The Cuzco Stare

It’s really a stare; I guess you could call it the ´´Cuzco Stare.´´ It emanates from the eyes, dulls the cheeks and slackens the mandible. It’s a sort of glazed over look, like a donut that’s been left out too long. But it was almost everywhere in La Casa Gringa, a new age hostel that I stayed in for about a week, on and off. It worked like this: I would start to talk to somebody and the conversation would take an inevitable turn towards Ayahuasca (a powerful hallucinogen from a jungle vine) and San Pedro (a cactus famous for its mescaline properties), and the Cuzco Stare would come out, leaving me awed at its strange ubiquity. The people I talked with all wore the stare in their own unique way, but I started to notice certain common threads through all who dawned this mask. They had all done Ayahuasca countless times, they all praised it, they were all searching for healing, and they were all a bit lost, orbiting some planet deep in the recesses of their own synaptic jungles, that from my perspective, were overgrown with a veritable canopy of hallucinogens.

´´The good guys will win. But the bad guys have control right now. They’ve taken things like chocolate and cigarettes and ruined them. Do you know how many chemicals are in this cigarette (He lifted his cigarette towards me)? Tobacco is a sacred plant and they’ve ruined it because they don’t care. Chocolate too. Cacao is incredibly healthy and rich in nutrients, but look what they’ve done to it. The bad guys: ego, power, money and greed have won in our time, but the good guys always prevail. Take a candle and put it in a dark room…light always wins, its impossible any other way. The next century is going to see the collapsing of dualities, and I dare say, we may enter, some of us, the fifth dimension.´´ John’s thoughts were checkered with intelligible, strange, and out there notions. While much was left undefined, I liked him and continued to listen as he spoke of the healing center he had founded (centered around Ayahuasca), and the apprenticeship he had which, unbeknownst to him was with a brujo (dark energy shaman) for over a year and a half. ´´It was a difficult situation to get out of, but I did.´´ John wasn´t victim to the Cuzco Stare (he was just an odd bird), two of his listeners, and countless others I met were.

Kim, from London, told me she’s done Ayahuasca over a hundred times, at one point, twice per month. As she was talking to me, I couldn’t help but drift (only every now and then) to her plastic features: puffed up lips, a face that was saran-wrap-tight, and a nose in the mold of MJ. Her personality was lovely, sweet, caring, and concerned, even it was tragically lost. ´´I was disappointed with my last session,´´ she explained, ´´I thought the effects would last longer but I find myself slipping back into old habits, old ways of thought too soon. So we´ll see what happens this friday.´´´ Her eyes, Caribbean blue, were brilliant but lacking…

Jane, another tragically beautiful soul, was originally from Kentucky but spent a large portion of her life in Mexico, and liked to speak inches from my face. ´´The first Mexican I met when I stepped off the plane became my husband for the next 25 years!´´ She went on to talk about the effects of Ayahuasca and some females shamans in northern Peru that helped her do deep healing work. ´´I have two beautiful children who are in Mexico right now. They are 23 and 27 and speak to me in Spanish, but I speak to them in English. The first time I took her (Ayahuasca), I later dreamt that my husband had an affair with his secretary. And although I didn’t see it then, it makes perfect sense now. She’s (Ayahuasca) a teacher.´´ Jane smiled, and for seconds the Cuzco Stare permeated our moment.

To be honest, I don’t know what the stare is. Maybe a strange whimsicality? Maybe a nostalgia? Maybe a loss of brain cells? But whatever it is, it’s real.

Frank, who I later ended up sharing a table with in an over crowded café, languidly told me that he came from Switzerland to answer some questions he had about the Buddhist lifestyle he´d been living for the past few years. He said his questions were answered with Ayahuasca. While Frank was perfectly nice, after a month of repeated hallucinogenic drug use, he was blank looking and inanimate. Granted, I didn’t know him before his trip (no offense Frank). Frank really had the stare.

—————————Science Fiction Scenario to Follow———————————

You’re sitting on the grass in Central Park, apple in hand, when all of a sudden an alien walks up to you. This is a typical alien, the kind you might find in the Enquirer, and for some strange reason the alien can’t see you, but he can feel your presence. He explains that he knows only a little English, but really knows math. Oh, does he know math. He continues to ask you what you’re holding in your hand. ´´An apple,´´ you reply.


´´Yes…´´ and you begin to explain but he stops you.

´´I don’t havvve eeeenliiishh for dissss. Useee maaaath.´´

You puzzle for a second, and then begin to describe the apple in terms of radius, surface area, density, spectrum of color (in terms of frequency) and then begin to say, ´´I can’t really explain….´´

And he stops you. ´´No. I geeeetttt ittt. I unnnnderstannnndddd.´´

But does he? This is the problem. Certain paradigms of thought just aren’t adequate for certain types of experiences. How does one get at the essence, the experience of color, the flavor, the smell, the sensation of biting into an apple by only using mathematics? You don’t. You have to hold the apple, throw it up and down a few times, and then take a bite out of crime. Then you know the apple. But surely, like those with the stare, if all you do is bite into apples, you’re bound to make yourself sick.

Going through life without a psychedelic experience is like going through life without a sexual experience.
-Terrence McKenna, PHD

Unrelated to anything, but an interesting quote:

Having sex with a condom is like eating chocolate with the wrapper.
-JG, Wine Importer.

-Simon B!!!!! Hello all. Be safe.