Life is the most precious gift there is. We do not have the means to understand life, but we do have the means to embrace every part of it. It is a gift you may not realize until moments before you die. To quote Terrence McKenna the months before he died,
“Just being told by an unsmiling guy in a white coat that you’re going to be dead in four months definitely turns on the lights. … It makes life rich and poignant. When it first happened, and I got these diagnoses, I could see the light of eternity shining through every leaf. I mean, a bug walking across the ground moved me to tears.”
After my NDE, I feel exactly like Terrence McKenna described. Everything moves me to tears. Just yesterday, I was crying because I could see the night sky above me. Life is a gift, and we must treasure as much of it as we can. Even the mundane parts of life are divine. So do your dishes!
The gift of life was given to us by a higher power. It doesn’t matter what kind of god you believe in, or if you even believe in a god at all, because this higher power exists regardless of how you perceive it. This energy of oneness is everywhere, and it is the energy that connects everything that is. It is the energy of being, and you are a mere thought away from experiencing this being. This godlike energy is flowing through us all. It is in that person you don’t like, it is in that stranger on the street, it is in the trees in the forest, it is expanding across the universe. It is what connects us all, it is the collective unit of all that is. Once you connect to it, once you realize how expansive you actually are, that is when you will connect to this higher power. You will come to find that this power is actually love. The universe is existing as a dance, a dance of all that is, and everything that it consists of, is dancing in unison and love. You are a being of love.
The afterlife is another way of being. You can think of death like opening the door to your car. You were experiencing the state of walking to your door- that is life. Then you open the car door, that is death. Then you sit into your car and start driving. That is the afterlife. You are still very much alive, you are just experiencing reality in a new way. Of course, the shift from life to the afterlife is a much bigger than just going from legs to wheels. It’s more like going from being a human to a galaxy!
The state of dying is not an entrance into total nothingness, it is an interdimensional transformation. After you die, you will ascend your humanity. You will transform. And you understand the meaning of it all.
If you want to understand the meaning of life, imagine yourself seeing a new color. There is meaning to our life, so much meaning- but the meaning can’t be understood in our human form. Trying to picture the meaning of life is like trying to picture a new color- it is impossible. All we can be sure of is that it exists. We are limited to our human perception, and after death, we lose our human perception. We ascend to a higher state of being, where we have an infinite number of senses. Only then can the meaning of life be understood. What we will understand about life, will expand beyond all meaning. Meaning itself is a human concept, and the need to understand and make sense of reality is also a human concept. You will ascend all human concepts.
Death is a natural process. Death is so natural, you’re going to wonder why you were so afraid of it when it happens. Death is no different from breathing. It’s just happening, its happening all the time, and its completely natural. You’ll remember what death is all about when it happens, because you’ve experienced it over and over again.
Love your body. Cherish your body, listen to it closely, and that will nourish your soul. Your soul adores your body, even if you don’t know it does. Your body is what connects you to the gift of life.
We are souls, our souls are inhabiting our bodies temporary. Our souls do not have form, emotions, reason, bodies, memories, or a sense of self. We have no true self. But this does not mean our self does not exist- rather, it exists, as part of one giant collective universe. Everything is connected, and when you think something is separate, you are just looking at one part of the connection. That means you are me, I am you. Imagine yourself as a single star. if you remained as this single star, you wouldn’t be able to see that you’re part of a constellation. And your constellation is part of many other constellations. All those constellations form a galaxy of stars. You are a tiny detail in one big picture.
Our souls are fragments of the collective universe. In other words, all of our souls are all part of the same web. Our souls are like fractals, containing all that is, unfolding continuously.
We can’t take our memories with us after we die… Memories are a construct of our physical body. This means what you do here doesn’t matter, just enjoy every second of it. But don’t worry- because your memories will still exist after you die. Even if you never talk to another human in your life, your memories are still existing, because your memories are built into the intrinsic web of all that is.
…However, we can take love with us after we die. Love is the vibration of the universe. Love is everywhere, and its existing in many different forms. Love is even in the form of fear. We have not inherited fear to help us survive on the Earth, we have inherited fear so we can experience love. If you’re afraid of dying, it’s because you love your life. Things you would think that have no consciousness, such as a star, is experiencing the love of shining brightly. The purest love takes the form of light, so after you die, a light will guide you into your transformation.
