Entheogens-God inducing substances

wil

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Indegenous tribes, medicine men, shaman, holy men, oftened used what we called hallucingens in the 60's to access spirit, God, source.

Today they are a completely revised topic...same products, ongoing study, research and a resurgence with a revised name Entheogens-God inducing substances.

From Carlos Castenada and Baba Ram Das of the modern times...all the way back...we've found plants and plant isolates to take us to another reality w/o space and time.

Plenty of links, google away, I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts.

namaste,
 
wil said:
Indegenous tribes, medicine men, shaman, holy men, oftened used what we called hallucingens in the 60's to access spirit, God, source.

Today they are a completely revised topic...same products, ongoing study, research and a resurgence with a revised name Entheogens-God inducing substances.

From Carlos Castenada and Baba Ram Das of the modern times...all the way back...we've found plants and plant isolates to take us to another reality w/o space and time.

Plenty of links, google away, I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts.

namaste,

Carlos Castaneda lost his Ph.D. because there was no Don Juan, the whole thesis was imaginary.

Baha`u'llah indicates that the mind is the perfect agent for communion with God and to alter that mind by the use of drugs is to LOSE the ability to commune with God.

So, its all a matter of point of view, I guess.

Regards,
Scott
 
Such substances change our perception of reality, and in doing, can potentially offer a new way to see God.

However, any substance that changes our perceptions is merely a tool - I don't believe drugs show us things that were not there before, but may help remind us to see the wood for the trees.
 
I said:
Such substances change our perception of reality, and in doing, can potentially offer a new way to see God.

However, any substance that changes our perceptions is merely a tool - I don't believe drugs show us things that were not there before, but may help remind us to see the wood for the trees.


I agree entirely with this notion Brian. My misspent youth was not entirely without reward and seeing the aura of light a tree produces under the influence of the indigenous Liberty cap is something I will forever cherish. The coincidence of common nomlaclature in this little fruit of the earth cannot be lost. Indeed the chemical effect on the brain is to open pathways our brains have developed substances to block. I do not advocate however that everyone go out and try on this liberty cap for themselves. Not all are ready for what they will see.:eek:
 
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Such substances seem like the lazy way out to me.
Taken loosely, all of the main religions ask their members to become ever more virtuous in order to be closer to the divine. Could God really be okay with people taking a drug to experience Him, instead of developing true divine character?

As an afterthought, I think of the examples you originally gave, like medicine men, who may have worked hard to lead virtuous (in whatever sense their culture means it) lives. For them, I suppose there's no shortcut, only a tool?

- Sarah
 
sara[h]ng said:
Such substances seem like the lazy way out to me.
Taken loosely, all of the main religions ask their members to become ever more virtuous in order to be closer to the divine. Could God really be okay with people taking a drug to experience Him, instead of developing true divine character?

As an afterthought, I think of the examples you originally gave, like medicine men, who may have worked hard to lead virtuous (in whatever sense their culture means it) lives. For them, I suppose there's no shortcut, only a tool?

- Sarah
I think in most cases these substances are taken for specific ritual purposes and often to communicate with ancestors or spirit guides. Most , if not all, of these tribes do not have a single God and do not attempt to emulate the devine in the sense you mean.
My own experiences with these substances were as a genuinely naive 12 and 13 yr old who had no idea they were a drug and I was in no way looking for any spiritual experince from them. It did however show me that the universe is much bigger place than our eyes normaly let us see.
 
I attempted to address this same issue from a slightly different perspective in a thread that I started on "The Pineal and Spirituality" in the Beliefs and Spirituality Section of this site. Basically we have a chemical in our own brains that appears to open the gate to visions and revelations which is called dopamine .... it can be released in the brain at times of great "passion" or "desire" which is actually a state of being that one might reach in the search for connection to God .... chemicals from plants and other drugs can comes close, but probably not to the same degree as the natural release of chemicals in the brain itself .... these are the real God inducing substances and can be released through deep meditation or prayer .... just my thoughts to share .... check out the piece on Pineal and Spirituality if you wish (one person thought it sounded like ramblings .... but it is really important to understand the workings of our brains and their involvement on the path to spirituality) .... he hawai'i au, pohaikawahine
 
Tao_Equus said:
I think in most cases these substances are taken for specific ritual purposes and often to communicate with ancestors or spirit guides. Most , if not all, of these tribes do not have a single God and do not attempt to emulate the devine in the sense you mean.
My own experiences with these substances were as a genuinely naive 12 and 13 yr old who had no idea they were a drug and I was in no way looking for any spiritual experince from them. It did however show me that the universe is much bigger place than our eyes normaly let us see.

