Citation: Pseudonym. "The Duality of Ego Death: An Experience with Ayahuasca (exp93538)". Erowid.org. Jul 12, 2013. erowid.org/exp/93538
I ordered 114 grams Banisteriopsis Caapi and 56g Mimosa Hostilis root bark from a reputable online source. I crushed up the B. Caapi, and split the amount into about two separate piles. I took one of them for my brew (approximately 57g). I split the Mimosa Hostilis into about 4 equal piles, and took one of them for my brew (approximately 14 grams M. Hostilis). I prepared each in two separate brews, using a three wash technique in an acidic solution. (1-2 teaspoons vinegar per liter of distilled water). This took me a total of 6/7 hours to brew. During my reduction of the MHRB brew, it began to boil heavily. I was concerned that a significant portion of the N-N DMT was destroyed, so I decided to but in another pinch (probably about 3-4 grams). I realize now that the amount of time it boiled was probably not enough to destroy very much DMT, and so my brew contained probably closer to 17-18 grams of MHRB. I realize now just how high that dosage was…
I let my brew sit overnight and I was initially planning on consuming my brew outside by a creek that ran through the campus (in a secluded location of course) with a couple of close friends nearby. I had been fasting for about 24 hours and was planning on doing this in the morning. I learned when I woke up that one of my friends wouldn’t be available in the morning, so I decided to do it later in the day. It was at this time that I decided to eat a protein bar to keep my blood sugar from dropping too much. The weather outside was quite bad, so I decided I wanted to do it inside instead. I didn’t want to do it in my room, because I think my roommate would have freaked out if he saw my tripping. Instead, I decided on drinking my brew in my friend’s room. Side note: I decided to put on my “trip sweater” (the sweater that I have worn while smoke salvia). I figured it would somehow be important. In fact, I accidentally dribbled some aya brew on it while drinking. Now there is smoke of salvia and the brew of aya that have come in contact with the sweater. Don’t know why this is important.
When I decided to begin the process, I had two friends with me (lets call them friend A and friend B, and the location was friend A’s room).
Once I was all set up in my A’s room, I drank about two tablespoons of Pepto in order to help keep down the brew as long as possible. I spoke my intention to the brew. I said that I was consuming the drink to experience a destruction of the reality that I knew. I wanted to experience ego death, I wanted to experience understanding, healing, and rebirth. We were listening to the band Explosions in the Sky on record while I downed the B. Caapi brew within a few minutes taking long drags and A and B began vaping marijuana. I sat and waited for the effects of the B. Caapi to be noticeable. After about 20 minutes, I felt noticeable calm and peaceful. The colors of the room felt more vivid, and my vision felt slightly blurred. It was at this time that I decided to drink the MHRB concoction. It was absolutely vile. In fact, I almost purged just from the horrific flavor alone. I proceeded to sit and just concentrate on keeping down the brew for as long as possible. It was at this time (about 10 mins in) that I began to notice effects. Everything began to turn a reddish hue. The ground became somewhat pixelated and began to move around, as if I could see the particles of matter. I decided to sit down on the ground in order to have better control over my stomach. After a few minutes of struggling to keep the brew down, I purged. This was probably at about the 6 minute mark after having finished my entire brew. I thought that I had probably purged out too much of the DMT to have a breakthrough experience. I began to just sit back and enjoy the rapid thought flow and the visual distortion of A’s towel hanging on his wall. I saw the towel as two legs walking to the beat of the music. I also saw different faces in the towel.
The Beginning of My Journey
It was at this point that I decided to close my eyes in order to experience the CEVs. As I closed my eyes, the real visuals started. I thought that I knew basically what CEVs were, having had some sort of experiences with high doses of marijuana. However, the differences between Mary’s CEVs and Aya’s CEVs were like the differences between seeing something in your mind’s eye and actually mentally perceiving something. I began to see the classic DMT type shapes and patterns. Everything was very geometric and Mayan looking. The colors were bright, vivid, and randomly moving about my field of vision, sometimes coming together to create bigger images, and sometimes just zooming about. However, there was constantly a pyramid with an eye in it (like the pyramid on the back of a dollar bill) that kept moving towards me (funny I remembered this afterwards while listening to Money by Pink Floyd).
