Does Peyote, Cannabis or Ayahuasca play any part of our spiritual journey? Most would simple disregard that concept or idea because we have been told it is illegal. So let’s explore all the possibilities and you can decide for yourself.
“I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food”
Peyote, Cannabis and Ayahuasca are plants with reported hallucination effects. Based on what we have been told, hallucination is defined as the perception of objects with no reality usually arising from disorder of the nervous system or in response to drugs (such as LSD). Curious why our Governments are interested in drugs and plants that provide hallucination effects?
Perhaps we should consider hallucination from a different perspective, a more spiritual aspect of our life journey. We have been told the physical and metaphysical are inseparable. Wisdom through plants has been done for centuries, and it appears we have lost that connection with nature.
Ram Dass, an American spiritual teacher, former academic and clinical psychologist said It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed. In the 60’s, he and Timothy Leary were banished from Harvard for experimenting with Psilocybin, an entheogenic hallucinogen which naturally occurs in certain species of mushrooms. Leary and Dass sought to document its effects on human consciousness by administering it to volunteer subjects and recording their real-time descriptions of the experience. At the time of Leary and Dass’ research at Harvard, neither LSD or psilocybin were illegal substances in the United States.
Both men were banished from academia, but that was far from the end of their public lives. Both men went on to become icons of the psychedelic drug, counterculture, and human potential movement. Leary became famous for the slogan “Tune in, Turn On, Drop Out”. Ram Dass, wrote a popular book called Be Here Now, described as a “modern spiritual classic.”
American Indians have been using peyote, a small, spineless cactus, a hallucinogenic plant containing mescaline. Mescaline is related to synthetic amphetamine derivatives used as street drugs. Peyote has been around for a while. Two archaeological specimens of peyote buttons, dried tops of the cactus, were found in a Cave in Rio Grande, Texas dated between 3780–3660 BC.
The rise of peyote use in Mexico, Texas, and the Southwest, was tied to the rapid and widespread destruction of Native American cultures across the continent in the 19th century. During this period, tribes from across the country were forced off their lands onto small reservations, which they often shared with tribes who spoke different languages, had different cultures, and came from very different parts of the United States. When many tribes were facing the loss of land, traditions, and way of life, the use of peyote surfaced as a way to create social and tribal solidarity among the diverse tribes.
The peyote ritual, just as the Ghost Dance, that began in 1890, became a symbol of resistance and helped form the spiritual foundation for the movement that would help create unity among American tribes against the cultural devastation wrought by European settlers.
The Rand Corporation is a Research and Development company created as a nonprofit global policy think tank in 1948 by Douglas Aircraft Company to offer research and analysis for the United States Department of Defense.
In 1978, Congress enacted the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, a United States federal law.
In December 1980 the Peyote Way Church of God (Peyote Way) filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court in Texas . Peyote Way had approximately 250,000 tribal members, most of whom live on reservations in the west. Certain Native American tribes are allowed to use peyote in ceremonies because they were 250,000 strong and fought for what they believed in.
In 1996, 42 U.S. Code § 1996a, Traditional Indian religious use of peyote was passed,setting the requirements for peyote use by American Indians in the United States over the religion use of peyote.
A 12 year old research study suggest most peyote intoxications appear to be mild in nature and are unlikely to produce life-threatening symptoms. Science really does not understand the long-term residual psychological and cognitive effects of hallucinogens, but apparently is understood by those ingesting.
An article by John Horgan, July 5, 2017 in Scientific American provides insight called “Tripping on Peyote in Navajo Nation“. Borrowing the term for a compound that boost the effect of a neurotransmitter, the researcher who participated in the ceremony speculated that peyote serves as a “humility agonist,” counteracting arrogance by instilling awe and reverence in the person.
Cannabis is another common plant that was made illegal by the U.S. Government based on the Rand Report in 1964. It came out during the 60’s drug culture, where marijuana and psychedelics were prevalent and protest of the Vietnam War were nation wide and at an all time high.
