The model of time and personal control I have elucidated is a fundamental and basic model to consider as a hypothesis and reference point that all initiates and theorists of the origins of religion must know. No one should believe that time is an illusion, along with our personal power to author our own future, but *everyone* should *know* this idea as a fundamental hypothesis and point of reference.
If you don't know the idea of block-universe fatalism, you have not begun to engage with the ancients in their own terms; you cannot understand them as they understood and experienced themselves. People try to understand the ancients in terms of modern freedom or modern determinism, but the only way to understand them is how they understood and experienced themselves: as trapped in frozen, illusory time, with a pre-existing future forced upon them, seeking to somehow find freedom and escape from such a frozen tomb.
The ancient version of reductionistic determinism was probably only a later, proto-scientific way of thinking about a much older idea, of Fatalism as the fixity of the future and of the entire time axis. The ancients were block-universe-, frozen-time-, preexisting-future-Fatalists long before they were reductionist determinists. People believed in the frozenness and preexistence of the future, and our metaphysical inability to change our future, long before they created atomism and the atomist concept of 'determinism'.
We can set a specific date for the end of the shared tradition of perceiving the frozen future in the mystic altered state: around 410, when the mystery religions were crushed. On that date, the open future was (for awhile) declared open for business. Yet, of course, the problematic nature of our personal control with respect to time was bound to thrust itself up embarrassingly again, traitoriously overthrowing the pretense of our personal power of will -- the phallus wielded by some god or devil speared the liver/will controlled by our personal agency.
As always, the will (organ of personal control), and the member of rebellious uprising remained at war with each other, and Augustine eventually embraced a kind of determinism and predestination that remained at the center of intellectual concern during the rest of the Christian era.
The mainstream did not engage with the issue of personal control and the presetness of the future, and they did not have access to the mystic altered state, so they continued, in a naive and innocent mode, to experience the future as open and contingent on their own initiated acts as sovereign moral agents.
It was truly the age of sin and delusion, with the masses assuming the future to be open, as they were oppressed (or oppressed themselves) into being all uninitiated, all naively innocent children, lacking experience of initiation, lacking the perception of the fixity of the future and the experience of our impotence as metaphysical agents who initiate our own actions and author our own future.
The ancient tradition of the mystic altered state and the habit of intellectual investigation of our nature as change-agents continued, but only with the kind of suppressed vigor of an underground tradition.
The early to middle modern era created the clockwork universe with reductionist determinism (with the future "closed" in the sense of being pre-set but *not* pre-existing).
The 20th century world invented the Copenhagenist interpretation of quantum mechanics to attempt to evade the great problem of metaphysical unfreedom, but they managed only a fleeting victory, through suppressing the problematic alternative, hidden variables, endorsed by no less than Einstein and Bohm. Even Schrodinger's cat was an unreliable and ultimately traitorious ally for the Copenhagenists, because the cat was only created by Schrodinger to portray the absurd and dubious aspect of Copenhagenism, to show what dubious beliefs you must also adopt if you embrace Copenhagenist quantum indeterminacy.
References for QM controversies:
James T. Cushing - all his QM books, including his recent textbook, Philosophical Concepts in Physics. He's the authority on how Copenhagenism cheated to win dominance and shut out the hidden variables interpretation of QM.
Quantum Theory and the Flight from Realism - Christopher Norris. I haven't read it yet; appears relevant.
Einstein, Bohr and the Quantum Dilemma - Whitaker. I haven't read it yet; appears relevant.
Finally, with the rediscovery of entheogens, the Nag Hammadi library, and the Dead Sea Scrolls, we re-discover the initiation experience of the fixity of the future and the perception of our impotence as metaphysical change-agents.
So we have three eras, which Jonathan Ott contrasts in terms of entheogen availability and I characterize also in terms of grasping the concept of the non-open future.
o In the Age of Entheogens, people experienced the future as pre-existing and closed; freedom was problematic.
o In the Pharmacratic Inquisition, people experienced the future as open; freedom was taken for granted.
o In the Entheogenic Reformation, people learn again the concept of the pre-existing and closed future; freedom is problematic or taken with a metaphysical caveat, but has become a stable convention.
Entheogenic/Deterministic/Allegorical Religion as Ideal Religion
The objections and "evidence" raised against the entheogen theory of the origin of religion aren't significant. These objections are: entheogen users are typically lame, and most religionists didn't use entheogens. People also point out other ways to trigger the mystic altered state, such as forms of meditation.
