>>>One method to disassociate oneself from this mask, after its usefulness has been spent, would be to stimulate a death of the mask, usually through an intense psychedelic episode. Stanislov Grof has presented workable methods of using LSD in a death-rebirth cycle. DMT alkaloids, extracted from various plants, may also be used to hasten the demise of “self.” These methods are most useful if used with a competent guide, or at least, a guide one has trained to show the path through veil.
>>It is one thing to share ways of meditation or breathing as an enhancement for life....but it is quite another thing...in suggesting the intake of psychedelic drugs...especially for the younger generation who may be reading this...And even though you may be sharing a way for you....it is a way, with or without a guide, that can be harmful for the body and its inherent flow of life...
>It was my understanding that this group was set up to "cover the cybernetic theory of ego death and ego transcendence" among other things...I mentioned this route as "one" solution...not the "only " solution...
Required reading before a discussion of ego and its transcendence can even begin:
Monumentally, Gloriously, Divinely Big Egos
In passing, he uncritically assumes "Christ" as a historical figure.
He does not mention entheogens here.
Entheogens are the most traditional, practical, effective, fast, and reliable method of triggering ego death and working toward ego transcendence. Entheogens are not the only way of triggering the chemical changes. All methods are effective insofar as they trigger chemical changes in the brain. The most effective and direct method of triggering the requisite chemical changes in the brain is to ingest psychoactive chemical triggers, as did the elite early Christians, Gnostics, and other mystery-religion groups, and practically all religions in the age of entheogens before the pharmacratic inquisition began (see Jonathan Ott's book The Age of Entheogens).
The authentic spiritual path is actually the entheogen path -- that's how dominant entheogens are in effectiveness and in historical practice. Other methods are effective at providing the mystic state of cognition only to the degree they can cause the same mental changes as ingesting entheogens.
People who disagree are very welcome to discuss ego transcendence and personal control, and the ideas of Wilber and Watts, Leary, Ott, Huxley, Ralph Abraham, Robert Anton Wilson, Philip K. Dick... but I must be radically clear in elevating entheogens to their proper place. The flesh of Christ by which we are saved is, above all, the entheogenic plant. Meditation is only effective insofar as it can produce (or augment) the loose-cognition state that is most directly and forcefully triggered by entheogens.
Spiritualists who belittle entheogens are welcome to discuss all the ideas chartered in this group. People need to understand my position accurately. Entheogens are not the only way to trigger the mystic state, which is just as well called "the entheogenic state". Entheogens are *by far* more effective. Entheogens are a thousand times more effective than counselling or meditation at delivering the goods.
Counselling and meditation make big promises but they cannot and do not deliver -- and their promises are often retracted by their advocates. Those spiritualists who belittle entheogens say "Meditation is all you need... but for many people, for some reason, it does not bring about the desired state." Entheogen advocates make bigger promises and do deliver on their promises.
Entheogen use is guaranteed to produce a religious experience. Any qualifiers pale beside the sureness of this assertion and the reliability of it; exceptions prove the rule. Entheogens work, meditation does not. We can write pages of qualifiers, but that's the bottom line, as far as statistical effectiveness of competing methods of triggering mystic experience.
Many people have been harmed by LSD, except the evidence for this is never shown. We all mention "all the many acid casualties" in passing, but the individuals are never named in a way that constitutes firm evidence. All science knows or dares hypothesize at this point is that entheogens *might* trigger lasting psychotic dis-integration in people so inclined. Thanks to prohibition, this "might" is all we know at this point.
There is a special place in my hell for spiritualists who owe their initial awakening to the entheogens but are on a campaign to belittle entheogens. It takes a massive amount of accumulated ignorance to so belittle what has proven personally and historically to so effectively deliver the goods that the proud, pure, recently drug-free spiritualists claim to be able to deliver without drugs (of course they claim this in a tepid and vague way that they can quickly retract).
