Psychoactive Drugs: sacred plants of the creator?

Posted on September 15, 2011


Entheogens are very interesting and I have done some research to understand their role and to try to trace their origins.

Entheogens are psychoactive plants and substances that have been used by indigenous cultures throughout the Amazon for millennia as a mean to gain knowledge of the personal and the universal and to “unlock the door to the other world”. They’ve been used by shamans in religious rituals to contact spirits or the dead, in shamanic initiation and in healing rituals. Entheogens have had a significant part in mythology and cosmology they are considered as deities and have had an important religious role among indigenous people, possibly since the Early Pre-classic period (the earliest period in which man could to carve stones).

Those psychoactive plants are integral to most cultural aspects of indigenous’ life and have several uses. For example, ayahuasca is used to know the whereabouts of enemies, to prepare for expeditions, to reveal spouses’ faithfulness and to determine the cause and cure of a disease

Entheogens also serve healing purposes and can heal the physical and the emotional. Among the Ese’eja, a tribe of Amerindians, shamans use ayahusca in healing rituals. The patient and the shaman fall into a trance during which the spirit of the Madre de la Soga (Mother of the Rope) tells them the causes of the disease and the plants that will cure it.

As human beings, we go through different states of consciousness every day and can sometimes spontaneously have very powerful experiences in dreams, trauma or extreme pain. The ingestion of entheogens can help to trigger those powerful states of consciousness known as archetypal or mystical experiences.

Archetypal experiences are described as visions of symbols, deities, themes of myths and world religions, prior civilisations and cosmic panorama whereas mystical experiences are characterized by awareness beyond the ego, wisdom, love and transcendence. Those states have been described as encounters with the Divine and as providing people with “the knowledge of the mysteries and ultimate truths of the universe.

Moreover, the substance needs to be pure and the dosage accurate. It is essential to have a skillful guide and to have an attitude of trust, openness, curiosity and courage. Therefore, taking LSD is not going to induce this because I doubt the substance to be pure and you to be ready to encounter your ego.

A lot of people experiencing archetypal visions see the Christ, Bodhisattvas, the Virgin Mary or other gods and goddesses, sometimes foreign to their enculturation. Are archetypes encoded in the DNA or accessible to every human being experiencing transcendence? Are entheogens sacred molecules provided by the Creator to contribute to personal and spiritual growth?

Entheogens have healing capacities in treating addiction and depression and in helping terminally ill patients to accept death and to gain insight into the nature of human beings.

A study by Palladino (2009) found that although medication and practices such as meditation and yoga were ineffective in treating chronic and/or treatment resistant depressive patients, the ingestion of ayahuasca resulted in the significant diminution of depressive symptoms as mood, relationships with others and self-acceptance significantly improved.

Entheogens can be effective in treating addiction as their ingestion is usually followed by a purge, which represents the elimination of emotional burdens and the purgative, cathartic and curative effect.

Mystical experiences have also been shown to help terminally ill patients to be more positive about life and to accept death. As a result of dipropyltrypamine (DPT) ingestion, a cancer patient overcame his fear of death, convinced that there is a “loving masterful plan in this universe for all of us”, as he understood that human beings are not a body but a “form of essence from a Supreme Being”.

The healing capacity of entheogens can be explained by the similarities of their molecules to the ones present in the human brain. In fact, scientists found a correlation between neurochemical activity in the brain and mystical experiences as dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a powerful entheogen, is biologically produced in the brain and might be responsible for spontaneous mystical experiences). the substances in entheogens are naturally involved in the brain during spontaneous altered states of consciousness, enhances natural processes,

In most western countries, entheogens are illegal and governments have had trouble dealing with cases involving their use in religious ceremonies.

Government might fear that entheogens, if legalised, will not be used safely and responsibly, which would result in addiction problems. Some studies have shown that entheogens are low in addiction and non-toxic and that cultures using entheogens in religious ritual have very few problems of abuse

Westerners ignore the thousands of years of experience acquired by indigenous groups for exploring the other world. In fact, while indigenous groups have been concerned about the balance and equilibrium of the universe and have rigorously respected precise rules for thousands of years when connecting to the other worlds to make sure the equilibrium is maintained, westerners seek to achieve personal realisation and do not realize that connecting with the invisible world can be dangerous to their personal physical and psychic integrity.

The fear towards entheogens may not be the possible addictive effect but the knowledge they can provide and the fear of being exposed to too much truth Mystical experiences triggered by entheogens result in many people having a desire to contribute to the world and not manifesting eagerness to repeat the experience in the short term as they feel they have too much to integrate. This results in many people choosing to pursue meditative practices with more discipline They might also choose to follow a more spiritual and peaceful path in life and stand back from the current capitalistic society, which could have considerable impact on a country’s economy and politics.

Entheogens draw people closer to humanity and to the true transcendent and loving nature of human beings than because of safety and addiction concerns.

Entheogens are divine psychoactive substances aimed at reconnecting human beings with their true transcendental nature. evidence of the early use of entheogens by indigenous groups in religious rituals, entheogens could have had a role in the origins of religion.

Enthogens seem to me to be sacred plants put on Earth by the Creator in order to help human beings find spirituality and faith. But let me be clear here.Those plants need to be administered in supportive settings in order to induce mystical experiences, without which there is a risk of psychotic experiences characterised by intense anxiety and paranoia, as people’s ego needs to be ready for its own death. And this seems to be the case more often nowadays as we have lost this connection to the Earth and with ourselves as social and spiritual beings.