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OfflineAldous
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possessed...!? WTF
    #2719549 - 05/23/04 08:18 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I came back from Peru very recently, where I had the opportunity to take part in a few Ayahuasca sessions, in a very ritualized and rather traditional context (nightly sessions with icaros sung by a session director, with traditional and catholic aspects to it). During the last session, something very disturbing happened to me, and I'd like a few opinions on this.

To start with, I've been raised in the tradition of the Catholic church, been through the main rituals when I was a kid, and stopped going to church when I was about 12. Later on, I became a staunch atheist and materialist. Later still, under the influence of psychedelics, I let go of this materialistic stance. This was like 2 years ago (I'm 35 now). However, I remain extremely reluctant toward any kind of organized religion. For me, spirituality is something personal, and based in the first place on experience, not on belief. I guess some of you may have had similar paths.

During my one but last Ayahuasca session, this familiar headache came up again in the back left of my head. I've had this on and off for 10-12 years, sometimes as a kind of hangover after drinking or doing other drugs, sometimes without any apparent reason. On a previous visit to the same place, the session director (I'll call him that for lack of a better word: although a Westerner, he's fully initiated in traditional Amazonian healing, and he's the one who directed all the sessions I participated in) had told me this little headache was "something very negative", and he had taken special care of it. It had subsequently vanished for months, but it had gradually come back since, and there it was again, during the session.
Upon my request, the director again took 'special care' of it, but it didn't really go away. That was also the only time I didn't puke after having taken ayahuasca: there seemed to be something I couldn't or didn't want to get rid of.

The session director then offered me to participate in the next session two days later, saying it was a special day, the day of the Virgin of Fatima, a day of liberation. He also said I would have to prepare for it by fasting and attending mass. That's where I became upset: the semi-religious context of the sessions doesn't really bother me - to each his own - but me having to attend mass was something very different, and I flatly refused his offer - for the preparation... I accepted to take part in the session.

In the first part, nothing important happened. I knew I was there to get rid of that "negative" headache, but I didn't have a clue as to how, so I thought of many other things. When the effects started to wear off, I went to take a booster (one more cup of ayahuasca), which sent me up again. At that point, I started to get exhausted (I hadn't slept in two nights) and a bit desperate. I stopped looking for whatever it was and surrendered to exhaustion... and to the brew. I started to feel really sad and lonely, and suddenly my mouth started to twist. I thought I was going to cry, but I was wrong. My face went on twisting more and more until I found myself grimacing. Suddenly, I thought I knew what was happening: I was turning into an animal...! I had read such things in many ayahuasca trip reports, so it came only as a relative surprise. My head really felt like an angry wolve's, I felt my mouth twisting even more and my teeth were those of an animal. Extremely strange, to say the least.
It was then I realized exactly what was going on. I was sitting quite close to the session director, and I suddenly realized he was singing an icaro about the Virgin, very repetitive. My head turned towards him in rage and anger. I thought I was going to start to roar, and I feared I may attack him, but at the same time I felt the "beast" was afraid of all he represented, of the Virgin within his song, etc. There was hate and fear at the same time. My breath was very fast and loud, I was almost hyperventilating.
As soon as I had realized I was "possessed" (because that's what I was, and I can tell you this came as a surprise and a shock to me!  :eek:), I knew I had to do something. I felt the beast only had my head, I still had control over the rest of my body. Immediately, I kinda "chose sides" mentally and joined my hands in prayer, although I didn't even start to pray. Almost instantly, I was free, the "beast" had left me, shocked, flabbergasted.

This was like 10 days ago. The headache hasn't come back yet, I hope it never will. I have not become a fervent Catholic, but I have to admit some of my beliefs have been shaken. For instance, the last thing I would have believed in is a spiritual world populated with spirits and demons of all kinds. I also find it hard to believe there's a struggle going on between Good and Evil. To me, everything stems from pure existence and consciousness, Spirit if you will. Everything, evil included. But then, there's that experience I've had...

Feel free to comment, I'm somewhat at a loss for interpretations, any explanation is welcome.  :confused: :confused: :confused:


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OfflinePanoramix
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Re: possessed...!? WTF [Re: Aldous]
    #2719675 - 05/23/04 08:35 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Wierd stuff there, buddy. This beast definately seemed like an external force to you and not just a facet of your own psyche? 'Cause I mean, humans are animals, and somewhat predatorial ones at that. I dunno, that experience is so far beyond my reckoning that I can't even try to explain it. I've never encountered any sort of malignant force in my life, and have never found cause to believe in 'em. Sounds creepy...


