Mission 17: Nature’s Alteratives
Your mission today, should you choose to accept it, is to use a naturally occurring alterative to change your day-to-day perception of things around you – even within you.
‘Alterative’ is a little used adjective meaning ‘likely or able to produce alteration. (of a drug) able to restore normal health’. It is much preferable to the over-emotive use of the word ‘drugs’ which puts someone who likes an occasional hit of weed in the same ‘category’ as a deeply traumatised heroin addict.
Whilst I recognise that taking magic mushrooms might not suit everyone’s taste, the quest is for you to fundamentally shake-up your perception and get out of your comfort zone enough to ‘see’ things differently. To get out of your ‘box’.
In the Western world we are surrounded by drugs. Tea and coffee are stimulants though the action of caffeine. Alcohol, the ‘legal’ Western drug is a depressant and in its pure form is a colourless, volatile, flammable liquid which is produced by the natural fermentation of sugars. It is the intoxicating constituent in many preparations but is more ‘mind numbing’ than ‘mind altering’. Alcohol is the main drug of Western civilisation and is a natural abusers drug, bringing numbness to pain and closing down the mind and its sensitivities.
Big Pharma also supplies a plethora of legal-by-prescription ‘mind numbing’ drugs for our culture. Any supermarket now carries aisles of chemically contrived products where once there was food! None of these are there to help us see ‘outside the box’, to open our minds and maybe question things like the status quo or the established ways of doing things.
There is a strong argument for experimentation with alteratives if it suits you. If you are going to experiment with mind altering substances, depending upon the extent of your journey, I would recommend nominating a ‘safe’ person, who you can trust and has been around ‘trippers’ and will not ‘freak you out’. Also a safe and comfortable environment, be that a house or a field.
Dangers can be everywhere for the person with an altered consciousness. A coal fire may appear to be a basket of roses under the influence of LSD for example, so have someone around who can be gentle but firm to keep you safe.
If you have a history of psychotic or over-emotional behaviour, easily get paranoid or have schizophrenic or other psychological problems in your family history; I would definitely give the stronger substances a miss. Start very gently as some people are highly sensitive to mind altering substances. Even the legal CBD can make some people feel quite unwell.
Why take this risk to ‘get out of your head’? In most cases the risk is minimal with mild alteratives. There is a massive universe out there, of which we see and hear just 1%. Through altering your mind to ‘see again as if for the first time’, you can secure a deep and everlasting connection to things you may have never even perceived. You can gain a very deep and lasting connection to ‘universe’ through total immersion and with your part in that universe.
You don’t actually needto go so far as to ‘leave the planet’ on psychedelic drugs. There are many levels from peripheral hallucinations created by 10 or so magic mushrooms, or a couple of bongs of skunk weed, to full-on temporal and spatial journeys instigated by larger doses of ‘shrooms’, Salvia Divinorum or mescal, ayahuasca or strong chemical mixes such as LSD. Personally I would always choose naturally sourced psychedelic drugs over chemically derived.
Having glimpsed outside the box through using psychedelic drugs it is sometimes hard to get back in again. They can change the way you see your world and make you appear ‘weird’ to your usual associates. Experiencing reality on another level can produce some unconventional standpoints like leading you to question conformity and your chosen or imposed roles within the world. At such a time of environmental wreckage by mankind, all of our unquestioned values need opening up.
Given the present state of our planet-wrecking culture this is not just necessary, but essential. We need to find creative solutions at an individual level to the problems of environmental breakdown and its relationship with people that seem hell-bent on destroying the nature that supports our lives here.
The considered use of psychedelic drugs can be most inspirational. The Impressionist painters for example consumed large amounts of cannabis before painting. The use of alteratives in art and music is also well-known and often inspirational. Of course these substances are illegal for a good reason, they can be harmful and open to abuse by people who have an addictive nature. But it is also part of your own sovereignty to explore your mind.
It is said that we use less than 10% of our minds potential. Timothy Leary, who experimented with LSD in the 1950’s said that the mind of a person is like a palace but that we are living only in the cellar: “Human beings have a right to change their consciousness, and it is unconscionable and absolutely wrong for any government or any person to stand in the way of someone choosing to change their consciousness.” Timothy Leary.
Our storytelling media of movies has made stories around these potentials. ‘Lucy’, a Luc Besson movie, or ‘Lawnmower Man’ from 1992, which looks rather dated now, are good examples of this exploration.
But using drugs is not the only way to ‘transcend’ reality and find new meanings or purposes for your existence. It is a useful short cut if you can handle it. Although you may have to work harder to find transcendence through forms of meditation (and there are many of these), the rewards can seem greater since you have to work harder for them. Osho, a meaningful transcendentalist, preached that drugs are here just to remind us of certain states of being and that their repeated use is harmful to the psyche. I infer from this that some experimentation with leisure alteratives can be helpful in opening up perception if you are ready for it.
Nature offers us many more subtle ‘alteratives’ that can gently open up a being to a different way of seeing. One such example is Yarrow Tea. A couple of cups of this mildly psychotropic tea will sensitise your eyes to colour vibrations (and sometimes your skin too!) Even this can be quite transcendental.
There have always been mind-altering experiences available, many from plants or their derivatives. Experimentation with and possession of these substances is generally illegal within our controlling system of patriarchy, that denies us sovereignty over even our own minds. The ‘war on drugs’ imposed by people of limited mind, is a ‘war on consciousness’ in disguise.
Many people are now experimenting with the mind altering DMT (Dimethyltriptamine) either through Ayuahasca or other compounds. Drug related tourism in South America is, in some places, leading to a shortage of these compounds for the indigenous shaman to continue their work, not to mention the C02 damage from air flights of ‘tourists’ seeking authentic experience.
