It feels great to be doing something for Reform, something that opens the doors for others to more easily take action to change things. I remember the complete absence of a sense of the ability to change the way things are, back in high school. I especially intend to provide full opportunities for today's politically involved Millennial high school generation to start off their world career with the doors to change already wide open. On the Internet, no one knows that you are not of voting age, and I intend to form a wide path from the newsgroups to the Reform sites for all the Millennial generation.
Some online entheogen researchers just want trip reports and chemistry of new compounds and feel Reform is not centrally on-topic. My emphasis on reform activism is not entirely new. I don't think you can separate entheogen studies from relevant reform activism; they are distinct but interrelated. Reform discussions are a proper topic at the popular online entheogen discussion areas, especially when focusing on entheogens and related orgs: Alchemind, some books at Promind.com, Erowid (since they have a donation page and Reform links, they are like a Reform org). Is MAPS a Reform org?
There are drug-related sites, there are Reform-related sites, and there are entheogen sites, and entheogen reform sites. Alchemind is definitely an entheogen reform site. Why not create a portal site for psychoactive drug sites in general? Is it sufficient to have a general drug site area at the "reform" portal? A major original goal of my reform portal was to provide a fast path for donating, with bulk-joining listservs and bulk joining/membership as supporting actions. Links to About pages are needed to support donation decisions. The ability to navigate efficiently for general surfing purposes is almost a mere bonus, compared to the ability to donate efficiently.
This navigation for efficient donation required direct links to donation pages rather than just home pages. There is not as strong of a need for micro-navigation to pages inside general drug sites. Also, general drug sites don't have such a standard template. Reform sites naturally lend themselves to systematic navigation and integration to form one Reform Supersite: they all have the following standard pages: About, Contacts, Appeals, Donate, Membership, Listserv, Links, News, and Progress.
I am not very interested in recreational drug sites; I am more interested in *changing* the conditions under which drugs are used, rather than using drugs within today's terrible conditions, under the heel of prohibition that so distorts today's experience of drugs. We don't have drugs today, we have drugs-under-the-conditions-of-prohibition -- which is as different as heroin vs. the stuff sold on the street. The Web would not be tremendously improved by a detailed portal for drug sites, unlike a portal for Reform sites. So I might have a general drug-site portal just as one part of the reform portal.
With the right attention to basic functionality, the reform portal should not really require a major effort and funding. Perhaps I need to think bigger as you suggest, to discover awesome new ways to be a meta site designer, so all the orgs utilize the Net a thousand times smarter than the standard. But my main time commitment is to developing the philosophy of ego death phenomena and religious experiencing. I'm spending some time on Reform navigation because navigation is a long-time professional interest and because:
No matter how interesting, brilliant, novel, or valuable a philosophy site about religious experiencing is, it's still just a stupid boring site or publication yammering about the philosophy of religious experiencing. Like, who cares? Friends ask, "but what *use* is your theory of religious experiencing?" Words about religious experiencing can do a lot to convey the experience, but it can't really draw a breakthrough amount of attention if ordinary people are legally unable to personally experience ego death and rebirth. Therefore Reform activism is required, in addition to philosophizing, if religious experiencing and comprehension of it are ever to become widespread.
I have found a way I can quickly and efficiently enable Reformers to utilize the Web better -- this is like a way of cashing out my years invested in online navigation theory, fortunately, bringing together at last my interests in nav theory and philosophy, via design of Reform navigation. Actually, I literally became involved in hypertext design in 1988 because as an entheogen religion philosopher, I needed more efficient online research tools. The interesting change now is that I'm applying hypertext theory not to mere passive scholarship, but to Reform *activism*.
I long struggled with the question, "Is my cybernetic theory of ego transcendence merely a theory of Delysid? Is this essentially just a theory about Delysid? Is or is not Delysid somehow "central" to this rational theory of transcendent insight?" That's one thing I am grateful to for the entheogen sites and discussion communities. At first, I thought the exotic coverage was silly, wasting time chasing exotic molecules *just* for the sake of entertainment; I thought the recent hip researchers rejected Delysid and did so for foolish reasons of overfamiliarity. I thought they considered Delysid to be passe and deficient. But after reading Ott and histories of the pharmacopiea, and having consulted with Salvation Divine, and after having realized that Delysid does have its weaknesses such as lasting inconveniently long, my mind has been opened. I see a proper fit now between *entheogens* and a theory of ego death.
It indeed would be a mistake to equate ego death cybernetics with one molecule or plant in particular, but it's fully justified to equate -- yes, on the whole, *equate* -- religious experiencing with entheogenic molecules. Meditation and chanting I consider to be secondary, auxiliary technologies; the good shepherd and leader with all primacy is the entheogenic molecule. In Pharmacophilia: The Natural Paradises, Ott argues that ingesting molecules is the most natural path to paradise. Animals and tribal and ancient cultures do this. By Maslow's hierarchy of needs, food comes before religious needs, so we can assume man ate mushrooms before inventing meditation and chanting techniques. Meditation and chanting are later human inventions; eating inebriants is a natural habit of animals and must precede culture.
