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'Transience' Fallacy - Diminishment by Claim of Nonretainability


Transient experience of enlightenment vs. full retaining of enlightenment 1

Meditation provides glimpse & foretaste of entheogen technique. 2

What kind of "lasting altered state" makes meditation supposedly better than entheogens?. 3

You can retain higher knowledge in ordinary state. 8


Transient experience of enlightenment vs. full retaining of enlightenment

>>>Jonah represents how enlightenment is disappointing to real people, who when they attain it at last, wish it were more.

Clark wrote:

>>Enlightenment is so far beyond words and concepts--especially "disappointment"--that I find such an asserted association between enlightenment and disappointment almost unintentionally humorous.

Enlightenment has two components: intellectual and experiential.  All experiences are in some sense "far beyond words and concepts".  Enlightenment can be fully intellectually grasped and explained, in a rational, summarizable way.  Divinity, which is the sensed and logically intuited transcendent hidden uncontrollable controller -- the ground of being as ground of control -- remains forever beyond perception and in some respects "beyond comprehension".

>>What I experienced under the influence of fly agaric was wonderful beyond imagining. The only "disappointment" I have ever felt regarding it was that I had to leave it.  It is the peace that passes all understanding, as the Hebrew Bible phrases it, but that description too is wholly inadequate.

Enlightenment is not the mystic altered state, but is the perennial principles experientially revealed and intellectually comprehended in the mystic altered state.  The intermediate stages of initiation in a series of fairly potent altered-state initiations produces a strong and vivid sense of enlightenment, but that is not yet full enlightenment.  Practically all current critiques and criticisms of entheogens are given from a mere intermediate stage of investigation. 

Gnosis issue #26: Psychedelics & the Path



Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics

Allan Badiner (editor), Alex Grey (editor)



Enlightenment is present more in Heavy Rock lyrics than in New Age writing because Heavy Rock practitioners have pushed past the intermediate stages of initiation and investigation, in the spirit of Dionysian extremism. 

Many people report and claim, like the Gnosis editors, that the enlightenment provided by psychedelics is forever jumbled with delusions, leading to nothing but a massive sorting problem, and does not remain in any definite, significant sense.  They ought to return to psychedelics and consider additional moderately strong research, pushing Furthur until they find the kind of enlightenment that remains standing. 

The creators of the most classic myth-religion stories such as Job, Jonah, and Jesus lived and breathed in the entheogenic altered state much more heavily than psychedelics explorers in the modern era, who are relative lightweights and newbies.  A major weakness in 20th-century research on psychedelics is that too much attention is given to people who are newbies or are merely at the intermediate stages of initiation. 

The classic myth-religion stories were not written from a basis of mere intermediate stages of initiation, but from full perfected initiation that reached completion, not only experiencing the feeling of divinity, but fully grappling with the problem of personal control agency until it blossoms into understanding the subservient nature of personal control agency, and thus complete extinction of the ego delusion: the complete cessation of mistaking freewill agency as a coherent logical possibility. 

If one has not fully disproved freewill agency through complete experiential insight and playing with the dynamics of egoic controllership during the peak window of the intense mystic altered state, one's mind is not yet familiar with the ultimate divine problems and their resolution.  The most classic scripture is not centered on reflecting the general feeling of divinity, but rather, this ultimate problem of personal freewill controllership, and its transcendent resolution.

>>I was taken up into the heart of what I can only call God, for want of a better term. It was, to quote another inadequate description from the Hindus, pure Existence, pure Consciousness, and pure Bliss: Sat-Chit-Ananda, as their sages put it. And above all, LOVE. Deep, abiding, soul-satisfying LOVE--again, far beyond human conceptions of the term.

Theories of mystic experiencing need to put a strong emphasis on divine compassion, benevolence, and gratuitous beneficence.  This divine compassion is conceived and given birth in the higher mind of the mystic.

>>The experience cannot be gainsaid. It remains my touchstone of reality and sanity in an unreal and insane world, still accessible (in modulated form) through memory and deep meditation. The door to the eternal and infinite opened and can't be fully closed ever again. Hallelujah.

