Nobody is one hundred percent real. We are all fictional semi-autobiographical characters in a neverending story. But we can be more or less real depending on how far we realize ourselves. To realize yourself is to materialize, to be incarnated, made flesh.
But what or who? You. But who am I? Where am I? You are you. Lost in thought. Lost in space.
The true aim of plant medicine vision quests is soul retrieval. You need to go in there to rescue yourself. You need to bring more of you back down to Earth. You need to talk yourself down, coax yourself down. You need to draw yourself to yourself like a lodestone drawing iron filings from a cloud.
What you don’t need to do is lose more of yourself. Remember who you are and what you are doing. You are not escaping from life. You are embracing it. Escapism is how your soul got lost in the first place. You escaped into books, films, music, television, sex, drugs, work, religion, politics, social life, social media. Don’t escape into your psychedelic experience as well. Nobody can go in there to get you out again. Only a shaman can do that. And the only shaman that can do it properly is you.
A real Shaman has gravitas. A real Zen Master has gravitas. A real Holy Man or Woman has gravitas. They are solid. Confident, Self-assured. Real. Their soul is firmly in their body, not floating about in the ether or the Twitterverse.
Use gravity to retrieve your soul from the cloud-capped windmills of your mind. Use the largest, heaviest body you have. Use the Earth.
You can also use the body-mantras (see the blog post Armour and Staff). The more you use them, the more effective they are at bringing you back to yourself. Each of the seven energy centres of the staff (the shushumna) and the armour (the double cross) act as a soul magnet, pulling your dispersed self back together. Whether in the throes of an intense psychedelic experience or stone cold sober, the body-mantras are an excellent way to ground you and anchor you and establish your own centre of gravity. Use them!