This experience and after suitable internal and external perparation... to evoke a mystical experience according to plan, so to speak... potentially changing the landscape. The ecstasy experienced assists in the flight of the soul from the body. I'm of the belief that the spiritual crisis pervading all spheres of Western industrial society can be remedied only by a change in our world view.
aive or recreational use of psychedelic drugs does not make one either a shaman or a saint.
In traditional shamanic societies there exist specific traditions, historires, rituals and practices which provide a stable, long-term set and setting by which the drug experiences are interpreted and controlled.
Despite Western civilization's rather recent awareness, hallucinogenic sacramental plant use has been a part of the human experience for millennia. Indeed, a desire for a sacred altered state of consciousness seems to be part of how we define ourselves as humans. The altered state of consciousness being highly desired for spiritual and healing purposes - is shamanic in nature. Shamanism was the Paleolithic spiritual practuce of healing, divination and art developed some ten to fifty thousand years ago. It was not so much a religion as it was a set of techniques. The most important shamanic technique, whether the practioners lived in Siberia or in the Amazon, was Ekstasis or ecstasy - meaning the flight of the soul from the body. And the most important way of achieving this ecstasy was through the use of psychedelic plants or entheogens.
Entheogn(ic) from entheos meaning "becoming the divine within" is derived from the same root that is cognate with the word entheusiasm. Entheogen is now considered the primary term for shamanic inebriants. Entheogen is an attempt to describe all the modalities of a divine inebriant. Additionally, the term psychedelic is perceived as apejorative outside counterculture. Thus an entheogen is a psychedelic used in ritual context.
In modern Western societies we are without teachers - without shamans - familiar in the entheo realm. Without such teachers, the importance of learning from other cultures' successful ecstatic experiences cannot be underestimated. How these materials are used and what this understanding suggests for those of us today seeking the ecstatic gnostic spiritual experience, transpersonal truths or inner healing is paramount.
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