Knowledge Was Graciously
Invoked in Me by the Plant Teacher
by OREGON T.
In this unusual experience, a college philosophy professor in his forties
obtains confirmation of intuitions of a prior lifetime as a student of an alchemist
magician in Elizabethan England. Seeing the parallels between that life and
his present life, he rediscovers certain mathematical relationships and also
obtains liberating insight into personality patterns.
My intention on this first experience of ayahuasca was remembrance: during
the past several years, I have received -fleeting intimations and vague recollections
of a life in sixteenth-century Elizabethan England. Much of my study, writing,
intellectual pursuits, including even my Ph.D. dissertation topic, have been
colored by the remembrance of that life.
Following a series of out-of-body experiences, combined with specific details
supplied by a gifted reader of the akashic records [according to occult philosophy,
the collective astral and mental memory banks-Ed.]
I was led to the recognition of the identity of this individual-Robert Dudley,
the Earl of Leicester. Recognizing the uncannily detailed resemblances in the
proclivities and interests of my present ego-personality, I wanted to seek communication
with this previous life. The intention was not to simply satisfy the ego by
stretching consciousness into the past.
Rather the concern was to get a handle on the soul's purpose in this incarnation,
by remembering both the joys and frustrations of a prior lifetime. Specifically,
I wanted to see if I could recapitulate the esoteric mathematical knowledge
garnered in that life; if I succeeded I wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel
in this regard.
To anticipate what the spirit of ayahuasca showed me was consistent with my
intention, but at the same time surprising in the lessons learned. My initiation
began with the proper fasting and a preparatory half-day solo vision-quest walk
in the mountains, communing with the spirits of nature.
We each consumed a very small amount of San Pedro cactus that served to heighten
alertness and one-pointedness on our vision walk. I climbed high into the mountainous
terrain traveling in a westerly direction. I noticed that birds were appearing
to me in pairs; I interpreted this message to point me to the importance of
love. For some time I watched carefully the dancing and jumping movements of
a small fly.
I was hoping for the appearance of a significant power animal, as practiced
in shamanic traditions, and was beginning to get somewhat frustrated. I found
a secluded spot amongst some pine trees and laid down to observe the birds some
Finally I got to the point that I thought nothing was going to happen. Just
as I was about to give up, a lizard leaped out from under the brush right between
my legs and onto a nearby large rock.
Our eyes locked. As we gazed at each other, I was not sure who was mesmerizing
whom. You might say that it was mutually hypnotic. The communication was telepathic,
consciousness to consciousness. However, I did say some soothing words. Eventually
I slowly approached him and was able to touch his back gently, petting him.
I had taken my camera and recorded my finger stroking his head and back.
He also allowed me to take several close-up pictures. Before long it was time
to return to the group, so we parted ways. Later that afternoon we drank the
ayahuasca tea. I did not find the liquid preparation disagreeable at all.
In fact, I took it with great relish. We gathered together in the vision circle,
around an altar that included sacred ritual objects that each of us had brought
There were fourteen of us along with our guide and his assistant. With my bowl
for the subsequent purging next to me, I lay down placing ear plugs in my ears
and a mask over my eyes. Before too long, I began to see within my mind's eye
undulating, circling, spiraling formations in a panorama of kaleidoscopic colors.
I soon had the distinct impression that we were all in the body of a large
serpent or lizard. When alerted to sit up and participate with the group in
chanting, I perceived visual images of large felines, jaguars, and panthers,
as well as snakes, lizards, and crocodiles.
I was reminded of the mummified crocodiles representing the god Sobek that
I had seen at the ruins of Kawm Umbú, during a trip to Egypt in 1990.
As I again closed off the outer world, I began to pursue with focused tenacity
my intention of communication with the former life.
I began to have images of riding upon a black stallion in a procession at the
coronation of Queen Elizabeth. The scene changed and I found myself at Mortlake
outside the home of Dr. John Dee, who was my teacher in that prior life. We
were looking into an obsidian crystal, along with Queen Elizabeth and some of
The scene changed again as I focused my attention on attempting to communicate
directly with "my" former personality (Robert Dudley), in a direct
face-to-face encounter. I found myself in a psychomanteum, a place specially
constructed for divination and communication with deceased relatives.
There was a large mirror on the wall, in which a face took shape and became
three-dimensional. This face and the eyes told me what I wanted to know even
though the exchange did not last long.
However there was sufficient communication to inform me that I had already
in effect rediscovered the mathematical key that I, as Robert Dudley, had previously
worked on under the tutelage of the Elizabethan magus Dr. John Dee. Ayahuasca
was now about to teach me the lesson that I had not consciously sought.
