I didn’t plan to go to Peru. I was just going about my life as so many others do, working, hanging out with family and friends, and just generally enjoying western life in the USA. Nagging at the back of my mind however, was a constant feeling of frustration with superficiality. Fed into my consciousness was a relentless stream of data about what “stuff” people were purchasing or planning to purchase, how their housework was progressing, why the current president was ruining everything, and so on. I got to the point where if I had to hear one more water cooler story about proper lawn care, I was going to lay down in a field and let a John Deere tractor send me off to the next life (OK, not really).
Part of the reason for my sensitivity around the perceived superficiality could be attributed to the fact that I do not have a religion to fall back on. I’m eternally grateful to my parents for not indoctrinating my young vulnerable mind with dogmatic religious silliness because it helped to create the critical thinker who now writes these words. That said, the path to spirituality as an atheist is a much more challenging one, since honesty will always be a primary concern. I’m fascinated with people’s spiritual experiences and the tales they tell of speaking to God through prayer, or finding true enlightenment through meditation. While religions (especially the monotheistic varieties we are most often exposed to in the states) make a vast number of indefensible truth claims about the nature of the universe and therefore do significant harm to the world generally, I also see the sense of peace they can provide for the individual. The scriptures appear to be pathways for people to access what they interpret as divine, but when it is decided that their religion is the only path, things start to go off the rails. For a number of years now I have been trying to engage with the spiritual side of life through meditation practice, but the process has been slow and arduous, and has unfortunately produced few lasting results. So I just continued halfheartedly shambling down the path of life, wondering if I would ever find what I was looking for, even though I had little idea what that could be. Then along came the plant medicines.
Special Note: In the blogs below I am not making any claims about the nature of the universe or trying to suggest in any way that what I experienced during my trips contains any empirical truth about anything. My attempt was to document my experience and fling it onto the internet so others could draw their own conclusions. Ultimately, if you feel “called” to experience the plant medicines, it won’t matter what anyone else writes because you will have your own vivid recollections to draw on.