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Psychedelics, Consciousness and Awakening the HUMAN SPIRIT
Martin W. Ball, Ph.D.
The Entheogenic Evolution
Psychedelics, Consciousness and Awakening the Human Spirit Martin W. Ball © 2008
ISBN 978-0-578-00228-6 All rights reserved Cover and artwork by Martin W. Ball No part of this work may be reprinted without express written consent from the publisher. email@example.com
This work features text that has been reprinted with the following permissions: “Part Six: The Lord of the Dawn, Chapter Five,” from 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl by Daniel Pinchbeck, copyright ©2006 by Daniel Pinchbeck. Used by permission of Jeremy P. Tarcher, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Pyramid of Fire by John Major Jenkins and Martin Matz, Rochester, VT 05767 Copyright © 2004 Inner Traditions / Bear & Company www.BearandCompanyBooks.com
This book is dedicated to all those who walk the path of seeking deeper spiritual understanding in their efforts to heal our shared world
With thanks to: Jessalynn, for your love, support and inspiring choice to walk beside me; Mara, for being a necessary catalyst and a lasting friend; Merrill for all of your help, in so many ways; My children for their patience, understanding and love; Phoebe, for all that you do; My mother, for your editing assistance, The community of Ashland for providing a welcoming and supportive family for my spiritual questing; Jan Irvin at Gnostic Media for your feedback; Rick Strassman for your advice; Ken Jordan and the Reality Sandwich Team for publishing the Universal Declaration; Oroc for your enthusiasm for the medicine; The Temple of Awakening Divinity; The Church of the Holy Light of the Queen; All my listeners at The Entheogenic Evolution Podcast – especially those who have financially supported the program and my work; and most of all, God, for making all things possible.
Disclaimer: This book is intended for philosophical, spiritual, and educational purposes. The author does not encourage or endorse illegal, dangerous, or irresponsible behavior of any kind and is in no way responsible for the choices made by readers of this book.
A Note to the Reader Despite my longstanding interest in entheogens and spirituality, I personally find a great deal of what I’ve written in this book to be surprising and unexpected. Namely, I’m surprised at the central importance of the concept of God in these pages – something that is so prevalent, and even directly quoted, that it needs some explanation. Anyone who has read my two previous books about entheogens and spirituality, Mushroom Wisdom and Sage Spirit, will probably find themselves asking: How did this happen? “God” is a word that can hardly be found in my earlier writings and its prevalence here should be provocative. As I recount in the personal story that opens this book, I have recently come to directly experience what I have come to understand as God – the Divine Source of Everything. In fact, it was that initial encounter, and all that has followed subsequent to it, that has inspired this book. For this reason, I introduce the ideas of this book with this first encounter in the initial chapter, and then later conclude the book with a chapter about my recent experiences with entheogens, followed by two appendices that share my most recent theological musings. Anyone interested in those particular details can read these chapters first, if they like, without “spoiling” anything else written in these pages. I would like to make clear at the outset, however, that I do not personally adhere to any particular religious tradition. Though the word “God” is often associated with Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions, I am not intending to reference these traditions in my use of the word. In many respects, what I’m seeking to introduce here could be considered the concept of entheology, or the study of God within, and specifically, from an entheogenic perspective. The God that I am speaking of is more properly associated with concepts like energy, consciousness, physics, and mathematics than with concerns about who will win the Super Bowl, who should be president, which country should be blessed, or which fabricated mythical history is “true” and which “holy book” is correct. I am speaking of a God of radical freedom, and radical personal responsibility. This is not a God who takes sides, grants favors, or doles out rewards and punishments. This is not a God that has anything to do with religion as most people understand it, and in fact, could even be understood to be antithetical to it in many fundamental respects. The God I am writing of is the one that we can directly experience within ourselves through altered states of consciousness. It is the deepest level of who we all are and it is available to direct experience through entheogens or other consciousness-altering means.
and responsibility. with “my” contribution being silently spoken in my head. In many respects. I’ve included direct quotes from God. Though I can hardly believe it. they have come out of my direct experience and I present them here to you just as they were presented to me – as clear. as filtered and shunted through me as an incarnated and conscious being.” “outrageous.Which brings me to an explanation of the quotes that are found between sections of this book. It seemed only fitting that I also let the voice help frame the discussion. It doesn’t sound like “me. It has counseled me and challenged me. freedom. is one of infinite love. and thus have chosen to include its wisdom as direct quotes. or hours. I have not taken these quotes from any “holy book” or “sacred scripture. and provided insights that have never previously occurred to me. however. My primary aim is to be inspirational . and is almost always accompanied by rapidly vibrating hands. The voice phenomenon occurs when I choose to let myself be a conduit and open channel to divine energy. It speaks of love. unambiguous communication. It is supremely authoritative and comes with a great deal of energy and force.” and “preposterous” roll through my head when I think of the fact that I’ve included these quotes. complete with a nearly endless number of footnotes and references. As I recount in the final chapter. It comes out of my mouth. but it is not of my conscious doing. which can make it sound angry and demanding as it passes out of my body. The phenomenon might last a few minutes. this book is the product of my seeking to come to terms with the voice and the incredible depth of experience that has accompanied it. My striving to fully express what I have learned and come to know is written down in these pages. The reader is free to take these quotes however he or she sees fit. some months ago I experienced a voice speaking through me during my entheogenic experiences. and it has added tremendously to my life. energy. the voice might thunder or speak in a soft. The voice says things that I often find surprising or unexpected. with the voice answering me out loud. I would also comment that some portions of this book could have been written in a heavily academic style.” however. My feeling of the experience is that it is the voice of God. however. I am deeply grateful for it.” Instead. through my voice. and when it speaks. my lower jaw tends to jut outward awkwardly. giving me a strange under-bite. given the significance it has played in shaping the contents of the book. and infinite energy. The feeling. and even occasionally under otherwise “normal” circumstances. Whatever it is. Words like “audacious. barely audible whisper. It is much lower than my normal register as well. In passing through the confines of my body. It sometimes occurs as something of a dialogue.
therefore. but that is a different project than the one I chose to engage with here. I invite you to read on. My apologies. I have provided some references to get interested readers started. or religion. science. but they are relatively few and far between.and evocative. My primary reference has been the contents of countless books and other resources that I have read or enjoyed that I think about as I ponder the questions and issues raised in this book. however. I sat down and started writing. With these brief explanations out of the way. to any who would like to see more citations filling these pages. Martin Ball Ashland. When I wrote this book. I didn’t go poring through books looking for facts. Oregon 2008 . I could go back and find all the places where I first encountered various ideas or thoughts about history.
151 My Journey .143 5-MeO-DMT for the Masses .31 Mysticism .102 Science Cannot Explain the Existence of Consciousness -103 The Nature of Reality from a Mystical Perspective .87 The Doctrine of the Holy Daime .109 The Nature of the Heart .130 5-MeO-DMT .Table of Contents: Welcome to the Temple of Awakening Divinity .37 Control and Domination .30 Shamanism .119 Breaking Open the Heart .157 Appendix A: The Energetics of DMT. Consciousness and the Body – 187 Appendix B: The Energetic Body of God: An Entheogenic Perspective .68 Daniel Pinchbeck and Quetzalcoatl .41 Entheogens and the Law .44 The Universal Declaration of the Human Right to Direct Spiritual Experience 62 Shamans.201 .125 Awakening the Divine Within .66 Divine Consciousness and the Universal Heart . Mystics and the Law .78 The Pyramid of Fire .16 Defining Terms .13 2012 and the Great Change .19 Direct Spiritual Experience .25 The Shift Toward Subjective Experience .1 Entheogenic Spirituality .97 Seeds of the Logos .132 Types of Journeys .67 Terence McKenna and the Logos .
And so it is for you.” . We are One. the only one I’ve ever found is myself.God .“In all my explorations. . and we are many. . We are . for I am you.
That night we ate the mushrooms. I felt disoriented. I’d like to tell you about the first time I really experienced God.A. I had a hard time looking people in the eye.D. However. fresh out of my first year of college. colors were vibrant and alive. What were these weird fungi that I had eaten. a friend of mine secured some psilocybin mushrooms while we waited in line. in Religious Studies. cognitive abilities. I found the experience strange. still in our car. where the investigation into the cultural and historical use of visionary plants was central to my studies. and Ph. everything was breathing. which eventually led to an M. and my own personal experiences with psychedelics have undergone a long process of evolution and growth.Welcome to the Temple of Awakening Divinity I ’d like to begin this book by sharing with you what has inspired much that follows. and what were they doing to my sense of perception. some of which I’d like to share here. which turned out to be not all that strong. and sense of self? . however. I was 18. winding our way into the festival parking area. and in fact. thoroughly selfconscious. having become separated from my friends. That is academic work. At the Gathering of the Vibes festival in Northern California. The first time I experienced psychedelics. It wasn’t a divine experience in any way. I wasn’t too impressed. and just odd. I’ve had a long-standing interest in religion and spiritual experience.
I had to excuse myself and go to the restroom to splash water on my face and try to hold back the panic that was welling up within me. It wasn’t fun and I didn’t like it. The experience that followed became the basis for my book. however. and geometric patterns started to swirl through my visual field. but not divine. Magical. By the time of my first spring break in grad school. though I had not taken any mushrooms. My sense of what mushrooms could be expanded greatly from that first encounter. while tripping on mushrooms. I had also read a good deal of Terence McKenna and the works of various ethnobotanists and anthropologists who had studied with indigenous cultures that made use of visionary medicines. When I had the opportunity to return to the mushroom experience I decided to take it. A turning point in my experiences with mushrooms came fairly early on in my psychedelic history. I would never describe my early mushroom experiences as divine. and the state of awareness and perception that they opened up. Though I still didn’t have any direct experience myself. One night. I did have a fairly good “book knowledge” of shamanic and mystical states of consciousness and I had some understanding of how visionary plants were regarded and used in traditional cultures. a friend and I had watched the movie. That was all I needed to suddenly find myself in a state of mind where I felt I had lost control of my perceptions. Staring intently at blades of grass could do it. I still wanted to work with them and learn from them. Several months later. So could a carpet or rug with geometric designs. but mostly as a recreational experience. I thought back to that night and how I had perceived the film at the time. I finished my undergraduate studies and then went on to graduate school to begin working on my Master’s and eventually Doctoral degrees in Religious Studies. but it would be some time before I had regained enough control to be able to open myself up to that experience again.2 The Entheogenic Evolution I experimented some with mushrooms over the following years. while watching the same movie. I had been thoroughly steeped in shamanic and mystical literature. The patterns of leaves could set me off. I was still intrigued by mushrooms. The Doors. It didn’t take much to send me into a heart-racing panic state where I felt that I was completely out of control. This “flashback” problem then persisted for several months. It seemed like my head was melting into the wall upon which it was resting. Mushroom Wisdom: . Anything that reminded me of the psychedelic state could trigger the experience. with Val Kilmer. but it was far from any kind of radical spiritual experience or sense of awakening. certainly. I traveled to a friend’s house on my spring vacation and we each ate an eighth of an ounce of psilocybin mushrooms. I felt as though I were starting to trip.
” The idea was simple: put God in a box and let all those who were willing to go through our process open the box and see what was inside. many claimed that we had provided them with one of the most profound and meaningful experiences of their lives. He was grinning ecstatically from ear to ear. as I to prefer calling the visionary medicines. any card. I spent over a decade working with mushrooms. I discovered Salvia divinorum. exploring shamanic consciousness and practice. In the years that followed. I had many profound and deeply meaningful spiritual encounters. After finishing graduate school. I would give a fairly cogent Buddhist response about the impermanent and empty nature of existence and how all our concepts are relative. which I wrote many years after that particular voyage. In fact. or entheogens. I felt I had a fairly good understanding of how these two visionary medicines worked and what kinds of experiences they made possible. and many seemed to be having genuinely spiritual experiences at our camp. but there was never a moment where I felt secure enough to say that I had absolutely experienced a force that I would describe as God. but through it all. Certainly. I had my intellectual and philosophical views. if asked if I believed in God. It started out as something of a joke. having just returned from his visit with the Mystic Toad (another name for the actual God Box. and then later salvia. eventually using those experiences as the basis for my book. I would never claim that I had experienced God in a direct sense. but my camp mates and I soon found that in fact many Burners (as participants at the event like to call themselves) were taking this process very seriously. In fact. a mail box that I had painted and decorated to look something like a toad). which he held out before him. changed forever from that deeply spiritual encounter with the mushroom allies. Somewhat ironically.Welcome to the Temple of Awakening Divinity 3 How Shamans Cultivate Spiritual Consciousness. I continued to explore the shamanic and mystical states of consciousness that mushrooms opened up for me – what I considered to be my “personal” schooling as I made my way through my graduate program. letting my fingers find the one card that was right for me. Sage Spirit: Salvia Divinorum and the Entheogenic Experience. . My understanding of psychedelics. One such participant invited me to choose a card. and how even in the Buddhist wheel of reincarnation gods are still conditioned by karma and not absolute. It felt to me like a shamanic initiation and a gnostic revelation. but no real experience to base those views on. That mushroom journey was unlike any I had experienced previously. in 2003 I created a theme camp for Burning Man (an annual interactive art festival held in the Nevada desert each summer) called “The God Box. I closed my eyes and reached out. and began working with that magical plant. to our surprise.
“Licking toad.” as I like to put it. 2001. In many respects. A couple of years later.” I was curious. These magical tryptamines are ubiquitous throughout the biological world.N DMT is regulated as a schedule I substance. sending warning signals through the phone line. to say the least. as though making my spiritual practice public meant that I wanted to take psychedelics with strangers for no other purpose than to “trip. an extremely potent entheogenic/psychedelic agent. 5-MeODMT is not. In reading the card. not only are both kinds of DMT produced in the human body. Rather. If you’d like to give it a try. indeed. In fact. I knew that I hadn’t accepted my own divinity. only a few months ago as I write this.N DMT (often simply called DMT). While I felt deeply and intimately connected to a spiritual and profoundly meaningful and interconnected universe. I’ve got the real thing – Sonoran Desert Toads. and in countless species of plants (see Strassman. nature is fairly well saturated with dimethyltryptamine. I had not experienced God. It’s everywhere. “Accept your own divinity. even in you and me. 2008). and certainly had not experienced God inside myself. Thus. which states that compounds similar or analogous to those that are scheduled can potentially be considered to be controlled substances. was always something that I had been interested in experiencing first hand.” I answered. I milk 5-MeO-DMT from their glands. “Well. one does not literally lick the toad in the manner of Homer Simpson while lying about in a hammock (as was depicted in one episode of “The Simpsons” TV show). 5-MeO-DMT. meaning that it is produced naturally in the human body. While N. is a naturally occurring endogenous psychedelic compound. it is not technically illegal. “So what kind of toad is that ‘Mystic Toad’ that you’ve got there?” he asked right up front. I was contacted by someone who had seen my web page and noticed a reference to the God Box/Mystic Toad there. . maybe we can get together sometime.” “It’s a mail box. providing a rapid delivery of 5-MeO-DMT. It pictured a woman seated in meditation posture surrounded by glowing mushrooms with the words written across the card. molecular cousin to the more commonly available N.” A fitting challenge. I had been approached by people who had read my book Mushroom Wisdom or my interview in Shaman’s Drum Magazine who wanted to “journey” with me. “Really?” he answered. they are found in all other mammals as well. though one could potentially run afoul of the law due to the analogous substances act. the venom is either smoked or vaporized. not sure where the conversation was going.4 The Entheogenic Evolution I held up the card. the actual experience of divinity had eluded me. Of course.
Oroc describes 5MeO-DMT as the “only true entheogen” he has ever experienced. We were to take the sacrament from an alchemical vessel of brass and glass in the form of a piston-based vaporizer. expansive. whatever that might be. God was still something foreign to me. but it was a comfortable ride. I found it very meaningful and significant that my host had been inspired to contact me after seeing the God Box/Mystic Toad on my web site. I stated my intentions and what I hoped to gain from this experience. and psychotria viridis extract. I related how I had received the challenge to “accept my own divinity” through the God Box – something I felt I had never achieved. Having read an early draft of his book. But that was just the first time.” So we met and discussed how it would work. even beautiful. .Welcome to the Temple of Awakening Divinity 5 In his forthcoming book. this was an admixture of toad venom. filling the entire chamber with a white cloud of psychedelic vapor. The chamber was first filled with argon gas. For him.” my new friend urged. Tryptamine Palace. So here I was. fluid. was different this time as well. so that there would be no oxygen present and therefore nothing to burn. What could be so different about this molecule that Oroc would passionately describe it as the only true entheogen? “Come to the Temple of Awakening Divinity.” as my host preferred to call it. This time. phalaris grass extract. “Come to the T. all of which contained 5-MeODMT. as was my own ultimately divine nature as an incarnation of the Absolute. rather like the genie (or genius) in the proverbial magic lamp. The mixture of 5-MeO-DMT extract was placed at the bottom of the chamber and then heated from beneath. I was presented with the opportunity to inhale toad venom through a strange contraption that seemed to have too many parts to really be functional. an inert noble gas. and that I might know and experience something of the divine source of all of existence. The device. willing to try this sacrament once again in the hope that I might experience my own divinity. or “lamp. My next invitation to attend ceremony at the Temple of Awakening Divinity featured a somewhat different Eucharist.A. his first experience with 5-MeO-DMT was an awakening to divine consciousness where he fully experienced God. open. The experience that followed was dreamy. I was both aware and skeptical of his claims. rather than being solely toad venom. It wasn’t the “rocket ship straight into the heart of God” that I was promised. which Oroc had passed out as gifts at Burning Man. He invited me over and after a ritual opening based on his practice in Western esoteric and magical traditions. I said something to the effect that I believed that everything happened for a reason.O. Before I took my turn.D.
I embraced God. not my ego-identity. I vaguely described it as “living starlight. Infinite love and infinite perfection. unable to stay closed. Nothing was out of place. . As my host would put it. As a finite being in a body with a sense of self and identity. Absolutely pure nothingness. I had closed my eyes. was identical with God. nothing to experience. gaping in sheer awe at the mysterium tremendum. nothing to perceive. I had completely expanded into God. And it was love. It was not an emotion. Nothing was right or wrong. the room dissolved. I had accepted my own divinity. that whatever I had was enough. for in truth. In those few heartbeats. that infinite source of creative energy in which all things exist in absolute and unquestionable perfection. Everything was simply perfect in this pure consciousness. Not my ego self. Nothing was good or bad. I lay back on the bed inside the consecrated temple of our ceremonial space. It was not a concept. my nature as an incarnated being was one with that pure consciousness. There was nothing to see. my eyes popped open. I was one with God. “Thank you. at the very deepest level. It was not anything that I could describe in any way. however. And it was my deepest nature. Eyes open in absolute awe and wonder. And this nothingness was pure consciousness. the hit slowly escaping from my lungs with the sweet smell of 5-MeO-DMT filling the room. There was perhaps still a third or fourth of the hit still left. my entire world dissolved. That was thoroughly obliterated through the impossibly fast 5-MeO-DMT expansion.6 The Entheogenic Evolution I didn’t finish the chamber of vaporized 5-MeO-DMT. Whatever was about to unfold was clearly unstoppable. At my core. I could tell. Everything I had ever known or thought or felt dissolved away into absolute pure nothingness. when asked later. I was an expression of God. Within the space of a few heartbeats. It was not an object of perception. Rather. With the hit still in my lungs. it was nothing. Initially. Eyes wide open.” but even that was not accurate. God!” I called out as my hands reached up towards that infinite expanse of nothingness. It was not as though I identified my personal sense of self with God. I had definitely taken in a full “release” dose. my ego dissolved. and the embrace was returned. But as I was falling back. this beautiful and sacred medicine had opened me up to the All. a few moments after the hit of psychedelic medicine flowed out of my lungs. Everything was in a state of divine perfection. this pure state of being. But that no-thing was everything. And this state was not a thing. In fact. It was God. I was one with that infinite love. the deepest core of my being.
Welcome to the Temple of Awakening Divinity 7 “Thank you. Nothing to grasp. I was so overwhelmed that I began crying and laughing at the same time.” this collection of patterns and habits. and that something was more profound. insignificant person with my own very small sense of self and being. I could feel the layers of my individual sense of self begin to reassert themselves. so complete. I could hardly believe that it was true. everything that we see. Slowly. Nothing at all. the most beautiful. over and over and over again. I knew that in the end. was God. choices. more complete. and as I fell down out of that exalted state. lasting the better part of an hour as the medicine expanded me out into the farthest reaches of cosmic consciousness and then gently brought me back to myself. God was the only true reality. Now I knew with all my heart that there truly was something more. and that I. Nothing to hold on to. as a small. all of us. was One with that Absolute Reality. Nothing in my psychedelic or spiritual history could have prepared me for this divine embrace. But now I knew.” I said. I’ve now seen enough people journey with 5-MeO-DMT to know . All else was illusion – the effluence of God’s creative power. and that is enough. God is simply the “I AM. was embraced by the Love of All. and emotions. I could hardly believe that I was saying that word: God. God is the only true reality. God is. is really just the One Being. It was absolutely undeniable. The ego and identity that had been completely obliterated in the instantaneous expansion brought on by the 5-MeO-DMT regained its foothold. profound. and that all things were in absolute perfection. I knew myself once more. Nothing to behold. And at the same time. It was. we. All that was. attitudes. I came back from that infinite expansion into the nothingness that was everything. beyond any doubt. and I knew that I loved God with all my heart. and total experience of my life. for I experienced the truth with every aspect of my being. It was the “me” I had lived with all my life. and more truly holy and sacred than anything I had ever imagined or anything I had ever conceived. taste. God was Reality. feel and experience. judgments and beliefs. hear. Like a space ship re-entering the atmosphere. God was Real. so beyond any sense of doubt or wonder or skepticism. And my nature. That was my first truly divine mystical experience and I am generally in agreement with Oroc’s claims as to the unique nature of this medicine. as a spiritual being. But now I truly understood. It is all God. I was one with God. I understood that I was “Martin. and God was love. Nothing to name or force into the box of language and conceptuality. It was so total. God is absolutely nothing.” and there is nothing more that can be said. manifesting in space and time as a physical world with physical beings that felt so alone and cut off.
Many people are genuinely afraid of their own hearts. Simple. But that can be a huge obstacle. for one cannot get to God without passing through the heart. this refusal to surrender and let go makes the 5-MeO-DMT experience a hellish one – one that they would not willingly repeat for anything. and if we hold onto fear and judgment. There is so much fear. the pain. That’s all. How we choose to use it is entirely up to us. Heaven and hell are what we make of them and it matters little to God. This is not to judge them. especially if one is afraid of the contents of his or her heart. really. and the attachment in one’s own heart can truly dissolve into God. Fear of death becomes overwhelming. the wounds. God has given us that ability and that power. this attachment. The Heart of the Universe is One. we will get from it what we create. then when confronted with the enormity that is God in the mystical rapture. and only one who has confronted the darkness. my experience of any visionary medicine is decidedly different from what it might have been before this mystical union. for we are the ones creating them. Fear takes hold. but I’ve seen it be exceedingly difficult for some. but it can manifest anywhere on my body – even places . and nothing less. Now that the path to God has been opened in my heart. then that is exactly what we will get. especially now that I’ve learned how to truly surrender into God and let go of anything that might prevent me from being absorbed fully and completely in that state. From the divine perspective in God’s heart. For some. It is only to recognize that we are the ones who judge. both with and without the use of visionary medicines. there is an open channel and I have been blessed with experiencing God’s divine energy. Now. as the source of all that is. The key is surrender. God is infinitely giving and God’s generosity knows neither bounds nor limits. most often manifesting through my hands and feet. God. So many struggle and resist the call to fall back into the Divine Love of God. We are the ones who choose how we want to create our reality. As I’ve come to believe.8 The Entheogenic Evolution that my experience is not necessarily typical of the experiences of others.” was how the message came through to me while communing with God on a recent ayahuasca journey. and if we ask for hell. It flows through me and causes me to vibrate. There is no judgment in God’s heart for God is Pure Love. not God. all things are perfect. God is infinitely giving. “Expect nothing from me except my love. and the heart is the quickest path to God. the only thing that stands in the way of each individual fully experiencing God is one’s self. Since that first full absorption into God. One grasps onto the disintegrating ego. the fear. this fear. I’ve been blessed to return to that mystical union on many occasions. But that is the hell they make for themselves. God will support and love us no matter what we choose. is pure love – nothing more.
fouling the world in which we find ourselves. and ensure a greater flow of material goods. resources. a mess. It is time for a change. we’re killing ourselves. but something needs to change. flooding out through vibrating hands that feel as though they touch the threads of infinite starlight energy that span space and time. my visit to the Temple of Awakening Divinity was a holy encounter. and I am grateful beyond measure for my experiences with 5-MeO-DMT and the experiences that have followed subsequently. and human labor. and though I do not yet really understand it. We’re polluting the air. secure more power. good and bad. It is healing and transformation that we need.Welcome to the Temple of Awakening Divinity 9 that I didn’t know could vibrate. We’ve disenchanted the universe and then raped and pillaged the wasteland that we perceived as being left in the wake of our killing God. As a result. profound changes have cascaded through my life in a very short time. While my horizons have broadened. It is time for us to stop the madness of what we have been doing to ourselves and to the Earth and it is time for us to awaken into the reality that is our divinity. For me. We are all divine beings – finite expressions of that absolute infinite source. oil. land and water. The world is. It is time for us to embrace God’s love and know that we are that love. and we’re doing an excellent job of killing countless other beings as well. In the end. I am beyond grateful for it. It is time for humanity to wake up. And in the process. and minds. to put it bluntly. A tall order. It is beautiful and it is holy. When I surrender into God. or you and anything else. there is still much that I seek to understand in my relationship to the divine. All the while we judge and condemn and spit self-righteously at others who we feel fall outside the fold. literally. the very fabric of God’s precious creation as manifest in living light and consciousness. spirits. hearts. I become a conduit for this divine energy and it moves through me in a flood that I can hardly contain. We are all One. the only place we’ve ever known as home. Something that I know with certainty is that it is time for a change. We’ve rationalized every conceivable horror to make more profit. along with our bodies. It is time for us to claim responsibility for who we truly are. right and wrong. We’ve created illusions of terror and democracy. and there is no real separation between you and me. and the experience of this oneness is a profound source of healing and transformation. science and religion. Truly. when I truly set myself aside. it is the tangible manifestation of God’s love and creative power moving through the many layers of my being. I am awakening to the reality that is God. .
we have come to fear and criminalize those catalysts that bring us to ecstatic states of knowledge. . and it is my desire to help in whatever humble way I can to facilitate the change and articulate some wisdom to help bring about a deeper level of awareness of and appreciation for Divine Love. In the West. fires. had some impact and influence upon them. It is my hope that things are beginning to change. As Terence McKenna would put it. and social degeneration. madness. then perhaps you just weren’t paying attention. As someone who has embraced entheogenic shamanism and mysticism. and if you weren’t aware. or. the time for the Entheogenic Evolution is now. I know it is possible. Our spiritually disenchanted world is falling apart all around us. Visionary medicines can play a vital role in helping to bring about profound change in perception and experience. and now we are living with the consequences. we have reached a point where rapid and profound change is needed. We can wake up. The fact that a plant or a chemical residing naturally in our bodies would be made illegal is profoundly bizarre. minute by minute. sending storms. While there are many paths to God and Divine Love. Through lies. these agents of spiritual awakening have been condemned and shunned. Yet hope is there. Visionary plants have been cherished. ridiculed as being false paths to wisdom. It is with this hope that I write this book. As I like to put it. and outright manipulation. illusion-bound selves. melting ice caps. respected. droughts. second by second. the entheogens.10 The Entheogenic Evolution Now the Earth is fighting back. How much more will it take before we wake up? My hope is not much. But experience and history tell me that it will probably take things getting even worse before any true change is realized. and devastating environmental disasters. Now is the time for the Great Change. rising sea levels. at the very least. We are told that these sacred medicines are dangerous and that they are illegal for our own protection. for the powers that be know best. are key to helping bridge the gap between our disenchanted. We have made our choices. I feel it in my heart and I infuse my spirit with this hope. and used wisely by countless cultures since the beginning of time and may very well be the source of virtually all the great religious traditions of the world. illusion. awareness. Their true place in human history and spiritual and cultural development has been clouded over by “just say no” fear mongering and political and religious manipulation. and the wider reality that is our divine nature. the Archaic Revival is here. and being. propaganda. as being agents of deception. Political and economic systems are collapsing. and needed now. It’s up to us to make it happen. I feel very strongly that the visionary plants.
they can be life-altering agents of awakening and healing. The choice is ours. and ultimately. the truth is that visionary medicines are here to help remind us of our true natures and of the divine spiritual reality that envelopes and permeates us in every moment of our lives. The time is now. They are gifts of nature that bring us to exalted states. and awaken to the unmovable reality that is our genuine source.Welcome to the Temple of Awakening Divinity 11 While there is always danger when engaging with profoundly powerful agents. and a desire to know the sacred. The infinite energy of God is calling to all of us to awaken and heal ourselves and our world. a clean heart. . the old illusions. shamanic journeys and mystical ruptures into the infinite. They can bring us back to ourselves. When used with conscious intent. to God – to Source. divine consciousness. They are gifts and they are tools for our wise and prudent use. That is what this book is about – the Entheogenic Evolution – the awakening to divine reality through the use of visionary plants and medicines. May we all take the journey and arrive back home where the infinite Love awaits us in a perfect embrace. It is time for us collectively to move beyond the old fear.
“Do not look to me for answers.
you need has already been provided. Create your own answers – make your own choices. It is always your choice. Like me, you are free.”
Shamans, Mystics and the Law
he true heart of any religion or spiritual tradition is direct spiritual experience. It is from the immediate experience of the sacred that traditions arise, grow, and take on a life of their own as institutions and systems of belief. Yet without that initial spiritual experience, there is very little to base the tradition upon. It isn’t difficult to see that this basic proposition is true. Of the “great” traditions of the world, meaning the more popular and wellestablished traditions, we find persons who were deeply immersed in direct spiritual experience. In the Judaic tradition, we find imposing figures such as Moses, who communed with God on the mountaintop, directly receiving messages and instructions from the beyond. Later, in the Christian tradition, we have the figure of Jesus, realizing and experiencing his own divinity. More recently, we find Mohammed in the Islamic tradition with his ecstatic flight to heaven to commune with Allah. To the East, many more examples abound. In Buddhism we have the mystical figure of the Buddha, enlightened through meditation under the Bodhi tree. In the Taoist tradition, we find the sage of Lao Tzu and his work, the Tao Te Ching. The Hindu and Jain traditions also have countless significant mystics and saints, all inspired by their personal enlightenment experiences. From the direct experiences of mystics, shamans, sages and saints, prophets and holy people, come the teachings and practices that become codified as religious and spiritual traditions and are then taught to others and
The Entheogenic Evolution
passed on across cultures and history. But, at the root, at the very heart, we find inspired individuals who glimpsed and felt something of the sacred that impacted upon them so profoundly that they felt compelled to share their experiences and teachings with others, providing them with a path and methodology for experiencing the sacred themselves. In the East, the trajectory of religious traditions has been to focus more directly on imparting the direct spiritual experience to adherents of the tradition. In the West, the focus has largely been on developing orthodoxy of belief and moralistic teachings. However, the Western focus has not always been so. Prior to the dogmatic development of orthodox Christianity, there was a definite emphasis on spiritual experience in the West. For example, the Greek Mystery traditions, themselves derived from older Egyptian traditions, and the early pre-Christian teachings of the Gnostic sect, all emphasized personal knowledge and experience of the divine. With the rise of the Roman Catholic Church and other sects of orthodox Christianity, the importance of immediate spiritual experience was subjugated under the priestly caste of male authorities who claimed exclusive connection to the divine, thereby undermining the practices that would allow for their followers to directly experience the divine themselves in unmediated forms. Traditions in the East have, to a great extent, remained free of such dogmatic hierarchies of power. The focus has not been as much on orthodox belief as it has been on cultivating spiritual experience and enlightenment directly for the followers of various Eastern traditions. Here the overwhelming emphasis has been on providing mystical enlightenment for initiates, men and women, though most commonly men. Within such traditions, masters serve as guides and teachers for their followers, giving them guidance and instruction to attain the same enlightenment and level of awareness as their masters. In short, it is not about what people believe: what they experience is the heart of the tradition. As the Buddha said, do not blindly accept his teachings as true. Try the practices for yourself and then decide if what the Buddha says is true or not, based on your own direct experience. Under U.S. law, religion has largely been defined according to the concepts of belief and practice. Coming from the Western and Christian traditions, where belief and right practice of worship have been overwhelmingly emphasized over any form of direct spiritual experience, U.S. law sees “freedom of religion” as referring primarily to the freedom to believe and secondarily to the freedom to practice. According to US law, we are all free to believe whatever we want. No one can force us to believe any particular dogma or religious teaching, and if we choose, we can believe in nothing at all. As for practice, we are free to practice our religions
Shamans, Mystics and the Law
however we see fit, as long as those practices do not interfere with the greater interests of the State, violate laws, or impinge on others’ constitutional freedoms and rights. However, missing from our legal protections is any recognition of the significance of direct spiritual experience itself. One can believe or practice however one may like, but that does not mean that one will necessarily have any kind of direct spiritual or mystical experience. All our emphasis on correct belief and practice has largely cut us off from any kind of direct spiritual experience. This explains the strong attraction Westerners have to Eastern and Indigenous traditions, where the emphasis is on experience. We in the West are starving for spiritual meaning and a reenchantment of our experience of the world. Our spirits are crying out for some form of connection to the sacred, a connection that has been sadly lacking in our own traditions. Not only have many sought to find this re-enchantment through Eastern and Indigenous traditions, but also through the use of psychedelics and entheogens. However, many of these agents of spiritual experience and awakening are illegal in the West, making criminals and outlaws of those who would use the sacred plants to find their connection to the sacred. We are told that while we are free to believe that visionary medicines are sacred and a connection to the divine, we are not permitted to practice, as our practice is in conflict with other legal priorities, such as the so-called “war on drugs.” How would things be different if, in addition to belief and practice, spiritual experience itself were also protected? Direct spiritual experience is the most intimate aspect of our religious or spiritual freedom. It is central to our ability to freely explore our own spiritual natures. It is time to reframe the discussion. Direct spiritual experience should be a fundamental human right, and any law that would counter that should be discarded as curtailing our basic freedom as spiritual beings. Belief alone is a poor foundation upon which to build a spiritual or religious tradition, especially in the modern world. Many of the beliefs upon which Western traditions are built don’t hold up well against rationalism and scientific inquiry, especially when such beliefs are taken in their most dogmatic and fundamentalist forms. Much of the current debate in the West over science versus religion centers on this problem of belief and it promotes sloppy thinking on both sides. Religious leaders dismiss scientific evidence when it conflicts with their cherished beliefs, wearing virtual blinders over their rational thinking (such as denying the scientifically determined age of the Earth and universe). Scientists can be equally naive, equating religion with mythological thinking and superstition, dismissing religion as irrational and ultimately unreal. Both sides of this
of our own free will. then one risks being branded a heretic or unbeliever. and religion. and ecstatic states have formed the core of much of what has been passed down to us as religious traditions . Without a clear guide for how to achieve spiritual states of consciousness and cultivate a direct connection and experience of the sacred. if in the West. And if one doesn’t fit one’s experience into pre-established dogmas. in fact. not true religious practice. And even if one does manage to have a spiritual experience in such a tradition of practice. Such claims reflect a profound ignorance of human history. and scientists regarding the nature of reality when they are speaking from their direct experience rather than just repeating worn-out dogmas and long-cherished beliefs. culture. Altered states of consciousness. it is very likely that one will also have someone in authority dictating what one is supposed to believe about the experience. decide that we want to follow the path of entheogenic spirituality and use the sacred visionary medicines to enhance and explore our spiritual nature and cultivate our spiritual experiences as we saw fit? How would our society be different? How might things look if we had sovereignty over our own minds? Entheogenic Spirituality Many contemporary religious practitioners claim that entheogenic spirituality is not true spirituality. Dreams. one can simply “go through the motions” for one’s entire life without ever having a genuine spiritual experience. visions. religious liturgies and ritual forms can be empty and hollow. Especially in our disenchanted world. whether plant-induced or not. have been central to the development of spiritual and religious traditions from the very dawn of time. many similarities between the claims of mystics. but offer very little in the way of actual spiritual experience. trances. shamans. Practice isn’t necessarily any better as a foundation for a spiritual or religious tradition. free from the constraints of dogmatic beliefs. providing a social structure for religious practice.16 The Entheogenic Evolution debate miss the fact that spiritual experience itself need not be based on any beliefs and that there are. What if we were truly free to choose how we wanted to explore our own spiritual natures. and patronizing laws? What if we could. strict ritual liturgies.
ignoring the very basis from which these philosophers developed their mystical philosophy of the Forms and of higher truth and perception. Henbane. In ancient Greece and Egypt. and forced conversion – any remnant of the ancient ways of living with the Earth. the food of the Gods that brings one to exalted states of consciousness and direct perception of the divine.Shamans. datura. mystery traditions made use of vision-inducing plants for hundreds. various mushrooms and mineral drugs were used to achieve divine states of consciousness. In the East. genocide. The ancient philosophers such as Plato. and other visionary agents were incorporated into meditation and visualization practices (see Muller-Ebeling. ecstatic states of consciousness were central to the religious and spiritual traditions of Europe and the Mediterranean. Ironically. marijuana. and to this day followers of Shiva smoke a mixture of datura and marijuana. psilocybin mushrooms – all of these medicines were used extensively throughout ancient Europe right up until the time of the Inquisition and the mass murder of countless pagans throughout Europe and the New World at the hands of self-righteous Christians bent on stamping out – through violence. In place of actual spiritual experience and connection with the sacred. amanita mushrooms. The priestly caste became the authorities and the laypeople were to be as a flock. In the ancient world. ignorant of their birthright to directly experience the sacred in a manner they saw fit according to their own ethnic traditions and practices. The ancient Rig Veda praises the divine Soma. nightshade. The emphasis was on initiates having their own direct experience of the sacred. And all throughout Siberia and northern Europe. Outside of the Mediterranean. and Aristotle were all knowledgeable of these mystery traditions. which almost completely disallowed for direct spiritual experience or mystical union. the amanita mushroom is the divine . Socrates. the earlier shamanic practices of using psilocybin mushrooms. prior to the advent of Orthodox Christianity. to achieve ecstatic states of consciousness and use amanita and psilocybin mushrooms as well. it was the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle that informed Christian theology. There are countless associations between Shiva and these visionary medicines. and many of these altered states have been induced by visionary plants and fungi. visionary plants and fungi have had a long history of use as well. Mystics and the Law 17 throughout history. use of visionary plants was common among the tribal peoples of Europe. or ganja. Further East among the Taoists. datura. if not thousands. In both Hinduism and Buddhism. mandrake. and the visionary medicines were seen as the catalyst that would provide for this experience. 2002). Christians imposed their orthodoxy and orthopraxy – right belief and right practice. of years.
In the high Andes there is Peruvian fire torch cactus. It is therefore possible that even while various prophets and mystics may have received their visions and spiritual inspirations without the use of exterior psychedelic influences. In the New World. Even when religious and spiritual practitioners do not use visionary plants and medicines. In many respects. or “tree datura. 1998). one finds the use of peyote. Salvia divinorum. One can look virtually anywhere in the world at any point in history. and find the use of sacred plants and medicines to cultivate direct spiritual experience. but still poorly understood. the argument could be made that there is still a psychedelic influence on all religions and spiritual traditions that emphasize direct spiritual experience. In the American southwest.18 The Entheogenic Evolution inebriant of choice among the tribal and shamanic cultures that still practice their ancient traditions to this day. Given that the ingestion of psychedelic tryptamines have been directly associated with spiritual experiences by those consuming them. In Mesoamerica. San Pedro cactus. DMT snuffs. and other visionary plants as central to virtually all religious and spiritual practice. use of visionary plants and “religion” have been synonymous. psilocybin mushrooms. Something quite astounding. coca leaf.” and countless other medicines.N-DMT. to enhance their spiritual experience. burgmansia. Among the peoples of the Amazon we find various permutations of the ayahuasca drink. especially where the emphasis is placed on direct spiritual experience rather than on the weaker foundations of belief and practice. 1992). LSD containing morning glory seeds. especially in the far north and in Central and South America. wherever they are available. and still other divine inebriants (see Schultes. 5-MeO-DMT and N. is the fact that the human body produces endogenous psychedelic compounds. they were experiencing spontaneous releases of 5-MeO-DMT or N. the amanita mushroom was the sacred food of the gods and the tool of shamans. In the north. most notably. the use of visionary medicines reigned supreme as a means of gaining access to the sacred. A psychedelic experience need not be triggered by an exterior . the psychoactive compounds used in ayahuasca and various South American snuffs (see Narby. it stands to reason that endogenous tryptamines may also play a role in spontaneous spiritual experiences. It seems safe to say that humans have always made use of visionary plants.N-DMT in their systems. These compounds are known as tryptamines and are closely related to the neurotransmitters that regulate our brains and neural systems (which are not restricted to the brain – both the heart and digestive system also contain neurons and other cellular features similar to our brains). datura was widely used by countless tribes as a shamanic tool for healing and divination.
As noted above. In the West. I therefore find this explanation of spontaneous spiritual experience to be not only possible. Mystics and the Law 19 source – it can also come from within. for the purposes of this book. a religion often has a vested interest in social structures. As such. While typological definitions are limited in their usefulness.Shamans. often with a sense of dogmatic certainty and resistance to opposing views or beliefs. usually makes use of sacred texts. but also highly likely. and other relationships to systems of power within society. songs or liturgies. As someone who has had several spontaneous out-of-body and mystical experiences. one generally has to affirm one’s faith in the central tenants and dogmas of the tradition. and provides generally held beliefs. we can make some general distinctions that will help us to understand not only how “religion” is understood and conceived of in the modern West. cultural systems. often makes use of a religious calendar or ceremonial system. political policies. direct spiritual experience. and conduct oneself socially in ways that are in accordance with the views and expectations of the tradition. Defining Terms At this point. much is being made of the differences between religion. especially when discussing such multivalent experiences as religion and spirituality. shamanism and mysticism or shamanic and mystical experience. but also why direct spiritual experience. shamanism. To be a member of a religion. rituals and ceremonies. Does one believe in the central . I can personally testify to the fact that they were extremely similar to instances where I have ingested 5-MeO-DMT. it is best to keep the following in mind: religion is understood as a social organization that consists of some kind of hierarchy of authority. When the term “religion” is used in this book. but not necessarily so. and mysticism are considered so dangerous and threatening to mainstream religions and the political and social powers that be. myths. it would be wise to offer some basic definitions of terms so these points of comparison and analysis can be clear. these conditions for being a member of a religion often center on issues of belief and practice. participate in the religion’s rituals and ceremonies. has recognized practices such as social mores. at least in a minimal sense.
For this book. or visionary plants and medicines. heathens (meaning they believe purportedly the “wrong” things or are members of the “wrong” religions). for the purpose of making contact with the “spirit world” . dreams. Direct spiritual experience is unmediated. but it is not dependent on any of these figures. For example. Direct spiritual experience moves beyond an intellectual or doctrinal understanding of the propositions of a tradition and allows for the aspirant to experience the mystery of spirit without the intervention of any other source or authority. and. we will make two primary distinctions here: shamanic experiences and mystical experiences. and primary in importance over any specific religious belief. such a priest. yogi. intolerant. One can lead a very religious life. There is a big difference. or practice. Protestant traditions rejected certain Catholic practices and rituals on grounds of belief based on the theological views of their founders. but for the person who has such an experience. through dreams. and use of visionary plants.20 The Entheogenic Evolution claims of the religion or not? Non-members of various Western churches are called non-believers. and profess all the authorized beliefs of a tradition. It is encountered by individuals in their own being and sense of self. or perhaps better put as having an experience of religion. fasting. Anything less than a personal experience is intellectual or received knowledge. beyond linguistic description. yet never actually have a spiritual experience. It cannot be over-emphasized that a religious life does not necessarily lead to a spiritual life – and in fact. differences of practice are often attributed to issues of belief or the tenents of the central doctrine of the religion. undeniable. or “pagans. Notice that. when emphasis is placed on belief and practice. While there are many kinds of direct spiritual experiences. direct spiritual experience is defined as having a direct and immediate sense of “the sacred” or “the divine. lama. teaching. rabbi. there need not be a corresponding emphasis on spiritual experience itself. especially if the religious tradition is dogmatic. meditation. And even where practice is concerned. or dismissive of the altered states of consciousness provided through meditation. must be discovered by the spiritual aspirant for him or herself. Direct spiritual experience can be influenced and directed by others. it is often overwhelming. it could be argued that it may even hamper one’s ability to have a spiritual experience. or other religious figure.” Belief is considered to be central. It can be interpreted and described in an infinite number of ways. We can define shamanic experience as the intentional use of altered states of consciousness.” however that may be construed. judgmental. guru. Having religiously sanctioned beliefs and performing religiously proscribed practices does not equate with having a spiritual experience – it equates with having a religious experience. follow all the dictates. in fact.
a communion wafer is just a cracker. philosophy. it must be felt and experienced directly in consciousness. or empty ceremony. Lack of direct experience would make the techniques of the shaman ritual theatre. there is no shamanism. the shaman is a healer and is able to consciously move between various realms in order to effect healing. Shamanic practice is based on direct spiritual experience. shamans affect healing and restore systems of balance between an individual’s body and spirit. liturgy. Another form of direct spiritual experience can be categorized as mystical experience. However. There are many traditions around the world that emphasize mystical experience and therefore there are differences in how they are interpreted and described. between culture and nature. he or she may directly experience the divine force. the shaman is simply “going through the motions. the core of spiritual experience and truth is universal. For a non-believer. but one does not need to have a firm spiritual belief system in order to have that spiritual experience in the first place. for a shaman to claim that a visionary plant is the flesh of God. whether one believes in “spirit” or not. in the study of religion. converse and commune with spiritual forces. Mystics and the Law 21 in order to learn. Granted. non-belief will not stop a person from having a radical experience upon ingesting a visionary medicine. . belief plays an important role in interpreting a shamanic experience. is quite a different statement from a priest giving a communion wafer to supplicant and saying that it is the flesh of God. Without direct experience.” For shamanism to be genuine and effective. or any other conceived systems. In contrast. For example. It is important to recognize that not all psychedelic experiences are necessarily spiritual. there is the view of perennial philosophy: despite doctrinal and cultural differences. gain information. these are very different forms of practice and one is decidedly based more on faith and belief than the other. ritual. but not necessarily in having a shamanic experience itself. Furthermore. as defined within local traditions. and that by giving that plant to an initiate. The shaman uses his or her consciousness to directly experience the spiritual nature of reality and uses those experiences to help restore systems that have been upset by the choices and actions of individuals within the system. In the absence of direct experience. The shaman uses various tools to navigate through the multi-faceted realms of consciousness to serve others. and medicine. between individuals or family members. The difference between the two kinds of experiences is a great divide. storytelling. While the supplicant in church may have a spiritual experience. there does seem to be a common core – enough so that. The shaman’s practice is based on intimate knowledge of the workings of spirit. no matter what the priest claims. symbol making and use. ceremonial performance.Shamans. In many respects.
this is the experience of nirvana. In Taoism. philosophical. solidifying the dynamic experiences of the teachers into hierarchical structures for imparting the teachings to others. When one realizes his or her divine nature. and these do not compare with realizations acquired through direct experience. the man (or mushroom) who taught that we must love all. the way of the Universe. teacher. In the mystical state. the Self with the Absolute. named. In Christian tradition. has been reduced to a brutal sacrifice to God. It must be personally realized and experienced to be true for the aspirant. See Irvin. and realize Heaven on Earth within ourselves. mystical experience is defined. somehow thus paving the way for us to overcome sin and enter Heaven. The path to such realization lies within. book. or the personal experience of Christ Consciousness. In Hinduism. or tradition. In Buddhism. Both are also the roots of virtually all spiritual and religious traditions of the world. practice. or described. but often in a form that transforms and possibly warps the original teachings. in the highest state of awareness. Arguably. however that may be conceived. all things are seen as divine and as partaking of the one universal source of existence. visions. Duality dissolves into unity and all things are experienced as being of one ultimate nature. Anything less is simply belief or intellectual. who then codified their experiences into dogmas of belief and practice. Christianity serves as an excellent example of just such a change in emphasis. What all these traditions have in common is that. and many scholars make arguments for Jesus as a mystic and shaman (and it should be noted that there is also the question of whether Jesus was actually a man or a mythologically and symbolically encoded psychedelic mushroom. Both shamanism and mysticism make use of direct spiritual experience. 2008 and Rush. the individual realizes the he or she is one with the divine source of being. It cannot be found externally in any teaching. dreams. altered states of consciousness. in agreement with the perennial philosophy. In the Mystery schools it was the awakening of Sophia. all things become one and all boundaries between self and other are obliterated. or theological understanding. the Goddess of Wisdom. the kingdom of heaven is within. find God within. this is realizing one’s nature as being identical with the Tao. It was the early shamans and mystics who gained their personal experiences and then passed on what they learned to others. However. 2008). and often. As Christ said. Jesus was clearly an inspired person. or extinguishing of the karmic cycle of samsara and the awakening of the Buddha Mind. this is the realization of the nature of the Godhead. as the experience of unification with the divine source of being. however it is conceived. this is the experience of realizing the unity and identity of Atman with Brahman.22 The Entheogenic Evolution For the purposes of this book. visionary plants and medicines. Jesus’ .
