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[Note: this post is for those of you who genuinely want to understand the nature of psychedelic healing work, who and what you really are, and human potential. If you’re looking for the drive-through, sorry, this isn't it!]
Do you remember how you felt after you saw The Matrix for the first time?
I remember walking out and thinking “WOW, what a movie”.
I was almost in a daze.
Back in 1999, I thought it was because of the martial arts, ground-breaking cinematography, and an epic soundtrack.
But it wasn’t just that.
The reason we all love The Matrix is much, MUCH deeper.
Through Neo, we experienced a spiritual truth that resonated with the very core of our Souls.
Let me explain:
Now, we all have the experience of living within the Universe.
But very few people understand that the entire Universe also exists inside of us.
This is why people report such profound experiences while attending a psychedelic retreat. Often for the first time in their lives, they are able to navigate the Universe that exists within.
But here’s the thing: there’s not two different Universes, one on the outside and one on the inside.
The trick is in the name. It’s the Uni-Verse.
The One Song.
The reason the Matrix resonated so deeply is that it showed us the truth: that everything you perceive to be happening on the outside of you is in fact happening on the inside of you.
It’s all ONE (one being an anagram for Neo), and it’s all happening in our minds.
That is what The Matrix is.
Everything you experience in life IS you.
You are consciously or subconsciously creating 100% of your own reality.
You are The Matrix.
You are The One.
We all are.
The reason we experience a shared external reality, for example that we can both see a flower on the ground over there, is because we all have our own individual lens through which we perceive the one unified field of consciousness, which we are co-creating together.
Sounds too woo-woo? Well, quantum physics also proves the same thing.
Last year in October, the Nobel Prize was given out for mathematical evidence that reality was non-local. Why is it non-local?
Because reality is not out there, it’s all in here.
But clearly, we’re doing a REALLY good job at hiding this truth from ourselves.
You see, the human experience is the ultimate puzzle, in which we discover the only thing that we ever truly wanted is also the only thing that can NEVER be taken away.
Because it IS you.
You are what you’re looking for.
When you think about it, there’s great cosmic humor at play, an elegance to it.
You are the point of origin, the journey, and the destination. The lock and the key.
Here we all are busily creating endless complexity and confusion in our outer world, chasing after money, careers, a second mortgage, blah blah blah, only to discover we had what we wanted all along.
So today we’re going to explore the topics of Psychedelic Healing, Merging with the Unified Field of Consciousness, and How to Improve the Best Experience in the Universe: Being Human.
Now these are deep subjects, so again, if you’re looking for the drive-thru of psychedelic healing, again, this one is not for you.
I want to start by sharing the observation that the collective systems we’ve established today are built upon three ultimately false premises:
- That one human being can benefit at the expense of another
- That human beings can prosper at the expense of the planet
- That technological advancement alone will see us through
But we didn't start the fire!
These deviations from truth originated in consciousness long, long ago, and are now deeply embedded through our ancestral, epigenetic, and societal programming.
And so we now find ourselves downstream to generations of war and trauma, with a tendency to compare and compete, and feeling stuck, anxious, and depressed as too many stumble further away from their potential, their spiritual essence, and symbiosis.
We have enough for everyone, and yet scarcity thinking, an alarming consolidation of wealth, and uncertainty rule the day.
Luckily for us, reality has been well-architected.
The solution to our individual and planetary challenges is also the only thing that provides a lasting sense of fulfilment to the human experience: reaching a higher level of consciousness.
One way or another, a better version of reality is coming, centered around ideals of sovereignty, harmony, and collective abundance.
The real question is: how gracefully can we manage such a daunting transition?
Well, that depends upon how committed we are to doing the inner work because again, it is all created from within.
For those of you who are ready and committed to doing the inner work, psychedelics are without a doubt the most powerful tool we have to facilitate incredible transformations in consciousness.
But, there is a lot of confusion about working with psychedelics, in particular regarding the energetic or spiritual aspects of the work. Like most things that sound too good to be true, there’s a lot more going on during a ceremony than is generally understood.
