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OfflineMithril
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Did Ancient philosophers trip out?
    #1334487 - 02/25/03 12:44 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

While sitting in class, daydreaming about imaginative speculative fancy, I began wondering if these ancient philosphers had ever munched down upon the magickal fungi. I'm sure good'ol Socrates would have if he'd have the chance. Do mushrooms grow naturally in Greece? I know amanita muscaria was used in India 4000BC. Anyone have any info on this?


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Anonymous

Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Mithril]
    #1334557 - 02/25/03 01:06 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

of course they did... all the time...

that line in your sig... it was said by Karl Marx.


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OfflineMithril
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: ]
    #1334628 - 02/25/03 01:27 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

Read the line more closely.....Think....and consider then, why it is my signature....


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Offlinemikey_
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Mithril]
    #1334687 - 02/25/03 01:43 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

:wink:

but on the question i'm not sure really. something hallucinogenic will grow pretty much wherever philosophers are, and i'm sure it was an important part of some of their work.


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The poison is the dose - Paracelsus
Let your food be medicine and your medicine be food - Hippocrates


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Anonymous

Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Mithril]
    #1334697 - 02/25/03 01:47 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

Probably not.


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OfflineDogomush
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: mikey_]
    #1334715 - 02/25/03 01:53 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

I would speculate that no, philosophers in general did not trip out. Many times I've read novels or philosophy and felt that I'd had the same revelations on mushrooms, and have therefore suspected that the author trips, but that's only because of my background of mycophilosophy

There are lots of ways to be smart without drugs or even altered states, and I think it's a silly assumption from trippers to assume that theirs is the only way. A friend of mine ignorant of the modern history of magic mushrooms was always like "I'm pretty sure Tolkein ate mushrooms." Because the Hobbit has that same adventure within adventure feeling of a mushroom trip, but at the time of the writing of the Hobbit there was nothing but maybe the odd whisper about magic fungi in esoteric ethnobotany circles.


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Dogomush]
    #1334838 - 02/25/03 02:34 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

J.R.R. Tolkien was a brilliant academic - a philologist, who could devise make-believe languages. He was fairly stodgey and proper, and a most unlikely candidate for psychedelic use. He was not a Huxley.


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Mithril]
    #1334900 - 02/25/03 02:49 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

THere is a thesis, that Socrates was put to death (for corrupting youth, ostensibly) because he obtained the Sacred Kykeon of the Eleusinian Mystery Rites, and turned his students on, outside of the prescribed ritual. Revealing anything of these Mysteries, which required a lot of money and years of preparation to attend, was punishable by death.

The Kykeon was, according to Hofmann and Ruck, a barley beer to which a decoction of the ergot Claviceps Pasapali had been added. Unlike Claviceps Purpurea, which caused the horrible condition of ergotism (St. Anthony's Fire) - with psychosis, gangarene, convulsions, fever and death, this variety was simply psychedelic. Incidentally, when the black sclerotia of ergot fall to the Earth, they produce a tiny purple mushroom.

The philosopher Plato - Socrates' pupil - wrote of the Realm of Pure Ideas, and of the contents - archetypes. Carl Jung grasped this concept and modernized it, even retaining the term archetype, and the realm of the collective unconscious which is populated by the archetypes. Jungian theory applies rather well to the archetypal images, mythological themes and universalization of cosmic principles that the psychedelic experience teaches. If any of this is historically accurate, then the psychedelic experience from Eleusis, through Socrates and Plato, through the Neoplatonist Plotinus and the Christian Neoplatonist, Dionysus the Areopagite - has seriously influenced early Christian theology down to the present.


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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OfflineCockyMandrill
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #1334908 - 02/25/03 02:51 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

I remember reading somewhere about Socrates, Plato, and many other philosophers from that region (methinks around greece) were users of the magic mushrooms.


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OfflineDogomush
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: CockyMandrill]
    #1335046 - 02/25/03 03:39 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

Hmmmm interesting post. It's interesting stuff to think and talk about, and it may be true, but it's not impossible to conceptualize these things without drugs. If Jung could, then why couldn't others at other times?

I remember reading somewhere about Socrates, Plato, and many other philosophers from that region (methinks around greece) were users of the magic mushrooms.

This is what I mean.


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Offlineseraphim
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #1335052 - 02/25/03 03:43 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

yes, right on the money of what i was thinking. this came up today in my jung class, the essence of things, archetypes, plato, and the ancient rites. it's the kind of stuff that's probably unprovable, but has a connecting thread you can tease out in the thought patterns.