Indeed. all are equally able to experience ourselves in the manner of Christ. through mystical experience. Historically. If Jesus could do it. Mystics and the Law 23 message was much more along the lines of rejecting the dogma of religion and society and finding our own divinity within. the message of Jesus was that we can all realize our Christ nature through mystical experience. The shaman is always working to maintain or restore balance between all aspects of the system. shamanism has been practiced more among tribal peoples. both materially and spiritually. he or she always attends to his or her wider community and primarily works in service to others. and works through ritual. ceremony. articulating the responsibilities between human and non-human populations in the area. then we don’t need a church to tell us what to believe or what to do to overcome their invention of “sin.Shamans. since we are all children of God. mountains and valleys. “religion” is largely a means through which the tribal society defines itself in relationship to its local environment. Despite the fact that both shamanism and mysticism make use of altered states of consciousness and have been the inspiration for religious traditions. Here. Jesus was a man who realized. Tribal religions are often closely linked with local geographical and ecological areas where the people see themselves as an intimate part of the ecosystem. For if we can all realize our divine nature. the shamans serve as intermediaries between human culture and the nonhuman world as populated by plants and animals. spirits and gods. The myth of Jesus as the only son of God is a direct disempowerment of the teachings of Christ. “religion” is often synonymous with culture itself. This was the position of the Gnostic churches that were later declared heretical by the Catholic Church. Jesus’ message was a message of personal salvation through cultivating spiritual consciousness – not salvation by giving allegiance to the dogmatic beliefs of a privileged class of patriarchs. the so can we all. all through the intentional use of altered states of consciousness. In such societies.” The spiritual teachings of Jesus are in direct conflict with the religious ambitions of an organized. there are some important differences. For the Gnostics. and healing. and symbols used to communicate its worldview and construct its particular realities. water and rocks. . that he was also God. which only serves to aggrandize the power structures put forth by the Church. which have tended not to participate in widely spread religious traditions. looking to preserve its hegemony on salvation. While a shaman may be individualistic and idiosyncratic. stories. where there is a close and intimate connection between how the culture defines itself and the rituals. symbol creation and use. hierarchical church that looks to preserve its influence on culture and society. In tribal societies.
Tribal societies largely couldn’t function if too many of their members chose such a path. In a large-scale society. where pragmatics rule the day. the culture can continue to function even with mystics “opting out” of the normal social program. It should also be clear that the origins of religion lie in the direct and immediate experiences of the shamans and mystics who inspired the religions in the first place. . In urban life. on the other hand. Without the altered states of consciousness and spiritual experiences of shamans and mystics. can seclude him or herself from society and devote his or her life to realization of unity with the divine. often life or death issues are resolved through the concentrated effort of all members of society. Furthermore. in contrast to tribal societies. it is a privilege to be able to dedicate oneself to the life of a mystic. Mystics can be shamans. On the other hand. religion would not exist. there is more opportunity for individuals to choose the path of the mystic without endangering the life of the society as a whole. Only a few can be dedicated to the often-solitary mystical life. in contrast to the shaman. prayer. Both mysticism and shamanism make use of direct spiritual experience and such experiences are absolutely central to both. one can certainly be considered religious or as a member of a religion without any kind of spiritual experience at all. study. In short. The mystic.24 The Entheogenic Evolution The mystic. Often the practice of mysticism requires many years of dedicated practice. the shamanic and mystical experience is both prior to and originating of religion itself. In societies with large-scale social structures and institutions. seclusion. the role of the mystic is likely to be more accessible in societies that are more removed from their immediate natural environment. it is not as immediately urgent for society to have shamanic persons who are communing with the spirits of nature. and shamans can be mystics. and meditation. In some respects. In tribal societies. has often been historically found in larger-scale societies that have religious traditions that transcend particular cultures or places. In a tribal society all members are needed to be directly productive and contributing to society in order for the society to survive and endure.
that meant that thousands. or philosophize on the nature of existence? In order to secure their own power. Mystics and the Law 25 Direct Spiritual Experience The monotheistic religions in the West have feared shamans and shamanic practice. Priests serve because of their dedication to the beliefs. Shamans and other inspired spiritual practitioners threaten this central dogma of the Church and the authority and value of the priests is put into question. and healers were slaughtered at the hands of Christians who were bent on stamping out any vestige of direct spiritual experience or practices that might be in conflict with the teachings of the Christian Church. shamans posed a direct threat to the hegemony of the Christian message of salvation exclusively through belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ and the centrality of the priestly class. Therefore their murders were justified. however. indigenous peoples were subjected to the brutality of genocide. the priests are designated the intermediaries between the divine and humanity. but to some extent it was tolerated. counsel troubled people. not because of their capacity for direct spiritual experience. Throughout Europe and the New World. and the intentional murder of their shamanic leaders. And not only did shamans make use of altered states . Within the Catholic Church. Shamans were greeted with outright hostility. though the Catholic Church branded some mystics as heretics and the mystery traditions were shunned and denigrated. As technicians of the sacred and masters of techniques of ecstasy. find lost objects. In Europe. often being the targets of zealous Christian missionaries. shamanic practitioners had to be devil worshipers. of women who practiced “witchcraft” were burned at the stake or otherwise killed.Shamans. According to Christian dogma. witches. countless shamans. In the Americas. Mysticism in the West hasn’t necessarily fared much better. if not millions. along with those who followed them or refused to accept Christian teachings. invading Christian forces had to discredit indigenous shamans. much of the trouble comes from the institutional Christian fear of direct religious experience. by definition. While perhaps there was intentional distortion in how shamans were characterized by the Christians. beliefs. call game and influence the weather. and practices. Why should the tribal native believe in the odd teachings of a priest when the local shaman talks to the spirits directly and is able to cure and heal. ethnic cleansing.
If the moon was observed to be imperfect. other dismissive and belittling attitudes towards shamans and spiritual experience in general became prominent in the West. and influence. One can only wonder how Jesus would react to such atrocities being done in his name and the corruption of his message of love. who surely must be the source of the shamans’ power. swords. experience. This was an unacceptable contradiction in their view of the world and universe. developed the competing view that observations about reality should inform our concepts of reality. For example. not the other way around. While they were not necessarily killed outright. local shamans. such as in the Republic of Tuva and Mongolia. were treated as superstitious and ignorant. using visionary medicines for curing rituals. It is only now that certain areas of Asia in the former Soviet Union are re-embracing shamanism. guns. their practices were seen as less sophisticated and advanced than the complex trantric traditions that were largely male-dominated. rather than letting the evidence decide their models. Christian theologians made their models of reality conform to their pre-existing philosophical and theological postulations. forgiveness. This was intolerable for the Christian authorities and they put a stop to it by whatever means necessary. incorruptible sphere. such as the more trantric schools of Buddhism and Hinduism. then it was the theory that the moon was incorruptible that had to change. as taught by Aristotelian philosophy and cosmology. the Scientific Revolution was a reaction to the medieval scholasticism of Christian theologians. rather . As trantric Buddhism spread through Asia.26 The Entheogenic Evolution of consciousness themselves. When conversion didn’t work. In many ways. And this was all carried out under the premise that the Christians were protecting the ignorant from the machinations of the devil. for example. Scientists and rational thinkers. where all knowledge and proclamations of truth had to be made consistent with Christian dogma. but they often induced them in patients. on the other hand. they were not free from persecution with the spread of other religions. and fire did. and tolerance. the effects of which we are still living with today. While shamans and shamanic traditions fared better in the East. often female. Not only Christians were intolerant of shamans and other similar spiritual healing traditions in the West. With the advent of the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution. both of which were heavily missionized by male Buddhist lamas. Relying largely on Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy. Fear and intolerance translated directly into mass-murder and genocide. Many shamanic traditions were incorporated into Eastern religious traditions. many religious leaders refused to look through Galileo’s telescopes because direct observation revealed that the moon had varied features. but even here there was persecution of shamans. as opposed to being a perfect.
Such was the case with John Dee and Isaac Newton. but also as distinctly masculine traits. The philosopher Rene Descartes clearly articulated this view through his dualistic philosophy. accumulation of data. The male elite survived the Inquisition and. which were probably almost exclusively the province of privileged men within European society. A clear distinction was made between the mostly male “high” magicians and other esoteric practitioners who often taught at medieval universities and counseled heads of state and the aristocracy. It was alchemy that eventually gave rise to chemistry. physics.” and other local magical practitioners. and therefore verifiably true. separating mind from body and the spiritual from the physical. most of whom were women. During the time of the Inquisition. subjective. Alchemy was both an internal and external practice that sought correspondences between the manipulation of external metals and materials and the progression of spiritual awakening within the alchemist himself. and theory formation and revision. with rational observation of material facts belonging to the province of science and theory building. the more subjective aspects of magical practice were eventually relegated to the subjective realm of “religion. Mystics and the Law 27 than the data should be denied and hidden away. Under the scientific lens. as was the practice of the Church when observable facts contradicted their doctrine and theology. astrologers. became the leaders of the scientific revolution. and biology. and non-physical were relegated to religion. and the “low” folk healers. In this sense. With the growing success of “science” and the “scientific method” of careful observation. Here. male mind was viewed as the ultimate tool for unraveling the secrets of nature and providing domination over nature. “witches. through various transformations.Shamans. nature was seen as feminine and the rational. however. the scientific community reflected the same patriarchal misogyny of the Church . and natural philosophy gave birth to mechanics. just as astrology gave rise to astronomy. The European patriarchy was clearly focused on removing the female non-Christian practitioners of direct spiritual practice but was far less concerned with the elite males who served the existing power structure. the magicians. among others. and alchemists. Many of the roots of science were found within the Western esoteric traditions and secret societies. all things spiritual.” with the realm of objectivity left for science. midwives. Many early scientists were also magicians. and astrologers were largely left untouched and unharmed. One must also consider the esoteric origins of Western science. alchemists. The result was that rationality and observation were seen as not only objective. when the Catholic Church was busy exterminating local folk healers. in order to understand its distinction from both the church and the folk traditions of Europe.
but through masculine rationality. Not only was nature feminine. theory building. able to dominate and control nature. medicine. According to the scientific view. delusion. and others. and therefore are not open to questions of truth. In recent decades far more attention has been paid in the West to the practices.” Under this view. We are still living with the residual effects of these forces of European society many hundreds of years later. It is becoming increasingly clear that shamans. overall. in theory.” one based on objectivity and the other unquestioning belief. or any of the other standard procedures for producing “knowledge. On the other hand. These views were held fairly universally in the West until only relatively recently. in theory. while religion. Neither position acknowledges the value of subjective experience. belief-based religion that does not promote subjective experience as much as it promotes adherence to beliefs and practices. any subjective spiritual experience that does not fit within the confines of proscribed religious belief or doctrine is relegated to the bin of heresy. should confine itself to the non-material and spiritual (which. Science is seen to objectively deal with questions of the physical. astronomical knowledge. model making. more respect for traditional knowledge is evident within the larger society. The entire debate of the relationship or conflict between “religion” and “science” still bears the marks of this original divide. we. as there often is. we have objective. ecological knowledge. . hold a vast repository of knowledge relating to nearly all supposedly “scientific” subjects such as pharmacological properties of plants. subjective experiences cannot be objectively observed. biology. bending “her” to their will. In short. making the feminine secondary and subject to the primacy of the masculine. according to many scientists is strictly mythical and imaginary. trantrikas. So on one hand. this is still theoretically subjective and therefore not amenable to the scientific worldview or system of practice. men were. at least according to scientists. while a person may claim to have had a powerful spiritual experience. and subjective. and techniques of spiritual practitioners such as shamans. yogis. or simply a function of belief and practice with no factual connection to observable reality).28 The Entheogenic Evolution in dominating women folk healers. with very little common meeting ground between the two. and more. When there is a conflict between the two views. knowledge. factual science that produces knowledge through supposedly purely objective means. While there is still some dismissal of shamanic knowledge by mainstream rationalists and objectivists. or devil worship. members of Western societies are basically forced to choose sides in this invented debate – either “objective truth” or “subjective belief” wins the day. have “knowledge” or “faith. for example.
but the process of observation. many Westerners have turned to Eastern religions in the search for genuine spiritual experience and meaning. but few are actually learning the methods of altered states of consciousness through which shamans have attained their hard-earned wisdom. the emphasis is on individual practitioners coming to their own spiritual realizations through their practice of meditation or spiritual exercise. The result is that while the physical and practical side of shamanic knowledge is being widely accepted and . such practices and techniques have far more in common with scientific inquiry and practice than one might at first assume.Shamans. Buddhism. Emphasis is still placed on the material side of the equation. While they may still be given various beliefs that are taught in conjunction with the given traditions. for example. The methods and focus are different. yoga. chi gong and many other Eastern practices have found willing and ready practitioners in the West. with the Buddhist’s neurobiology and neurochemistry being the focus of the scientific inquiry – not the value of the meditative experience and practice itself. is best thought of as “mind science” rather than “religion. Pharmaceutical companies are scrambling to learn the herbal wisdom of the shamans. Taoism. Disillusioned by the hollow and empty teachings of the Western religions that emphasize irrational belief in the face of scientific facts. legend and pre-scientific irrationality. It is far more likely that a Western scientist will want to hook a Buddhist meditator up to a brain-scanning device than it is for the scientist to submit to a regimen of meditation and contemplation. Mystics and the Law 29 The same is also true of spiritual traditions that emphasize the cultivation of personal spiritual experience. Western societies still have a long way to go in their acceptance of subjective states of consciousness and personal spiritual practices. there is a scientific claim to the proposition that if one follows certain practices. tai chi.” at least as religion is conceptualized in the West. For some. who find a very different emphasis in such traditions than what they have been traditionally offered in the West. the methods and techniques of shamans are still viewed as subjective and unscientific and therefore not necessarily worthy of emulation. While subjective. Though subjective states of consciousness. and verification are strikingly similar. While the West is genuinely recognizing that shamanic and traditional wisdom cannot be universally reduced to myth. Buddhism. Hinduism. experimentation. then certain and verifiable states of consciousness and being will follow. In many respects. The same is largely true for Western science’s appreciation for shamanic knowledge. Eastern traditions are beginning to be appreciated as “spiritual science” in the West. the overwhelming emphasis is on the direct experience itself. Here.
Once can use specific techniques to generate repeatable subjective experiences.30 The Entheogenic Evolution appreciated at this time.” “faithful. and in the case of shamanism. peace. and happiness. However.” and “religious. there is still some fear and denigration of visionary medicines as genuine spiritual tools. Our basic choice is either to be “rational. Many mainstream shamanic practitioners claim that their practice is “drug . trends within our culture are changing.” “objective. Shamanism too is making a comeback in Western cultures.” Traditions that promote direct spiritual experience may offer some kind of middle ground that blends aspects of both sides of this Western divide. but it is also a direct reaction to the spiritually void world in which we find ourselves in the West. where the emphasis is placed on indigenous traditions. Such practices have real-world applications of generating health. Western participation in such traditions and practices is not only a result of our increased exposure to and knowledge of such traditions. well-being. direct knowledge of the inner workings of the natural world. Many contemporary Western shamanic practitioners claim that genuine shamanism does not use visionary plants. which often seem to be in direct conflict with the “truths” of science. even among those who seek to follow a mystical or shamanic path. or blindly accept the “beliefs” given to us by our religious traditions. shamanic methods are still thought to be too subjective to be considered scientific. we are given two basic options: accept the material “truth” of science which largely denies the validity of any spiritual view or reality. and the practice of meditation and related techniques is now common. the Eastern traditions are now a widely accepted option in the Western spiritual marketplace.” and “realistic.” or be “irrational. despite the historical and cultural fact that visionary medicines are used or have been used by countless shamanic cultures across the world. often inspired by native North and South American cultures and traditions. Though a simplification. Though being a practicing Buddhist or Hindu in the West may have raised eyebrows a generation or two ago. The Shift Toward Subjective Experience Despite the often brutal and violent suppression of direct spiritual experience in the West. There is a perceptible shift toward the value of direct spiritual experience.
and most remain illegal to use. Now would be a good time to address the question of shamanism and mysticism more directly and develop a somewhat fuller picture of what these practices are and what kinds of experiences they give rise to. Let us start with shamanism. Even legal entheogens are still regarded with great suspicion and the judgment that such a path is somehow illegitimate or not genuine. in both cultural streams. guided imagery. there is still resistance to visionary plants and medicines. differences are likely to be found. It is not recognized as a valid spiritual path. Mystics and the Law 31 free” and instead make use of shamanic drumming and other widely practiced New Age-style techniques such as visualization. even among so-called “alternative” spiritual practitioners. Entheogenic spirituality is viewed as somehow being make-believe. entheogens are still underground as spiritual tools in the West. when comparing the following to a particular shamanic tradition within a specific culture. Despite the cultural shift. sometimes even more so than among mainstream culture. . imaginary. as efforts are made by these alternative traditions to distinguish themselves from the more “questionable” practices of entheogenic spirituality.Shamans. Only through such an understanding can we fully contemplate the role that visionary medicines have within them. Similarly. there is much that can be said about commonalities that tend to appear across cultures and throughout history. and hedonistic. and the like. However.” and that only through years of dedicated meditation and study can one have a genuine spiritual experience or mystical awakening. those involved in meditation traditions often proclaim that visionary plants are “short-cuts” or “false awakenings. The result is that. Shamanism As this is a general overview and not based on any particular tradition. there is still a fairly strong bias against visionary plants and medicines. So. despite their undisputed place in history and contemporary shamanic cultures.
there is also the “lower” world and the “upper” world. with three divisions being the most common. Knowledge and information flow through all levels of reality. storytelling. and visionary states. . The entire universe is populated by countless spiritual powers. Ordinary perception superficial and is overlaid by our own concepts. or they may be purely disincarnate. expectations. These spiritual powers may have physical forms. or even several. Thus everything in the middle world has spiritual counterparts in other realms or other levels of reality. all things animate and inanimate are therefore alive. or are apprenticed to older shamans who recognize the innate capacities of the young student. or a dream. performance. The shaman is able to communicate with the various forces that make up the universe and gain knowledge through such communication. The universe is a vast network of conscious energy embodied in different spiritual and physical forms. Because all things have a spiritual aspect or spirit. dreams. and through the utilization of altered states of consciousness. Everything physical is seen to have a spiritual component or aspect to it. the shamanic universe is often divided into various realms. Often this takes the form of either the perception of energy or the exchange of energy. However. recognized shaman. interacting with their powers through altered states of consciousness. New shamans are either chosen directly by Spirit. symbol use and creation.32 The Entheogenic Evolution The Shamanic Universe Shamans hold that what we experience as ordinary reality is largely an illusion. Cosmologically. and open to communication and the exchange of knowledge and energy. all of which are interconnected through the universal web of energy. or the spirits. and constructions of what is considered real or not real. The shaman navigates through these various realms. is inhabited by different spirits and energies. intelligent. Our daily life is pursued within the “middle” realm of reality – the world of ordinary perceptions and awareness. Shamanic perception involves “waking up” to the dream of reality and then moving through the dream consciously and with intent. Energy circuits also allow shamans to travel in spirit form or through their consciousness to different levels of reality Shamanic Practice Shamans interact with the spiritual levels of reality through ritual. Often. or realm. potential shamans undergo periods of severe illness and hardship before becoming a fully functioning. Each world.
it is very uncommon to find a shamanic culture with knowledge of a local visionary plant that declines to use that plant for its . healing with plants. and ceremonial leaders. dreaming. dancing. Thus. Mystics and the Law 33 Using the tools and methods at their disposal. divining the future or retrieving local ecological knowledge. Some suck illnesses from people bodies. whereas others perform energetic clearings. accessible through non-visionary plant means. counselors. it becomes fairly clear that entheogens were and still are used virtually everywhere they are present within the local environment. All are focused on creating results for the people and communities that rely on them for their expertise and knowledge. These methods are used for initiating new shamans. visionary plant-based shamanism appears to be more the norm with the lack of visionary plant use being more the exception. and of course. where the patients themselves are often included in the ingestion of psychedelic agents. Shamanism is ultimately pragmatic and functional in its approach and practice. and even healing patients. removing magical objects and correcting various kinds of imbalances. virtually all of which are considered to be spiritual in origin (as opposed to purely physical or strictly related to the body). minerals. ingestion of psychedelic plants and substances. Common shamanic practices involve: diagnosing illnesses. Their value is also largely judged by their efficacy.Shamans. and other substances. performing rituals and ceremonies. whereas others travel in spirit to communicate with the spirit realms. while shamanic states of consciousness are. while others do not. seeking visions. Their primary purpose is to assist others. shamans primarily serve their community and their culture. Some shamans work extensively with herbs. In other words. Some practice shape shifting by taking on the energy of spirit forces. Shamanic Methodologies There are many techniques that shamans use to generate altered states of consciousness in order to do their work and learn their trade: ritual fasting. shaking. recovering lost spirits or souls of patients who have undergone some kind of traumatic event or illness. non-entheogenic techniques for ecstatic states of consciousness seem to be more prevalent in areas where psychedelic plants are missing or absent from the immediate ecology. the preference seems to decidedly be with visionary-plants. In reviewing the literature on shamanic societies and cultures. spiritual guides. drumming. True shamans are respected by the results they get – not just the claims they make of special experiences or special revelations. In other words. Contrary to being a debased form of shamanism. theoretically. learning shamanic techniques and practices. often functioning as healers.
Potential shamans who reject their role in mediating power risk . This means that shamans can easily cross the boundary between shamanism and sorcery. Some are considered to be neutral. and it is often understood to be beyond the shaman’s individual choice or desire. but most tend toward one side or the other. Shamanic Power Since the universe is composed of various and multiple spiritual powers. Many shamans understand their role to be that of a conduit for power. In this way power is properly mobilized to bless and heal. This is why so much attention is paid to proper ritual procedures. vengeful or otherwise malicious.” These terms could equally be applied to the same person. It is the intention and will behind how it is used that makes it good or bad. it is the shaman’s job to learn how to work with power and other spiritual agents. they are acting as “sorcerers” or “dark shamans. just as is true for people. given the radically efficacious nature of visionary plants to induce profoundly altered states of awareness. Because spirits are conscious agents. helpful or hurtful. once the intention is set. helpful or dangerous. they are the medium through which energy and power is exchanged within the larger spiritual environment of their culture and the local ecology. and therefore most spirits are categorized as either good or bad. it would be a perplexing exception. While not impossible or unthinkable. When malevolent. and preparations. they are servants of power. The intent or will behind the use of power largely determines how that power works in the world. In this sense. depending on one’s perspective. Power itself is generally seen as neutral. It would be like an astronomer refusing to look through an available telescope and instead insisting on using the naked eye. It is often the case that shamans do not conceive of themselves as personally possessing power. they are being shamans. It would be unusual for such to be the case. All of these work together to set the intention of the shaman to work with power in a good way. When helpful and beneficial. A primary means of working with power is through intent and attention. Shamans therefore must show good skills of discrimination when working with spiritual forces so as not to unleash negative forces on themselves or their community. Traditional shamans use visionary plants whenever they are available. the shaman practices with supreme attention. they too can use power for good or for ill. prayers. Rather. making sure that their intention stays firm through the vicissitudes of their altered states of awareness.34 The Entheogenic Evolution shamanic practice. depending on how they choose to mobilize the power used in their practice. It is neither good nor bad. Then. purifications.
It is more commonly understood that plants. For many shamans. or even several. and live in connection to all other things. all things are in some sense sentient and aware. have collective spirits. This is not the spirit of any one particular eagle.Shamans. shamans are able to perceive and manipulate energy fields and networks of conscious. transfer energy. working with power also means developing intense personal relationships with various spiritual entities or energies. Deep in visionary states. etc. Often it is understood in shamanic cultures that whereas people have individual spirits. Furthermore. they work with these energies for knowledge. These are the spirits with which the shaman works most intimately and may even become alter-personas for the shaman. It is the spirits themselves that teach the . symbols. or power animals. Genuine shamanic practice should be selfless and giving. song. all comes from their interactions with spirits and spiritual power. animals. Mystics and the Law 35 having that power harm them or their families due to the initiate’s refusal to let the power work through them. Shamans claim that their knowledge of plants. most other aspects of nature do not have individual spirits. Thus if a shaman wants to work with eagle power. rather than as specific entities or energies. or manifesting them in ritual through energetic shape shifting.” This is especially the case for shamans who make use of entheogenic plants and visionary medicines.. A large part of shamanic interaction with power is through the medium of “energy. Shamanic Knowledge Because all things have a spiritual nature. In this sense. This is such a fundamental aspect of shamanic work that much shamanic art is a direct reflection and communication of this experience of working with energy. etc. he or she can develop a relationship with the eagle spirit. but rather represents and embodies its collective spiritual energy. Through the ingestion of the visionary sacraments. ritual. These are variously called helping spirits. weather phenomenon. taking on their form in visionary states. and transformation. spirit guides. It is commonly understood in shamanic cultures that one who is called to work with power for the benefit of others should do so willingly to avoid any ill health or hardship that may befall them as a result of their refusal. the spirits that shamans work with might more properly be understood to be archetypal and universal in nature. power should not be used for self-aggrandizement. healing. living energy that forms the matrix for phenomenal experience. Thus the true source of shamanic knowledge is the other spirits that share the universe with the shaman.
shamans often claim that they learned the specific healing properties of plants not through trial and error. for each person is different. They will teach the shaman directly and powerfully. there is nothing that cannot be known. it is unlikely that they would do so. and as supreme teachers. they speak to you in a way that you can understand. having a different spiritual resonance and capacity. but regardless of the form it takes. as anthropologists insist. these plants are usually considered to be the wisest and most powerful of all spirit beings. the plants will respond to the abilities of each individual person. The plants seem to have nearly omniscient knowledge of both the shaman and the other entities and powers of his or her world. the knowledge they impart is tailored to that individual. it is said by the shamans to be the true source of knowledge and information For cultures with knowledge of visionary plants. often taking them on profound journeys into the spiritual realms or imparting gifts of power. Visionary plants are the allies of the shamans and can take them directly into perception of the spiritual aspects of reality. Their teaching is therefore highly subjective. but directly from the plants themselves. As the shamans say. intuitive. For example. it will always be different for each individual. despite the universal nature of the knowledge that they embody and are able to impart. knowledge and healing. The knowledge they hold is vast and can be tailored to the understanding of each individual person. Through the visionary plants. This communication can be literal. They are understood to be the master teachers and far superior to any human teacher. symbolic. or telepathic. In fact. and present you with images and symbols that will resonate with you.36 The Entheogenic Evolution shamans. In sum. shamans come into relationship with the collective and universal archetypal spiritual energy that the specific plants evoke and give rise to. But since the visionary plants work in very specific ways on each individual. . So it is not necessarily the case that they will impart identical knowledge or experience to two different individuals. In working with these medicines.
Buddha Mind. If the absolute nature of existence is unified. all of reality is unified into one essential nature. the paradox of language and conceptualization is transcended. names are simply inventions of our conceptual nature and should not be mistaken for reality. the God Head. but personally realizing this state of being as the fundamental nature of reality is. then all appearances of diversity are ultimately illusions. Pleroma. Mystics and the Law 37 Mysticism Let us now turn our attention to mysticism. Source. As was the case with our discussion of shamanism. and that reality is the Tao. it would be easy to find many differences of practice and interpretation. There is really only one reality. Within such conceptions of the nature of the universe. angels and demons. However. All things are interconnected and at core. there may be heavens and hells. just as can the artificial reality of a dream. but as most mystical traditions would claim. In comparing any two systems of mysticism. The real aim is to experience this unified nature of reality directly. The Mystical Universe A general hallmark of a mystical worldview is the proposition that at the deepest level. or whatever else we might choose to call it. Brahman. or only conditionally true and real. Nirvana. Therefore to spend too much time splitting hairs over names and conceptualizations of the absolute is not necessarily a fruitful task. In this sense. this discussion of mysticism is general and not based on any one particular tradition. The experience of such realms and forces may seem real enough. the Ground of All Being. but when one wakes up from the illusion. everything that exists is. and when such occurs. there are some general similarities that can be discussed. are one. the same as everything else. at the deepest level.Shamans. This absolute nature of reality is given many different names by many traditions. the Great Spirit. then all these fantastical realms and . The name is not important. but even these are only conditionally true and are not absolute in nature.
then it can serve the mystical path. compassion. In order to realize our unity with the divine absolute. anything that promotes attachment. attitude. Anything less than total love and compassion is partaking of the divided world of illusions. we must overcome the limitations of our egos. jealousy. As with shamanism. They are “right” in that they contribute the cultivation of compassion and love. These are not necessarily “right” in a moralistic sense. They are “right” because they are ultimately pragmatic means to the end of genuine mystical realization. depending on the tradition and culture in which the practices are used. judgment. visualizations. heartfelt prayer. or belief contributes to the generation of loving compassion. and unconditional understanding. envy.38 The Entheogenic Evolution beings are seen for what they are: conditional fragments of the absolute and unified nature of reality. etc. practice. desire or sense of possession. virtually any practice that contributes to that end may be utilized. If a behavior. However. the universal nature of the absolute is primarily described as one of love. With that goal in mind. especially the absolute and divine nature of the universe. forgiveness. . and the absolute nature of reality is the ultimate in unity. Mystical Practice The central focus of mystical practice is the overcoming and negation of the individual sense of ego identity. so it is also the ultimate source of love and compassion. Therefore the practice of mysticism is largely the practice of becoming selfless. This is why mystical traditions such as Buddhism have many guides for “right” practice. Selflessness is achieved through various means such as the practice of the generation of loving compassion. Because all things are interconnected and share the same absolute reality. “right” speech. and anything else that helps to dissolve our illusions of separation and isolation. Mystical Methodologies The basic goal behind the various methodologies used by mystical traditions is the realization of the unified nature of existence through direct spiritual experience. “right” thought. Our egos are our conditional and limited perceptions of ourselves. mind body practices such as yoga and trantra. service. These are forces that bind things together in unity. charity toward others. We feel that we are finite beings in a finite body and are somehow disconnected and separate from everything else. mystical methodologies include conscious dreaming. hinders the mystical path.
by itself. It simply is.Shamans. an object. Mystics and the Law 39 sexual practices. and Taoism. as is the case with Zen koans or the Buddhist philosophical writings of Nagarjuna. though often these are paired with more direct meditative and visualizing techniques as found in Buddhism. it is almost the exclusive path in mainstream Christianity. and therefore was not left with any orthodox methodologies. Furthermore. Mystical Power Given the mystical view that all of reality is ultimately one. sometimes extreme. devotion is also used as a method for gaining spiritual enlightenment and achieving an experience of grace. or anything discernable. acceptance. which is commonly described as a feeling of overwhelming love. visualization or yogic techniques as developed with far more sophistication and variety in the East. is seen as empty without the necessary direct spiritual experience. Because this power is absolute. In Hinduism and Christianity. other than prayer and devotion. fasting. the same holds true for power: there is only one true power and that is the power of the absolute nature of reality. for the realization of mystical states of consciousness. It is not a thing. it is beyond any distinction of good or evil. While in Hinduism this would be only one of several major paths to enlightenment. philosophy. The philosophy. Hinduism. It exists as an all-pervading love (the binding force). and all things in their myriad forms are generated from and will eventually return to this absolute source of power. deprivation. And as with the trantric traditions of the East. mystical traditions use extended prayer. visualization and meditation were combined in the Judaic mystical tradition of Kabbalah in the West. all of which employed visionary plants. Language can even be intentionally used to break down the rational mind of the initiate. Mystical traditions can also make use of philosophy and intellectual discrimination. and absolute perfection. All other powers are merely fragments or reflections of this one absolute power. This is the source of the creative force in the universe. and creativity (the creative force that gives rise to apparent diversity). isolation. techniques to awaken the consciousness of the would-be mystic. The goal of the mystic is to experience this power directly. death practices (for example inducing near-death experiences or obliteration of the ego). as is time spent quietly in nature. It is the source from which all things come and all things . Meditation and contemplation are also common techniques. symbolism. which largely has lacked any clear meditation. Perhaps this is in part due to the fact that Christianity intentionally did away with the mystery traditions of the West. and other. and the use of visionary plants. mantras.
energies are associated with colors. eventually reaching the point of unification with the absolute. The same is said for realized beings in many mystical traditions: they perform incredible magical feats. mystics also often perceive divine power as systems of energy ranging from gross forms of manifestation to subtle and ethereal manifestations. divine. When one has truly learned to incorporate the mystical experience into one’s life. but is not the possessor of the power and the power is not used to serve the mystic’s personal aims or ambitions. that this is done to inspire faith in others that they can realize the truth of the One for themselves. and networks of energy within the body. As one refines one’s perception of energy and light. everything is one. one is able to move through progressively more refined states of consciousness. causing them to vibrate at rapid speeds as they pass through higher dimensions of reality on their way to the divine source of all energy and manifestation. Any perception of separation is the product of our minds and limiting egos. That is why the mystical experience is referred to as enlightenment. such as in the Buddhist and Hindu chakra system. the mystic is the conduit through which power works. Mystical Knowledge The root of mystical knowledge is that separation is an illusion. dematerialize. which is our true nature. As with shamans. Illusions are dispelled and the nature of the One can be experienced directly. lights. However. It is pure radiant consciousness. and all things are. there is never any separation from this absolute source of power. crossing the spectrum from the immediately physical form to the most encompassing totality of the absolute. then it is claimed that the individual might begin to display seemingly miraculous abilities and be able to manifest divine power (which are called siddhis in Buddhism and Hinduism). in their deepest essence. breathe under water. which is often described as a pure white light or an infinite source of loving and creative energy. or as waking up. Or. however. In reality. one who has awakened can fly. As with the shaman.40 The Entheogenic Evolution eventually return. all kinds of extraordinary feats become possible that would normally not be allowed to occur by the limits we place upon our construction of reality. In many mystical traditions. It is said. not as an object of perception. Unlike . etc. but as an experience of identification of self with the absolute Other. and is not a display of personal power. This is likened to a person who learns to wake up within a dream: in a lucid dream. the powers are renounced entirely as being insignificant to true spiritual awakening. Both shamans and mystics might also experience these energies and lights as vibrations in both their subtle and gross bodies.
Unity is just unity. Virtually all mystical traditions agree that the ultimate knowledge of their practice cannot be communicated in words. Therefore all knowledge of the mystical state must be direct. As stated in the Tao de Ching. whose practical goal is to learn to navigate the various realms. and entities that reside there. The only path to get there is through selfless absorption into love and compassion. It can only truly be known when it is experienced. It is a true gnosis or experiential knowledge of and communion with the divine. we can understand even more clearly how they are a potential threat to the dominating cultural expectations of both . It cannot be transmitted through language. “The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao. nothing to claim and nothing to do. It is beyond any system of conventional knowledge or understanding. The ultimate knowledge is therefore the knowledge of unity. or perhaps more properly. but this must come from direct and unmediated experience. It is not a linguistic proposition to be accepted or rejected based on logic. the mystic’s goal is ultimately to move beyond any and all phenomenal experience (which by necessity involves distinctions between self and other. wisdom. Mystics and the Law 41 the shaman. The mystical experience is so total. so all encompassing. reasoning. It is. It cannot be merely intellectually understood. It is awakening to the true nature of all that is. The apex of spiritual practice for the mystic is the realization of the pure nothingness of the absolute. the knowledge of the mystic transcends any system into which one might try and put it. In this sense.” Control and Domination We have already considered some of the reasons why the direct spiritual experiences of shamans and mystics have been denigrated in Western cultures.Shamans. or philosophy. It is knowledge. nothing to describe. ineffable. in essence. philosophical analysis. There is nothing to experience. that can only be won through direct experience. Now that we have spelled out in more detail what these experiences and practices are like. that language simply cannot capture the true nature of the experience. or theological argument. powers. rational discourse. subject and object) and fall directly into the experience of absolute unity and absorption into the One.
and sometimes treated them far worse. we have seen that JudeoChristianity has been concerned with controlling belief and practice through a privileged male patriarchy that supposedly has a unique monopoly on “truth. The “religious freedom” brought by the Reformation. Rather. such as that of the Gnostics.” This patriarchy found itself at odds with “deviant” forms of Christian and Pre-Christian mystical practice. However. was relatively narrow. despite its profound impact on European cultures and later American culture. However. Devastating waves of violence rippled out from the heart of Christendom across the globe. Quakers. Arguments were made for people to be able to read the Bible in their own language and have sermons delivered in languages they could understand. Some development occurred in the area of bringing direct spiritual experience back into the mix. breaks with the Church came largely from theological and liturgical differences. Protestants were just as concerned as Catholics with converting native populations and . No room was made for shamanic or mystical experience that was outside the fold of Christian doctrine. Protestants in the colonies and then later the United States largely did not treat indigenous religions and populations any better than Inquisition-driven Catholics. Only eliminating competing forms of religious practice that were primarily experientially based could the Church maintain its dominion. Religious freedom meant freedom for Christians to argue amongst each other about their beliefs but did not mean acceptance of non-Christian forms of practice and belief. Perhaps the most common denominator shared by both Western science and religion has been the theme of control and domination. the door to personal exploration of spiritual states of consciousness was not opened very wide. Eventually the backlash against the Catholic Church came in the form of the Reformation. with Protestants taking issue with some of the ritual practices of the Catholic Church.42 The Entheogenic Evolution Western religion and science. and other more “inspirational” forms of Christian practice. such as with Shakers. freeing the sacred teachings of Christianity from the exclusive hands of the priests. such as with the Eucharist and baptism. These forms of spiritual experience were still expected to conform to the confines of Christian theology and belief. in other words. all intended to secure the beliefs of the non-believers and either convert or kill them. Differences in the importance and meaning of rituals were at the forefront of the divide as well. as well as with the more female-focused pagan and nature-centered indigenous traditions of Europe. the Reformation was not a call to bring direct spiritual experience back into the fold of mainstream Western religious practice. In the religious sphere. differences of belief and practice regarding the teachings and rituals of the Church.
Thus science sought not only to dominate nature. there is a clear distinction between the “hard” physical sciences of physics. The elites were allowed to have their esoteric practices. Yet these practices were always “outsider” practices and never commonly practiced among the wider population.” This knowledge had. we have inherited a legacy of domination of knowledge. Kabbalah. chemistry. but for the common people. though these have never been mainstream and have almost exclusively been practiced by elites in Western culture. and other such secret societies and practices. Science has been concerned with domination and control of nature. sociology.” The factors of domination and control still held the day. to be considered “scientific. etc. alchemy. only a select few of the elite were permitted into these esoteric circles. personal spiritual experience or the knowledge or insight gained from such experiences. but also imposed a certain kind of dominance on knowledge itself and the production of knowledge. practice. with little to no emphasis or value placed on subjective. biology. that the suppression and devaluing of shamanic and mystical practices has a long and tortured history in the West. scientists came to have functionally useful theories about the nature of reality and therefore became the priests of the production of “knowledge.” Even within science itself. Thus through the influence of both religion and science in the West. science is equally obsessed with domination and control.” has also been concerned with how questions are asked and how answers are sought.Shamans. visionary states of consciousness.” to be objective and based on observable physical properties of matter. Mystics and the Law 43 “saving” the “heathens” from their “devil worship.” and therefore “true. anthropology. with the soft sciences viewed with some disdain and suspicion by those involved with the hard sciences.” “mythological. therefore. It is not difficult to see. Anything that did not fit within the scientific paradigm for the production of knowledge could be branded “unscientific. though in a different manner than Western religion. ceremonial magick. Interestingly. and belief. . this is a relatively new phenomenon. However. There is the Hermetic tradition.” or even “religious. Through the very effective methodologies developed in the scientific revolution. and through the importance placed on “rational” thought and “objectivity.. some of which are more widely known and practiced today in the West. geology and astronomy and the “soft” sciences of psychology.” “irrational. and historically. In its own way. there have always been underground spiritual traditions in Western culture. Here there was a much greater emphasis on mystical practice. it was domination and control through belief and practice. and otherwise direct spiritual experience.
humans will always seek meaning through spiritual experience. often in the face of contradictory views held and promoted by science. Traditional religion has never adequately dealt with the question of what remains for the spiritual life when cherished beliefs that form the foundation of a tradition are shown to be irrational or contrary to widely accepted scientific views of reality. a non-material aspect of our experience. Yet when it comes to the spiritual use of visionary plants. a tradition that has a venerable history in human cultures. For many intellectuals. and with mainstream cultural traditions lacking in their capacity to serve the spiritual needs of Westerners. visionary plants to help fill the terrible gap left by our cultural history in regards to our spiritual natures. New light is being shed on the role and value of both shamanic and mystical experience. However. Ever since . God was declared dead to the rational mind and for many scientists. people are once again turning to the mystics and shamans for guidance and spiritual sustenance. religion in general was deemed unnecessary and views of a higher power were unsupportable by objective observation of the universe and the physical world. The average person is left disenchanted by the worldview put forth by mainstream science and left hard-pressed to simply “believe” the often-mythological thinking of mainstream religion. Darwinian evolution. seekers have now turned to the East for meditation and cultivation of mystical states of consciousness. The tide is turning. but also have to fight against restrictive and often discriminatory laws concerning the use of visionary plants and medicines. Despite the best efforts by science and religion. Religious believers were forced into protecting their cherished beliefs. things are beginning to change.44 The Entheogenic Evolution Entheogens and the Law While the history recounted above is dark. Here in the West. As spiritual beings. spiritual seekers find that not only do they have to fight against the mainstream of Western history and culture. often at absurd levels: denying the scientifically estimated age of the Earth or embracing the arguments of creationism and intelligent design vs. our traditional and institutional religions have increasingly focused on faith and belief. and to indigenous traditions of shamanism and their use of sacred. Traditional science has never adequately dealt with the question of the nature of consciousness. both sides seem to have reached an impasse.
families. Inevitably. it is undoubtedly true that some are. Rather.” which has caught many of the sacred visionary medicines in its net. But it is not just acceptance that we are considering here. To understand how this functions in contemporary . we have been living with the repercussion of an irrational. and therefore the views of science and religion have had a direct impact on how we conceive of constitutionally protected activities and how we define what categories of choices deserve the protection of law.” and rather narrow definitions of what characterizes freedom in the pursuit of a religious or spiritual practice. property. The war on drugs has put more people in jail than any other social program and is largely responsible for the fact that the U. as long as our actions do not cause any immediate or direct harm to others? From the brief overview of historical forces outlined above. it is not difficult to see that anyone in the West wanting to use a visionary sacrament would have a great deal of historical. we are confronted with issues of “belief” and “practice. and cultural inertia to overcome in order to be accepted by mainstream institutions. but also the threat of jail and losing everything in their lives including their homes. unconstitutional “war on drugs. and for some it literally is a matter of religious freedom in that they are being punished for consuming what in their tradition is considered a ceremonial sacrament. but the actual legal recognition of a right to practice legitimate spiritual pursuits as one sees fit. the laws of our country have come out of the same historical stream as our scientific and religious institutions. and I would argue.S. How can this be the case? Why is it that the ceremonial and sacramental use of visionary plants and medicines is largely illegal? Why isn’t an individual’s choice of sacrament a protected activity under our laws? Why do we not seem to have a legally protected right to pursue and cultivate direct spiritual experience however we see fit. social. with people of color being far more likely to be imprisoned for drug use or possession than Caucasians. While it is likely the case that most people jailed for drug use are not necessarily seeking to use these substances for spiritual purposes. When one considers the legal issues surrounding the sacramental use of entheogens. it is easy to see that the significance of cultivating direct spiritual experience is nowhere taken into consideration. has the largest prison population on the planet. Mystics and the Law 45 Timothy Leary and his colleagues at Harvard unleashed LSD on the West. dogmatic. Those who would seek to expand their horizons by seeking genuine direct spiritual experience through entheogens have to risk not only social scorn and punishment. It has also been used to promote repressive and intrusive police tactics and is often used as a means of imprisoning minority populations. with a greater percentage of our citizens locked up behind bars than any other country in the world. jobs.Shamans. and place within society.
We are all free to believe and practice as we see fit and cannot be compelled into any particular religion. were often coming from countries that had official state religions.” . This amendment was created to ensure that there would be no official religion of the U.S. The second part limits the government’s ability to interfere with whatever religious tradition we freely chose to become a part of. It also raises the question of who gets to decide what is accepted as a “religion” or not.” The first part of this amendment addresses the fact that European immigrants to the U.S. despite the claims of many evangelicals that the U. The U. citizen to belong to any particular religion. In short.S. as was the case in Europe. or any religion at all. which could be construed as “respecting an establishment of religion.” despite the fact that the government shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion. ceremonial calendars. it is also true that it is the government that gets to decide which practices and institutions merit the designation of religion in the first place.46 The Entheogenic Evolution American society. religions are generally understood to be institutions that have accepted beliefs.S. was to be the land of religious liberty where people could believe and practice however they saw fit according to their own conscience and desire. practices. with the answer being that it is the government itself that gets to decide who meets their criteria for a “religion. rituals.S.” As we have already seen. we can now examine some of our legal institutions and practices and how they impinge upon one’s right to explore spirituality as one sees fit. many of whom came specifically seeking religious freedom due to the persecution they faced in their home countries in Europe. or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. etc. hierarchies. This amendment immediately reflects back to the experience of European immigrants to the New World. While it is true that the government has certainly refrained from compelling our allegiance to any particular religion. Let us start with the United States Constitution and the supposed freedoms that it guarantees for all U. clearly stating that the government cannot interfere with one’s ability to practice their chosen religion. The first immediate problem with this amendment is that it inspires us to question what defines a “religion. such as the Anglican Church of England.S.. We therefore have a somewhat restrictive view of what constitutes a “religion” per se or what should be taken into consideration when defining or recognizing a religion. virtually no emphasis is placed on direct spiritual experience when defining religious practice or experience. is a “Christian” country. citizens. As the First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. We have also seen that in the West. sacred texts. it reads that the federal government cannot require any U.
” at least not as defined within U. Constitution or other similar political documents. even though our Constitution protects religious freedom.Shamans. I would propose that it be written into a fundamental declaration of human rights for the United Nations and be applicable to all signatory nations. It is all the more problematic when one is looking at questions of “spiritual” practice as opposed to “religious” practice. Even when we protect religious freedom. They can therefore constitute a class of spiritual practitioners who are not participating in any given “religion. there are other considerations that are thrown into the mix so that one can never assume that just because a practice or belief is part of a religion that it will be protected. however.S. Not only would such a person have to argue for why such practices are “religious” in the first place. Before we look at the Supreme Court. the shamans and mystics have been purposely excluded from our institutions of religion and religious practice. and has often historically been the case in the West.. Given that our direct and immediate spiritual experience is the most intimate aspect of our beings. Any argument that use .S. Supreme Court. And even beyond the U. and not just our right to participate in a religion of our choice.S.S. our right to direct spiritual experience should be protected. no one has ever successfully argued in U. This is especially true when one considers shamanism and mysticism. If shamans and mystics and their practices already fall somewhat outside the definitions of protected activities under U. law. perhaps even more intimate that our physical bodies. the first amendment is not without its problems and is not as clear-cut a protection as it may seem.S. Supreme Court cases given below. we can only imagine how much more challenging it would be for a solitary practitioner of entheogenic spirituality to make a case that his or her practices should be protected by the Constitution. Mystics and the Law 47 Thus. it is unlikely that anyone ever will succeed in making such an argument before the U. I believe that direct spiritual experience should be a protected category of activity as defined and delineated in the U.S. court that their personal choice to use an entheogenic sacrament to cultivate their personal spiritual experience is protected by the Constitution.” To this date. I would like to add that if direct spiritual experience were a protected class of activity. Neither shamans nor mystics need to be a part of any particular religion at all for them to pursue their spiritual aims. then so would the spiritual use of entheogenic sacraments. And unless we carefully examine what we are protecting and how. There is a difference between being spiritually aware and active and being religious. law. but would also have to argue for why laws created to prohibit the use of illegal “drugs” should be disregarded in order to protect “religious freedom.S. as will be shown in the analysis of U. but we have absolutely no protections for spiritual experience.
At 2 months.48 The Entheogenic Evolution of entheogens cannot be spiritual is clearly contradicted by the overwhelming evidence of world history and human cultures. (Griffiths. In other words. After the resulting experience or lack thereof. subjects were asked to fill out extensive questionnaires and again at two months later. and Central and South America in countless cultures and traditions. Psilocybin mushrooms are among the most common of visionary agents found across the globe and their use dates back to prehistory. I would point to a recent study performed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University of Medicine regarding psilocybin mushrooms and mystical experience. Africa. DMT is also a natural neurotransmitter found in all mammals. The ability to occasion such experiences prospectively will allow rigorous scientific investigations of their causes and consequences. We should remind ourselves that psilocybin mushrooms have been used as ceremonial sacraments and shamanic tools in Europe. The followup study interviewed test subjects one year after the original study. psilocybin occasioned experiences similar to spontaneously occurring mystical experiences. including JudeoChristianity. Psilocybin also increased measures of mystical experience. the volunteers rated the psilocybin experience as having substantial personal meaning and spiritual significance and attributed to the experience sustained positive changes in attitudes and behavior consistent with changes rated by community observers. Conclusions: When administered under supportive conditions. pg 1) Furthermore. Asia. 2006. The results and conclusions were as follows: Results: Psilocybin produced a range of acute perceptual changes. Furthermore. The Johns Hopkins team released the results of their initial study in 2006 and in the summer of 2008 released a follow-up study with the participants of the original study. including humans. and labile moods including anxiety. none of whom had prior experience with psychedelics. The basic procedure was that volunteers. For those still questioning this. subjective experiences. the active ingredient in ayahuasca and other South American psychedelic mixtures that are used by many indigenous South American cultures as part of their spiritual and religious traditions. psilocybin and its chemical relatives have been used in a spiritual context for longer than recorded history and is fundamentally “natural” to human biology. the authors of the study also write that: . the alkaloid that produces the visionary effects is a form of DMT. “Ritalin”) or psilocybin in a double-blind study. were given either methylphenidate (a stimulant.
pages 9 – 10) 49 Thus. the volunteers judged the meaningfulness of the experience to be similar. for example. according to this recent study performed at Johns Hopkins University. and behavior. In written comments about their answers. In written comments. (Griffiths. which. and three participants in the first. let alone the right to use an entheogenic sacrament to achieve such experiential states of consciousness. If there was ever a question that psilocybin is an effective spiritual catalyst. The methodology of the study was sound and the results are very clear. respectively) while only 4 of 36 did so after methylphenidate (two participants each in the first and second sessions) . we don’t. Thirty-three percent of the volunteers rated the psilocybin experience as being the single most spiritually significant experience of his or her life. this should put an end to it. as we will see in the Supreme Court cases below. It is remarkable that 67% of the volunteers rated the experience with psilocybin to be either the single most meaningful experience of his or her life or among the top five most meaningful experiences of his or her life. Table 4 [not shown here] shows that these ratings were significantly higher after psilocybin than after methylphenidate. . 22 of the total group of 36 volunteers had a ‘complete’ mystical experience after psilocybin (ten. the volunteers often described aspects of the experience related to a sense of unity without content (pure consciousness) and/or unity of all things. What if the use of entheogens as a spiritual sacrament were protected by law? What if our freedom of religion also included freedom to cultivate spiritual experience as we see fit? If we had that right. However. 2006. This questionnaire also included ratings of the personal meaningfulness and spiritual significance of the experience and whether the experience changed their sense of well being or life satisfaction. So let us return to the legal question. to the birth of a first child or death of a parent. . psilocybin produces genuine mystical experiences among the majority of subjects and those who have such an experience tend to rate it as one of the most significant and meaningful experiences of their lives. second. it should be clear. . and third session. then studies like the one above would be prime evidence for protecting this right. mood. with an additional 38% rating it to be among the top five most spiritually significant experiences.Shamans. direct spiritual experience is not taken into consideration as a fundamental right. social effects. [C]ompared to methylphenidate. nine. as seen in the findings written above. psilocybin produced significantly greater elevations in ratings of positive attitudes. Mystics and the Law Based on a priori criteria. the negative ratings of these same dimensions were very low and did not differ across the drug conditions.
