It was April 5th, 2015, Easter Sunday. I did not have my kids and nothing much was going on. I was home with my roommate, D, and just doing the usual for a non school day. Lounging around and playing video games. My friend from college had called and asked if I wanted to smoke some Salvia Divinorum. I agreed. I had tried Salvia before and was familiar with its short 10-15 minute hallucinatory effects. In the past it had been just for fun. I had tried it a handful of times in Arizona. Back then, we had access to 5, 10, and 20 times concentrate. Within an hour or so my friend showed up with the goods.
I was in the habit of blessing my trips for spiritual purposes. I was no longer interested in just getting high. I wanted to receive some sort of spiritual, mental, or emotional benefit from a drug or experience. Some common things I would ask for from my teacher plants like mushrooms or Salvia would be: happiness, joy, understanding, clarity, emotional release, fun, good times, healing, etc. Since it was coincidentally Easter, I came up with what I considered to be a perfectly timed concept. As i prepared the plant medicine, I asked for rebirth. Little did I think at the time… what has to happen before rebirth?
Before I began, I had an intuition to ask D to be my anchor. Meaning, that if i went too far down the rabbit hole, I could reach out to her as an anchor back into reality. She agreed. My friend placed a blanket he brought with him over my legs and said I was going to need this. I had no idea what he was talking about, but the whole thing seemed shamanistic and I just went with it. I proceeded to take a large inhalation of the Salvia of unknown concentration. I just trusted my friend. I held in the hit for as long as I could, until I started to feel light headed and tingly. This is how I knew that the Sage of Diviners plant was working. I put down the bong and lighter and leaned forward with my forehead into my hands, eyes closed. This is when the visuals began.
No longer was I a human in Earth realm. I became a person made of paper. You know when you take a piece of paper and fold it many times, then cut out a gingerbread looking man, and unfold the paper, and then there are many paper men all connected at the hands. Well, I was one of those. And we were on this crumpled up ball of paper that represented Earth. The ball was rotating forward towards the horizon, which is the way I was facing along with all the other paper people. There were paper houses, paper trees, all in this paper neighborhood that was on the paper Earth rotating towards the future.
I was stuck in place and couldn’t move my paper body. But I could talk and think. I began to speak to my friend and D who where in the room with me, just obviously not seeing what I was seeing. I asked them if they were there. They said “Yeah.” So i knew there was a connection with these other paper people. I felt like we were all connected as One. Suddenly, on the horizon, I saw a giant paper shredder. It was shredding everything in existence. All of the paper people, houses, environment. Everything was being destroyed. And I knew I was stuck in place in my paper neighborhood.
I began to worry. From the looks of things, I was about to get shredded too. I viewed the rotation of the paper Earth ball as one year. I started asking questions.
“Is this how it is every year?” Since D and my friend had no idea what I was talking about, they were jokingly answering my questions. “Yes, this happens every Easter.” they replied. “So we only get one year?” I asked. Now sad at the thought that we die at the end of the annual cycle. “Yes.” was the answer.
At this point the paper shredder was about 10 feet in front of me. I remember shedding a single tear because I would not be around to raise my kids. I felt bad that I would not be there to do so, but at the same time, internally, I knew that I had to accept my death. There was no other alternative. I mean I couldn’t move and this shredder was taking out everything with ease. There was absolutely no stopping it. Bravely I stared into the blades of the shredder now inches in front of my face. And then it started.
Violently ripping apart the layers of my flesh and existence. The force was so powerful that it caused instantaneous submission to will of God. The inevitable cycle of life and death. The unavoidable ending to any resemblance of life in form. From directly down the middle or my body, my flesh was being ripped both to the left and right off of my body by the shredder. From the front of my body towards the back, the process continued as if unpeeling a 3D human orange, layer by layer.
The shredder got to my last layer which was my back. I knew I only had one layer left. I thought to myself that this was it. There was no stopping this process. I simply and calmly accepted my fate and the words in my head were: “Well, let’s see what’s on the other side.”
I ventured into the unknown. Immediately upon the last layer of flesh no longer containing my body, my torso fell to the right on the couch. Lifelessly, as if I had fainted. The hallucination ended. My eyes were still closed and I was aware my body was laying on the couch. My legs were still in the same place I left them. In my body, and underneath the blanket and seated on the couch. However, my conscious mind, my spirit, was not in my body. From the waist up, I was still sitting straight up on the couch, out of my body. Fully aware that my physical body was laying right next to me. My spirit legs were still inside of my physical legs. I was halfway outside of my body. Or a half out of body experience.
I was in a dark space. Like outer space with no stars. No sounds, no sights, no form, no light, no emotions, no thing. Nothing. There was nothing to do, and no one to be. Nowhere to go. But pure conscious awareness was certainly there. I heard them talking about wondering if I was ok. And mentioning something about me still breathing and that I am probably fine. Then my egoic mind came back a little. I remembered I had set an anchor with D prior, and so I reached out.
“D, are you there?” I asked curiously.
“Yes.” she answered.
“Ok, can I come back now?” I asked not knowing what else to do.
“Uh… yeah.” She said almost sarcastically.