Yeah, that's why I said 'taken loosely'. I didn't mean 'the divine' to apply only to monotheistic cultures. To take, for example, Sioux culture, there was/are the ideas of the Great Hoop/Great Spirit and other spirits within nature. So in their society, 'the divine' - simply a word that I chose - means all those things. They communicated with those spirits via extreme hardships (e.g. the Sun Dance). Might they have thought that smoking something or eating something to get the same results was the lazy way out? Well, I'm not Sioux, but I would think so.

Not intentionally sticking to Native American cultures, I'm aware of certain ones that use peyote for those reasons, but they seem to be the exception, not the rule.

As for people taking hallucinogenic drugs just for the experience of doing so, I think that's something just in modern culture, and taking the history of humankind into consideration, that is again, the exception and not the rule. Though I acknowledge I could be wrong.


- Sarah
 
sara[h]ng said:
Yeah, that's why I said 'taken loosely'. I didn't mean 'the divine' to apply only to monotheistic cultures. To take, for example, Sioux culture, there was/are the ideas of the Great Hoop/Great Spirit and other spirits within nature. So in their society, 'the divine' - simply a word that I chose - means all those things. They communicated with those spirits via extreme hardships (e.g. the Sun Dance). Might they have thought that smoking something or eating something to get the same results was the lazy way out? Well, I'm not Sioux, but I would think so.

Not intentionally sticking to Native American cultures, I'm aware of certain ones that use peyote for those reasons, but they seem to be the exception, not the rule.


- Sarah

most native american cultures subscribe to concept of the great spirit in the same way that others subscribe to the concept of God .... there is one great spirit .... other 'gods' are the recognition of this spirit in all things .... while there are some versions of chemical substances, for the most part the process of the "vision quest" is used to reach that place of knowing .... a "vision quest" is usually performed in solitude, includes fasting, and is a form of meditation (no drugs except the natural chemicals produced by the brain itself).... the great hoop is the cycle of life (and we are all participants in that process) ..... the "thunder beings" that are part of other tribes are symbols of the "lightening bolt" or the "transformation of consciousness" and you will find the "lightening bolt" in many other traditions .... the "snake clans" and the "bear clans" all protect and perpetuate symbols of other parts of the inner process of being .... the ancient knowledge is all in the symbols .... he hawai'i au, pohaikawahine
 
sarah said:
Such substances seem like the lazy way out to me.
Taken loosely, all of the main religions ask their members to become ever more virtuous in order to be closer to the divine. Could God really be okay with people taking a drug to experience Him, instead of developing true divine character?

As an afterthought, I think of the examples you originally gave, like medicine men, who may have worked hard to lead virtuous (in whatever sense their culture means it) lives. For them, I suppose there's no shortcut, only a tool?

- Sarah

The debate on whether or not using entheogens is morally appropriate or spiritually pure aside, the fact remains that they alter consciousness. An experience of altered consciousness can be frightening, comical, traumatic, and enlightening--often all at the same time. Personally, I don't see entheogens as "the lazy way out;" I think it takes a lot of courage to throw your mind and spirit into totally unknown territory. In the grip of these chemicals--these dirty drugs, these sacred plants, these transcendent beings, or whatever label you want to put on them--there is the potential of spiritual transformation through loss of ego. Our entire conception of reality can be challenged in a lasting way. The visions, understandings, and perceptual/conceptual shifts that can be brought about by these substances are not isolated instances--they are not a flash-in-the-pan recreational experience that is consumed quickly, and then we're on our way to the grocery store or doing the laundry, back in the mundane routines of our lives. Experiencing an altered state of consciousness, whether through meditation, prayer, fasting, or eating mushrooms, is not like watching a sit-com; we come away from the experience with a different take on our lives and reality.

I certainly don't think that people should eat LSD for breakfast, or take bong hits every two hours, but I think that there is something to be said for approaching these psychoative substances with awe and reverence, and experiencing them with the same awe and reverence. I don't think that sara[h]'s assertion that these substances are "the lazy way out" is fair. Anything can be labeled "lazy." For instance, sitting around in a cloud of incense, meditating for several hours a day. Or praying, even. All of these introspective spiritual excercises could be seen as lazy, especially by someone actively engaged with fighting injustice in the world. It's a matter of perspective.

I would agree that these kinds of substances are tools, to be used with caution, veneration, and to be experienced by a fully engaged mind. I would also have to agree that the full potential of psychoactive drugs, or entheogens, is lost on the typical suburban bedroom stoner, tokin' at 4:20 while munching a burrito and watching sydicated episodes of Seinfeld or Star Trek.

