Home (theory of the ego death and rebirth experience)

Celestial Ascent Metaphors: Merkabah, Hermetic, Gnostic, Christian


Cosmic escape through nature mysticism.. 1

The sphere of fixed stars. 2

Cosmic escape: read mysticism allegorically/descriptively, not literally. 2

Tearing of heavenly veil at start & end of Jesus' ministry. 2

Astral ascent 3

Entheogenic astrological allegory. 3

Astrology domain is the surface, not the core of religion. 5


Cosmic escape through nature mysticism

Someone wrote:

>>Natural means not of man's making

I disagree with 20 things in that post and it breaks some sort of discussion group rule about discussing or speculating about personal drug use. Swearing is also bad per the landlords. Some combination of extreme radicalism and tasteful good judgement is required. This is a family-oriented discussion group.

It's a good posting for this group, highly on-topic; I hope to reply in detail as before.

It's awkward arguing for the soundness of entheogen mysticism during the age of prohibition -- the debate has to artificially float in the abstract, theoretical level. "If people were permitted, this technique would prove to be effective, for the following theoretical reasons, which we can read about in these books..." It's safer to argue that Christian history is entirely bunk, that Jesus and Paul and the rest never existed -- there's no war against that.

>Try reading the book about him written by a member of his own family, the book is called - The Genuine Fraud.

Some reading:


The only thing unbalanced with Watts was that he merely put in a footnote his point that mystics commonly reject "personal free will". My work largely corrects and realigns Watts'.

>>If you guys assume that you are going to instigate a social paradigm wherein society is popping pills to seek enlightenment and sensory enhancement then you are living in cloud-cuckoo-land and your ideas relate to reality as does Disneyland to matters of phenomenal fact.

That's what prehistory, Antiquity (600 BCE-500 CE), and the Middle Ages (500 CE-1500 CE) had: a social paradigm wherein society was routinely ingesting visionary plants to obtain enlightenment and sensory enhancement.

>Even the hippie movement was originally founded by such frauds as Alan Watts (an English misfit), and Co, who were popping pills until it killed him/them.

Who is "and Co"?

My understanding is that Watts died from alcohol, not from the more visionary plants and chemicals.

>And look at the legacy that movement left; it is still with society


What is the legacy of the psychedelic mid-to-late 20th Century? It's broad and diverse. Kerry Mullis credits his nobel prize in physics partly to LSD; much of the personal computer revolution is associated with psychedelics; it's easy to construct a list of such legacies of that late modern phase of the ongoing history of psychedelics and culture.

- about five percent zapped out junkies.

That is not a fact; it's nothing but a notion: an urban myth. No correlation has been shown between incidence of entheogen use and insanity. Some madmen tripped; this in itself proves nothing about statistical or causal correlation.

>Some ideal, some movement, some inspiration - some legacy.

Some amateur, unconvincing, hackneyed postings. Evidently, your position has no legs to stand on, so you have to invent facts and build your case on urban legends and attitudes and mental associations rather than on sound arguments that can withstand critical consideration.

>Forget enlightenment and live life - if it wants you it will find you.

>And that too IS A FACT - like it or not; face up to it or not.

Pilate asked Jesus, "What is FACT?" Which facts does a person choose to adopt, and how to weigh them?

The above is a bad-news scenario: "there is nothing you can do to pursue enlightenment."

The good news is, there is something anyone can do to pursue enlightenment immediately: study the mystic theory of entheogens, including the secret oral teachings that are necessary but are forbidden to post in any discussion group visible to the uninitiated, on penalty of death. People are free to choose which interpretive paradigm they want to live within: the one that forbids the apple and says you must postpone awakening for decades, or the one that offers the apple and says you may easily awaken immediately.

The sphere of fixed stars

Wittoba wrote:

>And by the way, the stars aren't fixed. They're moving rather rapidly, actually. It's all relative.

If you are a literalist, you'll never have half a chance of comprehending astrological gnostic hermetic mysticism.

In the allegorical systematization of mystic experiencing, the stars are considered to be fixed, in a certain sense, while they revolve. In the lower, earthly, fallen, illusory realm, things are held to move.

Cosmic escape: read mysticism allegorically/descriptively, not literally

"Cosmic escape" is nothing but a humorous mystic-state allegory or description, alluding to the desire to escape from the control-loss instability entailed in perceiving frozen block-universe determinism. Literalism is most rampant in interpreting mystic allegory and taking it literally, then dividing up mystics into camps based on what they "believe", when in actuality, they don't believe any of the allegory *literally*; it's all just equivalent reportive description of the same class and mode of experiencing.

Tearing of heavenly veil at start & end of Jesus' ministry

The veil of the heavens is cosmic determinism, metaphorized as the sphere of the fixed stars. Tearing through this sphere metaphorically describes peak experiencing of determinism and in some sense transcending determinism.



