Richard King speaks on Entheogenic Religion at EGA 2008

| | |


 Click here for the full MP3 podcast from EGA 2008


and some further reading on the ongoing Resacralising Movement in Australia:


The Medicines of Transition  

 ”Invisible, indivisible unspeakable radiance that you are.”
                            -  From a song whose name is at present unknown to me.

Nature’s Radiant intelligence Agents are the Lamps by which we might yet light our way home, the guides by which learn to emulate our Primal People seniors and reweave ourselves back into the Life Web and which was known to our Northern European ancestors as ‘The Sacred Interlace’ and, ‘The World behind the world.

Reframing the Debate – Mainstreaming the Earth Sacraments – Culture Jamming the Opposition
 OR, Why give the Man a free kick?

Further thoughts on suggested community strategy:

The Repetition of history

How many of us who advocate blanket free market legalisation of ‘drugs’ are aware of the situation in the 19th century when such a free market existed. It was the rising abuse graph of the number of grains of opium per capita consumed (particularly in form of medicinal Laudanum) that led to regulation. It should be noted too that it was the invention of the opium pipe that made opium more addictive. In India raw opium is still eaten particularly as a medicine but also for religious reasons, and is done so legally and without problems[*1].

Putting our own house in order

Beware of ego inflation. How many us who advocate the blanket free market legalisation of ‘drugs’ have the same reverence for the ‘little sainted ones’ as the First Nation peoples who have no ‘drug’ problems? Might wisdom and the experience of history suggest that we first put our own house in order in this regard before we start prescribing for the entirety of Western Civilisation?

The Criminal or the Shaman/Cleric?

When the Saxons entered Britain following the departing Romans, they refused to live in any Roman villa or farmhouse despite their many ‘mod cons.’ They said the Roman brick cut them off from Nature.  They were likewise horrified by Roman roads that cut ‘street’ through sacred grove and holy barrow without let or hindrance, utterly disrespecting Nature and blocking the natural flows of ‘ond’ or life force.  It was the Saxon view that the Roman materialist way of life could not last. We are all Romans now, we have long been such, and we have exported and imposed the Roman materialist world-view and looter mentality upon the entire planet, and as a consequence we are presiding collapse of entire eco systems! We are proving just how right were our were Saxon ancestor’s (who had driven the Imperium from their land and successfully maintained the ancient Contract with Nature longer than any other Northern European people excepting the Sami or Lapps.)

 The acclaimed Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson popularised what is called the biophilia hypothesis, the idea that we're biologically drawn to natural landscapes. Professor Wilson has suggested we're entering an Eremozoic age, the age of loneliness. Isolated from all other living organisms we suffer from a Nature Deficit Disorder that lies behind our ills. Such things for instance as ADHD are beginning to be seen by eco-therapists as one of its many symptoms for we did not evolve in a world of grey filing cabinets! Something has gone dreadfully wrong but we are so myopically close to the problem we cannot properly view it. The entheogens provide the missing essential overview, which it is why it is so suicidally counter-productive to proscribe them. When the Plains pursued an agricultural wave of life in the Mississippi Delta and moved thousands of miles to become hunters of the prairies they changed their entire governing myth set. 

This is precisely what we must do, shift paradigms and get back to basics. Fundamentalists are going to love this; after all there is nothing more fundamental the Archaic Revival, a return to the life-affirming values of the last environmentally sane period of human history, the Palaeolithic.

The animist lives in a world that is alive, it is fully en-spirited, the trees, the plants, the insects, the birds animals and the rocks. Astoundingly, Mechanistic-Materialism, the heir of the Roman imperial mind-set which succeeded militarising the entirety of Europe, stole our history and derailed our cultural evolution, has succeeded in convincing us that the world is dead therefore it matters not how we treat Her. We are surrounded by deadness, we eat and breathe deadness! To force feed children such evil, soul destroying faery tales is criminal cruelty (it is no wonder so many of us are psychic cripples and that our culture borders on insanity,) and no wonder we abuse the bio, geo, and atmo, spheres.

Materialism sickens the soul, if it had just been invented there is no doubt it would never pass a planetary and psychic health impact study. And it tells a false story alleging that human beings cannot enjoy a materially though not profligate) and spiritually poverty free life and culturally rich life by co-operating with Nature than by seeking to overlord, conquer, and dominate Her. Anthropological research has shown for instance that relatively intact First Nation peoples worked an average of four hours per day. The world’s oldest and most successful society the Australian Aboriginal spent and still spends a large proportion of the year in joyous uplifting cultural/spiritual activities. Principally materialism has achieved is to distort our priorities and down them upside down and it would be one thing if this were sustainable which of course it isn’t.

Life is tough but it doesn’t have to be as nightmarish as it is for far too many people. If we have ever need a resurrection, a reinfusion of spirit it is this, life must return to the world that we may reverence the Earth once more and cease trashing and, having ushered in the Age of Incontinence, polluting our own nest. We must cease stripping out and selling like crass ancient Romans, the rivets of spaceship Gaia.

Those who, like the dog-in-the-manger are occupying the religioning office and allowed this crime of disconnection to be inflicted upon innocents must actively help weave us back into the Sacred Interlace or make way for those who will. By reconnecting Man to the Natural world religion will begin fulfilling its mission and become more than relevant, it will become THE key to the solution.