;)

Peace,
Pathless
 
Pathless said:
I certainly don't think that people should eat LSD for breakfast, or take bong hits every two hours, but I think that there is something to be said for approaching these psychoative substances with awe and reverence, and experiencing them with the same awe and reverence. I don't think that sara[h]'s assertion that these substances are "the lazy way out" is fair. Anything can be labeled "lazy." For instance, sitting around in a cloud of incense, meditating for several hours a day. Or praying, even. All of these introspective spiritual excercises could be seen as lazy, especially by someone actively engaged with fighting injustice in the world. It's a matter of perspective.


I get what you're saying, and I thank you for bringing up the point. I have to say though, that I would respect someone who can get to a state of altered consciousness on their own more than I would someone who gets there via a drug.

But, you're right it does come down to perspective. Why should anyone care what anyone else thinks? Why should I presume to call someone lazy? I think spirituality is a personal thing and it would be better if we all respected eachothers' personal beliefs and methods a bit more.

- Sarah
 
Old thread, back when trying out college, mid 70s I wrote a paper comparing hallucinogenic trips on lsd and psilocybin to mystical experiences described in the Bible or by leaders such as St Francis.

Oh did my teachers go off...and my dad went ballistic.... I wish I had that paper today.

Thoughts on the topic have advanced the past few decades...but the lines drawn are still there.

For those with more interest ...

 
Old thread, back when trying out college, mid 70s I wrote a paper comparing hallucinogenic trips on lsd and psilocybin to mystical experiences described in the Bible or by leaders such as St Francis.

Oh did my teachers go off...and my dad went ballistic.... I wish I had that paper today.

Thoughts on the topic have advanced the past few decades...but the lines drawn are still there.

For those with more interest ...

We've come a long way from Timothy Leary and Aldous Huxley, and in some sense full circle.

Is it likely our Stone Age forebears got...ummm...stoned? Probably.

It has been surmised that the advent of agriculture was not for bread, it was for beer.

The cave dwellers already had the Ganzfeld effect and sensory deprivation:

Prisoner's cinema is the phenomenon of a "light show" of various colors that appear out of the darkness. The light has a form, but those that have seen it find it difficult to describe. Sometimes, the cinema lights resolve into human or other figures.[1]

The phenomenon is reported by prisoners confined to dark cells and by others kept in darkness, voluntarily or not, for long periods of time. It has also been reported by truck drivers, pilots, and practitioners of intense meditation. Astronauts and other individuals who have been exposed to certain types of radiation have reported witnessing similar phenomena.[2][3]

Scientists believe that the cinema is a result of phosphenes combined with the psychological effects of prolonged lack of exposure to light, and others have noted a connection between the form the lights take and neolithic cave paintings.[4][5]
---


This certainly *could have* been augmented with entheogenic substances, there is no reason to doubt hunter/gatherers being familiar with the effects of various plants.

A favorite of mine, regarding Santa Claus:

Reindeer ... in the wild make use of mind-altering drugs and their crazy behaviour may have encouraged man to try these recreational drugs too, reports an article published in The Pharmaceutical Journal (Vol 285 18/25 December 2010).

Reindeer go to great lengths to seek out the hallucinogenic fly agaric mushroom (Amanita muscaria) and eating the fungi makes them behave drunkenly, run about aimlessly and make strange noises. Head twitching is also common.

Fly agaric mushrooms have long been used by man for their psychotropic properties but can be toxic. Reindeer can eat them without harm and having observed their effects on their livestock, reindeer herders in Europe and Asia have long collected reindeer urine as a safer way of taking this hallucinogen.

Some suggest this is where the slang "getting pissed" comes from.

Point being, use and abuse of mind altering substances has a long track record, and not limited to humans.

Could this tendency have led to or augmented any connection to the Divine? I don't think it can be casually dismissed, so I will leave that door open for now as a distinct possibility.




 
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Point being, use and abuse of mind altering substances has a long track record, and not limited to humans.

Could this tendency have led to or augmented any connection to the Divine? I don't think it can be casually dismissed, so I will leave that door open for now as a distinct possibility.
I have a friend who was agnostic of not atheist, spiritual yet not religious who went on a trip, I mean psilocybin study at John Hopkins....she got religion!

Many a friend has claimed enlightened understanding or saw the godhead...whatever that means. Others have parted the veil of reality and left religion due to psychedelic experiences...seems it could go either way.

Some think it drops our material capitalistic notions and returns us to our natural state to accept G!d as a.reality and others who come out we are all one.

I know one guy who was running around like a lunatic...high as a kite, soiled himself and did not care. 3 of his friends calmed him down and consoled him...you are ok...you are fine...it will all come out right...just breath your life is on the right track...just keep being you...

A couple years later I heard him talking at a party about that event... I literally felt cuddled in the arms of G!d and He told me..you are ok...you are fine...it will all come out right...just breath your life is on the right track...just keep being you...
 
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