Musician, travel writer, blogger and psychonaut Jonathon Twiz shares with us his recent journey to Peru to sample ayahuasca. Click here to check out more of Jonathon’s amazing work.
The Roots Of Consciousness
I just got back from Peru a couple weeks ago and aside from doing all the touristy stuff like going to Machu Picchu, I spent most of my time in the Amazon jungle. It was more than a vacation for me; it was an experiment, a journey, a footstep in my ongoing insatiable quest for the ultimate reality. To tell you the truth, what led me to the rainforest was a psychedelic plant that has been used for thousands of years by the indigenous people of the Amazon. While in the jungle I took this powerful plant and this is what happened…
Many people who take ayahuasca take it because they want to overcome fears, depression, addiction or any other negative pattern of behavior. Some take it simply because they want a spiritual journey. I’m pretty upfront, honest, and direct with myself and the things that happen in my life, so I felt I had conquered all my fears; I didn’t have any demons or addictions to overcome, I was just really curious to see if ayahuasca can take me on a spiritual journey and open my eyes to an unknown. Maybe I did have fears that I was unaware of, buried deep in my subconscious, and the ayahuasca might bring that out. People had told me that you may end up seeing things that scare the shit out of you. Regardless I had already committed to it and I was of the thinking that if I think I will have a negative experience, then I will have one, if I’m confident that I won’t (which I was) then I won’t have a negative journey.
Before we get into what happened, I will briefly summarize that my ayahuasca experience was more emotion based than visual. I still saw things, but I felt things much more than I saw. It was almost like there was a psychic connection between me and the universe. I would ask something and the energy would just pass through my body and it would manifest as information without the need for a visual. Have you ever felt the presence of someone and then they call you two seconds later? Ever wonder how animals can feel danger before it comes, like the animals who made a run for the hills hours before the tsunami? You didn’t see anything before that person called you, you just felt it. The animals didn’t see anything, they just felt it. Some unexplained energetic force transmitting the vibration of something or an event, who knows, I’m just trying to make sense of it. That is the kind of thing I was feeling, on a larger scale. You’d really have to feel it before you can fully understand what I’m saying but that is the best way I can explain it. I was feeling information… No, I didn’t walk away with psychic powers but during the trip, that was the experience.
Another thing about ayahuasca is that it makes you vomit. The scientific (left brain) perspective is because the plant is a purgative. It causes your gallbladder to dump bile, your digestive tract to work overtime, and frequently to expel its contents — but it is also part of the medicinal qualities of the plants. They are known to detox your body and kill parasites and unhealthy bacteria in the digestive system. The spiritual (right brain) perspective is such that when you use it to heal you and work with you, it is supposed to remove the negative energies inside of you that cause you harm. This happens on a physical, mental and emotional level. Sometimes releasing a negative stored emotion or harmful mental pattern is experienced in your body in a physical way as a powerful purge (a vomit).
I took ayahuasca three times and I never vomited. My stomach was aching a lot, but I never threw up. I wondered if it was because I didn’t have any negative energy, emotions, behaviors, etc. to release. Or was my dose of ayahuasca less powerful? The guy that gave me the ayahuasca, Orlando a.k.a. The Dragon, an indigenous native of the Quechua people, has a reputation of being one of the most intense ayahuasca shamans so I kind of doubt it wasn’t powerful enough. So lets fast-forward to my first intake.
After taking the ayahuasca I began to see vines, roots, and branches surrounding and wrapping all over my body. My stomach was aching, there was a revolution going on in my belly. My body became plant-like. My stomach and intestines became roots and vines twisting, turning, wrapping and overlapping each other as my stomach ached. The movement of the roots and vines were in sync with the movement of my bowels. As my bowels moved more aggressively, so did the roots and vines. As my bowels slowed and calmed, so did the roots and vines. It was a constant speeding and slowing down of the branches. Other parts of the roots and vines covering my body were in sync with my heartbeat, pulsating with it. The third movement of the roots and branches I saw was that of my thoughts. Every thought that popped into my head manifested as a new root or vine springing into existence. The stream of consciousness was intense, and so were the movements of the plant appendages I was seeing, all in sync with my thoughts. When my thoughts slowed down, so did the flow of vines, when my thoughts became numerous, so did the vines. I saw both my thoughts, and the vines/roots/branches that represented each thought simultaneously. The vines and roots were the manifestations of my physical (bowels, heartbeat) and my nonphysical (thoughts, consciousness) all synced with different aspects of my mind and body. It felt like I had a symbiotic relationship with the vines and roots, kind of like what Venom’s suit is to Eddie Brock. It was like I had become a plant.
