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Gonzo Hermeneutics: Michael Harner, George Ripley and Don Juan Matos

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posted on May, 19 2012 @ 09:07 PM
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Hello ATS,

I am of the strong belief that the narratives that we use, all across the world, to explain ourselves, the world and our existence, contain within them the truths about those very subjects. In other words, our folklore and legends, our novels and poems, all have within them, in a sort of code that we cannot help creating, the answers that we are looking for; despite the fact that we seem to lose the ability to break the code as soon as we make it. I want to say right away that this may be the source of our eternal frustration: that we will only ever be able to get close to the knowledge of these things through story-telling, but we try nonetheless, don’t we?

I also believe, along with others, that it is the poets and the artists of all types within our society that have the most fine-tuned antennae, and that seems to me to be why we can look to art of all sorts, but especially narrative, retro-actively and in hindsight, to see that many works have prescient meaning.

I also believe, along with others, that it is the poets and the artists of all types within our society that have the most fine-tuned antennae, and that seems to me to be why we can look to art of all sorts, but especially narrative in hindsight and see that many works had prescient meaning.

Narrative comes from many places, the novelist plots a way to get the story he wishes to tell out of himself and in front of others, the bardic traditions wish to preserve cultural knowledge and narrative-heritage, and tell the news, the poet has visions from the most gutter-mundane to the most blissfully divine and works to capture them with his skill.

There have been many excellent threads that have tried to address this subject of where we have come from by creating, or offering from elsewhere, some pretty over-the-top narratives that members have tested out. One that comes to mind is blocula’s recent thread positing that we may have come here from Mars riding on what we now call the Moon. Poor blocula was mercilessly attacked at first, because his story seemed so nutty, and also because members seemed to think he was a little all-over-the-place when it came to his theories.
Little did folks know that some pretty decent minds in the story-telling/narrative-seeking business had been swimming in the same pool as blocula nearly one hundred years in the past. That would be turn of the century alchemist Fulcanelli; not Hoagland.

And so now, here I am, wanting to bring you another metaphysical mash-up; a supposition on my part, based on the narrative of others. In this case that of archeaologist, anthropologist and founder of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, Michael Harner and Sir George Ripley, alchemist, (1415-1490), author of The Ripley Scrolls.

In 1961 anthropologist Michael Harner had gone to the Peruvian Amazon to study the shamanistic practices of the Cohibo Indians. He tells that after having been there for nearly a year, that he had made friends and settled in just fine, but he was having a hell of a time getting the Cohibo to open up about their “religion”. He was told by the shamans that he was trying to get close to that if he really wanted to understand that he would have to ingest Ayahuasca, the brew made from several indigenous plants that the Cohibo shamans used in their religious ceremonies. Harner agreed.



He was scared, Harner noticed that the village dogs were being muzzled and was told that it was so because the sound of a barking dog could drive a man on Ayuhiasca mad. As the sun disappeared and darkness fell, Harner took and drank the potion that the Cohibo referred to as “the little death”

I want to stay to Harner’s vision and not create quotes that are too large. Please use the link to Google books to get the whole story. Mods, please excuse the extensive quotes as they are necessary for this thread’s rationale.
First Michael Harner experiences a great deal of water and ocean imagery in his vision. Then…



“Then, from my position near the surface of the water, I began to see two strange boats wafting back and forth, floating through the air towards me, coming closer and closer. They slowly combined to form a single vessel with a huge dragon-headed prow, not unlike that of a Viking ship.

Set amidships was a square sail. Gradually, as the boat gently floated back and forth above me, I heard a rhythmic swishing sound and saw that it was a giant galley with several hundred oars moving back and forth in cadence with the sound. I became conscious, too, of the most beautiful singing I have ever heard in my life, high-pitched and ethereal, emanating from myriad voices on board the galley.



Michael was terrified at first of these visions. I can only think that for Harner, his feelings of terror and impending death must have come from not having a cultural framework within which to place the experience he was having.



Now I was virtually certain I was about to die.

As I tried to accept my fate, an even lower portion of my brain began to transmit more visions and information. I was "told" that this new material was being presented to me because I was dying and therefore "safe" to receive these revelations. These were the secrets reserved for the dying and the dead, I was informed.