Justice Antoine Scalia wrote the majority opinion for the court. [The respondents] assert that "prohibiting the free exercise [of religion]" includes requiring any individual to observe a generally applicable law that requires (or forbids) the performance of an act that his religious belief forbids (or requires). as a member of a legally recognized church that makes use of the peyote cactus as a sacrament. The state of Oregon. to all actions thought to be religiously commanded.S. . Smith made the case that he was merely exercising his constitutionally protected right to the free exercise of religion. law. by virtue of his beliefs. . contradicts both constitutional tradition and common sense. to say that if prohibiting the exercise of religion . first and foremost. . as guaranteed by the first amendment. and eventually the Supreme Court took up the case. If the "compelling interest" test is to be applied at all. if "compelling interest" really means what it says (and watering it down here would subvert its rigor in the other fields where it is applied). the right to believe and profess whatever religious doctrine one desires. Moreover.50 The Entheogenic Evolution Peyote and the Supreme Court The first case for us to consider is the “Smith” case that was decided in 1990. The result was that Smith lost and the court found on behalf of the state of Oregon. is not the object of the [law] but merely the incidental effect of a generally applicable and otherwise valid provision. many laws will not meet the test.permitting him. Any society adopting such . except where the State's interest is "compelling" . . the First Amendment has not been offended. To make an individual's obligation to obey such a law contingent upon the law's coincidence with his religious beliefs. he felt that he was unjustly punished by the state of Oregon. it must be applied across the board. to become a law unto himself. . then. It is a permissible reading of the text . stating the following: The free exercise of religion means. on the other hand. While peyote is a schedule I illegal drug as defined by U. made the case that peyote is illegal in Oregon under federal law and the state was merely fulfilling its duty to apply the law equally to all citizens. Smith’s argument for religious freedom was trumped by the state’s interest in upholding federal and local drug laws. Smith lost in Oregon. . An employee for the state of Oregon lost his job and his benefits when he admitted to using peyote in a Native American Church ceremony.
the most significant of which was: if a person can lose his rights for participating in a legally recognized religion that uses a psychedelic sacrament. could not claim that peyote laws were unfairly burdening his culturally based religion. according to Scalia. Scalia is addressing how the imposition of drug laws affect Smith’s ability to practice as he believes he should. the burden was placed on Smith to show that the government should uphold his First Amendment rights and not the other way around. or ethnicity). what he seems to be indicating is that true freedom would render people ungovernable. then what real protection is there for any religion? Is there any substance at all to the First Amendment. as definitions of religious freedom. And in rendering his decision. The government did not have to show why drug laws were more inviolable than the Constitution. Scalia clearly states that expecting the government to grant exceptions to the law according to an individual’s religious belief would “be courting anarchy. Smith. what teeth does the Constitution then have to limit the actions of the government? According to Scalia. it would be impossible to expect people to obey the law and anarchy would reign. or can the government simply trump religious freedom whenever a religion’s practices come into conflict with existing U. Rather. apparently none at all.Shamans. Justice Scalia emphasized the two pillars of practice and belief. Because the law against peyote was not written to discriminate against Native American use of peyote and applies to all races equally. Given that this is was the case. law? Here. Scalia seems to be of the opinion that this would be a bad thing.” Though Scalia does not say as much. He uses it not because he “believes” in peyote: he believes in peyote because it produces direct spiritual experience. for it would lead to “anarchy. Mystics and the Law a system would be courting anarchy .S. emphasis added) 51 It is quite telling that in his argument. . but only in consideration with other existing laws when those laws were not written with specific discriminatory intent (such as a law intentionally written to target a specific religion. The First Amendment's protection of religious liberty does not require this. Smith. . If we could all make up our minds for ourselves according to our own understanding of religious practice. He does not address why Smith is using peyote. He is also of the opinion that the Constitution clearly does not protect religious practice and belief uniformly and universally. Scalia’s decision gave rise to some far-reaching questions. (Employment Division of Oregon v.” . group.
Yoder. the RFRA reads: The Congress finds that-(1) the framers of the Constitution. 398 (1963) and Wisconsin v. Smith. rather than the reversal that Scalia argued for in placing the burden on the one whose rights are in contention. 494 U. SEC. 374 U.52 The Entheogenic Evolution The Religious Freedom Restoration Act The result of Scalia’s decision in Employment Division vs. The main thrust of the RFRA is that the burden of proof must be placed on the government in religious liberty cases. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was a direct response to this frightening Supreme Court decision that seemed to strip the Constitution of any real ability to protect the rights of citizens in the face of government interference with their guaranteed liberties.S. 3. and (5) the compelling interest test as set forth in prior Federal court rulings is a workable test for striking sensible balances between religious liberty and competing prior governmental interests. 872 (1990) the Supreme Court virtually eliminated the requirement that the government justify burdens on religious exercise imposed by laws neutral toward religion. (3) governments should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification. secured its protection in the First Amendment to the Constitution. Specifically. 406 U. Smith was the creation and enactment of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 as created by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. (b) Purposes: The purposes of this Act are-(1) to restore the compelling interest test as set forth in Sherbert v. recognizing free exercise of religion as an unalienable right. and (2) to provide a claim or defense to persons whose religious exercise is substantially burdened by government. (4) in Employment Division v.S. (2) laws 'neutral' toward religion may burden religious exercise as surely as laws intended to interfere with religious exercise. FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION PROTECTED.S. 205 (1972) and to guarantee its application in all cases where free exercise of religion is substantially burdened. . Verner.
Therefore. while the RFRA helped to define and protect Native Americans’ rights to use peyote in the Native American Church. law is that “religion” is a protected category whereas individual spiritual practice that is not directly tied to a “religion” is not even taken into consideration as a possible protected category. Standing to assert a claim or defense under this section shall be governed by the general rules of standing under article III of the Constitution 53 Despite the fact that the RFRA was inspired by a court case that dealt with a person’s legal right to consume an illegal visionary plant. except as provided in subsection (b). have any legal guidelines for addressing questions of individual spiritual practice. Instead.S. and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest. as of yet. Mystics and the Law (a) In General: Government shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability. use of entheogens should be a protected class of activity. In other words. we are given guidelines for how the government is to consider cases of infringement of religious liberty without any clear procedures or considerations specifically for entheogenic sacraments.Shamans. (b) Exception: Government may substantially burden a person's exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest. Therefore. the RFRA does not directly address the issue of entheogens. The basic assumption made under U. in this case peyote. though spiritual. One limitation with the RFRA is that we are still dealing with the concept of “religion” and do not. Therefore the RFRA does not seem to apply to those interested in arguing that their personal and non-religious. the protections were not made universal and in fact were quite limited and specific in their scope. the protection for use of entheogenic sacraments was not extended beyond the special case of Native Americans and their legal rights. . (c) Judicial Relief: A person whose religious exercise has been burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government. Congress has still not addressed the general role of entheogens as sacraments as a protected category of activity.
if the RFRA had been in effect. law.” It would not be difficult for the government to show that it had this compelling interest. and this would be the easiest solution. Had the RFRA been in effect prior to the Smith case.” but by what means would the court assess the validity of such a claim? How could they know that a person was genuine? By what means could they evaluate such a claim of legal protection? And furthermore. the government would have had to show that preventing Smith from consuming peyote as a ceremonial sacrament in his church was the only way that it could ensure that peyote was not consumed by nonmembers of the Native American Church. Smith. There would have to be direct evidence that. regulated to prevent minors from . virtually anyone could claim that his or her illegal use of entheogens was “spiritual. When it comes to individual practice. for then Smith would not have been able to argue that his practices were part of a “religion” per se.S. for do so would be to open up the question of “anarchy” that Scalia wrote of in his opinion. With a “religion. Entheogen use could be made legal. however. Smith would most likely have successfully defended his right to consume peyote. But what if Smith had not been a member of the Native American Church and simply been an individual who chose to consume peyote as a sacrament for personal spiritual growth and experience? Would the RFRA have helped him? Most likely not. Here the compelling government interest would be the enforcement of the prohibition against the use of “hallucinogens. but arguing that restricting the rights of Native Americans would serve this broader purpose would be much harder for the government to prove. We could simply recognize that competent adults are free to make up their own minds about what they choose to put into their bodies and for what reason and leave it at that. unless he wanted to make the argument that mysticism or shamanism.” the court can look to what the professed beliefs and practices of the institution are and judge whether an individual is actually practicing that religion in accordance with its doctrines and traditions. given that individual spiritual practice is not yet a protected category? Of course all this would be obviated were the prohibition against entheogens to end. were “religions.54 The Entheogenic Evolution In the case of Employment Division vs. so it is unlikely that the court would have accepted his argument. or even direct spiritual experience itself. why bother. For example. through limiting the rights of the church members. the greater aim of drug use prevention among the wider populace was served. the court has nothing to evaluate a person’s claim with and must either take the person’s word as genuine or dismiss it as an excuse.” None of these meet the general criteria for religion as defined in U. It would have to prove that keeping Native Americans from using their sacrament would also prevent other potential “abusers” from eating peyote.
and in addition to the UDV. In Brazil. using peyote as a ritual sacrament and Eucharist much like wine and bread is used in the Catholic Church. usually including the banisteriopsis vine. DMT is normally not orally active. this could be a realistic goal. but their use for spiritual purposes could be made a protected category just as peyote consumption is still illegal yet it is a protected activity for members of the Native American Church. Entheogens could still be illegal as a general law. or the introduction of a similar act that specifically addresses the centrality of individual spiritual experience. Attorney General. The official name of the case is Gonzales. legally recognized religions in Brazil that make use of an ayahuasca drink include the Santo Daime Church. the Native American Church is also often referred to as a syncretic tradition in that it combines Christianity with Native American traditions. and psychotria viridis. So attempting to reframe the argument about protected categories of practice. or UDV. With some amendments to the RFRA. The UDV is similar in that it uses the psychedelic brew of ayahuasca. For efficiency. we can consider a recent case involving entheogens and the RFRA that was considered by the Supreme Court in 2006. For example. and used by freely consenting adults as long as that use did not cause any direct harm to others.Shamans. countless indigenous traditions have used variants of the ayahuasca drink as central to their religious and spiritual practices. as it is more commonly called. Ayahuasca and the Supreme Court To understand both the significance and limits of the RFRA. and mystical revelation. The use of ayahuasca as a religious sacrament is protected under Brazilian law. Mystics and the Law 55 gaining access to entheogens. is a syncretic church from Brazil. Syncretic means that this particular religion blends multiple traditions together and it is a term that is often used to describe religions that combine Christianity with other forms of religious practice or traditions. we will refer to this case as Gonzales vs. and the Barquina church. which contains a monoamine oxidase inhibitor. called hoasca in the UDV. et al v. entheogen use is unlikely to be made legal at a general level any time soon. The Uniao Do Vegetal. O Central Espirita Beneficente Uniao Do Vegetal et al. in combination with Christian teachings and doctrine. a leaf that contains dimethyltryptamine. meaning . UDV. It is the shamanic medicine par excellence and a powerful tool of self-exploration. The drink is made from a combination of plants. which refers to their ayahuasca drink as daime. healing. or DMT. namely the proposal that we consider individual spiritual practice and direct spiritual experience as protected categories. However. might be a fruitful avenue.
Ceremonies might be held for a particular congregation several times a month. Simply protecting their belief in the sacramental . Ayahuasca is an extremely effective sacrament. though neither are necessarily standard additions to ayahuasca. but is a powerful entry in an altered state of consciousness in which divine energies and entities can be directly perceived and interacted with. Santo Daime. While indigenous shamanic traditions are not necessarily considered “churches” or “religions” in Brazil. Central to these traditions is the ceremonial drinking of ayahuasca on a regular basis. A different entheogenic sacrament could be used and would be effective. especially in the United States. with a fairly rigorous ceremonial calendar and schedule.56 The Entheogenic Evolution that enzymes in our stomachs break the DMT down before we are able to absorb it. Regardless of one’s theological position regarding transubstantiation (the question of whether wine and blood literally turn into the blood and body of Christ or if it is understood to be a symbolic metaphor). the UDV. Thus in ayahuasca the DMT containing plants are combined with the MAOI vine to produce a radically effective visionary brew. For example. There is no comparison to the standard Christian Eucharist. as is the case with wine and bread for mainstream Christian churches. and Barquina are. Other plants may also be combined with the vine and leaf. While one may find the wine and bread meaningful and inspirational. a standard ceremony of the Santo Daime might include drinking daime anywhere from three to five times over the course of a single ceremony. such as datura or burgmansia. Any limit or restriction placed on these churches and their members’ right to use ayahuasca would cripple their ability to practice according to their traditions. and the experience it generates is so powerful and all-consuming that to deny them the right to use it would completely erode the entire purpose of the churches. a sip of wine and bite of bread cannot compare in terms of actual spiritual experience with the drinking of ayahuasca. or even several times a week. with the Santo Daime being particularly active in gaining new members and active congregations. There really are no substitutes for ayahuasca. and they won their legal right to use ayahuasca in the early 1990’s in that country. but that still raises the issues of legality. it is highly unlikely that such a sacrament could ever have physical and psychic effects comparable to the efficacy of an ayahuasca sacrament. Both the UDV and Santo Daime have branched out from Brazil and now many congregations of both churches can be found around the world. The drinking of ayahuasca is not some symbolic and ritual act. despite pressure from the United States to place outright legal bans on the use of ayahuasca. but the DMT found in most plants cannot simply be eaten to be effective. A variant on DMT that is orally active is psilocybin.
Christians consume wine and bread because that is their tradition. they are free to believe whatever they want. and even in doing so. They simply cannot exist as coherent traditions without this sacrament. then the practices and beliefs would be merely a matter of convention or tradition as they are in mainstream Christian churches regarding the Eucharist of the wine and bread. The UDV made the case that while DMT may be a Schedule I narcotic. the question is not really about either belief or practice. is ubiquitous throughout nature. not at a biologically/chemically active level. as a naturally occurring chemical compound. it is illegal in the U.S. The government argued that hoasca contained DMT and therefore was illegal under the Controlled Substances Act. including its universal and constant presence inside human bodies. However. New Mexico. customs agents confiscated a shipment of hoasca intended for a UDV branch located in Santa Fe.S. because it definitely does do something. As Scalia might argue. Furthermore. With the above in mind. it is easy to see that any restriction on the consumption of ayahuasca as a religious sacrament would be utterly devastating to the entire focus of the syncretic Brazilian churches. The UDV argued that outlawing natural materials that contained DMT would necessitate the clearly absurd position of outlawing human beings. for DMT. Mystics and the Law 57 power of ayahuasca does nothing to protect the sanctity of their religions. It is the difference between a symbolic consumption of a sacred food that may or may not have any psychological or spiritual effect on a person and the actual consumption of a sacred food that reliably produces radical states of spiritual awareness and perception. at least. Ayahuasca. is not comparable to wine and bread. Both the beliefs and practices are predicated on the fact that the experience itself is central and fundamental to the religious traditions. The UDV’s legal right to consume hoasca became an issue in the United States when U.Shamans. The UDV thus filed suit against . with DMT being a federally recognized Schedule I narcotic. but the government still has a right to curb their practice. If it weren’t for the experience of ayahuasca. for we are all DMT containing organisms. It is no surprise then that when confronted with legal issues. or at least something comparable. but about experience. It is not because the wine and bread actually do anything. the UDV was inspired to take the fight all the way to the Supreme Court to defend its right to administer hoasca to its participants. their religious freedoms are still protected for they have not been forced to believe something other than what their religions profess. the UDV argued that confiscating hoasca was in clear violation of the RFRA and therefore not justifiable under the law. the law should only apply to extracted or synthetically produced DMT. Despite the fact that DMT is not technically a narcotic (the term narcotic specifically refers to opium-derived substances and is a reflection of their “sleep inducing” or “narcotic” properties).
the government proclaimed. And. in classifying DMT. the government argued that the U. not just the chemical extract. Before the District Court found that the Government had not carried its burden of showing a compelling interest in preventing such harm. that the Government would ascribe to them. both the Executive and Congress have decreed an exception from the Controlled Substances Act for Native American .S. Case opened. another Schedule I substance. considered the harms posed by the particular use at issue. or dispensers if he finds it consistent with the public health and safety. The result was not so much a win for the UDV as a loss for the government. Significantly. for RFRA purposes. (Alberto) Gonzales et al argued that DMT was clearly illegal. there is no indication that Congress. The government response was fairly straightforward. hoasca clearly contained DMT. Although Schedule I substances such as DMT are exceptionally dangerous. distributors. and therefore the UDV had no right to an exception. The court’s decision reads as follows (numerical references to court cases and laws have been removed for ease of reading): Under RFRA’s more focused inquiry. for the intent of the law was to prohibit the consumption of DMT in any form. The court did not decide in the UDV’s favor outright. but they did not support the government’s arguments either. Furthermore. The UDV had no right to hoasca.58 The Entheogenic Evolution the government to return its confiscated hoasca and let them go about the business of conducting their religion as they saw fit. case closed. The case made it all the way to the Supreme Court. But Congress’ determination that DMT should be listed under Schedule I simply does not provide a categorical answer that relieves the Government of the obligation to shoulder its RFRA burden. was bound by international treaties to uphold the ban on DMT.” reinforces that Congress’ findings with respect to Schedule I substances should not carry the determinative weight. for the Controlled Substances act was inviolate and had to be upheld uniformly with no exceptions. That question was litigated below. the court noted that it could not ignore the congressional classification and findings. the Government’s mere invocation of the general characteristics of Schedule I substances cannot carry the day. despite the fact that everything the Government says about the DMT in hosca applies in equal measure to the mescaline in peyote. Indeed. the Supreme Court based its decision on the RFRA and the exemption from the Controlled Substances Act for the Native American Church. The Controlled Substances Act’s authorization to the Attorney General to “waive the requirement for registration of certain manufacturers. the argument that the ban on DMT only applied to the chemical itself and not plant-based preparations that contained the chemical was specious. which is recognized by the United Nations as a controlled substance.
given the longstanding peyote exemption and the fact that the very reason Congress enacted RFRA was to respond to a decision denying a claimed right to sacramental use of a controlled substance. Here the Government’s uniformity argument rests not so much on the particular statutory program at issue as on slippery slope concerns that could be invoked in response to any RFRA claim for an exception to a generally applicable law. It cannot now compensate for its failure to convince the District Court as to its health or diversion concerns with the bold argument that there can be no RFRA exceptions at all to the Controlled Substances Act. of exceptions to “rule[s] of general applicability. those same findings alone cannot preclude consideration of a similar exception for the 130 or so American members of the UDV who want to practice theirs. e. Those cases did not embrace the notion that a general interest in uniformity justified a substantial burden on religious exercise.. The Government’s argument that the existence of a congressional exemption for peyote does not indicate that the Controlled Substances Act is amenable to judicially crafted exceptions fails because RFRA plainly contemplates court-recognized exceptions. I’ll have to make one for everybody. under the compelling interest test. They show that the Government can demonstrate a compelling interest in uniform application of a particular program by offering evidence that granting the requested religious accommodations would seriously compromise its ability to administer the program. The Government argues unpersuasively that it has a compelling interest in complying with the 1971 U. “if I make an exception for you. and there is no evidence that it has undercut the Government’s ability to enforce the ban on peyote use by non-Indians. The Government has not shown that granting the UDV an exemption would cause the kind of administrative harm recognized as a compelling interest in. N.Shamans. . While there may be instances where a need for uniformity precludes the recognition of exceptions to generally applicable laws under RFRA. so no exceptions.” finds support in Sherbert. The peyote exception also fatally undermines the Government’s broader contention that the Controlled Substances Act establishes a closed regulatory system that admits of no exceptions under RFRA.g. Lee. The peyote exception has been in place since the Controlled Substances Act’s outset. for striking sensible balances between religious liberty and competing prior governmental interests. While this Court does not 59 .” Congress’ determination that the legislated test is “workable . The Government’s reliance on pre-Smith cases asserting a need for uniformity in rejecting claims for religious exemptions under the Free Exercise Clause is unavailing. Convention. If such use is permitted in the face of the general congressional findings for hundreds of thousands of Native Americans practicing their faith. but instead scrutinized the asserted need and explained why the denied exemptions could not be accommodated. Wilkinson.” But RFRA operates by mandating consideration. Mystics and the Law religious use of peyote. i.e. and Cutter v. .. it would be surprising to find that this was such a case.
if the claimants would choose to pursue the case there. is not enough. similar exceptions would have to be made in others. did not adequately address the rights granted by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. standing alone. Thus far. and unpersuasively at that. was simply not convinced by Gonzales et al. and given that an exception was already made for peyote and Native Americans. I suspect that this is the case as the Supreme Court made it quite clear that the government would have to justify its sole exception for Native American use of peyote and its refusal to grant similar exceptions to other groups. At the time of this writing. the Supreme Court was not impressed with the government’s argument. It appears . which the court clearly recognized here. illogical. their argument as presented here was fatally flawed. Gonzales et al already tried this argument. it suffices that the Government did not submit any evidence addressing the international consequences of granting the UDV an exemption. but this is precisely the point of the RFRA. unless the government could clearly articulate why Native Americans deserve a special exception that cannot be applied to any other class of citizens. but simply relied on two affidavits by State Department officials attesting to the general (and undoubted) importance of honoring international obligations and maintaining the United States’ leadership in the international war on drugs. saying that they had not taken into consideration the purpose of the RFRA. and clearly not in agreement with the RFRA. It seems likely that if an exception were made in one case. which implements the Convention. However. If an exception was already in existence. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao Do Vegetal) The basic argument of the Supreme Court here is that the government.60 The Entheogenic Evolution agree with the District Court that the Convention does not cover hoasca. among other arguments. the UDV’s right to drink hoasca is in legal limbo. At this stage. they would have to go back to the drawing board in framing their argument. if the government wanted to pursue this case. the government has not attempted to reopen the case with new arguments. (Gonzales et al v. in the face of the RFRA. invocation of such general interests. then how could the government argue here that no exception to the Controlled Substances Act be made? It was contradictory. that does not automatically mean that the Government has demonstrated a compelling interest in applying the Controlled Substances Act. The Supreme Court. Gonzales et al tried to argue that there could be no exemption to the Controlled Substances Act. which was intentionally created to address exactly the kind of issue brought forth before the court in this case. The result was that the Supreme Court handed the case back down to the lower courts. to the UDV’s sacramental use. for they clearly had not made a persuasive argument here. Under RFRA. Therefore. in arguing its case against the UDV.
is building their legal case. Because the RFRA does not deal specifically with entheogens or their classification as controlled substances. I propose an act that specifically and intentionally addresses the issue of entheogenic sacraments. Since both daime and hoasca are ayahuasca. instead sending the case back to the lower courts for possible re-argument. Only time will tell what the outcome will be.S. the UDV did not outright win its legal right to hoasca either. even this would only affect those who are members of a “religion” and does not affect the status of solitary practitioners who use entheogens for personal.Shamans. In order for the government to prevail. legal protection is not a given. The result is that hoasca use is in a legal grey zone. But since the Supreme Court did not necessarily decide in the UDV’s favor. as opposed to religious. the UDV case shows us that even with RFRA. and even then. and not just for use within a religion. they will have to find new arguments and will not be able to rely upon the reasons provided for the UDV case with hoasca. While we can see that the RFRA does provide some measure of protection for the sacramental use of entheogens. the expectation is clearly that the burden is placed on the government when it comes to questions of the RFRA and the right for religions to practice as they see fit. for their right to drink daime. This may change in the near future. But as we can see from the court case outlined above. any decision rendered regarding the Santo Daime’s right to daime would likely be applied to the UDV as well. Mystics and the Law 61 doubtful that the government can make a convincing argument in this case against the UDV’s right to hoasca. However. it would look something like this (keeping in mind that I am neither a lawyer nor an experienced legislator): . Indeed. as in the UDV case. At this time. exploration and spiritual experience. depending on the outcome of the Santo Daime legal petition. It therefore may be unnecessary for the UDV to pursue any further legal action. but also for personal and individual use. the outcome is not guaranteed. under the RFRA. there are still fundamental legal questions that must be addressed on a case-by-case basis. As I envision it. even outside of a specific religious tradition. the Santo Daime religion in the U. the outcome of the Santo Daime’s legal claim could be revolutionary.
This act seeks to correct this omission from the list of universal human rights. the drive for spiritual meaning and experience is not limited to religious activity or membership per se. rather than to the institutions in which they practice. While religious membership and activity is universally recognized as a fundamental human right and is protected by law. but extends equally to all individuals.62 The Entheogenic Evolution The Universal Declaration of the Human Right to Direct Spiritual Experience We recognize the following: Human beings are innately spiritual. and a community of similarly-oriented individuals. regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof. and not a religious tradition or institution. While the human quest for spiritual meaning and experience can be institutionalized through the formation and continuation of religious traditions. Personal spiritual experience is furthermore understood to be one of the most intimate aspects of person’s identity. sense of self. but this is not necessarily the case. ceremony. individual pursuit of spiritual experiences has not been afforded the same legal protections. Within the context of a religion. As direct spiritual experience is primarily an individual matter. provides opportunity for like-minded people to gather together in groups to collectively express their beliefs in the context of shared practices. Religion provides structures of ritual. persons may be afforded the opportunity for direct spiritual experience. the locus of spiritual experience is necessarily the individual. The human quest for spiritual meaning and experience is fundamental to the human experience. As a result. protections for individual spiritual experience must be afforded directly to individuals. religious teachings. Because the locus of direct spiritual experience is the individual. . protection for direct spiritual experience is not limited to individuals who are members of religious traditions. Religious practice and membership is not identical to spiritual experience. and worldview. Religion. as a social institution.
Obviously. In recognition of this universal human right to direct spiritual experience. then it is only reasonable that we be guaranteed our freedoms to pursue our spiritual connection to the divine however we may see fit. is not sufficient grounds for disallowing the practice. such as might be the case with the use of entheogens. governmental or otherwise. is against any law. liberty. so should our experience of any level of consciousness that does not impinge on the rights of others be so protected. and pursuit of happiness. While recognizing that governments have a vested interest in reducing the impact of recreational drug use and abuse within their territories. as I am primarily concerned with spiritual consciousness in this book. are not sufficient grounds for baring the legitimate use of entheogenic sacraments for personal spiritual experience.Shamans. I have chosen to focus on this more specific case . It is furthermore recognized that the universal human right to direct spiritual experience provides a legal defense for those who would choose to pursue the use of entheogenic agents in their quest to achieve direct spiritual experience. in and of themselves. and not just confined to a spiritual context. The burden of proof for the limiting of any activity that can be construed as the cultivation of direct personal spiritual experience is clearly placed on any regulating body. 63 It is my hope that the issues raised and arguments provided in this part of this book demonstrate why such a declaration of human rights is not only necessary. The universal right to direct spiritual experience will be afforded to all equally without any interference by regulating bodies unless said regulating bodies can demonstrate beyond any doubt that the activities of any individual is in violation of the fundamental human rights of another person or persons. for just as our pursuit of spiritual consciousness and experience should be a fundamental human right. If we truly want to be free. such as the rights to life. such a claim could be made for the use of entheogens in general. but also valid and reasonable as well. drug laws. However. as long as our practices do not interfere with the rights of others. with the condition that such practices do not violate any other universally recognized human rights of other persons. it is hereby decreed that no government shall persecute or punish any individual who chooses to pursue the cultivation of direct spiritual experience in a manner that is respectful of the human rights of others. Mystics and the Law All practices that contribute to an individual’s cultivation of direct spiritual experience are hereby affirmed to be protected by international laws recognizing universal human rights. Claiming that an individual’s practice. The standard for the burden of proof is to be judged solely on how any given practice violates the rights of others.
given that religion is already a protected category. Cognitive liberty in general is a fight worth fighting. Yet. I am certainly of the view that people should be free to affect their consciousness as they see fit.64 The Entheogenic Evolution of rights here. Our spiritual practice and experience is one of the most fundamental aspects of our beings. It is to the spiritual use of entheogens that we will now turn for the remainder of this book. considering current drug laws. It is perhaps the most central core of who we are and how we experience ourselves in the world. . extending similar protections to direct spiritual experience might be an easier path to take. Any adults who wants to use entheogens to further their spiritual practice should be able to do so. regardless of whether it is done for spiritual purposes or not. However. and I fully support it. it is my contention that recognition of the legal right to spiritual experience might have the effect of obviating drug laws in their application to individuals who seek to use entheogens for spiritual experience.
To be as me.” - God . Be responsible for your truth and your energy. discover. Don’t claim mine. create and become your own truth.“Own your own energy and truth. My truth and my energy are my own.
and how did it become such a big deal? Where did all this start and why? Or. lectures. and now increasingly present among mainstream cultural adherents as well. given as December 21 or December 22. what were you thinking? . depending on the source. Books.” coinciding with our pass through the galactic ecliptic? And what does all this have to do with entheogens and psychedelic plants and mushrooms? But where did it come from. and other “Earth changes. but what that shift is has been open to widespread debate and speculation. is the “issue” of 2012. and more specifically with the Winter Solstice of 2012. Will the world end? Will it be the end of history? Will human consciousness make some radical quantum leap into a new dimension of perception and cognition? Will there be earthquakes. to put it more directly: Terence. this looming question of 2012 and all the speculation surrounding it? Whose idea was this in the first place. As the fateful year in question approaches. all dealing with the date of 2012. The general consensus is that we are collectively heading for some kind of “shift” on or around this date.Seeds of the Logos A widespread meme among those who identify themselves in one way or another with the counterculture. speculation increases and all eyes look to what just might be. Much of the speculation surrounds the role of entheogens in human consciousness and the supposed “end date” of the Mayan calendar. and conferences now abound. floods.
not only on the planet. I would like to make my own personal views on 2012 clear. genocide . pesticides. Such a moment of collective self-reflection is sorely needed in the contemporary world. climate change is upon us and we’re all feeling the effect. It was through his work that 2012 became a staple of the psychedelic community and eventually spread to mainstream culture as well. Before we delve into the mind of one of the most provocative thinkers of the 20th century. what I see as the value of speculation regarding 2012 is that it provides the opportunity for humanity to collectively take stock of who we are. but in the cosmos as well. helped to get the 2012 ball rolling. spiritually starved populations. disenchantment and apathy. where we are. however. and therefore. persecution. propaganda. . pollution. Water shortages. Power and wealth are increasingly being accumulated into the hands of a very select few while the masses are under watch and under control.Seeds of the Logos 67 2012 and The Great Change Though not the originator of the fascination with the supposed 2012 Mayan calendar end date. economic meltdowns. Man-made or not. disempowerment. In the end. and re-exploring and re-imagining our place. through his love of psilocybin mushrooms and DMT. one of the most outspoken and influential proponents of 2012 was Terence McKenna. manipulation. Self-reflection is crucial to any spiritual practice. increasingly fascist governments. air and water. war. genetically modified foods. fuel shortages. Political and social structures are collapsing along with the environment and biosphere. . what all the fuss about 2012 is doing is affording us the collective opportunity and inspiration to examine all these pressing issues and converse about how we would like to see the world. Ultimately. and our place within it. species extinction. Terence. the collective self-reflection that is occurring surrounding 2012 is contributing . the list just goes on and on. humanity. greater connection to nature. I have no particular attachment to any version of what may or may not happen in December of 2012. I am primarily interested in Terence and his thoughts as an example of the effect of entheogens on personal spiritual experience and how such experiences in turn affect and influence culture. And in the midst of it all. many in the West are crying out for greater spiritual connection. violence. toxic food. and where we think we are going. terrorism.
the time spent reflecting and questioning will be well spent and justified. miraculous. and capacity for spiritual experience. for all intents and purposes. the McKenna brothers and their fellow explorers journeyed deep into the jungle where they discovered a bountiful supply of Stropharia cubensis. Thus my position is that even if nothing unusual. growth. One of the most inspirational and influential figures in this has been Terence McKenna. Terence McKenna and the Logos The Invisible Landscape first appeared in print in 1975. which he co-authored with his brother. his personal exploration into the realms of psychedelic mushrooms. in particular. a common species of psilocybin mushrooms. Lured on by the promise of psycho-linguistic transdimensional DMT fluid as exuded by entranced shamans. the McKenna brothers ended up eating fairly massive quantities of the psychoactive mushrooms. believing that all of . or transformative happens in 2012 (which I consider likely to be the case). as articulated mainly by Terence. and questions regarding what might happen on 2012 are certainly inspirational and are galvanizing many into deep spiritual reflection and action. Somewhat unsuccessful in their hunt for strong ayahuasca. philosophical.68 The Entheogenic Evolution to larger spiritual questions concerning our nature. DMT and ayahuasca have had a profound impact on contemporary culture and inspired many to ask the big existential. Regardless of whether anything he said is actually true or not (a question Terence asked himself about his own conclusions). into a heady psychedelic voyage that. It is to their ideas. Few things happen in human history without inspiration or significant social catalysts. For this reason. Dennis McKenna. This launches Dennis. Dennis and Terence. and spiritual questions. identity. McKenna’s works and thoughts deserve special attention irrespective of what may or may not transpire on the fated date that he first predicted in 1975 with the publication of the book The Invisible Landscape. evolution. inspired by their “experiment” at La Chorrera in Columbia. seems to have temporarily led him off the deep end. It was the result of the wildly speculative and theoretical work of the McKenna brothers. that we will now turn in our search for the origins of the 2012 phenomenon and its connection to entheogenic revelation. and ultimately.
From his manipulations of the sixty-four hexagrams of the I Ching and his understanding of fractal mathematics. When Terence mapped his abstracted timewave zero onto an historical timeline. this is also the supposed prophetic end date to the Mayan calendar. inspiration. As Terence was later to learn. The far more accessible (and often entertaining) account of what transpired at La Chorrera and the ideas generated from that wild voyage is found in Terence’s later book. to say the least. he surmised that the ultimate moment landed on the Winter Solstice of 2012. much like the banisteriopsis vine from which ayahuasca is in part made.” The timewave maps the ingression of novelty into the manifest universe. In the intervening time. published almost twenty years later. In conjunction with visions of a UFO. This was to usher in the new wave of evolution and the graduation of humanity from an earth-bound primitive species into a fledging member of the intergalactic community. He became the leading proponent for the “archaic revival. Not being a Mayan scholar. spreading the messages of what he and Dennis had formulated from their experiences in the Columbian jungle. alien encounters.” which he understood as the reintroduction of psychedelic agents into culture as forces of change. the McKenna brothers were convinced that they were receiving information from the mushrooms about the “eschaton” at the end of time. as experienced under the influence of mushrooms. As an abstraction. The mushrooms were aware of this event and were busy communicating it to the McKenna brothers throughout the experiment. Among the ideas he discussed most often were ideas of 2012.Seeds of the Logos 69 humanity would suddenly wake up with his voice in their minds. Terence posited the theory that space and time unfold according to the holographic fractal wave pattern that he dubbed “timewave zero. Terence lectured widely in underground circles. and spiritual and gnostic revelation. chaos theory. becoming something of a cultural icon and gaining notoriety as a provocative and original thinker. the ultimate concrescence of novelty into the physical universe as communicated from the Logos. The Invisible Landscape is not easy reading. Suffice it to say that the Mayans had an unparalleled understanding of astronomy and did an . and the ultimate structure of space-time. The short and highly abridged version is something like this: Dennis and Terence eat large quantities of mushrooms on several occasions within a short span of time. True Hallucinations. I will not attempt to explain the complexities of Mayan calendars or understanding of time. and hyper-dimensional machine elves. Their experiences lead them to speculations regarding the action of psilocybin on DNA molecules. it posits a future moment of ultimate novelty. Just how Terence came to the conclusion that 2012 was a significant date is a twisted and complicated tale. Heady stuff.
the connection to the Mayan calendar was a curious coincidence. Based on their astronomical knowledge. Any system as complex as the Mayan calendar is best left to the experts who have devoted their lives to understanding it. or perhaps could even be occurring now. though not as it is necessarily understood by mainstream contemporary science. based on the I Ching. When Terence began spreading the word about 2012. I’m not concerned about these issues here and would refer an interested reader to any of the myriad of writings that now exist on this topic. and generally all aspects of life. the Mayans are correct in their descriptions of how the Earth is moving through space in relation to other bodies in our galaxy. let’s leave that to the experts. Now the Mayan calendar is widely seen as holding the secret keys to the ultimate unfolding of human conscious evolution. I think it is generally agreed that from an astronomical standpoint. Ultimately. But again. at least not as widely as is the case. Divine providence or random coincidence. It is not my goal to resolve any differences of opinion regarding the Mayan calendar or prophecies. as we speed rapidly to the fateful date of 2012. Both were inspired by psilocybin mushrooms. we probably would not be talking about 2012 now. There is now a great deal of information available concerning Mayan concepts of time and what they may or may not have prophesized regarding 2012. the fact remains that Terence’s derivations of timewave zero. Daniel Pinchbeck has even taken things a step further with his transmission from Quetzalcoatl. comes to a point on the Winter Solstice of 2012. What that means is a different question entirely and is not one that I will attempt to answer.70 The Entheogenic Evolution amazing job of mapping out the changes and movements of the Earth and the heavenly bodies long before telescopes were ever invented. This chapter is not intended as an exegesis of Mayan culture. they developed sophisticated calendrical systems that are reflected in their religion. architecture. Both are also ultimately concerned with evolution. as does the Mayan calendar. Terence was much more concerned with the I Ching than Mesoamerican calendrical systems or prophesies. Both are based on the philosophy that consciousness and matter are intimately related and that what affects one affects the other. mythology. Their accounts of time seem to come to an end on or around the Winter Solstice of 2012 (variations on the exact date exist due to differences regarding when the calendar is understood to begin its count). ceremonial practices. proclaiming . and both seem to predict some kind of radical change that is soon to occur. My suspicion is that any apocalyptic interpretations of Mayan eschatology and cosmology are likely influenced by early Christian missionaries among the Maya. Chances are good that if Terence had not promulgated his ideas of timewave zero and his psychedelic adventures.
intent. and humanity would take its rightful place in the stars as one of countless species that populate the cosmos in telepathic tryptamine communion. alchemist. We’ve come a long way from Terence and Dennis eating mushrooms and seeing UFOs in South America to a now-widely expected apocalyptic transformation that is supposedly just around the corner that will announce the return of the great Feathered Serpent and the global transmutation of human consciousness. in the Beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. quite literally flying to the stars in UFOs made from the transdimensional linguistic matter of human thought.” and will be the fulfillment of world prophecy. And in communicating this information to the rest of us. While Dennis has distanced himself somewhat from the experiment at La Chorrera and the speculations surrounding timewave zero. As a philosopher. never having become quite the counter-cultural icon that his brother became.Seeds of the Logos 71 that 2012 is the “return of Quetzalcoatl. The Logos is both the word of God as well as God itself. We don’t have long to wait . The Logos is the divine communication that. I’d like to get back to the question of what Terence was thinking. This statement. Terence continued to discuss the question of 2012 up until his death in 2000. and consciousness of the Divine. As he understood it. Terence was very interested in the Logos. bringing messages of the divine from the beyond to help usher in a new age and the end of history. We’ll see. . could become reality. as Terence understood it. largely through the spoken word. and shamanic explorer. not just Mayan prophecy and religious eschatology. shapes and creates reality. Terence understood himself as something of an incarnate form of the Logos. Terence’s interest in the Logos was multifaceted and was integral to his understanding of the ingression of novelty in 2012. It is the medium through which the divine influences reality and creates it according to Will. The Logos is a vehicle of the Will. . As Terence understood it. . But in the meantime. As a thinker. written by the Apostle John (John 1:1) is a direct reference to the Logos. as articulated through the word. thereby ushering in a new age of a profoundly altered reality where thought. the interior of the mind would be made manifest in the world as physical material in an act of near-divine creation. Through sound and language. 2012 was the point at which the Logos would become open to the manipulation of humans. as well as most of the original ideas associated with the timewave. this would be humanity’s introduction into the hypergalactic community. Terence McKenna is highly original and he posits many novel ideas. As stated in the Bible.
Along the way. The Self-Transforming Machine Elves Terence’s tale of the self-transforming machine elves is fairly well known among the informed crowd of the psychedelic community and several different accounts in public lectures and talks freely circulate through the internet. Terence believed that he had experienced some variation on this translinguistic matter while having wild sex on a Himalayan rooftop after smoking DMT. In making these sounds. “Just do it!” they insist. Terence finds himself surrounded by what he calls “self-transforming machine elves. and the alteration of reality.” which he also describes as being like bouncing high-tech basketballs. they set off for the Amazon in search of some strong ayahuasca. merely “tripping”? To attempt an answer. which produces a rapid onset of an intense psychedelic experience. Their experiences convinced Terence that. These strange beings appear to want Terence to manifest physical objects in the same manner as themselves. sound. In this particular journey. “Do not be amazed. Determined to experience this strange phenomenon for themselves. while they had not found the violet psycho-fluid. inspired voice.” the machine-elves tell Terence. as recounted in True Hallucinations. through the use of sound. These bounce into Terence’s chest and then bounce back out as they begin making strange sounds. they start to manifest jeweled objects in empty space. to put it crudely. let us first look at his inspirations. The McKenna brothers had heard of a strange. which they suspected was somehow related to the Logos. they found mushrooms a-plenty at La Chorrera and thus began “the experiment” of working with tryptamine alkaloids. . Translinguistic Psycho-Fluid of the Shamans Terence’s inspiration for all that transpired at La Chorrera began with his and his brother’s quest to experience the translinguistic psychofluid of the shamans. with Terence telling the story in his usual. or was he. The story goes something like this: Terence smokes synthetic DMT. And for the record. they had found the Logos and it was speaking to them through the medium of the mushroom trance.72 The Entheogenic Evolution How did Terence come to this conclusion and is there anything “rational” about his ideas. violet fluid that was rumored to be produced by the ayahuasca using shamans of the Amazon through the use of language and sound while enraptured by the tryptaminecontaining brew.
They are a vast repository of galactic knowledge. According to Terence. concepts of time and space.” Terence often described mushrooms as being “loquacious” in that his mushroom trips were usually accompanied by long discourses.Seeds of the Logos 73 Encounters with the Other through Mushrooms Perhaps the most succinct description of Terence’s understanding of what the mushroom experience is. this was how the mushrooms were perpetuating themselves and achieving a kind of immortality – especially because all the mycelia networks of mushrooms were ultimately a collective mind in constant communication with all parts of itself. meaning beings more like humans: those that have the capacity for thought. They told him that they were inter-galactic travelers and that they lived in symbiotic relationship with “higher” evolutionary beings. but also their collective mind. religion. is that it is an encounter with what he liked to refer to as “the Other. they choose who they want to form symbiotic relationships with and they retain the full knowledge of what was shared in those symbiotic relationships. language. The deal was thus: mushrooms helped higher beings become part of the inter-galactic civilization of sentient beings in exchange for greater dispersion throughout the cosmos. and now. . the mushrooms are extending not only their life. Because of this. In many respects. according to Terence. They’ve given us language. In return. In other words. gaining more and more information about the cosmos and the evolution of other beings on other planets. Furthermore. which is the basis of mushroom existence. According to the mushrooms. culture. They’ve been there and done that. These discourses gave Terence quite specific information about the mushrooms’ identity and role and they were more than happy to share all of this with Terence. they’ve been working in close concert with humans since before the beginnings of our written history. they ask us to take them to other planets once we take our rightful place in the stars among the other evolved beings. seeming to come directly from the “Other” intelligence that inhabits the mushrooms. The mushrooms had a lot to say to Terence. they have a deep knowledge of time and evolution. the mushrooms would impart knowledge of inter-planetary travel in exchange for rides to other planets. the mushrooms were using him as something of a mouthpiece in symbiotic relationship. and intentional manipulation of physical reality. are helping to usher in the latest stage of our evolution into cosmic beings. Thus in traveling to new worlds.
here we come! . the planet. The Other is waiting. according to Terence. seeing the transformational moment as expressed by the mushrooms as part and parcel with Western apocalypticism. and it is us. explore vocalizations. 1993. Nothing is unannounced. this is how the wholly Other “alien” works. The mushrooms are calling us home to our true destiny through psychedelic revelatory waves that encode the unfolding of the very fabric of space and time in which our psychical bodies and incorporeal minds are embedded. As the evolutionary wave of transformation spirals ever inwards. heralding the end of historical time and the world as we know it. manifested in humans. The deeper they passed into the experiment. It is like a god: it is the human god. December 22. and often entertaining. Terence was convinced that the Logos was breaking through and that it would forever change the world. bizarre. True Hallucinations. the transformational moment is calling us forward to the inevitable. 2012 looms large. it is happening. and the cosmos. the divine moment is upon us. pg 151) The Logos. A more perfect Logos would seem to be the result – a Logos able to regulate the activity of the ego as it exists in the sum total of individuals living at any time. calling us to become that which we are not. (McKenna. as recounted in Terence’s book. now only a few short years away. It is calling us into our own otherness. as a function of God. In True Hallucinations. and see what happens. The alien is teaching something through its reinforcement schedule: It is preparing us to confront the God facet of ourselves that our explorations into the nature of life and matter are about to reveal. especially as it is envisioned by Terence: granting us the power to alter reality at will through vocalization and the manifestation of intent. complicated. It is something that will happen to human destiny sometime in the future. he writes: Perhaps this is an indication of the hidden potential of speech to go beyond its normal function of symbolizing reality to actually signifying it. And. and therefore this act of becoming is an encounter with the Other. 2012. History will end and a new day will dawn in symbiotic relationship with the visionary plants.74 The Entheogenic Evolution The Experiment The parameters of the experiment were fairly straightforward for Dennis and Terence: eat lots of mushrooms. would certainly be a confrontation with the God facet of ourselves. and because it will happen. The twists and turns along the way are numerous. the more revelatory Terence’s ideas became. The ontological mode of the higher dimensions into which humanity is being propelled is being anticipated by the singularity that we call the wholly Other or the alien. Like shockwaves traveling back in time.
this revolution in thought regarding time was his development of timewave zero: the fractal ordering of the ingression of novelty into physical reality. 21 as the date. And these kinds of time come and go in cyclical progression on many levels. 22 in True Hallucinations. It would help explain the entropy-defying nature of self-organizing systems such as living beings (a serious problem for standard science which states that entropy is always increasing in a system). Ideas of space have undergone radical transformations in Western thought. Time not only changes. It would help us understand not only where . Knowledge of the fractal cycles of time would give insight into all aspects of existence. McKenna used Dec. These two patterns condition matter. this is a radical idea. is also a thing. (McKenna. revolutionize our ideas of time. 1993. Terence argues that his theories and ideas could. situations evolve as matter responds to the conditioning of time and space. It would shed light on the strange actions of quantum “objects. For other cultures such as the mushroom using Maya.” It would help us to understand both the broad trends and minute details of evolution. that really taught all this.) What Does it All Mean? Fortunately for us. but it was up to Terence to make these ideas accessible to the rest of us through his talks and writings. not just an empty vacuum. 195) Of course for Terence. Science has long been aware of the patterns of space – we call these “natural laws” – but the patterns of time? That is another consideration entirely. For the West. If space is now viewed as a thing. which comes to the zero point of greatest novelty in 2012. let alone their astronomical science. Terence was a reflective thinker and he did his best to spell out what he feels his contributions to philosophy. and phenomenological description are. pg. generation and destruction was a given and formed the basis of their entire culture. What I propose. according to Terence. science. he spells out what he sees as his contribution. which was also previously considered a necessary abstraction. asks Terence. and perhaps should.Seeds of the Logos 75 (Though many references to the Winter solstice for 2012 give Dec. after all. “The Logos provided a narrative voice able to frame and give coherency to the flood of new insights that otherwise would have overwhelmed me. What about time. in a nutshell.” (McKenna. Primarily. 1993. pg 194) and thus he wouldn’t necessarily credit himself – it was the mushroom. there are different kinds of time. As he writes. the idea that time worked in cosmic cycles of creation. then how might we re-envision time? He says. In T r u e Hallucinations. is that time.
he clearly saw the connection as highly significant. but also where we are going. The UFO holds out the possibility of . waiting. the coincidence is no surprise at all. at the end of human history on this planet. be used to predict future events and their impact on reality. and with it a new mind and a new world. In response to his rhetorical question of whether the coincidence was a result of the mushroom consumption by both himself and the Mayans. and as such.76 The Entheogenic Evolution we’ve been. Terence could only communicate what was given to him by his muse. it is what one would expect from those who are consciously tapped into the patterns of the unfolding universe. It is the fulfillment of the evolution of humanity in its current stage of development. and it could. Terence saw this coincidence as a function of the patterns of manifestation of space-time. so were the experiences and thoughts of the Mayans. 2012. he answers that the solution is not so simple. It marks the turning point from history to the collective embrace of the Other and the transmutation of humankind that such a transformation implies. nothing less than the resurrectionbody that Christianity anticipates. Terence saw both as products of the larger structures of the unfolding of the universe. even if it wasn’t going to turn out the way that Terence himself envisioned. there will be an ontological mutation of the human form. the object at the end of history. Terence did not think it an accident that both his theory and the Mayan calendar propose December of 2012 as a significant date. quite literally. It is the fulfillment of religious prophecy and the making of a new body. When it is perfect. the quintessence of the alchemical transmutation of mind and matter. the mushrooms. The coincidence of the end of the Mayan calendar was further supporting evidence that something is going on here. warmly humming. Just as his experience and subsequent thought about the nature of space and time were shaped by the metapattern that is the timewave. the old limits. The flying saucer is an image of the perfected human mind. It is the genius of human technology to master and to serve the energies of life and death and time and space. and the old paradigms. As a recipient of the Logos. Terence’s final vision is that of the UFO. the philosopher’s stone. While Terence did not rest his theories on the Mayan calendar in any way. he still felt that there was something to them. Terence writes: It’s the haunting image of the flying saucer yet again. In fact. such as the proposed end point of December 22nd. While taking his own theories with a good dose of self-effacing humor. Rather. It is the technological transfiguration that marks humanity’s collective awakening and an end to the old ways. One can climb inside it: putting on your mind like a mental wet suit.