Mind-expanding plants, when not abused, are one of the greatest tools available to mankind in the evolution of consciousness. Below, for example is an explanation of the functions of Ayahuasca from ayaymamamystic.com
“WHAT IS AYAHUASCA?
I will try to explain what Ayahuasca is in the simplest and friendliest way possible.
Ayahuasca is an Amazon plant from which mixed with another plant called Chacruna is the drink, (medication, concoction, potion, infusion), called Ayahuasca. Used for more than 5000 years by the Shamans or Healers or Ayahuasquero Masters of the Amazon as a way to obtain the expansion of consciousness (subject – soul). And now it is used in Peru in centres to rehabilitate drug addicts or addicts, hard or prohibited drugs and legal drugs such as antidepressant pills.
The drink that is extracted from the Ayahuasca plant is the largest known vegetable source of dimethyltryptamine (DMT). DMT is a neurotransmitter produced naturally in our brain from the pineal gland that is responsible for dreams in the REM phase of unconscious rest.
Ayahuasca activates the pineal gland, this gland is closely related to religious mystical experiences. Ayahuasca is the most powerful relaxant on the planet that was patented in the USA as an antidepressant and is declared Cultural Heritage in 2008 by the Peruvian Government NATIONAL DIRECTORAL RESOLUTION No. 836 / INC.
Just like the DMT present in the Ayahuasca drink, our own brain naturally produces and secretes the DMT substance that is responsible for night time dreams. That is, when a person falls asleep, he meditates with Yoga, his brain, begins to secrete a chemical substance, equivalent to the DMT of Ayahuasca, which allows, precisely, that the person dreams.
The effect of drinking Ayahuasca, is then, approximately like experiencing a dream, but while we are awake, lucid dreams. Feeling the effects of Ayahuasca is like dreaming, but with full awareness of the content of the images and the emotional contents that sustain the dream. That is, access to the infinite information that our subconscious or spiritual world contains.
Ayahuasca places the brain in expanded states of vibration, working optimally and thus, the person reaches elevated states of consciousness. Ayahuasca is NOT a drug, it does NOT create dependence, it does NOT cause unbalanced hallucination states, nor is there a loss of consciousness, on the contrary, the feeling is of total control, greater mental lucidity, body control, it is perfectly known where it is. After ingestion of ayahuasca, consciousness clears, changing brain waves. Normally there is a reduction in respiratory rate, a decrease in metabolism, blood pressure, a change in pH, etc. and with this, the auditory, olfactory, vision and touch sensitivity increases.
At this level of paranormal ability, it emerges spontaneously by waking up neurons, increasing intellectual and creative capacity.
The result is the gradual pacification of the personality and the mind, reducing anxiety and fear, balancing the nervous system – reason and emotion – thus allowing the brain to gradually go to Beta states (normal activity) towards Alpha waves (relaxation) and reaching the deep Theta states, where experiences of mystical spiritual ecstasy occur.
These experiences are usually associated with personal insights, intellectual idealizations, emotional reactions and deep spiritual and mystical experiences.
Various studies carried out by the entities that share ayahuasca certify that users become balanced people, with optimal health and memory, who have ease of learning, greater peace of mind, a deep respect for nature and seek in a balanced way to promote peace and harmony
The basic parameters of the experience are also observed – personal identity, connection with the outside world, temporality and feelings of significance. In the past and until today ayahuasca is one of the central pillars in several tribal cultures of the Amazon.
The AYAHUASCA, Psychologically, as a divine or wonderful drink, offers us the possibility of accepting our subconscious or unconscious world, revealing and discovering the mystery of knowing ourselves as well. This opening equals a new dimension of consciousness.
The AYAHUASCA, in this modern era, is understood as an Extraordinary Chemical Substance, equivalent to a Neurotransmitter or Brain Hormone that activates psychism and highlights or reveals the infinite human potentialities.
The AYAHUASCA has an important value and meaning because the extraordinary state of illumination of consciousness during the Trance (Ecstasy) that is achieved, is an authentic and effective source of personal development.
The AYAHUASCA is a heartbreaker, because they allow us to perceive reality as it is and get out of the cultural and social hallucination in which we can be trapped.
The AYAHUASCA manages to travel a path of spiritual openness and self-discovery of our essential being because it is the true recognition of our soul and reconciliation with the whole. That is, contact with the supreme Cosmic Deity.
The AYAHUASCA developed the Mental Imaging, highlighting or activating creativity, inspiration and resources to innovate things and ideas by achieving a broadening of consciousness to create and recreate, think and perform our activities better.
The AYAHUASCA allows us to live a great empathy, a complete communication with the totality and also allows us to see within ourselves with the finest sharpening of our faculties, that is to achieve Clairvoyance.”
Magic mushrooms, specifically Psilocybe semilanceata, are a consciousness altering substance more common to Europe than the (remaining) jungles of South America, with an equally long history of use. More commonly known as the Liberty Cap, it is a species of fungus which produces the psychoactive compounds psilocybin and baeocystin. It is both one of the most widely distributed psilocybin mushrooms in nature, and one of the most potent. The mushrooms have a distinctive conical to bell-shaped cap, up to 2.5 cm in diameter, with a small nipple-like protrusion on the top. They are yellow to brown, covered with radial grooves when moist, and fade to a lighter colour as they mature. Their stipes tend to be slender and long, and the same colour or slightly lighter than the cap. The gill attachment to the stipe is adnexed, and they are initially cream-coloured before tinting purple as the spores mature.
Although any ‘preparation containing psilocybin’ is deemed illegal in the UK, there are ways around this. You can simply pick them from the wild in the autumn and chew them up. You can order a kit and grow them to observe under a microscope. Don’t get caught taking them though.