Contributing writer for Wake Up World
As a former cult member, I’ve experienced brainwashing first hand. I’ve seen how otherwise intelligent, highly educated people, among them professional therapists, lawyers and business people, have turned into blind followers of a self-proclaimed prophet whose so-called teaching was nothing but regurgitation of the Fourth Way ideas that were originated with George Gurdjieff, Armenian, mystic, philosopher and writer of the 20th century, and later transformed into a complete nonsense by the cult environment.
When my six year-long membership was finally over, I found myself in the Amazon jungle drinking Ayahuasca in 2005. The purge I had to go through was intense and revelations were profound. I could literally expel the energy of brainwashing out of my bones, while choking on my vomit. More on that in my first book PATH: Seeking Truth in a World of Lies.
Going through this ordeal was very difficult but rewarding. I did feel like something had left me before I left the jungle.
I remember sitting on the wooden terrace at nights listening to a loud choir of the rainforest birds, thinking how different this world was in contrast to the one I knew before coming to Peru. The world of plant medicine felt real and truthful to its core. My transformation began there, near Iquitos with my first shamanic teacher Don Howard, R.I.P., with whom I spent three years before embarking on my path of serving Huachuma (San Pedro) medicine. I’ve move to Peru in April of 2009, 14 years ago, when I decided to exchange the American dream for the Peruvian reality of plant medicine world. Back then, I didn’t know what was waiting for me on this path but I trusted it with my whole heart. The intuition was clear and strong.
Looking back today, one thing I find scary. What if I hadn’t made this decision and had let fear stop me from walking my path? What if instead I had settled down in California with someone who wasn’t my soul mate and who wasn’t interested in what I was doing? On the contrary, she was scared of it and mistrusting. She was studying to become a doctor. If I had done that, I would never have been truly happy, would not have met my wife, would not have my beautiful children, would not have our nest and a healing center built in the Sacred Valley, surrounded by amazing mountains, would not have discovered my true self and found deep inner peace, a place I was searching for a long time along with meaning and truth, and would not make friends with intelligent and interesting people who come to stay with us. It’s hard to imagine living a more fulfilling and enriching life. All this became possible simply because I trusted myself.
None of it would have become a reality if I had listened to some of the people who thought that I went to Peru, took hallucinogens and went crazy, wanting to leave the United States and move to a third world country without speaking its language or having the means to sustain my life on a different continent. Of course, from purely materialistic approach, they were absolutely correct. But luckily, there is more to life than paying bills and saving for your retirement.
It turns out that the choice, I’ve made was the best choice I’ve made in my life. The fullness of life that I have discovered on this Path is superb to anything a three-dimensional world can offer. No amount of money, can buy you happiness if you are divorced from your true self and the spirit world that is all around us.
The Western materialist approach to life is lacking connection to spirit and wonder which are still available in some parts of the world. This connection, like love, is the glue that holds everything together. Without it, the world appears to be empty and chaotic. The disconnection from oneself is a major cause for depression and suicidal ideation in Western world. I see this in my healing work. Of course, people do not know this and they ascribe the causality of their mental illnesses to external factors; job, relationship etc. But in reality, these are only the symptoms of the deeper problem.
The feeling of Unity with the whole existence, which is the center concept in some spiritual traditions of the East, comes from this connection, a connection that gets severed by cultural programing as we grow up as kids. This is why it’s crucial for parents to protect this connection and ensure that their children never forget themselves and maintain the sense of miraculous as they growing up.
Be it a religious approach that instills fear in you from the time you get exposed to it, or an atheist mindset that holds no respect for life and is lacking the concept of sacredness, both are leading you astray from finding your own answers. Rooted in obedience to authority, both ways prevent you from discovering your own truth which might not fit into the box of accepted narratives, imposed on you by society from birth. “Culture is not your friend”, as Terrance McKenna used to say.
To me that was clear early on and I was seeking for a way to break through it. Born in Ukraine during the Soviet Era, we had no hope of finding any guidance on how to live our lives in a spiritual sense. A place where God was the State and everything was forbidden, only despair was found in abundance. At that place and time, you could get in trouble for simply attending a small religious gathering at someone’s home, where people would read the Bible around a dining table. Forget the plants!
I’m saying this to people who take plant medicine for granted, as something that is always there, which is only true to an extent. Although the plants are always there, your ability to access their knowledge is rather temporary and is conditioned upon political factors and the state of the world. Remember 2020 when Peru had its border shut down for 10 months? Everything had to be cancelled and postponed.