The most important form of religion is esoteric entheogen-based. We need an entire theory of the relationship to esoteric entheogenic aspect of a religion to the remainder. And a model of the relation between the ideal potential of entheogens to the limited realities of entheogen usage over history. I'm only secondarily interested in history and what various schools have done and said. My main interest is more abstract, more general.
Most religion is bunk. Much of Wilber, Watts, Tart, Grof, and others is distorted. I disagree with most scholars, most doctrines, and most traditions, including Gnostics and likely even those many Gnostics and Mystery-Religionists who used entheogens. Certainly some number of people in all religions have used entheogens. What is at issue is the role of these entheogen users, and the ideal potential that entheogen use points toward.
I do sometimes talk more generally of loose cognition, bracketing off how it was triggered. But I am looking for the simplest theory of religion, and an entheogen-based theory is simplest.
All religious schools are corrupt and partly ill-formed, but the ideal religious schools are philosophical, experiential, entheogenic, deterministic (in my block-universe timeless sense), and master mythic-experiencing allegory enough to recognize religious myth as such, such as mythic Paul, Jesus, Ignatius, and Buddha, and savvy enough to recognize political allegory and strategic myth as happened in the formation of official Christianity.
Are most entheogen users lame? Sure. Are most Gnostics lacking in elevated experience? Yes. Is most religion deluded Literalism? Yes. Yet we can still talk about and determine essentially what the religions of Late Antiquity were *really about* -- even if the people of the time were all over the map in their understanding. Antique religion was essentially really about using entheogens to encounter and somehow transcend block-universe determinism
I'm looking at religions only to selectively pick and choose the most ideal aspects: which are the entheogen trigger, the experience of determinism, and the use of religious mythic allegory to allude to such experiencing. There is no shortage of entheogen evidence in Gnosticism, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, and other religions -- you just have to begin looking for it, which we've barely begun to do.
It's far too early to say how much evidence there is - but there is enough to pick out to support the entheogen theory, that the true, ideal, ultimate, purest fountainhead of religion is entheogen/determinism/allegory. *That* is the essence or heart or pivot-point of religious transformation -- all the rest of religious schools is noise and confusion.
For creating a basic theory of the ego death and rebirth phenomenon, I take the best ideas from Wilber, from Valentinus, from Plotinus, from Grof, from Tart, from Maria Sabina, and throw the rest in the garbage can.
The pure, simple, ideal, source of religion is the use of entheogens to encounter block-universe determinism with all its myriad ramifications, often mythically allegorizing such an encounter and interpreting other mystic's allegorizations. If some Gnostics or Buddhists were doing something other than that, we could study their approach to religion, but it's not the simplest, purest, most ideal source.
As a theorist, in some sense I'm *against* non-augmented meditation. My deepest disagreement with Wilber is that he preaches meditation and has almost no entheogen knowledge, and portrays the Mystery-Religions in the worst light possible, while I consider entheogens to be Christ's flesh, the true vehicle of the Holy Spirit, and consider the Mystery Religions to have been quite close to the ideal source religion of entheogenic block-universe determinism encounter, mythically allegorized, and I treat non-augmented meditation as hardly worth a footnote.
I resent the way Wilber's crowd treats Grof and Tart as the acceptable theorists for scholars to treat as representative of entheogenics. Grof and Tart are mediocre theorists on the subject, at best. I don't consider them nearly adequate representatives, just as I don't consider priests to represent Christianity adequately and I don't consider Buddhist authorities as close to the mark. I consider other scholars to be so inadequate, I'm creating a theory myself.
My disagreements with the scholarly consensus are profound, and I have my own very specific theory. The worst criticism I fear is that my theory is vague. Love my theory or hate it, I'm victorious simply by virtue of *having* a theory, a *definite* identifiable theory.
People take issue with every aspect of my theory, but what alternative is there to this theory? Clouds of swirling vapor, talk of ultimate consciousness that's no different than regular mundane workaday everyday consciousness, religion without religious experience... such a theory or model is an unclear thing with no utility, a nebulous abstraction, merely some obscure sophisticated "school" -- as people accuse Christianity of having become when overintellectualized.
There is a definite type of experience found in all religions that are worth the name, and a particular innate capacity of having the no-separate-self/no-free-will experience/ insight/ revelation/ transformation. We ought to study the religions of around 200 C.E., and their roots and later versions, to find how true and pure and close to the source they were.
