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been reading mircea eliade's - rites and symbols of initiation, great book but pretty much no mention of entheogens, my feeling is mircea knew about it but suppressed it, too much other information is accurate, but whatever.
the recurrent themes of initiatory death in the book are amazing, totally unrelated cultures share basically the same processes.
one is 'killed' usually by 'supernatural beings' who then perform 'surgical operations' on the body or strip the flesh from the bones or removes organs and replaces them with 'magical substances'. the body can be cut to pieces, swallowed by a 'serpent' or some other monster, think jonah and the whale.
eventually the body is reconstituted, roasted in a fire, boiled, filled with new body parts.
at the end of all this the initiate re-enters society as a 'man of power', a shamen or seer.
sorry this is a pretty crappy rehash of the process, but it led me to these 2 pictures from a 15th century book called splendor solis
i wonder if it commonly happens that we are good at achieving the first picture, but lack the skill, counsel, knowledge and guidance to properly complete the 'rebirth', im sure there are a few of us here that had to devote a number of months or even years pulling their shattered minds together after finally reaching the supposed goal of ego-death..raising the kundalini ..or whatever you want to call it.
the hard part is not getting there, its picking up the pieces and holding it together after youve done it.
the legend of icarus flying too close to the sun, maybe sums up what im aiming for.
anyways, im off to thailand tomorrow, enough of this winter.
when i first read the title of this thread, i thought maybe you were talking about orgasming. "le petit mort" (the little death) is what the french call an orgasm. anyway, my mind is in the gutter today!