It All Becomes a Chorus Line or Why We Need a Return to Original Knowledge

dragon man cowering

Religions, and the traditions and rituals that surround them are the remnants of an inner experience of knowing God such as that offered by moments of extreme suffering or joy, or through the consuming of an entheogenic master plant sacrament like iboga, ayahuasca, psilocybin, or San Pedro. “Organized” religion and its symbols are artefacts and objectification of the One MInd that lies awake within us, waiting to be born, alchemically activated through the molecular chemistry of that heightened state. However, in order to be born, something has to die, and what dies is our sense of self as an individual, also known as Ego. To be clear, this death does not in any way take away from one’s uniqueness as an individual, if anything you become more “yourself.”

dragon man cowering

Since entheogens have been forbidden in our culture for such a long time, that archetypal death and rebirth experience that cleanses and renews one’s understanding has been absent for generations. Without that return to innocence, we have become complex and troubled as a species.

I understood the importance of such a return at the end of a San Pedro ritual in an Ecuadorian village near Quito in 1998. The shaman was a former Viennese neurosurgeon who had left Vienna after witnessing the miraculous healing of his colleague with terminal cancer during an ayahuasca experience in South America. So the good doctor followed in his friend’s footsteps intrigued by the possibility that someone could be healed of cancer by a shamanic journey.

He ended up moving to Ecuador and performing traditional San Pedro ceremonies.

Earlier in the day he had shared with me a story about his encounter with a fiery dragon during a San Pedro journey who wanted him to fly into its fire-breathing mouth and he said he knew that were he to do that, he would die, so he ran away from the dragon, and was consumed with fear of encountering it again during subsequent medicine journeys, which is why he felt compelled to pray for five hours before he took San Pedro. He then played Sanskrit chants loudly for the active part of the five-hour journey perhaps to stave off his fear of “entering the dragon.”

For me the real prayer happens after one swallows, and after one has shed the trappings of one’s personality. It is not a prayer of supplication to an outer God but a prayer of application. The prayer happens in the way the mescaline in San Pedro lights up your mind with the lucid light of understanding. You see the foibles of others. You see your own. You forgive them and yourself easily in the blazing joyousness of the light that is illuminating your consciousness.

I have never heard of anyone dying from taking San pedro so we can presume the “death” that he was confronted with during his San Pedro journey was not a physical death, but the death of his sense of separation, which can also be called the “ego.” Had he flown into the mouth of the dragon in his inner vision, he might have transcended the whole equation, as that is how elements will often present in an entheogenic journey, with mythic and archetypal symbols that are a part of our collective understanding. Percival (perceive-all) slays the dragon to find the Holy Grail, the Hindu God Siva slays the demon of ignorance.

In the course of hundreds of such journeys I have had encounters with symbols from different religions, the hindu gods and goddesses, crucifixion, and finding myself forced to forgive someone or something and discover the humanity and the transcendence in the words of Christ on the cross– his moment of separation from God, and then his reunification with God with the words “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” And I understood what he meant by that as well. What they didn’t know was the sense of divine union which was theirs to know, also called Christ Consciousness, an idea that was considered and still reverbrates today as a heresy because those who would provide a bridge between you and generating God become attached to their own position as gatekeeper— particularly when it becomes a means of livelihood and status— and so the sacrament became an empty wafer, and the Sanskrit songs glorifying Soma became meaningless chants.

So as I sat there bathed in celestial light with the words of the chant “Subramaniam, Subramaniam, Shanmukanada Subramaniam” ringing in my ears from the cassette deck, I had a grand insight about the nature of Being that can be summed up in the words:

“It all becomes a chorus line.”

And what that means is that even the most profound truth, such as that delivered by a master like Christ, or the Buddha becomes repeated again and again and again, until it becomes like a chorus line, which is the lowest form of dance, or like a xerox copy which has lost so much detail from being copied again and again that it bears no semblance to the original.

And that’s why one needs to return to the Origin, to original knowledge, with transcendent insights such as the one I had, because that was my moment of communion, that insight.

The state of consciousness inside of which I was able to have that understanding was profound, and pure, and divine, and lives with me to this day. There was no separation of “me” and the Universe in that moment. And that was my return to the Origin, and with that Return, I was once again reconnected with Original Knowledge.

Original Knowledge is like a fountain within yourself. Drink! 

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