entheogenic-gnosis wrote:As the first hand observer you create existance by your observation of it, its an illusion, existance is destroyed with you.
Do you ever get the feeling when you smoke DMT or salvinorin-a that existance really ended for the time you were in hyperspace? Only to somehow re-condense as you come down, acting as if nothing happened?
All magic, and all magic in the West is derivative from this tradition, takes the position that man is a divine being, men and women are divine beings. The Corpus Hermeticum actually refers to man as God's brother and this is a double-edged perception. It gives tremendous dignity to the human enterprise but it also raises the possibility of the error of pride and hubris. In the Renaissance, Marcello Ficino boiled this notion down to the aphorism "man is the measure of all things." And you may notice that this is the position of science, that man is the measure of all things, that it is up to us, we can decide the course of the cosmos. All magic stems from this position. This is why the church was so concerned to stamp out magic-because it assigns man an importance that the church would rather reserve for deity. So that's the first great division between Christian thinking and hermetic thinking. An entirely different conception of what human beings are and when we get into the text, I'll read you some of these passages. Now, the second distinguishing factor, and notice that position on man empowers tremendous freedom, man is the measure of all things, the second distinguishing factor in hermeticism is the belief that we can control fate, that we can escape from cosmic fate. The late Hellenistic mindset, and what you get in the Gnostics, is the belief that because of astrology, because of the stars, we are subject to control from these exterior forces. In most Gnostic thinking the whole concern is to somehow evade what is called the hemarmeny (sp?), cosmic fate. And in the Gnostic systems, the only way it can be done is by ascending through the shells of cosmic, ordering forces-the archons, the planets, the planetary demons, and so forth and so on, and then beyond the hemarmeny, which is actually thought of as a place in space that you burst through when you transcend fate. What the hermetic thought is is that these fates become personified as the decans, as stellar demons, and then it is held that there is a magic, a magical system, which is possible where you can call these archangels to your side and work with them and not be subject to the inevitable working of the cosmic machinery and this burst like a revelation over the late Hellenistic world because there was such philosophical and emotional and political exhaustion that this comes, this is a counterpoint to the message of the New Testament, which is a similar message, that you can be saved in the body, that you can escape the inevitable dissolution and degradation laid upon us by time. So, these are the two distinguishing factors: the divinity of man and the possibility of using magic to evade the machinery of fate.
Here is one of the key passages on man's nature. This is from Book one of the Corpus Hermeticum: "But mind the father of all, he who is life and light gave birth to man, a being like to himself and he took delight in man as being his own offspring for man was very goodly to look on, bearing the likeness of his father. With good reason then did God take delight in man for it was God's own form that God took delight in and God delivered over to man all things that had been made." This is the basis of the Ficinian statement man is the measure of things. "And man took station in the Maker's sphere and observed the things made by his brother who was set over the region of fire. And having observed the Maker's creation in the region of fire he willed to make things for his own part also. And his father gave permission having in himself all the workings of the administrators." This is a reference to the angel heirarchary "And the administrators took delight in him and each of them gave him a share of his own nature." So man is the brother of God and a creature at home with the angels.
The quote I always love is from Thomas Hobbes' Levaithan. Hobbes was the great theoritician of modern government and social systems and he was basically a paranoid S.O.B. and he says in the Levaithan "man to man is likened to an errant beast and man to man is likened to a god." It's absolutely true, you know, our noblest aspirations and our most hideously dehumanizing activities take place in the context of our relationship to other people. This is what the alchemists were trying to do - separate the gold from the dross. They were trying to take the errant beast, and when we look at alchemical art we will see dragons, dogs, pigs, we will see the errant beast and we will see the angelic beings that are trying to be separated out of our nature. This is within each and every one of us.