Meeting Aya, the Visions Grow Stronger
The CEVs became stronger. As the shapes and colors continued to move about, they sometimes converged to create the face of a woman, who of course I immediately labeled as Aya. She was looking at me, perceiving me. I was not expecting anything of this magnitude going into the experience. I knew the past me was fearful and full of anxiety over what was to come. I felt a panic attack coming on. However, for some reason I felt that this was only the beginning. I couldn’t let myself fall into panic The purge came back. The purge reminded me of my physical discomfort. This began to increase my panic. I began to breathe deeply and force myself to smile in order to try to control the panic. I was scrambling mentally for a way to turn this experience around. I realized the purge was a way to do this. I began to connect my anxiety to the feeling of discomfort. This amplified the feeling of both, and then they would meld together into a purging. I would retch and retch, and after each retch I felt the anxiety leaving me. I realized this would be a recurring theme in my trip. I would never rid myself of all the anxiety (or so I thought). I asked A to turn off the music, it was the only way for me to decrease the intensity of the experience. During the times after my purges, I was filled with a sense of newness and happiness. I remember thanking Aya for the experience. In the real world, I believe I was resting my head on the trashcan which I threw up in. My friends would occasionally ask me if I was okay. There was no way to explain to them that when they asked me that question, they reminded me of the reality I knew, which was gripping me with anxiety of letting go and the immersion of the greater reality I was experiencing. I just wanted everything from the reality before to be quiet so I could conquer the anxiety and fully immerse myself in the world (this was the only way to conquer the anxiety).
The Other Beings
I began to realize that Aya was just one of the many being in this space. These other beings were floating about. They had no intentions, no goals, they just were. They were very geometric and began to observe me. It was at this point that I realized that I did not feel I belonged here. I belonged to a different reality, and I began to search for it. I saw everything that my mind was and knew start to shrink until it became but a pixel of this greater reality, and then it disappeared entirely. I was alone in this expanse with beings of such great power that it terrified me beyond belief. The anxiety continued to grow, I continued to purge. It was at this point that the crossroads appeared before me. I realized that if I continued to hold on to what I knew and my idea of self, that the anxiety would never go away, I would continue to be an outsider in this reality which was too powerful for me to handle. If I continued to hold on, I would be destroyed and experience a horrific tearing apart of self. My other option was to destroy my own self, my own ego. I decided this was what I had to do. Either way, my ego would be destroyed, but if I chose to do it myself rather than have it done to me, then I would at least be able to exist in some sort of peace with these beings. After making this decision, it was as if I exploded from the inside out (what I imagine the big bang to be like). I was before but a tiny speck trying to hold on to something that was being destroyed. Yet when I let go, I expanded everywhere. I became the space, I became one with the beings and the entire existence of reality. There was no time in this reality. I lived in this reality for an eternity, simply being. There was no body, there was no other existence. The existence I knew held no place anymore, it was gone. Everything was gone. I no longer existed. Ego death. There is no way to say how long I was like this, as I said it was outside of time. However, my body in the tiny speck of my previous reality that made up this great and terrifying space was still experiencing time, and eventually my existence began to be reincorporated in time. I remember hearing A and B talking about something, this was quite disturbing to me and I remember my body in the old reality tell them to shhhhhh. I later learned that I had dumped out the trashcan containing my purge on the floor of my friend’s room. Whoops. It didn’t matter. It was trivial beyond comprehension.
