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  Strange Drugs: Introduction

Drugs Posted by Frater Navitae 353 on Friday January 05, @03:20PM
from the higher-than-eyesight dept.

The first in a series of articles on “strange drugs” from Cannabis to DMT, Scopalamine to DXM.

[Revised 1/10/01 e.v.]


II:22. I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! They shall not harm ye at all. It is a lie, this folly against self. The exposure of innocence is a lie. Be strong, o man! lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee for his.

– Liber AL
Any one who is doing his true Will is drunk with the delight of Life.

– The Law is for All

In its short but provocative history, Thelema has acquired a reputation for “sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll” (whether we've survived despite it or because of it is debatable). At its worst, this has led us into conflict with the social norms and even the law (Crowley and his associates at least). At its best, though, this unveils certain magical mysteries: it's a vital formula for ritual practice.

By any other name, rock 'n' roll is an invocation. Music alone is invocative. It awakens certain parts of our consciousness and induces an altered state of being. That's part of its power to affect us. Combined with the proper lyrics (the actual invocation), it can be a very potent tool. Its religious use through the ages attests to this.

“Sex” in this magical formula is pretty obvious: conjunction with the God/dess. This is the result of a well done invocation: the God/dess has been invoked into the aspirant. For most people, sex is as close as we can get to another being. It's an attempt at union whose result is a synthesis of the participants (a child, or a release of sexual energy perhaps). In its simplest form, it's humanity's most fundamental religious act. But there is also an obvious mystery to sex, in which it's transformed into one of our most potent religious acts as well. Innumerable sects have evolved around this mystery: Pagan, Gnostic, Hindu, etc., and they have also evolved different methodologies for achieving the goal. But the goal is invariably the same: union with the God/dess.

The “drugs” part of the formula has two aspects. It refers to the means by which we enter the proper invocative state, and it refers to the resulting intoxication of a successful invocation: the esoteric state of mind induced by the presence of the God/dess. There are many means of inducing esoteric intoxication: asana, mediation, dancing, etc. But the most widely used and most common form has been the use of plant entheogens (fancy term for “drug”). The exact history of drug usage cannot be determined simply because humans have been using them for so long that the evidence has long deteriorated. It's quite possible they were the first cultivated crops, as they were often the most highly revered of the early important plants (as represented in the art and surviving lore). Despite religious and political oppression, many cultures and surviving aboriginal peoples still revere entheogenic plants, especially in a spiritual context.

Our holy books enjoin us to make use of drugs. The most famous passage has been quoted above. As usual, Uncle Al has left us commentaries on this:

Wine and strange drugs do not harm people who are doing their will; they only poison people who are cancerous with Original Sin.

– The Law is for All
Let the whole world take opium, hashish, and the rest; those who are liable to abuse them were better dead. For it is in the power of all so-called intoxicating drugs to reveal a man to himself. If this revelation declare a Star, then it shines brighter ever after.

– Ibid.

Crowley is quite unequivocal about the value of drug usage and took quite a variety himself, including: alcohol, ganja, ether, opiates, cocaine, mescaline, peyote, psilocybin mushrooms, and probably anything else available at the time. He also warned about the dangers, as in the above quotes, and apparently fell victim to them himself (though he broke his addictions many times). Following his lifestyle precisely would be quite hazardous and not recommended for everyone, but there are valuable lessons we can learn from him.

In Liber AL, Hadit is quite unequivocal about the necessity of drug use. We must take wine and strange drugs to worship her. This doesn't mean that we can't worship her in other ways as well, but it does imply that we can't worship her in the fullest sense without taking them. Probably the most interesting part of Hadit's message to us is that the drugs be “strange”. In a purely denotative sense, “strange” refers to something that we are unfamiliar with. This would indicate that we should be taking drugs that are new, unusual, rare, etc. Crowley certainly did, but he also took fairly commonplace drugs, drugs that he also became very familiar with. This was in accord with his chosen Thelemic lifestyle. The important point here is that Hadit does not restrict us from taking familiar drugs (in fact, wine is hardly an unfamiliar drug), but simply invites us to take strange ones as well.

With this is mind, I'll be looking at specific entheogenic plants (plants that produce a religious or mystical state of mind) and describing their uses and hazards, in future installments.

index.html [Part 1. Cannabis Sativa L.]

For other articles by Navitae 353, visit The 13th Channel.



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The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.