Seeds of the Logos mind become object. that better world. or any other species on the planet. pg. . . And when thought becomes mobile and objectified. . do I have the winds of history blowing at my back and really did befriend the Logos and learn the secret of the universe. . and a map to. There is very little room to maneuver between those two positions. I was extremely fortunate to have briefly glimpsed a strange. in the chaos at La Chorrera? I honestly confess that I do not know . (McKenna. At the very least. for that matter. 202) 77 Terence’s final thoughts in the epilogue of True Hallucinations are also quite telling of the view that he had of his work and the oftenoutrageous propositions the he has seeded about the counter-culture. he could also be completely right. his thoughts might begin to change the way people thought about space. Of course. is both a prophecy concerning. . and if his ideas could help inspire the self-reflection and questioning needed to break the old paradigms and give birth to the new ones. beautiful. Because that is what the universe is – a thought. . The timewave. created over years of work. I am in the absurd position of being either an unsung Newton or completely nuts. time. or at least one of many secrets. The old systems are collapsing around us and the biosphere as a whole suffers from our over-indulgences and excesses as we busily go about our business of taking what we can and destroying all else in the process. then his task will have served its purpose. He states: My position is interesting but not enviable. He certainly felt that something was needed in the grand scheme of humanity. for certainly anyone could see that things are not necessarily fairing well for our species. The timewave paints a radical picture of how time works and what history is. . . then humanity – novices in the mastery of thought – will begin to set out. Terence was privy to this knowledge a bit before the rest of us. Terence hoped for something to change. Because the major idea to emerge out of this experience is the timewave and the computer software that supports it. . and better sort of world and to have made a marvelous pact with the alien gods who dwell there. Knowing that he was far from conventional. and through the mysterious grace of the loquacious mushrooms. and human evolution. . he hoped that at best. . a ship that can cross the universe in the time it takes to think about it. . Yet if my sense of a special destiny and a way to save the world from the more dangerous and vulgar parts of itself is a delusion then it is a grand delusion and one that is dying in me only slowly and by inches . That I am . and 2012 might be exactly what he says it is going to be: a great transformational moment at the end of history. 1993. . It provides a map of the global ebb and flow of novelty over the next twenty years and it also makes a prediction of a major transformational event in 2012 .
Seeing what he did. His concluding thoughts in his epilogue express the reflections of a man moved by the plight of the Earth and the current crises facing humanity – crises that are only sure to get worse.78 The Entheogenic Evolution an unworthy vessel for such high-minded work. beckoning across the landscape of our history. the Logos. the psychedelic community. the mathematics of the timewave. writings. and even mainstream culture. Terence strove to embody the divine inspiration of the Logos and paint a picture of transformation and hope. giving birth to the archaic revival. Even if we see nothing else of value in Terence’s work. for he made his final journey in 2000. not from this side of the divide between life and death. Daniel Pinchbeck and Quetzalcoatl In the time since the publication of The Invisible Landscape and the subsequent promotion of the ideas in that work through lectures and other writings. the . But the job has been more than I could do. I still cannot say that it shall not be. However. we can certainly see a man who was acutely aware of the state of the world and the dire corner we’ve done such an excellent job of painting ourselves into. most of the derivative work on the question of 2012 has not focused on the specific content of the work of the McKennas. the ideas first begun by Terence and Dennis McKenna have found fertile ground in the minds of countercultural adherents. (McKenna. Twenty years after the experiment at La Chorrera. at least. My hope is that I may bear witness to the fact that there is a great mystery calling to us all. time and history. promising to realize itself and to give real meaning to what is otherwise only the confusion of our lives and our collective past. I am sure. the rebirth of psychedelic shamanism as a viable mode of inquiry into matter and spirit. Terence will not bear witness to what might be. mind and body. I have tried to make these transcendent fantasies return to normal and take their place in the mundane and dying worldview in which we all are imprisoned by late twentieth-century culture. 1993. My fear is that if these ideas are less than true then our world is destined for a very final and ordinary death. save some miraculous transformation. and ideas. for reason has grown too feeble to save us from the demons we have set loose. pages 225227) Sadly.
2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. or even an apocalypse of some sort. Pinchbeck has gone to great lengths to explore the idea of a global transformation of consciousness and awakening as espoused by Terence and has conducted a wide-ranging research program into the concepts of apocalypse and prophecy. along with his own personal voyages into psychedelic states.” as this would seem to be his primary personal contribution to prophetic thought regarding the possibilities and potentials of 2012. who has expanded on many of the themes first expressed by Terence McKenna. so much as it has been inspired by their work and their ideas in the sense that 2012 has now become a widely publicized moment of unimaginable transition. Pinchbeck’s voice has become increasingly significant in the ongoing cultural discussion of the possibilities and probabilities of what may or may not happen on the fateful date. has taken up the mantel of leading psychedelic explorer and thinker. the idea that has seen the most traction is the Mayan calendar connection to 2012. despite the fact that this was a coincidental detail in the McKennas’ work and was in no way central to their arguments or fundamental ideas. in 2006. which was something of a travelogue with Pinchbeck recounting his journeys around the world to experience different psychedelic plants in various shamanic and ritualistic contexts. As an avid proponent of the issue of 2012. transformation of consciousness. He recently followed up this 2002 publication with the more prophetically titled work. Recently. With Pinchbeck’s work. Being a journalist.. Pinchbeck’s works have now brought him to the forefront of the psychedelic vanguard. Pinchbeck ended Breaking Open the Head with the hint of apocalyptic change and transformation which then set him out on a path to explore these ideas more fully in his subsequent work.Seeds of the Logos 79 UFO at the end of history. Pinchbeck does an excellent job of compiling many diverse subjects and ideas together in a clean and compelling narrative fashion. and more. not the least of which is the Mayan calendar’s proposition of 2012 as being the end of “time” as it is currently understood. Specifically. . wherein he specifically addresses the question of 2012. etc. In many respects. Pinchbeck began his research on psychedelics and shamanism with the book. astrology. with additional information presented on crop circles. and the fulfillment of various prophecies. Daniel Pinchbeck. A journalist by trade. Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism. Much of the material in 2012 was also presented in Breaking Open the Head. what I am most interested in is what Terence might call the workings of the Logos. nanotechnology. I am interested in exploring Pinchbeck’s “Quetzalcoatl transmission.
. Pinchbeck sees the archetype of the Feathered Serpent as representing this fundamental change in our awareness and the fulfillment of cross-cultural prophecies. as well as adds Pinchbeck’s own focus on the figure of Quetzalcoatl. or age. From the limits of our current chaotic and uneasy circumstances. the conclusion of a world age and the beginning of the next. corresponding to our new level of mind. this date signifies the end of a “Great Cycle” of more than five thousand years. Terence saw the sum total of his work as being the work of the Logos. a new intensity of awareness that will manifest as a different understanding. Not only will mind change. situation on the Earth. institutions. In the opening pages of 2012 he writes: This book advances a radical theory: that human consciousness is rapidly transitioning to a new state. By this thesis. of time and space and self. this process may well resemble an advance toward a harmonic. the completing of the Great Cycle was associated with the return of the Mesoamerican deity Quetzalcoatl. perhaps even utopian. “Sovereign Plumed Serpent. with the exception of his transmission from Quetzalcoatl. development. is fairly dire. 2006. If . most rational observers would agree. and the beginning of another. .” depicted in sculptures and temple friezes as a fusion of bird and snake. at least as a general theme. the transformation of our consciousness will lead to the rapid creation. and societies are to change as well to fit with our new awakened mentality. The hypothesis that I propose is that the completion of the Great Cycle and the return of Quetzalcoatl are archetypes.80 The Entheogenic Evolution Pinchbeck begins 2012 with a statement of theory that clearly harkens back to the work of the McKennas. a transformed realization. While Terence proposed that this radical change would be embodied in the archetype of the UFO and our entrance into the galactic community. Traditionally. if not specifically. According to the sacred calendar of the Mayan and Toltec civilizations of Mesoamerica. which. (Pinchbeck. the transition is already under way – though largely subliminally – and will become increasingly evident as we approach the year 2012. but he also saw the mushrooms as speaking through him and the ideas that he was sharing with the world. If this theory is correct. Not only did the mushrooms speak to him and instruct him. and their underlying meaning points toward a shift in the nature of the psyche. This transition and transformation will be so significant that it will appear to be the ending of one world. Pinchbeck does not seem to take up such a radical position. and dissemination of new institutions and social structures. pages 1-2) We can easily recognize the general theme of transformation of consciousness that will somehow serve to lift us out of our current situation. culture. representing the union of spirit and matter . but our collective reality.
I am also the Tzaddik – "the righteous one" and the "gatherer of the sparks" of the Qabalah – as well as the "Once and Future King" promised by Arthurian legend. 2012. from the depths of cosmic space. I do not let anything interrupt me in my quest for truth – neither fear nor indifference. is as follows: I am an avatar and messenger sent at the end of a kalpa. in the Mayan period. the Logos was much more specific in working through Pinchbeck. Soon there will be a great change to your world. poverty nor cynicism. the Tibetan Buddha of Compassion. The Quetzalcoatl Transmission The transmission. to bring a new dispensation for humanity – a new covenant. The material reality that surrounds you is beginning to crack apart. by comparison. as finally compiled by Pinchbeck and found in his work. and a new consciousness. Pinchbeck was receiving visions of a jeweled and feathered serpent along with single-sentence transmissions that he laboriously worked into a complete narrative prophecy announcing the return of Quetzalcoatl. Pinchbeck’s transmission from Quetzalcoatl came in conjunction with his work with the Santo Daime tradition. As foretold. reassembling the component parts. Appearing toward the very end of the book. I practice warrior discipline. Quetzalcoatl is an archetypal "god form" that occasionally takes human rebirth to accomplish a specific mission. During this period. I am the same spirit who appeared here. In the realm of thought. primarily. The global capitalist system that is currently devouring your planetary resources will soon self-destruct. 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. as Quetzalcoatl and incarnated at various other points in human history. Pinchbeck wrote down most of the Quetzalcoatl transmission either when he was with the Santo Daime or upon his return journey from his time in the forest with the ayahuasca. a world age. the sparks of thought. . But understand the nature of paradox: For those who follow my words and open their hearts and their minds – for those who have "ears to hear" – there is no problem whatsoever. and with it all of your illusions. that make up my being – which is. Like Avaloshkitevara. piece by piece and bit by bit. As gravity draws matter to it. using religion. leaving many of you bereft.Seeds of the Logos 81 Terence was an inspired embodiment of the Logos and his work is the product of the Logos. What is false must die so what is true can be born. a form or vibrational level of consciousness. or daime. I have pulled myself back into manifestation in this realm.
to be human is to be free. This universe has no origin and no end. I accept the logic and necessity of the Christ consciousness. For those who have gained knowledge of the nature of time. or let us say an interface. The materiality of your universe is a solid-state illusion. in their turn. "Reality. What is this universe? It is a poem that writes itself. When you eliminate fear and attachment. right now. Consciousness is technology – the only technology that exists. So why not give the process your joyful assent? I am in complete harmony. What are those shadows that crowd around you? They are the unintegrated aspects of your own psyche. Apocalypse. there are no entities – there is neither being. as well." But either formulation is correct. For those who are ready and willing. Hell is a state of mind. in fact. a few years – even a few days. living at the time of revelation. and two planetary states. is something like a waking dream. . with the Tibetan tradition of Dzogchen. the doors to those other levels now stand open. surrender. the Golden Age – these are all states of mind. a minute – can be an eternity. projected into material form. What you are currently experiencing as the accelerated evolution of technology can now be recognized for what it is: A transition between two forms of consciousness. From the perspective of nondual awareness. I resonate. the Kali Yuga. to the will of God – a more polite way of saying this is "Go with the flow. As a rational intelligence. Love can only be given in freedom. Those who have expended their lives in the pursuit of egocentric and material gains – without courage or originality. that we should love one another as we are loved. time exists only to be wasted – as they too will be wasted.82 The Entheogenic Evolution You are. It is a projection. and in the process of transformation to higher or lower states. The first principle of my being is unconditional love. Whatever you do. you are always submitting to God’s will. you attain the Golden Age. so that all can be known. when you self-liberate." as you currently experience it. with the essence of Islam. Islam means submission. resist as you think you might. You stand at the edge of the Abyss. without fighting for human freedom or the preservation of the planetary environment – will also receive the rewards that they deserve. For those sleepwalking through reality. The word "Apocalypse" means "uncovering" – and in these last clock ticks of this world age. You have just a few years yet remaining to prepare the vehicle for your higher self. nor nonbeing. Love and devotion are vibrational frequencies that maintain reality. It is a song that sings itself into being. The Apocalypse. Use them preciously. Everything in this universe is conscious at its own level. and the fulfillment of prophecy. at the same time. therefore. uncovered. all must be revealed. disguising deeper and more intensified levels of being and knowing. samsara is nirvana. Ultimately. Let there be no doubt.
" Quetzalcoatl. 1966 – 6/66 – "count the number of the Beast: for it is the number of the man. the electric current of sexual energy that powers the universe. The original matrix of this new world reality is the ecstatic limitlessness of your own being. cosmic illusion." The Beast prophesied is the "feathered serpent. daemonic beauty. in His greatness. As there are no conceivable limits to this task. but immanent. simultaneously. the vehicle notes that his birthday fell in June. Underlying all are great cosmic entities or vibrational fields. Thought changes the nature of time. and worship Shakti. who clothes God’s thoughts in material form. The task of human existence is to transform the Earth. and telluric transformation." It is here and now. alternately at play or at rest. In the Qabalah. It is up to the individual to find his way through the ideas presented here – of course he is entirely free to ignore them altogether. the virtue one seeks to establish on the "Earth Plane" is discrimination. He certainly did not expect this to be the case. It is not "somewhere out there. My "doctrine" is not transcendent. We go deeper into the physical to reach the infinite. The writer of this work is the vehicle of my arrival – my return – to this realm. the god-form Quetzalcoatl still seeks to puzzle out the workings of these deeper forces – hence the reason for his return to your realm. The vehicle of my arrival has been brought to an awareness of his situation in sometimes-painful increments and stages of resistance – and this book will follow the evolution of his learning process. What began as a quest to understand prophecy has become the fulfillment of prophecy. As a philosopher. to reconcile spirit and matter in this realm. Those who prefer to reject all of this out of hand are welcome to do so. The return of Quetzalcoatl foreshadows the imminent closing of the cycle and the completion of the Great Work. This world – any world – is the ground for a certain level of being. and freedom from time. pages 367-370) . embrace paradoxes. has granted us a project that is without limit and without end. Thought generates new potentials and possibilities of manifestation. I naturally deify the goddess principle. The vehicle of my arrival had to learn to follow synchronicities. as an aid to the reader’s understanding. All are invited to participate with them. and solve puzzles. Thought changes the nature of reality. I venerate Sophia. 2006. and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. He had to enter into a new way of thinking about time and space and consciousness.Seeds of the Logos 83 This universe spontaneously self-organizes into higher levels of consciousness and wisdom. The current transition is. What manifests outward from the ground of being is freedom in time. Thinking is a part of reality. Not satisfied with mere enlightenment. But be forewarned: The End of Time approaches. God. (Pinckbeck. Almost apologetically. deity of wisdom. He and his kind have been granted this world for their continued exploration – made with loving reverence – of the many layers of galactic intelligence. a return to origin.
We can also see a very personal reference to Pinchbeck himself as being the “vehicle” for Quetzalcoatl’s return as a “god form” in a human incarnation. Love is the very vibration that holds reality together. 2012. we will begin to experience a different world and start to see things in a new light. Rather. . When we embrace this new vision collectively. the book itself. Given that thought creates reality. we are to use our own discrimination in deciding what in Pinchbeck’s tale is of value and true. Pinchbeck’s experience of the Logos is far more ecumenical and universal in its inclusion of many specific religious references and its explicit incorporation of apocalyptic prophecy. Indeed. As Pinchbeck tells his readers at the outset of his book. the question of “truth” is perhaps not necessarily so important. is presented to us. like Pinchbeck. resistance. he is not asking anyone to believe anything. embraced by divine love and given form in absolute freedom. for it will be a reconciliation with our true natures as spiritual beings in the manifest world. It begins with personal transformation when we personally embrace a new way of looking at and contemplating our place in the world. we will begin to transform society and the institutions that we create to perpetuate our vision of the world. With our personal transformation. and isolation. having an open mind is the first step toward a new way of thinking and subsequently creating a new world. Really what we’re considering is more a style of thought. our collective experience of reality will begin to change as well. or create it in fear. Whereas McKenna seemed to be speaking for the mushrooms. As a model for a way of thinking. This new vision will be grounded in love and freedom. In the above we can easily see references to most of the major religious traditions of the world in both philosophies and prophetic pronouncements. Pinchbeck appears to be speaking directly for Quetzalcoatl. he is asking them to take an open mind and consider the possibilities. And once a new way of thinking is galvanized and actualized in enough people.84 The Entheogenic Evolution Unlike McKenna. And as discerning readers. Our recognition and acceptance of that love is the embodiment of our own Christ Consciousness and our manifestation of that love is through our free will. through our choices and our actions. as the map for how Pinchbeck came to his new revelatory understanding of the nature of reality and what is currently occurring to our world through the transformation of consciousness. Pinchbeck’s personal journey into the heart of prophecy and shamanic consciousness is here presented as a model through which others can come to understand the nature of the shift in consciousness that Quetzalcoatl is speaking of. We are therefore free to create our world in surrender to divine Will and love and connection. and inquiry. Furthermore. and new connections and revelations. questioning. power and wisdom. with new meaning. the readers.
and even then. histories. The god form of Quetzalcoatl is returning now because something has to change if we are to survive the problems and crises we have so masterfully created for ourselves. While Pinchbeck provides us with a universal picture of Quetzalcoatl as having resonance with a variety of religious traditions. The path to liberation necessitates that we own. we will undoubtedly have to suffer the consequences. Our struggles are the embodiments of the “unintegrated” aspects of our psyche – those things that we have disowned in ourselves and created out of fear. Pinchbeck does not give us many details on this question and instead leaves us with vague and general references to Quetzalcoatl as being “from the Mayan period. attachment. one would have to look deeply into Mesoamerican cultures. But within this spiritualized view of history and culture. but this is not the path that Pinchbeck takes. A question that comes to my mind is: who is Quetzalcoatl. Through such resolution. not as Pinchbeck characterizes the archetype in this transmission from the Logos. surrender and trust. agrees with Islamic surrender. one might think that we should be given a few more details about this character from the original context in which it was developed. For whatever reason. the return of Quetzalcoatl will be accomplished and the world will transform. integrate and transform these negative and destructive elements of our psyche into the universal vibration of love and connection. selfaggrandizement and desire. is the Once and Future King. To truly get a complete answer. the crises themselves are seen as the necessary preparation and inspiration for us to take the next stage. and more. something that we do not get from the transmission is an account of who or what Quetzalcoatl is in the original indigenous context of Mesoamerican cultures.Seeds of the Logos 85 The choice is ours.” but not much more. History has reached a point where this choice has been forced upon us by our collective choices and actions that have brought us to this precipice. and traditions. though if we choose poorly. philosophies. Our path to awakening must include a resolution and reconciliation with our dark side and the destructive forces we have unleashed on our world and on ourselves. Given that Pinchbeck is announcing Quetzalcoatl’s return. but as understood in an indigenous context? Perhaps Pinchbeck stayed away from this question due to the fact that a simple answer is not forthcoming. resonates with Tibetan Dzogchen. but we don’t learn what Quetzalcoatl meant and represented originally in Mesoamerica. it is more likely that one would come up with multiple and perhaps contradictory characterizations and explanations of Quetzalcoatl rather than . embracing our freedom from fear and isolation. We are informed that Quetzalcoatl is Christ Consciousness. and archetypes.
and we can take it or leave it. a new dispensation. as we are told in the transmission. and I’m also convinced that this context is terribly instructive. It doesn’t really matter. as Quetzalcoatl tells us through Pinchbeck. at least one characterization of Quetzalcoatl resonates quite profoundly with the message given to us through Pinchbeck’s work. and that is what he has communicated to the rest of us. this is a new covenant. Pinchbeck gives us a few pages of ethnographic details. rather than a scholarly analysis of a Mesoamerican deity. but then moves on. for spiritual inspiration need not be factually “true” or “correct” for it to still be inspirational and instructive. unnecessary. Early on in 2012. for nothing in the cultural history of the concept of Quetzalcoatl would invalidate Pinchbeck’s direct experience. Who Quetzalcoatl might be outside of the immediate context might be irrelevant. came at a time when he was feeling particularly spiritually inspired by the Santo Daime tradition. occasionally returning to the cultural contexts in scattered references throughout the work without attempting a complete picture. for. Coincidentally or not. The fact remains that Pinchbeck wrote this transmission from his direct experience with entheogens and altered states of consciousness. It is to this characterization that we will now turn in order to come to a more complete understanding of this archetype that Pinchbeck claims is ushering in a new age for us all. The message is what it is. who the Mayans thought Quetzalcoatl was or represented. given that Pinchbeck was making an inspirational and prophetic point. the message had to come to Pinchbeck in a way he could understand and resonate with. .86 The Entheogenic Evolution one uniform picture. one could argue. I’m still interested in the indigenous context for Quetzalcoatl. As a recipient of spiritual inspiration. and to some extent. Such an analysis was clearly beyond the scope and purpose of Pinchbeck’s book. Be that as it may. and as we will discuss below.
” quetzal. it was originally a picture book.” though this is not entirely accurate. he associates Quetzalcoatl with the “Mayan period. As a Mesoamerican archetypal deity. Quetzalcoatl is one of many deities. In the Aztec pantheon. Their destruction was part of the conversion program of the Catholics to save the indigenous peoples from their heathen ways and served both religious and cultural assimilation and genocide.” coatl. the name for this deity was Kukulkan in their language. Quetzalcoatl literally translates as “feather. fearful of the “satanic” knowledge that they held. The fact that intimate knowledge of an ancient Aztec codex made it through such terrible times all the way to the present day is similar to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls or the Nag Hammadi Library and the light that they shed on competing versions of early Christianity. one is tempted to say that these teachings have found their way back now for a reason. and “serpent. Quiché. Pyramid of Fire – The Lost Aztec Codex: Spiritual Ascent at the End of Time. The Pyramid of Fire text gives us an unparalleled understanding of this enlightenment quality of Quetzalcoatl. all of whom serve different metaphysical and spiritual principles.” The name comes from the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs. Out of all the gods. Quetzalcoatl had other names in other cultures and was not exclusive to the Aztecs. Once again. Quetzalcoatl is the one most closely associated with humans and is intimately tied to the spiritual awakening of humans and therefore is the archetype of enlightenment and higher consciousness. Within a spiritualized and synchronistic view of the universe.Seeds of the Logos 87 The Pyramid of Fire The characterization of Quetzalcoatl to which I am referring is found in the work by John Major Jenkins and Martin Matz. we have the return to daylight of significant religious texts and teachings that the Catholic Church tried mightily to destroy and keep hidden. The majority of Aztec books were either destroyed or confiscated by Inquisition-era Catholics. Among the Mayans. As a text. . and is therefore known as the “Feathered Serpent. Martin Matz was a beat poet who found himself apprenticed to a Mazatec shaman in Mexico who was the latest in a long line of tradition keepers preserving the knowledge of an Aztec codex. In the transmission received by Pinchbeck. containing rich and intricate symbolism that could only be properly interpreted by one who had been trained to “read” the book. or picture book.
Only a keeper of that particular text would be able to see the images and call to mind the proper discourse that accompanies it and provide the correct exegesis of the complex spiritual and metaphysical teachings contained therein. which is the closest approximation to how the text would be rendered in Nahuatl as an instructive performance piece. Unlike a text with actual written words. since the primary focus of the text is on the spiritual ascent of man. an Aztec text could not be read by just anyone. different gods and archetypal forces are named and identified along with their associations with different spiritual or cosmological principles. Placement of images on the page and the relationship depicted between images is crucial in such form of communication and no detail is accidental or purely for aesthetic purposes.88 The Entheogenic Evolution Nahuatl. While the entire text should be read as one piece in order to fully grasp the significance of the teachings. A discussion of gender differences in Aztec spirituality is beyond the scope of our purposes here and therefore will not be directly addressed. as will be seen below. calendrical systems. the god who directly governs the spiritual life and is the archetype of awakening and transformation. if the opportunity . like other Native American languages. While the entire text is rich and instructive. In Nahuatl writing. pictures and symbols are used to convey complex and multivalent meanings. I have edited this down to the most relevant sections pertaining to spiritual development and Quetzalcoatl. for each detail encodes the knowledge that is communicated through the text. describing the cosmological makeup of the universe. Matz learned the poetic recounting of the text and transcribed it into English. Asia. Throughout the text. Becoming Quetzalcoatl The following text is Martin Matz’s poetic rendition of the Pyramid of Fire. the Mazatec shaman who took him in just happened to be trained in the exegesis of the Pyramid of Fire text. Learning to read such a text was a process of becoming intimately familiar with the oral tradition associated with the actual text. was never a written language in the way that writing developed in Europe. The text itself is rich in meaning. and for us. though it should certainly be noted). Fortunately for Martin Matz. the main figure of the text is Quetzalcoatl. The proper way of “reading” the text could only be directly passed on from one initiate to another. However. we will focus on the teachings that relate most directly to the figure of Quetzalcoatl. and the Middle East. writing it down in the form of poetry. and the spiritual life of man (the text is decidedly masculine in its articulation of spiritual principles. solar system. I do recommend that interested readers read the entire text.
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presents itself. For this reading, keep in mind that any references to serpents, feathers, or wings, are all references to Quetzalcoatl, the “Plumed Serpent,” and symbolize spiritual aspects of human consciousness. This first section that we are considering (which is in fact page 6 of the original text) describes “two classes of men.” The distinction is clearly between the enlightened man and the man who does not awaken to spiritual truth. The text reads:
On the Earth exists the worlds of nature: The informal life of waters, trees, insects, animals, And two classes of men. One class is the ordinary man, naked, inert, always menaced by death’s darts. The other class is the superior man. In the shade of the altar The maguey spines of penance become for him The wings of the soul And in his hands he harmonizes the four states of matter. He has achieved consciousness. He has achieved the power of Truth and can act. He is! The other man is like an agonized animal Tied to the tree from which he eats. He gives his vital energy to Tecciztecatl, the Moon, While his body is eaten by Tlaltecuhtli, the Earth. So everything devours and is devoured, eats and is eaten In the cosmic hierarchy. Plants eat from minerals and are eaten by animals. The animals eat plants and in their turn are eaten by the Earth. So does man, as animal organism, devour plants And is devoured by Earth in due time. And if he is only body, he has no other destiny. But the superior man feeds on sacrifice; he develops his soul And his soul becomes food for Tonatiuh, the Sun. So, as the maguey spines rest on the straw bed, The soul of the liberated man rests on the Hill of Heaven. (Jenkins and Matz, 2004, pg 75)
From this first passage we can see that Aztec philosophy made a very clear distinction between one who is conscious, and one who is unconscious, or unawakened to their true spiritual nature. Here, the awakened one is distinguished by his consciousness and his act of sacrifice. The text does not explain what kind of sacrifice is necessary at this point, so it is an issue that we will return to below. However, we can see that through
The Entheogenic Evolution
sacrifice the awakened one is able to “develop” his soul, and ultimately return his soul to the sun. The liberated man self-sacrifices himself to the sun, thereby escaping the ordinary death that awaits all those who have not self-liberated. For the ordinary man, an ordinary death awaits him, trapped in the illusory lunar cycles of creation, growth, and destruction of the manifest world, forever caught in the circle of life and death as are all other ordinary creatures. Only one who has awakened to spiritual truth and escapes this endless cycle and return his soul to the sun, which here is representative of the very source of life, the spiritual center of existence. Returning to the sun is a symbol for returning to Source, returning to the original Origin of all things. It is the conscious mystical absorption back into the One, the Divine Source. The next page of the text, page 7 expounds further on this spiritual ecology and the fates of the two types of man:
Man is born through Tlazolteotle, the Mother Earth, In her Ixcuina disguise as Consumer of Waste, As she who takes into herself everything that dies And putrefies it and re-creates it, renewing herself incessantly And renewing all that grows upon her. She carries her dead skin while a new one grows underneath. Over near the entrance to the kingdom of Matter Is the germ or symbol of the man to be born He emerges from the Mother Earth into the world of men, But Tezcatlipoca, the Falcon Herald of the Gods, is also there. Over his head is the symbol of the Milky Way, Over his chest is the solar disk, and in his hands are the wings of the soul of man, the offering of the gods at birth. And between the Mother Earth and the Herald of Heaven is found the symbol of the dual nature of man: the earthly centipede of his spinal column interlaced With the celestial serpent of consciousness that can inhabit him. And again, under to the left, we see that which remains When the wings of the serpent have flown: The heart of the dead warrior, his head over the altar, And the skull of the dead prisoner on the cranium stake, Because life will return to its source And the soul will return to its beginning (Jenkins and Matz, 2004, pages 76-77)
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In this passage we once again see the differentiation between the ordinary man and the liberated man, here depicted as the warrior and the prisoner. Both kinds of men are born of the Mother Earth, and as such are subject to the laws of growth and decay, as are all material things. However, the gods have also given man a gift that they have placed at his origin: the gods have given man wings. In his dual nature as both ordinary and liberated, man is represented by two symbols: the centipede and the serpent. The centipede is the consciousness of the ordinary man, bound to the ecological and biological cycles of the Earth. The serpent, however, can earn, when enlivened and activated through sacrifice, the wings that the gods have placed back in the origins of man, bringing the warrior back to his celestial origins in the divine light of the Sun, or the Divine Source. The warrior has fought and sacrificed his own heart on the altar to achieve his liberation, whereas the ordinary man dies like a prisoner, forever caught in the cycles of growth and decay. The next page, page 8, describes this distinction yet again, this time in metaphysical and cosmological terms, providing us with a spatial image of the tree of life and the relationship between the different forces of life, death, and manifestation of the constituent parts of matter and the makeup of a man. The process of liberation is movement upon the tree of life, climbing up, returning to source.
Man climbs the tree of life between Tonatiuh, the Sun, And Mictlantecuhtli, Lord of the Hells and of Death. At the foot of the tree that grows between the symbols that represent earth, air, water, and fire, The constituent parts that intervened in his conception are reunited: the semen with which his parents engendered him, the pig of personality, the eagle of spirit, and in a basket spotted with stars, the bones of mortality and the wings of the soul. The summit of the tree is Death where shines the Sun itself, The Midnight Sun from which radiate the four paths or ways, From here surge the wings of the soul finally liberated, While above, each of his various parts, separated by death, Runs to its destiny. To the left, to the fields of death, goes the corpse draped in flesh, The beast that returns to the root of the tree. To the right, to the side of Life, goes the serpent of consciousness That came from the Sun and to the Sun returns, The spirit by which man is transfigured in the stellar world. And over all, the Milky Way of innumerable suns.
The Entheogenic Evolution
(Jenkins and Matz, 2004, pages 78-79)
This passage makes clear that the process of liberation is intimately tied to consciousness. With this picture of the tree of life, we can see that the while the physical body of the liberated man, made of various constituent parts, returns to the “root of the tree,” meaning that it returns back to the physical process of growth and decay, the consciousness of the liberated man is able to ascend to the Sun via his winged celestial serpent. Through the conscious act of awakening, consciousness itself returns to its source. The physical body still dies and putrefies while the mind liberates itself. This is not automatic, however. Only one who has consciously cultivated his spiritual awakening will be able to liberate himself in this manner. And it is not a matter of being saved or receiving any divine grace. The gods do not intercede to insure that humans will be liberated. It is the responsibility of men to liberate themselves, for the power to do so, to realize their divine nature and their ultimate identity with Source, was given to man at the beginning. The gift of awakening was already given. Therefore, there is nothing for the gods to do. Awakening is the responsibility of individuals, not the gods. The only liberation is selfliberation. Divine grace is not given out according to merit or righteousness or faith – it is a gift given to all who are willing to sacrifice themselves and earn their own liberation. Anyone can do it, but it takes true commitment and bravery to subject oneself to the process of spiritual transformation. This makes the spiritual aspirant a warrior and a hero, fighting against the flow of the manifest world to retrieve his wings and make his ascent to the Sun. As the text reads on page 9, this process is watched over by the god Tlaloc, God of Celestial Water:
Tlaloc, God of Celestial Water, god of the vapor that rises From the earth warmed by the sun after the rains, God of the mist that ascends from the valleys at dawn, God of the water that returns to its source in the clouds that swim Over the highest peaks, god of the humid incense from which rise the copal prayers and the prayers of sacrifice. Tlaloc is the return of vapor that strains to rise, Is the return of time that strains to remember. Tlaloc, God of the Fight Against the Current, With whose aid the hero battles against the torrent Toward his own origin and beginning, Toward the wings of his soul,
And from the digestion of this venom grows the wings of the spirit. Effort sacrifice. . the plumed serpent. the power of the Sun Itself. air. Because Quetzalcoatl is god who permeates man And is the man that achieves God. water. in this serpent is hidden his divinity. Quetzalcoatl is God in the form of a human. becomes venomous. moves between gods and men. The Plumed Serpent is born when that which slithers over the Earth Grows wings to be elevated to Heaven. But in their hearts and in their semen. In the way that Quetzalcoatl is described in page 10 of the codex. page 81) 93 Though Tlaloc oversees this process of ascent. From this serpent his wings will grow.Seeds of the Logos The wings that Tlaloc hides in the hero’s past. . we can see that the archetype of Quetzalcoatl is similar to the archetype of a Buddha. . The hero learns a great secret by knowledge. The energy spits from her. the inner circle of humanity. through becoming the spiritual warrior. the aspirant comes to embody not Tlaloc. but Quetzalcoatl. the energy of Tonatiuh. just as Christ was God in Man and Buddha was awakened to the true reality of the Buddha Mind. each man has his own coatl. The link between gods and men. The ordinary man cannot conserve it or utilize it. Quetzalcoatl. fire . And in this serpent sleeps consciousness. He sheaths his serpent incisors And makes her swallow her own venom. His own serpent. then one can become Quetzalcoatl. and love. All men are made of earth. It shoots within and without and creates the two-headed serpent. the Plumed Serpent. Quetzalcoatl is a superior man. 2004. In the ordinary man the serpent has but one head – hurting and cruel. or attaining Christ Consciousness. But he who searches learns to turn the serpent inward And the serpent wounds the enemy that it carries within itself. When one awakens to the spiritual reality and masters the forces of one’s heart and desires and realizes his true nature as a divine being. (Jenkins and Matz. Quetzalcoatl is the archetype of the fully realized being. And lacking control of the energy of Tonatiuh And its gift of consciousness.
Though the “enemy” is not specifically identified here. May Itzli. this energy moves outward from the physical form and is spent in the world of material forms. But to liberate this energy. Obsidian Knife. 2004. sacrifice and love. 2004.94 The Entheogenic Evolution Quetzalcoatl. contemplation. sacrifice is necessary. This energy within is directly related to the energy of life and consciousness as given by the Sun. is that through self-sacrifice. Man must sacrifice the desires and habits that he adores. the spiritual aspirant gains immortality. Sacrifice them in himself. but not the ordinary man. and if man releases it. and effort. He becomes immortal. through discipline. There is an occult energy in the heart that comes from Tonatiuh. This enemy is his ego. It is the divinity that is realized by one who has taken the divine energy of his being and life and turned it inward. Then. liberate my heart. as we learn from the next passage. the Plumed Serpent. we are told that overcoming this enemy is equivalent to growing the wings of the soul and is the birth of Quetzalcoatl. this energy must be conserved and turned inwards. He moves between gods and men. (Jenkins and Matz. Quetzalcoatl is God awakened in man. Lord of Fire. effort. For the spiritual warrior. that keeps his heart a prisoner … It is the self within ourselves that we have to sacrifice. forever trapped in the process of growth and decay. the source of life. the Plumed Serpent. pages 84 – 85) We now have a fairly good idea of what the archetype or god-form is that is embodied in the figure of Quetzalcoatl. It is our own heart that has to be torn out of the false being And offered to the light May Xiuhtecuhtli. pages 82-83) In the passage above we see that the venom of the celestial serpent that resides within man is described as both an energy and as venom. has been born in him. When used improperly. Overcoming this enemy is also tantamount to learning a great secret through knowledge. The secret. and turn the knife against the enemy That he carries within himself. returning it consciously to the Sun. the energy of the serpent can be used as a venom against the “enemy” within. (Jenkins and Matz. his sense of . to sacrifice the enemy within himself. burn my false being. The Sun.
an illusion. But to get there. The ego imprisons the heart of the spiritual aspirant. and it is the gift that has been given to all of us. spirit and being. If you want to be awakened. nor is it a list of beliefs or items of faith that one must come to accept to be saved or granted the grace of the gods. There is no other way. we transcend the limited barriers of ego-generated illusion by realizing the divine identity that is immanent within us from the beginning of time. somewhere “out there.Seeds of the Logos 95 self as created by his habits and desires. or a Quetzalcoatl. we become immortal. just as is Buddha or Christ. and certainly Pinchbeck . By realizing our identity with that. but Spirit. The text of the Pyramid of Fire is clearly concerned with the production of direct spiritual experience in individuals. The ego and the body must die. you become Quetzalcoatl. it is an effort that you must make yourself. habits. The Feathered Serpent is not some god on high.” It is the god that we become when we awaken. The true path to liberation is selfliberation through direct spiritual experience and awakening. There is no effort here to convert or save anyone else. thereby producing the realization of unity with the divine. one must have the experience. Every person can be a Christ. and it is not something that anyone else can do for you. can this awakening take place. continues beyond the world of form and therefore is neither created nor destroyed. and we liberate our heart. Through awakening. It keeps him from realizing his divine nature and becoming one with the source of life. It is a map and guide for the self-liberation of the spiritual aspirant. as the source of all life and being. but we forget through the creation of our ego and sense of separate self. It is God in embodied form. It is the Aztec equivalent of the yoga and tantra of the East in that it describes the process through which one overcomes desires and attachments and the illusions of ego. This is true immortality. Our limited sense of self. opening the heart to divine energy. and attachments. Thus. Awakening can only happen one person at a time. Only through liberating oneself from personal desires. Sacrifice the false being. There is much in the Pyramid of Fire text that resonates with the Return of Quetzalcoatl as described by Pinchbeck. The responsibility for such awakening is clearly placed on each individual. a Buddha. We have always been divine and connected to our source. The ego is a false being. This is not a philosophy to be intellectually understood and contemplated. and personal desires. fears. The true spiritual path means we must turn our attention and our energy within to dissolve the barriers we have created that keep us from waking up to our divinity. It is a direct call to develop spiritual experience in one’s own being. We use our divine energy to satisfy our desires in ignorance of our true nature. attachment. and protections we create for our ego stand between ourselves and absolute divinity. in becoming Quetzalcoatl.
In Nahuatl. meaning “god’s flesh” or “wondrous mushrooms. These visionary agents were the tools the spiritual aspirant used to awaken the divine energy within themselves and grow their spiritual wings. bufotnine and 5-MeO-DMT containing toad venom. It is significant to note that. for the Aztecs. Quetzalcoatl is in no way limited to specific incarnations as it is a transcendent spiritual principle that is immanent within our spirits. we can see Pinchbeck’s proclamation of Quetzalcoatl’s return as a call to return to the primacy of individual spiritual experience. The visionary medicine was able to lift them out of their egos so that they might transcend their limiting concepts of self and other and realize the divinity immanent within them. the medicine would free their hearts into the vibration of divine love that permeates all things. Presumably this would be Pinchbeck himself.96 The Entheogenic Evolution was aware of this text when writing his work. 2012. And ultimately. and awakening that each person must do for him or herself. however. and Pinchbeck reacted with confusion and desperation at receiving the transmission from Quetzalcoatl. Both McKenna and Pinchbeck struggled with the role given to them by their spiritual inspiration. originally posting it on his website with a call for others to give feedback because he . is that in the Pyramid of Fire. this process of spiritual awakening and becoming Quetzalcoatl was facilitated through the use of entheogenic sacraments. In many respects. that divine vibration that we can so clearly feel when we cleanse out our hearts and open ourselves to energy of Source. ready to be awakened through our conscious effort to overcome our attachment to our egos. anyone can become Quetzalcoatl. Aztecs made use of LSD-containing morning glory seeds. No one else can grow our wings for us.” Consumption of these mushrooms was central to the spiritual life of the Aztecs. who is the “vehicle” for Quetzalcoatl’s return. The responsibility is ours and ours alone. A primary difference. entheogenic experience was equivalent to spiritual experience among the Aztecs. psilocybin mushrooms are known as teonanácatl. This is a far more limited understanding of the archetype than presented in the Aztec text. Quetzalcoatl is depicted as being the inherent spiritual potential of any aspirant. Pinchbeck writes that Quetzalcoatl occasionally takes birth in human form to accomplish a specific mission. We all have a serpent within us ready to swallow its own venom and grow the wings of spirit so that we may take flight and return to our spiritual source. and possibly Salvia divinorum as well. for according to the codex. Being the mouthpiece of the Logos is no easy task. McKenna noted that embodying the Logos didn’t help his marriage from falling apart. Additionally. development. as it was and continues to be for many indigenous cultures of Mesoamerica. Under this reading of the Quetzalcoatl archetype.
a poor black Brazilian. The Doctrine of the Holy Daime Santo Daime came into being through Raimundo Irineu Serra. 2012. . It is therefore instructive for us to also consider this very important context for understanding the working of the Logos in this particular manifestation. Pinchbeck details his personal struggle with the Quetzalcoatl transmission in the final chapters of 2012. And even then. We might transcend the ego. and its hold on our hearts and minds. we may be divine. and continual striving and effort. its desires. Quetzalcoatl moves between gods and men. experiencing moments of transcending the ego and tapping into higher consciousness is not necessarily ego reducing.” who he identified as the Virgin Mary. that resonates well with the Santo Daime tradition. he received a vision of the “Queen of the Forest. Upon an invitation to drink ayahuasca. Only when we have found our own inner balance can we truly embody that mercurial (and I mean this literally – Mercury.Seeds of the Logos 97 just didn’t know what to make of it or do with it. much of the transmission came while Pinchbeck was drinking ayahuasca. Ironically. but we’re still human. the “enemy” as described in the Aztec codex. just as Quetzalcoatl) archetype of spiritual realization. most of the time. There is much in the transmission. even the fact that Pinchbeck received the transmission in the first place. also associated with winged serpents in the ancient Mediterranean via the caduceus. even when we assiduously seek to overcome their limits through spiritual practice and experience. or daime. As mentioned earlier. for coming into balance with both our infinite and finite sides is a supreme challenge. As the Aztec codex states. love. though it eventually became the climax of his book. The only antidote is humility. too. but it doesn’t just evaporate. and he underwent many profound spiritual shifts in the process. It will use whatever means necessary to protect itself. and how he came to some resolution with it through his time with the Santo Daime tradition. after all. We eventually come back down and have to live most of our lives. was the god who moved between the gods and men and was closely associated with pharmacological knowledge of visionary plants. The ego will do whatever it can to preserve itself – it is. in our bodies and egos.
ayahuasca. The Doctrine. path to personal awakening. as each person is understood to be working on his or her own personal relationship to the divine. the Daime path is a highly individual and personal path. Mestre Irineu’s task was to “replant” the doctrine of Jesus Christ. This was his mission: to initiate the vast change in human consciousness that is now beginning to come to fruition. The Doctrine spoken of in many hymns of the Daime is a living matrix of consciousness. There It secreted itself in the jagube vine and the rainha leaf [the two primary ingredients of ayahuasca. is the absolute center of the tradition. The exchange of energy between people is strictly forbidden and each individual is solely responsible for his or her spiritual development and healing. and there is no central belief other than that it is possible for complete divine consciousness to awaken within each individual in his or her own time. an insider’s account of the Santo Daime. Thus. It left the world at large. set within the context of the work and the doctrine. Each person is expected to participate in the ceremony and singing of hymns as much as he or she is able and during the ceremony there is only minimal contact between participants. No one interprets anyone else’s experience and no shamanic work is done during the course of a standard Work. and therefore highly challenging.” or whatever else one might request spiritually of the sacred medicine). or drinkers of daime. either sitting down or standing and dancing. The Daime path is an accelerated. as originally given to Mestre Irineu is quite specific. accompanied by the singing of hymns. As Jonathan Goldman explains in his forward to Forest of Visions by Alex Polari de Alverga. Goldman writes: Doctrine is a very important word in the Holy Daime. The Daime doctrine.” For ceremony. and happiness. Jesus Christ implanted a conscious seed in this world by his life and death. Legend has it that when Jesus died. or daime]. and is not a practice of “correct” rituals or procedures. the Doctrine saw the distortions being made to Jesus’ teachings. Daimistas. light. which is the organizing principle of humanity’s awakening. is seen within the Daime to posses an active intelligence of its own. It does not signify a set of rigid rules or an orthodox set of ideas.98 The Entheogenic Evolution mother of Christ. and It knew the necessary darkness ahead for humanity. It waited . The individual’s direct and immediate experience. renamed daime (which means “give me” in Portuguese and is understood to mean “give me life. The practice is the container for the individual experience. She instructed Mestre Irineu to form a new religion and begin teaching “the doctrine” through use of the holy sacrament. The ritual practices of Santo Daime are centered around the concept of performing “works. entering the deep forest. depending on the kind of Work being performed. gather around a central six-pointed star altar and all consume daime together. despite the uniformity of the ceremonial setting.
Another important aspect of the Daime tradition is the practice of what is called “incorporation. but shamanic influences as well. the Being that is the Doctrine is known as Juramidam. . Incorporation is what might also be called channeling.Seeds of the Logos 99 with Its guardians. and will give to each person according to his or her needs. for through incorporation. Incorporation is also a method through which enlightened beings can communicate with humans through the bodies and speech of individuals who are receptive to the incorporation. to his new mission of replanting the Doctrine in greater humanity. the Christ Consciousness. Those who are initiated into the Daime path are taught that incorporation is a significant part of the spiritual practice. the many souls who are ready to rapidly awaken the seed that Jesus planted.” As a blend of various traditions. living energy. one by one. Apparently. the native people of the Amazon. Though performed in the collective container of a shared work. Those who incorporate other beings and energies are understood to embody them and others can then interact with those beings. waiting for when it could be replanted in the world. who had been part of the original mission of Jesus. or even spiritual possession. when drinking daime. (Alverga. that addresses each person individually in the psychedelic state induced by the daime drink. Juramidam knows what each person needs for his or her further spiritual development and awakening. So severe was the distortion that the true teachings had to hide away in the forest. page xxiv) This movement of awakening to the Christ Consciousness is understood by the Daimistas as being the “second coming” of Christ. lost souls and disincarnate beings can be taught the Doctrine and healed of their spiritual wounds. Juramidam is understood to be a conscious. Within the Daime tradition. In this sense. for the day when humanity would be ready to embrace It. When the time arrived It called Master Irineu. The message that Jesus originally brought was that we are all created in the image of God and that God is Love. when humanity was truly ready to wake up. in themselves. The experiences of no two people will be precisely alike. even if they are similar. 1999. that time is now. Through the Holy Daime. Implicit in the Doctrine is that these basic teachings of Jesus were distorted and warped through Christianity. divine beings are understood to be able to speak and act through their human hosts. Juramidam comes to each person individually to assist him or her on the path to full realization of Christ Consciousness. mediumship. It is calling to Itself. The Doctrine is working so that we might all awaken to our inherent Christ Consciousness and our connection to Divine Love. Santo Daime includes not just Christian influences.
the return to the psychedelic origins of spiritual experience. Pinchbeck’s transmission from Quetzalcoatl could be seen as an example of incorporation. the text even uses the language of “doctrine” and “work” in manners that are very similar to their meanings in the Daime tradition. and quickly. so is the transmission from Quetzalcoatl. for time is running short. And in both cases. The Earth and our survival cannot wait any longer. It is time for humanity to awaken. just as it has been across countless cultures and throughout history. and as a manifestation of the Doctrine. there really isn’t much difference between becoming Quetzalcoatl and the realization of Christ Consciousness. With a return to direct spiritual experience and awakening. In much the same way that the Daime works are intended to further the awakening of humanity. the medium through which this awakening and realization of divinity takes place is through the use of an entheogenic sacrament. the time to awaken is now. Indeed. And as we saw in our analysis of the Quetzalcoatl archetype. . the sacred medicines are once again calling to us to remember who we are. Whatever 2012 may or may not bring. The replanting of the Doctrine coincides with the Archaic Revival. Both are calling for a return to true spiritual realization through the act of “waking up” to our true natures as Divine Beings incarnated in human form.100 The Entheogenic Evolution Within the context of the Daime tradition.
your energy is infinite as well. for that is what I Am. Use it as you see fit.“I am energy and I am infinite – there is no end to my love and I give it freely. Because we are One.” - God . but to be awakened is to use it in love and truth.
observable properties of matter from a theoretically “objective” position. The results have been pragmatically functional. In itself there are no divisions or distinctions. is not amenable to objective observation or characterization and therefore is largely outside the purview of mainstream scientific investigation. Consciousness. In deriving accurate descriptions of the physical universe. Consciousness is a particularly problematic issue for mainstream Western science and materialism. Another way of stating the above is to say that the ultimate reality is the Mind of God. However. science has focused on external. or Buddha Mind. exist. or whatever particular cultural or religious designation we may wish to give it. . including our universe and ourselves. ultimately. all of reality is one unified field of consciousness. giving us sophisticated knowledge of the material world and intricate technology. The unified field of consciousness is the medium in which all manifest things.Divine Consciousness and The Universal Heart A fundamental supposition of this book is that. when confronted with the issue of consciousness. though it contains within it the potential for all divisions and distinctions as well as the potential for all possible manifestations within space and time. This unified field of consciousness is not a thing or object and it is not bound by either space or time. being immaterial. let alone the question of God. Western science is thoroughly inadequate as it has been traditionally understood and practiced.
