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Thread: Is psychedelics a valid path?

  1. #21
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    An addendum to my post above:

    Regarding the discussion about Psychedelics and Alchemy: I have found that having a narrow vision about anything never got me anywhere.

    I don't do Psychedelics, but I definitely see it as a sort of Alchemical Path to transformation/evolution/purification. Doesn't work for everybody, either.

    I know people who do this and were dramatically and positively changed and transformed by the experiences, as well as I know others who had no 'results'.

    In many cases, those who had no 'results' were the ones who approached it in a more 'recreational' mind-state, rather than in a more initiatory mode.
    Still, it also happened that 'non-spiritual' (but curious) people looking for an adventure or a different 'high', had strong initiatory experiences, and vise-versa.

    In the broadest sense I can come up with, Alchemy is harnessing Spirit to act on Matter as a catalyst for transformation/evolution.

    So, in this sense, many things are actually alchemical in nature.

    I've had long talks with friends about how aspiring Alchemists often refuse to look outside the 'source material' (canonical writings by alchemical authors) and completely neglect the magic that happens all around us, all the time. We talked about often finding more openly revealed alchemical 'secrets' in nature, art, movies, books, myths and fairy tales - sometimes more than we can find in the 'canonical source material' and in the 'rare manuscripts'. And if not 'more', then definitely complementary.

    In short, Alchemy is EVERYWHERE if the eyes are open enough to see it. IMO.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Androgynus View Post
    Shamans have a saying: "Expect nothing, receive everything".
    Wow! This just changed my energy field from vertical torus to emphasis on the
    horizontal heart chakra torus/lotus. It feels very nice.
    http://serpentrioarquila.blogspot.com/

    "To conjure is nothing else than to observe anything rightly, to know and understand what it is." - Paracelsus

    "Why, then, don't you act when you see the danger of your conditioning? The answer is you don't see... seeing is acting." J. Krishnamurti

  3. #23
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    In regards to the conversation between Dev and Ezalor, I perceive there are different types of people
    who are suitable to different paths. For example, it may seem that meditation is more natural than
    drugs, but more natural for whom? Natural can be relative. I imagine so many paths exist for so many
    people.
    http://serpentrioarquila.blogspot.com/

    "To conjure is nothing else than to observe anything rightly, to know and understand what it is." - Paracelsus

    "Why, then, don't you act when you see the danger of your conditioning? The answer is you don't see... seeing is acting." J. Krishnamurti

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Androgynus View Post
    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:



    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
    This makes me think of how mercury/communication has changed over the years... can alchemy change? Can the initial subject change/evolve/mutate?
    Does the zodiac/procession determine the Prima? Could we be in a psychedelic age?
    Last edited by solomon levi; 09-18-2012 at 03:21 AM.
    http://serpentrioarquila.blogspot.com/

    "To conjure is nothing else than to observe anything rightly, to know and understand what it is." - Paracelsus

    "Why, then, don't you act when you see the danger of your conditioning? The answer is you don't see... seeing is acting." J. Krishnamurti

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by solomon levi View Post
    Can the initial subject change/evolve/mutate?
    At its 'core' - not really

    But it can assume many different guises and put on many different garments...

    This is why the way to know it, is to look beyond Forms and Appearances...

  6. #26
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    I think this thread is a very important discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Androgynus View Post
    Alchemy is harnessing Spirit to act on Matter as a catalyst for transformation/evolution.
    You have really nailed down the definition beautifully here Androgynus. Before I read your addendum to your earlier post, I was about to post a very similar tight definition with the emphasis both on Evolution and Spirit, the two key words. Evolution being the return to the Godhead and the end of separation, and Spirit being the means.
    Where laboratory alchemy is unique is that it aims to capture Spirit physically (an apparent oxymoron) in order to action it on matter to spiritualize it. Solve et Coagula. Simplistically, fix the volatile and volatilize the fixed. Transform and Unite.

