Stop Waiting for the Shift, Make the Shift

June 9th, 2021

By Sergey Baranov

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Do you remember the loud talk prior to 2012? How excited people were, expecting things to change according to one interpretation of the Mayan calendar? People went to Chichen Itza in Mexico to witness the dawn of new consciousness. Hope for the future was high. But the Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl  didn’t bring a long-waited shift from the stars, nor did he come at all to save the Earth. Disappointed, people told themselves that it still will happen, but later, maybe in 2020. Just eight more years to wait for salvation.

Of course, eight more years is nothing in comparison to the thousands of years that Christians spent waiting for the return of Jesus, or the even longer waiting time for the Messiah. While these people are firm in their beliefs and strong in their patience, things have not changed for the better on Earth.

Nor has a benevolent extraterrestrial race came from Alpha Centauri, Orion or Pleiades. Quetzalcoatl didn’t come. COVID came from the Wuhan lab. And boy, surely did it change the world we knew. Of course, it is not the change we all wanted to see but this is the change that has happened.

As a cult survivor, I am able to see what other people can’t. The brainwashing, mind control, mass hypnosis and all the other insanity that comes with it. In fact, it is like laughter through tears, if you know what I mean – tragic, and ridiculous at the same time. It is sad for those whose mind is trapped in the midst of it. I know the feeling.

The problem with it, is that most people in cults don’t think that they are trapped or being subjected to mind control. But this becomes obvious when you talk to them. Meanwhile, they think that they are extremely privileged and chosen to serve the Greater Good, and are part of a Higher Plan. They see themselves as superior to the rest of humanity because they all know a secret. The logical question to follow is, what secret? What is it that they know or think they do?

There are thousands of cults in the United States. All of them share the same characteristics and fit the definition of a cult. I won’t go into cult dynamics and structures here, since it is a different discussion. Instead, I will try to address the question arises here: what is the secret these people think they know?

While beliefs may vary, some people think that after they die they are going to Heaven, others assume they will be booked into Limbo, and yet others believe they will be bailed by an extraterrestrial race, beamed up to a faraway constellation in the galaxy, saved from either Hell or any other unpleasant places of afterlife dwelling, where everyone else supposedly will be going who does not know the secret and isn’t chosen by their spiritual authority figure.

The secret is simple. It boils down to a notion that they are being chosen, protected, and led to salvation. Of course, there are different structures and steps that different cults believe one must take in order to achieve salvation. Mostly, it all comes down to money and sex which one must constantly give to their guru. Sacrificing your earthly life for future life is what’s being asked from you. It’s your payment, you are being told. It’s also a test for how badly you want the “higher truth” and what you are ready to let go of in order to receive it.

According to cult mentality, earning your salvation requires dedication of all of your time and resources to serving your spiritual guru. And while eternal life is supposed to be infinitely more pleasant, or so we are told, the guru doesn’t shy away from earthly pleasure and live at your expense. What wouldn’t you give in exchange for the Eternal Truth and Life that was allegedly revealed to your spiritual teacher? The highest truth that ever existed on Earth. You feel lucky to be chosen and found worthy of such revelation. You decide to commit fully to serve the higher Good in a way that is prescribed by the cult leader.

I share my cult story in my first book PATH: Seeking Truth in a World of Lies, when I was exposed to brainwashing and mind control. Luckily for me, I had done psychedelics before joining and I could figure things out relatively quickly. I came into the cult with intellectual and experiential baggage that I was told to drop before joining. But I didn’t. I sneaked that in. I was told that anything I ever knew and experienced was irrelevant and invalid, for this was experienced in “sleep”.

According to my cult, “sleep” was the waking state of consciousness in which people are unaware of themselves, living their lives on autopilot. This idea was taken from the Fourth Way system, which was brought to the West by G.I. Gurdjieff, a rascal sage with interesting concepts. In our cult, however, they went further and discredited not only your life experiences but yourself as well. In fact, you were deemed invalid before you joined the cult.

According to them, there was no life, there is no life and there can be no life outside of this cult and the guidance of their Guru. It was the only school for Awakening on Earth, as he claimed it to be. Of course, it sounds ridiculous and yet, you find psychologists, psychiatrists, business people, musicians and many other educated people in this cult who can be hardly viewed as stupid people. How could this be? Well, this is something I talk about in the book.

So what is it that they know or think they do? The straightforward answer is NOTHING. They literally know nothing that you can’t find by reading books written through human history by intelligent people on the subject. The information is available to anyone at any given time. Of course, when it comes to personal delusions that can’t be found in writing, these can be only “transmitted” to you in person by the guru. But when we speak about legitimate knowledge that went on record from ancient times, then it is only a matter of your understanding of it.