The worst sin of these pure drug-belittling spiritualists is that they deny the mystic state is immediately, readily, universally available. In practice, their superficially spiritual attitude ends up putting real, effective, reliable spiritual experience out of reach and off-limits. Such a "pure" spirituality is thus false spirituality and is "evil" in that it is a substitute-spirituality that becomes an obstruction to true, effective spirituality.
In practice, drug-free spirituality prevents, rather than delivers, spiritual experience. This tack I'm taking is compatible with Wilber's assertion that almost all popular spirituality is regressive or translative (sideways shuffling-about) rather than transformative (upward developmental).
Almost all popular spirituality is anti-drug, (though often inspired initially by psychoactives) and preaches the difficulty and rarity of mystic experiencing. Drug-belittling attitudes are associated with asserting the inaccessbility of mystic states. Such spiritualists revere the mystic state but present it as a rare and special state. Entheogen advocates are the opposite: they assert the ease and great universal accessbility of mystic states.
Which of these two reality-tunnels sounds more appealing and plausible to you? A path that uses no chemical tool and rarely delivers on its promise and claims that delivering the mystic state is rare and difficult -- a path of labor and suffering and acceptance of widespread darkness -- or a path that uses a chemical tool and normally delivers on its promise and claims that delivering the mystic state is common and easy -- a path of ease, enjoyment of success, and expectation of immediate widespread enlightenment?
http://www.reformnav.org -- rapid-navigation portal for drug policy reform sites
I have not responded specifically to your points; I have not restricted my comments to the points you make. My first priority was to criticize the common ideas of those who belittle entheogens -- you may only hold a few of such ideas as I criticized. Differing viewpoints are welcome though I try to criticize certain common attitudes and sets of ideas. I am not attributing such sets of ideas wholesale to you. I do not intend to put words in someone else's mouth and criticize those words and then act like I have simply addressed the person's posting.
The greater ego would be a certain kind of transcendence of all these masks, so that the mind does not construct a personal identity primarily in terms of any small or large set of masks or roles, but rather with the Ground of Being which gives rise to all actions, all thoughts, and all creatures.
A person's mind can shift identity from any personal role or masks, to the Ground of Being as a whole, thus gaining awareness of and identity with what we can call the Big Ego, or what I may call the transcendent ego as opposed to the egoic ego, which is overly limited.
>-->Required reading before a discussion of ego and its transcendence can even begin:
>-->Monumentally, Gloriously, Divinely Big Egos
>-->In passing, he uncritically assumes "Christ" as a historical figure.
>-->He does not mention entheogens here.
>Wilber's ideas ... I wonder about the nature of his One Ego dynamics... perhaps I am not understanding his other concepts ... or word usage
>When I was referring to masks [in the essay at the start of this thread], I refer to the many masks that react to situations automatically, and how one "mask" can become a (great big?) ego...
>masks can be created or destroyed, and that these masks can be employed as reactive agents to engage a person in a situation (habitual?)
A main effect of cognitive loosening agents is to disengage mental habits, through loosening networks of cognitive associations.
>The greater ego would then be a matrix of these masks, influenced by the unconscious, collective unconscious, and spiritual forces
Per Wilberian thought, the greater ego would be the matrix that produces the masks as an author separate from them. A transcendent mind learns to operate on masks as tools without becoming lost in them to the point of wholly identifying with them.
I have written here before about my concerns about marrying my theory of cybernetic self-control and metaphysical worldmodel with the outre topic of entheogens, particularly LSD. I explained why it would be dishonest for me to in any way downplay entheogens or fail to grant them the highest honors. I portray the pairing of enlightenment and entheogens as a main meaning of divine marriage: the two are distinct yet intimately related, forming a dyad or system.
I do not want people who reject or downplay entheogens to think that the rest of this cybernetic self-control theory or metaphysical worldmodel must also be dismissed along with entheogens. I portray entheogens as being a thousand times more efficient at producing mystic cognition than other purported so-called "drug-free" methods. Entheogens technically not the only possible way.
Entheogens are not the only vehicle for the holy spirit; they are not the only trigger for loose cognition. It is time to stop pretending that unaided meditation works well and entheogens are a weak simulation, when all evidence points the exact opposite direction.
