>>the translations of Ficino's Book of Life ... full of odd recipies for treating depression, etc. using ... likely fatal materials.
The Planets Within: The Astrological Psychology of Marsilio Ficino
"the marvelous world of Renaissance Hermetism... one of the most psychological movements of the prescientific age: Renaissance Italy, where a group of inner Columbuses charted territories that still give us today a much- needed sense of who we are and where we have come from, and the right routes to take toward fertile and unexplored places. Chief among these masters of the interior life was Marsilio Ficino, presiding genius of the Florentine Academy, who taught that all things exist in soul and must be lived in its light. This study of Ficino broadens and deepens our understanding of psyche, for Ficino was a doctor of soul, and his insights teach us the care and nurture of soul. Moore is a writer and lecturer and lives in New England ... He was a monk in a Catholic religious order for twelve years and has degrees in theology, musicology and philosophy. A former professor of religion and psychology, he is also the author of Care of the Soul, Soul Mates, The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, The Education of the Heart, and Meditations."
>Moore interprets it [esotericism, hermeticism, astrology] all as "soulful" rather than practical medicine (this was his doctoral dissertation, a dry run for [the bestseller] Care of the Soul..., in line with the Jungian approach you seem to despise. To swallow mercury means to surround yourself with objects etc. associated symbolically with Mercury, etc.
>Perhaps there are traces of some hidden visionary plant traditions here?
Astrology, magic, healing, and alchemy were indeed actually "soulful" and allegorical rather than literalist, but that soulfulness was different than the Jungian conception, in that it was grounded in the entheogenic intense mystic altered state, and entheogen-augmented dreaming, not the ordinary state of consciousness and ordinary dreaming.
I assume axiomatically, as a given, that Western Esotericism is grounded in visionary plants. This basis was hidden to some extent. The wrong move is to doubt the visionary-plant basis. The right move is to ask why we appear to have little evidence of it.
Visionary plants as the key was a huge threat to the Church, which had a Death Star-like vulnerability due to the entheogenic nature of the true Eucharist. Heinrich reveals Amanita in Alchemy and in the Grail tradition, and it's clearly present in Hellenistic religions, including Jewish, Christian, Hermetic, Gnostic, the common banqueting tradition, and Mystery Religion.
What's valuable in Jungianism is not new, and what's new is not valuable. Jung is only good in comparison to Freud, who is worthless and led the century completely astray. Jung needs to recast his thinking from the ordinary state of consciousness and dreams, to the intense mystic altered state and to drugged dreaming such as with opium. The truth in Jung would be ten times truer in an entheogenic-consciousness context.
There's a book I'm looking for by a theorist of Tradition/Perennialism, critcizing Jungianism. Not a marshy "unconscious", but rather, a divine clarity realm is the source for transcendence/"individuation".
Jung is bunk, based on sand and favoring a kind of paranormal magic thinking. His theory of archetypes from the marshy unconscious is proven by an insane man who reported the same theme as found in an ancient Mithraic symbol -- it was "impossible" that the man read that obscure book which wasn't published yet -- and then it turns out that the man could have read the book on Mithraism, which actually had been published prior to the man's report.
Jungianism is a profession fueled by endless years of expensive therapy. The Mystery Religions disprove all of today's mainstream theories of myth, because they all commit the ordinary state of consciousness fallacy and look only to regular dreaming for an altered state of consciousness, while the Mystery Religions report routine intense mystic-state experiencing on tap.
The Mystery Religion initiations didn't need what Jungianism is selling, salvation on the installment plan. Jungian therapy is as bunk as attending lots of Masses in hopes of shortening one's stay in purgatory. Jung sings an old song of Tetzel: "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs." Jung was not an initiate, so far as I've read, so he was not positioned to be a legitimate hierophant and mystagogue.
Jung was a poor, modern, plant-ignorant dupe, dumbly mimicking the authentic hierophants, not one bit more effective than the denatured Eucharist, a travesty like convincing oneself one is drunk, on non-alcoholic wine.
Joseph Campbell commits the ordinary state of consciousness fallacy too, but needs to be contrasted with Jung. Campbell ventures fewer artificial, strained constructs than Jung, but makes less attempt to emulate the esoteric or mystery-cult practices.
Huxley wrote incredibly dimwitted and reductionistic disparagement of mescaline -- before he tried it. I'm surprised there aren't articles contrasting the views of Huxley about psychoactive drugs before and after his mescaline use.
Instead of coca, Freud should have focused more on peyote or whatever the trendy dissociative visionary psychotomimetic plant of the day was. Psychedelics are general amplifiers of cognitive processes, some say, but stimulants just make you do the same old type of thinking more energetically. Coca is a sacrament, a gift of the angels, but on its own, is not visionary in any usual sense.
When I was thinking of looking for books criticizing Psychology and Jung, the question was, written from what worldview? One book I should've noted was from the Traditionalist worldview -- likely by Guenon.
Critique of Carl Jung by Alan Pert
Looks worth reading -- "Conclusion: Jung ... wrote about his way [of development]. Self development is portrayed in various traditions, but Jung devised his own terminology to describe his seeking of the self. This has caused some people to think that Jung was saying new things. For example, the Jungian Edward Edinger wrote that Jung was responsible for a revolution in human thought comparable to the Copernican revolution in science. But Jung has said nothing new. Initiates have always known about self development, and much more.
Jung really does not go far enough. His individuation process is only at the psychological level. Full human development moves on to the spiritual realm. As has been pointed out, Jung psychologises religion and does not consider spiritual growth beyond psychology. Becoming an integrated individual is the basis for further spiritual development. It is a foundation on which to build."
That conclusion is based on the Ken Wilberian framework of "psychosipritual development through psychological into spiritual levels". It understates how much Jung *wanted* to rediscover ancient mystery cult initiation -- he tried but misfired, lacking the intense mystic state of consciousness, replaced by mere ordinary-state dreams.
Jungian Psychology is an essentially failed, although profitable and popular, attempt to recreate mystery cult.
The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement
Reviewed in Gnosis magagzine #35 (listing: http://www.lumen.org/issue_contents/contents35.html)
Cult Fictions: C.G. Jung and the Founding of Analytical Psychology
Gnosis magazine largely came from within the Jungian paradigm, which includes a certain system of conception of symbols, dreams, collective unconscious, active imagination...
Those interested in dogmatic scientism should read about these books.
The only Jungian-like book studying symbols and psychology that I've seen that's warmer of the trail of the mystery religions is by a leading psychedelicist:
The Unfolding Self: Varieties of Transformative Experience
Also directly legit:
The World of Classical Myth: Gods and Goddesses, Heroines and Heroes
Carl A. P. Ruck, Danny Staples
Campbell is indirectly legit; his work provides contributions that are valuable after they've been reconceived as grounded in the intense mystic altered state and not in the ordinary state of consciousness. Such unmystical scholarship of myth is potentially valuable, but throroughly woven through with the "ordinary state of consciousness" fallacy.
Metzner caters to both parties, both assumptions: myth as reflecting events in the ordinary state, and myth as reflecting events in the intense mystic altered state. To the extent of the latter, the book is directly valuable. Myth is about the altered state.
