Rak Razam

Date of original publication

Aug, 2007


Undergrowth Inc


Oli Dunlop


Ron Wheelock stares at me with cloudy gray-blue eyes ringed with hardship. He's practically bald on top with a shiny forehead, just a light scalping of thinning hair and long side hair that falls down past his ears. He's in his early fifties, with a worn-down, weather-beaten look, faded denim pants and a Western style t-shirt with a picture of a Navaho Indian on it. It’s like he's just stepped out of a John Steinbeck novel, the have and the have nots, the raw, all-American salt of the earth trying to make good and struggling against the system.

And it's not just the system, it’s the responsibilities he carries being a single dad and with his mother back in the States and all his furniture, or the roof that leaks in his house that he never gets to fix because it’s Iquitos, y’know, and here in the jungles of Peru it’s like, raining all the time, or threatening to, and even the chicken coop got fixed the other week, but he's still suffering in that ramshackle house of his out by Kilometer Nine. It’s a simple two-story log cabin not far past the Quistococha Zoo and lakefront. He brought the property off his maestro, don Jose Corale Mori, and there’s an abundant supply of thick, mature ayahuasca vine sprouting round the back that Ron uses in his shamanistic ceremonies with gringos.

Then there’s his ex-wife, whom he met at an Americana burger joint in the Plaza one night and has been sapping him of all of his money, all his mojo, and she knows it and he knows it and everybody knows it, but he's a nice guy, you know, and he tried to make it work for as long as he could. Her parents pushed her to marry him and she’s been draining him ever since. She killed his fighting chickens, she almost killed his maestro and she neglected their son.

When Ron was called back to the States unexpectedly he left her with the responsibility of their son, Quetzalcoatl and donJose Coral Mori, his teacher, who’s now ninety-nine and in an old age home here in Iquitos. Ron pays his bills and looks after him as best he can, but when he came back to find his wife hadn't been looking after him properly and Mori was almost dying from malnutrition, that was the last straw. He checked on Jose into the hospital and has tried to look after him as best he could ever since.

So many responsibilities, and he's doing the best he can. And his first priority is to his boy, his beautiful lil’ Queto. “He’s not even my blood, y'know – I had a vasectomy in my twenties, but he’s my boy,” he says with a fierce pride, the unshakeable bond of a father and his son.
The two are inseparable, and for the entire last week of the shaman conference I would see them walking around, Queto playing with the smattering of other kids playing near the pool. The two are like the Lone Wolf and Cub, taking on the world together. But who knows, Ron’s mother reckons he looks like him, and that connection they have… well, they’re like two peas in a pod.

But it’s not even all these things, which might be burden enough for a man to shoulder in this world. It's that other world, the world of spirits, of brujeria and witchcraft, of shamachismo, competing energy and egos and the black magick that every seeker on the path comes across eventually, that finally gets to him.

“Why last week I did a circle for these folks that came out to my place, and I've done like hundreds of circles before,” Ron explains in that Southern accent, like he’s about to ask you ever so politely to pass the apple pie and cream sauce, m'am, and tip his hat and smile an old-fashioned smile and burp at the pleasure of a well cooked meal and your company. “But shit, I don’t know, something happened this time, and I went to take a shit in the outhouse and I swear I couldn't get back up the stairs to my own home. I was crawling on my hand and knees and I could feel some real brujo hanging on me.

“Around Y2K I started doubting what I was doing, you know. I had nine people that were meant to come out and drink with me and one by one they all made excuses and canceled. I was like, what am I doing, man, this shit is crazy. I'm going to throw it all in and get like an 8 to 5, clock on, clock off – a normal life, yeah? So I started internet dating and I just wanted to settle down, to give up this crazy path and have a normal life. But I couldn't give it up.”

It’s still strange to think this ‘hillbillyuasquero’ is a shaman, that it’s possible to just pack up your bags and train with indigenous curanderos in the jungle and do an intensive dieta, and learn with the spirits of the plants. Ronald Joe Wheelock first came to Iquitos ten years back, but around the time of 9/11 the spirit in the ayahuasca told him to stop doing circles in America.
“I had a calling, you see… [Ayahuasca] told me to come back here to Iquitos, and it told me not to charge for what I do.” He shrugs good-naturedly, his big round eyes bulging out like a fish. “Well, what can I do? The spirit, it calls me and she hasn’t let me down yet. I've gotta trust her,” he says.

