After A Week In Darkness & Silence | AMP #243

By Aubrey Marcus February 05, 2020

After A Week In Darkness & Silence | AMP #243
I have experienced most of the plant medicines and transformative practices known to man and none have been as powerful and as pure as spending 6 days in absolute darkness and silence. In this podcast we flip the script and AMP Veteran Erick Godsey lead’s me through the story using the framework of the hero's journey. Adjectives fail to describe the gravity of what I encountered, from the incredible difficulty of grappling with my mind, to the unimaginable beauty of the emotions and visions. To synthesize my findings into a single mantra it would be: Love Yourself and Be Honest. Oh, and for anyone who thinks the brain doesn’t produce DMT endogenously in this state, since vivisection is not an option, I would challenge them to experience the darkness as an N=1 ;) If you’re interested in experiencing this medicine, this is the place that I went to:

Aubrey: What's up Erick? 

Erick: What's up, Aubrey? Welcome. Thank you for coming on your podcast. 

Aubrey: Yeah, for real. So it's a little over a week since I got out of the darkness and it’s about time tox talk about it. 

Erick: Yeah.

Aubrey:  I think by far the most powerful medicine journey I've ever been on. There's been nothing that's even come close to really reaching the depth that this journey has reached. And from the level of challenge of integration to the level of depth of uncovering aspects of my psyche, and even to the vision state itself, which I'd heard about. 

Erick:  Yeah.

Aubrey: I kind of discredited. I was like although no visions…

Erick: I've done DMT.

Aubrey:  I've done DMT a lot. Like I know, I know what visions are. I'm sure your visions are cute. But fuck man. This was like, this went as deep as I could have possibly imagined, way deeper than I possibly could have imagined. And anybody who's saying that DMT isn't produced in the brain, I recognize that it's virtually impossible to create the Viv section at the point of a visionary state, like who's gonna volunteer to let their brain be opened or like stabbed at the point that they're having a DMT rush. But I'm…

Erick: Quite go learn the experiment.

Aubrey:  Yeah. I'm quite confident in the endogenous production of DMT. Obviously this could be a function of some kind of imagination, but we'll get into all the visions, but that wasn't really why I was called for it, because I got a lot of ways that I can see things in my third… 

Erick:  What was it about the darkness? Because I remember when you first heard about it, it was all that you were talking about for a while. What about it called you? 

Aubrey:  I think it's a very difficult thing to answer when something calls to you because it doesn't call with reasons. Particularly, it's like you hear the calling and then you apply the reasons to justify and make sense of the calling. But really, I was sick and I needed to heal, and this was something that, whatever that higher intelligence inside of me, call it the soul if you want. If you're comfortable with that vocabulary…

Erick:  I do want.

Aubrey: …whatever that thing is was saying. You need medicine. 

Erick:  Yeah.

Aubrey: And the medicine is the darkness. And it was just so, it was so clear. 

Erick:  Yeah.

Aubrey:  It was just so clear and irrefutable when I had heard about it from Oxy on the podcast, and that was the second time I heard about it cuz Aaron Alexander mentioned it and I heard him describe it. I was like, oh, I have to do this.

Erick: Yeah. And we're gonna use the structure of the hero's journey to kind of weave the thread of everything that happened. And so stage one is the ordinary world. And so what was the life that you were in before you heard this call. What was the sickness like? How were you sick? What was going on? 

Aubrey: The thing about being sick when you're in the ordinary world is you don't know how sick you are. 

Erick:  Right. 

Aubrey:  You're blaming it on little things that, oh, well this thing is bothering me. You externalize your internal sickness. 

Erick: Right.

Aubrey:  Well, if I could just fix this thing, if I could fix this relationship, things would be Gucci.

Erick: Okay. All good. Yeah.

Aubrey:  If I could fix this thing, things would be Gucci. Oh, I'm just a little tired today. Like if I could, maybe I need a little cleanse, or maybe I need to sort things. So you're focused on the body, you're focused on the externalization of all your challenges, but you don't really realize what the true sickness is inside. And honestly, it took me five days in the darkness before I really realized what the sickness was and…

Erick:  Yeah 

Aubrey:  …and we'll get to that. But really it was almost as if I was quite confident going into the darkness and I didn't think the darkness was gonna be able to break me. And I was right. The darkness wasn't gonna be able to break me because I was already broken. And the darkness had to put me back together and as soon as the darkness put me back together, it fucking broke me. 

Erick:  Yeah.

Aubrey:  And that was like, that was the interesting part was— and broke me in a good way. Like kind of cracked me open from my own kind of delusional mental pathologies that I'd been living in.

Erick:  Yeah. The way that I think about it is that if your leg breaks and it heals crooked. You can walk on it but it's painful. But if you are going to heal it, you have to re-break it. 

Aubrey:  Yeah. 

Erick:  It has to be reset and then that allows it to heal properly. 

Aubrey:  Yeah. 

Erick: I think the ordinary world is something that a lot of people can identify with that you don't know. What it is that's wrong, but you know that something is off and it's not until you go through the hero's journey that you recognize what it was that was wrong.

Aubrey:  Yeah, there's a great quote from Khalil Gibran that I was using before I went in and it really resonated and it basically says there every man is two men, one who sleeps in the light and the other who wakes in the darkness. And the ordinary world is the world of sleeping in the light. 

Erick: Yeah. 

Aubrey:  Right? Like we just, we're going through the motions. We're doing what we're supposed to do, we're accomplishing the things we're supposed to accomplish. We have the relationship that everybody is applauding us for. We have the body, the meat suit that everybody's like nice fucking suit. And you're like, Yeah, it's pretty good, right? Not so bad.

Erick: Yeah. 

Aubrey:  And then whatever outfit you're wearing, whatever other things, what car you're driving, what are all of these things that people are reinforcing like, yeah, good job, man. You're doing great. 

Erick:  Yeah. 

Aubrey:  And the ordinary world's saying like really good, but inside we're like, ah, I don't know.

Erick:  Yeah, it's good. 

Aubrey:  It's the problems.

Erick:  It's the young Buddha in the palace walls and his father gave him all the women and all the feasts and all the parties, but a part of him knew cuz he saw a death for the first time. He was like, I have to leave. 

Aubrey:  Yeah.

Erick:  I have to go. 

Aubrey:  He even had babies. 

Erick: I didn't know that.

Aubrey: Yeah. I think he had babies in the palace walls. Can someone look that up? The Buddha have babies. I think he did the whole thing.

Erick: Yeah. 

Aubrey: He had the whole setup inside the palace walls. 

Erick: Yeah. 

Aubrey:  But that was his ordinary world. But it still wasn't--

Erick:  It wasn't his calling.

Aubrey:  It wasn't his calling. 

Erick:  Yeah. 

Aubrey:  Something was still off. Even though he'd had everything that everybody was looking for. What does it say?  

Speaker 3: He had just had a child right before he left.

Aubrey:  Just had a child right before he left. I mean, he did the whole ordinary world thing all the way to the end.

Erick: Yeah. 

Aubrey:  The feasts, women, the childbirth, the whole thing. And nothing could nothing could kind of quench his call to adventure, which is the second stage of his journey. 

Erick:  Yeah. And so let's get into the call for you. What was the call? How did it arise in your life? And then how did you say yes? Cuz you went on this trip and there was a lot that had to happen to get you to the point of walking through that doorway into the darkness. Can you, kind of tell us what that story was?

Aubrey:  It was almost like— it was just a— I heard the call and I've had enough experience hearing calls and knowing when the call is clear enough and knowing the source of the call. 

Erick: Yeah. 

Aubrey:  The source of this call is not like the call when my homie's like, yo, I'm throwing a party trip. It's on a yacht like here, the Instagram profiles of the people who are coming, like, it's gonna be sick. Like that's a call that comes from maybe my groin in my head. And I'm like, yeah, that sounds fun… 

Erick:  The ego…

Aubrey:  …let's fucking do. That's a different type of call. That’s lust and desire and the desire to chase a thrill or a pleasure or an experience. 

Erick:  Yeah. 

Aubrey: This was something much, much deeper and so it was a, I know enough now that that call is undeniable.

Erick:  Yeah.

Aubrey:  So we just started looking at the locations and ended up settling on the perfect location out in the Black forest in Germany. little Town, I think it's called Sach in Walden, which I think one of the drivers told me translates to the middle of nowhere. 

Erick:  Perfect. 

Aubrey:  But it's just this like beautiful pastoral, landscape out there. Led by a retreat director who spent 10 years studying under a guru in India. Spent a month in isolation in a dark cave, and is like deeply steeped in the meditative traditions of the Hindu lineage. It has a beautiful family in this house, in eight dark rooms. And it's just, they go under the name Darkness Retreat and that was the place that ended up. And it ended up working out and it ended up happening to be right on the tail end of this crazy trip to Poland that I took with a bunch of great dudes like a real communities of men that just flourished in the initiation underneath the cold with Whim Hoff, which was like a— in some ways a great preparation because it, it told me that I could push through challenges that were incredibly extreme. I mean, we climbed Mount Ishka, which was a four-and-a-half-hour climb without a shirt on, and it was like sleet and snow. We spent 10 minutes in an ice bath where we had to break the type top of the ice, and I spent over two minutes underneath the water and all stuff. Like, I'm not recommending necessarily, but nonetheless, having everybody there supporting was just a huge element of that. And also, taught me to what was possible when I really like, set my mind straight, but it also was exhausting…

Erick:  For sure. 

Aubrey:  It was. So I did not come in fucking rested.

Erick:  No. Two things come up, when you were talking and I think the first one is you are used to going through this cycle. So you know when you hear that soul call that it's pointless to refuse. But for most people, and I think you did a good point articulating that there's kind of two calls. There's the ego call where the moment you hear the ego call; you want to do it. There's no resistance.

Aubrey:  Yeah. 

Erick:  But when you hear the soul call, for most people, your first reaction to it will be the ego being like, No, I can't have that conversation. I can't go do that thing outside of my job. I can't go on this adventure. And I think that recognizing that if you feel it, and the first reaction is fear and resistance, that's probably the soul calling. And the other thing that comes up is the beauty of going to Poland first. 

It kind of reminds me of like when one of the nights would go, like when they knew they had to go on one of their quests, they would all get together in the meat hall. Congregate have that community cuz they didn't know? if they'd be coming back. So they could reconnect to their tribe, but then they gotta go out alone. 

Aubrey:  Yeah. 

Erick:  Into the forest is almost always where they go. And where did you go? Into the dark forest?

Aubrey:  Into the forest. Yeah.

Erick:  Yeah.

Aubrey:  Into the darkness. Those are both good points. I think that it was interesting seeing the projections of other people when I would tell 'em about this, like I've done virtually every psychedelic drug that's out there from a plant source. And all in the traditional ways. All with the shamans, all in the ways, and people are pretty comfortable with that. People aren't really that scared. They're like, oh, I have a great time, man. Have a great journey.

But I would tell people I was going into the darkness and isolation and darkness where it was gonna be silence and blackness. Pitch blackness. And people were like, don't fucking do that. Like, that's crazy. You're gonna go insane. I think people were projecting their own fears of that thing, which is a very interesting thing. I mean, they were projecting their own refusal of the call, which is the step three of the step three of the journey, right? 

The refusal is like; this is too scary. But the interesting thing is, what's too scary? You alone with your mind. 

Erick: Right? 

Aubrey:  Are you scared of your mind? I mean that's the thing, right? Yeah. You know, and people have other reasons. They're scared of the dark. Well, what if someone snuck in the room and I'm like, okay, like you're in a house with like 12 people.

Erick:  Yeah. What if, yeah.

Aubrey:  …and like there's, I guess there's some miniature chance, but I don't think that's really why people are scared of the dark. 

Erick:  It's not, no. 

Aubrey:   They're scared of having to deal with their mind with, without not any distraction. Their shadow, all of the recesses you’re in. You're in the true cave… 

Erick:  Yeah.

Aubrey:  …of your psyche.

Erick:  And I think the thing that comes up for me is all the traditional plant medicines, they have a container that's been built over centuries and they have guides. And I think a lot of people rely on the container and the guide because they're afraid that they won't be able to handle themselves. But darkness is just— it's only you, but you are also a lot more than you think you are.