Any Gnosticism far from this fountainhead, with no sacred meals and intense, non-ordinary experience of the transcendent, isn't worth the name "religion" and isn't worth studying, being bereft of the Holy Spirit. Such Gnostic religion is lower, literalist Gnosticism, or at least, not the ideal Gnosticism even if it's the majority of the actual Gnosticism. Most Christianity is not the ideal Christianity, though it's the majority.
Theoretical ideal religion should be informed by mundane actual religion, but not limited by it. Instead, a theory of religion must decide carefully what aspects of actual religion to elect and elevate as the ideal -- the same problem as that of differentiating orthodoxy from heresy. Which is "the real teachings", and which is "the false teachings" or "the lesser teachings"?
In a sense, I want to craft a domesticated (yet intense) Gnosticism for the masses, but it will be different than most religion for the masses that we have so far. The goal is to theorize about intense experiencing *and* to have intense experiencing, so that the theory and the experiential state easily build each other up to a transformative climax.
My goal is not to explain all aspects of religion and religious history, but rather, to define a theory and a paradigm that elevates and highlights entheogenic/deterministic/allegorical elements. It's really a matter of ergonomics and product packaging.
The entheogenic/deterministic/allegorical theory of religion, with its way of telling history and choosing what to emphasize as ideal, is by far the most ergonomic, potent, graspable, intense, and quick technology of religious experience and revelation. I study the religion of 200 C.E. because I recognize it as highly ergonomic in many ways. Evidence that works against this theory (paradigm) is considered by this theory to be less legitimate and less important -- "heretical" and bastardized, or at best an experimental innovation that differs from the Ideal standard form of high religion.
I am in principle fully committed to a paradigm that axiomatically assumes the entheogen theory of the origin of religion. Great article on paradigms with regard to the authenticity of Pauline writings: http://www.depts.drew.edu/jhc/doughty.html Regardless of backtracking on the part of Thomas Kuhn and Ken Wilber, paradigms (frameworks of interpretation and investigation and axiomatic assumptions) are everything; all-important. There is no shortage of evidence for the entheogen theory, but first we need to be able to perceive the evidence, and that requires the lens, the right paradigm.
This paradigm or theory, with its choice of elevating the entheogenic Gnostics over the non-entheogenic Gnostics, is worth commitment or consideration because it works: it delivers the results it claims to, easily and efficiently. As one who wants to define a product with benefits and deliver the goods, I'm against Literalist Christianity, against non-entheogenic Christianity, against freewill Christianity, against ethics-oriented Christianity, and for all schools within all religions that are ergonomic.
The most-ergonomic and most-reliable schools are bound to be the entheogenic/deterministic/allegorical schools. By "allegorical" I mean greatly concerned with mastering mythic-experiencing allegory as a language and rational, symbolic, masterful mode of thinking and expressing specific ideas relating to specific experiences and insights of the mystic state of cognition.
I've read various articles by Grof in collections where he's treated, with Tart, as "the" representative of entheogens, or rather psychedelics.
Grof takes the birth canal metaphor literally. That's probably reflected most in this book:
Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy
1986, rank 74K (popular)
I enjoyed skimming his book
The Cosmic Game: Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness
1998, rank 54K (popular)
I don't know if I like the book:
Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis
1989, rank 41K (very popular)
I have a few of his books. I haven't found him worth studying closer. I toss him into the bucket "mediocre psychology-based entheogen-informed New Age self-help". I'd be interested in hearing his work reviewed. I've read Wilber's criticisms of his work -- I think Wilber has the same complaint I do: Grof reduces spiritual death and rebirth to bodily death and rebirth, applying the "birth" metaphor in a physically reductionist way.
In tossing out commentary on such writers, I was surprised and impressed by a skimming of Ralph Metzner's book (1986, 1998) on classical metaphors of self-transformation, the patterns and metaphors of transformation comparative mythology, literature and poetry, philosopher writings, esoteric teachings East and West, "reaching beyond psychology, the field in which I was formally trained".
Right there is the problem: the 'Psychology' conceptual framework; the Psychology paradigm and perspective and conceptual framework inherently distorts the subject of religious experiencing too severely to permit comprehending it and breaking through to enlightenment and transformation of the mental worldmodel from egoic to transcendent thinking in such a way that mythic-experiencing allegory is recognized and comprehended.