I could only very dimly perceive the givers of these thoughts: giant reptilian creatures reposing sluggishly at the lowermost depths of the back of my brain, where it met the top of the spinal column. I could only vaguely see them in what seemed to be gloomy, dark depths. Then they projected a visual scene in front of me.


Here is the part that I find to be most intriguing. Please absorb these details as we will compare them very shortly to an interesting out take from Sir George Ripley’s alchemical scroll.



First they showed me the planet Earth as it was eons ago, before there was any life on it. I saw an ocean, barren land, and a bright blue sky. Then black specks dropped from the sky by the hundreds and landed in front of me on the barren landscape. I could see that the "specks" were actually large, shiny, black creatures with stubby pterodactyl-like wings and huge whale-like bodies. Their heads were not visible to me. They flopped down, utterly exhausted from their trip, resting for eons.

They explained to me in a kind of thought language that they were fleeing from something out in space. They had come to the planet Earth to escape their enemy. The creatures then showed me how they had created life on the planet in order to hide within the multitudinous forms and thus disguise their presence.
Before me, the magnificence of plant and animal creation and speciation—hundreds of millions of years of activity—took place on a scale and with a vividness impossible to describe. I learned that the dragon-like creatures were thus inside of all forms of life, including man. They were the true masters of humanity and the entire planet, they told me. We humans were but the receptacles and servants of these creatures. For this reason they could speak to me from within myself.

books.google.com...

edit on 19-5-2012 by Xoanon because: .




posted on May, 19 2012 @ 09:26 PM
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OK. First let’s us marvel that this is not a science fiction novel. This was written by a professional scientist that was taking a shamanic elixir against his better judgment, in 1961. If this could possibly be made up and even if it is simply a ‘dream’, what kind of frame of reference would Harner have to draw from to create that story?

Wow!

So we better move on to alchemist George Ripley, so we can then decide if these two narratives provide us with anything new to work with in terms of building our own story, Because that is what it is all about*.

Not much is known about George Ripley. It is believed that he was a Christian Canon, or priest, in Yorkshire England at the latter half of the fifteenth century. It is told that his proclivities annoyed the other priests and they chased him away but he found favor with the Pope due to his studies in Alchemy. Interestingly, he was a very wealthy man, which gave credence to the rumours that he had succeeded in transmuting base metals to gold and other precious metals. It was recorded by others of the time, such as Thomas Fuller, that Ripley was known to have given 100,000 pounds sterling per year to the Knights of the Island of Malta to support them in their wars against the Turks. He left behind a body of alchemical writings and drawings that confound scholars to this day.

And here is the bit we are interested in…

Of The Ripley Scrolls there are 23 known to be in existence, in two versions. The version of the poem that I wish to use is from Adam McLean’s ‘unified’ version at his famous Alchemy Website. I will not be able to post it all here, so I will take excerpts to analyze and then we can take more as we go if we wish. It is the image that I find so striking and that caused me to refer to Michael Harner’s experience…






The Sun and the Moon with their might
Have chastised me that was so light
My wings that me brought
Hither and thither where I thought
Now with their might they down me pull,
And bring me where they will
The Blood of mine heart I wish
Now causeth both joy and blisse
And dissolveth the very Stone
And knitteth him ere he have done
Now maketh hard that was lix
And causeth him to be fix

www.levity.com...


As soon as I revisited this image I was for some god-foresaken reason immediately reminded of the Harner story and I knew I needed to bring this craziness to ATS.

Of course, the coursing spermatozoa-like blood from the dragon's heart brings to mind, for me at least, the biological process that is sort of hinted at in Harner's vision. I think at the moment that the three largest spermato-blood thingies must represent the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms, and probably even more trinity symbolism can be applied here.

I am also very intrigued by the verse and the idea that man may have been incorporeal before the Dragon came along and 'fixed what was lix' as the verse says. Fixed what was liquid; like fluid poured in to a container.


A Leetle On Alchemy. More Later.



