Wednesday, May 2, 2018

May Earth, sovereign over the past and the future, make for us a wide world… Earth that was the water on the Ocean and whose course the thinkers follow by the magic of their knowledge, she who has her heart of immortality covered up by the Truth in the supreme ether, may she establish for us light and power in that most high kingdom.
Atharva Veda (XII. 1. 1, 7)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Entheogenic Tryptamines From the Laboratory

“Mystical experiences of nature and experiences with entheogenic drugs have decisively determined his worldview and path in life. He acknowledges how these drugs opened his eyes to the wonder of that deeper, all-encompassing reality, into which we are all born as a part of the creation. This is the reality which all of the great mystics and founders of religions described; it is in truth the kingdom of heaven destined for humankind. There is, however, a fundamental distinction; whether one knows of this reality only from the reports of others, or whether one has experienced it personally in beatific moments; spontaneously or with the aid of entheogenic drugs. He characterizes the entheogens as one of the tools which can help us to overcome the materialistic worldview, to which we can ultimately attribute all of the great problems of our day—environmental contamination, spiritual, political and social abuses, wars. These medicines, which have been bestowed upon humankind by Nature—the most important of the entheogens are of botanical derivation—should not be withheld from contemporary society. Thus his passionate stance against drug prohibition.
Encoded in the genes of entheogenic plants are instructions for the biosynthesis of molecules which open up to us the wonder and mystery inherent in the universe and in ourselves, ancient wisdom so readily outshone by the brilliant beacons of our modern knowledge; nevertheless residing in every human heart and soul, awaiting a chemical or other key for its unfurling.
In response to the discovery of the entheogenic properties of DMT, bufotenine and 5-MeO-DMT as active principles of South American snuffs, a number of artificial derivatives of these tryptamines were made and tested. The best known and most widely tested of the artificial tryptamines are T-9 or N,N-diethyltryptamine (DET) and N,N-dipropyltryptamine (DPT). DET was first tested in Hungary and found to be active following intramuscular injection of the hydrochloride salt in the same dose range as DMT, around 1 mg/kg (Böszörményi et al. 1959; Szára 1957). In contrast to DMT, however, the effects of an intramuscular dose are not felt until after about fifteen minutes (versus two to three minutes for injected DMT). Whereas injected DMT lasts about thirty to forty-five minutes, injected DET lasts about two or three hours (Böszörményi et al. 1959; Faillace et al. 1967; Szára and Rockland 1961). A similar difference in time course obtains for vaporizing the drugs. The effect of inhaled vapor of free-base DMT commences virtually immediately and lasts only ten to fifteen minutes, whereas vaporized DET free-base requires a few minutes to be felt and lasts for about one to two hours. There are qualitative differences between the two compounds as well. While DMT has a dramatic, sledgehammer-like power, the effect of DET is more subtle, and the drug is less likely to provoke anxiety and panic states which may occur following DMT administration. This fact, combined with the idyllic one to three hour duration of effect, makes DET one of the most desirable of all entheogenic agents, particularly advantageous for users naive to entheogens. As the Böszörményi group commented: ‘we believe DET to be the best and least noxious mysticomimetic agent known thus far, which seems to have an unquestionable therapeutic effect as well’ (Böszörményi et al. 1959). DET is reportedly active orally at high doses (Shulgin 1976).
