Location: The Pocono Mountains
Out of perfection nothing can be made.
I was an angry 18-year-old man, driving a car fast in Ocean City. I was pushing the car and myself, heading nowhere fast.
And then BAM!
That’s what I felt as my car smashed into the other one. I stumbled out to see my car destroyed. Although I was a bit shocked, I was alive and in one piece.
Somehow, some way, the other person was okay too!
The lights felt bright, everything felt crisp, and I felt, for the first time in a long time, that I was truly alive. “Thank you God, and I hear you!” I said.
That was a calling: I realized it was time to grow a pair of balls and join the US Army. America was at war. Better I risk dying for something that I actually believed mattered, than to risk dying for anger and false pride. And maybe I’d learn something about channeling myself in the process, if I lived to tell the tale.
I called the recruiter that same day, and was in Basic Training a few months later, preparing to go kill or be killed in Iraq.
Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you…”
– Genesis 12:1 (NKJV)
I was a focused 20-year-old American Soldier, serving my country in Iraq. I was rolling down the street, manning the gun.
And then BAM!
That’s what I felt when my truck get rocked by its first IED in Baghdad.
Next thing I remember is waking up with my sergeant punching my leg and screaming if I was okay. Everything was blurry and muffled and I could barely hear through the ringing, but I was ALIVE! Thank GOD!
The same could not be said for the Iraqis who were near my truck as it got hit. Life is short.
That was a calling: I realized what was on the line in Iraq, and that it required even greater responsibility than I was currently taking. If my friends were going to die, it wouldn’t be because of any mistake I had made. There were things I could do better, and I knew it. Time to work on myself.
People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls.
One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
I was a hardened 32-year-old coach, living in Shanghai, working with people and organizations from around the world. I had survived war, lived on various continents, and taken part in various adventures over the years. I thought I had seen it all. I thought I knew it all. I thought I had it all figured out.
And then BAM!
That’s how I felt the first time I worked with Ayahuasca. The experience helped me realize I had only just begun learning.
I began to realize nothing, and everything at the same time.
I began to realize the void, and a spirit that calls things forth from it.
I began to realize how insignificant I am, and how fantastically important we are to things.
Most importantly, I began to realize that this life would only give me, and had only ever given me, exactly what is required for us to bring ourselves forth.
That was a calling: My friends who I thought had died in Iraq had actually been with us all along. I had been denying them, and I didn’t even known it. I saw them, I allowed them, and a dead part of me came back to life. Thank God for that.
Much was redeemed, and at the same time, everything was incredibly far from redeemed. I realized I had a lot of work to do, a lot more than I could ever have imagined.
This is the issue about going into the unknown. If you leave your country and your kin and your father’s house, and you go out into a land that your intuition guides you to, you’re going to undergo these radical transformations. This is a sacrificial transformation, too, because you’re moving forthrightly and voluntarily into chaos. That’s the same as the dragon fight. That’s the hero’s story. What will happen, there, is that you will transform yourself. And so the call to an ideal is also the call to a sequence of deaths and rebirths that move you closer and closer to the ideal. That’s what God is calling Abraham to do in the first sentence of the story.
– Jordan B. Peterson, Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories: Lecture 9: The Call to Abraham
And so, that first journey with Ayahuasca set off and continued a chain of events, above, below, within, and without.
To Be Continued,