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trying to lose the monkey mind a little bit


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Anonymous

Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Mithril]
    #1335344 - 02/25/03 04:53 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

hah! i should pay more attention.  :blush:


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OfflineMushyMay
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Mithril]
    #1336153 - 02/25/03 09:57 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

Drugs have been used throughout history, no one would doubt this. Did the ancients "trip out"? Who knows. I'd say that many of the great minds throughout the history of man have used drugs to enter altered states of consciousness. There are also many who probably never touched drugs. I guess it really depends on the discipline of the philosopher, the time he/she lived and geography.


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MushyMay is a fictional character, as a result any information provided by MushyMay is also fictitious.


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: seraphim]
    #1336386 - 02/26/03 01:36 AM (18 years, 9 months ago)

As a veteran of 8.5 years of Jungian analysis, under 3 Zurich-trained analysts (one of whom was analyzed by Jolanda Jacobi, who in turn had been analyzed by Freud, Adler and Jung!), I hope your prof includes one of Noll's books: 'The Aryan Christ,' or 'The Jung Cult.' I can attest to many allegations against present-day Jungianism, as both Noll and myself were rejected for analytical training because of the inherent prejudices in said cult.


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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Offlineseraphim
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #1337551 - 02/26/03 12:06 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

we aren't reading those texts. our prof repeatedly warns us about the dangers of imitating, of beliveing jung has all the answers, of that kind of thing. he likes jungs own quote "i am thanksful i am not a jungian."


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trying to lose the monkey mind a little bit


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OfflineScarfmeister
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Mithril]
    #1337602 - 02/26/03 12:24 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

Do you guys think that if you could meet and talk with Plato, Aristotle and the likes that it would be a mind-blowing experience?

For example if i would visit ancient greece the nature philosophers there would no doubt regard me as extremely intellectual and knowledgeable by their standards. Sure 500bc they had some truly original ideas but most of what they knew is highschool stuff by todays standards. Or would they still be able to intellectually challenge a reasonably well read modern individual?

Archimedes and the likes was ofcource mathematical geniuses and could probably hold their own with anyone of our modern mathematicians.


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OfflineMushyMay
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Scarfmeister]
    #1337638 - 02/26/03 12:39 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

It would be a waste of time...  I don't understand Greek :tongue: 


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MushyMay is a fictional character, as a result any information provided by MushyMay is also fictitious.


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OfflineScarfmeister
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: MushyMay]
    #1337644 - 02/26/03 12:41 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

That would be Latin :smile:


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OfflineMithril
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Scarfmeister]
    #1337758 - 02/26/03 01:13 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

No, it would be greek.


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OfflineDogomush
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Mithril]
    #1338133 - 02/26/03 04:03 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

Greeks speaking Greek? That's crazy!


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OfflineMurex
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Mithril]
    #1338611 - 02/26/03 07:37 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

I don't think you can know for sure- they might have and just never mentioned it to anyone, so then it would never be able to be proven.


--------------------
What if everything around you
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know,
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want it to be?



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OfflineScarfmeister
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Dogomush]
    #1339968 - 02/27/03 10:01 AM (18 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Greeks speaking Greek? That's crazy!




Actually i believe that Latin was the language that was preferred by most scholars.


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We're the lowest of the low, the scum of the fucking earth!


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Offlinesancho
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Scarfmeister]
    #1340122 - 02/27/03 10:43 AM (18 years, 9 months ago)

actually, i think i heard in my world history class (i might be mistaken) that the philosophers tripped a good amount......... :grin:


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Drugs may be the road to nowhere, but at least they're the scenic route.


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OfflineAldous
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: sancho]
    #1340675 - 02/27/03 01:34 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

An interesting exerpt from a recent book: "The Antipodes of the Mind - Charting the phenomenology of the Ayahuasca experience" (Oxford University Press), by Benny Shanon, a cognitive psychologist from the university of Jerusalem. He's participated in over a hundred ayahuasca sessions himself, and interviewed hundreds of people about theirs. In the book, he not only describes the whole array of different effects, but he also tries to analyse various implications in the fields of psychology, philosophy etc.

