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SARAS -- Society for the Alignment of Religion and Science -- Scientifically aligned religious philosophy for modernity. Science understands that symmetry is the underlying theme that pervades the structure and behavior of physical reality. Religious philosophy for modern times must fundamentally account for this observed reality.

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Entheogens

                                                                                           Psilocybin Mushrooms

                                                                                           Psilocybin Mushrooms

Entheogens -- Consciousness Expansion AGENTS

An entheogen is a psychoactive substance often used in a religious or shamanic context, and means ‘generating God within’. Entheogens are derived primarily from plant sources: DMT (DiMethylTryptamine) from the Psychotria genus, mescaline from the fruit of the Peyote cactus, psilocybin from Psilocybe genus mushrooms, and ibogaine from the dogbane Iboga plant to name a few. Evidence exists of their use in prehistoric times, as well as by ancient peoples including denizens of the Mycenaean, Greek, Vedic, Mayan, Incan, Egyptian, and Aztec civilizations.

Entheogens expand awareness in the sense that they transitorily advance the magnitude of consciousness to levels that evolution has yet to produce. Saving the details of how entheogens cause their effects for a later chapter, experiences resulting from their use are not intellectual—they are experiential. Entheogens enable the direct perception-cognition of hidden realms of nature’s thought-like interior that unveil the supra-conscious (i.e., insentient but intrinsically conscious) nature of the underlying source-reality. This is not similar to the revelations described by the revealed religions, which are attestations of direct language mediated interactions with a thinking supernatural deity. Entheogens can catalyze direct non-intellectual and non-language-mediated views of the pristine beauty, order, and supra-intelligence embedded into the fabric of nature and thereby outline the formless directly-imperceptible source-reality.

Direct apprehension of the reality of the supra-intelligence underpinning nature is the cardinal reason for leveraging entheogenic catalyzed perceptive acuity. At the farthest reaches of entheogenic awareness-expansion the architectural centrality of the sexual polarization of consciousness becomes directly known. Attractive interaction draws the sexual opposites ever closer; as their final interleaving conflation-annihilation draws near, extreme localized sexual allure segues into delocalized pristine ecstatic awe that is the God’s self-knowledge. The effects of entheogens are transitory and melding union into the Godhead state will not complete; however, knowledge of the reality and nature of the God integrates into the worldview of the experiencer, conferring them with intellectual immortality.

Salvia Divinorum -- DISASSOCIATIVE HALLUCINOGEN

Salvia Divinorum is different class of psychoactive phytochemical than the entheogens. From a high vantage point, ordinary consciousness is associated with a single feedback-enriched neuronal signalling loop with the brain. Extreme complexity enters the picture because the brain's mechanisms allow the waveforms that reside in that loop to be precisely controlled within a context of randomicity. There is a key neuro-physical indicator of magnitude of consciousness: the contribution of feedback to the composite waveforms within the thought formation region of the awareness loop of the brain. Entheogens increases the feedback content of the neural waves in the awareness loop.  

Savia Divinorum, on the other hand, has a (very) strange mode of action: it fragments the "main loop" into many parallel loops. Each loop hosts an instance of consciousness--because consciousness as a psycho-physical phenomena arising from these loops. A strange phenomenon results: unlike ordinary consciousness that possesses a single loop, each of the instances is in some sense sharing awareness "space" with the others. Individuals cannot directly experience what is happening in the heads of other individuals. But salvia does cause all the 'feedback loop' instances of consciousness to, in some sense, 'share' awareness. Fundamental to this experience is the sensation of delocalization--being in more than one place at once. This is not an illusion; it is a result of the way that consciousness arises from the activity of neurological systems. 

In the theoretical limit of maximum possible effects, entheogens takes an instance of consciousness and transports it to the threshold of formless absolute consciousness by causing a standing wave to form in the thought loop. The next and final phase of consciousness-expansion is the exiting of the realm of "form" (i.e., the form still present in the standing awareness-loop wave) by attractive annihilating union of the two poles (i.e., abstractly, the crest and trough of the consciousness standing wave) of fully resolved consciousness, which is equivalent to a transition by localized consciousness into the delocalization (i.e., omnipresence) of formlessness.  When the localized individuality of a "person" has transfused into the delocalized omnipresence of the supra-conscious absolute, nature's existential purpose to provide the source-reality with self-knowledge is (transitorily) satisfied. 

Salvia moves consciousness in the direction of omnipresence although in a radically different way. As the effects of salvia increase an ever larger number of 'awareness loops' are forming in the brain. Each is a focal point for awareness yet each is, by virtue of sharing the same overall neuronal circuitry, participating in a global awareness (within the individual). At some extreme limit (say 10,000) of focal points, consciousness becomes overtly diffuse (e.g., delocalized). Although consciousness is delocalizing, it is not approaching a state that might be called the direct cognition of the supra-conscious absolute. In the hypothetical limit of an infinite number of awareness loops housed in one brain, consciousness becomes completely delocalized and indirectly aware the existence of 'something'. In the limit where consciousness is highly focused by fully diffused, awareness resolves the 'reality' of the quintessence of absence, a supreme nothingness--the void. But, the resolution of the void also resolves the void's context which is 'illumination' by the Godhead. Thus, the maximal effects of salvia unveil a highest realm of polarization of reality, which the theistic religions assign anthropomorphic qualities, calling them God and Satan.

I had not expected fear, but terror came with her
and tho I sought a dying moment, she showed me a dying eternity
and tho I sought to bring wisdom into the real, she tore the real from me
and I was no more, and in unbeing, I lost my fear
—Lizard (excerpt from Green Gnosis)

 

To investigate the effects and lore associated with the various entheogens visit www.erowid.org.

 

Are entheogens dangerous?

In 2006, the United States government funded a randomized and double-blinded study by Johns Hopkins University which studied the spiritual effects of the active compound psilocybin.[27] The study involved 36 college-educated adults (average age of 46) who had never tried psilocybin nor had a history of drug use, and who had religious or spiritual interests. The participants were closely observed for eight-hour intervals in a laboratory while under the influence of psilocybin.[28]

One-third of the participants reported the experience was the single most spiritually significant moment of their lives, and more than two-thirds reported it was among the top five most spiritually significant experiences. Two months after the study, 79% of the participants reported increased well-being or satisfaction; friends, relatives, and associates confirmed this. They also reported anxiety and depression symptoms to be decreased or completely gone. Fourteen months after the study, 64% of participants said they still experienced an increase in well-being or life satisfaction.