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Entheogens and Spirituality: safe or not??

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posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 04:17 PM
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I'm not sure if this is even allowed to be discussed, so please forgive me if it isn't.

I was the kid who grew up thinking all drugs were bad, I didn't even like to take tylenol or anything when I was sick. The years went on and soon I found myself in highschool surrounded by them. Suprisingly, I graduated never having done one drug or drinking a drop of alcohol.

About 6 months after I graduated my friend offered me a smoke of marijuana. At first I was scared, but I gave in to curiosity. I remember thinking "this isn't doing anything" then all the sudden it hit me. I felt detached from my body, almost as if I was watching myself on a movie screen. My heart was pounding and I was terrified, but I didn't want my friend to know. I calmed down after about 15 minutes and that's when all the weird stuff started to happen.

As my friend was driving us to mcdonalds, I was feeling great. I felt truly relaxed for the first time in my life I can honestly say. But my vision was also affected. The cars on the road looked almost see through and everything was colorful (in a weird see through way). I remember everytime we stopped at a redlight I grabbed on to my seat because I swear, NOTHING stopped moving! Its hard to explain, its like the road and everything was just moving along even though we were stopped. This was the extent of all I saw, but I was also able to remember things from my childhood with ease. Things that I had completely forgotten about! Its like I could access these memories at will and I felt like I was actually reliving the experience to point.

I felt like this the first two times I smoked marijuana but never the same effect after that. I am in no way a druggy or whatever you call it-the only drug I have ever tried was marijuana and I stopped when I feared it might interfere with my spiritual growth.
I must also note that this happened before I began my spiritual journey. But after I stopped and began to read I wondered....what exactly happened? In hindsight it was almost like I saw everything for what it really is, an illusion.
I was an atheist back then, I use to redicule God so much! But something in me makes me wonder because that was where things began turning around in my life, and less than a year later I finally stumbled across the first bits of info that began changing my mind about everything. I actually started trying to prove myself wrong about God, I was looking for any bit of information that could convince me.
What do you guys think? Are entheogens really tools from God that can help you change your preception? Or are they just weird plants?
and please don't attack my character, yes I have experimented before and I'm not ashamed to admit it. If that makes me a quack in your eyes then I'm sorry you have that preception of me. All I want to do is share my experience and wonder what you guys know about it




posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 04:25 PM
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Stopping yourself from having experiences will interfere with your spiritual growth, not drugs. After all, that's what we're all here for - to experience.



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 04:42 PM
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John Hopkins, one of the best hospitals and research center in the U.S., recently published a study that shows a certain entheogen had caused "universal mystical experiences". The numbers speak for themselves:

John Hopkins Study



In the study, more than 60 percent of subjects described the effects of * in ways that met criteria for a “full mystical experience” as measured by established psychological scales. One third said the experience was the single most spiritually significant of their lifetimes; and more than two-thirds rated it among their five most meaningful and spiritually significant. Griffiths says subjects liken it to the importance of the birth of their first child or the death of a parent.

Two months later, 79 percent of subjects reported moderately or greatly increased well-being or life satisfaction compared with those given a placebo at the same test session. A majority said their mood, attitudes and behaviors had changed for the better. Structured interviews with family members, friends and co-workers generally confirmed the subjects’ remarks. Results of a year-long followup are being readied for publication.


Whats even safer, is that there are no risks associated with your health, save for potential latent schizophrenia. I think its a giant conspiracy that governments ban plants like these, as they do not want us to share in these experiences and thoughts of wholeness.



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 04:49 PM
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I hope this thread doesnt get removed,ive had loads of amazing experiences on certain plants which i wont discuss just incase, but i think theirs definitely more to some of them than just being weird plants, i remember mckenna had a theory that psilocybin was from another planet, or something along those lines



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 04:55 PM
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Great thread - hope it doesn't get pulled! I'm very interested in ethnogens, although I stopped doing them in my 20s. Have been taking a second look at some lately because I do think they are tools. It is interesting that we tap into a universal experience. I remember the first time I saw Mayan artwork and how familiar they were, understanding the visions were timeless and universal.



