You are the Medicine!
Indigenous peoples across the world understand that the consciousness ecology of nature extends beyond the physical world to the energetic levels. Indigenous cultures are “polyphasic”, or connect to multiple channels of reality, often through their shamanic sacraments secreted by the earth. Western culture is awakening to this larger perspective and is learning to relax the ego mind that holds the trauma of our separation from nature. To a large degree the Psychedelic Renaissance is the return of mind altering substances to the medical model, while the Global Shamanic Resurgence is a return of healing and awareness of the multidimensional reality. Plant medicines and psychedelics in general are training wheels to remember who and what we really are, and what we are embedded in.
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Can Shamanic Consciousness Change Our Society?
The modern world is addicted to technology and the short-term dopamine hit of pleasure and ego gratification. We live our lives on autopilot, in a global battery farm of weaponized information and stunted consciousness. In such fragile conditions how can we truly know what our deeper potential is? Can we truly learn something from the indigenous cultures by going through a shamanic experience and expanding our consciousness?
Yes, and yes.
Many indigenous cultures have been the caretakers of psychoactive medicines and, along with that, they have a healthier, more authentic worldview integrated into their life. For them, the world is more than the physical reality we see in normal waking life. They understand that all beings are interconnected, that ecologies depend upon one another to exchange energy, and that the life-giving consciousness of that Great Being we are embedded in expands into dimensions seen and unseen. Us? We just see trees that we can cut down to make furniture and bundle that into economic forecasts.
Why? Because many of the indigenous remember what we’ve forgotten: that it’s all alive, all conscious, all transforming. It’s the Great Being, the web of life, and we have upset the natural order from centuries of taking and draining resources, breaking the delicate balance. So how do we access the deeper meaning of life through a more intimate connection to the planet – and the natural psychoactives she secretes?
Plant and earth medicines are not “drugs”, nor do they affect everyone the same. What they offer is a relationship: to feel the power of the plant in you, and to connect you back to the web of expanded consciousness we are embedded in.
The anthropological Western term for the understanding of “altered consciousness” in indigenous societies is polyphasic in the sense that they understand that there's a multiplicity of states of consciousness beyond just waking consciousness and being asleep or being drunk or the mild body somatic stimulants – there's all these different channels of reality (...)
Our Society’s Relationship with Psychedelics
We may have rediscovered psychedelics in the 20th Century, but have we also rediscovered how to use the wisdom gained through these transformative peak experiences in our inner life? I’m afraid not. The current medical ‘Psychedelic Renaissance’ uses psychedelics to alleviate and treat PTSD, anxiety, and trauma, which is of great benefit to millions of people.
But psychoactive substances still remain just another kind of treatment, while the full promise of these revolutionary substances just a few generations ago was to engender a true revolution of thinking and feeling. To transform a sick society.
Current estimates in the USA project it will cost around six thousand dollars for three MDMA sessions under your insurance plan. MDMA is looking like a game-changer for chronic, even untreatable PSTD and has even helped war vets. But if these substances are only used in the medical establishment for treating the anxieties of a culture that is trying to kill us slowly, then psychedelics lose their revolutionary potential.
We are in the middle of a global emergency caused by a consciousness of separation from the whole, of seeing the repercussions of our actions, of taking and taking and now being affected by imminent, runaway global warming. We desperately need to come back to balance and relationship with Mother Earth.
And yet I see more and more people coming into psychedelics (man-made psychoactives) and entheogens (nature grown mind altering substances), but ignoring the bigger picture, the greater lesson that we’re all here to learn – that we’re not alone in this evolutionary process, that we’re all connected and we’re all driven by the same divine force.
Psychedelics and entheogens can heal the anxieties and trauma of our modern civilizational death-trap. But they can also do so much more: they can show and connect and reveal a greater multidimensional intelligence that we are just one part of. They can change the way you see the world – and the way the world sees you.
Psychedelics, in general, have been coined ego dissolvers in the sense that they lubricate the stagnant or centralized sense of ego that we need to navigate through the world. When our sense of identity is loosened we can have an expanded awareness of reality. And when the sense of “I” is fully extinguished it can reveal what's behind the “I”, what's behind the identity of our sense of consciousness.
What Can We Learn From Shamanic Consciousness?
Beyond just healing, a well held shamanic ceremony in a safe and supported set and setting can be an initiation into higher consciousness. In terms of the awakening of humanity, shamanic medicines and rituals have the potential to return us to the truth of our being.
Moreover, these plant intelligences have the same family of tryptamine neurotransmitters that we do in their beings. It’s often said that the psychedelic plants are just training wheels, that the visions and states of consciousness they reveal are part of our potential too. That WE are the MEDICINE. That a fully opened heart and mind is a healed one, free from the sickness of a sick culture and full of the remembrance of our place in the intelligent web of life. We are not alone – we’ve just been shut down by the trauma of our separation.
And as we react to the chaos that is going on in the world right now , we may understand it as a trigger for our own growth. That the conditions of the past have brought us to this moment, and that the womb-world we have drained of all resources gave them freely so that we can be born into something even larger.
Eckhart Tolle has said: “It's time to evolve or die” and I think that’s truly where we’re at right now in our evolutionary process. We are turning a corner and we need a new and refreshed vision, we need leadership, connection, and cohesion.
More than ever, we need each other and the psychedelic medicines have the potential to help us remember who we really are at our core – and then we can chose what to do in this emergence-y.
5-MeO-DMT is like a key to consciousness because we produce it ourselves and it's revealing what's behind the mind. It really feels like it's training wheels for mastering our own ability of consciousness and to drop into the deeper reservoir of Source conscious that lies behind the ego.
- How we use psychedelics right now has to change if we want to use them as a tool for personal growth, not just as another way of treating anxiety, trauma and PTSD.
- Psychedelics can help us experience what it’s like to live beyond the intellectual ego, but we’ll have to integrate this into our daily life in order to change our society.
- Our consciousness has more than one layer of perception and we need to start exploring all these other layers to change, grow and mature as a community – and to survive as a species.