"What is profit anyway? What is the greed that is motivating a frenzied humanity to destroy the planet and degrade itself? If a media mogul pockets so many hundreds of millions of dollars a year while leaving his children and grandchildren a world without clean air, Amazon jungles, the purple splendor of coral reefs, or animals, where is his profit? If a chemical corporation profits by spreading toxins across the globe the will rematerialize as cancer in the flesh of their own anxious stockholders, where is the profit? To what Martian retreat or Lunar Club Med do these madmen - ourselves! - see themselves retreating when they have finished fucking this planet like an old whore?...
We deny our intuition, because we don't believe in spirits or listen to our dreams, because we have banished our potential shamans to mental institutions and homeless shelters, because we have imprisoned ourselves within virtual shells of technology, it may be pathetically easy for ambiguous, supersensible entities - demons or devas, Archons or rakshasas - to continually operate on our minds, filling the vacuum we have created with sludge, anesthetizing us to deeper levels of wisdom.
If that is the case, then we, the privileged inheritors of an increasingly insecure and globally destructive empire, can be seen as suffering from demonic possession on a vast scale. The parasites manipulating us hide within our egocentric materialism and spiritual nihilism. They laugh at us in our dreams. Their will is enacted by multinational corporations that can be seen, shamanically, as ambiguous sentient entities that prefer to act outside of human control, in occult ecologies of information and high-speed financial markets. Like all Archons, these corporations, often branded by mythological symbols, increase their own power by compelling human belief and sacrifice to their greatness. Their aim seems to be the transformation of the earth into a non-human wasteland.
Where will we find shamans powerful enough to suck the spiritual poison from our social body and vomit it out for us? Wizards who can tame these demons? Visionaries who can point the way forward? There is only one place. Unlikely as it seems, we have to become our own shamans, wizards and seers. As spiritual warriors, we must take responsibility for the plight of our species. To break the spell of our culture's death-trap deceptions and hypnotic distractions, we need the courage to confront what lies behind the open doors of our own minds." - Daniel Pinchbeck, Breaking Open the Head
"Fucking the planet like an old whore". What a fitting sentiment. The strong language totally describes the severity of the situation. I sometimes feel like I'm the crazy one for being able to project the results of our activities even a decade or two and being alarmed. It feels good to see someone else explain it so eloquently.
The concept of our culture being possessed on a mass scale by demons/archons, is a paradigm I think we could work with. Most people have the ingrained knowledge of these concepts, from fairy tales and what not, that it could have a real effect. It is either this or really hurry up with a scientific/technological model that functions. The only problem with something like that is that type of knowledge seems to take a long time to trickle down to the 'common man'. Maybe it's a mistake to look to the past for this affliction, maybe this is beyond the realm of what humanity has dealt with in the past, or if various prophecies/oral traditions are correct, maybe it isn't. Maybe this is one of many human ages, and we are failing the same test we've failed in the past.
Either way, I really enjoyed this book, even if it didn't go into great depth on any particular subject, it was an excellent attempt to touch base with almost all of the great thinkers in the fields of shamanism and entheogens. From McKenna to Schultes, Wasson to Grof, DeKorne to Leary, Siebert to Strassman, Crowley to Lilly, Burroughs to Castaneda, Gurdjieff to Jung, Ott to Shulgin, Vallee to Watts, and this list is anything but exhaustive. If I had to recommend the first book someone should read on this subject, this would be it. Check him out @ http://www.breakingopenthehead.com
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