Hindu Psychonautic Technology

* Illustration of Prince Arjuna and his entheogenic vision of Krishna, avatar of the preserver-god Vishnu. More on the entheogenic interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita can be found in this book:http://www.amazon.com/Krishna-Sky-Diamonds-Bhagavad-Psychedelic/dp/1594774412

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As a student of religious history, temple architecture and acoustics, entheogenic practices, esoteric symbolisms and ancient harmonic science, I have become increasingly impressed with the depth of knowledge possessed by our collective ancestors. I have become convinced that such information lights the way for the future and holds the key for our very survival.

Building on much older shamanic traditions, ancient priests developed a kind of "psychonautic" technology that helped people experience a state of non-locality and "Unity Consciousness." From such experiences, they formulated theories called "religion" for how to escape physical death and reincarnation. This technology incorporated the following techniques:

1. Employ physical exercise and meditative "incubation" to calm the mind and focus attention,
2. Ingest some mind-altering entheogenic communion to induce visions,
3. Perform chants or sacred music inside a cave or temple chamber to entrain the brain and control visions,
4. Use religious ritual, symbols, objects and words as a framework for interpreting visions.

Together, these were used to simulate death and induce an out-of-body experience. This included visions of the "heavenly realm" and meetings with what appeared to be non-physical entities or "gods." Thus, the plants and fungi used to create the communion were believed to be inhabited by gods who would reveal the pathway to Heaven. Those who experienced such things were thus "enlightened" and "born again." He or she had "seen the light."

Now, it is true that the priestly class often sought to reserve this technology for themselves. And it is certainly true they used their knowledge of astronomy, architecture, music and plants as a way to convince people to be governed by them. But, given the reality of tribal warfare and endless invasions by brutal, greedy, animalistic hordes, it is understandable that tribal leaders would seek to unify their people through religious visions and astronomical prophecy to help ensure their survival.

In the end, we are faced with the sad truth that every religion is a social control system designed to serve the priestly class and achieve their political goals. Indeed, the mechanisms of government were born from such religious institutions for the benefit of the priests, kings and presidents who commanded the masses.

Yet, underneath it all is a real technology capable of producing a genuine non-physical experience. The journey inward to discover non-locality, plumb the depths of Nature and achieve life after death was a noble goal. Just because Religion has done as much to hurt humanity as it has to help it does not mean we should throw the baby out with the bathwater and dismiss their psychonautic technology.

Stripping away the cloak of religion, the original shamanic mystery still remains. What is the nature of perception and consciousness when it occurs outside of our physical senses? Is it a fantasy or waking dream created by a short-circuit in the brain caused by certain molecules or is it a view into other energetic dimensions? Is our physical brain a mere computer clockwork that generates all experience or is it a quantum transceiver of information through the fabric of space-time?

And what about those entities so many people claim to see and communicate with during altered states? Are those figments of our imagination too, manufactured by our subconscious (whatever that is), or independent, non-physical lifeforms? Are these the Ascended Masters, Secret Chiefs and Mahatmas that so many claim to exist?

Well, I honestly do not know. As a result, I can be neither a theist or atheist and remain undecided. But, if I were to place a bet, I would wager that everything is possible in an impossible universe and that it is We who are doing this to ourselves. As an enfoldment of the Universe, it is we who play God and seek to answer but one burning question. Why is there something rather than nothing?