Enlightenment remains present in the mind in a modulated form, rather than vivid and immediately present experiential form, upon return to the ordinary state of consciousness.  It remains fully present as a system of intellectual perennial principles, or a mental worldmodel of no-free-will/no-separate-self, but does not remain present as a vivid experiential state. 

However, visionary plants can be used at least twice a week with full effect, weakening the criticism of the entheogen diminishers that entheogens only provide an occasional access to the mystic state.  Their "occasional" turns out to be at least twice a week -- quite a contrast with the official view that mystic experiences are necessarily rare and fleeting.

Today's theories of myth, mystic experiencing, and psychedelics are weak and can only address an intermediate level of understanding and familiarity with the phenomena and experiential insights of the mystic state.

Meditation provides glimpse & foretaste of entheogen technique

I'm relatively closed-minded to the efficacy and legitimacy of meditation.  That emperor has few clothes, and it's time for entheogenists to stop playing along and pretending he is so richly attired.

Why is it considered "reasonable" to glorify meditation and denigrate entheogens, while it is considered unthinkable and extreme to do the reverse?  The bad assumption now is that at most, entheogens might be *as* legitimate and effective as meditation.  That is, that meditation is automatically taken to be the true standard against which the "alternative" technique of entheogens must be judged.

In contrast, when I read religious myth, it oozes entheogens all throughout -- not meditation or contemplation.  Which is the true, warranted, justifiable standard: meditation, or entheogens?  Or "both" -- but that pseudo-position in practice serves as a reversion to glorifying meditation over entheogens.  Given the entheogenic notion of the goals and nature of religious practice, clearly meditation is *not* anywhere near as effective as entheogens.

Aren't meditation and entheogens both legitimate?  That depends on the goals one assumes, and assumption is a problem: by now, today's meditationists per the Buddhism and popular spirituality magazines have a clear view established of what the methods and goals of religious practice are all about, while entheogenists in ancient and modern eras have established a different view of what the methods and goals of religious practice are all about.

Meditationists generally grant legitimacy to meditation and strive to diminish and withhold it from entheogens -- even saying that "entheogens can approach the legitimacy of meditation" is a way of setting up a 2-tier system with entheogens demoted to the lower tier: this move even occurs among many entheogenists, often inadvertently.  Entheogenists too often feebly grant legitimacy to meditation and entheogens, conceding the use of meditation as the standard by which entheogens are to be judged.

Far more discussion of the goals of religious practice is needed.  Legitimacy and efficacy of methods totally depends on what target goals are assumed.  It's fairly clear that entheogens tend to be associated with one conception of the goals, while meditation is associated with a different conception of goals -- but the detailed, *fair* comparison of these two sets of methods and goals hasn't been done yet.

All we have so far is biased propaganda, especially on the part of the meditationists, who are eager to portray entheogens in the dimmest light, while putting forth an idealistic, fantastic conception of meditation.

To define a maximal theory of entheogens in religion, I'm extremely inverting today's dominant view that entheogens are only about 10% as effective and traditionally legitimate as meditation.  I propose that the truth is the opposite and more: meditation is only 1% as effective and traditionally legitimate. 

The debate then moves to the definition of "effective", and the concomitant issue of what the goals of religious practice are, and the definition of "tradition" and "legitimate".  The esteemed position of meditation over entheogens is maintained by an integrated set of definitions -- a reality tunnel or worldview -- of the terms "effective", "goals", "religious practice", "tradition", and "legitimate".

The entheogen theory of religion holds a different set of definitions of the terms "effective", "goals", "religious practice", "tradition", and "legitimate", compared to the meditationists.

I'm sick of compromise and distortion that concedes too much to the claims of the meditationists -- their claims need to be pushed *way* back, and the claims of entheogenists regarding the entheogenic nature of religion need to be greatly elevated.  Far too many entheogenists harm the cause by conceding too much efficacy and traditional legitimacy to the claims of the meditationists. 

I want to be one of the first of the entheogenists to reject that compromise and unequivocally elevate the entheogens very high and intensely demote meditation -- otherwise, the status quo will remain, with damning faint praise of entheogens as merely "providing a glimpse" and leading to the "real method", supposedly meditation.

soulfly wrote:

>I joined this list yesterday. I would like to thank the moderator for creating this list and being open to different methods of ego transcendence. I have been practicing Zen meditation for about seven years now and have only recently taken a big interest in entheogens. I find trytamines such as DMT and psilocybin of particular interest. It's refreshing to find a list that isn't myopic concerning different ways to ego transcendence. I'm seldom active on yahoo lists but I look forward to reading the posts here.