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 06:13 PM
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Drugs are technically defined as any substances that, when ingested, effect your metabolism or cause some change within your body. At least that's what I was repeatedly taught through high school and afterward by "authorities."

According to such a broad definition, even food is a drug. I've brought this up to the same people teaching the above before, and they try to argue with me, but I know how technical definitions work and if food isn't a drug then the definition I stated above needs to be refined. The trouble is, they can't do it in such a way as to explain why narcotics are "bad," except to say "we don't like you feeling good and/or thinking outside the box."



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 08:15 PM
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If you haven't read Carlos Castenada yet, you might look him up.

He wrote a series of books about his experiences with a Native (Mex) American named Don Juan, who was a brujo, who sought enlightenment with the aid of traditional drugs, like peyote.

The series is an extremely entertaining read, and while many seem to think Castenada was just trying to sell books, I personally think there is some reality that he speaks to, and he did an extraordinary job of communicating something that very few people ever get an insight into.

No, I'm not necessarily advocating the use of drugs for enlightenment, but under a controlled environment, some Native Americans do in fact have a tradition of wisdom that may prove worthwhile. Again, I emphasize control. Indians were NOT like silly teenagers who wanted a "trip", and wound up dead somewhere. Rather, they acknowledged the wisdom of their ancestors, and would partake in rituals where elders were present, and a kind of genuine "mentoring" system provided support, and context, for what they were doing.

You have already experienced "wisdom", because the altered experience that you know, took you away from your former dryness. But while we can salute these moments, we can not responsibly go forward, partaking of drugs willy-nilly, and expect real progress.

If you continue to be attracted to this "path", I would recommend seeking out traditional, and supervised forms of this experience.

Again, read Castenada with an open mind. No, he is not "gospel", but perhaps will be an inspiration, and anyone I know who has read the series, has agreed with me that his books are unforgettable.

Good luck!

JR



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 08:32 PM
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Nothing is "bad" in moderation. Abuse of anything is bad so be careful.

Yes it is the dirty secret that entheogens are responsible for ALL of the religions on this planet. The ancients called these things many names. Manna, holy sacraments, philosopher stones. All just entheogens that could have you "see" god.

That is why the cow in India is worshipped. Cow patties give magic mushrooms. There are plenty of other examples. You can actually trace the establishment of various religions due changes in climates. The changes in climates around the world allowed for different entheogens to grow.

I'd even bet that human evolution has been aided by these enthoegens.



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 11:50 PM
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I was once confident in my atheist beliefs as well, but words literally cannot describe the deepness of some entheogenic experiences. Whether they come from the depths of the psyche or some sort of spiritual realm, it can still be meaningful to both the inner self and the universe we live in. If used in moderation and with respect, I believe these experiences can be a real eye opener into the nature of reality.



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 01:54 PM
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The fact is ethneogens have been used by tribes in the americas for thousands of years
The most amazing one in my opinion is salvia divinorum which to my knowledge only grew naturally in one part of the world, oaxaca Mexico, the mazatecs used it in spiritual ceremonys to gain knowledge from a higher conciousness!



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 02:11 PM
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Originally posted by InfinitePotential
I was once confident in my atheist beliefs as well, but words literally cannot describe the deepness of some entheogenic experiences. Whether they come from the depths of the psyche or some sort of spiritual realm, it can still be meaningful to both the inner self and the universe we live in. If used in moderation and with respect, I believe these experiences can be a real eye opener into the nature of reality.


We can ponder this till the cows come home. If practiced with moderation and respect in is impossible to deny these plants are blessed. Awakening is all about taking responsibility and gaining knowledge before it is too late.

So yes, safe. But I feel sally broke my third eye and mary broke my wallet. This was MY fault however. They owe me nothing yet lend me their understanding. Those who have truly seen the other side see these creatures as beings of great knowledge and benevolence.

Good posts OP and everyone. ATS please be mature in your treatment of this thread.