At this point, I was being reincorporated with the reality I knew before. Waves of euphoria crashed over my body. I had been through the most powerful experience of my existence. Ego death and rebirth. And yet I realized how thoroughly unpowerful I was. The consciousness that we have in this reality is literally incomprehensible to the other consciousnesses that exist in greater realities. Everything about this reality seemed nice and welcoming. I was of this reality, and I realized that the importance that we place on things in this reality is simply a way for us to deal with the complete terrifying truth that our consciousness is too small to even comprehend truth. I remember stroking the carpet, playing with the drawers. I was happy to be back. I told A and B that I would never be able to come back from what I saw. It would define who I am the rest of my existence. I laughed at the idea of trying to explain what happened to me. It is literally ineffable and words can’t convey the power of what happened. I laughed and I laughed as the hilarity of it all set in. Words couldn’t describe the happiness I felt at this point, of being back. I didn’t care that everything of this world seemed to be just a coping mechanism to avoid the incomprehensible reality of the beyond. A and B began asking me about the experience. I began to talk of the duality I felt. Both dualities contained destruction of self, but only the reality where I let go was the reality in which existence was possible. The reality which held on to the pixel of previous existence was a place of horrific pain and suffering. I later connected this “letting go” to things in this life. If we are able to let go of our ideas of what should be, then suffering will not be able to affect us. We will be able to exist if we can let go. Otherwise we will be destroyed. It was around now that three more friends entered the room. They began vaping marijuana again, as I curled up under my friend’s desk in a cocoon of sorts and enjoyed everything about this reality. I remember asking my friend to put on some happy music. I said I needed happy influences, because everything was a duality between anxiety and happiness, and I could choose which to experience based on the sensory inputs I send to my consciousness.
The fear began to set in at this point, although I realize now that it was only because I was still tripping. I feared I would never be the same. I could never come back after that. I would always be separated from this reality and all the people in this reality. I wanted more than anything to become the person I was before, thoroughly ingrained in this form of reality. However, I didn’t want to lose what I had learned. I realized that this is what I wanted, I wanted a deeper sense of reality; and that who I become after this experience will be determined by who I choose to make myself. I had another epiphany. I realized that the intentions I had gone into the experience with determined the outcome of my experience. I asked Aya to shatter my ego and my idea of self, and I really had no idea what that meant. However, I believe that these intentions blocked any other options from arising. For instance, when I was faced with the duality, I was forced to face ego death because the other alternative would be suffering. I believe any other options I may have had were represented as suffering because my consciousness wanted to block me from experiencing anything other than ego death, anything other than what I had said that I had wanted.
Back to the Corporeal
I now understand the dieta that usually accompanies ayahuasca. This deprivation of the corporeal prolongs the effect that this other reality can have on your consciousness. Sexual abstinence, small amounts of communication, bland foods, and avoidance of drugs that enhance the corporeal are integral parts of keeping the other reality alive as a teacher within. If I ever decide to do this experience again, I will probably follow the dieta more strictly afterwards. However, as it was, my joy of being back in the corporeal was immense and all I wanted was to be reincorporated with what I knew before.