Everything you perceive is yourself. If you’re ever wondering what it is you’re looking at, whether its a person or up at the stars, know you’re looking at yourself. After you die, you can no longer experience the world how you are now. If you are experiencing the world after death, you are experiencing it in a completely different way.
Before my NDE, I would stare at Google Earth, imagining myself staring at the planet, as an astronaut in a spaceship. I would constantly ask myself “What is this?”. I imagined the earth as being small, so small in comparison to the galaxy. I couldn’t make sense of it all.
After the NDE, I realized the answer to my question “What is all of this?” was as simple as “It’s me.”. Everything I perceive, including the entire galaxy, is all just me. Every person I meet is also me. Your life experience is extending out to the entire universe. The universe itself is a reflection of your perception. Your brain is creating the universe, and your brain is the universe.
This means your reality is a subjective experience. There is nothing here that is not subjective. Once you realize this, you can tap into your true power. You really can change your reality through your thoughts alone. But I will cover that at another time!
Meditation combined with my Ayahuasca experience gave me many gifts. Here are some of them:
1.The Gift of Compassion
After drinking Ayahuasca, I experienced a lot of anxiety, at an intensity I’ve never experienced before. I’ve been taught I don’t truly have control in my life- and it forced me to accept that, and to let go. This awakens unconditional acceptance and love for every single sentient being, who is struggling with something they can’t control.
2. The Gift of Equanimity
I can listen to people better, I can actually hear what they are saying, with no judgement. Especially people who become stuck in loops of frustration. I used to try to offer advice, or try to help the situation, or judge it in my mind. Now I just listen, with a sense of inner calmness.
3. The Gift of Life
Suicidal thoughts plagued my mind all my life. Now, I have no desire to die anymore. I want to stay here on this Earth so bad, that I need to be careful this desire does not turn into a fear of death.
4. The Gift of Mundane
I’m in love with completing simple tasks, something I never loved doing before. I used to struggle to dress myself and take care of my environment. Now I understand that all of this is part of my beautiful life experience.
5. The Gift of Understanding
I used to question my reality a lot. I never considered this to be bad, it was just part of how my brain worked. This part of me has disappeared completely. Life is a gift, and this is the only thing I’ve ever needed to know.
6. The Gift of Stillness
My mind is so quiet now, I have no idea what to think about. I have a Twitter that I’m currently struggling to update- because I don’t have thoughts to write. And when I have thoughts, I don’t identify with them.
7. The Gift of Being
I can just be and enjoy my being. I can be doing a lot, or nothing at all. I can just exist and love every second of my existence. I used to judge myself hard for whatever I was doing. If I wasn’t being productive, if I wasn’t doing something right. Now all of this judging has dissipated into the beyond. No matter what I’m doing, I can enjoy it fully. Even if I’m inside watching Netflix on a beautiful day, I love it so much, because it is all an extension of my life.
8. The Gift of Love
I have a deep, profound love for all that is. Love is radiating through me, and I see the universe reflecting it back at me. I am love you are love, everything is love., and knowing that makes me feel so joyful inside.
9. The Gift of Music
I never used to hear songs in my mind- now I can, and I love dancing to them. I want to learn to dance! Not only that, my music tastes have changed. I can’t listen to negative songs anymore. I appreciate uplifting songs, even if they are cheesy.
10. The Gift of Body
I never used to feel connected to my body- now I feel its voice. The voice of my body is my own, and its also the voice of the universe. Nurturing my beautiful body is a top priority for me. Yoga is one of the ways I love to do this, along with sticking to a plant-based diet.
11. The Gift of Creativity
Right now, I’m having a burst of creativity, which is why I’m writing this. I have a huge desire to sit down and write forever. I’ve realized writing is my form of creative expression, so I will continue to write for the rest of life, and keep it public.
12. The Gift of Beauty
I can see beauty everywhere, including graveyards. I used to pass by graveyards and think deeply about how it would be me someday. Now I feel happiness that those lovely souls got to walk on the same ground as me. And I’m quite certain they are all walking the Earth again!
