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Entheogen-Diminishing Attitudes: New Age


Against drug-free spirituality. 1

New Age - false history of religion and enlightenment 6

Shaman's Drum magazine - psychedelics special issue. 7

Endless spirituality research as denial of entheogen solution. 7

Suppression of entheogenic esoteric religion. 9


Against drug-free spirituality

My mood of late against meditation and post-1960s American spirituality: I'm sick and tired of it, I hate it, and I'm not going to take it anymore.  This nonsense and claptrap has gone on for entirely too long.  If spiritual people are offended by this pointing out that the emperor has no clothes, then too damn bad for them and their feelings.  It is necessary to sacrifice false spirituality in order to gain a firm grip on the straight facts. 

On the whole, to concede the legitimacy of someone's drug-free meaningful spirituality that gives meaning to their lives is, in practice, to condone lies and falsity and to encourage suppression of Truth together with suppression of entheogens.  The fact is, entheogens are the source, fountainhead, wellspring and so on of all that is highest and most profound and most central in religion; *real* Christianity and *real* Buddhism and *real* esotericism are, *first and foremost*, entheogenic. 

The legitimacy of drug-free spirituality is *nothing* in comparison to that of real spirituality, which is practically identical with entheogens.  I grant a millionth of a percent legitimacy and efficacy to the upstart proposed alternative methods which, the bottom line is, *don't work*.  Drug-free spirituality is a failure.  Any exceptions are nothing, because they just prove the rule, offering only a travesty of religion, an insult to the genuine, actual, authentic *intense* religion.  There is far more than enough support to back up my adamant hardline view. 

Enough lies -- won't someone, for once, tell it like it is?  I wash my hands of these lies; I want nothing to do with them.  There is one true path: entheogens.  The other proposed paths are cheap ripoffs that are nothing in comparison: to admit as I have done that meditation is a tenth of a percent as effective as entheogens is to tell evil lies.  Here I state the truth, that meditation is a millionth of a millionth as effective as entheogens, which is to say, meditation is extremely ineffective, while entheogens are extremely effective. 

Put side by side, the bottom line is, meditation/contemplation is a failure, while entheogens are a success.  The received dominant framework is the assumption that direct religious experiencing is rare and not entheogenic -- we must yell in the streets that that is the very opposite of the truth; direct religious experiencing is potentially utterly common, and is entheogenic: the received framework is bunk, wrong, mistaken, false, and wholly and profoundly off-base. 

There is no mystery about the mysteries, esotericism, and gnosis: to the extent that the mysteries, gnosis, and esotericism actually delivered on their promise of direct religious experiencing, to that exact extent, the mysteries, gnosis, and esotericism  were entheogen-based.  The one or two supposed exceptions only prove the rule: meditation/contemplation is entirely a mistake, a lie, futile, hopeless, a false replacement, a phony substitute that debases religious experiencing, and has to be discarded and rejected as a hypothesis about the nature of religious experiencing.

Neither I nor my audience has another minute to waste conceding legitimacy to the illegitimate, condoning confusion and error.  It is a tiny slight mistake to wholly dismiss drug-free spirituality as I do, whereas it is a colossal error and lie of the first order to grant drug-free meditation/contemplation a significant amount of legitimacy. 

Drug-free meditation/contemplation definitely does *not* have a significant amount of legitimacy; its legitimacy is vanishingly small next to the towering efficacy of entheogens.  Drug-free meditation/contemplation has no more than an incidental, curiosity degree of efficacy or legitimacy.

The received view, which treats drug-free meditation/contemplation as favorably as possible, while diminishing entheogens as much as possible, is evil in that in practice, its main effect is to block and impede and prevent actual direct religious experience, substituting a placebo instead.

Let us compare today's drug-free spirituality scene with natural mysticism.

Every time anyone says "nature", "garden", or "natural", the first thing you should picture is an Amanita mushroom, surrounded then by cannabis, opium, morning glories, datura, nightshade, henbane, thornapple, and cowpie mushrooms.  From the Garden of Eden to Paradise of the Kingdom of Heaven, what makes a sacred garden sacred is its central purpose, entheogenic plants -- psychoactive drugs.