So, entheogen use definitely can be considered central to a technical theoretical explanation of the ego death experience. The philosophy of religious experiencing *inherently must include* a theory of entheogens. Any philosophy of religion that lacks a theory of entheogens is false and is missing the most important key. Any such dessicated (and all too typical) theory of religion will have an unresolved mystery at its core, which is the situation we have today. But there is no mystery for those scholars who are initiated into the mysteries, such as Heinrich, Wasson, Ruck, and Arthur, who know the Wasson theory of the entheogenic origin of religion.
So now I can say that clearly in my theory: this theory inherently centrally includes coverage of entheogens, because *any historically realistic theory of religion must include the entheogenic origin theory*. Entheogens are not the point; the state of loose cognition they produce is the point -- but it would be artificial to deny the practical identification of the two; if you are going to talk about loose cognition, well, the *main* and most reliable trigger for loose cognition is the molecular trigger. As Zen and the Brain documents, loose-cognitive states are chemical states. Loose cognition is a chemical state; loose cognition without a focus on molecular triggers is an artificial abstraction.
Since a worthwhile theory of religion inherently requires a theory of molecular triggers, and molecular triggers are practically required for the ordinary person to have religious experiencing immediately for free, and having the experience first-hand is as important as explaining the experience (publishing a bunch of vivid and profound words about it), and since the political powers have forbidden the molecules *and therefore the experience*, leaving mere "vivid words" -- poetry without the poetic state of cognition -- religious experience is practically forbidden now. The main chance of anyone getting real value from a theory of religious experiencing is for them to have religious experiences, and this is practically forbidden, so we must take action to change the political situation.
The authorities today are not really against religious experience as religious experience, and they are not really against molecules. They are for profit, via persecution-for-profit, and they are against the real point of molecules, which is loose cognition. Nixon declared Leary the most dangerous man alive because Leary promoted freedom of thought, augmented and empowered by loose cognition. If the authorities have invented an 11th commandment or an 8th deadly sin, it is loose cognition, vision-logic. Thou Shalt Not Have Vision-Logic. Neitzche reduced all of Christian morality to "Thou shalt not know", but it is really "Thou shalt not Know", which is more specifically expressed as "Thou Shalt Not Have Vision-Logic" (or Loose Cognition).
The great crime the ruling political powers have fabricated is not the publishing of an explanation of religious experiencing, but the providing of or access to the mental mode which supports religious experiencing. Clearly understanding these experiences does not threaten the establishment, but accessing the mental state which supports these kind of experiences is perceived as a threat to the establishment.
I used to think that publishing words conveying a theory was enough, as the highest goal, but now I think that activism is also required, for the full goal must be to *have*, as well as rationally understand, religious or high-philosophy experience. The poetry of Hendrix did not ask "Are you theoretically informed about Experience?" I still maintain that a full, complete, simple, rational theory of religious experience is possible and near at hand, but I now hold that a full goal must be to deliver the experience as well as the theory of it. This means seriously integrating religious theory with Reform activism. Only pursuing half would not be pursuing "the highest goal"; if I only publish a theory, without taking action for Reform (political change), I cannot hold that I am working toward "the highest goal".
God bless America, land of the drug-war prisoner. May we give thanks to the Net, now a more plausible candidate for land of the free. We are free to publish, but we still are not free again to experience.
Which is better, Reformnav.org, or Reformportal.org? This utility site will have various links and mechanisms to efficiently get to and use the various online resources for drug-policy reform. "Navigation" seems specific, unassuming, passive and limited in scope. "Portal" seems more open and empowering and ambitious, and less specific, and connotes hyperspace jumps as opposed to linear, slow, long ship journeys. Navigation is kind of passive figuring-out; portal is active jump-travelling. People don't want to navigate among reform places, they want to hop on a hyperspace jump through to arrive literally at reform itself. I want a portal to Reform itself, I don't want to merely navigate among reform sites. Like Egodeath.com is not *about* ego death, it *is* it; to visit is to have and experience it, to undergo it. Similarly, the nav site doesn't travel within reform, but rather *to* reform as a new political reality.
I could spend a solid couple days just envisioning and brainstorming resources for such a Reformportal.org site. Who can show me what it could be, what an integrated network of activist sites it could bring about? Caffeine only goes so far as a visionary teacher, though we can take some perverse comfort in knowing that caffeine has been considered an illicit, dangerous, prohibited psychoactive drug in some cultures. I do credit caffeine with helping find the idea of the detailed navigation table for Reform sites. I wish for inspired guidance.
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