But after realizing that, one still needs to develop a detailed model that relates specific altered-state philosophical insights and experiential insights to the mythemes. The most extreme way of falling short of the latter achievement is to merely propose that myth is about visionary plants or the general altered state as a terminal point.
The meaning of myth doesn't terminate at the plants or the altered state overall, but in the experiential insights that are revealed via the altered state which is triggered via plants. Plants cause the altered state, the altered state (plus reflection) causes metaphysical insights, and myth points to all three, not just to plants and the altered state.
>The meaning of myth doesn't terminate at the plants or the altered state overall, but in the experiential insights that are revealed via the altered state which is triggered via plants. Plants cause the altered state, the altered state (plus reflection) causes metaphysical insights, and myth points to all three, not just to plants and the altered state.
Listing it out:
Myth points to:
o Visionary plants
o The altered state caused by visionary plants
o The metaphysical insights caused by the altered state caused by visionary plants.
Myth points to:
o Visionary plants
o The altered state
o Metaphysical insights.
Myth points to particular specific meanings different than Campbell, Jung, and Wilber have specified. The main and key meaning of myth is visionary plants, the altered state they produce, and the experiential insights provided by that altered state.
>>That view has its limitations when placed within the sound of a completion of some sort. The growth of life continues from, through and by. Any sounds which hold a refrain of an ending in-sight are riddled with false hope.
Each model of mystic revelation and high philosophy has certain types of limitations. The task is to find the best set of limitations. A good theorist is a master of trying out various combinations of limitations. What is the essence of religious experiencing, or Hellenistic Mystery-Religions? Is it anything and everything, emphasizing nothing more than anything else? Such would be so diffuse as to offer no explanation or understanding.
If myth means everything and anything, equally well, than myth is the same thing as the set of all that's real and unreal and semi-real. Existing theories extend particular, limited sets of characterizations of what myth is mainly about. In contrast, I propose a better particular, limited sets of characterizations of what myth is mainly about. The current modern dominant theories of myth, including popular spiritual conceptions of what myth is about, are highly limited, and unfulfilling to some people.
My theory of myth is also limited and bounded but fulfilling to some people. I've been able to explain everything in mysticism and religion to my near-full satisfaction by reining-in the scope but drawing the boundaries at different places than usual. I advocate limitations: limitation and definiteness is an enabler of particular experiences.
For example, the good news is that by adopting the block-universe determinism model with timeless pre-existing future, this leads very rapidly to an intense kind of ego-death experience, one that matches closely with classic myth-religion and Greek initiation-oriented philosophy as well as Western esotericism. This ego death experience cannot be achieved efficiently through wide-open, diffuse agnostic theories.
By holding firmly onto certain particular and therefore limited beliefs -- such as belief in the block-universe frozen-future model -- these beliefs are ridden like a lightning-fast vertical chariot vehicle straight to a maximally intense experience, and one which matches with traditional myth-religion and philosophy. This is the short path to a climax which is evidently the classic mystic climax.
Wide-open, noncommittal, all-affirming conceptions of myth fail to lead reliably and ergonomically to such an intense climax, and whatever they may purportedly lead to, such views don't particularly match classic myth-religion or philosophy, and are apparently nothing but transient products of the modern era which is uniquely alienated from the mythic mode of consciousness.
The attempts of modern theory to grasp myth are the product of an outsider who has comprehensive access to all the surface of myth and religion, but no access to the inner intense experience of myth and religion. Today's theory of myth is outsider theory, an explanation proposed by those on the outside. The theory of myth I put forward is more expansive in its own way than the modern popular theory of myth (Jungian, Campbellian, Wilberian, and New Age).
Lack of a bounded theory of myth is not actually expansive. Boundary and limitation produces certain particular expansiveness. The particular, limited model of myth and what's the true boundary of the heart of myth provides certain particular kinds of expansiveness; the modern Jungian/New Age model of myth is incapable of providing these certain particular kinds of expansiveness, and is incapable of providing the satisfying mystic-experiencing climax that I reveal as our innate and easy-to-realize potential.
>>Michael Hoffman used to speak in the JesusMysteries discussion group a lot about multiple Historical Jesuses, mystery religion connections, etc. Was there a methodology being used?
My methodology of reading myth-religion texts is to assume that they are designed to be read from two states of consciousness (ordinary vs. intense mystic-state) with two distinct meaning-networks: one for the uninitiated, and one for the initiated. Myth is metaphorical description and reporting of intense mystic-state experiences. Myth is not grounded and based in the ordinary state of consciousness, but in the intense mystic altered state of consciousness.
>>Something true in a symbolic, archetypal, psychologic meaning?
>I use it with this meaning. Of course 'true' is to be understood from the perspective of the believer, not in an objective sense.
Initiations is my special area of study and theorizing. There were many schools, banqueting clubs, cults, whatever you want to call them. They were based on so-called 'wine' or 'mixed wine', meaning the ingestion of visionary plants -- that's how the intense mystic altered state was available on tap in the Hellenistic world. This use of 'wine' in no way distinguished any school of Christianity; it was utterly standard, common, and routinized.
There was no *single* historical figure underlying the Paul or Jesus figure; there were many Paul-like and Jesus-like historical individuals, but no one, single "historical Paul" or "historical Jesus". What there were were a hell of a lot of philosophy-religious get-togethers centered around ingesting visionary plant mixtures.
Today's conception of "symbology", "archetypes", and "psychological" is partly correct, but commits the "ordinary state of consciousness" fallacy. The first purpose or origin of myth is to describe and convey the experiential phenomena of the intense mystic altered state, as from ingesting visionary plants, called 'wine' or 'mixed wine'. Myth does not describe day-to-day psychology; it first of all describes the intense mystic altered state.
Myth can draw from many thematic domains, with the goal of the game being to always word things in such a way that they talk about the purported subject matter (politics, astrology, vegetative cycles, fertility) using double-entendres that also describe the common mystic-state phenomena.
What does sun worship, inability to stand, and slaying of the head mean to the true high-intensity mystic?
Reading through the filter of intense mystic state allegorism:
Realization forces one to bow to the Ground that creates all one's thoughts, rather than standing as a self-steering, self-creating, self-originating and self-controlling ego-self. (Mythic allegory is, above all, a *report* of what one encountered in the intense mystic altered state.)
The sun is a metaphor for white-light feedback of metaperception, which occurs in the peak of the mystic altered state. (Mythic allegory is, above all, a *report* of what one encountered in the intense mystic altered state.)
The slain head is the lower mind; the rulership notions held by the lower, animal/child self. This mental slaying or death of the lower, animalistically illogical self-model occurs in the peak of the mystic altered state. (Mythic allegory is, above all, a *report* of what one encountered in the intense mystic altered state.)
I've written on the relation between the loosecog state and enlightenment, for years. The loosecog state enables the shift from the egoic worldmodel to the transcendent worldmodel, by enabling reindexing of all mental construct association sets. The loosecog state is the means, the doorway and gateway, to the destination, which is discovering the transcendent worldmodel.