DPT was first tested by Szára in animals (Szára 1960), and later found to have properties similar to DET in human subjects (Faillace 1967; Szára 1970). This intriguing compound has been explored as a means to induce ‘peak experiences’ (mystical or religious experiences) in terminal cancer patients. In doses of 90-150 mg of DPT hydrochloride injected intramuscularly, with the patient carefully guided by trained therapists, and isolated from distractions by blindfolds and headphones playing classical music, peak experiences were indeed induced in some subjects (Grof and Halifax 1977; Richards 1974; Richards et al. 1977). Although ‘quite dramatic positive results’ resulted from DPT psychotherapy in some cases, ‘this study did not bring evidence that DPT could successfully replace LSD in psychedelic therapy of cancer patients’ (Grof and Halifax 1977), and most therapists concluded that LSD was more effective. Evidently, the duration of injected DPT is directly proportional to dose; lower doses (around 50 mg) having a duration of only about one to two hours, whereas doses above 100 mg show a longer duration (Richards 1974). DPT has also been used as an adjunct to treatment of alcoholism (Faillace 1970; Grof 1974, 1977). Like DET, this compound is reportedly active orally in high doses (Shulgin 1976), and the free-base is reportedly entheogenic when its vapor is inhaled (Stafford 1984).
DMT is not active orally. Single doses of up to a gram orally have no effect (Shulgin 1976; Turner and Merlis 1959). The average intramuscular dose of the hydrochloride salt is 50-60 mg, producing psychoactive effects commencing in two to five minutes, peaking in fifteen minutes, with the experience lasting a total of 30-45 minutes. An effect of equal intensity is produced by 25-30 mg of DMT free-base vaporized, with the entire experience accelerated dramatically. Onset following vaporizing is almost immediate, attaining a peak in two to three minutes, with the entire effect lasting only ten to twenty minutes (Ott 1977). Intravenous DMT fumarate was ‘hallucinogenic’ at 0.2-0.4 mg/kg, with peak effects at 1.5-2 minutes; lasting less than half an hour (Strassman and Qualls 1994; Strassman et al. 1994). Although DMT-containing plant snuffs are active, intranasal administration of 5-20 mg of pure DMT was inactive (Turner and Merlis 1959). Orally, in combination with MAO-inhibitors, DMT is active in the same dose range as by intramuscular injection (Ott 1994). DMT and LSD show cross-tolerance (Rosenberg 1964). Four hours left between doses does not elicit tolerance (Brown 1967).
DET is weakly active orally at high doses (Shulgin 1976). Vaporized or injected it has the same range of potency as DMT. lntramuscuiar injection of 50-60 mg results in an effect which commences in fifteen minutes, reaches a peak shortly thereafter, lasting a total of two to three hours (Böszörményi et al. 1959; Faillace et al. 1967; Szára 1957; Szára 1970; Szára and Rockland 1961; Szára et al. 1966). As in the case of DMT, the inhalation of 25-30 mg of DET free-base vapor produces an effect roughly equivalent to intramuscular injection of twice that amount, and again, the experience is contracted. The effects of vaporized DET free-base commence in two to three minutes and last one to two hours. Any tolerance is quickly acquired and as rapidly dissipates. DET is visionary when taken orally in combination with MAO-inhibitors.
DPT shows some oral activity (Shulgin 1976) and injected is in the same range of potency as DMT and DET (Faillace 1967; Szára 1970). Unlike these drugs, however, the duration of DPT effects are a function of dose, at least following intramuscular injection of the hydrochloride salt. Whereas lower doses (around 50 mg) may last about one to two hours; doses of 100 mg and above may last longer (Rhead 1977; Richards 1974, 1977). Again, inhalation of the free-base vapor greatly accelerates the drug’s effects (Stafford 1984).”
“My senses discovered the infinite in everything one summer night in Pennsylvania a quarter century ago, and sometime later in Hawaiʻi, as the lustral beams of moonlight danced over a tropical sea; then later still, high in the remotest mountains of Oaxaca, when mighty Tláloc’s lightning bolts raged in the heavens and crashed into Mother Earth in the valley far below; and in the towering Ecuadorian forests of Sacha Runa, to the soothing melody of a shaman’s whistled icaro, and the dry rustling rhythm of his leafy fan. For I have been privileged to be initiated into the sacred realm of the entheogens, sacramental plant teachers of countless generations of the family of humankind; have been vouchsafed a fleeting glimpse beneath Our Lady Gaia’s skirts; have imbibed the amrta of Indra, the ambrosia of the Olympian gods, Demeter’s potion; have for brief blessed instants gazed into Lord Shiva’s blazing third eye. Having been graced by these and other holy visions, my life has been transformed and enriched beyond measure… I have become an initiate to the sacred Mysteries of antiquity, what the ancient Greeks called an epoptes, one who has seen the holy.”

