In this article I want to take a brief look at the issue of entheogens. At the outset let me say that this articles should not be seen as advocating illegal activities, or even encouraging shamanic use of entheogens. This article simply is an LP Advanced discussion piece designed to raise awareness and encourage discussion of what, despite social and political paranoia, is an otherwise very important topic when it comes to spiritual awakening and empowerment.
Now, as you will know if you have read the SpiritWiki article on entheogens (ref), entheogens are basically substances that facilitate crown chakra activation. Entheogens include things like marijuana, LSD, ecstasy, other forms of what “stoners” from the sixties would have called (for lack of a better name) “psychedelic” drugs. Entheogens are to be distinguished from drugs like cocaine, alcohol, and tobacco by their non-addictive and primarily therapeutic operation. Drugs like cocaine, heroin, and alcohol operate on neurotransmitters and are primarily addictive because of the easy way they may manipulate the feelings of the physical unit. Alcohol is a depressant and facilitates repression, cocaine brings good feelings of power and energy, and so on. Psychedelics (a.k.a. crown chakra activators) are not, generally, addictive (ref), have long been recognized for their therapeutic benefits (see SpiritWiki article), and are more and more coming into the modern scientific spotlight for their healing and therapeutic benefit! (ref)
Entheogens may be identified by the way they enhance the central nervous system sensitivity of the individual who ingests them. Entheogens are, basically, “short cuts.” Entheogens speed up neural processes. It is as if entheogens pour oxygen on the tiny little candle flame of your normal consciousness. The “rate” at which the oxygen is released, and the “time span” over which the release occurs, is determined by the type of entheogens ingested. LSD is a “hard” entheogen, releases a lot of oxygen, and lasts a long time. Marijuana is a “soft” entheogen releasing smaller (and easier to manipulate and control) doses of oxygen, for shorter periods of time.
It is worthwhile pausing and considering what has just been said. Societal fears and elite propaganda paint all drugs (except those that generate profit) with the same black brush, but entheogens are important. Because of the way entheogens facilitate controlled crown chakra activation, entheogens are implicated in the healing and awakening of the individual unit, and this planet.
Now I realize the above statement is going to make a lot of people uncomfortable, fearful, and maybe even itchy to find the exit door. The truth is, there is a lot of fear in the collective mind when it comes to the existence and usage of entheogens. If this is you, you should know that these fears are often rooted in bad adolescent experiences with entheogens. In this context it is important to be aware that bad adolescent experiences are not “normal” entheogen experiences. Early entheogen experiences are typically facilitated by ignorance, inexperience, and lack of adult supervision and discussion. Because the kids themselves don’t understand the full nature of what they are getting into, because they have inexperience with the fine art of “controlling the oxygen flow,” and because many parents would rather (because of their own fear and prevalent “anti-entheogen” propaganda) remain blissfully unaware, nobody talks, nobody (except the drug “pushers” guide), and early experiences are often unnecessarily ugly and disturbing.
To that all I can say is…
GET HELP AND GET OVER IT.
As scientists, as a society, as parents, and as individuals we need to be able to discuss entheogens and learn about their usage so that we can heal our own spiritual trauma and guide our young people. And besides, the Lightning Path (Core and Intermediate) is all about overcoming fear and resolving buried issues long enough to confront issues, overcome blockages, and enhance energetic flow of physical. If you are getting blocked from a discussion of entheogens by fear (of a plant, mind you), your Core and Intermediate work is not complete. With that in mind we can now turn to brief examination of the function and operation of entheogens.
Awareness and Connection
As noted above, entheogens primarily operate to expand awareness and connection (to The Fabric). If the consciousness of your physical brain is like a candle, entheogens pour oxygen on that candle. How much awareness and connection results from an entheogen experience (i.e. the effectiveness of the experience), how much oxygen is poured on the brain, depends on several factors including dosage, environment, and psychological state. We shall look at each of these in turn, starting with dosage.
Dosage is perhaps the easiest factor to control. Dosage basically comes down to the type of entheogen infested, (i.e. whether it is hard or soft), and the quantity ingested. Ingesting hard entheogens like LSD pour large amounts of oxygen on the brain for long periods of time. Softer entheogens like marijuana pour small, easy to control doses over the brain that last for short (i.e. usually about an hour) periods of time.
When relying on softer entheogens, dosage is fairly easy to control. What is not so easy to control is environment. Environment includes everything around you from the dust on the floor to the pictures on the wall to the people that sit around you (or, at higher levels of awareness and connection, that enter into your consciousness). This is not rocket science. Remember, entheogens increases awareness and as awareness increases you become, well, aware. You become aware of paintings, aware of dust, aware of emotions, aware of your dog, aware of negativity in the people around you, and so on. Be aware that levels of awareness can be controlled by manipulating dosage.
Finally, the psychological state of the individual has an important impact . The psychological state of an individual is determined historically, by socialization experiences, and currently, as a result of extant environmental and social conditions. Toxicity, indoctrination, abuse, etc. in the childhood experiences, experiences in the womb, etc. create a negative psychological state. Poverty, exploitation, relationship abuse, creates a negative psychological state. Negative psychological states are characterized by low self esteem, lack of self-efficacy, and feelings of powerlessness (often accompanied by intense needs to control the environment) and these characteristics lower the efficacy of all forms of spiritual practice, including entheogen usage.