Aubrey:  That's what you learn. That's what you learn. And I mean, in some ways I kind of like, I kind of flippantly brushed off some of their concerns. Like, what am I gonna— what is my mind gonna kick my ass? I knew it was gonna be hard, but I didn't realize how grueling it would be to really confront everything when you start peeling off the protective layers and the armor that you have and you really have to come face to face with literally zero distraction.

 I mean, there's nothing that you can do in, in that environment. And we'll talk more about the environment.

Erick:  Yeah. That was the next question I was about to ask. Before we get into meeting the mentors, can you kind of set the stage. What was your cave? What was the container? What did it look like? What was the meat suit patterns that were the container of this experience? 

Aubrey:  Yeah. All right, so you go up a lovely family that runs this. The retreat director's name is Bharati. She's the one who studied in India underneath the guru. She spent three years doing mantras and meditations until she could finally see visions. And then as soon as she saw visions in her third eye, her guru was like, okay, now go to the cave. And she spent 30 days in a cave in the darkness, and then couple days into the cave, her visions exploded into her mind and she was actually getting kind of pissed off.

She was like, you made me do mantras 14 hours a day for three years, and all I had to do was go in the cave and I could get these visions. He's like, well, I wanted you to learn the hard way. I wanted you to learn that way first, and then the cave will show you kind of what you're really capable of. 

Erick:  Yeah. He started her, or she showed her how to start a fire and then the darkness was all the fodder. 

Aubrey:  Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And it's interesting, thinking back to— you look at all of these kind of mystical traditions. You read Rumi's writing and he has some really interesting quotes. You even go back to some biblical teachings. You know, Jesus spent 40 days in the desert. 

Erick:  Initiation ritual. 

Aubrey:  Well, what's, what is the signature of the desert? I mean, maybe it was an actual desert, but the Bible is full of allegory. it's full of metaphor. Right? Like that's the only way that you can actually read it.

Erick:  Take the most wisdom of the…

Aubrey:  …desert is an environment that's absent of life. It's absent of distraction; it's absent of anything else. That's one of the beautiful parts of desert medicine. Is that it's just kind of you and yourself You're not interacting with a lot of animals, but the ultimate desert is the darkness. That is the complete removal of everything else, and so, it’s kind of curious to me, and I would hypothesize that the most enlightening experience would not be to go to just a sandy place and just chill under a tree in a sandy place, which I'm sure the isolation, the a pasana of just being alone in a sandy place where the sun comes up and the sun comes down.

I'm sure that's valuable, but you really want to go deep. The desert is a cave; the desert is the. That luxurious, you know, everything that's available in the black and the opening of all of your other extra sensory faculties. So I was curious to kind of think about that. And then there's some Tibetan Buddhist traditions where they stay in caves for 49 days. There's some other mystical traditions where medicine, young medicine men and women are kept in caves for most of their childhood. 

There's a lot of these other things pointing to this, but I think that fear around it is pretty significant. But the thing itself is actually fairly comfortable. So imagine like a rectangular room, you walk through the door, I got a little cot to my left and the cot has, they actually upgraded the bedding for me. Had a little neck pillow. Had a little memory foam. 

Erick:  Nice. 

Aubrey:   It was really nice. Then to my right, as soon as I enter the door is a little table where I can eat in a little chair with a rattan kind of wood that's around it. And that's very important because I fucking smash my face on it. So, and then there's a window that's completely blacked out that you're able to open, because that's the only way to get in circulation. And then there's a radiator underneath the window, and then there's a tiny little toilet and a shower. 

And then there's a dresser and in the other, like far left hand side, there's a dresser and then there's a little tiny little couch thing where it's like a one seater and a yoga mat. So the whole room is probably 20 foot by 10 foot and but cozy. And then to get into the room, you go through two doors and then you go into this little hallway across from my door was another room, another blacked out room, and if I went left, then that was where they dropped off the food. 

Erick:  So it's almost cost like there was an in between chamber where you were sleeping and where they were, all that Exactly. You could go meet, but it was still completely black.

Aubrey:   Completely black. So there's a little hallway in there. And then if I went to the right, that took me through two doors into the main house. If I went left, it took me to the end of the hallway where they would drop off my food. And they would ring a little bell and drop off my food. 

Erick:  So the this in between chamber was where they would leave food and you would walk out there? 

Aubrey:   Yeah. You open your door walk out and get the food.

Erick:  Got it.

Aubrey:   And so I kind of spent the first day when I arrived, just kind of memorizing the place and they had a couple little they had two little girls who lived in the house, which was really sweet. And one of 'em picked out this necklace that I have, you can hear me kind of rolling the beads if you're just listening. They're called rudraksha seeds and they come from this, these sacred trees in India, and they each have different meanings depending on how many eyes they have. It has another Hindu name, but…

Erick:  They look like little brains. 

Aubrey:  I know they do look like little brains, and she just picked it out for me. Her name was Ananda I was like, which necklace should I have? She's like, oh, this one. I was like, okay, I'll bring that in and I'm really glad I did because this was kind of like an anchor. This was my little blankie. This is my blankie, things got like really gnarly there in the black, which they certainly did. So then I spent everything, the first night just kind of memorizing everything and just like, okay, this is where this is, this is where my clothes are, these are where all my supplements are. 

This is where everything that I need is, this is where I have extra nuts in case I'm hungry cuz the diet was raw vegan, so I wanted to make sure I had a little extra protein. So I got some nuts and had a few different things and I was like, all right, I think I got everything. Sort it out and next day went for a little hike shot a little video footage on my phone, which I don't know what I'm gonna do with, but maybe there'll be cuz it's quite a bit of video footage. 

You actually watched one that I did infrared in the dark with my mind fold. And then prepared to go in. The other thing about that is you have a mind fold, blindfold. So if people don't understand the mind fold, blindfold, this is technology, like anything else's technology, even though it's not electronic, it is the absolute best blindfold for blocking out all light and allowing you to open your eyes. So if anybody is looking for a blindfold for meditation, for any kind of work, like look up the mind fold, blindfold, and it's phenomenal. 

And that's essential for this because as I said, to get circulation into the room, you have to open the window, so before you open the window, you gotta put on your mind fold. So you still continue to block out all light. 

Erick:  Yeah, because when you're in that state the smallest sliver of light will look like a fucking flashlight or something. 

Aubrey:  Yep. And it will start to if you have a light accident, which I did have actually at one point a light accident interest, they call 'em a light accident.

Erick: Interesting. Yeah.

Aubrey:  It's like you like spilled light on yourself. Then it will slow down the visions that you have significantly, because your brain will start to trigger whatever response. I mean, they have their theories about it, right? And we're venturing into the unproven, basically what they're saying is that when your body's used to the circadian rhythm of light triggering the hormonal responses and then diminishing melatonin and then darkness increasing melatonin, which I know some people point to the fact that this doesn't work exactly this way for blind people. 

And I don't know how that really works with blind people, the circadian rhythm and the melatonin cycle it is known that light affects the melatonin cycle and circadian rhythm. So I think for people who are adapted to light when you're in darkness, that's when the melatonin spikes. 

Erick:  Right. My understanding of it is that even if you're blind, your eyes are still receiving information that photons are hitting it, but your brain isn't converting it two images, and it's the absence of the photons that trigger the hallucinations of the individual.

Aubrey:  I think that makes sense. I think that makes sense. It'd be cool to talk to like a scientist about this, especially given this experience and given my extensive experience with DMT and being like, yo, like what?...

Erick:  It's the same dude. 

Aubrey:  Like what do we gotta do besides cut someone's brain open to kind of prove that this is happening here? So that would be interesting to do. So anyways we start off with the process and Bharati, she sings some Hindi songs we have a candle and then she blows out the candle and it's just pitch black. And there I am in the darkness. 

Erick:  One of the things that I wanna lay out for people is that the hero's journey is not this linear, like step by step by step.  It often, you can jump between these things. They're archetypical stages of experience of basically transformation. And that stage four is meeting the mentor. And on one level, Bharati was a mentor.  But once you got into the darkness and then the visions were the mentor. But if we're going to put this structure onto this story of the Hero's Journey, stage four, meeting the mentors, that was Bharati. 

That was her creating this container for you and then crossing the threshold was when she blew out the candle. 

Aubrey:  Yeah. That was it. That was the cross crossing the threshold moment. And then once you cross the threshold, you're in a new ordinary world, like your ordinary world is gone and your new world is not so ordinary, but it's, it's your world. So like the immediate thing that you realize is you start to learn about how to navigate that world. Like you don't know when you're done wiping. What are your options? You gonna smell the toilet paper or you just gonna hop in the shower? 

Well, I chose, I'm just gonna hop in the shower. So all of my showers were dictated by when I needed to dig shit. Because that was like the only way that I knew I was gonna be clean.

Erick:   Yeah. And like in the hero's journey there's the ordinary world. Crossing the threshold puts you into the special world or the unusual world, or the unordinary world. And a part of the trials is learning simply how to be in that new place because it's not what you used to know. And the fact of removing all site like what was once the ordinary world is now the unordinary world and a part of being a human is we have to make the unordinary ordinary in order to function inside of it. 

So you had to relearn how to shit. How to brush your teeth? How to walk, how to eat.

Aubrey:  Okay, talk about, brush your teeth, right? Like it's so hard to see things in the dark, like getting the toothpaste in the right amount on the toothbrush head, I realized very quickly was impossible. So here's how you brush your teeth. You brush your teeth by flipping open the toothpaste and squeezing it in your mouth and then just grabbing the toothbrush and then rubbing it around. Like there's no putting the toothpaste on the toothbrush like that. 

That doesn't work, right? And then with food, you really are just in a state of like trust with what you're eating. Like you can't really look at it and I would kind of feel it. And this was another big thing is I'm constantly washing my hands and sanitizing my hands, and I recognize that while this may have some pragmatic benefit, it is also me like coding my hands in a constant little layer of fear. It's my fear of getting sick and it's my fear of transferring germs, right?

So I'm caught in this weird thing of is this practical or is this just actualizing my fear, but in the darkness, like you really don't have that opportunity because your hands are your sight so you're touching everything. You have to like touch all of your food. You have to touch the walls to find your way. You have to touch all of the things around you. I would've spent the entire time just fucking sanitizing my hands from all the things I was looking for on the ground, looking for on the wall. 

So I had to be like what? Like this just isn't gonna work. I have to like let go of this thing that I'm used to and like embrace that fear.

Erick:   Yeah, and what's interesting is that feels like it reveals that in your waking life when you have sight, the constant sanitizing of the hands is like, you're amputating a part of your sense body because if you don't allow yourself to use your hands to experience the world, it's like you're removing a part of your tools.

Aubrey:  Totally. Yeah, totally. And thinking about it constantly what kind of occupation of thought is that going on in my mind where I'm constantly like, oh, well I've touched that. I better wash my hands after I that. And now if I'm eating food, like I gotta stop that. Like I don't know how many times I go to a restaurant and before I'll even have the bread or do anything, it's like, ah, sorry guys, let me just go to the restroom. Or maybe I'll have some hand sanitizer in my fanny pack and like maybe that's prevented me from getting sick. 

Once or twice in my life but if you really read about it, like that's usually not why you get sick. You get sick cuz you're around somebody who's fucking sick. Like it's okay to touch things but you just get used in these habitual patterns and so wrestling with my wellness was definitely something that was exposed quickly from that thing. The other thing is silence. People are talking about the darkness and the darkness is obviously the main medicine there, but it's also silent.

Silent like that in and of itself is intense and for those of us who've been in a sensory deprivation tank, that's the point is silence and darkness. But it's short and the weightlessness gets you in this kind of meditative process. Then at a certain point you start to stir and you're like, okay, good. Oh, my session's over. Session's not over it's just like, it's continual so to break up the silence, they had— Bharati had a device in there, which was a little speaker with no lights, and you just click it on and it does one thing and it has they call it an om box and it plays om on a 15 second loop.

Erick:  Whoa. 