13. The Gift of Prayer
I pray because I feel so grateful for every moment of my life. Some days, I wake up and I feel like I’m being touched by god. I feel like I’ve been given the biggest gift.
14. The Gift of Intention
Whatever I do, I do so with an intention in mind. This helps me stay mindful of what I’m doing, and helps me connect to the moment unfolding in front of me.
15. The Gift of Gratitude
I’m so thankful for our existence. Every moment is so precious, so wonderful, so lovely. Whoever or whatever gave me my life, thank you so much!
First of all, I would like to answer a few background questions.
Feel free to skip these and scroll down to “My Ayahuasca Experience” if you just want a detailed account of what happened to me.
Did you actually die?
Yes, I did.
The dictionary calls death the total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions of an organism. By dictionary, I did not die. But I did lose total functioning of my brain, minus my brain stem, that is only in control of my heartbeat and my breathing.
Since I lose total brain functioning minus my brainstem, and entered a realm that lies beyond ego death, I consider myself to have died.
Whether or not you want to agree with me, is up to you. I’m not here to convince you of anything. I’m just here to tell you my story.
What is Ego Death?
Ego death is a well documented state of being. It is when you lose your sense of self: and I mean all parts of yourself. Your body, your five senses, your memories, your voice, your ability to think and speak and understand words, your sense of time, your ability to see and understand the world…everything you are. And yes, you are also the ground you walk on, and the sky above. Without your ego, there is no seeing the planet.
Ego death happens when you take a huge dose of hallucinogenics. For most, this dose has to be big enough to be dangerous. I drank two 300ml glasses of strong, potent Ayahuasca at once, freshly harvested from the jungle surrounding the Marañón River.
Before you shout and tell me you’ve drank more, please understand I am a tiny skinny girl. I am 5’3, weigh 102 pounds, a mere 46kg. I’m also missing some organs: I only have 1 kidney, and I also have no gallbladder.
You’re probably wondering why the shamans allowed me to have such a big dose. I told them that I had no health problems. I hid the fact that I’m missing organs in my body, I hid the fact that I’m hypersensitive to whatever goes into my body.
Of course, I knew logically, I should’ve had a small dose. But all my life, I’ve been engaged in reckless behavior. This is because all my life, I’ve been suffering intense suicidal ideation that hit me many times a day, no matter where I was. On my plane ride to Peru to drink Ayahuasca, I was wishing I could jump out of the plane through the emergency exit.
When you walk life with a desire to die, you become numb. You are an epitome of apathy, and you no longer care what happens to you. So drinking a dangerous dose of the most powerful entheogenic in the world in a foreign country deep in the jungle as a tiny helpless girl is not a daunting task at all.
Needless to say, I truly had no idea what I was in for. They say nothing can prepare you for your first Ayahuasca trip, and this is may be the truest sentence in existence. Of course, I read stories about other peoples’ experiences. I thought I knew what I was in for, but I didn’t actually have any idea. There is no way to conceive of the experience in our mind. I repeat, if you’ve never drank Ayahuasca, there is no way to know what it’s like. You could study Ayahuasca experiences for fifty years, you could meditate for another eighty, there is absolutely no way to know what you just signed up for.
The only preparations you can do is making diet adjustments, staying away from alcohol and other drugs, and do yoga and meditation to help with your anxiety, and soothing your anxiety may make the experience 0.00001% smoother. This is the only power you have to prepare for your experience. You are completely powerless otherwise.
What I expected was what I read. I figured I would go to other realms and meet entities, which may heal me from my suicidal ideation. I figured if I had a bad trip, it would just be like a nightmare, and I would recover quickly.
This was no nightmare. This was an actual-death experience.
Do we have souls?
The answer is yes.
Ayahuasca is not like dreaming. It is not like hallucinating. It is a literal out of body experience. She actually kicks your soul out of your body. And if you retain your sense of self or not, that all depends on how big of a dose you took, and on what she needs to show you, and I took one gigantic dose, and she decided to kill me.
