Hillary Clinton Emerges from Ayahuasca Experience Shaken but Passionately Rededicated to Her Presidency
'I saw the way,’ says Clinton of Camp David drug seance
President Hillary Clinton has announced that, following a harrowingly intense drug experience in which she had a vision of a Donald Trump-led America, she will be moving forward with a clarity of purpose unlike any she’s known before.
'I saw things...no...really, I lived things, from a perspective of universal omniscience,’ said Clinton in an interview conducted cross-legged on the carpet of the oval office. 'And what I felt was great pain. A nightmare allowed to unfold.’
Clinton went on to describe a shattering vision in which she experienced a half year of a Donald Trump presidency while occupying the consciousness of every living being on Earth.
'I woke up every day in every soul of those marked by an ever-present nausea of what we had become,’ said the President, her tone marked by both overwhelming empathy and a powerful sense of serenity. 'I lived through a march of days filled with both surreality and inevitability, as though our community had simply given up on itself, like a body giving up before an illness. I saw us racing towards our own destruction, as though we were wedging open a wound that may already have been mortal. I felt the sun on my skin in the morning - and me was everyone - knowing that we had chosen hatred, fear, and cruelty when there has never been more of a need for their opposites. I saw the mass of us living our lives as though we had awoken in a broken place beyond mending, beyond saving. Maybe not even worth saving anymore. Every moment. Every hour. Every day.’
The President closed her eyes for a long moment, centering herself with careful, slow, perfectly quiet breaths. The tea service lay untouched between us, the surface of the liquid still but for its steam.
Clinton was describing an experience she’d had during a drug ceremony on the first post-inauguration retreat of her Presidency. The seance was led by an ayahuasca guru she met not long after her election against shock-candidate Donald Trump, whose candidacy she described as 'profoundly disturbing’.
'Before this experience, I was deeply hurt by the success of Trump’s ugly, fearful campaign,’ said the President. Though she of course won soundly in the general election, setting records for voter turnout in every demographic, she remained disturbed - and curious. ‘I am every American’s President, and I needed to know why the hatred ran so deep - for women, for immigrants, for the status quo. Even for me personally. I needed to know.’
The search - or as she characterizes it, her destiny - led her to a surprisingly hands-off guru known simply for the safe handling of ayahuasca ceremonies. Ayahuasca, a psychoactive drug native to the Amazon basin, has been gaining prominence in recent years among non-native practitioners who tout its transformative effect on physical and spiritual health.
But for Clinton, the first woman President of the United States taking office at a time of great division both at home and abroad, the drug offered an opportunity for insight into the minds of the people she was duty-bound to lead.
What she got was considerably more than she’d bargained for.
'I saw it all because I lived it all,’ is how she sums up the experience. 'There were months gone by, billions of lives, all at once, all together and apart,’ she says. 'I felt the terrible loneliness of a prisoner. The tearing frustration of a veteran. The swallowing despair of a man unable to move forward. And I knew it had to change.’
She said she thought of the early slogans of Barack Obama’s campaign: 'hope’, 'change’. She understood what they had meant to people then, the tinny but present drumbeat they had represented - and how it must have felt to see their lives go on as before.
'What good is a black president if millions of black people are in jail?’ she realized. 'What does incremental progress in health care in the richest country in the world mean to people who’d be treated better in Cuba? What does a decade-long, status-quo recovery from a criminal heist by the financial sector mean for the innocents who had to pay for it? Where is the justice? Where is the hope?’
After speaking at length, Clinton grew suddenly quiet. Considering a beam of sunlight streaming through the window onto the seal of the Presidency that lay between us, she remained silent for a long while before speaking again.
'I know the way forward now,’ she said. 'Because I know it could be a lot worse. And that isn’t enough.’