Aubrey:  Indefinitely. So it's, omm. and that's like all you got. That's all you got. So your choices are dead silence or the om box. Or you can, if you're getting fresh air, you can put your mind fold on and open the window and you'll start to hear some outside sounds. But you're quite lovely. The outside sounds were actually my preference, but the mindful itself gets irritating to the eyes and so you can't keep that on for like longer than an hour without that being like an irritant.

So it was just this kind of balance of like silence, om, and repeat, which eventually became maddening cuz I kind of like over relied on that. And then the outside, which was like the moments of heavenly sound. Just hearing an occasional bird or hearing a rooster and…

Erick:  Just to bring something awareness, like all of us in our day. When we're on autopilot, it's literally maybe one second of no stimulus and our brain instantly reaches for the cacophony of things that we go to, to not be still. And like I could go a week and not have more than a single second of non-reactive seeking of stimulus. And the fact six days, like I remember the day that you went in. I was going to bed that night and like it came up in my head like, what if I did this?

And I felt my face get flushed with fear when I was lying in bed thinking about like, I don't think I'm at a point in my life where I could do this, like where I could do six days.

Aubrey:  I was shocked at what an initiation it was. Like I was called to it and so I kind of came in with a certain confidence and a certain thoughtlessness about it. But I was really shocked at the intensity of it. What you, what you just said though, reminded me of kind of in one of the last days, the first few days were really hard escalating into kind of like peak challenge, probably around day three or four in certain ways. There was also another secondary really deep challenge in day five, and I want to go through all the days. 

But I remember in, in one of the lighter moments on day five, I was thinking like, I used to complain about long plane flights, you fucking pus, complaining about long plane flight. Oh, you have your favorite books and you have movies, and you have someone you can talk to and you can order things from a fucking, and you can see stewardess and you can see and you can listen to all your music. And like you're in a virtual parent. Oh and you have to change.

Like, I don't, like changing. I don't like connecting flights and I'm like, oh, you have to go to an airport where there's tons of people and things you can buy and snacks you can have and like, you're worried about that, and you can hop on your phone and call whoever you want or text someone and you'll hear something back or communicate with hundreds of thousands of people on your social media. You're complaining about that. Like, get the fuck outta here. 

Because in the, in the darkness, in the isolation, you got nothing. You got none of that and so it really shifts, like shifts your appreciation for these times that we think are bored. I go, oh man long plane flight. You had everything. All right. Maybe you can't go to the gym when you're on the plane. Maybe you can't run around. There's slight limitations to the radical freedom that we're used to when we're home or when we've arrived somewhere.

But it's still like a paradise of activities and things that you can do both distract and like informative and accretive to your life in all of the different ways.

Erick:  Yeah. And there's a reflection of hedonic adaptation that if we're unconscious, our mind will take for granted the symphony of perfection that's happening and will only look for the things that we wish were different. And by removing all of it, you know, it really reconnects us to the gratitude like, we live in a banquet like everyone listening to this, cuz I'm sure there can, there are people who will tell the story, oh, I'm not Aubrey, I don't have what Aubrey has. He's talking shit that I can't relate to.

If you have the time to hear this and you have the means to listen to this, like you are in the 1% of the world, you are living in a feast and it's, it's really easy to take it for granted if you don't put yourself through these types of initiation rituals, and you don't have to go in darkness for six days. You could simply go outside, turn off your phone, spend one hour not reacting, and then the whole day is more delicious. 

Aubrey:  Absolutely. And I mean, people who are judging, this idea of judging something that's better. I know I'm jumping around here a little bit, but one of the things that I was invited to after my fourth day in the darkness was the family gets together, brought in the family, and every night as part of their spiritual tradition, they sing songs and chants together at night. So her husband and her two daughters, and then anybody else who's been helping in the kitchen and any other guests that they want to invite to their family thing, get to go down there and sing. 

Erick:  That's beautiful.

Aubrey:  And it was absolutely beautiful, man. I mean, this is a humble house in Sach in Walden, Germany. But having everybody around there and there's certain songs where they have like, think a three-year-old and a five-year old. The five-year-old can sing a little bit. The three-year-old, all she can do is run around in between us. And I had my blindfold on, but I could hear the bells. She has a little bell and she just rings this bell and I thought about it and I was.

This is fucking family. Like this is the most important thing period. And I remember back to my own childhood, I remember when my family, we all lived in a two-bedroom cabin on a place in Dripping Springs. This was when I was still in high school. My mom, my stepdad and my three sisters lived in the master bedroom. I had my own bedroom, which was basically just a bed and all there was a living room kitchen. That was it. It was like, it was like a basically like a trailer sized home. 

It was absolutely the happiest time our family had ever had because every night, you know what? You know what there was to do? Nothing. We didn't have tv, so we just put on music and we sang and we danced, and we did karaoke performances and we just hung out with each other. And it was like the happiest time. Like we all went to bed so full and now there's mansions and there's big places. Obviously my stepdad's business has flourished and everything is on a bigger scale. 

But what was the best time? The best time wasn't that? The best time was when we were all in that little cabin and I think the best time for that family that I was staying with is when they're all just singing together. And they're all like right there together. So this idea that more makes you happier, that really starts to dissolve. Because you don't care about that what did I ultimately care about? I just cared about like hugging the people I loved.

I just cared about being able to talk to 'em. Music alone, like all of us can listen to music. If you're listening to this podcast, you can listen to music. You know what a fucking gift it is to listen to music? Like that is, it's just incredible. When you've been in silence for so long, like music is so rich in its own, like in its own way and all of the things we get to experience nature, all of these things. It's not like I was like, man, I miss my, I miss my really nice watch. 

I miss my blah, blah, blah, it was not that. It's like you miss the, the real stuff, the connections. 

Erick:  I think that stir your soul not the ego.

Aubrey:  Yeah. Exactly, exactly. Those are really important lessons cuz we can get stuck in this more for more's sake growth for growth's sake, but it may actually be taking us farther from what we really, really want.

Erick:  Yeah. Which is intimacy, which is the opposite of space that the mansions and the cars and the planes give. Because that increases space. Whereas what the soul wants is like, I want you next to you we're singing, we're hugging, we're loving.

Aubrey:  And if you listen to my podcast I did with Travis Kristofferson, and he talks about how loneliness, self-reported loneliness is the number one indicator of premature death. And the blue zones, they keep looking to dietary, reasons for the blue zones, which are areas where people live a long time and he's like, it's not the diets. The diets vary a little bit and they're usually decent, but some have a lot of rice, some have a lot of olive oil, some have a lot of yogurt.

You can point to whatever thing that you like, but ultimately they're all in places that are packed very closely together. So there's a sense of community. That you're around people, you're inviting people over for dinner. There's people constantly in your life. You're close in, close proximity. And that's I think really what fills us with that kind of joy and love that not only keeps us alive, but makes life worth living. 

Erick: Yeah. The thing that comes up is it's almost like our psyche has evolved to be a part of a body of people, and that when you buy the mansion and you have the job, it's like a tourniquet around the hand. And if it can't connect to the rest of the body, it dies. But it just wants to fucking be connected. 

Aubrey:  And that tourniquet might look like a Rolex. You may be putting Rolex tourniquets on all your hands and numbing yourself out and that's I think the tragedy of the story of the ordinary world. So anyways, I go in there though…

Erick:  And yeah, day one. Please stop.  

Aubrey:  Day one, before we jump too far ahead. Day one, the first, I have a really deep meditation on day one, which was great. I think I was really ready for it. And the blackness is just such a beautiful technology. It's like, It's luxurious. It's beautiful. I even had the word, I wasn't even sure what this word meant, and sometimes I would get words in my head and I was like, wow, the blackness is obsequious. I was like, obsequious.

I don't think I'd even really know what that means, but that means like really attentive. It would be like there's an obsequious waiter who's just constantly providing you with what you need. It's just so rich and abundant that it's just the such a great teacher. And it's so full, we think of black as the absence of things. Black is the everything. It's all of the things. And that's just the way that you look at it. And it became really clear in these early meditations.

Like if you have the most blinding white light and you have the deepest, darkest black, they're the same thing. You see nothing. It's just the one, you're back to the one at that point. So whether it's everything, all the light or nothing, all the black, it's all the same. Everything, nothing. It's all, it's just a matter of perspective. And so within the black is everything. So many people came and I appreciate their well wishes. There was so many people saying, sending you light, sending you light. And I was like I appreciate that but send me darkness. 

And it's just as much beautiful. It's just a matter of your perspective. I remember seeing an upside down heart and it was so, it's the other way, upside down heart. And it just reminded me that black is just another way to look at the manifestations and articulations of love in the universe. It's just the other way of looking at it. So we think light equals love equals divinity. Black equals chaos equals love equals divinity. It's all the same. It's just about our perspective. 

And I think as I started to unravel this more and more, you start to just recognize, and plant medicine does a great job of this too. And Ram Dass's teachings have been a huge guide in this, but just learning to really love and appreciate all aspects of the cosmic dance. 

Erick:  Yeah, and I think that it's a reflection of the ordinary world that most of us have this implicit assumption that God is half and God is the light. And then whatever the opposite of God is, is this other half and that's the darkness. And it's been so embedded in us by Christianity that there's God in the devil. But what plant medicines will show you and what the darkness showed you is it's like an aurora borealis. And the as you go around, you come back and it's all God. 

Aubrey:  Yup. That's the truth. That's the truth. It was interesting, when I went back, I had a lot of visions and it was interesting for me to see that some of my visions started on day one. They were just in the depth of my meditation. And they weren't the fractal kind of visions, but certain times things come to me in deep meditations and I think between, at that point the om box was really working, kind of helping me put into trance. I was doing a lot of the breathing techniques.

I went really deep with some breath work and that was kind of the first moment where I started to have a some really profound visions, and that was one that I think I've shared with most people just in person was that was actually when I had my vision of Buddha. And that was because I was really in a somber place. When I went in there, like I wasn't happy and I haven't been happy for a long time. I found a moment of happiness, some moments of happiness in Poland.

Just being around my friends and brothers. And I remember sitting around at the dinner table after one of our crazy adventures and I actually started to just by myself, just tear up and like someone, I think Matthew Hussie, he's like, what's going on, mate? And I was, I'm just fucking happy, man. I'm really just happy. That happiness was such a contrast to my life before. It was profound cuz I'll burst into moments of laughter or different things, but for the most part I'm a pretty somber kind of fellow which is probably surprising the most.

But that's kind of my normal state, unless I intoxicate my way out of it or find some other solution to kind of get me to the other side. And I wouldn't go so far to say that I'm depressed. I think a lot of those depressions I've been able to kind of work through but it's just kind of like pretty low energy and pretty kind of down and in the darkness. There's nothing that you're putting on for anybody. So I just really let myself. I just was what I was in there. 

So anyways, I see Buddha and Buddha comes as this shining like golden, golden light figure. And I just recognized it as Buddha and Buddha was smiling so big, and I'm all somber and I say, Buddha, why are you smiling? And Buddha says to me, in my own mind's eye goes, why aren't you smiling? And that actually made me smile a little bit. And then Buddha started laughing. I said, Buddha, why are you laughing? And Buddha says, why aren't you laughing? And I was like, oh. Yeah. I get it.

There was nothing else to say. Whenever I encounter a being like that I always think like, I should've asked some more interesting shit. I should've fucking really come out with some, some questions like a notepad. But that's the Buddha nature. The Buddha nature is like the release all your attachments. So of course you're smiling.

Erick:  I think a reflection of it is you've done enough work where you already know that you know, and there's a pretending that you don't know and that when you're in that space and it's just you and the beings coming through your psyche, they know that, you know, and so a lot doesn't need to be said.

Aubrey:  Yeah. Yeah, a lot of those encounters were really short and it was, but it was beautiful. I mean, it was something that's impactful knowing that if I had a little Buddha that I could hang out with and every time I'm taking shit too seriously, Buddha would be there to be like, smiling, and I'd look and be like, why aren't you smiling? I don't know, my own delusions, my own shit, my own attachments to this thing. 