David Ulansey

[Originally published in Journal of Biblical Literature 110:1 (Spring 1991) pp. 123-25]

>>In the past few years, several different scholars have argued that there was a connection in the mind of the author of the Gospel of Mark between the tearing of the heavens at the baptism of Jesus (Mk 1:10) and the tearing of the temple veil at the death of Jesus (Mk 15:38). [1] The purpose of the present article will be to call attention to a piece of evidence which none of these scholars mentions, but which provides dramatic confirmation of the hypothesis that the tearing of the heavens and the tearing of the temple veil were linked in Mark's imagination. [2]

>>To begin with, we should note that the two occurrences of the motif of tearing in Mark do not occur at random points in the narrative, but on the contrary are located at two pivotal moments in the story-- moments which, moreover, provide an ideal counterpoint for each other: namely, the precise beginning (the baptism) and the precise end (the death) of the earthly career of Jesus. This significant placement of the two instances of the motif of tearing suggests that we are dealing here with a symbolic "inclusio": that is, the narrative device common in biblical texts in which a detail is repeated at the beginning and the end of a narrative unit in order to "bracket off" the unit and give it a sense of closure and structural integrity. ...

Astral ascent

Adept Magus wrote:

>>The seven levels of heaven and the underworld are found in ancient Judeo-Christian lore and was accepted belief, well into the Middle Ages and was taught by 14th century theologians. In ancient Greek mythology, Hades has at least six levels separated by rivers. The seven levels of heaven are found in the Dead Sea Scrolls such as 1 Enoch, early Christian works such as Ascension of Isaiah, Heckahalot literature, Hermetic works, and Neoplatonic works.

The classic levels of astral ascension are summarized in terms of maturing from freewill/separate-self delusion, to a peak experience of cosmic determinism and imprisonment in spacetime unity, on to a kind of spiritual transcendence of cosmic determinism resulting in "spiritual freedom", to gaze upon the godhead.

10. The utterly hidden black-box benevolent controller of the deterministic cosmos. Apophatic level, indirectly intuited or deduced or felt. Throne of the Good god.

9. The divine transcendent realm. The initiate is pulled up and spiritually born out from the deterministic cosmos.

8. The fixed stars; cosmic determinism. Peak experience of no-free-will/no-separate-self.

5-7. The slow planets. Intermediate level mystic-experiencing. Glimpses of frozen time and of unity.

2-4. The fast planets. Beginning of one's mystic-experiencing initiations.

1. Earth. Childish/animal delusion of freewill and motion; time passage taken as simply real.

The Hermetic astrology of around 250 CE is similar to that of the Renaissance. The New Chronology postulates that the years 600-900 didn't exist; that would help explain this similarity, this apparent intact, wholesale leap of mystic astrology across the supposed long divide from the Roman era to the Renaissance era.

The astral ascent occurs in conjunction with eating manna -- the bread of heaven -- or drinking from the krater of mind (krater means a bowl for 'mixed wine').

Entheogenic astrological allegory

Entheogenic astrological allegory, or entheogenic astrotheology

Astrotheology provides solidly plausible, satisfying explanations of various elements of Christian myths -- answering some questions that aren't answered as well using entheogenic allusions. Such astrotheology is defined in Acharya S' book _The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold_, and early 20th century Christ-myth books. An example of astrotheology: the 12 apostles are nameless but the number alludes to the 12 signs of the zodiac.

Search my home page for "Christ myth" to find my table of books. Search google.com to find her home page, if my page doesn't link to it.

The Gnostics, late antiquity, and Mithraism were all extremely oriented toward astrology and allegories of it. And these traditions used a consumed sacrament connected with death and resurrection. The mystery religions used entheogens with an allegorical, largely astrological framework, to discover, experience, and transcend cosmic determinism. The later mystery religions (125-300 CE) were back- projected to the age of the fall of the Jerusalem temple to form a version of the universal mythic religion that was set in a particular historical context -- thus was created catholic Christianity.

Acharya's book has plenty of hooks for the entheogen theory. There is a subsection focusing on this subject favorably, and a few other mentions of the idea. She says the entheogen theory of the origin of the mystery religions is certainly true to some degree but is only one part of the puzzle; Christianity was designed to universally incorporate all traditions, including entheogen sacraments.

I make the same limited favorable assessment of her astrotheology theory: it is correct, but is only part of the puzzle. Insofar as she minimizes the role of entheogens, she builds a theory of religion, minus the religious experience -- or at least, minus the higher-eschelon religious experience, which can be considered the most important layer of religious experience in the multi-layered initiation cults.