Like many of you that have read a pile of Alchemy books as well as a pile of books on alchemy, I realized a long time ago that there is a lot more going on there than transmuting metals. And like many of you that are interested in alchemy I went through a phase of trying to decide if the Magnum Opus were purely a ‘spiritual exercise’ or purely ‘lab work’. Still working on that one; but along the way I began to think and feel as though Alchemy might contain within it possible clues to our origins and maybe how we got to be the way we are; the secrets to our lost history.

Take for example one of the appendices that accompany Fulcanelli’s book, Mysteries of The Catherdrals. This is where ATS member blocula and Fulcanelli crossed paths. In a nutshell, the narrative surmises that the symbols on the cross at Hendaye describe how humanity came here from elsewhere. Or how about John Dee, Elizabethan court astrologer and alchemist, working with Edward Kelly, alchemist? Those guys found a bunch of angels looking for a way to bring the End to creation.

Solve et Coagula. To dissolve and then to return to a state of wholeness. That is the goal of alchemy: to take something that is mundane and in a relative state of chaos and then to dissolve it in to its constituent parts and then return it to a state of order. But not just any order, a higher state of order; with superior retention of information about what the thing is in its essence; its hypostasis.

What I mean to say is, the point is not to make gold, the point is transmutation, things like gold are transmuted as a byproduct of the Magnum Opus, not as its goal. And so it is that I believe that hidden gems of knowledge concerning our past are revealed as a by-product of alchemy just like gold

More on this later. Now on to Castaneda and Don Juan Matos.
edit on 19-5-2012 by Xoanon because: .



posted on May, 19 2012 @ 09:56 PM
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It wouldn't be the first time, right?

I mean it is surmised that our Mighty Mitochondria are symbiotic creatures that joined forces with us sometime in our long lost biological past. Is there something that is symbolized by a dragon, that lives in symbiosis with us now, possibly in control of us and the world. Does it have anything to do with what we call "The Reptile Brain" (The Limbic portion) ? I don't tend to lean towards the control thing as much as you might think. We can discuss that. But Don Juan Matos sure did.

Don Juan Matos is supposed to be the shaman that Carlos Castaneda met in Arizona and Castaneda's relationship with him is the subject of his books. I only include this as it perfectly fits the bill of narrative offering speculations on our origins that we may never have considered, and in this case I think that it ties in very strangely with the visions of Michael Harner and the alchemical art of George Ripley.

Here is what Don Juan has to say...

More long quotes, mods I am sorry, but they are a stimulating read and necessary to the content of the thread. I will keep it down as best I can. I am very sorry to send you to a website called 'ascended masters', but it will take you to the whole body of the text right away with no hassle so I figured what the heck...




"We have a predator that came from the depths of the cosmos and took over the rule of our lives. Human beings are its prisoners. The Predator is our lord and master. It has rendered us docile, helpless. If we want to protest, it suppresses our protest. If we want to act independently, it demands that we don't do so..."

"Think for a moment, and tell me how you would explain the contradictions between the intelligence of man the engineer and the stupidity of his systems of beliefs, or the stupidity of his contradictory behaviour. Sorcerers believe that the predators have given us our systems of belief, our ideas of good and evil, our social mores. They are the ones who set up our hopes and expectations and dreams of success or failure. They have given us covetousness, greed, and cowardice. It is the predators who make us complacent, routinary, and egomaniacal."

In order to keep us obedient and meek and weak, the predators engaged themselves in a stupendous manoeuvre stupendous, of course, from the point of view of a fighting strategist. A horrendous manoeuvre from the point of view of those who suffer it. They gave us their mind! Do you hear me? The predators give us their mind, which becomes our mind. The predators' mind is baroque, contradictory, morose, filled with the fear of being discovered any minute now."

www.ascendedmasters.org...:carlos-castaneda-on-the-reptilian-brain&catid=421:the-reptilian-brain< br />


So that is what I have for us so far ATS. Crazy thinking, I know, but could be lots of fun..

What do you think ATS?

