An excerpt from Riding the Fine Line, by Gabriel D. Roberts. Purchase it here.
I was taught as a young person that the Bible spoke out against black magick, or witchcraft. To a Christian, these terms are interchangeable. In college I learned the Koine Greek word for witchcraft was ‘pharmakia’. As it happens, this word is where we get the term pharmacy from and as a blanket statement was a biblical assertion of the condemned use of alchemic means of mixing natural ingredients for one’s own gain. I find it very ironic that this term is used as a proof against recreational use of entheogenic substances and naturally occurring plants. It’s time I brought the truth to light. There’s something very insidious about this modern contextual viewpoint that western society has embraced. You see, while puritanical groups maintain this argument, they take pills from mega-pharmaceuticals for every ailment under the sun. Some take Xanax for anxiety; others take heavy opiates for long-term pains. They are buying these pills from people who are using the mixing of natural substances for their own gaining of power and wealth.
These companies are not charging minimums either, because they know that many natural remedies are illegal and therefore everyone must come to them, thus giving them a monopoly on your health needs. If we look at this with some objectivity, we can see the one sided nature of our present state. Everyone has fallen for the big trick, to bow to the black magick of the big-pharma, who doesn’t give a shit about your health as long as you keep buying their wares. This is unrighteous by any definition. In contrast, when we look at the principles which we see the Ayahuasqueros of the Amazon embrace, as catalogued in the book The Cosmic Serpent by Dr. Jeremy Narby, we see the use of natural remedies and guidance provided freely. Our slash and burn western culture has done a tremendous disservice to these people by undermining them in every way possible through our missionaries, our oil companies and even our big pharma companies who look for ways to exploit these sacred substances for their own purposes. This is a dark wave that we have ridden; one that has swept over the whole world like a tsunami of exploitation. Though we may not personally be there, we benefit from this in virtually every aspect of our modern lives.
With all of this bleak talk, could there be any way for us to recover what we have lost, and repair the damage we have done to ourselves, our bothers and sisters of the world and to nature itself? Can we change the way we look at these natural remedies for help? Can we look at these entheogenic sacraments for spiritual guidance? Can we change our world by looking at the truth that is hiding inside of us? Can we even find a way to see inside ourselves? Jesus said that the kingdom of God is within us, but most people just take that as a spiritual metaphor. What if…just maybe, he was being his most literal when he said this? It has come to my attention in this last year of rapid and amazing personal transformation that this really was the case. I’ve come to realize that we humans have both overvalued the worst parts of our existence while selling up the river anyone who decides that the status quo of destruction and vanity is not worthy of a serious life investment. Let me be more specific; we have a western culture that values a homogenized scientific and Christian mindset that seriously limits real spirituality and evolutionary advancement. You may say that Darwinian science and Judeo-Christian mindsets are terrifically different, but the reality is that they both put terrific constraints on human evolutionary advancement by the parameters of belief that they say is acceptable. Every year, we spend billions of dollars turning our equipment to the sky for signs of life and billions more on mega-churches to soak us all with the wet blanket of ineffectual spiritual connection with a real higher source.
It isn’t that science has it all wrong, or even that Jesus didn’t have an eternal purpose that effects us all, it’s that both have been stripped of their true, original purpose; to look for the unconditional truth using our hearts and minds. The truth is that the answers have been here with us all along in the forests and jungles and deserts of our earth, revered and used by indigenous cultures for over a hundred thousand years of human existence. These gifts of the earth have been the object of laughter and ridicule as we have driven our cars to the very edge of destruction. Yet, there they are, calling us back to the earth that took care of us in a symbiotic harmony for thousands and thousands of years. Our earliest cave paintings bear witness to the majestic affect these plants have had on our minds in creating our very first works of art. We have become a people who have lost our first love and are shamefully close to losing our lives for it. Take a short moment to consider where we are going and what we are doing and how we are living. Ask yourself if the mindset we have lived with has brought us closer to solving the real problems. Problems like, leaving the earth better than we found it, ending world hunger and drawing a more direct communion with our higher spiritual sources. In my opinion, we have only made things worse; have waged war over our shortsighted politics and hollow shells of religion. So, if you disagree, feel free to stop reading now. I don’t want to waste your time and I don’t want to tell you something you’re not ready to hear…
Now that they are gone, I can let you in on the one secret that has changed my life. The best and fastest way for us to change our minds and hearts is to open up to the possibility that our entheogenic friends in Psilocybin mushrooms, Peyote, Iboga root and the DMT experiences including those through the Ayahuasca vine are not substances that cause you to go crazy, or jump off roofs, but in fact open up real spiritual realms in which we can actually learn lessons about ourselves, our world and those around us. Several great scientists have come forward with boldness and rock-solid evidence that this is the case. A quick search on the late, great scientist, Terence McKenna will give you a great deal of information to consider. The book Breaking Open The Head by Daniel Pinchbeck leads us through the story of a secular humanist with nothing to live for learning some amazing lessons about who we are and what our purpose is and can be. Another breakthrough is the book DMT: The Spirit Molecule, by Dr. Rick Strassman. In either case, the serious seeker would do well to give these great men their attention. I’m here to say that the experiences I have had with these substances in this last year have cemented beliefs that I held only in theory until I came face to face with the other side of existence. Now that I have been there and back, I am grateful to say that I do not fear death. I am finally able to know that the spiritual world is simply another dimension of existence we have not classified in our science, just like radio waves were once unknown to us at one time, yet always existed. And so, I come out as one who believes that these entheogenic plants may very well be the source of both our true spiritual awakening and our salvation as a species in this current precipice of doom over which we hover. I’ve begun a process of peeling away the fake things in my life and coming to new revelations daily that fill my heart with love for the earth and universe and others. Jesus said, “you shall know a tree by its fruit.”, so if me becoming a more whole, balanced individual with a growing care for others is the fruit of my exploration of these entheogenic paths, then perhaps there is validity to my thoughts. We’ve seen the fruit of western science and Christianity.
Even now it seems we are drawing to another senseless war while the rest of the world starves. The established powers that be have made it hard for you and I to make decisions about what we can and cannot consume, though they don’t mind allowing pills that hurt just as much as they help to be sold by big pharma. Mega-Churches would lose their followers if they couldn’t compete with the majesty of an entheogenic sacrament. So in the end, we must decide for ourselves if we think that those in power in science, religion, business and politics have our best interests in mind and decide whether we want to participate in the black magick of self-imposed delusion, or return to our roots, both figuratively and literally. It’s something to consider.
Gabriel writes for VICE Magazine, Disinfo.com and Realitysandwich.com and is the author of three books. He is continuing his research at the University of Washington in his hometown of Tacoma, WA.