>...the words, immersion/submersion into no-free-will. Upon being submerged in water, there is an entire change in sensation. Air no longer is felt against the skin, breath is no longer possible, vision is changed, and there is a loss of positionality. In keeping with religious experience, can the idea of baptism be applied to this?
It's highly plausible that water themes in Christian myth have been selected for preservation by Christian mythic-mystic poet/allegorists largely because many entheogens produce wavy visual distortions. The spirit -- the transcendent aspect of the mind or mental worldmodel -- is passively fished out of a wavy environment.
When the mind has such a strong loose-cognition entheogen state that the walls wave like the Beatles' octopus' garden, the accustomed sense of being an egoic actor and prime mover is replaced by the sense of hanging or being lifted up.
I'm increasingly feeling that it is impossible to reduce Christian myth-religion to a single explanation, because it is inherently diverse; now I might talk of the "best" or "highest" interpretation out of a field of many legitimate interpretations -- my goal is then to pick out of the field of true and legitimate interpretations the most profound, most systematic, most mystically sound and universal interpretation.
Water motifs in the Christian bible include the flood, baby Moses in the basket in the Nile, the parting of the Red Sea/Sea of Reeds enabling the miraculous exodus to the promised land, baptism, John the Baptist, Jonah in the big fish, the storm Jesus calms, walking on water, living water flowing from the belly, fisher of men, and the fish symbol.
Jonah was apparently one of the very most common, standard symbols in early or proto-Christianity. The water motif is certainly one of the top two or three Christian motifs.
The feeling of being in water (note also Amanita profuse sweating) may well allude to the physical sensation of the collapse of space upon the body in the intense mystic altered state, including the shallowness and timelessness quasi-cessation of breath, and blurred and wavy vision.
This is comparable to the metaphorization of the bodily feeling of mystic experiencing as lovemaking, the sacred marriage consummation -- the book on mysticism I have in mind postulates that the "lovemaking" comparison (and the "baby being held by the goddess" feeling) is not some idle, abstract, arbitrary comparison, but a quasi-literal *report* of the physical *feeling* and sensation and experience of the mystic state.
This implies that explanations in terms of pure literalism and complete abstraction are both off-base; what's going on in mythic allegory is a concrete description of actual sensations -- literal and metaphorical in a way that's different than the usual conception of what the literal and metaphorical interpretations would be.
Moses magically turned a staff into a snake. To do this, use entheogens which cause visual distortion.
The turbulent sea is a descriptive metaphor for self-control seizure during the mystic state of loose cognition, which occurs through ingesting sacred food and drink (manna, living water, mixed wine). To calm the storm, one must sacrifice and repudiate one's belief in freewill moral agency, and postulate a divine compassionate level of being or control above and outside of the deterministic cosmos.
Self-control tends to seize, in self-control seizure, in the mystic state. "Faith" amounts to a way to relax out of this seizure which calls like the sirens. "Sinking" is becoming overtaken by self-control seizure. Faith means understanding that the reality about self-control has been fully expressed in the mythic realm, in which one has fully and perfectly participated.
The common "on water", "through water", "in water", "surrounded by water", or "under water" theme also alludes to visual distortion in the entheogen-triggered mystic state. Against what Joseph Campbell sometimes seems to imply ("myth is relevant for everyone's life"), the ultimate, highest, and final referent of religious myth is not the struggles of mundane life, but of the intense mystic state.
Maintaining mental stability and self-control stability during the intense mystic state is like walking on water: it requires faith and assuredness that one has given tribute to the transcendent control relationship, fully and sufficiently establishing that one comprehends that the Ground trumps ego's power of control or the lower mind's sense of being an agent commanding the power of self-control.
The mystic state remains dangerous just as all daily life remains dangerous, but now it's a danger that has been accounted for, as one brings along a life-preserver during recreational boating. We should talk of "the dangerous aspect of" the mystic state rather than saying that the state "is dangerous". Electric guitar has dangerous aspects (deafness, electrocution) but we wouldn't stop at saying that electric guitar "is dangerous".
Driving a car is highly dangerous, but we do it every day almost routinely. Driving a car requires a certain faith; so does the intense mystic state require a certain faith: the faith that we have paid the permit price, gone through the training, and passed the exam and the test. The permit fee we must pay is sacrificing our firstborn childself, which is to say (less allegorically and more explicitly), committing ego death, which is to say, relinquishing taking the lower, egoic worldmodel as reality.
Rejecting the lower, egoic worldview for the higher, transcendent worldview amounts to having the faith that enables and permits you to walk on water without sinking. This is a Cruciform worldmodel one now holds; one has been shaped by the Holy Spirit into the form and likeness of the deity (Christ, Jesus, godman, god, God, immortal).
One has had the childself burned away in the flames of purgatory, and is now sinless enough to enter Heaven and walk in righteousness in the kingdom of God, performing miracles like walking on water, being a "believer in Christ" and having strong "faith in Jesus". These ideas have direct equivalents in other religions. I have a shrine-picture of Kwan Yin holding a krater (small ceremonial cup) of the drink of the gods, riding a dragon on the raging sea.
>I don't quite understand one of the odd sayings of Jesus ...
>John 7  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
>Whatever does it mean, "out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water"?
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
When a person or animal eats Amanita mushrooms -- the flesh of Christ -- the urine produced is psychoactive, inducing the mystic state of consciousness, in which visual distortion causes undulation and blurring.
Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy