Category: Mind Power Techniques
Entheogen means "generate god within" (en - "within", theo - "god", gen - "generate"). Entheogen is used to describe any substance (usually plants that contain psychoactive chemicals) that alters one’s perception of reality and brings one in touch with the "divine" within. All over the world and throughout human history, entheogens have been used as sacraments or principal instruments of religious rituals and spiritual work.
During the weekend, I went on a short trip to Jerusalem (2000 years into the past) to interview a man whom everybody loves, you know, Jesus Christ. Thank God I made it in time because he was just about to have his last supper with the apostles. During the meal, they gave me a few slices of bread and allowed me to take several shots of some fine wine. I think I got a bit smashed from the booze, but I did manage to ask Jesus about entheogens. Here are some of the things we were able to discus during the interview...
Jesus Christ Talks About Entheogens
Last Supper (Jesus is my Homeboy) by DAVID LACHAPELLE (2003)
Ryhen: Dear Jesus, why are entheogens considered illegal in most places?
Jesus H. Christ: Entheogens have played a direct role in the spiritual practices of countless cultures, but they are largely banned by governments and mainstream religions alike because they can alter your collective understanding of the nature of reality and your personal relationship with the divine, i.e. our father, who art in heaven. Culture has a consciousness and purpose of its own, and we both know that people function in this world as to what culture dictates. You will not be able to understand this kind of consciousness and its underlying purpose unless you break free from culture first, and this, among other things, is what an entheogen allows you to experience. It wipes off your cultural programming so that you can start with a clean slate and redefine your life according to your own rules, your own beliefs, and your own principles. The society, of course, does not want that to happen because it will run out of slaves.
Ryhen: I’ve heard that entheogens are said to be God’s forbidden fruit in Genesis 2:17, is this true?
Jesus H. Christ: Yeah, dad said, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” It’s not actually a physical death, you know. He’s just referring to the death of the ego, which is usually what happens to you when you use entheogens. Btw, you can also experience ego death through yoga and meditation. The Buddha and I experimented with all three.
Ryhen: So your dad also made it illegal?
Jesus H. Christ: Hell no! My dad, I mean, our dad, only wants the best for us and would actually recommend it to everyone provided that they know their "stuff." Most of my early followers used these plants to gain insight and prophetic visions. Unfortunately, the knowledge about these fruits and their effects had to be hidden in symbolic language since many people just “know not what they do." You know what I'm sayin'?
Ryhen: Of course. Speaking of effects, can entheogens really produce “mystical” experiences?
Jesus H. Christ: If you would like to use that term, then yes. Other people like to use the term “psychedelic” to describe their experiences with entheogens. Mystical or psychedelic experiences are sometimes subjective and personal, which is why scientists are having trouble studying such phenomena.
Ryhen: Why do people need to perform rituals when using entheogenic plants?
Jesus H. Christ: Well, entheogens directly affect your subconscious mind, so they have to be taken cautiously. You don’t want to mess with your mind unless you are prepared to face your own demons. In modern times, entheogens and psychedelic drugs are taken within the right set and setting (to attune your mind to the right kind of experience) and are usually administered by a professional (usually a psychotherapist). If professional assistance is not possible, someone with a great deal of experience with the substances may do and they are called guides. In the old days, shamans take the role of guides; temples or caves serve as the setting for rituals. The mind of the person who took the substance was “set” through invocations, offerings, postures, mantras, and so on. Wait a minute, do you hear that? My stomach is growling. Are we going to eat or are we just going to talk the whole night?
Ryhen: OMG! Sorry, Jesus. I didn't mean to be so inquisitive. Ok, let's get this party started.
Examples of Commonly Known Entheogens
Cannabis or (Cannabis sativa)
Also known as marijuana, marihuana, and ganja, among many other names. Cannabis is indigenous to Central and South Asia and is known to have been used by the ancient Hindus and Nihang Sikhs of India and Nepal thousands of years ago. The major psychoactive chemical compounds in cannabis are cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol.