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OfflineCleverName
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Re: possessed...!? WTF [Re: Aldous]
    #2719818 - 05/23/04 08:59 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

"I had read such things in many ayahuasca trip reports..."

"I knew I was there to get rid of that "negative" headache"

you heard outside sources with the trip reports.
and you had percieved the headache as "negative" before you had started your trip. those may be reasons


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if you can't find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?

this is the purpose


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Anonymous

Re: possessed...!? WTF [Re: Aldous]
    #2719866 - 05/23/04 09:06 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Can you provide more details on what exactly happened when you began praying? What was manifested then?


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OfflineAldous
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Re: possessed...!? WTF [Re: CleverName]
    #2719870 - 05/23/04 09:07 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Yeah, but I certainly didn't feel that kind of negativity towards religion, Catholicism or the Virgin... just indifference. I felt it was not my thing, but as I said, to each his own.
And suddenly I got grabbed by some entity that displayed this mix of extreme hate and fear toward those very symbols... still strange to me.

Also, about the trip reports. I thought at first that I was transforming into an animal, but with hindsight, this experience was very different from those transformations I had read about.

Really, I don't think this is about expectations. This was really the last thing I would've expected.


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OfflineAldous
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Re: possessed...!? WTF [Re: Organic]
    #2719883 - 05/23/04 09:10 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Organic said:
Can you provide more details on what exactly happened when you began praying? What was manifested then?


I'm afraid I have to disappoint you: Nothing much. The entity, or whatever it was, just left me, and I regained control over my head. I expected more myself, like at least some kind of vision, which is very frequent on ayahuasca, but nothing at all (I must say I'm not very good at visions). That's it...


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Anonymous

Re: possessed...!? WTF [Re: Aldous]
    #2719923 - 05/23/04 09:19 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

For me, spirituality is something personal




what more do you need to know? figure out why you felt the way you felt, you were not possessed by anything external. seems you were trying to show yourself something metaphorically.


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: possessed...!? WTF [Re: Aldous]
    #2720540 - 05/23/04 11:05 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Your 'set' and 'setting' need to be looked at firstly because these are the inner and outer, psychic and physical concommitants to phenomena that you describe. The further source of the 'possession' is the unconscious, which lies beneath your consciousness and is therefore invisible - un-conscious. The 'origin' of these phenomena can be thought of as the Collective Unconscious if one intends to establish a psychological model for its explanation (the Collective Unconscious may well be co-extensive with the fabric of space-time - the psychic side of the mind-matter duality and as vast as the Universe). Jung himself stated that the absolute origin of the contents of the Collective Unconscious required a metaphysical (or spiritual) answer, and since he considered himself to be a scientist, this was beyond his speculation. This is to say that ALL created phenomena have their origin in the Creator (howsoever one cares to formulate this Numinosum).

The God-Goddess (Mother of God) archetypes, and by extension, the Divine Son and the Spirit which unifies the hypostases, characterizes the most transcendental and hence sacred aspect of Catholicism. These elements are in sharp opposition to nature spirits, elementals, demons, devils, shape-shifters and other 'lower' inhabitants of the Collective Unconscious. Your session director was establishing 'sacred space' by the repetative vocalization/intonation of holy names. He was creating a spiritual atmosphere for protection within the range of audibility (ask him if you can, if this is not so). Such a psychospiritually charged atmosphere is noxious to these 'Shadow' [see Jung] forms. Now, whether you wish to use the language of religion (demons, etc.) or the language of depth psychology (autonomous complexes), for all intent and purpose, the phenomenon is one and the same, and described aptly by both. HOWEVER...as I have learned from my studies (see 'Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Living Americans' by Malachi Martin), the methods of depth psychology fall short of dealing with particularly nasty entities, and the Catholic Church has a Rite of Exorcism that has been used over the centuries - even into the 20th century!

Despite the ugliness of Catholic-caused history, there is still a faint scintillation of holiness that resides deep within the external husk of cathedral, ritual, costumes, unhealthy priesthood and rigid dogma. Hell...I was baptized in the RC Church at the age of 22, so I know I saw something good enough to polarize my life from my Jewish family.

Martin's book changed my conception of evil from a 'privatio boni' (absence of goodness) idea to one of active infernal intelligence, replete with its own hierarchy - a mirror image of ecclesiastical hierarchy, like the 'Kellipot' or 'Klippoth' - the evil mirror image of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. Check out the book. I once thought that 'Sybil' was scary, HAH!