Early Friday morning Ron drives me out to his house in his three-wheeled motorcarro, along with his friend Juan Acosta, a bearded, hawk-faced scientist and ayahuasquero originally from Mexico, now at the University of Washington in Seattle. His speciality is doing mobile QEEG (quantitative electroencephalography) scans on people with proprietary software on his laptop, a classic mad scientist on the frontiers of consciousness who’s traded his castle for a thatched hut and his lab coat for Bermuda shorts and beads.

He reads the brainwaves, and shaman Ron supplies the smokable 5-MEO-DMT that catapults seekers into the deep reaches of innerspace, like a tag-team that unites the modern with the archaic, science and shamanism. Juan’s been getting readings off dozens of gringo tourists coming through Ron’s place and collecting the data for his own private research into consciousness. I’m here to interview Ron and experience firsthand the raging torrents of DMT space, where Dennis McKenna has already worded us up on the joys of being smeared across creation.

Queto rides in the back with Juan and I, the wind in his face, loving every minute of it, and as Ron turns back, aviator-style goggles on his face and smiles, it all feels so Easy Rider, cruising down the Iquitos-Nauta highway in search of the ultimate mystery.

As we get out at Ron’s place I notice a carved sign above the gates adorned with wooden flowers that says ‘La Rosacita’ (the Rosy Cross), with a little red loveheart dotting the “i” in ‘Rosacita’. Maybe it’s having young Queto here, or the good vibe I get off Ron and his down-to earth manner, but this place immediately feels like home – where the heart is. By the time Bowman, Vance and Oren, a shaven-headed Israeli friend of Shane and Margaret’s all arrive in the second motorcarro, driven by Ron’s Peruvian friend who’s also called Juan, I’m already settling in on the porch, admiring the flowering psychoactive datura lilies in the front yard.

The smell of ayahuasca wafts through the house as we all drop our bags inside and take stock of our surroundings. There’s two jaguar skins across one wall and another on the ground, army camouflage curtains and chains for the dog, a small black creature curled up in the kennel outside but making itself known by its barks. The walls are long, thick planks of untreated wood that give the place a rustic, down-South Civil-War-re-enactment feel, decorated with hand-carved wooden idols and knick-knacks.

Past the living room with its skins and trappings is a thick wooden picnic table in the dining room which doubles as an altar space when Ron conducts ayahuasca ceremonies, and beyond that is the kitchen with its Western refrigerator and appliances. The ayahuasca is boiling in a big shiny chef’s pot on the stove, its dark surface bubbling a green froth. Ron grabs a wooden spoon from the sink and begins stirring as Queto runs around his legs.

Seeing Ron and his son here in the kitchen with the ayahuasca reminds me that this is not just a business for this gringo shaman, it’s also his home.

Queto usually sleeps beside him or goes off to bed by the time a ceremony begins. He's dipped his fingers in before but he's been taken back by the laxative effect of the brew and doesn't like to do it no more. As he darts around the kitchen I remember he’s a bit niggly this morning because he saw his mom last night and he misses her, and he’s got a cold, but he’s still full of beans and excited by all the visitors.

“Let’s go upstairs,” Ron says, leading us up to the second floor, “there’s mattresses up here if you need them and room for the computer and all your equipment.” It reminds me of suburban crashpads across the free world, except it’s a log cabin in the jungle. Light streams in through mosquito-netted windows as Queto jumps on a mattress and digs out some paper and crayons to draw with, tracing my hand and his on the page.

Bowman sets up his video camera and plays with Queto and me as Vance positions his own photography gear in the light. Juan sets up his laptop loaded with five grand of proprietary software that analyzes EEG readings. To capture the data he’s going to strap on a skullcap laced with nineteen electrodes that are wet with gel to conduct the brain’s own electrical activity and pipe the data through a rainbow buscord that will connect me to the computer. Full on.