It was in that instant, that my sprit snapped back into my body. Without traveling, my torso was immediately back inside my physical upper body, and I was now laying on the couch. I opened my eyes and began to look at the cartoons playing on the television in front of me. Silently I watched as the aftereffects of the Salvia distorted the show. I tried to explain to them what I had just been through, but it would take me much more time to fully process everything that had just happened.
On this Easter Day, I had asked for rebirth. Little did I know, what has to come before rebirth? Death of course. It wasn’t until many months later that I was able to compare this to the experience that happened in 2001. The time when I got jumped and beat to death. Now I was starting to understand. This empty, blank outer space area with no stars. This void with no form or light. No emotions, or air. No time, no boundaries, no limits, and no anything. Where only pure consciousness exists. Just thought. This place I had now been twice was starting to make sense.
This must be what is after death, or before life. The in-between. The Source of all? Is this me? There is no separation here because there are no boundaries whatsoever. I was beginning to discover that I have been lucky or deserving enough to experience death and remember. And it wasn’t scary at all. In fact, it was probably the best feeling I could ever experience this life. For the body itself is heavy. And when we aren’t trapped in this body, we are free. So light is the feeling of floating. Energy with no form. No need to eat or take care of a body. A place without any possibility of injury, judgement, or in fact any other than oneself. If you were everything in existence, what harm or misfortune could ever ensue?
There was pure freedom and release from anything good or bad in this place. There were no expectations of anything. At the same time, there was, in that darkness, unlimited pure potential of absolutely anything. Anything that could be thought up or imagined could exist by the simple act of thinking so. This place I had been.. this consciousness I had experienced. Is it what they had been calling God for all these years?
At this time, in 2015, I would not have all of these thoughts or answers yet. But this experience was 100% critical in my up an coming spiritual evolution and transformation. The journey that would lead me to this ultimate knowledge and understanding. A peace and love, never before experienced by this human. A transcendence of past suffering. A new perspective and meaning on what we call life. A journey that every man must take. The whole reason for existing in human form on Earth is to learn these lessons and evolve. Such was the galactic fall from grace and the lifetimes spent climbing up the spiritual mountain and returning to unity. But for now, it was back to the human story of Evan. Which, starting this year, was about to significantly change for the better!
This has been a story from my unfinished book. A story about one man’s path toward enlightenment, or freedom from suffering. Though each route is purposefully different, perhaps they all lead to the same place in the long run. We have all heard the saying: It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. The laws of physics states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. The laws of the Universe dictate that everything follows the Law of Rhythm. Day then night. Summer then Winter. Life then Death. Repeat. What comes before rebirth is the same thing that follows after all life. Death. A natural part of any cycle of energy manifested in form.
What we know as physical reality is simply manifestation in the mind of God. The eternal cycles of energy that is not destroyed, but rather transmutes into another form. The constant changes that make up what we know as life. It is this same energy that everything is made of and from. The common denominator is pure conscious awareness. The witness or observer that is inside of all. It is this energy that is the creator of all things. And yet, how much separation can be between the creator and the creation? Can the dance exist independently of the dancer? But certainly the character in the story is not the author. However, at times, the author may be certainly playing the role of the character. And this is the only distinction between God and all of creation.
And as each individual story comes to an end, the writer must ask himself the question. What next? The possibilities are endless. The potential is unlimited. Boundaries and constraints do not exist compared to the One who created everything, including boundaries and constraints. And so, by logic and critical thinking, we come to the conclusion that each rebirth is simply another start to another story. Each death is simply the predecessor to each rebirth. The end is just a new beginning. In the never ending cycle of experiences, the Divine can and will express itself in every way imaginable. And so my friends, thank you for coming. Thank you for your existence and everything you do. There has not been a moment that isn’t appreciated by the witness of it all. For each experience has been a little different. A new twist. Another outcome, and a variety of circumstances. We have played our role well, and so rejoice! Thank you to the creator of it all, every participant past, present, and future. I can’t wait for the next scene. And up until the day of my final moment that precedes rebirth… this author will enjoy every bit of life.
“One day life will rest in peace. Until then, enjoy every piece of life.”
Disclaimer: This article does not intend to encourage drug consumption. It is purely indicating a personal experience of the author which became a base for his spiritual inclination
Evan Ettinger, aka Risin Son, lives in Orrington, Maine, USA. He is a father of three daughters, a Reiki master, the owner of his businesses, and kind and wise soul. His passion for wisdom and life experience has led him to seek variety in vocation, location, and activity. He has lived in many states, a few countries, and has visited many more. He has been studying energy nearly his whole adult life. First at the University of Arizona for Optical Sciences and Engineering, then at NESCOM at Husson University for Audio Engineering, before shifting into spirituality. Flowing through different formats, Evan began writing as Risin Son with poetry and underground hip hop lyrics before graduating high school. Always seeking meaning, understanding, and having the intent to express and positively impact others, Evan continues writing as one of his personal gifts to the world. He choses a plant based lifestyle and wishes to follow practices of sustainability, one day starting a homestead and hopefully to develop a sustainable spiritual community.