What kind of "lasting altered state" makes meditation supposedly better than entheogens?

>>To give drug experiences their due, I do believe in the standard sort of Ram Dass idea that hallucinogens can provide a very limited sort of assistance along the spiritual path, by providing a glimpse into another world. But that's about it, _assuming that what one is trying to do is to find a way to bring about a more free, real, and aware state of being in which one may abide in everyday life.

We need to dissect, debate, and discuss, unfold and unpack, what exactly this presumed end-state of meditation or enlightenment amounts to: "a more free, real, and aware state of being in which one may abide in everyday life". 

The meditationists typically advance the *claim* that entheogens are inferior to meditation because entheogens are much less useful toward the goal of "a more free, real, and aware state of being in which one may abide in everyday life".  Supposedly meditation is a much more effective way toward the supposed goal of "a more free, real, and aware state of being in which one may abide in everyday life".

But what does or would this supposed goal of "a more free, real, and aware state of being in which one may abide in everyday life" amount to, and on what basis can anyone assert that meditation is much more effective toward that goal than entheogens?

Note that there are many different positions -- I suppose there is no avoiding discussing all of them.  Choices building up the combinatorial positions include:

Are meditation and entheogens equal in efficacy toward the goal, or is meditation about many times more effective than entheogens, or are entheogens many times more effective than meditation?

Given that the goal includes a permanently changed mental worldmodel, does the goal also include a permanent altered state?

Is the nature of the presumed permanent altered state like the altered state of the entheogens (such as psilocybin and salvia), or not?

These are the key points of contention produced in writings such as the book Zig Zag Zen.  A similar analysis should be done within Christian scholarship on mysticism.  Official Christian scholars claim that entheogens are inferior to Christian contemplation, though everyone concedes that entheogens pack more of a wallop, more easily and reliably, than Christian contemplation. 

The same attitude of "spiritual regeneration *must* be difficult, slow, and rare" dominates in these Christian scholarly writings as in popular Buddhism-influenced meditation, so we can expect the positions and arguments to break out similarly. 

The same debate must be ecumenically expanded across all religious traditions -- all of the middle-level religionists in all the traditions have no choice but to make basically the same kinds of arguments about why entheogens are supposedly inferior and pale next to meditation/contemplation.

>In looking at the more recent remarks of Richard Alpert I suspect that he is again revising himself to some degree. 

Where can one read these recent remarks of Richard Alpert?


>Based on the reports of westerners who spent many years dismissing and diminishing the efficacy of entheogens, these westerners are now favorably reconsidering the efficacy of entheogens and suspecting that the entheogen-diminishing spiritual teachers they had followed for so long not only were untruthful in their claim to provide transcendent experiencing that exceeds the value and quality of entheogenic mystic altered-state experiences, the teachers were actually lacking in even the presumably *basic* level of mystic altered-state experiences that the former entheogen users had directly experienced firsthand back in the 1960s era.

>It may be inevitable that this suspicion and realization will become more clear and certain in the future as these various entheogen-diminishing meditation-based spirituality groups or schools continue with their endless schisms and internal battles that have even spread overseas to multiple continents.

Why would the fact of schisms and internal battles in meditation groups cause someone to conclude that the entheogen-diminishing teachers were untruthful about their method of meditation being able to replace entheogens with a more valuable, effective, and high-quality spiritual state of consciousness? 

That connection appears to be a necessary connection and conclusion for those who hold the common assumption that gaining a high-quality spiritual state of consciousness automatically, necessarily, and inherently entails the lack of schisms and intercontinental internal battles. 

In this postmodern age, authority in all fields is dead -- a recent death was Protestant television evangelists; the most recent death includes the Catholic priesthood; and at the head of the line at the postmodern guillotine-of-authorities now is Buddhist-type entheogen-disparaging meditation teachers, on the same logic as the Protestant tv evangelists and Catholic priests. 