Understanding how consciousness works is not equivalent to understanding consciousness itself. Some might counter the above claim by pointing to neuroscience and the increasingly detailed picture science is creating of the biological processes of the brain in processing perceptions. except perhaps among a few non-mainstream scientists whose views are not widely accepted and are not of the standard scientific paradigms that still define our research and educational systems. for if we can understand all the biological and physical aspects of how consciousness is expressed. As an undergraduate philosophy major. I remember reading how consciousness is understood to be a scientific “epiphenomenon. then our picture will be complete. . creating memories. While it is true that scientific observation and understanding of neurology and the physical mechanisms through which consciousness works and is expressed in living biological systems is becoming ever more subtle and refined. neural systems. Our science has helped us understand all kinds of mental and psychological problems and we are ever increasing our knowledge of psychopharmacology and the relationships between cognition and various biological and environmental factors. Examine any scientific description of the nature of reality and nowhere will you find a place for consciousness.” meaning something that occurs when biological systems are working within certain parameters. In fact.Divine Consciousness and the Universal Heart 103 Science Cannot Explain the Existence of Consciousness It is important to understand that no matter how sophisticated our descriptions and observations of physical objects become. physical science will never gain access to consciousness itself. Where does consciousness fit into a scientific view of reality? The basic answer is that it doesn’t. such an understanding can only shed light on the mechanics of consciousness. some might argue that an understanding of “consciousness” is unnecessary. and related biological processes. This thing that just somehow happens (how this occurs is given no explanation) is the product of the brain. for we will have understood the mechanism of consciousness. and establishing a sense of self and identity. however.
In other words. It only states that they do. the sugar. It does not explain how biological systems give rise to consciousness. we’d never find consciousness. Even if we got down to the sub-atomic particles. There would be nothing we could identify as “consciousness. then we cannot account for why one thing is conscious and another not. the eggs and all the other ingredients. We can talk about all the constituent parts of the cake at multiple levels of description and we can explain how the different parts of the cake work and interact together to make the cake.” but where does . then science can no more explain why a human being has consciousness than it can explain why a cake doesn’t.” This strange designation belongs solely to consciousness. we’d also be similarly confounded. which. we still would not find consciousness. We can discuss what makes the cake sweet or moist or dry or any other characteristic and we can understand this scientifically. if the scientific materialist worldview is held consistently. And it does not describe how this is achieved either. the cake and we humans and everything in between. It is neither an explanation nor is it a description. “not only is this a delicious cake. we have a rather serious problem here. for all intents and purposes. We can talk about the flour. and all particles of matter are the same. However. Biological systems are alive. this designation is really a way of saying “we don’t know. getting down to the tiniest bits of matter that constitute the cake. presumably we are (there is no distinction between “living” and “non-living” sub-atomic particles. are made from the same kinds of physical matter. at least not in a general sense. there is no ingredient that accounts for consciousness. We can describe what happens physically when we bake the cake and how the properties of the ingredients react to heat and moisture and other environmental conditions. In other words. If we examined the cake’s environment. the basic building blocks of matter).” Are living systems and biological entities different from the cake? Yes. but it’s also conscious too. So where does consciousness come from? If it is not a physical property. then how does it to come to be? What produces this mysterious “epiphenomenon” that. we could also perform molecular and chemical analyses on the cake or even describe it mathematically according to quantum physics. If we wanted.” Scientifically. To illustrate this problem. It’s all just physical matter. There is certainly a big difference between a cake and human being. If we all. imagine that we have a cake. seems to just come out of nowhere when the right conditions are met? There clearly appears to be a difference between “living organisms” and “inert matter.104 The Entheogenic Evolution To my knowledge. nothing else within the scientific worldview is described as an “epiphenomenon. according to science.” If we looked at the list of ingredients. But now imagine that someone said.
How can we explain this miracle of life.Divine Consciousness and the Universal Heart 105 that spark of life come from that actually infuses matter with life. consciousness. it cannot be studied as an object the way that the physical features of our world can be studied. These structures coalesced into stars and gasses. on only one planet that we currently know of. because . which has worked out fairly well for coming to an objective understanding of the physical universe. we can see a correlation between physical environment and life. evolve self-conscious and aware beings that can reflect on both themselves and the universe in which they find themselves. which. They could just concentrate on observable things. at least when one is considering mainstream. but understanding the necessary conditions is not the same as understanding origins or cause. there was a Big Bang. creating space and time as it did so. began expanding rapidly. scientists did not have to worry about this mercurial thing called consciousness. over much more time. this matter began to cool and form stable structures. At best. or spirit. consciousness. Then. was the subject for philosophy and religion. which was previously condensed into a singularity (though we don’t know why. and awareness? Science has no answer to the above questions. the same basic ingredients that are found elsewhere in the universe spontaneously started to self-organize into living systems and biological entities. over millions of years. The flaw in science is the conclusion that. consciousness spontaneously happened on this small planet we call Earth and here we are today to ponder over how it all came to pass. Then. or what may or may not have happened before then or caused that matter to exist in the first place). This lack of explanation and understanding is not necessarily a flaw of physical science. In looking at the physical world. though we have no definitive idea of why this happened. After immensely long periods of time. Somehow. after billions of years of physical processes taking place according to natural laws as the universe came into being. and awareness? Why is it that some matter organizes itself into living beings while most matter does not? How is this transformation achieved? True. Given that consciousness is non-material. how. widely accepted scientific views and theories. the right conditions of physical matter and environment are necessary for living organic beings to emerge. Matter. eventually formed planets and solar systems. the story of universe might be something like this: In the beginning. but a correlation is not a cause. yet the basic story is fairly accurate. Descartes had a good point when he separated mind from matter and said that matter was for objective science and mind. Of course the scientific view of the universe is more subtle and sophisticated than the above paragraph implies. According to the scientific view of reality. other than to say that the environmental conditions were conducive.
In fact. Everything that I know. therefore I am. consciousness is all we can really know to exist. matter is seen to arise from a universal substratum of consciousness that exists prior to and independent of matter. We cannot truly talk about a universe outside of our consciousness. that does not mean it is reality. Here. for we can be mistaken about how we interpret our experience. for it is only through our consciousness that we are able to know or experience anything at all.” I know I exist because I am conscious and aware of that existence. this assumption has not been universal throughout human history. but it is to say that we cannot know anything outside of conscious experience. This universal . physical science. but if we are conscious. among philosophers and thinkers of the East. I Think. Without my consciousness. we still know that we exist. “I think. each one of us is the center of the universe. Our consciousness is the most fundamental fact of our existence. Therefore I Am We know that consciousness exists. Indeed. even if everything else we think we know is wrong or unreal. for everything we know and experience occurs solely through our own private consciousness. is really accounting for the contents of consciousness. Materialism vs. the general view has been that the basic make-up of existence is not matter. Idealism While scientific materialism has made the assumption that the basic make-up of existence is physical and objective in nature. Conversely simply because we experience something. From a phenomenological view. In fact. As Descartes so aptly put it. I do not exist. From this perspective of phenomenological description. All experience is subjective and we each are the center of our own experience of the universe and all that it contains. Physical science is a description of how we understand and conceptualize the world according to how we are able to experience it via the medium of human consciousness. My consciousness is the most intimate thing to me. it must be an “epiphenomenon” that just happens when conditions are right. is mediated through my consciousness. I am nothing. in many respects. experience. nearly the opposite has been the case. and believe. at the most basic level. for example. This is not to say that the physical world is a product of our minds.106 The Entheogenic Evolution consciousness is non-material. but consciousness itself. everything else could be a dream or delusion. we can see that the entire corpus of knowledge compiled by objective. Though there are significant differences in philosophical nuances that we will not delve into here.
I am. so can a spiritual seeker wake up within our conventional reality and come to directly know that what we commonly perceive as real and stable is in fact far more like a dream and not ultimately real. we should not confuse our conventional concepts of reality with reality itself. Just as a person can wake up within a lucid dream and realize that he or she is sleeping and not experiencing a true reality. of everything else that exists. albeit often rigorous and requiring lifetimes of devotion and practice. and the Western tradition as a whole. As our ideas and experiences change. therefore. but we are in fact sleepwalking our way through reality. Because consciousness was seen to be fundamental in the East. all conceptual knowledge is ultimately conditional.” or our ego. not as an object of knowledge. so does our knowledge. However. They thereby produced reliable systems of inducing mystical states of consciousness. How does one come to such an experience and realization? In the West. Somewhat oppositely. However. which is largely seen as a limiting illusion. with the result being a myriad of paths and practices for gaining deeper personal insight into the nature of mind through direct experience. It all appears very real and solid. The practices developed were subjective. but these practices are all based on the idea of repeatable experiments. Descartes. The process of enlightenment is the process of coming to directly experience this universal consciousness and thereby realize the illusory nature of phenomenal existence. The yogic and meditative traditions of the East all work toward this ideal end: the realization of enlightenment.” so to speak. the only true knowledge is gained through direct experience of the unified nature of consciousness. According to this paradigm. the mind scientists of the East developed interior experiments and methods for exploring the mind.” Here. including our limited sense of “self. our conventional experience of reality is likened to a dream. of which our egos and sense of individual selves are a part.Divine Consciousness and the Universal Heart 107 substratum is different from personal consciousness or awareness. in the East. and thus not scientific in the way we think of science in the West. but as the most fundamental experience of reality. did not take the next step in asking what was the nature of that thinking thing. for it is dependent on how we conceive and experience the world. Descartes formulated the maxim: I think. According to Eastern traditions. Universal consciousness is the “container. primacy was placed on direct exploration of consciousness in order to understand its true nature. While his work inspired the scientific investigation of matter. Instead of conducting experiments with exterior matter. or “waking up. it did not inspire a similar investigation into the nature of mind. . a comparatively rigorous and scientific investigation of the nature of mind became the cultural focal point.
Descartes took this proposition so seriously that he conducted vivisection experiments on live animals. so was the mind or consciousness. In the strange realm of particle physics. and this was because God gave them souls. no longer holds. the soul and the body had nothing to do with each other. believing that they were ultimately automatons and all their cries of pain and suffering were merely the mechanical reactions of a biological organism. The soul interacted with the body through the pineal gland. in Eastern traditions all living beings are understood to possess different degrees of consciousness. the existence of consciousness dose not pose a logical conundrum as it has in the West. made up of little bits of matter. things started to break in the standard materialist paradigm with the development of quantum mechanics in the early part of the 20th century. even if they don’t express that consciousness individually. for animals did not possess a soul. or divinity. However. In the quantum world. where matter and energy freely transform into one another and all the usual rules of physical objects no longer hold any validity. When confronted by the question of why an . causality. In contrast. as we understand it on the macro scale. for only humans had souls. Mind and Matter We are still dealing with this divide in the West. With the separation of mind from matter in the West. but certainly as a profound problem that has still not been adequately dealt with. And not only was God seen to be unnecessary. This also meant that nothing else had consciousness. Consciousness itself is understood to evolve through different life forms over eons of time. where everything worked like a machine. but otherwise. Descartes attempted to resolve this problem by claiming that only humans were conscious. In the East.108 The Entheogenic Evolution The difference of focus in the East produced a very different understanding of consciousness than has been accepted in the West. the very existence of consciousness is highly problematic for the scientific materialist view of reality. And even non-living things still exist within the divine consciousness. and the world became disenchanted. not necessarily as a feature of reality. but not true suffering or pain. was seen to be unnecessary in this version of reality. but in some respects. As discussed above. and therefore were not conscious. God. consciousness once again surfaced. the question of the nature of consciousness moved further and further into the cultural background and the supposed separation between science and religion grew into a great and seemingly impassable divide. As the materialist paradigm became more and more entrenched. where consciousness is seen as the foundation of reality. as do living entities. we accepted the notion of a “clockwork” universe.
I hold this belief for I have had such experiences myself. the problem of consciousness once again slipped into the picture. the truth of this statement is so immediately obvious that I do not feel that I need to make any argument for it. Whether or not this issue will ever be resolved in the West is not the point of this discussion. At another level. While there are logical reasons for holding this view. in attempting to get down to the most fundamental building blocks of matter. that scientific views of reality have not adequately dealt with the question of consciousness. I would offer personal experience as the only possible proof. There is no objective. historically. Thus. Based on my experiences. largely through the use of entheogens. that other views that make more room for consciousness have existed for a long time and the strictly materialist view of reality has. I consider this to be a mystical statement and not a scientific one. one. an idea that has been popularized in the figure of Schrödinger’s cat (where the cat is neither living nor dead until it is directly observed). The Nature of Reality from a Mystical Perspective I would now like to return to the statement at the beginning of this chapter that all of reality is a unified field of consciousness. some physicists also have proposed that sub-atomic particles appear to make choices about their behavior. It is my personal belief that if you have an experience of the unified nature of consciousness as the foundation for all of reality. the act of observation appears to affect the results of quantum measurements. I do not consider it to be the result of a logical argument or philosophical analysis. as a mystical statement.Divine Consciousness and the Universal Heart 109 electron does one thing and not another. nor are the subtleties of current scientific debate and theory building. scientists found that they had to confront the question of consciousness and its relation to matter. been a minority view. and two. there are no uniform agreements on this question to this day among mainstream scientists and the issue is still open to vigorous debate and investigation. The point with all of the above is to show. For one. However. though I do enjoy pondering the nuances of such . definitive proof that I can offer in support of this statement. then you will know that this is true. Rather.
Consciousness is the Foundation of Reality Space. I simply know it to be true. just like objects and worlds exist within dreams.110 The Entheogenic Evolution arguments. or whatever name we’d like to give it or word we’d like to associate with it. I offer no proof and have only my personal experiences to base these views upon. However. there are no distinctions. This level of consciousness cannot be conceptualized or described: it can only be experienced. Absolute consciousness does not exist in space or time. Consciousness therefore does not exist in a “place. time. and no objects. In the state of absolute consciousness. no subjects. Having experienced this myself. and this consciousness is the most fundamental experience we can have of the absolute nature of reality. natural laws (ever notice . at this point. and matter are all manifestations of the content of consciousness. While I am open to the possibility. I cannot think of anything that would change my mind on this matter. I would like to offer the following sketch of what I have personally come to think about the nature of reality. or Brahman. so do objects and the universe exist within absolute consciousness. given my mystical experiences. the only thing that remains is the unified field of consciousness. this level of consciousness is equivalent to God. absolute consciousness is God. all consciousness is one. as is probably clear. Therefore. by definition. or Buddha Mind. Reality is a Dream in the Mind of God The dreamer creates entire worlds in the space and time of a dream. Consciousness is Unitary At the most fundamental and all-encompassing level.” just as dreams are not located anywhere in physical space. With the above in mind. That world will be filled with subjects and objects. Consciousness exists prior to all phenomena and is the “container” in which all manifest events occur and come into being. Absolute Consciousness is God As the source of all phenomena and space and time. When everything else has been stripped away.
Our personal awareness and identity seem to exist within only one character within the dream. we may meet many people and experience many different characters. we can wake up to this fact and actually experience our consciousness as creating the entirety of the dream and all the other characters. In the event of a lucid dream. Part of the process of reaching spiritual maturity is finding balance in this peculiar paradox where the ego self is both conventionally real and immediate and the infinite divine self is also real and immediate. The fact . it is impossible to have an exclusive impression of individual selfhood and experience the unified nature of consciousness.” In reality. any sense of self is ultimately an illusion. Similarly. scene. most of the time. and we experience them as being “other” or as being “not us. this illusion is so strong that it feels fundamentally real and absolutely true. In most normal circumstances. Our Sense of Self and Ego is an Illusion Because there is only One dreamer. everything we experience as reality (including our dreams!). however. they are illusions and they can be immediately experienced as such. but we are also every object. we are a multiplicity of characters and objects. and will be experienced as real in ordinary dreaming consciousness. Our individual natures and identities are certainly real in a conventional sense.Divine Consciousness and the Universal Heart 111 how gravity almost always works in your dreams?). We experience ourselves as distinct. The only way to have such an experience is through the transcending of the limiting illusion of our finitude. This is because we are. as the dreamer. We feel ourselves as uniquely distinct from others. are not only all the people we meet in our dreams. but in truth. we. in my experience. There is only One Dreamer The dreamer is the creator of the dream world. In fact. is a dream in the mind of God. though even then our personal identity tends to stay attached to our personal dream character. everything else in the dream is made of our consciousness even if we are not personally aware of it. the one we experience as ourselves (even if that self is not identical to our everyday waking self). but in truth. In our dreams. seemingly very real and physical things. We do not feel as though we are a part of everything else and intimately connected to every other part of what we perceive and experience as reality. isolated individuals within our dreams. so caught up in the dream that we are sleepwalking through life. but when considered from the absolute perspective. and manifestation within the dream. The entire manifest world of space and time exists only in God’s dream.
and therefore the spiritual seeker must strive to balance these two perspectives and find the middle path where both our human and divine natures are embraced and experienced simultaneously.112 The Entheogenic Evolution remains that no matter how far we delve into the Mind and Heart of God. Transcending the limiting self is often experienced as a lifting up into our true selves. identity. it must also forget itself. If that is all we identify with. God Manifests Reality to Experience and Know Itself Experience can only occur when there is duality. There are infinite levels of consciousness. and being. to some extent. then we are very limited and separated from our true source. wrapped in varying degrees of illusion. God cannot know itself as itself in itself. But we must always live in our illusion. then there would be nothing to experience: we can only experience dark because we can also experience light. If everything were the same. at the deepest and most fundamental level. it must become Other. revealing the unifying field underneath the appearances of separation. It is only through the creation of difference that God can come to know itself. The more we can transcend this illusion. then. And if everything were the same. In this sense. the limited personal perspective is stripped away. for there is no knower and no object or subject of knowledge. It’s still you. Without difference. The same is true for knowledge. Only through difference can we know or experience anything. things just are. We still have bodies. That One Being is expressed through each of us in unique and distinct ways. In this sense. we are still human. then there would be nothing to know. the closer we come to our divine source. emotions. God is dreaming in order to better understand . Reality. our individual perspectives of selfhood are all fragments of the absolute. in order to know itself. We are all One Being. just not the you that you are commonly identifying yourself with. so the true self can be experienced on a variety of levels. we are all God. and we all have our own sense of self. but in the mystical experience. You are God and God is You Because consciousness is unified. and everything else that comes with being human. is the process of God creating itself as other in order to come to know itself as itself. However. The paradox is to transcend the self to experience the Self. with greater or lesser degrees of ego-related consciousness. minds.
of being. In this sense. It is currently unclear how many other species on our planet share in this self-reflexive capability. and only humans seem to have a sense of religion. God Must Forget The ultimate difference is the duality between self and other. However. which just is. and of ego. in order to know itself. the existential position that humans find themselves in seems to be unique due to our acute sense of self and identity as separate and unique beings. Thus. The experience itself is radically revealing and is not understood as an intellectual or conceptual formulation of existence. as opposed the being of God. There was a time when it was assumed that only humans had a sense of self. the direct spiritual experience is not so much a new discovery as it is an experience of returning to a state of being that is perceived and understood as being intimate and fundamental. It is very common for those undergoing spiritual experience to perceive themselves as somehow coming “home” or realizing that the state of spiritual oneness is one that they had forgotten and are now remembering. we can come to experience our true natures as being manifestations of the divine and we can experience our deepest sense of self and being as identical with the divine consciousness of the universe. be “me. God as a Human is Able to Remember The process of spiritual awakening is largely a process of remembering. at least at a basic level. so does God forget its true nature in manifest form. Through such an awakening. participate in spiritual experiences and practices.” must. God had to create itself as beings that do not remember their true identity. that we know of. Like the dreamer who forgets that he is dreaming. “other. Everything that is not “me” is. Manifest reality is the doing of God.Divine Consciousness and the Universal Heart 113 itself.” Therefore. . This experience of coming home is very different than having an intellectual understanding of mystical union or divine consciousness. With increasingly sophisticated studies. we have a sense of self. it would seem reasonable to state that only humans. while I would want to emphasize that humans are an intimate part of nature and the ecological fabric of our world. As humans.” and anything that is not “other. It is simply experienced as the way things are. the unified field of consciousness. by definition. biologists are beginning to understand that there are perhaps other species that have similar selfconceptions. by definition. In Becoming Other. We can clearly identify ourselves as unique individuals.
never static. energy is really all we can talk about. this is simply not a question. Energy is active. Scientists describe energy as the capacity to do work. I suspect that for other animals. we are also the most capable beings to remember our true natures as divine. What we perceive as solid objects in space and time are really just largely empty waveforms of constantly changing energies. as vibrations or waves. and if that is the absolute nature of reality. Regardless of how other beings may or may not experience their divine nature. In other words. and we can fall into that experience of arriving back home in the ultimate matrix of our existence. This is not to claim that there is anything necessarily superior about humans and I would not want to separate humans from the wider matrix of nature. the Mind and Heart of God. Everything that occurs in the manifest world is accomplished through energy. then the following question arises: what is the nature of manifest reality? The simple answer is that manifest reality is energy. but that doesn’t explain what energy is. “E” may equal “mc” squared. they don’t really know what energy is either. Such can only occur in space and time. when we get down to the sub-atomic level. I do not think that other animals experience the same kind of existential dilemma that we do as self-conscious beings. Personally. but it is to say that we are in a unique position to fully realize our true natures.114 The Entheogenic Evolution Because humans have this self-reflective quality. God Manifests Reality as Vibratory Energy If God is pure consciousness. Solid objects appear solid as the energy . energy needs space and time to manifest. It is the nature of change itself. We have the capacity to remember. It only provides a certain description of it. What exactly energy is. So what can we say about energy? For one. though I could be entirely incorrect. In fact. Scientifically. need the matrix of space and time in order to exist. I cannot say. It is fully possible and it is the highest spiritual aim to which we can aspire. All energy is constantly moving and is in a state of change and flux. Energy. we now know that all of the physical world can be described in terms of energy. We can remember. for energy is the manifestation of constant change. the fact remains that God is able to remember its true identity through the awakening of human consciousness. despite the fact that this is not our normal state of being: the majority of the time we are asleep to our true natures and only occasionally wake up to that reality directly through spiritually impacting experiences and moments of awakening.
for this love is the most unifying force that emanates from the divine consciousness. as vibrations. is also patterned. the more refined and nuanced the vibrations become until one finds the center point of pure stillness from which all the vibrations manifest. The closer one comes to the center of God. at least as it is popularized within mainstream culture. True divine love is completely non-judgmental and unconditional. Spiritually. however. By love. and utter selflessness. True love knows no boundaries or separations. as nuclear weapons so aptly demonstrate. Love is the . God encompasses all possibilities and is neither one thing nor another. and fractal mathematics. and all things are exactly as they should be. there is nothing to fear. The Most Unifying Vibration is Love God is the source of the full spectrum of energetic vibrations. for they are all perfectly embraced by love. the closer we come to God and the closer we come to realizing our true divine natures. surrender. I like to refer to the patterns of energy as the effluence of God. And even the smallest waves of energy hold enormous reserves of power. All vibrations and energies partake of the nature of God equally. Energy. Mathematically. Love is the supreme opening and it is the gateway to our divine natures. When we experience this love. our boundaries fall away and we can enter into true communion with the divine and with all of the manifest world. The patterns of manifestation emanate directly from the Mind and Heart of God. Love is the vibration that holds all of manifest reality together. for God contains the possibilities for all spectrums. along with complete freedom from fear. you know that everything is perfect. It is not difficult to see that all of the manifest world occurs according to patterns of manifestation. There are no exceptions to this love and there are no attachments or fears. chaos theory. The more fully one can enter into this state of true love. they are all just energy. Being beyond duality. Much of what is put out there as being “love” in mainstream culture is much closer to possessiveness. the more deeply we can enter into divine love. As manifest beings.Divine Consciousness and the Universal Heart 115 patterns that make them are relatively stable and persistent. these permutations of energy form the basis of quantum physics. When embraced by divine love. however. I do not mean romantic love. and egoprotection. the closer one gets to God and divine consciousness. creating the illusion of solid forms. love is the most unifying vibration. attachment. It is completely free and it is universal. At the most basic level. Energy is not random for it exists within hierarchies and networks of vibrations and patterns. Through true love there can be complete trust. That being said.
or the fear that we will be judged. Perhaps the greatest fear is fear of dying. playing off of their basic fear of ego death and loss of self. Fear cuts us off from others. there is no judgment whatsoever. and hells. People cling to fantasies of immortality. Fear is the vibration of closing off. In fact. Thus we should choose to not surrender to our fear and always remind ourselves of the perfect of absolute love in which all things exist. some religions. this immortal self would be an immortal separation from God. The more we live in fear. whether that be an emotional.” then this God will judge you and punish you for eternity. it certainly serves its purpose. the further we live from our divine source. no matter how righteous and holy we attempt to clothe it. but fear. psychological. Most other fears are related to this basic fear of death in that we fear things that threaten our sense of self. The more we fear. fear serves its purpose. It is filled with judgment. However. and mistrust. Rather ironically. from our true selves. often sadly promulgated by organized religions. doubt. Certainly. Things that threaten us in some way give us fear. and from the divine. so nothing is either necessarily good or bad – things just are the way they are and all is perfect. The message of love brought by Jesus was certainly twisted into a manipulation of fear. According to the ideas I’m presenting here. as is choosing to live in love. spiritual. all fears . The fear of dying is largely the fear of loss of self and obliteration of the ego. There is nothing wrong with fear. wrapped in the illusion of selfhood. hold to the dogma that you can retain your sense of self forever in immortal life. The more we love. choosing to live in fear is a choice. demons. the further we are separated from God. of seeking protection. Christianity in particular. fear is the most isolating and disconnected. And this is taught as being the reward for loving God! And if you haven’t behaved “correctly. The Most Separating Vibration is Fear The opposite or dualistic counterpart to love is not hate. clinging. without any exception. or physical threat to our being. and most other fears are related to this basic fear. and fear is always separation from God. for in true divine love. the closer we come to God. there is nothing wrong with anything from the most encompassing divine perspective. and from a survival perspective. of grasping on. both internal and external. When one fully embraces divine love. Thus there is nothing inherently wrong with fear. Fear creates monsters. If love is the most encompassing and opening vibration. Fear separates and isolates. and attachment.116 The Entheogenic Evolution most encompassing vibration and embraces all equally.
will color everything we experience. their hearts still provide the undertone for their existence and will have to be attended to sooner or later. Conceptualization and discursive thinking are the energies that arise within the matrix of our emotional experience and state. for when one truly knows that her home is in the Heart of God. Similarly. True. Only by attending to your emotions directly can you hope to change or affect them. the heart is far more influential and powerful than the mind. beliefs. For example. but simply knowing that won’t change your experience. the seat of our emotions. all other things are seen as they are: dreams at play in the mind of God. the seat of our emotions. You can change your mind about something very easily.” cut off from their hearts. the vibrations in our hearts. While our minds certainly influence our emotions through our concepts. we have the amazing ability to conceptualize our experience and make sense out of our world. but you cannot simply change your emotions by changing your mind. but the undertone is the primary determination of experience. . for our experience of reality and our discursive thinking. but it is the heart that colors all of our experience of the world and our selves through our emotional states and affective sense of being. Lyrics are largely irrelevant for providing emotional content in music. Lyrics are the specific context for the message. as humans. and rational natures. Through our rational capacity. The center of our energetic existence is our heart. for example. It is virtually impossible to think your way out of an emotion. and therefore may be largely unconscious of their affective states.Divine Consciousness and the Universal Heart 117 can melt away. but it is the music itself that communicates the emotional or affective message. we. if you will. While it is true that many people “live in their heads. even the most horrific and terrifying. In this way. Songs do not need intelligible lyrics to be understood emotionally. Emotions provide the energetic undertone of our experience. they provide specific context for the emotions. Emotions are not rational and therefore are not subject to change through rational analysis. are collections of energetic vibrations that manifest in patterned waves that coalesce to create our being on all levels. You might know that your feelings are irrational or inappropriate. our emotions provide the background music. and hopefully before the moment of death when living in our heads is no longer an option. The Center of our Personal Vibratory Manifestation is the Heart Like all other things in manifest existence. it is the color and tone of a song that produces the feeling of the song.
comes from the heart. this is what we experience: one love. it is felt as true. When we truly experience our unity and identity with the divine. however. it can change your entire perspective and experience of being in the world. Bob Marley is telling us that in reality. the closer we are to the divine. Especially when we are dealing with spiritual matters. Personally. with the heart and love of God. a poor Rastafarian from Jamaica from a white father and a black mother. and one heart. We can argue all we want that God is this or that. we can find . The experience and feeling had a far greater impact on my sense of self. being and world than any intellectual understanding or argument ever did. knowing something intellectually is a far cry from experiencing and feeling something directly. and transcending all of these limiting and isolating emotions into the embrace of absolute love. one heart.” This is a succinct mystical statement by one of the 20th century’s most interesting mystics. It is the synthesis of Knowledge through Understanding. But direct experience that is felt is another matter entirely and renders such questions silly and absurd. but when you experience something in your heart. really. wounds. we need to clean out our hearts. Our Individual Hearts are One with the Universal Heart To quote Bob Marley. trust. Our hearts and our love are identical. and that would be the love and heart of God. Things we know with our heads. at the deepest levels. constitute knowledge. Given that love is the most encompassing vibration. Wisdom is not simply known to be true. To truly live in love. the more true. There simply is no comparison. unconditional and nonjudgmental or possessive love we feel in our hearts. “One Love. with our rationality. and surrender. the more we can align our lives with the divine and the more we can experience ourselves as living in that connection with the divine.118 The Entheogenic Evolution The affective experience is far more effective than the cognitive experience and is the difference between wisdom and knowledge. as was the practice in Medieval Christian scholasticism where Christian scholars argued about how many angels God could fit onto the head of a pin. In poetic form. and this feeling comes from experience. transforming our negative emotions. Wisdom. This means facing our fears. The heart is the doorway to the divine. One Heart. I would claim that I knew that all of reality was one long before I actually experienced it and felt it in my heart. and this is because the experience of the divine is something that can only be felt. there is only one love. To “know” something is not the same as feeling it in your heart. pain. and suffering. The more we love. When we surrender to the divine love in our hearts. clearing out old residues.
intuitive. It is the source of the emotional and intuitive undertone of our every experience and sense of being in the world and deeply colors our perception and cognitive processes. the brain is the organ that allows us to think and process our perceptual experiences. It is undeniable that brain functions are intimately related to how we experience consciousness and in some sense. rationality. for it is the center of our feelings and emotions. The other side is the feeling. It might seem counter intuitive to claim that the heart is the center of consciousness. The brain is the organ that processes our complex thoughts. It is the very foundation upon which our experience of being is . It is the true seat of our consciousness as well and is our most refined organ of perception. Certainly our brains and central nervous systems are complex organs that process consciousness through our bodies and beings. this is only one side of consciousness and awareness. if necessary.Divine Consciousness and the Universal Heart 119 union with God and the perfection of all things. determine what is possible for us to think and experience. and manages the information relayed from our sense organs. The spiritual process is one of coming to know the contents of our heart. Our heart is both our individual center of energy and manifestation as well as our connection to the universal source of all energy and manifestation. In many respects. discursive logic. connective side of consciousness. Neurobiology has become increasingly sophisticated and we now have fairly detailed descriptions of the relationships between brain functions and consciousness and mental and emotional processing. However. cleaning it out. And common sense tells us that any damage to the brain decreases cognitive function. and dwelling within the infinite store of divine love that resides within when we are ready to approach it humbly and openly with a deep sense of surrender and gratitude. and this aspect is more closely associated with the heart. The Nature of the Heart The center of our existence is our heart. and especially for that moment of coming home and resting within the Heart of God. To have such an experience is a moment of divine grace and is one that fills you with absolute gratitude and thanks for everything. suffering and wounds included.
personal. I will focus on that here. our hearts radiate energy far beyond the limiting confines of our physical bodies and in a way that is far stronger than anything that radiates from our brains. particularly the chapter entitled. and has a constantly shifting shape. and biological functions of the heart. The Electromagnetic Heart Recent research has shown that the heart produces a significant electromagnetic field that exists in the form of a torus. and hormonal. In the end. the heart is “triune. A torus. and therefore has a “top” and a “bottom. It is fairly common knowledge that our brains produce waves of electromagnetic energy and scientists have conducted many studies of brain waves and their correlations with different states of consciousness and awareness. The energy flows through the torus as a current that arcs out from one pole and circles back around to the . These are electromagnetic. A torus is a highly stable and self-organizing energy pattern that. Joseph Chilton Pearce has compiled much of the recent work on the heart in his book. In other words. I feel that it is worthwhile repeating some of his information here. what we feel is far more important that what we think in determining how we experience ourselves and our place in the world. when generated by a computer (as opposed to a real object).” Because these ideas have not gained widespread dissemination. neural.” What he means by this is that the heart has three primary aspects or functions.120 The Entheogenic Evolution built. As I am most interested in the universal function.” For example. The Biology of Transcendence. Like the Earth. as energy tends to do. appears as something of an energy donut. In fact. the electromagnetic field of the Earth is a torus with a magnetic north and south pole. has well-defined polarity and a central axis. being electromagnetic. where he presents a great deal of fascinating material. the energy produced by the heart dwarfs the energy produced by our brains. What most people don’t know is that our heart produces electromagnetic waves of energy as well. the torus from our heart also produces a north and south pole in our bodies and energetic beings. “The Triune Heart. Much of what follows can be found in his book. and that these waves are significantly stronger than any em waves that are ever produced by our brains. which he characterizes as the universal. Actual tori are not quite so perfectly shaped and in fact tend to ebb and flow and change. to the extent that the electromagnetic waves of energy emanating from our heart extends twelve to fifteen feet from our bodies and can be detected by sophisticated equipment that need not come into contact with our physical bodies. According to Pearce.
Take a holographic image and tear it in two and you will end up with two complete pictures. any emotional resonance that is negative. not one picture torn in two. is directly affected by the torus produced by the sun. all galaxies are affected by the universal torus generated by our universe as a whole. cancel out. and there is interaction and influence across all levels. no matter how small a sample we take of our heart energy. Given that the em field of the heart permeates our beings. so that if you tear a photograph in two. and no doubt our galaxy is affected by the tori produced by other galaxies. Since all of the information is stored throughout the storage medium. and this is highly significant for our understanding of the heart. All tori are nestled within micro and macrocosmic hierarchies of holographic energy structures. and both in turn are affected by the torus produced by our galaxy. amplify. information is correlated one-to-one. for it shows how even the smallest emotional disturbance can color our entire experience. This is significant. All the information is available equally. A hologram is different. for example. or fearful can permeate all aspects of our being. according to basic physical principles. Can your brain and heart be in synch with each . In a hologram. but the image will remain. since there is no one-to-one correlation between data and storage medium. or entrain with the waves of energy from any other source of an em field. There is nowhere to hide from the energy of our hearts and no amount of rational thinking or discursive thought will ever change that. one could infinitely divide a holographic medium and have an infinite number of images. for example. Not only are tori holographic in nature. Waves of energy are never isolated for they are constantly affected by other energies that they come into contact with. Can two hearts beat as one? Absolutely. you will end up with a torn picture. especially seeing as how the energy of our hearts is so much stronger than the energy of our brains. In a normal photograph. Quite significantly. What this means is that all of the information of the total torus is contained in any minute fraction of the torus. constantly circulating and flowing in a universal energetic movement. but they are also interactive. The full spectrum is always present. In theory. however. limiting. The waves of energy produced by any torus can resonate with. this electromagnetic energy of the torus is holographic in nature. The torus of the Earth’s magnetic field. never static and always changing. and quite possibly. for all the information is still there and nothing is lost.Divine Consciousness and the Universal Heart 121 other. The same is true for the electromagnetic energy of our heart. no information is lost or missing when the storage medium is split or divided. information is stored ubiquitously throughout the storage medium. no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. always flowing. It doesn’t matter how small it gets. where some detail might be blurred.
All of this is a sophisticated way of saying that the energy produced by our hearts is capable of connecting us with every other energy in the universe. As the primary sensing organ of our bodies. just like the neurons in our brains. or personal aspect of the heart. A rather surprising fact that has come to light in recent years is that as much as 60% to 65% of our heart cells are neurons. the heart is constantly mediating our experience and . but the wave function itself is not bound. Holographic hierarchies nestled within further holographic hierarchies. With this in mind. And since the energy is holographic in nature. constantly in communication with our primary thinking center. It is our universal organ of perception. The neurons of the heart have direct connections with the neurons in our brains. All things permeate all other things in a constant and universal exchange of energy and waveforms and what we perceive and experience as discrete objects are only probabilistic permutations of that universal energy. sending messages about our emotional and intuitive perception of our hearts. just as does the quantum wave function of any other physical object.” though not in the same capacity as our brains. In the wave state. Physical objects are where the quantum wave function is its most dense and only observation “solidifies” an object into being. It is probable that a quantum object is within certain confines of space and time. we can even see that the twelve to fifteen feet that our heart em field radiates from our bodies is only the local manifestation of the quantum wave function. a quantum object does not exist in any particular place or time. the quantum wave function of our heart energy extends throughout the universe.122 The Entheogenic Evolution other? Beyond a doubt. and interactive. In an un-collapsed form. from the smallest sub atomic particle to the universe as a whole. Can your personal heart resonate with the more encompassing vibrations of the Divine Heart? Most certainly yes. for your heart can resonate with the Divine Heart as your universal organ of perception and experience. You cannot perceive the divine source of the universe with any of our normal sense organs. Another important function of the heart that Pearce discusses is the neural. According to quantum physics. Our heart is the means through which we perceive how things feel on an energetic level and in turn affects our experience of how we feel ourselves to be in the world. Another way of putting this point is to say that the smallest bit of the universe contains all the information of the universe as whole. any one torus can contain all the information of all the other tori. Our hearts are clearly “thinking. It is possible that all objects in the manifest universe exist within toriod energy forms. but you can. without any doubt. according to the Heisenberg principle. though we do not normally think of it as such. all physical objects are merely probabilistic manifestations of universal energy. feel it in your heart.
But in this communication. We are always getting all the information from our hearts. I will not expand on this and merely mention it to provide a complete picture of Pearce’s ideas. When people are focused. letting our discursive and logical minds know how we feel and what we are sensing energetically in our environment. stressed. It is the neurons of the heart that help to translate our universal experience of energy into the personal experience of being “us” as we conceive of ourselves in our minds and they are the medium between the universal and personal. the brain and heart will be wildly out of synch with each other with conflicting or dissonant messages being transmitted back an forth between these two primary energy centers. I will simply say that Pearce is well worth the read and I highly recommend his books.Divine Consciousness and the Universal Heart 123 communicating it to our brains. the condition of our hearts will affect everything else in our experience. Thus. And depending on our emotional and mental states. after all – so this is a fairly significant part of his argument and I recommend that anyone interested in his ideas read his work carefully for the wealth of inspiring information it contains. Pearce describes how the heart has a third function of the hormonal system. but rather in whole feeling conglomerations. centered. As much of what he writes is outside the scope of what I am attempting to bring to light here. As this is less significant for our discussion here. our brain will be more or less in synch with the energy of our hearts. Emotions as Heart Energy The way we feel has an immediate and direct impact on how we experience ourselves and our reality. so information is not presented to the brain in discrete units. The “content” of our heart colors everything that we experience and is the perpetual undertone of our consciousness. Yet the information that is processed by the neurons in the heart is more holistic and holographic than the discursive processes of the brain. It is no accident that religions promote ideas of peace. Pearce is concerned with how we develop as biological beings – his book is entitled The Biology of Transcendence. When distracted. and relaxed. which he characterizes as regulating the biological processes of the body. for no other reason. or fearful. Lastly. though often these teachings have been warped and twisted by . and compassion. the heart is the primary factor with the brain being secondary. This universal feeling function is translated into our individual experience of being and related to our ego sense of self that we associate with our thinking minds and sense of identity. love. that the em field of the heart is so much stronger and influential than the brain. if. their brain will entrain with their heart waves. Ultimately.
we let down our defenses and release ourselves from our ego protections and our judgments of self and other. Love is. if we are willing to go through our emotions. Genuine. Emotions are waves of energy. When we don’t. When we let ourselves experience our emotions freely. building in strength. The only thing that stands between you and the realization of full divinity is yourself. we often try to suppress or hold back negative emotions. All emotions are vibrations in our heart. then they will continue to vibrate in our hearts and through the holographic nature of our heart energy. the . We distance ourselves from others and from the contents of our own hearts. We feel wounded when we are scared. one must be honest with oneself and be willing to pass through whatever emotional resonances or resistances remain in the heart. But in the end. for when we truly open our hearts. The path to God passes through an open and loving heart. We carry these wounds in our hearts and subsequently. judgment. Out of fear we protect our egos and sense of self. in our bodies. or feel that someone has done something wrong to us. Negative emotions that are held back become wounds. even if we are in denial. Love is the way. These emotions and wounds can be released through a variety of methods from meditation to psychotherapy and bodywork. Love is the ultimate vibration and the ultimate energy. and eventually subsiding. The overcoming of fear is a process of opening the heart ever wider and making it more receptive. and what defines your self more than anything else is the contents of your heart. the source for negative emotions is fear. or even in judging ourselves. In many respects. The greatest healing is the healing that comes from realizing our divine nature. isolating ourselves or closing off our hearts.124 The Entheogenic Evolution religious institutions to the point where the original teachings are unrecognizable. Healing is the act of opening up to the content of our hearts and moving through and releasing all that we find there. there is nowhere else for us to go. Because of their wave nature. The less we hold on to. We always live in our hearts. cresting. and sense of ego. This can be scary. we need to release them and be willing to experience them fully and pass through them. true love is completely unconditional and holds no judgment of self or other. if we suppress emotions or try to deny them. even if we are suppressing our hearts or are in denial. There are no short cuts and there are no substitutes. they emanate from our heart and pass through our being in waves. we can pass through them and let them dissipate or release. our bodies become ill and diseased and our minds become sick and closed. but in order to heal our emotional wounds. To reach such a point. While we often do not have trouble letting ourselves experience positive and harmonious emotions. However. permeate all aspects of our being.
The Heart of God is absolute. and suffering are our own and are products of our attachment to our egos. There is nothing to do and nothing to fear. A completely open heart is open not only to God. but the message of Jesus would seem to say otherwise. We can all be a Christ or Buddha or Quetzalcoatl. depending on what resonances we carry with us in our hearts. The message of love teaches us that we all are God and Human simultaneously and the path of love is the way to realize our true nature and fully embody the power and grace of God. which means everyone and everything. While the . all things are perfect and complete. It is all just love. and nothing less. There is no room in God’s heart for judgment or fear. we are taught. unconditional love. but also to all the manifestations of God. you know it. pure. Breaking Open the Heart Living with Christ Consciousness means living with a completely open heart. just as they are. As we live our lives. we will have emotions. attachments and desires. but to maintain that balance is to be fully embodied as both God and Human simultaneously. absolute. the Christ. Pure. unconditional love and acceptance. which. illusions. As long as we are in our bodies. All wounds. Only then can we live with a truly open heart and fully embrace our divine nature. We have to embody love and compassion and free ourselves from our egos. and issues to deal with.Divine Consciousness and the Universal Heart 125 more open our energy patterns become and the easier it is for us to relax into the divine love of God and truly let ourselves feel that divine vibration that embraces all things and is our true nature. fear. To love all equally without any exception is a tall order. wounds. was the nature of Jesus. When you feel it. The Church taught that only Jesus was this divine embodiment. In divine love. for the vibration of love harmonizes all things in absolute perfection. there is nothing to judge and nothing to fear. Divine love. we are closer or further from our divine source. Opening up the heart takes courage and willingness to pass through a great deal of darkness. the man who was both fully God and man. In the end. The process is not necessarily an easy one. Nothing more. but we must pass through our hearts in order to get there. nor does it have a specific end point or final realization.
We are here in human bodies because we have work to do on our path of return to our source. Facing our own darkness can be terrifying. proclaiming that we all have the same power and ability. Both Buddha and Christ taught that the way of love and compassion is the path to realization of our true natures as divine beings. as it is put in Zen Buddhism. the lives of Siddhartha and Jesus became insignificant as they assumed their roles as Buddha and Christ. For Christians. that doesn’t lessen the fact that we are here in human bodies with human hearts and minds and most of us are wounded in one way or another. demonstrating that the process generally takes some maturity and life experience. the Demon of Illusion. Buddha and Christ both came to their awakenings and heart openings in their thirties. even the least and most lowly among us. and thus all of us have a challenge for opening our hearts. They presented the rest of us with the ultimate challenge to give love and compassion to all. with Christ tempted by Satan in the desert and Buddha temped by Mara. their messages are strikingly similar and congruent with each other. Yet for both to reach this point of universal love and compassion. and the liberation from suffering for all beings through the realization of our Buddha nature. their hearts had to break open and take on the suffering of the world. we would be one with God and there would be no energy putting us into a body to live a life of returning to source. For Buddha. Through their transformations. Love and compassion and an open heart are all we need.126 The Entheogenic Evolution divine mind might be our original mind. interdependence. If we were completely free of wounds and illusions. while sitting in meditation under the Bodhi tree. he taught the message of love and freedom from judgment and fear for the salvation of all souls. not just humans. Only through such a process were they able to fully realize their natures as embodiments of the divine and overcome the limiting aspects of their egos and sense of self.” whereas for Buddha this was to be extended to all “sentient beings. this love and compassion was to be extended to all people or “souls. At heart. For Christ. Breaking open the heart is a spiritual rebirth and ultimate act of transformation. but is still similar. as exemplified by Satan and Mara tempting Christ and . we probably wouldn’t be here. their hearts were broken open. Both passed through significant trials. But it takes courage and determination. at least as we relate their stories mythologically. and at the deepest level may already be awakened. even our enemies and those who would do us harm.” which is more encompassing than the Christian message as it includes all beings. If we weren’t. in passing through their own desires and fears. But both made it through their trials and found that. They realized that we are all divine beings and must all be treated as such. he taught the message of compassion.
Rest assured. for there is really only one Self. It means giving of ourselves for the benefit of others. There is no judgment or self-righteousness in this love. . and you will know. for the love of God knows no limits and knows no judgments. There is no right or wrong. love . It means accepting a higher calling and higher perspective on our lives. Brahman Loves You. Living with an open heart is to live in love. and our love and compassion must embrace all. the vibration that exists in the very center of our consciousness and hearts. Allah Loves You. It means knowing that the ultimate act is to give selflessly and continuously in love and compassion. God loves no one more than You. The Divine Consciousness of the Universe Loves You. Christ Loves You. Buddha Loves You. embraces all. Love. There is no damned and no saved. God Loves You. The reward for taking up the challenge of breaking open your heart is the realization of your true nature. There is no good and there is no evil. as is the nature of God’s love. . Not romantic or possessive love. .Divine Consciousness and the Universal Heart 127 Buddha. . but love that flows freely and embraces all things. . LOVE! . Open your heart. All such distinctions are human conventions and inventions. Divine love.
128 The Entheogenic Evolution .
” - God . or is it to become as I am? To become awakened to your divinity is to know that you are God and you are responsible for your own reality.“Is the highest good simply to know that I AM.
since the writing of those books. However. the editor of Shaman’s Drum magazine. In two of my previous books I focused on how one might approach psilocybin mushrooms and Salvia divinorum as entheogens and work with them for spiritual insight and transformation. I like the term as it focuses on the spiritual nature of their use.” and “gen” meaning “giving rise to or generating. it is the way that we approach and use such visionary medicines that will influence what kind of spiritual impact they have upon our lives. the ideas that we are discussing in this book were first raised in these other books. However. I’ve settled on entheogen as my term of choice. Mushroom Wisdom and Sage . for simply ingesting an entheogen will not necessarily produce a spiritual experience. Timothy White.Awakening the Divine Within T he word entheogen is a compound word with “en” meaning “within. This is my word of choice for what are variously called hallucinogens or psychedelics.” “theo” meaning “god. meaning “manifesting God within.” but given that this term is not yet in widespread use. Rather. as opposed to the more recreational or diversionary use to which they can be applied. In many ways.” Therefore it can be taken to mean awakening or generating the experience of God within. Whatever term we decide to use is not as important as the idea that certain plants and fungi have the ability to bring us to deeply spiritual states of consciousness and awareness and can be radically effective in generating such states. has suggested that the term entheodelic would be even more appropriate. the idea of an entheogen refers more to the style and intention of use than to the substances themselves.