I've been fine-tuning this dogma and doctrine for a long time; it's not easy breaking away from the propaganda to the opposite effect, after two millennia of the Pharmacratic Inquisition that followed the Age of Entheogens (Jonathan Ott's era-names). It takes even more than a Luther to complete the reformation movement, which is actually The Entheogenic Reformation.
I have here expressed it very clearly: Entheogens are proven to be vastly more efficient at triggering the mystic state than the so-called drug-free methods. In practice, the latter restrictive methods serve to prevent rather than enable mystic experience.
Being a promoter of mystic cognition therefore *by definition* means promoting entheogens and downplaying "drug-free" methods of mystic experiencing. This amounts to flipping the pseudo-progressive views upside down. They say "entheogens are not too bad, but genuine techniques are better." I am doing nothing any more extreme than that pop attitude when I flip it perfectly upside-down.
Drug-free meditation is not too bad, and a couple people may have even gained enlightenment by such methods. But in practice those methods are just an inefficient simulation of the real thing, genuine and traditional mystic experiencing, which is historically established as *entheogenic*.
Call me a dogmatist, and entheogen proselytizer, a fanatic, a newager-hater, but I have done nothing any worse than the put-downs of the pop "progressive" spiritualists when they slander entheogens with such damningly faint praise.
Entheogenists must stop sitting on the fence, stop defending entheogens as an acceptable simulation of genuine religious experiencing, and turn the tables back to the natural and traditional way they were in the Age of Entheogens -- never mind the "drug-free" guru offering his enlightenment for sale instead; the mushroom man is the true guru whom I stand by as the trusty, original, authentic vehicle for enlightenment.
I don't want to focus on Norma's writings, but rather on overthrowing common sets of attitudes and assumptions that dishonor entheogens.
Norma's writings elsewhere indicate partial acceptance of entheogens, and the research of them, as legitimate. Does such an attitude dishonor entheogens by such faint praise and grudging acceptance?
Some say that upon conception, enlightenment is present, but then it becomes forgotten shortly after birth, hidden behind religious dogmas and power and parental beliefs. Wilber calls that the pre/trans fallacy. Without a highly developed rational mind, there is no enlightenment, only pre-rational fusion of identity.
It is unclear how a progressive entheogenist should respond to the views of those spiritualists who downplay or fail to honor and worship entheogens. One extreme attitude is that there are two opposing religions: religion that denies entheogens, and religion that embraces and loves and raises up entheogens. There are two religions: that of darkness and that of the light. Those who say they love the light but who reject the entheogen are actually of the darkness.
The Christian terminology can be exactly matched into this pattern. Jesus is the mushroom. Either you love and worship him and are saved, or you belittle, downplay, and reject him, and feel you don't need him. Those who reject him are sinners, though they attend a nominally "Christian" new age (anti-entheogen) church or a fundamentalist (anti-entheogen) church or a Catholic (anti-entheogen) church.
The one true Christian church is the church of Jesus the Mushroom; only they are without sin and have entered the kingdom of heaven. When we crack the code of the Bible, we discover that Jesus is the Mushroom (that's a major theme in John Allegro's dismissive and unconvincing book The Sacred Mushroom & The Cross).
There is at least one truly Christian church by this measure, that defines sin as not taking the entheogen, and defines salvation as accepting the entheogen as savior.
Naturally, I wonder if the discussion participants here have witnessed entheogen memory dynamics with their own eye, but given today's conditions of ongoing war, it is to be assumed that our knowledge is based purely on scholarly research, limited to what can be put down on paper.
>>There are no other ways, other than taking [entheogens] "some eight times" and studying "perennial philosophy", or at least no other ways which aren't inferior? If so, how did you conclude that?
Taking entheogens some 8 times in conjunction with studying perennial philosophy is much more effective, in terms of percentages and distribution curves, time required, convenience, and other ergonomic factors and measures of efficacy, for attaining a repeated series of deep experiences of timeless determinism, which eventuates in a deep transformation from initial enculturated freewillist thinking to a new worldmodel (of time, control, agency, and self) premised on the axiom of no-free-will.
