"As we begin
(once again) to naturalize ourselves — both nutritionally and medicinally — we
may begin to discover that there is far more to a plant than just its chemical
composition, more than just its list of constituent phyto-nutrients, vitamins
and minerals. Rather, and more vital to our personal healing — as well as to
the continuation of life as we know it — is our becoming acquainted with the
organism producing the food or medicine itself. With the life-form, the
being." –Daniel Vitalis
All plants are
psychoactive. Everything has a spirit. You can learn a lot from arugula — even
more from cacao, or from an elder like maize. What we place inside ourselves
transforms us. Eating and drinking is intimate communication, daily comm-union,
even telepathy, most often one-way, where a plant invited into the human body
as food or medicine can "see what you mean." From it nothing is hidden, and it
knows what's what — so it provides certain answers in forms of nourishment —
which means, literally, "bringing (you) up, raising, fostering, supporting,
preserving." (See the definition here.)
Be it food or information — we become what we consume, and we produce from the
inside out. When we eat and drink, we practice relationship with different
forces, with spirits and sentience. We are what we eat, and what we eat runs
Plants, fungi and bacteria are significantly adept at piloting humans. Michael
Pollan, for example, explores this extensively in his work, posing the
question: "What if we are all just pawns in corn's clever strategy game to rule
the Earth?" Further, Pollan suggests, in his "Plants-eye view" Ted
Talk, that "Looking at the world from other species' points of view is a
cure for the disease of human self-importance."
If plants —
specifically Teacher Plants — convey anything, it is that they have the upper
hand, the higher branch, if you will. They can throw you down, clean you up,
send you out to space, thrust you on a new paths, make you change your ways,
whisper advice, keep you warm, dry, sheltered, alive, and in some cases, even
Essentially, plants can
do whatever they want with humans, and with near-absolute impunity. Our
species' "ultimate verdict" is the concept of death. But to a plant, death is
laughable, a sentiment reinforced in a recent New York Times Magazine article
describing the plant-life take-over of New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, where
"For six and a half years, the neighborhood has undergone a reverse
colonization — nature reclaiming civilization."
Have you ever seen
plants happen? Plants, and
plant-time, are like crop circles (which of course are made of plants in most
cases). Like magic they appear, leave traces, clues, fruit, messages. In the
New Orleans Jungleland — behind
climates of chaos and the media newsfeed, burnt cars and dead bodies are
consumed by tall grass.
Side with the plants,
learn plants, eat plants, become
plants — let food be your medicine, let medicine be your food — and begin to
synthesize entirely different dimensions of time, technology, communication,
* * *
that supports the culture-nature separation is rapidly failing under the weight
of its own inconsistencies. It is becoming obvious that what we do to nature we
do to ourselves, what we do to ourselves we do to nature." –Morgan Brent
Visionary Nutrition is a path
of uniting stories. I invite you to join me as I explore this subject with four
inspiring visionaries in an Evolver Intensives webinar that starts on April
8. This is an open source
invitation into deeper relation with the many things that fuel, heal, and
energize us; all that is alive around us,
that co-creates with us. It is
a path of dissolving separation. A path of connectivity.
It is the strengthened
engagement with the harmony of humanity — the beautiful songs we've sung and
are singing, our peak performance, the best of the best — that boils down to
our collective necessities — food, medicine, life — from which can be drawn
ever-expanding analogies, inter-elated
metaphor, and metamorphosis.
It is here all around
us. Eden, Heaven — find it in an apple. Got demons? Join forces with a vine.
Eat garbage conjured and sold by the darkest magicians — become "Stay Puft
Marshmellow Man," your ill-conceived nightmares. Invite the forces of nature,
say an orange or a mushroom, and with the right kind of eyes — grow further infused
with infinite ecologies of everlasting spirits.
* * *
ayahuasca teaches is that right now, at every moment, we already live in the
magic forest" –Steve Beyer
Dig around a bit, and
you might observe that the root of our crisis is humankind's long, drunken lust
for separation — mind/body, human/nature, food/medicine, physical/spiritual.
Simultaneously, it is these elements that unite
our species, and always have. We all participate, we all dance with these
elements — and it is these elements that, by and large, make up our world. We
create worlds, as worlds create us.
