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Mysticism and Psychoactives

From: (nagasiva)
Newsgroups: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick.tantra,rec.drugs.psychedelic,alt.drugs.psychedelics,alt.psychoactives,alt.consciousness.mysticism,talk.religion.misc,talk.religion.newage,alt.religion.shamanism,alt.shamanism
Subject: Re: Mysticism and Psychoactives
Date: 13 Jan 1999 03:39:17 -0800
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Ramo MiceHole :
# > # can accomplish what may never be accomplished in a 
# > # lifetime by simply eating this or that. It defies people's 
# > # work ethic.
Ramo MiceHole :
# I think that I have acheived an awareness of how my brain
# structures impressions to form my perception of what
# I will call "ordinary" reality. Having now experienced the
# process in myself, I tend to have more empathy for others
# who may be structuring their impressions differently.

I have similar experience, though I am unsure whether this
assists me in being more contented, satisfied with what is.
a combination of consistent mystical discipline and intentional
exploration otherwise seems to be the perfect balance. the
character of my life has a great influence on the subtle flavor
of each day.  I have greatly simplified my envelope while
varying the tune of my expression to mellifluous assault.

# At times I have felt that I could almost put on the
# persona of another person like putting on a pair of shoes.
# I've never testes this and realise that it is highly
# subjective.

I think that the experience of some substances weakens the
girders of personality, in some measure dissolving them and
allowing a reconstruction based on the rudiments we have
retained as substratum.  as long as we leave the substratum
untouched we merely reconfigure ourselves over and over if
we are to repeat the psychedelic experience.  I think that
this is what happens to those for whom it becomes some type
of recreation (a good word for it), rather than a reflection.
this weakening allows one also to develop a flexibility of
person, enabling compassion and an adaptable expression.
it seems valuable to me to ask what deeper changes may be
possible than this mere persona-flux, however.
the stories of the sufis include instructions for the
disciple to reconstruct hir person over and over (changing
classes, locations, occupations, objectives).  this is,
I feel, a similar process of weakening the linkage between
identity and person, enhancing perception on what remains
more constant and what can be effaced and replaced over
time and with some effort, and providing a more sure footing 
that otherwise obtained.  I have experienced this myself
intentionally in my disciplines with changes of appearance,
lifestyle and employment, social groups and acquaintances.

# > if the psychoactives we are discussing do in fact approximate 
# > or in some manner complement the states developed through 
# > noningestive and noninhalant methods, how can this be verified?

it would seem to me that only those who have experience with both
would be able to discern the comparison.  the individual would
have to have had similar experiences as you and I in terms of
consciousness expansion and life-changing depth of insight (I
have had it verified by others I trust) as well as having had a
similar result from disciplines or rites (I have experienced this
but it wasn't as ecstatic or 'profound' as you said).

# I only have the fuzziest notion of what enlightenment might be
# so how would I recognize it if I saw it?

you provide a fairly good description below:
# awareness and realization that pain and suffering are 
# not meaningless and part of the bigger picture and that 
# everything is happening just as it should be happening and 
# that everything is ok....

# not ...afraid of death but [understanding] it as a transition
# to something greater. 
# [having] deep insight into the troubles of fellow
# humans and be able to help them find the way to remove
# their own forms of self induced suffering. 
# [feeling] unified and connected; empathetic with all
# of the natural world. 
# [feeling] greatful to be [themselves] and awed and 
# inspired by the magnificence of the creation.
# ...very slow to anger and [exuding] an inner happiness
# and contentment that others would benifit from just
# by contact.

have you ever met someone like this?  you said you have
studied with a number of other people so I wondered if
you ran across such an individual as you perceived them.

I cannot claim to have, and I would only be able to say 
such things about someone I had spent a great deal of time
around.  I have met very patient people and I have met
very attentive people but seldom have I ever met the
confluence of compassion and wisdom, of empathy and an
insight into the nature of the world.  of course I am not
one who has gone looking for these folks, and without
sustained time-sharing it is difficult to discern them.

# > if there are valuable
# > tests these can be used before and after psychedelic experiences
# > to see if there is a *lasting* or receptive state of conscious-
# > ness that facilitates the development of insight, as well as 
# > whether there may be side-effects (such as addiction).
# How could we that to see if Louis and Clark actually saw
# [Yellowstone]? I think this is the nature of the problem. 
# All we can do is to send more explores or do the exploration
# ourselves. 

