It is amusing to watch Protestant theologians try to make sense out of the blood of Christ by which we are saved, while avoiding Catholic supernaturalism. They miss "the third alternative" -- the blood is Amanita-water. However, it's too simplistic to stop at that equation.
http://www.christinyou.net/bloodchrst.html - The Blood of Christ - A study of the meaning of the "blood of Christ," pointing out the many mystical meanings that have been used to explain such. James Fowler, 1999.
"The blood of Christ has always been an important concept to Christian people ... as with any object of belief, there are those who take the object and ascribe to it meaning that it was never intended to possess. Some Christians have done that with the blood of Christ, giving it magical and mystical significance that the Scriptures do not ascribe to it. ... The efficacy of the blood of Jesus is to be understood by the fact that Jesus gave up His physical and material life-blood in obedience unto death (Philippians 2:8). By His death on the cross (physical and spiritual) the death-penalty is paid. We are thereby redeemed and reconciled to God in order to partake of Christ's spiritual life. This is not a partaking of His material, liquid blood running through our veins, but His Spirit within our spirit ... There is no Scriptural reason to believe that there is a bowl of the liquid blood of Jesus in heaven. Nor is there reason to believe that there is a fountain filled with Jesus' blood wherein all Christians are baptized in the flood of a blood-bath."
The coherent and sensible interpretation of the blood of Christ is that it represents:
o A comparison with being washed in the blood/life of the slain Mithraic bull (who is astrological determinism) in order to gain his vitality and rise above him, like eating a captured warrior.
o A contrast with the psychological economy of the Jews who had to purchase clearance of sins through paying their produce (the coin of the day). They had to buy clearance of transgressions through blood sacrifice. (This economy of moral transgression cleansing was profitable for the priestly monopoly. The underclass couldn't afford to pay for these costly guilt-clearing sacrifices, so they became "the lost".)
o The pressed juice from dried amanita.
o The transcended and killed will -- in a comparison with the eagle-torn liver (will) of prometheus.
Amanita is a large part of the sensible explanation, but to make sense of the meaning of the mythic frameworks, we need more philosophical decoding than only saying that "blood really means Amanita." Closer would be the formula that such Soma is the "blood of Jesus" which "forgives" -- that is, clears, cancels, and renders inapplicable -- our delusional conception of moral agency, metaphysical freedom, and the culpability of sin".
These ideas can be connected: entheogens, orthodox Christian terminology, the will, time, and self-control. Some theorists connect entheogens and Christianity, but we really need to bring a simple philosophical systematic metaphysics into the picture as well.
The Catholic Encyclopedia mentions the Mithraic virtue-giving (I would say sin-cancelling) property of Haoma (Vedic "Soma"), which Wasson and Heinrich propose is Amanita-water.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10402a.htm - "The [Mithraic] fathers conducted the worship. The chief of the fathers, a sort of pope, who always lived at Rome, was called "Pater Patrum" or Pater Patratus." The members below the degree of pater called one another "brother," and social distinctions were forgotten in Mithraic unity. The ceremonies of initiation for each degree must have been elaborate, but they are only vaguely known -- lustrations and bathings, branding with red-hot metal, anointing with honey, and others.
A sacred meal was celebrated of bread and haoma juice for which in the West wine was substituted. This meal was supposed to give the participants super-natural virtue. The Mithraists worshipped in caves, of which a large number have been found.
There were five at Ostia alone, but they were small and could perhaps hold at most 200 persons. In the apse of the cave stood the stone representation of Mithra slaying the bull, a piece of sculpture usually of mediocre artistic merit and always made after the same Pergamean model. The light usually fell through openings in the top as the caves were near the surface of the ground. A hideous monstrosity representing Kronos was also shown."
Mithraism provided a sanctifying cleansing through washing in the bull's blood, right next to the use of Haoma, which according to the entheogen scholars is murky bloody-looking water. This idea, combined with the Jewish idea of buying clearance of transgressions through sacrificial animals. Prometheus also spilled his blood willingly for the benefit of humanity, when the eagle sent by Zeus bit at his side, killing his liver/will.
These common ideas of the era led into the idea of being cleared of sin through the blood of Christ, while preserving the inner-circle Amanita meaning, in which the entheogen reveals the idea of moral culpability being an untenable and incoherent assumption, thus cancelling culpability for sin.
Notice the mention of Kronos, god of time, as a monster. We are mystically killed by the power of time. There is no time for metaphysical freedom. In the mystic altered state, time, change, and metaphysical freedom are called into doubt together, as a system.
Time looks frozen, and metaphysical freedom looks absent, and change looks illusory or frozen -- that is, it is very common to perceive these factors in this way. That is not to say the mind must always perceive these ideas, or that the ideas are known to be true because they are perceived in a vivid and disruptive way.
Interpretive principle: All miracle stories in the scriptures are connected to physical qualities of psychoactive plants or their hosts, or to experiential phenomena of the mystic altered state.
Solved puzzle: Belief in the godman returns sight to the blind.