I highlighted the word soul because prior to Ayahuasca, I didn’t know we had souls. I grew up as an atheist and converted to spiritual agnosticism after studying Buddhism. So while I wouldn’t exactly dispute the ideas of us having souls, I also didn’t really believe in it. It never made sense to me how we could exist outside of our bodies.
We all have this idea of our souls being like ethereal versions of ourselves: it’s not like this at all. Our souls, once fully integrated outside of our bodies, have no sense of self attached to them. Our souls have NO memories, NO bodies, NO sense of self, NO form, NO ego, NO senses, NO emotions, NO thought. Yet they somehow exist. We each have one.
A metaphor I got for this is: imagine our souls like air. No consciousness at all, no body, no nothing. Our soul inhabits a body, and after we die, our souls return to being air.
You would think it would be like complete nothingness, like an atheist point of view, but its not like this at all. Death is merely a transformation, from form into no form, so there is no true nothingness, no true death, there is merely transformation.
And it is like a Christian point of view, in the way our souls leave our body, and go to another place. Whether this place is heaven or hell, it doesn’t really matter, because you’re going to lose your concept of words and your ability to identify what you’re experiencing. All of that comes from our ego- our physical brain construct- and after we die, we don’t get to take this with us. Yes, that includes our memories.
It would be nice to bring memories with us after we die, but where we are going, there is no way we can conceive of memories. We completely transform. The only thing I can compare it to is like transforming into a galaxy. We are entirely formless, vast, and we exist as an infinite amount of dimensions. But we have no way to know if we are a galaxy or not, we lose the ability to know anything. I figured I would at least retain knowledge of space- but even space as we know it is just a reflection of ourselves.
Space and Earth as you know it doesn’t exist after you die. Every piece of knowledge you acquire in life, every memory you gain, every emotion you feel, every person you meet, and everything you touch and see, is all just yourself.
Nothing is separate from you, and when you die, you’re going to lose all of it.
This is scary to think about now that I’ve returned to my body. Honestly, my transformation was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever experienced, because I was not ready to die. But once I had accepted my death, and completely transformed and traveled to the “other side”, I no longer had emotions. No more fear, no more suffering. My soul was just existing as infinite dimensions.
This is good news. This means you can relax into your being.
Death is nothing to fear.
My Ayahuasca Experience
“Please, take me back to my BODY!”
These words still haunt me. They are the sounds of my own voice- but with more desperation and agony I have ever heard. Not only that, I couldn’t even pronounce the word “body”. My words were falling away from me. Everything was just falling away, as my entire being was ripped out of me.
It did not completely start out like this. At first, it was beautiful.
I had my first drink, and the girl beside me started to sing and sweat. She seemed like she was in heaven, but I felt absolutely nothing, except for a bit of nausea when I lied down. So I stayed upright in a meditative posture.
The shamans were singing beautiful songs- called icaros. It is said the spirit of Ayahuasca teach them how to sing these songs, and I have no doubt that this is true. They are tunes so spiritual and healing, they can only come from a different realm.
I focused on one soft icaro in particular. I massaged my shoulders while I listened. I imagined the pain being ripped out from my spine as I massaged my back, and wondered if this could be what the plant was telling me to do.
But still, I didn’t feel much of anything.
My shaman asked me if I wanted a second dose. I, being the fool I was, said yes.
After drinking a second dose, I left the space to pee in the jungle. On my way back, I felt lightheaded and drunk. I thought to myself that this was nothing, since I was used to drinking alcohol, I must’ve built up a tolerance. I remember gazing at the stars before I went back to the ceremony. I sat back down in a meditative posture, and that is when I saw my first fractal. But I could barely see it, because I had left my body.
The feeling of leaving your body so quickly is just…I have no words to describe this. The atmosphere changed, everything changed, I was in a different realm. And it was no hallucination, no alternation in reality. I was literally in another dimension, that was so different from the one I’m used to, and I knew instantly that I have a soul. I was able to feel the very core of my soul, without my body. There is surely no way that death is just nothingness, that we do not have souls. We have souls.
I was transported to another world, full of radiant colors. I remember saying “I’m so happy, thank you, thank you!” even though I couldn’t really pronounce these words right. It was like “ZANK YOU”, “I’M ZAPPY!”.