In the modern period, artificial drug-free mysticism (meditation/contemplation) has enjoyed highly favorable conditions, and yet it has been proven to be almost completely ineffective and un-ergonomic at inducing any specific result, which is why everyone considers enlightenment to be so rare and difficult -- because they begin with the assumption that enlightenment must be a matter of drug-free mysticism, but drug-free mysticism basically doesn't work; it only mimics to some extent the full-on entheogen-triggered intense mystic altered state. 

Meanwhile, the natural, entheogen method of triggering the mystic phenomena has been violently and systematically suppressed during the entire broad modern period, yet shows tremendous potential and normally brings about the full gamut of ego death and related experiences, and shows every potential of bringing about full enlightenment, of a specifically definable sort (as I have explicitly written about in postings and in my Intro webpage), to the normal, average person.

It is completely and extremely unfair to compare the achievements of artificial drug-free mysticism with natural entheogen-induced mysticism during the modern period that gives many benefits to the drug-free approach, and puts every impediment before the mystic garden approach.  Grow a plant, go to jail, so how can we even begin to compare the achievements of the two attempted methods of enlightenment?

Drug-free mysticism fills the magazines with false and empty promises and claims that are never going to be realized in the normal, average person; to sustain these books of lies they have had to ever lower and lower their promises.  No American Buddhism magazine now is so foolish as to claim that their methods produce an altered state of consciousness -- instead, they vaguely promise some undefinable and unaccountable spiritual uplift of daily life.

Drug-free mysticism is a recent fantastic construct that is parasitical upon entheogen-based actual religious experiencing.  People report that entheogens commonly produce intense religious experiences, and people report that meditation usually does not produce intense religious experiences.  These reports of the failure and poor prospects of meditation and the success and tremendous prospects of entheogens are clear and unambiguous even though drug-free meditation has been given every break while every obstacle has been placed in the way of entheogens. 

Even though drug-free meditation has been given a big unfair head start, and though people sabotage and trip up the entheogen method, entheogens are *still* winning the race so much that the entheogen diminishers have been forced to deny that religious experiencing or spiritual enlightenment has anything to do with an intense altered state.  These entheogen diminishers have had to redefine spirituality as a mere uplifting of normal daily life.

Few indeed are the spiritualists who claim that drug-free meditation is reliable and effective at producing an intense mystic altered state in the average, normal person -- it is a claim that not only lacks evidence, but rather, has all evidence clearly working against it.  Like the phony drug war, the claim of the drug-free meditation/contemplation advocates cannot stand up to a genuine debate and critical investigation, but must retreat into vague claims and unaccountable conceptions of spirituality, recent trendy innovations which lack historical evidence and reproducible evidence. 

When 99% of people 99% of the time fail to obtain any sort of religious state of consciousness from drug-free meditation, the excuse of the entheogen diminishers is "you're not doing it right".  Entheogen-favoring spiritualists don't have to bother inventing such excuses, because the entheogen method actually delivers on its promises, producing if anything, an overwhelming excess of the religious state of consciousness. 

There is no contest when comparing the degree of reliability and intensity of entheogen versus drug-free spirituality methods for the average, normal, ordinary, typical person: entheogens are vastly more reliable, effective, ergonomic, intense, and efficient. 

People who claim that meditation is effective, reliable, and repeatable have a low, small conception of what religious experiencing and spirituality can be, or they have an abnormal brain constitution that's irrelevant to almost everyone, or they claim that their guru or some rumored remote sage has succeeded, even though no one else is having any luck with the "ideal" drug-free approach. 

Drawing a distribution curve for the efficacy and reliability of drug-free versus entheogenic methods, and comparing the curves, the drug-free method can only be characterized as pathetic, a blip that just registers enough to prove that the best method of preventing and avoiding spiritual experiencing and mystic enlightenment is by drug-free meditation/contemplation. 