For example, once our guru was presented with a picture of an ancient cave in France, depicting a bull with six pieces of excrement behind him. He commented on the “deeply esoteric’’ meaning he found in this painting, which literally was nothing more than bullshit, essentially indoctrinating the members into the madness of his invented teaching.

This is exactly where you can become confused by claims, when you cannot understand anything on your own and you need a guru for life to keep interpreting things for you. Basically, your understanding is being discredited from the get-go and replaced with your guru/teacher/medium/luminous being/ET ambassadors etc., interpretation which usually is held holy as the Bible.

After looking at many cults, sects and groups during my research of the subject, trying to find an explanation to the cult phenomena, I came to this realization. They truly possess nothing of value for which one should sacrifice one’s family connection and lifestyle. Millions of people are being simply misled, duped and defrauded by charlatans with Jesus-like appearance, silky clothes, wizard-like hats, lavish beards and soft hypnotic voices.

All this became crystal clear to me when after a lifelong search for meaning and truth, Ecstasy pills frequently popped like peanuts, LSD tabs, countless joints and bongs, and all kinds of drugs, I was finally led to plant medicine in Peru. Ayahuasca was the first one to shatter my worldview, and the Huachuma (San Pedro) cactus took me deeper into the realm of intuitive knowing.

For the first time I went to the Amazon near Iquitos, Peru, in 2005, a week after quitting the cult. It is simply not possible to describe what it felt like to vomit my time spent in the cult out of my body. Literally. I could see the brainwashing was being actually exorcised out of me with an immense force. I felt like I was put in a washing machine for a heavy wash. During this Peruvian DisneyLand I could actually see the person who was our teacher/guru/leader from the inside, as though I was transported into his head. It was a suffocating and sickening experience. A person who never knew love in his life self-proclaimed to be a Messiah.

I could see his students, people who I personally knew, through his glassy eyes, which people thought were glassy because they reflected Divine light. When in fact, they were glassy due to his narcissistic, self-aggrandized delusion mixed with constant consumption of wine. I could actually see people who were coming to him with a question or a request and the way he was looking at them. This made me purge violently. I could feel like my energy field was literally cleansed of it and my energetic ties were cut like a knife cuts butter. After the experience was over, I greatly appreciated being back in my own head.

When after five Ayahuasca ceremonies I drank Huachuma, I cried for the first time in my life with tears of joy. Heaven on Earth was the words stuck in my head for the whole day spent in the jungle. I felt like this must be try to be expressed in words for all other people who suffered from mind control and brainwashing, and those who have sincerely searched for truth and meaning in life.

Back then, it was just a post I wrote somewhere not knowing that it would turn into many books in which I will continue to try expressing the mysterious, magical world of plant teachers that is available to us to learn and heal from. Here I am, 15 years later, still loyal to my early intent. Today, after serving Huachuma medicine for 12 consecutive years, I can say more from the highs of experience and depths of understanding. And I do it as much as language permits. But my underlying message is simple and unchangeable through all these years.

A first-hand experience is by far more enlightening than any words can pretend to do. Words are only useful to point out the direction, to help you find the way to it and dive into it for your own direct experience. Of course, awakening doesn’t happen automatically by default the moment you ingest plant medicine. Plant medicine is the fuel you can use to achieve understanding if you are inclined to thinking. It explains why many people take plant medicine for years and do not change. There is work that needs to be done on your part and it’s often erroneously delegated to plant teachers. This work is what we focus on at Huachuma Wasi, guiding you through the experience step by step so you can find clarity and understanding which brings healing and peace.

The recurring pattern in thinking appears to be that which we tend to delegate our salvation to other people or forces while embracing passivity. Actually expecting plant teachers to sort out your life is not different than waiting for the Quetzalcoatl, Messiah, or ET to bail you out. No one and nothing can change your life but yourself. It is the actual secret which isn’t even a secret. Of course, plant medicine with proper guidance can be of great help but it is you who must participate in the process and apply the lessons you receive in real life. The responsibility is on you and the sooner you understand this, the better it is for you.

And while tectonic shifts do happen by themselves, shifts in consciousness do not. It is you who makes the shift within yourself. And perhaps then, when consciousness reaches critical mass, a shift will happen on a bigger scale moving the world in a good direction. Until then, we can only save ourselves from the confusion and insanity that is currently engulfing the world we live in. Huachuma is a key tool to returning to sanity and self-empowerment.

The Great Awakening

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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 LiesThe Mescaline Confession: Breaking Through the Walls of Delusion and The Cactus of Sanity: Huachuma in a Time of Chaos. 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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