And given the power of psychedelics, they are to be met with reverence, humility, and discernment.
To be perfectly honest, I was not well-prepared for my first ayahuasca retreat, and I had quite a traumatizing experience. It really broke me to pieces, and nobody was there to help me integrate post-retreat. And yet, despite a challenging first rodeo, I maintain that it is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
Since that first retreat, and many retreats after, psychedelics have played a significant role in unbelievable improvements to my quality of life.
Over the years that followed, as more friends and colleagues came to me for advice on plant medicine retreats, I grew increasingly motivated to help them learn from my mistakes, and to guide people towards safe, sacred, and quality experiences.
By way of introduction, my name is Jonathan de Potter (LinkedIn), and I’m the Founder of Behold Retreats.
For me, psychedelics opened the door to spirituality, allowed me to heal deeply rooted childhood trauma that I wasn’t even aware of, and gave me the clarity and courage I needed to leave strategy consulting and pursue who I am meant to be in this life.
But while I will share more about my journey, this video isn’t about me, it’s about giving you additional perspective on the nature of this work to help you accelerate your own growth, and providing some guidance so that you can make informed decisions.
It is my intention that this is of value to you whether or not you decide to do a retreat with us.
So, whether it’s your first retreat, or you’ve been attending plant medicine retreats for decades but have this intuitive feeling that you’re still “stuck”, then this is for you if:
#1) You are ready to unlock more of who and what you really are with psychedelics. You may feel some fear, and if you do, you should know that’s completely normal, in fact it’s healthy. Psychedelics are not for everyone, so it’s important to trust your own intuition.
#2) You understand that Spiritual safety is of the highest importance, and that when this work is done well, we are at our most vulnerable.. You want to “do it right” and perhaps even avoid some of the lessons I’ve learned the hard way
#3) You want to make more progress with fewer plant medicine retreats. You understand that it’s not just about the retreat, but also how committed you are to your own growth and quality of life.
#4) And lastly, and this is important in this line of work: You understand that what I lovingly share with you is based upon my own subjective personal experience and what we’ve learned in guiding hundreds of guests since we launched Behold.
My truth is not your truth, nor should it ever be. Our mission at Behold is to guide and empower such that you discover your own higher truths. It’s all there inside you… and that’s what this work is all about.
I’m going to share four things with you here:
I’ve kept my 11 Truths reasonably to-the-point. If you’d like to understand any of them in detail, I will be doing more in-depth video recordings which I will link below.
I also want to share that before I began my work with psychedelics, I was an atheist with very low receptivity to anything spiritual, so if some of this sounds a bit woo-woo, I know, I get it. All of this has come as quite a surprise to me too.
Truth #1: Your level of consciousness, or the degree to which you understand yourself, is the primary determinant of your quality of life. As you harmonize your inner world, your thoughts become more peaceful, loving, and joyful. Better thoughts = better words and actions = better life.
Socrates summarized it in two words: “Know Thyself”.
Truth #2: With improvements to your self-awareness and consciousness, how you perceive yourself and reality will change entirely.
Truth #3: Now, if you’re still with me and are willing to entertain what I’ve shared so far, Truth #3 is a no-brainer: The primary purpose of the human experience is to evolve your consciousness. Once we begin to see that the situations in our outer world (family, friends, love, vocation, differences, disappointments, etc) arise to serve our own inner evolution, life’s challenges take on a completely new type of meaning and magic. We begin to see others as a mirror of ourselves. It’s also worth highlighting that your consciousness is the ONLY thing that is coming with you at the end of this life, so you could say after basic comforts, spirituality is the only rational investment.
Truth #4: The ultimate goal of Healing and Spiritual work is Ascension: to release all of your worldly karma, all the stuck energy from your body (which is your sub-conscious), and to merge the inner and outer worlds. This way, when we complete our lives, we graduate from this Earth Matrix school and have the option to move on to higher dimensions of reality. Ascension is a deep subject unto itself, and I’ll be making more videos on this soon.