If you define spiritual authority as being necessarily indicated by mundane social harmony and ethical behavior, which I reject but the common view holds as a necessary truth, then yes, easily and certainly, the Protestant TV evangelists and the Catholic priests and the Western Buddhist meditation teachers have all, practically at the same time, proven themselves to have only a false spiritual authority. 

Entheogen religion proponents strategically need to play up this collapse of authority in the official traditions as wherever possible.  By magnifying the illegitimacy and collapse of spiritual authority wherever possible in the official Christian and Buddhist traditions, entheogen proponents clear the way for a more sure basis for religion.

The entheogen is the true teacher with authority; it is the source of the teacher's authority, and without the entheogen, the teacher has only limited authority, and can hardly be called a spiritual authority.  I only make a slight exception for those few, rare, genetically privileged individuals who happen to be freaks that can internally produce significant amounts of DMT or other internal entheogens through the method of meditation.

All evidence indicates that only a minority of people have that capability to accomplish that internal release of entheogens, so a reasonable, justifiable definition of the main method of enlightenment must be based on external consumption of entheogens, rather than the internal release through meditation-based sensory deprivation.  It may be true that most people respond to full sensory deprivation by a release of internal entheogens, but that's not a method at issue.

The question is, is it possible for the average person to meditate for a couple years and learn to release internal entheogens at will?  Obviously not.  Many have tried, and how many have succeeded?  I grant no more than a tenth of a percent - statistically insignificant and practically irrelevant.  We have far stronger grounds to define the main method as (ingested) entheogen-based, leading to a changed mental worldmodel but not to a permanent DMT-like altered state.

To best define enlightenment and its main method, we need a *relevant* method for a *sure* goal.  Entheogens provide a relevant method for a sure goal, a goal of transforming the mind's worldmodel but not producing a permanent altered state.

Meditation provides a practically irrelevant and inefficient method, for producing a goal that either isn't really transcendent (pop meditation produces merely social, interpersonal, emotional improvement) or is unattainable for nearly every actual mind, because almost no one responds to the ultimate degree in using meditation to produce a permanent altered state.

There is also little basis for believing that meditation reliably delivers, for the typical mind, *any* of the 3 potential goals claimed for it: a series of temporary intense altered state sessions; a lasting transformed mental worldmodel; or a permanent altered state. 

There *is* some basis for believing that entheogens are potentially reliable, for the typical mind, for producing two of those goals that are claimed for the method of meditation: everyone concedes that entheogens are by far the most reliable and effective method at producing a series of intense mystic altered state sessions, but what is currently at issue is whether entheogens produce what meditationists hazily call "lasting spiritual awareness", or "a more free, real, and aware state of being in which one may abide in everyday life".

Break that second claim into components: "lasting spiritual awareness" either means:

o  No clear, definite meaning at all, in which case meditationists don't even have a position to defend and have no basis for defending their inchoate "view" and foggy "position"

o  A combination of a permanently transformed mental worldmodel and a permanent altered state such as DMT, ingested or internally triggered, produces

o  A permanently transformed mental worldmodel *without* a permanent altered state.

The entheogen-diminishing meditation proponent claims that entheogens are inefficient for producing "lasting spiritual awareness" while meditation is efficient for producing "lasting spiritual awareness".

The average meditationist position, tending to evade responsibility for the position they put forth, waffles: the supposed "permanent altered state" that is the key thing that makes entheogens inferior to meditation, both is and is not like internal release of DMT; it is and isn't an "altered state" in the usual sense -- the safe and "secure" position -- running evasively into the Louisiana swampy woods -- a position of unclarity -- is that the "altered state" provided so handsomely by meditation but not entheogens is "only somewhat like" internal DMT release.

The altered state that meditation supposedly lastingly produces is "similar to internal DMT release, but different".  That is surely the only possible position for typical meditation proponents to advocate.  The *entire* issue then, when they declare entheogens inferior to meditation, is what is the nature and character of this permanent "altered state" that supposedly meditation efficiently produces, but entheogens don't produce.

