It is true the shamanic path is the more dangerous, and is not for everybody. You have to be ready to go down that rabbit hole. In addition, the shamanic path has its drawbacks and dangers (see my diary at http://www.opednews.com/populum/diarymanage.php). Yet, it is also the path with the greatest rewards in terms of opening the mind to a multi-dimensional reality that most of us deny. It is the path that leads to an evolution of body, mind and spirit.
We aren't going to evolve unless we put our heads into the mouth of Death Herself. We simply will not evolve until we die to this world. An egg needs to manifest its potential. And, this is exactly what we are. We are eggs that have taken form in relation to an external stimulus (our father and the environment in which we live). That unfolding of the egg is continuing to happen now and will happen until the day we die. Then it becomes food for the rest of the planet (unless you put yourself in a metal box due to not wanting to let go of yourself).
This notion of evolution is not something that is new and that came about with Charles Darwin, who was ridiculed by the church for his theory of evolution. Evolution is not counter to many of the mystic teachings within various denominations, including Christianity. Indeed, mystical Christianity did not have issues regarding evolution, because they often saw Christ as the evolutionary potential of humankind.
As such, Meister Eckhart said of the Virgin Birth, "but if that birth does not pertain to me, then what avails it?"
Chew on that for a while. "If that birth, the Virgin birth, does not pertain to me, then what avails it?"
That birth is referring to you and me. It is our Soul that must become empty (virgin) and give birth to an evolved consciousness.
Knowing the reality that Eckhart was speaking to helps. Eckhart was not being literal. The Virgin in his case would be the human Soul in a state of emptiness. It's very similar to Zen Buddhism where one attains enlightenment by becoming empty or void. You could perhaps get a better grasp on this by meditating on the three forms of the word "Hole": "Whole", "hole" and "holy". When one is empty (hole), one is full (whole) and lives in a state of sacredness (holy). This is not something to be debated, but experienced. You're simply not going to get it until you taste it. It's like water. If you never drank water, you wouldn't know what it tasted like. Indeed, if you had never seen water, you would be inclined to tell people that have drunk water and have been helped by the experience that they are full of themselves.
It's the same with the virgin birth. Ultimately the virgin birth is allowing the Soul to enter into a state of emptiness, the unconditioned state, out of which a new ego, or masculine consciousness is born. It's about evolution.
In this sense, one could argue that anything that hinders the evolutionary potential of humankind (and all of Nature), be it in the form of preacher, politician, or corporate head, is a manifestation of the anti-Christ.
Meditate on that for awhile.
This means a church official who traumatizes a child by raping him is suppressing his evolution through disempowerment. Disempowerment of the masses is simply the way things are done these days. Rape is about control and stifles normal development. It forces the true self, the Soul, into hiding. Today's teaching-to-the-test mode of education, which again hinders evolution and forces ideas down a child's throat, also abuses the child. It is a form of control and domination and, in essence, is again a rape of the child's psyche or Soul. We also rape the Earth by pollution, deforesting, etc. These are all ways to disempower the evolution of our planet, our children and hence our species.
These are all holographic images of one mindset that indulges in various forms of rape in order to control.
In the world of medicinal and entheogenic plants, the healing and bringing forth of potential in a person is the goal. But, its important to realize that the use of these medicinal and entheogenic plants should only be in relationship to the evolutionary state of the person using it. For example, I was able to handle the strong LSD tablet that many of my friends could not handle (see diary). While I suffered huge self-esteem problems, there was an inner strength that allowed me to go through the powerful experience without "losing it." I also handled my "trips" differently. My goal was to be social to some extent, but, otherwise, tripping was a time to go within myself. I didn't want the external stimulation but, rather, desired the experiences of going into inner dimensions of experience. Tripping was meditation, though I did not label it as such back then.
This going inwards is also why I write. It's my theme in life. My love for the Goddess, who is the Inner World of all creatures, is also reflective of this theme. In the West, we are much too patriarchal and thus externalized. We need to become more inward.
What we view with our rational and externalized minds (i.e., the ego) is but a small slice of the pie. Our mistake is in assuming this narrow slice is the whole. There are aspects of Nature that challenge us to go deeper.
Helping us go there, Steve Rudd has become editor of Dragibus Magazine . This is a new quarterly print publication of articles that relate to medicinal and entheogenic plants; their cultivation, identification, historical and cultural usage, and their related compounds.