X.



posted on May, 19 2012 @ 11:01 PM
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I have always felt that Carlos Castaneda does a good job in describing the Reptilian brain. Something about the Don Juan books, be them fiction or not, has always struck a chord with me. The Toltecs were very mysterious and very elaborate in their practices but they seem to know many deep secrets to the Universe. Deeper than most philosophical and spiritual works. They truly are Dream Artists.



posted on May, 19 2012 @ 11:30 PM
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If you want to learn about this stuff, then IMHO you should get some psychedelics and do it yourself. I've had acid three times myself, now, and mushrooms probably half a dozen times as well. It's a valuable experience, and one which is available to anyone, if you look around a bit.

Understand also, that if you are a white individual, you are always going to get crapped on and called a poser or a fraud, if you try and self-identify as a shaman. I would never do that, personally; I refer to myself simply as someone with an interest in herbalism, and who occasionally takes drugs.

Hermetic or Western/European magick in that regard is actually no different. There are large numbers of middle aged+ Pagans around, who think that they're beyond awesome, and who will immediately assume that you are a tourist, purely for the sake of maintaining their own ego. I've come across virtually no non-indigenous shamanic material, which didn't seem primarily masturbatory for the sake of the author's ego; and the degree of savagery with which indigenous groups themselves can respond to you, also doesn't make it worth the waste of your time.

There are some hermetic books around which are better, (Konstantinos and Bardon are two authors who come to mind) but I'm going to come out and be completely politically incorrect here, and suggest avoiding virtually anything by female authors, specifically. Most of the stuff you'll find written about magick by women, tends to spend far too much of its' time engaging in self-congratulatory feminism (not to mention deceptive over-exaggeration of the medieval Inquisition) to be remotely useful, for practical purposes.

Get some books, get some drugs, and keep your mouth shut. You've probably heard the phrase...

"To Know, to Will, to Dare, and to Keep Silent."
edit on 19-5-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2012 @ 11:38 PM
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reply to post by ErroneousDylan
 


You know, I agree with you Dylan, I have always really liked all of the books by Castaneda as well, they were very close companions at one point in my life. So much about Castaneda and his merry band of followers came out after his death that I suppose I am still recovering from the hangover. It seems the question in this case is whether or not Castaneda was aware of Harner's experience and he used that to fuel his Don Juan narrative which was written in the late 1970s. Harner's book, which contains the story, was published in 1990, but he had the experience in 1961. I suppose we will never really know. But either way I know that the story is presently a big part of the culture, on the internet and elsewhere, that pursue these types of subjects.

X.



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 12:13 AM
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reply to post by Xoanon
 


the last post, reminded me of the garden of eden story with mankind being lured by the snake into pursuing temptation ( knowledge of good and evil)..... if you observe how a wild animal behaves in nature, a snake ( i guess you can say most animals or reptiles) is a vicious predator whose goal is to stalk and devour prey.... maybe this peculiar nature sparked questions in the mind of man, mankind's necessitation of competing with animals forced man to be just as vicious as the animals, man being an animal himself,, perhaps this vicious and simple nature, like that of the snake, caused man to begin to steer away from his animal roots, in escape of the lowly realm of the animal,, i think this is an awesome thread and you put it together very well, also all the passages are most interesting...



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 12:31 AM
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reply to post by Xoanon
 


Honestly, I have not heard of Harner until you mentioned him in this thread so I unfortunately can not add anything of value. However, there does seem to be a common theme experiments and rituals amongst various shamans and indians. They aren't always the same but they have either the same goals or same underlying principles. It could just be that the two experiences are closely related.

Although... I have seen a lot of websites that go at very intense measures to debunk and discredit Carlos Castaneda, whether those sites are out of hate or exposure of truth, I can not say. If Carlos really never had such experiences then it is possible he could have stolen it from the experience Harner had. From what I am told, a lot of the stuff mentioned in the Castaneda books do not resemble much of the Yaqui indian ways. Again, I have no say in the matter.

However, the books have inspired me and I have also seen many things mentioned manifest in my reality. Although not instantly, the books seemed to have plant the seeds and then years later they flourished. Regardless, if it's any system trust, it is a system from the Ancient Asians and the Ancient Indians. They have had a lot of time to figure out what works and what does not, and they are usually right.

If they say there exists a Reptilian brain. I have no reason to doubt it.
edit on 20-5-2012 by ErroneousDylan because: This text is green.