In Christianity, metanoia or repentence or the event of regeneration isn't the *goal*, but is the *means* to salvation and deliverance, the gateway to enter the kingdom of heaven. Heaven is not Heaven's gate. Heaven is not the stairway to heaven. We angels and perfected saints are able to walk up and down the stairway to heaven, and we live in heaven all the time. In Heaven, the forbidden fruit is available for all.
The goal is the availability/use of loosecog *and* the resulting mental worldmodel. That's the relationship of the altered state to the transformed permanent stage. Wilber's been writing good material on this relationship lately, and he's said he'll be incorporating the theory of altered states more into Integral Theory, along with stages, threads, and quadrants.
>how often did you trip in recent times and overall?
Today's conditions of prohibition cause people in most countries to limit their experience.
>why do you continue to trip if you got the point of it?
Why would one discontinue taking the sacrament? Why do anything or refrain from anything? What a load of arbitrary assumptions lie behind that noxious platitude of quitting after using -- if people choose to use then quit, that's their trip, but they shouldn't tell others they should do the same and hold the same values.
Some people use entheogens but then try to tell other people how they should use them, how they Ought to use them -- these are the entheogenic authoritarians and moralists. I'm thinking of either Ram Dass or Ralph Abraham.
In contrast, James Arthur and Jonathan Ott have their heads screwed on straight. Use is use, tools are tools; they are what you make of them. People ought to take more responsibility for their own conception of what entheogens are all about.
>also i just read a text by you saying: "lsd is much more powerful and interesting than psylocibin" and then goes on to say "the only difference between lsd and psylocybin is the time of the duration of the trip"
>the text says also that leary lost interest in psylocybin [even in pure form] when encountering lsd. i'm not really in the know here but perhaps mushrooms are much more potent nowadays than in the 60's. i never did lsd but i once shroomed on copelandia cyanescens and it really was like "watching my own nerves / sliding along my own brain structure in technicolor".
Mushrooms vary in potency by a factor of 10, even in the same batch. They can be strong. I'm surprised how readily Leary dropped synthetic psilocybin in favor of LSD, and apparently never looked back.
I'm glad to hear that mushrooms -- can we say "psilocybin"? -- can be strong. Those who want a peak on the peak, can combine it with THC for a successful climax with the deity, passing through the rebirth canal into reincarnation, in a Groffian birthing trauma, a spiritual emergency with Wilberian death-seizure.
"Enlightenment" is a universal concept reflecting the transformation from egoic to transcendent thinking. This transformation is reflected in various ways and degrees in different religions, such as Gnosticism and Buddhism. Enlightenment is the goal of the higher mode of Buddhism.
Buddhism, like all religions, is the awakening of the mind through techniques, most notably entheogen use, which allow one to discern the nature of the mind through disciplined use of such techniques. To become a Buddha, to understand Jesus' teachings, to attain the Gnosis, and so on in equivalent metaphors, means that one has understood the nature of the mind.
Altered states are an essential integrated component in practically all systems of spirituality and religious mythic metaphor. The modern view of "altered states", such as in the cybernetic theory of ego transcendence, produces the definitive, explicit, systematic explanation of the higher level of spirituality.
The mystic or loose-cognition altered state is the fully effective way to grasp and comprehend the essence of spiritualities of all cultures, being based on a model of cognition describing the universal dynamic shift from lower, childish, animal-like thinking to higher, mature, rational thinking.
Theoretical understanding of "altered states" is required, to produce the most profound and philosophical grasp of spirituality.
The mystic altered state, coupled with Theory of time, self, control, and combined with the study of relgious mythic metaphor, is the fastest and most effective way to produce complete, meaningful religious insight. Garage punk, pop-sike lyrics don't reflect such completed religious insight, but clearly reflect experiential and insight milestones toward such transformed understanding of the mind, self, time, and control.
Study of the altered state, combined with theorizing and model construction, together with study of religious mythic allegory, reliably produce the specific worldmodel that is systematically formulated in the Introduction to the Cybernetic Theory of Ego Transcendence, http://www.egodeath.com/intro.htm.
>I just discovered your Rush pages. Wow. I've been listening to Rush since I was in 7th grade. (I'm 22 and a half now). And I never knew. No one ever told me. Because they probably didn't know either. And don't know to this day. Now I understand. My initial reaction was to dismiss your theory as fantastic. But it's true. It's true. I'm still too speechless to write. Wow.
The same is true of Greek myth and religious myth in general. The usual theories of myth are like the "philosophical" analysis of Rush lyrics in the book Mystic Rhythms by Carol Price and Robert M. Price, who wrote the book Deconstructing Jesus.
Those ordinary theories of myth or lyric analysis identify what is really just the *secondary* meaning, the *minor* meaning. The *main* meaning, the *primary* or highest and ultimate meaning, is to reflect the most amazing, most intense experiences to be had, which are specifically *entheogenic* experiences.
A few books are starting to get it right: Carl Ruck and Danny Staples identify the key entheogenic allusions, which are the true primary and main point of myth, in their newly reprinted textbook on classical mythology:
The World of Classical Myth: Gods and Goddesses, Heroines and Heroes
Carl A. P. Ruck, Danny Staples
I'm listening to Joseph Campbell saying how myth reflects bodily birth, or initiation during adolescence. Wrong -- those are only the *secondary* meanings. The highest and ultimate meanings are allegories of the mystic altered state, most especially and reliably the mystic state when triggered by entheogens.
The book Mystic Rhythms just makes me laugh. Most scholarly theorizing about myth or High Classic Rock lyrics makes me laugh these days. The scholars try so hard, come so close, and fall so far short of being an insider in the great mystery-mythic joke. Their theories strain so hard, yet the solution is so simple -- religious myth and high classic rock is a matter of whimsical and clever allusions to the experiences of the altered state.
This comes across clearly in Ozzy Osbourne's latest album, Down to Earth. Ozzy's new lyrics (about 2/3 of the songs) are fairly explicit about ego death experiencing. http://www.ozzyasylum.com/earth.html
>I will soon begin studying chemistry. All this stuff I'm learning from your page, it's overwhelming me, confusing me. Drugs, LSD, Rush. While Rush has been central to my life since I was a child (I can say Rush has been my life), I am (still) very much opposed to drugs. Even to cigarettes, for that matter. Anything that damages health.
What do you actually *know* about substances and the damaging of health? Where do you get your more or less reliable and accurate information? How precise is it? You won't get far in chemistry with completely useless and meaningless generalizations like "drugs damage health". Compare the number of deaths from cigarettes and cannabis or LSD.
Water will kill you if you abuse it by drinking too much. People die from aspirin. Unhealthiness is far more a matter of quantity and usage technique, than substances themselves. Coke strips chrome -- if concentrated. Coca-Cola had coca and kola -- cocaine and caffeine. It was originally a pharmaceutical drug mixture, for health. If you are a chemist, read Jonathan Ott, and Shulgin.
The Age of Entheogens, The Pharmacratic Inquisition, and The Entheogenic Reformation. Includes The Angels' Dictionary -- sophisticated entheogen-aware definitions of religious terms.
