awareness, evolving as part of a broader movement towards shamanic and natural medicines, particularly in the context of the Western psychedelic movement.
- Psychoactive substances, including Bufo Alvarius medicine, are studied for their effects on the brain, particularly in altering the Default Mode Network, potentially enhancing self-awareness by reducing ego-centric brain activity, and acting as a catalyst for internal journeys rather than external experiences.
- 5-MeO-DMT (the "God molecule") acts as a key to unlocking a deeper, universal consciousness within humans. It emphasizes the inherent potential for mystical experiences in every person, transcending language and conventional understanding.
- Experiences with toad medicine parallel concepts from Eastern mysticism, the use of the medicine can therefore catalyse a deeper understanding and connection with the universe, ultimately leading to a collective awakening and realization of interconnectedness.
- The spread and impact of Bufo alvarius toad medicine reaches from Sonora to indigenous tribes and globally, its growing community facing challenges as there is increasing interest in becoming practitioners.
- It's important to have responsible and ethical practices in using Bufo alvarius medicine, acknowledging the human flaws and egoic concerns of practitioners, the need for collective effort and self-correction within the community, and a recognition of a greater unifying consciousness guiding the overall process.
- The experience with the medicine extends beyond the ceremonial use, influencing daily life and perspective, fostering a sense of unity with the universe and all beings, and emphasizing the interconnectedness and synchronicity of all existence.
- The 'Bufo Nation' — those involved in the use and preservation of Bufo Alvarius toad medicine — functions as a single, interconnected organism, sharing collective responsibility, ethical practices, and a spirit of service within the community to support sustainable and respectful use of the toad in the face of global ecological challenges.
- The mind, influenced by ego, can overshadow deeper, intuitive connections within the body, like those of the heart and gut. Through the use of certain medicines and practices like meditation and breath work, one can diminish the ego's dominance, enabling a deeper connection to an internal "Source".