Do you want to have nothing to do with religious experiencing and intense mystic enlightenment?  Then I wholeheartedly recommend drug-free enlightenment, which has been firmly proven, after countless many attempts, to almost never produce religious experiencing and intense mystic enlightenment. 

The good news is, there is a method that is highly reliable and ergonomic: combining visionary plants with intellectual study.  The method of combining visionary plants with intellectual study doesn't magically improve daily life or the socio-political world; it brings what is first of all claimed: intense mystic experiencing and metaphysical enlightenment about the nature and relationship of self, time, space, control, and world.

Dick wrote:

>I have been studying mystical experiences (including gnosis and much other) for near on fifty years,

During the modern era, which is the most spiritually illiterate and dark era ever, fifty years of research is 50 years of inventorying faint and mediocre religious experiences.

Belief in the potency of drug-free religious experiencing often fits with belief in psychic phenomena.  I definitely dismiss, in principle, psychic phenomena, because such phenomena would complicate my model of enlightenment.

I do acknowledge that there are many reports of drug-free, including spontaneous, mystical experiences.  I have never denied this and will never flatly deny this.  Rather, turning the tables against the entheogen-diminishers, I diminish and criticize drug-free and spontaneous mystical experiences as being incidental and mere curiosities, minor accidents and random quirks that are the mind's entheogen-ready circuits leaking a bit of noise. 

Drug-free mystical experiences are rare and weak and not repeatable on demand; they are on the whole basically irrelevant, of relatively little import next to the towering efficicacy, intensity, reliability, and repeatability of entheogens as a trigger.

>>None of these documented experience were brought about by drugs; they were quite natural and spontaneous. How do I know? Easy, from hindsight of experience one can know that they are not shooting the sh*t.

Rather, the fact that one can have a drug-free mystic experience proves that the reports might or might not have involved drugs.  I can relate to your sureness by recalling that I know for a fact that Rush is an acid-based Rock group, even though, on some people's interpretation, I have no certain proof.

>However, if people wish to take drugs then that is their business (and societies problem - for we all familiar with the effects of over-doing it).

That parenthetical assertion and its surrounding worldview with a raft of implicit meta-assertions is highly debatable.

>I am very opposed to messing with the mind

That characterization of psychoactive drug use is highly debatable.  For example, the drugs work because they are like well-fitting chemical keys, in contrast to how alcohol works in nonspecific shotgun fashion as far as specific receptors are concerned.  If I recall, this point is covered in Ott's book The Natural Paradises.

>The point being is that after forty years of communication with folk I have never yet read of a drug induced experience which comes anywhere near matching a spontaneous transcendent mystical experience, and that is a fact.

That judgement is unbelievable and incredible, because it contradicts (without putting forth justifying evidence) what many entheogen researchers have reported and concluded: that many drug-induced experiences closely match spontaneous mystical experiences.  Who are we to believe, and on what basis: the researchers who judge that the drug and nondrug experiences are fully indistinguishable, or those who judge that the non-drug mystical experiences are nowhere near matched by drug-induced mystical experiences?

The content of mystic experiencing is the same type and character, whether triggered by drugs or not.  There is plenty of evidence (reports and writings) to support this.  I have little respect for these writings as they are usually gathered, however, because we are then usually merely comparing first-time entheogen users with one-time spontaneous mystics, or meditators highly invested in many years of meditation.  We need broader distribution curves, culled in an environment less biased against psychoactive drugs. 

Entheogens are more reliable and available on demand than drug-free methods, and are generally far more intense.

>If the research were to have found

>otherwise then I would state it as so; but it is not.

Other researchers have stated it as so.  Who are we to believe, and on what basis?  There are two opposed camps of researchers or people making claims.  How do we choose between the two worldviews and sets of assertions and interpretations?

>True, from what one hears and reads, then it becomes clear that drugs can at times open the doors to the mind at various levels - but not very deep.