There is a lot to say about use the of entheogens in therapy, healing, and strengthening connections to The Fabric I’m not going to cover it all here. For more information and discussion you can check out the forums and also investigate mentor materials and case studies. Here I just want to offer some general guidance. This guidance is not to be considered endorsement but rather information to you help understand adolescent experiences, make informed decisions, and to possibly help others who do not understand what is happening to them, or need basic guidance. This applies especially if you are a parent since despite anything you might say, many adolescents will try entheogens in negative and unguided situations. Best to accept reality and work with that, rather than stick your head in the sand and pretend it doesnt’ happen.
Now your first task should be to take a closer look at the Lightning Path. You can, if you wish, consider the Lightning Path written with entheogens in mind. Well, that’s not quite true. I didn’t set out to write the LP with entheogens in mind, but the LP is about rapid awakening and that’s exactly what entheogens facilitate. So whether your approach to rapid awakening is off the natural and organic variety, or whether you use entheogens to move even faster, the LP provides guidance on making this experience as productive and pleasant as possible. Therefore consider all LP activities, meditations, and guidance as applicable. It doesn’t matter how you remove The Blindfold, only that you do as quickly and safely as possible.
Second, in all cases I recommend guided usage. This is applicable to everyone, including individual who may have partaken for extended periods of time. Ingestion of entheogens is no guarantee of spiritual awakening or empowerment. If it was than this world would have awakened and empowered years ago. Entheogens often lead to psychological and physical healing, but under current archetypal conditions they do not often lead to fully connections and awareness. The problem lies in the basic function of entheogens which is to amplify mental processes. The bottom line is you can amplify anything from vacuous psychedelic experience to egoic dysfunction. Unguided use or use that occurs within the influence of old world power, can lead to amplification of pathology and disjuncture and not awakening and empowerment.
If you do choose to get guidance (and what you are reading now qualifies as guidance, if you are paying attention) then it should go without saying that you should get guidance from people who demonstrate awakening and empowerment, and who have pure intent (i.e. who are not there to profit off you, manipulate you, or co-opt you into the power systems of this world). The Rocket Scientists’ Guide to Discernment and Rocket Scientists’ Guide to Authentic Inequality, available on the Navigation->Resources->LP Books page provides a lot of good guidance in this regard. The short of it is that you want somebody who is authentic, who displays pure intent, and
Third, in general, stay away from hard entheogens. Work conducted by psychologists in the late 50s and 60s lends legitimacy to the idea that hard entheogens may be useful in psychologically and spiritually sophisticated therapeutic settings, but their length of operation and the intensify of the experience makes them less than idea. Even though we do want to encourage rapid awakening and empowerment, there are limits on how much a somnabulistic physical unit can process, and how much emotional and psychological work can be conducted productively, in very short periods of time. In other words the stipulation at the outset applies here. This is not a race. Take your time, go slow, process, get guidance. As long as your intent stays pure, and you remain committed to forward movement, you’ll be just fine.
Four, as much as possible, control the environment. You don’t have to be anally retentive about it, but clean, tidy and beautiful is best. Even motes of dust can be a distraction, especially when you haven’t establishedmental control. Also, consider the people that are around you part of the environment as well. Stay away from people you do not know. Also, regardless of their relationship to you, stay away from people you cannot cannot trust, people operating from broken bodily ego, people only interested in taking from you, and so on. Awakening of all varieties (whether led by intent and The Great Invocation or entheogens) makes you more sensitive to everything and that includes the negativity of others. You want to avoid that as much as possible in “normal” life, and avoid it like the plague as you increase consciousness and sensitivity (i.e. awaken), and until you gather enough strength to stand without support.
Five, control the ideas in your brain. This control refers both to the ability to control the ideas in your brain momemt by moment, but it also, and more importantly, includes control of the archetypes in your brain. The more consciousness that is entered into the physical unit, the more important this is. In this regard the Halo/Sharp archetype is an essential aspect of the Lightning path since it provides complete exposure of old world archetypes, and a completely specified, and wholly positive, alternative.
Six, pay careful attention to dosage. The level of connection and awareness you aspire to in any given moment should be relation to your ability to understand and control that level of consciousness. In other words, tip off the blindfold slow at first, then a little bit more, then a little bit more. Also, never treat entheogens with disrespect by getting “blasted.” Just as excess usage of alchohol is a sign of mental disturbance and dependence, so is excessive use of entheogens. Despite the fact that soft entheogens are generally not considered addictive by knowledgeable professionals, “stoners” are in the same boat as alcoholics and should seek treatment as addicts.
Seven, keep in mind the possibility of therapy. Many of you reading this will be aware that even simple use of The Great Invocation will bring up issues and fears and that these issues and fears have to be processed and cleared. This sometimes requires mentor or therapeutic intervention. The same goes for those who use entheogens, only multiplied by a factor of ten or more. Entheogens dramatically raise awareness of internal issues at the same time that they undermine the body’s ability to repress. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness due to either aborted spiritual awakening or unguided use of entheogens, point them in the direction of spiritually sophisticated psychological counseling (for example).
And that’s about all I have to say on the topic, here. As noted, this article can function only as an introduction to the issue of entheogen facilitated awakening. An extended discussion may be found on the forums, and additional content and case study audio will be provided to LP mentors interested in operating as guides. In closing let me just say that LP guidance on spiritual awakening, whether facilitated by The Great Invocation or accelerated by entheogens, can be summed by the LP stipulation to strive for Right Thought, Right Action, and Right Environment. Striving for right thought, action, and environment enhances control of self and environment, reduces disjuncture, increases alignment at all levels (emotional, physical, and intellectual), and facilitates the expansion of consciousness into the body.
Additional reading and discussion, case studies, provided in mentor training module. : http://mentor.thelightningpath.com/in-depth/entheogens