SHROOMED: Sweating with daemons in a real Temazcal - part 2/2

Cuauhtémoc, the las Aztec ruler, on a painting in a National historical museum in Ciudad de México.
Cuauhtémoc, the last Aztec ruler, on a painting in a National historical museum in Ciudad de México.

This is the second and final part of my first-hand reportage about my experience with "magical mushrooms" in a temazcal in a Mexican suburb. If you haven't done it yet, I recommend you to first read the first part here.

Alfredo and Mary continued to talk into the darkness, trying to guide those present in a comforting voice. They told them to cut themselves off from bad experiences and look forward to good ones, to grow out of their old selves. To gather the courage to start living again. I remained absorbed in my own thoughts as continued to explore my mind.

I thought about loneliness and how a person can lose themselves when they are with someone for too long. In the darkness behind my eyelids, two figures resembling pieces from chess danced. Except here they took the form of a DNA helix, one red and the other blue. First, they danced around each other lustfully until they fell into each other and formed a perfect tangle, like two crescents of yin and yang embracing in a three-dimensional environment. Together they grew stronger and stronger, but then they eventually began to disconnect from each other, until they broke apart completely. Both were now bruised, hanging in shreds, like ripping a patch out of your pants and leaving a ragged hole. They were also weaker now. While they retained their height, they had lost the robustness that gave them confidence. They were a sad sight, like two torn souls in a void, trying to make their way through an unknown world full of traps. It was clear that one of those figures was me. It continued to grow, trying to heal its wounds, but it was weakened.

A mural in a near Pueblo Magico. 

I wondered what would have to happen to make it heal and grow stronger. Should it perhaps attach itself to some other helix again? But wouldn't that just be a denial of its essence? An escape from its own incompleteness? An overlooking of weaknesses and scars?

The meaning of life

The image has changed. Now it took the form of an empty cube, or rather just its edges. Imagine, for example, the construction of a fish tank. All its components were covered with colorful, sometimes interconnected organisms, like those figures from the helix. But even more so, they resembled neurons with their hair-like tentacles hugging the fish tank's structure, so that in places they appeared like a dense web of spider webs. The more they clung to the structure, the larger they got, and especially in the corners where they grabbed the parallel and vertical arms, they had great strength and seemed indestructible.