Books about psychoactive chemistry and brain science, including Shulgin's books.
http://www.promind.com/bk_pik.htm -- "Dr. Alexander Shulgin has probably synthesized and tested more psychedelics than any other chemist. He and his wife Ann are also kind and inspirational leaders in this field. Their books are a wonderful mix of fascinating stories, trip reports, and chemistry. PIHKAL: A Chemical Love Story - Comprehensive, definitive guide to the phenethylamine psychedelics, such as mescaline and ecstasy, and a great love story. Two parts. First, the human story of the search for active mind compounds within a marriage of two active minds, fascinating and compelling. Next, a detailed catalog of 179 phenethylamines, with their synthesis (for advanced organic chemists only!), dosage, duration, effects, and notes. 2C-B, the 2C-T's, BOB, DOB, DOET, FLEA, MDA, TMA, and many more, each unique and interesting. Basic reference to chemistry of psychedelics. Highly recommended."
>>Just as men and gods and heroes were much closer together then, so were politics, philosophy, mystical experiencing, myth, and religion.
As well as literature, poetry, drama, contracts, and even sports. Entheogenic mystical experiencing ("wine") may have served to keep all known domains clustered together into a tightly refracting crystal. As entheogens were abandoned, knowledge domains drifted mostly apart and no longer sought to reflect mystical experiencing and insight. In modernity, a schizophrenic or tripper has delusions of reference even from things that don't intend to map to mystical experiencing.
But in the Hellenistic culture, everything was intended to map to mystical experiencing; that was the sole source of authentication, authority, and value for each domain. The whole culture was one non-delusional, fully intentional "delusion of reference". For any domain, they would say the same thing: "politics is like entheogenic mystic experiencing: ..."; "love is like entheogenic mystic experiencing: ..."
The Hellenistic culture had a single master domain that served to map all domains closely together: the domain of entheogenic mystic experiencing. If there was a single master domain for cross-domain meaning-mapping, there is no better candidate for it than entheogenic mystic experiencing. The mystic state was not only one among many domains, it was also the master domain.
Because each domain was designed to map to the mystical, the result is that this commonality made it easy to map any domain to any other. Entheogenic mystic experiencing was the XML, the common transformable lingua franca, of the Greco-Roman world.
>>[The Christian version of the mystery religion] won because it, and only it, was built up as a reaction to the build-up of the Ruler Cult; many religions allegorized the mystic state as affixing a godman to the physical realm, but only Christianity picked a physical object that was a potent sign determinedly set against the system of Caesar.
>The physical and spiritual meet at the center of the cross, forming a sacred marriage of the physical and spiritual and a divinization of the physical. In the psyche, a person is put on this cross and divinized as god-man.
There are many viable readings of the cross symbol. I have only a tepid enthusiasm for mid-20th Century readings that come from a Psychology interpretive framework -- Psychology is modernist artifice; it chronically feels strained and off-base. Much Gnosticism feels strained and off-base, unnatural, misguided. The mid 20th-Century Psychology paradigm lacks awareness of the concrete mystic state of cognition.
The Gnostic idea of "password" concerns ways to retain mental stability while dis-integrating the conventional mind. So Gnosticism does have some practical and direct connections to the intense mystic state; it's not all overelaborate getting lost in abstract speculation and overstimulated, gothically hyperactive creative invention.
I favor the interpretive framework of the intersection of political allegory and intense mystic-state experience. How does intense mystic experiencing strikingly present itself as a "king on the cross"?
Take a cue from a book that presents 3 levels of Christian mysticism and "sacred marriage" as 3 degrees of physical copulation feeling: it's not that copulation is an abstractly apt metaphor, but rather, that the intense mystic state *feels physically* like a sort of bodily intercourse, of what Ken Wilber calls the "bodymind" being conscious of interpenetration with the Ground of Being that gives rise to all thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Intense mystic experiencing isn't just metaphorically isomorphic to a king-claimant on a cross; it literally can be experienced as one's body and self-controllership swinging from spacetime. So my main conception of the cross is as the spacetime block/cross/intersection. The ego as freewilling separate-self controller ends up hanging on the spacetime cross -- then the psyche or spirit is released, or caught up into the heavens, into its true home and source beyond the spacetime block.
Hanging from the cross, fastened to it, egoic life expiring, is something that is simply felt, like the incredibly apt, even inspired simile "I felt like a monk's cloak hanging from a hook for eternity." Most Psychology theories are so abstract, so distant, so indirect and far away from concrete *experience*. Most religious myth is metaphorical description of direct, conscious experience -- not some misty distant resonance of some complicated subconscious vague construct.
It's far more *tangible*. Psychology and modern interpretation of myth comes up with abstruse, epicyclic theory of what "water" means to the subconscious psyche, when the intense mystic state simply opens its eyes and sees the intense waves, and feels the water rolling along the skin. Psychology is close, but far from grasping the mythic metaphors.
I have an experiential, tangible-oriented theory of myth-religion: it's more about *reports* of clear physical feelings and sensory perceptions, than roundabout speculative invention.
A godman is a twice-born person; an initiate. First you are born from a woman's womb, and then that firstborn self is sacrificed and sent to the shadowy underworld, and you are born in the second birth from the divine womb. One way or another, this ends up as the idea of being born from one human parent and one divine parent. There are several ways to arrange these ideas, but the various combinations are essentially of one kind.
Similarly, one author says "Gnosticism" must be discarded because there's no single Gnostic scheme; but I say that the Gnosticisms are essentially the same kind of thinking, experiencing, and metaphor-systematizing.
One's lower self is mortal, continuing after initiation only a shadowy, unreal existence as sacrificed ego delusion (freewill/separate-self delusion), and one's higher self is identified with the divine and emanates from the divine. A person is both a moral and an immortal; the child part of one's mental worldmodel is bound to die, while the higher, adult configuration of mental worldmodel -- or the remaining aspect of oneself -- doesn't die, and remains after the childself is burned off or shed or sacrificed.
Some Jews maintained that Abraham *did* sacrifice Isaac, some even twice. I say Abraham killed Isaac in one sense, and refrained in another sense. Abraham didn't commit physical harm, but he did sacrifice his childish mental worldmodel, his childself.
Religion, myth, and psychology, astrology, and entheogen/mystic experiencing are all very broad fields, used by many people in many ways. It is particularly interesting to ignore 95% of each of these fields and consider how they align and overlap. I could say that these fields are "really about" the connections which I describe as most profound, but in another sense, these fields are "really about" everything that anyone has ever thought they were about.
The popular bad theory of myth holds that myth serves to explain the mundane world -- sex, crop fertility, stars, birth and death. Like the existence of historical founder figures, that theory of what myth is about may be true but it's not *importantly* true -- in contradiction of the standard theory. Yes, myth really has been used to explain the mundane world, but it is not most importantly about that.
Similarly, religion has very often been considered a system of mundane ethics, or a way of mental tranquility, or a way to get to heaven after bodily death, but it's not most importantly about those things. A theory of myth is thus a theory of what matters more and what matters less about myth and the many ways myth has been used.
