Monday, 7 March 2016

The story of the Antelope

This is the narration of one of the most powerful Ayahuasca session of my life…

The group officially called “Association for the protection of the Rainforest” was settling for a prolonged weekend of Ayahuasca rituals in an isolated farm in the middle of the countryside. It belonged to the family of one of our members, nobody else was around, we were between ourselves, in the middle of vineyards in the South of France…

Emma smiled when I arrived. Emma was the kind of girl many men fall in love at first sight with. She seemed to enjoy being endowed with Aphrodite’s powers. She had a Yorkshire Terrier, Renoir would have loved painting her. She was also a kind and sensitive soul.

She had a disease, which I don’t remember the name of. She needed a crutch to walk. This was a kind of incurable slow evolving thing that has the power to get even an Aphrodite’s daughters to focus on non erotic issues such as the meaning of life.

Emma offered me to draw a card from a new deck she had acquired: The Animal Medicine cards: a collection of animal totems with a little book where you can read the teachings associated. This sounds awfully New Age but those who created these cards were Native Americans themselves, so there may be more to it than just air philosophy. These cards have become quite well known ever since, you can check them out here:

Anyway, when a woman like Emma offers you to draw a card from her deck, you don’t question your philosophical values, you just draw a card.

I got Antelope.

The associated keyword was (and still is): Action

The preliminary sentence was something like: “Because she knows the imminence of her death, Antelope acts”

And the story, which I have told a few times ever since, was an old Native American legend, which goes like this:

A long long time ago, people were in great danger. An ice age was about to happen. There were not many people walking the surface of the earth at that time, and the few of them that did wouldn’t be able to survive through.
Sent by Mother Earth, Antelope came to the people and told them:
“Cold is coming. Kill me, and cover yourself with my fur. This way, you will be able to survive. Kill me. Do it now.”

The people said thank you. They were deeply grateful. But then, they asked: “What’s the point? If we don’t die because of the cold, we will die from hunger..”
“You will eat my flesh, and you will live.” said Antelope.
It is said that the custom of eating animal flesh started at that time.

This was the teaching. Because she knew her death was imminent, Antelope lived with intensity.

I wondered if I would have the courage to ask the plant to give me the teaching of the Antelope. We were soon to drink Ayahuasca. You can do so without particular intention and welcome whatever is coming, or you can actually ask for something in particular. I was presented with this story…

The first evening I did not ask for it.
The second evening I had to be somewhere else.
The third evening, when drinking the last glass of the ceremony, I threw myself at the deep end and asked, mentally: “Please give me the teaching of the Antelope” … and I braced myself to go through a similar experience as I had when I drank Ayahuasca for the first time…
What you should know is that during the afternoon on that day, the atmosphere wasn’t as great as it had always been since I met that group. Some people had been criticizing other people for some reasons… In groups where you get so to speak drunk with love like in couples in love, the first issues that come up which confront perfect harmony are always a stab in the heart…
I did not criticize anybody on that day (not that I never do, but not on that day) nor did anyone criticize or caused me pain in any direct way. But I felt the sorrow of this waste of paradise which was happening around me. Nothing huge though, just critics, talking behind backs, not shining as usual…
What do children feel when their parents argue over their heads?

I was sitting in the second row of the circle. This ritual was a sitting ritual, not a dancing one. In the state of extreme sensitivity I was in, this sense of lost paradise amplified steadily…

I suddenly noticed the arm of the person sitting next to me. The colour. The texture. It was not a normal arm. I looked rather like… a prosthesis. It was summer, we were all wearing T-shirts. Other arms looked like prosthesis as well. The faces started to turn into rigid masks....

Have you seen the movie “The Wall” by Pink Floyd?  The moment all these people stand on a treadmill that brings them one after the other in the machine that will make mince out of them? They looked like that.

I was horrified. I found myself trapped in a terrible dilemma, which I felt with extreme intensity…
At first I thought maybe all these visions were just illusions, and that all I had to do is to cut through them by denying them any importance until I can tune in a better wavelength..    