I loathe and detest such a "Psychology" approach to the mind and enlightenment; I hate it every bit as much as the "Spirituality" approach to transcendent knowledge. I take a "Cybernetics" approach instead, hitting the real core of the matter: cognition, mental models, and self-control thinking. I detest most of all, approaches to the core transcendent knowledge that are distorted; I distance myself from my brothers, pushing them aside to make room for a more on-target framework that can penetrate where they are bouncing off and slipping off the surface of the egg.
I'm Luke Sky-Walker flying along the Death Star; the other pilots aren't hitting the target; I bump them out of the way to get it right. Or I shun the vector of him most like me, Dark Father. You have to perform such deep modifications on the approach called "Spirituality" to get to Truth, and such profound alterations of the "Psychology" approach to correct and fix it, that we can say that these approaches merely get in the way and prevent fulfillment; they are misleading; they start with ill-formed axioms and assumptions.
There is so much that is right with Wilber, Freke & Gandy, Watts, Grof, Metzner, that it's a challenge to legitimately criticize them. I like that Metzner's book criticizes (basically Wilber's) linear developmental model with sequential stages and praises comparative metaphors for transformation. Metzner is anti-hierarchy. I'm anti-sequential and anti-hierarchy because both serve to delay getting to the main point.
My approach, per Watts, has always been dualistic in the sense of highlighting two and only two stages: the transformation, aided by loose cognition, from egoic thinking to transcendent thinking, forming at most a two-level "hierarchy": milk and meat, goats and sheep, lost and saved, damned and saved, moral and immortal, Jew vs. Gentile (Valentinus per Pagels' Gnostic Paul), Children of Darkness and Children of Light, unfaithful and faithful, and so on and on through all possible polarities.
My gripe about Watts is merely that he wasn't as good with linguistic precision and subtlety as he should have been -- he wasn't the best Analytic Philosopher -- and he didn't balance his recipe of emphasis quite right. The idea of timeless block-universe determinism isn't clearly emphasized in his work; you'd have to really hunt it out. He covers entheogens but without historical background showing the entheogen origin of religion, and he doesn't highlight Christian metaphors quite clearly enough in terms of altered-state experiences. Watts essentially has the puzzle pieces, most of them, but doesn't put them together in a way that makes the airplane successfully take flight.
Freke and Gandy are more challenging to criticize. Their actual views are quite close to mine, those their actual position is only partly reflected in their books. I critique all authors in terms of my primary axioms, which began with 7-12 concepts but were later boiled down to three litmus tests, three primary concepts: the entheogen theory, block-universe determinism, and metaphorical/allegorical religious myth alluding to the experiences and insights of the mystic altered state. In abbreviation: entheogens, determinism, and allegory. These three points are expanded below.
1. The entheogen theory of the origin of religion
This is the real fountainhead of real religion is really entheogens, even if this has been chronically suppressed and forgotten and seriously denied). I'm midway into developing this principle; I'm still hammering out my set of assertions, with only a nod to "evidence" -- all we have now are logically plausible likelihoods or theories that would be highly coherent and simple, with efficient explanatory power, more than corroborative evidence for such logically coherent and elegant theories.
This is the middle of the paradigm hammering-out, paradigm-defining stage. My post opening this thread is a major advance toward defining this paradigm as a viable, self-standing, stable and self-putting-forward paradigm. It's self-strong enough to put itself out into the world as a problem forced upon everyone. The entheogen theory of the origin of religion is now too clear, too good, too sensible of a theory to simply wave aside, even if there's little "evidence" so far.
It poses such good, sensible answers to so many previously baffling questions, it's got no real competition; it wins the elections by default, having no other serious candidates. Either the sacred meals are utterly incomprehensible to us -- that's practically the official Christian view -- or else they are entheogenic. The entheogenic proposal makes perfect sense and there is no objection or weakness with the theory at all, not even the supposed lack of evidence (more likely there's a ton of evidence, if we can learn to focus our eyes on it).
Probably the main moment when I was converted and saved, transformed and regenerated -- and there's tough competition among my experiences here -- was the time, perhaps 1998, when two paths opened up in front of my eye: *either* Christianity is magic, miraculous, supernatural, irrational, freewill moralist -- *or*, it's metaphorical, allegorical, and deterministic. This master dualism is the be-all and in-all, because all ideas can be perfectly sorted into two exclusive sets; freewill moralism is absolutely grouped with supernaturalism and irrational confusion and mundane moralism.