Everything Acharya S has said about astrotheology is correct, but her theory fails to grasp what I believe is the most profound and ultimate aspect of astrotheology. Most thinkers, most mystics, the majority of people have less-than-profound understanding of the fields they are involved in. When I say that certain aspects are the most profound and important and the most True in a certain field, I'm not asserting that the majority of people in the field considered these aspects as most important.
The "best" 1% of thinkers, by the standards I promote, see these selected aspects as most important, as what the field is "really all about" despite the 99% of people who have some other idea about what the field is really about.
Of the 100 aspects of astrotheology, archetypes, psychology, and myth, and mystic experiencing, I propose this 1% of each field to be "what it's really all about" and what is most True and profound and important to each field. In the entheogenic mystic altered state, the mind's cognitive associations loosen, and the egoic mental model gives way to the transcendent mental model of time, space, self, control, and world.
This transformation or change from one worldmodel to another is accompanied by extremely remarkable phenomena such as the feeling of ego death and rebirth. The main, most important and profound aspect of astrotheology, myth, archetypes, and psychology reflects these dynamics that occur during the loose-cognition state when changing from the egoic to the transcendent mental worldmodel.
This altered state, its phenomena, and the switch between these two specific worldmodels, are standard potentials of the mind, which is to say that they are proto-archetypal, and when they are poetically and metaphorically expressed, the mythic archetypes are produced. These are "the real" archetypes, as opposed to archetype theory that attempts to describe mere normal-state life such as normal-state sexual reproduction.
We must keep normal-state psychology fully differentiated from mystic-state psychological phenomena. We need to define "low archetype theory" as the use of archetypes to explain the mundane world and mundane mental life, while "high archetype theory" is specifically concerned with explaining the mystic altered state and its phenomena.
All conventional Jungian archetype theory and Campbellian myth theory is correct, but is merely the low level -- low-level theory that legitimately explains mundane-state experiencing. I don't object to conventional myth theory and archetype theory, or conventional religion and psychology, so much as I object to the mistake of thinking that it is the important field of thinking.
The important field is all concerned with intense mystic-state experiencing and perception, which requires forming something better, more profound, and not like today's conventional spirit of theorizing. What is needed is high-level myth theory, high-level archetype theory, high-level psychology theory, and high-level religious theory, and high-level astrotheology theory, all concerned specifically with the intense mystic altered state and *not* with the mundane world and normal-state experiencing.
From the point of view that is firmly based on the intense mystic altered state, *now* ask afresh what is interesting and relevant and insightful about the fields of Archetypes, Psychology, Religion, Astrotheology, and Myth. From this point of view, the only aspect of these fields that is truly valuable or highly valuable is what they have to say about the intense mystic altered state and its insights -- what light and perspective they shine on this realm, rather than on the mundane realm.
High Astrotheology is mainly centered around the idea of Fatedness: the regularity and predictability of the movements of the heavens is valuable because it is isomorphic with the idea of a fixed future for oneself. The Hellenists, including Gnostics, felt various ways about the fixity of the future and cosmic determinism, but that was their common starting point, the idea that one's future is fixed and that the predictable movements of the heavens were also fixed (cosmic determinism).
One's own personal fate was, in this sense, tied to the fixed and predictable movements stars. My fate is fixed, the star's path is fixed, I want to know about my future but can't perceive or track it to predict it, so I analyze the star's path, which I *can* track and predict. That is what astrotheology is really, ultimately about -- a theory that is completely omitted from Acharya S' theory.
She's right that the ancients put a huge emphasis on astrotheology (I wasn't inclined to think about the topic), but she doesn't understand the metaphysical and philosophical and mystic-state *reasons* why they looked to astrotheology as a solution for a felt need -- a need to, as Luther Martin's excellent book Hellenistic Religions shows, deal with the problem of personal Fatedness and solve and overcome that problem in one sense or another.
Hellenistic religions, including astrotheology were, *first of all* and most basically, ways of dealing with the principle of personal Fatedness.
Similarly, the *main purpose* of myth for the ancients was not to explain the mundane world, but to express and deal with the problem of personal Fatedness. This concern included using myth to poetically express the various mental phenomena of the intense mystic altered state, including stumbling across the worldmodel and experience of atemporal no-free-will, and the panicked, desperate scramble for some way to recover a practical sense of stable egoic control. "The hunter in the forest stumbled across the goddess and saw her bathing naked, so she killed him, by turning him into an animal -- a deer -- so that his own hunting animals turned against him and tore him to pieces."
*That* is what myth is really about, and we can call this "high myth" as opposed to "low myth" or "low theory of myth". Myth is not about explaining sex, or the stars, or birth and death, or crop fertility -- it's first and foremost, most originally and centrally, about expressing the phenomena of the intense mystic altered state. Other functions of myth are lower and derivative.
>I think the use of things such as astrotheolgy is to debunk myth as part of the process of inspiring and preparing people to embark on the path of entheogenic experience. In working within a society composed of various religous groups, with various ideations, to break down and debunk the myths involved, first of all it is important to see whether or not this is neccessary or even possible at that time.
On of my main concerns lately is how to raise Earl Doherty from his current incomprehension and limitation to low-level debunking of literalist religion to high-level enlightenment about the real, higher meaning of religio-mythical symbology and allegory. Such atheist rationalists are too smart to accept literalist religion but too stupid to recognize the profound rational insight reflected by myth-religion.
Some of these rationalists are "determinists" (conceiving of it in a still-egoic framework) and are "mystics" like Bohm, considering the universe as a frozen timeless block, and yet they fall far short of full, mature rationality, because they end up with an essentially egoic worldmodel that is messily filled with unintegrated individual negations, corrective epicycles all over the place but no system-wide transformation.
Doherty and Bohm are rational but untransformed, and they fail to grasp the profound mature rationality encoded in myth-religion, and fail to attain wholesale transformation. What they have is an annotated or modified egoic worldmodel, far short of having a transcendent, truly rational and systematically rational worldmodel. They have, basically, an only partially rationalized and sane worldmodel, still shot through with implicit irrationality.
Though they have repudiated the lowest thinking, they grasp in the dark, failing to comprehend the system of higher thinking. Doherty says that any insight religion has, science has better. This is partly true, in some ways.
In the end, science (systematic rational model-construction) does attain full transcendent knowledge, but on the other hand, such systematic rational revision of the naturally lower, egoic mental worldmodel can't be called complete until it *recognizes* and *comprehends* how myth-religion expresses, ultimately, that very same mature rational worldmodel.
All fields are against each other, when the lower level of each field is considered, but high science (the high level of science), high rationality, high religion, high Christianity, high Buddhism, high philosophy, and high psychology all reach full agreement, coming to the same conclusions. Doherty uses low science to refute low Christianity, but fails to attain to high science, which would recognize the validity and poetic elegance (high poetry) of high religion.
It's a struggle to suitably disparage such low science: it is dull-witted, uninspired, low-brow, middlebrow at best, uncomprehending, missing the point, unclear on the concept; it knows what religion is not, but fails to grasp what religion *is* (at its highest, ultimate level).