In Nature oriented cultures access to the sacred medicine is mediated by the shaman, but in the West, ever since organised religion orphaned the Earth Sacraments, it has been commodified and access is mediated by the criminal - if you have the cash the drug dealer has the goods. Is there any wonder we have a societal problem given that the cleric irresponsibly handed San Pedro’s keys to the underworld? If organised religion wishes to be part of the drug and Earth abuses solution and no longer part of the problem it will reassume responsibility for all the holy sacraments.

Relatedly, the church by abandoning the casting of lots (formerly a religious activity,) ushered in secularised gambling (which has now become a vast parasitic and unproductive industry) and the curse of gambling addiction. The purpose of lot casting in the Germanic tradition for instance is to determine the flow of ‘ond,’ (life force) in order to determine what course of action may garner Nature support. It is therefore a fundamental Nature connecting rite and today we reap a bitter harvest because of its secularisation.

it is astounding that organised religion is not outraged by Secular State’s war upon the ancient sacraments and the total hash the State had made trying to resolve the resultant disaster. It is astounding that organised religion has not hastened to readopt the sacraments it orphaned. Does it not see the contradiction inherent in on the one hand criticising materialism when it was responsible for handing its provinces over to it? 

Given the results how can it possibly go on believing that the tools available to the secular state can possible resolve a spiritual malaise and that if these matters are to be effectively addressed and the deadening materialist tide rolled back it is religion that must take responsibility for the process.  It must reclaim its own territory. I am sorry but when the cleric so brutally saw off the shamans of Europe during the Burning Times and more recently elsewhere he inherited their duties and responsibilities, the shaman’s mantel has fallen upon his shoulders and he can no longer avoid his responsibility, matters are too critical and it is too late in the game for that. ‘A branch that doth blight its root yields no sap for lasting fruit!’

‘Thou shalt not steal’

That shalt not steal proclaims the Decalogue yet the 2nd (religious) Estate has allowed the 1st (secular) Estate, encouraged by the Hegemon’s vested interests to remain in control of its provinces without so much a squeak of protest. So when will it find its voice and demand the return of, and reassume responsibility for, its own territory? To switch metaphors, it rolls back Mechanistic-Materialism by deepening and broadening holy communion – no one is suggesting it replaces its present sacraments merely restore those they dropped. How hard can that possibly me?

The word religion means reconnection, and it is reconnection to the heart of Nature that will heal the soul sickness of which Mechanistic-Materialism is really only a symptom.  And it is to reconnection through a broadened communion that organised religion must urgently now address itself if it is serious about resolving the drug abuse problem and even more importantly honouring and fulfilling the Stewardship Injunction that unites all religions Originary and Clerical.

People say to me: “Richard, given their appalling historical record why do you urge we dance with the cleric of all people?” My response is to quote Grandma Kitty above: ”If we are bring the sacred hoop together everyone must carry a piece.” In a lifeboat everyone must row. No one is beyond redemption or without sin. But first and foremost, if we are to get 10% of the world population regularly and appropriately employing the Earth Sacraments the only entities with the organisations in place that could do so in the short time available to us are the organised religions. The Counter Culture shook the world, a large-scale plant initiation occurred and it shook Western Society to its roots, but it was not broad scale enough to change the paradigm. It is my guess that 10% of the world’s population would do so.  Catholics alone account for that many, mind you I don’t see them being the first aboard despite that Pope recently proclaiming: “We must listen to the voice of the Earth while there is yet time.”

Conspiring in our own diminishment

Our problem boils down to the fact that the cleric’s abandonment of the physical world in favour of the transcendent[*1]) allowed the development of a materialist culture that has commodified the world. Materialism by definition, ‘things’ everything and resultantly strips the world of its enchanting quality. This enchantment feeds the soul and cannot be fully substituted for no matter how many fripperies the Hegemon produces to buy us off.

I am sorry but life is not the sum total of conveniences, conveniences do not invest life with its meaning, or it is a pretty sad life if they do!  We find that we have signed up to a Faustian contract whereby the Hegemon buys our silence with ever more ‘stuff’ and contrives ever more artificial ‘wants,’ allowing him to further de-spirit, degrade, and deplete the natural world thus further impoverishing our souls in an ever diminishing vicious spiral. Boy we must have been drugged and drunken to agree to this, but that is the truth of it. Materialism is a drug to which the awakening revealing entheogen is the antidote, or at least a good part of the antidote it when employed in the traditional Set, Setting & Intent context and the revelations and insights honoured and acted upon rather than debased as a cheap recreational thrill – not that we have anything against joy, far from it.

I am saying that we been conspiring in our own diminishment. If we are to survive we must find the courage to ‘sit at the front of the bus in Birmingham Alabama,’ to ‘stand in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square,’ we must find the courage of the East German, Polish, Hungarian and Czechoslovak peoples who overthrew Communist tyrannies, we must find the courage to reconnect, (religion to) our own souls and authentic selves. We must honour truth, demand authenticity in our selves and in our institutions, institutions that have become enemies of their own missions such as a secular state that globally spends a trillion dollars on an anti-religious war has not betrayed its own mission I don’t not know what is. Is not the exploring, playing, dancing, and delighting in the soul our most fundamental sovereign of rights – what possible business is of Big Brother?