The Eucharist poses this type of fork in the road presenting us with a choice and two paths. Either religion as typified by the mystery-religion era is entheogenic, or it is magical, incomprehensible, unexplainable, utterly mysterious by nature.
2. The *timeless*, *block-universe* theory of determinism
This is opposed to the corrupt dominant conception of determinism as a causal chain with open future. My work is finished here except for discovering more connections to religious myth and mystic philosophy, and more connections to the history of ideas in Religion and Philosophy. The world badly needs a book about the history of determinism.
All the books about Hellenistic thought agree that heimarmene (Fate, Necessity, fixity of events) is at the heart of their religious philosophy -- but why then isn't that *emphasized* more clearly and forcefully? Emphasis is *everything*. A failure to correctly and sufficiently emphasize is a failure to comprehend: it's taking me awhile to appreciate that emphasis makes all the difference and is all-important.
Freke and Gandy (their published books at least) fail to *emphasize* block-universe determinism and entheogens. However, this is largely a symptom of our time; Timothy Freke's Encyclopedia of Spirituality must be vigorously applauded for putting a surprising emphasis, *compared* to ordinary spirituality books, on entheogens and no-free-will: it's surprising and shocking to find this in a vigorously New Age-styled book.
Generally, I condemn New Age for making the same failures of emphasis as the paradigms of 'Psychology' and 'Spirituality': they don't emphasize entheogens and determinism nearly enough.
The Encyclopedia of Spirituality: Information and Inspiration to Transform Your Life
June 2000, rank 207K
The paperback version is:
Spiritual Traditions: Essential Teachings to Transform Your Life
by Timothy Freke
May 2001, rank 925K
3. Allegory of mythic experiencing
Recognition and sophisticated, yet simple and to-the-point, understanding of religious mythic allegory for mystic-altered-state phenomena such as ego death and perceptual distortion and some ten other signature noted cognitive experiences. I'm looking forward to reading more of this book, which is actually about comparative metaphors for transformation, classical metaphors of self-transformation, the patterns and metaphors of transformation comparative esoteric mythology:
The Unfolding Self: Varieties of Transformative Experience
May 1998, rank 74K (popular)
It's taken quite a bit of reading to finally find writings that concur with my allegorical understanding of the Cross as a portrayal of willing sacrifice of the childself way of thinking that is centered around the separate-self and free-will illusion -- particularly rare is the understanding specifically of the *king* on the Cross. I see most ancients, heretics, and Gnostics, and mystics, and alternative theories of Christian legend as only comprehending half of the required pieces.
To a large extent, there are many researchers who have published *half* of the puzzle pieces, so I "merely" have to do the work of arranging all these half-solved puzzles into one completely solved puzzle. Certainly the greatest block to comprehending the esoteric, real meaning of the Cross is the Literalization of the man Jesus.
The assumption that there was a single outstanding man Jesus actively prevents people from even asking effectively what the Cross means -- especially what the general concept of "would-be king on a cross" means. To imagine the Cross without imagining a *king* on it is to radically fail to comprehend the meaning of the Cross -- understanding this was the main milestone on my solving the puzzle of the esoteric true meaning of the Crucifixion.
Wilber's theory of the cross is pretty good but he omits any thought about the "king" mytheme, though all myth always is about kings. Every myth begins "There was a king..." The Bible, like all religious myth, is packed cover to cover with allegorizations of the phenomena and insights of the mystic altered state. It's no wonder at all why people considered the Old Testament to be the Homeric writings of the Jews.
I have read almost all Wilber's books, mostly just once. I'm very familiar with his works and intellectually grew up reading them, so he's in my blood. I'm not an expert on his writings, or I am depending on how you conceive the requirements for Wilberian expertise. Wilber has a poor, shoddy, careless, dismissive, practically nonexistent understanding of the Mystery-Religions. His coverage of this topic is *way* below his usual level.
He always portrays the Mystery-Religions in the worst light possible, using them as an example of primitive, mythic-magic thinking. It's a common mistake to use the commonest, most vulgar form of a religion as representative. We should emphasize far more than Wilber's disappearingly faint praise, that *at their best* the Mystery Religions knew a thing or three that we barely have a glimmer of.