That's a completely debatable judgement that relies on a certain interpretive framework.  Most published reports are by the dregs of society; if people weren't thrown in jail with careers deliberately wrecked by the prohibition-for-profit bandwagon, we would have more fine writers and thinkers opening the doors at fully deep levels.  Today's system of prohibition produces a filtering effect that gives the impression of drugs being limited to ignorant high school kids.

>On the other hand however there is the negative side - and this is not found or documented with spontaneous experiences.

That's entirely debatable.  The claimed negative effects of drugs, including degree and scope, is supported by a huge amount of evil, harmful, destructive, profit-driven propaganda: prohibition-for-profit.  Psychoactive drugs should be decriminalized; prohibition of psychoactive drugs and suppression of those who use them should be illegal.

Drug-free mystical experiences are generally harmless because they are rare and feeble in effect.  Efficacy and potential harm are correlated.  Guns that merely squirt water are less harmful than real guns that shoot bullets.  Drug-free spirituality is a harmless water gun and doesn't stand to threaten the egoic delusion of personal free will and separate self. 

Psychotomimetic drugs are a real threat to the egoic psyche, a direct threat and detonator shaped precisely to threaten the heart and foundation of egoic delusion: the mental worldmodel that is founded on the assumption of freewill control power and separate-self.

>...I am a ... pragmatist ... why bother to try to induce experiences which come naturally anyway

Because drug-free mystical experiences don't come with much intensity or frequency; they are rare and generally feeble.  Entheogens are the only ergonomic choice for pragmatics.

>when the individual is, for

>some reason, ready to cope with them

That cliched expression is an excuse for the rareness of mystic experiences and the inefficacy of drug-free meditation: "The method works, but you weren't ready yet."

>and integrate them within their own process of becoming the more that we are?

>... evidence suggests that anyone having a spontaneous 'wham bang' experience (which blows their mind) will come to handle it - it may take a few years however. But there are many documented reports of people who have induced an experience which they were not ready for and have later committed suicide by virtue of failure to integrate what they have found. And this of course is tragic.

Were there many?  What proportion?  What were the actual causes?  The above stock assertions won't fly without essentially sound support, though they are always trotted out as unquestionable facts of the universe in what passes for "debate" about drug-induced mysticism.  Somewhere there must be entire nations filled with these masses of acid casualities, upon whom the old familiar entheogen-diminishing song and dance so heavily relies, even though other research reports the lack of any statistical correlation between abnormal psychology and entheogen use. 

The one thing we can be certain of at this point is that we have forbidden research before it even had a chance to begin.

>... I am in full agreement - the advent of Rome pushed Western civilisation back into the dark ages for two thousand years.

Lately I have speculated with Edwin Johnson's book "The Pauline Epistles Re-studied and Explained" that the years of the dark ages didn't exist; the Reformation (1517) happened only a few centuries after the fall of Rome (476), and that Christianity, particularly scripture-based official Christianity, is a recent invention and that Christianity is completely centered and based in the brief Middle Ages or so-called "Renaissance" (re-birth of antiquity culture after its absense) rather than coming from around the year 180 or 50 CE. 

The advent of Roman Catholocism "pushed Western civilization back into the dark ages for two thousand years" in that the Catholic church was invented around 1525 and invented stories about its having begun 1,500 years ago, inserting many nonexistent centuries in between and then excusing the total lack of evidence for those centuries by condemning them as utterly dark centuries in which next to nothing happened, and dismissing the total lack of evidence for pre-476 Christianity with various flimsy excuses: "they worshipped in secret", "they were ashamed of the cross so never portrayed it".

>If it were not for Rome (and state Priestcraft) we would not only have been on the moon a thousand years sooner

I don't know how science was spurred or hindered by institutional religion -- books are available trying to determine this relationship.

>but people would have a proper understanding of the metaphysical aspects of their emanation of BEING.

That happened commonly until the Protestant/Modern/Scientific era, per Nasr's book Knowledge and the Sacred, and some other theorists of Tradition.  I don't know why esoteric knowledge relatively withered at that time.  I suppose that people got farther from nature's psychoactive plants, such as cowpie mushrooms, and therefore became literally exiled from the mystic garden of Eden.