“This is my first time – I hope I don’t electrocute you,” Juan says in a deadpan tone, getting me to sit in a seat and fitting a blue plastic skullcup over me before discarding it for a red one that’s tighter. Before I know it he’s sticking in a long, prodding instrument and squeezing in the conductive gel. Juan claims to be a professor from Washington University currently doing neuropharmacology research, and to be honest, as he wires me up it never occurs to me to question otherwise.
He’s been working on consciousness issues throughout his career, he says, and was previously involved in harvesting frog eggs and injecting them with purified RNA from rats’ brains, and then measuring receptor site activity.

The leap to measuring humans whilst on entheogens (which is Latin for “evoking the Divine within”) seems the next logical step, so sure, wire me up and fire me into the mind of God, it’s all in the name of science, after all…

“It’s like a multi-track recorder of the brain,” Bowman quips from across the room, shooting me a look of concern. Queto waits till his dad’s not looking and puts a mapacho smoke in his mouth and puffs away before Bowman grabs it off the cheeky little monkey.

“The gel’s cold, huh?” I wonder out loud, trying to remember everything, the adrenalin in my body feeding the mind, the ego as it prepares to be ob-literated.

“It’s last night’s semen…” Ron jokes, a broad grin across his face, his front gold tooth shining. I can tell he’s trying to keep everything calm and light-hearted as I’m wired up to all this technology and the expectation of the unknown builds. I’ve smoked DMT before, and the results have been as alien and profound as most other psychonauts report, but here in the Amazon jungle, in the very, very odd circumstances of our current ‘experiment at La Rosacita’, everything seems exaggerated.

“That smell in the house – you think it’s ayahuasca, but it’s not – it’s fried brains!” Ron says with a guffaw, as he starts cleaning a glass pipe and packing it with an orange crystalline powder – the DMT. There’s something curious about this psychedelic neurotransmitter, which is found throughout many of nature’s creatures in a swathe of plant and toad species.

Renowned psychedelic chemist Alexander Shulgin claims in his book TIHKAL: Tryptamines I Have Known And Loved, that “DMT is…in this flower here, in that tree over there, and in yonder animal. [It] is, most simply, almost everywhere you choose to look.”

As he mentioned at the conference, as well as ayahuasca ceremonies, Ron also works with smokable 5-MEO-DMT (Dimethyltryptamine), the chemical cousin of N,N-DMT. Despite its powerful psychedelic effects, DMT’s chemical properties, which are present in plants and animals alike and are central to indigenous plant-based shamanism, are not technically illegal in Peru. It’s also much more fast-acting and intense than the orally-active DMT present in ayahuasca brews, but also quickly recognized as native to the brain and rapidly metabolized.

The mechanism of DMT is believed to be intimately connected to consciousness itself, where its similarity to the neurotransmitter serotonin allows it to bond to serotonin receptors in the brain and trigger hallucinogenic activity. Some medical researchers, like JC Callaway, of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Kuopio in Finland, believe it may be involved in producing the visual hallucinations we experience in dreaming.

Dr. Rick Strassman, who wrote the book DMT: The Spirit Molecule about his legal research with volunteers taking DMT at the University of New Mexico in the 1990s, also suggests that a surge of DMT is released from the pineal gland at peak experiences like birth, the point of death or a near death experience, which may also explain spontaneous ‘contact’ experiences throughout the West, whether that be with angels or aliens.

Drug information portal Erowid states the effects of smokable DMT include: “A powerful rushing sensation; a change in the perception of time; an experience of the ‘void’; profound life-changing spiritual experiences; internal visions; muscle jerking, twitching, abnormal vocalizations; sensual enhancement and occasional euphoria; fear, terror and panic; disassociation and even unconsciousness.”

Entheogenic advocate Terence McKenna said that DMT is utterly idiosyncratic in that the experience is so bizzarely alien it is almost beyond our comprehension, yet it is beyond our comprehension precisely because we don’t have the words for it. In many of his taped talks about the DMT experience that have helped fuel a generation of psychonauts, he said that the more attempts we make at languagizing it the more possible it becomes to share some of the content of the experience, and the more we culturally integrate it into our species skillbase, as we did with other shifts of consciousness like art, or language itself.

