franklinstower wrote:Its a new idea conceived of by someone (cant remember who) that does mushrooms and saw similarities between those states and pentecost and other Christian mystics. No one really takes it seriously.
Not exactly. Sure, Terence McKenna (perhaps the most experienced authority on psychedelics, along with his brother Dennis, a physicist) popularized the idea. However, the original idea was discovered by a man named John Marco Allegro. He was the leading linguistics expert involved in the translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls. He presents a remarkable amount of evidence for his claim in the book, The Sacred Mushroom and The Cross
Also, franklinstower, I definitely respect your version of Christianity. Sadly, the majority (certainly the loudest anyway) of Christians are not so "enlightened."
I also agree that the states you speak of are attainable without "chemicals" (as you dismissively referred to them). In fact, I have experienced that without any outside chemicals as well. 12 years ago I fasted in total isolation for 4 days, drinking only water, and meditating and praying. I had an incredible "god" moment, on par with any religious experience I've ever read about. Years later I experienced something very similar (but even more intense) with Dimethyltryptamine. After reading several books about it, and endless books on fasting and meditation practices, I found that the correlation was not just in my head, so to speak, ha. Dr. Rick Strassman wrote a book called, DMT: The Spirit Molecule, in which he actually got permission to do a scientific study on DMT. According to his theory, the pineal gland actually creates and secretes DMT in your brain during deep meditation, near-death and intense religious experiences, and while you dream. He and McKenna both highlighted the molecular similarity between DMT and psilocybin, and how they do basically the same thing to the brain.
My religious experience through isolated fasting and meditation opened my eyes and sent me searching for more. Psychedelic plants however, taught me that religion stops halfway, it doesn't march boldly into the abyss with quite the same pioneering spirit. They also taught me that gurus, priests, monks, etc miss the ultimate point of it all...they get so caught up in piety and righteousness and dogma that they miss the eternal humor of the great comic joke. The mushroom once said to me (that's right, they actually speak to you in a voice...unlike God when you pray
"The holy man gets halfway up the mountain and turns around to preach to the people below. The Artist goes all the way to the top, paints a picture of the view, and brings it back down for everyone to see."
By pushing beyond the constraints of religion, psychedelics brought a much clearer understanding that transcended the perception culture had branded on my brain. My family raised me in a Christian church, so I was prone to relate my sober religious experience to symbolism I had learned through church and culture. Psychedelics push you beyond the constraints of culture and religion and politics, even language.
Terence McKenna once said (and I'm paraphrasing), Sure, joining a monastery and choosing a life of celibacy or practicing meditation for years might bring you to these transcendent experiences, maybe... But there is no "maybe" with a large enough dose of the same molecule that you're forcing your brain to produce with a strenuous religious practice.
Besides that, look up the work Timothy Leary did with prison inmates while still working at Harvard. Through mushroom therapy, his team was able to reverse the recidivism rate of the prisoners in the study. A tremendous feat that no amount of priests or chaplains has ever pulled off with inmates.
The main flaw in your rhetoric is that you seem to be considering the two experiences as mutually exclusive, or at the very least, one is superior to the other in your mind. I posit that they are all related and connected, much like all the energies and forces of the Universe. Countless human achievements have resulted from the responsible use of psychedelic plants, these entheogens.
In the words of Terence McKenna (while describing Allegro's discovery), "Jesus was a mushroom."