>In the high-Mahayana theory, two terms appeared, Zuitai and Zuiji. Ther former refers to speaking to people according to their capacity and the later refers to speaking to people regardless of there capacity. The later is viewed as useful at a time when it is in essense "too late," to speak to people according to their capacity. The high-Mahayana would say that the "40 years of teaching acording to capacity" represent the early sutras of Gautama, while the teaching regardless of capacity of listeners, refers to high-Mahayana. Of course this is just an ideal, and it is virtually impossible to communiciate with the majority of people or the status quo without using expedient means and speaking according to the peoples capacity. in other words, "baby-talk."
>It is an amazing fact that in the majority of case, (except perhaps the retarded or mentally-ill) anyone properly prepared can use an entheogen in approprate dosage and a process will take over that can allow most anyone to break down their ego-barriers and awaken to a bigger picture of understanding of themselves and the universe. In this sense the "Zuiji," holds true. Short of this and in attempting to convince others, one is limited to a "Zuitai," methodology of communciation
I reject the proposition that people have different capacities that significantly affect how transcendent knowledge can and should be communicated. Calculus is calculus and there is essentially one way to teach it, insofar as it is a definite, bounded set of specific principles. To teach the principles, the principles must be taught clearly, explicitly, and straightforwardly -- not teaching some distorted form of calculus to some people and the straightforward form to others.
The notion that transcendent knowledge should be taught differently to different people is based on the false premise that transcendent knowledge is conceptually difficult. Communicating transcendent knowledge is only tricky and difficult for teachers who have a poor grasp of it. In itself, transcendent knowledge is actually finite, bounded, specific, and comprehensible, and straightforwardly communicable, despite the unanimous agreement of all the other theorists.
This is a starkly distinguishing feature of my systematization of transcendent knowledge; I'm the only thinker who makes it a basic principle that there is nothing very tricky or difficult about rationally explaining and communicating transcendent knowledge. Several people in this discussion group have proven their ability to understand the main ideas in this systematization of transcendent knowledge.
It's not very debatable: this system I define is, in fact, very simple and easy to grasp, as a set of principles and assertions. One may or may not agree that this system is the essential key and point of religious insight, but this system's claim to simplicity is well grounded and difficult to dispute. This explanation is simple and rational and communicable -- does it get to the main essence of religious insight, salvation, nirvana? The latter question is a matter for debate and interpretative dispute.
This system certainly deserves very serious consideration, because it is so different than the others and yet it coheres and makes good, simple sense.
This system of concepts extends beyond concepts very effectively by proposing an experiential method that is extremely potent and reliable: using entheogens to produce a state of loose cognition, so that the mind can consider the concepts at the same time as experiencing the mystic state of sensing and perception. Only in that sense do I agree that rationality is somehow insufficient to the task of "communicating" religious insight.
I can agree that the fullest religious insight requires both experiencing *and* intellectually comprehending phenomena such as the sense of no-free-will or no-separate-self.
Let the plant teacher teach experientially at the same time as the human teacher teaches the intellectual principles and concepts. What we have to date is only half a teaching team: some people are taught by the plant teacher but have no good human teacher; others are taught by a human teacher but have no plant teacher. Both teachers are needed, in conjunction.
>Another historical factor in terms of astrotheology, is that ancient peoples saw in the movement of the stars the "overthrow" of one "god" for another. They saw the precession of the equinoxes and saw that at one time the Polestar is for instance such and such a star, then Thuban, then at another time as the cycles goes on, it is Polaris and this was to them the overthrow of one god for another, for instance replacing Indra in the Vedas, with the next god in line, or like a Royal Lineage of Kings, passing one to the next, the power, or Religious Lineage of tranmitting the power from one High Priest to the next.
>The Pole star plays the most prominent role in astrotheology, since all the sky appears to rotate around this central pole which extends up to the celetial pole of the polestar, down through the earth and down to the celestial southern pole. The Human Being also was a reflection of this with this spirtual pole coming down through the top of the head and down through the various body centers. Of course this kind of perception can be experienced when one uses a entheogen and the inner and outer realm merges together in a multi dimensional appearance.
>Neurostructualism also plays a role in this kind of entheogenic experience.
What does the mind point to and attribute as the center of control? Before initiation, the mind points to the ego, attributing control-power to it. After (a series of) initiation, the mind learns to point to the spacetime block or a postulated divine controller outside that realm of cosmic determinism as the center of control upon which one's worldline of thoughts (future stream of thoughts) depends.
The idea of a shift of a center around which the cosmos revolves is, above all, a metaphor for the mind's shifting of attribution of control, during initiation, from the ego to the transcendent realm that is the metaphysical hidden, underlying cause of all of the mind's thoughts at all points in the past, present, and future.
Consider the "overthrow" of one god for another as the shifting of control-power from one divine agent to another, related to the shifting of power and control away from the ego during initiation up to the divine level (conceptualized as God, savior, higher self).
At the same time, here's where the other goat comes in, the scapegoat: while the ego's power effectively shifts (as far as the mind's mental attribution or pointers shift) from ego to the divine realm, so does one's moral agency and culpability such as guilt effectively shift from the ego to some null entity, as though carried away.
While the center of control is mentally re-attributed away from ego upward to divinity, at the same time, the mind's load of moral culpability (sin, guilt) is mentally re-attributed away from ego to the land of negation. It's equivalent to say that one's guilt has been transferred to a demon, to a banished scape-goat, or to a vicariously punished savior who took on our sins and paid for them, doing away with them.
The good will-goat or obedient sheep is positively sacrificed, and the bad, dirtied will-goat or obedient sheep is banished -- this pair is equivalent to the single figure of the vicariously punished savior who both takes on and takes away sins *and* is sacrificed in some positive way.
>psychology today... is making a shift toward transpersonal ... but is such a slow, slow process and so easy for ego to become enraptured with discovery of mundane archetypes. And in that process the ego merely transfers from one to the other, (musical chairs and a false sense of shift), rather than there being ego-death.
Wilber calls this mere translation sideways instead of upward transformation, until sideways translation becomes so very unsatisfying that the mind dies to that level and is finally ready to demand genuine upward transformation. This idea is by far the most valuable, I say, when applied to a simple two-level system of transforming from the specific egoic worldmodel to the specific transcendent worldmodel.
Wilber gets lost in his own many-leveled system and loses sight of the fact that this particular shift between these specific levels is the one and only paradigmatic example, and all other shifts are just lesser versions of this most all-important shift. This shift is the primary, most major shift, in all of the "levels of psychospiritual development". No other shift comes even close to the towering importance of this -- not Wilber's theorized infantile development stages nor his theorized super-advanced stages.
He mistakenly treats all these levels, and the verticle transformation from each to the next, as being about the same import, when actually, there isn't the least doubt which is the main transformation: certainly, religion as a whole is concerned first and foremost with the particular transformation from the standard egoic worldmodel to the standard transcendent worldmodel -- all other level-transformations are minor asterisks, being merely comparable to this main, towering, primary, overarching transformation.
His theory contains many decent ideas about sacrificing of the egoic self to rise to the transcendent self, but those ideas become completely unfocused and lost in his ambitiously all-level, all-everything theory.