It is quite common for people to try salvia and then swear that they never want to repeat the process again. As my spiritual experience has grown by leaps and bounds since my work with daime and 5-MeO-DMT. mushrooms and ayahuasca are more similar to each other with 5-MeO-DMT being a radical experience unto itself. but many people apparently have difficulty letting go into the often-overwhelming energetic flow that salvia can open us up to. I have been surprised by how many emails I have received from readers who said that they took salvia and felt that they were dying and were terrified by the process. some of which I will share in the following chapter. I opened this book with my account of my first complete experience of God. neither of which had I experienced when I wrote those two previous books. but also somewhat similar in the sense that they are all tryptamine alkaloids and share a similar molecular structure and work in similar ways within our bodies. In short. salvia is challenging for many people. Letting go is an important practice for working with any entheogen. Not wanting to repeat what I’ve already written. or DMT. with dimethyltryptamine. As an entheogen. Out of the three. consuming 5- . Tryptamine Palace. but once I encountered 5-MeO-DMT for myself. Of the medicines that I’ve worked with. However. the author of the soon-to-be-released book. I’ve had opportunities to work with ayahuasca. 2005 and Strassman. Having written a book about salvia. Oroc. and I would encourage interested readers to refer to those books for further discussion of many of these issues of working with entheogens. I would say that much of what I wrote as advice for entheogen use with mushrooms and salvia applies here as well. boldly states that 5-MeO-DMT is the only true entheogen he has ever experienced.Awakening the Divine Within 131 Spirit. with an emphasis in this chapter on 5-MeO-DMT. 2001). Having worked spiritually with salvia and mushrooms. The experience I recounted there was the beginning of a long series of experiences and mystical states of consciousness that continues to this very moment and has initiated a startling process of awakening and transformation in myself. my main purpose in this section of the book is to discuss how one can work with these different medicines for spiritual awakening. Mushrooms. the most unique would be salvia. ayahuasca. which has made a very strong impression on me. I understood what he was getting at. I would like to focus primarily on these two medicines in these latter sections of this book. which came from consuming vaporized 5-MeO-DMT. in the form of daime. and 5-MeO-DMT. being the base ingredient that all share (see Metzner. and 5-MeO-DMT are all very different from each other. with an emphasis on 5-MeO-DMT as this is the clearest and most immediately profound entheogen I have ever had the honor of working with. I was a bit taken aback by his statement.
unless one combines it with an monoamineoxidase inhibitor. Somewhere between ten and twenty minutes later. though still tremendously affected by the sacrament. sometimes even completely void of any “visionary” content. he found that subjects often experienced radical visionary encounters with aliens. Psilocybin would be an exception as it is an “edible” form of DMT with a slightly different molecular structure. Such encounters are largely absent from the ingestion of 5-MeO-DMT. or simply “DMT. which Erowid. whether one is ready for it or not.” which. rapidly transitioning into a hugely expanded state of consciousness. though it can also be insufflated (snorted) for a somewhat longer experience.” it freely crosses the blood/brain barrier and is virtually gobbled up by our hungry brains.N DMT. 5-MeO-DMT is both stronger and longer acting than “regular” DMT. Like it’s more well-known cousin. and all manner of strangeness. and there’s plenty to experience along the way. All effects completely subside . though it is a round trip ticket. The peak comes within a few minutes. This is then followed by another fifteen to twenty minutes of re-entering the body and the ego-self. finally returning to baseline (though most likely profoundly affected and impacted by the experience).org describes as an experience of “The Void. There are no stops on the journey. another transition is generally reached where one feels that they are “back” in some sense. 5-MeO-DMT 5-MeO-DMT is a naturally occurring entheogenic compound that is found not only throughout the natural world in plants and animals. and is generally significantly shorter. in my experience. The experience lasts no more than an hour. is a fairly accurate characterization. It cannot be consumed orally as enzymes in our stomachs break down the DMT before we are able to absorb it. Consuming 5-MeO-DMT is generally accomplished through smoking or vaporizing.132 The Entheogenic Evolution MeO-DMT is a fast ride right into the heart of God. N. insect beings. In Rick Strassman’s study of DMT. allowing it to be absorbed in the gut. such as is found in the banisteriopsis vine. but is also less visual. The effects come on almost immediately. a crucial ingredient to the ayahuasca brew. but is also endogenously in the human body.
Awakening the Divine Within 133 within an hour. However. Get out a journal or some art supplies and see what comes out when you delve into yourself. However. and the setting. 5-MeODMT is not a scheduled substance. attending to these contextual issues can go a long way for providing a supportive and integrative environment for the unfolding of what is bound to be a profound experience with 5-MeO-DMT. whatever that may mean for you. the location of the experience.N DMT. your relationships to others. . and generally less (with thirty or forty minute experiences being common). It should not be undertaken carelessly and the better-educated and better-prepared one is. but rather is an opportunity to look at how you actually are without passing judgment. set. Read spiritual literature or mystical poetry (personally I’ve found the Tao de Ching and the poetry of Rumi to be very congruent with the 5-MeO-DMT experience). Adventurous seekers can even find 5-MeO-DMT for sale on the internet and give it a try for themselves. perhaps due to its relative obscurity. To my mind. Be honest with what you find. How can one prepare for a meeting with the divine? The basic answer is: any way you can. Look at your fears and judgments and try to feel how these are impacting your life. for 5-MeODMT is no recreational experience. your relationship to yourself. Set and Setting As all experienced entheogen users know. a true Eucharistic sacrament. Taking an honest look at yourself and your state is not a practice of telling yourself how you should be. It is to this end that the following advice is offered. and is a direct pathway to an experience of the divine. and your relationship to the divine. but don’t hold onto judgments. play an extremely important role in influencing the experience that one will have with an entheogenic agent. Somewhat amazingly. anyone looking to take the ultimate plunge should educate themselves thoroughly as to what they are getting into. No amount of attention to set and setting will ever completely determine a person’s experience – indeed. then note those things but don’t judge them. Spend time meditating or reflecting in nature. 5-MeO-DMT is a holy experience. Go into your heart and give yourself the time to really experience whatever it is that you find there. If you find things you don’t like. or the mental and emotional state of the voyager. the more likely one will be able to make the most of the experience. it is the novel and surprising nature of entheogens that in part makes them so fascinating in that you never really know what you are going to get. unlike N. which is scheduled and prohibited by both national and international laws.
Opening the Circle The Temple of Awakening Divinity. you may want to specifically go into your entheogenic session with the intention of addressing that issue or going deeper into it. it is my advice that they create a sacred time and space for their entheogen use. The experience is so total and so overwhelming that one cannot function in any capacity that would require normal social interaction. Are you going for healing? For spiritual awakening? To deepen your relationship with the divine? Is there a specific issue you want to explore and get to the root of? If you need to. establishing an intimate atmosphere of trust. As for 5-MeO-DMT. As I have found this to be a very workable model for 5-MeODMT use. For those looking for deep spiritual experience. I would like to share some of that context here with the thought that others may like to create similar circles for use of this powerful sacrament. for example. what you hope to get out of this experience. you may find that there are specific areas where you are ready to grow or blossom and would like to explore more deeply as well – not all self-reflection need be critical selfanalysis. in reflecting on yourself. Many people enjoy partaking of psilocybin mushrooms socially. For this reason. As participants arrive. All who attend a session are greeted warmly by the host or facilitator. the experience will be whatever it is going to be. mutual well-being and love. Either way. with generally no more than six to eight people present at a time. as clearly as you can.134 The Entheogenic Evolution If you find something serious enough. Express. My own experiences with 5-MeO-DMT have largely been restricted to the Temple of Awakening Divinity. they enter the space quietly and take a seat on the floor around the . it is basically impossible to engage with this sacrament in a social setting. special attention must be paid to the setting where this extremely powerful agent is used as the improper environment could be a disastrous experience. filled with sacred and ceremonial objects from a wide variety of spiritual and religious traditions. Circles are kept to a small number of participants. write your questions and intentions down. or ToAD. the easier it will be to integrate and process the experience afterwards. meets in a suburban home in a room that has specifically been set aside as a “temple” room. as first mentioned in the opening of this book. Some entheogens are more amenable to social and casual environments and others are less so. In the end. but the more you can do to get clarity in yourself before the experience. Or. but to each their own path. spending time getting to know where you are at can help you to set your intention of moving into an entheogenic session.
with participants knowing that the host/facilitator is serious about creating a safe and supportive environment. Whether or not a person will “go. everyone still checks in and enters equally into the group process. along with rituals of purification and consecration. and you want to be able to fully trust those you are with for sharing in this life-altering experience. The 5-MeO-DMT experience is so huge.Awakening the Divine Within 135 central altar that contains the sacrament and the “lamp. concerns and intentions for the night’s gathering/session. These actions help to set the tone of the gathering right from the beginning. The ToAD is led by an experienced ceremonial magician trained in the esoteric arts who performs a standard banishing. A group “check in” follows the banishing. Check in is a great time for people to express their fears. Usually the new comers have many concerns and questions. these actions can have a big impact. hold space.” for many come simply to witness. The objective here is to establish a ritual “container” where participants feel free to both let go and to express themselves as deeply as possible and however they see fit. It’s important for all those in the circle to speak openly and honestly and to know that what they are sharing is received in an environment of trust. and lend their support to those making the journey. counsel and instructions for those who are about to undergo what may likely be one of the most profound and amazing experiences of their life. welcoming everyone to the circle and expressing his thoughts on that night’s gathering and modeling the check in process for the group. it should be done in perfect love and perfect trust. . Most circles that I’ve been to have been a mix of old and new voyagers. each participant in turn will express his or her state of mind. which these practices accomplish as well. so monumental. and those who are experienced in the group can generally provide sage advice. This cannot be stressed enough.” which in this case. is the vaporizer by means of which the 5-MeO-DMT will be consumed. Then. As they say in magical circles. Spiritually. it is important to establish the space on an energetic level. feelings. Psychologically. or concerns and ask any questions that they may have. Once all the participants have arrived. Usually the facilitator goes first. worries. opening ceremony begins. support and confidence. that you want your experience to be in the most loving and comfortable environment possible. Each individual present then determines for themselves whether they will partake of the entheogenic Eucharist and when they will do so over the course of the evening. purification and consecration.
Given the radically unique nature of 5-MeO-DMT. In any event. if they haven’t tried 5-MeO-DMT. While this is not necessary. and even those who are familiar with the experience can still get a bit nervous before taking the ultimate plunge. While I have heard of churches that give DMT to everyone at the same time. but in my experience. The other option is simply to have the most adventurous of the group go first and see what happens. the group focuses its collective attention and a general ecumenical invocation is performed by the facilitator calling in the presence of the divine in a non-dogmatic manner. Then it is time for sharing the sacrament. many who are taking the journey for the first time feel more comfortable with the experience when they can see someone else go first who already knows what to expect. so being able to witness someone else go first is really the closest idea new comers can get of what they may or may not experience. one must be very sensitive to how the sounds could impact the experience.136 The Entheogenic Evolution The Journey Begins Once everyone has had an opportunity to check in and share their hearts and minds with others. this is definitely the model that I would recommend for working with this particular sacrament. Gentle music is also played through a stereo system to help provide an undertone for the experience. I would think it best that music be chosen by an experienced voyager as he or she will have the best idea of what kinds of music fit well with the experience. Some may prefer to journey without music. In choosing music. It should be vast and expansive. At the ToAD. For sessions at the ToAD. the music should be non-intrusive and ambient with little in the way of rhythm or melody. Most first timers have some degree of anxiety about the upcoming experience. every person has his or her own individual turn. The lights are turned down fairly low so as not to be distracting for the voyager. and given my experience. every person I’ve witnessed go through the experience has commented that the music helped them on their journey. Even if they are well-experienced with psychedelics. it makes very little difference if the one taking the journey has any prior experience with entheogens or psychedelics. No amount of explanation or attempts at describing the experience can really capture it. The ceremonial facilitators at the ToAD like to have a more experienced voyager model the experience for all the new comers. I have to wonder how that would work. then they don’t know what they’re really getting into. A friend of mine whom I introduced to the 5- . a comfortable bed is set up toward one side of the room with cushions placed about the bed for witnesses to sit and hold space for the one making the journey. as is the experience itself.
Of course I don’t see anything wrong with working with other entheogens – they just won’t help you prepare for this particular experience. I’ll have to take his word on it. I will describe below what kinds of experiences one can expect from this sacrament. Regardless of how one chooses to begin a session. to “warm up” to the feat of ingesting 5-MeO-DMT. in fact. but it points to the idea that there really isn’t a comparison to any other psychedelic agent. The recipient should do his or her best to relax fully. Often those taking the journey want to know what it was like for the other people in the room. The person voyaging takes his or her place on the bed or futon. You can see it on their faces and the way their body moves (or rests peacefully). I can see little value to doing so as it won’t prepare you for this journey. Witnessing is so much more than simply waiting for your turn. It is an active form of witnessing that is holy in and of itself. Witnessing is a very important role in such a gathering. take several deep and cleansing breaths. seated. People channel all kinds of energy and the room can become super-charged with spirit. Participating in a 5-MeO-DMT session is not a casual affair. then all I can say is that it is something to witness indeed. I’ve also noticed that prior psychedelic use is not a factor in the person being able to process and manage the experience. And despite the fact that some people making the journey have chosen to work with a less-overwhelming entheogen. or the way they hold their hands or the look of wonder that flows out of their eyes as they stare into the vast Void of the Beyond. and many witnesses are brought to tears and laughter at the beauty they see others experiencing before them. with a model or not. everyone should prepare themselves for a radical experience. comes in the form of vapor. The administrator should be close on hand to take the smoking or vaporizing device from the one journeying for within a few seconds the person will be unable to do much more than fall back onto the bed and go far out into the realms of mind and spirit. in some cases. In fact. which at the ToAD. Never having tried LSD. depending on the method used). and often not passive as well. and is ready to receive the sacrament. and makes my heart soar when I see people fully release into their divine nature. but suffice it to say here that it often becomes a profound interactive affair between the one taking the journey and the witnesses in the room. once the choice has been made as to who is to go. I’ve been more impressed by those with no prior experience than I have by people with prior experience with psychedelics. It’s beautiful.Awakening the Divine Within 137 MeO-DMT experience recently commented that it was like taking a hundred hits of LSD all at once. and then carefully inhale the vapor (or smoke. Holy moments pass like waves . If you’ve never seen a person fall into the throes of divine ecstasy. such as mushrooms.
it is the feeling of infinite love. the feeling of the experience. Yet 5-MeO-DMT is largely not about the visual experience. though some have reported feeling that rather than expanding outwards. reassurance. everyday consciousness. total trust. until you are no longer able to even attempt to understand logically what you’ve just fallen into. There really is no way to describe this. The expansion just keeps getting bigger. and bigger.138 The Entheogenic Evolution through the room with some of the most profound cathartic processes you might ever encounter. at best. It happens so quickly that it is completely overwhelming. nothing will stop what is about to occur. one rapidly moves from baseline. The vapor or smoke should be held as long as possible and one will generally begin to feel the effects before the first exhalation. and completeness. is definitely beyond the form. Either way. From my personal experience and observation of others. Others describe it as a psychedelic nuclear explosion. and others can generally provide very important feedback. for often the transition is accompanied by the visual experience that everything is transforming into energy or dissolving into filaments of light. “It’s completely beyond the form!” The visual content of the experience is secondary to. Lift Off Once the 5-MeO-DMT has been consumed. and comfort to those passing through their divine process. and this is a feeling. to the deepest and most expanded state imaginable. but for many. more of which I’ll discuss below. Everything you’ve ever identified with is suddenly. The feeling is one of expansion for most. perfect acceptance. One friend described the transition process as consciousness just tumbling in on itself. it seems to me that the full experience comes on in the space of about three breaths. which. I experience the transition as an infinite expansion into the vast nothingness that is the Heart and Mind of God. People want witnesses for their experience and want to know how others perceived or experienced what they were going through. healing. though surprisingly gently. the transition is rapid and unstoppable. As another voyager commented when in the throes of the experience. and bigger. In those three breaths. many also want physical contact with others. or fewer. everything is rushing in. Once all our limitations . It is not about perceiving an object or being or light or energy – it is about falling deeply into the embrace of the divine. and bigger. ripped away. In fact. absolute perfection. For myself. or a warp speed ride into the infinite cosmos. the image of “warp speed” or a “jump to hyper space” is not so far off. And towards the end of the journey. Different people will have different ways of experiencing this feeling.
will be repeated upon their moment of death). however. or are unable to surrender. and in fact. it just feels like coming home. I do not have any fear of death at this point. Going into God is nothing that we should be fearful of. Clear all that away. for whatever reason. I have seen terrifying experiences turn around the instant the voyager has called out to God or Spirit or whatever for help and release from their fear and suffering. Giving up the ego and body is so radically liberating that I have no fear of having to leave my identity and sense of self behind. is to remember to ask for help. Surrender is not easy for many people. In that split second that it takes the words to escape from their lips. their experience immediately moves from horror to . as I feel that I’ve been through the process on a number of occasions. and some fight the experience. The only choice is to surrender and let the cosmic wave take you where it will. all that is left is the embrace of the divine. I would speculate. It is the radical stripping away of everything habitual and familiar to reveal the intimate state of our original minds underneath all the personal clutter we’ve accumulated and constructed and projected and repressed. Of course. but I have seen horrified looks of terror overcome peoples’ faces as they confront their fears on their way to the divine. we are perfectly capable of creating heaven and hells for ourselves. drowning in the sheer overwhelming flood of divine consciousness. Unwillingness to surrender. You cannot stop the rush of the psychedelic tsunami once it has been unleashed. At worst. or get pummeled and spiritually drowned by the experience. and all you are left with is God. this is a completely hopeless battle. find themselves faced with all of their worst fears. Releasing and Letting Go Everyone reacts differently to the 5-MeO-DMT lift-off. and given our power as creators. other than simply surrender. it can lead to an outright terrifying experience that could potentially haunt someone to the end of their days (and.Awakening the Divine Within 139 have been overcome and all barriers removed. I am convinced that all concepts of heaven and hell are the projections of our own hearts and minds as we transition into the spiritual energy of the divine. Yet some are fearful. It is not an understatement to say that consuming 5MeO-DMT is like dying. The key to having a fully rewarding experience is to completely release and let go. I am convinced that the rapid transition of the 5-MeO-DMT experience is similar to the process of dying. Though I of course cannot be certain. Those who do not want to let go. For me. almost invariably leads to a difficult and challenging experience. My one bit of advice. I’m very happy to say that is has been the minority.
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ecstatic bliss. All it takes is the desire to let go and surrender and it will happen. A person who is unable to surrender, for whatever reason, will probably not have an experience that they will want to repeat. Those who do, however, will feel that they have been blessed with the most sacred and holy of experiences possible. For many, it is their first encounter with God, just as it was with me on my first journey, and it is one that I and others happily and gratefully return to when the opportunity presents itself.
The full immersion in the 5-MeO-DMT experience lasts for about ten to twenty minutes. During this initial phase, the voyager is deep within the sacred experience. For those who have fully released into it, they experience a transcendent state that is beyond all concept of space and time and presents itself to the voyager as the ever-present and fully holy NOW. It is a state of absolute perfection and peace. If release and surrender is achieved in the first few moments of the journey then the voyager will be able to get the most out of this deep state of immersion. For some, however, the release does not come until the downward slope of the experience, and while rewarding, will not have the same impact if release and surrender happens early on. The greatest reward for surrendering early is that one is graced with the knowledge that this is IT! The full immersion has such tremendous clarity that any doubt is just simply blown away. When you’re in that state, there can be no doubting or second-guessing what you are experiencing. It is so total, so complete, so absolutely present that it is simply how things are beyond any question. When you are there, it is impossible to experience cynicism or skepticism. When you’ve surrendered to it, you just know for you feel it with every aspect of your being and you know that this is, paradoxically, the most intimate and universal experience possible. If release comes later in the experience one can still have a profoundly cathartic process, but the clarity and utter certainty is generally missing or is experienced to a much lesser degree.
Crossing the Divide
Somewhere between the ten and twenty minute mark, there generally is a fairly distinct transition “back” to “this side.” It is difficult to describe, but there comes a moment where one’s ego and everyday sense of self starts to reassert itself. It will take another fifteen to twenty minutes for one’s ego to fully form once again, but the beginnings of this process are
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rather distinct and pronounced. Some voyagers might even claim that they are done with their journey at this point, despite the fact that they are probably still “tripping” harder than they ever have before on any other visionary medicine. Many people start to interact more and even discuss their experience with the witnesses in the room at this point. However, they should be encouraged to relax, stay focused on their experience, and take their time coming back. There should be no rush for them to finish their experience and this “returning” time can provide significant opportunity for reflection and integration. For many people, this is the most emotional time of the experience. During the full immersion many voyagers are completely overwhelmed and find themselves ecstatically crying and laughing, or are overwhelmed with profound feelings of love and gratitude. In the transition back, they start to understand their own identity again, and this can bring up any number of existential issues for people. Many people will process through their own wounds or feelings at this time and it can be extremely emotional for both the voyager and the witnesses. Some people process traumas from childhood or from deep in their past. Others are simply overwhelmed by the magnitude of what they’ve just passed through and need to shout, scream, cry, kick, stand on their heads, or whatever it is they may need to do. And getting back into your body can be difficult as well. Many enjoy touch and physical contact at this time, especially on their palms and soles of their feet (end points are highly significant experientially). Desires for hugs and warm embraces are very common as well. Many enjoy having a large pile of people on top of them as they transition back into their bodies, feeling that profound human connection and expression of love. However, it is extremely important that those witnessing be sensitive to the person transitioning back. Even if they want contact, they may only want it for a brief moment. Witnesses have the job of “holding space” for that person, and they must be careful not to impose on the voyager or intrude upon their experience in a way that the person does not necessarily desire. Holding space is all about giving absolute respect and attention to the person making the journey and responding to them as needed. It is not a time to impose oneself or become the center of attention or activity. It is a time to honor the voyager’s contact with the divine and to support and love that person as necessary.
After thirty to forty minutes the experience is generally over. In the process, one will have traveled from baseline to cosmic unity and back to baseline again. Of all those who I’ve had the honor of bearing witness for,
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only those few who held on to fear and did not surrender were not profoundly and deeply touched by the experience. From advanced, life-long meditators to experienced psychonauts, everyone agrees that they’ve never experienced anything like this and that it was the most profound and meaningful experience of their lives. And what is more, virtually everyone who comes back wants to share this experience with others as soon as possible and with as many people as possible. It is a face-to-face encounter with the Divine, and they know it and want to share it with anyone ready to take that leap and pass into the beyond. What does one do once coming back from a journey like this? For one, I suggest a little chocolate and strawberries. Being in a body has its difficulties, but it has its pleasures too, and a tasty and succulent treat after such an undertaking is both a simple and profound joy. It reminds us of why it’s good to be human – we get to savor chocolate and strawberries, after all. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not suffered. So enjoy the fact that you’ve gone to the outer limits and returned to tell the tale. Have some chocolate. Your body will thank you! Many people find themselves overwhelmed upon their return. Tears are quite common. Many people want physical, loving contact with others and find great reassurance in being embraced and touched. Some people want healing work or special attention, and it is always wise to have experienced healers and light workers among those bearing witness. It is extremely important that all those who are returning from their journey be given the time, space, and support they need to find their way back into their bodies and their sense of self. This is the biggest transition one can go through, with the exception perhaps of death itself, and it is a process that demands the utmost respect and care.
Closing the Circle
At the ToAD, after all participants who have chosen to take the journey have had their turn, it is time for the closing circle. Once more everyone sits on the floor around the central altar. All join hands and, after a short closing ceremony conducted by the facilitator, chant OM together after which they then proceed to “check out,” each person having the opportunity share what they want of their experience or how they are feeling at that moment. This is generally a time for people to express their deep and heartfelt gratitude for having undergone the most profound experience of their life. Generally there is a great deal of joy and love during such closing circles and the participants feel bound together in a special and unique way, even if they had never met prior to joining this circle. There is a common sense of having “done the work” collectively and individually. New
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perspectives have been gained and spiritual relationships have been deepened and enriched beyond imagination. All are thankful for having shared in the holy moment of communion with the divine. Many feel reborn into the world and want to bring the blessings that they have received to others and do their part to help others heal and connect to their spiritual source.
Types of Journeys
The passages written above are really just a sketch of what the 5MeO-DMT process is like. It is important to keep in mind that despite some common factors, the actual experience will be different for each person. And even one individual can have many different kinds of experiences as well. I’ve journeyed with 5-MeO-DMT seven times now, at the time of writing this sentence, and while there is definitely continuity from one experience to the next, I find that for each journey I have a different issue that I have to work through to fully release and encounter the divine or grapple with on my way back into my ego-self. While I largely return to the same experience or feeling of the divine, I have different things that I have to get through to get there, and then, while in that state, I receive different information based on where I’m at spiritually at that moment. Each experience has built on the one before it, and is also built on the intervening experiences of other medicines in my spiritual practice. Thus no two experiences have been identical for me, and the same is true for others. With that in mind, I would like to outline a few patterns of experience I have either had the opportunity to pass through myself or witness among others. Keep in mind that any one person may pass through all or none of these kinds of experiences. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, by any means, but it should give the interested reader a good idea of the range of reactions and experiences that people may go through when using this very powerful medicine.
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“The Buddhas,” as my friend “Hal,” who leads circles at the ToAD, likes to call them, are among his favorite voyagers. These are people who fall quietly and peacefully into the embrace of the divine, though they can be the least interesting to witness. Buddhas take their hit, lie back, maybe get a little smile on their face, and thirty to forty minutes later sit up beaming in bliss and gratitude. Their process is supremely easy and gentle and for whatever reason, they don’t seem to have a lot of existential, emotional, or cognitive difficulty to pass through in order to fully release into the experience. Sometimes you can predict who will be a Buddha, but there are no guarantees. However, it is important to note that just because someone is calm and quiet, it does not mean that they are necessarily having a deeper or more profound experience than someone who is writhing around and screaming. Serenity does not necessarily equal depth, though it can be an important indicator.
While Buddhas are peaceful and serene, Oracles are most definitely not. Oracles tend to writhe about, interact deeply with others who are witnessing, and often exhibit glossolalia, or “speaking in tongues.” Glossolalia can take many forms and no two people that I’ve witnessed have exhibited the same linguistic tendencies. I’ve heard everything from pure babble to what appears to be fully articulated, syntactical language. Often Oracles will vary back and forth between glossolalia and speaking in their normal tongue. During their experience, they may look others directly in the eye and either speak in tongues to them, or even more surprisingly, say something intelligible and deeply personal to those they are making contact with. This can be rather startling for witnesses and can have a deep impact on them, for messages seem to come from beyond through the medium of the Oracle with some import just for you. One person whom I had only met briefly once before and who knew basically nothing about me or my life went from writhing on the bed uttering what sounded like ancient Sanskrit in a deep masculine voice to looking directly into my eyes as she crouched on the foot of the bed with her face pressed up to mine and saying, “Your journey is honored.” She then promptly went back to writhing and speaking in tongues, only to have this broken several more times by personal messages that she passed on to the other witnesses in the room in a similar manner.
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The Cosmic Infant
Cosmic Infants are a pleasure to witness. For some, the embrace of the divine is so powerful that all they can do is wriggle around and babble like a baby. Some even grab their feet and rock on their backs the way that infants do, making baby gurgles and pre-language sounds. This might be accompanied by crying, laughter, or both at the same time. Some even suck at their lips as though they were nursing, gaining nourishment directly from the Divine Mother.
The Cosmic Orgasm
For some, consumption of 5-MeO-DMT is equivalent to a cosmic orgasm. Interestingly, I’ve only seen this effect among women, though I wouldn’t rule out the possibility for men. Some women become extremely sexually stimulated from the sacrament and they writhe about on the bed clearly in the throes of pure sexual ecstasy. This is perhaps more prevalent among women as sexually, for a woman to have an orgasm, she generally has to surrender herself to her partner. In this case, the partner is God. Men, on the other hand, do not need to surrender to orgasm – they just need enough stimulation. Given that surrender is a necessary part of a full 5MeO-DMT experience, it is possible that women are more skilled in letting themselves surrender more deeply and easily than men and therefore slip more easily into an orgasmic state.
Admittedly I haven’t really seen anyone else fully experience what I call God’s Didjeridu, and mostly that’s a term that I use to describe my own personal experiences. For those unfamiliar with the didjeridu, it is an Aboriginal Australian instrument that is nothing more than a hollow tube. It is played by vibrating your lips on one end of the instrument and thereby amplifying the resonant frequencies of the tube, with the result being a strange droning vibration. The key here is the vibrations. When I consume 5-MeO-DMT, I vibrate. I’ve seen some others exhibit some tendencies toward vibrating, but nothing even remotely comparable to what I go through when I make the journey. Primarily, my hands and feet vibrate and I can feel the energetic threads of all of existence passing through the palms of my hands. When I’m deep in God consciousness, the energy of God seems to emanate from the very center of my heart and being, filling up all of time and space and existence, and through these energetic vibrations I can feel everything with my hands. As I transition back into my body, the
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energy can become overwhelming and then I might need to tone and shake rather violently to let all the energy pass out of me. I’ve even gone for subsequent acupuncture sessions just to release the energy, which tends to get me vibrating again. Even talking about 5-MeO-DMT can start me vibrating. In short, I feel like God’s Didjeridu, just vibrating away to the cosmic energies. I’m told that it’s something to see. Regardless of whether one vibrates or not, the experience of energy is very common for those consuming 5-MeO-DMT. Many people will experience moments of shaking bodies or vibrating hands, feet, or legs. This generally does not last long for people, however, which has led to my impression that my experiences are something of an exception, as I will vibrate from beginning to end. For most, it is a brief moment that passes quickly. Somewhat similar to the Cosmic Orgasm or Oracle, some people find that this energy causes them to writhe about or simply move their bodies. I’ve seen yoga, headstands, and wild thrashing. Others shake their heads or buzz their lips and tongues, releasing the energy into the room and letting it out of their bodies.
The Primal Screamer
Some people are loud. Really loud. And primal. For whatever reason, some people really have to vocalize as they move through the experience. This is probably related to both their experience of energy and whatever emotional processing they have to go through during the experience. Primal Screamers tend to describe it as profoundly cathartic and generally really appreciate that they were able to let loose and let it all out.
Some people feel the need to narrate or describe their process as they are going through it. Personally, I’m of the opinion that such verbal analyses are best left for afterwards, but some people find that this is the only way they can make it through the experience. My suspicion is that the experience is so overwhelming for them that they need to feel something “normal,” and therefore attempt to engage in conversations with others during their journey. My feeling is that such ongoing narratives prevent people from fully embracing the journey, which, in the end, is far beyond any linguistic description we could attempt to give it. Language helps to produce distance and objectifies experience and “rationalizes” it. However,
almost immediately after taking in the sacrament. Those who move a lot of energy during the experience may find that they need to purge at some point as well. I personally think it is closer to clinging and emotional dependency. but merely as an observation. . but if the process has gone well.Awakening the Divine Within 147 apparently some people need this to make it through and it serves them in some way. so instead of falling into the divine.” The Displacer focuses his or her love and energy on another at the onset of the experience and tends not to let go. just in case. some people find that they need to purge or vomit at some point during their journey. The Purge Though very rare. but I think that such experiences miss the mark. For some. While this can appear as deep and abiding love. In these cases an experienced facilitator/healer can assist the individual in moving and releasing this built up energy through practices of shamanic healing. Universal love is so much more healing and powerful than possessive or clingy love. releasing any built up energy without actually physically vomiting. affection. For example. they focus all that love and energy on someone else in the room. The prepared host should always have some kind of bowl or purge bucket available. For others. My advice for those who find themselves in such a state is to express your love. the purge may come at the onset of the experience. generally coinciding with a healing experience. In some cases people will simply energetically purge or gag. It is common for voyagers to want to express love. Letting yourself pass into universal love can deepen and enrich your personal relationships so much more than highly magnified emotional dependency. generally someone with whom they are close or romantically involved. and gratitude for others in the room. This is not meant as a judgment. during my last journey I moved so much divine energy that my body simply could not contain it upon my re-entry and I had to vomit in order to help release the energy. It is my opinion. this is usually toward the end of the journey when the person is mostly “back. This can happen when someone feels the overwhelming love of the divine and is not sure how to let it embrace them and return that embrace. but then see if you can open it up and just let the love be without having to affix it to an object of desire or affection. The Displacer At certain times I have seen some people make witnesses in the room the focus of their experience. a need to purge may come during a particularly cathartic moment of the journey.
Feeling some fear and anxiety going into the experience is perfectly normal. this is most likely to happen when the voyager is lying down with arms open and palms facing upwards. for it could potentially do some serious damage to a person’s psyche. 5-MeO-DMT can be a terrifying process that some liken to dying. though it tends to happen when the person is the most relaxed and receptive. but as a blessed release and transition home. but it is important to note that it exists. The I AM Those who fall deeply into the Mind and Heart of God can find themselves in the rather unique experience of what I have come to call the “I AM. For those caught in the Cage of Fear. nowhere to run. Personally. Though rare. and not in a good way (as I too liken the experience to dying. it can be equally horrendous and terrifying. it is sheer terror. I’m happy to say that this is by far the minority of people I’ve witnessed make the journey. it is a trap from which they can find no escape. the Cage of Fear is only a passing transition in their journey. so any attempt at escape will only cause more fear and panic. For those who cannot escape the Cage of Fear. as this is the most receptive pose. nowhere to hide. There is no escape. Physically. looking for a way out of the immensity that is God’s presence. Indeed.” There’s nothing else attached to the end of that sentence – just “I AM. but for others. When fully relaxed into the “I AM” moment. and it would be dishonest not to admit it. The Cage of Fear For some. the experience is so huge. It is very important to understand that this kind of experience is possible.” It is the pure being of God and the full identity with God consciousness. This moment or experience may or may not be observable in a person’s journey. but there is nowhere to go. I would think that anyone who doesn’t have some . Some may not even recall having purged during the experience. all is unified into one pure being and all manifest reality is experienced as the loving effluence of that being. You can see it on their faces as their eyes dart this way and that.148 The Entheogenic Evolution Most who have to purge do not experience it as a negative aspect of their journey but rather generally find that it is essential to their personal process of encountering the divine or their higher self. Will it happen to you? No one can say. Not everyone is ready to withstand the totality of the experience. As blessed as 5-MeO-DMT can be. not as something to fear). the “I AM” moment is what transitions me into a good run of thirty to forty minutes of serious vibrating. it does happen.
however. then you shouldn’t let fear or reasonable caution dissuade you from making the journey. and thankfully. the more receptive your mind and heart will become. calming breaths. there will be nothing more to fear. It was all my choice. Much as one might examine a wound and open it up to clean it out in a traditional therapy session. The more receptive you make your body. the 5-MeO-DMT experience can be deeply healing and transformative. And once you receive the grace of the divine embrace and let it envelope you. If this is an experience you desire to have. By going into my pain while in God’s embrace. this might be a crucial part of the experience. Even if you don’t feel relaxed or comfortable.Awakening the Divine Within 149 trepidation probably doesn’t understand the gravity of what it is they are about to undertake. For some. everything was perfect anyway. so too can one get in touch with their wounds in the 5-MeO-DMT experience and quickly pass through the difficult healing transition. and only I was responsible for causing myself to suffer from the wounds I chose to hold on to through my life. If they can pass through the fear and open themselves up to that healing. The Healing Often people are fearful because they have some kind of mental. but the result was that it was released and transformed. Your entire experience can change in an instant. Take a few deep. or the entirety of the experience. I’ve seen others come through deeply transformed by making the same choice and letting themselves be open to that process. this takes the assistance of a skilled facilitator who. then they will likely be just fine. I chose healing. breathe and surrender to the experience. if you let yourself release into it. I knew that I was supremely loved. Many who initially experience the Cage of Fear can effectively process through it into the full release of the experience. Those who feel fear welling up within them need to remember that the experience will pass and if they just relax. and I’ve encountered my own healing in such a state. I’ve witnessed people pass through and heal traumas that they have felt have been with them for years. try to remind yourself to let your arms fall to your sides and let your body ease into the bed. dialogue and touch. Often. can reassure the person that they are safe and that they simply need to breathe and surrender to the experience. or physical trauma that needs attention and healing. . Experiencing fear and passing through it is very different from giving into fear. spiritual. emotional. utilizing verbal coaching. It took willingness and true courage to really go into my pain and suffering.
it is clearly understood that the time is now. The first is the Representative. and the desire to address it. No more waiting. . doubt. They perceive themselves as spiritual beings with missions and may emerge from the experience with a new. the feeling of being a representative or intermediary can be powerful indeed. And for most. Be forewarned! Getting in touch with your higher self can lead to radical life alterations and changes and you may find that you have difficult choices ahead of you when you are honest to that calling and authentic to who you really are! It may be more than you bargained for . There’s a lot of pain and suffering out there. they also feel that in the process they are gaining intimate knowledge of their “Higher Self. When embraced by the light and love of the divine. . or renewed. How does one speak to God on the behalf of others who are suffering and separated from the divine? What would it mean for your life? How would your life change if you felt this was your calling? But how to achieve it with a sense of selflessness and pure giving? These are not easy questions to answer. The Representative Which brings me to a few more kinds of experience that may unfold while visiting with 5-MeO-DMT. the darkness can seem dark indeed. The time is now for all of us to embody our higher selves and work to bring love and healing into the world in whatever capacity we are most capable. This is when a person finds him or herself inspired to engage with the divine on the behalf of others. inner mystics. and inner healers. and there are many who live in fear. . They understand the choices they have made and what is being asked of them by the divine in this life. inner shamans. or what might also be called the Intermediary. it can be quite overwhelming for the task seems insurmountable. When one actually feels all this. and darkness. Especially when one is open to the divine energy.” People come away from the experience with a sense of clarity about who they are and why they have chosen to incarnate in this form and in this life. People discover their inner prophets.150 The Entheogenic Evolution The Higher Self While many voyagers feel that their journey takes them into the divine. sense of purpose and understand how to align their personal will with the Will of the divine. just waiting to take action and do the Work.
they may feel cosmic significance attached to their choices and actions. The Christ Some. They are inspired to take action. as sooner or later. like Jesus. It will then be up to them to decide what that means and how they will manifest it in a way that is congruent with the selfless and universal love that is God’s gift to us all. They feel the pain of separation and want to help those who have not opened their eyes to the light.” so strong is their identification. Admittedly. I am a bit torn over writing so openly about this sacrament. 5-MeO-DMT for the Masses Who should use 5-MeO-DMT? Is it for everyone? Is it only for a select few? Now that we know that this amazing entheogenic agent actually exists. . and make a difference. Rightly or wrongly. organize. They feel called to help the suffering of the world and feel that there is nothing more important that they can do than take up this challenge to be a beacon of light and love for others.Awakening the Divine Within 151 The Bodhisattva A Bodhisattva is an enlightened being who works for the end of suffering for all sentient beings out of loving kindness and compassion. 5-MeO-DMT is legal to possess and use as it is unscheduled and not on the list of prohibited substances. I’ve seen several people come out of their experiences proclaiming “I’m Jesus!. the 5-MeO-DMT experience means feeling the direct perception of divine will and their personal relationship to that will. For some. what do we do? As of my writing this. Some come out of the 5-MeO-DMT experience asking themselves what they can do to help others awaken and experience their divine nature. The love and bliss of the divine state can lead voyagers to want to help others to achieve this kind of awareness and have this experience for themselves. may feel called to play a special role of bringing the healing of divine love to the world as a result of their awakening to their divine nature.
. yet our government turns a blind eye and lives in a perpetual state of denial. How long will we let this bizarre parade of lies and distortion continue? Personally. then you should and do have a right to do so. MDMA. despite the fact that numerous studies have definitively proven otherwise. If you want to unlock that door. The same holds true for recent research on psilocybin. turning good people into criminals and violating our human rights at every opportunity. bringing out old propaganda and untruths to justify their violations of our human rights to access to these sacraments. Only a government steeped in its own abuse of power can continue to insist that marijuana has no medical value. How can a plant be illegal? By what authority can any government say that a part of nature is against the law? Indeed. Logic. on our drug laws and policies. if any.152 The Entheogenic Evolution it is likely that the “authorities” will set their sights on it and try to criminalize all those who would seek to use it. I don’t know if the “war on drugs” will come to an end any time soon. I also hold to the view that anyone who desires to have this kind of experience should have a recognized human right to do so. I am also a strong believer in the truth.” We’ve outlawed nature itself by absurdly claiming that some plants and chemical agents are illegal. and ibogaine. propaganda. and the truth is that this is an amazing gift and people deserve to know what kinds of experiences it makes possible. 5-MeO-DMT is the ultimate key to the ultimate door and no amount of fear mongering or propaganda should cloud that fact or obscure this truth. I prefer to live in the “reality-based community” that Carl Rove belittled in the lead up to the Iraq war. And. The reality is that entheogens are powerful spiritual tools that can transform and heal and we have every right to experience the realms that they open up for us. and I think that it is high time that our society acknowledge this right. Without delving too deeply into the subject. and recognition of the sacred and the divine. I will simply say that the “war on drugs” is an absolute failure and a sham. and any practice that does not harm others or violate their human rights should be protected. entheogens are merely chemical keys that open doors to higher perception. and this in the “land of the free. cognition.S. ayahuasca. and truth seem to have little bearing. It is based on lies. into the biggest prison state in the world with a greater percentage of our citizens in prison than any other country in the world. I believe in the power of truth. Study after study comes through that says that these entheogens hold tremendous medical and spiritual promise. it seems completely absurd. No government or authority has the right to tell free individuals what they can or cannot do with their bodies. However. The war on drugs has helped to turn the U. and spirits. In my experience. In the end. minds. and the usurpation of power and rights. for example. reason.
for example. It is time for us to change course as a society and reassess our relationship to entheogens and the gifts they can provide. Entheogens could also be used in hospice settings to help prepare those who are dying for the . and social disintegration. and personal development. It could serve to aid those who suffer from many kinds of illness and disease. both of which I feel are antithetical to the divine). I’d like to see educational and spiritual advancement centers created to help people enter into and process the deeply spiritual experiences that entheogens give rise to. Society could benefit tremendously by large numbers of people having deeply spiritual experiences and realizations of their divine natures as embodiments of God. despite the best efforts of the “war on drugs. I’d highly recommend. it could help to fill the vast chasm of spiritual emptiness that many currently suffer from in our disenchanted world. Entheogens could be a regular part of personal therapy and help people overcome their limiting patterns and beliefs or self-destructive and self-defeating choices. Mystery schools were good for the ancient world and they would serve us well now when we find ourselves at the brink of disaster. The open and safe use of entheogens could radically serve and transform our society.” and many courageous people choose to follow their personal spiritual path of entheogen use despite the threat of imprisonment and the life-destroying powers of the government.Awakening the Divine Within 153 Who should use 5-MeO-DMT? Anyone who wants to and feels prepared to do so. Would it inspire them to act more compassionately or benevolently? Would they approach problems and solutions in the same way? Could it help to inspire new ways of living with others and with the Earth? I’d like to see a complete Entheogenic Evolution.” There is too much truth out there for people to listen to the propaganda and lies fed to them by the “authorities. It could free us from the myths and abuses of power of organized religions and their efforts at domination and control. I’d also like to see politicians take the journey and our judges and other social leaders. though I would caution that anyone venturing into this territory fully understand what it is that they are getting into and the possible risks and dangers involved. transformation. For one.” and move us into deeper discussions of experience. which is one of the reasons that the use of entheogens has probably increased. both physical and mental or spiritual. radically transforming our collective spiritual dialog. that religious leaders take the journey – especially anyone who claims to speak for God or represent God’s will in the world (which often takes the form of intolerance and radical judgment. People are longing for spiritual encounters and experiences. ecological collapse. It could help to move us away from dogmatic debates about “religion” and “belief.
We are facing a crisis of monumental proportions and sadly. I’d like to see us thrive. The old structures and practices of society are failing us and have created a violent and polluted world that is dying more every day. . this planet needs some serious healing. It’s time to wake up. . We all need to remember who and what we are. a true paradigm shift. the worst is probably yet to come as the effects of our collective actions and choices play themselves out in both the biosphere and the social realm. . Rick Strassman said to me about DMT. and then move on to regenerate itself. Can you feel your eyes opening? A new world is calling . why everyone isn’t studying this amazing chemical is a mystery to him. Why aren’t we studying this? Why aren’t we collectively striving to understand how to better use this gift and learn from it? What’s going on here? It is high time that we collectively assess where we are and where we are going. and fully embrace our roles as divine agents in this world and work for our healing and the healing of the planet. While there is great value to following a rigorous meditation practice. Of course. however. it isn’t necessary for deep spiritual awakening. The only way that is going to happen is through a widespread change in perspective. and what our place is in this world. and could serve to ease fears and heal spiritual wounds before that final journey is made. The time of dogma and blindness is over. Open and safe use of entheogens could also move us from the realm of spiritual speculation and metaphysics into the realm of mind science and the courageous exploration of the vast landscapes of the human mind and spirit. Entheogens are proving to be a vital and necessary part of this shift and it is time for this to be recognized. So open the schools and spiritual centers and begin the healing! Stand up for your rights and share the gifts that have been given to us by nature. As Dr. In short. . this will take some serious work on all of our parts. Calling for us to step into the fullness of our being . We have the chemical keys to help unlock these states. respected. for it seems to be a valve that we can turn on and off to produce mystical and spiritual states. and protected. and it isn’t going to get it unless we humans get our act together. the other possibility is that the planet will simply get most of us out of the way through environmental change and collapse. Yet. the fullness of our becoming.154 The Entheogenic Evolution ultimate transition between life and death. .
Awakening the Divine Within 155 .
“Do not seek to fulfill my Will. Ask yourself: what is your will? What is the highest good for you? Discover it. create it. for my Will is already accomplished.” - God . and become it.
but it is my story. Not wanting to be seen. I decided that I was going to change my life. read on. I knew I had to make a change.My Journey I would like to conclude this book by sharing something of my personal journey into the divine. an interpersonal crisis in my theme camp sends me out onto the playa late one night to sit with myself and my heart. to heal my heart. She comes up to me cautiously. checking to see that I’m OK. My story isn’t always pretty and it presents numerous challenges. Then. “Lovely . and I hope that everything that has come thus far has served you and touched your heart and mind. or perhaps out of a desire to learn from what I have passed through. For those who would like to take a peek at what’s been going on with me and what has inspired the ideas brought forth in this book out of curiosity. I had been compromising myself for virtually all of my adult life. then please. It all begins at Burning Man in 2007. all independently from each other. far out in the vast nothingness that is the open playa. I turn off all my blinky lights and sit in silence under the dome of stars. almost to this very day. A year ago. Out of the darkness comes a woman dressed in a big white fur coat. I’m presented with the challenge from various healers. Those who are not interested in my story can finish the book right here. I cannot deny that there is truth in what they are telling me. and when confronted with the truth of my heart. contemplating the choices before me.
“I’m not here for the sights. bending down to hug me. salvia tends to exhibit a reverse tolerance. meaning that a second round of using the sage can be much stronger than the first. but nothing really profound. you’ll know you made the right decision. This cosmic pillow stretches from one end of the universe to the other.” “Listen to your heart. “It will be hard. but truly starting to laugh. It feels as if I am surrounded by pure. in common between us. and it wants to get out. when my wife says.” I respond. I move out of the house that I’d shared with my wife and take up a room with a friend the next town over.158 The Entheogenic Evolution view. my friend and I decide to try some of the salvia that I had grown that summer. and in order for that relationship to function. “I get the feeling that you’re going to leave me. As the sage starts to come on it feels like my arms are floating back behind me as I sit on the floor in lotus posture. even if using the same source). I had lived in a perpetual state of denial about my unhappiness.” she says. packing myself half of a leaf to smoke (curiously. Less than one week after returning from Burning Man. and no matter what I choose. but the experience is something else. A week after moving in. Then more. I have to listen to my heart. As much respect as I have for my wife as a person. I go for another round. If I’m going to be honest with myself. and I just melt into it. I had compromised myself for many years. I can feel that laugh inside me though. Listen to your heart and follow it.” I know that she is right. giggling a bit more freely. It makes me want to giggle. My head tilts back and I feel like I’m being enfolded in what I later referred to as the cosmic pillow. but ten years from now. despite our having two children together. knowing that my friend would be wondering what I found funny but not wanting to explain my experience to him just yet. a bit self-consciously. plush comfort. It means stepping into the unknown and leaping off the edge into the abyss of total uncertainty in the pursuit of personal fulfillment and authenticity. I let out a little laugh. something is going to break. our relationship had ended many years ago. Then more comes out. Half a leaf of salvia isn’t much. It means changing everything. I go for a first round that is pleasant.” I don’t disagree. if anything. . Our paths and interests in life were so fundamentally disparate that there was little. “I’m here because I have to make a decision. But now I was no longer able to maintain the façade. completely enveloping me. So I do. So I let out a little more.” she says. I am no longer giggling now. After my friend has his turn. this most profound sense of comfort and ease. and that means making hard choices and radical changes.