That's important now, but it's gonna be trivial in fucking 20 minutes or 20 days or 20 years, whatever. It's still in the span of time it's gonna be trivial. But I'm still caught up in it for now. 

Erick:  And the truth is that you do have that. 

Aubrey:  Yeah. 

Erick:  A Buddha’s here now. 

Aubrey:  I know. 

Erick:  What were the other visions that came to you on day one?

Aubrey:  There was just interesting visions of different kind of landscapes and different kind of worlds, but there wasn't anything that particularly stood out. Like I listened to my recordings and I was, I think I went into the, such a deep theta that it was crossing that threshold of dream in a way. And those are the hardest ones to remember because my mental recorder is not like on full blast. An easier dream to remember, like when you're in that kind of feels like a gamma, brainwave.

Where you're like hyperactive but still in the calm or alpha and things like that, it's easier to remember what you're experiencing. But in the theta, it was like, I basically was just in my record. Like, wow, that was a long, deep meditation. I don't remember that much. But I remember feeling like it was a preview of what was to come but it was kind of like blinded from me and maybe even for a reason.

Erick:  And that's one of the interesting thing about dreams is that I often have dreams where I don't remember what the dream was, but the feeling that I felt it was trying to convey is super clear and that I actually don't have to remember the dream. Yeah. And so it feels like the vision was like, you know it's coming and it's coming buckle up. 

Aubrey:  Yep. Yeah, man. And then, so then starting after that good meditation felt kind of refreshed and just started trying to figure out the room a little better. And then the overwhelming thing that I kind of started to realize is I started just chewing on a lot of these issues. These little practical decisions and relationships that had struggle. I would get in the process of these what I would call mentalbation which is just like going back and forth. 

And just jerking off these thoughts and like creating these hypothetical arguments and these hypothetical right scenarios where I say this and they say this. And I would just think about that and be like, how much have I done this my whole life. Interestingly, in Poland, I got to get really close with Mike Posner and for whatever reason, he was the voice I heard the most in the first few days of the journey. And I would get in one of these things and I would just hear his voice in my head and he would go, bro, honestly, it's not that important.

I'd be like, yeah, man, you're right. But I started to like catch myself in that. That carried on through day two. Like day two the meditation wasn't as deep, so it was really just me and my psyche, and it was fucking ugly, it was just ugly. I'm just going through this thing and this thing. I think at some point I decided that I needed to sell all my houses, and at some point I decided I needed to like move everything and like get out, I needed to get rid of everything and all my things were external.

I gotta do this and do this and do this and do this. I figuring all this shit out and like, ah, maybe not, I don't know, like, ah, I gotta get rid of all these relationships and blah, blah, blah. And it was like me just kind of going in this mental tirade, trying to fix what I was feeling internally, externally. But really, ultimately what I ended up realizing is that everything that I needed to fix was internally and that my life was actually fucking awesome. But I wasn't there yet. 

I was just like, I need to do this and I need to do this and I need to do this, and I, and I need to do this. And it was also serious and also like dramatic and also kind of, it was really, really interesting and I had some, like some interesting ideas that came out of that. Like I had this idea the benefit of everybody having like a public confessional where your deepest, darkest things that you hold in shame, you just share 'em. And let people roast you for 'em. 

But that's okay. That's like your willingness to be martyred because you're giving freedom and permission for the next person to do it. And then the next person who does it is like, here's all my shit. Here's the porn that I watch. Here's the thoughts that I have. Here's the negative things that have run through my mind. Here's the, here's the drugs that I've taken. Here's the things that I've done. Like here it all is and like the liberation that would come from that was like really interesting. So it wasn't like all of it was wasted, but man, a lot of it was wasted.

Erick:  Yeah. A couple of things that come up is so everything in our life that we make a subconscious or conscious agreement to ourselves that we want to change, it becomes an open loop is what cognitive psychologists call it. And it's like you're opening a tab on the browser of your consciousness and the average person has like 150, the average CEO has about 500, and when you remove all stimulus, your brain starts to go through the tabs and you have hundreds. 

And the really interesting thing for me is I'm starting to get to the point where I'm starting to feel overwhelmed by the amount of things that I'm saying yes to. And when it comes to relationships, like I almost never think out having a conversation with someone anymore because the one decision that I've made, like a spiritual commitment to, that removes the 10,000 decisions of trying to think about how a conversation will go is do I have the awareness to hear my truth in the moment? 

If yes, speak it. Done. And like a lot of people talk about, like when they take a shower, they'll think about an argument with someone or that when they're going on a walk or when they're going to sleep, they think about how they're gonna work through a discussion. That does not happen to me, and it's because I've made the commitment to that one thing, and it's just like I release the egoic expectation of trying to control what this would be. 

I probably have an irrational belief in the God thing that if I just say my truth, whatever, whatever. And it closes like 200 tabs or the most highly rational. 

Aubrey:  And that's what I was really rec wrestling with is cuz I do that so much and it's such a fucking colossal waste of time because it just puts me in these anxious states. One thing you learn in the dark is you have to do very everything very intentionally and everything's very slow, but it's not Zen slow where you're like doing things effortlessly and perfectly. Like imagine a Zen T ceremony where you're grabbing the glass. And like, it's like everything is like this ef, it's clumsy slow.

You still are moving slow, but you're feeling around and you're getting your fingers in the avocado and you're like screwing it up. It's not like, but you have to do it intentionally otherwise you just make a mess of things. In that kind of way that idea of just going through all of these different other things just ends up like putting you in a state. So when I was in these like mental arguments, hypothetical mental arguments with people who I had unresolved issues with.

I remember that was the first time that I caught myself eating and I was eating so unconsciously I was just like just ravenously going through this bowl of food as fast as I could, which look, you don't have a lot of shit to do in there. Like what a waste. Not only was I in a putting myself in a negative state where I was antsy and aggravated because of this completely fictitious argument that I was having where someone was comp saying completely made up things to me and I was coming up with my own refutations to their made up things which I probably wouldn't even have balls of say in the first place.

Even if they did say that, right? And I found myself eating in this way and I was like, and then I like bit my lip and I was like, come on man. Slow. Slow down, slow down. See what's happening here. None of this is good, take your time with your food. This argument isn't real, like just calm yourself down. So that second day was so much just trying to calm myself down and I started to develop like rituals. That would help calm me down. I was taught by Bharati, they used the different fingers to denote the five elements. 

Thumb is earth, pointer finger is fire, middle finger is ether or spirit, ring finger is water and little finger is air. So I was like, all right, well look, I'm gonna do something that represents all five of these elements. So for Earth, I'm going to exercise my body. I had a myofascial ball in there, I was gonna do yoga, sometimes I would just shake. I would just move around. I'm gonna do something to keep my body moving cuz I'm confined to this small room and I want to like keep moving and not like atrophy. 

And so I was trying to do something like that. Fire I decided was, instead of actual literal fire, I decided I was gonna make it about the divine fire of my own love, my own self-love. So I took these rudraksha beads and there's 55 of them total, one of which is the guru bead, which is the one that has the little sprout of yarn at the end and I would go around and I would do Karmaravs, I love you brass. So I love myself, so I love myself, breathe out anything and then I would move from bead to bead and I would go through 54 of those which would take a while. 

And then when I would get to the guru bead, the 55th bead, that's when I would do something from Joe Dispenza or something that we did at the Fit for Service Fellowship with Maya, where I was grateful for an outcome that hasn't happened yet. Which is calling from the in Joe Dispenza’s language, calling from the quantum realm of possibilities and magnetizing it by your emotional state. What Jesus would say, pray as if it has already been done. 

So creating the reality where my body felt like what I was looking for had already happened. So I would be grateful, like, oh, I'm just so grateful that I'm outta here and I'm sharing this story and it's reaching people and it's so thankful for that. And it's like, just feels so good. So maybe it would be that, or maybe it'd be something with my health or maybe it would be something with, I'm so glad that this situation resolved in just the perfect way. I would go to that, but it would take me all the way around the 54 beads, which was also helpful as well. 

And then I would get to that and that's a practice that I've continued and want to, and want to continue as well cuz it was really helpful along that. So that was fire and then ether or spirit, that was the next one. And those were my meditations. And so that was me actually meditating long enough that I could actually form that connection to source water was me taking cold showers, which now after being in Poland, now it's like not a big deal and then that felt really good.

 That was like a refreshing thing. I suppose I could have done something with the hot too, but I just didn't have opportunity to do anything with the hot. Hot water, cold water. So I was just using the cold water and then air was my breath work practice that's breathing. And deeply putting like a bolster on your mid backs. You can really expand your lungs, belly, chest, head, and in the full whim Hof style. Breathing, breathing, breathing until you feel the tingles exhaling. 

Not all the way, but he calls it one atmosphere just to hear and then it's not all the way to here so exhaling one atmosphere and then holding your breath. He's found that that's the best way to reduce inflammation. And I was still a little fucked up from my travels to Poland reducing inflammation was huge. So I'd go for a couple rounds of that, hold my breath, and interestingly in the breath holds, I would start to get the first kind of glimpses of the flashes of light that would ultimately become overwhelming. 

So day two, it was my rituals and my na, ma, shi, va, ya those are the five elements that was explained by Bharati anyways, of earth, fire, ether, air.  I was like, all right, I'll make my way through these things. I'll eat, I'll do these different things, but for the most part, I was just fucking wrestling with myself. And visions were very limited in day two.

Erick:  And so what comes up for me in that is that stage five, that's the tests and the allies, stage six, yeah. And those were coming at you know the mentalbation, as you call it were the first tests and the allies were the ritual that you developed in the face of that test. 

Aubrey:  Yep. No doubt. No doubt. Okay. So day three and I'm also sleeping pretty good day one and day two. So that idea that the melatonin starts to produce. I think is a real thing cuz I was sleeping really well. Falling asleep, going back to sleep. 

Erick: And that's not a normal pattern for you? 

Aubrey:  It's not easy for me to sleep. So that was something that was definitely unusual. So, day three starts and day three starts to considerably harder because day three, that's when it really started to. Test me whether, and I really started to question my why. Like, why the fuck am I doing this? Because I'm just stuck in my mind. I'm wrestling with these different things. I have ways to escape. But the idea that all I would have to do is open the window and take my mind fold off.

And I would get to see the beautiful outside, or I could just tell 'em that I was done and I could go on jogs every day through the black forest, and I could go back into the meditations and just use the blackness to meditate. I could just stay there for the week, but like an unplugged, but I didn't have to do the darkness. So I'd start all of this negotiation with myself constant negotiation with myself, and that made things so much fucking worse because I realized I didn't know my why, really. 

I was called to this, I showed up and then, but I still hadn't gotten to the point where I knew my why, but I just kept hearing this voice, like have patience and I ended up having, I think a turning point that day is I was letting had my mind fold on and I was breathing the fresh air. The other part about it too is the air outside the window. Smelled so sweet and I've smelled it before here in Austin and different places, but I swear every day it was like the ozone layer went all the way down to Earth and I was breathing pure oh three air.

That was like informed by Spring Brooks and like giant pines. And it was like the most beautifully fragrant air I've ever smelled in my life. And I'm just smelling that and going like, God, I want to be outside. There was an awning, so I couldn't feel any sun or anything like that, but I could just hear the outside and I could smell the air. I was still wrestling with the idea of like, maybe I should just be fucking call it and just go outside and do this. I actually, had an encounter with my grandma and grandpa then… 

Erick:  On day on day three?

Aubrey:  …on day three and I never actually got to meet my grandpa Aubrey, but he's come to me, in visions like once or twice before, and they're both there. And Grandpa Aubrey always has a big smile and Grandma, grandma was there and grandma was like, oh, I'm so proud for you. I'm so proud of you. I love you so much. And like, you're doing it. You're really doing it. I was like, thanks, grandma. And then Aubrey was there and he was, he was kind of echoing the same sentiment and I go, I just don't know why I'm here.

And then my grandpa Aubrey goes, you're here for the darkness son. And I was like, yep, all right grandpa. Like that was enough. And like that was enough to kind of end that first round of the resistance that came from that and just beautiful that I got to even have that encounter imaginative or astral real, whatever people are comfortable with. But to have that encounter with my grandma and my grandpa. Yeah. And that was another one of the interesting kind of visions that came early. 