Surprisingly, Wilber ends up with a weak theory about the most important single transformation, that from the standard egoic to the standard transcendent, in his eagerness to extend the breadth of his integral framework and totally general theory of psychospiritual development all the way from conception to infinitely subtle, totally transcendent postulated levels of consciousness.
He is very strong in breadth, but surprisingly weak in his depth about the one transformation that is the main concern of religion and mysticism. His sense of proportion is grossly imbalanced this way.
>It is easy to see how the ancient ones looked upon their environment for answers, for ways to rationally live within the illusion of ego as they dealt with the understanding of no-free-will.
This was a problem in the early democracy of Athens, according to my reading of the book Myth and Tragedy in Ancient Greece. All the legal citizens were entheogen mystery-religion initiates, who knew that (full) experience and (mature) reason refuted the freewill illusion, and yet, the legal system within democracy falsely asserted that individuals should be treated as though they were freewill-wielding, morally responsible agents.
Attic Tragedies were official ritual ceremonies attended by all of these citizens collectively, intended to comment upon the irony and tragic inconsistency of the democratic agency-assumption in which each citizen pretended to be a kingly sovereign agent, a prime mover. It was politically formally forbidden and formally illegal, punishable by death (ostracism), to publically, explicitly mock the absurdity of this pretense.
Instead, the mocking or admitted acknowledgement of contrivedness and artificiality was done in a safe, officially channelled and controlled manner, through officially controlled drama which respectfully gave proper and dignified acknowledgement of the absurd situation, of all these consciously no-free-will minds legally contractually agreeing to pretend to be freewill minds.
The risk was the return of aristocratic hierarchy, in which the lie of soveriegn power was concentrated at the top of a pyramid in a single "chosen by the gods/Fates" top governor, the king or emperor whom the Fates gave divine right to rule over society. *That* is what Attic tragedy was for, and all about.
>There is an interesting moment as ego slips away from what it thought it owned or was the possessor of ( free will and controllership), and that is, the fleeting thoughts of, "am I ready to die." as if it could change the course of events. And in those fleeting moments comes a situation or two, that seems troubling to leave, but then with egoic rationality, those are quickly rationalized away, making it ok to leave, (as if there is choice).
>And so now, has come the understanding of those who have said there is the, "past" or "unfinished business" flashing before the eyes. The surrender into tenselessness is an immediate detachment from the past with a tremendous sense of relief.
To succesfully permanently die to egoic-centered thinking is traumatic for the egoic-centered mind, and cathartic and even orgasmic for the overall mind -- it is a release with complex strong feelings, pleasant and past-unpleasant, to finally lock onto the more coherent way of thinking. Ozzy: "finally found a way of thinking, tried the rest, found the best, stormy day won't see me sinking".
The first few glimpses of the ego-death principle and no-free-will principle sends the mind reeling and running back to stable ground, familiar sanity even if irrational, and stable self-control -- but the mind knows it also still lacks enlightenment and knows it has deep irrationality and self-contradiction.
This can be quite uncomfortable, this intellectual dissonance of the mind being filled with egoic-mode thinking while knowing surely and from experience that such a mental mode still is rife with basic self-contradictions (sin, impurity, cognitive dissonance, sub-rationality, karma).
The mind has to remain in purgatory longer, has to move through some number of reincarnations (loose-cognition sessions that keep resulting in falling back into the egoic mode of thinking), before "mortality and sin and karma" (egoic thinking without full ego death) is finally "burned away".
The mind has to further develop its worldmodel and linguistic precision and conceptual skills, and gain further experience in the loose-cognition state, before it can finally succeed at sacrificing the ego and permanently ending its dominance or reign.
I propose that the way that finally makes a quick end at last to the habit of egoic-mode thinking is the clear idea of no-free-will combined with the idea of a frozen, already-existing future -- *not* the weak and familiar idea of no-separate-self, which is familiar and yet not vivid, simple, clear, or relevant enough to put an end to the habitual egoic way of thinking.
No-free-will, combined with frozen, already-existing future, is much more potent and powerful, and much more deadly to egoic thinking, than the no-separate-self idea, which poses little threat to the rulership of egoic control-thinking.
>With sexuality, orgasm specifically, there appears to be a great difference as well as some similarity. The similarity with sexual orgasm is more toward the losing or dissolving of being self-conscious, but the directional flow seems so different. With sexual orgasm there is a building up......In moving into ordinary perfect rationality, there is a sinking feeling, a draining sensation prior....
>I don't understand why more don't discuss no-free-will, except to say, I wonder if they actually reach a specific state and remain perseptively conscious. Consciousness, aware of consciousness, although, you are right, too intractible for discussion.
Curing the sickness of ego is a problem fully distinct from the problem of the nature of consciousness (present here-now subjective awareness). "Buddha refused to teach about metaphysical issues, they being unhelpful for curing the sickness of illusion".
>There are some positions of being, that I've heard others mention through their meditation exercises, but they are all nothing but mind trancing. Being able to visually coordinate fixed focus with a broader focus so that what is seen blends into a schism of all is one, and all is connected. (no separate self)... That is mind trancing, a mind alteration, and is nothing at all similar to the mystic state with ego death.
Low-level and middle-level religion may be somewhat similar to high-level religion, but just as a faint shadow and reflection, largely distorted and indistinct.
This system of concepts extends beyond concepts very effectively by proposing an experiential method that is extremely potent and reliable: using entheogens to produce a state of loose cognition, so that the mind can consider the concepts at the same time as experiencing the mystic state of sensing and perception. Only in that sense do I agree that rationality is somehow insufficient to the task of "communicating" religious insight.
The fullest religious insight requires both experiencing *and* intellectually comprehending phenomena such as the sense of no-free-will or no-separate-self.
Let the plant teacher teach experientially at the same time as the human teacher teaches the intellectual principles and concepts. What we have to date is only half a teaching team: some people are taught by the plant teacher but have no good human teacher; others are taught by a human teacher but have no plant teacher. Both teachers are needed, in conjunction
>The percentage of people who could be convinced by theory, is a very tiny percentage. The primary problem is the illegality of entheogens. Thus I believe that the primary focus should be using all information available from all sources, to prove the basic truth that enthogen use is religious in nature and the laws prohibiting their religious use violates the constitutional principle of "Freedom of Religion." This needs to be the primary focus of any attempt to enlighten others to the amazing function of entheogens.
My primary focus is to combine selected parts of today's leading-edge theories about philosophy, religion, and entheogenis into a coherent and ergonomic theory of transcendent knowledge. I won't waste any time reinventing the wheel trying to convince the skeptics that entheogens are effective, or proving that they are present in classic religion.
My entire effort is focused on effectively designing a framework that enables combining what the other theorists have already argued regarding ideas such as no-free-will, entheogens in classic religion, and the non-literalist nature of religion. Whenever possible, I try to do only the work of combining other theorists' work, not reinventing it or convincing skeptics.
My strategy is to convince by making available a framework that enables the ideas to cohere on their own. Other researchers have already shown the viability of tenseless time, classic religious use of entheogens, and other uncommon knowledge. My work is entirely a matter of taking these leading-edge fields for granted and instead, just showing how it is possible to fit them together by selecting an appropriate framework.