Here it is, from p. 167:
"As noted, Platonic-like ideas reoccur throughout my informants' reports. I, too, thought of Plato several times in the course of my journey with Ayahuasca. For me, this was not a simple, straightforward matter. My professional work in cognitive psychology follows a strong anti-Platonistic line (see Shanon, 1993a). One of the most important effects Ayahuasca has had on me is a serious reconsideration of the Platonistic world-view. [...]
Of the philosophical ideas reported to me by other people, a Platonic one that especially impressed me was furnished by an independent drinker [...] with no formal training in philosophy. When I interviewed this person, he presented an entire metaphysical picture which he said came to him from Ayahuasca. It was a radical idealistic view. When probing him with respect to the origin and possible veracity of this view, the man told me: 'You are a professor so you think that you teach me, that you pass information to me. But this is not so. You only talk to me, and through this come up ideas and knowledge that are there, stored in my own mind. It is all there and, in effect, you teach me nothing.' Plato's dialogue Meno, of which this person had never heard, strikingly comes to mind."

And here's another very relevant one (p. 396), confirming what Markos wrote above about Eleusis:
"In closing this discussion of Platonism, I should note that the link between the Platonic Ideas and the non-ordinary experiences associated with Ayahuasca may be more direct than it seems at first sight. Philosophers normally regard the Platonic Ideas as philosophical theoretical concepts, but perhaps this is not the right way to look at them. Perhaps the Ideas Plato was referring to were not the intellectual creations of the academician but rather entities of the very same kind reported to be seen and experienced by partakers of Ayahuasca. The mediating link for this hypothesis are the mysteries of Eleusis, rituals that lasted for more than two millennia and in which Plato too participated. It is known that in Eleusis, a sacred potion was drunk and that 'the Gods were seen'. Orthodox scholars of classical Greece have invariably interpreted this statement metaphorically. However, some non-orthodox reflection suggests another possibility. Wasson and his associates (Wasson, Hofmann, and Ruck, 1978; Wasson et al., 1986) argue that what was consumed in Eleusis was a psychotropic potion whose chemical composition was very much like LSD. If so, it stands to reason that Plato's Ideas are not mere theoretical constructions and that the various visions described throughout his writings are not metaphors. Rather, they are all visions seen and experienced in the same manner that Ayahuasca visions and ideations are experienced. No wonder,then, that a person who underwent a psychedelic experience, and who was professionally a philosopher, adopted a radical realistic position and postulated the existence of the Ideas. As Wasson (1961: 155) says: 'It is clear to me where Plato found his Ideas, it was clear to his contemporaries too. Plato had drunk of the potion in the Temple of Eleusis and had spent the night seeing the great Vision.' "

400 pages in small print, but definitely a page-turner...


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Aldous]
    #1340971 - 02/27/03 03:59 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

Thanks for the corroboration, Aldous. And just remember this - in a millennia or two, WE will be ancient philosophers !


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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OfflineMithril
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #1342694 - 02/28/03 12:01 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

heheheh nice.
Just wanted to remark:
I went in and asked my Aristotle Professor on his opinion if the ancient philosopher did hallucinogenic drugs. It was his professional opinion that Plato, Aristotle, did not, he said there's absolutely no way to know, unless its mentioned in one of their texts.
However, he did say that although it is unlikely that philosophers in the classical period (Soc, Plato, Aris) did so, its is possible and rather likely that the preSocratic philosophers did do hallucinogens that were available at the time. Personally, when he said this Parmenides poem (On Nature) comes to mind, if you read it that sounds like a trip and a half and Parmenides, as well as Pythagorus and Socrates, was one of the main influences on Plato's thought.
My prof got a good laugh when I told him when I was tripping, I understood the 'forms'. heheheh
:grin: 


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Mithril]
    #1342791 - 02/28/03 12:39 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

Well, Parmenidean 'time' is a timeless state - an eternal present - so it is possible that a psychedelic experience is behind Parmenides' thought. I wouldn't think Aristotle took psychedelics, owing to the nature of his rationalistic and 'empirical' writings; and perhaps Plato simply learned from Socrates, who was the true explorer of forbidden substances, only then to be put to death with yet another substance - hemlock.

The mythos of Demeter and Persephone has lots of associations with drugs. Besides the grain Goddess that is connected to the psychedelic Kykeon, Persephone was out gathering narcotic herbs which she stuffed in a thyrsus - a fennel stalk - when she was abducted by Hades. The wines in ancient Greece were not just alcoholic, psychotropic herbs were added so that the wine sometimes had to be diluted 20:1 water to wine ratio, or death would result. Dionysus was not merely god of the grape and wine, but also of intoxication and madness. Drunkenness alone wouldn't account for the frenzied blood-lust of the Bacchantes - tearing living animals apart with one's hands and teeth!