No other method of inducing the mystic state and bringing about satori or mystic regeneration of the will even *claims* to be so effective and directly efficacious as the Hellenistic mystery religions, and related religious initiation systems, which had routinized such initiation from freewillist "child" thinking to no-free-will "adult" thinking. What are the contenders? I am talking about all *known* ways of bringing about the classic nonordinary experiential state of cognition or consciousness.
Known ways of inducing the mystic state include entheogens, epilepsy, schizophrenia, meditation/contemplation, starvation and flagellation, and hyperventilation -- note that all of them work by causing, one way or another, a change in brain chemistry. What is the most ergonomic, direct, fast, reliable, immediate, and clean way to change brain chemistry? Ingesting external chemicals, as were used in Hellenistic-era sacred meals.
The only seemingly serious contender for as effective a method of inducing the mystic altered state of consciousness as entheogens is meditation. Today's spiritual Establishment, a reaction after and against the psychedelic religion of the 1960s, claims that meditation is much better than entheogens, or that entheogens can only asymptotically approach and perhaps reach the wonderful efficacy of meditation.
A large part of how this false consensus was achieved was by censorship; selective publishing and reward of authors. Authors who belittled and diminished the efficacy of entheogens were rewarded by being published and reprinted, so that at best, entheogen advocates were cowed into a defensive position of saying merely that entheogens were a fair approximation of the supposedly real, original, and powerful approach of meditation.
To such cowed and defensive entheogenists I say "don't be so feeble! grow some muscles! put up a more assertive fight in the debate, and aright this upside-down situation!" There is a proven reliable efficacy of entheogens at inducing religious experiencing and an experience of determinism, and a proven relative low efficiency and ergonomics of other techniques, as measured the only reasonable way: efficacy distribution curves.
Run two experiments: a year of meditation accompanied by any studies, and a year of entheogen sessions integrated with study of esoteric philosophy, determinism, and related fields. After a year, chart the degree of determinism-experiencing each person has had. The distribution curve for entheogens will blow away that for meditation.
The evidence lies in the claims and reports of entheogen users, mystery religion initiates, and 20th Century meditationists, which clearly report that entheogens have a far higher incidence of inducing religious including determinism experiences -- so much higher than for meditation, that the entheogen-diminishing meditation advocates have had to make up excuses for the lack of mental effect, and have had to spin like crazy to deny the relevance of the mystic state to spirituality; in defending their position, they have quickly and inevitably had to remove the mystic state from mystic practice, resulting in a grotesque and pathetic travesty of spirituality or religious practice: mysticism that has no mystic state.
For evidence, read trip reports online and in books, and read meditation magazines and spirituality books: the immediately clear conclusion from such abundant evidence is that entheogens are much more efficacious in triggering the mystic altered state than is meditation, to the point that meditation advocates themselves concede this, and criticize entheogens as providing *too much* mystic-state experiencing, defending and excusing the inefficacy of meditation as "necessary mildness required for true spirituality".
The ancient initiates would respond "We don't know you and your supposed 'spirituality'! It is certainly not what we are about: sacred food and drink to have an immediate mystic-state experience. Don't call yourself spiritual, when you are no initiate; you are but inexperienced children putting on the robe of an initiate and playing make-believe. As proof, you still believe in the Historical Jesus and freewill moral agency."
Meditation has an implied success rate of some 5% after the commonly cited 10-20 years of practice, and even then the result is hazy and shows little experience of determinism. I would peg its success rate at more like 1% after 30 years of practice, which is practically completely ineffective, so that meditation is a way of actually *avoiding* the experience of no-free-will, falsely attired as a religious practice.
Just like the WOD, there's no accountability in meditation, for its overall collossal failure. We need stats on the efficacy of entheogens vs. meditation to produce a clearly mystic state and profound insight. Please help provide links toward such stats. Problem is, stats are easy to come by for entheogens, because they work well, but hard to come by for meditation, because it doesn't work well at all for the classic mystic goal (meditation only 'works well' when one completely redefines the goal, innovating and deviating from the classic view).