>... he claims that 90% of the stuff called 'Gnosticism' is utter junk ... 99% of it is.

>KNOW THY SELF - both the transcendent and imminent bits.

>1. Given that consciousness exists then what exists for consciousness to become conscious of?

>2. What is the real Self when everything which is not the real essential Self is extracted from our system of dynamics?

>By the way, the process of things which are not YOU being stripped away from the system of our incarnate dynamics is called PURGATION - and this is a spontaneous process, NOT self induced.

It's definitionally arbitrary.  In some sense purgation of egoic delusion is self-induced, a product of the personal will, an act of mystic suicide.  In some sense, the psyche is lifted, is rescued, is acted upon and transformed from beyond the personal will.

>Eventually at the end of this process there is an annihilation of self existence (quite scary at the time).

Loss of control, loss of freewill, during the psychotomimetic loose-cog state -- the mind that is too logical to be afraid ought to be most afraid, being now ready to be crucified and to crucify one's lower self, in full defeat and full glory.  Enlightenment is deadly bad news for egoic controllership, an apocalyptic destruction of the old, through full instability, to a new world which will stably stand forever.

>After a duration of non existence (the cessation of the flow of consciousness) there is a resurrection of our being. But that resurrection is back into the eternal mode of our cognitive being - the innate and essential primordial condition of cognitive being. And it IS SO. Ipso Facto. Keep in mind also the FACT that you cannot know the absolute nature of objectivity until such time that you first come to discover the absolute nature of your Self - the observer of the observed. Creation is ONE thing; but it is constructed in the mode of a duality - the observer and the observed. The phenomenon of consciousness works this way. Hence, the only way to find out what we really are is by going home to where we have our ground of being - in the cognitive aspect of the life force.

New Age - false history of religion and enlightenment

George wrote:

>>I think what could loosely be called the "New Age" movement is a heartfelt surge of a wish to get "there" - whether by drugs, dancing, meditating, not meditating (nondual stuff), etc., etc.

New Age wants to retain freewill while embracing no-separate-self.  That is a self-contradiction that must be abandoned in order to stop reincarnation and consciously enter the kingdom of heaven.

No-free-will is essentially locked into no-separate-self; enlightenment is the intellectual and experiential knowledge of no-free-will/no-separate-self; such knowing is consciously experienced as entrapment and imprisonment, and the subsequent feeling of release from that sense of entrapment is allegorized as gaining true spiritual freedom.

One can escape that entrapment by high magical thinking, divine transcendent thinking that rejects naive animalistic freewill delusion, and that is prepared to mysteriously step outside the deterministic cosmos when the chips are down and survival of viable mental integrity is at stake.

New Age spirituality was largely awakened by pot and acid, and now they try to invent a false history of religion which supposes that non-drug meditation and contemplation is the historical wellspring and fountainhead of religious experiencing and enlightenment.  But meditation was developed as a technique first discovered as a drug state and then formalized to augment the drug state.

Today's meditation has been ripped off and torn out of its historical context, in conjunction with disparaging, diminishing, and belittling visionary plants, even though such plants are the source of meditation and the source of religion including Hellenistic religion-philosophy, Christianity, and Buddhism.

>>IOW, what's happening now is like what was happening back in the early "Christian" times.

I am Mary Magdalene, the first apostle of the modern systematic-thinking era to see and explain clearly and ergnomically that the sema/soma is empty, that ingesting the transcendent god's flesh is by far the most ergonomic trigger for revealing the secret rulership of vertical block-universe determinism and ascending out from that frozen rock universe.

>>IOW, we're finally picking up where we left off before we were so rudely interrupted by a politicised, literalist Christianity.

I wonder if that Christianity was actually a modern invention between the age of the printing press and the Enlightenment.  My ability to read the language that is more classic than latin and greek -- the mythic-mystic altered-state metaphor language -- suggests that in the classic pre-Enlightenment era, Christianity was generally mystic-allegorical, not political and literalist.

