Mysticism + Shamanism = Psychonautic Spirituality

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by PsychedelicDragon, Jul 18, 2010.

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Does your spirituality incorporate psychonautic mind exploring practices?

  1. - Yes, my spirituality incorporates at least some or more psychonautic practices.

    3 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. - No, my spirituality does not incorporate any psychonautic practices.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. PsychedelicDragon

    PsychedelicDragon Master Psychonaut

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    So to have an approach to spirituality that is more rational and intuitive, and away from faith and dogma. How does one approach the great spiritual mystery? Yes that's what it is. Our birth, our death, our existence in the present moment, these are all mysteries. They are vistas that go towards to unfathomable realms of reality.

    Of course this spiritual mystery has been around for thousands of years. It is known as mysticism. Mysticism is often defined as the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. There are many practices found in all major world religions, that reflect this mind enhancing and mind expanding spirituality.

    In christianity there is the gnostic tradition, and this is best exemplified by Jesus and the way his words were written down by the doubting disciple, Thomas. The gospel of Thomas has many key mystical sayings, like knowing your inner self, and finding the savior within. Later on in the middle ages, even after the establishment of Constantine's christianity, monks in contempory monestaries all across Europe practiced christian contemplative meditation, and even using mantras to get their mind in a rhythmic pattern. Chief among this is christian mantra "Hallelujah", many people have no idea that this was a chant used by Gregorian monks in medieval christianity, and by the christian mysitics of today.

    Then we move to islam. Look no further than sufism. Sufism is the way you find Allah within, and lots of people do not know this but throughout sufi history, right to the beginning, the word "Allah" was not only a divine indicator of god, it was also a special mantra chanted to get the mind focusing on Allah and Allah only. Allah meaning the ultimate reality, the felt presence of immediate existence, not some literal cosmic daddy in the sky, like what is found among some dogmatic scripturalist christians.

    Judaism has kabbalah.

    Sikhism has their concepts of meditative mysticism.

    Not much needs to be said about eastern mysticism, which has even more detailed history than mysticism found in western spiritual traditions. Within Hinduism there is the tradition of vedenta (especially advaita vedenta), yoga, tantra, or dyana. Dyana later makes a much bigger impact on buddhism, especially how it was imported. The yoga or dyana eventually becomes a huge component with tibetan buddhism, and when it comes to China it is known as Chan, until it makes its final destination in Japan, where it is known and Zen. The Chinese themselves have a tradition known as daoism that has many of the same teachings as the rational intuitive side of buddhism and hinduism, as well as practices like tai chi which resemble meditative practices of dyana, chan, and zen; and focus on altered states of consciousness.

    But to search for the root of the spiritualities like buddhism and jainism
    is that of Shramana. Although Daoism has separate roots, it can be described to possess many elements of a Shramanic philosophy. Then we get into the deep roots with a far earlier forms of human spirituality. It goes back to the roots of the mystical spiritual traditions of the many world religions we have to back to the very first form of spirituality: shamanism.

    Shamanism is the practice of extactic experience of the the spirit world, the main, and the phantasmagorical realms of reality that your wait near to us, yet seemingly in another dimension. It is for instance common for South American shamans to to consume a herbal beverage called ayahuasca. It is often called the "vine of the dead" because it reveals the the spirit world to us, albeit in a literal or metaphorical way is up for interpretation. The important thing to notice is the use mind expanding techniques. For the first mystics, who were the shamans, they used visionary plants like cannabis, psilocyin, or ayahuasca. In places like India, the remnant of the ancient form of shamanism can still be seen among the wandering sadhus, who commonly use cannabis (which they refer to as ganja, or Shiva's gift to man). Likewise cannabis use was used in spiritual and cultural life in East Asia, and was wide spread before the advent of prohibition, forced on the world by the United States.

    A similar pattern can be seen in the new world. Pscilocybin mushrooms were used among the advanced civilizations of Mezo-America, especially by the Mayans. In fact to this day ritual mushroom consumption is still an accepted part of mezo-american shamanism, and it is the pride and joy after all the terrible things european conquerers brought upon them. Indeed, when the Spanish inquisition discovered the holy mushroom being consumed by the native peoples of Mexico, they suppressed it in a witch-hunt, until they were driven into the shadows of mezo-american society. Traditional use of psilocybin is now tolerated by the Mexican government, who because of pressures from USA, cannot take the full step and end the prohibition of this safe mushroom.

