The Convenience of a City is Inconvenient to Your Soul

By Sergey Baranov

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Living in a box you can’t escape from. Tracked, traced and watched.

No. It’s not a prison. It’s the city you live in.

I was born and lived in many cities. I never found happiness there. I felt that a noisy, polluted, restless, neurotic environment of a megapolis was harmful for my soul.

In every place I lived, I tried to find my refuge, where I could go and connect to nature. In Ukraine, where I was born, we had a river and trees traversing our city. In Israel, where I grew up, we had hills in the North, deserts in the South and , Mediterranean Sea, Dead Sea and a Red Sea.  In the United States, we had beautiful pine forests and lakes in Northern California. These were the places where I felt at peace. And of course, in Peru, we are living in the rural area of the Andes, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, surrounded by an inescapable beauty. These connections to nature, books and psychedelics have kept me sane living in an insane world.

Growing up, I observed some kind of divide within myself. One part of me wanted to live a life of success and financial security and enjoy the best life has to offer. And another wanted to live a different kind of life. It was spiritual in essence. This part of me didn’t find joy in material possessions, social status, etc. It simply didn’t care. All it wanted was simply to be left alone, be quiet, be mindful and aware, read books, take psychedelics and think about life. To achieve that, I didn’t need to have much money. In fact, the need for money was stealing this peace and joy from me. The society I lived in simply did not allow me to discover my passion. Instead it forced me to get a job and give the best of myself to an activity I actually hated doing.

What a world we are living in, I thought. Is that all there is for us to do here on this amazing living, breathing planet? Is this the purpose of this incredible, cosmic event, when I was conceived and born into this world? Though born with an ability to think and contemplate, I was forced to do mechanical jobs that would make a robot bored. A life-force for a paycheck? What a trade! It felt so wrong. Struggling with the societal pressure, more and more I was finding peace in psychedelics and reading. Looking at it now, I see all this previous hassle as necessary to enhance my spiritual search, which started early on. The political climate of persecution we had to endure as Jews in Ukraine, the hardships of living in socialist Soviet Union and the hassle and difficulties of being immigrants in Israel and later in the United States, all have contributed to the formation of what I call today “I.”

My character was forming in spite of religious and social pressure . The same was true for my life in the Fellowship of Friends cult, a Fourth Way school for awakening, as they call themselves, in Northern California, where I spent 6 years. All this I described in my first book, PATH: Seeking Truth in a World of Lies.

I recommend this book to anyone who has been following a guru or an ideology, either on their own or as part of an organization.

I’m sharing this now with one purpose: to help you see the good in the bad. The good, of course, is your opportunity to grow spiritually regardless of the circumstances, to learn to stand your ground, to learn to discern between right and wrong, moral and immoral, true and false, good or bad, and, above all, to be true to yourself. The bad is the environment you live in. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to suffer intentionally. Not at all. And if you can change your circumstances, do it. Because this too enhances your willpower and thus contribute to your character. But if for some reason you can’t, you still can make good use of what you have. All you need is to stop believing other people’s versions of reality and figure out your own. You have to start believing yourself and your own feelings and build a relationship with the world from this inner space.

There is nothing normal or acceptable about the fact that we all have become slaves to the economic system we live in. There is nothing normal or acceptable about the fact that governments are corrupt and self-serving and see you as a means to their ends. There is nothing normal or acceptable about constant domestic or international conflicts that create tension, confusion and fear. The list goes on. But as there is a collective reality, so there is a personal one. And although these are connected, we still can do something about it. It’s not as futile as it seems. It’s not all in someone’s hands. It’s not all decided and determined.

A good psychedelic experience can take you out of it, to a whole other realm where you feel spiritually immune from this nonsense. A place where you simply feel YOU and are loving the feeling that leads to profound healing. Of course, there is set and setting to be considered, the type of substance or plant you decide to work with, and the proper guidance and a framework to put it all in. But if all the necessary conditions are fulfilled, you have a great opportunity to see through lies and illusions personally and collectively created. To see through them is to find liberation. It’s the clarity and understanding that brings a sense of joy. Breaking the shackles, your mind simply flies like a bird while enjoying the flight.

It is a well-documented, historical fact that people did this for thousands of years. Shamanic ecstasy was at the heart of every culture. All this has started to change fairly recently, considering the vastness of our human history, as organized religion took over about 3000 years ago in the Middle East. Centralized power, centralized God. All controlled. No place for wonder, questions or to ponder. Just belief. No more Divine you can touch, just a description of it in a book. Convenient for a few and limiting for the rest. A promise of the afterlife at the expense of your real life. The Glory of God after you’re dead. Everything good is later, after and somewhere else, not where you are now.