I disagree strongly.  we can also question those who have gone
exploring and ask them succinct questions about the nature of
their journey, what they encountered, assess their presence,
empathy, patience, and state of consciousness.  for Lewis and
Clark, ask them about Yellowstone and then compare their
responses to others who may have taken that journey after them.
to take this to the specific technology of psychoactives, we
can compare the expressions of the pioneers such as TLeary,
BRDass, CTart, AWeil, JCLilly, and the many others who have
explored the byways of psychoactives and may have some insight
into the results they may be bring.  those who have trek with
both psychoactives and mystical processes such as Dass and
Weil, possibly Lilly (were you serious about his sufi-tude?)
may provide valuable reflection.

there are a host of scientists of consciousness (often having
cross-overs in the field of Transpersonal Consciousness such
as psychologists like Maslow or Jung), such as Durkheim,
DCDennet, DHofstadter, REOrnstein, CNaranjo, KWilber and DBohm,
who have explored both mystical and psychoactive consciousness
states, and some of these have proffered their analyses of the
mind and spirit, taking their findings into consideration.

# Many times explorers want to go again and again.

comfort and habit are the enemies of mysticism.  if we are 
going to institute a new habit to assist in breaking our old 
then how will we set about breaking the new one?

# We could say they were addicted. 

I regard addiction as being that habit which is deleterious
in a direct way to the individual who is obsessed.  obsession
by itself does not indicate problems to me.  if the obsession
brings with it problems to the person's life and creates for
them inherent difficulties maintaining their system of support
or handling their basics then I would assess this as addiction.

too often the self-righteous are quick to label a use an abuse,
a habit an addiction, an obsession a loss of control and a
victimization.  I feel this is too paternal, too insistent on
taking away the authority of the individual and the potentially
instructive conditions that letting go of the world can offer.

# Some explorers even get
# dashed on the rocks and swollowed up by the ocean. But I
# think more explorers have been swollowed up by false shaykhs
# and schools of thought than by all the oceans.

how many false sheikhs can you name?  how many false schools
of thought do you know about?  I've heard conflicting
testimony on that of the Gurdjieff wake, and of course there
is conservative complaint about Idries Shah, but are there
any clear cases of outright charlatanry?

# McKenna said that he had dreams in which he allied himself the
# plant. The dream was indistinguishable from the waking
# waking experience. This tells me that we have the ability
# in us, but where is the key to unlock it on demand?

triggered by drums, half-light, chanting, flickering shapes,
the deep of the woods, intentional entry into the Tweenworld.
the keys are all around us, hidden amongst the feathers in
the wings of the mind.
# > # ...I did not reach cosmic consciousness even after a few years. ;-) 

# > has anyone ever reached it?  what is it like?  how can we tell if
# > we have reached it?  
# Honestly, I haven't a clue.

then how do you know you haven't reached it?

# ....I just wanted some friends and found people
# who made me feel like I was a part of something or
# that I was something special. There is nothing wrong
# with this, except it seems to have little to do with
# discovering and exploring one's self. 

where is the near shore of the self?  how are its waters
trespassed, its depths plumbed?

# ...membership always seems to come only with the willingness 
# to carry the baggage of other people. You need to support 
# their ideas or at least keep quiet when you do not. 

this is one of the reasons that I have not long stayed in the
study of others.  either their ideas were shallow or repulsive
to me or they did not exhibit the qualities I admired.

# I need to find some way to be authentic.

what prevents you from being authentic right now?
RE 'knowing the Prophet' (peace be upon him):
# > # there is so much that he did... that seems morally 
# > # questionable....
# ...if I were going to have him be only the metaphysical 
# figure, then wouldn't I be just as well of to project 
# this figure on to some other landscape. 

I know the Prophet as a metaphysical PRINCIPLE, a facet
of the divine: that which reveals.  we can find the Prophet
in our everyday experience if we are diligent in looking.

# to do so would at least avoid risking the ire those people
# who insist that his historicity is an essential part of
# the religion. I think that I would be better to project
# the metaphysical reality where you will not find so much
# resistence.

hehehe, their ire does not bother me, for I remain far from
what I perceive to be their thin skins.  let them rail at
my 'blasphemy', catcall at my 'ignorance', I will love them
all the more.  they are right to oppose me, but in doing so
they bring more attention to that which they detest.

# > # In the mean time I am remembering those deeply
# > # profound experiences I had with psycho active
# > # substances and only last week went to the
# > # well once again. 
# > 
# > what makes them profound?
# The emotion of great discovery.

perhaps the substances merely inspire an emotion.  if it
does not last, then is it of long-term value?  what if the
psychoactive merely provides the APPEARANCE (due to reduced
width of consciousness) of profundity?  the study of 
philosophy and of the great masters (the poets, the mages,
the thinkers and doubters) can inspire such awe and bliss.
so can peering deeply into our own selves through the use
of tools of divination.  the sufi does not leave the world
behind to discover the secrets of the world.  to the contrary,
we should ultimately find it WITHIN the ordinary, the mundane.