Modernity grossly overestimated the prevalence of literalist thinking in classic Christianity, projecting its own modern-era literalism onto the mystic-mythic pre-Enlightenment era.

Shaman's Drum magazine - psychedelics special issue

I just picked up Shaman's Drum issue 60, 2001.  It's a special issue on psychedelics -- just the fact of the magazine focusing on it is reason enough to collect it, like the special psychedelics issues of Tricycle (Buddhism magazine) and Gnosis (esoteric Christianity magazine) and High Times.

It's dated 2001, so it might leave the rack soon.  Some specialty bookstores keep some backissues.

Endless spirituality research as denial of entheogen solution

My general proposal is that in general, all these hand-wringing queries about searching for spirituality should quit beating around the bush and turn their attention toward where it is already constantly being pulled anyway.  What more clear "sign from God" are they looking for, than the reappearance of entheogens again and again throughout pop spirituality?  They keep acting like it's uncear, yet nothing could be more obvious.  So all these serious, in-depth searches are just so much smoke and noise based on pretending that the answer or key is difficult and unknown.

At some point it is obstinate irrationality to keep looking when you've already found the solution to a search and puzzle.  Entheogens fit as the solution to the mysterious puzzle.  It's like someone reading the stack of books about No-Historical-Jesus and then still coming back with that same old, in-denial canard, "But this is all speculation and we can never know for sure." 

Past a point, the claim to not know become obstinate irrationality, because rationality was never based on knowing anything absolutely for sure; we can be relatively sure and confident about all things we know, though *none* of them are known "absolutely for sure".

In the case of this seminar, the rational thing to do would be to focus heavily on entheogens, a focus which is clearly warranted.  But more likely, the seminar will try to play the old card of putting it both ways: entheogens are extremely interesting, but entheogens are not to get more than a bit of emphasis -- one book that is relatively innocent of this mistake, however, is the book Rational Mysticism, which gives entheogens the fully central place they clearly deserve.

The first paragraph in the seminar announcement lists the following:

Alan Watts

Aldous Huxley


Carlos Castaneda

mystical nature poet Robinson Jeffers (?)

mystical nature poet Gary Snyder (?)

Jim Jones

Heaven's Gate

Church of Satan

Church of Scientology

The first Zen monastery and first Hindu temple in the western hemisphere

UFO cults


The Grateful Dead

Burning Man

soul surfers (?)

Sierra club

The following, at least, are related to entheogens:

Alan Watts

Aldous Huxley

Carlos Castaneda

Church of Satan


The Grateful Dead

Burning Man

That's at least 7 out of 17 forms of "alternative spirituality" that are related to entheogens -- making entheogens by far the leading so-called "eccentric alternative spirituality".

>>the idea that California's alternative spirituality stands as a distinct religious tradition on its own

>>sects, cultures, and spiritual techniques

>>our core predicament: how to rediscover spirituality in a modern world defined by technology, consumer culture, and a scientific cosmology

>>California's maverick tradition of spiritual innovation.

>>an overview of California spirituality

>>reasons why this peculiar sensibility set down roots here on the west coast

>>the "California Tao": nature, the body, and the evolution of consciousness ... is inseparable from California's unique technological experience.  California ... has led the way towards a postmodern culture of media, subcultures, computer technology, aero-space, and rootless consumerism. Its alternative spiritual movements both mirror this process and attempt to compensate for its considerable problems.

>>He has given lectures at conferences all over the world on topics ranging from psychedelic culture to cyberspace to postmodern spirituality


-----Original Message-----

From: Erik Davis [mailto:erik~at~techgnosis.com]

Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 1:00 PM

To: erik~at~techgnosis.com

Subject: [Erik Davis] Upcoming Bay Area seminar

People living in the Bay Area might be interested in the following seminar that I will be leading at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco later this winter.  It is the first time I will be publicly presenting some of the strange and marvelous fruits of my research into the history of alternative spirituality in California, and I'm very excited about it.

Please contact me with any questions you might have.