Erick:  Yeah. The thing that comes up for me there is that one of the classic things that you find in all the hero myths is that the moment the hero is closest to giving up, that's when the guide, the mentor shows up. And like one of the most beautiful things to think about here is that gift of being able to see your grandfather came from the fact that you put yourself in a situation where you almost gave up that when you put the psyche through initiation rituals.

It activates this part where the guides are sleeping, like the guides are in us right now, but they don't have to be stirred because we're not in acute stressor. But you put yourself in the darkness and you had the temptation of just fucking, you could just move your hand four inches and end the whole fucking thing. And because it was so close, it like, it activates a part of the psyche. That's not the ego that's like, no, you can do this. 

Aubrey:  Yeah. It really made clear like that concept too of when you know your why, you can bear almost any how, right? And then, so I really had to start questioning my why, like why am I doing this? And it was somewhat obscure to me. When I started to really meditate on the selfishness of my existence a certain degree. Like that's really what started to come up because, why am I doing this? This is uncomfortable. I don't like it. Am I doing this for me to be more comfortable? 

Well, I don't know if there's that payoff. I'm not sure about that. I know I could be a hell of a lot more comfortable now. So that's unclear, or am I doing this for the ability to share this story, and the ability to like express what I learned and I was like, yeah, maybe that, but what's the motivation behind that? Am I sharing it with people because I actually love people. And I want them to benefit from it or do I just like having something to share? Because that puts me in a position where I get the adoration of people who've done this. 

And so I started to really like, meditate on that and be like, fuck the selfishness runs deep. It's like back when I did Ayahuasca and the dragon came and the dragon was like, do you want power? And I said, yes. And the dragon says, why? and I said to help people. And then the dragon showed me all of the ways in which I'd used power that did actually help people, but how I also gained from it as well. So it kind of like just pulled apart this idea of the completely selfless act and also the strategy behind different things.

How you put out content? You choose content that is gonna fit the algorithms that are gonna actually reach the most people. So there is some strategy at play but it's if you're using strategy, are you doing it in a selfish way or a selfish way? Well, it's reaching more people, which is causing more good, but it's also giving you more feedback. So I got like stuck in this kind of deep meditation, which then eroded my why? Because as my ego started to soften the idea of more people liking my stuff or me making more money was like I don't fucking care.

What do I miss? I miss music and like hugging my friends. I don't give a shit about this other stuff. I don't need to prove anything. Then it really came down to like, it's gotta be about, it's gotta be about service like, it has to be. But to be honest, I just wasn't fully there yet. I was somewhere caught between serving my ego and serving other people, but neither one was strong enough to be a compelling why. It was like both were like, yes, I do want to help people. 

Yes, I do want to serve myself, but neither one was quite strong enough because I didn't love other people enough and my ego, I'd already seen through the Maya, the illusion of my ego, which says that more is better. It was just this kind of like weird middle ground, which I think made it really, really hard cuz without that strong, why— but then I also realized that one of the things again it was Mike Posner, I was like communicating with, oddly enough through this whole journey, but he's like, look man, you make these deals with yourself, so you learn to trust yourself. 

And it doesn't matter what it is, but every time you go back on something that you promised to yourself that you're gonna do, you trust yourself less that has a real effect. So that was this kind of thing, like, okay, yeah, like I gotta trust myself. If I say I'm gonna do this shit, I gotta do it. Because I'm so squirmy and wiggly and I can justify a million things and I can figure my way outta. Say anything. 

Erick:  The smarter you are, the easier it is for you to talk yourself out of the agreements that you make with yourself. Yeah, man. And what I really think is going on in psychedelic experiences is you're basically being confronted with how you truly feel about yourself. And if you think that you deserve to be punish, or that you deserve to go through hell, you get it. If you truly know that you honor your commitments and your truths, you get rewarded and it's almost just like your psyche is showing you, this is how you feel about yourself. 

Based off of, and I think you hit it on the head. I think it's one of the most important things that we can share with people is a lot of your life and the grace or the lack of grace that you have in your life comes from whether or not you trust yourself and the agreements that you make with yourself. 

Aubrey:  Yeah.

Erick:  Yeah, truth? 

Aubrey: Truth and I didn't really trust myself that much. I'd seen myself wiggle out of a lot of different things. I'd done the things that I needed to do. And so I had some trust, but also when it was all about me, when I'm doing something totally for me and nobody else is holding me accountable, cuz like, I'm there in the dark. I mean, and I did some shit in Poland too, that was also pretty, pretty deep and pretty committed, but fuck I had 12 really good friends there to hold me accountable.

Darkness is just me, I could just take that blindfold and I could just tilt that bitch up. There was nobody else there to kind of, to stop me from doing that. So that was a real challenge of that day.

Erick:  That feels like a big moment to recognize. 

Aubrey:  Yep. Yeah, it was. And that was that night finally I started to get the beginnings of some visionary states, and it starts with like a pulsing in your eyes. It's like a pulsing of light and just some of the fractal. Fractal stuff that starts to come. And my sleep deteriorated pretty significantly and I was wearing my aura ring, so I kind of figured that out. But day three was a hard day. A few moments in there where I had a few chuckles, which were the first times, a few positive moments, but a lot of like, a lot of it was pretty dark, pretty bleak and pretty challenging.

Day four comes and the morning hits and the early morning hours. I think I'm waking up probably well before the rooster’s crow, so it's still dark outside. So, and the visions start really coming. And the lights are flashing in my eyes. And I remember some of my friend, one of my friends from Poland, Jesse Itzler, was like, it's gonna be lit. And he was just joking it really was like I had these lights just constantly pulsing and flashing my eyes and it was like, oh shit, because that's supposed to happen around day five. 

And I had it end of day three, start day four. So it was happening before. 

Erick:  That sounds like the breath work and the meditation got you there faster.

Aubrey:  Totally. Yeah, totally. And also probably the history of work that I've done with France and all of that. But it was exciting and unnerving because I felt like I had a new radio antenna and it was like tuned into this other world, but I was like, fuck, I still got a couple days of this left to go. But I started to kind of tap in and get like more visions and more understandings and it became it started off pretty dark. Not like in the color, in the absence of life, but like demonic. 

Like demonic and like gruesome. It was a real practice of like, accepting and trying not to judge and show preference to those things that were celestial and those things that were beautiful because the more I tried to fight those other images, and some of it would be like a wheat thresher just mowing over people and I'd be like, oh my God, I don't want to fucking see this. But the more I said, I don't want to see this, the longer I would be stuck in that look of experience that what you resist, resist, persist. 

So I was seeing a lot of this like kind of gruesome Kali imagery stuff. And I think that's where like there's some real deep wisdom in these kind of Hindu traditions. It's like Kali is wearing that necklace of severed arms and severed heads and that's why I got this. And it's like that's part Shiva destroys, Brahman creates, it's this part and it's just about us releasing our preference. And finding the beauty and the destruction as well in the creation.

So it’s really kind of working with a lot of that was kind of a key part. Then finally like kind of work through that and I started to break through that after I finally really accepted that into some lighter imagery.  Into some like kind of love and more celestial kind of explorations and started to have some really interesting, like really interesting kind of understandings come in. I think the first one was, like I said, sometimes words would get stuck in my head and the word a perspectival got stuck in my head. 

I was like, this word, I can't stop saying this word and so I wonder what this is trying to teach me. And I was like, what is a perspectival? What is it in the absence of perspective? And I was thinking the soul. And I was like, no, cuz the soul has its own lifetimes and it has its own container. Well, the only thing that's truly a perspectival is nothing or everything. Omni perspectival or actually a perspectival same thing. So the only thing that's actually a perspectival is the divine is source, is the one is God.

And then so I was recognizing that. Okay, so if I was going to define what God is, then I would call it the loving a perspectival witness, law. And I was like, it was curious to me. I was like, oh, God's law the loving a perspectival witness. And I realized like if you keep playing the witness game, so there's me, the one playing Aubrey, and then there's the witness of the one playing Aubrey, and then there's the witness of the witness of the one playing Aubrey, and the witness of the witness of the witness of the one playing Aubrey.

And if you keep going to that, you eventually get to the witness that witnesses all from no perspective. It's like Herman's Trista's quote. God has an infinite sphere whose center is everywhere, but whose circumference is nowhere. Center is everywhere. Circumference is nowhere a perspectival, right?

Erick:  It takes me back to an Ayahuasca vision that, yeah, I didn't know he said that quote. That's amazing. 

Aubrey:  That's an amazing quote, right? I mean, like, you start to realize that and I was like, okay, well that's God then. And so like things, downloads started to come. And I have 13 pages of downloads and there's no way I can even remember them cuz I did them on a voice recorder and put them in. But these are some of definitely the big ones. And then I started to work on my own kind of guiding mantra for myself. You know, Maharaji told Ram Dass love everybody tell the truth. 

And I played with that one and I was like, you know, maybe eventually I'll adopt that as my own. But really what seemed to make the most sense to me was love yourself. Be honest. Because yourself is a representation of everyone and everyone…

Erick: From that does the other from that does the other. 

Aubrey:  …from that does the other from that does the other. And so like Rumi says, we are not a drop in the ocean, we are the ocean in a drop if we're able to totally love ourselves. We're able to totally love everything. So love yourself and that's a great place to start, right? Because we'll love, because we judge ourselves more than we judge any other aspect of anything typically. So love yourself and then be honest, because tell the truth is a different thing because telling it the idea is an expression of truth that is verbalized. 

And it still works, but be honest to me was just a little bit different.

Erick: It's humbler. It's like cuz it's not claiming that you have the ability to articulate the truth. But that the best that you can do is to be honest, be honest with where you are. 

Aubrey:  I'm feeling this and it's not claiming everything, anything is a fact.

Erick:  It's really interesting. 

Aubrey:  Yeah. It's just like, this is what I'm feeling. This is what I'm thinking, man, I'm fucking wicked jealous right now. Like I'm just feeling this thing, and it's, and not trying to project and claim and try to, but just really be honest. Be honest with yourself first and foremost. And then be honest with anybody else that you're communicating with. So, love yourself and be honest. 

Erick:  I really like that because there's lots of spiritual people that I've witnessed who will use this intention to speak the truth, to claim truth for another person at them. And it's like if you want to destroy a conversation, tell the other person what the truth is, it's not how that works. But if you're being honest, you can admit, this is what I'm feeling. This is the story I'm telling about what I think you're doing. And then you can actually talk about it. And I think that's a really great. 

Love yourself and be honest. Feels like you've articulated where you start. The end goal is love everyone tell the truth. 

Aubrey:  Right. I mean, this is definitely the spot for me that made the most sense. I started to explore different other kind of relationship and I might be confusing day four and five here, but I'll try and keep, I dare you keep it. I'll try and keep it roughly together. But I started coming up with acronyms for interesting things. Some of it was just guides to relationships. So if you're in a relationship, your goal should be to be loving, aware, respectful, and kind. So loving, obviously, that's the easiest one to remember. 

That means to be open, to love, to be generous with your love and to graciously receive it, not to block it off. Because I started to become aware that I've been blocking off love. I started to think of myself like I've been like a fucking action. An action hero in a movie like a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie called Hard to Love, and that was Chris Marcus, Aubrey. That was me my whole life, hard to love because I wouldn't fully let it in. Not even my mom who like loved me un as unconditionally as any human being could I just never really fucking fully let it in.  

Erick:  And to plan a flag here you would say that this is approach to the Inmost Cave is starting to recognize? 

Aubrey:  It's starting to recognize this. Yeah, for sure. For sure. It is approach to the Inmost Cave for sure and so that was it. So loving, aware, so keeping that person in mind. I think a lot of the times I've been deeply wounded. I've felt like Whitney or whatever lover wasn't aware of me. They were just like, ah, not even looking. So just be aware, be aware of yourself. Things that you may be doing and be aware of the other person. 