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 02:45 AM
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reply to post by Xoanon
 


S & F Xoanon, nice work

I enjoyed those quotes. You also reminded me how reading the Castaneda books really guided me at the start of my spirtual quest. I had only used drugs recreationally up until that point. Using entheogens opened me up to a whole new world of possibilites. I also loved the imagery of the stories, it was like you were there witnessing his rights of passage.

As for this subject matter, I think you will find that this is David Ickes main premise in his overall theory on the nature of human reality. The main source of info for his thoery comes from an African shaman who described it to him almost in the same terms of Harner's experience. It sure is interesting, but I have a hard time resonating with it. I get the feeling of disempowerment when I hear or read this stuff. I would like to think that I am a free agent, that my spirit can not be contained or manipulated. I suppose that physical death will reveal all.

Peace Out



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 01:02 PM
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reply to post by petrus4
 





Get some books, get some drugs, and keep your mouth shut. You've probably heard the phrase... "To Know, to Will, to Dare, and to Keep Silent."


Well petrus4,

That is the single craziest interpretation of The Riddle of The Sphinx that I have ever heard in my life. Are you channeling Hunter S. Thompson?



X.



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 02:36 PM
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reply to post by Xoanon
 


Thank you xoanon for a gentle prod back in the right direction, i lived by the teachings of Don Juan and Carlos Casteneda for a very long time, i treated the book as a guide, i have discovered what i am personally capable of so far from within the book as being true, i hope to experience much more of it.
I have seen many people say "It is allegorical", i know it isn't, it is factual, i have achieved some personal victories.
It is breathtaking when you finally "SEE" for the first time, i was looking at a field of Ragwort weed, but, to see the inherent bright green lifeforce energy of these many thousands of plants that were there, without the aid of any kind of chemical help, was one of my most amazing experiences and so unforgetable, in my life.



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 07:27 PM
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reply to post by The X
 





It is breathtaking when you finally "SEE" for the first time, i was looking at a field of Ragwort weed, but, to see the inherent bright green lifeforce energy of these many thousands of plants that were there, without the aid of any kind of chemical help, was one of my most amazing experiences and so unforgetable, in my life.


Thanks for your post. I agree, I love plants very much and I find them to be very beautiful on many levels as well.

Thinking about Castaneda today, I was left feeling and thinking that his work will probably become more important than it has ever been as time goes on, and the books will just become more and more beloved; there is really nothing else like them.

Thanks for coming by.




posted on May, 20 2012 @ 07:51 PM
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reply to post by nimbinned
 





I get the feeling of disempowerment when I hear or read this stuff. I would like to think that I am a free agent, that my spirit can not be contained or manipulated.


Thanks for posting nimbinned. You know I just posted a thread with a video that has a lecture on the hemispheres of the brain by British psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist and your post reminded me of it a bit.

McGilchrist talks about how the introduction of the frontal cortex has allowed us to outwit others and behave in Machiavellian fashion. But the same frontal cortex and its actions, or maybe I should say addition of actions allows also for us to experience and express empathy. Choices, choices, it always seems we are presented with choices...

www.abovetopsecret.com...



I suppose that physical death will reveal all.


I sure hope so.



X.
edit on 20-5-2012 by Xoanon because: .



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 10:23 PM
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Originally posted by Xoanon
reply to post by petrus4
 





Get some books, get some drugs, and keep your mouth shut. You've probably heard the phrase... "To Know, to Will, to Dare, and to Keep Silent."


Well petrus4,

That is the single craziest interpretation of The Riddle of The Sphinx that I have ever heard in my life. Are you channeling Hunter S. Thompson?


Let me put it this way. Do you think that there have perhaps been certain times throughout history, including even recent history, where mention of certain extracurricular activities could get you into serious trouble?



posted on Jun, 3 2012 @ 01:05 AM
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reply to post by Xoanon
 

I want to say right away that this may be the source of our eternal frustration: that we will only ever be able to get close to the knowledge of these things through story-telling, but we try nonetheless, don’t we?