It soon began to feel like I was in between worlds. In between this reality and another. Not fully immersed in either. It was like I was experiencing both worlds at the same time. It seemed as if I was peering into another dimension. It was like I was in a lower vibration world where I saw this entity. It glimpsed into my world and we both made eye contact briefly. It had an expression on its face that appeared as though I should not have seen what I saw. It looked humanoid but still different enough to not be human. It was parasitic in some way in the sense that it was dependant on the life force energy of living things outside of its dimension.
After peering into that world I began to see life through the eyes of other people who were suffering. I saw life through the eyes of a woman with cancer unable to pay for her treatment and perpetual slave to the pharmaceutical industry. I looked out at the world through the eyes of an old Indian man who had to walk miles to bring back a jug of clean drinking water he was carrying on top of his head for his family to drink. I was a tree in the rainforest watching myself about to get cut down by a logger. I don’t know if any of these people were real, but the pain and struggle of the world was manifesting to me as a first person experience of it.
After seeing this, I began thinking about how I wanted to save the world from its destructive careless path, help people, and enhance the human condition. And I became frustrated as I came to be aware of some undoubtable obstacles I will encounter as I try to execute my plans. As I felt this, the branches, vines and roots instantly wrapped and contorted its shape into the figure of a woman. She began to rub my back and neutralize the negative feeling of my endeavor being futile. She tried to instill confidence in me.
As I was coming down from the trip I felt an over whelming sense of happiness. Maybe the ayahuasca flooded my brain with whatever chemical does that, or I could have just caught a wave of super positive energy or something. But I felt extremely happy, not in the sense that I needed the ayahuasca to be happy, but it was an extra boost of happiness. I felt like a billion bucks, I felt invincible, I felt like I could accomplish anything.
As I was trying to sleep for the rest of the night I heard and saw the silhouette of bats flying over my face, coming within about three to four inches of my face. I could hear and feel the air from their flapping wings. It was hunting insects during the night. I felt like Bruce Wayne from The Dark Knight, the scene where the swarm of bats is flying over his head. I just laid there in bliss admiring the beautiful display of bat silhouettes at night until I fell asleep.
The next morning I walked out of the hut stumbling and unable to walk properly. I felt like a baby just learning to use its body. I was walking very stilted with a discontinuity in my step. After the first time I took ayahuasca, I seemed to have a profound curiosity and awareness for the most insignificant things, from the blades of grass, to the pebbles by the river. Eventually I caught a glimpse of a chicken and became super curious and interested about what was going on its mind. Yes. The chicken’s mind. I stared at it for 5 minutes with a FUBAR look on my face, slightly hunched over like a zombie. “Why are you so afraid of me Chicken?” I kept thinking. The chicken ran away. I slowly followed it and saw what appeared to be a jaguar. I thought to myself “Oh shit, a jaguar?” After looking at it from a distance and not seeing it move. I thought to myself, “Maybe it’s just a tree stump.” Still I continued to stare and notice no movement. So I approached it slowly, cautiously, and soon realized it was just a tree stump. The wood and black dots made it appear to be a jaguar from a distance. I also didn’t have my glasses on from the distance I saw it. Add some FUBAR to that equation and you get a Jaguar hallucination.