Meditation has lots of excuses, like the WOD, instead of stats indicating that the general method has merit. Like the WOD, when viewed critically as with business profitability accountability, meditation is a complete and dismal failure at attaining its original marketed and trumpeted goals. Only by redefining failure as success and shifting its goals to make them nebulous do meditation and the WOD maintain their flimsy illusion of being coherent and efficient methods toward a distinct and definable outcome.
A contest of stats between entheogens and meditation is "no contest" at all: it's like 99% versus 1% efficacy, which has forced meditationists to squirm like slippery snakes just like prohibitionists. Meditationists, prohibitionists, I've lost the ability to tell one from the other: they are both based on specious distortions resulting in a lie, opposite of truth, and hindrance to what they claim to deliver.
Stats please, how to gather? Thanks
Statistically, in terms of a bell curve of efficacy, entheogens have the potential to blow up and transcend ego far more often than non-entheogenic meditation.
>Entheogens create an altered state of consciousness much easier than (non-entheogenic) meditation. Meditation requires blocking out the conscious thought stream and patiently waiting for awareness and discipline. The point of either entheogens or meditation is lost if the enlightening experience or revelation is not carried out into daily life.
That's reductionist. It is completely debatable whether the point of entheogens or meditation, or enlightenment or revelation, is to have some effect on daily life. The point of enlightenment is enlightenment, and the point of revelation is revelation. Daily life is just daily life, and mundane ethics is just mundane ethics. Religious revelation and daily life are two distinct realms, even if they have some relation or influence on each other.
The purpose of the high realm of experiencing and insight is to attain high experiencing and insight, not to polish and uphold the low realm of mundane existence. The high and low realms are distinct and we cannot attain the high realm if we insist on reducing its purpose to affirming and bolstering the low realm.
Enlightenment transcends the mundane purpose of mundane self-help for daily life, as surely as Christianity should not be degraded by being restricted to the level of Christian-style self-help books that clog the shelves of the bookstores. It may be true that enlightenment should positively affect daily life, but no way can enlightenment be reduced to being measured in terms of what it can do for mere daily life.
Shall we say that the purpose of knowing and experiencing God is to improve our daily life? No. Knowing God might be expected to improve daily life, but the ultimate and main purpose of knowing God is knowing God, or experiencing and acknowledging the transcendent as a realm of value that transcends the lower level, even if the transcendent realm does happen to shine some transcendent light on the mundane world.
You cannot measure enlightenment by measuring daily life, any more than you can assess a book's wisdom by judging its typeface or correctness of spelling.
>The enlightenment experience has to be incorporated into one's being, not just revealed in a time of relaxation or intensity of understanding.
It's uselessly vague to just assert that legitimate enlightenment must be "incorporated into one's being" or must be "carried out into daily life". Here is a measurable and definite quality to assess instead: the true enlightenment experience has to be incorporated into one's mental worldmodel; the enlightened mind has learned a particular and specific worldmodel comprising a re-conception of the relationship between space, time, self, and control.
That is the core of enlightenment and the sense in which enlightenment is "retained" and "affects daily life" and "produces results". If you want ethics, then do ethics, but don't claim that enlightenment is measurable by the standards of mere, mundane ethics. Enlightenment towers infinitely higher than "be nice to people". The most deluded person can be nice to people and still fly straight to the flames of the pit as far as their enlightenment.
There is a sense in which the enlightened mind learns a new system of ethics: if there is no free will, and someone does something objectionable, the enlightened mind knows how to "forgive" that person, in a certain sense: blame the block universe, of which oneself and the other person are constituents, or blame the hypothetical transcendent creator or controller of the block universe, but the transcendent mind doesn't blame the other person as one egoic moral agent blames another.
>The illegal status of entheogens hinders their practical value.
Extremely so - we must always note this, because this situation completely distorts discussions of the potential of entheogens versus meditation.
>Suppose that either meditation or entheogens can break through the ego illusion and produce enlightenment.