    But going back even more further, dmt-containing plants were probably used as long, if not even longer, than psilocybin mushrooms, and in the amazon jungles among the natives exist the largest dmt-based spirituality in the world.

    In the east, meditation became an essential part of recapturing the altered states experience of the sacred Soma, which was lost to history to brahmins since ancient Indian times. Soma might have been either an ayahuasca or psilocybin brew, but it is not known for sure today.

    There are of course many ways to get into the mystic altered state of shamanic ecstasy, producing loose cognitive-association binding, which then produces an experience of being controlled by frozen block-universe determinism with a single, pre-existing, ever-existing future.

    The bushmen of the Kalahari for instance have a hypnotic dance that when done so for over 1 or 2 days, it will put you in a deep altered state experience.

    The most common mental exercise based altered states is meditation or hypnosis. Meditation is of course a form of self hypnosis, although meditation often lacks a goal like hypnosis. There is also psychoacoustics, such as shamanic drumming, by which listening to a rhythm for a long time produces an altered state of consciousness.

    Now what do all these things have in common? Whether it be dyana/chan/zen tantric and meditative practices in eastern mysticism, or the original shaman getting loaded on plants, speaking to the spirit helpers, and invoking the cosmic mystery of who we are ultimately. They all practice some form of psychonautics.

    Psychonautics is the practice of exploring the mind and the direct experience of the moment of reality. The psychonautic uses altered states of consciousness to get in touch with his of her subconsciousness mind, and thereby examining exploring the source of the maya, or the illusion of reality, and how their mind and is tricking them from seeing it as it is. When he sees that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. He has then begin to grasp some of the possible answers of the mystery.

    Perhaps the spirituality of the future will be one where the common man is no longer a slave to any person or any dogma. All humans will be the boss of their destinies, exploring the facets of reality and their mind (which puts this all to some coherent sense of understanding). In such a society, where there are no longer any rich and poor, free and oppressed, race or class; the full creative potential of man can be harnessed. Such a potential will honor the past, honor cultural tradition, and honor the power of the human imagination. Let us forget there is nothing more powerful and more able to transform the world as the human imagination. Let's not sell it straight. Let's not whore ourselves to nit-wit ideologies and hand over our power over our lives to the least among us (eg rich and powerful). Instead, step into the dawn of enlightenment, and realize that we are here as a way of the universe knowing itself. We are also a way the universe plays with itself. The sentient beings of the universe do not want suffering, and so focusing on eliminating suffering and accentuating the glory, the awe, and the wonder, can create a world where we can all happily explore both inner and outer space together equally, and (using the help of safe technology, technology that respects the planet) with no effort.

    Perhaps the future spiritual human will be a psychonautic, exploring the depths of the totality of existence. And in doing so, the real heaven promised by Jesus or Allah will dawn.

    How much psychonautic spirituality do you have in your life? Do you regularly explore the various realms of consciousness, whether that be through meditation/self-hypnosis, music, dance, entheogenic plants, lucid dreaming, and so on? Some of these practices involve silencing the mind of thoughts, and focusing your senses on reality. In other cases, you enter a new world induced by meditative/hypnotic or herbal changes in consciousness, where you enter the realms of the fairies, angels, the elves, the spirits, the aliens, genies, and whichever other name we want to give to the mystical entities of people that lies beyond the realm of ordinary consciousness.

    What do you think?
     
  2. PsychedelicDragon

    PsychedelicDragon Master Psychonaut

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    I was going to post this poll, but I passed the 5 min mark. Can some mod make a poll? The poll question is;

    Does your spirituality incorporate psychonautic mind exploring practices?

    Answers

    - Yes, my spirituality incorporates at least some or more psychonautic practices.

    - No, my spirituality does not incorporate any psychonautic practices.

    Thanks for posting it.
     
  3. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    It's an interesting comment, but I can't help but feel it's simply trying to create a new set of terminology for something that has already happened. If the use of mind-altering drugs are common in animism, why do we then need to separate that aspect and rename it?

    I agree, though, anything that helps you see the world from a different perspective, even for a short time, can be personally empowering, no matter what the source of the experience.

    However, the danger with psychedelics is that they remain simply a tool, but are not recognised as such, and sometimes you no longer need a particular tool.
     
  4. soma

    soma New Member

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    I meditate and find that alters my mind plenty.
     