Like the Gnostic theory of the origin of Christianity put forth by Freke and Gandy in their new book Jesus and the Lost Goddess, Acharya's theory provides a complex allegorical mythic scheme but on the whole, lacks a compelling explanation for the experiential aspect; the astrotheology and Gnostic theories lack a compelling explanation of how one attained *experience* of the mythic allegories. Both theories, however, place a consumed sacrament in the very middle of the rites and myths.

Consume the sacrament, experience the myth and understand its spiritual meaning. The complex mythic theories don't put enough emphasis on the eucharist as trigger of experience and insight and mythic thinking.

Just as I treat received evangelical Christianity as a framework to concretize ego-death concepts and experiences, apparently the astrotheology out of which Christianity was formed acted as the common universal framework for Hellenistic and other religions.

We need a rich cross-understanding of the entheogenic cognitive state, astrotheology, and mythic allegory -- how do the three layers or threads feed into, support, and give rise to each other? It is a mistake to say that Christianity is explained by astrotheology, or is simply an allegory for entheogenic experience.

What Christianity really amounts to at its inspired fountainhead is a form of entheogenic astrotheological allegory. The characters in the stories "are" astrological elements but just as much "are" entheogenic experiences. The god is the plant and heavenly elements and sacrament and sacrifice and higher self and sacrificed self. I grant astrotheology a premium place of importance in the real nature of Christianity, but entheogens are of even more special importance. There is a dance of 3 threads -- astrology, mythic allegory, and entheogenic cognition.

Both astrology and entheogenic cognition are too fundamental and important to be called merely one element in the catholic universal- religion mix. I have managed to map entheogenic cognition to ordinary Christian allegory so that allegory is a tangible framework to convey entheogenic spiritual experiences. Acharya and other Christ-myth theorists have mapped Christian allegory to general astrological religion.

Right from the start, the proposal for an ancient universal religion of entheogenic astrotheology makes sense. Entheogens occur globally, and astrology is global. These are two common factors. Entheogens bring everyone religious experiencing, and astrology presents everyone with interesting lofty patterns of occurrences.

It is natural to find universally some overlap of entheogenic religious experiencing and astrotheology. Entheogens spark the imagination in many ways, so we can propose entheogenic astrotheology as the highest universal religion, providing allegories and religious experiencing in concert. Humanity thus all had a framework and inspiration system: entheogenic astrological allegory, out of which were formed dying/rising god myths that also related to first-hand egodeath experiences and some experiential encounter with time and fate as reflected in astrological cycles.

Keywords I'm currently circling in History of Religion books:

Eucharist, sacred meals, sacraments, eat, drink, lord's supper, eating the god, God's flesh, wine, vine, plant

fate, providence, grace, will, necessity, control, govern, king, soveriegn, power, sacrificial king

time, astrotheology allegory, cosmos, cosmic determinism

It is easy to find eucharistic eating in all Hellenistic religions. It has also proven fairly easy to find encounters with fate and time, with an attempt to rise above and become free from cosmic determinism. What has not been done yet though, is to map eucharists with fate-transcendence. The cybernetic theory of ego transcendence is distinctive in bringing these together explicitly for the first time, with the cognitive transformation of the sense of will and self- control providing the key link.

Astrology domain is the surface, not the core of religion

Acharya's book is distinctly pro-entheogen -- but the unread Christ_Conspiracy group moderators and discussion group members don't know that. The group is to talk about "Acharya's work" and that includes a chapter on sex and drugs in religion, which has pro-drug sections -- so what I wrote is, in fact, on-topic, and agrees with Acharya's published work in her book.

I'm preparing to review her book and the weakness of her book is interesting: she proposes that the real essence, the real meaning, and real esoteric content of religion is astrology, and that astrology is valuable because it is useful. She very occasionally mentions "initiation", and has the section on entheogens, yet she in fact has zero feeling for initiation as a mystic-state experience; she totally lacks a feel for or awareness of altered-state psychological phenomena.

The few traces in her book don't cohere together -- 80% of the book says the esoteric secret is that religion is really secretive astrology -- with no implication of a mystic altered state. Then suddenly and discontinuously, the section on psychoactives says they were used for initiation, vaguely implying that "initiation" in general can be a matter of the mystic altered state. The book practically puts forth two views, not integrated.

She does state that mushrooms would be just one part of the Christian religion and the Jesus figure, a wise point to emphasize. Her paradigm is, at core, the non-altered state early 20th Century "History of Religions" paradigm, which knows practically nothing of the altered-state origin of religion.

Sure, a bit of altered-state is taped onto the core after the fact, but the paradigm remains essentially ignorant that the essence of Greco-Roman initiation was entheogenic visionary-plant psychological experiencing; the intense mystic-altered state.