+++ Pax Vobiscum +++


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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OfflineAldous
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Re: possessed...!? WTF [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #2721580 - 05/24/04 05:31 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Hey, thanks a lot, Markos. I expected you in this thread, and I'm not disappointed. Your reply is the kind I was waiting for and it helps a lot.
Quote:

Your session director was establishing 'sacred space' by the repetative vocalization/intonation of holy names. He was creating a spiritual atmosphere for protection within the range of audibility (ask him if you can, if this is not so).


Yes, I didn't have to ask him, that's exactly how he describes what he does.
But if this is so, why didn't this 'beast' emerge during my very first session?
Quote:

Despite the ugliness of Catholic-caused history, there is still a faint scintillation of holiness that resides deep within the external husk of cathedral, ritual, costumes, unhealthy priesthood and rigid dogma.


That's what the director was trying to get across to me before the session, but I had (and still have) a hard time recognizing this. I almost barked at him. He must probably have thought I was possessed  :grin:
Quote:

Check out the book.


I will, for sure, thanks a lot.

Just one more question. The director told me something about the origin of this 'evil spirit'. He said those things are passed on from one individual to another, on purpose or not, often in situations where people are together and 'energetically open': sexual intercourse, taking drugs together,... I've thought a whole lot, and one hypothesis is an LSD trip I had 13 years ago, which didn't end sweetly. During the trip (there were a whole bunch of people present, some were tripping, others weren't, and there were many I hardly even knew) I suddenly 'lost' a moment: I think a was talking at the time and a few people were listening, and suddenly I came to, I had stopped talking for an instant (probably not long) and didn't know what I had been saying or 'where I had been' just the moment before. I started imagining this instant could actually have lasted for quite a long time, and I didn't have a clue as to what had happened during it. I just lost it and was disturbed by the idea. The next morning (a few hours later), I had come down, but I was very paranoid. I had the distinct feeling that a bunch of the guys I didn't know were looking and laughing at me (they were Czechs, and I didn't understand what they were saying, which added to my paranoia). Ever since (I think that's where it started, at least), I have been feeling quite insecure and have suffered from slight anxiety. This has been getting better these last years since I've been working on it, and ayahuasca has definitely helped me with that. After that last session, I really felt free from all this. I'll just wait and see in the long term...

Feel free to comment, and once again, thanks a lot.


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: possessed...!? WTF [Re: Aldous]
    #2721686 - 05/24/04 08:01 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Well, I once met Pablo Amaringo. If you've heard of him, he is an Ayahuascara [sp?] turned visionary artist with a well known book. He gave a lecture via translator on the differences between sorcery and witchcraft in his tradition, and the evolving and directionality of a certain 'purple-colored psychic effluvium' (which I've heard from a childhood friend's first mescaline trip and Frank Zappa's "...and enter the world of a strange purple jello..." in the song 'Discorporate'). Anyway...A sorcerer's life is draining and dangerous. Whereas I have a long familiarity with medieval and scriptural demonology, my experience of demons has fortunately been fleeting, (though I DO have some stories). The same demons/phenomena may have different names depending on the tradition in which they are known. You may well be correct about that acid trip being 'initiatory.' It might be like the terrible Florida sunburns that I received in the 4th and 5th grade, only to develop malignant melanoma 30 years later). Aztec sun demons? (Only kidding).

I had a falling out with a friend in our early 20's whom I knew since nursery school. On a trip, he threw me out of his parent's house in a snowstorm merely because I attempted to inquire about his spiritual and sexual roots (he used to cross-dress in public with a bunch of guys, ostensibly to freak townsfolk, so I wanted to know about it). He became paranoid, and then thought that I was attempting to convert him (a 'JuBu' - or Jewish Zen Buddhist) to Christianity (God does the converting). He refused to speak with me even eight years later. It has now been 28 years! Adios.)

Psychedelics can take one to realms that exist in a different time-scheme than our conscious, chronological (time-logical) world. The Unconscious exists in a timeless now as I've experienced myself, or through hypnosis subjects who revivify traumas as though they are happening in my consulting room, when they occurred decades ago. On your recent trips in Peru, you may have 'gone back' to the 'realm' of that acid trip to correct a problem. BTW, exorcisms often take several sessions as you'll discover in Martin's book - it ain't exactly a magic wand *poof*  :smile:


--------------------
γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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