Salvia or (Salvia divinorum)
Also known as Diviner's Sage, María Pastora, and Seer's sage. Salvia divinorum has a long and continuous tradition of religious use by Mazatec shamans, who use it to facilitate visionary states of consciousness during spiritual healing sessions. The known active psychotropic molecule of Salvia divinorum is known as salvinorin A.
Ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi)
Ayahuasca>, also known as Caapi or Yage, is a South American jungle vine of the family Malpighiaceae. It is usually mixed with the leaves of the Psychotria viridis plant and is used largely as a religious sacrament by indigenous tribes like the Urarina of Peruvian Amazonia. It contains harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine. These chemicals allow the primary psychoactive compound, DMT (from the Psychotria viridis plant), to be orally active.
Kanna or (Sceletium tortuosum)
Kanna means 'something to chew'. The plant has been used by South African pastoralists and hunter-gatherers as a mood-altering substance from prehistoric times. The chemicals contained in sceletium tortuosum believed to possess psychoactivity include: mesembrine, mesembrenone, mesembrenol and tortuosamine.
Peyote Cactus or (Lophophora williamsii)
Peyote is a small, spineless cactus. It is native to southwestern Texas and through central Mexico. It is used world wide as a supplement to various transcendence practices, including meditation, psychonautics, and psychedelic psychotherapy and has a long history of ritualistic and medicinal use by indigenous Americans. Peyote contains a large spectrum of phenethylamine alkaloids, of which the principal one is mescaline.
Magic Mushrooms or (Psilocybe)
The "magic mushroom" is a genus of small mushrooms that grows worldwide. Hallucinogenic species of Psilocybe have a long history of use among the native peoples of Mesoamerica for religious communion, divination, and healing, from pre-Columbian times up to the present day. Psilocin and psilocybin are the hallucinogenic compounds responsible for the psychoactive effects of many species in the genus.
Fly Agaric or (Amanita muscaria)
Fly agaric is a poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita which can be found throughout the temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It was used as an intoxicant and entheogen by people in Siberia and has a religious significance in various cultures of that region. Its main psychoactive constituent is the compound muscimol.
Blue Lotus or (Nymphaea caerulea)
Also known as the Blue Egyptian water lily or "sacred blue lily." The original habitat of the blue lotus may have been along the Nile and other locations in East Africa, but it can also be found in the Indian subcontinent and Thailand. Nymphaea caerulea is purported to have a "divine" essence, bringing heightened awareness and tranquility. The known active psychotropic molecules for the blue lotus are the alkaloids nuciferine and aporphine.
Iboga or (Tabernanthe iboga)
Iboga is a perennial rainforest shrub and hallucinogen, and is the central pillar of the Bwiti religion practiced in West-Central Africa, mainly Gabon, Cameroon and the Republic of the Congo, which utilizes the alkaloid-containing roots of the plant in a number of ceremonies. Its main psychoactive constituent is the alkaloid, Ibogaine.
Syrian Rue or (Peganum harmala)
Also known as harmal, Syrian rue has been used as an entheogen in the Middle East, and in modern Western culture, it is often used as an analogue of Banisteriopsis caapi to create an ad hoc Ayahuasca. The main active ingredient in peganum harmala is a fluorescent psychoactive indole alkaloid called harmaline.
Coffee, Tobacco, and Liquor
The top three most popular entheogens in the world. The chemicals found in these substances, accordingly, are: caffeine, nicotine, and ethanol. These are officially permitted by the omniscient and omnipotent (all-knowing and all-powerful) governments and widely distributed by the omnipresent (present everywhere) corporations of the world. Use of coffee is encouraged in most workplaces while alcoholic beverages and cigarettes are found almost anywhere, although all three can be physically addictive. Ritualistic settings that involve the use of these substances are found almost everywhere too. Since God has "forbidden" his people to ingest or consume most, if not all, of the entheogenic plants mentioned earlier, you obviously have no other choice but to put up with these ones because they are legal. Besides, what’s wrong with staying awake for overtime work, thanking God every Friday for providing you a few drinks, and getting lung cancer at the age of 40?