Honouring our feelings, confronting the shadow through inner journeying and soul work are fundamentals of emotional intelligence and the entheogens have always been the greatest aid to this and to the recovery of inner wisdom and the recognition of what is truly important.

Now a key reason why out founding fathers decreed the separation of church and state and why the second estate(*) is tax free is so that the church by standing outside secular institutions can retain the independence necessary if it is to ride ethical shotgun.  We should be extremely worried that the forces of militant secularism seek to dissolve that independence and force religion out of the public square. Organised religion has and is failing in its institutional duty, the duty that falls upon us all whatever our beliefs or lack thereof is to reform the institutions not throw out the baby with the bathwater...

(*) The estates are a medieval conception and they varied, I am using the term is the more modern sense of: First Estate = the State, 2nd Religion, 3rd the People, 4th the Press. Like the terms Right & Left wing it has some usefulness, (these latter terms were derived from what side of the King of France a nobleman sat.)   I am not arguing that the estates are some sort of eternal verity just a useful turn of phrase. En passent, in the Ancient Celtic world view Layde Sovereignty (The Land) is the source of sovereignty, it wells up from below hence the reverencing of springs and wells, and this though stated in different ways is an insight shared by all Primal Peoples (including the Australian Aboriginal First Nations) who have been around a good deal longer than we moderns. In the medieval era the source of sovereignty was seen the king as the agent of God descending from the sky. In modern democracy it is understood that the State’s authority is delegated by the people for sovereignty resides with them, the state’s power then is entirely derived, its authority is delegated by the people and it has none in its own right, a fact that is often conveniently forgotten!

The withdrawal of permissions

The ruling myth or paradigm strips Nature of Her wonder (wonder and awe that the science quest is no substitute.) Young people must retain the sense of wonder and awe and of being at home in the world if they are to successfully negotiate not just adolescence but their entire lives. But when they reach for the sacred visionary and teacher plants (the most powerful restorers of wonder and majick known to humankind) and to express the most fundamental sovereignty of all, the right to explore their own souls they run the risk of having, (such is the abounding spiritual poverty of their ‘elders’) their entire lives blighted by a criminal record!

Now it was by clerical permission (albeit one not consciously thought through) that that the whole of Earthly Creation now suffers and travails within what is now Mechanistic-Materialist but was a once Mater (Mother) infused world.

Well, permission once granted can be withdrawn and the cleric withdraws it (if he can but rediscover and recover his courage) it by restoring the Holy Earth Sacraments.

The fact is that the commodification of Nature is soul-rape, and this soul-crushing rape occurred on the cleric’s not the shaman’s watch. Would we be staring global environmental catastrophe in the face if the cleric had been effectively religioning?  His duty is clear. The sacred medicines of transcriptions must be prescribed within the religioning office once more free of all commercial considerations: Not one ‘pill’ taken not three times a day but the Medicine of Transition taken at seasonal Earth Religioning Festivals with the correct mind-set in a properly supervised setting, a setting conducive to religioning.

I am saying that if the Hegemon and his co-opted agent the secular state were in any way committed to ending drug abuse he would long ago have studied how Amazonian, Mazatek, Lacondon, and other peoples avoid this? Do our political masters believe that we are less intelligent than they? Is it an arrogant belief that we have nothing to learn from Primal Peoples far older and more experienced that we? (Industrial modernism is at most 4300 years old.) Is it cultural myopia or is there some sort of reverse racialism at work here? Or do they believe that despite the evidence they have all the answers? To repeat the same failed action expecting a different result is the sign of madness.

Show me a single government that has a drug war exit strategy or even fundamentally altered its strategy so that it becomes possible to ‘declare victory and call the whole thing off.’  Its easier lo get out of Iraq!  I am saying that if the Hegemon and his co-opted agent the secular state were in any way sincere they would destroy the black market.

The drug war achieves the exact opposite of its stated intent for by maintaining high prices it encourages ever more people into crime to the point where they will even risk the death penalty!  As Access Economics has pointed the drug war merely succeeds in corrupting law enforcement agencies to the point that in Australia the entire Victoria Police Drug Squad has to be closed down it had become so corrupted!

The Prodigal Sons & The myth of Narcissus

We moderns are the archetypal prodigal sons.  We left the family fold and squandered not only our inheritance, but also that of every other being, human and non human with which we share the planet. If we mend our ways we may find that the rest of the family will be prepared to welcome us home.

The drug war infantalises the populace, the state has taken on the role of an obsessively controlling parent continually telling us that we are not adults and we cannot be trusted. Its analysis may be wrong but this approach will never produce cultural maturity. Ending the war requires forging the level of cultural maturity achieved by many First Nations. So, how to we wind down said war?  Well for starters officialdom must stop lying to us by ludicrously conflating addictive narcotics with entheogens and empathogens. We begin re-forging cultural maturity by encouraging the traditional religioning use of the latter.

The ruling paradigm begets narcissism, a self-centred fixation. You will recall that when looking in the pool narcissus was overwhelmed and fell in love with his reflection. Narcissus was never able to escape that reflection, he never really left that pool and that was his undoing, extreme self-interest is self-sabotaging and thus the antithesis of genuine self interest and is a form of misanthropy.

As ethnobotanist Dr Mark Plotkin (who along with Wade Davis student of the famed Richard Evans Schultes of Harvard) says in his documentary ‘The Shaman’s Apprentice points out.  It is not them or us it is ALL is us.”