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Bhagavan composed a series of verses entitled The Necklet of Nine Gems. The first verse describes the relationship between Arunachala Siva and Nataraja Siva. Siva as Nataraja is one who churns and whirls the energies of the universe around Himself. He creates and destroys the universe through the pulsation (spanda) of his universal will while he abides unmoving (achala) in the heart — the centre of the circle of energy (shakti) which encompasses him. Siva as Arunachala is the still point and according to Bhagavan, stillness (achala) means perfection or knowledge (jnana). Why? There is no movement in the heart space and therefore it is timeless, eternal. If one were to follow through the logic of this, it is fullness (purnam). He is One, he is Achala.”

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Tablets of Forgotten Truth

“Man is grandly related, and a greater Being suckled him than his mother. In his wiser moments he may come to know this.

Once, in the far days of his own past, man took an oath of lofty allegiance and walked, turbaned in divine grandeur, with gods. If today the busy world calls to him with imperious demand and he gives himself up to it, there are those who have not forgotten his oath and he shall be reminded of it at the appropriate hour.

There is that in man which belongs to an imperishable race. He neglects his true Self almost completely, but his neglect can never affect or alter its shining greatness. He may forget it and entirely go to sleep in the senses, yet on the day when it stretches forth its hand and touches him, he shall remember who he is and recover his soul.

Man does not put true value upon himself because he has lost the divine sense. Therefore, he runs after another man’s opinion, when he could find complete certitude more surely in the spiritually authoritative center of his own being. The Sphinx surveys no earthly landscape. Its unflinching gaze is always directed inwards, and the secret of its inscrutable smile is Self-knowledge.

He who looks within himself and perceives only discontent, frailty, darkness and fear, need not curl his lip in mocking doubt. Let him look deeper and longer, deeper and longer, until he presently becomes aware of faint tokens and breath-like indications which appear when the heart is still. Let him heed them well, for they will take life and grow into high thoughts that will cross the threshold of his mind like wandering angels, and these again shall become forerunners of a voice which will come later — the voice of a hidden, recondite and mysterious being who inhabits his center, who is his own ancient Self.

The divine nature reveals itself anew in every human life, but if a man walks indifferently by, then the revelation is as seed on stony ground. No one is excluded from this divine consciousness; it is man who excludes himself. Men make formal and pretentious enquiry into the mystery and meaning of life, when all the while each bird perched upon a green bough, each child holding its fond mother’s hand, has solved the riddle and carries the answer in its face. That Life, which brought you to birth, O Man, is nobler and greater than your farthest thought; believe in its beneficent intention towards you and obey its subtle injunctions whispered to your heart in half-felt intuitions.

The man who thinks he may live as freely as his unconsidered desires prompt him and yet not carry the burden of an eventual reckoning, is binding his life to a hollow dream. Whoever sins against his fellows or against himself pronounces his own sentence thereby. He may hide his sins from the sight of others, but he cannot hide them from the all-recording eyes of the gods. Justice still rules the world with inexorable weight, though its operations are often unseen and though it is not always to be found in stone built courts of law. Whoever escapes from paying the legal penalties of earth can never escape from paying the just penalties which the gods impose. Nemesis — remorseless and implacable — holds such a man in jeopardy every hour.