# There are lots of things I would change about myself.

this desire is an important one.

# My ideal awareness and realization that pain and suffering 
# are not meaningless and part of the bigger picture and that 
# everything is happening just as it should be happening and 
# that everything is ok....

security.  we all want that.  I find that true security
proceeds from coming to know the integrity of what and who I
am, what and who I am not, and perfecting means of remaining
in nonattachment with the world (not detached, not attached).

# not ...afraid of death but [understanding] it as a transition
# to something greater. 

coming to know death directly is the best way to conquer fear
of it.  choosing death rather than fear can assist in this process,
as can challenging our boundaries of personal security through
occasionally doing risky things.  understanding death as change
and pain as a response to intense change also yields value.

# [having] deep insight into the troubles of fellow
# humans and be able to help them find the way to remove
# their own forms of self induced suffering. 

looking into the self we connect with all suffering that
others face.  watching the dynamics of the internal elements
and how we intentionally avoid, deceive and trick ourselves,
we begin to become compassionate as to our condition and see
the commonalities of human experience.

# [feeling] unified and connected; empathetic with all
# of the natural world. 

I am ignorant of achieving this as yet, though the
occasional initiation or immersion in death-rebirth
symbolism seems to assist my connection, as does a
dedication to the God of All.

# [feeling] greatful to be [themselves] and awed and 
# inspired by the magnificence of the creation.

I wonder how often people feel this.  I'm sure that it
varies considerably from person to person, and that only
the most dedicated to perfecting themselves achieve it.

# ...very slow to anger and [exuding] an inner happiness
# and contentment that others would benifit from just
# by contact.

the development of temperance I have found best achieved
in intentional forays into the emotions mentioned.  when in
anger, feel it deeply, learn it thoroughly, see what it has
to teach, take its direction where it serves resolution.

I gather that the exuding occurs when we have become
fulfilled within ourselves.  I have not achieved this and
so cannot comment further.

Ramo MiceHole  (private email permission to repost):
# # You seem to be most understanding of what I was trying to say
# # and balanced in your appraisal of the situation. 

thank you very much for your feedback.

# # Have you found something that works for you? 

yes, I am told it is called Wizardry, and I am but a slow student
to my God in its learning.  I am unsure how it fits with sufism,
yet I understand it to encompass all modes of mystical endeavor.

# # Do you have anything that you think could help me?

and later:
# Maybe you know of a book that you think is particularly good? 

aside from the authors of science of consciousness that I have
mentioned above?  Richard Bach's _Illusions_, perhaps, or if
you are wanting more depth of philosophy, Pirsig's _Zen and
the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance_.  these, along with the
humor of Raymond Smullyan have been favorite light reading.

but in honesty I cannot tell from this distance what would
assist you.  I can only write to you through this Octopus I
call Freston and hope you find something amidst the flurry
of letters that inspires you toward the Truth.  do I turn
you to my beloved _Tao Teh Ching_ so long have I been away,
to the beauty of _Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind_ with its crisp
edges and rolling green, or _Liber ABA_ from the depths of
the Wild Beast?

# Are you a member of a sufi order? If so which one?

nothing called 'sufi', no, though if one accept all manner of
esoteric organization then I am a member of some: the Ordo
Templi Orientis (Order of the Eastern Temple), the Order of
Kaos Under Satan (TOKUS), under the tutelage of God do I weave
a Way through the shoals of desert mirages and camel-less
expanses.  perhaps you would find those such as the Urban
Dervish or Peter Lamborn Wilson of some assistance.

# Have you found it  fulfilling?

the OTO is like a grinding stone against which I can dull my
teeth where I might otherwise ply the patience of less worthy
playmates.  understanding the devious rigor of the path arcane,
my kindred dissuade me from abandoning my God or my will.  the
OK is a vehicle allowing me alteration in relationship to my
society (antagonizing for its benefit) and is small enough that
I cannot provide a real assessment of its value in fulfillment
except that it is a beautiful channel for my ecological radicalism.

generally I don't find organizations or instructors to be
fulfilling.  more often I find quiet reflection and relaxation
away from the hustle and bustle of my projects and politics to
be satiating to my soul.  reading a good book or listening to
placid orchestrations, I come once again to hear my breath.

ah such calmness in the cool, full lunar evening, in the
standing atop a mountain looking upon rushing whitewaters
in the river of the valley, in the breaking light of a day
full of birdsong and snailtrails.

-- (emailed replies may be posted); cc me replies;;

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