Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 01:35:29 EST
From: P De Kraker <email@example.com>
To: Multiple recipients of list <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Waiting for second contact
Howard asked of my experience... I'll try.
This may get a bit long for a relatively mild experience but I would like
to start by setting the stage with my situation and expectations. I might
also get distracted with a few opinions.
I am lead by faith without belief. I spent about 5 years struggling with my
parents' religion... if they were right it was the only thing that really
mattered. One night at 12 years old, as most nights, in fervent prayer
needing to know, I begged understanding from anywhere... God, Devil, Self,
or Science. No reply. I thought ...What should exist?, there is no reason
for any existence, What would that be like? I lay down to imagine that. My
next perception was that there had been a "thump" or some thumps... I
realise it's my heart... I need to keep that going...thumps become
rhythm...wait...there's more...I have a body...I need to breathe... aware
of body... When I could open my eyes and see myself move a finger, I was
back...grounded...born perfect in that moment. I look at my clock...2 hours
had passed since I lay down. This was by the way before having partaken of
"drugs". I was in many ways an "innocent" (e.g. Soulcatcher by Frank
Herbert (quite short, one of his first and one of his best)).
Apparently this sort of thing does occasionally occur spontaneously. I
wouldn't have thought one could imagine NOTHINGNESS. After that I was
completely relieved of the need to know, and generally assumed reality
would need to be consistent with science, but still accepting that there
seems (maybe) to be something real in the worlds' religions, although there
is much in which we are misguided. I guess this was my answer from self.
Considering the brain as a neural network this experience could be
considered as a settling into a stable pattern on the issue I was concerned
with (comments welcome).
Always thought I might be able to repeat this process on more issues. When
I have tried, my vision momentarily disappears, eyes open or not. Perhaps a
missing ingredient has been a fervent need. My need to know as a youth was
driven by guilt over the fear that my parents' beliefs were correct and I
was unable to fully accept their truth. Have had numerous "experiences"
during which I can have no doubt of larger reality. Some have been on drugs
(never a regular user - I always new it (LSD, mushrooms, mescaline,
cocaine, crystal THC or something) would come along again in some months or
years). I have also been regular cannabis user for a dozen or so years
though not much for a decade or so now (nor any other drugs for about a
decade). I'm 39 now. While not in an experience I don't know what is
self-deception but am thankful for relief from the need to know (i.e.
guilt). Although to many my life may seem to be more stable now with my
wife and kids as the centre of my daily life instead of cannabis and
"experiences", I have again reached a point were I feel my life doesn't
work as it is and fervent need drives me forward.
Called a grade school acquaintance about ten years ago, on the way to see
her I "knew" we would stay together. I have "known" each time we conceived
a child (the centre of the universe shifts slightly, although I don't
"believe" in a finite universe). My parents have it too, perhaps we all do
if we notice. A very slippery knowing though.
Passing a magazine rack about 5 years ago my eyes are pulled to an "Omni"
headline - "A Cure For Addiction?" I thought "Yeh right… but what if we do
get a way to deal with the real (i.e. psychological) causes. Read the
article and "knew". I ask doctors - they don't know how to find it. Land up
coming to university and eventually find a connection on the web.
My hopes and expectations range from relief from addictive behaviours
(caffeine, nicotine, sexual attitudes, other obsessive or irrational
behaviours and thought habits) to sci-fi and miracles; especially Dune -
found it rather surprising that Frank Herbert knew so much about me. Still
tend to think I'm special - me and Paul Atreides (Dunes "hero"). What I
really hope for is clear resolution of my issues (whatever they are -
repressed memories or outmoded self-concepts) through a process of
self-directed psychotherapy. I know from my experience as a 12 yr old that
a process of cognitive process/brain chemistry/mental state/spiritual
state/non-cognitive process (unconscious?) can have apparently miraculous
effect. As always I hope to increase my awareness of "what is", to meet
"other", but really I just need to get over myself.
After receiving my shipment I spend a couple of weeks wondering who (if
anyone) to have with me and where to go. Native American or other holistic
healer? Isolation tank? (might be good). EEG monitoring? A cave, tepee,
igloo? (might be good). Pre and post psychoanalytic assessment? Physical
assessment? I talk to several profs and numerous friends and acquaintances.
Some interest but no help. Suggest to an acquaintance, Iz, (in passing)
that perhaps she could be with me. She is willing if my wife is there. We
(my wife Helen and I) had thought she was too close to me to act as
councillor but Dan, the only person I know having experience with the
Bwiti, assures me that it need only be someone I trust. Settle on a nearby
cottage (that turns out to be more like a luxury suite (fridge, stove,
microwave, toaster, coffee maker, dishwasher, fireplace - quite plush)).
Not quite the seclusion from modern life (and hydro) I had in mind but I
suppose it doesn't really matter. Helen, Iz and myself settle in.
I don't really feel scared, I have had a taste and perhaps the slightest
sensation - it seems welcome.