I said “You’re beautiful.” to all these beautiful, colorful, fractal entities. I created some sort of celestial body, I rolled around in all these colors, feeling what may have been my water bottle, or my purging bucket, but I’m not sure.
I had experienced a completely lightness- I was happy at first to be out of my body. No more back pain, and I was happy to know I could just pee here- I didn’t even have to pee ever, or I could pee all I wanted. Yeah, I’m not too sure why I was thinking about that- I think needing to pee all the time is an important part of my body. I have one kidney!
Now that I’m writing this, I can tune into the fact that I had a lovely experience at first. It was fun, rolling around in this celestial realm, seeing just what I could do. I could also hear icaros, which made the experience even more beautiful and profound.
I assume this is what most people experience on Ayahuasca, and it is why they drink it many times in their life. The lightness of being outside of your body, playing with these gorgeous and friendly spirits, is gentle and healing indeed. But Aya is not known to be gentle. If you need healing , she is going to give it to you in the most brutal way possible, and that is exactly what she did to me.
I lost grasp of my body. I gained a full awareness that I was actually outside of my body, and I couldn’t go back to it. I needed help to get back to my body, so I shouted the name of my shaman. But it was like shouting into nothingness. I couldn’t even pronounce his name right. I was trying so hard to say his name, but failing. He didn’t come. I couldn’t hear his voice. I still heard icaros, but I stopped understanding into the fact they were coming from my reality. I lost full connection with my body and my world.
I said “I have a body, you know!” at the fractal spirits. Then I felt “them” slowly ripping into my ego. They completely disassembled my soul and my ego, and I realize that the fact I was still able to speak (even if it was incoherent) still meant I had a body. Words disintegrated from me….and that is when I was grieving and shouting in desperation.
“I’ve learned too much!” I cried, “I just want to go back to my body, please…”
Now in my life, I’ve experienced intense grief. That grief is part of the reason why I decided to drink Ayahuasca in the first place. But NOTHING compared to the grief of losing my body. This grief and sorrow I will remember for the rest of my life. I missed my back pain, my hair, my skin, and my world.
I felt it all of it just scatter into pieces, my soul completely separating to the point I could no longer touch a single piece. I stopped talking, as I no longer knew what words were. But each time a piece of my soul disappeared, I mourned it, and I tried everything I could to grasp it, but it all just fell away.
I had no choice but to accept my death.
It was an awful feeling, each piece of my ego fading into nothingness. I was sucked deeper and deeper into the spirit realm, except I was no longer a spirit, I was nothing. I clung onto whatever I had left- a memory of my partner, but I could no longer remember who he was or his name. My world- I tried to cling to my memory of the stars, but even that faded away. I could no longer remember what stars were. I couldn’t remember what I was, who I was, or my life. Each time I tried to remember something- even a little piece- it would just scatter away. as if it was all being sucked into a tunnel.
One of the last things I tried to remember was how I died. I remembered the word “drink”, but that word was sucked up by the dark tunnel. That was the last word I would conceive of. I gave up fighting, and allowed the tunneled realm to consume me.
I died. In every sense of the word, I died. I can’t even tell you if at this point I could see colors, or entities, because I had no senses left. No more icaros, no more sensation, no words, no memories, no form. I could never find my world ever again.
I was so lost, so gone. But I no longer realized I was lost or gone.
At this point, I was on the other side of the tunnel.
I had completely transformed, into multiple dimensions. I was existing, but as something I can’t even explain, because it was so vast, so formless. It had no thoughts, no memories, no words, no vision, no senses. It was as if I became a galaxy. But of course, I had no way to understand I was a galaxy. I just…was. I was simply existing.
No suffering as we know it, no joy as we know it, just the being of interdimensions.
This being was not empty. It was full of activity, full of connection and vastness, and there was life everywhere, but not life as we know it. I can’t describe to you what anything looked like here, since that would be like describing to you a brand new color. I couldn’t actually see anything. I felt it, using a sense not known to humans.
