This leg of the journey builds on the insights I established during the previous year's explorations, and marks the introduction of Ayahuasca into my narrative. That arrival marked the first divergence from the path I had been traversing, causing the story I had been trying to tether in text to bleed into and blend with my lived life experience.
A bifurcation took place, in both fact and fiction. A breakup with my lover & muse, along with the unfolding revelations of Reality with a capital R, caused for a new volume of writings to begin emerging, before the former was even close to reaching any kind of conclusion, resolution, or clarification.
I called it this new volume The Entheogenesis of Delmar Covex, and although it was supposed to be a continuation of the novel I had been working on, it was very much a kind of internal journalism that chronicled as well as fictionalized my own unfolding journey, distilling my insights through the dissociative filter of Delmar, my alter ego.
This treacherous tightrope between reality and fiction, matter and spirit, became increasingly shaky as time went on and as reality took on colors that were indeed stranger than fiction.
floral consciousness & insect mysticism
In 2003 I was introduced to Ayahuasca, and in the wake and break of a relationship, I traveled to Brazil with the intent to examine and liberate myself from unhealthy attachments, inquire into the secrets of joy from which I had become estranged, and enroll in Universal University, to deepen my engagement with what I had come to believe was my "Plant Employer". To briefly explain that last statement: the deal was that "she" would show me how to render in paint the worlds of light she revealed to me, and I in turn would share her message with the world.
The unfolding teachings of the chakras, peddled by the man who introduced me to the visionary vine, were a central lens through which the exploration was framed. The bird's-eye view into the grail-like structure of the chakras, he said, was what the mandalas or saucers we encounter in the visionary state represented.
This was said to be an aerial view into our intrinsic, inner being of light--the entry-point into our eternal, totalized being, as it were.
This structure, I would later learn, can be energized, activated, and operated through sound. The meditative Amha Bija meditation bases itself in the knowledge that each "nadi" or petal of the chakras corresponds to a letter in the Sanskrit alphabet, and by chanting these, the flowerlike cores of our energetic centers unfold.
Music became a guiding force on my journeys, as did the "songs" of the cicada, whose life-cycle I would later learn served as a potent analogy.
Was it any wonder, in light of the floral analogy of the chakras, that I would encounter "the head of the hive"--a telepathic bee goddess composed of tessellated hexagons--during my visionary flight into the floral core of creation?
Insects, Carl Jung once proposed, are the ambulatory (counter)parts of plants. I had personally perceived them also to represent the machinations of unconscious processes, adopted into the architecture of the world of human artifice. Think of the anthill-like designs of high-rises, or the hive-like organization of corporations, not to mention the exoskeletons we use to navigate the highway, some of which are literally called "beetles", etc.
These notions, of what I call "robotany" (plant technology) and "drones" as the plant realm's surveillance and ambassadorial divisions would be expanded upon in later years' experiences. (See "Adventures in Shamanism").
"Insect Mysticism" was a perfect addition to the unfolding of what Tom Robbins had dubbed "floral consciousness", in the essay ascribed to one of his characters in Jitterbug Perfume. This theory proposed that after developing the reptilian cortex and the mammalian cortex, the brain (the only organ that named itself) is now beginning to unfold the floral cortex--possibly hinting at the pineal gland and its hypothesized production of DMT--that allows us to open up to The Light. He proposes that "the floral brain is the organ of eternity".
Another important influence on my thinking during this time was Philip K. Dick's VALIS. At one point, as I navigated through the obstacle course of shadows that the World of Light presents one with, I began to grow aware of a stealthy intelligence not unlike Dick's "chameleon", which I called a "saucermind"--a being of high-order mimicry, able to disguise itself as one's surroundings and even able to cloak itself in ones own thought- and behavioral patterns. The voice in your head is not always your voice. Learning to discern between the two leads one back to the heart of sensation, where one may conclude that the body has a mind of its own and that the mind which seduces us away from this reality is not necessarily to be blindly trusted.
"There indeed exists a deceitful serpent," I observed in one of my scribblings, relating my findings to biblical lore. "But we were never banished from the garden. By believing him when he said we were, we in turn banished ourselves."
The paintings from this period chronicle some of my discoveries to the best of my ability at the time, accompanied by descriptions that serve as windows into the narrative of this time's unfolding.
Me, in Brazil at 21, on Aya, admiring the crystalline texture of my hair, like follicles flowing with liquid minerals, and commemorating the moment with a primitive precursor to the "selfie",