Consciousness in Exile: A Shamanic Perspective

By Sergey Baranov

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Consciousness in Exile: We Need It Back! – A Shamanic Perspective

Humanity has reached a point in history where major decisions have to be made. As we approach an existential crisis as a species, we must rethink and re-evaluate our way of life, and the outcome of this deeply introspective process will determine our future. Just as every individual goes through personal crises during the growth process, we are collectively at such a crisis point now. Adolescent, irresponsible and silly, we seem to think we understand the world and know better than those who came before us, but we have no apparent guardian to rely upon. The teenager can rely on his parents to guide him on his path. We are told that we have such guidance by religious leaders, gurus, babas, self-proclaimed prophets and the luminaries of science but, from personal experience and a lifelong spiritual search, I came to the conclusion that nobody really knows and none of these self-declared mentors possess a cure for personal and collective madness. Their methods, therapies and ideas are only mildly effective in helping with minor issues.

This is what psychology is all about. When it comes to serious problems such as the need for purpose and meaning — why to live or not to live, and if yes then how? — mainstream psychology, religion and spirituality can only hook you up to their life-support machines via soothing words or poorly understood pharmaceuticals. You will live, with the aid of these brittle crutches, but your life will have little color. This is, in fact, the message I seek to deliver:  not the message from Orion , the Pleiades, Alpha Centauri or Andromeda — these ‘’messages’’ I’ll leave to the professional ‘’messengers’’ — but the message I hear in my heart, the simple, clear voice reaching to us from mother Earth. This intuitive, yet rational, pure communication would most likely fit psychiatry’s description of schizophrenia, but I assure you that it would not be difficult for me to face anyone from the field and convince them otherwise.

There is nothing crazy about loving and communing with the heart, blood and lungs of the planet. That which makes the planet alive is currently sick, perhaps even dying. There is nothing insane about feeling a bond with nature and finding healing peace in it. There is nothing strange about enjoying the sound of birds, the rivers, the feel of sunshine and warm wind. There is nothing weird about feeling a spiritual bond with animals and plants we share this planet with. And there is nothing wrong about seeking physical, emotional, mental and spiritual healing by using sacred plants. Unfortunately, these great teachers are seized and suppressed by those who do not have our best interests at heart. These are the people who have assumed divine right to command others. Of course, their sense of superiority is utterly false and the product of a continuum of illusions: digits on the screen, media attention, fancy banquets and red carpets. But these only signify material wealth which translates into social control.  If, however, such “masters” were to appear in front of a jury, perhaps most of them would be found in contempt of the court. Thus, judging by a moral standard, those who thought to be inferior are actually superior and vice versa.

None of my friends would support a bill to send people to kill other people and get killed themselves. None of my friends would support a corporate fascism gone rampant, destroying our environment and the lives of our children to make more money. None of my friends would bail out banks while letting working families go have their lives ruined via material want. None of my friends would support a life style which helps some to die from obesity while others starve to death. None of my friends would criminalize safe and effective medicines while making experimental and dangerous drugs legal.

But none of my friends are bankers, corporate heads and politicians. Thus, like me, they must obey and live under the iron fist of unjust law.

Unfortunately, this is the true history of our world. Perhaps it was different before the creation of money. People fished and hunted to get fed and no one was in control of their lives. Their natural needs were their motivation. This was also the time when the preacher didn’t exist. No one was stupid enough to endanger their lives hunting a bear just to give a portion of it to someone who would tell him about the glory of a mysterious afterlife of which the preacher could truly know nothing. No one would give a piece of meat in exchange for shallow words. People were pragmatic because life demanded them to be so. No one would leave their family in a cave and follow a weirdo who claims that he is reincarnated Christ or others who tells that enlightenment is just a lifetime ahead.

So why today, being evolved in so many ways, do we retain childish, illogical imaginings, absurd notions and idiotic rants when it comes to the core of our lives, our freedom?  Why today do we stand like drunken people, silently and passively observing their own execution?

Why today are we fed pharmaceutical and spiritual poison while an abundance of consciousness expanding, healing plants are known and available? These plants are accessible and very effective. By rejecting this hand given to us by nature we reject the opportunity to heal, understand ourselves and the world. If our world is made of cognition, then consciousness is the fuel we need most. And if sacred plants can easily seed the fields of our minds and grow consciousness, then this is where we must direct our resources.

Can you imagine the impact on human life if a purchase of just one fighter jet F-35 was cut so that 135 million dollars[1] could be directed to consciousness research? What do you think the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) could do with this funding? Can you imagine the impact on our health if a purchase of just one nuclear submarine was canceled and its $1.7 Billion dollars[2] were given to independent researchers in search of a cure for cancer? Can you fathom the results on our education if the purchase of one aircraft carrier was shelved and 13 billion dollars [3] were given to a group of the brightest individuals and educators of our time to work together and create a better curriculum for our kids? Or if a mere fraction of it could be given to the brightest engineers to fashion the technology we need to power the Earth with alternative, clean sources of energy? Can you imagine our world without hunger and poverty? All it takes is the cancellation of a few wars![4] It seems to me that the evolutionist has missed the point. Instead of arguing over the origin of man and search for the missing link between the monkeys and the human, they should be searching for the missing links between humans. This research can use some help!