Then I thought that maybe these visions were warnings about an imminent catastrophe in preparation in the astral plane, something like car crashes ending up with mangled limbs and damaged faces, and death and sorrow… and that something should be done, right now, to change what was already happening at this level of reality… So, just ignoring the visions and denying them importance was just the absolute wrong choice. I had to pay attention and find something to do!

Then a third option occured to me. Maybe I was currently contributing to create this horrible reality that would happen in a near future and that I had to stop it, I had to stop being fascinated and give my energy to create this immense damage…

Between these three options I was paralysed. Choice was impossible and I had to do the right choice. I was in a state of extreme anxiety. With Ayahuasca, there is no fire exit.

The only thing was Love - the need for love

I found myself asking for love
Praying for love

Begging for love

In the midst of these maybe soon to be mangled, prosthesis wearing, mask wearing fellows…

Not staying hidden Not keeping reserved Not keeping respectful of the ongoing sacred ritual - Stop being ashamed of what’s inside- - - -

De l’amour!

I started whispering, whining, with a little trembling voice

Again and again…. De l’amour!

One of the guys sitting around, one of the afternoon criticizers, suddenly turned towards me and said: “Jean-Marc, je t’aime!”

This surprised me.

I went on and on, with a louder voice, until I overtook the ritual
I was leading the ritual in my own way, begging, supplying, asking for

I remember vomiting in a bucket and surrendering in the process - I was not sure what and how I was surrendering, it was something about giving up the rigid armoured pride that keep up appearances but locks the truth inside….

De l’amour…

I was not asking to be loved, I was asking for love in the atmosphere.
Love for one another creates the atmosphere we all breathe. It was love in the atmosphere I needed.

I was asking for love without asking anyone, I was asking around and towards above

At some moment I asked, still toward above, toward the invisible presence “Please help me!”

A participant came up to me and said: “Jean-Marc it has a been a while we have all been here trying to help you!”

This surprised me. That was not what it was all about! I would have loved being helped by them in asking for love with me….. I didn’t say.

At that moment I suddenly felt I was back on earth, in an almost ordinary state. I looked at them and went outside the room. I let them carry on with the ritual. I remember catching an eye and a smile by a musician - an accordion player.

Outside, a guy who had preferred not to take part in the ritual had lit a bonfire. I sat with him. We had a little chat… a deep little chat actually but it was already another story…

This was the story of the Antelope: a story of Mother Earth, people and climate change...


Thursday, 3 October 2013

Education, religion, music....

In one family, parents thought their child should learn a music instrument. They gave him the choice between classic guitar, violin or piano. Then the child had to be a good child and train every day.

The pedagogy was based on a reward or punishment basis. Good work and good results meant rewards, rebellion implied punishment... 

In another house, the parents were musicians and their children could see how they enjoyed playing music, how close to one another their parents were when they played together, how beautiful, moving, cheerful the music could be...

However some of the children took to painting and others wished to become musicians.

There were no rewards for doing the work, a part from the only reward that made sense: being able to play.

There were no punishment and no rebellion. Of course, sometimes a bit of stimulation is necessary, however a child who knows what he wants and love doesn't need to be whipped to go for it...

It's exactly the same with religion. On one side, they are people who understand only the reward and punishment logic.

On the other, religion is about inspiring and showing the right example.

I think that the reward/punishment pedagogy is from Satan, and the Inspire/Set examples pedagogy is from God.

In my view, Satan and God have to be understood as symbols used for the sake of clarity.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Holy Immune System

I have a strong belief in the Holy Immune System, however

 I should be a bit more careful. 

I am not sure what I ate that didn't go down well last 

Monday, on my way home from work I ended up feeling so 

weak I had to lay down for a while on the platform of the 

overground, next to a bin bag in case of emergency 

throwing up, with nausea and the world around me felt like a 
merry go round on the start... 

