some very interesting comments.
anyone interested in reading the 8 page r crumb remake of phillip k dick's religious experience?
he was a "gnostic", so some you "christians" may not want to read it. (har har wink wink)
i find the term "religious experience" a bit misleading however. i would typically associate a religious experience with, well, um, a religion. and frankly i don't really have any reason to believe that religion has anything to do with direct estatic revelation. if anything, it provides a framework for the mind to work within. something for the bruised ego to justify itself with.
for me? saved?
ahem..... i wouldn't want my ego to get ahead of itself and think that it was associated with anything other than nature.
saved by nature? divine by nature? sure. we all come from the same place and go back there. it's called the cosmos. no special pleas or blessings on my behalf required. no special places and levels. i come from earth, plain and simple.
well, so many people associate "spiritual" with "supernatural". but i, for two, remain unconvinced of such arrangements.
for me, "spiritual" is another word for psychogenesis. the evolution of our consciousness. expansion of our minds. increasing awareness. tempered with whatever "reason" we can muster. which leads me to another thought about spirituality: i am not sure that people are growing objectively in relation to the universe, and their own psychogenesis, if they also deny what we know of our natural history.
this is not to say that i think it's impossible to shed the meat, lose the ape so-to-speak. but if we are going to move on, we have to understand where we are coming from as well. simple right? not for many people who claim objective experience. as in, religious expeirence. revelation, whatever.
i have had experiences, yes. they are beyond words of course, because they belong in a sphere of consciousness that is outside of language. some people i try to discuss these things with are incredulous regarding them, not because i try to justify their objective reality (no), but simply because i remain convinced of their subjectivity. and somehow this lessens the experiences in the eyes of people who feel that they have had somehow *superior* spiritual experiences because they are convinced of their objective reality. and because i implicate my NN-DMT producing pineal gland, instead of some divine christoid, they say that our experiences are simply different because they say so! ha! if only it were that simple, i generally reply. and in all honesty, i still await an explanation of the mechanism used by the "supernatural" in which it interacts with our physical brains. one small detail that many people seem to overlook, but i intend not to let slip by the way side. it is not a denial of the possibility of it taking place, but rather a healthy skepticism regarding outside influence when we have lots of reason to believe that it is, sorry to say, subjective. read: all in our heads.
why is this such a defeat?? i have no idea, except for the religious motives of those involved.
many of these same people somehow look down upon spiritual experiences that have been induced by psychedelic tryptamines because they are able to produce the same results without any "drugs" (generally accompanied with a frown of disapproval). what is completely missing from this equation is their understanding of their own pineal glands.
i have actually experiemented on myself (gasp! no tetra!), and have come to the same conclusion as may psychonauts: that so-called religious experience is something that can be manufactured with psychedelic drugs, and the aid of ones DMT producing pineal gland. if you want to have a christian type experience, then you must surround yourself with christian material, and symbology, and lo' and behold, the experience arises. same with any spiritual practice, im(most)ho.
have any of you ever heard of thunderbirds, of native spiritual practice?
(mythology) the spirit of thunder and lightning believed by some Native Americans to take the shape of a great birdwell, this last summer i was hanging out with these natives, and native spiritualists, shamans etc. and indeed, one stormy evening by myself, in the second after a lighting strike, before the thunder, i saw a thunderbird. it took up the entire sky, and blended with the clouds. the so-called spirit of the thunder. i was so awed by the experience, it took me months to really speak about it.
there are two ways, generally, to approach these experiences. one is the age old way: that these symbols, or experiences, are generated from outside of our psyches. from some divine place.
the second, and newer explanation is something Jung coined as the Collective Unconscious. in other words, because of our shared heritage of common ancestory, our brains being so similar, experience very similar phenomena. "religious experience", and the accompanying symbology is systemic to where we are coming from as humans. our dark roots. our dark double helix roots.
if a christian thinks that their religious experience is somehow qualitatively superior to that of a native american mystical experience, then i would note that they are simply behaving within the arrogant abrahamic sentiment/framework for denying all other mystical experience apart from their own as demonic. a sad, but often true note to make.
without belabouring my point, i will share another experience that i have put words to.
when i was out in the forest doing a lot of lsd, i would look up into the stars and i would see the silhouettes of all the animals and organisms in the branch that i am subscribed to with my own genome (you know: mammals, reptiles, tetrapods, fish ;) flash in chronological succesion between the stars. they appear with a certain type of stylization that i could not put my finger on for the longest time, until i happened across some Hopi art of their mythological entities. and here i came to understand firsthand how Jung's collective unconscious worked. the only other explanation would be to assume that me and near ancient hopi shamans were accessing the same symbol sets from outside of ourselves, and frankly i have no reason to believe that this is the case.
this told me something: that somehow with psychedelic drugs, i was "viewing" my dna. hard to explain, but it's the experience itself.
then i started having dreams, without the aid of lsd, or mushrooms (though, if you took a spinal tap close to the occurance, you would indeed find large amounts of DMT produced by my pineal gland. see how it all comes around?). these dreams are sort of half waking half sleeping gnostico genetic creepiness. they involve the unyeilding sensation that there is a battle going on for control of my mind by alien/archon type entities that have no relation to me genetically. they seem reptillian, if i were to characterize them. and they flash law enforcement badges a lot. badges of all sorts, with paper documents, trying to exert control and domination over me. and sometimes it feels like i should just give in to them, and let them take over part of my mind because they have found a real weak spot: my ego. but i fight them anyways, siding with the gnarly animal and plant world, of which i am a member as i can (again) see all the 2 dimentional shapes of my extant and extinct relatives cleaving to this tree of life on this planet. the roots are dark, as are all of the organisms. and it's like a battle between the animals and these archon/alien types with badges that want to weild control over me and my brethren for nefarious purposes. and actually, these dreams are the reason i am up this morning at 3 am typing all this. they are rather frightening, actually.
but you see, it's all in how i word it.
if i were convinced that they are objectively outside of myself, then i would explain them in such a way that they would appear "divine" in some way.
i just happen to still be waiting for reason to believe that these experiences are objective and not subjective. i find it humorous that so many people jump the gun on the objective thing, and in turn explain my mystical experiences away because they are materialistic and psychedelic, and somehow beneath theirs. why? simply because i describe the roots differently! but because i describe that the cause is different, does not mean to say that we are having qualitatively different experiences. how this concept is lost on some of my fellow humans is actually not that mysterious to me.
i have had the experiences of peace. they last on, and grow like plants. and they come from inside. not outside.
divine by nature, thank you very much, taking a bow for homosapiens,