Restoring the Passage Rite [*2]

“Wild wellness and human wellness are intimately connected.”
Fr Thomas Berry.

Elder poverty, the lack of really mature mentors in Western societies is one of the many baleful side effects of materialism. This arises in large measure because materialism has stripped us of our Rites of Passage.
The result is that too many of us re: “we have become autistic to the Earth” and relatedly, that the role of the elder is to care for the soul of the: “ more than human,” to maintain the balance and relationship between the human and non-human worlds for as Fr Thomas Berry says: “Wild wellness and human wellness are intimately connected.” Not only is this precisely what our elders are NOT doing they have taken the axe to those connections, they have taken the axe to the very branch of the World Tree upon which we all stand, little surprise then that our culture is Earth autistic!

Wellness requires that we be at home in the world. It requires the ability to play within the greater Earth community - within Nature and Her wonders, just as children are able to do in their early years.

Drug V Entheogen/Empathogen

No one likes to be lied to and government dishonours our children by feeding them a diet of disinformation and billing it as education. What’s more it is entirely counter-productive for when they discovered they have been lied to they distrust everything officialdom says and this can have fatal consequences.

It saddens me that leaders such as Jeff Kennett (former Victorian premier now heading up the Beyond Blue anti-depression institute,) are prepared to parade their abysmal ignorance in public with inane statements such as: “A drug is a drug is a drug!” Well Mr Kennett, what if it is a medicine, a sacrament, venom or a poison? All of these context sensitive meanings are embraced by the Greek term pharmakon[*3]. Venoms and poisons and not just in ancient Greece but today, have medicinal uses.  Our entheogenic community uses the term ‘drug’ it in the correct multi-aspected sense of the ancient Greek.

We know what we mean but the larger community helped on by ‘helpful’ reductionist ‘clarifications’ from public officials who should know better (or have an disinformation axe to grind) does not, and this fundamental misunderstanding results in an on going PR disaster for us.

The public believes (and the media encourages them to believe) that we are advocating drug abuse, precisely the reverse of our position! We know this, but the broad community does not and many officials egged on by the yellow press are not about to disabuse them. We are therefore allowing the Hegemon to get away with doing what he does best, ’dis-informate’ to coin a term. We are allowing him to sledge and wedge us, and all for no extra cost! It is enough to make a lad depressed; maybe I should book an appointment with Mr Kennett!

We are in this ‘definitional’ hole because we have not taken control of the conversation and thus by default we have allowed the opposition to pigeonhole us as: “that pro-drug crowd” end of argument!

At the same time, we have allowed the defenders of the ruling paradigm) to get away with a narrowed,
reductionist/mechanistic and wilful mis-definition of the word ‘drug.’ This faces our community with two choices; continue the uphill job (which has gotten nowhere in forty plus years) of re-expanding the term to restore its full spectrum of meaning. Or, quit wasting time and resources on a Sisyphusian endeavour and sidestep the whole problem by using the term entheogen and empathogen. (The side effect of this by the way is likely to lead to the eventual rehabilitation of the word  ‘drug’ but this should hardly be our life mission!)

Communion with our Natural Allies

Our natural allies are the folk who are already in the communion business, who recognise the extreme danger represented by the governing Mechanistic-Materialist model but just lack really powerful tools – tools we have spent decades learning a very great deal about and are in a position to ‘Earth Sacrament’ credential religions for what price a religion claiming green credentials yet eschews the Earth Sacraments? By the way, if one sees that it contains the elements of communication, community and union. Thus it is of course cognate with religioning.

By the way, Sanskrit for union is yoga while in Greek it is enthousiasmos and of course in Latin it is religaré/religio.’ “Ekstasis,” said the Greek shamans, is the “foundation of enthousiasmos.” This and its other Rungs are the cross-cultural ancient and contemporary technical insight of the Palaeolithic shamanic Ladder. The very Ladder of Ascent that will make an IEEE/ISO independently auditable, entheogenic and non- entheogenic religioning delivery tech standard, possible.

The problem with the word ‘drug’ as it is now defined (it would be wiser to use the term multi-aspected Greek term, ‘pharmakon’) is that ‘drug’ imprisons the sacred in the Hegemon’s mechanistic-materialist straightjacket.

We cannot effectively debate from within the canvass waistcoat we have allowed The Man to cram us, and more particularly the entire society within.  Of course we know that the Hegemon is not frightened of the word drug per se’ do they not sport ‘drug stores’ in every shopping centre in North America? It is just a useful a club with which he employs to beat us because they have successfully conflated in the public’s mind, addictive narcotics with truth revealing and empathy deepening entheogens and empathogens.

Narcotic means sleep inducing, it is spiritual and chemical nonsense to equate the two yet this is what the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board has done, this is either laziness, sloppiness, or it means that it is staffed with chemistry illiterates or there was an ulterior motive.

The insightfulness of the word entheogen (and to a lesser extent empathogen) is that it is a sword that slices right through the reductionist  ‘Gordion’ straps of said straightjacket.  It impels the opposition to debate upon our territory, to wit the sacred, the divine, the unbounded and liberational.  We need to place him in the position he has placed us to date, to wit trying to defend (in our case seemingly in his case actually) the indefensible. Of course he can do no other than try and defend the indefensible for that would be to admit that his myth structure is pathological and to admit that would be to topple his whole house of cards and this is as likely as BHP deciding to stop coal mining tomorrow or Gunns Ltd acknowledging that the Tamar Valley pulp mill project is an environmental crime. 

