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Thread: Is psychedelics a valid path?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezalor View Post
    I can't tell how accurate it was, but there was a young man who wanted to be a shaman, and he said he prepares for it since many years, learning from the old shaman, and he still didn't use the Ayahuasca even once, because he is still not ready for it until the old shaman decides so.
    It is not correct (based on my experience with the Shipibo). Anyone can drink but not everyone can be a Shaman. True I don't want to be a native Shaman but I might go native.

    Either you do it or you don't, but if you ever do I would love to hear your opinions after the fact.

    The car allegory doesn't work with this subject. I was on a life long path till I was initiated by the Shipibo. The flight to Peru was the final step.

    Last edited by Awani; 09-10-2012 at 10:01 PM.
    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

  2. #12
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    Ezalor

    The Shaman we are talking of in Peru do what was explained to us as dieting a tree.

    They make a tincture from the bark of a particular tree of which I cannot recall the name. They drink this
    tincture and live in solitude within the jungle on a very sparce diet and this tree tincture meditating. They
    must not make eye contact with another person during this period except their shaman teacher who visits
    them now and then. After a while the spirit of the tree comes to them and teaches them the medicine of the
    jungle. I was told that on average this takes about a year of solitude.

    I have to say I don't think I could accomplish this and that these people must have great dedication. It is
    because of their great dedication that they can guide others.

    On the point of your story I am sure that most of us here could recount similar stories. This does not stop
    one from making a quick trip. I am sure that not all of your journeys have been the way you explained in
    your post. The quick trip does not stop you taking the slow route later.

    Before going to Iquitos in Peru I went first to Cuzco and walked the Inca trail it took four days and I found
    it facinating if not sometimes grueling...one could just get a train straight to Machu Picchu if you only
    wanted to see the old Inca village and I'm sure one would really enjoy that too, perhaps this would instil a
    desire to see more.

    IMO there is no right or wrong way, there is only the way you chose.

    If someday you do chose to experience a Shamanic medicine (psychedelic) be sure to do it with someone
    who understands the meaning of set and setting.

    Ghislain
    Open Book
    "Dogmatic Assumption Inhibits Enquiry" Rupert Sheldrake

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghislain View Post
    If someday you do chose to experience a Shamanic medicine (psychedelic) be sure to do it with someone
    who understands the meaning of set and setting.
    Yes, just like Star Wars there are Sith-Shamans and Jedi-Shamans.

    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dev View Post
    Yes, just like Star Wars there are Sith-Shamans and Jedi-Shamans.
    ROFL!

    Anyway, we will see. Again, I don't say I never will do that, but I do not want or plan. So right now I think that it can only happen if I'm clearly "told" by the spirit world that I have to do that.

    But at least I hope you agree in that psychedelics and alchemy are two very different path (even if the psychedelics can be interpreted alchemically), and if you decide to do both, you should still treat them as separate, and not wash them into each other. So I would say that psychedelics has no more to do with alchemy than any other non-alchemical path. I say this because I see that many - not you - starts to deal with alchemy thinking that psychedelics naturally belongs to alchemy, which is a misconception. Like Dubuis mentioned many people visiting his courses the first time thought it will be about making psychedelic extracts and were surprised when Dubuis told them that he does not do that.

    Regarding the documentary, I don't recall which tribe it was, but they instead of brewing a drink, used the plant in a form of a green powder sucked up into the two nostrils simultaneously, using two bamboo sticks tied together. According to the commentary, it was the same plant they used, but again, don't know if that is correct.
    Ezalor
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    "Sic itur ad astra per aspera."

  5. #15
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    While I think it's valid and important to recognize that just because it's psychedelic doesn't make it alchemy, I think it's as dangerous not to recognize that just because it's psychedelic doesn't make it not alchemy. In fact, psychoactive agents have a long history in our tradition. Though the best attested prior to the last century is of course alcohol, Evola, for example, cautions against improper use of "Corrosive Waters", which he explicitly identifies as a term for psychoactive agents, simultaneously recognizing that they have a place in the art and that if used for their own sake (like any other element of our work) they can be destructive to the art itself. The issue, I think, is a question of control - it can be difficult, even with careful research, to predict the depth and pace of the separation provoked by such solvents. I don't know that there's any element of our art that can't be said of, though, and so in the end I think it must be left to the judgement of the individual artist - you measure your own dosages, and if you become entranced by the peacock's tail and fail to see the dawn let no one tell you there wasn't some great calcification you needed that long night to digest. And my condolences on lost friends and loved ones.

