Should It Be Free?
The energy of personal development.
A few years ago, I was at a Burner party up in Canada, before I actually had ever been to Burning Man. A beautiful French Canadian girl that looked like a character straight out of the Matrix and I were discussing psychedelics, and I shared that I had gone down to the Peru and sat with Ayahuasca. She asked me how much it cost. I replied, “Two thousand dollars for ten days, four ceremonies, plus the cost to get down there.” She seemed shocked and said, “It’s a plant medicine, a gift from Mother Nature. It should be free.”
I shared that SpiritQuest has a staff that cooks, cleans, and takes care of us when we’re being healed by the Medicine, and that they have to maintain the property which is literally being slowly eaten by the Amazon Jungle, and it gets pretty expensive. It was an incredibly generous exchange of energy from Don Howard and his tribe.
Personal development is a tricky business. Our relationship to money is one of our biggest challenges in modern society. Some of my wealthier friends have the unhealthiest lifestyles. Money can be an enabler of our worst habits and vices. I’ve also seen the other side of the spectrum, where a person is completely unable to overcome their internal belief that they are not worthy and repeatedly self sabotage their success. I’ve definitely amplified bad habits and self sabotaged in the past.
You can give a hundred thousand dollars to a homeless man living in a cardboard box, and there’s a reasonable chance that, without some major transformational shift, one year later, he’ll be back in that cardboard box, because there’s some deep seated belief that it is what he deserves. It seems to be a universal human experience to develop these feelings and also develop addictions and masks of narcissism and ego to protect the pain of that energy.
There is an anger there. That the world is unfair. That it’s women’s fault. That it’s men’s fault. There’s something seductive about that anger and pain. The Dark Side of the Force. Some people channel that anger and become wealthy and powerful, others destroy themselves and end up on the streets. Ideally, we all find ways to heal that pain and find a balance in life.
In the Andean Way of Life, communities such as the Q’ero have five principles.
At the core of it all, there is the principle of Ayni, reciprocity. Plants and animals have a reciprocal exchange of oxygen, carbon dioxide, waste, and food in a beautiful cycle. There is an understanding of the interconnectedness of all things.
Money is a strange collective fiction that almost has a sort of consciousness. Money represents security, safety, experiences, property, work, power, freedom, greed, responsibility, status, and energy.
Investing in ourselves and our growth is the best investment we can make. Of course, we need to find the right fit in terms of schools, programs, teachers, mentors, masterminds and Medicine, and develop the integration habits to manifest the realities that we are capable of. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on medicine journeys, personal development seminars, masterminds. Because I always set an intention to unblock a hidden, limiting belief, there are almost always many moments of self realization that are priceless.
“Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.”
Our healthcare system is not working optimally. Particularly in terms of dealing with mental health. The profit pressure on Big Pharma due to the costs of drug research and development is intense, so drugs need to have a recurring revenue model which creates a perverse incentive to design and/or market drugs that can have long term use.
Plant medicines and psychedelics have huge potential to address the mental health crisis. However, commodification of psychedelics and over harvesting of sacred plants is a huge concern.
Space X is saving taxpayers money. It costs NASA $55 million per seat (round-trip) to send an astronaut to the International Space Station on the Space X Crew Dragon. Before the development of the Crew Dragon, the U.S. used to pay the Russians $86 million per seat.
If we treated mental health as a grand mission where the government funds plant preservation and private clinics to provide world class treatment for people that can most benefit from shamanic healing in a measured, responsible way, there appears to be a path.
Plant medicines are generally not addictive, and many people that experience them only do them once or a few times in their lives. They are not compatible with a long term profit driven recurring business model.
At the same time, there are still issues where if people don’t want to invest in themselves due to their mental patterns, and “free” can sabotage growth. People may not value “free” and there may need to be “skin in the game.” It doesn’t necessarily need to be cash, but there needs to be an exchange of energy. Ayni.
The return on investment of a whole, healthy population is priceless. I hope we figure it out.
Para El Bien De Todos.
Day 3: SpiritQuest #GivingChristmas