Never before have I experienced such a profound laugh. the stronger it becomes. I can’t take it any more. and look at all the ways a relationship can go wrong. trying to wipe away the tears. I’m ready to follow my path. It is too much! “Oh God!” I keep calling out. I can’t breathe and I start crying at the sheer force of the laugh. All I can do is roll over onto my back. even when I do manage to “get well” with a small purge. but for whatever reason. A couple months later is my first visit to the Temple of Awakening Divinity. I find that I’m starting to release tension that I’ve held in . I wasn’t exactly a prime candidate for being a healthy or balanced partner. No longer able to sit in lotus posture. I’m free. Soon after moving to Oregon. In all. Apparently. I’m liberated. The more I let out. we are invited to a Native American Church ceremony by Timothy White. it is apparent to me that I’m holding a great deal of pain inside me still. A few months later I leave Southern California to move to Oregon to be with a woman I had started up a new relationship with. Still the laughter comes. The peyote we consume at the ceremony makes me want to wretch and purge. It doesn’t feel at all as though I am the one laughing. I’m still holding on pretty tightly to that pain inside me and I find no relief in the ceremony. There is clearly a great deal more that needs to come out. so I won’t bother to repeat it here. then you’d have a fairly accurate picture of what happened with me and my partner in this new relationship. I’ve found a profound joy.My Journey 159 The laugh begins as a vibration in my stomach. Harder and harder I laugh. but hope isn’t nearly enough and the relationship failed. The experience that ensued is recounted in the opening chapter of this book. The Way of the Superior Man. Having lived in a thoroughly dysfunctional relationship for my entire adult life. I won’t go into details other than to say that if you were to read David Deida’s book. I start bending over as the convulsions of the wild laughter escape from my body. I had hopes that things could work out. I slap the ground. and it is one serious laugh. the editor of Shaman’s Drum magazine. calling out “Oh God!” as tears stream down my face. the impression is that the universe is laughing through me. Now I’m rolling around on the floor laughing wildly. Rather. for our love was deep. And as soon as I try to explain the experience to my now very curious friend. We struggled to make it work however. And still the laugh grows. The experience is a profound revelation for me. but I don’t know how to get to it and let it release. I probably laugh for a good twenty to thirty minutes. Early on in our relationship. the whole thing starts over again.
even moving through me. The vibration eventually settles on my upper lip. I can tell that I’m beginning to shift. “You can do it. or loosing their old power. letting the wail fly out of me. and immediately my dreams change with symbols taking on new meanings. feeling like a high frequency vibration that just feels so good. I need to relax. At that realization I feel a profound joy and release sweep over me. for all the love and sustenance I could ever need was right here. As soon as the crying stops. I feel like a baby and I’m being tickled all over my body. curled up in a fetal position on the bed. So why do I hurt so much? “I love you. I scream and thrash about on the bed. our relationship is in its last throes. I’m holding myself tightly as I lie on the bed. something very curious happens.160 The Entheogenic Evolution my back and shoulders for years after this experience at the ToAD. yet we still hold on to each other out of love. but there is still more to do. Perhaps that can shed some light on our predicament.” I call out to God. The most delicious tickles run all over me. purging all the pain I’ve held so deep inside my heart. I let my arms fall to my sides with my palms up and as soon as I do so. “but I don’t want to live with this pain any more!” I don’t know exactly what that pain was – probably the accumulation of years of living in denial and depression. It is an extremely confusing time and honestly. I’m holding onto something and preventing myself from falling fully into God. Might as well go and visit with God. I can tell immediately upon taking the hit of 5-MeO-DMT that I’m resisting. By the time we’re invited back for another visit at the Temple of Awakening Divinity.” the witnesses in the room say to me and I trust them. I know I’m not surrendering. This confuses me for some time until it finally occurs to me that I’m suckling at the breast of the Great Cosmic Mother. Things have gone pretty much haywire between my partner and myself. and all I need to do is drink from this fathomless well of love. I reason. I cry and cry until there is no more crying left to do. but whatever it was. and I find myself sucking at it with my tongue. provided by the divine. I fall all the way into God. I don’t need my partner for love and support. The next day I write the following poem about my experience. I have no idea what to do. it all started coming out. The Great Mother Suckle from the breast of the Great Mother Tingling with sweet lips Honey tongue Tickled toes . but I don’t know why.
breathing Ever becoming Now! The Moment is Now! Wings unfurl and life takes flight Rushing to the ever-present Now The choice of self The gift of life The blessing of being To experience 161 .My Journey A babe in the embrace of All Drink! Drink! Drink! Drink from the Mother Feel her love Feel her forgiveness Her acceptance Her warmth And know that it is You It is I! Surrender to all pain Surrender to all fear Surrender to Love Love Love Give everything to Love Death is but a passage A transition A veil lifted And the world stands as it is Naked and alive Breathing.
The following night my partner comes home late in the evening. . Despite the mystical revelation. .” I think to myself as I feel myself slipping deeper into my meditation. I’m not quite ready to interact with her yet. my meditation cushion. . As I sit on my zafu. so I tell her that I’m going to say a few OM’s and meditate for a few minutes. and painfully at that. “I should just follow my breath and see where it goes.162 To know To live To love To play To simply be And let go . My breath becomes long and deep as my mind follows the vibrations. . it doesn’t stop our relationship from disintegrating. I let long and lingering OM’s slip from my mouth. The Entheogenic Evolution The pain is released! The fear is faced! Don’t let it linger Just let go Just let go Open to the True Self The nature of All that Is No past No future No self No there No no No yes Nothing And everything Just let go And breathe . .
not money. I have just experienced a full 5-MeO-DMT release without ingesting anything! Amazing! How did I do it? The next day I excitedly write to Dr. I walk up to a nearby cemetery. Right back into infinite expansion. at this moment. reminding me that I actually am still in my body and all I need to do is bring my energy back in. I’m down to my last $100 and I receive several calls that day letting me know that various projects I’ve been working on and classes I’ve been teaching are no longer available. In just a few breaths. I can believe it. looking . What I find is. Therefore. In fact. figuring that no one will pay any attention to someone crying in a graveyard. Sure enough. I let the feeling well up within me and then it just explodes. however. my spontaneous experiences provide me with opportunities to exit myself and then return. I start to feel a warm rush that immediately reminds me of my 5-MeO-DMT experience the night before. I can really face all of my fears and pains over the dissolving relationship with my partner. I moved to Oregon for love. On this particular Monday. Everything comes crashing down on a Monday. His response is to wonder if I will be able to repeat it. it becomes the straw that broke the camel’s back. and I use it as something of a therapeutic tool. I feel like I have nothing to stand on and am free falling into the abyss of total despair. things have become increasingly painful and difficult with my partner and it seems as though there is no hope for us. Ever since having left Southern California. I find myself standing. I merge with the cosmos and completely leave my body. I’m ecstatic upon my return. In the process. However. and getting fully back in my body takes around twenty to thirty minutes. My eyes roll back into my head and I nearly fall off my zafu as I feel my energy expanding into the infinite. Curious myself. I can’t believe what has just happened. with whom I have a casual email correspondence. And then I do it again. I had been struggling financially. I stay in that state for some time until it finally occurs to me that I don’t have the faintest idea of how to get back into my body and find my way back home. On top of that. in the end. I have no foreseeable income coming my way and I have to make a child support payment as soon as possible.My Journey 163 What follows is entirely unexpected and completely unlike any meditation experience I’ve ever had. I do it almost every day for about a week and a half. like a genuine 5-MeO-DMT experience. It is the dark night of my soul and I don’t know what to do. Easier said than done. telling him about my experience. Wow. This causes my heart rate to jump. there I go. Rick Strassman. I decide to give it another try.
Upon finding me sobbing in a little ball. if that’s the way you’re going to be. I don’t know what else to do. praying to God for help. making strange and disturbing noises. still laughing. I pump it through my being and let it flood out of me in every direction. I can still feel the energy pulsing through me and I decide to go back into it. I’m writhing around on the ground. I sit down to meditate and quickly find that I’m back in an expanded energetic state. but I can’t even do that. my jaw begins to quiver and my breathing becomes very strange.164 The Entheogenic Evolution out to the mountains and at the sky. The further I go. It is beautiful and captivating. Finally I release with energy buzzing all through my body and hands. it feels like an ice dragon is moving through me. It feels like death to me. She starts laughing and talking loudly. I think to myself. and my process. Fortunately. they run home and quickly return with a camera. but by this point I have completely lost any fear of death and I decide to see how far I can push it. then I’m going to fill this whole apartment with this light and this energy. Experientially. Two young girls come to the graveyard to play. I crumple to the grassy ground and cry harder than I had ever cried before with my face mashed into the grass mixed with the effluence of my nose and eyes. I lie back on the floor with an amethyst crystal in one hand and a feather in the other. and behind closed eyes a dull grey light fills my vision and a column of energy seems to be coursing through me. I manage to pull it together enough to no longer make an interesting picture for them when they return. my pain. My partner goes into the other room of our small apartment and turns on the radio. Pulling back into my body. My partner is even louder in the other room now and I feel some irritation at her because of it. I’m just falling. My breathing becomes even stranger. I stay in this peaceful state for some time until my partner comes home. coursing through the strange energy. however. just when I release myself from the grip of the experience. “Well. asserting her independence from me. Shortly thereafter my partner comes into the room. “You’re doing great . I’m having difficulty. at which point I begin to pull myself out and try to return to my body. I’m entering a vast energetic web of rainbow light. they go back to playing and I walk back down to my apartment. the further I go into it. the louder my partner becomes. how far I can go into this energy. saying. and the more I breathe. I try to hold it together and stand on my own two feet. I feel completely helpless and I have nowhere to turn and nothing to hold on to. Not knowing what else to do.” As I writhe on the floor. Quite improperly. Disappointed.
for the first time. sticky goo all over the wood. When I return to my apartment that night I find that my now-ex partner is sleeping in our small living room. I need to do something. I’m moving a great deal of energy. having left the bed for me. but your breath blew it open and there was nothing I could do to protect myself but leave. it is an extremely gratifying experience and exactly what I needed. she comes into the bedroom and says. but I’m getting ahead of myself. To that end. dryly. I tried shutting the door. Obviously you need your space and I need mine. though we still tried to live together as roommates for a few more weeks until my heart completely broke.” my ex-partner says. . What in the fuck were you doing?!” And that was pretty much it for us.” And with that. No other part of the porch or wood is affected.” they all say. after waking up. The highlight of that first Work with the Santo Daime for me is the movement of energy. That morning. I find myself outside for a good portion of the night jumping about and shaking my hands and arms and just letting energy fly out of my body and spirit.” She walks me outside to show me what she means. moving away from my room. At this point it finally dawns on me that despite the fact that I have no idea what I’m doing. he helps put me in touch with a local Santo Daime group. The experience is like mushrooms. very gentle and easy. I write to Rick Strassman again. this remains the only time daime has made me vomit. and despite having drunk daime many times since then. In all. They are quite surprised to hear that this is my first time. and not all of it is positive. or daime. So then here I am up in the mountains drinking ayahuasca. Afterwards.My Journey 165 work. “You psychically attacked me the other night. to say the least. “Clean your goo up. she isn’t as generous. and his response is to suggest a session with ayahuasca to help cleanse out my energy. “Really great work. but the level of sophistication is leaps and bounds beyond any mushroom experience I had ever had and I know right away that this is medicine that I wanted to work with more. she leaves. I felt like I was dying. I have one small purge. “You need to clean up your stuff out here. The front of our apartment has a wood porch that stretches across our living room and bedroom and then crosses two other apartments. “What in the fuck did you do to me?!” she says coldly. Only outside the room that I had slept in is a strange. “Energy is real. the regular members of the Santo Daime church all ask me how many times I’ve had daime before as apparently they were impressed by my experience. I’m immediately drawn to the medicine. I could feel the life draining out of me. When she reappears two days later. In that first Work with the Santo Daime.
a man in Canada had contacted me about hiring me to do some shamanic work for him. but like metal that gets bent too many times. really hurt. He bought a plane ticket and was coming that weekend for healing.” Perplexed and puzzled by this bizarre phenomenon. write a little poetry. several months prior to all this. and towards the end the man says that he needs to be by water. quite to my surprise. And she did. Thankfully. Our first shamanic session goes extremely well. The dissolution of the relationship with my ex-wife had been liberating. we still held onto each other. foolishly hoping that we could still make things work. my heart suddenly broke open and a floodgate of pain was unleashed. Fortunately for me. This hurt. Despite everything. and when I could see through my teary eyes. It hurt so bad. My ex-partner left town for a week so I had plenty of time to stew in my pain. I mean really. I could hardly function.166 The Entheogenic Evolution I don’t want to touch it. Today is the day my heart broke A gaping wound A terrible gash Blood came out like a river Blood dripping from my hands All over my clothes Blood on every surface of the room From floor to ceiling Still it flows On and on How much blood Can one heart hold? I suppose I’ll find out For now I know What it means To live with a broken heart My heart had never been broken before. This was an entirely different matter. I let her come to me or back away as needed. All I could do for days was cry. it gave me something to put all my energy and focus into rather than my own personal problems. I desperately clung to my love for her. Giving her as much freedom as possible. I do as I’m asked. Still feeling the effects of the .
It’s a great session and afterwards one of the participants says to me. excreted ectoplasm – or whatever. but I’m still pleased by this experience. The next day I perform a group shamanic session with salvia. “I didn’t know that you carried eagle medicine. at least according to my ex-partner. wasn’t really on my radar of medicines that I wanted to work with. “Don’t worry. I figured I would give it a try. having accepted an offer to stay at a friend’s house for a few days while I secured a new room for myself. this was certainly the next big step. With the focus of shamanic work now absent. and those will be people we’ll want to talk to. I didn’t think much of what they were offering. moved profound amounts of energy. as a “party” drug.” she explains. as the universe seemed to have brought me to my friend’s door and she just so happened to have this medicine. and since she was offering this. My heart is still very much broken and I can see no end in sight to the pain. filled with divine energy. and MDMA. we comes across a man who immediately begins speaking to us.” A member of the Santo Daime church. she had woken up that morning singing Portuguese hymns about a white eagle that then visited her in a vision while we were conducting our ceremony. and. my ex-partner was returning and I was not yet ready to face her. That night I pack up my things and get out of the apartment the next morning. Despite having these distractions. What I got was certainly not what I was expecting. I certainly wanted to heal. If my first experience at the Temple of Awakening Divinity was a turning point in my spiritual life. I walk him through town to a nearby creek. psychically attacked a woman I loved passionately. Eagle medicine had come to me many years ago so her interpretation was no surprise. Synthetics have never been an interest of mine. Eager to help. The pain was just too great. “The only people who will have anything to do with us will be people who can handle my energy. None of that had adequately .My Journey 167 medicine that we had consumed together. “It will really help to heal your heart. had spontaneously merged with the universe on several occasions.” I say. My new friend is concerned that people will try and talk to us or interact with us – something he doesn’t want as we are still really feeling the medicine. but I mention it now as it plays a part in my story a bit further down the road. everyone gives us a wide berth. I was wary. At the time. He tells us how he and his partner perform “soul readings” where they can get in touch with a person’s higher self and answer all kinds of questions for them. I would accept. I had merged with God twice now at the ToAD. On the way back as I’m bouncing down the street. However. I find myself in as much heartache and suffering as ever. the friend who took me in is adamant that I take ecstasy with her.” Sure enough.
Many phrases were repeated over and over. And the voice said: “Love all without exception.” Respectfully. the stronger the voice becomes until I can just feel it pouring out of me. “Love all equally without any exception. The following is a condensed version of what was said.” The more my heart expands. FOR I AM LOVE! I am the light and I am the dark. which lasted for at least three hours. accompanied by massive pulses of energy emanating from my hands. Love all without exception. As my heart expands. My host can feel it too. My host had suggested that I get on her heated bio-mat with brain wave synchronizing head phones to help gently launch me on my journey. Once I can feel something happening. I start to feel warm and fuzzy. That. Words in all capitals were booming and thunderous in sound. however. The sensation is very similar to the onset of 5-MeO-DMT. almost in prayer as the words flow from my mouth in a voice that is decidedly not my own. It becomes too much for her and she rips the headphones off my head and climbs on top of me.168 The Entheogenic Evolution prepared me for what was about to happen when I consumed MDMA for the first time. Somehow.” I say to her. get my headphones on. I can feel countless numbers of energetic threads passing through my hands and it seems as though I can feel the entire universe in them. she climbs back down and I am once more on my own on the bio-mat. It is quiet at first. repeating over and over again. I climb up on the bio-mat. She is now kneeling along side the bio-mat. something different happens. “I need space. As soon as she’s off. That would be the voice that came with the vibrations. a voice starts to speak out of my mouth. About thirty minutes after taking the ecstasy. And I am THE SPACE BETWEEN THEM! I AM NOTHING! I am the white and the black and . but it slowly grows in volume and intensity. perhaps more. “There’s more coming and I don’t know what it is. Almost immediately I feel a rush of expansion in my heart. and what the voice had to say.” However. is not the truly astounding part. which I have largely not shown in writing this up. I embrace her warmly and tell her that I love her. my hands spontaneously shoot up toward the ceiling and start vibrating wildly. it is as though I have passed into the very center of existence and the energetic waves of manifestation are passing through me and my hands in the form of high frequency vibrations. though. and prepare for whatever is to come. LOVE ALL WITHOUT EXCEPTION. and my first thought is “here I go again.
the thought has certainly crossed my mind more than once and I have struggled with this in one way or another . But you MUST SET YOURSELF ASIDE! Judge no one and love all equally. BUT DO NOT INDULGE! SET YOUR PAIN ASIDE AND DO NOT INDULGE! SET YOURSELF ASIDE! SET YOURSELF ASIDE AND DO MY WORK! The pain no longer serves you. and I have chosen you to do my work. That was my gift to you. You will want to know what you need to do. Give until there is nothing left for you to give. SET YOURSELF ASIDE! IF YOU ATTACH YOUR EGO TO MY WORK THEN YOU WILL ALWAYS STRUGGLE! You will have neither what you need. I broke your heart. if you choose. Your pain has served you. I have opened your heart. Give and give and give until there is nothing left for you to give. If you let go of yourself and give everything. without exception. but there is nothing you need to know. I am all things and I AM NOTHING! I AM LOVE! My son. You will be my conduit. Just give them love. Give yourself to them. Through you. There will be many challenges ahead. As long as you do my work. And trust. I have taught you how to love. But I have chosen you my son. and that is enough. I am the space between notes. That is my gift. You do not need to know. I will be with you. I have chosen you. They will come to you.My Journey 169 the line that runs between them. you will struggle. Love everyone. is your free choice. now you must SET YOURSELF ASIDE and GIVE MY LOVE TO THE WORLD. You will do my work. Always trust. nor what you want. the WORLD WILL KNOW OF MY LOVE! But only if you choose it. Do not be afraid. There is nothing you need to know for you are my instrument. but NOT if you put yourself in the way. GIVE THEM MY LOVE! But you must SET YOURSELF ASIDE! DO NOT ATTACH YOUR EGO TO MY WORK! If you attach your ego. My gift to you. and you will show them my love. I will work through you. Give until there is nothing left to give. It is always your choice. I will move through you. It will be hard. Your struggle has served you. You must always choose. Trust. then you will suffer. then I will always be with you. without exception. without exception. I love you. Show the world my love and SET YOURSELF ASIDE! DO MY WORK!” This is the point in my story where you are perfectly free to say that I have completely lost it. You have learned much. Love everyone. Admittedly. Just give. to all of you. You will be an open conduit to MY LOVE. Martin. and I will be with you.
blue sky. as I’m lying in bed drifting off to sleep. Then I’m back to the original scene of light on water and then it stops. It is unlike anything I have ever seen before. and it was ready to embrace all. emerges up out of water in a forest or jungle and she looks directly at me. Now I see an old couple walking along a creek. Then it changes again. That lasts only a few instants and then suddenly I find myself walking through someone’s house. which did not find any neutral ears where the reactions by listeners were either highly positive and sympathetic or deeply offended and outraged. The healing goes well and at some point. Thinking that the medicine has run its course. as if in a desert country and cars bustle along the road. Then it changes again and a woman. It spoke to my host. but she can take as much time as she wants with the rest of her process. .170 The Entheogenic Evolution since it happened. What a strange day that was. I sit down. My host for this event of “the voice” is so profoundly impacted by the experience that she requests I perform a shamanic healing for her. It had her writhing about on the floor in existential tumult. However. It changes once more and I’m looking at water again reflecting a grey and cloudy sky. A perfectly normal scene in perfect detail. It also wanted to make a couple phone calls to speak with some key people in my life and even wanted to do a podcast. and not gently. by any means. and puffy white clouds reflected in the water. all green. The sun is low in the sky behind old trees and golden light dances over gently rippling water. covered in leafy vines. That night. The old man reaches over and gently pushes his partner so that she steps in the water. This time I can see green trees. What was a broken heart had become a broken open heart. No more images. Suddenly I see the image of a large grey dragon in the reflection as it swoops overhead. my broken heart was no longer an issue. Then it suddenly changes to another image of water. I can see the art on the walls and their houseplants. something very peculiar happens. wings outstretched. The voice had more to say. The first image is of light reflecting off of water. one thing I know for certain is that after this. the medicine tells me that I’m done. long after the effects of the MDMA have worn off. I can see people playing softball or baseball in a park. Almost immediately I start vibrating and my hands start moving and bits and pieces of information begin coming in as words that I’m speaking (but not in “the voice” – just my own voice) that I’ve summed up in the poem below. Another change of scene and I see a busy street with heat waves rippling and distorting the image. Behind my closed eyes I start to see perfectly clear images with startling clarity and precision. after several hours. A red van drives by in the distance. No middle ground there.
My Journey 171 The Taoist Master Embody the dichotomy Heaven and Earth In the palms of my hands The Middle Way The Third Way Spirit To be In-Spired The bridge between Heaven and Earth Is Love Love is in the breath Spirit is in the breath Between the animal breath And the conscious breath Is the surrendered breath This is the Breath of Spirit It is the Third Way The Middle Way It bridges Heaven and Earth The dichotomies are embodied in me Left and Right Male and Female Order and Chaos Head and Heart Infinite and Finite Universal and Personal Egoless and Ego All bound in Love Love is the Energy That flows from Spirit From the Middle Path The Third Way Everything is Bound in Love The Open Heart Embraces All In the embrace of the Divine .
Though not a voice per se. Just do the work. people want me around them.172 The Entheogenic Evolution All is Perfect All is Love Give every breath to Spirit Bridge Heaven and Earth with your breath Breathe God into the world Breathe Love into the world Embody the dichotomy The Taoist Master Stands In the center Of the Circle At this point I’m really starting to question just what in the world it is that I’m going through.” I respond as I vibrate my way through the remainder of the experience as my hands shiver in cosmic energy threads while I stare into the vast emptiness of God lying beyond the impossibly intricate mandala of light before my eyes (that I hardly pay any attention to). strange voices. I’m hoping for some clarity and direction. I can feel my resistance at the onset of the journey. I feel a bit crazy. I’m terribly curious about what will happen and want to see just what will come out of the experience. Despite the fact that I feel a bit off my rocker. However. But I go into the experience hoping for some clarity. . It doesn’t matter what other people say or think. so stop trying to wrap your ego around it or struggle with it. People tell me how much they appreciate my energy (a comment that becomes increasingly common) and many people come to me for long and heartfelt hugs or some deep mutual eye gazing. Give everyone my love. Messages from beyond. . But I have chosen you to do my work. a result of the fallout from “the voice” and my feelings of uncertainty and questioning. When the opportunity comes for me to return to the Temple of Awakening Divinity. What’s next?. It isn’t about you. I wonder. vibrating hands .” “Thank you for the clarity. Admittedly. . the communication that occurs in my mind is crystal clear and is as follows: “Get over it. I jump at the chance. and it comes. I begin to notice that people are starting to thank me merely for being around them. Martin. There is nothing you need to know. They will say and think all kinds of things. It is nothing that you can or should even try to create at this point.
whatever it is . flooding out into the manifest world of space and time.” I say quietly to God so that the others in the room can’t hear. As I sit in my chair. communicating complex energetic concepts. I can feel everything in my hands. but at least it seems that God is still on board and quite serious about my performing this “work. giving me love and support along my path. Still vague on details. It feels like the stars are reaching down and gently caressing my face. . still wanted to be with me. reorganizing me. . . Someone later described me as being like two race cars revving up their engines. What a blessing! I mention her now as she’ll be featured in the story shortly. I eventually have to leave the main ceremonial room and go into the healing yurt where participants go for healing or to pass through their struggle with the daime. I get to a bed just in time to lie down and really let my hands go as the energy pumps through me and the vibrations take over my being. By this point I’ve started a new relationship with a beautiful and loving woman. . At the end.My Journey 173 The vibrations are stronger than ever. the daime tells me very clearly. vibrating through the universe. The divine energy of God radiates from the very center and core of my being. ready to let loose and tear down the street. refining my perceptions and bringing me to subtler and subtler perceptions of the real. many of the regular Daimistas thank me for coming and express hope that I’ll come back again soon. There is a deep sense of authenticity to what I am going through and learning. The vibrations start early and continue through the night. God’s love permeates me and I am that love. “You’re asking a lot of me. with Portuguese hymns being sung all around me.” I have a definite sense of coming into my purpose – whatever choice it was that I made in deciding to incarnate in this body and in this life. “But I’ll do it. who. I find myself thinking to myself as the daime floods my experience with sophisticated archetypal patterns of fractal energy and geometry. but big on concept. Everything is exactly as it should be. and my vast uncertainly of what is happening to me. The next weekend I go for another round of daime. Somewhere in that experience the vibrations get to be too much – perhaps around the third or fourth drinking of daime. Thank you for the clarity.” I still don’t know what to do with myself. “You are remembering who you are . as it shows me archetypal patterns of energy in rainbows of infinite complexity. This is why I’m here. The energy is just flooding through me. This really is it.” whatever that might be. giving life to every heart. despite the fact I’ve told her everything I’ve been going through. .
She closes her eyes. encouraging me to do the same. Trust. the more helpful it will be for them in retrieving information about me. The following is a short summary of what she said. This is the wisdom that you are here to share.” Never having gone to a medium or soul reader. Energy is moving through this pillar of light in both directions. Apparently I had made an impression on them and they are eager to have me come to see them. You are the being that stands in the center of the pillar of light. Over the next hour she spouts out a great deal of information. Why are we here? Where did we come from? What is the nature of light? Of Spirit? Of consciousness? How did we manifest into material form and why? The human mind is ready. Plant the seeds in the garden. As I don’t want to provide them with details and instead want to see what they have to say without any guidance from me. They explain that the more questions I ask them. New dimensions of energy are moving through you and the brilliance of all things. brilliance.174 The Entheogenic Evolution The idea of getting some kind of second opinion starts to occur to me about this time and my thoughts drifted back to the man I had met on the street who performs “soul readings” with his partner. A brilliant kaleidoscope opening in your third eye like a mushroom. The collective human mind has not been able to grasp your words until now. expansive. However. Given the highly subjective nature of my experiences. The human mind is ready to understand the wisdom from way back before light manifested into material form. Wisdom is coming through your third eye of clarity. I’m also open to the possibility that they might be able to tell me something that could help me understand what is happening and why. It is communication without words. The spiritual awakening is now. I’m very curious to see what someone who knows nothing about me might have to say about me and my “soul. It’s pulling you up into wisdom. none of which was prompted by me in any way as I only sat silently and took notes in my notebook. Don’t resist the flow. full of creative energy and new information for the collective human mind and consciousness. I’m skeptical. I call them up and they’re happy to hear from me. It’s magnificent. The time is now and the human mind is ready. I see a brilliant white mandala of light above your crown chakra. There is a tall pillar of light from Lumerian times. I go to their house and they invite me into their living room. waiting for humanity to wake up. Trust your inner wisdom. It’s a beautiful white light. She feathers me off with an eagle feather and sits down. I have only one question: “How does this work?” Immediately the woman goes to work. I see sacred geometry and circles within circles. Long you have been waiting there. We are . You must find the courage to put it out there for nothing can prevent the light.
. “How old are you?” he then asks. and an audience.’” Hmmm . When all is said and done. For . you’ll need this. thinking back to my last session at the ToAD. Let the energy flow. for that is the base of the pillar. . You have been waiting so long. I just smile and shake my head. Get to the beautiful essence of all that is. ‘I am the light of God that never fails.” says the man. Open the peoples’ minds and expand their hearts.” I answer. The pillar of light upholds humanity. The next night my new partner and I sit down to explore some Salvia divinorum together. and you are the being in the center where it is perfectly still and perfectly calm. “Buddha too. . “There’s a lot being asked of you. One heart at a time. I see books.” “I know. “35. “You know all this already. which had been her first experience with psychedelics in a decade. Only you will know how deeply each seed must be planted. Now they are. You’ve only incarnated a very few times before to bring your message. Shasta in Northern California that was in the shape of a flower. Find the word that will make the shift.” “Jesus was in his thirties when he realized who he was.” I respond. pushing the seeds deeper. ok . They thank me for the “miracle” reading and I’m off on my merry way. Trust and keep going. Keep pushing the envelope. You’ve already started. It will be done one soul at a time. “Jesus said this on the cross. You must plant the seeds in the hearts of each individual. “Do you have any questions?” he asks. accompanied by the gift of a unique crystal they had found on Mt.My Journey 175 ready for the wisdom that you are here to bring. The audience is already there. Do not be overwhelmed by the task. don’t you?” “I was just looking for a second opinion. Keep your feet firmly planted in trust. That thought has crossed my mind. but the people haven’t been ready. Thank you for trying before. Trust. the first thing I’ve said since initially asking how this “soul reading” business worked. . My partner had joined me at the Temple of Awakening Divinity a couple weeks before (prior to us becoming a couple). They are ready.” “That’s what I said!” I respond emphatically. the man turns to me with a stunned look on his face.” “Here.
my partner turns to me. Somehow it seems that she’s come home. That’s all that’s necessary. Not enough to really bring me into the sage sate. however. but from the tone of her voice. Immediately she starts in with the Elvish speaking once more. and is now clearly explaining to her invisible elf companions who I am and is talking to them about me and gesturing toward me as though making introductions. it gets me throat singing and drumming and I ride the energy for a bit. This time I give her some of my homegrown leaf. which all seems to be directed at my partner. handing the long and slender pipe to me with both hands. would add to the picture.176 The Entheogenic Evolution some reason she found herself drawn to saliva and was eager to give it a try. I begin to wonder what’s really going on here.” whoever “they” are. which she had never experienced before. I wonder to myself if “they” will be able to see me if I smoke some sage. and when she finally comes back and opens her eyes. as though it is being drawn into her as I watch it flow behind closed eyes with the polyphonic chanting pouring out of me. and I’ve never encountered a reaction like this. Once I return. Like many who experience 5-MeO-DMT. As is common for me with salvia. so I do. for immediately after I take the hit. This goes on for some time. I obviously don’t know what she’s saying. looks down at the empty pipe and says her first word in English for quite some time. She was curious to see what salvia. I’ve used salvia for some years now and have never experienced anything like what she is going through. She then opens her eyes. she says.” she says. she felt that it had initiated a process of spiritual awakening for her and had gotten her in touch with her higher self and true purpose. still with eyes closed. She starts speaking in what sounds like a perfectly formed language and is clearly involved in conversations with other beings. The absurd thought that my new partner is some kind of elf queen embodied in human form crosses my mind. She appears to be speaking to many of them and they are all experiencing a joyful reunion together. just a taste. for she clearly is “one of them. . it is her turn to go again. There’s clearly something different and unique going on here. There’s a little left in the bowl. “The bunny is so cute!” But then something changes. and I’ve administered salvia to many people as well. I pass her the pipe with some of enhanced salvia leaf. “More. She closes her eyes and starts laughing and flaying her hands about saying. it sounds as though she is reuniting with long missed friends and companions. “There were little people everywhere – cute little elves in funny suits and they were so happy!” Next it’s my turn.
I feel overwhelmed with a deep “I AM” sense of consciousness. both of us are astounded and amazed. it feels as though we are one. I can see the network of flowing sage energy moving about the room. . She’s the Sage! I didn’t say it out loud. I smoke the rest of the bowl.My Journey 177 I oblige and hand a now-freshly packed bowl to her. Immediately I relax as I feel us both passing into a higher state of shared consciousness. OK. who. has embodied the spirit of the plant itself and we have now entered into some kind of shared waking dream. I say to myself in my mind. as though all of what we are experiencing is the content of one mind. but she heard it nonetheless and she nods again. Salvia divinorum is now interacting with me through my partner. We are both embodying God consciousness together in this heightened state where we both just know. or do they? If ever I’ve gone through the looking glass. In fact. Just go with it. and to her heart. it is what you think it is. We’re still looking each other directly in the eye. there does not seem to be any division between us. but it has a definite structure to it. I’m totally insane. my partner holds up her arms in a way that perfectly matches the structure of sage energy that I can see. What is this? What’s going on here? Still looking directly at me. If you’re nuts. all of which she has insightful answers to. my partner nods knowingly and the entire structure of sage energy nods with her. What ensues following this acceptance is a three-hour session of us passing the sage pipe back and forth between us with me asking numerous questions of my partner. this was it. looking me firmly in the eye. She takes a long smoke and then hands the pipe to me. and despite the fact that we are two physical people. By the time we finish. so be it. What? She nods again. I tell myself. Take advantage of this and see what you can learn. almost like we are inside some kind of sage energy temple. “Yes.” The back of my neck starts to pound as my heart races. . It’s enough to bring me into sage space. now I’ve really lost it. All right. seeming to be saying. Quite ceremoniously. out before her. What in the world just happened? . What in the hell is going on here? I must be crazy! People don’t just become entheogens . When this thought occurs to me. We have entered into a shared subjective state where everything feels as though it is part of one waking dream. My God. somehow. she holds it up to the sky.
” It shows me how when the center is properly energized or awakened. “So what are we doing?” I ask her. This time my process is fairly simple. back in this strange shared subjective state where we are one. That makes sense .” she answers. That was the beginning of the week. a shift in energy pulses out to all the other nodes across the cosmic grid. “English!” she says. “Who are you?” I ask her. It’s a seated work and I go deep into the visions. It’s time to wake up and remember. My hands reach up to the ceiling and I can feel all the energetic threads again. As a cultural note.” Sure. I start to cry as the words come of my mouth. “You’re a mushroom. She doesn’t want to say it and she struggles with the Elvish babble. As the medicine comes on. along with a double cross). “Were here to help remind people. I spend the next few days pondering all this.” she answers. Vast networks of living starlight energy present themselves to me. Rick Strassman and one of my medicine teachers on the Mescalero Apache reservation. I’m still really feeling the “I AM” and all I can do is cry. “We’re all going to do it together. saying. “To embody the Christ principle you must relax into the center. . A few days later we go back into the sage together. I wonder about myself and the thought passes my mind that somehow I’m a mushroom. but in very definite communication. She struggles with the answer. I find myself thinking to myself I don’t know who I am. I see a grid made of six pointed stars with nodes at the center and at every point (the six pointed star is a primary symbol of the Daime tradition. the daime says. especially my partner seeming to embody the sage itself. forcing herself back into a means of communicating with me. Salvia divinorum and psilocybin mushrooms are the two medicines that are traditionally used by the Mazatec people of Mexico where they have been considered shamanic medicines and allies for many hundreds of years. I return to Oregon with another invitation to come to the Temple of Awakening Divinity. The wave of awakening has already started and we’re all going to do it together. “Then who am I?” “We have been allies for a long time. “Just relax into the center. “I am a guardian of humanity. . We will all awaken together!” I’m profoundly moved and touched as I vibrate away on my bed.” it keeps telling me. I press her further. A couple weeks later after making a trip out to New Mexico to visit Dr. Not in words. At the end of that week I go for another round of daime. .” she says at last. “I AM!” pulses in my mind.178 The Entheogenic Evolution The next morning I go back to my place and fall down on my bed and start vibrating. More Elvish speak and here we are again. God’s response is swift and clear. seeking more information.
” I respond. “I gave you just what you needed. kindly. My host comes out to check on me. They’re just checking in. Before I answer. “Just let me know. They aren’t there to do anything. I feel incredibly thirsty and wish that someone would bring me something to drink. She tilts my head back. but I think I probably vibrated for about three hours at that round. . an old man.” he advises. . The energy of God’s love is just so much greater than anything we can ever hope to conceive. Beyond comprehension. the pourer tells me that this next batch is more concentrated than the earlier ones and asks if I want more. All just part of the process . I’m a little disappointed in the first couple rounds. observing.My Journey 179 The vibrations just take me over as my hands go up to feel all the energetic threads. When I finally “come back. My eyes roll back up into my head as the energy pours through me. “Don’t forget to breathe. The daime is weak and I want to go deeper.” he says. Now I can really vibrate. I can barely see him through my fluttering eyes. but she is female. There are several of them and they’re “standing” (however a being made of starlight might stand) around me.” Several starlight beings check in on me.” When we line up for the next round. “Give him more. “I’m used to it. “You totally dosed me!” I say to him with a smile. gently opens my mouth. Looking back at me.” I barely make it to a bed in the healing yurt as everything is dissolving into daime-driven geometric forms and living starlight. “I AM!” My host has clearly given me a bigger dose than usual. seeing how I’m progressing. Don’t ask me how I know. Just what I needed. I ask one of the pourers if it’s OK to ask for more.” A week and a half later it’s back to the daime. Yes. The energy is bigger and stronger than ever. One of the guardians. One of the starlight beings comes forward. the leader of the church turns around and takes a good look at me and then looks at the glass of daime being offered to me. “No I didn’t.” I have to get up and go run laps around the house to help get all the energy out as it is way too much for my insignificant little body to hold. he says to the pourer.” he responds. During a break. It felt like my whole body and energetic being was being reorganized and I went into several fits of full body convulsions (I should point out that through this whole process I’ve undergone pretty significant physical changes. leans over me. including losing close to thirty pounds). but not uncomfortable or unpleasant in any way. It’s difficult to say how long it lasted. Physically it was very demanding and tiring. . and pours starlight milk into my mouth that infuses my whole being. It’s huge. “Sure. “I’m OK. or something. I’m breathing hard and my hands are vibrating wildly.
and close my eyes as I lie in bed. so beautiful. each facing a different direction. all fashioned as idols or statues. It has four eagles. I feel a strong urge to lie down so I go back into my room. I see an intricate mandala made out of thousands of piercing eyes. and more. It is like a heart beat at the very center of everything. Behind my closed eyes. I move past the circuit board and look up to see a large red disk that appears something like an Aztec sun disk with intricate geometric patterns. I move around the immense statue and examine it from every angle. and therefore gives it a sense of futurity that is difficult to express. really giving me an opportunity to voice all my thoughts while I intermittently vibrate as I gaze at the stars. Eventually it all culminates with the image of an unfathomably immense golden temple in the image of a winged jaguar. I walk up to the temple and can see the movement of red color . Their wings are outstretched and their mouths open. Lots of time spent in the healing yurt or out in the forest vibrating and merging with the energy. On the other side are the most magnificent visions I have ever beheld with more clarity and detail than I can possibly hope to describe – and this from a relatively weak batch of mushrooms! The first thing I see is a four-sided statue made completely of gold. just letting it flow. It is so intricate. something that has not yet come to pass. The disk moves from being in front of me to laying down horizontally. But there is something new about it too. I pass through the mandala and find myself (or my visual perspective) flying over a perfectly symmetrical grid of what looks like some kind of advanced computer circuitry. The next week I travel down to Southern California and have the opportunity to work with mushrooms with a good friend one night. also with outstretched wings. After the eagle statue come many other similarly numinously charged architectural images. turn off the lights. like an Alex Grey painting. bears. The mushrooms are mild. yet also classic. so charged with holy power. It is like an image from an ancient future: timeless. I say to myself as my hands start vibrating. snakes. as though it were made by an ancient civilization. There are bulls. Eventually we end up back at his condo around midnight after three hours at the beach. We walk down to the beach at night and sit and talk together about all that I’ve be going through. I’m overwhelmed with the sacredness of the image. At the breast of each eagle is an angelic being.180 The Entheogenic Evolution My next visit to the daime is pretty much more of the same. Here we go. In my vision. just letting the energy do its work. Then it begins to pulse with rainbow waves of energy emanating from the center of the living geometric form and flowing out across the universe. I feel myself drawn into the center and then I pass through it.
As I approach the entrance. the thought crosses my mind that I want to see the front of the temple from this angle. I speak to others in the room as much as to myself. We will always remember and honor You and we thank You for Your gift of Love. I don’t know what I’m afraid of.” It is certainly not my voice. “We love You with all our hearts.My Journey 181 inside.” As soon as I say this. “I’m holding on and I don’t know why. we still know and remember Your Love in our hearts and we will always honor You. I think to myself. So I get up. In my voice there is young and old. “I will do it in this body!” And here come the vibrations as my hands start shivering wildly. The mushrooms are showing me the construction of a human body. The following week I’m back in Oregon and find myself once more at the Temple of Awakening Divinity. but to the other people in the room as well). Immediately. but it was something like. so I look up at the giant jaguar head looming above me. but the communication is insistent. Eventually I really have to go urinate. And there was “the voice” again. and You are Us!” . and then came back to bed for another hour of random energy displays and movements. from bones and tissues to organs muscles and skin. I can’t say that. they aren’t threatening. it all dissolves into geometric patterns of mushroom energy. This is followed by an immediate shift where now I’m speaking in what I can only call “the all voice. I should point out. Then the insect aliens disappear and there’s a large flower that seems to suck and pull with its petals. They acquiesce and I finally get some sleep around three in the morning. I see the whole thing constructed one layer at a time. When I turn back to enter the temple. go to the bathroom. as though some ceremony or ritual is taking place with red-robed participants. sounded distinctly different and unique not just to me. a powerful sentence courses through my being with absolute authority and certainty. male and female. Even when we forget. as though they are working some kind of computer grid. I suddenly fall completely into God. Though terribly odd looking. for we are One with You. Suddenly I’m on to something new. It is like a composite of all voices speaking together (which. Then it shifts again and there are these strange insect/alien beings looking at me. Just observing. I don’t remember precisely what the all voice said. Getting tired and not really getting any more specific content. I know that my resistance is produced by the thought: what if all this is really true? Understanding this as the source of my resistance. I ask the mushrooms if I can go to sleep now. My fingers flutter and feel insectoid. I can feel my resistance as the hit of 5-MeO-DMT comes on.
or my heart.” a couple times. When I finally come back into myself. that fantastic matrix of culture and freedom that is Burning Man. “I don’t know if I really want to do the whole God thing here. and this time it is at Burning Man 2008. eventually I come back into myself. “Sure you do. What is really on my mind. I start off my journey by saying “I don’t know who I am. At this point I start to cry. As is always the case.” I say to my host and partner. to ease that suffering. to bring all those who are lost back into the light of God’s love and God’s pure embrace. It is radiating out of the center of my heart. was the response in my mind.” I repeat out loud. I ask for a smaller dose. “Yes. and as it does. From that perspective. apparently. which is also my heart. it’s a paradox.182 The Entheogenic Evolution This goes on for some time as the other witnesses in the room swell with the outflowing of divine energy. I thank God personally and take a few private moments. I just cry. I can clearly and distinctly see the threads of the energetic network of the universe. it all makes perfect sense. Right back to where I started. all emanating directly out of the Heart of God. As my hands work their way through the vibrations. It is the sadness of those who are lost and those who have turned away from their divine natures. Once I stop trying to understand. “I don’t understand. I’ve now come full circle. though in a paradoxical way. however. Those who live disconnected. I go right to the center. but there are so many who are not open to receiving it. waiting for them. Getting all the energy out takes some effort and I have to do some throat singing to really get it all out. How can anyone understand what I’ve been going through? How could any of this make sense? Can anyone understand me or this strange processes? Am I alone? .” which is what comes out of me next. So much love. This time. The energy is not flowing through me. Embrace it. Perhaps it is selfpity. Though I’m not fully aware of it. raising their hands with tears in their eyes as they too express their thanks and love for the divine. Those who are sleepwalking through this life and are suffering. It’s a paradox. So many who have not chosen to accept the gift that is right there. I am one with the Heart of God.” they respond. Of course. is that. I want to understand but I don’t understand. I can just feel it and it saddens me. A month passes before my next visit at the Temple of Awakening Divinity. Given the environment. There is pain in God’s Heart. calling them home. I can feel a great deal of pain and sadness. And then I fall into God.
Who knows? Time moves on. so who knows what’s going to happen next. . and 2012 and approaches with whatever it may or may not bring. but that eventually I wouldn’t need them. It’s only a few days until my next visit to the Santo Daime. Here on this side. and there are. And that. There’s more to come. Huichol peyote shamanic apprenticeships typically take a similar amount of time. and nothing less. and “the voice” started speaking (I wasn’t using any medicines at the time). I’ve reached a point where I have to admit that I just don’t understand – at least when I’m on this side of things. Just love. I suppose. So it is what it is. From that perspective. There have been many unexpected turns in this journey. It said a couple things of significance. which is why I’ve returned to the medicines so many times over the past year and likely will continue to do so. I’ve got a lot of questions and my mind struggles to understand. but I never know.My Journey 183 My partner puts her hands on the top of my abdomen and I feel a great block get moved and promptly purge. more to come. During one experience that I have not recounted here. At first glance. My ego and rational mind grapple with all this and the desire to understand more burns brightly within me. I was walking in the forest and sat down on a rock to contemplate things. I have a deep desire to know and make sense of all of this. A traditional shamanic apprenticeship of working with ayahuasca in the Amazon may take five to ten years of regular ayahuasca drinking. Admittedly. . My impression is that time is running short if we really are to make a shift and survive the catastrophes we are unleashing upon ourselves and the Earth. letting the rest of the energy flow out of me as I wipe away my tears. and excessive as well. Nothing more. so there is no doubt or confusion. I’m sure. no doubt. And still I continue. and this book is a result of the journey I have undergone over the past year. I’m very hungry to understand. My ultimate aim is to come home to reality. More vibrating. time to walk out and see the Man and enjoy the gifts of the playa . in my very limited self and human body. one might think that I’ve got several more years of this to go. it all seems a bit grandiose. That’s all. The process goes on. OK. pretty much brings us up-to-date on my story. When I’m one with God. my friends. but this is where things currently stand for me as I write these words. I have taken myself to the edge and pushed my limits. People I love dearly have been hurt and challenged by my need to explore my spirit. Another was that my only answer was to be love. Having put my last year down into a story like this has been an interesting process. everything makes perfect sense and the energy is crystal clear. One was that I was to use the medicines for now. I do my best to stay .
in the hopes that you have been inspired and moved by this book and that it has touched in you in some way. But I still have to admit. . and share my thoughts and process with the world via my podcast. and I am thankful for it. peace. the reader. even when everything seems to go wrong and the path before me is unclear and shrouded in mystery. Despite my not really knowing what is happening or what it all means. And I know that God loves you. even if I can’t understand it. too. And I meditate and just try and sit with the whole of existence in peace and quiet. the suffering. My work with 5-MeO-DMT is not separated from my work with ayahuasca. I work odd jobs and do what I can to help international students learn our confounding language of English. When asked. And through that part of myself that I know with absolute certainty is God. make art. Every person’s process of waking up is different. Thus I offer my heart to you. in whatever capacity I can best manifest. going to ecstatic dance. the broken heart.184 The Entheogenic Evolution grounded by spending lots of intimate time with my loving partner. I give my advice or services to others as needed. I know that I love God and that God loves me. doing yoga. but it isn’t something I seek out. all of it. realize my divine nature. I also know that I am embraced in love. It’s all perfect and beautiful and everything is exactly as it needs to be. I love you too. Blessings. What I do know is that I am grateful with all my heart for absolutely everything that has brought me to this present moment – the joy. My work with medicines does not produce random results. They are all working together to help wake me up. and the path that is unfolding crosses all the medicines. the universal love. and I pray that you will find your way home and know that you too are embraced in the light and warmth of the Divine Love of God. I create music. and may your journey be everything that you need it to be. and attending regular drum circles. I wanted to share all of this as I do think that there is a clear progression and continuation that moves through all of these experiences. and manifest the loving energy of God through my open heart. nor from my work with mushrooms or salvia. Even if I don’t always personally understand it. I offer you blessings without limit for your journey. I can certainly appreciate it. I just don’t know. This is my process. There’s a strange sense of irony to the universe and sometimes I just have to laugh at God’s sense of humor.
My Journey 185 .
To be the highest model is to show others how to live in reality. “ . create . create. .God . Become truth and create. . create.“I am reality.