  5. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    With the moniker of "mind-manifestingdragon" I was wondering when this type of question was going to pop up.
    There comes a time when one must graduate beyond substance and put into practice the things learned via that route or else one is then not a master, just a slave.
     
  6. PsychedelicDragon

    PsychedelicDragon Master Psychonaut

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    I agree and personally feel that people shouldn't just use the tool. Automatically using any of the tools that induce an altered state of consciousness does not automatically make you spiritual. You must actually do spiritual activities when in the intense mystic altered states, whether that be meditation, shamanic drumming, or rhythmic dancing.

    Psychonautics is not necessarily a new term, though it is not as widely known of a term outside the psychonautic community. I have noticed many people who practice old mystical or shamanic techniques often using the term "psychonaut" to describe themselves, so that is why I use that term. Perhaps that is what practical spirituality will be called in the future.

    That is good to hear. Meditation is a wonderful mind-altering activity. The only problem is that most people are too impatient to sit down and meditate regularly. Or they never understand the context of meditation before getting into it. I think with such people, using the other methods like rhythmic dancing or entheogens can give them an idea of what they should look for in meditation or self-hypnosis.

    It's quite clear you are trying to over-generalize what I am saying, based off of societal prejudices. Wanna know how I figured that out? Your post is just emphasizing but one of the many methods I advocated in altering ones mind. And yet you like to overemphasize it for obvious reasons.

    But to address what you are saying, there is no such thing as graduating beyond substances anymore than there is such a thing as graduating beyond meditation, dancing, or any other spiritual practice. The altered-state of consciousness, whether induced by psilocybin or meditation, will always have something more interesting to learn as both states of consciousness are unique in their own way.

    Furthermore, exclusivity of method shouldn't be the standard of spiritual practice....inclusiveness is better. What you want is being stoned on xyz, at the holy mountain, chanting and drumming, in deep meditation. Then you are really out there exploring all the realms of the soul. Of course you can be one of those types that is a fundamentalist about all these things, and say "meditation is the only long term way", "entheogens are the only long term way", or "dancing is the only long term way". I'de like to think of a more progressive inclusive spirituality though that includes all these methods.

    The only thing that prevents people from having the sort of all-inclusive spiritual methods I am describing is prohibitionist law. And in the case of those who don't want to learn meditation; it can be laziness or not finding enough time. However I do think people should try to conquer these limitations.
     
  7. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    I think that prohibition of anything is a huge problem.
    It solves nothing.
    It puts barriers up that are arbitrary and only serve those who would keep people in bondage.

    Whatever it takes to get you into the light is no crime.
     
  8. soma

    soma New Member

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    I agree what ever it takes to balance. We are in the perfect place at this moment in our awareness.
     
  9. Ravanosh

    Ravanosh New Member

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    Psychonautic explorations have been integral to forming my conclusions on the nature of reality. Such forays can be undertaken with or without the aid of entheogenic substances, the value of the experience lies solely in what one can learn from it.

    If it does not offend, I would like to lay out my findings herein.

    First off, I must establish a foundation upon which to build my conclusions. I will attempt to do so by posing a question: "What existed prior to the creation of the universe as we know it, and time as we understand it?"

    If one replies by saying "nothing", then the implication is that "something" came from "nothing". This statement can be refuted by logical reasoning - how can "nothing" generate "something"? They are mutually exclusive states.

    Therefore, logic would indicate that "something" has always existed, from which to generate the reality that we currently perceive. We can call this "something" many things, but for the sake of this discussion we will call It "God", for lack of a better word.

    For an atheist this is quite a leap of faith, hence the need to establish some manner of framework within which logic has a foothold, however tentative.

    Now that this groundwork has been laid, I will delve into my experiences. These center mostly around the nature of consciousness.

    First off, I would like to boldly put forth the idea that consciousness is the fundamental nature of subjective reality (true reality). I say true, as objectivity is an illusion. Everything that exists must be perceived before it can be acknowledged and understood, and therefore true objectivity cannot exist at the perceptual level.

    This is a difficult concept for many, as science indicates that objective reasoning supplies the only confirmed "truths". Yet for the individual, objectivity does not exist. Once a concept is perceived, it becomes subjective, it has no other choice. It must be subject to interpretation by a conscious mind before it becomes reality.