This claim about being able to uniquely produce that lasting "altered state" is the main basis meditationists use to put down entheogens.  So everything hinges on what sort of "altered state" is claimed.  Is it a permanent mental worldmodel alone, or such a worldmodel combined with a DMT-type altered state that is present all the time, or on-demand at-will, or some non-DMT-type altered state that is ever-present or on-demand at-will?

The standard claim of the entheogen-diminishing meditation proponents amounts to the claim that there is a certain type of "altered state" that meditation produces and sustains much more efficiently than entheogens, and that the nature of this "altered state" of "abiding nondual awareness" is a combination of some optimal social interpersonal traits with some DMT-type traits. 

They also claim that this "abiding altered state of nondual awareness", in addition to a permanently altered mental worldmodel, is the proper definition of 'enlightenment' or 'full enlightenment'.

The standard position of entheogen-diminishing meditationists must be that meditation is much more efficient for producing a permanently altered mental worldmodel (with an emphasis on interpersonal relations), and that meditation produces a significantly better mental worldmodel than entheogens, and that meditation enables the mind to produce a somewhat DMT-like altered state more or less on-demand, but this DMT-like altered state is only remotely comparable to DMT.

This altered state has more to do with a more free, real, and aware state of being -- a state of being that abides even while in everyday life.  Meditation is better than entheogens in that it is effective and efficient for producing lasting spiritual awareness that is only somewhat similar to DMT, and purer nondual awareness than DMT produces.

A main strategy or method of entheogen-diminishing meditation proponents is to mix the mind's development of social interpersonal relations together with developing the meditative altered state.  By defining enlightenment as a *combination* of things, they can say that entheogens "are not" used for that *combination* and thus cannot produce enlightenment, because the entheogen method of enlightenment "does not" integrate and include mental development in the area of social interpersonal relations.

I venture that *if* an entheogen practitioner *wanted* to, they could very effectively use the entheogen method to accomplish both halves of the version of enlightenment advocated by meditation proponents.

What happens in practice is that entheogens are efficient for metaphysical enlightenment, and could be used for social interpersonal relations, while meditation is inefficient for metaphysical enlightenment, so falls back weakly on settling for second-best, putting the accent and emphasis on merely its ability to develop the mind's skill at social interpersonal relations.

The whole meditation culture fails to efficiently produce metaphysical enlightenment, so instead they cheat and cop out and distort and diminsh the definition of the goal, putting a strong emphasis on social relations, waving aside metaphysical enlightenment as an inferior goal with little relevance, or merely subservient relevance.

Because entheogens deliver on the religious/metaphysical marketing promise, entheogens emphasize that over social relations; because meditation fails to deliver efficiently on its religious/metaphysical marketing promise, it has to fall back on social relations, and emotion and feeling and mood, elevating that type of "enlightenment" over metaphysical enlightenment proper.

Meditation is a religion that worships social relationships as ultimate, with metaphysical enlightenment relegated to a minor supporting position -- because meditation can't deliver efficiently on its promises of delivering a series of altered states, or a permanent altered state.  Meditation takes the concept of altered state and permanent altered state and redefines them to be centered around the only thing that meditation is able to efficiently produce: mundane self-improvement.

Meditation saves it reputation by inverting values, elevating mundane social consciousness over the actual mystic altered state.  Optimally developed social consciousness is great, no doubt, but it is false to reduce and shrink enlightenment and "abiding nondual awareness" and "lasting spiritual awareness" to only the realm of optimized social consciousness.

Entheogen-diminishing meditationists claim that meditation is more efficient than entheogens for producing both optimal social consciousness *and* abiding nondual awareness.

Is meditation more efficient than entheogens for producing optimal social consciousness?

No, but because meditation fails to deliver much on its promise of nondual awareness, it falls back (in its most despairing and defensive moments in the debate) on claiming that enlightenment has nothing to do with a transient or abiding altered state, and claims that enlightenment is solely a matter of producing optimal social consciousness.

Is meditation more efficient than entheogens for producing abiding nondual awareness?

More than the first question, this requires debating the definition of "abiding nondual awareness", permuting several definitions, and breaking out the question into each permutation of the definition.  Is it a permanent mental worldmodel alone, or such a worldmodel combined with a DMT-type altered state that is present all the time, or on-demand at-will, or some non-DMT-type altered state that is ever-present or on-demand at-will?

