“Psychedelics are not a substitute for faith. They are a door to authentic faith, born of encountering directly the sacred dimension of everyday experience. This is notthe only gate to that discovery, but it is the most ancient and universal, and potentially the most accessible to the majority of the human race.” — Rick Doblin
Pathways to Authentic Faith
Does the pathway to authentic faith exist beyond religion? Perhaps so. After all, spirituality in the form of consciousness research pre-dates organized religion. In fact, this is also the root of today’s medicines. Speaking medicines. We don’t advocate the use of psychedelics. It’s a tool for the experienced spiritual exploration traveler. As such, it’s not everyone. If you have a desire to use this advanced method we recommend two conditions are met.
If You Choose Psychedelics
First, we recommend people only take psychedelics if they already have a solid spiritual exploration foundation. Normally, this takes several years of practicing multiple spiritual technologies. Joseph Campbell, a well-respected spiritual teacher, and explorer said words to the effect that the Shaman swims in the same water that the psychotic drowns in. This is because psychedelics are like diving into the deep end of the pool. You definitely want to learn how to swim and float before doing this. They are tools for pathways to authentic faith and spiritual experience.
The second condition is that the person and/or place administering the psychedelics is competent. That is, they need to provide a verifiable track record of successfully administering whatever you are going to take. They need to be able to verify the origin and preparation of the plants that you will be ingesting. You need to have someone competent administer and monitor you throughout the process. Otherwise, taking any psychedelic compound or substance is risky and potentially injurious rather than helpful. Do a lot of research. There are a number of factors which can affect the potency and effectiveness of these compounds. Quality control is hard because the same plant can contain vastly different levels of active ingredients. Preparing plants also require experience and expertise. Above all the person administering these powerful substances needs to have a solid current experience and reputation.
Shamanic journey as a path to authentic faith
There are other doorways to authentic faith. As Mr. Doblin points out ingesting psychotropic elements isn’t the only gateway. Another method for reaching the realm of authentic faith is the Shamanic Journey. Although some indigenous cultures use psychotropic elements to assist people with this type of journey it is not necessary. One can use the sound of drums to achieve the Shamanic State of Consciousness.
The fifth state of non-ordinary consciousness is known as the Shamanic State of Consciousness (SSC) (by Michael Harner noted anthropologist, writer, and Shaman). In this state, the brainwaves are also in the theta-wave area. In addition to being self-aware, you project yourself into a “visionary state” of consciousness. You are both the director and participant within a landscape of non-ordinary reality.
This state is probably the most ancient form of spiritual practice known commonly as the Shamanic Journey. This spiritual technology has similarities across many cultures around the globe and also more than likely the source of modern religion. Additionally, we see modern versions re-branding this experience such as is found in “creative visualization” methods. The Shamanic State of Consciousness is significant for several characteristics. The person in SSC controls when, where, and how long they travel. By setting the goal of their journey they provide a level of freedom and control.
What about Religion?
When you hear the word “faith” you probably think of religion. But religion and authentic faith don’t always go hand-in-hand. Not all religions provide a pathway to authentic faith. For example, Taoism and many forms of Paganism have the fewest constraints over freethinking. With these systems, you are free to explore and develop your own path. With these, you develop your authentic faith.
In contrast, the Abrahamic religions (The Western organized religions of Semitic origin, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) have the greatest number of boundaries. Their doctrine is the rebranding of Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian and Assyrian mystery religions. As such, many people don’t regard the belief in these mythologies an authentic faith. By in large, most religions are contradictory narratives without any substance regarding actual techniques, processes or methods.
The main concern Western theology is to create a cost-effective income generation pipeline. They simply rebranded what was already in place. The strategy of combining several mythologies into one provides cultural reach and control with the greatest return on investment. No need to keep an army in place. The religion is self-policing using peer pressure to maintain the cash flow. Here the focus was on selling the afterlife. A commodity with no unsatisfied customers. This provided massive streams of wealth making organized religion war-proof.
Perhaps the pathway to authentic faith exists in doorways beyond religion. This is what people have known since before the advent of organized religion. Today, more and more people are realizing this for themselves.
If this article resonates, there are more on our blog. Also, you may be interested in learning about our blended learning process. This is our curriculum which we use to teach several mind-expanding tools. It also aligns the Hero’s Journey. This is the term Joseph Campbell gave the pattern of consciousness development. Our learning process is available in two forms. You can take part in the virtual learning module or in our workshops.
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