Jonathan Ott is one of the few people with a right-side up view -- drugs are natural techniques for ecstasy; mediation and religious ritual are artificial techniques.
Entheogenists debate about synthetics. For all we know, LSD may very well occur in nature, thus invalidating all distinctions between supposedly "natural vs. artificial" entheogens. Those who disparate synthetics are at risk of being discredited.
A more sound position is to assume that it is likely LSD can, or certainly *could*, exist in nature. To evade this possibility, the natural-entheogen puritans then say "the best plants are those which have been traditionally used, because they are spiritually infused with our shared consciousness." But those like me who don't significantly believe in shared consciousness or molecular memory find that argument completely unpersuasive.
Existentially, taking responsibility for our own reading of these plants and chemicals, there is *no reason* to prefer natural over supposedly "artificial" entheogens. My view is that of the greatest chemist, Sasha Shulgin. Molecules are molecules. Plants are not sacred; cultural historical usage of psychoactive plants is not sacred; only the molecules themselves are; that is, what is relevant for transcendent experiencing is the brain action of the entheogenic molecule, not the carrier plant or usage tradition.
Some such as Huston Smith say feebly that LSD is a valid imitation of true religious experience. I insist on the reverse, that religious practice such as meditation can sometimes be a valid imitation of true religious experience, which is entheogenic. Entheogens are not the only way to have religious experience, but they are by far the main and authoritative method.
>religion is an inferior imitation of drug experience; drug experience is not an imitation of religious experience. The term "entheogen" suggests that a drug evokes or generates the notion or reality of "god". I would say the reverse: the notion of "god" is reminiscent of a drug experience. So, maybe we start renaming religions after drugs. But not the other way around.
Here is a debate of mine about some aspects within this theme.
Dan Russell seems to condemn refined, concentrated synthetics in his recent book Drug War. He seems at times less sophisticated than Ott and Shulgin on this count. But he disparages the concentrates because of political reasons behind them. I glorify all psychoactives, the full pharmacopoeia, which is the most historically sound and informed view.
Fenatyl, psilocybin, methamphetamine, cannabis, opium, smokable cocaine, and all the rest, I respect like I respect the contents of pharmacies in general. They are all tools to explore the mind.
With prohibition policies, there is only a single question, only a single issue that falls in your lap: Would you, or would you not, put someone in jail for using a drug you disparage? I would not, because I understand the meaning of political freedom.
It is not surprising to see young people holding an incoherent mixture of prohibitionist and anti-prohibitionist views, since they are in the midst of prohibitionist propaganda that is at a fever-pitch as the WOD totters on the brink of collapse.
Nic is a prohibitionist; he believes prohibition is effective and warranted. He says we should prohibit drugs he considers harmful -- drugs other than natural entheogens. Nic also condones the notion of "abuse potential" and believes that drugs with higher abuse potential should be prohibited by a war on drugs. I assume Nic represents many young Millenials, with his only partial breaking through of the prohibitionist propaganda.
I recommend reading the books at http://www.promind.com if you care about ending prohibition. Also see http://www.reformnav.org for a rapid-navigation portal to drug policy reform sites. I receive daily newsletters and bulletins from these organizations about the battle on the front lines of the WOD and the reform movement. These newsletters work together with http://www.mapinc.org, which has hourly news updates about the War.
>>Almost ALL *natural* substances give one experiences to see deeper, profound religious enlightenment, a new outlook and vision
Do you consider opium to be good, or bad? Should we put people in jail for using opium? Is opium a legitimate sacrament? Opium was considered the most important drug by doctors before 20th century prohibition, and is likely illegal *because* it is so effective that it threatens the for-profit medical establishment. Know your history, know your philosophy of political freedom. Develop principled views founded on wide-ranging knowledge and evidence. Read the books at promind.com, such as A Short History of Drugs.
>>it is just another form of suppression and control to outlaw these gifts God himself gives us--parents do it, the govt. does it, society does it...and the only reason mushrooms and peyote are "drugs" is because the govt. has lumped psilocybin with mescaline, LSD, and heroin as a class1 drug. Given the fact that heroin, cocaine, ketamine, Ecstasy, and all other artificially synthesized drugs cannot be considered "eye-openers" for they are specifically made for recreation and abuse...but in other words, we are taught that they ALL fuck you up,
>>If we want to be closer to God in any way, shape, or form because we love Him to the fullest--let it be--it is our religion, our belief and if we want to expand our love for him through expanding our consciousness and capabilities of our minds, souls, and this world--so be it.
