Donna Quesada: Well, Alberto, I’ll go ahead and start, by saying thank you for your time this morning! We are all very excited.
We have been following your work for years and I know our readers will appreciate your time, as well.
Alberto Villoldo PhD: Thank you. It’s good to be with you. And you have some of my favorite authors that you are reading.
DONNA: Yeah, we have many special interviews, and having you is a very special moment for us. And I would like to start off by jumping right into the deep end, if that is all right? And first a little disclaimer… you have shared with us that you have a bit of jet lag and I’m asking you to dive right into deep waters with this question that is our little tradition, here on Awaken… And that is, what does it mean to awaken?
ALBERTO: Awaken means to understand that we are living in a dream and that you can wake up inside the dream. And when you wake up inside the dream, you can begin to steer it. And in a way that is very advantageous to the village, to the tribe, to the planet. Because the moment it is only advantageous to you… It’s what the Shamans call sorcery. So, we can, inside the dream, begin to guide the dream and then begin to dream the world into being.
DONNA: I like that… to dream the world into being. Does that tap into this notion that we do create our own reality? And all the more so, when we awaken to our ability to do that?Are we co-creating with it?
ALBERTO: We are co-creating. We are not creating anything alone because this notion that you exist separate from everything in the cosmos is really flawed. It’s sort of the narcissistic version of the “I,” the inflated “I,” when in fact, we are co-creating with the birds and the trees and the frogs and the eagles and each other. Now, you are creating your own experience of the world, but we are co-creating with spirits and with each other. So, the problem with waking up, is that frequently, we stay at waking up. And we keep going back to another Ayahuasca session, or another samadhi experience or another epiphany. And there really are three steps. The first one is waking up. The next one is growing up. So, you’ve got to integrate the lessons you have received, as part of your awakening. And we have to grow up. Grow it. And the third step is showing up.
DONNA: Waking up, growing up and Showing up.
ALBERTO: And then, showing up, so you can be part of the solution. You can begin to dream the world into being.
DONNA: Well, I want to make sure I understand. So, you’re saying that our tendency is to keep going back to the magical experience? Is that because we haven’t matched ourselves to the experience, by growing up?
ALBERTO: Precisely. We haven’t harvested the gifts that were offered to us. We’ve got to keep going back under the Christmas Tree.
DONNA: Because we are looking for that experience to be renewed and we don’t know how to sustain it ourselves…
ALBERTO: And part of it is because for most of us, our brains are broken. So, we don’t have the hardware to really sustain that experience of oneness, of communion. Of becoming Godlike.
DONNA: You know, it’s amazing… as I study different traditions… it’s amazing how truth is truth is truth is truth. I’m processing what you said about awakening. And, part of what you said, is to wake up from this kind of dream that we are in. It sounds like the Hindu notion of maya…or what Buddha said… we are in this kind of ignorance where we falsely perceive or separate existence… when we are not separate, at all. And, it does correspond to what you are saying. But, you are taking us to another step… another two steps… that we are not going to be able to maintain it if we don’t have some sort of practice that helps us adjust to this reality that we have awakened to.
ALBERTO: Yes… that can hold the multitudinous aspects of reality… which is totally unreal.
DONNA: You were going to share a story?
ALBERTO: Well, I was having dinner with this scientist friend of mine, recently. And he was saying to me, “Alberto, you’ve read the research about pro-biotics, right?” And there was a big study that said that pro-biotics really don’t work. And I said, “that’s because it’s bad science.” And he said, “come on, this is Harvard University.” I said, “it’s badly designed because the mind of Gaia, the planet, is bacterial. Bacteria have been here for 2000 million years. And they will be here long after we are gone. And your pro-biotics are bacteria. And Gaia knows that we humans are a parasite. We are not stewards of the Earth. We are the problem.
So, when you take your pro-biotics, you’ve got to talk to them. And you’ve got to say to them, “I’m part of the solution. I’m not part of the problem.” Because if they think you are part of the problem, they might do away with you. But, if you tell them that you are part of the solution… here to be a steward of the Earth… “I’m here, to be in service…” Then, they are going to be helping you tremendously.
So, my friend, who is the scientist, said to me, “You really talk to your pro-biotics?” I said, “Of course, I do! I talk to my dog, right? I talk to the trees and to the bees and the rivers… Why not your pro-biotics?” So, we live in a universe, in a world that is alive and nothing is inanimate. Not even the rocks. They just don’t move a lot, but, there is consciousness everywhere. And we are not able to hold that very readily with a brain that has been damaged by the pesticides and the anti-biotics and the mercury that we have been exposed to. As a kid, when the thermometer broke, I would play with the mercury in my hand. Did you ever do that?
DONNA: Well, they told me not to. It was tempting!
ALBERTO: I went to the dentist and he put mercury in my mouth, in the form of fillings. So, we have been exposed to toxins that shamans never had to deal with before… and have been breaking our brains… putting it under severe stress. So, we need to detoxify, so that we can literally do the growing-up part. Learn the lessons that spirit is offering to us.