Relationship with Plants
It is generally acknowledged that Aya enhances the relationship between the user and any other plant allies that one may have. The only other psychoactive plants I have used besides Aya have been marijuana and Salvia. DMT headspace seems somewhat similar to Salvia in the fact that it is a complete and utter shattering of reality. At one point during my Aya trip, a friend that I had smoked salvia with came in and asked how I was doing. I replied, “there is no I”. He replied, “Oh, one of those”. I found this humorous, but I realize how similar such experiences can be. He has never done any other hallucinogen besides salvia, but he had a much more intense experience on salvia than I did when I smoke salvia, and I know that similar things can be learned from both drugs. However, I feel that when salvia is smoked, especially in the extract, it may be harder to experience ego death. First off, the onset is so quick and powerful that you are projected into a shattered reality within seconds, sometimes seeing similar being as with DMT, unemotional and yet they exert some sort of force on you that tears you apart from what you know. However, with salvia, the effects begin drifting away sooner, so perhaps you have less time to feel you have to deal with the duality. Perhaps, if chewed in a quid, salvia would have more powerful ego death properties. My relationship with marijuana was also strengthened tenfold. I realized how much of a corporeal drug marijuana is. It enhances flavor, sexual experience, color, and emotions. While this reality seems somewhat unimportant in the afterglow of Aya, I realize just how simply comforting and beautiful marijuana is. After I had come out of the other existence, I took some hits from my friend’s vape to ease me back into reality. It was beautifully comforting. It eased me back down into a peaceful and beautiful existence, especially after abstaining from it in preparation for my Aya experience. I continued to vape marijuana the rest of the night and enjoyed everything that I could about the corporeal world. My appreciation for everything, including the simple existence and issues that we experience on a day to day basis grew tenfold. I have come up with a sort of classification of hallucinogenic drugs. Marijuana in low doses can be a very corporeal drug, while in high does it allows us to explore the atmosphere of our existence and even the inner cosmos. With more powerful classic psychedelics (LSD, mushrooms), we are allowed to explore the outer cosmos of existence, and maybe in heroic doses to experience similar ego death experiences. Although I have never done any of these drugs, this is what I believe them to be like based on what I have read about them. Ayahuasca was a drug that revealed to me that the reality that I know is simply a pixel of a greater reality. A shattering and otherworldly drug. I now better understand the appeal of regular doses of classic psychedelics. The post peak DMT trip was quite enjoyable, and the rapid thought flow was amazing and revealing to me. Also, colors and visionary inputs were enhanced and quite enjoyable. Emotions were more accessible, and I was easily able to laugh, cry, smile, or frown, based on little thoughts I had. This was quite nice.
Other Ego Death Experiences
Two years earlier to this ego death experience, I went to Haiti in order to do some disaster relief work. While there, I contracted dysentery and had no proper health care. Dysentary is the leading cause of death in developing countries. I quickly threw up all my fluids and was launched into a state of such physical discomfort, that I was faced with the the options of trying to hold on or let go of my consciousness. Although I recovered, this experience was the only other experience even slightly comparable. Strange that it came from the corporeal rather than a drug, but during my aya trip I kept mentally returning to where I was laying in that bed in Haiti, a fight between holding on and letting go.
I was right about one thing, I will never be able to go back to who I was before. I used to be Christian quite a while ago, but I would say that I have become less and less “spiritual” over time. I can no longer be that anymore. I have realized that no matter how much we know about the universe, it could still just be a tiny speck of what reality is there. There could be a greater reality which doesn’t follow what we call “science”. Science is a god that we use to cope with the duality. There could very well be those spirits in a greater reality, and we have no way of understanding that. I still don’t feel particularly drawn to the established religion of Christianity; nothing I saw necessarily reinforced that ideal. However, I can no longer say I am not a spiritual person, I have seen them. I have been part of a world where they exist and this reality is insignificant.
On a separate note, I found two pennies on the ground on my comedown. I remember saying “two pennies, why are they here?” I kept them and later found a metaphorical meaning in them. One penny is darkened with age, one is bright and new. This will help me remember the duality.
Post Aya thoughts:
• Trust in your mind’s detours, your mind follows a predictable train of thought, and you can it to not divert from such paths.
• Remember the other states of consciousness, including euphoria and connectivity. Realize that anyone at any time could be in a state of consciousness that you don’t realize. Therefore, take everything that others say to you in a way that accounts for any number of intentions behind such statements.
• Remember just how unprepared you were for what you experienced. Don’t let this experience grow pride within yourself. Remember how little you know, how unprepared you were, and incomprehensible everything is. Everybody is fighting a battle of duality, never put yourself above others in any way. It doesn’t matter.
• Anxiety is defeatable. It is a mental construct that can be banished with thought and action.
• Emotion more powerful that logic, it feels more connected to a greater reality.
• You can no longer claim to know anything absolutely. Everything you know could just be a meaningless coping mechanism, a tiny speck. You can no longer claim to not be spiritual.
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