A Story of Sex, Drugs and Ayahuasca, by Gerald Armond Powell (a summary by Pat Evert)
Part One: Finding the Miracle
– The Pursuit of Happiness
WHY DOES THIS BOOK NEED TO BE WRITTEN?
Unhappiness, the opposite of happiness, or the absence of happiness, is the daily experience of millions of people. I want to change that and I’m confident that I know how to do it. I do realize that putting an end to unhappiness is an ambitious goal. Can it really be achieved? Happiness in a truly positive and fulfilling sense—which is something more than just the absence of unhappiness.
WHY THIS BOOK, WHY NOW?
With all our progress—are Americans getting happier? No, they’re not. Not even close. Freud may have seemed like a real killjoy when he described unhappiness as a permanent, incurable condition. We think that if we aspire to happiness, let alone actually experience it, we’re lying to ourselves or sugarcoating reality. We’ve turned unhappiness into a habit, or even an addiction. Breaking free of that is a big reason why this book needed to be written—now.
WHY AM I THE BEST PERSON TO WRITE THE BOOK?
I wasn’t punished later for what I was doing. I was punished while I was doing it. I was punished by the emptiness I felt, by the absence of happiness in my life despite my material success. I became a millionaire in my twenties. I was married to a beautiful woman, had two sons, owned several homes, two planes, more than thirty cars, and I possessed riches that placed me in the top 1 percent. What I really wanted and needed wasn’t “stuff” at all, but I didn’t know that yet. I wanted a new state of being, and instead I was getting new houses, cars, and planes. My many addictions during those years—drugs, alcohol, sex—were certainly destructive to myself and damaging to the people around me. But if there was anything good about that behavior, it would be the fact that I was seeking a different state of consciousness. I was seeking it in all the wrong places, but at least I was a seeker. Eventually I did find out where to look, although it took a long time. I want this book to save you all the time I wasted.
– A House, a Plane, a Car, a Boat
This is my life’s purpose — to advance the evolution of consciousness. It happens when:
- We see who we’ve become, and the possibilities of what we can become by reconnecting with our soul;
- When we reconnect with our soul/ true essence to achieve that reconnection;
- When we heal our hearts and take action based on the change.
The more stuff I acquired, the more I suffered. I was drinking and taking drugs and often felt suicidal. In this book, I want to show you how you can do the things you want—without fear or guilt or stress or anger, or any of the other negative emotions that bring unhappiness to even so-called successful people. I want the stories you’ll read here, to be a lens through which you come to see who you truly are and what you really need. You will see what you’ve lost, and there will probably be some pain from seeing that. But you’ll also see that what you lost had to be lost, in order for you to find it again with overwhelming joy. I should say re-discover that wisdom, because it was there from the first breath you ever took. It was your destiny to lose touch with it, and it’s also your destiny to find it again. This book can help you do that. Plant medicine helped me, but you don’t really need the book or plant medicine to reconnect with your soul. There are lots of ways to do that. The most important thing right now is to recognize that the opportunity is there. I suggest you think of this as a journey, but not a journey to a distant place. The destination is inside rather than outside, so the only real distance is how far you’ve come from your authentic self.
– The Dark Side
Since the age of thirteen, I was a high-functioning alcoholic. My collapse eventually came in 2006, when I watched my father pass away. Pleasing him was my impossible dream, and it really was impossible. Throughout his life, my father was a man who was not afraid of anything. But at the very end, my father was terrified of dying because of the judgment that he thought was waiting for him on the other side. To watch my dad die slowly and in such fear made me question myself intensely. We were so much alike in many ways, would we be alike in death, too? Was this what my death would look like? I began to question the very foundation upon which I built my life. I called an old girlfriend and we locked ourselves in a hotel for four days with enough morphine to kill us both. Finally, a close friend intervened. He literally threatened me at gunpoint until I agreed to enter the treatment facility. I was a multimillionaire, an alcoholic, a drug addict, and I had no idea how to get ahold of my life. I saw that my destructive behavior was not only causing harm to myself, but was hurting everyone I cared for. After a very difficult divorce, and for five years, as I fought feelings of profound inner sadness, I would inevitably turn back to alcohol. Once again, I began drinking to excess and dating numerous women. Because nothing I did was ever good enough, my self-image was one of failure, emotional damage, and being unworthy of love. So by synchronous circumstances I ended up in an Ayahuasca ceremony in Costa Rica, a garbage pit of a garage.