I began to see a series of shortcomings, not only in the previous life as Robert
Dudley, but now again repeated in this life. I saw the machinations of the ego-personality
and its subtle deceit of the Self, of the true Monad. I realized that intellectual
success is not the end-all, but rather love and compassion wisely applied. I
began to sense and feel the importance of my family, my parents, and particularly
my love for my wife.
I was raised up to the summit. I was at the feet of Plato's Indefinite Dyad,
the primoridal duality or ultimate yin/yang, about to be merged into the One.
Then I began to feel as if I was in the United Nations General Assembly where
the ultimate union of male and female was about to take place.
The yang and yin were about to merge into the One. I became deeply concerned
that the world would not be here tomorrow if I went one iota further. Curiously,
the following day during the integration circle, when we recounted our experiences,
just as I was saying, "I feared that the world would not be here tomorrow,"
one of the glass votive candleholders on the altar shattered with a loud bang.
As I descended from the height of the summit experience, I felt remorse over
the games I and others play. I saw the dance of lives with the perpetual repetition
of mistakes, deceit, and cruelty toward Earth and all her creatures. I knew
that I was in a chamber of initiation, about to go through a death experience.
I felt great sadness for the pain I had inflicted on others, whether intentional
or otherwise. I began to hear the "swoosh" of a large snake. I felt
my abdomen crackle as if the skin of a snake were being shed.
As I relived the pain of mistake and deceit, I physically purged into the bowl.
I knew I had died without really having to die. I had truly experienced a death
and rebirth. Images, thoughts, and realizations danced inside my head.
I was gently brought back by our guide to the group sitting in the circle.
We then participated in very meaningful, though at the time somewhat difficult,
exercises of the voice.
We attempted to convey some of the meaning of our experiences through vocal
tones and chants. It was incredible. I saw our guide literally transform into
an old Indian shaman.
We closed with a thanksgiving ritual, and I eventually drifted off to sleep.
When I awoke at dawn, I felt compelled to return outside to the mountainous
terrain. Each step I took was sacred.
The ground upon which I walked was sacred. I climbed as high as I could onto
a precipice so as to contemplate the sunrise. I asked for forgiveness from the
Earth for any harm I had committed.
I studied the rock formations and found one that appeared to be a lizard with
a human face. Fortunately I had grabbed my camera on the way out, and captured
the incredible image.
The Earth was speaking to me. I had acquired the meaning I had sought in the
circle session, and so much more. The spirit of ayahuasca taught me that all
is alive, all is sacred, and all is ultimately love-wisdom.
In retrospect several years later, I see that this experience opened many doors
of perception for me. It allowed me to confirm the insights into Pythagorean
mathematics that have been the intellectual focus of my present life, through
seeing its origin in a previous life in Elizabethan England.
The recollection of this lifetime also helped me to understand the roots of
certain other interests and proclivities. For example, my instinctive love of
horses in this life feels closely parallel to my previous experience as Master
of the Horse for the Queen.
My present life's efforts and successes at tennis, racquetball, and athletics
were foreshadowed on the tiltyards and tennis courts and in the forests of sixteenth-century
My continuing interest in alchemy, sacred geometry, and the hermetic sciences
are rooted in my previous work and study with the mathematician, alchemist,
and magician, Dr. John Dee.
Habits and frustrations of that life continue to be paralleled in events of
this life. The real beauty of the teachings of the ayahuasca spirits is that
they can help provide meaning, purpose, and direction to one's life.
In subsequent work with this particular plant teacher, I have been able to
access other previous lives and their significance for my present journey. Ayahuasca
has allowed me to explore the deepest philosophical issues of the self. I have
been given insight and remembrance into the thorny issues and dilemmas involved
in the Hindu doctrine of atman ("Self") and the Buddhist teachings
of anatta ("Not-Self").
I have come to understand that these are difficult concepts, not because of
the underlying reality, but because of the limitations of our conceptual formations
and linguistic expressions. I have learned that by posing the questions appropriately,
the plant teachers will assist with the response.
As a result of my ayahuasca experiences, I now have a greater clarity of direction
in my life, a recognition of the sacredness of all living beings, and the presence
of consciousness at all levels of organization within and throughout the cosmos.
The ayahuasca plant teacher, much like the entheogens probably employed in
the Eleusinian and other ancient mystery religions, assists in the sought-after
remembrance, what Plato referred to as anamnesis.
Our birth truly is a forgetting, as the poet Wordsworth said. Thank heavens
there are techniques that can initiate one into deeper states of remembrance
The ayahuasca plant teacher has helped me to begin to answer, for myself in
my own small way, the perennial questions: Where do we come from? Why are we
here? Where are we going?
*Excerpted by permission of the publisher from Ayahuasca: Sacred Vine of
Spirit. Ralph Metzner, Editor. Park Street Press. Copyright © 2006
Ralph Metzner, All Rights Reserved.