Acharya cannot be reviewed as an isolated book; one must instead review and critique the paradigm she is working in. This is why I study comparative paradigmology, as Peter Kirby's page does when categorizing Jesus theories. The issue isn't her book, so much as the paradigm in which she operates.

The main paradigm in her book is as off-base as the Golden Bough "fertility" theory of religion -- hers is the astrology equivalent of the misguided fertility emphasis; both make the identically same mistake of explaining religion by evaluating its surface. Her school claims to identify a core below the surface -- the surface is the Jesus-type stories and the core is supposedly astrology.

But neither really is the core -- religious *experiencing* is the core, and astrology points to that; same with fertility as an allegory-domain. Astrology is surface, not core.

I had no hesitation at all in giving a full 5 stars in my review of Luther Martin's thin book Hellenistic Religions. His book focuses on one thesis, and it's a key thesis -- that the essence of Greco-Roman religions was to somehow reconcile with or transcend cosmic determinism. That's truly insightful, a key building block.

Acharya's book is so right about so many things, and she justifiably says that I'm splitting hairs when I make a big deal out of arranging just right the different domains of concern of Christian myth-religion. I shake my head against her book's emphasis on astrology, even though so much is right about emphasizing astrology. It took me years to pinpoint my fundamental disagreements with Ken Wilber.

It is difficult to pinpoint my big complaint about what's so wrong about Acharya's so-right book. Same with Wilber: so much of what he writes is right, and yet he totally misses the most important mark, nevertheless. My big complaint about Jungian psychology is the same sort, and I concluded that the modern age overall, in the theories of religion and psychology, are missing the key element of intense mystic-state experiencing.

Psychology assumes that psychology is concerned with the ordinary state of consciousness. Religion theorists mostly assume that religion is concerned with the ordinary state of consciousness. Most astrology scholars assume that astrology is concerned with the ordinary state of consciousness.

So although today's conception of Psychology, Astrology, and Philosophy (and magazine Buddhism/spiritual) are valid so far as they go, I completely spit them out and condemn them as "having nothing to do with Dionysus", they are like ersatz "Rock" music that knows nothing of LSD. Astrology that isn't firmly grounded in the intense mystic altered state? Yuck! Ptui! No way, absolutely not!

If you assume that astrology is just out there, and not a matter of intense altered-state experiencing, then sorry, you don't know the living heart of astrology, the worthwhile type that compelled ancients. As above, so below -- and "below" means intense altered-state experiencing, vividly and tangibly profound activities in the psyche. Not merely astrology of the ordinary-state intellect, but astrology on acid, in the midst of the soul-seizing session.

*That* is what the better Greco-Romans or ancients had in mind by "astrology", not modern ordinary-state "symbolism" or fortune telling. For those who *experienced* astrology in an intensely mind-transforming way, fortune was something to tremble about, to fear, to pray about because your life depends on it.

The modern era puts forth bunk, ersatz, neutered, placebo "non-experiential" versions of what were the high domains of inquiry. The bulk of Christ Con -- like the bulk of clueless uninitiated modern topics of investigation -- is low astrology, when what motivated the ancients was *high* astrology. We could characterize each field as having a hot and cold version or a high and low level.

It is completely wrong to say that religion is about astrology(cold). It is about something essentially different: astrology(hot). What makes a domain-version hot instead of cold is the presence of the intense mystic altered state, normally brought about by visionary plants. Myth-religion was *not* importantly about {astrology without visionary plants}; myth-religion was really about {astrology with visionary plants}.

The core of religion is not astrology, but rather, visionary-plant astrology -- astrology *where* visionary plants are used. Without the visionary plants, forget it -- there's nothing of import there. Same as Rock -- if there is no LSD allusion, then it's mundane junk, pseudo-Rock, neutered "Rock" -- merely a minor derivative trivial entertainment. Myth-religion is absolutely not about trivial astrology; it's about hot astrology, high astrology, visionary-plant astrology.

Without the visionary plants, the so-called astrology is just a minor, derivative trivial entertainment, practical a mundane navigation aid, useful for storytelling to young children, like Greek Mythology in the grade-school classroom, devoid of any real religion, devoid of Dionysus, devoid of visionary plants.

To rightly comprehend Christianity, the key, important task at hand is to properly relate the following domains:

Visionary plants

Experiences and cognitive state produced by visionary plants

Self-control and freewill


Ruler Cult

Progress has been made in these individual fields by scholars such as the following:

Visionary plants - James Arthur, Clark Heinrich, Carl Ruck, Chris Bennett, Dan Merkur, Dan Russell, Robert Thorne

Experiences and cognitive state produced by visionary plants

Self-control and freewill - Richard Double, ...

Astrology/cosmology - Acharya S and the "History of Religions" school

Ruler Cult

Possibly, Fertility religion


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