The second time I took ayahuasca I had been left alone outside in the Amazon jungle. Orlando walked me out there a few days prior and told me I need to stay out here by myself to absorb the energy of the jungle. I needed to be in isolation, not coming in contact with people because they are not on the Dieta. A Dieta is the ayahuasca diet, which includes special vegetarian foods in addition to the ayahuasca drink that is supposed to make your body more pure and allow the ayahuasca to give you a positive experience. No sugar, no salt, no alcohol, no sex. He told me if you come in contact with people who have done this recently, their energy could mess up the equilibrium of your energy, and it’s not good for your ayahuasca experience.
The second reason he wanted me alone in the jungle with no books, phone, computer, or contact with the outside world is because all I would have out there is my mind, which would start the process of deep self-reflection and introspection. For the first five minutes I was a little worried: what if I get bit by a poisonous spider or snake? What if a Jaguar comes? I soon realized there were no large animals here, and the jaguars go where the food is, so therefore no jaguars — it’s just the smaller poisonous suckers out here that will mess you up. Orlando told me, “Trust the jungle,” and I took his word for it. The ayahuasca had instilled more confidence (because I was still on cloud 9) about the situation so I was able to get over the fear in about five minutes.
After a few days in the jungle alone I took my second ayahuasca drink. I didn’t feel the effect until hours later. My stomach was turning once again, but I was not feeling or seeing anything. I became frustrated and soon felt that this ayahuasca thing was all bullshit and my first experience was just a fluke, a hallucination. But just as I was about to give up on it, the ayahuasca revealed itself. I slowly began to feel it. I began to see vines and roots slowly twirling and reaching down toward me from above. The colors of it were shifting, changing, and pulsating. It felt like I was in the mind of the jungle. I was surrounded by clusters of brain cells. Only difference is that the clusters were made out of plant matter. The brain cells were connected to each other by branches and vines and roots.
It was communicating with me through an exchange of energy. We were both different entities, built, programmed, and evolved very differently. This created a communication barrier, which is why our physical manifestations — our DNA, our bodies — were stripped away leaving behind only raw conscious energy between the two of us. That was how we would communicate. The same way an Apple computer and a PC are built and coded differently, they both fundamentally share the basic machine language of 1s and 0s. They are just manifested differently through different programming languages. It was like me and the jungle were talking in 1s and 0s, the basic energy based communication of the universe. Our energies were interacting in a very raw form without the barrier of our DNA (programming) and physical bodies (hardware) getting in the way. No words, just energy and feeling. In this third dimension, if you go out to a forest and try to talk to it, obviously it would not converse with you because it doesn’t have the ability to talk and hear you. But if your energy and its energy interact with you, it’s a different story, a different communication form.
I kept feeling an energy force spiraling upward all around me. Every time I tried to quantify it, understand it better, the energy immediately solidified into a thick branch feeling as heavy as a large rock. When it did this it would drive my hands back to where they came from, turning the upward motion into a downward motion, as if I wasn’t supposed to touch it.
I asked the jungle about a situation that was bothering me. Two of my family members had been fighting on and off for as long as I can remember. They constantly don’t get along. I asked the jungle why it is like this between them. I saw the jungle search every inch of its brain cell cluster, seeing different brain cell clusters light up here and there with bright neon green and neon blue. It could not give me a specific solid answer. All it could show me was this negative energy between them. It coughed up a black negative energy with a white outline and rings of neon green spiraling out from the center. As it spit this energy out at me, I began to feel it. Once I felt it I began feeling the stomach pains more intensely, it made me feel nauseous.
The second question I asked the jungle was, “is there life throughout the universe?” It showed me an alien race that has been keeping an eye on earth like scientist watching bacteria in a Petri dish. They were waiting to see if we evolve to the point where it would be proper to engage with us. They generally care for our evolution but feel we are not mature enough to interact with them. Then the jungle showed me entities that are leaching off of the life force energy of earth. The energy I felt for these negative entities made me feel sick in my stomach again, the feeling of nausea and wanting to vomit came back.
I asked it who I was in a past life. Again, no specific answer but I felt the energy and presence of various people, every race, different creeds, and socioeconomic statuses was present. The jungle emphasized to me that people should not be discriminating [against] one and other because they are likely discriminating something that they once were in another lifetime.