**Re: Strange Drugs: Introduction**
by Kristin Franks on Monday January 08, @03:44PM

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Care Fr. Navitae353,

You wrote:

“In Liber AL, Nuit is quite unequivocal about the necessity of drug use. We must take wine and strange drugs to worship her. This doesn't mean that we can't worship her in other ways as well, but it does imply that we can't worship her in the fullest sense without taking them.”

Actually what you quoted was NOT I:22 it was II:22

look:

I,22: Now, therefore, I am known to ye by my name Nuit, and to him by a secret name which I will give him when at last he knoweth me. Since I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof, do ye also thus. Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt.

II,22: I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! They shall not harm ye at all. It is a lie, this folly against self. The exposure of innocence is a lie. Be strong, o man! lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee for this.

So that was a misquote..

Perhaps “drug” isn't meant to be taken as actual substances that alter mind, but “drug” might be an experience that alters mind.

However, I will not take the perilous step into the debate of Liber al vel Legis, so here is the commentary..


THE OLD COMMENT.

I, 22: Hadit now identifies himself with the Kundalini, the central magical force in man.
This privilege of using wine and strange drugs has been confirmed; the drugs were indeed revealed. (P.S. And they have not harmed those who have used them in this Law.)
Follows a curse against the cringing altruism of Christianity the yielding of the self to external impressions, the smothering of the Babe of Bliss beneath the flabby old nurse Convention.

THE NEW COMMENT.

I,22: Drunkeness is a curse and a hindrance only to slaves. Shelley's couriers were 'drunk on the wind of their own speed.' Any one who is doing his true Will is drunk with the delight of Life.
Wine and strange drugs do not harm people who are doing their will; they only poison people who are cancerous with Original Sin. In Latin countries where Sin is not taken seriously, and sex-expression is simple, wholesome, and free, drunkenness is a rare accident. It is only in Puritan countries, where self-analysis, under the whip of a coarse bully like Billy Sunday, brings the hearer to 'conviction of sin,' that he hits first the 'trail' and then the 'booze.' Can you imagine an evangelist in Taormina? It is to laugh.
This is why missionaries, in all these centuries, have produced no conversions whatever, save among the lowest types of negro, who resemble the Anglo-Saxon in this possession of the 'fear-of-God' and 'Sin' psychopathies.
Truth is so terrible to these detestable mockeries of humanity that the thought of self is a realization of hell. Therefore they fly to drink and drugs as to an anaesthetic in the surgical operation of introspection.
The craving for these things is caused by the internal misery which their use reveals to the slave-souls. If you are really free, you can take cocaine as simply as salt-water taffy. There is no better rough test of a soul than its attitude to drugs. If a man is simple, fearless, eager, he is all right; he will not become a slave. If he is afraid, he is already a slave. Let the whole world take opium, hashish, and the rest; those who are liable to abuse them were better dead.
For it is in the power of all so-called intoxicating drugs to reveal a man to himself. If this revelation declare a Star, then it shines brighter ever after. If it declare a Christian – a thing not man nor beast, but a muddle of mind – he craves the drug, no more for its analytical but for its numbing effect. Lytton has a great story of this in 'Zanoni.' Glyndon, an uninitiate, takes an Elixir, and beholds not Adonai the glorious, but the Dweller on the Threshold; cast out from the Sanctuary, he becomes a vulgar drunkard.
“This folly against self;” altruism is a direct assertion of duality, which is division, restriction, sin, in its vilest form. I love my neighbour because love makes him part of me; not because hate divides him from me. Our law is so simple that it constantly approximates to truism.
“The exposure of innocence.” Exposure means “putting out” as in a shop-window. The pretence of altruism and so-called virtue “is a lie;” it is the hypocrisy of the Puritan, which is hideously corrupting both to the hypocrite and to his victim.
To “lust” is to grasp continually at fresh aspects of Nuit. It is the mistake of the vulgar to expect to find satisfaction in the objects of sense. Disillusion is inevitable; when it comes, it leads only too often to an error which is in reality more fatal than the former, the denial of 'materiality' and of 'animalism.' There is a correspondence between these two attitudes and those of the 'once-born' and 'twice-born' of William James (Varieties of Religious Experience). Thelemites are 'thrice-born;' we accept everything for what it is, without 'lust of result,' without insisting upon things conforming with a priori ideals, or regretting their failure to do so. We can therefore 'enjoy' all things of sense and rapture' according to their true nature. For example, the average man dreads tuberculosis. The “Christian Scientist” flees this fear by pretending that the disease is an illusion in “mortal mind.” But the Thelemite accepts it for what it is, and finds interest in it for its own sake. For him it is a necessary part of the Universe; he makes “no difference” between it and any other thing. The artist's position is analogous. Rubens, for instance, takes a gross pleasure in female flesh, rendering it truthfully from lack of imagination and analysis. Idealist painters like Bourgereau awake to the divergence between Nature and their academic standards of Beauty, falsify the facts in order to delude themselves. The greatest, like Rembrandt, paint a gallant, a hag, and a carcass with equal passion and rapture; they love the truth as it is. They do not admit that anything can be ugly or evil; its existence justifies itself. This is because they know themselves to be part of an harmonious unity; to disdain any item of it would be to blaspheme the whole. The Thelemite is able to revel in any experience soever; in each he recognizes the tokens of ultimate Truth. It is surely obvious, even intellectually, that all phenomena are interdependent, and therefore involve each other. Suppose a + b + c = d, a = d - b - c just as much as b = d - c - a. It is senseless to pick out one equation as 'nice', and another as 'nasty'. Personal predilections are evidence of imperfect vision. But it is even worse to deny reality to such facts as refuse to humour them. In the charter of spiritual sovereignty it is written that the charcoal-burner is no less a subject than the duke. The structure of the state includes all elements; it were stupid and suicidal to aim at homogeneity, or to assert it. Spiritual experience soon enables the aspirant to assimilate these ideas, and he can enjoy life to the full, finding his True Self alike in the contemplation of every element of existence.