And then, if you've taken enough DMT (and it has to do entirely with physical capacity: Did you take, did you cross the threshold?) something happens ... for which there are no words. A membrane is rent, and you are propelled into this “place.” And language cannot describe it – accurately. Therefore I will inaccurately describe it. The rest is now lies.

So just for the record – everything I say here is a lie, too, an approximation, a paltry word-shadow patina of concepts, a multi-level linguistic smattering of emotional responses to something so alien and profound that we don’t have words for it. That’s the thing that both Terence and his brother Dennis tried to convey about the DMT space, too, the sense that it was beyond language, or ‘translinguistic’. It makes me think of Ron’s bible downstairs on the dining room table, which I’d flicked open earlier at a random page – John, 1, 1: “In the beginning was the Word.”

Juan’s finished fitting the skullcap and I’m all wired up. “The cap has nineteen placements and they cover the frontal temporal central and occidental regions of the brain...” he explains. “It’s a bit noisier than the rest caused by muscle tension... we’re filtering at sixty hertz to get rid of any noise…”

“You have a rainbow coming out of your brain,” Oran jokes as he points at the BUS cord connecting me with the computer in inter-species symbiosis. Juan puts little foam circles over my eyes and lowers the blindfold, reducing eye movement and ‘artifacts’, the noise that each tiny muscles of the skull and jaw creates in the EEG readings. In the pitch black the screen of my mind calms down and the EEG readings even out.

“A perfect reading” Juan says, calm and collected. “There’s a lot of alpha.” He’s watching the streaming waves of peaks and troughs on his laptop screen and recording at fifty microvolts ...

“How you feeling there, Rak?” Vance asks, and it’s good to hear his voice here too, shuffling around with his camera gear, and lil’ Queto crying out for his Papa from the mattress as Ron shushes him. There’s a group intimacy that is the complete opposite of the previous ayahuasca circles I’ve done, a trust I have for my groundcrew around me that lets me open up on those emotional levels I’ve held back from before. That, and being around Queto has activated my heart chakra and awakened the unconditional love I have for my own daughter back in Australia.
“I feel like that first monkey they fired off into outer space back in the 1950s!” I say, trying to hold still and not create any ‘artifacts’ on the readouts.

“He was from my hometown, Independence, Kansas,” Ron says, which seems an appropriate resonance.
And it strikes me again how odd this all is, to be in the jungles of Peru about to smoke a plant extract responsible for deep spirit journeys, administered by a Western shaman, wired to a computer reading my brainwaves and the whole thing filmed for posterity like the launch of a manned mission to the moon.

Our DIY jungle psychonautics into the innerspaceways have the low-budget, cutting edge feel of the Apollo missions, of the days when astronauts were exploring new frontiers and changing the world with their discoveries. And I’m the lucky chimp.

Queto is running about, offering me water and helping me drink it, the water boy to the space monkey. Ron's saying “Queto don’t be doing that,” chastising him... “We need silence now...” In the dark of my mindseye I can hear the sound of chickens in the yard outside, and I know it’s time. We’re ready to launch.

“Ron and Oren and I are going to be here watching you and holding you if we have to, just making sure that you'll be fine,” Juan says paternally. Ron passes the glass pipe to my lips and I grip the smooth weight of it. He lights it and I toke slow and strong, letting the DMT smoke enter me. A soft numbness comes into my mouth like the taste of burning plastic as my reality grid starts to melt into another space. I can hear the call of parrots and the skwark of chickens and the shuffling of little Queto around the room...

“Get it all in?” Ron asks as I fall backwards into the pillows and the smoke curls down my throat and the rabbit hole falls away under me. I can feel the hot jungle air all around as a wash of DMT rushes to the synaptic pathways of my brain and from here on in it's all words, yeah...