>If entheogens are not used in proper settings, with proper guidance, and at reasonable frequencies, they can create an even stronger ego barrier.
The raw fact that entheogens *can* increase egoic barrier to enlightenment -- that it is within rather than outside the realm of possibility -- is insignificant. The statement of the *possibility* is a tired expression repeated by the anti-entheogen meditationists. What matters is statistical bell curves, not any one point on the curve.
What the entheogen-diminishing meditationists are trying to sneakily and implicitly get away with asserting is that entheogens usually cause an ego barrier to enlightenment, while meditation usually reduces the ego barrier to enlightenment -- theirs is a criticism and a claim that is untenable, biased, unjustifiable, slanderous, mean-spirited, self-promoting, jealous, and baseless.
Meditationists are culturally in power, sitting in judgment pummeling entheogens, heaping upon them a slew of unjustifiable, arbitrary condemnations, trying to train the whole world through propagandistic repetition to repeat the same unfair moves.
Where is the evidence that entheogens usually cause an ego-barrier to enlightenment, while meditation reduces the ego-barrier to enlightenment? Given that entheogens haven't been given a thousandth of the chance of meditation, all we know at this point is that entheogens show great potential to blow up ego to transcend ego, and that meditation usually achieves nothing of much harm or value.
Comparing the bell curve for meditationists versus entheogenists, assuming entheogen technique is developed at least 1% as well as meditation, and assuming no prohibition, the bell curve for effectiveness of entheogens runs circles around the bell curve for meditation, in terms of how many practitioners break through the ego barrier to enlightenment.
Meditation "can" lead to insanity, and "can" lead to great delusion, and "can" lead to enlightenment -- same with entheogens or spinning around in circles. "Can" is totally worthless, by itself, in assessing efficacy; what matters is not *that* there is a certain outcome (some unspecified percentage of the time), but rather, the ergonomic efficacy of a technique, and the statistical spread of the results.
Some percentage of the time, meditation and entheogens each lead to a stronger ego barrier -- the only question and the entire question is, what percentage of the time? Any controllable method of triggering the mystic state has the potential of creating a stronger ego, which might or might not act as a barrier to breaking through into enlightenment.
Meditation or entheogens or hyperventilation are tools and therefore can be used well or badly. Insofar as these methods are controllable tools, if the method is used badly, we should blame the user's competence, not the tool. The question is, which tool has greater potential? Entheogens have much more danger than meditation because they have much more potency than meditation.
Meditation can cause egoic pride over one's control of the technique, even though meditation is so ineffective that it is a great way of preventing the mystic state and enlightenment.
>If a person is able to feel so powerful and well anytime they pop a pill, they become self-righteous because that power is at their disposal.
What happened to that tired old weasel-word "can", as in "entheogen users can become self-righteous"? The above statement is false, because it is worded universally: "Every person who is able to control a trigger of mystic experiencing becomes self-righteous due to that power being at their disposal." If true, it would be significantly true for any effective method, and to the extent that meditation is an effective method for meditationists, "they become self-righteous because that power is at their disposal."
It's trivial to turn that kind of shallow reasoning around and make the equally flimsy, biased, polemical argument that while entheogenists are humble because they know they must credit plants for their salvation rather than crediting their own efforts, meditationists are the most prideful practitioners of mysticism, because through their own effort, they trigger the mystic state on demand.
The meditationists in effect have been aggressive in pointedly and emphatically disparaging and diminishing entheogens, while working to elevate and promote meditation as being more effective, efficient, and legitimate. The meditationists are motivated in their anti-entheogen polemic by a combination of fear, jealousy, dishonesty, and self-deceit.
Non-entheogenic meditation proponents know that if the truth were admitted -- that the origin of meditation was as a minor technique to augment entheogens -- the worldview of the meditationists would be transformed from the status quo conception of spiritual practice to a technique that actually works to overthrow delusion.
If the meditationists admitted that entheogens are essentially ideal for triggering ego death and enlightenment, but non-entheogenic meditation prevents enlightenment, their loss in the debate would be catastrophic, just as for the prohibitionists to admit that cannabis is not entirely the devil's weed would amount to a total collapse of the whole smoke-and-mirrors programme of prohibition.