>>I truly believe there should be an effort to fight the war on drugs but not against the substances which the good Lord creates himself. there should be a war on all artificially synthesized, man-made substances which when abused, will kill you. It is actually hard to abuse peyote or mushrooms, because the voyage is sometimes so powerful one does not feel he even wants it for a long period of time afterwards, or possibly ever again. I am positive that if these substances were legalized, people would actually learn to look up to them and the respect the powers of God.
>>I am only 15 yrs old... I do not know how nor if I even can do anything about this situation but it is a goal for me...i want to take action, we should all take action...i just don't know how. If anyone is in a position of authority, some kind of authority, is reading this, and feels they may be able to do something...by all means--use my statement.
You absolutely can do something about the situation. More people now are literally dedicating their lives to ending prohibition and releasing the prisoners with full amnesty and restoration of rights. Drug policy reform is the hottest political issue among young people. There is a lot we can do. See http://www.reformnav.org for online resources, and read the entheogen history and policy books at http://www.promind.com. One of many good books on the subject is Steve Kubby's The Politics of Consciousness. You can become an authority without great difficulty by reading and monitoring these resources and participating in effective activism.
>True freedom for all. We aren't Communists. We should not suppress these freedoms. ... the most important and fundamental piece of this country "...for life, liberty, and the _*pursuit of happiness*_. Then shan't we? That is what this what the country was made for. Now we cannot live in the same way. The country has deluded itself into thinking we are unable to do anything. However, don't we all believe in something, to say that the mind is more powerful than anything in the universe? Then come together. And if we all have the same firm opinion and desire to lay down true justice and change this folly, then perhaps someday there will be life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You don't have the right to talk of liberty if you want to put people in jail for choosing to use synthetic psychoactives which you disparage. The smell of freedom is cannabis, the true litmus test (as Kubby points out) of whether a politician believes in political freedom and the principles of America is whether he would be willing to take a hit off a joint in a presentation.
But reformers, too, have litmus tests: do you honor fenatyl, smokable cocaine -- can you respect them, can you respect everything that comes out of Shulgin's lab? Or would you condone prohibiting those and dehumanizing the citizens who choose to use them?
>I meant, "I do not condone anything, artificial or synthetic, which *does not/cannot* have any harmful effect to it."
From your postings, you probably mean you could not rationally condemn any psychoactive substance which is incapable of causing harm. For example, we should legalize mushrooms, LSD, cannabis, and DMT.
And you also mean you do not condone (allow as legitimate) any psychoactive substance that can cause bodily death. For example, we should conduct war against heroin.
You wrote "I truly believe there should be an effort to fight the war on drugs, but not against the substances which the good Lord creates himself. There should be a war on all artificially synthesized, man-made substances which when abused, will kill you."
>The only reason mushrooms and peyote are "drugs" is because the govt. has lumped psilocybin with mescaline, LSD, and heroin as a class 1 drug.
>Given the fact that heroin, cocaine, ketamine, ecstacy, and all other artificially synthesized drugs cannot be considered "eye-openers" for they are specifically made for recreation and abuse ... we are taught that they all fuck you up [harm you]...
>We are supposed to have freedom, to do what we want with ourselves, be who we want to be and live our lives how we want to, correct?
>Then we should have the fundamental freedom to do exactly that ...
>Believe in what we want and do what we want with ourselves, our bodies, our minds, and our souls, for the benefit of how we live, think, and love ...
>If we want to be closer to God in any way, shape, or form because we love him to the fullest--let it be
>it is our religion, our belief and if we want to expand our love for him through expanding our consciousness and capabilities of our minds, souls, and this world--so be it
>I truly believe there should be an effort to fight the war on drugs but not against the substances which the good Lord creates himself.
>There should be a war on all artificially synthesized, man-made substances which when abused, will kill you.
>It is actually hard to abuse peyote or mushrooms because the voyage is sometimes so powerful one does not feel he even wants it ... again
>if these substances were legalized, people would actually learn to look up to them and the respect the powers of God
Ever since the cannabis prohibition conspiracy was started by Anslinger, the entire issue depends on who is to decide what constitutes "abuse" and what "can potentially kill".
If you give society and the government the power to prohibit one chemical, you have just put a big stamp of approval on the entire idea that prohibition is effective and warranted.
Your as-yet unenlightened view, an incoherent mixture of prohibitionist propaganda, will be used by society and the government to continue the current sham "war" of persecution-for-profit.
Most heroin deaths are due to prohibition, adulteration, unknown dosages, dirty needles, and the underground economy, not the heroin chemical itself. Prohibition kills far more people than heroin -- study the history of prohibition.
You can count on society and government to take that idea and run with it to the fullest extreme. The only practical way forward is to love as well as fear drugs such as aspirin, caffeine, and heroin which can kill if abused.