My position is:

Entheogens are more efficient than meditation for producing a permanently transformed mental worldmodel.

Neither entheogens nor meditation is efficient at producing a DMT-type altered state that is ever-present or on-demand at-will.

Entheogens are not efficient at producing some non-DMT-type altered state that is ever-present or on-demand at-will.

This leaves the #1 question:

Is meditation efficient at producing some non-DMT-type altered state that is ever-present or on-demand at-will?  This altered state is defined as including a permanently transformed mental worldmodel but also including some debatable sort of "non-DMT-type altered state". 

I maintain that meditation is only efficient at producing an abiding altered state in a weak, insigificant sense that really just amounts to training the mind to have an artificial nice mood -- emotional feeling intertwined with optimal social interaction, labeled as a non-DMT-type "altered state", held to be of greater value than a DMT-type altered state.  It's really an abuse and distortion of the term "altered state"; it's just glorified mundane self-improvement disguised as spiritual enlightenment.

I have great respect for the potential of mundane self-improvement, but it doesn't warrant the label of "altered state".  The typical meditation advocate is not so foolishly brash as to claim that meditation is efficient at producing a DMT-type altered state, but instead, they escape here into complexity, striving to define the supposed resulting altered state as some subtle combination of some social self-improvement traits with some DMT traits.

That really is the standard position of the entheogen-diminishing meditation proponents.  Their exact claim is that there is a certain type of "altered state" that meditation produces and sustains much more efficiently than entheogens, and that the nature of this "altered state" of "abiding nondual awareness" is a combination of some optimal social interpersonal traits with some DMT-type traits.

Is meditation more efficient than entheogens for producing transient nondual awareness?

No -- practically everyone concedes that entheogens are much more efficient than meditation for producing transient nondual awareness.

The standard claim of the entheogen-diminishing meditation proponents amounts to the claim that there is a certain type of "altered state" that meditation produces and sustains much more efficiently than entheogens, and that the nature of this "altered state" of "abiding nondual awareness" is a combination of some optimal social interpersonal traits with some DMT-type traits.

They also claim that this "abiding altered state of nondual awareness", in addition to a permanently altered mental worldmodel, is the proper definition of 'enlightenment' or 'full enlightenment'.

Is that set of claims true?  Is the best definition of enlightenment "an abiding altered state of nondual awareness" (in addition to a permanently altered mental worldmodel)?  If we concede that definition of enlightenment, does meditation produce that type of altered state better than entheogens?

I maintain that the best definition of full enlightenment is a permanently altered mental worldmodel following upon a series of intense mystic altered state sessions in conjunction with studying and conceptually grasping the philosophy of transcendence, and that neither meditation nor entheogens is efficient at producing an abiding altered state of any sort, whether conceived of as simply the DMT altered state more or less on-demand, or some subtle combination of some social self-improvement traits with some DMT traits.

In a few rare cases, either approach -- entheogens or meditation -- can produce either type of "lasting altered state" as defined above, but only very inefficiently, and not relevantly to the general warranted definition of what constitutes 'enlightenment'.

Neither does such a rare goal altered state deserve to be considered a requirement for 'full enlightenment'.  Such a lasting altered state is a chimera, a rare freak state that is generally irrelevant to enlightenment, or just an interesting footnote to enlightenment, at best.

I advocate defining 'full enlightenment' and "basic enlightenment' the same way; a series of 'partial enlightenments' during a series of intense mystic altered state sessions leads eventually to what can be called equally well 'full enlightenment' or 'basic enlightenment', in the same sense that a teenager at some point passes fully through puberty and has a full basic command of language.

The teenager has full basic command of language, yet could continue improving their facility.  Similarly, the mind that passed through a series of partial enlightenments so that the new mental worldmodel comes soundly together and finally tends to stay together, has at that point attained 'full basic enlightenment', although that mind can continue refining its grasp and facility in that realm.

If that mind is one of the rare freak minds that can attain a somewhat DMT-like lasting altered state, more or less on-demand, that is an anomaly or a separate issue, a separate attainment from 'full basic enlightenment' and is *not* warranted as the main goal and definition of 'enlightenment'. 