The meditationists only have two possible options: disparage entheogens as highly ineffective and illegitimate (with meditation elevated to a high level of effectiveness that any child can see is a total fabrication), or else admit that the truth is the opposite: entheogens are extremely effective for enlightenment, and are the origin and basis of meditation, while a would-be enlightenment method of non-entheogenic meditation is basically a complete failure, a way of avoiding enlightenment.
The main effect and outcome of non-entheogenic meditation is to protect and preserve the ego delusion, same as going to church, by superficially pretending to provide a bit of spiritual enlightenment on the endless installment plan. Pop, ersatz Buddhist meditation isn't any better than pop Christianity, when it comes to producing transcendent knowledge.
Placebo Buddhism produces the same result as placebo Christianity: preservation and protection of the deluded egoic worldmodel. They are both the same religion: the way of darkness, leading egoic delusion to yet more egoic delusion.
The good thing is that now that the entheogen-disparaging meditationists have settled upon a particular small set of bogus arguments, the entheogenists are now in a position to systematically refute that set of arguments (even if the meditationists determinedly ignore the rebuttal and continue chanting the same set of flimsy, bunk arguments).
The standard, hackneyed entheogen-disparaging arguments that are reported in the book Zig Zag Zen are an answerable challenge that was not met adequately by the entheogen proponents in the book.
Entheogen researchers shouldn't cave in and support the current view that non-entheogenic meditation is the standard by which entheogens should be measured as achieving a mere fraction of the efficacy and legitimacy. The truth is obviously and manifestly the opposite, that entheogens are the standard by which non-entheogenic meditation should be measured as achieving a mere fraction of efficacy.
Also false and harmful is the "compromise" position that entheogens and meditation are equally effective and legitimate. That compromising of the truth would actually leave the false status-quo disparagement of entheogens fully in place. Equality isn't a viable option -- it's very false, and isn't actually a viable or effective strategic move.
>meditation's sole, true function, is to calm the mind, promote focus and stability and develop the skills prerequisite in preparation for, the use of Entheogens.
That's one of three good ideas for a role for meditation:
o Training wheels for entheogens prior to entheogenic initiation.
o Augmentation for entheogens during entheogen sessions.
o Preparation for bodily death.
The training role of meditation for the intense mystic altered state has a parallel in the preparations of the initiates in Hellenistic Mystery Religions and in Christian catechism -- the period of instructional and attitudinal training and practice. Formal preparations are lacking in current suppressed entheogen practice, though there is yet an equivalent there, with warnings to generally have an attitude that is serious and respectful of the power of entheogens, not frivolous or careless.
>Without the eventual entheogenic experience one is just waiting for actual [bodily] death and hoping one had prepared well. In that sense, an entheogen experience is also preparatory, although I think that use is only a flash in the pan, compared to the use of entheogens to unbind makind from ignorance.
Bodily death should be seen as a mere metaphor for the important type of death, which is mystic ego death. When reading myth-religion, always read "death" as first referring to mystic ego death, and only secondly as bodily death. Bodily death is very important *in* its respective realm, which is the realm of mundane ethics, mundane interpersonal relationships, and mundane life. Lower religion has its lower type of full importance, while higher religion has its higher type of full importance.
>IMHO, the term entheogen is misleading. It might apply to a monistic unity experience of ALL, Atman, as Self. However, it does not apply too well with the aware void state of Nothingness, Shivadharshana, Anatta.
There's much merit in the term 'psychedelic', which I translate as "mind-revealing". Per Jonathan Ott, the term 'psychedelic' has correct denotations but is ruined by the grossly misleading connotations, leading to the picture of all users of visionary plants as dressed as hippies slurping on bongs with a Jefferson Airplane record playing on the turntable.
I prefer to focus on characterizing the mental mechanism rather than the general result, so I prefer the term 'cognitive loosening agents', understood within a framework that includes the ideas of "mental constructs", "dynamic mental construct processing", and "dynamic mental construct association matrixes".