    As for all the talk of shamanism, I think it falls rather under our tradition's native syncretism than any conflation or bastardization. In particular when using any of these corrosive solvents it's important to make careful study of how they've been used in the past, even if the aims and methods of those who've used them are different from our own. Most of the psychoactives discussed are used in various initiatory contexts, and since similar concerns have a deep history in our tradition it's frequently easy to find parallels.
    From separation between the seen and the unseen, a feeling of distance.
    From separation between the seen and the seen, a feeling of breadth.
    From separation between the unseen and the unseen, a feeling of depth.
    From rotation of the elements, a feeling of motion.
    From the equivalence of alternate rotations, a feeling of choice.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezalor View Post
    Regarding the documentary, I don't recall which tribe it was, but they instead of brewing a drink, used the plant in a form of a green powder sucked up into the two nostrils simultaneously, using two bamboo sticks tied together. According to the commentary, it was the same plant they used, but again, don't know if that is correct.
    It is Ayahuasca, a practice common in the Amazon of Brazil I think... perhaps easier to ingest as the brew tastes awful. LOL!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel Matina View Post
    While I think it's valid and important to recognize that just because it's psychedelic doesn't make it alchemy, I think it's as dangerous not to recognize that just because it's psychedelic doesn't make it not alchemy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ezalor View Post
    But at least I hope you agree in that psychedelics and alchemy are two very different path (even if the psychedelics can be interpreted alchemically), and if you decide to do both, you should still treat them as separate, and not wash them into each other.
    I do not agree at all. It all depends on how you define alchemy. For me it is a spiritual path, it is about transforming the self into gold and moving up to a higher plane of existence and awareness. Serious shamanic and psychedelic practice is the only thing so far in my research that has been able to do this.

    No one can claim what alchemy is. I agree that psychedelics is not lab-alchemy... but it is highly alchemical. In fact the alchemical processes are visible to the naked eye. The coagulation, the separation, can all be felt physically. To be on a serious shamanic and psychedelic path is to be on an alchemical journey for sure. I have no doubt. I had this feeling before I even was on it, and now when I have walked it I know for sure that it is so. Speaking from my own direct experiences of course.

    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

  7. #17
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    Alchemy has been very strictly defined for hundreds if not thousands of years. I believe the 'classical' definitions have always remained pretty much the same.

    Here's one example of a rather strict approach to defining Alchemy, by one forum member:

    I have somewhat a more limited definition of practical Alchemy.

    I would state the objectives are as finding:

    1. Aurum potabile. The "cure all" medicine which according to Fulcanelli as 'not having one atom of gold'.

    2. The Carbuncule. The mystical glowing gem of the Ancients.

    3. Stone of Transmutation. There may be more than one definition to this. It could be defined as the Stone which transmutes lead (Pb) or some other base metal into Gold (Au). Or perhaps this involves the transmutation of the Soul and the physical appearance of transmutation is secondary.

    I also place limitations as what substance(s) to work on.

    "Hence if you know our Art, extract our gold from our Mercury (this is the shorter way), and thus perform the whole operation with one substance (viz., Mercury); if you can do this, you will have attained to the perfection of philosophy. In this method, there is no superfluous trouble: the whole work, from beginning to end, is based upon one broad foundation -- whereas if you take common gold, you must operate on two substances, and both will have to be purified by an elaborate process." - Open Entrance, Philalethes.

    I then place anything that doesn't fall into the above as particulars, examples, discoveries, or applications.

    Jerry
    My personal opinion is that in this Age of DE-mystification and DE-centralization, we can embrace a wider perspective in the ways we define Alchemy.

    To me, Alchemy is about the Universal Spirit (dwelling in all Matter, as well as in what is not [yet] Matter), and the harnessing of this Universal Spirit in a PRACTICAL way, in the realm of physical matter, by WHATEVER means, to achieve transformation/transmutation/evolution/etc, of both matter and consciousness... Nature does it all the time, and can not be bothered with human-coined definitions

    Some paths to harnessing this Universal Spirit are more 'purist' than others, agreed, but this does not invalidate other paths.