Never focus on convincing and persuading; only quietly demonstrate the possibility of a coherent framework. Forget people and affecting their thinking; instead, focus on the framework itself. That's the spirit that leads pure theory. I only want to let people know that it is possible to easily fit these ideas together coherently by using this framework.
As a wholly distinct concern, I advocate or at least support drug policy reform. This distinction is like theology versus mission-work, or private faith versus good social works. This is the darkest hour for drug policy reform, and the new day may well be upon us at any time. There are reasons to hope. It is understandable, the thought of giving up hope.
The world is beyond hope, deluged by evil on all sides. But somehow, there is still hope; things could get worse but things could get better. There must be some viable game plan toward a better, truer world. Even David Icke has the audacity and gumption to hope, and he reminds people that despite "the system", when you add up the potential of each individual person to shape the world and work together, that adds up to a great deal of potential that should be able to improve things.
Theoretically, it is possible for people to change the way things are, and people should keep that individual and collective responsbility and potential in mind.
The task is certainly not to inform the committed prohibitionist leaders that entheogens are benign or constitutionally legit -- how can we teach them what they already know? The misguided reformers spend their ammunition fighting on that false battlefront. Reformers ought to follow the money instead -- prohibition is entirely a matter of paychecks for the professional predatory prohibitionists.
No one who matters actually believes that entheogens are bad and warrant prohibition -- instead, it's all nothing but ploy and paycheck strategy, prohibition purely for profit on the part of the false saviors. The flaw of the reformers is playing the game straight, when it's actually a completely fake game, total extreme propaganda, taxpayer-supported.
Now the game is largely a television PR game, with the prohibitionists putting forth distorted views that they know amount to self-serving lies upon lies, and the reformers putting forth slightly less distorted views, when all the while, a deadly house-of-mirrors battle and system of evil is going on involving predatory prohibitionists and the profitable illegal markets that they cooperate with -- it's very twisted, which you wouldn't know from viewing the reformers' feeble ads that portray the prohibitionists as merely misinformed fellas that really mean well.
The prohibitionists are the most evil, lying, self-serving criminals imaginable -- real monsters, yet the reformers pretend that they are just mistaken. It's hard to admit how evil this world is. If entheogens were decriminalized, would the ego delusion collapse overnight? Prohibition serves to protect the ego delusion.
All Hellenistic mystery-religion initiation traditions are centered around sacred eating and drinking -- normally preceded by fasting, and followed by transcendence of cosmic determinism, heimarmene, destiny, or fate. Scholars should highlight all related terms such as cup, banquet, meal, food, drink, wine, herbs & spices, fasting, fast, vine, eat, symposium, dine, supper, dinner, potion, poison, medicine, and table.
Insofar as astrotheology is a Hellenistic religion, it must have sacred eating and drinking at the center. Do you know of any sacred eating and drinking in astrotheology? This is a question of central importance and I would appreciate any leads.
The Old Testament is not literally true; it is entheogen allegory expressed not only in terms of political fiction, but in terms of political fiction that was corrupted by being used for tribal ends.
The New Testament is not literally true; it is entheogen allegory expressed not only in terms of political fiction, but in terms of political fiction that was soon corrupted by being used for power-establishment goals.
Greeks didn't take mystery-religion myth literally; Greek myth is, above all, entheogen allegory. The main reason it was kept secret was political, so that the hiemarmene, Necessity, or no-free-will principle was not openly available for a tyrant-king to use to "divinely justify" his overthrow of the early democratic polis.
Anyone suspected of openly teaching hiemarmene -- think of Socrates, Alcibiades, "Paul", Euripides -- was judged by the democratic council of Areopagus, then "killed" -- thrown out, ostracized, excluded from the city as a danger to the people, the polis, the democratic system. The democratic polis can officially, but not openly, affirm hiemarmene: a person's entire worldline of mental constructs comprising their life is wholly, from end to end, frozen in spacetime (*this* is the "thread" that is spun, measured, and cut off by the Fates).
Religious myth isn't primarily intended to be taken literally; religious myth is primarily entheogen allegory. I dub this:
The entheogen metaphor theory of religious myth
The entheogen metaphor theory of myth
The entire Bible is myth -- it is all entheogen metaphor, often political metaphor. It has been corrupted by being filtered and redacted by the hierarchical power-establishment, but nevertheless, it still is fundamentally a collection of entheogen metaphor.
According to Conley, below, the teaching of the original Paul figure, per Marcion, is only that Jesus was born of a woman, was of the lineage of David, consumed a supper on the night of his arrest, and was crucified. This sounds a bit incomplete to me. Doesn't Marcion teach a dying/rising god? The experiential sequence in entheogenic ego death doesn't simply end with the death of the egoic system of thinking; it leads on to new life in the transcendent system of thinking.
http://thecosmiccontext.de/christianity/marcion_powerplay.html -- excerpts with my annotations:
The logic of Marcion's stand retains a certain strength up to the very present day. Let us consider the letters of "Saint Paul" as known to us in their approved Roman Catholic versions. What does one learn here about the person of Jesus?
1) That he was born of a woman,
2) of the lineage of David, that he
3) consumed a supper on the night of his arrest and
4) that he was crucified.
And that's it! (Check it out yourself.) Why is this so?
Because we [in the canonical epistles] are dealing with crude [Catholic] - utterly alien! - insertions into a Marcionite literature in which Christ was not born, but rather appeared as an incorporal, i.e. 'docetic' emanation from a greater god-head. The Roman Catholics failed to appreciate the full ramifications that would necessarily follow from their attempt to 'sanitize' the literature of their opponent to the end of drawing his following [all the numerous Marcionites (Gnostics)] up into their own movement.
It was in this context that Marcion penned his own commentary for use in the church that came to bear his name. He entitled it his `Antitheseis.' It began with the words:
Oh wonder over wonder, at once rapture, potency and astonishment,
good news that leaves one speechless, not rightly able to fully comprehend,
nor capable of drawing comparisons with anything known.
Unlike many commentators, I have no problem with the idea of Adam's Original Sin (I don't think Wilber finds it difficult either). Prior to initiation, we all hold the freewill delusion and are thus inherently subject to egoic guilt; we're inherently then under the condemnation of (virtual, egoic) sin and (ego-) death. During entheogenic initiation, we are cleansed of that (virtual-) sinful mode of thinking, we have died our (ego-) death, have sacrificed our child-self, that sacrifice like that of Abraham's lamb or the exit-doorway lambs in Egypt cleanses us, and we are no longer subject to (ego-) death and we have eternal (frozen-time) life.
Entheogen myth metaphor *is* religious myth, which *is* myth. When myth (inherently entheogenic) is rationally explained, often sounds strained; the goal is not to limit oneself to simple perfect metaphors, but rather, to *describe* loose-cognition experience, often in pointedly challenging and puzzling ways.
The main source of all religions and myth is entheogenic -- either from entheogens or entheogens combined with techniques of meditation, dance, or ritual.