This is a powerful culture jamming Mythomatical (myth editing) act and it is central to our mission given that toppling this pathological, Earth eating ‘Predator’ or ‘Dominator’ Paradigm or myth is THE survival imperative of our aeon.  I submit therefore that this is the way forward.

There are NO lasting solutions to drug (and Earth) abuse within the ruling myth pattern. The paradigm IS the problem.  It is intrinsically abusive and inherently disrespectful. It is the question as I have said, of: ‘Mind-set, Setting, Respect, Intention, and Processing within the framework of a Journey Master’s Supervision.

As long as society insists upon employing the holy sacraments let alone the ‘Evil Eagles’ in a mechanistic and hence intrinsically abusive ‘Mind-set, Setting & Intention’ it will continue to get bitten. Authorities who claim they are against  ‘drug’ abuse yet mischievously or ignorantly continue to define sacred in these, inherently continue to perpetuate the very problem they assert that they are against! Additionally, to allow the opposition to misdefine the entheogen with the reductionist, narrowing, term ‘drug’ is allow them to get away with a blasphemous lie. Let’s call their act, lets nail the blighters.

In Peru a shaman observed to me that: ”Addiction is the revenge of the power plant,” nowhere is this better illustrated than with tobacco. Addiction from a shamanic perspective is possession. That addiction can be ended by restoring right relationship with the spirit illustrates the value nay the glory of this shamanic insight. 

There are 20,000 tobacco related deaths in Australia, one wonders how much louder must Nicotina shout before the penny drops!?  Of course because we are myth-bound we cannot hear what she is saying, it is too far outside our reality and hence perception matrix. Lakota Elder Grandmother Kitty (advisor to Kevin Costner’s ‘Dances with Wolves’) told me: “We use a tobacco far stronger than the variety your lot uses yet she does not give us cancer and heart disease because we treat Her with respect.” All myths blind us to other realities they are necessary and simultaneously blinkering filters through which we interact with the incomprehensively complex world.

The Primal Peoples edit their myths. Our foundational myths Abrahamic in origin are self-protective not least by declaring myth-editing a heresy. Dominator, mechanistic-materialist/militant secularist/globalism are merely the secular version of the same imperialistic “my way or the highway” pathological meme.

Rummaging through Ma Hubbard’s empty paradigmatic cupboard (as the authorities have been doing at least since the 1736 Gin Act) for a solution that lies not within is as farcical as it sad.

In short I am averring that we must refuse to debate on the mechanistic-materialist’s territory for, the minute we do so, we have conceded victory and shot ourselves in the foot. We must, in contradistinction, do our best to impel the opposition to debate upon and within our paddock.  Here lies a key paradigm dethroning/toppling lever. This is how we begin to re-enchant and re-reverence Nerthus (root of the word Earth) the All Mother.

The United Nations asserts that it is committed to safeguarding indigenous medicine and biodiversity. The spiritual molecule, the spirit-bridge or causeway, the real ‘superhighway’ is central to indigenous shamanic medicine.

Physical mental and spiritual healing are not separated within shamanic medicine for all healing is seen as fundamentally spiritual and the result of imbalance. As a shaman told me: “The plants will always give you what you need, not necessarily what you want” and that need may be mental, spiritual and or physical healing for there is no artificial Western Descartian schizoidal division. What all this means is that the U.N. self -proclaimed defender of indigenous healing (and the source of 80% of Western pharmaceuticals) and biodiversity, is at war with both and it is speaking out of both sides of its mouth.

The Hegemon’s real fear is of the entheogen and his self-serving ‘drug war’ is but the noise and smoke, din, clamour designed to cover the war upon the entheogen and as much was admitted by Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover who launched its present historical phase. Government had noticed that the most active chapters of the SDS were in the cities with the highest LSD usage. J. Edgar (there is not such thing as the Mafia) Hoover said to Nixon:

”We cannot stop them from protesting for this is their Constitutional right but we can target their drug use.” The FBI’s illegal Cointelpro targeted: “Apostles of new ways of life, non violence and racial harmony.”

The Vietnam War became as much a war upon Nature as it was a political war. Much of Vietnam has not recovered from Agent Orange herbicide.  By the way, once the soldiers in Vietnam began using the local power plants the war was lost. The same war continues today particularly in the Americas with the ferocious mutagen Agent Green being the preferred weapon wielded by the DEA against Nature and the hapless campesinos.

Today the drug war is prosecuted with ever more viciousness on both sides and the prisons groaning with drug war prisoners, no moves are ever made to rethink the whole question. Not only that, but the war has developed enormous momentum to become a major industry and vested interest in its own right siphoning off billions of dollars from the pocket of the taxpayer.

 It is time to call a spade a spade. Historically the Hegemon successfully co-opted the secular state and the U.N. to launch what is in fact a religious war, a secular global witch-hunt.

Yet, so disconnected from the truth that the holy sacraments are its right and proper province and that this usurping war upon the entheogen is unconstitutional, this has until recently slipped under organised religion’s radar.  At least in the United States, mainstream religions are waking up and have taken on the secular state in the Supreme Court and won.