We don't even know which substances the Lord decided to create. Did the Lord put heroin into some plant on this or some other planet -- how could you be sure? What is so specially relevant about the sheer fact of a substance existing in nature that makes this somehow more legitimate than some other plant?
If we are conducting your war against some synthesized substance that could possibly kill a person (like aspirin and most other substances in a pharmacy), and we discover that actually the substance *does* occur in nature, does that suddenly change your war on that drug from right to wrong?
It is awfully presumptuous for you to sit in judgement over the potential of opium to harm or enlighten someone. You won't persuade many people in the entheogen discussion areas if you continue to hold such unenlightened views on ketamine and ecstasy.
You condemn the enlightening experience of many of us when you disparage the sacraments which are beloved to many of us, vehicles for the Holy Spirit sent by God for our spiritual salvation and ennervation, such as blessed cocaine, blessed opium, blessed ketamine, blessed X, and other glorious forms of Christ's flesh.
God obviously is the master botanist, but God is also the master of chemistry including all magical plants and all their potential products and poisons, so you ought to hesitate before you pronounce judgement on his angels with their diverse molecular, chemical messages.
I tremble in respectful awe before the majesty of his arrayed ranks of angelic messengers. I enthusiastically recommend studying the scriptures at http://www.erowid.org and gain a wider view of the diversity of God's wisdom.
You rely too much on your peers, who have very (and deliberately) limited horizons, to present the story of what psychoactives are all about and what their full potential is. There are many more viewpoints than you have been allowed to see so far.
It is too bad you don't have the money to buy a psychoactives library, but the Net has tons of information now -- such as the book excerpts at Dan Russell's http://www.drugwar.com, including the book Drug War: Covert Money, Power & Policy and the book Shamanism and Drug Propaganda.
Do you consider a water extract of ergot to be artificial, synthetic, and man-made? If not, at what point does a substance slip from being on your approved, natural list, to your disapproved, man-made, dangerous list?
Extract of ergot may have been used in Eleusinian Mysteries and in Jewish practice, per Dan Merkur, who has a second book coming out on the latter subject. The groups of psychoactives you try to establish cannot possibly hold up.
You try to divide psychoactives into "safe, natural, enlightening" versus "dangerous, unnatural, unenlightening" -- but those rigid, moralistic categories don't hold up even for five seconds under critical scrutiny.
My solution, along with Ott, Shulgin, D.M. Turner, Leary, and many others, is much simpler: respect the entire pharmacopia, respect it as a whole, be careful with it as a whole, and legalize it as a whole.
Empower people to take responsibility for their use of the pharmacopia as a whole and let them draw their own conclusions about what is safe enough and enlightening enough or pleasurable enough.
>>the sacraments which are beloved to many of us, vehicles for the Holy Spirit sent by God for our spiritual salvation and ennervation, such as blessed cocaine, blessed opium, blessed ketamine, blessed X, and other glorious forms of Christ's flesh.
>does coke, K, X, or opium really give a 'divine' revelation through the experience though?
The ancient "wine" actually should be translated "wine-suspended psychoactive mixture" which may have blended cannabis, wormword, ergot extract, opium, and various other psychoactives. Such wine could drive you mad, produce entheogenic inebriation, and had to be 8-fold diluted with water.
Some researchers conjecture that Soma was not just Amanita extract, but included other psychoactives including cannabis, opium, and peganum harmala. So opium may very well be involved in entheogenic mixtures, and it was, like wormwood, certainly involved in poetic vision in more recent times.
Dan Merkur's forthcoming book investigates whether the famous Catholic mystics used ergot extract or other entheogens.
I do not look upon cocaine or X as a promising vehicle for divine revelation. Cannabis is a very strong *potentiator* of entheogens such as mushrooms, so we should also consider the potential for opium, with its known poetic visionary use, to potentiate entheogens.
Cannabis could be a likely companion for Amanita, cancelling out the excessive salivation of Amanita.
The surest vehicles for divine revelation include LSD, psilocybin, 2CT7, Salvia, DMT, DPT, 4-HO-DiPT, and the psychoactive chemical in Amanita. Borderline vehicles include LSA-containing plants such as Hawaiian Baby Wood Rose.
>>God is also the master of chemistry including all magical plants and all their potential products and poisons, so you ought to hesitate before you pronounce judgement on His angels with their diverse molecular, chemical messages.
>we have made many a thing [human products] through combining one with the other too. does that make THEM divine?
If God makes two plants, each of which is independently non-psychoactive, and then humans combine the two plants and create a bridge for the descent of the Holy Spirit so that the researchers see Christ suffer, and be crucified and resurrected, would it be reasonable to say that the plants lack the Holy Spirit, for which God should be given credit?
This subtle question of theological metaphysics exceeds the power of my analysis.