Edited by HENRY REED, Ph.D.
May 24, 2007
The Intuitive-Connections Network

Knowledge Was Graciously

Invoked in Me by the Plant Teacher

Knowledge Was Graciously Invoked in Me by the Plant Teacher



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 more.

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 along.

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 her entourage.

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 England.

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 and recollection.

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.

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