Someone offered to call an ambulance but after a while I 

perked up a bit and could get on my feet and go back 


I am so used to be in good health that when things go a bit 

wrong I really don't know what's going on !
It gave me an opportunity to have a thought for the Syrian people.

 What if, instead of getting better after fifteen minutes, it 

went worse and worse until choking and dying?...

Friday, 30 August 2013

 One day God said to Abraham: "Kill your son. I want a sacrifice from you as a token of utter submission. Whoop it's gonna be funny!"

 Abraham was an obedient guy. He didn't doubt that it was God talking to him, so he took his son to the mountain, and when he was about to push the knife into his son's throat, God said :

  "OK I see that you're a good little soldier and that you're ready to carry out any stupid order without rebellion, which is exactly what I like, so don't kill your son, kill this poor stranded young ram instead..." 

 And Abraham killed the ram, there was blood everywhere and they all had a lot of fun together. 

 What they don't say in the story is that: 

 1 It was not God talking. If it were God, refusing to kill the boy and offering himself in sacrifice instead would have been the right answer. 

 2 It could have been the Devil, always ready to play some nasty trick such as suggesting family killings,  but no it wasn't him. That day the Devil was busy brewing beer. 

 3 In fact, it was Abraham's unconscious mind:

  Abraham hallucinated and heard the voice of his most unconscious desire: never growing old, never having to die, and certainly not being toppled down from  power by this young pretentious arrogant  son of a patriarch. He would have preferred to kill him!  

 He couldn't admit he was feeling such a horrible desire, and as a result the hidden desire disguised itself as God.... 

 4 If it were God or even the Devil, there would have been no need of sacrificing the poor stranded ram instead of Abraham's son. God or Devil could have say: "OK you're a stupid heartless guy ready to kill your own son, without even protesting, the test is conclusive, let's leave it there."

 But it wasn't either of them...

 5 Because it was an unconscious desire of killing! And to placate an unconscious desire of killing, there must be some killing! So, by sacrificing the poor young innocent ram who wasn't even part of the family, Abraham placated his dark desire and started to get on well with his son again. 

 The immorality of the story is that is always possible to find a stranded innocent and make him pay the price for keeping the peace in your own house. 

 Alleluia ! I love God's stories, they are always disgustingly human ! 

Friday, 23 August 2013

Three blind men

 Three blind men

Rumi, the Persian mystic founder of the Sufi order, used to tell the metaphor of the three blind men confronted to an elephant to talk about human condition: we can't get the big picture, we believe in illusions because we grasp only fragments...

 Here is my (slightly) foolish version of it...

Thursday, 1 August 2013

 I have a special passion for metaphors. Especially when the metaphor starts moving, becomes a story, a parabola... Maybe this is the secret of imagination. It starts wondering about something ... 

 For instance: "Why is it so difficult for all these talented artists, poets, story-tellers, live off their art?"

 Maybe that's because they are so keen to give... so keen to be listen to... how could they ever get paid if they are always ready to give for free! 

 They are like the character on this card. It's not about reading the future by the way. It's about showing an intriguing character appearing under many disguises in human life... A kind of multifaceted metaphor... 

 Here is the story.

There are many pizza men making pizzas all over the town

They love making pizzas so much that they can't stop making pizzas... 

There are a awful lot of them...

It's become very difficult to sell pizzas

But they can't stop, so they offer pizzas for free to passers by in the hope they will love them and buy them 

But the passers by aren't hungry anymore. They can eat free pizzas from dawn to dusk... They are fed up with pizzas!

The only ones who accept to eat more free pizzas are the other pizza men - They are curious about how other pizzas than theirs may taste ... Better, worse, similar, different?

I have even met a pizza man who offered me money to eat his pizza rather than any other pizza...

I suggested he should do comedy instead of making pizzas. Or maybe write poetry. People would pay for a bit of poetry in their lives.

He looked at me with indignation...