This thought alone can trigger your personal awakening if deeply understood. But there is so much more to discover, learn and understand while we are alive, that we barely have enough time to rest if we feel the accelerating speed with which our lives are moving. I develop this subjected in my new book, The Mescaline Confession: Breaking through the Walls of Delusion, which is an outlook on things from a decade of personal shamanic practice. If you want to maintain your current outlook at society, religion, science, psychedelics and life in general, this book is not for you.

The relentless clock of your life is ticking no matter what you do. Your life is a journey of learning and loving. There is no time to waste. Self-unawareness gives the illusion of immortality and lets you waste your precious time. Self-awareness shows reality as it is and keeps you focused.

Living in a city, you just don’t have the time for anything that feeds your soul. Traffic, work, bills and news is what enslaves you. Tired, anxious, neurotic and fearful for what tomorrow may bring is your state of being. I would suggest you make the time and just leave your city for a few days. Go far beyond the city limits and your prejudices and see how people live in the rural areas. Talk to them. Ask them questions. Get the feel of their lives. This in itself can be a healing experience that can open new doors. They are connected to their land and this serves as their source for healing and peace. These are the people who will survive the societal collapse that may seem like an apocalypse to people living in the cities.

We live in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru, in a small Andean town that has a few thousand families. It looks primitive from the outside, and yet I have everything I want and need in my life, plus much more. I have freedom to be me. No pressure to be someone I’m not. I’m glad that my children are growing up here, on the land, among the mountains and other children who still play outside, not glued to their phones. In my book PATH, I share a story of having a relationship with a woman from San Francisco. She wanted me to marry her and live a zombie life there. I wanted to live in Peru and build my life around the sacred medicine, which I did and which led me to my happiness. Looking back now, I feel a sense of horror thinking that I could have made the wrong choice and betrayed myself by staying with her. My life would be ruined. My spirit would be destroyed. For her my life in Peru was madness. For me madness is her life in San Francisco.

Huachuma Wasi, Calca, Peru

We see sunrises and sunsets from our house. We see full and new moons. We see an infinite number of stars and the Milky Way. We wake up with birds, and we go to sleep with the magical sounds of crickets. We breathe clean mountain air, we eat non-GMO food. We decided whether or not to vaccinate our children. We work with sacred medicine, which is legal where we live. We live and we love and we help others find their path in life. None of this would be possible if I chose to be a part of city life in the United States, fooled by its convenience and a false sense of prestige.

Huachuma Wasi, Calca, Peru.

But things are actually getting worse. If you familiarize yourself with Agenda 21, a political agenda for the 21st century and a blueprint for human enslavement, you will find my tone to be too soft and not urgent enough. The plan is to pull everyone into fully programmed smart cities, where you will be watched, traced and controlled every moment, inside your house and out. It will be like living in a nice jail. No freedom, no privacy. An Orwellian dystopian future has been drawn up for you and is already being implemented. And if you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean it can’t see you. A brave woman named Rosa Koire speaks about it fearlessly and clearly in her book Behind the Green Mask: U.N. Agenda 21. It is time to take action and decide what kind of future you want to have for yourself and your family.

As I already said, our personal and collective reality are connected and the time we live in requires all of us to be politically aware. It is not what I would like to spend my time on, but this is what everyone needs to do today. A spiritual awakening is simply incomplete if it’s exclusive. It’s not an awakening at all but a delusion in which many gurus dwell. A self-made bubble in which they find their escape from reality. If your guru or teacher is not concerned about what’s happening in the world and where we are heading as human species, I suggest you look further, he or she is asleep.

Political decisions concern all of us and as U.S. we have a Constitutional right to express our concerns. Research the rights of the First Amendment, which are now under attack in United States. The attack on your Constitution is an attack on you. Your Constitution is your only shield against tyranny. When it gets shredded, your civil liberties evaporate and you can easily imagine what follows. Speaking up and speaking out is what’s needed most today. Silence is a good meditation to practice in the mountains so you can hear the echo of eternity passing through you. But to remain silent when you witness an injustice is both morally and spiritually wrong. This injustice is done to all of us as we speak, to the normal, law-abiding people who just want to live their lives peacefully and see their children grow. If we don’t stand up for what’s right, our children will inherit a toxic world run by psychopaths whose laws and rules will make life not worth living.

Please watch and share our film The Cure.

Recommended articles by Sergey Baranov:

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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