– The Ceremony
The ceremony that accompanied the taking of this type of plant medicine began with a clear directive: write down ten questions that were important to me, and that I would want the plant medicine to answer. The rest of the ceremony was under the directive of the shaman. I flew to the moon. It was easy! It wasn’t a paper moon or a cartoon moon. It was the real moon. It looked like I had crashed headfirst into the moon. That had really happened. I wiggled my foot and watched myself on the screen in real time. I was in the moon! Then I asked the moon the very direct question that was the first one on my list. “Mrs. Moon, why am I such an asshole?” Here was the reply: “I can’t tell you until you go get your soul.” I went to my house in Malibu and visited myself. There he said, “I wouldn’t help you if you were the last person on Earth. You’re a liar. You break promises to me. Your word means nothing. And you’re a drunk.” So I told that to myself, or whoever it was that was sitting there. This time he said, “I’ll help you under certain conditions. First, I’m your soul, and you can’t separate from me any longer. You have to take me with you for the rest of your life. Second, whenever you plan to do something, whenever you make any kind of important decision, you have to let me know, and you have to do what I say. If there’s any disagreement, I have the last word.” I agreed to the terms. Then I saw myself as a three-year-old child, and my grandfather was sexually molesting me. This suddenly explained everything to me. It explained how I behaved toward women, why I had so many sexual partners without being able to feel close to anyone. Everything became clear to me in that one second. I spoke to the moon again. “Mrs. Moon, would you give me a new heart?” Instantly, a beautiful new heart was presented to me. It was a perfect heart, bright red and beating. I took it from the moon’s hand, put it in my chest, and flew back to Costa Rica. I could see my body lying there as I got closer and closer. I could see the top of Moughenda’s head as he was beside me. Then I just rolled down and into myself, and I was back where I started.
The really important part of what I felt was the realization that I was not the only one who felt that way. We’re all on the same journey. Soul separation happens to everyone, with results that can last a lifetime. Everyone can also learn to restore their soul connection again, with lifelong results that are vastly better. Like Adam and Eve, we will return to paradise, and this time we’ll know where we are because we’ve been somewhere else. This time we’ll know what we’ve got because we lost it. We separate from our soul and take on a new identity. Yes, it’s painful and it causes problems, often for many years. But it’s got to happen. The shattering of your early self has got to happen so that you can put it together again, and you gain the power to do that by learning what you need to learn. Something you might think is a tragedy has an opportunity hidden within it, provided you have the strength and understanding to see that. The separation occurs for everybody, and we’re designed that way, it’s built into our human destiny. Originally, we separate to find safety. We think it’s no longer safe to be who we were. We think we’ve got to escape, because we’re not able to survive who we are. It’s the feeling that we’re not sufficient—that we’re not enough. That becomes the default message of your whole life. The motive for all those separations come from the same source. It’s our own separation from our soul, which is who we really are. All disease, all addictions, all sadness, all violence, all aggression, all hatred is the result of this separation, which is the keystone lie. The amazing thing about the keystone lie is that it’s gone in a second if you shine light on it, and it stays for a lifetime if you don’t. The universe is constantly sending you messages about this. But you’ve got to reach the place where you’re ready to see them. However, once I admitted to myself that I was dishonest, I stopped being dishonest—because I told myself the truth for the first time. That lie was the belief that I am not enough. That’s the belief that causes us to separate from our soul, because we feel we’re not enough, and it’s dangerous for us to stay in a situation where we are fundamentally inadequate. But once we stop living according to that lie, once we stop lying and start being honest with ourselves, then at that moment we really are enough, even a lot more than just enough. This is what the plant medicine tells you, or even shows you. When I say, “this experience,” I mean the experience of merging with your soul. I don’t mean merging with your soul through plant medicine, because there are many ways to do it. Whatever path you choose to reconnect to your soul, the essential element is what Jesus said: “Come to me as a child.” The human ego won’t go down without a fight. Whenever you attempt something that involves fundamental change, there will always be moments of doubt that you must recognize for what they are: they’re your ego fighting for its dominance over your life. The plant medicine, or yoga, or meditation, will show you the truth, but your ego may cause you to misinterpret or even ignore it. Your soul wants you to connect, but your ego can still try to get in the way.