My ego remembers everything as being dark. But I also know it wasn’t dark, not at all, because there was a lot happening. I just can no longer conceive of what it was, since at that time, I was feeling it all using a celestial sense.
I know there were twinkles of lights glowing everywhere, lights full of life. The lights gleamed with love, and I felt connected with all of them. We were all communicating together, but not in a way I could ever describe. I was connected to everything.
If a star could feel love, it would love how brightly it glowed. It would love being in the sky, communicating and shining with all the other stars.
That is how I can describe to you that even after dying, I was able to experience love.
I was only in this peaceful state of “life after death” very briefly. It was so brief, that I feel like I only caught a millisecond glimpse of it, if time even existed.
Then I was shot back through the tunnel and I opened my eyes back into my world.
I was shocked. I vaguely saw a symbol written in white on the wall. I had glimpses of the symbol, then my soul would escape my body again and enter the tunnel, then it would return for a brief second.
I had brief glimpses of my shaman sitting a person away from me (on his phone of all things!), then my soul escaped into a tunnel again.
I said to myself, “If I return to my body, I am never doing this again. I don’t HAVE to do this again. I will recover and go home.” I was so panicked, not even realizing that the fact I could think again meant I was alive.
Finally, I could think again!
I fought hard to get back into my body. I clung and CLUNG to that symbol on the wall. I purged, grabbing my bucket, trying to connect to the bucket. I never fought so hard for my life. I connected to my world as much as I could, staying with every glimpse of it I had. Then, I fully returned, but with a lot of fear. I was terrified of my soul leaving again.
I felt like some newborn baby. All I wanted to do was curl up and cry for years.
At this point, I completely forgot about that brief second of peace that I saw after the tunnel. My mind was taunted with memories of my ego being ripped apart.
My ego was back to its harsh self, screaming at me, “WHY THE FUCK DID YOU DO THAT FOR. WHAT THE FUCK,YOU ARE FUCKING STUPID, GO THE FUCK HOME NOW, GET YOUR ASS OUT OF HERE, YOU ARE THE BIGGEST IDIOT ALIVE.”
This is why I had a hard life before. I identified too much with these thoughts. But these thoughts are my beautiful ego construct. My ego construct is merely just a grumpy grandparent, trying hard to keep me healthy and alive.
I touched my bucket, surprised I had purged entirely in the bucket, when I died and couldn’t even conceive of a bucket. I looked around as much as I could, taking in the scenery of the ceremony space.
I touched my hair- oh my beautiful hair! I kicked my feet out and waved my arms- my beautiful body! I touched my little boobs and my tiny tummy- I had it all!
I was SHOCKED I was alive. I was so flabbergasted, how I was alive, I can’t even begin to explain to you the shock factor of this.
After that, I didn’t say a word, I just literally just stood up and went outside and had a piss. I can’t believe after that, my body just got up and pissed, like nothing happened!
I was fully alive.
After taking the best piss of my life, I looked up at the stars. They looked completely normal. My body was tingling, my brain still repeating to me like a broken record “What the fucking hell, you need to get out of the jungle and go the fuck home before you develop schizophrenia, because that was NOT normal.”
And I felt, for the first time, as if my life was the biggest gift. All of this: my beautiful tingling body, my swearing and terrified brain, the beautiful ground, the beautiful stars above, the bustling night sounds of the jungle…
It was all a miracle.
I couldn’t sleep that night. People beside me were snoring, and I wondered just how they could just FALL ASLEEP. I was afraid if I fell asleep, I would lose my body again. I wanted nothing more than to be in my body. I just wanted to stay in my body, forever.
I love my body, and life is a precious gift. All my life, I’ve never felt connected to my world or to my body in any way. I connected more to the stars in the sky, compared to my own physical body. My physical body is what keeps me in this plane of existence- this Earth, this space, this dimension- and I love it here.
I no longer feel a need to be anywhere else. This Earth, this life ,this reality, is perfect just the way it is. I honestly have an amazing life, just from being here. I just want to cultivate love and kindness. Love is the most important energy there is, and it can be found in every dimension, in many different and wonderful forms.
Stay tuned for a part two to this, where I will write about how of all this has completely changed my life, and healed me.