Respectful and respectful means respectful of somebody's boundaries because we're caught as humans in between the boundlessness of God, which knows no boundary, sure, take my life, take whatever. It's just an expression of me. I'm everything like, it doesn't matter, boundlessness, but we're humans. We have an ego and identity and a body and flesh that's permeable. So boundary is necessary like a cactus that has spines or a rose that has thorns. So we're caught between the divinity of our nature and the boundary that is the necessity for being human. So to be in a relationship, you have to respect not only your boundaries, but your partner's boundaries.

Erick: Yeah. The thing that comes to mind is like a flashlight. Like in order for the light to come through, it needs a container. And if you destroy the container, the light can't come through it anymore. We need boundaries. 

Aubrey:  Exactly. Yeah. It's an absolute necessity and any boundary that you don't put out externally, you'll create internally, and then that internal, and I started to really recognize this actually the next morning when I had a lot of anger come up. And I realized that I hadn't put out enough external boundaries. So what I did instead is I created internal boundaries. And those internal boundaries kept me from loving or receiving love from another person because I was worried about them trampling on my feelings.

But if I didn't love 'em, it didn't fucking matter anyways. So the failure to create these external boundaries doesn't actually work because you create internal boundaries, which are trickier and harder to know whereas if lovingly you create external boundaries and say, look, it just doesn't make it's not in the right accord for me to spend time with you right now. I love you as you are, but it doesn't really make sense to do this and, and this, we'd be better off spending time apart or I'm not really feeling this, or whatever the thing is. 

Erick:  And this is so hard. It like this is one of the things I struggle with the most and something that I see people who want to claim the story that they're spiritual is there's this story of, because I'm spiritual, I can endure anything. I can handle anything. So they don't…

Speaker 3: and that's spiritual bypass. 

Erick:  Yeah. 

Aubrey:  But what they're gonna end up doing is creating fucking internal boundaries. And those internal boundaries are gonna keep 'em from love and they're gonna build resentment. And eventually that fucking lids gonna come off, which happened to me a million times. Those are all my angry outbursts, which when I have these angry outbursts, then I'm shameful about the angry outbursts, then I repress those things more and then they dive even deeper. 

Erick:  Yeah, and this came up for me watching the video, and I know that we'll get to this point, but one of the things that has been coming up for me lately is this Buddhist idea of not having attachment. I think how a lot of people will try to implement that is to not actually allow themselves to deeply connect to life, to people to love, and they think that that's them being in their Buddha nature of not having attachment. But what it seems to be is that if you actually allow yourself to connect deeply to your life.

You are promised grief on the other end and then to also experience that deeply and that's the non-attachment, it's not resisting either of them being but to just fucking rip your heart open. Like who's that monkey guy that feels like that's the way, as opposed to, and I'm so guilty of this like I've read quotes about Buddha, I'm not attached aka, I haven't let myself open up to you at all, so you can't hurt me. And I'm enlightened. And it's full of shit.

Aubrey:  And that was the ordeal. So the approach to the Inmost cave was kind of figuring all this stuff out, sorting out different aspects of myself, figuring out boundary and relationship and I ended up realizing, this idea of changing people is also a misguided idea. Because all the thing that you can do, and Paul Sellek talks about this, but I never really got it. The only thing we can really give someone is to love, love them as they are. 

To love what is, and I was constantly in this trap of loving people for the potential of what they could be. Which is judgment and that judgment is going to be internalized by them. And that judgment is gonna make them have less self-love for where they are, which is going to drive them further into their destructive and other mechanisms of protection. So even though we think that we're helping them reach their potential, we're showing them that we love them if they reach that potential, which is making them ashamed and afraid of the potential that they're currently in, and we're actually being counterproductive.

And I've done that with every girl I've ever been with in my life. And it's, that was like fun, man. 

Erick:  It's so insidious because you think that you're being the loving son, but really what you're doing is not consciously and not purposely, but you are putting fear and guilt and shame of and you're calling it love. Dude, I have been there.

Aubrey:  And when I saw Whitney and I've probably done this with nobody worse than Whitney, and I saw Whitney and I finally got to see her like her face is some faces were easy, some faces were hard. It depends on how much static and friction I had. I think in seeing somebody, I finally see her, she has this crown of eagle feathers on her forehead. So I've always wanted to reach Whitney to reach her spiritual potential. And I've loved that idea of her spiritual potential, her tapping to the divine feminine. 

And I saw her looking out and I was like, yes. And then I saw her looking down at herself. Looking down at herself and what she was saying was, am I doing it right? Am I doing it right? And I was looking at her and I was like, fuck like that's, maybe I didn't create that but I exacerbated that cuz I would use my love for when I thought you were doing it right. Oh, you went on this Ayahuasca journey. It's so great, baby. Oh, I'm so happy for you. 

Oh yeah and all that does is am I doing it right? Am I doing it right? And that's not gonna get anybody to do anything. That's just gonna make her want to avoid looking at who she really is. Which is gonna give her the love, which is gonna be the baseline and the foundation for her to actually become that thing, which I've seen. But it's what Paul Sellek says, you don't actually take anybody and do anything with you just see them and love them as they are.

Erick:  And if it's their truth, they'll become it. 

Aubrey:  They'll if, and it's the only way for them to choose it. You can't drag people hand in hand up the mountain. They have to climb. I can't push somebody in a fucking bucket of ice and they'll have a whim Hoff experience. I can't hold somebody in the darkness in a cell all they're gonna be thinking about is how much they resent me for putting 'em in the darkness. You gotta walk yourself in the darkness. You gotta go into the cold yourself. 

You gotta go through, you gotta climb these mountains on your own. And the way to support someone is to love them no matter what. Like my friend, humble, the poet, who's that in Poland, like he doesn't know how to swim and the very first day he had the courage to jump into an icy water. Into a pool and he was just gonna figure it out. But if someone pushed him in that wouldn't have worked. He wouldn't have had that courage. And then another day he didn't want to do that. 

And I told him, look man, you don't have to do that. You got nothing to prove, brother, like you're worthy of. There's no reason to be hard on yourself. Just love yourself and whichever decision you make is perfect decision. And it's easier with guys like that, right? 

Erick:  For sure cuz we don't have the same attach.

Aubrey:  We don't have attached, we're not attached, we're not like hoping that they become something because we don't like whether humble did that or not. It's up to him, man, it’s up to you, it’s up to you.

Erick:  You don't care. It's up to you. You just love him. Period.

Aubrey:   Yeah, exactly. Like I love you either way. We're gonna go back to that little house in Poland. We're gonna eat some amazing food from Chef Kamoo and it's all gonna be good no matter what. I'm not gonna think any less of you cuz you didn't jump in this fucking freezing waterfall for the second time, in the middle of the night with these tiki torches up. I don't care. But with our partners and the people we're invested in and attached to. 

That's when it gets hard so like I had that realization and just like my purpose is to love people as they are. And that started to give me like a real understanding of my purpose. And it's a dangerous thing because any analysis contains some judgment to a certain degree. It's very difficult to observe and witness…

Erick:  And share.

Aubrey:  …but share it without attachment and share it with full love. The most important thing is that the love doesn't change, and I think it is valuable to share what we see. But share it as something that we see, something that we're unattached to, and share it when they're ready to receive it. Hey, I'm not seeing this and they're like, okay, well this is what I see. But this is your journey. 

Erick:  It's like whispering to a flower where the sun is but you have to let the flower reorient because if you try to force it, you might break it. You just have to whisper.

Aubrey:  And that's what Ram Dass says about the Maharaji they're in a place where they understand that we're all just walking each other home to enlightenment. It doesn't matter how many lifetimes it takes, doesn't matter if it takes this lifetime or next lifetime. It's all of our attachments about time and this lifetime and this thing that we're doing that's causing us to push people and be in a hurry where we're missing out on just the ability to love people as they are right now.

Erick:  Yeah, and the thing that comes up for me that I haven't thought about until now, but it seems to be some of the wisdom that's coming through your psyche as you went through this experience, is that, if you know yourself truly, you can articulate your boundaries to your flashlight. And then if you speak the truth with your partner, you can quickly learn whether or not their truth fits your container. And the quicker you can get to that knowing, the quicker you can let them go from your expectations. 

And you can simply love them as they are. And then you will eventually find the partner whose truth fits your container. And also it's about be open to changing your container because there's this force that's beyond the ego that brings people into your life that you fall in love with that if you let them love you and you let yourself love them, they will transform the container of the flashlight a little bit. But you have to recognize like, I'm so guilty of this in my past relationships is that over changing the truth of my container because I want them to fit inside of my flashlight.

Aubrey:  Yep. And those are when we have these desires, these desires trap us. These attachments trap us when we want something from somebody. That's the reason why Maharaji was be able to do that cuz he didn't want anything. He didn't care. He was like free of his attachment as to whether someone gained any kind of spiritual enlightenment or not. He knew they were all getting there anyways because he was seeing from a perspectival approach. 

This is just one of infinite worlds and locus of existence and it's all helping the soul learn and it's fine, but our attachment and our desires will cause us to adjust our boundaries and like adjust the way that we act, adjust the things that we're trying to create…

 Erick:  Outside of our truth.

 Aubrey:  …outside of our truth. So I came up with the other acronym, HEB, which is a funny grocery store that's here in Austin, but it worked and its honesty. Like radical honesty, expectation management. Well, first of all LARK was the first one. Loving, Aware, Respectful, Kind. Kind is actually one that I struggled with. But I really understood that kindness is just, there's a kind of dispassionate nature to being a perspectival. It's like, ah, I don't care. 

But kindness is sometimes like giving a little bit more of a soft landing not pushing yourself. So pushing somebody so much into the radical truth by sharing the thing that you're just kind or maybe not doing. The things that are gonna be so super challenging that it's actually just kindness. I think is a human thing respecting that the human body has tenderness and that we're not treating each other like, oh, you're just a soul…

Erick:  Machines. Right. 

Aubrey:  Machines, yeah. And then so that was, that was to finish that. That's LARK. And then LARK is one bird, a finch is another bird. And the other part of the thing I thought about finches was instead of finches, flinches, like all of those things that create flinches I'm trying to like LARK is not flinches. So like you create something you're not trying to create flinches, which are protective mechanisms. Do your best to remove the flinches and the flinches come after a surprise.

Imagine when you flinch in reality at someone giving you one of those and you flinch. It's like something that you didn't expect. Well, you can avoid the flinching by just riding with the truth. Riding with the truth. So there's no slap, there's no gap from the truth that you're expressing. The boundaries are clearly expressed interesting, and there's no gap. So as LARK is not flinch as HEB, honesty, expectation management.  And that was another one that I was like really going deep on, is the idea of expectation which is any expectation we have is completely ludicrous. 

It just leads to disappointment because that's saying that I know better what should happen. I know better what should happen in the world than what the all what the capital M mystery, what the capital U universe knows. I know better and if it doesn't meet that well, it's wrong.

Erick:  Yeah. And there's something inherent about if you're in expectation, you are denying the truth of what is.

Aubrey:   Exactly. You're hypothesizing that something should be different than what it is.

Erick:  Which will you take a moment to think about it. It is insanity.

Aubrey:  It's insanity. It is what it is and you're saying, no, no, no. What is isn't what should be. What hubris. And that's the ego taking the role and pretending to be God. I know best and what happened isn't what should have happened. 

Erick:  An interesting thing that comes up for me is I think you're only allowed to have expectations for yourself about what you feel you could be, but you don't get the right to have expectations over how other people are or what they should be. You can see what you feel is your intuition about what they could be, and that's whispering to the flower. And I do think a part of going on the hero's journey is that feeling that what is could be otherwise. But you only get to do that with you.

Aubrey:  And even then, it shouldn't be an expectation. It should be an intention because otherwise we won't love yourself hurt if it turns out differently, right? Like my intention is this but I don't have an expectation. What is this? If I wasn't, if I pulled my blindfold off, then what this? And I was, that's what was, so the expectation that I was gonna last six days, or the expectation that I was gonna be celibate for six months and it only turned out nine days, well that was my intention, but I learned something along the way. 

And what is was, and what was? And you just start to accept that it's like a much deeper acceptance. Which helps you love yourself and helps you love other people. But yes, you're right. You can have intentions for yourself where you must be mindful of intentions for other people, it's their prerogative to make the intentions for themselves. And then the other once again, we've been talking about is you have to have firm boundaries.