Those who have been held under the bitter waters of sorrow, those who have moved through shadowed years in the mist of tears, will be somewhat readier to receive the truth which life is ever silently voicing. If they can perceive nothing else, they can perceive the tragical transience which attends the smiles of fortune. Those who refuse to be deluded by their brighter hours will not suffer so greatly from their darker ones. There is no life that is not made up of the warp of pleasure and the woof of suffering. Therefore, no man can afford to walk with proud and pontifical air. He who does so takes his perambulation at a grave peril. For humility is the only befitting robe to wear in the presence of the unseen gods, who may remove in a few days what has been acquired during many years. The fate of all things moves in cycles and only the thoughtless observer can fail to note this fact. Even in the universe it may be seen that every perihelion is succeeded by an aphelion. So in the life and fortunes of man, the flood of prosperity may be succeeded by the ebb of privation, health may be a fickle guest, while love may come only to wander again. But when the night of protracted agony dies, the dawn of newfound wisdom glimmers. The last lesson of these things is that the eternal refuge in man, unnoticed and unsought as it may be, must become what it was once — his solace, or disappointment and suffering will periodically conspire to drive him in upon it. No man is so lucky that the gods permit him to avoid these two great tutors of the race.

A man will feel safe, protected, secure, only when he discovers that the radiant wings of sublimity enfold him. While he persists in remaining unillumined, his best inventions shall become his worst impediments, and everything that draws him closer to the material frame of things shall become another knot he must later untie. For he is inseparably allied to his ancient past, he stands always in the presence of his inner divinity and cannot shake it off. Let him, then, not remain unwitting of this fact but deliver himself, his worldly cares and secret burdens, into the beautiful care of his better self and it shall not fail him. Let him do this, if he would live with gracious peace and die with fearless dignity.

He who has once seen his real Self will never again hate another. There is no sin greater than hatred, no sorrow worse than the legacy of lands splashed with blood which it inevitably bestows, no result more certain than that it will recoil on those who send it forth. Though none can hope to pass beyond their sight, the gods themselves stand unseen as silent witnesses of man’s lawful handiwork. A moaning world lies in woe all around them, yet sublime peace is close at hand for all; weary men, tried by sorrow and torn by doubts, stumble and grope their way through the darkened streets of life, yet a great light beats down upon the paving stones before them. Hate will pass from the world only when man learns to see the faces of his fellows, not merely by the ordinary light of day, but by the transfiguring light of their divine possibilities; when he can regard them with the reverence they deserve as the faces of beings in whose hearts dwells an element akin to that Power which men name God.

All that is truly grand in Nature and inspiringly beautiful in the arts speaks to man of himself. Where the priest has failed his people the illumined artist takes up his forgotten message and procures hints of the soul for them. Whoever can recall rare moments when beauty made him a dweller amid the eternities should, whenever the world tires him, turn memory into a spur and seek out the sanctuary within. Thither he should wander for a little peace, a flush of strength and glimmer of light, confident that the moment he succeeds in touching his true Selfhood he will draw infinite support and find perfect compensation. Scholars may burrow like moles among the growing piles of modern books and ancient manuscripts which line the walls of the house of learning but they can learn no deeper secret than this, no higher truth than the supreme truth that man’s very Self is divine. The wistful hopes of man may wane as the years pass, but the hope of undying life, the hope of perfect love, and the hope of assured happiness, shall ultimately find a certain fulfilment; for they constitute prophetic instincts of an ineluctable destiny which can in no way be avoided.

The world looks to ancient prophets for its finest thoughts and cringes before dusty eras for its noblest ethics. But when a man receives the august revelation of his own starry nature he is overwhelmed. All that is worthy in thought and feeling now comes unsought to his feet. Inside the cloistral quiet of his mind arise visions not less sacred than those of the Hebrew and Arab seers who reminded their race of its divine source. By this same auroral light Buddha understood and brought news of Nirvana to men. And such is the all-embracing love which this understanding awakens, that Mary Magdalene wept out her soiled life at the feet of Jesus.

No dust can ever settle on the grave grandeur of these ancient truths, though they have lain in time since the early days of our race. No people has ever existed but has also received intimations of this deeper life which is open to man. Whoever is ready to accept them must not only apprehend these truths with his intelligence, until they sparkle among his thoughts like stars among the asteroids but must appropriate them with his heart until they inspire him to diviner action.”
— Paul Brunton