"The Altered State: California's Spiritual Frontiers"

a four-week seminar by Erik Davis

Tuesday nights 7 to 9:30 pm

Feb 17, 24 March 2, March 16.

California Institute of Integral Studies

695 Minna Street

San Francisco

Alongside its body obsessions and media dreams, California is perhaps best known for its spiritual eccentricity. For well over a century, the state has been host to a dizzying number of exotic religions, ad-hoc cults, and all manner of mind-and-body-altering fads and fantasies. California has been home to spiritual mavericks like Alan Watts and Aldous Huxley, to popular visionaries like Starhawk and Carlos Castaneda, to mystical nature poets like Robinson Jeffers and Gary Snyder, and to living nightmares like Jim Jones and Heaven's Gate. It cradles the Church of Satan and the Church of Scientology; looking east, it built the first Zen monastery and first Hindu temple in the western hemisphere. California is responsible for UFO cults and Esalen, for the Grateful Dead and Burning Man, for soul surfers and the Sierra club. If consciousness is truly evolving, than California has served as its American Petri dish.

This four-week seminar, which will include slideshows, film clips, and music, is devoted to the idea that California's alternative spirituality stands as  a distinct religious tradition on its own-a kind of improvised and hedonistic Hinduism, full of contradictory sects, cultures, and spiritual techniques, but all speaking to our core predicament: how to rediscover spirituality in a modern world defined by technology, consumer culture, and a scientific cosmology. In the class, we will encounter unknown ancestors, sacred spots, and secret histories buried in the cultural landscape. Such discoveries may provide a regional sense of "rootless roots" at a time when so many of us are feeling unmoored. Indeed, many of our contemporary concerns with deep ecology, human transformation, body-positive spirituality, and the techno-science of mind are rooted in California's maverick tradition of spiritual innovation.

The first class will provide an overview of California spirituality, and suggest some reasons why this peculiar sensibility set down roots here on the west coast. The remaining three classes will focus on major dimensions of the "California Tao": nature, the body, and the evolution of consciousness-a notion that, I will argue, is inseparable from California's unique technological experience.  California, after all, has led the way towards a postmodern culture of media, subcultures, computer technology, aero-space, and rootless consumerism. Its alternative spiritual movements both mirror this process and attempt to compensate for its considerable problems. By understanding these dynamics, we can better approach the transformations and disruptions that lay ahead for all of us.

About the lecturer: Erik Davis wrote the cult classic Techgnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information, which has been translated into five languages. He has given lectures at conferences all over the world on topics ranging from psychedelic culture to cyberspace to postmodern spirituality, including programs at Stanford, Swarthmore, Esalen, and London's ICA. He has given workshops on the I Ching and Technological Future. He is currently collaborating with Michael Rauner on a photo essay book about the history of California spirituality.

For non-CIIIS students, the fee for the four-week program is $225 per person. Folks may

register online at www.ciis.edu/lifelong, or call 415-575-6175.  People may also pre-register up to the day before the first class meeting, or if space available, at the door.

It is so obvious surveying the Gnosis magazine issues -- visionary plants keep reappearing regularly throughout articles and reviews, yet the special issue on psychedelics works to diminish and restrain and restrict the perpetual historical credit that plants deserve.  It is child's play to spot entheogen references throughout the articles. 

Those on the outside, not recognizing the interpretive keys they've been holding the whole time like Dorothy's shoes in Wizard of Oz, talk about "mystic gardens", "fasting" followed by "wine", and suchlike with zero conscious recognition of visionary plants that serve as tree-ladders into the heavens.


Perennial philosophy is simply the observation that we're made of color.

This is not an occult science. This is not one of those crazy systems of divination and astrology. That stuff is hooey and you've got to have a screw loose to go in for that. Humankind is simply materialized color operating on the 49th vibration. You'd make that conclusion walking down the street or going to the store.