The term 'psychedelic' is completely unusable, so the next best term is used. Don't worry excessively about the etymology of 'entheogen'; pay attention to the connotations and the main denotations.
>There's no doubt that, like Christianity, original Buddhism was entheogenic.
Careful about accidentally implying that *only* original Buddhism/Christianity was entheogenic -- don't concede that all later Buddhism was non-entheogenic. The best, purest, most ultimate aspect of religion was originally entheogenic *and* was later entheogenic as well; the best of *all* religion (all eras, all locales) is the entheogenic version.
I only concede that *most* of religion (low religion) is non-entheogenic. Useful is a "best vs. most" distinction, which acknowledges there's judgment of quality involved, dividing the scriptures rightly into high versus low. Much old religion was not entheogenic. It's a robust strategy to frame it this way.
Evidence for continued entheogen use in Buddhism is valuable -- all eras, all locales -- in addition to in original Buddhism.
Swimming Where Madmen Drown: Travelers' Tales from Inner Space
Robert E. L. Masters
One of these short chapters is about psychedelics. From the last paragraph of the chapter, p. 46: "One day our society will come to understand that psychedelic drugs provide the best access yet to the contents and processes of the human mind."
The only highly efficient way to enlightenment, and the most classic method of spiritual practice, is visionary drugs combined with the study of a refined systematization of the intellectual principles of higher knowledge. Visionary drugs are a hundred times as efficient and ergonomic as alternative approaches such as meditation/contemplation. For attaining enlightenment as classically conceived, meditation works, with a hundredth of the efficiency of visionary drugs.
A recent strategy of the entheogen-diminishing meditation advocates is visible in the book Zig Zag Zen: a wholesale redefinition and novel reconception of the goal of meditation.
Because meditation is manifestly so eclipsed in efficiency compared to visionary drugs, meditation advocates suddenly have had to invent a new story of the purpose of meditation: according to this new strategic lie, this fabricated revisionist story, meditation is not interested in the mystic altered state; meditation is purely for the elevation and sacralization of ongoing everyday life, without any relevant involvement with the mystic altered state, and the undeniably desirable and distinctive phenomena that have been associated with the mystic altered state, such as nondual awareness, have nothing to do with the mystic altered state (according to the new story).
That is the hazy and self-contradictory position now being invented by the entheogen-disparaging meditation proponents, who now have taken suddenly to the assertion that the mystic altered state prevents enlightenment and is associated with egoic delusion. Catholic-type anti-entheogen, anti-gnosis, anti-esoteric double-talk thus has now taken over Western popular Buddhism as well.
The blame for this spreading lie can't rest on "Christianity" in some vague general sense; the fault lies in some more sweeping attitude, the battle between exoteric and esoteric religion in general. Official, weak and crippled esotericism puts forth the deactivated, inert fruit of entheogenic mystic experiencing, and calls this the classic esoteric tradition, but there is no actual combustion, no actual flame -- just *talk* of combustion, flame, and mystic fire.
Books dense with such *talk* of the holy spirit and mystic fire are not rare today, but it is strange indeed how they talk of method without actually providing a method, other than "contemplation" or some vague act of "inner voyage". They don't tell any clear *action* to do to actually go about such introspective voyaging.
They say "the mystic goes on an introspective voyage" but they dance around this, never stating *how* specifically and exactly the mystic proceeds and causes and brings about this voyaging. Similarly, the theologian states that the saved person is lifted up and regenerated and cloaked with Christ's righteousness, but they dance around and never say what activity the person must be engaged in, leading up to this saving event.
The official explanation is never forthcoming on this point of *how* one initiates the spiritual journeying, while the classic mystic oral teaching points to the mystic garden.
Exoteric religion, whether labelled "Christianity" or "Buddhism", seeks to claim the benefits of the intense mystic altered state, most ergonomically produced by visionary plants, for itself, while distorting the effectiveness of the plant source and even distorting the description of the mystic altered state itself -- its duration, frequency, and relation to workaday, mundane, profane consciousness.