I asked it how I can be successful with a big project I had been working on for some time. It did not show me anything new but rather reassured me that a course of action I had previously planned, but doubted and hesitated to execute, is the correct path and I should therefore continue with that plan in order to see my success come to fruition. After this I had begun to come down from the trip.
The second ayahuasca experience was very exhausting. It felt like an excessive amount of energy was zipping through my body. It was like plugging a toaster into a nuclear power plant generator. I was the toaster, the jungle was the power plant. Its energy was just too much for my body to handle. After the experience I felt like a rape victim who had been left for dead on the side of the road. My bottom lip could not stay fully closed for some reason, therefore saliva (the ayahuasca made me salivate a lot) had been seeping out of it all night. I didn’t have the energy nor did I care to wipe my mouth (because my mind was still overwhelmed and fixated on my visions). My head was just lying on my pillow completely awe struck. I fell asleep and woke up with half my face covered in my own warm swampy saliva. Much of the pillow was soaked. I picked up a face cloth and wiped my face, rested my head back on my pillow as I listened peacefully to the sounds of birds chirping, and poison dart frogs croaking.
I contemplated asking Orlando not to give me my third and final dose of ayahuasca. The energy and the stomach pains were too powerful. I thought he might get offended if I ask him not to give me another; I was ready to quit, pull the plug and withdraw like a coward. But I put things in perspective, to come all this way here and not fully embrace and experience what I set out to do, that’s a waste of time, so I remained.
Was I talking to the jungle? It felt like it. Or maybe I was communicating directly with The Source, the infinite energy of the universe, and it was manifesting itself as the jungle or using the jungle as a medium to connect with me. Who knows? We don’t know what we don’t know. This experience showed me that you can communicate with anything that has life force energy. Even if it does not possess a sentient consciousness, your energies can still interact in a non-physical way. Communication and information can be exchanged beyond the five senses, through raw emotion, raw energy. The energy of the jungle was rushing into my pineal gland.
My third experience was a little more far out there and personal, and to tell you the truth, I’m still trying to make sense of it, so I’m just gonna keep that to myself. Over all I’m grateful and happy for my experience and I’d do it again. If you are curious about taking ayahuasca, and are prepared to rough it out in the jungle, I encourage you to get in touch with Orlando (don’t judge his website, he doesn’t care for his internet presence, but he is legit). Also, check out my other article on Natural Psychedelics.
This experience was not a worship of the jungle for those of you of the religious persuasion. And some of you more skeptically-minded individuals may think this was all a hallucination, which is a reasonable conclusion. It is difficult to convince someone of what you saw unless they take the journey themselves, especially in this evidence-based world. But at least take this into consideration. Physicists are just beginning to explore the possibility of us living in a somewhat holographic universe.
“Energy fields are decoded by our brains into a 3D picture, to give the illusion of a physical world. Despite its apparent materiality, the universe is a kind of 3-D projection and is ultimately no more real than a hologram. Our brains mathematically construct objective reality by interpreting frequencies that are ultimately from another dimension, a deeper order of existence that is beyond both space and time.” — Steven Bancarz, SpiritScienceAndMetaphysics.com
We don’t exactly SEE the universe because what we see is the quantum information that the brain interprets as electrical signals giving the experience of physical matter. I’m no scientist, but it could be that the DMT in the ayahuasca makes your pineal gland more sensitive to the frequencies of other dimensions, higher or lower vibrational realities. You could exist in infinite realities, there could be a version of yourself that is perfectly enlightened, and a version of yourself that is completely negative. Thus the higher self and the lower self may manifest from these different realities. The ayahuasca could have your higher self connecting with you and guiding you, or some other higher reality entity, or Source itself. Who knows, it’s hard to make sense of it all by yourself, but to say that this is all a hallucination, you have to prove that. Just as there are not enough concrete scientific results to prove that these experiences are real, on the flip side, there also isn’t enough evidence to say it’s all bullshit. It would be more accurate to say that this is an unknown, rather than writing it off as a hallucination… As for me, I honestly, sincerely, feel I spoke to the jungle.