The Gnostics were sophisticated seers who belonged to a millennial pagan tradition that was brutally suppressed at the rise of Christianity. Can looking back at what such mystics thought in a bygone time and setting offer a viable spiritual orientation for our time? Why we are so compelled to delve into what the Gnostics thought?
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Powerful entheogenic substances were clearly utilized by the shamans and skywatchers working in the ancient Mayan city of Izapa. The profound integration of celestial, psychological, ritual, and mythopoeic elements found at Izapa bespeaks the psychedelic influence. Could the use of hallucinogens explain how the ancient skywatchers became aware of the Galactic Center? And what mysteries does the Galactic Center contain?
My pal recently decided to ditch his copy of Telektonon: The Game of Prophecy, a boxed Mayan-calendar board-game mind-virus that was released in 1995 by Jose Argüelles. I love artifacts that attempt to map and embody mystic systems – the aesthetics of apocalypse you could say – so I happily swapped copies of my last two books for this treasure.
Ivan “Chip” Frederick, the 40 year-old son of a coalminer and a homemaker from Oakland, Maryland, describes his mother as supportive and caring, and his father as very good to him. All of his life he has attended Baptist church services, and to this day considers himself a spiritual and moral person. But in 2003, Frederick attached electrodes to the left hand of Satar Jabar, the Iraqi prisoner whose hooded spectral image was to become the iconic representation of Abu Ghraib’s atrocious descent into hell. Under Frederick’s watch, prison guards observed or directly participated in the torture or humiliation of numerous prisoners. What drove him into barbarism?
Kink. Sadomasochism. Bondage. Dominance and submission. In mainstream society, these things are often associated with a kind of wink-wink nudge-nudge secret sexuality, uncharted territory that surely lies just beyond the fuzzy pink handcuffs and nurses'-uniform lingerie. Within the world of spiritual BDSM practitioners, however, these activities are far from a novelty.
The biospheric dreambody is a higher-dimensional aspect of ourselves that, just like a dream, is nonlocal and multi-channeled, as it is not
constrained by the apparent physical laws of the third-dimensional universe. It’s a deeper part of ourselves that expresses itself synchronistically both within ourselves and simultaneously in the outside world, through both our personal process and our collective body politic. Just like a dream, something important is being revealed to us in the process of its unfoldment, something that could have worldwide consequences for our planet’s current ecological crisis.