Hopefully this helps your research.

Love is the law, love under will.

Sincerely, Kristin Franks.


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|Re: Strange Drugs: Introduction\\
by Shell Runar - Navitae 353 on Tuesday January 09, @10:33PM
|

Sorry for the mistake, it's been corrected. Odd that quite a number of people read the essay and didn't notice my blunder. Thanks for the correction.\\
\\

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**Pestilence**
by <Atensutmose> on Wednesday January 10, @02:49PM

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

“In Liber AL, Nuit is quite unequivocal about the necessity of drug use. We must take wine and strange drugs to worship her.”

As Ms. Franks pointed out, the verse of CCXX implicated here is II:22, not I:22. Therefore, the speaker appears to be Hadit (“the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory”), not Nuit.

Perhaps Navitae 353 is one of those heathen who insist on loudly ejaculating “To Nuit!” as a toast with wine, thus scorning the sentiment of the priest in I:27 in a rush to comply with I:51 and I:63. There are eight and ninety rules of this art, and more than a few are found in CCXX.

Love is the law, love under will.


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|Re: Pestilence\\
by Nathan W Bjorge on Thursday January 11, @05:01PM
|

93,\\
\\
Is being a heathen bad?\\
\\
I think the idea of that salutation is to more explicitly dedicate one's experiences 'unto Nuit' when drinking - so that that activity becomes a sacrament rather than just a casual pleasure. This, of course is based on an implicit understanding (read interpretation) of AL. If one were to find one's understanding of I:27 in conflict with this practice, or if one just found it annoying then one shouldn't do it.\\
\\
This is a great essay and I'm very much looking foreward to its sequels. The freedoms which I understand Liber AL to give me in this direction are something I greatly treasure.\\
\\
2 cents more. The Author writes:\\
“In Liber AL, Nuit is quite unequivocal about the necessity of drug use. We must take wine and strange drugs to worship her. This doesn't mean that we can't worship her in other ways as well, but it does imply that we can't worship her in the fullest sense without taking them”\\
\\
I would phrase this slightly differently and say something like:\\
\\
“In Liber AL Hadit [or whomever] is quite unequivocal about the value of drug use. We can take wine and strange drugs to worship the divine. This doesn't mean that we can't worship in other ways as well, but it does imply that we can also worship by taking them.”\\
\\
Again, a good essay\\
\\
All interpretation of AL should be considered my own etc etc\\
\\
93 93/93\\
-Nathan W Bjorge\\
\\

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**Re: Strange Drugs: Introduction**
by <Maozim> on Wednesday January 17, @03:18PM

2ct2, 2ct7, 5meodmt, amt, 5meodipt, dipt, many others, not illegal, www.jflcatalog.com, not for human consumption, write me if y'all want, keep it hush, also look for mbetech, eshu, others, salvia divonorum, psychotica viridis, harmala, more plants than green in eden, if u email me sound too thelemic too be anything else, will talk more, also check erowid.org, and lycaeum.org, and search for the spiritplants bulletin.


The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.


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