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 03:00 PM
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Spiritual experiences are frankly ten a penny. The question is what do you do with them? Do you become a stoner and therefore a complete waste of space or do you change your life and those of people around you? Now that is the question



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 04:29 PM
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Originally posted by strawberry91
I was an atheist back then, I use to redicule God so much!


you weren't an atheist...atheists do not "redicule god" in the same way they see no need to redicule smurfs, or unicorns.

You had a faith/belief to you already...if you felt passionately enough to redicule...so the typical course is once your done being the badass, you naturally flip back to the belief your comfortable with.

As far as drugs and spiritual experiences...drugs scramble your brain to where your senses do not understand what they are seeing...anything experienced under it is simply a false trick of the brain. Similar to that is smashing your head against the wall and seeing stars is not actually you going into space and seeing stars...its just a temporary neural distortion

Be safe in your quest..and do not settle for false comforts if your truely seeking truth..



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 04:39 PM
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reply to post by KatieVA
 


To experience?

People with this attitude have a very skewed understanding of spiritual growth.

It doesnt happen through injestion of foreign substances. In fact, one can become attached and dependant on such substances.

Also, since when is the epitome of spiritual experience, experiencing 'other worlds'? It is actually completely irrelevant in the wider picture. Whats important is proper thought, speech and action. These are the 'garments of the soul'. And thats why were in this world. Were not here to smoke salvia and 'trip' out... Experiencing different dimensions of "consciousness" and reveling in the 'experience of it'. Thats not growth. thats just a differet form of addiction. Has no affect on anybody, but yourself; and even than, hardly. . Sure, exploration of these worlds may be necessary for some individuals; but thats only for the sake of research and a greater understanding. But the average person? There needs to be some self control and wisdom in this area. The point of life is spiritual growth; extension of self outwards towards others. In this world. In this dimension. Thats how you influence and affect others beside yourself..and in fact, its this interaction with others in a proper and conscientious manner which initiates higher levels of spiritual maturity.

Judaism strictly prohibits using drugs. As do many other spiritual traditions. Theres a very good and logical reason for that. It more than often impairs, and obstructs growth, than facilitates it.



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 05:11 PM
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reply to post by SaturnFX
 


Maybe I worded that wrong, more like I would debate people about God. I loved how most people completely overlooked the facts when they tried to convince or redicule me! Then I realized we are more than just a bunch of chemical reactions and whatever. A hardass atheist? Where do you come from? Not sure about you but over here atheists are usually very nice, I've come across a few who were very unyielding yet I wouldn't define them as a hardass. Don't mix me up with the crowd that thinks they were cool because of it, that's kind of a high schooler thing I think.
You could be right! Just trying to get some opinions from open minded people, open minded being the key word



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 05:23 PM
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I was an atheist for 15 years. Tried mushrooms for the 3rd time and BAM, hello GOD. Before this i had a couple of out of body experiences while i was in High School. Little did i know my sister was big into the OBE's as well. I would say, historically speaking, entheogens exist for a reason and we are here to experience life without harming ourselves and each other. Marijuana used to get me really lazy, alcohol is just plain stupid and makes life a blur. I wish to see the day where stuff like '___', Mushrooms, Saliva and '___' are fully legalized and commercialized for families to enjoy together. Now that's an uncensored opinion =P

Side Note: Since finding GOD outside of a book, i suddenly upgraded to thinking globally rather than locally. It's weird how enlightenment works too. Every time i come back, i have just learned chapters worth of useful life knowledge without having to study. Its incredible. Changed my life forever, thats for sure. Now i just meditate and try to reach those points, even though i highly think Entheogens are instruments for meditation.

Dimension Traveling is beyond anything i would have ever imagined. I think life here on Earth would be so much better if things were looked in a more... natural way. To me, there is no difference between a Carrot, that can increase the vision, and a magic mushroom that can increase perception. Everything has its value, and taboo's are well... you know, taboo's.
I DO NOT ADVOCATE THE USE OF DRUGS!
edit on 15-12-2010 by drkid because: added more.



