When you engage the modality of plant medicines they put you to the test pretty early on in the journey. You don't even know you are being tested, but there are offers to see what your intentions are, or maybe not even intentions but just to see how easily you can be knocked off the path you have embarked upon. If you accept and go down a different road, a highway designed to facilitate your use of this new found fount of power travelled by many others, you will get the carrot dangled in front of you, however I'm sure waiting are many unintended consequences of that choice. Although hardly noticed is any hint of the transformation of consciousness, perhaps that is one of the reasons many who have this experience then encourage others to follow in their footsteps. It is a perverse need to see if others will follow that shiny right hand path to power because, hey, we are all human. Looking back at my journey with the plants that started almost six years ago, it was the second time drinking Ayahuasca when I was accosted by that strange demon who scared the wits out of me. It was a stark reminder that all is not well in my world so there will be a need to face up to it. This demon came back the third time I drank Ayahuasca two nights later, though not as in my face. He offered me a share of ultimate power in the conquest of the universe if I would join forces with him. It was a direct invitation to take the ring of power. I didn't accept it but just endured the sales pitch for the night. When I left the jungle this fucker followed me and kept calling to me and I thought I was going crazy. Things got better once I got home but I was periodically harassed. It reached its peak six months later where he'd wake me every night because at that point he knew I was trying to get away from him. Eventually I vanquished him, well that wasn't a fait accompli until I returned to the Amazon and drank Ayahuasca again. He was there waiting for me and I endured his taunts and rage for the whole ceremony until he fucked off for good. The Goddess the next ceremony told me he wouldn't bother me anymore.
In retrospect if I would have grabbed that ring as offered I'm sure I would have developed an inflated sense of self along with self aggrandizement. Success in life would have been assured with material success and the new and shiny girlfriend, while doubling down on this new found path to glory. Of course the requisite emptiness inside would result but that's what booze and drugs are for until you sink into a hole and expire.
I bring up this tale because it was a questioning of intention and you might as well figure out from the get go why you are doing this because along the path you will be continuously tested. If you can move past the first big one then you got the others, well at least you can spot them. All my life I have had an inflated sense of self, I was shy so I kept it under wraps, but let me explain this: I knew I was smarter than everyone else and sure enough the scholastic testing would always prove that out. I always had that to fall back on when things got tough or I had to prove my worth. From this I developed a cocksure self confidence that given a reasonable amount of time I could figure anything out and then excel at it. Two later life results of this are first when I was 40 I decided I was going to figure out the meaning of life and I was actually serious about it. Talk about hubris but I knew I could do it if I put the time and effort into it. So that was the path I chose and how I ended up where I am today. In retrospect it probably saved my life or at least saved me from a miserable post 40 life so for that I am thankful as well as guiding me toward the left hand shamanic path. The other result is because of this pursuit to find meaning I didn't care about riches, material success, or power. That was not my game, my deal was to figure it all out. However I learned that too will be tested, how far will you go to figure it out? You know the try this, try that, oh this drug is the one that will bring on ultimate enlightenment. Hinduism, Buddhism, do you have a guru? Have you tried transcendental meditation? Uh no sounds exotic and fancy; maybe it will give you the secret?
I found this place four years ago called SpiritQuest run by this unassuming wiseman don Howard. He called this shamanic work, work. There was a structure to the program, I maintained a discipline, and didn't over do the whole trip. In a way not rushing through the course is tough because you want to hurry the process along, but the post plant medicine use integration period was stressed, so I went on about a 15 month cycle for three years of plant medicine use. It was a good path to enlightenment and once there I could shine for all to see.
Along on the journey to the top of the mountain to become the most high, to attain enlightenment, are within all the constituent parts you thought you were going to ditch when you got that prize. It doesn't work out that way. All the parts of you, you can't pick and choose, pile in for the joy ride. Your ego sits in the front seat and jumps out of the car first when you get to the top. It's so dazzling at the top of the world. Your psyche, your base desires, and your peculiarities didn't go anywhere, you may have suppressed them, but they're with you now on the mountain top. It is a whole new set of problems, even more so then before. At least when you were just a flawed human you had an excuse for all the things you didn't like about yourself or desires that would erupt from the subconscious at inopportune times. Now what? The stakes are even higher since you have declared yourself enlightened. You have to double down on the suppression and so many are waiting for you to fail, so they point out you and your path are frauds. Well guess what? You're still human, so come down off that mountain and embrace what it is to be human.
That was my weakness that was to be tested and exploited to the greatest extent. I wanted that carrot, I wanted the knowledge and assurance of what this all meant. Like I said, SpiritQuest gave me the discipline to do this in a sane manner and by doing so I realized what was happening when I reached the summit of enlightenment mountain. I was one up on the universe! I knew what it all meant and then I realized in the end it didn't mean anything without Love. Finding meaning meant nothing without realizing that all that matters is Love, for yourself and for all others. So come down off that mountain and share that Love you found with everyone else. I owe that all to don Howard and the impeccable program he created at SpiritQuest. Without this guide I'm pretty sure I would have reached the top of the mountain and lorded it all over others instead of coming back down and being of service. To say I have led a blessed and fortuitous life is an understatement. The call is strong to give back now because as I have learned, all are my sisters and brothers.