It is untrue that meditation is much more efficient than entheogens for enlightenment: enlightenment is not justifiably defined as an abiding altered state, and neither meditation nor entheogens are efficient at producing such a type of abiding altered state, and for 'basic full enlightenment', entheogens are much more efficient than meditation.

You can retain higher knowledge in ordinary state

After the visionary plant wears off, tight cognitive binding returns, though (despite what all the anti-entheogen nonsense claims) you *can* take the discovered higher knowledge with you after you die and are reincarnated into daily make-believe life.  You may need to use shorthand notation and a series of sessions, numerous rebirths into egoic incarnation (egoic worldmodel), but

Dan Joy agrees we need to reassess common notions about entheogens: http://www.tripzine.com/articles.asp?id=busting -

>>my viewpoints on a set of prevalent but highly questionable truisms (what I’d call just plain myths) about psychedelics that remain widespread, not among the psychedelically misinformed population at large, but among the community of long term psychedelics enthusiasts. ... debunking several cherished notions about trips and tripping that for decades have been clutched tight to the heart by perhaps the majority of those for whom tripping is an indispensable part of life.

>>... While the paucity of significant new published work on psychedelics in the ‘70s and ‘80s may have left a vacuum of literary stimuli that contributed to the ossification of the mythology I’ve been debunking, the ‘90s, by contrast, have seen a flood of psychedelic literary activity featuring several books that may be assisting a slight but visible loosening of this formerly almost concrete understructure of presumptions.

>>... Judging by the most recent psychedelics conferences and the other venues through which I’ve met and talked to many of the seemingly huge international new set of young, up-and-coming psychedelics aficionados, all of the myths I’ve been talking about do seem to be at least somewhat less unquestioningly accepted than they were even a decade ago. The new generation of devoted psychedelic surfers is, to my eye, a little hipper, more sophisticated, and less stodgily dogmatic than the last.

>>It’s my hope that raising my voice in TRP will, at a time of highly visible—and apparently expanding—psychedelic activity worldwide, assist in at least some small way with the eventual complete disposal of the dubious ... ideas that so many trippers have about tripping.

Dan Joy comments on the important topic of retaining insight: http://www.tripzine.com/articles.asp?id=busting -

>>Corollary to the equation of tripping with “higher” consciousness, this is the assumption of a necessary relationship between tripping and the eventual achievement of some kind of “spiritual progress” or at least a greater degree of psychic integration or mental health. Trips may give you new information and experiences, but your “growth,” however you choose to define that term, will be served only by doing the tough daily work of remembering this information and experience, selecting out of it what’s relevant, and doing your damndest to integrate it into your moment-by-moment existence and behavior.

>>Few have the integrity and determination to follow through with this often seemingly Sisyphyean task, and those who do may benefit greatly from psychedelics. But these few will find their way whether they take psychedelics or not.

No, that's an overstatement; you need efficient tools *and* hard work, both.

>>Many psychedelics enthusiasts, it seems to me, are still, consciously or unconsciously, seeking the magic molecule that will make their desired growth process automatic—in other words, the drug or drug combination that, if used sufficiently and “correctly” will, a la the title of the classic Philip K. Dick story, “Do It For You Wholesale.

I don't know what he's talking about.  Where are these people he criticizes?  I don't know of anyone who is trying to use psychedelics for "automatic enlightenment" -- sounds like he's set up a straw man.  This myth of "instant effortless enlightenment" has arisen regarding LSD in the late 1960s, and it's become a point of confused contention.  Most likely, no one ever seriously claimed that LSD gave instant automatic enlightenment; it was just *relatively* instant and automatic and effortless, compared to methods that only work 100th as well. 

I make a more qualified statement: a *series* of mystic state sessions when combined with a highly developed, optimized, condensed, and ergonomic conceptual model of enlightenment, can give almost an instant automatic enlightenment, but that model hasn't quite started shipping -- it's a proven core technology that's still being productized and only prototypes are in circulation at this point. 

What were the Hellenistic mystery religions if not "instant automatic enlightenment"?  Yet people desired a series of initiations; after the first few major transformations, each additional initiation fills in more detail in the framework of the mind's transcendent mental worldmodel.


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