    So is Psychedelics a 'valid' path? Does it harness the Spirit in/with the help of matter to achieve transformational effects?

    I would say it's a valid path, and, just like all paths, not for everyone. Maybe it's not 'Alchemical' according to the 'classical' definitions, and maybe it's not the MOST 'purist' approach. But is it 'valid'? Absolutely.

    I know we have all sorts of different categories and subsections at this forum (for example), but in theory we might as well have one single long thread called 'Alchemy', because no matter from which angle, I believe we are attempting to approach the same 'destination' (if there were such a thing ). The subdivisions are only meant to make navigation/orientation easier, for Like to find Like, and for celebrating the Diversity of approaches towards what I personally believe is ultimately the same 'goal'.

    PS: I'm writing all this as a non-user of psychedelics, but as a 'ferocious' advocate of Diversity
    Last edited by Andro; 09-17-2012 at 08:46 PM. Reason: PS added...

  8. #18
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    Well put. Classical Alchemy is a different matter indeed. And I like your description that the different sections of this forums if for navigational purposes more than anything else.

    Last edited by Awani; 09-17-2012 at 03:22 PM.
    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezalor View Post
    This is the real danger of psychedelics in general. They tempt with an easy, effortless path and many see a shortcut in it instead of trying to learn.
    There is nothing "easy" about psychedelics. I am a 40+ year veteran psychedelicist. They have greatly facilitated my personal development on Physical, Psychic, and Pneumatic levels. They put one through a wringer, threaten to Dissolve one into the Unconscious permanently, but enduring psychosis is fairly rare fortunately. The use of psychedelics has had far-reaching effects on my life (which I discussed with Dr. Albert Hofmannduring a brief mail correspondence in the 1980s).

    I was a young scientist even at age 10, and my chemistry hobby led me to the imbibing of chemicals which changed my academic path from medicine to philosophy, theology, and psychology. In the course of pursuing all three degrees, I encountered Jung's work on alchemy, which connected to my childhood exposure via chemistry. For almost 3 decades, the psychospiritual aspects of alchemy influenced my psychotherapeutic work, and then just a few years ago, I began to enjoin the physical aspect via Spagyrics. But, alchemy, Jung, and the 10 years I spent in 3 universities was fueled by my desire, first to understand the range of Unconscious to Superconscious states that I both plumbed and soared in through the use of psychedelics, and then to manifest them in my being. The Philosopher's Stone, The Jewel in the Lotus of the Heart, the Diamond Body, for me, is the adamantine consciousness of Eternal Life, Realized (Coagulated). I am now looking for someone to help me re-format my book covering my life of esoteric exploration and experiences for publication.


  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bel Matina View Post
    While I think it's valid and important to recognize that just because it's psychedelic doesn't make it alchemy, I think it's as dangerous not to recognize that just because it's psychedelic doesn't make it not alchemy. In fact, psychoactive agents have a long history in our tradition. Though the best attested prior to the last century is of course alcohol, Evola, for example, cautions against improper use of "Corrosive Waters", which he explicitly identifies as a term for psychoactive agents, simultaneously recognizing that they have a place in the art and that if used for their own sake (like any other element of our work) they can be destructive to the art itself. The issue, I think, is a question of control - it can be difficult, even with careful research, to predict the depth and pace of the separation provoked by such solvents. I don't know that there's any element of our art that can't be said of, though, and so in the end I think it must be left to the judgement of the individual artist - you measure your own dosages, and if you become entranced by the peacock's tail and fail to see the dawn let no one tell you there wasn't some great calcification you needed that long night to digest. And my condolences on lost friends and loved ones.

    As for all the talk of shamanism, I think it falls rather under our tradition's native syncretism than any conflation or bastardization. In particular when using any of these corrosive solvents it's important to make careful study of how they've been used in the past, even if the aims and methods of those who've used them are different from our own. Most of the psychoactives discussed are used in various initiatory contexts, and since similar concerns have a deep history in our tradition it's frequently easy to find parallels.
    I rather agree with you! And so do others: http://www.shroomery.org/forums/show...62400#16862400
    Last edited by MarkostheGnostic; 09-17-2012 at 08:45 PM.

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