    Returning to the subject of this thread. I personally have spent equal time over decades alternating from the occasional use of a variety of entheogens (a term I now prefer to psychedelics) to meditational initiatory practices. Both approaches have worked well for me and have complemented each other. The last contact I had with entheogens was more than a year ago with Columbian Kofan shamans over a 4 day period. Previously I had taken pure DMT out of context several times. Although valuable, there is absolutely no comparison to experiencing ayahuasca under traditional shamanic nurturing versus taking its active ingredient, DMT, orally in a home setting. I fully endorse the broad comments of Dev and Androgynus from my extensive experience. Particularly I agree that entheogens are not recreational drugs and are not ‘easy’ although they are ‘quick’, and this routinely shakes a soul to its core, catharsis occurring on all levels. Hence the wise, nurturing and safe influence of an experienced shaman is recommended to the uninitiated.
    Since my last entheogenic experience, I have had no further desire to imbibe, but I have been led into a deeper meditational practice that is taking me further into peace and realization than I have ever been before.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by solomon levi View Post
    Could we be in a psychedelic age?
    I would say so, in fact I think that it is a big part of the new age that is coming/growing. The 60s was the first wave. Now we are in a second wave. The third wave will finally tip it all over

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebus7 View Post
    Previously I had taken pure DMT out of context several times. Although valuable, there is absolutely no comparison to experiencing ayahuasca under traditional shamanic nurturing versus taking its active ingredient, DMT, orally in a home setting.
    Yes, I agree fully. Those experiences are miles apart, at least from my own experience.

    Also one does not need to take DMT again and again... for most people one time is enough. The aftershock can last a life time. On a personal note the only reason I am really going to Gabon is research. I feel very satisfied with my Ayahuasca experiences and I might do it again (and I want to join up with the Shamans again), but since I am writing and studying this stuff on a more serious level I need to experience Iboga in order to compare the different traditions. I am sure I will get something spiritual out of it as well, and I intend to, but it is also part of my research.

    People who take psychedelics weekly are, in my opinion, doing something wrong. Or they are taking weak doses of weak psychedelics. One Big Bang is all you need, the trip will follow you for the rest of your life. This can also be scary if there are truths in it one is not ready to face. But sometimes we need a slap in the face!

    Last edited by Awani; 09-18-2012 at 06:11 PM.
    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

  8. #28
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    Every age has been a psychedelic age.

    http://www.faculty.ucr.edu/~legneref/ethnic/mummy.htm

    for example.

    Consider also http://www.logicalpoetry.com/recipes/bread-beer.pdf

    There's almost no culture in history that hasn't used some kind of psychoactive agent or another.
    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.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bel Matina View Post
    Every age has been a psychedelic age.
    It has been suppressed in the West since the Eleusinian Mysteries... and let's face it whatever the West does shapes the outcome of the world. The West is, alas, the force that moves the world. At least it have been so up till now. This may also change.

    In ancient times I believe the human race was psychedelic, we left this path and did not return to it until about 70 years ago. It all depends on how you define 'an age'.

    0-1950 = not psychedelic age

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

  10. #30
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    It's been suppressed by the West since the 1920s, in my opinion more because of the way opium was used as an instrument of control over China by Britain during the colonial period. The current dominance of the West in terms of setting the world's policies is (likewise in my opinion) entirely the enduring legacy of the colonial period, specifically in the fact that most of the institutions of global interchange currently in use were developed as instruments of colonial control. The catholic church suppressed the use of certain psychedelics at various points in history, and it's possible to falsely identify that as many do with the current program of prohibition, but really it was limited to specific substances and vectors because of their role in competing cosmologies (though there is certainly an argument that the current bans have a similar motive, which I would disagree with, it's clear that there's simply no temporal continuity between them). Later on, various protestants endorsed alcohol bans (which easily extended to other substances) under the general banner of avoiding "worldly pleasures", and this movement did play a role in politicizing prohibition this century. Europe's recent past appears superficially to be devoid of psychedelics, but you have to consider that there are no easily identified, prolific psychedelic plants in Europe as there are in, say, Afghanistan. The knowledge required to identify and properly dose the psychedelic plants and fungi that *do* grow in Europe tended to be handed down through institutions that competed with the Catholic church. These institutions were rooted out surprisingly recently; for example, during and prior to the reformation there was a huge movement to 'correct' and in some cases exterminate communities that were deemed for whatever reason "insufficiently Christian" (there's an interesting specific example involving weird sexual practices that survived into the historical record but I can't quite be buggered to go find it). Thus, the main psychoactives available to Christian Europeans for the millennium and change are alcohol and, later, coffee.

    In short the current hostility toward an arbitrary and broad group of psychoactives is very much the historical exception, and it's a testament to the effectiveness of modern instruments of propaganda that they've successfully convinced the world that it's the rule. If the European post-enlightenment academic system (another of those instruments of colonial control, its persistent usefulness notwithstanding) hadn't been adopted worldwide, even that wouldn't have worked.
    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.

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