DONNA: And you talk a lot about detoxification and gut-health and I would like to talk about these things with you. But first, in your new book, Grow a New Body…And, congratulations! Everybody here on the Awaken team has been reading it and we are all completely engrossed. And in this book, you describe this experience, in which you became deathly ill. And I think we would be remiss if we didn’t go there because your story is so inspiring and so pivotal to this new direction of your work… if you would even call it a new direction? You nearly died from being invaded by parasites. And I am wondering if you would share your experience with us, so we can understand what gave you direction for this aspect of your work…
ALBERTO: You know, as a medical anthropologist, I’ve been in jungles in Indonesia, and deserts in Africa, and in the Amazon Jungle, and the Central American jungle. And the jungle is actually a very clean place. But it’s the last outpost of the white man… it’s absolutely filthy. Because we are the only creature that fouls its own nest. And it’s in these outposts of civilization… the last navigable port… where you are exposed to all kinds of parasites and malaria and bacteria. So, I picked up “hitch-hikers.” I picked up 19 different types of parasites. There are five kinds of hepatitis. I had all five of them. Viruses and pathogens. And I had not been feeling well and I went in for a head to toe checkup. And the doctor said to me, “Alberto, you should be dead.” I thought, “wow, that is an unusual diagnosis. I’ve never heard that before.” So, he said to me, “you better get in line for a liver transplant.” Because my liver was shot. And also, he said, “you have parasites in your brain and your heart is full of holes.”
So, I knew I could get a new liver, if I was lucky, and maybe a new heart, but coming across a good brain is really hard these days. I did go the western medical route to kill all these parasites and viruses because we know that western medicine is really good at killing things. But then, I had these three organs that were damaged. A liver that was not functioning, a heart that had holes in it and a brain with parasites. Dead parasites, now. So, I decided instead, to grow a new body. And not just try to repair these organs, but to regenerate these organs. What happened is that I had these three organs that were pretty much non-functional. And we know that we have stem-cells in every one of the organs in our body. But, what is it that turns these stem-cells on? We know that we can grow a new body because we did. But now, these instructions are in password protected regions of our DNA. So, I went back to my shamanic training and I understood that the shamans knew how to activate these regions in our DNA that will help us to switch on the production stem-cells in every part of our body. So, I did. I grew a new liver and a new heart.
ALBERTO: And I repaired my brain. So, eight months after this, I got to my hepatologist, and he says “I don’t know what are you doing because your liver has come back.” And I started telling him. And he said, “I don’t want to know, but keep doing it.” So, my book Grow A New Body is… and I think this is maybe my last book… a compilation of what I’ve learned, working with medicine men and women about switching on the body’s natural ability to regenerate. So, I grew a new body. A new heart, a new brain, a new liver. We can do that. We know how to do that, today. We know that you require certain power plants that are available in nature, as certain spiritual practices. And I will give you the background information for this in a minute. I’m sorry, go ahead.
DONNA: For those who might be wondering, wow, you can really grow a new body… You are saying, unequivocally, YES!
ALBERTO: Absolutely, and you grow a new body every seven years. So, every cell in your body is replaced. Skin cells only last six or seven days. The lining of your stomach and your lungs only last three days. Your bones are replaced every six to eight years. Every molecule in your system and every cell is replaced every seven years. So, you can either grow a version of yourself that is slightly older or wrinkled or you can grow a new version of yourself that is youthful and vital. So, you can take your health span with you for your entire lifespan.
DONNA: To say that is inspiring, would be an understatement, and you start off strong. And I just have to read this right from your book because it makes an impression. You say, “in the west we do not have a health care system. We have a disease care system that recognizes 1000’s of ailments and myriad remedies. While spirit medicine only identifies one ailment and one cure. And that ailment is alienation. This is fascinating… for those listening, it might not seem immediately apparent how something like alienation fits into this program of building a new body and healing the self… Can you explain that… this idea of overcoming alienation, in our process of becoming new?
ALBERTO: I mentioned earlier that I am a little bit jet lagged. I flew from Chile to Miami this morning. When I was checking in to the flight., the person that was checking me in was more interested in being connected with her digital device than with me. I said, “Hi, I would like to check in for my flight.” I said, “Hi!” She thought I was being aggressive. Like, she was going to call the police. There’s no connection between people. You even watch couples texting each other, walking down the sidewalk together. We are disconnected from nature, from our sacred nature, from our journeys…. from our mission that we accepted, before we even came into our body. And this is the great ailment.
When you become disconnected from the sacred purpose that brought you into this life. That is when illness comes to remind you. And this is the premise of energy medicine and shamanism. The premise is that if you create the conditions for health, then disease will go away by itself. You don’t have to treat disease. The premise is that illnesses do not exist. Sick people exist. But illnesses are not real. They are a combination of symptoms. And we have 14,000 different illnesses in the west. But for the shaman, there is really only one and the remedy is to embrace your oneness. That experience that comes through awakening and that launches you on a path to healing… But, what the Shamans discovered is that you also have to upgrade the quality of the brain.
DONNA: And how do you do that?
ALBERTO: Here’s the connection. You know, there are about 40 million species on the planet. And with only two of them, is the female allowed to live into menopause. In only two species does the female live beyond her reproductive years. And these are the species that have the biggest brains. So, it’s humans and orcas and dolphins. All the other millions of species don’t know what menopause means. So, it’s the humans, that have the biggest brains to bodyweight ratio that nature rewards with longevity. And, it’s the grandmothers, among the orcas for example, that teach the young ones how to hunt. They are the keepers of the wisdom. And it used to be with us humans, also. I learned more from my grandmother than I did in college. I went to a really good school, too! So, this is the experiment. We are taking part in a biological experiment… an evolutionary experiment, that is about intelligence. And nature rewards with long life, those species that have the biggest brains. Not that we are doing a great job of using ours. But, this is the experiment. An experiment in intelligence. It’s what we call consciousnessor spirituality. Not religion. Religion is very different. Spirituality is the experiment we are taking part in.
DONNA: And that is what you mean by having the experience of oneness, and learning how to sustain it? If I could say so, this is what makes your program stand out. It shouldn’t be thought of just as a health or a diet program. It is combining spirit and body and mind for total health and prevention. Is that correct?
ALBERTO: And enlightenment.
Read and Watch Part II Here: Awaken Interviews Alberto Villoldo Pt 2 – Grow A New Body By Awakening The Goddess Life Force Within You