The more you move your boundaries around, the less trustworthy you're gonna be with yourself or they're gonna be less trustworthy with you. So honesty, expectation, management, and boundary. So I started to like really learn those kind of like key elements.

Erick:  It sounds like these were the treasures in the chest inside of the cave. 

Aubrey:  Yeah, and this was all leading up to this the approach to the Inmost cave where I'm like starting to sort some like really important shit out here. And then I started to have some more kind of loving celestial visions. I started to see rainbows. I started the fractal patterns increased. What was really interesting is I got to a place where finally that tension in my chest that I talk. It just released and I was in really deep peace, and I could actually see like the demons in my mind, they were throwing confetti in the air.

It was like a big celebration. And my mind was like, you can take your blindfold off, man. Now you did it. You did it. And I was like, oh fuck. I remember just wrestling with that again. Like maybe I did, maybe I'm done. 

Erick:  Was there a specific vision or thought that happened right before the release in your chest?

Aubrey:  I think it was the combination of, I saw a couple visions with the key relationships that I'd had struggle with. I also went through this whole thing about loving what is, and I felt like I found some deep truth. All of the stuff we've recently been talking about, those all came. And then I also had a really personal and powerful vision of my father and in this vision of my father he was in the corner of the room and he was reading a book. 

My father's had mental illness for the last eight years or so. And in that mental illness he's heard voices that have told him that he was any variety, delusions of grandeur and that sort of thing. So Messiahs, Kings, whatever. I see my father in the corner of the room and there's a lamp and he's reading a book and I say, hey dad, what book are you reading? And he says, the Book of Lies. And I said, dad, why are you reading the book of Lies? 

And he says, well, it tells me all kinds of things I want to hear. It tells me I'm a king, it tells me I'm a Messiah. It tells me all these things. Then he closes the book. He's like, but I'm reading the Book of Lies because I never thought I was enough, because the truth was that I never love myself and I was never enough. And then he throws the book over his shoulder and he says, son, no matter what, remember that you're enough.

Remember that you're worthy of love and it's not about what you do, and you don't have to be a king, and you don't have to be a messiah, and you don't have to be anything special. You're worthy of love just for being who you are. And it was like just such a powerful moment of my dad saying like this is why I turned to the Book of Lies. My psyche turned to the Book of Lies, but you never have to do this. And both me and my dad share this really strong internal judge, and I learned that from him to a certain degree. 

And I remember just saying like, dad, just know that everything he did was perfect. Everything he did was perfect because look where I am now. Here I am dad, like you did it, he did it. I don't know my ability to be able to share that with him in 3D reality. But just sharing that with him and knowing that I'm gonna do my best, whether it's to write a letter or kind of find a way to reach him in whatever state that he's in, to just say like, look what you did was perfect.

And then I also told him that I would help with my little brother and help with my stepmom and some of the things he was worried about. So I had that big, profound vision. So, it felt like I'd reached a point where I'd broken through and my mind was like, you're done, bitch. You're outta here. He did it. Congratulations. 

Erick:  The reason the demons were throwing the confetti were like, we need to get him outta here right now. So we don't look at the real thing.

Aubrey:  Exactly. Exactly. I there's a 24-hour call button, so I hit the 24-hour call button and Bharati comes in to talk to me. How you doing? I say, I think I'm done. I think I'm done. I think this is it. And she's like, well, why don't you think about this? Come down to our little singing session tonight. And if after the end of that we'll do a little gong bath and we'll do a few things. And if after that you're done, you're done, that's fine. But the mind is tricky.

And she was like the mind is tricky. And sometimes it says you're done when you're not done. So just be sure. And I was like, yeah, that makes sense. 

Erick:  Mentor.  

Aubrey:  Yup, and so I went through that night and I remember as soon as I made the decision to keep the blindfold on, all of that ease that was in my chest kind of contracted. I was like, oh fuck I should have just taken my blindfold off. I should have just stuck with what I was thinking. But ended up through all the prayers and all the visions and all of the gongs and everything, I just started seeing so much more. The pulsing lights were increasing, the visionary state was increasing my access to seeing these huge geometric DMT fractal, beings and entities and all this was just going overload. 

And I was like, all right, I got more to do. I was like, I'm gonna stay. And she's like, you can come out tomorrow if you want. I was like, you know what? I think I wanna stay in here two more days, which would be six days. And I had some like kind of like romantic ideas of seven days. And on the seventh day they said, let there be light. 

Erick:  Jesus baby. 

Aubrey:  Yeah, exactly. I was like, fuck it. And I'm like, I'm at least two more days. I'm gonna go through a full day. And I'm really glad I did because that night I didn't sleep much. Maybe two and a half hours on the aura ring and the visions were so intense and I woke up and I had a dream with a lot of anger. I hadn’t felt a lot of emotion, not a lot of tears. Some like when I had that vision with my dad and the vision with Whitney. But anger really started to come up and that's when I really started to explore anger.

And it was interesting cuz I heard one of the kids, I think the three-year-old kid. Three-year-old girl in the house and she had a fit. She just started expressing her rage and like so angry. 

Erick:  Before your anger or during your anger?

Aubrey:  After angry. So I'm angry in the morning, I'm like, wow, I'm angry. I'm fucking angry. And I started exploring that, I started feeling. Oh, but I'd repressed all of that anger. I was just like a kid who just yelled and screamed and got it all out, I probably wouldn't repress it. And I think so much of the repression of anger has been what's kind of kept me sad. And like kept me kind of bottled up and kept me anxious was, and part of that is not having healthy boundaries…

Erick:  That's exactly what was going my…

Aubrey:   …allowing people to trample my boundaries and then overreacting. And then being in this thing of anger is bad cuz my dad used to be angry, so I learned that anger is bad and the way that I've used anger has been bad. So then anytime I feel anger come instead of being like, okay. Here's anger. This means that I've not let a boundary. I've let a boundary be transgressed, but then I'm also like bottling up this anger. So for the first part of day five, I was just processing anger and just really like deeply looking at anger.

And I started doing a lot of shaking and like as close as I could to ecstatic dance in the silence. I couldn't even handle the own box by then, so it was just like fucking silence at that point. I started to process that, and then that was probably took me all the way past lunch and then that started to shift. I went into another meditation and with Whitney in particular, this was like the first crack where the emotion shifted from anger to sadness. And this was where like I'm in the inmost cave at this point.

Chapter eight of the Hero's Journey in that all Whitney said was, I've always done my best, and it was fucking devastating, like such a simple thing. But then I realized that every grievance I've had against her, every judgment that I've made, it's all my own she's always done her best, and I've always done my best and my dad's always done their best, and everybody's always done the best they could at any given moment. And for her to say like, I've always done my best and realize that everything that I've held against her was my own, it was devastating. 

And I just got to see a woman, a girl doing her best. And like that opened like this floodgate of tears and opened a pathway of like much deeper love. And I started going through different people and then that's when I had a really strong connection with my mom. And I'm going through this meditation and I'm connecting with my mom. And my mom just said I've always loved you, son. I've always loved you so much.  And I still love you so much and recognizing then at that point that I never even let my mom really love me. 

I never let her never let that love, like really fully in that moment was the moment where I had probably the deepest catharsis, 20 minutes of just sobbing. Recognizing that even the place where love was the safest and most assured and ever present, I never really let myself feel it. And I started to ask, why? Why? And really the answer was something that you alluded to earlier. If you let yourself feel how amazing it is to feel love, then you become attached to it. 

And then you know that you have to let it go. I'm gonna have to let my mom go. She's in her 70s. I'm gonna have to let her go. She's gonna die. So if I don't really love her, eh, I'm gonna be okay. And I'm gonna have to let Whitney go every time she sees another guy or if our relationship, I gotta let her go. But if I let her really love me and if I really love her, then I gotta let her go. And like, that hurts. That hurts when you really love. So yeah, I used to think like, I'm not afraid of dying.

A good way to not be afraid of not love living. Got nothing to lose then. So I tricked myself. I'd tricked myself into believing that I wasn't afraid of death and that I wasn't scared of my mom dying. And I wasn't scared of losing Whitney and I wasn't scared of all of these things. Well, of course you weren't dummy cuz you didn't really enjoy 'em. You didn't really love your life. Didn't really love people, didn't really love anything cuz I'd protected myself because it was horrifying to think about having to let it all go if I really loved it. 

That was just too much to bear. But then you look at the other side of the coin, which is okay, that may be terrifying, but imagine just the absolute horror of going through the entirety of your life and never loving it. Fuck, like that is on another level of pain. And that's why I think it's so hard for people to come to these realizations because when I realized that I hadn't fully let love in and I hadn't love in my life, I'm 38 years old. I've spent so much of my life not really loving it. 

Imagine if I was 58 years old or 78 years old, and then I had that realization. I'm like, fuck, my life is almost over. And at least I'm somewhere in the hopefully before the midpoint and I get to have this realization. But still like the understanding that I'd let so much of my life. Without really loving it was just devastating and for the rest of that day, I would just break into sobs, just uncontrollable sobs. And that was the thing that really kind of cracked my heart open. 

And like I realized how much I loved my life and how much I missed my life. And I started to get worried. I was like, oh my God, I haven't been in touch with anybody. What if someone died while I was gone? And I never got to love him. Like what if, like what if I never got to really love him?

Like what if, what if something happened? Like, fuck. I just want to get out and I just want to show people that I'm really there and I can really love them and I want to really love 'em. I wanna really have 'em know that I love 'em just as they are, and I'll feel it. I'll take all their love. And I started to miss things. And it wasn't that I missed the side of things, it's that I missed the essence of things. It wasn't anything in isolation. I didn't miss looking at trees, looking at clouds, looking.

I missed the tree itself. I missed the person itself. Not just the touch. Not just the smell, not just the essence of them to be able to like dance with the essence of the beings and of the things and even music. I was thinking about music. Well, music is just kind of singular. It's an oral transmission, but I'm like, but it's not really because music is eliciting the everything that's in me. 

Erick: It's the essence.

Aubrey:  It's the essence of me that it's allowing it to flower. Same with great art. Great art, yes, it's purely visual, but it's the essence of the artist, but it's a listening the all that's within. The ocean that's in the drop of me. And so that's why you miss it. It's the essence that comes from within you or comes from within something else. And it's that dance that, that I miss so much. And so there was grappling with the Inmost cave, which was the courage to love and be happy. Knowing that it could all be taken away. 

Erick: Yeah, and the core thing that comes up for me when I hear that is your mom's love. That type of love from another human. The only way to actually accept it is to see the truth that they see, which is that you are inherently worthy of love. And so if you don't love yourself, that's a manifestation of you not allowing someone else's love in. Do you know what I'm saying? 

Aubrey:  Yeah. 

Erick:  Because like the mom's love for the child is so unconditional when it's in its light, which it truly feels like your mom's is, and that if the way you deny it is by not loving yourself, and that the fundamental core thing, there is you let their love in. When you allow yourself to love yourself.

Aubrey:  That’s the key and that's why self-love is the foundation and is the foundational practice and why my mantra makes sense. Love yourself and be honest. Those two things, they just kept coming back to those two things. So that night progresses and I entered a place where I could only call, soul land. And in Soul Land, I had access to communication with everybody in a beautiful way. I could see the fractal patterns of these giant geometric shapes, which Bharati told me were actually the soul forms of people. 

And it was interesting, like some would be like these gigantic golf ball looking things and to use that analogy, imagine every dimple of the golf ball was a door, and in those doors were little figures. And I was like, why do I keep seeing these with like these big geometric shapes with little doors? And I was like, oh, maybe those are all the incarnations, all the live of that soul. When all the doors are all full and all that soul, or maybe the spans, I don't know, man, I'm just exploring a, a foreign land.

But I was like, but maybe when it fills all of those fills the soul's complete. And it doesn't need to take any more lives. And it's just this like really interesting understanding. And then communication started coming from different things, even patterns like I'd see spaceships in fractal patterns, and I would talk to aliens. I saw images of different animals and they'd be different people. Shockingly. One of them was like Whitney's boyfriend. I'm really talking to Whitney's boyfriend right now.