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 05:27 PM
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Originally posted by SaturnFX
As far as drugs and spiritual experiences...drugs scramble your brain to where your senses do not understand what they are seeing...anything experienced under it is simply a false trick of the brain. Similar to that is smashing your head against the wall and seeing stars is not actually you going into space and seeing stars...its just a temporary neural distortion


You don't actually see "stars" when you get a concussion, you just see flashes of bright light which are real as they are related to your eyes or visual senses being affected, just like when you press on your eyes.

I've heard all the claptrap about experiences on "drugs" not being "real," and it doesn't really make any sense. Of course what you experience is real. If it's not then you have to change the entire definition of what is "real" and what isn't because so far everything that people call "real" is based on what they actually experience. Changing the chemistry inside your body doesn't suddenly make everything "a false trick." It may be a trick, and a really cool chemical "trick" at that, but there's nothing "false" about it at all. Your brain already operates on "drugs" called neurotransmitters, and if you even just ingest more neurotransmitters (serotonin, melatonin, '___', etc.) you'll radically change your state of consciousness. And those are the "normal" chemicals that your brain operates on. You are already tripping on them in certain ratios. One thing people who never alter their state of consciousness with any substance fail to realize is that you are already "tripping" in every sense of the word, just with your normal brain state. It's just that since you never change it you never get an opportunity to compare with altered states of consciousness and you just assume that your normal state of consciousness is a given and the only way to experience what is "real" out there.

Another thing that gets me with the statement that "it's not real" is that ALL the chemicals that your brain uses to function are "real," and ALL of the reactions that they enable are equally "real." There is nothing "fake" about the way the chemicals latch onto receptors and stimulate thoughts. They just have different molecular shapes that literally cause your neurons to fire in directions that they normally don't fire, and there's nothing wrong with that. When your neurons grow they reinforce certain synapses and let others diminish, depending on what you habitually think and what you habitually neglect thinking about. A lot of these chemicals will lodge into a receptor, and because of the shape of the molecule, electrons firing across synapses will be blocked from their usual routes and redirected down neural pathways that aren't usually taken. This is what causes "revelations" as people are forced to learn to interpret the information their senses are sending them in new ways. And no, your senses are not "fooled" into operating in some "fake" way either. It's all chemistry and biology.
edit on 15-12-2010 by bsbray11 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 05:38 PM
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reply to post by bsbray11
 


Great post, you broke that bit down perfect.



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 05:39 PM
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drkid has the idea. I think that's partly how our ancestors came to even giving afterliffe a thought. Anyways, it's all about your maturity and reason for taking such things. It's your life, just make sure you feel it's something you want to do and you're prepared and be safe, but really you don't NEED it to acheive such levels. You are really suppose to achieve it through meditation and prayer and other forms of trance. However, they are great medicine at times for illness starts at the soul and prjects itself physically.



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 05:42 PM
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reply to post by bsbray11
 


Let me add a little experience to your REAL statements. Back when XXX was legal in the state of Florida, I had tried it and it changed my world forever. A friend of mine which I'll call J wanted to get together with me to form a reality experiment. We both blah blah blah of XXX at the same time, which sucked our consciousness out of our bodies. We were both having an out of body experience and when we came back, we both discuss what we did outside of our bodies. Now, if its all inside of our heads... then we would have had completely different experiences or "trips."

There have been reports and testimonials of folks who have increased perceptions and the ability to communicate purely by thought. I believe its called Telekinesis. Now imagine, how much more advanced a human being could be if he was introduced to certain things at a young age. Of course, in a controlled environment. Side Note: I recently saw this interesting movie called The Spirit Molecule. Joe Rogen, the comedian/UFC commentator had a couple of introduction lines. I would suggest reading up on Terrence Mckenna and Aldous Huxley.

As i said before...
I DO NOT ADVOCATE THE USE OF DRUGS.
edit on 15-12-2010 by drkid because: (no reason given)



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