It begins to come on, and it comes- the image I have is like a jellyfish, or a silk scarf, or something like that, it just kind of drifts down and surrounds you, and at that point, I guess I pray, I say to it, you know, I'm completely in your hands, please don't hurt me, you know, I'm yours, I'm completely committed, I've held nothing back, so don't burn me, please... and then there is a kind of- it's hard to describe, a kind of...potential begins to build up, and you say hmmm, the rush hasn't begun, but it's- you can almost close your eyes and see millions of little psilocybin molecules elbowing serotonin molecules out of the way, and fitting themselves into the receptor site and the electron spin resonance dynamics is beginning to shift, and the whole thing is about to take off, at that point I smoke [cannabis] furiously, and that usually is all it takes, and it comes on and it- the first rush is really astonishing, I mean sometimes it more mind boggling than others, but I can remember situations where you could just see it comming and say "oh my God, you know, it's 100 miles wide and 10 miles high, where are you going to run to, you know? It's just comming- you say "good grief!", You know? I guess I'm not going to meet this one sitting up, I think I better lay down, and in about the time it takes to make and execute that decision then it just hits, and it's like a tidal wave, I mean I have have the feeling when I'm doing it in California that everybody from Vancouver to Tijuana has just crawled under their desk, because you can't imagine this is happening between my ears? you know? It's more like an asteroid must have fallen in the Pacific ocean and raised some enormous incoming wave, it's - what's it's sort of like, it's like is watching a thermonuclear explosion through 50 feet of crystal clear glass, so you know, you're perfectly calm, it's not getting at you, but the energy that is being released in your presence is awesome, and then it uh...and sometimes in that first pass you actually- the linguistic machinery is burned out, you have probably seen these scenes where they will test a hydrogen bomb and they set up cameras a 1/4 mile from ground zero, a half mile, a mile, 2 miles, and then when they actually detonate the bomb they get the view from the first camera, and then they switch to the second camera as the first camera is blown to bits and vaporized and they keep pulling back as each successive instrument is destroyed, well this is sort of the feeling you have as this thing spreads out towards you, and then, it uh, it does what it wants to do, it tells you what it wants to tell you, and it's highly unpredictable, I mean you can not- people always say you should ask it a question, this seems absurd to me, I mean, I don't know, once when my life was in turmoil I did ask a question, I said, uh, I wrote it down ahead of time, and the question was "am I doing the right thing with my life?" And then when I got in there and I posed the question and the answer came back instantly, it was a rip-off from Lyndon Johnson, it said "what kind of a chicken shit question is that to ask me!?" And I said "oh, sorry, didn't mean to presume, you know, [laughs] it said get your act together and then we will have a conversation, but if that's what you want to talk about you should have taken MDMA. ...and it uh, and then you know, paralleling what we talked about this morning, and again I'm just giving you my subjective take on it, it's like, um...I come into a place, it's hard to describe, it's a feeling, and it's- I'm- the content of the feeling is now the elves are near, but they won't appear unless I invoke them, and, you know, I wish I could tell you that I chant in Mandaean, or something like that, but I don't, well, I stole a line from an old, old "I love Lucy" program where ethyl is talking to Lucy about UFOs, and Lucy says she talks to the UFOs, and ethyl says "well, how can you talk to UFOs?" And Lucy said "well, it's simple, I just say, come in little green men, come in little green men", and that's what I do, I say "come in little green men" and then there is uh...and women if there are any out there, and then there is a- it's like a- it's like a marching band, it's like a Nepalese marching band, is what it's like, and it comes from a distance, like there's a place in my vision that's small, a little dancing light, and a little faint sound, and the light comes closer, and the sound gets louder, until finally, you know, they pick me up on their shoulders and with tubas blaring and sackbutt and rebeck and all of this stuff, then the carry me around, and talk to me, and it's- the whole thing is shot through with such a weird sense of zannyness, irishness, joyceishness, I mean it's almost unbearable, it's so um, I don't know, not exactly disney-esk, because their humor tends to be a little more savage than that, and then that is part of the first wave, and then the rest of the trip unfolds pretty much as you- there's a kind of a pushing and pulling that goes on, you can direct it, each one of these plants does have a character of its own, and- [audience member speaks] sure...one of the most puzzling things about these plants is that they have characters that seem irreducible, for instance psilocybin, it is the science fiction drug, in other words, it says uh, you know "we have been denizens of this planet for 400 million years, our original home planet is in the m5-83c system we are connected via hyperspace to all intelligent lifeforms in the galaxy, it shows you enormous machines in orbit around alien planets, it talks about the end of history, and the collectivising of humanity, and it's this enormous hortatory, salvational, dramatic, science-fiction type scenario, *well then you take ayahuasca, which in molecular terms is just a few nitrogens are moved around, I mean it's basically the same thing , and you get a completely different message, you feel the energy of the rainforest, and the rivers, and you- it's very feminine, you think about child birth, you think about the continuity of generations, you think about the mystery of the meat , you think about tantric sexuality, it's all redirected back into the human and natural world in some way, and then of coarse DMT which I described this morning, which the DMT elves are not from outer space, or they don't present themselves that way, in fact one of the odd things about the DMT thing is, that you have the feeling that the space you break into, even though it's large, some people even refer to the dome of DMT, that tells you They really were there, but where ever this huge vaulted space is, you have the feeling, all though it's hard to explain how you know this, that you have the feeling that you're way, way, way underground, which fits with the elf motif, you're in the hall of the mountain king, you're under the hills with the, you know, the little people who've retreated under the hills, and the character of these things is one of the most puzzling things about them.
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