    The point herein is that many try to rationalize "God" through objective reasoning, when It exists only in the truest, rawest form, free of the illusions of objective "certainties". It's nature is wholly perceptual (subjective) in nature, and must be experienced to be understood.

    To touch upon the conviction of my tone, I would stress that this conclusion was reached by way of a long and involved process, undertaken with methodical intent, involving a number of personal meditative, introspective, entheogenic & otherwise spiritual experiences.

    When we look inwards, we begin to approach the infinite consciousness that permeates all things. As nothing can truly exist without first being perceived, existence is ultimately God's perceptions (i.e. God's "consciousness") that we are attempting to explain via the limitations of objective reasoning, while at the same time wading through the filters of the human brain - a device that is subject to our physical constraints.

    These constraints can be unshackled under specific conditions, when the filters we have established in our brains during the course of our human lives are removed or otherwise lessened via focused thought or chemical keys.

    I realize that in large part I am simply reiterating the conclusions of many others on this forum, including the original poster. For that, I apologize. We all see the grand mystery differently when we delve into it first-hand, so I thought I would provide a slightly different perspective.

    Provided my tone is not too dry or long-winded, I would like to continue. This is only scratching the very surface of my findings.​
     
  10. Pryingopen_my3eye

    Pryingopen_my3eye New Member

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    Right on. Graduating? How is that? Meditation is very useful tool in self awareness and realization as well as many other mindful applications. But the exploration of self, the dimensions around us, and the unknown will always be illuminated by entheogens and will at different stages in life reveal truths we become capable of comprehending. If you "graduate" out of the experience then you only reaped the benefits you were capable of reaping at that moment in your life. Our opinions are ever changing as well as our perspectives. Why then should graduating out of an experience be an option then, especially when the practise is so beneficial on several fronts(whether or not you agree with that is, I suppose another post entirely)? In such practices I feel we must never give up, or graduate out of, or we will be passing up a great truth or two on down the line. Take some time off?, of course, but come back to it when you get the itch to do some heavy mental exploration with the eyes you currently see the world with, I guarantee they are not the eyes you saw the world through on your last psychonautic expedition!
     
  11. Pryingopen_my3eye

    Pryingopen_my3eye New Member

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    Love this response to the "graduate." With more thinkers like you this world, this US nation, would be much more inviting. It would not be nearly as hostile either. With this mind we would not segregate ourselves in such small tight knit communities that are weary of strangers and newcomers.
     
  12. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    You guys totally missed the point I was making with the term graduating.
    After a time too much reliance on anything be it meditation, dancing or sacraments or whatever will create a dependency.

    It is good to take what one has learned (by whatever means) and put it into practice.
    Maybe try new things, kind of like crop rotation, you don't keep planting the same crop forever on the plot of ground, you rotate your crops and even let the land lie fallow for a period as well.

    People are not much different.
    I was not implying that one cease to do whatever one has found works to achieve beneficial results.

    If it floats your boat......
     
  13. chakraman

    chakraman God save us from religion

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    i did ayahuasca a few times a few years ago...good stuff. most folk might benefit from trying it once in their life. it's a great healer, has been used very successfully with drug addiction. also have heard that woman use it after giving birth to "put" themself back together. it's really quite extraordinary where it takes you....so much further or inner than mushrooms etc...it's a great tool but like any tool, it can be used to break down as well as build.

    i personally don't agree with taking anything on a regular basis including "sacraments". on a wider note i do think everyone has a drug of some form, whether it be beer, football, religion, chanting etc...so we're all hooked imo.

    life, spirituality and the like is in the daily living not in a ceremony. if you understand energy there's nothing you can do on aya that you can't achieve without it, as in health etc...

    entheogens are great physical healers as they open the chakras and meridians and remove blocks and let energy flow...that's pretty good on it's own.

    this is a good explanation of aya::

    [youtube]ufQptgr1--s[/youtube]

    and british gay buddhist tv presenter called alistair appleton takes aya (excellent watch)
     
  14. PsychedelicDragon

    PsychedelicDragon Master Psychonaut

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    I should further clarify what I mean. As shawn wisely stated, it is not good to make a habit out of anything. However, if psychonautical/spiritual/shamanic experience is your thing, then it can be preferable and the rituals then become apart of the fun of enlightenment. Of course we should never to cling to anything no matter how great they may be. When you start making the rituals more compulsive, more spiritual problems can arise.
     

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