As I go under kaleidoscopic images fill the screen of my vision, and I have a feeling I’m inside a spherical womb-mother space. And as each overlapping geometric shape overlaps each other I’m grokking the vibe, it's reading me and I'm reading it, both of us melting into each other in that sacred space where the heart of all consciousness resides…

This space fills me and it feels like I’m drowning, but it’s not water it’s… something else entirely… energy… a consciousness independent and larger than me… And that consciousness is drinking me in and getting inside me at the same time, or filling the negative spaces with it’s essence, or stripping away layers of illusion to reveal itself always within me. Part of my mind is still on automatic pilot, experiencing all this and deconstructing and processing it as best I can while the other part just hangs on for dear life at the rushing cannonball surge into this thing. It is as 60s hippie scientist, philosopher and author Alan Watts described, “Load universe into cannon. Aim at brain. Fire.”

Last night during his last conference presentation Dennis McKenna said that if the brain is a receiver of consciousness, than perhaps consciousness itself is a singularity point much like black holes, where energy is compacted so densely in on itself that it collapses. That collapse in the brain may be what causes consciousness. So adding an injection of 5-MEO-DMT to the endogenous levels of DMT already in the brain may act like the collapse of a star into a black hole, and as the brain receiver tunes into an ultra-dense state, reading deeper than ever before. It's the raw heart of creation here and it recognizes and absorbs your consciousness back to the Source.

This space fills me and it feels like I’m drowning, but it’s not water it’s… something else entirely… energy… a consciousness independent and larger than me… And that consciousness is drinking me in and getting inside me at the same time, or filling the negative spaces with it’s essence, or stripping away layers of illusion to reveal itself always within me. 

Part of my mind is still on automatic pilot, experiencing all this and deconstructing and processing it as best I can while the other part just hangs on for dear life at the rushing cannonball surge into this thing. It is as 60s hippie scientist, philosopher and author Alan Watts described, “Load universe into cannon. Aim at brain. Fire.”

Last night during his last conference presentation Dennis McKenna said that if the brain is a receiver of consciousness, than perhaps consciousness itself is a singularity point much like black holes, where energy is compacted so densely in on itself that it collapses. That collapse in the brain may be what causes consciousness. So adding an injection of 5-MEO-DMT to the endogenous levels of DMT already in the brain may act like the collapse of a star into a black hole, and as the brain receiver tunes into an ultra-dense state, reading deeper than ever before. It's the raw heart of creation here and it recognizes and absorbs your consciousness back to the Source.

The Hindus believe that in the beginning was sound, a pure vibrational Ohm, and as I surf these wave emanations I feel like I’ve locked onto the fundamental frequency. Seconds go by on the outside but inside it’s eternity, outside time and space and back where it all began...


Twenty seconds in the first stirring of interspecies communion register... It's like a lover... A smile breaks across my face as I recognize where I am again, holy mother of God, I'm melting into it, tilting my head back, falling, I can't go deep enough it just goes on forever and ever, amen... I'm groaning now, the energy is melting me like liquid on liquid mixing with the other, our waveforms overlapping... And there is no fear, no holding back, just pure consciousness merging back with where it came from, the Godhead, the Overmind, mother-matrix union...

I’m in the rocking chair all wired up and I’m leaning forward, into the God-space, pushing through the dimensional envelopes... And as I break through the space like the skin of membrane a little “ugggh” escapes me and a feeling like a popped blockage releases... and I’m in...

Somewhere within this organic hallucinogenic space I can feel the broadcast of a pattern signal, a cosmic heartbeat like the pulse of life from a baby within the mother. The feeling keeps flowing as I break through layers and pop dimensional membranes. Wave after wave of energy and I’m breaking through an infinite kaleidoscopic matrix of pure unadulterated consciousness...The current of life is streaming through me and it’s like a brainwave of God and I'm surfing it... surfing God's wave...

And as I go with that energy I melt further into it and the signal gets stronger, it becomes me, and I make the sound back at it, a broadcaster myself as well as a receiver. I'm groaning like I’m coming, but on the inside where it's outside and where it’s all IT, IT's IT...

…And as I break through each layer of illusion the lesser bardos peel away and I’m just melting into the heart of the GOD-consciousness... And each groan is a sacred-sound-vibration recognition and it’s whispering in telepathic union to me yes, yes sound that’s it, make sound. I’m sound it’s all sound you’re swimming through sound and the groan starts to become a reverberating waveform, an insect-like repeating stacotto carrier wave that connects me to the Overmind and expresses it on the outside...

long syllabatic strings until I'm singing-coming, channeling the vibrational wave of God... and the sound is coming out of me in pure liquid translinguistic magic mirror form, but I’m inside it now, I’m IT and IT’s me…


Juan comes and puts a reassuring hand on my shoulder... I'm starting to shake as the vibrational energy builds and courses through my flesh body, my mind far above outside space-time, my spirit totally abandoned in the heavens...