The Soul or Psyche, THE most suppressed element of our mechanistic-materialist myth-driven society
Talk about mission betrayal, we live in a world where orthodox psychology disavows the very psyche it is its socially mandated duty to ‘olgy’ to study. The only beneficiary of this sell-out was and is the ruling mechanical paradigm. The word entheogen means as most readers know, means ‘revealing the spirit within’, while psychedelic means, psyche/mind revealing. And boy does this constitute a very real and radical threat to dry orthodoxies religions which mostly only talk about the soul while entheogens illuminate it in neon and there is a world if difference between direct experience and theology.

Entheogens do not obey and cosy up to the ‘rules’ the ruling orthodoxies have agreed amongst themselves.  Entheogens and empathogens truly set the cat among the roosting pigeons, witness the 60’s. Now we cannot allow that, we must batten down the hatches, no matter that the ship is holed and sinking! As Lakota Elder Grandmother Kitty says: “If the sacred hoop is to be brought together everyone must carry a piece” and that includes psychology.

The secular state, the Hegemon’s co-opted lackey is proclaiming with the full force of the law: “You may not employ the most traditional and ancient soul revealing tools Nature has provided and if you do we will imprison you” and the jails with drug war prisoners.

In the United States where the drug war is now being privatised there are over 1,000,000 drug war[*4] orphans and outfits like Blackwater Corporation (accused of shooting unarmed Iraqis') receiving millions of dollars. The share price of prison corporations depends on how many inmates they warehouse. The Hegemon is not only behind the drug war; it has become a profit centre for him.

So what has materialism to fear from soul revealing? 

It has everything to fear from soul revealing. In 1965 the global population was under 3.4 billion and was still under 4B in 1970.  Had we made the shift to a sustainable economy back when the Counter Culture alerted us to the ticking environmental bomb adjustment costs would have been a fraction of what they will be now with a global population of 6B and rising.  The Man’s response was to switch off the alarm clock silence the Counter Culture) and we rolled over and went back to sleep for forty years. He has done the planet and humanity no favours.

Well, business as usual deniers notwithstanding, we have been mugged by reality, the reforms the despised Counter
Culture presciently presented would have been relatively painless then will be very much more difficult, disruptive painful, and costly. But not as painful as refraining to act! Part of that shift (if we are to reduce the pain) requires restoring the lost dialogue with the Earth, and this I submit is religion’s new global mission.
There are NO lasting solutions to drug (and Earth) abuse within the ruling myth pattern. The paradigm IS the problem. It is intrinsically abusive and inherently disrespectful. It is the question of: ‘Mind-set, Setting, Respect, Supervision & Intention’ (which boils down to responsibility.) Respect not least being ancestral respect is a key because respect is as connecting as disrespect is disconnecting and we need to plug into the 240 volt mains not further unplug ourselves.

As long as society insists upon employing the holy sacraments in a mechanistic and fundamentally abusive ‘Mind-set, Setting & Intention’ it will continue to get bitten. Authorities who claim they are against ‘drug’ abuse yet mischievously or ignorantly continue to define sacred in these inherently narrow terms they will continue to perpetuate the very problem they assert that they are against!

Additionally, to allow the opposition to misdefine the entheogen with the reductionist, narrowing, term ‘drug’ is allow them to get away with a blasphemous lie. Let’s nail the blighters.

If we are serious about the re-entheogenesis of the world we should not be talking about drugs, certainly not at this stage. Drugs are not what we are about, I know no one who uses drugs (other than those that are medically prescribed or over the counter aspirin.) I do know many who employ the holy Earth sacraments. When we use the term drugs we allow our opponents to wedge and sledge us politically. They can allege and get away with accusing us of very thing we oppose, drug abuse, and drug abuse is anything they define it as being because they control the language! Every time we engage on this level we are putting the noose around our own necks and voluntarily standing upon the trapdoor.

Whoever controls the language controls the dialogue. We are social change-agents but we don’t (currently) control the language. So why then are we engaging our opponents upon their dispirited denatured mechanistic territory? This is just not sensible, this is not a winning strategy, nevertheless, we have allowed it to run at least since the Military/Surveillance/Industrial Complex declared war upon the Counter Culture.
Language is a filter and mechanistic-materialist language is extreme reductionist language.

 (Note: from a Founder Tradition perspective there is only one philosophical crime and that is attempting to narrow the truth.)

To reiterate: Consequently, and I suggest obviously when one thinks about it, we cannot win by using Predator Paradigm language, which is to say that we won’t win let alone lever a paradigm shift by debating upon this turf. Nor will we roll back the mechanistic, fundamentalist, scientistic tide, or regain the territory surrendered to materialism (without so much as a fight!) when the church abandoned the shamanic Earth Sacraments.

Rather, by using the language of the inherently disrespectful (it would not know a sacred, life-affirming tapu, a power animal or a sacred totem if it fell over it!) of the Parasitic Paradigm, we merely reinforce it and hence strengthen the ruling Earth-eating imperialistic mythos.
In short, we have allowed the Man to Culture-Jam us by allowing him to impose his languaging framework. It is time to return the Culture-Jamming favour by challenging the Hegemon from within our non-reductionist, sacredness of Nature worldview, and refusing to respond in any other terms!  In other words I posit that we apply the shamanic technology of: ‘Mind-Set, Setting, Intent, Respect & Supervision’ upon the broader public stage. We have the tech we should use it.