Suppression of entheogenic esoteric religion

http://watch.pair.com/HRinitiation.html -- "the centuries-old rabbinic ban on the dissemination of kabbalistic practices among those under forty and unschooled in Bible and Talmud ... Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism, were traditionally not even taught to people until the age of 40, when they had completed their education in Torah and Talmud ...

the age restriction was not widespread, but put forward by the Ashkenazic Jews. Sephardic Jews did not hold to this thinking. ... This prohibition has come from Ashkenazic (East European) Jews and has never applied to Sepharidic (Middle Eastern) Jews. The historical basis for the 'rule' comes from opponents of Kabbalah within Judaism who (successfully) attempted to restrict its study. At the root of this was the heresy of false messiah Shabbatai Tzevi (17th. C) which resulted in large numbers of Jews leaving the orthodox fold"

The genuine, entheogenic version of a religion causes people to leave the Literalist fold, so such use is suppressed by the Literalist, institutionalized religion by being postponed out of existence.

Entheogens are the *main*, not the only, way of triggering the religious state of cognition.  How can we suppress genuine religious experiencing?

o  Denigrate entheogens.  Slightly advocate them but then heap great abuse on them, and claim you've advocated them.

o  Promote less effective, ergonomic, reliable triggers.

o  Postpone study of the esoteric form of a religion.

o  Denigrate rationality; seek to eliminate and disrespect it.

o  Portray enlightenment as inherently requiring decades to attain.

o  Deny and suppress how widely entheogenic enlightenment has been used.

o  Write histories of religion that portray placebo religion as being fully dominant and that portray entheogen use as a rare deviation or recent corruption (Mircea Eliade)

I now consider entheogenic esoteric religion to be primary, main, and dominant, and am less inclined to conceive of "mainstream, official, dominant, orthodox, Literalist" religion as being widespread.  I'm "forgetting what we think we know".  Literalism?  Non-entheogenic religion?  I've never heard of such a thing. 

As far as I know, most Christians celebrate the Last Supper in house churches with mixed wine.  Most Buddhists place entheogens at the center of their religious practice.  Typical monks in all religions use entheogens.

Literalism no longer makes any sense; I can no longer think of religion that way.  Entheogen esoteric religion looms so large in my thinking, I never give a thought to mere Literalism with placebo sacraments and with monkish meditation that isn't augmented by traditional entheogens.  When you say "traditional religion", I now think "esoteric entheogenic experiential religion". 

Freke & Gandy have a useful usage, of "Gnostic" world religion vs. "Literalist" world religion.  The latter is religion as conceived of by those who are too ignorant to know anything about religion; they don't count and aren't registered on my radar.  They are, as a rule, wholly ignorant of the very existence of multiple versions of each religion and the presence of a mystic version of each religion. 

In the field of religion, such religionists or empty-headed "secular humanists" who have nothing but loathing of religion, and madly demonize Christianity as all-bad, are of no more import than some ten-year-old posting on the Internet.  Non-entheogenic, Literalist religion may or may not have the larger number of adherents (now or in the past), but entheogenic esoteric religion is where *all* the action and substance is at.

I'm particularly against the thinking of a man who spent his life in Catholic school and seminary, and has recently awakened to become dogmatically against Christianity altogether.  Those who don't see the profound potential in Christianity are blind to mystic myth.  I'm not advocating any sort of practice, but rather, comprehension and recognition of what the religious frameworks are really, ultimately about. 

Dogmatically believing Literalist religion, and then turning around and dogmatically hating Literalist religion, or Christianity in particular, can't possibly be a concluding, resting point -- it remains, in character, Literalist, just as conventional "secular humanism" in its rejection of Christianity and religion remains Literalist and clueless in character, remaining ignorant of transcendent knowledge.

There are two mortal, unforgiveable sins, or crimes against the Holy Spirit: Literalist religion and atheism (considering all religion beyond mundane ethics to be empty bunk).  Transcendent knowledge is substantial, profound, and true -- or worthwhile -- but neither of the false alternatives, Literalism and atheism (anti-religion), can possibly lead to the real goal of mental development, which is the philosophy-religion of Transcendent Knowledge, for which the main gate is entheogens.


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