Two minutes in Godhead and I'm still surfing the vibrational waves of bliss... I’m shaking, trembling, my legs vibrating like those of cicadias as they make their high-pitched waveforms in the night and Ron and Oren both hold me down as my flesh body rolls about... It's insectoid consciousness... The same vibrational patterns that are shaking my body connect the insects to the Source and the sound you hear from them every night as they sing their song of creation is the sound of God coming through them... The insects know, they hear, they receive the signal and transmit it on...


Over three minutes in… And my head kicks back and I let out a long central breath as I rise inside and it's like cosmic orgasm, a total interface with the Godhead, merging overlapping becoming IT, IT becoming me, full telepathic union – no separation, no fear, all the levels of Maya and illusion and noise stripped away and this is IT and IT is all there is and all is love... My throat elongates, stretches and a deep guttural sound emanates from somewhere deep within me... The shamans song being born, throat chakra activation....

Primal glossalalia pouring out of me like water, riding the vibrational waves of sound, channeling it... I'm spewing out sound...


They're still holding me down as the energy courses through me like electricity, a cosmic orgasm into the Overmind... And the Overmind likes the sound, it’s agreeing with it, echoing it back, yes, yes it says, and this makes me laugh a jagged glossalalia laugh, ha ha ha ohh ohh oh...

Still riding the primal OHM wave, and I’m smiling I GET IT now, I've locked it in, I know what to DO in this space - you make SOUND, that’s how you navigate in here... Ahha ha ha ha hah ha I'm beaming, held down my Ron and Oren... Ohh ha ha ha HA HA HA ha the voice rises up and down, recognizing sub-modalities traveling on the carrier wave, getting the grip of the steering wheel...

Four minutes in I start circling my index finger around, making a circle, a loop, I can FEEL the current, the wave, how to ride it in here, deep in the Godhead, how to use SOUND to bodysurf the emanations from the Source, the vibratory waves that make up this heart of creation...

And once I’ve GOT it its got me and we harmonically lock onto each other... Aha ha ha ha he hee hee hee I’m still circling the finger round and round riding it, riding the wave... And then I start to experiment, I'm tapping my finger up and down and on the inside, still endlessly surfing the vibratory waves, the brainwaves of God...


A chicken crows and and I’m pinching the air, making the OK symbol... ha ha ha ha hee hee hee hokay dokey dokay riding sound as we ride each other, voodoo dreaming in the drowning universe... Si Si Si I’m saying to IT, to the me that is IT and US all, Si, I understand you my creator, my God I understand what we are in this space, Si and the flash of it sets me OFF, and I’m rolling my fingers round and round and like a bandmaster calling for a windup, and then I pitch forward and WHOOOP the air, piercing the moment, crying out in primal recognition of that code that is life, screaming it to the raw face of the day...


Bililililililililililiboo boo boo blulililililililil bili bili bili bilib boo boo BOO BOO! Im pitching the sound now, using rolling sonic mantras to express the energy and let it come out through me... Bub bup bup bup bup bup billlli bOOO! I'm crowing like a rooster, purging/ expressing raw naked sound, my DMT icaro... Later, as I watch the video Bowman took of the event, I can see that I look like a mental patient being held down, about to foam at the mouth and expressing pure ur language... AAEEEEEEIIIIIIIHHHHHHHHHH I cry, letting it out of me, heaven on earth pouring out of me like molten sound...

OOOHH I’m jostling around now sqwarking like a chicken, pitching short snippets of sonic sound like a monkey screaming in the jungle... Ron's exerting firm pressure to hold me back as I flail around possessed by the sound-God, screeching liquid language, monkey man peaking on the Godwave... OOOHHHHHH my body goes totally erect, straight as an arrow as I let off sonic steam and ride the wave in. I’m surfing. My fingers are waving like I’m playing the sound…


Ohhh AHHH aayyyiieee ahhha hah OH Thank you mamamama and I’m clutching my hands over my heart, the sacred and the divine... kissing my fingers that have been at play with the Lord...