In the summer of 1967 and revealed for the first time, American support for the war had fallen below 50 percent. Nearly 100,000 people gathered in Washington D.C. to protest the American war effort in Vietnam. More than 50,000 of the protesters marched to the Pentagon to ask for an end to the conflict. The protest was the most dramatic sign of waning U.S. support for the senseless war in Vietnam. When the Government announced that it would ask for a 10 percent increase in taxes to fund the war, the public’s skepticism increased. The peace movement began to push harder for an end to the war all over the US . The march on Washington was the most powerful sign of their commitment to this cause and the so called hippy culture lead the way.
The people in many states in the U.S. are basically revolting against the Federal Government again and making medical marijuana legal, and others are even approving it for recreational use as well. Cannabis has a long history with evidence to suggest humans and cannabis evolved together, not just medicinal but spiritual as well. Archaeological finds in Taiwan include pottery shards that are embedded with decorative strips of hemp cord dating around 10,000 years ago. Logical speculation tells us that humans have been working with hemp long before this.
Medical Cannabis and the Chinese go back to 2838 B.C. China has been using a written script for over 4,000 years, documenting their historical use of Medical Cannabis.
Cannabis also found it’s way in to India, cultivated for medicinal purposes as early as 900 BC. In 1985, Cannabis was legal in India, until Rajiv Gandhi’s government banned it under United States pressure. From a spiritual perspective, despite being illegal in Nepal, cannabis grows wild, is cultivated, readily available. It is consumed during religious festivals, such as those in honor of the Hindu god Shiva. Holy men, known as sadhus, also consume cannabis to aid meditation, and many are believed to suggest that it is a substance favored by Lord Shiva, and, as such, should be used.
Zoroaster was believed to be the first to mention cannabis, or bhang as a sacred plant in the Zoroastro Elzend-Avesta. According to legend, Buddha was on a diet of cannabis for 6 years consuming only a hemp seed once a day. The ancients has been using Cannabis medicinally and spiritually for thousands of years.
Perhaps it is the negative stigma attached, and why cannabis is not openly used spiritually today. In 1993 the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act was enacted stating that the consumption of cannabis and other substances is legal under U.S. law for spiritual and religious purposes, but is in jeopardy in Congress today.
From a medical perspective , cannabis can be used for easing pain and soothing influence in nervous disorders. It is useful in gout, neuralgia, rheumatism, insanity, insomnia etc. The action is almost entirely on the higher nerve centers. It can produce an exhilarating intoxication with hallucinations, and is widely used in Eastern countries as an intoxicant. This documentary explores the longstanding relationship of human beings and cannabis, from its use in ancient Asia to its ban in 20th century America. This documentary explores the longstanding relationship of human beings and cannabis, from its use in ancient Asia to its ban in 20th century America.
Ayahuasca, a herbal brew made from plants, known as vine of the soul, can be found in the Amazon. It is used for healing and spiritual growth. It is said the vine of the soul, a plant, teaches us what we need to know, to open up our blockages. It helps man to know himself. Sound familiar? Ayahuasca isn’t a ‘magic pill’ or drink that will just heal you,” but is simply “a tool in your healing, your growth, and evolution.
It is known for its psychological effects; integrating emotion with both subconscious and conscious processes. Ayahuasca is used as a healer, a key, or an instrument to open information coming from unseen parts of our mind, body, soul, and parallel universe. Ayahuasca effects and benefits vary greatly from each Ayahuasca experience to another. This is the first thing you need to know. No two ceremonies are ever the same, and no two people ever have the same experience.
The Law of One states in 6.1 “There are many upon your planet who have a random hole or gateway in their spirit energy field, sometimes created by the ingestion of chemicals such as, what this instrument would call LSD, who are able, randomly and without control, to tap into energy sources. They may or may not be entities who wish to serve. The purpose of carefully and consciously opening this channel is to serve in a more dependable way, in a more commonplace or usual way, as seen by the distortion complex of the healer. To others there may appear to be miracles. To the one who has carefully opened the door to intelligent infinity this is ordinary; this is commonplace; this is as it should be. The life experience becomes somewhat transformed and the great work goes on.”
This is just a brief overview of the history of plants that could be helpful on our spiritual journey. It is up to each person to find and seek the Creator in their own way. Plants are our gift from God for us to choose, not some Think Tank paid for by the United States Government.