Truth #5: Now, back to the 3D. Every single one of us is a unique and complete expression of life with valuable gifts to give to the world. Who and what we are is directly embedded in our genetic coding, most of which is dormant by default. The work to be done is to peel the layers away of what we are not so that we can bring forth more and activate more of what we already are. Being able to surface and give our gifts will naturally bring us the joy, love, fulfilment, and abundance we all seek. The bonus is: the more you help yourself, the more you’ll be able to help others. We are all one organism, and we all win this together. If we all surface our gifts, Earth is going to be AMAZING.
Truth #6: Each of us is also a unique puzzle. Unlocking our consciousness to find ourselves requires dedication, patience, humility, and vulnerability. Tools that work for one person won’t necessarily work for you. Once you do find something that works for you, I recommend you dedicate yourself to the practice, rather than shopping around for more external stuff. This is personal and internal work. As far as I can tell, healthy living, yoga, and meditation are supportive for everyone.
Truth #7: One of the primary determinants of lasting benefits when working with psychedelics is whether or not there is coaching or therapy. Now, I'm a bit stubborn, and this one took me years to learn. If you want to go further with less retreats and in less time, I cannot recommend enough that you work with a coach / therapist to surface, process, and release your mental and emotional blind spots and to learn tools you can continue working with post-retreat. The ego is REALLY quite good at dodging its own big traumas and fears, even with psychedelics.
There’s a great Rumi quote here: Whoever travels without a guide, needs two hundred years for a two day journey.
Trust me here: work with a guide. Your future self will thank you later.
Truth #8: If you’re someone who is highly driven to succeed in life (like I was for most of mine), it’s likely that you require external validation because you’ve been partially disconnected from your internal validation system, usually from childhood trauma. When this happens, we find ourselves feeling “not good enough” and working harder and harder for more external validation, but of course we still don’t feel whole, because the problem is on the inside. If this describes you, I definitely recommend a coach/therapist alongside your retreat. You are in for a big shift!
Truth #9: Psychedelics are not a quick fix, and it’s really not a psychedelic retreat you’re looking for. What you’re looking for is improvements to your consciousness, vibration, and quality of life. A retreat can help, but the science is clear: a lot more than retreat attendance needs to be true to sustain a heightened level of consciousness. To improve your chances, work with a coach to learn tools, prepare well, choose a high quality retreat, and commit to changes post-retreat. Keep in mind there are plenty of people who have done a lot of psychedelic retreats that are not doing so well in life, you may even know some yourself.
Truth #10: Virtually all retreats are shown as 5-stars on retreat aggregator websites. That tells us two things, #1 that people are having profound experiences, and #2 that we don’t know how to identify a high quality retreat. Like most things that “sound too good to be true”, that is absolutely also the case with psychedelic retreats, and there’s a LOT more happening out there than is being shown on a pretty website. I’m talking about 50+ people in a single ceremony, Dark Shamans, energetic attacks, limited attention to screening and safety, etc, it’s a long list. Many of us have this optimistic and somewhat naive notion that Spirituality and psychedelics represents the end of the Darkness, and that it’s all Love & Light. I’m sorry to disappoint. There is plenty of obvious Darkness out there, and then plenty more masquerading as False Light. I share this not to scare you, but to help you understand the requirement for caution and discernment, especially given this is an unregulated and nascent ecosystem. There’s a quote that has always stuck with me: “where the hopeful gather, so too do the predators”. I’ll talk more about how to find a quality retreat later.
Truth #11: Last one! If it isn’t already, Spiritual pursuits are likely to become one of the best things in your life. My recommendation is to be patient and don’t push yourself too hard. There are times when I brought a little bit too much of my warrior and achiever mindset to the pursuit of consciousness and psychedelics. Let things unfold naturally, and focus on self-acceptance, self-love, and maintaining balance across all aspects of your life, and the rest will flow. We are here on Earth for an embodied experience, not to chase a multidimensional escape.