I’m coming down, spluttering language, the wave is coming to shore and I'm grounding it, spitting it out in sonic mantras and somewhere a dog is barking and I can hear the parrots and the people and I’m riffing off their energy and vibrations with my melting raw glossalaia... I feel like I’ve barreled through a hundred-foot wave and skimmed back to shore to do a few loops. I’m in total control, harmonic lock of this experience. No more blockages, no more layers of Maya and illusion, as I lean forward and something in me pops, I’m pure liquid mental quicksilver, liquid intelligence overlapping and interfacing with the GOD consciousness as it absorbs me back into the womb matrix...

The Buddhists and other holy men state that the whole purpose of being alive is to cultivate consciousness and lock in the ability to remain lucid in the after death states, to transcend the body and retain awareness in the lower bardo frequencies where the larger cosmic playground begins…

And the more I be, the more I sit back and melt into the Godhead the more it melts into me, like cosmic interspecies sex of pure unadulterated consciousness, and the more I know a brief glimpse of what they mean ...

It builds, it melts, it becomes deeper, deeper, deeper like a wave... The Sufis say there are 50,000 veils of illusion or Maya between you and God and right now I know with a certainty that all of those layers are alive, and they’re not veils but filters that sift the soul, stripping it of heavy vibrational frequencies and purifying it enough to be able to interface with the core, the Source.


And I’m shouting, I'm thanking Los Dias Madre, the saints and the mother, the mother mind of us all and whoop whooping liquid quicksilver glossalia words all melting out of me. My head is ballooned out, I can hear and understand everything in the cosmos at all times, the language of nature, the trees, the animals, the mad trippers holding me down in the room as my legs shake with the energy and I’m grounding GOD into the matter world with my language... Thanking him/IT…
“It's IT!” I say and there are no other words to suffice. We are all IT, IT is IT, the dense heart of a star in our heads and it knows me and I know IT. I have to shout to the heavens above to honour the connection I still feel, fading fast within me now as I return, Tarzan cries and insect icaros, I'm living language, the WORD made flesh…

Ron and Juan and Olan are around me and maybe they're talking I don't know... But I feel the spirits, I can SEE them, I still have the blindfold on but I can see spirits for the first time in my life, white silhouette outlines of people, brother shamans spirits that are there whispering to me, guiding me back into the body, pressing down on me here, letting me rise up there, and their voices are like whispers, like the caress of the icaros, helping sounds... They are layering me back into the world in a hundred Photoshop layers all spliced together to make four-dimensional space, and I'm tuning into all the separate levels as my shamans guides protect me and guide me back home to my body for re-entry.

“Whhsss sss hsss mmmaa” they whisper, and over to the left I can feel the spirits watching me…
“Whhss mmaa ma sssee”

“Mmee hasss nooo”

They caress me with their voices, wrap me in their sonic protection, bring me back to this world safe and sound. There's no fear, they bathe me in their soft supportive light and love, they lay their spirit hands on me and readjust my energy; they help me back into the flesh…


I’m back down enough for words. “OKAY…” And I’m putting on the brakes, fluid translinguistic creature that I have become. “John, I hope you're getting this... “ I say to Bowman, hovering out there with his camera, but of course he can only film the outside experience, and the inside is where the miracle is as fresh as a new day, all the things on the inside that can't be put into words because they are word, the WORD, vibrational essences...

“I got it,” he laughs... Holy shit....”

“Okay. I’m ON: Thank you, oh, I don’t know the words,” I cry. I feel like I've just been hit by lightning, liquid language lighting, the WORD of GOD... I can’t stop tapping my leg up and down, moving my fingers in fluid mantras, vibrating, singing, translinguisticizing like a baked potato hot out of the microwave, still radiating the frequency of Heaven.


“OH MY GOD.” And I’m back... laughing, ohmygoding, bathing in the afterglow of cosmic union... Jesus Christ almighty... The groundcrew are all laughing, too, the nervous bubble of tension broken.