Changing the Terms of Engagement & The Archaic Revival

“Man” as Terrence averred: ‘will not harm that which he holds sacred.’ Because we present fundamental solutions to Earth and its cousin ‘Drug’ abuse, while the Man has an empty locker, (he foolishly tries to resolve a spiritual malaise with mechanistic means, talk about a dysfunctional disjunction and appalling arrogance!)

But, change the language of engagement and he is going to have to respond if only for PR reasons, and engage with us in terms of our worldview, referents and its languaging. In this wise we wrong foot him.
Such engagements thereby become teaching moments upon the public stage, and our experientially verifiable overarching message first, last, foremost, always and forever is the imperative to switch out of the Dominator Paradigm before it kills the planet, and to do so by re-reverencing, re-enchanting, and re-sacralising the Earth.  This is of course the previously adverted ‘Archaic Revival’: ‘A return to the values of the last environmentally sane period in deep time ancestral history.’

It is in short renewing the ancient Covenant with the Earth; its concern is the restoration of the now shredded, age old, Contract with Nature. And there is another name for this, ‘religioning’ a shamanic technical term that means reconnection. That by the way is all it means, all other interpretations are ill-fitting overlays upon it. Do not even the most atheistic require myriad connections to survive?  Show me an atheist with no connections and I will show you a dead man!
Turn on the television anywhere in the world and tell me if there is the slightest indication that the Hegemon is intent upon selling anything other than the society of consumption? Or the slightest meaningful indication that he is prepared to change?   The Man, who, as Terrence McKenna put it remains: “Intent upon ramming his agenda down our craw,” is going to have a public perception problem with any and all the above, in fact it is likely to give him apoplexy for he does not do awe and reverence very well!

Additionally he will have Constitutional difficulties too if he gets too heavy as he has recently discovered in the United States. And should he try to co-opt organised religion, (just as the coal industry has attempted in the U.S.) this will give his extreme secularist ally severe indigestion! Now THAT is Culture Jamming!
And the requirement of our aeon ?  - Continuing the Transitions story - dethroning Mechanistic-Materialism
An on going global spirit-molecule broad scale public shamanic initiation several orders of magnitude greater than that which occurred in the 1960’s and 1970’s and which rocked the Parasitic Paradigm to its foundations. Had we have had key institutions on board we would have achieved precisely that. The Counter Culture and its artists were telling the story of transition.

Mercifully the trance dance community (who have astoundingly recovered tribal trance dancing and in many ways the inheritors and keepers of the Counter Culture’s baton, are telling that story once again.  I venture to say that more genuine religioning occurs at trance dances than any church temple or synagogue you care to name and the Hegemon’s response?  Predictably it is police, restrictive laws and dogs and one would be forgiven for concluding the real purpose is to drive young folk into the arms of the alcohol industry, the purveyors of a truly destructive, consciousness suppressing, and addictive drug, Why? Because the Hegemon fears expanded awareness more than he fears anything else.

Government is bent on emulating a succession of British governments who have achieved precisely this, producing an Olympian level of binge drinking young people while continuing to suppress the awareness expanding Earth Sacraments. Even kiddies will spin in circles just make themselves giddy.

The human desire to play and navigate within the psyche is a given, it cannot nor should it be, as the most fundamental sovereignty of all, be suppressed but it should be undertaken with respect in a mentored and initially an initiatory situation. Given its actions government evidently prefers that young people experiment with untested substances in dark alleys and under bridges rather than in well-lit venues where help is immediately available. How is it that in Holland and Germany governments have the wit to test substances in venues to prevent poisoning but here in Australia they refuse to do so. It seems the Man requires sacrificial victims to justify his appalling policies. But ultimately the responsibility lies with the electorate for they are allowing him to get away with it. One could be forgiven for concluding that this civilisation has a death wish.

It is well past time for Western culture to up-shift; it is well past time we all stepped out upon the road of Transition.

These are some of my contributions towards the community development of winning strategies. Olay!
The Holy Plants we Love, Trust & Serve,
 Richard J. King

(Ristéard  S, Mac anRigh
Comhaltas Celtia Og
Thórr’s Shield & Forge)

[*1] Note: You would need an extremely good (shamanic quality) relationship with the poppy if you are going to smoke her for any length of time (let alone mess with heroin) and avoid possession, while the shamans themselves avoid what they call the evil eagles so you would also need an arrogance beyond comprehension believing you are wiser than they, and of course that level of ego inflation is not compatible with deep relationship.

[*2] Jumping several gradients. There are several stages in life that Primal Societies are wisely acknowledged and marked with specific onerous and highly memorable passage rites. When youth in particular are not provided with such rites they develop their own often far more dangerous rites in the absence of mature mentors.

The one that marks the shift from adolescence to adulthood commonly involves an  ’impossible task’ that can only be achieved with the help of adult mentors including the youth’s father and his uncles.  Aboriginal societies view as a boy an uninitiated male no matter how old he is. The last life stage, as Fr Berry alerts us, is the shift from doing to being, the bridging of the human and cosmic realms. A religion that focuses upon religioning the human and the transcendent has jumped several gradients and here, along with ignoring the shamanic technical template the Religioning>Ecstasies Ladder, and reliance on belief rather than results, lie the principal clerical errors. Saving a planet capable of sustaining human life requires that the cleric drops his ideological pride and employ ALL the tools in the religioning tool-kit not least those developed by shamanic Buddhas over the 2.7million years of the Palaeolithic! Just how sane is it to pretend that one has all the answers and a patent on the truth, which is certainly the religious fundamentalists’, jumping off point? But then to the man that knows everything nothing can be taught!