I have fasted 2 days using the master cleanser - fresh squeezed lemon juice
with equal amount of maple syrup with clean water, without the cayenne
pepper (blood purifier). Water only for the last 12hr, not much - I don't
want Helen to have much cleaning up to do (thankfully none required - so far).
Although I want full initiation we have agreed I do not intend to go that
far (yet), best to deal with my own issues first, and it's hard to ask
Helen to watch me at sub-lethal death (it's "my" language - I'll use it the
way I like). Besides that it seems trying to guess a dosage is a bit of a
wild card (without Bwiti experience, or clinical setting and pure ibogaine
Around 10:30pm last Friday I begin by pouring some from a vial into my
mouth. It is very fine very dry powder. Some gets in my sinuses. Don't do
that. It hurts. I get over that and mix the powder with water. No one will
ever describe the taste since it goes beyond the bitterness the tongue can
sense, and not from a stink. Perhaps it is bitter to bring bitter feelings
into light. I take 2 grams every 15 minutes. Again the sense of welcome.
After 6 grams I lie down - I don't want to move much.
I take another 2 grams (Iz took a record of times, amounts, and heart
rate). I realise that Ibogaine is a glorious yellow. I experience a state
not unlike LSD (very comfortable for me - I've called it brain candy for
many years; though it's only been a couple handfulls of experiences) but
completely in my usual state of mind - if that makes any sense. I don't
want to move - at all. It hurts to move but I sometimes forget and then pay
a price for having moved. Progress seems insufficient so we decide on
another 3 grams. I can't move myself without discomfort and don't want to
try drinking it lying down. Helen gently lifts me to a sitting position - I
don't move a muscle - this is ok, I can sit on my own. I drink it. I think
Helen helped me back down. Up till this point my stomach had not really
wanted (understated) Iboga but I held it readily.
At some point I called Helen and Iz to be with me. They are of course
somewhat worried and comply with my every whim (I think that part alone was
worth it - I suppose I want to be mothered like an infant (when I was an
infant it was thought (and taught) by some that babies should be fed (and
touched?) on a schedule, and busy farm life made that schedule practical).
Without any sexual fantasy fulfilment unfortunately - I was in no condition
anyway. I suppose I milked that for all it was worth and used that as a way
of avoiding going within, which is really my objective. I thought Iboga
would take care of that on it's own anyway. I hadn't expected that the most
difficult part (as far as I got) would be getting it into me. Anyway they
fluffed pillows and whatever else I could think of. I had em going. I got
pretty mushy and lovely. I seemed to be very sensitive to smells - I think
I smelled each item in a potpourri in the room. Sensitive to light and
We still needed to get more in and we knew that after one more ingestion I
was not going to be able to take any more. I didn't think there was any
chance I would recover sufficiently to try again that weekend. We tried a 7
gram mix but it didn't stay down more than half a second. I think I may
have done some wretching before that, or after, I'm not sure. Quite
wretched but I managed not to be too messy.
They left me alone sometime after that and I waited and drifted. I felt
very near a transition but did not cross.
Through the experience several words seemed important (not unlike LSD
sometimes) but they are, I think, directly relevant to my issues.
Special - I think some reference to me being special and I reinforced that
through my life.
Prick - I'm not sure whom this refers to but it definitely strikes a cord
(of disharmony). Iz thinks I may have received some type of abuse but I
don't think it was the all too common physical or sexual abuse, I hope to
find out yet.
I think there were a couple of other words - Helen and Iz might help recall.
After a time Iz went to get some sleep and Helen lay beside me. I drifted
some more. Around 4am I started talking to Helen about all kinds of things.
I realised I am essentially not different than Buddhist in my faith,
without wanting to be presumptuous - I don't really know there faith, and
with exception perhaps if they have a defined perception of God - something
I so far would not consider either definable or necessary to believe in.
Various other insights into life etc. that are not fully incorporated into
consciousness. It would be nice now to have a recording of this time period
but I would really like to have no technology present…someone with
dictation skill might be nice. Beginning in this stage and continuing
through the next day I felt very much connected to all things - as in Frank
Herbert's "The Jesus Incident" or in Buddhism. A blessed state. Self as a
local region of consciousness without boundaries from environment. Felt as
though I may immerse completely and flow among consciousness anywhere. I
think my primary talking stage ended around 7am.
By around 8am I was hungry and could get myself around to get food although
sudden movement was still undesirable.
The most memorable effects include:
glorious yellow - perhaps the first light from the big bang (in our local
part of the cosmos I guess, I don't really go for big bang theory yet.
immobility - I can't really describe how totally still it makes you want to
be or how it is painful to move.
personally relevant words, insights - difficult to asses how productive
Next day I found out that Iboga doesn't like water. Make sure you minimise
water intake, it might have limited the amount I could take. We also got a
recipe for lemon tea. We tried again. The tea (11 grams worth at once,
though I couldn't quite finish it) was still horrible but I had no trouble
holding it down for an hour, and then had the most horrible bout of
wretching I have had yet, but relatively brief. It came on very quickly and
I thought I was going. I was very stern with my handmaids - I was emperor
and used my stainless bowl to summon them… a beautiful sound. The soles of
my feet were very hot so I asked Helen to touch them. She ran her
fingertips from my heels to toes. This carried away more energy than I have
ever experienced from any other reflexology treatment. Don't really know if
this was energy I needed to build up. Waited peacefully and quietly but my
experience dissipated very quickly.
