I became the center of a consciousness that no longer had anything to do with a body.  A vibrant, blissful energy engulfed me, melting the me I knew away, freeing my consciousness to unfold and expand into a place that felt like home; a place I had been to a thousand times before.  This “place” had nothing whatsoever to do with the material world I had known, yet it was intimately familiar.  There, corporeal reality is meaningless; there were only of layers of consciousness that unfolded more deeply the more I relaxed and simply let go.

It’s a vivid sensation of non-locality and of constant expansion.  I’m all places at once and see with eyes that have nothing to do with my physical eyes.  It’s a place of pure energy, flowing, cascading, constantly moving and all-enveloping. Even if fear creeps in, I discovered that embracing it transforms the fear into even more tangible and expansive layers of consciousness. Energies all around me comfort me, telling me that they’re always there, that this is a beautiful, safe, and loving place; a place I have always known, have always been a part of, and I placed even I, this barely self-aware monkey, has helped create.

The interconnectedness of all conscious beings; plant, animal, fungi, energy, or other becomes vividly and ineffably clear.  In this non-body state, in the place I call the Void, nothing and no one could ever convince me that I have done anything less than touch the hand of the Divine.  Within that, the underlying message never changes: To live my life as fully and honestly as I can while shining as brightly as I can, never forgetting that we all truly are connected.

This profoundly religious experience is one that I can repeat whenever I take the time and effort to enter that state of deep meditation with my plant ally; Salvia divinorum. Finding this sacred altered state of consciousness took immense respect, practice, discipline, as well as an immense amount of patience for me.  But now, as soon as I reach that deeply meditative state, the moment I introduce Salvia to it, I’m instantly released into that same non-body state of pure energy, love, and joy that no one could ever convince me is anything other than direct contact with the Sacred, with my own Creator, with the origin of the Universe itself, and my reconnection to all that I have forgotten or has been indoctrinated out of me.

To describe the sensations in a physical sense: I sometimes feel as though I consist of thin, crystal-like layers that constantly radiate outward from me like pages flipping in a book, as everything gently pulsates and moves through a liquid space I can effortlessly breathe within.  Accompanying that is the the ability to concentrate on one or all of these expanding points simultaneously as the entire space I’m in constantly expands outwards, freeing me to be absolutely anywhere within it and at any point in linear time.

Tangible energy envelops my thoughts and bathes them in something that I forget is ALWAYS there. This place of knowing is only a place of remembering. Everything that seemed relevant in my material reality, if even the most awake and self-aware “I” thought was relevant, becomes completely irrelevant. No judgment passes; it simply couldn’t. In this moment, my human frame exists solely for its ability to connect with my Divine and to share the experience of a carbon-based frame that can only experience time as linear.

This is a joyous dance; I’m ecstatic to have found my home once again while still in this fragile human frame. Every connection discovered as a human is another chance for the Divine to witness itself, with thoughts so tangible, I feel they can equally create and destroy everything that they have imagined to be. And, just when I think I know, I forget. Just when I think the words have come, they disappear. This is the place I hope everyone knows, the place I wish everyone knew, this is the place I wish words could fully explain.  I want everyone to know this place as intimately as I have known it because to me, it’s a place of true love, of infinite wisdom, of endless patience, as well as a never-changing and infinitely changing Everything.

I’m convinced that we all have this power inside us; it’s just been indoctrinated, beaten, or “educated” out of us.  Most of us have been led to believe that we’re far less than all we are.  I know God.  I feel I know God more intimately than many who claim to know God.  But, I also believe that we all have the same gift buried deep within our genetic coding, and that entheogens, teacher plants, and psychedelics help us to unlock that potential when approached and treated with the sacred respect they require.

So here is my beacon, honest in its design, obvious in its intent, hoping for nothing more than to know that others know of such rare treats, of which few are privileged to taste, and the majority are unaware. This is why I am, why I still am, and what will always be my only purpose and intent.

I’m constantly struggling with my desire to help out the planet in some way, or simply wanting to enjoy this life that I have worked so hard for. I feel I know true joy and want others to know that same joy, but can never quite figure out how to do it without losing myself to it completely. Whenever I travel, I ache to either bring word of such amazing and beautiful places and people and plants to everyone’s consciousness, while simultaneously finding a way to expose the gross injustices that abound the world over, but nothing ever seems to be enough no matter how many projects I start or how passionate I am about making a difference.

I have often been told that the best I can do is shine as brightly as I can, but somehow, although I am eternally and deeply grateful for the love I have in my life and all around me, it sometimes offers little consolation, and I am left to dream of the day I find a way to help out more than I am.  But, in the meantime, I travel and explore this planet with my love, while writing and capturing images as best I can, and reveling in the beauty that abounds in dizzying array in so many nooks and crannies on this globe. Seeing places like India or Peru or the Amazon Rainforest and its people has changed my perpective on life forever; it makes me realize how fortunate we all are, and how easy we’ve really got it in these United States of America.

Keith Cleversley