“It's IT,” I say definitively, trying to ground it in words, to bring something off it back for the tribe, then realizing the impossibility to capture it in lower sounds.


“It’s fluid it’s IT it’s IT it’s IT there’s nothing BUT IT... It’s self-reflexive code but how does it get to be self-reflexive code? And GOD - YEAH!!!” I’m gesticulating wildly, still connected to the bus cord and the electrode helmet, and at one stage I nearly pull the whole laptop down with me. Crazy monkey.
“I LOVE IT. IT LOVES me. We’re it... I’m coming down… it’s all just words now... It was fluid …IT’s the mainline... It's scary going in losing all your cultural imprints and layers, all your YOU melts away till there’s nothing left but IT and you ARE IT and IT is IT and on and on in perfect radiating superunion... But the weird thing is how is it IT without NOT being IT…? “


The blindfold comes off and my eyes blink back the light with the wide-open innocence of a babe. “What’s the context? I LOVE IT… It’s IT, it’s IT – there’s nothing but IT... that’s the weirdest thing of IT…” I say, shaking my head back and forth, wires and cables spilling about.

“Thank you for being there with me...” I say with raw emotion to my friends around me. “But you know what? We're ALL IT...” and I laugh.

“Everything is ONE” Ron says, a gentle smile on his face, the room still full of a diffuse light like my eyes are reading more of the UV spectrum.

“But there’s no context to it, how does IT GET to be IT?” I can’t get my head around IT; I’m covering my eyes, clearing my vision and head, trying to make sense of that which is beyond the monkey’s brain...

I love it, it’s scary but I’ve gotta go back there... And once you’re there, there’s nothing to do but BE... It’s like floating in an amniotic ocean of the cosmic womb, you just be and the more you just be and tune into the BE-ing, the more the waves of energy come and come and come and the more IT you become, and it just goes on forever, deeper, deeper into IT, into just BE-ing...

“Surrender, nothing to do but just be, yeah,” Juan agrees, reading my mind... “In that place of everything... Full oceanic bliss, right... There’s no room for anything else...” He knows.
And I realize that while he’s done readings on dozens of gringo seekers here in the jungles of Iquitos, he’s also done it himself, and he knows what we’re going through as the remembrance takes hold, as the hyperspatial memory of self surfaces from the noise of ‘normal’ consciousness. Which makes him either more of a mad scientist than I first thought or the world madder for this great cosmic game we’re playing with each other.

“I don’t know if you got anything I can work with, “ Juan says finally, pouring over the spikes and troughs of the EEG readings on his screen. “You went in too deep, too high and strong a frequency. All that convulsing won’t be good for a clear reading, which is a shame, because if you don’t get a good data set it’s not worth doing.”

I’m still seeing holographic imprints on my field of vision and radiating the vibrational wavelengths imprinted on me by the Godhead, so an accurate data set is about the last thing on my mind. Fuck me, what WAS that I just went through? Amazing.

As Juan points to an unusual spike on the EEG readings I can feel the bit where the new signal is coming from, directly above the right eye and in, the frontal post-orbital section of the brain. The vibrational wavelengths are still strong; I can tweak them all around. It feels like the wings of a hummingbird fluttering over me, my eyelids trembling and eyes rolling back as my perenium muscle tightens and I try to squeeze that bit of the brain that connect me to the Source. A signal flares up on Juan’s screen, splashes of delta amongst the alpha.

“You keep on saying “IT”, can you explain?” Bowman asks, his concerned brown eyes peering into me. I’m so raw.

“There’s nothing in English but it... IT’s IT... It’s GOD... You're surfing God, it's the groove... It’s the wave, a tsunami, but you’re not surfing it you ARE it, you are the wave... the ALL…”
“Hence the liquid… ‘cause your movements were very liquified...” Bowman says, stroking his beard as he tries to grok the translinguistic Other in words.

“I couldn’t hold back once I got IT, I had to ride IT, BE IT…” I laugh, eyes downcast, still reeling from the infinite splendor all around.

“But what the FUCK is IT?”

This is a chapter excerpt from the memoir Aya Awakenings: A Shamanic Odyssey. Read the book here: