Episode 36: Uncovering the Ego, From Mushrooms to Iboga with Darren

In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Darren, an integration coach. It was actually our second conversation together. The first didn’t end up getting published. He’ll tell you more about that. But listen to his story. It’s a deep story of loss, grief, trauma, hitting rock bottom and journeying out of all that with mushrooms, Ayahuasca and iboga. So, let’s hear from Darren.

We discussed:

  1. Synopsis: 
    1. We previously did an interview, and some new stuff came up for you. Since then, you attended ceremony and worked with some of that. We’ll get into that later.
    2. In life, you’ve dealt with deep depression, trauma, loss & grief. suicidal thoughts…a lot of deep pain, man! 
    3. And you’ve worked with several psychedelics as part of your work, with great results. Really turned things around.
    4. So, why don’t you give us a run-down of some of those things that you experienced in life, how you came to psychedelics, and where you are today.
  2. How, if at all, do you think your work with psychedelics set you up to be able to explore these parts of your life and experiences?
  3. Works as an integration coach at Soul Quest
  4. Has worked with many plant medicines from Hape’ to 5-Meo and Ayahuasca and most recently Iboga.
  5. Divorce hurt both parents and the kids…trauma
  6. Joined the Army
  7. Became very angry, sad, confused, anxious, depressed
  8. As an Hispanic, experienced racism in school
  9. Whole family gripped with fear which set the course for the rest of his life — anxiety, suicidal thoughts, depression
  10. Did so many amazing things, great accomplishments in school, journalism, military, peace corps, relationships. But was never happy. Always resentful. Didn’t know how to love. Lost soul.
  11. Surprised he survived after several suicide attempts that people didn’t know about
  12. Bought a home – a dream – then the market crashed and mold was found. Nervous breakdown.
  13. Hit rock bottom. Started working with his brother.
  14. Ran business with brother, great success
  15. But still felt angry and resentful
  16. Started fighting with brother
  17. Moved to DC in December 2011. In April 2012, got a call from his Mom. She was diagnosed with cancer. Passed quickly, before her first grandchild was born.
  18. Why?! This didn’t seem to have any meaning.
  19. His spiritualism died with her.
  20. Ready to take his own life. Bought a gun. Luckily survived, pawned the gun. Dad’s love saved him, didn’t want to hurt his dd or brother
  21. Launched new business, 2012-2019
  22. Still resented brother
  23. Fell into victim posture
  24. Became a clenched fist full of anger
  25. Was seeing a therapist
  26. Dad’s wife’s mental health deteriorated, ended up in the hospital; retirement center
  27. Could tell his dad was not well, emotionally
  28. Dad’s citation with is soulmate got worse
  29. Stopped talking to dad; resentment resurfaced; hated Dad
  30. Suicidal tendencies back, full blast
  31. Things falling apart
  32. Dad’s wife passed
  33. Dad died by suicide
  34. Found “How To Change Your Mind” by Michael Pollan. This is what I need!
  35. 7g of penis envy mushrooms
  36. Alan Watts, Terrance McKenna, learns how to do it
  37. John Hopkins playlist; cleaned the house; built an altar; took 5g
  38. Took additional 2g (7g total)
  39. Started to understand everything – music, philosophy.
  40. Thought of Mom & Dad, started crying with entire body and soul for an hour
  41. Sees the whole universe, then himself looking at the universe, self melts; ego death, in true self, soul
  42. Entered a ‘who am I?’ loop; felt like he screwed up his life, went insane, overwhelmed
  43. Thought he went mad
  44. Knew he needed to integrate
  45. Found Soul Quest, Ayahuasca church
  46. Volunteered here, served food
  47. Did an Ayahuasca journey
  48. Purged black vomit — how is this black? Old blood?
  49. Thought and cried about Mom; felt mom; hugged her
  50. Felt Dad; hugged him; same with brother
  51. Got the message to forgive to allow himself to feal; feal the grief
  52. When things get tough, touch the earth and remember to breath
  53. Got the message to be compassionate to others
  54. Did Ayahuasca a second night, even though his ego told him not to
  55. Communicated with parents;
  56. Cried for others’ pain
  57. Started to direct his journey; went to his Dad, to his Dad’s father
  58. Understood the sacred realm of consciousness; started asking big questions, got answers
  59. Started to come down. Asked for Rape’. Did in the right nostril. 
  60. Wham! Instantly slammed down to the earth, smashed right back into another journey
  61. Launched into universe
  62. Came down, went to mirror and saw himself as is soul looking at Darren, started to cry: You’re okay! You did the best you could! Forgave himself; cried for himself this time
  63. Had another ego death
  64. Thought he’d made it, made the big breakthrough
  65. Did Stoned Ape interview and things came up
  66. Found Iboga through a friend from his integration circle
  67. With Iboga, you integrate during the process
  68. Awaken Your Soul in Costa Rica
  69. Iboga meant to be taken in the jungle; signed up
  70. Leaned that his Dad felt abandoned by him
  71. Was very judgy of the Iboga center at first
  72. Bwiti music; very percussive
  73. More childhood memories; started to cry in pain and anguish, not cathartic; 
  74. Iboga makes you face your worst fear; you’re fully conscious, in your body, in your fears
  75. Saw that he was the one causing pain
  76. Screaming and crying for 11 hours
  77. Next day, thought he’d made a mistake; all the pain came back
  78. I love you; I’m sorry; Please forgive me;  (Ho pono pono pono – Hawaiian) 
  79. Awake for 36 hours; finally slept
  80. Next day is for reflection, no integration yet
  81. Next next day is integration, time in steam
  82. Then another day of Iboga
  83. Did Ho pono pono pono — and nothing!
  84. Screamed and cried at photos of people he’d hurt
  85. Revisited worst memory from childhood; parents fighting over alimony
  86. Sees family possessed by fear
  87. Sees mother become a child; sees his father turn to a child; both so scared; then himself; then his brother
  88. Had to forgive himself; asked what he needed to let go of, the answer was shame and guilt; threw those away; felt nothing
  89. Then, he felt a dark feeling; got the message that he’d never get rid of this; it was the devil, his ego
  90. Had to accept what he’d done and learn to live with it
  91. Took a psychospiritual journey to the moon; all was released
  92. Saw his mom and his dad in all their beauty and happiness
  93. Got to apologize
  94. Huge party in his heart; put everybody in there; love and happiness
  95. Looked in the mirror to forgive himself, but realized he didn’t need to; already did; had a body orgasm, a huge release
  96. Felt a presence of joy enter his body
  97. Had a conversation with his soul: funny forgetful so full of love, the way god looks at us, like children
  98. We trigger and impose trauma on each other
  99. Have to choose a life of service once you awaken
  100. Faced the monster and the monster was him
  101. firesideproject.org