Political instabilities, economic calamities, the next pandemic and world wars, all the factors that can prevent you from traveling around the world, where plant medicine is legal and is a part of the culture, like it is in Peru. If you intend to do it, do it. Waiting for better times in the future is an illusion that stops you from finding healing, clarity and connection you need in order to live a better life today.
Do your home-work, research the subject matter, and if you feel the calling, take action. Your healing is your responsibility.
As far as I can see, things will only get worse from now on as the appetite of the elites to control the people is becoming bigger and the iron fist to choke our freedom is getting stronger. Finding the way to maintain sanity and freedom in a world run by psychopaths and control freaks is simply a necessity. Plant medicine can help you see the truth within yourself and rely on it at any given time. It’s the anchor that holds your boat in a midst of a storm.
Lately, I had a number of licensed therapists who came to us for healing. That shows that the mainstream therapy is limited and cannot even ensure that its workers are sound and well. They too seek healing from Nature, which is the ultimate therapist. Intuitively, people understand that Nature is the temple and the pharmacy and it is only the fear that prevents them from using it. This is my simple message that you find throughout all of my books.
Taking care of your mind in a time of global chaos, fear and confusion, is just as important as taking care of your finances at the time of economic collapse, a subject we discuss in my previous article. And in the same way as you would want to have food, cash and hard assets when society falls apart, you would also want to have sanity, clarity, calmness and self-confidence in the midst of collective psychosis.
The good old times when nothing was happening for decades and people could live their lives in peace and prosperity is over. Whether or not you are aware of the hidden hand that rules the world or you are oblivious to it, makes no difference to the fact that it exists and has an influence over your life. The last three years from 2020 are a great example.
It was Lenin who said that “there are decades where nothing happens, and then there are weeks where decades happen”. Bad guy, good quote. The social, political, and economic affairs are boiling in a pot with a volcanic activity.
This is the time we are living today, when decades happen in weeks, and, as perhaps many can feel, the acceleration towards higher density of events in a shorter amount of time. This is what Terrence McKenna was getting at with his Time Wave Zero theory which he came to form in the 90s. He only got the date wrong, projecting it to happen a decade earlier in 2012, with resonance to the Mayan calendar, nevertheless, his foreseen trajectory was correct and a decade later it’s becoming quite obvious. To his credit, he did say that this may happen decades or even century later, which is still an insignificant fraction of the life-span of our planet, let alone the Cosmos itself. The point is that we are moving to that direction when time accelerates and is becoming more eventful.
One way to adjust to this acceleration is by upgrading your operating system. By this I don’t mean getting in line for a brain chip from Elon Musk, as perhaps cyborg enthusiasts may assume. Nor has it anything to do with your computer performance. Rather, it is your ability to process information and perceive reality directly bypassing the slow-paced analytical mind. Direct perception of reality and world events, and an ability to see trends is what allows you to stay afloat and surf the waves of madness instead of being crash by it. This ability is not new to humans but was known by sages and mystics for thousands of years. Some called it a third eye vision, others are calling it different names. But the process of a perceptual upgrades is universal and old, well known among people who seek enlightenment in the East or practice plant medicine shamanism. Seeing beyond the scene is the distinguishing quality. It’s what makes a psychic a psychic, I mean the real one.
But one does not have to be a psychic or a clairvoyant in order to see. Under proper guidance and conditions, plant medicine can open up the inner vision. And if it’s not your future, then it is your present that you can see clearly and therefore know what has to change in your life in order for you to find better health and happiness. I discuss this in my recent appearance on Davyd Farrell show, which can be watched here.
The bottom line is to trust the Mother Nature, that has evolved over billions of years, and thousands of years of human history working with plants, which are Nature’s children. Their resume is solid as the rock I’m sitting on while writing these words. The choice is yours.
Recommended articles by Sergey Baranov:
- The War on Crypto is the War on You
- Dancing in Hell With Eyes Wide Open: How to Survive the New World Order
- Stop Waiting for the Shift – Make the Shift!
- Plant Medicine is Your Ticket to the Real World
- Psychological Immunity During The Time of COVID
- Plant Medicine vs COVID Anxiety
- Why Huachuma (San Pedro) in 2021?
- The 21st year of the 21st Century: A Year of Chaos and Great Awakening
- Psychedelic Therapy and the Democratization of Psychoactive Experience
- Militarized Psychiatry vs Plant Medicine
- Huachuma: The Unforgettable Mystery
- What is Shamanic Healing?
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 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.
Follow Sergey on Instagram @huachumawasi
To book a Huachuma retreat contact www.huachumawasi.com