Next, I’ll share a super-summary of my journey over the past 6+ years. This and more I believe is possible for everyone when combining psychedelics with a healthy lifestyle, coaching, and meditation:
I want to start by saying I no longer do psychedelics, I received the message that I’m done for now, so it’s just meditation for me. Now, that being said, I’ve done quite a lot of medicine over the past 6+ years, and had about 20 experiences where I felt that my entire understanding of reality was completely pulled out from under me, and a new version of reality was shown to me, and how I experienced everything shifted.
Psychedelics are not for the faint of heart.
Six years ago, I didn’t take great care of my body. I was drinking regularly, my diet wasn’t great, and I didn’t exercise much. I was working all of the time.
Today, my health (vibration) is my #1 priority. The better I show up for myself, the better I can show up for others.
I also see that my mind used to be highly active, I was always living in the future and this belief that “things will be better when ____” which is a totally bogus way to live.
Today, I have no thoughts (but I can still think!), my mind has been replaced to the correct place in the hierarchy of self, in service to my spirit.
The ultimate luxury in life is a quiet mind!
There’s a great video on this topic that goes deeper into the neurology of the ego titled “The Default Mode Network and the End of Suffering”
Spiritually, I was disconnected six years ago. Today, I feel a constant connection to my higher self, and much more guided.
My relationships have also changed dramatically improved.
First and foremost, with myself. I used to feel “not good enough” and found ways to escape myself with booze, travel, etc. Today, I have a lot more self-acceptance and self-love, and more than anything I enjoy staying home quietly
Second, my relationship with others. I used to often externalize problems, blame others, now I realize that when challenges arise, I’m being asked to see new things about myself.
Six years ago, you couldn’t have convinced me that people have super-powers. Now, I believe everyone has superpowers, and that they are multiplied when we collaborate with others in alignment with our strengths
My relationship to work has also shifted dramatically from “doing my job” to ensuring I feel inspired, creative, and am architecting my life around that which gives me energy.
My motivations and worldview have also completely shifted: From “what can I get” and unknowingly guided by fear to “what can I give” and being guided by Love and Service.
My worldview used to be that the world was Dense, Chaotic, and that Materiality came first. Now I can see that everything is in fact in Divine Order (even if it doesn’t always feel that way), and see things through the lens of energy, magic, and mystery, in the best ways possible!
Now, there’s always infinitely more to learn, and no upper bound for our evolution and understanding. Over time, we come to also appreciate that none of us will ever understand the infinite... but there is great joy in continuing the exploration.
And it goes without saying that everything is possible without psychedelics, it’s just that psychedelics can help us speed things up quite a lot.
Once we commit to our own inner evolution, the journey is not always easy, and yet paradoxically, it does feel like life on easy mode, because through all the ups and downs, there is a continuous strengthening of our internal guidance system.
To give you a sense of how backwards I think our priorities are, over the past six years I’ve spent a large % of my life savings on this work (~$250k) to work with some of the best private healers, and the last car that I owned I sold for $300.
And I have zero regrets. Once we are happy with ourselves, life itself becomes a miracle unfolding more miracles.
I go deeper on this subject in other videos, so here I’m going to highlight just three things:
#1: Understand whether the services from the provider are oriented around you, or whether you’re just another butt on another seat on another retreat.
If you’re one of 25 people on the retreat, consider whether that’s going to give you the level of attention you’re looking for.
Often we are unpacking generations of trauma and our deeply repressed childhood traumas (and yes, almost all of us have them!).
My recommendation would be look for a small group where you will feel safe to relax and explore your inner Universe.
It’s also nice to network with a small group. Meeting 20+ people at the same time as we are setting out on a journey of a lifetime within can be quite overwhelming.
#2: Look at the energy of the facilitators and healers you’ll be working with. If they are looking tired or you can’t really see whether their eyes are shining... take that into consideration.
In my experience, those who do this work well are in vibrant, radiant health, and you can really see it.
It’s a sad reality that a lot of retreat centers that are overworking and underpaying their facilitators and healers. Luckily, you can usually see it in their photos. If the healers look a bit grim, hunched over, tired, disconnected, or you can’t really see what’s going on in their eyes, that’s probably not the vibe you’re looking for.
