Zonka was a little village in the mountains in Italy, not far from the Swiss border. Most houses were empty. They were beautiful, magnificent, huge stone houses with wooden balconies running around them, facing the steep slopes covered with trees. Impression of dense power surrounded by immensity. The rooves were thick slates, as grey as the walls.
One of these houses belonged to Karunesh, the guy with the grey hair and beard who was leaning over me when I was shouting to God and the ceiling, the first time I took Ayahuasca…
I found myself entrusted with the noble task of picking up flowers to ornate the room where the ceremony would take place in the evening. That’s a really enjoyable activity if you forget the boy code. Normally, men are not supposed to go about the meadows picking up flowers and enjoy it. There were loads of beautiful mountain flowers, like in the ancient times, before excessive mechanisation and chemical industry turned the countrysides into a gigantic open air factory, but I am not here to sing the complaint of the old fashioned ecologist but to tell stories of taking Ayahuasca. We didn’t call it Ayahuasca. We called it Daime. Santo Daime.
The room was big and wide. We were thirty or forty people feeling at ease, about to form the circle. There were no wallpaper, no plaster, just stone and wood. To go to the toilets, we had to get onto the wooden balcony, walk up to its extreme end, and there sit, facing the mountains. When your poo was done, it dropped 20 meters below, between the trees. Better not to feel dizzy.
It won’t be possible to follow a rational chronological order to evoke the exhilaration, the outbursts of consciousness expansion, the return to the lost paradise… Bear with me, here a just a few fragments….
At the beginning I felt my intestines being untangled, which feels incredibly good. I didn’t know that there were so many knots. I realized that the state of belly I used to consider “normal” was actually knots, knots, nuts and knots…
I suddenly saw my belly being full of snakes - or maybe big long worms sliding against one another like in a big bag of happy compost, and that is the normal way of being: having free worms in the belly. It is difficult to remember how it feels, because to feel paradise, you need to be in paradise. Feeling it is being in it. But it’s so easily lost when you live like we live, stressful lives, and because we live stressful lives, we believe life must be like that and because of that, we keep creating lives under pressure, more and more pressure, and even more and we don’t know how to stop or we are too lazy, too busy, and we keep creating stress and more stress, concentration camps and genocides, century after century, wars and oppression of man by man, wasting of resources, torture of earth mother, again and again and it can go on like this forever, and it will stop only if we stop. Stop!
Hell is the hallucination we live our everyday lives in. This is the most dangerous and poisonous kind of hallucination: it is a collective one.
Stop! Breathe in, breathe out. Keep calm and Stop!
An incredible experience happened to me during a break. I lay down on the mattress set in a corner of the room for those who might really need one, it was my case and...I found myself drifting away and reaching the presence of the ultimate origin of everything. I don’t say “God” because it didn’t feel like “God”, it didn’t feel like a separate being with an individuality, it’s impossible to say how it felt. Now that it’s just a memory, I can’t even remember how it felt, really. It was the absolute origin of everything in which we all participate. It appeared to me that whatever happens to us is absolutely ok, that we have decided of it all, that’s our great adventure, and that ultimately, everything is absolutely alright. These are just words. This was an intense feeling as you may imagine.
Later I would write a story as the best way to evoke this moment of enlightenment. I called it “The Ultimate Raconteur”
Nowhere used to float a great feeling of happiness for nothing.
A magnificent love was there before any presence of whatever to be loved.
The Ultimate Raconteur settled down in an armchair, lit a good pipe for himself, and started to dream…
I would love to live a good story!
A love story indeed… A story with a happy ending, obviously. …. A story that ends up so well that it never ends! Here is a great idea! I am already delighted!
Alright. I need a few ingredients for my story. Events, suspense, catastrophes, last moments where everything looks lost… and at the last moment of the last moment… A wonderful magic!
My love story could be a story in which the characters try to meet the author, in order to collaborate writing the scenario. That’s a good trick that’s sure to work very well.
But to make sure they search and search without failing, they will know thirst. They will be lost, as lost as one can be, they won’t even remember that there is somewhere an Ultimate Raconteur, a magnificent love, a great happiness for nothing and everything… but they will be thirsty of it, whilst believing in solitude, suffering and death…
However, I will always be there, living their lives, laughing their laughters, crying their distress, dying their death… I’ll be closer to them than their jugular vein…
I think I’ve got the outline of a very good story there, said the Ultimate Raconteur to himself. I’ll sort out the details as it goes along, let’s now leave room to improvisation!
He poured himself a glass of Oblivion Beverage and in the middle of the sideral void, there was a big Bang!
The Ultimate Raconteur is telling you:
My loves, my darlings, my babies
I love you
Of course, it is impossible to imagine or even to remember what you feel when you are suddenly realizing something like the absolute truth that can only be poetically recalled by a story like that. Just imagine anyway.
I had been given a glimpse out of the book of life. I had had an instant of awareness of the writer, and I felt intensely that beyond all suffering and death, all was ultimately, absolutely well… and I found myself back in the room, I sat on the mattress and made eye contact with a guy passing by. He had a little rejoiced smile on his lips. He looked as if he’d got the ultimate glimpse as well. I burst out laughing of a laugh of pure happiness....
...and my laughter banged and broke against the wall of a cemetery… or something feeling like that at least. I burst out laughing and just then noticed that nobody was talking in the room. Everybody was listening to this Italian girl. She was singing with a beautiful voice the most poignant traditional funeral song. As poignant as the song she was singing I know only Mozart’s requiem. Everyone was in a state of communion with the eternal human grief she expressed from the depth of her guts, and I burst out laughing in the middle of it.
Thinking of it, I could. I had just met the Ultimate Raconteur. She didn’t get it. I had spoiled her peak moment. She was deeply hurt. She told me, as talking to the deepest idiot ever, what her song was. She left the room and kept on singing outside, just for herself and the mountain, on the wooden balcony...
I felt so sorry for her. I didn’t explain, how could I have? I sat on the threshold, and listened to this girl’s pain. Next to me was an empty chair. I thought: “It would be great if Elizabeth was there to listen to her” Elisabeth was a very caring and very wise member of our group. She was the presence that soothe and make feel loved those who don’t…
As I thought this I had a one second vision of Elisabeth sitting on the chair, hands clasped on her lap and her head slightly tilted as to listen better… But no, it was just a vision, no one was sitting.
A few moments later, Elisabeth arrived and sat on the chair, in the exact position I had just seen her. You can think that all I am telling in this text is pure illusion, hallucination and intoxication, and I would have no logical argument against that, only the swelling in my heart. But for this little detail, no. It happened like that.
It’s good to listen gently to people in pain, even if their pain is due to illusions...