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Old 04-14-2008, 05:34 PM   #1
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Opening the doors - the drug-fuelled religion

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/l...cle3699397.ece

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Welcome to the Church of Santo Daime, one of the fastest growing religions in the world. Its mixture of Christianity, South American shamanism and African animism is proving irresistible to thousands of new believers across the globe. But it is its central sacrament, ayahuasca, a powerful hallucinogenic brew made from rainforest plants - a brew that I have just drunk - that makes the Church so appealing to some yet so controversial to others.

Santo Daime groups believe that ayahuasca, or Daime, as they call it, is a manifestation of Jesus Christ that brings them closer to God. Their visions, sometimes terrifying, sometimes blissful, help them to make sense of themselves, their universe and their god. Theirs is a young church - less than 80 years old - but in recent times it has spread throughout South America to the US and Canada, the Far East and Australasia, across mainland Europe and on to the UK.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:22 PM   #2
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"Welcome to the Church of Santo Daime, one of the fastest growing religions in the world. Its mixture of Christianity, South American shamanism and African animism is proving irresistible to thousands of new believers across the globe."



The truth is out there, but beware of false teachers.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:45 PM   #3
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"the sight of children being given a hallucinogen makes me feel uncomfortable."

Yes, it would me too...
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:21 PM   #4
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Originally posted by nathan1977
"the sight of children being given a hallucinogen makes me feel uncomfortable."

Yes, it would me too...
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Old 04-15-2008, 05:42 AM   #5
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The double reference to Blake via Aldous Huxley is appreciated (actually it could be a triple if The Doors were involve)

These substances have been used for thousands of years for spiritual purposes, mescaline from the the peyote cactus (as well as the perfectly legal San Pedro cactus available at good garden supply stores) goes quite a way back among some Amerindian tribes and for good reason (even though the peyote cult of the native american church is giving it to tribal peoples with no historical connection whatsoever). They induce the altered state of conciousness that one needs for deep spiritual reflection and revelation (or for a hypothetical materialist and atheist inducing the existentialist dilemma of choosing why one should choose to live rather than suicide in a meaningless universe; such an individual could think that even though it is utterly pointless if they can derive satisfaction and gratification in whatever way they can it may be existentially tolerable and emotionally decent. That absurdity of existence is a frightening truth and religion makes for a happy lie many would rather accept, if they had no belief in god they may well be nihilists, I don't think I can accept a lie of God and an afterlife and would take the probable truth with it's cold implications). The fascinating reality that sanity rests upon mere neurotransmitters is also an important realisation, that all those frames of mind in your day to day life sit on a spectrum and it just needs a chemical imbalance to detach you from normal existence. As is the potential to completely unpack the normal mode of thinking and having the stream of consciousness split up; the fundamental workings of the consciousness reveled by exception to normal experience.

A friend of a friend mustered the interest to read a scientific paper, he said that his recall about other facts was much better than usual and he was able to integrate it together to build a model that can underpin his thesis.

Add to that the non-addictive qualities, rapid buildup of tolerance, the profoundness of experience, the renewed appreciation of beauty and the capacity to think through emotional problems (if one has the right frame of mind) I think the potential for these drugs can be terrific and terrible at the same time.

It is a pity that fuckers like Leary pimped these things with false promises and ruined the opportunities for both scientific investigation and controlled therapeutic use. I doubt giving most people hallucinogens is a good idea, it could be very damaging (especially since the propaganda that they will ruin your mind sparks the initial fear and doubt that leads to bad trips). A religious context could be positive because there is that sense of community and acceptance; it is a very good setting for those that might be prone to bad thinking.

I have an interest in trying DMT at some time, it sounds like a fascinating chemical. That these rituals and religions have an effect of keeping kids away from dangerous drugs are a good argument in favour, importantly it is not the religion that makes people behave differently as much as the effects on their neurology (the most dangerous thing about most hallucinogens is walking into danger - like falling down stairs or into a bus, psychological damage by promoting any underlying condition; it is practically impossible to overdose on the classic hallucinogens).

It ties in strongly with individual liberty and the most critical liberty of all the freedom to think for oneself. I think that cognitive freedom encompasses hallucinogens and if it is against the law private criminals are alright in my book.
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
The double reference to Blake via Aldous Huxley is appreciated (actually it could be a triple if The Doors were involve)
Huxley and the Doors definitely, though had forgotten about the Blake quote.
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