To compensate bad with worse, Wilber makes an exception for Mr. Jesus, praising the odd and almost never-realized potential of the Mystery-Religions by using Jesus as the one example proving that as crude and malformed and misconceived as Mystery Myth is, some individuals were so awesomely advanced in their "psycho-spiritual development", having moved through Wilber's twenty-eight stages of development mysteriously faster than everyone else around them, that they could achieve advanced "psycho-spiritual development" *despite*, as Wilber would have it, the severe flaws and liabilities imposed by the obstacle known as the Mystery Religions.
So Wilber condemns the Mystery-Religions with the faint praise that one man, Jesus, was able to use this wretched system to jump several stages ahead in Wilber's cosmic Monopoly game, jumping directly to the coveted property of Boardwalk early in the game. Unfortunately for Wilber's abortively misconceived telling of the story, for all his theorizing about "the mythic-magic level of psycho-spiritual development", Jesus' thinking was based much more profoundly in sophisticated mastery of myth that Wilber can grasp, seeing as Jesus *is* mythic-experiencing -- anthropomorphized.
Wilber's illustration of Jesus' heart omits the key part: the crown of thorns around it which serves to in some sense *negate* Wilber's understanding of what the heart means. Wilber entirely misses the point of the crown of thorns -- literally failing to see it -- and he concomitantly fails to even perceive the king motif: both motifs are literally at the heart of the Crucifixion symbol. What is crucified is ego, Wilber rightly says, one's child-self, but in the symbol ego is represented by the *crucified and mortally wounded king-heart*, *the cybernetic heart of sovereign self-control power*.
Wilber's theory of determinism is almost as nonexistent as his theory of the Mystery-Religions. His drawing of Jesus' heart shows a profound ignorance and blindness to the most important "word" in the language of mythic-experiencing: the mortally wounded cybernetic heart of egoic kingship. Wilber is only half-literate in the allegorical language of mythic-experiencing and insight. Wilber has practically no entheogen experience (Speaking of Everything, disc 2), yet of my three key principles (determinism, entheogens, mythic-experiencing allegory), his theory of altered states is improving enough so it may be his strongest of these three areas -- which isn't saying much.
Speaking of Everything (audio CD)
Dec. 2001, rank 4K in Audio product category
Wilber specializes in generalizing, and provides essential work that all we theorists are thankful for, a framework to coordinate our work -- he says so himself. But Watts, and Freke and Gandy, run *circles* around Wilber when it comes to the core and main pivot-point of enlightenment. Wilber's broad theory of religion or psycho-spiritual development is strong, but his theory of enlightenment proper -- one room in his large mansion -- is remarkably weak and poorly furnished, beyond redemption.
He needs to drastically revise his core theory of enlightenment itself. Watts is relatively stronger at the core of enlightenment and not so uniquely strong with the sweeping integral framework like Wilber provides. Wilber deserves all credit for his brilliant framework of Integral Theory, but not much credit for enlightenment proper. I got enlightenment from Watts (inefficiently and un-ergonomically), but I got Integral Theory -- not enlightenment -- from Wilber.
If you want enlightenment, you won't get it from Wilber any more than from numerous other psychology-based theorists. The problem with Wilber is the psychology paradigm. That's why Watts doesn't rub me the wrong way: he's not *based* in the 'Psychology' paradigm, but truly rather in the 'Comparative East/West Religion' paradigm.
Any book covers a certain subject from a certain perspective or paradigm. What is the "background" of Stan Grof, Ken Wilber, Charles Tart, Timothy Leary, Dan Merkur, and so many other theorists of religion who lack a real feel for religious mythic experiencing and revelatory insight? *Psychology*.
Investigators from a 'Philosophy' background/perspective/paradigm fare even worse, being unworthy of the venerable antique title 'Philosopher', the creation of which is attributed to Pythagoras, High Mystic Philosopher. My perspective and paradigm is that of technology, informed by the study of psychedelics.
I critique theorists simply by ranking how strongly they emphasize 3 points, which I abbreviate as entheogens, determinism, and allegory. My theory of enlightenment and religious experiencing is essentially and distinctively a theory of entheogens, determinism, and allegory; these are my signature emphases and I haven't found any other theorist that *emphasizes* these 3 domains or issues -- barely even 2 of these domains. Who emphasizes the following?
Entheogens and determinism -- ??
Determinism and allegory -- ??
Entheogens and allegory -- Ruck & Staples' The World of Classical Myth: Gods and Goddesses, Heroines and Heroes, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0890895759
Entheogens, determinism, and allegory -- Hoffman