Ayahuasca. It is therefore important to understand that others might have very different experiences and perspectives than what I will present here. When it comes to speaking of entheogens. 5-MeO-DMT.” the divine creative force of the universe. or “DMT. All forms of DMT open the shamanic explorer up to different kinds of energetic experiences. Consciousness and the Body Appendix A and B are intended as discrete essays and can be read first. and Psilocybin Mushrooms and what I am calling the energetic body of God. As an explorer of shamanic states of consciousness. or not at all. . Learning to work with and relate to energy is learning to work with and relate to Spirit at both an individual and universal level. I prefer to rely upon personal experience. I have come to the opinion that energy and consciousness are one and that the ultimate source of consciousness and energy are what we might call “God.Appendix A The Energetics of Dimethyltryptamine. some of which are more functional than others. A large part of my focus has been the energetic experiences that various entheogens open up to the explorer. The purpose is to present a comparative phenomenological analysis of different forms of dimethyltryptamine: N.N-DMT. I would like to share some of my experiences and conclusions from working with different varieties of dimethyltryptamine. last.” and how they function as an energetic experience in the body and reflect on different states of consciousness. Being informed of the variety of energetic states can help one determine which kind of medicine might best fit the work one is seeking to accomplish with entheogens and help guide the would-be shaman through the often confusing and overwhelming world that DMT opens up for those willing to withstand the rigors of the experience. I have had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of visionary plants and medicines. Theologically and metaphysically. This is presented for educational and philosophical purposes only and is not intended to encourage or endorse illegal or irresponsible behavior. For the purpose of this essay. Understanding how different entheogens relate to our experience of energy therefore informs us about our relationship to that divine creative force.
that our brains are “hungry” for DMT. thereby allowing the DMT to be taken up by the digestive system. spiritual experiences and visions. Whatever other conclusion one may come to regarding this curious status of DMT in nature. which Rick Strassman describes as “edible” DMT in that it shares the same basic dimethyltryptamine structure with some additional atomic properties that make psilocybin and psilocin absorbable in the gut. A third category of DMT would be psilocybin and psilocin. starting with my personal favorite. though it is possible – just unlikely. mystical raptures. and perhaps even death. one must conclude. at the very least. ayahuasca. Both forms of DMT are naturally produced within human bodies and are found within our blood. and visionary content (or lack thereof). 5-MeO-DMT. we don’t really know what these low levels of DMT are doing in our bodies or what biological function they serve under ordinary circumstances.N-DMT. psilocybin and psilocin. in any of its various forms. or vaporized. Neither N. While sharing some similar characteristics. N. or through either extracted or synthetic N. All four compounds.N-DMT and 5-MeO-DMT are found in numerous plants and grasses throughout the world. which can be smoked. 5-MeO-DMT. for it is part of our very biology. snorted. and even in human beings. I would now like to discuss each one in turn.N-DMT nor 5-MeO-DMT are orally effective unless they are also consumed with a monoamineoxidase inhibitor. and lungs. either from an external source. However. that DMT is quite natural and is not foreign to humans in any way. body sensations. For most people. such as an entheogen. all of these sources of DMT produce unique experiences of energy. however. for it appears as though DMT is a significant feature of our shared biological heritage here on planet Earth. despite the fact that we are all walking around with DMT inside us.” From a scientific standpoint. N. consciousness.188 The Entheogenic Evolution There are two basic kinds of DMT: N. with several hundred varieties of psilocybin mushrooms making their homes in a wide range of habitats across the globe. brains. for it passes readily through the blood/brain barrier as quickly as our brains can take it in. meditation.N-DMT or 5-MeO-DMT. their experience of DMT comes through mushrooms. are found throughout nature. or through spontaneous production and release of DMT in the body in dreams. Most people will probably not have a full DMT experience without taking in an external source. Why these compounds are found ubiquitously throughout nature is an interesting philosophical question in and of itself. We do know.N-DMT and 5-MeO-DMT. . The later two are confined to mushrooms. Our bodies are therefore ready to receive higher doses of DMT. the majority of the time the levels of DMT are so low that we do not have a distinctive “DMT experience. all mammals.
are much more amenable to shamanic or integrative healing and ritual work. it is not very practical. given the rapid nature of the experience.N-DMT. though there can be some elements of visual manifestations of energy or visionary content. 5-MeO-DMT is. unless one is working from a pure synthetic source of lab-produced 5-MeODMT. it is a nearly immediate launch into the heart of God and can produce radically life-altering experiences in the span of a few heartbeats. a profound sense of expansion beings to overtake your being as everything familiar beings to dissolve away into pure energy and emptiness. However. however. you will know before the hit ever escapes out of your lungs. with the exception being some personal experiments with yopo seeds. hands down. the most profoundly mystical visionary medicine I have ever had the pleasure and honor of experiencing. and most profound. and my preference is definitely for a biological extract. the experience of 5MeO-DMT is largely without visionary content. but for whatever reason. neither of which do I have much experience with. 5-MeO-DMT is not scheduled as an illegal drug and therefore is legal to possess and consume. I can attest to the fact that there is a profound difference between the two. most biological sources will have other scheduled substances contained within it in trace amounts. As one . Unlike the other forms of DMT. such as bufotenin or N. My preferred method for consumption of 5-MeO-DMT is through vaporizing the extract.Appendix A: The Energetics of DMT 189 5-MeO-DMT Unlike the other forms of DMT. 5-MeO-DMT comes on extremely rapidly and if you have received an effective dose. such as mushrooms or ayahuasca. One might ascribe any manner of spiritual or metaphysical reasons for this difference. of my experiences have been with an extract of 5-MeODMT from three different biological sources mixed together in one cream colored powder. However. From a mystical perspective. If anything is a surefire ticket to a mystical experience. Though I have made several attempts. It can also be insufflated (snorted) or smoked. my experiences with labproduced 5-MeO-DMT do not compare with using a biological source. the majority. As a “shamanic” tool. Slower acting forms. even remotely. A small amount of this mixture is vaporized in a chamber of argon gas and is then consumed in a single hit. Almost immediately. by comparison. biological 5-MeO-DMT is superior in every way – to the point that I would not recommend synthetic 5-MeO-DMT but have only heartfelt enthusiasm for the biological compound. Having had the opportunity to work with both synthetic and biological 5-MeO-DMT. this is it.
writhe about. can identify with the perspective of being the ultimate source for that energy. there is a profound feeling of perfection. as it has more of a sense of being universal. people might scream. This is experienced as personal. physical. and healing. 5-MeO-DMT is a very powerful agent for obliterating the ego. there might be mandala-like energy patterns. unity. the focus of the experience is God. one may have energetic blocks that are formed by emotional. howl. it is. but once transcended. As the energy moves. as far as I’ve come to conclude. Rapid vibrations are common throughout the body and can manifest anywhere. and it is God takes over completely and the energy just flows. though I feel the energy throughout my body. envelopes one completely. Without the ego there to get in the way. the energy is simply God or the divine nature of the universe. It is a release from the body. for the only options are to surrender to the process in trust or grasp onto the dissolving ego in fear and terror as the vast nothingness that is pure consciousness. Rather. and all normal perceptions of manifest reality. Not just big. feet and legs. flail their limbs about. When in this state. infinite in scope and spectrum. it is strongest in my hands and feet. It is the sum total of all possible energies and manifestations and is the source of everything that we experience as “reality. fractal permutations and the like. the closer one can come to fully identifying with that infinite source of energy and the more one will directly experience that energy as it flows through the physical body. Energetic purges are common . It is to exist in the center of the energetic matrix that comprises the manifest universe. It should be no surprise to learn that God’s energy is big. compassion.190 The Entheogenic Evolution expands.” It is not an object of perception but rather is a state of being – the ground state of being. It is completely beyond the form and is the universal matrix of existence. I can feel the energetic threads that bind the universe together in love and harmony and. or spiritual trauma or resistance. crystalline structures of subtle light. This can be a difficult process for some. This flow of infinite energy can be a difficult thing for a finite body to manage and process. but none of these are the focus of the experience. Personally. or God. when in that state. vibrate their hands. the feeling is that this is what reality really is. It is beyond the limited confines of the self and the body. time and manifestation and it is pure consciousness and energy. all that you are left with is the source of all space. speak in tongues. or even go into rather serious convulsions. in fact. love. The more one can release into the 5MeO-DMT experience. the ego. In releasing into this energy. When everything else dissolves away. In this sense I personally feel that the 5-MeO-DMT experience must be similar to the actual act of dying. The energy does not necessarily feel personal however.
vomiting.Appendix A: The Energetics of DMT 191 through vocalizing. growling. Once achieved. The center of this fractal can be found in the center of the heart of each and every one of us. . and in a state of being egoless. To reach this state. especially women. Even if one achieves a full launch into God. Often such a posture will be immediately followed by rapid vibrations and overwhelming feelings of divine love and absolute perfection. anything and everything does come out. the experience can become highly visual as an infinitely complex. those who curl into a fetal position or cross their arms or legs or keep their hands close to their bodies tend to have a more difficult and challenging time accepting the divine energy and are often resisting the process. and perfectly symmetrical fractal pattern of energy emerges from the center of the heart and encompasses all of existence. thus far. With 5-MeO-DMT. to get the most out of 5-MeO-DMT. at ease. The absolute center of the Heart of God is both perfectly still and infinitely active through endless movements of energy. A posture of full surrender is often necessary to really move through the experience and let your consciousness open up completely. all emanating from the One Center. if we allow ourselves to go there and Be What We Are. It’s all part of processing the divine energy. In many respects. and accepting of the experience. Releasing fully and completely into the experience can. trying to grasp onto some sense of familiar reality and sense of self. this is the ultimate pinnacle of my divine experiences with 5-MeO-DMT. for some. there could still be a great deal of energy to process at this point in the experience. Somewhere around the half-way mark. mean entering directly into the very center of the energetic Heart of God. Whereas earlier God is vibrating or moving you. Depending on how deeply one went into the energy of God. or intense physical movement. hyperdimensional. This means lying down. Physically. whose sexuality of surrender serves them well in surrendering to the divine energy that is God. you may need to intentionally work the energy to help it flow and let it release. Personally. Some people even become highly sexual. one must assume a feminine energetic posture of surrender and receiving and men would be well served to learn the value of such energy. one will find oneself suddenly “me” once more. there is a transition back into egoic consciousness. there is always the return. On the other hand. there must be no resistance whatsoever and the voyager must be completely relaxed. Though still feeling the effects of the medicine quite profoundly. God is the absolute center of the Divinely Symmetrical Cosmic Fractal. as the 5-MeO-DMT is coming on. most people fall back (so it’s good to be seated on a bed when ingesting this sacrament). the entire experience lasts only thirty to forty minutes. legs and arms out with hands open and turned up. once your ego reasserts itself.
And lastly. Above I stated that assuming a feminine energetic stance is best for working with 5-MeO-DMT. I was immediately struck by both the similarities and differences between these three medicines and would like to share these thoughts here. It’s a serious experience. So.N-DMT to ayahuasca. however. and therefore my experience here is rather limited. and divinity. while 5MeO-DMT is a direct experience of transpersonal energy. having worked rather extensively with ayahuasca and 5-MeODMT. In many ways. it should come as no surprise that the experiences are similar. N. and there really isn’t anything that can prepare you for it. N.N-DMT from a biological source.N-DMT I have only had one experience of extracted N. and quickly proclaimed to the two companions in the room that “this is definitely going to work. Personally. N. In all. The chamber of the vaporizer was filled with DMT vapor and I took 2/3 of the hit and waited to see how that felt. 5-MeO-DMT is a profound experience of energy. Also. I intend to expand on all of the ideas listed above.N-DMT experience.N-DMT was through consuming a biological extract in the same manner that I’ve consumed 5-MeO-DMT. at the very least. or God. I like to think that they are two polar ends of the same energetic spectrum. where a more masculine stance is required. I would like to make one quick comparison of N. which I understand is fairly typical. My one experience with N. consciousness.N-DMT is the energetic opposite of 5-MeO-DMT. The opposite is true for N.N-DMT is like. where 5-MeO-DMT is nearly void of any visionary content. vocalizing.NDMT is a much more personal experience of energy and direct apprehension of the consciousness of God is largely absent from an N. lasted a total of 11 minutes. and my one experience with N. ayahuasca lasts for several hours. However. but before I do. other than a willingness to let go and surrender.N-DMT overflows with it. I exhaled. There is nothing else like it and it can allow one to experience the most holy of moments. I find that I might even need to go outside and run around the block a couple times to really let the energy get out and have gone to subsequent acupuncture sessions to help release the energy as well. N.192 The Entheogenic Evolution This means working with breath.N-DMT. took the rest.N-DMT is the primary ingredient of ayahuasca. imagine taking your strongest ayahuasca journey and compressing it into 11 minutes and you’ll have a fairly good idea of what N.N-DMT. Given that N.” . However. or whatever else helps you to process the energy. shaking your body. if you are familiar with ayahuasca.
there was no urge to surrender and fall back. most of our daily experience would fall into this category. yet energy did. my hands and legs vibrated some. . which was definitely not the case. I found myself thinking. “Wow – this just keeps getting bigger!” Having many prior experiences with 5-MeO-DMT. Due to the fact that I was able to sit perfectly still at the onset. and by the end. and therefore this is not a contradiction. one companion initially assumed that I had not received a sufficient dose. To manage this experience. I kept waiting for God to show up in this amazingly deep experience. however. despite the overwhelming onslaught of psychedelic energy and visuals. Unlike with 5-MeO-DMT. and it was just energy and visuals. fixed my sight. but very little in comparison to 5-MeO-DMT. Instead. they do not necessarily coincide in the entheogenic state. my own personal energy had to be much more masculine. and by around my third breath. For those reading closely. As I did so. I was pushing out huge amounts of energy with my breath. and firm. There was no transcendence of the ego. The perception of energy is not equivalent to the apprehension of the consciousness of God. however. as opposed to falling back in surrender.N-DMT was obvious to my two companions who sat with me for this journey simply based on my behavior.N-DMT experience. it was all I could do to breathe. I sat in lotus posture. The energetic difference between 5-MeO-DMT and N. the claim made above that God didn’t show up in the N. My other companion saw that I was channeling and processing energy rather than surrendering to it and took up a seated position opposite me to receive the energy that was flowing through me and processing in my body. meaning that I had to be centered. There was no dissolution. focused. I was fully “there” and completely “sober” the entire time. Everything turned into ayahuasca-like visuals as the energy radiated out of me. and breathed my way through the energy. which was coming out more like a primal growl. The experience kept going deeper and deeper. At the onset. opened my hands. In fact. might seem like a contradiction to the earlier statement that God is energy. Eventually I ended up in a position with one hand up and the other pointed down with fingers spread out. which remained perfectly intact throughout the journey. We can also experience energy without apprehending God. as appears to be the case with the massive outpouring of energy in the N. While experiencing energy and vibrations is an aspect of experiencing God. God didn’t show.N-DMT experience. We can perceive all kinds of phenomena without necessarily apprehending the divine consciousness within it as a direct experience – indeed.Appendix A: The Energetics of DMT 193 Immediately I launched into one of the most intense energetic experiences of my life.
194 The Entheogenic Evolution Overall it felt like an immensely powerful energetic build up. almost as though it would keep buzzing until it popped. though I’m not certain what that would mean. This energy definitely felt very buzzy. daime is made by combining the Banisteriopsis caapi vine with Psychotria viridis leaves. as ayahuasca tends to be. but it doesn’t have the same mystical and ego reduction qualities of 5-MeO-DMT. It’s great if you’re looking for an overwhelming psychedelic blast. making the experience shorter than it might otherwise be in other contexts. give me health. there is a conscious being within the daime itself that is called Juramidam. my evaluation of the N. Of course my opinion might change from further exploration of this powerful visionary medicine. Daime tends to have less banisteriopsis. Perhaps one might use it as a tool to learn how to contain and manage large outflows of energy. Ayahuasca All of my experiences with ayahuasca have been in conjunction with attending “Works” of the Santo Daime religion.” or whatever else one might ask of the ayahuasca. especially in the center of my body. For the . more functional. medicines. Energy can either feel sinuous and serpentine or buzzy and vibratory.” which means “give me” in Portuguese and relates to the concept of “give me light. but my initial hit is that the experience does not serve my personal aims of spiritual exploration and connection to the divine that is afforded by other. each round of daime drinking lasts only a few hours with multiple rounds of drinking daime throughout the night. Though some N.N-DMT aficionados might take issue with me. In Amazonian shamanism. however. The later portion of the experience was more serpentine.N-DMT. a potent mix of an MAOI and N. but this was only for a short period of the entire experience. Like traditional Amazonian ayahuasca. give me love.N-DMT experience is that it really isn’t functional for either shamanic or mystical work. Within this tradition. ayahuasca has been renamed “daime. a syncretic tradition from Brazil that combines Amazonian ayahuasca shamanism and Catholicism. whereas with daime. but it seems like it is so overwhelming that really the best one can do is stand firm in the energy and let it flow without being energetically drowned by it. This being is understood to be the teacher of “the Doctrine” of Christ Consciousness which secreted itself in the jungle after the message of Christ was twisted and warped by those who would claim to be Christians. According to the Santo Daime. drinking ayahuasca might lead to an all night journey. and the experience itself is so short that it doesn’t allow one to really do any meaningful shamanic work as with ayahuasca or mushrooms.
lattices. though not all colors of the rainbow will be present at any given time. The focus is the Work itself and it is a practice of worship and individual evolution. or dancing in place. one can also feel those flows of energy in the body. either with eyes open or closed. there is no guidance provided for anyone’s journey. Men and women are divided into two sides of the room in carefully arranged rows. including mystical raptures. in the mind’s eye. Colors tend to appear within spectrums. and much more. etc. Santo Daime Works are a collective experience of working with energy. context. Within that experience of energy. also facing the central altar. Colors are hyper vibrant and energy can be seen in highly complex geometric matrices. but is also directly felt as sensations in the body. deep energetic and physical purging. grids. drinking daime three to five times through the course of a Work is standard. meaning that often colors are spatially placed as they would be in a rainbow. open eye visuals are often not as colorful and intense as closed eye visuals (it is generally easier to perceive energy in the dark or with eyes closed as it allows greater focus on the geometry and nature of the energy without distracting or competing visual information). As Santo Daime works are performed in well-lit rooms. The idea is that all attending should stay focused on the collective ritual as much as possible and for each individual to concentrate his or her energy on the Work. within the context of the tradition. is extremely visual. drums. When one watches the energy flow. there are no interpretations of visions. daime. scenes. possession phenomena. Though no specific instructions are given for working with energy. Santo Daime Works. as opposed to shamanic. or in this case. flutes. mandalas. ayahuasca. there are a great variety of phenomena that might take place. Participants go into the Works with the concept that this energy is divine already in place. As an entheogenic agent. facing the main altar in the center of the room. Most Works are either performed while seated. is understood to be inherently divine. or in here. which. people learn by observation and direct experience. The perception of energy can give rise to the perception of visual or imagistic content of beings. and even cellos. The energy is not just perceived as something out there in the environment. In many respects. there is to be no exchange of energy between participants. provide a fairly structured environment for working with daime.Appendix A: The Energetics of DMT 195 Works that I have attended. or objects. Songs are sung in Portuguese continually throughout the Works and there is musical accompaniment with guitars. As this is a religious. and each person needs to pass through his or her own trial and healing. rattles. or rituals. networks. As personal experiences are not generally openly discussed at Daime Works. I cannot say how . mediumship and incorporation.
but an energetic presence is not the same as a vision of a being. For me. and progress on your spiritual path. They all come together in one synthesis where no part can be separated from the others. people may shake. but they make less sense when the full depth of the visionary encounter is missing from the experience. The visual perception of energy makes sense through the sense of knowing that accompanies the perception. there is still the experience of energy in the body. I’ve only had one small vomiting experience with daime at my first drinking. purge. which is one of the primary claims to fame of ayahuasca. The feeling is that there is nothing that ayahuasca does not know and there is nowhere to hide from its perception of truth. though I’ve noticed that some people apparently vomit quite . No whining allowed. I have felt the energetic presence of star beings. At lesser doses. parts of the daime or ayahuasca experience. Daime has the exquisite ability to communicate sophisticated concepts through energetic representations. and even when the daime is not strong enough to give rise to visuals (as is sometimes the case). As the daime does its work. If one wants an easy. intricate and highly sophisticated geometric energy patterns. vibrate. sensations of energy flow. unsympathetic. Though the forces feel very cosmic and universal. allowing them to reach deeper levels of selfawareness. feel good path to spiritual experience. A great deal of the work that ayahuasca does is to clear out the energy pathways in a person’s body. My preference is definitely for daime that is strong enough to produce visuals and not just the feeling of energy or vibrations. It is therefore uncompromising. clear out your energy. one may feel the energy or the vibrations. This provides for a total experience: vibrations in the body. Ayahuasca will wring you out and put you through hell if that is what you need to learn your lessons.196 The Entheogenic Evolution frequently energy gives rise to such visions among Daimistas. and deep Gnostic revelations and profound spiritual messages and insight. It allows one to enter directly into a state of knowing through immediate experience. this is certainly not it. Vomiting and diarrhea are both common. This is part of the cleansing and purifying work that ayahuasca does on an energetic level manifesting through physical purges. colors. and spiritual maturity. the teachings and the messages are always very personal and intimate to the person undergoing the process. and ultimately. though not universal. It is the combination of elements that makes ayahuasca or daime such a powerful teacher. and of course. but for my own experience I can say that all I have ever “seen” on daime is energy. the experience of energy is primary. either physical or astral (as they would say in the Santo Daime). and the way it is felt in the body communicates an individual’s relationship to that energy or concept. truth. breathe heavily and blow air. Personally.
to which we will now turn. Unlike ayahuasca. Most of my shamanic work has been with psilocybin mushrooms. and a sense of knowing as there is with ayahuasca. Much of what takes place in shamanic work is the movement and exchange of energy between shaman. visual content. The molecular difference between psilocybin and psilocin and N. Santo Daime is about a person’s relationship to their true self and their personal connection to the divine on an energetic level. like ayahuasca. highly geometric. it is an ideal shamanic medicine (as opposed to extracted N. they are both forms of DMT. psilocybin is 4-phosphoryloxy-N. At high enough doses. sensations of energy in the body.Appendix A: The Energetics of DMT 197 forcefully nearly every time they drink daime.N-DMT). patient. and often surprisingly detailed and radiant in color and vibrancy. Psilocybin and Psilocin Psilocybin and psilocin are found in a wide variety of mushrooms across the globe.N-dimethyltryptamine and psilocin is 4-hydroxy-N. Since all my experiences of ayahuasca have been with daime in a strict ritual setting. aside from the occasional expulsion of gas from either end of the digestive tract. For most. There is also much the same relationship between perception of energy. though some do vomit or have diarrhea regularly when they use mushrooms. . mushrooms can just be a somewhat challenging digestive experience without leading to actual purging of any kind. The energetics of mushrooms are very similar to the energetics of ayahuasca.N-DMT allows for mushrooms to be orally active. Specifically. meaning that you can eat psilocybin mushrooms and have an entheogenic experience without the need for a monoamineoxidase inhibitor. It is decidedly not a shamanic tradition. however. purging is much more rare with mushrooms. and thus do not have much to say about this personally at this time. are an excellent tool for opening up one’s perception and experience of energy. mushrooms are extremely visual. Though they have their own names. and universe. It all depends on the person and where they are at mentally. However.N-dimethyltryptamine. as is necessary with ayahuasca. Mushrooms. and emotionally and how their personal energy is flowing in their relationship to the divine. spiritually. given that ayahuasca opens up deep levels of perception and experience of energy for extended periods of time. I have not had the opportunity to explore this more thoroughly (the one time I directly and purposefully engaged in a healing exchange of energy at a Daime Work I was quickly informed that such was not allowed and was “entirely inappropriate”).
but rather one that is purposeful. they will be accompanied by highly meaningful. perceptions of colorful. your legs vibrating. geometric energy. and pay attention to the visuals and the conceptual content of the experience. Staying focused. As you move through a mushroom experience. will then direct the healing process and guide how the exchange needs to take place. and relaxed are all crucial to letting the energy move where it will and impart whatever information it is bringing to you. though often abstract. or just pretty. your face quivering and your eyes fluttering as they roll up into your head. visual content. disordered. they become increasingly intense and visual and body perceptions can change dramatically throughout the experience. it is important for the shaman to set his or her personal ego and concerns aside and focus on the patient. and sense of knowing. continually building to the peak. A key to working with mushroom energetics is focus and attention. Being open to that energy means letting it move you. psilocybin can create not only sensations of vibratory energy but can physically vibrate various parts of the body as well. if one is distracted or letting one’s mind wander. However. These are all forms of movement of energy. let it happen and see where your hands want to go and what kinds of movements they want to make. In conducting shamanic work. If it starts to vibrate your hands. Psilocybin mushrooms are excellent tools for shamanic work given their duration. This does not work if the shaman has an . the perception of energy can be highly symmetrical and ordered. often appearing mandala-like. you may find your hands moving into strange positions. As they build. Real depth is experienced through focused intention and attention. The mushrooms. It is a way of letting the energy do its work and being open to whatever it brings or imparts over the course of the experience. As with other forms of DMT. and if the mushrooms are strong enough. energetic aspects. First the waves start out small. In this way a voyager can move through the experience and learn from it dispassionately. where the mushroom journey can unfold with focused attention without becoming attached to the emotional or personal content of the experience. This is neither a “good” nor “bad” trip. Getting to the peak of a mushroom experience is not so much a gradual and continuous climb as it is a leap from one level of energy and experience to another. but they quickly gain force and depth. through energy. for example. When one is focused in the experience. open. A powerful component of working with mushrooms is attaining the state of the Witness.198 The Entheogenic Evolution Mushroom experiences tend to come in through waves of energy. which then washes out over another few hours of psychedelic experience. the energy can be chaotic.
As with ayahuasca. Letting go into mushrooms can open one up to divine states of consciousness. this is more a matter of being open to letting the mushrooms do their work without trying to control them or fighting against them. The way the patient reacts and the way the energy moves tells the shaman if the chosen course of action is being effective or not. energy. which can happen when one beings to feel fear or displeasure with the content of their experience.Appendix A: The Energetics of DMT 199 agenda to fill when working with a patient. When the shaman and patient are open. Even though such vibrations can be violent. the enactment of tradition. unlike the total ego obliteration that occurs with 5-MeO-DMT. While the ego can be transcended in a mushroom experience. and they can bring with them a wealth of information and spiritual meaning and significance for the voyager. and God. but there are many levels between our normal finite perceptions and the infinite spectrum of all possible energies. Many reports of working with entheogens focus on the mechanics or ritual. Conclusion All forms of DMT open up the shamanic explorer to various perceptions and experiences of energy and alterations of consciousness and body experience. vibrations can completely overtake one’s body. this often takes some concentration and effort. It is my hope that this short essay has helped to clarify some of the distinctions and similarities between different forms of DMT and how they reflect on energetic experience. for the most part they feel good (at least I think so). The deeper one goes into such an experience. the more likely one is to experience rapid vibrations. The ultimate energy is God. minds. and profound feelings of connection to others. True shamanic work is focused selflessly on the one asking for help and healing. or the divine consciousness of the universe. or more directly put. Trying to force the energy only creates a disruption in the energy flow or can become a violation of the patient’s energetic integrity. or the visionary content of psychedelic . the energy will move where it needs to go and bodies. The shaman needs to pay careful attention to the energetic influences of the mushrooms and let them guide the healing process. the more refined the vibrations and the greater the feeling of connection and universal love. Learning to navigate and work with these energies deepens our relationship to Spirit and the divine. If one can completely relax into the divine state. and spirits will respond accordingly. nature. much like with 5-MeO-DMT. the universe. The end goal of working with entheogens is establishing a meaningful relationship with spiritual forces. which is more akin to sorcery than it is to shamanism. deep revelations. The deeper you go.
Questions of legal status aside. and energy can be quantified and measured. however. yet mysterious and enigmatic.” Objective observation and measurement is apparently not a sufficient methodology for exploring and understanding the full nature of consciousness or energy. There is no scientific monopoly on either of these two fundamental aspects of reality. but is merely described at “the ability to do work.200 The Entheogenic Evolution voyages. it is my hope that through the use of these tools we can collectively and personally come to understand the deeper levels of that mysterious thing we call “reality” and come to know both ourselves and our shared world in which consciousness and energy are very real. According to the best formulations of science. and entheogens provide a useful and powerful tool for exploring and accessing such states. Lastly. By focusing on energy and energetic experience. we really don’t know what either consciousness or energy is. Subjective experience is. we can bring the focus back to the phenomenology of the experience and its functional nature as an exchange or manipulation of energy. . consciousness is an “epiphenomenon” that “just happens” when physical conditions are right in biological systems. I’d like to point out that from a scientific standpoint. phenomena.
Emotions. At the smallest levels.Appendix B: The Energetic Body of God: An Entheogenic Perspective Through my recent work with entheogens. Mathematically. However. is the study of energy from the microcosmic to the macrocosmic. we are developing a scientific description of the physical mechanisms of consciousness. etc. and subatomic particles. thoughts. Everything that exists is made out of energy. we have superstrings. is also comprised of energy.. patterns of behavior and cognition. and energy across many different levels and from these descriptions we garner our picture of the nature of reality as a physical system of constantly interacting energies. This essay is a reflection of my current thoughts on this phenomenon and I present it to the reader with the caveat that I have recently been undergoing a rather intense entheogenic education in regards to the nature of self and God and therefore my thoughts are likely to change. and the contents or functions of consciousness. consciousness is first and foremost a subjective experience and no amount of objective data collection or physical description can get to the actual experience of consciousness. Consciousness. electromagnetism. I have come to directly experience what I have come to think of as the energetic body of God. science has focused on the material side of consciousness through neuroscience. To study consciousness as a direct phenomenon. This should therefore be understood as something of a preliminary report as I fully expect my own thoughts on this subject to change as new aspects become apparent to me. Objective science. and other such “objective” measures. dreams. and grow. While we have a physics of the material realm. black holes. This lack of a physics of consciousness is due to the objective/subjective bias of mainstream scientific thought and practice. biology. movement. mass. deepen. as I progress further in my practice. as we all know. are all forms of energy. as a phenomenon. quarks. the physical is just one aspect of reality. Because the phenomenon of consciousness cannot be studied objectively. but we are not studying consciousness itself. at its most refined. we are sorely lacking any kind of comparative physics of the realm of consciousness. At best. primarily ayahuasca and biological extracts of 5-MeO-DMT. we can accurately describe and measure force. . However. and galaxies. At the largest levels we have quasars. one must venture into the scientifically murky world of subjective experience.
consciousness is considered a scientific “epiphenomenon. However. come with such caveats. The experiential nexus of immaterial consciousness and physical reality is the body. (To my knowledge. its contents. Like a telescope that can refine and deepen our perceptions of the heavens. everyday perceptions of reality are completely caused by our neural chemistry.” meaning that it somehow and miraculously just happens to emerge when the necessary physical conditions are met. Our brain chemistry does not cause us to see the tree out front. and its processes. the widespread opinion regarding entheogens is that they cause certain perceptions. so too can entheogens open up our ability to explore and perceive consciousness. we directly experience this enigmatic connection in our bodies. This is not an explanation in any sense. albeit subjective. nor does it cause the tree to be an object of our perception. we claim that our objective observations and quantifications of reality are true. Our everyday brain chemistry certainly influences how we perceive the tree. and as tools.” Rather. Rather. but it is important to understand that this does not necessarily imply a causal connection. In other words. This implies a correlation between biochemistry and consciousness. the mainstream view is that . Regardless of the broader question of the relationship between mind and body. there are no better tools than entheogens and psychedelic agents. not that they are provisionally true as causally related to our biochemistry. However. consciousness and physical objects. experience.202 The Entheogenic Evolution For the subjective exploration of consciousness. if ever. it is a hidden admission of ignorance. we would have to say that our entire experience of reality is caused by our body chemistry. we are taking a physical and energetic substance into our bodies that directly affects consciousness through physical mechanisms. or even if we are able to perceive the tree at all. and experiences in the subjective world of the person consuming them. For example. they excel like none other when it comes to the phenomenology of the mind. from a phenomenological perspective. When we claim that E=mc squared or f=ma. few would claim that our normal. We know that we have both minds and bodies and somehow the two aspects of our being interact and relate to each other. but this is a correlation between chemistry and perception and experience. Entheogens are tools. If we want to claim a causal connection. scientific formulations of truth rarely. then to be consistent. It doesn’t matter that we can’t explain this scientifically. Nature abounds with these chemical keys to unlocking our ability to perceive and explore different levels of consciousness and subjective experience.) When we ingest an entheogen. we don’t qualify such statements with the disclaimer that “these laws hold true under conditions of ordinary biochemistry. thoughts. It is our direct.
In many instances. One might attempt to respond to the above by making the claim that our everyday biochemistry is “normal” and therefore different from an induced state of biochemistry where an entheogenic agent has been introduced into the system. if someone were to claim that he experienced God while ingesting an entheogen. this argument might have some plausibility. If it weren’t for the fact that our bodies produce entheogenic tryptamines such as N. there is no legitimate philosophical or scientific reason for making such a distinction. insisting on such a divide is logically inconsistent. or if our brains didn’t have receptors that readily take in introduced alkaloids. the perceptions created by “normal” neurotransmitters coincide with “reality” whereas introduced chemicals are creating an “unnatural” or “abnormal” state of perception and function. Here the methodology is subjective and experiential. the common response is that. you would be correct in assuming that it won’t work correctly if you were to fill it with water. “The drug caused you to think that. However. From an objective standpoint. since our bodies naturally produce endogenous entheogenic molecules and our brains are physically structured to receive them. in fact. For example. they are not. Yet it can be just as valid as scientific observation. One substance is clearly “correct” whereas the other is clearly not. and when it comes to the phenomenon and . The ingestion of tryptamines can radically alter a person’s perception and experience of reality. In other words. erroneous or false. My position is that while these perceptions and experiences are undoubtedly different from our everyday perceptions and experiences.” For example. any argument that these are somehow “unnatural” to our bodies is specious and factually erroneous. I would argue that the ingestion of tryptamines and other entheogens actually broadens our perception and experience of reality. What you were experiencing wasn’t real. just as is the case with “normal” biochemistry. Though we may want to create such a divide based on practical experience or some vague notion of common sense.” Yet there is no philosophical reason why one set of brain chemistry somehow produces accurate perceptions of reality while another set of brain chemistry somehow produces inaccurate fantasies or hallucinations. by default.Appendix B: The Energetic Body of God 203 entheogens produce “hallucinations” that are not consistent with some objective formulation of “reality. but it is just a product of the drug. The fact is our bodies are physically constructed to work naturally with entheogenic substances.N-DMT and 5-MeO-DMT. the methodology is decidedly different from the socially acceptable method of objective scientific observation and experimentation. though it is pervasive in our culture. and in particular tryptamines. However. Any such divide must be understood to be a judgment and bias. if your car runs on gas.
This nothingness is the ground of reality. and the limiting confines of the body all dissolve away into the infinite expansion of pure consciousness. It is only an apparent paradox produced by our limited perspective within space and time. as opposed to providing specific accounts of different entheogenic experiences. What I would like to relate in a general manner. God as a source of infinite energy. I present this here not as a subjective experience. undivided and contentless nature of consciousness is immediately recognized for what it is: the true nature of the Self that is identical with the divine source of all of existence (which I personally choose to call God). It is not a true paradox for no laws have been violated.204 The Entheogenic Evolution experience of consciousness. then God would be a part of the manifest world. for space and time cannot exist within something that does not partake of the properties of space and time. we might describe this as a singularity: something that has no extension and no differentiation. but rather as an objective investigation into the nature of reality and the physics/metaphysics. In this state. It does not exist in space and time. good or evil. it does not have extension. As a singularity. Space and time and all its many permutations and manifestations exist within this undivided nature of consciousness. 5-MeO-DMT has the curious ability to rapidly dissolve most of our normal concepts and perceptions of what we call reality. self or other. it can. actually provides a superior method of investigation. In a full release into the 5-MeO-DMT state. and all manifest things. is the phenomenological experience of the energetic body of God as I have personally experienced it while under the influence of ayahuasca and 5MeO-DMT. body or mind. In this state. contentless consciousness is at the center of all manifestations. matter. There are no distinctions of any kind. if you will. Because it does not have extension. There is no right or wrong. Another way of looking at or describing this strange situation is to say that pure. the pure. My exploration into the world of entheogens has led me to a rather personally surprising and unexpected understanding of the nature of God. In the language of physics. personal identity and the ego. it is the other way around. and manifest reality. God is the source of the manifest world. due to . of the relationship between God as consciousness. space. There is only the pure nature of consciousness. Rather. If God were an object (having extension or differentiation). in fact. time. God is not part of the manifest world. It is the nature of reality devoid of all its contents and manifestation. God is pure emptiness or nothingness. personal identity. Yet here there is a paradox. Since the center does not exist in space or time. exist both nowhere and everywhere.
There is nowhere that the singularity cannot be found in the manifest world. Just as the physical aspects of reality are. all made of energy. and repeat infinitely. The difference between objective science and subjective experience is that the only tool we have to observe and experience the inner world is consciousness itself. given our capacity as humans to directly experience God and contemplate the nature of that experience. there is only one source. Different entheogens open the explorer up to different perceptions and experience of energy. The center is not a thing in this world. As humans. All things. The basic distinction here might best be understood as distinguishing the body of God (the manifest world of space and time and all its contents) from the consciousness of God (the singularity at the heart of all manifest things and the ground of existence). As long as we can continue to zoom in. Anything that enhances this singular tool is therefore of value to the exploration of subjective experience. it would seem that manifest reality has reached a transcendental stage of evolution in our bodies that is not present in the vast majority of the manifest world that we can objectively observe. At the deepest. transcendent level. The singularity is an infinite source of energy. and all things that exist partake of this energy and manifest through it. We can always change focus. including quarks and sub-atomic particles. As a singularity. Imagine that we could zoom in infinitely on a piece of matter. the singularity is the source of the entirety of the manifest world. but are not the consciousness of God in a direct sense.Appendix B: The Energetic Body of God 205 originating from God. zoom in closer. but this is a difference primarily in degree. If there were more than one. so too is consciousness. But the energetic center is not in the manifest world as an object. is a basic foundation of reality. However. What we find is that both the inner and outer worlds are made of energy. experience. we will never get closer to the actual center of any piece of space/time. it wouldn’t be a singularity. but there is choice and consciousness present at each level. such as self-reflective humans. we are able to consciously experience the nature of reality from both an inner and outer perspective. Free will. have an energetic center. There are many different levels to manifest reality. God is all-pervasive. though in different degrees. and all manifest things have some degree of this aspect of consciousness. Yet the center is the source for the manifestation of any given bit of reality. at a fundamental level. There is only one singularity. or choice. and exploration. are of God. even sub-atomic particles. Free will and choice are most refined in sophisticated biological beings. The unique gift of entheogens is that they make the energy of consciousness open to perception. Tryptamines are particularly valuable in this . Though not a part of the manifest world.
Our ability to perceive and experience this is a fundamental aspect of who we are as biological and spiritual beings. their relation to the body. is made up of different energetic levels of fractals or fractal-like permutations. and tryptamines in particular. I have experienced what I have come to call the Divinely Symmetrical Cosmic Fractal (DSCF). Furthermore. The DSCF contains the ultimate structure of all other permutations. that this state is completely accessible to others and that there is nothing necessarily unique . All manifestations of energy have fractal aspects. they are more like each other than either is to Salvia divinorum. as we experience it both physically and mental. each in their own way. It has taken a great deal of personal spiritual work. For example. can be described mathematically through the generation of fractals. Through my recent work with ayahuasca.206 The Entheogenic Evolution regard as different tryptamines allow the explorer access to different ways of experiencing energy. so too does consciousness. Yet they are also all related and therefore the experiences are more of a spectrum than discrete states. the fractals that make up our physical and conscious natures are fueled by the same fundamental energy and can be directly experienced when under the influence of entheogens. Just as physical objects develop in fractals. as different as psilocybin mushrooms and 5-MeO-DMT are from each other as phenomenological experiences. which I consider to be the most fundamental manifestation of energy. the mathematical ratio that is at the heart of fractal permutations. Science has already shown that much of the features of the natural world. As living beings. The DSCF emanates directly from the singularity and is the ultimate archetype of fundamental energy. and willingness. The deepest level of tryptamine consciousness that I have experienced has brought me directly to the center of the DSCF. the fundamental ratio of the golden mean is ubiquitous throughout nature. Out of this fundamental fractal pattern of energy emanates all other possible fractal patterns. I have found working with a variety of them to be most productive in exploring different energetic states. It has required a tremendous amount of surrender. mushrooms. Consciousness. and 5-MeODMT. which is not a tryptamine. Tryptamines allow us access to levels of perception and experience that are otherwise hidden and obscure from our conscious awareness. Due to the “family resemblances” of the various tryptamines. however. as an underlying feature of the physical system. yet they also incorporate asymmetry through the golden mean. which are all intimately tied into the metapattern that is the DSCF. focus. and dedication to reach this aspect of the experience. The body of God is the DSCF. including the physical structures of living beings. and the associated experiences of consciousness. letting go. These permutations are perfectly symmetrical. Reality. is the same way. I strongly believe.
The energy fractal for a fern or sea urchin would have a completely different symmetry than the fractal of the human life form.Appendix B: The Energetic Body of God 207 or subjective about my experience. The entheogenic experience is an integrative one and what is seen. Given that my experience of the DSCF has bilateral symmetry. I believe. Getting to the center of the DSCF is a matter of letting go completely into the heart of God. experienced. or even moving the body through space as described above. There is a distinct central axis with energy radiating outwards in the orbits of the arms and legs. though legs and arms do not necessary follow identical energetic pathways. “created in the image of God” might have an energetic interpretation. meanings become obvious and complex ideas can be communicated and understood with astounding clarity. the infinitesimal singularity that is the source of all being and existence. the system pulses and flows as a coordinated unit. it should be accessible to others in a similar manner. this is experienced as an archetypal fractal of bilateral symmetry. a central axis. for example. In the human body. However. In other words. and therefore allows for a maximum expression and development of consciousness. My hypothesis is that all living beings or all systems of energy exchange and transformation will have their own distinct archetypal energy fractal. it is my belief that this particular manifestation of the DSCF is more properly understood as the archetypal human energy fractal. flows in regards to arms and legs. and cognized all form a holistic pattern. but it can also be directly perceived through sight as well. rather than necessarily the DSCF itself. yet still distinct. and co-coordinated. as do legs. there may be something special about our particular energy symmetry in that it allows us maximum mobility through space. It is. When one relaxes completely into this energetic flow. or moments of deep knowing and wisdom. From this point of stillness. Not only can this DSCF be experienced as energetic flows in the body. When enraptured in such holistic patterns. The center point of complete stillness is experienced in the very center of one’s personal heart – the center of one’s energetic being. Arms mirror each other in movement. arms and legs can begin to move without any conscious effort and the body will undulate in rhythmic patterns along its central axis. It is through such mechanisms that entheogenic experiences become Gnostic experiences. infinite amounts of fractal energy flow from the center in symmetrical forms and spread across the universe. and as such. It is important to understand that the DSCF is not just a mathematical or energetic blueprint for physical development (as fractal . Within this energetic matrix. and experience of the genuine nature of reality. maximum ability to finely articulate physical objects. felt.
As with the rest of reality. As conscious and living beings. Clarity. is in alignment with the archetypal energies of God. or much more rarely. even if we don’t experience this “consciously. And even within that larger archetype there are undoubtedly sub-archetypes and energetic patterns. we make choices across all levels of our being. there is always a spectrum and no archetype is absolute. Coming to understand “God’s will” is then coming to understand the underlying fractal patterns of manifestation that shape the flow and transformation of energy. with the exception of the singularity that is God. we need to be clear in our intentions. and the contents of our hearts. that means coming into resonance and harmony with that aspect of the DSCF that is the human archetype. as manifested across all levels of our life and being. The archetypal fractals span all levels and spectrums of reality. integrity. our emotions. This deviation from absolute symmetry is always a matter of choice. so to speak. We do not use our bodies in perfectly symmetrical ways and energy flows through us in ways that express difference and individuality. our commitment to personal truths. We also are either left handed.” The archetypal pattern is perfectly symmetrical. and this includes consciousness. In order to bring ourselves into alignment with the archetypal energy flows. As with all things. Yet the two sides of the human body are not perfectly symmetrical. It is also the blueprint or metapattern for the flow of energy through space/time. The two sides of a person’s face are not perfect mirror images of each other with minor variations in details and thereby giving expression to individuality and character. the singularity and source at the center. or awakened. right handed. We can either “go with the flow” of “God’s will. especially with the assistance of entheogens. This is what makes them archetypal or fundamental. How we choose to manifest ourselves in accordance with that fundamental energy is our choice. That is the expression of free will as built into the system across various levels of existence with its most refined expression through human agency. ambidextrous. The archetype has been provided directly by the energy freely given by God.” or strive to make energy manifest and transform according to our individual will. which can be more or less in alignment with the archetypal energies at our disposal. The spiritual. the way we interact with the human archetype of the DSCF is a matter of choice. for example. . Alignment is something that can be felt. It is the blueprint for the total package. life is a process of coming to know how our own personal energy. For a human. and honesty are significant tools for coming to know oneself. Personal will is our individual expression and manipulation of energy.208 The Entheogenic Evolution mathematics are currently applied to physical systems).
especially with oneself. The only problem with scientific formulations of a GUT is that science. Science has been very good at coming to understand physical objects. are not necessarily antithetical to each other. has absolutely no explanation for consciousness or life in general. The choice is ours. As physical incarnations of God. and therefore the “location” of God within us. How we harness it to create the world is our responsibility. God. What this means is that science and religion. While we cannot either personally or even collectively determine reality completely. we are collectively working to bring energy into manifestation in reality.Appendix B: The Energetic Body of God 209 Approaching God through the heart means letting go of judgment of self and others. or according to our own selfish desires and intentions. all of reality is a divine expression. technology and spirit. across all levels. consciousness. The well of energy is infinite. If I am correct in the account of the relationship between energy. though not in the moralistic or dogmatic sense that we have been taught through our religions. The concept of the DSCF bridges the gap between science and religion and posits the possibility that it can all be explained as permutations of the same fundamental energy – the energy of God. faith and fact. right along with consciousness and the entire physical universe. and manifest reality. this metaphysics of God implies that we have a great deal of power at our disposal as individuals and as a collective. We can therefore choose how we want our personal and collective reality to be and how we will choose to let energy manifest – in alignment with the perfect archetypes of God. In physics. and existence itself. life. and living in honesty. as of yet. loving unconditionally. following archetypal energies of manifestation. This understanding is a new synthesis and a new way of understanding the workings of God. giving oneself in surrender. What it also points to is that we are responsible through our choices and actions. the heart is the true path to God. As the energetic center of our beings. then it is conceivable that entheogenic exploration could be the genuine path to a truly Grand Unified Theory. In fact. And given that the DSCF is a fractal. but has not been able to explain how life or consciousness works. . it is also mathematical in nature. This is a true theory of everything – not just physical objects. Thus life itself is thereby understood as being an expression of fractal energy as manifesting in space in time. the universe. the dream of the Grand Unified Theory is considered to be the penultimate achievement of science – a theory that explains everything. It is about living authentically with the energy of our being and manifest reality.
in the very center of your heart.Ever.” - God . For I am always here.“Do not be afraid .
Oroc. Press. Park St. True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author’s Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil’s Paradise. HarperSanFrancisco. Tryptamine Palace. Narby. R. Heinrich. The Holy Mushroom: Evidence of Mushrooms in Judeo-Christianity. et al. Rochester. 1993. 2002. Rochester. Gnostic Media Press. 1999. Rochester.Works Cited: De Alverga. Jenkins.R. 2006. Inner Traditions. Griffiths. and The Santo Daime Tradition. The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge. Tarcher/Putnam. Rochester. James. Sacred Mushrooms of Vision. 2005. New York. McKenna. John Major and Martin Matz. Rochester. 2002. 2009. The Invisible Landscape: Mind. 1998. Terence and Dennis McKenna. Inner Traditions. Press. Teonanacatl: A Sourcebook On the Psilocybin Mushroom. Claudia et al. Rochester. Forest of Visions: Ayahuasca. 2008. Clark. 2004. 1993. Park St. Muller-Ebeling. The Lost Aztec Codex – Spiritual Ascent at the End of Time. Pyramid of Fire. Jeremy. Jan. Terence. Park Street Press. Ralph (ed). San Francisco. Metzner. Bear and Company. Amazonian Spirituality. McKenna. Alex Polari.” Journal of Psychopharmacology. Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy. Irvin. Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas. New York. HarperSanFrancisco. Hallucinogens and the I Ching. . “Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having Substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance.
Press. Tarcher/Penguin. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act. DMT: The Spirit Molecule. Supreme Court Decision.. Joseph Chilton. Press. Pinchbeck. John A. Employment Division. 2006. Frog Books. 2008.Pearce. Gonzales. v. Daniel. Smith. Strassman.S. Rochester. U. The Biology of Transcendence: A Blueprint of the Human Spirit. Park St. Rush. Park St. Oregon Department of Human Resources v. Press. et al. 2002.D. 2005. U. Supreme Court Decision. et al. Rochester. 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. 1993 . Inner Paths to Outer Space: Journeys to Alien Worlds Through Psychedelics and Other Spiritual Technologies. Park St. New York. Rochester. 2001.S. 1990. Attorney General. 2008. Strassman. Rick. U. Failed God: Fractured Myth in a Fragile World.S. Ph. Rick. Congress. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao Do Vegetal et al.
. Ph. psilocybin mushrooms.D. ayahuasca. Mazatec Shamanism.. with Dr. S a l v i a d i v i n o r u m . Researchers. John Rush. Rick Strassman. edited by Martin W. Ball. and more. Topics include: DMT. and Explorers Entheologues.M. features interviews transcribed from the Entheogenic Evolution Podcast. JudeoChristianity and psychedelic sacraments. and Timothy White. Daniel Siebert. peyote and the Native American Church.. Amanita muscaria. Ball: Coming in early 2009 from Kyandara Publishing: Entheologues: Conversations with Leading Psychedelic Thinkers. Jan Irvin.Also by Martin W. Ph. .D.D.
n e t and myspace. Ronin Publishing. Presented from a practical and philosophical perspective for spiritual practitioners of all kinds. Ph. Available at iTunes. m a r t i n b a l l . throat and overtone signing.com. and more with electronic beats and contemporary sophistication.net and bookstores everywhere. Cdbaby. w w w . Ball.Mushroom Wisdom: How Shamans Cultivate Spiritual Consciousness By Martin W. Infinite Horizons Embracing the archaic revival. chanting. Available at www. 2006 This book explores shamanic techniques and methods for cultivating deep introspective and mystical states of consciousness.com/mushroomwisdom . didjeridu. The official audio companion to Mushroom Wisdom.martinball. flutes. this work is invaluable for any who would like a deeper understanding of the spiritual nature of psilocybin mushrooms and their use in ritual and spiritual practice.D. the world fusion music of this CD brings together acoustic percussion.
He describes many of his personal experiences. featuring an ecstatic mix of electronic instrumentation and throat and overtone singing. shares meaningful insights. and spiritual development. and more.martinball. Dr. and provides helpful advice on using this herb as a tool for cultivating practical spirituality. Sage Spirit should be read by all who seek to understand the nature of Salvia divinorum. SageWisdom. 2007 This is a book that truly contains much “sage” wisdom. especially as it relates to human consciousness. .org Available at www. Ph.Daniel Siebert.net Divinorum audio companion to Sage Spirit All original music by Martin Ball. Inspired by B u r n i n g M a n a n d Salvia divinorum.net . personal growth. Ball. didjeridu. Available at www.martinball. Kyandara Publishing. Ball regards Salvia divinorum as a sacred herb and treats it with tremendous respect.D.Sage Spirit: Salvia Divinorum and the Entheogenic Experience By Martin W.
net .Tales of Aurduin.aurduin. volumes I-1V by Martin W Ball Orobai’s Vision The Fate of Miraanni The Alchemist and the Eagle The Fifth Temple www.
music and original artwork can be found at www. The Entheogenic Evolution Podcast with host.martinball. Dr. Oregon. Martin Ball.net. information on the spiritual use of entheogens. His books. . Dr. Ball currently lives in Ashland. is available at iTunes and www.podomatic.Martin W. Ball has a Ph. in Religious Studies with an emphasis on Native American traditions and shamanism.entheogenic.com This weekly podcast features interviews with leading entheogenic thinkers and researchers. The Entheogenic Evolution is his third book on entheogenic spirituality. and discussions of indigenous shamanic practices.D.