It's like the last on my list of people, who I'm intending to talk to. But I talked to him and it was a really beautiful conversation. Texted him when I got out and he was like, wow, man, that's like spot on cuz I was like, I don't know if this is just my projection or imagination, but we had this chat. I'm gonna tell you what it was just in case it's helpful. He's like, thank you so much. It was like really interesting. Like what kind of started to transpire that night?

That night, late after I was in Soul Land, and it was all kind of this beautiful, all of these encounters and all of these different interesting things that were happening. It was the darkness really started to break me because I feel like before that the darkness didn't break me because I was already broken. I already didn't love my life so much that I didn't really miss the outside. I didn't miss my life, so the darkness put me back together, showed me that I did love my life, and then when it did love my life that's when the breaking happened. 

It was a beautiful breaking, it was a breaking open, but I never, I didn't want to leave faster or more than ever before at that point because I wanted to get back to the life that I loved. End up getting another couple hours of sleep that night, waking up the next day talking to Bharati, and we both agreed that, that was the day. That's day six. And we both agreed that that was the day at sunset. So at sunset I would take my mask off, and at some point I'll show people what transpired when I took my mask off, which was probably the rawest most emotional relief I've ever seen where I started looking at the trees. 

Erick:  I've never seen a human cry like that in my entire life.

Aubrey:  I've never cried like that in my entire life. It was absolutely overwhelming and it went on for a long, long, long time. And I would still throughout the next subsequent days, just burst into tears like that over anything. I mean, shit, I'd watch Stranger Things three and just seeing the kids, like seeing the kids love each other and be friends and seeing people be people. I'd be like, fuck, I love people. And I'd start sobbing cuz I know that I would watch that same thing and be like, oh yeah, yeah, movie people, whatever.

I would just see people and just like love people. Interestingly, you know, so I took my blindfold off, had that whole experience of just recognizing how much I appreciated life and love. And then, that was the seizing of the sword in the classic heroes’ journey. The seizing of the sword was the sword. The sword of unblinding and the unblinding comes from love. It was seeing the kingdom as it really is and accessing the power to see the truth. That was my sword. But then the next phase, the return home.

Erick:  Trickiest one. 

Aubrey:  Whoa. I had no respect for that phase because I feel like Ayahuasca, unbuttons, the vest does some psychic surgery and then stitches you back up. You still have stitches. You gotta be mindful. You're a little fragile, but you're stitched. I was just shredded. And I was just looking at my phone for a little while and I was like, do I open it? And I was like, all right, here we go. I made it through the darkness so I can definitely open my phone. 

And the only thing that I could see the text start flooding in and I just hit play, on some music and I listened to music first. Listen to the Ram Dass East's Forest album, and that was like, okay, step one is music. Wow. It's beautiful. All right. Step two, take a peek. Get the messages but everything was so, I had so much anxiety because I was just this like raw newborn trying to deal with all these things. 

Erick:  And that phone's a dragon. 

Aubrey:  It is a dragon. 

Erick:  That phone is a motherfucking dragon.

Aubrey:   It is a dragon. I have a lot of respect for that. And then through, so for the next few days, every little came with its own challenge. Another interesting thing I didn't mention is in the dark when the third eye is like blasted open like that and you're having vision, it's like when I would eat my food, which was raw vegan food. I would see sprouts and mushrooms. I would see everything in my third eye when I soaked my hands, I would see bubbles. 

When I wiped my ass, I would see shit like I could just see it bursting in my third eye. So like this newfound appreciation for food and for like all of these other different things that I like. I didn't want to lose any of it, and I was so scared that I was gonna lose some of it. And tell you the truth. You do, you do. But you keep some of it too. And it was actually so overwhelming that I got home and I'm in this fragile but kind of awakened state and I was able to give a lot of love to the people who I've saw in those first few days. 

But I was also very fragile. And like one of the ways to escape the fragility is I started drinking, like I was drinking hard Kombuchas and wines and tequilas and like, okay now this allows me to have a normal interaction with the normal world. I can fucking handle this from here. But I think I'd reached to those things so frequently before, not really aware of what I was doing but now like the numbing nature of those things was like intensely obvious.

Erick:  Yeah. And to set the stage, stage 10 is a return home. And then stage 11 is probably the one that people get stuck on and eviscerate themselves the most. And its resurrection and it's this, you will forget what the sword was, but you remember what the sword was. And that stage is about remembering, about remembering to remember.

Aubrey:   Yeah. I was so down on myself yesterday, to be honest, because I'd spent three out of the last four days, I guess it was like Sunday and Monday. I'd spent three of the last four days’ kind of drinking and not like drinking heavily, like wake up in the morning and have a cup of vodka type of drinking. But like every evening I would have drinks and like, it just numb. It numbed me sufficiently where it felt kind of normal. Like, I could eat meat without thanking the being that it came from. 

I was doing all the things that I kind of was before there was a strength there. Granted, it wasn't like complete, it wasn't completely the same, but it was close enough that I got really down. And I think that's part of the resurrection stages presented is the forgetting and the just incredible discontent and disappointment in oneself when you do forget. 

Erick:  And the key to that stage is self-forgiveness. 

Aubrey:   Yeah. And knowing that you know the way and you know the way back and you remember it. And I think fortunately I had all those voice recordings, so for five hours I listened to all of 'em and transcribed the notes last night and that was super helpful. And I have the video of me on blinding and these little things are gonna be great reminders to help me on this, on this journey. And it's ultimately, it's the truths get really simple at the end. 

But really challenging to live, especially when you're back into the ordinary world because no one is gonna see, no one is gonna see me in the way. They're not gonna see me with a sword or see me with a crown, or see me with a laurels of my darkness journey. They're just gonna see me as I am. So it's up to me to internally be.

Erick:  They are only see your actions. 

Aubrey:   Yeah. It's up to me. I don't have anybody else being like, and even if they do, it's on a limited way. So it's not like I get to come back with a new costume. It's still me in the same costume.

Erick:  Yeah. The thing that comes to mind that I, we've been playing with this Hero's Journey idea since we've known each other and I haven't had this connection until now. The way that you most effectively resurrect is stage 12, which is to serve the medicine and so if you extract out of this experience what the medicine is, every time you serve it, you remember cuz the only way to serve it is to remember. I've never had that connection until now. But that is how you remember is you serve the medicine.

Aubrey:  And what is the serving of the medicine? Loving what is? Loving you, loving everybody here. Loving everybody I encounter, loving the world as it is. Just loving it as it is, and then doing whatever I want to do. Like ultimately all these ideas I had. I gotta change this house, I gotta do this thing. It was like, no, you don't. You just had to change you cuz you're the thing that's the common denominator in everything and your life is fucking awesome. 

So do whatever you want. Like the ultimate guidance when I was the most tapped in was like, yeah, man do whatever you want. Whatever you want, just do it. Just do it in the way you learned.

Erick:   Where you love yourself and you're being honest. 

Aubrey:  Yep. Loving myself, being honest and loving what is and that's it. So here we are at the end of a deep initiation, and you know I'll go back to the darkness. There's no doubt about it. It's the purest, deepest medicine that I've ever encountered. It's not for everybody, but it's also strange cuz it's the deepest, most powerful, but also the gentlest because it's just you. It's just you, you're not taking anything, you're just removing. Removing all the other things. 

Erick:   It reminds me of that Dolly quote, I don't do drugs, I am drugs. 

Aubrey:  Yeah, that's it. You become the drugs. And you just see what your faculties and what your experiences really are capable of.

Erick:   And it reminds me of one of my favorite ideas from young is this constant metaphor he uses that the soul is like an acorn. It knows its destiny, is to be an oak tree, and you simply just have to remove all the blocks that you bring into your life. Then that energy that's in the acorn knows what to do. And like the ultimate container for that is the darkness. Because without any external stimulus, your psyche will work through the things it needs to work through to break through the gravel.

Aubrey:   Yeah, and have that intention, but not the expectation of how you're gonna get there. 

Erick:   Good luck.

Aubrey:   Good luck. And honestly, however, take the pressure off yourself. Most important thing is to enjoy this. The game is set up for us to enjoy it, and if we enjoy it, then we played well. If we really enjoyed, it and we'd helped others enjoy it too. You played well, and you've always done your best. Whoever you are out there, like forgive yourself, you've always done your best. Just try to enjoy and tap into the love of your life and that personal history you have. 

It was all perfect to get you to where you are now. You just have to see it that way. Like one of the takeaways I had was that the universe gives only gifts. It's just up to us to classify them as such and decide to play with them, whatever traumas, whatever challenges. Those are all gifts and that that is up to us. And even in the most challenging situation like Viktor Frankl's situation fuck, that's hard to take that as a gift. But he found a way to do it. 

Erick:   He fucking did. 

Aubrey:   And he found a way to do it by saying the last of the human freedoms is our ability to choose our attitude towards any given situation. And that idea he's been able to share with the rest of the world. So, we have and that's the core stoic philosophy. The obstacle is the way, resistance is assistance. All of these wisdoms are there. Memento mori remember that you're gonna die so that you can kind of release your attachments and enjoy the fullness of the life. Hoka hay. 

Like today is a good day to die. Live so fully that it's okay if today is your day. And then if we're in a helicopter like Kobe was recently and that's our day that we've lived in such a way that, it’s okay if that's our time. So a lot of these things, it just all kind of pull them all together.

Erick:   Yeah. The thing that comes to mind is a cliché becomes wisdom through experience. And like there are people who will hear those and they just think it's a cliché and put yourself through an initiation ritual, and that cliché will become wisdom. 

Aubrey:   You'll start to know it. Nosis is the Greek word for knowing, and you'll just have a nosis of it, different understanding of it.

Erick:   And I'd like to end with this quote from, Joseph Campbell. So this is regarding the hero's journey, “We have not even to risk the adventure alone for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero's path. And where we have thought to find an abomination, we shall find God and where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves where we had thought to travel outwards, we shall come to the center of our own existence and where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.”

Aubrey:   Yeah. Well, there it is. Thank you for helping guiding through this podcast, brother. It's been an honor to serve and live alongside you, and I look forward to doing this for many, many years’ lifetimes, whatever our thing is. Let's keep it going and thank you to everybody listening. Know this was a long podcast. Hopefully I can release my attachment to what you got out of it cuz whatever you got out of it is fucking perfect.

So whatever it was, if you hate it, if you love it, it's all your journey and but I'm just gonna continue. Remember to love what is and love you as you are, whoever you are, whether it's hate, whether it's love, just love the journey that transpires and that's gonna help me to love myself and love my life and live this way in the way that I wanna live.

Erick:   Amen. 

Aubrey:   Yeah. Thank you everybody so much. In the outro, I'll give the links and everything. If you're interested in the Darkness Retreat. Going the same place that I went to, there's very few places in the world that do this, and I think the place that I went is one of the best. Obviously they only have eight rooms, so, hopefully some more people take up. Take up the mantle and help provide this in a really loving way. And darkness is a technology too.

People think like it's not as easy as you think to go pitch black because any light that you have, you'll fixate on and it be, it ruins the experience. I even had this necklace on and this necklace randomly, these two beads glow in the dark. So when I would like go to the window with my blindfold and there would be light that would come in, and then I'd close the window and my blindfold would go off, my fucking necklace was lit and I'd be like, oh no, my necklace is lit.

Like what the fuck am I gonna do is I had to put it in like multiple socks cuz it was so blindingly bright. That it was distracting of the experience cuz you want that experience where your open eyes and your close eyes are the same. So it takes a little bit of technology to get the darkness out completely, but…

Erick:   Craftsmanship.

Aubrey:   Yep. Once you can get there, it's just such a powerful tool. All right. That's it. That's a wrap. I love you all so much, and I love you, Godsy. Thank you for everything. 

Erick:   Thank you. 

Aubrey:   Yep. Peace! If you enjoyed this video, please make sure to subscribe, also share with any friend that you think might benefit from it. And lastly, go to Sign up for my newsletter diary and you won't miss a thing.