But we are new here — sometimes awesome, but
ultimately amateur and we've been grasping. We simply cannot believe it.
Timelapse the situation and it's like we appeared only yesterday —
instantaneously — in ever-changing form, on a particular planet. Growing in
size, staring at our hands, finding our feet, rubbing our eyeballs, mind
boggled — immersed, surrounded, and face to face with an overwhelming presence
perceived, at times, as threatening.
We dash for the door,
or some way out. We invoke separation, like children covering their ears —
convinced it's not happening. Running in circles, making mirages, chasing
dragons, ouroborically awestruck, deaf, blind and dumbfounded by this life, the
afterlife, reality and its alternatives, ghosts, dreams, philosophy, the powers
that be, the secret life of plants — all this raging intricacy.
Yet we appear now to
see eye to eye with the storm. This quiet, ripping whorl, where time is in
question, and also of its essence. Where the consensus amongst the conscious is
that we are indeed all one, we are
nature, there is no separation, and it's all changing dramatically. Be it homo nexus, homo luminous, neo aboriginalis, or Sylvapolitans – it's on, and it's your choice. Merge with the
Maelstrom, let Gaia absorb you. Produce solutions — dissolve.
* * *
"In order to
live a magical life, you have to eat magical food" –David Wolfe
Several years ago,
during dieta with Ayahuasca, the
plants suggested to me that "ayahuasca would go best with raw food." Plants,
I've found, often speak in terms of one's present perception — in shapeshifting
symbols that change as you follow them, conversations to discern and decipher.
With this in mind, I set forth exploring a raw food diet — with sharp eyes and
a healthy aversion to dogma and definitions. However, the heart of this
guidance from the plants was clear: Ayahuasca, once drunk, prefers to live in,
and works better within clean bodies.
While for me,
"going raw" was more like taking a long walk — but I eventually
engaged the raw food/living diet path as a kind of inverted version of a Plant Dieta. As
something I could practice daily, a way to learn from, and build relations with
numerous "common" plants like kale, chard, chia, blueberries, tomatoes, pears,
for example. As though I was, or have been, turning myself into some kind of
garden. Into which ayahuasca digs deep, purging junk, transforming thoughts,
composting things, creating soil from soul, turning the stomach into a womb,
encouraging conditions right, good, and fertile — so it can root, grow, and
Raw, living diets take
as many forms as there are people doing them. From one perspective, it's a kind
of plant artistry. Plant-based edible living sculpture with vibrant living
beings who in return sculpt you.
Essentially at the core, it is a process of healing and strengthening.
Significantly, it's a cleanse — of
body, of mind — and by extension, environment.
From another direction,
perhaps the "higher reflection" — in a sense the Mother of living diets — can be seen in the shamanic tradition of Plant Dietas. Commonly referred to and
often mistaken as "the ayahuasca
diet," Plant Dietas are, in general terms, a discipline and
process of cleansing, purging, healing, learning, and building
right-relationship. During Plant Dietas,
one is isolated, eats very little, and/or very simply, in order to remove
distractions, sensitize one's body/mind/spirit to the subtleties of the spirit
world, in order to become transparent, lucid and focused in and with it. A
student-teacher relationship emerges as one sits with a plant, drinking it
exclusively over a period of time.
Working safely and
respectfully with ayahuasca and other Teacher Plants, alongside raw
food/garden-variety plants, the Teacher's Assistants, leads, of course, to many
physical and spiritual health benefits. My experience has been that the plants
led, and continue to lead and teach,
ways out of concrete jungles, concrete ideologies, crumbling health — turning
and holding my gaze and commitment towards unfolding endeavours of evolutionary
advantage — wild foods, living water, permaculture, forest gardening, medicinal
mushrooms, indigeneity, herbalism, synaesthesia…
importantly, the process has opened, and continues to expand a certain grand permeability — pathways and bridges
between common ground and the sky — between day-to-day and ceremonial nights.
Join Morgan Maher for
the Evolver Intensives course "Visionary Nutrition: Enhancing Your Health
in a Psychedelic World," a 4-part live, interactive video webinar,
featuring special guests David Wolfe, Morgan Brent, Daniel Vitalis, and Peter Gorman. It starts on Sunday,
April 8. To learn more, click here.