Thanks for writing back. I understand your concerns about psychological dependence on altered states as a way to avoid the external reality of life. I too have seen this, in the Santo Daime church and, of course, elsewhere. My point is only that the use of mind-altering drugs is a complex issue, not easily resolved by familiar dualistic thinking. The Pathwork Guide often says that no action is in itself good or bad, it depends on many factors, most notably intent.
In the case of our family, ayahuasca, taken in the context of the Santo Daime church, was an important catalyst to our spiritual growth. It brought us through a serious family crisis for which I will always be grateful. The Santo Dame is no longer my path, mostly because it feels that I received what I was supposed to receive, and I have no further need to drink ayahuasca. (This is, incidentally, very different from how addiction proceeds.)
I totally respect that ayahuasca was/is not your path. It is certainly not for everyone. (Did you read the the Disclaimer at the back of the book?)
Just as I have seen people “stuck” in the Santo Daime church, I have also seen people “stuck” in the Pathwork. The Pathwork can, inadvertently, encourge recycling process work because it is the known path. This can never take one to a different level of reality, which can only be entered if the known path is released and the unknown is embraced. As long as you think you know what reality is, the deeper truth of life will elude you. As long as one looks through any particular lens, that lens will define and limit what one sees.
Eventually one outgrows any path, since a path is based on a specific world view, and life itself has no world view about itself. It just IS itself. And we are THAT. So, sooner or later, one awakens from any path which attempts to lead the seeker toward the reality of what we are. Instead, we awaken to that toward which all paths are pointing. And that is the end of seeking, and the end of identifying one’s “self” with any path.
I love the Pathwork and the wonderful work it does with many people. I support the Pathwork at Sevenoaks and occasionally still participate in Pathwork events. I have deep, wonderful, life-long relationships with many friends who are Pathwork helpers and students. I also have deep, wonderful, life-long relationships with many friends who are committed to the path of the Santo Daime, though I no longer participate in the ceremonies.
I do not judge my friends on the basis of what path works for them. I am happy that they have found a path that works for them. But at this time in my life I no longer feel a “part of” any particular path; it simply is not true for me now. No one knows what the future will bring!
Thanks again for the dialogue, Susan
2 Responses to second reply to question about ayahuasca