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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OfflineDogomush
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Aldous]
    #1342939 - 02/28/03 01:42 PM (18 years, 9 months ago)

Sounds like a cool book, I'm gonna check it out. I read DMT: the spirit molecule and found that to be very interesting so I'd like to check out what sounds like it may be comparable except on the subject of ayahuasca. Cool!


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OfflineAldous
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Dogomush]
    #1344173 - 03/01/03 02:10 AM (18 years, 9 months ago)

Yeah, I read "DMT..." too : interesting as well, but I think Shanon, as an academic psychologist who discovered psychedelics only well into his career, goes somewhat further, specially since he includes his own experiences and reflects more on general scientific and philosophical implications.
One of the very interesting aspects of this book is too see an open-minded academic scholar struggle on the thin line between ratio and spirit. He obviously tries hard to keep his open mind and his scientific respectability at the same time. While he hasn't encountered hard evidence of supernatural phenomena himself, he doesn't seem to rule them out. It is also very obvious that the study of ayahuasca has completely changed his life and shattered some of his former beliefs. This is what he writes in the only passage where he admits how deep this internal revolution affected his personality:

"Personally, if I were to pick one single effect of Ayahuasca that had the most important impact on my life (there were many and the choice of one is not at all easy), I would say that before my encounter with the brew I was an atheist (I used to define myself as a nineteenth-century-middle-European-like intellectual who is a devout atheist with a strong affinity to Jewish history and its scholarly tradition) and when I returned back home after my long journey in South America, I no longer was one."

Quite a radical statement given his context, IMO.

Get the book, definitely, it's the best (and most comprehensive) study I've read on the effects of psychedelics.


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: Did Ancient philosophers trip out? [Re: Aldous]
    #1344295 - 03/01/03 05:48 AM (18 years, 9 months ago)

I have not taken Yage, but the psychedelic experience changed me and other Jews like Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) who referred to himself as coming from a "Jewish anxiety-ridden high-achieving tradition." (Intro, Be Here Now). So, I can speak from the experience of belonging to a certain cultural group that I liken to French Poodles, whose inbreeding has resulted in a 'neurotic, high-strung' canine constitution.

This response may come as an unanticipated response to your post, but the Jewish-atheist thing, itself an oxymoron, is most significant. I am neither self-hating, or antisemitic, but I see what others see about Jewish Americans, and I Know 'why.' Most 'Jewish-atheists' have not made that singularly important discovery - the one that I decided finally to accept in a Christian mystical context - and that Alpert described in Be Here Now:
"...I felt a new kind of calmness - one of profundity never experienced before. I had just found that 'I', that scanning device - that point - that essence - that place beyond. A place where 'I' existed existed independent of social and physical identity. That which was I was beyond Life and Death. And something else - that 'I' Knew - it really Knew. It was wise, rather than just knowledgeable. It was a voice inside that spoke truth. I recognized it, was one with it, and felt as if my entire life of looking to the outside world for reassurance - David Reisman's other-directed being, was over. Now I need only look within to that place where I Knew."
[This is why I came to use Gnostic as a tag - one who Knows.]

This inner change has so transformed me, that despite an obviously Jewish surname, and Eastern European appearance, most people who meet me do not perceive me as being 'Jewish,' in the cultural, American, stereotypical way. Part of my 'mission' has been to redefine 'Jewish' by my own mode of being-in-the-world. This is what I perceive Jesus was doing, and I have attempted to become a Jew after the model of Jesus. Of course, this redefines me as being a Christian (even though Jesus remained true to His Jewish identity in a purely spiritual and moral way), and so I am not considered to be a Jew from a Jewish perspective, but an apostate - one who has abandoned one's faith. Jewish-Christian Gnostic is not too smooth, is awkward. I prefer simplicity, but to tell someone I'm Jewish, or Christian, or even Jewish Christian or Messianic Jewish, is gonna be met with 'Oh yeah, Jews for Jesus,' and none of these simple labels are gonna be met with by anything other than mindless stereotyping. So, the psychedelic experience now has at least a few people 'ask' me: 'what the hell is a Jewish Christian Gnostic?' Then I will proceed to tell them about THE Experience - and I will couch it in whatever format (religious tradition) that person will be comfortable with, because at the Heart of the matter, the Truth of this Experience is ONE.



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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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