#3: You’re not really buying a psychedelic retreat, you’re buying access to a portal to a higher dimension. The breakthroughs that are available to you in ceremony are a direct reflection of the dimension and vibration of the portal. The higher the vibration of the portal, the more profound spiritual breakthroughs that are available to you.
I know that may sound a bit woo-woo, but the difference here is important.
Recognizing that everything is rated as 5-stars, and that its near-impossible to tell the “vibration of the portal” from home sweet home, I will again encourage you to focus on whether the healer looks experienced and energized.
If they are not a clear channel, or they are doing a lot of back-to-back large group retreats, that will be reflected in the ceremony and in a lower vibration portal.
This work is all about vibration. In physics, when you have a lower vibration and a higher vibration, the lower vibration harmonizes up to the higher vibration. To oversimplify, that is what we are hoping for on retreat – harmonizing UP!
I will link to providing more detailed information on how to select a high quality retreat.
Ok, now if you’re still with me, I’ll share a little bit about what we do at Behold Retreats and why.
In essence, Behold Retreats represents what I wish was available for me many years ago: focused on the individual, a holistic approach to the work, guided by experts, and organized in a loving and professional way.
Given what I’ve shared already, what we do differently probably won’t come as a surprise:
#1: We speak to all prospective guests prior to extending a retreat invitation to ensure safety and that we are in energetic alignment.
#2: Our services are centered around you. Our Guest Success team will help you prepare for and integrate the experience so that you get the most out of the experience, regardless of whether or not you work with one of our coaches.
#3: We provide a remote Quantum Energetic Scan for all of our guests, which will point directly at your biggest opportunities to improve your quality of life. My strong recommendation is only do this scan if you are ready to hear very direct truths about yourself, because this technology can crack even the most hardcore skeptic.
#4: Expertise: we’ve put a lot of time and energy into building a team of highly experienced facilitators, healers, therapists, and coaches.
#5: Small intimate groups to contain the energy in ceremony in beautiful locations.
We sometimes get asked why our services are a bit more pricey than other options out there. The short version is:
1) Our intimate groups,
2) Quality accommodation,
3) We pay all of our staff well, in particular our facilitators, and
4) We don’t overwork our people
If our people are not living their best lives, it’s not possible that they will be able to lead you to yours. If they’re overworked and underpaid, as is often the case, that will effect the quality of the work.
That’s just how energy works!
If you’re a first-timer or haven’t previously worked with a coach, I would highly recommend you consider our 7-week Transformational Program. While retreats are amazing, it’s worth setting yourself up for success to get clear on your future self, identify and release mental and emotional blocks, learn tools that will last you a lifetime, and to have some help to hold yourself accountable to the big shift you’re looking for.
We work with 5-MeO-DMT (Bufo), Ayahuasca, and Psilocybin, and we host retreats in Costa Rica, Mexico, Netherlands, and Portugal.
Our group retreats begin at $4,500 USD, and go up from there depending upon group size and location. With the 7-Week program, the price is $7,500.
If you are in a position to do so, you may also like to consider a private retreat. If you want to work with some of the best in the world, these people tend to keep a low profile, and we are honored to play the role of concierge.
Thank you for taking the time to listen, and I hope this has been of service to you.
If you’re ready for a life-changing plant medicine journey to heal from trauma, anxiety, and depression, get un-stuck and close to who and what you really are, then we are here to serve.
My promise to you is simple: you are in great hands!
Whether or not you do a retreat with us, I strongly recommend you take the time and energy to really investigate your options and understand their pros and cons, so that you are confident in your decision making.
All of us here on Earth are part of the same organism, so let’s make it amazing.
Remember, we are all ONE.
To request a Discovery Call, click on Begin Your Journey below to share some details and request to speak to a real human being.
Best wishes for your health, your truth, and your happiness.
In Service and with Much Love,
Jonathan de Potter
Behold Retreats sets the standard for safe, legal,
and transformative plant medicine retreats.
Ready to heal, find peace, and live your purpose?
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