It does seem to be the embedded narrative throughout all the great works of human expression. There is something to these darn dragons. Don't know if they were actual serpents, but there again the slithering frustration sets in.

Speaking of Fulcanelli, lets do a little Language of the Birds; Vulcan El LI~ "Twin Flame of God or Twin Holy Fire". Li being Latin for 'the pair'. Here's another one too Nicholas Flamel ~ Nicholas = Greek "Conqueror of the Stone" "Conqueror of the Holy Fire Stone"

Anyway's back to our 'makers', from the introduction of Le Mystère des Cathédrales by Walter Lang pgs. 23 and 24:


Whether the 'artist' who accomplished this great work was a single Intelligence or a consortium of Intelligences seems immaterial: but the myths and classical traditions of demigods is in the highest degree suggestive.

If it is an acceptable proposition that man was the result of a carefully contrived alchemical operation by Higher Powers is it not at least possible that he was given, in addition to consciousness, an insight into the transformation technique that produced him? On this assumption, modern man might have, in his own subconscious, fragmentary data which exceptional individuals could recover and assemble into a technology of alchemy. Inevitably such men would be aware of other men who had made the same immense leap and such groups would combine to create schools of alchemy.

There are other theories. One of the most arcane of human traditions suggests that the humanity of our Adam was not the eardi's first human race. Some very advanced alchemists have hinted at a range of previous humanities in excess of thirty. If this is the true but wholly unsuspected history of our planet, much knowledge may have been selectively accumulated in a span of existence which imagination is inadequate even to visualize.

At each successive apocalypse, an ark would go out, encapsuling not only the germ plasm necessary to found the next humanity but with it also, some vehicle, some psychological micro-dot, containing the totality of accumulated knowledge.

On this assumption the technique of alchemy would have reached us as a transmission from ancestors whose existence we do not even suspect.


www.bibliotecapleyades.net/...pdf/fulcanelli_mysterecathedrales.pdf

And check this out EEEKS!!

Welcome to our new lizard overlords: Study suggests alien worlds could be full of super-intelligent dinosaurs

And for some unintelligent reason when I read:


large, shiny, black creatures with stubby pterodactyl-like wings and huge whale-like bodies. Their heads were not visible to me. They flopped down, utterly exhausted from their trip, resting for eons.


And their magnificence of plant and animal creation and speciation,

This came to mind.. A Sperm Whale too....



God was an Alchemist!
edit on 3-6-2012 by timewalker because: (no reason given)

edit on 3-6-2012 by timewalker because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 15 2012 @ 09:30 PM
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Really interesting thread. OP, do you have an opinion as to why in the picture of the dragon his wings are not attached to him, but to the blood obsorbing orb?



posted on Jun, 15 2012 @ 09:59 PM
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Originally posted by Xoanon

And like many of you that are interested in alchemy I went through a phase of trying to decide if the Magnum Opus were purely a ‘spiritual exercise’ or purely ‘lab work’.

[


Could Magnum Opus be both? a spiritual exercise and lab work? spirituality and science as one?




posted on Jun, 16 2012 @ 08:32 PM
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I know I should do my own research on the topic, but did Harner ever describe whether his vision of the lizard beasts was in line or similar to the visions of the shaman who provided it to him? That would really be something if so.



posted on Jun, 17 2012 @ 01:01 PM
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reply to post by yoyoma15
 





but did Harner ever describe whether his vision of the lizard beasts was in line or similar to the visions of the shaman who provided it to him?


Great question, yy15, I did not think to think that one. I am going to go and check it out. On the other hand, it looks like I barked up the same tree as D. Icke (Go, me!) so it seems he would have been all over that. I will get back with what I find for us.



X.



posted on Jun, 17 2012 @ 02:01 PM
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reply to post by TRGreer
 





Could Magnum Opus be both? a spiritual exercise and lab work? spirituality and science as one?


Yes, TRGreer.

That is where I am presently at with it. I have found it to be true in my own personal experience with spagyrics that I have experienced just as 'profound' states of concentration while making sure a tincture does not run amok as I have doing either of the meditation-techniques-of-choice in my personal arsenal.

I feel like you should get a stuffed animal or something...





X



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