During both experiences I did not listen to any music. I have felt quite
disconnected (since my life has focused with Helen's) from some former
usual sources (of connection)- music & dance, cannabis and occasional other
herbs. I don't mean to complain - there are many blessings and new
connections in my relationship with Helen (& 4 kids). She amazes me that
she can give her full support to my "fervent need" to pursue Iboga.
About the addiction reaction I should mention that after the experience(s)
I have found that my level of satisfaction changed substantially. It's not
that I feel generally more satisfied with life so much as that I feel less
dissatisfied. This applies very clearly to me with cigarettes, coffee and
food. Cigarettes in particular do not seem so much something to crave for
and a puff seems like I just smoked several cigarettes too quickly (for a
few days). During a break from this writing I have partaken of adequate
tokes with an enjoyable result but during which I returned to essentially
my usual tobacco smoking rate. I am now smoking about half my former rate.
I hardly care for coffee and am down to a cup or two from six or ten per
day. I have an appetite for grapefruits. It's easy to limit red meats. I
intend to test my withdrawal tolerance quitting caffeine and nicotine for a
period before my next experience.
It is perhaps not sound reasoning to think that I am so "special" a
character as to be Paul Atreides ancestor and that I could become the
"maker" (Dune again for those not familiar with the symbolism), certainly
in any literal sense, and in large measure what I hope to accomplish is to
"get over myself". This leads me to an opinion about appropriate use of
Iboga by our societies. Certainly the need is great were substance addicts
are ready for this process but it's value it seems might be great for some
who have not taken substance as a great burden. What I mean is that any
among us are also greatly in need of enlightenment and I think we should be
careful to allow Iboga's image to not be limited to "A Cure for Addiction?"
It may be accepted more readily as significant or valid when it
demonstrates value not limited to drugies. Of course we also do not want to
sound as if we think it is panacea of enlightenment in a pill even if it
were for all those who choose it. I still tend to think, as a novice, that
pastory (his&herstory) could eventually interpret Iboga as melange or raw
spice (Dune) though I suppose it is not really that either. If it is then I
think Helen and Iz are first reverend mothers, I certainly am forever
grateful of their roles. Again this leads to opinion.
I think we should not set up our thinking of the general public as
adversarial to our positions. I have sought out advice from numerous sources.
What I do NOT get:
What I do get:
Some of "you can't find happiness in a pill" (though pharmacy might have
us think they could; there is substantial resentment toward the way
pharmacy affects us - mine not least. People also realise that for some
conditions a drug can make a difference as clear as night and day (even
pharmacy - so I've heard anyway))
I can see why that appeals to you
I wonder if that could help me with some of my issues
You still will have to do the work yourself
Change of the magnitude you want doesn't come overnight
You're so far out there this might be right for you (they mostly know me)
These come from
(side note - writing this occasionally brings tears (happily) which is not
atypical of my "post" experience (the experience isn't really over) though
it is also not out of character)
This leads me to believe
that no court in the land could in fairness say that I may not self
medicate with this herb
and that, if reasonably educated about Iboga, people do not generally have
a problem with this.
We should not allow a few interests to waylay Iboga from appropriate use.
The web is an appropriate place for little brother to watch back (borrowed
phrase - The Nature of Things) and to ensure fair media coverage (with
discretion - I think the grape vine is strongest if we can manage to
facilitate reasonable access to "treatment" (i.e. more than just product).
Words of advice to potential bandzi:
experience - a week minimum)
I don't feel truly Bandzi - could a Bwiti word express "Those who have
Perhaps Bandzi could develop a brief version of essential information and
advice readily available.
I am still looking for:
There may be a role for someone to be with me.
Music - I haven't usually made my own selections so suggestions are
appreciated (or donations - via web or e-mail, copyrights permitting, if
you can tell me how to get a sound file to a playable format, or regular
old mail); I have enjoyed things of the genres of Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull,
Led Zepplin, David Bowie…but also dance to most any genre. "If you never
stop dancing you'll never grow old." (I think that's a quote from somewhere
- sounds like something Anon. would say (Sorry if I ramble somewhat but it
all seems relevant somehow.)
- I would gladly pay a reasonable price for any decent Bwiti recordings
Location - I would really like to get away from modern trappings,
electricity, noise… if possible (I think some form of isolation room
would really be appropriate.)
General Advice - how to guide my perceptions to make the transition (find
or get through the door in at least Dan's terminology)
This feels as necessary and as urgent to me as I imagine it does to some
with imminent need dealing with substance abuse. Actually the urgency is
passing, change progresses with certainty.
Sometimes minimal contact is enough to feel sufficient trust to accept very
personal help. Any help is welcome. Thank you to those contributing to
life's leading to this gift.
Love and Light