Someone wrote to ask me what the heck I meant when I said ayahuasca--the jungle medicine--needed to be bitch-slapped a little. I used a coarse term--I apologize--but went on to explain that what I meant was that the spirit of ayahuasca had gotten a little too big for her britches lately and just needed to be reminded that like all of us, she's a component of the universe, not the universe.
Interestingly, the guy wrote back that similarly to when I had been ordered by the spirit of ayahuasca to "bring me fresh meat"--which included me bringing myself to the medicine in a "fresh meat" state, with no alcohol, no over-tiredness, no cutting corners in my personal preparation--he had recently been asked by what appeared to be the spirit of ayahuasca to spread the word about her, to get more people to drink her. So I thought on that a little while and then wrote him back. And I think it's worth sharing, at least in this intimate blog way.
This is what I wrote:
Well, it's interesting: since I first wrote about ayahuasca asking me to bring her "fresh meat" in my book I've taken a lot of heat. Some people think that's just insane, or that I just made that up--but you cannot make this stuff up, it just happens, and what happens is more outlandish than anything I might make up.
But then there were notes from others as well, like yours just now, telling me that similar queries or demands were made on them too. To bring more people, to spread the word and so forth. And I think a lot of the people who have opened lodges have done so because they had a "vision" that they were supposed to bring more people to the medicine.
Now, whether it's sinister or not becomes the question. I actually think the medicine is very generous, very decent. On the other hand, I also think that ayahuasca is sentient--which would include having a will, desires, intention. And I think anyone/any sentient thing can get priorities mixed up if they suddenly find themselves pushed into the glare of the spotlight. How many actors go crazy after they become stars--when they were apparently quite normal prior to stardom? How many curanderos come to work for lodges and get big heads about their personal powers and so forth, when prior to the lodge work they were humble people living the very plain life of a local curandero on a river or in a shanty town in Iquitos?
So why couldn't ayahuasca get swell-headed as well? After all, for hundreds--perhaps thousands--of years she's been working in obscurity among indigenous and later mestizo farmers and fishermen. Suddenly, in the last 15 years, she's all the rage, not just in Iquitos, but in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia. Could that tweak an ego a bit? I think it could. And I think so many people being asked or told to bring more people, more fresh meat, to her is an indication of that.
I do think that because she's basically so good that her instincts will win out fairly quickly and she will become humble again. I think the deaths, mostly by suicide, but a couple sort of inexplicably at different lodges, by people associated with Ayahuasca--though its doubtful that ayahuasca had anything to do with them--has shown her that along with superstardom comes unfillable expectation. You want to be the star? Then you take the heat. And I think she's aware of that and would not want the association with negativity, and so will reel herself in a bit.
I also think that when someone/some spirit becomes a superstar, lots of other people/spirits are going to cling to that person's coattails. And so it may not be ayahuasca herself who's asking you/me to bring more people. It may be the hangers-on that are doing that, who enjoy the superstardom charge and want more of it. If that's the case, then she will have to shuck them--they're probably not her real spirit friends anyway.
This making sense?