“No man is an island” we survive through our connections thus, as the Aya and Native American churches have demonstrated, (See papers by Dr John Halpern and other such work) religioning is measurable. The Earth Sacraments demonstrate that the late Stephen Jay Gould’s allegedly un-crossable NOMA (Non overlapping MAjesteria moat) between evidence based science and faith based religion is a fallacy. Yes NOMA is real but it only exists between science/technology and clericality. I have mentioned above that about 80% of modern pharmaceuticals are shamanic in origin. Big Pharma knows by its profits that the Originary Tradition is not resident in ungrounded faith!

As previously observed but bearing repetition, we are in this mess because; sans Earth Sacraments our connections to the biosphere were severed. We will get out of this hole by restoring our lost ancient dialogue with ‘Eartha the All Mother’ at all possible speed, and for that we must mainstream the Earth Sacraments through every avenue including organised religions. Particularly organised religions because:

                  A. Because they alone have the necessary resources and global reach to get the job done in time. Additionally they oppose materialism and are (belatedly) adopting
                  a green, Earth respecting, agenda.

                 B. Because additionally they have a moral responsibility because in turning their backs upon the Earth Sacraments they surrendered the world  to what was to become Mechanistic- (Materless) Materialism.

                Note: we hope we have made it clear that when we use the term religioning we are using it in its original shamanic technical re-connection and ligature to source  sense of the word NOT the mind sabotaging blind-faith sense that the cleric has attempted to graft upon it. The term I again stress because this seems to be the most difficult aspect of my argument to grok) says nothing about blind faith, priests and gurus.

[*3] From: ‘The Pharmakon:’

[A] “No single word in English captures the play of signification of the ancient Greek word, pharmakon. Derrida traces the meanings assigned to pharmakon in Plato's dialogues: remedy, poison (either the cure or the illness or its cause), philter, drug, recipe, charm, medicine, substance, spell, artificial colour, and paint.”

[B] In Phaedrus, the god Teuth presents writing as a recipe (pharmakon) beneficial for memory to King Thamus. But the King refuses the gift saying that it will produce forgetfulness; it is not a remedy for memory, but for reminding. Writing is a poison (pharmakon) and Teuth has passed a poison off as a remedy. The pharmakon thus produces a play of oppositions: remedy-poison, good-bad, true-false, positive-negative. According to Derrida, this means that far from being governed by these oppositions, the pharmakon (writing) enables the coming into play of oppositions without allowing itself to be fully encompassed by them, without being subsumed under concepts whose contours it draws (cf. Dissemination, p.103).

Writing is an external supplement to internal memory. But even if it is external, it affects memory and touches its very inside. That is the effect of this pharmakon. The pharmakon is 'that dangerous supplement.'

[C] Socrates puts his most effective medicine (pharmakon teleotaton), living knowledge, opposite the other pharmakon, writing. 'Philosophy thus opposes to its other this transmutation of the drug into a remedy, of the poison into counter poison', says Derrida. This is only possible due to the ambiguity of the pharmakon; it already bears its own opposite within itself. Presenting itself as a poison, it may turn out to be a cure. 'The 'essence' of the pharmakon lies in the way in which, having no stable essence, no 'proper' characteristics, it is not, in any sense (metaphysical, physical, chemical, alchemical) of the word, a substance ... It is rather the prior medium in which differentiation in general is produced' (Dissemination, p.125-6).

This undecidability or doubleness of the pharmakon does not mix two separate elements together. 'If the pharmakon is ambivalent, it is because it constitutes the medium in which opposites are opposed, the movement and the play that links them among themselves, reverses them or makes one side cross over into the other (soul/body, good/evil, inside/outside, memory/forgetfulness, speech/writing, etc.) ... The pharmakon is the movement, the locus, and the play: (the production of) difference. It is the difference of difference' (Dissemination, p.127). In this undecidability, in this non-substance and non-locality, the pharmakon places itself outside the dialectical system and opens a labyrinth or an abyss. This does not turn pharmakon into a transcendental. It is not above the play of delay and difference, rather these permeate it. Pharmakon is not the name for the other, but the place where the other is evoked.

When, during translation or exegese, one chooses the word 'pharmakon' to have a single meaning (for example, 'remedy') while the same word also signifies its exact opposite (poison), the choice of only one of the meanings will have the effect of neutralizing the textuality of the text. 'Textuality being constituted by differences and by differences from differences, is by nature absolutely heterogeneous and is constantly composing with the forces that tend to annihilate it' (Dissemination, p.98). The translation of 'remedy' is not, of course, incorrect; but it is incomplete. 'Such an interpretative translation is thus as violent as it is impotent: it destroys the pharmakon but at the same time forbids itself access to it, leaving it untouched in its reserve. The translation by remedy can thus be neither accepted nor simply rejected' (Dissemination, p.99).

[*4] A drug war orphan has one or both parents in jail.  Drug War orphans have a five to eight times greater likelihood of becoming involved in crime.