Solved puzzle: Belief in the godman raises the dead back to life.
Solved puzzle: Belief in the godman heals the paralyzed.
Puzzle: The godman heals the lepers.
The birch -- what species? -- is host to Amanita.
Some species have peeling bark.
http://www.birch-tree.com/species-heritage.htm -- Salmon-colored bark that peels; lighter in color than the native river birch
In the same state of perceptual distortion that makes the ground and walls wave, skin appears to move around.
Clark wrote, and I agree:
>If the godman is the fly agaric, he himself is leprous: the "leprous" white white patches that adhere to the cap. It only takes knowing or believing that it is not a real illness to "cure" it. Also, "washing" will wash off the "leprosy," that is, the veil remnants (white patches), as happened to the leper who bathed according to Jesus' instructions.
>I have been handed my first resounding psychedelic defeat.
Defeat of ego-control is victory of enlightenment.
>I decided 10 hours ago to take 12g of A. Muscaria (9:06 PM). Here's what I remember: exactly 2 hours after I took the 12g, I got very sleepy and nauseous. ... I fell into a deep sleep at 11:13PM. ... The trip was so intense that I thought it was a dream. A voice from one of the A. Muscaria trip reports I read said "Within is contained heaven and hell." I was then transported to hell --
>a huge spinning vortex overtook my entire visual field. The stuff in my room, and my very flesh was sucked into a black hole. It was physically very painful. I really thought I had died in my sleep and that I was really in hell.
>I remember vomitting, but I thought it was just a dream. All I know is that at 3:09A (six hours after ingesting), I realized that I was not really dead and that somehow I was leaning against my bedroom door. I was still tripping, but I was quickly coming down. Here's what I saw: vomit on my floor, and all my things were scattered around my room. My chair was knocked down and it looked like a hurricane had come through my room.
Classic control-loss vortex. Listen to Bryan Ferry's song Hurricane on the album Siren. I've written about the control vortex, but I'm not finding a concentrated article about it at my site. http://www.egodeath.com/mcpnotes.htm#locositds
I have been considering a room-scrambling control-seizure doll as the emblem of cybernetic ego-death. Your experience may be classic. Note that the concept of physical control-loss is relevant and enlightening; physically acting out control-loss is irrelevant.
>I have no recollection of physically doing any of this to my room. But the best was yet to come. I stumbled off to look into the mirror -- I now have a knot on my head the size of Ft. Knox, the skin on my head was broken in two places (I was just slightly short of a concussion). My chest is bruised. My left arm is bleeding. My right knee and ankle are in incredible pain right now.
>I basically went on a rampage
an Amanita berserker
>while sleeping/tripping and I look like someone kicked my ass bad. I thought that all this commotion must have awoken the parents. I went to my mom's room and told her that I had an intense dream, that I had convulsed
like having a self-control seizure
>during the dream, and know I was all fucked up. I look so bad right now, that my mom was crying. My room looks like a war zone. For the first time, a psychedelic has literally kicked my ass. I will never take A. Muscaria again. Word of advice: don't go to sleep unless you have a tripping partner. I have learned a valuable lesson that I should have been able to learn without such extreme measures. A. Muscaria is some powerful shit.
>PS: I have seriously reconsidered my Amanita Muscaria experience. Sure it was scary, and sure I got hurt under the circumstances. But I'm starting to integrate the experience now, and I don't think of it as such a bad one anymore. My flesh was ripped off of me, and my skeleton was revealed.
I would be interested to know if the theory I have assembled is relevant and helps integrate your experience.
>This is what shamans tend to experience on A. Muscaria. It is part of the death and ressurection initiation, and it is also a way of purifying oneself. I have several skeletons and skeletal images from Guatemala that have roots in Mayan mysticism. Besides, I read the various trip reports on the net: A. Muscaria isn't exactly supposed to be a party. I count it now among my 5 mystical experiences, and I am already starting to see ways in which I can grow from the experience. Keep you posted!
>I forgot to mention a very important part of the trip. While in the vortex, I saw a small black thing that looked like a deodorant cap. I tried to crawl inside of it (small as it was), and I was somehow succesful. Inside the "black hole" was just more of the same vortex.
Control-vortex as cave of Mithras? I've always pictured touching or approaching or hugging the vortex, but not *entering* or being in the vortex -- just being inside the peak window (as a time period) while encountering the control-vortex. I have imagined entering it, rather than physically entering it. God is said to speak from inside the whirlwind.
>>You mentioned Amanita, but I found here that these can be toxic and kill you:
I'm strictly talking about Amanita Muscaria; the Fly Agaric mushroom, which is not fatally toxic, despite what pop books such as by DK Publishing casually indicate. The Erowid site is the authority on visionary plants and chemicals. The books say it's crucial to know your mushrooms, but then usually give incorrect information about the toxicity of Amanita Muscaria, which is only "toxic" in a mild sense: producing nausea and an ego death experience.
The body of Christ, bread of heaven, the shiny golden metallic Holy Grail made of neither bone nor metal nor wood.