As you do this work of reconnecting or integrating your soul self, there will be days that I like to call “days of ups and downs.” Whatever you’re feeling is exactly what you’re supposed to be feeling based on where your consciousness is right now. The big answer will dwarf the little questions, and the answer is always love. Just asking to see your intention is so powerful. As soon as you ask, it has already happened. You can’t undo reconnecting with your soul. Once you’ve rung that bell, you can’t un-ring it. You see, you split from your original self and you became another person. That other person was occupying your being. That other person is the one who grows up and becomes a doctor or a lawyer or an airline pilot. That other person, however, possessed an inner spiritual identity—a heart—and that heart got beaten down. It was beaten down by the fact that it separated from its soul. That was the first injury. Thousands more followed. In my process of reconnecting, three things happened. My soul came to me and showed me what a terrible, destructive person I had become. Then I saw that I could reconnect with my soul, provided there would be a binding agreement that the reconnection would be forever. Lastly, I saw that the moon would give me a new heart. My heart was so damaged that it wasn’t just useless. It was a toxic and corrosive presence in my life. It couldn’t be repaired. It had to be replaced. You are a giver, but your resources are not lessened by the act of giving. In fact, the more love you give, the more you have. It’s an amazing feeling! Your ultimate gift will be helping someone else experience what you’re experiencing. Everybody saw that I was different, but there was one big difference that they didn’t see. I was taking all the responsibility for what I had done. That lack of drama is going to affect you when you reconnect with your wholeness. You’ll start to feel better when you really accept the fact that the change you feel is a permanent condition. It can’t be taken away. The important thing to remember is that you have everything you need, and you will always have it from now on. As we’ve said, it’s natural to fear that you’ll lose what you’ve gained, or that it might somehow be taken away from you. But that isn’t going to happen. Once you really embrace the permanent nature of the change you’ve made, you’ll also begin to see the responsibility and opportunity that comes with that change.
I learned that only love really exists, but what does that really mean? I could say that I can’t hurt another person without hurting myself. Or that I always will be helping myself whenever I help someone else. The medicine has shown me that every single minute is a gift and that nothing is certain. The medicine has also shown me that anything is possible. And here’s the biggest miracle: I realized that I could love someone—and I could even be loved in return.
Our vision for Rythmia was, and still is, to help visitors accomplish three important life tasks: First, to recognize who they are right now. That is, who they have become over the years, as a step toward reconnecting and merging back with their soul. Second, as that reconnection takes place, to heal their hearts. Third, with their hearts healed, to meet the rest of their soul family. These are the people with whom you feel a deep connection—not your birth family, but those with like souls, emotions, and beliefs. Rythmia would be a spiritual resort, and also a medically licensed venue for issues of addiction and general health. I decided to call it a life advancement center, a place where people could take their lives to a new level in an impeccably welcoming, supportive, and safe environment. Visitors would take part in a program designed to merge them back with their souls in just seven nights. But the first and the best thing you have to do is to get back to your whole selves.
Part Two: The Miracle, the Moon, and You
– Breath of Life
The truth is, everyone arrives at that destination sooner or later, even if it’s in the last moments of life. All roads lead to that experience. But no one needs to wait until the end of life to get there. There are some shortcuts you can take long before your death.
Forgive yourself, at least for the duration of the breath work that follows. Rythmic Breath Work exercises have three benefits: First, the exercises help you physically. Rythmic Breathing opens your respiratory system so that you can use its full capacity. Second, Rythmic Breathing helps clear negativity that physically manifests in your respiration. Third, and perhaps most important, there are spiritual benefits from enhanced breathing. Clearing away physical and emotional obstacles opens a path for soul connection.
Bring focused concentration to inhaling each breath, so that you can inhale deeply. Second, relax completely as you exhale. Third, while continuing to inhale and exhale deeply and comfortably, close your eyes and bring focused attention to the following three visual images. Spend a few minutes creating the images in your mind’s eye, and then take at least five minutes visualizing the images, one after the other. You’ll probably want to open your eyes for a minute or two before progressing from one image to the next.
STEP 1: SHOW ME WHO I’VE BECOME – Visualize who you are now.
STEP 2. MERGE BACK WITH MY SOUL – With your eyes closed, try to picture your very earliest memories. Feel the person you are now merging with that small child—and be aware that the child is who you were before any sort of trauma separated you from that very young human being.
STEP 3: HEAL MY HEART – using whatever ideation seems most comfortable and inspiring to you, imagine a supremely wise and compassionate presence—yes, let’s call that God—healing your heart at the deepest level. Feel the conflicts and contradictions of your life instantly and completely resolving—especially those that began with your traumatic separation from your soul identity.
– Sh*t the Moon Said
How can I be happy and live at peace? Be the truth. Live an authentic life.
How should I do that? Stop shining light on things that aren’t really you.
Why am I here? Life is a gift for you to open and enjoy. It’s that simple.
On what should I be spending my time? There’s no time for drama. There’s always time for love and new experience.
How should I deal with temptation? Choose honor instead of convenient escape.
How can I remove darkness from my life? You can’t remove it. If you are afraid of it or try to avoid it, you will have a lifelong losing battle. Just love the darkness and it will lose all power over you.