I see an urgent need for a collective effort to fund independent consciousness research via psychedelics, attracting the best hearts and minds we have. We need to take our world back and let human potential be realized in a constructive way. Disempowered by the lack of psychedelic experiences, we are floating away from the treasure island which is our planet Earth.

We have a surplus of destructive technologies, but we also have the technology to deal with the problem of consciousness. These are sacred plants and psychedelics, the too-often neglected link between humanity and nature. Psychedelic experience brings people together and lets them see their commonalities as greater than their differences. We even have professional technicians to operate the equipment. All we need is a change in law which holds everything back. In fact, it holds back the survival and evolution of our species, which makes  psychedelic prohibition a crime against humanity.

Ancestral Psychic

Psychedelics can open many doors and their greatest gift, at this vital moment, is the realization that our world is worth saving.  Our industrialized culture has many tanks: we have fuel tanks, water tanks, military tanks and even alleged “think-tanks”, but we don’t have a significant “psychedelic tank” that a sane world could lawfully assemble to help us grasp higher consciousness. Such a group of individuals working together, not needing to compete individually just to put food on their plates, would gather momentum to heighten consciousness, to develop a social sanity out of which better ideas would emerge. However, with the pressure of modern life, restrained by time, money and freedom, enormous human potential is being lost. It’s great to have a sensory deprivation tank somewhere in the city, where people can disconnect briefly from their mouse-wheel and relax, but what we need is a greater, psychedelic tank to roll over the insanity and delusion which seems to rise with every single day.

What kind of a society have we created, where people struggle to connect with one another through necessitated misery and pain? It feels hopeless because all you see around you is the same shit you are in. It seems like there is no way out of the vicious circle. When was the last time you used a subway in a New York or a London? If you haven’t, perhaps it is worth the experience. This is how millions of people start and end their every day. A dark, cold, noisy, unfriendly environment, full of people who, just like you, hate to be there. These are your unconscious companions on your life journey. Did you ever ask yourself why you live in the city? Did it ever occur to you that a toxic city life may be the root cause for depression and anxiety? Spiritually deprived and unhappy, you are forced through daily drudgery. Artificial modern culture exacerbates the problem. Out of desperation and loneliness people fall into all kinds of addictions, join bizarre cults and believe in strange, circular ideas, all just to escape their prescribed misery. Others end up being under the train which takes you to work.

Intuitively, we feel the need to restore the inner and outer order.  But this task is impossible without the help of our immeasurably intelligent plant teachers, which have withstood the test of millions of years of evolution and are available for us to heal the self-hating, neurotic egos that have been programmed into us.

We are told by spiritual leaders that we don’t need psychedelics plants, that it’s just enough to cross our legs and breath, but as enlightening as such practices may be, a degree in leg crossing now comes too slowly to solve personal and global problems. These are slow acting technologies and we have run out of time to rely upon them. We are, and have been for millennia, gravitating towards nature and shamanic ecstasy. A symbiosis between us and the natural world is not the stuff of fantasy but a fundamental law of nature and a force as certain as gravity. And just as particles are pulled together by the force of gravity, we are pulled together by the innate desire to connect.

What kind of a world are we living in today when a Law of Nature is illegal to practice? Religion is a child of psychedelic experiences that has denounced his progenitor. Humanity is the prodigal son which must return home. Wretched, lost, fallen into poverty and despair, it crawls back to Nature for help. The spiritual leaders fail us, like our philosophers and political leaders. They are all pursuing their own agenda, while caring less for the rest of us. It is time to embrace life and reclaim our hearts and minds.

This is what I see in the classical painting of The Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt. Besides the clear message of forgiveness and mercy, masterfully represented by the Baroque artist, I see humanity represented by the Prodigal Son, and Mother Nature in the figure of the father. This painting is an archetype for spiritual awakening, an insight that takes it out of religious context.

The plants are real and their dimensions are accessible for us. And that is the truth.

Clear thinking leads to evolution. Confusion leads to extinction. We don’t have scarcity of resources and plants. We only lack guidance and a warm, legal climate in which we can comfortably explore consciousness.

In the absence of psychedelics, our egos grow like cancer, eventually consuming the host. We think we are becoming Gods by being able to split the atom and slice genes, a dangerous technology without humility and spiritual understanding. But in fact, we may be becoming arrogant morons who are on the brink of destroying everything that has been created on Earth by man and the Universe.  There is another way.  We can and must take it.






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About the author:

Sergey Baranov is the founder of Huachuma Wasi, a healing center in The Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru. He is the author of Path: Seeking Truth In a World of Lies, The Mescaline Confession: Breaking Through the Walls of Delusion and Write Your Zen in 30 Days. Sergey’s passion for life on Earth and its preservation is the driving force behind his work.

You can contact Sergey at

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